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Shiv Pratap Pal Jan 2019
Questions Please
Put up a question please
Throw me a question please
Question, any question

Burning or sensational
big or small or silly
easy or tough or absurd
hypothetical or factual

All questions are invited.
Only and only questions
No Answers at all
As I already have answers

I have answers to all the questions
that ever existed, but ceased to exist today.
I have the answers to prevailing questions
that are making us crazy day by day

I even have the answers to the questions
which are still in the future's belly
waiting to be born one day
in this beautiful and ugly world

Questions please
All sorts of questions
May be from geography or philosophy
Or from religion to defence studies

It may be from medical science or history
Or from space research too
Animal husbandry is no taboo
Questions on skydiving are also welcome

Politics is my all-time favourite
although I can answer sports or adventure
Questions on corruption are also solicited
You can ask on oceanography or calligraphy too

I know everything, literally everything
but neither I am 'Google' nor 'Bing'
I am not even 'Duck Duck Go'
nor I claim to be 'Baidu'

I guessed your question.
You are wondering – "Who am I?"
It's very-very simple Man!
I am a nasty spokesperson from the ruling party

I may be found mostly in television debates
as a panelist, as a debator, as a joker
as a disturbing element, as a liar
as a person making hue and cries

You may or may not like my answers,
but, please like me, please love me
Raise slogans for me, Praise me
Make me famous, make me a celebrity

But even if you dislike me
I don't care, I have my media
I have my own followers
I also own a troll army

I train them perfectly
I pay them heavily
I spend too much on
News media and Social media

I have my own trustworthy mob
who is always ready for violence
anytime and anywhere
at any cost whatsoever

Beware, I am from the ruling party
I inherit a complete readymade system
of Investigating agencies, Ready to book anyone
on false and frivolous grounds.

And it will take years to prove innocence
Innocence may be proved, may be disproved
This also depends on Money, Power and Links
Or the nasty arithmetic of alliance with us in future

So if you still chose to dislike me
It's your choice, but wait
I can still become a minister
Or even a prime minister

I have the quality to lure voters
I have the answers to all the questions
That ever existed or are existing
Or that are stilling waiting to be born.
I have all the answers  so please throw a question to me.
Quantum physics scares the **** out of me
Well it’s not really just quantum physics
It’s everything that stands in between its letters
It’s both the solutions and the questions that frighten me most
I was 12 when I first had a panic attack about eternity
I was in the shower, writing thoughts in steam
When all of a sudden
I was suffocating on forever
And showered with thoughts of before time
The all around terrifying notion of timelessness
Caused shivers that felt like our heater had gone out again
Tears rushed down my face
Faster than the speed of light
Not that I knew what it was
But it felt like lightening filled my body
From that moment,
I learned my truest fear of unanswerable questions
As I grew and grew wary
I took less showers in hopes
I wouldn’t find my fears
Swirling in around my ankles
Clogging up the drain
Lingering there
As the only thing that I could
Never wash off of me,
Never flush away

As time moved on with
A sureness I could never have
I floated amongst the thoughts of
Others so as not to drown in my own
But as night comes
So others rest
And as others rest
The Fearful attempt to count sheep
But even the sheep begin to wonder
About the unfathomable
And before I know it
I’m screaming into my pillow
Blaming the sheep for my restless nights
Insisting I’m not crazy
Insisting that wool blankets are the problem
Picking problems to bring me to now
Problems that make the present
Matter more to this masochistic brain
Than the questions that I should never have asked

Unanswerable, I’d repeat
I’d resolve
I’d allow myself to toy the word around,
Flick it around in my mouth,
As if to keep it too busy to ask more,
But also to make the original questions taste so sweet
That I never wanted them to leave my mouth
So I swallowed them
As if to indulge my taste buds just a little longer
But they sat in my stomach like seeds
With time they grew up my throat,
Watered with theological and scientific discussions alike
The first time I was told that my questions, could have a solution,
My stomach lurched into my throat
Now was the time
The questions were uprooting, ready to grow out in this world
But my jaw was taut
And refused to let others be haunted
So the vines
With no where else to go
Moved with intention
Past my mouth,
Behind my eyes
Into my brain
It had taken over
I became my questions
Rooted in the pit of my stomach
Paralyzed by the pain of
Wooden rigidity
Each move dictated by the unbending will
Of an oak tree caged by iron
Questions acting as a fungus
Rotting out happiness,
Killing the mind
That had formed the seed in the first place
I was immobile in my fear and
Planted in my questions
Unwilling to explore
And so the tree stayed
And I saw the world through
Shaded light
Always careful not to climb
Too far up
Too far in
Thankful for the fact
That not many aspire to
Plant seeds
Let alone
Climb trees

By the time I first saw you
Many rings had formed
You were passing through crowds
Like you walk through forests
Letting things be
What they were
And
Watching people act as they may
Imagine my intrigue
As I saw the callous on your hands
Smelled sap on your breath
I felt a friendly fear
In your eyes
But your hands
Did not look pained
Only worn
Still with care
Only when you spoke
Did I feel the logic in your branches
The whips of your leaves that
I had refused to grow
You were questions fully blossomed
You had leaves made of
Wormholes
And
Budding flowers of dark matter
And as I drew my trunk back,
Insisting I was allergic
I got lost in your bark
I found possibilities
Buried amongst your ridges
I soon found a taste so sweet,
It brought shame on my appeasing mantra
Without control
Like forces of nature tend to be
I grew into you
Yet still,
It was not the color of your leaves
Nor the feel of your vines that took me
It was your ability to blossom
Your permission of exploration
The blossoms, though pleasing to the eye,
Grew through your watering and sunlight

As if by some evolutionary revelation,
I turned my face upward
And found the warmth of the sun
Didn’t have to burn me
I opened my body up
And felt a comfort in the waters that
I had once felt would drown me.
The budding flowers I had let wilt
For so long
Arose from my branches,
Now growing toward the stars
With a few more rings
Of sunlight and starlight,
You’re much better at blooming than I,
But with questions now being watered,
My trunk grows with possibility
I may never grow to such great heights
Or fully know the universe beyond
But I do know, that no matter
The truth
If the wormholes
And multiverses
Are as real as
The Redwoods
And
Cherry Blossoms
I’m infinitely pleased
That I’m in this universe,
Sharing starlight,
And questions,
With you.
Sam Temple Mar 2016
Breaking waves crashed upon my feet
toes poking into the dampened sand
on my face I felt the sun
and considered its warmth and power
got lost in quiet reflection
and found myself searching deep
within my own soul for some answers
to the great universal questions
but I did not know why we are on earth
or by what mode our story began
I was just as the sand, but a tiny speck of dust
one in the cornucopia of humanity

the wind blew a swirl of sand
large enough to partially blot out the sun
wind gusts with such force and power
I could no longer see my reflection
but stood still for fear of the ocean so deep
when I heard the slightest whisper of an answer
as if the wind sought to respond to my questions
surrounding life on earth
and how it all began
from just asteroid dust
to the gross expansion of humanity
I looked down at my bare feet

I felt on my back and neck the heat of the sun
Worried I was being burned by its power
from both sides with the sea’s reflection
I stepped into the deep
and in the darkness I found some answers
to my most pressing question
about the source of water on earth
and if colliding comets are where it began
mingling with asteroid dust
to create a hospitable environment for humanity
from fins to feet
and back to dust and sand

the frigid water squished me with such power  
there was no more time for peaceful reflection
as I sank further into the deep
no longer looking for answers
I had but one question
was this to be the end of my time on earth
when it feels like it as only just began
am I to just become more dust
catching in the dry and voiceless throats of humanity
I sank fathoms and feet
until I lightly touched down on the sand
but I could see no sun

I tried to locate my reflection
but my own face was lost in the deep
I cried out for an answer
but my mind only reeled with more questions
mainly relating to if I was still on the earth
had I been taken back to when time began
before water and dust
long before the taint of humanity
I felt as though my feet
were caught in a quagmire of mud and sand
unable to ever be dried by the sun
never touched by ultra-violet power

distorted and skewed as the water was so deep
but holding answers
to my questions
it came up from the very earth
and I began
to strip away the flotsam and dust
and stand up for all of humanity
in an instant is was just at a few feet
stopped suddenly in the sand
and shown me the grace of the sun
in all its glory and power
I saw my own reflection

I, at once, knew the answer
I no longer needed the questions
we were part of the earth
that was how we began
from magnetized and electrified dust
we mounted a charge to become humanity
growing legs and standing upon feet
walking away from the shore and sand
to stand in a meadow grown by the sun
feel the mountain power
and experience the quiet stream reflection
that can take a Being so deep

free from the bane of answering questions
I felt free to fall into the earth
become as it had began
dissolve back to dust
and let go the trapping of humanity
trade in my five-toed feet
and melt into the dunes of sand
warmed by the setting sun
granted power
through reflection
there was nothing so deep
as to have all the answers

I sat upon the red clay earth
thinking about how it all began
scratching around for a handful of dust
that represented humanity
I tossed it into the air and it flew a few feet
and landed amongst the sand
sat baking in the sun
void of power
lacking the ability for reflection
falling off the cliff into the deep
seeking answers
finding only more questions

was this how it all began
truly, no alien force or god hand, just dust
morphing into what we know as humanity
clapping hands and stomping feet
on the chemically altered sand
drawing energy from the sun
to give our homes power
no longer seeking inner reflection
to anything running very deep
instead seeking only safe answers
by asking mundane questions
never considering one’s place on the earth

my teeth clamped tight and crunched some dust
wishing it were the bones of humanity
starting with toes and feet
eating mankind like the ocean does the sand
like comets to the sun
like power
does to those impoverished and lost in reflection
leaving bodies buried deep
offering no answers
to any child’s question
to the state of the earth
to how this all began

it started with the civilization of humanity
when we planted out feet
firmly into the sand
grew crops in the springtime sun
and felt the corruption of power
lost sight of our reflection
somewhere so deep
that the true answers
only come across as more questions
as we slowly destroy the earth
same way it all began
by turning the land into dust

I saw my feet sink into the sand and get burned by the sun
Its power caused a reflection and my soul sunk deep
Looking for answers to questions about the state of the earth
Then it began to all turn to dust and I watched the end of humanity
James Floss Sep 2018
Questions asked—
Answers evaded

Questions asked—
Churlish responses

Questions asked—
Reality revised

Questions asked—
Dangerous denials

Questions asked—
Squeaky clean!

Questions asked—
RED HERRING!!!

Questions asked—
Deny FBI

Questions asked—
AD HOMINEM!!!

Questions asked—
Boast, repost

Questions asked—
Uncivil snivel

Questions asked—
Snide asides

A question asked:
Where are we?

Scary judiciary?
End times?
Revolution?
Not in this Kansas.
Bianca J Cortez Sep 2014
Don't ask questions
To the man who watches
The wind go by

Don't ask questions
To the little girl
Who talks to trees

Don't ask questions
To the pilot who quits
His job mid air

Don't ask questions
To the teenagers
Who seek love

Don't ask questions
To the rebels
Who have fight in them

Don't ask questions
To the nuns who sing
To the God's they believe in

But rather ask questions
To those that pass you by
Every day without noticing you

Ask questions to those
Who study in order to work
And who work in order to retire

Ask questions to those
Who wait till retirement
To sigh

Ask questions to those
Who don't question
The system

Ask questions to those
Who don't seem conscious
And who live by habit

And then ask yourself,
Do you?
Vas Bismark Dec 2014
What My Heart Knows

There are many questions but my heart knows...
While I was walking I stopped for a while
And thought of the things I don’t have in life
But I suddenly realized I have you and I feel complete

There are many questions but my heart knows...
Sometimes the love we are looking for
Is right in front of us-
Too close for the eyes to see
Only close enough for the heart to feel

There are many questions but my heart knows...
True love doesn’t have happy endings
Because if it’s true love
It would be never ending

There are many questions but my heart knows...
Love has its time, seasons and own reasons!
You can’t ask it to stay
You can only embrace it as it comes
And be glad, for a moment in your life it was yours

There are many questions but my heart knows
The tears shed over the heartbreak are the words left unsaid
And the deeds left undone
For absences does love like wind fuels a flame
It extinguishes the weak and feeds a blaze

There are many questions but my heart knows
The difficulty is not dying for love,
But finding a love worth dying for.
Much harder...
Finding that love worth living for

There are many questions but my heart knows
You can close your eyes to the things you don’t want to see
You can block your ears to the things you don’t want to hear,
But never could you close your heart to the things you feel

There are many questions but my heart knows
Never say goodbye when you still want to try
Never give up when you still feel you can take it
Never say you don’t love a person if you can’t let go

There are many questions but my heart says
Don’t ask the sun to keep shining on you,
It can’t, the clouds exist
Don’t ask the leaves not to fall
It can’t, the wind exists
Don’t ask me to stop loving you
I can’t, you exist...

