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Dr Peter Lim Jun 2018
Measure me
not by what I appear
but what I am

measure me
not by what I want
but what I reject

measure me
not by words I say
but my unknown deeds

measure me
not when I am in public
but in my privacy

measure me
not by my success
but my failure

measure me
not by what I know
but what I am ignorant of

measure me
not by what others say
but from our personal encounters

measure me
not out of sympathy
but with impartiality

measure me
not with the yardstick of bravery
but my vulnerability

measure me
not as among the selected company
but among the poor and needy

measure me
not when the world is for me
but when all things are against me

measure me
not by the approval of authority
but my desire to be free

measure me
not when I am in the pink of spring or summer
but when I am stricken by the harshness of winter


measure me
in my very frailty
that alone would make me happy.
derelictmemory Nov 2014
Since we were kids, they kept a chart to measure our growth in terms of the length of our bones to the weight of our skin. And over time, we stop measuring ourselves and start measuring our self-worth. So instead of measuring the density of calcium in our skeletal structure and the height from the base of our feet to our crown, we measure ourselves in words, and voices, and the way our eyes look into the eyes of someone else. We measure ourselves in the curvature of our features and the smoothness of our palms. We measure ourselves in the value of our things and the whispers we hear in our heads. And they stop trying to define us by our nature and start placing us in carefully labelled petri dishes for the right moral and chemical composition that we radiate through the way we walk and the bends of our spine and the number of times we blink in a minute. We placed words in our palms picked from a bowl of chance and they do not speak to us to measure our worth. They measure us by our use of multi syllable words and our ability to manifest sides to a view even though it all seems the same. They measure us by our dexterity in creating complex ideas to explain intimate details between the grass and the moon. They measure us by our capacity to absorb and apply and absorb and apply like sponges and liquified knowledge that come from theories  we made up to feel connected. They measure us by our longevity which they deem to be privy to the lifestyle they have taught us to lead. We measure ourselves by the deepness of our love and how we sometimes would rather have knives in our back instead of place one in anyone else's. They forget that we are worth so much more than numbers and sheets of paper. They forget that we sometimes stand on two feet so that we don't fall and not because we are fighting for our survival. We forget that sometimes what's inside is dead set on the idea of a short wick and that open windows are not portals to new lives. We forget that even though sometimes more is less, less is not more and never will be no matter how many times we scream to ourselves silently about the heaviness of the eyes on us. So we start measuring ourselves as bodies of water and throes of passion. We measure ourselves in the leaping flames and how far we would go to achieve the serenity we think we need. We measure ourselves in the storms that destroy our homes and whether or not we will be able to tear the buildings down without hurting a soul. They measure us by the degree of saturation of our face value souls and the colour of the bits of our hearts that they collected eons ago. They now measure us by the frequency of sounds we listen to and the irradiation of the electromagnetic spectrum on our skin as light reflects a different side. And short of tape measures and rulers, they try to measure our worth without hearing the voices calling out to them about who we really are that are trapped in the back of our minds. So tell me, what are you worth?
Mike Hauser Nov 2016
How do you measure
What can't be seen
The heart of a man
The in of between
The conscience that follows
When something's done wrong
How do you measure
The depth of a poem

How do you measure
The day you must face
If it's taken for granted
If it's given in grace
Or measure a seed
That has yet to show growth
How do you measure
What you do not know

How do you measure
The hour before late
The width of a shoulder
Where a tear is laid
The inkling of an idea
The moment it's made
How do you measure
Love before it's given away

How do you measure
The chill of the wind
The guilt of the pleasure
That comes from within
The sliver of light
Before the sun has it's say
How do you measure
The end of the day
Sam Knaus Dec 2014
A rainy day,
an acoustic guitar,
a notebook,
a studio apartment overlooking the city.
"I want to measure my mornings
in spoonfuls of coffee
and my nights in empty cigarette boxes."
I don't remember the name of the poet who wrote that
but it couldn't describe my life
any more accurately.
I want to measure my mornings
in spoonfuls of coffee
and my nights in empty cigarette boxes.
I want to measure my happiness
in rainy days and soft kisses,
poetry,
I want to measure my recovery
in full meals and trash bags full of razors,
in tears shed by my eyes
instead of my skin.
I want to measure my free time
in independent movies
and 4 different kinds of music-
indie,
hard rock,
classic rock,
and pop-punk.
I want to measure my infinities
in starry night skies,
galaxies, constellations,
physics books I got in middle school
and his eyes,
his smile.
I want to measure my victories
in minutes without smoking
and my losses
in blaring headphones
and labyrinths of white smoke.
I want to measure my work ethic
in sick days
and missed bills.
I want to measure my heart
in belly dancing
and ***** converse,
in beanies
and minutes spend holding him.
I want to measure my life
in written chapters
and highlighted smiles
in blue Christmas lights
and TV show references,
in my favourite movies and novels and songs
and my dependence on myself,
in cans of Peace Tea
and Pringles
and not regretting eating,
in pens that help the words flow
and laughs,
smiles,
hugs,
kisses,
and hope that in the future
things will be alright...
More alright than they are now.
Crow Jul 2018
Measure my love in starlight
And set the sky ablaze
Measure my love in words
And eternal speak my beloved’s praise

Measure my love in raindrops
And overflow the seas
Measure my love in sighing
And make storms from a summer breeze

Measure my love in music
And hear all the world’s choirs sing
Measure my love in riches
And make every pauper a king

Measure my love in heartbeats
And deafen every ear
Measure my love in laughter
And banish every tear

Seek to measure my love as some might wish
By consulting the learned or wise
But each effort will fail, because such a scale
No mortal thought can devise
gautam sagar Mar 2014
What is  the use of living measure by measure...
That should be some difference between life and dry goods store...
Life is like a flowing stream,
why breathe as if we're frozen in an icecream..,,
life is not lived stuck in narrow alleys..,
we need to spread our wings in open fields..,
why can't just a smile be d answer to life.??
Why can't love be the ultimate goals.??
Experince each day like its a precious gift..
What is the use of living measure by measure...
That should be some differnce between life and a dry goods store......
isabel Aug 2017
how do i measure my love for you?

i measure my love for you in the number of sunrises and sunsets i watch with you

i count the number of deep belly laughs that reverberate around the room when I'm with you

i measure my love for you in the countless dreams I've had about the future we will have together and the possibilities for a lifetime of happiness and family and friends

i measure my love for you every time i feel your slender fingers intertwined with mine and your breath whispering in my ears

i measure my love for you
when we dance in the rain in our pajamas playing 80s jazz on the stereo,

when we lie on the cool sand late at night drinking lukewarm coffee from the 7/11,

when we go ice skating on the pond in the depths of the winter, clutching onto each other, giggling like school girls as we slip around

when we wake up on the couch Sunday mornings with the credits from the movie we fell asleep to rolling in the background and the hazy light of the TV flickering

i measure my love for you in a thousand ways i can't even describe because all the words i dictate are promises to protect you and all the actions i perform are to do everything in my power to make you happy...


