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English Jam Apr 2018
This desolate road seems forever long
And my worn feet will carry me through the ruin
All alone, but if you had heard my song
You might just understand why I’m doing
Maybe I’m the strongest person of us all
Maybe you’re used to me being alone
But that doesn’t mean that when I take a fall
I can survive, live on my own

Noticing someone else’s suffering is hard
Wrapped up in your troubles, with an aching heart
But if you open your eyes, you’ll see a man apart
If you can call me a man, I guess

Walking round with an unchanged expression
Ducking and keeping away from the deed
You might think it’s all to get attention
And you’re right, but that’s what I need
I knew a group of people whom my heart held dear
I loved them, and I love them still
But they weren’t there for me in my time of fear
Now I’m not gonna bend my will

How many days of quiet can I keep?
How hard will the blade into my mind seep?
How long can I hide away and weep?
Before you realise I’m not at best

So it’s time to say fare thee well
Don’t know where I’m strolling in my daze to
Just gonna follow my path down the well
See if it’s someplace new
So I’ve thought it through and through again
No pleading will make me change my head
Maybe, before, if I had a friend
But now, it’s too late to hear what I’ve said

The love I have for you will always burn
But my back’s to you, and I’ll always turn
If you haven’t figured it out, you’ll never learn
I want a hug, but I’m drowning in my sleepiness
patty m Apr 2018
The far space is closing along a band of trees,
peelings of shadowy rind expose ghostly hues.
all around the air is flammable,
until the setting sun a burning bush turns ashen.  

Strange mood around this monolithic rock
that some folks fear.
Overlong we have waited presenting our sacrifices.
yet not a breath of wind stirs as we chant
and seeds take root.  

A strange spirit leaps into our midst
and all around there is a quick intake of breath.
Piercing movement collapses in upon itself as it whispers
though our pores.
Rhythms strange insistent beat, a driving force
whirls through our bloodstream,
its slow sensuous movements lead us into dreams.
Attached ghost,
your haunting aria spins in ethereal mist
transposing meditation.
Someone has put a hole in our language and now as we
look with hazy speculation upon the book
with tiny red stitches we remain baffled,
turning it round and round looking at all the foreign symbols,
                                   but it cannot be deciphered.  
Only the creatures of the forest remember;
Mid-Summer nights, the sound of magical flutes and the
bells of dancing nymphs.  
Only they understand  the gifts that Gaia bestows.    
Only they remember the Wisdom Of The Faun.
Autumn moves fast through the tunnel of love
Push from the top; bottom falls from above
Dangling leaves are flexing about
Dreaming of hope is a nightmarish shout

Cackle of ghouls; a shivering spine
All that is due will be due in due time
Whispering wind softly kisses my cheek
Lifetime of searching; know not what I seek

Darkness emerges as light fades away
Tried to hold on knowing no one can stay
Feeling alive only once I am dead
Listen but don't hear a word that is said

Roar of a flame, the warmth of the light
Fireball streaks interrupting the night
From the ashes we rose and to dust we return
Heart made of ice will not sooth what’s been burned

Holding my breath and not rising for air
Promise to no one the nothing I share
Hugging and squeezing a cuddly toy
Faded reminder when I was a boy

Roar of a racing car traveling fast
Linear stories that live in the past
Afternoon stroll through the paths in the woods
Wasn't enough when it’s all that I could

Didn't regret not regretting a thing
Perfectly still while I sit on the swing
Lazy and careless; the problem I tackle
Chained here forever without any shackles

Future and past presently now amuck
Free man who's also imprisoned and stuck
Roaring, the waves speaking softly to me
Shouting a message using secrecy

Cackling rooster call to end the day
Adult you become but your parents can't stay
Ending's begun and beginning ends near
Enveloped in fog; then it all became clear

Through stutter and stammer, I clearly can speak
World’s strongest man; I am fearful and weak
Worldly observer, I travel through life
Don't leave my house; Live alone with no wife

Peacock with confidence strutting my stuff
Have had my fill but not yet had enough
Nothing I fear but much fear have for it
Blowing out candles that never were lit

Bellowing cheers of "hip-hip hooray!"
Round of applauds for those who've died today
Subtle of strikes from a blatant attack
Gift you are given; already took back

Slapped with audacity right in the face
Composed with the utmost politeness and grace
Then without allergy, still my body reacts
Calmly I sit through a panic attack

Telling a lie until it becomes truth
Speaking with stature his words are uncouth
Deafening silence rang shots from the gun
Finished a race that has not yet begun

"Rule" one time "Golden", now covered in rust
Did what was needed but not what I must
You can be anything but yet nothing you are
Traveling often but didn't go far

Properly set for no expectations
Biased perception began at creation
Feet on the ground and head in the clouds
On display while naked and exposed in my shroud
Written - April 6, 2017

All rights reserved.
sunprincess Aug 2018
Come on everyone, let's Roundup our family and our friends,
And let's go ride on the Roundup merry-go-round

We'll laugh and sing and dance like we're Gene Kelly
"Singing in the rain "
We'll go round and round and round like in a dream
and see the wildest, strangest, most oddest things

We'll dance and sing better than anyone ever on the radio
After we finish every bite of our Quaker Oats
and honey nut Cheerio
"Singing in the Rain" is a beautiful movie
Whenever a blue moon occurs, I like to see old movies
Marília Galvão Mar 2015
Now I ask you to join me
Now you celebrate
Not being me. Not being you
Only Us for the great

UN
load!
DIS
arm!

