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Anna Grace Mar 2019
I  used to put the feelings in jars,
wrapping them with corresponding ribbons depending on the day
and lining them oh so neatly onto the shelves that line my cortex and home.
Never to say I wasn’t organized in one way,
while others cracked and flew apart in every which direction
hubris was a cheerful  hand to hold as I glided in and swept up the mess,
loaning out jars and advice like cookies.
The back of the head always tells the truth,
I had always known that the shelves were uneven and cheap,
the jars themselves feeble in constitution just like their buyer
and the ribbons were only for display and the whole system functionally flawed.
She is gone;
when the earth became somehow heavier in the loss,
the shelves cracked and crumbled,
the shelves loosened and lay askew,
the shelves were never mine to assume.
The jars came down in a fury,
the force sending shards in every direction and into every part of my brain,
shrieking from the direct hit yet continuing to plead ignorance to the whole **** system.
She is gone;
feelings used to make sense but now nothing does,
nothing is how is feels
nothing is what I wanted to happen
and something is Here,
Something was always waiting,
Something has toppled my jars and shelves
and left me alone on this earth to clean it all up
while She has joined the Universe and now can only be reached
in pictures we took on better days
and the dreams that keep me awake.
Something has come,
Something may have gone,
but Something has also changed me.
Without the jars I feel more free,
without the jars I am open
maybe it was the jars all along
that have always made me feel broken.
i miss her deeply
I have many nice jars,
All sparkling in a row on my shelf,
Lined up like the books above them,
Each kept safely out of harm’s way,
With no intentions on returning them,
These jars are not mine,
These jars have been stolen,
The culprit- none other than I,
Deviously I took one by one,
Thinking the glass would always sparkle and thrive,
My collection started scarce,
It then began to grow,
For my shelf would be quickly filled,
“This one looks good” I thought,
As I received my very first jar,
Until things went amiss,
I hurried to gather more,
Greedily I thought, “Maybe this one will do,
Ah, Indeed it looks better”,
However, this one was also askew,
My desire sought out another,
My shelf was slowly losing space,
I stepped back to take a look,
At all my pretty jars I’d obtained,
All neatly row by row,
I was terribly shocked,
When I realized what I’d done,
Each jar was filled with precious life,
Still pumping it’s fresh, red blood,
I had plundered so many,
Brought them destruction and strife,
I had bought out each one of their jars,
At any risky price,
I felt so sad for all those jars,
Wishing I could give them back,
And panic set in when I scanned the shelves,
And could not find my own,
The jar that had my name on it,
With a gold, glittery pen,
Was nowhere to be found,
And I ‘d give anything for my jar,
If it only could be done.
copyright © Deana Lightner 2010
Holly Salvatore Mar 2012
When you made preserves our house
Didn’t seem so haunted
Our kitchen seemed bright and inviting
Instead of white and sterile
The window above the sink seemed so far away
And the curtain above that
Even farther
They were
Peach
Turquoise
Brown
And they made me dream of Indians in their teepees
Lonely desert nights
Though I had never been there
Arizona
New Mexico
California
Colorado
I had never been to those places
Those were your places
That was where you fell in love
Dad told me
And the pictures in the laundry room told me
I always went in there to look
For a part of you I had never met
But sometimes when you were making preserves
You were that girl again
With a crazy mass of curls that you’ve never tied back
Cuz you hate your ears
After two kids, you were still skinny
And taller than I’ll ever be
And in the heat of the kitchen
Tiny drops of sweat beaded on your forehead
You’d roll up your sleeves
Tie your shirt at the waist
And laugh and play in the steam where you boiled the mason jars
Pretending you were at Yellowstone again
Watching Old Faithful erupt from the earth
Right on cue
Holding Dad’s hand
Back before he grew his beard
I tried to count your freckles while you were reminiscing
You’ve got a lot
A lot a lot
I thought you were the prettiest woman I had ever seen
As you turned those scalding mason jars upside down
And told me to wait till I heard them pop
You made it sound like it would be magical
Elusive
Like if I didn’t pay attention
I would miss it
And I did.
Everytime.
Cuz I was in the laundry room looking at pictures
Of someone I didn’t know
When a symphony of popping would ensue
From the kitchen
And I’d come running
But I missed the mason jars rattling
And shaking as they played their tune
Raspberry preserves in c minor
I missed the butcher’s block by an inch as I slid on the linoleum
And nearly knocked over the coyote cookie jar
I missed my chalkboard easel
By the Grace of God
My earliest masterpieces remained intact
But I did not miss your face
Or the grin that lingered
When the popping ceased
About my mom, about childhood
I collect the stars
and drop them into mason jars
that once were home to
my honeysuckle jam

Suns  Suns  Suns
One by One
I use their lantern's glow
to light up my universe

Ahhh . . . , the universe is black
without it's light
And I pause in my gathering
to comtemplate

The sky is blue
A sea of blue
as far as I can see
A sea of blue without mermaids

Oh , that feeling
as I turn into blue
A lingering
A disintegration

A chorus of crickets
are singing ,
"Here Comes the Sun King"
he is one and done

Yeah !
I need a jar
to start collecting
all the lightning bolts

Didn't anybody tell you
that touching a bolt of lightning
was so much hotter
than kissing the sun

pause for reflection . . . . .

I opened all my jars of restraint
and freed the Suns
They fled smiling
glowing with joy

I contemplated
smashing all my  jars
but I made scupernong
wine instead .
Hayley Simpson Sep 2012
William Shakespeare said "When I saw you I fell in love and you smiled because you knew," and this happens to us every morning.

I put my lips to your chest, so I know what your breath feels like.

So when I mason jar my lungs and tell you to take it somewhere I have never been, somewhere far, far away, and you open it up in Utah, I'll recognize the whisper of "I love you" under the 2000 miles it traveled back to me.

And I'll wish it was you, so I could hold you into my arms and sink you into my lungs.

"Love," I'll say, *"Keep the jar. You'll need it every time I look at you."
Written (2012)

Author: Utah is so beautiful it takes everyones breath away. I wrote this poem in Utah when I stayed with my girlfriend and her mother.
Rice Balls Nov 2017
I store my ideas in bottles and jars.
When an idea pops up, I make sure to quickly put
it in a bottle or a jar.
My jars line up nicely on my shelf.
Within these jars are also my feelings.
Feelings of enthusiasm,
happiness,
and trust.
I bring these jars to everyone
I'm sure they'll love them!
Once placing them on the table, I describe each and one of them.
I wait for their reply.
It'll be good,
right?

One of them takes a jar and drops it on the ground.
Another throws a bottle against the wall.
They laugh.
I cry.
Why?
I ask.
They say






"We don't need them."
Tommy Randell Nov 2014
A Sea-horse embryo
250 gms Salmon Trout scales
2 doz. assorted Lizard tail-tips
1 Bottlenose Dolphin eye-socket (empty)
The ****** organs of a female Atlantic Grey Seal
Dried, trimmed frond-tips of Strawberry Beadlet Anemones
A Complete Lesser Sand Eel
15 cm Curled Octopus tentacle
3 Gribble in a 10 cm groyne section
3 Rabbit tongues (in aspic)
1 ear of Marram Grass (in Lindesfarne Mead)
35 sq. cm Basking Shark hide, 7x5
A Merlin's upper mandible and crown
Severed nail and cuticle of Collector's left thumb.
Ree Bunch Apr 2016
I’ve started keeping your love stashed in jars.
Hugs, kisses, and words only; so far.
Your hugs are filled up to the brim- glittery twinkles of shimmery bits.
Your kisses can’t keep still on top of my shelf; it dances around losing itself.
Your words are my most prized possession, since I know that they are truly heartfelt.
On difficult days I visit my jars and sprinkle myself to feel the love we grew thus far.
I wish people could really stash jars of love for those days where they seem to forget the love they once shared. Until then I'll just continue reminiscing with very old emails ;)
Conor Letham Sep 2013
By God, when the rain
in summer nights
spat into jam jars,
I could hear the pots

swallow the slurps of
pitter-patter raindrops
tumbling down in slips
on small panes, as though

starlets plunged like
pitted pips torn out
of blackberry skies;
the morning jars

left with shining tears
waiting to rise as
darkening blossoms
of the night again.
Draft version for a Poetry lecture workshop.
nivek Jun 2014
I saw a man selling sunlight in jars
I bought one
for you
Night gazing
Shooting star
Make a wish
Wonder
From afar...

Full moon
Blazing bright
Keep moving
Everything
Will be alright

Simple silence
She says to me
With wired words
L'Amour
It's not meant to be...

So wish undone
Still I'll move on
Progressive regression
Is not
Worth none


Still we breathe
Arms still reach
For dreams
Stretched
At the seams

Days go by
Sun still rises
My love,
Life is full of
Surprises

Sir prises open
Empty jars of Paint
Life lacks
Colour, he says
And you grow faint

Resilience helps
Pull through woes
Unseen by
Other folk
But she knows


Deep down
Within her soul
There IS love
Out there, another
Half to make her whole

Never give up
Keep faith alive
My dearest one,
Even without love
You will survive