...even our worst days together are still an infinite amount better than they would be if I didn't have you
Always & forever..
Since I can remember,
we have measured things,
measured our heights,
to look down on others,
and measured our weight,
to put others down,
for succumbing to basic human tendencies,
because we measure beauty,
something no one has,
but everybody pretends to have,
because beauty is subjective,
an internal quality,
that cannot be measured.

Humans have always measured success,
by counting the digits in their bank accounts,
the amount of credit which affords tangible things,
money alone is not sufficient,
it never has been,
to have money,
one must have a job,
but first get a degree,
a degree measures intelligence,
and schools measure how intelligent one is,
intelligence is measured by how much you can memorize,
not common sense,
critical thinking,
or skills,
schools just measure all the useless things,
that can be crammed in one's head,
success is measured by material possessions,
like how nice a house is,
a house is where humans dwell,
success also depends on how nice a car is,
and how many cars one owns,
incidentally, a car is a machine,
humans use them to end their lives prematurely,
success depends on one's job too,
and their spouses job,
how well the spouse looks,
and the car they drive,
also the success of their kids,
kids are selfish copies of parents,
created to continue the sadistic human legacy,
success was, in men, privately measured,
by the length of their reproductive *****,
so they could please women,
women are aliens that men will never understand,
and women measured breast sizes,
their weight,
their beauty most of all,
and I will never know why,
because I am a man,
and will never understand women.
We also measured success by social media,
the more likes the more popular,
imaginary friends behind lit windows,
we measured self-esteem through comments,
and we thought we measured social media,
but social media measured us,
and how much we were worth to others,
but especially ourselves.

We, as a species, were so busy,
measuring everything else in this universe,
like the stars,
and other planets we could exploit,
when we were done with others,
so we could continue measuring things,
indefinitely and incessantly through time,
but in all this counting, this  excessive measuring,
we forgot to measure happiness,
or if we were even happy at all.
I crave your mouth, your voice, your hair.
Silent and starving, I prowl through the streets.
Bread does not nourish me, dawn disrupts me, all day
I hunt for the liquid measure of your steps.

I hunger for your sleek laugh,
your hands the color of a savage harvest,
hunger for the pale stones of your fingernails,
I want to eat your skin like a whole almond.

I want to eat the sunbeam flaring in your lovely body,
the sovereign nose of your arrogant face,
I want to eat the fleeting shade of your lashes,

and I pace around hungry, sniffing the twilight,
hunting for you, for your hot heart,
like a puma in the barrens of Quitratue.
Thomas Thurman May 2010
A dozen years, the length of feline days:
compared to human lives it may appear
the cats lose out. To be a human pays.
I think on this, and on companions dear:
Successive cats whose whiskered lives touched mine
Have lain upon my lap— do you suppose
Their tiptoe through the years is but a sign?
I measure out my life with kitten toes.

As they and I pursue the hilly ways
that fill our lives, "Beware! The end is near!"
"Your death is nigh!" or some such friendly phrase
will tell me that it's all downhill from here.
And soon the ***** more steeply will incline,
And drop away as quickly as it rose.
You trace the arc? My life is on the line:
I measure out my life with kitten toes.

Though now, my cat, we feel the sunshine's blaze—
your windowsill is warm, the skies are clear—
yet still I feel the sun's all-seeing gaze
remind me of the coming day, I fear—
the coming day I cannot feel it shine,
and on my face the smiling daisy grows.
I only have the one, where you have nine:
I measure out my life with kitten toes.

Prince, lord of cats, may endless meat be thine!
O grant that thine immortal princely doze
may evermore upon my lap recline!
I measure out my life with kitten toes.
I was challenged to write a ballade on the subject of cats' toes.  This is the result.
Maine Dela Cruz Nov 2017
dolorimetry
n. The measurement of pain sensations

How do you measure pain?
a gasp
a step or two
away
from someone whose
world used to
revolve around you
a tear
a sigh
a stretch of arms
that used to wrap
a soul so tender and warm.

How do you measure pain?
a stomp
a slap
a finger pointed like
a gun or a dagger
on your chest—
accusing
complaining
tired, frustrated
infuriated.
How do you measure pain?
the distance
from A to Z
a tick of clock
a grain of sand
blown by the wind
a drop of blood
from a blade-stricken wrist.

How do you measure pain?
a smile
a laugh
a response telling
them you’re fine
but hell, you’re not.
SweetCindy Nov 2013
Love:
Affection, Admiration, Lust, Adoration...
There are at least 65 different definitions of the word.
Feelings that inspire books of poetry or expressions of love unheard.

How is it measured?
Perhaps with a caliper  
to measure its depth and breadth.
Or with a sound meter
To measure the volume and decibel or the whispering of a breath.

Could you measure it in pints or cups or ounces in a measuring cup?
"My cup runneth over"
Can it be measured with a thermometer?
"I'm burning up."

How heavy is true love - can it be weighed on the scales?
Can you measure love with a compass - to what degree does love prevail?

Can a speedometer track the speed by which one falls in love?
Or an odometer measure the distance at which love can still be felt?

Can you use a syringe to limit your doses of love before it's lethal?
Can you attach a heart monitor and check how a lover's heart beats faster
or the health of their love - strong or weak?

Can the rhythm & harmony be counted out on a metronome
Can a polygraph test prove it is true?

Can the magnitude of love be measured using a microscope, binoculars or a telescope - maybe Hubble.  How does one know how to bring it into "focus"?

How mysterious that love is so indistinguishable, so immeasurable, so evasive & yet SO BIG!
Yet no one - except for God - knows the true measure of Love & its ability to heal, to hurt.
Fly Vida Apr 2012
I hate the way you do that thing you do that makes me look at you and realize how much I love you and how open I am and how vulnerable I am, that you made me that way, and then I hate you a little more. And then I think about how I've never been that way because I've never loved someone the way I love you in that very moment and I go back to hating you because you made me that way.. You know what they say, I love you more today than I did yesterday, and less than I will tomorrow, but my question is what is the unit of measure?
Because if love is measured in words, today I could write a book. Tomorrow I could fill a library and in a week I could educate nations for generations because my love for you is timeless.
If love is measured in the cohesive bond of two molecules of hydrogen and a molecule of oxygen, today you could collect all the tears that I cry in a night because my heart is almost breaking because I miss you. Tomorrow, you could collect all the tears that I cry in a lifetime, along with the raindrops that I danced in when I was a little girl because of the blissful joy I feel when I'm around you. In a week, you would need the ocean to hold all the rain that has fallen on this world and has flowed from the highest mountain tops like the way your hands hold me and run from my shoulders to my lower back.
If love is measured in money... It doesn't matter because my love for you is priceless. But let's just say poverty would be eradicated and prices would be deflated so that a mother could cook a Thanksgiving dinner every night for her family.
If my love for you was measured in kisses, that would be ridiculous. Because today I'd have enough love to kiss you for the rest of the night, and tomorrow with the sun rise, I'll have enough love to kiss you for the rest of your life. In a month, there would be enough for everyone to kiss a stranger, their brother, their daughter, their mother three times over.
I love you exponentially and eventually becomes immeasurable and I'll have no way to measure my love as perfectly as it takes to measure milk and eggs to make a cake and bake it for your birthday. But I can't bake, I can't even follow the directions on a box. So in the meantime, I'll just count the stars in the sky and name each one as a reason why I love you until I lose count or fall asleep. The next night I can start all over again, count each star out to the moon, make a right at Pluto and come back again.

