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Terry O'Leary Jan 2014
1.   Beginnings

Her babe was her joy, such a beautiful boy,
and he suckled her breast till the end.
The slaver sought cash, bestowed mammy a thrash,
sold her babe to a gentrified friend.
Yes, life flits like a flash, a lithe leathery lash,
yet another cruel link in their chain.

With mammy not there, Sammy dared not to dare
but to bide near the edge of the night.
Yet nevertheless one must always outguess
else absorb burning stings of the bite.
Yes, it flits like a flash, a lithe leathery lash,
yet another cruel link in their chain.

Though learning the rules in the shadows of fools
as he grew to a leery lean lad
he often defied but he never once cried
although whipped at the post whene’er bad.
Yes, it flits like a flash, a lithe leathery lash,
yet another cruel link in their chain.


2.   Youth

The cotton gin broke and nobody spoke,
so ol’ ***** said  “BENNY’S TO BLAME”.
But Sammy said ‘No...  *****, jus’ cain’t be so,
no ’tain’t Benny, ’tain’t Benny’s sore name’.
Yes, it flits like a flash, a lithe leathery lash,
yet another cruel link in their chain.

“LOOK, SEE IN HIS EYES HOW THAT NG** BOY LIES!”
- replied Sam ‘no I’s tellin da truth’.
But daring to speak earned him scars for his cheek
and thus blemished the bloom of his youth.
Yes, it flits like a flash, a lithe leathery lash,
yet another cruel link in their chain.

“THE COTTON GIN’S BROKE, AND THAT JUST AIN’T NO JOKE”
and he called upon Benny to pay:
“BENNY GOT NO EXCUSE, DRAPE HIS NECK WITH THE NOOSE”,
just as Sam feared ol’ ***** would say.
Yes, it flits like a flash, a lithe leathery lash,
yet another cruel link in their chain.

Black faces soon blanched as Ben bended a branch
near the base of a broken oak tree.
His body hung bare as it swung in the air
while the buzzards and crows shrieked with glee.
Yes, it flits like a flash, a lithe leathery lash,
yet another cruel link in their chain.


3.   Flight

Sam’s feet were unclad, as befitting the lad
(as alone as a stone in his path)
when  he started to run neath the sly sliding sun  
being followed and fearing God’s wrath.
Yes, it flits like a flash, a lithe leathery lash,
yet another cruel link in their chain.

Surrounded and caught brought his efforts to naught,
child in chains at the end of his trek;
winds wept as he went, with his spirit unbent,
a cold collar of steel ’round his neck.
Yes, it flits like a flash, a lithe leathery lash,
yet another cruel link in their chain.

“FLOG THE BOY FROM HIS TOES TO THE TIP OF HIS NOSE”
- only so could a lesson be taught -
for to set an example, Sam’s death might be ample
was what the ol’ ***** first thought.
Yes, it flits like a flash, a lithe leathery lash,
yet another cruel link in their chain.

But since boughten at birth, Sam had proven his worth
so his loss would be too much to bear
and as Sam was a child the ol’ ***** was mild,
said “ENOUGH” when Sam’s back was laid bare.      
Yes, it flits like a flash, a lithe leathery lash,
yet another cruel link in their chain.


4.   Life

Sam grew to a man, branded ‘boy’ by the clan,
as they spat on the trails that he tread;
should he dare raise his gaze with a gander that strays
they’d be certain to sever his head.
Yes, it flits like a flash, a lithe leathery lash,
yet another cruel link in their chain.

Once Sam found a wife whom they ripped from his life,
yes along with the babe at her breast
(was it simply their greed or by heaven decreed?).
Well, with hindsight you might guess the rest.
Yes, it flits like a flash, a lithe leathery lash,
yet another cruel link in their chain.


5.   Destiny

From phantoms of fright neath the frail foggy night
Sammy soared as he fled to escape
and he no longer crawled (lady liberty called!)
through the darkness, a black hole agape.
Yes, it flits like a flash, a lithe leathery lash,
yet another cruel link in their chain.

Unleashed! Frenzied dogs hounded Sam through the bogs,
(baying beasts neath the ****** red moon).
White fangs intermeshed as they mangled his flesh,
freedom flayed through the pale afternoon.
Yes, it flits like a flash, a lithe leathery lash,
yet another cruel link in their chain.

Sam’s body was torn leaving little to mourn
but there’s really no need to despair
and there’s no need to cry for his spirit can’t die,
being borne by bound men everywhere.
Yes, it flits like a flash, a lithe leathery lash,
yet another cruel link in their chain.



                          EPITAPH

                    SAM
Revolted and clashed ’gainst the cruel leather lash
and broke free from the choke of their chain.



                         EPILOGUE

Those parts of the past that we gaze at aghast
reveal harrowing questions quite plain –

Why people quite free, just like you, just like me,
were so happy inflicting such pain?

Why we bask in the throes of humanity’s woes
while the tyrants and tyrannies reign?

Why we sit back and watch, sometimes scratching our crotch,
as it happens again and again?

And I’m wondering too (’cause I don’t have a clue),
might we each be a link in their chain?
Anastasia C Mar 2017
When you love someone who doesn't love you back your world ends.

When you love someone who doesn't love you back you keep pumping love. You are so oblivious and eager that you give them so much love. No matter what they won’t give it back.

When you love someone who doesn't love you back. You feel nothing but absolute pain and sorrow. You feel like there nothing left except the love that won't be taken. Your love is so strong and there’s so much that it floods you.

When you love someone who doesn't love you back. You feel hopeless because of all the love you gave this person and how much you'd do for love in return. You'd give them all the time in the world, all the love in the world. You still do this relentlessly even though they wont give you five minutes when you need that five minutes.

Being in love with someone who doesn't love you back is a burning red pain. It's a pain like nothing else because no matter what you do, no matter what medicine or treatment you give to that pain it's still there. It's there when you see his face, hear his voice, remember his touch. It's always there.

When you're in love with someone who doesn't love you back, you don't have to worry too much about them intentionally hurting you. That's because everything small memory you've over analyzed hits you across the face over and over. You're constantly hating yourself because this one person was so important to you and now he's gone. “I should've done..” “Why was I so..” “No wonder he doesn't..” Those thoughts are toxic and seizes up your body.

When you're in love with someone who doesn't love you back, you get so ******* close to hating them. You hate that they've ripped you open, eaten you up and have left you to decay. You hate that they have let you hate yourself more than you could ever hate them. You hate them because of the things they gave you which weren't all good. And the things they stole. Like crying on their shoulders which they gave, but your pride they took.

When you're in love with someone for the first time and they don't love you back, you never want to fall in love again. You never want attachments with anyone because of this substantial pain that is constantly there. You never want to kiss with love, talk with love, witness love. You never want love unless, it's that one person you love. That's the only thing that matters. Love had a horrible reputation, it's either make it or ******* break it. Not take it.

When you're hurt by someone who can't feel pain, you wish you never fell in love. Never in lust, never started talking, never meeting. You wish you could erase their smell so you wouldn't ever have to think about why you remember it so well. You wish you can't vividly remember how their arms felt and how they were once so welcoming.

When you love someone who doesn't love you back, you are pathetic. You cry in bed while replaying your first kiss, first date, the time you fell asleep together. You can remember every feeling from the first time you felt love to the first time your heart skipped a beat because, well, it was ending. You remember the goosebumps running down your back when you last touched his hand as you left his car. That was the last time you'd be in his car. And that was the last time you touched his leathery skin that was wet from your tears. And that was the last time he would know how much you loved him.

You replay every memory over and over until they're worn out. And after they're worn out you can't ever get new ones. You love this person and you will for a long, long time. But they won't ever love you. They won’t get those stomach tickles when you hear their name. They wont miss having their chapped lips against your neck tickling you elegantly. Because to them that doesn't matter, they didn’t feel love.

When you're in love with someone who doesn't love you back, it's almost impossible to stop loving them. No matter what you do. No matter what they did. No matter how it hurts. No matter what, you will love them.

When you love someone who doesn’t love you back, you are incapable of stopping because you are paralyzed.
I am not feeling these things anymore, i wrote this after a breakup. This breakup was very hard for me, I never really felt worse in my life. The pain was horrible and I will never forget it. I hope to never feel this way towards someone again because as of right now, I don't want to love like this ever again. Theres so much emotion that goes into one person and it was so one ended for me. Ive grown from this and learned from this. l
Martin Narrod Nov 2015
Backwards, like a sign that's hard to read. Like a leather jacket that's too stiff in the arms but 2 years off the rack. And then the heart explodes in the esophagus. Pieces of young trust comes out all over what the eyes can see, and each body part wants to go back to their respective bed nestling areas. Sometimes, even this little me gets nervous about being vulnerable. You can only burn the velveteen rabbit once.

These are the monkeys of my throat and the dinosaurs that tend to my fingertips. My skin gets leathery before it feels like silk. I don't smell like a motorcycle or sound like the fast lane but I'm not sure if I want to yet. I'm happier not waiting to randomly be reminded of the pain, it's much better to chase down those hydrogen bombs while the cattle **** is still hot and fire-red. Two served and five Peanuts left for playtime. I rather enjoy being a vampire.
Here is the girl's head like an exhumed gourd.
Oval-faced, prune-skinned, prune-stones for teeth.

