Submit your work, meet writers and drop the ads. Become a member
After Robert Frost


What is this venerable, hard-used tool? What is it for?
It lies inert, its days of usefulness over: gone with the thought,
The informed, actionable thought, of the father. The son doesn't know what he has,
But with a sad look, he says he will be happy to sell it to you: "For a—"
(Here he hesitates) "—two dollars." He also points out a handsome pair
Of gold-colored cufflinks. He doesn't know what they are made of.
You wish you could meet the father and go out with him on the Dauntless
(“Boat For Sale”) but spirit and thought have been borne away on angels' wings.
Copyright 2018 Benjamin Daniel Lukey.

"Estate Sale" was first published in volume 3, issue 2 of The Ibis Head Review.
Hadiy Syakir Mar 2018
I want to open a business
but I will never trade
every words of sanctity
for it.

Teach me,
on how to open a shop
without a table
without a sign
without a premise
is it all done just
to break the promise?

I want to be like them
but I can't sell my words
on a tee, on a tele
becoming part of
the rotten machinery
is a sign of chaos
and profligacy.

even if I have to wait
at the end of the line
, I will do that.
King Panda Oct 2015
everything is on sale
and I eat and eat
and yell at the couple
arguing in the ATM line
and smirk at the pharmacist
as I toss my meds in the
can behind the counter
king soopers
my realm
of crushed potpourri
honeycrisp apples
black cocktail dresses
stuck
shut with
peanut butter

I love grocery
shopping.
eli Feb 18
gracing the streets,
with her pink stilleto
and a pricy frappuccino---
she barely sips.
they can't take their eyes off her,
well, who would?
even I,
I can't.

she has class and elegance,
money, power---
what else is missing?
oh, I know,
the reason I stared at her for a minute.
I just can't forget,
how unbothered she is---
when she threw the empty cup
on the ground.
I wonder why
she doesn't use her bills---
to buy some manners?
Oh wait,
I forgot--
that's not for sale.
Lily Flower Mar 2018
How does it feel, walking the rainwashed streets without me ?
I hope your hand is comfortable in your pocket,
Or a hand you chose over mine.
On the dining table we never dined
"together", its warmth froze in my heart.
The soup always went cold
and I counted every single bean
Never seen, or tasted before .
I binned the beans and bid them farewell.
I went back to my cold bed
and felt my head explode
and felt my body twitch in need
Oh honey! Lest your soup go cold
Lest you count your beans.
I ate the trashed beans and beamed.
How could I trash the green of your eyes that spoke through the beans?
I think I'll leave the empty bed for sale
It's a free life in jail
without you in my veins.
With me in your dustbin
As the grey sky rains.
This hurts beyond reason. It hurts that I never got to be with the man I deeply loved, because of distance and disease. This hurts that everything's ruined..
Lawrence Hall Dec 2018
The Holy Grail, the Chalice of Our Lord
Borne to Glastonbury, the Isle of Avalon
By the holy man of Arimathea
Then lost, and quested for by noble knights

The Holy Grail is present still, each day
In vessels blessed for sharing Eucharist
Whose Elevation in the Upper Room
Was then, is now, and forever will be

In setting fit, in prayerful accord:
The Holy Grail, the Chalice of Our Lord
Your ‘umble scrivener’s site is:
Reactionarydrivel.blogspot.com.
It’s not at all reactionary, tho’ it might be drivel.


Lawrence Hall’s vanity publications are available on amazon.com as Kindle and on bits of dead tree:  The Road to Magdalena, Paleo-Hippies at Work and Play, Lady with a Dead Turtle, Don’t Forget Your Shoes and Grapes, Coffee and a Dead Alligator to Go, and Dispatches from the Colonial Office.
saige May 2018
velcro wallet
was navy, i think
gray plastic zipper
grandma gave you
i had a locket
it had your picture inside
but you threw it away
because you looked like a rabbit
apparently
hair fluffed, eyes puffy
two teeth and two hours
of squirming on a photo booth

plastic coin pouch
small crayola blue
walmart sticker on a side
but it never made me smile
not like that piggy bank did
yard sale treasure
dinosaur-shaped
no smashing to withdrawl
our tooth fairy dollars and dust
still, you crammed stink bugs
down the long neck's back

now, a denim bag on my bed
rhinestoned one in the closet
and your wallet is
real leather, i think
has superheroes on it
rough and grungy
as the comic books in the attic
or, did you toss those too?

who needs a screwdriver
without a *****?
that's all money was
just hardware we didn't have
much use for
but there is more than one way
to use a tool
so here, i'll paint it straighter
who needs a coffin without a corpse?
especially when we were
so full of life back then
Don't show me your Money
Don't show your Bank Balance

Don't show me your Estate
Don't show me your Power

Sorry, with all your Fortunes
You cannot Purchase Me

Because, Only items are on Sale
My body is an Item – "I Accept"

