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CK Baker Jan 2017
cedar planks line the dim lit hall
morning snow begins to fall
sepia print in a chip wood frame
embers spark from the franklin flame

rustling sounds from bunks below
records play in a tight alcove
bacon grills on the iron sheet
gloves are warmed by baseboard heat

bean bags tossed on colored ****
papka placed as a punching bag
red brick wall with mounted poles
windows filled with glacier bowls

whiskey jack on the southern rail
a frozen patch of wine and ale
pine cones fall in gathering white
brothers bathed in firelight

sleighs are on the table top
canyon road is at a stop
northern winds that bite the face
lines are up the gondola base

cornice clipped on gully goat
the rubber man appears to float
alpine depths are on the rise
peaking sun through parting skies

triple ropes and nordic luge
honored guests from baton rouge
gelande jumps on rainbow drive
nostalgia’s light and warm reply
CK Baker Mar 2017
lady craighead played the blues
on a stand-up samick
in the ***** room
along side the parsons project
and squabbling dogs
and night moves

stairs creek
up the mezzanine trek
wool sheets slide
on finished floors
little angels
play late into the seventh
(a closing match nearing
the midnight hour)

croaking toads and cicada
sing in the blue moon
musty smells and mothballs
settle deep in the vault
the kettle boils
and cat coils
as the pump house rolls
its heavy drawl

the red phone rings
and bird clock sings
(behind the ruddy stall)
a sleeman variation of the ruy lopez
employed heartily
by the incomparable master jack
marble toast burning
wringer wash churning
chris craft running
near the old carp canoe

rooster calls
and west wind squalls
rustle through the porch screen door
chicken *** pies
and rogue flies linger
a rocker chair placed
near the  sepia face
(softened by the intricate frame)

donkey in tow
(with a fastened ***)
maggie in her dreams
of green tambourines
the nocturnes
reflections
and whispering gospel bells

tractors pull on
the grinder stone
horses lay still
in the mid-day sun
a trump card is fingered
at the furnace click
(crosswords and puzzles are next!)
while the sparrow
and that **** rabid fox
are drowning
deep in castles well
CK Baker Jul 2017
They weren’t all cut from the same cloth
vilified tenders of an iron *****
some were lovers
or lucid dreamers
stage romantics
hidden under jackboots
and skull caps
and switchblade seams

Caste members of a forlorn pack
counting their patchwork and deeds
conjuring demons
around the console
filling their dreams
with radio reds
and dusted quarries
and faded sepia prints

Brass knuckles
and marches of the few
lightening bolt cracks
from a chilling blood moon
death’s dark specter
cold and ominous looms
the cobalt sea swells
near the nestled, and lost
Clubhouse at Kiusta
Show us some light, Mr Jimmy
Sophia Apr 2018
childhoods are forgotten
mere bonds simply left to rot
bewildered and betrothed to the very idea
of a more golden sun
and glistening moon
but not all the planets in the solar system are close
and are in fact very far away

words are to mean nothing
nothing
left with the wind
blown away
good bye! adieu!
I shall miss my friend!

and where is the blossom
whom I met so long ago
on Mars
on Jupiter
the promiscuity of proximity
reminiscing
within the shallow walls of the cave
that drips drips drips
to the past

and history becomes bloated
with subjectivity and
a sepia undertone
so how can we see what went wrong?
how can we learn the implications of each movement
made by our lips
fingers
each deep breath
that coincides with the galaxy
underneath a waning moon
The light of the television
dimly lit two
lovers,
but not really.
He stunk of wine
from the lips and
mauve teeth,
she stunk of wine
by proxy.
her legs, only slightly
unshaven, he stroked
gently, which they
both enjoyed, but
not really.

***** pots, plates, and
cutlery lay placid
in the sink.
They'll be washed
sometime soon,
and put away in  
cabinets of wasted
white wood, very soon,
but not really.