EN
large!
OUT
side!

Some steps I will take
Be my guest
Pull your anchor
Out of the lake



We're
In the room
In the building
In the crowded city
In the country with thousands of cities
The country shares the continent with an enemy nation
The two rivals are carried round and round by the Earth's endless rotation
The Earth obeys the master’s magnetic line, burning since uncountable clock time
The sun is blind to his insignificance too, ignoring billions of other star mates, it can’t see through
Immeasurable it seems, magnifying! All of them such tiny little parts in one of Miss Milky’s arms
Some light years away there they are: Pinwheel, Cartwheel, Black Eye, Andromeda and Cigar
Unmeasurable it seems, humongous! All of them such a fading little part of the cosmos

There you are
Floating from a distance
Feel the empty ground
Drink from the fountain of existence

Still blind to insignificance?
Still convinced about the rightness of imposed beliefs?
Still judging others’ defects according to our pretentious and vain mind?
Still punching away the different, protecting the mold?
Still reinforcing illusory antagonism and insignia?
Still seeing only two sides?
Still holding to the pride?

Still
In the ******* room

Am I? Are you?
Let's try it again
“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness." Mark Twain
David R Jun 2018
Round about is deep black darkness,
Darker than the blackest night,
Whispering deep 'n dreadful murmurs.
Bird dropped dead in midflight.

Blind and weeping, lifeless attle,
What you see is your own soul,
Burnt and weary from the battle.
Disenchanted from its goal.

In the ash, a spark she smoulders,
Crackling, rasping, wounded warrior,
Briars squeeze her neck and shoulders,
Suffocating in smog-fill'd air.

Deep within stagnating water,
Crystal-clear elixir tear,
Rippling movement, life astir,
Phoenix rises from the slaughter.

Still she rises, Golden Daughter,
Fears no longer yonder fright,
Strength within from those who fought Her,
Blackest night turned brightest light.
Chloe Habig Apr 29
The merry-go-round goes round and round, even after the battle was won, it goes round and round. On a continuous circulation, the children laugh and laugh, little did they know that the blood of the fallen soldiers was streaming down their faces. After all dreams are lost, it is remembered that the light only feeds of damnation and that darker proses only convey the morbid truth. But the merry-go-round goes round and round, continuing the innocence of the blood-stained children, yet continuing to cease their hope.
Sunlight on my grinning face
Follows me from place to place
But it won’t do
Don’t know how long I can wait
Wandering this empty space
Searching for you

Up and down the barren coast
Listen as the riptide rolls
With so much to say
Probably what hurts the most
Is knowing when you’re so **** close
And still so far away

Once per while I catch a glimpse
Of unintended fleeting hints
To call out your name
Won’t make much a difference
Words don’t carry far upwind
It’s always the same

In the breeze
I see it’s just the wind
It’s a tease
To be at the shoreline again

Shepherd, call the sheep back home
Be thankful that you’re not alone
Round em up one more time
My, how much the herd has grown
With wool to warm your gentle soul
Leave no soul behind
Country song form lyrics
Aniron Nov 2015
The stars, your eyes, mingling, glistening
Shivering tongues, softening, intertwining
The gentle trembling of warm fingers
The wet air is filled with whispers

Crimsoning cheeks, the blushing of lips
Hot sand caressing soaking flesh
The velvet sky slowly sinks, darkens
And falls upon our shadowy figures

Round silver moon gazing over playful skin
We laugh, we bathe in its ethereal glow
Fearless hands searching, finding, exploring 
pearls, treasure, long lost secret land

Not long until like the waves we crash
Dressed in thick foam to wash ashore
Sweetly softened by the silken sun, we melt
Into the heat of the golden morning.
Cné Mar 2018
I treasure those nights of unexpected surrender
when hands molded
caressed
and made me tremble
waking from slumber with body afire
as he inched gradually into me
bathed in my welcoming heat
one palm curled protectively
'round the weight of my breast
as finger and thumb drew on beaded peak
and breath caught in my throat
as his full depth was reached
unable to remain still
rocking back to achieve a deeper sink
his sudden hiss scalding my neck
teeth worrying my bottom lip
neither willing to move
afraid it would all end too soon
and as the flames continued to rise
groans replaced whispered sighs
no hurried pace or rapid ******
slow and sensual movements
dragging us ever nearer the edge
denying that final release
drawing closer but holding it back
sensation heightened beyond bearing
until that fraying tether breaks
causing walls to tighten and quake
drinking every last drop of his lust
clutching inside and out
desperately seeking his mouth
sealing the cataclysmic moment
heart pressed to heart
breath to breath
luna Nov 2018
i know you dont think im looking
i see everything though
i see the sparrows feed and the iron bars holding on

i see the murky water bowl and the sprints up the stairs
i see moonlight situps
because you are "training for the new season"

loose shirt, yet to you it is skin tight
bulging
like a balloon

and we all know what happens to balloons
when they keep growing and growing swelling up
they pop.

and you realise in fact, that the balloon that you thought was there was in fact.
a lifeless hunk of rubber, desperate for a little air

now im not saying that the balloon is a figure of your mind
but im saying that this is.
good ol' pop is a series of poems about my struggles of seeing others suffer, inspired by a loved one's struggle with anorexia, good ol' pop is a collection for the bystander, and for the observant.
Iska Feb 2018
The false crisendo of your words
Grate against my every nerves.
Wandering round
With ****** feet
How many expectations
Have I failed to meet?