*Yet don't survive
Just not to die
Love every
Day and spread
Your catching smile

You complete many
Link even more
You matter,
Are important,
Maintain our core
It was such a joy to work with Conor,  he's truly a sweetheart. ❤
Conor~Italics
Tom Leveille Sep 2016
okay so i’m beginning to believe i was born asleep and still haven’t woken up, or caught in a day dream where my name is the answer to all your security questions. okay. a thousand years of wondering and all i can come up with is that you fell in love with me at a picnic in my imagination. the lemonade we always talk about swimming in sugar and tiny handmade sandwiches from my kitchen, your favorite, extra pickle. don’t forget about the pickles. of course the clouds march in stomping out the sunshine, of course. it was dark and there was lightning so much lightning. don’t be scared just now darling don’t be scared. in the middle of the night we only talk about your version of the story. how i’d ask you to stay, asking you to tell me what’s real asking you with my hands asking you with maps, a country called please listen to me, you should know by now that it is an island too far to sail to according to you. i know i know, who dared name an ocean lonely when all the ships are sinking. we can go back we can turn around where the sky is the gentlest shade lavender, we can go back and have a conversation that has never happened before. when everything is the color of day old bruises i won’t let you down. i promise when i get home i will count every freckle every one. when i get home can we open one of those mason jars full of fresh air because i can’t breathe. i remember that day, although i pretend it was more recent than it was. you were there in a swell of green grass in a dress that makes me blush, and there i was blushing. i’m not sure how i made it out alive, skipping the part in the song where you, long gone come busting through a doorway, through the well air conditioned living room and and across the kitchen tile, to the refrigerator where just like in elementary school, my fourth grade heart wrote all your favorite things on flash cards in the blackest magic marker so i could memorize the things that made you happiest. and you turning around in slow motion to see my face, or where my face should be, the only expression i can make anymore, realizing that you realized that i only ever wanted to be something that made you happy. suddenly you’re tired, and i’m tired too, goodnight goodnight, i’m falling asleep because it’s the only thing that doesn’t burn. i’m falling asleep to go back again. everything glitches and i’m underneath your perfect teeth. you say “i would never hurt you” and i say “just like that?” and the layer starts over again, always back to the moment i asked you in my bravest of voices if i could hold your hand. you probably don’t remember that moment, or maybe you do but don’t particularly share the same sentiment over its importance. you see, i’m always fine until the part where i have to say it out loud, and then time stops. i have always wanted to tell you that something happened inside me that night and now i’m not the same me as i was before. so if you ever cross a bridge. if you ever get my voicemail, if you need me, i’ll be sketching up the dramatic parts in my head and they’ll happen just the way i imagined just you wait you wait. the last scene the very last one, the bottom layer, knee deep in mud knee deep in i told you so, you say “i would never hurt you” and instead of saying “just like that” i reach up to kiss you and the room evaporates. so if you want lemonade and bedtime stories, if i can make a believer out of you, if you want bucketfuls of november if you want grace if you want the courage it takes to ask for grace, you’re over the train tracks you’re almost home you’re almost there. what else can you say besides “okay pumpkin okay sweetheart, in my head everything was beautiful" the doorway now filled with people who send you birthday cards saying welcome back welcome home we’ve missed you, hello. hello. the time spent waiting, chorus of rain, i only invited you over so we could make perfect sense. i only gave my hands away because you didn’t want them anymore. and days later a man with a shark tooth necklace asked if i was okay and i lost it i just lost it. all the little red bricks with their little names carved into them, how they don’t feel comfortable under your feet, how there were hundreds of flowers but somehow we took a picture of the same one the very same one, and how we can’t talk about things like that anymore, how i was sitting on a bench and i didn’t hear you call my name, shaking hands on accident with your parents hello sir hello mam, your daughter is my favorite ghost.
my book "down with the ship" is availible for purchase at sanfransiscobaypress.com / Amazon.com
olivia go Apr 2014
i am a terrible poet.
the words i tied together in attempt
to annunciate 
the way your kisses felt
along the soft of my 
cheeks were
mediocre and just barely enough.

just barely.

there weren't enough ways that i could describe
the mouthful 
of stars that spilled at the seams of my

lips as you gently traced them with warm finger tips.

mm, your finger tips.

your finger tips felt like a personal extension from god himself as

they dusted the empty jars i left untouched

in the forgotten spaces of me.

you held them tightly and filled them to the top

with a breathful of morning secrets

and hidden places to meet.

i found you.

i found you and allowed the words to slip

through my small hands

as you kissed my palms gently and sweetly

and folded them into your own to keep for just a little bit.
(
i could stay here)
i could lay underneath your tired smiles

and messy hair

until stars realigned themselves and directed

me to you all over again.
(
i could stay here)

i could tangle in-between your pale sheets
and make up all the words that

effortlessly translate the way i melted and simmered

at the sheer thought of waking up and knowing you again.

i could illustrate all of the galaxies you whispered

onto the trail of my back with

colors and warmth i never knew

and turn them into poorly strung together,

black and white strings of thought.

you were my favorite secret

and the cause of all of my writer’s block.

(i could stay here)


i’ve lived in florida my entire life

and have spent more days than i can count

under the sun and in the wake of rays that always burned,

but i’ve never felt more warmth than lying underneath

your expired thoughts and eclipsing eyes

as the moon seeped through your broken window blinds.

i forgot what it was like to breathe

until you took my face
sweetly and sincerely
and kissed me.
the paragraphs and ellipses that perforated my parenthetical
sighs of relief
stained the corners of my mouth
and lingered
long enough for me to remember
the after taste of your recycled sunshine
as you left me.

