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Dead Rose One Apr 2018
3:15am

<•>

unlike a first kiss, a first love,
the premiere awkward first coupling,
which when one recalls it
appears with ever increasing fuzziness (intentionally?)
or not at all, so much so that making it up based on
fleeting hazed glimpses of unmemorized dreams
just to have an “official entry in the cloudy memory,”
is a semi-necessity for regaling...nobody

but you never forget your virginal
projectile vomiting

there is even an emoji for it,
a hurling curling celebration

like a computer reset,
a confessional admission
that includes your own original
original sin,
a purging so complete,
it is a rebirthing of sorts,
a human do over

(c’mon c’mon get on with this, this
no kiss, a most undeserving bizzaring poem title choice)


each and every time I draw forth
the words on the in sides of me
they are ejected with force comparable,
my body rejecting l'étranger,
who’s now escaping

no first kiss, miss, no laughing at one’s first tumbling fumbling,
there is no smiling recollections sweet,
a cover up for your exciting intimation initiations faint revisions

but your first writing!

given up and out in a ejection burst,
a needle in the arm, gunshot
fluids *******, spit out,
without malice aforethought,
and this your last writing

this one, yes, this one.
comes quick, rough and inelegant,
expulsion combustion leaving you
panting on the cold floor you emptied
but
sorta of whole, a clean sheet, so to speak,
swearing you’ll never do this again,
must be an easier way,
to just slow secrete it holy,
or give up the drug of writing
raven forevermore nevermore

nope-u-dope

the vision of a long ago rabbi,
being burned to death slowly
by the Romans, wrapped in
dampened torah scripture scrolls
to lengthen the burnished burning,
a vision burned into a
very youthful boy’s consciousness,
the holy black ink hand drawn letters flowing
from martyr’s mouth, flying heavenward
this fresh within,
a childhood image primal mind,
is ways present
as each letter typed, formulating mathematically,
based on an artificial intelligence theorem,
that updates itself with every missive,
until the new poem is
projectile released in
a single ***** bursting,
purging of the urging

and guess what,

it just happened again

4/27/18

~for Sky, whose poems endearing found me, in her brazen ways,
which is what poets do~
https://hellopoetry.com/sheepskyny/
When Rabbi Hananiah ben Tradyon was caught teaching Torah in public, the Romans decided to make an example of him. Accordingly, Rabbi Hananiah was wrapped in a Torah scroll, which was then set afire. As if this torture were not sufficient, strips of water-soaked wool were placed on his body to prolong his agony. While his distraught students looked on helplessly, Rabbi Hananiah inspired them with his famous utterance, "The parchment is burning but the letters are flying off," meaning that enemies can crush the Jewish body but not the spirit
Staff Sgt. Joseph D'Augustine
a proud Jersey son
whom Thou hast blessed
laid in St. Luke’s ground
for his heavenly rest
April 4, 2012

1.

in a far off province of
God forsaken Helmand,
our dear son Joey
met his untimely end

an explosive crack
a most terrible sound
felled a beloved Jersey son
to the cold cruel ground

working the live wires
of a well placed IED
a deathly burst killed him
it was awful to see  

Staff Sgt. Joseph D’Augustine
in solemn duty fell
fellow brothers in arms
will forever reverently tell

of courage and character
of a dear fallen friend
and how the valiant warrior
met with death at his end

for he was always faithful
to his beloved corps
comrades couldn't ask
a valiant marine for more


2.

details of his death
are not the real story
selflessness and bravery
are but part of his glory

is it brash to
question why he fell?
in a useless bitter war
an embroiled senseless hell

a generation mustered
to fight in the war on terror
serving four tours of duty
in a lost decade of errors

two tours in Afghanistan and Iraq
could a nation ask a man for more?
for he was always faithful to the call
upholding pledges he hath sworn

3.

the burden of war
to a  few confined
it rarely crosses
an American’s mind

incessant war machine
drones on apace
the horror of conflict
so cleverly displaced

with afternoon baseball
and super bowl parties
big disco paychecks
and other selfish priorities

pay hollow tribute
to dear weary troops
when valor is mentioned
we gather in groups

we’ll raise the flag
sing stirring anthems
than its back to the party
pay it no more attention

self styled patriots
wave handfuls of flags
but ask them to contribute
the zeal soon lags

its left to the few
to shoulder burdens of many
fairness is lost
its a democratic calamity

four tours in a decade
an inhumane task
burdens require sharing
its only fair to ask

Joey was always faithful
to the task at hand
willing to step forward
to serve his homeland


4.

in the wake of 9/11
a nation deeply shaken
young patriots stirred
liberty’s call not forsaken

a call to serve answered
to quell the rise of terror
a clear clarion alarm
marks the nature of the era

Joey boldly came forward
to train and learn
the art of warriors
his bright patriotism burned

deployed to Afghanistan
to capture Osama
routing the Taliban
without much problem

but a pacified Afghan
not enough for Bush
he invaded Iraq
another military push

we rolled into Baghdad
adorned with victors garlands
Saddam’s statue toppled
our troops were honored

deposing a dictators
soon turned to occupation
a ****** mission transformed
to build the Iraqi and Afghan nations

once honored liberators
now a conquering force
bestriding broken nations
on a civil war course

military industrialists
stood to profit most
sweet protracted conflict
record earnings to boast

lives bartered for lucre
a region held hostage
the conflict deepened
hostilities hardened

America dipped into
a great recession
the war machine
bled money and
kept on ticking

scooping up contracts
rewarding investors
the dividends of war
heaven sent treasure

continuation of hostilities
preys on a nation's youth
as casualties mount
ill portents forsoothed

a fraction of citizens
bare heartaches of war
gulping measures of despair
to guard a nations door

a nation always faithful
to the holy pursuit of profit
a highest citizens calling
put money into your pocket


5.

our beloved Jersey son
gave a full measure of devotion
in dress blues they shipped him
back across the ocean

on the Dover tarmac
they received his remains
for a last ride northward
to his hometown terrain

repatriated body
bereft of soul saluted
solemn escort knelt
hearts trembled, tears muted

a hearse for a gallant man
flanked by state troop cruisers
to escort the funeral train
assure an honored movement

one last trip up
old thunder road
the storied highway
Joey often trod

the last detail legged up 17
reverent firefighters saluted  
from overpasses
to honor  the woeful scene

as the motorcade passed
the Garden State Malls
frenzied consumers
failed to notice at all

busy window shoppers
didn't to turn an eye
as Joey rolled home
to the sweet by and by

vets interred at the
Old Paramus Church
gently stirred in their graves
reasons for war they search

Channel 12 Chopper
circled its eye in the sky
televised the sad parade
captured many teary eyes

the early spring blooms
colorful petals displayed
maples and forsythias
a royal carpet laid

spring remains always faithful
as the new season turns
offer sunshine and glory
as our sinking hearts burn

6.

motorcycle escort
northbound lane clear
rolling homeward
Waldwick was near

leaves exploding
green shoots budding
****** white maple blooms
natures accolades stunning

the oaks yet bare
just waking from slumber
winters death passing
a sad day put asunder

the motorcade passed
Joey’s home on Prospect Ave
few  envision lifes endings
this woefully sad

red chevy pickup idles
in hoop crowned driveway
never to drain jumpers again
departed children can’t play

the eye in the sky
framed neighbors in mourning
welcoming back a fallen hero
unsettled emotions dawning

neighbors waved Old Glory
from painted stoops and curbs
unsure how this tragedy
visits this blessed suburb

green grass of home
always flush with spirit
tears welled in the eyes
most difficult to bear it

last cruise of the town
sad neighbors stand witness
paying final due respects
and ponder from a distance

what purpose is served
by this man’s passing?
the dead cannot speak
rationale is for the living

the terrible herse
death circles our town
moves through our day
hope of spring drowned

murderer of sunshine
killer of young flowers
budding trees breaking
our hearts an ashen pallor

we remember the beauty
of Joey’s stout face
as it looked on your finest day
exuding pure honor and grace

old vets gather
donning caps and pins
boasting semper fi jackets
jutting tear dripping chins

shaking hands, giving hugs
bearing tattered banners
the hearse ambles onward
we head home in solemn manner

good folks are always faithful
where beloved ones grew
the death of our children
we sadly cannot undo


7.

the bells of St. Lukes
called out from the sky
platoons of limping vets
marched in with pride

pomp and circumstance
requisite dress blues
family, friends, townsfolk
overflowed the pews

doleful bells resound
tolling a mournful reckon
the cost of war mounts
a family’s loss beckons

the casualties of war
falls upon a nation's youth
a seasons page not  turned
a flowing wound not soothed

the wistful cornet calling
floats on the fluted air
the bereaved ***** gently sounds
a congregations somber despair

an unsettling dirge
the parish grows uneasy
nationalist bravado wanes
in the forlorn sanctuary

both church and flag
draped in colors of war
mock stain glass windows
communicants adore

is it a betrayal of the flag
to offer enemies
psalms of reconciliation?
where does true loyalty lay
with God or a warring nation?

afterall this is a sanctuary
where peace and harmony reigns
are we not called to beat swords
into ploughshares as the highest
calling of our Lord?

we are always faithful
to the pathways to war
when the practice of peace
is what we should adore

8.

coughing and whispers
incessant low murmur
a baby cries out
we sit and remember

the crucifers process
in solemnity to greet
subtle ***** notes salute
a coffin draped in Old Glory sheets

the beloved child welcomed
to his eternal repose
priests splash holy water
within the sacred dome

an amazing grace revealed
lifted by marine pallbearers
dearly departed body presented
gently placed at the altar

a grief struck sister
lovingly eulogizes
recalls tonka trucks,
GI Joe’s and cool transformers

a punch in the nose
an approaching wedding
beckoning Eastertide
vacation plans left begging

my second grade class sent
Christmas cookies and cards
to dear Joey and warrior friends
he said it warmed stark winter hearts

he was raised in this church
taught trust and reconciliation
the comfort of the Lords peace
may it surely go with him

for he was always faithful
to sisters, family and faith
his resurrection service
imbues sacredness
to this space

9.

sharp in dress blues
Eddie T USMC Gunny
big 50 caliber smile
offers his eulogy

Bada Bing Jersey Humvee
we called him Joey Calzones
good mood, loved sausages
he tickled the funny bone

always willing to sacrifice
loved the Patriots Tom Brady
a women dominated household
gave him a way with the ladies

his calling explosive ordinances
he said he was livin the dream
March 6th last time we met
knocking frost off cold ones
man whatta scream

a gallant marine,
beloved brother,
a sure friend
he was always faithful
I’m deeply wounded
by his untimely end


10.

the gospel read
the homily offered
Ecclesiastes wisdom
a time for everything
proffered

God never turns
an eye from the beloved
though seasons change
we are not forsaken
never unloved

as loss arrives
surely grief grows
turn away not
wisdom knows

in resignation
love lay dead
diligent intention
banishes dread

our rekindled hope
we rend and sow
our beloved Joey
knew this was so

our favorite son’s
example taught us
now rises on eagle’s wings
to claim his divine justice

Jesus faithfully tramped
the path to an awful death
Joey too fought the good fight
a warrior now gratefully at rest

The Lord holds him close
to the ***** of sure love
a cantors beatific voice incants
Joey’s spirit that forever enchants

The Lord is always faithful
to the bereaved and  beloved
no one ever forsaken
all unconditionally loved

11.

the Holy Eucharistic cup
affirms everlasting giving
tasted to nourish evermore
a libation for the living

singing the Beatitudes
praising peace makers
mercy filled voice and song  
pallbearers lift Joey’s coffin

off to seek his final peace
an earthly occupation ended
he’ll suffer worldly hate no more
down the aisle his coffin wended

the family closely followed
a mother haltingly sobbing
faithful marines came forth
to steady her wobbling

there is no sudden waking
from this terrible dream
the pungent incense rose
to the chapels sacred beams

the stained glass murals depict
the passion of Jesus’s story
illuming a consuming sorrow
in all its grace filled glory

the ***** of death slinks on again
we search for consolation
the recompense of honor blest
leaves a hollow heart wanting
no answers offered to quell the dark
of these terrible life’s moments
only the desperate need to hold onto
beleaguered treasure that sustains us

for we are always faithful
to the things we know
always faithful to the
things we refuse to let go

12.

the color guard and funeral detail
assembled in front of St. Luke’s
the cemetery right next door
the procession a short troop

the living will stumble through
the darkness of separation
seeking elusive answers
of poignant uncertainty;
all gave some, Joey gave all
nothing more required for his
journey through eternity

Joey will always be with us
his stories forever retold
as long as the machinery of
great nations engage
the gears of wasteful war

Joey’s spirit lives
in a peoples desire
for freedom, only if
our hope of peace
is greater than the
need for conflict

Joey’s lifes work
is sure to bear fruit
if those remaining
fight the good fight
by taking up the
task to protect and
expand the values
of liberty we
hold most dear

like our good
friend Jesus
Joey wears a crown
bejeweled with
a ring of thorns
hoisted on a
terrible cross
the sweet
incense of you
meets our nose
we inhale your
earthly presence
beholding beautifully
adorned crucifix,
a reminder of
unjust persecution
and a perfect
resurrection
yet this wretched
coffin remains

pledging allegiance
we rationalize our
stories, articulating
our small parts
in  heroic sagas,
reciting myths of
ourselves, recording
the grim history of
a young marine
surrounded by
a smart color guard,
feasting on todays
eucharist, this
days sweet taste
of  the daily bread
of human sorrow

The priest finishes
his graveside
commendation
of Joey D

Taps conclude
a wind rises
crows take flight
winging over
a stand of budding
Sugar Maples
exploding in white
blooms, reveling
in the glorious
sunshine of this
magnificent day

St. Luke’s stairway to
God Country and Home
smiling portrait of you
forever young

we surround your grave
to bless the earth
you've returned home
to your place of birth

our flowing pride
and salty tears bless
the anointed ground
that you loved best

a proud Jersey son
whom Thou hast blest
laid in St. Luke’s ground
for his heavenly rest

for he was always faithful
to the blessed land
forever at peace
in the soils sure hands

Charles Ives
The Unanswered Question

Oakland
11/10/13
jbm
Glass Jul 2018
the incipient
has salvaged the insides of a
censorious pastiche, where moiety details the nightstand
of expectation and sudden camaraderie
simplifying the closure of starvation that “promethean”
is visual ‘orange zest’
a
honeysuckle caramelization where there are two
romantics buried with guilt, and a master chess player that
recalls to be a citrus therapy and every "Sunday paper" is filled
with oceanic opulence discussing religious iconography
and I visualize a yellow moon cactus
obscene changes in a grey prolific office;
an expostulate (rescind) but avoidance is in an empty
peach pit; an exploitation becoming a strange
admiration

- G
aniket nikhade May 2016
Nothing seems certain
Nothing sure, absolutely nothing in the present that is present in the present.
Still there is something that goes on in the mind with regards to an uncertain future.
It’s here at this point in time an individual recalls and remembers as it is always said by the rest of the world, "A bird in hand is better than two in the bush".

