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Tommy Randell Nov 2014
Up steep streets
I repeat
In a dream
Words seen in windows
To myself
Sub-vocally

Turning right
And Northward
Left and Westwood
Checking number plates
For initial surprises
Numbers for primes

Multiplying
The number of years
By the number of days
Adding the leaps
The few left over
Beats

To arrive in the viewfinder
To stand on the edge
To look at the scene
To breathe with the light
To know finally that I am
The lens
Vicki Kralapp Aug 2012
Sitting beneath a giant squid eating sushi.
Watching the bubbles in my beer rising to the top of my glass.
Lost in my dreams, from on top the canopy of life,
living the moment with you.

Time holds its breath as you sit beside and in me,
with your disc jockey voice and your blue-grey eyes.
I’m floating away in a glass of foam as you carry me away,
surrounded by a sea of voices beneath a giant squid.

Your hair rolls in a sea of auburn waves, caressing your face.
Emotion welling in my heart, burning my soul.
In the next room fire leaps from tables to light our way,
to a place where love is remembered and memories kept.
All poems are copy written and sole property of Vicki Kralapp.
patty m Apr 2018
The far space is closing along a band of trees,
peelings of shadowy rind expose ghostly hues.
all around the air is flammable,
until the setting sun a burning bush turns ashen.  

Strange mood around this monolithic rock
that some folks fear.
Overlong we have waited presenting our sacrifices.
yet not a breath of wind stirs as we chant
and seeds take root.  

A strange spirit leaps into our midst
and all around there is a quick intake of breath.
Piercing movement collapses in upon itself as it whispers
though our pores.
Rhythms strange insistent beat, a driving force
whirls through our bloodstream,
its slow sensuous movements lead us into dreams.
Attached ghost,
your haunting aria spins in ethereal mist
transposing meditation.
Someone has put a hole in our language and now as we
look with hazy speculation upon the book
with tiny red stitches we remain baffled,
turning it round and round looking at all the foreign symbols,
                                   but it cannot be deciphered.  
Only the creatures of the forest remember;
Mid-Summer nights, the sound of magical flutes and the
bells of dancing nymphs.  
Only they understand  the gifts that Gaia bestows.    
Only they remember the Wisdom Of The Faun.
jules Jun 2018
love is when i look at her,
our eyes meeting,
tears rolling down our cheeks,
and we both connect.

love is when you're held,
and they're so proud,
with pain in her heart,
but she tells her story.

love is when she broke a vow,
a vow that kept her safe
from feeling sadness, dread
and trusted you with it.

love is when your heart leaps and the audience stands,
roaring, singing
screaming and thrashing
we made our mark.

and we cry and sob
and we begin hugging and wishing this moment could stay..
for we told a story,
a real story,
about how love is powerful
and could withstand
the spiraling earth
and the thunderous rain
and survive,
even in the face of death.

i love you,
and this is why we tell our story.
this is not romantic love.
this is love i feel for everyone.
i love you all so much, you helped me tell my story. you helped me feel raw.
and for that, i really do love you. and to my director,
thank you!
thank you for telling me your story,
thank you for trusting us and pushing through the pain,
i know she's watching us from above, you know it too.
i love you all!!
i'll always be here
Kevin J Taylor Jun 2017
A poet's breast within me beats
Beats heart and something I call soul that leaps
Charges, races, racing, finds its feet
Drags me, joyful, joy-filled, from my seat!

Elevating common prose
For pleasures sake, each poet knows,
Gains by use of tools as those
He would at length I’m sure disclose

If payment were perhaps an ear
Just for a moment lent to hear
Keenly offered verse— or beer,
Loved by poets too, I fear.

Most often those who are unwise
Negate the poet’s enterprise
Out of their need to criticize
(Perhaps within their misery lies)

Quite certain they must find a fault
Regardless of the somersaults
Some poets do to try and halt
Those who, in the name of help, assault.

Unless you’ve written words as these—  
Verses made and meant to please
With just a little work to tease
Xenia* coaxed from a’s and z’s

Your day lacks all that razzmatazz—as
Zest for verse—and all that jazz.
.

*Xenia—gifts given to a guest or stranger.
This is an Abecedarian. First letter of each line follows the alphabet. Fun to do.

