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Lost Soul Sep 2018
It
Try not to think about it
Shove it down ....way down
Don't show it
Its bubbling up, it wants to escape
I don't know how long I can hold it
I'm not that strong
I want control over it
But it consumes me
I am it
And it is me
I wasn't always this way with it
I never would shove it down
Until one day I was mocked for showing it
I was told I was weak  
Because everyone has it ... and they can control it
Its all in your head , your a cry baby
I believed it
Why couldn't I control it ?
Next time I'll try my best
But I  feel it again....its about to escape
I can't let it
I try shoving it down ....way down
But that doesn't stop it
Now its flowing out of me like water
I need to stop it
I run to my room , lock the door,shut off my phone
So no one can see it
I look in the mirror
Puffy face and bloodshot eyes are the result of it
I sit in front of my fan
The cool air dries it
I sit until all the evidence is gone
Until I can walk out of my room and deny it
I have to ... I'm not a cry baby
I can do this  
I am it
And it is me
I wanted to write a poem that could be interpreted. When writing I didnt know what "It" was . I wanted the reader to fill in the blanks.
I also wanted this poems to represent my childhood where my family didn't have a name for  mental illness.So i would have to try to describe what i was feeling but as a little kid i just describe it as "It"
Hg Jun 2018
i keep on seeing stars
as freckles
on people's faces

i ask them ain't it cool
that you were born
with constellations?

but some have just as
many spots as
insecurities

they think they need
make up to cover up
their galaxies

like one person I know
looks like ice cream
that's been peppered

the dots on her arm
dawn from her grandma
who's a leopard

but she tells me that
she hates them
she calls them imperfections

cause back in school
kids mocked her for
her speckled complexion

some bully
named georgina
used to call her a giraffe

the boys joined in
and even then
her friends began to laugh

internalizing this
as a black hole
inside her mind

though heavenly
her body confidence
never aligned

then a tear streaked down her cheek
she immediately wiped
the meteor

i’d never seen her sad
didn't what to do
so I poked her

poked her face to show
my favorite star
below her eye

told her when we speak
it's like i'm talking
to the sky

and every time she blinks
that freckle vanishes
from sight

so every time she cries
a star goes missing
from the night

shame is taught
to many of us
at such an early age

comparing our looks
to everyone
as if we're made the same

girl you are spectacular
no matter of
heredity

your tears are shooting stars
made of cosmic ice
and chemistry

now i thought that that was clever
but saying that
was DUMB

cause as I'm seeing stars
she says she’s been
seeing someone

yeah Ice Cream's
got a boyfriend
right now he's just away

i should have seen
that coming from
a mile milky way

you wish upon a star
to find someone
that’s wishing too

one day
i’ll meet that one
when i stop wishing for you

i gotta say goodbye
this ain’t the time
this ain’t the space

it just ain't right
that every night
i still will see your face
©Hg
Adam Kinsley Oct 2018
I writhe in ambiguity
Though the past would send their best
My will is lazily over-thrown
As I build my own gallows

I hit bedrock--
Yet still, frantically dig with more fervor
My mind is an empire on the brink of collapse
With Regret as my only ally

I threw my aspiration to the wolves
Dreaming is but a subtle luxury:
'My vivid hallucination of deceit'
Pawns have put my king in check

The side of life cries to me
I feverishly run to my grave
My heart is the product of my own dissent
Indeed, my own Intention mocks me

I am a puppet, sewn to these vices
Comfort escapes from me
My anxiety is the sum of a plethora of sins
So, when will I be written out of the story?...
This piece is about addiction and making the same mistakes over and over again. Basically, the subject has destructive vices because they're sad, and sad because they have destructive vices.
karin naude Mar 2013
a true African queen
bore and raised me
with mighty prayers and tears
worked her fingers to the bone
desperate to keep my needs satisfied and more
always fidgeting over me
me ignorant and selfish
misused a mothers love and affection
i sowed with her tears
bitter sad lonely water filled eyes
now i reap with grey clouds
honor they mother the commandments say
me laughed and mocked it
my days are no longer laughing
tears wet my cheeks, mamma
please, i beg you
please forgive my selfish ways
a godly mother always praying
thank god
False Poets Oct 2017
does the moon get tired?

~for the children who never tire of moon gazing upon the dock,
by the light of the fireflies,
till the angels are dispatched by Nana,
to sprinkle sleepy dust in their eyelashes so long and fine~


<•>
while walking the dog I no longer have,
a happenstance glanceable up over the River East,
there you were, mr. moon, in all your fulsomeness ,
surrounded by a potpourri of courtier clouds,
all deferentially bowing, waving,
passing past you at a demure royal speed on their way
perhaps,
to Rebecca's northern London,
of was it south to grace of  v V v's Texas^,
in any event,
the cloudy ladies, all bustling and curvaceous,  
all high stepping in recognition of your exalted place,
Master of the Night Sky

We,
the word careless, poets excessive,
sometimes called silly poppies, old men,
left footed, still crazy after many years,
most assuredly poets false all of us,
without a proper prior organized thought train,
outed,
bludgeon blurted,
an inquiry preposterous and strange,
strait directed to the sombre face,
to mister moon himself!

tell me moon, do you ever tire?*

the obeisant clouds shocked
as that face we all uniform know,
unchanged anywhere you might go  to gaze, be looking upon it,
watched the moon's face turn askew.

He looking down at our rude puzzlement,
with a Most Parisian askance,
a look of French ahem moustacheoed disbelief,
while we watched as the moon cherubic cheeks
filled with airy atmosphere,
then he sighed

so windy winding, was it,
so mountain high and river deep,
that those chubby clouds were blown off course,
from a starless NYC sky
all the way past Victoria Station,
only to stop at Pradip and Bala's
mysterious land of
bolly-dancing India,
on their way to Sally's Bay of Manila,
magic places all!

Mr. Moon looked down at this one tremulous fool representative  
(me) and in a voice
basso beaming and starry sonorous,
befitting its stellar positioning,
squinting to get a closer look at the
who in whom
dare address him in such an emboldened manner!

