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Willow Grierson Apr 2014
What the hell am I supposed to do?
With you used to be easy,
Meant for two.
Now it gets harder,
As the days drift by
We used to be so close together,
Why did you say goodbye?
She paints a pretty picture
But no one's there to see
She paints her tears on paper
And then she looks at me
I can't help her pain
I don't even try.
I just sit here crying,
As she dies inside.
I'm singing, "Oh, oh, oh"
I can feel her pain
To sacred to even stay
I tried to warn them all
But no one listened to me
They all ignored
While I had the key.
She paints a pretty picture
But no one's there to see
She paints her tears on paper
And then she looks at me
I can't help her pain
I don't even try.
I just sit here crying,
As she dies inside.
I'm singing, "Oh, oh, oh"
I can feel her pa-ain-ain
To scared to even stay
Too sacred to-
Save her life
Stop her tears,
They fell like waterfalls
That no one can hear.
Until they stopped-
She painted a pretty picture
But no one was there to see
She painted her tears on paper
And then she looked at me
I couldn't help her pain
I didn't even try.
I just sit here crying,
While she has gone to die.
Now that she is gone,
I hear her in the wind.
Endless cries of laughter,
Endless days of summer
Endless...days of...
Nothing to live for
Nothing to gain.
Now that she has gone away.
Nothing stays the same.
I paint a pretty picture.
No one's there to see,
I paint my grief on paper,
She cries down to me,
Tells me "Stop!"
As the paper turns red.
I see a figure
All dressed in white,
I see a figure,
Dancing through the night.
They paint a picture
of her and me
They turn around
And it's her I see and she's forgiven me.
Clouds of white
Blue skies below
I am with her.
Forever home.
I'm changing this poem into a song so ignore the minor changes
Oliver Grey Jan 2015
She paints a pretty picture
But the story has a twist
Her paintbrush was her razor
And her canvas was her wrist

She paints a pretty picture
In a color that's blood red
And using her sharp paintbrush
She ends up finally dead

Her pretty pictures fading
Quite slowly up her arm
Blood no longer flows through her
She can no longer do her harm

Yes, she painted a pretty picture
But the story has a twist
You see, her mind was just her razor
And her heart was just her wrist

- Unknown
I did not write this poem, and I cannot give credit since I do not know who the author is, but THIS IS NOT MY POEM.
Waverly Nov 2011
She always laid out her paints
right before bed.

The oils nustled up against her thighs.
Some of them,
cradled in tiny white baths of containers,
lay in the open space
of her folded legs.

"Just in case, something hits me in a dream, I want to wake up and run and be ready at the right moment."

The carpet is rough
and stained with the shrapnel of dry paint
that *****
your soles
when you walk through
the living
room
to the
pale kitchen,
while she gurgles and
pops
in her sleep.

All the time,
the paint gets on the floor,
she paints in thrusts.

"You're going to have to pay for this mess, you know,
I'm not paying to have this carpet cleaned,
it's not my ****."

Condescension and guilt
spread through your lips
numbing you
in a fog of arrogance,
that you perceive
as good-natured caution,
while she hurts the canvas
thrusting harder.

She
paints
clowns.

Tall, fat clowns,
with long tentacle fingers,
bellies
out to                             here,
and tiny people
curling in black oily slicks at the corners
under the pressure of the clowns.

"Why the **** do you always paint clowns?"

"Why can't you just let me be?
you don't know anything about art."

The bed
is tiny.

***
is soft,
methodical
and
pre-emptive.

"I'm tired of stepping on your paint at night,
I'm tired of my feet
looking like a rainbow."

One night,
you come home smelling
like grease and fried chicken.

Your button-down
with the slippery gold name-tag
is dabbed
in the chest by leaves of oil
and
shadowed in the armpits
by
strokes of sweat.

Your manager kept talking about:
"You need to improve
your checkout efficiency,
you've been lagging lately."

Dropping the heavy black
flak jacket
with it's flare of orange lining
on the floor,

You see her,

with her arsenal of paints
arrayed at her criss-crossed
limbs
like the implements
of
a war.

She looks up
at you,
black circles
under her eyes,
an easel
holding up
a canvas of almost minsicule drippings of fabric.

"Oh,
I see you're still there,
great."

You walk to the kitchen
and open the fridge,
there's a half-gallon
of 2% left.

An apple
slowly crumpling into itself.

And a bottle
with a swig of orange juice left in it.

***** always leaves a swig.

You take the bottle up to your mouth and swallow down a trickle that you can feel in your bones.

"Don't drink from the bottle."
she says
with a nodded head.

"I can do what I want,
I bought it."

She looks up.

The clowns
she says:
"Are the type of people
that gain power,
the ones ruling the world,
the ones who become *******."

You laugh like an idiot
"People like me."

"No, you're not a clown,
you're one of the tiny ones."

"*******."

You want to wash yourself
of the stink.

Drain it all down into the gutter,
let the stink
sit there.

So you take a shower,
while she stares at the white cartridges
of paint,
and a conflict brewing.
Kind of a rough draft for a short story idea. Usually a story starts out as just a stream-of-consciousness poem for me. So, here it is.
FIRST DAY

1.
Who wanted me
to go to Chicago
on January 6th?
I did!

The night before,
20 below zero
Fahrenheit
with the wind chill;
as the blizzard of 99
lay in mountains
of blackening snow.

I packed two coats,
two suits,
three sweaters,
multiple sets of long johns
and heavy white socks
for a two-day stay.

I left from Newark.
**** the denseness,
it confounds!

The 2nd City to whom?
2nd ain’t bad.
It’s pretty good.
If you consider
Peking and Prague,
Tokyo and Togo,
Manchester and Moscow,
Port Au Prince and Paris,
Athens and Amsterdam,
Buenos Aries and Johannesburg;
that’s pretty good.

What’s going on here today?
It’s friggin frozen.
To the bone!

But Chi Town is still cool.
Buddy Guy’s is open.
Bartenders mixing drinks,
cabbies jamming on their breaks,
honey dew waitresses serving sugar,
buildings swerving,
fire tongued preachers are preaching
and the farmers are measuring the moon.

The lake,
unlike Ontario
is in the midst of freezing.
Bones of ice
threaten to gel
into a solid mass
over the expanse
of the Michigan Lake.
If this keeps up,
you can walk
clear to Toronto
on a silver carpet.

Along the shore
the ice is permanent.
It’s the first big frost
of winter
after a long
Indian Summer.

Thank God
I caught a cab.
Outside I hear
The Hawk
nippin hard.
It’ll get your ear,
finger or toe.
Bite you on the nose too
if you ain’t careful.

Thank God,
I’m not walking
the Wabash tonight;
but if you do cover up,
wear layers.

Chicago,
could this be
Sandburg’s City?

I’m overwhelmed
and this is my tenth time here.

It’s almost better,
sometimes it is better,
a lot of times it is better
and denser then New York.

Ask any Bull’s fan.
I’m a Knickerbocker.
Yes Nueva York,
a city that has placed last
in the standings
for many years.
Except the last two.
Yanks are # 1!

But Chicago
is a dynasty,
as big as
Sammy Sosa’s heart,
rich and wide
as Michael Jordan’s grin.

Middle of a country,
center of a continent,
smack dab in the mean
of a hemisphere,
vortex to a world,
Chicago!

Kansas City,
Nashville,
St. Louis,
Detroit,
Cleveland,
Pittsburgh,
Denver,
New Orleans,
Dallas,
Cairo,
Singapore,
Auckland,
Baghdad,
Mexico City
and Montreal
salute her.



2.
Cities,
A collection of vanities?
Engineered complex utilitarianism?
The need for community a social necessity?
Ego one with the mass?
Civilization’s latest *******?
Chicago is more then that.

Jefferson’s yeoman farmer
is long gone
but this capitol
of the Great Plains
is still democratic.

The citizen’s of this city
would vote daily,
if they could.

Chicago,
Sandburg’s Chicago,
Could it be?

The namesake river
segments the city,
canals of commerce,
all perpendicular,
is rife throughout,
still guiding barges
to the Mississippi
and St. Laurence.

Now also
tourist attractions
for a cafe society.

Chicago is really jazzy,
swanky clubs,
big steaks,
juices and drinks.

You get the best
coffee from Seattle
and the finest teas
from China.

Great restaurants
serve liquid jazz
al la carte.

Jazz Jazz Jazz
All they serve is Jazz
Rock me steady
Keep the beat
Keep it flowin
Feel the heat!

Jazz Jazz Jazz
All they is, is Jazz
Fast cars will take ya
To the show
Round bout midnight
Where’d the time go?

Flows into the Mississippi,
the mother of America’s rivers,
an empires aorta.

Great Lakes wonder of water.
Niagara Falls
still her heart gushes forth.

Buffalo connected to this holy heart.
Finger Lakes and Adirondacks
are part of this watershed,
all the way down to the
Delaware and Chesapeake.

Sandburg’s Chicago?
Oh my my,
the wonder of him.
Who captured the imagination
of the wonders of rivers.

Down stream other holy cities
from the Mississippi delta
all mapped by him.

Its mouth our Dixie Trumpet
guarded by righteous Cajun brethren.

Midwest?
Midwest from where?
It’s north of Caracas and Los Angeles,
east of Fairbanks,
west of Dublin
and south of not much.

Him,
who spoke of honest men
and loving women.
Working men and mothers
bearing citizens to build a nation.
The New World’s
precocious adolescent
caught in a stream
of endless and exciting change,
much pain and sacrifice,
dedication and loss,
pride and tribulations.

From him we know
all the people’s faces.
All their stories are told.
Never defeating the
idea of Chicago.

Sandburg had the courage to say
what was in the heart of the people, who:

Defeated the Indians,
Mapped the terrain,
Aided slavers,
Fought a terrible civil war,
Hoisted the barges,
Grew the food,
Whacked the wheat,
Sang the songs,
Fought many wars of conquest,
Cleared the land,
Erected the bridges,
Trapped the game,
Netted the fish,
Mined the coal,
Forged the steel,
Laid the tracks,
Fired the tenders,
Cut the stone,
Mixed the mortar,
Plumbed the line,
And laid the bricks
Of this nation of cities!

Pardon the Marlboro Man shtick.
It’s a poor expostulation of
crass commercial symbolism.

Like I said, I’m a
Devil Fan from Jersey
and Madison Avenue
has done its work on me.

It’s a strange alchemy
that changes
a proud Nation of Blackhawks
into a merchandising bonanza
of hometown hockey shirts,
making the native seem alien,
and the interloper at home chillin out,
warming his feet atop a block of ice,
guzzling Old Style
with clicker in hand.

Give him his beer
and other diversions.
If he bowls with his buddy’s
on Tuesday night
I hope he bowls
a perfect game.

He’s earned it.
He works hard.
Hard work and faith
built this city.

And it’s not just the faith
that fills the cities
thousand churches,
temples and
mosques on the Sabbath.

3.
There is faith in everything in Chicago!

An alcoholic broker named Bill
lives the Twelve Steps
to banish fear and loathing
for one more day.
Bill believes in sobriety.

A tug captain named Moe
waits for the spring thaw
so he can get the barges up to Duluth.
Moe believes in the seasons.

A farmer named Tom
hopes he has reaped the last
of many bitter harvests.
Tom believes in a new start.

A homeless man named Earl
wills himself a cot and a hot
at the local shelter.
Earl believes in deliverance.

