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Bo Burnham Dec 2015
I hung myself today. Hanged? Whatever, point is I hanged myself today and I'm still hanging.

I feel fine. Just bored. I keep hoping that someone will come home and cut me down but then I keep remembering that if i knew someone like that I wouldn't be up here. Bit ironic, right? Or is that not ironic? I read somewhere that, like, anything funny is, in some way, ironic. But I don't know if it's funny or not. I don't think my brain owns "funny," you know?

I feel taller. I like that.

I've never been away from my shadow for this long. It had always clung to my feet, parting momentarily for a quick dive into the swimming pool. But never for five hours. I like it. There's three feet of space between my two and the floor.

I wanted something this morning. I may be stuck. But at least I'm three feet closer to it.
I wanted the book to engage a wide variety of tones and feelings – from seriousness to silliness and from elation to melancholy. This particular poem is from the perspective of a man who has just hanged himself. I thought it was interesting to write a poem from the perspective of someone who has just hanged himself and is pretty nonchalant about it. That someone is /not me/, and that’s half the fun of writing – being able to put yourself in foreign situations and see things from others’ perspectives (and to empathize with them). The poem is definitely dark and a little unsettling but the page before this was a poem about flies buzzing around dog poo. The world is full of dark and light and I just wanted the book to reflect that :)
nui Jun 2018
To what her words were softly spoken,
Weren’t they heard from the pushful ceiling?
Was there no other way to carry her softly upon shaken ground?
he held onto what she last felt then,
past his hearing the searing heart momentarily settled
Until it could no more
In the last whimper of sadness
Gone was her feeling, her letter of breathe and pith given to him
From him did he wail with expression
Welling was his lower sockets, with overbearing pressure did they overfill with premature remorse
Down,
down did they fall
tears had dripped over her face..
..Fallen from his grasp, a once braced, blackened tapestry, surges upward
he witnessed the blinds closing, her eyes watching
Overheard with great loudness she was deaf
Shallowed was that of their former laughter
Silence hurried the rush toward the floor’s
liberation  
a sunlit evening wilted dry in prosperity..
Dissipated was all perspiration
In a timely fashion she was not heard anymore nor seen for heaviness was all that some bore
The extraordinary pain I couldn’t understand then
For the reasons that caused its formation
If only..
there were enough hands to lead her to another way, another place
warmed but not displaced
She no longer knows where to go..
She’s gone unnoticed..
I can’t feel her presence anymore
yes, we’ll see another once again
From a pain stricken moment
Left in vespertine
Along those painless places
Where all that lingers high above the ambience
Will be your very childlike presence
Shown upon in your own exuberant smile
Thenceforth into tomorrow
Farewell till then
I have but one thing to say, please be kind to others as you would like others to be toward you.
And another thing, leap forward out of your comfort zone to help someone from leaping off the marked ledge of ‘enough’. It happens too often and I could say I know the reasons why, for others for their sake if only I could take on their pain. complicated is life huh.

—seeing her fall through hopelessly murmuring what would be her final words to the man striving to hold onto her pleading for her to stay within his grasp, she simply didn’t want to hold on anymore, tired by life’s hard trials. So am I. isn’t everyone
ryn Dec 2014
It was those blue eyes, sparkling with words
I dreamt about reading but believed it impossible
Too beautiful to be seen with nuclear nerds
In my breakable beaker, you'd never be soluble.

A mismatched juxtaposition, atom for atom.
Even if I permutate, molecule by molecule.
We could never have struck stable equilibrium,
I could never escape the premise of ridicule.

Spent too much time postulating the unknown
Spent far too long balancing tricky equations
Head dug too deep to realise a factor that had grown
An external variable that had encroached with similar intentions.


My hand slipped from the scale when your finger touched my own
I forgot the words "controlled reaction", momentarily
Seeing goosebumps on your skin, and other bumps now shown
I gently pushed your wayward hair behind your ear, daringly

A moment frozen in the range of sub-zeroes
Dare I forgo the mandatory steps and arrive at a conclusion?
If I do I'd garner the title, "the nerdiest of all heroes!"
My "spidey-sense" failed me this time, and awarded me with a "fist-meet-face" reaction!

Happened in a blur, nanoseconds that sang in mock.
What was it that left me in a twirl?
Propped myself up to see the wrath of a crimson-faced ****.
All fists, no brains who yelled, "Hands off my girl!"


All this hilarious yet passionately painful hullabaloo
Let me drop the beaker of sodium in the zinc basin
Forgetting not to get it wet, the moment, clearly now unglued
When suddenly, "BOOM" it sounded like a pending cremation

Jocks, and nerds, and screaming cheerleaders
Hit the ground like a lunchtime scene from downtown Baghdad
And Blondie whispers in my ear, like a gypsy mind reader
"Maybe we should cool it, for I am in love with another lad"

Her words hit home and burned like The Lindenburg on fire
Amidst the fracas, cracked voice stammered to mask my bruised latent ego
"Nothing improper... Just an attempt to save your locks from the Bunsen burner
Science is my only love, just so you know"

Thanked God for my eyes and the need for correction lenses
Those thick convexes made it easy to not reveal
Steadied my frames and packed in hasty pretences
Accusing eyes followed as I exited the room with tears concealed...


Pieter Meyer
**ryn
You may have read this before as it is a repost of my collaboration with the witty and incredible Pieter Meyer. He seemed to have gone missing, along with the poem. So here it is... Hope you enjoy it
Dorothy A Oct 2013
Everything faded to black. He had a hard time remembering just what the hell happened. He wasn't sure of downing some random pills from of the medicine cabinet-- his first attempt to end it all. Making sure he would not recover-- if the pills didn't do the job-- he had already devised the set up of the noose in his bedroom. Definitely, he didn't recall anyone cutting the rope, forcing him down to the floor.

Lacie joked with him. "Dude, you've got nine lives! You must really be a ****, fricking cat in disguise! That's why you'll eat those nasty tuna fish sandwiches they serve in the nuthouse! "

Chris grinned at her.  He had to agree. To refer to it as the psych ward at the hospital made it seem like more of a jail term, but calling it "the nuthouse" lightened up the severity of the situation. As grave and nearly tragic as everything  had become, it was kind of laughable to him.  He supposed he had more chances than a cat's fabled life. It all seemed so crazy that it must be funny.

Well, what could he say? He had flirted with death, but unwillingly managed to escape its grip. "Pathetic..."--he commented. "I don't not even know how to die well..."

Chris  eventually realized that he had been rushed to the hospital, but wished it wasn't true. Since then, everything was either a total blur or a bizarre state of mind . Even waking up in his room was like a remotely vague memory, almost like a long ago dream that might not really have happened.

Maybe, he was somewhat aware that his sister was screaming in shock and horror at the sight of him, shouting out downstairs to her boyfriend to help her. But the walls were turning red, a glowing scarlet- red, with an added fiery orange and yellowish-gold-- all joined together in pulsating embers. He was quickly losing consciousness. It was like some, bad acid trip. Not that Chris knew this firsthand, but it sure was like something he saw on TV or at the movies.

And now he was the star of the horror show.

Did he die?  Death was what he planned on, so waking up was not a relief, or a reality back into motion--just the opposite. It was as if being awake was the real nightmare, a delusional time when everything was not true, and was only an scary, offbeat version of the life of Chris Cartier.

The bad acid trip continued. He recalled hospital staff rushing about him, seeming like real people-- sort of. Then they morphed into fish in scrubs. From overhead, an IV was dripping into his arm. Tubes were shoved down his throat. His vital signs were displayed on a screen that made beeps and sounds, increasing the chaos and adding to the mayhem to his mind. Soon, the vital signs machine started talking to him that he was a "very bad boy" and other such scoldings.

He was thoroughly freaked out. If he was still alive, he'd rather be dead.

He wanted to run. One of the fish pushed him back down and muttered out undecipherable utterances-- like underwater gibberish . Then that fish used its slimy fins to inject him with a needle in his arm. The other fish circled around him like fish out of water--with opening and closing mouths-- as if gasping for air.

As they surrounded him as rubber monkeys shot out from the walls and bounced all over the room. On top of all this madness, the florescent lights above were flickering on and off, in sync to the wild music, like the drum beats of a distant jungle. It was one bizarre tangle of events, a freaky, crazy, out-of-control ride in which reality could not be distinguished from the animation and mass confusion. It was one overpowering ride that he would much rather forget.

When Chris got out of critical condition, he found out that he could still not go home. That would take a few weeks more. Dr. What-The-Hell's-His-Name assured him that he needed to start on the path to his psychological healing--just as grave as the physical--right here in a safe place.

It didn't seem so safe to him.

The enemy wasn't what was out there in the world, but the big, bad wolf was actually him. He had to be protected from the true culprit--himself-- and that was a mind-blowing concept. Just what did he get himself into?   

He never had been a patient in a hospital before. In all his twenty-six years, he didn't so much as even have his tonsils out. Feeling now like a prisoner,, he was still scared out of his mind-- as if it was day one all over again. When was he going to get out of here? Chris began to fear that they would never let him out. No professional had a definitive answer, as only time would tell of his improvement.

Man, why couldn't he just be dead?

His parents visited almost everyday, but it was of no reassurance to him. His mother always left in tears, and his father was lost for words. This was nothing new. When it concerned their troubled son, they felt inadequate to help him. The best his dad could say was, "Hey, Chris, we're pullin' for ya". That was of no comfort, whatsoever, like he was some fighter in a boxing ring that his old man had a bet placed on . His mom always clung to him as she said goodbye, like she needed the hug more than he did, saying to Chris through her sobs , "Miss you....love you". Her emotional state just unsettled him to the core, and he was worried for her more than for himself.    

At best, his outlook was grim. But then he met Lacie Weiss, and things started looking up.

Lacie was one of the quietest psych patients in the ward, always sticking to herself. But then he found himself sitting right next to her in group therapy, and they hit it off. He had no idea that she had a fun side. She usually looked apathetic and quietly defiant to society, a nonconformist in the form of a Goth, with edgy, dyed black hair, dark eye make-up and some ****** piercings of the eyebrow, tongue and nose. Her look was quite in contrast to his light blue eyes and sandy-brown hair. Chris never was into Gothic, viewing those who were as spooky creeps.  

It was obvious that Chris was scared and confused. Now although trying to seem tough and stoic, Lacie seemed so little, almost fragile, yet obviously trying to hide her broken self together. Petite and somewhat girlish in appearance, she was barely 5 feet tall. Chris was 5 feet 11 and a half inches, close enough to the six foot stature that he wanted to be. Only a half inch less really didn't cut it for him, though, even though his slim build gave the impression of a lankier guy. He would have loved to be as tall as the basketball players he so emulated. But such was life. He was never used to having the advantages.  

At first, Lacie never opened up, not to a single soul. Like Chris, she certainly acted like she didn't need this place, and nobody was going to help her--or be allowed to help her. As stony and impenetrable as she tried to be, group therapy it was hard to disappear in. Everyone was held accountable for opening up, and the leader was going to see to it.  No way, though, did Lacie want to crack or look weak in her turtle shell composure, in her self-preservation mode. So it was agony for her.

She first spoke to him, whispering loudly to him, onc,e in the group circle "This is all *******!"

Hanging with Chris was the one salvation that she had in this miserable experience. They both could relate more than he ever realized. They both really liked motorcycles and basketball. He had his own Harley, and it was something he loved to work on and go on long rides with it, his own brand of therapy.  In spite of how she looked, Lacie was also actually close to his age. He was twenty-six. and she was twenty-two.

They first broke the ice with casual introductions. "No, the name is not pronounced like Carter", he corrected her about his last name. "It is like Cart-EE-AY...... It's French".

"Yep", she replied. "Like mine is the same way, but as German as brats and sauerkraut,  Ja dummkopf?"

Chris gave her a weird look. She continued, "My mom's dad was from Germany, and I got my mom's name. Ya don't say it how it looks. You would say Weiss like Vice, but I couldn't give a **** how anybody says it. Nobody gets it right and original, anyhow." Her dark brown eyes flashed at him as she said, " But I think I like Chris Cutie, myself, better than Cartier.....cutie it is for me. Huh, cutie pie? "

Chris laughed hard. She was pretty coy for a die-hard Goth. She batted her eyes playfully at him and winked."You're worth being in here for, ya know", he told her, blushing, still laughing at her silly remarks.

She studied his face in response, all laughing aside. Suddenly, her mood turned solemn.  "I'll bet".

They began hanging out in the commons, walking down the halls for exercise, and swapping stories of their plights. Chris quickly found that she Lacie wasn't so steely and unapproachable as the day he first saw her.  And she discovered that he was more than a pretty boy.

"My parents weren't home when I tried", he told her one time after lunch was done. They were sitting in a corner, trying to be as private as possible. "Twenty-six years old...and I still live with them. Yeah, that's my life. I got a twin brother, and he's moved out and doing alright for himself. My sister's younger, is going to college. Wants to be a doctor".

Lacy didn't have any siblings to compare herself to. "Must be cool to have a twin", Lacie said. "I always wondered how that would be to have two of me running around! Scary, huh, dude?"

Chris shook his head. "No, it's nothing like that. Jake and I aren't identical. We are just a two-for-one deal...I mean  is that my parents got two babies in one, huge-*** pregnancy. Jake and me don't even act like twins. Half the time, I don't want to be around him."

No, it wasn't like his cousins, Adam and Alan, who were identical friends, mirror images, and best of friends. Chris never identified with that kind of brotherly relationship. He and Jake never dressed alike, or knew what the other one was thinking. And Chris felt that his brother always felt superior to him. He was the popular one. He was the ambitious one who landed a great job in computers, as a system analyst.  To add to Chris's feelings of inferiority, his little sister, Kate, had surpassed him, too. She was acing most of her classes, and boarding away at college. She was well on her way to becoming a doctor.    

"So if your mom and dad weren't around...who saved you?" Lacie asked. She stared into his eyes with such a probing stare that Chris almost clammed up. Just thinking about that day was overpowering.

"Uh...my sister and her boyfriend were hanging out in the basement. She was home from college, and I didn't know it. My parents were out-of-town. Our dog, Buster, was acting funny. He knew something was up..."

Chris stopped abruptly, but went on. "Kate, my sister, explained to me that she saw me in my room, getting up on a step ladder. She says she yelled at me to stop. I don't remember...but I guess..I guess I was going to do it anyway, and she wouldn't be able to stop me....stop me from...so I hurried up and jumped off before she could stop me."  

Lacie could almost picture it, as if she was there with him. She said, "But she did stop it. She saved you."

"Yeah", he agreed. "Buster started it all...barking, alerting my sister to come upstairs from the basement, and upstairs by my room...." All of a sudden, he felt so weird, like he was having an out-of-body experience.

"Hey, it's OK", Lacie reassured him. "It's over now. You aren't there anymore".

Chris started to cry, but tried not to. "If it weren't for Brian, Kate's boyfriend....she would not of had the strength to hold me up by herself, and cut the rope, too. I must have been like dead weight, and Brian grabbed a kitchen knife and told her to stay cool about it. Yeah, sure, like that could have been possible ! She was trying to keep the rope slack, while trying to save my sorry ****...and she was scared, shitless! "

Lacie opened up, too, relating her tragic past. She had an unbelievable tale, one hell of a ride herself.  It was amazing how detached she was when relating it, though. "Well" actually I got to fess up" "I'm not really an only child....I mean I am...but not really. I know that sounds weird---hey--but I am weird. Oddly unusual is the story of my life-- even before day one. "

Chris had no idea what she was talking about. "What are ya' trying to say?"

She added another surprising bombshell. "Also,  I have a two-year-old boy. His name is Danny. He don't see his dad--ever. The guy's a waste of space. Anyway, my mom has him. She can afford him more, and can do a better job raising him than me. Well, she does OK money-wise. Anyhow, my mom deserves him because she lost everything. And I mean EVERYTHING! Her whole fricking family practically wiped out!"

The shock that Chris had on his face-- his widened, blue eyes and open mouth were expected.   Most people had a hard time believing her.

She explained, calmly, "I mean she nearly died--way before I was born--in a car accident. And her two, little boys were with her in the backseat...and they died that day. "

Chris looked pale. "That is so awful!" he said, hoarsely, barely able to say it.

"Yeah", she continued. "Not a **** thing she could do about it, too. She was like in a million pieces. I know a part of her died right there and then, too. I just know it.  You know, dude, my mom was once really, really coasting along, just doing fine. A typical wife and mother-- a bit older than me now-- life was good. Her little boys were just cute, little toddlers--like Danny. I found out from my grandma that she was  pregnant, too, just a month or two. Nobody could have imagined it coming. She was just driving--doing nothing wrong-- when some idiot broadsided her.  I don't know if it was a guy or a lady, if they were jacked up on ***** or drugs, but they were speeding like a demon out of Hell. Her husband was at work and wasn't around."  

The boys were Benjamin and Gerard, but Lacie couldn't remember their names, for her mom could barely mention them without breaking down. It was an unbearable loss.

Chris was so horrified, amazed that Lacie related this like it was someone else's story. She was almost too cavalier about it.

"And they died ?!" he asked.

"Yeah....*****, don't it? Pure, pure agony. Downright Hell on earth. My mom had to learn to walk again. It took about year, I think."

"Oh, no! What about the baby she was supposed to have?"

"Miscarriage. Worse yet, the **** doctor told her she'd never be able to have kids again. She lost everything, man! Her husband couldn't handle it and left her. **** on top of ****, on top of more ****, on top of more. If it wasn't for her parents, and her sister's help, she would never have made it.

"But she had given birth to you, right? Or were you adopted?"

"Yeah, she gave birth to me. I was her miracle baby, and she didn't give a rat's rear end if my dad wanted me or not. He'd send her money, once in a while, but he wasn't really into either of us. Who cares though? She didn't give a **** what he thought. I was her baby. Truth is, before I came, she ended up slitting her wrists--just like me. What was the use? At first, there was nothing to live for. But now she has Danny.

