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Tom Leveille Sep 2014
i love you this morning
it's a come home safe morning
fog on the road
& no seatbelt kind of morning
the sun is over easy
& nothing's on fire
there's punctuation
where i don't want it
and extra love
in the glovebox of my car
been thinking about being honest
how these poems are all me
but they tell the story
how someone else
might believe it happened
within reasonable doubt
no copy & pasted love letters
no 'who ever says hello first gets my attention for the day'
try a little tenderness
in my ears and today
there are instruments
in the back of my head
i think you love me
because i'm sunburned
felt it in a 'come hell or high water' kinda way, that 'touched from far away' kinda way that 'if i touch this piano one more time one of us is going to break' kinda way
and i drove over 17 bridges yesterday and today i'll do it again
and i think nobody gets
what that means except maybe you
i just tell them i love the scenery
that somebody must've made
these trees blush just for me
you know how i love
to change the subject
i bet they'd love the view
i bet you would too
and all these metaphors
for other things are beside the point
this is a metaphor
for why i don't wear my seatbelt
a metaphor for why whiskey
knows me better than you
could ever try to
all the buildings seemed to sag yesterday and all the stars
are doing that cliche thing
where they talk
quiet jet noise
& some lumbering giant
made everything shake
not those hand metaphors
not another one of those
& keep the sea to yourself
i think it was a train
it's sound hugged the embankment
for a moment
and then trailed off into nowhere
and that's kind of like me
how there's a town called 'rescue'
close to my home &
it's no coincidence
that i've never been there
We had wanted to leave our homes before six in the morning
but left late and lazy at ten or ten-thirty with hurried smirks
and heads turned to the road, West
driving out against the noonward horizon
and visions before us of the great up-and-over

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

by moose roads
                             moose lanes
                                                     moose rivers
and everything mooses

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

and how are we?
and how many?

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

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

Goodnight Lady Valkyrie.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

then two eyes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Who gave a “What now. New-Brunswick?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

and only one Caribou was seen the entire trip
and only one live animal, and some forsaken deer
and only a snake or a lonesome caterpillar could be seen crossing such highway straights
but the water more refreshing and brighter than steel
and glittered as if it were hiding some celestial gem
and great ravines and valleys flowed between everything
and I saw in my own eye prehistoric beasts roaming catastrophe upon these plains
but the peaks grew ever higher and I left the ground behind
acm Jul 2013
(Ruining Steely Dan concerts since 2013)*

Parrot Dave
you can go
straight
to
hell.

lumbering up
         and
    down
the ******* stairs
47 times -
for christ's sake
SIT DOWN
with your lovely wife
(let's call her linda)
and
enjoy the show.

you may think
i am being overly
harsh
but let me explain:
Parrot Dave
doesn't even have
              the decency
to wear a
proper Hawaiian*
shirt,
the indecent ****!
******* parrots?
why, dave?

they repeat endlessly
too large
                   too bright
                 too primary
  they are clones
                         all facing the same direction
      and you can hear
    the sound
     of the parrot voices
    in an unholy union
"It's a Steely Dan concert, man!"
"Listen to the horns," says the horror of parrots.
Parrot Dave,
you're a real *******...
have some ******* class.
Ecstatic bird songs pound
the hollow vastness of the sky
with metallic clinkings—
beating color up into it
at a far edge,—beating it, beating it
with rising, triumphant ardor,—
stirring it into warmth,
quickening in it a spreading change,—
bursting wildly against it as
dividing the horizon, a heavy sun
lifts himself—is lifted—
bit by bit above the edge
of things,—runs free at last
out into the open—!lumbering
glorified in full release upward—
                              songs cease.
The Triumph of Wit Over Suffering

Head alone shows you in the prodigious act
Of digesting what centuries alone digest:
The mammoth, lumbering statuary of sorrow,
Indissoluble enough to riddle the guts
Of a whale with holes and holes, and bleed him white
Into salt seas.  Hercules had a simple time,
Rinsing those stables:  a baby's tears would do it.
But who'd volunteer to gulp the Laocoon,
The Dying Gaul and those innumerable pietas
Festering on the dim walls of Europe's chapels,
Museums and sepulchers?  You.
                               You
Who borrowed feathers for your feet, not lead,
Not nails, and a mirror to keep the snaky head
In safe perspective, could outface the gorgon-grimace
Of human agony:  a look to numb
Limbs:  not a basilisk-blink, nor a double whammy,
But all the accumulated last grunts, groans,
Cries and heroic couplets concluding the million
Enacted tragedies on these blood-soaked boards,
And every private twinge a hissing asp
To petrify your eyes, and every village
Catastrophe a writhing length of cobra,
And the decline of empires the thick coil of a vast
Anacnoda.
          Imagine:  the world
****** to a foetus head, ravined, seamed
With suffering from conception upwards, and there
You have it in hand.  Grit in the eye or a sore
Thumb can make anyone wince, but the whole globe
Expressive of grief turns gods, like kings, to rocks.
Those rocks, cleft and worn, themselves then grow
Ponderous and extend despair on earth's
Dark face.
           So might rigor mortis come to stiffen
All creation, were it not for a bigger belly
Still than swallows joy.
                         You enter now,
Armed with feathers to tickle as well as fly,
And a fun-house mirror that turns the tragic muse
To the beheaded head of a sullen doll, one braid,
A bedraggled snake, hanging limp as the absurd mouth
Hangs in its lugubious pout.  Where are
The classic limbs of stubborn Antigone?
The red, royal robes of Phedre?  The tear-dazzled
Sorrows of Malfi's gentle duchess?
                                   Gone
In the deep convulsion gripping your face, muscles
And sinews bunched, victorious, as the cosmic
Laugh does away with the unstitching, plaguey wounds
Of an eternal sufferer.
                         To you
Perseus, the palm, and may you poise
And repoise until time stop, the celestial balance
Which weighs our madness with our sanity.
Eva Rushton Jul 2015
alone, scarred
like a seed , in wind
twirling. twisting
breaking apart