                                                      -Vas Bismark
Sidney Nov 2014
I am that petite build, with that straight, black and shiny hair that every white girl envies.
I have those slanty eyes that turn into slivers when I laugh.
I love kimchee, rice and mandu.  There is never such a thing as too much garlic.  I put red pepper flakes/paste on everything.
I use chopsticks.
People think I'm "cute" and pat me on the head.  That drives me nuts.  It still happens and I'm 32.
I regularly tell people that I don't speak Korean, except for "Where's the bathroom?" and of course "Anyonghaseyo".
My skin turns a dark tan in the summer months and I wish I was more peachy or pale like the white girls whom I think are beautiful.
I wear glasses.
I love to read and research things and I'm a good, diligent student, but I'm terrible with math and science.
I'm musical.

****

I play the clarinet, not the piano, violin, or cello; like every "Asian" should play.
I'm a tom-boy; you will never find me in a tu-tu or frilly-like dress (in public).
I do not wear make-up.
I'm loud, boistrous and obnoxious at times.  I have a serious *****-mouth and I'm not reserved or "refined".
I ask the guy out; not the other way around.
My career is more important than "settling down"-- at least during this point in my life.
I choose to never have children -- EVER.
I bite my fingernails and I've never had a manicure.  I've never even been inside a manicure shop.
I am a fantastic driver.
I am the only person of color in my immediate and extended family.
Over 99.5% of my friends are white.
I have never been in a relationship with an Asian man.
I grew up in an all-white neighboorhood and when I saw the Vietnamese, Cantonese, and Hmong students at my elementary school, I always wondered what it must like to be "them".

In 2007 I lived in South Korea for 3 months.  I encountered complex questions concerning who I am.  Who am I, really?  Am I an adopted Korean?  Am I a "real" Korean? Am I a Korean-American?  Am I none of these?  Does it even matter?  I was left with a gaping hole in my chest of deeper questions, deeper insecurities, and a poignant feeling of loss.  I thought, back in the States that who I am there is who I really am.  But, here I am, in the country of my birth, surrounded by people who share my ethnicity.  This is who I really am, right?  I felt such a deep responsibility to be more Korean.  I felt that if I identified as "white" or even a Korean-adoptee, that I was betraying my culture, my People, my home.  But, while I was in my homeland of Korea, I was so homesick for Minnesota.

When I returned back to Minnesota around Thanksgiving time, a few months later, Eastern Social Welfare (adoption agency in Korea) found my birth mother, Yoon, Young-Hee.  They were able to confirm that she was indeed my mother.  They tried to tell her that I have begun a search and that I wrote a personal letter for her, waiting at the agency.  Once they mentioned me, Young-Hee hung up the phone and would not answer Eastern's calls over a course of a year.  Children's Home Society and Family Services in St. Paul, MN contacted me and said that Eastern Social Welfare suggested that I wait a few years and try again.  I waited 6 years.  Last Decemember I re-intitated the search with the hopes that Young-Hee had gained the courage to talk to the social worker.  I had prayed for this for so many years.  I visulized light and love surrounding her.  I asked God for help.  I have heard nothing from my social worker and it's been almost 10 months.

I am learning how to let go of this search and let go of Young-Hee.  I am learning how to take my healing and my identity into my own hands.  I have a million questions that I wish I knew -- questions about my birth family's medical history.  Questions about why she gave me up. Questions about her current family.  Endless questions.  Now, I have come to terms that my questions may never be answered.  I could always have a mystery around my birth and possibly the future cause of my death (until I am diagnosed with something).  Can I live with this ambiguity?  As of right now, barely.  I am barely able to keep myself from falling apart with the frantic wonderings of my mind.  But, this is something I have to live with every day.

The Adopted Korean Community often hears wonderful and inspiring stories of adoptees being re-united with their birth-families. This is not my story.  My story is the all-too-common story that is rarely heard.  No one wants to hear how your birth mother will not cooperate with the Korean social worker and even read a letter you wrote for her.  No one wants to face the fact that millions of adoptees around the world live with this reality, too.  No one wants to acknowledge the pain, the rejection, and the loss that prevails.  Why would anyone want to hear a story like that?  Well, people who do not find their birth families or are turned away by their birth families have a story to share too.  It may not be an "upper", but it's a pretty important story to hear, too.  It lets us remember how we've all felt this way at some point in our lives, as an adoptee.  Most importantly, hearing stories like this helps other adoptees cope and feel that it is okay if their birth families wish to not meet or communicate with them.  It's not the adoptee's fault.  Adoptees who do not have success stories need to hear that this happens to many others and that a giant rejection does not mean he or she is worthless and less "special" than an adoptee who has been fortunate enough to reunite.

Why is it that I so closely tie my identity and then my self-worth to my birth family?  Why can I not be sovereign unto myself?  I am Korean.  Yes, I am.  It doesn't mean I must do, be, act, believe, see, or think in a certain way.  I am human, too.  I choose to have little identities that I see myself as while in different situations, with different people.  Indentity is complex-  it often signifies one thing-- oh that, (points) THAT is a chair. But simultaneoulsy, identity can also be so fluid and flexible -- (points) THAT chair is a folding chair, but this one isn't. But they're both chairs.  Maybe in some situations I can be a folding chair.  I'd like to play around with identity and let the concept roll around in my mind.  The thinking error comes when we think we must be one, same thing at all times. That is when we become stagnant.  How refreshing it is that we get to have such fluid identities!

Like every person on Earth, I have many shades.  I have many identities, and I surrender the long, hard fight to conform to one identity or another. This is my life and this is who I am, so I reserve the right to identitfy with whatever and whomever I see fit to be ME! :-)
Steven J Kelly Oct 2018
There are more Questions than Answers
If there were more Answers than Questions
Then what would be the ****** point.

There are answers to questions that cannot be Answered.
And Questions that don’t need answering.
I don’t look for answers to questions anymore.
I don’t see the point it’s rather a bore.

Who can explain the Answers to the Questions
and who is dare to question the answers or answer the questions

What is the Question
Who knows the Answer
Who ****** cares
© COPYRIGHT Kellywood Productions 2012-17 All Rights Reserved.
Raj Arumugam Sep 2010
ask no questions:
you must obey;
and if you ask questions
you must accept all answers


there’s a teacher
and authority;
the student must ask
no questions;
just listen and obey


there’s the Parent
and children will do good
to listen and nod in agreement

you must obey
it’s good for you
it’s good for the Instructor

there’s the Great Leader
who issues edicts and reforms;
it’s nice of you to be informed
to mark and conform

there’s God in Heaven
and He’s (never a She)
given you Text Books;
school is in – and you must obey,
no questions…


there are Organizations
and Establishments;
look, it’s comfy and easy
for everybody
if you just followed
the rules and regulations
and don’t think outside
the Book of Instructions



ask no questions:
you must obey;
and if you ask questions
you must accept all answers
Ayad Gharbawi Dec 2009
THE STORY OF SARA






Or A Reflection on Ourselves


Ayad Izzet Gharbawi










2008














Table of Contents



Chapter 1: An Awakening. Page: 3.
Chapter 2: University. Page 12.
Chapter 3: Being an Activist. Page 23.
Chapter 4:  The Hallowed Purification Programme. Page: 32.
Chapter 5: The Party Self Destructs. Page: 55.
Chapter 6: Confusion after the Collapse of my Icon. Page: 64.
Chapter 7 Getting a Job as a Psychiatrist. Page 69.
Chapter 8: Afim: Sick or ‘Normal’? Page: 84.
Chapter 9: Having Children. Page 105.
Chapter 10: Omar Again. Page: 109.
Chapter 11: The Meaningless Existence of My Husband. Page 121.
Chapter 12: My Daughter: Lara. Page 127.
Chapter 13: Getting to the Top in my Job. Page: 131.
Chapter 14: Success & Emptiness. Page 142.
Chapter 15: The Shock. Page: 148.
Chapter 16: The Trap. Page: 153.
Chapter 17: The Punishment. Page 162.
Chapter 18: The Barmaid and the Alcoholic Conversation. Page: 166.
Chapter 19: Old Age. Page: 180.
Chapter 20: Seeing My Son: Noor. Page: 184.
Chapter 21: The Unexpected Visitor. Page: 191.
Chapter 22: Conversation with my Social Worker. Page: 195.
Chapter 23: My Visitor Returns. Page: 206.
Chapter 24: Isolation. Page: 210.

















THE STORY OF SARA



– OR, A REFLECTION ON OURSELVES



CHAPTER ONE:  AN AWAKENING



  
            Sara is my name.
  I feel the need to write down the words, or rather, the connected and the unconnected stories, of my life.
  I wish to say straightaway, that I am not an important person; on the opposite.
  I am, in fact, a no one.
  I achieved nothing meaningful in my life, and I was never famous.

  So, why you may think, should anyone read about my life, considering that I am a nobody?
  Well, I think, that precisely because I am a nobody, people should read about my life!
  Why?
  Because, since most of us are nobodies, therefore, I must be a reflection for a significant number of people.
  I am a mirror that most of us do not see; after all, who wants to see what they really look like?

  You see, if I were famous, then I would be in the minority of the population, and, as a consequence, I would reflect the lives of just a small fraction of the people.
  In other words, if I were rich, and if I were to write about my life as a rich woman, then most readers would have absolutely nothing to relate to such a story.
  But then again, to tell you the truth, I am plagued by insecurities and self doubt.
Why am I plagued by insecurities and self doubts?
  Because life itself is full of doubts and insecurities!
  Everyday there are so many events that happen that you do not fully understand - and so they have no certainty.
There are so many thoughts that come across your mind that you cannot believe in with certainty - in other words, you have doubts!
  Life is made up of events, people and thoughts that are themselves uncertain, vague, indefinite, unclear, ambiguous and ultimately blurred.
  That is why, for me, I found no certainty in my life, no sense of definiteness – and the end result is that my image of my personal reality was a blurred vision.

  I could never see an accurate view of my own reality - because I had far too many flawed characteristics.
  I am extremely temperamental.
  I am extremely impulsive; I speak, behave and act without thinking in a sober, rational, deliberate manner.
  I am not a very good judge of character when it comes to people. I often evaluate people wrongly. I misread who they really are.
  I am often very cold with other human beings; I am unable to sympathise and be compassionate to other people.
  I am not a good listener.
  I am a slave to my irrational passions, my dark urges and my undesirable needs.
  Now I am not saying that I have these characteristics all the time – but I confess that I do have them far too often.

  And all these awful characteristics make me quite unable to focus on myself in a logical, coherent and rational manner.
  I am unable to see my real Self; I cannot see where my rational mind tells me where I need to go with my life, rather than where my dark passions tell myself where to go.
  So, maybe my story isn’t worth telling at all.
  Should I write the story of my life or not?
  Will anyone read it?


  I am a member of the weak and the unknown and the unheard class.
  I am a member of the invisible classes, of what they call 'Humanity'.
  Even though, I don’t know what ‘Humanity’ actually means any more.
  I am one non-entity amidst this ocean of Humanity.
  I am a nothing.
  So, what’s the point of my existence and, more importantly, the story of my existence!?


  Actually, sometimes, when I’m in a good mood, I think, yes, come, do not be timid or afraid, and take a serious gaze at my own face, and I hope you will see yourselves – yes, you, the majority of the people out there, this night; for when you see yourselves in my face, you may learn so much about yourselves, and it seems to me, after I have been living and experiencing so long, you may learn from my mistakes.
  It seems to me, that one of the problems so many of us people out there are facing, is that nobody seems to want to take a serious, unbiased way that they really look like – and this is because of fear.


  But what is this ‘fear’?  
  I know that this fear is one reason that causes a nagging and persisting unhappiness.
  This fear is because we are scared to look at ourselves and find a picture that is severely deformed and far too horrible to behold.
  Do you believe that looking at your own face is an easy task?
  I hear you tell me: Oh Sara, all you have to do is to look at the mirror and you see yourself.
  How easy!
  But, I’m afraid, you are wrong.
  Because when you say to me, that all you have to do is to see your face in the mirror, that is not accurate.


