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Mansa Daby Aug 2016
When Depths tries to meet Shallows
Depths loses itself
And Shallows moves away untouched.

Depths reaches out to Shallows
But Shallows cannot be reached
Unless Depths forfeits its own self.

But Depths cannot transform into Shallows
For Depths hides too much in Her *****
And Shallows will not metamorphose
For he does not have much within.

So Depths and Shallows are never meant to be.
Depths will ever carry her burden
And Shallows will ever drift away.
DJ Thomas May 2010
We each have a voice and life, it is how we use them not how we might!  

Stop glaciers melting
Huge population movements
Death of progeny


The small reductions in carbon emissions being targeted for 2020 or 2050 - are thought to little to late to slow global warming.  The melting polar ice and glaciers together with our changing weather patterns are now fact. The resulting loss of river systems and rising sea levels will mean the desertification or flooding of agricultural lands and famine, then the migration of populations - starting with the skilled and rich seeking safety, to escalate into the terror of armed bands
warring over water, food, women and land.

By 20 20
Lets hope for twenty twenty
A 20 20


There is now the thought that the huge physical change wrought by global warming can be charted by the escalation in earthquake and volcanic activity.  And that this may eventually trigger huge eruptions in the American and Asian continents,
destroying civilisations to create a planetary volcanic winter.

Again fire and cold
The cycle repeats itself
Destroying nature


Was there a civilisation in deep history before the flood, prior to and during the last ice-age?
This has been researched and written about in great detail during the last twenty years
and many now believe it already proven by scientific review of documents and
thousands of archaeological finds, also by scientists having used the exactness
in the astronomical alignments of ancient monuments
to recalculate there greater age.  

Dead sold souls herd us
Lost mindless finger puppets
Vapid witless words


Sadly, the majority put their reliance and faith in
the actions of lawyer-ed politicians, most of whom evidence
a fixation on their own welfare,  selfish self-glorification needs
and an unwillingness to rock-the-boat once in power*

Politicians thwart
Party politics deafen
Propaganda’s herd


Putting off all radical action required until after the next election.  
Many have gifted away the necessary legal control and power to take national radical action
to a political or trade grouping of nations - in effect retaining only national rights
to go to war, put up taxes, borrow and spend monies.

Please no rhetoric
Complete local transition
Forget politics


We each have a voice and life, it is how we use them not how we might!

Living we give voice
So one voice might yet be heard
All being, believe!


We are left holding our eco-inheritance and children’s future in the palm of our hand.
Please let our love and imagination drive us each forward to make change.


Biosphere a greenhouse 
Target the impossible
Please gift some life soon?


So, we each of us have hard personal choices to make, which will encompass both positive and negative
benefits in terms of our time, lifestyle, health and wealth.  I chose to base my choices solely on how it
might benefit the eco-system and the lives of our children.

My choices are grouped under five headings: transport, food, home, lifestyle and further action. They are:
-  

Transport: Rail; Bus; Coach; Bike;
(I pass woods in bud - a Red Kite hunting twisting, unhurried moments).  
To give up ownership of electric / motor vehicles
and to avoid air travel where possible.


Highly vaporous.
Emissions farting -
barrelling vipers
.

Food: To eat meat/fish only once a week at most;
(Slaughteramas greed - industrial carcase-ed meals. Sheep full of cancer)
To study fast methods of vegetarian cooking; buy local organic foodstuffs;
visit local farmers markets and farm shops; grow my own when possible
and help friends establish vegetable/herb gardens.
To not ever feed, cleave and eat!


Fat shopaholics,
a deadly consumerism.
Cancers meat to eat


Home:   A cottage sized for me, friends and neighbours,
overlooking a wooded valley and trout stream.
Like me a little untidy and basic
.

Crossing the shallows
trout fingerling feed at dawn
White dots steep hill path

Dusk - eight painted queue
river paired mare and foal
Foliage lined dark black


Well positioned to capture the morning sun, airy and light.  
Yet insulated to stay cool or warm. With easy access to mountain bike trails
and long distance bus routes, plus several end-of-line train stations
in energetic cycling distance over the mountains


A differing beat
Quickly fading doubled steps -
pulling separate


Life Style:* A thinking poet mountain biker, living organic
not part of the great noisious noxious ribbons of hurtling tired.

Pressured paced life -
impossible  commitments.
Organic living


Further Action: *I intend to give up meat not because of the terrible cruelty involved in ten billion or more animals
being slaughtered every year to feed the human race, but due to
: 1)  animal farming being a major factor in the burning of 50 million year old rainforests at a rate of one and half acres per second to generate huge volumes of greenhouse gases, destroying the richest habitats on Earth and a principal source of oxygen; and 2)  that these billions of farmed animals
are themselves a major source of greenhouse gases
.

Burning rainforests
Feeding to cleave open and eat
Subsistence farming


With ongoing intensive fishing, the world's fisheries already in crisis and climate change,
it could be that we will run out of wild-caught seafood much earlier than 2030!


Conserve energy -
and natural resources
Don’t waste foolishly


Each of us might have a different view of what globalisation is,
for some this word encapsulates the dangers of our global fast food culture, omnipresent brands,
popular culture, changing diets and the growing use of packaged processed foods
.

Freedom to act sought
Globalisation's curses
Octopus suckers!


For many it is the illegal international trade in endangered species of flora and fauna,  
second only in value to the $350 billion a year global drug trafficking trade that now services
perhaps more than 50 million regular users of ******, ******* and synthetic drugs
.

The label 'globalization' can cover the: spread and integration of different cultures;  
industry moving to low per capita income countries; sweatshops supplying this seasons branded goods
to retail outlets worldwide;  complex international interleaved financial trading instruments being developed
by banks and financial institutions to trade worldwide, create profits and pay huge bonuses, without risk to themselves
.

Globalisation -
orchestrated profiteers,
betting our losses


Many see globalisation as being the beneficial spread of free trade, liberty, democracy and capitalism,
involving the efficient allocation of resources and capital through the spread of technology.
Unelected international bodies and institutions such the World Bank actively promulgate globalisation,
a '‘world government’ promoting close economic ties between nations
.

Enculturation
Our sad indoctrination
Globalization
  

The anti-globalisation movements dislike the corporate and political nature of globalisation,
protesting the resultant harm done to the biosphere, a more rapid and extensive deterioration of the environment
and the unintended but very real consequences of globalisation: the erosion of traditional culture
resulting in social disintegration; a breakdown of democracy; the spread of new diseases;
changes in diet; increasing poverty.
.

I view globalisation and it's propagation as leading to the final destruction
of the world's cultures and civilisations by locked us into a
dogmatic world political doctrine secured through
trade and political alliances of states, institutions
and corporations that remain hell bent on
imposing this world governance. Such
that individual countries governments
cannot consider making substantive
radical change to avert the planet
being pushed into a natural cycle
that will end the human race
.

Caged in Fools World
The people hear heroic call  
Each one a hero
!

The peoples and cultures of the world need perhaps just one western country to
break the legal chains of globalisation and adopt a radical economic regeneration program
designed to make the total transition to a dynamic culture of localised
clean communities centred on the individual not competition*  

Only one tool
National taxation for -
economic change.


Here I begin discussing how global, regional and national economies might
be based on the growth of small organic local economies.
not the repeated foolishness involved in chasing lower cost base manufacture -
each time at great cost to the economy it has migrated from!
Then a further culture becoming totally reliant
on the transport of foodstuffs and goods -
I can here you saying
:

"Oh **** this guy is -
talking about change, changing -
the world we live in!"


Yes, I am and do we have a choice?  But such change will be organic and involve business
in the restructuring and regeneration of economies till we share green economies.  
In small part his is already happening slowly!


Unlock taxation,  
survivals powerful tool.  
Needed now for change!


This is why we need to consider doing something that many of today's
plutocrats, economists, bureaucrats and politicians, would dismiss out of hand or
discuss endlessly in terms of perfectly competitive markets, perverse economic incentives etc


Major solution
National taxation change
Human extinction



WORK in HAND

This haiku sequenced eco-haibun is an ongoing project being penned day-by-day by many that care and take action. Your reactions are all welcome, thank you


**Take back control now.  
Cease all squabbling, achieve act - decisively!

Globalisation's, global control cut away.
Diversity sought

Promote well being.  Act with imagination -
for ecology!

Creating employment -
with local utilities, local food and transport

Incentivise tax,  to create local benefits.
Gain prosperity

Income taxation -  value added tax, aged -
dangerous mistake

Local licensing.  Lead don't follow excuses.
Saviour taxation

Imaginative - energy, food and transport -
local licensing

An alternative - energetic strategy,
greening business

Organic foodstuffs - out compete processed food.
Life promoting health

Healthy government - a healthy population. 
Zero income tax!

Locally taxed - by distance it travelled -
and category

Products bar coded.  Point of agreed production -
and category

Local added tax, by distance it travelled -
and category

Local energy, initiatives supplant.  
Replacing at risk

User energy, capture and storage.  
Eco-dwelling plan

Local water works,  supplanting initiative.
Replace the at risk

User water need.  Capturing and storing half.
Securing supply

Communications, local initiatives.
Protecting our needs

Local healthy food, life saving initiative.
Planting guaranteed

Sort unemployment, local work available.
Agriculture base

Radical transport - initiatives needed.
Change made possible

Season’s colours blur - in ageing contemplation
chilling warm breezes

Ganges dried mud - dust
Armed hungry thirsty tide
Generations despair,  lost

Our politicians -
squabble condemn progeny.
Flee panic and die

HAIKU SEQUENCE FINISHED

HAIBUN PROSE BEING ADDED
Day by Day
This haiku sequenced eco-haibun needs prose and additional haiku added day by day.  Contributing comment and reactions considered for inclusion...

copyright©DJThomas@inbox.com 2010
David Leger Aug 2014
Late night car rides,
Empty pints of *****,
A one-night ecstacy,
With a heartbreak dawn:

She shows her shallows,
As if they're great depths;
A cry of sorrow? Honey,
You ain't seen nothing yet.

She's not an open book,
She's just a bookmark type of personality.
Stuck between the pages of something more interesting,
Like a catalog or a Cosmo magazine.

Oh, she's always just caught between someone's pages,
With bits and pieces of their's stories rubbing off on her,
But them words don't look the same tattooed on her, oh no.

So stop pretending you're the deepest sea,
Your pretentious crap never fooled me.
Meant to be a spoken word, the tone is sort of casual carelessness, or a passive aggressively condescending. Hopefully that helps you to understand the tone of this piece.
Paul M Chafer May 2014
Often, the shallows are a good place to be,
Once out of there, no going back, not ever,
Once noticed, return is virtually impossible,
And all pedestals are shaky, no roots: none!

Ensure buoyancy, for one must sink or swim,
So much expected, so much demanded,
One may think shallows are unkind, a waste,
They are safe, though, friendly, pleasant,
Conducive company encouraging creation.

Once out of them, away from safe shores,
New challenges arise, new horizons, all new,
Making one desperate not to fail, not to sink,
One must swim, swim for your life; swim hard,
For it hurts to disappoint, it hurts so much.

Without the grassy bank and sandy bottom,
Creation is difficult, beware the sharks: teeth,
Scoot around the crocs, teeth snapping: biting,
Desiring your tender unsuspecting flesh!

See the glory-hogs wallowing, laughing at you,
Howling with derision; they know nothing,
Stupid hacks, every one of them, frolicking,
Performing in the deep, dark, dangerous-depths,
Unaware their blood will soon feed others,
The swirling waters running red: eventually.

Safer here with golden fish and humble toads,
Prometheus swims here as well as anywhere,
Savour the shallows, dance with creativity,
If you must leave, identity switch required,
Even then, watch sharks and crocs: teeth biting,
Often, the shallows are a good place to be.

©Paul Chafer 2014
Dedicated to Victoria and inspired by her poem, Hindered
Kendall Mallon Jul 2013
Book One


Prelude:

As Romans before them, they built the city upward—
layer ‘pon layer as the polar caps receded
layer by layer—preserving what they could, if someday
the waters may recede back into the former polar
ice caps; restoring the long inundated coastlines.


Home:

A man sat upon a tall pub stool stroking
his ginger beard while grasping a pint loosely
in his other hand. An elderly gent stood
next to him. The older gentleman noticed
that the ginger bearded man’s pint sat almost
quite near the bottom of its tulip glass.

