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Cné Jun 2017
My
Third eye
Clouded
Busy blurry skies
What have I done
To the you and I
To the me and you
That could never be
Drawn to these pleasures
Between these sheets
Smothering moonlight
Deep summer heat
Damping ****
Still no retreat
The flame burns
Even hotter
When You and I cheat
.....

Take my hand
and come with me
to dreams of love and ****
Where....drifting down
the blurry skies
the eye need not adjust,
Where....
moonlight dances merrily
reflecting us unseen.
The smoldering heat
of our united union,  
except to you and me
No need to worry
the things that we do
between the sheets
of carnal pleasure
that draws me to you.  
Together we will reach our peak
as we share this glorious night.
Lie with me beneath the moon
and feel its timeless flight.
Hope you don't mind Trader Tim.
The man in the middle quietly weeps as the deafening crescendo grows on…

Hoping by chance he’ll soon join the dance but knowing deep down, somehow, he is wrong?

The people who lead have more than they need insisting on evermore -till it’s gone.

And at the end of the day they’ll cry merrily and ***;

“What happened t’was a wonderful song?”
In all ancient Greek and Roman cities there was an altar in the center named, "Pity," where food, clothes and wears were left for those who had nothing.
Ashley Chapman Jun 2018
We fall,
and hard,
and in the shadows,
***** ourselves on snags,
that tear our clothes;
grazed and cut,
we stagger on -
Impressions, ideas, fancies!
Of these have we been disabused.

But is this spring,
come again?

Lovely,
yesterday,
in the bright sunlight,
to see you,
felt green hat in among the photo clouds,
apple suedes on the gallery's damp floor.

Melvyn,  
and I,
merrily circling with you the light cloud images,
my nostrils full of pollen spikes.
The pictures:
wisps of trailing dreams churning in ‘scapes of infinite blue;
dark clouds,
in amongst them,
too.

Photographs in two time places
caught;
at once, all:
the other and t'other.

So excitement swells,
and everything besides us quells,
because the knowing of itself,
knows,
and dares beyond the frames;
to skirt knowingly the unsaid;
to want beyond the wounded past,
to pull things,
once again,
inside out.

In whimsy’s currents flow these thoughts,
these feelings,
these drives;
eddies swirling in these waters,
so that as you sit,
on a summer’s day,
it moves,
a mirror to everything above.

The wavelets on the surface,
hammered into shape,
burn, bite and dazzle;
the sun’s flames leaping and dancing on the ripples.

In the basement,
on the concrete floor,
your Y proneness shifts,
releasing knees on black-clad thighs;
two pendulums swinging,
brushing;
yawing metronomes in the cool,
coolness of my desultory thoughts.

Oh, what am I saying?
Feelings like reveries walk along these silver lips straying langerously.
These myths are too soon made,
carried one to the next,
one-on-one,
until contained no longer,
become new truths.
Visited an East End London picture gallery with a friend. Later, she texted me and said she had been called a *****, and I said, we're all that, too. Then I wanted to defend her by describing the intoxicting effect of her connection with me: her beauty.
Valsa George May 2016
Like a toddler taking maiden steps
The narrow stream moves through the woods
Tripping and falling over pebbles and boulders
Chiming its silver anklets

Forcing itself in irrepressible flow
It thrusts and shoves its way down
Through thickets and a line of ferns
And the tangle of creepers and thorny brambles

Drowning the whisper of bamboo leaves
Its sweet murmur falls in my ears
As an eternal living melody
The cosmic song heard over eons

As the water sluices down the rocks
It becomes a frothing braided torrent
Producing a harsh grating roar
Like the crescendo of a tribal symphony

There it forms into a small pool
With its waves gently rippling
Where birds merrily come to take a dip
And sunning their feathers, fly back refreshed

Sometimes travelling unseen
It suddenly emerges into the open
Cutting its way through cracks and fissures
Never willing to surrender before hurdles

With a bearing immaculate in grace
It sends out waves of pure delight
What joy it is to watch the dilly dally
Of this sedate pilgrim moving to its destination
GreenTrees Aug 2017
Throw your stones into the sea
Casting away your fears and doubts merrily

Let the sky be your canvas of tranquility
While you spirit flies with the grace of divinity

Pile up your cares and worries and let them crash to the floor
Bury your fears and speak of them never more

Scale the insurmountable with just your thoughts
Toss away your coffers of regret, when you spend time, what is that you 've  bought?

Pat away your tears and turn them into poetry
Let down your hair and fill your lungs with new life

Kiss your passion and hug your soul
Tread not the same place twice

Step outside and lift your gaze
Let love carry you into the golden days

Toil no more over broken glass
Fill your cup, not to be your last


© Karl V. (2017)
Knit Personality Jul 2018
There once was a player named Morgan
Who played all day long with his *****:
     He played with it majorly,
     Sadistically, and ragerly,
That claw-handed, hairy-palmed Morgan.  

There once was a confident nudist,
The rudest of nudists, and lewdest,
     Who'd offer a toot
     On his flesh-and-bone flute,
Declaring he'd make you a flutist.

There once was a wandering hobo
Who wandered from NoBo to SoBo
     Whilst whistling merrily,
     Gladly, and verily
Mozart's concerto for oboe.

#
Shouting for longevity,
Slamming at the counterers…
- upon your dignified respite!
Would-be detractors without brevity,
Before the wine-dark Sea at night…
A pleading to philosophy of commonly renowned,
Beating sand and posturing, uncouth before a crown;

“Priam please!”

Sun and Moon,
two sons shall plead,
nay, -beg in tandem with the man;

“He serves the seas, trust him please, our father; this priest of Trojan-land!”

Laocoon

“Fear the Greeks, of mind I speak, approval by a van-i-ty; it surely is a death you seek!

An asp this horse, gift no more and tragedy in due remorse,

I beg of you my call to heed, wooden-burnt this crispy steed,

…alight in flame, glorified name; Poseidon shall endorse!”

Priests of Apollo

“Ridiculous! Worship we must, now bring it to the City thus!”

Laocoon

“The actions of accursed Kore,

Need I remind you all Paris caused this war?