And even after I count every single one, I still have galaxies and light years to measure how much I love you.
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
Tom Leveille Dec 2014
have you ever believed
in something so blindly
so genuinely
that the moment you realize
it isn't true, something inside you
changes forever?
i wanna tell you a story, see
seldom do i ever
go swimming in drinks
deep enough to drown in
but when i do
i speak in tongues
about things that none
of my memories
are allowed to talk about
like that christmas
at the isthmus
where my girlfriend
plucked a conch shell
whiter than gods teeth
out of the sand
held it to her ear
and stopped time
that day she was a shade of blue
the could've made the ocean sick
see, she loved to play jokes
when she held
the sea shell to her ear
she gasped, called my name
and said "i want you to hear this"
i said "yeah, right, everybody knows it's just the same old sea"
she replied "no. not this one. this one is special. listen. theres music in this one"
she handed me the shell
like a promise she couldn't keep
and i held it to my ear
with all the potential
of seeing shore
after being stranded
at sea for years
only to hear
a tired dirge of silence
spill from its emptiness
i guess she didn't know
how desperately
i wanted to hear it too
because ever since
something inside me snapped
now sand pours out
of every post card i open
i hear seagulls
in telephone static
sometimes i have dreams
where i bury my hands
in every beach
i've ever been on
and exhume this graveyard of noise
every time i try to sleep
i spit up fishhooks
and i guess i'm obsessed
but maybe
if i hold my ear
to enough vacant things
then i could have back
the time stolen from me
since it happened
maybe they would get it
if they knew what i wanted
when i blow out birthday candles
maybe they'll find me
face down in a wishing well
i watch eternal sunshine
of the spotless mind every day
pretending i can forget too
because this sea sickness
has followed me for years
because yesterday
i walked into a music shop
and all the pianos broke
but the only thing
i can think to say is
*do you know how bad
a memory has to be
that you fantasize
about forgetting it?
Alyssa Underwood May 2018
"The Struggle for Love"
"The Longing for Home"
So desperate to prove
That our hearts aren't alone

While death looms wherewith
To make dust of our flesh
We seek in a myth
Our souls to enmesh

With a hero of hope
A rescuing source
To widen our scope
And give pith to our course

An unshakable tie
An attachment at core
Which might silence the cry
That our hearts are at war

With a pure set of eyes
Full of fire and proficient
To dispel all the lies
That our souls aren't deficient

But it's not our mere lack
Which causes most dread
It's the earth-shattering fact
That our spirits are dead

Cut off from their Source
In a black alienation
Humanity's curse
For its rank ins'bordination

We just want our own way
And to write our own story
So we plunge on astray
To seek our own glory

To play artist or muse
Or idol or chief
Any self-styled ruse
To assuage us of grief

Any measure to show
A lasting signif'cance
So that someone would know
Our unique magnif'cence

For our beauty's been marred
And we crave a redemption
Of souls twisted and scarred
By fulfillment's exemption

But, alas, we will find
That search hard as we may
There's not one of our kind
Who can carry the tray

Upon which the weight
Of our souls has been laid
For who can e'er tolerate
Its gross debts unpaid?

Such suff'cating mass
Of defects and ills
Pressed 'gainst delicate glass
Of egos and wills

Still more ghastly to bear
Is devotion unbound
For with millstone to wear
Its master is drowned

'Neath a sea of foul yeast
And becomes the enslaved
To a hungering beast
To a worship depraved

For the heart is a tiger
And must have its fill
So it raises a man higher
With a kiss before the ****

Not intentionally, of course,
Does it slaughter its idol
But of hurricane force
Is this longing so vital

And as pedestal turns
So quickly to altar
Our wounded pride burns
When our gods and alms falter

And the fire of its rage
Turns upon its obsession
Tiger breaks out of cage
To reclaim self-possession

It bites and it tears
What it once so adored
And pride no longer cares
If it kills its false lord

But upon such demise
The soul screams in terror
For it's broken its prize
And can't take back its error

It begs and it pleads
To restore what's been lost
But at end knows it needs
To consider the cost

Of the damage untold
It has left in the wake
For hearts can't be controlled
With a gush or a shake

No, men's hearts are like bombs
Which so easily explode
Once the pin is removed
All past wrongs will re-load

So the prey becomes hunter
When the tiger attacks
For he does not want her
To see what he lacks

As he, too, had put
Her up in wrong place
But now steps his foot
Upon her shamed face

To now pulverize
As his own heart's been crushed
To blind out her eyes
And to see her lips hushed

For with words idly spoken
She'd stabbed at his soul
And had left his pride broken
By her judgments so cold

She had not meant to harm
Knew not e'en that he heard
But one cannot disarm
A thought put to word

Worse than not knowing this
She no longer knew him
And her once imagined bliss
Proved a nullified whim

Oh, what games and delusions
We play and we build
Upon empty illusions
And dreams unfulfilled

Yet strangely it's when
Our worst fears come true
We can finally transcend
All those old tales we grew

Out of ego and void
Out of sorrow and pain
When our nerves felt annoyed
And our hearts felt too vain

'Cause when ego is puffed
It is primed, too, to pop
And with pinprick is snuffed
Like a pest-blighted crop

So imagine much more
When a venom's injected
Right into its core
And its heart is rejected

But can you also not see
How it needs such a burst
To begin to get free
From its self-absorbed curse?

Except now feels the matter
Of our soul's isolation
Fiercer still with the shatter
Of our pet consolation

So we wait and we wonder
If we've missed the true meaning
Of the frightening thunder
In our heart's constant screaming

Whether homesick or lost
Whether lonely or grieved
Locked in bleak Winter's frost
We find little reprieve

Yet we know we've been made
For the glory of Spring
Some card's still to be played
Some grand song still to sing

Inexpressible yearning
For some secret we know
But can't speak for the burning
Repercussions of woe

Not some mere melancholy
Nor nostalgic forlorn
Not the musings of folly
But a sense that we're torn

From primordial root
And from headwaters fresh
Yet much deeper to boot
From our spiritual breath

'Tis an ache not for wares,
Appreciation or fame
But a fight just for air
Against strangling shame

For we're naked, we know
And with all we devise
Our most flawed parts still show
To a pure set of eyes

Like we're walking around
With no covering intact
But thin hospital gown
With wide split up the back

So we hide our true face
Aim to be what we're not
Work our blots to erase
Lest our schemes should be caught

Be 't by friend or by foe
We dare not risk the pain
Of humiliation's blow
On top of our stain

But instead of relief
Anguish grows louder till
This life's loneliest grief
Paralyzes the will

And last hope all but dies
On doubt's bed of despair
While embittered heart cries
That its lot's too unfair

Yet on outside we play
Through our unconscious mind
Man's collective charade
That everything's fine