A woman with eyes of amber and hair
as chestnut strolled through a vineyard amongst
the ripening grapes full of juice to soon
become wine. She clutched a notebook—behind (10)
thick black covers lay ideas and sketches
to bring the world to a more natural
state—balancing the wonders and the merits
of technology apace with the allure ‘n’
sanctity borne to the natural world.

When the ginger bearded man finished the
final drops of his stout, another appeared
heretofore him—courtesy owed to the elder
gentleman. “Notice dat ye got d’ mark
o’ a man accustom amid the seas,” (20)
he inferred; gesturing the black and blue
compass rose inscribed inside a ship’s wheel,
imbedded into the back of the ginger
bearded man’s weathered right hand.
                 “I have crewed
and skippered a many fine vessel, but I
am renouncing my life at sea—one final
voyage I have left inside of me:
one single terminal Irish-Atlantic
voyage t’ward home.” (30)
“Aye d’ sea can beh cold
‘nd harsh, but she enchants me heart. Ta where
are ye headed fer d’ place ye call home,
d’ere sonny boy?”
     “’tis not simply a where,
‘tis a who. Certain events have led me
to be separate from my wife. For five
eternal years I have been traveling—
waiting to be in her embrace. The force
of the Sea, she, is a cruel one. For (40)
it seams: at every tack or gybe the farther
off I am thrown from my homeward direction
to stranger and stranger lands… I have gone
to the graveyard of hell and the pearly gates
of (the so called) heaven; I have engaged
in foolhardy deals—made bets only a
gambling addict would place. All to just be
with Zara. I am homesick—Zara is my
home—it doesn’t matter where (physically)
we are located, my home is with Zara. I (50)
was advised to draw nigh the clove of Cork
and wait; wait for a man, but I was barely
given a clue as to who this man is,
only I must return him this:” the ginger
bearded man held out a dull silver pocket watch
with a frigate cut into the front cover
and two roses sharing a single stem
swirling upon themselves cut into
the back.
   “Can it be? ‘Tis meh watch dat meh (60)
fat’er gave t’ meh right before he died…
I lost it at sea many a year ago.
It left meh heartbroken—fer it was meh only
lasting mem’ry of him… Come to t’ink I
was told by a beggar in the street—I
do not remember how long ago—dat
I would happen across a man wit’ somet’ing
dear t’ meh, and I’d accomp’ny dis man
on a journey, and dis man would have upon
‘im d’ mark of a true sailor…” (70)
    “Dear elder man,
my name is Abraham; the mark you see
represents the control that I have on my
direction—thought it appears the Sea retains
some ascendancy… Yet now, it appears,
the Sea is upholding her bargain—though
a bit late... Do you, by chance, own a vessel
that can fair to Colorado?—all across
this mist’d island no skipper ‘ll uptake
my plea; they fear the sharp wrath of the Sea (80)
or (if they have no fear) simply claim my home
‘is not on their routes…’ i’tis a line I’ve
heard too often. I would’ve purchased a vessel,
but the Sea, she, has deprived me completely
of my identity and equity.”

Zara, with her rich chestnut hair sat upon
a fountain in a piazza—her half empty
heart longing to savor the hallow presence
of Abraham, and stroke his ginger beard…
Everyday she would look out at the sea (90)
whence he left…
     All encouraged her to: “forgo
further pursuit”; “he is likely deceased
by now”—his vessel (what left) scuttled amidst
the rocks of Cape Horn, yet Zara could feel
deep-seated inside her soul he is alive;
Alive (somewhere) fighting to return home.
Never would Zara leave; never would she
abandon post; she made that promise five
years ago as Abraham, ‘n’ his crew,
set out on their final voyage; and she (100)
would be ****** ere she broke her promise—a promise
of the heart—a promise of love. Abraham
said: “You are my lighthouse; your love, it, will guide
me home—keep me from danger—as long as you
remain my lighthouse, I’ll forever be
set to return home—return home to you.”

Out from Crosshaven did the old man take
steadfast Abraham en route to his home.
Grey Irish skies turned blue as they made their
way out on the Irish Sea, southwest, toward (110)
the southern end of the Appalachian Island.
The gentle biting spray of the waves breaking
over the bow and beam moistened the ginger
bearded face of Abraham; his tattooed
hands grasped the helm—his resolute stare kept him
and the old man acutely on course.
A shame,
it struck the old man, this would be the final
voyage of Abraham… he: the best crew
that the old man had ever came across; (120)
uncertain if simply the character
of Abraham or his pers’nal desire
to return home in the wake of five long
salty-cold years—a vassal to the Sea
and her changing whim. Never had the old
man seen his ship sail as fast as he did when
Abraham accorded its deck—each sail
set without flaw: easing and trimming sheets
fractions of an inch—purely to obtain
the slightest gain in speed; the display warmed (130)
the heart of the old man.
        And thus the elder
gent mused as he lightly puffed on his pipe
while sitting on the stern pulpit regarding
at Abraham’s passion to return home
(as he calls her):—maybe dis is d’ reason
d’ Sea has fought so hard, and lied, t’ keep
Abraham from returning home… Could not
bear t’ lose such fine a sailor from her
expanses—she is known t’ be quite a jealous (140)
mistress…
      But for all Abraham’s will and passion,
the old man insisted for the fellow
to rest; otherwise lack of sleep would cause
the REM fiddler to reap his debt—replace
clarity of mind with opacity.
Reluctantly stalwart Abraham gave
in and retire below deck—yet the old
man doubted the amount of rest that he
acquired in those moments out of his sight. (150)

For the days, then weeks, in the wake of their
departure from the port-island Crosshaven,
the seas were calm as open water can:
gentle azure rolling swells oscillated
and helped impel the vessel forward. The southern
craggy cape of the Appalachian
Island pierced the horizon. Like a threshold
it stood for Abraham—a major landmark;
the closest to home he had been in five
salty long years—his limbo was beginning                               (160)
to fade, his heart slowly—for the first time since
he left port in eastern Colorado—
started to feel replete again. The Great
Plains Sea—his final sea—he would not miss
the gleam of his lighthouse stalwart on shore.




Book Two

Oracle:**

Upon a beach, Abraham found himself alone—gasping
in gulps of moist air like that of a new born baby first (10)
experiencing the breathe of life; he felt as if he
would never become dry again… the salt burning his skin
as it crusted over when the water evap’rated
into the air; Abraham took the first night to rest, the
next day he set to make shelter and wait for a rescue
crew; out he stared at the crashing waves hoping for a plane
or faint form of a ship upon the horizon…days and
nights spun into an alternating display of day then
night: light then dark—light, dark, light, dark, grey, grey, grey…

Abraham (20)
gave up marking the days—realized the searches are done—
given up after looking in the wrong places (even
he did not know where he was…) the cold waves and currents took
him to a safe shore away from his ship and crew, in a
limp unconscious float…
From the trees, and what he could find on
the small  island, Abraham occupied himself with the
task of building a catamaran to rid himself of
the grey-waiting.
Out he cast his meager vessel into (30)
the battering surf; waves broke over his bows and centre
platform—each foot forward, the waves threatened to push him back
twofold… Abraham struck-beat the water with the oars he
fashioned; rising and falling with the energy of the
waves; Abraham stole brief looks back with hopes of a van’shing
shoreline—coast refused to vanish… his drenched arms grew tired;
yet he pushed on knowing he would soon be out passed the
breaking waves; then could relax and hoist sail; yet the waves grew
taller—broke with greater power… Abraham struck-beat the
water with his oars—anger welled—leading to splashes of (40)
ivory sea-froth instead of the desired progress
forward; eventually, his arms fell limp beyond the
force of will… waves tumbled him back to shore as he did the
first night upon the island…
Dejected Abraham lay
in the surf that night—the gentle ebb of the sea added
to insult, but hid the tears formed in the corner of his eyes—
salt water to salt water… the next day Abraham took
inventory of damage: the mast snapped in multiple
places, the rudders askew—the hulls and centre structure (50)
remained intact; the oars lost (or at least Abraham cared
not to search); over the next weeks he set to improve
the design and efficiency of his vessel—the first
had been hurried and that of a man desperate to leave;
the bare minimum that would suffice—he set to create
a vessel to ensure his departure from the des’late
accrue of sand and vegetation; Abraham laboured
to strengthen his body—pushing his arms further passed the
point his mind believed they could go—consuming the hearty,
protein-rich, mollusks, and small shellfish he could find inside (60)
tide pools or shallows—if lucky, larger fish that dared the
nearby reefs.
Patiently, Abraham observed the tides and
breaking water; he wanted to determine the correct
time to set off to ensure success—when the waves would not
toss him back to the beach; the day: a calm clear day—only
within few metres of soft beach did there exist any
breaking waves, and those that broke were barely a metre high;
loading provisions upon the vessel, Abraham bid
farewell to the island (out of wont for the sustenance (70)
it gave not for nostalgia) grasping his oars, he set forth
to find open sea—where the waves do not break and set you
gingerly on foreign shore(s); Abraham paddled passed the
first few breaking waves, his heart pounding with hope—he stifled
the thoughts (celebrate when the island is but a subtle
blue curve upon the horizon); as the island began
to shrink in his vision, the sky to his back grew darker…
the waves started to swell—moguls grew to hills—Abraham
stroked up and rode down; the cursèd Island refused to shrink…
if not begin to grow wider… stroke by stroke Abraham (80)
grew frustrated—stroke by stroke frustration advanced into
anger—stroke by stroke anger augmented into fiery
beating of the water!—Abraham struck and struck at the
Sea—eyes closed—white knuckles—trashing!—unsure which direction
he paddled…sky pitch-black, wind blowing on-shore Abraham
bellowed out to the Sea in inarticulate roars of:
hatefrustrationpitydesperationheartache!
Towards
Abraham’s in-linguistic roar, the sky let out a crack
of authority! a wave swept the flailing Abraham (90)
into the ocean—cool water only heated the rage
in Abraham’s mind—his half empty heart only wanted:
to sail home, become whole  again—sit under and olive
tree and stroke the chestnut hair of Zara as she drifted
off to sleep on his chest while he would whisper sweet verses
into her ear… Abraham’s rage, beyond reason, forgot
the boat and all clarity, he tried to swim away from
the cursèd island—scrambling up waves only to tumble
back with their breaking peaks—salt, the only taste in his mouth;
churning his stomach to *****; his kidney’s praying he (100)
would  not swallow anymore… his gasps stifled any curse
Abraham’s head wished to expel onto the Sea—yet she
swore she heard one final curse escape his lips! at that the
Sea tossed Abraham (head first) into his ghost-helmed vessel—
all went dark for hostile Abraham…

Contemplating back
at his rage—knowing the barbarian it makes of him,
Abraham peered into the band inscribed into his
ring-finger and saw the knot tying him to Zara—shame
at his arrogant-uncontrolled-fury sent Abraham (110)
into a meditative exile inside of his mind
(within the exile of the island…) in his mental
exile Abraham spun into deeper despair at his
two failures—even more at the prospect of failing the
vow he professed onto Zara: return home—home from this
final voyage, grow old with her on solid ground, never
to die apart and cause the pain of losing a loved one
without the closure of truly knowing the death is real,
to die by her side white, white with the purity of age…
Abraham’s destitution turned inward—his fury, the (120)
lack of control, the demon he becomes when rage surges
through his muscles; equiping him with untamed strength without
direction or self-possession—so much potential, yet
no productive way to use it… Abraham’s half-full-heart
burned, ached with passion and anguish—all desire
focused on home, his return, but the mind’s despondency
and insistent ‘what-ifs’ kept poor Abraham prostrate in
his mental cave—all his wishing for anger and vi’lence
to force his will, it did more to retain him upon the
cursèd island than bring his heart closer to fulfillment: (130)
his long awaited home…
Out of his mental exile did
Abraham’s irises dilate and contract with blinding
illumination—self-pity is not what make things happen—
it would only serve to anger Zara—nothing other
than I can be to blame for my continued absence; I
am stronger than that!—looking at the tattoo in his hand,
he remembered the reasons for the perennial brand—
the eight-spoke ship’s helm: the eight-fold-path—I must cut off my
desire for anger to be the solution and focus (140)
on the one path to Zara—the mind can push the body
further than the body believes is possible—the star:
the compass to guide me via celestial bodies
to where my heart can see the guiding beam of my lighthouse!
This is the Final Voyage epic thus far. I am converting Home into blank verse and it is taking longer than I thought to do; which is why that part is incomplete here. I also added line numbers. I changed The names as well.
With this pen, I paint an image of you.
Not a portrait, but a true portrayal of you.
The ink flows into words that dance across your hair.
The end of each sentence marking a cross that you bear.