For he mocked this god, the abyss it knows, with terror comes a deadly tide,

**** that fool and his fiddling pride!

Burn this beast we must with haste for Greeks they have a certain taste,

Their acts meant always to confound, wily, since they were unbound.

What harm may do, to rest at shore? Consult the stars of yester-yore.

Assign no chore, one heaven’s night, plus a day, to sit upon our princely shore?”


Setting
(read/spoken at the fastest pace the reader can go)

A horrid hiss above the wave as two doth slither from out the cave…

  The creatures from the darkest days, ancient spectacle for the knaves, bear witness to the punishment, commanded by a great trident, hearing screams of bannermen, for King and council a shocking twist, serpents ****** from out the mists, encircling priest and his kin, the howling they had done no sin, never be forgot-ten, as Typhon cried out merrily, serpents and the tragic sea; swallowed up all the three.

Priam

“Farewell dear Laocoon and two sons with thee!”
The name. "Laocoon," translates to, "Peoples knowledge," or "Knowledge of the peoples." This is a retelling of a section of the Iliad.
Detached Aug 2018
Thy dimpled simper, ah such blissful beauty.
Every time it arrives, I fall, fall so hard again.
The imprints in thy cheeks, puts me under such incantation.

The upward curling of thine lip, holds me fast, unwavering.

The way your eyes peer, surpassing my comprehension of how such virture willingly gazes upon mine own soul.

I cannot swim.

Without remorse I jump, jump right in. Into the depths of thine heart, my personal himmel.

Frightening storms of endless love. Something I about, have only read. Its everything I've ever wanted to obtain and give.

Such heartache can I afford? To acquire such love but lose my soul? I asked myself then answered.

Of course I will pay the price! She deserves all and so much more. For this fair maiden has given unto me, reason to be.

If mine own soul is not satisfactory, I will merrily consume any and every soul her love demands.

For it, Her Love. Commands me.
zen Dec 2018
These are my favorite things,
taken to the **** shop,
These are my favorite movies, books, and trinkets,
thrown in the dump,
and my favorite memories,
framed in plaques of wood and plastic,
Mary goes round merrily, making its way
round to take me to the moon,
and a Monday no longer mundane,
and the imperfections of my reflections,
worn around my mane
bejeweled
Sonia Ettyang Oct 2018
I've been here before
I have seen this before
It feels like a labyrinth
A meandering path
Every finishing line is the beginning of a new life line
Round and around
A never ending maze, a never ending path
A cycle that keeps repeating itself like a rhyme
Merrily, merilly, merrily, merrily
Life is but a dream
Life is but a dream
An absence reversed
Beheld
Belonging
Fuming lush greenery seemingly
Between the frothing
Soup and lather twinkling
Speaking
"Tradition may act dishonestly"
All and sundry
Trails along merrily
For traditionally
All is how it should be
Belonging to one and only.

Binding
A trade between the thin lines
A baking sheet made sprayed messy
Artists in threes
Shakers of mountains for invisible ease
The truth is simply
Things done traditionally
All-in consuming historically.

Flesh
Released
Is fresh
Relief
Hidden in the fabric's sleeve
A gaping passage of air and breeze
Racing electricity
Breathtaking silk from worms
And worms eaten by birds
Tradition
Sewing the dresses of Empress the third.
Halt
Her plea worth salt and sugar
Still
Like the skater's
Minted odour
Hope
Distances the valleys low dipped to the everlasted rivers
Where a time arrives for eternal celebration.
The embellishments of
Unwavered tradition.
© Teri Darlene Basallote Yeo
What is your tradition?
Bo Tansky Oct 2018
It was bad enough when opinionated white men were the only ones
You saw them when you opened your set
Haven’t processed it yet
Gave bert my last four dollars
Fear I may live in squalor
If I screamed and hollered
Would it help
It was bad enough when opinionated white men were the only ones
Merrily followed by
opinionated white women
Black men
Black women
The Asians
The Haitians
Good gracious
The whole gang
A whole gaggle of them
Each one more opinionated than the other
A chorus that roars of
Incredible bores
Tuned into the conversation next door
It too was a bore
Everyone’s hysterical
If it weren’t so serious
Would almost be comical
The what if demons
Threaten to demean us
What am I going to do
I have no money
You think this is funny
I could go hungry
See what I mean
Why should I care
Money will appear from somewhere
If I only can believe it
It was bad enough when opinionated white men
My pill popping hon
Busted in on my fun
He’s out of pills
I’ll see what I can do
I’m out of them too
My appointment’s on Monday
I know it’s not even Sunday
It’s the best I can too
I'm out of them too
And then opinionated white women
What of it
He twists and turns
Thinks something is wrong with him
They examined all over him
No one’s yet uncovered
Discovered his apparent rigidity  
Stupidity, in moments near to him
Rigidity can be good or bad
Happy or sad
Depends if your frozen or fried
Broiled or foiled
Sautéed or filleted
Or nicely done hon
What was I saying
Yeah, rigidity’s a *****.
Always on the hook
You play it by the book
You’re ready to defend
Opinionated white men
Seeking some advantage
Prowling for an entrant
Doesn’t matter
I’m not a contestant
I play by the book
Which book are you looking for
They change by the season
They change by the reason
They change by the color
They change by the number
They change by the thunder
They change by the why
They change by the hi(gh)
They change by the sigh
They change by the discipline
It took to get here
I need a break from this exchange
Dear
Finally, they’re gone
Glorious alone-time
My mind can roam-time
Away from the beehive
Mind-hive project set.
Are you ready set
It’s bad enough when opinionated white men were the only ones
Were the whole set, subset, sweat set upset
Not yet set
Yet set
Ready set
Go set
Maybe set
Maybe no set
Rap set
Whoa set
She said set
I’ll get back to you on that set
But not yet set
I need a rest set
For god’s sake
Let me think about it
It’s only been nine years
Nine months
Nine days
nine minutes
Nine seconds
A split sec
Compared to an eternity set
It was bad enough when opinionated white men were the only ones
You saw them when you opened your set
Haven’t processed it yet
Must be hiding way out on the net set
My God, how can I talk about rigidity
But I’ve changed my mindset
Ok?
But, not yet.
Lawrence Hall Dec 2018
(ripped from the sages' pages of the Middle Ages – “Sumer is icumen in”)

Merrily he eats the worms
Pull them from the ground!
Their heads pop up
On them he sups
As they squirm around
Chirp, robin!