What more do you want
Of my sorry soul
When I cannot bring
My self to breath anymore?

So I watch your hopes
all tumbling down
It feels quite cold
Down here in the ground.
I'm sorry that I wasn't enough
I tried to be what you asked of me
But I didnt think it'd be So tough.

My weary bones creak and ache,
My wrist all burned and ******,
Can you not be quite just once for my sake?

I understand the gravity.
I know Im failing at life,
But you dig right in,
spreading the cavity,
How to ignore the strife?

Whispered arguments bleed through the walls
How much longer until we fall?
Through the floor straight down to hell
All because I could not tell.

Should I weep in pain,
And slave away,
To satisfy you're whimsical ways?
Should I sell my soul,
And bite my tongue,
Just to keep the wallet full?
But "your so young,
You've no excuse,
So bend your back,
Put those hands to use."

Welcome to life.
Put away your pain,
No time for strife,
No time for play,
Just nod you head,
Exit the stage,
And get a job,
So you'll be payed.

I'd sooner live a poor church mouse,
Then lose myself in persute of a house.
But no, I'll smile my candy grin,
And talk with sugar sweet.
Hide the weight of the pain,
So your expectations, I'll meet.
Some times it's just not enough.
ryn Oct 2014
On this carousel
You and I
Ringing bells
Time passes by

Scorching bulbs
Ornate bobbing horsies
Enchanting music
Tell of magical stories

I am here
On this side
You are there
Same ****** ride

Opposite ends
Placed we two
We can't see
But each other we knew

Friendly peeks
Directed to you
All I could afford
Keep you in view

Still rotating
Ride goes on
Chasing each other
No closer we've drawn

Enjoy the ride
Soak in the sights
Hold at bay
Reality that bites

Thought about
Getting off
Don't know how to
Come to a solve

Can't hold still
It's eating me alive
Can't just stay
Have to strive

Hand still holding on
One foot dangling
Second thoughts play
But bent on releasing

Take the first step
Don't overthink
Take the leap
Step off the brink

Close my eyes
Time is now
Just let go
Fate I must allow

Ready now
Time came to a freeze
one...two...
three...release


Now off the carousel
Cloying uncertainty
Never been here
Unknown territory

In the music
Found familiarity
Unsure if here
Is where I want to be

What do I do?
Wait a little more?
Hop back on?
Or await what's in store?

Glad I waited
Glad patience I found
There you are...
Coming back round
Madness plays in loops...
A sick little spin on the carousel.
Daddy liked his whiskey
Momma liked her smokes
Momma cursed like crazy
Dad told ***** jokes
To all the people 'round here
They was ordinary folks
Momma puffed on camels
Dad drank whiskey cokes

I dropped out of high school
By the time I was fourteen
I had no direction
And I got mighty mean
Sis, she had two babies
But neither one was seen
And to all the people 'round here
We were just both normal teens

The apple doesn't fall far from the tree
You do not want to grow and be like me
Listen to what I tell you, don't you do the things you see
The apple doesn't fall far from the tree
Nope, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree

When ever there is fighting
Folks 'round here go  blind
They all have got their secrets
they don't want us to find
That apples in around their house
Are not quite as designed
It's best to look at others
For the truth, it isn't kind

Momma kept on smoking
Daddy drank his rye
sis and I both left here
No one ever asked them why
Nothing changes ever
so nobody will try
and all the folks around here
live inside this little lie

The apple doesn't fall far from the tree
You do not want to grow and be like me
Listen to what I tell you, don't you do the things you see
The apple doesn't fall far from the tree
Nope, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree
Shofi Ahmed Mar 2017
I
A flower that smells of pure bliss keeps an ear to the ground
It's a serene one sitting beneath the stars down on earth
The moon, far, far, seven seas away, loves to drop into her lap.

The Bay of Bengal billows, music has gotten beneath the skin.
The leaves furl out off the deep wood with the birds
singing out to the top of the trees, rhyming with the leafy dance.
Heavensent, that was in one sanguine day in the spring.
The Mother’s Language Movement in 1952 sprouted like this
on the eighth of native Falgun month—oh magic did it unleash!

On that day our beloved brothers were shot dead
They could swallow the bullets with smiles but won’t give up
demanding the official status for the Bangla mother tongue.
Angels wrapped round the martyrs amid lamenting mothers
Laid them on Falgun’s perfumed ground bleeding corpses
Seas of roses bloomed and blew them out red, red kisses!

They are gone not the stone wall of consciousness they raised
Ah, at the sprout of the spring what were they echoing?
Ingrained deep in the soil the pre-designing voice in the planning?
Who can tell? The world gels on February 21 in celebrating!