forward, backwards
the ground I reach
hard like steel
incapable of growth

kicked ,stepped on
forced down
Lumbering on
like that of snails

rays of sun
sparks are lit
as my beacon
resurrects my soul

written by E.M.Rushton
patty m Sep 2015
The woofers and tweeters
stood ready to commence
the cool cats stage center
had sounds to dispense.
A hot dog up front was ready to wail,
but the crowd closed in and someone
stepped on his tail.

A basso profundo swept out of the bog,
while a haunting aria was performed
by a frog.  

An eerie mist hovered, but the moon
tried to peek
as a mother bird warbled her babies to sleep.

A huge shaggy dog, a lumbering brute
serenaded the moon with his magical flute.
A cow in the field uttered a refrain,
while a horse in the paddock sang a
chorus from Mame.

There were dancers and singers
an acrobat or two, a cowboy cat
and a dog named Blue.
They jived and jammed
gave a hoot and a howl,
driving critters wild and waking
the old owl.  

There were rock groups
and folk singers
musicians and bell ringers

The grass was eaten they preferred it that way
because animals aren't people
so they munched the night away

The show was a success
it received great acclaim
the performers though amateurs
enjoyed their moment of fame.  
I'm here to tell you in this final summation
that the audience gave them
standing ovation.
AD Mullin Oct 2014
Losing a tail
Is like losing a rudder
Like losing a ballast
Stability must be found elsewhere
As a quadruped there are four points of contact
A biped has only two
How do we replace that stability?
With aspiration

~ Extinct ~
**** erectus
and
**** neanderthalensis

~ Extant ~
Hominids
Great Apes
Primarily lumbering along on all fours
Quadrupedal
Except Us
**** sapiens

What mechanism allowed for bipeds?
Natural selection?
Or a naturally selected collective vision
Through collective perspiration

Art is used to mine dream-time
Inspiring the masons among us
The art is the plan
The architecture is built upon
And the builders perspiration
Leads to the built environment
How do you cap it?
Egyptians used a capstone

Aspiration
Leading to
Inspiration
Leading to
Perspiration
Leading to

A
Spire
Naturally
c quirino Mar 2013
sounds of the engorged worm’s lumbering steps,
they pierce not so stinging as the golden glow of orbs outside your window.
Quietude will find no home here.
neither will that longed-for sense.

what we want,
the ‘soul sleep,’
rests further,
further still, and away from finger tips,

gently rest me in myself,
to sweetly mine the interiors of subterranean caverns,
within which, we held exiled domain for millennia before we were men.
Wrenderlust Jan 2014
He asked if I'd stay,
and my silence trapped him
like a mosquito in amber.
The seconds rumbled past, unhurried glaciers,
two hurricanes, a drought, and a war came
and he was still rolling his joints,
tapping on shoulders, asking soldiers for a light.
When the sea rose and flooded the town,
he sat in his swollen armchair
exhaling smoke bubbles,
while parrotfish gnawed at the carpet, and later,
his eyes glazed with a tired sort of expectation
when the manatees swam past
in their solemn triumph over the suburbs,
as if any one of the lumbering sea cows
might come bearing my yes.
Keith Collard Sep 2012
Mom what are these snails,
with blood and sweat trails?
lumbering mountians, hauling heavy shells,
jumping in beer--killing themselves,
Why do they still patrol
the garden flag poles,
writhing in pain,
salt in flesh--burning holes,
Mother, the neighbors have no flag,
but they have a saltshaker to wave?
crushed shell--only way they listen to them,
rejoicing--at salted skin--wetly glistening.

