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Your hands feel the cold stone
of this textured tower wall. You look up
and see an arched, hollow window gaping
like a moaning train tunnel, darker inside
than the moonless night sky.
Instead of a door there flutters a rose petal,
dry, crispy, impaled on a thorn
that succumbs and disintegrates into the cold wind,
leaving the skeleton of the thorn bush
without its last memory of sunrise.

This chilly autumn air pierces the bridge of your nose
as you turn your hooded head away and take a muddy step
back toward the woods you braved through
on this chilly, moonless autumn night.
As the impending fog before you thickens
the last touch of almost starry night disappears
with the resounding click of a tower door in the distance
that never existed on this chilly, moonless autumn night.


[First draft]
Your hands feel the cold stone
of this textured tower wall. You look up
and see an arched, hollow window gaping
like a moaning train tunnel, darker inside
than the moonless night sky. This chilly autumn air
pierces the bridge of your nose as you turn
your hooded head away and take a muddy step
back toward the woods you braved through
in this chilly, moonless autumn night.
As the impending fog before you thickens
the last touch of almost starry night disappears
behind the rolling black clouds.

Even the dry, crispy rose petal impaled on a thorn
succumbs and disintegrates into the cold wind,
leaving what’s left of the thorn bush
without its last memory of sunrise.
First and second drafts.
Anand Aug 2014
अमावस

1.

हमने हर दम बस तेरा साथ माँगा,
और कुछ नहीं, हाथों में बस तेरा हाथ माँगा।

मिल ना सकेंगे दोनो शायद कभी, फिर भी,
अमावस ने तन्हाई में हर रात को चाँद माँगा।

2.

हसीन हो चली थी शाम,
कल चाँद भी कुछ जवाँ था।

आज आहिस्ता आहिस्ता ढल गई शाम
और अमावस की रात हो गई।

आसमाँ पर जैसे उसके
जुल्फों की घटा छा गई।

आज शायद, चाँद भी अपनी माशूका की बाहों में सो गया,
कहीं खो गया।


Moonless**

1.

I asked for all the time, just with you,
and nothing more, but your hands in mine.

Both may never meet, however,
the dark moonless night, longed for her Moon, in loneliness.

2.

The day turned into a lovely evening (yesterday),
and the moon looked young in his brightness.

Gently faded the evening twilight (today),
and the night was suddenly moonless.

The sky got covered with dark gloomy clouds
and the night smiled in her darkness.

Perhaps, the moon fell asleep in the arms of his beloved,
lost in love and happiness.
This poem was originally written in hindi and was further translated into english.
Your hands feel the cold stone
of this textured tower wall.
You look up and see
an arched, hollow window
gaping like a moaning train tunnel,
darker inside than the moonless sky.

Shivering and enveloped in the autumn air
that pierces the bridge of your nose as you turn
your hooded head away and take a muddy step
back toward the woods you braved
on this chilly, moonless autumn night,
the impending fog before you thickens.
The last touch of an almost starry sky
disappears behind the rolling black clouds.
Updated 2 August 2013
Argentina Rose Oct 2014
You may not have been birthed in the soil,
and granted,
you will not blossom
when spring melts winters wake
but inside of you
grows a thousand gardens
full of exploding stars.
You are of the earth
and your ashes
have been constructed with stardust,
and set free with the wind.
So you may not have a pretty face,
and your body may hold stories
of too many moonless nights alone.
But if you reach inside,
you will find a forest
for a ribcage
and a restless ocean heart.
So don't ever let anyone tell you
you are nothing.
You are a galaxy
holding a million different planets,
and my dear,
that is not nothing.
A Valentine's of swans, moonless river:
2 Ls in Vivaldi font ported to snowblindness
(hierotippexed), who glid down
the wrong discipline, along the Stygian
stave of the  Atonality headlining
after the Tracheotomy of the Spheres.

A Valentine's of swans, moonless river:
parabolic break action of snowman
shotguns, embonpoint tarred & cotton-
wooled, fires white flags. Flags up, starkly
conveyed upon black freshwater,  baggage
scanner at the Valley of the Shadow of Death.

A Valentine's of swans, moonless river:
the periscopes of ghost gnomes' U-boats
taking a gander (no geestimates!) at blackbrush
algae ops of Erebian Naiads. Or Arabian Night
Fever: anaemic Egyptians' one dancemove
cobraing from winged bicep, tricep breast.

A Valentine's of swans, moonless river:
aristocratic mullets scalped & mobsurfing
a revolutionary river of le grand non lavage.
O cob & pen powercouple are giraffe
dove ducks, to the Sovereign as prosaic
as pigeons are to oiks of Eros, me & my bird.
accompanying illustration: http://chirpydirges.co.uk/swanky/
Seán Mac Falls Dec 2014
.
*1
Wet welling from earth
Deep valleys, hills, sweating *******
I plung into her


2
We are lost at sea
In moonless night our soft cries
Curled waves drowning us


3
Above her in bed
Little breaths lifting our bodies
Eyes, fingers, dreaming


4
Her green eyes are set
Jewels from sargasso seas
My ghost ship is wrecked


5
Her long hair tangles
No struggle in rising— then
We are rapt in bed


6
Her eyes blinding me
Milky way of her body
There is a heaven


7
In forest we taste
Each other in evergreens
Hot dews on the moss


8
Blissful time kissing
My bare thighs sink into hers
Running sands so quick


9
As olive or grape
So shed, paired souls are threshed
Out of their bodies


10
Hummingbirds share truths
Nature sounds with all sweetness
Bee in the flower


11
Always in a field
Wild flowers— a bunch to pick
Herself a bouquet


12
In the park we walk
Flocks of white birds taking flight
Two hearts light as air


13
We kissed under moon
Pox of stars grew flowering
Nightshade of her lips


14
She took me to bed
Skinned in bliss— was reborn, lost
In her satin folds
jg Oct 2014
It was a moonless night, The sky was dark and sad, just like her eyes
She's been a victim of all those memories and all those lies
But still remains so beautiful
I still can feel the touch of her hand
Her cold touch against the heat above my skin
Deceive, confused and speechless
Slience speaks when words cant you whispered
It was a moonless night, but it was a beautiful one
We promised each other as the stars shone above us
that we are left to keep the memories of what we felt and what we were.
Everforest Oct 2019
We are beautiful,
like fresh flowers
born of ashes,
like dawn
after a moonless night.
Stu Harley Oct 2012
i live with
all those fears
day and night
my mother and
father continue
to fight
then i crawl
out of sight
this is not a game
well my daddy is
an abusive alcoholic and insane
he captured all the drama
that change the night
mother crashed
through the window
up above the moonless night
behind the dark closet and
out of sight
i dialed 911 because
the blood screams red bright
mother crashed
through the window
up above the moonless night
patty m Feb 2015
Silly fools,
touching the planchette
as it invades the haunts of spirits and demons
their dangerous interaction
pointing to blackened letters
or the answers yes or no.

Open gateway something relentless creeps to the surface
unbeknownst to anyone.  
Do they think this is a game, this summoning?

Bluesman, playing his guitar
sings about a shadowy man
on a dark road and the bargains he makes.
Moonless skies and rumbling trains
a strange twisting in guts
as a crows caw spreading shiny wings.

Shadows, the long road is filled with shadow,
filigreed limbs darkening fleeting time and the trains with
their black smoky smudge muffling secrets.

A strange man turns up, like a carney in a traveling show
to show us a frightening future.
Spreading prophesies of horrible events along with the demise of millions, with demons gnawing human flesh.
Then too there was the promise of the dead rising;
exhumed bodies, an army of zombies marching.

Old men smoke their cigarettes, lungs crackling
in phlegmy coughs, rheumy eyes filled with pain
as they watch the children **** in frenzied dance
their heads spinning clockwise. . .  
The train chugs off in the distance
as the last illusion crumbles into a dark and rotting hole.