They unswaddled the wet fern of her hair
And made an exhibition of its coil,
Let the air at her leathery beauty.
Pash of tallow, perishable treasure:
Her broken nose is dark as a turf clod,
Her eyeholes blank as pools in the old workings.
Diodorus Siculus confessed
His gradual ease with the likes of this:
Murdered, forgotten, nameless, terrible
Beheaded girl, outstaring axe
And beatification, outstaring
What had begun to feel like reverence.
Robert Ronnow Aug 2015
Surveying
northern autumn afternoon
Pitcherelli, ex-marine, body-builder,
Lussier, long-haired father of three dark-skinned children
and myself, sharp-edged loner, ex-lover of a fair share of
      women
are belly-laughing in the dying sun. Clouds.
The crew, in timber.

Laughing
over recent visits to marvelous cities where
we could not keep ourselves from touching the terminal buds
of numerous exotic trees
and attracting ridicule of stylish girls and tame boyfriends.
Pitcherelli before the Albany bus station
shaking hands with a red pine planted thirty years ago.
Lussier, one hand in a child's hand and the other
feeling scabrous bark of urban woody plants.
Myself among partially shaved heads and leathery aromatic
      jackets
getting close to the hairy bud of an unidentified poplar or
      sycamore.

People
laughed, but we laughed best
back on our mountain
under the blackening weather.
www.ronnowpoetry.com
Nat Lipstadt Oct 2013
I am a man, grandfather to four.
Adherent to the same religion,
Poetry.

Breathing through mine eyes,
Exhaling carbon words,
That with time and pressure become
Poems, verbal musical notes upon life.

Each motion, from tiny to grand,
A capsule of expression,
That if examined under microscope,
Familial DNA, interconnected tissue,
Discovered, tho logic says,  
Time and distance render impossible.

But this is a diamond
This is a writ to be slipped
Upon the finger, the heart, the essence,
Of the only Banyan tree I have hugged.

This poem but a fig,
In the cracks of kindness,
The crevices of caring,
It has slow germinated.

You dear, Sally,
My host,
A building upon I can lean,
When wearied spirits uproot
My surficial composure.

Your seeds carried from east to west,
By a fig wasp, a bird unknown,
An ocean voyager, of indisputable vision, strength.

This seeded messenger, word carrier,
Supplanted in me, and your pupils,
Jose-Bolima-Remillan
Xavier-Paolo-Joshh-Mandrez
Whose very names breathe poems,
in others too, like me and Atu,
Seeds to become new roots, but you,
Our Host official and forever
Planter of trees of loving kindness.

You already know with love and affection,
I call you Grandma Sally,
And when you ask, beseech,
I cannot refuse.

Together we will will banish the sad,
Acknowledge we, that life's ocean,
A mixture of many, even sad, a necessity.

But I promise that will turn it into
Something simple, something good.
For you have asked and I answer you
Right here right now - your wish,
My objective, deep rooted like you,
Like an old banyan tree,
Your roots spread far, spread wide.

So some eve, when to the beach, to the sky
You glance, smile, no matter what, troubles dispersed,
For the reflection of you, seeds, full fledged trees now,
Bending skywards, in search of your rays of expression,
Your maternal wisdom rooted, spread so wide, globally,
All over this Earth, is visible from your
Beloved Philippines.


---------------------------------------
In her own words..

I am a widow,
with five remarkable granddaughters....
all beautiful, intelligent girls.
It is such a waste not to write....
each morning that unfolds is filled
with things to write about....
the people, the birds,
the trees, the wind,
the seas,
everything we set our eyes on,
they are all
poetry in motion.
Life itself is poetry,
I always have pen and paper within reach.
My past experiences are a
never-ending source
of ideas and words for my poems....
I shall write until time permits me,
"til there's breath within me."

-------------------------------------------------
A banyan (also banian) is a fig that starts its life as an epiphyte (a plant growing on another plant) when its seeds germinate in the cracks and crevices on a host tree (or on structures like buildings and bridges). "Banyan" often refers specifically to the Indian banyan or Ficus benghalensis, the national tree of India,[1] though the term has been generalized to include all figs that share a characteristic life cycle...
Like other fig species (which includes the common edible fig Ficus carica), banyans have unique fruit structures and are dependent on fig wasps for reproduction. The seeds of banyans are dispersed by fruit-eating birds. The seeds germinate and send down roots towards the ground.

The leaves of the banyan tree are large, leathery, glossy green and elliptical in shape. Like most fig-trees, the leaf bud is covered by two large scales. As the leaf develops the scales fall. Young leaves have an attractive reddish tinge.[6]

Older banyan trees are characterized by their aerial prop roots that grow into thick woody trunks which, with age, can become indistinguishable from the main trunk. The original support tree can sometimes die, so that the banyan becomes a "columnar tree" with a hollow central core. Old trees can spread out laterally using these prop roots to cover a wide area.
Over 1900+ reads as Nov. 10th.
Sally, That is a lot of friends and admirers you have!
Ansley Aug 2018
The old woman ran a leathery hand through her cropped hair.
"Yes, you may weep for the fields of green, as they were gorgeous yet thought to be boring."
She rocked back and forth and her wrinkled face contorted into a smile for the first time in the conversation.
"You may always cry for the tulip fields as they were devastatingly beautiful yet loathed."
And yet, as soon as her face had lit up like a thousand suns, it was once again devoid of expression.
"But, nonetheless, reserve your pity for those that loved he or she that burned out,
for every lover of Icarus knows that it is better to be hated than to go unnoticed."
I love mixing styles together in a way that makes me doubt my own skill
Dusk!

With a creepy, tingling sensation you hear the fluttering of leathery wings!

Bats!

Glowing red eyes and glistening fangs,

These unspeakable giant bugs drop into view.*

Fibrous wings furred like a moth,

Big ears are just a membranous extension of antennae.

Flying in search of a flower’s pollen laden froth,

Silent except for the hum and squeak of echolocation.

Trap bats in attics, butterflies in nets.

No rabies feared, no bedbug bites to itch.

Clawed feet ****** and grab like praying mantis pincers;

Bloated stomach slopes like a pudgy beetle.

Jaws manipulate like an ant, excise like scissors;

Soft hair rustles like a wooly caterpillar.

They live in darkness, centipedes do too,

Come out at night like cockroaches tend to.

Skittering through the night like daddy long-legs,

Noses snubbed like bumble bee faces.

Wind turbines endanger bats,

Like fans endanger lightning bugs.

Only one percent of bats are vampiric,

Like only a small percentage of spiders are poisonous.

Dawn!

With a creepy, tingling sensation you hear the fluttering of leathery wings!

Bats!

Bats are bugs, aren’t they?
*Adapted from a Calvin and Hobbes comic strip by Bill Watterson
Danny Valdez Apr 2012
My Mom needed something from the store
So I told her I’d walk up there for her and get it.
We were barely getting by
The two of us.
She was living on a disability check
And I was in between jobs
Again
So these little walks to the store were all I had.
I got her some Epsom salts and was walking back
Had just walked past the hardware store
When a small, sleek, black, BMW pulled up next to me.
To my surprise it was a chick
A big titted redhead with pink sunglasses.
There was something in her eyes
When she peeked below the sunglasses
I saw something in them
that frightened me
A voice inside was screaming at me
Just keep walking
Just keep walking
But like a fool
I ignored it
And bent over the passenger seat
In the convertible that smelled new.
“How big is your ****?”
The lady asked
Her chest just heaving and jiggling
With every breath she took
And every word she spoke.
“What?”
“I said….how big is your ****?”
“Ha ha!”
I took a look around
Expecting to see a hidden camera
Or a film crew in a van across the street.
There was no one
No witnesses.
I leaned back down
“7 inches? Maybe 8? I don’t know lady, I haven’t measured my **** since the 11th grade!”
The redhead took off the sunglasses completely and looked me up and down
Those bright green eyes scanning me
From my worn out Converse to my greasy pompadour on my head.
It seemed like an eternity
I got uncomfortable.
Just standing there
Squirming
While the redheaded fox
Kept inspecting me.
“Okay. Get in. Hurry up.”
I wasn’t even thinking
Just reacting to it all.
I’d always dreamed of this
When I was walking down that
Same old ******* street
The only street that I ever saw
Dreaming of
A beautiful woman in a sports car.
And now here she was.
Here we were
Driving down the street
The breeze blowing in our hair
She made an immediate right turn
Onto a suburban side street.
She parked in front of a house that was up for sale.
Again she took off the sunglasses.
“Let me see it.”
She said, staring at my crotch.
“Whoa, whoa, lady. What’s this all about?”
“My husband and I…..we have certain…..tastes. Things we like, things we enjoy. He’s an older guy, so he likes to watch young guys **** me. I mean, just really give it to me good, make me scream. And of course after your services have been….rendered….you’ll be paid two-thousand dollars. Now do you think you can do that?”
“Uh……I—I think so.”
“Well, I need you to know so. And if you were bullshitting me, if that **** isn’t at least 7 inches, you can get out of the car right ******* now.”
“No it is, it is.”
“Well...”
“Well...you gotta start my engine first—“
Before I could finish my cheesy line
She was in the passenger seat
Climbing on top of me.
“Rip it open” She said looking down.
I did as I was told
And ripped the front of her blouse open
The buttons flying in all directions
Bouncing off the windows and rolling on the dashboard.
Her two, round, fake, **** sprang out of the top
Hitting me in the face
As she rubbed them up and down
And all around.
She kissed me sloppily
And then started in with that biting *******.
She met my lip so hard
It drew blood
acting purely on reflex
I grabbed her by the arms very hard
And pulled her back from me
Staring at her with those crazy, intense, eyes
That I sometimes got when startled.
“Oh…..” She said looking down, at the ******* in my Levi’s.
“Alright. You wanna see the house?” She asked.
I let go of her arms and she rolled off of me,
hopping into the driver’s seat and starting the car up.