A Pullman porter
named George
works overtime
to get his first born
through medical school.
George believes in opportunity.

A folk singer named Woody
sings about his
countrymen inheritance
and implores them to take it.
Woody believes in people.

A Wobbly named Joe
organizes fellow steelworkers
to fight for a workers paradise
here on earth.
Joe believes in ideals.

A bookkeeper named Edith
is certain she’ll see the Cubs
win the World Series
in her lifetime.
Edith believes in miracles.

An electrician named ****
saves money
to bring his family over from Gdansk.
**** believes in America.

A banker named Leah
knows Ditka will return
and lead the Bears
to another Super Bowl.
Leah believes in nostalgia.

A cantor named Samuel
prays for another 20 years
so he can properly train
his Temple’s replacement.

Samuel believes in tradition.
A high school girl named Sally
refuses to get an abortion.
She knows she carries
something special within her.
Sally believes in life.

A city worker named Mazie
ceaselessly prays
for her incarcerated son
doing 10 years at Cook.
Mazie believes in redemption.

A jazzer named Bix
helps to invent a new art form
out of the mist.
Bix believes in creativity.

An architect named Frank
restores the Rookery.
Frank believes in space.

A soldier named Ike
fights wars for democracy.
Ike believes in peace.

A Rabbi named Jesse
sermonizes on Moses.
Jesse believes in liberation.

Somewhere in Chicago
a kid still believes in Shoeless Joe.
The kid believes in
the integrity of the game.

An Imam named Louis
is busy building a nation
within a nation.
Louis believes in
self-determination.

A teacher named Heidi
gives all she has to her students.
She has great expectations for them all.
Heidi believes in the future.

4.
Does Chicago have a future?

This city,
full of cowboys
and wildcatters
is predicated
on a future!

Bang, bang
Shoot em up
Stake the claim
It’s your terrain
Drill the hole
Strike it rich
Top it off
You’re the boss
Take a chance
Watch it wane
Try again
Heavenly gains

Chicago
city of futures
is a Holy Mecca
to all day traders.

Their skin is gray,
hair disheveled,
loud ties and
funny coats,
thumb through
slips of paper
held by nail
chewed hands.
Selling promises
with no derivative value
for out of the money calls
and in the money puts.
Strike is not a labor action
in this city of unionists,
but a speculators mark,
a capitalist wish,
a hedgers bet,
a public debt
and a farmers
fair return.

Indexes for everything.
Quantitative models
that could burst a kazoo.

You know the measure
of everything in Chicago.
But is it truly objective?
Have mathematics banished
subjective intentions,
routing it in fair practice
of market efficiencies,
a kind of scientific absolution?

I heard that there
is a dispute brewing
over the amount of snowfall
that fell on the 1st.

The mayor’s office,
using the official city ruler
measured 22”
of snow on the ground.

The National Weather Service
says it cannot detect more
then 17” of snow.

The mayor thinks
he’ll catch less heat
for the trains that don’t run
the buses that don’t arrive
and the schools that stand empty
with the addition of 5”.

The analysts say
it’s all about capturing liquidity.

Liquidity,
can you place a great lake
into an eyedropper?

Its 20 below
and all liquid things
are solid masses
or a gooey viscosity at best.

Water is frozen everywhere.
But Chi town is still liquid,
flowing faster
then the digital blips
flashing on the walls
of the CBOT.

Dreams
are never frozen in Chicago.
The exchanges trade
without missing a beat.

Trading wet dreams,
the crystallized vapor
of an IPO
pledging a billion points
of Internet access
or raiding the public treasuries
of a central bank’s
huge stores of gold
with currency swaps.

Using the tools
of butterfly spreads
and candlesticks
to achieve the goal.

Short the Russell
or buy the Dow,
go long the
CAC and DAX.
Are you trading in euro’s?
You better be
or soon will.
I know
you’re Chicago,
you’ll trade anything.
WEBS,
Spiders,
and Leaps
are traded here,
along with sweet crude,
North Sea Brent,
plywood and T-Bill futures;
and most importantly
the commodities,
the loam
that formed this city
of broad shoulders.

What about our wheat?
Still whacking and
breadbasket to the world.

Oil,
an important fossil fuel
denominated in
good ole greenbacks.

Porkbellies,
not just hogwash
on the Wabash,
but bacon, eggs
and flapjacks
are on the menu
of every diner in Jersey
as the “All American.”

Cotton,
our contribution
to the Golden Triangle,
once the global currency
used to enrich a
gentlemen class
of cultured
southern slavers,
now Tommy Hilfiger’s
preferred fabric.

I think he sends it
to Bangkok where
child slaves
spin it into
gold lame'.

Sorghum,
I think its hardy.

Soybeans,
the new age substitute
for hamburger
goes great with tofu lasagna.

Corn,
ADM creates ethanol,
they want us to drive cleaner cars.

Cattle,
once driven into this city’s
bloodhouses for slaughter,
now ground into
a billion Big Macs
every year.

When does a seed
become a commodity?
When does a commodity
become a future?
When does a future expire?

You can find the answers
to these questions in Chicago
and find a fortune in a hole in the floor.

Look down into the pits.
Hear the screams of anguish
and profitable delights.

Frenzied men
swarming like a mass
of epileptic ants
atop the worlds largest sugar cube
auger the worlds free markets.

The scene is
more chaotic then
100 Haymarket Square Riots
multiplied by 100
1968 Democratic Conventions.

Amidst inverted anthills,
they scurry forth and to
in distinguished
black and red coats.

Fighting each other
as counterparties
to a life and death transaction.

This is an efficient market
that crosses the globe.

Oil from the Sultan of Brunei,
Yen from the land of Hitachi,
Long Bonds from the Fed,
nickel from Quebec,
platinum and palladium
from Siberia,
FTSE’s from London
and crewel cane from Havana
circle these pits.

Tijuana,
Shanghai
and Istanbul's
best traders
are only half as good
as the average trader in Chicago.

Chicago,
this hog butcher to the world,
specializes in packaging and distribution.

Men in blood soaked smocks,
still count the heads
entering the gates of the city.

Their handiwork
is sent out on barges
and rail lines as frozen packages
of futures
waiting for delivery
to an anonymous counterparty
half a world away.

This nation’s hub
has grown into the
premier purveyor
to the world;
along all the rivers,
highways,
railways
and estuaries
it’s tentacles reach.

5.
Sandburg’s Chicago,
is a city of the world’s people.

Many striver rows compose
its many neighborhoods.

Nordic stoicism,
Eastern European orthodoxy
and Afro-American
calypso vibrations
are three of many cords
strumming the strings
of Chicago.

Sandburg’s Chicago,
if you wrote forever
you would only scratch its surface.

People wait for trains
to enter the city from O’Hare.
Frozen tears
lock their eyes
onto distant skyscrapers,
solid chunks
of snot blocks their nose
and green icicles of slime
crust mustaches.
They fight to breathe.

Sandburg’s Chicago
is The Land of Lincoln,
Savior of the Union,
protector of the Republic.
Sent armies
of sons and daughters,
barges, boxcars,
gunboats, foodstuffs,
cannon and shot
to raze the south
and stamp out succession.

Old Abe’s biography
are still unknown volumes to me.
I must see and read the great words.
You can never learn enough;
but I’ve been to Washington
and seen the man’s memorial.
The Free World’s 8th wonder,
guarded by General Grant,
who still keeps an eye on Richmond
and a hand on his sword.

Through this American winter
Abe ponders.
The vista he surveys is dire and tragic.

Our sitting President
impeached
for lying about a *******.

Party partisans
in the senate are sworn and seated.
Our Chief Justice,
adorned with golden bars
will adjudicate the proceedings.
It is the perfect counterpoint
to an ageless Abe thinking
with malice toward none
and charity towards all,
will heal the wounds
of the nation.

Abe our granite angel,
Chicago goes on,
The Union is strong!


SECOND DAY

1.
Out my window
the sun has risen.

According to
the local forecast
its minus 9
going up to
6 today.

The lake,
a golden pillow of clouds
is frozen in time.

I marvel
at the ancients ones
resourcefulness
and how
they mastered
these extreme elements.

Past, present and future
has no meaning
in the Citadel
of the Prairie today.

I set my watch
to Central Standard Time.

Stepping into
the hotel lobby
the concierge
with oil smooth hair,
perfect tie
and English lilt
impeccably asks,
“Do you know where you are going Sir?
Can I give you a map?”

He hands me one of Chicago.
I see he recently had his nails done.
He paints a green line
along Whacker Drive and says,
“turn on Jackson, LaSalle, Wabash or Madison
and you’ll get to where you want to go.”
A walk of 14 or 15 blocks from Streeterville-
(I start at The Chicago White House.
They call it that because Hillary Rodham
stays here when she’s in town.
Its’ also alleged that Stedman
eats his breakfast here
but Opra
has never been seen
on the premises.
I wonder how I gained entry
into this place of elite’s?)
-down into the center of The Loop.

Stepping out of the hotel,
The Doorman
sporting the epaulets of a colonel
on his corporate winter coat
and furry Cossack hat
swaddling his round black face
accosts me.

The skin of his face
is flaking from
the subzero windburn.

He asks me
with a gapped toothy grin,
“Can I get you a cab?”
“No I think I’ll walk,” I answer.
“Good woolen hat,
thick gloves you should be alright.”
He winks and lets me pass.

I step outside.
The Windy City
flings stabbing cold spears
flying on wings of 30-mph gusts.
My outside hardens.
I can feel the freeze
deepen
into my internalness.
I can’t be sure
but inside
my heart still feels warm.
For how long
I cannot say.

I commence
my walk
among the spires
of this great city,
the vertical leaps
that anchor the great lake,
holding its place
against the historic
frigid assault.

The buildings’ sway,
modulating to the blows
of natures wicked blasts.

It’s a hard imposition
on a city and its people.

The gloves,
skullcap,
long underwear,
sweater,
jacket
and overcoat
not enough
to keep the cold
from penetrating
the person.

Like discerning
the layers of this city,
even many layers,
still not enough
to understand
the depth of meaning
of the heart
of this heartland city.

Sandburg knew the city well.
Set amidst groves of suburbs
that extend outward in every direction.
Concentric circles
surround the city.
After the burbs come farms,
Great Plains, and mountains.
Appalachians and Rockies
are but mere molehills
in the city’s back yard.
It’s terra firma
stops only at the sea.
Pt. Barrow to the Horn,
many capes extended.

On the periphery
its appendages,
its extremities,
its outward extremes.
All connected by the idea,
blown by the incessant wind
of this great nation.
The Windy City’s message
is sent to the world’s four corners.
It is a message of power.
English the worlds
common language
is spoken here,
along with Ebonics,
Espanol,
Mandarin,
Czech,
Russian,
Korean,
Arabic,
Hindi­,
German,
French,
electronics,
steel,
cars,
cartoons,
rap,
sports­,
movies,
capital,
wheat
and more.

Always more.
Much much more
in Chicago.

2.
Sandburg
spoke all the dialects.

He heard them all,
he understood
with great precision
to the finest tolerances
of a lathe workers micrometer.

Sandburg understood
what it meant to laugh
and be happy.

He understood
the working mans day,
the learned treatises
of university chairs,
the endless tomes
of the city’s
great libraries,
the lost languages
of the ancient ones,
the secret codes
of abstract art,
the impact of architecture,
the street dialects and idioms
of everymans expression of life.

All fighting for life,
trying to build a life,
a new life
in this modern world.