  And that is, because the face you are seeing in the mirror is an image.
  That is not your face!
  That’s an image of your face!
  And an image is only one degree of reality.
  An image is never and can never be the whole reality.
  So, you say, why is it that I am seeing an image of my face in the mirror and not the whole reality of my face?
  Because you yourself are scared to scrutinize and stare so deeply at your own face.
  Fear is restraining you from seeing your own reality.
  You may see your real face and it may be a face that is far too ugly to see!



  Now, when I am in a bad, bleak, hopeless mood, I really believe in the depths of my angry heart, that it is utterly pointless to write anything, precisely, because I feel that my entire life is completely worthless.
  Emptiness.
  I feel my life is filled with emptiness.
  Ha!
  How can you ‘fill’ anything with emptiness!
  You know, I feel like ripping to shreds everything I’ve written, and yes, reader, I’ve done that many times – and, then I start all over again.
  And how dare I presume that anyone out there in the world would be in any way interested to read the life of an empty woman who happens to be called Sara?
  You see, at times like these, I have self hate.
  I confess.
  I hate every single thing about myself.
  And that includes my pointless story.


  And so many times, especially at night, when I’m able to write my story, I think, what if no one is reading these words?
  How frightful!
  Could I possibly be that empty?
  Could I – Sara - possibly be so utterly meaningless as a human being, to the extent that no one could possibly be interested, to give me more than a few precious moments of their time, from their important lives?
  Well, for all you people out there whose lives are brimming with happiness; for all those of you people whose lives are so full and busy, so they never experience the utter tedium of boredom; for all those of you people who never face an inner emptiness, a loneliness within their hearts and minds; for all those of you people who have no fears, no anxieties, and no insecurities – then I can honestly tell you to hurl this book away!

  And, yet, I would like to believe that - in the depths of my shaky beliefs and my uncertain certainties - that I have at least one listener with me!
  You know why?
  Because it gives me so much comfort and peace of mind to think that I have one human who is interested to know me!
  The most horrible thing to me is to live in total isolation.
  And to ease that unique kind of emotional pain, is to know that someone, somewhere in this planet actually cares for you.

  I was born in the City, in a middle to low class neighbourhood, where families tended to help each other.
  It was a closely knit community. You knew everyone, and everyone knew you and so, when there was any problem, people would help each other out. You see, in this way, problems became less heavy than they would have been otherwise, because when more people come to help you, the problem weighs less, as opposed to if each family had to cope with their problems all on their own.
  It was a happy childhood; I adored my parents and I thought no one could be better than them.
  They were my icons.
  As a child, they were good to me, and I could see nothing wrong with them.
  But how long did that last?
  By the time my mind was waking up, so to speak, by eleven or twelve, I began to notice, that what I saw wasn't all that rosy at all. My parents used to argue a lot; Dad would scream and Mother would howl.
  And what were the causes of these clashes?

  Both were guilty of countless faults.
  Dad drank too much; Mom didn't pay enough attention to housekeeping and so our house was rather *****; neither parent paid any attention to us; Dad would always invite his 'friends', and they would be rather ****** in their behaviour and with their jokes (or what they thought were 'jokes'); Mom would go for hours on end to her 'friends' houses, and leave us children alone; so, when they were in the mood to fight, good God, both sides of the trenches had lots of reasons, or excuses, to use as ammunition!
  And what battles do we young children witness!
  Dad would scream: "What kind of Mother are you when you do nothing for the house; you don't cook, and so we never have homemade cooking; you don't clean, and so the house stinks and is always in a terrible mess; and then you disappear for hours to God knows where, leaving us all behind! How much time do you even spend with our children? I’ll tell you how long – you don’t spend any time with our children! Children need love, attention and time spent with them; how do you think that affects our children? Do you think that makes then happy?"

And Mom would scream, at the same time: "What kind of Father are you? You're always drunk, and you're always socialising with drunk, ****** idiots. How do you think our children are reacting when they see their Father interacting with the most lewd, disgusting people? You're lazy in your job – and that is when you keep a job more than a few weeks – and, not surprisingly, you don't bring in enough money, and so we live a miserable lifestyle. And, you dare to ask me why I leave this house for so many hours? Of course, I want to leave this house – it's because I cannot stand the repulsive sight of you! And then, you have the nerve to ask me, ‘how long do I spend with our children’? You **** hypocrite! How long do you spend with our children? Not one minute!"


  I would usually rush off to my room, and hide my body and soul in my pillow.
  And as I grew into a teenager, my parents were fighting against each other even more.
  Who was right and who was wrong?
  Sometimes I felt for sure, that Dad was wrong; and, at other times, I felt that Mom was to blame; while at other times, I felt both were to blame; and then again, at other times, I would be so confused that I just gave up thinking about the whole mess, and just wish they never brought me to this world.
  How could I judge them?
  I could never really tell, because I didn't have the facts, did I? Who knows if Dad really was lazy at his job, and if that was the case, why he didn't he realize that we needed him to work harder, in order for us to have a better quality of life? Or, maybe he wasn't making enough money, simple because his job was a low paying one, and so it wasn't his fault that he brought such meagre wages.


  Who knows why Mom didn't take care of the house?
  Maybe she was depressed?
  And who knows why she went off to her friends' house for hours on end?
  Put simply, when you don't have the facts, how can you possibly judge in a reasonable manner?
  But then, maybe, you, my dear reader, will say I am wrong, because one ought to judge the situation by using one's emotions and not just 'facts'.
  To be honest, when I think of those wretched days, maybe they were both 'right' and wrong'; but in what measures – don't ask me!
  What I do know for sure was this: the fact that both Mom and Dad never spent any time with me really hurt me and made feel insecure. I really needed their company when I was a child and right through to my adolescent years, but, unfortunately, they were never, ever interested to sit with me and talk to me – not even for a minute.

  In my teenage years, I clearly remember that I felt that I needed Mom and Dad, because I remember feeling frightened for the first time in my life.
  Why did I feel ‘afraid’?
  I honestly don’t know.
  Strangely enough, before the age of thirteen, all my parents' fighting did not leave me scared; no, my response was one of sadness only.
  
  So, I tried to talk with Mom and Dad, issues that were bothering me, but I found out, to my horror, that they could not answer any of my questions.
    I would ask my parents endless questions like:
"Should I continue studying in school and go on to university, or should I leave and get a menial job?"
"At what age should I get married?"
“Is marriage worth it or not?"
"Should I smoke cigarettes and drink alcohol – or, are these things wrong?"
  “What characteristics should I look for, when I make friends? In other words, what are the good attributes versus the bad attributes in the character of any person?”
  “What is morality?”
  I remember that my parents were themselves confused by my questions, and at the same time they were irritated.
And, at other times, they were increasingly bored with my unending questions.


  Strange combination, isn't it – to be both 'confused’, irritated' and 'bored' with someone nagging at you all the time!?
  I know why they were 'bored'; that's the easy part – it was because, they gradually found me to be a nuisance or an irritant with my questions.
  They were 'confused and irritated', because they felt stuck as to how they could best answer my questions.
You see, they were, themselves, doing all the wrong things, so how could they advice me to do what was supposed to be 'good'?!
  For example, 'Can I smoke and drink alcohol?'
Good question, Sara, but a question that you shouldn’t really ask your parents, when you recall, that both were heavy smokers and drinkers!
  And, when I asked them: 'Should I get married?' How can they answer that one
Robert Guerrero Jul 2012
Are these the answers
That I didn't want
That I didn't need
Are these the answers
That could save my sanity

Are these the answers
That I searched high and low
That I gave up on
Are these the answers
To questions long ago asked

All I know is
That these answers
I knew I would find
Whether I looked for them or not
Now that I got them I'm even more lost

I can't forgive her
I can't love her
I hate her with everything I have
Now I have more questions
And the answers I'm not ready for

I told her to answer one question
The answer determined
Whether I could forgive her or not
But all she did was remain silent
Refusing to answer

Are these the answers
To questions not yet asked
That I refuse to ask
Are these the answers
That could fix my heart

Are these the answers
To questions I needed to ask
To questions I knew would hurt
Are these the answers
To questions asked for decades

All I need her to know
Is that when I needed her
She wasn't there
So now I don't need her
Nor will I ever need her

She's just an image
A target for my anger
The cause for my hatred
She's the reason I'm scared to let you in
She's the reason my walls are up

Are these the answers
To the questions you ask
To the questions you wanted answered
Are these the answers
That could bring us longer
J May 2017
Everybody has questions.
Sometimes, our questions have questions.
Questions that haunt us;
questions that rid us of our sleep.
And we are all seeking for answers;
that little jigsaw puzzle piece
that completes the whole picture.
Some can easily be found;
others can take years, even ages.
And there are some that cannot be found at all.
That does not mean those answers were lost.
Sometimes, you are better off not finding it.
Maybe, you are not ready for it just yet.
Or maybe, just maybe; the answer is
right there in front of you.
But you choose not to see it;
because it is not the answer that you want.
Any questions?
Shadow Knight Apr 2015
Why are we afraid of the dark?
Doesn’t it happen at the end of every day?
Why are we scared of the dark?

Are we afraid because we cannot see? Are we afraid because we lose our most used sense? Is that why? Do we feel more vulnerable because we become weaker in the dark? More vulnerable to what though? are we afraid because we don't know what is out there? Is it because we can't see where anything is or could be? Are we afraid because we don't know anything in the dark? Are we afraid of not knowing? are we afraid of the possibilities of what could happen? Are we afraid of the unknown? If that is so why do we not seek to understand more so that we fear less? is it because we don't want to know? Are we afraid of the truth? Are we afraid of the light? No, no that can't be, could it? Are we afraid of having no light? Are we afraid of having no warmth? Are we afraid of the cold? Is the cold the feeling of not knowing? Are we afraid because we don't understand? Are we afraid to ask questions? Why? Are we afraid of the answers? Do we know the answers? Then what is the question? Are we afraid because we do not know the questions? Are we afraid to ask what the question is? What do we have to ask to learn the question? Do we not know what it is that we must learn to ask? Are we afraid to ask? Are we afraid to learn? Are we afraid to know? What is the question? Is it why are we afraid? Is it are we afraid? Why do we ask questions? Is it because we want answers? Why do we want answers? Is it because we want To know? Why do we want to know? Is it so we can ask? What do we want to ask? Is it what is our question? Is it the unknown? Is it what do we know? Are we afraid of what we do know? Are we afraid of the past? Is it the present?  Is it the future? Are we afraid of the end? Are we afraid of the beginning? Are we afraid of life? Are we afraid of our lives? Are we afraid of ourselves? Are we afraid of our fears? Why? Why do we fear what we do not know? Are we afraid of our questions? Are we scared that we don't know what we do not know? Are we afraid that we don't know our questions?

What are our questions?
Do we know our questions?
Do I know what is my question?
What is my question?

Why do we fear the dark?

My answer?

Yes.



Inspired by
The night and
The darkness known
As fear that we all hold in our hearts
Jordan Frances Oct 2014
I was a curious child, as most are. What's for dinner? Who's the mail from? How old is she? How much longer? Questions poured from my mouth as though it was a faucet and, as is the norm, my parents blew off the questions I asked at four years old. But as I grew further in my developmental life stages, my parents still refused to answer me. I was taught not to question so much so that when I was fifteen and failing algebra I did not know how to ask for help. Now suddenly it was expected of me to know what I was even though my inquiries had been dismissed along the way for years upon endless years.

Because of my socio-economic standing as an upper to middle class kid with clear problems in my head that my parents failed to address, I was told to be silent. When I questioned the rules, my society, my religion I was told to be quiet because I was just a little girl. I was just a girl. And that mindset is what teaches us exactly what role women should play, subservient to their male counterparts. Even when he is the fisherman with his subject sprawled out on a board being heinously gutted of their very existence, having their insides drained into a bucket and their eyes lifelessly roll into the backs of their heads and yet she is the one being blamed for just being a fish. She swam into dangerous waters and should have known that he would catch her and pick her scales and flesh from the very bones to which they were attached. But still, she never questions it because being born as a fish means reaping the consequences.

You taught me never to question authority. So when the first man to tell me he loved me used the phrase as a barbed weapon to get me down on my knees, I never thought twice. When the first man to tell me he would never hurt me as my ex did, I didn't worry that he would end up taking my "no" as fuel for his engine and allowed him to go harder. I didn't think twice when my cousin who was seven years older than me told me to kiss him in awful ways and touched me in ways that were worse. Authority, ladies and gentlemen, has beaten me to a very exhausted pulp.

