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Anjali Mishra Aug 2014
Of a nefarious shadow that followed
Her eyes of blue serene were nonchalant
As she wended the verdant lanes.
.
The lanes she trod like an esplanade
Her ears could perceive no rant
Of a nefarious shadow that followed.
.
The phantom to her was an Adonis
And yet, oblivion to herself she did grant
As she wended the verdant lanes.
.
The undefined was lurking closer
Unacquainted while on her errant
Of a nefarious shadow that followed.
.
That aisle could pave way to her hearse
Unaware she; of the dangers nearing every instant
As she wended the verdant lanes.
.
That peaceful sienna her eyes were at
Oblivious of the slow augury chant
Of a nefarious shadow that followed
As she wended the verdant lanes.
1

When lilacs last in the door-yard bloom’d,
And the great star early droop’d in the western sky in the night,
I mourn’d—and yet shall mourn with ever-returning spring.

O ever-returning spring! trinity sure to me you bring;
Lilac blooming perennial, and drooping star in the west,
And thought of him I love.

2

O powerful, western, fallen star!
O shades of night! O moody, tearful night!
O great star disappear’d! O the black murk that hides the star!
O cruel hands that hold me powerless! O helpless soul of me!
O harsh surrounding cloud, that will not free my soul!

3

In the door-yard fronting an old farm-house, near the white-wash’d palings,
Stands the lilac bush, tall-growing, with heart-shaped leaves of rich green,
With many a pointed blossom, rising, delicate, with the perfume strong I love,
With every leaf a miracle……and from this bush in the door-yard,
With delicate-color’d blossoms, and heart-shaped leaves of rich green,
A sprig, with its flower, I break.

4

In the swamp, in secluded recesses,
A shy and hidden bird is warbling a song.

Solitary, the thrush,
The hermit, withdrawn to himself, avoiding the settlements,
Sings by himself a song.

Song of the bleeding throat!
Death’s outlet song of life—(for well, dear brother, I know
If thou wast not gifted to sing, thou would’st surely die.)

5

Over the breast of the spring, the land, amid cities,
Amid lanes, and through old woods, (where lately the violets peep’d from the ground, spotting the gray debris;)
Amid the grass in the fields each side of the lanes—passing the endless grass;
Passing the yellow-spear’d wheat, every grain from its shroud in the dark-brown fields uprising;
Passing the apple-tree blows of white and pink in the orchards;
Carrying a corpse to where it shall rest in the grave,
Night and day journeys a coffin.

6

Coffin that passes through lanes and streets,
Through day and night, with the great cloud darkening the land,
With the pomp of the inloop’d flags, with the cities draped in black,
With the show of the States themselves, as of crape-veil’d women, standing,
With processions long and winding, and the flambeaus of the night,
With the countless torches lit—with the silent sea of faces, and the unbared heads,
With the waiting depot, the arriving coffin, and the sombre faces,
With dirges through the night, with the thousand voices rising strong and solemn;
With all the mournful voices of the dirges, pour’d around the coffin,
The dim-lit churches and the shuddering organs—Where amid these you journey,
With the tolling, tolling bells’ perpetual clang;
Here! coffin that slowly passes,
I give you my sprig of lilac.

7

(Nor for you, for one, alone;
Blossoms and branches green to coffins all I bring:
For fresh as the morning—thus would I carol a song for you, O sane and sacred death.

All over bouquets of roses,
O death! I cover you over with roses and early lilies;
But mostly and now the lilac that blooms the first,
Copious, I break, I break the sprigs from the bushes;
With loaded arms I come, pouring for you,
For you, and the coffins all of you, O death.)

8

O western orb, sailing the heaven!
Now I know what you must have meant, as a month since we walk’d,
As we walk’d up and down in the dark blue so mystic,
As we walk’d in silence the transparent shadowy night,
As I saw you had something to tell, as you bent to me night after night,
As you droop’d from the sky low down, as if to my side, (while the other stars all look’d on;)
As we wander’d together the solemn night, (for something, I know not what, kept me from sleep;)
As the night advanced, and I saw on the rim of the west, ere you went, how full you were of woe;
As I stood on the rising ground in the breeze, in the cold transparent night,
As I watch’d where you pass’d and was lost in the netherward black of the night,
As my soul, in its trouble, dissatisfied, sank, as where you, sad orb,
Concluded, dropt in the night, and was gone.

9

Sing on, there in the swamp!
O singer bashful and tender! I hear your notes—I hear your call;
I hear—I come presently—I understand you;
But a moment I linger—for the lustrous star has detain’d me;
The star, my departing comrade, holds and detains me.

10

O how shall I warble myself for the dead one there I loved?
And how shall I deck my song for the large sweet soul that has gone?
And what shall my perfume be, for the grave of him I love?

Sea-winds, blown from east and west,
Blown from the eastern sea, and blown from the western sea, till there on the prairies meeting:
These, and with these, and the breath of my chant,
I perfume the grave of him I love.

11

O what shall I hang on the chamber walls?
And what shall the pictures be that I hang on the walls,
To adorn the burial-house of him I love?

Pictures of growing spring, and farms, and homes,
With the Fourth-month eve at sundown, and the gray smoke lucid and bright,
With floods of the yellow gold of the gorgeous, indolent, sinking sun, burning, expanding the air;
With the fresh sweet herbage under foot, and the pale green leaves of the trees prolific;
In the distance the flowing glaze, the breast of the river, with a wind-dapple here and there;
With ranging hills on the banks, with many a line against the sky, and shadows;
And the city at hand, with dwellings so dense, and stacks of chimneys,
And all the scenes of life, and the workshops, and the workmen homeward returning.

12

Lo! body and soul! this land!
Mighty Manhattan, with spires, and the sparkling and hurrying tides, and the ships;
The varied and ample land—the South and the North in the light—Ohio’s shores, and flashing Missouri,
And ever the far-spreading prairies, cover’d with grass and corn.

Lo! the most excellent sun, so calm and haughty;
The violet and purple morn, with just-felt breezes;
The gentle, soft-born, measureless light;
The miracle, spreading, bathing all—the fulfill’d noon;
The coming eve, delicious—the welcome night, and the stars,
Over my cities shining all, enveloping man and land.

13

Sing on! sing on, you gray-brown bird!
Sing from the swamps, the recesses—pour your chant from the bushes;
Limitless out of the dusk, out of the cedars and pines.

Sing on, dearest brother—warble your reedy song;
Loud human song, with voice of uttermost woe.

O liquid, and free, and tender!
O wild and loose to my soul! O wondrous singer!
You only I hear……yet the star holds me, (but will soon depart;)
Yet the lilac, with mastering odor, holds me.

14

Now while I sat in the day, and look’d forth,
In the close of the day, with its light, and the fields of spring, and the farmer preparing his crops,
In the large unconscious scenery of my land, with its lakes and forests,
In the heavenly aerial beauty, (after the perturb’d winds, and the storms;)
Under the arching heavens of the afternoon swift passing, and the voices of children and women,
The many-moving sea-tides,—and I saw the ships how they sail’d,
And the summer approaching with richness, and the fields all busy with labor,
And the infinite separate houses, how they all went on, each with its meals and minutia of daily usages;
And the streets, how their throbbings throbb’d, and the cities pent—lo! then and there,
Falling upon them all, and among them all, enveloping me with the rest,
Appear’d the cloud, appear’d the long black trail;
And I knew Death, its thought, and the sacred knowledge of death.

15

Then with the knowledge of death as walking one side of me,
And the thought of death close-walking the other side of me,
And I in the middle, as with companions, and as holding the hands of companions,
I fled forth to the hiding receiving night, that talks not,
Down to the shores of the water, the path by the swamp in the dimness,
To the solemn shadowy cedars, and ghostly pines so still.

And the singer so shy to the rest receiv’d me;
The gray-brown bird I know, receiv’d us comrades three;
And he sang what seem’d the carol of death, and a verse for him I love.

From deep secluded recesses,
From the fragrant cedars, and the ghostly pines so still,
Came the carol of the bird.

And the charm of the carol rapt me,
As I held, as if by their hands, my comrades in the night;
And the voice of my spirit tallied the song of the bird.

DEATH CAROL.

16

Come, lovely and soothing Death,
Undulate round the world, serenely arriving, arriving,
In the day, in the night, to all, to each,
Sooner or later, delicate Death.

Prais’d be the fathomless universe,
For life and joy, and for objects and knowledge curious;
And for love, sweet love—But praise! praise! praise!
For the sure-enwinding arms of cool-enfolding Death.

Dark Mother, always gliding near, with soft feet,
Have none chanted for thee a chant of fullest welcome?

Then I chant it for thee—I glorify thee above all;
I bring thee a song that when thou must indeed come, come unfalteringly.

Approach, strong Deliveress!
When it is so—when thou hast taken them, I joyously sing the dead,
Lost in the loving, floating ocean of thee,
Laved in the flood of thy bliss, O Death.

From me to thee glad serenades,
Dances for thee I propose, saluting thee—adornments and feastings for thee;
And the sights of the open landscape, and the high-spread sky, are fitting,
And life and the fields, and the huge and thoughtful night.

The night, in silence, under many a star;
The ocean shore, and the husky whispering wave, whose voice I know;
And the soul turning to thee, O vast and well-veil’d Death,
And the body gratefully nestling close to thee.

Over the tree-tops I float thee a song!
Over the rising and sinking waves—over the myriad fields, and the prairies wide;
Over the dense-pack’d cities all, and the teeming wharves and ways,
I float this carol with joy, with joy to thee, O Death!

17

To the tally of my soul,
Loud and strong kept up the gray-brown bird,
With pure, deliberate notes, spreading, filling the night.

Loud in the pines and cedars dim,
Clear in the freshness moist, and the swamp-perfume;
And I with my comrades there in the night.

While my sight that was bound in my eyes unclosed,
As to long panoramas of visions.

18

I saw askant the armies;
And I saw, as in noiseless dreams, hundreds of battle-flags;
Borne through the smoke of the battles, and pierc’d with missiles, I saw them,
And carried hither and yon through the smoke, and torn and ******;
And at last but a few shreds left on the staffs, (and all in silence,)
And the staffs all splinter’d and broken.

I saw battle-corpses, myriads of them,
And the white skeletons of young men—I saw them;
I saw the debris and debris of all the dead soldiers of the war;
But I saw they were not as was thought;
They themselves were fully at rest—they suffer’d not;
The living remain’d and suffer’d—the mother suffer’d,
And the wife and the child, and the musing comrade suffer’d,
And the armies that remain’d suffer’d.

19

Passing the visions, passing the night;
Passing, unloosing the hold of my comrades’ hands;
Passing the song of the hermit bird, and the tallying song of my soul,
(Victorious song, death’s outlet song, yet varying, ever-altering song,
As low and wailing, yet clear the notes, rising and falling, flooding the night,
Sadly sinking and fainting, as warning and warning, and yet again bursting with joy,
Covering the earth, and filling the spread of the heaven,
As that powerful psalm in the night I heard from recesses,)
Passing, I leave thee, lilac with heart-shaped leaves;
I leave thee there in the door-yard, blooming, returning with spring,
I cease from my song for thee;
From my gaze on thee in the west, fronting the west, communing with thee,
O comrade lustrous, with silver face in the night.

20

Yet each I keep, and all, retrievements out of the night;
The song, the wondrous chant of the gray-brown bird,
And the tallying chant, the echo arous’d in my soul,
With the lustrous and drooping star, with the countenance full of woe,
With the lilac tall, and its blossoms of mastering odor;
With the holders holding my hand, nearing the call of the bird,
Comrades mine, and I in the midst, and their memory ever I keep—for the dead I loved so well;
For the sweetest, wisest soul of all my days and lands…and this for his dear sake;
Lilac and star and bird, twined with the chant of my soul,
There in the fragrant pines, and the cedars dusk and dim.
Bad Luck Jul 2018
The difference between actions and habits,
     is often measured by the person you're asking.  
One bump, one line, one half ounce...
All shared by people you don't even give a **** about.

These chemicals make me sick --
              Limitless...Why quit?
              When it's only ten bucks for a hit like this?
Even Jesus Christ would have gotten addicted,
              if drugs in his day were half this good.

"Yeah, I'm smashed -- but I promise I can drive fine."
      Walk and push the limits of a real fine line...
If I don't **** myself, or someone else... I'm happy.
       Stare death in his eyes, wink, and start laughing.

Gasping as I swerve lanes --
Stay safe, get paid. Mundane daily.
Living a-live.. Eat. Sleep. Dream. Get laid.  
Chase feelings.

           Please, just feel me now.
                                    You know me, right?

           Please, just feel me now.
                                    You love me, right?


I want to melt with you -- let our souls collide...
Dissolve the boundaries between students and teachers.
        To bridge the gap in the great divide
        No secrets between us -- bleed into the speakers.

Feel the air in your chest, and ask God for a reason...
To stay or leave Him.
He makes excuses...

                                                     ­      ... Believe Him.
"Bad Luck: In a Wakeful Contradiction" is now available on Amazon in paperback!

Link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1691941182
We had wanted to leave our homes before six in the morning
but left late and lazy at ten or ten-thirty with hurried smirks
and heads turned to the road, West
driving out against the noonward horizon
and visions before us of the great up-and-over

and tired we were already of stiff-armed driving neurotics in Montreal
and monstrous foreheaded yellow bus drivers
ugly children with long middle fingers
and tired we were of breaking and being yelled at by beardless bums
but thought about the beards at home we loved
and gave a smile and a wave nonetheless

Who were sick and tired of driving by nine
but then had four more hours still
with half a tank
then a third of a tank
then a quarter of a tank
then no tank at all
except for the great artillery halt and discovery
of our tyre having only three quarters of its bolts

Saved by the local sobriety
and the mystic conscious kindness of the wise and the elderly
and the strangers: Autoshop Gale with her discount familiar kindness;
Hilda making ready supper and Ray like I’ve known you for years
that offered me tools whose functions I’ve never known
and a handshake goodbye

     and "yes we will say hello to your son in Alberta"
     and "yes we will continue safely"
     and "no you won’t see us in tomorrow’s paper"
     and tired I was of hearing about us in tomorrow’s paper

Who ended up on a road laughing deliverance
in Ralphton, a small town hunting lodge
full of flapjacks and a choir of chainsaws
with cheap tomato juice and eggs
but the four of us ended up paying for eight anyway

and these wooden alley cats were nothing but hounds
and the backwoods is where you’d find a cheap child's banjo
and cheap leather shoes and bear traps and rat traps
and the kinds of things you’d fall into face first

Who sauntered into a cafe in Massey
that just opened up two weeks previous
where the food was warm and made from home
and the owner who swore to high heaven
and piled her Sci-Fi collection to the ceiling
in forms of books and VHS

but Massey herself was drowned in a small town
where there was little history and heavy mist
and the museum was closed for renovations
and the stores were run by diplomats
or sleezebag no-cats
and there was one man who wouldn’t show us a room
because his baby sitter hadn’t come yet
but the babysitter showed up through the backdoor within seconds
though I hadn't seen another face

        and the room was a landfill
        and smelled of stale cat **** anyhow
        and the lobby stacked to the ceiling with empty beer box cans bottles
        and the taps ran cold yellow and hot black through spigots

but we would be staying down the street
at the inn of an East-Indian couple

who’s eyes were not dilated 
and the room smelled
lemon-scented

and kept on driving lovingly without a care in the world
but only one of us had his arms around a girl
and how lonely I felt driving with Jacob
in the fog of the Agawa pass;

following twin red eyes down a steep void mass
where the birch trees have no heads
and the marshes pool under the jagged foothills
that climb from the water above their necks

that form great behemoths
with great voices bellowing and faces chiselled hard looking down
and my own face turned upward toward the rain

Wheels turning on a black asphalt river running uphill around great Superior
that is the ocean that isn’t the ocean but is as big as the sea
and the cloud banks dig deep and terrible walls

and the sky ends five times before night truly falls
and the sun sets slower here than anywhere
but the sky was only two miles high and ten long anyway

The empty train tracks that seldom run
and some rails have been lifted out
with a handful of spikes that now lay dormant

and the hill sides start to resemble *******
or faces or the slow curving back of some great whale

-and those, who were finally stranded at four pumps
with none but the professional Jacob reading great biblical instructions at the nozzle
nowhere at midnight in a town surrounded

by moose roads
                             moose lanes
                                                     moose rivers
and everything mooses

ending up sleeping in the maw of a great white wolf inn
run by Julf or Wolf or John but was German nonetheless

and woke up with radios armed
and arms full
and coffee up to the teeth
with teeth chattering
and I swear to God I saw snowy peaks
but those came to me in waking dream:

"Mountains dressed in white canvas
gowns and me who placed
my hands upon their *******
that filled the sky"

Passing through a buffet of inns and motels
and spending our time unpacking and repacking
and talking about drinking and cheap sandwiches
but me not having a drink in eight days

and in one professional inn we received a professional scamming
and no we would not be staying here again
and what would a trip across the country be like
if there wasn’t one final royal scamming to be had

and dreams start to return to me from years of dreamless sleep:

and I dream of hers back home
and ribbons in a raven black lattice of hair
and Cassadaic exploits with soft but honest words

and being on time with the trains across the plains  
and the moon with a shower of prairie blonde
and one of my father with kind words
and my mother on a bicycle reassuring my every decision

Passing eventually through great plains of vast nothingness
but was disappointed in seeing that I could see
and that the rumours were false
and that nothingness really had a population
and that the great flat land has bumps and curves and etchings and textures too

beautiful bright golden yellow like sprawling fingers
white knuckled ablaze reaching up toward the sun
that in this world had only one sky that lasted a thousand years

and prairie driving lasts no more than a mountain peak
and points of ember that softly sigh with the one breath
of our cars windows that rushes by with gratitude for your smile

And who was caught up with the madness in the air
with big foaming cigarettes in mouths
who dragged and stuffed down those rolling fumes endlessly
while St. Jacob sang at the way stations and billboards and the radio
which was turned off

and me myself and I running our mouth like the coughing engine
chasing a highway babe known as the Lady Valkyrie out from Winnipeg
all the way to Saskatoon driving all day without ever slowing down
and eating up all our gas like pez and finally catching her;

      Valkyrie who taught me to drive fast
      and hovering 175 in slipstreams
      and flowing behind her like a great ghost Cassady ******* in dreamland Nebraska
      only 10 highway crossings counted from home.