Nothing seems certain
Nothing ascertained and still there is something in the present with regards to the future that can be done as this is what it seems in the present.
A right step taken at the right moment in time makes all the difference
It’s here at this point in time an individual recalls and remembers as it is always said by the rest of the world, "Better late than never", "A stitch in time saves nine".

Nothing seems certain
Absolutely nothing in the present and still the presence of the present in the present can be felt, realized and understood
It’s here at this point in time an individual recalls and remembers as it is always said by the rest of the world, "Don’t give up, give your best and leave the rest in the hands of God. He will take care of the rest and all like he always  does".

Odds that come along the way of getting things done bring to light the fact that experience and expertise have got a definite place in everyone's life
So make the use of the right element at the right moment in time and give your best
Once you are sure you have given your best and once everything is done, task accomplished, time now to leave the rest in the hands of God.
Definitely odds that come along the way not only teach you something new, but they also enrich your experience
Hence it’s always said by the rest of the world as an individual recalls and remembers, "Though times don’t last, but tough people do".
Terry Collett Jan 2014
Yiska rests on her bed,
smoking a cigarette.

The sky is dull,
the room darkened.

She inhales,
watches the smoke,
she's just exhaled,
rise ceiling wards.

Her husband is out,
fishing, *******,
who knows, or cares.

She exhales again,
at times like this
she reflects
on her young days,
her schoolgirl years.

Naaman was a love
back then.

School crush thing
some thought.

But no,
more than that.

She inhales so deeply
that it seems
her whole body
is filled
with nicotine and smoke.

Naaman kissed good.

That time on the field.
Lips and tongue.

She exhales and smiles.

He'd be in his 30s now,
a year older than she.

She can still,
if she shuts her eyes at night,
see him as he was.

Even when her husband
is giving her a quickie,
she thinks on Naaman,
imagines it's him on top,
not her husband's sad efforts.

She inhales
and closes her eyes.

He is there
in her mind still.

Even on the day
she married,
she hoped Naaman
would show
and whisk her away
on the back
of a motorcycle,
her white dress
flapping in the wind,
she giving her groom
to be, an up you sign
of *******.

But he didn't show.

She knew he wouldn't;
she'd not seen
since he left school,
the year before she.

Moved away some place.

She exhales
and smiles out smoke.

When she goes shopping
in other towns,
she wonders
if she'll meet Naaman there,
bump into him
on an aisle,
next to cereals or cheeses.

She recalls that time
in the school between lessons,
seeing him,
and wanting him
to drag her into some room
and kiss her
and do things.

But he just smiled
and walked on
and into a classroom,
leaving her hot
and gagging for it
(a term some girls
used back then).

What if he had?
Some empty room
in the school?
That day would have been
burned into her memory
if he had.

As it was,
she walked on,
to her boring art class,
bubbling
with upset hormones.

She sighs,
opens her eyes,
and moans.
After the wind lifts the beggar
From his bed of trash
And blows to the empty pubs
At the road's end
There exists only the silence
Of the world before dawn
And the solitude of trees.

Handel on the set mysteriously
Recalls to me the long
Hot nights of childhood spent
In malarial slums
In the midst of potent shrines
At the edge of great seas.

Dreams of the past sing
With voices of the future.
And now the world is assaulted
With a sweetness it doesn't deserve
Flowers sing with the voices of absent bees
The air swells with the vibrant
Solitude of trees who nightly
Whisper of re-invading the world.

But the night bends the trees
Into my dreams
And the stars fall with their fruits
Into my lonely world-burnt hands.
_

Source:
http://www.universeofpoetry.org/nigeria.shtml
Shannon Apr 2015
You will learn my rhythm
and lean in when I talk-
The smell of me like petrichor perfume
will linger on your shirt.
Feel of my lips like
satin ties
of the ballerinas shoes
will wind
around your mind
and tie across the gooseflesh
on your arms.
You will know I have come
before my hand
lifts to knock,
and your heart will quicken-
echo percussion against the chambers.
You will remember
the last wet place
we walked with one umbrella.
And when it rains
you will fill buckets with longing
to fit our slick bodies
underneath its black shelter
again.
You will knot your tie
and straighten your collar
and your body will stiffen
because it remembers.
You will have a track mark
like the silver needle bullet
chasing through your veins-
that recalls us.
Like tongue recalls salt,
like  wound
recalls harm-
like child recalls
before being born-
like the prayer remembers
before being sung.
like the rock will recall that the ocean was there
and the cell will recall being painlessly split
and you will remember
with such vivid lust
and you will love in a timeless loop.
And I will love you over and under.
We will love till we're small again,
Love as time resets again
And then do it all once more,
Again.


Sahn 4.10.15
I think of this as the story of lovers being reincarnated again and again and getting to fall in love all over each life. Thank you for sharing in my work.
Pedro Tejada Sep 2010
Oh my word, I remember
every little part of that weekend,
right down to the three-piece outfit
I had purchased at Bloomingdale's
the evening previous.

You know, ya hear stories
left and right about people
winning tickets to this n' that,
but ya never imagine actually
being the nineteenth caller!

When I revealed the occasion
this baby blue ensemble would
be worn in, the cute little saleslady
paused, looked up, and said,
"Why bother seeing him anymore?"

And I tell ya, there's plenty
other, less Christian yearly
Graceland attendants who woulda
flipped their lids had they heard
such malarkey!

Still, I just couldn't deny it.
She had a bit of a point.
This was mid-70s Elvis,
mid-50s Elvis' drunk uncle.
He had gone from Rolling Stone
to National Enquirer in nothing
flat, it seemed.

So all I could muster was
an understanding smile, because
she couldn't help but join the
bandwagon, especially when his
gut got larger and the rumors
became more outrageous.

Still, their loss!
I say that to this day,
because what Little Miss Shopgirl
and the legions of non-believers
did not think to consider
was the charm in "has been" Elvis.

A week before this legendary
concert experience, I had been
forced by circumstance to purchase
my very first pair of bifocals!
It was also around the time,
I'm sure, Harry left me.

So, the main event, I'm there,
third row from the main stage,
seeing Elvis for the first time
since our crazed youthful years-
a bedazzled jumpsuit walks on stage,
and I'm on my feet before I know it!

There was a little less swivel in his
hips. He looked a little tired, too,
all those years of singing do that.
How did it feel, then, to see the King
make his way across a cheap fog
machine, mutton chops and
love handles galore?

It felt like two lifelong friends
growing old, losing all those
frivolous people together-
"Are You Lonesome Tonight"
was still asked with the same
dreamy passion in 1973.

I've still got the handkerchief
he threw to me that night,
**** near lost it when I
caught the thing.

It's blue with polka dots,
ya wanna take a gander?
no one recalls the red bird's haunting song
in dead of winter but it marks the spring
the creature's small and yet its voice is strong

what we discover when we fall among
the hordes who struggle to avoid the sting
(no one recalls the red bird's haunting song

but has a sense that they are drawn along
into the silence) is the sharp high ring
the creature's small and yet its voice is strong

enough to to let  us know that we belong
in this strange place where all our hopes may cling
no one recalls the red bird's haunting song

and yet when choruses turn to a throng
we want so urgently our hearts to fling
the creature's small  and yet its voice is strong

enough for us to know it is not wrong
to feel its force and want ourselves to sing
no one recalls the red bird's haunting song
the creature's small and yet its voice is strong
This isn't him,
This can't be the face he's left here,
This isn't the face he's used to seeing,
Solidified in the mirror.
It can't be the current one,
Or even close,
It's not at all how he recalls from the ponds he's known.
Not the one admired,
On crystal clear days,
Or the one sang with,
Through some humming nights.
Maybe his memory is just fogged up,
Maybe this reflection is just blurry from the showers,
They'd have burned others skin.
Still this can't be the face.
Not with the potholes for eyes,
Waning moons for lips,
And cliches for brains.
Or maybe things,
Maybe they do just change,
Maybe sometimes somethings sink in the earthquakes,
And are never swam in again.
Maybe sometimes there's no hope for reversal, redemption,
Or some rectifying light to right what's left,
Only hope in surviving the new.
I guess that's all there ever was.
If only he had it sooner,
He would have thrived in the old world,
Found melodies in the days and more mirror-less memories for the nights.
Only then could things be better off,
Different.
older poem, don't turn on your front camera or introspection may occur.
annvelope Oct 2014
I don't know a lot of things
But,
I do know Life is good and serious.

So this morning I woke to the touch of a morning sun, softly teasing my eyes apart. I found the smile I thought I had missed. The first thing that came into my mind was the word 'grateful'. I am very grateful for my amazing family and friends and my wonderful cozy home. I’m also consistently thankful for the little things in life that remind me just how lucky I am. But at this moment, at this point, I just want to jot down everything that makes me feel thankful for having a powerful and strongest boyfriend in my life. You had no idea how this feeling blessed for the millionth time.

When I describe the perfect boyfriend I could have, I think of one I already had. Actually, to me perfectness in my eyes does exist. What I call perfect is my boyfriend Hedzmy. The first thing I noticed was his long wavy jet black hair and I was hooked (well not literally hooked at that time) because he wasn't my taste after all (maybe it's because of he is so Melayuish a.k.a typical malay guy). I'm constantly impressed with the ones who speaks very well in English. But, that was before. The longer I get to know him, the more I began to get bonded...and then I fell deeply in love with him. I don't even know how that happened.

Hedzmy is such an amazing guy, not that tall, smart, sensitive, he got the cutest smile, has a pair of beautiful very-dark brown eyes and a very unique hairstyle. He is the sweetest person you could ever meet. He wears nice clothing, he loves to dress preppy on some special occasions or either any day at times. An example of wearing preppy clothing will be a nice casual long sleeves shirt, nice printed T, slanted skinny pants, and nice high top Converse shoes. His favorite color is red, he loves good food and a good passion in photography. He plays guitar, eventhough it wasn't that good, but I just love watching him play and sing. Yet, you had no idea how much I love his voice.

I’ve been together with my boyfriend for 1 year. Hedzmy has been such a wonderful person to me. He has been there for me, cared for me and loved me like no one else ever had. Every time I’m not in a great mood, he always finds a way for me to smile and laugh and forget about the bad things. He has even got me going forward to a good path so I can make my dreams come true and so I can be the happiest person alive. But I’m happy as long as he is with me and is there for me. I may ******* things up a lot throughout our relationship, but it just happened and I didn't mean to hurt his feelings as well. I love my boyfriend so much and it scares me when I realized that for the first time in my entire life, I was really falling in love. Falling in love for who he is. He's amazing. Eventhough there were times I recalls when he tweeted about how he wish he could turn back time to save his previous relationship and so on, (that was like after we've been together for almost half of months), well it really breaks my heart. Imagine how someone sees you for the first time and telling you how much they want you to be with them but the fact is they still can't let go of the past? Painful isn't it? So I began to seek for attention by making a lot of friends with boys but none of them attracts me. It is because, I love my boyfriend. I just want to be with him. I have the guts to take him to see my parents. How I love seeing him tested by my mom to see if he could tolerate her.

Sometimes, in the beginning, and even still today, I’ll become untrusting and difficult, attacking out of nowhere. The naive trust that I had so long ago got used up and beaten up by the wrong person. But unlike that wrong person, when he used to attack for no reason, chase protects everything.

I had no goal in my life but to make him happy. I was in fear of loosing him, loosing this companionship between us. Loosing something I have placed so much effort into. Thus I had no confidence to speak up for 1 year, there was no sense of belonging, passion or safety. Just me thinking this is the best thing that had ever happened me, I won't be able to find anyone else and I didn't want to loose it, so I would do what ever it takes to protect it.

Many people say perfectness is nowhere to be found but in my world there is. Hedzmy is perfect, no matter of fact he is beyond perfect. He doesn’t see the perfect and amazing part in him but I do. Now, what makes me happy is his English is improving! And I am so glad I could help him bits by bits. Sometimes the little things in life mean the most, right?

Happy 1st Anniversary Sayang,
           I love you to the moon and back! **
Lyn-Purcell Sep 2018
ᗩIᑎᕼᗩᖇᗩ
~ ⚪♫⚪ ~
Out of the Palace, into the Queen's
Garden. 'One that could rival King
Paul's Luciuscemian Gardens,'
she
thinks as she walks under the high
cream arches and Grecian columns
with ivy vines coiling around them.
She stands on the white marble
steps. 'Truly, this is the Queen
Mother's finest work yet...'