You taught me to never question my feelings. That I was doing just fine on my own, I didn't need any help, help was just an illusion. If you must, discuss it with your therapist. You're not sick, you're just troubled. You'll handle this on your own. Just like I handled it so well on my own two years ago when I grabbed a kitchen knife off the shelf and dug it into my arm sitting on my bedside, praying I wouldn't wake up the next morning? Just like I handled it so well on my own six months ago, when I was crouching over the toilet seat made of cheap plastic 4-7 times per day, sticking a stealthy finger down my throat and making myself throw up so I wouldn't have to feel how much I hated myself or how much grief I was in? Do you know how it feels to have stomach acid burning up the inside of your organs and gradually eating away at your esophagus on the regular? To put it simply, it hurts. But I was fine with it. And just like I'm doing just fine now, where I'm having panic attacks in front of teachers because I see my friend Briana's strawberry blonde hair and freckles, the person she was before she became a ****** addict, everywhere I go? I'm sorry, I guess that was too many questions.

Do not try to silence me. I am almost eighteen now, and asking what matters. Which means each and every one of my questions. Stop telling me my questions are not relevant, stop telling me I don't matter. I am never going away because I am important. I will not accept that I can be splattered and gutted and thrown away simply because I am just a little girl. This little girl will continue to question everything, and she will be heard. I will be heard.
Nigel Morgan Apr 2013
As he walked through the maze of streets from the tube station he wondered just how long it had been since he had last visited this tall red-bricked house. For so many years it had been for him a pied à terre. Those years when the care of infant children dominated his days, when coming up to London for 48 hours seemed such a relief, an escape from the daily round that small people demand. Since his first visits twenty years ago the area bristled with new enterprise. An abandoned Victorian hospital had been turned into expensive apartments; small enterprising businesses had taken over what had been residential property of the pre-war years. Looking up he was conscious of imaginative conversions of roof and loft spaces. What had seemed a wide-ranging community of ages and incomes appeared to have disappeared. Only the Middle Eastern corner shops and restaurants gave back to the area something of its former character: a place where people worked and lived.

It was a tall thin house on four floors. Two rooms at most of each floor, but of a good-size. The ground floor was her London workshop, but as always the blinds were down. In fact, he realised, he’d never been invited into her working space. Over the years she’d come to the door a few times, but like many artists and craftspeople he knew, she fiercely guarded her working space. The door to her studio was never left open as he passed through the hallway to climb the three flights of stairs to her husband’s domain. There was never a chance of the barest peek inside.

Today, she was in New York, and from outside the front door he could hear her husband descend from his fourth floor eyrie. The door was flung open and they greeted each other with the fervour of a long absence of friends. It had been a long time, really too long. Their lives had changed inexplicably. One, living almost permanently in that Italian marvel of waterways and sea-reflected light, the other, still in the drab West Yorkshire city from where their first acquaintance had begun from an email correspondence.

They had far too much to say to one another - on a hundred subjects. Of course the current project dominated, but as coffee (and a bowl of figs and mandarin oranges) was arranged, and they had moved almost immediately he arrived in the attic studio to the minimalist kitchen two floors below, questions were thrown out about partners and children, his activities, and sadly, his recent illness (the stairs had seemed much steeper than he remembered and he was a little breathless when he reached the top). As a guest he answered with a brevity that surprised him. Usually he found such questions needed roundabout answers to feel satisfactory - but he was learning to answer more directly, and being brief, suddenly thought of her and her always-direct questions. She wanted to know something, get something straight, so she asked  - straight - with no ‘going about things’ first. He wanted to get on with the business at hand, the business that preoccupied him, almost to the exclusion of everything else, for the last two days.

When they were settled in what was J’s working space ten years ago now he was immediately conscious that although the custom-made furniture had remained the Yamaha MIDI grand piano and the rack of samplers were elsewhere, along with most of the scores and books. The vast collection of CDs was still there, and so too the pictures and photographs. But there was one painting that was new to this attic room, a Cézanne. He was taken aback for a moment because it looked so like the real thing he’d seen in a museum just weeks before. He thought of the film Notting Hill when William Thacker questions the provenance of the Chagall ‘violin-playing goat’. The size of this Cézanne seemed accurate and it was placed in a similar rather ornate frame to what he knew had framed the museum original. It was placed on right-hand wall as he had entered the room, but some way from the pair of windows that ran almost the length of this studio. The view across the rooftops took in the Tower of London, a mile or so distant. If he turned the office chair in which he was sitting just slightly he could see it easily whilst still paying attention to J. The painting’s play of colours and composition compelled him to stare, as if he had never seen the painting before. But he had, and he remembered that his first sight of it had marked his memory.

He had been alone. He had arrived at the gallery just 15 minutes before it was due to close for the day.  He’d been told about this wonderful must-see octagonal room where around the walls you could view a particularly fine and comprehensive collection of Impressionist paintings. All the great artists were represented. One of Van Gogh’s many Olive Trees, two studies of domestic interiors by Vuillard, some dancing Degas, two magnificent Gaugins, a Seurat field of flowers, a Singer-Sergeant portrait, two Monets - one of a pair of haystacks in a blaze of high-summer light. He had been able to stay in that room just 10 minutes before he was politely asked to leave by an overweight attendant, but afterwards it was as if he knew the contents intimately. But of all these treasures it was Les Grands Arbres by Cézanne that had captured his imagination. He was to find it later and inevitably on the Internet and had it printed and pinned to his notice board. He consulted his own book of Cézanne’s letters and discovered it was a late work and one of several of the same scene. This version, it was said, was unfinished. He disagreed. Those unpainted patches he’d interpreted as pools of dappled light, and no expert was going to convince him otherwise! And here it was again. In an attic studio J. only frequented occasionally when necessity brought him to London.

When the coffee and fruit had been consumed it was time to eat more substantially, for he knew they would work late into the night, despite a whole day tomorrow to be given over to their discussions. J. was full of nervous energy and during the walk to a nearby Iraqi restaurant didn’t waver in his flow of conversation about the project. It was as though he knew he must eat, but no longer had the patience to take the kind of necessary break having a meal offered. His guest, his old friend, his now-being-consulted expert and former associate, was beginning to reel from the overload of ‘difficulties’ that were being put before him. In fact, he was already close to suggesting that it would be in J’s interest if, when they returned to the attic studio, they agreed to draw up an agenda for tomorrow so there could be some semblance of order to their discussions. He found himself wishing for her presence at the meal, her calm lovely smile he knew would charm J. out of his focused self and lighten the rush and tension that infused their current dialogue. But she was elsewhere, at home with her children and her own and many preoccupations, though it was easy to imagine how much, at least for a little while, she might enjoy meeting someone new, someone she’d heard much about, someone really rather exotic and (it must be said) commanding and handsome. He would probably charm her as much as he knew she would charm J.

J. was all and more beyond his guest’s thought-description. He had an intensity and a confidence that came from being in company with intense, confident and, it had to be said, very wealthy individuals. His origins, his beginnings his guest and old friend could only guess at, because they’d never discussed it. The time was probably past for such questions. But his guest had his own ideas, he surmised from a chanced remark that his roots were not amongst the affluent. He had been a free-jazz musician from Poland who’d made waves in the German jazz scene and married the daughter of an arts journalist who happened to be the wife of the CEO of a seriously significant media empire. This happy association enabled him to get off the road and devote himself to educating himself as a composer of avant-garde art music - which he desired and which he had achieved. His guest remembered J’s passion for the music of Luigi Nono (curiously, a former resident of the city in which J. now lived) and Helmut Lachenmann, then hardly known in the UK. J. was already composing, and with an infinite slowness and care that his guest marvelled at. He was painstakingly creating intricate and timbrally experimental string quartets as well as devising music for theatre and experimental film. But over the past fifteen years J. had become increasingly more obsessed with devising software from which his musical ideas might emanate. And it had been to his guest that, all that time ago, J. had turned to find a generous guide into this world of algorithms and complex mathematics, a composer himself who had already been seduced by the promise of new musical fields of possibility that desktop computer technology offered.

In so many ways, when it came to the hard edge of devising solutions to the digital generation of music, J. was now leagues ahead of his former tutor, whose skills in this area were once in the ascendant but had declined in inverse proportion to J’s, as he wished to spend more time composing and less time investigating the means through which he might compose. So the guest was acting now as a kind of Devil’s Advocate, able to ask those awkward disarming questions creative people don’t wish to hear too loudly and too often.

And so it turned out during the next few hours as J. got out some expensive cigars and brandy, which his guest, inhabiting a different body seemingly, now declined in favour of bottled water and dry biscuits. His guest, who had been up since 5.0am, finally suggested that, if he was to be any use on the morrow, bed was necessary. But when he got in amongst the Egyptian cotton sheets and the goose down duvet, sleep was impossible. He tried thinking of her, their last walk together by the sea, breakfast à deux before he left, other things that seemed beautiful and tender by turn . . . But it was no good. He wouldn’t sleep.

The house could have been as silent as the excellent double-glazing allowed. Only the windows of the attic studio next door to his bedroom were open to the night, to clear the room of the smoke of several cigars. He was conscious of that continuous flow of traffic and machine noise that he knew would only subside for a brief hour or so around 4.0am. So he went into the studio and pulled up a chair in front of the painting by Cézanne, in front of this painting of a woodland scene. There were two intertwining arboreal forms, trees of course, but their trunks and branches appeared to suggest the kind of cubist shapes he recognized from Braque. These two forms pulled the viewer towards a single slim and more distant tree backlit by sunlight of a late afternoon. There was a suggestion, in the further distance, of the shapes of the hills and mountains that had so preoccupied the artist. But in the foreground, there on the floor of this woodland glade, were all the colours of autumn set against the still greens of summer. It seemed wholly wrong, yet wholly right. It was as comforting and restful a painting as he could ever remember viewing. Even if he shut his eyes he could wander about the picture in sheer delight. And now he focused on the play of brush strokes of this painting in oils, the way the edge and border of one colour touched against another. Surprisingly, imagined sounds of this woodland scene entered his reverie - a late afternoon in a late summer not yet autumn. He was Olivier Messiaen en vacances with his perpetual notebook recording the magical birdsong in this luminous place. Here, even in this reproduction, lay the joy of entering into a painting. Jeanette Winterson’s plea to look at length at paintings, and then look again passed through his thoughts. How right that seemed. How very difficult to achieve. But that night he sat comfortably in J’s attic and let Cézanne deliver the artist’s promise of a world beyond nature, a world that is not about constant change and tension, but rests in a stillness all its own.
Along the thoughts that step forward then quickly leave
I keep the questions I hold in secret asleep
Breathing within the vines of all my scattered hopes
Even when lightning strikes my field of vision
These questions, I secretly keep

When the day comes I will softly smile in anticipation
The gaze of my eyes will meet your own
I will no longer wait to wake the questions I keep
In full daylight out of secret they will climb
No longer in my thoughts alone