But I feel I must do the same,
Well before the recruiter came,
I know what he sells,
The salty brimstone of hell,
But these Blood Sweat Snails in the dirt,
Jumping on grenades,
Absorbing brimstone bursts.
Truly are the salt of the Earth.
Beth Taylor Oct 2014
you should’ve never unpacked your bags,
because it gave me this expectation that you were in this for the long run. i’m still running. i have swallowed so much blood that tastes like your regret from biting down my tongue to cage it behind my teeth from screaming about you to a world that wants my blood for ink.
i am more than a number, but 24 makes me feel better than 26, so i sit in jeans that leave red marks on my hips and make it hard to breathe, but see it’s two inches and
i am more than a number, but i know every test score i ever got and still remember fourth grade and question three and crying because suddenly my mistakes had weight and i couldn’t fix things by saying sorry and
i am more than a number, but i was always the middle child, always the not-quite one, not the best friend to anyone, just a girl with kind eyes and jeans that are a little bit too tight and
i am more than a number but to you i am seventeen, ten and three. and lets be clear; it’s the three that haunts me, because *** doesn’t matter and ‘girlfriend’ is just a label, but i wish i was the first girl you truly loved, and sometimes i still wish i was the last, but with you i fear i’ll forever be just another number.
i drove over 17 bridges the other day and next week i'll do it again and i think nobody gets what that means except maybe you.
i just tell them i love the scenery, that somebody must've made these trees blush just for me.
you know how i love to change the subject?
i bet they'd love the view. i bet you would too.
and all these metaphors for other things are beside the point.
this is a metaphor for why i don't wear my seatbelt, a metaphor for why whiskey knows me better than you could ever try to.
all the buildings seemed to sag yesterday and all the stars are doing that cliche thing where they talk quiet jet noise and some lumbering giant made everything shake.
not those hand metaphors, not another one of those & keep the sea to yourself,
i think it was a train, it's sound hugged the embankment for a moment and then trailed off into nowhere,
and that's kind of like me
how there's a town called 'rescue' close to my home and it's no coincidence that i've never been there.
i’m just flatlining now and hoping that you can look at the next girl the way i looked at you.
Tatiana Feb 2013
Hateful eyes stare down,
a sinister lumbering figure,
that stalked through the darkness,
using the shadows for cover.
Stealthily he followed,
this dark figure,
through the dense undergrowth,
walking on thorns,
and not noticing,
as they dug deep into his feet,
red painting his footprints.
The sinister man in front of him stopped,
and turned to look behind him,
a sick twisted smile,
lighted the sinister man's face.
The man breathed in,
the scents of the bushes,
and pulled the trigger,
there was a soft thump,
of a body hitting the earth,
and a pool of blood,
soaked into the grass.
Laying in that pool,
was the sinister man,
the life gone from his eyes,
the man walked away,
feeling the rage disappear
and be replaced,
with guilt,
until he pulled the trigger once more,
and his mind went blank,
and there was another thump,
as another body,
hit the ground,
in the darkest hour,
just before dawn.
Their shadow dims the sunshine of our day,
As they go lumbering across the sky,
Squawking in joy of feeling safe on high,
Beating their heavy wings of owlish gray.
They scare the singing birds of earth away
As, greed-impelled, they circle threateningly,
Watching the toilers with malignant eye,
From their exclusive haven--birds of prey.
They swoop down for the spoil in certain might,
And fasten in our bleeding flesh their claws.
They beat us to surrender weak with fright,
And tugging and tearing without let or pause,
They flap their hideous wings in grim delight,
And stuff our gory hearts into their maws.
The Clinchfield line flows from the mines -  and through the mountains of East Tennessee.
Wher menageries go to provide such a show - the likes of those we'd never  see.

The first glimpse of these beasts that came from the east - and such places where we'll never live.
They rolled in on the back and were pulled up the track - by the huge steel Loco-motive.

With this rolling stock that would bring such a shock - to the bustling boom town of Erwin.
All sorts of creatures where brought here to feature - where paying guests could get set to determine.

A lumbering cow was this company's wow - this Circus did owe its success.
But this pachyderm act would in time distract - and end up in a most awful mess.

Mary we can claim was this elephants name - and the boast is “the biggest in size.”  
For she sure was a hulk and endowed with such bulk - that I wouldn't be very surprised.

Too earn a few bob, Eldridge, new to the job – now the handler of this pachyderm.
This man was a fool and it seems, very cruel - as it said, he was overly firm.

He was void of the skill but enthused by the thrill - with a very go-for-broke view.
This creature he'd ***** with a great big stick – giving Mary a bad how-to-do.

He had picked the wrong day to cause this affray – as he jabbed with the long piece of wood.
Whilst he was being so rough he hit an absessed tooth – and believe me this figured no good.

With one painful bellow her trunk hit this fellow – throwing Red Eldridge around.
And such was her tread when she trod on his head – she crushed it right into the ground.

Bullets rang out and there was no doubt – they hadn't had any effect.
As before the crowd she still trumpeted loud – while the masses, revenge did select.

**** the elephant, **** the elephant – was the song that the crowds chose to sing.
Each and every man came up with the plan – they wanted poor Mary to swing.

The lynching was set and a huge crane was met – for Mary was five tons in weight.
Out in front of the crowds with them screaming out loud – her future was not looking great.

They secured her leg by a chain to a peg – whilst around her neck they placed a chain.
And whilst reeling it in it dug into the skin – as they lifted her up with the crane.

Back on the ground they heard such a sound – as Mary's big bones they did crack.
Then somebody said the chains still on her leg – and the elephant to earth did come back.

The effect of this trip broke the pachyderms hip – causing her incredible pain.
And with such neglect they then did reconnect – and they lifted the creature once again.

The crowds they did roar as Mary did soar – a day out it has to be said.
With laughter and glee for the whole family – this monster now hanging quite dead.

The elephant gone but the party went on – as this beauty did hang for this shower.
The boom town of Erwin all acted like vermin – and left her for almost an hour.

