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Nat Lipstadt Aug 2013
What poem will you wear, when first we meet?

How will I recognition-you,
when you transverse my land?
Unknown our faces, our voices,
Only silent words electronic exchanged

Will lantern, it be: one, if by land, two, if by sea?
Will your ID badge, passport stamped and state,
Your chest bear a witness-sign?

The Arrivals Board flashes:
                    une poétesse est arrivé
                    eine Dichterin ist angekomme
                    a poetess has arrived
                    una poetisa ha llegado

Will there be a haiku in your hair,
A limerick exposed by raucous grin,
Or just ten words
allotted for your entire visit?

Desperate to locate
Urgent to sensate
Matters I take
Into two cupped hands,
On the shoeshine stand
Climb and recite-shout

Know me by my words,
Know me by the lilt lyrical
Of my American accented,
Canadian Tongue of my mother

Know me by my words,
Carved by time on my forehead,
Poetry is the blood of this fool's soul,
Hear me, find me, look upon me slamming

Poems are the thorns in my palms,
See me crucified, bleeding stanzas
Upon my shoeshine stand cross
Recitation resuscitation welcoming:

Benedicting Gloria, Gloria, Gloria

But if this should fail your attention to secure,
Or the TSA unappreciate my second coming,
Look for the crowd gathered round,
A man of moderate height, in a tall hat,
Beard scraggly, looking sorrowful
Reciting the Gettysburg Address

Either way,
Should be easy peasy to find me,
Grab your bag, off to short-term parking

This is how an Americana poet meets n' greets
Arriving poetess from a foreign land

Is there any other way?
------------------------------
Postscipt
Alas, five years on and I know in my heart
that you are not coming...
Aug 2013
Nico Julleza Oct 2017
Pretty Pictures; as you are embracing me
Lost in an earthly mood of tranquility
Evident than the shadows fusing my feet
Obscure like pretty lies melodically
Pretty Pictures; sailing, forever will be

Rhapsodize; vividly crossing in my mind
A face of cherubim winged up the sky
Cascading through visions abrupt
A star shoots afar than any distant eye
Longing endless of her passionate touch

We are novels, with so much stories to tell
Red laces, stamps of gold, a lush lullaby
I was the house you painted white
Agitate the deepest hues, then we'd fly
Midnight kisses, Dawn and trade goodbyes

Blithe; for we need nothing to pretend
The clearest blue water, a heaven's scent
To the grass wading courteously
Cloud nine's hanging then lifts my feet
Showering up above washing all anxieties

Pretty pictures; like ribbons untangled
A touch of silk as my heart would lilt
Inner feelings frolic then they'd tremble
For in you the excitement is always a thrill
From the simplest to a goddess divine
Pretty Pictures; moments as you were mine
#Pretty #Pictures #Love #Deep #Sansatuion #Eternal

(NCJ)POETRYProductions. ©2017
FIRST DAY

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chicago,
could this be
Sandburg’s City?

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

Chicago,
Sandburg’s Chicago,
Could it be?

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

Now also
tourist attractions
for a cafe society.

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

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

Great restaurants
serve liquid jazz
al la carte.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Its mouth our Dixie Trumpet
guarded by righteous Cajun brethren.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

3.
There is faith in everything in Chicago!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

4.
Does Chicago have a future?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The analysts say
it’s all about capturing liquidity.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sorghum,
I think its hardy.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This is an efficient market
that crosses the globe.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Many striver rows compose
its many neighborhoods.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


SECOND DAY

1.
Out my window
the sun has risen.

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

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

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

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

I set my watch
to Central Standard Time.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Always more.
Much much more
in Chicago.

2.
Sandburg
spoke all the dialects.

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

Sandburg understood
what it meant to laugh
and be happy.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What level
is he speaking of?

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

I wonder
if I detect
condensation
in his voice?

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

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

This seditious talk!

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

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

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

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

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

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

It is the true level
of this city.

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

Splashing
the nation,
anointing
its people
with its
blessing.

A blessing,
Chicago?

All rivers
come here.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sandburg knew
a Chicago
I will never know.

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

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

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

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

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

Hell even Chicago
got its own brand
of Blues.

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

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

The Blues live
on in Chicago.

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

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

Music:

Robert Johnson
Sweet Home Chicago


jbm
Chicago
1/7/99
Added today to commemorate the birthday of Carl Sandburg
Piper Diggory May 2018
Four walls; a pair of cupped hands.
Jaundiced like an open eye; an open cove
Prescribing solitude to those whom solitude cannot withstand,
And I choose this cold corner which is furthest from the door,
To be where I am not, before
Your proclivities become my own, I write. I write,
My window holds my breath and frosts the world,
The moon in his amber gown, dressed in chatoyance and spite,
Godspeed; dark, dark shroud for naked skies!
Six floors, walls, doors from you am I.