A painting would be suitable for some.
With beautiful colors, cascading down on you from above.
But, those colors mearly hide the truth behind your smile.
With the right shade of light and a light smear, it becomes a cosmetic fix for a while.

My words flow through every crack and fill every shadow.
They bring all light to the surface, for the reader to see within the shallows.

The image of you that I create can be vivid and great.
But with this pen, my words can also design your fate.

You see the truth here is that my words hold all truth.
They leave no place for lies to hide, with each word holding proof.

In the readers eyes, my words are you…
With this pen, I can create you…
With this pen, I can finish you...

- Brandon K. Stephenson
The underestimated writer and the power within his pen.
L B Jul 2017
Could the sun be
    just
    a hole up there—
    that if I could leap
    would enter that breach of light

Someone!
   Throw me a line!
   Give me a reason
   There’s never enough
   in this life of breathing!

Someone!
   Explain why dreams roll a soul
   toward the cliffs of day
   Wakes to ache
   then stuffs its mouth
   with necessary same
  
Inhale—
   button shirt—brush hair
Exhale—
   necessary glance in the mirror
   (yes, still there)    

A lifetime!
   in a shallow instant’s stiff clear water
   (Yeah— still there)  
   in endless caverns of tired eyes
   above mouth still trying
   to say SOMETHING!  
   from ever smaller eternities
   in the glass-flat empty....

Please! Someone explain!
   this draw of breath
   one forcing itself upon another's
   life
   of beating —
   Violence in my chest!

Why hearts don’t sleep—

and I wind up watching
again and again—till
I am the ******...

...Morning lies
   in the mists of a humid *****
   who moans and sweats
   and boils her hips—
   and I wind up watching!?

“Will someone please…!"

   ...and I wind up watching
   bedspread, bed sore, death bed
   till you’re breathing easy
   when she sits and picks
   her collapsed bouffant
   damning the makeup
   that got crushed in the sheets

…Morning
Lies--

   with no expectancy
   both tired of knowing...

   ...The Devil lost his balance
   in my presence one night


...tired of knowing—

THE WILL!  
THAT WILL!

  ...walk away
   or continue to play

   I could open this screen!
   watch the world STEP BACK!
                                 SLAP FLAT!
   as trees and dwellings flush like quail
   to prop their tottering panic
   against the blue—

You—assume composure...
   compose assumptions
   Await my next—

Move like a spy
1990
Why I don’t play chess or any other game
for that matter.    
    
“...and when you're really out there
the windows all have opened onto nothing...
Death having long since-- left the scene.
When you get really out there
it's all--
and nothing…”
Wade Redfearn Sep 2018
The first settlers to the area called the Lumber River Drowning Creek. The river got its name for its dark, swift-moving waters. In 1809, the North Carolina state legislature changed the name of Drowning Creek to the Lumber River. The headwaters are still referred to as Drowning Creek.

Three p.m. on a Sunday.
Anxiously hungry, I stay dry, out of the pool’s cold water,
taking the light, dripping into my pages.
A city with a white face blank as a bust
peers over my shoulder.
Wildflowers on the roads. Planes circle from west,
come down steeply and out of sight.
A pinkness rises in my breast and arms:
wet as the drowned, my eyes sting with sweat.
Over the useless chimneys a bank of cloud piles up.
There is something terrible in the sky, but it keeps breaking.
Another is dead. Fentanyl. Sister of a friend, rarely seen.
A hand reaches everywhere to pass over eyes and mouths.
A glowing wound opens in heaven.
A mirror out of doors draws a gyre of oak seeds no one watches,
in the clear pool now sunless and black.

Bitter water freezes the muscles and I am far from shore.
I paddle in the shallows, near the wooden jail.
The water reflects a taut rope,
feet hanging in the breeze singing mercy
at the site of the last public hanging in the state.
A part-white fugitive with an extorted confession,
loved by the poor, dumb enough to get himself captured,
lonely on this side of authority: a world he has never lived in
foisting itself on the world he has -
only now, to steal his drunken life, then gone again.

1871 - Henderson Oxendine, one of the notorious gang of outlaws who for some time have infested Robeson County, N. C., committing ****** and robbery, and otherwise setting defiance to the laws, was hung at Lumberton, on Friday last in the presence of a large assemblage. His execution took place a very few days after his conviction, and his death occurred almost without a struggle.

Today, the town square collapses as if scorched
by the whiskey he drank that morning to still himself,
folds itself up like Amazing Grace is finished.
A plinth is laid
in the shadow of his feet, sticky with pine,
here where the water sickens with roots.
Where the canoe overturned. Where the broken oar floated and fell.
Where the snake lives, and teethes on bark,
waiting for another uncle.

Where the tobacco waves near drying barns rusted like horseshoes
and cotton studs the ground like the cropped hair of the buried.
Where schoolchildren take the afternoon
to trim the kudzu growing between the bodies of slaves.
Where appetite is met with flood and fat
and a clinic for the heart.
Where barges took chips of tar to port,
for money that no one ever saw.

Tar sticks the heel but isn’t courage.
Tar seals the hulls -
binds the planks -
builds the road.
Tar, fiery on the tongue, heavy as bad blood in the family -
dead to glue the dead together to secure the living.
Tar on the roofs, pouring heat.
Tar is a dark brown or black viscous liquid of hydrocarbons and free carbon,
obtained from a wide variety of organic materials
through destructive distillation.
Tar in the lungs will one day go as hard as a five-cent candy.

Liberty Food Mart
Cheapest Prices on Cigarettes
Parliament $22.50/carton
Marlboro $27.50/carton

The white-bibbed slaughterhouse Hmong hunch down the steps
of an old school bus with no air conditioner,
rush into the cool of the supermarket.
They pick clean the vegetables, flee with woven bags bulging.
What were they promised?
Air conditioning.
And what did they receive?
Chickenshit on the wind; a dead river they can't understand
with a name it gained from killing.

Truth:
A man was flung onto a fencepost and died in a front yard down the street.
A girl with a grudge in her eyes slipped a razorblade from her teeth and ended recess.
I once saw an Indian murdered for stealing a twelve-foot ladder.
The red line indicating heart disease grows higher and higher.
The red line indicating cardiovascular mortality grows higher and higher.
The red line indicating motor vehicle deaths grows higher and higher.
I burn with the desire to leave.

The stories make us full baskets of dark. No death troubles me.
Not the girl's blood, inert, tickled by opiates,
not the masked arson of the law;
not the smell of drywall as it rots,
or the door of the safe falling from its hinges,
or the chassis of cars, airborne over the rise by the planetarium,
three classmates plunging wide-eyed in the river’s icy arc –
absent from prom, still struggling to free themselves from their seatbelts -
the gunsmoke at the home invasion,
the tenement bisected by flood,
the cattle lowing, gelded
by agriculture students on a field trip.

The air contains skin and mud.
The galvanized barns, long empty, cough up
their dust of rotten feed, dry tobacco.
Men kneel in the tilled rows,
to pick up nails off the ground
still splashed with the blood of their makers.

You Never Sausage a Place
(You’re Always a ****** at Pedro’s!)
South of the Border – Fireworks, Motel & Rides
Exit 9: 10mi.

Drunkards in Dickies will tell you the roads are straight enough
that the drive home will not bend away from them.
Look in the woods to see by lamplight
two girls filling each other's mouths with smoke.
Hear a friendly command:
boys loosening a tire, stuck in the gut of a dog.
Turn on the radio between towns of two thousand
and hear the tiny voice of an AM preacher,
sharing the airwaves of country dark
with some chords plucked from a guitar.
Taste this water thick with tannin
and tell me that trees do not feel pain.
I would be a mausoleum for these thousands
if I only had the room.

I sealed myself against the flood.
Bodies knock against my eaves:
a clutch of cats drowned in a crawlspace,
an old woman bereft with a vase of pennies,
her dead son in her living room costumed as the black Jesus,
the ***** oil of a Chinese restaurant
dancing on top of black water.
A flow gauge spins its tin wheel
endlessly above the bloated dead,
and I will pretend not to be sick at dinner.

Misery now, a struggle ahead for Robeson County after flooding from Hurricane Matthew
LUMBERTON
After years of things leaving Robeson County – manufacturing plants, jobs, payrolls, people – something finally came in, and what was it but more misery?

I said a prayer to the city:
make me a figure in a figure,
solvent, owed and owing.
Take my jute sacks of wristbones,
my sheaves and sheaves of fealty,
the smell of the forest from my feet.
Weigh me only by my purse.
A slim woman with a college degree,
a rented room without the black wings
of palmetto roaches fleeing the damp:
I saw the calm white towers and subscribed.
No ingrate, I saved a space for the lost.
They filled it once, twice, and kept on,
eating greasy flesh straight from the bone,
craning their heads to ask a prayer for them instead.

Downtown later in the easy dark,
three college boys in foam cowboy hats shout in poor Spanish.
They press into the night and the night presses into them.
They will go home when they have to.
Under the bridge lit in violet,
a folding chair is draped in a ***** blanket.
A grubby pair of tennis shoes lay beneath, no feet inside.
Iced tea seeps from a chewed cup.
I pass a bar lit like Christmas.
A mute and pretty face full of indoor light
makes a promise I see through a window.
I pay obscene rents to find out if it is true,
in this nation tied together with gallows-rope,
thumbing its codex of virtues.
Considering this just recently got rejected and I'm free to publish it, and also considering that the town this poem describes is subject once again to a deluge whose damage promises to be worse than before, it seemed like a suitable time to post it. If you've enjoyed it, please think about making a small donation to the North Carolina Disaster Relief Fund at the URL below:
https://governor.nc.gov/donate-florence-recovery
Neal Emanuelson Feb 2015
And in the shallows of time she laid
Fated on the unclear ripples of uncertainty
Yet seeing through the mists and murky depths
Made claim her life is finite and impact undefined
She floated amongst dreams without fear and obstacles
And loved all with strong words aside from her own
As fate would recall her, she was naught an angel
But shone brilliance onto the water’s surface
Was naught a demon bearing ill nature
But tempted good fate with every word
Her life, lived; her bounds, boundless
And every moment in stride without fear

For her memory, I honor her my words in heart
And live to breathe another day amongst the scattered leaves
Only admiring her fiery strength and determination abound
I could only wish her a final farewell, delayed, but earnest
To see her off to the rivers and seas beyond her shallows

In loving memory Ina, always.

© 2014
“Give me of your bark, O Birch-Tree!
Of your yellow bark, O Birch-Tree!
Growing by the rushing river,
Tall and stately in the valley!
I a light canoe will build me,
Build a swift Cheemaun for sailing,
That shall float upon the river,
Like a yellow leaf in Autumn,
Like a yellow water-lily!

“Lay aside your cloak, O Birch-Tree!
Lay aside your white-skin wrapper,
For the Summer-time is coming,
And the sun is warm in heaven,
And you need no white-skin wrapper!”

Thus aloud cried Hiawatha
In the solitary forest,
By the rushing Taquamenaw,
When the birds were singing gayly,
In the Moon of Leaves were singing,
And the sun, from sleep awaking,
Started up and said, “Behold me!
Gheezis, the great Sun, behold me!”

And the tree with all its branches
Rustled in the breeze of morning,
Saying, with a sigh of patience,
“Take my cloak, O Hiawatha!”

With his knife the tree he girdled;
Just beneath its lowest branches,
Just above the roots, he cut it,
Till the sap came oozing outward:
Down the trunk, from top to bottom,
Sheer he cleft the bark asunder,
With a wooden wedge he raised it,
Stripped it from the trunk unbroken.

“Give me of your boughs, O Cedar!
Of your strong and pliant branches,
My canoe to make more steady,
Make more strong and firm beneath me!”

Through the summit of the Cedar
Went a sound, a cry of horror,
Went a murmur of resistance;
But it whispered, bending downward,
“Take my boughs, O Hiawatha!”

Down he hewed the boughs of cedar,
Shaped them straightway to a framework,
Like two bows he formed and shaped them,
Like two bended bows together.

“Give me of your roots, O Tamarack!
Of your fibrous roots, O Larch-Tree!
My canoe to bind together.
So to bind the ends together,
That the water may not enter,
That the river may not wet me!”