Walking across
the Michigan Avenue Bridge
I see the Wrigley Building
is neatly carved,
catty cornered on the plaza.

I wonder if Old Man Wrigley
watched his barges
loaded with spearmint
and double-mint
move out onto the lake
from one of those Gothic windows
perched high above the street.

Would he open a window
and shout to the men below
to quit slaking and work harder
or would he
between the snapping sound
he made with his mouth
full of his chewing gum
offer them tickets
to a ballgame at Wrigley Field
that afternoon?

Would the men below
be able to understand
the man communing
from such a great height?

I listen to a man
and woman conversing.
They are one step behind me
as we meander along Wacker Drive.

"You are in Chicago now.”
The man states with profundity.
“If I let you go
you will soon find your level
in this city.
Do you know what I mean?”

No I don’t.
I think to myself.
What level are you I wonder?
Are you perched atop
the transmission spire
of the Hancock Tower?

I wouldn’t think so
or your ears would melt
from the windburn.

I’m thinking.
Is she a kept woman?
She is majestically clothed
in fur hat and coat.
In animal pelts
not trapped like her,
but slaughtered
from farms
I’m sure.

What level
is he speaking of?

Many levels
are evident in this city;
many layers of cobbled stone,
Pennsylvania iron,
Hoosier Granite
and vertical drops.

I wonder
if I detect
condensation
in his voice?

What is
his intention?
Is it a warning
of a broken affair?
A pending pink slip?
Advise to an addict
refusing to adhere
to a recovery regimen?

What is his level anyway?
Is he so high and mighty,
Higher and mightier
then this great city
which we are all a part of,
which we all helped to build,
which we all need
in order to keep this nation
the thriving democratic
empire it is?

This seditious talk!

3.
The Loop’s El
still courses through
the main thoroughfares of the city.

People are transported
above the din of the street,
looking down
on the common pedestrians
like me.

Super CEO’s
populating the upper floors
of Romanesque,
Greek Revivalist,
New Bauhaus,
Art Deco
and Post Nouveau
Neo-Modern
Avant-Garde towers
are too far up
to see me
shivering on the street.

The cars, busses,
trains and trucks
are all covered
with the film
of rock salt.

Salt covers
my bootless feet
and smudges
my cloths as well.

The salt,
the primal element
of the earth
covers everything
in Chicago.

It is the true level
of this city.

The layer
beneath
all layers,
on which
everything
rests,
is built,
grows,
thrives
then dies.
To be
returned again
to the lower
layers
where it can
take root
again
and grow
out onto
the great plains.

Splashing
the nation,
anointing
its people
with its
blessing.

A blessing,
Chicago?

All rivers
come here.

All things
found its way here
through the canals
and back bays
of the world’s
greatest lakes.

All roads,
rails and
air routes
begin and
end here.

Mrs. O’Leary’s cow
got a *** rap.
It did not start the fire,
we did.

We lit the torch
that flamed
the city to cinders.
From a pile of ash
Chicago rose again.

Forever Chicago!
Forever the lamp
that burns bright
on a Great Lake’s
western shore!

Chicago
the beacon
sends the
message to the world
with its windy blasts,
on chugging barges,
clapping trains,
flying tandems,
T1 circuits
and roaring jets.

Sandburg knew
a Chicago
I will never know.

He knew
the rhythm of life
the people walked to.
The tools they used,
the dreams they dreamed
the songs they sang,
the things they built,
the things they loved,
the pains that hurt,
the motives that grew,
the actions that destroyed
the prayers they prayed,
the food they ate
their moments of death.

Sandburg knew
the layers of the city
to the depths
and windy heights
I cannot fathom.

The Blues
came to this city,
on the wing
of a chirping bird,
on the taps
of a rickety train,
on the blast
of an angry sax
rushing on the wind,
on the Westend blitz
of Pop's brash coronet,
on the tink of
a twinkling piano
on a paddle-wheel boat
and on the strings
of a lonely man’s guitar.

Walk into the clubs,
tenements,
row houses,
speakeasies
and you’ll hear the Blues
whispered like
a quiet prayer.

Tidewater Blues
from Virginia,
Delta Blues
from the lower
Mississippi,
Boogie Woogie
from Appalachia,
Texas Blues
from some Lone Star,
Big Band Blues
from Kansas City,
Blues from
Beal Street,
Jelly Roll’s Blues
from the Latin Quarter.

Hell even Chicago
got its own brand
of Blues.

Its all here.
It ended up here
and was sent away
on the winds of westerly blows
to the ear of an eager world
on strong jet streams
of simple melodies
and hard truths.

A broad
shouldered woman,
a single mother stands
on the street
with three crying babes.
Their cloths
are covered
in salt.
She pleads
for a break,
praying
for a new start.
Poor and
under-clothed
against the torrent
of frigid weather
she begs for help.
Her blond hair
and ****** features
suggests her
Scandinavian heritage.
I wonder if
she is related to Sandburg
as I walk past
her on the street.
Her feet
are bleeding
through her
canvass sneakers.
Her babes mouths
are zipped shut
with frozen drivel
and mucous.

The Blues live
on in Chicago.

The Blues
will forever live in her.
As I turn the corner
to walk the Miracle Mile
I see her engulfed
in a funnel cloud of salt,
snow and bits
of white paper,
swirling around her
and her children
in an angry
unforgiving
maelstrom.

The family
begins to
dissolve
like a snail
sprinkled with salt;
and a mother
and her children
just disappear
into the pavement
at the corner
of Dearborn,
in Chicago.

Music:

Robert Johnson
Sweet Home Chicago


jbm
Chicago
1/7/99
Added today to commemorate the birthday of Carl Sandburg
Sally A Bayan Jun 2018
No one else, but a poet...can bring colors
to scenes...with verses, in crass or subtle
tones......gather words together in lines,
uncertain in their ebbing and flowing...
the results create surprise in many
hues that could make one cry,
grimace......frown......or smile

readers are led to far, or near
destinations...to the cool, sweet air
and peaceful atmosphere of paradise,  
or, to unlit corners...uncharted waters,
or deep into an abyss...or, a black hole,
an unknown corner, where moribund souls
are biding their time, maybe, they could
now define by themselves, purgatory and hell,
understand those sunken souls who have lost
all...except their arms, and begging eyes...
then, through appropriate words,
a poet paints a laborious path, or
a stairway...so an enlightened reader
may climb back to safe, calm waters...

a poet makes the mind see a human heart,
beating in many rhythms...throbbing,
.......aflame with longing and desire,
bursting from ecstatic, sublime moments,
then, later on,  shift to grayish thoughts
that cut deep....tormenting...crashing,
............gnashing the heart...
a poet paints a soul walking on cloud nine,
later, to dip feet in celebrative pools.

sometimes, a poet would rather not, yet,
an inner force prevails, thereby paints a
drooping soul...dying, in total surrender,
ready to fall..............but, again, with a
barrel of lively-colored words,  a poet
takes this despondent soul to berth,
with soothing verses, bring it to a rebirth...
every human being is worth an effort
..............even those that have fallen
.........................are worth savin' .....

a poet's palette is uniquely
enriched with colorful experiences,
a poet paints life in its truest colors,
..........could be dark...or bright
.....nothing more......nothing less...





Sally

© Rosalia Rosario A. Bayan
    January 29, 2017
Mark Thompson Nov 2014
Oil paints...what a ******
    My mistake
A spill on canvas
          I wipe and wipe to fix the "inspiration"
Before I know my eyes are fixed and fixed on...nothing

The painting's gone, my over thought of simple things
Has stormed again and taken from me
      That that I saw, and saw as a need

A force so convincing
Has broken,
shock! and gone a splintering

  And now
In wide eyed amazement
I stare at beauty staring back at me
From a chance meant
  To be
A happy accident

A smile

Relief
Shofi Ahmed Apr 2017
At times I heard the songs of the giants
who opted to sing for a glass of wine!

Like Omar Khayyam would sing to the grove of vine,
while singing their lullabies they wouldn’t mind,
defying the bloomer stars in the moonlights
gladly treading on the black alleys of the night.
Didn't they budge, didn't they bend to pick up  
a potion of the sea, billowing in the dark?
But they opted out, just for a glass of wine!

To paint a glimpse of that gorgeous Saqi
till now they shun, lending the sun a paintbrush,
‘cause "if only it was colourful enough,” yet the sun
paints the enduring shades of the blue yonder.
But they turned around—just for a glass of wine!

The moon hanging low over the ocean took a pause.
The earth weighed down so deep is brimful!
Every sunrise paints new, loves to shine on once more
That delved-deep earth vintage taste, cooled in age-old,  
now close by the hands breathe in, full of warm south.
Yet they opted out—just for a glass of wine!

Even the time is speechless, ask me not but why.
Still keeps an ear bent on the wall of the leaning sky.  
Nor those who pop out with an inside scoop are ever drunk.
Nor they leak out, it’s a sea off the sea or Abe-Hayath.
It ain’t that small, it is the deathless spring of elixir!
Shofi Ahmed May 2017
Hidden within the earthy depth
only emerges with time
only dances in tangent
now slips out with the butterflies.  
Now the nightingales singing aloud!

One has spoken out, one blew
a kiss out off the dark seed.
Ah, what then broke through?
Up from the sky the blue-nymph  
dropped down on the scene!
One that hid blurring that's image
on the mirror is that now been seen?

Pouring rain singing down to primulas
paints it with all the colours of the wind
now the Spring picked up her paintbrush.

Rain some colour blow a kiss of the flower
paint it out of the mirror!
Alice Baker Jan 2016
I am a canvas
Painted in harsh strokes
With kind words
Mistakes blend in
Over time and diligence
But are never erased
They sit quietly
Under layers of oil paint
Built into my foundation
Cress Rosario May 2014
Brushes and paints can do a lot of pictures
Images inside his head that was once captured
It can speak for a million of smiles
It can reveal us thousands of lies

Even paintings has its own secrets
Hid by the one who passionately paints it
If we could dive through that canvas
We would know the story he wants to tell us
As an artist and a painter, I want to know unseen stories inside every painters hid in their works. We paint for a reason. It's either we are inspired, hurt, thinking too much, fantasize of something, delighted, or we want to wake up the world.
Shofi Ahmed Oct 2017
A fine mole down
the blue mountain sky
cannot be weighed out!
It's the cosmos's gold dust
the earthy depth triumphs.
Oh earth, our close clay-star
is far ahead of the day at noon.
Ahead of the moon
ahead of the Neptune!

With a million dash of curiosity
every new sunrise paints
upon her black box with the roaring fire.
Yet the ****** is a veiled wonder!

It has the plethora a room for everyone
and time for timeless times.
Guess, with her longhand
what an inside scoop did it pick out?

You too can be in the know
It's the feminine beauty all in all.
You may have by now
seen women million and one.
The earth is eyeing on only one!

Her closest admirer is the star
of the very luminary bunch
with open eyes in the hearts.
Her dead man is waking up
sniffing the daylight by her.
Yet to make the discovery
both are still wondering outside!
Shofi Ahmed Nov 2017
Sometimes the day smiles
shows me its colour.
No, then the wild blue yonder
doesn’t look to be far
I feel like I got the wings to fly.

But who would sway away
when the rose under the nose
floating on a sea of colour?

The luminary punter too
drops down from the sky.
Paints the broad daylight
as it sails down on its silky way.