The angels then snapped up our martyrs’ souls off the land,
placed them on a piece of Heaven where they can hear the jingle.
Down on earth, a nation springs up, has gotten its wake up call!
Stepping on the sweetening arc of the mother tongue melody
the stone turns a flower, all in a butterfly moment soaring to victory.
Thanks to the movement - Bangladesh itself later comes to be!

II
The sun comes down to the rose painting on the land
In the heavenly Falgun hues it nibbles some wild summer dreams.
“Serene songs of earth stirring the water,” like it comes into play,
rowing the cloud bubbles singing in southern breeze.
Ah, a walk on the sun-kissed kaleidoscope land is a pure bliss.  
Every blossom spray of the wind is soothing sweet
Hop on and play straight to the ruby heart, as if it's a flute.

Mother tongue means speak free, fearless, in full streaming.
Speak the heart to the world without the fear of losing the cloud
that will listen, bouncing back on the brink of the sky river.
Then what did one say, hear, or was awed by in the blooming Falgun?
Could it have been the spring humming in her native lingua
or King David singing in mother tongue by babbling brooks
what in any other language, even with a silver tongue, isn’t possible?

Allah has listened to our martyrs’ crying mothers and fathers
The martyrs’ souls whisk through the galaxies and starry fair.

Soar high over the clouds, take the rainbow's *** of gold away,
Like a hue turns 360-degree in the colourwheel bask into the colour.
Still, dip the toes in Bangla mother’s soil salted with perfumed art
Like Himalayan water swirling down melting deeper deep down
This magicland is polished for everyone be it you, a fairy, a star
or off the ploughed-out barrow a walked out wonder!

A pristine voice duo’s voiceprint gleans to the spring in muse,
Pops in a beauteous scurry and speaks in the mother tongue!
Hidden within the earthy depth, only emerges with time,
only dances in tangent, that day slipped out with the butterflies.
And finally the blue nymphs take the plunge drop down the sky  
That day the mother’s voice triumphed, whose is the most original!
This is a poem from my book Zero and One available on Amazon.
Alek Mielnikow Aug 2018
Her titillating tattoo
tantalizes me deeply,
to the tenth degree. I see
it as I slip her silk dress
slowly down her left shoulder.
A lizard lying on a
boulder, contrasting with her
silky smooth soft snowy skin.

I kiss her shoulder, and she
shudders and sighs a deep sigh.
Goosebumps rise up her body
as a sturdy gust seizes
the moment. The forest we
make love in quakes and shakes
as she shivers and quivers
under the touch of my hands.

My left hand holds her upper
arm, while my right grips her hips.
She closes her eyes, smiling,
giggling in amusement.
I spin her slowly ‘round, and
look into her hazel eyes,
her soft ******* and thighs against
mine for warmth and gentle touch.

I kiss her lips. Strawberry.
And we slide down to the ground.
The scariness we have found
slips away in our grace. We
sinners share our shame, our lust,
and come to a conclusion,
and bust each others doors down,
sweet ****** on this cold ground.
Alyssa Underwood Mar 2016
I

He did not wear his scarlet coat,
  For blood and wine are red,
And blood and wine were on his hands
  When they found him with the dead,
The poor dead woman whom he loved,
  And murdered in her bed.

He walked amongst the Trial Men
  In a suit of shabby grey;
A cricket cap was on his head,
  And his step seemed light and ***;
But I never saw a man who looked
  So wistfully at the day.

I never saw a man who looked
  With such a wistful eye
Upon that little tent of blue
  Which prisoners call the sky,
And at every drifting cloud that went
  With sails of silver by.

I walked, with other souls in pain,
  Within another ring,
And was wondering if the man had done
  A great or little thing,
When a voice behind me whispered low,
  “That fellows got to swing.”

Dear Christ! the very prison walls
  Suddenly seemed to reel,
And the sky above my head became
  Like a casque of scorching steel;
And, though I was a soul in pain,
  My pain I could not feel.

I only knew what hunted thought
  Quickened his step, and why
He looked upon the garish day
  With such a wistful eye;
The man had killed the thing he loved
  And so he had to die.

Yet each man kills the thing he loves
  By each let this be heard,
Some do it with a bitter look,
  Some with a flattering word,
The coward does it with a kiss,
  The brave man with a sword!

Some **** their love when they are young,
  And some when they are old;
Some strangle with the hands of Lust,
  Some with the hands of Gold:
The kindest use a knife, because
  The dead so soon grow cold.

Some love too little, some too long,
  Some sell, and others buy;
Some do the deed with many tears,
  And some without a sigh:
For each man kills the thing he loves,
  Yet each man does not die.

He does not die a death of shame
  On a day of dark disgrace,
Nor have a noose about his neck,
  Nor a cloth upon his face,
Nor drop feet foremost through the floor
  Into an empty place

He does not sit with silent men
  Who watch him night and day;
Who watch him when he tries to weep,
  And when he tries to pray;
Who watch him lest himself should rob
  The prison of its prey.

He does not wake at dawn to see
  Dread figures throng his room,
The shivering Chaplain robed in white,
  The Sheriff stern with gloom,
And the Governor all in shiny black,
  With the yellow face of Doom.

He does not rise in piteous haste
  To put on convict-clothes,
While some coarse-mouthed Doctor gloats, and notes
  Each new and nerve-twitched pose,
******* a watch whose little ticks
  Are like horrible hammer-blows.