Buried in the ground she can not now be found – as many here try to forget.
To look in this face we see only disgrace – and forever this stone will be set.
6th November 2014

The town that hanged an elephant: A chilling photo and a macabre story of ****** and revenge
Charlie Sparks's travelling circus visited Kingsport, Tennessee, in 1916
An inexperienced keeper was put in charge of elephant called Mary
During a parade he goaded her with a spear, and hit an abscess
In pain, she dashed him against the ground and stood on his head
When residents began baying for blood, Charlie Sparks agreed to **** her

'Murderous Mary' was hanged using a railway crane in nearby Erwin
The photo is horrific but can be viewed online. It shows how cruel humanity can truly be.
Alyssa Myers Oct 2014
I spied a timekeeper
reposed upon a wall.
His burden too heavy,
the edifice too tall.

Tenderly I did lift
his old timepiece aloft,
and there inside he hid,
vulnerable and soft.

Patiently I waited;
I didn’t want him urged.
Torpidly time did move
before an eye emerged.

Then, as if he realized
all the time put to waste,
out came the other eye
with a little more haste.

Gently, he moved towards me
as the old church bell chimed;
shell lumbering above
and slime trailing behind.

And for me he kept
some of life’s precious time,
passing so pleasantly
for no reason or rhyme.

-Alyssa Myers
HOMERICA Nov 2011
In lumbering night shadows,
between burns by branding irons
like cigarettes,
We blister talking toungues
and reveal the soft flesh
of ourselves.
So easily, our embers
make incense of our arms
and red, wet, wounds
pool beneath the wrist.
We sat for time,
trying not to scab over;
smouldering our speech
with singeing ire.
Despite the heat,
we couldn’t help
but heal
as dawn cracked, and
in fire of the light,
with hammering heads,
we forged scars
for each other,
for each ever.
A misplaced Oxford Comma
Lead to perilous trauma
She drifted into an Oggsford Coma
Then turned into an awful aroma

The Ceremony held in 1980
Resurrected in 1 A.D
In the lumbering town of Hudson's Bay
Majorie chose to stay

Never feeling so free
She sat within a tree
Enjoying all she could see
The girl decided never to flee

Established in 1995
This dream came Alive
A tree home called heaven
Would stand until 1997

Slim used to be a Jackline Skinner
Lumberjack was more of a winner
Quickly forgot all about Walden Pond
Long before a new light dawned

"The wind that blows
Is all that anybody knows"
Even goes for pros
Or vacant minded 'hoes'
Just patiently listen to those
Who know where a **** goes
Don't make needless foes
Leave that for all the 'pros'

Slim stood uttering horrible slurs
At the request of a woman in expensive furs
Majorie stood on bended knee
Pleading for them to leave her tree

As she reached the bottom of the ladder
Silence was breached by a sudden clatter
All the rats began to scatter
Knowing exactly what was the matter

The lumberjack had missed his mark
Added slightly too much ark
Caused the Oak to prematurely tumble
And his body to instantly crumble
Will Storck Jan 2012
After a great while the paper elephants march
In their sparse herd they lumber along
One by one, their thick legs slam into the earth
Like pennies on a timpani
Leaving slight imprints in the dust

No one is quite sure where they come from
All we know is they just are there
Some raise their children before witnessing the elephants
A lucky few will even see them a second time at the end of their lives
It is not uncommon for generations to pass without the paper elephants
Sometime the periods between their journeys are so long the elephants are dissolved into folktale

The paper elephants are bestowed an almost supernatural quality
The stories are birthed in secrecy between the lights of candles
In the ears of the men in the corner
From the hushed lips whispered in acquiescence.
Every story is different
Every story has the same ending
Every story has the same moral
You do not touch the paper elephants

Perhaps the stories have some truth
If anyone knows the validity they have been dead for quite some time
No matter, man’s superstitious nature will see to the protection of the elephants

The paper elephants are called “paper elephants” because it describes them quite nicely
From a distance they look just like normal elephants
Lumbering over from side to side
But their skin is like paper
Their essence is like paper

They travel together
Even the old and young
When it rains the young hide under the larger elephants
Lest they get wet and melt into the earth
It is not uncommon to find the soaked remains of an elder elephant
Crumpled by a sad consequence
It always serves as a reminder
The old exist to protect the young

Most likely the elephants can be found roaming through our graveyards
Here their pace noticeably slows down
Often enough, they can be found sitting next to a tombstone
Resting their trunks over the epitaphs

Strange things happen when the elephants are in the graveyards
Sometimes laughter can be heard
Sometimes sobbing
As the elephants rest the blue mist rises from the graves

The blue is the most reassuring shade
The misty fog rises and fills the entire yard
Until it is absorbed by the paper elephants
With a long sigh the elephants continue their journey

After many such stops
The elephants arrive at the tree
Gnarled and ancient, it welcomes the elephants with silence
As it has for years and years past
It is here the elephants have yearned to arrive
Under the knobs and strikes of its branches
They bend the knee
The young watch to learn
The adults look up to the sky
And release all that they carry
The hopes, dream, and memories of those long gone
Ascend to the heavens
The paper elephants collapse exhausted but content
And look upon their children one last time
They weep before leaving this world
Not for their children’s sorrow
But because there are no paper elephants to carry them to the next world
Mike T Minehan Oct 2012
Love.
Of course, the great spirit said that word
when he set down the majesty of mountains
thus, spread curling softness through the seas,
sending little creatures wriggling, crawling, mewling, howling,
oh ye little fish and fowl, doodled up the dinosaurs,
a lumbering jurassic joke, then unleashed leviathan
from just a speck, and made some others walk *****.