Lady Valkyrie who took me West.
Lady Valkyrie who burst my wings into flame as I drew a close with the sun.
Lady Valkyrie who had me howl at slender moon;

     who formed as a snowflake
     in the light on the street
     and was gone by morning
     before I asked her name

and how are we?
and how many?

Even with old Tom devil singing stereo
and riding shotgun the entire trip from day one
singing about his pony, and his own personal flophouse circus,
and what was he building in there?

There is a fair amount of us here in these cars.
Finally at light’s end finding acquiescence in all things
and meeting with her eye one last time; flashed her a wink and there I was, gone.
Down the final highway crossing blowing wind and fancy and mouth puttering off
roaring laughter into the distance like some tremendous Phoenix.

Goodnight Lady Valkyrie.

The evening descends and turns into a sandwich hysteria
as we find ourselves riding between cities of transports
and that one mad man that passed us speeding crazy
and almost hit head-on with Him flowing East

and passed more and more until he was head of the line
but me driving mad lunacy followed his tail to the bumper
passing fifteen trucks total to find our other car
and felt the great turbine pull of acceleration that was not mine

mad-stacked behind two great beasts
and everyone thought us moon-crazy; Biblical Jake
and Mad Hair Me driving a thousand
eschewing great gusts of wind speed flying

Smashing into the great ephedrine sunset haze of Saskatoon
and hungry for food stuffed with the thoughts of bedsheets
off the highway immediately into the rotting liver of dark downtown
but was greeted by an open Hertz garage
with a five-piece fanfare brass barrage
William Tell and a Debussy Reverie
and found our way to bedsheets most comfortably

Driving out of Saskatoon feeling distance behind me.
Finding nothing but the dead and hollow corpses of roadside ventures;

more carcasses than cars
and one as big as a moose
and one as big as a bear
and no hairier

and driving out of sunshine plain reading comic book strip billboards
and trees start to build up momentum
and remembering our secret fungi in the glove compartment
that we drove three thousand kilometres without remembering

and we had a "Jesus Jacob, put it away brother"
and went screaming blinded by smoke and paranoia
and three swerves got us right
and we hugged the holy white line until twilight

And driving until the night again takes me foremast
and knows my secret fear in her *****
as the road turns into a lucid *** black and makes me dizzy
and every shadow is a moose and a wildcat and a billy goat
and some other car

and I find myself driving faster up this great slanderous waterfall until I meet eye
with another at a thousand feet horizontal

then two eyes

then a thousand wide-eyed peaks stretching faces upturned to the celestial black
with clouds laid flat as if some angel were sleeping ******* on a smokestack
and the mountains make themselves clear to me after waiting a lifetime for a glimpse
then they shy away behind some old lamppost and I don’t see them until tomorrow

and even tomorrow brings a greater distance with the sunlight dividing stone like 'The Ancient of Days'
and moving forward puts all into perspective

while false cabins give way
and the gas stations give way
and the last lamppost gives way
and its only distance now that will make you true
and make your peaks come alive

Like a bullrush, great grey slopes leap forth as if branded by fire
then the first peaks take me by surprise
and I’m told that these are nothing but children to their parents
and the roads curve into a gentle valley
and we’re in the feeding zone

behind the gates of some great geological zoo
watching these lumbering beasts
finishing up some great tribal *******
because tomorrow they will be shrunk
and tomorrow ever-after smaller

Nonetheless, breathless in turn I became
it began snowing and the pines took on a different shape
and the mountains became covered white
and great glaciers could be seen creeping
and tourists seen gawking at waterfalls and waterfowls
and fowl play between two stones a thousand miles high

climbing these Jasper slopes flying against wind and stone
and every creak lets out its gentle tone and soft moans
as these tyres rub flat against your back
your ancient skin your rock-hard bones

and this peak is that peak and it’s this one too
and that’s Temple, and that’s Whistler
and that’s Glasgow and that’s Whistler again
and those are the Three Sisters with ******* ablaze

and soft glowing haze your sun sets again among your peaks
and we wonder how all these caves formed
and marvelled at what the flood brought to your feet
as roads lay wasted by the roadside

in the epiphany of 3:00am realizing
that great Alta's straights and highway crossings
are formed in torturous mess from mines of 'Mt. Bleed'
and broken ribs and liver of crushed mountain passes
and the grey stones taxidermied and peeled off
and laid flat painted black and yellow;
the highways built from the insides
of the mountain shells

Who gave a “What now. New-Brunswick?”

and a “What now, Quebec, and Ontario, and Manitoba, and Saskatchewan";
**** fools clumsily dancing in the valleys; then the rolling hills; then the sea that was a lake
then the prairies and not yet the mountains;

running naked in formation with me at the lead
and running naked giving the finger to the moon
and the contrails, and every passing blur on the highway
dodging rocks, and sandbars
and the watchful eye of Mr. and Mrs. Law
and holes dug-up by prairie dogs
and watching with no music
as the family caravans drove on by

but drove off laughing every time until two got anxious for bed and slowed behind
while the rambling Jacob and I had to wait in the half-moon spectacle
of a black-tongue asphalt side-road hacking darts and watching for grizzlies
for the other two to finish up with their birthday *** exploits
though it was nobodies birthday

and then a timezone was between us
 and they were in the distant future
and nobodies birthday was in an hour from now

then everything was good
and everyone was satiated
then everything was a different time again
and I was running on no sleep or a lot of it
leaping backward in time every so often
like gaining a new day but losing space on the surface of your eye

but I stared up through curtains of starlight to mother moon
and wondered if you also stared
and was dumbfounded by the majesty of it all

and only one Caribou was seen the entire trip
and only one live animal, and some forsaken deer
and only a snake or a lonesome caterpillar could be seen crossing such highway straights
but the water more refreshing and brighter than steel
and glittered as if it were hiding some celestial gem
and great ravines and valleys flowed between everything
and I saw in my own eye prehistoric beasts roaming catastrophe upon these plains
but the peaks grew ever higher and I left the ground behind
Terry O'Leary Dec 2013
Ill-fated crowd neath foreign cloud: the Silent City braves
against a sudden sullen flood, unleashing lashing waves,
which washes stony structures clean with radiance that laves.

Deserted streets, once dense retreats, spin yarns of yesterday,
with  faded words no longer heard (though having much to say)
since teeming life (at one time, rife), surceased and slipped away.

Within its walls? Whist buildings, tall... Outside the City? Dunes...
They frame a frail forgotten tale,  in carved unwritten runes
with symbols hung like halos strung in lifeless, limp festoons.

The City’s blur? A sepulcher for Christians, Muslims, Jews –
Cathedrals, Temples, vacant now, enshrine their residues,
though churches, mosques and synagogues abide without a bruise.

A church’s Gothic ceilings guard the empty pews below
and, windswept blown above the stones, a maiden’s blue jabot.
The Saints, in crypts, though nondescript, grace halos now aglow.

Stilled chapel chimes! Their clapper rope (that tongue-tied confidante)
won’t writhe to ring the carillons, alone and lean and gaunt –
its flocks of jute, now fallen mute, adorn the holy font.

Stray footsteps swarm  through church no more (apostates that profane) -
their echoes in the nave ring thin, while chalice cups maintain
a taste of brine in altar wine decaying in the rain.


No face will come with jagged tongue to sing a silent psalm
nor paint pale lips with languid quips to pierce the deathly calm,
nor pray for mercy, grace deferred, or beg lethean balm.


Six steeple towers, steel and stone, drab daggers in the sky!
Their hallowed halls no longer call when breezes wander by –
for, filled with dread to wake the dead, they've ceased to sough or sigh.

No cantillation, belfry bells, monastic chants inspire
and Minarets, though standing yet, host neither voice nor crier -
abodes and buildings silhouette a muted spectral choir.

Coiled candle sticks! Their twisted wicks no longer 'lume the cracks
with dying flame in smoky swirl mid pendant pearls of wax,
since deference to innocence dissolved in melting tracks.

Above! The dismal ditch of dusk reveals a velvet streak,
through which the winter’s wicked winds will sometimes weave and sneak,
and faraway a cable sways, a bridge clings hushed and bleak.

Thin shadows shift, like silver shafts, across a cruel moraine
reflecting white a wisp of light in ebon beads of bane
which casts a crooked smile across a faceless window pane.

Wan neon lights glow through the nights, through darkness sleek as slate,
while lanterns (hovered, high above, in silent swinging gait),
haunt ballrooms, bars, bereft bazaars, with no one left to fete.

Death's silhouettes show no regrets, 'twixt twilight’s ashen shrouds,
oblivious she always was to cries in dying crowds –
in foggy neap the spirits creep... a clutch of clammy clouds.


No breath will come  'cross jagged tongue to sing a silent psalm
nor paint pale lips with languid quips to pierce the deathly calm,
nor yet redress the emptiness that shifting shades embalm.



The castle clock, unwound, defrocks! Those peerless speechless spokes
unfurl the blight of reigning Night by spinning off her cloaks,
and flaunt the dun oblivion, her Baroness evokes.

Green trees gone dark, in palace parks, where children paused to play –
now voiceless things on phantom swings, like statues made of clay,
mark marbled tombs in graveyards groomed for grievers bent to pray.  

The sun-bleached bones of those who've flown lie scattered down the lanes
while other souls who hid in holes left bones with yellow stains
of plaintive tears (shed insincere, for no one felt the pains).

The terrors wrought by conscience fraught once stalked and lurked nearby
to rip the shrouds from  curtained clouds, frail fabrics on the sky –
now wraiths that scream in sleepless dreams no longer terrify.

And fog no longer leaks beyond the edge of doom’s café,
for when she trails her mourning veils, she fills the cabaret
with sallow smears of misty tears  in sheets of shallow gray.

Beyond the suburbs, farmers’ fields (where donkeys often brayed)
exhale a gust of barren dust where living seed once laid
and in the haze a scarecrow sways, impaled upon a *****.

A silo, still! Like hollowed quill, a ravished feather’s vane,
with traces of bespattered blood, once flowing through a vein.
The fruits of life, destroyed in strife... ’twas truly all in vain.


No souls will come with jagged tongues to sing a silent psalm
nor paint pale lips with languid quips to pierce the deathly calm –
they've seen, you see, life’s brevity, beneath a neutron bomb.