And the Larch, with all its fibres,
Shivered in the air of morning,
Touched his forehead with its tassels,
Said, with one long sigh of sorrow,
“Take them all, O Hiawatha!”

From the earth he tore the fibres,
Tore the tough roots of the Larch-Tree,
Closely sewed the bark together,
Bound it closely to the framework.

“Give me of your balm, O Fir-Tree!
Of your balsam and your resin,
So to close the seams together
That the water may not enter,
That the river may not wet me!”

And the Fir-Tree, tall and sombre,
Sobbed through all its robes of darkness,
Rattled like a shore with pebbles,
Answered wailing, answered weeping,
“Take my balm, O Hiawatha!”

And he took the tears of balsam,
Took the resin of the Fir-Tree,
Smeared therewith each seam and fissure,
Made each crevice safe from water.

“Give me of your quills, O Hedgehog!
All your quills, O Kagh, the Hedgehog!
I will make a necklace of them,
Make a girdle for my beauty,
And two stars to deck her *****!”

From a hollow tree the Hedgehog
With his sleepy eyes looked at him,
Shot his shining quills, like arrows,
Saying, with a drowsy murmur,
Through the tangle of his whiskers,
“Take my quills, O Hiawatha!”

From the ground the quills he gathered,
All the little shining arrows,
Stained them red and blue and yellow,
With the juice of roots and berries;
Into his canoe he wrought them,
Round its waist a shining girdle,
Round its bow a gleaming necklace,
On its breast two stars resplendent.

Thus the Birch Canoe was builded
In the valley, by the river,
In the ***** of the forest;
And the forest’s life was in it,
All its mystery and its magic,
All the lightness of the birch-tree,
All the toughness of the cedar,
All the larch’s supple sinews;
And it floated on the river
Like a yellow leaf in Autumn,
Like a yellow water-lily.

Paddles none had Hiawatha,
Paddles none he had or needed,
For his thoughts as paddles served him,
And his wishes served to guide him;
Swift or slow at will he glided,
Veered to right or left at pleasure.

Then he called aloud to Kwasind,
To his friend, the strong man, Kwasind,
Saying, “Help me clear this river
Of its sunken logs and sand-bars.”

Straight into the river Kwasind
Plunged as if he were an otter,
Dived as if he were a ******,
Stood up to his waist in water,
To his arm-pits in the river,
Swam and shouted in the river,
Tugged at sunken logs and branches,
With his hands he scooped the sand-bars,
With his feet the ooze and tangle.

And thus sailed my Hiawatha
Down the rushing Taquamenaw,
Sailed through all its bends and windings,
Sailed through all its deeps and shallows,
While his friend, the strong man, Kwasind,
Swam the deeps, the shallows waded.

Up and down the river went they,
In and out among its islands,
Cleared its bed of root and sand-bar,
Dragged the dead trees from its channel,
Made its passage safe and certain
Made a pathway for the people,
From its springs among the mountains,
To the water of Pauwating,
To the bay of Taquamenaw.
L B Jul 2018
Can I tell you how seriously I take this poem!
_
Could the sun be
    just
    a hole up there—
    that if I could leap
    would enter that breach of light

Someone!
   Throw me a line!
   Give me a reason
   There’s never enough
   in this life of breathing!

Someone!
   Explain why dreams roll a soul
   toward the cliffs of day
   Wakes to ache
   then stuffs its mouth
   with necessary same
  
Inhale—
   button shirt—brush hair
Exhale—
   necessary glance in the mirror
   (yes, still there)    

A lifetime!
   in a shallow instant’s stiff clear water
   (Yeah— still there)  
   in endless caverns of tired eyes
   above mouth still trying
   to say SOMETHING!  
   from ever smaller eternities
   in the glass-flat empty....

Please! Someone explain!
   this draw of breath
   one forcing itself upon another's
   life
   of beating —
   Violence in my chest!

Why hearts don’t sleep—

and I wind up watching
again and again—till
I am the ******...

...Morning lies
   in the mists of a humid *****
   who moans and sweats
   and boils her hips—
   and I wind up watching!?

“Will someone please…!"

   ...and I wind up watching
   bedspread, bed sore, death bed
   till you’re breathing easy
   when she sits and picks
   her collapsed bouffant
   damning the makeup
   that got crushed in the sheets

…Morning
Lies--

   with no expectancy
   both tired of knowing...

   ...The Devil lost his balance
   in my presence one night


...tired of knowing—

THE WILL!  
THAT WILL!

  ...walk away
   or continue to play

   I could open this screen!
   watch the world STEP BACK!
                                 SLAP FLAT!
   as trees and dwellings flush like quail
   to prop their tottering panic
   against the blue—

You—assume composure...
   compose assumptions
   Await my next—

Move like a spy


1990


Take careful note:  

Why I don’t play chess or any other game
for that matter.
    
    
“...and when you're really out there
the windows all have opened onto nothing...
Death having long since-- left the scene.
When you get really out there
it's all--
and nothing…”
Nat Lipstadt Nov 2019
<>
“rootless in shallows of momentary mayhem
and no matter the change in horizon,
there is always some thing to be found
that could remind me
of the worst ways I have ever been.”


from “Harlequin Days of Fecund Fervor” by Victoria

<>

rereading these your words, upset forces me to break a recent vow,
my own writing banished, now faceless in the ranks
of just another poet, busted in rank, chose my own
decommissioning but then your momentary mayhem
plea, fecund you, your third harlequin, states construct!

stay the constriction, the recalling of our worst worsts,
for there is always something to be found, recalled,
that the horizon’s only constant is constant change,
especially the worst worsts

I am colored by your treats, your word plums ripe even
out of season, and the mayhem is mine only mine,
robbed you for it is I, rootless, given up my planting, then
the cobblestones of old new york, trip me up, saying
even old things such as you, have a prime yet to come,
stones fecund seeding, predicting I am not done, just undone,
and fetuses within this dying body, may yet be carried to term,
may yet, maybe, may be, but may be caesarean stillborn

rambling this, mostly musty unclear, so summarizations a
sensible thing, a pardon requested for clarity is a sometime thing.

rare are the days that the terracotta colored soil
darkens my fingernails,
it is dried blood from my scratching deep beneath the skin’s topsoil,
but nothing grows that’s whole, warped are the word fruits.
my soup is hot water with salt, a tasty dish apropos for one
whose growths are rootless in the shallow, infertile dirt of stones
that reside in the shallows of a garden of mine own
fecund may-hem of the grey fall sky autopsy turvy
"In the grave, whither thou goest."

O weary Champion of the Cross, lie still:
  Sleep thou at length the all-embracing sleep:
  Long was thy sowing day, rest now and reap:
Thy fast was long, feast now thy spirit's fill.
Yea, take thy fill of love, because thy will
  Chose love not in the shallows but the deep:
  Thy tides were springtides, set against the neap
Of calmer souls: thy flood rebuked their rill.
Now night has come to thee--please God, of rest:
  So some time must it come to every man;
  To first and last, where many last are first.
Now fixed and finished thine eternal plan,
  Thy best has done its best, thy worst its worst:
Thy best its best, please God, thy best its best.
I knew she was like water, she'd probably wish to be compared to a sea but she was more like a lake. Still, calm, never moving without an outside force.

But still I loved her. Her calming waters soothed my wounds and her reflective surface forced me to see myself the way I am. But still she never moved. I could ripple her surface, make her waters splash upon new sides of her shores, but in doing so I watched in somber wonder as she washed the people in her shallows up upon her banks, sore and bruised down to their hearts, and neither would reach for the other, trapped in the curse of stillness.

She assured me she loved me, she assured me I'd always stay in the deepest depth of her heart. And yet slowly, what was once a depth so warm and vast, I found my toes grazing the bottom, and every time I did I tried to swim back, back to where the water was endless, bottomless, yet never could I stay there long. Other people were causing wakes, and fighting against them was becoming difficult, for I am not the strongest swimmer.

I began to wonder whether I was still welcome, for her silences were getting longer, her ripples I could cause we're so much smaller, and in my self doubt those wakes moved me ever closer to the shore, and with each step I could take full footed along the bottom I began to sob.

I tried curling myself into a ball in those shallows, tried to allow the water to cover my head and tell myself I still mattered. But the water here was so frigid, my lips began to turn blue and my lungs burned. I'd return to the surface and take long breaths and use them to scream silently.

From where I stood, the water only knee deep I saw the figure of a man at her center, and as he raised his arms my scream became caught in my throat, and as his arms slammed upon her surface I saw the wave come rushing toward me, the longer it moved the more it grew and I said silently to myself "this is the end."

In those surreal seconds I remembered the others, and was reminded of her stillness, and in those horrible moments I knew I was nothing anymore, just another piece of useless trash to be lying upon her shore.
NUMB, half asleep, and dazed with whirl of wheels,
And gasp of steam, and measured clank of chains,
I heard a blithe voice break a sudden pause,
Ringing familiarly through the lamp-lit night,
“Wife, here's your Venice!”
I was lifted down,
And gazed about in stupid wonderment,
Holding my little Katie by the hand—
My yellow-haired step-daughter. And again
Two strong arms led me to the water-brink,
And laid me on soft cushions in a boat,—
A queer boat, by a queerer boatman manned—
Swarthy-faced, ragged, with a scarlet cap—
Whose wild, weird note smote shrilly through the dark.
Oh yes, it was my Venice! Beautiful,
With melancholy, ghostly beauty—old,
And sorrowful, and weary—yet so fair,
So like a queen still, with her royal robes,
Full of harmonious colour, rent and worn!
I only saw her shadow in the stream,
By flickering lamplight,—only saw, as yet,
White, misty palace-portals here and there,
Pillars, and marble steps, and balconies,
Along the broad line of the Grand Canal;
And, in the smaller water-ways, a patch
Of wall, or dim bridge arching overhead.
But I could feel the rest. 'Twas Venice!—ay,
The veritable Venice of my dreams.

I saw the grey dawn shimmer down the stream,
And all the city rise, new bathed in light,
With rose-red blooms on her decaying walls,
And gold tints quivering up her domes and spires—
Sharp-drawn, with delicate pencillings, on a sky
Blue as forget-me-nots in June. I saw
The broad day staring in her palace-fronts,
Pointing to yawning gap and crumbling boss,
And colonnades, time-stained and broken, flecked
With soft, sad, dying colours—sculpture-wreathed,
And gloriously proportioned; saw the glow
Light up her bright, harmonious, fountain'd squares,
And spread out on her marble steps, and pass
Down silent courts and secret passages,
Gathering up motley treasures on its way;—

Groups of rich fruit from the Rialto mart,
Scarlet and brown and purple, with green leaves—
Fragments of exquisite carving, lichen-grown,
Found, 'mid pathetic squalor, in some niche
Where wild, half-naked urchins lived and played—
A bright robe, crowned with a pale, dark-eyed face—
A red-striped awning 'gainst an old grey wall—
A delicate opal gleam upon the tide.

I looked out from my window, and I saw
Venice, my Venice, naked in the sun—
Sad, faded, and unutterably forlorn!—
But still unutterably beautiful.

For days and days I wandered up and down—
Holding my breath in awe and ecstasy,—
Following my husband to familiar haunts,
Making acquaintance with his well-loved friends,
Whose faces I had only seen in dreams
And books and photographs and his careless talk.
For days and days—with sunny hours of rest
And musing chat, in that cool room of ours,
Paved with white marble, on the Grand Canal;
For days and days—with happy nights between,
Half-spent, while little Katie lay asleep
Out on the balcony, with the moon and stars.

O Venice, Venice!—with thy water-streets—
Thy gardens bathed in sunset, flushing red
Behind San Giorgio Maggiore's dome—
Thy glimmering lines of haughty palaces
Shadowing fair arch and column in the stream—
Thy most divine cathedral, and its square,
With vagabonds and loungers daily thronged,
Taking their ice, their coffee, and their ease—
Thy sunny campo's, with their clamorous din,
Their shrieking vendors of fresh fish and fruit—
Thy churches and thy pictures—thy sweet bits
Of colour—thy grand relics of the dead—
Thy gondoliers and water-bearers—girls
With dark, soft eyes, and creamy faces, crowned
With braided locks as bright and black as jet—
Wild ragamuffins, picturesque in rags,
And swarming beggars and old witch-like crones,
And brown-cloaked contadini, hot and tired,
Sleeping, face-downward, on the sunny steps—
Thy fairy islands floating in the sun—
Thy poppy-sprinkled, grave-strewn Lido shore—

Thy poetry and thy pathos—all so strange!—
Thou didst bring many a lump into my throat,
And many a passionate thrill into my heart,
And once a tangled dream into my head.