Sometimes I hear these questions simply fading away
Beneath the green grass under my feet
Pushed completely out of my mind’s field of vision
Until the truth in my heart awakes to hear
These questions again, repeat
Copyright *Neva Flores @2011
www.changefulstormpoetry.blogspot.com
Jake Espinoza Sep 2012
Write something about nothing, call it poetry.
Quiet jet-engine speed turmoil indecision on the topic.
Silent bodies, screaming minds, communication desired and avoided
Chance glances, glimpses. Hoofing it.
Write poetry about nothing, call it something, but only in whispers to yourself, pretend to hope to be heard, have interest feigned or genuine directed your way.
        Confusion. Mingled strings of internal conversation.
        Misdirected. I can’t think crooked, focalisation se présente sideways. Self-expression in non-poetic terms seems likely. Saw girls, one on Detroit street, summer clothes and quiet face, scampered inside from the yard littered. Saw her again in the street next to a minor catastrophe, passed her by and looked.
        Let’s take a second to breathe, introduce a silence to the mind so that everything that comes can be better heard. So much background noise, minor thoughts mingle into static, almost impossible to interpret the bemused psychobabble. Empty it out, slow down, relax, and maybe you’ll begin to recognize coherent thoughts; organize the jumble of words fighting to be understood all out of order and as yet meaningless. Thoughts keep revolving, recycling; the girl, she reminded you of Melissa. Same style, a girl whose mood is always a grateful summer to your wintry perspective. Refreshing reminder, easy on the eyes. This girl’s likeness and your friend the poet, separated; his utensils. The paintbrushes he flourished about to create were not wooden and sable but liquid and smoke. That small ******* secret voice suggesting unwholesome things, acts unbefitting of brotherly conduct. He is my true brother, my family; an extension of my own soul. I went to treatment, they broke me down, whittled away at my rough hewn surface to make sculpture, a replica of others, manufactured to meet requirements and specifications deemed necessary for target successes. This talk of will, sacrificing my own, force-fed trust and mantras begetting themselves in circular fashion, turning in sync with the earth’s rotation upon its axis in its course of necessary revolution.
        Expended effort and time saved or served, goals impossible until forgotten, let go empty space ellipsis let god. Self-supplanted in unpredictable incomprehensible present, trying to avoid thoughts of crumpled papers in paper bags serving as receptacles for things undesired or abandoned or too truthful, I’m forgetting what it is to hide from myself which makes it possible to disappear. Tune in to the present, your train of thought – a queue – crowding, crowds rushed and frantic me first says everyone impatiently awaiting their turn for attention. Starved but forgotten proper nutrition. Self-criticism equating to self-analysis – spontaneity – uncontrollable, unforeseeable in the present aromatic mixture of mason jars swarmed with colored lights beautiful dim in darkness in which beer was swilled, time spent in unkempt kitchens nervous, standing walking evading settlement peace or rest, this is excitable discomfort, anything to slow down or feel a surrogate thereof. Forgotten words remembered, past rooms beautiful dim in darkness, proper illumination – see everything just right, not too brightly though not too dark. Living in this room for now, seeing as though immersed, submerged in memory of smiling faces easy laughter, cold-eyes Vera and well-at-ease. There is a wealth of self-acceptance. These people, their faces shine contentment, comfort, and mine is manufactured. I’ve become a factory where everything is sought after and nothing is attained because my goals are intangible, comprehensible but beyond aid, sorry, it’s just the way you are, maybe you’ll know one day, but we can’t help. We don’t waste our time with questions of absurdity, we live in this present moment, and that’s how we do it – no plans until plans come. No thoughts until thoughts come. Easy transitions in conversations, we don’t think of how to be ourselves, we just do it because we slow down, we know we are breathing, and it is not in our nature to forget it. It is not in our nature to live in our heads, to flail in a swell of questions less dense than water, we attend. We simply are.
        This is contentment. This is their seamless skin where mine corresponds to scars and rabid suspicious scratches dug deep. They were content with their surfaces; I was convinced of malice subcutaneous hence the scars and blood breathing open air. It is this suspicion that draws a line, places me on one side, them on another; it is this curiosity intrinsic and ironically unquestioned that digs the trenches in shape of graves. This fatal imaginary need for understanding where there is nothing to be understood. Questions are my poison, self-manufacturing, self-sufficient destruction, coming hot off the assembly line in my skull. Questions incubating further questions error: implement infinite loop, killall. Find the bug, recompile, run. Sit still, learn from the wind and atmosphere you’ve learned to sense which makes you an outsider only because you wanted this somehow. Uncertainty, confused reflection, arbitrary comments; coincidences, conspiracy, breakpoint. Programs running in smooth operation.
        Radiohead blaring, self-conscious self-care, these people enjoy themselves with unconscious grace, they let themselves be and immediately I tear my mind in two to understand what they understand without understanding. It is the nature of love and music that displays the closest correlation. These people are my idealized notion of grace, rendered more so by speed of processing, depth of analysis so that they appear not only graceful creatures, but with grace amplified as if observing them in slow-motion. So much contingent on understanding, contingency notwithstanding if I was comfortable with ignorance, if questions did not occur. These people are appropriate; balanced, no need for brutal introspection, no need to stir up sand composing the sea bed. These people, they understand certain things I cannot as of yet. They understand, they know without knowing that things are the way they are because things are the way they are and that’s ok, we’re ok, and everything is and will always be ok as long as we know well enough to leave well enough alone. We are each other, serving compliments to sainthood.
        ...let go, and be one with us, for love is in our hearts.
It took a few lines to get into it. Also, this is meant to be read aloud, somewhat intensely.
David Nelson Mar 2013
Ask Me No Questions

ask me no questions
and I will never tell you lies
don't look for cherries
inside of blackberry pies
you have all the answers
right there inside your heart
so the only question you should ask
do your words create a piece of art

ask me no questions
and the answer you will not fear
there's no need for perfection
beyond the stratosphere
for the truth lies right here
it's only a moment away
practice by loving everyone
every single solitary day

ask me no questions
unless you seek the truth
like who was that I saw you with
inside the kissing booth
if it was just your reflection
that flashed inside my eye
I must have been walking in a cloud
and now I wonder why

why don't you ask me questions
don't you want to know
how it is inside my world
a wild and crazy show
you see my mind has holes inside
and some have no way out
they lead to nowhere particular
and leave you filled with doubt

Gomer LePoet ...
a real nowhere man living in his nowhere land
Man asks questions
Therefore he thinks that he exists

No other animal asks questions
Therefore they do not exist

Existence is the question
That no one has the answer to .

God gave us the ability to ask questions
Let's not question our ability to answer too .
Louise Apr 2014
I have the same questions
to my insignificant life
I allow myself to ask them
knowing they'll cut like a knife

Will they ever be answered?
I have so much doubt
most are the same questions
circling on a roundabout

These many cunning questions
are usually about those things
that often confuse me
and keep me questioning

Frequently they're ponderings
about things that 'just are'
many travel dangerously deep
the distance, too far

Apparently I'm not grounded enough
my Chakra tells me so
I drift off into fantasy
a world I'm not supposed to go

I need this precious place
to ponder many things
I like to fantasise
it's like having wonderful wings

To think about those questions
and the interferences in my life
wondering 'outside my bubble'
a space, like the dead of night

I can question my many thoughts
and my own troubled debates
or about my already written future
Do I trust too much in fate?

Who knows about these questions
they're as close as an annoying friend
I'll continue to spend my time questioning
until my days come to a questionable end
Are there human machine learning models that could quantify  Real-World Uncertainties?
Puzzles multiplier with high dimensional questions,
questions follows questions,
mountains of Bayesian Inference measures.
Whether it be out of curiosity, or anxiety?
wonder or concern; uncertainty or doubt…
we all have questions we want answered.
Aren’t we too afraid to ask those question—
‘The Good, the Bad, the Ugly and the Way Forward’
For fear of the answer,
We more often would prefer not to know
And anyway, who can we believe, in whom can we trust?
We need to trust that whilst the life of faith is beset by doubt,
When there is faith,
wouldn’t it be
examined by uncertainties.
High dimensional machine learning

By Angel. XJ 13/06/2019
The two of us staring
At the stars in the sky
Making wishes on comets
And things that fly by

What will we be like?
Where will we live?
We will we both be successful?
Will we both take or give?

Questions unanswered
Questions not asked
Some are worth knowing
Some left in the past
Go in with eyes open
Your life will be grand
Just give it your damndest
And go lead the band

In the back of the pickup
My girlfriend and me
Make dreams upon stardust
At a quarter to three

We're out in the cornfield
In my old chevy truck
Planning out lifes direction
On a stroke of good luck

Questions unanswered
Questions not asked
Some are worth knowing
Some left in the past
Go in with eyes open
Your life will be grand
Just give it your damndest
And go lead the band

It may be a spaceship
That's come down from afar
Or we may be there wishing
On some shooting star

Our future is waiting
There'll be tough times ahead
Meeting those expectations
We made in that truck bed

Questions unanswered
Questions not asked
Some are worth knowing
Some left in the past
Go in with eyes open
Your life will be grand
Just give it your damndest
And go lead the band.
Now on twitter @titans_dad
Joel A Doetsch Dec 2012
Open your eyes, child

It's not a dull gray world you live in
See the color of life refracted through curiosity

This world is so much more than a
monotonous day to day existence

Every second of every day there are
mysteries waiting for you to solve

There are questions
burning for answers

What is that star in the night sky?
I'm glad you asked
Keep asking questions
Always ask questions

Never let up in your search for understanding
Ask the same question of different people
Question their answers
Challenge your perceptions
Keep Asking Questions

Can you?
Should you?
Why not?

Don't settle for an answer.
Find more questions.
Questions will shape your life
will alter your course
more than answers ever could

Answers are only questions that no one asks anymore
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
Alastur Berit Sep 2013
SO! Like...
there's this place called OKstupid
(OK! Cupid.)
Whatever.
You answer a set of questions to figure out,
you know
what makes you. (me?)
everyone compatible or not and you start off with this really-high-percentage-with-other-people
if you only answer like
you know
like 5 questions then... a lot of people match you.
AND if you answer like
you know
like 89 questions that percentage goes down you know
and I was thinking
we started off here at 92 percent.
We are an A in compatibility.
(Oh god.)
WE would have such great chemistry.
(Please no.)
We could probably TEACH each other a lot.
(STAHP)
I would study you like a calculus final, all night long and with a piece of wood in my
(UGH)
Anyways the questions they start off so high
such a great grade
but the further the questions go
you know
when my head starts to get all blurry
I can't think!
I freeze up,
Maybe the questions will spin out of control;
take over this whole thing,
I don't understand.
why
the more questions I answer
the lower our grade gets going.
EFFECTS OF CHILD ABUSE ON PERFORMANCE OF PRIMARY SCHOOL IN KAPYEMIT WARD, TURBO CONSTITUENCY, UASIN-GISHU COUNTY.





BY
ERICK NYAKUNDI
KIS/03013/14




A RESEARCH PROJECTSUBMITED TO THE SCHOOL OF ARTS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES, DEPARTMENT OF SOCIOLOGY AND PSYCHOLOGY IN THE PARTIAL FULFILMENT FOR THE AWARD OF THE DEGREE OF BACHELOR OF SOCIOLOGY



MAY, 2014

DECLARATION

I, the undersigned, declare that this project is my original work and that it has not been presented in any other university or institution for academic credit.

Signature...............................................­..... Date...................................
ERICK NYAKUNDI
KIS/03013/14






SUPERVISOR
This project has been submitted for examination with my approval as university supervisor
DR. W. O. ABUYA
Signature..................................................­.. Date....................................




DEDICATION
I dedicate this work to my Dad, Mom, my sister Lydia and my lovely brother Dun who contributed in one way or another to make this project to be successful.


















ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
I would like to thank all individuals who contributed and sacrificed their time towards completion of this project.
To my supervisor, for the guidance and support in the development of this research project, His advice and criticism made this project what it is.
Thanks to colleagues and friends for their suggestions, advice and encouragement. To all of you may God bless you abundantly for your tireless effort.