Ah, the southern breeze
bends with the rose of the day
peeps in the colour before my eyes.
I could only see missing my butterfly.
Christina Cox Dec 2015
For an hour and a half I sit on the floor
holding a piece of shaped cardboard.
I turn it round and round to show all side
while holding a paper plate of paints.
He holds the brush like he holds his pencils
                           “wrong.”
He pays attention to the cartoon at his lap
and sporadically looks at the tip of the brush.
Colors are scattered with no rhyme and reasons
and brush strokes are seen without hesitation.
He paints and paints and saps his little energy
to make a Christmas present for his little sister.
Shofi Ahmed Mar 2018
The material body was yet in the making
The first and foremost luminary feminine
ebb and flow heartily pans out
flawless flow to the finest angle.
Across the nadir to the zenith
Fathima eyes on upon it like it
shapes and forms are waxing lyrical:
The pure masterpiece without a mirror!

Arts on the go Fathima moves on.
Praise be to the Lord she being made
to measure inborn mathematical the pi is her!
(For the perfect circle the circumference is masculine
The pi tends to circle the blank space within is feminine)
She can budge equally in the shadow
in patternless pi decimals and in the open,
in integer into a whole full number!

Hops up her first step she looks for ‘the all’
the complete whole the absolute one Allah.
Time and again she steps up but finds no floor
Her measured step by default lays on 360-degree circle
Scans all things at the first go still finds no bottom!

The first luminary masculine peace be upon him
first looks in the open she takes the veiled angle.
Through the evermore pi decimal micro-hole
She looks on and witnesses the first water drop
surfaces up without a base without a roof on top!
It follows through truly the copy of the original
softly springing around the serene water paints  
of all the maters to be created from this first drop.
Fathima looks at it and veils withdraws her reflection.

It’s still remembered in the sky that follows suit.  
First, a star was born stepping in Fathima’s shoe.
It tried so did the full set of the galaxy only to disperse
into a profound constellation never finds a bottom.
Because amidst this water circle floats the first soil.
Allah called it His house that He first created from it.
Every planetary orb pilgrimage around it in the core
known as Ka’abah up to the heart of the earth it rose.

In the pre-designed world after the first masculine
the first feminine Fathima thus did the first pilgrimage.
She walked the walk did so in the patternless pi veil.

Nature is never uneven on the hidden hand of the pi.
Every little fraction, the small decimal does it count
connects to the dot without showing up a pattern
Long live, long live the digital charisma is on the rise!

Retracing time and again the sun rises in the median lane,
yet the black box scores it's only a dark chart at the end of the day!
The Moon is yet to moon over an unturned sublunary-dip
It pulls all, the mighty sea that the earth can't
and sync in the feminine water cycle but save only one
with Fathima floating out of the box it can’t link up!

Like millions, ever wonder where Fathima’s grave is?
The earth strived too to the death bite to print her footprint!
Most of the mass visiting Medina look too see the grave of the holy lady Fathima. It has been a tradition since her death some fourteen hundred years ago. There are two graves where she is buried but which one is her is still unknown. Reportedly she wanted her grave to remain unidentified.
Who paints the world with sunshine
and whispers louder
that which matters,
with whirling streaks of hope?  
When I am spinning round
with speaking eyes
for unexpected hours.  
Feeling alone………..
as an unspeaking ghost.

I wait with a passion
and a fire inside.
Lit by a precious brilliance
with a smile of wonder
on my face.  
Until your light paints my hands
which ache……
my heart beats to claim
your ever saving grace.
Copyright @2015 - Neva Flores Smith - Changefulstorm
Hannah Presley Aug 2016
She paints a pretty picture
An artist, one of a kind.
Paints with only shades of red,
all of them straight lines.
She paints a pretty picture
But her canvas is out of space.
She wants to look beautiful,
"The dress, mom, I need it to be lace"
She paints a pretty pictures
But here's the twist,
He paint brush is a razor
Her canvas is her wrist.
She wants to make it stop.
She's running out of time
It's not just on her body,
But always on her mind.
She paints a pretty picture,
She wishes it would end
She wants to just give it up,
If only she had a friend.
She paints a pretty picture,
This time it's too deep.
She's finally given up,
"My soul now you can keep"
1969 Hartford art school is magnet for exceedingly intelligent over-sensitive under-achievers alluring freaks congenital creeps and anyone who cannot cut it in straight world it is about loners dreamers stoners clowns cliques of posers competing to dress draw act most outrageous weird wonderful classrooms clash in diversity of needs some students get it right off while others require so much individual attention one girl constantly raises her hand calls for everything to be repeated explained creativity is treated as trouble and compliance to instruction rewarded most of faculty are of opinion kids are not capable of making original artwork teachers discourage students from dream of becoming well-known until they are older more experienced only practiced skilled artists are competent to create ‘real art’ defined by how much struggle or multiple meanings weave through the work Odysseus wants to make magic boxes without knowing or being informed of Joseph Cornell one teacher tells him you think you’re going to invent some new color the world has never seen? you’re just some rowdy brat from the midwest with a lot of crazy ideas and no evidence of authenticity another teacher warns you’re nothing more than a bricoleur! Odysseus questions what’s a bricoleur teacher informs a rogue handyman who haphazardly constructs from whatever is immediately available Odysseus questions what’s wrong with that? teacher answers it’s low-class folk junk  possessing no real intellectual value independently he reads Marshall McLuhan’s “The Medium Is The Message” and “The Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci” he memorizes introductory remark of Leonardo’s “i must do like one who comes last to the fair and can find no other way of providing for himself than by taking all the things already seen by others and not taken by reason of their lesser value” Odysseus dreams of becoming accomplished important artist like Robert Rauschenberg Jasper Johns Andy Warhol he dreams of being in eye of hurricane New York art scene he works for university newspaper and is nicknamed crashkiss the newspaper editor is leader in student movement and folk singer who croons “45 caliber man, you’re so much more than our 22, but there’s so many more of us than you” Odysseus grows mustache wears flower printed pants vintage 1940’s leather jacket g.i. surplus clothes he makes many friends his gift for hooking up with girls is uncanny he is long haired drug-crazed hippie enjoying popularity previously unknown to him rock bands play at art openings everyone flirts dances gets ****** lots of activism on campus New York Times dubs university of Hartford “Berkeley of the east coast” holding up ******* in peace sign is subversive in 1969 symbol of rebellion youth solidarity gesture against war hawks rednecks corporate America acknowledgment of potential beyond materialistic self-righteous values of status quo sign of what could be in universe filled with incredible possibilities he moves in with  painting student one year advanced named Todd Whitman Todd has curly blond hair sturdy build wire rimmed glasses impish smile gemini superb draftsman amazing artist Todd emulates Francisco de Goya and Albrecht Durer Todd’s talent overshadows Odysseus’s Todd’s dad is accomplished professor at distinguished college in Massachusetts to celebrate Odysseus’s arrival Todd cooks all day preparing spaghetti dinner when Odysseus arrives home tripping on acid without appetite Todd is disappointed Odysseus runs down to corner store buys large bottle of wine returns to house Todd is eating spaghetti alone they get drunk together then pierce each other’s ears with needles ice wine cork pierced ears are outlaw style of bad *** bikers like Hell’s Angels Todd says you are a real original Odys and funny too Odysseus asks funny, how? Todd answers you are one crazy ******* drop acid whenever you want smoke **** then go to class this is fun tonight Odys getting drunk and piercing our ears Odysseus says yup i’m having a good time too Todd and Odysseus become best friends Odysseus turns Todd on to Sylvia Plath’s “The Bell Jar” and “Ariel” then they both read Ted Hughes “Crow” illustrated with Leonard Baskin prints Todd turns Odysseus on to German Expressionist painting art movement of garish colors emotionally violent imagery from 1905-1925 later infuriating Third ***** who deemed the work “degenerate” Odysseus dives into works of Max Beckmann Otto Dix Conrad Felixmulller Barthel Gilles George Grosz Erich Heckel Ernst Ludwig Kirchner Felix Nussbaum Karl *******Rottluff Carl Hofer August Macke Max Peckstein Elfriede Lohse-Wachtler Egon Shiele list goes on in 1969 most parents don’t have money to buy their children cars most kids living off campus either ride bikes or hitchhike to school then back home on weekends often without a penny in their pockets Odysseus and Todd randomly select a highway and hitch rides to Putney Vermont Brattleboro Boston Cape Cod New York City or D.C. in search of adventure there is always trouble to be found curious girls to assist in Georgetown Odysseus sleeps with skinny girl with webbed toes who believes he is Jesus he tries to dissuade her but she is convinced

Toby Mantis is visiting New York City artist at Hartford art school he looks like huskier handsomer version of Ringo Starr and women dig him he builds stretchers and stretches canvases for Warhol lives in huge loft in Soho on Broadway and Bleeker invites Odysseus to come down on weekends hang out Toby takes him to Max’s Kansas City Warhol’s Electric Circus they wander all night into morning there are printing companies longshoremen gays in Chelsea Italians in West Village hippies playing guitars protesting the war in Washington Square all kinds of hollering crazies passing out fliers pins in Union Square Toby is hard drinker Odysseus has trouble keeping up  he pukes his guts out number of times Odysseus is *** head not drinker he explores 42nd Street stumbles across strange exotic place named Peep Show World upstairs is large with many **** cubicles creepy dudes hanging around downstairs is astonishing there are many clusters of booths with live **** girls inside girls shout out hey boys come on now pick me come on boys there are hundreds of girls from all over the world in every conceivable size shape race he enters dark stall  puts fifty cents in coin box window screen lifts inside each cluster are 6 to 10 girls either parading or glued to a window for $1 he is allowed to caress kiss their ******* for $2 he is permitted to probe their ****** or *** for $10 girl reaches hand into darkened stall jerks him off tall slender British girl thrills him the most she says let me have another go at your dickey Odysseus spends all his money ******* 5 times departing he notices men from every walk of life passing through wall street stockbrokers executives rednecks mobsters frat boys tourists fat old bald guys smoking thick smelly cigars Toby Mantis has good-looking girlfriend named Lorraine with long brown hair Toby Lorraine and Odysseus sit around kitchen table Odysseus doodles with pencil on paper Toby spreads open Lorraine’s thighs exposing her ****** to Odysseus Lorraine blushes yet permits Toby to finger her Odysseus thinks she has the most beautiful ****** he has ever seen bulging pelvic bone brown distinctive bush symmetric lips Toby and Lorraine watch in amusement as Odysseus gazes intently Tony mischievously remarks you like looking at that ***** don’t you? Odysseus stares silently begins pencil drawing Lorraine’s ****** his eyes darting back and forth following day Lorraine seduces Odysseus while Toby is away walks out **** from shower she is few years older her body lean with high ******* she directs his hands mouth while she talks with someone on telephone it is strange yet quite exciting Odysseus is in awe of New York City every culture in the world intermingling democracy functioning in an uncontrollable managed breath millions of people in motion stories unraveling on every street 24 hour spectacle with no limits every conceivable variety of humanity ******* in same air Odysseus is bedazzled yet intimidated

