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Jay Jun 2018
I'M MAKING nachos in your toaster oven. The chips fall in the pan without a problem. Beans, evenly distributed (if I do say so myself.) Salsa- good to go. Then the cheese. Generic brand shredded cheese blend. I dangle my (washed) fingers into the zip-lock bag, grab a generous pinch and rain mild cheddar down on my gourmet meal. And I feel the tears building. "No," my conscious scolds, "you will not cry over shredded cheese." I add another pinch for flavor, then another to assert dominance. I slide the pan into the tiny oven- triumphant! But the next task breaks me. I freeze when I try to adjust the heat setting. I hear your voice so clearly, like you're still calling from the next room: "you have to press the TOAST button, it cooks much faster."  The tears start to roll. I think about how excited you were when cheese bubbled perfectly- "just a little brown, ever so slightly crispy." We would joke about your persnickety preferences, likely a product of your superior taste. Of course, you would have appreciated anything I made for you, but it was always better when the dish matched the idea in your head...when I made it like you would have made it (if you were only well enough to cook for yourself again.) In the present, I poke the TOAST button and flee the kitchen as to not cry in front of the smothered chips. I sit on the sofa and break down, gasping in childish sobs. "I miss her," I wail to an empty house. Warm tears coat my cheeks in the air-conditioned room. I feel so small. I feel so foolish for crying over stupid, little things. I feel so... so... A bell dings in the kitchen. I wipe my sleeve across my face and traipse back to the toaster. Hand into oven mitt, mitt onto pan, pan onto table. I grab the plastic tubs of sour cream and guacamole from the fridge and a spoon from the drawer that sticks a little when you try to open it. I pick the non-wilted bits off the head of lettuce and rinse them under the faucet. I finish the recipe. I pull out a chair. I sit down to nachos for one.
Grief is such a strange emotion/process.

*Oh my! Thank you all so much for your support! I wrote this back in June when I needed to get it out of my head and had no idea it was chosen as a daily until I just logged back on and thought there was a glitch with my notifications number. I was slightly mortified that a piece of my mourning got exposure but after reading your comments I'm glad that I documented something many of you identified with. I've since journeyed a bit farther in my grief- slowly overcoming my initial instinct of trying to instantaneously analyze every feeling to determine whether I'm "allowed" to have it. I went to a group bereavement meeting offered by the hospital that treated the loved one in this poem and the nurse running the session made a good point- no one can fully understand another person's relationship with an individual who's passed on. Interpersonal relationships are unique and so is grieving. Being gentle with yourself (especially in times of struggle) is woefully underrated. And with that, I send love, gratitude, and positive vibes to this wonderful community
The waiter looks at me with the cheese grater in his hand, he starts twisting the handle, making milk confetti shoot out of the bottom of the contraption like old faithful in the summertime. The server asks me to say the word  “when” when I feel like I’ve had enough.

Looking down, I think about how like the cheese, I am a snail grinding into the earth; spending my life away at petty work, only to achieve my end goal of being nothing more than a trail of slime and a worn down shell; my ground beef mess of a body pointing the way in which I was traveling.

What shape would reveal itself, if I were looking at my trail from a higher ground? A circle? A line? Perhaps from above, my path is so thin, that it blurs from existence at further distances.

I look back up expecting to see the waiter. He is gone. My salad is cheesed.
Pagan Paul Mar 2017
.
No my Darling, that is not snow.
Its not winter, it should be colder.
No my Darling, that is not snow.
Its just dandruff on your shoulder.

No my Dear, I am not in pain.
Neither am I hurting, or showing grief.
No my Dear, I am not in pain.
Its the lettuce in between your teeth.

Yes my Love, I am listening.
I was just temporarily distracted.
Yes my Love, I am listening.
But your friend is so attractive.

No my Sweet, its not that draughty.
Its not windy, you've got it wrong.
No my Sweet, its not that draughty.
Your skirts caught in your thong.

No my Darling, that is not snow.
It can't be true, its a wrong fact.
No my Darling, that is not snow.
Its just ******* on your compact.