"And you!" Chris quickly pointed out.

"Dude, are you kidding me? I have been NOTHING but grief for her, a real pain in her ***!"

Unlike her deceased, half-brothers, Lacie grew up before her mother's eyes, from a shy girl to a ******* rebel. Since the age of twelve, she would sneak drinks from her mom's liqueur cabinet. Eventually, she smoked *** and tried ******* and ******. Dropping out of the eleventh grade, she soon away from home, living with friends or boyfriends ever since.  Thankfully, she wasn't doing drugs when she conceived Danny. And her drinking wasn't as prevalent as it was in her teen years of partying and binge drinking. That didn't mean that her drinking problems magically disappeared, or that she was cured. Immediately, though, when she knew she was pregnant, she refused to touch a bottle, but it was just a white knuckle process that was effective momentarily--a band aid on a more serious wound. And going months without a drop of alcohol didn't deaden her urges--quite the opposite--as it only made her crave what she could not have. Often, her fears caught up with her--of especially becoming
Terry O'Leary Sep 2015
1
Though still within our infancy,
we strive to thrive, but woefully
we flash and flaunt our 'primacy',
display our trophies pridefully.

Our terra firma ecstasy
destroys survival's harmony,
lays waste to life on land and sea.
Mankind, thy name is vanity!

By doubting Nature's regnancy,
defying laws with levity,
we strain our spheroid's symmetry
(perhaps a fatal fallacy?)

for, swallowed in the 'world of we',
we feed on vain insanity
with thoughts beyond eternity -
so strange when looked at mortally.

No use to seek a remedy
ensconced in ancient prophecy
for if not handled skillfully,
as clay we'll pay the penalty.

                              2
The Moguls rule with cruel decree,
control the crowds like puppetry,
pursuing greed addictively
with no accountability.

The wind, it reeks of Royalty
(awash in waves of perfidy)
while blowing ’cross the peasantry
(eclipsed in clouds of treachery).

The Queen, well steeped in snobbery,
sits, preening proud Her pedigree,
on throne of sculpted ebony
while sipping Sect immodestly;

to sate Her Regal Majesty,
a caviar clad canapé
is served with golden cutlery
by maidens bent submissively.

The King is bailed from bankruptcy
by Knaves who hoodwink artfully
the down-and-outer evictee
who wallows in their lenity.

Forsooth, the Money Monarchy
exalts the dollar dynasty
engaged in highway robbery
by Peacocks plumed in finery.

Yes, Jesters and the Fools agree
to truckle to duplicity
and laugh about it witlessly.
Long live the peon's penury!

                          3
To champion an oddity
(like two times twelve is fifty three)  
one reaches to theology
through paths of circularity.

In bygone trials of travesty
the doubters, draped in blasphemy,
endured the pain and agony
inflicted by the papacy.

Inspired by the Trinity
fanatics bent cosmology
in geocentric fantasy
while Bruno burned for heresy;

and aged women, randomly
accused of wicked witchery
by justice framed in infamy,
were racked and shown no clemency

That epoch of credulity
(when savants fostered sorcery
and practiced ancient alchemy)
arose in dark age quackery

as clerics dripping piety
(while raging, raving rabidly)
pervaded thralled society
with callous inhumanity;

'repent', they bellowed, 'verily,
forsake the world's iniquity,
live lives of want and chastity,
and give your gelt to God through me'.

                    4
The Masters make a mockery
of freedom and democracy
by holding down the uppity,
released from shackled slavery,

now fettered in a factory
else strewn across the Bowery,
still chained in bonds of bigotry,
immersed in seas of poverty.

And colliers, tapping balefully
in sunken-mine solemnity,
yet thrum a mournful monody
some call the digger's elegy.

To children, pale and raggedy
(behind a day of drudgery),
the boss man, oh so gallantly,
bestows a penny, niggardly;

though some are fed (belatedly),
their eyes recede in apathy
while bellies bulge, inflatedly,
with mothers watching, wretchedly.

When met with health adversity
or broken bone infirmity,
the pauper dangles helplessly
with no insurance policy;

and those engulfed in lunacy
are ailing blobs left floating free
in ******-dream obscurity -
a mired madhouse odyssey.

Ignoring mankind's unity,
the rich and poor dichotomy
breeds dismal doomed finality,
eventual nihility.

                        5
Renewing days of chivalry,
wild warriors fighting valiantly
bring freedom neath the gallows tree
while blending blood and burgundy

to toast the slaughtered enemy,
and so convince the colony
to cede with smile on bended knee
and yield her diamonds, silk and tea.

At first they call the cavalry
and then again the infantry,
so proudly primped in panoply,
with arms from finest armory

(embraced in hands so tenderly
bestow benign atrocity) -
and soon atomic weaponry
will extirpate posterity.

                          6
Misusing high technology
(to feed the face of gluttony)
depletes our Rock of energy,
now slowly dying thermally.

Our gadgets breathing CFC
fuel ozone holes' immensity
while cloud bursts, raining acidly,
wilt woods in their entirety,

and rivers, tainted chemically,
polluted biologically,
refill our cups methodically
and drown our souls organically.

Adjusting genes mechanically
may well blot out the bumble bee
annulling fruits' fecundity,
but brings big bucks reliably.

We wager perpetuity
to revel momentarily
in shadow-like obscurity
ignoring the futility,

but if we bet unknowingly
on fickle fate's contingency
and thereby act haphazardly
we're doomed to lose the lottery.

                 7
The modern day bureaucracy
abuses trust egregiously ,
embeds itself in obloquy
and offers no apology.

It paints the past in reverie
to camouflage the tendency
to strip away our privacy
which paves the path to tyranny.

With earlobes lurking furtively
that listen surreptitiously,
and eyeballs peering piercingly
we've lost cerebral sovereignty,

and those who dare to disagree
must hide away in secrecy
else crowd a black facility
(with water board anxiety).

                  8
Yes, sans responsibility,
our marble in this galaxy
will crumble in catastrophe
ere ever reaching puberty…
Brandon Webb Nov 2012
1
she taps he hand, twice.
across the room,
he stares, thinking
into empty air.
others, scattered
tap pencils or fingers
on desktops, booktops
and phone keyboards

the balding man
with black hair:
combed backward
and to differing angles
so that his head is split
vertically-
stands, above the room
his back turned

his words,
meant for the crowd
reverberate only
along classes fringe
but still take precedence
over nothing
even to them-
academics, outcasts


2
back of the room
reveals everything
to the observer
trying to see

blue-eyed brunette
glares vengefully
at no one,
just to glare

he looks up once
to watch
as another
pulls up
drooping jeans.
she laughs
at conversation
unmeant for,
and inaudible
to her


3
today, she smiles
and lets her lip fall
begging, like a puppy
But when they
lose eye contact,
she glares, again

he leaves footprints
on parallel desk
from lounging
then fires himself
to his feet
using stored energy,
and sugar from gum

words bounce along
the walls in the back,
and isolated eyes peer
towards the screen
but hide the fact
that they care


4
two week vacation
has left their minds
full of everything
except math,
so they listen
to him, while he speaks

but travel backward
in time, with
those closest them
while he creeps,
silent, around the room

she concentrates hard,
on her work
glaring at the page.
he sits a desk forward
feet on floor
neighboring desk full
today, but only physically

blue hat rests
on sketchbook,
its border
barely covering
closed eyes

blond head
implants itself
jokingly, into
smooth shining
white wall
with enough force
to collapse
accidental target

a hand raises
attracting gazes,
awestruck,
at her interest
in forgotten
material
of future tests


5
only a few eyes wander
from blue lined notebooks
though the left flank
still chatters, embodying
either a secretive chipmunk
or the breeze which starts the storm

storm clouds appear slowly
in sketchbook, blue hat bobbing
rhythmically in response to active pen

perched above the flock
reminiscent, split headed
papa bird scans the masks
of his shockingly silent chicks

random lecture breaks the silence.
Her eyes aren’t the only ones
Fixed into a steel laden glare
But the chipmunk wind ceases


6
his questioning glance lands
on uninhabited space,
exhibiting a yawn
which traverses through,
and twists, the faces of
those otherwise engaged

lecture ends with a question,
the scent of nuts blows through
mentally empty classroom
turning desks to predetermined
positions and swiftly inhabiting
three-quarters of the physical class

his steel glare has replaced hers
the latter’s eyes now soft as an infants

within five minutes, his voice
undergoes  a brutal, complete cycle
pleading, congratulating, yelling
and as always, lecturing


7
pre-test:

preparations for misery-
mundane chipmunk chattering,
jokes and laughs from random
oddities appearing everywhere

blue hat rests in intervals.
Blue coat rearranges
essay for another class

The girl in the sunny plaid
Rolls an orange along her hand

He points at nothing and asks
Nobody something without answer

The left flank, as always
Is turned away, conversing

A sigh rings outward loudly
Everyone glares, nervously,
Everywhere, reward of concentration


After my test:

First paper in, he scans lightly
Sets it down with a scowl
and yawns, twice, breaking the
silent shroud of heavy fog
which is hanging overhead

wandering free eyes witness
down-turned heads concentrating
as much on tests  as on moving
their hands wildly, excitedly
trying to communicate non-vocally

others have yet to detach themselves
from their seats and stride upward,
hopefully more triumphantly
than their sole predecessor

one shuffles now, slowly toward him
his hand shaking as he releases
that  paper, he turns away as it flutters
onto the desk- he replants himself in his

twelve others walk forward
smiling, shrinking, sometimes speaking
and always he glares, triumphant
knowing his success at our failure


later:

his near-sleeping form            
finds distraction, in waking
dreams, jumping back suddenly
breaking from his plank-like state
without speaking. excitement
for approaching weekend is
communicated in the left flank

two girls break the silence
running in from outside            
he glares at them, but laughs

everyone breaks into groups
after the conversation about
mysteriously nutty discarded sock

he runs to the forefront
forehead folded, finger on mouth
no-one notices, but still he glares

8
he smiles and glares at the floor
his legs swinging back and forth            
tan slacks rustling softly

exaggerated scores bubble in ears            
as they search for their destroyer

in front of forgotten faces falls
the page of a forgotten tome

several yawn, hoping, understandably
that their stretched lips
will pull themselves far enough
to barricade ears from his droning

he kills himself, twice, bumbling
into half-thought chastisements
of the  flittingly flirtatious students
intermingling hoping behind him
causing waves of whispers, laughter
and slightly strengthened chatter

he re-aligns his thoughts quickly
and rambles on again, always

9
he speaks to her softly
from across a sea of desks
she looks up, panicking calmly
distracted from distraction

in silence, blank eyes turn
surprised at the non-withering
state of her barely living corpse

he asks a question, looking up
a single answer is given
unemotional and short, buy ending
heavy hanging awkward silence

how talented the teacher
who gives his lecture while
still addressing unrelated
student self lectures

the still silence given
in his questioning lull
hangs so loudly the whispers
traversing the classroom appear
silent as finger wiggle
and pencils trace zeros

his extrication, caused by
distractingly thunderous voice
is met with a comment
causing a wave of laughter
starting at his mouth
and extending to inhabit everything

10
half the time gives
twice the attention
as they concentrate
on keeping him on
the undying topic
of the work we
have already done

they admit defeat
as dusty tome opens
spreading a nutty cloud
causing heads to turn
and words to leap.

from opens lips,
mischievous gremlins
sprout, dancing on
tables and chuckling
away from the sigh
of his down-turned, split
shining, globular mind

he scratches pink ear
with bone pale finger
reading unrelated words

in the center of the room
both mentally and physically
he sits, momentarily quiet
as dark eyes glare past
rumpled pink nose,
concentrating

blue hat rests on open palms
above dust covered open page
he slips into sleeping state
but picks himself up
and stares though thin borderline
toward shiny rambling forehead

a shutter cord flies forward
the hand at the end pulling hard
but with no affect to the shutters
neither lowering the physical
or raising the mental

the color of non-color pencils
interrupts the class momentarily
as she strides forward to compare
and then criticizes his care

he just sits, smiles and stares

11
eleven desks lie empty
of one form more than usual
amplifying the arm movements
of the ever ticking seconds

his obscured mouth flings seeds
which sprout into words
before even meeting the worn
blood-colored carpet below

in the main room, sixteen
sit silent, sketching, sleeping
or siphoning the last minute

12
those left awake, and alive
have come to understand
the numbers on the screen
this being their specialty
in a nutty shell, of course
splitting, as we are, large
crowds of numbers, and us
being teenagers, isn’t that
how we think, in numbers
and ratings of everything
and, sitting in the central
crowd are the talented
crowd-splitters
flattery-spitters

13
the silence of half absence
is pierced, as always by vocal
anomaly, centered around
rows of shining wood
bookrests, but only one
set of hollow, dark-rimmed
vacant eyeballs watches
well-welcomed interruption

he lets us work, standing.
Someone somewhere opens
A large container of nuts
Entire class starts stuffing
Handfuls into puffy cheeks
Absorbing sensations into
Eternally ravenous minds

The apocalyptic mix of noises
Is split again by central
Nutcracker, and those in corners
Glare, smiling, rubbing shadowed
Acne scarred faces
with raw-bitten nails

14
balding papa bird speaks loudly
transforming his voice, becoming
vocally legendary cartoon duck

the wave of resulting laughter
ends in un-given nut-break
spreading, without speech
the understanding that his
comedic digression will not
meet a quick extinction

we greet the weekend
by rising early
our excuse: competition
to devour the worm

15
three heads are downturned
peering into textbooks
as the tsunami breaks

the days end starts
and beady eyes peer
in the direction of his
moving head, colored
gothic gargoyle in the
dim cloudlight streaming
through dust coated
slit windows

the room transforms
becoming triumphantly,
grumpily, repeatedly
conversational

artificial silence
spreads like a wave
from right back corner
to left front corner
leaving behind
the half of the room
hidden behind the wall
of troublemakers
who will eventually
cause the wall to topple
with the sheer force
of assorted nuts

16
blue hat is scrunched
under the of a fist
pounding on his head,
result of the decibels
consumed, and produced
by the embodiment
of the thoughts around him
which fall from stuffed
cheeks. Bounce off tables
and spread a sickening aroma
as their shells split
exposing, revealing
nothing

17
red face glances upward
as harsh words split
the widening sea of snickers
his words stop, first time today
as whispers spread wildly
of his speed in delivering answers
seconds later, room is silent
as statement ends and lecturer
turns back to him, offering
as always, another wave
of deep felt, anger hardened
quietly whispered, criticisms

thunderous-rush-voice leads
out of habit and necessity
the minutes following
his behavioral digression
each word stabbing split-headed
pointy-nosed papa bird, their
form a walnut-wood spear
crafted from drifted thoughts
of those sitting nearest him

18
on his back lies a pile of nuts
professor’s earthquake
shoulder shaking causes
eyes to open, back to rise
and with a tremendous roar
both physical and meta-physical,
it topples to worn carpet
and the laugh-track plays on

19
silence- pierced into being
by shrill, violent, mountainous
rise, and fall, of thunderous decibels-
hangs, heavier, louder than
the quick gone loudness replaced
or, in all actuality, displaced
mere seconds before being scrawled
into eternal memory
of those whose noses
sniff, daily, nutty clusters
of letters, which exclude
always, the ever-present x
the destructive π
and that y, which of course
flies as high as forgetful
nut-bearers




©Brandon Webb
2012
This is a series of observations, and. collectively, is the longest thing i've ever written, at 8847 words
nui Jul 2018
Today or should I say what was left of yesterday, the most important time during the day when the moon is in a modestly transient display, I would consider taking my life. It is early evening, I couldn’t hold onto what I thought I could live for, giving into intolerance too easily, was like life for me was cracking in two and I was unable to cause cohesion for the diverging halves. only the effect remains unhinged and hidden inside me, without notice I go on missing from society. I’ve greatly deteriorated over the past few months which felt to me like decades in a room resembling winter. I often open the window only to my dismay that the air out is uncomfortably thick and moist, enough to suffocate my concentration for concern to what lies around instead I retract into this niche I resent completely spectating this limited view found underneath monochromatic inverted shades, for something that might not be much greater than I had wished it to be, I let these ideals of mine run wild in an attempt to let them be real momentarily, to burn out eventually unseen. Nothing should be able to live in such a way, I’m as stagnant as the trees that lie ahead near the streets. They witness every passerby freely sauntering trails laid out for the day, perhaps they, these beings, take it for granted not giving much attention to anything else besides the very goal that keeps them afloat and moving toward for execution to whatever it is they have their minds eye simply on. I’ve known all too well that it is pointless to do the same, I can’t squander what I have right in front of me over a simple goal, although I might not live in life’s given moments pleading for the very attention I sometimes don’t give in to, nothing ever goes unnoticed, these impressions are all that I could ever ask for, the smallest of gifts for me to cherish. Anyways I was only wandering my sight around outside looking for a movement I could possibly run to for help, giving my ears away for barber’s melody to play out loud. Nothing more showed up, only a bitter heat wave, the trees left unshaken from vacant winds. Washing over me was the penetrative structure I felt his sorrowful life flash ahead of me wondering how misunderstood he must’ve felt in such a time where everything was unrightfully wasted from a society that never knew how normalized repression began to feel, so they went about it by going along with the feel other than freely being expressive about internal conflicting issues. Maybe to one or none at all. He deserved better as did all the others. Maybe I’m wrong and only being reflective of myself. For what reason I don’t know. I was telling myself on the car ride somewhere else that I won’t disclose, for it doesn’t matter. I imagined everything I was to do, or should I say that I was accepting of what was to come next reciting in my head that all the dreaming and envisioning I had done up to this point was my life possibly lived, the love I couldn’t help to resist myself from attaining, the opportunity to save the world from collision from and through a great work that could possibly impregnate every sensible mind with a broad spectrum of what an extra day of the week might feel like, more time to spend freely from life’s never ending demand of what is to be expected by and from each and every one of you. I daydreamed of everything I missed during my lifetime so far, I should’ve traveled but didn’t, I’m not filled with fear but that of insecurity always wins the day. I slipped on by to memories that never had the chance to be made, only the threading lies there on a timeless lot gravitating toward evaporation. I left no more hope for myself because I’ve chosen to give it to the others who could actually implement change, those of whom I know I can entrust the life that I wasn’t living to. I made a choice, to disperse this existing body from and to a place where time is stilted upon my departure outside the fields wherever that may be, music guiding me out of the overriding blur beyond the wilt— my memory subsided inside this symphony somewhere that is made up of very early mornings and the light that follows afterward, kindly implying, that maybe, they never existed. I’m without anymore words, Thank you
I’ve decided to lay this one out exactly how I intended it to look; in its most free format, untouched from editing. maybe to expose the half crumbled city that lies in the way.  

