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twelve caesuras Aug 2014
on the train rides to school,
i wondered the most efficient way
to give myself third degree burns
amidst these black-hearted men
that smell like smoke, these men
with wandering hands.

on the train rides from school,
i kept a can of kerosene in my bag
along with my astrophysics textbook,
and a sheaf of tests that i'd passed
with flying colors
(oh look at the colors, they're flying).

on the train rides to school,
i listened to the arctic monkeys
and only upped the volume when
these black-hearted men around me
hoped to turn me red,
these men with rings on their fingers.

on the train rides from school,
i took my hair out of its bun
and tried to find the moon but
of course pearls aren't found on
the surface of the ocean
(and i, too, found myself submerged).

on the train rides to school,
i still had to swallow down the arguments
that greeted me when i woke up
that gathered like bile and probably
would've formed some too if
i hadn't emptied myself already.

on the train rides from school,
i'd fold lucky stars out of the slips
of paper with ten numbers on them each,
given to me by blushing boys that wanted to
speak into the night
(and when night came, i set the stars aflame).

on the train rides to school,
i closed my eyes and felt the gazes
of grey suits and souls to match
with colorful ties to maybe spice it up,
i closed my eyes but
still saw the grins of
old wolves trying to learn ***** tricks.

on the train rides from school,
i held a book of matches between my
calculus assignments, right next to the
kerosene and the half empty bottle of dr. pepper
and a photo of my sixteenth birthday cake
(you know, ready to burn).
went back to school to get my third degree,
first two were no longer hurting me,
i wanted this one to hurt and last,
i wanted this one to happen fast
Bikes rides through the neighborhood
Are a very relaxing thing.
Who knew that a task as simple this
Could make your heart feel light and sing?
Terry Collett May 2015
The RICKARD'S coach arrived at the seafront the sight of the sea and waves and seagulls in flight and sounds of sea and gulls and waves on shore and Janice waited in the coach seat beside Benedict both gazing out at the view listening to the gospellers talking about the day and the plans ahead and one of them with one eye said not to wander off but to stay with the group and before we get off the coach make sure you are with someone it's easy to get lost on your own so stay with some one all day or a group of others he said his voice a drone to Benedict who looked at the sea and the gulls and also there is a fairground to visit One Eye said but stay with a person and do not wander off with anyone you do not know and the rides are paid for so no need to pay any money out he said the children on the coach buzzed like bees with excitement but Benedict sat and watched the beach the families the ice cream van the fish and chip shop the shop selling buckets and spades and whirly things that go around and around in the wind and so on but before we leave the coach we need to say a prayer and thank God for this day and for the weather and the sunshine and for the gospel church members who paid towards this day out for you One Eye said there was a silence and lowering of heads and closing of eyes and One Eye said a prayer and was ended with a loud AMEN which echoed the coach and maybe along the beach Benedict  waited until the the kids got off the coach one by one then he and Janice moved down the aisle as One Eye and another gospeller counted them off Janice straightened her red beret and Benedict followed her out onto the seafront pavement and sniffed the air and listened to the sounds of sea and gulls stay together a gospeller said to them we will Janice said excitedly taking hold of Benedict’s hand and squeezing it where can we go? she asked the fairground rides are over there the gospeller said pointing over to the side and we will meet for lunch at one pm meet here I’ve told the others and we will keep an eye out for you ok Janice said Benedict and she walked towards the fairground where there was a loud sound of machines going around and voices and screams and laughter and shouts they went in and walked around the various rides and stalls and Benedict said where shall we start? I don't know Janice said there is so much to go on and do but Benedict had his eye on the motorbike rides where small motorbikes could be ridden around a circular track I’m going on that he said looks a bit scary Janice said releasing his hand wait here for me then or ride on something else less scary he told her no I’ll stay with you she said and followed him onto the side of the track where a man was organizing the rides and kids want to ride on the back or on your own? the man said to Janice who looked uncertain I’ll ride behind him she told the man and climbed on the back of the motorbike Benedict was sitting on she put her arms around Benedict’s waist and held on tight then they were off around the track and at a given speed and around and around they went Benedict over taking other kids on motorbikes and now and then being overtaken by others then it was over and the time set finished and they got off and went on a number of other rides and stalls and kept together until it was nearly one pm and a gospeller said got to meet for lunch now and they followed the other kids back to the coach and waited until all had arrived and then they set off for a restaurant where a meal had been organised by the gospel church in advance and they all sat down and Benedict and Janice sat in two seats together and Janice said that was good I haven't enjoyed myself so much in years  and that motorbike ride was scary but I did enjoyed it after all and Benedict let her talk because she was good at it and he watched her how her red beret moved as she turned or shook her head in her excitement and her eyes bright as stars and her hands clapped and her fingers moved and he just listened smiling and nodding and he said maybe we can sit on the beach after lunch or go in the sea and paddle and see if there are any ***** or dead fish left by the tide O she said will there be? and will the ***** bite? and I best go to the loo as I think I’ll wee myself with excitement other wise and she walked across to one of the gospellers and asked and they pointed to a door at the back and Benedict watched her go and listened to the other kids and people around talking and laughing and thought of home in London and wondered what his mother was doing and should he take her back a gift out of the money she gave him if there was a shop that sold things he could buy he would if he could find something he thought she might like just as Janice returned a waitress brought the meals around and laid them on the table in front of them fish and chips O good Janice  said I like them I wonder if they caught the fish around here in this sea do you think they did Benny? do you? I expect so Benedict said although he didn't know and hadn't thought of where the fish had come from apart from the sea some place he liked it when she asked him questions as if he knew everything when he knew he didn't but it made him feel good and he looked at her and felt happy her being there with her red beret and fair hair and she like him was eight years old or more and she living with her gran and he not knowing what happened to her mum and dad and never asked thinking it best not to ask and he living with his parents and sister and brother in London and so different from the seaside with the sounds and smells so different and fresh and she talked of the beach and maybe paddling if they went in the sea he with her in case she slipped in and drowned and she didn't want to do that and of course he would he said and they ate the fish and chips and he looked out at the sea over the way and sensed her near him and was enjoying the seaside day.
A BOY AND GIRL AND A TRIP TO THE SEASIDE IN 1956.
1969 Hartford art school is magnet for exceedingly intelligent over-sensitive under-achievers alluring freaks congenital creeps and anyone who cannot cut it in straight world it is about loners dreamers stoners clowns cliques of posers competing to dress draw act most outrageous weird wonderful classrooms clash in diversity of needs some students get it right off while others require so much individual attention one girl constantly raises her hand calls for everything to be repeated explained creativity is treated as trouble and compliance to instruction rewarded most of faculty are of opinion kids are not capable of making original artwork teachers discourage students from dream of becoming well-known until they are older more experienced only practiced skilled artists are competent to create ‘real art’ defined by how much struggle or multiple meanings weave through the work Odysseus wants to make magic boxes without knowing or being informed of Joseph Cornell one teacher tells him you think you’re going to invent some new color the world has never seen? you’re just some rowdy brat from the midwest with a lot of crazy ideas and no evidence of authenticity another teacher warns you’re nothing more than a bricoleur! Odysseus questions what’s a bricoleur teacher informs a rogue handyman who haphazardly constructs from whatever is immediately available Odysseus questions what’s wrong with that? teacher answers it’s low-class folk junk  possessing no real intellectual value independently he reads Marshall McLuhan’s “The Medium Is The Message” and “The Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci” he memorizes introductory remark of Leonardo’s “i must do like one who comes last to the fair and can find no other way of providing for himself than by taking all the things already seen by others and not taken by reason of their lesser value” Odysseus dreams of becoming accomplished important artist like Robert Rauschenberg Jasper Johns Andy Warhol he dreams of being in eye of hurricane New York art scene he works for university newspaper and is nicknamed crashkiss the newspaper editor is leader in student movement and folk singer who croons “45 caliber man, you’re so much more than our 22, but there’s so many more of us than you” Odysseus grows mustache wears flower printed pants vintage 1940’s leather jacket g.i. surplus clothes he makes many friends his gift for hooking up with girls is uncanny he is long haired drug-crazed hippie enjoying popularity previously unknown to him rock bands play at art openings everyone flirts dances gets ****** lots of activism on campus New York Times dubs university of Hartford “Berkeley of the east coast” holding up ******* in peace sign is subversive in 1969 symbol of rebellion youth solidarity gesture against war hawks rednecks corporate America acknowledgment of potential beyond materialistic self-righteous values of status quo sign of what could be in universe filled with incredible possibilities he moves in with  painting student one year advanced named Todd Whitman Todd has curly blond hair sturdy build wire rimmed glasses impish smile gemini superb draftsman amazing artist Todd emulates Francisco de Goya and Albrecht Durer Todd’s talent overshadows Odysseus’s Todd’s dad is accomplished professor at distinguished college in Massachusetts to celebrate Odysseus’s arrival Todd cooks all day preparing spaghetti dinner when Odysseus arrives home tripping on acid without appetite Todd is disappointed Odysseus runs down to corner store buys large bottle of wine returns to house Todd is eating spaghetti alone they get drunk together then pierce each other’s ears with needles ice wine cork pierced ears are outlaw style of bad *** bikers like Hell’s Angels Todd says you are a real original Odys and funny too Odysseus asks funny, how? Todd answers you are one crazy ******* drop acid whenever you want smoke **** then go to class this is fun tonight Odys getting drunk and piercing our ears Odysseus says yup i’m having a good time too Todd and Odysseus become best friends Odysseus turns Todd on to Sylvia Plath’s “The Bell Jar” and “Ariel” then they both read Ted Hughes “Crow” illustrated with Leonard Baskin prints Todd turns Odysseus on to German Expressionist painting art movement of garish colors emotionally violent imagery from 1905-1925 later infuriating Third ***** who deemed the work “degenerate” Odysseus dives into works of Max Beckmann Otto Dix Conrad Felixmulller Barthel Gilles George Grosz Erich Heckel Ernst Ludwig Kirchner Felix Nussbaum Karl *******Rottluff Carl Hofer August Macke Max Peckstein Elfriede Lohse-Wachtler Egon Shiele list goes on in 1969 most parents don’t have money to buy their children cars most kids living off campus either ride bikes or hitchhike to school then back home on weekends often without a penny in their pockets Odysseus and Todd randomly select a highway and hitch rides to Putney Vermont Brattleboro Boston Cape Cod New York City or D.C. in search of adventure there is always trouble to be found curious girls to assist in Georgetown Odysseus sleeps with skinny girl with webbed toes who believes he is Jesus he tries to dissuade her but she is convinced

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

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

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

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

in fall he is cast as Claudius in production of Hamlet Odysseus rehearses diligently on nights o
The little silver sprite rides the silver leaf,
of the blue, briar-berry thorn bush,
you can find him out at night!

The little silver sprite rides the silver leaf,
of the blue, briar-berry thorn bush,
when the stars are full and bright!

The little silver sprite rides the silver leaf,
of the blue, briar-berry thorn bush,
see the snow out on the ground?

The little silver sprite rides the silver leaf,
of the blue, briar-berry thorn bush,
dancing in the snowflakes' falling sound?

The little silver sprite rides the silver leaf,
of the blue, briar-berry thorn bush,
The leaves they are attractive, they shimmer in the night...

...like the snowfall, so distractive, a twisting shiny sickness is a tasty sight,
though the berries not delicious their taste is only acrid, and hiding a secret acid, yet pungent, smelling right?

The bush's thorns they punish those who root among the branches while the sprite he dances in-between the flashes of pain and belly aches the acid courses through one’s veins and the evil sprite it smiles knowing well where its source of nutrient for the winter has died and felled!

The little silver sprite rides the silver leaf, of the blue, briar-berry thorn bush; but only at night…
Mercurychyld Mar 2015
Days ago
there was a battle;
a struggle with waves of
relentless fury and
a choking sorrow,
wounds left to bleed,
but no one else could
know or see.

These wretched winds
were too intense for
me alone to stop;
I tried to reign them in,
but just could not.

Wrestling with injuring
thoughts and chaotic
emotions, alone,
I hadn’t realized another
was watching, guarding
over me, so to speak.

A silent sentinel,
waiting, observing,
making sure that no one
else got hurt
by the brutal storm
raging deep.

The whole time
he lovingly held the reigns,
and now handed them back
over to me.
He placed them gently
in my naked hands,
as his remained leathered
and gloved.

Now I wake
and a blanket of sorrow
covers me, like a
worn sweater,
but the dangerous winds
have died down;
I can once again handle them,
on my own.

None other can truly ‘see’
beneath the layers of
foreign smiles and
thoughtful words,
but he can;

he knows this ache,
understands the dark melody
and in kindness he rides,
he rides
just for me.

I sit high upon the tallest tree
just to witness
with my heart and soul
this thrilling ride he takes,
for me.

Round and round he goes,
gracefully weaving and swerving
to and fro.

For him there is no need
of practice,
yet he rides just for me,
‘cause he knows it
simply makes me happy.

The sounds of the engine,
the leathered hands
gripping the handles,
clutch and throttle;
a most beautiful sight to see,
and he does all this
whenever there’s need.
He does this all
for me.

An intricate flow
of movement,
this connection between
a rider and his bike.

A fascinating exchange
between flesh and machine,
as I have resigned myself
to never truly knowing it,
as I watch this
Angel on wheels.

He rides and swerves
with never a stutter,
never a clumsy fall,
and I simply smile
as it fills me with a
modicum of glee
as I get to watch
as he rides,
rides so skillfully,
just for me to see…

this Angel on wheels.



-by Mercurychyld
Copyrights 28 March 15
Saturday
Feeling very disappointed in myself after taking a riding course,
but not quite making it. Leaves a big hole and a sad humiliation. I really wanted to have something to connect me to my estranged brother and father, who both ride. Guess it wasn't meant to be. Back to life then.
Ken Mears Nov 2019
Death rides at midnight

Filling the land with blight

He casts a frightful image

As he rides through the village


His frightful scythe gleams

Wet with the blood of unrealized dreams

The cold, hard metal

Is uncaring enough to unsettle


Beneath his dark hood

Lies nothing good

Only the husk of a man

Who signals the end of a lifespan


His skeletal horse

He rides along his dutiful course

Whinnying as he stops

To **** the farmer's crops


Solemn is his duty

To take away life's beauty

Unbearable to a living man

The underworld's ghastly helmsman


The pistol is his herald

In his black cloak appareled

Weapons of war

Bring him to the door


His job is made no easier

Nor and breezier

By mankinds love of violence

Or vile fraudulence


All the thousands of young souls

Lives lost without completing their goals

Brought to a swift end

By Death only to attend


Death rides at midnight

Filling the land with blight

He casts a frightful image

As he rides through the village

Searching for souls to pillage
EVIL rides in SUVs with the windows all blacked out.

HONOR                drives a plug in car that leaves no resdue behind.

APATHY rides in secondhand Nissans with the clear coat
                                flaking off.

CELEBRATION rides in limos with open tops for standing up in.

TRAGEDY            rides in a long black hearse with all the horses
                                under the hood.

BRAVERY drives a bright red Moped that cuts in and out of
                                traffic.

POVERTY must ride the bus in a much too long commute.

ARROGANCE drives an escalade that’s the fourth left turn on a
                                yellow.

BOREDOM drives a station wagon missing the left rear
                                hubcap.

PANIC        races in the family car where panting and blowing
                              isn't helping.

HAPPINESS       drives almost anything with a baby in the back
                              seat.
                    

MACHO ­       drives a Ford F350 with wheels even bigger than
                               his ego.

MELTING *** preens in a souped-up Chevy that dances like a
                                hip-hop star.    

PRETEEN       rides a bicycle and dreams of a Mustang.

YOUTH      hauls *** in a Jeep Wrangler with the rag top
                             down.

MIDLIFE CRISIS  rides a Harley in a group of seven on weekends.

OLD AGE    drives slowly in an ’83 Chrysler Imperial that
                           won't fit in the parking spaces.

LOVE   floats along on hopes and dreams and has no
                          need of wheels.

ljm
A white SUV.
Why won't this site put up the write in the format I posted.  I press Save and the structure is totally rearranged.  Makes me crazy.
Raymond Walker Apr 2012
The Dawn.



The sails hang large,
upon the sundered crew,
His father had not looked
on him with pleasure.
Poseidon’s son, and king,
of the Athenian dream,
he lands upon distant shore
in disrepair and lean.
a mighty voyage undertaken,
to gain iron for Athens might
but tide and storm wracked seas
has built upon this plight.

They land for food,
upon an endless plain
succour wanted, nay required,
lest all have been in vain.
Approach is made
by women strong in might
proud horses they sit and watch
before the sun, a glorious sight.
Amazons he knows of
they are too watched with fear
they are stronger than men he knows and watches as they near

















War queen she sits
upon her horse and awaits
these men that dare to land
But give them sanctuary she states.
her lover and second
looks in awe to the queen
these men given succour by amazons
this never has she seen







Antiope queen of all,
the plains for leagues around
Knows not a men, allows them not
but for trade on holy ground
Eluthera, freedom her name,
her second and lover same
wonders of this tall man, slim waisted,
lean, and asks his name.

Theseus he calls himself,
states his intentions and past
Antiope sits and listens and wonders
the seeds of fate are cast.
Eluthera watches Theseus’  face
and knows there is love there born
Though she believes it not,
from her home by love is Antiope torn
boats repaired and sail set
Theseus sets sail for home.
Antiope returns with him, they marry,
she is never more to roam.












Theseus song.

This woman of the plains, Amazon.
She sits her horse, sweet and proud yet strong.
She protects my honour, though tis' not her due
and speaks with eloquence no savage she.
Never before have I met my equal, in all things, man
or woman.
She is this and more
I can feel love from under her mein
This I know was destined
this even I without peer they say.
this even I understood.
yet here she stands, and walks and runs,
and here love awaits.














Elutheras song.

Here I have lived with the horse
and the sky,
who is god.
My name is freedom
and that is what I have
what can civilisation give us?
that we do not already have
what can walls provide,
that we, do not already know.
God, the sky. The horse, these our walls are.
He speaks well this Athenian, but what is speech
he looks well, but what can he give her.
She has all that there is.
and love she has, love of her sisters,
in her bed, and in our heart,
what can he give her.

Antiope's song.

To her I owe honour,
to him I give love.
what will become of this?
to her I owe love
to him i give honour,
what will become of this?
he is everything
she is everything
the plains are everything
the horse is all
yet I will betray my sisters
I know that now.
I will betray this life
I know that now
he is my equal in all
she in war I betray my people.
for love.































Part2

The tears of Eluthera.

Dripping
Burning
Hating
Loving
She must be returned
Rising
Loving
Lying
Hating
She must be returned
Rising
Rising
RISING
RISING
She must be returned
RISING
She must be returned
To her people
She must be returned
To her horses
Her gods
And me

RISING

She must be returned
They have taken her
She must be returned
She has not left













RISING

She must be returned
For they have taken her
Kidnapped, stolen her
He has taken her
Loved her
***** her
She must be returned
She is ours
She is our queen
She is
My love

RISING

Arise, sisters, arise
And let us take back what is ours
Arise, sisters, arise,
Let Athens quake at our power
Arise sisters arise
We will take back our queen
Arise sisters arise
That the might of Amazonian be seen.

We will raise an army
The greatest ever seen
To Athens and battle
For bloodshed keen
Unite the plains
And march and ride
And no quarter
Given either side.

Masii geti and copperhead
Scyths,Thracians, tower builders and
Copperhead Scyths
Dardanians, and all
The three tribes of ty kyrte ride
For Athens and revenge
To Athens and revenge.











Antiope’s song(2)

I stand here, beside pillars of stone
I watch from the acropolis
And wait
Theseus works with his people
He rules not by might
Of arms
But by deference
He holds his rule
With love
I hold the babe and watch
I can feel fate
Drawing near
I hear the thunder
Of hooves from the plains
And wait
I know he will prevail
This man I love
And wait And so I know
I will wear armour
Again
Before the end.
Before the end    
























Part 3
The battle.

Athens

We waited
We awaited their coming
Rumours formed
Rumours grew
Of a foe so strong
You can hear thunder
In their passing they say

Arm the cooks
Arm the carpenters
Athens will fall
Arm the viniers
Arm the boys
Athens will fall
The plains tribes
United they say
Athens will fall
Impossible I know They hate each other
More than us
They say

Thunder in the distance
And smoke fills the air
The dust of advance
Reaches our lair



Was that the flash of lightning?
Or glint of sun on a spear
Amazed we stand and watch
As they draw near
The lion of Athens will
Hunt now from its lair
To contend with the
War-horses baleful stare











One hundred and fifty thousand you say
One hundred and fifty thousand
One hundred and fifty thousand
Against 20 starts this day.

We arm the cooks
The carpenters,
the old men
And small boys Barely out of swaddling
Not yet finished
With their toys

We surge and struggle in the press
And surge again
Shields locked
And helms down

We surge and struggle, and they gain
And surge again
And retreat
And die
And die

Our own archers and artillery
They fire on us now
There’s no escape
There’s no escape
But forward to the press
To surge and struggle
Forward to press
Back to die
Forward to death and back
And we die
We die
We surge and struggle
Ever backwards
Ever backwards
We surge and struggle and we die
And we die










We surge and struggle
And widows are born
We surge and struggle
Like children forlorn
Ever backwards
Ever backwards
And we die
And we die

The toll is paid

We surge and struggle
But Athens will fall
Now wounded all
And dying
We surge and struggle
But hope has fled
Ever backwards
And to death

The advance of ty kyrte

We hold the field
But at great cost
We hold the field
Many horses lost

We are at the gates
But with great cost
We hold the town,
Many sisters lost

One more push sisters
One more charge
We are at the gates
Athens is lost









Back we were pushed
And back we fled
Through the town
The city streets
And fortress
Back we were pushed and back we fled




With shout and moan
Curse and groan
Clash of shield
We did yield
Every yard
With scream and yell
Fay and fell
Warriors now
We did yield
Every yard
































For every step
They paid
Like us
In blood
For every inch
They died
Like us
In mud






Horses skittered
Legs and bones broken
For every step and token
Move, every surge
And repulse
Until we stopped
Until we stopped
We could not see
We could not tell
But there was no
Where else to go
We stopped






















PART 4
The end

No where else to go,
No further back to fall
No retreat
No quarter
We stood
The battered
The bruised
The wounded and dying
We stood
For there was no choice










A commotion to the left
A horse rides out
On it rides death
And beauty
On it rides hell
And hope
On it rides Antiope
Armoured, and armed
Dressed
For death


Heroes she slew
Theseus behind her
Glauke, grey eyes
Queen was first
We advanced and slew









Kings she killed
Theseus behind her
Saduces of Thrace
Fell there, as his son
We advanced and killed.