Odysseus spends summer of 1970 at art colony in Cummington Massachusetts it is magical time extraordinary place many talented eccentric characters all kinds of happenings stage plays poetry readings community meals volleyball after dinner volleyball games are hilarious fun he lives alone in isolated studio amidst wild raspberries in woods shares toilet with field mouse no shower he reads Jerzy Kosinski’s “Painted Bird” then “Being There” then “Steps” attractive long haired girl named Pam visits community for weekend meets Odysseus they talk realize they were in first grade together at Harper amazing coincidence automatic ground for “we need to have *** because neither of us has seen each other since first grade” she inquires where do you sleep? Todd hitches up from Hartford to satisfy curiosity everyone sleeps around good-looking blue-eyed poet named Shannon Banks from South Boston tells Odysseus his ******* is not big enough for kind of ******* she wants but she will **** him off that’s fine with him 32 year old poet named Ellen Morrissey from Massachusetts reassures him ******* is fine Ellen is beginning to find her way out from suffocating marriage she has little daughter named Nina Ellen admires Odysseus’s free spirit sees both his possibilities and naïveté she realizes he has crippling family baggage he has no idea he is carrying thing about trauma is as it is occurring victim shrugs laughs to repel shock yet years later pain horror sink in turned-on with new ideas he returns to Hartford art school classes are fun yet confusing he strives to be best drawer most innovative competition sidetracks him Odysseus uses power drill to carve pumpkin on Halloween teachers warn him to stick to fundamentals too much creativity is suspect Todd and he are invited to holiday party Odysseus shows up with Ellen Morrissey driving in her father’s station wagon 2 exceptionally pretty girls flirt with him he is live wire they sneak upstairs he fingers both at same time while they laugh to each other one of the girls Laura invites him outside to do more he follows they walk through falling snow until they find hidden area near some trees Laura lies down lifts her skirt she spreads her legs dense ***** mound he is about to explore her there when Laura looks up sees figure with flashlight following their tracks in snow she warns it’s Bill my husband run for your life! Odysseus runs around long way back inside party grabs a beer pretending he has been there next to Ellen all night few minutes later he sees Laura and Bill return through front door Bill has dark mustache angry eyes Odysseus tells Ellen it is late maybe they should leave soon suddenly Bill walks up to him with beer in hand cracks bottle over his head glass and beer splatter Odysseus jumps up runs out to station wagon Ellen hurriedly follows snow coming down hard car is wedged among many guest vehicles he starts engine locks doors maneuvers vehicle back and forth trying to inch way out of spot Bill appears from party walks to his van disappears from out of darkness swirling snow Bill comes at them wielding large crowbar smashes car’s headlights taillights side mirrors windshield covered in broken glass Ellen ducks on floor beneath glove compartment sobs cries he’s going to **** us! we’re going to die! Odysseus steers station wagon free floors gas pedal drives on back country roads through furious snowstorm in dark of night no lights Odysseus contorts crouches forward in order to see through hole in shattered windshield Ellen sees headlights behind them coming up fast it is Bill in van Bill banging their bumper follows them all the way back to Hartford to Odysseus’s place they run inside call police Bill sits parked van outside across street as police arrive half hour later Bill pulls away next day Odysseus and Ellen drive to Boston to explain to Ellen’s dad what has happened to his station wagon Odysseus stays with Ellen in Brookline for several nights another holiday party she wants to take him along to meet her friends her social circles are older he thinks to challenge their values be outrageous paints face Ellen is horrified cries you can’t possibly do this to me these are my close friends what will they think? he defiantly answers my face is a mask who cares what i look like? man woman creature what does it matter? if your friends really want to know me they’ll need to look beyond the make-up tonight i am your sluttish girlfriend! sometimes Odysseus can be a thoughtless fool

Laura Rousseau Shane files for divorce from Bill she is exceptionally lovely models at art school she is of French descent her figure possessing exotic traits she stands like ballerina with thick pointed ******* copious ***** hair Odysseus is infatuated she frequently dances pursues him Laura says i had the opportunity to meet Bob Dylan once amazed Odysseus questions what did you do? she replies what could i possibly have in common with Bob Dylan? Laura teases Odysseus about being a preppy then lustfully gropes him grabs holds his ***** they devote many hours to ****** intimacy during ******* she routinely reaches her hand from under her buns grasps his testicles squeezing as he pumps he likes that Laura is quite eccentric fetishes over Odysseus she even thrills to pick zits on his back he is not sure if it is truly a desire of hers proof of earthiness or simply expression of mothering Laura has two daughters by Bill Odysseus is in over his head Laura tells Odysseus myth of Medea smitten with love for Jason Jason needs Medea’s help to find Golden Fleece Medea agrees with promise of marriage murders her brother arranges ****** of king who has deprived Jason his inheritance couple is forced into exile Medea bears Jason 2 sons then Jason falls in love with King Creon’s daughter deserts Medea is furious she makes shawl for King Creon’s daughter to wear at her wedding to Jason  shawl turns to flames killing bride Medea murders her own sons by Jason Odysseus goes along with story for a while but Laura wants husband Odysseus is merely scruffy boy with roving eyes Laura becomes galled by Odysseus leaves him for one of his roommates whom she marries then several years later divorces there is scene when Laura tells Odysseus she is dropping him for his roommate he is standing in living room of her house space is painted deep renaissance burgundy there are framed photographs on walls in one photo he is hugging Laura and her daughters under big oak tree in room Laura’s friend Bettina other girl he fingered first night he met Laura at party is watching with arms crossed he drops to floor curls body sobs i miss you so much Laura turns to Bettina remarks look at him men are such big babies he’s pitiful Bettina nods

following summer he works installing displays at G. Fox Department Store besides one woman gay men staff display department for as long as he can remember homosexuals have always been attracted to him this misconception is probably how he got job his tenor voice suggesting not entirely mature man instead more like tentative young boy this ambiguous manifestation sometimes also evidences gestures thoroughly misleading after sidestepping several ****** advances one of his co-workers bewilderingly remarks you really are straight manager staff are fussy chirpy catty group consequently certain he is not gay they discriminate against him stick him with break down clean up slop jobs at outdoor weekend rock concert in Constitution Plaza he meets 2 younger blond girls who consent to go back to his place mess around both girls are quite dazzling yet one is somewhat physically undeveloped they undress and model for Odysseus radio plays Roberta Flack’s “Killing Me Softly With His Song” both girls move to rhythm sing along he thinks to orchestrate direct decides instead to let them lead lies on bed while curvaceous girl rides his ******* slender girl sits on his face they switch all 3 alternate giggle laughter each girl reaches ****** on his stiffness later both assist with hands mouths his ****** is so intense it leaves him paralyzed for a moment

in fall he is cast as Claudius in production of Hamlet Odysseus rehearses diligently on nights o
brooke Sep 2014
she said: love the boy who paints.

And I think of your hands.
Your hands with fingers
like Grecian pillars stretching
across the divot between my
hip bone and my bellybutton
your palms that were shockingly
dry but extraordinarily smooth
cupped around my *******
while you slept, a single
foot peeking through my
calves, your sweat seeping
through my cotton shirt
a drawn out


b

r

e

a

t

h




So, love a boy who paints
and think of his hands
the only things that you
can remember vividly
all the things he did
with those fingers
during The Kids
are Alright


but

it's not your
oil on his skin
anymore
and someone else
loves that boy who
paints.
(c) Brooke Otto 2014.
A delicate hand paints on an invisible canvas
With blind fingers and a seeing heart
A loveliness no darkness could ever swallow
Because this hand is not afraid
Of the dark

Longing to chase shadows into their chains
To see water flow from a promise
A delicate hand paints the bluest skies
With clouds embracing the sun
On a canvas

What a remarkable sight inside one’s mind
These delicate brushes of happiness
Blind fingers paint with a seeing heart
Scattering darkness from a world
That’s grown cold
Copyright *Neva Flores @2011
www.changefulstormpoetry.blogspot.com
RAJ NANDY Nov 2015
GREAT ARTISTS & THEIR IMMORTAL WORKS :
CONCLUDING ITALIAN RENAISSANCE IN
VERSE.  -  By Raj Nandy, New Delhi.

Dear Readers, continuing my Story of Western Art in Verse chronologically, I had covered an Introduction to the Italian Renaissance previously. That background story was necessary to appreciate Renaissance Art fully. Now, I cover the Art of that period in a summarized form, mentioning mainly the salient features to curb the length. The cream here lies in the 'Art of the High Renaissance Period'! Hope you like it. Thanks, - Raj.

                          INTRODUCTION
“Painting is poetry that is seen rather than felt, &
  Poetry is painting that is felt rather than seen.”
                                                        – Leonardo Da Vinci
In the domain of Renaissance Art, we notice the
enduring influence of the Classical touch!
Ancient Greek statues and Roman architectures,
Inspired the Renaissance artists in their innovative
ventures!
The pervasive spirit of Humanism influenced
creation of life-like human forms;
Adding ****** expressions and depth, deviating
from the earlier stiff Medieval norms.
While religious subjects continued to get depicted
in three-dimensional Renaissance Art;
Portraits, **** figures, and secular subjects, also
began to appear during this great ‘Re-birth’!
The artists of the Early and High Renaissance Era
are many who deserve our adoration and artistic
due.
Yet for the sake of brevity, I mention only the
Great Masters, who are handful and few.

EARLY RENAISSANCE ARTISTS & THEIR ART

GITTO THE PIONEER:
During early 13th Century we find, Dante’s
contemporary Gitto di Bondone the Florentine,
Painting human figures in all its beauty and form
for the first time!
His masterwork being the 40 fresco cycle in the
Arena Chapel in Padua, depicting the life of the
****** and Christ, completed in 1305.
Giotto made the symbolic Medieval spiritual art
appear more natural and realistic,
By depicting human emotion, depth with an
artistic perspective!
Art Scholars consider him to be the trailblazer
inspiring the later painters of the Renaissance;
They also refer to Giorgio Vasari’s “Lives Of
The Eminent Artists,” - as their main source.
Giotto had dared to break the shackles of earlier
Medieval two-dimensional art style,
By drawing lines which head towards a certain
focal point behind;
Like an illusionary vanishing point in space,
- opening up a 3-D ‘window into space’!
This ‘window technique’ got adopted by the
later artists with grace.
(
Giorgio Vasari, a 16th Century painter, architect & Art
historian, was born in 1511 in Arezzy, a city under the
Florentine Republic, and painted during the High
Renaissance Period.)

VASARI’s book published in 1550 in Florence
was dedicated to Cosimo de Medici.
Forms an important document of Italian Art
History.
This valuable book covers a 250 year’s span.
Commencing with Cimabue the tutor of Giotto,
right up to Tizian, - better known as Titan!
Vasari also mentions four lesser known Female
Renaissance Artists; Sister Plantilla, Madonna
Lucrezia, Sofonista Anguissola, and Properzia
de Rossi;
And Rossi’s painting “Joseph and Potiphar’s
Wife”,
An impressive panel art which parallels the
unrequited love Rossi experienced in her own
life !
(
Joseph the elder son of Jacob, taken captive by Potiphar
the Captain of Pharaoh’s guard, was desired by Potiphar’s
wife, whose advances Joseph repulsed. Rossi’s painting
of 1520s inspired later artists to paint their own versions
of this same Old Testament Story.)

Next I briefly mention architects Brunelleschi
and Ghiberti, and the sculptor Donatello;
Not forgetting the painters like Masaccio,
Verrocchio and Botticelli;
Those Early Renaissance Artists are known to
us today thanks to the Art historian Giorgio
Vasari .

BRUNELLESCHI has been mentioned in Section
One of my Renaissance Story.
His 114 meter high dome of Florence Cathedral
created artistic history!
This dome was constructed without supporting
buttresses with a double egg shaped structure;
Stands out as an unique feat of Florentine
Architecture!
The dome is larger than St Paul’s in London,
the Capitol Building of Washington DC, and
also the St Peters in the Vatican City!