The floor, like them,
began growing clothing
like wild moss or ivy,
and claimed the room
& claimed them too.

The movie, he'd recall,
but, then, she would
not.
He watched the blood,
and conflict,
and at times laughed,
and she saw him,
and conflict,
and didn't laugh at all,
which he knew was strange,
but not really.

On the dim, small, screen,
The lean and hungry man had his
Nemesis on the
sepia-tone ground,
and finished it all,
with rage and mercy,
with a stomp
to the
heart.

They watched, her eyes wide,
for she knew this was
them, her on the ground,
and him in the air, and she gripped
him a bit tighter,
which he noticed,
but not really,
which she noticed,
but not really.
In the dimly lit room,
they could not see
they were alone,
and it was true,
only Bruce Lee & He,
and She.
The faith in tomorrow's sun
does brighten as much as the
Present does and like memory
Does make sepia prints of the
Days gone by;  even of darkest
Times no others really know-
Am ashamed to acknowledge
Where weakness hides and
Says to Death it is cruel of you
Not to make it quick and so
I am waiting still for Now to
Pass as slow darkness comes
Tommy Randell Mar 14
I know that age
Does not come year on year -
But from Life and Love,
Aches and tears.

Age comes in waves
In seasons of the heart -
Age before beauty
Is just Death having a laugh.

September shadows
After autumn blues -
I know that age
Is kind to few.

Check the mirror,
See if you can
Catch the moment
Life lets go of your hand.

And don't forget to
Check your dreams
For that sepia glow and
Pastel colour schemes -

I know that age
Does not come suddenly
But that it does come
Is a certainty.

Acceptance and peace
And a willingness to go -
Do not let the final word be
No.
saige May 2018
i woke with a **** and
a windpipe full of butterflies, so i
swallowed them down to my chest
my stomach and below and
it was then that i realized
they weren't butterflies
but backward flies
that turn to maggots and
eat dead things

so it was then that i realized
i was dead, in between that
chasing-my-breath consciousness and
sepia splotched dream
which featured my favorite
human being
waking me, winding me
up...

hey saige, come on, so i
unlocked my eyes
even though i knew it was my
little brother
all along...

bright
cobwebbed windows at my
feet and
brighter fringe above me
brushing my forehead, like fingers
he leaned
over me, nudged me
hugged me, come on
saige...

i began to rise, which is why
he stopped me, that's when he
kissed me, and that's when i
forgave him
because i knew it was
an accident
except for, that was when
he did it
again...

my lips inside his, and
i kept my eyes
open
kept telling myself to
just kiss back, since we'd
already ruined everything, because
that was all he
wanted
because maybe
we could go back, maybe we'd still be
inseparable if
i hadn't screamed, enough!
maybe nightmares
are second chances at
being better
best friends...

i was torn
worn threadbare and i felt it
in every fiber of me
lying there, but i couldn't
pull away and i've
never wished to hurt him, so i
couldn't push, either
just clamped my eyes
shut, as he did the same
with his mouth...

and that was when
i woke
without a soul nor a shame
save for the maggots
in my veins
"welcome all,"
said the porcelain girl
i might as well of figured,
"it's the end of the world".

                            the leaves have consumed
                                      all the colour of trees
                             and the crown of creation
                                             is the matriarchy

"so, please hear me out,"
you know what I mean
when they whisper and shout
of the ghost in the stream

                                "dead in the dishwater".
                                         dark as her dreams
                        "dredged from the dillinger".
                                  drown in their screams

a shuffle of vines
their flowers in twine
head like a trumpet
more toxic than wine

                                            fingers bewitched
                                           fangs set to twitch
                                          at any disturbance
                                                  imp­ulses fixed

showered in doubt
he lets out a shout:
"fire all cylinders
into its mouth".