She drove all the way to the edge of the city
Where the Red Mountains in the east
Meets the long winding road out of town
And into the desert.
It was a large ranch style mansion
Decorated with cowboy themed ****.
The redhead parked the sports car in
A massive garage
Filled with dozen of rare and expensive automobiles .
She told me to leave my plastic grocery bag of Epsom salts
In the car
She said I could get it later, when we were done.
I followed her to an elevator at the back of the garage.
We took it all the way down to the very bottom.
Stepping out of the elevator
I found myself in a large expansive grey room.
The floors were concrete
But they were shiny and slick
Reminded me of the floor in the meat department
At the job I had just lost.
The room had a few beds in it
Some custom built sets were erected all over the room
An office, a jail cell, a medieval dungeon, a medical examination room,
There were a lot these little sets built all over
In the back of the room
The corners
Were pitch black and covered in darkness.
I wondered what they had over there.
“So what do we do?” I asked, fidgeting in my pants
thumbing my switchblade stiletto in my right front pocket.
“We have to wait for my husband to come down. I just texted him.”
“Oh okay.”
“You should take your clothes off and put this on.”
The redhead said, taking a hospital gown from a hanger
Next to the medical examination set.
“….put that on and I’m gonna go get into character.”
She said, walking behind a white privacy screen
The old kind, like they used to have in doctor’s offices.
I undressed myself and got into the hospital gown.
I can’t say what it was exactly
But I still had that real nervous feeling
I couldn’t ignore it
So for some reason
I hid my switchblade on me.
Put it in the waistband of my underwear.
And that made me feel a little bit safer
This whole thing was beyond belief
I was never this lucky
Something was rotten in Denmark
I could feel it in my bones.
But there was no backing out now
I was riding this all the way
No choice.
I took a seat on the medical examination table
The thin paper crunching loudly beneath my ***
They had it down to the finest detail.
Even the little slots with the Highlights magazines.
I watched the black & white clock on the wall
And it took them 28 minutes to finally come out
The two of them together.
The tall, beautiful, redhead and the rich old man.
But they matched in an odd way
His face was nearly the same color as her hair.
A red faced, big nosed, drinker,
I’ve seen that face a thousand times
Ain’t no mistakin’ it.
He had white hair all spiked up
Like how young people have it
And he wore nothing but gold
All over himself.
Gold necklace, full fists of rings, bracelets,
I couldn’t ******* believe it
I tried my best not to laugh
I was snorting to myself
The ******* had a Mercedes medallion around his neck
Like Flavor Flav or something, it was that flamboyant.
But the guy was like 70 years old
None of it made any ******* sense.
The florescent lighting above
it did this thing where
his eyes were so sunken in
that it created these two black shadows
where his eyes should’ve been
just pitch black
endlessly hollow and empty
with a red face.
Satan himself, covered in gold and diamonds.

“What’s up?” He said, extending his well tanned, leathery claw.
“Hey.”
“Alright, so let’s not waste any time. Let’s get down to business? Huh?”
“Yeah, sure.” I said.
“**** yeah! Let’s ****! You wanna **** him baby?”
”Why do you think I got him? Hell, I almost ****** him on the way home.”
“Did you now?” He said, looking over at me with this look
I couldn’t tell if it was pleasure or rage.
“Alright, alright then.”
The chick started to walk up the three little steps
Of the examination table
Her feet were pale as snow and her toes
Shiny and red like a the paint job on a brand new Cadillac in 1956
I remember that.
She climbed on top of me
Started kissing me and
Rubbing my ****
Under the examination gown.
From the corner of my eye
I saw the husband moving over to the camera
Which was setup a few feet away
Looked to be hi-def ****.
She bit my lip again
Really ******* hard
Pulled a big chunk of skin off
“*******!” I yelled.
“What?” The husband shouted back.
“He hates it when I bite him!” The redhead shouted with a smile
blood on her lips, from mine.
“Well, don’t take any **** son! If she does that again, you just give her a good smack!”
“What?”
“Yeah, don’t be timid boy! This ain’t ******’ Sunday school! We’re ******’, here!”
She did it again
And I wasn’t even thinking of what that old coot was yelling about
I just hit her on principle.
A good open handed smack across the cheek.
“There ya ******’ go! That’s what I’m talkin’ about.”
The old man threw his hands in the air
And started doing this little dance it was the weirdest ****
I had ever seen.
The redhead grabbed my face with her hands
Taking my eyes off the old man
Who was now singing some song
And shuffling around the floor.
She looked right into my eyes
Those mint colored eyes
She whispered to me
But I read her lips
“I’m sorry.”
And she pulled me in and kissed me
Put my hands to her *******
And proceeded to kiss me
Like a long lost love
Not some guy off the street.
And that’s the last thing I remember.
Besides the ***** of the needle in my neck.
Just her red hair hanging in my face
The florescent light shining through.
When I came to
I was standing upright
But I was strapped to a table
My arms
My legs
My head
Every part of me strapped down
Tight.
I wasn’t going anywhere
This was that bad feeling I got when she looked at me.
This was where it ended. Right now.
They were both standing there
Staring at me
Smiling with drinks in their hands
The cameras rolling
They had multiple cameras setup
Some 80’s techno playing from an iPod dock.
“What? What are you gonna do?” I slurred, it was hard to talk.
“I know, I’m sorry. Okay, look. We both agree that you probably are owed an explanation, I mean….these being your last moments and all…”
The redhead interrupted, looking at me, like she had before
There was love in her eyes
“Honey…remember what I said? About how there are things that we like and things that we enjoy? I’m sorry, but this is what we like.”
“*****?” I managed to choke out,
just the sound of the words chilled my ******* blood.
“Yeah. Hey…son, let me tell ya…we’re actually saving you a whole lot of heartache and disappointment. You weren’t gonna go anywhere, you weren’t going to accomplish anything. You’d work the same **** jobs, bouncing from one to the other, until you finally died of either ***** or drugs.”
“It’s for the best, sweetie.” The redhead said.
And I’d love to tell you that
They left the room for a few minutes
And I was able to free my hand
Taking the switchblade
From my underwear
Cutting myself free
Killing them both
And cleaning out their safe’s cash and diamonds.
But this was no movie.
Well not the kind with a happy ending anyway.
That’s when she walked over to the table
And grabbed the knife.
The song on the iPod changed
And I instantly recognized it.
It was the song.
I never could explain why
But as a boy
This song would come on the radio
This 80’s electro song
And it always scared the **** out of me
Turned my stomach
I never knew why
But now it all made sense.
That song would be the last thing I ever heard.
With the cameras rolling
The redhead gave me one more kiss.
I closed my eyes and pretended.
I pretended that she was a girl that loved me
That she was kissing me goodnight
Sending me off with a smile.
I just kept my eyes closed
Squeezing them tight
And I didn’t even feel the knife
When she slit my throat right there
In that slick, shiny, grey basement.
It didn’t hurt
I didn’t feel any pain.
Just warmth.
The blood flowing down the front of my neck and chest
pure warmth sliding down me
And I started to get light headed
Everything getting dark
Very quickly.
I could hear my heartbeat
In sync with a high-pitched ringing in my ears.
The last thing I saw
Was the redhead standing there
Luckily the husband had his head behind the camera
So I didn’t have his scary face as the last thing I ever saw.
No
It was the redhead
And those mint green eyes.
They never found my body.
The couple put me through a wood chipper
And fed my scraps to their dogs
After slicing off my biceps for dinner that night.
They went on doing this for years
Picking up guys and girls from the streets
who were down on their luck
And wouldn’t be high profile missing persons.
They acquired hundreds of DVD’s
Selling these ***** films
To their elite and powerful
Friends in high places.
But they justified it all.
Surely I wouldn’t be missed.
I didn’t have a mother
Like they had a mother
I didn’t laugh and love
Like they did
I was expendable
Disposable
Use once and discard.
The rich eating the poor
Blood meal for their insatiable & gruesome appetites.
It’s okay though.
I’m not mad or anything now.
It’s just blackness
A dreamless sleep
I don’t even know how I’m telling you this
But the worst part
The thing I still think about the most
Is my mother.
And what she must of thought
When her only son
Went to the store for her
Epsom salts
And just never came back.
King and Queen of the Pelicans we;
No other Birds so grand we see!
None but we have feet like fins!
With lovely leathery throats and chins!
    Ploffskin, Pluffskin, Pelican jee!
    We think no Birds so happy as we!
    Plumpskin, Ploshkin, Pelican jill!
    We think so then, and we thought so still!

We live on the Nile. The Nile we love.
By night we sleep on the cliffs above;
By day we fish, and at eve we stand
On long bare islands of yellow sand.
And when the sun sinks slowly down
And the great rock walls grow dark and brown,
Where the purple river rolls fast and dim
And the Ivory Ibis starlike skim,
Wing to wing we dance around,--
Stamping our feet with a flumpy sound,--
Opening our mouths as Pelicans ought,
And this is the song we nighly snort;--
    Ploffskin, Pluffskin, Pelican jee!
    We think no Birds so happy as we!
    Plumpskin, Ploshkin, Pelican jill!
    We think so then, and we thought so still!

Last year came out our daughter, Dell;
And all the Birds received her well.
To do her honour, a feast we made
For every bird that can swim or wade.
Herons and Gulls, and Cormorants black,
Cranes, and flamingoes with scarlet back,
Plovers and Storks, and Geese in clouds,
Swans and Dilberry Ducks in crowds.
Thousands of Birds in wondrous flight!
They ate and drank and danced all night,
And echoing back from the rocks you heard
Multitude-echoes from Bird to bird,--
    Ploffskin, Pluffskin, Pelican jee!
    We think no Birds so happy as we!
    Plumpskin, Ploshkin, Pelican jill!
    We think so then, and we thought so still!