How many heroes fell?
To her axe and bow
To many here to tell
Whispered word
Silence fell.
As Eluthera took the field
The fighting stopped
And silence grew
The battle decided here

The fate of Athens on the scales









Antiope rode for higher ground
Eluthera the lower
Antiope charged and threw
Javelin with all her power
Three times they charged
Three times they threw
And both wounded waited
A final charge, for death
They knew, the outcome fated.

There Antiope fell
By her lovers hand
Unarmed
And seeking death








Eluthera sat atop
Her steed and keened
Victor
With victory lost

Theseus faced her now
On foot and sword drawn
Deplete
And cursing fate





Theseus king no more
But husband bereft only
Maddened
Down  on her bore
There Eluthera fell.
































Twenty Years have past
fleeting,
Twenty, tears been shed
Weeping,
Twenty, lives lost,
mourning,
twenty hopes, die
burning,

The people, return,
Zeus smiles
rich in livestock
and strength.

Twenty years ago
the titans clashed.
Twenty years ago
the winds of fate lashed.
Twenty years ago
lovers died.
Twenty years ago
The Scyths lied.

Theseus, in memory,
plans sacrifice,
for his lost love,
once his wife.






Antiopes shrine
is sundered as Poseidon
shivers,
earthshaker.













And on the plains
the battle rages,
deplete,
bereft,
Eluthera, whole again,
freedom once more,
leads,
the charge,
the last charge,
of the Amazon
against the Scyths.


The End
I am kind of sorry for adding this for i wrote it years ago and well you can see for yourself it needs some work, but i do likle the idea of the classical poem
Jeanne Fiedler Jan 2012
camel giving rides
in the middle of the park
in New York City
Raymond Walker Apr 2012
The Dawn.



The sails hang large,
upon the sundered crew,
His father had not looked
on him with pleasure.
Poseidon’s son, and king,
of the Athenian dream,
he lands upon distant shore
in disrepair and lean.
a mighty voyage undertaken,
to gain iron for Athens might
but tide and storm wracked seas
has built upon this plight.

They land for food,
upon an endless plain
succour wanted, nay required,
lest all have been in vain.
Approach is made
by women strong in might
proud horses they sit and watch
before the sun, a glorious sight.
Amazons he knows of
they are too watched with fear
they are stronger than men he knows and watches as they near

















War queen she sits
upon her horse and awaits
these men that dare to land
But give them sanctuary she states.
her lover and second
looks in awe to the queen
these men given succour by amazons
this never has she seen







Antiope queen of all,
the plains for leagues around
Knows not a men, allows them not
but for trade on holy ground
Eluthera, freedom her name,
her second and lover same
wonders of this tall man, slim waisted,
lean, and asks his name.

Theseus he calls himself,
states his intentions and past
Antiope sits and listens and wonders
the seeds of fate are cast.
Eluthera watches Theseus’  face
and knows there is love there born
Though she believes it not,
from her home by love is Antiope torn
boats repaired and sail set
Theseus sets sail for home.
Antiope returns with him, they marry,
she is never more to roam.












Theseus song.

This woman of the plains, Amazon.
She sits her horse, sweet and proud yet strong.
She protects my honour, though tis' not her due
and speaks with eloquence no savage she.
Never before have I met my equal, in all things, man
or woman.
She is this and more
I can feel love from under her mein
This I know was destined
this even I without peer they say.
this even I understood.
yet here she stands, and walks and runs,
and here love awaits.














Elutheras song.

Here I have lived with the horse
and the sky,
who is god.
My name is freedom
and that is what I have
what can civilisation give us?
that we do not already have
what can walls provide,
that we, do not already know.
God, the sky. The horse, these our walls are.
He speaks well this Athenian, but what is speech
he looks well, but what can he give her.
She has all that there is.
and love she has, love of her sisters,
in her bed, and in our heart,
what can he give her.

Antiope's song.

To her I owe honour,
to him I give love.
what will become of this?
to her I owe love
to him i give honour,
what will become of this?
he is everything
she is everything
the plains are everything
the horse is all
yet I will betray my sisters
I know that now.
I will betray this life
I know that now
he is my equal in all
she in war I betray my people.
for love.































Part2

The tears of Eluthera.

Dripping
Burning
Hating
Loving
She must be returned
Rising
Loving
Lying
Hating
She must be returned
Rising
Rising
RISING
RISING
She must be returned
RISING
She must be returned
To her people
She must be returned
To her horses
Her gods
And me

RISING

She must be returned
They have taken her
She must be returned
She has not left













RISING

She must be returned
For they have taken her
Kidnapped, stolen her
He has taken her
Loved her
***** her
She must be returned
She is ours
She is our queen
She is
My love

RISING

Arise, sisters, arise
And let us take back what is ours
Arise, sisters, arise,
Let Athens quake at our power
Arise sisters arise
We will take back our queen
Arise sisters arise
That the might of Amazonian be seen.

We will raise an army
The greatest ever seen
To Athens and battle
For bloodshed keen
Unite the plains
And march and ride
And no quarter
Given either side.

Masii geti and copperhead
Scyths,Thracians, tower builders and
Copperhead Scyths
Dardanians, and all
The three tribes of ty kyrte ride
For Athens and revenge
To Athens and revenge.











Antiope’s song(2)

I stand here, beside pillars of stone
I watch from the acropolis
And wait
Theseus works with his people
He rules not by might
Of arms
But by deference
He holds his rule
With love
I hold the babe and watch
I can feel fate
Drawing near
I hear the thunder
Of hooves from the plains
And wait
I know he will prevail
This man I love
And wait And so I know
I will wear armour
Again
Before the end.
Before the end    
























Part 3
The battle.

Athens

We waited
We awaited their coming
Rumours formed
Rumours grew
Of a foe so strong
You can hear thunder
In their passing they say

Arm the cooks
Arm the carpenters
Athens will fall
Arm the viniers
Arm the boys
Athens will fall
The plains tribes
United they say
Athens will fall
Impossible I know They hate each other
More than us
They say

Thunder in the distance
And smoke fills the air
The dust of advance
Reaches our lair



Was that the flash of lightning?
Or glint of sun on a spear
Amazed we stand and watch
As they draw near
The lion of Athens will
Hunt now from its lair
To contend with the
War-horses baleful stare











One hundred and fifty thousand you say
One hundred and fifty thousand
One hundred and fifty thousand
Against 20 starts this day.

We arm the cooks
The carpenters,
the old men
And small boys Barely out of swaddling
Not yet finished
With their toys

We surge and struggle in the press
And surge again
Shields locked
And helms down

We surge and struggle, and they gain
And surge again
And retreat
And die
And die

Our own archers and artillery
They fire on us now
There’s no escape
There’s no escape
But forward to the press
To surge and struggle
Forward to press
Back to die
Forward to death and back
And we die
We die
We surge and struggle
Ever backwards
Ever backwards
We surge and struggle and we die
And we die










We surge and struggle
And widows are born
We surge and struggle
Like children forlorn
Ever backwards
Ever backwards
And we die
And we die

The toll is paid

We surge and struggle
But Athens will fall
Now wounded all
And dying
We surge and struggle
But hope has fled
Ever backwards
And to death

The advance of ty kyrte

We hold the field
But at great cost
We hold the field
Many horses lost

We are at the gates
But with great cost
We hold the town,
Many sisters lost

One more push sisters
One more charge
We are at the gates
Athens is lost









Back we were pushed
And back we fled
Through the town
The city streets
And fortress
Back we were pushed and back we fled




With shout and moan
Curse and groan
Clash of shield
We did yield
Every yard
With scream and yell
Fay and fell
Warriors now
We did yield
Every yard
































For every step
They paid
Like us
In blood
For every inch
They died
Like us
In mud






Horses skittered
Legs and bones broken
For every step and token
Move, every surge
And repulse
Until we stopped
Until we stopped
We could not see
We could not tell
But there was no
Where else to go
We stopped






















PART 4
The end

No where else to go,
No further back to fall
No retreat
No quarter
We stood
The battered
The bruised
The wounded and dying
We stood
For there was no choice










A commotion to the left
A horse rides out
On it rides death
And beauty
On it rides hell
And hope
On it rides Antiope
Armoured, and armed
Dressed
For death


Heroes she slew
Theseus behind her
Glauke, grey eyes
Queen was first
We advanced and slew









Kings she killed
Theseus behind her
Saduces of Thrace
Fell there, as his son
We advanced and killed.

How many heroes fell?
To her axe and bow
To many here to tell
Whispered word
Silence fell.
As Eluthera took the field
The fighting stopped
And silence grew
The battle decided here

The fate of Athens on the scales









Antiope rode for higher ground
Eluthera the lower
Antiope charged and threw
Javelin with all her power
Three times they charged
Three times they threw
And both wounded waited
A final charge, for death
They knew, the outcome fated.

There Antiope fell
By her lovers hand
Unarmed
And seeking death








Eluthera sat atop
Her steed and keened
Victor
With victory lost

Theseus faced her now
On foot and sword drawn
Deplete
And cursing fate





Theseus king no more
But husband bereft only
Maddened
Down  on her bore
There Eluthera fell.
































Twenty Years have past
fleeting,
Twenty, tears been shed
Weeping,
Twenty, lives lost,
mourning,
twenty hopes, die
burning,

The people, return,
Zeus smiles
rich in livestock
and strength.

Twenty years ago
the titans clashed.
Twenty years ago
the winds of fate lashed.
Twenty years ago
lovers died.
Twenty years ago
The Scyths lied.

Theseus, in memory,
plans sacrifice,
for his lost love,
once his wife.






Antiopes shrine
is sundered as Poseidon
shivers,
earthshaker.













And on the plains
the battle rages,
deplete,
bereft,
Eluthera, whole again,
freedom once more,
leads,
the charge,
the last charge,
of the Amazon
against the Scyths.


The End
I am kind of sorry for adding this for i wrote it years ago and well you can see for yourself it needs some work, but i do likle the idea of the classical poem
Allie Nov 2017
You stand here kissing the light.
A halo of red leaves fall past your head
Your lips leave sparks on my cheek
Your eyes are as steady as tree trunks
The touch of your hand,
Makes the wind roar.
Will you catch me if I fall?
I already am.
My shirt ripples like waves in the  sea,
I wish to fall forever.
Because your mountain lion purr is my new favorite song,
I feel that your mysterious mind is made of music,
Each breath is a tune, each word is a melody,
You smell like brown cabins and daisies,
Your naked feet are the mud I am stuck in.
H e l p
I'm going to hit the ground and disappear into your orange hands.

You stand here kissing the light.
The gray skies are meant to be your background
Your rosy cheeks look far too kissable,
While you dance as if it's all you know how to do.
Every glance you grant me is a blessing and a  s i n,
Memories of lip balm and car rides flood my brain.
My dress is soaked, I'm drowning in you,
I wish you were lost in me too.
Your baffling blonde hair blinds me,
I can no longer see where I step.
Caught in a whirlpool, drinking all your thoughts,
Cold evenings, sweaty bodies,
You smell like blue trampolines and bubblegum.
This love is a shipwreck,
Oh God, This daydream has an expiration date,
I can't live off empty kisses and blue eyes.

You stand here kissing the light.
And breathing burgundy words.
Your hands are searching for a spark,
But your touch is as light as a bumble bees.
When you laugh, I no longer feel alone,
Because you make my heart beat again.
I stand on tiptoe and kiss your habitual hat,
Wishing I could be happy in your arms.
You are a sunny serene statue
In this seriously fast-paced fast-racing world.
But, notes passed and dying embers won't save me from
H o l l o w  car rides home.
You smell like warm blankets and hot sauce.
I warn you not to drink me,
I am spoiled milk.
Get out, before it's too late,
I don't love your yellow mind like I should.

You stand here kissing the light.
A rainstorm strikes when you laugh,
Your bare back is the sturdy ship,
I am stranded on in this wide ocean.
I'm stuck in the jungle of your mind,
The story of you is locked in my bones,
You're wild, green, and reckless,
I'm etranced.
Our various vivacious ventures leave me in    r e v e r i e,
craving something I can't quite name.
Yet, smoky rooms and video games
can't protect me from these
black thoughts.
You smell like cinnamon and *****,
In this moment, that feels like home.
But god, I can't tell if I'm healing or hurting,
And I don't know if you'll survive
the hole in my heart,
Still, I'll kiss your brown lips,
and hope that you do
A poem about the three girls and one guy in my life I've loved
Raymond Walker Apr 2012
The Dawn.



The sails hang large,
upon the sundered crew,
His father had not looked
on him with pleasure.
Poseidon’s son, and king,
of the Athenian dream,
he lands upon distant shore
in disrepair and lean.
a mighty voyage undertaken,
to gain iron for Athens might
but tide and storm wracked seas
has built upon this plight.

They land for food,
upon an endless plain
succour wanted, nay required,
lest all have been in vain.
Approach is made
by women strong in might
proud horses they sit and watch
before the sun, a glorious sight.
Amazons he knows of
they are too watched with fear
they are stronger than men he knows and watches as they near

















War queen she sits
upon her horse and awaits
these men that dare to land
But give them sanctuary she states.
her lover and second
looks in awe to the queen
these men given succour by amazons
this never has she seen







Antiope queen of all,
the plains for leagues around
Knows not a men, allows them not
but for trade on holy ground
Eluthera, freedom her name,
her second and lover same
wonders of this tall man, slim waisted,
lean, and asks his name.

Theseus he calls himself,
states his intentions and past
Antiope sits and listens and wonders
the seeds of fate are cast.
Eluthera watches Theseus’  face
and knows there is love there born
Though she believes it not,
from her home by love is Antiope torn
boats repaired and sail set
Theseus sets sail for home.
Antiope returns with him, they marry,
she is never more to roam.












Theseus song.

This woman of the plains, Amazon.
She sits her horse, sweet and proud yet strong.
She protects my honour, though tis' not her due
and speaks with eloquence no savage she.
Never before have I met my equal, in all things, man
or woman.
She is this and more
I can feel love from under her mein
This I know was destined
this even I without peer they say.
this even I understood.
yet here she stands, and walks and runs,
and here love awaits.














Elutheras song.

Here I have lived with the horse
and the sky,
who is god.
My name is freedom
and that is what I have
what can civilisation give us?
that we do not already have
what can walls provide,
that we, do not already know.
God, the sky. The horse, these our walls are.
He speaks well this Athenian, but what is speech
he looks well, but what can he give her.
She has all that there is.
and love she has, love of her sisters,
in her bed, and in our heart,
what can he give her.

Antiope's song.

To her I owe honour,
to him I give love.
what will become of this?
to her I owe love
to him i give honour,
what will become of this?
he is everything
she is everything
the plains are everything
the horse is all
yet I will betray my sisters
I know that now.
I will betray this life
I know that now
he is my equal in all
she in war I betray my people.
for love.































Part2

The tears of Eluthera.

Dripping
Burning
Hating
Loving
She must be returned
Rising
Loving
Lying
Hating
She must be returned
Rising
Rising
RISING
RISING
She must be returned
RISING
She must be returned
To her people
She must be returned
To her horses
Her gods
And me

RISING

She must be returned
They have taken her
She must be returned
She has not left













RISING

She must be returned
For they have taken her
Kidnapped, stolen her
He has taken her
Loved her
***** her
She must be returned
She is ours
She is our queen
She is
My love

RISING

Arise, sisters, arise
And let us take back what is ours
Arise, sisters, arise,
Let Athens quake at our power
Arise sisters arise
We will take back our queen
Arise sisters arise
That the might of Amazonian be seen.

We will raise an army
The greatest ever seen
To Athens and battle
For bloodshed keen
Unite the plains
And march and ride
And no quarter
Given either side.

Masii geti and copperhead
Scyths,Thracians, tower builders and
Copperhead Scyths
Dardanians, and all
The three tribes of ty kyrte ride
For Athens and revenge
To Athens and revenge.











Antiope’s song(2)

I stand here, beside pillars of stone
I watch from the acropolis
And wait
Theseus works with his people
He rules not by might
Of arms
But by deference
He holds his rule
With love
I hold the babe and watch
I can feel fate
Drawing near
I hear the thunder
Of hooves from the plains
And wait
I know he will prevail
This man I love
And wait And so I know
I will wear armour
Again
Before the end.
Before the end    
























Part 3
The battle.

Athens

We waited
We awaited their coming
Rumours formed
Rumours grew
Of a foe so strong
You can hear thunder
In their passing they say

Arm the cooks
Arm the carpenters
Athens will fall
Arm the viniers
Arm the boys
Athens will fall
The plains tribes
United they say
Athens will fall
Impossible I know They hate each other
More than us
They say

Thunder in the distance
And smoke fills the air
The dust of advance
Reaches our lair



Was that the flash of lightning?
Or glint of sun on a spear
Amazed we stand and watch
As they draw near
The lion of Athens will
Hunt now from its lair
To contend with the
War-horses baleful stare











One hundred and fifty thousand you say
One hundred and fifty thousand
One hundred and fifty thousand
Against 20 starts this day.

We arm the cooks
The carpenters,
the old men
And small boys Barely out of swaddling
Not yet finished
With their toys

We surge and struggle in the press
And surge again
Shields locked
And helms down

We surge and struggle, and they gain
And surge again
And retreat
And die
And die

Our own archers and artillery
They fire on us now
There’s no escape
There’s no escape
But forward to the press
To surge and struggle
Forward to press
Back to die
Forward to death and back
And we die
We die
We surge and struggle
Ever backwards
Ever backwards
We surge and struggle and we die
And we die










We surge and struggle
And widows are born
We surge and struggle
Like children forlorn
Ever backwards
Ever backwards
And we die
And we die

The toll is paid

We surge and struggle
But Athens will fall
Now wounded all
And dying
We surge and struggle
But hope has fled
Ever backwards
And to death

The advance of ty kyrte

We hold the field
But at great cost
We hold the field
Many horses lost

We are at the gates
But with great cost
We hold the town,
Many sisters lost

One more push sisters
One more charge
We are at the gates
Athens is lost









Back we were pushed
And back we fled
Through the town
The city streets
And fortress
Back we were pushed and back we fled




With shout and moan
Curse and groan
Clash of shield
We did yield
Every yard
With scream and yell
Fay and fell
Warriors now
We did yield
Every yard
































For every step
They paid
Like us
In blood
For every inch
They died
Like us
In mud






Horses skittered
Legs and bones broken
For every step and token
Move, every surge
And repulse
Until we stopped
Until we stopped
We could not see
We could not tell
But there was no
Where else to go
We stopped






















PART 4
The end

No where else to go,
No further back to fall
No retreat
No quarter
We stood
The battered
The bruised
The wounded and dying
We stood
For there was no choice










A commotion to the left
A horse rides out
On it rides death
And beauty
On it rides hell
And hope
On it rides Antiope
Armoured, and armed
Dressed
For death


Heroes she slew
Theseus behind her
Glauke, grey eyes
Queen was first
We advanced and slew









Kings she killed
Theseus behind her
Saduces of Thrace
Fell there, as his son
We advanced and killed.

How many heroes fell?
To her axe and bow
To many here to tell
Whispered word
Silence fell.
As Eluthera took the field
The fighting stopped
And silence grew
The battle decided here

The fate of Athens on the scales









Antiope rode for higher ground
Eluthera the lower
Antiope charged and threw
Javelin with all her power
Three times they charged
Three times they threw
And both wounded waited
A final charge, for death
They knew, the outcome fated.

There Antiope fell
By her lovers hand
Unarmed
And seeking death








Eluthera sat atop
Her steed and keened
Victor
With victory lost

Theseus faced her now
On foot and sword drawn
Deplete
And cursing fate





Theseus king no more
But husband bereft only
Maddened
Down  on her bore
There Eluthera fell.
































Twenty Years have past
fleeting,
Twenty, tears been shed
Weeping,
Twenty, lives lost,
mourning,
twenty hopes, die
burning,

The people, return,
Zeus smiles
rich in livestock
and strength.

Twenty years ago
the titans clashed.
Twenty years ago
the winds of fate lashed.
Twenty years ago
lovers died.
Twenty years ago
The Scyths lied.

Theseus, in memory,
plans sacrifice,
for his lost love,
once his wife.






Antiopes shrine
is sundered as Poseidon
shivers,
earthshaker.













And on the plains
the battle rages,
deplete,
bereft,
Eluthera, whole again,
freedom once more,
leads,
the charge,
the last charge,
of the Amazon
against the Scyths.