i am a terrible poet,
but a better kept secret it seems.
And Ulysses answered, “King Alcinous, it is a good thing to hear a
bard with such a divine voice as this man has. There is nothing better
or more delightful than when a whole people make merry together,
with the guests sitting orderly to listen, while the table is loaded
with bread and meats, and the cup-bearer draws wine and fills his
cup for every man. This is indeed as fair a sight as a man can see.
Now, however, since you are inclined to ask the story of my sorrows,
and rekindle my own sad memories in respect of them, I do not know how
to begin, nor yet how to continue and conclude my tale, for the hand
of heaven has been laid heavily upon me.
  “Firstly, then, I will tell you my name that you too may know it,
and one day, if I outlive this time of sorrow, may become my there
guests though I live so far away from all of you. I am Ulysses son
of Laertes, reknowned among mankind for all manner of subtlety, so
that my fame ascends to heaven. I live in Ithaca, where there is a
high mountain called Neritum, covered with forests; and not far from
it there is a group of islands very near to one another—Dulichium,
Same, and the wooded island of Zacynthus. It lies squat on the
horizon, all highest up in the sea towards the sunset, while the
others lie away from it towards dawn. It is a rugged island, but it
breeds brave men, and my eyes know none that they better love to
look upon. The goddess Calypso kept me with her in her cave, and
wanted me to marry her, as did also the cunning Aeaean goddess
Circe; but they could neither of them persuade me, for there is
nothing dearer to a man than his own country and his parents, and
however splendid a home he may have in a foreign country, if it be far
from father or mother, he does not care about it. Now, however, I will
tell you of the many hazardous adventures which by Jove’s will I met
with on my return from Troy.
  “When I had set sail thence the wind took me first to Ismarus, which
is the city of the Cicons. There I sacked the town and put the
people to the sword. We took their wives and also much *****, which we
divided equitably amongst us, so that none might have reason to
complain. I then said that we had better make off at once, but my
men very foolishly would not obey me, so they stayed there drinking
much wine and killing great numbers of sheep and oxen on the sea
shore. Meanwhile the Cicons cried out for help to other Cicons who
lived inland. These were more in number, and stronger, and they were
more skilled in the art of war, for they could fight, either from
chariots or on foot as the occasion served; in the morning, therefore,
they came as thick as leaves and bloom in summer, and the hand of
heaven was against us, so that we were hard pressed. They set the
battle in array near the ships, and the hosts aimed their
bronze-shod spears at one another. So long as the day waxed and it was
still morning, we held our own against them, though they were more
in number than we; but as the sun went down, towards the time when men
loose their oxen, the Cicons got the better of us, and we lost half
a dozen men from every ship we had; so we got away with those that
were left.
  “Thence we sailed onward with sorrow in our hearts, but glad to have
escaped death though we had lost our comrades, nor did we leave till
we had thrice invoked each one of the poor fellows who had perished by
the hands of the Cicons. Then Jove raised the North wind against us
till it blew a hurricane, so that land and sky were hidden in thick
clouds, and night sprang forth out of the heavens. We let the ships
run before the gale, but the force of the wind tore our sails to
tatters, so we took them down for fear of shipwreck, and rowed our
hardest towards the land. There we lay two days and two nights
suffering much alike from toil and distress of mind, but on the
morning of the third day we again raised our masts, set sail, and took
our places, letting the wind and steersmen direct our ship. I should
have got home at that time unharmed had not the North wind and the
currents been against me as I was doubling Cape Malea, and set me
off my course hard by the island of Cythera.
  “I was driven thence by foul winds for a space of nine days upon the
sea, but on the tenth day we reached the land of the Lotus-eater,
who live on a food that comes from a kind of flower. Here we landed to
take in fresh water, and our crews got their mid-day meal on the shore
near the ships. When they had eaten and drunk I sent two of my company
to see what manner of men the people of the place might be, and they
had a third man under them. They started at once, and went about among
the Lotus-eaters, who did them no hurt, but gave them to eat of the
lotus, which was so delicious that those who ate of it left off caring
about home, and did not even want to go back and say what had happened
to them, but were for staying and munching lotus with the
Lotus-eater without thinking further of their return; nevertheless,
though they wept bitterly I forced them back to the ships and made
them fast under the benches. Then I told the rest to go on board at
once, lest any of them should taste of the lotus and leave off wanting
to get home, so they took their places and smote the grey sea with
their oars.
  “We sailed hence, always in much distress, till we came to the
land of the lawless and inhuman Cyclopes. Now the Cyclopes neither
plant nor plough, but trust in providence, and live on such wheat,
barley, and grapes as grow wild without any kind of tillage, and their
wild grapes yield them wine as the sun and the rain may grow them.
They have no laws nor assemblies of the people, but live in caves on
the tops of high mountains; each is lord and master in his family, and
they take no account of their neighbours.
  “Now off their harbour there lies a wooded and fertile island not
quite close to the land of the Cyclopes, but still not far. It is
overrun with wild goats, that breed there in great numbers and are
never disturbed by foot of man; for sportsmen—who as a rule will
suffer so much hardship in forest or among mountain precipices—do not
go there, nor yet again is it ever ploughed or fed down, but it lies a
wilderness untilled and unsown from year to year, and has no living
thing upon it but only goats. For the Cyclopes have no ships, nor
yet shipwrights who could make ships for them; they cannot therefore
go from city to city, or sail over the sea to one another’s country as
people who have ships can do; if they had had these they would have
colonized the island, for it is a very good one, and would yield
everything in due season. There are meadows that in some places come
right down to the sea shore, well watered and full of luscious
grass; grapes would do there excellently; there is level land for
ploughing, and it would always yield heavily at harvest time, for
the soil is deep. There is a good harbour where no cables are
wanted, nor yet anchors, nor need a ship be moored, but all one has to
do is to beach one’s vessel and stay there till the wind becomes
fair for putting out to sea again. At the head of the harbour there is
a spring of clear water coming out of a cave, and there are poplars
growing all round it.
  “Here we entered, but so dark was the night that some god must
have brought us in, for there was nothing whatever to be seen. A thick
mist hung all round our ships; the moon was hidden behind a mass of
clouds so that no one could have seen the island if he had looked
for it, nor were there any breakers to tell us we were close in
shore before we found ourselves upon the land itself; when, however,
we had beached the ships, we took down the sails, went ashore and
camped upon the beach till daybreak.
  “When the child of morning, rosy-fingered Dawn, appeared, we admired
the island and wandered all over it, while the nymphs Jove’s daughters
roused the wild goats that we might get some meat for our dinner. On
this we fetched our spears and bows and arrows from the ships, and
dividing ourselves into three bands began to shoot the goats. Heaven
sent us excellent sport; I had twelve ships with me, and each ship got
nine goats, while my own ship had ten; thus through the livelong day
to the going down of the sun we ate and drank our fill,—and we had
plenty of wine left, for each one of us had taken many jars full
when we sacked the city of the Cicons, and this had not yet run out.
While we were feasting we kept turning our eyes towards the land of
the Cyclopes, which was hard by, and saw the smoke of their stubble
fires. We could almost fancy we heard their voices and the bleating of
their sheep and goats, but when the sun went down and it came on dark,
we camped down upon the beach, and next morning I called a council.
  “‘Stay here, my brave fellows,’ said I, ‘all the rest of you,
while I go with my ship and exploit these people myself: I want to see
if they are uncivilized savages, or a hospitable and humane race.’
  “I went on board, bidding my men to do so also and loose the
hawsers; so they took their places and smote the grey sea with their
oars. When we got to the land, which was not far, there, on the face
of a cliff near the sea, we saw a great cave overhung with laurels. It
was a station for a great many sheep and goats, and outside there
was a large yard, with a high wall round it made of stones built
into the ground and of trees both pine and oak. This was the abode
of a huge monster who was then away from home shepherding his
flocks. He would have nothing to do with other people, but led the
life of an outlaw. He was a horrid creature, not like a human being at
all, but resembling rather some crag that stands out boldly against
the sky on the top of a high mountain.
  “I told my men to draw the ship ashore, and stay where they were,
all but the twelve best among them, who were to go along with
myself. I also took a goatskin of sweet black wine which had been
given me by Maron, Apollo son of Euanthes, who was priest of Apollo
the patron god of Ismarus, and lived within the wooded precincts of
the temple. When we were sacking the city we respected him, and spared
his life, as also his wife and child; so he made me some presents of
great value—seven talents of fine gold, and a bowl of silver, with
twelve jars of sweet wine, unblended, and of the most exquisite
flavour. Not a man nor maid in the house knew about it, but only
himself, his wife, and one housekeeper: when he drank it he mixed
twenty parts of water to one of wine, and yet the fragrance from the
mixing-bowl was so exquisite that it was impossible to refrain from
drinking. I filled a large skin with this wine, and took a wallet full
of provisions with me, for my mind misgave me that I might have to
deal with some savage who would be of great strength, and would
respect neither right nor law.
  “We soon reached his cave, but he was out shepherding, so we went
inside and took stock of all that we could see. His cheese-racks
were loaded with cheeses, and he had more lambs and kids than his pens
could hold. They were kept in separate flocks; first there were the
hoggets, then the oldest of the younger lambs and lastly the very
young ones all kept apart from one another; as for his dairy, all
the vessels, bowls, and milk pails into which he milked, were swimming
with whey. When they saw all this, my men begged me to let them
first steal some cheeses, and make off with them to the ship; they
would then return, drive down the lambs and kids, put them on board
and sail away with them. It would have been indeed better if we had
done so but I would not listen to them, for I wanted to see the
owner himself, in the hope that he might give me a present. When,
however, we saw him my poor men found him ill to deal with.
  “We lit a fire, offered some of the cheeses in sacrifice, ate others
of them, and then sat waiting till the Cyclops should come in with his
sheep. When he came, he brought in with him a huge load of dry
firewood to light the fire for his supper, and this he flung with such
a noise on to the floor of his cave that we hid ourselves for fear
at the far end of the cavern. Meanwhile he drove all the ewes
inside, as well as the she-goats that he was going to milk, leaving
the males, both rams and he-goats, outside in the yards. Then he
rolled a huge stone to the mouth of the cave—so huge that two and
twenty strong four-wheeled waggons would not be enough to draw it from
its place against the doorway. When he had so done he sat down and
milked his ewes and goats, all in due course, and then let each of
them have her own young. He curdled half the milk and set it aside
in wicker strainers, but the other half he poured into bowls that he
might drink it for his supper. When he had got through with all his
work, he lit the fire, and then caught sight of us, whereon he said:
  “‘Strangers, who are you? Where do sail from? Are you traders, or do
you sail the as rovers, with your hands against every man, and every
man’s hand against you?’
  “We were frightened out of our senses by his loud voice and
monstrous form, but I managed to say, ‘We are Achaeans on our way home
from Troy, but by the will of Jove, and stress of weather, we have
been driven far out of our course. We are the people of Agamemnon, son
of Atreus, who has won infinite renown throughout the whole world,
by sacking so great a city and killing so many people. We therefore
humbly pray you to show us some hospitality, and otherwise make us
such presents as visitors may reasonably expect. May your excellency
fear the wrath of heaven, for we are your suppliants, and Jove takes
all respectable travellers under his protection, for he is the avenger
of all suppliants and foreigners in distress.’
  “To this he gave me but a pitiless answer, ‘Stranger,’ said he, ‘you
are a fool, or else you know nothing of this country. Talk to me,
indeed, about fearing the gods or shunning their anger? We Cyclopes do
not care about Jove or any of your blessed gods, for we are ever so
much stronger than they. I shall not spare either yourself or your
companions out of any regard for Jove, unless I am in the humour for
doing so. And now tell me where you made your ship fast when you
came on shore. Was it round the point, or is she lying straight off
the land?’
  “He said this to draw me out, but I was too cunning to be caught
in that way, so I answered with a lie; ‘Neptune,’ said I, ’sent my
ship on to the rocks at the far end of your country, and wrecked it.
We were driven on to them from the open sea, but I and those who are
with me escaped the jaws of death.’
  “The cruel wretch vouchsafed me not one word of answer, but with a
sudden clutch he gripped up two of my men at once and dashed them down
upon the ground as though they had been puppies. Their brains were
shed upon the ground, and the earth was wet with their blood. Then
he tore them limb from limb and supped upon them. He gobbled them up
like a lion in the wilderness, flesh, bones, marrow, and entrails,
without leaving anything uneaten. As for us, we wept and lifted up our
hands to heaven on seeing such a horrid sight, for we did not know
what else to do; but when the Cyclops had filled his huge paunch,
and had washed down his meal of human flesh with a drink of neat milk,
he stretched himself full length upon the ground among his sheep,
and went to sleep. I was at first inclined to seize my sword, draw it,
and drive it into his vitals, but I reflected that if I did we
should all certainly be lost, for we should never be able to shift the
stone which the monster had put in front of the door. So we stayed
sobbing and sighing where we were till morning came.
  “When the child of morning, rosy-fingered Dawn, appeared, he again
lit his fire, milked his goats and ewes, all quite rightly, and then
let each have her own young one; as soon as he had got through with
all his work, he clutched up two more of my men, and began eating them
for his morning’s meal. Presently, with the utmost ease, he rolled the
stone away from the door and drove out his sheep, but he at once put
it back again—as easily as though he were merely clapping the lid
on to a
Logan Robertson May 2017
Lost Love


He remembers that day
many sad years ago
it was sunny out,
but soon a storm raged.

He returned home early
from work,
eager
to rest and nurse a cold.
Eager
to see his gorgeous wife
fix him a delicious soup
and give loving care,
a remedy not.
He caught a surprise.

Was it then a hallucination?
To see her ex's car
in front of their house,
fanning the flames in his heart?
Or to imagine the house shaking,
or to hear love noises howling
from the rafters of contempt,
as her fireplace warmed tempest.
He sure hoped then... it had been a misfire
it wasn't.

He slowly opened the front door,
walking decrepit and sad,
like he was in hospice care.
He could see the final script
playing out,
more so the tragic ending
the trail of clothes,
her ex-boyfriend's scent,
calamity,
and approaching closer
the devil speaking louder.

He opened the bedroom door
to their parts caught in honey jars
and scarlet red on his tainted wife
over bed sheets of shame.
Their eyes catch,
both flush, and tearful,
as breathing stopped,
his melancholy eyes asking why?
Why?
What about the future  lily pods,
our family, house, kids
... and you sell out.
What about being fresh
out of college with our dreams,
passion and honor...us.
What about the bonds,
pinky swears, pricking of blood
marital vows.
Her eyes had no answers.
She cried, loudest
as her ex-boyfriend bolted
not before passing the mill.

He closed her door for good
that mournful day,
dismissing darkness,
opening his wrath for her
in his mind, yet
what words or light can be exchanged?

Uprooted and lost, he walked
scarred over and over
by her promise and lost love.

That was thirty years ago
and he still walks with her
ghosts, and it still pains.

LR-5/4/17
Michael May 2014
It is almost sunset but it is still too hot. She sits next to me and passes over a mason jar of crushed ice and lemonade and I take it gratefully into my hands. Instead of drinking it, I rest it against my forehead and allow the condensation from the glass to drip down the sides of my face with closed eyes. I take more of it with my fingers to drench the back of my neck, but my palms burn more for it. When I sigh because this small jar does not alleviate my apparent and immediate threat of heat stroke, she laughs at me.

She is my best friend. There was a never conscious moment that I made that decision, it just happened. Before she'd joined me on her concrete stoop I'd been turning over the idea of whether or not there was an exact moment that I'd perceived her differently, but could not pinpoint it. I’d been eyeing the patches of dirt and dead grass scattered within her yard, listening to her hum If I Ain't Got You out of tune, mumbling some of the more repetitive words here and there, picking out the sounds of her fetching things as she sets them on the counters of her run down kitchen. I try to guess what she is doing as I am hearing it, but feel unwilling to join her. It is even hotter inside her house since her air-conditioner is broken. We are devastated.

After a moment of silence she narrows her eyes against the sun tells me that she misses him. I nod, but say nothing. Three of us sat here last year and suddenly the heaviness of his absence rests between us. She quickly changes the subject and tells me she wants to start jogging because when school comes back around she’ll be thin, for sure. “I’m going to be so ****, I’m not even joking.” I smile at her determination. She talks about a girl in our year that everyone calls pretty, but I shrug. She asks if I think she is pretty. I can only nod my head. I can’t compliment her properly because I haven’t found the right words to tell her that it’s not about being thin. That is not what makes her perfect. Not to me.

I never liked her lemonade, but I begin to drink it anyway, thankful that some of the ice has melted fast enough to be a bit watered down. I don’t mind. It made it less sugary. The first time she’d given me lemonade, her father had laughed and said, “If you eat the ice, it’s like a dessert,” not knowing that dessert was literally the last thing I ever wanted. I have never been fond of sweets.

She laughs a little and crunches away on her ice and I cringe. She knows I think it’s an awful sound, but I’d grown so accustomed to it after the years of hearing it. For her, it was a typical summer treat. It wasn’t even real lemonade. In her freezer were small cylinders of an odd, condensed yellow mush that they’d dump into a plastic pitcher and then add water to. Remembering this, I no longer feel like drinking it. I hand it to her.