© Pagan Paul (31/03/17)
.
Another silly one for April Fools Day ;-)
PPx
.
Carter Ginter Jan 15
Heavy, my chest feels
But not my heart
Its light as lettuce
So light in fact
That it races through these minutes
Like the wind makes it beat
I feel weighed down and weightless
This anxiety is engulfing
But it's based in insecurity
So in reality
I've got more control than I feel I do
You were with them late and
I am fully aware that my mind
Is regularly the dramatic type that
Likes to believe you two are
Making up and hugging it out
Which would be great actually
If my brain didn't tell me you were also
Falling in love
It's so silly to say aloud
And if I would just trust in your love and your word
And believe in my own worth
Then my screenplay writing mind
Wouldn't feel so suffocating
And my chest and my heart
Could fall back into automatic existence
And maybe I could sleep
I know it's irrational. I'm working on addressing my own insecurities, because that's where jealousy comes from, and there's nothing you could tell me to make me feel better. I've got to do this myself.
****** into my sofa,
The infinite space of it.
The faces of my friends are melting off,
Like heated wax running down a candle stick.

I loaded the universe into a gun,
And I shot myself in the head.
I can not tell if I am breathing.
Am I alive or am I dead?

I’m strapped to the outside of a rocket ship with nothing in the way.
I’m taking off, and I just keep going. Reaching a height higher than heaven.
There’s nothing to orient myself. No time. No space. No self. Nothing but darkness stretching out all around me.
A roar of a million voices are screaming over each other, they’re resonating in my head.
I’ve come into orbit. Everything is beginning to crystalize.

Surrounding me are complex geometrical patterns of love and understanding.
Gibberish wall textures are whispering messages through their feelings.
This is all too much to take in,
It is like the universe orgasmed into my eye.
I just want to go home,
I think I am going to die.

A sense of calm echoes through me,
Probably brought upon by the faces of my long lost family.
They have so much dimension to them,
So beautiful, light and shimmering.
Looking like something out of religious doctrine,
They came out from the open.
Released me into my primal light laser body,
Everybody has been laughing at the joke never spoke.
And now that I get it,
It is infinitely funny.

It is like the sand man blew his sand,
Taking me on a train to dream land.
They are showing me everything,
I can not even begin to understand.
How am I supposed to understand infinity,
When I can barely understand a single moment.

I see God in a head of lettuce.
I feel the earth's rotation,
As I spin around the sun.
God handed me the universe loaded into a revolver,
And fired me into a flashing rainbow shower.
Friday's smoke opera has rendered me dumb.

Bathing in a melting rainbow,
The cosmos is dripping down my skin.
Infinity is stretching out,
And withdrawing within.

I become the colour,
And the colour becomes me.
I am in everything,
And everything is in me.

Coming out of the woodsmen's cloud,
I hear a child screaming out.
I didn't know what it was then,
But now I know what it is about.

The trees are no longer silhouettes,
My destination is not my goal.
I am in the middle,
Wherever I go.
This is my most ambitious piece of literature yet.
Paul Butters Feb 5
Black hole kisses
******* me out of myself.
Kisses wrapped in hugs.
Intimate moments at intimate times.
Memories to treasure
On a cold winter night.

We once played a New Year Game
In which you kissed a girl
Then swopped her with another:
Twenty or so kisses
To compare.

One kiss so wide
I could hardly stretch
To meet it.
Ending up
Trust me,
With the big fat unresponsive one
Too drunk
To even know
She was being kissed.

Recall one time being coolly kissed
Politely:
A kiss that said
In no uncertain terms –
If you want passion
You’d better go elsewhere
My dear.

For kisses are like handshakes:
Some firm and friendly;
Others too hard
Or too limp.
The young don’t always get it:
Lettuce limp
With their customary hands.
Physical expression
A dying art
Like conversation
In this digital age
Of mobile phones
Snapchats
And Insta-Images.

Time to rekindle the past,
Go back to playing out –
And away!
Get mud ****** mucky
All gloves off.
Back to Basics,
That’s The Way.

Paul Butters

© PB 5\2\2019.
Memories!!!
THE RETURN OF DUM MAARO DUM
( for Driftwood )

She dances
upon her tippy toes

upon my toes
whirling 'bout the room

to DUM MAARO DUM
she my little Bollywood queen.

"Again...again....again!" she squeals
mad with childish delight.

Asha sings to us
and we...dance!