EPILOGUE

Beyond the Silent City’s walls, the victors laugh and play...
They’re celebrating PEACE ON EARTH, the devil’s sobriquet
for neutron radiation death in places far away.
May
Come queen of months in company
Wi all thy merry minstrelsy
The restless cuckoo absent long
And twittering swallows chimney song
And hedge row crickets notes that run
From every bank that fronts the sun
And swathy bees about the grass
That stops wi every bloom they pass
And every minute every hour
Keep teazing weeds that wear a flower
And toil and childhoods humming joys
For there is music in the noise
The village childern mad for sport
In school times leisure ever short
That crick and catch the bouncing ball
And run along the church yard wall
Capt wi rude figured slabs whose claims
In times bad memory hath no names
Oft racing round the nookey church
Or calling ecchos in the porch
And jilting oer the weather ****
Viewing wi jealous eyes the clock
Oft leaping grave stones leaning hights
Uncheckt wi mellancholy sights
The green grass swelld in many a heap
Where kin and friends and parents sleep
Unthinking in their jovial cry
That time shall come when they shall lye
As lowly and as still as they
While other boys above them play
Heedless as they do now to know
The unconcious dust that lies below
The shepherd goes wi happy stride
Wi moms long shadow by his side
Down the dryd lanes neath blooming may
That once was over shoes in clay
While martins twitter neath his eves
Which he at early morning leaves
The driving boy beside his team
Will oer the may month beauty dream
And **** his hat and turn his eye
On flower and tree and deepning skye
And oft bursts loud in fits of song
And whistles as he reels along
Cracking his whip in starts of joy
A happy ***** driving boy
The youth who leaves his corner stool
Betimes for neighbouring village school
While as a mark to urge him right
The church spires all the way in sight
Wi cheerings from his parents given
Starts neath the joyous smiles of heaven
And sawns wi many an idle stand
Wi bookbag swinging in his hand
And gazes as he passes bye
On every thing that meets his eye
Young lambs seem tempting him to play
Dancing and bleating in his way
Wi trembling tails and pointed ears
They follow him and loose their fears
He smiles upon their sunny faces
And feign woud join their happy races
The birds that sing on bush and tree
Seem chirping for his company
And all in fancys idle whim
Seem keeping holiday but him
He lolls upon each resting stile
To see the fields so sweetly smile
To see the wheat grow green and long
And list the weeders toiling song
Or short note of the changing thrush
Above him in the white thorn bush
That oer the leaning stile bends low
Loaded wi mockery of snow
Mozzld wi many a lushing thread
Of crab tree blossoms delicate red
He often bends wi many a wish
Oer the brig rail to view the fish
Go sturting by in sunny gleams
And chucks in the eye dazzld streams
Crumbs from his pocket oft to watch
The swarming struttle come to catch
Them where they to the bottom sile
Sighing in fancys joy the while
Hes cautiond not to stand so nigh
By rosey milkmaid tripping bye
Where he admires wi fond delight
And longs to be there mute till night
He often ventures thro the day
At truant now and then to play
Rambling about the field and plain
Seeking larks nests in the grain
And picking flowers and boughs of may
To hurd awhile and throw away
Lurking neath bushes from the sight
Of tell tale eyes till schools noon night
Listing each hour for church clocks hum
To know the hour to wander home
That parents may not think him long
Nor dream of his rude doing wrong
Dreading thro the night wi dreaming pain
To meet his masters wand again
Each hedge is loaded thick wi green
And where the hedger late hath been
Tender shoots begin to grow
From the mossy stumps below
While sheep and cow that teaze the grain
will nip them to the root again
They lay their bill and mittens bye
And on to other labours hie
While wood men still on spring intrudes
And thins the shadow solitudes
Wi sharpend axes felling down
The oak trees budding into brown
Where as they crash upon the ground
A crowd of labourers gather round
And mix among the shadows dark
To rip the crackling staining bark
From off the tree and lay when done
The rolls in lares to meet the sun
Depriving yearly where they come
The green wood pecker of its home
That early in the spring began
Far from the sight of troubling man
And bord their round holes in each tree
In fancys sweet security
Till startld wi the woodmans noise
It wakes from all its dreaming joys
The blue bells too that thickly bloom
Where man was never feared to come
And smell smocks that from view retires
**** rustling leaves and bowing briars
And stooping lilys of the valley
That comes wi shades and dews to dally
White beady drops on slender threads
Wi broad hood leaves above their heads
Like white robd maids in summer hours
Neath umberellas shunning showers
These neath the barkmens crushing treads
Oft perish in their blooming beds
Thus stript of boughs and bark in white
Their trunks shine in the mellow light
Beneath the green surviving trees
That wave above them in the breeze
And waking whispers slowly bends
As if they mournd their fallen friends
Each morning now the weeders meet
To cut the thistle from the wheat
And ruin in the sunny hours
Full many wild weeds of their flowers
Corn poppys that in crimson dwell
Calld ‘head achs’ from their sickly smell
And carlock yellow as the sun
That oer the may fields thickly run
And ‘iron ****’ content to share
The meanest spot that spring can spare
Een roads where danger hourly comes
Is not wi out its purple blooms
And leaves wi points like thistles round
Thickset that have no strength to wound
That shrink to childhoods eager hold
Like hair—and with its eye of gold
And scarlet starry points of flowers
Pimpernel dreading nights and showers
Oft calld ‘the shepherds weather glass’
That sleep till suns have dyd the grass
Then wakes and spreads its creeping bloom
Till clouds or threatning shadows come
Then close it shuts to sleep again
Which weeders see and talk of rain
And boys that mark them shut so soon
will call them ‘John go bed at noon
And fumitory too a name
That superstition holds to fame
Whose red and purple mottled flowers
Are cropt by maids in weeding hours
To boil in water milk and way1
For washes on an holiday
To make their beauty fair and sleak
And scour the tan from summers cheek
And simple small forget me not
Eyd wi a pinshead yellow spot
I’th’ middle of its tender blue
That gains from poets notice due
These flowers the toil by crowds destroys
And robs them of their lowly joys
That met the may wi hopes as sweet
As those her suns in gardens meet
And oft the dame will feel inclind
As childhoods memory comes to mind
To turn her hook away and spare
The blooms it lovd to gather there
My wild field catalogue of flowers
Grows in my ryhmes as thick as showers
Tedious and long as they may be
To some, they never weary me
The wood and mead and field of grain
I coud hunt oer and oer again
And talk to every blossom wild
Fond as a parent to a child
And cull them in my childish joy
By swarms and swarms and never cloy
When their lank shades oer morning pearls
Shrink from their lengths to little girls
And like the clock hand pointing one
Is turnd and tells the morning gone
They leave their toils for dinners hour
Beneath some hedges bramble bower
And season sweet their savory meals
Wi joke and tale and merry peals
Of ancient tunes from happy tongues
While linnets join their fitful songs
Perchd oer their heads in frolic play
Among the tufts of motling may
The young girls whisper things of love
And from the old dames hearing move
Oft making ‘love knotts’ in the shade
Of blue green oat or wheaten blade
And trying simple charms and spells
That rural superstition tells
They pull the little blossom threads
From out the knapweeds button heads
And put the husk wi many a smile
In their white bosoms for awhile
Who if they guess aright the swain
That loves sweet fancys trys to gain
Tis said that ere its lain an hour
Twill blossom wi a second flower
And from her white ******* hankerchief
Bloom as they ne’er had lost a leaf
When signs appear that token wet
As they are neath the bushes met
The girls are glad wi hopes of play
And harping of the holiday
A hugh blue bird will often swim
Along the wheat when skys grow dim
Wi clouds—slow as the gales of spring
In motion wi dark shadowd wing
Beneath the coming storm it sails
And lonly chirps the wheat hid quails
That came to live wi spring again
And start when summer browns the grain
They start the young girls joys afloat
Wi ‘wet my foot’ its yearly note
So fancy doth the sound explain
And proves it oft a sign of rain
About the moor ‘**** sheep and cow
The boy or old man wanders now
Hunting all day wi hopful pace
Each thick sown rushy thistly place
For plover eggs while oer them flye
The fearful birds wi teazing cry
Trying to lead their steps astray
And coying him another way
And be the weather chill or warm
Wi brown hats truckd beneath his arm
Holding each prize their search has won
They plod bare headed to the sun
Now dames oft bustle from their wheels
Wi childern scampering at their heels
To watch the bees that hang and swive
In clumps about each thronging hive
And flit and thicken in the light
While the old dame enjoys the sight
And raps the while their warming pans
A spell that superstition plans
To coax them in the garden bounds
As if they lovd the tinkling sounds
And oft one hears the dinning noise
Which dames believe each swarm decoys
Around each village day by day
Mingling in the warmth of may
Sweet scented herbs her skill contrives
To rub the bramble platted hives
Fennels thread leaves and crimpld balm
To scent the new house of the swarm
The thresher dull as winter days
And lost to all that spring displays
Still mid his barn dust forcd to stand
Swings his frail round wi weary hand
While oer his head shades thickly creep
And hides the blinking owl asleep
And bats in cobweb corners bred
Sharing till night their murky bed
The sunshine trickles on the floor
Thro every crevice of the door
And makes his barn where shadows dwell
As irksome as a prisoners cell
And as he seeks his daily meal
As schoolboys from their tasks will steal
ile often stands in fond delay
To see the daisy in his way
And wild weeds flowering on the wall
That will his childish sports recall
Of all the joys that came wi spring
The twirling top the marble ring
The gingling halfpence hussld up
At pitch and toss the eager stoop
To pick up heads, the smuggeld plays
Neath hovels upon sabbath days
When parson he is safe from view
And clerk sings amen in his pew
The sitting down when school was oer
Upon the threshold by his door
Picking from mallows sport to please
Each crumpld seed he calld a cheese
And hunting from the stackyard sod
The stinking hen banes belted pod
By youths vain fancys sweetly fed
Christning them his loaves of bread
He sees while rocking down the street
Wi weary hands and crimpling feet
Young childern at the self same games
And hears the self same simple names
Still floating on each happy tongue
Touchd wi the simple scene so strong
Tears almost start and many a sigh
Regrets the happiness gone bye
And in sweet natures holiday
His heart is sad while all is gay
How lovly now are lanes and balks
For toils and lovers sunday walks
The daisey and the buttercup
For which the laughing childern stoop
A hundred times throughout the day
In their rude ramping summer play
So thickly now the pasture crowds
In gold and silver sheeted clouds
As if the drops in april showers
Had woo’d the sun and swoond to flowers
The brook resumes its summer dresses
Purling neath grass and water cresses
And mint and flag leaf swording high
Their blooms to the unheeding eye
And taper bowbent hanging rushes
And horse tail childerns bottle brushes
And summer tracks about its brink
Is fresh again where cattle drink
And on its sunny bank the swain
Stretches his idle length again
Soon as the sun forgets the day
The moon looks down on the lovly may
And the little star his friend and guide
Travelling together side by side
And the seven stars and charleses wain
Hangs smiling oer green woods agen
The heaven rekindles all alive
Wi light the may bees round the hive
Swarm not so thick in mornings eye
As stars do in the evening skye
All all are nestling in their joys
The flowers and birds and pasture boys
The firetail, long a stranger, comes
To his last summer haunts and homes
To hollow tree and crevisd wall
And in the grass the rails odd call
That featherd spirit stops the swain
To listen to his note again
And school boy still in vain retraces
The secrets of his hiding places
In the black thorns crowded copse
Thro its varied turns and stops
The nightingale its ditty weaves
Hid in a multitude of leaves
The boy stops short to hear the strain
And ’sweet jug jug’ he mocks again
The yellow hammer builds its nest
By banks where sun beams earliest rest
That drys the dews from off the grass
Shading it from all that pass
Save the rude boy wi ferret gaze
That hunts thro evry secret maze
He finds its pencild eggs agen
All streakd wi lines as if a pen
By natures freakish hand was took
To scrawl them over like a book
And from these many mozzling marks
The school boy names them ‘writing larks’
*** barrels twit on bush and tree
Scarse bigger then a bumble bee
And in a white thorns leafy rest
It builds its curious pudding-nest
Wi hole beside as if a mouse
Had built the little barrel house
Toiling full many a lining feather
And bits of grey tree moss together
Amid the noisey rooky park
Beneath the firdales branches dark
The little golden crested wren
Hangs up his glowing nest agen
And sticks it to the furry leaves
As martins theirs beneath the eaves
The old hens leave the roost betimes
And oer the garden pailing climbs
To scrat the gardens fresh turnd soil
And if unwatchd his crops to spoil
Oft cackling from the prison yard
To peck about the houseclose sward
Catching at butterflys and things
Ere they have time to try their wings
The cattle feels the breath of may
And kick and toss their heads in play
The *** beneath his bags of sand
Oft jerks the string from leaders hand
And on the road will eager stoop
To pick the sprouting thistle up
Oft answering on his weary way
Some distant neighbours sobbing bray
Dining the ears of driving boy
As if he felt a fit of joy
Wi in its pinfold circle left
Of all its company bereft
Starvd stock no longer noising round
Lone in the nooks of foddering ground
Each skeleton of lingering stack
By winters tempests beaten black
Nodds upon props or bolt upright
Stands swarthy in the summer light
And oer the green grass seems to lower
Like stump of old time wasted tower
All that in winter lookd for hay
Spread from their batterd haunts away
To pick the grass or lye at lare
Beneath the mild hedge shadows there
Sweet month that gives a welcome call
To toil and nature and to all
Yet one day mid thy many joys
Is dead to all its sport and noise
Old may day where’s thy glorys gone
All fled and left thee every one
Thou comst to thy old haunts and homes
Unnoticd as a stranger comes
No flowers are pluckt to hail the now
Nor cotter seeks a single bough
The maids no more on thy sweet morn
Awake their thresholds to adorn
Wi dewey flowers—May locks new come
And princifeathers cluttering bloom
And blue bells from the woodland moss
And cowslip cucking ***** to toss
Above the garlands swinging hight
Hang in the soft eves sober light
These maid and child did yearly pull
By many a folded apron full
But all is past the merry song
Of maidens hurrying along
To crown at eve the earliest cow
Is gone and dead and silent now
The laugh raisd at the mocking thorn
Tyd to the cows tail last that morn
The kerchief at arms length displayd
Held up by pairs of swain and maid
While others bolted underneath
Bawling loud wi panting breath
‘Duck under water’ as they ran
Alls ended as they ne’er began
While the new thing that took thy place
Wears faded smiles upon its face
And where enclosure has its birth
It spreads a mildew oer her mirth
The herd no longer one by one
Goes plodding on her morning way
And garlands lost and sports nigh gone
Leaves her like thee a common day
Yet summer smiles upon thee still
Wi natures sweet unalterd will
And at thy births unworshipd hours
Fills her green lap wi swarms of flowers
To crown thee still as thou hast been
Of spring and summer months the queen
CK Baker Dec 2016
six lanes
in a sight line
past the cedar shims
and trim tempered insert
past the washed mural
and water stained tiles

covered eyes
fight for focus
over cork strung ties
and dark distant bridges
foot crawlers on lemon pegs
teaming
under clouded halogen light  

dreamers contend
in a variation of chant
(throwing it off in a
drawl sequence)
a glimpse of the guard
and warm towel assignment
forge comforting relief
in a task filled day
The announcement has been called, “Welcome Aboard, and claim your seat at Gate 15”
Think Greyhound and Trailways
It was back in those days
Two bus companies who were competitive
But each company had their own objective
It was outdo the other by being the best
As for the customer, it was their test
It was achieving in passenger in destination in rides
It was revenues that would be strides
So Greyhound was the dog and Trailways had the Eagle
Trailways being an Eagle to soar beyond the possibilities
As for the Hound dog, it was like a race in a speed run
The essence were both their flashing lights
They were often seen day and night
It would be schedules around the clock
No matter what kind of weather, it was no time to stop
From sunrise to sundown
The Hound Dog and the Eagle could be found
But there was a change in the bus lanes
The Independent Trailways is now in the Greyhound family in a merger of combined operations
Some Trailways Terminals were converted into Greyhound Terminals
While others were closed completely
But at the same token, Greyhound had moved into Transportation Centers not being their own Terminals
The perfect example of that is the Port Authority Bus Terminal in New York City
The idea is to cut expenses while reducing economical costs
But what is left in the bus lanes today is small independent Trailways carriers, which even today, Greyhound shares
Those independent Trailways carriers cover various parts of the United States
So Greyhound and Trailways names you know
Although
Greyhound still reigns supreme in the tow
But you have bargain buses that stop on the streets in the flow
Bus Lanes may have changed
But the Greyhound name still remains
The highway bus lanes of the past, but Greyhound is still accelerating the dog moving fast
Bus lanes know
Whether it be the Hound or the Eagle
Both were born to achieve
But Greyhound is still here to preserver
So Highway Bus Lanes, have no fear
CK Baker May 2017
like that pill bitter Sunday morning (after)
with a nauseating hack
the previously uneventful Tuesday
derailed
in surrealistic tale
with Auntie and Jack (and a quarter of fate)
in the 748
on a night flight
from Sherwood to Lore

reverberating waves
of imminent summer haze
river flats
and flower fields
fly weights
and silver bait
shredders and shysters
and open gates
(into those everlasting
and sweated journeys of hope)

bloods and strays
and florentine grays
(reminiscent of Rockwell fame)
running horses
and overgrown country lanes
morning grace
and gentle cheer
eyes clear
on the river pass
blunted paddles for those ancient
and not so willing suckers!


duke making his own way
(to the corner club)
Parsons and Poe
stream from the torn screen door
cricket cadence
and symphony of the Deere
calm and deliberate
in the soft
and silent fields

meadows open for grazing
(guineas scamper across the till)
pocket apples fill
the country ripe air
drunken bees
and chestnuts
and electric fingers
strike the surface pool
(a cedar strip wedged on the white wash dock)

baited bull heads set to cast
evenings with hearts
and Nolten Nash
may flowers bloom
across the grass
~ time unmatched ~
with blue jays
and river bends
and channel cats
...and that warm
and recurring
Coleman drift
Terry O'Leary Sep 2013
NOTE TO THE READER – Once Apun a Time

This yarn is a flossy fabric woven of several earlier warped works, lightly laced together, adorned with fur-ther braided tails of human frailty. The looms were loosed, purling frantically this febrile fable...

Some pearls may be found wanting – unwanted or unwonted – piled or hanging loose, dangling free within a fuzzy flight of fancy...

The threads of this untethered tissue may be fastened, or be forgotten, or else be stranded by the readers and left unravelling in the knotted corners of their minds...

'twill be perchance that some may  laugh or loll in loopy stitches, else be torn or ripped apart, while others might just simply say “ ’tis made of hole cloth”, “sew what” or “cant seam to get the needle point”...,

yes, a proper disentanglement may take you for a spin on twisted twines of any strings you feel might need attaching or detaching…

picking knits, some may think that
    such strange things ‘have Never happened in our Land’,
    such quaint things ‘could Never happen in our Land’’,
    such murky things ‘will Never happen in our Land’’…

and this may all be true, if credence be dis-carded…

such is that gooey gossamer which vails the human mind...

and thus was born the teasing title of this fabricated Fantasy...

                                NEVER LAND

An ancient man named Peter Pan, disguised but from the past,
with feathered cap and tunic wrap and sabre’s sailed his last.
Though fully grown, on dust he’s flown and perched upon a mast
atop the Walls around the sprawls, unvisited and vast -
and all the while with bitter smile he’s watching us aghast.

As day begins, a spindle spins, it weaves a wanton web;
like puckered prunes, like midday moons, like yesterday’s celebs,
we scrape and *****, we seldom hope - he watches while we ebb:

    The ***** grinder preaches fine on Sunday afternoons -
    he quotes from books but overlooks the Secrets Carved in Runes:
    “You’ve tried and toyed, but can’t avoid or shun the pale monsoons,
    it’s sink or swim as echoed dim in swinging door saloons”.
    The laughingstocks are flinging rocks at ball-and-chained baboons.

    While ghetto boys are looting toys preparing for their doom
    and Mademoiselles are weaving shells on tapestries with looms,
    Cathedral cats and rafter rats are peering in the room,
    where ragged strangers stoop for change, for coppers in the gloom,
    whose thoughts are more upon the doors of crypts in Christmas bloom,
    and gold doubloons and silver spoons that tempt beyond the tomb.

    Mid *** shots from vacant lots, that strike and ricochet
    a painted girl with flaxen curl (named Wendy)’s on her way
    to tantalise with half-clad thighs, to trick again today;
    and indiscreet upon the street she gives her pride away
    to any guy who’s passing by with time and cash to pay.
    (In concert halls beyond the Walls, unjaded girls ballet,
    with flowered thoughts of Camelot and dreams of cabarets.)

    Though rip-off shops and crooked cops are paid not once but thrice,
    the painted girl with flaxen curl is paring down her price
    and loosely tempts cold hands unkempt to touch the merchandise.
    A crazy guy cries “where am I”, a ****** titters twice,
    and double quick a lunatic affects a fight with lice.

    The alleyways within the maze are paved with rats and mice.
    Evangelists with moneyed fists collect the sacrifice
    from losers scorned and rubes reborn, and promise paradise,
    while in the back they cook some crack, inhale, and roll the dice.

    A *** called Boe has stubbed his toe, he’s stumbled in the gutter;
    with broken neck, he looks a wreck, the sparrows all aflutter,
    the passers-by, they close an eye, and turn their heads and mutter:
    “Let’s pray for rains to wash the lanes, to clear away the clutter.”
    A river slows neath mountain snows, and leaves begin to shudder.

    The jungle teems, a siren screams, the air is filled with ****.
    The Reverent Priest and nuns unleash the Holy Shibboleth.
    And Righteous Jane who is insane, as well as Sister Beth,
    while telling tales to no avail of everlasting death,
    at least imbrue Hagg Avenue with whisky on their breath.

    The Reverent Priest combats the Beast, they’re kneeling down to prey,
    to fight the truth with fang and tooth, to toil for yesterday,
    to etch their mark within the dark, to paint their résumé
    on shrouds and sheets which then completes the devil’s dossier.

    Old Dan, he’s drunk and in a funk, all mired in the mud.
    A Monk begins to wash Dan’s sins, and asks “How are you, Bud?”
    “I’m feeling pain and crying rain and flailing in the flood
    and no god’s there inclined to care I’m always coughing blood.”
    The Monk, he turns, Dan’s words he spurns and lets the bible thud.