“Don’t want it?” she asks. I shake my head, watching neighbor girls sit under a tree with a small dollhouse as I wait for her to finish both jars. I don’t like the way it leaves the back of my throat feeling dry anyway and I never feel less thirsty after drinking it. She sets the empty jars between us and we talk about where we’ll go this summer, what movies we’ll see —lamenting that there really haven’t been any good ones recently and that maybe it’d be way more fun to see if we could convince her parents to let her join my family at the lake house. She doesn’t want to swim at all but seems excited to lay on the dock and get a bit of color.

She wants to take pictures. She rises from the stoop to return the jars to her kitchen sink and grab her camera and we walk through her neighborhood. I trail behind her consciously as she raises it to her eye, letting my fingers run along her neighbor’s chain-link fences, dreading the moment she finds a way to somehow sneak me into the frames of her photographs. She’s seemed more eager to try and capture me now that I am taller. I have grown so much in just a few months that I’m not sure how to handle my limbs just yet. They are too long and too thin and I am strangely aware of them —but even more aware of where she points her lens.

We find out that there is construction behind her neighborhood and sneak past the half constructed fences, large barricades, and signs (Keep Out, Construction Ahead). It is an odd place for nicer houses, we decide —right next to the ghetto. She laughs at the brick wall and shakes her head. “That’s not going to keep them out.” But it looks intimidating anyway. Maybe that’s the point.

In the middle of the area rests newly planted trees shading a small, wooden gazebo. They overlook a manmade pond, just large enough to swim in. She knows me too well. My first instinct is to jump in so she dares me to. Practicing self-restraint I tell her all I want is the shade and I lean against the railing of the gazebo instead. I watch her snap more photos —of leaves, of ripples, of her feet, the construction. She asks again if I want to join her and shrugs at my reluctance. She dips short legs in the water and casts a teasing glance in my direction. Her pink hair looks silly against her warm face and I smile. She tells me she knows I want to, that I’m a *****. I shake my head. She draws it out mockingly and threatens to take a picture. (I cover my face with my hand.) “Paaaaansssyyyyy.” She laughs and tells me to just get in. “You gunna just take that?” I was a lot less eager to break rules, but no. I wasn’t going to just ‘take that.’

So I jump in, glad to be cool. The momentary weightlessness frees me for just a small space of time. I feel it cling to my skin when I surface, but my clothes make me feel twice as heavy. I want all of my thoughts to feel the way your body does underwater. Light. Careless. Far away.

Suddenly, behind us, someone is shouting at us in an indistinguishable accent. We trade horrified glances, swearing we catch the word cops, and we bolt, leaving a frantic trail of water and wet foot prints to evaporate behind us. We don’t stop running until we get back to her porch, the sun fully set, and we collapse against her concrete stoop out of breath, laughing much harder than we should. “Oh my god,” she repeats over and over again with exasperated giggles and small gasps for air. My heart cannot be tamed, like it's run ahead of me. I’m sure I won’t be able to find it for a while.

“Oh my god...” She tells me she doesn’t want to run anymore and I cast her a confused glance and tell her we’re definitely in the clear, but she shakes her head. “No, I mean all summer. Forget being thin,” she says. Suddenly I feel her in that missing section of my chest. “Who wants to run in this heat?”
I'm so sorry for the length.
Francie Lynch Aug 2016
If you'd been here
When I was young,
You'd not forget
What we'd have done.

We'd climb roofs,
Jump in the river,
****** neighbour's pears,
Then skedaddle,
Laughing with sweat-matted hair,
Wiping off those grown-up cares.

We'd bumper-jump in four inch snow,
And never let our parents know.
Oh, such fun we two would do,
If I could stay as young as you.

We'd skate and bike,
Play street ball,
Act up in school,
Stand in the hall;
We'd hike with jars
Along country brooks,
Read and trade
Our comic books.
Lie in the sand,
Burn in the sun,
Forgetting it was time for home.
We'd never tire of our treats,
And often we'd forget to eat
Because we're having all our fun:
If you'd been here when I was young.

We'd play Tag and Red Rover,
Flags and Chase,
Then have sleep-overs.
We'd swap tomorrow
For daily pearls,
Then swap each other
For pretty girls.

We'd be up to our shenanigans,
Sleep the sleep,
Then start again.
This is the way
We'd have our fun,
If you'd been here
When I was young.

But now you're here,
And I'm much older,
The things we'd do
You'll do with others;
But when you need a  boost to climb,
This old man has a shoulder.
Yes,
I'll sure have lots of fun,
For you're here now.
That keeps me young.
For my new Grandson, Xavier (b. July 23rd.)
Thanks for all your readership and support. I hope you enjoyed the read as much as I enjoyed the write. Peace.
ryn May 2015
Let me be captured by the night.
Engrossed in the conversation
between the stars.
Syncopated twinkling like...
thousands of fireflies
trapped within sealed jars.

Let me be enslaved by the moon.
As I drink her glow in
greedy insatiable gulps.
Crestfallen...
Her beam with an agenda...
As the landscape she sculpts.

Let me be ensnared by my solitude.
But I hear crickets...
Chirping and chipping away at my
bastion of dreamstate.
Persistent calls
I try to shun
that never abates.

Let me be trapped in my thoughts.
So I could harness...
And immortalise them in
indelible careless scribbles.
Erecting and...
Rebuilding them from the
rubble of conflicting squabbles.

Let me be overwhelmed
by the mess of my being...**
Let me wallow
Then emerge strong from this
decrepit state of mind.
Let me breathe heavy from my
punctured lungs.
So I could heal in time before
true solace
in this dark,
I would find.
Rusty Apr 2015
Comes in Jars
Comes in little **** baggies
Comes in Wrapped up clear wraps
Comes in capsules
Comes in bottles
Comes in a "100% organic" jars from the smoke shop
Comes in a friends hand
Comes in a pouch
Comes in eyedrops
Comes in as the best gift
Timmy Shanti Oct 2018
Birds of a feather,
Not unlike me,
Love fine weather
(When it’s pouring tea).
Manners, wine and dining, too.
Mantis, llama, kangaroo.

Overmade, they do make over.
Things so brittle like the rover
Sent to Mars, the Milky Way,
Bounty, sneaky in its way.

Inbetwixt the words they utter,
They choose bread over the butter.
Frying French and grilling Jerry,
Jamming jars of juicy berry.

Duty-bound, they bound off duty.
Flock together! Fly, my beauties!
Plumes all owned. And not one borrowed.
Standing still amidst the horror…

Jokes aside, and folly ousted,
Peace preferred to putrid bloodshed,
They, like me, are hard to find…
Seems, at last, I’ve lost my mind!
took me a while in '18
Terry Collett Dec 2017
You had been invited
to a wedding feast.

Your mother's friend's son
was the groom.

It was busy
and after the ceremony
the feast began.

Some of Your friends
had been invited too
and gathered around You.

Tables were full with food
and wine jars.

After the speeches
and laughter,
people sat to eat.

Your mother
came over to You
anxiously.

They have run out
of wine, she said.

You looked at her.

What is it to do with me?
You said,
my time is not yet.

Your friends looked at You,
then Your mother.

Your mother gazed at You.

She walked to the men
who were helping the host.

Do as my son tells you,
she said in a soft voice.

You heard her words.

You could never not do
as she asked.

You walked
to the men.

Fill the empty jars
with water,
You said.

Water?
One man asked.

Yes, water,
You said.

They filled the large jars
with water.

You touched
the jars with Your hands.

You walked away.

One of the men
poured from one
of the jars.

Wine, he whispered.

He took the wine
around the tables.

Later a friend
of the groom said:
Most pour
the best wine first
and later give out
poorer wine,
but you have saved
the best until last

Your mother
smiled at You.

It had begun:
water and wine.

But did she see
where it would end?
Or did she
just see You
as her son?
Miracle at a wedding at Cana 27 AD
Henk Holveck Oct 2014
open the door
a man stands there with a smile
the package he passes
is not on my Christmas list
that doorway sure is no chimney.

shaking, frightened, it's finally time
alone, i unfasten the bag,
as if it's the first brithday
that my grandma is no longer with us.

this was the most expensive present
i have ever received
although the grantor is no ******* Santa Claus
&
that instant i recognize
my existence
lies in these jars.

i outwitted mother nature
if i begin consumption
i live

if not well.....*How Will It End?
Timothy Apr 2013
Listen Now To That,
The Night Jars Are Back Again:
"Whip Poor Will," They Say.






*~Timothy~
© 18 April, 2013.
Kristina Weeks Jun 2018
There she sits in her narrow room
Room narrow and tall
The room a cave cold and dark
With a shelf on the wall

To her left there sits a table
Covered in tiny jars
And to the right there is a window
Lined, of course, with bars

Every day that starts anew
She rises with the sun
Shuffling over to her table
Her job has begun

She grabs a jar and whispers
Filling each one with light
Then seal them up quickly now
Seal them up tight

Holding the jar carefully in her hands
She shuffles to her shelf
And places it with the other ones
Each one part of herself

The shelf is covered in them
The little bottles filled with color
Sparkling reds, blues, yellows
All arranged around each other

And so the day begins
They come now to her cave
Arms reaching through the bars
It’s her bottles that they crave

So one by one she gives them out
One, two, five, then ten
Soon she’ll run out of jars
Time to refill again

Each bottle given out
To another reaching hand
Gets swallowed up in one gulp
So quickly it gets crammed

They drink it all down
Then they sway with delight
A toothy grin left on their face
A sort of high it excites

But soon the smile is gone
Their eyes snap back open
They fill with panic needing more
Realizing how much they’re broken

They rush back to the bars
Reaching gnawing clawing
Please, just one more
But her body now is falling

It’s become too much
There is nothing left
She collapses crying out
Soul now bereft

So the sun sets and they go away
They leave her alone now
Until tomorrow when the sun rises
This prison is her vow
Gidgette Mar 2017
All these artists gather here on my floor
Three evenings
Poets, painters, musicians
Arguing, playing

I don't need streets of gold
The angels couldn't possibly make this music
Its weekend
And they gather

I'm a muse to many
So they say
A minority
My pitiful poetry and dance

But I dwell in these hills
With them
And my mahogany floors
Rests their shoes

Loud and melodous
Joey picks a tune and yells about fascism
Maria, sings her Spanish tunes
Stella laughs and dances our dance

Jimmy plays the strings to fire and ash
Chris beats the drums like an angry demon
Portia paints scenes that bring tears
Chloe makes her black and whites burst with every colour