Mmmmm, recognize you, you are among those
who use my presence, steal my lighted beams, my silver aura,
my supermoon powered light, borrow my eclipses,
reveal my changeling shaped mystery without permission,
only mine to give, you tiny borrowers who write that thing,
p o e t r y

head and kneed, bowed and bent,
I confessed
(on y'alls behalf)

we take your luminosity and don't spare you
even a tuppence, a lonely rupee, no royalties paid
to you-up-so-highness,
and we hereby apologize for all the poets
without exception,
especially those moon besotted,
only love poem writing,
vraiment misbegotten scoundrels....

with another sigh equality powerful,
mr moon pushed those clouds across the Pacifica,
all the way to the  US's West Coast,
up to Colorado,
where moon-takings from the lake's reflecting light
so perfect for rhyming, kayaking,
and moonlight overthrowing,
once more, the moon taken and begotten,
nightly,
as heaven- freely-granted

yes, I tire
and though  here I am much beloved,
usually admired though sometimes even blackened cursed,
seen in every school child's drawing,
in Nasa's calculations,
of my influential gravitational pull,
moving human hearts
to love and giving Leonard a musical compositional hint,
and while this admirable devotion is most delighting,
would it upset some vast eternal plan,
if but one of you once asked,
you fiddler scribblers
my prior permission,
even by just, a lowly
mesmerizing evening tide's tenderizing glance?

yes, I tire,
even though my cycles are variable,
my shape shifting unique, my names so at variance
in all your many musical sing-song dialectical languages,
my sway, my tidal currents so powerful a deterrence,
unlike my boring older sunny cousine  who just cannot get over
how hot looking she is,
I,  so more personally interesting,
yet you use me as if I were a fixture,
on and off with
a tug of the chain string,
never failing to appear,
even when feeling pale yellow and orange wan,
and worse,
mocked as an amore pizza pie,
do you ever ask how I am doing?

yes, I tire,
of my constant circuitous route that changes ever so slowly,
but yet, too fast for me to make some nice human acquaintances, especially those young adoring children
who give me their morn pleasurable squeals when they awake and my presence still there,
a shining ghost of a guardianship protector still
watching over them

how oft in life do we presume,
take for granted
grants so extra-ordinary
that we forget to remember
the extra
and see only the ordinary

how oft in life do we assume,
the every day is always every,
until it is not,
only an only
a now and then,
till then,
is no longer a
now*

<>
oh moon, oh moon,
our richest apologies
we hereby tender and surrender,
our arrogance beyond belief,
what can we offer in relief?

silence heard loud and clear,
mr. moon was gone,
a satellite in motion,
so our words burnt up in the atmosphere
unheard

we did not weep
nor huff and puff,
blow those clouds back to us,
for we knew
the extraordinary
would return tomorrow,
we will be ready,
better another day,
to prepare
a lunar composition,
a psalm of hallelujah praise,
for mr. moon
of which
mr moon will never tire,
for filled with the perma-warmth
of our affection
for the one we call mr.moon
False Poets is a collective of different poets who write here, in a single voice,
hence the confusing interchangeable switching of the pronouns.    sorry bout that.


^ HP - give them back the claimed  V name!
Pagan Paul Nov 2018
.
Gaze ye not
'pon the misfortune
of the Harlequin,
his dead eyes
will see nothing
of your heart.
Pity ye not
the clown 'pon
his misery bed
of Narcissus petals.
Emotion has thieved
its own fortune,
carrying the weight
of bitter experience.
The furnace, long cold.
Never the embers
glow in his soul,
trapped in a world
when life cares not,
nor matters to the afflicted,
who is mocked
by thy Gaze.




© Pagan Paul (11/11/18)
.
Ylzm May 12
Dust, dust, infernal dust:
Mocked! Mortality mocked!
Toil, toil, burdensome toil,
procrastinator born.

I don't see, it's still clean.
I don't see, I don't care.
I don't see, just the wind.
Oh no! Now I see,
I cannot unsee, woe is me!

Dust, dust, infernal dust,
with vacuum be gone!
Toil, toil, burdensome toil,
Adam's curse, is there no escape?
Sister Carnalis Aug 2015
alone .
strong, wise, driven, loyal.
He has lived and loved,
and chosen to be alone until something better comes along.
something better than physical love.

He found what he was looking for.
Her soul was vibrant and beautiful;
a goddess muse.
She kissed him and knew it not;
her naked words and firm young flesh of substance splashed bravely across the page excited him...
his wealth of wisdom and experience mocked him for falling in love with a soul ...

the old man had a need to feed,
she was a hungry young goddess needing to be fed.
Where is her champion? Who cares for this young sprite?
He reminded himself again that it was only her soul,
but still, he touched himself... saying her name to make it a little more real, "Chloe," he whispered.
Then he listened ... just in case.
Katie
patty m May 2014
I remembered it well

the rich mix of smoke, perfume, and garlic

one could almost taste the absinthe in the air.

Toulouse-Lautrec, was deemed acceptable

as we embraced his artistic vision

singing our Chason Realiste songs;

we are the people, the poor gaudy freaks
traipsing about with drink in hand
sliding stockings down
from thighs, spreading
our provocative
dreams while delving headlong into
decadence and garish night life,
trying to escape banality .

Ah Henri, the prostitutes, and there
were many, Marie Charlet
your first. Even with your genetics
and anguished tirades burgeoning,
she loved you well.

Tremblement de terre, your creation

we too contrive when mocked

to become carefree and

obsessively delusional.


Thin brushstrokes
touched dispassionately
and yet there is sympathy suffused,
a continuum of unarticulated
and variegated respite;
the allure of mouth watering treats
and trollops that take the woe-begotten
to stellar heights.

While we the hangers-on
raise glasses in salute
tonguing the inner sanctum of the Moulin Rouge
our astute imaginings savored while
craving even more of those
***** nights with ******* and bodies
exposed, ******* whetted blown upon.

Then too, our burrowed deep sensations might grind
out torch songs, even as the flames leap higher
to singe us all, we laugh and cry.

Curled flame we toast the unexplainable
creating an **** of molten light,
bodiesof heat brighter than stars.  

Thus we become the false dawn,

stripping darkness from the midnight sky,

an explosion of all we are and have to give

in our life long pursuit of Celebration.
Wilkes Arnold Mar 2016
I was relaxed, and deep in thought
The type of talk that silence brought
When just in earshot it rocked,
tick tock
tick tock
"Must be a clock"
I told myself and resumed my thought

Though as the seconds passed I could not,
Despite the will with which I fought
Do to its incessant knock
Tick tock
Tick tock
I searched for the clock
Unable to find the train I sought

I grew more and more distraught
With each and every tick and tock
That find the clock, I could not
As the silence grew more fraught
With the knock,
Tick Tock
Tick Tock
I knew the pain of Lancelot

On and on it ticked and tocked
I cursed at the unseen dreadnought
It no longer merely mocked
But each and every tick and tock
Became an unseen onslaught
TICK TOCK
TICK TOCK
T'was 11 o'clock,
When my heart felt the gunshot

Though the shots I could not block
And on and on the bullets poured
Further into the fray I bored
Each foot a cinderblock
Weighed by war
I slowly walked
Tick Tock
Tick Tock
How I'd make it answer for

Alas
With little blood left to speak for Desperately I implored
"Restrain your hands that caused such gore;
We need not fight evermore!"
But when I heard the ceaseless knock
Tick tock
Tick tock
I new my words had been ignored
And slowly collapsed to the floor

****** and bludgeoned when I hit bed rock, I had still found no clock
But tick and tock it had forgot
The church bell rang t'was 12 o'clock,
Though mortal wounds the seconds wrought
I no longer was distraught
And as I lay in the hemlock
It occurred in my last thoughts
I would miss the beating knock
tick..., tock...
tick..., tock...
First poem looking for feed back critical and complimentary
Nat Lipstadt Dec 2013
In my real life,
not a poet,
just an astronomer,
an observer of
universes, bodies,
places, faces,
visited, discovered,
named and oft,
best forgot.

I observe:

Some never find true love.
Some never fly first class.
Some of us
never see the
South of France.