Yes, they came; and among the rest,
The King of the Cranes all grandly dressed.
Such a lovely tail! Its feathers float
between the ends of his blue dress-coat;
With pea-green trowsers all so neat,
And a delicate frill to hide his feet,--
(For though no one speaks of it, every one knows,
He has got no webs between his toes!)

As soon as he saw our Daughter Dell,
In violent love that Crane King fell,--
On seeing her waddling form so fair,
With a wreath of shrimps in her short white hair.
And before the end of the next long day,
Our Dell had given her heart away;
For the King of the Cranes had won that heart,
With a Crocodile's egg and a large fish-****.
She vowed to marry the King of the Cranes,
Leaving the Nile for stranges plains;
And away they flew in a gathering crowd
Of endless birds in a lengthening cloud.
    Ploffskin, Pluffskin, Pelican jee!
    We think no Birds so happy as we!
    Plumpskin, Ploshkin, Pelican jill!
    We think so then, and we thought so still!

And far away in the twilight sky,
We heard them singing a lessening cry,--
Farther and farther till out of sight,
And we stood alone in thesilent night!
Often since, in the nights of June,
We sit on the sand and watch the moon;--
She has gone to the great Gromboolian plain,
And we probably never shall meet again!
Oft, in the long still nights of June,
We sit on the rocks and watch the moon;--
----She dwells by the streams of the Chankly Bore,
And we probably never shall see her more.
    Ploffskin, Pluffskin, Pelican jee!
    We think no Birds so happy as we!
    Plumpskin, Ploshkin, Pelican jill!
    We think so then, and we thought so still!
Ryan Taylor Jul 2015
I crossed paths with a dragon today.
Smoke blowing from the holes in her face.
Suffering from the heat of her own exhaust.

Instead of flying above me gracefully, she hobbled before me.
Like her snowy white wings have long since given up on her.  

Once strong, leathery skin now grown soft with weaknesses.
Like a piece of broken armor.

Her eyes still held their draconic glow.
Blue and forceful.
Like waves crashing upon a shore.
Allison Nov 2017
Unmoved by your arrival from the west coast,
ten thousand little things are different.

It’s October and the trees are on fire:
a forge that you won't notice, 'til you're gold.

Your Kicks don’t leave footprints on these cobbled streets;
even the children have old, leathery hands.

Try to paddle-board the Eno and the bass go belly-up:
that river’s for scattering ashes and making moonshine.

All they sell at Aldi is ethnic shampoo,
so now your hair twists like the roots you’ve lacked

'til now, because all you’ll ever need is two hands:
for prayer, and work.

Life moves on like a cigarette’s drag,
while somewhere Hope’s fiddle strums;

Take off your headphones and
go put your ear to an oak.
Nat Lipstadt Jan 2014
you are just girl enough,
to be a real man...

so stand by me,
be a, be my man-girl,
shave that leathery face,
close and tight,
so I can kiss it smooth,
in front of everybody.

Go off to war, Cyrano,
write me love letters of
incredible tenderness,
poems as yet undreamt
come to me raggedy-man whole,
just enough girl in my man,
to make us both,
deliriously,
weep publicly.

Go ahead man,
write your beloved,
songs of the wars that worry you so,
that you don't show,
you think, I don't know,
but I am tough man tough enough,
plenty~enough,
to be yours,
not just the
woman, but that woman,
your beloved.

that bulge in your rear pocket,
not your wallet,
it's just some pocket tissues
you've been saving
for our reunion.

if you are afraid,
be not, be relieved,
you are just
girl enough,
to be a real man,
and I,

*well, I am tough man tough enough,
plenty~enough,
to be yours,
not just the woman,
but that woman,
your beloved
For WDE- 40
Joseph Reilly May 2013
Cherry blossom time
thirty stories in the air
delicious people

Melted trains and tracks
resembling grilled cheese dribbling
down leathery hide

Steel Lego towers
tingling anticipation
tasty high tension
These have been salvaged from the defunct "Godzilla Haiku" site.
F J McCarthy May 2010
Jake the Snake
F J McCarthy on Jan 9, 2009


Jake was a snake, who felt incomplete.
For all of his friends all seemed to have feet.
Jake had no feet and it made him so sad,
As he watched his friends run with the feet they all had.
The raccoon and the squirrel had big furry tails,
But all that Jake had were leathery scales.
Jake watched the birds flying up in the sky.
How wonderful indeed to know how to fly.
Jake watched the fish as they swam in the lake.
Swimming was one thing that was easy for Jake.
Sometimes he would swim, then lie in the sands.
He’d think how he’d look with feet or with hands.
One day he was laying in the sun on the sand.
When he heard such a noise he could not understand.
I must see what is wrong , Jake said with a frown.
For something is troubling the whole Forest town.
He saw all of his friends by the rocks on the hill.
Then he saw mother Robin and she looked very ill.
He asked his friend Mr. Rabbit why Mother Robin was crying?
“Her baby fell out of the nest while she was out flying”.
“How is the baby, was he hurt by the fall.?”
“the baby is fine, but he’s trapped in this wall”.
Jake studied the wall,and looked at the crack.
“Has anyone tried to get baby bird back?”
The chipmunk and squirrel said the crack was to small.
And not even the mole could dig through that wall.
Mr. Field-mouse said “I could fit through the crack.
But the bottom is deep. How would I get back?”
Then Jake started thinking and in the blink of an eye.
“I’m the thinnest of all so I’m going to try.”
Jake asked Mr. Raccoon to lend him a hand.
They climbed up the wall and Jake told him his plan.
Mr. Raccoon held Jake’s tail and lowered Jake down the hole.
Just then baby bird let out a wail, for Jake had found his goal.
“Climb on my neck ” Jake said to the bird “and hold on really tight.”
Raccoon pulled them up as the whole forest watched this wonderful Marvelous sight.
First came up baby and afterwards Jake.
Then everyone cheered what a wonderful snake.
He’s saved baby bird and everyone knew it.
Of all the forest animals only he could do it.
The chipmunk and squirrel and even the mole.
Had not a hope to get down that hole.
Yet Jake with his body so long and so thin.
Saved baby bird from the fix he was in.
Jake felt so happy, he didn’t need feet.
Or a big furry tail to make him complete.
“I am very complete”cried Jake. “I’m so happy to be just a snake.”
Then baby bird said in a voice rather small.
“Don’t make that mistake, your not just a snake.
Your my friend and a hero, your Jake the Snake.
The very best snake of all!
Pennsylvania, 1948-1949

The garden of Nature opens.
The grass at the threshold is green.
And an almond tree begins to bloom.

Sunt mihi Dei Acherontis propitii!
Valeat numen triplex Jehovae!
Ignis, aeris, aquae, terrae spiritus,
Salvete!—says the entering guest.

Ariel lives in the palace of an apple tree,
But will not appear, vibrating like a wasp’s wing,
And Mephistopheles, disguised as an abbot
Of the Dominicans or the Franciscans,
Will not descend from a mulberry bush
Onto a pentagram drawn in the black loam of the path.


But a rhododendron walks among the rocks
Shod in leathery leaves and ringing a pink bell.
A hummingbird, a child’s top in the air,
Hovers in one spot, the beating heart of motion.
Impaled on the nail of a black thorn, a grasshopper
Leaks brown fluid from its twitching snout.
And what can he do, the phantom-in-chief,
As he’s been called, more than a magician,
The Socrates of snails, as he’s been called,
Musician of pears, arbiter of orioles, man?
In sculptures and canvases our individuality
Manages to survive. In Nature it perishes.
Let him accompany the coffin of the woodsman
Pushed from a cliff by a mountain demon,
The he-goat with its jutting curl of horn.
Let him visit the graveyard of the whalers
Who drove spears into the flesh of leviathan
And looked for the secret in guts and blubber.
The thrashing subsided, quieted to waves.
Let him unroll the textbooks of alchemists
Who almost found the cipher, thus the scepter.
Then passed away without hands, eyes, or elixir.


Here there is sun. And whoever, as a child,
Believed he could break the repeatable pattern
Of things, if only he understood the pattern,
Is cast down, rots in the skin of others,
Looks with wonder at the colors of the butterfly,
Inexpressible wonder, formless, hostile to art.


To keep the oars from squeaking in their locks,
He binds them with a handkerchief. The dark
Had rushed east from the Rocky Mountains
And settled in the forests of the continent:
Sky full of embers reflected in a cloud,
Flight of herons, trees above a marsh,
The dry stalks in water, livid, black. My boat
Divides the aerial utopias of the mosquitoes
Which rebuild their glowing castles instantly.
A water lily sinks, fizzing, under the boat’s bow.


Now it is night only. The water is ash-gray.
Play, music, but inaudibly! I wait an hour
In the silence, senses tuned to a ******’s lodge.
Then suddenly, a crease in the water, a beast’s
black moon, rounded, ploughing up quickly
from the pond-dark, from the bubbling methanes.
I am not immaterial and never will be.
My scent in the air, my animal smell,
Spreads, rainbow-like, scares the ******:
A sudden splat.
I remained where I was
In the high, soft coffer of the night’s velvet,
Mastering what had come to my senses:
How the four-toed paws worked, how the hair
Shook off water in the muddy tunnel.
It does not know time, hasn’t heard of death,
Is submitted to me because I know I’ll die.


