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Forty Days

A Season of Grief, a Season of Rejoicing

November 9-December 20, 2014

For Barbara Beach Alter 
It is Christmas morning in Saco, Maine, where today Bett, Aaron, Emily, Thomasin and our beloved cousin Marie find ourselves gathered to celebrate our first Christmas without dadima (our name for Barbara Beach Alter).  Brother Tom writes that already in India he and Carol with Jamie, Meha and Cayden (the only of her seven greatgrandchildren Barry never held) have celebrated.  Today Marty and Lincoln join us in Maine.

This gathering of documents—notes, drafts of memorial services, poems, homilies—is my christmas present to each of you.  It is a record, certainly subjective, of grief and rejoicing.

John Copley Alter
1:14 a.m.
Saco, Maine 
November 9

Loved ones,
Barbara Beach Alter died peacefully at 2:55 Sunday morning (today).  Bett and I had the good fortune to be there for the final beating of her good strong heart.  She murmured charcoal.  The nurse who was bathing her afterwards noted how few wrinkles there were, and it is true.
For those of you nearby you may if you want visit Mom in her room at hospice this morning (until noon).  Visit? Darshan? Paying respects?
Bett and I plan to be there around 11:00.
Much love to all. A blessed occasion.

November 10

Matthew 5:13-19
Jesus said, "You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything, but is thrown out and trampled under foot.
"You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.
"Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets; I have come not to abolish but to fulfill. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not one letter, not one stroke of a letter, will pass from the law until all is accomplished. Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, will be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven."

yesterday in the early hours my mother died her saltiness
restored all that had through the months of her old
age and convalescence obscured the lens of her life cleaned
away so that for us now more and more clearly
as we hear about her through the memory and love
of so many people her good works shine forth in
their glory but it is to the days of her
convalescence the days of her dementia I would turn our
minds those of us who spent time with her at
Wingate long-term care facility remember that Barbara Beach Alter became
at times fierce in her commanding us that ‘not one
letter, not one stroke of a letter’ of the commandments
should be altered do you remember that those of you
and us who were given the work and gift of
spending time with Barry in those days in that condition

remember for instance how fussy she became about the sequence
of food on her tray how impatient with us for
our trespasses and violations how adamant that we look forward
for instance and not back at her how she would
say stop holding my hand and saying you love me
you have work to do o she was almost impossible
and certainly incoherent and demented in her obsession with law
and procedure fussy impatient imperious I do not forget being
scolded reamed out put in my place for having somehow
failed to do what the ‘law and the prophets’ demand

Barbara beach alter in the days before hospice in the
nursing home and hospital and even if we are honest
in the final years of her life found herself caught
up in the rigidity of her anxious desire to be
faithful to the laws and commandments of her life and
that made her at times extremely demanding to be with

amen and the epistemological confusion of course the clash between
her reality and ours it was all an ordeal for
her and for those of us who kept her company

and yet and yet through it all and now as
that ordeal for her is no longer paramount as she
dances in heaven all the wrinkles and discomfort of her
life removed and forgiven Barbara Beach Alter kept the faith
living in the midst such that those who cared for
her most intimately the strangers all professed your mother blessed

Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
7 Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.
12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

So, brother and sister, here are my thoughts about the memorial service(s).
Let’s find a time when we three can be present; that’s the most important thing.  My life is currently the least constrained by agenda and schedule.  And then the grandchildren, recognizing that Jamie may not be able to come.  So, our work is to find our when our kids are able to come. Bett and I are exploring that with our three, each of whom has some constraint: Emily, the cost; Thomasin, the piebaking demands, Aaron school.  But we are flexible.

Much love.


Walking in my mother’s wake today some trees
a gentle breeze some dogs a little boy
the neighborhood and I took joy from interaction

we are at best a fraction in love’s
calculation after all heaven I realize is not
above or below cannot be taught comes naturally

as death does walking in my mother’s wake
I found new allies learned yet again not
to take myself too seriously to be caught

off guard as a matter of principle and
not to insist that I understand but live
in the midst of forgiveness

in my mother’s wake I am reading these books for
some way to continue to knock on her door Wendell
Berry he can tell me some things and William Blake
he can take me closer and I remember she described
me once as an unused Jewish liberal so I am
reading about protestant liberalism but ham that I am also
reading Carl Hiassen’s Bad Monkey and Quo Vadimus that my
daughter left behind and mythologically Reflections from yale divinity school
no fooling Denise Levertov David Sobel Galway Kinnell’s translation of
Rilke some wake

November 11

Matthew 25:1-13
Jesus said, "Then the kingdom of heaven will be like this. Ten bridesmaids took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. When the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them; but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. As the bridegroom was delayed, all of them became drowsy and slept. But at midnight there was a shout, 'Look! Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.' Then all those bridesmaids got up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish said to the wise, 'Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.' But the wise replied, 'No! there will not be enough for you and for us; you had better go to the dealers and buy some for yourselves.' And while they went to buy it, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went with him into the wedding banquet; and the door was shut. Later the other bridesmaids came also, saying, 'Lord, lord, open to us.' But he replied, 'Truly I tell you, I do not know you.' Keep awake therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour."

this morning in the wee hours my mother died one
of the wise bridesmaids whose lamp to the end was
full she carried always the flask of oil that is
joy that is the love of the kingdom of heaven
and of the bridegroom a flask always replenished by prayer
by devotion by a humble courageous living in the midst

she expected every day the bridegroom to come in other
words and she was also one who would never refuse
to share even the last drop with somebody in need

and at the end it is so clear the door
into the banquet hall was not closed to her as
it is not closed to any one of us foolishness
is to believe otherwise to believe that the bridegroom will
not come today in the early morning in the wee
hours that is when he comes in the midst of
other plans is when he comes even when we are
doing what we assume to be good work when we
are doing what gives us pleasure our duty joy comes
then unsummoned unpredictable random even according to all our best
laid plans my mother loved so many things her pleasure
included dancing late in her life terminally unsteady she invented
what we loved to urge her to do namely the
sitting jig and we grew up with images of her
Isadora Duncan dancing with white scarves in an enchanted forest

Barbara Beach Alter aka Barry aka dadima bari nani aunt
and daughter wife missionary is now I know dancing a
rollicking boisterous jig on the shores of a lake that
is as her grandson once confided to her god in
liquid form spilly Beach of course also dyslexic executive function
compromised she was but one who loved to be always
in the midst surrounded by loved ones some of them
absolute strangers she shared her oil because for her it
came welling up from an inexhaustible source a deep eternal
well of such illumination and laughter such giddy divine chuckles

for her there was to be no exclusion she would
not find the awful idea of being one of the
foolish applicable to anybody but happily she welcomed into her
midst so many it is hard to imagine how many

so there she is now a bridesmaid dancing for joy
in such elegant clothing with such perpetual brightness

amen hallelujah rejoice

sometimes I think she pulled us all out of the
magic hat sometimes I think she knit us all into
one of her theologically impossible sweaters and then with a
wink she passes through the eye of the needle and
is gone and we are left to play in her
honor endless hands of solitaire sometimes I think we are
no more than the hermeneutics of her life the epistemology
artless she was not her heart like one of those
magical meals for her then a doxology praise then praise
she knows salvation

what is a life’s work it is like a landscape
dotted with oases and gardens for the thirsty and the
lost it is like scraping through dry barren ground and
finding there suddenly not only the theology of paradise but
such seeds your hands ache to begin the planting what
is a life’s work what has been shut for too
long opens what has been shut for too long opens

a life’s work renews itself then with death the kernel
of hope that dies in springtime sprouting is what a
life’s work becomes

November 12

John 21:15-17
When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?" He said to him, "Yes, Lord; you know that I love you." Jesus said to him, "Feed my lambs." A second time he said to him, "Simon son of John, do you love me?" He said to him, "Yes, Lord; you know that I love you." Jesus said to him, "Tend my sheep." He said to him the third time, "Simon son of John, do you love me?" Peter felt hurt because he said to him the third time, "Do you love me?" And he said to him, "Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you." Jesus said to him, "Feed my sheep.