I have this thing to get carried away into needless thoughts. 4 am is the time when self-reflecting occurs.

It goes deeper than all this, this is but a simple opening to more uncovered doors.

0202, is when I will be leaving
Mike Essig Apr 2015
Poetry,
like ***,
momentarily
destroys
the misery
of the world.
  ~mce
But neither last.
Amitav Radiance Jul 2015
Reflection in the water
Created silent ripples
Interaction with self
Or maybe the alter ego
Trying to catch a glimpse
Of the world within
If only momentarily
Mirrors gave perfection
To the reflection
Only to stay in the mind
The conflicts between
Inner and outer world
Sometimes shattered
By the truth
Danielle Shorr Oct 2014
I will regret this in the morning
but I will do it anyway
my impulsivity often overpowers my conscience
yet I am almost always fully aware
of the decisions I make
and their consequences
I am not exactly mentally stable
but I am sane enough
to know right from wrong
yesterday from today
love from lust
although sometimes I mix them up
I have a tendency to lunge at any pair of arms that open for me
my mind and body often disagree
my body saying yes to eager hands
my mind saying no
constantly looking towards my heart
thinking how stupid one must be
to fall repeatedly
get hurt every single time
and still manage to do the same
over
and over
again
I wonder
how many times I will have to hit the ground
in order to learn to stop falling face first?
I often say things
that should be left unsaid
I often do things
that should not be done
sleep in beds unfamiliar
make believe love to strangers
get to know people who will not remember me tomorrow
I am gone as quickly as the hangover
I can be washed off the tongue
just as quickly as the liquor
I often believe I am capable of inciting change
I kiss temporary lips with permanence
hoping that I can train them to stay
I love temporary people with permanence
hoping that I can train them not to leave
and when they do
I claim to have seen it coming
I am incapable of forgetting
a scrapbook memory of skin and heartbeat
of touch and moments
I know not to look directly into eyes
for they can be blinding
and I still
do it anyway
I know of the risks that shouldn't be taken
well aware of their consequences
and I still
take them anyway
you could say
it is my own fault
for the way that things continue to turn out
but I can make no promise of apology
instead
I will live momentarily
**** up intentionally
love recklessly
fall unguarded
break enough times to learn how to put myself back together
crash into concrete enough times to learn how to shift a crooked smile
into something worth seeing
I have been told that a life lived in fear
is hardly a life lived at all
so I intend to live every second
like it is the last one I will have
I will write each night as it happens
narrate my own stories
and hope they turn out okay
I will regret this in the morning
but I will do it anyway.
Anita Daniel Sep 2016
It is the way my traditional head cloth covers my head artistically.
Giving me a sense of a gracefully hand made Crown.
Passed on from generation to generation by
My ancestors from all corners of Africa.

It is the way my hands flatter when I narrate a story.
Giving me a sense of articulation.
Pride, dances through my veins.

It is the way my body moves to rhythm from hip to hip.
Shoulders momentarily shaking to the sound of unique beads woven Shekere.
Legs aggressively moving to the talking drum.

It is the way  I speak to my elders with respect.
Knees on the floor when taking or giving them something.
Sweep the compound when asked to.
Adherence of instructions turn to turn.

Heritage moves with me in one accord.
I am proudly African. My words speak for themselves. Know where you are from it will help you go further with life.
Nigel Morgan Oct 2012
It was a cold night for a concert. There was frost on the windscreen as we got into the car for the short drive to this city church. We drove because we were going to be late, and it was cold, and would be likely to be colder still when the concert was over. I had wondered if part one would be enough. Could Bach and Rameau be enough? Might the musical appetite cope with Mozart and Beethoven too? Were we about to sit down to a large meal, possibly in the wrong order. Can the cheese course be a transcendental experience I wondered? Bach to begin certainly, a substantial starter with one of the mid period keyboard toccatas and two ‘distant’ preludes and fugues, but then a keyboard suite by Rameau?
 
When I listen to Beethoven though I want to hear a work on its own, unencumbered round about with other musics.  A recent experience of several hours driving to hear a single Beethoven symphony has remained close and vivid, and an experience that brought me close to tears. So I imagine that I might only hear Op.110 to make that opening sequence of chords so ominously special. The introduction seems to come from nowhere and does not connect with musical past, except perhaps the composer’s own past. It is as though the pianist puts on a pair of gloves imbued with the spirit of the composer, and these chords appear . . . and what is there that might possibly prepare the listener for the journey that pianist and listener embark upon?  Certainly not the soufflé of Mozart’s K.332.
 
The audience is hardly a smattering of coats, hats and grey hair. There is another piano recital in town tonight and this is but the artist’s preview of a forthcoming concert at a major venue. Our pianist is equipping herself for a prestigious engagement and sensibly recognizes the need to test out the way the programme flows in front of an audience, and in a provincial church where she is not entirely unknown. I admire this resolve and wonder a little at the long-term planning which makes this possible and viable.
 
Now a figure in black walks out from the shadows to stand by her piano. Coming from stage right she places left her hand firmly on the mirror-black case above the keyboard. She looks at her audience briefly, and makes a bow, almost a curtsey, an obeisance to her audience and possibly to those distant spirits who guard the music she is to play. We will not see her face again until the next time she will stand at the piano to acknowledge our applause after the Bach she is about to play. Her slightly more than shoulder-length hair is cut to flow forward as she holds herself to play; her face is often hidden from us, her expression curiously blank. Perhaps she has prepared herself to enter a deep state of concentration that admits no recognition of those sitting just in front of her. Her dress is long and black with a few sparking threads to catch the careful lighting. Without these occasional glimmers her ****** movement would be unnoticeable. As it is the way the light is caught is subtle and quietly playful, though not enough to distract, only remind us that though in black she is wearing the kind of starry sky such as you might perceive in crepuscular time.
 
Thus, we already sense so much before she has played a note there is a firm slightly dogged confidence and reverence here in her approach to instrument and audience. And in the opening bars of the Bach toccata that is manifest; and not just a confidence born out of some strategy against nervousness, but a ritual of welcoming to this music that now spills out into the partially darkened church. The sonorousness and balance of the piano’s tone surprises. It is not a fine piano, but it has qualities that she seems to understand. There is a degree of attentive listening to herself that enables her to control dynamics and act resolutely on the structure of the music. When the slow section of this four-part toccata appears there is a studied gentleness and restraint that belies any ****** led gesture or manner. Her stance and deliberation at the keyboard remain determined and in control, unaltered by the music’s message. She does not pull her body backwards as seems the custom with so many who feel they have to show us they are stroking and coaxing such gentleness and restraint out of the keyboard.
 
As the final fugato of the toccata flows at almost twice the speed I’ve ever heard it, my concentration begins to disengage. It is too fast for me to follow the voices, I miss the entries, and the smudged resonance of the texture hides those details I have grown over so many years to know and love. This is Glen Gould on speed, not the toccata that resides in my musical memory. I am aware of missing so much and my attention floats away into the sound of it all. It seems to be all sound and not the play of music.
 
In this stage of disengagement I sense the tense quality of her right leg pedalling with the tip of a reddish shoe just visible, deft, tiny flicks of movement. She turns her face away from the keyboard frequently, looking away from the keyboard through the choir to the high altar; and for a moment we see her upturned face, a blank face, possibly with little or no make up, no jewellery. A plain young woman, mid to late thirties perhaps, and not a face marked by children or a busy teaching life, but a face focused on knowing this music to a point at which there is almost a detachment, where it becomes independent of her control, flowing momentarily beyond herself.
 
Then she reins the toccata in, reoccupies it; she is seeking closure for herself and for her audience whose attention for a short while has been, as the Quakers say, gathered. Gathered into a degree of silence, when breathing and the body’s sense and presence of itself disappear, momentarily, and musical listening moves from a clock time to a virtual time. There is a slowing down, an opening out, even though in reality’s metronomic time-field there is none.
 
There is a hesitation. With more Bach to follow, should we applaud? With relief after holding the flight of time’s arrow in our consciousness, just for those concluding minutes and seconds we acknowledge and applaud - the beginning of the concert.
Amitav Radiance Aug 2014
The flowers bloom momentarily
Winds carrying their delicate aroma
Swiftly guiding me towards them
As the petals have spread their beauty
Spreading happiness all around
A brief encounter leaves sweet memories
Sally Tsoutas Apr 2015
Banned,
momentarily.
young, impetuous
stubborn and aware,
tac sharp, she merrily
swears all contraband.
trapped by parental snare
in her room of thoughts
she battles valiantly
with screaming demons,
playing cleverly,
her winning
hand.
So good to have you back iz.
Nigel Morgan Oct 2012
When Zuo Fen woke day was well advanced into the Horse hour. In her darkened room a frame of the brightest light pulsed around the shuttered window. A breeze of scents from her herb garden brought sage, motherwort and lovage to cleanse the confined air, what remained of his visit, those rare aromatic oils from a body freed from its robes. Turning her head into the pillow that odour of him embraced her once more as in the deepest and most prolonged kiss , when with no space to breathe passion displaces reason in the mind.
 
The goat cart had brought him silently to her court in the Tiger hour, as was his custom in these summer days when, tired of his women’s attention, he seeks her company. In the vestibule her maid leaves a bowl of fresh water scented with lemon juice, a towel, her late uncle’s comb, a salve for his hands. Without removing his shoes, an Emperor’s privilege, he enters her study pausing momentarily while Xi-Lu removes himself from the exalted presence, his long tail *****, his walk provocative, dismissive. Zuo Fen is at her desk, brush in hand she finishes a copy of  ‘A Rhapsody for my Lord’. She has submitted herself to enter yet again that persona of the young concubine taken from her family to serve that community from which there seems no escape.
 
I was born in a humble, isolated, thatched house,
And was never well-versed in writing.
I never saw the marvellous pictures of books,
Nor had I heard of the classics of ancient sages.
I am dim-witted, humble and ignorant,
But was mistakenly placed in the Purple Palace . . .

 
He loves to hear her read such words, to imagine this fragile girl, and see her life at court described in the poet’s elegant characters. Zuo Fen’s scrolls lie on his second desk. Touching them, as he does frequently, is to touch her, is to feel mystery of her long body with its disregard of the courtly customs of his many, many women; the soft hair on her legs, the deep forest guarding her hidden ***, her peasant feet, her long fingers with their scent of ink and herbs.
 
He kneels beside her, gradually opening his ringed hand wide on her gowned thigh, then closing, then opening. A habit: an affectation. His head is bent in an obeisance he has no need to make, only, as he desires her he does this, so she knows this is so. She is prepared, as always, to act the part, or be this self she has opened to him, in all innocence at first, then in quiet delight that this is so and no more.
 
‘A rhapsody for me perhaps?’
‘What does Liu Xie say? The rhapsody is a fork in the road . . .
‘ . . . a different line’, he interrupts and quotes,’ it describes people and objects. It pictures appearance with a brilliance akin to sculpture or painting.’
‘What is clogged and confined it invariably opens. It depicts the commonplace with unbounded charm.’
‘But the goal of the form is beauty well-ordered . . . . as you are, dearest poet.’
‘You spoilt the richness of Lui Xie’s ending . . .’
‘I would rather speak of your beauty than Xie’s talk of gardening.’
‘Weeding is not gardening my Lord.’
 
And with that he summons her to read her rhapsody whilst his hands part her gown . . .
 
Over the years since he took her maidenhead, brusquely, with the impatience of his station, and she, on their second encounter deflowered him in turn with her poem about the pleasure due to woman, they had become as one branch on the same tree. She sought to be, and was, his equal in the prowess of scholastic memory. She had honed such facility with the word: years of training from her father in the palace archives and later in the mind games invented by and played with her brother. Then, as she entered womanhood and feared oblivion in an arranged marriage, she invented the persona of the pale girl, a fiction, who, with great gentleness and poetry, guided the male reader into the secrets of a woman’s ****** pleasure and fulfilment. In disguise, and with her brother’s help, she had sought those outside concubinage - for whom the congress of the male and female is rarely negotiable. She listened and transcribed, then gradually drew the Emperor into a web of new experience to which he readily succumbed, and the like of which he could have hardly imagined. He wished to promote her to the first lady of his Purple Chamber. She declined, insisting he provide her with a court distant from his palace rooms, yet close to the Zu-lin gardens, a place of quiet, meditation and the study of astronomy.
 
But today, this hot summer’s day, she had reckoned to be her birthday. She expected due recognition for one whose days moved closer to that age when a birthday is traditionally and lavishly celebrated. Her maid Mei-Lim would have already prepared the egg dishes associated with this special day. Her brother Zuo-Si may have penned a celebratory ode, and later would visit her with his lute to caress his subtle words of invention.
 
Your green eyes reflect a world apart
Where into silence words are formed dew-like,
Glistening as the sun rises on this precious day.
As a stony spring washes over precious jade,
delicate fishes swim in its depths
dancing to your reflection on the cool surface.
No need of strings, or bamboo instruments
When mountains and waters give forth their pure notes . . .

 
Her lord had left on her desk his own Confucian-led offering, in brushstrokes of his time-stretched hand, but his own hand nevertheless, and then in salutation the flower-like character leh (joy)
 
‘Wheresoever you go, go with all your heart’.
 
Meanwhile Xi-Lu stirred on the coverlet reminding Zuo Fen that the day was advancing and he had received no attention or conversation. It was whispered abroad that this lady spoke with her cat whom each afternoon would accompany his mistress on a walk through the adjacent gardens. It was true, Zuo Fen had taught Xi-Lu to converse in the dialect of her late mother’s province, but that is another story.
 
Lying on her back, eyes firmly shut, Zuo Fen surveyed the past year, a year of her brother’s pilgrimage to the Tai Mountains, his subsequent disappearance at the onset of winter, her Lord’s anger then indulgence as he allowed her to seek Zuo Si’s whereabouts. She thought of her sojourn in Ryzoki, the village of stone, where she discovered the blind servant girl who had revealed not only her brother’s whereabouts but her undying love for this strange, ungainly, uncomfortably ugly man who, with the experience gained from his sister’s persistent research had finally learned to love and be loved in equal measure for his gentle and tender actions. And together, their triumph: in ‘summoning the recluse’, and not one alone but a community of five living harmoniously in caves of the limestone heights. Now returned they had worked in ever secret ways to serve their Emperor in his conflict against the war-lord Tang.
 
She now resolved to take a brief holiday from this espionage, her stroking of the Emperor’s mind and body, and those caring sisterly duties she so readily performed. She would remove herself and her maid to a forest cabin: to lie in the dry mottled grass of summer and listen to the rustle of leaves, the chatter of birds, the sounds of insects and the creak-crack of the forest in the summer heat. She would plan a new chapter in her work as a poet and writer: she would be the pale girl no longer but a woman of strength and confidence made beautiful by good fortune, wise management and a generosity of spirit. She needed to prepare herself for her Lord’s demise, when their joyful hours living the lives of Prince and Lady of Xiang, he with his stallion gathering galingales, she with her dreams of an underwater house, would no longer be. She would study the ways of the old. She would seek to learn how peace and serenity might overcome those afflictions of age and circumstance, and when it is said that love’s chemistry distils pure joy through the intense refinement of memory.
This short story with poetry introduces the world of Zuo Fen, one of the first female poets of Chinese antiquity.
ryn Oct 2014
Found myself at a dental clinic...
He was the best there was.
Unorthodox and eccentric,
But to the specialised craft, he was boss.

Ran through the bits and bobs
Like any normally would.
The poking and prodding and the mandible X-rays.
Everything cold and clinical, so was the mood.

Strange was what happened next...
Specialist and I then stood facing each other.
He leaned close and pressed his palms against my rib cage.
Held them there over a few breaths before it was over.

Then a brief chat, small talk initiated by the man.
Bespectacled and exceedingly chatty, small in stature.
Talks of politics and odd human behaviours...
What started off as friendly turned into a heated banter.

I then realised that along with his decorated credentials,
Was his propensity to be condescending and arrogant.
Him being the best, I thought I could let it all slide,
But soon enough I opted out of being a willing participant.

Couldn't stand his abrasive cockiness!
I snapped out of being cordial and passive thought.
I wanted him to just stop talking!
I went, "Well, are you going to fix my teeth or not?!"

He was stunned momentarily...
I suppose he hadn't seen that coming.
Then his features softened to a blank
I could almost read the unspoken words he was conjuring.

With an exasperated sigh of resignation,
He uttered his next words swollen with regret
"There's no need...for you only have four years left."
It dawned upon me that my timer has been set.

*And then I woke up...
Had this dream several nights ago. I believe that in a lifetime, we'd probably get at least three dreams that would be etched in our minds forever. So far I've had two... The other is in my earlier writes.
See "Mysterious".
http://hellopoetry.com/poem/831521/mysterious/
Eryri Sep 2018
Thank you for the memories,
The unexpected, sudden hits of nostalgia
Taking me back to carefree days
Of playing football after a summer rainstorm,
Of laughing in woodwork class,
Of my grandmother's awesome cakes.