He does not know that sickening thirst
  That sands one’s throat, before
The hangman with his gardener’s gloves
  Slips through the padded door,
And binds one with three leathern thongs,
  That the throat may thirst no more.

He does not bend his head to hear
  The Burial Office read,
Nor, while the terror of his soul
  Tells him he is not dead,
Cross his own coffin, as he moves
  Into the hideous shed.

He does not stare upon the air
  Through a little roof of glass;
He does not pray with lips of clay
  For his agony to pass;
Nor feel upon his shuddering cheek
  The kiss of Caiaphas.


II

Six weeks our guardsman walked the yard,
  In a suit of shabby grey:
His cricket cap was on his head,
  And his step seemed light and ***,
But I never saw a man who looked
  So wistfully at the day.

I never saw a man who looked
  With such a wistful eye
Upon that little tent of blue
  Which prisoners call the sky,
And at every wandering cloud that trailed
  Its raveled fleeces by.

He did not wring his hands, as do
  Those witless men who dare
To try to rear the changeling Hope
  In the cave of black Despair:
He only looked upon the sun,
  And drank the morning air.

He did not wring his hands nor weep,
  Nor did he peek or pine,
But he drank the air as though it held
  Some healthful anodyne;
With open mouth he drank the sun
  As though it had been wine!

And I and all the souls in pain,
  Who tramped the other ring,
Forgot if we ourselves had done
  A great or little thing,
And watched with gaze of dull amaze
  The man who had to swing.

And strange it was to see him pass
  With a step so light and ***,
And strange it was to see him look
  So wistfully at the day,
And strange it was to think that he
  Had such a debt to pay.

For oak and elm have pleasant leaves
  That in the spring-time shoot:
But grim to see is the gallows-tree,
  With its adder-bitten root,
And, green or dry, a man must die
  Before it bears its fruit!

The loftiest place is that seat of grace
  For which all worldlings try:
But who would stand in hempen band
  Upon a scaffold high,
And through a murderer’s collar take
  His last look at the sky?

It is sweet to dance to violins
  When Love and Life are fair:
To dance to flutes, to dance to lutes
  Is delicate and rare:
But it is not sweet with nimble feet
  To dance upon the air!

So with curious eyes and sick surmise
  We watched him day by day,
And wondered if each one of us
  Would end the self-same way,
For none can tell to what red Hell
  His sightless soul may stray.

At last the dead man walked no more
  Amongst the Trial Men,
And I knew that he was standing up
  In the black dock’s dreadful pen,
And that never would I see his face
  In God’s sweet world again.

Like two doomed ships that pass in storm
  We had crossed each other’s way:
But we made no sign, we said no word,
  We had no word to say;
For we did not meet in the holy night,
  But in the shameful day.

A prison wall was round us both,
  Two outcast men were we:
The world had ****** us from its heart,
  And God from out His care:
And the iron gin that waits for Sin
  Had caught us in its snare.


III

In Debtors’ Yard the stones are hard,
  And the dripping wall is high,
So it was there he took the air
  Beneath the leaden sky,
And by each side a Warder walked,
  For fear the man might die.

Or else he sat with those who watched
  His anguish night and day;
Who watched him when he rose to weep,
  And when he crouched to pray;
Who watched him lest himself should rob
  Their scaffold of its prey.

The Governor was strong upon
  The Regulations Act:
The Doctor said that Death was but
  A scientific fact:
And twice a day the Chaplain called
  And left a little tract.

And twice a day he smoked his pipe,
  And drank his quart of beer:
His soul was resolute, and held
  No hiding-place for fear;
He often said that he was glad
  The hangman’s hands were near.

But why he said so strange a thing
  No Warder dared to ask:
For he to whom a watcher’s doom
  Is given as his task,
Must set a lock upon his lips,
  And make his face a mask.

Or else he might be moved, and try
  To comfort or console:
And what should Human Pity do
  Pent up in Murderers’ Hole?
What word of grace in such a place
  Could help a brother’s soul?

With slouch and swing around the ring
  We trod the Fool’s Parade!
We did not care: we knew we were
  The Devil’s Own Brigade:
And shaven head and feet of lead
  Make a merry masquerade.

We tore the tarry rope to shreds
  With blunt and bleeding nails;
We rubbed the doors, and scrubbed the floors,
  And cleaned the shining rails:
And, rank by rank, we soaped the plank,
  And clattered with the pails.

We sewed the sacks, we broke the stones,
  We turned the dusty drill:
We banged the tins, and bawled the hymns,
  And sweated on the mill:
But in the heart of every man
  Terror was lying still.

So still it lay that every day
  Crawled like a ****-clogged wave:
And we forgot the bitter lot
  That waits for fool and knave,
Till once, as we tramped in from work,
  We passed an open grave.

With yawning mouth the yellow hole
  Gaped for a living thing;
The very mud cried out for blood
  To the thirsty asphalte ring:
And we knew that ere one dawn grew fair
  Some prisoner had to swing.

Right in we went, with soul intent
  On Death and Dread and Doom:
The hangman, with his little bag,
  Went shuffling through the gloom
And each man trembled as he crept
  Into his numbered tomb.

