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Gary Brocks Aug 2018
I hear the carve of oars,
I see your palms enfold the wood,
as shards of stars shred
a back and glistening wave.

I hear the carve of oars,
the shore is breached,
we reach dank granite stairs, climb
a tower in moon gritty light.

I hear the carve of oars,
you speak, your turgid cheek
blue-steel-gray, your gaze grates,
my salt raged eyes summon waves and stars.

I hear the carve of oars,
waves rattle a candle's flame,
chill the bed frame, the wet stony room ––
the door closes, it scrapes.

I hear the carve of oars,
I know your lurching gate,
the clank as both oar lock’s turn,
you slip the shore,
I hear the carve of oars

Copyright © 2002 Gary Brocks

They didn't get along
juneau Aug 2014
on this boat I am safe as long as I can see shore
but that is not what I have built this for
I sailed out for adventure and a chance to explore
this place is too mundane I want something more
to navigate by the stars like in the times of yore
and find rubies and gold treasures galore
but first I must get there so I reach for my oar
and row into the unknown until I am sore
I look out to the east and the clouds I just abhor
the waves grow higher and the wind starts to roar
the clouds begin to light up and the rain starts to pour
a storm such as this one I have never seen before
and all this premonition I can no longer ignore
but I am not turning back I'll risk the ocean floor
August 30, 2014
Francie Lynch Apr 2018
Four you already know,
But I can't, I won't,
Put them in writing... allegedly.
The Fifth is my favorite.
Adrift on the Bering Strait,
On an ice flow,
Followed by habitat strained
Polar Bears.
(We'll give him an oar)
Upon landing on the opposite shore,
To be met
By a voracious, ferocious,
And *******,
Russian bear.
Five is probably too low a number.
Wade Redfearn Sep 2018
The first settlers to the area called the Lumber River Drowning Creek. The river got its name for its dark, swift-moving waters. In 1809, the North Carolina state legislature changed the name of Drowning Creek to the Lumber River. The headwaters are still referred to as Drowning Creek.

Three p.m. on a Sunday.
Anxiously hungry, I stay dry, out of the pool’s cold water,
taking the light, dripping into my pages.
A city with a white face blank as a bust
peers over my shoulder.
Wildflowers on the roads. Planes circle from west,
come down steeply and out of sight.
A pinkness rises in my breast and arms:
wet as the drowned, my eyes sting with sweat.
Over the useless chimneys a bank of cloud piles up.
There is something terrible in the sky, but it keeps breaking.
Another is dead. Fentanyl. Sister of a friend, rarely seen.
A hand reaches everywhere to pass over eyes and mouths.
A glowing wound opens in heaven.
A mirror out of doors draws a gyre of oak seeds no one watches,
in the clear pool now sunless and black as a cypress swamp.

Bitter water freezes the muscles and I am far from shore.
I paddle in the shallows, near the wooden jail.
The water reflects a taut rope,
feet hanging in the breeze singing mercy
at the site of the last public hanging in the state.
A part-white fugitive with an extorted confession,
loved by the poor, dumb enough to get himself captured,
lonely on this side of authority: a world he has never lived in
foisting itself on the world he has -
only now, to steal his drunken life, then gone again.

1871 - Henderson Oxendine, one of the notorious gang of outlaws who for some time have infested Robeson County, N. C., committing ****** and robbery, and otherwise setting defiance to the laws, was hung at Lumberton, on Friday last in the presence of a large assemblage. His execution took place a very few days after his conviction, and his death occurred almost without a struggle.

Today, the town square collapses as if scorched
by the whiskey he drank that morning to still himself,
folds itself up like Amazing Grace is finished.
A plinth is laid
in the shadow of his feet, sticky with pine,
here where the water sickens with roots.
Where the canoe overturned. Where the broken oar floated and fell.
Where the snake lives, and teethes on bark,
waiting for another uncle.

Where the tobacco waves near drying barns rusted like horseshoes
and cotton studs the ground like the cropped hair of the buried.
Where schoolchildren take the afternoon
to trim the kudzu growing between the bodies of slaves.
Where appetite is met with flood and fat
and a clinic for the heart.
Where barges took chips of tar to port,
for money that no one ever saw.

Tar sticks the heel but isn’t courage.
Tar seals the hulls -
binds the planks -
builds the road.
Tar, fiery on the tongue, heavy as bad blood in the family -
dead to glue the dead together to secure the living.
Tar on the roofs, pouring heat.
Tar is a dark brown or black viscous liquid of hydrocarbons and free carbon,
obtained from a wide variety of organic materials
through destructive distillation.
Tar in the lungs will one day go as hard as a five-cent candy.