The End
I am kind of sorry for adding this for i wrote it years ago and well you can see for yourself it needs some work, but i do likle the idea of the classical poem
The rides full of adrenaline
The crowd full of laughter
The air full of a variety of smells

A carnival
A place of fun and enrichment

The carny grounds
Someone ends up hurt
Dies on sight

A carnival
Now a place that is closed

An empty place
Full of empty rides
Silent laughter

A carnival
Only a place of dares and bad choices

More death arises
More lost souls wandering
The carny grounds beginning to fill again

A carnival
No longer a place of fun and enjoyment

Screams fill the air in the night
Rides never stop running
A haunting of what was once a beautiful place

A haunted carnival
A place where the spirits roam
CK Baker Jul 2018
through the streets and column cracks
culture weaves and summer smacks
sacred figures, holy shrine
monastery in grand design

cathedrals, convents, heaven’s stars
god of neptune, god of mars
doge’s palace, alley ways
gondolier on full display

winged lions on pastel breeze
cicada singing from the trees
pillar walk of saint mark's square
basilica in all its flare

crosses shade the carousel
a bridge of sigh that leads to hell
golden stairs on placid ridge
arches of rialto bridge

torcello! murano! grigio!
the countess rides the river poe!
sins of seven, fiery hides
poplars bank the levee side

black plague, attila the ***
eden formed before the sun
paradise above the marsh
high alter, gothic arch

middle age, religious wars
celestial fountains, marble floors
sculpted peacock, catholic faith
all is true the great god saith
Leks Dec 2013
I love how all the constellations are named after Greek heros. It reminds me that, even though mortals, they have vices too. I love around 5am when all the lights dim, after the **** ones have become middle aged, in their 12hour life spans. When the glitter fades and rests, more like sad stars and gold leaf.

I love naked white sheets, how they work like paint thinner to remove last nights fresco, how they dry you off after soaking in a tub of room temperature lovers. I love the cab rides you take back into yourself, away from the still beautiful people who are all elsewhere doing impossibly beautiful things. When you arrive home, you will greet the mirror like a criminal in a line up, with premeditated sins armed with brass knuckles and all the good intentions buried far beneath the rap sheet.

I plan to be a sinner tonight. Could’ve been something else but looked way too good in my red dress to be anything Christian. I was talking to three different men in five different languages. I was twisting a blunt straw into page forty-seven of the coma sutra. I was dancing in an attempt to melt the belts off every man in the room, but I heard the truth that night. A Turk speaking Spanish, didn’t know me from Adam said;

“Tú creas en Dios pero tu haces malas cosas” You believe in God but you do bad things.

Suddenly I realized that I was in a place where all they play is house music, but can’t really say I felt at home in the barely audible, barely recognizable zone between having a good time and simply wasting it. I was a glutton with a grin, drinking warm gin, knowing no ones name but somehow I was everyones friend. I was standing in stilettos that made me 6ft tall but still felt small. I was messing up the shoes I paid too much for and still hurt to walk in and talk about conviction.

Truth is nobody believes me when I say I’m a ******. Truth is, the Bible didn’t see the inside of my face for a week while I was on vacation. Truth is, I’m not innocent, I’m just an abstinent fireplace that doesn’t wanna feel the fire kindle between her legs anymore. So don’t mind the ashes they’re just evidence of how brightly I can glow and I wanna glow hard like one dim star on an otherwise starless night that shines just to prove its fidelity and I know what you must think of me. “What hypocrisy!” but I don’t wanna enter prayer reeking of my addictions. Stinking of cologne. I don’t want God to smell another man on me, mistaking ménage á trois for the trinity.

So, so thank God! Thank God the stars don’t judge us for what we do beneath them. Thank God the stars don’t see the evil we commit under their names. Thank God for the silence, for the dimness, for nights spent alone. Thank God for friends who know more than just your bra strap. Thank god for cab rides home, cause tonight I’m gonna strip the spotlight. Tonight I’m gonna turn off Frank Ocean. Tonight I’m gonna take off the stilettos. I’m gonna take off the turquoise rings. I’m gonna take off the lipgloss and I’m gonna sleep naked, not trying to be ****, just trying to be me. A girl with a shaved head and with eyes deep enough to stand in, with convictions strong enough to stand on.

I’m finding the mercy of God right where I’m standing and its binding, it’s blinding, it’s forgiveness, most of all it’s mine. So, so tonight I’m gonna sit out on the fire escape eating an apple and I’m gonna nickname the view Eden and I’m gonna look up at those tragic stars and their pagan hearts full of mourning and I’m gonna say; What a fall, but what light, what impossible light.
By Alysia Harris
When I was young and bold and strong,
Oh, right was right, and wrong was wrong!
My plume on high, my flag unfurled,
I rode away to right the world.
"Come out, you dogs, and fight!" said I,
And wept there was but once to die.

But I am old; and good and bad
Are woven in a crazy plaid.
I sit and say, "The world is so;
And he is wise who lets it go.
A battle lost, a battle won--
The difference is small, my son."

Inertia rides and riddles me;
The which is called Philosophy.
1.
From my
uneasy bed
at the L’Enfant,
a train's pensive
horn breaks the
sullen lullaby of
an HVAC’s hum;
interrupting the
mechanical
reverie of its
steadfast
night watch,
allowing my ear
to discern
the stampede
of marauding
corporate Visigoths
sacking the city.

The cacophony
of sloven gluttony,
the ***** songs of
unrequited privilege
and the unencumbered
clatter of radical
entitlement echoes
off the city’s cold
crumbling stones.

The unctuous
bellows of the
victorious pillagers
profanely feasting
pierces the
hanging chill
of the nations
black night.

Their hoots
deride the train
transporting
the defeated
ghosts of
Lincoln’s last
doomed regiments
dispatched in vain
to preserve a
peoples republic
in a futile last stand.

The rebels have
finally turned the tide,
T Boone Pickett’s
Charge succeeds,
sending the ravaged
Grand Army of the
Republic sliding
back to the Capitol,
in savage servility,
gliding on squeaky
ungreased wheels
ferrying the
Union’s dead
vanquished
defenders to
unmarked graves
on Potters Field.

The Rebels
joyous yell
bounces off
the inert granite
stones of the
soulless city.

The spittle
of salivating
vandals drips
over the
spoils of war
as they initiate the
disassemblage,
the leveling and
reapportionment
of the grand prize.

The clever
oligarchs
have laid claim
to a righteous
reparation
of the peoples
assets for
pennies on the
dollar.

Their wholly
bought politicos
move to transfer
distressed assets
into their just
stewardship
through the
holy justice
of privatization
and the sound
rationale of
free market
solutions.

In the land of the
pursuit of property,
nimble wolf PACs
of swift 527, LLCs
have fully
metastasized
into personhood;
ascending to
the top of the
food chain in
America’s
voracious
political culture;
bestriding
the nation to
compel the
national will
to genuflect
to the cool facility
of corporate
dominion.

As the
inertial ******
of the plaintive
locomotive
fades into
another old
morning of
recalcitrant
Reaganism,
it lugs its
ambivalent
middle class
baggage toward
it’s fast expiring
future.

I follow
the dirge
down to
the street
as the ebbing
sound fades
into the gloom
of the
burgeoning
morning,
slowly
replacing the
purple twilight
with a breaking
day of cold gray
clouds framing
silhouettes of
cranes busily
constructing
a new city.

The personhood of
corporations need
homes in our new
republic; carving
out new
neighborhoods
suitable for the
monied citizens
of our nation.

First amongst
equals, the best
corporate governance
charters form
the foundation of
the republic’s
new constitution.
Civil rights
are secondary
to the freedom
of markets; the
Bill of Rights
are economically
replaced by the
cool manifests
of Bills of Lading.

The agents of
laissez faire
capitalism
nibble away
at the city’s
neighborhoods
one block at a time;
while steady winds
blows dust off
the National Mall.

Layers of the
peoples plaza are
plained away with
each rising gust.  

History repeats
itself as the Joad’s
are routed from their
land once again.

A clever
mixed use
plan of
condos and
strip malls
is proposed
to finally help the
National Mall
unlock its true
profit potential.

As America’s
affection for
federalism fades
the water in
the reflection pool
is gracefully drained.

We the people
can no longer
see ourselves.

The profit
potential of
industry is
preferred over
the specious
metaphysical
benefits
of reflection.

The grand image,
the rich pastiche,
the quixotic aroma
of the national
melting ***
is reduced to the
sameness of the
black tar that lines
the pool and the
swirling eddies of
brown dust circling
the cracked indenture.

From his not so
distant vantage point,
Abe ponders the
empty pool wondering
if the cost of lives
paid was a worthy
endeavor of preserving
the ****** union?  
Has the dear prize
won perished from
this earth?

Was the illusive
article of liberty  
worth its weight in
the blood expended?

Did the people ever
fully realize the value
of government
by the people,
for the people?

Did citizens of
the republic
assume the
responsibilities to
protect and honor
the rights and privileges
of a representative
government?

Now our idea
and practice of
civil rights is measured
and promoted as far as
it can be justified by
a corporate ROI, a
shareholder dividend,
an earmark or a political
donation to a senators
unconnected PAC.

The divine celestial
ledgers balancing
the rights and
privilege of free people
drips with red ink.  

Liberty, equality
fraternity are bankrupt
secular notions
condemned as
expensive
liberal seditions;
hatched by
UnHoly Jacobins,
the atheist skeptics
during the dark times
of the Age of Enlightenment.

Abe ponders
the restoration
of Washington’s
obelisk, to
repair the cracks
suffered  from
last summer’s
freak earthquake.

I believe I detect
a tear in Abe’s
granite eye
saddened by the
corporate temblors
shaking the
foundations
of the city.

2.

The WWII Memorial
is America’s Parthenon
for a country's love
affair with the valor
and sacrifice of warfare.

WWII forms the
cornerstone of
understanding the
pathos of the
American Century.

During WWII
our greatest generation
rose as a nation to
defeat the menace of
global fascism and
indelibly mark the
power and virtue of
American democracy.

As Lincoln’s Army
saved federalism, FDR’s
Army kept the world safe
for democracy.

Both armies served
a nation that shared
the sacrifice and
burden of war to
preserve the grace of
a republican democracy.

Today federalism
crumbles as our
democracy withers.

The burden
of war is reserved
for a precious few
individuals while
its benefits
remain confined to
the corporate elite.

Our monuments
to war have become
commercial backdrops
for the hollow patriotism
of war profiteers.

We have mortgaged
our future to pay
for two criminal wars.

The spoils of
war flow into the
pockets of
corporate
shareholders
deeply invested
in the continuation
of pointless,
destructive
hostilities.

Our service
members who
selflessly served
their country come
home to a less free,
fear struck nation;
where economic
security and political
liberty erodes
each day while the
monied interests
continue to bless
the abundance
of freedom and riches
purchased with the
blood and sweat
of others.

America desperately
needs a new narrative.

The spirit of the
Greatest Generation
who sacrificed and met
the challenge of the 20th
Century must become
this generations spiritual
forebears.

The war on terror
neatly fits the
the corporate
pathos of
militarism,
surveillance
and the sacrifice
of civil liberties
to purchase
a daily measure
of fear and
economic
enslavement.

It must be rejected
by a people committed
to building secular
temples to pursue
peace, democracy,
economic empowerment,
civil liberties and tolerance
for all.

Yet this old city
and the democratic
temples it built
exulting a free people
anointed with the
grace of liberty
is being consumed
in a morass of
commercial
polyglot.

3.

During the
War of 1812
the British Army
burned the
Capitol Building
and the White House
to the ground.

Thank goodness
Dolly Madison saved
what she could.

The new marauders
are not subject to the
pull of nostalgia.  

They value nothing
save their
self enrichment.

They will spare nothing.

Our besieged Capitol
requires Lincoln’s troops
to be stationed along the
National Mall to defend
the republic.

The greatest peril
to our nation
is being directed
by well placed
Fifth Columnists.

From the safety
of underground bunkers,
in secure undisclosed
locations within the city’s
parameters, a well financed
confederacy employing  
K Street shenanigans
are busy selling off
the American Dream
one ear mark
at a time, one
huge corporate
welfare allotment
at a time.

The biggest prize
is looting the real
property of the people;
selling Utah,
auctioning off
the public schools,
water systems, post offices
and mineral rights
on the cheap
at an Uncle Sam
garage sale.  

The capitol is
indeed burning
again.

Looters are
running riot.

The flailing arms
of a dying empire
fire off cruise
missiles and drone
strikes; hitting the
target of habeas
corpus as it
shakes in its
final death rattle.
I make a pilgrimage
to the MLK Jr.
Monument.

Our cultural identity
is outsourced to
foreign contractors
paid to reinterpret
the American Dream
through the eyes
of a lowest bidder.

MLK has lost
his humanity.

He has been
reduced to a
a Chinese
superhuman
Mao like anime
busting loose from
a granite mountain while
geopolitical irony
compels him to watch
Tommy Jefferson
**** Sally Hemings
from across the tidal
basin for all eternity.  

MLK’s eyes fixed in
stern fascination,
forever enthralled
by the contradictions
of liberty and its
democratic excesses
of love in the willows
on golden pond.

Circling back to
Father Abraham’s
Monument,  I huddle
with a group of global
citizens listening
to an NPS Ranger
spinning four score
tales with the last full
measure of her devotion.

I look up into Abe’s
stone eyes as he
surveys platoons
of gray suited
Chinese Communist
envoys engaged
in Long Marches
through the National Mall;
dutifully encircling cabinet
buildings and recruiting
Tea Party congressmen
into their open party cells.

This confederacy
is ready to torch
the White House
again.

Congressmen and
the perfect patriots
from K Street slavishly
pull their paymasters
in gilded rickshaws to
golf outings at the Pentagon
and park at the preferred
spots reserved for
the luxury box holders
at Redskin Games.

They vow not to rest
until the house of the people
is fully mortgaged to the
People’s Republic of China’s
Sovereign Wealth Fund.

4.

A great
Son of Liberty like
Alan Greenspan
roundly rings
the bells of
free markets
as he inches
T Bill rates
forward a few
basis points
at a time; while
his dead mentor
Ayn Rand
lifts Paul Ryan
to her
Fountainhead teet.
He takes a long
draw as she
coos songs
from her primer
of Atlas Shrugged
Mother Goose tales
into his silky ears.

The construction
cranes swing
to the music
building new private
sector space with
the largess of
US taxpayers
money; or
more rightly
future generations
taxpayer debt.

Libertarians,
Tea Baggers, Blue Dogs
and GOP waterboys
eagerly light a
match to the
the crucifixes
bearing federal
social safety
net programs
to the delight
of NASDAQ
listed capitalists
on the come,
licking their chops
to land contracts
to administer
these programs
at a negotiated
cost plus
profit margin.

Citizens
dependent
on programs
are leery
shareholders
are ecstatic.

To be sure
our free
market rebels
don disguises
of red, white
and blue robes
but their objectives
fail to distinguish
their motives and
methods with
some of the finest
Klansman this
country has
ever produced.

5.

DC is a city
of joggers
and choppers.

Corporate
helicopters
wizz by the
Washington
Monument,
popping erections
for the erectors
inspecting the progress
of the cranes
commanding the
city skyline.

USMC drill team
out for a morning
run circles the Mall.

The commanding
cadence of the
DI keeps us
mindful of the
deepening
militarization of
our society.

A crowd  
rushes
to position
themselves,
genuflecting
to photograph
a platoon on
the move.

I try to consider
the defining
characteristics of
Washington DC.

DC is all surface.

It is full of walls
and mirrors.

Its primary hue
is obfuscation.

Open
communication
scripted from well
considered talking points
informs all dialog.

The city is thoroughly
enraptured in narcissism.

Thankfully, one can
always capture the
reflection of oneself in
the ubiquitous presence of
mirrors.  

Vanity imprisons
the city inhabitants.

Young joggers circle the
Mall and gerrymander
down every pathway
of the city.  

They are the clerks,
interns and staffers of
the judicial, executive
and legislative branches.

They are the children
of privilege.

They will never
alter their path.

You must cede the walk
to their entitlement
of a swift comportment
or risk injury of a
violent collision.

These young ones
portray a countenance  
of benevolent rulers.  

They seem to be learning
their trade craft well from
the senators and judges
whom they serve.

They appear confident
they know what's best
for the country and after
their one term of tireless
service to the republic
they look forward to
positions in the private
sector where they will
assist corporations
to extend their reach
into the pant pockets
worn by the body politic.

6.

Our nations mythic story
lies hidden deep in the
closed rooms of the
museums lining the
Mall.

I pause to consider
what a great nation
and its great people
once aspired to.

I spy the a
suspended
Space Shuttle
hanging in dry dock
at the air and
space museum.

Today America’s
astronauts hitch
rides on Russian
rockets.

America rents a
timeshare from
the European
space agency to
lift communication
satellites into orbit.

Across the Mall
I photograph
John Smithson’s
ashes in its columbarium.  

I fear it has become a
metaphor for America’s
future commitment
to scientific inquiry
and rational secular
thinking.

I am relieved to
discover a Smithsonian
exhibit that asks
“what does it mean
to be human?”

The Origins of Humans
exhibit carries a disclaimer
to satisfy creationists.

The exhibit timidly states
that science can coexist
with religious beliefs and
that the point of the exhibit is
not to inflame inflame religious
passions but to shed light on
scientific inquiry.

I imagine these exhibits
will inflame the passion of
the fundamentalist
American Taliban and
provide yet another
reason to dismantle
the Moloch of Federalism.

The pursuit of science
remains safe at the
Smithsonian for now.

7.

Near K Street at
McPherson Park
a posse of
well dressed
lobbyists, the
self anointed
uber patriots
doing the work
of the people
stroll through
the park
boasting a
healthy population
of bedraggled
homeless.

The homeless
occupy the benches
that have been
transformed into
pup tents.

Perhaps some of
the residents of this
mean estate were
made homeless by a
foreclosed mortgage.  

The K Street warriors
can be proud that their
work on behalf of the
banking industry has
forestalled financial market
reform.  

Through it exacerbates
the homeless problem it has
allowed these K Street titans to
profit from the distress of others.

Earlier in the day
I photographed
a homeless man
planted in front of
the Washington
Monument.

I wonder
if my political
voyeurism is
an exploitation of
this man’s condition?

I have more in common
then I probably wish to
admit with my K Street
antagonists.  

In another section
of the park the
remnants of a
distressed OWS
bivouac remain.

The legions of sunshine
patriots have melted away
as the interest of the
blogosphere has waned.

As the weather
improves Moveon.org
and democratic
party operatives
pitch tents in an
effort to resuscitate
the moribund
movement.

They hope
to coop any
remaining energy
to support their
stale deception,
a neoliberal vision
based solely on the
total capitulation
to the bankrupt
corporatocracy.

I heard someone say
a campaign lasts a
season; while a
movement for social
change takes decades.

If that metric proves
correct, and if the
powers don’t succeed
in compromising the
people’s movement
I’ll be three quarters
of a century old
before I see
justice flowing like
a river once again.

8.

I circle back to
the L’Enfant and
find myself
tramping amidst
the lost platoon
of Korean War
soldiers.

My feet drag
in the quagmire
of grass covering
the feet of this
ghostly troop.

My namesake
uncle was a
decorated
veteran of this
conflict and Im
sure I detect
his likeness
in one of the
statues.

The bleak call
of a distant train
sounds a revelry
and I imagine this
patrol springing
to life to answer
the call of their
beloved country
once again.

Yet they remain
inert.  

Stuck in a
place that the
nation finds
impossible to
leave.

The eyes of the
men stare into
an incomprehensible
fate.  

They see the swarms
of Red Army infantrymen
crossing the Yellow River
streaming toward
them in massive
human waves,
the tips of
sparkling bayonets
threatening to slash
the outmanned
contingent fighting
to bits.

They are the
first detachment
to bravely confront
the rising power
of China many
thousands of
miles away
from their homes.

America like
this lone company
is overwhelmed
and lost in the
confusion
that confronts
them.

Looking up
I perceive the
bewilderment
of my muddled image
reflected on the
marble walls
surrounding
the memorial.

I am a comrade-in-arms,
a fellow wanderer sojourning
with th
498

I envy Seas, whereon He rides—
I envy Spokes of Wheels
Of Chariots, that Him convey—
I envy Crooked Hills

That gaze upon His journey—
How easy All can see
What is forbidden utterly
As Heaven—unto me!

I envy Nests of Sparrows—
That dot His distant Eaves—
The wealthy Fly, upon His Pane—
The happy—happy Leaves—

That just abroad His Window
Have Summer’s leave to play—
The Ear Rings of Pizarro
Could not obtain for me—

I envy Light—that wakes Him—
And Bells—that boldly ring
To tell Him it is Noon, abroad—
Myself—be Noon to Him—

Yet interdict—my Blossom—
And abrogate—my Bee—
Lest Noon in Everlasting Night—
Drop Gabriel—and Me—
I.

Thou aged unreluctant earth who dost
with quivering continual thighs invite
the thrilling rain the slender paramour
to toy with thy extraordinary lust,
(the sinuous rain which rising from thy bed
steals to his wife the sky and hour by hour
wholly renews her pale flesh with delight)
—immortally whence are the high gods fled?

Speak elm eloquent pandar with thy nod
significant to the ecstatic earth
in token of his coming whom her soul
burns to embrace—and didst thou know the god
from but the imprint of whose cloven feet
the shrieking dryad sought her leafy goal,
at the mere echo of whose shining mirth
the furious hearts of mountains ceased to beat?

Wind beautifully who wanderest
over smooth pages of forgotten joy
proving the peaceful theorems of the flowers
—didst e’er depart upon more exquisite quest?
and did thy fortunate fingers sometime dwell
(within a greener shadow of secret bowers)
among the curves of that delicious boy
whose serious grace one goddess loved too well?

Chryselephantine Zeus Olympian
sceptred colossus of the Pheidian soul
whose eagle frights creation,in whose palm
Nike presents the crown sweetest to man,
whose lilied robe the sun’s white hands emboss,
betwixt whose absolute feet anoint with calm
of intent stars circling the acerb pole
poises,smiling,the diadumenos

in whose young chiseled eyes the people saw
their once again victorious Pantarkes
(whose grace the prince of artists made him bold
to imitate between the feet of awe),
thunderer whose omnipotent brow showers
its curls of unendured eternal gold
over the infinite breast in bright degrees,
whose pillow is the graces and the hours,

father of gods and men whose subtle throne
twain sphinxes bear each with a writhing youth
caught to her brazen *******,whose foot-stool tells
how fought the looser of the warlike zone
of her that brought forth tall Hippolytus,
lord on whose pedestal the deep expels
(over Selene’s car closing uncouth)
of Helios the sweet wheels tremulous—

are there no kings in Argos,that the song
is silent,of the steep unspeaking tower
within whose brightening strictness Danae
saw the night severed and the glowing throng
descend,felt on her flesh the amorous strain
of gradual hands and yielding to that fee
her eager body’s unimmortal flower
knew in the darkness a more burning rain?