Like some pact we'd all sworn
To uphold and obey
To protect from the scorn
Of society's sway

If we run with the flow
'Stead of strive 'gainst the tide
We might make enough show
To salvage our pride

We forget that conceit
Is what caused all the mess
Through a serpent's deceit
And a couple's wrong guess

'Twas they first tasted shame
And then hid in a garden
Sewing fig leaves as claim
To secure their own pardon

Yet in horror they knew
They had squandered the Prize
And must flee from the view
Of a pure set of eyes

Now same state of awry
Runs through each of their seed
Inborn and borne by
Like the thorniest ****

Whose nettles pierce deep
And infect every part
While roots tangle and sweep
Through the mind and the heart

It mocks what we've lost
Torments every dim hope
To constrict and accost
Like a noose-tightening rope

Still, hope won't be decayed
Smold'ring fires yet burn
Sparking hints that we're made
For bright Eden's return

This redemption we crave
Is no phantom's false plea
But as crestfallen wave
Hides itself in the sea

It's been veiled in plain sight
Big as all of our stories
Deep as mankind's full plight
And as high as its glories

Cloaked in every ambition
That we have to get in
To some exclusive coalition
For its favors to win

Lurks a bleeding predilection
Frustrated from birth
A desire for election
To bestow on us worth

Lured by scent of a promise
To be chosen and known
Like the warmth of a mom's kiss
Given only to her own

We search tree after tree
For sweet intimacy's nectar
From a fruit that will be
Our secret connecter

To hope's nourishing breast
To life's honey from comb
To an undying rest
To a straight way toward home

One to wipe away tears
And allay deepest doubt
Which proceeds from worst fears
Of our being locked out

Of a garden again
Cast from pure tree of life
Dim remembrance of when
Mankind first entered strife

All our conflicts, comp'tition,
Confusion and blame
Find first cause in perdition
That's invaded our frame

Like the foulest disease
The most cankerous rot
Grown by monstrous degrees
Hatched by Lucifer's plot

This story's no ****'s attack
Nor archaic folklore
But the earth-shattering fact
That our hearts are at war

With a pure set of eyes
Full of fire and proficient
To dispel all the lies
That our souls aren't deficient

And it's not our mere lack
which causes most dread
But the earth-shattering fact
That our spirits are dead

Cut off from their Source
In a black alienation
Humanity's curse
For it's rank ins'bordination


And yet...


This is also the story
Of how those same eyes
The Possessor of Glory
Looked with love and heart cries

On the crown of creation
His reflection of Self
Made His own treasured nation
The heirs of His wealth

Now broken and lost
All banished from Garden
And He knew the full cost
To grant them His pardon

Had known long before
He had e'er even made
That first man of yore
Yet handcrafts anyway

For His love is so strong
And He wanted to share
His intimacy with a throng
His own children to bear

So with souls in convulsion
From their rebellious misdeed
Just before their expulsion
He promised a Seed

One untainted from sin
Who could take its great boulder
And the weight of His kin
Upon His own shoulder

A Hero of hope
A rescuing Source
To widen our scope
And give pith to our course

An unshakable tie
An attachment at core
Who would silence the cry
That our hearts are at war

With a pure set of eyes
Full of fire and proficient
To dispel all the lies
That our souls aren't deficient

For those eyes are His own
And He'd pay the full fee
By His body alone
To set our hearts free

He's hope's nourishing breast
He's life's honey from comb
He's our undying rest
He's our straight way toward home

He will wipe away tears
And allay deepest doubt
Which proceeds from worst fears
Of our being locked out

Of the Garden again
Cast from pure Tree of Life
Dim remembrance of when
Mankind first entered strife

But 'twas on another tree
That sweet intimacy's nectar
Was secured tight when He
Became sacred Connector

And the thorns of our curse
Were pressed onto His head
With not one there to nurse
As the Son of Man bled

Then the wrath for our sin
Was absorbed as He cried
And the foul curse was broken
When the Son of God died

But death couldn't keep Him long
Nor His glory dispose
And we found our lost song
When the King of kings rose!

The debt had been paid
He had finished the work
The tide 'gainst us was swayed
We weren't left in our lurk

And we've only to now
Just repent and believe
To open and allow
Our hearts to receive

Our Divine Fountainhead
Our covering complete
To sup from His bread
And to sit at His feet

To worship the One
For Whom we were made
By Whom we've been won
Whom forever we've craved

The One Who can bear
Our hearts' full devotion
The One Who won't tear
At our souls' raw emotion

The One Who will be
Sweet eternity's song
Who with lasting decree
Will...right...every...wrong
~~~

First two lines taken from Timothy Keller sermon titles;
also inspired by his other sermons:
"The Breastplate of Righteousness"
"Blessed Self-Forgetfulness"
"The Sandals of Peace"
"The Wounded Spirit"

