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st64 Feb 2014
“I know you're tired but come, this is the way...

In your light, I learn how to love.
In your beauty, how to make poems.
You dance inside my chest where no-one sees you,
but sometimes I do, and that sight becomes this art.”*        ― Rumi


1.
“You and I have spoken all these words, but for the way we have to go, words are no preparation. I have one small drop of knowing in my soul.
Let it dissolve in your ocean.

A mountain keeps an echo deep inside. That's how I hold your voice.”
― Rumi


2.
“Do not feel lonely, the entire universe is inside you.
Stop acting so small. You are the universe in ecstatic motion.

Set your life on fire. Seek those who fan your flames.”   ― Rumi


3.
“The way of love is not
a subtle argument.

The door there
is devastation.

Birds make great sky-circles
of their freedom.
How do they learn it?

They fall, and falling,
they're given wings.”                          ― Rumi


4.
“The morning wind spreads its fresh smell. We must get up and take that in, that wind that lets us live. Breathe before it's gone.

Sorrow prepares you for joy.
It violently sweeps everything out of your house, so that new joy can find space to enter. It shakes the yellow leaves from the bough of your heart, so that fresh, green leaves can grow in their place. It pulls up the rotten roots, so that new roots hidden beneath have room to grow.
Whatever sorrow shakes from your heart, far better things will take their
place.”                                     ― Rumi


5.
“You are so weak. Give up to grace.
The ocean takes care of each wave till it gets to shore.
You need more help than you know.

Be a lamp, or a lifeboat, or a ladder. Help someone's soul heal.
Walk out of your house like a shepherd.”
― Rumi, The Essential Rumi


6.
“You think you are alive
because you breathe air?
Shame on you,
that you are alive in such a limited way.
Don't be without Love,
so you won't feel dead.
Die in Love
and stay alive forever.

I want to see you.
Know your voice.

Recognise you when you
first come 'round the corner.

Sense your scent when I come
into a room you've just left.

Know the lift of your heel,
the glide of your foot.

Become familiar with the way
you purse your lips
then let them part,
just the slightest bit,
when I lean in to your space
and kiss you.

I want to know the joy
of how you whisper
“more”...                                                       ­     ― Rumi


7.
“When you go through a hard period,
When everything seems to oppose you,
... When you feel you cannot even bear one more minute,
NEVER GIVE UP!
Because it is the time and place that the course will divert!

The cure for pain is in the pain.
In Silence, there is eloquence. Stop weaving and see how the pattern improves.

The truth was a mirror in the hands of God. It fell, and broke into pieces. Everybody took a piece of it, and they looked at it and thought they had the truth.”                                       ― Rumi


8.
“Study me as much as you like, you will not know me, for I differ in a hundred ways from what you see me to be. Put yourself behind my eyes and see me as I see myself, for I have chosen to dwell in a place you cannot see.

Moonlight floods the whole sky from horizon to horizon;
How much it can fill your room depends on its windows.”
― Rumi, The Essential Rumi


9.
“Keep walking, though there's no place to get to.
Don't try to see through the distances.
That's not for human beings. Move within,
But don't move the way fear makes you move.

If you are irritated by every rub, how will your mirror be polished?

Start a huge, foolish project, like Noah…it makes absolutely no difference what people think of you.”   ― Rumi


10.
“Do you know what you are?
You are a manuscript oƒ a divine letter.
You are a mirror reflecting a noble face.
This universe is not outside of you.
Look inside yourself;
everything that you want,
you are already that.”
― Rumi, Hush, Don't Say Anything to God: Passionate Poems of Rumi



11.
“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing
and rightdoing, there is a field.
I'll meet you there.

When the soul lies down in that grass
the world is too full to talk about.

What you seek, is seeking you.”                             ― Rumi


12.
“The lion is most handsome when looking for food.

Pain is a treasure, for it contains mercies.
Love comes with a knife, not some shy question, and not with fears for its reputation!

I am your moon and your moonlight too
I am your flower garden and your water too
I have come all this way, eager for you
Without shoes or shawl
I want you to laugh
To **** all your worries
To love you
To nourish you.”                                          ― Rumi


13.
“I was dead, then alive.
Weeping, then laughing.

The power of love came into me,
and I became fierce like a lion,
then tender like the evening star.”                        ― Rumi


14.
“Suffering is a gift. In it is hidden mercy.

Come, come, whoever you are. Wanderer, worshiper, lover of leaving.
It doesn't matter. Ours is not a caravan of despair.. come, even if you have broken your vows a thousand times. Come, yet again, come, come.

But listen to me. For one moment - quit being sad. Hear blessings
dropping their blossoms
around you.

I closed my mouth and spoke to you in a hundred silent ways.”
― Rumi


15.
“The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you. Don't go back to sleep!
You must ask for what you really want.
Don't go back to sleep!
People are going back and forth
across the doorsill where the two worlds touch,
The door is round and open
Don't go back to sleep!

These pains you feel are messengers. Listen to them.”
― Rumi, The Essential Rumi



16.
“Like a sculptor, if necessary,
carve a friend out of stone.
Realise that your inner sight is blind
and try to see a treasure in everyone.”                    ― Rumi


17.
“Let the lover be disgraceful, crazy, absent-minded. Someone sober will worry about things going badly. Let the lover be.

There are lovers content with longing.
I’m not one of them.”    ― Rumi, The Essential Rumi


18.
“There is a secret medicine given only to those who hurt so hard they can't hope.
The hopers would feel slighted if they knew.

You were born with potential.
You were born with goodness and trust. You were born with ideals and dreams. You were born with greatness.
You were born with wings.
You are not meant for crawling, so don't.
You have wings.
Learn to use them and fly.”          ― Rumi


19.
“Forget safety.
Live where you fear to live.
Destroy your reputation.
Be notorious.

Inside you, there’s an artist you don’t know about… say yes quickly, if you know, if you’ve known it from before the beginning of the universe.”
― Rumi


20.
“Let yourself be silently drawn by the stronger pull of what you really love. It will not lead you astray.”     ― Rumi





"On a day
when the wind is perfect,
the sail just needs to open and the world is full of beauty.
Today is such a day.”
                                               ― Rumi






S T – 25 feb 14
Rumi - born to native Persian speaking parents in 1207.
Died 1273 AD.
Rumi (an evolutionary thinker) believed passionately in the use of music, poetry and dance as a path for reaching God.
RAJ NANDY Nov 2015
GREAT ARTISTS & THEIR IMMORTAL WORKS :
CONCLUDING ITALIAN RENAISSANCE IN
VERSE.  -  By Raj Nandy, New Delhi.

Dear Readers, continuing my Story of Western Art in Verse chronologically, I had covered an Introduction to the Italian Renaissance previously. That background story was necessary to appreciate Renaissance Art fully. Now, I cover the Art of that period in a summarized form, mentioning mainly the salient features to curb the length. The cream here lies in the 'Art of the High Renaissance Period'! Hope you like it. Thanks, - Raj.

                          INTRODUCTION
“Painting is poetry that is seen rather than felt, &
  Poetry is painting that is felt rather than seen.”
                                                        – Leonardo Da Vinci
In the domain of Renaissance Art, we notice the
enduring influence of the Classical touch!
Ancient Greek statues and Roman architectures,
Inspired the Renaissance artists in their innovative
ventures!
The pervasive spirit of Humanism influenced
creation of life-like human forms;
Adding ****** expressions and depth, deviating
from the earlier stiff Medieval norms.
While religious subjects continued to get depicted
in three-dimensional Renaissance Art;
Portraits, **** figures, and secular subjects, also
began to appear during this great ‘Re-birth’!
The artists of the Early and High Renaissance Era
are many who deserve our adoration and artistic
due.
Yet for the sake of brevity, I mention only the
Great Masters, who are handful and few.

EARLY RENAISSANCE ARTISTS & THEIR ART

GITTO THE PIONEER:
During early 13th Century we find, Dante’s
contemporary Gitto di Bondone the Florentine,
Painting human figures in all its beauty and form
for the first time!
His masterwork being the 40 fresco cycle in the
Arena Chapel in Padua, depicting the life of the
****** and Christ, completed in 1305.
Giotto made the symbolic Medieval spiritual art
appear more natural and realistic,
By depicting human emotion, depth with an
artistic perspective!
Art Scholars consider him to be the trailblazer
inspiring the later painters of the Renaissance;
They also refer to Giorgio Vasari’s “Lives Of
The Eminent Artists,” - as their main source.
Giotto had dared to break the shackles of earlier
Medieval two-dimensional art style,
By drawing lines which head towards a certain
focal point behind;
Like an illusionary vanishing point in space,
- opening up a 3-D ‘window into space’!
This ‘window technique’ got adopted by the
later artists with grace.
(
Giorgio Vasari, a 16th Century painter, architect & Art
historian, was born in 1511 in Arezzy, a city under the
Florentine Republic, and painted during the High
Renaissance Period.)

VASARI’s book published in 1550 in Florence
was dedicated to Cosimo de Medici.
Forms an important document of Italian Art
History.
This valuable book covers a 250 year’s span.
Commencing with Cimabue the tutor of Giotto,
right up to Tizian, - better known as Titan!
Vasari also mentions four lesser known Female
Renaissance Artists; Sister Plantilla, Madonna
Lucrezia, Sofonista Anguissola, and Properzia
de Rossi;
And Rossi’s painting “Joseph and Potiphar’s
Wife”,
An impressive panel art which parallels the
unrequited love Rossi experienced in her own
life !
(
Joseph the elder son of Jacob, taken captive by Potiphar
the Captain of Pharaoh’s guard, was desired by Potiphar’s
wife, whose advances Joseph repulsed. Rossi’s painting
of 1520s inspired later artists to paint their own versions
of this same Old Testament Story.)

Next I briefly mention architects Brunelleschi
and Ghiberti, and the sculptor Donatello;
Not forgetting the painters like Masaccio,
Verrocchio and Botticelli;
Those Early Renaissance Artists are known to
us today thanks to the Art historian Giorgio
Vasari .

BRUNELLESCHI has been mentioned in Section
One of my Renaissance Story.
His 114 meter high dome of Florence Cathedral
created artistic history!
This dome was constructed without supporting
buttresses with a double egg shaped structure;
Stands out as an unique feat of Florentine
Architecture!
The dome is larger than St Paul’s in London,
the Capitol Building of Washington DC, and
also the St Peters in the Vatican City!

GILBERTI is remembered for his massive
15 feet high gilded bronze doors for the
Baptistery of Florence,
Containing twenty carved panels with themes
from the Old Testament.
Which took a quarter century to complete,
working at his own convenience.
His exquisite naturalistic carved figures in the
true spirit of the Renaissance won him a prize;
And his gilded doors were renamed by Michel
Angelo as ‘The Gates of Paradise’!
(
At the age of 23 yrs Lorenzo Ghiberti had won the
competition beating other Architects for craving the
doors of the Baptistery of Florence!)

DONATELLO’S full size bronze David was
commissioned by its patron Cosimo de’ Medici.
With its sensual contrapposto stance in the
classical Greek style with its torso bent slightly.
Is known as the first free standing **** statue
since the days of Classical Art history!
The Old Testament relates the story of David
the shepherd boy, who killed the giant Goliath
with a single sling shot;
Cutting off his head with Goliath’s own sword!
Thus saving the Israelites from Philistine’s wrath.
This unique statue inspired all later sculptors to
strive for similar artistic excellence;
Culminating in Michael Angelo’s **** statue of
David, known for its sculptured brilliance!

MASSACCIO (1401- 1428) joined Florentine
Artist’s Guild at the age of 21 years.
A talented artist who abandoned the old Gothic
Style, experimenting without fears!
Influenced by Giotto, he mastered the use of
perspective in art.
Introduced the vanishing point and the horizon
line, - while planning his artistic works.
In his paintings ‘The Expulsion from Eden’
and ‘The Temptation’,
He introduced the initial **** figures in Italian
Art without any inhibition!
Though up North in Flanders, Van Eyck the
painter had already made an artistic innovation,
By painting ‘Adam and Eve’ displaying their
****** in his artistic creation;
Thereby creating the first **** painting in Art
History!
But such figures greatly annoyed the Church,
Since nudes formed a part of pagan art!
So these Northern artists to pacify the Church
and pass its censorship,
Cleverly under a fig leaf cover made their art to
appear moralistic!
Van Eyck was also the innovator of oil-based paints,
Which later replaced the Medieval tempera, used to
paint angles and saints.