                    2.

And still the mad magnificent herald Spring
assembles beauty from forgetfulness
with the wild trump of April:witchery
of sound and odour drives the wingless thing
man forth in the bright air,for now the red
leaps in the maple’s cheek,and suddenly
by shining hordes in sweet unserious dress
ascends the golden crocus from the dead.

On dappled dawn forth rides the pungent sun
with hooded day preening upon his hand
followed by gay untimid final flowers
(which dressed in various tremulous armor stun
the eyes of ragged earth who sees them pass)
while hunted from his kingdom winter cowers,
seeing green armies steadily expand
hearing the spear-song of the marching grass.

A silver sudden parody of snow
tickles the air to golden tears,and hark!
the flicker’s laughing yet,while on the hills
the pines deepen to whispers primeval and throw
backward their foreheads to the barbarous bright
sky,and suddenly from the valley thrills
the unimaginable upward lark
and drowns the earth and passes into light

(slowly in life’s serene perpetual round
a pale world gathers comfort to her soul,
hope richly scattered by the abundant sun
invades the new mosaic of the ground
—let but the incurious curtaining dusk be drawn
surpassing nets are sedulously spun
to snare the brutal dew,—the authentic scroll
of fairie hands and vanishing with the dawn).

Spring,that omits no mention of desire
in every curved and curling thing,yet holds
continuous *******—through skies and trees
the lilac’s smoke the poppy’s pompous fire
the *****’s purple patience and the grave
frailty of daises—by what rare unease
revealed of teasingly transparent folds—
with man’s poor soul superlatively brave.

Surely from robes of particoloured peace
with mouth flower-faint and undiscovered eyes
and dim slow perfect body amorous
(whiter than lilies which are born and cease
for being whiter than this world)exhales
the hovering high perfume curious
of that one month for whom the whole years dies,
risen at length from palpitating veils.

O still miraculous May!O shining girl
of time untarnished!O small intimate
gently primeval hands,frivolous feet
divine!O singular and breathless pearl!
O indefinable frail ultimate pose!
O visible beatitude sweet sweet
intolerable!silence immaculate
of god’s evasive audible great rose!

                    3.

Lover,lead forth thy love unto that bed
prepared by whitest hands of waiting years,
curtained with wordless worship absolute,
unto the certain altar at whose head
stands that clear candle whose expecting breath
exults upon the tongue of flame half-mute,
(haste ere some thrush with silver several tears
complete the perfumed paraphrase of death).

Now is the time when all occasional things
close into silence,only one tree,one
svelte translation of eternity
unto the pale meaning of heaven clings,
(whose million leaves in winsome indolence
simmer upon thinking twilight momently)
as down the oblivious west’s numerous dun
magnificence conquers magnificence.

In heaven’s intolerable athanor
inimitably tortured the base day
utters at length her soft intrinsic hour,
and from those tenuous fires which more and more
sink and are lost the divine alchemist,
the magus of creation,lifts a flower—
whence is the world’s insufferable clay
clothed with incognizable amethyst.

Lady at whose imperishable smile
the amazed doves flicker upon sunny wings
as if in terror of eternity,
(or seeming that they would mistrust a while
the moving of beauteous dead mouths throughout
that very proud transparent company
of quivering ghosts-of-love which scarcely sings
drifting in slow diaphanous faint rout),

queen in the inconceivable embrace
of whose tremendous hair that blossom stands
whereof is most desire,yet less than those
twain perfect roses whose ambrosial grace,
goddess,thy crippled thunder-forging groom
or the loud lord of skipping maenads knows,—
having Discordia’s apple in thy hands,
which the scared shepherd gave thee for his doom—

O thou within the chancel of whose charms
the tall boy god of everlasting war
received the shuddering sacrament of sleep,
betwixt whose cool incorrigible arms
impaled upon delicious mystery,
with gaunt limbs reeking of the whispered deep,
deliberate groping ocean fondled o’er
the warm long flower of unchastity,

imperial Cytherea,from frail foam
sprung with irrevocable nakedness
to strike the young world into smoking song—
as the first star perfects the sensual dome
of darkness,and the sweet strong final bird
transcends the sight,O thou to whom belong
th ehearts of lovers!—I beseech thee bless
thy suppliant singer and his wandering word.
David Leger Aug 2014
Late night car rides,
Empty pints of *****,
A one-night ecstacy,
With a heartbreak dawn:

She shows her shallows,
As if they're great depths;
A cry of sorrow? Honey,
You ain't seen nothing yet.

She's not an open book,
She's just a bookmark type of personality.
Stuck between the pages of something more interesting,
Like a catalog or a Cosmo magazine.

Oh, she's always just caught between someone's pages,
With bits and pieces of their's stories rubbing off on her,
But them words don't look the same tattooed on her, oh no.

So stop pretending you're the deepest sea,
Your pretentious crap never fooled me.
Meant to be a spoken word, the tone is sort of casual carelessness, or a passive aggressively condescending. Hopefully that helps you to understand the tone of this piece.
Frankie Gestone Mar 2013
He woke up in a rapid sweat, darkness surrounding him, his soaked pillow was pressing up on his neck as he could feel the uncomfortable stabbing cold run right threw his whole body. His mouth was dry and his body was in great pain. He lay there practically naked, but not just physically, also emotionally. It was like a catatonic state where the person’s body is paused in reality, but the actual person is far away and isolated even from himself. He wondered why he was so comfortable being uncomfortable and remaining frozen in time.  He saw nothing but the subtle moonlight that peaked through the blinds of his window. A point of existence, he feels nothing because all he has ever felt has drowned him. His numbness was being accepted and he embraced that if he remained this way, he would never have to feel hurt or heartbreak again. It’s better this way, he confirmed.

Eventually he got up out of his bed, walked outside to a nearby empty field. He looked up at the infinite night sky and contemplated the moon, the stars, and the endless space that sustained all of its existence. A tear fell down his cheek as he remembered the beautiful wonder of life and the universe; his realization that he is just a small spec of dust compared to all that is and all that is wonderful. Whatever happened to that universal happiness he used to feel? The feelings of the unseen, the cosmos, the mysteries that remain unsolved were all love. He then felt ancient and brand new at the same time-always being around all that is, but recently born into the unknown. The silence of the night swarmed him, and he suddenly embraced all the things he could not accept. The lullaby of the wind put him to sleep.

When he awoke, it was twilight. The sky was a lighter, deep blue and the sun in the far distance was rising in a fiery halo of mixed red, orange, and yellow colors, and the early morning clouds were clear and transparent. He heard the sound of a train horn in the far distance. He followed the sound with his ears as the sound became slightly louder and louder. Then, suddenly he could see the light of the early morning train.

The train had stopped as he approached it, and he hopped on with no hesitation or looking back. This runaway train was going to take him to where he needs to be, and he blindly and faithfully accepted that his fate was out of his hands now. No more heartbreak, no more reminders of the past, and most importantly no more drowning in his tears. As the train proceeded to move forward, he could feel fresh air gently touch his face, and all that he saw and ever knew were now flashing lights disappearing into eternity.

It was hours into the late morning when the train made its first stop. He listened to the train conductor speak out over the intercom, almost incoherently, say, “This is Brightstone Park. Next stop will be Riverhead.” A nostalgic feeling suddenly came over him as he could remember that his very first kiss was in Brightstone Park with Jessica Garzi. That was not his first true love, but his very first heartbreak. Riverhead was a forbidden memory, as he knew a classmate who had committed suicide off the Riverhead Bridge. He had not returned there in five years because of his haunting memories that would always come back to remind him just how cold and frightening the world really is.

While lost in thought, he felt a rough, sand paper-like wet feeling on his forearm. He looked down and it was a black cat, but not all black. The paws were all white like socks, and the chest and stomach were snow white. The loud prominent purr was a very peculiar reminder of a cat he once owned. Her name was Midnight. She was not the friendliest cat to strangers, but she loved him, especially when he massaged her paws. This cat was practically identical to Midnight. Midnight was put down three years ago though. As he began petting the cat’s back, it ran away and jumped off the moving train. He looked out in a hurry, but it was gone. It was just like everything else he loved. There for one moment, then gone the next. The strange thought that has one wondering if anything had actually existed that is now no more. A person, or a thing, could mean everything to you, but once they slip away, they become like the wind: occasionally brushing up against you, but never revealing its form.

On the train he began to wonder how he got where he was, and in general how the smallest decisions he made lead to bigger events and all in all, everything was all connected. There are no isolated events, or isolated people- it is all proven fact and science. Everything depends on each other to survive. The trees depend on the sun to keep themselves alive; we give off carbon dioxide to the trees and in return, we receive the oxygen we need from the leaves of the trees. He thought about the potential of a seed-for example, a tomato seed. Within that tiny seed is unlimited potential of life: The seed may produce one plant of several tomatoes, and within all those tomatoes are countless other seeds. This is all from one seed. Then, one may take a couple of seeds from a picked tomato and plant them throughout the yard creating a garden. That original seed came from another tomato seed inside a tomato on a plant, and that seed came from another seed. When did this cycle of reproduction begin and when does it end? Is it just another form of the infinite? When a person eats a tomato from that original seed, he receives certain essential vitamins his body needs for surviving and sustaining good health. This good health will effect his offspring and so on and so on. When he defecates, that will all return to the earth for potential fertilizer used for other tomato seeds. This is the same when he returns to the earth again. His dust will fertilize the same world that he came from, for all things come from it just to inevitably return to it.

He continued to think about how matter is never created nor destroyed and the same for energy. Nothing ever truly dies; the form changes into something new, like how water becomes a cloud and the cloud becomes water. Though this comforted him, he noticed that a few feet away from him was a former coworker and friend, Natasha Karev. She always infatuated him and they became close friends, but he always wished it had continued and gone even further than it did. One night, only a couple of years ago, they were at a friend’s party. Both were drinking, but not so heavily. That night they bonded and got so close, that she admitted she loved him. He was never quite sure how real that “I love you” was, but it was burned inside his heart ever since. That night there were moments she would tell him how much she wanted to make love to another guy at the party, Kevin, but was afraid to approach him. She told him she desperately wanted to lose her virginity that night to somebody because she was eighteen and only getting older. This was like a sharp knife slowly penetrating into his heart. He remained speechless for quite a few minutes. Finally he decided to go up in a bedroom alone. To his surprise, she followed him up and kissed him. He felt her clothed body up and down, and she touched areas not many have touched before. She told him she wanted to have *** and that she wanted him to rob her of her virginity. He was speechless, but extremely excited. Then, abruptly, she told him she could not because everything was happening way too soon. Why couldn’t she just make up her mind? He sat frustrated in the darkness, again, all alone. After that night, they spoke and remained close, yet that night was never mentioned again. It was as if it had never happened. After about two years of an on and off friendship, they just went their own ways. There were no fights or disagreements. Life just separated them.

“You’re just a figment inside somebody’s dream. So far from reality, you are a dream within a dream within a dream.” Startled by this soft voice, he quickly turned around to see Natasha smiling at him. “Ha-ha! I knew I could scare you. Were you abused as a kid, or something?” No words could come out at that moment, but he hugged her tightly. She explained to him that she is getting off at the next stop to meet a friend. He was sure he wanted to follow her and see where life would take him. She reminisced and told him how she had been away inside her own cave for several months, but is now very happy to meet up with everyone she had lost contact with.

The next stop arrived, but he did not catch the name of the stop he was getting off. As he got off with several others, both he and Natasha met up with her friend, Valeria, who he found quite cute. She resembled Natasha a bit in that they both had ***** blonde hair and blue eyes. They walked right into a giant street fair with a crowd of people looking at the foods and desserts, the trendy clothes, cheap jewelry, and children play rides.

As he looked around, he began seeing many familiar faces. He saw Kevin, a childhood and grammar school mate there with another co-worker of his, Jenny. Jenny was a Colombian beauty in his eyes and who was a flirt and tease to him, but never actually gave him any time alone. Incidentally, he knew both of them at different times in his life and had no idea they knew of each other. Kevin stopped contacting him during high school without any arguments or disloyalties that would tear a friendship apart. Keeping his head down, he walked a few feet to discover another childhood best friend, Jack, who was with a mutual childhood friend, Melanie. Melanie was a best friend of his and also a first childhood crush who also had a crush on him. He thought it was odd because even though Melanie and Jack were also best friends, Melanie never liked Jack in a special boy/girl way. He felt a moment of heartbreak, but quickly turned away and kept walking. A little further up the road, he saw two more childhood friends, Chris and Jimmy, who as children did not get along that well and only hung out with each other in the company of him. How peculiar it was suddenly seeing them together after ten years, and as seemingly best of friends.

That was not all. Things were getting stranger and stranger. It was like all the people who had made an imprint on his life were now coming together around him. He saw his two therapists, one he had gone to as a teenager and the other as a young adult, stand next to each other selling prescription drug samples. Both stared at him with a blank face, but with a prominent smile. He could barely nod at them. Natasha directed them to a local bar. Inside the bar was huge and also had a second floor. He noticed the music playing in the background was, Nocturne In E Flat Major, Op.9 No.2, by Polish born Romantic composer, Frederic Chopin. He became fixated on the elegant eighth note, left hand arpeggios, and the sweet and peaceful fast moving seven, eleven, twenty, and twenty-two notes from the right hand. If he thought about the most beautiful song ever written and all that is wonderful in one, this was the song.

They all took a seat and began looking at people and laughing at their behavior. Everyone was wearing masks. Social masks. They observed how different people act when they are in social gatherings, and how if you carefully study their body language, it will become clear that what they are saying and trying to put out is not what is actually being expressed through the body. One young man was frantically shaking his right leg as he tried to flirt confidently with a young woman he had just recently met. His face began to turn noticeably red, in an embarrassed flush, and he was making sudden hand gestures and quick eye blinking. She, on the other hand, pretended to be interested in what he was saying; yet her eyes would often look around the room and her body was a good distance from him with her arms folded.

Then as they were all laughing, he abruptly stopped and looked ahead to see two drunken women making out two tables away from them. As his eyes focused in on them, he realized they were two of his former crushes, Claire and Veronica, who he had no idea knew of each other because in fact, they were from different time periods of his life. He began seeing former teachers and professors from each stage of his school career, laughing hysterically with one another. Some of his most inspiring teachers and professors were gathered with other teachers and professors he despised. A young, tattooed hipster woman entered the scenery with a little Cairn Terrier that had an uncanny resemblance to his recently passed dog, Petey, who was put to sleep when he was away on a vacation, unexpectedly. His sorrow began to overwhelm him for not being able to say good-bye and see him for a proper last time. Everything about the dog’s high energy, playfulness, and watchdog attitude was exactly like Petey. A tear ran and fell off his cheek from his left eye right into the hand of Natasha. He looked up at her and she said, “Your tears are my tears. For what pain you withhold, I take and share with you.” She then wiped her right eye with the hand that held his tear. Natasha’s friend began to speak slowly into his left ear in Russian. Though he could not understand a word she was saying, it sounded just like a poem based on the pattern and rhythm’s consistency. It made him feel free of melancholy, but then thought of Angela Antonaci entered his mind.

He thought that the last painful experience ended with the break up of his closest best friend ever to play a part in his life. She was his girlfriend for the last three and a half years. They had known each other for ten years before they broke up their entire relationship. She was thirteen and he was fifteen when they first met in a park. She was always all over him like a little schoolgirl and he would often get frustrated with her obsession over him, for he believed he was no big deal. She was the first person to ever make him feel special and important, and even though he would resent her likeness towards him, he could never keep his eyes off of her or stop himself from always coming to her when he felt lonely. After about seven years, he realized he was in love with her. He had always been in love with her from the first time they met eyes. His long road had always lead back to her home in life. Every time he tried forgetting her and moving on, they would meet again. That person people search their entire lives for, he had found.

He rose out of his seat and briefly said goodbye to Natasha and her friend and went upstairs. He wanted time to be alone and walk around until he suddenly saw Jessica walking towards him. He stopped and waited for her to say hello, but she walked right by him, as if he had never existed. He felt a little insulted, yet relieved as any awkwardness that would arise was avoided. Looking ahead, he saw Angela’s two best friends, Kate and Julie, with her high school crush, John. John was playing an acoustic guitar on a lounge chair, singing to the two friends, almost enticing them with his eyes and voice. His jealousy overcame him, as Angela had been infatuated with him on and off even though he had played with her feelings throughout high school and college. John would tell her he loved her and make her believe he was a romantic, then when she fell into his words, he would leave her and keep a distance for long periods of time, leaving her in despair.

The conclusion occurred to him that maybe she was nearby. He searched throughout the entire bar not finding any other clues that she was around. When he went downstairs, he saw Natasha and her friend asleep, as well as most of the bar, except for the bartender. It was like everyone just passed out from the alcohol or possibly inhaled some type of knockout drug. The bartender was watching the news forecast of a tornado watch and dangerous thunderstorms. The bartender looked at him and said, “It’s better if you stay in here. It’s dangerous out there. I recommend you don’t go out!” He just listened, but decided to leave to the outside anyway.

He walked three blocks through the heavy rain and strong winds. He took a moment to stop and look at the black and gray clouds above him. As he looked across the street, he saw her. She was with her mother, sister, and mutual friends of theirs, Chrystal and Mike. He also saw behind them, his own mother and sister. He ran across the street to her and she shockingly with excitement screamed, “Hey!!! Oh my God!! Please stay with us. I missed you so much. You have no idea. We have to get to a shelter away from this storm. Hold my hand…” Smiling, he kept walking with them. They walked for twenty minutes and entered a giant field. After ten minutes of walking restlessly through the field, they all stopped to catch their breath. Angela’s mom ordered everyone to hold one another’s hand. An enormous gust of wind pushed them all to the grassy ground. He began to shake violently as he felt the touch of death nearby. He wondered if this would be the end, as he felt unaccomplished and left with so much left unsaid to her. Thoughts raced through his mind like a speeding highway about how to get to safety. Unable to control and remain focused on one rational thought at a time, he blacked out for a minute.

Then there he was right in the middle of a storm. In so many ways, he realized where he was ending was where he originally began. All the imprints from all he ever knew came back all at once to watch him finally leave all he ever knew from this life. And in the last moments, he found himself with her. He held her hand, while she held his, and the hands of their family and friends. The world was so dark and cold. The wind became much more rapid and an enormous bright light from it came within just miles of them. He kept looking up at the dark black and gray clouds over them, never as frightened as he was now. His focus was on the great strength of the wind. Whatever melancholic thoughts he had of his life, he would not give up hope. Maybe he was just hopelessly hopeful, but holding each other tightly might, in some miraculous way, save them. Then suddenly a deep peace began to sustain his very being. He remembered whose hand he was holding- the only woman to ever understand every level of his being. He looked down at her big, precious eyes pouring out tears. Their eyes locked, as she had been watching him the entire time. No words needed to be said from one another. They knew exactly what they felt and meant. For the first time in his life, everything was all okay. All was beautiful. The whole situation was beautiful, not tragic. In that moment, he understood this was where he was meant to be. This was where he wanted to be, for only in such a life altering moment does one comprehend the very nature of love and life. To just glance into her eyes and see the same person staring back in suspense, while all he ever knew was being born, growing, and dying simultaneously in complete acceptance. They began to fade and disappeared into the light.
Prabhu Iyer Nov 2014
Surrealist Cut-up

    boatman       Purple haze
contemplative pouring
the sky as lone
              rides the horizon.
       islanding
into the lake,

Cubist

Arc to the horizon
apparition, brooding figure,
a form rides in twilight haze
junction of the worlds
into a slither of light.

Literal**

Purple haze islanding the sky
pouring into the lake,
as lone boatman
rides contemplative
into the horizon.
http://artmight.com/Artists/Monet-Claude-Oscar/Monet-Claude-Impression-sunset-Sun-268673p.html
Loser Mar 2019
I'm sick of these late night car rides, pacing up and down the same suburban streets while you try to get away from the flames of your home, and hearing these tiresome complaints being echoed from car rides prior, slowly amplifying as the street lights begin to pass us faster and faster.

I'm too used to the feeling of the cold glass pressed against my forehead while I sit quietly in the passengers seat looking past the rain droplets dancing on the window, and growing bored of listening to your troubles, searching for something new on the winding roads I've traveled on for the past sixteen years.

I'm beginning to wonder if the day will come where my foot is on the gas just like yours once was, and I'm fleeing from the ghosts that I have so naively conjured, and my only escape from a nine to five hell is a drive to nowhere, where the working man goes to die.

I don't want to die like them,
And I don't want to run like you.
I'm still working on this so feel free to give feedback.
Aric garza Sep 2015
If you were to ask me what memories stained the crevice of my brain most I'd simply reply; Car rides.
There was always this calm, serene feeling that came with the tires pushing off concrete.
The ac blasts a cold breeze and on the radio we play music
"When I saw you looking like I'd never thought, so what's it gonna cost to be gone"
And when I saw you, looking like you haven't a care in the world, I smiled.
Because your comfort meant more than anything.
And that's why I watched you, every day, every night and between car rides.
These were the moments I feel I got to observe you and listen in on the things you said with your body.
With your smile.
Your eyes.
And the way your hand never left mine.
Ask me once more what memories stain the crevice of my brain most and I'll simply reply; Car rides.
Dorothy A Oct 2013
Everything faded to black. He had a hard time remembering just what the hell happened. He wasn't sure of downing some random pills from of the medicine cabinet-- his first attempt to end it all. Making sure he would not recover-- if the pills didn't do the job-- he had already devised the set up of the noose in his bedroom. Definitely, he didn't recall anyone cutting the rope, forcing him down to the floor.