~~~

for more on this:
https://hellopoetry.com/poem/2179517/the-gospel-of-jesus-christ/

~~~
Shofi Ahmed May 2017
It streams down eye to eye
from the unseen but the all seeing.

Far from the Mars far from the Neptune
skipping all the planets hanging in space
only on the cheek of earth, a drop of tear fell.

Every angel in the heavens' shore
has heard of this lore.
It’s timeless long mesmerising beautiful.
Far from the blue yonder sky
hunky dory is delighting to the eyes
the stunner is made to measure.

A tear in the corner of the eye
as if it's diagonally weighed down
with the 360-degree open looking sky.
As close as within a fingertip comes the Moon
still, a sea is ahead forever untouchable!
Gaby Comprés Dec 2017
i have learned to measure time
in wednesdays
in laughter
in the smiles we shared together
in midnight text messages
in chocolate chip cookies from Subway
and croquetas
i have learned to measure time
in poetry and coffee cups
in stories and hugs
in plays and words read
but mostly
i have learned to measure time
in the moments we’ve been together
in the moments i've felt loved
they say time flies
but like this, to me
time is infinite
jeffrey conyers Feb 2013
What do you see in him?
He's not the type you usually date.
He doesn't measure up.

He works.
He truly is employed.
He does things that your other guys never done.
But he doesn't measure up.

He has class.
He respects your mom.
He respects your dad.
And even your friends.
Who says he doesn't measure up?

He call.
He's there.
He's truly a man that cares.
And they say he doesn't measure up.

Well, he got you.
And that's all that matters.
Nat Lipstadt Aug 2013
I posted this poem  a few days after I joined HP.  As  is oft the case, poems you are especially proud of, fall to the wayside, under the onslaught of the constant waterfall of new submissions.  With the usual exception of Ms. Lori C., one of the two unofficial High Priestesses of HP, in my estimation, this one, was pretty much overlooked.  Despite some comical jaunts of late re bras and beds, real inspiration has escaped me ever nice I penned "Sittin' On The Dock Of The Bay (Razor Blades, Pills, & Shotguns" last week.  So, with your hoped for solicitude, I resubmit it, hoping it finds a wider audience and dedicate it to those of you who I number as friends (you know who you are!), despite the fact that our only shared embraces have been techno~electronic, and yet the quality of your kindness is beyond measure.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The Numerical Quality of Friendship

The quality of friendship is non-quantitative.
Yet, I ask you to number it, and me, this way.

With tape measure, determine that:
The length of my arm's embrace will always be
longer than long enough, and when distance magnifies sorrow's gains,
my shoulders measure wide enough to pillow your wearied head.

The depth of my pocket is finite for by definition,
a pocket is but an open doored, three walled shelter.
My pocket of shelter is forever open, forever deep,
and forever is infinite.

Trust that when bowed and bent,
upon my shoulders climb and together we will be tall enough
to touch the season's new fruit upon the tree of life,
and with one tongue, taste the unimaginable!

Do u think that mercury can measure
the warmth of my tears when love sears my heart,
or the heat of thy skin when it heals and cauterizes
wounds salted by the mistreatment, by the bitters of the weak ones,
who rejoice when they scald others?

Size me up.
What is my volume?
What are the boundaries that
length X depth X height
state must limit my capacity to cherish, to heal,
and even to forgive those who deserve no forgiveness?

If you measure me well and proper,
if I meet the standards that qualify me to be called friend,
then friend me here, friend me now,
friend me for the qualities I posses,
and number us a unity among the few
who are truly blessed
by a quality of friendship that cannot be measured,
for there is no scientific instrument that can quantify
limitless.



March 2012
anonymous999 Sep 2014
can you ***** my finger and measure the dopamine in my veins? collect my teardrops and tell me if i'm going to be okay? can you light up the darkness with magical pills?
decide if i'm too sad to go to school?
can you tell me if i'm just being melodramatic? measure my blood pressure, maybe that will work. write me a prescription for 5 Happy Days in a row, and 3 hugs from Someone I Love.

doctor, doctor
i'm not feeling well today
doctor, doctor
i don't know if i should stay

sadness isn't a sickness, but it's infected my mind. can you write me some antibiotics to get them out in time?

sadness isn't sickness, but i think i might've caught something from doing a little too much of Having No Friends. don't you know how much i've been Laying In Bed?
sadness isn't sickness, but i think i'm coming down

doctor, doctor
i've got a severe case of the I Don't Want To Lives
can you write me a prescription?
make it go away?

doctor, doctor
you've let me down this time
doctor, doctor
i'm not in my prime

can you tell that i'm not healthy?
'cause i don't think you can
oh, sadness isn't sickness,
but it's fatal,
if all goes according to plan
Mike Hauser Apr 2015
How do you measure
The worth of a man

Is it in all the work
He does with his hands
Or in those he knows
He counts on as friends
Is it in how he finishes
Is it how he begins
Is it in how he fly's
Or in how he lands
Is it his trust in God
When he doesn't understand
Is it when the odd's say he can't
But he still feels that he can
Is it where he draws the line
And where he makes his stand
Or how he reacts
When there's nothing left

Is this how you measure
The worth of a man
I measure my living in learning and loving.
I measure my learning in yearning
and my loving in learning; but
I never measure my loving in yearning
for loving, for I'm
never learning from yearning for love,
nor learning loving from yearning.
I'm learning to love and loving learning loving; but
I'm yearning to learn to measure what I'm earning
from learning to live, love, and earn love
instead of learning to yearn for life
lived without learning and loving.
I do not love you except because I love you;
I go from loving to not loving you,
From waiting to not waiting for you
My heart moves from cold to fire.

I love you only because it's you the one I love;
I hate you deeply, and hating you
Bend to you, and the measure of my changing love for you
Is that I do not see you but love you blindly.

Maybe January light will consume
My heart with its cruel
Ray, stealing my key to true calm.

In this part of the story I am the one who
Dies, the only one, and I will die of love because I love you,
Because I love you, Love, in fire and blood.
Francie Lynch Apr 2015
Time is measured
By machines, stars,
Dials, seasons
And all sorts
Of unconscious,
Impersonal equations.
When we measure
Time by the comings and goings
Of people,
Then it becomes personal.
Alyssa Underwood Jul 2017
It's delight which flows without measure
from the assurance that through every circumstance
and detail of my life God is ever beckoning and drawing me
into deeper intimacy with Himself, ever whispering to my heart,
“Come closer still.”

Joy in the midst of devastating loss, crushing disappointment,
unbearable pain or scourging heartache is about the discovery of
treasure so precious and rare that it never could have been found
had we not been forced to walk a path of affliction in the desert.

It's in the isolation and brutality of the wild that we come to know Him
in ways that transcend the span of human imagining or desiring,
and all the songs and all the poems and all the masterpieces
taken together cannot capture an estimable description
of the pleasures that might be unearthed there.

There lies before us in our afflictions a vast and wondrous beauty
yet undisclosed behind the fog, and like a theatrical curtain
slowly pulled back to reveal a perfectly set stage
He will sublimely unveil it in His own directed time.

And we shall be elated at the view,
for it's against a backdrop of struggle and darkness
that the best and most moving of stories have always unfolded.

Maybe nothing truly beautiful can ever take form on earth
without the shroud of mystery and brokenness surrounding it—
at least not the kind of beauty that takes our breath away
and leaves us yearning to possess it.
~~~

"You have made known to me the path of life; You will fill me with joy
in Your presence, with eternal pleasures at Your right hand."  
~ Psalm 16:11

"O God, You are my God, earnestly I seek You; my soul thirsts for You, my body longs for You, in a dry and weary land where there is no water. I have seen You in the sanctuary and beheld Your power and Your glory. Because Your love is better than life, my lips will glorify You. I will praise You as long as I live, and in Your name I will lift up my hands. My soul will be satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise You. On my bed I remember You; I think of You through the watches of the night. Because You are my help, I sing in the shadow of Your wings. My soul clings to You; Your right hand upholds me."  
~ Psalm 63:1-8

"It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn Your decrees. The law from Your mouth is more precious to me than thousands of pieces of silver and gold."  
~ Psalm 119:71-72

"'Therefore I am now going to allure her; I will lead her into the desert and speak tenderly to her. There I will give her back her vineyards, and will make the Valley of Achor a door of hope. There she will sing as in the days of her youth...'"
~ Hosea 2:14-15
Styles Mar 2017
Fingers sinking deep
               below your surface;
               seeping into your *****,
               caressing your crevices.
               leaving their mark; baring pleasure.
               coursing ecstasy through your veins.
           searching for the highest of peeks beyond measure
               scorching heat, blood boiling, the pleasure pains
               soothing your aching flesh
               in relentless pursuit; of higher depths
               guilty yearnings, urges run rampant
               as your ecstasy starts to progress
               heavy breathing your hands held abreast
               pungent liquids; drenched with desire
               a seeping puddle stains the mattress
               gingerly leaking, outlining your canvas
                a mist in the air, cooling your skin;
Bo Burnham Mar 2015
I almost forgot about you today. A sizable
spill of coffee shot me to my feet, holding
up my mocha-soaked notebook like an
unclaimed child. A dozen eyes found
me at once---a security measure meant
to bring shame to a klutz breaking his
social contract. Attention for **** living.
When the pain receded I stood in place
and imagined you brushing your teeth.
Scot Powers Dec 2014
Sitting by the window
on a lonely summer night
watching as the sun began
dropping out of sight
staring at my cup
reflecting on the times
I reach for the bottle
filled with spirits,love and lies