Sunlight throws itself
at our feet.

We dance upon it.

Summer gasps
holds its breath.

There is nothing but
the music....and us!

She is all
of three

screaming: "Bollywood me...Bollywood me!"

"This...won't....get the dinner done!"
screams Mum above the fun.

The record screeches
and scratches ...ouch...off!

I cut cucumbers
into tiny tiny pieces.

Tilly washes spinach and lettuce.

But when Mum
goes to answer the phone

it's her best chum
she will be hours

we sneak Asha
back into the kitchen.

The return of. . .

"Dum maaro dum
Mit jaaye gham
Bolo subaha shaam
Hare Krishna hare Krishna hare Krishna Hare Ram!"
Such a superb composition by RD Burman. Asha Boshle voice that perfect creature that it is and matched to Zeenat Aman. Back then we had no idea what it was about only that big father and little daughter couldn't help but compulsively dance anytime the song came on...it was such a joy and we never tired of it.

Piya Tu Ab To Aaja (Monica, Oh My Darling!) was another favourite with all that sung panting and the call of Monica, Oh my Darling! We couldn't get enough of it.
Bus Poet Stop Apr 12
spring planting, spring harvesting, spring garlic

One of the great joys of having a job in agriculture
is to think days, weeks, even months ahead,
One of the great joys of having a job in poetry,
like a fireman,  a patient planter of love,
you wait to be called,
then becoming by being,
part of an all consuming burning

come spring, take advantage of the cool, wet weather of spring
to put in multiple crops of peas and lettuce, also a great time
to get your perennial vegetables,
like asparagus and rhubarb, started

the planting cycle is not an either/or,
come harvest thy labored fruits,
nine crops to harvest come March,
kale, pick leaves as needed,
leeks, best left in the ground
and harvested as needed,
parsnips, purple sprouting broccoli,
rhubarb, spring cabbage, spring cauliflower,
and of course, my personal fav,
Spring Garlic

Garlic, like like love, is generally planted in the fall,
before the frost and harvested the following late summer.
But from March to May,
once the ground has truly thawed,
the young lover plants, spring garlic or green garlic,
can be harvested.

it’s a long bus ride to Western Canada
where the garlic spring has come,
ain’t complaining lots of time to write foolishness
and plant a few good bus poems in northern ontario
and even michigan,
the window slides, and the seeds scattered,
but at every bus poet stop,
those that need it,
planted many inches deep


April 2 naught how I wish I was nineteen again
Bardo Apr 22
I could spend my life in the supermarket, going around the aisles
Walking among the plentiful and the abundant
Looking for things to help plug the holes inside,
Looking for something, hungry for something, I don't know what
But something that probably can't be found on shelves
Something that was maybe lost a long time ago.

I seen her first among the cauliflowers
I was looking at the lettuce, but only just
Secretly, like a crack detective, I was watching her
Beautiful blonde Venus, tall and willowy, all by herself,
I watched her buy some broccoli, then move over to where the
    fruit was
There she picked some pears and some bananas -
"Mmmm", I thought to myself, " so you're into healthy eating,
    you still strive to maintain your health
You must still believe in life and things like love and joy
    and hope".

A little while later I seen her again, she was buying a Victoria
    sponge cake
And looking rather wistfully I thought at the huge array of
    chocolate bars and sweets
"A-ha!", I thought as if I'd caught her out, as if I'd found her
     weakness, her vice,
" So you lack sweetness in your life and you try to compensate
      with these"-
Well, not to worry, sure I often do the same thing myself
Temptation Alley I call this aisle - this place
You know, and here's a thought, I! Me! I could be your little
    Sweetie and you my little Honey pie
You wouldn't need to seek this kind of comfort anymore
I could give you words, I could give you lines, O! the lines I
    could give you
Thousands of words running in syrupy streams, sweeter than
     the sweetest honey
That'd dress you up in fabulous gowns, make your eyes widen
    in awe and wonder
Sparkle vivaciously like glittering sunshine on a sea in Summer,
I'd build you up, not knock you down, no! I wouldn't let you fall
The sun it'd always be shining in your heart ".