Like time travel on the cheap,
You weather away the years,
And the strata of cynicism and regret,
Momentarily eroding my reality,
Revealing the manchild at my core,
Allowing him the briefest chance to once again explore.

But these are unpredictable reveries,
Three dimensional snatches of memories.
It's time they developed some kind of smell recorder,
Just like sights and sounds can be held for posterity.
But such technology would not compare to my physiological wonder;
Magically transforming scent into vivid memories.
--- Oct 2013
BEFORE

Before we even started dating
I was very interested in you
I thought
"She's really unique
And cool
And into books
And smart

And cute."
Every move you made
The ease with which you made friends
And of course
How your nose was always in a book.
That interested me a lot
And I still love that
Even when I know
So much more about you.
My observations from outside.


2.  AS I WRITE

I told you I was doing something
For our six months.
It's nothing spectacular
Nothing expensive
Just time
And my thoughts
My love
I hope to put it into these words which I
Preserve for you
Uniquely mine
For uniquely you
And you alone.



3. SUSPENSE

I just told you today
And you ask for my hint
It was in one of my other poems
You read it
But didn't catch it.
It would be obvious if you did see
What the hint is.
And no, these aren't all going to be
Like this
Just basically a diary
No
They will be better.


4. LIST

I like a lot about you love
I even listed some things off to you recently.
Would you like a list?

The cute faces you constantly make
The way you fall asleep in my arms
The way you make my heart skip when you lean on me
The way your mouth moves when we kiss
Your scent that hangs on my clothes after we hang out
The way you bury your face in my chest when falling asleep
The texture of you hair
The way your face lights up when you're truly happy
The way your cheeks are fun to play with
The perfect shape of your body
Your inability to be mad at me
Your anger at people being self-destructive
Your rambles on things that you feel passionate about
Your sheer uniqueness
Your amazing beauty
The way you feel embarassed when you blush
Your quiet whimpers when I whisper that I love you in your sleep
The way you always tell someone when you're annoyed
Your ability to easily make friends
Your addiction to reading
Your crazy music taste
Your refusal to tell me games you play
Your amazing poetry
Your unique way of dressing
Your uncanny ability to look beautiful and **** in anything

And yes, there's thousands more.
But that's enough for now.


5. NIGHT

You know
I think of you always
During class
During sports
During robotics
During my dreams.
You're so great
You just sneak into my mind
And take all control from me.
I'm stuck thinking about you for awhile.
Not that I really mind.


6. SUDDENLY FRAGILE

I've known you for awhile
And now you're fragile
You seemed strong
Never once wrong
And I'm glad I grew close to you
So that I can be here for you
When you need someone
And I always want to be that someone.


7. FIVE

Today
Of all days
I'm sick.
What I wouldn't give
To kiss you once
On the cheek
Or give you a hug
Quickly
Fleetingly
I want to tell you I love you in person
But I cannot
Not today
But I will.


8. FREAKY

Do you know
How crazy it makes me feel
To just think of you?

9. ALONE

I am alone
With nothing but
My thoughts

Of you.
Obviously.


10. PICTURES

I look at the wall
The ceiling
Blank
Naked, but for some scratches
And I wish it was pictures of you
In plain sight
Wherever I look.


11. TRUE HAPPINESS

I know life is hitting you right now
Hitting you pretty hard
Being forced into therapy you don't want
Medicine that hurts your focus
And now it's ******* up your grades
Which in turn make your parents mad at you
And you seem to be despairing
And all I want to do
Is cheer you up
Make you smile
Forget your worries for just a little while.
I do what I can
But I don't think it's
Enough.
But I will keep trying
Every time I talk to you
Text you
Hug you
I hope I can bring you a little closer
To that honest smile.


12. YOU WORRY

You said it's been bothering you
You say I don't have to stay with you
Because I feel obligated
Because of your mental state.
Well
I'm glad you said it
Got it off your chest
But I would never stay because of pity
Because of guilt
No
I stay because of you.
The you-ness of you
You're just so startlingly amazing
Such a stark contrast to other interests I've had
And I love it.
And I love you.
I'm glad I could at least momentarily
Hopefully stop your worrying.


13. BRILLIANT AND BEAUTIFUL

When I think of you
I imagine gazing into your eyes
As I have done so many times
Those infinite, piercing
Beautiful eyes.
Brilliant, shining, beautiful
Just like you.
So wonderful
Calming
I dream of watching your eyes fall asleep
And waking to the very same pair
Happy and alive
Yet so real
Your beauty
And your realness.
Perfection.
I love you
I could say it a thousand timees
And mean it more every
Single
Time.


14. AGONIZING

It hurts me so much
To see you in pain
To know you're hurting.

You're trying to be more
Independant
You say
Well
Sure, be independant
But I want you to run to me
Cry on my shoulder
Because you aren't alone
And I don't want you to prepare for
A time when you could be alone.
Because I plan on staying within reach.


15. QUESTIONS

You lately have seemed
Scared
Afraid that I am staying with you for some
Pity
That I may feel.
Well, let me tell you
That is so wrong.
I feel bad for you
But that is different.
Because I could never date you through pity
I would feel like I was
Taking advantage of you
So don't worry.


16. SO MUCH I COULD NEVER SAY

I love you so
I can not describe it
The feeling
The exhilaration
From catching a glimpse of you in the hallway
I just feel the need to smile.


17. SMILE-INDUCING

Have I ever told you
That everytime you hug me from behind
I just feel uncontrollably joyful?
And when you refuse to let go
I find it cute
And I just want to stay like that


18. GOOD MORNING

A dream we both have
I want so very badly
To fall asleep holding you close
Singing to you the lullaby of my beating heart
Listening to your breath slow and relax
The perfect weight of your body against my own
And for you to be the last thing I see before I close my eyes
And the first thing I see when awakened
To make fun of your bedhead as the day's first light
Illuminates the room gently
To tell you how I love you
Before you can think anything else
Now only a dream
Someday it will happen.


19. TO RUN AWAY

I wannt to forever hold you
To hide away where nobody can find us
No schedules to disturb us
No cold to riddle our skin with
Goose-bumps
No agony tearing at our hearts
No painful reminders of the past
As the days blur into weeks
Into months
To hold you forever
In solitude.


20. WORRY

Why, love, are you so worried as of late
That you have changed?
I love every version of you
And I'm continually amazed at your ability
To cope
To prevail
But you are not strong enough alone my love.


21. LASTING

I have a feeling
That we will last
Overcome the odds
For a relationship that will endure
Past school
Past our new experiences
Past our differences
And bring us ever closer
More in love
As I feel myself falling for you more everyday


22. MARVELOUS

I never feel quite as amazing
As when I have you laying on my chest
Relaxed and falling asleep
With a blanket
A movie
Relaxation
No upcoming deadlines
Nothing else matters
Just the warmth of you relaxing on me
And my feeling of content.


23. DISCUSS

I love that we can discuss
Our different
Yet similar
Religions.
Yours as yet unnamed
Mine becoming again pure
And we can grow from this
And we become stronger.
And if we disagree about something
We can have a discussion about it
Though I keep my mouth shut
If I have the potential to start an argument
And we stay civil


24. LIST

One of your guesses as to
What I was doing when I hinted about this
A list.
Alright, you inspired me.
Words to describe you.
Beautiful
Intelligent
Different
Crazy
Startling
Lovely
Cute
­Modest
Mesmerizing
Relatable
Foreign
Sad
Lost
Stubborn
Sensitive
­And lastly for now
Theloveofmylife


25. TERRIFIED

Having you in my life is
Terrifying.
I worry so much
About your well being.
I wish I could be your knight in shining armor
But I just
Can't.
Society doesn't leave room for heroes.
It only attempts to create villains.
But you and I
We can resist it
Because society ***** anyway
And we're invincible.


26. DROWSY

When I fall asleep
The last thing on my mind is you.
And it's not just a thought that pops in then.
It starts when I am drowsy
And on the edge of sleep.
I imagine you snuggling close
Burying your face in my chest
Inhaling deeply and
Relaxing.


27. COMFORTABLE

I am glad that you can
Be relaxed enough around me
To fall asleep randomly.
And I love how, even in your sleep, you
Snuggle close
Twitch your hand three times
And whimper whenever I whisper into your ear
"I love you"


28. EXCITED

I love being with you
I love holding you close
Your breathe in my ears
The pounding of your heart
Speeding up when we kiss
Your happy sighs
Pulling me closer
Warming me in this new coming chill.


29.  HEAT

You are warm
You are hot
You keep the chill away
Heck, we could be in the snow without any significant
Warm clothing
And as long as I could hold you close
I could remain there forever.


30. PERFECT LOVE

You are my perfect love
The one for me
The two of us
Can do anything
Beat any odds stacked against us.
Overcome any hardship.
Just wait until we can escape to our life
We can win this race love
Destroy anyone who seeks to foil us
Or just ignore them
They aren't worth our notice
If they try to bring us down.


31. LIGHT

I look into your eyes today
And they are beautiful
As they always have been
I can lose myself in your eyes
The sight behind them
The intelligence
And so much more.
You're startlingly great
And I can't help but want to be around you.
Amanda Apr 2014
Her eyelids cracked open slightly.

Momentarily, they slowly close again.
Sleep was still languidly dancing across it.

Then she sees sunlight peeking through the little gaps of her curtains.

Dust-motes whisper 'Good morning' as they flit in the buttery-white light.

And, goodness me,
just like
that
her sleepy gaze
met
*magic.
9:39am Saturday Morning.
Hello there sunshine!
x
How are you doing today?
Nat Lipstadt Apr 2016
~for lovejunkie, who loved this poem best~

so many reasons,
so many stones
yet unturned,
for each poem
a season,
for every season,
a given reason

eyes, dimmer,
hearing, harder,
memories, ha,
disappear as fast as
footsteps upon
my island beach

this then
my log,
of places momentarily visited,
capturing the of,
of me,
the exactitude of
where, when and what
I felt

what felled me,
the long and lat,
of the attitudes
of breeze and currents,
the happenstance that carries
a desperate soul
eager and afraid
to remember


"how fragile we are"

so memorized records here,
for his storage and his places,
both filled and unfulfilled,


poems, nothing more,
flawed each,
product of a flawed man,

here, for all to see,
most of all,
for the man,
to see himself
when the eyes of his mind
at last be shuttered
4/11/16 8:04am nyc
Ivan Brooks Sr Mar 2018
She was probably the most beautiful,
of any woman he had ever seen.
She turned every head
and stopped time from moving
and movement everywhere she went-
His mind went woozy as he thought of her.
From what he already knew
she was not only beautiful,
she was smart and
an accomplished professional.
Was this a sweet dream?
If yes, he wasn't prepared to wake up from it,
no not yet!
Maybe she was just a product of his imagination,
which was impossible considering that she was standing before him.
She was a woman of exceptional beauty,
probably the most beautiful woman
he had ever seen!
Helping her to her seat, he was overpowered by something.
Wait,it was the scent of her perfume;
It was the mixture of something
he wanted to think he recognized,
which he didn't and something
he had never before smelled.It was nice!
She seemed so flawless,
He thought her bath was prepared
in the constellations by beautiful goddesses,
and her bathroom was the milky way galaxy.
Yes her skin was undeniably radiant,
accentuated by the presence of large almond eyes.
"Wake up!" came the weak old voice.
Bewildered by the old barn keeper's presence,
and momentarily unaware of his location,
he panicked and squinted his eyes.
Oh ****, he was asleep, this was a dream!


IB-Poetry©️
3/2/2018
A dream can give a poor peasant a chance to be with a beautiful woman, in a pristine environment, living a life of privilege.
Andrew Rueter Jan 2018
Icy
There is no moral code
When time is an icy road
Where you cannot stop
Or you'll be stuck in the cold ground
When the temperature drops
Snow collects in my frosty frown
And starts to linger
On my frostbite fingers
While I keep sliding
On the line we're riding

I see icy roads
Leading to icy modes
Of acting
Impacting
The way we treat each other
The same way we beat each other
To the finish line
Of our frigid time

Time isn't nice
When it's ice
But it's all we know
Time continually goes
The challenges grow
Buried in snow
Trying to go uphill is a nasty nope
Sliding downhill is a slippery *****
If you momentarily lose your control
You're pulled over by the cops on patrol

Everything is covered in snow
Even the cars being towed
Their owners gave away their agency
And are at the tow truck driver's mercy
They rely on him to get them to safety
So they cunningly wear his jersey
There are things we want
Acquired by tease and taunt
We drive on top of bodies
To gain traction on the street
We do what is naughty
To have enough to eat

I careen through time
Without seeing a dime
Everything looks so plain
In this frozen rain
When the ordinary life
Is within my sight
I look for something more
Only to see a frozen door

There is ice on the road
There is ice in my heart
I can't handle the load
In the back of my cart
Until I decide
To abide
By the slide
And glide
On the edge of control and freedom
There are other cars and I'll lead them
Can be found in my self published poetry book “Icy”.
https://www.amazon.com/Icy-Andrew-Rueter-ebook/dp/B07VDLZT9Y/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=Icy+Andrew+Rueter&qid=1572980151&sr=8-1
Styles Mar 2017
flesh meeting flesh
devoured by emotion
two soulmates mesh
bodies momentarily woven
in the pleasures of the flesh
lost in each others depths
speaking words unspoken
Annelyra Oct 2013
Crash
And you're awake
Fighting with eyelids
Losing
tick tick tick
you're
running out
of
time
half an arm in your sleeve
and one shoe missing
girlfriend
this is modern life
the right to run yourself
absolutely ragged
was earned for you
by other better women
so run faster run faster runfaster
and make sure
your nails are as immaculate
as your
work/life balance

trickle trickle
down the centre of your back
fully paid-up member
of the local leisure centre
sculpting that body
for everyone else's sake
see the angel in the marble
and sweat until
you set it free
you're a modern-day
Michaelangelo
take out your chisel
and get back to work

tease those eyelids open
oh god
crash
crash
crashcrashcrash
heartbeat elevating
along with your blood pressure
have you forgotten..
no its ok
thank god
heart slows
with a family to support
and a mortgage to pay
you can't afford to forget
anything
and you can't afford
the sleep it requires
to sharpen that memory
you're paying in minutes
and you need more
than you can get

remember
if you can't touch it
it ain't worth nothing
glass coffee tables with
object d'art languishing beneath
that's what life is all about
fill your place with
minimalist furniture
have a feature wall
in every room
be edgy and creative
monochrome not florals
darling
seriously consider an extension
and a yacht
install a corner jacuzzi
in magenta temptress
that you'll never use
shout at the children
for spilling on the
cream wool carpet
invite friends over to
drink Merlot with you


carbon footprint aside
work is an hour away
so at the end of every day
get in your car
and hurtle towards home
weaving between cars
and lorries
and motorbikes
autopilot
thinking of emails
writing emails
receiving emails
gottapickupthekidsandsortoutthe..
then
you realise
with your chest bangbangbanging
that your eyelids gave up
just momentarily
as a lorry pulled out
driven by a 44-year-old
who will later
much later
joke weakly
women drivers
over his pint of Carlsberg
and in two seconds flat
you're going
to
crash.
Beth Ivy Sep 2014
Dancing at my windowsill she calls,
black bottomless eyes and a jagged smile
tug me from sleep with a broken-glass laugh.
Beckoning, this pixie traces softly across my jaw--
fingertips so slightly ***** the skin.
Wordless but for laughter she pulls at me until
charmed I rise to follow where she leads.

Open evening air greets my night-dressed body
with cool wakening breezes and wild sounds.
Stumbling through rocks and over roots
I chase through the wood behind my manic guide.
Toes grip at undergrowth, slip, falling to arrive
on my knees
scraped and panting slightly
in a clearing otherworldly,
aglow with fey light.

A curious night-shine looms--yet Luna's face is hidden.
All attentions focus now on this central luminescence.
From its core jangles sweet, unearthly music
twisting its way into my heart
teasing at the edges of my fragile mind.
Compelled forward I follow sound--
my waker cannot outstrip me as we hurtle on.
Before our eyes the glow casts shadows
forming structure in this mystifying vision
eyes drink in your very first glimpse:
The Carnival.

Light and shadow compose sweeping tents
striped ebony and ivory, seeming strong as each
element yet smooth, sculpted by a master's hands.
Leaping black flames skip along their summits,
performing their nocturnal dance,
illuminating darkness, engulfing light.

Revelers' song soars and forms carouse,
                                                  lively­--but shadows only--to the eyes outside.

The air bears heady perfumes, enticing scents:            
rich, melting creams and toasting sugar
enveloping baked warmth and intoxicating spice.
Last, encircling all this wonder,
cries of mirth and sights to amaze:
an unadorned, unflinching iron fence.

Drunk with sound and smell and scene
wildly spinning through the breeze,
my rousing sprite whirls ahead
bound as if in a trance
her body flinging against
the forbidding blackened gates--
                                        her laughter only extinguished
                                                         as her delicate form dissolves into smoke
                                         holding momentarily the blue of night
                                                         her wasted shape, lost to the barrier.


But Curiosity will blind
eyes far more chaste than mine,
and Allure sings only such songs
that no heart suffers long.

Heedless mortal as I am, I grasp the solid frame
decay crumbles rough against my palms.
Bodies of other spirits caked by time
or the innocent work of oxidation
I do not pause to wonder,
merely vault myself over the fence
and brush from my hands
the black dust of portentous iron.

Inside the gate, vibrant figures flood my vision
ornately costumed in gowns of orange, violet, green
arrayed in shirts and trousers dazzling in spectrum.
These gorgeous apparitions loop around me
peddling beauty, selling fame.
They mesmerize  the eye with stunning wares:
an emerald beast to carry your heavy burdens
sapphire wine to cool your burning tongue
the music of a thousand crystal seas
kept in a bottle to drown your babbling mind.

                "What do they cost?"
                            "Not a dime, not a dime!
                              Just your Now, just a Moment,
                                                         ­                  only Passing Time."