The squirrels are eating all the seeds
The cardinal’s head’s a-bobbin’
The doves are cooing
The cows are mooing
Chirp merrily, robin!

Robin, robin
How well you chirp
Now eat the worms and burp!

Burp, burp, burp!
On seeing dozens of robins, one squirrel, one woodpecker, one cardinal, and one dove outside my window on Christmas morning.
zen Aug 2018
The many martyrs of boredom
make haste to their next death,

They nestle in their noodles
Over bowls of ramen
Ramming their frontal lobes in their palms,
In hazy rooms, staring in the hearts of tinted corridors
Dim lit lamps stand courageous,
Smoking kettles,
alarms the listener to lunge merrily
to,
his lazy lagoon
Boredom
Raylind Nov 2018
and in the graveyard of my lovers
i take care not to step loudly
that they might not wake and see,
how cold it is.
that i might not smash their corpses still

i put an arrow in my own heart
to wrench it out with might
and little will it bleed, if at all

i finally dug myself a spot
so i too can wait for footsteps overhead
warm in thick soil
only asking to be wrangled from the dirt,
here and there,
to see the cold.
stooping heartily into my hole
i whistle merrily
My
sixth sense,
twisted,
butterflies in the tummy,
sparkles, flames and fires,
feelings of blossoming in spring.
Who made your cheeks turn to pink?
Who filled your eyes full of desire?
Who set your heart burning on fire?
Who could clarify to you, of these feelings, love or ****?
Where...
our bodies are drifting down
the blurry skies
Where....
moonlight dances merrily
reflecting us unseen.
Drawn to these pleasures,
of these feelings, love or ****?
By Angel. XJ/11/02/2019
Casey Dec 2018
i dashed through a field of poppies
only to fall asleep in your arms
i awoke to the whispering flowers
they told me where you'd gone
i asked if you'd return someday
they said "she isn't far"
and though i could see you
fields away playing merrily
i could not reach you
for you had been made new
Laminate my heart into little picture pieces.
Introduce them to the wind, that dances merrily upon the openness.
Illuminate my darkness by emboldening smoldering suns, in sentences.
Bouncing around the formulations and speech that proceeded many men.
Cross us out and hold us out of the windows of your vehicle.
Glowing orchids hover over lily blooms, they set the mood.
Intoxicating simple minded sooth machine, for every room.
Terry Jordan Nov 2018
Language is the raw material
Transformation into art
Leaping through Alice’s looking glass
Breaking metaphors apart

Is it dark inside a poem
From whence it first sprang
Deeply repressed panic
Without judgment rang

Bringing pressured speech to light
Images of love and pain
Through clearly heightened senses
Uninhibited refrain

Where verbal acrobats spiral
Words on a poet’s page
That remind us and disturb us
In desperate outrage

With the pathos of a clown
On a winding rocky path
Reminders of death’s nearness
Terror spinning with a laugh

Pictures painted with premonitions
An atmosphere heavy in despair
Remnants of previous poets
Are blinding the reader in its glare

Quatrains moving merrily
Using images and tone
Making shapes with language
Shaping irony unknown

With tones bright and beautiful
Its matrix darkly savage
Through visual impressions
The reader’s heart is ravaged

Freedom of imagination
From whimsy to terror can bring
Surprising facetious word-play
Delivering irony’s sting

A psychological awakening
The tenderest love infused with dread
Blazing pathways joyous and dangerous
Irrevocable loss lies ahead

A telling detail without warning
Takes us to disturbing turns
The risky business of being born
Poets’ authority burns

It brings you to your senses
Through supernatural realms
Exploding realization
Its resonance overwhelms

Allusiveness to brutal honesty
It may sometimes misconstrue
In an abyss of isolation cries,
“What else can a poem do?”
Exploring the dark side of poetry, how poets are inspired to write, and how we're all standing on the shoulders of poets who've come before us.  Also in honor of my oldest brother, Dan, who left me one poem before he died called, "Is it dark inside of snowballs?" which I've posted here before.
Jen Aug 2018
It feels,
Just as they
Described it.

Falling,
In the best way,
No need to
Fight; never; ever;
You’re pure sunshine-
A ray of light.

Happiness is all I feel.

Morning walk
Through clouds
And muck,
Mist surrounds.

Then I hear a sound
Ring merrily,
Uplifting all of me.

“Hi Sunshine,
I’m just here
Drinking coffee
Thinking about you.
Have a beautiful morning.”

All I want to do is smile,
As your embrace
Envelopes me.
This poem is a snippet from my real life lately.  I met an amazing person recently who just makes me smile all day long.  I have never been in a healthy relationship, and I'm beginning to see what it's like.   I was with someone for over seven years that just made me cry, and to meet a really positive person has been a whirlwind, in the best way.  I spend all my time lately wondering how this awesome individual can even exist.  We both love watching the stars. :-)  He is a little more extreme though as he rode his motorcycle up a mountain and spent an entire night just stargazing.   I don't know where it will go, but all I know is that my eyes have been opened!
Lauren Feb 18
By. Lauren

To all the girls I've loved,
My love for you dug into my veins like a shard of glass searching for any resemblance of blood left in me. After you shattered like mirror that I looked into, my heart broke too.
Our love was stronger than words could speak until you took the last bit of my innocence and discarded of me like a plastic bag. To you I was a game just waiting to be won. If only I had wiped the hazy fog from my eyes soon enough to see that you were just the devil taking a hold of me. Boy was I wrong when I discarded the advice of others. They spoke truth. Our love was merrily a puzzle piece in the complex puzzle we call life. Every which turn I take I am faced with the same reality. The blunt truth indeed. Our love was more toxic than all the skull labeled barbells I surrounded myself with.  You were just a chess master waiting to call checkmate on me. If only I had left before we got so far. Our love was a monster under my bed waiting to pull me under and call me crazy. I was crazy. Our love was crazier than the epidemics we see on TV. To all the girls I've loved, there is no need for apology. For our love was far too complex to simplify into one poem.
Nathalie Nov 2018
Doves cooed at morning dawn