We no longer see the stranger.
as the song comes to an end,
yet disquieting things skitter on the edge of reason
as they slither through our fear.
Up ahead looms a fiery god staying
trajectories of doom and damnation,
while the Bluesman strums his old guitar
on a ghost train going nowhere.
Woody Dec 2017
My dreams are
darker than the holler
on a moonless night
and deeper
than the water
in the creek that flows
so cold
inside of me

I need that girl
from Doe Valley
the one called Sally
that I used to see
along the road
the other side
of Iron Mountain
to lie warm beside of me

The one who made me smile
for a little while
and kissed me on my lips
when her Pop was on a trip
selling his crops
while her Mom shopped
over in Mountain City

But those days are gone
and the holler's still long
and dark most nights
when the creek is quiet
and the cold cuts through
my coat when the moon
forgets to shine on Doe Valley.
Thanks, y'all.
Muse of my native land! loftiest Muse!
O first-born on the mountains! by the hues
Of heaven on the spiritual air begot:
Long didst thou sit alone in northern grot,
While yet our England was a wolfish den;
Before our forests heard the talk of men;
Before the first of Druids was a child;--
Long didst thou sit amid our regions wild
Rapt in a deep prophetic solitude.
There came an eastern voice of solemn mood:--
Yet wast thou patient. Then sang forth the Nine,
Apollo's garland:--yet didst thou divine
Such home-bred glory, that they cry'd in vain,
"Come hither, Sister of the Island!" Plain
Spake fair Ausonia; and once more she spake
A higher summons:--still didst thou betake
Thee to thy native hopes. O thou hast won
A full accomplishment! The thing is done,
Which undone, these our latter days had risen
On barren souls. Great Muse, thou know'st what prison
Of flesh and bone, curbs, and confines, and frets
Our spirit's wings: despondency besets
Our pillows; and the fresh to-morrow morn
Seems to give forth its light in very scorn
Of our dull, uninspired, snail-paced lives.
Long have I said, how happy he who shrives
To thee! But then I thought on poets gone,
And could not pray:--nor can I now--so on
I move to the end in lowliness of heart.----

  "Ah, woe is me! that I should fondly part
From my dear native land! Ah, foolish maid!
Glad was the hour, when, with thee, myriads bade
Adieu to Ganges and their pleasant fields!
To one so friendless the clear freshet yields
A bitter coolness, the ripe grape is sour:
Yet I would have, great gods! but one short hour
Of native air--let me but die at home."

  Endymion to heaven's airy dome
Was offering up a hecatomb of vows,
When these words reach'd him. Whereupon he bows
His head through thorny-green entanglement
Of underwood, and to the sound is bent,
Anxious as hind towards her hidden fawn.

  "Is no one near to help me? No fair dawn
Of life from charitable voice? No sweet saying
To set my dull and sadden'd spirit playing?
No hand to toy with mine? No lips so sweet
That I may worship them? No eyelids meet
To twinkle on my *****? No one dies
Before me, till from these enslaving eyes
Redemption sparkles!--I am sad and lost."

  Thou, Carian lord, hadst better have been tost
Into a whirlpool. Vanish into air,
Warm mountaineer! for canst thou only bear
A woman's sigh alone and in distress?
See not her charms! Is Phoebe passionless?
Phoebe is fairer far--O gaze no more:--
Yet if thou wilt behold all beauty's store,
Behold her panting in the forest grass!
Do not those curls of glossy jet surpass
For tenderness the arms so idly lain
Amongst them? Feelest not a kindred pain,
To see such lovely eyes in swimming search
After some warm delight, that seems to perch
Dovelike in the dim cell lying beyond
Their upper lids?--Hist!             "O for Hermes' wand
To touch this flower into human shape!
That woodland Hyacinthus could escape
From his green prison, and here kneeling down
Call me his queen, his second life's fair crown!
Ah me, how I could love!--My soul doth melt
For the unhappy youth--Love! I have felt
So faint a kindness, such a meek surrender
To what my own full thoughts had made too tender,
That but for tears my life had fled away!--
Ye deaf and senseless minutes of the day,
And thou, old forest, hold ye this for true,
There is no lightning, no authentic dew
But in the eye of love: there's not a sound,
Melodious howsoever, can confound
The heavens and earth in one to such a death
As doth the voice of love: there's not a breath
Will mingle kindly with the meadow air,
Till it has panted round, and stolen a share
Of passion from the heart!"--

                              Upon a bough
He leant, wretched. He surely cannot now
Thirst for another love: O impious,
That he can even dream upon it thus!--
Thought he, "Why am I not as are the dead,
Since to a woe like this I have been led
Through the dark earth, and through the wondrous sea?
Goddess! I love thee not the less: from thee
By Juno's smile I turn not--no, no, no--
While the great waters are at ebb and flow.--
I have a triple soul! O fond pretence--
For both, for both my love is so immense,
I feel my heart is cut in twain for them."

  And so he groan'd, as one by beauty slain.
The lady's heart beat quick, and he could see
Her gentle ***** heave tumultuously.
He sprang from his green covert: there she lay,
Sweet as a muskrose upon new-made hay;
With all her limbs on tremble, and her eyes
Shut softly up alive. To speak he tries.
"Fair damsel, pity me! forgive that I
Thus violate thy bower's sanctity!
O pardon me, for I am full of grief--
Grief born of thee, young angel! fairest thief!
Who stolen hast away the wings wherewith
I was to top the heavens. Dear maid, sith
Thou art my executioner, and I feel
Loving and hatred, misery and weal,
Will in a few short hours be nothing to me,
And all my story that much passion slew me;
Do smile upon the evening of my days:
And, for my tortur'd brain begins to craze,
Be thou my nurse; and let me understand
How dying I shall kiss that lily hand.--
Dost weep for me? Then should I be content.
Scowl on, ye fates! until the firmament
Outblackens Erebus, and the full-cavern'd earth
Crumbles into itself. By the cloud girth
Of Jove, those tears have given me a thirst
To meet oblivion."--As her heart would burst
The maiden sobb'd awhile, and then replied:
"Why must such desolation betide
As that thou speakest of? Are not these green nooks
Empty of all misfortune? Do the brooks
Utter a gorgon voice? Does yonder thrush,
Schooling its half-fledg'd little ones to brush
About the dewy forest, whisper tales?--
Speak not of grief, young stranger, or cold snails
Will slime the rose to night. Though if thou wilt,
Methinks 'twould be a guilt--a very guilt--
Not to companion thee, and sigh away
The light--the dusk--the dark--till break of day!"
"Dear lady," said Endymion, "'tis past:
I love thee! and my days can never last.
That I may pass in patience still speak:
Let me have music dying, and I seek
No more delight--I bid adieu to all.
Didst thou not after other climates call,
And murmur about Indian streams?"--Then she,
Sitting beneath the midmost forest tree,
For pity sang this roundelay------

          "O Sorrow,
          Why dost borrow
The natural hue of health, from vermeil lips?--
          To give maiden blushes
          To the white rose bushes?
Or is it thy dewy hand the daisy tips?

          "O Sorrow,
          Why dost borrow
The lustrous passion from a falcon-eye?--
          To give the glow-worm light?
          Or, on a moonless night,
To tinge, on syren shores, the salt sea-spry?

          "O Sorrow,
          Why dost borrow
The mellow ditties from a mourning tongue?--
          To give at evening pale
          Unto the nightingale,
That thou mayst listen the cold dews among?

          "O Sorrow,
          Why dost borrow
Heart's lightness from the merriment of May?--
          A lover would not tread
          A cowslip on the head,
Though he should dance from eve till peep of day--
          Nor any drooping flower
          Held sacred for thy bower,
Wherever he may sport himself and play.

          "To Sorrow
          I bade good-morrow,
And thought to leave her far away behind;
          But cheerly, cheerly,
          She loves me dearly;
She is so constant to me, and so kind:
          I would deceive her
          And so leave her,
But ah! she is so constant and so kind.

"Beneath my palm trees, by the river side,
I sat a weeping: in the whole world wide
There was no one to ask me why I wept,--
          And so I kept
Brimming the water-lily cups with tears
          Cold as my fears.

"Beneath my palm trees, by the river side,
I sat a weeping: what enamour'd bride,
Cheated by shadowy wooer from the clouds,
        But hides and shrouds
Beneath dark palm trees by a river side?

"And as I sat, over the light blue hills
There came a noise of revellers: the rills
Into the wide stream came of purple hue--
        'Twas Bacchus and his crew!
The earnest trumpet spake, and silver thrills
From kissing cymbals made a merry din--
        'Twas Bacchus and his kin!
Like to a moving vintage down they came,
Crown'd with green leaves, and faces all on flame;
All madly dancing through the pleasant valley,
        To scare thee, Melancholy!
O then, O then, thou wast a simple name!
And I forgot thee, as the berried holly
By shepherds is forgotten, when, in June,
Tall chesnuts keep away the sun and moon:--
        I rush'd into the folly!

"Within his car, aloft, young Bacchus stood,
Trifling his ivy-dart, in dancing mood,
        With sidelong laughing;
And little rills of crimson wine imbrued
His plump white arms, and shoulders, enough white
        For Venus' pearly bite;
And near him rode Silenus on his ***,
Pelted with flowers as he on did pass
        Tipsily quaffing.

"Whence came ye, merry Damsels! whence came ye!
So many, and so many, and such glee?
Why have ye left your bowers desolate,
        Your lutes, and gentler fate?--
‘We follow Bacchus! Bacchus on the wing?
        A conquering!
Bacchus, young Bacchus! good or ill betide,
We dance before him thorough kingdoms wide:--
Come hither, lady fair, and joined be
        To our wild minstrelsy!'

"Whence came ye, jolly Satyrs! whence came ye!
So many, and so many, and such glee?
Why have ye left your forest haunts, why left
        Your nuts in oak-tree cleft?--
‘For wine, for wine we left our kernel tree;
For wine we left our heath, and yellow brooms,
        And cold mushrooms;
For wine we follow Bacchus through the earth;
Great God of breathless cups and chirping mirth!--
Come hither, lady fair, and joined be
To our mad minstrelsy!'