.
Not all poems survive. I've lost a few and let others go. My current collection of poems is available on Kindle and in paperback. It is called "3201 e's" (that is approximately how many e's are in the manuscript which is a very unpoetic title but a reflection on the creation of poetry by common means.)
Delia Darling Sep 2018
As I stand here, outside my work building
stealing a smoke break
I wonder about God and the universe
and how much happier it makes me feel
to believe in other things

That the sun was a running man
chasing the stars in that endless black
run man
run fast
run free
but freedom only gets you
slipping and sliding in circular leaps
around our earth, almost like
a clumsy mouse in a stationary wheel
and these sneaky stars
always one step ahead at sunrise
or at his heels in sunset

My mom’s a Catholic woman
she won’t believe in the running man
her stars are not stars, no
her stars are rosaries in purses and
priest’s words
taught words
holy words
but holy words are also
human words, are they not?
It never made sense to me
that a person could live their whole life
repenting it

But then again,
my dad used to have me work in our yard,
picking the weeds outside
and he let me treasure them in a vase
he never called them weeds,
they were always
dandy-flowers
wishing flowers
wildflowers
but wild only gets you
believing in the sun and
keeping shrubs in vases
All of which suit me, because

In the lonely nights of endless black,
I have the company of my own stars
and when holy words of weeds fall back
I remember that—
wild humans are only wildflowers
Just some random thoughts induced by an insignificant smoke break
FIRST DAY

1.
Who wanted me
to go to Chicago
on January 6th?
I did!

The night before,
20 below zero
Fahrenheit
with the wind chill;
as the blizzard of 99
lay in mountains
of blackening snow.

I packed two coats,
two suits,
three sweaters,
multiple sets of long johns
and heavy white socks
for a two-day stay.

I left from Newark.
**** the denseness,
it confounds!

The 2nd City to whom?
2nd ain’t bad.
It’s pretty good.
If you consider
Peking and Prague,
Tokyo and Togo,
Manchester and Moscow,
Port Au Prince and Paris,
Athens and Amsterdam,
Buenos Aries and Johannesburg;
that’s pretty good.

What’s going on here today?
It’s friggin frozen.
To the bone!

But Chi Town is still cool.
Buddy Guy’s is open.
Bartenders mixing drinks,
cabbies jamming on their breaks,
honey dew waitresses serving sugar,
buildings swerving,
fire tongued preachers are preaching
and the farmers are measuring the moon.

The lake,
unlike Ontario
is in the midst of freezing.
Bones of ice
threaten to gel
into a solid mass
over the expanse
of the Michigan Lake.
If this keeps up,
you can walk
clear to Toronto
on a silver carpet.

Along the shore
the ice is permanent.
It’s the first big frost
of winter
after a long
Indian Summer.

Thank God
I caught a cab.
Outside I hear
The Hawk
nippin hard.
It’ll get your ear,
finger or toe.
Bite you on the nose too
if you ain’t careful.

Thank God,
I’m not walking
the Wabash tonight;
but if you do cover up,
wear layers.

Chicago,
could this be
Sandburg’s City?

I’m overwhelmed
and this is my tenth time here.

It’s almost better,
sometimes it is better,
a lot of times it is better
and denser then New York.

Ask any Bull’s fan.
I’m a Knickerbocker.
Yes Nueva York,
a city that has placed last
in the standings
for many years.
Except the last two.
Yanks are # 1!

But Chicago
is a dynasty,
as big as
Sammy Sosa’s heart,
rich and wide
as Michael Jordan’s grin.

Middle of a country,
center of a continent,
smack dab in the mean
of a hemisphere,
vortex to a world,
Chicago!

Kansas City,
Nashville,
St. Louis,
Detroit,
Cleveland,
Pittsburgh,
Denver,
New Orleans,
Dallas,
Cairo,
Singapore,
Auckland,
Baghdad,
Mexico City
and Montreal
salute her.



2.
Cities,
A collection of vanities?
Engineered complex utilitarianism?
The need for community a social necessity?
Ego one with the mass?
Civilization’s latest *******?
Chicago is more then that.

Jefferson’s yeoman farmer
is long gone
but this capitol
of the Great Plains
is still democratic.

The citizen’s of this city
would vote daily,
if they could.

Chicago,
Sandburg’s Chicago,
Could it be?

The namesake river
segments the city,
canals of commerce,
all perpendicular,
is rife throughout,
still guiding barges
to the Mississippi
and St. Laurence.

Now also
tourist attractions
for a cafe society.

Chicago is really jazzy,
swanky clubs,
big steaks,
juices and drinks.

You get the best
coffee from Seattle
and the finest teas
from China.