Encapsulated in pure light

Every spark of brightness

Magnified the blades of grass

Shining with pearls of dew


Trees swayed, keeping

Their majestic presence

As the wind ruffled

Their leaves, a medley

Of beauty and colour


Rustling brook sang

Merrily as it met

With the riverbank

In gushes of

Ebbs and flow


Nature’s bounty

Becomes it's own reward

For everyone who

Appreciates and rejoices

In celebration and song

Of our world’s harvest



~Nathalie
ConnectHook Feb 2016
by John Greenleaf Whittier  (1807 – 1892)

“As the Spirits of Darkness be stronger in the dark, so Good Spirits which be Angels of Light are augmented not only by the Divine Light of the Sun, but also by our common Wood fire: and as the celestial Fire drives away dark spirits, so also this our Fire of Wood doth the same.”

COR. AGRIPPA, Occult Philosophy, Book I. chap. v.

“Announced by all the trumpets of the sky,
Arrives the snow; and, driving o’er the fields,
Seems nowhere to alight; the whited air
Hides hills and woods, the river and the heaven,
And veils the farm-house at the garden’s end.
The sled and traveller stopped, the courier’s feet
Delayed, all friends shut out, the housemates sit
Around the radiant fireplace, enclosed
In a tumultuous privacy of storm.”


EMERSON

The sun that brief December day
Rose cheerless over hills of gray,
And, darkly circled, gave at noon
A sadder light than waning moon.
Slow tracing down the thickening sky
Its mute and ominous prophecy,
A portent seeming less than threat,
It sank from sight before it set.
A chill no coat, however stout,
Of homespun stuff could quite shut out,
A hard, dull bitterness of cold,
That checked, mid-vein, the circling race
Of life-blood in the sharpened face,
The coming of the snow-storm told.
The wind blew east; we heard the roar
Of Ocean on his wintry shore,
And felt the strong pulse throbbing there
Beat with low rhythm our inland air.

Meanwhile we did our nightly chores, —
Brought in the wood from out of doors,
Littered the stalls, and from the mows
Raked down the herd’s-grass for the cows;
Heard the horse whinnying for his corn;
And, sharply clashing horn on horn,
Impatient down the stanchion rows
The cattle shake their walnut bows;
While, peering from his early perch
Upon the scaffold’s pole of birch,
The **** his crested helmet bent
And down his querulous challenge sent.

Unwarmed by any sunset light
The gray day darkened into night,
A night made hoary with the swarm
And whirl-dance of the blinding storm,
As zigzag, wavering to and fro,
Crossed and recrossed the wingàd snow:
And ere the early bedtime came
The white drift piled the window-frame,
And through the glass the clothes-line posts
Looked in like tall and sheeted ghosts.

So all night long the storm roared on:
The morning broke without a sun;
In tiny spherule traced with lines
Of Nature’s geometric signs,
And, when the second morning shone,
We looked upon a world unknown,
On nothing we could call our own.
Around the glistening wonder bent
The blue walls of the firmament,
No cloud above, no earth below, —
A universe of sky and snow!
The old familiar sights of ours
Took marvellous shapes; strange domes and towers
Rose up where sty or corn-crib stood,
Or garden-wall, or belt of wood;
A smooth white mound the brush-pile showed,
A fenceless drift what once was road;
The bridle-post an old man sat
With loose-flung coat and high cocked hat;
The well-curb had a Chinese roof;
And even the long sweep, high aloof,
In its slant spendor, seemed to tell
Of Pisa’s leaning miracle.

A prompt, decisive man, no breath
Our father wasted: “Boys, a path!”
Well pleased, (for when did farmer boy
Count such a summons less than joy?)
Our buskins on our feet we drew;
With mittened hands, and caps drawn low,
To guard our necks and ears from snow,
We cut the solid whiteness through.
And, where the drift was deepest, made
A tunnel walled and overlaid
With dazzling crystal: we had read
Of rare Aladdin’s wondrous cave,
And to our own his name we gave,
With many a wish the luck were ours
To test his lamp’s supernal powers.
We reached the barn with merry din,
And roused the prisoned brutes within.
The old horse ****** his long head out,
And grave with wonder gazed about;
The **** his ***** greeting said,
And forth his speckled harem led;
The oxen lashed their tails, and hooked,
And mild reproach of hunger looked;
The hornëd patriarch of the sheep,
Like Egypt’s Amun roused from sleep,
Shook his sage head with gesture mute,
And emphasized with stamp of foot.

All day the gusty north-wind bore
The loosening drift its breath before;
Low circling round its southern zone,
The sun through dazzling snow-mist shone.
No church-bell lent its Christian tone
To the savage air, no social smoke
Curled over woods of snow-hung oak.
A solitude made more intense
By dreary-voicëd elements,
The shrieking of the mindless wind,
The moaning tree-boughs swaying blind,
And on the glass the unmeaning beat
Of ghostly finger-tips of sleet.
Beyond the circle of our hearth
No welcome sound of toil or mirth
Unbound the spell, and testified
Of human life and thought outside.
We minded that the sharpest ear
The buried brooklet could not hear,
The music of whose liquid lip
Had been to us companionship,
And, in our lonely life, had grown
To have an almost human tone.

As night drew on, and, from the crest
Of wooded knolls that ridged the west,
The sun, a snow-blown traveller, sank
From sight beneath the smothering bank,
We piled, with care, our nightly stack
Of wood against the chimney-back, —
The oaken log, green, huge, and thick,
And on its top the stout back-stick;
The knotty forestick laid apart,
And filled between with curious art

The ragged brush; then, hovering near,
We watched the first red blaze appear,
Heard the sharp crackle, caught the gleam
On whitewashed wall and sagging beam,
Until the old, rude-furnished room
Burst, flower-like, into rosy bloom;
While radiant with a mimic flame
Outside the sparkling drift became,
And through the bare-boughed lilac-tree
Our own warm hearth seemed blazing free.
The crane and pendent trammels showed,
The Turks’ heads on the andirons glowed;
While childish fancy, prompt to tell
The meaning of the miracle,
Whispered the old rhyme: “Under the tree,
When fire outdoors burns merrily,
There the witches are making tea.”