I couldn't write when the sun peered in,
Her inquiry evangelizing the specks of time left upon the glass -
I've heard it all before; God's shining face leaves none unloved (unseen)
but his spotlight has no starlet; so who can see me up here?
We can't see from windows, dear.
I'd live and sing for the cloudless hall
The nursery of misanthropists crawling on the grey cobblestone
And the lilt of the wind on the rose; through squares nice and small -
The peevish moth shudders at the sight of itself obscuring the day through the glass.
It seems we're always in the way.
one I wrote in Cambridge
Tawanda Mulalu Dec 2018
Oh yes, but this song is for empathy. For the grasses'
leaves' greens being yellowed. For when winter  
says, "Hello": A song as this might add to its start with an opening
chord or two. Oh (yes), but this song is for me: Hello.
A greeting is an affirmation of one thinking thing
to another. I greet stones. Tie them to my feet when
I jump into my own blood. Drown for a bit. Wait
for a response. The stones don't say anything. Flowers
do sometimes, inspiring a heart to do a little lilt
within itself. So much to speak of about flowers: Thick yellow grasses
swirling around like the sounds swirling within a severed ear.
That's a good painting.
But that painting is yellow. Blood is red. Water is
blue, or the sky is
blue, or our minds make them
blue, so where should I jump? Upwards towards the birds
or downwards towards the fish? If human embryos look like fish
then wombs might be oceans, but amnion fluid is yellow: Like
sunflowers. Was Van Gogh a yellow man if he had a gun? And am I
blue because words
sometimes sing?
There casts a lilt of light
      out past horizon's reach
Standing ankles wet against eternity
Feet transfixed in dusky shells
      the souls of this pearl beach

She calls the faintest whispers
      above skin and wave and gull
Beyond a length of swim or tangle of kelp
Beyond a barge a ship
      or barnacled tanker's hull

I cast her back this ribbon of line
      and skip to her a stone
That sinks beneath my depths of breath
The salty wind that moves my will
     my feet my skin and my bone
Dominique May 12
A handwarmer
(the day wasn't even that cold
but you were sweet
and I was blushing)

A handful of delays
(forgiven in a storm of gale
and hesitant surrender
to your touch)

A warm human body panting for more-
My cousin's body-
(not okay
not fine
not alright)

Then a silence

That ripped my edges to ribbons
And finally, your voice
That lilt of apathy
The way you decided "just ten minutes".

Maybe time would have folded
If I went to you,
But the expanse only grew.

The knowledge I'd never kiss you again

Girls, girls, girls

And piles and piles of drugs.
These are the things that separated us and still do and probably always will.
Nico Julleza May 2017
∙∙∙◦◦•◎•◦◦∙∙∙
I've never been startled to surprise
seeing a man riding a six-wheel bicycle on my side
gazing up his smile in full plain sight
so subtle like pinwheels on summer breeze.

Cheese! says the lens-man from southeast
a harmonious melody led me round and round
till horses jump out of the merry-go-round
so, as teacups swirling with no succulent tea
but are found to be couples squirming in obscurity.

Surprised! that no one tend to flee
for nights fright of lustful fantasies
covered their state of subtle ease.

Oh Fun, Fun, Fun, when there seems to be no sun
and I felt heedless to ponder
the fact that I endlessly Run, Run, Run
in far out yonder
then oops! ouch!
I howled like thunder.

Deluded, how fell on the ground
when music suddenly lost it sound
colors I've knew were out of bound
and haze of somnolence was all I found.

Where could I be?

Surprise!
He shrieked

Who could it be?

Unexpectedly he's someone I could never see!
yet only I can hear.

A Nowhere Man whom greeted with sigh
though I've never seen him in beacons of light
for he always knows how to welter my sight
his eerie voice orchestrates the eventide
shocked me with so much surprise.
for in he's eyes lilt like fireflies.

He given me a euphony, took away the agony
and hid me somewhere I can't even grasp
how many he had taken away to his untrodden land
to turn me as one of them, his very own Nowhere Man.
#NowhereMan #Surprise #Adventure #Mystery #Nature
(NCJ)POETRYProductions. ©2017
Evan Stephens Mar 10
Saturday night's
rain down
the glass
reminds me of
when the sky
tipped
& beaded
on my face
in the spare
maple as spring
came on.

I laughed
& shook the shine
from my hair
as my fingers
gestured water
into the hillside
streeted
with roots.