Great restaurants
serve liquid jazz
al la carte.

Jazz Jazz Jazz
All they serve is Jazz
Rock me steady
Keep the beat
Keep it flowin
Feel the heat!

Jazz Jazz Jazz
All they is, is Jazz
Fast cars will take ya
To the show
Round bout midnight
Where’d the time go?

Flows into the Mississippi,
the mother of America’s rivers,
an empires aorta.

Great Lakes wonder of water.
Niagara Falls
still her heart gushes forth.

Buffalo connected to this holy heart.
Finger Lakes and Adirondacks
are part of this watershed,
all the way down to the
Delaware and Chesapeake.

Sandburg’s Chicago?
Oh my my,
the wonder of him.
Who captured the imagination
of the wonders of rivers.

Down stream other holy cities
from the Mississippi delta
all mapped by him.

Its mouth our Dixie Trumpet
guarded by righteous Cajun brethren.

Midwest?
Midwest from where?
It’s north of Caracas and Los Angeles,
east of Fairbanks,
west of Dublin
and south of not much.

Him,
who spoke of honest men
and loving women.
Working men and mothers
bearing citizens to build a nation.
The New World’s
precocious adolescent
caught in a stream
of endless and exciting change,
much pain and sacrifice,
dedication and loss,
pride and tribulations.

From him we know
all the people’s faces.
All their stories are told.
Never defeating the
idea of Chicago.

Sandburg had the courage to say
what was in the heart of the people, who:

Defeated the Indians,
Mapped the terrain,
Aided slavers,
Fought a terrible civil war,
Hoisted the barges,
Grew the food,
Whacked the wheat,
Sang the songs,
Fought many wars of conquest,
Cleared the land,
Erected the bridges,
Trapped the game,
Netted the fish,
Mined the coal,
Forged the steel,
Laid the tracks,
Fired the tenders,
Cut the stone,
Mixed the mortar,
Plumbed the line,
And laid the bricks
Of this nation of cities!

Pardon the Marlboro Man shtick.
It’s a poor expostulation of
crass commercial symbolism.

Like I said, I’m a
Devil Fan from Jersey
and Madison Avenue
has done its work on me.

It’s a strange alchemy
that changes
a proud Nation of Blackhawks
into a merchandising bonanza
of hometown hockey shirts,
making the native seem alien,
and the interloper at home chillin out,
warming his feet atop a block of ice,
guzzling Old Style
with clicker in hand.

Give him his beer
and other diversions.
If he bowls with his buddy’s
on Tuesday night
I hope he bowls
a perfect game.

He’s earned it.
He works hard.
Hard work and faith
built this city.

And it’s not just the faith
that fills the cities
thousand churches,
temples and
mosques on the Sabbath.

3.
There is faith in everything in Chicago!

An alcoholic broker named Bill
lives the Twelve Steps
to banish fear and loathing
for one more day.
Bill believes in sobriety.

A tug captain named Moe
waits for the spring thaw
so he can get the barges up to Duluth.
Moe believes in the seasons.

A farmer named Tom
hopes he has reaped the last
of many bitter harvests.
Tom believes in a new start.

A homeless man named Earl
wills himself a cot and a hot
at the local shelter.
Earl believes in deliverance.

A Pullman porter
named George
works overtime
to get his first born
through medical school.
George believes in opportunity.

A folk singer named Woody
sings about his
countrymen inheritance
and implores them to take it.
Woody believes in people.

A Wobbly named Joe
organizes fellow steelworkers
to fight for a workers paradise
here on earth.
Joe believes in ideals.

A bookkeeper named Edith
is certain she’ll see the Cubs
win the World Series
in her lifetime.
Edith believes in miracles.

An electrician named ****
saves money
to bring his family over from Gdansk.
**** believes in America.

A banker named Leah
knows Ditka will return
and lead the Bears
to another Super Bowl.
Leah believes in nostalgia.

A cantor named Samuel
prays for another 20 years
so he can properly train
his Temple’s replacement.

Samuel believes in tradition.
A high school girl named Sally
refuses to get an abortion.
She knows she carries
something special within her.
Sally believes in life.

A city worker named Mazie
ceaselessly prays
for her incarcerated son
doing 10 years at Cook.
Mazie believes in redemption.

A jazzer named Bix
helps to invent a new art form
out of the mist.
Bix believes in creativity.

An architect named Frank
restores the Rookery.
Frank believes in space.

A soldier named Ike
fights wars for democracy.
Ike believes in peace.