I've walked
beneath the shadows of the trees
I've bathed in the sunlight
the warm waves washed me clean
I put myself in the shoes
of all that I do meet
a mile is the measure
humble pie is what I eat

The thunderclouds are gathering
around and in my head
stormy skies bring wailing cries
from those that have been wrecked
dashed upon the rocks of hope
so near yet so far
slowly slip beneath the waves
wishing on a star

I've walked
beneath the shadows of the trees
I've bathed in the sunshine
the warm waves washed me clean
I put myself in the shoes
of all that I do meet
a mile is the measure
humble pie is what I eat

I see you standing all alone
abandoned on the street
the misty traces of your lies
lining drawn cheeks
the vacant stare that you share
reveals the light within
an emerging flower
with the will to win

I've walked
beneath the shadows of the trees
I've bathed in the sunlight
the warm waves washed me clean
I put myself in the shoes
of all that I do meet
a mile is the measure
humble pie is what I eat
Shofi Ahmed Mar 2018
The material body was yet in the making
The first and foremost luminary feminine
ebb and flow heartily pans out
flawless flow to the finest angle.
Across the nadir to the zenith
Fathima eyes on upon it like it
shapes and forms are waxing lyrical:
The pure masterpiece without a mirror!

Arts on the go Fathima moves on.
Praise be to the Lord she being made
to measure inborn mathematical the pi is her!
(For the perfect circle the circumference is masculine
The pi tends to circle the blank space within is feminine)
She can budge equally in the shadow
in patternless pi decimals and in the open,
in integer into a whole full number!

Hops up her first step she looks for ‘the all’
the complete whole the absolute one Allah.
Time and again she steps up but finds no floor
Her measured step by default lays on 360-degree circle
Scans all things at the first go still finds no bottom!

The first luminary masculine peace be upon him
first looks in the open she takes the veiled angle.
Through the evermore pi decimal micro-hole
She looks on and witnesses the first water drop
surfaces up without a base without a roof on top!
It follows through truly the copy of the original
softly springing around the serene water paints  
of all the maters to be created from this first drop.
Fathima looks at it and veils withdraws her reflection.

It’s still remembered in the sky that follows suit.  
First, a star was born stepping in Fathima’s shoe.
It tried so did the full set of the galaxy only to disperse
into a profound constellation never finds a bottom.
Because amidst this water circle floats the first soil.
Allah called it His house that He first created from it.
Every planetary orb pilgrimage around it in the core
known as Ka’abah up to the heart of the earth it rose.

In the pre-designed world after the first masculine
the first feminine Fathima thus did the first pilgrimage.
She walked the walk did so in the patternless pi veil.

Nature is never uneven on the hidden hand of the pi.
Every little fraction, the small decimal does it count
connects to the dot without showing up a pattern
Long live, long live the digital charisma is on the rise!

Retracing time and again the sun rises in the median lane,
yet the black box scores it's only a dark chart at the end of the day!
The Moon is yet to moon over an unturned sublunary-dip
It pulls all, the mighty sea that the earth can't
and sync in the feminine water cycle but save only one
with Fathima floating out of the box it can’t link up!

Like millions, ever wonder where Fathima’s grave is?
The earth strived too to the death bite to print her footprint!
Most of the mass visiting Medina look too see the grave of the holy lady Fathima. It has been a tradition since her death some fourteen hundred years ago. There are two graves where she is buried but which one is her is still unknown. Reportedly she wanted her grave to remain unidentified.
1.
From my
uneasy bed
at the L’Enfant,
a train's pensive
horn breaks the
sullen lullaby of
an HVAC’s hum;
interrupting the
mechanical
reverie of its
steadfast
night watch,
allowing my ear
to discern
the stampede
of marauding
corporate Visigoths
sacking the city.

The cacophony
of sloven gluttony,
the ***** songs of
unrequited privilege
and the unencumbered
clatter of radical
entitlement echoes
off the city’s cold
crumbling stones.

The unctuous
bellows of the
victorious pillagers
profanely feasting
pierces the
hanging chill
of the nations
black night.

Their hoots
deride the train
transporting
the defeated
ghosts of
Lincoln’s last
doomed regiments
dispatched in vain
to preserve a
peoples republic
in a futile last stand.

The rebels have
finally turned the tide,
T Boone Pickett’s
Charge succeeds,
sending the ravaged
Grand Army of the
Republic sliding
back to the Capitol,
in savage servility,
gliding on squeaky
ungreased wheels
ferrying the
Union’s dead
vanquished
defenders to
unmarked graves
on Potters Field.

The Rebels
joyous yell
bounces off
the inert granite
stones of the
soulless city.

The spittle
of salivating
vandals drips
over the
spoils of war
as they initiate the
disassemblage,
the leveling and
reapportionment
of the grand prize.

The clever
oligarchs
have laid claim
to a righteous
reparation
of the peoples
assets for
pennies on the
dollar.

Their wholly
bought politicos
move to transfer
distressed assets
into their just
stewardship
through the
holy justice
of privatization
and the sound
rationale of
free market
solutions.

In the land of the
pursuit of property,
nimble wolf PACs
of swift 527, LLCs
have fully
metastasized
into personhood;
ascending to
the top of the
food chain in
America’s
voracious
political culture;
bestriding
the nation to
compel the
national will
to genuflect
to the cool facility
of corporate
dominion.

As the
inertial ******
of the plaintive
locomotive
fades into
another old
morning of
recalcitrant
Reaganism,
it lugs its
ambivalent
middle class
baggage toward
it’s fast expiring
future.

I follow
the dirge
down to
the street
as the ebbing
sound fades
into the gloom
of the
burgeoning
morning,
slowly
replacing the
purple twilight
with a breaking
day of cold gray
clouds framing
silhouettes of
cranes busily
constructing
a new city.

The personhood of
corporations need
homes in our new
republic; carving
out new
neighborhoods
suitable for the
monied citizens
of our nation.

First amongst
equals, the best
corporate governance
charters form
the foundation of
the republic’s
new constitution.
Civil rights
are secondary
to the freedom
of markets; the
Bill of Rights
are economically
replaced by the
cool manifests
of Bills of Lading.

The agents of
laissez faire
capitalism
nibble away
at the city’s
neighborhoods
one block at a time;
while steady winds
blows dust off
the National Mall.

Layers of the
peoples plaza are
plained away with
each rising gust.  

History repeats
itself as the Joad’s
are routed from their
land once again.

A clever
mixed use
plan of
condos and
strip malls
is proposed
to finally help the
National Mall
unlock its true
profit potential.

As America’s
affection for
federalism fades
the water in
the reflection pool
is gracefully drained.

We the people
can no longer
see ourselves.

The profit
potential of
industry is
preferred over
the specious
metaphysical
benefits
of reflection.