Lacie joked with him. "Dude, you've got nine lives! You must really be a ****, fricking cat in disguise! That's why you'll eat those nasty tuna fish sandwiches they serve in the nuthouse! "

Chris grinned at her.  He had to agree. To refer to it as the psych ward at the hospital made it seem like more of a jail term, but calling it "the nuthouse" lightened up the severity of the situation. As grave and nearly tragic as everything  had become, it was kind of laughable to him.  He supposed he had more chances than a cat's fabled life. It all seemed so crazy that it must be funny.

Well, what could he say? He had flirted with death, but unwillingly managed to escape its grip. "Pathetic..."--he commented. "I don't not even know how to die well..."

Chris  eventually realized that he had been rushed to the hospital, but wished it wasn't true. Since then, everything was either a total blur or a bizarre state of mind . Even waking up in his room was like a remotely vague memory, almost like a long ago dream that might not really have happened.

Maybe, he was somewhat aware that his sister was screaming in shock and horror at the sight of him, shouting out downstairs to her boyfriend to help her. But the walls were turning red, a glowing scarlet- red, with an added fiery orange and yellowish-gold-- all joined together in pulsating embers. He was quickly losing consciousness. It was like some, bad acid trip. Not that Chris knew this firsthand, but it sure was like something he saw on TV or at the movies.

And now he was the star of the horror show.

Did he die?  Death was what he planned on, so waking up was not a relief, or a reality back into motion--just the opposite. It was as if being awake was the real nightmare, a delusional time when everything was not true, and was only an scary, offbeat version of the life of Chris Cartier.

The bad acid trip continued. He recalled hospital staff rushing about him, seeming like real people-- sort of. Then they morphed into fish in scrubs. From overhead, an IV was dripping into his arm. Tubes were shoved down his throat. His vital signs were displayed on a screen that made beeps and sounds, increasing the chaos and adding to the mayhem to his mind. Soon, the vital signs machine started talking to him that he was a "very bad boy" and other such scoldings.

He was thoroughly freaked out. If he was still alive, he'd rather be dead.

He wanted to run. One of the fish pushed him back down and muttered out undecipherable utterances-- like underwater gibberish . Then that fish used its slimy fins to inject him with a needle in his arm. The other fish circled around him like fish out of water--with opening and closing mouths-- as if gasping for air.

As they surrounded him as rubber monkeys shot out from the walls and bounced all over the room. On top of all this madness, the florescent lights above were flickering on and off, in sync to the wild music, like the drum beats of a distant jungle. It was one bizarre tangle of events, a freaky, crazy, out-of-control ride in which reality could not be distinguished from the animation and mass confusion. It was one overpowering ride that he would much rather forget.

When Chris got out of critical condition, he found out that he could still not go home. That would take a few weeks more. Dr. What-The-Hell's-His-Name assured him that he needed to start on the path to his psychological healing--just as grave as the physical--right here in a safe place.

It didn't seem so safe to him.

The enemy wasn't what was out there in the world, but the big, bad wolf was actually him. He had to be protected from the true culprit--himself-- and that was a mind-blowing concept. Just what did he get himself into?   

He never had been a patient in a hospital before. In all his twenty-six years, he didn't so much as even have his tonsils out. Feeling now like a prisoner,, he was still scared out of his mind-- as if it was day one all over again. When was he going to get out of here? Chris began to fear that they would never let him out. No professional had a definitive answer, as only time would tell of his improvement.

Man, why couldn't he just be dead?

His parents visited almost everyday, but it was of no reassurance to him. His mother always left in tears, and his father was lost for words. This was nothing new. When it concerned their troubled son, they felt inadequate to help him. The best his dad could say was, "Hey, Chris, we're pullin' for ya". That was of no comfort, whatsoever, like he was some fighter in a boxing ring that his old man had a bet placed on . His mom always clung to him as she said goodbye, like she needed the hug more than he did, saying to Chris through her sobs , "Miss you....love you". Her emotional state just unsettled him to the core, and he was worried for her more than for himself.    

At best, his outlook was grim. But then he met Lacie Weiss, and things started looking up.

Lacie was one of the quietest psych patients in the ward, always sticking to herself. But then he found himself sitting right next to her in group therapy, and they hit it off. He had no idea that she had a fun side. She usually looked apathetic and quietly defiant to society, a nonconformist in the form of a Goth, with edgy, dyed black hair, dark eye make-up and some ****** piercings of the eyebrow, tongue and nose. Her look was quite in contrast to his light blue eyes and sandy-brown hair. Chris never was into Gothic, viewing those who were as spooky creeps.  

It was obvious that Chris was scared and confused. Now although trying to seem tough and stoic, Lacie seemed so little, almost fragile, yet obviously trying to hide her broken self together. Petite and somewhat girlish in appearance, she was barely 5 feet tall. Chris was 5 feet 11 and a half inches, close enough to the six foot stature that he wanted to be. Only a half inch less really didn't cut it for him, though, even though his slim build gave the impression of a lankier guy. He would have loved to be as tall as the basketball players he so emulated. But such was life. He was never used to having the advantages.  

At first, Lacie never opened up, not to a single soul. Like Chris, she certainly acted like she didn't need this place, and nobody was going to help her--or be allowed to help her. As stony and impenetrable as she tried to be, group therapy it was hard to disappear in. Everyone was held accountable for opening up, and the leader was going to see to it.  No way, though, did Lacie want to crack or look weak in her turtle shell composure, in her self-preservation mode. So it was agony for her.

She first spoke to him, whispering loudly to him, onc,e in the group circle "This is all *******!"

Hanging with Chris was the one salvation that she had in this miserable experience. They both could relate more than he ever realized. They both really liked motorcycles and basketball. He had his own Harley, and it was something he loved to work on and go on long rides with it, his own brand of therapy.  In spite of how she looked, Lacie was also actually close to his age. He was twenty-six. and she was twenty-two.

They first broke the ice with casual introductions. "No, the name is not pronounced like Carter", he corrected her about his last name. "It is like Cart-EE-AY...... It's French".

"Yep", she replied. "Like mine is the same way, but as German as brats and sauerkraut,  Ja dummkopf?"

Chris gave her a weird look. She continued, "My mom's dad was from Germany, and I got my mom's name. Ya don't say it how it looks. You would say Weiss like Vice, but I couldn't give a **** how anybody says it. Nobody gets it right and original, anyhow." Her dark brown eyes flashed at him as she said, " But I think I like Chris Cutie, myself, better than Cartier.....cutie it is for me. Huh, cutie pie? "

Chris laughed hard. She was pretty coy for a die-hard Goth. She batted her eyes playfully at him and winked."You're worth being in here for, ya know", he told her, blushing, still laughing at her silly remarks.

She studied his face in response, all laughing aside. Suddenly, her mood turned solemn.  "I'll bet".

They began hanging out in the commons, walking down the halls for exercise, and swapping stories of their plights. Chris quickly found that she Lacie wasn't so steely and unapproachable as the day he first saw her.  And she discovered that he was more than a pretty boy.

"My parents weren't home when I tried", he told her one time after lunch was done. They were sitting in a corner, trying to be as private as possible. "Twenty-six years old...and I still live with them. Yeah, that's my life. I got a twin brother, and he's moved out and doing alright for himself. My sister's younger, is going to college. Wants to be a doctor".

Lacy didn't have any siblings to compare herself to. "Must be cool to have a twin", Lacie said. "I always wondered how that would be to have two of me running around! Scary, huh, dude?"

Chris shook his head. "No, it's nothing like that. Jake and I aren't identical. We are just a two-for-one deal...I mean  is that my parents got two babies in one, huge-*** pregnancy. Jake and me don't even act like twins. Half the time, I don't want to be around him."

No, it wasn't like his cousins, Adam and Alan, who were identical friends, mirror images, and best of friends. Chris never identified with that kind of brotherly relationship. He and Jake never dressed alike, or knew what the other one was thinking. And Chris felt that his brother always felt superior to him. He was the popular one. He was the ambitious one who landed a great job in computers, as a system analyst.  To add to Chris's feelings of inferiority, his little sister, Kate, had surpassed him, too. She was acing most of her classes, and boarding away at college. She was well on her way to becoming a doctor.    

"So if your mom and dad weren't around...who saved you?" Lacie asked. She stared into his eyes with such a probing stare that Chris almost clammed up. Just thinking about that day was overpowering.

"Uh...my sister and her boyfriend were hanging out in the basement. She was home from college, and I didn't know it. My parents were out-of-town. Our dog, Buster, was acting funny. He knew something was up..."

Chris stopped abruptly, but went on. "Kate, my sister, explained to me that she saw me in my room, getting up on a step ladder. She says she yelled at me to stop. I don't remember...but I guess..I guess I was going to do it anyway, and she wouldn't be able to stop me....stop me from...so I hurried up and jumped off before she could stop me."  

Lacie could almost picture it, as if she was there with him. She said, "But she did stop it. She saved you."

"Yeah", he agreed. "Buster started it all...barking, alerting my sister to come upstairs from the basement, and upstairs by my room...." All of a sudden, he felt so weird, like he was having an out-of-body experience.

"Hey, it's OK", Lacie reassured him. "It's over now. You aren't there anymore".

Chris started to cry, but tried not to. "If it weren't for Brian, Kate's boyfriend....she would not of had the strength to hold me up by herself, and cut the rope, too. I must have been like dead weight, and Brian grabbed a kitchen knife and told her to stay cool about it. Yeah, sure, like that could have been possible ! She was trying to keep the rope slack, while trying to save my sorry ****...and she was scared, shitless! "

Lacie opened up, too, relating her tragic past. She had an unbelievable tale, one hell of a ride herself.  It was amazing how detached she was when relating it, though. "Well" actually I got to fess up" "I'm not really an only child....I mean I am...but not really. I know that sounds weird---hey--but I am weird. Oddly unusual is the story of my life-- even before day one. "

Chris had no idea what she was talking about. "What are ya' trying to say?"

She added another surprising bombshell. "Also,  I have a two-year-old boy. His name is Danny. He don't see his dad--ever. The guy's a waste of space. Anyway, my mom has him. She can afford him more, and can do a better job raising him than me. Well, she does OK money-wise. Anyhow, my mom deserves him because she lost everything. And I mean EVERYTHING! Her whole fricking family practically wiped out!"

The shock that Chris had on his face-- his widened, blue eyes and open mouth were expected.   Most people had a hard time believing her.

She explained, calmly, "I mean she nearly died--way before I was born--in a car accident. And her two, little boys were with her in the backseat...and they died that day. "

Chris looked pale. "That is so awful!" he said, hoarsely, barely able to say it.

"Yeah", she continued. "Not a **** thing she could do about it, too. She was like in a million pieces. I know a part of her died right there and then, too. I just know it.  You know, dude, my mom was once really, really coasting along, just doing fine. A typical wife and mother-- a bit older than me now-- life was good. Her little boys were just cute, little toddlers--like Danny. I found out from my grandma that she was  pregnant, too, just a month or two. Nobody could have imagined it coming. She was just driving--doing nothing wrong-- when some idiot broadsided her.  I don't know if it was a guy or a lady, if they were jacked up on ***** or drugs, but they were speeding like a demon out of Hell. Her husband was at work and wasn't around."  

The boys were Benjamin and Gerard, but Lacie couldn't remember their names, for her mom could barely mention them without breaking down. It was an unbearable loss.

Chris was so horrified, amazed that Lacie related this like it was someone else's story. She was almost too cavalier about it.

"And they died ?!" he asked.

"Yeah....*****, don't it? Pure, pure agony. Downright Hell on earth. My mom had to learn to walk again. It took about year, I think."

"Oh, no! What about the baby she was supposed to have?"

"Miscarriage. Worse yet, the **** doctor told her she'd never be able to have kids again. She lost everything, man! Her husband couldn't handle it and left her. **** on top of ****, on top of more ****, on top of more. If it wasn't for her parents, and her sister's help, she would never have made it.

"But she had given birth to you, right? Or were you adopted?"

"Yeah, she gave birth to me. I was her miracle baby, and she didn't give a rat's rear end if my dad wanted me or not. He'd send her money, once in a while, but he wasn't really into either of us. Who cares though? She didn't give a **** what he thought. I was her baby. Truth is, before I came, she ended up slitting her wrists--just like me. What was the use? At first, there was nothing to live for. But now she has Danny.

"And you!" Chris quickly pointed out.

"Dude, are you kidding me? I have been NOTHING but grief for her, a real pain in her ***!"

Unlike her deceased, half-brothers, Lacie grew up before her mother's eyes, from a shy girl to a ******* rebel. Since the age of twelve, she would sneak drinks from her mom's liqueur cabinet. Eventually, she smoked *** and tried ******* and ******. Dropping out of the eleventh grade, she soon away from home, living with friends or boyfriends ever since.  Thankfully, she wasn't doing drugs when she conceived Danny. And her drinking wasn't as prevalent as it was in her teen years of partying and binge drinking. That didn't mean that her drinking problems magically disappeared, or that she was cured. Immediately, though, when she knew she was pregnant, she refused to touch a bottle, but it was just a white knuckle process that was effective momentarily--a band aid on a more serious wound. And going months without a drop of alcohol didn't deaden her urges--quite the opposite--as it only made her crave what she could not have. Often, her fears caught up with her--of especially becoming
Liz Apr 2014
The burning flowers underline the sunset and 
Dash before the fire (k)night catches them.
Ripe berries cheaply
tremble 
but hopefully their vitality won't burst the pulp pulsating
beneath.

Crumbling flowers
crumb the floor
And Prisms of catching silver refract rose quartz and petal
and crimson
dust.

Bejewelled in Scarlet,
the air,
as the (k)night approaches, grows colder,
Unsure of whether he will bring
solace or strife.

In his chariot
he flies faster than the bees which buzzed around the fruit flutes
in the morning and among the trumpeting bluebells.

Stars fleck the (k)night
like freckles
and the milky ways resins stain his spouting steams lovely. 

The (k)nights kind onyx reaches his crescendo and the floating moon danced drowsily through the cloud's spiralled tendrils

Which diminish as dawn
approaches
so their Tentilcles
droop to crinkled tissue paper sheathed in pink.

And so the (k)night
rides on into
The frivolous sunrise.
The lowing, glossy calves
in sage beside the ***** fields
cast a beloved ambience 

As though
we are safe
in the knowledge
that the sky will remain
forever
topaz and the leaves
forever emerald.
500

Within my Garden, rides a Bird
Upon a single Wheel—
Whose spokes a dizzy Music make
As ’twere a travelling Mill—

He never stops, but slackens
Above the Ripest Rose—
Partakes without alighting
And praises as he goes,

Till every spice is tasted—
And then his Fairy Gig
Reels in remoter atmospheres—
And I rejoin my Dog,

And He and I, perplex us
If positive, ’twere we—
Or bore the Garden in the Brain
This Curiosity—

But He, the best Logician,
Refers my clumsy eye—
To just vibrating Blossoms!
An Exquisite Reply!
Infamous one Feb 2013
Get lost on the trails
Bumpy rides and turn
Be careful wipe outs happen
Bumpy rides full or wild turns
Jumps and twists taking risk
Dangers and risks shake off the stress
Bike of blue
Together as one having fun
In the forest nature can't keep mr back
Ride fast get past fear
Up hill down hill take on any skill
Bike riding has a thrill
Not afraid in the zone body aches
Bike galling don want to hit the breaks
ConnectHook Feb 2016
by John Greenleaf Whittier  (1807 – 1892)

“As the Spirits of Darkness be stronger in the dark, so Good Spirits which be Angels of Light are augmented not only by the Divine Light of the Sun, but also by our common Wood fire: and as the celestial Fire drives away dark spirits, so also this our Fire of Wood doth the same.”

        COR. AGRIPPA,
           Occult Philosophy, Book I. chap. v.


Announced by all the trumpets of the sky,
Arrives the snow; and, driving o’er the fields,
Seems nowhere to alight; the whited air
Hides hills and woods, the river and the heaven,
And veils the farm-house at the garden’s end.
The sled and traveller stopped, the courier’s feet
Delayed, all friends shut out, the housemates sit
Around the radiant fireplace, enclosed
In a tumultuous privacy of storm.


                                       EMERSON

The sun that brief December day
Rose cheerless over hills of gray,
And, darkly circled, gave at noon
A sadder light than waning moon.
Slow tracing down the thickening sky
Its mute and ominous prophecy,
A portent seeming less than threat,
It sank from sight before it set.
A chill no coat, however stout,
Of homespun stuff could quite shut out,
A hard, dull bitterness of cold,
That checked, mid-vein, the circling race
Of life-blood in the sharpened face,
The coming of the snow-storm told.
The wind blew east; we heard the roar
Of Ocean on his wintry shore,
And felt the strong pulse throbbing there
Beat with low rhythm our inland air.

Meanwhile we did our nightly chores, —
Brought in the wood from out of doors,
Littered the stalls, and from the mows
Raked down the herd’s-grass for the cows;
Heard the horse whinnying for his corn;
And, sharply clashing horn on horn,
Impatient down the stanchion rows
The cattle shake their walnut bows;
While, peering from his early perch
Upon the scaffold’s pole of birch,
The **** his crested helmet bent
And down his querulous challenge sent.

Unwarmed by any sunset light
The gray day darkened into night,
A night made hoary with the swarm
And whirl-dance of the blinding storm,
As zigzag, wavering to and fro,
Crossed and recrossed the wingàd snow:
And ere the early bedtime came
The white drift piled the window-frame,
And through the glass the clothes-line posts
Looked in like tall and sheeted ghosts.

So all night long the storm roared on:
The morning broke without a sun;
In tiny spherule traced with lines
Of Nature’s geometric signs,
And, when the second morning shone,
We looked upon a world unknown,
On nothing we could call our own.
Around the glistening wonder bent
The blue walls of the firmament,
No cloud above, no earth below, —
A universe of sky and snow!
The old familiar sights of ours
Took marvellous shapes; strange domes and towers
Rose up where sty or corn-crib stood,
Or garden-wall, or belt of wood;
A smooth white mound the brush-pile showed,
A fenceless drift what once was road;
The bridle-post an old man sat
With loose-flung coat and high cocked hat;
The well-curb had a Chinese roof;
And even the long sweep, high aloof,
In its slant spendor, seemed to tell
Of Pisa’s leaning miracle.

A prompt, decisive man, no breath
Our father wasted: “Boys, a path!”
Well pleased, (for when did farmer boy
Count such a summons less than joy?)
Our buskins on our feet we drew;
With mittened hands, and caps drawn low,
To guard our necks and ears from snow,
We cut the solid whiteness through.
And, where the drift was deepest, made
A tunnel walled and overlaid
With dazzling crystal: we had read
Of rare Aladdin’s wondrous cave,
And to our own his name we gave,
With many a wish the luck were ours
To test his lamp’s supernal powers.
We reached the barn with merry din,
And roused the prisoned brutes within.
The old horse ****** his long head out,
And grave with wonder gazed about;
The **** his ***** greeting said,
And forth his speckled harem led;
The oxen lashed their tails, and hooked,
And mild reproach of hunger looked;
The hornëd patriarch of the sheep,
Like Egypt’s Amun roused from sleep,
Shook his sage head with gesture mute,
And emphasized with stamp of foot.

All day the gusty north-wind bore
The loosening drift its breath before;
Low circling round its southern zone,
The sun through dazzling snow-mist shone.
No church-bell lent its Christian tone
To the savage air, no social smoke
Curled over woods of snow-hung oak.
A solitude made more intense
By dreary-voicëd elements,
The shrieking of the mindless wind,
The moaning tree-boughs swaying blind,
And on the glass the unmeaning beat
Of ghostly finger-tips of sleet.
Beyond the circle of our hearth
No welcome sound of toil or mirth
Unbound the spell, and testified
Of human life and thought outside.
We minded that the sharpest ear
The buried brooklet could not hear,
The music of whose liquid lip
Had been to us companionship,
And, in our lonely life, had grown
To have an almost human tone.

As night drew on, and, from the crest
Of wooded knolls that ridged the west,
The sun, a snow-blown traveller, sank
From sight beneath the smothering bank,
We piled, with care, our nightly stack
Of wood against the chimney-back, —
The oaken log, green, huge, and thick,
And on its top the stout back-stick;
The knotty forestick laid apart,
And filled between with curious art

The ragged brush; then, hovering near,
We watched the first red blaze appear,
Heard the sharp crackle, caught the gleam
On whitewashed wall and sagging beam,
Until the old, rude-furnished room
Burst, flower-like, into rosy bloom;
While radiant with a mimic flame
Outside the sparkling drift became,
And through the bare-boughed lilac-tree
Our own warm hearth seemed blazing free.
The crane and pendent trammels showed,
The Turks’ heads on the andirons glowed;
While childish fancy, prompt to tell
The meaning of the miracle,
Whispered the old rhyme: “Under the tree,
When fire outdoors burns merrily,
There the witches are making tea.”

The moon above the eastern wood
Shone at its full; the hill-range stood
Transfigured in the silver flood,
Its blown snows flashing cold and keen,
Dead white, save where some sharp ravine
Took shadow, or the sombre green
Of hemlocks turned to pitchy black
Against the whiteness at their back.
For such a world and such a night
Most fitting that unwarming light,
Which only seemed where’er it fell
To make the coldness visible.

Shut in from all the world without,
We sat the clean-winged hearth about,
Content to let the north-wind roar
In baffled rage at pane and door,
While the red logs before us beat
The frost-line back with tropic heat;
And ever, when a louder blast
Shook beam and rafter as it passed,
The merrier up its roaring draught
The great throat of the chimney laughed;
The house-dog on his paws outspread
Laid to the fire his drowsy head,
The cat’s dark silhouette on the wall
A couchant tiger’s seemed to fall;
And, for the winter fireside meet,
Between the andirons’ straddling feet,
The mug of cider simmered slow,
The apples sputtered in a row,
And, close at hand, the basket stood
With nuts from brown October’s wood.