I know my mother very much enjoyed having breakfast with
god and that the meals of her nursing home drove
her nearly crazy and that when at last she found
hospice o she again could imagine the feast of heaven
at which Jesus breaks bread with us and speaks with
such clarity do you love me more than these I
know it was questions as simple and overwhelming as this
that dominated her final days do you love me love
being  one of the last five words she attempted to
speak do you love me she wrestled in her last
months with epistemology and psychology and theology and all had
to do with whether she could answer unequivocally you know
that I love you and that she could say of
her life that she had broken bread with god we
all remember in her life those moments when there was
a great gladness an innocent acceptance of what lay immediately
in her presence now those months in the nursing home
tormented her in precisely this fashion that it was hard
to accept to be in the midst of such mediocrity
and woe to be innocent and accepting but now praise
god there she is a happy guest at the great
feast and we left behind bereft can acknowledge that she
loved god in her own fashion as best she possibly
could and do you remember being with her there in
hospital or nursing home and she commanding us to move
beyond holding her hand and saying we loved her and
to feed the sheep to do that work which will
make of this earth this here and now an outstation
of heaven Barbara Beach Alter loved god in her own
fashion as best she possibly could we remember that and
that memory is today like a great network a web
of love and inspiration o we would gladly one more
time hold her hand and say I love you but
we know also clearly I think today what the work
is to love our neighbor as ourselves to work for
peace and justice I think of my sister with her
colleagues in WEIGO and how her sisters have understood her
grief  let us break our fast together then glad for
the worldwide web that in these days is reading the
gospel of the life of Barbara Beach Alter praise god

in exchange for his three denials Peter is given three imperative verbs
this is the commission Jesus after breakfast on the shore of the sea of Galilee gives to Peter
twice he says feed
in the commonwealth of Massachusetts 700,000 people are hungry
1 in 6 americans are hungry
living in uncertainty about their daily bread
more than 18,000,000 in Africa
842,000,000 around the world go to bed hungry

Marty and Tom
The thinking about the memorial service is taking this slow and cautious turn, namely that we have three services (at least), one in Sudbury, one in New Haven (allowing Stan and Chuck and others to come) at First Presbyterian (with Blair Moffett we hope), and of course one in India.
The date frame appears to be somewhere between December 17 and 20, unless you have other thoughts.
The actual cremation happens tomorrow.  Lincoln, Bett, Alexis and I will attend, and then of course there is In the Midst on Friday.
Love you more than tongue can tell.

the thing with a life well lived is that many
people have partaken the way let’s say a river moves
down through any number of different lives all the time
sedulously seeking the shortest path to the sea to steal
a line from somebody or other meandering a watershed within
which so many of us find a way to live
our own lives nourished and for each of us the
river distinct and different white water the slow fertile meander
the delta and we say to each other this is
the composite river

sometimes I feel like a sleepwalker trying to run a
marathon sometimes I feel like a speedbump in a blizzard

an arrow in a wind tunnel sometimes I feel like

a hazard sign in an old age home sometimes I
feel like a tyrannosaurus rex trying to ride a tricycle

and sometimes those are the good days when identity is
strong like an icicle in a heat wave is strong

I try to read wisdom literature at happy hour scotch
and Solomon can’t go wrong I think and sometimes I

feel like crying

November 13

four days ago we were left alone there with your
body after your breathing ceased and the proud stubborn beating
of your heart and in those four days beloved mother
so much I would love to say to you and
share the antics of the squirrel late leaves on the
neighborhood trees music Orion the network the atlas of love
your life has left behind and all the words we
are the gospel of today and I would sit with
you there then in silence as I sit now four
days later vigilant insomniac aware that the kingdom of heaven
is not more complicated than singing than love than dancing

we are all dancing the dance lord siva teaches and
the s
Styles May 2018
He wants to
lather his tongue
in her saltiness
his lips caressing  
her silky smooth crevice
tip of his tongue piercing her surface
parting her lips of tenderness
the haze turns to a mist
her fate sealed with a kiss
picture the moment
picture perfect
destination pleasure
reaching a ******
given like a gift
and served with a twist
of satisfaction
your imagination
you must enlist
Tia Henricks Jun 2015
An indescribable fragment of life
A journey of finding ones split soul
To cherish and hold
And stain eahothers lips
To bruise eachothers hips
Dance under the glittering moon
Glittering just as heaven
No space,
just bones entwined amongst one another for no gap to be our solace.
Delight filling our stomachs
soft as mellow harmony
the saltiness of the ancient seas
For the warmth of love
And the love of warmth
As I touch your inner workings
I watch your powerful soul become tender
The symphonies sing
A bond of friendship, one so tenacious as vine
Our joy
In one another
For our love to last as long as the tides  
We are forever a connection within us.
Our connection as sacred as the stars.

If you've ever had the pleasure of kissing a poet, you'd know just how adventurous they taste

The saltiness of the seven seas mixed with the sweetness of the stars

They taste like tsunamis and high tide

Like black holes and supernovas

Like flowers and forest fires

They taste like heaven with a dash of hell

Like a tall drink of inspiration and a shot of death

They taste like late nights and early mornings

Like old night-time and burnt toast

They taste like new experiences

Yes, if you've ever had the pleasure of kissing a poet , you'd know just how much you crave for more
as days have past
and so have mine
the climate, changed
and the weather, gone


will i expect
greatness from my own.

as a sea that had lost its saltiness
and as skies earn faded stars
as an old print fades away
and as a tree that shed its leaves


will i expect for you to come,
as for me to wait

the **** has gone,
and the judge has come
to wreak havoc upon my life
but to bring
to my restless soul.
to the famewhore me
Kim E Williams Sep 2014
One of those words that turns you
Grabs likes and causes comments
Lingering upon lust
Requires courage for we can be trapped
Inside her endless taunting and tasting
Saltiness of you while waves crashing
Cause us to linger...lost
In the luscious luxury of you
We dare not speak your other names
Self satisfaction
Sultry sensuous
Luxurious lust...
So, did you linger here long enough?..
Westley Barnes Apr 2017
Though you've barely had a ramble
are no wayward canine daddy of note
that brief encounter in our brambles
has left the experts fearing a cancerous growth

So we starve you of your pine nuts and bacon rinds
so we can feed you anaesthetic
and betray you to the thief of time
only to make you, I imagine, feel pathetic
And you often so full of life's exasperate scurry

I worry
will the shine stray from your eyes
those hazel pools of so much of
my feeling mature, just for
pertaining to a creature's care

 we all seem in too much of a hurry
to stifle what little spirit
that surrounds us
to wear
down on every minor aspect
of childish delight
in this silent sacrament
of the aging process
and with arguably years
of your fatherhood left
in the very ***** some dry eyed savant
decides it correct we should tamper with

Tomorrow I will snuggle you in favoured, bouncy eiderdowns
that will blanket your unknowing
and treat you as if
you were an eastering child
on cured hams and other saltiness
after you awaken
from those strangest enforcements of sleep
and through our eyes we will trade more secrets to keep

And we will hope, as we only can, that it was for the best
For you, Yorkshire's son, or Sheringham's
And consider with all of your
exhuming breath
That we meddled, stilling over life
To cheat a slightly delayed death.
This poem was written on the occasion of the final night of my Yorkshire Terrier's non-emasculated, non-nuetured  era. Even in his soon to be state of infertility, I doubt we will ever see his like again, as you can't recreate perfection.
matilda shaye Nov 2014
Touch me, I am fragile but I know I will not break. If you look at me long enough your eyes will start to water based on the saltiness of my skin because of the sea's I've swam to get to the place I'm in now. Open, closed, I've ran back and forth a hundred times, I am the weakest link and the leader of the group. If you sawed me in half you'd see three things: my barely pumping heart, a toxic amount of love, and a will to survive.

Touch me, but be gentle, because although I learnt to withstand even the deadliest of summer heat your cold heart isn't something my body is used too. Close your eyes, count to ten, am I on your mind? No. Throw me into the ocean. I'm no use to you then. It's cloudy but it doesn't rain, mid 70's but no humidity, my heart is sore, but I'm breathing. Oh god, I don't know how, but I will continue.

Touch me, be rough, *****, make it a melody and prove to me all I'm missing out on by not being enough for you. Afterward, I want a list of ten things I can change so that I will be enough for you. Make it a hundred if you have too, I just want to be enough for you. Staple it to my forehead, toss me in the ocean. I'm not here for your approval, only my own, and I don't think I'll be content in who I am until I'm something you think is worthwhile. Push me on the ground and kick me as hard as you can, make this pale skin your canvas, I want bruises and blood, six broken bones and a concussion to match. Make me hate you. Babe, all I've got is love.