                                        jaw clamping down
                                    neck spinning around
                           as the struggle for freedom
                                drags him to the ground

ire of conviction
penance for three
digits he lost
to the teeth of a tree

                                             mind seeping out
                                   at the cost of his greed
                                          feeding the hunger
                                        the fervor, the need

delirious scorn
impossibly mourns
for any exception
"it may as well of warned,"

                                    them of the powerless
                                        thrashing with heed
                                       "gone like a pacifist".
                                            trapped in the sea

"oh welcome back,"
said the foliage freed
of the tactile sensation
that sprouts from its seed

                                          kept on consuming
                                      prescription exhaust
                                      the mental excursion
                                                     of sanity lost

"cowards with parachutes,"
"capsules and pills,"
eyes like a retinal scan
"searching for thrills".

                                           foraging, festering
                                        freelancing hallows
                                   cross breeding plants  
                            ‘til the metronome follows

powered by irony
clad in his wit
acts without judgement,
"like they give a ****".

                                          "emptying bottles,"
                            he whimpers and wallows
                                    and keeps losing track
                           of the number he swallows

sepia countryside
stowing their lives
his thoughts becomes nothing,
but, "fractals and knives".

                         with rainbows come ecstasy
                                              dour to the brim
                                      his state of exclusion
                                       lacks whimsy or vim

demanding them all back,
"what the hell's this?"
a handful of circlets
clasped to his wrist

                                           pattern of entropy
                                             has its own plans
                                  but some intrepid hero
                                  keeps swallowing them

"so welcome now,"
to the end of line
"i should've made assumptions,  
i'd be losing my mind".

                    "they wanna watch me dancin'
                                           like a marionette",
                          but ‘til they pull the skin off
                                       i'm filled with regret

if that was my first take,
"what was my name?"
can someone explain
all the smoke and the flame

                               "i can't understand you".
                                 your words are so thick
                    and the voices are whispering,
                                               "you don't exist"
Mary Gay Kearns Nov 2018
Sometimes we never know a person
Who filled our lives without a breath
Yet made a heart leap
And a mind yearn.

In sepia and postcard size
A professional portrait
Backed on thin card
In a blue album she sat.

Elphin faced just more than thirty
A baby in Christening gown,
Sleepy eyed, stretched across her knee
The family Moonstone upon her chest.

Opal, oval semi precious stone
Set in golden filigree leaf
Falling from a fine nine carat chain
As my mother looked up to smile.

Love Mary ***
Gutter Grimer Dec 2018
Shapes on-
A sepia glow, blow
Pieces into reaches
Hollow down below
Corrosion of tone, hone
A plentiful tome
Drums grown lone
Nadia Sep 15
The morning is dark, as
if the sun never truly rose;

the street is lit in sepia
tones, heavy clouds
repose on the canopies
of fall-grizzled oaks;

unseen birds warble
in hushed, muffled tones,
while ghostly cars travel
on cloud-dampened roads;

the children, buttoned in
to their back-to-school
clothes, weave or meander
the sidewalk, half-asleep;

- gather the little ones close
in this quiet calm before
the madness strikes -

- know your exits, know
your foes - who knows
what might... happen -

then sun parts languorous
clouds, sending rainbows to
vanquish the mists; sunlight
sparks warmth inside;

gloom and doom forgotten,
a golden day to seize and fly


NCL September 2019
Ever ask for feedback before a piece is done and regret it?
Antino Art May 2018
What I like about walking is that
you're free:
no GPS, no machinery

The sidewalk is all you need

The sound of footsteps is
a slow-dance
against the backdrop of buildings on either side,
lamp posts overhead
passing audiences seated in cafe windows
passing time

sure, walking is the slower, old-fashioned way to get there,
but if you want to slow things down,
this is how. Look how it reveals
every crack in the sidewalk
with which to measure each step.
Look how it wraps the sounds of the city around you
as a record around its player
to where you hear the song beneath the static.