What matter how the night behaved?
What matter how the north-wind raved?
Blow high, blow low, not all its snow
Could quench our hearth-fire’s ruddy glow.
O Time and Change! — with hair as gray
As was my sire’s that winter day,
How strange it seems, with so much gone
Of life and love, to still live on!
Ah, brother! only I and thou
Are left of all that circle now, —
The dear home faces whereupon
That fitful firelight paled and shone.
Henceforward, listen as we will,
The voices of that hearth are still;
Look where we may, the wide earth o’er,
Those lighted faces smile no more.

We tread the paths their feet have worn,
We sit beneath their orchard trees,
We hear, like them, the hum of bees
And rustle of the bladed corn;
We turn the pages that they read,
Their written words we linger o’er,
But in the sun they cast no shade,
No voice is heard, no sign is made,
No step is on the conscious floor!
Yet Love will dream, and Faith will trust,
(Since He who knows our need is just,)
That somehow, somewhere, meet we must.
Alas for him who never sees
The stars shine through his cypress-trees!
Who, hopeless, lays his dead away,
Nor looks to see the breaking day
Across the mournful marbles play!
Who hath not learned, in hours of faith,
The truth to flesh and sense unknown,
That Life is ever lord of Death,
And Love can never lose its own!

We sped the time with stories old,
Wrought puzzles out, and riddles told,
Or stammered from our school-book lore
“The Chief of Gambia’s golden shore.”
How often since, when all the land
Was clay in Slavery’s shaping hand,
As if a far-blown trumpet stirred
Dame Mercy Warren’s rousing word:
“Does not the voice of reason cry,
Claim the first right which Nature gave,
From the red scourge of ******* to fly,
Nor deign to live a burdened slave!”
Our father rode again his ride
On Memphremagog’s wooded side;
Sat down again to moose and samp
In trapper’s hut and Indian camp;
Lived o’er the old idyllic ease
Beneath St. François’ hemlock-trees;
Again for him the moonlight shone
On Norman cap and bodiced zone;
Again he heard the violin play
Which led the village dance away.
And mingled in its merry whirl
The grandam and the laughing girl.
Or, nearer home, our steps he led
Where Salisbury’s level marshes spread
Mile-wide as flies the laden bee;
Where merry mowers, hale and strong,
Swept, scythe on scythe, their swaths along
The low green prairies of the sea.
We shared the fishing off Boar’s Head,
And round the rocky Isles of Shoals
The hake-broil on the drift-wood coals;
The chowder on the sand-beach made,
Dipped by the hungry, steaming hot,
With spoons of clam-shell from the ***.
We heard the tales of witchcraft old,
And dream and sign and marvel told
To sleepy listeners as they lay
Stretched idly on the salted hay,
Adrift along the winding shores,
When favoring breezes deigned to blow
The square sail of the gundelow
And idle lay the useless oars.

Our mother, while she turned her wheel
Or run the new-knit stocking-heel,
Told how the Indian hordes came down
At midnight on Concheco town,
And how her own great-uncle bore
His cruel scalp-mark to fourscore.
Recalling, in her fitting phrase,
So rich and picturesque and free
(The common unrhymed poetry
Of simple life and country ways,)
The story of her early days, —
She made us welcome to her home;
Old hearths grew wide to give us room;
We stole with her a frightened look
At the gray wizard’s conjuring-book,
The fame whereof went far and wide
Through all the simple country side;
We heard the hawks at twilight play,
The boat-horn on Piscataqua,
The loon’s weird laughter far away;
We fished her little trout-brook, knew
What flowers in wood and meadow grew,
What sunny hillsides autumn-brown
She climbed to shake the ripe nuts down,
Saw where in sheltered cove and bay,
The ducks’ black squadron anchored lay,
And heard the wild-geese calling loud
Beneath the gray November cloud.
Then, haply, with a look more grave,
And soberer tone, some tale she gave
From painful Sewel’s ancient tome,
Beloved in every Quaker home,
Of faith fire-winged by martyrdom,
Or Chalkley’s Journal, old and quaint, —
Gentlest of skippers, rare sea-saint! —
Who, when the dreary calms prevailed,
And water-**** and bread-cask failed,
And cruel, hungry eyes pursued
His portly presence mad for food,
With dark hints muttered under breath
Of casting lots for life or death,

Offered, if Heaven withheld supplies,
To be himself the sacrifice.
Then, suddenly, as if to save
The good man from his living grave,
A ripple on the water grew,
A school of porpoise flashed in view.
“Take, eat,” he said, “and be content;
These fishes in my stead are sent
By Him who gave the tangled ram
To spare the child of Abraham.”
Our uncle, innocent of books,
Was rich in lore of fields and brooks,
The ancient teachers never dumb
Of Nature’s unhoused lyceum.
In moons and tides and weather wise,
He read the clouds as prophecies,
And foul or fair could well divine,
By many an occult hint and sign,
Holding the cunning-warded keys
To all the woodcraft mysteries;
Himself to Nature’s heart so near
v That all her voices in his ear
Of beast or bird had meanings clear,
Like Apollonius of old,
Who knew the tales the sparrows told,
Or Hermes, who interpreted
What the sage cranes of Nilus said;
A simple, guileless, childlike man,
Content to live where life began;
Strong only on his native grounds,
The little world of sights and sounds
Whose girdle was the parish bounds,
Whereof his fondly partial pride
The common features magnified,
As Surrey hills to mountains grew
In White of Selborne’s loving view, —
He told how teal and loon he shot,
And how the eagle’s eggs he got,
The feats on pond and river done,
The prodigies of rod and gun;
Till, warming with the tales he told,
Forgotten was the outside cold,
The bitter wind unheeded blew,
From ripening corn the pigeons flew,
The partridge drummed i’ the wood, the mink
Went fishing down the river-brink.
In fields with bean or clover gay,
The woodchuck, like a hermit gray,
Peered from the doorway of his cell;
The muskrat plied the mason’s trade,
And tier by tier his mud-walls laid;
And from the shagbark overhead
The grizzled squirrel dropped his shell.

Next, the dear aunt, whose smile of cheer
And voice in dreams I see and hear, —
The sweetest woman ever Fate
Perverse denied a household mate,
Who, lonely, homeless, not the less
Found peace in love’s unselfishness,
And welcome wheresoe’er she went,
A calm and gracious element,
Whose presence seemed the sweet income
And womanly atmosphere of home, —
Called up her girlhood memories,
The huskings and the apple-bees,
The sleigh-rides and the summer sails,
Weaving through all the poor details
And homespun warp of circumstance
A golden woof-thread of romance.
For well she kept her genial mood
And simple faith of maidenhood;
Before her still a cloud-land lay,
The mirage loomed across her way;
The morning dew, that dries so soon
With others, glistened at her noon;
Through years of toil and soil and care,
From glossy tress to thin gray hair,
All unprofaned she held apart
The ****** fancies of the heart.
Be shame to him of woman born
Who hath for such but thought of scorn.
There, too, our elder sister plied
Her evening task the stand beside;
A full, rich nature, free to trust,
Truthful and almost sternly just,
Impulsive, earnest, prompt to act,
And make her generous thought a fact,
Keeping with many a light disguise
The secret of self-sacrifice.

O heart sore-tried! thou hast the best
That Heaven itself could give thee, — rest,
Rest from all bitter thoughts and things!
How many a poor one’s blessing went
With thee beneath the low green tent
Whose curtain never outward swings!

As one who held herself a part
Of all she saw, and let her heart
Against the household ***** lean,
Upon the motley-braided mat
Our youngest and our dearest sat,
Lifting her large, sweet, asking eyes,
Now bathed in the unfading green
And holy peace of Paradise.
Oh, looking from some heavenly hill,
Or from the shade of saintly palms,
Or silver reach of river calms,
Do those large eyes behold me still?
With me one little year ago: —
The chill weight of the winter snow
For months upon her grave has lain;
And now, when summer south-winds blow
And brier and harebell bloom again,
I tread the pleasant paths we trod,
I see the violet-sprinkled sod
Whereon she leaned, too frail and weak
The hillside flowers she loved to seek,
Yet following me where’er I went
With dark eyes full of love’s content.
The birds are glad; the brier-rose fills
The air with sweetness; all the hills
Stretch green to June’s unclouded sky;
But still I wait with ear and eye
For something gone which should be nigh,
A loss in all familiar things,
In flower that blooms, and bird that sings.
And yet, dear heart! remembering thee,
Am I not richer than of old?
Safe in thy immortality,
What change can reach the wealth I hold?
What chance can mar the pearl and gold
Thy love hath left in trust with me?
And while in life’s late afternoon,
Where cool and long the shadows grow,
I walk to meet the night that soon
Shall shape and shadow overflow,
I cannot feel that thou art far,
Since near at need the angels are;
And when the sunset gates unbar,
Shall I not see thee waiting stand,
And, white against the evening star,
The welcome of thy beckoning hand?

Brisk wielder of the birch and rule,
The master of the district school
Held at the fire his favored place,
Its warm glow lit a laughing face
Fresh-hued and fair, where scarce appeared
The uncertain prophecy of beard.
He teased the mitten-blinded cat,
Played cross-pins on my uncle’s hat,
Sang songs, and told us what befalls
In classic Dartmouth’s college halls.
Born the wild Northern hills among,
From whence his yeoman father wrung
By patient toil subsistence scant,
Not competence and yet not want,
He early gained the power to pay
His cheerful, self-reliant way;
Could doff at ease his scholar’s gown
To peddle wares from town to town;
Or through the long vacation’s reach
In lonely lowland districts teach,
Where all the droll experience found
At stranger hearths in boarding round,
The moonlit skater’s keen delight,
The sleigh-drive through the frosty night,
The rustic party, with its rough
Accompaniment of blind-man’s-buff,
And whirling-plate, and forfeits paid,
His winter task a pastime made.
Happy the snow-locked homes wherein
He tuned his merry violin,

Or played the athlete in the barn,
Or held the good dame’s winding-yarn,
Or mirth-provoking versions told
Of classic legends rare and old,
Wherein the scenes of Greece and Rome
Had all the commonplace of home,
And little seemed at best the odds
‘Twixt Yankee pedlers and old gods;
Where Pindus-born Arachthus took
The guise of any grist-mill brook,
And dread Olympus at his will
Became a huckleberry hill.

A careless boy that night he seemed;
But at his desk he had the look
And air of one who wisely schemed,
And hostage from the future took
In trainëd thought and lore of book.
Large-brained, clear-eyed, of such as he
Shall Freedom’s young apostles be,
Who, following in War’s ****** trail,
Shall every lingering wrong assail;
All chains from limb and spirit strike,
Uplift the black and white alike;
Scatter before their swift advance
The darkness and the ignorance,
The pride, the lust, the squalid sloth,
Which nurtured Treason’s monstrous growth,
Made ****** pastime, and the hell
Of prison-torture possible;
The cruel lie of caste refute,
Old forms remould, and substitute
For Slavery’s lash the freeman’s will,
For blind routine, wise-handed skill;
A school-house plant on every hill,
Stretching in radiate nerve-lines thence
The quick wires of intelligence;
Till North and South together brought
Shall own the same electric thought,
In peace a common flag salute,
And, side by side in labor’s free
And unresentful rivalry,
Harvest the fields wherein they fought.

Another guest that winter night
Flashed back from lustrous eyes the light.
Unmarked by time, and yet not young,
The honeyed music of her tongue
And words of meekness scarcely told
A nature passionate and bold,

Strong, self-concentred, spurning guide,
Its milder features dwarfed beside
Her unbent will’s majestic pride.
She sat among us, at the best,
A not unfeared, half-welcome guest,
Rebuking with her cultured phrase
Our homeliness of words and ways.
A certain pard-like, treacherous grace
Swayed the lithe limbs and drooped the lash,
Lent the white teeth their dazzling flash;
And under low brows, black with night,
Rayed out at times a dangerous light;
The sharp heat-lightnings of her face
Presaging ill to him whom Fate
Condemned to share her love or hate.
A woman tropical, intense
In thought and act, in soul and sense,
She blended in a like degree
The ***** and the devotee,
Revealing with each freak or feint
The temper of Petruchio’s Kate,
The raptures of Siena’s saint.
Her tapering hand and rounded wrist
Had facile power to form a fist;
The warm, dark languish of her eyes
Was never safe from wrath’s surprise.
Brows saintly calm and lips devout
Knew every change of scowl and pout;
And the sweet voice had notes more high
And shrill for social battle-cry.

Since then what old cathedral town
Has missed her pilgrim staff and gown,
What convent-gate has held its lock
Against the challenge of her knock!
Through Smyrna’s plague-hushed thoroughfares,
Up sea-set Malta’s rocky stairs,
Gray olive slopes of hills that hem
Thy tombs and shrines, Jerusalem,
Or startling on her desert throne
The crazy Queen of Lebanon
With claims fantastic as her own,
Her tireless feet have held their way;
And still, unrestful, bowed, and gray,
She watches under Eastern skies,
With hope each day renewed and fresh,
The Lord’s quick coming in the flesh,
Whereof she dreams and prophesies!
Where’er her troubled path may be,
The Lord’s sweet pity with her go!
The outward wayward life we see,
The hidden springs we may not know.
Nor is it given us to discern
What threads the fatal sisters spun,
Through what ancestral years has run
The sorrow with the woman born,
What forged her cruel chain of moods,
What set her feet in solitudes,
And held the love within her mute,
What mingled madness in the blood,
A life-long discord and annoy,
Water of tears with oil of joy,
And hid within the folded bud
Perversities of flower and fruit.
It is not ours to separate
The tangled skein of will and fate,
To show what metes and bounds should stand
Upon the soul’s debatable land,
And between choice and Providence
Divide the circle of events;
But He who knows our frame is just,
Merciful and compassionate,
And full of sweet assurances
And hope for all the language is,
That He remembereth we are dust!

At last the great logs, crumbling low,
Sent out a dull and duller glow,
The bull’s-eye watch that hung in view,
Ticking its weary circuit through,
Pointed with mutely warning sign
Its black hand to the hour of nine.
That sign the pleasant circle broke:
My uncle ceased his pipe to smoke,
Knocked from its bowl the refuse gray,
And laid it tenderly away;
Then roused himself to safely cover
The dull red brands with ashes over.
And while, with care, our mother laid
The work aside, her steps she stayed
One moment, seeking to express
Her grateful sense of happiness
For food and shelter, warmth and health,
And love’s contentment more than wealth,
With simple wishes (not the weak,
Vain prayers which no fulfilment seek,
But such as warm the generous heart,
O’er-prompt to do with Heaven its part)
That none might lack, that bitter night,
For bread and clothing, warmth and light.

Within our beds awhile we heard
The wind that round the gables roared,
With now and then a ruder shock,
Which made our very bedsteads rock.
We heard the loosened clapboards tost,
The board-nails snapping in the frost;
And on us, through the unplastered wall,
Felt the light sifted snow-flakes fall.
But sleep stole on, as sleep will do
When hearts are light and life is new;
Faint and more faint the murmurs grew,
Till in the summer-land of dreams
They softened to the sound of streams,
Low stir of leaves, and dip of oars,
And lapsing waves on quiet shores.
Of merry voices high and clear;
And saw the teamsters drawing near
To break the drifted highways out.
Down the long hillside treading slow
We saw the half-buried oxen go,
Shaking the snow from heads uptost,
Their straining nostrils white with frost.
Before our door the straggling train
Drew up, an added team to gain.
The elders threshed their hands a-cold,
Passed, with the cider-mug, their jokes
From lip to lip; the younger folks
Down the loose snow-banks, wrestling, rolled,
Then toiled again the cavalcade
O’er windy hill, through clogged ravine,
And woodland paths that wound between
Low drooping pine-boughs winter-weighed.
From every barn a team afoot,
At every house a new recruit,
Where, drawn by Nature’s subtlest law,
Haply the watchful young men saw
Sweet doorway pictures of the curls
And curious eyes of merry girls,
Lifting their hands in mock defence
Against the snow-ball’s compliments,
And reading in each missive tost
The charm with Eden never lost.
We heard once more the sleigh-bells’ sound;
And, following where the teamsters led,
The wise old Doctor went his round,
Just pausing at our door to say,
In the brief autocratic way
Of one who, prompt at Duty’s call,
Was free to urge her claim on all,
That some poor neighbor sick abed
At night our mother’s aid would need.
For, one in generous thought and deed,
What mattered in the sufferer’s sight
The Quaker matron’s inward light,
The Doctor’s mail of Calvin’s creed?
All hearts confess the saints elect
Who, twain in faith, in love agree,
And melt not in an acid sect
The Christian pearl of charity!

So days went on: a week had passed
Since the great world was heard from last.
The Almanac we studied o’er,
Read and reread our little store
Of books and pamphlets, scarce a score;
One harmless novel, mostly hid
From younger eyes, a book forbid,
And poetry, (or good or bad,
A single book was all we had,)
Where Ellwood’s meek, drab-skirted Muse,
A stranger to the heathen Nine,
Sang, with a somewhat nasal whine,
The wars of David and the Jews.
At last the floundering carrier bore
The village paper to our door.
Lo! broadening outward as we read,
To warmer zones the horizon spread
In panoramic length unrolled
We saw the marvels that it told.
Before us passed the painted Creeks,
A   nd daft McGregor on his raids
In Costa Rica’s everglades.
And up Taygetos winding slow
Rode Ypsilanti’s Mainote Greeks,
A Turk’s head at each saddle-bow!
Welcome to us its week-old news,
Its corner for the rustic Muse,
Its monthly gauge of snow and rain,
Its record, mingling in a breath
The wedding bell and dirge of death:
Jest, anecdote, and love-lorn tale,
The latest culprit sent to jail;
Its hue and cry of stolen and lost,
Its vendue sales and goods at cost,
And traffic calling loud for gain.
We felt the stir of hall and street,
The pulse of life that round us beat;
The chill embargo of the snow
Was melted in the genial glow;
Wide swung again our ice-locked door,
And all the world was ours once more!

Clasp, Angel of the backword look
And folded wings of ashen gray
And voice of echoes far away,
The brazen covers of thy book;
The weird palimpsest old and vast,
Wherein thou hid’st the spectral past;
Where, closely mingling, pale and glow
The characters of joy and woe;
The monographs of outlived years,
Or smile-illumed or dim with tears,
Green hills of life that ***** to death,
And haunts of home, whose vistaed trees
Shade off to mournful cypresses
With the white amaranths underneath.
Even while I look, I can but heed
The restless sands’ incessant fall,
Importunate hours that hours succeed,
Each clamorous with its own sharp need,
And duty keeping pace with all.
Shut down and clasp with heavy lids;
I hear again the voice that bids
The dreamer leave his dream midway
For larger hopes and graver fears:
Life greatens in these later years,
The century’s aloe flowers to-day!

Yet, haply, in some lull of life,
Some Truce of God which breaks its strife,
The worldling’s eyes shall gather dew,
Dreaming in throngful city ways
Of winter joys his boyhood knew;
And dear and early friends — the few
Who yet remain — shall pause to view
These Flemish pictures of old days;
Sit with me by the homestead hearth,
And stretch the hands of memory forth
To warm them at the wood-fire’s blaze!
And thanks untraced to lips unknown
Shall greet me like the odors blown
From unseen meadows newly mown,
Wood-fringed, the wayside gaze beyond;
The traveller owns the grateful sense
Of sweetness near, he knows not whence,
And, pausing, takes with forehead bare
The benediction of the air.

Written in  1865
In its day, 'twas a best-seller and earned significant income for Whittier

https://youtu.be/vVOQ54YQ73A
Big Virge Nov 2014
When Your Art's Your Closest Friend ...    
It Can Tear You Apart If You Won't Just Bend ...    
To Become A ... " FAMOUS STAR " ... !!!      
      
But I Guess Like Common Says ...      
      
" One Day Oh Yes It'll All Make Sense " ...  
      
The Struggles That We Go Through ...      
To Simply Make ... PROGRESS ........      
Or Taste What's Called ... " SUCCESS " ...      
      
You See You've ...  
Got To Keep Your Head ...      
When Facing Those With Less ... !!!  
      
Especially When You're STRIVING ... !!!      
To Make Your Art TRANSCEND ...................      
  
Even When They're Driving ...      
Their Lexus or Their Benz ... !!!      
      
REMEMBER ... In The End ...      
TRUE TALENT ... OUTSHINES Them ...      
Because They're ... TALENTLESS ... !!!!!!      
      
The Fools Who Move With Shady Crews ...      
Who Choose To Use People Like Tools ...      
Usually REFUSE To Face The TRUTH ... !!!!!      
      
One Day It's True ....  
They're Bound To Lose And Pay Their Dues ...      
Because of Lies They Have Contrived ...      
To Have Their Lives In The ... " LIMELIGHT " ... !!!      
      
See They're Not So Nice ... !!!      
Whether Girls Or Guys ...      
      
Guys Who Have NO ***** Size ... !!!!!      
Or Girls Who Like To S p r e a d ... Their Thighs ...      
Tend To Use Their Devious Minds ...      
To Get A Slice of The FIVE STAR Life ...      
By Hitching Rides And Being ...... Sly ...... !!!      
      
So ...  
DON'T Be Surprised You Tend To Find ...      
That TALENTLESS Mules Avoid Art School ... !!!      
      
If You Love Your Art ... ?      
Could You Ever Choose ... ?    
    
To Follow The Path ...      
These People Do ... ?!?      
      
Would You Choose To BEND OVER ...      
For A NEW ... RANGE ROVER ... !?!      
      
Or .......      
      
Spread Your Thighs ... ?      
To Get A Contract Signed ... ?      
      