The moon above the eastern wood
Shone at its full; the hill-range stood
Transfigured in the silver flood,
Its blown snows flashing cold and keen,
Dead white, save where some sharp ravine
Took shadow, or the sombre green
Of hemlocks turned to pitchy black
Against the whiteness at their back.
For such a world and such a night
Most fitting that unwarming light,
Which only seemed where’er it fell
To make the coldness visible.

Shut in from all the world without,
We sat the clean-winged hearth about,
Content to let the north-wind roar
In baffled rage at pane and door,
While the red logs before us beat
The frost-line back with tropic heat;
And ever, when a louder blast
Shook beam and rafter as it passed,
The merrier up its roaring draught
The great throat of the chimney laughed;
The house-dog on his paws outspread
Laid to the fire his drowsy head,
The cat’s dark silhouette on the wall
A couchant tiger’s seemed to fall;
And, for the winter fireside meet,
Between the andirons’ straddling feet,
The mug of cider simmered slow,
The apples sputtered in a row,
And, close at hand, the basket stood
With nuts from brown October’s wood.

What matter how the night behaved?
What matter how the north-wind raved?
Blow high, blow low, not all its snow
Could quench our hearth-fire’s ruddy glow.
O Time and Change! — with hair as gray
As was my sire’s that winter day,
How strange it seems, with so much gone
Of life and love, to still live on!
Ah, brother! only I and thou
Are left of all that circle now, —
The dear home faces whereupon
That fitful firelight paled and shone.
Henceforward, listen as we will,
The voices of that hearth are still;
Look where we may, the wide earth o’er,
Those lighted faces smile no more.

We tread the paths their feet have worn,
We sit beneath their orchard trees,
We hear, like them, the hum of bees
And rustle of the bladed corn;
We turn the pages that they read,
Their written words we linger o’er,
But in the sun they cast no shade,
No voice is heard, no sign is made,
No step is on the conscious floor!
Yet Love will dream, and Faith will trust,
(Since He who knows our need is just,)
That somehow, somewhere, meet we must.
Alas for him who never sees
The stars shine through his cypress-trees!
Who, hopeless, lays his dead away,
Nor looks to see the breaking day
Across the mournful marbles play!
Who hath not learned, in hours of faith,
The truth to flesh and sense unknown,
That Life is ever lord of Death,
And Love can never lose its own!

We sped the time with stories old,
Wrought puzzles out, and riddles told,
Or stammered from our school-book lore
“The Chief of Gambia’s golden shore.”
How often since, when all the land
Was clay in Slavery’s shaping hand,
As if a far-blown trumpet stirred
Dame Mercy Warren’s rousing word:
“Does not the voice of reason cry,
Claim the first right which Nature gave,
From the red scourge of ******* to fly,
Nor deign to live a burdened *****!”
Our father rode again his ride
On Memphremagog’s wooded side;
Sat down again to moose and samp
In trapper’s hut and Indian camp;
Lived o’er the old idyllic ease
Beneath St. François’ hemlock-trees;
Again for him the moonlight shone
On Norman cap and bodiced zone;
Again he heard the violin play
Which led the village dance away.
And mingled in its merry whirl
The grandam and the laughing girl.
Or, nearer home, our steps he led
Where Salisbury’s level marshes spread
Mile-wide as flies the laden bee;
Where merry mowers, hale and strong,
Swept, scythe on scythe, their swaths along
The low green prairies of the sea.
We shared the fishing off Boar’s Head,
And round the rocky Isles of Shoals
The hake-broil on the drift-wood coals;
The chowder on the sand-beach made,
Dipped by the hungry, steaming hot,
With spoons of clam-shell from the ***.
We heard the tales of witchcraft old,
And dream and sign and marvel told
To sleepy listeners as they lay
Stretched idly on the salted hay,
Adrift along the winding shores,
When favoring breezes deigned to blow
The square sail of the gundelow
And idle lay the useless oars.

Our mother, while she turned her wheel
Or run the new-knit stocking-heel,
Told how the Indian hordes came down
At midnight on Concheco town,
And how her own great-uncle bore
His cruel scalp-mark to fourscore.
Recalling, in her fitting phrase,
So rich and picturesque and free
(The common unrhymed poetry
Of simple life and country ways,)
The story of her early days, —
She made us welcome to her home;
Old hearths grew wide to give us room;
We stole with her a frightened look
At the gray wizard’s conjuring-book,
The fame whereof went far and wide
Through all the simple country side;
We heard the hawks at twilight play,
The boat-horn on Piscataqua,
The loon’s weird laughter far away;
We fished her little trout-brook, knew
What flowers in wood and meadow grew,
What sunny hillsides autumn-brown
She climbed to shake the ripe nuts down,
Saw where in sheltered cove and bay,
The ducks’ black squadron anchored lay,
And heard the wild-geese calling loud
Beneath the gray November cloud.
Then, haply, with a look more grave,
And soberer tone, some tale she gave
From painful Sewel’s ancient tome,
Beloved in every Quaker home,
Of faith fire-winged by martyrdom,
Or Chalkley’s Journal, old and quaint, —
Gentlest of skippers, rare sea-saint! —
Who, when the dreary calms prevailed,
And water-**** and bread-cask failed,
And cruel, hungry eyes pursued
His portly presence mad for food,
With dark hints muttered under breath
Of casting lots for life or death,