"Over wide streams and mountains great we went,
And, save when Bacchus kept his ivy tent,
Onward the tiger and the leopard pants,
        With Asian elephants:
Onward these myriads--with song and dance,
With zebras striped, and sleek Arabians' prance,
Web-footed alligators, crocodiles,
Bearing upon their scaly backs, in files,
Plump infant laughers mimicking the coil
Of ******, and stout galley-rowers' toil:
With toying oars and silken sails they glide,
        Nor care for wind and tide.

"Mounted on panthers' furs and lions' manes,
From rear to van they scour about the plains;
A three days' journey in a moment done:
And always, at the rising of the sun,
About the wilds they hunt with spear and horn,
        On spleenful unicorn.

"I saw Osirian Egypt kneel adown
        Before the vine-wreath crown!
I saw parch'd Abyssinia rouse and sing
        To the silver cymbals' ring!
I saw the whelming vintage hotly pierce
        Old Tartary the fierce!
The kings of Inde their jewel-sceptres vail,
And from their treasures scatter pearled hail;
Great Brahma from his mystic heaven groans,
        And all his priesthood moans;
Before young Bacchus' eye-wink turning pale.--
Into these regions came I following him,
Sick hearted, weary--so I took a whim
To stray away into these forests drear
        Alone, without a peer:
And I have told thee all thou mayest hear.

          "Young stranger!
          I've been a ranger
In search of pleasure throughout every clime:
          Alas! 'tis not for me!
          Bewitch'd I sure must be,
To lose in grieving all my maiden prime.

          "Come then, Sorrow!
          Sweetest Sorrow!
Like an own babe I nurse thee on my breast:
          I thought to leave thee
          And deceive thee,
But now of all the world I love thee best.

          "There is not one,
          No, no, not one
But thee to comfort a poor lonely maid;
          Thou art her mother,
          And her brother,
Her playmate, and her wooer in the shade."

  O what a sigh she gave in finishing,
And look, quite dead to every worldly thing!
Endymion could not speak, but gazed on her;
And listened to the wind that now did stir
About the crisped oaks full drearily,
Yet with as sweet a softness as might be
Remember'd from its velvet summer song.
At last he said: "Poor lady, how thus long
Have I been able to endure that voice?
Fair Melody! kind Syren! I've no choice;
I must be thy sad servant evermore:
I cannot choose but kneel here and adore.
Alas, I must not think--by Phoebe, no!
Let me not think, soft Angel! shall it be so?
Say, beautifullest, shall I never think?
O thou could'st foster me beyond the brink
Of recollection! make my watchful care
Close up its bloodshot eyes, nor see despair!
Do gently ****** half my soul, and I
Shall feel the other half so utterly!--
I'm giddy at that cheek so fair and smooth;
O let it blush so ever! let it soothe
My madness! let it mantle rosy-warm
With the tinge of love, panting in safe alarm.--
This cannot be thy hand, and yet it is;
And this is sure thine other softling--this
Thine own fair *****, and I am so near!
Wilt fall asleep? O let me sip that tear!
And whisper one sweet word that I may know
This is this world--sweet dewy blossom!"--Woe!
Woe! Woe to that Endymion! Where is he?--
Even these words went echoing dismally
Through the wide forest--a most fearful tone,
Like one repenting in his latest moan;
And while it died away a shade pass'd by,
As of a thunder cloud. When arrows fly
Through the thick branches, poor ring-doves sleek forth
Their timid necks and tremble; so these both
Leant to each other trembling, and sat so
Waiting for some destruction--when lo,
Foot-fe
Upon a moonless night,
The man among the dreary horse,
Cried a lonely tear and said.

To die a lone be the best of dreams,
In this cold and blue night.
The void is fulfilling my loneliness.
Come and listen to it sing.

For songs will be sung, true and untrue,
And voices will silence into one.
When I sleep I fly, but in this earth I’m bound to die.

Rescue me then, O lord of the Dead,
Beelzebub take me, I’ll be you’re bride.
And the winter will come again.

Then in a time later when,
The other dream came imagined in,
The lion showed his mane and roared.

How fearful and hopeful the sound reverberating upon my skin.
Sealing doubt cast into the fiery Furness.
Say what you say about depression or doubt.

For there is no better cure
Than to smile all demure,
In the face of hell.
Been a while. Missed u guys
Auroleus Aug 2012
Maniacal thugs
Swap juices with sweet angels
On a moonless night.
Emily Watkins Aug 2014
you always had a pull on me;
you were my moon,
and I, your tide

many moonless nights have passed since the moment you decided it was over
the waves cease to crash against the shore

stagnant

the vast, black ocean
waits for someone to wade in
swim around
and make her feel whole
again.
Emma Feb 2017
Black is the color beyond all colors.
Black is the void,
The void of my heart,
The void of my soul.
Black is the feeling of everything;
Black is the feeling of nothing.
The smell of death is the color black.
When you feel overloaded with emotion,
Yet, you feel no emotion at all...
That is black. Oh so very black.
Fear is black when it clothes you mind;
You can't even think as it overcomes you.
Black is not intensity, but intensity itself.
Black is what controls us all;
Black is the feeling of being controlled.
Black is the color of shadows,
Shadows of a moonless night.
Black is what makes us shiver without the wind.
Black is the only thing that won't leave us in the end.
Written June 2016
ƛrtie Apr 2017
chills as
your fingertips
crawl inside me
or just in the thought of it
i was hoping
for a fullmoon night
it was moonless
cause you emit
all the light needed
to highlight
the habits of my heart
Lunar May 2016
but what happens
if the moon
actually discovers
his real other half?

then
i'm not the half-moon
he's destined to be with.
i'm just an astronomer,
a selenophile,
lost in a love phase.
because i will still love you
even if you vanished
from my sight
and turned into
a new moon.
what if
i'll never meet him
and he'll never feel the same way
wjh, i'm surprised i love you this much.
it's not only to the moon and back,
but around, in and the moon itself
THE HOUSE OF DUST
A Symphony

BY
CONRAD AIKEN

To Jessie

NOTE

. . . Parts of this poem have been printed in "The North American
Review, Others, Poetry, Youth, Coterie, The Yale Review". . . . I am
indebted to Lafcadio Hearn for the episode called "The Screen Maiden"
in Part II.


     This text comes from the source available at
     Project Gutenberg, originally prepared by Judy Boss
     of Omaha, NE.
    
THE HOUSE OF DUST


PART I.


I.

The sun goes down in a cold pale flare of light.
The trees grow dark: the shadows lean to the east:
And lights wink out through the windows, one by one.
A clamor of frosty sirens mourns at the night.
Pale slate-grey clouds whirl up from the sunken sun.

And the wandering one, the inquisitive dreamer of dreams,
The eternal asker of answers, stands in the street,
And lifts his palms for the first cold ghost of rain.
The purple lights leap down the hill before him.
The gorgeous night has begun again.

'I will ask them all, I will ask them all their dreams,
I will hold my light above them and seek their faces.
I will hear them whisper, invisible in their veins . . .'
The eternal asker of answers becomes as the darkness,
Or as a wind blown over a myriad forest,
Or as the numberless voices of long-drawn rains.

We hear him and take him among us, like a wind of music,
Like the ghost of a music we have somewhere heard;
We crowd through the streets in a dazzle of pallid lamplight,
We pour in a sinister wave, ascend a stair,
With laughter and cry, and word upon murmured word;
We flow, we descend, we turn . . . and the eternal dreamer
Moves among us like light, like evening air . . .

Good-night!  Good-night!  Good-night!  We go our ways,
The rain runs over the pavement before our feet,
The cold rain falls, the rain sings.
We walk, we run, we ride.  We turn our faces
To what the eternal evening brings.

Our hands are hot and raw with the stones we have laid,
We have built a tower of stone high into the sky,
We have built a city of towers.

Our hands are light, they are singing with emptiness.
Our souls are light; they have shaken a burden of hours . . .
What did we build it for?  Was it all a dream? . . .
Ghostly above us in lamplight the towers gleam . . .
And after a while they will fall to dust and rain;
Or else we will tear them down with impatient hands;
And hew rock out of the earth, and build them again.


II.

One, from his high bright window in a tower,
Leans out, as evening falls,
And sees the advancing curtain of the shower
Splashing its silver on roofs and walls:
Sees how, swift as a shadow, it crosses the city,
And murmurs beyond far walls to the sea,
Leaving a glimmer of water in the dark canyons,
And silver falling from eave and tree.

One, from his high bright window, looking down,
Peers like a dreamer over the rain-bright town,
And thinks its towers are like a dream.
The western windows flame in the sun's last flare,
Pale roofs begin to gleam.

Looking down from a window high in a wall
He sees us all;
Lifting our pallid faces towards the rain,
Searching the sky, and going our ways again,
Standing in doorways, waiting under the trees . . .
There, in the high bright window he dreams, and sees
What we are blind to,-we who mass and crowd
From wall to wall in the darkening of a cloud.