Liberty Food Mart
Cheapest Prices on Cigarettes
Parliament $22.50/carton
Marlboro $27.50/carton

The white-bibbed slaughterhouse Hmong hunch down the steps
of an old school bus with no air conditioner,
rush into the cool of the supermarket.
They pick clean the vegetables, flee with woven bags bulging.
What were they promised?
Air conditioning.
And what did they receive?
Chickenshit on the wind; a dead river they can't understand
with a name it gained from killing.

A man was flung onto a fencepost and died in a front yard down the street.
A girl with a grudge in her eyes slipped a razorblade from her teeth and ended recess.
I once saw an Indian murdered for stealing a twelve-foot ladder.
The red line indicating heart disease grows higher and higher.
The red line indicating cardiovascular mortality grows higher and higher.
The red line indicating motor vehicle deaths grows higher and higher.
I burn with the desire to leave.

The stories make us full baskets of dark. No death troubles me.
Not the girl's blood, inert, tickled by opiates,
not the masked arson of the law;
not the smell of drywall as it rots,
or the door of the safe falling from its hinges,
or the chassis of cars, airborne over the rise by the planetarium,
three classmates plunging wide-eyed in the river’s icy arc –
absent from prom, still struggling to free themselves from their seatbelts -
the gunsmoke at the home invasion,
the tenement bisected by flood,
the cattle lowing, gelded
by agriculture students on a field trip.

The air contains skin and mud.
The galvanized barns, long empty, cough up
their dust of rotten feed, dry tobacco.
Men kneel in the tilled rows,
to pick up nails off the ground
still splashed with the blood of their makers.

You Never Sausage a Place
(You’re Always a ****** at Pedro’s!)
South of the Border – Fireworks, Motel & Rides
Exit 9: 10mi.

Drunkards in Dickies will tell you the roads are straight enough
that the drive home will not bend away from them.
Look in the woods to see by lamplight
two girls filling each other's mouths with smoke.
Hear a friendly command:
boys loosening a tire, stuck in the gut of a dog.
Turn on the radio between towns of two thousand
and hear the tiny voice of an AM preacher,
sharing the airwaves of country dark
with some chords plucked from a guitar.
Taste this water thick with tannin
and tell me that trees do not feel pain.
I would be a mausoleum for these thousands
if I only had the room.

I sealed myself against the flood.
Bodies knock against my eaves:
a clutch of cats drowned in a crawlspace,
an old woman bereft with a vase of pennies,
her dead son in her living room costumed as the black Jesus,
the ***** oil of a Chinese restaurant
dancing on top of black water.
A flow gauge spins its tin wheel
endlessly above the bloated dead,
and I will pretend not to be sick at dinner.

Misery now, a struggle ahead for Robeson County after flooding from Hurricane Matthew
After years of things leaving Robeson County – manufacturing plants, jobs, payrolls, people – something finally came in, and what was it but more misery?

I said a prayer to the city:
make me a figure in a figure,
solvent, owed and owing.
Take my jute sacks of wristbones,
my sheaves and sheaves of fealty,
the smell of the forest from my feet.
Weigh me only by my purse.
A slim woman with a college degree,
a rented room without the black wings
of palmetto roaches fleeing the damp:
I saw the calm white towers and subscribed.
No ingrate, I saved a space for the lost.
They filled it once, twice, and kept on,
eating greasy flesh straight from the bone,
craning their heads to ask a prayer for them instead.

Downtown later in the easy dark,
three college boys in foam cowboy hats shout in poor Spanish.
They press into the night and the night presses into them.
They will go home when they have to.
Under the bridge lit in violet,
a folding chair is draped in a ***** blanket.
A grubby pair of tennis shoes lay beneath, no feet inside.
Iced tea seeps from a chewed cup.
I pass a bar lit like Christmas.
A mute and pretty face full of indoor light
makes a promise I see through a window.
I pay obscene rents to find out if it is true,
in this nation tied together with gallows-rope,
thumbing its codex of virtues.
Considering this just recently got rejected and I'm free to publish it, and also considering that the town this poem describes is subject once again to a deluge whose damage promises to be worse than before, it seemed like a suitable time to post it. If you've enjoyed it, please think about making a small donation to the North Carolina Disaster Relief Fund at the URL below:
Data Apr 2018
Love does not come to those who wait:

It is the river running through the turning mill,
passed the ears of corn a-sway, through the fisher’s net
on its way to the sea, passed the eye of the silvered fish
caught in cords, strung in warp and weft,
It is the tide that washes ashore against the river’s flow,
It is the brackish estuary, muddied waters in turmoil,
the dark volute, the dangerous eye of the eagle’s flight
soaring aloft, circling convections in preys pursuit,
It is the edge of a cloud against the blue sky.
It is the autumn leaf red against the red horizon.
It is the morning, and to lean against sleeping skin,
to kiss the scent at your nape, to begin each day
with you this way, renewed,
It is dawn, the dewdrop of your eye,
and when dusk returns, your profile turns before
the gathering dark and your smile is light.
Love does not wait for you to recognise the moment

when you realise:

love does not linger when you lie,
when I run from you (when I run to you)
for love does not lie

when I ask you and you reply.

Love is the boat in which we cross from side to side,
in which we traverse the ocean green and wide,
Then, I am the canvas sail and you are the wind.
When gulls cry, I am determined—the arm against the oar,
When you weep, I wonder if we’ll ever reach the safety

of the bay where the gulls fly, where the jetty juts into the calm
of your shore, where I gaze into the pool of your eye, and you whisper,

‘Shall we stay here forever?’


by Data © April 2018
When roaring sorrow
Uproots you
Envision a lotus staying
Gently a float upon the pond
The sun's soothing, comforting, light
Breathing in and gently out
Releasing gripping hands
Clasped around an oar.
No need to leave
No need to go
Deep sorrow of your heart beating
Rivers of Love's tears upon the pond.
Yet the sunshine never fails.
Floating  to and fro
To that perfect spot
Within the same pond
The Lotus flower
Sends it's tap root deep
Taking root
Once again
Among the other lotus blossoms
Growing up from
The pond's murky floor.
In the first year after a loved one dies, it is best to not to make any huge changes within the first year. A person needs their community, for support and love. To move away will make this task more difficult. If a person stays they will find the arms of caring and loving friends and family to see them through their time of grief and loss. For a person, who is grieving to come to serenity it seems to take the support of loving others who open the healing door with compassion, understanding and the insight gained from their own past griefs.
Nicole H Feb 7
borne me to the edge of the waters
beyond the earth where it’s senseless of ponder
where could you be, i’d wonder.
i cannot fold the thoughts of you into quarters.

a moonless night
my mind rowing through crippled legs of time
perhaps seasick by the slight;
i’d hurl a ripple of rhyme.

the oar of my chest throbs out of song,
the shape of this planet is far too round.
as i cease to wander i came to found
that you hold me adrift all along.

the horizon remains out of reach
contentment sails as we come across a beach.
as long as i may lie upon you, unfolded, in the sand
bit by bit i no longer fear the land.
from things i found in my room that have to do with you
No love

01 January 2019.

What then, if there is no love?
Caress your  fingers, kiss your thumb?
Though my heart, blue and numb?
Will my heart lose its beat?
My stomach cold, no passion’s heat?
The gentle whisper in your ear,
Fill with pain, when we are near?
Trembling leaf, my hand does shake,
Not knowing how our chain will break.

Every morn, palest dawn,
Bursts dreamer’s long.
Clouds will fill every sky,
Blackest crow morning’s cry.

Memories filled with tears.
Only hold wasted years.
Each day I hold the oar,
Passions sweat soil the door.
Keep our love so treasured God.
My love holds true, faithful sue.
Hold me fast, love’s worn for you.
Bijan Rabiee Oct 2018
Resonance of words
Sway to-and-fro
In the dead of night
The deep sea welcomes
Swimming oar
Splash metaphores
Fertilizing the white leaf
With bird droppings
The right is a wrong
And left, stone flower
Heaven lives next door
Her eyes a wilderness
**** is downright here
Blazing a roar
In stillness of poet's pond
Moon reflects
The passion of Truth and Lie
As Morning star waits
To outshine the darkling grace.
Maybe I’d be better off alone

I could eat what I want
sleep when I’m weary
go where I will
hang out with whomever
….or not

Allow my muse to rule the day


I could spend my life with you
feeding your consuming need
bearing witness to the pain of your sleepless nights
trying to mend your brokenness, at first tenderly
….then hopelessly

Until my heart and spirit atrophy
adrift without oar or rudder
on the turbulent sea of your emotions

With you, I am bound by love
without you, I am selfishly free
but either way….

I am deeply alone

— The End —