That night the empty corridors
  Were full of forms of Fear,
And up and down the iron town
  Stole feet we could not hear,
And through the bars that hide the stars
  White faces seemed to peer.

He lay as one who lies and dreams
  In a pleasant meadow-land,
The watcher watched him as he slept,
  And could not understand
How one could sleep so sweet a sleep
  With a hangman close at hand?

But there is no sleep when men must weep
  Who never yet have wept:
So we—the fool, the fraud, the knave—
  That endless vigil kept,
And through each brain on hands of pain
  Another’s terror crept.

Alas! it is a fearful thing
  To feel another’s guilt!
For, right within, the sword of Sin
  Pierced to its poisoned hilt,
And as molten lead were the tears we shed
  For the blood we had not spilt.

The Warders with their shoes of felt
  Crept by each padlocked door,
And peeped and saw, with eyes of awe,
  Grey figures on the floor,
And wondered why men knelt to pray
  Who never prayed before.

All through the night we knelt and prayed,
  Mad mourners of a corpse!
The troubled plumes of midnight were
  The plumes upon a hearse:
And bitter wine upon a sponge
  Was the savior of Remorse.

The **** crew, the red **** crew,
  But never came the day:
And crooked shape of Terror crouched,
  In the corners where we lay:
And each evil sprite that walks by night
  Before us seemed to play.

They glided past, they glided fast,
  Like travelers through a mist:
They mocked the moon in a rigadoon
  Of delicate turn and twist,
And with formal pace and loathsome grace
  The phantoms kept their tryst.

With mop and mow, we saw them go,
  Slim shadows hand in hand:
About, about, in ghostly rout
  They trod a saraband:
And the ****** grotesques made arabesques,
  Like the wind upon the sand!

With the pirouettes of marionettes,
  They tripped on pointed tread:
But with flutes of Fear they filled the ear,
  As their grisly masque they led,
And loud they sang, and long they sang,
  For they sang to wake the dead.

“Oho!” they cried, “The world is wide,
  But fettered limbs go lame!
And once, or twice, to throw the dice
  Is a gentlemanly game,
But he does not win who plays with Sin
  In the secret House of Shame.”

No things of air these antics were
  That frolicked with such glee:
To men whose lives were held in gyves,
  And whose feet might not go free,
Ah! wounds of Christ! they were living things,
  Most terrible to see.

Around, around, they waltzed and wound;
  Some wheeled in smirking pairs:
With the mincing step of demirep
  Some sidled up the stairs:
And with subtle sneer, and fawning leer,
  Each helped us at our prayers.

The morning wind began to moan,
  But still the night went on:
Through its giant loom the web of gloom
  Crept till each thread was spun:
And, as we prayed, we grew afraid
  Of the Justice of the Sun.

The moaning wind went wandering round
  The weeping prison-wall:
Till like a wheel of turning-steel
  We felt the minutes crawl:
O moaning wind! what had we done
  To have such a seneschal?

At last I saw the shadowed bars
  Like a lattice wrought in lead,
Move right across the whitewashed wall
  That faced my three-plank bed,
And I knew that somewhere in the world
  God’s dreadful dawn was red.

At six o’clock we cleaned our cells,
  At seven all was still,
But the sough and swing of a mighty wing
  The prison seemed to fill,
For the Lord of Death with icy breath
  Had entered in to ****.

He did not pass in purple pomp,
  Nor ride a moon-white steed.
Three yards of cord and a sliding board
  Are all the gallows’ need:
So with rope of shame the Herald came
  To do the secret deed.

We were as men who through a fen
  Of filthy darkness *****:
We did not dare to breathe a prayer,
  Or give our anguish scope:
Something was dead in each of us,
  And what was dead was Hope.

For Man’s grim Justice goes its way,
  And will not swerve aside:
It slays the weak, it slays the strong,
  It has a deadly stride:
With iron heel it slays the strong,
  The monstrous parricide!

We waited for the stroke of eight:
  Each tongue was thick with thirst:
For the stroke of eight is the stroke of Fate
  That makes a man accursed,
And Fate will use a running noose
  For the best man and the worst.

We had no other thing to do,
  Save to wait for the sign to come:
So, like things of stone in a valley lone,
  Quiet we sat and dumb:
But each man’s heart beat thick and quick
  Like a madman on a drum!

With sudden shock the prison-clock
  Smote on the shivering air,
And from all the gaol rose up a wail
  Of impotent despair,
Like the sound that frightened marshes hear
  From a ***** in his lair.

And as one sees most fearful things
  In the crystal of a dream,
We saw the greasy hempen rope
  Hooked to the blackened beam,
And heard the prayer the hangman’s snare
  Strangled into a scream.

And all the woe that moved him so
  That he gave that bitter cry,
And the wild regrets, and the ****** sweats,
  None knew so well as I:
For he who lives more lives than one
  More deaths than one must die.


IV

There is no chapel on the day
  On which they hang a man:
The Chaplain’s heart is far too sick,
  Or his face is far too wan,
Or there is that written in his eyes
  Which none should look upon.

So they kept us close till nigh on noon,
  And then they rang the bell,
And the Warders with their jingling keys
  Opened each listening cell,
And down the iron stair we tramped,
  Each from his separate Hell.