Some of us wear
hand-me-down pants,
white lined creases when “let down,”
mocked, we never forgive ourselves
the shame of it.

Some never experience
reckless abandon.

Yet, some of us are
recklessly abandoned,
and never forget,
and never forgive.

Some of us lose
children, husbands,
avanti nel tempo,
before their time,
and
the anger is
forever, palpable,
costly.

Some of us
were raised by
someone else's parents,
and never rest easy,
the abandoned taste
always nearby,
a cruel living, breathing
teasing wasting

Some we can pass over
with ease,
as new tissue grows,
those cuts marked -
emotionally healed.

But the ones that scar,
the ones that visible scar
permanent reddened,
are the
holocaust deniers
that there is a real
promised land of
peace of mind.

Peace of mind -
not even for a second,
foretold but
unrealized,
a biblical myth,
a promised land,
a capitalist paradisal hoax.


Some never feel
public victory,
adulation, adoration,
always wearing the T-shirt labeled
Property of Someone Else.

Most of us remain
unpublished, undiscovered,
unremarked, blanketed,
cloaked in bills to pay;

Living a triumvirate of
heart ache, loneliness, worry,
our normal table fare
consists
of hand to hand
into the mouth
combat MRE's,
we engage,
to survive,
just stay alive.

We are not digitalized,
nonetheless,
we are
but digits,
our faces hidden, and
in no one's heart book
are we recorded,
friended,
yet our viewing habits,
purchases, secret sites
are enumerated, captured.

Some of us live
exclusively
in the real life,
never to escape to the
province of Wifi,
in the landscape
of the electronic mind,
an option for which
we are
untrained.

Perhaps sanctity of separation,
safety of text, email,
avec the ******* intrusion
of tweets are
the real life today,
games are always won,
and what we don't enjoy,
we just delete away

But In My Real Life
getting up is trying,
IMRL,
the trying is trying,
IMRL,
delete buttons don't exist      
in the keyboard
of our brains,
IMRL,
all we have is a
measly twenty six aleph bets
to find new ways to say
that living is striving and
what we feel is
oh so real,
not digital

IMRL,
when I laugh out loud,
the neighbors
beat the walls,
complainants,
registering their feelings
in my face,
in my book,
so to speak.

IMRL,
I got a friend,
maybe two,
all I need,
voices to help soften
the 400 blows of RL.

Their synthesized silence
of their breathing
on the phone
is precious unto me.

IRL,
limp from Friday
night to
Friday
night,
a bottle of Medoc
my weekend reward,
my bedrock cushion
in order to sleep.

After all these years,
gains and losses,
conversations with God,
I look up,
see the risk,
the slightest breeze
is a
hurricane wind.

The shaft,
of the
the sword
hanging above me
the hilt,
swaying in living color,
is no legend.

But what I have is
the ability
and maybe
the responsibility
to let anyone know
that
in my real life
anyone who touches me
with fine and good intent,
a momentary glancing blow
or a gunshot to the ventricle,
is part and parcel of
my real life.

This makes you real too,
savior, and hereby notified,
that you are not
just an observer, but
a poet of me,
an astronomer of my heart,
and namer of
a secret universe
inside of me.


Sept. 1, 2010

_____________________________
US Army jargon: meals ready to eat
nine  years ago I wrote like this.
One day I will depart the train at a station without a name,
Pull emergency cord and take the plunge thru parted doors.
I'll pack no suitcase or bindle, in my head young, free and single,
I will be a living swindle - wherefore art prat poet of before?
New job doing something I've shown no interest in before,
Change my name to 'Neville Moore'.

I'll do a Reginald Perrin, leave red herring threads at Sherring-
ham, then dice-rolled palookaville of new self I shall explore.
When Palookas call me Neville, they won't see this wasted rebel,
But numpty Neville, on the level, who misplaced his wasted days of yore.
Amnesiac clerk stoical over mist-shrouded days of yore.
Only knew my name was Neville Moore.

Neville will moonlight at night-school, pick up a trade that's practical,
In minimalist digs post-dossing on unforeseen saviour's floor.
Time's sandstorm obscures lyrics, John Doe-penned hieroglyphics
- lost soul Lysander's from Norwich. His mind shut like a shoved closed drawer
To Poesy's Pandora's box of ******* in indigo iron drawer
In Norwich. No bones to Neville Moore.

Neville will be a straight arrow, nice chap whose mind is narrow,
Tepid tryer temping at call-centre, lockjaw forevermore.
The blandest of mystery men, what was Neville's name again?
Man with no memories blends in; my dead ringer, stunky, strong-jawed.
Eye-witness testimony of 36 years will gladly be abjured
- done myself good deed poll: Neville Moore.

I'll  abscond so left Lysander might be eternal loose end, the
Inner poltergeist confined to an indigo iron drawer.
Tomorrow I'll do a John Stonehouse bog-snorkelling, a grandiose
loser who fled being infamous in his own dinnerhour, a bore
Unto myself.  I'll abandon ship,  then life will be less of a bore,
Being much more boring Neville Moore.

And I'll meet a girl called Sybil, Palookashire an idyll,
Where a man with no past can just wash up upon the shore.
For if child is father of the man, Neville'll be an upbeat orphan!
Labels torn off the clothes from Oxfam what Memory's Outlaw wore,
Newfoundhometownbound Mister X such clueless clothes wore,
Clean the pockets of Neville Moore.

Sybil won't be the type to probe, at night she'll pop her Zopiclone,
Cuddle up to normal Neville, earnest the embrace of average amour.
We will rent a little bedsit and expend a lotta effort
To make our place seem white-picket-fenced, tho'  we resided on 3rd floor.
Down updrafts of Fate, untempted to faceplant from the 3rd floor
Is plain ol' sane ol' Neville Moore. 

No temptation, but something racing, the unexplained midnight pacing,
And murmurs in Nev's sleep there's reams in an indigo iron drawer.
But in daylight we'll have daughter, from nowhere the name 'Cobania'
(Nev wouldn't dig Nirvana, fin de siecle scream's aural chore,
nihilistening not for Neville in zen of playful household chores).
Shrug-a-lugs of numb Neville Moore.

Neville wouldn't get promotion, Neville doesn't have much gumption.
Frankenstein's **** domesticus by design, Nev's a swollen snore.
Lice would have mocked, 'Call this living?' Lice is dead, would always give in
To windmills' wheeling withering, watched like a raven, set no store
In what life we have worth living, which is what life life has in store
For unquestioning Neville Moore. 

Neville, don't be snarling slave to snafus by another self made,
Be complete now the only piece is the missing piece of the jigsaw.
Radio receives no 'roger', they won't see Cobania as a toddler,
But for famalam, there's succour: lines left in indigo iron drawer.
For Lice did leave literally living will in indigo iron drawer:
Poem entitled Neville Moore.

Nev and Sybil will have ups and downs, in facades cracks gouge frowns;
Castaway's fury in his eyes curdles Florida coleslaw.
I don't need Sybil's mithering, I mean 'Nev' dint, thinking about writing
- did we do Jack Nicholson in 'The Shining', too nuts too soon in Neville Moore?
Polter-Lice rattling in indigo iron liar's den re Neville Moore's 
Writer's shock swan-song for Neville Moore.