The gulls drift slowly above the city of towers,
Over the roofs to the darkening sea they fly;
Night falls swiftly on an evening of rain.
The yellow lamps wink one by one again.
The towers reach higher and blacker against the sky.


III.

One, where the pale sea foamed at the yellow sand,
With wave upon slowly shattering wave,
Turned to the city of towers as evening fell;
And slowly walked by the darkening road toward it;
And saw how the towers darkened against the sky;
And across the distance heard the toll of a bell.

Along the darkening road he hurried alone,
With his eyes cast down,
And thought how the streets were hoarse with a tide of people,
With clamor of voices, and numberless faces . . .
And it seemed to him, of a sudden, that he would drown
Here in the quiet of evening air,
These empty and voiceless places . . .
And he hurried towards the city, to enter there.

Along the darkening road, between tall trees
That made a sinister whisper, loudly he walked.
Behind him, sea-gulls dipped over long grey seas.
Before him, numberless lovers smiled and talked.
And death was observed with sudden cries,
And birth with laughter and pain.
And the trees grew taller and blacker against the skies
And night came down again.


IV.

Up high black walls, up sombre terraces,
Clinging like luminous birds to the sides of cliffs,
The yellow lights went climbing towards the sky.
From high black walls, gleaming vaguely with rain,
Each yellow light looked down like a golden eye.

They trembled from coign to coign, and tower to tower,
Along high terraces quicker than dream they flew.
And some of them steadily glowed, and some soon vanished,
And some strange shadows threw.

And behind them all the ghosts of thoughts went moving,
Restlessly moving in each lamplit room,
From chair to mirror, from mirror to fire;
From some, the light was scarcely more than a gloom:
From some, a dazzling desire.

And there was one, beneath black eaves, who thought,
Combing with lifted arms her golden hair,
Of the lover who hurried towards her through the night;
And there was one who dreamed of a sudden death
As she blew out her light.

And there was one who turned from clamoring streets,
And walked in lamplit gardens among black trees,
And looked at the windy sky,
And thought with terror how stones and roots would freeze
And birds in the dead boughs cry . . .

And she hurried back, as snow fell, mixed with rain,
To mingle among the crowds again,
To jostle beneath blue lamps along the street;
And lost herself in the warm bright coiling dream,
With a sound of murmuring voices and shuffling feet.

And one, from his high bright window looking down
On luminous chasms that cleft the basalt town,
Hearing a sea-like murmur rise,
Desired to leave his dream, descend from the tower,
And drown in waves of shouts and laughter and cries.


V.

The snow floats down upon us, mingled with rain . . .
It eddies around pale lilac lamps, and falls
Down golden-windowed walls.
We were all born of flesh, in a flare of pain,
We do not remember the red roots whence we rose,
But we know that we rose and walked, that after a while
We shall lie down again.

The snow floats down upon us, we turn, we turn,
Through gorges filled with light we sound and flow . . .
One is struck down and hurt, we crowd about him,
We bear him away, gaze after his listless body;
But whether he lives or dies we do not know.

One of us sings in the street, and we listen to him;
The words ring over us like vague bells of sorrow.
He sings of a house he lived in long ago.
It is strange; this house of dust was the house I lived in;
The house you lived in, the house that all of us know.
And coiling slowly about him, and laughing at him,
And throwing him pennies, we bear away
A mournful echo of other times and places,
And follow a dream . . . a dream that will not stay.

Down long broad flights of lamplit stairs we flow;
Noisy, in scattered waves, crowding and shouting;
In broken slow cascades.
The gardens extend before us . . .  We spread out swiftly;
Trees are above us, and darkness.  The canyon fades . . .

And we recall, with a gleaming stab of sadness,
Vaguely and incoherently, some dream
Of a world we came from, a world of sun-blue hills . . .
A black wood whispers around us, green eyes gleam;
Someone cries in the forest, and someone kills.

We flow to the east, to the white-lined shivering sea;
We reach to the west, where the whirling sun went down;
We close our eyes to music in bright cafees.
We diverge from clamorous streets to streets that are silent.
We loaf where the wind-spilled fountain plays.

And, growing tired, we turn aside at last,
Remember our secret selves, seek out our towers,
Lay weary hands on the banisters, and climb;
Climbing, each, to his little four-square dream
Of love or lust or beauty or death or crime.


VI.

Over the darkened city, the city of towers,
The city of a thousand gates,
Over the gleaming terraced roofs, the huddled towers,
Over a somnolent whisper of loves and hates,
The slow wind flows, drearily streams and falls,
With a mournful sound down rain-dark walls.
On one side purples the lustrous dusk of the sea,
And dreams in white at the city's feet;
On one side sleep the plains, with heaped-up hills.
Oaks and beeches whisper in rings about it.
Above the trees are towers where dread bells beat.

The fisherman draws his streaming net from the sea
And sails toward the far-off city, that seems
Like one vague tower.
The dark bow plunges to foam on blue-black waves,
And shrill rain seethes like a ghostly music about him
In a quiet shower.

Rain with a shrill sings on the lapsing waves;
Rain thrills over the roofs again;
Like a shadow of shifting silver it crosses the city;
The lamps in the streets are streamed with rain;
And sparrows complain beneath deep eaves,
And among whirled leaves
The sea-gulls, blowing from tower to lower tower,
From wall to remoter wall,
Skim with the driven rain to the rising sea-sound
And close grey wings and fall . . .

. . . Hearing great rain above me, I now remember
A girl who stood by the door and shut her eyes:
Her pale cheeks glistened with rain, she stood and shivered.
Into a forest of silver she vanished slowly . . .
Voices about me rise . . .

Voices clear and silvery, voices of raindrops,-
'We struck with silver claws, we struck her down.
We are the ghosts of the singing furies . . . '
A chorus of elfin voices blowing about me
Weaves to a babel of sound.  Each cries a secret.
I run among them, reach out vain hands, and drown.

'I am the one who stood beside you and smiled,
Thinking your face so strangely young . . . '
'I am the one who loved you but did not dare.'
'I am the one you followed through crowded streets,
The one who escaped you, the one with red-gleamed hair.'

'I am the one you saw to-day, who fell
Senseless before you, hearing a certain bell:
A bell that broke great memories in my brain.'
'I am the one who passed unnoticed before you,
Invisible, in a cloud of secret pain.'

'I am the one who suddenly cried, beholding
The face of a certain man on the dazzling screen.
They wrote me that he was dead.  It was long ago.
I walked in the streets for a long while, hearing nothing,
And returned to see it again.  And it was so.'


Weave, weave, weave, you streaks of rain!
I am dissolved and woven again . . .
Thousands of faces rise and vanish before me.
Thousands of voices weave in the rain.

'I am the one who rode beside you, blinking
At a dazzle of golden lights.
Tempests of music swept me: I was thinking
Of the gorgeous promise of certain nights:
Of the woman who suddenly smiled at me this day,
Smiled in a certain delicious sidelong way,
And turned, as she reached the door,
To smile once more . . .
Her hands are whiter than snow on midnight water.
Her throat is golden and full of golden laughter,
Her eyes are strange as the stealth of the moon
On a night in June . . .
She runs among whistling leaves; I hurry after;
She dances in dreams over white-waved water;
Her body is white and fragrant and cool,
Magnolia petals that float on a white-starred pool . . .
I have dreamed of her, dreaming for many nights
Of a broken music and golden lights,
Of broken webs of silver, heavily falling
Between my hands and their white desire:
And dark-leaved boughs, edged with a golden radiance,
Dipping to screen a fire . . .
I dream that I walk with her beneath high trees,
But as I lean to kiss her face,
She is blown aloft on wind, I catch at leaves,
And run in a moonless place;
And I hear a crashing of terrible rocks flung down,
And shattering trees and cracking walls,
And a net of intense white flame roars over the town,
And someone cries; and darkness falls . . .
But now she has leaned and smiled at me,
My veins are afire with music,
Her eyes have kissed me, my body is turned to light;
I shall dream to her secret heart tonight . . . '

He rises and moves away, he says no word,
He folds his evening paper and turns away;
I rush through the dark with rows of lamplit faces;
Fire bells peal, and some of us turn to listen,
And some sit motionless in their accustomed places.

Cold rain lashes the car-roof, scurries in gusts,
Streams down the windows in waves and ripples of lustre;
The lamps in the streets are distorted and strange.
Someone takes his watch from his pocket and yawns.
One peers out in the night for the place to change.

Rain . . . rain . . . rain . . . we are buried in rain,
It will rain forever, the swift wheels hiss through water,
Pale sheets of water gleam in the windy street.
The pealing of bells is lost in a drive of rain-drops.
Remote and hurried the great bells beat.

'I am the one whom life so shrewdly betrayed,
Misfortune dogs me, it always hunted me down.
And to-day the woman I love lies dead.
I gave her roses, a ring with opals;
These hands have touched her head.