~ ⚪♫⚪ ~
The young Queen Lyn spares no
expense in expanding her library,
filling it with leather-bound books
and scrolls, new and old. She spares
no expense when it comes to her
love for herbal teas, near and far...
But her mother?

~ ⚪♫⚪ ~
The Queen Mother is known for
her keen eye, fast wits, bladed
tongue and for her love for fashion,
gardening and a frugal nature.
'Like frugal mother, like bookish
daughter!'
Ainhara can not help
but to chuckle.

~ ⚪♫⚪ ~
She watches as the gardeners trim
the mint-green grass, beech hedges
and shrubby. But what Ainhara
marvels most are the flowers.
Pots of lavender and roses,
rosemary and mint are placed
around carefully, by the white
lilies, orange lilies, yellow lilies,
flushing lilies.

~ ⚪♫⚪ ~
She notices that green lilies and
blue lilies; the gifts from Queen Yidna;
plants native to her Puhan Kingdom,
are in full bloom. They remind her of the
colours of the Seas that she, Esshi and Lyn
had sailed when they visited Queen Yidna.
'Puhan has the calmest seas of the brightest
colours,'
She recalls how her Queen was
happy and relaxed then...
Part 2 completed! ^^
Lyn ***
Nat Lipstadt May 2019
the spring mantra arrives with distinctive citified sparkles

a family of ducklings splash, mimicking young children,
shaking, spraying, squeaking, babies bath bathing,
jumping in and out of a fountain pool
of a tall-storied Manhattan apartment building,
the mother-leader attends them well for she recalls
the untimely end of the babies of last year,
lost to wanderlust on York Avenue,
cars and taxis as instruments of mass murdering,
but new spring is the season of new birth

the Cercis Siliquastrum tree trunk (!) oddly sprouts
unusual pink flowers
well before it’s branches grow up into a fully blossoming tree,
a signed spring time ritual, but since it is a/k/a, the Judas Tree,
we wonder if spring hints of Cerci Lannister’s fate betrayed,
in this, her final May dance, oh, which Judas brother/lover
will bring us a winter fin finale

the temperature control dial busted, the variability too wide,
the youngers are skipping the interregnum season,
going direct to elect shorts and T-shirt, while those who no longer bloom in the semi-warm, recall the wet chill of past evenings,
voting to dress defensively, wearing their aging skepticism
aware that all changes are exact crossing line-defined, wrapped in
medium weight coats, concealing embarrassing gloves in pocket,
decorative silk scarfs for non-decorative purposed,
all betting the under/over the spring is here all-in not yet sighted

the streets are busy, the momentary pleasantries
of warm sky and sun push the apartment dwellers out,
a magnetic force pulls us to the outside to exhale, in order to inhale,
guises manufactured excuses appear, a loaf of bread, a latte necessity,
the children desert happily their wintery confinement,
by pushing their own carriages, containing in their stead,
their lilting accented nannies, excited by their version of spring break

Me? toy shopping for this month brings rashers of birthdays,
more May galorey, singing come Dancer and Prancer, Ian and Isabel, Alex and not-a-baby anymore Wendy, and because the weather so pleasant, cautions ignored, the credit card swiped repeatedly, frequently and joyously, xmas reimagined, another May time ritual, rooted in the September month of *******, of staying warm, staving off winter *******, and winter planting for spring harvesting

children score grand-multiplicities for god made in his place
grand parental substitutes, each with two hands each equal,
so both must be filled with maypole ribbon, brightly colored
toy bags, presents wrapped in paper unicorns and all manner of
sporting *****, as we turn 2 and 6, 7 and who ate 8?

all that my eyes did see when we surfed strolled the streets,
vignettes fell like the spring rains, they, now, from daytime banished,
to after-midnight to do their breast feeding of tulips and weeds,
letting little children grow up snuggling in still over-heated rooms,
naked legs kicking off winter blankety snow remnants while dreaming of springing onwards and forward
into the party of life by inhaling nature’s

nature.
5-3-19  606pm
vircapio gale Oct 2012
Haiku:

hiking new forests
mountain homes of moss and dew
more roots deepen


berries ripe
dot taiga heath--
alien planet


yellow blazing sun
'packin'rocks'
from maine to georgia


pain born hero
in oven boots of blood and pus--
summit breeze


barefoot hiker
calls herself 'FearNot'--
toes enjoy same mud


snake rises up
fangs gleam at water lair
cold spring quenches all


***** at each view--
water comes in and goes out
like a filter


at waterfalls, swans
alighting air-- noble poise
on the way to sea


gunas intertwine
my sweet mountain hunger paths
bitter taste of bark


sour grass
garnish of an earthen tract
saliva honeyed


strands of spider flight --
i too catch myself making
web after web


"nature loves to hide"
hidden hermit roars of all
strife and fire flux


spider bite at dusk
afterswing of scenting food
shoo the meal away


change becomes the same--
people streams talking pixels
aging static web

symbols set in light
speed of optic living nodes;
clicking finger fibers


websites spin and stick
plastic tropical alphabets
ant waves clean the keys


fueling in process,
living fossils already
drilling seas--on earth


give or take six months,
happy birthday!
two seasons gone


Haibun:*

A mountain poet has come to the city, blisters pushing up his toenails. His smile spans 15 blocks of concrete and rebar. Strangers coo to see his sunshine gait but cough at his aroma. Hospitality is found after all, in parks and in the drunken streams from clubs gregarious for midnight novelties.

poet's apology--
not exactly 'myself' to
license gratitude
when time gifts symbols distance--
terror war towers still fall

Emergencies of all sorts force their way into my mind, as I live, sometimes as I write. Ambiguities serve as fulcrum nooks for meanings incompossible to hide, not being ready to share what can't be shared, obscurity offers the ineffable reprieve to be spoken nonetheless.

peering in the word--
sound signs meta symbol
witty sea of *****

property stings
abstract fights to earth
mixing labor

i found a haiku
on my coworker's desk--
where is the frog pond?

dad drinks alone--
photo recalls sunlit leaf
and beer can stare

opining fire false
freezing hearts with argument--
cold spring, winters warm

It is with the love of a child that I write, wincing harder into that self-given 'Indian-Burn' of cathartic fetish and psychological indulge. Where is maturity, and what use is it when faced with endless ground-zeros? Still open to answers, still unwilling to speak plainly or straight about the blanket crookedness and blissful meander that colors life most vividly. I imagine dacrygelosis understood.

thawing pond
creaks in headstand calm--
autumn air released

night's insight pierce
heralds migraine's ease--
gong of moon or sun

on dead wood, against
live trees, hours of *** by
mycelia blooms--
fragrant rot and sweat collide
skin spotted with forest sun

love signs everywhere--
two trunks spiraled
in a yellow wood

vocal awe resung
this is love! this is love!
deep summer fruit

rub of bark                      
vast forest sways across skin
                        naked expanse
Edna Sweetlove May 2015
"Dog's Longevity Due to Tobacco Habit"**

The staple diet of Sebastian, a pitbull-miniature poodle cross-breed owned by Mrs Emmie Snaggletooth of St John's Road, Little Tittington, Berkshire, is Bruno Extra Strength Old **** pipe tobacco. He consumes two ounces of it every week and his proud owner keeps it in his very own tin.

The procedure is as follows: Mrs Snaggletooth rolls a cigarette and puts it between her lips. Sebastian then leaps up onto her lap and removes the unlit cigarette from her lips and sits with it for several moments between his own lips.

His mistress, who is a pipe smoker herself, then lights up and, as she sits contentently smoking her twelve-inch ivory carved Meerschaum, Sebastian eats his cigarette, leaving only the filter tip which he normally spits out into the fireplace. He has twenty cigarettes a day and enjoys his tobacco best after he has eaten his evening meal of Pedigree Chum (Older Dogs Recipe).

Sebastian, who is now seventeen years old, discovered his penchant for tobacco when he found an open tin of Bruno Old **** and ate the lot. "He became very agitated and barked for three hours non stop", says Mrs Snaggletooth when she fondly recalls the incident, "And we have not been able to stop him since. He's become a bit of an addict and has appeared on TV twice as a result."

Emmie Snaggletooth has smoked a pipe for over seventy years; she keeps her treasured Meerschaum on a cord around her neck. Born in Stillfockin in the County Cork eighty-eight years ago, she went on stage with her sister Catriona as part of the renowned music hall act, the Fabulous Snaggletooth Girls. Emmie picked up the pipe-smoking habit when she had to smoke a traditional clay pipe whilst playing the principal boy in **** in Boots at the old Queen's Theatre in Reading, before it was pulled down to make way for the Pay-As-You-Go Municipal Car Park and Disabled-Access-Toilets.

"All this talk of smoking being bad for your health is a load of old *******", declares Mrs Snaggletooth through her few remaining blackened teeth. And it would seem that Emmie and Sebastian are living proof of this. Emmie sadly points to the fact that her sister Catriona, who never smoked at all, died aged only 25 after being run over by a runaway bus and she emphasies Sebastian is the longest surving member of his litter. "Sebby is the only one of his family who ever liked tobacco, I'm sure of that", she says, "Although his sister, Mary-Jean, was fond of a glass of stout with her biscuits."

Readers are invited to turn to page 24 to enter this week's competition to win a year's supply of Bruno Extra Strength Old **** tobacco and a free ****** examination from Hilary Clinton (Mrs).
Graff1980 Jun 2017
The city sounds of ordered chaos, the constant wave of people crossing back and forth like a human tide. Strangers cut in and out of their tiny groups and barely miss colliding. Honks and bleats hasten the crowds pace as they race to cross the road. Some people stare at their phones, others watch the road but no one looks directly at another human being. Somewhere, near here and in-between there just off to the side a stranger sits mumbling, barely coherent.

“Watch me.”

The age lines run so deep into his skin that they might as well be built in. White stubble paints a drawn slightly sunburnt face. Deep dark blue eyes scan the city life for some unknown relief.
A red line catches his eyes, followed by a childlike voice singing playfully. “Watch me mommy.”

Tiny matchbox cars race around a shallow hole. The little cars cross dips and dirt ramps increasing the young boy’s excitement, as he mimics his favorite show. They crash into a partially exposed root. “Brrckkkeeech bccccch.”A fake explosion sounds. Dusk begins to fall as the cars settle into their makeshift cereal box garage. Smiling and dusty the boy crosses the small road, then the tiny parking lot, and comes home.

Long ***** white hair falls messily across the man’s worn face. All but a few awkwardly placed teeth are gone. Some are yellow while others are darker and rotting. His breath reeks. The emaciated figure feels the cramps of hunger pains. A brown speckled haze clouds his vision, followed by a slight coldness and dizziness creeping over his body.

“Watch me.”

Cardboard swords clash in a titanic battle of good versus evil.  Until the young victor jumps upon his sawhorse stead. A yowl of pain sounds as his tiny sac is smashed. The pain jolts upwards and inwards causing temporary paralysis. Thin legs scrape the wooden brace dragging chips of paint down with him as he falls off his fake saddle. The victor is defeated by pain. A few seconds later the internal pain passes and he is up and at it again, running straight for a large tree. At the last second he swerves barely avoiding a painful collision. In his mind a red cape swooshes behind him as he flies off to save metropolis.

The summer heat draws pit stains on the old man ***** orange tee. The neckline is stretched and has an almost circular pattern of moisture. Barely able to move, his sick stench draws the attention of flies. Bugs buzz by almost as frequently as strangers walking by.

“Watch me.”

Tears fall from the tiny child eyes, as he stumbles in pain. A deep **** runs red with lines of falling blood. His mother picks him up and carries him to the neighbor’s car. She whispers soft word of reassurance. The tears eventually stop.

The man clenches his chest. Pain permeates his being. His breath is lost. He stumbles falling harshly against the cold grey cement sidewalk. Tears fall. He reaches for strangers pleading weakly for their assistance. A foot smashes against his left side, causing more pain to flame up; while forcing him to edge of the sidewalk. The crowd keeps moving.
A stranger snarls “get out of the way you ***.”

“Watch me.” The old man whispers as he recalls his mother’s warmth. Soft kisses planted on his forehead. Sitting in the dark living room safely snuggled next to his mother as a scary storm rages violently against a small house.

“Watch me.” He cries. His voice, obscured by the city, fades and is forgotten.
Melanie Oct 2013
Bombers & bloggers
Tragedy is triumphant 
Traffic gathers in a tweaked intersection divide
Wreaking of those fuming with exhaustion  
Speed, cause you prefer the highway

Political in place of partial
The news carries dismay
Where is such trouble in this world you say?

Posing proposing, regulating;
Marijuana laws are changing
Complaining of taxing & weighing

Football, do you recalls, & puppy dogs,
Amber alerts & nostalgia where it hurts
Once again the news contright  
Cut short cause it draaaags
Ruthless the truth is;
Everywhere you go, there the news is
You can't lose it, tied around your neck the noose is

Bed bugs It has;
Talking of spread shoots, ***** mags
This celebrity, the new 'fad', & that old hag

Throw up on the rag;

Forget it
Dorothy A Dec 2014
I think of her often, for thoughts are all I have—not a single memory. She died before I was the age of two.

From what little that I heard, there was little reason to view her in a good light, but now I can see something admirable about her.  After all, this woman endured so much, and the odds seemed stacked against her. Incredibly, between the ages of eleven and sixteen—at least five times—this poor Lithuanian girl crossed the Atlantic in attempts to get into America. Twice, she was turned away. Some may not have had high regard for her, including her own son—my father—but I can see a heroic nature, a survivor, through and through. Just a toddler when she died, I missed out in knowing her. Throughout the years, I really had only gathered bits and pieces of information while trying to know better about her. It has been like constructing puzzle in which the pieces fit here and there, but the gaps are too big to cover.

This woman that I write about is my paternal grandmother. Out of all my grandparents, her story is the one that stands apart, an amazing, heart wrenching and most thought provoking portrait. Evoking emotions of anger, sadness and sympathy, I find it a rich tale of a poor woman.