See MANY Have Fallen By The Wayside ...      
And Have Then Withdrawn From The Publics' Eyes ...      
Leaving The Public Wondering ............ " Why " ........... !?!      
      
Some Have Paid The ULTIMATE PRIZE ...        
And Lost Their Lives ... Or Tried Suicide ...      
Before It Was Time To ... END Their Lives ... !!!      
      
The Price of Fame Is Getting HIGH ...      
Just Like ... PRICE HIKES ... !!!!!!      
      
What Would You Pay ... ?      
To See YOUR FACE ALL OVER The Place ... !?!      
      
Would You SELL YOUR SOUL ...      
To Become ... " WELL KNOWN " ... ???      
      
Quite A Few Now DO And That's NO JOKE ... !!!      
They End Up BROKE With The DEVIL In Tow ...      
      
Louis Cypher KNOWS ... !!!  
  
NO SOUL ... NO SHOW ... !!!!!    
  
just The FINAL CROSSROADS ...      
If You Don't Believe Me ... ?      
      
Ask ... Ralph Macchio ... !!!!!      
      
Life It Seems Can Be Like A Movie ...      
What You Choose To Seek ...      
May Become ... " Your Destiny " ... !?!      
      
So PLEASE BEWARE ... !!!  
      
What You Choose To ... " Dream " ...      
May Result In ... NIGHTMARES ... !!!!!!!  
      
Be CAREFUL What You Wish For Cos' It May Come True ... !?!      
The Wishmaster Proves That It's ... NOT ALL GOOD ... !!!      
      
The World's NOT YOURS ... You're Just A PAWN ... !!!      
So Make SMART Moves And Leave The Devil ... FORLORN ... !!!      
      
Stay TRUE To Your Art And You'll Get Rewards ...      
You DON'T Have To Be A Star To Receive Awards ... !!!      
  
Awards Can Be Received In Many Forms ...      
Trust Me BELIEVE If Your Art Has A Cause ...      
One Day You'll See Your Art Form ... SOAR ... !!!!!      
But It May Come From An ... UNLIKELY Source ... ???      
      
Someone Might Say That ...  
  
"You've made their day and have changed their ways,      
from a path of hate, to a higher place,      
where their misplaced hates now been erased !" ...      
      
NO Amount of Pay Can Replicate ...      
That Feeling of Affecting Change ...      
In Someone Who Has Never Met You ... !!!!!      
      
A Feeling THAT NICE ... TRULY Has NO PRICE ...      
When What You've Done ... Has TOUCHED SOMEONE ... !!!      
      
NO FAKENESS' LIES or FABRICATION ... !!!    
  
Creation Designed Through Reflection ...      
Is Art That Has ... NO Pretensions ... !!!      
      
HEED These Words And You Will Learn ...      
How To ... CHERISH Your Art ...      
it Can Help You BREATHE ...      
Just Like ... Your Heart ...      
      
But Can TEAR YOU APART ...        
Like I Said In This Piece ...      
At The Very Start ... !!!!!      
      
TOO MANY Now ABUSE The Arts For LOOT ...      
A FANCY Car or Designer Suit ... !?!      
Or Just To Prove That They're BETTER Than You ... !!!      
      
Well Whilst They LIE ...      
Stick To My Guide And You Will Find ...      
That You'll DENT Their PRIDE ...      
Because It's The TRUTH From Which They Hide ... !!!      
      
They'll Try To DENY Til' The Day They DIE ... !!!      
But One Day They'll Find Their Way To The Light ... !!!      
      
The LIGHT That SHINES On Those Inclined ...      
To Stay TRUE To The Finish From The Very Start ...      
      
To This BEAUTIFUL Thing ....      
That We Call ................      
      
...... " Art " .................
It is indeed, an incredible thing, NOT to be mistaken for entertainment !

Two VERY DIFFERENT things, in my opine !
Jasmine Somers Sep 2016
I catch you sitting at the diner counter again at 2am, the fourth day in a row. The waitress comes over and hands you a black coffee. I stare, but you don’t turn around and catch me looking. You’re glaring into the mug, like somehow you’ll drown in the warm murky mix. Like somehow if you keep looking your problems will dissipate into the rising steam. Like somehow it’s the answer you’ve been searching for since you were born. You wanted an answer. Something that would make everything come full circle. It’s been years of you driving down an endless highway, passing every exit because you don’t know how to stay in one place. Even ghost towns won’t harbor something so deeply damaged. A person who can only pull the emergency break when they’re afraid they might crash. Crash into what? Not everything walking by you is a catastrophe.  Accidents only occur when you forget to pay attention. Just like how you forgot that your side door mirrors were broken. Those objects are not closer than they appear. You tried to slow down but they only seemed further away. Everything you’re trying to hold on to is slipping through your hands the way sand falls through the hourglass. Tick tock. Did you forget that people need affection if you want them to stay? They are not dolls you can glass-case until you feel like playing with them again. Not everybody enjoys being a toy. How long has it been since someone sat in the passenger seat? The car rides must be lonely when there’s no one around to fill the silence. You can blast the radio as loud as you want to but that won’t block out the hollow feeling in your chest. The one that sits where your heart is supposed to be. Something that music can’t fill. Your mother once told you that history repeats itself but did she mention that only happens when you refuse to change the scenery? If you always stay on the same road you’re never going to snap out of it. Break the curse. Realize that love is sitting at the base of every exit if you weren’t so scared of swerving into oncoming traffic. The only head-on collision that’s going to happen is when you grow too tired of driving alone that you forget to keep your eyes on the road. When you realize you placed yourself in your own hell and your breaks finally give out. When you fall asleep at the wheel and never wake up because you were terrified of letting somebody else steer.
Bows N' Arrows Jun 2015
I'd make you mine...
If I could find the time...
I'd brush my teeth (cover my bruised knees)
and where something to please
you're lovely appetites
[Theme parks
and maybe some thrill rides
sunburn
when were out all day
beach-bums
days turn
and i'm wishing you won't spurn
me
Theme parks and maybe some thrill rides]
I'd scream "GO TEAM" at the game....
I'd put you're EX to shame...
I know I'm rough to tame
And although we feel the same
I still feel alone inside
Oh I'll bring you breakfast in bed
And act interested
(when you talked)
I'd make believe
Always was meant to be
Us for infinity
[Theme parks
and maybe some thrill rides
sunburn
when were out all day
beach-bums
days turn
and i'm wishing you won't spurn
me...
Theme parks, and maybe some thrill rides]
I know everyone's got to pay a bond to love you
(to love)
I see everybody says you're not meant to be alone
I know everyone's got to pay a bond to love you
(to love)
I said everybody sees you're not meant to be alone
[Theme parks, and may-be some thrill rides
sunburn
when we were out-all-day
beach-bums
days turn
and i'm wishing you won't spurn
me
Because the days burn
when i don't have you
to love me]
Lyrics
Another night of television hell I was in the middle of a hell of a block.
And withoout the funds my usal cure of hookers and *******  wasnt a open
road so to speak.

I was lost I wondred the streets like  ****** in need of a john.
When through the darkness it appearded a well lit haven in the middle of
a thoughtless storm.

The cinema cafe drinks and films  hmm from looking at the marquee seems
there wasnt much to choose from .
It read like a preschooler had puked apon the board.

There were sequels, and prequels,  gay vampires that walked around in the day,
Weirdos who flew around on broom sticks and loads of treenage **** minus the ****.
Dear lord! I had to get to the bottom of this problem.

The pimple faced kid at the booth asked me in a squeeky yet firm semi manly
voice can I help you sir?
Yes my dear crater face whats with this **** you call films here ?
Umm I dont make em sir there just whats popular.

The greezy faced hampster had a good point in what he said that is.
cause other than that I had no clue what he was working with really what do you think
I am some kinda pervert?

Let me ask you something do you like this **** you sell tickets to?
**** no dude its garbage for halfwits and retards  and some people from Canada.
Who the hell wants to see that **** from twilight  play snow white?
Let me ask is that a adult film?
Duh no ******* we dont show thoose here.

Would you know were I could see thoose films?
Im doing some umm research on human sexulality  it involves alotta big words
which i cant spell so i'll spare you the details  just point me in the right direction
and nobody gets hurt.

Dude they havent shown thoose kinda movies in theaters for years.
Oh yeah and theres this thing called the internet once is way better than writting on your
cave walls.
Kids there really great *******.

After some back in fourth who gives a **** or really reads this ***** banter.
The man with the pizza face finally hit his limit.
Look *******!
I dont make the **** ,I dont watch the ****!
If you gotta problem take it up with the studio exects in Hollywood.

You gotta point there sparky give me your keys!
What! No.
Give me your keys or else.
Or else what grandpa  your gonna hit me with your walker.

No you silly *******.
Or else I'll shoot you.
Ya see young man that should wear a iron mask.
You may have a I Phone
But I have a handgun  and  that always wins the debate no hand em over.

After a brief moment of the little ******* ***** crying and begging for me not to **** him.
Really he watched to many TV shows I wasnt gonna **** him besides.
Im allergic to prison and it wasnt even a real gun what a *******.

I was off in my borrowed car  to the land of bad ideas and great **** jobs.
A place more fake than barbies dream home minus that dickless tool she always
hung out with  not that I played with Barbie's but she does have some really kickarse *******
and im a big fan of ******* hell what great writer isnt?

It was a drive that seemed to take forever  but finally i pulled up to the front gate
of Warner Brothers studios.
The little weird looking gate keeper looked at me and said .
can I help you sir.

Yes please direct me to your leader strange gaurd troll.
Uhh sir this is a closed lot only people with passes can enter.
Well what if i know the secret word?

Who told you about the secret word?
I had him with that one.
These Hollyweird vampires couldnt have enough brain power to
keep some pass on them.
Okay whats the secret word sir?

I had to think deep and from such a shallow mind that was asking alot.
What could it be it had to be something that rang true like snorting a line of
coke of Katy Perry's  ***'s.

Dear lord I had it.

Brad Pitt ***** donkey *****.

The man looked at me in utter shock  I wasnt sure if he was gonna let me pass
or try to pull me out my slightly worn odd smelling borrowed car.
Alright sir it's lot 69 hahaha  yeah I know im demented.

Right next to the lot there filming Winds Of Change **** The Musical!
Staring Johnny Depp and Bogo the ***** chimp.
****** i wish i wasnt busy  that chimp seemed like he had a good head on his shoulders.
Well when he wasnt jerking off and eating bannans while throwing his poo.
What a talent indeed.

I found myself in the studio people running every which a way.
It was total confussion   seemd like no one had a clue what the hell they were doing.
Hey ******* shouted some weird little man in a chair who the **** are you!?.

The little red haired man must truely be dellusional.
How could someone not know Gonzo?
Well sir just who the **** are you? I replied.

Well im Ron ******* Howard *****!
Hmm never herd of you are you a director or something?
What!!!
Ever hear of Andy Griffith  or Happy Days?
Oh yeah your that little dork that hung out with that cop yeah what a snitch.
I was playing his son *******.

Dam well seems this ginger finally explained to me why that man always had him around
it all makes sense now i just thought he was some kinda pervert.
Course seems like he had picked up some bad habbits from that Fonzie guy
never trust a man who calls the restroom his office but what a man does with
another man in a ***** restroom for plesure or profit is his own bussiness.

Look *******  what the hell do ya want?
Lets start with a gallon's of nothern light maybe some top shelf hookers some good music.
Maybe a couple hits of some lets say nose candy maybe turn off the lights and see what happens.
Im just saying sometimes ya gotta let nature take it's drug filled course.

Im not talking bout from life dip **** i mean what the hell are you doing here?
Oh **** sorry there  carrot top.
I wanna see the person in charge that green lights all this remake **** you souless
morons put out and call entertainment.

The little red haired devil was silent as he explained to me no one ever saw the
studio head it was like meeting Santa Claus or ****** or being in the pressence of a unicorn
really whats the diffrence.

He warned me of the dangers of meeting such a great mind yet like I do with
most people I simply shook me head and agreed much like i do with
women im trying to sleep with duh like I care about her tweenty seven cats.

Finally after learning I wasnt taking no for a answer he lead me to a room
And in this room was a screen and apon the screen appread a face.
Who dare question the mighty head of the film studio!!

The voice was loud  still it had that comfoting quallity that you just have to love in
a windbag *******.
Umm me.

You well who the hell are you?
Duh ******* im the long winded ******* writting the story.
Oh well what the **** do you want?

Sir I wanna know what the hell's wrong with you people.
Look im a drunk but i could never be drunk enough to pay a fortune to watch half the **** you call entertainment between remakes and films based on gay *** stories about vampires
and dudes who run around the woods calling themselves werewolves.

You mean you actully saw twilight?
The voice asked me on the verge of laughter.
Duh i see a bunch of hot chicks  going anywhere im following without asking
much like the mindless drones that watch that ****.

Sir your a sad sad man.
The strange face on the screen vanished out from the curtan appeared
what looked like *** it was Bugs Bunny !!

Bug's!  
What's up gonz?
****** i always knew you were real much like Fergie and spanish fly.

Gonzo i know half this **** ***** but its because mindless idiots love studip ****.
Look you were once a popular writer and you cant even spell.
Ouch now go ahead mighty furry samuri.

Ya see whatever makes money we put out and really stupid young girls much like your teenage
wife love that **** and being perverts like yourself wanna get laid you'll take them to that ****.
Bugs are you saying it's all about money?

No **** *******.

We talked drank watched backroom casting couch tapes of early starlets like
Harrison Ford no wonder he was so good with that whip.

It was magic minus the  money loving **** mouse that'll sue your ***.
Bugs I gotta ask you a deep question?
Shoot there Gonz .
Is Mickey really just a cross dresser calling himself Minnie?

You are messed up in so many ways Gonz.
We laughed swapped ***** stories  like the time Bugs slipped
Daisy some ****** and got a ******* in the magic castle  while goofy watched.

What the **** is Goofy?

Gonz .
My furry amigo said to **** if I know.

Untill next time kids stay crazy

And remember if you wish apon a star  ya better make sure to whom thoose copy rights
belong to truley are.
Cause thoose rich ******* will sue your *** .

Cheers

                               FIN?
Terry Collett Jul 2015
Lizbeth rides
her cycle
taking in

the hedgerows
on narrow
country lanes

birds flying
overhead
her red hair

fluttering
as she rides
she thinking

of Benny
meeting him
where he said

she's moody
had a row
back at home

with her dark
mood mother
over boys

or her room
untidy
laziness

and shortness
of her dress
its down hill

from here on
gathering
a high speed

high hedgerows
flashing past
up ahead

she sees him
standing there
with sunlight
in his hair.
A GIRL RIDES HER BIKE TO MEET A BOY WHOM SHE LIKES IN 1961
“Why did you melt your waxen man
          Sister Helen?
To-day is the third since you began.”
“The time was long, yet the time ran,
          Little brother.”
     (O Mother, Mary Mother,
Three days to-day, between Hell and Heaven!)

“But if you have done your work aright,
          Sister Helen,
You’ll let me play, for you said I might.”
“Be very still in your play to-night,
          Little brother.”
     (O Mother, Mary Mother,
Third night, to-night, between Hell and Heaven!)

“You said it must melt ere vesper-bell,
          Sister Helen;
If now it be molten, all is well.”
“Even so,—nay, peace! you cannot tell,
          Little brother.”
     (O Mother, Mary Mother,
O what is this, between Hell and Heaven?)

“Oh the waxen knave was plump to-day,
          Sister Helen;
How like dead folk he has dropp’d away!”
“Nay now, of the dead what can you say,
          Little brother?”
     (O Mother, Mary Mother,
What of the dead, between Hell and Heaven?)

“See, see, the sunken pile of wood,
          Sister Helen,
Shines through the thinn’d wax red as blood!”
“Nay now, when look’d you yet on blood,
          Little brother?”
     (O Mother, Mary Mother,
How pale she is, between Hell and Heaven!)

“Now close your eyes, for they’re sick and sore,
          Sister Helen,
And I’ll play without the gallery door.”
“Aye, let me rest,—I’ll lie on the floor,
          Little brother.”
     (O Mother, Mary Mother,
What rest to-night, between Hell and Heaven?)

“Here high up in the balcony,
          Sister Helen,
The moon flies face to face with me.”
“Aye, look and say whatever you see,
          Little brother.”
     (O Mother, Mary Mother,
What sight to-night, between Hell and Heaven?)

“Outside it’s merry in the wind’s wake,
          Sister Helen;
In the shaken trees the chill stars shake.”
“Hush, heard you a horse-tread as you spake,
          Little brother?”
     (O Mother, Mary Mother,
What sound to-night, between Hell and Heaven?)

“I hear a horse-tread, and I see,
          Sister Helen,
Three horsemen that ride terribly.”
“Little brother, whence come the three,
          Little brother?”
     (O Mother, Mary Mother,
Whence should they come, between Hell and Heaven?)

“They come by the hill-verge from Boyne Bar,
          Sister Helen,
And one draws nigh, but two are afar.”
“Look, look, do you know them who they are,
          Little brother?”
     (O Mother, Mary Mother,
Who should they be, between Hell and Heaven?)

“Oh, it’s Keith of Eastholm rides so fast,
          Sister Helen,
For I know the white mane on the blast.”
“The hour has come, has come at last,
          Little brother!”
     (O Mother, Mary Mother,
Her hour at last, between Hell and Heaven!)

“He has made a sign and called Halloo!
          Sister Helen,
And he says that he would speak with you.”
“Oh tell him I fear the frozen dew,
          Little brother.”
     (O Mother, Mary Mother,
Why laughs she thus, between Hell and Heaven?)

“The wind is loud, but I hear him cry,
          Sister Helen,
That Keith of Ewern’s like to die.”
“And he and thou, and thou and I,
          Little brother.”
     (O Mother, Mary Mother,
And they and we, between Hell and Heaven!)

“Three days ago, on his marriage-morn,
          Sister Helen,
He sicken’d, and lies since then forlorn.”
“For bridegroom’s side is the bride a thorn,
          Little brother?”
     (O Mother, Mary Mother,
Cold bridal cheer, between Hell and Heaven!)

“Three days and nights he has lain abed,
          Sister Helen,
And he prays in torment to be dead.”
“The thing may chance, if he have pray’d,
          Little brother!”
     (O Mother, Mary Mother,
If he have pray’d, between Hell and Heaven!)

“But he has not ceas’d to cry to-day,
          Sister Helen,
That you should take your curse away.”
“My prayer was heard,—he need but pray,
          Little brother!”
     (O Mother, Mary Mother,
Shall God not hear, between Hell and Heaven?)

“But he says, till you take back your ban,
          Sister Helen,
His soul would pass, yet never can.”
“Nay then, shall I slay a living man,
          Little brother?”
     (O Mother, Mary Mother,
A living soul, between Hell and Heaven!)

“But he calls for ever on your name,
          Sister Helen,
And says that he melts before a flame.”
“My heart for his pleasure far’d the same,
          Little brother.”
     (O Mother, Mary Mother,
Fire at the heart, between Hell and Heaven!)

“Here’s Keith of Westholm riding fast,
          Sister Helen,
For I know the white plume on the blast.”
“The hour, the sweet hour I forecast,
          Little brother!”
     (O Mother, Mary Mother,
Is the hour sweet, between Hell and Heaven?)

“He stops to speak, and he stills his horse,
          Sister Helen;
But his words are drown’d in the wind’s course.”
“Nay hear, nay hear, you must hear perforce,
          Little brother!”
     (O Mother, Mary Mother,
What word now heard, between Hell and Heaven?)

“Oh he says that Keith of Ewern’s cry,
          Sister Helen,
Is ever to see you ere he die.”
“In all that his soul sees, there am I
          Little brother!”
     (O Mother, Mary Mother,
The soul’s one sight, between Hell and Heaven!)

“He sends a ring and a broken coin,
          Sister Helen,
And bids you mind the banks of Boyne.”
“What else he broke will he ever join,
          Little brother?”
     (O Mother, Mary Mother,
No, never join’d, between Hell and Heaven!)

“He yields you these and craves full fain,
          Sister Helen,
You pardon him in his mortal pain.”
“What else he took will he give again,
          Little brother?”
     (O Mother, Mary Mother,
Not twice to give, between Hell and Heaven!)

“He calls your name in an agony,
          Sister Helen,
That even dead Love must weep to see.”
“Hate, born of Love, is blind as he,
          Little brother!”
     (O Mother, Mary Mother,
Love turn’d to hate, between Hell and Heaven!)

“Oh it’s Keith of Keith now that rides fast,
          Sister Helen,
For I know the white hair on the blast.”
“The short short hour will soon be past,
          Little brother!”
     (O Mother, Mary Mother,
Will soon be past, between Hell and Heaven!)

“He looks at me and he tries to speak,
          Sister Helen,
But oh! his voice is sad and weak!”
“What here should the mighty Baron seek,
          Little brother?”
     (O Mother, Mary Mother,
Is this the end, between Hell and Heaven?)

“Oh his son still cries, if you forgive,
          Sister Helen,
The body dies but the soul shall live.”
“Fire shall forgive me as I forgive,
          Little brother!”
     (O Mother, Mary Mother,
As she forgives, between Hell and Heaven!)

“Oh he prays you, as his heart would rive,
          Sister Helen,
To save his dear son’s soul alive.”
“Fire cannot slay it, it shall thrive,
          Little brother!”
     (O Mother, Mary Mother,
Alas, alas, between Hell and Heaven!)

“He cries to you, kneeling in the road,
          Sister Helen,
To go with him for the love of God!”
“The way is long to his son’s abode,
          Little brother.”
     (O Mother, Mary Mother,
The way is long, between Hell and Heaven!)

“A lady’s here, by a dark steed brought,
          Sister Helen,
So darkly clad, I saw her not.”
“See her now or never see aught,
          Little brother!”
     (O Mother, Mary Mother,
What more to see, between Hell and Heaven?)