Touch me, one last time, but don't let go until the end of this lifetime. This love became a competition long ago, and boy do I love to win. Tonight the universe spoke to me and it told me here is where I need to be, and I think it wants me to fight. Put on your armor, give me some weapons, I'm here for the long haul and I'm taking every prisoner I can. Touch me because I am weak and I need to learn to be strong so I can withstand this, 'cause baby this love feels like seeing a doctor coming towards you with a needle the size of your head, "oh don't worry sweetie this will only hurt a tad", *******. I still felt it a week after. But this one, ****. I'll be lucky if it doesn't still sting in a year...

Touch me, please. I'm begging you. I need to feel alive, but you've been suffocating me and my heavy heart. How am I supposed to survive when loving you feels like death?
Kam Yuks Jul 2013
Waiting for the summer heat to eclipse the somber thread of one day, an old man is gifted a brand new pair of sneakers.

Father, Son, Holy Ghost? The pinnacle of the "y" axis has paralyzed the saltiness of the old man's overcoat.

"Grand dad?" A young boy turns the corner and peeks in while the old man leans over in his chair to reach his feet and lace his sneaks. "You were breathing loudly and I was just making sure you're okay."

The boy continued, "cool sneakers grandpa."
This reminded the boy of a new student in his class who moved here from Scotland, or Ireland - he couldn't remember which. Guess what the new kid in my class calls his sneakers?"

The grandfather looks up and leans back, "he doesn't call them sneakers?" "Nope" the boy replies. "I would imagine he must call them shoes, or something like that."

"Not even close. He calls them 'runners'. He came into class one day with a pair of red sneakers and Miss Kerrington had him stand up in front of class to talk about them. She said that people in England probably call them runners as a nickname for running shoes."

The old man stood up with a groan and said, "That makes sense. It seems a bit odd, but I like it. As a matter of fact, I am gonna start using that to refer to all sneakers. What do you say we go for a walk around the block so I can break these puppies in? We'll stop for some rootbeer on the way home."

The two of them set out on their walk and the old man felt invigorated. As they continued, a light rain began and the old man said, "lets get to the store, this rain'll do damage to my new suedes."

When they finally made it to the store, the old man rushed in the door pushing his grandson out of the way. Upon his entrance his eyes met with the shopkeeper's. The shopkeeper's eyes shifted to the young boy coming in behind the man. At this moment the grandfather realized that he pushed his grandson aside in his haste to get inside the store and out of the rain.

The shopkeeper turned his attention back to the grandfather who shrugged his shoulders before gesturing to his feet with a smile and said, "I'm breaking in a new pair of runners. They're not gonna dry off as easily as he does."
michelle reicks Nov 2011
deli meats and cheeses
i look past them at soft crinkling smiling faces

and i drink my java
warms up my hands and ******* and i sweat
in my coat

walking up and down the isles

I see trail mix
and sunchips

and sweet sweet sweets
the yummies

that i adore


dark chocolate cocoa orange cherry strawberry berry red brown

it's the sweetness and saltiness
of summer time ice cream

It's the cold crispness
of carrots and snap peas

It's the warmth and comfort
of big muffins and a plate of hashbrowns
at Perkin's
after a stressful morning

spice smells
of pad tai noodles

sourdough bread, fresh baked
crunch crunch on the outside
soft hot squish
(save that part for me, i eat them separate
-you laugh)

how many times did we
about how you ate that bug
and we were never picky

all those cherries.

we ate nutella
on bread,

washed it down with cold organic orange juice
from a cafe neither of us had ever heard of

and tofu
tofu tofu

always cooked perfectly (we wondered how they do it)
(i still don't know)

chocolate, melting slowly

"you missed some."

-------just an excuse to kiss me.
i giggle

peanut m&m;'s

turn my tongue colors.

Watermelon at a potluck
wedding cake
cheesy potatoes
and an extra helping of bread
(we laughed so hard at the white bread, squished into a cube)

ruby red
made you wince

I drink it straight from the bottle
and smile

remembering every kiss
that tasted of grapefruit
in that tent

every kiss that tasted of salt
from the eggs?
or from the sweat on your lips

the sweat on your lips.

we kiss more
i smile into your lips
i remember that, especially

we never got sick of each other
nutella on everything, now.
especially on s'mores

i smile with every memory

i put my hands in pockets, the cold rushes to meet my face
in the ice cream aisle

i cool down as i graze
through the tubs or corn syrup and double churned triple churned
cream with extra fudge


i chuckle to myself

memories memories
of sitting up high
with you,

sand on our toes
chocolate caramel fudge coffee
on our tongues


in our hearts

you remember.

the taste of that summer
Striving for the fortuity that can never be achieved
and wishing for aristocracy,
they called for open fire upon me
and I see the bullets in every mirror reflecting me.

And with some, I share the care of a creator
who spends all the time they have balancing on a cable
unable to understand how anyone can be frugal as me;
and I ask myself, "Do I need to appreciate all of this?"

They won't let me drown while I'm new and shiny.
They won't let me be a statue in a brochure.
They won't let me sleep in the fog.
They won't let me reclaim my beauty.

I only think about today, not the future.
I only think about the key to the door leading to within my cartilage
that is unable to clench us together.
And so I surrender myself to the promenade.

Everything is a contest.
Everything is a ballad for the Z's.
Everything is a fire bolt.
telling me not to absorb the covers.

I'm not agile anymore
because I just deliver them what they yearn for,
without yearning for anything myself anymore.
But I don't want them to rest absently.

The better bodies walk alone.
The better bodies are lying dead in each other's company.
The better bodies are deteriorating
and heading for the better days.

I used to have faith in something,
but now I live in blasphemy,
repeating "hey," and "yeah" and "sure,"
while never acting honorable.

He only cries for me while he's soaring above me,
shedding tears and calling for bloodshed.
But this isn't war because he's not shedding his own blood,
because he knows how to brand me and string me along.

I signal my phantom friends to join my army,
but they're only a clan of desperate nomads like me.
They're my ghost friends that convulse with me,
giving them strength to drain the vital fluid from my enemies.

I am audacious, I know,
because I am arousing every transmission.
These are the my days extinguished.
Let me show you the couple of claws I have left.

And it's no secret that I have a busted soul.
And it's no secret that I want an acceptable acquaintance.
And it's no secret that I would complete the proper process to be a monarch
if I knew how to drain my body of juice and replace it with a wealthier blood type.  

So move a little closer to me
so I can show you all the days that are deceased.
And I know you think buzzers are bulky and awkward
but time is up and I'm leaving soon.

I wish you could see that we are familiar cats
rather than beardless lumps of charcoal,
and that if we ran this 5, 280 feet it will be a phenomenon.
So drink from this molded mug and forget about it all.

And I'm gripping to growth by the throat, but damaging nothing
because it's made of caramel candy and doesn't know what saltiness is.
Let me take you to the courtyard where the action takes place
and if action takes place, then we'll let the growth be sweet.

I'm seeing framework from my lonely bench made for two,
and I'm throwing timber into a mountain, ready to light a match.
So come to my party and we'll set the place ablaze
and be a beautiful cremation, burning all the better bodies.

I never wanted it all to burn, I just wanted to drive onward with company in the passenger seat,
but this state of the art exhibit will be killer, I promise, even if everyone is dead.
It'll be the first and last stride.
It'll be better than codeine.

But this city is booming and I can't watch the architecture shrivel.
I'm her hostage and though she cares for me through methods of torture,
I can't help but anticipate her friendship in the afterlife
when we're both lonely without another half, because her twin is leaving her soon.

I miss what this country used to be, with it's jewelry on display in Tiffany windows.
I'm not saying I miss the bloodshed, but I miss the sparkle.
I miss the clubs and the parties and the company.
The bustle is gone, and all there is is the hustle of a crowded desolate boulevard.

All that's left behind is the shame
of hanging around someone else.
I wish I was somewhere else…
I wish I was in Stockholm walking uptown on a crowded desolate boulevard.