Masaccio’s fresco ‘The Tribute Money’ requires
here a special mention,
For his use of perspective with light and shade,
Where the blithe figure of the Roman tax collector
is artistically made.
Christ is painted with stern nobility, Peter in angry
majesty;
And every Apostle with individualized features,
attire, and pose;
With light coming from a single identifiable source!
“Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s,
and unto God things that are God’s”, said Christ;
Narrated in Mathew chapter 22 verse 21, which
cannot be denied.
Unfortunately, Masaccio died at an early age of
27 years.
Said to have been killed by a jealous rival artist,
who had shed no tears!

BOTTICELLI the Florentine was born half a
century after the Dutch Van Eyck;
Remembered even to this day for his painting
the ‘Birth of Venus’, an icon of Art History
making him famous.
This painting depicts goddess Venus rising out
of the sea on a conch shell,
And the glorious path of female **** painting
commenced in Italy, - casting a spell!
His full scale **** Venus shattered the Medieval
taboo on ******.
With a subject shift from religious art to Classical
Mythology;
Removing the ‘fig-leaf cover’ over Art permanently!

I end this Early Period with VERROCCHIO, born
in Florence in fourteen hundred and thirty five.
A trained goldsmith proficient in the skills of both
painting and sculpture;
Who under the patronage of the Medici family
had thrived.
He had set up his workshop in Florence were he
trained Leonardo Da Vinci, Botticelli, and other
famous Renaissance artists alike!

FOUR CANONICAL PAINTING MODES OF
THE RENAISSANCE:
During the Renaissance the four canonical painting
modes we get to see;
Are Chiaroscuro, Sfumato, Cangiante and Unione.
‘Chiaroscuro’ comes from an Italian word meaning
‘light and dark’, a painting technique of Leonardo,
Creating a three dimensional dramatic effect to
steal the show.
Later also used with great excellence by Rubens
and the Dutch Rembrandt as we know.
‘Sfumato’ from Italian ‘sfumare’, meaning to tone
down or evaporate like a smoke;
As seen in Leonardo’s ‘Mona Lisa’ where the
colors blend seamlessly like smoke!
‘Cangiante’ means to ‘change’, where a painter
changed to a lighter or a darker hue, when the
original hue could not be made light enough;
As seen in the transformation from green to
yellow in Prophet Daniel’s robe,
On the ceiling of Sistine Chapel in Rome.
‘Unione’ followed the ‘sfumato’ quality, but
maintained vibrant colors as we get to see;
In Raphael’s ‘Alba Madonna’ in Washington’s
National Gallery.

ART OF HIGH RENAISSANCE ERA - THE
GOLDEN AGE.

“Where the spirit does not work with the
hand there is no art.”- Leonardo

With Giotto during the Trecento period of the
14th century,
Painting dominated sculpture in the artistic
endeavor of Italy.
During the 15th century the Quattrocento, with
Donetello and Giberti,
Sculpture certainly dominated painting as we get to
see!
But during the 16th century or the Cinquecento,
Painting again took the lead commencing with
the great Leonardo!
This Era was cut short by the death of Lorenzo the
Magnificent to less than half a century; (Died in 1493)
But gifted great masterpieces to the world enriching
the world of Art tremendously!
The Medieval ‘halo’ was now replaced by a fresh
naturalness;
And both Madonna and Christ acquired a more
human likeness!
Portrait paintings began to be commissioned by
many rich patrons.
While artists acquired both recognition and a status
of their own.
But the artistic focus during this Era had shifted from
Florence,  - to Venice and Rome!
In the Vatican City, Pope Julius-II was followed by
Pope Leo the Tenth,
He commissioned many works of art which are
still cherished and maintained!
Now cutting short my story let me mention the
famous Italian Renaissance Superstar Trio;
Leonardo, Raphael, and Michael Angelo.

LEONARDO DA VINCI was born in 1452 in
the village of Vinci near the City of Florence,
Was deprived of a formal education being born
illegitimate!
He was left-handed, and wrote from right to left!
He soon excelled his teacher Varrocchio, by
introduced oil based paints into Italy;
Whose translucent colors with his innovative
techniques, enhanced his painting artistically.
Sigmund Freud had said, “Leonardo was like a
man who awoke too early in the darkness while
others were all still asleep,” - he was awake!
Leonardo’s  historic ‘Note Book’ has sketches of a
battle tank, a flying machine, a parachute, and many
other anatomical and technical sketches and designs;
Reflecting the ever probing mind of this versatile
genius who was far ahead of his time!
His ‘Vituvian Man’, ‘The Last Supper’, and ‘Mona Lisa’,
Remain as his enduring works of art and more popular
than the Leaning Tower of Pisa!
Pen and ink sketch of the ‘Vitruvian Man’ with arms
and leg apart inside a square and a circle, also known
as the ‘Proportion of Man’;
Where his height correspondence to the length
of his outstretched hands;
Became symbolic of the true Renaissance spirit
of Man.
‘The Last Supper’ a 15ft by 29ft fresco work on
the refectory wall of Santa Maria, commissioned
by Duke of Milan Ludovic,
Is the most reproduced religious painting which
took three years to complete!
Leonardo searched the streets of Milan before
painting Judas’ face;
And individualized each figure with competence!
‘Mona Lisa’ with her enigmatic smile continues
to inspire artists, poets, and her viewers alike,
since its creation;
Which Leonardo took four years to complete
with utmost devotion.
Leonardo used oil on poplar wood panel, unique
during those days,
With ‘sfumato’ blending of translucent colors with
light and shade;
Creating depth, volume, and form, with a timeless
expression on Mona Lisa’s countenance!
Art Historian George Varasi says that it is the face
of one Lisa Gherardini,
Wife of a wealthy Florentine merchant of Italy.
Insurance Companies failed to make any estimation
of this portrait, declaring its value as priceless!
Today it remains housed inside an air-conditioned,
de-humidified chamber, within a triple bullet-proof
glass, in Louvre France.
“It is the ultimate symbol of human civilization”,
- exclaimed President Kennedy;
And with this I pay my humble tribute to our
Leonardo da Vinci!

MICHEL ANGELO BUONARROTI (1475-1564):
This Tuscan born sculptor, painter, architect, and
poet, was a versatile man,
Worthy to be called the archetype of the true
‘Renaissance Man’!
At the age of twelve was placed under the famous
painter Ghirlandio,
Where his inclination for sculpting began to show.
Under the liberal patronage of Lorenzo de Medici,
He developed his talent as a sculptor as we get
to see.
In the Medici Palace, he was struck by his rival
Torregiano on the nose with a mallet;
Disfiguring permanently his handsome face!
His statue of ‘Bacchus’ of 1497 and the very
beauty of the figure,
Earned him the commission for the ‘PIETA’ in
St Peter’s Basilica;
Where from a single piece of Carrara marble he
carved out the figure of ****** Mary grieving
over the dead body of Christ;
This iconic piece of sculpture which along with
his ‘David’ earned him the ‘Superstar rights’!

Michel Angelo’s **** ‘DAVID’ weighed 6.4 tons
and stood 17 feet in height;
Unlike the bronze David of Donatello, which
shows him victorious after the fight!
Michel’s David an epitome of strength and
youthful vigour with a Classical Greek touch;
Displayed an uncircumcised ***** which had
shocked the viewers very much!
But it was consistent with the Mannerism in Art,
in keeping with the Renaissance spirit as such!
David displays an attitude of placid calm with
his knitted eyebrows and sidelong glance;
With his left hand over the left shoulder
holding a sling,
Coolly surveys the giant Goliath before his
single sling shot fatally stings!
This iconic sculpture has a timeless appeal even
after 500 years, depicting the ‘Renaissance Man’
at his best;
Vigorous, healthy, beautiful, rational and fully
competent!
Finally we come to the Ceiling of the Sistine
Chapel of Rome,
Where Pope Julius-II’s persistence resulted in the
creation of world’s greatest single fresco that was
ever known!
Covering some 5000 square feet, took five years
to complete.
Special scaffoldings had to be erected for painting
scenes from ‘The Creation’ till the ‘Day of Judgment’
on a 20 meter’s high ceiling;
Where the Central portion had nine scenes from
the ‘Book of Genesis’,
With ‘Creation of Adam’ having an iconic significance!
Like Leonardo, Michel Angelo was left-handed and died
a bachelor - pursuing his art with devotion;
A man with caustic wit, proud reserve, and sublimity
of imagination!

RAFFAELLO SANZIO (1483-1520):
This last of the famous High Renaissance trio was
born in 1483 in Urbino,
Some eight years after Michel Angelo.
His Madonna series and decorative frescos
glorified the Library of Pope Julius the Second;
Who was impressed by his fresco ‘The School
of Athens’;
And commissioned Raphael to decorate his
Study in the Vatican.
Raphael painted this large fresco between 1510
and 1511, initially named as the ‘Knowledge of
Causes’,
But the 17th century guide books referred to it
as ‘The School of Athens’.
Here Plato and Aristotle are the central figures
surrounded by a host of ancient Greek scholars
and philosophers.
The bare footed Plato is seen pointing skywards,
In his left hand holds his book ‘Timaeus’;
His upward hand gesture indicating his ‘World
of Forms’ and transcendental ideas!
Aristotle is seen pointing downwards, his left
hand holds his famous book the ‘Ethics’;
His blue dress symbolizes water and earth
with an earthly fix.
The painting illustrates the historic continuance
of Platonic thoughts,
In keeping with the spirit of the Renaissance!
Raphael’s last masterpiece ‘Transfiguration’
depicts the resurrected Christ,
Flanked by prophets
M-E Jul 2018
I’m the nameless, nobody
Born of a nameless, nonexistent mum
And a nameless, nonexistent dad
In a placeless city
New in town and I don’t mind
To re-shape my mind
By a town that is so ruthless,
So thoughtless and -
Maybe
I am feeble
But certainly in a new form
A new coming storm,
A cyclone,
A cyclops,
A mongrel
Annihilating,
Devastating,
Decapitating your approval and pity
I’m glass, seen through and sharp
An undecipheral writing
Meticulously weird and uncanny
I’m a boy, a girl
A maniac,
A brainiac,
A pyromaniac,
A junior granny
It’s funny
Wondering why I’m the way I am
You sculptor -
I’m leaving,
Somewhere where I will not find you
For the bullied and the forgotten generation.

Can’t we find a solution instead of demolition, intentionally or unintentionally?
Alex Diaz Jun 2010
A baby takes steps
such deliverance and liberty,
and each one taken, a sculptor's dreams,
raw clay to break life's mold.

A painter and a skeptic,
each stroke of the brush
questioned.
Why? Why? Why?
A festoon adorns his hall,
forever and ever
seemingly falling,
gently riding the curve
ever-expanding.

Pin down the treacherous worm,
defiled in soul
and callous has it become,
shun shun shun
holier than thou I have become,
a revolutionary I have become,
an angel in your eyes I have become,
and an apple beheld by Eve's eyes I have become,
true neutral,
true blue,
on and on I live.

Flew through the window,
was a crow,
it weaved and spun
a marigold story,
till it near melted
down through the drain.
Protuberant mound of earth,
bulging eyes pierce the sky,
enlightenment from the ground,
insects yearn a nihilistic life,
existed they never did,
and their ashes carried to the wind.

Farewell,
au revoir,
march in the perilous parade
hastily prepared for the world,
but please do bring your sandals.
The Sculptor and the Child
have crafted in their dreams,
the ideal world.
Melanie Little Oct 2015
Once upon a time, there was a man who wished to be an ice sculptor. He took a block of ice and a chisel and got straight to work.
He sculpted a woman, as beautiful as any other. He sculpted her to be his perfect complement, the woman he wished was real. He sculpted her with a smile and open arms, with kind eyes and a perfect body.
After he was finished, she was absolutely lovely, and absolutely everything that he had ever wanted his ice sculpture to be.
But then he went on to sculpt other things, and she started to become a further and further thought, distanced from his mind as his other projects became more important.
One day, he realized he'd forgotten all about his first piece of work. She'd started to crack and melt in places, but she was still almost perfect.
Instead of fixing her, the sculptor broke her in pieces with his chisel so he didn't have to worry about fixing her.
I wrote this on Facebook in 2012? I have no guarantees as to the sober-ness to this thought
Nigel Morgan Jan 2013
I’m thinking about you today. Hard not to, the specialness of it all. Today you’re putting up of an exhibition. Some artists call it a show, but you’re quite consistent in not calling it that. I admire that of you, being consistent.
 
I was thinking today about your kindness. You phoned me as soon as the children had gone to school, making time to call before you left. I know you were drinking your start-of-the-day coffee, but it was a kind thought all the same, phoning me. You knew I was upset. Upset with myself, as I often am. It’s this being alone. Not so much as a cat to keep me company. Just my work, the reading I do, my thoughts of you, those letters I write, and my attempts at poetry.
 