Love.
That word we need to hear
and the word that hurts so much.
It comes crowned with garlands, glistening
with the dew of pleasure. And underneath, the horn thrusts up
Dionysius and Venus, processions of Priapus, frenzied satyriasis
blind Baccus, luscious Pan and Zeus.
Ah yes. The juice.

Love.
And who has not recklessly ignored this word
or squandered it on abandoned, neon nights
that paled before the coming of cold mornings,
and who has not held back this word
from loved ones,
cowards of commitment,
circumcelliate, averruncate and absquatulate?

Love.
That little, mighty word that dominates our lives.
But what can we require of life and how can we survive
indifference in the barren waste and stay alive outside
without its whisper, without its cry and shout? And how can we aspire
to ecstasy without the tumult and whirlwind of its desire,
without its warmth, without its fire? So, we must turn again
to love's softness and love's pain. Again. And yet again.

Love.
It's easy, really. So go on, say it.  
It's time. Why not?  It's for the mothers and the lovers,
the fathers, it's for all the children who blindly seek.
It's for the teenagers and trembling old and the outcast and the isolate.
Even the soldier with the gun. Especially. It's for everyone.
The grave is lonely, deep and cold. By giving love before it's too late
those soft wings of the dove of peace unfold.
Love is the playmate. Enjoy, reciprocate.
This is the message I communicate.
Daniel August Aug 2014
Why do I crave that terribly monstrous hunger?
Some feminine form to devour my poetry.
A lumbering beast shrouded in curly brown hair
hidden under supple skin, wearing Birkenstocks.
Kali in all her frightful intricacies hell bent on
destroying my word through consumption,
pregnant with my verbose imagery,
craving, forever, one more line of verse,
one more syllable to wet her tongue.
I was there before the beginning
Before the conception of time and space,
when nothing was everything
and everything was nothing.
In vain I waited for you to materialize
from the ether of emptiness
But you never came.
So there I stood, waiting...

I was there at the beginning
At the conception of time and space
when everthing came from nothing.
I saw the sun, or that condescent
swirling cloud of dust that was
to be the sun.
I saw the earth, a miniscule ball
of molten, boiling, writhing anger
I was there when everything, but
you emerged from nothing.
So there I stood, waiting...

I was there at the edge of an
undulating mass of the pimordial ooze,
that sea of everything and nothing.
I saw pleaseasaur ribbon its long,
shiny, black body through the fathomless
depths of the sea
Searching, as was I, for something.
I saw stegasaur, that lumbering
hulk of muscle and scale
take its first precarious
steps onto land
looking, as was I, for something.
Every creature, but one-the one
I wanted, stepped forth
from that roiling soup.
But you never came.
So there I stood, waiting...

I was there when neanderthal
first discovered fire.
I saw that temptress dance
across the contours of his rough,
wind hewn face.
I saw his eyes sparkle as
he and I gazed longingly
into the yellow, red dancer's lair.
Both searching for something
or someone.
I stared and stared hoping
to catch the slightest glimmer
of your eyes.
But you never came.
so there I stood, waiting...

I was there when Egypt and Rome
first peeped their heads
from the cold ground surrounding their feet.
I was there as those stone goliaths, pyramids,
grew block by block
layer by layer
stretching, reaching, longing for heaven's basement.
Just as I longed for you.
I saw Rome's aquaducts,
seemingly endless terracota snakes,
slicing through the eons
blindly feeling for something.
Just as I searched for you
hoping you were searching for me.
But you never came.
So there I stood, waiting...

I was there when we almost killed
the human race, for the second time.
I stood at the entrance to Auschwitz
scanning the multitude of
worn, sullen,destitute face
hoping, praying you weren't there.
Thank God you weren't there.
So there I stood, waiting...

I am here.
In a cold place made of lifeless,
emotionless steal and glass.
I watched as heartless obelisks
devoured the cozy bricks of ancient
neighborhoods. Signaling the undaunted
march of father time.
His harried pace, defies his antiquated frame,
drains my fortitude.
but step for step
night and day
day in and day out
I will wait for you.
So here I stand, waiting...
Emily Dawn Oct 2015
Days when the darkest dreams I dreamt when I was small seem as faerie stories to me,
When I, monstrous, loom in the mirror ready to inflict another hurt
Days when my bones, awful, lumbering, heavy things sink so deep into my mattress springs that I cannot move for the weight of them

On these days, if it were not for my sanctuary, I would sleep and sleep till there was no waking-
but oh how lovely my sanctuary is.

It may not be brick, or wood or stone, but my mothers arms are safer than those- I swear.
And no, it has no guard standing watch, but my father is as good as- I know it.