TABLE OF CONTENTS
Contents Page
DECLARATION i
DEDICATION ii
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT iii
TABLE OF CONTENTS iv
LIST OF TABLES vii
LIST OF FIGURE viii
ABSTRACT ix
CHAPTER ONE 10
STUDY OVERVIEW AND STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM 10
1.1 Background of the Study 10
1.2 Research Questions 13
1.3 Research Objectives 13
1.4 Justification of the Study 13
1.5 Significance of the Study 14
1.6 Scope of the Study 15
1.6.1Assumptions of the Study 16
CHAPTER TWO 17
LITERATURE REVIEW 17
2.1 Introduction 17
2.2 Common Forms of Child Abuse 17
2.2.1 Child ****** Abuse 17
2.2.2 Physiological or Emotional Abuse 17
2.2.3 Physical Abuse 18
2.2.4 Child Neglect or Abandonment 18
2.2.4.1 Physical Neglect 19
2.2.4.2 Educational Neglect 19
2.2.4.3 Medical Neglect 19
2.2.5 Child Fatalities 20
2.3 How Child Abuse Affects Academic Performance 20
2.3.1 Child Abuse and Academic Performance 20
2.3.2 Child Abuse and School Image 23
2.3.3 Child Abuse and Dropout Rate 25
2.4 Strategies that Schools can Employ to Curb Child Abuse 26
2.4.1 Role of Public Regulation 26
2.4.1.1 Nurturing and Attachment 27
2.4.1.2 Social Connections 27
2.5 Theoretical Framework 27
2.5.1 Learning Theory 28
2.5.1.1 Relationship with the Study 28
2.5.2 Family Dysfunction Theory 29
2.5.2.1 Relationship with the Study 29
CHAPTER THREE 30
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODOLOGY 30
3.0 Introduction 30
3.1 Site Description 30
3.2 Research Design 30
3.3.1 Target Population 30
3.3.2 Sample Size and Sampling Procedure 31
3.4 Description of Research Instruments 32
3.4.1 Research Instrument 32
3.4.1.1 Questionnaire 32
3.5 Data Collection Procedure 32
3.5.1 Validity and Reliability of Research Instruments 33
3.5.1.1 Reliability of Research Instruments 33
3.5.1.2 Validity 33
3.6 Data Analysis and Presentation 33
CHAPTER FOUR 35
DATA PRESENTATION AND ANALYSIS 35
4.0 Introduction 35
4.1 Background Information 35
4.1.1 Age of the Respondents 35
4.1.2 *** of the Respondents 35
4.1.3 Education Level of the Respondents 36
4.1.4 Marital Status 36
4.2 Specific Information 37
4.2.1 Effects of Child Abuse on Academic Performance 37
4.2.2 How Child Abuse Affects Dropout Rate of Students in School 38
4.2.3 Proposed Strategies that Schools can Employ to Curb Child Abuse 41
CHAPTER FIVE 43
SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS 43
5.0 Introduction 43
5.1 Summary of the findings 43
5.2 Discussion of the Findings 44
5.3 Conclusion 45
5.4 Recommendations 46
REFERENCES 47

LIST OF TABLES & FIGURES
Table 3.1 Target population 32
Table 3.1 Sample size 33
Table 4.1 Age of the Respondents 36
Table 4.2 *** of the Respondents 37
Table 4.3 Education Level of the Respondents 37
Table 4.4 Marital Status 38
Table 4.5 Effects of Child Abuse on Academic Performance 38
Table 4.6 How Child Abuse Affects Dropout Rate of Students in School 40
Figure 4.1 Views of the Pupils on Abuse 41
Table 4.7 Proposed Strategies that Schools can Employ to Curb Child Abuse 42





















ABSTRACT
Child abuse is the physical, ****** or emotional maltreatment or neglect of a child or children. The consequences of child maltreatment can be profound and may endure long after the abuse or neglect occurs. The purpose of the study was to investigate the effect of child abuse on school performance in Primary Schools in Kapyemit ward, Uasin-Gishu County. The objectives of the study were: To assess the impacts of child abuse on academic performance; to determine the effects of child abuse on schools image, to identify the impacts of child abuse on pupil drop out rate, to investigate the effects of child abuse on pupil transition rate. The study employed a survey study design. The study targeted 160 respondents which includes; 5 Head Teachers, 40 Teachers, 70 Pupils and 35 parents of which a sample size of 48 was obtained from using 30%. Purposive sampling technique was used in selecting the head teachers while simple random sampling technique will be used to select the teachers, Pupils and parents who formed the respondents of the study. Questionnaires and interview schedules were used as data collection instruments. Data was analyzed quantitatively and qualitatively and presented in form of tables, percentages and frequency. The study helped in the understanding of the effects of child abuse on the school performance, the realization of the roles parents and teachers play in the curbing of child abuse among pupils and raising awareness on the same.

CHAPTER ONE
STUDY OVERVIEW AND STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
1.1 Background of the Study
Child abuse is the physical, ****** or emotional maltreatment or neglect of a child or children. The consequences of child maltreatment can be profound and may endure long after the abuse or neglect occurs. The effects can appear in childhood, adolescence, or adulthood, and may affect various aspects of an individual's development (e.g., physical, cognitive, psychological, and behavioral). These effects range in consequence from minor physical injuries, low self-esteem, attention disorders, and poor peer relations to severe brain damage, extremely violent behavior, and death. In extreme cases, child abuse affects the performance of schools in the affected region (Daniel, 1978).
Performance refers to how students deal with their academic studies and how they cope with or accomplish different tasks given to them by their teachers. Performance is also the ability of a school to portray a good image which can influence the public (Decastro, 1978). There are several factors that influence the performance of a school at large, however, there is a critical factor that most researchers have avoided to discuss, and child abuse has been a crucial factor that has contributed to children’s dismal performance. Apart from children’s personal intelligence, child abuse is among then key factors contributing to poor performance of learners. Child abuse can lead to school dropping, emotional trauma or can even be fatal, hence destructing or even terminating the educational ambitions of a child. (Harris, 2005)
Worldwide, according to World Health Organization (WHO, 2000) approximately 40 million children are subjected to child abuse each year. According to Human Rights Watch (2001) about 30% of all severely disabled children relegated to special homes in the Ukraine died before they reached 18 years of age. UNICEF estimates that two million children died as a result of armed conflict during a recent 10-year period and that another six million were injured or disabled. In Canada, the U.S. and Mexico, over 6.5 million children annually are exposed to unwanted ****** materials over the internet; over 1.7 million of these report distress over exposure to these materials. In the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Department for Children and Families (DCF) define child maltreatment as any act or series of acts of commission or omission by a parent or other caregiver that results in harm, potential for harm, or threat of harm to a child. Child abuse can occur in a child's home, or in the organizations, schools or communities the child interacts with. Each year, approximately one million children around the world are introduced into commercial ****** exploitation despite this problem; these developed countries have put measures to curb the vice. Rehabilitation schools have been formed and introduction of counseling centers as well. Despite the prevalence of child abuse in this developed nations they narrowly affect the academic performance since there are organizations put in place to curb the situation e.g. child associations, guidance and counseling institutions, and school based counseling programs (Giles, 2001)
Concern for victims of child abuse in Africa expressed by the African network of the International Society for The Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (ISPCAN) which gave five main presentations of child abuse: child labor, street wandering, ****** abuse, child battering and abandonment (Elma, 1977). Child labor according to the international labor organization (ILO), about 10 million children less than 15years in Africa are in formal employment, working long hours with poor pay and are exposed to substantial health hazards. Wandering of children refers to children, usually unkempt and with delinquent propensities, living rough in town. The reasons for children taking to the street remain poorly understood particularly in relation to factors in the child rather than parental hostility and economic (Dubowitz, 2002)
****** abuse is another. For example, arranged under-age marriages are common in some parts of the continent and doubt was often expressed as to whether a young girl fully gave consent to being betrothed (Galdsone, 1965). Prevalence rates in Africa are very difficult to ascertain because of the fear of disclosure by victims and lack of proper documentation. Most of the girls by reasons of shame fear or surprisingly respect for their usually older perpetrators. Physical battering is also eminent. Physical abuse of children is widely claimed to berate in the third world; however, there are anecdotes from east Africa skeletal frame or localized body areas of all first attendees aged 0-12 years at this hospital during the four-year period 1 January 1987 to 31 December 1990 (Garbarino, 1975). Sixty-nine of these reports reveals evidence of multiple bone fractures wither without evidence of rib or skull fracture. Abandonment of children to roam around the streets in what we call street children is also eminent in Africa, though valid and adequate information on abandonment are difficult to obtain due mainly to failure of offending parents to show up out of guilt, shame, judicial repercussions or a combination of these. However, some euro-American missionaries identified inter alia breech birth. (Erickson, 2003)
Child protection measures in Kenya are currently not implemented effectively and fully (Galdstone, 1965). Compliance with such legislation would increase if the magnitude of the problem and better knowledge about the factors that put children at risk was available. Additionally, involving stakeholders, especially agencies charged with protection, as well as involving affected children, will highlight the issues and thereby promote adherence to protection policies. Kenyan children, child activists and children organizations are pinning their hopes on the implementation of the Children’s Act to improve the lot of the nation’s youth. The Act, which came into effect on 1 March 2002, puts in place full safeguards for the rights of the child. Its passage was a giant stride in harmonizing the national laws with international agreements which Kenya has signed such as the UN Conventions on the Rights of the Child (CRC, 2002)
There is hope that the new legislation will dramatically change the inattention, neglect and abuse towards child rights. The Act outlaws any form discrimination of children, and forbids Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), child prostitution, and child labor, among other forms of abuse. The Children’s Act has immensely improved the lives of many Kenyan children plagued with high illiteracy levels, frequent **** cases and child labor since it guarantees children the right to health and medical care, provision of which is the responsibility of the parents, the extended family and the government (Erickson, 2005).
Cases of child abuse in Uasin-Gishu region have been so eminent in the recent years ((Kenya Media Report, 2004). In the year 2010 and the year 2011, there was a program started to rehabilitate this behavior. This problem is clearly evident when you first arrive in Eldoret town, it is among the towns in the country with the highest number of abandoned children who keep on moving from one Centre to another seeking help from passersby. Parents have developed behaviors of abandoning their children and deliberately sending them to the town so that they can benefit from their borrowing. So to say this has led to child labor in this region. High profile cases of school dropouts have been recorded regarding the environs of this region. Young school children from different locations in Eldoret converge in town to persuade people to offer them financial assistance. Some attend school in numbered days and decide to spend some good number of days out of school.
The communities and societies around tend to assume this situation and term it as norm. A few who might seem concerned lack cooperation from the rest. This has adversely affected the performance of most of schools, hence leading to poor living standards of the people and a poisoned future of a young citizen. The problem has affected learners in regions like many areas in Uasin-Gishu County. It has really affected child development and affected their attendance and performance in school. Little intervention measures has been taken to advocate the holistic development of the children. It was to this reason that the researcher conducted the research in the named above region
1.2 Research Questions
The study was guided by the following questions;
1) What is the effect of child abuse on the academic performance of students in Kapyemit Ward?  
2) What are some of the proposed strategies that schools can employ to curb child abuse?
1.3 Research Objectives
The study was guided by the following research objectives;
1) To identify the effect of child abuse on the academic performance of students in Kapyemit Ward.
2) To identify proposed strategies that can be employed to help curb child abuse.
1.4 Justification of the Study
It is becoming increasingly difficult to separate child abuse prevention into separate categories. For instance, strategies on the societal level include increasing the “value” of children, increasing the economic self-sufficiency of families, discouraging corporal punishment and other forms of violence, making health care more accessible and affordable, expanding and improving coordination of social services, improving the identification and treatment of psychological problems and alcohol and drug abuse, providing more affordable child care and preventing the birth of unwanted children.
Very little analysis has been done to estimate the total cost of preventing child abuse and neglect or the long-term social costs of not preventing it. There is now a move to situate child abuse and neglect within the continuum of intervention which addresses multiple aspects of family behaviors. The efficacy of tackling portions of the problem of child abuse apart from broader societal needs is not known. And, perhaps prevention can only come in tandem with efforts to reduce poverty, improve health care and make children’s issues a national priority. However, despite these constraints, evaluations of prevention programs can be improved by coming to terms with definitions of key varia
Amelia Jo Anne Jan 2014
i am a woman who hasn't gotten over her girlhood strifes. i am alive in conflict & chaos; when storms still i tremble. i struggle with questions of my own importance. if i am your leaning post, why do i feel so alone? i am one ocean with many seas, rivers, harbours & waterfalls - each with their own names. i am not of this realm, yet my father calls me worldly. i struggle with questions of my own identity. if everyone sees me as one solid being, why do i feel so broken? i am a lover of opposites, of balanced scales, of reflections: black & white, girls & boys, sea & sky, everything & nothing, always & never. the sometimes, the somewhat, the earth, transvestites, grey zones: they don't sit well with me. & yet i am spokesperson for the exceptions (i before e, except after c. using drugs to have *** with people is assault, except for ******. i only like to write with black pens, except when I want to use a pencil. i only drink black coffee, except when I crave a double-double. i only **** girls, except when i need a ****). each girl has her own firm resolve, that is contradicted with another's opinions: my whole existence is self-hypocrisy. i struggle with questions of conflicts in my own interest. if i am decided, why do i peer with longing at the other options? i am a planner, an organizer, a sorter: i put my problems in piles. i am erratic, scatterbrained & impulsive. i use my abilities to try to outsmart my destructive tendencies; to try & balance the scales. my flighty adventures often win over my obsessive habits. i struggle with questions of my own intent. if i am scared of commitment, why do i keep promising?
ah, rhetoric

http://imma-duck.deviantart.com/
Kally May 2013
two days into it,
already tip-toeing across creaking floors
and keeping eyes down to avoid confrontations.
all mom does is cry, argue, complain,
and i'm here to clean up the mess,
to agree with her, to make it all better.

two days into it,
already missing my support system
and my best friends to make me laugh.
i work out, but mom questions my reasoning.
i eat a snack, but mom questions calories.
i watch a show, but mom questions my scheduling abilities.
i do something as simple as lay down,
   and mom questions my productivity.

i am seen as a drain on this family because
i am working on fixing myself.

questions upon questions that i have no answer to:
when am i going to work,
when is my group counseling,
when do i have volleyball,
how will i pay tuition,
how will i pay rent,
why am i changing my major,
how do i feel about people i haven't even
   talked to in months,
am i going to mail him the necklace
   i thought was lost,
am i depressed am i suicidal am i cutting.

mom i just don't have answers for you.
and i think it's about time you stopped asking.
Ete Dec 2011
Heaven and Hell don't really exist.