    Well, Banjo Boy, he will annoy with jangled rhymes that fray:
    “The clanging bells of carousels lead blind men’s minds astray
    to rings of gold they’ll never hold in fingers made of clay.
    But crest and crown will crumble down, when withered roots decay.”

    A pregnant lass with eyes of glass has never learned to cope.
    Once set adrift her fall was swift, she slid a slipp’ry ***** -
    she casts the Curse, the Holy Verse, and shoots a shot of dope,
    then stalks discreet Asylum Street her daily horoscope -
    the stray was struck by random truck which was her only hope.

    So Banjo Boy, with little joy, he strums her life entire:
    “The wayward waif was never safe; her stars were dark and dire.
    Born midst the rues and avenues where lack and want aspire
    where no one heeds the childish needs that little ones require;
    where faith survives in tempest lives, a swirl within the briar,
    Infinity grinds as time unwinds, until the winds expire.
    Her last caprice? The final peace that no one could deny her -
    whipped by the flood, stray beads of blood cling, splattered on the spire;
    though beads of sweat are cool and wet, cold clotted blood is dryer.”

    Though broken there, she’s fled the snare with dying thoughts serene.
    And now she’s dead, the rumours spread: her age? a sweet 16,
    with child, *****, her soul dyed red, her body so unclean.
    A place is sought where she can rot, avoiding churchyard scenes,
    in limey pits, as well befits, behind forbidding screens;
    and all the while a dirge is styled on tattered tambourines
    which echo through the human zoo in valleys of the Queens.

    Without rejoice, in hissing voice, near soil that’s seldom trod
    “In pious role, God bless my soul”, was mouthed with mitred nod,
    neath scarlet trim with black, and grim, behind a robed facade -
    “She’ll burn in hell and sulphur smell”, spat Priest and man of god.

    Well, angels sweet with cloven feet, they sing in girl’s attire,
    but Banjo Boy, he’s playing coy while chanting in the choir:
    “The clueless search within the church to find what they desire,
    but near the nave or gravelled grave, there is no Rectifier.”
    And when he’s through, without ado, he stacks some stones nearby her.

The eyes behind the head inclined reflect a universe
of shanty towns and kings in crowns and parties in a hearse,
of heaping mounds of coffee grounds and pennies in a purse,
of heart attacks in shoddy shacks, of motion in reverse,
of reasons why pale kids must die, quite trite and curtly terse,
of puppet people at the steeple, kneeling down averse,
of ****** tones and megaphones with empty words and worse,
of life’s begin’ in utter sin and other things perverse,
of lewd taboos and residues contained within the Curse,
while poets blind, in gallows’ rind, carve epitaphs in verse.

    A sodden dreg with wooden leg is dancing for a dime
    to sacred psalms and other balms, all ticking with the time.
    He’s 22, he’s almost through, he’s melted in his prime,
    his bane is firm, the canker worm dissolves his brain to slime.
    With slanted scales and twisted jails, his life’s his only crime.

    A beggar clump beside a dump has pencil box in hand.
    With sightless eyes upon the skies he’s lying there unmanned,
    with no relief and bitter grief too dark to understand.
    The backyard blight is hid from sight, it’s covered up and bland,
    and Robin Hood and Brother Hood lie buried in the sand.

    While all night queens carve figurines in gelatine and jade,
    behind a door and on the floor a deal is finally made;
    the painted girl with flaxen curl has plied again her trade
    and now the care within her stare has turned a darker shade.
    Her lack of guile and parting smile are cutting like a blade.

    Some boys with cheek play hide and seek within a house condemned,
    their faces gaunt reflecting want that’s hard to comprehend.
    With no excuse an old recluse is waiting to descend.
    His eyes despair behind the stare, he’s never had a friend
    to talk about his hidden doubt of how the world will end -
    to die alone on empty throne and other Fates impend.

    And soon the boys chase phantom joys and, presto when they’re gone,
    the old recluse, with nimble noose and ****** features drawn,
    no longer waits upon the Fates but yawns his final yawn
    - like Tinker Bell, he spins a spell, in fairy dust chiffon -
    with twisted brow, he’s tranquil now, he’s floating like a swan
    and as he fades from life’s charades, the night awaits the dawn.

    A boomerang with ebon fang is soaring through the air
    to pierce and breach the heart of each and then is called despair.
    And as it grows it will oppose and fester everywhere.
    And yet the crop that’s at the top will still be unaware.

    A lad is stopped by roving cops, who shoot in disregard.
    His face is black, he’s on his back, a breeze is breathing hard,
    he bleeds and dies, his mama cries, the screaming sky is scarred,
    the sheriff and his squad at hand are laughing in the yard.

    Now Railroad Bob’s done lost his job, he’s got no place for working,
    His wife, she cries with desperate eyes, their baby’s head’s a’ jerking.
    The union man don’t give a ****, Big Brother lies a’ lurking,
    the boss’ in cabs are picking scabs, they count their money, smirking.

    Bob walks the streets and begs for eats or little jobs for trying
    “the answer’s no, you ought to know, no use for you applying,
    and don’t be sad, it aint that bad, it’s soon your time for dying.”
    The air is thick, his baby’s sick, the cries are multiplying.

    Bob’s wife’s in town, she’s broken down, she’s ranting with a fury,
    their baby coughs, the doctor scoffs, the snow flies all a’ flurry.
    Hard work’s the sin that’s done them in, they skirmish, scrimp and scurry,
    and midnight dreams abound with screams. Bob knows he needs to hurry.
    It’s getting late, Bob’s tempting fate, his choices cruel and blurry;
    he chooses gas, they breathe their last, there’s no more cause to worry.

    Per protocols near ivied walls arrayed in sage festoons,
    the Countess quips, while giving tips, to crimson caped buffoons:
    “To rise from mass to upper class, like twirly bird tycoons,
    you stretch the treat you always eat, with tiny tablespoons”

    A learned leach begins to teach (with songs upon a liar):
    “Within the thrall of Satan’s call to yield to dim desire
    lie wicked lies that tantalize the flesh and blood Vampire;
    abiding souls with self-control in everyday Hellfire
    will rest assured, when once interred, in afterlife’s Empire”.
    These words reweave the make believe, while slugs in salt expire,
    baptised in tears and rampant fears, all mirrored in the mire.

    It’s getting hot on private yachts, though far from desert plains -
    “Well, come to think, we’ll have a drink”, Sir Captain Hook ordains.
    Beyond the blame and pit of shame, outside the Walled domains,
    they pet their pups and raise their cups, take sips of pale champagnes
    to touch the tips of languid lips with pearls of purple rains.

    Well, Gypsy Guy would rather die than hunker down in chains,
    be ridden south with bit in mouth, or heed the hold of reins.
    The ruling lot are in a spot, the boss man he complains:
    “The gypsies’ soul, I can’t control, my patience wears and wanes;
    they will not cede to common greed, which conquers far domains
    and furtive spies and news that lies have barely baked their brains.
    But in the court of last resort the final fix remains:
    in boxcar bins with violins we’ll freight them out in trains
    and in the bogs, they’ll die like dogs, and everybody gains
    (should one ask why, a quick reply: ‘It’s that which God ordains!’)”

    Arrayed in shawls with crystal *****, and gazing at the moons,
    wiled women tease with melodies and spooky loony tunes
    while making toasts to holey ghosts on rainy day lagoons:
    “Well, here’s to you and others too, embedded in the dunes,
Janelle Tanguin Jul 2018
i.

I intentionally failed to wish you
a happy birthday this year,
though I know significant dates,
hours, moments, people,
by heart.
I still search for you in boys
I mistake for bandages,
the ones with eyes almost
the same shade of your hazels,
lips resounding your laughter,
resembling a wisp of your smile,
But they aren't you.

ii.

Sometimes I pretend you're dead,
because it's less painful
to stop reaching out into voids.

iii.

My mom still blames you
for everything that preceded that year.
Though you probably had no idea what happened
when we stopped talking altogether.
Can you believe it's almost been three years?

iv.

My dad wonders who was my 'one that got away'
Though, I'm pretty sure he knows
it's you.

v.

Remember how I mentioned Sylvia Plath?
How most everything she wrote
brimmed with melancholy?
How I loved every single word?
Especially that piece
where she talked about expectations
and disappointments.
You'll never know that
up to this day I still think
people are selfish enough to
always, eventually turn into the latter.
Even you.

vi.

It's sad I never got the chance
to tell you about Ted.
How she loved him so much,
she just had to dive headfirst
into the flames-- burning herself,
what was left of her--
after she found out
he never really loved her
the same way
she loved him
in the first place.

vii.

truth is,
some of us
never learn to accept
the love we think we deserve.


viii.

I don't know if you still read my poems
or if you still think about me,
about us, sometimes.
Every time you fall asleep past eleven,
a part of me hopes you do.
because I always remember you--
in birthday candles, red ribbons,
off-tune voice records, golden arches,
concrete sidewalks, pedestrian lanes,
the last flickers of city lights
softly fading out of the blue.
I remember you
in everything, in everywhere,
in everyone.
It's useless, no matter how much I try to forget.
No matter how much I just want to forget.
I want to forget.

But, how could I?

When forgetting means forsaking
the very memory of you.
Nat Lipstadt Apr 2016
~
words given life's first breath by this comment from
SE Reimer  
"thy tiller has found a storied port"

~~

captain of a city street ferry,
upon the choppy holy waters of
scarlet fevered spotted gum stained
christened concrete streets

daylight guided by the starlight
of quartz sparklers sidewalk embedded,
resurrecting, overwhelming,
the grayness of men's mortared materialism,
these textured bright city lights,
from murk morn steam-pipe risen,
signposts of a city boys life,
navigation tools on his
steerage cruises

'tis only my poor torso
I captain,
my bus driving days retired,
single masted, obedient to the sun's paths plotted
on a personalized AAA TripTik,^
my cargo, my tiring physique,
the refined mettle product of a
sixty five year too short voyage of
deep diving mining defining,
and for surety, water divining

city walking life driving,
debtor-in-possession of a
city infection
of perpetual motion sickness

enabled inability
for standing stilled,
lane weaving,
people receiving and perceiving
as buoyed obstacle objects
to be passed by
in a higher lane
of shaken and stirred
city waterways

muscle's squeak in sonnet speak

Why speed thy errant boots
upon lanes of wandering men,
is there not time enough,
words suffice,
in history's future present
unlived long life,
to recompense
all your recorded stanzas,
mariner's tales and wrote recitations of seafaring voices?

sea nat run.
sea nat go.

dodging tween his fellow citified citizens
and the puzzled and puzzling drowning tourists,
sea nat write his unsecreted visions,
sailing from street to shining street poetry

this glorious grime,
this delicious dirt,
stuff of my blood,
genes of my children's children inheritance,
of thee I sing,
in thee I revel,
of thee I am composed