During the last few days I’ve tried to write directly of what I’ve observed, not felt, observed. Like those wonderful Chinese poets of old describing in just a few characters the wonder of the seen rather than the speculation of the felt, avoiding all emotion and fantasy. I try to write in a way that holds to the ambiguity and spread of meanings the poems those ancient Chinese composed.
 
It’s winter-time. Yesterday we were expecting the first snowfall of winter, and it arrived late in the night making the morning darkness mysteriously different, changing the indistinctness of distant trees to become a web of silver lines, in the no-wind snow resting on branches, clinging to boughs and trunks.  I stood in the pre-dawn park in wonder at it all, holding each moment to myself, in the cold breath-stopping air. I thought of one of the Chinese snow poems I know and some of those different ways it has been translated. Here are three:
 
A thousand mountains without a bird
Ten thousand miles with no trace of man.
A boat. An old man in a straw raincoat.
Alone in the snow, fishing in the freezing river.
 
A thousand peaks: no more birds in flight.
Ten thousand paths: all trace of people gone.
In a lone boat, rain cloak and a hat of reeds
An old man’s fishing the cold river snow.
 
Sur mille montagnes, aucun vol d’oiseau
Sure dix mille sentiers, nulle trace d’homme
Barque solitaire: sous son manteaux de paille
Un vielliard pêche, du figé, la neige.

 
So beautiful, arresting, different. It holds the title River Snow and the poet is the Tang Dynasty philosopher and essayist Lui Zongyuan.  My snow poem First Fall, written last night as the snow fell on the wet street outside, as you were falling through my thoughts, softly, but not onto a wet street, but a distant garden we know and love, but have yet to see in winter’s whiteness.
 
And now today you’re driving to a distant location to hang your work of paper, silk and linen, full of expectation, every contingency and plan in place to enable the work to make its mark in a location you know, where people may recognize your name and will come to say warm words of encouragement, maybe a little praise. And at the end of the week when the exhibition opens I’ll be there, trying to be invisible, taking photographs if I can of you and your admirers and supporters, and thinking (myself) how wonderful you are, your lovely smile lighting up the gallery, being welcoming, beautiful always.
 
Only today you’re further away from me than ever. Around coffee time I miss your quiet explorative ‘it’s me , like a mouse on the telephone. The inflections of those words questioning the appropriateness of the call, meaning ‘Are you busy? Am I interrupting?’ It may take me a little while to ‘come to’, but interruption? Never, just the sheer joy that it’s you colouring the moment.
 
I think of the landscape you’ll be driving through. I’m imagining the snow-sky clearing and becoming a faint blue with the sun’s brightness clarifying those wold lands, those gentle folds of fields between parallelograms of woodland standing stark under the large skies and promulgating the long views gradually, gradually stretching towards the sea coast.
 
I like to imagine you are singing your way through the choruses of Bach’s B Minor Mass, but in reality it’s probably the Be Good Tanyas or Billy Joel playing on the CD player. Such a relief probably after those silent journeys with me. I usually relent on the homeward leg, but I crave silence when I’m a passenger, and I’m now always a passenger, so I crave silence for my thoughts, such as they are.
 
While you are being the emerging artist – but probably on your way homeward - I have taken myself down to my city’s gallery and to an exhibition I’ve already seen. I have a task I’ve been promising myself to undertake: copying an exhibit. I arrive an hour before the gallery closes. I leave my bicycle behind the foyer desk. There are more staff about than visitors. It’s gloriously empty, but the young twenty-somethings invigilating the spaces group themselves strategically near adjoining rooms so they can talk (loudly) to each other. It’s Facebook chat, barely Twitter nonsense. I have to block it all out to focus on the four pages and a P.S of a sculptor’s letter to a critical friend. The sculptor is writing from springtime Cornwall on 6 March 1951. The critical friend will open the letter the next day (when there were 3 deliveries a day) and the Royal Mail invariably arrived on time. He’ll pick it up from his doormat before breakfast in grimy Leeds, though the leafy part near Roundhay Park. The sculptor begins by saying:
 
It is so difficult to find words to convey ideas!
 
In this so efficient Cambria typeface that introductory sentence loses so much of the muscle and flow of the human hand. Written boldly in black ink, and so full of purpose, I read it a month ago, a photocopy in a display case, and knew I had to capture it. And it’s here entire in my note book, on my desk, carefully copied, to share with you my darling, my kind friend, the young woman I hold dear, admire so much, become faint with longing for when, as she crosses that gallery where she has been hanging her work (in my imagination), I am caught as so often by her graceful steps and turn.
 
I don’t feel any difference of intent in or of mood when I paint (or carve) realistically, or when I make abstract carvings. It all feels the same – the same happiness and pain, the same joy in a line, a form, a colour – the same feeling at the end, The two ways of working flow into each other without effort  . . .
 
Outside my warm studio the snow has retreated east and I’ve opened the window to hear the Cathedral bells practising away, the city on a Tuesday night free of revellers, the clubs closed, the pubs quiet. In this building everyone has gone home except this obsessive musician who stays late to write to the woman he adores, who thinks a day is not a day lived without a letter to her at least, a poem if possible.
 
I’d quietly hoped to be with you tonight, but you must have something arranged as I suggested twice I might come, and you said it wasn’t necessary. But I have this letter, and something to write about. Alas, no poem. My muse is having the evening off and I am gently reconciled to the possibility of a few words on the telephone before bed.
You were let into my soul to sculpt it; I was a sculptor myself till you arrived, a master, yet an amateur.
I was a sculptor who wouldn't sculpt his soul, as the act seemed pointless.
Nonetheless, I sculpted something which resembled the human soul, but it was a lazy thing; plain and egotistic in its nature.
Then you came building masterpieces, and you constructed a radiant and captivating palace out of my soul.
Yet, it was of a foreign material; not of me, but of you and your soul.
You made my soul into that which can be weighed and judged by those who would not measure or assess themselves.

Don't look at me lonely sculptor, I see your resentment, but I also sense your jealousy!
You long to be me, so you meld into my eyes to see how only an amateur can!

All masters wish to be amateurs again, they crave the thrill of mistake, and so mistake blesses them with release.
All masters return to life as amateurs; all masters secretly sculpt themselves inside those they create.
All masters are born into themselves again, not by mothers, but by us.
Trying a new way of writing, still undecided on it.
For Leonard Baskin

To his house the bodiless
Come to barter endlessly
Vision, wisdom, for bodies
Palpable as his, and weighty.

Hands moving move priestlier
Than priest's hands, invoke no vain
Images of light and air
But sure stations in bronze, wood, stone.

Obdurate, in dense-grained wood,
A bald angel blocks and shapes
The flimsy light; arms folded
Watches his cumbrous world eclipse

Inane worlds of wind and cloud.
Bronze dead dominate the floor,
Resistive, ruddy-bodied,
Dwarfing us. Our bodies flicker

Toward extinction in those eyes
Which, without him, were beggared
Of place, time, and their bodies.
Emulous spirits make discord,

Try entry, enter nightmares
Until his chisel bequeaths
Them life livelier than ours,
A solider repose than death's.
Chloë Fuller Dec 2014
he always longed for a pair of arms and legs to caress with his young face
his hands were delicate, though bruised and burned from creation
he stared into his gallery full of art
his lovers
he invests himself and gives everything to his current piece
when he's done, he's done
on to the next

he grew tiresome of psychedelic colors and infinite prisms.
he always grew tiresome though
fickle as freckles, indecisive as the ocean, easily bored as a child

he spotted the white gleam of the marble almost instantly
and he wanted it.
the giant, luminescent block wasn't as heavy as it looked
he carried it home on his hip and held it like a mother bird
he already saw the beauty inside

it took very little effort to mold what he saw
or wanted to see
the marble was softer than it looked
each piece that was chiseled off began to reveal a woman
she had curves like an old country road
big eyes that were filled with magic and adoration
he created her in a goddess' image
the time he spent on shaping her hips, *******, thighs, and waist were endless

the last piece of her he caressed with his chisel was her lips
details
the cupids bow, fullness, shape, and color

when he kissed her, she came alive
the color of an overcast sky filled her eyes
and she smiled
his hands pulled her close and he enveloped her
he brought her to life
they made love on the floor of the gallery
in front of all the other art
and he was so unapologetic about it
bringing her ecstasy over and over that she had never felt

inspiration struck him again
or maybe he was just bored of marveling over the same sculpture
he assured her that he needed time away from his art
all of it

he put in her the corner
and began sculpting something new
right before her eyes
but again, he assured her that he wasn't sculpting anything
even though she could see the work in front of her

the sculptor just wanted a full gallery.
Robert Guerrero Aug 2013
I've walked the beaten path
Sinned in the ways of every religion
But the only salvation I'm looking for
Is in the smiles I'm able to place on your face
So when you read my text
Listen to the way I'm telling you I like you
Listen to the message in the complex smiles
The kissy faces
That seem to be endless
You can't call this puppy love
This is the way you were meant to be loved
So baby let me make you happy
I'm not asking for the physicality of a relationship
I'm asking to put this band on your finger
Look in the mirror
See my complete reflection
Because this mirror is your eyes
Baby let me make happy
There's nothing I'd rather do
Honestly you're on my mind
I've only talked to you on occasion
I don't don't want to send coded messages
In the texts that make you smile and want me
I want to tell you straight up
Baby I like you
I'm not innocent
I'm not expecting you to be
I'm just asking you to be mine
Let me make you happy the only way I know
Let me be the sculptor
Plaster smiles on your frowning face
Strip the clothes from your mannequin figure
Let me make you happy
In and out of the bed
I'm only asking for a chance
Baby let me make you happy
I promise you'll never be alone
Even if I'm seventeen hours away
My heart is in the pillow you hold tight
My cologne is in the sheets you wrap yourself in
You can even wear my clothes
Go insane and let me walk in
On you making out with a pillow dressed like me
I'll smile and I promise
I'll love you the way that pillow never could
Let me make you happy
The way the other guys failed to
When they ******* up the chance you blessed them with
I promise baby
I'll never hurt you
My shoes are in the closet
They're not going anywhere
My suitcases are unpacked and laying in the dump
Three states away
The distance you wanted in the first place
Between me and my second love
You know I had a tendency of packing up
Leaving in the middle of the night
When your slumbering hand wandered on my side of the bed
Looking for the warmth of my skin
But Baby I promise my walking days are over
My running shoes are too old
They don't fit anymore
Let me make you happy the way you deserve
I understand if you don't want to do it
I'm not going to cliche it up
I'm not going to beg
I'm just going to tell you
I like you
Ask you for only one thing in this relationship
Let me make you happy
It's not much but let me make it my sole purpose in life
I don't need a god or gods and goddesses
All I need is the heart in your chest
To be my altar
To be where I tithe my sins away
To give praise to the heart that saved me
Let me make you happy
I'm not a complete ****** like the rest of them
Side by side, their faces blurred,
The earl and countess lie in stone,
Their proper habits vaguely shown
As jointed armour, stiffened pleat,
And that faint hint of the absurd -
The little dogs under their feet.

Such plainness of the pre-baroque
Hardly involves the eye, until
It meets his left-hand gauntlet, still
Clasped empty in the other; and
One sees, with a sharp tender shock,
His hand withdrawn, holding her hand.

They would not think to lie so long.
Such faithfulness in effigy
Was just a detail friends would see:
A sculptor's sweet commissioned grace
Thrown off in helping to prolong
The Latin names around the base.

They would no guess how early in
Their supine stationary voyage
The air would change to soundless damage,
Turn the old tenantry away;
How soon succeeding eyes begin
To look, not read. Rigidly they

Persisted, linked, through lengths and breadths
Of time. Snow fell, undated. Light
Each summer thronged the grass. A bright
Litter of birdcalls strewed the same
Bone-littered ground. And up the paths
The endless altered people came,

Washing at their identity.
Now, helpless in the hollow of
An unarmorial age, a trough
Of smoke in slow suspended skeins
Above their scrap of history,
Only an attitude remains:

Time has transfigures them into
Untruth. The stone fidelity
They hardly meant has come to be
Their final blazon, and to prove
Our almost-instinct almost true:
What will survive of us is love.
Some are cast in metal
others chipped from stone
yet more are shaped by hand in clay
what you sculpt, you own.

When your arms wrapped around me
I felt a process start
to render me defenceless
'gainst your sacred art.

I yielded to your motion
gave my skin up to the blade
had no cause to resist
the image you had made.

My essence pooled in trickles
flooding indents as you pressed
your fingertips into my flesh
there in rapture, I was blessed.

I yearned to feel the chisel
every scrape an evolution
each fetter of the holy rasp
my growing absolution.

I stand in gleaming marble
posed by you alone
forever on this pedestal
inert upon my throne.