They gather on my floors
I lay on the pillows and smile for them
With my liquor
They tell me I'm pretty

Catch my tears in mason jars
Moonshine passed between artists and lips
My house can't hold them all
We lack a banjo

Some "rap" some sing
Some write others paint
We all argue and fuss
Its a scene of crazy great



How I wish you all were here too
Last Saturday, portia and Joey left with black eyes and busted lips. Fighting in the yard over politics. Politics and anything to do with this subject have since been banned from my door. They gather here to sing and play for me this eve. How lucky am I?
Our family got the news today
Our bubba's gettin' hitched
Young Daisy Mae, she's near fourteen
Got our boy bewitched
He's sayin' that he loves her
He's making her his bride
She's the first to get him this close
Though not too many tried

We've got to get things ready
Send invitations and make candles
We've got to get the good jars out
The one's that still have handles
The minister is on alert
We've got to make some shine
Grandpa says he'll make some up
But, it will not all be mine

Gonna have a wedding, a real old fashioned bash
With all sorts of kissin cousins drinkin from their secret stash
The food will be impressive, there'll be turkey, pig and cow
The family won't get bigger, since we're related anyhow

This time there'll be no shotgun
Like the last time for old Ben
This time the guns are empty
Not the way they were back then
The banjos will be tuned up
There'll be music in the air
The cops won't try to stop it
I think most will all be there

The ladies will be planning
Just how to serve up all the grub
While Bubba has to find a suit
And therein lies the rub
He's never worn a suit at all
Not even for a day
He's only dressed in coveralls
And that's how he's gonna stay

Gonna have a wedding, a real old fashioned bash
With all sorts of kissin cousins drinkin from their secret stash
The food will be impressive, there'll be turkey, pig and cow
The family won't get bigger, since we're related anyhow


It'll be a **** dang doodle
A hell of a good time
It'll only be completed
When they run out of the shine
there'll be singing and some dancing
Underneath the harvest moon
We can't wait for it to happen
It cannot come too soon

There'll be readings from the bible
Which the minister will read
And as good holy Christians
Everyone will heed
There's sure to be some fighting
Before the couple say "I do"
I mean, they are both cousins
I'm gonna go...aren't you?

Gonna have a wedding, a real old fashioned bash
With all sorts of kissin cousins drinkin from their secret stash
The food will be impressive, there'll be turkey, pig and cow
The family won't get bigger, since we're related anyhow
Purcy Flaherty Feb 2018
Meet me at the place where the sunrise and sunset are joined by the prettiest clouds.

A tranquil place where times stood still for more than one eternity.

Stretch out your limbs with Lotus hands and play the spoons for me.

Breath out your life, then breath it in expanding endlessly.

The mother of creation, the atomic act, the divine self, a metaphor for hunger.

A life filled with space gaps, dust, prophecies and jars.

A universal love that's born of dreams and fallen stars!

The proprio-ceptive tools that launched the ships to voyage within ourselves.

To seek out that illusive and wilful spark within our hearts and souls.

Stretch out your limbs with Lotus hands and play the spoons for me.

In that tranquil place where times stood still for more than one eternity.

Meet me at the place where the sunrise and sunset are joined by the prettiest clouds.

Stretch out your limbs with Lotus hands and play the spoons for me.
Don G
Don G
I found a kindred spirit, perhaps there is a kindred place, somewhere nice that we could meet.
Martin Narrod Apr 2014
I used to think that all of them were just bodies. She-figures, they came and went, facilitating infinite happiness and following with hellacious heartbreak, aorta explosions galore. They pass. I stay. She goes. I remain. We all take a trip, but she falls asleep while I follow the road, I sing the song, make the lyrics up as the 101 heads West, and I careen against the Pacific. I see silvery-white plumes of whale breaths spouting, they break the rocks of my rock and roll. When the levee breaks, we'll have no place to go- I'm going back to Chicago.

California. Line 5. Verse 1. She is born in Arkansas, in Denver, in New York City, in the back of a taxi cab, her parents waiting for a table at Earth Cafe, 1989. There are concerts, balconies, elevator shafts, and on benches. The gain rises, the volume up and up and up, I offer her a cigarette, I ask her if she likes my dress, I show up with two palms full of a flame, and I say hello. Browsing in high-definition, the water is warm, my feet are planted and I have everywhere to go. Classical emporium of light fill me with ease, greatness, and belief. She asks me if I'm gay. Every great confusion can be proven to be fortuitous with enough time on hand. I kiss in cars, in bathrooms, and barrooms, in hallways, on staircases, on beds, church steps, and legs. I touched a leg, ran my fingers through her hair, my thumbs curved to the height of two ears alongside a size B head. I love art *****. i burn candles, and I swirl the wax around until the walls wear masks of white. I check-in to a hotel. I stop to buy wild flowers on the side of the road, or to climb down a ravine, we open a page into an enormous patch of strawberries, wind-surfers, and the golden Palo Alto beaches. I am in Bronzeville, on my way to Bridgeport, I am riding the train, browsing magazines, and singing new songs in my head. My lips are wet with excitement and the musings of the Modern Art Museum and the gift of a first kiss; behind the statue on Balcony 2, near the drinking fountain, the Eames couch, and two lips meeting anew. Bravery in twos.

Chapter 1, Verse 2. The chorus is large and exciting. New plastic shining coats. Smocks patterned with the Random House children's stories that we played with as children. We didn't wear gloves, or hats, or pants, or our hearts on our sleeves. I was up to my knees in hormones and very persuasive. My fifth birthday was at the Nature Center, you chased me into the boys' bathroom and kissed me with your wet and four year old lips in the second stall from the door. I eased up maybe 2% since then. The speakers are a little bit fuzzy, it's like listening to the spit of someone's tongue cascade the roof of their mouth while they pronounce the British consonants of the 90s. Said and done and saving space.

I am saving up for Grace. A crush in the mid 2000s, black hair, long legs, and the only brunette for a decade before or after. We played doctor, with the electric scalpel we turned our noses red with Christmas time South American powders. A safe word for an enemy, the sun for an enemy too. You bolted out and took my early Jimi Hendrix Best Of compact disc case too. While we're at it, you took my Michael Jackson cassettes as well. I go mid-range, think Kiri Te Kanawa in the whispers of E.T.'s Elliot. Stuffed-animal closet party for seven minutes in heaven. Your family came with butlers while mine came with over-educated storage. A blue borage sky in the intestines of life, a splinter in the shanty-town of invincible daily struggles- both of us were born again in O'Hare Airport's Parking Level D. Too many nonsensical arguments in two-tone grayscale ripping open the packaging of a course about trysting in your twenties.

Your stomach's history is overpowering. It is temperamental, mettled by spirits and sleepless nights, borborygmus, wambles, and shades of nervousness you were never comfortable speaking openly about. The history of your ****** was privatized, in options and unedited films shot over and over candidly by a mini DV desk camera, nine months to read you wrong to weep in strong wintry walks back and forth from The Buckingham to the Dwight Lofts, Room 408 without a view. All of your secrets in a little miniature of a notebook, bright cerise red. You captured teardrops in medicinal jars meant for syringes. You tied strings to your fingers, named your field mouse Ginger, and introduced your mother as Lady Darling. Captain with stingray skin, the hide of Ferris Bueller with the coattails of James Bond, dusted with daisy pollen, and clearly weakness. You ate me like bitter herbs on Thursdays, and like every other woman I've ever met, on Tuesdays you always kept me waiting.

I have wings for everything. Yellow wings for a woman in a yellow dress, Red, White, and Green wings for Bernice from Mexico City, Purple wings for  Mrs. Doolittle the doctor who worked at Taco Bell, the Jamaican priestess who was traveling through Venice Italy- we smoked hash with the grandchild of James Joyce on the Northern pier against the aurulent statues of Apollo and Zeus, Cupids' collection of malevolent tricks, SleepingB Beauty's rebuttal in fending off GHB attackers, my two dear friends who were kidnapped in clothes, abandoned in the ****, and only remember eating chocolate donuts with sprinkles and the bruises and dirt on the insides of their thighs. Nothing clever. Nothing extraordinary. Everything sentimental, built to withstand soot, sourness, and early female bravado.

You know how to play the piano so you've said, but i only have the CD you gave me to prove it. I do have evidence of your addiction to men and *******. I have your collection of dresses with tags still on them (but every woman has some of those), there is the post office box in Kauai, the Halloween card from last November and the two videos I have stored on an external drive in a nightstand adjacent to the foot of my bed. You sleep atrociously, talk too quickly, and **** like your father abandoned you when you were five. Your talent for taking photographs is like your skill-set for playing the piano, but I don't have the CD to prove it. You don't believe in social media, social consistency, friendships, or hephalumps and woozels- with the exception of the classes we shared together in college, I've never seen you outside of the most glamorous of fashion. You hate flats, hats, and white wine, and for as sad as you can seem to be at times, I've only had you cry on me once. While we were on the phone, three days after your mother hung herself. That's when I last left California, and I haven't been back yet.

I love a Kristine, but once a Britni, a Brandi, a Joni, a Tina, Kristina, Kirsten, Kristen, and a Katherine and Kathryn too. I know rock stars who are my dearest friends, enemies who I share excellent taste in music with, and parents who've always had my back but show it in lashings of the tongue and of the belt. It's been two years and three states since I was two sizes smaller than I am now. I've never considered the possibility that I was the main character and not the supporting actor, but due to recent developments in antipathy and aesthete, reevaluation, and retrospective nostalgia. All of this is about to change.

I am me still evolving without my usually stolid and grim ****** features. i bare brevity to situations existing that would **** most or in the least paralyze a great many. There is one for every hour of every day, and one for every minute in every hour, second in every minute, and more than the minutes in every day. No one has a second chance, shares a different time, or works off a different clock. I have been called the master of the analog, king of the codependent, and rook to queenside knight. I share a parabola for every encounter, experience, and endeavor. I am three minutes from being a cadaver, one drink away from a drunk, and one thought away from being completely alone. I think upright, i sleep horizontally, and I love infinitely. I am the only finite constant i have ever known. I am the main character, the script, satire, sarcasm, and soundtrack are mine.