Next time I seen her, she was in among the wines
Looking a little bit lost like myself with all the different labels
" So!", I thought, "you like to kick loose sometimes, you like to try
   and shake off the shackles that bind, the shackles of your mind
You yearn to be free and wild again, just like you were when you
    were a little child,
To escape all those unpleasant restricting voices, old ghosts from
     the past perhaps
Or maybe dark monsters this world planted inside, that won't go  
    away
You want to make them all seem so crazy and funny and mad
I know, I know, it can get too much sometimes, can be hard to
    take
You know, Me! I'd do battle for you I would, I'd be your brave
    and valiant knight
I'd face down those awful dragons, I'd lance them and trounce
    them, I'd show you the truth
That they were always only mere shadows without any real
    substance behind them,
O! I would".

It was funny but it seemed that wherever I went she was there
    also
That wherever she went was some place I myself would go
It was like her shopping habits were a direct mirror image of
    my own.

She came up real close to me in the pet food section to get her
    cans of Whiskas
" So you own a cat too, I bet he sits on your lap and you stroke
      him gently
And whisper silly funny little catty things in his ears..."

In the herbal bath and fragrances section, she was waiting for
   me again
"So you like to soak in a hot tub, lie back and let the whole world
    just float away,
I could light some scented candles, give you a nice soothing rub
Put on some nice soft calming music, together we'd make an
    otherworldly place
For ourselves that no one else could find - it'd be our special
    place".

I met her again, this time browsing through books in the Books
    section, she was reading the blurbs on the back covers
I could see her thinking, trying to decide which one to choose,
" I hope you pick a good one, that'll make you happy, make you
    laugh and smile
Not the kind that'd make you shiver, cast a shadow over your
    world",
I watched her move over to the music CD's...sad songs and love
    songs, still the romantic I see,
I could see her sitting at home with her cat, reading her book,
    listening to her favorite songs
Dreaming of other lives she might have had and the heroes she
    might have been,
"But we can be heroes still, you and I, heroes of our own lives
We could write our own books, sing our own songs
We wouldn't always have to be looking over at them and theirs,
We could build a world we'd love to look at and wake up to.
O! Yes...yes we could".

I grew curiouser and curiouser about her
Once she turned around and glanced at me briefly, but only for a
     second
She had these wonderful big blue 'rescue me' eyes.

She reached the checkouts first
By the time I got there, there were other people in between us
I watched her, she smiled faintly at something the checkout girl
    said,
She looked like someone who didn't smile an awful lot,
" What a pity, what a shame", I thought, "someone who looks like
     you do".
I wanted...wanted to say something to her before she left the
     store,
I watched her fill her bags, then head to the exit door
I could feel her slipping away from me
" C'mon, c'mon", I thought impatiently as the checkout girl,
     she leisurely scanned my items,
Paying her quickly I bundled everything into my trolley and
     took off in a hurry,
Inside me a voice was shouting "Don't go! Please don't go! throw
    me a lifeline too, won't you!
Because sometimes I feel... sometimes I feel I myself I'm
    drowning, that I need rescuing too".

I could see her car pulling out, it was a small car just like my
    own, nothing fancy,
But wait! There was someone with her... a man!... another man
I was crushed/ torn inside," But I knew you, I understood
    you...better than he ever could",
And then... and then she was gone,
I was just left there standing in the car park with my shopping
    trolley.
Looking down at all the things I'd bought, all the things that me
    and her liked
I thought for a moment that they might magically transform and
    that she'd be standing there one more time, all vibrant & alive
But no! I guess that could never be.

So she went back to her world and I went back to mine,
I went back to my cat and she went back to hers and her man,
She had become just another thing now, just another thing I
    couldn't find.
Going to the supermarket won't be the same again. Quite sad this, a career in Mills & Boon beckons.
Marshal Gebbie Oct 2018
Shot a rabbit two days ago, it was a good shot taken at distance from height. The rabbit died instantly, it had been digging holes in my lawns, it had to go.

I watched it die and I had cause to ponder the death from a religious angle, where believers say we go to another place when we die?

I know where this rabbit went, he went into my vegetable garden, buried deep with all the other varmints and critters that have crossed my path.