In fatal love I slumber
and wishes are for fools
in luminescent, aching stone
naked of your tools.

Each tapping point a petal,
the slamming maul of lust
where once caressed by chisels
now I gather dust.

I dream of you approaching
to polish me anew
so I may shine in constant thanks
at being made by you.
jane taylor May 2016
i fight to peel each moment
of pure stagnation
off of me

a tinnitus cacophony whines in my ears
as my dilapidated fan
keeps slow rhythm to the faucet drip

minutes drag like molasses
handcuffed to the daily lag
groundhog day

i escape into the forest
running, the breeze caresses my face
wildlife pries open my desperate eyes

a spider’s web bends and sways in the wind
fine strands of silver silk flow
soaring they meld in crescent waves

a butterfly glides gently by
befriending gusts of air
softly breathing in another tomorrow

the conductor of the symphony
with sculptor’s hands i cannot see
whispers ever graciously

life is not your enemy
drink it in and let it seep
drop your sword i’m molding thee

©2016janetaylor
Äŧül Aug 2016
I love your eyes and the eyebrows,
And I love your nose & the lips.

I love your smile and the laughter,
And I love your grimace & the tears.

I love your happiness and the anger,
And I love your innocence & the glamour.

I love your appearance in my dreams,
And I love the lap dance you perform.

I love your sketch in all of my memories,
And I love those curves tempting to sculpt.

I love your memories with all my heart,
And I refuse to give up all hope even if you get married to someone else.
My HP Poem #1117
©Atul Kaushal
He Pa'amon Aug 2018
"And in a funny way, the shaving of my, uh, head has been a liberation from, uh, a lot of, uh, stupid vanities really. Uh, it has simplified everything for me, it has opened a lot of doors maybe." - Stephen Malkmus, Jo Jo's Jacket

the first layer of skin i shed
was the bra

rid of the foreign metal sculptor producing a deep rift between skin
my third eye, swallowing gazes

rid of my **** , my ***** , my rack
replaced with sacks of fat and nerve and milk ducts
hanging, existing, for no one else
not even myself

the second layer of skin was the painting of the face
the concealing and erasing of imperfections, the lines of laughter of sorrow of life
redirecting attention and importance to the bow and symmetry of the lip

no longer did i have to put myself on in the morning
i woke up as i was, as i needed to be,
bare and uninhibited

my skin now breathed, and for no one else
not even myself

and then i grew another layer of skin,
made of dank tangles to protect my age,
i stopped shaving the years i'd walked this earth, shedding my womanhood

the skin grew to my armpits, little tufts of sweaty, odorous mother nature dozing in a fleshy convex nest

and to my legs, were the tangles wrapped around my ankles
preventing the spreading of the legs for every life
for not every life wanted what was not tame
and what was not tame no longer wanted to be.

my body did not conform,
for it was not brought into this world to be consumed for the pleasure of others

it exists for no one else,
not even myself

and as i was engulfed in this hairy wonder of my own body
i shed the last layer,
the shaving of the head

my brain, my being breathed
porous and exposed
vulnerable to weather and whispers

but i was all at once naked and calm,
having finally peeled away the layers of ***** over-sexualization and constrained femininity that had molded this meat sack that serves me,
a bundle of circuitry and solution balancing and bobbing on the neck

for i exist for no one else,
only myself
inspired by the song Jo Jo's Jacket by Stephen Malkmus
Newdigate prize poem recited in the Sheldonian Theatre
Oxford June 26th, 1878.

To my friend George Fleming author of ‘The Nile Novel’
and ‘Mirage’

I.

A year ago I breathed the Italian air,—
And yet, methinks this northern Spring is fair,—
These fields made golden with the flower of March,
The throstle singing on the feathered larch,
The cawing rooks, the wood-doves fluttering by,
The little clouds that race across the sky;
And fair the violet’s gentle drooping head,
The primrose, pale for love uncomforted,
The rose that burgeons on the climbing briar,
The crocus-bed, (that seems a moon of fire
Round-girdled with a purple marriage-ring);
And all the flowers of our English Spring,
Fond snowdrops, and the bright-starred daffodil.
Up starts the lark beside the murmuring mill,
And breaks the gossamer-threads of early dew;
And down the river, like a flame of blue,
Keen as an arrow flies the water-king,
While the brown linnets in the greenwood sing.
A year ago!—it seems a little time
Since last I saw that lordly southern clime,
Where flower and fruit to purple radiance blow,
And like bright lamps the fabled apples glow.
Full Spring it was—and by rich flowering vines,
Dark olive-groves and noble forest-pines,
I rode at will; the moist glad air was sweet,
The white road rang beneath my horse’s feet,
And musing on Ravenna’s ancient name,
I watched the day till, marked with wounds of flame,
The turquoise sky to burnished gold was turned.

O how my heart with boyish passion burned,
When far away across the sedge and mere
I saw that Holy City rising clear,
Crowned with her crown of towers!—On and on
I galloped, racing with the setting sun,
And ere the crimson after-glow was passed,
I stood within Ravenna’s walls at last!

II.

How strangely still! no sound of life or joy
Startles the air; no laughing shepherd-boy
Pipes on his reed, nor ever through the day
Comes the glad sound of children at their play:
O sad, and sweet, and silent! surely here
A man might dwell apart from troublous fear,
Watching the tide of seasons as they flow
From amorous Spring to Winter’s rain and snow,
And have no thought of sorrow;—here, indeed,
Are Lethe’s waters, and that fatal ****
Which makes a man forget his fatherland.

Ay! amid lotus-meadows dost thou stand,
Like Proserpine, with poppy-laden head,
Guarding the holy ashes of the dead.
For though thy brood of warrior sons hath ceased,
Thy noble dead are with thee!—they at least
Are faithful to thine honour:—guard them well,
O childless city! for a mighty spell,
To wake men’s hearts to dreams of things sublime,
Are the lone tombs where rest the Great of Time.

III.


Yon lonely pillar, rising on the plain,
Marks where the bravest knight of France was slain,—
The Prince of chivalry, the Lord of war,
Gaston de Foix:  for some untimely star
Led him against thy city, and he fell,
As falls some forest-lion fighting well.
Taken from life while life and love were new,
He lies beneath God’s seamless veil of blue;
Tall lance-like reeds wave sadly o’er his head,
And oleanders bloom to deeper red,
Where his bright youth flowed crimson on the ground.

Look farther north unto that broken mound,—
There, prisoned now within a lordly tomb
Raised by a daughter’s hand, in lonely gloom,
Huge-limbed Theodoric, the Gothic king,
Sleeps after all his weary conquering.
Time hath not spared his ruin,—wind and rain
Have broken down his stronghold; and again
We see that Death is mighty lord of all,
And king and clown to ashen dust must fall

Mighty indeed their glory! yet to me
Barbaric king, or knight of chivalry,
Or the great queen herself, were poor and vain,
Beside the grave where Dante rests from pain.
His gilded shrine lies open to the air;
And cunning sculptor’s hands have carven there
The calm white brow, as calm as earliest morn,
The eyes that flashed with passionate love and scorn,
The lips that sang of Heaven and of Hell,
The almond-face which Giotto drew so well,
The weary face of Dante;—to this day,
Here in his place of resting, far away
From Arno’s yellow waters, rushing down
Through the wide bridges of that fairy town,
Where the tall tower of Giotto seems to rise
A marble lily under sapphire skies!

Alas! my Dante! thou hast known the pain
Of meaner lives,—the exile’s galling chain,
How steep the stairs within kings’ houses are,
And all the petty miseries which mar
Man’s nobler nature with the sense of wrong.
Yet this dull world is grateful for thy song;
Our nations do thee homage,—even she,
That cruel queen of vine-clad Tuscany,
Who bound with crown of thorns thy living brow,
Hath decked thine empty tomb with laurels now,
And begs in vain the ashes of her son.

O mightiest exile! all thy grief is done:
Thy soul walks now beside thy Beatrice;
Ravenna guards thine ashes:  sleep in peace.

IV.

How lone this palace is; how grey the walls!
No minstrel now wakes echoes in these halls.
The broken chain lies rusting on the door,
And noisome weeds have split the marble floor:
Here lurks the snake, and here the lizards run
By the stone lions blinking in the sun.
Byron dwelt here in love and revelry
For two long years—a second Anthony,
Who of the world another Actium made!
Yet suffered not his royal soul to fade,
Or lyre to break, or lance to grow less keen,
’Neath any wiles of an Egyptian queen.
For from the East there came a mighty cry,
And Greece stood up to fight for Liberty,
And called him from Ravenna:  never knight
Rode forth more nobly to wild scenes of fight!
None fell more bravely on ensanguined field,
Borne like a Spartan back upon his shield!
O Hellas!  Hellas! in thine hour of pride,
Thy day of might, remember him who died
To wrest from off thy limbs the trammelling chain:
O Salamis!  O lone Plataean plain!
O tossing waves of wild Euboean sea!
O wind-swept heights of lone Thermopylae!
He loved you well—ay, not alone in word,
Who freely gave to thee his lyre and sword,
Like AEschylos at well-fought Marathon:

And England, too, shall glory in her son,
Her warrior-poet, first in song and fight.
No longer now shall Slander’s venomed spite
Crawl like a snake across his perfect name,
Or mar the lordly scutcheon of his fame.

For as the olive-garland of the race,
Which lights with joy each eager runner’s face,
As the red cross which saveth men in war,
As a flame-bearded beacon seen from far
By mariners upon a storm-tossed sea,—
Such was his love for Greece and Liberty!

Byron, thy crowns are ever fresh and green:
Red leaves of rose from Sapphic Mitylene
Shall bind thy brows; the myrtle blooms for thee,
In hidden glades by lonely Castaly;
The laurels wait thy coming:  all are thine,
And round thy head one perfect wreath will twine.

V.

The pine-tops rocked before the evening breeze
With the hoarse murmur of the wintry seas,
And the tall stems were streaked with amber bright;—
I wandered through the wood in wild delight,
Some startled bird, with fluttering wings and fleet,
Made snow of all the blossoms; at my feet,
Like silver crowns, the pale narcissi lay,
And small birds sang on every twining spray.
O waving trees, O forest liberty!
Within your haunts at least a man is free,
And half forgets the weary world of strife:
The blood flows hotter, and a sense of life
Wakes i’ the quickening veins, while once again
The woods are filled with gods we fancied slain.
Long time I watched, and surely hoped to see
Some goat-foot Pan make merry minstrelsy
Amid the reeds! some startled Dryad-maid
In girlish flight! or lurking in the glade,
The soft brown limbs, the wanton treacherous face
Of woodland god! Queen Dian in the chase,
White-limbed and terrible, with look of pride,
And leash of boar-hounds leaping at her side!
Or Hylas mirrored in the perfect stream.

O idle heart!  O fond Hellenic dream!
Ere long, with melancholy rise and swell,
The evening chimes, the convent’s vesper bell,
Struck on mine ears amid the amorous flowers.
Alas! alas! these sweet and honied hours
Had whelmed my heart like some encroaching sea,
And drowned all thoughts of black Gethsemane.

VI.

O lone Ravenna! many a tale is told
Of thy great glories in the days of old:
Two thousand years have passed since thou didst see
Caesar ride forth to royal victory.
Mighty thy name when Rome’s lean eagles flew
From Britain’s isles to far Euphrates blue;
And of the peoples thou wast noble queen,
Till in thy streets the Goth and *** were seen.
Discrowned by man, deserted by the sea,
Thou sleepest, rocked in lonely misery!
No longer now upon thy swelling tide,
Pine-forest-like, thy myriad galleys ride!
For where the brass-beaked ships were wont to float,
The weary shepherd pipes his mournful note;
And the white sheep are free to come and go
Where Adria’s purple waters used to flow.

O fair!  O sad!  O Queen uncomforted!
In ruined loveliness thou liest dead,
Alone of all thy sisters; for at last
Italia’s royal warrior hath passed
Rome’s lordliest entrance, and hath worn his crown
In the high temples of the Eternal Town!
The Palatine hath welcomed back her king,
And with his name the seven mountains ring!

And Naples hath outlived her dream of pain,
And mocks her tyrant!  Venice lives again,
New risen from the waters! and the cry
Of Light and Truth, of Love and Liberty,
Is heard in lordly Genoa, and where
The marble spires of Milan wound the air,
Rings from the Alps to the Sicilian shore,
And Dante’s dream is now a dream no more.

But thou, Ravenna, better loved than all,
Thy ruined palaces are but a pall
That hides thy fallen greatness! and thy name
Burns like a grey and flickering candle-flame
Beneath the noonday splendour of the sun
Of new Italia! for the night is done,
The night of dark oppression, and the day
Hath dawned in passionate splendour:  far away
The Austrian hounds are hunted from the land,
Beyond those ice-crowned citadels which stand
Girdling the plain of royal Lombardy,
From the far West unto the Eastern sea.