And sweet phantom Cobania, I hope she ends up saner
than her Canoe Man old man, sent reeling by subconscious southpaw
Of split personality punch-ups,  one-man-band fight clubs,
punchdrunk on bad self burps, tho' he burped Cobania with awe.
Pneumatically patting doting dad, errant soon so overawed
By humdrum Heaven, Neville Moore's.

Witness protection program to hide me from self-hate's hitman,
But Miltonic Satan's heart held Hell, for killer within is law
Unto himself. Thus phoenix photo album of my alter ego
To ***-end before Year Zero was burnt down, act of soul at war.
Greener grass scorched earth, everyman Eden sacked by selves at war,
Lysander negging out Neville Moore.

His ship's sailed ment'lly down the toilet - can't see the dream, it's ultraviolet!
Sybil wagging her finger with ****** of a fishwives' wappenshaw.
Cobania's cantankerous tween, Nev hears fin de siecle scream
- call the toilet 'Kurt', it's flushing the dream! Behold:  tombstone beneath 
                                                        ­    a sycamore,
Man from nowhere nowhere now beneath suicide's sycamore.
Quoth the engraving, 'Neville Moore'.

Beneath me to quote Ocean Colour Scene, beneath sycamore willow-leaned,
But day I caught train derailed: no malaise of glory, Anon no more.
Cobania in black with ***** highlights will grieve Daddy on the quiet;
Sybil indignant that the senseless,  existential eyesore
Option all her lost-and-found, found-and-lost, haunted hubbie saw.
Quoth the engraving, 'Neville Moore'.

Nev won't see Cobania grow up: she doesn't exist - s' good job!   
Yet I'll miss driving lessons and wedding, even if shaggy dog's dewclaw
Scratched itself out, vestigial scythe: Neville was never alive.
But this 2.4, 2.0 narrative smelted indigo iron drawer.
Cenotaph recast as mask, new visage's vista dark as in a drawer
Now quoth the engraving, 'Neville Moore'.

After Poe's misnomer, well, misnumbered: one short, 17 stanzas  
Ironically encode birthday of old dud cub who overroars
Last-ditch striped leopard, tame un-me. Lord Lucan, he WAS lucky
-  there's freedom in fake ID! But Neville grew sick, sick of me no more
Now as one two selves expire, same sigh of relief 'low sallow sycamore:
Thank **** Lice is nevermore.
My birthday is 17/05.
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.
"Every survivor of ****** assault deserves to be heard, believed, and supported."

Rainwater of
the Elysian fields,
you assuredly do
like to drown your winged heroines?
You write them as strange
bitter narratives,
spurious to the calling
or as a bit of
bloodletting go.

The history formed around either
her breaking at the seams
upon the witching hour,
and her own home village
pillaging her claims
in the bonfire;
Or the arcane notion
no woman shall give testimony
against a neighbor
on the occasion he's a man.

Yes, she cried no at the temple gate
Yes, she repeated such entreaties
But she'd also been into the ale
and wore an overtly
fetching carousal dress
you incensed.
Let her dam break
Let her try and flood us over
you mocked.
She was only a wayfaring angel
one reckless bird of passage
What type of wounds
could she inflict?

How easily you lost sight
of her will & halo
becoming stronger than fright.
Down she poured in antipathy,
until covering your gaping mouth!
It wasn't rain that killed you,
for you were the rain,
it was her blood calling out
that finally did you in...
When it comes to ****** assault and/or harassment, a woman's voice needs to be listened to and believed.

Inspired by the poem "Dark Sky, One Star," by fellow HP writer Ashly Kocher.
I spend the nights lying awake in my bed,
Sleep has deserted me.
Old age weighs heavily on my mind and physique,  
It does not allow me to rest.
My resilience, my patience and my resolve
Is under stress and
Appear meaningless.
Such painful nights I usually spend      
Staring at the blank ceiling and walls
Waiting for yet another day to dawn
I cannot face.
My happy past that mocked
Scolds me
Reappears as the deathly silence
Of the weary nights to bother me.
Please help me,
Someone help me break that silence,
Make me earn my sleep.
Nana Yaw Ofori Apr 2018
Mother, the boys at school are not nice
But the rope reaches out to hug and squeeze the pain out through my neck
So i might run to him.

Mother, the folks in the neighbourhood think i dont belong
But the people of the sea welcome me
They say, "its peace, love and quiet on the ocean's deep"
So I might stay with them.

Mother, I'm mocked by my brain.

Mother, I am in pain
But the train at the subway wants to crush it
I think I he is my hero

Mother, I'm a flame on a candle
A lone flame in a snow storm,
Shield me!

Mother, don't let the water run out your eyes
For in the darkness your light for the road I use to pry.
Inspired by how dangerous verbal and physical bullying can be and how it  distorts their judgement. Therefore if parents show a little concern, it might help the individual ......stop bullying ....... it kills
Thomas Hatchett Dec 2016
I found a boardwalk in the woods
leading, seemingly, to nowhere,
In a timberland swamp I knew from younger days;
Decaying and rotten, likely long forgotten.
I wondered how long it had been there, abandoned to its fate:
being quietly mocked by the still standing timbers,
as yet spared the sawmills blade,
for its needless sacrifice, as its strength is weathered away; used but unrequited, wasted, faded and unmade.

I followed along its decrepit path
as far as I could make,
and laughed to myself and thought,
"Such is life's disarray."
BellonasBride May 2016
They said
Don’t wear leggings
Or a shirt that shows your cleavage
Because you need to be covered up
You’re a distraction

They said
Don’t use your period as an excuse
For male teachers to let you go to the bathroom
Because you’re not fooling anybody

They said
Don’t shave your head
Boys can
You can’t and don’t
And won’t because we’ll suspend you

They said
Watch the length of your skirt
The colour of your hair
The shoes and makeup
The piercings
And they call that fair

They said
Come to us if something is wrong
if you’re feeling bullied
if you feel unsafe
I guess they don’t remember asking my friend and I
if we heard of anyone in our year with suicidal tendencies
They asked us because
We were the sensible ones
The bright ones
We couldn't have been depressed.
I guess they didn’t see my panic
and my hand squeezing my wrist.


Because school
Is not a place
Where you can express who you are
School is not the place where you feel safe
It's a battle ground on the outside of your comfort zone.

School isn’t about education
Its a challenge, competition
Its a measurement of your capabilities  

But what if you don't excel?
You’re called out for not being good enough
You're humiliated. Mocked.

You get looked down on
Judged
Embarrassed
And you don’t get your
Degree

As if a degree explains who you are
What you’ve been through
How much you’re worth

As if a degree
Measures the capacity
Of your heart
And your knowledge

And a teacher can share your grade
Make a joke and smirk
Cause they think you’re not worth it

And they can laugh and yell and call your parents
Who don’t think you’re any better.