GILBERTI is remembered for his massive
15 feet high gilded bronze doors for the
Baptistery of Florence,
Containing twenty carved panels with themes
from the Old Testament.
Which took a quarter century to complete,
working at his own convenience.
His exquisite naturalistic carved figures in the
true spirit of the Renaissance won him a prize;
And his gilded doors were renamed by Michel
Angelo as ‘The Gates of Paradise’!
(
At the age of 23 yrs Lorenzo Ghiberti had won the
competition beating other Architects for craving the
doors of the Baptistery of Florence!)

DONATELLO’S full size bronze David was
commissioned by its patron Cosimo de’ Medici.
With its sensual contrapposto stance in the
classical Greek style with its torso bent slightly.
Is known as the first free standing **** statue
since the days of Classical Art history!
The Old Testament relates the story of David
the shepherd boy, who killed the giant Goliath
with a single sling shot;
Cutting off his head with Goliath’s own sword!
Thus saving the Israelites from Philistine’s wrath.
This unique statue inspired all later sculptors to
strive for similar artistic excellence;
Culminating in Michael Angelo’s **** statue of
David, known for its sculptured brilliance!

MASSACCIO (1401- 1428) joined Florentine
Artist’s Guild at the age of 21 years.
A talented artist who abandoned the old Gothic
Style, experimenting without fears!
Influenced by Giotto, he mastered the use of
perspective in art.
Introduced the vanishing point and the horizon
line, - while planning his artistic works.
In his paintings ‘The Expulsion from Eden’
and ‘The Temptation’,
He introduced the initial **** figures in Italian
Art without any inhibition!
Though up North in Flanders, Van Eyck the
painter had already made an artistic innovation,
By painting ‘Adam and Eve’ displaying their
****** in his artistic creation;
Thereby creating the first **** painting in Art
History!
But such figures greatly annoyed the Church,
Since nudes formed a part of pagan art!
So these Northern artists to pacify the Church
and pass its censorship,
Cleverly under a fig leaf cover made their art to
appear moralistic!
Van Eyck was also the innovator of oil-based paints,
Which later replaced the Medieval tempera, used to
paint angles and saints.

Masaccio’s fresco ‘The Tribute Money’ requires
here a special mention,
For his use of perspective with light and shade,
Where the blithe figure of the Roman tax collector
is artistically made.
Christ is painted with stern nobility, Peter in angry
majesty;
And every Apostle with individualized features,
attire, and pose;
With light coming from a single identifiable source!
“Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s,
and unto God things that are God’s”, said Christ;
Narrated in Mathew chapter 22 verse 21, which
cannot be denied.
Unfortunately, Masaccio died at an early age of
27 years.
Said to have been killed by a jealous rival artist,
who had shed no tears!

BOTTICELLI the Florentine was born half a
century after the Dutch Van Eyck;
Remembered even to this day for his painting
the ‘Birth of Venus’, an icon of Art History
making him famous.
This painting depicts goddess Venus rising out
of the sea on a conch shell,
And the glorious path of female **** painting
commenced in Italy, - casting a spell!
His full scale **** Venus shattered the Medieval
taboo on ******.
With a subject shift from religious art to Classical
Mythology;
Removing the ‘fig-leaf cover’ over Art permanently!

I end this Early Period with VERROCCHIO, born
in Florence in fourteen hundred and thirty five.
A trained goldsmith proficient in the skills of both
painting and sculpture;
Who under the patronage of the Medici family
had thrived.
He had set up his workshop in Florence were he
trained Leonardo Da Vinci, Botticelli, and other
famous Renaissance artists alike!

FOUR CANONICAL PAINTING MODES OF
THE RENAISSANCE:
During the Renaissance the four canonical painting
modes we get to see;
Are Chiaroscuro, Sfumato, Cangiante and Unione.
‘Chiaroscuro’ comes from an Italian word meaning
‘light and dark’, a painting technique of Leonardo,
Creating a three dimensional dramatic effect to
steal the show.
Later also used with great excellence by Rubens
and the Dutch Rembrandt as we know.
‘Sfumato’ from Italian ‘sfumare’, meaning to tone
down or evaporate like a smoke;
As seen in Leonardo’s ‘Mona Lisa’ where the
colors blend seamlessly like smoke!
‘Cangiante’ means to ‘change’, where a painter
changed to a lighter or a darker hue, when the
original hue could not be made light enough;
As seen in the transformation from green to
yellow in Prophet Daniel’s robe,
On the ceiling of Sistine Chapel in Rome.
‘Unione’ followed the ‘sfumato’ quality, but
maintained vibrant colors as we get to see;
In Raphael’s ‘Alba Madonna’ in Washington’s
National Gallery.

ART OF HIGH RENAISSANCE ERA - THE
GOLDEN AGE.

“Where the spirit does not work with the
hand there is no art.”- Leonardo

With Giotto during the Trecento period of the
14th century,
Painting dominated sculpture in the artistic
endeavor of Italy.
During the 15th century the Quattrocento, with
Donetello and Giberti,
Sculpture certainly dominated painting as we get to
see!
But during the 16th century or the Cinquecento,
Painting again took the lead commencing with
the great Leonardo!
This Era was cut short by the death of Lorenzo the
Magnificent to less than half a century; (Died in 1493)
But gifted great masterpieces to the world enriching
the world of Art tremendously!
The Medieval ‘halo’ was now replaced by a fresh
naturalness;
And both Madonna and Christ acquired a more
human likeness!
Portrait paintings began to be commissioned by
many rich patrons.
While artists acquired both recognition and a status
of their own.
But the artistic focus during this Era had shifted from
Florence,  - to Venice and Rome!
In the Vatican City, Pope Julius-II was followed by
Pope Leo the Tenth,
He commissioned many works of art which are
still cherished and maintained!
Now cutting short my story let me mention the
famous Italian Renaissance Superstar Trio;
Leonardo, Raphael, and Michael Angelo.

LEONARDO DA VINCI was born in 1452 in
the village of Vinci near the City of Florence,
Was deprived of a formal education being born
illegitimate!
He was left-handed, and wrote from right to left!
He soon excelled his teacher Varrocchio, by
introduced oil based paints into Italy;
Whose translucent colors with his innovative
techniques, enhanced his painting artistically.
Sigmund Freud had said, “Leonardo was like a
man who awoke too early in the darkness while
others were all still asleep,” - he was awake!
Leonardo’s  historic ‘Note Book’ has sketches of a
battle tank, a flying machine, a parachute, and many
other anatomical and technical sketches and designs;
Reflecting the ever probing mind of this versatile
genius who was far ahead of his time!
His ‘Vituvian Man’, ‘The Last Supper’, and ‘Mona Lisa’,
Remain as his enduring works of art and more popular
than the Leaning Tower of Pisa!
Pen and ink sketch of the ‘Vitruvian Man’ with arms
and leg apart inside a square and a circle, also known
as the ‘Proportion of Man’;
Where his height correspondence to the length
of his outstretched hands;
Became symbolic of the true Renaissance spirit
of Man.
‘The Last Supper’ a 15ft by 29ft fresco work on
the refectory wall of Santa Maria, commissioned
by Duke of Milan Ludovic,
Is the most reproduced religious painting which
took three years to complete!
Leonardo searched the streets of Milan before
painting Judas’ face;
And individualized each figure with competence!
‘Mona Lisa’ with her enigmatic smile continues
to inspire artists, poets, and her viewers alike,
since its creation;
Which Leonardo took four years to complete
with utmost devotion.
Leonardo used oil on poplar wood panel, unique
during those days,
With ‘sfumato’ blending of translucent colors with
light and shade;
Creating depth, volume, and form, with a timeless
expression on Mona Lisa’s countenance!
Art Historian George Varasi says that it is the face
of one Lisa Gherardini,
Wife of a wealthy Florentine merchant of Italy.
Insurance Companies failed to make any estimation
of this portrait, declaring its value as priceless!
Today it remains housed inside an air-conditioned,
de-humidified chamber, within a triple bullet-proof
glass, in Louvre France.
“It is the ultimate symbol of human civilization”,
- exclaimed President Kennedy;
And with this I pay my humble tribute to our
Leonardo da Vinci!

MICHEL ANGELO BUONARROTI (1475-1564):
This Tuscan born sculptor, painter, architect, and
poet, was a versatile man,
Worthy to be called the archetype of the true
‘Renaissance Man’!
At the age of twelve was placed under the famous
painter Ghirlandio,
Where his inclination for sculpting began to show.
Under the liberal patronage of Lorenzo de Medici,
He developed his talent as a sculptor as we get
to see.
In the Medici Palace, he was struck by his rival
Torregiano on the nose with a mallet;
Disfiguring permanently his handsome face!
His statue of ‘Bacchus’ of 1497 and the very
beauty of the figure,
Earned him the commission for the ‘PIETA’ in
St Peter’s Basilica;
Where from a single piece of Carrara marble he
carved out the figure of ****** Mary grieving
over the dead body of Christ;
This iconic piece of sculpture which along with
his ‘David’ earned him the ‘Superstar rights’!

Michel Angelo’s **** ‘DAVID’ weighed 6.4 tons
and stood 17 feet in height;
Unlike the bronze David of Donatello, which
shows him victorious after the fight!
Michel’s David an epitome of strength and
youthful vigour with a Classical Greek touch;
Displayed an uncircumcised ***** which had
shocked the viewers very much!
But it was consistent with the Mannerism in Art,
in keeping with the Renaissance spirit as such!
David displays an attitude of placid calm with
his knitted eyebrows and sidelong glance;
With his left hand over the left shoulder
holding a sling,
Coolly surveys the giant Goliath before his
single sling shot fatally stings!
This iconic sculpture has a timeless appeal even
after 500 years, depicting the ‘Renaissance Man’
at his best;
Vigorous, healthy, beautiful, rational and fully
competent!
Finally we come to the Ceiling of the Sistine
Chapel of Rome,
Where Pope Julius-II’s persistence resulted in the
creation of world’s greatest single fresco that was
ever known!
Covering some 5000 square feet, took five years
to complete.
Special scaffoldings had to be erected for painting
scenes from ‘The Creation’ till the ‘Day of Judgment’
on a 20 meter’s high ceiling;
Where the Central portion had nine scenes from
the ‘Book of Genesis’,
With ‘Creation of Adam’ having an iconic significance!
Like Leonardo, Michel Angelo was left-handed and died
a bachelor - pursuing his art with devotion;
A man with caustic wit, proud reserve, and sublimity
of imagination!