I know, indeed, that sons of thine have died
In Lissa’s waters, by the mountain-side
Of Aspromonte, on Novara’s plain,—
Nor have thy children died for thee in vain:
And yet, methinks, thou hast not drunk this wine
From grapes new-crushed of Liberty divine,
Thou hast not followed that immortal Star
Which leads the people forth to deeds of war.
Weary of life, thou liest in silent sleep,
As one who marks the lengthening shadows creep,
Careless of all the hurrying hours that run,
Mourning some day of glory, for the sun
Of Freedom hath not shewn to thee his face,
And thou hast caught no flambeau in the race.

Yet wake not from thy slumbers,—rest thee well,
Amidst thy fields of amber asphodel,
Thy lily-sprinkled meadows,—rest thee there,
To mock all human greatness:  who would dare
To vent the paltry sorrows of his life
Before thy ruins, or to praise the strife
Of kings’ ambition, and the barren pride
Of warring nations! wert not thou the Bride
Of the wild Lord of Adria’s stormy sea!
The Queen of double Empires! and to thee
Were not the nations given as thy prey!
And now—thy gates lie open night and day,
The grass grows green on every tower and hall,
The ghastly fig hath cleft thy bastioned wall;
And where thy mailed warriors stood at rest
The midnight owl hath made her secret nest.
O fallen! fallen! from thy high estate,
O city trammelled in the toils of Fate,
Doth nought remain of all thy glorious days,
But a dull shield, a crown of withered bays!

Yet who beneath this night of wars and fears,
From tranquil tower can watch the coming years;
Who can foretell what joys the day shall bring,
Or why before the dawn the linnets sing?
Thou, even thou, mayst wake, as wakes the rose
To crimson splendour from its grave of snows;
As the rich corn-fields rise to red and gold
From these brown lands, now stiff with Winter’s cold;
As from the storm-rack comes a perfect star!

O much-loved city!  I have wandered far
From the wave-circled islands of my home;
Have seen the gloomy mystery of the Dome
Rise slowly from the drear Campagna’s way,
Clothed in the royal purple of the day:
I from the city of the violet crown
Have watched the sun by Corinth’s hill go down,
And marked the ‘myriad laughter’ of the sea
From starlit hills of flower-starred Arcady;
Yet back to thee returns my perfect love,
As to its forest-nest the evening dove.

O poet’s city! one who scarce has seen
Some twenty summers cast their doublets green
For Autumn’s livery, would seek in vain
To wake his lyre to sing a louder strain,
Or tell thy days of glory;—poor indeed
Is the low murmur of the shepherd’s reed,
Where the loud clarion’s blast should shake the sky,
And flame across the heavens! and to try
Such lofty themes were folly:  yet I know
That never felt my heart a nobler glow
Than when I woke the silence of thy street
With clamorous trampling of my horse’s feet,
And saw the city which now I try to sing,
After long days of weary travelling.

VII.

Adieu, Ravenna! but a year ago,
I stood and watched the crimson sunset glow
From the lone chapel on thy marshy plain:
The sky was as a shield that caught the stain
Of blood and battle from the dying sun,
And in the west the circling clouds had spun
A royal robe, which some great God might wear,
While into ocean-seas of purple air
Sank the gold galley of the Lord of Light.

Yet here the gentle stillness of the night
Brings back the swelling tide of memory,
And wakes again my passionate love for thee:
Now is the Spring of Love, yet soon will come
On meadow and tree the Summer’s lordly bloom;
And soon the grass with brighter flowers will blow,
And send up lilies for some boy to mow.
Then before long the Summer’s conqueror,
Rich Autumn-time, the season’s usurer,
Will lend his hoarded gold to all the trees,
And see it scattered by the spendthrift breeze;
And after that the Winter cold and drear.
So runs the perfect cycle of the year.
And so from youth to manhood do we go,
And fall to weary days and locks of snow.
Love only knows no winter; never dies:
Nor cares for frowning storms or leaden skies
And mine for thee shall never pass away,
Though my weak lips may falter in my lay.

Adieu!  Adieu! yon silent evening star,
The night’s ambassador, doth gleam afar,
And bid the shepherd bring his flocks to fold.
Perchance before our inland seas of gold
Are garnered by the reapers into sheaves,
Perchance before I see the Autumn leaves,
I may behold thy city; and lay down
Low at thy feet the poet’s laurel crown.

Adieu!  Adieu! yon silver lamp, the moon,
Which turns our midnight into perfect noon,
Doth surely light thy towers, guarding well
Where Dante sleeps, where Byron loved to dwell.
Sam M Gladen Jan 2015
Every time you leave me,
You take a piece of my heart,
But for all the pain,
I'd gladly hand you a chisel and show you where to start.
Sombro Nov 2015
I found three heads
Rock toils from the earth
Their eyes expressive with sculptor’s mistakes
It seemed as if the forest had let slip
Its fantasy into mine
Why heads? Why just three?
I don’t think they were meant to be there
As the trees hear you coming they hide their playthings
Perhaps I was too quiet.
A poem I wrote a while ago. I love it because it tells me that there are amazing things lurking behind every fog and every dark night.
'Ain Syuqriah Jan 2014
His hands
Made me feel complete as his fingers
Traced the contours of my skin

He intricately carved me
Every bit of me with precision

He was done with me
I now stand in the corner with all the others
Never again will i ever feel the same
Longing for his touch
To feel a whole again

But i am only clay
We will never be together
Because i am only one of his many sculptures
While he was my only sculptor
John Mondejar Dec 2019
Upon the burnished countenance of your works well your  

Diligence read – the pungent perfumes of a wasted man’s appetite;

Your well-tended chisel, consummate yet gross with demand bore

The half-done gloss and idle curve of my breast and the blight

Of your paternal wisdom etched on these eyes you gave me.

As your frayed hands dance your last tender truth into this mold,

Ready to lave my body of every infirmity and flaw your heart wore,  

And never to permit me the device of your love again,

Born is your prodigal daughter.
In recognition of my father.
Lexi Guffey Sep 2018
Smile.
I am still the little girl
who over waters plants
as I never knew when to stop giving.
Smile.
I am still the wide eyed child,
book in hand
pen in the other.
Smile.
I am still the free spirit,
inquisitive and climbing
fear forgotten in wake of adventure.
Smile.
I am still the wild curls,
rolled down windows
and old song lyrics
Smile.
I am still the people pleaser,
always there to meet expectations
with a halfhearted laugh.
Smile.
I am still the passionate activist.
living my beliefs
no doubts, no shame.
Smile.
I am still the writer,
pouring my soul onto paper
to immortalize and to remember.
Smile.
But I have left pieces of myself
in all the places I have loved
and lost.
Smile.
I am no longer the anxious,
though it will always be a part of me
I am speaking up and speaking out.
Smile.
I am no longer the subdued,
the girl who rejects recovery
for fear of admitting weakness.
Smile.
I am no longer the carpenter,
building walls around my soul
to keep out and to keep in.
Smile.
I am no longer the sad eyes,
recognized by only a few,
characterized by blades and bridges.
Smile.
I am no longer in hiding,
smothering my views
and pretending to be okay.
Smile.
I am no longer the girl you once knew.
I am okay with not being okay,
I am healing, and on my own time.
Smile.
I am now the insomniac
who lays awake and stares,
hoping that I am not the only one.
Smile.
I am now the person I do not always know,
standing tearful in front of a mirror
begging myself to hold on.
Smile.
I am now the coward,
studying for a future I do not want
for fear of disappointing those I do.
Smile.
I am now the sculptor,
slowly shaping the walls I built
to allow entry to those worthy.
Smile.
I am now embracing honesty,
swallowing fake smiles and knowing
soon, they will be real.
Smile.
I am now the poet who feigns grace;
spinning tales of blood that was never once beautiful,
but was just red.
Smile (if you can).
Prathipa Nair May 2016
You make me...
You make my skin soft and tight
You make me ...
You make my eyes shine so bright
You make me...
You make my lips smile so light
You make me...
You make my hands like rushlight
You make me...
You make my legs with traits
You make me ...

I, the Statue, thanking you
My sweet old Sculptor !
emma green Jun 2012
“My heart wanders the mossy mess of wet country, reliving a time when youth had charm, hand held hand, letters were written with not a classroom blot in sight, kisses were blushed.. and boys ran home to hide their eagerness.

Life was what it was, merely a game of engendered differences.”

scribbled the poet with his special pen. Leaning against an oak - as proud a tree as he was a man.

There was no need to make excuses for his silence here. Why apologise for watching space fill with swirling prisms across such a wonderfully vast panorama? So many greens in this god-forsaken county. But it was refuge for someone like him, was an escape route to whatever the future held. Anyway, where he was concerned, guilt was neither muse nor amusing, it merely lay a rough stony path ready to trip the careless walker he‘d almost become.

‘Oblivious to life in the real world’, he’d been told at least once a week for far too many years. He laughed, those words would never be uttered again.

“Shadows
of buttery budding green
dripping flavour ‘cross soil,
moaning,
muttering,
life.to.come.
fruitful.”

He shook his head, trying to be rid of thoughts, emotions: ‘I don’t want to think of her. ‘HA, too late! There and then the six o’clock in the morning drew his woman from the shadows of deception. He smiled. In his ragged mind she became .. she became a sapling formed of malleable clay. ‘I want to shape her.. a touch here and here so her ******* flourish with pleasure. Then, I‘ll stroke her right side.hip.thigh. to where the skin is both silk soft and a touch of treble plaited gossamer, that trimmed topiary of woman awaiting her future.

Who knows, in my next life perhaps I’ll be a sculptor and lay claim to the master’s crown. I’ll become lord of much and more.. why not, someone has to!’

“Memories,
hands soft as sugar spun
in quadrants arched quiescent,
harmonic pleasuring,
all.frantic.full.
ripe as berries brown
and fatal flawed.”

Man scratched the pen against vellum, then.. oh then, heard its crickling cry; remembered the rippling of her moan.. the call of his name.. the echo of his weeping into her. Then her - fingers gripping where space permitted.. palms moist and made fluorescent.. back arching.. hair flying.. falling onto each of the four crumpled pillows. Then, then.. becoming a streaming sway of tressed love battling breath. And the smell of wild garlic filled the air

never to ward off his fears, nor outsmart his demons. He was meant to be taken by the sight of a woman both too good and bad for him.

“Feeling night
a creep of nails tip touch
in devil’s bliss
where all men meet a foe,
but headlong thrills
deep.diving.hot.
as hell”

He took his pen and with a mighty shout, ****** a myriad of dark memories into his own heart - his memories, his memories - not hers. She’d laughed when he asked her to stay with him, to be his .. forever. Until that moment the pen had been softly ****** between his full lips but moved to be gentled between index finger and thumb. Her rampaging words struck home. They broke his silence, they hurt.

Whirling and swirling it over her *******, his pen became a weapon. He taunted her skin with a pen ripe with red ink, swore and wept, swore again. His hand fell screaming into her flesh, not once but a dozen frantic times. Finally her breath became a dense gushing cloud which swiftly rose so dark that, within seconds, once pure angels fell to earth looking akin to a chimney sweep’s boys - unregonisable as once human.

“Harvesting
kiss kiss full lips
gleaming at the point of red,
so sharp whilst ..
poppies parchment pollen
trembling.moisted.dark
unloved”

The body was found months later. It had laid until bronze leaves and golden were drifting upon and across what had once been a face, and now discovered by shocked, sickened walkers. When the police arrived, all they found lying near to the man was a pen and dulled pages within a leather binding.

A forensic scientist is still trying to decipher the wording on the vellum, what words he’s found to date are quite beautiful - or so he told his wife in an aside. She shrugged, he’d always been a strange man. Should have married her own kind .. too late now. Marianne looked away, unused to anything remotely like conversation from him. She smiled, turned the mirror to the wall and waited ..



© 2012 Emma Joy
Al Sep 2018
Sidewinder Steve lowered his shoulder.  You're a lucky girl, we've scored a direct hit.  Hummingbird flew directly into view as he imagined her perfectly still.

The old winds resonate, clouds come and go, their nature thrives, their story survives.
Nigel Morgan Dec 2012
He said I’m the wrong shape. I could do with putting on a few pounds and, almost as an after thought he said, you’ll have to cut your hair – yourself.  I know she was an artist, and a mother, and a gardener. I had to admit to him I didn’t know any painters. My cousin Julie’s a sculptor – same thing he said – but I had to tell him I hadn’t yet looked at her painting, only what he showed us in his presentation.  He then told me exactly where in the National Museum of Wales I could see one of her paintings – Gallery 14 – and its from this period, a Parisiene picture. He suggested I might go to Cambridge and spend a day at a place called Kettles Yard. There are more Winifreds there than anywhere else in the UK, and many pictures by her close friend Christopher Wood.
 