'I bound her to me in all soft ways,
I bound her to me in a net of days,
Yet now she has gone in silence and said no word.
How can we face these dazzling things, I ask you?
There is no use: we cry: and are not heard.

'They cover a body with roses . . . I shall not see it . . .
Must one return to the lifeless walls of a city
Whose soul is charred by fire? . . . '
His eyes are closed, his lips press tightly together.
Wheels hiss beneath us.  He yields us our desire.

'No, do not stare so-he is weak with grief,
He cannot face you, he turns his eyes aside;
He is confused with pain.
I suffered this.  I know.  It was long ago . . .
He closes his eyes and drowns in death again.'

The wind hurls blows at the rain-starred glistening windows,
The wind shrills down from the half-seen walls.
We flow on the mournful wind in a dream of dying;
And at last a silence falls.


VII.

Midnight; bells toll, and along the cloud-high towers
The golden lights go out . . .
The yellow windows darken, the shades are drawn,
In thousands of rooms we sleep, we await the dawn,
We lie face down, we dream,
We cry aloud with terror, half rise, or seem
To stare at the ceiling or walls . . .
Midnight . . . the last of shattering bell-notes falls.
A rush of silence whirls over the cloud-high towers,
A vortex of soundless hours.

'The bells have just struck twelve: I should be sleeping.
But I cannot delay any longer to write and tell you.
The woman is dead.
She died-you know the way.  Just as we planned.
Smiling, with open sunlit eyes.
Smiling upon the outstretched fatal hand . . .'

He folds his letter, steps softly down the stairs.
The doors are closed and silent.  A gas-jet flares.
His shadow disturbs a shadow of balustrades.
The door swings shut behind.  Night roars above him.
Into the night he fades.

Wind; wind; wind; carving the walls;
Blowing the water that gleams in the street;
Blowing the rain, the sleet.
In the dark alley, an old tree cracks and falls,
Oak-boughs moan in the haunted air;
Lamps blow down with a crash and ****** of glass . . .
Darkness whistles . . . Wild hours pass . . .

And those whom sleep eludes lie wide-eyed, hearing
Above their heads a goblin night go by;
Children are waked, and cry,
The young girl hears the roar in her sleep, and dreams
That her lover is caught in a burning tower,
She clutches the pillow, she gasps for breath, she screams . . .
And then by degrees her breath grows quiet and slow,
She dreams of an evening, long ago:
Of colored lanterns balancing under trees,
Some of them softly catching afire;
And beneath the lanterns a motionless face she sees,
Golden with lamplight, smiling, serene . . .
The leaves are a pale and glittering green,
The sound of horns blows over the trampled grass,
Shadows of dancers pass . . .
The face smiles closer to hers, she tries to lean
Backward, away, the eyes burn close and strange,
The face is beginning to change,-
It is her lover, she no longer desires to resist,
She is held and kissed.
She closes her eyes, and melts in a seethe of
Jules Jan 2014
There’s something daunting about a moonless night,
      desolate promises in prisons of light.
But don’t worry I’ll keep your secrets hushed and safe,
      sealed on the hidden side of my face.
The sky leaves empty questions stealing shards from your youth,
      yet somehow it sets you free from the truth.
The reality you don’t want to bear in your sky,
      disappears into the darkness you’ve created inside.
You yearn for Moonlight’s beams to guide your absent way,
      But tonight it is still black compelling you to stay.
The shadows—your friends, are hiding somewhere,  
      Solitude’s silence caught in your prayers.
I know it’s lonely when you wonder where is the moon,
      But don’t worry my love, I’ll be there soon.
It is full winter now:  the trees are bare,
Save where the cattle huddle from the cold
Beneath the pine, for it doth never wear
The autumn’s gaudy livery whose gold
Her jealous brother pilfers, but is true
To the green doublet; bitter is the wind, as though it blew

From Saturn’s cave; a few thin wisps of hay
Lie on the sharp black hedges, where the wain
Dragged the sweet pillage of a summer’s day
From the low meadows up the narrow lane;
Upon the half-thawed snow the bleating sheep
Press close against the hurdles, and the shivering house-dogs creep

From the shut stable to the frozen stream
And back again disconsolate, and miss
The bawling shepherds and the noisy team;
And overhead in circling listlessness
The cawing rooks whirl round the frosted stack,
Or crowd the dripping boughs; and in the fen the ice-pools crack

Where the gaunt bittern stalks among the reeds
And ***** his wings, and stretches back his neck,
And hoots to see the moon; across the meads
Limps the poor frightened hare, a little speck;
And a stray seamew with its fretful cry
Flits like a sudden drift of snow against the dull grey sky.

Full winter:  and the ***** goodman brings
His load of ******* from the chilly byre,
And stamps his feet upon the hearth, and flings
The sappy billets on the waning fire,
And laughs to see the sudden lightening scare
His children at their play, and yet,—the spring is in the air;

Already the slim crocus stirs the snow,
And soon yon blanched fields will bloom again
With nodding cowslips for some lad to mow,
For with the first warm kisses of the rain
The winter’s icy sorrow breaks to tears,
And the brown thrushes mate, and with bright eyes the rabbit peers

From the dark warren where the fir-cones lie,
And treads one snowdrop under foot, and runs
Over the mossy knoll, and blackbirds fly
Across our path at evening, and the suns
Stay longer with us; ah! how good to see
Grass-girdled spring in all her joy of laughing greenery

Dance through the hedges till the early rose,
(That sweet repentance of the thorny briar!)
Burst from its sheathed emerald and disclose
The little quivering disk of golden fire
Which the bees know so well, for with it come
Pale boy’s-love, sops-in-wine, and daffadillies all in bloom.

Then up and down the field the sower goes,
While close behind the laughing younker scares
With shrilly whoop the black and thievish crows,
And then the chestnut-tree its glory wears,
And on the grass the creamy blossom falls
In odorous excess, and faint half-whispered madrigals

Steal from the bluebells’ nodding carillons
Each breezy morn, and then white jessamine,
That star of its own heaven, snap-dragons
With lolling crimson tongues, and eglantine
In dusty velvets clad usurp the bed
And woodland empery, and when the lingering rose hath shed

Red leaf by leaf its folded panoply,
And pansies closed their purple-lidded eyes,
Chrysanthemums from gilded argosy
Unload their gaudy scentless merchandise,
And violets getting overbold withdraw
From their shy nooks, and scarlet berries dot the leafless haw.

O happy field! and O thrice happy tree!
Soon will your queen in daisy-flowered smock
And crown of flower-de-luce trip down the lea,
Soon will the lazy shepherds drive their flock
Back to the pasture by the pool, and soon
Through the green leaves will float the hum of murmuring bees at noon.

Soon will the glade be bright with bellamour,
The flower which wantons love, and those sweet nuns
Vale-lilies in their snowy vestiture
Will tell their beaded pearls, and carnations
With mitred dusky leaves will scent the wind,
And straggling traveller’s-joy each hedge with yellow stars will bind.

Dear bride of Nature and most bounteous spring,
That canst give increase to the sweet-breath’d kine,
And to the kid its little horns, and bring
The soft and silky blossoms to the vine,
Where is that old nepenthe which of yore
Man got from poppy root and glossy-berried mandragore!

There was a time when any common bird
Could make me sing in unison, a time
When all the strings of boyish life were stirred
To quick response or more melodious rhyme
By every forest idyll;—do I change?
Or rather doth some evil thing through thy fair pleasaunce range?

Nay, nay, thou art the same:  ’tis I who seek
To vex with sighs thy simple solitude,
And because fruitless tears bedew my cheek
Would have thee weep with me in brotherhood;
Fool! shall each wronged and restless spirit dare
To taint such wine with the salt poison of own despair!

Thou art the same:  ’tis I whose wretched soul
Takes discontent to be its paramour,
And gives its kingdom to the rude control
Of what should be its servitor,—for sure
Wisdom is somewhere, though the stormy sea
Contain it not, and the huge deep answer ‘’Tis not in me.’

To burn with one clear flame, to stand *****
In natural honour, not to bend the knee
In profitless prostrations whose effect
Is by itself condemned, what alchemy
Can teach me this? what herb Medea brewed
Will bring the unexultant peace of essence not subdued?

The minor chord which ends the harmony,
And for its answering brother waits in vain
Sobbing for incompleted melody,
Dies a swan’s death; but I the heir of pain,
A silent Memnon with blank lidless eyes,
Wait for the light and music of those suns which never rise.

The quenched-out torch, the lonely cypress-gloom,
The little dust stored in the narrow urn,
The gentle XAIPE of the Attic tomb,—
Were not these better far than to return
To my old fitful restless malady,
Or spend my days within the voiceless cave of misery?

Nay! for perchance that poppy-crowned god
Is like the watcher by a sick man’s bed
Who talks of sleep but gives it not; his rod
Hath lost its virtue, and, when all is said,
Death is too rude, too obvious a key
To solve one single secret in a life’s philosophy.