Because year after year they’ve been led to believe
that you’re easily distracted
that you don’t do what you’re told
that you’re rebellious

Because even if you showed respect to the hypocrisy
That you can't help but notice,
They still won’t understand that you're just fighting
for what you believe is right, for mutual respect.

Because that’s not what you were thought.
You were thought to raise your hand when you want to speak.
And even if you made a valid point
You would still get lectured on putting your hand up when you want to speak.
Discipline put first.

**And that is my definition of school
jonni inferno Apr 2018
'tis a sad sad
tale of woe
of which I sing
of gods and godesses
and their lessening

how forlorn
the goddess Ceres
once loved by all
and wooed by many

when unprovoked
and unforeseen
a war was wrought
'gainst fair queen

caught unawares
her throne assailed
her forces scattered
'twas all unfair

cast down she was
from lofty throne
no longer crowned
no more beloved

pierced thru
with many thorns
belittled
and besmirched
her reputation
and now her station
lost far beyond
re-incarnation

silently
she slips away
lost
and near forgotten
wounded
and rarely seen
her sullen thoughts
of malice reign

shamed and bleeding
plotting her revenge
till time and chance
provide the proper
circumstance

then all the thorns
that pierced her thru
she shook as many blades
and hurled
those bitter barbs as one
'gainst Hades' mighty gates

shaken he
from his dark slumber
his rallied forces
armed in numbers

their banners raised
on solar breezes
as trumpets blare
thru breathless reaches

voices shout
in protestation
slide rules locked
in astrometric
calculations

oh see how Ceres
scorned and mocked
has wrought
her rotting vengeance
on Pluto's frozen rocks


"Oh woe to thee
my Persephone
flee thee now
to thy father's house
for thy husband's hearth
hath been broken
and Hades' home
now just a token
My lofty edifice
a shattered wrack
an' all that's left
'tis a humble
wretched shack"



Pic Poem
https://www.pix-star.com/media/cache/download/9c3731c91f1a3d3519b4f05dc56562c3/JPlutoThouHastFallen-e52.jpg

.
just my spin on Ceres' and Pluto's planetary status - mixed in with a bit of Greco-Roman mythology - as Ceres and Pluto have been reduced to being merely "dwarf planets"...
Zoe Sue May 2014
If my words could bring you back
I'd tell the mirror that you've gone away to battle
My noble prince will return
(Though your best weapons were always cold words and cold shoulders)

I'd inscribe my name into the bindings of all your favorite books
As though some part me could find some part of you in them

I'd yell at every pillow
That couldn't manage to muffle my cries

Every song that sounded just too much like us

Every fairy tale that seemed mocked us in it's polarity
(Dear, I wish I could've spun us in gold)

Every picture we took
That now look too much like broken promises

I'd sweet talk the fridge
Into making me feel worthy of more comfort food
I guess
you always said you like them "thick"
After you told me I'd gotten rounder

I'd scribble ***** sick sorrys into the floorboards
Serenading the floors you walked
(I think they turned to water on your final gracing of them
Because now I'm falling through)

I'd tell the fractures in these walls that you were the best filler
The fractures in my chest the same

I'd speak of you in the highest regard
My bourgeoisie balance act
Always calling for a coup d'état

And maybe that's why when I see you
I'm so choked up
I gargle these words in my mouth
But they fall into a silent drone
And If my words could bring you back
I still don't know that I could say a thing
Terry O'Leary Feb 2014
The Tale below was carved one night
Upon the Stone, by candlelight
...most won’t believe, but some just might
.........most won’t believe, but some just might



                         Preface

Well James made Beth his lovely bride
(And angels smiled, though teary eyed)
...their bodies bound, their spirits tied
.........their bodies bound, their spirits tied

Upon her hand, a shimmer shone,
As bright as blood, a ruby Stone
...and brighter still, as love had grown
.........and brighter still, as love had grown

Soon James was sent to man a sail
So Beth removed her wedding veil
...her eyes were moist, her face was pale
.........her eyes were moist, her face was pale

“Well, I’ll be here when you return”
Said Beth to James, who kissed in turn
...a kiss that made her body burn
.........a kiss that made her body burn



                         BETH’S TALE

1.              The Dream

One night, within a dream deformed,
The cawing of a Crow informed
“...the Ship was struck where winter stormed
.........the Ship was struck where winter stormed

Midst winds and waves the thunder boomed
The Ship of Death was surely doomed
...the sea engulfed, the surf entombed
.........the sea engulfed, the surf entombed

Your James… deceived by Davy Jones!
With spirit freed, his flesh and bones
...now rest amongst the ashen Stones
.........now rest amongst the ashen Stones”



2.               The Quest

Awoken by the ebon Wight
And beckoned by the baneful bight
...I left before the morning light
.........I left before the morning light

Throughout the realm I rode a roan
Until, in time, I reached the Stone
...where shades in dreams of darkness groan
.........where shades in dreams of darkness groan

While skipping up and down the sky
A missing moonbeam mocked my eye
...enough to make a Swallow cry
.........enough to make a Swallow cry

For someone stole a star or two
And something else that fate withdrew -
...my jewel of joy, my James Bijou  
.........my jewel of joy, my James Bijou

The shadows of the evening swelled
Where demons of the dusk had dwelled
...and in the far, a vesper knelled
.........and in the far, a vesper knelled

The Stone, beneath the sky, stood cold -
Between the runes, a vapour strolled
...a cloak of fleecy fog consoled
.........a cloak of fleecy fog consoled

A Raven on a branch, enthroned,
Her wings waved once, a wail intoned
...beyond the bay, a banshee moaned
.........beyond the bay, a banshee moaned

I lay beside the Stone, his bride
I lay beside the Stone and cried
...but were it I, instead, that died
.........but were it I, instead, that died

The rainbow of the moon fell dim
A midnight Swan soon ceased to swim
...as if to hide all hint of him
.........as if to hide all hint of him

Between the willows in the swale
Bewailed a Bird, a Nightingale
...which left me faint, my body frail
.........which left me faint, my body frail



3.              Contact

I felt him breathe within a breeze  
Responding to my anguished pleas
...and leaves blew by abandoned trees
.........and leaves blew by abandoned trees

“Eternal love, my darling Beth”
Enshrined within a final breath
...re-echoed from the Ship of Death
.........re-echoed from the Ship of Death

The Stone lit up a ruby sheen
And clouds were kindled crystalline
...with consequences, unforeseen
.........with consequences, unforeseen

Above, a wretched Raven soared
To where the Ship of Death’d been moored
...below, the icy ocean roared
.........below, the icy ocean roared



4.               Release

I’m joined with James beneath the Stone,
Though to the Ship my spirit’s flown,
...for nevermore to be alone
.........for nevermore to be alone



                         Epilogue
That night the wayward winds were weird
The Ship of Death had disappeared
...coyotes called and mortals feared
.........coyotes called and mortals feared

At dusk, the craven shadows crawled
At dawn, the winds of mourning called
...upon the Stone two names were scrawled
.........upon the Stone two names were scrawled

The Raven sits, with wings outspread,
Atop the Stone which shades the dead
...it sometimes shimmers ruby red
.........it sometimes shimmers ruby red



                         Epitaph
Between the sounds, where silence seeps,
Their love lives on and never sleeps
...and yet, the weeping willow weeps
.........and yet, the weeping willow weeps
Alyssa Underwood Mar 2016
I

He did not wear his scarlet coat,
  For blood and wine are red,
And blood and wine were on his hands
  When they found him with the dead,
The poor dead woman whom he loved,
  And murdered in her bed.