'Twixt afternoon and evening. I was tired;
The air was hot and golden—not a breath
Of wind until the sunset—hot and still.
Our floor was water-sprinkled; our thick walls
And open doors and windows, shadowed deep
With jalousies and awnings, made a cool
And grateful shadow for my little couch.
A subtle perfume stole about the room
From a small table, piled with purple grapes,
And water-melon slices, pink and wet,
And ripe, sweet figs, and golden apricots,
New-laid on green leaves from our garden—leaves
Wherewith an antique torso had been clothed.
My husband read his novel on the floor,
Propped up on cushions and an Indian shawl;
And little Katie slumbered at his feet,
Her yellow curls alight, and delicate tints
Of colour in the white folds of her frock.
I lay, and mused, in comfort and at ease,
Watching them both and playing with my thoughts;
And then I fell into a long, deep sleep,
And dreamed.
I saw a water-wilderness—
Islands entangled in a net of streams—
Cross-threads of rippling channels, woven through
Bare sands, and shallows glimmering blue and broad—
A line of white sea-breakers far away.
There came a smoke and crying from the land—
Ruin was there, and ashes, and the blood
Of conquered cities, trampled down to death.
But here, methought, amid these lonely gulfs,
There rose up towers and bulwarks, fair and strong,
Lapped in the silver sea-mists;—waxing aye
Fairer and stronger—till they seemed to mock
The broad-based kingdoms on the mainland shore.
I saw a great fleet sailing in the sun,
Sailing anear the sand-slip, whereon broke
The long white wave-crests of the outer sea,—
Pepin of Lombardy, with his warrior hosts—
Following the ****** steps of Attila!
I saw the smoke rise when he touched the towns
That lay, outposted, in his ravenous reach;

Then, in their island of deep waters,* saw
A gallant band defy him to his face,
And drive him out, with his fair vessels wrecked
And charred with flames, into the sea again.
“Ah, this is Venice!” I said proudly—“queen
Whose haughty spirit none shall subjugate.”

It was the night. The great stars hung, like globes
Of gold, in purple skies, and cast their light
In palpitating ripples down the flood
That washed and gurgled through the silent streets—
White-bordered now with marble palaces.
It was the night. I saw a grey-haired man,
Sitting alone in a dark convent-porch—
In beggar's garments, with a kingly face,
And eyes that watched for dawnlight anxiously—
A weary man, who could not rest nor sleep.
I heard him muttering prayers beneath his breath,
And once a malediction—while the air
Hummed with the soft, low psalm-chants from within.
And then, as grey gleams yellowed in the east,
I saw him bend his venerable head,
Creep to the door, and knock.
Again I saw
The long-drawn billows breaking on the land,
And galleys rocking in the summer noon.
The old man, richly retinued, and clad
In princely robes, stood there, and spread his arms,
And cried, to one low-kneeling at his feet,
“Take thou my blessing with thee, O my son!
And let this sword, wherewith I gird thee, smite
The impious tyrant-king, who hath defied,
Dethroned, and exiled him who is as Christ.
The Lord be good to thee, my son, my son,
For thy most righteous dealing!”
And again
'Twas that long slip of land betwixt the sea
And still lagoons of Venice—curling waves
Flinging light, foamy spray upon the sand.
The noon was past, and rose-red shadows fell
Across the waters. Lo! the galleys came
To anchorage again—and lo! the Duke
Yet once more bent his noble head to earth,
And laid a victory at the old man's feet,
Praying a blessing with exulting heart.
“This day, my well-belovèd, thou art blessed,
And Venice with thee, for St. Peter's sake.

And I will give thee, for thy bride and queen,
The sea which thou hast conquered. Take this ring,
As sign of her subjection, and thy right
To be her lord for ever.”
Once again
I saw that old man,—in the vestibule
Of St. Mark's fair cathedral,—circled round
With cardinals and priests, ambassadors
And the noblesse of Venice—richly robed
In papal vestments, with the triple crown
Gleaming upon his brows. There was a hush:—
I saw a glittering train come sweeping on,
From the blue water and across the square,
Thronged with an eager multitude,—the Duke,
And with him Barbarossa, humbled now,
And fain to pray for pardon. With bare heads,
They reached the church, and paused. The Emperor knelt,
Casting away his purple mantle—knelt,
And crept along the pavement, as to kiss
Those feet, which had been weary twenty years
With his own persecutions. And the Pope
Lifted his white haired, crowned, majestic head,
And trod upon his neck,—crying out to Christ,
“Upon the lion and adder shalt thou go—
The dragon shalt thou tread beneath thy feet!”
The vision changed. Sweet incense-clouds rose up
From the cathedral altar, mix'd with hymns
And solemn chantings, o'er ten thousand heads;
And ebbed and died away along the aisles.
I saw a train of nobles—knights of France—
Pass 'neath the glorious arches through the crowd,
And stand, with halo of soft, coloured light
On their fair brows—the while their leader's voice
Rang through the throbbing silence like a bell.
“Signiors, we come to Venice, by the will
Of the most high and puissant lords of France,
To pray you look with your compassionate eyes
Upon the Holy City of our Christ—
Wherein He lived, and suffered, and was lain
Asleep, to wake in glory, for our sakes—
By Paynim dogs dishonoured and defiled!
Signiors, we come to you, for you are strong.
The seas which lie betwixt that land and this
Obey you. O have pity! See, we kneel—
Our Masters bid us kneel—and bid us stay
Here at your feet until you grant our prayers!”
Wherewith the knights fell down upon their knees,

And lifted up their supplicating hands.
Lo! the ten thousand people rose as one,
And shouted with a shout that shook the domes
And gleaming roofs above them—echoing down,
Through marble pavements, to the shrine below,
Where lay the miraculous body of their Saint
(Shed he not heavenly radiance as he heard?—
Perfuming the damp air of his secret crypt),
And cried, with an exceeding mighty cry,
“We do consent! We will be pitiful!”
The thunder of their voices reached the sea,
And thrilled through all the netted water-veins
Of their rich city. Silence fell anon,
Slowly, with fluttering wings, upon the crowd;
And then a veil of darkness.
And again
The filtered sunlight streamed upon those walls,
Marbled and sculptured with divinest grace;
Again I saw a multitude of heads,
Soft-wreathed with cloudy incense, bent in prayer—
The heads of haughty barons, armed knights,
And pilgrims girded with their staff and scrip,
The warriors of the Holy Sepulchre.
The music died away along the roof;
The hush was broken—not by him of France—
By Enrico Dandolo, whose grey head
Venice had circled with the ducal crown.
The old man looked down, with his dim, wise eyes,
Stretching his hands abroad, and spake. “Seigneurs,
My children, see—your vessels lie in port
Freighted for battle. And you, standing here,
Wait but the first fair wind. The bravest hosts
Are with you, and the noblest enterprise
Conceived of man. Behold, I am grey-haired,
And old and feeble. Yet am I your lord.
And, if it be your pleasure, I will trust
My ducal seat in Venice to my son,
And be your guide and leader.”
When they heard,
They cried aloud, “In God's name, go with us!”
And the old man, with holy weeping, passed
Adown the tribune to the altar-steps;
And, kneeling, fixed the cross upon his cap.
A ray of sudden sunshine lit his face—
The grand, grey, furrowed face—and lit the cross,
Until it twinkled like a cross of fire.
“We shall be safe with him,” the people said,

Straining their wet, bright eyes; “and we shall reap
Harvests of glory from our battle-fields!”

Anon there rose a vapour from the sea—
A dim white mist, that thickened into fog.
The campanile and columns were blurred out,
Cathedral domes and spires, and colonnades
Of marble palaces on the Grand Canal.
Joy-bells rang sadly and softly—far away;
Banners of welcome waved like wind-blown clouds;
Glad shouts were muffled into mournful wails.
A Doge was come to be enthroned and crowned,—
Not in the great Bucentaur—not in pomp;
The water-ways had wandered in the mist,
And he had tracked them, slowly, painfully,
From San Clemente to Venice, in a frail
And humble gondola. A Doge was come;
But he, alas! had missed his landing-place,
And set his foot upon the blood-stained stones
Betwixt the blood-red columns. Ah, the sea—
The bride, the queen—she was the first to turn
Against her passionate, proud, ill-fated lord!

Slowly the sea-fog melted, and I saw
Long, limp dead bodies dangling in the sun.
Two granite pillars towered on either side,
And broad blue waters glittered at their feet.
“These are the traitors,” said the people; “they
Who, with our Lord the Duke, would overthrow
The government of Venice.”
And anon,
The doors about the palace were made fast.
A great crowd gathered round them, with hushed breath
And throbbing pulses. And I knew their lord,
The Duke Faliero, knelt upon his knees,
On the broad landing of the marble stairs
Where he had sworn the oath he could not keep—
Vexed with the tyrannous oligarchic rule
That held his haughty spirit netted in,
And cut so keenly that he writhed and chafed
Until he burst the meshes—could not keep!
I watched and waited, feeling sick at heart;
And then I saw a figure, robed in black—
One of their dark, ubiquitous, supreme
And fearful tribunal of Ten—come forth,
And hold a dripping sword-blade in the air.
“Justice has fallen on the traitor! See,
His blood has paid the forfeit of his crime!”

And all the people, hearing, murmured deep,
Cursing their dead lord, and the council, too,
Whose swift, sure, heavy hand had dealt his death.

Then came the night, all grey and still and sad.
I saw a few red torches flare and flame
Over a little gondola, where lay
The headless body of the traitor Duke,
Stripped of his ducal vestments. Floating down
The quiet waters, it passed out of sight,
Bearing him to unhonoured burial.
And then came mist and darkness.
Lo! I heard
The shrill clang of alarm-bells, and the wails
Of men and women in the wakened streets.
A thousand torches flickered up and down,
Lighting their ghastly faces and bare heads;
The while they crowded to the open doors
Of all the churches—to confess their sins,
To pray for absolution, and a last
Lord's Supper—their viaticum, whose death
Seemed near at hand—ay, nearer than the dawn.
“Chioggia is fall'n!” they cried, “and we are lost!”

Anon I saw them hurrying to and fro,
With eager eyes and hearts and blither feet—
Grave priests, with warlike weapons in their hands,
And delicate women, with their ornaments
Of gold and jewels for the public fund—
Mix'd with the bearded crowd, whose lives were given,
With all they had, to Venice in her need.
No more I heard the wailing of despair,—
But great Pisani's blithe word of command,
The dip of oars, and creak of beams and chains,
And ring of hammers in the arsenal.
“Venice shall ne'er be lost!” her people cried—
Whose names were worthy of the Golden Book—
“Venice shall ne'er be conquered!”
And anon
I saw a scene of triumph—saw the Doge,
In his Bucentaur, sailing to the land—
Chioggia behind him blackened in the smoke,
Venice before, all banners, bells, and shouts
Of passionate rejoicing! Ten long months
Had Genoa waged that war of life and death;
And now—behold the remnant of her host,
Shrunken and hollow-eyed and bound with chains—
Trailing their galleys in the conqueror's wake!

Once more the tremulous waters, flaked with light;
A covered vessel, with an armèd guard—
A yelling mob on fair San Giorgio's isle,
And ominous whisperings in the city squares.
Carrara's noble head bowed down at last,
Beaten by many storms,—his golden spurs
Caught in the meshes of a hidden snare!
“O Venice!” I cried, “where is thy great heart
And honourable soul?”
And yet once more
I saw her—the gay Sybaris of the world—
The rich voluptuous city—sunk in sloth.
I heard Napoleon's cannon at her gates,
And her degenerate nobles cry for fear.
I saw at last the great Republic fall—
Conquered by her own sickness, and with scarce
A noticeable wound—I saw her fall!
And she had stood above a thousand years!
O Carlo Zeno! O Pisani! Sure
Ye turned and groaned for pity in your graves.
I saw the flames devour her Golden Book
Beneath the rootless “Tree of Liberty;”
I saw the Lion's le
Third Eye Candy Dec 2012
are you the god you believe in ? does this blood soothe you so ?
are you not a bullet ? are you not not mine ? are you serious ?
why so ?
do you cleave to your wicked  grace like uranium chanting Oppenheimer ?
are you safe where you are and can i say " goodbye " really ? for once ?
how deep are your shallows ? can we drown the noise precisely, my love ?
are these questions enough to see me from ?
and where are you gone ?
you're so gone...

am i there ?
Kendall Mallon Mar 2013
Upon a beach, Lysseus found himself alone—gasping
in gulps of moist air like that of a new born baby first
experiencing the breathe of life. He felt as if he would
never become dry again… the salt burning his skin as it
crusted over when the water evaporated into the air.
Taking the first night to rest, the set out the next day to
make shelter and wait for a rescue crew to arrive. Out he
stared at the crashing waves hoping for a plane or the
faint form of a ship upon the horizon. Days and nights
spun into an alternating display of day then night then
light then dark, light, dark, light, dark, grey, grey, grey…

He gave up marking the days whence he realized that the
searches were over; they had given up after looking in the
wrong places—he did not even know where he was…the
cold waves and currents took him to a safe shore  away from
his ship and crew in a limp unconscious float… From the
trees, and what he could find on the small  island, he
fashioned a catamaran to rid himself of the grey-waiting.