I wish I didn't live in a cyclone
with arduous people attempting some sort of hawkish raw coolness
asking me about my mood that they don't care about.
I can tell you my mood is not graceful or charming, but I won't.

And if I described my mood in colors it would be a combination of purple, yellow, red, and blue.
A murky brown seeking rehabilitation.
It won't be long until it rehabilitates, just extract all the light from it little by little until it's blind.
Ain't the way it should be?

This is a darling's rebellion.
This is the siren sounding the start of battle.
Deepsha Jul 2012
Hearts stopped
Faces turned
Jaws dropped
Prayers began

He left his assembled bricks and wood and furniture
and ran
ran towards the sunset
with nothing
but his silhouette following him
even years later
it felt like yesterday
he ran as fast as he could

Prayers began
blurry shapes hoarded around the car
his eyes refused to close
against the horror
of what lay beside
his high crushed
into water
his delusion failed him
his brain froze

He ran as fast as he could
to the beach
wanting to walk into the water
wanting to stop breathing
seeking unfathomable peace
that final peace

His brain froze
get out of the car
people shouted
was a life lost
he didn’t dare to find out
he just wanted
a few seconds back
just a few

That final peace
eluded him
waves silenced
by his cornucopia of emotions
his eyes now refused to open
the saltiness of the beach
was overcome
by tears
that flowed in secrecy
inflaming everything within reach
embracing his cheeks
toying with his lips

is it too late

Toying with his lips
tears turning into questions
could I ever forgive myself
his sobbing heart
didn't acknowledge the question
it just faded
he lived
with himself
he died within

Is it too late
his wife asked
holding his hands
breathing heavily
her eyes averred
every moment that they shared
their feuds
their make ups
their teasing
their loving
her eyes were done speaking
and now they rested

He died within
wailing like a baby
he slept there
with parched eyes
reminiscing her parting words
etched in his heart
etched so deep
that it bled internally
bled and ached
to release a shriek through muteness
muteness, deafening
deafening his emotions
making them oblivious to his existence
his fists clenching
the vacuum of solitude
the moon and waves began their tango
and the water rose
higher and higher
embracing him within
maimed to be saved
releasing a gushing hymn
for she was now deemed
forever with him.
It was either whole or just the last, I'm still confused. But didn't feel like throwing away what I started with however bad or elaborate the start felt. (silly attachments)
Nena Twedell Oct 2014
Quench the unquenchable thirst
let the water just through in every direction
Don't be afraid
It knows what its doing
The water knows where its taking you
let the saltiness sting your eyes and throat
To remind you your still alive
Become a rad doll of the ocean
Don't worry about where its taking you
it knows where you need to be
Let the water reach deep into your soul
Filling the secret hold you hide behind you smile
Quench the unquenchable thirst
Don't be afraid
The ocean knows exactly what you need
Let the saltiness remind you of all that is rich in your life
Don't fight it
The ocean is much bitter than you
It knows what it's doing
Let it take you to a better place
All it to quench the unquenchable
Let it remind you that your still alive
Don't worry about where its taking you.
this swirling roaring wind that blows homeward from the sea
                                         saltiness with eucalyptus blending in twisting my fear
                                                the knots in my chest and stomach entangling
                                                      ­deadly mocktail of emotions surging
                                                         ­ with every  howling whoosh  
                                                        ­        a new green life falls breaking
                                                        ­                      life prematurely ending
                                                          ­                       storm violently shaking
                                                         ­                           every limb of every tree
                                                            ­            an attempt to blow anxiety
                                                         ­               into each living breath
                                                          ­                       a drenched vision
                                                          ­                           of a couple of crows
                                                           ­                        seemingly meditating
                                                      ­                      in the midst of the tempest
                                                         ­            holding their own  
                                                           ­                     in the eye
                                                             ­                   of the storm
                                                           ­                       they find
                                                            ­                         Peace

- Vijayalakshmi Harish

Copyright © Vijayalakshmi Harish
my city Chennai experienced the effect of Cyclone Nilam which hit the south-east coast of India yesterday. No major damage done in the city though. 1 person has been reported dead and 5 missing at sea. My prayers go out to them , and to those affected by Sandy as well.
Amber Dec 2013
I never thought I'd have to see her like this so soon. So young. So cold.
I should have listened to her. I should have talked to her more. Seen her more. She always asked me why I seemed so distant from her, I always got frustrated and denied it.

Now she's the distant one.

We would argue often. About communication. Our feelings. Her feelings. She had a very hard life. A violent alcoholic father. She grew up untainted by her surroundings, but scarred. Chronic Anxiety and Depression. She would cry often, and get mad and angry for sometimes no reason. She said she didn't know why it happened; it just did, and that I couldn't understand. That made me angry. Even though she was right; I really couldn't.

I haven't had an easy life in the past few years, but it doesn't compare to hers. I didn't know what is was like to be as depressed as she was. To be as anxious as she was. She would always check up on me, because she always worried about me. I myself, just took it and never did it for her.

What a mistake.

I remember my 17th birthday. She was more excited than I was, and couldn't wait for me to finally see what she had done for me. She was adorable when she talked about it. I spent the day with her and she made me a homemade card themed my favorite video game, and a Key Lime pie from scratch. I love Key Lime pie.
How I wish we could make it together, one last time.

A couple days after my birthday, a package she ordered came and she was ecstatic for me to finally have it. They were custom made genuine dog tags. They had my information on one tag, and a personalized message from her on the other. Her message read, "KNOWING YOU HAS MADE ALL THE DIFFERENCE, AND LOVING YOU HAS MADE MY WORLD." I wear them everywhere, even to today.

But when her birthday came around, I didn't get her anything. Not even a card. She was really upset, and I felt guilty when she mentioned it, so I never did get her anything; I felt it was too late.

Whenever she was happy, she shined brighter than the sun. She smiled and laughed and was goofy. She would make up little songs about how much she loved me, and she would do anything for me. Now, I can only imagine how she felt when I left for the night, not doing anything for her.
I knew she had problems even before she met me. I knew she was chronically sad. I knew she had always been a rock, but had slowly started to erode and needed someone.

Why was I so selfish!?

I notice her mother is crying. Hysterically. They were so close. Her mom was so nice, always inviting me over and cooking for me even when they didn't have much food. Now, she looks like an empty husk of what she used to be. Crumpled on the floor, covered in her own tears, mourning the loss of her world.

My world.

Her younger brother sits with their dad, hugging and crying on each other, as well as the rest of her family. You can almost smell the saltiness in the air from all of the tears.

I've cried as much as I can. When I heard the news, I was in shock. I didn't want to believe she was gone. But eventually I screamed, bawled and raged at my loss. She was the only thing that mattered to me.

Now I stand here, silent and empty. My mind is numb, and all I can do is stare at her. Eyes closed, chest still, but still so beautiful. I had to battle with myself to even come and deal with seeing her like this. I finally move my stiff hand towards her curly hair and stroke it, and slowly move my hand to her shoulder. I imagine her opening her eyes and smiling at me with one of her beaming smiles. But I know it won't happen, and that's when the tears come.

I'll never see her smile, feel her lips against mine, hug her small body again. I can never hear her sweet voice again, telling me, "I love you" with a glow in her eyes.

Why didn't I show her how much she meant to me? Why couldn't I swallow my pride and be a little more caring and thoughtful for her the way she never failed to be for me? Why? I'm sobbing now. I collapse to my knees and rest my hand over hers. She's freezing. I rub her hands instinctively as if it will warm them up, but it doesn't.
I just want her to wake up. I feel as if it's my fault she's in eternal silence now. Apart of the world beyond, when I want her so desperately to be back here with me. I don't want her to leave me. I feel as if I can't live without her, she was the only one I'd ever truly loved, but in the end I failed her. I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her, I should have shown her more instead of using only my words!

I slowly stand up still covered in my tears, and stare at her sleeping body. I watch as one drips down onto her expressionless face. I use my thumb to gently wipe my tear away, just as I used to wipe hers. Now all I can do is think about what could have been, what I could have done, and what will never be.

"I'll miss you." I whisper through my sore choked throat, and kiss her cold forehead.