And yes, it is dark outside.
It is so pitch that when I gaze through the window I am scared it might just have swallowed the sun-
But when my brothers are laughing with me,
or my grandparents are loving me,
or when all of these, my most beloved, are simply near to me;
I feel brighter than any star the universe has ever seen.
There are so many days when it's impossible to see these things or hold onto this feeling, but they are not days I want to write about right now.
Pearson Bolt May 2015
count each and every grain i
cherish them all the same
they're the only friends i have
across this endless plane of
granular particles kicked up
every so often by a storm
that shifts this desert from one
spectrum to the next like
filtering time through the sieve
of some infinite hourglass

i will drive this lumbering beast
across theses seas of sand
reclaim what they stole through duplicity
coax this hunk of junk to life
if need be to outrun the
lingering fear of inadequacy
i don't know god but i met the devil
i've been his captive for 7,000 days
a hostage of hellions obsessed
with a decadent religion of misanthropy

the shifting wind-swept dunes
my only markers on this winding road
a roguish rebel defying hegemony
manifest in maleficent misogyny
i'll strive to live not just survive in this
endless wasteland hope may yet arise
Dag J May 2013
monistical transcendents from complex
  algorithms in dancing neosouls
    growing formations of unaware
      intelligent abstract patterns as truth
   conceals the ever evolving dimension of
            another time space feeling
      lumbering freely among the stars

                   Judging by apparence it falls
unnaturally easy for the unconcerned to
         numb the emotions into whatever
    green is at hand as an underexposed
line overreacts as it hurls itself into a verbal
                            echo ...
"there´s a jungle out there... isn´t it?"

© MMXIII by Day J
Steve D'Beard Jun 2014
We are the ***** purveyors of other peoples lives
renouncing the living breathing beating heart
in exchange for another photo of craft ale
and home-cooked food with a foot note description
as if it would fill our bellies and sate our hunger.

We are the dark wave tsunami of digital information
waxing lyrical about that holiday in Spanish sunshine
and a rant about car parking attendants and traffic jams
rather than the outstretched palm to jaw caress of realness
instead we line up perspectives of another bottle of wine.

We are the breeders of the optic L'enfant terrible
gorging on the memories of other worlds in 140 characters
snap shots of the life we could have had outside of the screens
the spineless automatons of digitized free love
the could've been, would've been lumbering electronic has-been.

We are the tumultuous storm rising fighting against the unknown power
we unite to save bees and coral reefs
and explore the concepts of actually doing something humanitarian
all we need do is sign the petition before the 11th hour
and be one of the thousand voices saying:
NO. We won't take this any more!

We are the saviours of our time and the rescue merchants of lost dogs
imbibed by Scrabble and Candy Crush weaving the elusive like a band aid
the tapestry of memes and images of cute kitteh's in boxes
chasing the shadows of reality on a stick for kicks
and all the while the moon is out there somewhere shinning her light
glorious silver light etching through the hash tag of cloud formations.

We are no longer what we thought we were. We are each other.
A haemoglobin gelatinous mass of misinformation and forgotten dreams
You are not alone. Even if you wanted to be,
my friend, my sister, my lover, my brother
quoting movies as if it were an inner wisdom speaking in tongues.
A L Davies Dec 2011
jesus i hate
          christmas readings --

low intonings,
bursts of song,
prayers -- so many
       ******* prayers ...

all in name of th'
                          "wonder & mystery"
of christmas,
                         the birth of
                     quote-on-quote
                               holy babe.
                                                  nativity story spoken
       as
true   granite   fact
                                ,
heads all nodding..

Caesar Augustus, yes,
the census -- oh good!
                   ... some lady doing a
Mary monologue ...
                                   my own father playing Joseph!
          father!
(lumbering Boris Karloff father of Christ)

-- grandmother!!
quit jabbing my shoulder
                 as i        
put pen
to page!
              these hands
              are not
              the hands
of a devotion blinded
         christian!
(blasphemous thoughts do i write!) (poems on *******)

here is
a woman in white!
                                (angel?)
very performance art
with that lighting
                              but
i'm not convinced ...

.  
                
    /
advent candles on
the altar ......
when the last is lit will a
heavn'ly chorus
                            ring out?,
blue flame batonning round
the sanctuary? orderly little halos.

-- grandmother get your
uplifted hands out of my face!

am i doing my part by
                                        holding this candle
        & singing hymns? ...

       (my arm is being twisted) (i call this penance/comes once a year)

                                                            where is my eggnog & ***??
a friend / hiding behind some poinsettias (****** good idea)
supplies a fitting finish. garnish for my thoughts:

           "man ...
i want
            some
christmas h
                    anky-
    panky. "


(then:)

*"****.                            that
            doesn'
                        t
fit under a
                   tree..."
confessions/of a 21st century grinchola
Onoma Jan 2019
got it

up packed...

cold at the

blaze.

cobra hoody.

fang-fulls of

elephants lumbering

rooms.

getting fat off slow

death.

straight sippy-cups

brimmed with

reorienting brew.

i watch Ganesha

remove his own

obstacle.

i blow his

shadow off.

code blue on lock...

Shiva~
Lauren Tyler Jul 2012
That voyage,
on the Beagle,
I discovered a beginning
Such revolutionary splendor –
The origin of species!

But I begin to wonder,
where is the creator?
I have always found him
in the yawning mouth of the
awakening morning glory.
I find him in the visage
of my Emma, her features
blooming in the sunlight.

But I begin to wonder,
what of the ichneumon wasp,
the unholy, unwilling alliance
with the unfortunate caterpillar?
The horrors of nature?
Where now is this creator?