This has been in the works for quite a while now—in my head, that is. I pictured what I wanted to say, the words playing out in my mind.  What a story it is, too, a tremendous one of sorrow and struggle, of need for love and acceptance, of perseverance and strength of the human spirit. Yet things get complicated when they come from my mind to the page, as I try translating my vision down into words. Before long, like a snake, hesitation surely comes slithering through, as it quickly snuck its way within, fueling my fear, a fear of disapproval and rejection by two people who are now dead and have been for some time—my father and my grandmother.  

And while writing, I imagine what my audience thinks—critics in my head abounding before I even finish. Well, I am the first to stand in line for that.  It’s kind of scary relating such things. I am not sure I am doing the story any justice.  I’m not sure I’ve captured the essence of it well.    

And who would want to read this anyway? Is it too long and of no significance to anybody but myself? I have my doubts. Celebrities do this all the time, and people just eat that stuff up.  I think we all just want to relate to what others have to say about themselves. But it does bare you—your thoughts, your secrets, your soul, —and it feels a bit unnerving, to say the least.  

So, naturally, I still drag my feet. If she were here right in front of me right now, what would my grandmother think? Would she throw the papers in an old fashioned stove—in the fire—as she angrily did to my father’s flowers?  I can only imagine my father as a child—in an impoverished scene that I only have sketchy knowledge of—with his young heart being crushed and shamed, his sign of affection and desire to please his mother, drastically rejected. In return for his small token of love, my father’s mother was furious that her boy spent a few coins on something perceived as useless, a waste of good money. Away like trash, they went. Like the flower story, would my father be ashamed and angry that I revealed some family history for others to read, stuff that he would rather have kept quiet?

This is why I am mentioning no names. Nothing is sugar coated—it is what it is—often not very pretty. Yet this is not intended as an exposé or a smudge on any family members. A slam on my father and grandmother is surely not my intent—far from it.  Rather, it is my offering of affection. It is my little bouquet of flowers to a history that includes me as a part of it.

Like those flowers of long ago, I’ve so wanted to scrap this story in the garbage. Often seeming like a knotted mass of yarn, I have had to work and work to get a smooth flow.  Like a sculptor, I wanted a fine piece of clay to emerge into form, but the chunks, lumps and bumps just frustrate me to no end.

It’s complicated to relate it all. It is revelation about my father’s origins which hold no real pride for him.  There was much pain and shame associated with his mother’s mental illness, his distant father, his broken home and lack of a solid, safe family structure, his constant poverty and fight for survival—the list goes on and on  As I unravel this tale, I continue to fight with the many tangles. As I try to find the face, I feel that my sculpted story is left wanting. So I continue to chip away.

Dishonoring? Embarrassing? I hope it this tale is not.  I envision an admirable purpose instead of the pain and the shame, redeeming the pride that was lost. My father’s origins are mine, too, and they help me to know myself better, and my father—to build that better, more complete puzzle of my grandmother.

Much of what I heard was unflattering terms. From a young age, I knew she was mentally ill. But what did that mean anyway?  Well, to my father she was crazy and nuts, not a good mother. No, she wasn’t mother of the year. Clearly, she had a temper and was known to instigate fights—with her husband, with one of her sisters. When my young father was physically disciplined it was by her, and it was probably quite harsh. If I didn’t like her, it was due to all that I heard. And when I had problems with my father, who had a bad temper, too, I probably felt that the apple didn’t fall very far from the tree.  

But in spite of all the remarks, I grew to have great sympathy for my grandmother. It makes me wonder how mistreated she was as a child.  My father deemed her as neglectful, not in tune to her children’s needs. It is obvious to me that she was in lack, herself.

So what was she really like? I very much wanted to understand her, to be able to relate with her. I don’t know—perhaps, it is because I root for the underdog.  Often, I felt like one, too. And Lithuania is the perfect underdog, under the thumb of Russian rule until much recently.  Perhaps, it was because my dad’s dislike for where he came from made me all that more interested to discover what his roots were all about.  

History often repeats itself—what has shaped my father had a strong influence on me. Like my father, I grew angry and bitter from the upbringing I had. Getting a similar brunt of problematic parenting made for a tough go of things.  I could have easy said, “Who gives a ****?” I could have been thoroughly disgusted about my dad’s old baggage that I had to handle—all the wreckage of rage and shame that became dumped into the next generation.  I evolved from a more sensitive, inquisitive child to one who battled between the feelings of hate and love, painfully clawing my way out of the emotional garbage and with the terrible stench of it.  

Thankfully, the war is over. I am enjoying the peace.  
  
With insight, I grew to understand my father, to accept what he was—capable of good and bad. I can relate quite well in that sense, for I made plenty of mistakes that I wish that I could do differently, ones that hurt others as well as me.  I could not deny that, in my dad, there was a wounded man who could not really figure that out—not until he was much older. I saw a man who was remorseful, and humbled by his costly mistakes. I was able to heal from some of my wounds with that forgiving perspective, though it was not easy and did not come overnight.

Unlike my dad, I’m surely a talker and I ask questions, perhaps my father’s worst nightmare in that sense——he had to have at least one child who always wanted to know things about him and who he came from. That means both sides of my family. Perhaps, I was born that way, with a tremendous sense of wonder. Curiosity always got me, and I am much too hungry to remain clueless about my more secretive father.

Maybe that’s good. Maybe it’s bad. It involves risk which can lead to a boatload of hurt. Where do we come from? What were your parents like? What were your grandparents like? When where they born? When did they die? Do you have any pictures?  Can you go any further than them?  Sometimes, the answers aren’t what you want to hear.  

It’s nice to belong to something, to somebody. It isn’t always possible or realistic to relate to one’s family, I wanted to belong. Not just to my mom’s side did I want to identify—I wanted to fully belong—to both sides.

My mom and dad both had common backgrounds, both coming from poverty and chaos. The fallout from my mother’s unstable father created a similar unease within her childhood home. Yet her family actually seemed like it existed. I knew all of my mother’s seven younger sisters and five younger brothers, as well as all nineteen cousins. We used to visit mom’s parents in Detroit fairly often. My best knowledge of life in this unfamiliar, yet close by, city—my native city—arose through this connection. I heard stories of grandmother’s German immigrant parents and learned of my grandfather’s Polish and Prussian roots, part of his family’s rise from poverty to wealth—to poverty once more.

Born in the latter part of the nineteenth century, my father’s parents were much older than my mom’s. Impoverished Lithuanian immigrants, my dad’s parents surely wanted to be Americans. My grandmother really had to fight to even be on American soil, and my grandfather sought out citizenship and became naturalized. I have likely seen them both, but had no relationship at all. I heard that my dad’s mom came over our house for Thanksgiving dinner—a rare visit—and she died not long after.

My grandfather died the following year, when I was closer to three. Possibly having a primitive, early memory of this man, I am told my dad had him over the house once.  I have a vague recollection of sneaking into the living room, when I was supposed to be in bed, and got a smack on my behind from my dad, crying in protest as I walked past an older man starring at me. But I’ll never know for sure if that is even a real memory.

Since my grandfather was a supporter of the Communist party—a big taboo in those days with the McCarthy era and the Cold War—my dad was mortified and afraid to mention it.  I doubt I’ll ever know much about this grandfather. My father found only one photo of him in his wallet while trying to claim belongings from his flat after the man died. My father eventually gave it to me, and I was shocked by one of the most bizarre photos I ever had seen. In it, my dad’s father was photographed with a woman that my father cannot identify, but the likeness between her and me is so uncanny. I look more like this woman than I do my own mother, but I cannot say if she is even related. My dad knew almost nothing about his father’s family except that he came from a big one back in Lithuania.

Family must have been like foreign word to my father. I can see why. Since boyhood, my dad lived apart from his dad, and they became more strangers than father and son. My dad even admitted that he hardly understood his own father because of his thick, Lithuanian accent. My dad’s background still remains more like shadows in the dim light.  I don’t clearly remember my father’s older brother— out of the two that he had—because I only saw him three or four times. Since my father cut ties with his younger brother, I hadn’t laid eyes on him. Not even a picture was available. When my estranged uncle called on the phone to try to talk to my dad, I would speak to him, instead. One to be sympathetic, I never got why my dad wouldn’t bother with his brother, though the call usually involved asking for money. I was pretty much told that he was a no-good ***, plenty to keep me fairly leery of him. His first wife kicked my uncle out.  Most of his six sons—just as unknown as their father was to me—wanted nothing to do with him. No doubt, the guy was an odd and deeply tormented man, yet we both wanted to meet one day. If I remember one thing he said, that was it, and I agreed. This did seem unlikely, for I didn’t want to stir up the hornet’s nest, not creating more friction than there was.

Years later, that wish came true. One day my dad did get a picture of his brother from the older brother. Much later on—several months after my dad died—I was able to meet this troubled man when he was dying in the hospital and had tubes down his throat. unable to speak to me any more.  

My mom was my source in finding out about my grandmother, but she knew little.  She admits she didn’t know what to say to her mother-in-law, being young and not very savvy when it came to making conversation. What she remembered about my grandmother was that she was very quiet and often stared out from the position of an obscure woman in a room full of people. My mom thought her “spooky”. My mom recalls that my dad said that she smoked down her cigarettes the nub, burning and blackening the tips of her fingers.  She even might have started a small fire in her sister’s waste basket with a burning cigarette.

There is one thing that sticks out that my mother recalls that is sweet. What my grandmother asked my mother shows her humanity: “Do you love my son? “ It shows a woman who has genuine feelings, has desires, and caring. I could see the love that she had for my father when I heard that she brought his boots to school in bad weather, and he was embarrassed by the look of her—rolled down socks and an old fur coat.  I doubt, though, he ever heard the words of “I love you”, as my father did not say these things to his children.

Near the end of his life, when my father was getting dementia, I knew the time was short for us to talk and now was the moment to ask questions. “I know so little about your childhood”, I told him. He said there was nothing worth mentioning, and when I probed him a bit, he told me, “We were the lowest of the low”. It saddens me that the pain was still very much there.

What my parents couldn’t or didn’t tell me, I learned from a few other relatives. I called up my dad’s cousin—who lives in Las Vegas—with plenty of apprehension, never having met her, and not knowing if she’d want to talk with me. Slowly, I sensed her grow from suspicious of my intent to warming up to me a bit. She said she liked my father, but “he could have been nicer to his mother”. This cousin told me that he avoided her a lot, and she felt my grandmother was aware. My dad’s younger brother did, too, I am told. My mom related to me that once when my grandmother would knock on their door back in their flat in Detroit, in their early years of marriage, my dad told her not answer the door to prevent her visit.

If it wasn’t for this cousin’s mother, my grandmother’s sister, as well as two of her daughters, the poor woman would have been quite lonely—though I’m sure loneliness defined her. I am glad they took an extra interest in my grandmother. They would take her out for coffee or have her over.  This sister “felt sorry for her”, the Las Vegas cousin told me.  I’m glad, but she “felt sorry for her? I hope it was more than that.

Considering all what she went through, I am wondering what went through my grandmother’s head. Did this woman ever feel loved? If she did, it must have been like a glass of water in a desert.

Another of my dad’s cousins, from another sister of my grandmother’s, helped me out. Her family stories filled in some gaps, but what she couldn’t tell me records did. The records seemed to prove the stories correct, as some family stories can be more fiction than fact.

I did my own research, as well as get records from others, and finally hired a genealogist. I verified that my grandmother was born in 1892 in a village in Lithuania, not ever knowing the exact date. Loss began early in her life, as her father died of small pox when she was four months old. He was twenty six, and he wasn’t even married a year. Records show this bit of oral history to be almost spot-on.  My parents made a single visit to my grandmother’s youngest sister, and this great aunt told me that my grandmother lost her father at six months old. My dad never knew his real grandfather died, thinking his youngest aunt had a different father. He was surprised to find out that his mother was the one set apart from the others.

So my great grandmother was left a widow with a baby to care for all on her own. This would have been bad for both, so this gr
Grandmother, may you feel the warmth of God's embrace now, and hope you can know that I care and you DO matter.
It is December in Wicklow:
Alders dripping, birches
Inheriting the last light,
The ash tree cold to look at.

A comet that was lost
Should be visible at sunset,
Those million tons of light
Like a glimmer of haws and rose-hips,

And I sometimes see a falling star.
If I could come on meteorite!
Instead I walk through damp leaves,
Husks, the spent flukes of autumn,

Imagining a hero
On some muddy compound,
His gift like a slingstone
Whirled for the desperate.

How did I end up like this?
I often think of my friends'
Beautiful prismatic counselling
And the anvil brains of some who hate me

As I sit weighing and weighing
My responsible tristia.
For what? For the ear? For the people?
For what is said behind-backs?

Rain comes down through the alders,
Its low conductive voices
Mutter about let-downs and erosions
And yet each drop recalls

The diamond absolutes.
I am neither internee nor informer;
An inner émigré, grown long-haired
And thoughtful; a wood-kerne

Escaped from the massacre,
Taking protective colouring
From bole and bark, feeling
Every wind that blows;

Who, blowing up these sparks
For their meagre heat, have missed
The once-in-a-lifetime portent,
The comet's pulsing rose.
Yes, bright the velvet lawn appears,
And fair the blooming bowers;
Yet blame me not—I view with tears,
This scene of light and flowers;
Strangers possess my native halls,
And tread my wonted ways;
Alas! no look, no voice recalls,
The Home of Happier Days.
The gay guitar is still in tune;
The greenhouse plants are rare;
Glad faces throng the wide saloon,
But none I love are there:
Oh ! give me friendship's cherished tone,
Give me affection's gaze;
Else my sad heart can never own
The Home of Happier Days.
Edward Coles Oct 2014
The old man paints seashells
for all of the women he has loved.
He takes his husky for walks
along the beach, returning with
a bag of **** and a collection
of spirals and fans, still pregnant
with the whispers of the ocean.