And Love! that noble madness, whose august
And inextinguishable might can slay
The soul with honeyed drugs,—alas! I must
From such sweet ruin play the runaway,
Although too constant memory never can
Forget the arched splendour of those brows Olympian

Which for a little season made my youth
So soft a swoon of exquisite indolence
That all the chiding of more prudent Truth
Seemed the thin voice of jealousy,—O hence
Thou huntress deadlier than Artemis!
Go seek some other quarry! for of thy too perilous bliss.

My lips have drunk enough,—no more, no more,—
Though Love himself should turn his gilded prow
Back to the troubled waters of this shore
Where I am wrecked and stranded, even now
The chariot wheels of passion sweep too near,
Hence!  Hence!  I pass unto a life more barren, more austere.

More barren—ay, those arms will never lean
Down through the trellised vines and draw my soul
In sweet reluctance through the tangled green;
Some other head must wear that aureole,
For I am hers who loves not any man
Whose white and stainless ***** bears the sign Gorgonian.

Let Venus go and chuck her dainty page,
And kiss his mouth, and toss his curly hair,
With net and spear and hunting equipage
Let young Adonis to his tryst repair,
But me her fond and subtle-fashioned spell
Delights no more, though I could win her dearest citadel.

Ay, though I were that laughing shepherd boy
Who from Mount Ida saw the little cloud
Pass over Tenedos and lofty Troy
And knew the coming of the Queen, and bowed
In wonder at her feet, not for the sake
Of a new Helen would I bid her hand the apple take.

Then rise supreme Athena argent-limbed!
And, if my lips be musicless, inspire
At least my life:  was not thy glory hymned
By One who gave to thee his sword and lyre
Like AEschylos at well-fought Marathon,
And died to show that Milton’s England still could bear a son!

And yet I cannot tread the Portico
And live without desire, fear and pain,
Or nurture that wise calm which long ago
The grave Athenian master taught to men,
Self-poised, self-centred, and self-comforted,
To watch the world’s vain phantasies go by with unbowed head.

Alas! that serene brow, those eloquent lips,
Those eyes that mirrored all eternity,
Rest in their own Colonos, an eclipse
Hath come on Wisdom, and Mnemosyne
Is childless; in the night which she had made
For lofty secure flight Athena’s owl itself hath strayed.

Nor much with Science do I care to climb,
Although by strange and subtle witchery
She drew the moon from heaven:  the Muse Time
Unrolls her gorgeous-coloured tapestry
To no less eager eyes; often indeed
In the great epic of Polymnia’s scroll I love to read

How Asia sent her myriad hosts to war
Against a little town, and panoplied
In gilded mail with jewelled scimitar,
White-shielded, purple-crested, rode the Mede
Between the waving poplars and the sea
Which men call Artemisium, till he saw Thermopylae

Its steep ravine spanned by a narrow wall,
And on the nearer side a little brood
Of careless lions holding festival!
And stood amazed at such hardihood,
And pitched his tent upon the reedy shore,
And stayed two days to wonder, and then crept at midnight o’er

Some unfrequented height, and coming down
The autumn forests treacherously slew
What Sparta held most dear and was the crown
Of far Eurotas, and passed on, nor knew
How God had staked an evil net for him
In the small bay at Salamis,—and yet, the page grows dim,

Its cadenced Greek delights me not, I feel
With such a goodly time too out of tune
To love it much:  for like the Dial’s wheel
That from its blinded darkness strikes the noon
Yet never sees the sun, so do my eyes
Restlessly follow that which from my cheated vision flies.

O for one grand unselfish simple life
To teach us what is Wisdom! speak ye hills
Of lone Helvellyn, for this note of strife
Shunned your untroubled crags and crystal rills,
Where is that Spirit which living blamelessly
Yet dared to kiss the smitten mouth of his own century!

Speak ye Rydalian laurels! where is he
Whose gentle head ye sheltered, that pure soul
Whose gracious days of uncrowned majesty
Through lowliest conduct touched the lofty goal
Where love and duty mingle!  Him at least
The most high Laws were glad of, he had sat at Wisdom’s feast;

But we are Learning’s changelings, know by rote
The clarion watchword of each Grecian school
And follow none, the flawless sword which smote
The pagan Hydra is an effete tool
Which we ourselves have blunted, what man now
Shall scale the august ancient heights and to old Reverence bow?

One such indeed I saw, but, Ichabod!
Gone is that last dear son of Italy,
Who being man died for the sake of God,
And whose unrisen bones sleep peacefully,
O guard him, guard him well, my Giotto’s tower,
Thou marble lily of the lily town! let not the lour

Of the rude tempest vex his slumber, or
The Arno with its tawny troubled gold
O’er-leap its marge, no mightier conqueror
Clomb the high Capitol in the days of old
When Rome was indeed Rome, for Liberty
Walked like a bride beside him, at which sight pale Mystery

Fled shrieking to her farthest sombrest cell
With an old man who grabbled rusty keys,
Fled shuddering, for that immemorial knell
With which oblivion buries dynasties
Swept like a wounded eagle on the blast,
As to the holy heart of Rome the great triumvir passed.

He knew the holiest heart and heights of Rome,
He drave the base wolf from the lion’s lair,
And now lies dead by that empyreal dome
Which overtops Valdarno hung in air
By Brunelleschi—O Melpomene
Breathe through thy melancholy pipe thy sweetest threnody!

Breathe through the tragic stops such melodies
That Joy’s self may grow jealous, and the Nine
Forget awhile their discreet emperies,
Mourning for him who on Rome’s lordliest shrine
Lit for men’s lives the light of Marathon,
And bare to sun-forgotten fields the fire of the sun!

O guard him, guard him well, my Giotto’s tower!
Let some young Florentine each eventide
Bring coronals of that enchanted flower
Which the dim woods of Vallombrosa hide,
And deck the marble tomb wherein he lies
Whose soul is as some mighty orb unseen of mortal eyes;

Some mighty orb whose cycled wanderings,
Being tempest-driven to the farthest rim
Where Chaos meets Creation and the wings
Of the eternal chanting Cherubim
Are pavilioned on Nothing, passed away
Into a moonless void,—and yet, though he is dust and clay,

He is not dead, the immemorial Fates
Forbid it, and the closing shears refrain.
Lift up your heads ye everlasting gates!
Ye argent clarions, sound a loftier strain
For the vile thing he hated lurks within
Its sombre house, alone with God and memories of sin.

Still what avails it that she sought her cave
That murderous mother of red harlotries?
At Munich on the marble architrave
The Grecian boys die smiling, but the seas
Which wash AEgina fret in loneliness
Not mirroring their beauty; so our lives grow colourless

For lack of our ideals, if one star
Flame torch-like in the heavens the unjust
Swift daylight kills it, and no trump of war
Can wake to passionate voice the silent dust
Which was Mazzini once! rich Niobe
For all her stony sorrows hath her sons; but Italy,

What Easter Day shall make her children rise,
Who were not Gods yet suffered? what sure feet
Shall find their grave-clothes folded? what clear eyes
Shall see them ******?  O it were meet
To roll the stone from off the sepulchre
And kiss the bleeding roses of their wounds, in love of her,

Our Italy! our mother visible!
Most blessed among nations and most sad,
For whose dear sake the young Calabrian fell
That day at Aspromonte and was glad
That in an age when God was bought and sold
One man could die for Liberty! but we, burnt out and cold,

See Honour smitten on the cheek and gyves
Bind the sweet feet of Mercy:  Poverty
Creeps through our sunless lanes and with sharp knives
Cuts the warm throats of children stealthily,
And no word said:- O we are wretched men
Unworthy of our great inheritance! where is the pen

Of austere Milton? where the mighty sword
Which slew its master righteously? the years
Have lost their ancient leader, and no word
Breaks from the voiceless tripod on our ears:
While as a ruined mother in some spasm
Bears a base child and loathes it, so our best enthusiasm

Genders unlawful children, Anarchy
Freedom’s own Judas, the vile prodigal
Licence who steals the gold of Liberty
And yet has nothing, Ignorance the real
One Fraticide since Cain, Envy the asp
That stings itself to anguish, Avarice whose palsied grasp

Is in its extent stiffened, moneyed Greed
For whose dull appetite men waste away
Amid the whirr of wheels and are the seed
Of things which slay their sower, these each day
Sees rife in England, and the gentle feet
Of Beauty tread no more the stones of each unlovely street.

What even Cromwell spared is desecrated
By **** and worm, left to the stormy play
Of wind and beating snow, or renovated
By more destructful hands:  Time’s worst decay
Will wreathe its ruins with some loveliness,
But these new Vandals can but make a rain-proof barrenness.

Where is that Art which bade the Angels sing
Through Lincoln’s lofty choir, till the air
Seems from such marble harmonies to ring
With sweeter song than common lips can dare
To draw from actual reed? ah! where is now
The cunning hand which made the flowering hawthorn branches bow

For Southwell’s arch, and carved the House of One
Who loved the lilies of the field with all
Our dearest English flowers? the same sun
Rises for us:  the seasons natural
Weave the same tapestry of green and grey:
The unchanged hills are with us:  but that Spirit hath passed away.