Heaven and Hell are Both states of Mind.

Humanity created this believe that when "you" die, you either go to heaven or you go to hell;
But this believe is simply a creation of the religious intent to control people while they are alive.

They say that if you don't do this and that, if you don't behave in this way or that, then the punishment will be hell.
But that if you bahave this way and that, then you will be rewarded with heaven.

Both heaven and hell have kept humanity in a kind of prison,
because they have created  fear  in you while you are alive.

There is the fear of going to hell and the fear of not going to heaven.

Only the person who does not Believe is free of fear.

To this person, heaven and hell have no power over;
Because he knows his Self and therefor knows that Mind is simply a very complicated tool that helps the Self function in the world of form.

Which is why:
Heaven and hell can only disturb the one who has not gone beyond Mind.
Heaven and hell can only disturb the one who is still IN the Mind.

And of course:
The ones who are still in the Mind can not make sense of what it means to NOT be in the Mind.
Because everything that they see, including this statement, is seen from the point of view of the Mind -
and from the point of view of the Mind one can not see the Mind because it IS the Mind that is looking.

So:
In order to see the Mind, one has to look from the point of view of Pure Conscious Awareness ( Real Self ),
which in other words is the point of view of God.

Heaven and hell have been a device that a part of humanity have used in order to control another part of humanity.

Both the governments and the religions have been teaming up on this intention of controlling others.


When a person dies, if he or she has not lived a conscious life and therefor has not attained the Goal of Life, he or she will simply be born to live another life.

Death does not bring heaven nor hell.

In fact:
Heaven and hell are and can only be while alive.
They are ideas and therefor can only be thought about..

We have said:
For one to go to hell, one has to sin.
And for one to go to heaven, one has to not sin.

If while alive a person has sinned, these being severe sins, like for example those of ******, that person will not go to hell because there is no hell in Truth. In Truth, that person will simply be born again either in an animals body or in a humans body with some kind of misfurtune, such as disabilities and abnormal conditions.
For example, if you have really committed a crime that goes against nature in one life-time, then the consequences of the next life-time can and will be one of many. A person can be born blind, deaf, mute, ect. A person can be born without a body part or with a physical or mental illness/disease.

If a person has not committed any horrible crimes during life-time that go against nature and has been a good person, he will not go to heaven either because there is no heaven in Truth. In Truth, you can be good or bad, but if you have not attained the Goal of Life, which is to become conscious of your Real Self, of who you Truly are, whether you have been good or bad does not make much difference - you will again be born into another body and according to the karma that you carry, which builds from the actions of the present life, will be chosen the circumstances of your next life.

But you will not go to any heaven or any hell because these both are simply creations of the fantasies and imagination of the Human Mind.

Now, heaven and hell still have power over some people because these are the people who are still not aware of their Real Self.

In other words:
Not every-body has gone beyond the Mind, trascended the Mind, into the Ultimate Realization of the Self.

So simply for the joy of expressing myself i say that Both Heaven and Hell are not real but just states of Mind.
Just ideas - believes - thoughts.

The Real Goal of Life is not to go to heaven and not go to hell, the Real Goal of Life is to attain Self-Realization.
Which in other words is to discover, or better said, to re-discover,  your True Self.
To know the Truth of your Self.

To those who do not know,
heaven then is just a hope that keeps one feeling safe in ones own ignorance of death and Truth.


To be born in this world right now one has no other choice but to recieve all the information that has been created by humanity.

And because there is so much information, there will come a point in every-ones life in which he or she will forget what is true and what is not true.

If that person does not have the courage to go in search of Truth, then he or she will simply believe and hope that there is a heaven and therefor there is safety guranteed after death.

This desire to be safe after death exists because of the ignorance of ones own life.

Because one does not know their Real Self, one does not know what is to happen when the body can no longer sustain life.

And the only reason why all false ideas have prevailed is because you have not prevailed in discovering your own Truth.

You have been possessed by the ideas that have been imposed on the Mind, and you have not been able to re-gain control.

You have believed in what ever believes and ideas you have heard and you have lost connection with Truth.

In order to re-gain connection with Truth, you have to go beyond all believes, beyond heaven and hell.

And in order to go beyond all believes, you have to silence the Mind;
Because as long as the Mind is compulsively bringing believes and ideas to your Self, you will remain un-connected with Truth.

As long as there exists ANY question within you, you have not known Truth.

The Goal of Life is to get rid of all questions;
And remember that all questions are of the Mind.

Only the Mind can question and only the Self can have the True answer.

Remember:
The Real answer to all questions is NOT of the Mind but of the Self.

All answers of the Mind are false and these will only bring more questions.

Remember:
Your True Self is not the Mind;
The Mind is only a part of your Self.

The Mind, when in search of Truth, will ask all the questions that it can ask and the final question will be:

Who Am I?

"Who Am I?" is the question that begins the journey towards your True Self.

First Mind will ask:
"What is all of this outside of me?"

Then,
When Mind has questioned everything outside of you,
the deepest question will finally come:

Who Am I?

And remember:
Only when Mind has questioned all that it can question will it question Itself,
and here you begin to move closer to your Self.

Enlightenment, Nirvana, is when Mind has asked the final question, Who Am I?
and You have answered:

I Am God.

And when you have answered the final answer, I Am God, it will not be Mind answering.

In fact:
This answer will not really be answered;
It will be known.


"Who Am I?" will be the last question because you will now be looking at the Mind from and AS the Self, instead of looking from the Mind, believing Mind to be the Self.

Here you will come to know that you are That which is watching the question happen in the Mind,
and in this moment you will know that you ARE the answer, simply because you are the Silence that answers the question, not with words, but with Knowing.

Remember this:
If the answer is to be the Real answer, the answer will not consist of any words or symbols;
If the answer is to be the Real answer, the answer will be your own Self-Realization.

And so:
The question "Who Am I?" can only be answered by You because it will take you directly to Your Self.

The question will take you from Mind - to - Pure Consciousness, Pure Awareness, Pure Silence, God.


This process of Self-Realization goes through the huge maze that the Mind is, to explore and question the whole universe, to finally get out of the maze, knowing everything that can and has to be known.

The Mind has labeled the whole universe and though the Self/God can be labeled and talked about, It can not fully/totally be expressed with words;
It can only be fully/totally known by Being It.


The question "Who Am I?" will be the final question.

Real Peace and Bliss are attained when the answer to this question is known by You and when there is no other question left in You.
emmaline Apr 2016
Today I woke up early and I thought it was important! I thought today would be a day for me to do things that were worth it. I woke up early and I tried hard. I walked around and I asked people questions. I tried to ask questions that were important. I looked at people into their eyes and I tried to actually be present. I ate food and I saw things. It's hard for me to wake up sometimes, actually all the times. I never really want to wake up. I try hard and I work hard but I always forget to ask people questions. I'm not always present. When people are around me and my eyes are open I don't look into their eyes. I don't often think about food and I think eating is inconvenient. I guess I thought today I'd pretend all those things were important. So I woke up early today, I woke up early can you believe it? I woke up early because today waking up was important! I walked around and I asked people questions! I looked at them in their eyes and only saw my reflection. I wished I hadn't woken up early when they walked right past me and didn't answer my questions. I tried eating and pretending that it was convenient, that eating was important. The food tasted like the lie I knew it was; with each bite I felt like I was more a fraud, an actor, an imposter. As if I was someone who could believe I was important. As if I was someone who woke up early and looked at people in the eyes and asked them questions. As if I was someone who felt like a time for food was convenient. Maybe I'm a liar, maybe I'm something more. Maybe people didn't see the truth in my eyes when I met them at their core. Maybe I didn't need to wake up early to have time to focus my gaze. Maybe I don't need to ask people questions to make them see that I'm awake. Maybe none of these things are needed to validate that I'm important. Maybe I'm the one that needs to realize I'm worth it.
it didn’t take a lot a look a few words a few more looks bam not that any girl stuck around and so it was on to the next nothing is precious everything is possible forget what you know leave the road behind invent dance new dance cough spit breathe dance verbs multiplying gazillions of verbs stars what is it about art in my mind i hear all these things i was going to express all these itches scratch pick scabs get drunk write poetry dance ******* in your mouth ******* in my mouth salty sea surfing waves Caravaggio Courbet Turner Goya Ad Reinhardt Rothko Rimbaud Johnny Unitas Walter Payton Annie Proulx Patty Berglund Hannah Wilke Kim Gordon dark clouds rainbows meteor showers lantern licorice amethyst bone

in the end it’s you and your maker ashes to ashes dust to dust Mom questions it’s 4:30 PM December in Chicago and pitch black i don’t understand it’s not supposed to be this dark this cold she imagines a past that never existed events never occurred

these old bones rattle and shake tremble and quake quiver and ache

it will be daylight soon and i am unprepared so terribly unfit for a new dawn suddenly realize tomorrow is today

these old bones rattle and shake tremble and quake quiver and ache

when people die in masses is it any less lonely more comforting than when you die individually or is dying solitary for everyone

these old bones rattle and shake tremble and quake quiver and ache

redemption is a powerful force but what if existence actually does not present second chances and we must live with the consequence of our mistakes

these old bones rattle and shake tremble and quake quiver and ache

if there is an afterlife do i have any say in it or are we all merely lost baggage tossed from airport to airport

these old bones rattle and shake tremble and quake quiver and ache

what if travelers at airports were met with welcoming arms shared stories food instead of suspicion body scanners separation boarding seating procedures

these old bones rattle and shake tremble and quake quiver and ache

i built a magnificent sandcastle with wide open rooms interesting views spacious bathrooms huge kitchen secret places winding stairways auspicious towers swinging rope bridges welcoming gates but the tide washed it all away

these old bones rattle and shake tremble and quake quiver and ache

i cry yet know not why am i a ***** i must take the goose by the neck whatever that means

these old bones rattle and shake tremble and quake quiver and ache

speaking personally i’m never interested in the last bite only the first bite the middle tastes rather bland all chewing gulping automatic consumption talking swallowing stifling gases

these old bones rattle and shake tremble and quake quiver and ache

horses mate with donkeys then out comes mules yet mules cannot propagate nature is so strange mysterious what is it about the attraction between donkeys and horses

these old bones rattle and shake tremble and quake quiver and ache

2 gorgeous petite charming sweet young girls are subletting my place in Tucson i imagine ménage à trios or relationship with either one of them then realized how improper my thoughts will i ever learn

these old bones rattle and shake tremble and quake quiver and ache

Reiko likes hanging out naked if the door is locked and they’re in for the evening she strips Reiko is one of those women who look better without clothes the curls under her arms are growing in dark thick her bush is filling out even her **** is hidden by silky brown hairs he cannot stop checking her out she pretends not to be aware as she trims her toenails he leers **** your cooch looks tasty Odys i like that you can speak crude to me he murmurs you really like that she answers yes i really like that he sees himself in her he is deep in sleep wakes by her hand pulling his hand down to her ***** bone he stirs confused in half sleep as she continues tugging his hand Odysseus realizes what Reiko wants it is 3 AM he touches her there warm distended begins to massage wetness gushes moves down bed puts face there she presses pumping grinding whispering repeatedly i want to *** so bad his mouth tongue breath work her hands grip his head push unyielding muscles stiffen arch shudder continues licking until her body lies still crawls up kisses her forehead hair bodies spoon fall to sleep in the morning he comments you were a naughty little girl last night Reiko grins answers i had an orangutan attack he questions an orangutan attack she confesses yeah they both laugh he has never known a woman so fierce urgent to ****** Reiko has a man’s libido she reminds him of himself they mimic each other hearing Reiko speak Odysseus’s own words back at him and visa versa convey how demanding insecure insensitive each can be to other they do not simply speak but mimic each other Reiko ‘s voice drops to low pitch as she grabs his buns kids hey Reiko Lee what do you think about us wiping each other’s butts we could become more intimate with our bodies Odysseus raises his voice sounding feminine replies Schwartzpilgrim you’re gross take a hike it is hilarious yet intuitive therapy that maintains level playing field neither allows other to be too weak or dominant