when my decomposing time scheduled arrival
lately comes on time,
bury me in its cemetery of memories,
within the soft earth of a watery grave
that the jackhammers drill bit paddles can uncover,
in rough canvas toss my worn smooth
failed frame overboard,
so I may become but one more
fable
in your fabulous liquefying
cement oceans

~~~

3:53 am
5/18/16
nyc

^
http://pearlsoftravelwisdom.boardingarea.com/2014/01/remember-triptix/
with apologies to all the great poets from  I liberally borrowed
Shofi Ahmed Aug 2017
Come bask in the summer sun
     let’s slip out fly with the butterflies!
         While white fluffy cloud-swans  
              dip in and rise, surge and fly
                 up the rainbow arc sway away
                    come down the blue harbour
                       ambling along shady lanes
                           cast your glance treat your eyes!
Joe Wilson Mar 2014
Oh to wander down country lanes
Where ‘shank’s pony’ is the mode
By which one travels from end to end
Beating off the open road.

Willow-herb and cow parsley
Grow tall against the hedge
Where dandelions behave like kings
Growing wild among the sedge.

A toad pops out and then pops back
To long grass where he’s hidden
Where birds will sing a merry song
And ducklings scurry when bidden.

For these few hours you forget the world
And you feel at peace with yourself
But the lure back to your reality
Gets this dream returned to the shelf.

©JRW2014
Terry O'Leary Feb 2014
THE MEETING

Alone one night neath lantern light, I trudged a weary mile.
Forlorn, I went with shoulders bent (the storms around me howled)
until I met a Silhouette behind a sultry smile –
She gazed with eyes that mesmerize (Her body caped and cowled)
and stayed my way with question fey, ‘Why don’t you while awhile?’

Though timorous (with slow address and gestures pantomimed)
Her voice was gracing echoes chasing waves in evening’s tide.
The churchyard groaned, an ***** moaned, the bells of midnight chimed
while wanton winds awoke and dinned, and mistrals multiplied.
The Persian moon, like stray balloon, arose and blithely climbed.

The Silhouette (a pale brunette) arched eyebrows meant to please,
and down the lanes, on windowpanes, the shadows danced and sighed.
A meadowlark within the dark, somewhere behind the breeze,
ennobled Her with wisps of myrrh while deigning to confide
to nightingales veiled whispered tales of human vanities.

She doffed her cloak before She spoke with sighs of sorrow sung
(like mandolins, as night begins, when mourning day’s demise)
and spun Her tale of grim travail and tears She'd shed when young.
As jagged volts of thunderbolts lit up the dismal skies,
a velvet fog embraced a bog in coils of curling tongues.

Through summer vales and winter gales Her secret thoughts were voiced.
Midst storms so cruel (neath lightning’s jewel that glistered on the ridge)
She reminisced, She touched... we kissed... Her lips were wet and moist...
A lighthouse dimmed, while moonbeams skimmed across a distant bridge
to avenues where residues of shallow shades rejoiced.

                        HER TRAGIC TALE

“Midst sweet perfume of youthful bloom, the lonely spirit braves
and often cries and sometimes dies in quest of her amour.”

While starry-eyed, a ship I spied, a’ sail upon the waves –
the galleon docked, the gannets flocked, the Captain swept ashore
where, debonair with gypsy flair, he led his salty knaves.

In passing by, he caught my eye - I tried to hide a blush,
but ambiance of innocence left fervour’s flames revealed.
His gaze (defined by eyes that shined) beheld my cheek a’ flush.
I bowed my head while caution fled, I felt my fate was sealed
- a bird in spring with fledgling wing - he’d snared a  falling thrush.

He said ‘Hello’ - I answered ‘No’ and yet before he’d gone
said I, ‘I’ll wait at Heaven’s Gate not far beyond the Pale’.
At dusk he came neath moon aflame, and left before the dawn
just humming tunes between the dunes that lined the sandy trail
beside a pond where morning yawned, where swam an ebon swan.

We met again, and once again, and once again, again
entangled in a love called sin, in whirls of make-believe.
While in my arms, with voice that charms, said he ‘I must explain -
the tide awaits in distant straits and I must take my leave’.
Then tempests stormed as passions swarmed through ardor’s hurricane.

‘Forsake your home and we may roam’ he smiled as if to tease
and still naive, said I ‘I’ll leave, in silver buckled shoes’.
He took the helm in search of realms, and quickly quit the quays -
with tearful eyes, I bade goodbyes to fare-thee-well adieus
and sailed above a wave of love across the seven seas.

We swept one morn around Cape Thorne while bound for Bullion Bay.
With naught to reck, I strolled on deck, a baby at my breast,
while flurries blew and seagulls flew within the ocean’s spray.
Our ship soon moored, we went ashore and off to Fortune’s Quest -
with gold doubloons which shone like moons, he gambled through the day.

‘The deuce is wild’ he thinly smiled; another card was drawn -
he’d staked and raised with eyes half glazed, was dealt a dismal three.
With betting tight throughout the night, the final ace long gone,
meant all was lost, at what a cost; alas, the prize was me.
To my dismay he slunk away and left me doomed at dawn.

A buccaneer with ring in ear sneered ‘now, my dear, you’re mine’.
He held my wrists to thwart my fists and then... my honor stained.
On sullied swash, the sky awash with bitter tears of brine,
I broke his clutch with nothing much of me that still remained:
a residue when he was through, left clinging to a vine.

In morning dew, the good folk knew, and spurned me in my plight.
The preacher man pronounced a ban and wouldn’t condescend,
ignored my pleas on bended knees and prayers by candlelight.
While cast aside, my baby died... my world was at an end.
Until this day, I’ve made my way beneath the shades of night.


                        AT HEAVEN’S GATES

To set Her free from destiny was far from my design,
but, though unplanned, I touched Her hand to give Her peace of mind.
She told me then, and then again, that providence Divine
had cast a curse, and even worse: despised by all mankind,
She walked alone, unseen, unknown, Her soul incarnadine.

To break this spell of living hell, of loneliness enshrined,
and end Her days within the haze, a sole redeeming deed
would give reprieve and maybe leave our destinies entwined -
Her final quest be put to rest if only I agreed,
but no surcease nor perfect peace nor hope if I declined.

The shadows, shawled in silence, crawled, the night Her fate was sealed
as vespers tolled across the wold beneath the muted fog.
The heavens cracked and sorrow slacked as chimes of children pealed
while in the hills (where midnight chills) there wailed a daemon dog -
with no delay I lead the way, the path to Potter’s Field.

Her weathered face was lined with Grace, Her eyes shone emerald green.
With me as guide She stepped inside to grieve and mourn Her loss,
and thereupon, though pale and wan, the night took on a sheen.
With weary eyes as Her disguise, She placed a wooden cross
upon a mound (unhallowed ground) and whispered ‘Sibylline...’.

A falling star flared in the far and burst, a bolide flame -
beneath the light, the Final Rite no longer hid undone.
And kneeling there in silent prayer, we seemed to share the shame
but could atone if left alone, forevermore as one.
Before we both could breathe an oath, I asked Her once Her name.

Through lips, pale red, She simply said ‘Some called me Abigail’,
and neath a birch where white doves perch, I took Her for my bride,
beheld Her smile a little while, but all to no avail...
Her cloak and cape, and shrivelled shape lie empty at my side...
for now She waits at Heaven’s Gates, not far beyond the Pale.
Richard Duffy Apr 2019
At lanes end
where churches sit
black and white,
In rare afternoon
stillness, trees rigid
as statues shield
St. Peter’s yard.
Nations favoured bird,
the red-breasted aggressor,
gambols gracefully
across the gentle
arcs of ageing
headstones,
gifting movements,
radiating elegance,
flitting from sight
in a burst of most
powerful flight.

© Richard Duffy. All rights reserved
Brief moments shared with a robin while visiting churches in Bywell, Northumberland, on an autumn afternoon cycle.
Vladislav Vagner May 2014
I am writing this just to keep sane
Stop switching lanes and deal with the pain
I’m going to stay same and never give in to shame
I don’t see this as a game, what I’m saying is real
That’s why you feel every line that I spill
Every emotion comes from the notion
That we are the panacea for the poison
Explosion of our hearts started with the sparks
That ignited our greed amidst the dark
So now we find ourselves led by the misled
Bred like a hoard of cattle waiting to be shred
We focus on materials and ignore the cries
‘Cause it’s easier to watch from an iPad, as a baby dies
We work, struggle, and beg for a promotion
Instead of pouring our hearts into a positive devotion
Every person fueled by their own ambition
And integrity is at loss on our way to this mission

By Vladislav Vagner
http://www.poemjunction.net
Steve Page Oct 2018
The riled route master and the hacked off hackney carriage weren't bothered by the boris bike, they simply barreled along the bus lane oblivious to the wobble, blind to the blindsided and bent on beating the amber to red, til they were halted by the growth factor of a chelsea tractor straddling lanes and field testing the choice of right or left and failing the screen test set by the sat nav, thereby giving opportunity to the swarm of office staffers snatching their chance and chancing their luck, dancing past with their fat chance of swiping in before nine and avoiding the chagrin of the boss who's been the bane of their short sojourn through the city of lost dreams, chance encounters, thin fortune and rushed hours. This is London.
Route Master = a London bus
Hackney Carriage = a black cab
Boris Bike = rentabike
Chelsea tractor = an oversized suv preferred by families who can afford Kensington & Chelsea
Nat Lipstadt Nov 2013
Road Trip: Thinking it's about time (find yourself within II)

This particular poem was born as a one line response to a message.  But in many other forms, half written, it exists still, un, unfinished, waiting for the next burst energy, the next holiday time, to reach a new finish line.

This is a different but similar to a poem posted on June 2nd, "Poetry Round (find your self within)"

Any error of omission is unintentional, but know that this took many hours, until fatigue won. If you never told or revealed to me your location, know that you will be called out, to and unto me, in another poem, called "your banner is my flag."


Fact about me:  You design me.
-------------------------------------------------------

th­inking it's about time for a road trip.

create an excuse
(reasons, I got a plenty)
to stop by,
to show you another side of me,
for a drink, a meal,
and some kind
of exchange, of
form and fluids,
manner to be determined.

to come to Minneapolis,
watch you create a heated sensuality,
verbally, from melted snowdrifts,
a hot time to be had
by all the poets
of the mini-apple,
I want to meet
and celebrate ann victory.

travel to Thiruvananthapuram,
tour the treasures
of gold and diamonds,
from whence come
the bejeweled poems,
that have earned visits from
thousands upon thousands,
pilgrims, devotees, followers,
to partake at that, his,
special temple.

Gomer, Gomer,  & MJJ,
I am in your Florida,
no, sorry, not in Ocala,
near to your homer,
and I feel you springer
ten times in the
November sun rays,
that have me locked
in a full Nelson,
your productivity,
endless,
a sea of orange sunburnt words,

Tennessee,
The Carolinas,
Georgia,
The South,

I rise with it,
now, again,
that I will need a slow
sunny all lazy summer long to
learn y'alls ways,
see the wolves,
in your forests,
helm the riverboats,
navigate the quaint tides
of Charleston,
the special places
where they heal, le ville,
where the ashes of
burnt children,
retuned to be whole.

learn y'alls ways,
walk in your boots,
of seeing poems
using your special
southern saber words.

missed the original
Thrilla-in-Manila,
but rest easy, assured,
that hotbed of creativity,
where I check the
PH of the mc waters
to comprehend its
wisdom and now, it's sadness,
will be an illustrious destination
on my itinerant itinerary,
stopping by Makati City,
after all,
it is writ in the good book,
this island,
the PhilippineS,
is the birthplace
of the letter S,
Samples: samson, sally,
and So many others?

in Nevada City,
which is of course in
krazy California,
wager philosophy, romance,
be available for
succinctly seeing
works in progress,
from which I
will imbibe,
so **** deeply,
may have to
stay awhile for...

while I am there,
will need to do
a search and
Hug Mission,
to find a special man,
his unkempt prose,
his mortal rhymes
disguise not his holy worth,
even to the grassy
cal-stratosphere,
to the mesosphere,
will I high fly,
to find his sweetest spot,
then and thereafter
going looking
further on to
Humboldt County.

in Leeds, in West Yorkshire,
(Hamphshirians, Northamptontonians,
patience please)
built foundries and factories
over the magical forest of Loidis,
near to the river Aire,
yet still hides a
magical sorceress of words,
casting spells over
men and beast.
no one has seen full
her half-turned away face,
but when she summons,
do I have a choix
other than obey?
even if I get lost,
my sorceress,
you know,
I am on way too.

to get there,
will fly I must,
to Heathrow hell,
will do it,
just for you,
faithful friend,
a man da gotta do, what
a man gotta do...for you,
but first a stop off at the
London School of Economics,
Hampstead as well,
for a tutorial about sonnets,
or sams in wells,
even if I come
in my bare feet.

even in New York Upstate,
a man da gotta do,
what he mulls over in his heart,
be not surprised at a knock upon
your door, to make comparative notes,
about each other's tattoos.

in the South African veld,
hid in the highland grasses,
crouches the poetesses and tigresses,
waiting to ambush you
with words that must be seen
to be heard, to be well understood.
perhaps I'll come at ester time,
under blue indigo skies over,
a golden landscape,
seizing all the gems
that can be seen
only at 3:00am

leeward,
north to Canada,
must I, transgress,
country of my momma's birth,
fly from Montreal to Toronto, Calgary
then over to Vancouver.
Canada,
a dangerous place for me,
cause there are beautiful
souls up there,
and maybe even a
warrant to
repossess mine,
they want their
poets back.

double down by ferry,
me to Seattle,
to see a man about river,
in the Pacific Northwest,
where I have happily
drowned so many times,
that The Lord is complaining,
am hogging all the baptismal waters,
but when reminded that
nothing lasts forever,
here tomorrow,
gone today, walk on,
I add my tears
to that river,
before hitting the road.

on that river,
gonna drive me a kayak,
down Daytonway,
on the Yamill River,
see a gyreene marine,
watching me do a beach landing,
in Willamette Wine Park.
he will teach me to salute,
I will teach him how to
shake hands,
and learn from him,
it's ok,
to stand down.

man o' man
there are a lots of poets,
in these here parts,
this grand
Pacific North West,
looking for one in particular,
who will be quite easy to spot,
as he is my very own
soul brother.

will be easy to find,
though we have never met,
he will be on his kayak,
I on mine,
tho when he paddles,
somehow he manages
to hold
never letting go
of, his lovely bride,
his best half's hands.

this will a problem,
for I must teach him how to
shake two handed souls,
while hugging and paddling,
even bailing,
with an old dented pail
simultaneous.
but you can teach old dogs
new tricks, even the ones,
that can't spell
rhymers.

have mercie on me Ohio,
like a mother has to her daughter,
done a three year sentence in Cleveland,
but no jail can hold an NYC boy,
but if requested, yes I will return
to set fire to the *
Cuyahoga,
again! he he he...
but do not s mock me!
(now you know why the FBI loves
my poetry, my biggest institutional fan).

souls in torment,
where you be,
where you hide,
matters not where
you physical reside,
for we have found
each other
in each other words.

You, who live in
your very own
personal hell,
I think we met there,
because
yours was
mine too,
tho not found
on any map.

maybe I will meet the
Empress Josephine Maria,
rowing on the canals of
the Netherlands,
no longer will she be
alone.

but then again, some
very special things,
like
the purest of love
are on no map,
they are everywhere.

while in India,
will seek the many musings of many lips
of aged rhyme men
and complicated charmers
so I may kiss them
with spiced humors
to pour and pour,
more and more,
upon this western soul,
mysteries of the east,
to Kashmir, Bangalore,
wherever I must,
even take a praDip in the Ganges,
I will go, find you,
un-hide you,
among the
teeming millions,
millions of
jokes and rhymes,
that make the
world spin brighter.

in Germany,
all the university students
speak English,
in Wiesbaden, they know
poetic beauty is not in the format,
some in Bamberg,
with a peculiar
Missouri accent,
which is nicht gut Englisch,
so study hard the real way,
speak the language
the new yorka way,
which will require
study abroad,
which is quite funny,
now that I think about it.

but in Mo.,
the native drums roll,
long and slow,
making words
I know
better, different,
in a way never saw before,
leaves me asking for,
mo', mo', please?

to get there, to Allemagne,
land of my forefathers,
a ship I will take,
from Southampton
across the Kiel Canal,
before I depart,
will have my hair cut,
my words reworked,
by her Ladyship,
whose keen eyes and
maternal instincts,
see the joy of life in every
Livvi little thing.

Watt am I going to do if
I need to find a Tecumseh,
taker of my naked poems,
and enlarger of them,
so truth by her,
all revealed,
we are all naked
at least,
twice a day?

In Nepal I will purr at the words
gleaned from the markets and
train stations where
voyages from Lalitpur to Katmandu,
start and end,
where there is a miracle almost
sixteen years young,
where they call their schools
future stars and little angels,
so why should poetic miracles not be
as common as its subtropical clime?

though I despise the
Dallas Cowboys,
not my  America's team,
nonetheless there is a young woman,
a true rose of Texas,
who waits and writes
so lovingly of her airman,
in Afghanistan, I have placed
their names first,
in my nighttime prayers,
hoping to be there,
schedule my visit,
to witness his safe return
and their
joyous reunification.

there are no Mayans in Maine,
but poets of similar name,
kould be, mae be,
Julia's in Jersey, new,
in Auckland,
there are poets
who don't know it,
and Down Under, too,
where getting high is easy,
getting high at
and on words
well marshaled ,
but **** sure I will be
peering and prring,
all the way.

Oregon,
don't be gone,
those wide eyes shut,
when I come by,
who knows when I
will pass this way again...
on my way to Phoenix,
where sunrayes bend to the
desires of dessert breezes.

Kentucky to Korea,
one long road to travel,
but middle son,
if you can do it,
so can I, and,
I will follow.

in a beautiful city,
unsurprisingly called
Belleville,
the leader of the band,
still leads us in belle 'noise'
and when he finishes
fall leafing us in song, he still,
rises up in the mid of dark,
prayerful haikus to write.

off to Rogers, Arkansas
to meet an Italian from Mexico
who specializes in skinny poems,
something one day I will be too.

maybe I will go to
places it snows,
there are so many,
but your photo,
and tattoo trail,
clues, will follow,
no matter how hard
you make it a mystery.

you, who live in just
the world,
don't even think,
that crazy dotted lines,
unstraight,
or huge plains,
are sufficient,
to hide your
moody dust trail
from me!

somewhere in the USA,
roses grow in ground
that needs the
watering of tears,
though this place
is hard to find,
ha, turn around,
that is me,
tapping you,
on the shoulder!

will find you,
as I am searching for
a lovely pair
of stockinged ankles,
each with a heart tattoo,
but I sure could use
a clue,
before this hobbit searches
all the shire,
derby hatted,
to find your
heart real, and the real you...

my mode of time travel?
why I am just
a dude on a rocket ship.

Wisconsin,
look for my ruby message
in the snow,
in the dust,
in the sand, the skies, the sea,
but will you answer me?

Pittsburgh,
patient, you've been,