"I love you."
This is a very touchy short story for me. I did write it myself. I'm not sure exactly what to say about it, other than it's fiction and in the POF of a grieving boyfriend.
Ayush B Jan 2016
The Sailor Who Went Down

There's a frown on the sailor's face,
Who lost the sight of shore,
He knew how drowning felt,
Though he never swam before.

In a distance far too far,
He saw a faintly shimmering light,
He found the lighthouse to lead him home,
Or an old trick by his head, played through his eyes?

The saltiness of the water,
Mixed with the one in his eyes,
With bones melting and heart pumping,
For a brief moment, he was alive.

The mist however made him lose his sight,
But he would just wait for the light to shine,
He lost it way too many times,
Once more, I promise and I'd never look back.

The starry night granted him a wish,
"Let me see my salvation one more time"
But some wishes they never go through,
The sailor never saw the light.

Old and drunk the sailor thinks about the shore,
The warmth of the sun felt like her breath,
He gets kissed on the cheeks by the waves,
Playing with the sand like his lovers hair.

But as the storm came crashing in,
Cold water stabbed him multiple times,
The sailor who never swam before,
Was drowning once more.
the dead bird Feb 2016
let me lick the lipstick stain you left on your coffee cup
i'll do it subtly so no one will be alarmed
i'll lick it and enjoy the taste of your makeup
i want to taste you and all that you are

i want to watch you all the time
i want to see you at the moments you are most yourself
the moments that
you pretend don't exist
the 2am searches on pornhub
the you that hasn't left the couch for days
with your hand in a bag of potato chips

let me lick the chip crumbs from your fingers
let me put your finger in my mouth
i want to taste the saltiness you savor
i want to taste who you are
the you that you hide from others

i want you to call me a pervert
and slap me

i will kiss your feet
and lick the soles
tasting the salt and dirt
of all the places you've walked today

you will cringe and say i'm disgusting
and i will smile

let me taste the you
that is you
when no one else is around
let me taste the you
that is you
after a long day of work
let me taste the you
that is you
when you ignore me
im being creepy
People who live by the sea
understand eternity.
They copy the curves of the waves,
their hearts beat with the tides,
& the saltiness of their blood
corresponds with the sea.

They know that the house of flesh
is only a sandcastle
built on the shore,
that skin breaks
under the waves
like sand under the soles
of the first walker on the beach
when the tide recedes.

Each of us walks there once,
watching the bubbles
rise up through the sand
like ascending souls,
tracing the line of the foam,
drawing our index fingers
along the horizon
pointing home.
Sam Knaus Nov 2014
When I was young
I learned how to dive into my emotions
I learned how to wrap myself
in my regret and fill myself
with relics of isolation,
I learned that my tears
were to be compared to the bottom of the ocean
for both the saltiness
and the amount of them.
I learned how to cheat my way
into straight A's
because suddenly I wasn't at the top of the class
I was diving to the bottom,
with the druggies and the criminals.
I learned how to move my fingers
along the fret board of another man's "love"
and how to make him sing louder than a microphone
would ever allow for
I learned to dive into what most would consider immorality.
I learned to inhale whatever I could,
tobacco, ***, and whatever lingered in the oxygen in between
and I learned to dive through the labyrinth of smoke
that it would produce.
I learned to steal for what I needed
because I didn't have the money to eat lunch
or for new clothes
I learned to dive into the world that I'd scoffed at
a year ago
the world of the beggars and the choosers
the stealers and the 'losers'
called out by self-proclaimed winners.
I learned to trace raindrops on a window
and recite my dreams in the form of broken hearts
and song lyrics
I learned to dive into myself.
daisies Jun 2014
Your love got no more taste.
I'm saying this with no sign of hesitation.
I would like to sacrifice my appetite for something better.
I'm saying this with no sign of hesitation.
I can't feel the bitterness when losing you.
I can't feel the sweetness when staying with you.
I can't feel saltiness when when you insult me.
I can't feel the sourness of your words.
I'm immune from them all.
And I'm saying this with no sign of hesitation.
Because your love to me got no taste.
Anurag Mukherjee Oct 2018
Words are made of thoughts.
I wish they'd intrude. I am lonely,
unemployed with a nine to seven routine
of various activities.

A malignant trend courses through the head.
Broadcasting it outside in the realm of trust
where I am blank but set to go, it would have
the appearance of a finely ambient glass of chocolate milk.

Sometimes I'm asked why the relevance hinges on me.
If I had to say, it's because I keep getting vignettes, like something
out of a beggar's bowl, a wooden saltiness
that becomes increasingly less involved. And, like, everytime
I think about it, it's something similar to trying to walk
on John Carter's Mars; and all of this trivial, like, asinine
things can never match up to the draw, the pull of
whatever has been dropped, whatever has been shorn
unevenly like a badly eaten candy-bar. Or something.
I don't know why it has to be about me.
I don't, pull my weight, and recently I feel cold in the summer;
I have slept under a bedsheet since June.
That's not what this is about, or what I, want to project.

This isn't a prerogative, a jarring hiss of due-dates
incoming inevitably. I just ****. Which is not a surprise,
like organic web shooters is a surprise, or, thinking up
something like a dead polemic of a sewer draining
the sordid leftovers of a consciousness.
Isaac Golle Jan 2013
Honor. Valor. Dignity. Love.
Honor. Valor. Dignity. Love.
Three things amaze me
Four I do not understand
An eagle in the sky
A snake on a rock
A ship on the high seas
And the way of a man with a young woman
Honor. Valor. Dignity. Love.
I will always take the fall, I say
And I won't push back when you push me away
I will take the flack of a full frontal attack
And I will turn the other cheek when you slap me across the face
But I will not be known as meek!
For to be meek is to be mild
And to be mild is to be tasteless, flavorless, and vile
Devoid of passion
Crawling with passivity
Embodying all that is apathy but trying to pass it off as some kind of charity
If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you for even sinners do that well,
Try loving the ones you'd rather see burning in hell
If you agree say aye,
I, think you're just too afraid to try
Well blessed are the meek,
for the will inherit the earth
Blessed are the peacemakers
for they will be called children of God
Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me
But I'll be tossin' temple tables and chasin' people out with whips and cables
If they say my God is not able
For a city built on a hill cannot be hidden
And a man under God cannot be smitten
So I claim the love and grace in which I have been placed
And I claim the calling into which I am falling
And when the enemy comes a calling
I raise my sword in the air and boldly declare
He said YOU are the salt of the earth but if the salt loses its saltiness it is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot
So I take hold of love and grace
And I proclaim the name of the one holding me firmly in place
I lay waste to the lies replaced by fear in mine enemies eyes
And lift my hands up high
Honor. Valor. Dignity. Love.
Surely I am only a brute, not a man
I do not have human understanding
I have not learned wisdom
Nor have I attained to the knowledge of the Holy One
But I know I have found the truth.
And I will not let go.
Nicole Dawn Jun 2015
The ocean
Is the embodiment of sadness

The saltiness
Does not come from minerals
Or rocks
But from
Every tear
Ever shed

The conch shell's song
Is every scream of pain
Every released
Silent or not

The blue color
Is the color of sadness
Of everything the ocean has endured

And the grey
Is from all of the anger
The ocean has taken

So if you're ever feeling
Or alone

The ocean is there for you

To take your tears
In its vastness

Your screams
In its shells

And your pain
And anger
In its colors

And if you can't take the pain
Any longer

The ocean will take your body
As well

So you are not alone
For the ocean is the embodiment of sadness
I need to know something. I don’t know if you want to tell me or not, but I really don’t care. You’re gonna tell me or you’re gonna find yourself in a world of trouble. I’m already ****** and it won’t take much to push me over the edge into dangerously angry territory.

No, **** it. Never mind. I’m ALREADY in “dangerously angry territory”. No, it wasn’t your fault. I was already close enough I could see the other side of reason before you came along.

But it would still be nice to know, if you’re willing to tell me. I mean, I’m not going to force it from you. That was the plan just a moment ago, but I’ve changed my mind. I’ve decided that my bitterness is not your fault. I won’t make you pay for it.

Yet I do feel as if it would do me a world of good to know.

Where were you when I was falling in love?

Were you sitting in a back seat of a crowded subway train with a cup of Starbucks coffee in one hand and a copy of “The Catcher in the Rye” in the other, holding it in front of your face as if it’s pages were a fascinating mirror? Was there an old man sitting near who turned to look at you every so often to the point where it creeped you out? Maybe you eventually said something to him, like “Excuse me, but is there something you wanted to say to me?"