RAFFAELLO SANZIO (1483-1520):
This last of the famous High Renaissance trio was
born in 1483 in Urbino,
Some eight years after Michel Angelo.
His Madonna series and decorative frescos
glorified the Library of Pope Julius the Second;
Who was impressed by his fresco ‘The School
of Athens’;
And commissioned Raphael to decorate his
Study in the Vatican.
Raphael painted this large fresco between 1510
and 1511, initially named as the ‘Knowledge of
Causes’,
But the 17th century guide books referred to it
as ‘The School of Athens’.
Here Plato and Aristotle are the central figures
surrounded by a host of ancient Greek scholars
and philosophers.
The bare footed Plato is seen pointing skywards,
In his left hand holds his book ‘Timaeus’;
His upward hand gesture indicating his ‘World
of Forms’ and transcendental ideas!
Aristotle is seen pointing downwards, his left
hand holds his famous book the ‘Ethics’;
His blue dress symbolizes water and earth
with an earthly fix.
The painting illustrates the historic continuance
of Platonic thoughts,
In keeping with the spirit of the Renaissance!
Raphael’s last masterpiece ‘Transfiguration’
depicts the resurrected Christ,
Flanked by prophets
Lianna Walters May 2015
She paints a pretty picture,
But her story has a twist-

Her paint brush is a razor
And her canvas is her wrist

She paints a pretty picture
In a color that’s blood red
While using her sharp paint brush
She ends up finally dead

Her pretty picture’s fading
Quite slowly on her arm
The blood is not racing through her
She can no longer do harm

She painted her pretty picture
But her picture had a twist-
You see her mind was her razor

And her heart was her wrist
spysgrandson Dec 2013
he tells me dark secrets  
and paints colors on the shore
where the salt mist speaks to him
in voices heard no more  

along he wades, watching
the growing ground at his feet
careful to not crush creatures in the surf  
***** crawling to bed themselves
in their own tugging time
before the moon full tides  

slowly, he walks
as if one long step
might fling him into the abyss  
he does not fear the fall,  
he knows, it comes to all,
fishmongers and kings  
falcons with their mighty wings  
all share the descent, as the sea
turns from blue to black    

while I hide far inland
he paints me dark secrets
vanishing tracks in the sand,
and I long to hear his brush strokes,
to see what vast weary waves reveal,
through his teary eyes
inspired by Donovan Leitch, the Scotch Irish folk singer who long ago taught me all things return to the sea from whence they came. Accompanying image from the grand Pacific at dusk, in 1976 http://www.flickr.com/photos/18878095@N07/5882001025/
Mike Hauser Sep 2017
She paints freely
Whenever she is around
Then draws briefly
Either a smile or frown

She's good at building texture
Less is more where it counts
She paints by numbers
When she's out and about

She wears a smock
So there's less of a mess
But when it comes to abstract hearts
No promises are kept

Mistakes are hard to erase
When using an angry oil base
She paints by numbers
Helping to cut to the chase

She makes you feel
Life is but surreal
With you as her medium
Nailed to her easel

Using you as her landscape
In her brushstrokes of give and take
She paints by numbers
The only way she can keep life straight
Nilesh Mondal Sep 2015
Our goddess lives under a banyan tree
Deep in the forest. She paints
And sings songs, to put herself to sleep.

2. Royina, your dad paints too.

Tuesday evening, he paints skies
And at the dinner table, you wonder
Why he has blue on his throat.

Wednesday, he paints the sun.
His fingers are red with the flames
He doesn't read letters addressed to him
Because he's afraid
Of burning them black.

Friday, he doesn't paint.
Just sits by the lake, on a secluded bench.
Feeding pigeons. And hearing them coo.

3. Royina, remember the boy who held you
Last time you allowed yourself
To be kissed?

He played a guitar, you told me.
And he had long thin fingers, which fluttered,
From string to string.

He wrote you a letter when you left.
And you folded it eight times. Then put it
In your pocket. Tell me, Royina
Did you put it in your heart too?

4. What is it with creative people, Royina?

The writers and the guitarist and the painters.
Do they look at you like you are the magic you are?  
Do they tell you, no, you're not
Who you think you are.
There are so many shades under your skin
Let me peel off your inhibitions, and I'll show you.

5. Royina, their letters never reach you.

And they wonder why, homes are still called
Addresses.
Sarah Spang Aug 2015
Sometimes beneath close eyelids
I quest to bring you back
As if you were driftwood floating
Downstream on your back.
I dip my hands beneath the veil
And dry away the death
And from my parting, weeping lips
I give you back your breath-
Just like the rising sunset burning
In the summer sky
Paints and saints the mountaintops
And casts their colors bright.



Unrhymed Notes:

Sometimes I dream I can bring you back
Just as simply as dipping my hands into the water
To retrieve a floating piece of driftwood;
Dry the death from your skin
And breath life back into you
The way the sunrise reanimates
The Dark Mountains
Each and every day.

I see your Ocean eyes open
Embrace you like I'm trying to
Fold you into my skin
Where I can keep you always
And feel your summer peach warm flesh
Tangible against my permafrost fingers.

If the dead could talk
Nothing profound would leave your lips
They'd only quirk into a Cheshire smile
And you'd tell me to let go
Relinquish
Move along and stop standing still
Life is for the Living
Death is for the dead
And dreams are for the foolish.


"You *******."
Ivan Brooks Sr Aug 2018
African woman
Mother of civilization.
Oh beautiful woman,
Thou are beyond description.

African woman
Queen of the people of Mamba.
Jambo to all those in heaven
Bless you too my dear mama.

African woman
Royal Nubian Queen.
The backbone of her man
You'll do anything to help him win.

Single Black woman
Made of broken pieces
You're the breadwinner,Superwoman.
You're the symbol of strength in all places.

African woman
Daughter of Eve's.
Thou are God's true specimen,
And the apple of his eyes.

Black woman
Daughter of Africa.
Blueprint of a **** woman,
Dark hue of coffee arabica.

African woman
Mother of humanity
Chieftess of ancient Nyngoman,
Mama Africa's bounty.

African woman
My Mandingo bride.
First woman of Africa's Eden
Center of God's black tribe.

Nigerian woman
My Yoruba Queen.
Envied by the women of Oman,
Cafe ou lair, cream of Africa's cream!

Warrior woman,
Queen of Wakanda.
Come and flip your wand,
Find the soul of Sarafina.

Curvy woman
In your womb lies Africa's future.
My Lormah woman
Oyobuays marvels at your structure.

Beautiful woman,
Perpetual envy of the silicon woman.
Pride of the Black man,
The essence of a real woman.

Indigo Woman
Lillies of the African plains.
Thou are Eve of the African Eden,
Best of the portraits that nature paints.

Voluptous woman,
Full, thick natural lips.
Real assert of the Black woman,
Nature gets aroused by your hips.

Ellen Sirleaf, today's woman,
Africa's first female president.
A Liberian woman,
Loved and revered wherever she went.

Smile ,Gambian woman,
You're daughter of Sarakunda.
Roots of the Black American woman,
Captives of the kanda Bolinga.

South African woman
Mariam Makeba
Sang for freedom and fought like a man
You were truly Soweto's finest Deva.

Dark ebony woman,
You are red, yellow and green.
Hanmatan wind stops at your command,
Born to slay and be seen.

African woman
Thou are the only reason
God put Adam in a coma.
Your perpetual beauty transcends time and Season.

African woman,
Under your cleavage, the Nile flows
And between your fingers, golden threads are woven,
You are the reason Beyonce glows.

Harriet Tubman, brave woman
Smuggled slaves underground.
She was a freed Black slave woman,
Who avowed to leave no soul behind.

Creative woman
Maya Angelou, gifted poetess.
Famous writer and a Black woman
Will be remembered for her poetic prowess.

Native African woman,
Africa's limestone and cement.
A mother, a wife, virtuous woman,
Lioness and the spine of the continent.

Liberian woman
Roots of my poetry, you gave me life
You are every woman.
Your edges are sharper than the Sumarais knife.



#IvanBrookspoetry©
13/8/2018
For mama and all the black Queens.
Cné Aug 2015
Lairs twist life so it's tasty to the lazy
Powerful to the weak and crazy

Brilliant and seductive to the
ignorant youth
But even in pain, there is beauty in the truth

Even a tiny bit of deceit is dishonorable
For only cowards lie selfishly without preamble

As lies only strengthen a liar's defects
A liar's character, mind, & spirit gains no positive affects

The abuser of the truth paints with disappearing colors
Valuing the canvass at worthless dollars

For once the veil of the facade is lifted
Honesty, integrity and trust can never be re-gifted.

Unhappy are the takers
Or why else be fakers?

But to devastate the essence of the believer
Measures the cruelty of the deceiver

Inner peace with self deception
Is the doing of one's own soul's destruction

However if truth be told
When lies gradually unfold,

Is it better to be the believer
Or the deceiver?
How strange to greet, this frosty morn,
In graceful counterfeit of flower,
These children of the meadows, born
Of sunshine and of showers!

How well the conscious wood retains
The pictures of its flower-sown home,
The lights and shades, the purple stains,
And golden hues of bloom!

It was a happy thought to bring
To the dark season's frost and rime
This painted memory of spring,
This dream of summertime.

Our hearts are lighter for its sake,
Our fancy's age renews its youth,
And dim-remembered fictions take
The guise of present truth.

A wizard of the Merrimac,--
So old ancestral legends say,--
Could call green leaf and blossom back
To frosted stem and spray.

The dry logs of the cottage wall,
Beneath his touch, put out their leaves;
The clay-bound swallow, at his call,
Played round the icy eaves.

The settler saw his oaken flail
Take bud, and bloom before his eyes;
From frozen pools he saw the pale
Sweet summer lilies rise.

To their old homes, by man profaned
Came the sad dryads, exiled long,
And through their leafy tongues complained
Of household use and wrong.

The beechen platter sprouted wild,
The pipkin wore its old-time green,
The cradle o'er the sleeping child
Became a leafy screen.

Haply our gentle friend hath met,
While wandering in her sylvan quest,
Haunting his native woodlands yet,
That Druid of the West;

And while the dew on leaf and flower
Glistened in the moonlight clear and still,
Learned the dusk wizard's spell of power,
And caught his trick of skill.

But welcome, be it new or old,
The gift which makes the day more bright,
And paints, upon the ground of cold
And darkness, warmth and light!

Without is neither gold nor green;
Within, for birds, the birch-logs sing;
Yet, summer-like, we sit between
The autumn and the spring.

The one, with bridal blush of rose,
And sweetest breath of woodland balm,
And one whose matron lips unclose
In smiles of saintly calm.

Fill soft and deep, O winter snow!
The sweet azalea's oaken dells,
And hide the banks where roses blow
And swing the azure bells!

O'erlay the amber violet's leaves,
The purple aster's brookside home,
Guard all the flowers her pencil gives
A live beyond their bloom.

And she, when spring comes round again,
By greening ***** and singing flood
Shall wander, seeking, not in vain
Her darlings of the wood.
K Balachandran May 2017
*  Getting closer, to the just bloomed flower
that bewitched him in an instant,
the honey bee gets intoxicated
by the web  of love,
the sweet flower threw around,
it felt more like a gentle caress
to which his heart jumped!
He  starts to do an ecstatic dance,
never thought he could,
till this sweet moment arrived,
merely touching her soft petals
he flies high as if to proclaim his pleasure
buzzing a new tune he composed
for this special moment,
he circles the flower
as if to adore her beauty
form all possible angles
making the moments of love
so special for them both..

* A butterfly enchanted by the flower,next
has a dance of love so different,
he would flit around and hover above
adore her beauty in a more relaxed pace,
he appreciates her silence to his soft declarations,
his love songs have no words, on air written
by the sprightly moves of his colorful wings,
he knows she loves it and his dance tells it all.
Like a kite on the waves of wind, he bobs on air
gently descending,looking at her eyes.

ഇ**  The tailor bird who never misses
mother nature's children all,big and small,
in their myriad ways of loving and living
watches what's going on,
without batting an eye lid,
she has a doubt
"Who among these
  lovers are more intense?"
she thinks aloud.