A Rabbi named Jesse
sermonizes on Moses.
Jesse believes in liberation.

Somewhere in Chicago
a kid still believes in Shoeless Joe.
The kid believes in
the integrity of the game.

An Imam named Louis
is busy building a nation
within a nation.
Louis believes in
self-determination.

A teacher named Heidi
gives all she has to her students.
She has great expectations for them all.
Heidi believes in the future.

4.
Does Chicago have a future?

This city,
full of cowboys
and wildcatters
is predicated
on a future!

Bang, bang
Shoot em up
Stake the claim
It’s your terrain
Drill the hole
Strike it rich
Top it off
You’re the boss
Take a chance
Watch it wane
Try again
Heavenly gains

Chicago
city of futures
is a Holy Mecca
to all day traders.

Their skin is gray,
hair disheveled,
loud ties and
funny coats,
thumb through
slips of paper
held by nail
chewed hands.
Selling promises
with no derivative value
for out of the money calls
and in the money puts.
Strike is not a labor action
in this city of unionists,
but a speculators mark,
a capitalist wish,
a hedgers bet,
a public debt
and a farmers
fair return.

Indexes for everything.
Quantitative models
that could burst a kazoo.

You know the measure
of everything in Chicago.
But is it truly objective?
Have mathematics banished
subjective intentions,
routing it in fair practice
of market efficiencies,
a kind of scientific absolution?

I heard that there
is a dispute brewing
over the amount of snowfall
that fell on the 1st.

The mayor’s office,
using the official city ruler
measured 22”
of snow on the ground.

The National Weather Service
says it cannot detect more
then 17” of snow.

The mayor thinks
he’ll catch less heat
for the trains that don’t run
the buses that don’t arrive
and the schools that stand empty
with the addition of 5”.

The analysts say
it’s all about capturing liquidity.

Liquidity,
can you place a great lake
into an eyedropper?

Its 20 below
and all liquid things
are solid masses
or a gooey viscosity at best.

Water is frozen everywhere.
But Chi town is still liquid,
flowing faster
then the digital blips
flashing on the walls
of the CBOT.

Dreams
are never frozen in Chicago.
The exchanges trade
without missing a beat.

Trading wet dreams,
the crystallized vapor
of an IPO
pledging a billion points
of Internet access
or raiding the public treasuries
of a central bank’s
huge stores of gold
with currency swaps.

Using the tools
of butterfly spreads
and candlesticks
to achieve the goal.

Short the Russell
or buy the Dow,
go long the
CAC and DAX.
Are you trading in euro’s?
You better be
or soon will.
I know
you’re Chicago,
you’ll trade anything.
WEBS,
Spiders,
and Leaps
are traded here,
along with sweet crude,
North Sea Brent,
plywood and T-Bill futures;
and most importantly
the commodities,
the loam
that formed this city
of broad shoulders.

What about our wheat?
Still whacking and
breadbasket to the world.

Oil,
an important fossil fuel
denominated in
good ole greenbacks.

Porkbellies,
not just hogwash
on the Wabash,
but bacon, eggs
and flapjacks
are on the menu
of every diner in Jersey
as the “All American.”

Cotton,
our contribution
to the Golden Triangle,
once the global currency
used to enrich a
gentlemen class
of cultured
southern slavers,
now Tommy Hilfiger’s
preferred fabric.

I think he sends it
to Bangkok where
child slaves
spin it into
gold lame'.

Sorghum,
I think its hardy.

Soybeans,
the new age substitute
for hamburger
goes great with tofu lasagna.

Corn,
ADM creates ethanol,
they want us to drive cleaner cars.

Cattle,
once driven into this city’s
bloodhouses for slaughter,
now ground into
a billion Big Macs
every year.

When does a seed
become a commodity?
When does a commodity
become a future?
When does a future expire?

You can find the answers
to these questions in Chicago
and find a fortune in a hole in the floor.

Look down into the pits.
Hear the screams of anguish
and profitable delights.

Frenzied men
swarming like a mass
of epileptic ants
atop the worlds largest sugar cube
auger the worlds free markets.

The scene is
more chaotic then
100 Haymarket Square Riots
multiplied by 100
1968 Democratic Conventions.

Amidst inverted anthills,
they scurry forth and to
in distinguished
black and red coats.

Fighting each other
as counterparties
to a life and death transaction.

This is an efficient market
that crosses the globe.