The grand image,
the rich pastiche,
the quixotic aroma
of the national
melting ***
is reduced to the
sameness of the
black tar that lines
the pool and the
swirling eddies of
brown dust circling
the cracked indenture.

From his not so
distant vantage point,
Abe ponders the
empty pool wondering
if the cost of lives
paid was a worthy
endeavor of preserving
the ****** union?  
Has the dear prize
won perished from
this earth?

Was the illusive
article of liberty  
worth its weight in
the blood expended?

Did the people ever
fully realize the value
of government
by the people,
for the people?

Did citizens of
the republic
assume the
responsibilities to
protect and honor
the rights and privileges
of a representative
government?

Now our idea
and practice of
civil rights is measured
and promoted as far as
it can be justified by
a corporate ROI, a
shareholder dividend,
an earmark or a political
donation to a senators
unconnected PAC.

The divine celestial
ledgers balancing
the rights and
privilege of free people
drips with red ink.  

Liberty, equality
fraternity are bankrupt
secular notions
condemned as
expensive
liberal seditions;
hatched by
UnHoly Jacobins,
the atheist skeptics
during the dark times
of the Age of Enlightenment.

Abe ponders
the restoration
of Washington’s
obelisk, to
repair the cracks
suffered  from
last summer’s
freak earthquake.

I believe I detect
a tear in Abe’s
granite eye
saddened by the
corporate temblors
shaking the
foundations
of the city.

2.

The WWII Memorial
is America’s Parthenon
for a country's love
affair with the valor
and sacrifice of warfare.

WWII forms the
cornerstone of
understanding the
pathos of the
American Century.

During WWII
our greatest generation
rose as a nation to
defeat the menace of
global fascism and
indelibly mark the
power and virtue of
American democracy.

As Lincoln’s Army
saved federalism, FDR’s
Army kept the world safe
for democracy.

Both armies served
a nation that shared
the sacrifice and
burden of war to
preserve the grace of
a republican democracy.

Today federalism
crumbles as our
democracy withers.

The burden
of war is reserved
for a precious few
individuals while
its benefits
remain confined to
the corporate elite.

Our monuments
to war have become
commercial backdrops
for the hollow patriotism
of war profiteers.

We have mortgaged
our future to pay
for two criminal wars.

The spoils of
war flow into the
pockets of
corporate
shareholders
deeply invested
in the continuation
of pointless,
destructive
hostilities.

Our service
members who
selflessly served
their country come
home to a less free,
fear struck nation;
where economic
security and political
liberty erodes
each day while the
monied interests
continue to bless
the abundance
of freedom and riches
purchased with the
blood and sweat
of others.

America desperately
needs a new narrative.

The spirit of the
Greatest Generation
who sacrificed and met
the challenge of the 20th
Century must become
this generations spiritual
forebears.

The war on terror
neatly fits the
the corporate
pathos of
militarism,
surveillance
and the sacrifice
of civil liberties
to purchase
a daily measure
of fear and
economic
enslavement.

It must be rejected
by a people committed
to building secular
temples to pursue
peace, democracy,
economic empowerment,
civil liberties and tolerance
for all.

Yet this old city
and the democratic
temples it built
exulting a free people
anointed with the
grace of liberty
is being consumed
in a morass of
commercial
polyglot.

3.

During the
War of 1812
the British Army
burned the
Capitol Building
and the White House
to the ground.

Thank goodness
Dolly Madison saved
what she could.

The new marauders
are not subject to the
pull of nostalgia.  

They value nothing
save their
self enrichment.

They will spare nothing.

Our besieged Capitol
requires Lincoln’s troops
to be stationed along the
National Mall to defend
the republic.

The greatest peril
to our nation
is being directed
by well placed
Fifth Columnists.

From the safety
of underground bunkers,
in secure undisclosed
locations within the city’s
parameters, a well financed
confederacy employing  
K Street shenanigans
are busy selling off
the American Dream
one ear mark
at a time, one
huge corporate
welfare allotment
at a time.

The biggest prize
is looting the real
property of the people;
selling Utah,
auctioning off
the public schools,
water systems, post offices
and mineral rights
on the cheap
at an Uncle Sam
garage sale.  

The capitol is
indeed burning
again.

Looters are
running riot.

The flailing arms
of a dying empire
fire off cruise
missiles and drone
strikes; hitting the
target of habeas
corpus as it
shakes in its
final death rattle.
I make a pilgrimage
to the MLK Jr.
Monument.

Our cultural identity
is outsourced to
foreign contractors
paid to reinterpret
the American Dream
through the eyes
of a lowest bidder.

MLK has lost
his humanity.

He has been
reduced to a
a Chinese
superhuman
Mao like anime
busting loose from
a granite mountain while
geopolitical irony
compels him to watch
Tommy Jefferson
**** Sally Hemings
from across the tidal
basin for all eternity.  

MLK’s eyes fixed in
stern fascination,
forever enthralled
by the contradictions
of liberty and its
democratic excesses
of love in the willows
on golden pond.

Circling back to
Father Abraham’s
Monument,  I huddle
with a group of global
citizens listening
to an NPS Ranger
spinning four score
tales with the last full
measure of her devotion.

I look up into Abe’s
stone eyes as he
surveys platoons
of gray suited
Chinese Communist
envoys engaged
in Long Marches
through the National Mall;
dutifully encircling cabinet
buildings and recruiting
Tea Party congressmen
into their open party cells.

This confederacy
is ready to torch
the White House
again.

Congressmen and
the perfect patriots
from K Street slavishly
pull their paymasters
in gilded rickshaws to
golf outings at the Pentagon
and park at the preferred
spots reserved for
the luxury box holders
at Redskin Games.

They vow not to rest
until the house of the people
is fully mortgaged to the
People’s Republic of China’s
Sovereign Wealth Fund.

4.

A great
Son of Liberty like
Alan Greenspan
roundly rings
the bells of
free markets
as he inches
T Bill rates
forward a few
basis points
at a time; while
his dead mentor
Ayn Rand
lifts Paul Ryan
to her
Fountainhead teet.
He takes a long
draw as she
coos songs
from her primer
of Atlas Shrugged
Mother Goose tales
into his silky ears.

The construction
cranes swing
to the music
building new private
sector space with
the largess of
US taxpayers
money; or
more rightly
future generations
taxpayer debt.

Libertarians,
Tea Baggers, Blue Dogs
and GOP waterboys
eagerly light a
match to the
the crucifixes
bearing federal
social safety
net programs
to the delight
of NASDAQ
listed capitalists
on the come,
licking their chops
to land contracts
to administer
these programs
at a negotiated
cost plus
profit margin.

Citizens
dependent
on programs
are leery
shareholders
are ecstatic.

To be sure
our free
market rebels
don disguises
of red, white
and blue robes
but their objectives
fail to distinguish
their motives and
methods with
some of the finest
Klansman this
country has
ever produced.

5.

DC is a city
of joggers
and choppers.

Corporate
helicopters
wizz by the
Washington
Monument,
popping erections
for the erectors
inspecting the progress
of the cranes
commanding the
city skyline.

USMC drill team
out for a morning
run circles the Mall.