By the window, he licks his brush
and steadies his nervous hands.
He will share a steak with the dog,
and wonder when the best company
became inanimate or at most; unspeaking.
He had long turned his back on Dylan
and Cohen, in favour of empty sound

and the rain hitting the tarp
in the garden. He recalls Diane
and the green of life in her poetry.
Louise, the blue of her moods and the sea.
Each woman had coloured his life
in hopeful hues, oh, and what a mess
he was in their absence.
(even the dog wouldn't sleep beside him)

The old man drew his last breath
when the silence became deafening.
When he realised he could not reclaim
memories through art, or through
the patient analysis of nature.
There was no shape or colour
that had not been created before.
c
Yip Wayne Jul 2018
Whitewashed four walls
Silence and total recalls
Ticking clock on the wall
My mind begging for a curtain call

Flashbacks in my cerebral theatre
Complimenting the rainy weather
Raindrop falls as my insides wither
As I lay on my bed where we were last together

4 months gone and I still remember
Your scent from my shirt down to my sweater
Your voice I recall and every laughter
Became history now that you found another

So much done in this apartment room
So much wrong ended it so soon
River of tears flow as I vacate the room
Another chapter ends, a new story resumes
Even now he sneaks away,
Leaving his family behind.
No longer caring what they say,
He can't stand to be inside.

On the roof, above the twelfth floor,
Looking out to the distant moon.
A quarter million miles more,
He hopes to be there soon.

Now his feet, they dangle free,
On the edge of life.
He knows there is so much more to be,
But has always considered this night.

He hums a tune softly to himself,
Space Bound by Eminem.
He dares not sing it to anyone else,
They wouldn't care enough to listen.

It defies, yet describes himself,
The impossible journey so far.
Wondering if he should call for help,
He examines again the stars.

He's on the edge, a moment profound,
Between two types of infinity.
One the universe that so surrounds,
And two, the end of all he could be.

Both so huge, so permanent,
They both could swallow him whole.
He can't tell where he would be sent,
When they put him in a hole.

He thought he had done so well,
Believing himself worthy.
But as his promises all fell,
His soul now feels *****.

He snaps back to the moment,
And the horror of it all.
But realizing his cares are spent,
He somehow doesn't fear the fall.

This is the only place he feels alive,
When he's walking that fine line.
Trying to recall when he felt the drive,
To stay and live and shine.

He remembers all the lively vigor,
That flooded through his veins.
He recalls what it was like to be a lover,
And let her take the reigns.

It screams through him,
A passion he cannot contain.
Forcing its way through him,
The shocking, driving main.

The phantom tears fall,
Not really there but real.
Time has slowed to a crawl,
As he remembers what it is to feel.

Once again he snaps back,
Reality greets him with a gust.
Struggling to control this attack,
He tries to find his trust.

But he's off his high,
The adrenaline has gone.
Still so fascinated by the sky,
He forces himself to go on.

Climbing down, he sighs aloud,
Nothing remains the same.
The moon is coveted by clouds,
And he hasn't gone insane.

He examines himself, his solid being,
Curious about his existence.
All of what he is seeing,
Seems as from a distance.

He pulls out his keyboard,
The journal of his sins.
The only thing in his world,
That when he calls, seems to listen.

He writes about a tragic man,
And rhymes all of his conflicts.
He locks it inside, as was his plan,
Twenty six little convicts.

Wondering within, in his head,
He scours for the truth.
He fears that it is all but dead,
The honesty of youth.

How can one man feel so alone?
Solemn tears of such despair,
Sitting atop his gilded throne,
His soul begins to tear.

He is so loved, but alas,
Fast love is not his cure.
He wishes for something that might last,
A peace that might endure.

He spends his nights,
In dying hatred of himself.
His many, many internal fights,
Have left him little else.

He denies, but knows it true:
He has finally come to fear.
His trust has finally fallen through,
He can't allow anyone so near.

Betrayed too often, taken and used,
His spirit taken for granted.
Now accustomed to being abused,
All his dreams have slanted.

He now believes that is his role,
The savior and the help.
Each case has taken its toll,
And nobody knows how it felt.

Now he lets a few come close,
But he dares not admit his flaws.
Beaten but unbroken,
Still dodging sharpened claws.

He put his faith in God,
And forces himself to believe.
He often wonders if the book is flawed,
But sees all he has received.

He lives life by logical decisions,
And this, mostly is true.
His heart has never found direction,
When he doesn't know what to do.

Now he no longer trusts his heart,
And so relies on luck.
He's waiting for a girl set apart,
One who loves poetry and trucks.

He drowns within his regrets,
Hating the things he has done.
Remembering the cruelest bets,
And all of those he has won.

Counting the hearts he burned,
Leading them on and on.
Recalling how each finally turned,
After he told them to move on.

He listens to the songs,
The lyrics describing love.
Now he thinks they might be wrong,
As he doubts what is above.

He sees in himself many gifts,
But he wonders if they are imagined.
Is he the one creating rifts?
Is there nothing good within him?

Does nothing really set him apart,
Is he truly just the same?
The numbers say that he is smart,
But he has outgrown his fame.

All his life he has been told,
That he is different, special.
But now as compliments grow old,
He again begins to wrestle.

In his heart he thinks they lied,
Inflating his confidence.
But now that his ego has died,
He dares not reminisce.

He climbed and climbed on great wings,
A beacon of joy and smiles.
But now they hate whenever he sings,
And his jokes don't make them smile.

He rarely screams or loses control,
But he can't comprehend what they say.
An extinguished spark within his soul,
Wonders why they pushed him away.

And so he goes, on and on,
He has not yet found his end.
All that was right is now wrong,
And so he constantly pretends.

Writing words as though they matter,
Laughing as if he cares.
His trust fades as it scatters,
And he keeps stitching his tears.
.
.
.
.
.
I slowly arise from my seat,
Glad that man is not me.
The clouds hide the moon from sight,
And it is far too late at night.

I'm refreshed and even smile.
I haven't had peace in a while.
The phantom tears nearly fall,
As I admire the beauty of it all.

The sky is so wide, so infinite,
I could lose myself within it.
Happy memories fill my mind,
Of all those I hold inside.

Folding chair my comfy throne,
Though tonight I am alone.
But I know that I am so loved,
A better life I can't think of.

From the floor below I hear a sound,
Eminem's Space Bound.
I hum along to the beat,
Wishing my own words so fleet.

One more glance into the sky,
I dream of soaring, flying high.
Smiling broadly, loving life,
I bid the beautiful world goodnight.
Nigel Morgan Nov 2012
A thousand peaks: no more birds in flight.
Ten thousand paths: all trace of people gone.

In a lone boat, rain cloak and hat of reeds.
An old man’s fishing the cold river snow.

I am alone in this mountain fastness, on a steep downward path in the deepest shadow. I play with the twelve characters of Lui Tsung-yaun’s poem. How few poems tell of the desolation of winter. The coming of Spring, the passing of Autumn? Yes. But the onset of Winter? Even my sharp memory only recalls a meagre handful of poems to this season: the time of the first snows. Against all good sense I set out from Stone Village too late in the year: now I search for comforting word images to accompany me on this journey. Just below the snowline I pass through a stunted forest of ancient walnut trees almost leafless; the unrelenting wind has dispatched them crinkled brown into the valley below. I see there a winding river. I see its distant lake. I think of this poem known since my teenage years, puzzled over that one could see in one sweep of the horizon a thousand peaks. Here are that thousand and more if the ranks of limestone pillars in these mountains can be counted as peaks. I count them as peaks. And those thousand paths? At every turn there is some fresh way falling into the valley, or a faint trail rising to the heights. But this path I tread asserts itself on the traveller. Its stones are worn and the excrement of passing pack animals sticks to my boots.

Last night a cave, tonight I will reach the village of Psnumako. My former guide provided its name with a disdain he could not hide. When questioned he warned me not to enter without a stout staff against the mastiffs that guard each house, supposedly ******* during the day but apt to break their bonds at the smell of a stranger.

The steep and ever steeper descent brings pain to my knees. At this hour of the day my body would prefer to climb to the heights, but descend I must. The cold, the damp cold begins to stiffen weary limbs. I am tired from a day’s travel, tired from three hard climbs, two descents and this, my third, to complete before nightfall. I enter a narrow gorge loud with clamour of running water, cascade upon cascade flowing from the heights, falling fast to the river soon to interrupt my path. I shall have to force a crossing. What passed for a bridge were two fallen pines lashed together.  Now they lie akimbo a little distant, thrown apart like sticks by the spring flood as the deep snows melt. I must divest myself of boots and lower garments and wade across, stumbling on stones up to my waist in swift waters, terrified under the weight of my pack that I will fall and be swept under and along. To travel alone at such moments is foolhardy, but on this cold afternoon I have no choice.

I am so intent on preparing for this crossing it is only when I reach the end of the path that I notice snow is falling, its flakes sharp and white against the dark-water flow. The whirl and turn of the water mesmerises. Fatigue, fatigue embraces me, a day’s fatigue holds me fast on the river’s stony side. I close my eyes and hear the water rush and place myself into the protection of a mountain charm learnt from a passing traveller. Dwarfed by the size of his burden I see him negotiate a narrow path high above a chasm; he walked trance-like to the intoning of this charm.

It is soon done, the cold crossing, and with a lighter step I walk the remaining leagues to the lake-side and sight of the village. There are the faintest sparks of light amongst the silhouettes of houses. Animals are being brought in from the home fields against the night. A sudden shout, the barking of dogs, and now the snow falls thick and fast.

The guttural dialect here is barely discernable as speech. We are from different worlds this shepherd and I who meet at the stupa guarding the village entrance. This is not a Buddhist shrine but an acknowledgement of some mountain giant of terrifying aspect. The shepherd sees my official insignia and nods, knowing I will require shelter. He utters what may be a welcome, but could be a warning, and leads me forth. The mastiffs leap and bay as I pass between the primitive two-storey houses, animals below, humankind above. He disappears. I stop and wait. He returns with a woman who beckons me to climb the ladder to what may be her home. A widow perhaps? She is alone unless the rank darkness hides a man or child. But there is none. I hear animals move and grunt under the floor, a mat of dirt and straw. There is a sleeping loft, a cooking corner. I can see little else. But I am out of the snow, the biting wind, the cold. She pulls at my cloak, wet and caked with ice. There is a bowl placed in my hands; a rough tea. I speak a greeting, but there is no reply just a rustle of straw as she moves across the room.

The stupor of a journey’s pause is upon me. After three days on the trail to the heights I am numb with fatigue. I need food and sleep. I need rest before a final trek into the wilderness. Beyond Psnumako Lake known paths end. Except for the tracks used by shepherds to move their flocks to different seasonal pastures, there is wilderness. I hope for guidance, for the whereabouts of the sages who, in the winter months I am told, leave their reed huts on the heights for caves in the lower valleys. I shall be patient, remain here a little while. I am now immune to the discomfort and dirt of travel. That is how it is. That is how is must be. I miss only the mental absorption of writing, the caress of the brush on a scroll. In my home in Louyang I keep brush and paper close to hand; wherever I may be I can write, even in, especially in, the privy. If a line comes to me I can write it down. Here there is only the comfort of memory.

To think that in the past I wrote of this mountain wilderness out of my imagination and the descriptions of others. I once thought of these remote places as havens of spiritual liberation.

In the hills there is the sound of zither.
White clouds stay over shaded peaks,
Red flowers shine in the sunlit woods
Rocks are washed in the stream like jade;

How very different is the reality of it all; in this emerging winter world of mist, where the sun rarely visits and most living things have departed, where wind colours silence and one’s footfall becomes consolation. The sound of stone rubbing stone on the path is the eternal present. There have been days when only a distant crow moves in the landscape. Lammergeyers are known in these parts, but I have yet to see one. If there are wild beasts, they shun me.

As this bowl of tea cools in my hands but warms my frozen fingers I form pictures of the past day on its dark surface. Before dawn from the mouth of a river cave I sensed changes in the qualities of darkness that have hidden the heights above me. Then a perceptible line appeared and divided the mountain from the sky. That line became variegated; there were trees bristling on the highest rocks. It appears that at this hour the prevalent mist settles in the valleys leaving the sky clear.

The woman comes to me. She kneels to untie my boots. She looks with a curious innocence at my strangeness, the distortion of my face, the cleft palette, the deformed upper lip, the squint of my left eye. She is kindly as I give her my best smile though my face seems frozen still. There is a whisper, a prayer of welcome possibly. Then she bows her head, unravels a long scarf to reveal a mane of oiled hair, and sets about removing my boots. I see only the top of her head, a severe parting, hair held tightly in wooden combs. I close my eyes to bring to mind the image of Xaoli, so slight in comparison, her butterfly hands flittering into and around my sleeves, her seeing touch mapping out the extent of me, each piece of clothing, only later my face.

My reverie is broken by the entrance of two men. They squat behind the woman and, after taking in my ugliness and my hairpins of office, patiently wait for her to finish and retire. We stand and bow, then sit again amongst the straw.

‘Honoured Lord, I am Yun. You have travelled from Stone Village? And beyond?’

I pass him the Emperor’s seal he cannot read, but remain silent.

‘You are seeking those who live in the heights? The village only sees their servants, young boys sent for a goat or flasks of barley spirit. They bring herbs our women favour. Some have seen their huts when seeking lost animals. Now it is said they are gathered in the caves like animals waiting for the spring moon.’

‘When was the village last visited by their kind?’