Oh dear. This is difficult. The only thing going for me seems I’m about the right age and I’ve have children, though mine are older than hers in the production. I was so surprised to get this part, but as Michael said over the phone, your profile fits. Except for the weight and the hair, and I know nothing about painting. Why should I? Jeff told me, the composer Morton Feldman once said if you haven’t got a friend whose a painter, you’re in trouble. I’m in trouble. But he has very kind eyes and when he touched me gently on the shoulder after Lizzie and I sung that shells duet I had to look away.
 
Reaching down arm-deep into bright water
I gathered on white sand under waves
Shells, drifted up on beaches where I alone
Inhabit a finite world of years and days.
I reached my arm down a myriad years
To gather treasure from the yester-millennial sea-floor,
Held in my fingers forms shaped on the day of creation….
 
They sleep on the ocean floor like humming-tops
Whose music is the mother-of-pearl octave of the rainbow,
Harmonious shells that whisper for ever in our ears,
‘The world that you inhabit has not yet been created’

 
Mind you, I don’t envy Lizzie being Kathleen Raine. Now that is a difficult part, even though she’s only in Act 2. Raine was definitely odd. He says I have to understand their friendship, because there was something about it that made them both more than they were. I don’t understand that.
 
Jane and the children are amazing already. Martin (my ‘other’ half Ben Nicholson) said they’d been rehearsing with Robert because his wife (Robert’s wife Debbie) is at WNO and they were scared about this one. I’ll say this for him he knows exactly how children interrupt, constantly. It’s clever the way he uses the interruptions to change direction of the dialogue. Conversations are often left unfinished. The bit when that ***** Barbara visits the apartment unexpectedly is brilliant. She’s completely demolished by these kids of her lover.
 
But those letters . . . he said, can you imagine your husband writing to you over a period of 40 years? Quite a thought that. David wrote to me a few times when I was in Madrid for Cosi just after we’d met, but it was all telephone calls after that. Why waste paper, time and a stamp. But I take his point – their letters are so beautiful – and they were separated for God’s sake. He’d gone off with another woman, and even brought her to Paris. And you could not have two totally different women – she ,slight, chain-smoking, work-a-holic, sharp-tongued with that Yorkshire edge, and me with ‘a quiet voice, trying always to be gentle and kind ‘– W would be called an earth-mother these days. She was a kind of hippie, only she had money – mind you most of those hippies of the 60s had money otherwise they couldn’t have done drugs (heard that on Radio 4 last week in a programme about Richard Brautigan). But they wrote to each other almost every day.
 
Dear Ben,.
            Do you know there are several kinds of happiness, and there is one sort which I have found. It is the sort that is within oneself, enjoying fresh promise, and taking all the experiences of life that one has been through, so-called sad ones and so-called happy ones, to make up understanding that is further on than joy or sorrow. I have been extremely lucky – I have had ten years of companionship with an ‘all-time’ painter, working in the medium of classic eternity and that has been better than a lifetime with any second-class person – isn’t it - I have found it so…
 
Best love Winifred

 
What’s clever about the letter sequences is the way the two-way correspondence is handled as a duet and right in the middle of it you’ll get a flashback – like Winifred suddenly remembering her first meeting with Ben.
 
I heard this voice
In the room next door
I couldn’t breath, I couldn’t move
I knew, I knew for certain
This was the man I would marry.
And when we were introduced
He seemed to know this too.

 
We gaily call this an opera, but it’s not. It’s something else. It simply doesn’t do what you think it’s going to do. Even when you do something for a second time the accompaniment doesn’t do what you expect and remembered. It’s this open-form business. Something else I know nothing about. He mentioned Umberto Eco – now I’ve read Name of the Rose. When Braque or Mondrian or Jan Eps visit unannounced I have no idea which one it’s going to be – these guys just used to turn up. Sometimes two at once. W didn’t invite them. They came for her English hospitality (home baking I think) and her beautiful apartment come studio – beautiful, because she made it so. Her French was appalling, and this is difficult because I speak quite well, and now I have to speak like an idiot. Bridget  (playing Cissy the Cumbrian nanny) having her French lesson is a hoot, and with the children correcting her all the time, it’s lovely.
 
He was very sweet when we broke for lunch. Sara, he said, as I collapsed into an auditorium seat to find my bag and mobile, Sara, we’ve got to find you a painter to spend a day with . . . so you’ll know how to stand in front of an easel.  I phoned Sarah Jane Brown who has a studio in Cardiff and she’d love to meet you. Here’s her number. She paints flowers and landscapes – as well as the abstract stuff - just like Winifred. Her tutor at the RCA actually knew Winifred. And with that he disappeared to a dark corner of the theatre and unwrapped his sandwiches. You can tell he’s not into break discussions with Julian or Michael. I think he’s terribly shy. He’s interested in the cast and so he picks them off one by one. Julian I know doesn’t like this. I think everything needs to go through me, he said at the end of yesterday’s rehearsal. Who does he think he is?! Lizzie reminded Julian he was the composer and what he doesn’t know about this whole period and its characters isn’t knowledge. Liz thinks he’s a sweetie – and she’s sung his Raine settings at Branwyn Hall last year – with Robert who was his MD with BBCNOW. Liz knows Julian hasn’t done his usual homework because he’s got this production in Birmingham on the boil. Unknown Colour is a distraction he can do without.
 
This afternoon it’s back to the mayhem of those ensemble scenes in Act 1. They’re quite crazy, but I’m already beginning to feel I can start to be someone other than me. Did you know I have this lovely song? It’s quite Sondheim . . .
 
*I like to have a picture in my room.
Without one, my room feels bare
however much furniture is there;
Pictures play so many roles.
My room has too much going on in it
for something extravagant.
In the morning it is a sanctuary,
in the daytime a factory,
in the evening a place of festivity,
and through the night a place of rest.
 
I want a window in it,  
And a focal point, something alive and silent.
A bunch of flowers on the window sill?
Yes, but they will wither.
A cat curled up on the hearth?
Yes, but it will go away and prowl upon the rooftops.
 
A picture will always be there.
It will make no sound. It will wait.
If it is true I shall never grow tired of it.
I shall see something fresh in it
when I glance at it tomorrow.
It will always be my friend.
You will come one day in a waver of love,
Tender as dew, impetuous as rain,
The tan of the sun will be on your skin,
The purr of the breeze in your murmuring speech,
You will pose with a hill-flower grace.

You will come, with your slim, expressive arms,
A poise of the head no sculptor has caught
And nuances spoken with shoulder and neck,
Your face in a pass-and-repass of moods
As many as skies in delicate change
Of cloud and blue and flimmering sun.

                    Yet,
You may not come, O girl of a dream,
We may but pass as the world goes by
And take from a look of eyes into eyes,
A film of hope and a memoried day.
Kuzhur Wilson Aug 2014
Around 4 in the evening, I proceeded to Karaikkal, a Union Territory.

By the time we reached Nagapattinam, I noticed that the driver was tired and asked him to have a strong cup of tea. When he was gulping it reluctantly, I, who did not like strong tea, watched the cows walking along the narrow ways. But, the cows did not look at me. The cows I watched. The cows that did not pay any attention to me. I was a bit out of breath realizing how quickly nonexistent relationships were formed in an unknown Tamil village.  I lit up one more cigarette. I remembered the doctor in Britain, a stunning beauty, who prescribed that as soon as I found it difficult to breathe I should light up a cigarette. ****! When it is hard to breathe because of nonexistent relationships and when I light up a cigarette as an antidote to that, there appear row upon row of relationships of some sort or other.  

I began to detest bitter strong tea. I was irked by the cows that went along the narrow ways. I felt hatred towards their not so small udders. An afternoon dawned one day when I felt the same kind of vengeance towards udders. The blood stains from the udders that were slashed down emerged on my hands, legs, back and under belly.

Once again I felt revulsion for bitter strong tea. The driver sipped the hot bitter tea. I hated the moment when I asked him to have tea. I loathed the words that I used to say that. I despised even the words that I had kept in reserve to say that.

Then, I watched the people etching tattoos by the roadside. I wondered how it will be if I got a tattoo for myself.  I tried to recall how deep I was to get a tattoo done.

A person I liked.
A name I liked.
A place I liked.
A digit I liked.
A syllable I liked.
A memory I liked.

I felt a lot of aversion. Wondered if I should tattoo my mother’s name on my shoulder. I found it amusing that when I die people may identify me by my mother’s name. But, I felt sad when I thought that stranger women may plant their kisses on it. ****! I felt so sad.  I abhorred those bitter cups of tea and narrow ways. I lit up one more cigarette.  Then, I, who tattooed my mother’s name on my shoulder, started decaying on the spot.  Rotting with a terrible stench. The people, the cows and the goats that I did not mention before bolted.  Abruptly, the driver came and told me that we could move from there.  I felt so bitter towards even the bitter tea that was inside him.

Somehow, we reached Karaikkal. Yes, at 630 in the evening. Even though I had never been to Karaikkal, a Union Territory, I sat on the same chair in the same corner of the same bar. The bearer poured me the wine.

He kept pouring the wine.
He kept pouring the wine.
The wine kept emptying.
The wine kept emptying.
The wine kept unraveling.
The wine kept unraveling.

It was a Dutch woman who gathered me up and took me with her when I got totally unraveled. She was older than me. There was no power in her room. The way she washed my body in lukewarm water could have put to shame even the midwives giving a bath to babies. When I rose up sometimes and asked her name, she sealed my lips with hers. When it was repeated many times, I thought that her name must mean something like a kiss. And, she never spoke a word except with lips.

Unraveling wine, lukewarm water, the nonstop conversation by lips. Though lips got tired, I heard the murmur from my pelvis. She too must have heard that. She touched my *****. Quite a guy she exclaimed cracking a joke. Told her I salvaged it from the sea at Tanjore and it was some temple mast some sculptor abandoned. If it’s a temple mast, let the festival begin she said.

It was some festival.
Festival of festivals.
Black lacquer bangles, vermilion, ribbons
Hydrogen balloons
Spinning tops
It was some festival.
Festival of festivals.

A simile as washed out as a festival ground emptied of crowds. For the lack of a better one.  Returned from Karaikkal, a Union Territory, at some hour.  I dumped that taxi driver on the way. Not only because I was disgusted with bitter tea, but also because his name was not Thintharoo.

I can never again put up with a driver whose name is not Thintharoo.




**(trans by Ra Sh)
Thintharoo - it is also my poetry collection name. will come soon
Edward Alan Feb 2014
That statue of a god, with godly state,
whose clenching fist and arching back expand
to free the thund'rous trident from command,
will hold his step and ever warn and wait.

That statue of a god dares uncreate
that Sculptor of a god, Whose waxen hand,
in image of Himself, prepared to stand
those ankles, feet, and knees that spell his gait.

Gouge out his eyes and skyey senate seat;
his absence reassures Us, Men, the stellar
blanket warms but nameless moons and stars;
that fire that rises from an earthy cellar
lends itself and names it solely Ours,
so that Our liver is Our own to eat.
A FOREFINGER of stone, dreamed by a sculptor, points to the sky.
It says: This way! this way!

Four lions snore in stone at the corner of the shaft.
They too are the dream of a sculptor.
They too say: This way! this way!

The street cars swing at a curve.
The middle-class passengers witness low life.
The car windows frame low life all day in pictures.

Two Italian cellar delicatessens
            sell red and green peppers.
The Florida bananas furnish a burst of yellow.
The lettuce and the cabbage give a green.

Boys play marbles in the cinders.
The boys' hands need washing.
The boys are glad; they fight among each other.

A plank bridge leaps the Lehigh Valley railroad.
Then acres of steel rails, freight cars, smoke,
And then ... the blue lake shore
...Erie with Norse blue eyes ... and the white sun.
I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: “Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert… Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed:
And on the pedestal these words appear:
‘My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!’
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.”
John Shahul Oct 2018
Whenever  I am not seeing you
Lethal void is my heart
Like the monolithic art
Of a sculptor;
Like the figures of Mona Lisa,
I tried to engrave you
Again and again in my heart
And rehearsed you many times
In my memories.

To reconstitute
Your beautiful image
Inside of my mind
I behold you thousand times,
Yet all loving and languishing
Nothing could be captured
To match your perfection
As you were seen in person
Nor could be remembered
To your many dimensional figure
Of youth unclaimed.