But my Soul is Not an Item
And is Not available for Sale
Everything Is Not For Sale, Hence Can't Be Purchased, Though We Live In Inside A Large Market
Deborahlee Jan 13
They say I speak your name too much
and I admit fantasies rules my thought
morning afternoon and
into the wee hours;
in the silence of the night,
your tone sought

if you are the sunshine
blanket me, I'm the sky
my soul seeks your light
outside of the darkness,
flying into flames, I fry

burning inside the rays
of impossibility's hell
bones fall to grey ash
as my soul I sell.
you get no sympathy from the devil, final bill due!
I sold my soul and still ended up without you...
.
If there were a language for walls,

It would mumble,
Per broken jaws.
The sun would shine through fragmented holes,

A windows' lone goal?
To magnify heat,
Til' all was engulfed.

With confirmed dead inside,
None knock, as they've read inscribed:

"Family tree,
Difficulty,
Unavailable."

"Family business,
Buy one,
One comes free,
Fire wood sale."
malcolm Nov 2018
rage red hot:
leaving me alone
again you promised
melts into resignation
deep blue like the
sea: knew this
would happen
not worth much
of anything
am i?
8/6/17
Nat Lipstadt Jan 2017
Yom Kippur this year was celebrated on Oct. 12th 2016.
Leonard Cohen passed away on November 7, 2016.


~~~

faint knocking at the door to the Tower of Song

the ministering angels, hearing a rhythmic, lyrical rapping,
sigh, thinking the atonement day,
the holiday/holy days, are supposedly over,
the human balancing act, the rush to judgement period,
all tallies totaled, the busy sale season for souls,
at last completed, each fate inscribed & sealed,
in the book of life^

but, always one,
the itinerant straggler, the last reluctant sinner, a judgment resister,
flaunting an expired coupon, trumpeting demands for a recount,
waving it, claiming it, the bearer, entitled to a mercy discount and
an extra 30 days

"who shall we say is calling?"

the Angels are stunned to hear,
a familiar raspy, growling, almost indescribable,
yet, stammeringly, beautiful voice enchanting,
equally asking and answering,  how both,
with a strident humility, "a man in search of answers"

this voice, instantaneous recognizable,
the asking superfluous,
all beating wings now, all in vast excitement,
this psalmist, long awaited, one of His best,
a chosen one, a courtly singer in the Temple of his people,
blessed with the curse of seeing and believing,
the comprehension of beauty of the human superior interior,
never being quiet or quite satisfied,
in capturing, its multifarious variations,
in every language spoken

this is the man who took ten years
to compose just
one song,
one poem,
one word,
Hallelujah,
whose faith was strong,
but still needed proofs,
whose every breath of oxygen inhalation,
brought more questions,
every exhalation, only releasing partial answers,
and yet, still, yes, yes! finding hidden verses inside

a simple, everlasting
hallelujah

the hubbub subsides, the man sings~speaks:
how came I here,
was I one, who by fire?
that fire afeared,  that my finality was spirit consumer?

one voice, answers,
in one voice, the swaying back-up singers answer,
not by fire, not by water, not by stoning or
even drowning
in tea that came from all the way from China

when sing we Angels, the Judgement Day poem,
we alone, on high and above,
we, keepers of the books and records of everyone,
are permitted this to query:

Who by Sufficiency?

you, the sidekick of the creator,
special commissioned by him, anointed to live a life of research,
record in word and song the mysteries of musical gene strings,
that intertwine the skin cells of man and woman,
man and his fellow us-human,
your soul commandeered, ordered, delve deeper,
into the consolable chasm tween divine and mortals,
all those who are poorly constructed
in his image

he, who has earned his place, his best rest,
his works adjudged sufficient,
he, who best answered
this judging, this calling out, callig in
incantation,

Who by Sufficiency?

now forward on, write only of answers,
wade in the troubled waters no more,
no more passports, or borders to cross,
no more measuring the days,
the last road trip finale
finished & feted,
fate meted

no more changing thy name, changeling priest,^^
sing songs of solution, salvation,
for the questioning hours of confusion,
the urgency of revolution,
no longer need a hallelujah resolution


                                                    ­| | |
Who By Fire                             Who By Fire, Who By Water:^
(lyrics by Leonard Cohen)     (A Yom Kippur Hebrew Prayer)

who by fire                             How many shall die and      

who by water,                                how many shall born,
Who in the sunshine,                 Who shall live      
who in the night time,                   who shall die,                      
Who by high                                Who at the measure of days,
who by common trial,                    and who before,
Who in your merry                            
                                                          Who by fire
month of May,                                 and who by water
Who by very                                 Who by sword,
slow decay,                                       and who by wild beasts,
And who shall I                      Who by hunger,
say is calling?                              and who by thirst,

And who in her,                           Who by earthquake
lonely slip,                                         and who by plague
who by barbiturate,                      Who by strangling,
Who in these                                    and who by stoning