Oil from the Sultan of Brunei,
Yen from the land of Hitachi,
Long Bonds from the Fed,
nickel from Quebec,
platinum and palladium
from Siberia,
FTSE’s from London
and crewel cane from Havana
circle these pits.

Tijuana,
Shanghai
and Istanbul's
best traders
are only half as good
as the average trader in Chicago.

Chicago,
this hog butcher to the world,
specializes in packaging and distribution.

Men in blood soaked smocks,
still count the heads
entering the gates of the city.

Their handiwork
is sent out on barges
and rail lines as frozen packages
of futures
waiting for delivery
to an anonymous counterparty
half a world away.

This nation’s hub
has grown into the
premier purveyor
to the world;
along all the rivers,
highways,
railways
and estuaries
it’s tentacles reach.

5.
Sandburg’s Chicago,
is a city of the world’s people.

Many striver rows compose
its many neighborhoods.

Nordic stoicism,
Eastern European orthodoxy
and Afro-American
calypso vibrations
are three of many cords
strumming the strings
of Chicago.

Sandburg’s Chicago,
if you wrote forever
you would only scratch its surface.

People wait for trains
to enter the city from O’Hare.
Frozen tears
lock their eyes
onto distant skyscrapers,
solid chunks
of snot blocks their nose
and green icicles of slime
crust mustaches.
They fight to breathe.

Sandburg’s Chicago
is The Land of Lincoln,
Savior of the Union,
protector of the Republic.
Sent armies
of sons and daughters,
barges, boxcars,
gunboats, foodstuffs,
cannon and shot
to raze the south
and stamp out succession.

Old Abe’s biography
are still unknown volumes to me.
I must see and read the great words.
You can never learn enough;
but I’ve been to Washington
and seen the man’s memorial.
The Free World’s 8th wonder,
guarded by General Grant,
who still keeps an eye on Richmond
and a hand on his sword.

Through this American winter
Abe ponders.
The vista he surveys is dire and tragic.

Our sitting President
impeached
for lying about a *******.

Party partisans
in the senate are sworn and seated.
Our Chief Justice,
adorned with golden bars
will adjudicate the proceedings.
It is the perfect counterpoint
to an ageless Abe thinking
with malice toward none
and charity towards all,
will heal the wounds
of the nation.

Abe our granite angel,
Chicago goes on,
The Union is strong!


SECOND DAY

1.
Out my window
the sun has risen.

According to
the local forecast
its minus 9
going up to
6 today.

The lake,
a golden pillow of clouds
is frozen in time.

I marvel
at the ancients ones
resourcefulness
and how
they mastered
these extreme elements.

Past, present and future
has no meaning
in the Citadel
of the Prairie today.

I set my watch
to Central Standard Time.

Stepping into
the hotel lobby
the concierge
with oil smooth hair,
perfect tie
and English lilt
impeccably asks,
“Do you know where you are going Sir?
Can I give you a map?”

He hands me one of Chicago.
I see he recently had his nails done.
He paints a green line
along Whacker Drive and says,
“turn on Jackson, LaSalle, Wabash or Madison
and you’ll get to where you want to go.”
A walk of 14 or 15 blocks from Streeterville-
(I start at The Chicago White House.
They call it that because Hillary Rodham
stays here when she’s in town.
Its’ also alleged that Stedman
eats his breakfast here
but Opra
has never been seen
on the premises.
I wonder how I gained entry
into this place of elite’s?)
-down into the center of The Loop.

Stepping out of the hotel,
The Doorman
sporting the epaulets of a colonel
on his corporate winter coat
and furry Cossack hat
swaddling his round black face
accosts me.

The skin of his face
is flaking from
the subzero windburn.

He asks me
with a gapped toothy grin,
“Can I get you a cab?”
“No I think I’ll walk,” I answer.
“Good woolen hat,
thick gloves you should be alright.”
He winks and lets me pass.

I step outside.
The Windy City
flings stabbing cold spears
flying on wings of 30-mph gusts.
My outside hardens.
I can feel the freeze
deepen
into my internalness.
I can’t be sure
but inside
my heart still feels warm.
For how long
I cannot say.

I commence
my walk
among the spires
of this great city,
the vertical leaps
that anchor the great lake,
holding its place
against the historic
frigid assault.

The buildings’ sway,
modulating to the blows
of natures wicked blasts.

It’s a hard imposition
on a city and its people.

The gloves,
skullcap,
long underwear,
sweater,
jacket
and overcoat
not enough
to keep the cold
from penetrating
the person.