I remember everything. That wedding in Basel,
A touch to the strings of a viola and fruit
In silver bowls. As was the custom in Savoy,
An overturned cup for three pairs of lips,
And the wine spilled. The flames of the candles
Wavery and frail in a breeze from the Rhine.
Her fingers, bones shining through the skin,
Felt out the hooks and clasps of the silk
And the dress opened like a nutshell,
Fell from the turned graininess of the belly.
A chain for the neck rustled without epoch,
In pits where the arms of various creeds
Mingle with bird cries and the red hair of caesars.


Perhaps this is only my own love speaking
Beyond the seventh river. Grit of subjectivity,
Obsession, bar the way to it.
Until a window shutter, dogs in the cold garden,
The whistle of a train, an owl in the firs
Are spared the distortions of memory.
And the grass says: how it was I don’t know.


Splash of a ****** in the American night.
The memory grows larger than my life.
A tin plate, dropped on the irregular red bricks
Of a floor, rattles tinnily forever.
Belinda of the big foot, Julia, Thaïs,
The tufts of their *** shadowed by ribbon.


Peace to the princesses under the tamarisks.
Desert winds beat against their painted eyelids.
Before the body was wrapped in bandelettes,
Before wheat fell asleep in the tomb,
Before stone fell silent, and there was only pity.


Yesterday a snake crossed the road at dusk.
Crushed by a tire, it writhed on the asphalt.
We are both the snake and the wheel.
There are two dimensions. Here is the unattainable
Truth of being, here, at the edge of lasting
and not lasting. Where the parallel lines intersect,
Time lifted above time by time.


Before the butterfly and its color, he, numb,
Formless, feels his fear, he, unattainable.
For what is a butterfly without Julia and Thaïs?
And what is Julia without a butterfly’s down
In her eyes, her hair, the smooth grain of her belly?
The kingdom, you say. We do not belong to it,
And still, in the same instant, we belong.
For how long will a nonsensical Poland
Where poets write of their emotions as if
They had a contract of limited liability
Suffice? I want not poetry, but a new diction,
Because only it might allow us to express
A new tenderness and save us from a law
That is not our law, from necessity
Which is not ours, even if we take its name.


From broken armor, from eyes stricken
By the command of time and taken back
Into the jurisdiction of mold and fermentation,
We draw our hope. Yes, to gather in an image
The furriness of the ******, the smell of rushes,
And the wrinkles of a hand holding a pitcher
From which wine trickles. Why cry out
That a sense of history destroys our substance
If it, precisely, is offered to our powers,
A muse of our gray-haired father, Herodotus,
As our arm and our instrument, though
It is not easy to use it, to strengthen it
So that, like a plumb with a pure gold center,
It will serve again to rescue human beings.


With such reflections I pushed a rowboat,
In the middle of the continent, through tangled stalks,
In my mind an image of the waves of two oceans
And the slow rocking of a guard-ship’s lantern.
Aware that at this moment I—and not only I—
Keep, as in a seed, the unnamed future.
And then a rhythmic appeal composed itself,
Alien to the moth with its whirring of silk:


O City, O Society, O Capital,
We have seen your steaming entrails.
You will no longer be what you have been.
Your songs no longer gratify our hearts.


Steel, cement, lime, law, ordinance,
We have worshipped you too long,
You were for us a goal and a defense,
Ours was your glory and your shame.


And where was the covenant broken?
Was it in the fires of war, the incandescent sky?
Or at twilight, as the towers fly past, when one looked
From the train across a desert of tracks

To a window out past the maneuvering locomotives
Where a girl examines her narrow, moody face
In a mirror and ties a ribbon to her hair
Pierced by the sparks of curling papers?


Those walls of yours are shadows of walls,
And your light disappeared forever.
Not the world's monument anymore, an oeuvre of your own
Stands beneath the sun in an altered space.


From stucco and mirrors, glass and paintings,
Tearing aside curtains of silver and cotton,
Comes man, naked and mortal,
Ready for truth, for speech, for wings.


Lament, Republic! Fall to your knees!
The loudspeaker’s spell is discontinued.
Listen! You can hear the clocks ticking.
Your death approaches by his hand.


An oar over my shoulder, I walked from the woods.
A porcupine scolded from the fork of a tree,
A horned owl, not changed by the century,
Not changed by place or time, looked down.
Bubo maximus, from the work of Linnaeus.


America for me has the pelt of a raccoon,
Its eyes are a raccoon’s black binoculars.
A chipmunk flickers in a litter of dry bark
Where ivy and vines tangle in the red soil
At the roots of an arcade of tulip trees.
America’s wings are the color of a cardinal,
Its beak is half-open and a mockingbird trills
From a leafy bush in the sweat-bath of the air.
Its line is the wavy body of a water moccasin
Crossing a river with a grass-like motion,
A rattlesnake, a rubble of dots and speckles,
Coiling under the bloom of a yucca plant.


America is for me the illustrated version
Of childhood tales about the heart of tanglewood,
Told in the evening to the spinning wheel’s hum.
And a violin, shivvying up a square dance,
Plays the fiddles of Lithuania or Flanders.
My dancing partner’s name is Birute Swenson.
She married a Swede, but was born in Kaunas.
Then from the night window a moth flies in
As big as the joined palms of the hands,
With a hue like the transparency of emeralds.


Why not establish a home in the neon heat
Of Nature? Is it not enough, the labor of autumn,
Of winter and spring and withering summer?
You will hear not one word spoken of the court
of Sigismund Augustus on the banks of the Delaware River.
The Dismissal of the Greek Envoys is not needed.
Herodotus will repose on his shelf, uncut.
And the rose only, a ****** symbol,
Symbol of love and superterrestrial beauty,
Will open a chasm deeper than your knowledge.
About it we find a song in a dream:


Inside the rose
Are houses of gold,
black isobars, streams of cold.
Dawn touches her finger to the edge of the Alps
And evening streams down to the bays of the sea.


If anyone dies inside the rose,
They carry him down the purple-red road
In a procession of clocks all wrapped in folds.
They light up the petals of grottoes with torches.
They bury him there where color begins,
At the source of the sighing,
Inside the rose.


Let names of months mean only what they mean.
Let the Aurora’s cannons be heard in none
Of them, or the tread of young rebels marching.
We might, at best, keep some kind of souvenir,
Preserved like a fan in a garret. Why not
Sit down at a rough country table and compose
An ode in the old manner, as in the old times
Chasing a beetle with the nib of our pen?
In my dream,
drilling into the marrow
of my entire bone,
my real dream,
I'm walking up and down Beacon Hill
searching for a street sign --
namely MERCY STREET.
Not there.

I try the Back Bay.
Not there.
Not there.
And yet I know the number.
45 Mercy Street.
I know the stained-glass window
of the foyer,
the three flights of the house
with its parquet floors.
I know the furniture and
mother, grandmother, great-grandmother,
the servants.
I know the cupboard of Spode
the boat of ice, solid silver,
where the butter sits in neat squares
like strange giant's teeth
on the big mahogany table.
I know it well.
Not there.

Where did you go?
45 Mercy Street,
with great-grandmother
kneeling in her whale-bone corset
and praying gently but fiercely
to the wash basin,
at five A.M.
at noon
dozing in her wiggy rocker,
grandfather taking a nap in the pantry,
grandmother pushing the bell for the downstairs maid,
and Nana rocking Mother with an oversized flower
on her forehead to cover the curl
of when she was good and when she was...
And where she was begat
and in a generation
the third she will beget,
me,
with the stranger's seed blooming
into the flower called Horrid.

I walk in a yellow dress
and a white pocketbook stuffed with cigarettes,
enough pills, my wallet, my keys,
and being twenty-eight, or is it forty-five?
I walk. I walk.
I hold matches at street signs
for it is dark,
as dark as the leathery dead
and I have lost my green Ford,
my house in the suburbs,
two little kids
****** up like pollen by the bee in me
and a husband
who has wiped off his eyes
in order not to see my inside out
and I am walking and looking
and this is no dream
just my oily life
where the people are alibis
and the street is unfindable for an
entire lifetime.

Pull the shades down --
I don't care!
Bolt the door, mercy,
erase the number,
rip down the street sign,
what can it matter,
what can it matter to this cheapskate
who wants to own the past
that went out on a dead ship
and left me only with paper?

Not there.

I open my pocketbook,
as women do,
and fish swim back and forth
between the dollars and the lipstick.
I pick them out,
one by one
and throw them at the street signs,
and shoot my pocketbook
into the Charles River.
Next I pull the dream off
and slam into the cement wall
of the clumsy calendar
I live in,
my life,
and its hauled up
notebooks.
Sean Critchfield Aug 2011
Maybe. Maybe I said it. Maybe.
Maybe I said, “I love you.”
And maybe. Maybe. It was too soon.
And maybe you panicked or I panicked or we panicked.
And maybe we should have waited longer.
For a lunar eclipse to kiss and whisper it under.
Or at least at the top of a Ferris Wheel.
Even soft neon lights of a gas station before a road trip to say… Disneyland would do.
But maybe.
I didn’t wait. And I said it the first time it bubbled out of my chest like mercury and tried to force itself out of the corners of my eyes, shining like mirrors.
And  maybe we panicked.
And maybe you’ll decide to take some time.
And I’ll think it’s a good idea.
And you’ll get around to painting your bedroom walls blue.
And I’ll finally finish that replica of… Big Ben.. made from… toothpicks.. or some ****..
And you’ll get that job for that network.
And I’ll decide to be a carnie, because my feet have always felt so much better on the road.
And you’ll laugh.
Just maybe less…
Or not as hard..