The commanding
cadence of the
DI keeps us
mindful of the
deepening
militarization of
our society.

A crowd  
rushes
to position
themselves,
genuflecting
to photograph
a platoon on
the move.

I try to consider
the defining
characteristics of
Washington DC.

DC is all surface.

It is full of walls
and mirrors.

Its primary hue
is obfuscation.

Open
communication
scripted from well
considered talking points
informs all dialog.

The city is thoroughly
enraptured in narcissism.

Thankfully, one can
always capture the
reflection of oneself in
the ubiquitous presence of
mirrors.  

Vanity imprisons
the city inhabitants.

Young joggers circle the
Mall and gerrymander
down every pathway
of the city.  

They are the clerks,
interns and staffers of
the judicial, executive
and legislative branches.

They are the children
of privilege.

They will never
alter their path.

You must cede the walk
to their entitlement
of a swift comportment
or risk injury of a
violent collision.

These young ones
portray a countenance  
of benevolent rulers.  

They seem to be learning
their trade craft well from
the senators and judges
whom they serve.

They appear confident
they know what's best
for the country and after
their one term of tireless
service to the republic
they look forward to
positions in the private
sector where they will
assist corporations
to extend their reach
into the pant pockets
worn by the body politic.

6.

Our nations mythic story
lies hidden deep in the
closed rooms of the
museums lining the
Mall.

I pause to consider
what a great nation
and its great people
once aspired to.

I spy the a
suspended
Space Shuttle
hanging in dry dock
at the air and
space museum.

Today America’s
astronauts hitch
rides on Russian
rockets.

America rents a
timeshare from
the European
space agency to
lift communication
satellites into orbit.

Across the Mall
I photograph
John Smithson’s
ashes in its columbarium.  

I fear it has become a
metaphor for America’s
future commitment
to scientific inquiry
and rational secular
thinking.

I am relieved to
discover a Smithsonian
exhibit that asks
“what does it mean
to be human?”

The Origins of Humans
exhibit carries a disclaimer
to satisfy creationists.

The exhibit timidly states
that science can coexist
with religious beliefs and
that the point of the exhibit is
not to inflame inflame religious
passions but to shed light on
scientific inquiry.

I imagine these exhibits
will inflame the passion of
the fundamentalist
American Taliban and
provide yet another
reason to dismantle
the Moloch of Federalism.

The pursuit of science
remains safe at the
Smithsonian for now.

7.

Near K Street at
McPherson Park
a posse of
well dressed
lobbyists, the
self anointed
uber patriots
doing the work
of the people
stroll through
the park
boasting a
healthy population
of bedraggled
homeless.

The homeless
occupy the benches
that have been
transformed into
pup tents.

Perhaps some of
the residents of this
mean estate were
made homeless by a
foreclosed mortgage.  

The K Street warriors
can be proud that their
work on behalf of the
banking industry has
forestalled financial market
reform.  

Through it exacerbates
the homeless problem it has
allowed these K Street titans to
profit from the distress of others.

Earlier in the day
I photographed
a homeless man
planted in front of
the Washington
Monument.

I wonder
if my political
voyeurism is
an exploitation of
this man’s condition?

I have more in common
then I probably wish to
admit with my K Street
antagonists.  

In another section
of the park the
remnants of a
distressed OWS
bivouac remain.

The legions of sunshine
patriots have melted away
as the interest of the
blogosphere has waned.

As the weather
improves Moveon.org
and democratic
party operatives
pitch tents in an
effort to resuscitate
the moribund
movement.

They hope
to coop any
remaining energy
to support their
stale deception,
a neoliberal vision
based solely on the
total capitulation
to the bankrupt
corporatocracy.

I heard someone say
a campaign lasts a
season; while a
movement for social
change takes decades.

If that metric proves
correct, and if the
powers don’t succeed
in compromising the
people’s movement
I’ll be three quarters
of a century old
before I see
justice flowing like
a river once again.

8.

I circle back to
the L’Enfant and
find myself
tramping amidst
the lost platoon
of Korean War
soldiers.

My feet drag
in the quagmire
of grass covering
the feet of this
ghostly troop.

My namesake
uncle was a
decorated
veteran of this
conflict and Im
sure I detect
his likeness
in one of the
statues.

The bleak call
of a distant train
sounds a revelry
and I imagine this
patrol springing
to life to answer
the call of their
beloved country
once again.

Yet they remain
inert.  

Stuck in a
place that the
nation finds
impossible to
leave.

The eyes of the
men stare into
an incomprehensible
fate.  

They see the swarms
of Red Army infantrymen
crossing the Yellow River
streaming toward
them in massive
human waves,
the tips of
sparkling bayonets
threatening to slash
the outmanned
contingent fighting
to bits.

They are the
first detachment
to bravely confront
the rising power
of China many
thousands of
miles away
from their homes.

America like
this lone company
is overwhelmed
and lost in the
confusion
that confronts
them.

Looking up
I perceive the
bewilderment
of my muddled image
reflected on the
marble walls
surrounding
the memorial.

I am a comrade-in-arms,
a fellow wanderer sojourning
with th
Chris Jun 2014
How to measure:

A table.
take out ruler, string or tape
Size  lines calculate with  retina powered eyes count the spit that flys from open mouths who gather fill it with their laughter,

count the crayon etchings of the determined fire in eyes Thomas the tank engine colorer extroidinair

Weight gain.
Gaze down at waste, shift in skin as you reach  depths in pockets to hide McDonalds receipts and push them in

Do, mental math, one apple a month has got to off set at least one Big Mac

Mileage.
Look at your spedometer Thelma, it's pretty much yelling at you. Take stalk of all the shoes that have  warn you.count backwards from twenty five to Two.

Count the steps you took when you didn't have to, subtract the ones that didn't count and divide by the moments you glide

Growth
Annual reports, minions in Arnold churgen assuring you to stalk up on the market. Your rrsps  with thank you as they soar and plummet as all must on the onslaught of such heights.

Talk to the fifth grader inside you and ask what got me here, was it that Dora the explorer hair cut or the time I didn't give up, that lead to that other time i didn't give up that lead to the time  i pushed quit to the back of my tongue and swallowed it.

A moment.
In corners of mouth stretched outwards in an upward slant.
Those 60 seconds you ranted and most of it was good
That kiss you can still feel as uou tried to hold on to your skin
In the calculated weight of truth transferred to hands in use


Or the science behind the fact that you actually breathed again and  your body, received the donation, the free gift that fuels you, rushes in caresses your sinues and prepares the way for another little wind

I Cherish that wind

One moment, your body will say thankyou very much air, but this relationship of you fueling me and me needing you.. Is baked like that pie your mom doesn't like talking about any more

How does one measure a life
Success, deductibles, YouTube hits,# shout outs, lives touched, damage done, or how many times you actually enjoyed a cinnomon bun without apologizing to your hips

You choose. You choose what measuring tape you wake up with because that's the one they are gonna pull out when the man with the answers recites your yagooogaly

When you measure dare to recall that when the air says adeui and all that is left is your spirit and as your body falls let spirit rise tall

— The End —