 The sonorous singer,
Bulbul watching it all
from the hanging branch
of a Champak, flowered in
riotous profusion answers:

ഉ   "Both are poets, no doubt,
of  distinction too,
each of their deeds
spontaneous demonstrates,
with hearts full of love
they wave poetry around us
in ways ingenious
paired with flowers.
why compare them?
Mother nature's brush
dexterous paints each one of us
with such loving care  and kindness
to infuse celebratory spirit,to the world,
never forget that,learn from the bees and butterflies."
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…
Phillip B. Frank Feb 2010
it's the red background
and the sketched face
since i started years ago
and i haven't finished yet
i'm kinda going crazy with stress
and i leave the paints out all night long
i guess my progress could be called grandiose, though!
except for the fact that this began many years ago
i lack the drive to do
but impulse to sleep is here
one more night the paints rest with the potato
hopefully whites, yellows, and black have no fear.
soliloquist Sep 2014
love the boy who paints–
who harnesses the power of the spectrum
and brings life to his views
on the world

admire his colourful fingers
and lead stained hands.
he didn't mean to fray the
brushes like
he frayed your heart strings.

he only wants a little life
in his body and soul.
he paints with you in mind.
and when you see the crumpled up
tubes on the floor
of his bedroom,
know that they reflect
his efforts to make you happy.
no idea if this will ever come to good use
claudia Mar 2019
art
she paints herself with shades of red,
the colour she saw when they first met,
but also the colour when she was misled.

she paints her face with shades of blue,
the colour of the beautiful sky,
but also the colour she saw when he said goodbye.

she paints her mind with shades of white,
the colour she wore when he carried out a surprise,
but also the colour of all his lies.

she paints her surroundings with shades of purple,
the colour of flowers they saw next to a four-leaf clover,
but also the colour she felt when it was over.

she paints her soul with shades of black,
the colour she used to express herself for being insignificant,
and the colour she was familiar with when he started acting different.

she always insisted that she was fine,
but she had already drawn the line.
she paints her wrists with shades of red,
and that's the story of how she secretly bled.
colours and their metaphors
Nigel Morgan Nov 2012
A story in three movements after the painting by Mary Elwell*
 
 I

She’s out. Changed her frock, left me a list and her letters on the hall table. I heard the door bang. She was in a hurry. Wednesday afternoon she’s often in a hurry. I don’t know where she goes, but she’s usually back about 9.0, and Mr Fred has his tea by himself. I come in here when she’s out and I’ve done the necessary. It’s a big house and apart from Janet and Elsie in the mornings I look after the place, and her when necessary. She’ll call me into her bedroom to tell me what she wants done with her laundry. She’s fussy, but she can afford to be. She has two wardrobes, what I call her Mrs Fred clothes and her ‘Mrs Knight’ clothes. They’re quite different; like she’s two different people. When she paints she’s someone I don’t know at all – she looks like a *****. She doesn’t belong in this room anyway when she paints. She has her studio in the attic and doesn’t even let Mr Fred in there. I don’t go in there. I’ve never got further than the door. She doesn’t want anyone to see what goes on in there. Oh, I see the pictures when they’re finished. She places them on Mr Fred’s easel in the drawing room and spends hours pacing up and down looking at them. She pulls up a chair and sits there. She doesn’t like being interrupted when she’s doing that. I like to come in here when she’s out. It’s a lady’s bedroom. I don’t think Mr Fred comes in here very often. She likes to go to him when she does, which isn’t often. When I first came here they were always in each other’s bedrooms, but she keeps herself to herself now except when Mrs Knight comes.
 
II
 
 When I was a young man I often used to look up from Walkergate at the windows of this room. You can’t miss them really as you walk towards the Bar. I coveted this house you know. Marrying Mary suddenly made that a possibility. When Holmes died and left her his fortune it came on the market and I said lightly one afternoon – she was in my studio in London – I see Bar House is up for sale. Yes, she said, we could buy it. I think she knew I wasn’t going to get anywhere in London, and she wanted to go back to Yorkshire.  She was from the first going to be her own person having been Holmes’ for ten years – an older man, dull and old. She felt by marrying me, an artist, her desire to be solitary, self-absorbed, would be understood. I don’t often come in here. She comes to me, usually to talk at the end of the day. She doesn’t sleep well, never has. We don’t, well you know, it was all about friendship, companion-ship I suppose, and money. She had it. I didn’t. You know the light in this room is so wonderful in the afternoon – like honey. I like to sit on her bed and think of the days when I would wake in this room. There were two beds here then. She’d be sitting at her writing table in her blue gown. She liked to get up with the dawn and write long letters to her friends, mainly Laura of course. After that first sitting she began writing to me, all about her love of painting and how Alfred had never encouraged her, and would I help her, advise her? She wanted to go to Paris and be in some Impressionist’s atelier. I soon realised in Paris I was never going to be a great artist or a modern painter. There’s one picture from that time . . . only one; that girl from the theatre, Amelie. I’d seen Degas and thought . . . no matter, I could never match her letters. I was always a disappointment. I still am. I would sit down at my desk with one of her letters  - she wrote to me almost every day - and think ‘I’ll just deal with that enquiry from Alsop’s’, and then I’d find another pressing letter, or I’ll look at my accounts, and all my good intentions would be as nothing. If I’d really loved her I would have written I’m sure. It takes time to write, to think what to say. It’s time I always felt I couldn’t allow myself. Painting was more than enough, and more important than letters to Mary. She wanted to talk to me, and wanted me to talk back. So she talks to Laura now, who returns her ‘talk’ with equally long letters – with sketches and caricatures of people she’s met or ‘observed’. Occasionally, I catch sight of one of these illustrated letters on the sitting room sofa, placed inside a book she is reading. I have a box of Mary’s letters, and when she’s away I look at them and read her quiet words – what she’s seen, what she’s read, what she hoped  we might become.
 
 III

I often stand at the door, even today when I’m in a rush, to gaze at my room before going out and leaving it to itself. I love it so in the afternoons when the sun takes hold of it, illuminates it. You know each item of furniture has its own story; my mother’s quilt on my bed, the long mirror from Alfred’s house; my writing box given to me by my Godmother on my 21st; the little blue vase by my wash stand – that back street shop in Venice, my first visit. I stand at the door and think, well, just what do I think? Perhaps I just rest for a moment at the sight of myself reflected in these ‘things’, my possessions, my chosen decoration, the colours and tones and shapes and positions of objects that surround my daily life. My precious pictures; some important gifts, others all about remembrance, a few from my childhood, my first marriage – Alfred was very generous. The silver vase on my writing table glows with delphiniums from the garden – and a single rose from Laura. And today we will meet, as we do on alternate Wednesdays, to drink tea in the Station Hotel, arriving on our different trains from our different lives. This friendship sustains me, and more than she will ever know. She is so resolute, so gifted as an artist. She is a painter. She has imagination, whereas as I just see and record. She puts images together that carry stories. That RA **** – that’s Laura you know – and the painter is me – and wearing a hat for goodness sake! Me paint in a hat! I remember her going through my wardrobe to dress me for that picture. Why the hat? I kept asking. But she made me look as I’ve always wanted to look in a picture – as though I was a real artist and not a wealthy woman who ‘plays’ at painting. Fred’s portraits say nothing to me, whereas Laura’s make me feel weak inside. I remember her trying out that pose in front of my long mirror. ‘Will this do?, she would say, ‘Or this? All I could look at were her long, long fingers, imagining her touch on my arm when she kissed me goodbye.
Sanjna Manoj Apr 2017
I never got the chance,
To see the outside world,
Since I was sacrificed,
For the honor of my family.

I sleep on the floor,
Right next to dogs,
I eat from the floor,
Just like a dog,
But I work for, a very honorable family.

My mother-in-law is loving,
She wants the best for me,
A daughter as a child would be bad right?
Us, being a family with honor and pride.

I was violated,
But my life was complete,
I married him,
The honor of the family wasn't tarnished at-least.

I don't want to marry,
My heart lies among the paints and brushes,
I shall marry,
My mind knows unmarried girls bring taints and shushes.

My brother gets home by 3am,
Me, 10 hours earlier,
My dreams, my life, my need for freedom?
These don't bring honor to the family.

My aunt died,
I will too,
My husband passed away,
Awaiting me are flames that flare and sway.

Our lives are a necessary sacrifice,
Our families should live, with honor and pride.
Mica Kluge Jan 2016
I once wondered what drove
A man to pick up a brush
And apply water colors to
A white piece of paper.
This was before I wise;
I owned only my arrogance,
For all the facts in my head
Were first discovered elsewhere.

"Paint is wet, it will destroy
The flimsy paper," I thought.
The paper endured.

I went through my limited
Bits of logic before I resorted
To a sensory argument.
"It doesn't sound like writing."

Oh, how I loved the scratch
Of a pencil against a fresh sheet.
It exhilarated my senses like
Few other things could.

"Furthermore, what good does
Art do? The painter makes
Something and it goes to a
Museum for people to look at.
How can that possibly better
Any part of the world?"

An older artist listened to my
Ramblings with more patience
Than I would credit the human race.

He smiled knowingly, and said to me,
"I have never seen the point of
Writers. They merely shut themselves
Away from everyone else and put
Their opinions on a piece of paper.
How can they possibly benefit the
World? What can they do?"

As my anger rose from deep in
My throat, the artist merely said
To me, "Have you never realized
That art and words are both important?
That one is never better than the other?
Here, I have a challenge for you:
Try to paint. Paint, and then tell me
That art is useless. In the meantime,
I will attempt to write and tell you the same."

So convinced that I was right, I agreed
Without a second thought. I never noticed
The knowing gleam in the old man's eye.

The next morning, I borrowed some paints
And a canvas, intent on proving my point.

Before the first stroke stained the page,
My hand still in motion, I became a believer.
In the heartbeat that it took for my muscles,
Nerves, and synapses to carry out my mind's
Order, I became
The artist,
The canvas,
The brush,
And the space between,
Charged with potential and kinetic energies.

I understood the point of art, to be the art
And to make the art. The painter and the artist.
The painter paints for others. The artist paints
For the outpouring of his soul.

I called the artist to tell him this, and
Found that he had been about to call me.
"I do understand," we said together.

He told me how he had realized the difference
Between writer and storyteller. The storyteller
Wrote for the audience, to entertain them with
A new fable. The writer wrote for both himself
And the story. He told me that he became both.

I relayed my own revelation. He didn't seem
Surprised, but, looking back, I should have
Known that had been his intention all along.

I don't think, however, he had expected to
Discover what drove me as well.
We both became wiser that day.

I still know that I am not wise. I probably
Never will be, but I have tasted the fruits
Of my arrogance, and almost lost a
Beautiful experience because of it.

Arrogance is now ashes in my mouth,
But I have decided to turn it into ink on a page.
Or, perhaps, water colors on canvas.
They are both forms of magic.
Nylee Mar 2017
Paintbrush and paints
can make empty canvas
               change its identity
Ana S Dec 2016
The words she paints so gently
Etch my mind
Her voice leaving me stunned
So beautiful and fine
Speaking ever so softly
Sending chills down my spine
She wispers in my ear
Babe are you really mine?
I am yours my love.
Always have been.
Always will be.
Til the end of this universe.
And life as we know it.
I will always be yours.  
Some don't believe in forever.
Some don't think about infinities.
My infinty rests with her.
She is my light.
She is my love.
Whispering gently in my ear.
I love you so my dear.
Is that so? I wisper back.
Well beautiful, guess what?
I love you too.
The words she wispers softly

— The End —