You are just beautiful but demure,
Seductive but unrevealing
A love that slips down
Near your lips were forbidden?
And be never told?

Like two balsam flowers unfold
Opening from their buds,
Your eyelids are open wide.
Like two bees ******* honey
My eyes were seeking yours
To ferret out the secret
Of your true love and desires;
Neither did they come out
Nor did they flutter
And never reached out
My beehive safely.

Seeking out for your true love
In your eyes, in your lips,
Cheeks and chin far and near,
Everywhere  all over you,
Looking at you all the time.
You are open to interpretation
Of your true intention
Of your love and desires
Like the secret smiles
Of Mona Lisa.

Until you make confession
Of your true love,
I will behold you thousand times,
You are just beautiful but demure
Looking for you all the time.
You make me dream about you
While in my sleep or I am awake.

My discrete memories
Are overshadowed by time,
I cannot fight with my feelings
Whenever  I am not seeing you,
Lethal void is my heart,
Come and meet me in person!
Amitav Radiance Sep 2014
Time is the eternal sculptor
Chiseling away through centuries
To create innovative masterpieces
Where many facets of life emerge
Bridging the past, present and future
Shaping the moments we dwell in
Where events are scheduled
To display the varied installations
Which cannot be replicated
Recorded in the chronicles of time
When our world will fade away
But time will be there till eternity
Relentlessly sculpting for the future
For, time brings change
And everything changes, except time itself
Hear the sounds of thunder in my calling.
To you, the block of marble, I shall sculpt.
To the days you were left stalling.
Days lost in the deserts of self doubt
I’m the the leader ,which found you, then helped guide you out.
Nights left in deep and  water filled despair
I dove in
I grabbed you’re sinking hand
And lifted you back to air.
Wet and wild
Older
However wise
An elder with the heart of a child.

Learning as we walk together
Warmer in numbers then when we suffered alone
In the dark life which we thought that was forever.
The figure has been carved
No longer “the thinker”
He’s “the runner” keeping in time with hope.
The weight of  The heart’s hunger, now satisfied, from the once “thin and starved”
The sculpture carved

Full and well fed.
To keep grip on a strong built rope
Now the sculptor
Has earned his restful bed.
Ayad Gharbawi Dec 2009
THE STORY OF SARA


AYAD GHARBAWI


CHAPTER 3: BEING AN ACTIVIST

  
Gradually, we become ever more radical in our burning quest to uproot every conceivable element of the corrupting culture of the oppressors.
  We soon started to call these oppressors 'Pigs', because that is exactly what they were: overweight, bloated, filthy animals who live simply eat and consume all day, and who love to live in their own excrement.
  The Pigs had to be removed, because you cannot negotiate with a pig.
  It was so obvious to me!
  Some people did, indeed, argue that diplomacy and negotiations were the way to achieve our blessed equality-based society, but that was pure idiocy to me; because, for Heaven's sake, a pig will remain a pig and cannot become an 'enlightened' pig! These criminals, who are creating poverty, and who are killing people, because they do not allow them decent health services, must be completely eradicated, or else, ordinary people will continue to suffer.
  One day I heard Tony give a speech in front of a huge audience: "There's no point in cutting the tail of the snake. No, you must go straight for the head, and that's how you **** it!" And there ensued roars and cheers, from the mainly young crowd. "And, if someone is trying to **** you, what do you do? Negotiate? Talk to them? No, you **** them first, that's what you do! That's who the Pigs are, my friends. They are out there killing you, and so many of you tonight are simply not even remotely aware that you are dying slowly – so, you must, first of all wake up, and realize that someone, somewhere, is draining out the blood of your life, and next you must identify the cancer that is killing you. So, who's the cancer?" Tony screamed, and the by now delirious crowds immediately responded with a thunderous and hate-filled, "Pigs! Pigs! Pigs!"
  "The Pigs talk and teach us about 'morality' and 'respect' and 'decency', and other subjects like that. That's laughable now, isn't it?! I mean, the blood stained mass murderer is teaching us etiquette here?!"
  "No! No!" roared back the audience. "**** the pigs! **** the pigs!" they suddenly and somehow instantaneously started to chant. So, I must correct what many people think about Tony, and that is, he 'invented' and popularized that phrase, '**** the pigs". No, he didn't; it was the audience that night who spontaneously came up with that really exciting and vibrant phrase!
  From then on, violence became more common along with the never ending chants – if not screams – of '**** the pigs!' Every day, and all over the country, the movement had flourished, and there were the most refreshing and gloriously destructive riots in almost every major city.

  It was at this time that I first heard a speech from Omar.
We waited for the man to appear, but he seemed nowhere to be found.
  My God, I heard from so many people that he was the most radical in the deepest sense of the word!
  Apparently, he made Tony sound like a child!
  He also had a well disciplined party – unlike Tony.
  Here was a place that I can find the ‘cause of my life’!
  I could work for Omar and that would be the point of my life!
  The thought thrilled me – because I was already a convert to their ideas, but with Omar, there was a real party that was actively fighting the government, whereas Tony and other leaders like him were independent activists, but with no party behind them.
    Then, Omar suddenly appeared.
  He was of medium height, average looks - but it wasn’t long before you noticed his inexpressibly burning, fanatical eyes!
  I was about a few metres from him, and I could feel the sheer intensity of passion and rage within those eyeballs!
  This man must have absolutely the words of truth, for no Man could look like that and be a liar!
And then he gently spoke:
  "**** the pigs, I hear you say. Well, that's not good enough for me. People like that make me yawn. And, I'm bored of yawning every day. We need more. We need to move on faster. I need speed. It's not just '**** the pigs', it's '**** the cops!', because the cops defend the Pigs and attack us every day; '**** the teachers!' because every teacher does nothing except to teach us with pointless information'. And, '**** every human being' who sides or serves the establishment!”.
  Omar’s eyes were literally able to stab right through your heart and soul simply by staring at you!
  I can well imagine that my reader will not believe me and will say it was because I was a convert to Omar’s ideas that I found his eyes to be so abnormally powerful – but, what do you say to all those people who did not like him, and who met him, and yet, they, too, all said that his eyes were profoundly piercing?!
  So, you see, reader, do believe me – it’s not because I was emotionally enthralled by Omar, that I am describing him to you the way I do!
  He had beautifully framed fingers – I don’t know why I noticed that!
  He had a rather longish nose – maybe, that was one defect in his face, but you hardly noticed that, given the other attractions in this man.
  And then he possessed the deepest, most guttural, and yet so sweetly melodic voice, that I had ever heard, and when he spoke, he simply entranced me – not to mention the thousands of others.
  Omar continued, beginning to raise his ragged voice:
“And, so I order you, tonight, and tomorrow, and every day, to fanatically and ruthlessly exterminate every visible sign, agent, artist, writer, philosopher, painter, sculptor, journalist, teacher, professor, lawyer, doctor, surgeon, banker, engineer, everyone who works in the mass media like the television, every film maker, every scientist, and every single employer and employee of the Pigs."
  The audience now simply shrieked the verb, '****! ****! ****!’ while Omar went silent, amidst this wild orchestra of hate being played out.


  I noticed, that unlike Tony, Omar wouldn't gesticulate or move his hands at all.
  Actually, he just stood there, rock solid, like a statue while only eyes and mouth spoke!
  The man, I swear, looked like a 'human rock'!
  He was the absolute epitome of boundless hatred; of unrestrained defiance against the rulers ruling us!
  Yes, I do admit, and I hesitate to say so, but, yes, he almost did like completely maniacal – were it not for his self control and the beauty of his words!
  The audience relaxed.
  Omar waited until there was silence, and he continued:
  "Do you see the difference between what I am saying and what brothers like Tony say? People like Tony demand from us to uproot the pigs. But what Pigs does he, in fact, mean? Who does he mean, when he says 'Pigs'? He means the rich. That's it.”


  Now, Omar abruptly went silent.
  Tension.
  He was staring at us.
  I could feel that the audience felt nervous precisely because Omar was staring at them.
  Finally, he continued:
  “Can you imagine the limits of his intellect?! To Tony and his misguided followers, the solution facing the problem before us is simple enough: you simply wipe out the rich, and suddenly we have the beautiful society!"
  Omar was sneering, being utterly sarcastic in his voice and tone.
  "So is that it, Brother Tony? Is that all we need to do?”
  There, he stopped again, with a sarcastic, wicked smile on his face.
  The man’s body simply had no motion in it!
  I was waiting to see, if Omar would, at some point, move his body or his arms, but so far nothing!
  He continued:
“My goodness, I never knew that the gigantic problem facing us was to be solved in such a simple manner! But, no, you're being fools. Or, maybe you're fooling your selves. Either way, I don't know, and more importantly, I don't care, because, as I told you all out there listening to me,” suddenly, he began to scream with his rasping voice:
  “I'm a serious man, with a serious mission, and above all, I'm a man in a hurry!"
  Again, Omar went suddenly silent.
  I could sense, that he was deliberately teasing the audience, because they were obviously desperate for him to continue speaking, while he, would every so often stop speaking, thus adding to the tension in the atmosphere!
  The audience laughed, loving the biting sarcasm; obviously there were lots of rivalry and jealousies between the two camps, and so Omar's followers just loved to hear the buckets of insults being poured upon the followers of Tony.
  The mocking tone continued:
  "These fools are retarding our own path to victory! These followers of Brother Tony, are doing the dumbest acts that I have ever seen. I mean, what do you mean and what are you trying to achieve, when you have his followers going to restaurants and disrupting the place? I mean, is this what the definition of 'stupidity' is, or what?!"
  The crowd cheered: "Yes! Yes! Idiots!"
  "Listen here Brother Tony; I would like to say, 'it's all right, you're still young and you'll soon grow up'. But I can't say that. You know why?"
  The audience waited as Omar paused.
  He was staring at his audience.
  Suddenly, he erupted with his deafening scream:
  "I can't wait. Didn't I already tell you that? Didn't I tell you I'm a man IN A HURRY AND I'VE GOT TO DO MY WORK! DON'T YOU PEOPLE OUT THERE GET IT?"
  He roared, and the masses applauded furiously.
  "I don't have time, for children like Tony, and for his own little children, to stand in my way, and wait for them to grow up! I don't have the time, because I have an enemy out there, that needs to be completely, ruthless and fanatically exterminated, root and branch, do you now follow me?"
  "Yes! Yes! We follow!" screamed the masses.
  Silence.
  And then, Omar continued:
  "So, we know who Tony defines as the Pigs. What about myself? We must talk the talk of the brave. If you're scared, then get out of here. Why do I say this? Because this struggle requires the most ruthless behaviour on our part, and to be ruthless, you need to be brave, and to be rave means you have no fear."
  It sounded almost as if he were singing.
  Or maybe it was my imagination.


"So, who are the Pigs, you ask me? Simple. The Pig is a man, woman and child who has any Pig Attributes. What do I mean by 'Pig Attributes'? Very simple. Any human, who has in his brain, any idea, concept, believe and acceptance of any value from the rulers who rule us all. And, what are these 'values' that come from our dear rulers? They are ideas and values such as: there are the simple ones, like the belief in the right to profit, belief in the right of property, inheritance and so on. Then, there are the other beliefs, such as, belief in compassion for the rich, or cooperating with the rich or socialising with the rich. You follow?"
  The audience was silent.
  "That means, any human in our sick society, poor or not, who in any way, not only physically interacts with the rulers is a Pig himself, but also any human, poor or not, who has in his heart and mind, any empathy for the rich is a Pig himself, and so therefore, it follows – and I hope you people out there are listening to me – it means, therefore, that a poor human being who has any Pig Attributes, is a Pig himself, just like the rulers themselves. Do you understand?"
  Silence.
  And then he walked out.


  It was so sudden, because I expect a really screaming end from Omar, but to the surprise of everyone, he ended and simply walked out!
  But, I, understood what he meant.
  Basically, he was enlarging the definition of what it meant to be the 'enemy'.
  This struggle was now going to be infinitely more difficult. With Tony, the war was simple enough.
  We were 'right' while anyone belonging to the ruling class was 'evil' and that was it.
  Obviously, no member in the ruling class can deny that he's in the ruling class! They can even change their accents and their clothes, pretending to be poor, but there are computers and archives, such as birth certificates, school records, and it doesn't take long, to find out a person's origins.
  But now what Omar was proposing, that a Pig is any human being who interacts with the ruling class is evil.
  Also, anyone who has any thoughts that have any Pig Attributes (for example, being pro-ruling class), are also evil, and therefore, had to be eliminated.
  In other words, the poor can be Pigs as well.
  I loved that, because, I was never comfortable with most other left leaders, including Tony, who only focused their ire against the rich.
  To them all the poor were ‘blessed’ and ‘sinless’, and I knew, from my own background, that they simply romanticised the poor, probably because they themselves were all rich people who had never lived one day of their lives in poverty.
  With Omar, being impure, or sinful could be anyone in society – and, your background or class didn’t matter.
  That was far more logical to me!