Offered, if Heaven withheld supplies,
To be himself the sacrifice.
Then, suddenly, as if to save
The good man from his living grave,
A ripple on the water grew,
A school of porpoise flashed in view.
“Take, eat,” he said, “and be content;
These fishes in my stead are sent
By Him who gave the tangled ram
To spare the child of Abraham.”
Our uncle, innocent of books,
Was rich in lore of fields and brooks,
The ancient teachers never dumb
Of Nature’s unhoused lyceum.
In moons and tides and weather wise,
He read the clouds as prophecies,
And foul or fair could well divine,
By many an occult hint and sign,
Holding the cunning-warded keys
To all the woodcraft mysteries;
Himself to Nature’s heart so near
v That all her voices in his ear
Of beast or bird had meanings clear,
Like Apollonius of old,
Who knew the tales the sparrows told,
Or Hermes, who interpreted
What the sage cranes of Nilus said;
A simple, guileless, childlike man,
Content to live where life began;
Strong only on his native grounds,
The little world of sights and sounds
Whose girdle was the parish bounds,
Whereof his fondly partial pride
The common features magnified,
As Surrey hills to mountains grew
In White of Selborne’s loving view, —
He told how teal and loon he shot,
And how the eagle’s eggs he got,
The feats on pond and river done,
The prodigies of rod and gun;
Till, warming with the tales he told,
Forgotten was the outside cold,
The bitter wind unheeded blew,
From ripening corn the pigeons flew,
The partridge drummed i’ the wood, the mink
Went fishing down the river-brink.
In fields with bean or clover ***,
The woodchuck, like a hermit gray,
Peered from the doorway of his cell;
The muskrat plied the mason’s trade,
And tier by tier his mud-walls laid;
And from the shagbark overhead
The grizzled squirrel dropped his shell.

Next, the dear aunt, whose smile of cheer
And voice in dreams I see and hear, —
The sweetest woman ever Fate
Perverse denied a household mate,
Who, lonely, homeless, not the less
Found peace in love’s unselfishness,
And welcome wheresoe’er she went,
A calm and gracious element,
Whose presence seemed the sweet income
And womanly atmosphere of home, —
Called up her girlhood memories,
The huskings and the apple-bees,
The sleigh-rides and the summer sails,
Weaving through all the poor details
And homespun warp of circumstance
A golden woof-thread of romance.
For well she kept her genial mood
And simple faith of maidenhood;
Before her still a cloud-land lay,
The mirage loomed across her way;
The morning dew, that dries so soon
With others, glistened at her noon;
Through years of toil and soil and care,
From glossy tress to thin gray hair,
All unprofaned she held apart
The ****** fancies of the heart.
Be shame to him of woman born
Who hath for such but thought of scorn.
There, too, our elder sister plied
Her evening task the stand beside;
A full, rich nature, free to trust,
Truthful and almost sternly just,
Impulsive, earnest, prompt to act,
And make her generous thought a fact,
Keeping with many a light disguise
The secret of self-sacrifice.

O heart sore-tried! thou hast the best
That Heaven itself could give thee, — rest,
Rest from all bitter thoughts and things!
How many a poor one’s blessing went
With thee beneath the low green tent
Whose curtain never outward swings!

As one who held herself a part
Of all she saw, and let her heart
Against the household ***** lean,
Upon the motley-braided mat
Our youngest and our dearest sat,
Lifting her large, sweet, asking eyes,
Now bathed in the unfading green
And holy peace of Paradise.
Oh, looking from some heavenly hill,
Or from the shade of saintly palms,
Or silver reach of river calms,
Do those large eyes behold me still?
With me one little year ago: —
The chill weight of the winter snow
For months upon her grave has lain;
And now, when summer south-winds blow
And brier and harebell bloom again,
I tread the pleasant paths we trod,
I see the violet-sprinkled sod
Whereon she leaned, too frail and weak
The hillside flowers she loved to seek,
Yet following me where’er I went
With dark eyes full of love’s content.
The birds are glad; the brier-rose fills
The air with sweetness; all the hills
Stretch green to June’s unclouded sky;
But still I wait with ear and eye
For something gone which should be nigh,
A loss in all familiar things,
In flower that blooms, and bird that sings.
And yet, dear heart! remembering thee,
Am I not richer than of old?
Safe in thy immortality,
What change can reach the wealth I hold?
What chance can mar the pearl and gold
Thy love hath left in trust with me?
And while in life’s late afternoon,
Where cool and long the shadows grow,
I walk to meet the night that soon
Shall shape and shadow overflow,
I cannot feel that thou art far,
Since near at need the angels are;
And when the sunset gates unbar,
Shall I not see thee waiting stand,
And, white against the evening star,
The welcome of thy beckoning hand?

Brisk wielder of the birch and rule,
The master of the district school
Held at the fire his favored place,
Its warm glow lit a laughing face
Fresh-hued and fair, where scarce appeared
The uncertain prophecy of beard.
He teased the mitten-blinded cat,
Played cross-pins on my uncle’s hat,
Sang songs, and told us what befalls
In classic Dartmouth’s college halls.
Born the wild Northern hills among,
From whence his yeoman father wrung
By patient toil subsistence scant,
Not competence and yet not want,
He early gained the power to pay
His cheerful, self-reliant way;
Could doff at ease his scholar’s gown
To peddle wares from town to town;
Or through the long vacation’s reach
In lonely lowland districts teach,
Where all the droll experience found
At stranger hearths in boarding round,
The moonlit skater’s keen delight,
The sleigh-drive through the frosty night,
The rustic party, with its rough
Accompaniment of blind-man’s-buff,
And whirling-plate, and forfeits paid,
His winter task a pastime made.
Happy the snow-locked homes wherein
He tuned his merry violin,

Or played the athlete in the barn,
Or held the good dame’s winding-yarn,
Or mirth-provoking versions told
Of classic legends rare and old,
Wherein the scenes of Greece and Rome
Had all the commonplace of home,
And little seemed at best the odds
‘Twixt Yankee pedlers and old gods;
Where Pindus-born Arachthus took
The guise of any grist-mill brook,
And dread Olympus at his will
Became a huckleberry hill.