Out into God’s sweet air we went,
  But not in wonted way,
For this man’s face was white with fear,
  And that man’s face was grey,
And I never saw sad men who looked
  So wistfully at the day.

I never saw sad men who looked
  With such a wistful eye
Upon that little tent of blue
  We prisoners called the sky,
And at every careless cloud that passed
  In happy freedom by.

But there were those amongst us all
  Who walked with downcast head,
And knew that, had each got his due,
  They should have died instead:
He had but killed a thing that lived
  Whilst they had killed the dead.

For he who sins a second time
  Wakes a dead soul to pain,
And draws it from its spotted shroud,
  And makes it bleed again,
And makes it bleed great gouts of blood
  And makes it bleed in vain!

Like ape or clown, in monstrous garb
  With crooked arrows starred,
Silently we went round and round
  The slippery asphalte yard;
Silently we went round and round,
  And no man spoke a word.

Silently we went round and round,
  And through each hollow mind
The memory of dreadful things
  Rushed like a dreadful wind,
And Horror stalked before each man,
  And terror crept behind.

The Warders strutted up and down,
  And kept their herd of brutes,
Their uniforms were ***** and span,
  And they wore their Sunday suits,
But we knew the work they had been at
  By the quicklime on their boots.

For where a grave had opened wide,
  There was no grave at all:
Only a stretch of mud and sand
  By the hideous prison-wall,
And a little heap of burning lime,
  That the man should have his pall.

For he has a pall, this wretched man,
  Such as few men can claim:
Deep down below a prison-yard,
  Naked for greater shame,
He lies, with fetters on each foot,
  Wrapt in a sheet of flame!

And all the while the burning lime
  Eats flesh and bone away,
It eats the brittle bone by night,
  And the soft flesh by the day,
It eats the flesh and bones by turns,
  But it eats the heart alway.

For three long years they will not sow
  Or root or seedling there:
For three long years the unblessed spot
  Will sterile be and bare,
And look upon the wondering sky
  With unreproachful stare.

They think a murderer’s heart would taint
  Each simple seed they sow.
It is not true! God’s kindly earth
  Is kindlier than men know,
And the red rose would but blow more red,
  The white rose whiter blow.

Out of his mouth a red, red rose!
  Out of his heart a white!
For who can say by what strange way,
  Christ brings his will to light,
Since the barren staff the pilgrim bore
  Bloomed in the great Pope’s sight?

But neither milk-white rose nor red
  May bloom in prison air;
The shard, the pebble, and the flint,
  Are what they give us there:
For flowers have been known to heal
  A common man’s despair.

So never will wine-red rose or white,
  Petal by petal, fall
On that stretch of mud and sand that lies
  By the hideous prison-wall,
To tell the men who ***** the yard
  That God’s Son died for all.

Yet though the hideous prison-wall
  Still hems him round and round,
And a spirit man not walk by night
  That is with fetters bound,
And a spirit may not weep that lies
  In such unholy ground,

He is at peace—this wretched man—
  At peace, or will be soon:
There is no thing to make him mad,
  Nor does Terror walk at noon,
For the lampless Earth in which he lies
  Has neither Sun nor Moon.

They hanged him as a beast is hanged:
  They did not even toll
A reguiem that might have brought
  Rest to his startled soul,
But hurriedly they took him out,
  And hid him in a hole.

They stripped him of his canvas clothes,
  And gave him to the flies;
They mocked the swollen purple throat
  And the stark and staring eyes:
And with laughter loud they heaped the shroud
  In which their convict lies.

The Chaplain would not kneel to pray
  By his dishonored grave:
Nor mark it with that blessed Cross
  That Christ for sinners gave,
Because the man was one of those
  Whom Christ came down to save.

Yet all is well; he has but passed
  To Life’s appointed bourne:
And alien tears will fill for him
  Pity’s long-broken urn,
For his mourner will be outcast men,
  And outcasts always mourn.


V

I know not whether Laws be right,
  Or whether Laws be wrong;
All that we know who lie in gaol
  Is that the wall is strong;
And that each day is like a year,
  A year whose days are long.

But this I know, that every Law
  That men have made for Man,
Since first Man took his brother’s life,
  And the sad world began,
But straws the wheat and saves the chaff
  With a most evil fan.

This too I know—and wise it were
  If each could know the same—
That every prison that men build
  Is built with bricks of shame,
And bound with bars lest Christ should see
  How men their brothers maim.

With bars they blur the gracious moon,
  And blind the goodly sun:
And they do well to hide their Hell,
  For in it things are done
That Son of God nor son of Man
  Ever should look upon!

The vilest deeds like poison weeds
  Bloom well in prison-air:
It is only what is good in Man
  That wastes and withers there:
Pale Anguish keeps the heavy gate,
  And the Warder is Despair

For they starve the little frightened child
  Till it weeps both night and day:
And they scourge the weak, and flog the fool,
  And gibe the old and grey,
And some grow mad, and all grow bad,
And none a word may say.

Each narrow cell in which we dwell
  Is foul and dark latrine,
And the fetid breath of living Death
  Chokes up each grated screen,
And all, but Lust, is turned to dust
  In Humanity’s machine.