‘ Hanlu, my Lord, the time of cold dew, two boys appeared with a pony. There was trading. They brought Chrysanthemum flowers and herbs for two geese and wine. They left scrolls for passage to Stone Village. Now the snows fall we may not see them until the Spring’

‘How far are your summer pastures? Have you any who would guide me there ?’

‘We do not seek these places after the first snows. The sages haunt the region beyond Chang Mountain. Before the 11th moon you might pass into the valley of Lidong where it is believed their caves lie, but to return before the Spring will not be possible.’

‘How many days there?’

‘Allow four. A difficult way, unmarked, rarely trodden, much climbing. There is one here who we could send with you – part of the way, and at a price, My Lord. Dahan travelled two seasons since as groom to a party of six with ponies, but then in late Spring.’

‘I will stay three days.’

‘Just so My Lord. Xiu Li will see to your wishes.’

And they depart, Yun’s companion has remained silent throughout, though searched my face continually. By the door he places his hand against the stout bag that carries my lute. ‘Guqin’, he says tenderly.

This instrument is my pass to the community of the reclusive. I am renown for my songs and their singing. My third-best guqin has not left its bag since Stone Village and I fear damage despite all my care on the path.

Later, as the village mastiffs gradually cease their baying as the quarter moon rises I take this instrument and place it across my lap. Its seven silk strings I wipe with a cloth and gently tune with its tasselled pegs. I then prepare myself through meditation to avoid the intrusion of distracting thoughts. With my eyes closed I allow my hands to seek out and name each part of guqin: from the Forehead of the Top Board, to the String Eyes, the Dew Collector, The Mountain, Shoulder and Phoenix Wings, past the Waist, the Hat Lines and the Dragon’s Beard, to the Dragon’s Gums and thence to the Inner Top Board. I can feel the Pillar of Heaven – the sound post – has moved a little in my recent travels. So too the Pillar of Earth – but with care I move both to their rightful positions. And so on naming the inner and outer parts of each of the two boards that make up the guqin. I begin to regulate my breathing and allow the fingers of my left hand to stroke and touch, to press and oscillate in the manner of vibrato. Zhoa Wenji describes twenty-three kinds of vibrato. I feel in turn each of the hui, the thirteen gold studs that mark the harmonic nodes and allow me to play the guqin by touch alone. In these moments of preparation I hear the words of my teacher: a good player makes sounds that are plentiful but not confused. As the moon reflecting on water, so the sounds are together but not combined. Like wind in the pines, they are combined but also spread out. Such sounds are valued for their lightness. Avoid the addition of inappropriate  "guest" sounds. This is the refined theory of the guqin. To be knowledgeable about music, one must seek this, then one can realize its beauty.

I have tuned to the Huangzhong mode. The song *Amidst Mountains Thinking of an Old Friend
I have brought to mind. I recall the words of The Slender Hermit who says of this piece that its interest lies in holding cherished thoughts, but having no way to tell these to anyone. There are emotions about the present time, longings and laments for the past, but there is no way to express any of this. And so this piece.

In this poor reed hut the room is filled with mist and haze,
how far away are the things I love;
the old plum tree seems exhausted, its flowers about to die,
the mountains are lonely and I am nostalgic for past times.
The moon shines brightly on this lovely evening,
from this distance I think of my old friend and wonder where he is.
The green of the mountains never fades,
but before I know it my hair will turn white;
the moon is waning and flowers wither,
Old friend, I dream constantly of meeting you.
How hard it is to recall the joy of our last meeting!
With the many mountain ranges,
and its hidden tigers and coiled dragons,
I am unable return to you in Chang An.
The road is distant, the tall trees make the road dark,
and the world is vast.

I mourn Aquila and Lyra
separated by the Milky Way like the cowherd and weaving girl,
on the ground we are separated by 1,000 li
in the sky we are each in a separate place,
though our passions remain strong
There has been no warm correspondence,
there is restraint to the bright harmony,
and the flowing streams are swallowed by the setting sun.


The thought of this song of mid autumn touches me before its words have issued from my lips. I play the last two lines in harmonics and sing.
Zuo Si was the brother of the courtesan and poet Zuo Fen. This short story is based on a chapter from my novel Summoning the Recluse. The opening poem appears in a translation by David Hinton from his collection Mountain Home.
I find myself pacing and sighing
trying to condense my feelings into words.
My mind recalls insignificant details
and moments accumulated in my memory
that spark my feelings for you.
igniting my love into a feeling of ecstasy like no other.
I translate these moments into reasons.
Reasons that add up to other reasons
or multiply into even greater feelings for you.
But as for words..there are none.
**** it I can try but it will just fall short every time.
These words don't exist.
Words aren't passion or love
they are means of communication.
And passion or love I can not communicate.
In every smile.
In every look.
In every long car ride I spend laughing beside you.
In every day I spend with you for the rest of my life.
Thats where my love and passion resides.
I hope that you find it there
and I hope you find comfort within that.
Alan S Bailey Feb 2015
I remember lying there in the greenish sleeping bag,
Staring up at the wooden ceiling with all the dust,
The cobwebs sway in slightest amounts of air,
And falling asleep slowly, the loft so full of must.
This sinking sensation comes over me and I can see
A dark shadow in the other room, it moves across the
Doorway and looks as I call out for someone anyone
And in panic I have a total feeling of doom.

But this is just the beginning, I wake up in beads of sweat,
Is this really my life or dream, have I truly woken up yet...?

This story I hear tell of a man across the halls,
Who would walk toward the other side
At half past 12 at night as my friend recalls,
A dark visage, a shadowy veil, came out
When the daylight would subside.
The story as I recall keeps me up sometimes,
He had no eyes, again I repeat, you could see right
Through his eyes!
anne p murray Apr 2013
She walks amongst them…standing in grocery lines
feeling soundless pain - watching others, mothers, fathers, children
Admiring- but herself, feeling alone... empty

She sits in her chair at night visualizing, pondering
pretending she hears him whisper, as his breath drifts peacefully over her somber heart
She reaches out to embrace him, but he slips like mercury thru' her open fingers
like a soft velvet breeze flowing thru’ Celestial orbs
each essence evaporating like a heart beat in the cool, crisp evening air

“Take my hand” she whispers…“Let’s walk together under the soft moonlite’
with the soft, velvet grass tickling our naked feet like soft feathers
Will you please take my hand just one more time…and follow me tonight’?”

His memory- like fluid water -crystal clear, yet so elusive ~
but oh so conclusive…
slipping thru’ her fingers with passing time- with long ago memories hidden…
Yes, hidden in her fragile heart
down its corridors of delicate whispers
that slip thru’ her fingers like blu’, silky wispy fingers of lite’

As she sits alone in the night
with wrinkles on her face - scars in her heart
she pictures their silhouettes dancing close together
Looking back at elusive time ~ falling into step with the rhythms of the past
that float across her empty room at nite’

She closes her eyes, wishing he was there; to be together just one more time…
like two silhouettes dancing on her bedroom wall
Jake Warne Jul 2013
He wakes up and gets a move on
One more day with his broken boots on
All the lines across his face,
reminders of the times he lost his place,
I don't know how he's still alive

A man, a lonesome traveler
Wayward son, fate-tempting gambler
He dies, but not today
after all these years, still no one knows his name
God only knows how he survives

He still recalls, all the things he left behind
and there's blood on the tracks, but at least its mine

Silhouette, he still walks tall
Sun at his back, to blind us all
No more tears fall from his eyes
Who are you to claim a portion of his pride?
Don't be the hair that breaks his back

He still recalls, all the things he left behind
and there's blood on the tracks, it might be yours next time

He still recalls, all the things he left behind
and there's blood on the tracks, but at least its mine
A song I wrote with my band, Amberstein.
George Krokos Jan 2014
There seems to be a universal law of supply and demand
and all that’s truly had is in accordance with its command.
Working in conjunction with the law of cause and effect
it starts to really make some sense to all those who reflect.

For anyone who believes in providence and has a genuine need
it will in time be provided through faith and not based on greed.
This recalls to mind the words which a Great Person once said
before He was crucified and buried but later rose from the dead.
_______________
Private collection written in 2010.
Nigel Morgan Apr 2013
It took him a week to master thought-diversion. He would leave home to walk to work and the moment the door was shut it was as though she followed him like a shadow on snow. If he wasn’t careful the ten-minute walk would be swallowed up in an imagined conversation. He had already allowed himself too many dark thoughts of tears and silences. He saw her befreckled by weeks in a light he had only read about. She would be a stranger for a while, a visitor from another world (until she gradually lost the glow on her skin and the smell of Africa became an elusive memory). He was frightened that he would be overwhelmed by her physical grace enriched by   southern summer and the weight of her experience, having so little to offer in return. So he practised thought diversion: as her shadow entered his consciousness he would divert his attention to China of the Third Century and what he would write next about Zuo Fen and her illustrious brother.

Sister and brother Zou gradually took on a fictional life. This he fuelled by reading poetry of the period and his daily beachcombing along the shores of the Internet. He built up an impressive bibliography for his next visit to the university library. Even in the Han Dynasty there was so much material to study, though much of it the stuff of secondary sources.

One morning he took down from his library shelf Max Loehr’s The Great Painters of China and immediately became seduced by the court images of Ku Kai’chih. This painter is the only artist of this period of Chinese antiquity to be represented today by extant copies. There was also a possible original, a handscroll in The British Museum. It is said Ku was the first portrait artist to give a psychological interpretation of the person portrayed. Before him there seems in portraiture to have been little differentiation in the characterization of figures. His images hold a wonder all their own.

As David looked at the book’s illustrative plates, showing details from The Admonitions of the Instructress to the Palace Ladies, the world of Zuo Fen began to reveal itself. A ‘palace lady’ she certainly was, and so possibly similar to the image before him: a concubine reclines in her bamboo screen and silk-curtained bed; her Lord sits respectively at right-angles to her and half-way down her bed. The artist has captured his feet deftly lifting themselves out of square-toed slippers, whilst Zuo Fen drapes one arm over the painted bamboo screen, her manner resolute and confident. Perhaps she has taken note of those admonitions of her instructress. Her Lord has turned his head to gaze at her directly and to listen. Restless hands hide beneath his gown.

        ‘Honoured Lord, as we have talked lately of flowing water and the symmetry of love I am reminded of the god and goddess of Xiang River’.
       ‘In the Nine Songs of Qu Yaun?’
       ‘Yes, my Lord. The opening verse has the Prince of Xiang say: You have not come; I wait with apprehension / And wonder who makes you prevaricate on your island / When I am so splendidly and perfectly attired in your honour?
       ‘Hmm. . . so you favour this new gown.’
       ‘It is finely made, but perhaps does not suit the light of this hour’.
       ‘Let the Yangzi River flow calmly, / I look for you, but you have not come.’
      ‘I gaze at the distance in a trance, /  Only to see the grey green waters run by.

        ‘Honourable Companion, I fear you feel my mind lies elsewhere . ‘
       ‘I know you ride the cassia boat downstream.’
       ‘Indeed, my oar is of cassia and my rudder of orchid’.
        ‘I fancy that you build a house underwater, thatching it with a roof of lotus leaves . . .’
       ‘Well, if that is so, drop your sleeves into the Yangzi River and present the thin dress you wear to the bay of Li.’
       ‘I am in awe of my Lord’s recall of such verses . . . I love the Lady of Xiang’s description of the underwater house . . . with its curtains of fig leaves and screens of split basil.’
      ‘But will you send me all the spirits of Juiyi mountains to bring me to your side . . . will they come together as numerous as clouds?’
      ‘My Lord, my nose perspires . . .’
      ‘I offer my jade ring to the Yangzi River / and yield my jade pendant to the bay of Li. / I gather galingale fronds on an islet of fragrant grasses, / still hoping to present them to you. / If I leave, I might not have another chance. / So I’d rather stay here and linger a little longer.’
        ‘I gather the powerful roots of galingale / hoping to offer them to you who are still far away. / If I leave, I might not have another chance. / So I’d rather stay here and linger a little longer
.’
      ‘Even though your nose perspires and your ******* harden . . .’
        ‘Kind Lord, you have taken the wrong role in the dialogue. Surely it is the Plain Girl who gives such advise to the Yellow Emperor.’
        ‘And I thought only men read the Sunujing . . .’
        ‘You forget I have a dear brother . . .’
       ‘With whom you have read the Sunujing! . . and no I have not forgotten . . . he sought permission to travel to the Tai mountains, some fool’s errand my minister states.’
         ‘He may surprise you on his return.’
        ‘Only you can surprise me now.’
       ‘My Lord, you know I lack such gifts . . . I hear your sandals dropping to the floor’.
      ‘I sail my boat ever closer to the wind / and the waves are
stirred like drifting snow.’
     ‘I can hear my beloved calling my name. / I shall hasten so that I can ride beside him.



She seemed so child-like in that singular room of the garden annex. Her head had buried itself between the two pillows so only her ever-curling hair was visible. Opening a small portion of the curtains drawn across the blue metalled-framed French windows, he gazed at her sleeping in the dull light of just dawn. Outside a river-mist lay across the autumnal garden where they had walked yesterday before their tour of the estate. Unable to sleep he had sat in their hosts’ kitchen and mapped their guided walk in the rain, noting down his observations of this remote valley in a sprawling narrative. On the edge of moorland it was a world constrained and contained, with its brooding batchelor-owned farms and the silent legacy everywhere of a Victorian hagiographer and antiquarian. As he wrote and drew, snapshot-like images of her intervened unbidden. She both entranced and purposeful in a physical landscape she delighted in and knew how to read. Although longing to lie next to her he had sat gently for a moment on her bed, feeling the weight of her sleeping form move towards him as the mattress sagged, his bare feet cold on the stone floor. He placed his poem on the empty companion pillow, and returned through the chill of unheated rooms to the desert warmth of the Agared kitchen.