you thought I forgot
all about you,
chimera  at the intersection
of three rivers,
all you need wonder,
upon which one
will my ship arrive
and why you still disbelieve
you are not a poetess!

ME oh my,
you too, a hidey hole got,
but, we are strange, we humans,
we would gladly bleed to please,
If we could but find
a combination of
new words that
would your heart gladden,
your eyes tear,
your lips wear,
a smile of pleasure
at our offerings poetic!
but still I know not,
the where!

Lagos,
where
I shall climb the tallest skyscraper,
calling out in Yoruba,
where is my Temitope?
where is mine,
worthy of thanksgiving
so I may carry my Popoola,
my pole of her of
written wealth?


Mombasa, Singapore,
Maryland, Rhode Island, Kentucky,
Huddersfield, Connecticut Joe, Ireland,
South Dakota,

where the merry elders
well ken somethings
about a moon and tattered clouds,
something about children and dogs,
and something about letting
tomorrow's wait.

Milwaukee, Atlanta,
chuck, in *PA.,
friend to all,
to all those scattered across these
United States of America.

can we dare not mention
"The Shaq" of Malaysia,
South Sudan, Pakistan,

of course not!

Suburbia,
beautiful, black San Diego, Detroit;

The BBB's -

British Columbia, Brazil, Breendonk, and
B'kara!
the goodness of *
Boston,
flipping out in Flipadelphia,

did you think I would forget ya?

those of you hiding among 64 stars,
the groves of L.A',
on the lanes,
the special land of I-sia-Bella,
fellow citizens of Neverland,
those of you 'at home,'
in the land of nightmares,
concrete boxes,
those who post without a doubt,
and in the box,
this who think your birth year
is an identifying mark, not,
you never fooled me,
will visit each and everyone.


even and especially,
the grays of crosstown
NYC,
the red writers of my hood,
the tylers too.

I am exhausted,
forgive me well,
if thy locale,
I did not explicate,
for the hour is very late.

yet thru subtle fissures
in the clouds,
look for a tired old man
on the wings of a
chariot drawn by angels,
bringing you a dictionary
full of new words,
a present for you,
but truly,
a present to himself
for from it,
your future poems
will come.

*but the sun has come up,
so now I sleep.
1.  What makes this poem special, if anything, is the trust and confidences we share with each other, that allowed me to perhaps catch just little bit something special of each of you, where I could.

2. Can anyone explain to me why the site labels this poem explicit?
Marian May 2013
Leaves fall to the ground
Lovely Autumnal paths
Look so beautiful
Especially today
When the fallen leaves
Create a twister on the ground
Happily like little children they
Skip and hop and run
The smell of the smoke
From chimneys
Fills the air with a
Lovely odour
Smoke rises from the chimneys
Of the small pretty
Cottages
Autumnal paths
And lovely Autumnal
Country lanes
Lead to the beautiful
Cottages which are
Hidden from the busy roads
Set back from life
Set back in a grove of
Pretty trees
I have always loved
The beauty of Autumn
With it's beautiful country lanes
And Autumnal paths
Enchanted Autumn Forests
Are where the Autumnal Fairies dwell
In the coolness of the Forest
And they will sometimes fall asleep
On brittle Autumn leaves
The leaves of Autumn fall to the ground
Dancing and twirling as they fall
Then spinning on the ground
Round and round they dance
And skip on those paths
And country lanes
The cold bitter winds
Dance through the trees
That stand tall with pride
In that beautiful Forest
When I took
A walk in Autumn

*~Marian~
It is full winter now:  the trees are bare,
Save where the cattle huddle from the cold
Beneath the pine, for it doth never wear
The autumn’s gaudy livery whose gold
Her jealous brother pilfers, but is true
To the green doublet; bitter is the wind, as though it blew

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Which curbs the passion of that
To me eternity lies in thy eyes,
and thy rejection my demise.
If so but accept and heal me likewise;
whilst shun and stab my sore heart, otherwise.
Thou hath always been to me a surprise;
Though a doubtful, but sparkling surprise,
So any dejection of thine shall be odd,
And a thousand times bitterer than a cold rapid retort;
For thou art pure; and sometimes too pure and fine
As how thy immortal soul stayest still, and growest not old
And in toughness and roughness is to remain,
So long as thy dried flesh shall age, and afford;
And with such songs so prolific as prayers
By friendly laudations like bewitching storms
Thou shall forever stay, and newer grow fader
And in such coldness thou shall offer me warmth;
Beside yon raging fire, and about thy manly arms,
Thou shalt but lull and cradle me like a baby-
until sleep comes and whispers dreams onto me,
Thou shalt be far more tender and smart-
Unlike that ungrateful preceding heart,
Which claimed to be civil, but uncivil,
United but then left my unsuspecting heart apart;
So unlike thee, who is but a smart little devil
Thou who earnestly tempted my soul, and lured my blood
Thou returned my blushes, and caught away my heart
Ah, and now-whenever I thinkest of thee,
All pain and gloom shall revert to oneness,
But how still I know not, as whose days remain but a mystery
For everything in which is at times barren and colourless;
But when alive, they are just as simple
as those brief dreams of thine and mine,
With a love but too sufficient, majestic and ample
Delicately shall they turn troubled and unseen,
But caring and healing and blinding and shaking,
taking turns like oceanic birds which go about
swimming and singing and strumming and swinging,
like a painting of prettily sure clarity-but unseen,
or perhaps a pair of loving, yet unforgettable winds.

To thee whom I once loved, and now still do,
To thee towards whom my hardened heart-again, turns soft,
To thee whom my delirium is all kept safe and true,
To thee for whom I canst feel never reproach-and only love,
And to thee-ah, to thee, thee only-by whom
the grandeur of the blue sky shalt melt;
Ah, thee! And betwixt thy gaze,
All fictitious sunsets shalt perhaps become wet-
Just like those azure spirits in thy fair eyes,
Sometimes too indignant but unquestioning,
and too pure-as to whom even the Devil hath no lies;
To thee only, to whom this enduring love is ever assigned,
And forever, even its temptation be mine, and only mine,
Like unforgivable sins, which are sadly left unatoned
In its eternity standing still like a statue;
beside its wrathed, and bloodied howling stone
And to thee merely, to whom this impaired heart shall ever return,
As it now does, with cries and blows that makest my heart churn
And canst wait not 'till the morn, for on morns only,
thou shalt creepest down the stairs, and stareth onto me,
Often with eyes full of questions;
Questions that thou art too bashful to reflect,
So that turn themselves later on, into emotions,
Which withereth and dieth days after, of doom and neglect.
Ah, but still I loveth thee!
For this regret makest me but loveth thee more and more,
and urge my soul greater, to loveth thee better-than ever before.
For 'tis thee who yet stills my cry, and silences my wrath;
The one who kills my death, and reawakens my breath.
Thou on whom my love shall be delightfully poured,
A love as amiable as the one I hold for dearest Lord,
A love for thee, for only thee in whom I'th found comfort,
A comfort that is holier than any heaven, or even His very own divine abode;
Thou art holier than the untouched swaying grass outside,
Which is green, with greenness so handy and indulgent to every sight,
Thou who art madder than madness itself,
But upon Friday eves, makest my joy even merrier,
And far livelier-than any flailing droplet of rain
Showering this earth's clustered soil out there,
Which does neither soften nor flit away my pain
But makest it even worse, as if God Himself shan't solicit, nor care
Like any other hostile love, which thou might kindly find, every where.

To thee whom I once loved, and now still do,
To thee towards whom my hardened heart-again, turns soft,
To thee whom my delirium is all kept safe and true,
To thee for whom I canst feel never reproach-and only love,
And to thee-ah, to thee, thee only-by whom
the grandeur of the blue sky shalt melt;
In my mind thou art the lost eternity itself,
And by its proud self, thou art still even grander,
For thou makest silence not any more silence,
but joy, in return, even a greater joy.
Ah, thee, thou who the painter of my day,
and the writer of my blooming night.
Thou who art the poet of my past,
and the words of my courteous present.
Thou shall ******* flirty orange blossoms,
And cherish its virtue, which strives and lives
As a most sumptuous, and palpable gift-
Until the knocking of this year's gentle autumn.
Ah! Virtue, virtue, o virtue-whose soul always be
a charm, and indeed a very generous charm-
to my harmonious, though melancholy, *****.
Ah, thee; o lost darling-my lost darling of all awesome day and night,
My lost darling before starlight, and upon the pallid moonlight,
My lost darling above the reach of my sight, and height;
Thou art still a song-to my now tuneless leaves,
and a melody to their bottomless graves,
Thou shalt be a cure to their ill harmony;
Thou art their long-betrayed melody.
And even, thou art the spring
my dying flowers needst to taste,
fpr being with thee produces no haste;
and or whom nothing is neither early, nor late;
And whenst there be no fate, thou shalt be
yon ever consuming fate itself-
And by our inane eyes, thou shalt makest it
but adorable and all the way strong,
For thou, as thou now do, nurture it better
than all the other graciousness among;
Thou art the promise it hath hitherto liked; but just
shyly-and justly refuted, for the bareness of pride,
and often inglorious resistance-all along.

To thee whom I once loved, and now still do,
To thee towards whom my hardened heart-again, turns soft,
To thee whom my delirium is all kept safe and true,
To thee for whom I canst feel never reproach-and only love,
And to thee-ah, to thee, thee only-by whom
the grandeur of the blue sky shalt melt;
Ah, thee! Even in undurable haste, thou art still like a butterfly,
fast and rapid flowing about the earth and into the sky;
Thou who art grateful not for this earth's soil;
Thou who saith 'tis only the sky that canst make thou feel.
Thou who cannot sit, thou cannot lay,
but on whose lanes thou always art secure,
as though from now thou shalt live too long
And belong to this rigorous earth
to whom our mortal souls do not belong.
And as to its vigour, death cannot be delayed,
and words of deadness shalt fast always, be said.
Ah, yet but again, I cannot simply be wrong;
for thou art immortal, immortal, and immortal;
To death thou art but too insipid and loyal;
that willing it not be, to take thy soul into its mourning,
and awkward prayers so scornful and worrying.
Thou who needst not be afraid of death;
for breath shalt never leave thee, and thou shan't breath.
Unsaid poems of thine are thus never to remaineth unspoken,
and far more and more thoughts shalt be perfectly carved, and uttered;
Unlike mine; whose several mortal thoughts shalt be silenced, and unknown
And after years passed my name shalt be forgotten, and my poems altered.
But thou! By any earth, and any of its due shape-thou shalt never be defaced,
and whose thoughts shalt never, even only once-be rephrased,
for thou art immortal, and for decades undying shalt be so;
And to life thou remaineth shalt remain chaste, and undetached;
as the divine wholeness whenst 'tis all slumped and wretched,
and white in unsoiled finery, whenst all goes to dirt and waste;
For grossness shalt escape thee, and stains couldst still, not thee fetch.
To every purity thou shalt thus be the best young match;
Ah, just like my mind shalt ever want thee to be;
but thou art missing from my sight-ah, as thou art not here!
Our paths are far whenst they are but near,
and which fact fillest me still, with dawning dread and fear
Unfortunately, as in this poem, my words not every heart shalt hear;
And to my writings doth I ever patiently retreat, the one,
and one only; whom to my conscience so dear.

To thee whom I once loved, and now still do,
To thee towards whom my hardened heart-again, turns soft,
To thee whom my delirium is all kept safe and true,
To thee for whom I canst feel never reproach-and only love,
And just to thee-ah, to thee, thee only-by whom
the grandeur of the blue sky shalt melt;
How fate but still made us here and meet,
That clue shall never makest me blind, and forget!
Now blighted I am, by dire ungladness and regret,
for having abhorred, and slighting thee too much!
For should I still cherish thee before my mortal death,
and be bitter and testy not; much less grim or harsh.
For fate is what fate is, as how love is just it looks;
and God's doings cannot be wrong; and true and faithful
as words I found crafted, and deciphered in old books.
Ah, and God's blessings are to arriveth in time,
and to taste whose due I indeed needst to be patient.
Be patient t'wards the love on which I climb,
ah, as for me-and whenst the right time cometh-
thou shalt be my sole wealth; so dear and sufficient!
And so for thee, no matter how thou hath my heart now torn,
Still I canst, and shalt reward thee not-with scorn;
for thou art my fate, my path, and my salved destiny;
For of which I am assured, definite, and convinced-
with all my degrees of humble pride, and vivid certainty-
Ah, darling, and thou art my humbleness, but also too many a time-my vanity;
For whom I shan't go and venture but anywhere-
As long as thou stayest and last-verily and for yon whole eternity, by me.
Alyanne Cooper Jul 2014
Home is where the heart is.

Home is where Taiwanese people
Hock their wares at the top of their lungs
As you're pressed on every side
By the crush of people filling the lanes
Of the night market.

Home is where crazy San Franciscians
Roam the hills in shorts with jackets in hand
In case the fickle Weather changes his mind
Or they wander too far west
Into the land of perpetual fog and mist.

Home is wherever you are.
Or at least that's what home used to be.
But since you've gone away,
My heart is a thousand pieces.

Home needs a whole heart.
And mine isn't anymore.
So every day I'm homesick
For a place that will never be.

Home is now just in my memories.
she asked how long
i had been here,
over twenty years,
i think.

envy the rural living.

make some,
walk the lanes
each day,
know the places,
to stop,
where berries grow.

where the photograph tree
knows,
what lays beneath.

look at each gentle place,
to keep in a pocket
of love,for that rainy
day, you do not go.

then in mind, in honour
walk the place in mind.

the lanes, llanelltyd.

sbm.
Growly Wolfus Aug 2019
A single raindrop falls from the sky,
depressed in its loneliness as it descends.
It lands and drips down a grassy *****,
alone and forgotten.

A single raindrop falls from the sky.
It falls from dark clouds and gloomy air.
It brings nothing but sadness to the earth below
and desires only to be heard or seen.

A single raindrop falls from the sky,
felt only by a stranger.
It's wiped away, declared a nuisance,
and cast away from existence.

A single raindrop falls from the sky,
mistaken for a tear.
Thought to be from an angel of a lost age.
It merely stirs the dust.

A hundred raindrops fall from the sky,
all lonely but together.
They cause a splash and demand attention.
Still only felt by one.

A hundred raindrops fall from the sky,
unable to quench the earth's thirst.
They disappear, taken by the ground,
embraced for the last time.

A hundred raindrops fall from the sky.
Not a head turns to notice them.
They cry out loudly but cannot be heard,
vanishing as they land.

A thousand raindrops fall from the sky.
The clouds gather to watch the spectacle.
They grow darker as they bunch together,
warning those below of the coming.

A thousand raindrops fall from the sky
and tap people on the shoulder.
"Come watch us," they whisper before leaving.
Few people are left behind.

A thousand raindrops fall from the sky,
looking for an audience.
The people have left and taken their friends
to hide in the buildings they made.

A million raindrops fall from the sky,
and joyously, they sing.
They hit the ground, the cars, the roofs,
and make music for those in hiding.

A million raindrops fall from the sky.
They dance and cheer and smile.
The sun decides it wants to watch.
The light dances with raindrops for awhile.

A million raindrops fall from the sky,
accompanied by rays of gold.
They bring new color to the city of gray
and rejuvenate all of the old.

A gentle rain falls from the sky
and makes art upon the ground.
It quenches the earth's thirst and hums in our ears,
dancing to its own sound.

A gentle rain falls from the sky.
People watch with awe from behind glass.
Ignored by many, precious to captivated few.
They long for it to last.

A gentle rain falls from the sky
and gracefully sways in the breeze.
It brings forth calmness and a sense of peace.
It blesses the green fields and trees.

A gentle rain falls from the sky,
watched by a child with wonder.
It sends the breeze to lift the child
and brings them out from under.

A gentle rain falls from the sky
and splashes on window panes.
It plays with the child and hums sweet tunes
as it makes puddles in the traffic lanes.

A gentle rain falls from the sky
and ripples in the water.
A new world created, impossibly calm.
It makes the child an offer.

A gentle rain falls from the sky
and whispers in the child's ear.
"Wait for me.  I will return.
I won't leave you alone here."

A gentle rain falls from the sky
and sings goodbye to the child.
The clouds dissipate as the sun takes over.
The departing rain simply smiles.

A million raindrops fall from the sky,
murmuring farewells and goodbyes.
Each gives the child a tender hug
as the color returns to the skies.

A thousand raindrops fall from the sky,
then a hundred, then one.
The single raindrop kisses the child
standing alone in the sun.

No longer do raindrops fall from the sky,
but a child waits for them.
To dance and sing and draw and play,
with the gentle rain again.
I LOVE the rain.  I wrote this after a gentle rainfall and listening to one of my favorite songs.
The child in the poem does not necessarily represent age, but more awe and feelings I have when I watch the rain.  It's so peaceful.  I feel like a child whenever I watch it or sit in it.
Kiss the Rain - Yiruma
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=so6ExplQlaY
Tommy Randell Feb 2017
Put Guinness on a mermaid’s tail
And it will turn to milk
Put that milk in a glass of tea
And drench away your ills

It will make all old men frisky
It will make all young men strong
And the mermaid’s tail will vanish
To give all men what they want

The seal will graze the meadow
The salmon swim the lanes
All Tax and Debts will vanish
We'll ride the gravy train

The taps will run with pennies
The pumps will pour with gold
There’ll be no lack of plenty
And the Craic will not go cold

But, should we drink this liquor
That has such a magic touch?
Could a glass so filled with wonder
Be filled with just too much?

Is Mermaid's Milk a fishy tale
Too marvellous to be true?
Have the Old Wives and the Fairies
Gone a step too far, or two?

Young men in their innocence
Old men in their prime
Should they fish the strands and beaches
Through the hours of Opening Time?

Well for the good of all the Craic
Pass the teapot down the Bar
If there's magic in the Mermaid's brew
I'll drink it by the jar

But let me never not drink porter
It's the Blood in Ireland's veins
For with Mermaid's Milk or The Guinness
My thirst is still the same.
A poem I wrote to be said at Irish Trad Music Sessions. It is my joy to play the Bodhran (drum) and recite a few tales and this one often gets me a cup of tea or two.
Joe Wilson Nov 2014
Near Derrington in country lanes
where hawthorns rest as Autumn wanes.

The redwings come and take their fill
gorge on berries ‘gainst Winter’s chill.

The cattle low and chew the cud
a weasel kills and draws fresh blood.

Carp to bottoms of ponds descend
as fields adopt their Winter trend.

A fox or two may yet appear
circling buzzards in skies so clear.

Though both are on the hunt for food
death in nature can seem so crude.

A toad may croak across the pond
hidden from view by reedy frond.

An hour one spends amidst all this
Rewards the soul with utter bliss.



©Joe Wilson – In country lanes… 2014
eng jin Nov 2018
I swim,
under the twilight sky,
my heart is pounding & my arms are paddling,