these old bones rattle and shake tremble and quake quiver and ache

it is Sunday snowing blizzard freezing cold outside Odysseus sits on floor watching Bear’s football game at Reiko’s she sits naked paging through Art Forum magazine across sofa from him he hears her crunching on bag of barbecue potato chips during half time he reaches touches her bush runs fingers through her ***** hairs twirling them in his fingers she spreads her legs wide open he smells her hair breath perspiration ****** *** feet feels both repelled and attracted he is lost in fascination gently tugs on her lips slides finger inside massages probes her opening she directs him to kneel stands above him her arms at waist her pelvic bone in his face she orders **** it **** it good he follows her instruction **** my ***** she commands as she holds his head in hands her long skinny body thrusts hips forward Reiko presses gently pumping then more furious rough into Odysseus’s face ooohhh i’m going to shoot a load baby swallow my *** she shoves ***** bone into his face bangs his nose hard yet he remains ******* her legs thighs stomach muscles tremble oh oooohhhhh ohh Odys did you see that i came just like a guy oh Odys i loved that he wipes mouth laughs

these old bones rattle and shake tremble and quake quiver and ache

a person’s sexuality is always in question how one interprets his or her own ****** persona relative to another person’s personality response ratio how one’s power measures reacts to another’s vulnerabilities strengths Odysseus and Reiko fit well together switching roles in impulsive volley he loves her masculinity the unpredictable equation of their love he teases Reiko Lee i’m so attracted to the tomboy in you i want to **** you off and let you **** me come over here and stick that fat hard **** in my pink little **** hole all the frustration rage pain pent up inside you i want you to harness that hurt and slam it into me and shoot your load all over me **** me good Reiko Lee she looks at him strange says you’re a weird bird Schwartzpilgrim how weird do you think he asks her voice takes on a creepy overruling tone Odys, you want me to fist-******* he snaps shut up Reiko Lee get out of here she runs fingers through hair breathes out through nose taunts Odys let me ******* a ***** and ******* in the *** Odysseus’s voice grows loud Reiko Lee you’re crossing the line just because i mention some crazy thought doesn’t mean i’m actually into such weirdness don’t try to take what i say to some sound conclusion i enjoy experimenting but i’m one hundred percent male i like to test limits because i’m secure in my manhood spicing our *** life with ***** fantasies is one thing but don’t overstep i got the **** and you got the ***** let’s keep it that way don’t mess with me she replies ok ok Odys i didn’t mean to offend you

these old bones rattle and shake tremble and quake quiver and ache

often he personifies the lead and she interprets the willing or amendable he requests many ****** urges she for the most part eagerly fulfills yet knowing his desires run over the top he considerately concedes to her sensibility he asserts rule number 1 Reiko Lee please let me have my way with you ok please try to not refuse me she smiles consents ok Odys and i want the same from you he insists rule number 2 repeat after me i’m addicted to your ***** i’m codependent on your **** she repeats i’m addicted to your ***** Odys i’m codependent on your **** he challenges rule number 3 at least one ******* a day agreed? She answers yes Odys agreed later he thinks about their conversation approaches her Reiko Lee sometimes i need more than one ******* a day maybe one in the morning and one after you get home from work i need your adoring attention down there will you do that for me please she shoots sarcastic look at him what are you a cow that needs milking everyday all right Odys whatever you desire he gratefully acknowledges Reiko Lee you’re so good to me thank you next morning he says Reiko Lee when i think about you the first image that comes to mind is your eyes i love your eyes more than any other part of you she comments oh yeah more than my **** hole? he flinches surprised oh god i can’t believe you said that you are so outrageous Reiko Lee you have got the sexiest **** hole i’ve ever seen i love adore revere your hairy **** hole when are you going to let me get some of that she remarks we’ll see Schwartzpilgrim in due time the following morning he notices bathroom door is wide open peering inside he sees her sitting on toilet she looks up smiling as he nears he questions which are you doing peeing or ******* she answers why do you need to know he requests lift up and let me watch she raises her thighs knees legs curling toes on toilet seat her **** muscles pucker then a brown extent begins appearing from her hole her vaginal lips flare urethra presses as short spurt of ***** accompanies discharge the ***** length drops into bowl followed by smaller piece Odysseus perceives the action produced by her body as intimate natural expression occurring without contrivance manipulation he studies the form as if it were a sculptural object descended into water to bottom of bowl Reiko reaches for roll of toilet tissue he interrupts **** she answers let me wipe myself first it reeks in here you mean watching me taking a **** turns you on you are one sick monkey he says shut up and **** she follows his instruction after several minutes he pulls out of her mouth jerks off while she watches he shoots wildly on her chin neck chest she rubs his ***** on her ******* they both break out in laughter she says come on let’s take a shower together she begins speaking sentence he finishes it she says Odys i’m not comfortable with more than he breaks in one ******* a day i understand Reiko Lee she expresses thank you Odys one is enough agreed he replies ok ok

these old bones rattle and shake tremble and quake quiver and ache

a week passes Saturday evening she comes from work to his place with stressed look on her face she falls back into wall on floor with her legs stretched out she asks got anything to eat he answers a couple of beers in the fridge her brow furrows as she speaks in low tone Odys i’m guessing there’s something seriously wrong with you he questions wrong with me huh what she comments your physique is weird your shoulder blades and rib cage stick out you’ve got a sunken sternum he answers yeah i know it’s not really a problem more like natural peculiarities she says yeah well you’ve got other peculiarities he asks oh yeah like what she remarks i’ve never known or heard of a man who gets hard as often as you it’s deviant you’ve got some kind of disorder you need to go see a doctor he admits i know i got a problem my libido is out of control it’ll calm down it’s been a long time since i felt so hot for someone do you really think it’s serious enough to go see a doctor she answers serious enough to insist you bone me once a day he laughs Reiko Lee you had me going she grins get over here you ***** ******* and **** me good Reiko’s favorite way to ****** is with her legs closed tight she lies beneath while his ******* presses in pumping her thighs buttocks squeeze stomach muscles tense whole body jerks spasms as she reaches ****** Odysseus’s favorite position is with Reiko on top he likes her rhythms and control

these old bones rattle and shake tremble and quake quiver and ache

when Michael Vick was found guilty for dog fighting mauling cruel killing i wanted him dead dead dead but he is a brilliant quarterback and i was wrong who am i to understand another person’s background judge them maybe there is redemption

these old bones rattle and shake tremble and quake quiver and ache

if another war comes it’s China we must fight to hate fear them run hide

these old bones rattle and shake tremble and quake quiver and ache

it’s a long twisted road down a dark cold hole many are too damaged others work toward salvation yet some unscathed by all this filth

these old bones rattle and shake tremble and quake quiver and ache

on the brighter side death gets a bad rap by mortals think positive perhaps death is graduation to whatever at worst death is release from life’s disappointments expectations responsibilities burdens betrayals pain horrors

these old bones rattle and shake tremble and quake quiver and ache

i remember when Dad was dying all these new people who i still remember entered my life for a brief time it seems like the same thing is happening now

these old bones rattle and shake tremble and quake quiver and ache

Mom i’m right here behind you don’t be scared i’m watching out for you

these old bones rattle and shake tremble and quake quiver and ache
Raven Feb 2019
Questions here

Questions there

Questions in my head

Questions in my heart

Questions tearing me apart

About john

Then Paxton

Then others

John
Why don't you love me?
Why dont you want me?
Have I ever hurt you?
Am I too much?
Do you like them?
Why do you wanna do stuff with me?
Are you moving on?

Paxton
Will you always love me?
Are you losing feelings?
Why do you talk about others so much now?
Am I too clingy?
Am I too jealous?
Are you lying?
Why are you less honest?

To the others
Did you ever like me?
Why don't you ever talk to me anymore?
Now that I've left am I just a memory?
Do you see me or just my broken?
Am I a person or a scar and a cut?
Why don't you notice?

To myself
Why do you do this?
Why can't I eat?
Why can't I feel?
Why do I switch?
Why do I smile when I cry inside?
Why am I always pretending?
Why do I love so easily?
Whats wrong with me?
Leave me be
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
What is it for and in the questions you ask
is it hard easy or even a forbidden task
what is it  that we all are looking for
does it leave us lonely wanting or longing for more
how long have i been searching longing to see
something inside me wanting to be
why are we here what makes us be
are we in the ocean or lost somewhere at sea
what of the touch youve been want to feel
something so precious you could not steal
what are the questions you have been meaning to ask
what will it take to complete this task
how many times are you willing to try
or will you give up and let life pass you by
what of this notion that we call pride
when do you know or even how to decide
how many pieces is it that can you leave
before the last one is left and you long to believe
what about the music you want to write
but the words some how dont seem right
how did the world ever get so wrong
why is it we let it go so long
how many people do you call friend
how many are still with you in the end
what of the angel that heaven will send
where is she so my heart can mend
what are the secrets that we all keep
hiding them safe alone and deep
why the need to lie decieve and confuse
try walking in the other one's shoes
how many moments does it take to define
the one thats important and is there a sign
are they hopes or shall we call them dreams
sometimes a reality or so it seems
the first real kiss can you remember the day
did it leave you speechless with nothing to say
those special moments that keep us alive
we call it courage it gives us the drive
questions questions they are always there
will they be unanswered or do we care
to not have loved might be the greatest fear
or maybe its just long time i had a beer
poesuer Feb 2015
You are like the night sky

You are dark and scary and hold secrets that humanity must never know

People will glance and see such beauty,

People will stare and question everything at the sight of you

They will question why they even matter anymore if such beauty can exist with them not needed

You hold answers to questions we cannot even think of
and questions that we are too afraid to ask

You give us questions of why does anything even have meaning anymore?

Meaning means nothing in the presence of you

It will take great thinkers millennia to be able to describe and define you

Yet you can not be defined still- you are an enigma after years of trying to understand

You cannot be understood

You are an infinity of terror

Pure

Undefined

Misconstrued

Magnificent

TERROR
Also your eyes sparkles like the stars or something along those lines.
I didn’t think about it then but now that everything is said and done
I am thinking about it now
I never really brought these questions forward at the time
Because I was going with the flow
I was just letting things be, letting it happen
I didn’t argue with what the universe had to offer
I never expected anything from you
And the one time I did expect something of you, I was let down and hurt

I had so many questions about why you stuck around
Why you enjoyed ******* me, when you could have had anyone
Why you enjoyed spending time with me
Why you moved in with me
Why you complained about me being “dominate” or “marking my territory” last minute
If you didn’t like it, then why not just leave? Why continue to put up with it?

See, I wasn’t exactly emotionally attached, I was emotionally confused
Because you treated me like a person
I told you before that I wasn’t used to the attention that you were giving me
And I definitely wasn’t used to living with the person I was sleeping with

What attracted you to me anyway? There is nothing special about me
I don’t know why you thought I was **** or pretty
I didn’t question it at the time, but now I sit here and ponder it
I sit here and ponder the entire situation
While the whole time it was happening, I couldn’t help but laugh at the situation
Every event that happened made me giggle, even when I was mad

I was just living for the day and watching the sun shine on my lawn
I was in absolute alignment when you were here
And I loved how you could read every vibration I had
Every ****** expression and every physical touch
You understood everything

What I still don’t understand is why you always came home to me
You didn’t mess around with anyone else the whole time
Even knowing you were free to do so
I am still baffled
There was absolutely no commitment and yet you still were loyal
For being so adamant about not wanting to be committed
You sure did a good job of not colouring outside the lines

And, when you said  to me, “It’s going to be a long time before you find someone as good as me in bed.”
It made me think If you think you’re so good for me, then why are you leaving?
I understand that there is nothing here for you in Seattle
And you needed to rescue your best friend, Seattle is a black hole
But why complain to me at the end instead of while it was happening?
Why stick around and continue spending time with me if it bothered you so much?
Why confide in me so much and tell me so much?
Why tell me such personal stories of your childhood and home life?

All the questions are coming out now because of emotional confusion
Not emotional turmoil; no that would mean that I am devastated
I would have been devastated if I had worked that day and come home to find all your stuff gone
Not being able to see you off and say good-bye would have devastated me

I wanted to say so much more to you before you left
And yet, there was nothing to say
I said enough with my “body language” and tears
And all I can repeat to myself over and over again is This too shall pass
Even all the unanswered questions will slowly fade away
Because eventually, one by one, every question will be answered
From: Talk *****/Breathe Easy

— The End —