Like discerning
the layers of this city,
even many layers,
still not enough
to understand
the depth of meaning
of the heart
of this heartland city.

Sandburg knew the city well.
Set amidst groves of suburbs
that extend outward in every direction.
Concentric circles
surround the city.
After the burbs come farms,
Great Plains, and mountains.
Appalachians and Rockies
are but mere molehills
in the city’s back yard.
It’s terra firma
stops only at the sea.
Pt. Barrow to the Horn,
many capes extended.

On the periphery
its appendages,
its extremities,
its outward extremes.
All connected by the idea,
blown by the incessant wind
of this great nation.
The Windy City’s message
is sent to the world’s four corners.
It is a message of power.
English the worlds
common language
is spoken here,
along with Ebonics,
Espanol,
Mandarin,
Czech,
Russian,
Korean,
Arabic,
Hindi­,
German,
French,
electronics,
steel,
cars,
cartoons,
rap,
sports­,
movies,
capital,
wheat
and more.

Always more.
Much much more
in Chicago.

2.
Sandburg
spoke all the dialects.

He heard them all,
he understood
with great precision
to the finest tolerances
of a lathe workers micrometer.

Sandburg understood
what it meant to laugh
and be happy.

He understood
the working mans day,
the learned treatises
of university chairs,
the endless tomes
of the city’s
great libraries,
the lost languages
of the ancient ones,
the secret codes
of abstract art,
the impact of architecture,
the street dialects and idioms
of everymans expression of life.

All fighting for life,
trying to build a life,
a new life
in this modern world.

Walking across
the Michigan Avenue Bridge
I see the Wrigley Building
is neatly carved,
catty cornered on the plaza.

I wonder if Old Man Wrigley
watched his barges
loaded with spearmint
and double-mint
move out onto the lake
from one of those Gothic windows
perched high above the street.

Would he open a window
and shout to the men below
to quit slaking and work harder
or would he
between the snapping sound
he made with his mouth
full of his chewing gum
offer them tickets
to a ballgame at Wrigley Field
that afternoon?

Would the men below
be able to understand
the man communing
from such a great height?

I listen to a man
and woman conversing.
They are one step behind me
as we meander along Wacker Drive.

"You are in Chicago now.”
The man states with profundity.
“If I let you go
you will soon find your level
in this city.
Do you know what I mean?”

No I don’t.
I think to myself.
What level are you I wonder?
Are you perched atop
the transmission spire
of the Hancock Tower?

I wouldn’t think so
or your ears would melt
from the windburn.

I’m thinking.
Is she a kept woman?
She is majestically clothed
in fur hat and coat.
In animal pelts
not trapped like her,
but slaughtered
from farms
I’m sure.

What level
is he speaking of?

Many levels
are evident in this city;
many layers of cobbled stone,
Pennsylvania iron,
Hoosier Granite
and vertical drops.

I wonder
if I detect
condensation
in his voice?

What is
his intention?
Is it a warning
of a broken affair?
A pending pink slip?
Advise to an addict
refusing to adhere
to a recovery regimen?

What is his level anyway?
Is he so high and mighty,
Higher and mightier
then this great city
which we are all a part of,
which we all helped to build,
which we all need
in order to keep this nation
the thriving democratic
empire it is?

This seditious talk!

3.
The Loop’s El
still courses through
the main thoroughfares of the city.

People are transported
above the din of the street,
looking down
on the common pedestrians
like me.

Super CEO’s
populating the upper floors
of Romanesque,
Greek Revivalist,
New Bauhaus,
Art Deco
and Post Nouveau
Neo-Modern
Avant-Garde towers
are too far up
to see me
shivering on the street.

The cars, busses,
trains and trucks
are all covered
with the film
of rock salt.

Salt covers
my bootless feet
and smudges
my cloths as well.

The salt,
the primal element
of the earth
covers everything
in Chicago.

It is the true level
of this city.

The layer
beneath
all layers,
on which
everything
rests,
is built,
grows,
thrives
then dies.
To be
returned again
to the lower
layers
where it can
take root
again
and grow
out onto
the great plains.

Splashing
the nation,
anointing
its people
with its
blessing.

A blessing,
Chicago?

All rivers
come here.

All things
found its way here
through the canals
and back bays
of the world’s
greatest lakes.

All roads,
rails and
air routes
begin and
end here.

Mrs. O’Leary’s cow
got a *** rap.
It did not start the fire,
we did.