Lying in your arms
I am surprised to hear a voice
That seems in the right key
To sing what is in my heart.

After so many dark
inarticulate hours
I,  desperate
To express this love
That drowns me,
Suddenly come up for breath
(after floundering in
the cold water of night)
to find there were words
like little boats of paper
carrying a tea light,
a vivid yellow flame
on the black depths,
floating gently towards you . . .

Oh log of memory
record these sailing messages
So carefully placed, rehearsed,
Launched and found complete.

Knowing I must not talk of love,
Knowing no other word
(feeling the shape of your knee
with my right hand),
knowing this time will not
come again, I summon
to myself one last intimacy
before the diary of reason closes.


Zou Fen often wrote about herself as a rustic illiterate, country-born in a thatched hut, but given (inexplicably) the purple chamber at the Palace. As the daughter of a significant officer of the Imperial Court she appears to have developed a fictional persona to induce and taste the extremes of melancholy. Otherwise she is mind-travelling the natural world from her courtyard garden, observing in the growth of a tiny plant or the flight of distant bird, the whole pattern of nature. These things fill her rhapsodies and fu poems.

As a young man Zuo Si had wild flights of fantasy. He imagined himself as a warrior. In verse he recalls reading Precepts on the Art of War by Ssu-ma Jang Chu. With a scholar’s knife he writes of quelling the barbarian hordes (the Tibetans) in their incursions along the Yang-tze. When triumphant he would not accept the Emperor’s gift of a title and estate, but would retire to a cottage in the country. Then again, as a student scholar, he describes failure, penury and isolation ‘left stranded like a fish in a pond, without – he hasn’t a single penny in his account: within – not a peck of grain in the larder.’ He was never thus.

Like all good writers sister and brother Zou were the keenest observers. They took into and upon themselves what they saw and gathered from the lives of others, and so often their playful painted characters hide the truth of their real lives. David looks at his dishevelled poetry and wonders about its veracity. He always thought of Rachel as his first (and only) reader; but what if she were not? What would he write? What would his poems say?

*I lie on my back in her bed.
On her stomach, her arm on my chest,
She props herself against me
so that I see her face in close up.
She gazes
out of the window

I don’t think I have slept at all,
My own bed was so cold.
She warms me for a while.

All night
I’ve been thinking
what to say to her,
and now I am too weary
to speak.

I am in despair,
Yet I ache with joy
At having her so close.

I wish I knew who I was,
What I could be,
What I might become.

A voice tells me
that such intimacy
will not come again.
Lays of Mystery,
Imagination, and Humor

Number 1

I dreamt I dwelt in marble halls,
And each damp thing that creeps and crawls
Went wobble-wobble on the walls.

Faint odours of departed cheese,
Blown on the dank, unwholesome breeze,
Awoke the never ending sneeze.

Strange pictures decked the arras drear,
Strange characters of woe and fear,
The humbugs of the social sphere.

One showed a vain and noisy ****,
That shouted empty words and big
At him that nodded in a wig.

And one, a dotard grim and gray,
Who wasteth childhood's happy day
In work more profitless than play.

Whose icy breast no pity warms,
Whose little victims sit in swarms,
And slowly sob on lower forms.

And one, a green thyme-honoured Bank,
Where flowers are growing wild and rank,
Like weeds that fringe a poisoned tank.

All birds of evil omen there
Flood with rich Notes the tainted air,
The witless wanderer to snare.

The fatal Notes neglected fall,
No creature heeds the treacherous call,
For all those goodly Strawn Baits Pall.

The wandering phantom broke and fled,
Straightway I saw within my head
A vision of a ghostly bed,

Where lay two worn decrepit men,
The fictions of a lawyer's pen,
Who never more might breathe again.

The serving-man of Richard Roe
Wept, inarticulate with woe:
She wept, that waiting on John Doe.

"Oh rouse", I urged, "the waning sense
With tales of tangled evidence,
Of suit, demurrer, and defence."

"Vain", she replied, "such mockeries:
For morbid fancies, such as these,
No suits can suit, no plea can please."

And bending o'er that man of straw,
She cried in grief and sudden awe,
Not inappropriately, "Law!"

The well-remembered voice he knew,
He smiled, he faintly muttered "Sue!"
(Her very name was legal too.)

The night was fled, the dawn was nigh:
A hurricane went raving by,
And swept the Vision from mine eye.

Vanished that dim and ghostly bed,
(The hangings, tape; the tape was red happy
'Tis o'er, and Doe and Roe are dead!

Oh, yet my spirit inly crawls,
What time it shudderingly recalls
That horrid dream of marble halls!
“It is the voice of years, that are gone! they roll before me, with
  all their deeds.”

  Ossian.


NEWSTEAD! fast-falling, once-resplendent dome!
Religion’s shrine! repentant HENRY’S pride!
Of Warriors, Monks, and Dames the cloister’d tomb,
Whose pensive shades around thy ruins glide,

Hail to thy pile! more honour’d in thy fall,
  Than modern mansions, in their pillar’d state;
Proudly majestic frowns thy vaulted hall,
  Scowling defiance on the blasts of fate.

No mail-clad Serfs, obedient to their Lord,
  In grim array, the crimson cross demand;
Or gay assemble round the festive board,
  Their chief’s retainers, an immortal band.

Else might inspiring Fancy’s magic eye
  Retrace their progress, through the lapse of time;
Marking each ardent youth, ordain’d to die,
  A votive pilgrim, in Judea’s clime.

But not from thee, dark pile! departs the Chief;
  His feudal realm in other regions lay:
In thee the wounded conscience courts relief,
  Retiring from the garish blaze of day.

Yes! in thy gloomy cells and shades profound,
  The monk abjur’d a world, he ne’er could view;
Or blood-stain’d Guilt repenting, solace found,
  Or Innocence, from stern Oppression, flew.

A Monarch bade thee from that wild arise,
  Where Sherwood’s outlaws, once, were wont to prowl;
And Superstition’s crimes, of various dyes,
  Sought shelter in the Priest’s protecting cowl.

Where, now, the grass exhales a murky dew,
  The humid pall of life-extinguish’d clay,
In sainted fame, the sacred Fathers grew,
  Nor raised their pious voices, but to pray.

Where, now, the bats their wavering wings extend,
  Soon as the gloaming spreads her waning shade;
The choir did, oft, their mingling vespers blend,
  Or matin orisons to Mary paid.

Years roll on years; to ages, ages yield;
  Abbots to Abbots, in a line, succeed:
Religion’s charter, their protecting shield,
  Till royal sacrilege their doom decreed.

One holy HENRY rear’d the Gothic walls,
  And bade the pious inmates rest in peace;
Another HENRY the kind gift recalls,
  And bids devotion’s hallow’d echoes cease.

Vain is each threat, or supplicating prayer;
  He drives them exiles from their blest abode,
To roam a dreary world, in deep despair—
  No friend, no home, no refuge, but their God.

Hark! how the hall, resounding to the strain,
  Shakes with the martial music’s novel din!
The heralds of a warrior’s haughty reign,
  High crested banners wave thy walls within.

Of changing sentinels the distant hum,
  The mirth of feasts, the clang of burnish’d arms,
The braying trumpet, and the hoarser drum,
  Unite in concert with increas’d alarms.

An abbey once, a regal fortress now,
  Encircled by insulting rebel powers;
War’s dread machines o’erhang thy threat’ning brow,
  And dart destruction, in sulphureous showers.

Ah! vain defence! the hostile traitor’s siege,
  Though oft repuls’d, by guile o’ercomes the brave;
His thronging foes oppress the faithful Liege,
  Rebellion’s reeking standards o’er him wave.

Not unaveng’d the raging Baron yields;
  The blood of traitors smears the purple plain;
Unconquer’d still, his falchion there he wields,
  And days of glory, yet, for him remain.

Still, in that hour, the warrior wish’d to strew
  Self-gather’d laurels on a self-sought grave;
But Charles’ protecting genius hither flew,
  The monarch’s friend, the monarch’s hope, to save.

Trembling, she ******’d him from th’ unequal strife,
  In other fields the torrent to repel;
For nobler combats, here, reserv’d his life,
  To lead the band, where godlike FALKLAND fell.

From thee, poor pile! to lawless plunder given,
  While dying groans their painful requiem sound,
Far different incense, now, ascends to Heaven,
  Such victims wallow on the gory ground.

There many a pale and ruthless Robber’s corse,
  Noisome and ghast, defiles thy sacred sod;
O’er mingling man, and horse commix’d with horse,
  Corruption’s heap, the savage spoilers trod.

Graves, long with rank and sighing weeds o’erspread,
  Ransack’d resign, perforce, their mortal mould:
From ruffian fangs, escape not e’en the dead,
  Racked from repose, in search for buried gold.

Hush’d is the harp, unstrung the warlike lyre,
  The minstrel’s palsied hand reclines in death;
No more he strikes the quivering chords with fire,
  Or sings the glories of the martial wreath.

At length the sated murderers, gorged with prey,
  Retire: the clamour of the fight is o’er;
Silence again resumes her awful sway,
  And sable Horror guards the massy door.

Here, Desolation holds her dreary court:
  What satellites declare her dismal reign!
Shrieking their dirge, ill-omen’d birds resort,
  To flit their vigils, in the hoary fane.

Soon a new Morn’s restoring beams dispel
  The clouds of Anarchy from Britain’s skies;
The fierce Usurper seeks his native hell,
  And Nature triumphs, as the Tyrant dies.

With storms she welcomes his expiring groans;
  Whirlwinds, responsive, greet his labouring breath;
Earth shudders, as her caves receive his bones,
  Loathing the offering of so dark a death.

The legal Ruler now resumes the helm,
  He guides through gentle seas, the prow of state;
Hope cheers, with wonted smiles, the peaceful realm,
  And heals the bleeding wounds of wearied Hate.

The gloomy tenants, Newstead! of thy cells,
  Howling, resign their violated nest;
Again, the Master on his tenure dwells,
  Enjoy’d, from absence, with enraptured zest.

Vassals, within thy hospitable pale,
  Loudly carousing, bless their Lord’s return;
Culture, again, adorns the gladdening vale,
  And matrons, once lamenting, cease to mourn.

A thousand songs, on tuneful echo, float,
  Unwonted foliage mantles o’er the trees;
And, hark! the horns proclaim a mellow note,
  The hunters’ cry hangs lengthening on the breeze.

Beneath their coursers’ hoofs the valleys shake;
  What fears! what anxious hopes! attend the chase!
The dying stag seeks refuge in the lake;
  Exulting shouts announce the finish’d race.

Ah happy days! too happy to endure!
  Such simple sports our plain forefathers knew:
No splendid vices glitter’d to allure;
  Their joys were many, as their cares were few.

From these descending, Sons to Sires succeed;
  Time steals along, and Death uprears his dart;
Another Chief impels the foaming steed,
  Another Crowd pursue the panting hart.

Newstead! what saddening change of scene is thine!
  Thy yawning arch betokens slow decay;
The last and youngest of a noble line,
  Now holds thy mouldering turrets in his sway.

Deserted now, he scans thy gray worn towers;
  Thy vaults, where dead of feudal ages sleep;
Thy cloisters, pervious to the wintry showers;
  These, these he views, and views them but to weep.

Yet are his tears no emblem of regret:
  Cherish’d Affection only bids them flow;
Pride, Hope, and Love, forbid him to forget,
  But warm his *****, with impassion’d glow.

Yet he prefers thee, to the gilded domes,
  Or gewgaw grottos, of the vainly great;
Yet lingers ’mid thy damp and mossy tombs,
  Nor breathes a murmur ‘gainst the will of Fate.

Haply thy sun, emerging, yet, may shine,
  Thee to irradiate with meridian ray;
Hours, splendid as the past, may still be thine,
  And bless thy future, as thy former day.
Traci Eklund Oct 2014
He jumps forward
she free flows through the sound
the yelling surrounds her
slowly as she hit the ground

Baby I love you,
she recalls as she brushes her knees.
Her son grabs his father
tears rushing down his face
its an all true reality
from love to hate

I've seen the bruises
I've seen the scars
of broken children with doubt in their heart
Dr zik Nov 2017
You are!
The source of
Pleasure and calmness!
I recall You!
In deep city noises
I request You!
In deep dark nights
I talk with You!
In a solitude
I smell You!
Every where
When I wander about
I have You!
When I need You, Lord!
You are the answer!
Of unseen questions
You are the solution!
Of upcoming problems
O' my Lord!
As You are!
The source of
Pleasure and calmness
For the heart
That recalls You!
With and within heartbeats.
Dr Zik's Poetry
Terry Collett Jun 2015
Sophia sorts through
her parents' room;
they're out for the day,
some Polish old comrades

meeting of her father's,
old war pals. She opens up
the old wardrobe, sorts
through things, takes out

her mother's old dresses
and some new ones, puts
them on the bed. She likes
a red one, old but well kept.

She ponders, she decides
to try it on. She undresses
from her own jeans and top
and puts on the old red dress

and looks at herself in the
wardrobe mirror. Her mother
must have been her size back
then, it fits like it was made

for her. She does a twirl, looks
back at her ***, her thighs,
turns to the front and stares
at her *******. She doesn't

remember her mother wearing
the dress, not a dress she recalls
her mother wearing at all. She
looks down, it comes just below

the knees, although she's taller
than her mother, so it would
come lower on her mother.
She embraces herself as if

Benedict were there behind her
putting his arms around her
and breathing on her neck.
She stares at herself in the mirror;

stares at her full length. She
smells the material. It smells
of stale perfume, but not horrible
or clammy. She walks around

the room in it; looks at herself
in the mirror across the room.
She'd ask her mother if she could
borrow it, but then she'd have to

say she'd been in her mother's wardrobe
and that would cause hell with her
father and she didn't want that. She
take off the dress and stands there

in her bra and *******, and puts the
dress back on the hanger, and puts
it back with the other dresses where
she found it the wardrobe, in the right

place, and pushes the clothes back as
far as shes can recall in the order they
were, and closes the wardrobe door.
She dresses back in her jeans and top.