Surely, he exists.
Can I have a doubt of this?
His species, though,
is far more complex
than that of the
singing mocking bird;
his features less defined
than that of the lumbering tortoise.

Perhaps the detail
of his nature originated
in the mind of mankind.
liz Oct 2012
After nearly forgetting your face
I crave nothing but to study it
respect my wishes
and my longingness for affection
I pray my face be more radiant
with warm rose light
than cold blue
artificial glows

after such absence
you remember who I am
the map of my anatomy is built into your brain
and the nerve endings are excited
spinal cord reminiscence
awake my dusty adrenal glands

but as soon as breathing changes
sadly we are interrupted
an uncomfortable force
lumbering awkwardly
rests at the bedside

we hadn’t kissed in three weeks
today is no different
Frank Corbett Jan 2013
Brown hair blue eyes awakes from a brief slumber,
respite isn't found in the black curtain of sleep,
not in the office chair at a desk,
respite is not,
respite cannot,
As he trudges across the mess on the floor,
cutting his soles open on the trash accumulating over the years,
the metal and plastic,
cold iron of promises and betrayals when he said he'd grow a thicker skin,
the paper-cuts of childrens' cards as a breeze kicks them up,
it's December and the window's open,
it's freezing in here.
Close the window,
stopping the draft,
he gets changed in front of an open window,
exposing himself,
luckily nobody notices.

Freezing air shatters the warm membrane of his lungs,
they contract and shudder,
and don't expand again,
the morning ritual is painless but uncomfortable,
ignored until it goes away,
instead of dealing with it,
because it's easier,
focusing on breathing,
and driving,
than acknowledging the weakness.

This is lumbering,
shambling when it should be gliding,
huddled,
when it should be upright,
instead laid out on this stretcher,
they're making way,
just hoping it'll be over soon,
out of sight,
out of mind,
as it crashes through the hallway,
next to them,
a disaster stuck in their minds,
alive,
dead to the world outside the hospital window.
brooke Feb 2016
When I read about the brachial plexus,
a spaghetti junction of nerves webbed
behind the clavicle, I am d  i  s  t  a  n  t
half awake and dreaming about lovers
caught up in the mystics of medulla,
gingerly pinching the tendons and
sinewy muscle--

I consider the thick arteries (perhaps not
so thick) (not like other trunks, cords and
red threads) and how easily I could die,
how swollen 'tunnels' and blocked interstate
highways seem not so far fetched according to
medical terminology and the number of things
that could go wrong ( will ) as Murphy warned.

yet here I am, alive and well, a celestial giant
housing stars and all a manner of great, lumbering
structures, pith, and blood.
(c) Brooke Otto 2016

inspired by the Adventures in Human Being by Gavin Francis. A book I highly recommend, especially to you, cd.
Late, late one night, I heard a faint scream it woke me from a horrible dream.
I raised my head from my soft pillow I hear a faint sobbing across the meadow.
I went to the window to see what was wrong when I spied something lumbering along.
I thought to myself, poor woman is stuck in those toothy like Jaws.
  As I heard that desperate faint scream as they entered the woods on the way down to the stream.
As I put on my boots and ran out the door, I grabbed my shotgun, it was against my door.
I heard a scream within the woods so distant and faint it was frightening to know that it was so bold to run in full force into that unknown.
As I reached the woods, I stopped to think, what shall I do when I meet up with the thing?
No thoughts came to mind so I ran in time to see a woman screaming through the pines.
Help, help me please the woman did scream.
So, I followed that ant to its mound just a little away from the town.
It climbed to the top and without a second thought it slid right down into that deep drop.
So, I climbed that steep anthill just to the top and I peeked without a thought.
I could hear her screams within that deep dark hole being ripped apart from her head to her toes. The screams were so loud that they echoed right out of the hole.
So, I picked up my gun, and I ran down the mound straight back to my lovely little old town.
Michael Robert Triska 2017
The saviors of bakewell was my inspiration
On a moonlit night on a deserted beach
these ocean wonders destination have reached
they come ashore in hundreds strong
to lay their eggs where they were born
lumbering slowly through fine sand
on this tropical beach in a distant land
deposited with care, buried entombed
growing in darkness for many a moon.

When they hatch to the surface they will have to fight
the dash to the sea will not be the end of their plight
gulls wait on the buffering sea breeze looking for earth sign
as lizards petrol the coast for they also want their fill and dine
In a miracle of nature most hatch together
little legs bounding this gauntlet hell to leather
with the relentless bombardment from the air
and ravenous reptilian foes almost everywhere.

Many will die on their first fatal day
yet some will cheat death and get away
good luck dear turtles
I will remember thee
to home dear turtles
your domain the Sea.