"I don’t care if you believe it. That’s the kind of house I live in. And I hope we never leave it.”
There's A Wocket In My Pocket by Dr. Seuss
Alex Feb 2014
I.
I felt it the first time I saw you. My heart stopped its incessant beating upon the sight of you walking down the busy city street, a little windswept and breathless with your cheeks flushed, hair messy and your lips slightly parted as if you were asking for a kiss and I wished I were the only one who could give it. It’s what gave me courage to talk to you. This was the time when I finally understood the likes of poets like Shakespeare, Debussy’s longing and the stuff of silly songs sung by the town drunks with their guitars and slurred perspectives. It was like flying. I was walking on air and floating in bewitched water. I saw it in the color of the crimson hue in the roses I bought you, that dress you wore, the color of your cheeks and the color of your lips when you leaned into whisper in my ear your vow of eight letters, the prospect of a future that no longer promised me loneliness. Each night I heard it when you were in my arms and the whole world decided to quiet down and stand still like a child halting the spin of a wildly spinning top. In the smallest moments when all that pervaded me was the scent of your hair, the hint of your smile, your warmth and the palms of your hands over my beating heart, I have never felt more contented. I have never known people could be happy and elated like this. For once in my life I think I could never tire of seeing someone, of wanting to become part of them, of knowing every flaw and every well-kept secret. In the half-shadows of the lazy afternoons we spent together and the sleepy mornings tangled up in sheets, I saw our dog, perhaps children and then 20 years of marriage.
II.
Perhaps once upon a time, a long long time ago I met it a few times and each with a different face. I saw it in the way a mother held her child as her most valuable possession, the warmth of affection and the smell of home on her skin when she embraced you, kissed you when you stumbled and picked you up when you fell. I saw it in a father’s pride, his secret admiration. I remembered my own mother and my own father and all my bravado left me. Once upon a time, I read it in my mother’s bruises like a map, the ones my father lovingly decorated her with in strikes, punches and eager beatings. I felt it every time she kept her bags unpacked and put away the bitter ****** aftermath of the underlying storms with a forced smile on her lips and the promise that everything would be okay, that I had just been dreaming. Even then I saw it in my father when he came home-- the twisted way he held her close and said his sorries, the way he treated her like a queen and tried his best to keep his promise. In the days he told me to be strong and in the days he really did try hard, I found it difficult to blame him—I could not place the hate I felt for him and why my fortifications threatened to dissipate and crumble. I never noticed this before but it was always present in the way my mother and father laid to rest their hopes and dreams, buried them in a lot of filthy graveyard soil when the wretched curse that was me took away all their aspirations and they selflessly sacrificed their whole young lives ahead of them full of travel and the irresistible seduction and sparkling lure of opportunity to work like dogs on their hands and knees so I could live my own fickle life of wasted hours and silly daydreams. Money did not grow on trees, darling and yet for every mistake you made, every useless rebellious decision that only resulted in heartbreak and derision their forgiveness knew no bounds and they threatened no abject beleaguering, no threat of desolation. By and by, you fail to see their infinite patience, the hope and the investment—the silent prayer for all good things and mighty rising sons and daughters.
III.
Again, one day, I saw a couple in the park holding hands, their faces lined with age that told their story with their depth and their number. I saw their narrations told, young buds and blooming then the bad days that came and the sad days that kept repeating. In their intertwined fingers and the slow steps on rocky beach, bathed in glowing sunset sunlight, the twilight of a remarkable 20 years or so and maybe one, two or twenty sons and daughters, I wondered if you and I would come around like that—battle through decades with our feelings unchanging. I thought about your face and the way you slept, and the first morning that I saw it and decided that yours was the one I wanted to wake up to everyday for the rest of my life. I wondered if you and I, darling, would come out strong and happy, still holding hands after the lagniappe of challenges, the labyrinthine years of madness. I decided I would not die with you in the manner of Romeo and Juliet, the drama of Shakespeare but I wanted to spend every waking moment that I could live and breathe on this desolate earth spending it with you or else thinking of you and going through it for you. Why would I waste our precious time with grand, suicidal gestures when I could just show you in little ways, every day until we grew old and grey together?
IV.
Then I forgot you were only temporarily mine, that I could not keep you. I lost the feeling. It only turned to rot in my hands and I only grew bitter. I forgot that butterflies in mason jars died, and so did the red roses, the bouquets of flowers. It was it how I felt when I saw you in the arms of another man, laughing and smiling. It was not how I felt when my heart threatened to burst and split, along with my knuckles and hanging picture frames now lying shattered on the floor. It was not how I felt when you left, said goodbye and closed the door. It was the hope I felt when I thought you would return but it was not the face I saw when I accepted you weren’t going to. I know not the ugliness it carried, the blackened underside of a two-faced coin but perhaps this was the price paid for such elation, for years of bright colors, laughing and slices of heaven. I realized that when it was all over, when the rivers run dry that it was the emptiness that made the winds cold, the world gray, the streets empty, the people cruel and the cold winds bite and the trees shiver. It’s what turned hearts into rock-hard gemstones and what makes hopeless romantics wither. It was the wind that left me, the feeling I felt when I could pinpoint the exact moment my heart dropped to my knees and bled to the floor when I looked into those eyes, those lovely eyes, for the last time. I would forget your face, but the marks, the scars, the things you taught me and the way you made me ache for beauty and an invisible power would stay in me forever long after you have gone. It was not the feeling I felt when I let you go and didn’t run after you.
V.
In its pursuit, and in the withdrawal stage of emotional drug use and admiration, people struggle to constantly search for the fleeting high, the temporary feeling of wonder. There are girls that walk the street in short skirts, high heels and revealing blouses searching for the right things in all the wrong places in between soiled sheets and pockets full of paper. I see the beggars ply the crowded city streets, some with eyes that know the danger but hunger still and some with just innocent ideas, feigned knowledge and naïve understanding.  They search the faces of people and window shop at bars for their favorite pair of jeans, the man or woman that will fit the hole where the heart had been, heal the wounds and the body that will curve and fit theirs so perfectly into a perfect puzzle. It is not what they find on the silver-tongued strangers with sweet lips and deliberate touches. It is not in his lies that sound so much sweet music; that feels like climbing up ladders. It is not in her games, her daring looks and sweet whispers. It is not out in streets, it is not ours to claim ownership over.
homework assignment from lit class grew epic proportions. a bit of word ***** here and there, but that cannot be helped.
Louise Jun 2012
i fumble with my fork as my dad  tells me he "gets" my depression
sunday morning church crowd in a ******* barrel just off the interstate
i mumble something about refusing medication
he applauds me for being "strong"
which has always been the goal,
unattainable as that is.
"you're not independent enough.
you're 18
19
20
years old
so grow up
and pay your own bills."

"yes sir."

cut back to that cup of coffee
those eggs, bacon, back pain, old age
"i won't be here to see you guys have kids"
gee dad.
i love you too.

death has never been comfortable for anyone but liars.

or the dying.

the small jars of honey on the table are just asking to be
stolen.
In nineteen hundred forty-nine
China was won by Mao Tse-tung
Chiang Kai-shek's army ran away
They were waiting there in Thailand yesterday

Supported by the CIA
Pushing junk down Thailand way

First they stole from the Meo Tribes
Up in the hills they started taking bribes
Then they sent their soldiers up to Shan
Collecting ***** to send to The Man

Pushing junk in Bangkok yesterday
Supported by the CIA

Brought their jam on mule trains down
To Chiang Rai that's a railroad town
Sold it next to the police chief brain
He took it to town on the choochoo train

Trafficking dope to Bangkok all day
Supported by the CIA

The policeman's name was Mr. Phao
He peddled dope grand scale and how
Chief of border customs paid
By Central Intelligence's U.S. A.I.D.

The whole operation, Newspapers say
Supported by the CIA

He got so sloppy & peddled so loose
He busted himself & cooked his own goose
Took the reward for an ***** load
Seizing his own haul which same he resold

Big time pusher for a decade turned grey
Working for the CIA

Touby Lyfong he worked for the French
A big fat man liked to dine & *****
Prince of the Meos he grew black mud
Till ***** flowed through the land like a flood

Communists came and chased the French away
So Touby took a job with the CIA

The whole operation fell in to chaos
Till U.S. Intelligence came into Laos
I'll tell you no lie I'm a true American
Our big pusher there was Phoumi Nosovan

All them Princes in a power play
But Phoumi was the man for the CIA

And his best friend General Vang Pao
Ran the Meo army like a sacred cow
Helicopter smugglers filled Long Cheng's bars
In Xieng Quang province on the Plain of Jars

It started in secret they were fighting yesterday
Clandestine secret army of the CIA

All through the Sixties the Dope flew free
Thru Tan Son Nhut Saigon to Marshal Ky
Air America followed through
Transporting confiture for President Thieu

All these Dealers were decades and yesterday
The Indochinese mob of the U.S. CIA

Operation Haylift Offisir Wm. Colby
Saw Marshal Ky fly ***** Mr. Mustard told me
Indochina desk he was Chief of ***** Tricks
"Hitchhiking" with dope pushers was how he got his fix

Subsidizing traffickers to drive the Reds away
Till Colby was the head of the CIA

                                        January 1972
Jon Tobias May 2014
Today I wanted to buy the copyright to the process of hallelujah
******* in joy the same way whales eat krill
You just bottle it up inside your lungs until you have enough

Inside my fridge I have vacuum sealed jars of hallelujah
There’s nothing religious about that
Jars labeled things like
Loss of virginity
Rob lived this time
The homework is complete

Hallelujah

It’s the same way prayer works
Backwards
Pulling bits of god like an inhale

I want to hyperventilate on your hallelujah
Like a gospel choir on speed

It collects
Over time
For instance
It was maybe a month in to sleeping at Delia’s and Toffer’s house
Before I realized
I didn’t have to sleep in my car anymore
You go into the bathroom to **** and realize
Hallelujah
A jar labeled
Found a Home for now

I know science can do this
For the sake of all that is a monument to a single life
So that on your death bed, or at your funeral
Everyone there can hold a jar

Cold and warm at the same time
Vibrating in their palms
In violent joy
Like mozzletoff cocktails
They are thrown
And when they shatter there is a song
That has been collecting for years

The same word in different tonal joys

Your life

Every good moment

Hallelujah
Francie Lynch Apr 2018
So you like to drink in the bars,
Or swill moonshine from old pickle jars;
You could be far worse off than you are,
You know you coulda been a dork.

A dork's a mammalian who digs in his nose,
His *** passes gas as he goes;
He has greasy hair and picks at his wart,
He plays with his  *****, burbs and snorts.
So if you like to spit, pick and hork,
You're on your way to be a dork.

Or would you rather drink in the bars,
And swill moonshine from old pickle jars;
You could be far worse off than you are,
You know you coulda been a nerd.

Nerds are mammalians in Bermuda shorts,
Sandals with knee-high socks;
He's awkward and clumsy and out of step,
If we turn East, the nerd turns West.
If you don't want treatment like a ****,
Then stop acting like a nerd.