Wandering deeper into the mysteries of night
a band of revelers swing beside and catch me
laughing, bear my bewildered form in arms
and deposit me into a large tent, wherein I find
a man at a canvas the size of a wall
before which are seven stone bowls.
He dashes his brush before the amazed,
and the canvas remains blank
until my companions urge me closer.
Couching myself upon a cushion shapes appear:
Here is a man who will paint your heart's desires
so vivid you can lose all you have
so intimate you fear to move,
lest any see the embers of your fire.

Spin and turn, the Revelers never stay long,
nor draw too near to any one spectacle,
but only joy for new tents, new delights.
No passion was left to grow cold,
no enchantment to lose its power.

Spin
See the girl of flawless grace,
her body painted like the stars--
                                                  the stars the carnival hid
painted like the stars and lithe as the air
ethereal in her arts,
ascending the pole, traversing the rope!
See her twine around stakes and over fire,
dive through hoops and drop
through that needle-loop in your eye.

Spin
Step up to the tent of glistening blue
the fountain that gushes without source.
Marvel at its lucent clarity, it's chilling foam!
Fill your goblet to the brim and drink!
Drink deep, imbibe sweet forgetfulness.
Long for nothing, cleanse your heart.

Spin
Take the carousel with its living beasts to ride.
Make merry with all on board and erase
any care your heart can hold.
Let the furious pace speed on from you
all that would trouble for a thought.

Spin
A honeyed apple pressed against your tongue.
                                         Just a taste! Just a bite!
See the glistening on the skin
made from the dreams of the greatest hearts
unrestrained and unrequited.
Fresh Desire--they're all the more enticing.

The apple glitters golden, its red flesh shines beneath.
Something familiar, a darker red, flecked across the finish.
I bite down and reel--
Something wondrous, but something queer.

Faithful attendants grab me quickly, dance me
into the mouth of a dark velvet tent.
It swallows me as I fall, waiting for the teeth---

        White mist surrounds with a shimmer
         and I have found the ground.
A Voice, deep as the sea enfolds me
gentle, heavy as with sleep--yet all aware.
It invites me closer, sit nearer
rest from the night's fantasies.
Lulled, I make for the figure hooded in brilliant gold.
He leads me to his table.

Heavy, strangely empty I seek sanctuary.
He offers instead a great promise--
power over my weariness, my desires met.
He offers joy unending,
pleasure without regret, without shame.
A haven promised here, mine alone, if only--
--if only I will stay.

But something tastes metallic in those words
promises that cannot be kept.
No tent could hold so much.
This voice, so warm and pleasing,
cannot mask well a lie,
and the gentle hand holds equally a threat.
                                                         ­                                                             run­
                Awake once more I fly from the shroud
bursting blind into the alley.

But back in the tent, left a piece of my heart
and my eye rolls away into a peddler's cup
blistered bits of my soul flake off, scorched
by fire-eaters food. What's left? Who am I?

                             What did it cost?
                               Not a dime, not a dime!
                                          Just a piece of your heart,
                                                                ­  just a piece of your mind.


Retching, the last of my still beating heart
squelches into my waiting hands.
I gag and sob out the gore, disbelieving
this small bit of flesh is all that is left
of all that I have been.

The blood draws the eyes of comrades
now changing from lovely to grotesque.
Ravenous, their teeth elongate
Eyes darken and colors fade
What was vibrant now decayed.
Sweet cream curdles in my mouth.
Rich meats, choice fruits turn sour--
the apple rots.

A hoard unrecognizable
of starved beasts and hideous beings
bears down for my final offering.

But I must know who I am
and what there was beyond this place!


Sprinting barefoot from the mob
clutching the vital treasure to my chest--
though to there it may not return--
I look now for mercy from the black gate.

Elegant porcelain fingers produce monstrous claws.
What once caressed my wondering skin
now sinks in for blood with crushing force.
A hopeless last attempt, a dead man's prayer:
I fling my body on the gate---


                                                       ­                                I am over. I am free--



Iron that once kept me out, now holds them fast within.

Bedclothes torn, all my purchased raiment turned to ash,
I limp, clutching a fragment heart.
Staggering from the Carnival's screams,
its dissonant music now all trick and terror.
Putrid garbage wafts from its walls.
Press onward, never looking back, through the wood.

So long ago--how long?--a little one led me here.
Her death was her own, but could have been
my salvation, a warning dearly paid.
Cheaply received.

My mind swims.
A body with its heart outside cannot last.
There are many things not of the Carnival
that would have my final scrap.

Faltering feet stumble and tripping find
a mere clear and still: a mirror for the moon.
And Luna's face does shine down
all her attendants watching on
as my naked form collapses beside its calm.
I cannot deserve this resting place,
could not discern a trap if one here lay.
All I can and have and am I offer up to Mercy,
and dip what's left of my broken life
into the cleansing pool.
first legitimate narrative piece.
a proof that no one can have an original idea. listening to showbread's 2004 album, *no sir nihilism is not practical.* definitely some inspiration from erin morgenstern's *night circus*, although her book is quite a different and lovelier thing. recently reading *undine* by friedrich de la motte fouqué (translated. i'm not that classy). recently struggling with those things that most often try to ensare a heart.

this is undoubtedly going to be one of those pieces i am never happy with.
Rhianecdote Nov 2014
Walk onto a stage called life
and take a look around.
There's much to be found in such a small space,
more to give and much to take
as the curtains called and you're pulled into this performance.
Stare into the audience and pray for applause
but what if you're met with silence?
Spotlight on you as your hopes are ejected
and you my friend have just been rejected
and that is a hard thing to take.
So take a seat, a rejection seat.

Front row to your failures as they come In-ter-view.
Call it the Dragons Den the Lions Pit
and yet they ask me what kind of animal i'll be
as i sit and daydream about Spiderman in a suit
listing qualities of make believe
as he's forced to fill in a CV just like me;
not that i'm a superhero,
i'm just saving face you see,
it's just an amusing thought to ease the anxiety.

And the voluntears they come in turn.
Call em that cause they come momentarily
to remind me involuntarily
that sometimes i do need help and not all things are easy,
not all things are meant to be.
So i take a seat, will you take one with me?

As you watch that relationship sail
and wonder how did it fail?
Bon voyAge is irrelevant.
Whether it be school crush folly to divorcee
it's a learning curve right?
Hard when it seems the only thing you taught me
is what it means to feel lonely.
It's cold in that place called the one way street,
so take a seat. Pull up a chair to something that's no longer there
and share in despair as you stare at your feet.

But you will raise your head eventually.
Adopt the thinkers pose, indulge in some feelosophy.
Cause a friend once said to me that rejection is a time for reflection
and i tend to agree.
So tell me, as i stare into the face of rejection
why is it that i see my own reflection?
Am i cursed to take this personally?
It's always the shoulda, woulda, couldas that get to me.
Do they get to you?
If so take a seat.

And are you sitting uncomfortably?
Cause you shouldn't be.
Take comfort as you stare along row upon row of chairs
that stretch along beyond you and me.
Side to side, across from and diagonally.
Filling the Feartre.
There's many to be found in such a small space,
more that give and much that take
and though this may be the closing scene
there's another show tomorrow
and you and I will receive our standing ovation,
just take my hand and stand with me.
Cause this seat was only ever meant to be temporary.
Tom Spencer Jul 2015
Cellophane wings beating
against the heavy summer air,
back and forth, all day long,
the blue dragonflies
chase one another across the pond-
their tails turned up
like neon scimitars
poised for a ******
that never seems to come.
Occasionally, a truce is called,
and they settle into place
on opposite sides of the reeds,
momentarily oblivious to their war.
Twice their size,
the red dragonfly idles in the sun.
From time to time it leaves its perch
to challenge the silhouette
hanging from the iris blade,
its spent skin,
as if it were a bad memory
rising from the green depths of the pond.
Below the surface,
the fish school together- a current of gold
slipping between the lily pads,
each aware of its place in the stream.
My reflection circles them all.
Drawn to the water
that both mirrors and obscures
I lose my place for a moment-
hovering between obligations and idleness
on cellophane wings.


Tom Spencer © 2015
Raghu Menon Oct 2015
We die momentarily
When dear ones depart us
But we are reborn
with their energies
transferred to us
and may be
they live in us,
through us
Provided
we are worthy
of being the carrier of
"their" lives..
for what
they stood
in their lives,
the values they fought for
the virtues which they cultivated ...
Raphael Uzor May 2014
The intermittent, distant rumbling in the skies was suggestive of chronic flatulence. The sun struggled in futility to shine – like a crying child who had been forced to smile. Lightning flashed in quick successions, momentarily throwing brilliant streaks of white light across the room. The angry growl of thunder that followed was enough to send a troop of Howler monkeys scampering for safety.

The lights flickered as though unable to make up their minds to stay or not to. But apparently, the wind had zero tolerance for such petty indecisiveness. And like an enraged, stimulated, demented animal, it gusted through the windows and doors, hauling loose papers, light bulbs in every direction, shattering the bulbs to smithereens, as if to punish them for being so fickle. The lights died.

Thick black blankets eerily stretched across the skies with gusto, menacingly extinguishing whatever was left of the sun’s brilliance. More rumbles and flashes followed in royal herald of the impending storm. And in no time, slick sheets of rain torrentially came pouring down, cascading the roofs to form puddles almost as soon as they hit the ground.

​I looked in horror, fervently praying that whoever God had appointed to build the ark in our time had not diverted the funds. I was trapped in the office, and I knew exactly what this meant…flood, scarcity of buses, hiked transport fares, heavy taffic and very likely, at least one month of blackout.
It would be another three hours of steady downpour before the rain eventually stopped, as gracefully as it had been ushered in.
I picked up my bag, rolled up my trousers in earnest anticipation of the inevitable flood, and made my way home.

​To my utter bewilderment, there were no floods! The lights from the street lamps cast a soft golden glow on the slick roads, seemingly creating mirages of pools of water from afar off. But they were mere illusions. The gurgling sound coming from the underground drainage was proof of where all the water had gone. It was a strange sight. Like some alien cyborg from space had been fiddling with a time machine that had accidentally propelled us twenty years into the future.

My new world was a three-fold utopian dream. So surreal!
I could see beautiful, high-rise, state of the art edifices with mind-blowing architectural designs that blatantly seemed to defy the laws of gravity. I could see world-class hospitals that admitted ailing dignitaries from around the world and top-notch schools that offered scholarships to deserving indigenous and international students.
Sure enough, this was Nigeria! The Nigeria we all dreamed of.

And there was light…electricity! - In myriad of colours that seemed to have been dispersed from several colossal disco ***** via *“wireless fidelity”
technology. I strained to hear the noise from generators, but I was disappointed. I couldn’t even hear the all too familiar cacophony of horns blaring, conductors shouting, loud discordant music, rattling vehicle engines etc. It was like everyone and everything had taken a crash course on orderliness.

I saw a vibrant transportation system that included high speed railway lines, paved road networks that looked like a child’s doodles, first-class air strips and efficient sea transportation.
I saw a working government - one that had provided the critical infrastructure for her people.

I saw a nation with a large industrialized economy, where the dividends of democracy had been delivered to the people by their government. One consciously founded on equity and honesty of purpose, and courageously sustained by unfaltering faithfulness and unwavering patriotism.      
A nation whose economic boost did not come solely from crude oil exploration and production, but also from crude oil refining, agriculture, manufacturing, infrastructure, food, services, tourism, automobiles, transportation, education etc.
A nation that thronged with international investors from all walks of life, who were not in the least afraid to invest in her.

And then, I saw her people. A people proud of their citizenship.
A people proud to be called NIGERIANS.
A people who were not given to religious, political, or tribal bigotry.
A people who individually and collectively, gallantly bore the torch of the vision of their heroes past.
A people who earnestly and persistently worked to see only goods “Made in Nigeria” sold in their markets.

Where there was once despair, I saw hope. Where there was once fear, i saw security. Where there was once disgruntlement, I saw satisfaction. Where there was once poverty, I saw wealth opportunities and where there was unemployment, I saw jobs. Death had given way to life and life to hope.

I started, as I felt something cold and wet trickle down my forehead. It was droplets of rain from a leak in the roof just above my head. I was still in my office, I never left. The rain had lulled me to sleep. Even more sadly, I realized it had all been a dream.
Slowly and regretfully, I packed my things and left for home. It was pitch black outside as I carefully waded through the polluted waters, jauntily holding my bag, more because I was afraid to lose it in the flood than in a hopeless bid to dignify the situation.

Two hours later, I crawled into bed. I did not have to turn the lights off…the electric poles had gone for a swim. A very long one.



© ONUGHA EBELE VICTORIA
This is NOT my work, but I found it amazingly share worthy.
Mymai Yuan Sep 2010
I swirled my fingertips on the surface of the water and sent a message across with shiny, glossy ripples that grew slowly, and gracefully. He kneeled on the other side of the moonlit pond and watched as the ripples from my fingertips reached him. He cupped the ripples of the water into his palm and drank the cold water, sighing happily.
“What does it taste like?” I whispered hoarsely, as loud as I dared to be while knowing we would be reprimanded fiercely for sneaking out of the huts at this time of night.
“Love” he called back.
I burst out laughing in panting breaths and tried to stifle the noise with my fists. I heard him bellow out, and the echoes rang freely through the woods before he quickly shoved his face into the water and laughed in there, the bubbles of his laughter surfacing violently.
“You idiot” I whispered joyfully when he brought his head up from the water, his dark hair curled against his forehead, “I didn’t even write anything to do with love. I wrote how foolish of a boy you are.”
“And you still stick with me so that’s love isn’t it?” he teased me. His finger tips swirled in the water for a minute. “Your turn to taste, Masra”
I waited till the ripples hit the side of the pond and quickly dipped my tongue in and lapped the water. I pursed my lips, pretending to debate what his message was. The surface of the black water was littered with reflection of the stars. It was so beautiful that I momentarily forgot the little game we were playing and gasped, “Oh stars!”
He took a quick intake of breath and stared up at me with wide eyes. “Really?” he asked in an unbelieving tone.
“What do you mean?”
“Stars?” he asked again, sounding like a sweet little confused child.
“Yes!” I laughed. “Stars!” and I splashed the surface of the water to show him.
He shook his head. “I can’t believe you could read, I mean, taste that... That’s incredible…”
It took me a second to realize what he was talking about. I decided to play along anyways and whispered dramatically, “Yeah, but I didn’t know what you were trying to say”
“A million stones on fire with wishes
Yet the brightest star is not up there” he recited his favorite lines from an old love poem.
“You are disgustingly soppy” I got up from kneeling by the pond and treaded softly on the dry leaves so that they wouldn’t crackle so loud. Reaching him, I kneeled down beside him and ran my fingers through his curly wet locks. His dark eyelashes were still wet with water and the chestnut eyes gleamed brightly.
I curled into his lap comfortably like a cat and he rolled over with me lying on top, while his strong arms held me. I buried my face into the skin of his beautiful brown neck and inhaled the sweet, musky smell. Reab smoothed my hair before murmuring huskily, “Why do you always do that?”
“It smells like you, the old Reab smell. It makes me feel safe and warm and happy.”
“I love you.”
“Do you think we’ll always be happy like this?” I asked, speaking of my deepest fear.
“I will never stop loving you, if that’s what you mean. And if we are caught sneaking out, I’m pretty sure no one would be too surprised. They all know from the way I look at you I intend to marry you when Chief thinks you’re old enough and finally say okay.”
I laughed at the thought of Chief being able to give me away.
With my parents both gone since I was a baby, Chief had adopted me as his daughter and he loved me tremendously for all his lecturing ways. Reab laughed a little too but without any fear of Chief rejecting him. Chief loved Reab too and approved of us most of the time.
“Do you remember when he caught us making ‘sheep-eyes’ at each other as he put it and he was furious?” We chuckled at the memory of Chief turning storm on us, declaring we were too young.
“What would he say now?” he turned my face to face his and kissed me for a while, with the wind blowing the tendrils of my hair on his face. He smiled mid-way through our kiss, for the soft strands of my hair on his face always tickled him.
I didn’t want to continue with my question after that happy moment. But I had to; he was the only man who would tell me the truth. “Our tribe has enemies. We have many men, many strong men… but I know we are in a constant threat. I have seen the midnight meetings you men hold when you think we are asleep and more weapons that normal are being made nowadays.”
He looked at me with sad eyes; with so much love and desire burning in them that my own eyes began to swell up with tears. I fluttered my lids to get rid of the wetness but he reached over and caught a tear on his pinky and licked it. Then he licked all the tears off my face and I giggled as his tongue flicked over the tearstains on my cheeks.
“The tribe is in some danger. You and I are not. I will love you forever.” I shook my head and was about to interrupt with another fearful question when he continued, “You know what Chief always says. We don’t live just one life. I loved you since we were babies. You know what I think?”
“What?” I asked, his voice slightly soothing my fears.
“I think I’ve known you before. There’s no way you can know someone the way I know you in the short life time we’ve lived. This is not the first time we’ve met.”
“You’re not worried if a battle comes we won’t be together?”
“No.” he answered and kissed my forehead.
“Why?” I couldn’t get rid off the idea of such a terrible fate.
“I think…” he struggled to get the words out, “I think we’ll always be together somehow. Masra, I’m… I’m just not afraid”
We lay there for a while until I fell asleep in his arms. I was awoken a little later with him shaking me softly for us to sneak back into our own huts.
There was a little advantage in having both my parents gone. Lela, my cousin who shared the hut with me, stirred only a little as I crept back in.