I found the road
as the dusk
whistled
& followed it
back to the *****
where headlights
kicked against
the first pierce
of stars.

The rain sat
on the ruddy brick
& glowered.
I sailed
over lawns
black with dousing
& listened
to the drop
and lilt.
Sean M O'Kane Nov 2018
When great aunt Maggie passed away years ago, the one thing I really missed was her angelic voice.
The swaggering, sing-song lilt of the mid-Derry accent was as sweet as the confections she used to pass out to us as kids:
The inflection, the intonation, and the slight lisp she brought to it was so gloriously unique but was never heard again.
I often wish I could go back with a tape recorder to capture it in all its glory and relive how wonderful she was.
Now all I have is a untranslatable memory that can't be brought back to even vaguely approximate what it meant to me.

And now here I am again with the same obstacle.
The same tones, the same inflections albeit through a different light have just been extinguished before me.
This time there was no digital device rushing in to capture our time before it ran out.
No instinct for preservation was forthcoming - we were too busy having fun & 'being here now'.
No, once again I am bereft:
All I I have is here (in my heart) and and here (in my head)
The loved sounds I miss will always resound there albeit without backup
Voices lost but not forgotten.
Eléa Jan 24
things that belong to me:

him
his skin because it tastes like
orange grey light when the sky breaks at almost
twilight, and day winks in between;

and i see it

his tongue, because it sparks like
midnight almost morning stars,
blinking a world that escapes light blue
behind black velvet,
lifting soflty against the top of my
slightly sinking teeth

his knees because they hobble sideways
like the sidestreets, of my childhood,
before i learned to walk with a lilt
and instead collected earwigs, and thought
they curled,
a lot like me

his heels, when i feel them on my cheek,
the lines on his forehead when
he turns them into words
to stretch and dismantle the
inbetween i place in front of him

because he didnt know yet, he was mine,
had been mine, simply

because i
asked him
  to be
Ryan O'Leary Aug 2018
Incarcerated in laced prisons,
by those who attempted
to silence our tongues,
a faint, but recognisable
lilt, of strong words spoken
softly, escaped through the
eyelets, into the ether, where
our wordsmiths forged and
honed, what was to become,
the most powerful weapon, to
be wielded against any Empire!!
Cirrus Nov 2018
She is the Cats Meow

As She walks down the street
Smiles at the people she meets
With a slink in her walk
As Pretty as a Spring Day

Has a Dress that fits Her curves
And a Purple Hat at a tilt
Her voice has a little Purr
Her voice has a slight Scottish lilt

People can't help but stop and stare
She walks on without a care
All the Men want Her for Their own
She wants a Love that has no price

For this one is beyond all compare
Crimson Lips so fine with a Little twist
Hair of Raven and down to her wrist
What one would give to have this Treasure

I would give my all to have such a sweet
But She is the Cat's Meow and is free
Someday might come when She fines the one
I hope and pray that I am There That day
She looked at me with a whisper, a whisper of impossible tonics kissed by error and wrapped in something her very own: a cobblestone alleyway with gas lamps.

She whispered through centuries and languages, from unintelligible crude rocks to dashes and swoops of a corset. Through blue eyes and clouds, through dizzy spells of humanity’s uproar and endorphins fueled by alcohol.

She whispered and yelled and then she screamed, with the power of an open heartbroken and men fallen, up through the air and down through roots long faltered.

She screamed and screamed and nothing came out like it did from her whisper. She fell quiet. For she was nothing without the lilt of a tongue when greeting the one vitality she couldn’t make tangible.
N Paul Nov 2018
Yesterday was okay:
   Food is good; mood is good
The newbies look wired:
  Lauren, he is nervous and pleasantly disturbed by forthright kindness.
  Arthur is slow and engaging and intimate.
  Kate is a little crazy
    She sneaks into the men's house:
    The men tense
    Our eyes move together like magnets
      "Hello." She accepts the challenge with interest.
        "Hello." A Slavic lilt.
    I comment that she mustn't like rules.
      She is overjoyed by this.
    Five minutes later she is caught and saunters sulkily away.
  We are friends.

The old men, we are slower;
  Even our eyes move slower
  We explore the grounds with less hurry:
    They will not move, and we resist the urge to pry their secrets before we have earned them:
     We save their hidden corners like sweets under a pillow:
        Times will come when they are needed; gorge now and starve later.
   For us, time will stay put if we ask it.
     With quiet acceptance we foresee the many moments that lie ahead when we will burn to usher time along.
     A sullen wise old donkey that resists the switch.
     He is our concern. And our fear.

You may become a master of time here.
More likely, you will realise its mastery over you:
Illuminated to a vivid and terrible outline.

— The End —