Or would you rather drink in the bars,
Swilling moonshine from old pickle jars;
You could be far worse off than you are,
You don't wanna be a goof.

A goof's a mammalian kiddie diddler,
A rat, a punk, a toothless skinner;
He's in jail to keep us safe,
But in protective custody for his own sake.
So if you don't heed the law and you're a ****,
You'll do well when you're a goof.

Some solid guys aren't behind bars,
We play ukes, guitars and cards;
We're on stools in our local bars,
Seeing ourselves as Avatars,
While getting pickled in our jars.
Think of Bing Crosby's "Swinging On a Star." My apologies to the Crosby family.
My Scarlet Amora Nov 2014
I want to take you on cute dates
Like in the indie movies
A picnic on the roof of a building
With Christmas lights and mason jars
I'll keep you warm against the night air
And I'll always protect you
The sun will begin to rise
And I won't watch
A sun rise is nothing compared to you
Another day with you is another blessing
I'll never forget that
And I'll never forget to tell you how much I love you
No matter how long we are together
I could make a movie just about your eyes
All we are missing is a flower crown
blankpoems Sep 2013
I am Lex
And I am Alexandra.
I am not “baby” or “darling”.

I have more flies in my house than friends.

I am eighteen years old
But I feel as though the number should have an extra zero.

I am a student in more ways than one; of school, of the universe, of the stars in the night sky that I used to swear you hung all on your own for my eyes-
my gray-blue eyes with specks of yellow light around the pupils that make it look like I have always just been dancing in the street lights.

My pupils expand like black holes when my serotonin levels even out.

I am so short that I could pass as a pixie.
Five feet and one inch of metaphors that are so deeply rooted into my bones.
My ribcage knows truth like you placed it in my lungs for me to breathe in.

My hair is so indecisive, it changes colour biweekly.
I was born blonde.
My brother was born blue with a cord around his neck.

Every night before he goes to sleep he asks me to scratch his back.
I am older than he.
I feel that I am older than most.

I like old things.
If it’s not broken, don’t fix it.
I need someone with an old soul, I’m all Elvis and vinyl and Marilyn Monroe.
I could listen to Paul Simon’s “Live Rhymin’” on phonograph until I drop dead.

I wish it were winter all year long
But I don’t like being cold.

I collect tattoos like fireflies in mason jars.

I’m on pills that are supposed to make me happy.
I don’t think I’ve been happy since 2009
and I miss Her every day.

I’m more scared of life than death
but I no longer want to embrace dying.
Sometimes you forget to breathe just for a second, and then you realize
what you would be missing.

I think my depression is sort of like that.
It’s like being a bird and you’re the only one that can’t fly.

Nonetheless, I wish for stillness.
For peace, for fun in flatlines.
I wish for summer days by the lake
and no cell phone service.

I yearn for California.

I love reading so much that if I got paid for it,
I’d be a billionaire by now.
If you look into my eyes you could probably see traces of Sylvia Plath.

I wonder sometimes why she stuck her head in that oven.

I like vegetarian sushi, so basically just vegetables.
I was a vegetarian for a long while but then I decided that I wanted a hot dog.
I still regret that sometimes.

I’m afraid of frogs but nothing else.
I like to watch scary movies with the lights off.
I love to sleep, but I’m an insomniac.
And most of the time Melatonin doesn’t even knock me out.

I don’t believe in God but I believe in ghosts.
I don’t believe in hell but for Her sake, I hope there’s a heaven.
I believe in science but the class makes me want to rip my eyes out.
Except if it’s astronomy.

My parents usually depress me.

I believe purely in art.
Give me art or give me death.

I want to be a poet.
I want a living poet society.
My name is Lex
And this is 2013.
this was my first assignment for university english
based loosely on "Ellie" poem by Lea Wait
Kat Astrid Mar 2015
Never keep a jar of hearts
They can easily be used,
broken, and
discarded as one would please.

But instead keep a bottle of stars,
you can have as many as you wish,
pluck them at anytime, and
watch them shine brighter than the sun.
"Oh yes, I went over to Edmonstoun the other day and saw Johnny, mooning around as usual! He will never make his way."
Letter of George Keats, 18--


Night falls; the great jars glow against the dark,
Dark green, dusk red, and, like a coiling snake,
Writhing eternally in smoky gyres,
Great ropes of gorgeous vapor twist and turn
Within them. So the Eastern fisherman
Saw the swart genie rise when the lead seal,
Scribbled with charms, was lifted from the jar;
And -- well, how went the tale? Like this, like this? . . .

No herbage broke the barren flats of land,
No winds dared loiter within smiling trees,
Nor were there any brooks on either hand,
Only the dry, bright sand,
Naked and golden, lay before the seas.

One boat toiled noiselessly along the deep,
The thirsty ripples dying silently
Upon its track. Far out the brown nets sweep,
And night begins to creep
Across the intolerable mirror of the sea.

Twice the nets rise, a-trail with sea-plants brown,
Distorted shells, and rocks green-mossed with slime,
Nought else. The fisher, sick at heart, kneels down;
"Prayer may appease God's frown,"
He thinks, then, kneeling, casts for the third time.

And lo! an earthen jar, bound round with brass,
Lies tangled in the cordage of his net.
About the bright waves gleam like shattered glass,
And where the sea's rim was
The sun dips, flat and red, about to set.

The prow grates on the beach. The fisherman
Stoops, tearing at the cords that bind the seal.
Shall pearls roll out, lustrous and white and wan?
Lapis? carnelian?
Unheard-of stones that make the sick mind reel

With wonder of their beauty? Rubies, then?
Green emeralds, glittering like the eyes of beasts?
Poisonous opals, good to madden men?
Gold bezants, ten and ten?
Hard, regal diamonds, like kingly feasts?

He tugged; the seal gave way. A little smoke
Curled like a feather in the darkening sky.
A blinding gush of fire burst, flamed, and broke.
A voice like a wind spoke.
Armored with light, and turbaned terribly,

A genie tramped the round earth underfoot;
His head sought out the stars, his cupped right hand
Made half the sky one darkness. He was mute.
The sun, a ripened fruit,
Drooped lower. Scarlet eddied o'er the sand.

The genie spoke: "O miserable one!
Thy prize awaits thee; come, and hug it close!
A noble crown thy draggled nets have won
For this that thou hast done.
Blessed are fools! A gift remains for those!"

His hand sought out his sword, and lightnings flared
Across the sky in one great bloom of fire.
Poised like a toppling mountain, it hung bared;
Suns that were jewels glared
Along its hilt. The air burnt like a pyre.

Once more the genie spoke: "Something I owe
To thee, thou fool, thou fool. Come, canst thou sing?
Yea? Sing then; if thy song be brave, then go
Free and released -- or no!
Find first some task, some overmastering thing
I cannot do, and find it speedily,
For if thou dost not thou shalt surely die!"

The sword whirled back. The fisherman uprose,
And if at first his voice was weak with fear
And his limbs trembled, it was but a doze,
And at the high song's close
He stood up straight. His voice rang loud and clear.


The Song.

Last night the quays were lighted;
Cressets of smoking pine
Glared o'er the roaring mariners
That drink the yellow wine.

Their song rolled to the rafters,
It struck the high stars pale,
Such worth was in their discourse,
Such wonder in their tale.

Blue borage filled the clinking cups,
The murky night grew wan,
Till one rose, crowned with laurel-leaves,
That was an outland man.

"Come, let us drink to war!" said he,
"The torch of the sacked town!
The swan's-bath and the wolf-ships,
And Harald of renown!

"Yea, while the milk was on his lips,
Before the day was born,
He took the Almayne Kaiser's head
To be his drinking-horn!

"Yea, while the down was on his chin,
Or yet his beard was grown,
He broke the gates of Micklegarth,
And stole the lion-throne!

"Drink to Harald, king of the world,
Lord of the tongue and the troth!
To the bellowing horns of Ostfriesland,
And the trumpets of the Goth!"

Their shouts rolled to the rafters,
The drink-horns crashed and rang,
And all their talk was a clangor of war,
As swords together sang!

But dimly, through the deep night,
Where stars like flowers shone,
A passionate shape came gliding --
I saw one thing alone.

I only saw my young love
Shining against the dark,
The whiteness of her raiment,
The head that bent to hark.

I only saw my young love,
Like flowers in the sun --
Her hands like waxen petals,
Where yawning poppies run.

I only felt there, chrysmal,
Against my cheek her breath,
Though all the winds were baying,
And the sky bright with Death.

Red sparks whirled up the chimney,
A hungry flaught of flame,
And a lean man from Greece arose;
Thrasyllos was his name.

"I praise all noble wines!" he cried,
"Green robes of tissue fine,
Peacocks and apes and ivory,
And Homer's sea-loud line,

"Statues and rings and carven gems,
And the wise crawling sea;
But most of all the crowns of kings,
The rule they wield thereby!

"Power, fired power, blank and bright!
A fit hilt for the hand!
The one good sword for a freeman,
While yet the cold stars stand!"

Their shouts rolled to the rafters,
The air was thick with wine.
I only knew her deep eyes,
And felt her hand in mine.

Softly as quiet water,
One finger touched my cheek;
Her face like gracious moonlight --
I might not move nor speak.

I only saw that beauty,
I only felt that form
There, in the silken darkness --
God wot my heart was warm!

Their shouts rolled to the rafters,
Another chief began;
His slit lips showed him for a ***;
He was an evil man.

"Sing to the joys of women!" he yelled,
"The hot delicious tents,
The soft couch, and the white limbs;
The air a steam of scents!"

His eyes gleamed, and he wet his lips,
The rafters shook with cheers,
As he sang of woman, who is man's slave
For all unhonored years.

"Whether the wanton laughs amain,
With one white shoulder bare,
Or in a sacked room you unbind
Some crouching maiden's hair;

"This is the only good for man,
Like spices of the South --
To see the glimmering body laid
As pasture to his mouth!

"To leave no lees within the cup,
To see and take and rend;
To lap a girl's limbs up like wine,
And laugh, knowing the end!"

Only, like low, still breathing,
I heard one voice, one word;
And hot speech poured upon my lips,
As my hands held a sword.

"Fools, thrice fools of lust!" I cried,
"Your eyes are blind to see
Eternal beauty, moving far,
More glorious than horns of war!
But though my eyes were one blind scar,
That sight is shown to me!

"You nuzzle at the ivory side,
You clasp the golden head;
Fools, fools, who chatter and sing,
You have taken the sign of a terrible thing,
You have drunk down God with your beeswing,
And broken the saints for bread!

"For God moves darkly,
In silence and in storm;
But in the body of woman
He shows one burning form.