“I’ve been hearing from your sister that lately you have been waking very late. I don’t approve of this laziness.” Chief said to me as I sat on the floor of his hut, admiring the new spear he had just made. I sharpened the stone a little for him and smiled up brightly. His face softened. Chief was not usually an easy person to get around, but he always said he loved me more than was good for me. “I saw Reab today. He didn’t look so alert and awake.”
My mind clicked into place as I realized Chief had his suspicions. “Reab?” I inquired with an innocent expression. “Is he ill?”
“He just looked tired.” Chief replied with raised eyebrows, his eyes were a little puzzled. I had fooled him for now.
I balanced the spear in my hand. “You hold a spear too well for a woman” he grunted. “Spending too much time with me, I suppose. You should spend more time with your sister Lela. It would have been different if your mother was still alive. She would’ve taught you some womanly manners.”
“I think I’m feminine enough.”
“Look at you, blundering around after the men of the village, killing creatures and planning your attack even better than my men.”
“I don’t plan Chief; it just comes to me”
“Making it even worst!” he cried with a hidden pride.
I burst out laughing and bade him good night. He ruffled my hair fondly. “You go to sleep now Masra. Get some good sleep. Tell Reab that too” his eyes sparkled wickedly. Perhaps I hadn’t fooled him after all.
“You tell Reab, won’t you? I won’t see him till tomorrow morning.” I replied demurely.



And here passed, long uneventful days with the occasional nights that Reab and I would sneak out of the huts to spend the cool nights together and forcing ourselves out of bed at the crack of dawn along with the villagers, exhausted but happy. I suspected Chief still had his own wary thoughts, but with a denial somewhere in his mind, he did not seek to expose the truth or confine stricter rules on me through Lela. The few months that went by, I watched as Reab grew from a boy to a man.
A man I loved more than life itself.
One night, as I was lying in his arms I poked a thumb against his forehead and breathed out happily before nestling into his chest.
“What?” he asked me, amused at my random, loving behavior.
“I like to check that you’re real.”
He had no words in reply to that but tightened his hold on me, and swiftly kissed my dark hair with a sudden passion. His fingers caressed my head, and he inhaled the flowery perfume from the brown strands clutched in his hand.
“I wish you a long and happy life.” I whispered softly, afraid of the feelings that were surging through me.
“With you.” he replied back.
“No. Not just with me… anywhere… as long as you’re happy.”
“So with you then…”
Some days after that night, when it was pouring so furiously everyone had retreated back into their huts to cozy up, gossip, and flirt while warming their hands on hot wooden mugs we snuck off and climbed a special tree.
It was special because it was a giant, and very old with gnarled branches and knobs that made it easy to grip on with our toes, but the trunk itself was as smooth as a baby’s skin. It overlooked most of the village and the canopy was so thick it protected us from the rain except for the small wet drops that would escape through.
The tree stood apart from the woods and was very difficult to get to. One had to climb several other trees to reach it, ducking in and out of the tangle of branches up in the canopy like a maze. Only Reab and I had spent enough time up there to discover the path in reaching it. We were yet to discover how to reach it without getting scratches and bleeding scabs all over our skin.
Every time the thunder roared deafeningly Reab would yell, “I love you!” and no one could hear but Reab, the heavens, our special little tree and I.
He was so beautiful; like a lithe dangerous animal and his muscles were graceful and strong as he climbed around on the branches. I wished for the rest of our days to be like this and I remembered the lines he had recited to me only a little while ago,
““A million stones on fire with wishes
Yet the brightest star is not up there”

*

A distant roar erupted. The stars had not granted my wish, they had granted my deepest fear. The sound of drums rumbled steadily over the noise of screaming villagers, over the noise of animal fear in those I loved and lived with.
It was the sign that our enemies were finally in sight. We had been waiting for there attack all year long.
Lela grabbed me by the arm. “The chief says all women must flee!” she gasped and choked. Her eyes were leaking with tears. I stubbornly shook away her hand and I could see the desperateness growing in her eyes.
“There is no time to cry Lela”, I tried saying confidently but my voice shook. “Where is Reab?”
Even in her hysterical state she did not want to answer the question I already knew the answer to. “Where is Reab?” I repeated. When she did not reply I narrowed my eyes.
In the face of danger I had never been woman-like and cowered.
Chief had raised me stare any wild beast straight into its cold, predatory eyes before slaying it. I was not unfamiliar to thrusting a jagged dagger into the heart of danger.
I would not leave a man I loved behind like the running footsteps of women carrying their babies, pushing old people along, and dragging wailing children were doing.
I would not leave and I would fight when I could.
Lela stared at me as if she’d just read my mind.  “You may not fight Masra!” she cried. I pushed her aside.
“Help the women evacuate! Grab a baby, help a village elderly; just do it Lela!” I yelled violently and ran through the women who were running towards the woods.
I shoved women aside to get to the battle. My long legs tangled with the other woman, and I fell on my knees. They were both bleeding badly when I got up. Running with my knees stinging, a huge man suddenly grabbed me and swung me to face him. For one moment, I thought he was Reab and I clutched onto him; then I saw it was Chief, and I clutched to him even tighter.
“Chief, please don’t make me go away! Please let me fight with you!” I was screeching and begging with no sanity left in me.
He smiled weakly, “I wanted you to come without little Lela, I knew you would be headed this way. I have not much time Masra, my men need me. I have something I want to give you to make sure you will be safe enough to last through this war if I die,” he spoke softly.
I shook my head and hugged him. “But- but you- you wont!”
Chief gave me a sad smile. “I don’t know that.”
His brown hands reached to his neck and tugged a simple black leather string free. He shoved it into my hands. “Remember this, Masra. Just say to it, ‘Jack, Jack, shine the light’ when you feel there is nobody left in the world for you. Be ready for what happens. Goodbye Masra…”
He touched my cheek and warmth spread though me, momentarily making me feel safe.
“Why Jack?” I asked wretchedly, in a detached curiosity and trying to prolong the moment that Chief would be safe.
Jack was a commoner’s name; no one in our tribe was called Jack. We all had strong, powerful names that spoke of destiny, truth and purity.
“Chief Traben!” a man cried from the noises of surging mob of warriors.
“Go, Masra, go!” Chief said hurriedly, and pushed me away before whipping out of sight.
Chief had been like my best friend, my big brother and … my father. I wanted to fight with him, for him. But I knew in doing that, I would go against his wishes, and that was the last thing I would ever want to do.
A sudden thought made me realize I did not have to fight. I just had to be there or I would **** somebody in my own village for leaving behind loved ones. I knotted the black leather string determinedly on my neck.
I ran to the bottom of a slippery tree and climbed up to the canopy and began to duck in and out, swinging between and onto branches in the maze-like chaos of sticks and concentrated leaves to get to the special tree Reab and I shared.
I hid among the thick tangle; so thick no arrows would be able to pierce me and no enemy would see me. Growling and cursing myself, I remembered I carried no weapons with me and hastily patted my clothing to check again.
Then I remembered it would be useless to have any weapons unless I intended to go down there, for the abundant tangle worked both ways. A spear thrown from where I was would only get stuck in the dense branches below.
I could see the battle though, and that was enough: for now. I searched vainly for Reab, scampering along the top, trying to find where Reab was. I was wild with fury for him for coming.
He was just a boy, newly turned a man. He could still run and hide without shame. When I had him back in my arms again, I was sure to hit him and berate him for choosing to fight for me instead of being safe for me.
It never occurred to me once that Reab might be dead.
It still didn’t occur to me when I saw his body lying on the dirt below, with a man from a village - someone I couldn’t recognize from this height- dragging him. I shouted out, careless of the arrows of enemies.
For the first time in my life, I was terrified of blood: the blood that was seeping out of the wound on his stomach. I didn’t think he was dead; I believed he was injured and I thought of all the herbal concoctions I knew that I could paste over the wound to clean and heal it.
It still didn’t occur to me Reab was dead when the man left him by the bottom of a tree to return and fight. The men in our village did not leave those who could be healed. They stayed and helped them heal to the best of their ability before hiding their healing bodies’ safe in a bush. They only left behind those they could do no more for.
I trembled at anger in the neglect one of our men villagers had shown Reab; the disrespect in it. I would **** him if he were not killing our enemy. Somehow, in the wild pulsing of my body, I found myself climbing down and creeping stealthily to where Reab was and pulling him to safety in a bush.
When he was safe in the bushes, I held him and whispered to him that I was here. I said hold on Reab and I would go and make sure he was safe. I was sobbing. I could not comprehend what was happening for my mind had gone numb and blank.
How could a man who I loved so much bleed so much? All I knew was Reab was not moving in my arms and he must be terribly hurt.
I pressed my fingers to the blood on his stomach. I knew no man could have survived such a wound and so much lo
Corey Jan 2015
It's four, or seven in the morning
I've lost track, but the temperature is decreasing
And the first colors of the night sky emerge, as the sun slowly goes down

I've been up thinking about how it feels when our lips meet
How it feels when your hands run up and down my back, tracing my spine
I buried you deep in my thoughts and it's prevented me from sleeping

I hoped for the first time that my thoughts of you would aid my slumber
I hoped that the thought of your caress would lull me

It turns out that your careful breathing next to me would be the thing that keeps me awake
I can't sleep knowing such beauty lies next to me
I've spent the night in thought over how it feels to feel you against me

It appears that being with you is an eclipse that seems to last forever,
And when it passes, I want nothing more but to enjoy it again
Because it radiates such beauty

Your touch feels like something I won't feel again in a long time
I think I will never again have your gaze upon me when you stop staring

You show me yourself, pure and true, for a matter of minutes
It feels like hours, and it feels like hell
Because you have to leave

It's four, or seven in the morning
I've lost track, but the sun is rising when I want the night
You have to go, seeing as eclipses only last long enough to momentarily fulfill curiosity,
Not enough to lose interest
V May 2015
Swift as a cheetah
On its way to destruction
A great dark swirling mass
Of water,
Accompanied by the small minions
We call rain
And thunder
Lighting up the dark sky momentarily
'Tell me I'm not in a dream. Or one of my trances.' She uttered the two sentences between gasps and seem-to-be quickening pulses. In midair, the tension between them kept growing intensely, trying desperately to meet its peak every second, before finally disappearing into the sightless distance above it. 'You're not,' the man said, his voice distant even when his face was only a few inches from hers, and cupped his free hands around her chin to calm her pale face. Her cheeks were warm in his palms, as if being burnt by hundreds of heaps of dying, yet ravenous flames. She closed her eyes, recording the touch of his perfect skin that seemed able to charm her endlessly since the first time she had fixed her gaze on his shimmering features. The angelic voice which accompanied it woke her a few seconds later. 'And even if you are,' he traced his soothing fingers along the reddening skin of her cheeks, 'I'll bring you back to life. Which is here.' He emphasised the last two words with a smile, a heartbreaking, infuriating smile - because of its astounding beauty, before tenderly touching his cherrylike lips to hers, making her start to tremble uncontrollably in deep confusion. She was, again, in the middle of these steep rocks without any aid to support her unstable weight, meanwhile the air over their heads began to twirl in circles, the weather around them getting pink and turning red in five seconds' time. She was lost. In someone else's magical world, with a rendition of one of The Beatles' hit singles from the 1900s or 1950s - she could not exactly recall which period of years it came from - playing smoothly in the CD player in the languid atmosphere of the living room behind them.
After a moment of enjoyment the kiss brought them he pulled back, before slamming his left hand into the tiny depth of his shirt pocket and taking a silver locket out of it. He threw a confident smile at her, and in one blink of his eye, the room fell dark. Petrified yet washed out by the sudden darkness among them, the girl let out a heart-rending shriek, which was followed by her heaving her body onto him, making his head hit the floorboards and the long necklace break in half. In seconds, blood-red light began to shuffle out of the center of the torn necklace, mingling with the air outside its shell and sending the woman into gradually-coming unconsciousness. She could now only see shadows, muttering and brimming all over the weather around her, and had not the strength to stand up apart from lying helplessly on the feathered carpet beneath. Before her, she saw how he started to rise and reveal his claws, and fangs, and bright red eyes above her. He laughed mercilessly. Instantly, she covered her sweating face with her hands - which now felt too shaky and she hated it, she loathed it very much - and brought out a despondent, lamented sound of cry. Her evil lover, at the same time, continued to soak up as much energy as possible from the change of circumstance.
'Again, I successfully, harmlessly tricked you,' he whispered this to her right ear. Around them, the horrendous wind potter faster and faster meanwhile their invincibly powered circles got bigger. 'You should thank me for that.'
'Th... Thank you for what?' She abruptly gathered her courage to confront him. If this meant that the end of my life was approaching, I would be ready, she thought silently.
'For letting me bound my ways into your life again, Em,' his angelic voice replied, and before she realised what was coming next, she wailed with all of her might when she laid her eyes on his real monstrous, vampiric face before her.
'I am indeed sorry to say that you - a clever and sanguine girl like you - was granted the chance to relish your life only momentarily,' he cleared his throat. 'You have always known that you could not outrun us at the end..., and so have your family.'
'No,' she mumbled, and drifted her gaze to his face - his now burning face. 'NO!'
'No,' he mockingly repeated her words, 'or YES, my dear?'
'Don't call me using that 'D' word, beast,' she put her best effort to yell at the top of her lungs, ''cos I am not your dear, and prefer death to becoming one of you!'
With those last few words, she scrambled to her feet, and stood up in just two swift movements. In her both hands, which he did not know were protected by the two stashes of garlic and one wooden cross in her dress pockets, were two shiny swords with special blades carved onto their two edges which were designated to **** vampires. Get rid of them. And their malicious world of beasts.
She stepped forward, and new powers began to regenerate inside her - despite the cries she felt start to roll into her heart, upon knowing that her beloved Joe had died. Joe had been deceased now. He was lifeless, and no longer able to help her here. She should never have ditched him. It dawned on her now, when everything was already too late to fix up. But she knew that she should never give up. Javier and his vampire family might have tasted every single drop of her other family members - and the rest of Ludirus town's residents - including her Joe, before she idiotically kicked him out for this pathetic, heartless beast who wore a disguise to displace him. She stretch the first sword - the one in her right hand - out to him. He took a step back, his eyes remained focused on her.
'You won't hurt me,' he pretended to be in pain, and in one and a half seconds, he transformed into the figure of the innocuous, blue-eyed prince once more.
'I won't be deceived by your looks, pig,' spat her, meanwhile her brain rummaged through a thousand ways to stick the two swords into his chest. That was, in fact, the only way to **** him. To drain his evil life out of him.
'You were, once,' he laughed, the sound of his devious laughter echoed in the very room, and later left it in such dread and wariness.
'Not anymore,' she bravely took a step forward and, without any further doubt, without caring about her being imprisoned for the rest of her life before getting her blood dried by the fangs of Javier's two older brothers, she stabbed the swords into his chest with all the energy she had left. And the effects sprayed out by the action were beyond any of her expectations. Thousands of blood droplets poured out of his body and onto the floor beneath her, flooding the entire living room and finally the streets outside the building until no litter, little scraps of food, and wheels of vehicles were seen anywhere in sight. Surprisingly, these endless streams of blood did not cause any floods, and rapidly soaked through every single layer of soil the earth had on its surface. The blood that had been consumed out of the poor people of Ludirus, the rural village in South Ireland, famous for its cruel killing rampage for several thousand years, where a group of aristocratic vampire ruled the lives of humans and their own species. But now, there would be no more of them. No more of their horrible treatments. No more of their sneaking-up-on-humans tricks they secretly did at night - to savour human blood, which was lawfully removed from the protecting-human law renewed every year. It was all a lie. Yeah, a lie. A lie that allowed Javier's family to approach Lucinda's family members to be victims in their lifelong killing spree. But now, there would be no more vampires, thought Lucinda as she kissed her holy cross and sets of garlic affectionately. There would be no more blood sacrificed to fend for those beasts' hunger, even though it meant for her to live alone. Live on her own, as she no longer had anyone around her to turn to. To soak up her tears when she was scared away by the bunch of vampire kids on the way home from school. To calm her with her melodious chords at the piano. Mother. To serve her the best spaghetti in the world as a reward for her outstanding grades at school. Sister Sheila. To rub her back and put her to bed at night - at the age of sixteen! Father. Luce's tears just would not stop while she kept counting her memories, as every single shadows of her deceased beloved came back to her. And finally, the sight of her Joe lying his tired head on her lap, and reading out loud to her his newest poem he composed at the office for her. All were gone. Dissolved into the ravenous sea of blood in the guts of those psychotic, simpering, abusive monsters.
But she was satisfied. She felt, somehow, proud of her heroic, or at least, brave actions. She had taken control of her fear, and that was one of the most important characteristics a woman should have to succeed in this cruel world, her father had once said. Now she could prove to them all that she was a newly reborn person, and was no longer the old Lucinda. Lucinda Hale who had always been the 'tail' of her sister while they were six and four, and the little, spoilt daughter of Jim and Aileen Hale who could not hold a plate properly in every banquet their family was invited to. Luce knew that she was now completely a stranger to her family. She squinted her eyes shut, trying to imagine how nice it would be to show off her new self to her late family if only they were all alive with healthy pink cheeks now. In her own peace and this momentary solitude, she found herself sinking onto the floating warmth of blood, but strangely, she did not fall. She did not plunge into the limitless red colour underneath, and remained flowing above it while her tears started to crawl out of her eyes. She did not know, and did not want to know how long this remained until she eventually felt the rough surface of the bearskin carpet again. She woke up with a dizzy head and quickly threw a hasty look around her living room. The prince, beastly Javier had vanished. Oh, there are his remnants, she thought and unconsciously, chuckled quietly to herself when she came to take hold of several white, lifeless bones laid in front of her. Then suddenly she understood what had just happened. The legend in that book she had borrowed from the library transported the knowledge back into her mind. All the members of Javier's family had been crushed now. They were dead. Her sacred tears, which came to mix with the blood flood, became the cure for all the people who had been ****** by the vicious vampires in town. They were now freed, and reawarded, although still mortal, but yet a very rare, elusive, privileged chance to be alive once again and start their lives all over again. They must not be far from her now, thought her. Without any further wait, she raced out of the room, and wormed her way onto the street.
And here they were. The streets of Ludirus were no longer deserted. Traditional markets with a thousand-metre long series of antiques roamed them, occupying every single tiny space provided to place racks containing jewels, valuables, and gold pots. There were also shelves of books about cookery, traditional healing potions, sports, literature, and anything else someone ever wanted to buy. And then she spotted a book with a bright yellow cover, entitled 'Love Poems: From 1900 to the Present, by Joe Grogan.' Her breath seemed to stop at that time and suddenly, before she even got the opportunity to touch the cover of the copy in front of her, two warm arms wrapped her waists and turned her body around to face the owner. Once again, she was at a terrible loss for words. 'Joe,' she mumbled.
'I am,' the writer nodded solemnly. And just like the evil Prince Javier had done before, he pulled out a beautiful silver box and opened it. Inside, two rings shined beautifully before their eyes, radiating a smile as bright as the one seen on others' faces among them. A smile that celebrated the comeback of their long-lost independence. Before she knew it, Joe knelt before her, and presented the ring upwards onto her.
'What would you like to do first, Madam? Marry me, or buy my book?' He grinned and held both her hands. Before she could answer him, he inserted her left ring finger into the perfectly made ring, and helped her right hand fasten his own ring onto his finger. She lifted him up and wrapped her hands around his neck.
'Do you have time for both, Sir?' She rubbed his smooth cheeks and kiss them before looking deeply into his hazel eyes.
'Absolutely,' he answered firmly, and scooped her whole weight into his arms and spinned her around. Luce could no longer say anything when a sudden wave of happiness washed all over her, and became even at a more unfathomable loss of words when she caught the sight of her beloved father, mother, and her sister, all alive, start approaching to deliver their congratulations. Here we are, she thought with a satisfied feeling. We were, are, and will always be meant to be together.
Keith Collard May 2013
"When it occurs to a man that nature does not regard him as important, and that she feels she would not maim the universe by disposing of him, he at first wishes to throw bricks at the temple, and he hates deeply the fact that there are no bricks and no temples.”