A careless boy that night he seemed;
But at his desk he had the look
And air of one who wisely schemed,
And hostage from the future took
In trainëd thought and lore of book.
Large-brained, clear-eyed, of such as he
Shall Freedom’s young apostles be,
Who, following in War’s ****** trail,
Shall every lingering wrong assail;
All chains from limb and spirit strike,
Uplift the black and white alike;
Scatter before their swift advance
The darkness and the ignorance,
The pride, the ****, the squalid sloth,
Which nurtured Treason’s monstrous growth,
Made ****** pastime, and the ****
Of prison-torture possible;
The cruel lie of caste refute,
Old forms remould, and substitute
For Slavery’s lash the freeman’s will,
For blind routine, wise-handed skill;
A school-house plant on every hill,
Stretching in radiate nerve-lines thence
The quick wires of intelligence;
Till North and South together brought
Shall own the same electric thought,
In peace a common flag salute,
And, side by side in labor’s free
And unresentful rivalry,
Harvest the fields wherein they fought.

Another guest that winter night
Flashed back from lustrous eyes the light.
Unmarked by time, and yet not young,
The honeyed music of her tongue
And words of meekness scarcely told
A nature passionate and bold,

Strong, self-concentred, spurning guide,
Its milder features dwarfed beside
Her unbent will’s majestic pride.
She sat among us, at the best,
A not unfeared, half-welcome guest,
Rebuking with her cultured phrase
Our homeliness of words and ways.
A certain pard-like, treacherous grace
Swayed the lithe limbs and drooped the lash,
Lent the white teeth their dazzling flash;
And under low brows, black with night,
Rayed out at times a dangerous light;
The sharp heat-lightnings of her face
Presaging ill to him whom Fate
Condemned to share her love or hate.
A woman tropical, intense
In thought and act, in soul and sense,
She blended in a like degree
The ***** and the devotee,
Revealing with each freak or feint
The temper of Petruchio’s Kate,
The raptures of Siena’s saint.
Her tapering hand and rounded wrist
Had facile power to form a fist;
The warm, dark languish of her eyes
Was never safe from wrath’s surprise.
Brows saintly calm and lips devout
Knew every change of scowl and pout;
And the sweet voice had notes more high
And shrill for social battle-cry.

Since then what old cathedral town
Has missed her pilgrim staff and gown,
What convent-gate has held its lock
Against the challenge of her knock!
Through Smyrna’s plague-hushed thoroughfares,
Up sea-set Malta’s rocky stairs,
Gray olive slopes of hills that hem
Thy tombs and shrines, Jerusalem,
Or startling on her desert throne
The crazy Queen of Lebanon
With claims fantastic as her own,
Her tireless feet have held their way;
And still, unrestful, bowed, and gray,
She watches under Eastern skies,
With hope each day renewed and fresh,
The Lord’s quick coming in the flesh,
Whereof she dreams and prophesies!
Where’er her troubled path may be,
The Lord’s sweet pity with her go!
The outward wayward life we see,
The hidden springs we may not know.
Nor is it given us to discern
What threads the fatal sisters spun,
Through what ancestral years has run
The sorrow with the woman born,
What forged her cruel chain of moods,
What set her feet in solitudes,
And held the love within her mute,
What mingled madness in the blood,
A life-long discord and annoy,
Water of tears with oil of joy,
And hid within the folded bud
Perversities of flower and fruit.
It is not ours to separate
The tangled skein of will and fate,
To show what metes and bounds should stand
Upon the soul’s debatable land,
And between choice and Providence
Divide the circle of events;
But He who knows our frame is just,
Merciful and compassionate,
And full of sweet assurances
And hope for all the language is,
That He remembereth we are dust!

At last the great logs, crumbling low,
Sent out a dull and duller glow,
The bull’s-eye watch that hung in view,
Ticking its weary circuit through,
Pointed with mutely warning sign
Its black hand to the hour of nine.
That sign the pleasant circle broke:
My uncle ceased his pipe to smoke,
Knocked from its bowl the refuse gray,
And laid it tenderly away;
Then roused himself to safely cover
The dull red brands with ashes over.
And while, with care, our mother laid
The work aside, her steps she stayed
One moment, seeking to express
Her grateful sense of happiness
For food and shelter, warmth and health,
And love’s contentment more than wealth,
With simple wishes (not the weak,
Vain prayers which no fulfilment seek,
But such as warm the generous heart,
O’er-prompt to do with Heaven its part)
That none might lack, that bitter night,
For bread and clothing, warmth and light.

Within our beds awhile we heard
The wind that round the gables roared,
With now and then a ruder shock,
Which made our very bedsteads rock.
We heard the loosened clapboards tost,
The board-nails snapping in the frost;
And on us, through the unplastered wall,
Felt the light sifted snow-flakes fall.
But sleep stole on, as sleep will do
When hearts are light and life is new;
Faint and more faint the murmurs grew,
Till in the summer-land of dreams
They softened to the sound of streams,
Low stir of leaves, and dip of oars,
And lapsing waves on quiet shores.
Of merry voices high and clear;
And saw the teamsters drawing near
To break the drifted highways out.
Down the long hillside treading slow
We saw the half-buried oxen go,
Shaking the snow from heads uptost,
Their straining nostrils white with frost.
Before our door the straggling train
Drew up, an added team to gain.
The elders threshed their hands a-cold,
Passed, with the cider-mug, their jokes
From lip to lip; the younger folks
Down the loose snow-banks, wrestling, rolled,
Then toiled again the cavalcade
O’er windy hill, through clogged ravine,
And woodland paths that wound between
Low drooping pine-boughs winter-weighed.
From every barn a team afoot,
At every house a new recruit,
Where, drawn by Nature’s subtlest law,
Haply the watchful young men saw
Sweet doorway pictures of the curls
And curious eyes of merry girls,
Lifting their hands in mock defence
Against the snow-ball’s compliments,
And reading in each missive tost
The charm with Eden never lost.
We heard once more the sleigh-bells’ sound;
And, following where the teamsters led,
The wise old Doctor went his round,
Just pausing at our door to say,
In the brief autocratic way
Of one who, prompt at Duty’s call,
Was free to urge her claim on all,
That some poor neighbor sick abed
At night our mother’s aid would need.
For, one in generous thought and deed,
What mattered in the sufferer’s sight
The Quaker matron’s inward light,
The Doctor’s mail of Calvin’s creed?
All hearts confess the saints elect
Who, twain in faith, in love agree,
And melt not in an acid sect
The Christian pearl of charity!