"For God moves blindly,
In darkness and in dread;
But in the body of woman
He raises up the dead.

"Gracile and straight as birches,
Swift as the questing birds,
They fill true-lovers' drink-horns up,
Who speak not, having no words.

"Love is not delicate toying,
A slim and shimmering mesh;
It is two souls wrenched into one,
Two bodies made one flesh.

"Lust is a sprightly servant,
Gallant where wines are poured;
Love is a bitter master,
Love is an iron lord.

"Satin ease of the body,
Fattened sloth of the hands,
These and their like he will not send,
Only immortal fires to rend --
And the world's end is your journey's end,
And your stream chokes in the sands.

"Pleached calms shall not await you,
Peace you shall never find;
Nought but the living moorland
Scourged naked by the wind.

"Nought but the living moorland,
And your love's hand in yours;
The strength more sure than surety,
The mercy that endures.

"Then, though they give you to be burned,
And slay you like a stoat,
You have found the world's heart in the turn of a cheek,
Heaven in the lift of a throat.

"Although they break you on the wheel,
That stood so straight in the sun,
Behind you the trumpets split the sky,
Where the lost and furious fight goes by --
And God, our God, will have victory
When the red day is done!"

Their mirth rolled to the rafters,
They bellowed lechery;
Light as a drifting feather
My love slipped from my knee.

Within, the lights were yellow
In drowsy rooms and warm;
Without, the stabbing lightning
Shattered across the storm.

Within, the great logs crackled,
The drink-horns emptied soon;
Without, the black cloaks of the clouds
Strangled the waning moon.

My love crossed o'er the threshold --
God! but the night was murk!
I set myself against the cold,
And left them to their work.

Their shouts rolled to the rafters;
A bitterer way was mine,
And I left them in the tavern,
Drinking the yellow wine!

The last faint echoes rang along the plains,
Died, and were gone. The genie spoke: "Thy song
Serves well enough -- but yet thy task remains;
Many and rending pains
Shall torture him who dares delay too long!"

His brown face hardened to a leaden mask.
A bitter brine crusted the fisher's cheek --
"Almighty God, one thing alone I ask,
Show me a task, a task!"
The hard cup of the sky shone, gemmed and bleak.

"O love, whom I have sought by devious ways;
O hidden beauty, naked as a star;
You whose bright hair has burned across my days,
Making them lamps of praise;
O dawn-wind, breathing of Arabia!

"You have I served. Now fire has parched the vine,
And Death is on the singers and the song.
No longer are there lips to cling to mine,
And the heart wearies of wine,
And I am sick, for my desire is long.

"O love, soft-moving, delicate and tender!
In her gold house the pipe calls querulously,
They cloud with thin green silks her body slender,
They talk to her and tend her;
Come, piteous, gentle love, and set me free!"

He ceased -- and, slowly rising o'er the deep,
A faint song chimed, grew clearer, till at last
A golden horn of light began to creep
Where the dumb ripples sweep,
Making the sea one splendor where it passed.

A golden boat! The bright oars rested soon,
And the prow met the sand. The purple veils
Misting the cabin fell. Fair as the moon
When the morning comes too soon,
And all the air is silver in the dales,

A gold-robed princess stepped upon the beach.
The fisher knelt and kissed her garment's hem,
And then her lips, and strove at last for speech.
The waters lapped the reach.
"Here thy strength breaks, thy might is nought to stem!"

He cried at last. Speech shook him like a flame:
"Yea, though thou plucked the stars from out the sky,
Each lovely one would be a withered shame --
Each thou couldst find or name --
To this fire-hearted beauty!" Wearily

The genie heard. A slow smile came like dawn
Over his face. "Thy task is done!" he said.
A whirlwind roared, smoke shattered, he was gone;
And, like a sudden horn,
The moon shone clear, no longer smoked and red.

They passed into the boat. The gold oars beat
Loudly, then fainter, fainter, till at last
Only the quiet waters barely moved
Along the whispering sand -- till all the vast
Expanse of sea began to shake with heat,
And morning brought soft airs, by sailors loved.

And after? . . . Well . . .
The shop-bell clangs! Who comes?
Quinine -- I pour the little bitter grains
Out upon blue, glazed squares of paper. So.
And all the dusk I shall sit here alone,
With many powers in my hands -- ah, see
How the blurred labels run on the old jars!
***** -- and a cruel and sleepy scent,
The harsh taste of white poppies; India --
The writhing woods a-crawl with monstrous life,
Save where the deodars are set like spears,
And a calm pool is mirrored ebony;
***** -- brown and warm and slender-breasted
She rises, shaking off the cool black water,
And twisting up her hair, that ripples down,
A torrent of black water, to her feet;
How the drops sparkle in the moonlight! Once
I made a rhyme about it, singing softly:

Over Damascus every star
Keeps his unchanging course and cold,
The dark weighs like an iron bar,
The intense and pallid night is old,
Dim the moon's scimitar.

Still the lamps blaze within those halls,
Where poppies heap the marble vats
For girls to tread; the thick air palls;
And shadows hang like evil bats
About the scented walls.

The girls are many, and they sing;
Their white feet fall like flakes of snow,
Making a ceaseless murmuring --
Whispers of love, dead long ago,
And dear, forgotten Spring.

One alone sings not. Tiredly
She sees the white blooms crushed, and smells
The heavy scent. They chatter: "See!
White Zira thinks of nothing else
But the morn's jollity --

"Then Haroun takes her!" But she dreams,
Unhearing, of a certain field
Of poppies, cut by many streams,
Like lines across a round Turk shield,
Where now the hot sun gleams.

The field whereon they walked that day,
And splendor filled her body up,
And his; and then the trampled clay,
And slow smoke climbing the sky's cup
From where the village lay.

And after -- much ache of the wrists,
Where the cords irked her -- till she came,
The price of many amethysts,
Hither. And now the ultimate shame
Blew trumpet in the lists.

And so she trod the poppies there,
Remembering other poppies, too,
And did not seem to see or care.
Without, the first gray drops of dew
Sweetened the trembling air.

She trod the poppies. Hours passed
Until she slept at length -- and Time
Dragged his slow sickle. When at last
She woke, the moon shone, bright as rime,
And night's tide rolled on fast.

She moaned once, knowing everything;
Then, bitterer than death, she found
The soft handmaidens, in a ring,
Come to anoint her, all around,
That she might please the king.

***** -- and the odor dies away,
Leaving the air yet heavy -- cassia -- myrrh --
Bitter and splendid. See, the poisons come,
Trooping in squat green vials, blazoned red
With grinning skulls: strychnine, a pallid dust
Of tiny grains, like bones ground fine; and next
The muddy green of arsenic, all livid,
Likest the face of one long dead -- they creep
Along the dusty shelf like deadly beetles,
Whose fangs are carved with runnels, that the blood
May run down easily to the blind mouth
That snaps and gapes; and high above them there,
My master's pride, a cobwebbed, yellow ***
Of honey from Mount Hybla. Do the bees
Still moan among the low sweet purple clover,
Endlessly many? Still in deep-hushed woods,
When the incredible silver of the moon
Comes like a living wind through sleep-bowed branches,
Still steal dark shapes from the enchanted glens,
Which yet are purple with high dreams, and still
Fronting that quiet and eternal shield
Which is much more than Peace, does there still stand
One sharp black shadow -- and the short, smooth horns
Are clear against that disk?
O great Diana!
I, I have praised thee, yet I do not know
What moves my mind so strangely, save that once
I lay all night upon a thymy hill,
And watched the slow clouds pass like heaped-up foam
Across blue marble, till at last no speck
Blotted the clear expanse, and the full moon
Rose in much light, and all night long I saw
Her ordered progress, till, in midmost heaven,
There came a terrible silence, and the mice
Crept to their holes, the crickets did not chirp,
All the small night-sounds stopped -- and clear pure light
Rippled like silk over the universe,
Most cold and bleak; and yet my heart beat fast,
Waiting until the stillness broke. I know not
For what I waited -- something very great --
I dared not look up to the sky for fear
A brittle crackling should clash suddenly
Against the quiet, and a black line creep
Across the sky, and widen like a mouth,
Until the broken heavens streamed apart,
Like torn lost banners, and the immortal fires,
Roaring like lions, asked their meat from God.
I lay there, a black blot upon a shield
Of quivering, watery whiteness. The hush held
Until I staggered up and cried aloud,
And then it seemed that something far too great
For knowledge, and illimitable as God,
Rent th
Natalie Jan 2018
Growing up, I was taught the story of two men
One built his house upon the rocks and one upon the sand
And I learned the difference between humility and pride
I was taught to differentiate the foolish from the wise
Because when God sent the rainfall and the waters began to rise,
The house on sand crumbled right in front of thoughtless eyes
And my father would tell me, "Darling, don't build your foundation in the weak, in something that might die"
But I've been constructing my home on gravel my entire life

If there is a God
Why did he let me build my house upon the sand?
Why did he lay down every brick and let the nails tear through my hands?
I am an urchin in the dirt leaving claw marks in the earth
And my cries fall from my mouth and cling to my tattered shirt
If there is a God
Then why would he call himself a Father to me?
Why would he want to break my heart and crush my dignity?
He prides himself on the ringing in my ears
and his mason jars of tears
Instead of being my faith, why would God want to be my greatest fear?
If heaven is where he is,
then hell is anywhere but here

If there is a God
And he's my Father
And he is so divine
Then why did I grow up so sick and sad and tired all the time?
Why would he instill doubts from Satan himself for everyone to see;
"You're inadequate
Inadequate
That's all you'll ever be"
My mistakes render me useless,
At least, that's what Father says of me

And if there is a God,
And he's my father
How could he walk away as if nothing ever happened, although I have seen it all before
Because what happens in this House of Heaven stays behind closed doors
He would enter his bedroom, and leave the door open just a crack
So when he would read his Bible and show us how a true Christian should act
I'd turn to my little brother and say "I wish one day we'd be holy like that".

The mortar in my walls are breaking and the water is rushing in
I wish so badly to repair it, but I've always been like this
The dirt I fell in twenty years ago is matted to my skin
The cuts on my soul since childhood are all I've ever been
I'm sorry Father, for I have sinned
And I have nothing good to show
And I don't mean to point the blame, Father, but sin is all I've ever known

If there is a God, would he let me stand before his throne?
Would he take me into his arms and treat me as his own?
Would he wash my ***** shirt and let me stand where the saints have stood?
Would he help me build a house upon the rocks
Like a father should?

I wonder if I can build it well enough to reach him
Because my current house can't as long as its this way
If there is a God
I wonder what he'd say
about me

I am the prodigal daughter you never learned about in stories

— The End —