struggling to breathe,
yet I push on,
to reach the other wall.

I hear,
muffled splashes
across the lanes as swimmers glide by,
though I could hardly see,
yet I could feel,
one of them fills the pool.

I wonder,
why I press on,
for my health or for my heart?
by now my legs are aching and my arms are heavy,
yet it is a joy,
to be in my hiding place.
Cut grass lies frail:
Brief is the breath
Mown stalks exhale.
Long, long the death

It dies in the white hours
Of young-leafed June
With chestnut flowers,
With hedges snowlike strewn,

White lilac bowed,
Lost lanes of Queen Anne's lace,
And that high-builded cloud
Moving at summer's pace.
It started with a clever picking
Then the horn of cenarius sounding
Followed by an agile creep-blocking
The start of the beginning

Sk, Lina, Leoric lanes the bottom
A superior lane control no one could ever question
Burrow, Bolt, and array has been thrown
That poor enemy's troll got pawned

And now let's go into the middle lane
Whe're SF and Davion came
In this battle they would have to claim
The elusive exp and gold they can possible gain

The top lane's meepo was quite steady
For his enemies are getting heavy
Fissure and Nova are his enemy
The fearsome combo of deadly harmony

As the ferocious battle goes by
In ganks and clashes, skills fly
Some juke, some escape, and some die
The other team thrashtalks "nice try"

Oh dear meepo tries to solo Roshan
The other heroes try to *******
In the woods they find the one
That lone troll farming in wonderland

Sandking immediately winks
Followed by a nimble blink
Burrowstrike makes the troll sink
GG troll as many would think

The the team tries to push
TP-save the opponent used
But meepo breaks the unwanted truce
And tries to squeeze away the juice

They have to **** raigor
Who, in echo slam, has had a great score
But you seeit was only five versus four
Thus it leads the enemy in sore

Alas! the balance has been broken
It's a gg that's nearly spoken
The defenders has fallen
Rax, towers, and the tree are all broken

If only they've warded more
They would've prevented the gank on troll
The other team had a greater score
And they could have a chance to backdoor

Perhaps it was a close call
For a team you wouldn't easily small
Life indeed is like a ball
Just pawned because of the lone trol
Terry Collett Apr 2015
Jane passed the church, walked past the gravestones of those long dead, smelt the scent of flowers, heard the songs of birds in nearby hedgerows and trees. Benedict said to meet her there the day before while leaving the school van, about midday he had said. She had cycled from the vicarage where she lived with her parents, down through the narrow lanes, passed the water tower by the farm, riding carefully past the cottage where Benedict lived with his parents and siblings, on through narrow lanes until she had reached the church. She was happy to be meeting him again, from the time she had awoken that morning she felt a sense of excitement at seeing him, being in his company. Her mother had asked where she was going and she said to meet Benedict at the church on the other side of the hamlet. Her mother smiled; she liked Benedict, he was trustworthy, unlike some of the boys round about whom she would have felt uneasy about Jane meeting...Benedict sat in the churchyard in the corner away from the nearest grave, where the name and date had worn away over the years until just a few words remained visible. He looked around him, studied the shapes and size of the gravestones, many had become dilapidated over the years, but it was peaceful and he liked it being amongst the dead sensing the feeling of being beyond the here and now. He waited for Jane to come. He had asked her to meet him there the day before. She said she would. He looked forward to seeing her, having her  near him, seeing her eyes looking at him, her dark hair, brown eyes, that shy smile...Jane saw Benedict sitting on the grass in the corner, he was looking at the gravestones, his hands around his knees. He was in blue jeans and white shirt and black shoes. She passed a few graves when he looked up and saw her. A thrill of excitement went through her, her stomach churned, her heart beat fast...There she was, standing not far away, Benedict stood up from the grass and went to her and she smiled at him. Not late am I? she asked, putting a hand out to touch his. No, he said, just on time, looking at the watch on his wrist, feeling her hand touch his, buzzing his nerves with her touch...Jane sensed her tongue becoming stuck in her mouth; her eyes scanned him taking in his eyes, hazel bright, his brown hair with that quiff that she loved, that smile so warm and yet inviting. Her hand was in his, warm, soft, his thumb rubbing her skin...Benedict felt alive; felt so here and now that his heart beat so that it seemed it would crash through his chest. How are you? He asked, rubbing her hand, not wanting to let it go, but not wanting to hold it too long. I'm all right, she said shyly, wanting his hand to stay there, to feel him near her, listening to his every word...Jane looked around at the churchyard, saw the flowers on some of the graves, some dying of neglect, some fresh planted. Shall we look in the church? She said, see  the interior? Yes, he said, why not, not seen inside for ages(although he had a few weeks before when the girl Lizbeth had taken him there and had tried to ****** him inside on one of the pews and he had left and declined)...Jane looked at him, seeking to see if he mentioned the girl Lizbeth whom Jane had heard had taken Benedict there a few weeks before. She trusted him, but needed him to tell her about the girl from their school, thirteen like them, but more forward, more dangerous. I heard you were here with Lizbeth a few weeks ago, Jane said, not wanting him to be unaware that she knew, but wanting him to be honest with her...Benedict blushed and looked at her, releasing her hand reluctantly. Yes, he said, she took me here, or rather we came here.  He didn't know what to say, but he couldn't lie, not keep things back. She came to the cottage and asked me to bring her here because she said she was interested in the architectural aspects of the church, but she just wanted to do things, he said looking at the nearest gravestone, feeling unsettled. Do things? Jane asked, looking at him, seeing his blush still there, wondering what he had done. She wanted me to have *** with her on a pew in the church, he said, but that was after we were in the church and she tricked me...Jane caught her breath, brought her hands together in front of her, trying to make sense of what he was saying. *** with her on a pew? She said, the words soft almost choking her. You didn't did you? She asked, not believing she was asking him. No, of course not, I would never have come here with her had I known that was what she was after, he said, gazing at Jane, unsure of her reaction. She felt her heart beating fast in her breast, her mind was becoming out on a limb. How could she think you would? She asked, not sure what to say or asked any more...Benedict felt the world becoming almost too big for him. He wanted to take Jane and say it hadn't been for real that he had been tricked, that he wanted to be near her not Lizbeth. I don't know, Benedict said, I never encouraged her, thought she was interested in the church, but inside she changed and said we could have *** on one of those pews. Jane sensed an unease enter. And what happened then? She asked, looking at him shyly. Nothing, I left the church and she followed and I cycled back home and she followed me, but them rode off, he said, feeling undone, feeling as if the ground was about to swallow him up...Tears were rising to her eyes, she could sense them. Did you kiss her? She asked, wanting to know, yet not wanting to know. No, nothing at all, he said shaking his head, I wanted none of that. She bit her lower lip, tried to hold back the tears in her eyes. She sensed he hadn't, but she needed to be sure. She had heard about the girl at school, but had he fallen for her charms such as they may have been? Why did she want to have *** with you? She asked, blushing at the word *** in her own mouth. No idea, he said, seems to have this fixation with me and ***. She sensed the tears falling from her eyes and on her cheeks. She wiped them off with the back of her hand. Can I trust you? She asked, the tears making her throat feel sore. Yes, he said, I’d never betray you, never. Not with her or anyone, he added, feeling his world emptying like a fish thrown on dry land. She put a hand on his arm, squeezed it, drew him to her and he embraced her uncertain if it was for real or just a gesture. I trust you, she said, wanting him to hold her close to him, sensing her tears rub on his shoulder, dampening his shirt...Benedict held her tight, not wanting her to go from him, not wanting to lose even this one moment in her closeness. He smelt that naturalness about her, an apple scent, fresh air, purity like new snow, blossoms...She kissed his cheek; lips to skin, not pressured, but there wanting to express how she felt, how her heart felt, not lust like the Lizbeth girl, but love, yes, love for him...Benedict sensed her lips kiss his cheek, warm, soft. He held her tight, feeling her body close to his, sensing her soft ******* against his chest as he held her...Jane put a hand behind his head, drew him closer, her lips kissing his ear, his lobe, his cheek again, then she pulled away a little to look at him. I should not have doubted you or your what you would do or not do, she said softly, her eyes watery, her cheeks damp. I heard about her and her visit to you, but I wasn't sure if it was true or not, but it doesn't matter now, because I trust you, she said...Benedict held her as near as he dare, not wanting her to go from his hold. I would never hurt you. I didn't know what she was after. Jane put a finger on his lips. Hush, she said softly. Let us not give her the benefit of thinking she has undone us. He felt his heart pounding in his chest as if someone was punching him from the inside...Jane turned his head towards her and kissed him on the lips. He kissed her, too, his lips pressing against hers. She put her arms around his waist and hugged him as she had never hugged anyone before, her lips sealing him from breath, from leaving her, from going away...Benedict sensed her body so close now that his heart seemed to beat with hers in a duet of thumping inside. His lips felt as if welded to hers, wet and warm and soft and he sensed himself filling with tears, tears he'd not shown or felt before to this degree...Jane took his hand and they walked past the gravestones into the church and sat in a side pew next to each other. His hand was in hers; he rubbed his thumb against her skin, rubbed it gently. She squeezed his hand, turned and kissed him, then sat back and stared ahead. God's house, she said, she should never had thought you would do anything like that here, not in here...Benedict said, not anywhere with her, certainly not here. He recalled that day here with Lizbeth, how she had suggested they have *** on a pew and he taken aback by such a thing and how she thought it quite possible...Us, Jane said, us and not her, not anything she thought possible. He nodded and looked at the altar where a brass cross stood alone. Do you love me? She asked. He turned and gazed at her, his eyes searching each aspect of her features. Yes, I do, he said, as much as its possible to love. She smiled shyly, wiping tears from her damp cheeks. I love you, too, she said... Benedict closed his eyes. He wanted to capture her and her words and that moment for ever in his mind. He wanted being here with her now to over brush the image of Lizbeth here with him those weeks before, to have that image and words of Jane captured in his mind like a camera snapping it all and holding it in frame and picture for evermore... Jane breathed in and out slowly. He had closed his eyes. His hand was still in hers. His pulse pulsed with hers, a gentle beat, a soft thump, a mixture of one becoming two, an uncertainty going, a truth and love becoming true.
A MEETING AT A CHURCH ONE MIDDAY IN 1961.
MdAsadullah Dec 2014
Many have seen it within holy brains.
I've also found Terror on political lanes.
Most have spotted in religious garbs.
I've even seen Terror in Leader's barbs.

In hammer and sickle and in flag red.
Saw Terror when it left believers dead.
It came from skies on land of rising sun.
Horrifying, ugly Terror spared none.

Most have seen Terror in rebellious fire;
But I've even seen it in democratic attire.
In bullet cruel Terror can always be seen;
But I have even espied it in ballot mean.

Each has seen Terror in AK47's shine;
But I have even figured it in M4 carbine.
Things left unsaid may I dare to inform?
At times I have seen Terror in uniform.
Morning, good morning!
What a pleasant feeling.
Look out of your window sill
Birds chirping down hill
Rising Sun’s   warmness  
with an aura of happiness
Dewdrops on rose petals
Moisture on flower beds
Lanes with damp mud roads
Children waiting with bookloads
Men with their tools to workshop
Women with their bags to shop
Each in thoughts of their chores
Or in groups musing at jokes.

As  the clock’s hands move forward
with the moving Sun overhead
Look out of  your window sill
watch the changes downhill
All energy withered in heat
Life slows down in many a feat
The splendour of dawn faded
As the brightness of light invaded
No musings or jokes on road
None could stand the heat to hold
The empty lanes appear  haunted  
Silence pervading   unhindered.

Look out of your window sill
Watch  the  Sun’s glare  going still
If  you enjoyed  the  day’s siesta
It’s a great  blessing after the Fiesta
The evening’s glow  at your doorstep
Spreading delight  at each footstep
Look around for the actions of mankind
Adept in their chosen courses behind
With all the lives on earth in the swings
Singing the glory of Almighty on the wings
Oh! What a colourful day to consider
With lovely thoughts of you to ponder!


JJ Hutton Apr 2013
There are only two ways to truly know someone: sleep with them or take them bowling.
Phoenix Aime was the woman of my dreams. So, I took her bowling.

Paid for a game. Rented shoes. Got the little, sticky bracelet thingy that said Slippery Joe Lanes.
That way if we got in some sort of accident on the way home,
the guy at the morgue could identify us as bowlers. Anyway, here's the bulleted list of what I knew about Phoenix up to that point:

• She looked like Diane Keaton circa 1972
• She talked with great pretension concerning craft beer
• She only patronized two restaurants: Denny's and IHOP
• She was eight years older than me
• She kissed my sister once on a dare
• Her shoe size was 7
• She was perfect or a near synonym

The bowling alley was empty save a World War II vet in a wheelchair and his wife at lane six,
and they were barely there. Country music played over the loud speaker. And I felt cozy. Predictable. Like a payment plan on the QVC.

That was until Phoenix said, "I forgot something. I'm going to go talk to Mack real quick."
Mack worked the front desk, according to his name tag. Talk to Mack. She just talked to Mack. Mack was sleeping with her. I untied my shoelaces. Oh, Mack, love your red polo with blue tiger stripes.
I pulled my sneakers off. Oh, Mack, I love it when you dip your finger in nacho cheese and feed it to me. Slid my right foot into bowling shoe. Halfway in with the left, and my socked foot struck something plastic. A stick of tiny deodorant. Like unsavory truck-stop-to-truck-stop deodorant. Oh, Mack, I love it when you deodorize -- so hard. Pull the strings tight on the left shoe. Oh, Mack, rub the deodorant until your underarms are SO CHALKY AND WHITE.

"You okay?" Phoenix asked.

"Yeah, what do I look like something's wrong?"

She carried a seafoam green bowling ball with a ****** Mary insignia. "It looks like you triple-knotted your shoes there."

And I said something dumb like, better safe than sorry.

"Sorry about leaving you all alone. Mack holds onto my ***** for me," she said.  I bet he does. "I hate talking to that guy." What? "He's a vegan."

Now, at that time in my life, I was a vegan. And had planned some stirring remarks about the processing of sweet little piggies into cancerous hot dog machines on the way to pick her up. Thought she would think me full of passion, "on fire" for a cause, you know? The wise thing would have been to say, oh well, I'm a vegan. But instead I asked, "What do you mean?"

"You know serial killer's get a last meal before they're executed, right?"

"Right." Where the hell is this going?

"Well, have you ever heard of someone on death row requesting a last meal that didn't involve some sort of animal product? Gacy had buckets of chicken, Bundy had a medium rare steak, even uh, ****, what was his name, McVeigh, Timothy McVeigh he had two pints of mint chocolate ice cream. Dairy."

"I'm not sure how this refutes veganism."

"Nobody is a vegan for their last meal. Nobody. I'm not going to subscribe to a diet that I can't follow until the very end. Live every day like your last, that's my motto."

"That's your motto." I said. To be a great listener, just repeat the last three or four things anyone says to you and raise your eyebrows a little bit. (Examples: "My dog died." -- "You're dog died.", "I never ate breakfast burritos again." -- "Never ate it again.", "I love you." -- "You love me.")

Over Phoenix's shoulder, over by lane six, the wife wheeled the World War II vet up to the lane. And he tossed the ball. Good team, I thought. Want to know someone take them to the bowling alley.

Phoenix removed a glove from her pocket. She had her own ball. Brought her own badass, jet black bowling gloves. And if her carnivorous tendencies hadn't already put a ***** in the Golden Days of Josh and Phoenix, that glove did.

She typed her name first on the scoring computer. Didn't ask if I wanted to go first. That's fine. Approached the lane, three fingers inside the ****** Mary. She brought her bony arm back with the grace of a ballerina tucked away stage right in the shadows. Mary cut from grace slid down the lane with a spin.

Strike. I couldn't really see the pins from my angle. But I recieved a transmission via the "yes" and arm pump. That was two marks against her, and I was going to three. I'd call it strikes, but well, the whole bowling skew.

Here's a bulleted list of what a "yes" and arm pump immediately taught me:

• She takes bowling serious.
• If you take bowling serious, when do you relax?
• She'd never relax.
• My life would be tucked shirts, matching belts and shoes.

For six frames, I picked up fours and sevens. Phoenix, though, nothing but strikes. I threw a gutter on frame seven. Like a normal human being, I shrugged. Made a face out the sides of my mouth. Kept it light.

"I thought you were a grown *** man," Phoenix said.

"Me too."

What happened next, I willed. I'm not god or anything like that. At the time, just cosmicly ******.
Her step stuttered. 7-10 split. "Mack!" she screamed. "Floors are slicker than a used car salesman's hair."

From across the alley,
"Sorry, Phoenix, baby. I'll bring you some nachos. That make up for it?"

"Ain't gonna knock down two pins is it?"

"So, uh, no nachos then?"

"Actually, go ahead and bring those."

She lined up. Back straight. Legs together. She rolled her neck. "You're about to see how it's done."

And I didn't. She broke it down the middle. Field goal. In that moment, that holy moment, I was knowledge plateau. Vindicated.

For about 10 seconds.

Mack swaggered over, nachos in hand. "Phoenix, sweetie, you okay?"

"Do I look okay?"

"No, that's why I asked."

"Just give me the nachos."

"Ah crap." Mack had gotten his pointer finger in the nacho cheese.

"Let me see it."

And right there, right in front the ****** Mary seafoam green bowling ball, she slurped the cheese off his finger."

Frame seven, a good as time as any to call it a match. The wife of the World War II vet kissed her husband's forehead. Handed him a ball. As I walked by, hand on shoulder. "Struck gold, dude."
Derron Schronce Mar 2016
Curls of clouds,

high above the songs of cardinals,

their red wings brush the air that chill my face


Upon the road that beckons forth the wheels,

they carry me through joy,

to places wide and free


From which my mind will abandon thought and then,

my heart does sing a melody of love,

with sun on my face and brow