“Why would you get that idea?” he would ask, as if he were totally oblivious to his invasive nature.

“I don’t know…you just keep looking at me and I wondered if there were a reason for it.”

“Nope. Not that I can think of.”

Did you smack him real good right then? Did you draw blood? I hope you did. I hope the driver had to stop the train to come back and drag you off of him. It would have been a real drag if the police had to be summoned, but on the other hand, wow, how ****** the thought of you resisting arrest.

Or did you cower into your corner, turn a page in your book and let the lecherous ******* carry on? I don’t think so. I really don’t think so. I don’t think that’s the kind of girl you are. I think you’re a firecracker.

And I think that wherever you were when I was falling in love is not where I wanted you to be. Not where you should have been.

Because I fell in love with a robot. Who knows why I fell in love with an ottoman? I didn’t know she was one at the time. Do you really think I’m stupid enough to fall in love with a machine? No, she was flesh and bones when I met her. She seemed normal, like all the other women I’ve ever seen or known.

But then she started smoking cigarettes. She carried them around in a little soft leather pouch that could be mistaken for nothing else but a case for holding the little *******.

God I hate cigarettes. I hate the smell of them, whether they’re lit or not. I hate the dark tan color of their filters with the little white dots speckled randomly. I hate the cotton that stuffs their filters. I hate the white paper with the almost imperceptible stripes banding around their length. I hate how the brand is stamped close to the base of the filter. I hate the packages that they come in and the cellophane that wraps them. I hate how stray flecks of tobacco gather in the bottom of the boxes and the wrappers, too. I hate how they make a person’s breath stink. I hate how they make a person’s clothes reek. I hate the way they look in a shirt pocket. I hate the way they look between people’s fingers and in their mouths. I hate the way they burn down to the nub and the ash that they leave behind. I hate pitch black nicotine stains on ******* smokers’ hands. I hate the way some people put one between their ear and noggin and actually think it makes them look cool. I hate how smokers seem to have some code of sharing, how it’s always “Hey, can I *** a smoke from you?” and 99 times out of 100 the answer is “sure”. It’s never, “Okay, but you gotta pay me back.” Oh no, Smoker’s Karma is at work here. I hate the way too many people call ‘em “smokes”. “I’m off to get a pack of smokes.” Good God, I think that’s lame. “Smokes”. Ha. I hate the way smokers ***** about laws that prohibit them from smoking in public and how so many of them have absolutely no regard for non-smokers who not only can’t stand the smell of the ******* but would just as soon not chance even the most remote possibility of getting lung cancer caused by second hand smoke. I hate how smokers would tell that person, “Oh, don’t be ridiculous. The chances of that happening are one in a million.” So what? *******. ******* with your nasty cancer sticks and **** your tar-lined wheezing lungs, too. **** the death bed you will lie on when emphysema steals your last breath. **** the oxygen tanks that cost almost as much as all the cartons of cigarettes you have wasted your money on during the last who-knows-how-many years of your life. **** all your attempts to quit. **** the feeling of disappointment that overwhelms when you fail once again, as Mighty God Tobacco hugs you, strokes your wet hair, wipes the sweat from your forehead and the tears from your eyes. Sweet summer sweat. The tears of a clown.

You know what? She never smoked before. I never would have thought she would pick up that disgusting habit, but she sure as hell did. Picked it up like it was a twenty dollar bill someone lost that she found on the side of the road as she walked to the smoke shop to buy another pack of Marlboro Lights.

There’s another thing I hate about cigarettes. “Smoke Shops”. Where the value-minded smokers purchase their wares. Not “Cigarette Store”. Not “Tobacco Warehouse"…oh, no. It’s a SMOKE SHOP. You’re going to buy some smoke, brother Jim. You’re gonna spend too much money at the 7-11 and it’s all gonna go up in smoke, but by the grace of God you are gonna save a couple of bucks by purchasing them at the “Smoke Shop” instead of the convenience store. You complain until you’re blue in the face about how ridiculously high the ciggy prices are at normal retail outlets, but when you run out of ‘em and the God-blessed “Smoke Shop” is closed ‘cuz it’s Sunday you’ll drive like a madman to Love’s and blow ten bucks because there’s a “Buy Two Get One Free” special going on. What a ******* good deal that is, eh, mister?

Furthermore…CIGGYS??? I hate how people call ‘em “ciggys”. But not nearly as much as I hate the word “cigarette”. I cannot stand to speak the word. I hate the way it rolls of my tongue. I hate the way the word sounds like it means “little cigars”.

I hate the way some smokers empty out their car ashtrays in the parking lot. I hate the way all the butts look lying there in a heap, a pile of paper soaked with the spittle of a hundred different mouths. And yet the nicotine python grips some desperate smokers so tightly that they will pick them up and try to smoke the last tiny flecks of tobacco from their crushed and blackened ends. I’ve even seen people extract the remaining **** from several discarded butts, roll it all up in a Zig Zag paper and smoke it. Don’t these people even know what Zig Zag papers are for? They sure ain't for tobacco, Charter.

“Butts”. There’s another word in the smokers lexicon that just sounds silly. “Smoke ‘er down to the ****, Jack, we’ve got more!” “I don’t have an ash tray, Terry, so just put your BUTTS in that half empty soda can over there on the table”…never thinking that there might be someone else at the party who could very likely mistake that particular pop can for his own and take a mighty swig from it. Oh my God, the thought, it gags me. How nauseating it would be to feel one of those wretched things fall against your lips and…Egad…the flavor…and yet the cruel smoker will laugh at such misfortune.


God help me.

She was not a robot when I met her. Oh, no, she was a beautiful, exciting, passionate loving woman with a heart of gold and a desire that was practically insatiable. Here…take a look, I have a photograph in my wallet. See what I mean? That’s right, daddy-O, she was a real dreamboat. I used to carry this picture with me wherever I went…I guess I still do, huh? But I don’t know why. I don’t know why I torture myself looking at it, remembering what was, all we had, our bright and glorious future wrecked and deserted by her newfound proclivity for smoking cigarettes. Yeah, my friend, she was a real keeper. But you know what? **** her now, y’know? Just turn her over and **** her.

But hey…perhaps I’ve been too harsh on the smoker in general (if not to her…no, not to her). Perhaps I have exaggerated a bit. After all, some of my best friends smoke. It’s their business, not mine. Never has been mine. I know that. If they knew how I felt about the whole thing, whose to say they wouldn’t tell me to ****** off and never come back? Then again, if they are so shallow as to take any of this as a personal insult, then maybe, just maybe they aren’t my friends after all. I doubt the robot would want anything more to do with me if she knew what a stalwart anti-smoker I am. But I thought she felt the same. She DID feel the same. She told me as much. Before she lost her soul. Before she started smoking cigarettes. Before she started bumming ciggys.

I got no time for changes in her life so now I ask you again…where were you when I was falling in love?

Were you sitting in a Pentecostal Holiness church on a hard pew early Sunday morning before the service began, thumbing through the hymnal, looking for one that best expressed your feelings of devotion at that point in your spiritual journey? And what would that hymn have been? “Onward Christian Soldiers”? “Peace in the Valley”? “In the Garden”? “Smoke on the Water”? “Hotel California”? Maybe some obscure Black Sabbath song tucked in at the end of the book, next to the Doxology?

Did your hair shimmer, reflected in the light that poured through the stained glass window directly behind you? Did you feel it’s heat on your neck? Did it draw out beads of perspiration there, glistening? Would you have let me lick them and taste their saltiness even in the sanctuary of the church building? Probably not. But I don’t think the idea would repulse you like it would some other bonnet headed midi-skirt wearing holy rollin’ *****.

Maybe I would have asked you outside so that you might feel a little more comfortable with what I’d had in mind.

And maybe you would have told me “no”. I couldn’t blame you for that. No, I wouldn’t. It’s only natural for a real woman to guard her integrity in situations such as this one. I could not hold that against you.

Is that where you were? I need to know. Where the hell were you when I was falling in love?
Philia Feb 2019
you are so underrated.

It's all my mistake for not making you my inspiration to write.
It's all me, who holds back and keep all those little confessions for my thought.

you are so underrated.