We lit the torch
that flamed
the city to cinders.
From a pile of ash
Chicago rose again.

Forever Chicago!
Forever the lamp
that burns bright
on a Great Lake’s
western shore!

Chicago
the beacon
sends the
message to the world
with its windy blasts,
on chugging barges,
clapping trains,
flying tandems,
T1 circuits
and roaring jets.

Sandburg knew
a Chicago
I will never know.

He knew
the rhythm of life
the people walked to.
The tools they used,
the dreams they dreamed
the songs they sang,
the things they built,
the things they loved,
the pains that hurt,
the motives that grew,
the actions that destroyed
the prayers they prayed,
the food they ate
their moments of death.

Sandburg knew
the layers of the city
to the depths
and windy heights
I cannot fathom.

The Blues
came to this city,
on the wing
of a chirping bird,
on the taps
of a rickety train,
on the blast
of an angry sax
rushing on the wind,
on the Westend blitz
of Pop's brash coronet,
on the tink of
a twinkling piano
on a paddle-wheel boat
and on the strings
of a lonely man’s guitar.

Walk into the clubs,
tenements,
row houses,
speakeasies
and you’ll hear the Blues
whispered like
a quiet prayer.

Tidewater Blues
from Virginia,
Delta Blues
from the lower
Mississippi,
Boogie Woogie
from Appalachia,
Texas Blues
from some Lone Star,
Big Band Blues
from Kansas City,
Blues from
Beal Street,
Jelly Roll’s Blues
from the Latin Quarter.

Hell even Chicago
got its own brand
of Blues.

Its all here.
It ended up here
and was sent away
on the winds of westerly blows
to the ear of an eager world
on strong jet streams
of simple melodies
and hard truths.

A broad
shouldered woman,
a single mother stands
on the street
with three crying babes.
Their cloths
are covered
in salt.
She pleads
for a break,
praying
for a new start.
Poor and
under-clothed
against the torrent
of frigid weather
she begs for help.
Her blond hair
and ****** features
suggests her
Scandinavian heritage.
I wonder if
she is related to Sandburg
as I walk past
her on the street.
Her feet
are bleeding
through her
canvass sneakers.
Her babes mouths
are zipped shut
with frozen drivel
and mucous.

The Blues live
on in Chicago.

The Blues
will forever live in her.
As I turn the corner
to walk the Miracle Mile
I see her engulfed
in a funnel cloud of salt,
snow and bits
of white paper,
swirling around her
and her children
in an angry
unforgiving
maelstrom.

The family
begins to
dissolve
like a snail
sprinkled with salt;
and a mother
and her children
just disappear
into the pavement
at the corner
of Dearborn,
in Chicago.

Music:

Robert Johnson
Sweet Home Chicago


jbm
Chicago
1/7/99
Added today to commemorate the birthday of Carl Sandburg
jane taylor May 2016
and there i am in the midst of it all, conscious of what appears to be existent, yet knowing it is illusory.  and if time is occurring synchronously then how can i look back with contrition?  for if i have the capacity to move backwards and forwards in quantum leaps, i can erase the past like pastel chalk on an antique blackboard, then start anew.  is not the sky my canvas and the arc of the rainbow my palette?  and the stars in lustrous luminosity light my way so that ev’n at dusk I can paint.  yet pain ne’er ceases to hollow me out.  then through a barren vessel i catch more rain, and pour it out upon the parched terrain.  just when i thought enlightenment was nigh, a sharp edge is discovered.  must it necessitate additional sandpapering from the wind?  when will the gemstone sparkle without further pressure?  does it lie in its power to simply shimmer sans duress?  perhaps it was dazzling at its inception, relinquishing its luster upon domestication.  with this proviso, as it nears twilight i shall tarry and blend with the night.  i’ll dance with a moonbeam knowing the jewel will glisten afresh upon the rise of the golden sun.

@2016janetaylor
Marrion Kiprop Aug 2016
In this darkest of night
I solemnly lay
Eyes closed in deep contrition
In need of your hearts melody.

My thoughts wandering far and wide
In search of your ardent smile
My heart craving
For your loving eminence.

As your beauty
And sweet spirit fragrance
Flood my heartily realm
My heart leaps to a joyous carol

Gracious precious Grace
Gracious precious Grace
Gracious precious Grace
Is my gladly refrain.
Elaine R T Mar 30
My soul keeps me up at night.
If I move in my sleep,
I disturb her.
She leaps off the bed,
and walks around the room
until I cater to her needs.
She's quite quiet,
doesn't say that much.
She's especially shy.
So she keeps me up,
until she falls asleep.
Trying to snuggle away,
the late night headache
she gave me.