Over the years we, (my wife and I), have turned that patch of barren volcanic ash into a wondrous source of lettuce, potatoes, onions, rhubarb, tomatoes and leek..by adding the carbonaceous remnants of not only these creatures but of composted vegetation, seaweed and selected fertilizers. We also grow the most beautiful roses and deliahs and crysanthemums you will ever come across.

And do you know...in the dark of night other little rabbits and bugs and things come out and nibble those very creations...unaware that they are completing the circle of being.

This is the true spirit of creation, as I see it, where deep in the garden, the motes of nutrition transmogrify beneficially from one entity to another, eventually, for the common good of all.

This is the basis of my belief. Feet on the ground...
What is....most definately is!

M.
Taranaki NZ
Loameo, Decomposeo, Scaremoleo, Romeo RIP.
A sazhen deep l/ a kulak, kozy.
Down here, hic jacet Jared, or some other
hick l/  me, face it. Grauballe greenhorn's chia
pet ***** moss my roof, arbuscules anagenic.
Ignomio in nightsoil, netty Chthonically kerbkicked.

Dirt heart of dark heath, a daft felodese.
What did my dark daffodil periscopes see?
A merry widow that reneged midway on the pact.
Ethereal barefootedness on my deadman's doormat.
No Elysian toejam on  brazen untumbling Jill.
Julie Judas, whose stayed hand waives a ne'erdofarewell.

Her sweetheart leprous w/ wet weapon seepage
of winterstices. Yellow leather thews fuel spoilage,
foison of the fomes my former foison bequeathed
to Nitrogen's garden, gravestrewn global glebe.
My mournedover mould, from my Morlock Tafilafet,
sprighettis dustland & brushbowl, on rebound from Juliette.

Waldeinsamkeit my plight, but a lil' lower
down I floundirt. The dead autistic as the flower,
that strains past the compost of my final
season of gas & mellow fertilicer, mortal fruitful
-ness, l/ that ribburst Deianira
(her freewill blackball, plucky gibbous bloodpear).

W/ that valiant apple, Apple Lily unravelled
zombie Eden. Julie-Eve  d'aujourd' hui resiled
tho'. Thus alone I fell thru this mortuary
orchard,  l/ a worm thru stewed apple, to dormitories
of mouldwarps. Atop my catabolism,
postapocalyptic allotments! No voar for alyssum,

not even upon the fullblown Ides. Her betrayal
harvest has the ecology gross w/ her turned tail's
martyr. Putridly, I pullulate a larval *******
of laurel bandages, Avalon Mole by recycling carnage
of some Pomona Braithwaite int'a Seamus Heaney
Swamp Thing sludge loved. Spleen spores, organic bicne.

Infusorians party in my tears. An epic lettuce
gloats where cartilaginous flap over my glottis
fingered stops of pickup artistry after Petrarch. A
backtracking princess of dwales, to Proserpina Harker
ceded me.  Bride of all corpses, bog queen boss of bosses
cannibalised Loameo, ironically, for locus amoenus.
with every breath
we each are breathing
molecules from julius caesar,
of aristotle and every one of
our prophets, leaders, even
god for some of us, all those
molecules of carbon and oxygen
that have travelled through those
same lungs, too, molecules that
have travelled around through
epochs too numerous to be
easily counted; i like the
idea of it, how connected
we all really are on such
a fundamental level

ღ ღ ღ

just as history is the
memory of human beings,
true or false, right or wrong,
mother nature is the memory
of the entire earth, and the
carved meanders of this
little creek indicate
her patience and the
irresistible force of her
will; i seem to recognize
how alive in a way our
entire ecosystem is, each
part, each of us, are like
vital organs in her body,
valleys are her wrinkles,
as are all things that return
to dust; like a great sculptor,
she molds all things as God
intended for her, her chisels,
wind & water & sunshine,
exquisite tools that have
their own logic and cut,
her hammer is time

ღ ღ ღ

time flows by
at the exact same
rhythm of your water in
front of me, all these baby
ducks and goslings and a pair
of graceful swan and their cygnets...
they are so beautiful to watch, and
something almost magical happens
as i watch them for so long, and with
the baby fox popping their heads out
as if a game of whack a mole, or some
sort of complex, silent musical instrument
i somehow seem to start to think like
that which i am watching in awe of,
they get inside my head, or maybe
the other way around, and i feel
even more a part of nature as
they so much more obviously
are. one head of lettuce and i
can't think of a better investment,
as one brave mallard came right up
and ate a leaf out of my hand as
i sat my notebook down and acted
and watched before writing anything
for a change, this spot becoming like
a battery of sorts, and a place to go
that is quiet, and just secluded
enough that i know no one will
cross my path so i can be alone
with that which i am a part of
with the walls that block the
awareness of that crumbling so
quickly as i force myself back
to silent observer, the lettuce
all gratefully gobbled down.