For you were my muse, long before we started all these.
& I'm sorry for neglecting all the poetry,
that were meant for you..

Holding all the words,
Just because I'm just too afraid to write again.

you are so underrated.*

Despite the fact
you are everything that what I need.

I never make things so easy for you.
Yet, you are still here.
& making it seems so easy to love me.

It needs me almost a year for me to finally say;
"I love you" back to you
Yet, in the moment when I remain silent,
you will still say "I love you" to me.

I'm a cynic.
Yet, you still hug me
& laugh at my saltiness.

you take me as I am.

It takes you a year before I finally stood up,
& kiss you.

Yet, you still want me the same, consistently,
The seawater's saltiness and the tears from the sky passed through my nostrils—the abiding flavor of its bitterness came to me in a halt. Its rushing waves splattered all around. My white floral dress, covered in blood—and its aroma; the aroma of my crimson blood thirst me to sip more.

“Helena, Hel- Helena!” A familiar voice lulled me to wake up. It woke me to a familiar dream I could not forget—the way it keeps pulling me back; it is my cord of weakness. Its cacophony—the reverie; is all I could remember.

A rattling noise distracted me from the trance of my thoughts—we passed by trees standing strong, winds tugging out our hairs—while there played, ‘The Ghost of You’ hang there to lull us in peace; while the quiet August's night disturbs me from within.

“Helbound Town” As we strode across the gateway sign of Helbound, the chills of the night disturbed my senses—summer is about to end, as the month of September lies beneath the thin.
An enormous ancient house welcomed us and the old graveyard greeted me, where the deceased buried me in millions of 'hellos.'

“Come on in.” My Dad yelled when he opened the door. The creaking sound creeps into my bones. As the new Blacksmith House greeted us once again with antique furniture and the aroma of its damp and mildew odor; this is the new home of the Blacksmith.

“Listen, children. All of you go to sleep, and we'll drive down the Town tomorrow.” Dad called out, and we peeped into our new rooms. I pass by my window and the faint sound of the rustling leaves caught me in a swift, “Someone is out there” I whispered and peeked into the narrow window, as I move closer—my phone rang.

“Why are you calling in the middle of the night?!” I frowned when Steph wasn't talking. It's all just jarring sounds and the hushed voices. As I was about to end it, the rustling leaves and the hissing winds startled me. “W-what is this?” I peeked again, and a shadow stalked me from behind the tall tree.

“Hello. Welcome to my territory.” The shadow revealed himself—it was a familiar face. I am sure I met him somewhere; somewhere I couldn't remember.

“Who's this?!” I hissed. The man chuckled and let out a sigh. “Your savior.” He smiled. He's only meters away from my cracked window.

“Don't joke around. You don't know who you're messing with. Also, why do you have my Friend's number?!” I shouted. I couldn't stop myself from cursing and hissing.

He's getting on my nerves.

“Come on. It's just me, don't you remember?” He asked.

“What are you talking about? I don't know you!” I was about to end the call when he threw a rock and it landed on the cracked side of my window.

“H-how dare y-you!? What are you doing? Get out!” The veins on my neck were visible when I stopped myself from screaming so loud. How could this guy!

It was the sound of his genuine laugh that buzzed my ears. It was almost a gentle whisper that hissed in the bone-chilling of the Midnight.

“Goodnight. I will see you tomorrow. They are already waiting for you, Helena.” Then he disappeared in just a swift blink of an eye. I didn't even ask for his name.

There's a part of me that longs for his embrace. A part of me that wants him to be my sanctuary.

We drove past the quiet road of Helbound and went out to see the entire part of the Town. The people welcomed us with pairs of eyes scrutinizing our every move. The children in the street stopped midway and stared at us like we are new things strode past them.

The Town that was once lively and rambling on the narrow part of town was gawking at us—there is something in their eyes that brought danger inside me. Again, a familiar sense—a hidden trance where my mind couldn't remember.

“Come here.” The woman called in a dull monotone. We ignored the pairs of every eye we meet as we enter the small gray and grim of an old restaurant.

“They are just like that when they see new people that come here.” The woman added. My Mom and Dad looked at each other and ushered my two sisters and me to come closer.

“Stay here.” My mom whispered. The woman smirked and the moment I caught her eyes, there was something in her I smell...

Fear was to be seen in her dilated pupils.

“Casper, hurry!” The woman shouted at the back of the room. And there, the guy I talked to last night was here. In front of me. “Here you are” He mouthed and smiled.

The woman then went back and in just a blink of an eye, there is blood splattered everywhere. The horror in my eyes went away and it transforms into a hungry wolf.

I can't... I can't eat them!

“Eat. Eat you witch!” The woman screamed so loud. The cacophony of the surroundings and the muffled screams of people came all in once.

What is happening? What am I? Who am I?

I let out a loud cry—enough for all to hear. Enough for all to see. Then I laughed.

You caught me there.

In just a keen move, Casper was the only one alive.

The seawater's saltiness and the tears from the sky passed through my nostrils—the abiding flavor of its bitterness came to me in a halt. Its rushing waves splattered all around. My white floral dress, covered in blood—and its aroma; the aroma of my crimson blood thirst me to sip more.

I woke up to the rushing waves and the call of the sea. Casper was here—he smiled and reached for my hands.

“I want to eat more.” I pleaded.

“There's a family that wants to adopt you. Now's the chance.” He grinned and kissed my forehead.

“They're waiting for you, Helena. Let's go to their place.” He whispered and chased on the waves. I let out a slight smile and wiped the dried drops of blood.

“I can't wait to meet them.”
A flash fiction.
ashley Mar 2013
her eyes were the ocean:
deep and blue,
hidden by tears.

you tried to help,
you asked her
"what's wrong?"
"nothing, just tired,"
was what she had said.

but despite her words
you knew there was more;
something deeply hidden
in the depths of the ocean,
of the saltiness of
the gentle sea.

there was a battle
going on inside of her,
tearing at her rib cage,
paralyzingly her soul

but she wouldn't let you in;
her walls were too high.

inside she was
b r o k e n
a powerful sea of emotions,
but outside she was
s m i l i n g,
just what you knew
you wanted to see

Nigel Obiya May 2013
The sun burned through his skin, the saltiness of the sea almost acting as seasoning on his flesh, he could make out the birds circling overhead as his vision cleared. They were seagulls, not vultures. Still, they had a menacing look about them. He sat up and looked around the little boat, everyone was asleep, Michael wasn't sure whether this was due to exhaustion or whether they were trying to conserve their energy. One thing was for sure, that fireball in the sky was draining them of everything liquid in their systems. He stared at the sea and, for a moment, considered drinking the salt water, weighing this option against the raspy dryness that he was feeling at the back of his throat. The salt water could wait.
He stood up, and the sharp pain in his chest reminded him of the arrow he’d been struck with, it was gone now, but the pain still remained. The guys must have found a way to dislodge it, brilliant lot. There was ocean everywhere, no land in sight, no hope. For a moment Michael wished it was nighttime so he wouldn't be able to see far enough to realize that he had no hope of finding land anytime soon, and also that fireball wouldn't be tormenting them so. He stepped forward then caught his breath as something moved in the water.
A shadow almost the size of the boat swam under it. Michael watched as it glided, gracefully through the water. He had no idea what he was looking at, only that it was huge. A shark maybe? King fish? Both sounded dangerous, and both sounded like food. He was delusional, but hunger tended to do that to people. The food swam a few meters away, teasing him, and then circled back. He swallowed dry saliva.
‘What are you doing? You should be lying down, save your strength Mike.’ Modi spoke from behind him.
So that’s what they were doing, saving their strength. Food passed under the boat again and appeared on the other side.
‘Shhh… food.’ Michel whispered, pointing. As if he would startle a fish that was bigger than he was if he spoke too loudly.
Modi came closer. A shark fin broke the surface of the water and dipped again. They turned to each other and both had a mini-heart attack.
‘We should turn and head back to the island man, I’d sooner face those savages again than this killer of an ocean.’ Modi was saying, fear written all over his face. He grabbed his rifle and aimed at the water, but Michael stopped him.
‘Save your ammo bruh, we might need it. And anyway, we’re in a boat, it can’t reach us. Stop freaking…’ but before he could finish his sentence the shark had bumped into the canoe, tilting it slightly, ‘…GIMME THAT!’ he grabbed the gun from his friend and frantically pumped four shots in the direction of the fish, which swam hurriedly away, unhurt. Michael fell back into the boat, breathing heavily. He was a mess, the smell of the caked blood and that of the sea water finally catching up to his nasal senses, he threw up.
‘Bruh, I don’t think that’s wise… you need to keep that food in your body, not the opposite.’ Hamisi was saying. They were all up now, the gunshots playing the part of an alarm clock. Time to wake up and face an awful reality.
‘Shoulda’ just let me sleep.’ Juma said.
Mentally, they all agreed with him.
Keep your eye on this space...
Christos Rigakos Jul 2012
i wish, i wish, i were a simple fish,
that spends a thoughtless life in salty sea,
is hooked, and fried, and ends up on a dish,
deboned and sliced to pieces silently,