E.R.T.
The Rogue Poet Nov 2013
Months have passed since I last seen your face,
Touched your skin, the scent of your lovely purfume,
Oh my, how I have longed for my lips to meet your once more...
But I pinky promise myself No More,
The aches and pains seem to supress day by day as I take leaps forward,
Staying occupied and savoring the moments in My life,
which seems to be the antibiotics to this so called "Heart Break,"
I made new friends and new potential lovers and you see me.
You contact me to make conversation to keep me at arms length once more,
But burn me once shame on you, burn me twice shame on me,
You will not deceive me again, to leave me broken hearted once more,
Medusa, I see through your stone cold eyes,
I have worked to hard and made a promise I tend to keep,
I tell you everything is fine, which it is since I have learned to live again without you.
The love I had for you once upon a time is no more,
But I will say this I Will keep the wisdom you have given me,
I thank you for pushing me towards being a stronger person and lover,
I just hope that what you did was worth it to you,
As I give you words of advice I tell you,
"Dont treat your next as your last,
Or you will have no problem repeating the past,"
I see tears running from your eyes,
As I can see the regret in them,
As our eyes meet our lips meet once more,
and you smile,
The last words you heard from me as you watched my back this time around was,
"I'm sorry, please take care of yourself but, No More."


{RP}
Strangers marvel as they pass
At the fire that never leaves
Yet barely any stop to look
Or rest their aching knees.

The furnace which you left alight
Still rages without witness;
A thousand feigned attempts to douse,
It burns on without forgiveness.

The fire burns brighter still
Flames cracking the furnace
Yet the fuel which burns brightest
Is often the easiest missed.

The fire rages, crackles, hisses
No moisture left to soften,
In the nighttime as well as day
The fire sits forgotten.

Another sits, hands outstretched
Loosening their furrowed brow
They smile, stand and turn around
Then wonder back into the cold.

The fire leaps our, barely contained
Destined to grow stronger
Where others burn themselves to sleep
The furnace melts instead.
‘One may have a blazing heart in one’s soul and yet no one ever came to sit by it. Passers-by only see a wisp of smoke from the chimney and continue on their way’

Vincent Van Gogh
Al Nov 2018
In the blue
clouds drift,

Silver linings,
hidden inside.  

Together we dance,

A small frog leaps,
the lilly pad pops.

June becomes a shadow in time.

Still resting here as the blue jay flies.
Shofi Ahmed Aug 2017
Singing up on the fly,
the sea touches the cloud.
Dancing on the ground,
it won't slip off the floor,
it won’t drop a drop!
Curiously algorithmic,
runs on the go,
leaps or dips, but never
is a gone goose!
Ah, holy smoke,
what did you drop?
Jim Timonere Apr 2016
It is a sad world where the things
happening in the night are the most fascinating,
which means they are broadcast where we can see them better
and hopefully buy the toothpaste sponsoring them.

The startling things are real, but they are not who we are,
not we who embrace our humanity and shudder
at the tales of those who prey and injure
to feel a power we shun

My mother said there is no paycheck for being good;
Maybe, but there is consolation for
in those moments when what we do
is what we ought to have done

Moments when a stranger's child frightened by lighting
instinctively leaps into your arms for comfort,
times when a stricken cancer patient is solicitous about
the sound of your cough in the doctor's office.

You have felt the warmth I cannot describe
and you know, you know
this is the touch of something greater given to
comfort us for all we will endure.
Lawrence Hall Oct 2018
A merry dachshund yaps, and leaps for leaves
Wind-blown across the still-green summer grass
As autumn visits briefly, and looks around
To plan his festive moonlit frosts when next
Diana dances ‘cross November’s skies.
Your ‘umble scrivener’s site is:
Reactionarydrivel.blogspot.com.
It’s not at all reactionary, tho’ it might be drivel.
is starting to do
running leaps
at my uvula

from bile pool below
where it's been stewing
for quite some time

it's going to latch on
real good and tight
with white-knuckle fists
one of these days

and herald in
songs of sorrowful
karmic oneness

(and hopefully
some laughter
at the absurdity
ushering humility
with eyes wide
seeing through
the slits in salted
facepalms)

and lessons
oh my, the lessons...

#1 = we are the creators

of our hells
and our heavens
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