He walked amongst the Trial Men
  In a suit of shabby grey;
A cricket cap was on his head,
  And his step seemed light and gay;
But I never saw a man who looked
  So wistfully at the day.

I never saw a man who looked
  With such a wistful eye
Upon that little tent of blue
  Which prisoners call the sky,
And at every drifting cloud that went
  With sails of silver by.

I walked, with other souls in pain,
  Within another ring,
And was wondering if the man had done
  A great or little thing,
When a voice behind me whispered low,
  “That fellows got to swing.”

Dear Christ! the very prison walls
  Suddenly seemed to reel,
And the sky above my head became
  Like a casque of scorching steel;
And, though I was a soul in pain,
  My pain I could not feel.

I only knew what hunted thought
  Quickened his step, and why
He looked upon the garish day
  With such a wistful eye;
The man had killed the thing he loved
  And so he had to die.

Yet each man kills the thing he loves
  By each let this be heard,
Some do it with a bitter look,
  Some with a flattering word,
The coward does it with a kiss,
  The brave man with a sword!

Some **** their love when they are young,
  And some when they are old;
Some strangle with the hands of Lust,
  Some with the hands of Gold:
The kindest use a knife, because
  The dead so soon grow cold.

Some love too little, some too long,
  Some sell, and others buy;
Some do the deed with many tears,
  And some without a sigh:
For each man kills the thing he loves,
  Yet each man does not die.

He does not die a death of shame
  On a day of dark disgrace,
Nor have a noose about his neck,
  Nor a cloth upon his face,
Nor drop feet foremost through the floor
  Into an empty place

He does not sit with silent men
  Who watch him night and day;
Who watch him when he tries to weep,
  And when he tries to pray;
Who watch him lest himself should rob
  The prison of its prey.

He does not wake at dawn to see
  Dread figures throng his room,
The shivering Chaplain robed in white,
  The Sheriff stern with gloom,
And the Governor all in shiny black,
  With the yellow face of Doom.

He does not rise in piteous haste
  To put on convict-clothes,
While some coarse-mouthed Doctor gloats, and notes
  Each new and nerve-twitched pose,
******* a watch whose little ticks
  Are like horrible hammer-blows.

He does not know that sickening thirst
  That sands one’s throat, before
The hangman with his gardener’s gloves
  Slips through the padded door,
And binds one with three leathern thongs,
  That the throat may thirst no more.

He does not bend his head to hear
  The Burial Office read,
Nor, while the terror of his soul
  Tells him he is not dead,
Cross his own coffin, as he moves
  Into the hideous shed.

He does not stare upon the air
  Through a little roof of glass;
He does not pray with lips of clay
  For his agony to pass;
Nor feel upon his shuddering cheek
  The kiss of Caiaphas.


II

Six weeks our guardsman walked the yard,
  In a suit of shabby grey:
His cricket cap was on his head,
  And his step seemed light and gay,
But I never saw a man who looked
  So wistfully at the day.

I never saw a man who looked
  With such a wistful eye
Upon that little tent of blue
  Which prisoners call the sky,
And at every wandering cloud that trailed
  Its raveled fleeces by.

He did not wring his hands, as do
  Those witless men who dare
To try to rear the changeling Hope
  In the cave of black Despair:
He only looked upon the sun,
  And drank the morning air.

He did not wring his hands nor weep,
  Nor did he peek or pine,
But he drank the air as though it held
  Some healthful anodyne;
With open mouth he drank the sun
  As though it had been wine!

And I and all the souls in pain,
  Who tramped the other ring,
Forgot if we ourselves had done
  A great or little thing,
And watched with gaze of dull amaze
  The man who had to swing.

And strange it was to see him pass
  With a step so light and gay,
And strange it was to see him look
  So wistfully at the day,
And strange it was to think that he
  Had such a debt to pay.

For oak and elm have pleasant leaves
  That in the spring-time shoot:
But grim to see is the gallows-tree,
  With its adder-bitten root,
And, green or dry, a man must die
  Before it bears its fruit!

The loftiest place is that seat of grace
  For which all worldlings try:
But who would stand in hempen band
  Upon a scaffold high,
And through a murderer’s collar take
  His last look at the sky?

It is sweet to dance to violins
  When Love and Life are fair:
To dance to flutes, to dance to lutes
  Is delicate and rare:
But it is not sweet with nimble feet
  To dance upon the air!

So with curious eyes and sick surmise
  We watched him day by day,
And wondered if each one of us
  Would end the self-same way,
For none can tell to what red Hell
  His sightless soul may stray.

At last the dead man walked no more
  Amongst the Trial Men,
And I knew that he was standing up
  In the black dock’s dreadful pen,
And that never would I see his face
  In God’s sweet world again.

Like two doomed ships that pass in storm
  We had crossed each other’s way:
But we made no sign, we said no word,
  We had no word to say;
For we did not meet in the holy night,
  But in the shameful day.

A prison wall was round us both,
  Two outcast men were we:
The world had ****** us from its heart,
  And God from out His care:
And the iron gin that waits for Sin
  Had caught us in its snare.


III

In Debtors’ Yard the stones are hard,
  And the dripping wall is high,
So it was there he took the air
  Beneath the leaden sky,
And by each side a Warder walked,
  For fear the man might die.

Or else he sat with those who watched
  His anguish night and day;
Who watched him when he rose to weep,
  And when he crouched to pray;
Who watched him lest himself should rob
  Their scaffold of its prey.

The Governor was strong upon
  The Regulations Act:
The Doctor said that Death was but
  A scientific fact:
And twice a day the Chaplain called
  And left a little tract.

And twice a day he smoked his pipe,
  And drank his quart of beer:
His soul was resolute, and held
  No hiding-place for fear;
He often said that he was glad
  The hangman’s hands were near.

But why he said so strange a thing
  No Warder dared to ask:
For he to whom a watcher’s doom
  Is given as his task,
Must set a lock upon his lips,
  And make his face a mask.

Or else he might be moved, and try
  To comfort or console:
And what should Human Pity do
  Pent up in Murderers’ Hole?
What word of grace in such a place
  Could help a brother’s soul?

With slouch and swing around the ring
  We trod the Fool’s Parade!
We did not care: we knew we were
  The Devil’s Own Brigade:
And shaven head and feet of lead
  Make a merry masquerade.

We tore the tarry rope to shreds
  With blunt and bleeding nails;
We rubbed the doors, and scrubbed the floors,
  And cleaned the shining rails:
And, rank by rank, we soaped the plank,
  And clattered with the pails.

We sewed the sacks, we broke the stones,
  We turned the dusty drill:
We banged the tins, and bawled the hymns,
  And sweated on the mill:
But in the heart of every man
  Terror was lying still.