I wander in circles
to arrive at my center,
my soul-o
the jazz of each step improvised
over the plans that bridge today with tomorrow, burned
in sunset orange -
a sepia photograph
we would have failed to take
had we driven in and out of the skyline at rush hour,
eyes locked on the road ahead, the day
a blur in the rear view mirror

walking is a panoramic experience
that motor vehicles can't replace

It's not so much
an act of movement
as it is of arriving
at where you were all along.
Joel Mathew Jul 2018
Asks one blind man to another
“How did you lose your eyes?”
Replies the other

“I was born into a world of darkness.
Nothing to see, but the abyss ahead.
Staring into its depth, as it stared back.”

Asks one blind man to another
“How did you lose your eyes?”
Replies the other

“I was born into a world of light.
As a child whose eyes sparked curiosity,
I searched, taking in everything I found.”

“The azure summer sky on the tranquil blue ocean.
The trees dancing in the first monsoon shower.
The amber foliage on a sepia autumn sky.”

Replies the man born blind “I wonder what’s worse.
Experiencing sight and having it taken away,
Or not experiencing it at all.”

The other smiled a smile so happy yet so sad
“The sights of light are still vivid in this abyss.
Light so bright, light so dark...”

“My loss is both a blessing and a curse.
I’ll never see those sights again
I’ll never forget those sights either.”

Asked the man born blind,
“Is mine a blessing or a curse?”
The other cried, tears flowing from a void.

“Cling on to her hand and don’t ever let go,
Asleep in her warm caress, don’t ever wake up
She’s both your blessing and curse.

She is oblivion.
If you had the choice, would you want to be born blind, or born with sight? Would you want to see the world for what it is, or would you want to be lost in oblivion?
Finn Parker Jul 2018
I went out in the dust storm yesterday
Sepia clouds filling the sky, but just on one side
Dense clouds obscuring the east
Clear as day over the shoulder

In moments I was engulfed
And I said goodbye to the westward sun
As the grains of sand, one by one
Pelted me in the face

Engulfed in earth
Baptised by the world
Out of vanity is my unbirth
And I don't even flinch
I don't like sand. It's coarse and rough and irritating and it gets everywhere
Camille lily Sep 2018
Man is  born unto the  rainbow of opportunity.
The dazzling palate before him as he draws his  first infant breath.
Perfect and untainted, this tiny being as he  enters this vast world.
His only purpose being his very existence.
The sheer wonder of this colourful land in which he finds himself.
A world of moments, of sounds.
Of touch and scents.
Of visual exploration through those eyes that have yet seen no horror.
Skin that has yet to feel physical pain.
Soft and unspoilt as he nurses close to his mother.
Skin not yet a fortress behind which he will hide many ills.
A skin that will learn to shrivel in shame.
Harden in the face of fear, like armour.
And wilt  in the absence of love.
Bloom  turning from rosy red to sepia.
For though man is born unto the rainbow.
The horror of humanity is diligent on his heel.
It’s hulking cape of  blackness, angst and despair.
As man destroys all he has been given in nature.
Turning his hand then against his fellow species.
Born into a roiling sea of corruption, control  and greed.
Where the myriad of healing greens,
Of mysterious purples and creative oranges,  lost forever.
Their brilliance fading like an aged tapestry in sunlight.
Turning to browns and greys.
Leaching their beauty through a lifetime.
Until there becomes only  blackness.
Until his is the dark heart of despair.
Bleached and brittle like driftwood on a desolate beach.
Washed up and empty.
The human condition and its agonies too much to bear.
Whit Howland Sep 24
You speak to me
now
in apologetic verse

a lyric born
from
way beyond

your cadence

a bent soldier hunched
over cups
of scalding coffee

frosted donuts
sprinkled
with the shots

its very sepia
in its cinema
and

very
tormented
in its song


and yes
you’re still
alive still present

and yes
we're tethered
still forevermore

but no
we’ll never meet again
face to face

so let’s
just cling to what’s
concrete

the image

an orange
gritty
rise and shine


ordinary
though
resonant

with
a workmanlike
musicality


Whit Howland © 2019
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