And I’ll learn to roll cigarettes and run the Ferris wheel. And wind up with an eye patch from a freak dart accident in a pub in Scotland. And get sun leathered skin. And road earned muscles.

And I’ll master all the rigged midway games.

And you’ll have a better time in France than the last time and make it back to Greece to see the oracle. And learn to play the violin.

And I’ll develop a keen sense of when to pause the Ferris Wheel to leave the couple at the top just.. one.. moment.. longer..

Or at least secretly teach him how to throw the dime to win her the really big ******* Snoopy.

And I’ll wonder if you ever wake up and look for me.
And you’ll wake up sometimes and look for me.
And I for you.

And maybe I’ll get self absorbed and write the rest of this poem from my perspective.
But probably not.
And maybe one day I’ll go to the fortune teller to find out how you are. And where you are. And you won’t be far away. But I won’t want to intrude.

And then the fortune teller will tell me not to play the game where you knock the milk bottles over anymore because fortune tellers say weird **** like that sometimes..

And maybe I’ll listen..

And maybe I won’t.

Maybe one day, I’ll forget and teach the nerdy highschool kid how to beat the milk bottle game so he can get the frosted mirror with the cheesy rose and the word ‘LOVE’ in cursive for his girlfriend, because *******, sometimes you have to help the underdog  get the girl.

And maybe the gypsy will be right..

And those bottles.
At that moment.
Were some kind of cosmic key.

And as they topple over, all hell bust loose and pours violently out of the mouth of the bottles.

And demons flood into our world in waves.

(And if she kisses him at the top of the Ferris Wheel? Totally worth it.)

And in time, the world would have to notice.

What with the Leviathan coming out of the ocean and the dead rising from their graves and the four guys on horses and all the pesky locusts.

And did I mention the Zombies? And the vampires? And the Vampire Zombies?

And who would have thought that the adorable little fairies would be carnivorous and cannibals and just plain mean?

And maybe it would attract the attention of Aliens. And that U.F.O. you saw that one time in Texas. And maybe the U.F.O’s would attack and fight the Leviathan, which would be kind of bad ***.

And the zombies would fight the vampires and the vampires would fight the zombies and the Vampire Zombies would fight themselves and the Zombie Vampire survivors would find that they had a distinct taste for Soy.

And maybe us carnies would have enough experience with sledgehammers and haunted houses that we’d be rather good at fighting zombies. And I’d be particularly bad *** because of the eye patch and leathery skin and hand rolled cigarettes that I chew on more than smoke. And maybe I’d go lone wolf and ride a motorcycle. Which is also kind of bad *** and I’d do okay considering the apocalypse and all because honestly?

I’ve never been all that scared of ghosts and devils. And the UFOS are busy with the Leviathan and their really is only four of the horseman and we keep a professional distance just the same and the locusts and the fairies are at war, besides locusts don’t bother me, save for the noise.

And look..

I guess what I am really saying is this:

I think maybe I could survive.

And I think maybe I could rescue you.

And maybe we could fall in love.
Christine May 2010
My toenails are metallic blue.
My feet are scrubbed and soft.
An older Asian woman with leathery skin
And crazy soft hands
has polished them to perfection.
She told me about eHarmony
Her ****-clothes
Her elderly boyfriend.
In an accent I could barely understand
She told me about her life.
She rubbed my calves with lime green
Exfoliants
And lotioned my legs
With cream-colored juice.
Her nails were French-tipped
And long.
She flicked off the excess polish with them.

She does this dozens of times a day.
Dozens of pairs of feet.
I wonder how many people have heard her story
And know about her rich boyfriend.
How many people have felt those soft hands
On their toes.
I wonder where else those hands have been
On her old boyfriend.
Deborah Downes Feb 2017
Like so many
Lemmings
they rush to southern climes for
greener pastures
year round golf a
Slower pace
Cheaper prices and
Tropical temperatures

Leathery
Tanned
Unnaturally taut and
Sun-spotted
they crowd the local haunts and
Clog the highways.

At best they tolerate whoever is not
Pensioned or
Privileged

At worst they ban the
Underage
Unfortunates
from their gated communities  
and social gatherings

The pendulum has swung from a time
when the Old were at the
Mercy of the Young
to the present
when Youth is
Oppressed by Senescence

Once democracy’s backbone they now wax
Conservative having obtained their
Slice of the pie

Now there is no pie
Mother Earth has been trampled to death and the
Toiling hands of those who
Stoke the fires of industry are
Blistered and discouraged
You don't have to be old in years to belong to this culture; and even if you are old in years, you don't have to adopt this lifestyle.
Nat Lipstadt Jan 2014
Let us not keep our secret,
secret any more!

Thousands have read your poem,
from your tributary, they have drunk.

So I am re posting once more
to remind grandmother,
so many
you,
adore.