But with joining Omar’s party, came other problems for me.
How were we supposed to ‘find’ a Pig, or an impure person?
  How can we be sure if a person has the Pig Attributes in his mind?
  It seemed ludicrous to me!
  I had doubts because as attractive an orator that Omar was, once you went home and thought about what he actually said, a lot did not make sense.
  I had so many ideas that contradicted what Omar had to say.
  For example, can’t we achieve our goals by peaceful means – rather than choosing the path of violence?
  And if we must use violence, then why don’t we attack military targets and not civilians?
  Wasn’t it wrong to target civilians and civilian places – like factories, farms, and shops?

  
  There he stood; eyes blazing as ever.
  What makes eyes 'blaze' I wondered.
  They don't actually emit any light, do they?
  So how can one man have such penetrating, piercing eyes that go right to your innermost heart?
  Omar seemed to be made of steel.
  Or, maybe it was all in my imagination, as Sanji would always be telling me.
  It was his personality and also his body language: that stern, stiff way of standing, that seemed to be the epitome of defiance against the evil in the world!
  His whole body seemed to be chiselled from the purest marble; there he stood, this heroic rock, against the tyranny of the storms and the oceans that were crashing on him; and still, there he stood, not only in supreme piety, but also, there he stood, waging a struggle against these very dark forces of evil.
  He will rid our society and our nation from evil, and one day, we shall live in a truly happy country.
  This nation and its sad people, this nation that has so many miserable, poor and unhappy people, will soon be able to live free, happy lives, without the burdens and the shackles imposed on them by the ruling elites.
  He spoke:
"They need to be utterly, and without a shred of human mercy, be exterminated, or else, it is us, who will be exterminated! It is either them or us! We need to cleanse our entire body from these cancerous cockroaches. Don't you people understand? Call it '******', call it 'exterminate', call it 'butchering them' – I do not care; what I do care and what I need in order to breathe uncontaminated, fresh air,  is to surgically and methodically and blindly eliminate the very existence of every Pigs on our land! That is why we have no choice but to fight. The criminals leave us with no choice. If they surrender their corrupting ways agai
JJ Hutton Dec 2012
Bradley, don't climb, the boy's mother says as she pries him off the bronze left shoulder of Sam Walton. She dusts the boy's coat. *Wait here a second. She begins digging in her purse. Her grey, sweatpants'd husband holds a point-n-shoot digital camera. The wind is inconveniencing him. The fog is inconveniencing him. Sorry, sweetie. I'm looking for a tissue. Every word his wife says shatters like glass.  He's been on the road too long. Of all the places, why make a pilgrim's stop at Kingfisher, Oklahoma?

It's the 7th of December. A day FDR said would live in infamy. It's also my birthday (thanks for setting the stage, Roosevelt). And here I am. Making my own pilgrim's stop at a subpar statue marking the birthplace of Mr. Sam Walton with no one for company but a green thermos and these tourists.

While his mother is distracted, the boy tears at yellowed grass. He pretends to feed the blades to Sam Walton's open-mouthed and unexplained canine. The husband sighs.

Ah! I found them, the mother reassures. Grimacing, as though shards of her words have lodged in the far corners of his brain, the husband asks,

Are we ready?

Not bad. The tiny bubbles from the champagne firecracker on my tongue as I lower the green thermos. Reminders of spilt coffee dot its sides like the little, overlooked  coastal islands of New England. Reaching? I know. But I'm learning to take notice of things, Sam. Patience.

I got into town before the liquor store opened. I vultured behind steering column. After a glance, a longhaired shopkeep with an oak cask belly shook his head in disdain for my entire generation. Turned the key. Flipped the sign from closed to open. Not to appear eager, I waited for a commercial break on the radio. I walked through. A bell chimed. Thirsty, son? the shopkeep asked.

I always am at the sound of a bell, I responded.

Let me get this off real quick, the mother says to Sam Walton as she wipes dry, white bird **** off a deep-cut wrinkle in his bronze forehead. Can't take a picture with you looking like that. The mother turns around. Offers an unsteady, white flag smile to her husband. Looks down at her boy. Bradley, stop playing with the grass. I mean it. Drop it. Stand by Mommy. We're going to take a picture.

Why?

Whiskey modge podged with ***** with wine with gin. Champagne. Champagne. Confused? lines joyously sparked from the edges of the shopkeep's eyes and lightning'd down his cheeks. Making him seem pleasant for the first time. Proud, even. I've organized the drinks by country of origin. Notice the flags?

What does France's flag look like?

France is over here. Looking for a wine? Perhaps a rich cognac? He led me down a densely packed aisle. Little ratings cards jutted out underneath each bottle.

Champagne, actually.

I see. I see. Is something ending or something beginning?

Both.

The boy places his hand on the dog's head. Pretends to ruffle its frozen fur.

Ready?

Ready.

Click. A flash goes off. Automatic.

Now can we leave? the boys pleads.

Why are you being so antsy?

It's just another stupid statue. I'm tired of this stupid trip. I just want to go home.

Today's my birthday. I lowered the champagne as I poured it into the green thermos. I kept watch for shoppers and cart crewmen in the parking lot. No one seemed to notice the transfer. The shopkeep ended up selling me an American bubbly. Silent Girl. I liked the artwork. A large-breasted woman with puckered lips stared down the sights of a .44 pointed directly at the drinker. Black and white. Refreshing to see someone so up-front.

The mother opened one of the rear doors on the family's Tahoe. No, you don't get a toy. Brats don't get toys. Brats get quiet time. She slammed the door.

Just you and me, Sam. A drink. Sorry, I didn't bring another cup. I lean in close. Trace the wrinkles of his forehead, where the sculptor stuck his knife deep. As I do, my own wrinkles become more apparent.

You know I heard a minister talking about you a week ago. I remove my hand from Sam's face. Take another drink. Apparently, your last words are his claim to fame. He said your nurse divulged them to him. You should see him. Each church he visits, he opens with, 'Anyone know what Sam Walton's last words were?' He doesn't ease into it or anything.

'Sam Walton's last words were actually, I blew it.' Can you believe that? 'I blew it.' Don't worry, Sam. I didn't buy it. That answer is for the customer. Not for truth. People love to think at the end of your successful trajectory, you'd just Solomon out. Fizzle. 'Vanity! Vanity!' I'd like to think there you lied in your hospital bed. In your private room. 7th Floor. Curtains open. Blue sky free of blackbirds. Your family around you. And your mouth tasting like metal. Like blood. The gears of your existence grinding to an end. And I bet you hated everyone in that room. Your wife wiping spittle off your mouth with a red handkerchief. You pushing her arthritic claws away. I bet one of your grandkids was at the end of the bed. His hair unwashed for two days. Uncombed for six months. A tall cow suckling your success. And I bet that clumsy hair was blocking the television. You told him to move.

When he moved, something horrendous was on. A soap opera. Something frustratingly ironic. General Hospital. Hit the red button. Called in the nurse. And your last words, 'Change the channel.' She put it on a Cowboys game. You watched Aikman throw an interception. Closed your eyelids. Changed the channel.

It's the 7th of December, Sam. It's my birthday. A milestone, Sam. So, there's cause for change. I told you the same ambition in you coursed through me. That I too, had sat in the back booth of diners alone -- conspiring. And while you're eternal bronze, while you're family photos, I'm mortal to a fault. But allowed to change my mind. I don't want to be ambitious, Sam. That's what I came to say. I'm not coming back to wail at this wall. Legacy, you taught me, is not in my hands. Even if I make a helluva go at it on this sphere, I run the risk of getting turned into half a statue with an idiot dog sidekick. You can dam a river, but ultimately rivers don't give a ****. They flow where they please.

That's the end. The beginning is that I can go anywhere from here. That's worth celebrating. I tilt the green thermos and let champagne run down Sam Walton's still face. This river runs onward. Without fear of legacy, of memory. I'm going to love, Sam. I'm going to love fully. Onward. While you stay put. A stupid statue.

Sam Walton is silent. Quiet time.
Erin Nicole Nov 2016
She just wants to be beautiful
She goes unnoticed, she knows no limits,
She craves attention, she praises an image,
She prays to be sculpted by the sculptor
Oh she don't see the light that's shining
Deeper than the eyes can find it
Maybe we have made her blind
So she tries to cover up her pain, and cut her woes away
'Cause covergirls don't cry after their face is made

But there's a hope that's waiting for you in the dark
You should know you're beautiful just the way you are
And you don't have to change a thing
The world could change its heart
No scars to your beautiful, we're stars and we're beautiful
Oh-oh, oh-oh-oh, oh-oh-oh-oh, oh-oh-oh
And you don't have to change a thing
The world could change its heart
No scars to your beautiful, we're stars and we're beautiful

She has dreams to be an envy, so she's starving
You know, "Covergirls eat nothing."
She says, "Beauty is pain and there's beauty in everything."
"What's a little bit of hunger?"
"I could go a little while longer," she fades away
She don't see her perfect, she don't understand she's worth it
Or that beauty goes deeper than the surface
Ah oh, ah ah oh,
So to all the girls that's hurting
Let me be your mirror, help you see a little bit clearer
The light that shines within

There's a hope that's waiting for you in the dark
You should know you're beautiful just the way you are
And you don't have to change a thing
The world could change its heart
No scars to your beautiful, we're stars and we're beautiful
Oh-oh-oh, oh-oh-oh-oh, oh-oh-oh, oh-oh-oh-oh
And you don't have to change a thing
The world could change its heart
No scars to your beautiful, we're stars and we're beautiful

No better you than the you that you are
(no better you than the you that you are)
No better life than the life we're living
(no better life than the life we're living)
No better time for your shine, you're a star
(no better time for your shine, you're a star)
Oh, you're beautiful, oh, you're beautiful

There's a hope that's waiting for you in the dark
You should know you're beautiful just the way you are
And you don't have to change a thing
The world could change its heart
No scars to your beautiful, we're stars and we're beautiful
Whoa-oh-oh-oh, whoa-oh-oh-oh, whoa-oh-oh-oh-oh, oh-oh-oh-oh
And you don't have to change a thing
The world could change its heart
No scars to your beautiful, we're stars and we're beautiful
This is truly my song rn. Scars To Your Beautiful by Alessia Cara
Jeffrey Feb 2014
If I were a painter
I would craft a goddess, hung
Immortal to some museum
or midst the the dusty collection of some baron
With body, flawless
Form, divine
And all of her admirers
Turning the muses flanking Apollo, jealous
But the real fire, the life giving spark
Would flare mad passion in her eyes
And the thundering, A call;
Theodora, freed from the patriarchy of old Byzantium
A bearer of the old magic, ghosts dancing from another time
Her beauty would be harmonious
To the glittering brown-gold of honeydew
And bursting,
Like a symphony loud and tremulous
All the true aesthetes, trembling
That a painter got to meet a woman so
To set his heart afire

And if I had been born a sculptor
If I had been given the power to shape
My crowning achievement
The great anthem of my time, spent
Would be a face;
A chin, gently tilted skyward
The eyes, sparkling with that unknown sea
Hair disheveled, parted, smoothing the cheeks
and the glimmer of lips,
Softly pursed;
But the eyes, the doorways to that tidal force
All of the dreams
All of the feelings, trapped and rolling, the ocean beneath
Would burst forth; A thousand church candles,
Or a gathering of street lights.
If I were a sculptor my greatest achievement would be cast in Lady's Dream
Not for the skin, but for the glittering eyes

Or if I were a composer
Working on my symphony
I would have the brasses buzzing,
and the strings
A chorus of thought
And the melody would be defined not by the loudness
But the silences
The gaps of deep thought, juxtaposed
Amongst the roaring
The soft gasps of tide being pulled back to sea
and all of the sweet undulations, the rivers of a mind
If I were a composer the audience would get a glimpse,
The briefest moment,
Of the beauty
Of quiet
The deepness
Of thought

But I am merely a poet,
A poor shaper of words
Strung out on hope,
Gambling on luck,
Trapped, eternally, to the brightness of the sun
And lost to those whirlwind emotions that govern men so
And for a moment, smiling,
I got to know the wildness in another poet's eyes
The softness of her smile,
And if I could spell love in her heart
I would
But I am merely a poet,
A poor shaper of words
And with these powers
I can merely say this:
When I say beauty
and the thoughts fall loosely on the page,
hopefully bringing forth a smile
When I say beauty,
When I say beauty
What I mean:

You.

— The End —