― Stephen Crane, The Open Boat

The Ocean Divorce

He rowed away from the sinking hulk. The sky was black, the ocean was black; the rocks emerging out of the inky-eerily-smooth ocean like demonic alters were black. But the ocean nocturne had parts discernible from each other by the same necrotic nuance of a corpse : the calm undulating surface had the stretching wrinkles as if a horde of ***** were trying to break through the skin surface with their claws--that was the waterline; the newly risen rocks were organs, emitting horrible sounds; the sky was the color of a mattress soaked with a rotting corpse--glimpses of white between rotted blackness.  The ocean divorced these survivors from their cruise-ship, and be-told them " you should have went down with the ship." For now, they were with a new family, up from the depths.

They saw their way through the blackness by occasional lightning strikes, stalking the ocean surface for conductive flesh as if a tornado of fifty thousand volts was dancing sinuously with her feet together and her hips out. If the girl at the bow could keep silent, and stop sobbing every time she glanced at the lightning, the rower could steer clear of swimming survivors trying to swamp their hard bottom survivor’s boat. The people in the water were silent and clamored helplessly and spasmodically , as if they were lobsters with the first feeling of heat in a ***.
Patches of white specks in the sky opened up momentarily over the fast moving black clouds, then closed up like clams.  The temporary skylight mixed with the stalking lightning gave visibility in momentary bursts similar to  muzzle flash in a dark room. The rock organs emerging out of the ocean had no nuance and could only be seen by the screams of survivors, who had swam to them for safety. The screams from the newly emerged rocks made the screams of the ships seem like hymns even when the ship split in half and tilted up its two plates—bow and stern--and scooted the sliding passengers into the blazing fire in the fuel and engine rooms as clams in the pan.

A scraping sound over-ruled the screams, they were grounding out on something sharp. The man rowing pressed the oars with all his might and pushed off it, before the rising altar capsized them. In such proximity to the rock all he could hear was "clacking," almost like the rocks were puckering their lips to kiss them repeatedly as if they were babies--and they were just as helpless and lost.

There were four of them in the boat, and they had room for more, but adrenaline made their decisions now. The boat began spinning in circles, as it did a while before, the rip currents tasting them and letting them go. Every time this happened the sobbing women would cry " Oh my God....Oh my God." The man to her left would only grip the gunwhale with alacrity as if he was going to jump out into the ocean. He could not take it, more so than the youngish women, but he was silent about it. The other man, aside from the rower would only stare at the floor, blinking with every lap kissing the bottom of the boat: such a thin piece of wood, separating the devouring liquid blackness from them.

The rower was in a reptilian state, row row, blink, look, row, grit......but slowly he was coming to himself again, with one thought, his son: my son is out there. His son had went into a separate life boat when the stricken vessel was splitting on the giant pitch fork rock that stabbed out of a suddenly black ocean under a suddenly dark sky.

After the rower's shoulder blades completed their circuitous route, an image would appear, then dissipate with a start of another row. But that image was of the last time he had seen his son, before they got onto the cruise liner. They were on a saltwater river, on vacation down the Cape, he had scolded his son harshly for being a… he snapped out of it with the begining of the next row.

He rowed because he was the strongest, and that strength told him to row, for it will sustain his mental vitality at the cost of his physical strength; and by comparison, it was working. The girl to the right of him, was shaking staring at the gunwale, the two men to her left were almost catatonic.

None would look to the horizon of black on black. The lightening cast shadows of the tall rocks they passed on the bottom of the boats making all of them look away, but there was nowhere to look. One of the men, realizing what the rower realized, looked around into the distance, watching the lightening sizzle around the surface like a tornado, watching the lightening was frightening at first but took him away from the mental reflection which was black lightening snake dancing on his closed eye lids.

The Starer looked at that Rower, and without words communicated the first intelligible message among them: keep rowing.

The Sobber, curled up into a fetal postion at a ghastly sound coming from a rock, it was people...not screaming, but people mumbling, babbling, even laughing as if at a cocktail party. Strange.

They hit another current and started spinning rapidly in circles, and that's when the third man became the Babbler. It was like they were loaded like a pinball, wound back, then shot forward on the undulating uncertainty that was this sea that now had a complexion more poisonous than Buckthorn ink. The man pulled up his oars.

Laughs, moans, and ******* noises enveloped them on this real life haunted ocean ride. They all cowered down, they could not look, it was dizzying, like spinning on a ***** inducing amusement park ride. The rock shadows flared on the boat like a flip book of devouring dark monsters. They all hugged eachother.

The Rower, was the first to wake, and notice, the sky was light. He bounce his head up hoping to see society, but alas, no, but they have ran ashore on some rocks just inside a calm clear cove, inky breakers were behind them. A rock island, like a pipe *****, speckled white and black was ahead of them. Over the island, the sky was overcast and still. The Starer looked back beyond the subtle silent breakers, it was black, and the lightening still danced. He looked back to the island.

" We found shore, didn't we, let's go, row, row...." she sobbed.

The Babbler, looked over the side at the clear water. He couldn't tell if it was ten or twenty feet, common to all oceanic still water. The bottom was completely covered in shells of all kinds, but mostly black and white. It looked inviting, and tranquil, and uplifted the Babbler to the Talker.

" Let's go, I'll row if you want--"

The Rower put his oars back in the water without saying anything and rowed toward the ***** shaped island.

They closed, and the Starer said: " look's like it is getting shallower." Then the girl stopped her sobs, and became the ' Complainer."

" Can't you row any faster, what if we get ****** out again...."

The Starer motioned for her to stop, the Rower was responsible for getting them here, and he knew it, and didn't want to change their luck now.

They were a clam skip away from a jagged low lining shoreline that had piers of rock, with coves in between them the length of rowboats. A shark’s ****** grin would be the islands perimeter from an aerial view.

That's when the Starer noticed the cove floor. Every time the Rower rowed, it looked as if he scraped the bottom sea floor. It looked scored, the clam shells moved aside. He took his finger and put it into the water, skimming as the boat moved. He looked aft of his trail; there was a line on the sea floor following his finger. " Must be an optical illusion," he thought.

The bow cracked on the first barnacled rock on dry ground. Well it was not completely dry, it was moist rock and crevice, sharp and inhospitable. The Complainer got out in a hysterical manner, and fell after her second step. She twisted her ankle and skimmed her knee drawing blood. A deafening sound came, almost like it was distant but not; of a mast being broken slowly and painfully broken, the sound was almost on their shoulders but they looked way off to the horizon for the source; the inky breakers of demarcation from the previous location of screams was the only thing they saw. Drip drop noises of an imperceptible ebb was the only sound now, and the survivors welcomed it as they looked away from the necrotic breakers.

" What the hell was that?" the Babbler said rhetorically.

The Rower helped up the woman, and they pulled the boat aboard the jagged shore. " Let's find some level ground for a fire, and look around," he said and they all complied, none of them looking back towards the breakers and the darkness, and it is unfortunate that they didn't.

The island was barren, not even a cave to shelter them from a damp wind, not chilling but heat sapping. They found some sandy level ground and sat in exhaustion.

" What is happening," mumbled the Babbler. None answered, it was immaterial, and dangerous to think of it. The Starer was the first to notice.

" Look at the shore line," he pointed, it was now covered in half shell clams, black and white. They were not there a moment before. A ******* sound, came from the area where the girl skimmed her knee.

" It has to be the tides....." said the Babbler.

" What are we gunna do, we need to build a fire, find food, to wait this out, WHAT IS OUR PLAN...." she yelled breaking the eerie silence.

" We'll build a fire with supplies from the boat, there's enough for some nights, and there is plentiful of shell fish to eat...." as the Rower said that, his stomach turned as he finished the sentence.

" Let's build a fire now, I’m feeling kind of chill, and weak..." said the Babbler. They all were feeling an invisible cold in their bones, not from the wind, but from the rocks, or shells. They made a fire, and huddled down together automatically without thinking. The dampness was unpleasant, the fire felt good. The huddling party looked like muscles clamped together on a rock: still, resting, and quiet. The Babbler was at the outer most of the huddle.

The Rower's dreams were still, quiet, with the occasional seaside cottage breeze. He was with his son, on a salt water river, in an alcove shaped like an L, and they both jumped down into it and the sun bleached stones "chinged" like a register. It was low tide, and he was forcing his son to walk to a sand bar, through the river--rich with life. His son was crying, a horseshoe crab had walked over his foot and a dead sand shark had floated by with a crab crawling out of its eye. " Go," he mouthed to his son, but his words were swept up by the wind. " Be a man, Go." He felt dangerously distant from his son, who was in the middle of the river away from him, and he missed him terribly but still he urged him on. Then the tide started coming in, and bubbled things started to emerge in the water, cries of his son were ate up by a clacking sound, he was so distant, yet he still urged him on. He looked to his right, a jagged sea wall of loose boulders now was opening and shutting like a clam bed posessed, an iron maidon of pinching points. His wife's shadow shone in front of him, her voice came above and behind him on top of the battered-splintered sea wall, the shadow said" That's the last straw, it's over."

He awoke to screams and babbles, and a horrified stare. They were surrounded by one shelled clams, and the Babbler had them up his leg, his arm and one side of his neck. " ahh, they are ....stinging.....me," he tried to pull one off, but it stretched his skin on his arm.

" Help me pull them off him," yelled the Starer at the Rower, and they pulled them off amid screams. Blood was gushing, as the foot or tongue of the soggy clams wiggled in open air. They removed them, and turned to their perimeter, the island was covered in clams making ******* noises.

She ran for the boat, stepping on clams, and picking up her shoe covered feet as if they were getting burned. They formed a boot on her shoe and calf, she tumbled and her face hit the shoreline, depressing into the still water. She moved her arms to her side, as if to do a push up, she struggled to lift her head, it was covered in clams. She gurgled through it and tried to pull them off. The party around the cindering fire just stood motionless. She fell back down, clanging her shell covered head off other shells, picking up more, she tried to raise herself once again, and then dropped her heavy head. She wasn't gurgling, but making moans, as if being caressed, she even rested her body comfortably.

" I can't ....I cat, I can't even see them move......" said the Babbler.

He was right, the clams moved as if they were still underwater, and you were reaching for them, but a wave ripple comes, and they are now more to the right, avoiding your hand.

The Rower started up the fire instinctively; they huddled to it, not speaking. The Babbler became the Trembler, the Starer the Blasempher, and the Rower the Unblinker.

He stared ahead, in a squint, almost like he donned an invisible visor, "hell, war, my son.....and demonic clams" were the words he kept thinking.

" We have to get to the boat, and get the **** out of here," said the Blasphemer despondently.

The Unblinker just staired at the black clouds beyond the breakers, with the lightning dancing gypsy-like and intermitted . He felt it through his pant leg, the cold soggy slush feeling. He looked down, a clam, had moved unnoticed right in front of his field of vision. He pulled at it, but he gave in to the pain, he felt another clam on his other leg, like a cold-squishy french kiss. But the longer they were there, the pain disapeared, and it felt like a warm caressing tongue, and it almost seemed like the sun was coming out on this desolate rock altar. But--he saw a vision of his son wading into the cove. Without looking he pulled the (now) three clams from him-self; his skin snapped back. He crushed the wagging tongued clams under foot. He looked to his side--

The Trembler, was covered, in a clam chain mail, he didn't have the power to pull them off, he became the Wobbler. " Jesus Christ , lets get to the ******* boat," said the Blasphemer.

He looked at the Blasphemer, he was pulling clams off painfully. The Wobbler looked like a Atlantean knight, that just walked out of the sea in his clam armour.

He took steps toward them, clanging his clam armour, with his arms out---

They ran down to the boat, running off a steep clam ridden rock that was once the Sobber--who was now clung with clams making ******* noises. Avoiding the water, the Unblinker made it fully into the row boat, but the Blasphemer's leg submerged into the still water. He screamed, and pulled his leg up then dropped it back down. Massive amounts of clams were forming a deadly anchor on his leg, and slowly ******* him in. He fell into the water as the Unblinker became the Rower again. He looked down at the Blasphemer's sunken shape slowly blending in with the cove's floor. His oars were becoming heavier and heavier; the boat was sinking down more into the waterline, the bottom of the boat was clung with clam also; he could barely move the oars, they clacked and ****** wildly as soon as they were brought out from the still water, as if sea kelp ridden with shrimp was stuffed in his ears. He could hear the sound of a giant mast breaking again, he knew instinctively now what that was, thousands if not millions of clams loosing one of their shells in anticipation of devouring flesh. He pushed off the rock jetty; he screamed and screamed.....row....scream......row..... and before he knew it, he was at deep water, and the clams were gone from his oars. "Thank God, for another second....."

He looked at the blackness beyond the breakers, the breakers that were like black fluid pouring slowly out of a cup into a cauldron, he thought of his son, and rowed into the blackness. He kept on thinking of his son, as he watched the shadows return on the bottom of the boat with the return of lightning stalking on the dark-still-ocean--his heart beat fast, but he was not dead, and he could see his son, he was out there, and
Ayad Gharbawi Dec 2009
LAST THOUGHTS OF JESUS

Ayad Gharbawi

October 28 2009 - Damascus

What were the last thoughts of Jesus Christ as he was crucified?
Did he not doubt God when he uttered those famous words: “My God! My God! Why hast thou forsaken me?”
It sounds plain and clear: the cry of a tortured human being who is asking why has his God, or Father, left him to suffer in this unimaginably excruciatingly painful manner?
Why didn’t God save him from this hour’s long torture?
Did Jesus forget his Mission?
Momentarily, yes he did, for he was after all, human.
Who wouldn’t in such circumstances?
The sheer agony of his throbbing torment must have clouded his mind and in effect forced him to momentarily question what the point was in his suffering.
Now, it seems that he did recover his certainty, for the  last words uttered by Jesus on earth were: “Father, into thy hands I commit my spirit.”
In other words I trust in thee, I trust the words of My Father, God.
Interestingly enough, notice that when those unnamed bandits spoke to Jesus saying: “Are you not the Messiah? Save yourself, and us.” while the second bandit said: “Jesus remember me when you come to your throne.” Jesus did not reply to the first bandit. He did not say to him that he can or that he cannot ‘save’ him or save himself from the crucifixion – he chose only to answer the second bandit by saying: “I tell you this: today you shall be with me in Paradise.”
In other words, Jesus felt that perhaps there was no more time left to explain yet again, as to why he did not ‘save’ himself and the bandit from this torture: that it was God’s will for this truth and this scene to be so enacted out in the end.
Or perhaps Jesus thought what was the point in repeating what he had already spoken a thousand times before?
Jesus did forgive those who plotted to butcher him in such a dramatically lethal manner, for a man who not only did not commit one crime, but who was the essence of justice, peace, humanity and love.
What emotional and profound mental power he needed to create in his mind the feeling of ‘forgiveness’ unto those who are in the very act of slaughtering you!
It is, once more, simply unimaginable to our everyday human brains to comprehend how any mind can produce such a feeling in these awful circumstances.
And yet, I think, there must have been within the welter of thoughts of Jesus, a feeling that it must be good to finally die, for his life had been nothing but an anguished existence.
I say this, for didn’t Jesus finally refuse to talk or respond anymore to the hypocrisy and evil of society when he refused to engage in any dialogue with Pilate? The latter asked him: “Are you the king of the Jews?” to which Jesus replied: “The words are yours.”
All Jesus had to do was to deny the accusation that he had been preaching to people proclaiming himself to be the ‘King of the Jews’. Instead, Jesus refused to deny or confirm this accusation that could well have spared him his very life.
Why did he refuse to deny the pathetic accusation?
I feel that Jesus wanted to end his Mission – as God had so wished - then and there and that is why he no longer bothered to interact with Pilate or anyone else for that matter.
This is an important theme: for there comes a moment in time when Jesus felt that enough of the oppression; enough of the hypocrisy, lies, deceptions and that he had enough of the sheer vile, evil of Man and human beings and Mankind and all of the so-called ‘Humanity’.
He had reached a sublime moment in his mind, in his existence on this lowly earth when he no longer cared for this dreadful life and when he finally yearned to return to Paradise as he did promise the second bandit.
There was no need to preach the Good Word anymore. There was no need for his majestic presence. There was no need for any more of his acts of love and compassion to the poor, the sick, the blind, the crippled, the sad, the mentally sick and to all the rest of humanity.
What an overpowering, intensely painful moment that must have been when Jesus felt that his presence was no longer necessary!
Indeed, such thoughts are utterly painful for any person. It is the most overwhelming type of Farewell that anyone can do: in our humble language and life, we can translate it as when a person finally decides to withdraw from public life.
Pilate insisted that there was no reason whatsoever for Jesus to be crucified, and ultimately murdered.
But the crowds, maddened by their rage, insisted again and again with their demand that this utterly noble soul be tortured and killed.
Pilate squirmed with a way to release Jesus unharmed.
Finally, he thought he could succeed by appeasing the mob:
“Why, what has he done? I have not found him guilty of any capital offence. I will therefore let him off with a flogging.”
And of course they refused this suggestion!
“Crucify him! Crucify him!” they screamed.
And throughout this sorrowful scenery, Jesus stood there, quiet and refusing to utter one word in his defence.
For me, the momentous time had arrived quite clearly.
It was time for Jesus to deliver his spirit back unto God and yes he would willingly offer his body like the proverbial lamb to the slaughterhouse.
Actually lambs, cows and sheep do not get tortured for hours on a crucifix as they are slaughtered.
For, in truth, the butchering of Jesus was far worse than for any animal.
And so, as Jesus must surely have gazed at the panorama in front of him at Golgotha, or the ‘Place of a Skull’ and thought that there before him lay what was called ‘Humanity’, those that he was sent to ‘save’ from their sickening sins, perhaps he thought: For them I have suffered throughout by life. For the likes of these people I must die a most horrible death.
So I was sent to heal these people who have mocked me, humiliated me, flogged me, ****** me, and ultimately I am before people who have deliberately acted to butcher my flesh and my soul.
I was sent to heal those who were my disciples and who so did betray me with the ultimate act of love and tenderness – the kiss.
I was sent to heal those who were my disciples and who so easily denied me.
I was sent to heal humanity – a humanity that did not even turn up at my death, except for a handful few before my feet.
So much for you humanity.
Do not weep for me, for you – you people out there who did not stand up for me and who denied me and who did not even come to the final act of my death – it is you who shall now weep and suffer within the rest of your lives.
“Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; no, weep for yourselves and your children.”
Is this then what Humanity is?
Nat Lipstadt Jun 2014
the irises have passed,
their existence, entirety,
a three week, 21 day, gun salute,
to which I was witness to but four