By Christos Andreas Kourtis aka NeonSolaris
bulletcookie Jun 2016
Warm torrents of rain utter best, eaves broken gutters
in hot summer with rumbling thunder asunder
naked but for cutoff jeans and purple Chinese houses
Let loose rally cry,  a primal voice of joy and freedom
summer has come to heart and bird call nous
slip and slides, running fearless of lightning strike news
Zeus, parts clouds to spy one eyed in appointed winds
aiming at those that would hesitate under Lindon trees
sensing a prodigal fragrance and mother crow's riot
open fields near dense privet hedges defy revelry
baked erratics by cold lakes and deep dives not taken
while a boat's buoyancy sends balance a mysterious cue
water's lumbering Leviathan body ripples to its caress
breezes take up names; sweet, cool, muggy mosquito
and in even' time porch light lowered voices loll

-cec
ERR Nov 2010
My condition is incongruent with the common presence
Black sheep identity burning eyes and hesitance
I move in a manner like weight attached lumbering
Unsure of myself, with no partner stumbling
Swimming in a glass half full and inattentive
Sloppy script pen tip like bull with red incentive
Reference to constructed concept subjective inference
Marker to my darker being written in this instance
Possessive and persuasive visitor leads me to temptation
Takes unpredictable control of my mental weather station
Precipitates with hate and tears me down with its erosion
Art starts with rain pain soon becomes an ocean
My breathing is done in desperate gasps
A fight for oxygen’s healing
Suddenly I am miles away
Far beyond the ceiling
Moving at the speed of light time slowing to a crawl
Cranium contained tragically between these walls
I wake to similar circumstances not changed to satisfaction
Expect a sedentary death from drone of human interaction
Hungry and reestablished, reminded now of morning
Clear mind and consequence come forth with no forewarning
Death lingers in the white noise that gestures from the mental
I open the gates to raiders as they pilfer sacred temple
Marsha Lynn Sep 2013
listening to the
lumbering steps through the home
of someone we both adore-
a philosophical newborn

hiding under the stairs
in a nest we built from
feather filled pillows and
cotton comforters

I felt the quintessential need
to mold our bodies into one
I wanted our bones to liquify
and our flesh and brains jumble

I wanted so badly to just
kiss you

No one found us
So I became a part of you
We are as one
Brent Kincaid May 2016
(I seldom publish anyone else's poetry, but this one is so exceptional on so many levels, I had to reproduce it here. Hillary Clinton reposted it, so why not me?)

“Education then, beyond all other devices of human origin,
Is a great equalizer of the conditions of men.” – Horace Mann, 1848.
At the time of his remarks I couldn’t read — couldn’t write.
Any attempt to do so, punishable by death.
For generations we have known of knowledge’s infinite power.
Yet somehow, we’ve never questioned the keeper of the keys —
The guardians of information.

Unfortunately, I’ve seen more dividing and conquering
In this order of operations — a heinous miscalculation of reality.
For some, the only difference between a classroom and a plantation is time.
How many times must we be made to feel like quotas —
Like tokens in coined phrases? —
“Diversity. Inclusion”
There are days I feel like one, like only —
A lonely blossom in a briar patch of broken promises.
But I’ve always been a thorn in the side of injustice.

Disruptive. Talkative. A distraction.
With a passion that transcends the confines of my consciousness —
Beyond your curriculum, beyond your standards.
I stand here, a manifestation of love and pain,
With veins pumping revolution.
I am the strange fruit that grew too ripe for the poplar tree.
I am a DREAM Act, Dream Deferred incarnate.
I am a movement – an amalgam of memories America would care to forget
My past, alone won’t allow me to sit still.
So my body, like the mind
Cannot be contained.

As educators, rather than raising your voices
Over the rustling of our chains,
Take them off. Un-cuff us.
Unencumbered by the lumbering weight
Of poverty and privilege,
Policy and ignorance.

I was in the 7th grade, when Ms. Parker told me,
“Donovan, we can put your excess energy to good use!”
And she introduced me to the sound of my own voice.
She gave me a stage. A platform.
She told me that our stories are ladders
That make it easier for us to touch the stars.
So climb and grab them.
Keep climbing. Grab them.
Spill your emotions in the big dipper and pour out your soul.
Light up the world with your luminous allure.

To educate requires Galileo-like patience.
Today, when I look my students in the eyes, all I see are constellations.
If you take the time to connect the dots,
You can plot the true shape of their genius —
Shining in their darkest hour.

I look each of my students in the eyes,
And see the same light that aligned Orion’s Belt
And the pyramids of Giza.
I see the same twinkle
That guided Harriet to freedom.
I see them. Beneath their masks and mischief,
Exists an authentic frustration;
An enslavement to your standardized assessments.

At the core, none of us were meant to be common.
We were born to be comets,
Darting across space and time —
Leaving our mark as we crash into everything.
A crater is a reminder that something amazing happened here —
An indelible impact that shook up the world.
Are we not astronomers — looking for the next shooting star?
I teach in hopes of turning content, into rocket ships —
Tribulations into telescopes,
So a child can see their potential from right where they stand.
An injustice is telling them they are stars
Without acknowledging night that surrounds them.
Injustice is telling them education is the key
While you continue to change the locks.

Education is no equalizer —
Rather, it is the sleep that precedes the American Dream.
So wake up — wake up! Lift your voices
Until you’ve patched every hole in a child’s broken sky.
Wake up every child so they know of their celestial potential.
I’ve been a Black hole in the classroom for far too long;
Absorbing everything, without allowing my light escape.
But those days are done. I belong among the stars.
And so do you. And so do they.
Together, we can inspire galaxies of greatness
For generations to come.
No, sky is not the limit. It is only the beginning.
Lift off.

Donovan Livingston
Harvard Commencement 2016

— The End —