I will not stop
till ten
thousand new admirers
have you paid homage.
then I will
              post it again.


~~~~~~
Oct 6, 2013
The Banyan Tree (A Tribute to Sally)
I am a man, grandfather to four.
Adherent to the same religion,
Poetry.

Breathing through mine eyes,
Exhaling carbon words,
That with time and pressure become
Poems, verbal musical notes upon life.

Each motion, from tiny to grand,
A capsule of expression,
That if examined under microscope,
Familial DNA, interconnected tissue,
Discovered, tho logic says,  
Time and distance render impossible.

But this is a diamond
This is a writ to be slipped
Upon the finger, the heart, the essence,
Of the only Banyan tree I have hugged.

This poem but a fig,
In the cracks of kindness,
The crevices of caring,
It has slow germinated.

You dear, Sally,
My host,
A building upon I can lean,
When wearied spirits uproot
My surficial composure.

Your seeds carried from east to west,
By a fig wasp, a bird unknown,
An ocean voyager, of indisputable vision, strength.

This seeded messenger, word carrier,
Supplanted in me, and your pupils,
Whose very names breathe poems,
In others too, like me and so many,
Seeds to become new roots, but you,
Our Host official and forever
Planter of trees of loving kindness.

You already know with love and affection,
I call you Grandma Sally,
And when you ask, beseech,
I cannot refuse.

Together we will will banish the sad,
Acknowledge we, that life's ocean,
A mixture of many, even sad, a necessity.

But I promise that will turn it into
Something simple, something good.
For you have asked and I answer you
Right here right now - your wish,
My objective, deep rooted like you,
Like an old banyan tree,
Your roots spread far, spread wide.

So some eve, when to the beach, to the sky
You glance, smile, no matter what, troubles dispersed,
For the reflection of you, seeds, full fledged trees now,
Bending skywards, in search of your rays of expression,
Your maternal wisdom rooted, spread so wide, globally,
All over this Earth, is visible from your
Beloved Philippines.


---------------------------------------
In her own words..

I am a widow,
with five remarkable granddaughters....
all beautiful, intelligent girls.
It is such a waste not to write....
each morning that unfolds is filled
with things to write about....
the people, the birds,
the trees, the wind,
the seas,
everything we set our eyes on,
they are all
poetry in motion.
Life itself is poetry,
I always have pen and paper within reach.
My past experiences are a
never-ending source
of ideas and words for my poems....
I shall write until time permits me,
"til there's breath within me."
-------------------------------------------------
A banyan (also banian) is a fig that starts its life as an epiphyte (a plant growing on another plant) when its seeds germinate in the cracks and crevices on a host tree (or on structures like buildings and bridges). "Banyan" often refers specifically to the Indian banyan or Ficus benghalensis, the national tree of India,[1] though the term has been generalized to include all figs that share a characteristic life cycle...
Like other fig species (which includes the common edible fig Ficus carica), banyans have unique fruit structures and are dependent on fig wasps for reproduction. The seeds of banyans are dispersed by fruit-eating birds. The seeds germinate and send down roots towards the ground.

The leaves of the banyan tree are large, leathery, glossy green and elliptical in shape. Like most fig-trees, the leaf bud is covered by two large scales. As the leaf develops the scales fall. Young leaves have an attractive reddish tinge.[6]

Older banyan trees are characterized by their aerial prop roots that grow into thick woody trunks which, with age, can become indistinguishable from the main trunk. The original support tree can sometimes die, so that the banyan becomes a "columnar tree" with a hollow central core. Old trees can spread out laterally using these prop roots to cover a wide area.
Waverly Jan 2012
Just because they have disappeared
does not mean that
i'm clutter-free.

It's a cluster-free, a clusterfuck of ******* insanity.

My uncle left right after
my Grampa's funeral,
split like a chicken's *****,
"he's in the airforce
or some other human-processing factory,"
Ma would say to me.

My aunt mable,
dipped out
dripped out two kids
then split
like a pillsbury biscuit.

My aunt pat's mom,
left Aunt pat on Aunt FLo's doorstep,
in the sole of her instep,
stepped out on a kid
and a husband
with a left shoe,
the right one
was left behind.

My pops
was forced out,
I saw him drag Ma
through the halls,
saw him whip her face in
with the brass-end
of a leather belt,
everybody's face was leathery
when the cops came in.

There is a litany of disappearing faces
in my family picture, a litany
of the disappeared
who reappear
over thanksgiving and christmas dinners,
when we wax nostalgiac
or hurt
over turkey,
gravy,
and biscuits.

Over love
and how many are missing.
Ryan Taylor Jul 2015
I crossed paths with a dragon today.
Smoke blowing from the holes in her face.
Suffering from the heat of her own exhaust.

Instead of flying above me gracefully, she hobbled before me.
Like her snowy white wings have long since given up on her.  

Once strong, leathery skin now grown soft with weaknesses.
Like a piece of broken armor.

Her eyes still held their draconic glow.
Blue and forceful.
Like waves crashing upon a shore.
Daniel Regan Jan 2013
Tattoos covering a man that speaks of his soul
A dog with a playful heart and loving tongue
Miles of dandelion covered fields and poison ivy infested forest
Mud covered boots and worn out running shoes
Smoke rising from a chimney and an open door lifestyle
Swings swaying in the wind connected to a cat-**** infested sandbox
A pond with fishing poles in the dirt and a splintery dock
Paint stripped basketball hoop without its net ripped and torn
Rocks and logs surrounding an overused fire pit
A lush garden with every kind of bug and animal
Another dog with his wise years found spotted on his nose
An old, leathery glove with its seams falling out
Scratched and scorned arms from 4th of July bottle rockets
Mom and dad a quick walk just a mile down the road
A 1962 Corvette Stingray parked next to the dusty van
Two cats sleeping the day away on the porch
A trampoline with rusted springs and a sprinkler underneath
The grill cooling from an afternoon of burgers and hotdogs
The brother flying in from Colorado after a week on the slopes
Rock and roll blasting from the house that can be heard for miles
All the windows open to take in the summer air
Every pillow and blanket carefully positioned to make an epic fort
Bikes hanging in the garage next to the bin with every ball you can think of
An over used washer and dryer next to the hallway with endless pictures
Half finished schoolwork on the table surrounded by the crust of a PB&Js;
Rooms with unmade beds and works of art mixed in with stuffed animals
A sister biking in from the town just beyond the nature reserve
Wrinkled hands and dirt filled nails contrasted by a gold ring
Nerf bullets covering the floor, windows, and fridge in the kitchen
Chalk covered black top from the garage to the street
Lego towns and spaceships covering the coffee table
A whiteboard with math equations and tic-tac-toe fighting for whitespace
A wall full of board games missing a die here or a figuring there
Newspaper clippings, pictures of nephews and nieces, and report cards on the fridge
Coffee *** half gone, cereal bowls in the sink, and the oven on for some reason
Bike ramps with caution tape and under construction signs scattered in the garage
Firefly nights that have to compete with the millions of the stars in the sky
Flashlight filled ghost stories in the family tent with mallows and chocolate bars
Lazy afternoons with a good book ending with an even better nap
And a mailbox, surrounded by tulips, on my little patch of heaven.
I stared catatonic nonstop and could not pull my eyes away or scream
except for the great internal scream and I felt like death was upon me, or nearly so.
And my body asleep but my mind twisted and my eyes awake wide-open
and no dream this was but real things and then my thoughts put outward
and all these things terrible formed into death-shadows
and flowed down through the fabrics above my head. 



Flesh undulating in darkness that creeped
and I found ten seconds of courage to sit up and stare
at the wall as the rippling fabric became a thousand black snakes
crawling down from the ceiling and out from my dreamcatcher
that did nothing at all but release these terrors from the wall.

And I thought it was sordid wind that came in gusting through my window that made my sheets become like a mechanical sea
but it was not so, and these vile snakes poured out like *****
from some gaping maw above and went underneath my bed
and all through the floor to the four corners of my room
and then came together again above on the center of my ceiling
and murmured death-talk and horror-faces from the walls and ceiling

and even closing my eyes would bring nothing but flashes
of demonic children and things with no jaws or eyes
hollowed out and terrible ghosts I procured and almost choked out laughter because this was it and I've finally gone and gone mad



There was a man at my closed door wearing my jacket that hung on a hook
and his face was the face of a skull that hung above my door
and from the corner of my eye the man with the door on his back with the coat still attached walked with silent step toward my bed, and I turned to look at this figure
and instead of snapping back against the wall like all nightly visions should;
he stood there, and as I stared at him I saw slow moving black legs receding against the wall

but the horrors of his feet were ten thousand worm bodies and black leathery fingers of bats and crawling things
and my carpet floor was no longer static but a creeping madness,
and my body trembled as if it were being continuously dropped
from heights a hundred times over and great odious black
pillars and monoliths slid steadily up the corners of my room with arms
that then burst out to the middle into nothing but a smiling cheshire grin
and I could not move anymore and just stared until my mind went numb

and like the first sunlight upon the last fog before dawn, I awoke.
Mikaila Jan 2014
It's gonna get colder when you leave.
The ground will harden
And the trees will sleep
And the world
Will wait.
Underneath the snow,
Life
Will wait.
The wind will search for you in every face
Biting and frantic
But find nothing,
And in despair crack across the ground like a whip
Stirring up little ghostly eddies of ice crystals.
The snow will catch the branches and drag them down
Asking
Why the silence,
This year?
None of that summertime laughter
To light up the ice and make it sparkle.
The days will pull darkness around them like a thick coat
And slink by
In a hurry to be elsewhere,
Still too long, and too strange.

And then
Just when we've all almost given up,
Winter will soften, just a bit.
The rains will come, like a good cry you've been holding your breath against
For months,
And the snow will wash away
And the ground will be ugly and scarred,
But bare at last,
And the land will begin
Slowly
To bloom
In anticipation of your footsteps there.

The sun will hold its line in the battle against the night
For just a sliver longer every day.
The first flowers will shoot up through
The last little patches of snow,
Light green and fragile.
The world will wake
Yawn and stretch,
Is she back yet?
Is she here?
The cherry blossoms on the tree in my backyard will unfurl
White and delicate and frothy on tough, leathery branches
And we will all see that maybe
Everything is going to be alright
After all.

Is she back yet?
Is she here?
And summer will stroll in, laughing,
The moment you set foot on this soil again.
Valerie Brooke Jan 2010
The white fluorescent lights buzz over my head, as if a method of determined annoyance.
Studying is a truly lackluster operation

Students methodically find ways to keep themselves distracted
Looking around, trying to catch glimpses of how others are managing their time so well, a frantic approach to studying that I have single handedly mastered

A very tan incongruous man, seats himself with the Miami Herald in hand
His skin has a leathery texture
He is a tall and gangly, strange looking man of at least 50
3 inch thick sideburns, red corduroy pants that reveal his mustard yellow socks and brown-black shoes
Button-down shirt with the vertical stripes, sure to match every color with the rest of his outfit
Off-white straw fedora hat with a forest green trimming,
He sports a fabulous mustache, that puts every biker’s or Italian baker’s whiskers to shame.
Something tells me he's not a student

Seated across from me are two foreign women that are studying the English language.
I know because they are the only ones talking, pushing my diversion from work a little further.

The sky is turning grey outside the colossal library windows
I’m hungry.
That kid in the corner keeps staring at me.
I have been here too long.
Onoma Oct 2013
There's the mosh...sordid details that thing...
creeping of sort...retelling...to stay in focus.
A silent film whose black borders encapsulate
a  slab of skyward white.
Visages...opening...opened...to interpretation.