Winds nudge,

they drive me forward in motion towards peaks and plains,

the landscape changes its mind, and my view


Riding there and back,

out beyond the limits of lights and lanes,

there lies tranquility on my bike
I

Out of the little chapel I burst
Into the fresh night-air again.
Five minutes full, I waited first
In the doorway, to escape the rain
That drove in gusts down the common’s centre
At the edge of which the chapel stands,
Before I plucked up heart to enter.
Heaven knows how many sorts of hands
Reached past me, groping for the latch
Of the inner door that hung on catch
More obstinate the more they fumbled,
Till, giving way at last with a scold
Of the crazy hinge, in squeezed or tumbled
One sheep more to the rest in fold,
And left me irresolute, standing sentry
In the sheepfold’s lath-and-plaster entry,
Six feet long by three feet wide,
Partitioned off from the vast inside—
I blocked up half of it at least.
No remedy; the rain kept driving.
They eyed me much as some wild beast,
That congregation, still arriving,
Some of them by the main road, white
A long way past me into the night,
Skirting the common, then diverging;
Not a few suddenly emerging
From the common’s self through the paling-gaps,
—They house in the gravel-pits perhaps,
Where the road stops short with its safeguard border
Of lamps, as tired of such disorder;—
But the most turned in yet more abruptly
From a certain squalid knot of alleys,
Where the town’s bad blood once slept corruptly,
Which now the little chapel rallies
And leads into day again,—its priestliness
Lending itself to hide their beastliness
So cleverly (thanks in part to the mason),
And putting so cheery a whitewashed face on
Those neophytes too much in lack of it,
That, where you cross the common as I did,
And meet the party thus presided,
“Mount Zion” with Love-lane at the back of it,
They front you as little disconcerted
As, bound for the hills, her fate averted,
And her wicked people made to mind him,
Lot might have marched with Gomorrah behind him.

II

Well, from the road, the lanes or the common,
In came the flock: the fat weary woman,
Panting and bewildered, down-clapping
Her umbrella with a mighty report,
Grounded it by me, wry and flapping,
A wreck of whalebones; then, with a snort,
Like a startled horse, at the interloper
(Who humbly knew himself improper,
But could not shrink up small enough)
—Round to the door, and in,—the gruff
Hinge’s invariable scold
Making my very blood run cold.
Prompt in the wake of her, up-pattered
On broken clogs, the many-tattered
Little old-faced peaking sister-turned-mother
Of the sickly babe she tried to smother
Somehow up, with its spotted face,
From the cold, on her breast, the one warm place;
She too must stop, wring the poor ends dry
Of a draggled shawl, and add thereby
Her tribute to the door-mat, sopping
Already from my own clothes’ dropping,
Which yet she seemed to grudge I should stand on:
Then, stooping down to take off her pattens,
She bore them defiantly, in each hand one,
Planted together before her breast
And its babe, as good as a lance in rest.
Close on her heels, the dingy satins
Of a female something past me flitted,
With lips as much too white, as a streak
Lay far too red on each hollow cheek;
And it seemed the very door-hinge pitied
All that was left of a woman once,
Holding at least its tongue for the *****.
Then a tall yellow man, like the Penitent Thief,
With his jaw bound up in a handkerchief,
And eyelids ******* together tight,
Led himself in by some inner light.
And, except from him, from each that entered,
I got the same interrogation—
“What, you the alien, you have ventured
To take with us, the elect, your station?
A carer for none of it, a Gallio!”—
Thus, plain as print, I read the glance
At a common prey, in each countenance
As of huntsman giving his hounds the tallyho.
And, when the door’s cry drowned their wonder,
The draught, it always sent in shutting,
Made the flame of the single tallow candle
In the cracked square lantern I stood under,
Shoot its blue lip at me, rebutting
As it were, the luckless cause of scandal:
I verily fancied the zealous light
(In the chapel’s secret, too!) for spite
Would shudder itself clean off the wick,
With the airs of a Saint John’s Candlestick.
There was no standing it much longer.
“Good folks,” thought I, as resolve grew stronger,
“This way you perform the Grand-Inquisitor
When the weather sends you a chance visitor?
You are the men, and wisdom shall die with you,
And none of the old Seven Churches vie with you!
But still, despite the pretty perfection
To which you carry your trick of exclusiveness,
And, taking God’s word under wise protection,
Correct its tendency to diffusiveness,
And bid one reach it over hot ploughshares,—
Still, as I say, though you’ve found salvation,
If I should choose to cry, as now, ‘Shares!’—
See if the best of you bars me my ration!
I prefer, if you please, for my expounder
Of the laws of the feast, the feast’s own Founder;
Mine’s the same right with your poorest and sickliest,
Supposing I don the marriage vestiment:
So, shut your mouth and open your Testament,
And carve me my portion at your quickliest!”
Accordingly, as a shoemaker’s lad
With wizened face in want of soap,
And wet apron wound round his waist like a rope,
(After stopping outside, for his cough was bad,
To get the fit over, poor gentle creature
And so avoid distrubing the preacher)
—Passed in, I sent my elbow spikewise
At the shutting door, and entered likewise,
Received the hinge’s accustomed greeting,
And crossed the threshold’s magic pentacle,
And found myself in full conventicle,
—To wit, in Zion Chapel Meeting,
On the Christmas-Eve of ‘Forty-nine,
Which, calling its flock to their special clover,
Found all assembled and one sheep over,
Whose lot, as the weather pleased, was mine.

III

I very soon had enough of it.
The hot smell and the human noises,
And my neighbor’s coat, the greasy cuff of it,
Were a pebble-stone that a child’s hand poises,
Compared with the pig-of-lead-like pressure
Of the preaching man’s immense stupidity,
As he poured his doctrine forth, full measure,
To meet his audience’s avidity.
You needed not the wit of the Sibyl
To guess the cause of it all, in a twinkling:
No sooner our friend had got an inkling
Of treasure hid in the Holy Bible,
(Whene’er ‘t was the thought first struck him,
How death, at unawares, might duck him
Deeper than the grave, and quench
The gin-shop’s light in hell’s grim drench)
Than he handled it so, in fine irreverence,
As to hug the book of books to pieces:
And, a patchwork of chapters and texts in severance,
Not improved by the private dog’s-ears and creases,
Having clothed his own soul with, he’d fain see equipt yours,—
So tossed you again your Holy Scriptures.
And you picked them up, in a sense, no doubt:
Nay, had but a single face of my neighbors
Appeared to suspect that the preacher’s labors
Were help which the world could be saved without,
‘T is odds but I might have borne in quiet
A qualm or two at my spiritual diet,
Or (who can tell?) perchance even mustered
Somewhat to urge in behalf of the sermon:
But the flock sat on, divinely flustered,
Sniffing, methought, its dew of Hermon
With such content in every snuffle,
As the devil inside us loves to ruffle.
My old fat woman purred with pleasure,
And thumb round thumb went twirling faster,
While she, to his periods keeping measure,
Maternally devoured the pastor.
The man with the handkerchief untied it,
Showed us a horrible wen inside it,
Gave his eyelids yet another *******,
And rocked himself as the woman was doing.
The shoemaker’s lad, discreetly choking,
Kept down his cough. ‘T was too provoking!
My gorge rose at the nonsense and stuff of it;
So, saying like Eve when she plucked the apple,
“I wanted a taste, and now there’s enough of it,”
I flung out of the little chapel.

IV

There was a lull in the rain, a lull
In the wind too; the moon was risen,
And would have shone out pure and full,
But for the ramparted cloud-prison,
Block on block built up in the West,
For what purpose the wind knows best,
Who changes his mind continually.
And the empty other half of the sky
Seemed in its silence as if it knew
What, any moment, might look through
A chance gap in that fortress massy:—
Through its fissures you got hints
Of the flying moon, by the shifting tints,
Now, a dull lion-color, now, brassy
Burning to yellow, and whitest yellow,
Like furnace-smoke just ere flames bellow,
All a-simmer with intense strain
To let her through,—then blank again,
At the hope of her appearance failing.
Just by the chapel a break in the railing
Shows a narrow path directly across;
‘T is ever dry walking there, on the moss—
Besides, you go gently all the way up-hill.
I stooped under and soon felt better;
My head grew lighter, my limbs more supple,
As I walked on, glad to have slipt the fetter.
My mind was full of the scene I had left,
That placid flock, that pastor vociferant,
—How this outside was pure and different!
The sermon, now—what a mingled weft
Of good and ill! Were either less,
Its fellow had colored the whole distinctly;
But alas for the excellent earnestness,
And the truths, quite true if stated succinctly,
But as surely false, in their quaint presentment,
However to pastor and flock’s contentment!
Say rather, such truths looked false to your eyes,
With his provings and parallels twisted and twined,
Till how could you know them, grown double their size
In the natural fog of the good man’s mind,
Like yonder spots of our roadside lamps,
Haloed about with the common’s damps?
Truth remains true, the fault’s in the prover;
The zeal was good, and the aspiration;
And yet, and yet, yet, fifty times over,
Pharaoh received no demonstration,
By his Baker’s dream of Baskets Three,
Of the doctrine of the Trinity,—
Although, as our preacher thus embellished it,
Apparently his hearers relished it
With so unfeigned a gust—who knows if
They did not prefer our friend to Joseph?
But so it is everywhere, one way with all of them!
These people have really felt, no doubt,
A something, the motion they style the Call of them;
And this is their method of bringing about,
By a mechanism of words and tones,
(So many texts in so many groans)
A sort of reviving and reproducing,
More or less perfectly, (who can tell?)
The mood itself, which strengthens by using;
And how that happens, I understand well.
A tune was born in my head last week,
Out of the thump-thump and shriek-shriek
Of the train, as I came by it, up from Manchester;
And when, next week, I take it back again,
My head will sing to the engine’s clack again,
While it only makes my neighbor’s haunches stir,
—Finding no dormant musical sprout
In him, as in me, to be jolted out.
‘T is the taught already that profits by teaching;
He gets no more from the railway’s preaching
Than, from this preacher who does the rail’s officer, I:
Whom therefore the flock cast a jealous eye on.
Still, why paint over their door “Mount Zion,”
To which all flesh shall come, saith the pro phecy?

V

But wherefore be harsh on a single case?
After how many modes, this Christmas-Eve,
Does the self-same weary thing take place?
The same endeavor to make you believe,
And with much the same effect, no more:
Each method abundantly convincing,
As I say, to those convinced before,
But scarce to be swallowed without wincing
By the not-as-yet-convinced. For me,
I have my own church equally:
And in this church my faith sprang first!
(I said, as I reached the rising ground,
And the wind began again, with a burst
Of rain in my face, and a glad rebound
From the heart beneath, as if, God speeding me,
I entered his church-door, nature leading me)
—In youth I looked to these very skies,
And probing their immensities,
I found God there, his visible power;
Yet felt in my heart, amid all its sense
Of the power, an equal evidence
That his love, there too, was the nobler dower.
For the loving worm within its clod
Were diviner than a loveless god
Amid his worlds, I will dare to say.
You know what I mean: God’s all man’s naught:
But also, God, whose pleasure brought
Man into being, stands away
As it were a handbreadth off, to give
Room for the newly-made to live,
And look at him from a place apart,
And use his gifts of brain and heart,
Given, indeed, but to keep forever.
Who speaks of man, then, must not sever
Man’s very elements from man,
Saying, “But all is God’s”—whose plan
Was to create man and then leave him
Able, his own word saith, to grieve him,
But able to glorify him too,
As a mere machine could never do,
That prayed or praised, all unaware
Of its fitness for aught but praise and prayer,
Made perfect as a thing of course.
Man, therefore, stands on his own stock
Of love and power as a pin-point rock:
And, looking to God who ordained divorce
Of the rock from his boundless continent,
Sees, in his power made evident,
Only excess by a million-fold
O’er the power God gave man in the mould.
For, note: man’s hand, first formed to carry
A few pounds’ weight, when taught to marry
Its strength with an engine’s, lifts a mountain,
—Advancing in power by one degree;
And why count steps through eternity?
But love is the ever-springing fountain:
Man may enlarge or narrow his bed
For the water’s play, but the water-head—
How can he multiply or reduce it?
As easy create it, as cause it to cease;
He may profit by it, or abuse it,
But ‘t is not a thing to bear increase
As power does: be love less or more
In the heart of man, he keeps it shut
Or opes it wide, as he pleases, but
Love’s sum remains what it was before.
So, gazing up, in my youth, at love
As seen through power, ever above
All modes which make it manifest,
My soul brought all to a single test—
That he, the Eternal First and Last,
Who, in his power, had so surpassed
All man conceives of what is might,—
Whose wisdom, too, showed infinite,
—Would prove as infinitely good;
Would never, (my soul understood,)
With power to work all love desires,
Bestow e’en less than man requires;
That he who endlessly was teaching,
Above my spirit’s utmost reaching,
What love can do in the leaf or stone,
(So that to master this alone,
This done in the stone or leaf for me,
I must go on learning endlessly)
Would never need that I, in turn,
Should point him out defect unheeded,
And show that God had yet to learn
What the meanest human creature needed,
—Not life, to wit, for a few short years,
Tracking his way through doubts and fears,
While the stupid earth on which I stay
Suffers no change, but passive adds
Its myriad years to myriads,
Though I, he gave it to, decay,
Seeing death come and choose about me,
And my dearest ones depart without me.
No: love which, on earth, amid all the shows of it,
Has ever been seen the sole good of life in it,
The love, ever growing there, spite of the strife in it,
Shall arise, made perfect, from death’s repose of it.
And I shall behold thee, face to face,
O God, and in thy light retrace
How in all I loved here, still wast thou!
Whom pressing to, then, as I fain would now,
I shall find as able to satiate
The love, thy gift, as my spirit’s wonder
Thou art able to quicken and sublimate,
With this sky of thine, that I now walk under
And glory in thee for, as I gaze
Thus, thus! Oh, let men keep their ways
Of seeking thee in a narrow shrine—
Be this my way! And this is mine!

VI

For lo, what think you? suddenly
The rain and the wind ceased, and the sky
Received at once the full fruition
Of the moon’s consummate apparition.
The black cloud-barricade was riven,
Ruined beneath her feet, and driven
Deep in the West; while, bare and breathless,
North and South and East lay ready
For a glorious thing that, dauntless, deathless,
Sprang across them and stood steady.
‘T was a moon-rainbow, vast and perfect,
From heaven to heaven extending, perfect
As the mother-moon’s self, full in face.
It rose, distinctly at the base
With its seven proper colors chorded,
Which still, in the rising, were compressed,
Until at last they coalesced,
And supreme the spectral creature lorded
In a triumph of whitest white,—
Above which intervened the night.
But above night too, like only the next,
The second of a wondrous sequence,
Reaching in rare and rarer frequence,
Till the heaven of heavens were circumflexed
Another rainbow rose, a mightier,
Fainter, flushier and flightier,—
Rapture dying along its verge.
Oh, whose foot shall I see emerge,
Whose, from the straining topmost dark,
On to the keystone of that are?

VII

This sight was shown me, there and then,—
Me, one out of a world of men,
Singled forth, as the chance might hap
To another if, in a thu
Sombro Apr 2015
Sometimes thoughts get wishy
Washy too, I feel,
And they take a little more to
Get to you.

Believe me, I know some things,
We're sure of that
And you and I
Are something

Something borrowed
Something broken
Something taken
Something loved

It's a little more than love
It's understanding
It's being in exactly the same wrong place
At the horribly wrong time.

Don't miss me,
Don't weep
Your tears make me thirsty
Your dry mouth makes me smile.

So remember,
I will come round again
When the turns in the green country lanes
Grow just so.
Something I just blurted out. It's an apology to all of you great poets out there. I haven't been reading (or writing) as many poems as I should have lately. I've been very busy, but I'll be back soon, my lovely poets.
Swetank Modi Sep 2015
It started with a clever picking
Then the horn of cenarius sounding
Followed by an agile creep-blocking
The start of the beginning

Sk, Lina, Leoric lanes the bottom
A superior lane control no one could ever question
Burrow, Bolt, and array has been thrown
That poor enemy's troll got pawned

And now let's go into the middle lane
Whe're SF and Davion came
In this battle they would have to claim
The elusive exp and gold they can possible gain

The top lane's meepo was quite steady
For his enemies are getting heavy
Fissure and Nova are his enemy
The fearsome combo of deadly harmony

As the ferocious battle goes by
In ganks and clashes, skills fly
Some juke, some escape, and some die
The other team thrashtalks "nice try"

Oh dear meepo tries to solo Roshan
The other heroes try to *******
In the woods they find the one
That lone troll farming in wonderland

Sandking immediately winks
Followed by a nimble blink
Burrowstrike makes the troll sink
GG troll as many would think

The the team tries to push
TP-save the opponent used
But meepo breaks the unwanted truce
And tries to squeeze away the juice

They have to **** raigor
Who, in echo slam, has had a great score
But you seeit was only five versus four
Thus it leads the enemy in sore

Alas! the balance has been broken
It's a gg that's nearly spoken
The defenders has fallen
Rax, towers, and the tree are all broken

If only they've warded more
They would've prevented the gank on troll
The other team had a greater score
And they could have a chance to backdoor

Perhaps it was a close call
For a team you wouldn't easily small
Life indeed is like a ball
Just pawned because of the lone troll

Don't worry DotA 2, I'll sacrifice my sleep for playing everyday!
That day, something got into me.
Approaching the corner of 155th
and Broadway on the Upper West Side,
my friend and I were only a block from home.

Either we'd been on a mission for candy necklaces
or bubble gum cigars, from the place where the guy
was always grumpy, never actually scary,
and the sawdust on the floor, the real cigars
in fancy boxes were something to wonder about.

Or we had just scored our first fresh sugar canes,
one each, and much taller than either of us.
The kindly Puerto Rican green grocer, proud
of his new shop, hoped we'd try the plantains
too, getting a kick out of our delight
in what he'd always known.

The light was red, and we weren't in a hurry.
I just got curious about this trap door on the side
of the old cast iron signal post,
and decided to see
if it would open... and it did.

Smiling to myself, an uncommon, delicious
sense of mischief lighting me up inside,
I calmly flipped a switch.

Instantly, all four lanes of traffic, heading north
and south on Broadway came to a screeching halt.

The feeling of power was intoxicating.
And unforgettable.

Had I been an older kid, had the policeman
who happened by been less lenient, had anyone, God forbid,
been injured, I could have been in some serious trouble.

Injury never entered my mind, and maybe the officer saw that.
All in all, I got away with the only really naughty thing
I did as a child, and still get to smile.
And remember.
©Elisa Maria Argiro

— The End —