Out he cast his meager vessel into the
Battering surf; waves broke over his bows
and centre platform—each foot forward the
waves threatened to push him back twofold…
he beat the water with the oars he fashioned
rising and falling with their energy. Lysseus
stole brief looks back in hopes of a disappearing
shore, but it refused to vanish… His wet tan
arms started to grow tired—yet he pushed on
knowing he would soon get out passed the
breaking water and then he could relax and
hoist sail. But the waves grew taller and broke
with more power… Lysseus kept beating the
water with his oar, but anger was welling
inside, which ended in splashes of ivory sea
froth instead of forward progress. Eventually,
his arms went limp beyond the force of his will
and the waves tumbled him back to shore
as he did the first night upon the island…

Dejected he lay in the surf for the night—the gentle
ebbing of the sea just added to insult, but hid the tears
that formed in the corner of his eyes—salt water to salt
water… The next day he took inventory of the damage
done to his humble catamaran; the mast had been
snapped in a few places, the rudders askew, but the
main  hulls and centre structure remained intact—solid.
The  oars lost; or at least Lysseus did not care to search
the  beach for them. Over the next weeks he set out to
improve the design and efficiency of his craft; the first
had been hurried and that of a desperate man to leave
the bare minimum that would suffice to leave as soon
as possible. He set to create something that would
ensure his leaving that desolate pile of sand and
vegetation. He worked on his strength; pushing his
arms passed the point of where his mind thought they
could go; eating the hearty, protein rich, mollusks, and
small shell fish he could find in the shallows and tide
pools—if lucky larger fish that dared the reefs.

Patiently Lysseus observed the tides and the
breaking waters—he wanted to find the right
time to set off to ensure success—when the
waves would not toss him back to the beach.
The day was a calm clear day; only within a few
metres of soft beach did there exist any
breaking waves—and those who did were
barely a metre high. Loading up his provisions
upon his catamaran Lysseus bid farewell to the
island out of wont for the sustenance it gave
not for a nostalgia. Grasping his oars, he set
forth to find open seas where the waves do not
break. Lysseus paddled out past the firs few
breakers his heart pounding with hope, but he
stifled the thoughts in his mind—he would
celebrate whence the island was but a subtle
blue curve on the horizon. Whence the  island
began to shrink in his vision he the sky to his
back grew darker… the waves started to
swell—moguls grew to hills that Lysseus
stroked up and rode down. The Island refused
to shrink… if not begin to grow wider… Stroke
by stroke Lysseus began to grow frustrated
stroke by stroke that frustration grew into
anger stroke by stroke the anger grew into
violent beatings of the water with his oars; he
struck and struck at the water eyes closed
white knuckles trashing he did not even know
which direction he was paddling any more the
sky dark now and the wind blowing on shore
he cried out to the Sea in inarticulate roars of
hateangerfrustrationpitysavageragedesperation!

At his in-linguistic roar, the sky let out a
crack of  authority and a wave washed the
flailing Lysseus  into the water—the cool
water only heated the  rage in Lysseus’ head;
all he wanted in his half  empty heart was to
sail home and become whole  again—to sit
under and olive tree and stroke the chestnut
hair of Penny as she drifted to sleep on  his
chest while he would whisper sweet verses
into her ear… His rage was beyond any reason,
forgetting the boat and all sense he began to
swim  away from the cursed island; scrambling
up waves only to be tumbled back with their
breaking peaks. His mouth could only taste
salt, his stomach wanted to puke, his kidney’s
praying that he would  not swallow anymore…
His gasps for breath stifled  any curse that his
head wished to express to the  Sea—yet she
would swear she heard one escape his lips,
and at that she tossed him into his ghost-helmed
catamaran and all was dark for vengeful Lysseus.

Seeing his rage and knowing the monster it makes
him, Lysseus looked into the band inscribed into
his ring-finger and saw the knot connecting him to
Penny—shame at his arrogant-uncontrolled-fury
sent Lysseus into a meditative exile inside his
mind upon the exile of that cursèd island… In his
mental exile Lysseus spun into deeper despair at his
two failures—even more at the prospect of failing
the vow he gave to Penny to return home—home
from his final voyage—to grow old with her upon
solid ground—to never die away from her and
cause the pain of losing a loved one and never
having the closure of truly knowing the death is
real—to die by her side white with the purity of
age… his anger turned inward at his anger—his
lack of control—the monster he becomes when
rage surges through his muscles and give him wild
strength with out direction or self-possession—so
much potential, yet no way to use it… Lysseus’ half
full heart burned and ached—with passion and
anguish—all desire he had was focused upon
home, the return, but the mind’s despondency and
insistent ‘what-ifs’ kept poor Lysseus prostrate in
his mental cave—for all his wishing for anger and
violence to force his will to be, it did more to set
him back to the cursèd island than to bring his
heart closer to fulfillment from his long await home…

Out of his mental exile did Lysseus’ irises
contract with blinding illumination—self-pity
is not what make things happen it would to only
anger Penny for nothing other than I can be to
blame for my continued absence from home I
am stronger than that—looking at the tattoo in
his hand, he remembered the reasons for the
perennial brand—the eight-spoke ship’s helm:
the eight-fold-path—I must cut off my desire for
anger to be the solution and focus on the path to
Penny the mind can push the body further than
the body believes is possible—the star: the compass
to guide—me via the celestial bodies to where my
*heart can see the guiding beam of my lighthouse!
This is part of the 'Final Voyage' epic. I figured I would give you guys a bit of a teaser since 'Final Voyage' is my most popular poem. I decided to name 'the ginger bearded man' Lysseus and his wife, Penny. I hope you enjoy. (Why it is called the Tempation of Lysseus will become clear as I write more--I have big plans).
Dave Scott Dec 2016
Death Shallows at the door
Forever Present for what's in store
Our Eyes can't see for what's to come
Feel the burning bush and silent hum
The grim reaper knows no bounds
Black drapes over light to disappear here and now

In the world of darkness, you look forward to the light
A time from now see will flicker and bright
But for now you are a child in the black
Waiting for the creator to manifest a hack

01=DeathLife
Sylvia Parker Jul 2014
I made you the pedestal
But you fitted on just fine
You courted my imaginings
But the illusions were all mine
Some honest time has passed by now
In my pity, I still wallow
No blame, because you said to me
I’ve nowt but hidden shallows
“Build me straight, O worthy Master!
Stanch and strong, a goodly vessel,
That shall laugh at all disaster,
And with wave and whirlwind wrestle!”

The merchant’s word
Delighted the Master heard;
For his heart was in his work, and the heart
Giveth grace unto every Art.
A quiet smile played round his lips,
As the eddies and dimples of the tide
Play round the bows of ships,
That steadily at anchor ride.
And with a voice that was full of glee,
He answered, “Erelong we will launch
A vessel as goodly, and strong, and stanch,
As ever weathered a wintry sea!”
And first with nicest skill and art,
Perfect and finished in every part,
A little model the Master wrought,
Which should be to the larger plan
What the child is to the man,
Its counterpart in miniature;
That with a hand more swift and sure
The greater labor might be brought
To answer to his inward thought.
And as he labored, his mind ran o’er
The various ships that were built of yore,
And above them all, and strangest of all
Towered the Great Harry, crank and tall,
Whose picture was hanging on the wall,
With bows and stern raised high in air,
And balconies hanging here and there,
And signal lanterns and flags afloat,
And eight round towers, like those that frown
From some old castle, looking down
Upon the drawbridge and the moat.
And he said with a smile, “Our ship, I wis,
Shall be of another form than this!”
It was of another form, indeed;
Built for freight, and yet for speed,
A beautiful and gallant craft;
Broad in the beam, that the stress of the blast,
Pressing down upon sail and mast,
Might not the sharp bows overwhelm;
Broad in the beam, but sloping aft
With graceful curve and slow degrees,
That she might be docile to the helm,
And that the currents of parted seas,
Closing behind, with mighty force,
Might aid and not impede her course.

In the ship-yard stood the Master,
With the model of the vessel,
That should laugh at all disaster,
And with wave and whirlwind wrestle!
Covering many a rood of ground,
Lay the timber piled around;
Timber of chestnut, and elm, and oak,
And scattered here and there, with these,
The knarred and crooked cedar knees;
Brought from regions far away,
From Pascagoula’s sunny bay,
And the banks of the roaring Roanoke!
Ah! what a wondrous thing it is
To note how many wheels of toil
One thought, one word, can set in motion!
There ’s not a ship that sails the ocean,
But every climate, every soil,
Must bring its tribute, great or small,
And help to build the wooden wall!

The sun was rising o’er the sea,
And long the level shadows lay,
As if they, too, the beams would be
Of some great, airy argosy,
Framed and launched in a single day.
That silent architect, the sun,
Had hewn and laid them every one,
Ere the work of man was yet begun.
Beside the Master, when he spoke,
A youth, against an anchor leaning,
Listened, to catch his slightest meaning.
Only the long waves, as they broke
In ripples on the pebbly beach,
Interrupted the old man’s speech.
Beautiful they were, in sooth,
The old man and the fiery youth!
The old man, in whose busy brain
Many a ship that sailed the main
Was modelled o’er and o’er again;—
The fiery youth, who was to be
The heir of his dexterity,
The heir of his house, and his daughter’s hand,
When he had built and launched from land
What the elder head had planned.

“Thus,” said he, “will we build this ship!
Lay square the blocks upon the slip,
And follow well this plan of mine.
Choose the timbers with greatest care;
Of all that is unsound beware;
For only what is sound and strong
To this vessel shall belong.
Cedar of Maine and Georgia pine
Here together shall combine.
A goodly frame, and a goodly fame,
And the Union be her name!
For the day that gives her to the sea
Shall give my daughter unto thee!”

The Master’s word
Enraptured the young man heard;
And as he turned his face aside,
With a look of joy and a thrill of pride
Standing before
Her father’s door,
He saw the form of his promised bride.
The sun shone on her golden hair,
And her cheek was glowing fresh and fair,
With the breath of morn and the soft sea air.
Like a beauteous barge was she,
Still at rest on the sandy beach,
Just beyond the billow’s reach;
But he
Was the restless, seething, stormy sea!
Ah, how skilful grows the hand
That obeyeth Love’s command!
It is the heart, and not the brain,
That to the highest doth attain,
And he who followeth Love’s behest
Far excelleth all the rest!

Thus with the rising of the sun
Was the noble task begun,
And soon throughout the ship-yard’s bounds
Were heard the intermingled sounds
Of axes and of mallets, plied
With vigorous arms on every side;
Plied so deftly and so well,
That, ere the shadows of evening fell,
The keel of oak for a noble ship,
Scarfed and bolted, straight and strong,
Was lying ready, and stretched along
The blocks, well placed upon the slip.
Happy, thrice happy, every one
Who sees his labor well begun,
And not perplexed and multiplied,
By idly waiting for time and tide!