for i have been too human-like for me,
and cry out salty rivers held by dams,
for losses that, to fish, would never be,
with words upon my inner teeth enjambed,

yet if i were, the salt would grow by grams,
the sea in saltiness would **** all life,
before the fish had any chance to scram,
avoiding death to live with heavy strife,

for all my tears in water'd be unseen,
fish mouths agape would know not why they scream

(C)2012, Christos Rigakos
Spenserian Sonnet
-D Oct 2012
--jonah’s Lot
gravel-stricken streets & gaslit lampposts;
I close my eyes to take it all in—
this new solitude I’ve found to host.

a sacred sort of song I sing--
[oh, how does it feel to be alone?]--
though still wrapped in Love to ward off the sting.

& though I feel strong in my shield of Stone,
I cannot help but turn back in slight,
& a saltiness creeps up from my anklebones.

--at the dock of the bay.
in the distance you shine with your Father’s glow,
a smile&touch; I have longed for since that June long ago,
& the knot in my stomach continues to grow.

greatness I see as your eyes blink to me
when the smoke billows between our twin heartstrings,
though Ben strikes that it’s time to be free.

so though my travels lead me in opposition to hellos,
you are loved, Eternally Loved,
is what I have always said & have always wanted you to know.

--a fisherman’s courage
His mast is rising & His sails are billowing &
I step out on the dock, reluctant,
then the sunset pours through the Captain’s hand.

“child, you know what you truly seek,
among the waves you’ve yearned&desired; a storm detour,
when I was the one in control of this Sea.”

He reaches out to pull me in,
“you’ve always been free to walk on water,”
& that first step resonates like an eternal din.

*I depart in peace & with all the contentment I have discovered
[that I have found, that I have found],
& all I ever had to do was cling to the Anchor.
inspired by the grappling journeys of Peter & the reluctant obedience of Jonah.
Graff1980 Jul 2015
Her fingers dance deftly across the white ivories. Music spills into the space between us. Chords bounce up and down. The waves of sound crash across time and space. They vibrate at a different frequency.
I touch the air swirling it around my fingers as if it were cotton candy. I can taste reality. It is sweet for now. Later it will burn like jalapenos, later still there will be a sea saltiness. For now the music continues, and it smells like tangerines.
Her light skin radiates with love. Hazel eyes reflect the pureness of the song. Tears fall and I find the saltiness of life a little sooner than I thought. The sound surges, creating barely perceptible mists of green and blue. Electric currents fire releasing the memory of another piano.
Wrinkled fingers connected to wrinkled hands connected to a wrinkled body vibrate. However, they vibrate at a different frequency. Sound escapes me. It is the thud of my heart beat.
The music continues, but now I can hear two distinct songs playing. The tunes mingle perfectly, becoming a new symphony. The mists converge creating a purple vapor which spirals and separates into the original colors. The colors converge then separate again and again. Repeating the pattern, they spiral like the ladder of dna.
***** blonde hair weaves in time with the dancing fingers. Curls cross each strand and become entangled in a beautiful mess. Above the stars spew out their own music. It is a strange static mess. I know that to someone it to is a beautiful song. A frequency spanning infinity and eternity traveling slower than light years; Swinging and singing in its own frequency.
The music stops, as does my breath, and my heartbeats. The colorful mist dissipates. More tears swell and fall softly moistening my cheek. The loss of beauty breaks my heart.
The young pianist turns, slides off the bench, and walks out. Cold shivers vibrate through my being. The taste of jalapeños burns in my brain. Light shatters and dissolves splitting into sparkling fragments, then split even more. I smell burnt cookies. A harsh light explodes through this strange white cascade and burns my retina.  New sounds force me back. In the distance a mangled voice says something.
The blur and slur of reality works its way into normalcy. I smile as my sense of touch returns. Cold cuffs comfortably restrain my hands and legs.

“How was it?” the voice asks.

“Amazing” I say. “Best trip ever. Now let’s change the frequency and see what else happens.”
nolwandle Apr 2013
ust to write nothing much BUT  a DREAM...
nothing much but BUT  a TESTIMONY...
nothing much BUT a VISION....


my heart years for healing words
my heart  is crying out for  those precious moments of me and you POETRY!!!

my soul is empty with out words
words that touches my  heart
from my eyes comes of rivers of waters
so thick i can fell them
i can taste  the saltiness in them

words that will last forever....
Olga Valerevna Jan 2013
A weeping willow grows inside to take the place of me
For I cannot identify with any other tree
With branches frayed and leaves to clothe my sappy human bark
I cling to roots that planted me before I made them dark
And so I wait, my patience worn, til seasons pass us by
And bring you back to water me with saltiness divine
Open up your cloudy sky and let yourself come down
You need to know that all this time you've nursed my shallow ground
I'm ready now, much more than I have ever been before
And your delay solidifies the rings within my core
title inspired by a song by Future of Forestry - Horizon Rainfall
Nuha Fariha Dec 2017
When we kiss I taste
the sweet saltiness of the
ocean's lingering graze

When you laugh your eyes
glow like sunspots dancing
on the water’s calm surface

When you breathe in my ear
I hear the gentle roar of waves
And when I trace behind your ears
I feel the the soft underbelly of seashells

Late at night when cars sound like
Waves hitting a distant tidal line
You whisper "How can you love me
when I am like an ocean and you
have only glimpsed the shoreline?”

But I've stood in enough tides to know
The hypnotic pull of the unknown
And coughed up enough water
to know the pain of drowning but
there's something that keeps me
returning and yearning to swim
deeper into this ocean's expanse
Olga Valerevna Jan 2013
It's 40 days
I haven't slept
I cannot seem
To find a bed
That tucks away
My soul's unrest
I wander on
A desert stretch
The sand removes
My saltiness
I'm dry and pale
These feet attest
And true fatigue
I'll reach still yet
To drink might quell
The emptiness
But fever plagues
My hollow chest
In seeking dreams
The stones collect
And I find hope
Inside my head
To carry on
I must ingest
The very thoughts
My mind has bred
Teresa Magaña Mar 2012
Winter dies
Spring comes alive
There is no Autumn in Chicago
And Spring leaves as quickly as it arrives
Jolting us to what is always an uncertain Summer
That’s my city
Just like my heart
My love life
I don’t have one without the other
Mashed up together
Yet separated
Deep Love on the Northside
Lover on the Southside
Sidekick on the Westside
And when it’s all too much to handle
The East is my escape
Sitting on the rocks letting my legs dangle and toes dip in the icy cold greenish lake
I feel comfort in it
Immense and wide spread, like me sometimes
Clear but *****
Supposedly the cleanest water you can drink
After the city purifies it of course
Just like me, just like mine
My vessel pours clear and *****
But the city purifies me through cleansing nights
Through raised glasses of wine and music that harmonizes my heart
Kisses that clean and absorb
Tongue that licks off the saltiness I’ve accumulated
A thin layer
Its washed off and cleared from one moment to the next
Like the city skyline
And I’m ready for a new day
A new love
Or lover
I reincarnate in the Spring from what seems a slow death but was only a tormenting hibernation
Led into another uncertain Summer
Returning with scorching tenderness through cool breezes and radiating heart
Radiating sun
That’s how it feels in Chicago
That’s my City
Just like my Heart
I don’t have one without the other
Very inspired by my city today. =)

— The End —