the Kabbalist among us says Kaddish,
and a-Buddhist so-be-it,
celebrating the brevity cycle
of natural things,
and that death makes room for more

ugly yelloe'd and black now,
these irises are now
misfits on a breezy, dancing summer lawn

today, shriveled and misshapen,
they compare and contrast
on a normative, glorious,
June Sunday that
picturesque presents
the living and the deceased,
side by side

all comrades,
all summer sundries
on a dancing grass blanket
half-graveyard battlefield, half-heaven

oft I have writ of the beach detritus,
the shells, the sun burnt *****,
a recycled funeral rectory where
no one utters prayers for the
no longer alive historical artifacts

what has this to do
with that human construct,
artifice of memory,
a string on the finger
of the mind,
a pausation, a man-made creation
to momentarily recall another of nature's cycle -
yours

Have children
Am a father
Had a father in my youthful days

this is a boy scout qualification medal,
marker of me as Expert,
permitting me  to commentary
with gravitas
having becoming a grandfather,
I enjoy superstar freedom
to opine inanely on such matters

of my father have I writ,
of my sons, those remain unseen,

likely neither will mark these day
with a telephone call
or an all-I-got-was-this-lousy-t shirt
gift of gall

I say that's ok for what else is there,
certainly not an unthinking, dismissive
whatever

it saddens me some for sure,
but it makes judge myself as human being
on a gradation of one to none

but more than this internal reflection,
I ponder this hallmark'd day,
as life cycle point notarized,
in verse and rhyme,
for that is what I do best

for before,
many father's day in the priory passed,
most unrecallable,
just another ceremonial checkmark,
habitually acquitted,
but somewhere in a drawer of shirts,
in a home I store stuff in,
I do believe, there are some cards
from decades past, that prove nothing,
other than life goes on,
and we best capture
what we can, as best we can...
with small, objet d'art of sorts

Perhaps one will call after all...
in any event,
to honor the dead,
to mark the existing,
the bannered ship's bell rung,
its sonorous sound,
notable and onerous,
fades as well

but man and animal,
plant and tree,
a living fraternal sorority,
who all look over my shoulder
as I compose on
that chair you see

they know,
for whom the bell tolls this day,
and why as well,
as we all pause and contemplate
where we are on this day,
on our own overlapping cycles
Mateuš Conrad Jul 2016
every time i hear a poetess cite this subject i never think of Sappho, but i ought to, these are poetesses that really want the hetero realm to remain intact - it's heart-breaking to hear a woman say these words - you end up being the third party transformed into the second party and she the Echo to your momentarily engaged with Narcissus - the third party makes the frank gesture to compensate the open heart of the poetess... o.k., let's funk the **** like mimes touching invisible doors... an overly stimulated society in terms of *** when there are apparently too many people, or the evolutionary zenith fro category mammal to category insect is backfiring on us individually - and as science fiction predicted, we are telepathically ******* each other senseless, just like the aliens we've become on this planet, momentarily sober when an earthquake, a tsunami... a terrorist attack... otherwise there's been no attempt to for the military to become active dispersing a tsunami with bombs (Better Bombing Syria), or harnessing lightning (some sort of incubator magnet) - well, i have seen a girl get spat on in the face... you think i considered my mother being diagnosed as o.c.d. with help of specialists? i just get the feel for the place - not out of spite... the cats haven't had their nails clipped for a month... they're not petrified by the vacuum cleaner every day... they've become sort of abstract animate art... when the male castrato sings an opera before bedtime i become a nervous wreck... the beauty of the silence during the day, pretends to be a dog barking at night left out in the garden... even though he's inside on the windowsill in the toilet, and i'm on my windowsill in the bedroom smoking a cigarette.*

this poem just makes me think one thing:
so what's the problem
with female genital mutilation if
*** is nothing more than a conversation
between a mantis and her mate
rather than Zeus and Hera?
that's what it sounds like - ****'s sake -
i'm not that into Robert Frost
and Simon & Garfunkel to match-up
a counter argument for a need to talk in bed -
my grandparents slept like French kings -
each to his own separate beds -
one went to the other for the jelly-bean babies -
and when did the unrestrained
Oedipus complex become a debate on
mortgages with that famous: still living with
his mum - economics - not psychology -
the popularity of some theory always ends up
some macabre populist interpretation
by the better off, marginalisation of realism -
oh, here comes Sartre - you should ask him...
still living with my father -
and because of this i've made kangaroo jumps -
the atmosphere in the house is... serene...
the only female presence is a cat -
(she's away tending to her mother, another month
to glee in bliss) -
the house is cleaned only once a week, the food is made,
i just learned she could very well be diagnosed
with o.c.d. - does this look like Norman Bates
scenario to you? let me tell you, a woman with
o.c.d. can be worse than a woman with
h.i.v. - obviously i'm exaggerating -
i allow my father conversation about Irish fascists
on construction sites (foremen) - Irish fascists...
Irish fascists... leprechaun fascists... LEPRECHAUN FASCISTS!
she just tells him to keep it on the building site -
i'm more supportive of my end as homeless in a forest
than in a cosy home with a woman.
This was written free-hand; excuse my grammar if it may sound weird but I felt it might be wrong to change it too much since the following is how it flowed inside my head:

Everything is predominantly dark: brown, black, blue, and a sliver of gold paint the scene afore my eyes. An elderly man sits atop a rocking chair. Below the inch of illuminated dust, I see an array of stratified wrinkles... they cover the cheek I once knew to be always a warm, pastel pink...they trace a lip I once knew to be long and quivering, coupled with an anticipating, yet welcoming happy gaze. The endearing purity - that childlike exhilaration and consequent sparkle-- it was a wonder to see that never left his eyes... The wrinkles around them now mimicked those that used to decorate his face when he laughed out of sheer excitement. I remember that in those moments of laughter he’d be able to embody that one noun in a wholesome glory, seemingly no other feelings lending themselves to the elation. I had never encountered anyone else with the ability to do that -- it is one of my only favorite expressions I have found deeply ingrained somewhere within the sand of my mind. It used to remind me of the free spirit I recall to have had as a child... and he coupled it- in what seemed to me a mirror-like manner.
His freedom was a breath of fresh air -- it swept me off my feet and I couldn’t help but breathe it and continue to breathe it..to crave it. I held onto it like it was the last piece of toffee chocolate I would ever eat in my lifetime... But no -- his face was now at peace. It made for an interesting paradox - made evident only to those who’d remembered the appearances of his expressions. His calm was contagious. I felt my heart give a familiar beat: two fast, one slow...that was the rhythm I had met 70 years ago.
His hair had now receded; it was as white as shadowed porcelain. He looked like his father, who I remember held that same potential for his son’s smile. Suddenly, his face turned towards me, quitting its reverie. He held a quizzical expression on his face and although he did not yet move from his seat, I knew that he soon realized who I was...He studied me just the same, drinking in all the information he could possibly gather, still taken aback. I cautiously came closer...three inches away, I knelt before him.
To look at him now felt like an ethereal experience. I momentarily lifted my hand and let out a smile. It felt more of a sigh -- half from happiness, half from awe. Without further thought, I this time bravely lifted my left hand high and in answer to his waiting face, asked: “May I?” Upon a second’s ponder, he gave a slight, yet prominent nod of his head. I brought my hand closer, fifteen degrees from his line of sight, and placed it on his right cheek. To my dismay, he closed his eyes and let his head fall into it, my palm serving as a buttress to his cup. I let out a more excited smile and instantaneously felt trickles of salt fall down my weathered rosy cheeks. His response mirrored mine -- he smiled a full smile against my wrist...his eyes were now closed- elated, that he was. Upon opening his eyes, he anticipated what I might do next: I drew a circle with my eyes around his face, and without a moment’s worth of trepidation, uttered the phrase he once beckoned me before first touching his nose to mine. “May I kiss you?”, I asked. He smiled deeper this time, his wrinkles even more pronounced...It was perhaps to this day the most brilliant sight to ever present itself before me.
Without further adieu I touched my lips to his. It was as chaste, as lovely and full of promise as our first and last.
In the fierce hug we embraced ourselves with to follow, my head once more against his chest, my frame covered with the wonderful arms that I have missed so much, I felt our breaths dwindle away into the rest of forever.
...So I kept my promise: I found life in this man’s arms, and I died in his arms.

Three moments later and 68 years rewinded, I find myself wondering: Is this what our reunion will be like?
Nigel Morgan Nov 2012
We’d been to concert at the Town Hall. It was a Saturday night and still early for a Saturday Night Out. So many people on the streets. The girls barely dressed, the boys bouncing around in t-shirts. Older people threaded along the pavements walking purposefully, but ‘properly’ dressed, and now making their way, as we were, for the station.

I know He noticed her because He stopped, momentarily. We were holding hands. He loves to hold my hand. That evening I remember squeezing his hand firmly as if to say how pleased I was He was here and I was not walking to the station alone. I have done this, walking to the station alone, so often. It is good to have someone close at such times, someone to talk to about the performance, the music, what is going on around us. We walked right past them.

I noticed the man first and then the child. He was very tall, very dark, wearing a black leather jacket I think. He was not scruffy so much as untidy, dark and untidy, with curly hair that did not know a comb. He was busking. He sang an incomprehensible song in a language I didn’t recognize, playing an electric guitar plugged into a small amplifier by his feat. He turned from side to side as he sang as though looking for an audience. I remember his trainers and the soft guitar case open on the pavement with a smattering of coins. Then, this child.

Over the last two days I’ve examined the scene in my memory. I’ve sought to recall as much as I can about this little girl. She was not that little I think for her age, perhaps seven or eight. Stocky. Thick golden brown hair. A sensible skirt covering her knees, a fawn jumper with some sparkly decoration. Tights or long socks perhaps. Proper shoes. I keep examining my mind’s photo. What I recall most vividly was her large smiling eyes and her expression. This is my daddy, it said. He’s singing and I’m here looking after him. I’m his smiley girl here on the city street. It’s late. Other children back home would be in bed, but I’m here smiling at the people passing.

Yesterday we talked about this couple, the little girl mostly. He brought the subject up. He’d been thinking about her too. He’d been puzzling over the two of them. As a pair they seemed so physically different, hardly father and daughter. It was the (possible) daughter’s gaze, her twinkling eyes that had spoken to him - as they had spoken to me. This is my daddy, those eyes and that smiley face had said. And she was holding a bear.

Why did I not mention the bear until now? Of course, she was holding her bear. She had both arms around her bear. She was hugging her bear to herself. It was a mild evening for March – she wore no coat. He looked a good bear, not too old or small, not the kind of bear she’d been given in infancy, perhaps recently acquired but well-loved, well-hugged. A bear that seemed entirely right for her age, for her slightly old fashioned clothes. The sort of clothes I might have worn as a child. I think of a photo of me at that age dressed in a Cloth-Kits dress, with an Alice band, with glasses and lots of curly hair.  

He said ‘I’ve been wondering about the two of them. Did they have a home? Where would they go to when it became late?’ Was there a mother? Was she working somewhere on that Saturday night and the father had to take the girl. Was she wearing her best clothes? She looked OK. A glowing, healthy face, a face that reflected the bright, coloured lights of the city street.’

Suddenly, I realised there were tears in his eyes. I thought, He is imagining a story. He is imagining a story of this seven year old who should have been tucked up in bed with her bear, like my little boy with his blue blanket. He was imagining her life., her past in some Eastern European town, where she went to school, where she had friends and relatives, where she had been born and brought up, and been loved. And now the girl was here in this not so distant city. Perhaps illegally, without the papers, smuggled in as so many are. Her father, swarthy, even a tinge of the Roma perhaps, but she so different. It was the golden brown hair. Thick hair, a ribbon tied in it. A pink ribbon.

He had thought of his little girl, now fifteen, only when she was that age, seven. Oddly similar in some ways, the thick hair, the smiley face, a different but ever present bear, an infant’s bear, not a bear she’d take with her except in a bag. A bear not to be seen with at seven, but loved.

‘I’ll call her Katya,’ He said. The girl, not the bear.

And later He did. Every few days He would mention her – just in passing. ‘Do you think Katya’s  at school today?’ ‘I was in the city this afternoon, but I didn’t see Katya.’

He wrote about her and her father. A little story. I haven’t read it. He just told me He’d written it; He’d thought of following them in his imagination. He was a little embarrassed telling me this, and He didn’t offer to show me the story, which is unusual because when He mentions He’s written something He usually does. And so I wonder. I wonder how long this memory will stay with him and whether He will follow this couple (and her bear) into the future, create a story for them to live in.

Perhaps it will bring him the peace He does not have. The peace I try to give him when He is with me at home and we sit in my little house, at my table eating toast with Marmite after I’ve been out late whilst He’s sat on my settee and read – in peace at being in my home. I know He feels cast adrift from his family and He can’t be part of mine, yet a while. Perhaps it’s like being in another country. Perhaps He thinks, at least that busker had his child with him, his shining star, his ever-smiley girl.

Yet He is thinking of his smiley girl, smiley still at fifteen, still loving her dad despite what He’s done, despite the fact that she sees him so seldom. Despite the fact that He is only occasionally with her, and she knowing I, his lover, his young woman, his companion and friend, has captured his heart and thoughts.

I think of Katya too. I think of my older girl, so loved and circled about with love and admiration by her respective families and our friends. She is so special and so beautiful, as I was special at eleven, as I think I was beautiful at eleven, just on the brink of that transformation that will take her towards becoming a teenager – and the rest.  

We were lying in bed the Saturday morning before seeing Katya and I was telling him about my childhood. He’d asked me about zebra finches. Walking in his nearby park He had admired their bright red beaks in the park’s newly-restored aviary. I told him about a parrot in a park close to my childhood home, a parrot I passed as I went to school. I described for him my walk to school, meeting up with my friends, passing the parrot. I know how happy it made him to hear me talk about such things. He said so later, embracing me in the kitchen. ’I so love to hear you talk about your childhood.’ I could feel he was moved to say this. It was important. I realised then just how deeply he loved me. That it was important. That he imagined me as a child. That He wanted to know that part of me. He’s rarely asked about the stuff in between. Of my former lovers I’ve said a little. He has said a little about his past liaisons and affaires, but knows I am uncomfortable when he does. So we leave this. But childhood, That’s so different, because it is that precious, precious time of shelter and care: when we begin to discover who we are and who and what we love.

Where is Katya now? In a messy room she shares with her parents in a house shared with economic migrants, where she has a few belongings in three plastic bags. In one, her best clothes she wears to stand on the city street on a Saturday night with her daddy. In another a jumble of not so clean clothes she rotates each day. She has her sleeping bag, her bear, her warm coat and gloves. There’s a few magazines she’s found about the house. English is puzzling. She learnt a little at school back home, and from the TV of course, those American soaps. If she was here in my house I would stand her in the shower, wash her thick hair, put her clothes in the machine, sit her on my bed in my daughter’s clothes with some picture books, introduce her to my cats, we would bake some buns. I would give her a small gift of my love to take away with her and she would look on me with her smiley face, her sparkling eyes and let me hold her bear.

And later when I saw him I would tell him that Katya had been with me for a little, and tears would fall, mine and his, knowing that only in our dreams could we make this so.

— The End —