realms of love,                               Who shall have rest,

who by,                                             and who shall go wandering,
something blunt,                            Who will be tranquil,
And who by avalanche,                  and who shall be harassed,
who by powder,                            Who shall be at ease,
Who for his greed,                           and who shall be afflicted,
who for his hunger,                      Who shall become rich,
And who shall I,                             and who shall become poor,
say is calling?                                Who will be raised high,
                                                         ­     and who will be brought low
And who by brave assent,                  
who by accident,
Who in solitude,
who in this mirror,
Who by,
his lady's command,
who by his own hand,
Who in mortal chains,
who in power,
And who shall I,
say is calling?




^From the liturgy of Rosh Hasanah, the Jewish New Year and Yom Kippur, the  Day of Atonement, there is this truly stunning prayer (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unetanneh_Tokef) in the Jewish liturgy. The Book of Life contents the fate of every sinner. From the first day of the new year, until ten days later, on Yom Kippur, depending on whether the sinner repents or not, his fate is sealed.
Yom Kippur this year was celebrated on Oct. 12th 2016.

Leonard Cohen passed away on November 7, 2016.

^^"A Kohens ancestors were priests in the Temple of Jerusalem. A single such priest was known as a Kohen, and the hereditary caste descending from these priests is collectively known as the Kohanim.[2] As multiple languages were acquired through the Jewish diaspora, the surname acquired many variations." Today, with no temple, the limited role of the Kohanim is to bless the Jewish people on the high holy days with a  special prayer with abeloved tune,  instantly evocative (see wikipedia.org/wiki/Priestly_Blessing) The Kohanim are still revered, honored, and always called up first to the Sabbath reading of the weekly portion of the Old Testament

A thank you to Bex for proofing and encouragement.
Part I of a trilogy
For a  more detailed analysis of the roots of the song, "Who By Fire," and its origins, see:
_____________________________________________
http://www.leonardcohen-prologues.com/who_by_fire.htm

He worked on the song Hallelujah, arguably his most famous composition, for ten years.
ceara Mar 2011
I had the good fortune
to visit it twice,
the first time
it was like the Marie Celeste,
dark with blue doors
and old coffee dregs shining on the base
of deserted mugs,
a full perfume bottle of Narcissus
glowed on a mildewed window,
for shame I thought , sketches,
letters, catalogues
all congealed together
in sodden shop boxes

I wasn't supposed to be there

then again in a dream,
all the walls were dark pink
and shelves were filled with treasure
trinkets for sale, I stopped at a pair
of silver earrings
and crystaline figures
that danced in unison
gold and black drawings
hung the walls of a bedroom
with roses for a carpet
a melancholy light
stilled the air, I wondered
how in god's name
did he fit there,
that tiny bed

I paused here,
others came in.
what is life to an estranged fisherman who catches shells
but knees held up by strings
sullied and winterbleak
and armless orions
and bar-of-red-soap memories
marred inside a confetti tin can?

i am programmed for a slap or two
down at the old public yard sale
where two cents buys a soul
and a thousand useless words

i have lifted all my woes
from inside the battery cavity
of all my clocks
how they ticked and tocked

and every spring upon the
arrival of ants and mildew
i fold myself into a paper swan
perched atop atticjunk
seen from the circular window
stiff and sullen
Shofi Ahmed Aug 2017
He looks like the moon from the sky,
His radiant eyes would steal the sunrise,
His shoulder stood high,
Heartbeats as if he smells his likely world
on his arm, there is everything but a tie!
He just doesn't have a job, been interviewed,
He expressed his qualities, many quantities,
but lost, walked out without a offer!

His sunny face was still shimmering.
The successful one, murmured 'my friend
you wasn't smart enough selling yourself!'
I don't think I wanted to do that, he replied:

Am is willing to serve to earn the means
to be served, don't mean to sale and buy.
If ethic has no value maybe then
a job is nothing but 'sale and buy'!
This house has no bedrooms so as to encourage intimate
kitchen-sleeping. No toilet allows for more hand-washing
room. House has unpaved, dirt driveway for added traction.
Partial roof is a dream come true for star-gazing peeping Toms!
harlee kae Sep 2014
When I no longer felt the need to live they told me there was a way;
they would cut up my body, sale all the pieces, and that way, I could stay..

They stuck me inside a crane machine,
my arms, my legs, my heart.
Fifty cents was all it took to win yourself a part.

My head it was the first to go, it went to a strange old man.
Who lived down in a basement, and had a secret plan.

My fingers they went next, to some little girls and boys.
The size of them was perfect for the children to use as toys.

The piece of me that went last, was the piece that belonged to you,
and when you walked by the crane machine you knew just what to do.

You put in your two quarters and you grasped the handle tight.
The claw wrapped gently around my heart and didn't give a fight.

You walked to your car, whistling, with my heart held in your hand.
Completely content, my soul was free, because you were my final plan.
Next page