“Her hood falls back, and the moon shines fair,
          Sister Helen,
On the Lady of Ewern’s golden hair.”
“Blest hour of my power and her despair,
          Little brother!”
     (O Mother, Mary Mother,
Hour blest and bann’d, between Hell and Heaven!)

“Pale, pale her cheeks, that in pride did glow,
          Sister Helen,
’Neath the bridal-wreath three days ago.”
“One morn for pride and three days for woe,
          Little brother!”
     (O Mother, Mary Mother,
Three days, three nights, between Hell and Heaven!)

“Her clasp’d hands stretch from her bending head,
          Sister Helen;
With the loud wind’s wail her sobs are wed.”
“What wedding-strains hath her bridal-bed,
          Little brother?”
     (O Mother, Mary Mother,
What strain but death’s, between Hell and Heaven?)

“She may not speak, she sinks in a swoon,
          Sister Helen,—
She lifts her lips and gasps on the moon.”
“Oh! might I but hear her soul’s blithe tune,
          Little brother!”
     (O Mother, Mary Mother,
Her woe’s dumb cry, between Hell and Heaven!)

“They’ve caught her to Westholm’s saddle-bow,
          Sister Helen,
And her moonlit hair gleams white in its flow.”
“Let it turn whiter than winter snow,
          Little brother!”
     (O Mother, Mary Mother,
Woe-wither’d gold, between Hell and Heaven!)

“O Sister Helen, you heard the bell,
          Sister Helen!
More loud than the vesper-chime it fell.”
“No vesper-chime, but a dying knell,
          Little brother!”
     (O Mother, Mary Mother,
His dying knell, between Hell and Heaven!)

“Alas! but I fear the heavy sound,
          Sister Helen;
Is it in the sky or in the ground?”
“Say, have they turn’d their horses round,
          Little brother?”
     (O Mother, Mary Mother,
What would she more, between Hell and Heaven?)

“They have rais’d the old man from his knee,
          Sister Helen,
And they ride in silence hastily.”
“More fast the naked soul doth flee,
          Little brother!”
     (O Mother, Mary Mother,
The naked soul, between Hell and Heaven!)

“Flank to flank are the three steeds gone,
          Sister Helen,
But the lady’s dark steed goes alone.”
“And lonely her bridegroom’s soul hath flown,
          Little brother.”
     (O Mother, Mary Mother,
The lonely ghost, between Hell and Heaven!)

“Oh the wind is sad in the iron chill,
          Sister Helen,
And weary sad they look by the hill.”
“But he and I are sadder still,
          Little brother!”
     (O Mother, Mary Mother,
Most sad of all, between Hell and Heaven!)

“See, see, the wax has dropp’d from its place,
          Sister Helen,
And the flames are winning up apace!”
“Yet here they burn but for a space,
          Little brother! ”
     (O Mother, Mary Mother,
Here for a space, between Hell and Heaven!)

“Ah! what white thing at the door has cross’d,
          Sister Helen?
Ah! what is this that sighs in the frost?”
“A soul that’s lost as mine is lost,
          Little brother!”
     (O Mother, Mary Mother,
Lost, lost, all lost, between Hell and Heaven!)
YexMarie Sep 2018
Starting with that very night
You and I began this little adventure
Holding each other's hand really tight
And ready to face the thrills together

Although without knowing what comes next
Every turn of these rides feels breathtaking
Like you just witness a double rainbow kind-of-effect,
So rare and at the same time fascinating
But surely every turn may not be all pleasing
These rides can be bumpy at times

But even after more than 500 days of these roller coaster rides,
And after all the ups and downs
We're still here, sitting and buckled up side by side
Willing to encounter whatever in many more rounds
Just a way of being thankful
Reggine Sumiyama Sep 2018
Here I scatter the ashes of our Wednesdays
and throw dirt on our names because we fell into a stupor of unsaid goodbyes and insincere apologies.

I take my time trying to unclench my fist,
after all, release is only sweet when you feel suffocated.

I always made sure to adjust my grasp to your comfort,
present my entirety as if you owned more than a half of what I used to be.
I remember you in things that have no heartbeat, but a pulse of regret and anger that devours it, and to think you swore you would keep me alive.

In Binondo, you taught me how to eat street foods, walk in the crowded places, sit still on taxi rides,
and feel beautiful even when you kept your eyes off me.
You believed in slow motion, and the magic of lugaw at 12AM,
I watched you in a fascinated haze.
Too unsure of the light.

In Fairview, I told you that I cry during movies and laughed at the way you spun me around in the theater. Hand on my waist for good measure. I showed you claw machines and photobooths,
at least remember me.
I held your hand the first time, bled on
a piece of paper you read on the way to Quiapo, and all the long rides have made me feel empty ever since.

In Ilocos, I gave you a warm kisses on your cheeks when you took me
to church the first time, head spun just at the right angle for when
I walk down the aisle in a dress with you waiting at the end of it,
not knowing that in 4 years, I’d come back at someone
else’s wedding, begging on my knees at silent altars to keep you
even with my faith hanging from my fingertips. You still left.

In Intramuros, I see you in every nook and crevice,
in the holes, in the walls with Lechon Kawali, in quiet places we
claimed are for ourselves. In street vendors, ATM machines,
and pedestrian lanes too dangerous to walk on. Nowadays,
I shut my eyes in the backseat, afraid to see a shadow of who
I thought you were whenever I am near.

In Pasay there are people to see and places to walk
through to cover the tracks of almost lovers, a pair of shoes
to buy, impatience on my throat, and kisses on cheek as a cure
for my silence and satiation for the hunger below your navel.

In EDSA, we locked more than just lips, ate street Palitaw,
knocked three times on wooden doors, even lit candles to be sure,
that we would keep each other for good. Someone must have
knocked harder, the wind must have swept our fire out,
and we were fools to think promises were as simple as padlocks
that rust and break in the rain. How I never told you that I pictured
us in a million other bus rides that night. The road could never
have been shorter than the infinite one you promised.

In Pandacan, you wanted a life with me  
with nights in bed, the sickening kind of happiness harrowing
the peace we always knew we had. You held me close
and by the early hours of the morning you swore you’d meet me
again when the clock strikes twelve on a different year. I think
you left your love for me in that two-bedroom suite, and
wouldn’t it be wise if I left mine right next to yours, folded
and hung before the stain of resentment covered it whole?

In between the hurt and madness, memories of us
unfolding without grace on the table, I loved you.

You knew what you were doing when you let go of me to hold
onto someone else that was never as sure as I was of you,
and I wake up in sweat at 3AM thinking I never really knew.

Now we are in places we’ve never been, and I dry
swallow the hurt that swells even when I no longer touch it.
There are spaces I no longer need to be filled because I got used to being hollow
even when I was next to you
and now that I don’t have to be there anymore
it makes it easier to forget you ever happened, and I will tiptoe my way out of these places until I no longer feel you everywhere.
Adrenaline
And
Shaky hands
And i guess im not so good.

Im insecure
But you want more
And
I dont know what i can give.

You dont care
About my flaws
You
Have
A goal
In mind

Easy come
Easy go
Im afraid
Thats
Exactly
What
Youll
Do.
mjad Aug 2018
Fun
Of all the fun Ive ever had
Almost all I've never told you
From beach days to movie nights
And pizza stops and wrestling fights
Almost all I've never told you
Car rides speeding at midnight
Walking on the frozen lake downtown
Scared that I'll fall through and drown
Waking up in his bed
To giving road head
All the fun I've had I've never told you
You never knew, never found out about
All the lies I hand fed you
Dozens and dozens of times I did what I liked
Instead of listening to you
And of all of those times of adventure and fun
I regret absolutely none
Except the fact I had to pretend I wasn't actually doing a single one
I'll tell them one day
Part 1 of 3
Bouazizi’s heavy eyelids parted as the Muezzin recited the final call for the first Adhan of the day.

“As-salatu Khayrun Minan-nawm”
Prayer is better than sleep

Rising from the torment of another restless night, Bouazizi wiped the sleep from his droopy eyes as his feet touched the cold stone floor.

Throughout the frigid night, the devilish jinn did their work, eagerly jabbing away at Bouazizi with pointed sticks, tormenting his troubled conscience with the worry of his nagging indebtedness. All night the face of the man Bouazizi owed money to haunted him. Bouazizi could see the man’s greasy lips and brown teeth jawing away, inches from his face. He imagined chubby caffeine stained fingers reaching toward him to grab some dinars from Bouazizi’s money box.

Bouazizi turned all night like he was sleeping on a board of spikes. His prayers for a restful night again went unanswered. The pall of a blue fatigue would shadow Bouazizi for most of the day.

Bouazizi’s weariness was compounded by a gnawing hunger. By force of habit, he grudgingly opened the food cupboard with the foreknowledge that it was almost bare. Bouazizi’s premonition proved correct as he surveyed a meager handful of chickpeas, some eggs and a few sparse loaves. It was just enough to feed his dependant family; younger brothers and sisters, cousins and a terminally disabled uncle. That left nothing for Bouazizi but a quick jab to his empty gut. He would start this day without breakfast.

Bouazizi made a living as a street vendor. He hustles to survive. Bouazizi’s father died in a construction accident in Libya when he was three. Since the age of 10, Bouazizi had pushed a cart through the streets of Sidi Bouzid; selling fruit at the public market just a few blocks from the home that he has lived in for almost his entire life.

At 27 years of age, Bouazizi has wrestled the beast of deprivation since his birth. To date, he has bravely fought it to a standstill; but day after day the multi-headed hydra of life has snapped at him. He has squarely met the eyes of the beast with fortitude and resolve; but the sharp fangs of a hardscrabble life has sunken deep into Bouazizi’s spleen. The unjust rules of society are powerful claws that slash away at his flesh, bleeding him dry: while the spiked tendrils of poverty wrap Bouazizi’s neck, seeking to strangle him.

Bouazizi is a workingman hero; a skilled warrior in the fight for daily bread. He is accustomed to living a life of scarcity. His daily deliverance is the grace of another day of labor and the blessed wages of subsistence.

Though Allah has blessed this man with fortitude the acuteness of terminal want and the constant struggle to survive has its limits for any man; even for strong champions like Bouazizi.

This morning as Bouazizi washed he peered into a mirror, closely examining new wrinkles on his stubble strewn face. He fingered his deep black curls dashed with growing streaks of gray. He studied them through the gaze of heavy bloodshot eyes. He looked upward as if to implore Allah to salve the bruises of daily life.

Bouazizi braced himself with the splash of a cold water slap to his face. He wiped his cheeks clean with the tail of his shirt. He dipped his toothbrush into a box of baking powder and scoured an aching back molar in need of a root canal. Bouazizi should see a dentist but it is a luxury he cannot afford so he packed an aspirin on top of the infected tooth. The dissolving aspirin invaded his mouth coating his tongue with a bitter effervescence.

Bouazizi liked the taste and was grateful for the expectation of a dulled pain. He smiled into the mirror to check his chipped front tooth while pinching a cigarette **** from an ashtray. The roach had one hit left in it. He lit it with a long hard drag that consumed a good part of the filter. Bouazizi’s first smoke of the day was more filter then tobacco but it shocked his lungs into the coughing flow of another day.

Bouazizi put on his jacket, slipped into his knockoff NB sneakers and reached for a green apple on a nearby table. He took a big bite and began to chew away the pain of his toothache.

Bouazizi stepped into the street to catch the sun rising over the rooftops. He believed that seeing the sunrise was a good omen that augured well for that day’s business. A sunbeam braking over a far distant wall bathed Bouazizi in a golden light and illumined the alley where he parked his cart holding his remaining stock of week old apples. He lifted the handles and backed his cart out into the street being extra mindful of the cracks in the cobblestone road. Bouazizi sprained his ankle a week ago and it was still tender. Bouazizi had to be careful not to aggravate it with a careless step. Having successfully navigated his cart into the road, Bouazizi made a skillful U Turn and headed up the street limping toward the market.

A winter chill gripped Bouazizi prompting him to zip his jacket up to his neck. The zipper pinched his Adam’s Apple and a few droplets of blood stained his green corduroy jacket. Though it was cold, Bouazizi sensed that spring would arrive early this year triggering a replay of a recurring daydream. Bouazizi imagined himself behind the wheel of a new van on his way to the market. Fresh air and sunshine pouring through the open windows with the cargo space overflowing with fresh vegetables and fruits.

It was a lifelong ambition of Bouazizi to own a van. He dreamed of buying a six cylinder Dodge Caravan. It would be painted red and he would call it The Red Flame. The Red Flame would be fast and powerful and sport chrome spinners. The Red Flame would be filled with music from a Blaupunkt sound system with kick *** speakers. Power windows, air conditioning, leather seats, a moonroof and plenty of space in the back for his produce would complete Bouazizi’s ride.

The Red Flame would be the vehicle Bouazizi required to expand his business beyond the market square. Bouazizi would sell his produce out of the back of the van, moving from neighborhood to neighborhood. No longer would he have to wait for customers to come to his stand in the market. Bouazizi would go to his customers. Bouazizi and the Red Flame would be known in all the neighborhoods throughout the district. Bouazizi shook his head and smiled thinking about all the girls who would like to take rides in the Red Flame. Bouazizi and his Red Flame would be a sight to be noticed and a force to be reckoned with.

“EEEEEYOWWW” a Mercedes horn angrily honked; jarring Bouazizi from the reverie of his daydream. A guy whipping around the corner like a silver streak stuck his head out the window blasting with music yelling, “Hey Mnayek, watch where you push that *******.”

The music faded as the Mercedes roared away. “Barra nikk okhtek” Bouazizi yelled, raising his ******* in the direction of the vanished car. “The big guys in the fancy cars think the road belongs to them”, Bouazizi mumbled to himself.

The insult ****** Bouazizi off, but he was accustomed to them and as he limped along pushing his cart he distracted himself with the amusement of the ascending sun chasing the fleeting shadows of the night, sending them scurrying down narrow alleyways.

Bouazizi imaged himself a character from his favorite movie. He was a giant Transformer, chasing the black shadows of evil away from the city into the desert. After battling evil and conquering the bad guys, he would transform himself back into the regular Bouazizi; selling his produce to the people as he patrolled the highways of Tunisia in the Red Flame, the music blasting out the windows, the chrome spinners flashing in the sunlight. Bouazizi would remain vigilant, always ready to transform the Red Flame to fight the evil doers.

The bumps and potholes in the road jostled Bouazizi’s load of apples. A few fell out of the wooden baskets and were rolling around in the open spaces of the cart. Bouazizi didn’t want to risk bruising them. Damaged merchandise can’t be sold so he was careful to secure his goods and arrange his cart to appeal to women customers. He made sure to display his prized electronic scale in the corner of the cart for all to see.

Bouazizi had a reputation as a fair and generous dealer who always gave good value to his customers. Bouazizi was also known for his kindness. He would give apples to hungry children and families who could not pay. Bouazizi knew the pain of hunger and it brought him great satisfaction to be able to alleviate it in others.

As a man who valued fairness, Bouazizi was particularly proud of his electronic scale. Bouazizi was certain the new measuring device assured all customers that Bouazizi sold just and correct portions. The electronic scale was Bouazizi’s shining lamp. He trusted it. He hung it from the corner post of his cart like it was the beacon of a lighthouse guiding shoppers through the treachery of an unscrupulous market. It would attract all customers who valued fairness to the safe harbor of Bouazizi’s cart.

The electronic scale is Bouazizi’s assurance to his customers that the weights and measures of electronic calculation layed beyond any cloud of doubt. It is a fair, impartial and objective arbiter for any dispute.

Bouazizi believed that the fairness of his scale would distinguish his stand from other produce vendors. Though its purchase put Bouazizi into deep debt, the scale was a source of pride for Bouazizi who believed that it would help his profits to increase and help him to achieve his goal of buying the Red Flame.

As Bouazizi pushed his cart toward the market, he mulled his plan over in his mind for the millionth time. He wasn't great in math but he was able to calculate his financial situation with a degree of precision. His estimations triggered worries that his growing debt to money lenders may be difficult to payoff.

Indebtedness pressed down on Bouazizi’s chest like a mounting pile of stones. It was the source of an ever present fear coercing Bouazizi to live in a constant state of anxiety. His business needed to grow for Bouazizi to get a measure of relief and ultimately prosper from all his hard work. Bouazizi was driven by urgency.

The morning roil of the street was coming alive. Bouazizi quickened his step to secure a good location for his cart at the market. Car horns, the spewing diesel from clunking trucks, the flatulent roar of accelerating buses mixed with the laughs and shrieks of children heading to school composed the rising crescendo of the city square.

As he pushed through the market, Bouazizi inhaled the aromatic eddies of roasting coffee floating on the air. It was a pleasantry Bouazizi looked forward to each morning. The delicious wafts of coffee mingling with the crisp aroma of baking bread instigated a growl from Bouazizi’s empty stomach. He needed to get something to eat. After he got money from his first sale he would by a coffee and some fried dough.

Activity in the market was vigorous, punctuated by the usual arguments of petty territorial disputes between vendors. The disagreements were always amicably resolved, burned away in rising billows of roasting meats and vegetables, the exchange of cigarettes and the plumes of tobacco smoke rising as emanations of peace.

Bouazizi skillfully maneuvered his cart through the market commotion. He slid into his usual space between Aaban and Aameen. His good friend Aaban sold candles, incense, oils and sometimes his wife would make cakes to sell. Aameen was the markets most notorious jokester. He sold hardware and just about anything else he could get his hands on.

Aaban was already burning a few sticks of jasmine incense. It helped to attract customers. The aroma defined the immediate space with the pleasant bouquet of a spring garden. Bouazizi liked the smell and appreciated the increased traffic it brought to his apple cart.

“Hey Basboosa#, do you have any cigarettes?“, Aameen asked as he pulled out a lighter. Bouazizi shook the tip of a Kent from an almost empty pack. Aameen grabbed the cigarette with his lips.

“That's three cartons of Kents you owe me, you cheap *******.” Bouazizi answered half jokingly. Aameen mumbled a laugh through a grin tightly gripping the **** as he exhaled smoke from his nose like a fire breathing dragon. Bouazizi also took out a cigarette for himself.

“Aameem, give me a light”, Bouazizi asked.

Aameen tossed him the lighter.

“Keep it Basboosa. I got others.” Aameen smiled as he showed off a newly opened box of disposable lighters to sell on his stand.

“Made in China, Basboosa. They make everything cheap and colorful. I can make some money with these.”

Bouazizi lit his next to last cigarette. He inhaled deeply. The smoke chased away the cool air in Bouazizi’s lungs with a shot of a hot nicotine rush.

“Merci Aameen” Bouazizi answered. He put the lighter into the almost empty cigarette pack and put it into his hip pocket. The lighter would protect his last cigarette from being crushed.

The laughter and shouts of the bazaar, the harangue of radio voices shouting anxious verses of Imam’s exhorting the masses to submit and the piecing ramble of nondescript AM music flinging piercing unintelligible static surrounded Bouazizi and his cart as he waited for his first customers of the day.

Bouazizi sensed a nervous commotion rise along the line of vendors. A crowd of tourists and locals milling about parted as if to avoid a slithering asp making its way through their midst. The hoots of vendors and the cackle of the crowd made its way to Bouazizi’s knowing ear. He knew what was coming. It was nothing more then another shakedown by city officials acting as bagmen for petty municipal bureaucrats. They claim to be checking vendor licences but they’re just making the rounds collecting protection money from the vendors. Pocketing bribes and payoffs is the municipal authorities idea of good government. They are skilled at using the power of their office to extort tribute from the working poor.

Bouazizi made the mistake of making eye contact with Madame Hamdi. As the municipal authority in charge of vendors and taxis Madame Hamdi held sway over the lives of the street vendors. She relished the power she had over the men who make a meager living selling goods in the square; and this morning she was moving through the market like a bloodhound hot on the trail of an escaped convict. Two burly henchmen lead the way before her. Bouazizi knew Madame Hamdi’s hounds were coming for him.

Bouazizi knew he was ******. Having just made a payment to his money lender, Bouazizi had no extra dinars to grease the palm of Madame Hamdi. He grabbed the handle bars of his cart to make an escape; but Madame Hamdi cut him off and got right into into Bouazizi’s face.

“Ah little Basboosa where are you going? she asked with the tone of playful contempt.

“I suppose you still have no license to sell, ah Basboosa?” Madame Hamdi questioned with the air of a soulless inquisitor.

“You know Madame Hamdi, cart vendors do not need a license.” Bouazizi feebly protested, not daring to look into her eyes.

“Basboosa, you know we can overlook your violations with a small fine for your laxity” a dismissive Madame Hamdi offered.

Bouazizi’s sense of guilt would not permit him to lift his eyes. His head remained bowed. Bouazizi stood convicted of being one of the impoverished.

“I have no spare dinars to offer Madame Hamdi, My pockets are empty, full of holes. My money falls into everyone’s palm but my own. I’m sorry Madame Hamdi. I’ll take my cart home”. He lifted the handlebars in an attempt to escape. One of Madame Hamdi’s henchmen stepped in front of his cart while the other pushed Bouazizi away from it.

“Either you pay me a vendor tax for a license or I will confiscate your goods Basboosa”, Madame Hamdi warned as she lifted Bouazizi’s scale off its hook.

“This will be the first to go”, she said grinning as she examined the scale. “We’ll just keep this.”
Like a mother lion protecting a defenseless cub from the snapping jaws of a pack of ravenous hyenas, Bouazizi lunged to retrieve his prized scale from the clutches of Madame Hamdi. Reaching for it, he touched the scale with his fingertips just as Madame Hamdi delivered a vicious slap to Bouazizi’s cheek. It halted him like a thunderbolt from Zeus.

A henchman overturned Bouazizi’s cart, scatter
Three years ago today Muhammad Bouazizi set himself on fire igniting the Jasmine Revolution in Tunisia sparking the Arab Spring Uprisings of 2011.

— The End —