"The apparition of these faces in a crowd;
Petals on a wet, black bough."....ashen...
daguerreotype of a Zen Garden.

All of nature's pretties cast in an occult brew...
stirred, and stirring...composite sketches posted
and burned upon lampposts.
At large...ritualistic making-of-face...illusion
trafficking the ever present primes of lives...
"the center of which is everywhere, the
circumference nowhere."...attestation o' mugs.

Visages...plucked from a year of our lord,
to be...rendezous of all light's putting to...
years thereof.
Alien unto thyself...oogly boogly, yet mirror-imaging...
behold/beheld/beholden.
By sleight of Hand...visages, who'd otherwise
be as soon pruned and leathery, inanimate under the
sun.
John Gallant Nov 2017
Spiraling whirlwinds of despair
sling sand against crepe-paper skin.
Etching raw the leathery landscape
meandering between jagged scars.

Scouring splatters of rage red,
angst blue, shadow black, elated opal,
from the smock cocoon
that encapsulates pure radiance.

Spindly driftwood pillars splayed wide,
wobble with each gentle stroke
upon the foggy canvas
cradled by this rickety easel.

Gradient of choice drips
from the curved edges of life's pallet.

Shall I let this abrasive erosion
thicken into a callous curtain
trapping in the light?

Or, shall I let it perforate the surface,
allowing the glowing marrow
to be drawn into the kaleidoscope vortex?
Chris Saitta Jun 2019
Fall to me, all you streets of Rome,
With your embrowned oils from torched walls and breccia of shadows,
The pizzicato of stairways and afternoon slowly closed
Like the thick, leathery-echo from this book of all roads.

Fallen, smoldering empire of storefronts and back-shop heirlooms,
Your lupine hills unbound with milk of cur in the wind and woods,
To your fallow fields rowed deep by a conquest of oars,
To the deepest silence and soot-muted oneness of Pompeii,
And a sky that is an ancient coin, without worth,
But still rubbed smooth at the edges by overfond lovers.
Yes, more Rome.

For a slide video of this and other poems, please check out my Instagram page at chrissaitta or my Tumblr page at Chris-Saitta.
A hundred thousand miles
were written on his face
He'd earned near every wrinkle
Did this cowboy known as "Jace"
He'd ridden cross the country
From Death Valley up to Maine
In weather full of sunshine
To the roughest hurricane
He owned two pair of Levis
One for workin', one for church
To know how long he'd been here
You'd really have to search
"Jace" was born in Kansas
In the spring of fifty one
His parents were both teachers
And he was their only son
Kansas was a "free" state
One where slaves were free men too
Where the soldiers were militia men
Who served in Union Blue
The fighting up in Kansas
started before the civil war
They were fighting over slavery
For many years before
The first call up was in summer
Back in June of sixty one
Jace's father got his papers
And he left his wife and son
The First Kansas Regiment
Were a proud and fearsome lot
They were a tougher foe to battle
Than the South had at first thought
"Jace's" father was a Captain
In fact he had his own brigade
And he was a decorated soldier
For his dues,  this man had paid
In October of sixty four
He was riding his horse "Sleek"
When we was killed by a "grey" ******
At The Battle of Marmiton Creek
The news got home directly
"Jace" and Mother quickly left
They boarded up the house
And then, they headed for the west
With no father to guide him
Jace became the man at home
He didn't like to settle
And he would much rather roam
His mother passed...consumption
Jace was only seventeen
He was not one for mourning
If you know just what I mean
He needed work to get some cash
He left school....and could ride
And he always had his rifle
Just hanging by his side
He could shoot better than older men
And he could ride just like the wind
And even at this early age
He was leathery of skin
Jace joined in a cattle drive
Moving eastward from the west
He didn't take much time to prove
He was equal to the test
Roping, branding, riding herd
Jace was comfortable as hell
But, he rarely ever said a word
Jace would hardly ever yell
He would eat off from the main group
Always watching, keeping post
He would have his own small fire
The men would call him "ghost"
He never settled down at all
Just rode from west to east
Then turning round he'd return home
His palms had now been greased
He didn't spend much money
He kept it in a bank back home
He had a spread in Austin
And he ..yep, lived there all alone
Each time he'd run a herd across
The country he would buy
Some more land in the area
Or at least, most times he'd try
He had a man named Sancho
Worked the ranch and kept it up
and a young lad known as Felize
Followed Sancho like a pup
Jace would come and clean his rig
Never staying past a week
Then he'd be back out on the trail again
On his second horse...still "Sleek"
His jeans were crusted over
Clay and mud from all the drives
There was more age in this mans jeans
Than most cats did have lives
He beat them with a broom at home
Never ever washed them clean
He said by looking at the dirt on here
I know exactly where I've been
A grizzled old range  cowboy
With a skin as tough as hide
He was never home for very long
Always waiting for the ride
In Austin his ranch was just huge
14 thousand acres square
But, what good was a ranch that big
When he was never there
"Land is something stable"
"They can never make more land"
"But as for cold cash money"
"It's not worth a field of sand"
He died while home in Austin
Nineteen hundred twenty nine
The market crashed around him
But he said, "All this is mine"
They took him back to Kansas
To be buried at his start
He was buried near his father
And his mom, god bless her heart
He gave his land to Sanche
and gave some to Felize too
They kept it up for him so long
It was the least that he could do
He was the image of a cowboy
A loner, sagebrush in his soul
But in the end , it was family
For that's what kept him whole.
LostinJapan Aug 2016
I stare at the ceiling
drained
by all the things I didn't do
Tasks and obligations are notecards
wedged between collections of thoughts
slowly taking up space on my shelf
until nails give and wood splinters
Favors are rough, leathery bookmarks
dominating Bible-thin planner pages
straining and bending
until schedules fan out
in a fat, perfect circle
of endless anxiety
Puff Oct 2014
Your strong leathery hands could mold my soul into what ever shape you desired and I would melt into contentness.
He has such nice hands and a lovely heart. Send good thoughts his dog is very sick.

Update: I gave him this poem and he avoids me now.
J Eduardo Ramos Aug 2014
A Golden Brown Mexican Royal Eagle proudly soaring and gliding on invisible æther:

Human Eyes from the ground: dark, attentive, following the Raptor's deadly arc as it ascends:

The Mexican Brown Royal Eagle spots
A frightened Doe:

The dark eyes from the leveled plain:
a startled double-take,
follow the rapid Eagle's spiraling descent:
The vaporized cloudiness slashed;
A cinematic flash
of hide torn
and shrieking delight
are jumbled,
and echoed
through the void:
The Raptor is
Voluble butcher
As it devours,
Sinewy flesh,
Peeled from broken bone
leathery skin and
curved horn;

The Dark eyes moisten
While the scene
Fills His Eyes;
What Beauty juxtaposed:
Death And Life Are Just
A House
Inhabited by
Swift
Or
Quick
The Fortunes Named
In The Game
Called
Life Or Death.

J Eduardo Ramos©
Jack Sep 2014
Here is a tale of a dog and a cat
And a *** bellied pig, so pink and so fat
Of days in the garden alongside a farm
A whimsical story of magic and charm

The dog as he was of bushy descent
Yellow in color where ever he went
Digging a hole was his prime source of fun
As a matter of fact he had just finished one

The collar he wore was a leathery find
With studs made of silver so brightly it shined
His tail ever wagging, a happy old guy
He hung with is friends as the hours passed by

The cat on the other hand, sleek and so fine
A coat made of orange with stripes it combined
Cleaning a habit I see in all cats
But this one was special for it wore a hat

A tiny straw chapeau with fine feathered brim
A ribbon of pink that was wrapped round her chin
Though not really sure if a cat finds the style
But more as I looked I would bet that she smiled

And there to her left with a snort and a grunt
Was a portly built fellow the legs of a runt
Fine wispy hair that did cover the skin
With a gather of long ones that hung from his chin

Puffing along an attempt to keep pace
The dog and the cat and the pig they would race
Faster and faster they’d run through the fields
Though what was the secret of friendship revealed

None were the same as they differed and so
Still bound together a’ running they’d go
Never before as I think about that
Has a dog or a pig ever friended a cat

For ever so prissy, no memories jog
A cat who was friends with a pig and a dog
Though still I could see right abreast of my eyes
These three companions did bring the surprise

What is the moral of all that I see?
It sure does not matter of your company
Whether a dog or a pig or a cat
You can make friends with whomever you chat

People are different in color and race
But everyone seems to be wearing a face
A face that can smile, a face that can cry
A face that can hello or even good bye

If only we look at each other the same
Will we find fortune in learning their name
No matter the differences that we might see
It pays for each of us to every time be

Nice to each other and all things like that
Just like the dog and the pig and the cat
Christian Reid Dec 2014
Goodnight anthropocentrism—
Mitochondria swim in your stardust
But Contraverse awakens on the
Frontiers of the Valerian Kingdom

At the gnarled staff of the Oil Sage
Taking root between the Earth’s furrows
Springing forth fountains of sweetest Nard
The Jewel of Jatamansi emerges glistening green

In it the eye of the beholder finds the
Seeds of a once forbidden dream
Germinating in the juices of this Gem

Out of it the silent roar of a thousand fields pressing
Aromatic oceans through bursting buds
Of Lavender pagodas rapturously trumpeting forth
Framed by stacks of soft sweet musky Sage
Broad and leathery like elephant’s ears
Curtained with a soft cascade of Orange blossom snow
The sweet kiss of Neroli on your brow

Imbibing the senses with paralyzing pungency
Tangling tendrils to heartstrings
And pulling us beneath Rosewater pools
Floating breathlessly ensconced in a dream
Primordial songs whispering wordlessly,
“Wake whenever you’re ready . . .”
JM Jan 2014
Lost in the crimson smear
of your bruised lips,
wading in your milky folds
as time crawls on all fours,
I open all my eyes
and feel the you
in me.

Everything is One

My body,
blood and breath
become yours
as skins blend.

My eyes drink from
your lips and
my lips eat from
your skin and
my skin feeds from
your soul and
my soul is
shrouded in thick shadows,
bound in leathery lusts,
shackled with a will of steel
forged from the
transcending of suffering.

We are One

Each breath and subtle movement
brings me closer
to our core
as infinity
opens inside of us.

We are Forever

Lost in the grey garden of
my dying memories,
drowning in the deep nothing
as I crawl on hands and knees,
I open my throat and purge
the you from me.
ERR May 2011
The paint is chipping, the Christmas tree shutters hanging
Green on gray, brick stoop and twin column mouth
Opens to creaking stairs that made sneaking out commando work
My room made your favorite shade is gone, death to ugly orange
I used to think of it as my laboratory, safe haven for exploration
And abstract cultivation, I bled my innocence into the floorboards
There are still fist-sized holes along the stud that I detected
Remnants of the games I played and the four that I connected
The basement is still damp and dreary, the wooden cage for laundry suspended
At the bottom of a chute that you told me was the tomb of a curious girl
My weight bench, secondhand and mixed pounds with kilograms
Living in sin, vowed never to be defenseless training endless
The attic lends its hospitable hand to trapped bird and cobweb gems
Quarter-circle window kept by chain hungrily swallows smoke
Shelves packed so tight with yellowing knowledge and petrified wood
That if spiteful spark made love to
Musty air and
******* embers, I would never make it out
Déjà vu as backyard grass soothes badtripbitch with tingling tips
Of leathery flesh, ready to be buried and wormed in its bedbox
Overwhelmed like militia in failing keep against advancing hordes
Until nature’s handsome sprouts remind me life is beautiful, always
The trumpet vine grows hideous and spiny, roots reaching deep
Settles in its site and survives all assaults man-made
For a blink during the year its vermillion nectar tubes take flower
The hummingbirds find love outside my window in their bloom
Ellis Reyes May 2017
Have you ever seen a chimp’s hands?
His were exactly like that.
Leathery Weathered Stained
From 50 years of farm work.
Today I see those hands
Moving chess pieces around the board
Masterfully

A moment of dissonance.
Like snow falling on the Visayas,
It was that strange to me.
Simple man, where did you
learn this sophisticated play?
In your tiny village on the remote Philippine island?
Knight to G-5, takes Bishop
He glances up and smiles.

— The End —