So still it lay that every day
  Crawled like a ****-clogged wave:
And we forgot the bitter lot
  That waits for fool and knave,
Till once, as we tramped in from work,
  We passed an open grave.

With yawning mouth the yellow hole
  Gaped for a living thing;
The very mud cried out for blood
  To the thirsty asphalte ring:
And we knew that ere one dawn grew fair
  Some prisoner had to swing.

Right in we went, with soul intent
  On Death and Dread and Doom:
The hangman, with his little bag,
  Went shuffling through the gloom
And each man trembled as he crept
  Into his numbered tomb.

That night the empty corridors
  Were full of forms of Fear,
And up and down the iron town
  Stole feet we could not hear,
And through the bars that hide the stars
  White faces seemed to peer.

He lay as one who lies and dreams
  In a pleasant meadow-land,
The watcher watched him as he slept,
  And could not understand
How one could sleep so sweet a sleep
  With a hangman close at hand?

But there is no sleep when men must weep
  Who never yet have wept:
So we—the fool, the fraud, the knave—
  That endless vigil kept,
And through each brain on hands of pain
  Another’s terror crept.

Alas! it is a fearful thing
  To feel another’s guilt!
For, right within, the sword of Sin
  Pierced to its poisoned hilt,
And as molten lead were the tears we shed
  For the blood we had not spilt.

The Warders with their shoes of felt
  Crept by each padlocked door,
And peeped and saw, with eyes of awe,
  Grey figures on the floor,
And wondered why men knelt to pray
  Who never prayed before.

All through the night we knelt and prayed,
  Mad mourners of a corpse!
The troubled plumes of midnight were
  The plumes upon a hearse:
And bitter wine upon a sponge
  Was the savior of Remorse.

The **** crew, the red **** crew,
  But never came the day:
And crooked shape of Terror crouched,
  In the corners where we lay:
And each evil sprite that walks by night
  Before us seemed to play.

They glided past, they glided fast,
  Like travelers through a mist:
They mocked the moon in a rigadoon
  Of delicate turn and twist,
And with formal pace and loathsome grace
  The phantoms kept their tryst.

With mop and mow, we saw them go,
  Slim shadows hand in hand:
About, about, in ghostly rout
  They trod a saraband:
And the ****** grotesques made arabesques,
  Like the wind upon the sand!

With the pirouettes of marionettes,
  They tripped on pointed tread:
But with flutes of Fear they filled the ear,
  As their grisly masque they led,
And loud they sang, and long they sang,
  For they sang to wake the dead.

“Oho!” they cried, “The world is wide,
  But fettered limbs go lame!
And once, or twice, to throw the dice
  Is a gentlemanly game,
But he does not win who plays with Sin
  In the secret House of Shame.”

No things of air these antics were
  That frolicked with such glee:
To men whose lives were held in gyves,
  And whose feet might not go free,
Ah! wounds of Christ! they were living things,
  Most terrible to see.

Around, around, they waltzed and wound;
  Some wheeled in smirking pairs:
With the mincing step of demirep
  Some sidled up the stairs:
And with subtle sneer, and fawning leer,
  Each helped us at our prayers.

The morning wind began to moan,
  But still the night went on:
Through its giant loom the web of gloom
  Crept till each thread was spun:
And, as we prayed, we grew afraid
  Of the Justice of the Sun.

The moaning wind went wandering round
  The weeping prison-wall:
Till like a wheel of turning-steel
  We felt the minutes crawl:
O moaning wind! what had we done
  To have such a seneschal?

At last I saw the shadowed bars
  Like a lattice wrought in lead,
Move right across the whitewashed wall
  That faced my three-plank bed,
And I knew that somewhere in the world
  God’s dreadful dawn was red.

At six o’clock we cleaned our cells,
  At seven all was still,
But the sough and swing of a mighty wing
  The prison seemed to fill,
For the Lord of Death with icy breath
  Had entered in to ****.

He did not pass in purple pomp,
  Nor ride a moon-white steed.
Three yards of cord and a sliding board
  Are all the gallows’ need:
So with rope of shame the Herald came
  To do the secret deed.

We were as men who through a fen
  Of filthy darkness *****:
We did not dare to breathe a prayer,
  Or give our anguish scope:
Something was dead in each of us,
  And what was dead was Hope.

For Man’s grim Justice goes its way,
  And will not swerve aside:
It slays the weak, it slays the strong,
  It has a deadly stride:
With iron heel it slays the strong,
  The monstrous parricide!

We waited for the stroke of eight:
  Each tongue was thick with thirst:
For the stroke of eight is the stroke of Fate
  That makes a man accursed,
And Fate will use a running noose
  For the best man and the worst.

We had no other thing to do,
  Save to wait for the sign to come:
So, like things of stone in a valley lone,
  Quiet we sat and dumb:
But each man’s heart beat thick and quick
  Like a madman on a drum!

With sudden shock the prison-clock
  Smote on the shivering air,
And from all the gaol rose up a wail
  Of impotent despair,
Like the sound that frightened marshes hear
  From a ***** in his lair.

And as one sees most fearful things
  In the crystal of a dream,
We saw the greasy hempen rope
  Hooked to the blackened beam,
And heard the prayer the hangman’s snare
  Strangled into a scream.

And all the woe that moved him so
  That he gave that bitter cry,
And the wild regrets, and the ****** sweats,
  None knew so well as I:
For he who lives more lives than one
  More deaths than one must die.


IV

There is no chapel on the day
  On which they hang a man:
The Chaplain’s heart is far too sick,
  Or his face is far too wan,
Or there is that written in his eyes
  Which none should look upon.

So they kept us close till nigh on noon,
  And then they rang the bell,
And the Warders with their jingling keys
  Opened each listening cell,
And down the iron stair we tramped,
  Each from his separate Hell.

Out into God’s sweet air we went,
  But not in wonted way,
For this man’s face was white with fear,
  And that man’s face was grey,
And I never saw sad men who looked
  So wistfully at the day.

I never saw sad men who looked
  With such a wistful eye
Upon that little tent of blue
  We prisoners called the sky,
And at every careless cloud that passed
  In happy freedom by.

But there were those amongst us all
  Who walked with downcast head,
And knew that, had each got his due,
  They should have died instead:
He had but killed a thing that lived
  Whilst they had killed the dead.

For he who sins a second time
  Wakes a dead soul to pain,
And draws it from its spotted shroud,
  And makes it bleed again,
And makes it bleed great gouts of blood
  And makes it bleed in vain!

Like ape or clown, in monstrous garb
  With crooked arrows starred,
Silently we went round and round
  The slippery asphalte yard;
Silently we went round and round,
  And no man spoke a word.

Silently we went round and round,
  And through each hollow mind
The memory of dreadful things
  Rushed like a dreadful wind,
And Horror stalked before each man,
  And terror crept behind.

The Warders strutted up and down,
  And kept their herd of brutes,
Their uniforms were ***** and span,
  And they wore their Sunday suits,
But we knew the work they had been at
  By the quicklime on their boots.