And yet perchance it may be better so,
For Tyranny is an incestuous Queen,
****** her brother is her bedfellow,
And the Plague chambers with her:  in obscene
And ****** paths her treacherous feet are set;
Better the empty desert and a soul inviolate!

For gentle brotherhood, the harmony
Of living in the healthful air, the swift
Clean beauty of strong limbs when men are free
And women chaste, these are the things which lift
Our souls up more than even Agnolo’s
Gaunt blinded Sibyl poring o’er the scroll of human woes,

Or Titian’s little maiden on the stair
White as her own sweet lily and as tall,
Or Mona Lisa smiling through her hair,—
Ah! somehow life is bigger after all
Than any painted angel, could we see
The God that is within us!  The old Greek serenity

Which curbs the passion of that
Fadi Sem Sep 2014
That fake smile
Sitting on your lips
Like a magic spell
Unbroken at day
Loose in the solitude
Of moonless nights.
Arpan Rathod Jun 2017
You will miss us
in the nights of
moonless sky.
Lotus Sep 2012
Twelve Kings
Twelve Queens
Twelve Lords of the Sea
Twelve Ladies of the Earth

Forty-eight hands linked
Each palm dry and smooth
Resembling the leafs of a
Spring maple
Slender strong arms
Elbows slightly bent
Linked hands
Forming a sphere
Of perfect measures

Forty-eight violet eyes
Unblinking
Twinkle like stars just born
Every pair staring within
The sphere’s center
Slowly
Unraveling the prophesy
Of the dancing pebbles

Twelve sunless days
Twelve moonless nights
The ancient guardians
Read the puzzle of the future
Their violet eyes
Unblinking

As the hour of the
Nightingale’s song
Breaks the silence
The pebbles of prophesy
Freeze their dance in mid-air
And between the watching eyes
Of the guardians
And the nightingale’s song
The pebbles shatter
In unison
Into fragments of
Broken glass

Each face bordering the sphere
Turns an ashen white
Each expression soon
One of hollowness
Forty-eight
Pale hands
Tremble
Forty-eight
Violet eyes
Overflow with tears

Each shattered glass
Liquefies into a
Deathly freezing ice
Extending outwards
To the helpless world
Surrounding

Each guardian
Raises his and her
Face up to the moonless night sky
Their tears freezing
On their cheeks

As the liquid ice
Sweeps of their toes
Rushes up to engulf
The rest of their bodies
Screams that opened holes to other worlds
Shrieks that shattered every stone and breathing lung
Manifest in terrible echoes
Reaching every corner of the
Atmosphere

In the empty space
Where once planet Earth revolved
Around the sun
Now countless numbers of
Ice shards
Dance…

Unseen and unknown eyes
Watch the
Dancing ice shards
Lost in the blackness
With deep sadness

Earth
A planet with so much…
Fire
Water
Soil
Stone
Air
Nature

Everything….

Man lost the connection
It once had with nature
Blinded by
Manipulation and greed
War and hate
Control and corruption
Power and destruction

In twenty-four hundred years
Those whose souls
Remained pure
Whose eyes
Remained open
And all elements
Will embrace
As lovers

Opening a new
Window
In the fabric of worlds
RBWhite Dec 2018
Stars and tears lead the sky,
In a Moonless night deprived of yellow light,
Stock White remains bright,contrasting  heavily when the Demon decides to arrive,
So soon,such a shame,
When Angels started to lead her cruel way,
And now she said and did everything she was meant to be,
Shedding blood from Earths and Skies,
As if nothing else was going to mend her own wounds,
But she sure saw the Demon crawl,
The second her smile brought back the Yellow Light.
Everything we sacrifice will form an important part of who we are. This poem is the first of my poem series BLACKXPOETRY and it tells the story of a woman on her way to hell and her subsequent rise to the hellish kingdom,Enjoy!
Victor D López Dec 2018
Unsung Heroes

Although I stand on the shoulders of giants,
I fail to see much farther than the bridge of my nose.
The fault in mine. The shame is mine.
For I am unworthy of you, my beloved dead.

Emilio (Maternal Grandfather)
Your crime was literacy,
And the possession of a social conscience,
That made you yearn to see your beloved Spain remain free,
And prevented you from suffering fascists lightly.

You did not bear arms,
For you abhorred all violence,
You did not incite rebellion, though you
Rebelled against the foreign and domestic enemies of freedom.

As best I can tell you were an idealist who,
In a time of darkness,
Clung passionately to the belief,
In the perfectibility of the human spirit.

You would not abide the lies the regional papers carried,
And translated news from American and British newspapers,
About the gathering storm,
Sharing the truth freely with all who would listen.

You gave speeches, and wrote speeches delivered by others, in support of a doomed
Republic collapsing under the weight of its own incompetence and corruption.
You were warned by friends of your imminent arrest and offered passage back to the U.S. or to
Buenos Aires where so many of your friends had already found refuge.

But they would not get your wife and nine children out,
And you refused to leave them to their fate.
They came for you, as always, in the middle of the night,
These cowards with stern faces hiding behind machine guns.

They took you prisoner, not for the first time, to the Castillo de San Anton,
A fortress by a most beautiful, tranquil bay,
Where they tore out your nails, one by one, and those their
Gentlest caresses while they asked you for names.

You endured, God knows what there, for months,
And were sentenced to be shot as a traitor at La Plaza de María Pita.
But the Republic had friends, even among the officers of the fascist forces,
And one of them opened your cell door on the eve of your execution.

You had contracted tuberculosis by then, yet, according to grandmother, you
Managed to swim miles across the bay in a moonless night, to safety in the home of
Another patriot who risked his life and the lives of his family to hide you in
His root cellar and made a trip of many miles on foot to find your wife.

He found your home and told your wife of your unexpected reprieve,
And asked her to send some clothing and some shoes to replace your ***** rags.
You eldest daughter, Maria, insisted on accompanying the stranger back on foot, taking
Clothing and what provisions she could quickly gather and carry to you.

From time to time you accepted the hospitality of an overnight stay
In the attic or hay loft of a
Republican sympathizer as these were not hard to
Find in the fiercely independent
Galicia under the yoke of one of its own. But mostly you lived in the woods, with active guerrillas for years.

You lived with all the comforts of a hunted animal with others who would not yield,
Your only crime consisted of being on the wrong side of a lost cause.
I hope it brought you some comfort to know you were on the right side of history.
It brought none to your wife and none to your youngest children.

As you paid the long penance for your conscience, once a month or so, after some
Time passed, you visited your wife and children. You were introduced to the little ones
As an uncle from afar. They did not know the bearded wild man who paid these visits
In the middle of the night and left wearing dad’s old, clean clothes.

The older ones, Maria, Josefa, Juan and Toñita, all in their teens, told the little ones
That their “uncle” brought news of their dad. The younger children, still wearing the
Frayed cloaks of their innocence, accepted this, not questioning why he stayed in
Mom’s room all night and was gone before they awoke the next morning.

Your grief at playing the part of a stranger in your own home, of not embracing your
Children on whom you doted, one and all, for their protection and yours, as there were
No shortage of fascists who tried to ply them with pastries and candy,
Seeking to use their innocence as a weapon against you.

Your parents were relatively wealthy business owners who farmed the sea but
Disowned you—perhaps for your politics, perhaps for choosing to emigrate and
Refusing to join the family business, or perhaps for marrying for love in New York City
A hard working girl beneath your social station in their eyes.

You lived just long enough to see Spain delivered from war,
Though not freed of her chains.
You were spared the war’s aftermath.
Your wife and children were not.

No books record your name. Most of those who knew you are dead.
Yet flowers have long perpetually appeared on your simple above-ground burial site in
Sada that holds your ashes, and those of your eldest son, Juan, and second-
Eldest daughter, Toñita, who died much younger than even you.

Your wife has joined you there, in a place where
Honor, goodness, decency, principle and a pure,
Broken heart,
Now rest in peace.
You can hear my reading of this poem and some sample sonnets from my Of Pain and Ecstasy collection in a simple YouTube book trailer by visiting https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5FXkhtOltEc&t=6s
Xan Abyss Aug 2014
All I want to do to you
Is make you feel alive
All I want to give you is a reason to survive
All you seem to ask of me is derision
Hate and scorn
I don't want you to hate yourself just to be my little *****

You're giving me dead love
You're giving me cold ***
Romantic as a cadaver covered in dirt and sweat
You give me dead love
You give me cold ***
Beautiful as a suicide victim giving in to death

All I try to fill you with is passion, burning bright
And yet your eyes stay darker than a silent, moonless night
All you seem to need of me is abuse
And carnal war
I can't stand to hurt you
But I need a little more
Eileen Auger Apr 2014
I sit on my back stoop,
alone in the moonless dark
lit only by a window glowing
in my neighbor's new spa room.
Spikey tropical plants.
backlit by warm yellow light
are all I can see
from my vantage point
only yards away.
But my imagination runs
to visions of two lovers
delighting in their newest acquisition,
bathing in clouds
of fragrant steam,
a couple still together.
They have each other,
while I sit alone,
me minus you.