She pauses by the bed. The crucifix over
the bed. The Crucified staring down
pityingly. She touches the bed with her
fingers. She'd like to bring Benedict here;

make love here. But not after last time
in her room and her parents came back
after and that was too close. And some
neighbour had split on her and said

they'd seen young man and her come
here while her parents were out and her
father gave her the third degree over it.
Her father said she can only bring the

boy when they were home. Couldn't bring
Benedict back for *** while they were
downstairs sitting watching TV and
drinking their wine and such, and not

in her parent's bed, not beneath the
Crucified, except in her blonde haired head.
A GIRL PUTS ON HER MOTHER'S OLD RED DRESS IN 1969.
Louis Brown Sep 2010
THE BIG JETS HIT THEIR TARGETS
TWIN TOWERS TUMBLED DOWN
BIN LADEN SMILES WHEN HE RECALLS
HIS FAVORITE KILLING GROUND
AMERICA'S DARKEST MOMENT
WHEN BLACK SMOKE FILLED THE AIR
AS STEEL AND MORTAR VANISHED
ONLY ANGELS WALKED THOSE STAIRS

CHORUS:
WE REMEMBER THAT SEPTEMBER
WHERE THE PAST IS ONE BAD DREAM
THOSE LOVED ONES LIVE WITHIN US
THERE'S NO CHANGING WHAT THEY MEAN
WE REMEMBER THAT SEPTEMBER
AND THE GRAVEYARD THAT WAS MADE
BY THOSE NINETEEN MUSLIM KILLERS.....
WHILE THE DEBT IS STILL UNPAID

AND NOW THEY WANT ANOTHER MOSQUE
NEAR VERY HALLOWED GROUND
TO BUILD  IT NEAR GROUND ZERO
IS AN INSULT SO PROFOUND
AND WHERE THEY'VE BUILT THEIR TEMPLES
THEY'VE BROUGHT MILITANTS WITH CLAWS
THEY HAVE NO RESPECT FOR WOMEN
SELLING ISLAM'S THEIR GREAT CAUSE

CHORUS:
WE REMEMBER THAT SEPTEMBER
WHERE THREE THOUSAND BURNED AND SCREAMED
NOW THOSE LOVED ONES LIVE WITHIN US
TIME WON'T CHANGE HOW MUCH THEY MEAN
WE REMEMBER THAT SEPTEMBER
AND THE GRAVEYARD THAT WAS MADE
BY THOSE NINETEEN MUSLIM KILLERS.....
WHILE THE DEBT IS STILL UNPAID
Copyright Louis Brown
Terry Collett May 2013
Let him wait,
she says,
drying under arms
after her bath,
the towel rubbing the skin,

talcum powder
on the side
ready to be applied,

he downstairs waiting,
impatient no doubt,
pacing up and down
or sitting smoking,
cursing under his breath.

A woman’s privilege
to take her time.
Beauty cannot be rushed.

She moves the towel
further down,
rubs between her thighs.  

Even as a child
she imagines
he was impatient,
unable to wait,
unwilling to be kept
against his will
until the time was right.

She smiles.
She senses
the towel’s roughness,
the rub of skin.

She recalls the wedding night,
the shyness *******,
she blushing,
he awkward all
fingers and thumbs,
she turning her back on him

to put on her night dress,
he looking away,
unwilling to view,
she in bed
covered to the neck,
he *******
bit by bit
avoiding her eyes,

she studying
the ceiling
the patch of grey,

he with night attire on
climbs into bed,
she feels him near,
his body nigh touching,
his hand out stretched.

In the dark,
she recalls,
they fumbled
and searched
and touched,
with grunts
and moans,
and woos
and ahs,
the night went on

until sleep
eased them
to a settled bliss,
ending with
that sticking kiss.
guy scutellaro Sep 2018
(continues from where Jack  and Kate have exited O'Malley's wedding reception and are standing outside the bar)


"Hello Mr. Martin," Jack says to an old man slowly shuffling up Main Street.

"Who is he?" Kathleen asks.

"I know him from the barber shop. The barber pays him a few dollars to clean and sweep the hair off of the floor. He has a room above the bar."

When Joesph Martin approaches them, Jack asks, "Hello, how are you?"

"I'm an old man, Jack. How could I be?" But then he smiles, "Ahh, I can't complain and how are you?"

"Still alive and well."

"Who is this pretty young lady?" Mr. Martin asks.

"This is Kate." Jack tells him.

Joesph Martin reaches with his hand and takes her by the arm. Gently he squeezes. "Hello Kate, such a pretty name for such a pretty woman. It's nice to meet you."

The thick eye glasses that he wears magnify his sad eyes. Kathleen is cold and dizzy and half heartedly, she smiles.

"Good by Jack and Kate. Have as much fun now because you're going to be dead for a long, long time."

""How long?" Delleto inquires.

The old man just smirks and the continues walking up the street until he comes to the door that leads to the stairwell and his room above the Wagon Wheel bar. Anthony turns to face the door. The small window is broken and the shards of glass catch the twilight.

Joseph Martin turns back looking at the young man and woman who are about to get into a car. He is not certain what he wants to say to them. Perhaps he wants to tell them that it ***** being an old man and that the upstairs hallway always smells of ****.

He wants to say to them that although Anna died ten years ago he still loves her and misses her every day. Joesph recalls that Plato in Tamaeus believed that the soul is a stranger to the Earth and has fallen on account of sin into matter.

Jack waves to Joesph.

A faint smile appears on Joesph Martin's wrinkled face as he heeds the resignation he hears in his own thoughts. Joesph waves back. The mustang drives off.

Earth, O  Island Earth.


Joesph pushes open the door and goes  into the hallway. The fragments of glass scattered across foyer crunch and clink under his worn shoes. The cold wind blowing through the broken window touches his warm neck. He shivers and starts up the stairs.

Little illumination is provided by the 25 watt light bulb at the top of the stairs. There is only enough light to dimly see the wall and his own breathing. There is just enough light, like when he awakens from a bad dream, to remember who he is and to separate the horror of what was dreamt from the horror of what is real.

The old man continues climbing the stairs following the familiar shadow of the wall cast onto the stairs. If he crosses the vaque line he will become invisable like a four pound trout hiding in the deepest hole of a creek. By the  time he reaches the second floor he is out of breath.  Joesph  pauses and with his handerchief he has taken from his back pocket he wipes the moisture from the lenses of his eyeglasses.

A couple of the doors are standing open and the old man cautiously looks into each room as he hurries past them. Down at the end of the hall the fire exit sign glows above the door. One forty-watt light bulb hangs from a frayed wire from the ceiling halfway down the corridor. The wiring is old and the bulb in the white porcelain socket above the door and hallway stairs flicker like the blink of an eye or the fearful beating of an old man's heart.

When he opens the door to his room, it sags on ruined hinges.

Several seconds pass as he nervously searches with his hand for the light switch, finds it, and turns on the light. Vigilantly, he looks around the cramped, sparse room, over at the bed against the wall, and then across the room to the dresser beside the sink.

The opening of one door and the closing of another outside in the hallway ushers Joesph Martin into his room before his inspection is complete. Quickly, he pushes his door closed. Without taking off his coat, he sits down on the bed and reaches to turn on the radio.

It is gone.

Hard soled boots echo hollowly off the hallway doors. The overlapping echoes make it impossible for Joesph  to determine whether the footsteps are approaching or leaving. He lays back on his bed. Resigning himself to another sleepless night, he  rolls over onto his side and the wall.

He thinks of Anna and the garden behind their house. He feels the warmth of the sun emanating from the white bricks of the house as he walks the path to the garden. He remembers how sweet the air smelled and Anna standing there, waiting there with a plate freshly made oat meal cookies. She made the cookies every Sunday before going to church and she was beautiful and Joseph  aches tonight with the love he feels for Anna.

Earth, O island Earth.
continues with Kate  and Jack leaving the bar and Jack taking Kate home.
Nat Lipstadt Sep 2013
The TSA won't let me fly
It seems when airplane-jailed,
My muse sneaks aboard
Without paying for a seat.

Another airplane poem like 30B,
From a long ago flight,
Found dusty, in the poetry sewing box


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

with every breathe he tithes
a packet of whispered wishes,
a blended osmosis of
past and future scenes,
reviewed, previewed,
moments in time,
actual and dreamed

some received,
airborne plucked,
in his chest stored,
prepared for future
takeoffs and landings,
for ultimate insertion
in both
your recesses
and
your abscesses

some native,
combobulated, containerized
packets of seconds,
of joyous moments,
bytes of historical
hugs n' kisses,
as a child
to a child
from a child

those are vanilla frosted,
residual payments for the
good done and given,  
forwarded with all clear signals,
to his loved ones,
now resent, to you,
fellow travelers and sojourners,
intersectors of our peculiar
coded dots and dashes

thirty five thousand feet high,
composure lost,
he swoons as
Bocelli's voce del silenzio
releases tears so sweet,
which are by nature,
gravitated and transformed
into snowflakes to decorate
the Sierra Nevada's
breasted peaks and valleys,
over which his physical notion
is at rest, yet in motion,
within a Delta flying ship

Yet his fevered chest
beats rough,
for every flight seems
a time warp interlude,
a forced reflecting rhyme,
not of his choosing,
a lawful, thoughtful, imprisonment

having donated to you
his best, the remainders,
the man tallies, recalls:

ancient slights, scaled heights,
requiems for his forefathers
scored by cantorial choirs,
liberation struggle weariness,
offers taken and refused,
aces in the hole that proved
insufficient to save his soul.

goal line stands made,
onslaughts refused,
true lies and false truths,
moist lips and monster tears,
occasional A's and calcu-hell-us,
hand me downs received,
help me ups got n' given,
buildings pricked by airplanes,
death wishes granted
and nothing thereby gained,
children, found and lost,
mine, yours, ours...

The sums, always the sums!

engine noises and pilfered winds
are dulled and semi-silenced,
yet the silvered chamber prison
resonates from end to end
as each ledgered memory,
each packet of the
hidden whispered poems
he does NOT choose to send,
dents the man,
leaving claw marks,
screaming pay attention to me,
as if they were the priorities
of a six year old child,
refusing to be ignored

he does,
attention, he does pay,  
allowing rocking guitar heroes
to overtake weeping violinists,
just as newer transgressions
surfeit even his
most really *****,
ancient sins

No matter how he counts,
unable to master the additions,
no matter how many times
counts are initiated,
taken and retaken,
the tally's net net is
concluded, numbered
"forsaken"

his life's W-2 is black n' blue,
deductions falsely enumerate
and thereby underestimate
dues he has paid summarily,
earnings, distorted,
taxes paid never enough,
to satisfy the justice scales,
so wearily he
cries and enunciates,

The sums, always the sums!

THEN COMES HIS SHOUT OUT,
at his most vulnerable,
when a thin veneer of alumina
separates him,
from a fall inglorious
to an end most gorious,
a rapping beat moderne
insists that he go all out,
disallowing no
airy fairy poetry
to disguise that:

If the integers are false,
the entries of a life lived,
are sucker lies
black eyed flies
toxic shockers
that bust open
stinko lockers
where the B.S.
mocking stories
are kept

don't look close
at his documents
they ain't exactly
heaven sent
and the government men
be back on his track
their aviator shades
protect them from
burning light of the
man's furnace
where he burns their liens,
and the agent's ear pieces
drown out his screams of

The sums, always the sums!

God bless you,
keep and recall those packets of
whispered wishes, good tithes,
that the man bequeaths,
gift baskets of
expresso essentials
with God's love delivered

Tho his words,
amateurish and unvarnished,
silly and pompous,
nonetheless, they are the
return on his investments,
his yearnings for your happiness
are the savings accumulated,
though meager jewels are they,
they are ad valorem,
mixed into his confused murmurings

here then,
are his summings up,
what he wills you,,
the tally finale
the best wisdom is
found on coffee cups
at 2:47am.

Dance
Love
Sing
Live

to which he respectfully amends with a
Write.
(See banner photo)
See Nat Lipstadt
Juggling Thoughts Re Proximity, in Seat 30B
Isilwen Grier Nov 2012
did he think it would be easy 
to pick her up off her feet?

she is spiteful, lazy, and weak
she is unfaithfully trying-- 
half asleep

but he comforts her repeating- 
"you'll feel better, go outside, in the sun," he quickly says 
staring at her 

she swears it won't shine--despite the weather
whether she is too heavy in the suns rays 
or carrying her self-hate, hiding from 
the sun's gaze,

he arrives home to watch her break 
and he gazes through the mess she makes

he is heavy
holding her close
he is tired giving her a dose

in her daze--
"i'm ok, i don't need it" she boasts
it's these kinds of day's he hates the most

when he wakes, he's thinking 
"work will be long," as he's dressing

as he glances over her
at the clock
he's thinking that he's running late 

as he glances over at her
"yes, i'm sure she's recovering" 
even if he recalls her cycle of words, the night before 

the quotes of happiness
[grief, sickness, death, the end"] 
then beams of happiness
...she keeps changing

but "it will...be easy," he is thinking, 
as he steps quietly away, while yawning.
Michael Amery May 2014
Sleep deprived,
My mind whispers of your soft touch
Urgent with need.
My eyes wander over your every curve,
Intoxicated by your beauty,
They devour you whole.
My skin recalls with vivid clarity
The feel of you beneath me,
The throbbing desire,
The explosion of mutual release.
My mouth can still taste the moisture on your lips,
It yearns to return to you,
To nibble,
To lick.
Watching you dress,
I wait...

— The End —