For where a grave had opened wide,
  There was no grave at all:
Only a stretch of mud and sand
  By the hideous prison-wall,
And a little heap of burning lime,
  That the man should have his pall.

For he has a pall, this wretched man,
  Such as few men can claim:
Deep down below a prison-yard,
  Naked for greater shame,
He lies, with fetters on each foot,
  Wrapt in a sheet of flame!

And all the while the burning lime
  Eats flesh and bone away,
It eats the brittle bone by night,
  And the soft flesh by the day,
It eats the flesh and bones by turns,
  But it eats the heart alway.

For three long years they will not sow
  Or root or seedling there:
For three long years the unblessed spot
  Will sterile be and bare,
And look upon the wondering sky
  With unreproachful stare.

They think a murderer’s heart would taint
  Each simple seed they sow.
It is not true! God’s kindly earth
  Is kindlier than men know,
And the red rose would but blow more red,
  The white rose whiter blow.

Out of his mouth a red, red rose!
  Out of his heart a white!
For who can say by what strange way,
  Christ brings his will to light,
Since the barren staff the pilgrim bore
  Bloomed in the great Pope’s sight?

But neither milk-white rose nor red
  May bloom in prison air;
The shard, the pebble, and the flint,
  Are what they give us there:
For flowers have been known to heal
  A common man’s despair.

So never will wine-red rose or white,
  Petal by petal, fall
On that stretch of mud and sand that lies
  By the hideous prison-wall,
To tell the men who ***** the yard
  That God’s Son died for all.

Yet though the hideous prison-wall
  Still hems him round and round,
And a spirit man not walk by night
  That is with fetters bound,
And a spirit may not weep that lies
  In such unholy ground,

He is at peace—this wretched man—
  At peace, or will be soon:
There is no thing to make him mad,
  Nor does Terror walk at noon,
For the lampless Earth in which he lies
  Has neither Sun nor Moon.

They hanged him as a beast is hanged:
  They did not even toll
A reguiem that might have brought
  Rest to his startled soul,
But hurriedly they took him out,
  And hid him in a hole.

They stripped him of his canvas clothes,
  And gave him to the flies;
They mocked the swollen purple throat
  And the stark and staring eyes:
And with laughter loud they heaped the shroud
  In which their convict lies.

The Chaplain would not kneel to pray
  By his dishonored grave:
Nor mark it with that blessed Cross
  That Christ for sinners gave,
Because the man was one of those
  Whom Christ came down to save.

Yet all is well; he has but passed
  To Life’s appointed bourne:
And alien tears will fill for him
  Pity’s long-broken urn,
For his mourner will be outcast men,
  And outcasts always mourn.


V

I know not whether Laws be right,
  Or whether Laws be wrong;
All that we know who lie in gaol
  Is that the wall is strong;
And that each day is like a year,
  A year whose days are long.

But this I know, that every Law
  That men have made for Man,
Since first Man took his brother’s life,
  And the sad world began,
But straws the wheat and saves the chaff
  With a most evil fan.

This too I know—and wise it were
  If each could know the same—
That every prison that men build
  Is built with bricks of shame,
And bound with bars lest Christ should see
  How men their brothers maim.

With bars they blur the gracious moon,
  And blind the goodly sun:
And they do well to hide their Hell,
  For in it things are done
That Son of God nor son of Man
  Ever should look upon!

The vilest deeds like poison weeds
  Bloom well in prison-air:
It is only what is good in Man
  That wastes and withers there:
Pale Anguish keeps the heavy gate,
  And the Warder is Despair

For they starve the little frightened child
  Till it weeps both night and day:
And they scourge the weak, and flog the fool,
  And gibe the old and grey,
And some grow mad, and all grow bad,
And none a word may say.

Each narrow cell in which we dwell
  Is foul and dark latrine,
And the fetid breath of living Death
  Chokes up each grated screen,
And all, but Lust, is turned to dust
  In Humanity’s machine.

The brackish water that we drink
  Creeps with a loathsome slime,
And the bitter bread they weigh in scales
  Is full of chalk and lime,
And Sleep will not lie down, but walks
  Wild-eyed and cries to Time.

But though lean Hunger and green Thirst
  Like asp with adder fight,
We have little care of prison fare,
  For what chills and kills outright
Is that every stone one lifts by day
  Becomes one’s heart by night.

With midnight always in one’s heart,
  And twilight in one’s cell,
We turn the crank, or tear the rope,
  Each in his separate Hell,
And the silence is more awful far
  Than the sound of a brazen bell.

And never a human voice comes near
  To speak a gentle word:
And the eye that watches through the door
  Is pitiless and hard:
And by all forgot, we rot and rot,
  With soul and body marred.

And thus we rust Life’s iron chain
  Degraded and alone:
And some men curse, and some men weep,
  And some men make no moan:
But God’s eternal Laws are kind
  And break the heart of stone.

And every human heart that breaks,
  In prison-cell or yard,
Is as that broken box that gave
  Its treasure to the Lord,
And filled the unclean *****’s house
  With the scent of costliest nard.

Ah! happy day they whose hearts can break
  And peace of pardon win!
How else may man make straight his plan
  And cleanse his soul from Sin?
How else but through a broken heart
  May Lord Christ enter in?

And he of the swollen purple throat.
  And the stark and staring eyes,
Waits for the holy hands that took
  The Thief to Paradise;
And a broken and a contrite heart
  The Lord will not despise.

The man in red who reads the Law
  Gave him three weeks of life,
Three little weeks in which to heal
  His soul of his soul’s strife,
And cleanse from every blot of blood
  The hand that held the knife.

And with tears of blood he cleansed the hand,
  The hand that held the steel:
For only blood can wipe out blood,
  And only tears can heal:
And the crimson stain that was of Cain
  Became Christ’s snow-white seal.


VI

In Reading gaol by Reading town
  There is a pit of shame,
And in it lies a wretched man
  Eaten by teeth of flame,
In burning winding-sheet he lies,
  And his grave has got no name.

And there, till Christ call forth the dead,
  In silence let him lie:
No need to waste the foolish tear,
  Or heave the windy sigh:
The man had killed the thing he loved,
  And so he had to die.

And all men **** the thing they love,
  By all let this be heard,
Some do it with a bitter look,
  Some with a flattering word,
The coward does it with a kiss,
  The brave man with a sword!
Taoist Monk Sep 2018
Death stood staring stoically
As I let my last breath slip
Poised to ****** my soul
And take it on it's last trip

Fitting that in my last days
It's company I kept
Frowning, waiting
Watching as I wept

A breathless sigh
And rolling eyes
It mocked
My end was nigh

As if on borrowed time
It kept glancing at the clock
Nervously I kept praying for help
But I knew that door was locked

"Finally!", it would have crowed
when it's dark scythe appeared
A cold sweat broke when I realised
My judgement day has neared

It grinned at me
So damnably
As it swung it's evil tool

I waited, with my eyes tightly shut.
Then groaned when it shouted,
April Fools!
When the doctor says, "Oops!, sorry we had a mix up!"
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