And when the hot, long day was o’er,
The young man at the Master’s door
Sat with the maiden calm and still,
And within the porch, a little more
Removed beyond the evening chill,
The father sat, and told them tales
Of wrecks in the great September gales,
Of pirates coasting the Spanish Main,
And ships that never came back again,
The chance and change of a sailor’s life,
Want and plenty, rest and strife,
His roving fancy, like the wind,
That nothing can stay and nothing can bind,
And the magic charm of foreign lands,
With shadows of palms, and shining sands,
Where the tumbling surf,
O’er the coral reefs of Madagascar,
Washes the feet of the swarthy Lascar,
As he lies alone and asleep on the turf.
And the trembling maiden held her breath
At the tales of that awful, pitiless sea,
With all its terror and mystery,
The dim, dark sea, so like unto Death,
That divides and yet unites mankind!
And whenever the old man paused, a gleam
From the bowl of his pipe would awhile illume
The silent group in the twilight gloom,
And thoughtful faces, as in a dream;
And for a moment one might mark
What had been hidden by the dark,
That the head of the maiden lay at rest,
Tenderly, on the young man’s breast!

Day by day the vessel grew,
With timbers fashioned strong and true,
Stemson and keelson and sternson-knee,
Till, framed with perfect symmetry,
A skeleton ship rose up to view!
And around the bows and along the side
The heavy hammers and mallets plied,
Till after many a week, at length,
Wonderful for form and strength,
Sublime in its enormous bulk,
Loomed aloft the shadowy hulk!
And around it columns of smoke, upwreathing,
Rose from the boiling, bubbling, seething
Caldron, that glowed,
And overflowed
With the black tar, heated for the sheathing.
And amid the clamors
Of clattering hammers,
He who listened heard now and then
The song of the Master and his men:—

“Build me straight, O worthy Master,
    Staunch and strong, a goodly vessel,
That shall laugh at all disaster,
    And with wave and whirlwind wrestle!”

With oaken brace and copper band,
Lay the rudder on the sand,
That, like a thought, should have control
Over the movement of the whole;
And near it the anchor, whose giant hand
Would reach down and grapple with the land,
And immovable and fast
Hold the great ship against the bellowing blast!
And at the bows an image stood,
By a cunning artist carved in wood,
With robes of white, that far behind
Seemed to be fluttering in the wind.
It was not shaped in a classic mould,
Not like a Nymph or Goddess of old,
Or Naiad rising from the water,
But modelled from the Master’s daughter!
On many a dreary and misty night,
‘T will be seen by the rays of the signal light,
Speeding along through the rain and the dark,
Like a ghost in its snow-white sark,
The pilot of some phantom bark,
Guiding the vessel, in its flight,
By a path none other knows aright!

Behold, at last,
Each tall and tapering mast
Is swung into its place;
Shrouds and stays
Holding it firm and fast!

Long ago,
In the deer-haunted forests of Maine,
When upon mountain and plain
Lay the snow,
They fell,—those lordly pines!
Those grand, majestic pines!
’Mid shouts and cheers
The jaded steers,
Panting beneath the goad,
Dragged down the weary, winding road
Those captive kings so straight and tall,
To be shorn of their streaming hair,
And naked and bare,
To feel the stress and the strain
Of the wind and the reeling main,
Whose roar
Would remind them forevermore
Of their native forests they should not see again.
And everywhere
The slender, graceful spars
Poise aloft in the air,
And at the mast-head,
White, blue, and red,
A flag unrolls the stripes and stars.
Ah! when the wanderer, lonely, friendless,
In foreign harbors shall behold
That flag unrolled,
‘T will be as a friendly hand
Stretched out from his native land,
Filling his heart with memories sweet and endless!

All is finished! and at length
Has come the bridal day
Of beauty and of strength.
To-day the vessel shall be launched!
With fleecy clouds the sky is blanched,
And o’er the bay,
Slowly, in all his splendors dight,
The great sun rises to behold the sight.

The ocean old,
Centuries old,
Strong as youth, and as uncontrolled,
Paces restless to and fro,
Up and down the sands of gold.
His beating heart is not at rest;
And far and wide,
With ceaseless flow,
His beard of snow
Heaves with the heaving of his breast.
He waits impatient for his bride.
There she stands,
With her foot upon the sands,
Decked with flags and streamers gay,
In honor of her marriage day,
Her snow-white signals fluttering, blending,
Round her like a veil descending,
Ready to be
The bride of the gray old sea.

On the deck another bride
Is standing by her lover’s side.
Shadows from the flags and shrouds,
Like the shadows cast by clouds,
Broken by many a sunny fleck,
Fall around them on the deck.

The prayer is said,
The service read,
The joyous bridegroom bows his head;
And in tears the good old Master
Shakes the brown hand of his son,
Kisses his daughter’s glowing cheek
In silence, for he cannot speak,
And ever faster
Down his own the tears begin to run.
The worthy pastor—
The shepherd of that wandering flock,
That has the ocean for its wold,
That has the vessel for its fold,
Leaping ever from rock to rock—
Spake, with accents mild and clear,
Words of warning, words of cheer,
But tedious to the bridegroom’s ear.
He knew the chart
Of the sailor’s heart,
All its pleasures and its griefs,
All its shallows and rocky reefs,
All those secret currents, that flow
With such resistless undertow,
And lift and drift, with terrible force,
The will from its moorings and its course.
Therefore he spake, and thus said he:—

“Like unto ships far off at sea,
Outward or homeward bound, are we.
Before, behind, and all around,
Floats and swings the horizon’s bound,
Seems at its distant rim to rise
And climb the crystal wall of the skies,
And then again to turn and sink,
As if we could slide from its outer brink.
Ah! it is not the sea,
It is not the sea that sinks and shelves,
But ourselves
That rock and rise
With endless and uneasy motion,
Now touching the very skies,
Now sinking into the depths of ocean.
Ah! if our souls but poise and swing
Like the compass in its brazen ring,
Ever level and ever true
To the toil and the task we have to do,
We shall sail securely, and safely reach
The Fortunate Isles, on whose shining beach
The sights we see, and the sounds we hear,
Will be those of joy and not of fear!”

Then the Master,
With a gesture of command,
Waved his hand;
And at the word,
Loud and sudden there was heard,
All around them and below,
The sound of hammers, blow on blow,
Knocking away the shores and spurs.
And see! she stirs!
She starts,—she moves,—she seems to feel
The thrill of life along her keel,
And, spurning with her foot the ground,
With one exulting, joyous bound,
She leaps into the ocean’s arms!

And lo! from the assembled crowd
There rose a shout, prolonged and loud,
That to the ocean seemed to say,
“Take her, O bridegroom, old and gray,
Take her to thy protecting arms,
With all her youth and all her charms!”

How beautiful she is! How fair
She lies within those arms, that press
Her form with many a soft caress
Of tenderness and watchful care!
Sail forth into the sea, O ship!
Through wind and wave, right onward steer!
The moistened eye, the trembling lip,
Are not the signs of doubt or fear.
Sail forth into the sea of life,
O gentle, loving, trusting wife,
And safe from all adversity
Upon the ***** of that sea
Thy comings and thy goings be!
For gentleness and love and trust
Prevail o’er angry wave and gust;
And in the wreck of noble lives
Something immortal still survives!

Thou, too, sail on, O Ship of State!
Sail on, O Union, strong and great!
Humanity with all its fears,
With all the hopes of future years,
Is hanging breathless on thy fate!
We know what Master laid thy keel,
What Workmen wrought thy ribs of steel,
Who made each mast, and sail, and rope,
What anvils rang, what hammers beat,
In what a forge and what a heat
Were shaped the anchors of thy hope!
Fear not each sudden sound and shock,
‘T is of the wave and not the rock;
‘T is but the flapping of the sail,
And not a rent made by the gale!
In spite of rock and tempest’s roar,
In spite of false lights on the shore,
Sail on, nor fear to breast the sea!
Our hearts, our hopes, are all with thee,
Our hearts, our hopes, our prayers, our tears,
Our faith triumphant o’er our fears,
Are all with thee,—are all with thee!
A shark
afebrile acceded
deep in
shallows there
his teeth
lasted with
anticipation of
her bay
was akin
to high
jinks as
his floridity
was aghast
with achievement
that caught
her so
nobly again.
A shark in infested waters
and the sun weilds mercy
but like a jet torch carried to high,
and the jets whip across its sight
and rockets leap like toads,
and the boys get out the maps
and pin-cuishon the moon,
old green cheese,
no life there but too much on earth:
our unwashed India boys
crosssing their legs,playing pipes,
starving with ****** in bellies,
watching the snakes volute
like beautiful women in the hungry air;
the rockets leap,
the rockets leap like hares,
clearing clump and dog
replacing out-dated bullets;
the Chineses still carve
in jade,quietly stuffing rice
into their hunger, a hunger
a thousand years old,
their muddy rivers moving with fire
and song, barges, houseboats
pushed by drifting poles
of waiting without wanting;
in Turkey they face the East
on their carpets
praying to a purple god
who smokes and laughs
and sticks fingers in their eyes
blinding them, as gods will do;
but the rockets are ready: peace is no longer,
for some reason,precious;
madness drifts like lily pads
on a pond circling senselessly;
the painters paint dipping
their reds and greens and yellows,
poets rhyme their lonliness,
musicians starve as always
and the novelists miss the mark,
but not the pelican , the gull;
pelicans dip and dive, rise,
shaking shocked half-dead
radioactive fish from their beaks;
indeed, indeed, the waters wash
the rocks with slime; and on wall st.
the market staggers like a lost drunk
looking for his key; ah,
this will be a good one,by God:
it will take us back to the
sabre-teeth, the winged monkey
scrabbling in pits over bits
of helmet, instrument and glass;
a lightning crashes across
the window and in a million rooms
lovers lie entwined and lost
and sick as peace;
the sky still breaks red and orange for the
painters-and for the lovers,
flowers open as they always have
opened but covered with thin dust
of rocket fuel and mushrooms,
poison mushrooms; it's a bad time,
a dog-sick time-curtain
act 3, standing room only,
SOLD OUT, SOLD OUT, SOLD OUT again,
by god,by somebody and something,
by rockets and generals and
leaders, by poets , doctors, comedians,
by manufacturers of soup
and biscuits, Janus-faced hucksters
of their own indexerity;
I can now see now the coal-slick
contanminated fields, a snail or 2,
bile, obsidian, a fish or 3
in the shallows, an obloquy of our
source and our sight.....
has this happend before? is history
a circle that catches itself by the tail,
a dream, a nightmare,
a general's dream, a presidents dream,
a dictators dream...
can't we awaken?
or are the forces of life greater than we are?
can't we awaken? must we foever,
dear freinds, die in our sleep?
WL Schuett Mar 2018
The stars try to shine
Down through indifferent clouds.
Her tears mix with rain
and water her path
defining the moments
Of forever.
Love is the fiercest part
of her being.
Though she struggles to
find it’s authenticity
Hiding her codes
behind barbwire and thorns.
Her hands are bloodstained
in the hours of time.
She is mysterious
With many latitudes
Calling from a different
Kind of universe.
Yet she walks that path of stones
Believing she is a different
Person than the one she leaves
on the trail .

Walking away from that
Hushed comfort of
understated majesty.
Hearing music amid
The squalor of verse
With strangers who love
among the poetic’s
of language.

I grow tired of the
Deep waters
I’m learning to navigate
the shallows
Where purring oratory
Captures me and leaves
Me spellbound beyond
All measures and time .
Fishermen at Ballyshannon
Netted an infant last night
Along with the salmon.
An illegitimate spawning,

A small one thrown back
To the waters. But I'm sure
As she stood in the shallows
Ducking him tenderly

Till the frozen knobs of her wrists
Were dead as the gravel,
He was a minnow with hooks
Tearing her open.

She waded in under
The sign of the cross.
He was hauled in with the fish.
Now limbo will be

A cold glitter of souls
Through some far briny zone.
Even Christ's palms, unhealed,
Smart and cannot fish there.
Raj Arumugam Apr 2014
C
is confused, so a little complex
I mean, one moment it’s top of the range
glowing
in the hierarchy of vitamins
but next it’s a little abashed and low
in a student’s report card –
you know, C is not as good as an A
And so can you blame C for its mood swings?
Its agony continues:
one instant C is Calm, in another it’s a Curse


And you know it also feels a little wanting
a little under-stretched, not fulfilled
like not being able to complete
all the stretching exercises
its fitness trainer metes out
“O, if only I could be a little more yogic,”
C intones
“I’d be as composed as an O” -
but O no, that’s not to be

And don’t you start
on the indignant possibilities
of the letter C, for C has always aspired
you see
to be genteel, cultured and debonair
and curls with disgust if the uncouth
should use the letter  
to refer to any body parts,
be it that of male or of female
So, dear mortals, C should be left in celestial spheres

And so, in conclusion,
one Commandment I give unto you:
*Never drag C to ****** shallows
Do you C?
L B Jul 2018
Writing,
for you
--is a river
a revelation
a sleepless constant gift-- so out-to-see
in a flimsy boat
you built by mathematic rote and laced with ivy
to hold together ******* boards of crazy
with the ease of breathing
Your giant storehouse
wealth-of-words
Your granary of data
the grist of
Music
You imagine wine
from mind
almost without limits
You command it all!
Dancing
in the grapes of moonlight
with tides of words
Their endless-- almost blind
come-ons and gone
in waves!