So days went on: a week had passed
Since the great world was heard from last.
The Almanac we studied o’er,
Read and reread our little store
Of books and pamphlets, scarce a score;
One harmless novel, mostly hid
From younger eyes, a book forbid,
And poetry, (or good or bad,
A single book was all we had,)
Where Ellwood’s meek, drab-skirted Muse,
A stranger to the heathen Nine,
Sang, with a somewhat nasal whine,
The wars of David and the Jews.
At last the floundering carrier bore
The village paper to our door.
Lo! broadening outward as we read,
To warmer zones the horizon spread
In panoramic length unrolled
We saw the marvels that it told.
Before us passed the painted Creeks,
A   nd daft McGregor on his raids
In Costa Rica’s everglades.
And up Taygetos winding slow
Rode Ypsilanti’s Mainote Greeks,
A Turk’s head at each saddle-bow!
Welcome to us its week-old news,
Its corner for the rustic Muse,
Its monthly gauge of snow and rain,
Its record, mingling in a breath
The wedding bell and dirge of death:
Jest, anecdote, and love-lorn tale,
The latest culprit sent to jail;
Its hue and cry of stolen and lost,
Its vendue sales and goods at cost,
And traffic calling loud for gain.
We felt the stir of hall and street,
The pulse of life that round us beat;
The chill embargo of the snow
Was melted in the genial glow;
Wide swung again our ice-locked door,
And all the world was ours once more!

Clasp, Angel of the backword look
And folded wings of ashen gray
And voice of echoes far away,
The brazen covers of thy book;
The weird palimpsest old and vast,
Wherein thou hid’st the spectral past;
Where, closely mingling, pale and glow
The characters of joy and woe;
The monographs of outlived years,
Or smile-illumed or dim with tears,
Green hills of life that ***** to death,
And haunts of home, whose vistaed trees
Shade off to mournful cypresses
With the white amaranths underneath.
Even while I look, I can but heed
The restless sands’ incessant fall,
Importunate hours that hours succeed,
Each clamorous with its own sharp need,
And duty keeping pace with all.
Shut down and clasp with heavy lids;
I hear again the voice that bids
The dreamer leave his dream midway
For larger hopes and graver fears:
Life greatens in these later years,
The century’s aloe flowers to-day!

Yet, haply, in some lull of life,
Some Truce of God which breaks its strife,
The worldling’s eyes shall gather dew,
Dreaming in throngful city ways
Of winter joys his boyhood knew;
And dear and early friends — the few
Who yet remain — shall pause to view
These Flemish pictures of old days;
Sit with me by the homestead hearth,
And stretch the hands of memory forth
To warm them at the wood-fire’s blaze!
And thanks untraced to lips unknown
Shall greet me like the odors blown
From unseen meadows newly mown,
Wood-fringed, the wayside gaze beyond;
The traveller owns the grateful sense
Of sweetness near, he knows not whence,
And, pausing, takes with forehead bare
The benediction of the air.

Written in  1865
In its day, 'twas a best-seller and earned significant income for Whittier
Lawrence Hall Dec 2018
How difficult to rejoice when one hears
That those relatives against whose predations
Dead-bolts have been fitted on every door
Are visiting for Christmas after all

Let us rejoice that the nephews who pick locks
And break the windows in the garden shed
And ride the patio doors off their hinges
And pocket pewter chessmen for their play

Will be with us merrily once more
With their mothers – ‘tis the season to abhor
Your ‘umble scrivener’s site is:
Reactionarydrivel.blogspot.com.
It’s not at all reactionary, tho’ it might be drivel.


Lawrence Hall’s vanity publications are available on amazon.com as Kindle and on bits of dead tree:  The Road to Magdalena, Paleo-Hippies at Work and Play, Lady with a Dead Turtle, Don’t Forget Your Shoes and Grapes, Coffee and a Dead Alligator to Go, and Dispatches from the Colonial Office.
Erik McKee Oct 2018
Faces blur
Like radio tower lights fuzzily blinking on the horizon
Flashes of red, orange and green
Fading to the chocolate brown of the night, her eyes in the dimming light.
BLINK BLINK POP

The words, "I love you" drifting through the swirling dimness,
Her hair playing upon the milky moons of her cheeks
Her eyes flicker and become closer, closer.
Again, closer
BLINK BLINK POP

My nose taps hers, the cheap wine making me sway to and fro,
The wonderful scent washes over me: Mint and lavender,
Wine on the breath, the tinge of bitter sweetness.
     "I love you"
     "I love you, too"  

Her tied hair falls, like the cherry brown leaves of winter
Onto her freckled neck, her moony face outlined
In the dark chocolate of her hair.  
     "I love you"

I feel the surge of want building in my chest
I sway forward, steadying myself on the soft carpeted floor  
My heart's drumming
A shock of static, when flesh meets flesh
BLINK BLINK POP

I shudder, as I'm carried into the Fall rain
The frigid cold bites at my nose and lips, numbing them
Her face, blinking merrily, becoming further and further out on the horizon
I fall into bed
     BLINK BLINK POP  

                                        
The birds are chirping and my head hurts
k Dec 2018
The silence the snowfall bestowed upon her was like no other,
as she skipped merrily through each flake laid upon the ground.
Slowly, she started twirling 'round and 'round to the tune of only the crunch beneath her tattered feet.
She was joined first by the birds, who were singing their dainty love songs, and soon by the deer, who carried a sleigh of ice behind them.
Time seemed to stop as she ran her fingertips over the carriage, slowly transforming from herself into who she had dreamed to be.
Her once worn out, raggedy ensemble was altered into a magnificent dress of all white, sequined snowflakes running down her sleeves, to her perfectly manicured hands.
She stepped into her carriage and in the silence of winter and raised her arms into the frostbitten air, gesturing for the deer to take her to her palace.
She had known not what would come of her past, or what her new journey had in store; but she, the glorious Snow Fairy found herself immersed in a life she was always waiting to discover.
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