Eileen Auger
4/4/2010
Aias Agapios Aug 2014
A vision of perfection under moonless skies
And in their hearts but hopes and dreams
Numerous as the stars up high
Disappears as he holds them,into unlit stream...

In the bright sky-light of a moonless night 
When shadows dance on darkened sand
When loudest words swim in soundless sight 
In waves of water, on waves of land

Twilights last rose gave up its golden dust
As nightingales at large, bereft of voice
The yellow-red orb of the sun grew cold in the dusk
And humanity forgot, gave up its choice

And still he chased his flagrant dreams
Bleeding soles, he ran, burnt fingers still held
Heart ache and disappointment he passed in reams
The insanity of desire, none could mend.

And in his madness he found peace
And in his dreams a quiet solace
When fear and joy mingle, love and hate released
Where life is lived with no thought for the debased

On he walked on a thousand mile road
A thousand mile was walked, was none
On he walked with a hundred tonne load
A hundred tonne he carried as none

With no end in sight an end was found
A sightless silence, a visionary tune
Where the air was earth, where ocean-ground
When water could start and oil put off all fumes

With a vision of perfection under moonless sky
And in their hearts but hopes and dreams
Numerous as the stars up high
Reappear as he holds them,from moonlit stream...
After the wolves and before the elms
the bardic order ended in Ireland.

Only a few remained to continue
a dead art in a dying land:

This is a man
on the road from Youghal to Cahirmoyle.
He has no comfort, no food and no future.
He has no fire to recite his friendless measures by.
His riddles and flatteries will have no reward.
His patrons sheath their swords in Flanders and Madrid.

Reader of poems, lover of poetry—
in case you thought this was a gentle art
follow this man on a moonless night
to the wretched bed he will have to make:

The Gaelic world stretches out under a hawthorn tree
and burns in the rain. This is its home,
its last frail shelter. All of it—
Limerick, the Wild Geese and what went before—
falters into cadence before he sleeps:
He shuts his eyes. Darkness falls on it.
spysgrandson Nov 2011
It was not really thee
bards of the ages
who inspired me
but of your wages
I shall purloin lithe lines
to add to the meager confines
of my tailored tale

nineteen
green
inside and out
not knowing when I would be ripe
cramming all the ammo clips I could find
into my fresh jungle fatigues
he
the sage of 2nd platoon
told me of the frightful night
when
in the midst of a hellish firefight
he reached for more clips
and found only the remnants of chips
tasty morsels when first consumed
but then a sign he was doomed
“NO MORE AMMO—****”
he sunk even lower into the carpet of night
but to his ironic delight
“the **** that was shooting at me ran out of ammo too”
after exchanging an infinite stare
both fled into the ebony air
the moral of his twice told fable
grab all the ammo clips you are able

and the sage from 1st platoon said,
one night when our brains were brimming with beer
that a full bladder was also something to fear
for being distracted by the urge to ****
could perhaps be the reason we would miss
“some **** slithering through the black grass,
and that, my friends, could mean your ***”

so their caveats did not fall on deaf ears
although
they were filtered by my too few reckless years
yet, I snatched all the clips I could carry
on my 140 pounds of nineteen
and took not one sip from my canteen

others words bounced around my crowded skull
some were from rapier wit and others were dull
but the ones to which I would listen
were the ones that gave me hope for
another day of light
after the perpetual blind night
in the land of the ******

I had learned to walk without sound
all on my own
and find a place to crouch
where not even the dead
could see me, I would briefly imagine
but they were there
permeating the dank air
with silent dirges to their demise
and me waiting with cracked open eyes
for one to come alive
and yank my young *** into some dark hole

we have always seen things in the dark
while hiding from the devil our sisters said would come
under our blankets with one eye closed and the other agape
he was coming, she would say, to get you
for being….born
sometimes, the chosen, the blessed souls,
would forget he was there
and breath calm air
and walk into the life of nineteen
with a full canteen but
not worried about a full bladder
and missing Jacob’s ladder

but those of us who came to this wicked place
could not blithely put our demons to rest
and they continued their animated fest
in the darkness our eyes could not penetrate
and our spirits could not relegate
to the silent land of the past

there could have been a dozen, live ones,
snaking their way through the grass
close enough to smell my sweat
or perhaps only one
crouched in his own woeful world
miles away through the ****** jungle
but it did not matter
for in my wordless chatter
they were all around
maybe the same ones in my childhood room
coming to thicken the gloom
with another tormented soul
who at nineteen
was afraid to drink from his canteen

I would stop seeing them
at some point
but only for a shallow breath or two
then they would be there again
and I would hear nothing
except the other sages
from those ancient pages
where my eyes followed my fingers in curious delight
far from this lethal foaming night

"Because I could not stop for death, he kindly stopped for me
the carriage held just ourselves and immortality"
"Death be not proud, though some have called thee so"
“I looked in vain for another path for my feet
but they were all too small
except the one labeled ‘Death Street’”

and other less ominous verse would take the chance
to make its way into my riddled trance,
“Nature’s first green is gold,
her hardest hue to hold
her early leaf’s a flower,
but only so an hour
then leaf subsides to leaf
so Eden sank to grief
so dawn goes down to day
nothing gold can stay”

nothing gold, nor green I would recall
and when I would lose the light lull of the verse
I would again begin to traverse
into the blind black depths in front of my eyes
and the devils would tauntingly reappear
and I would again hear
the nothingness we all share
there
in the land of the ******
with a full canteen
and an M-16
at nineteen
Long piece based on my experiences in Vietnam and the experiences of one of my professors who said reciting verse from the classics helped him through many a harrowing night in World War II--in my case, I recited verses from more contemporary poets--the references to the devil and the dark have their origins in my childhood--I was afraid of the dark and my sister had told me the devil would come get me in the night--the same feeling I had as a 5 year old with one eye open (the other closed so the devil would think I was asleep) returned when I was on guard duty in Vietnam
amanda martinez Apr 2014
We are each our own moon.
Charismatic souls reflecting sunlight,
As if to illuminate a room,
We glow against black, void; an endless night.
Like a caterpillar to a butterfly, emerging from a tight knit cocoon,
Spreading each wing, confidently slicing the evening air…taking flight.
Or even a flower freshly bloomed on a midsummer’s afternoon.
The moon: a flower, silently smiling despite the plight.

Aside from what each day shuffles in; each night simmers out
No matter how often we feel we have lost ourselves…
Or leave way to fill our heads with doubt.
With recurring assumptions of a worldwide redemption:omnipotent stealth.
Needn't some take longer than others to sprout?
Staring blankly into a mirror, or a moonless night sky: hungry for answers, yet facing an empty shelf.
However, that doesn't infer we embark on a divergent route.
Simply due to lack of clarity, lack of reasoning behind each card dealt.

With that in mind,
Just as the moon,true colors may dwindle…they may fade, yet in essence are always there.
Even on a cloudy day, or when the sunshine is at its peak…and just as well for the blind.
Full moon, half moon, new moon…waxing, waning: dynamic phases the night sky shares.
Moon phases;moody faces…natures way of emphasizing personality defined.
Notwithstanding the dark side, each moon may wear.
Like a guilty pleasure manifesting in a secret shrine,
We all suppress a certain side; to pompous to face reality genuinely bare.

Fragments of our faces may always be hidden,
But there’s one thing that will never absorb into the eclipse: emotion.
Some figure each phase, each wave of vibes … simply fate already written.
Devils advocate begs to differ… let your mind emit all distraction and harmonize with the ocean.
Effervescent rays,warm barrels in which emotions, old and new, have ridden.
Chaotically contradicting thoughts, pulling and pushing, creating the paradox of serene commotion.
A world of words from each moon face: a beautiful encryption.
We are each our own moon, written in the waves, compelled by life’s devotion.
July 24, 2013
Sy Lilang Dec 2015
120715 #4:30PM

Just a thought,
To where everything’s ******,
Eyes in leer – flameless –
You are Beauty.

Open eyes, open skies
Open realm, open lies.
White as snow, I was
You’re the apple in spells.
As I lived, I have died too.

With rustic munitions,
You gashed my heart out.
With your circles in hoax,
You murdered me.

A sunless morning,
A moonless night,
An air so humid,
An unsalted oceans.
For in time so impeccable,
Befuddling in misdemeanors,
You’re the Beauty who’s a Beast.

Just in time,
**Forgiveness is an erudite.
Abigail Sep 2011
The moon is lost forever;
the sky has swallowed the stars.
If the heavenly bodies retain no hope,
where may we mortals find ours?
Fallenroses527 Mar 2016
I want more than a broken town with cracked windows and broken locks.
I want more than these broken promises and half assed excuses.
I want more than sunless mornings and moonless nights.
I want to finally wake up.
Wake up with you again.

— The End —