The brackish water that we drink
  Creeps with a loathsome slime,
And the bitter bread they weigh in scales
  Is full of chalk and lime,
And Sleep will not lie down, but walks
  Wild-eyed and cries to Time.

But though lean Hunger and green Thirst
  Like asp with adder fight,
We have little care of prison fare,
  For what chills and kills outright
Is that every stone one lifts by day
  Becomes one’s heart by night.

With midnight always in one’s heart,
  And twilight in one’s cell,
We turn the crank, or tear the rope,
  Each in his separate Hell,
And the silence is more awful far
  Than the sound of a brazen bell.

And never a human voice comes near
  To speak a gentle word:
And the eye that watches through the door
  Is pitiless and hard:
And by all forgot, we rot and rot,
  With soul and body marred.

And thus we rust Life’s iron chain
  Degraded and alone:
And some men curse, and some men weep,
  And some men make no moan:
But God’s eternal Laws are kind
  And break the heart of stone.

And every human heart that breaks,
  In prison-cell or yard,
Is as that broken box that gave
  Its treasure to the Lord,
And filled the unclean *****’s house
  With the scent of costliest nard.

Ah! happy day they whose hearts can break
  And peace of pardon win!
How else may man make straight his plan
  And cleanse his soul from Sin?
How else but through a broken heart
  May Lord Christ enter in?

And he of the swollen purple throat.
  And the stark and staring eyes,
Waits for the holy hands that took
  The Thief to Paradise;
And a broken and a contrite heart
  The Lord will not despise.

The man in red who reads the Law
  Gave him three weeks of life,
Three little weeks in which to heal
  His soul of his soul’s strife,
And cleanse from every blot of blood
  The hand that held the knife.

And with tears of blood he cleansed the hand,
  The hand that held the steel:
For only blood can wipe out blood,
  And only tears can heal:
And the crimson stain that was of Cain
  Became Christ’s snow-white seal.


VI

In Reading gaol by Reading town
  There is a pit of shame,
And in it lies a wretched man
  Eaten by teeth of flame,
In burning winding-sheet he lies,
  And his grave has got no name.

And there, till Christ call forth the dead,
  In silence let him lie:
No need to waste the foolish tear,
  Or heave the windy sigh:
The man had killed the thing he loved,
  And so he had to die.

And all men **** the thing they love,
  By all let this be heard,
Some do it with a bitter look,
  Some with a flattering word,
The coward does it with a kiss,
  The brave man with a sword!
Dead Rose One Mar 2018
nobody gets the cancer twice.  
(a blues guitar riff)

blood in the stool
ain’t nobody’s fool,
whent to high school
did not graduate,
but know it wasn’t no thing I ate

scale greets me friendly like,
long lost buddy from yesterday morn,
‘let get right down to it,
let’s see how much less of you borne
leftover alive from the prior day’

spirit spit blood from my gums,
got me a woman, she’s way over town,
woman said I’m brushing with
too hard a brush, alright, alright,
make no fuss, she’s good to me

nobody’s fool whent to school,
though I did not graduate,
a mean riff is better than a
slow moving woman blues cry,
got the strings to do my screaming

doctor is a fan, name is Jimmy,
played music like last time round,
Jimmy-jamming, dancing in the waiting room,
“that cancer got kick, it’s gonna get ya,
think I told ya that about hunner times before”

‘nobody gets the cancer twice,’
an old wives tale for unlucky po’ somofabitches,
do you some tests, tell ya the specifics,
right now, lay, lay down them new tracks,
no quitting time less the good lord comes a-calling’

blues guitar makes a man
cry shiver scream and shake,
progressions licks and tricks,
so you can’t tell what’s making
a grownup man cry and laugh louder

bring me my medicine
bring me my guitar
all I know is how it makes me feel,
oh baby once a night it’s true,
nobody gets the cancer twice
Francie Lynch Sep 2018
I've used them on my windows
To see the clear outside,
If I read the Op-eds,
I shudder, shuttered and hide.

I've spread them 'neath my plates and cups,
My shelves all neat and tidy;
But the headlines made it clear to me
My glass is more half empty.

They had a place in the litter box
For **** to scratch and squat;
I laid them round my garden plants,
They made fine insect traps.
Rolled and twirled they'd start a fire,
I could fold them into hats.
They cleaned the grease from BBQs,
And they're safe to pick up glass.
Crumple them for packaging,
They work as school book covers;
Add water and some flour,
To shape papier mache lovers.
Fold seeds in them to germinate,
Then use them for compost;
There's many ways to employ
Your Times and local Post.

But I won't subscribe to Dailies
For the felling of our trees;
And yet I miss my papers,
And the ways they worked for me.
But when enthroned,
You'll hear me grouse,
There's no **** paper in this ****-house.

My cell works well to scroll and swipe,
But it's only good for a virtual wipe.
Sammie wells Mar 2014
...Dancing round
A Blazing fire
A tribe of humans
Like no other
Worship money
In suit and tie
Beating drums
Chanting greed

Sky stays dark

Dancing round
A Blazing fire
A tribe of humans
Like one another
Flow with the land
Dressed in paint
Beating drums
Chant with nature

Diamond's in the sky

Dancing round
A Blazing fire
Planet Earth
Beating drums
Chanting with
the universe...
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