ღ ღ ღ

yes, i had become a water fowl
for a few moments at least, my
spring creek being that flow of
time, with its currents and eddies
and whirlpools and rapids and all
other movements trace out our own
wrinkles, and memories, and the
current is as inevitable, as irresistible,
and understanding that simple obvious
concept, but feeling the living metaphor
lapping against my bare feet dangling
in the water with an eye out for leeches,
it makes it so real that it's a frustration
to not be able to describe it well, but
more gratitude than anything else.

ღ ღ ღ

the tree in my front yard that i cut
a big piece off, that strangely made
me cry to do, i counted the rings of
just that one huge section branching
out near the truck, 66, 67, 68 years,
rings etched by time just as it traces
my laugh lines and the deepening
furrows of my brow, and i like them.

ღ ღ ღ

i like not railing against my aging,
i like embracing it, even stuff like
basal joint arthritis, because in losing
a core area of competency, i had to
learn to play again from scratch and
switch to classical and writing songs
with new chords and fretting, no more
solos, just a slow rhythm and intricate
finger picking that made me realize
that i hadn't lost a thing, it has just
grown into something new, and when
i can't do this anymore, i'll switch over
to pure slide, i'm never going to stop
playing, and mixed metaphors and all
that, just how i grew to meet the limitations
of aging in this way, i wish to greet every
new season of life now in the same way,
loving that which i love, not burying any
talents, but adapting with grace, that's how
i want to age, like that tree branch, twisting
and contorting to get it's share of sunshine
on its leaves so naturally and effortlessly
and unconsciously, ring after ring, each layer
of sediment in the earth, as do ancient cites
rebuilding themselves layer upon layer
atop themselves like the rings of the tree, and
life just keeps passing itself on and on and on,
and i think about the veritable ocean of ink
and graphite i've used up with these thoughts
over the years, how many thing of great immensity
i borrow every day, before it all flows back to you.
“Come out of the circle of time And into the circle of love.”
                                                                                        ― Rumi

eric burdon & war - mother earth
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NjIqXfAvm1w
Starlight Apr 19
salad swirls
I peer into your depths
lettuce leaves
splayed seductive
unpeeled forest green liver skins
green thumbs
red palmed
'tis only a Sunday brunch
TheIdleOwl Jun 14
16
We’ve walked the island late at night
Around diffuse liquids of light
My soul it’s been buzzing a tune

From bar to bar we went and laughed
Our words they followed the downdraft
Kicked out into the shadow of the moon


The pebbles crunched beneath our feet
Our words accompanied the bleats
I leapt to show the power in my legs

The wind it shivered through my teeth
The sun it scattered on the heath
Playful touches separated by our threads


Sat on a rock by Stanage Edge
Rustic colours to the distance stretch
Something inside me sparks, almost ignites

I kicked the lettuce to the crack
We held hands and turned back
Your eyes like glowing bracken in twilight


The lime green and the muted browns
Spark thoughts and visions and raised brows
You shuffle up and rest upon my dreams

You ask me as if it is tradition
What would I do with my three wishes
I’d throw up time and tear it at the seams


The first night that you came and stayed
I remember every word you said
The whispers joyfully bounced around my brain

We woke up in the morning light
Our eyes they met my mood was bright
You put on your coat and kissed me in the rain
there was a little lady bird. red with ******* spots.
they were very round she had lots on lots
she loved to chew on lettuce for a little treat
a nice big juicy leaf she just loved to eat

roaming round for hours having lots of fun
feeling nice and warm beneath the summer sun
i would sit and watch her watching what she did
bringing back the memories when i was just a kid

when the night comes and the sun as gone to bed
time for her to go to rest her weary head
i will look tomorrow to see my little friend
i will love her always till the very end

— The End —