(my sullen heart)....
still stays

I am digging here
in a low spot
seeking water
with robins and a sparrow
in the puddles
Awaiting rain
Flipping-off the muddy shallows with our wings
I suppose their songs
will count for something
Tasting happenstance
of bugs in flight
maybe catch a firefly or two
at the edge of day
Tearing half a worm
from weeds...the brown of drying grass
near the small lagoon
collecting
'neath my car
Hiding
in an afternoon
too warm for flight
resorting to a place of shade
to smell the fresh-mown
sweet grass

Riding with my training-wheels
in the parade
Like a fool between those bikers' “Hogs”
Turning down my street
by mistake
laughing at the dead-end
of it all

Pulling poetry out my ***
_
This was not meant to make fun of you.
I so admire your writing (you know who).
I appreciate all you do for us, poets here.  
It was only meant to contrast
all our differences, and point out that anything can be
a poem, given a moment of insight and time.
This one took a morning into afternoon.


Items for a high school test:

1. Compare and contrast the two poets in this.

2. Find and explain two allusions/metonymies in this piece.
Marian Oct 2012
I come from haunts of coot and hern;
I make a sudden sally;
I sparkle out among the fern
To bicker down a valley.

By thirty hills I hurry down,
Or slip between the ridges,
By twenty thorps, a little town,
And half a hundred bridges.

At last by Philip's farm I flow
To join the brimming river,
For men may come and men may go,
But I go on forever.

I chatter over stony ways
In sharps and trebles;
I bubble into eddying bay;
I babble on the pebbles.

I chatter, chatter as I flow
To join the brimming river,
For men may come and men may go,
But I go on forever.

I wind about, and in and out,
With here a blossom sailing,
And here and there a ***** trout,
And here and there a grayling.

And here and there a foamy flake
Upon me, as I travel
With many a silvery waterbreak
Above the golden gravel,

And draw them all along, and flow
To joing the brimming river;
For men may come and men may go,
But I go on forever.

I steal by lawns and grassy plots;
I slide by hazel covers;
I move the sweet forget-me-nots
That grow for happy lovers.

I slip, I slide, I gloom, I glance
Among my skimming swallows;
I make the netted sunbeams dance
Against my sandy shallows.

I murmur under moon and stars
In brambly wildernesses;
I linger by my shingly bars;
I loiter round my cresses;

And out again I curve and flow
To join the brimming river;
For men may come and men may go,
But I go on forever.

 **~Alfred Tennyson 1809-1892~
Kyle T Oct 2020
There are tiburones off the Fla. Keys
Believe me, out there in the aqua deeps
Sometimes they swim up into the sandy shallows
But not often;
And usually only at night while you’re on a veranda sipping a
Glass of red wine,
Safe in the glimmer of a tropical neon beer sign
Underneath palm trees.

These tiburones swim off shelves and under cantilevers
Continental shifts in deeps
Sandy bottoms, they cruise by
Like missiles
Fired from dusky deep ephemera
Assimilated by the amorphous ocean infrastructure
Flotsam and careened ships off gray coasts
Rusted and dead steel under the raining ash
And the sea foam that pools around their husks they falter, canted, and tipped
And lost as quick as were, gone, betrayed to the deeps again.

But, sometimes, tropical shallows
A Latin lover's osculant kiss
A fumbling of the belt buckle
Swimming dark waters under moonlight
Dark eyes, red lips
Surl breath dlipped wet
Held in ocean's gentle soul
Pearls aligned distant metaverses
Transcendent, therefore, only Beautiful

They don’t care to bother with you, mostly, the tiburones.
They’re curious, a dorsal fin to cut the surface, an indifferent pass
You are not the wine they seek to drink.

But if you find yourself afloat;
Lost or hurt,
If you venture too far from your shore,
Carried by the gentle waves, the inverse gravity of water
When the ocean seems benign...
...They’ll come cruising.

It won’t take long.

Doll-eyed and mechanical, they’ll swim by
Just to say..... Hello.

I have not seen many tiburones but they impart,
Even to those who have never seen them,
This unspeakable fear:
Not so much of the Ocean—Few ever enter the Ocean
But of some assimilation of thought
Where it passes by from dark end to dark end
Sunrise to sunset, and a portentous silhouette beneath you,
If not of the wry toothed smile, and the porcelain ghost…

Then of what?
Could it be of the thought of teeth?
Or of a malicious ghost agnostic of your importance?
Of the specter that cares not of your potential,
Disregarding your position in this world.
Something that treats you with true Equality-

Could it be the things in this world that say Hello with teeth?
There are abbreviated bits of flesh rent in life.
I wear these battle worn scars.
And not instead of love but because it’s the only way
They know how to smile at you.
It’s how they say Hello.

I only have seen their reflective eyes in the shallows
Off the verandas where I have sat and drank
Drunk myself into a stupor, a vibration in my fingertips, in my mind
No sommelier am I.

The red liquid fills my mouth and paints my teeth an indelible red and drips from my mouth from my ****** lips
I have bit too hard,
And spilled my red wine onto the table
Watching it drip viscously off the table and stream to the floor
And pool in great deep redness on the veranda’s floor
Drops and drops and then, restless, I drop back into the depths
In the dead, burnt-out center of the wine’s pool
And watch it assimilate into the porcelain.

And the deep darkness of the red miscegenates with white porcelain
And it all fades in and out standing on that perfect precipice of wine and violence
The wind and flux of ocean waves and darkness
Those eyes down there, refracting moonlight, deadened orbs
The wine deliquesces from veranda’s precipice to waves
The great adulteration, the miscegenation, it all goes flux.

And I drop off, assimilated into darkness, there:
Where the bits of flesh torn from teeth and I swim away
Dismembered, deformed

And a flutter in the shallows,
A quick, precise splash,
A perfect torsion
Writhing bodies.

And those black eyes roll over white,
And those archaic teeth descend,
And pulled under the dark ocean
Without even the moon to give me my light
And in my breath’s last seconds,
I’m perfectly assimilated into this structure,
Deliquesced, relaxed, and gone into the depths,
Swimming in the sulfuric bottom
Of my glass of red wine.
This hurts to read, only for me. Enjoy.
Glenn Currier Sep 2020
You are an ocean of love
I float and drift on your surface
but under your sparkling skin
teems an ineffable life
another world mostly unseen,
selfless, unsung, and undeserved.

But here I am not even skin deep.
Am I afraid
of drowning in your depth
of being overwhelmed
in my modest capacities?

Oh my love
even if I see only what you reveal
to the sighted
I saturate myself in your splendid shallows
and await those precious interludes
of your deeper touch.
Marshal Gebbie Dec 2013
From blue tranquillity where turquoise waters wash white golden sand, where brilliant fish school in myriad colour and shape, where magnificent squadrons of sleek tarpon and barracuda dash in perfect formation, grazing schools of silver mackeral through diamond flecked deep green shallows, to plunge vertically down to the depths of the black abyss and security.

Calm tropical waters which shimmer like aqua blue glass in the mid day heat and turn to simmering,red fire at the setting of the enormous, ovate, orange sun.

Sea birds flock above wind blown waves, their sharp cries a symphony of the sea, to suddenly wheel and dive en mass, to dine amidst teeming schools of flashing, shiny minnows.

The idyllic picture of a calm blue infinity of ocean framed, in brilliant sunshine, by white sands and gracefully bowed coconut palms.....and suddenly, at the horizon, a thin black line appears, It approaches with steadily, mounting speed, the coastline surf recedes dramatically seaward leaving exposed coral, mountains of seaweed and frantic flapping, beached fish everywhere. A sudden, oppressive silence becomes a distant roar. The sea birds, as one, take panicked flight... and a massive wall of water rears up and rises like a giant beast, to rush headlong, raging, at the coastline.

What once was blue and serene is now a huge cascade of violent black death and destruction, gigantically it destroys the coast, snapping huge trees like twigs, surging ashore, a tsunami of unimaginable violence it obliterates, housing, streets, bridges, vehicles, shipping, aircraft and people, thousands of panicked, helpless, struggling people, killed in a titanic, black, swirling maelstrom of inexorable violence. The wave is followed by another...and another, extending right along the coastline and beyond. Each wave larger and more violent than the last...surging inland for miles  until defeated by the accident of gravity in rising land.

Those who have survived, on high land, on tall buildings, in treetops....cling to each other and look on in horror and utter helplessness. They can only wait, in fear, for the monster to retreat before venturing down to the devastation below to render help where ever they possibly can.

Twice in the space of the last forty thousand years the Kraken has awaken and risen from the depths of the Tasman Sea to the west of New Zealand. It has risen to gigantic proportions and driven right across the Auckland isthmus to the Pacific Ocean. It has twice flattened gigantic primeval Kauri forests laying them waste, all lying in one direction, each time beneath twenty feet of debris and black mud.

Born in innocence from a natural tectonic adjustment of the earth plates, the Kraken doth arise at any time, in any place to wreak it's dreadful work upon we, who reside in our comfortable, seemingly secure and beautiful coastal idylls.

Marshalg
Dedicated to all the coastal population exposed to the threat of inevitable tectonic induced tsunami.
JAPAN. WEST COAST, USA. WEST COAST, SOUTH AMERICA. ALL PACIFIC ISLANDS. NEW ZEALAND. INDONESIA. AUSTRALIA. SOUTH AFRICA. EAST COAST, CHINA. MALAYSIA.
KOREA. THAILAND. PAPUA NEW GUINEA, VIETNAM. PHILLIPINES. TAIWAN. BURMA.
Dawn--
fish the cormorants haven't caught
swimming in the shallows.
Hannah McMullan Nov 2013
It was just simple summer home,
Nothing fancy, really.
Water with a slightly odd taste,
And furniture with a distinctly "coastal" flair.

We called it "fish camp"
As an affectionate reminder that of the houses on the street,
It was the simplest, the plainest.
Meant to be lived in only for short times.

Not far from Harker's Island,
The sound became my playground.
My mother would play with me on the sound's gentle shallows,
While my father and grandfather would fish.

Even after my grandfather remarried,
And moved into his new wife's home
(A permanent residence down the street from our beloved fish camp),
Fish camp stayed in the family.

Now, our fish camp is ours no longer.
No longer is fish camp of the McMullan clan.
It belongs to another
Whose name I do not know.

What I would not give to be there again,
Now that I am older, hopefully wiser
More attuned to the rich history of the sound,
Of its waters, of its places, of its people.

What I would not give
To learn the waters of the sound
To learn the shallows and the tides
To sail with my grandfather again.

And, at the end of the day, to come home to
the fish camp at Straits.
Third Eye Candy Nov 2015
like a bruise with a muse
the shallows at my depths hum the arias.
they sing the body neglected
and the famine
of immortality.

the long stretch of compacted space
between the morality of a living stone
and the wavelength of a
heart-worm...
can only be measured by tears
in the rain.

the kind of gully-washer that makes ironic
both eyes as they weep...
but somehow makes your face
fill in the blank stare
into Oblivion

with a bald point end.
Below are eleven Buson haiku
beginning with the phrase
'The short night--'


The short night--
on the hairy caterpillar
beads of dew.

The short night--
patrolmen
washing in the river.

The short night--
bubbles of crab froth
among the river reeds.

The short night--
a broom thrown away
on the beach.

The short night--
the Oi River
has sunk two feet.

The short night--
on the outskirts of the village
a small shop opening.

The short night--
broken, in the shallows,
a crescent moon.

The short night--
the peony
has opened.

The short night--
waves beating in,
an abandoned fire.

The short night--
near the pillow
a screen turning silver.

The short night--
shallow footprints
on the beach at Yui.








User Submitted "The short night--" Haiku

Submit your own haiku beginning with the line
"The short night--"
and we'll post the best ones below!

Just dash off an e-mail to:

     theshortnight@plagiarist.com



The short night-
a watery moon
stands alone over the hill

     Maggie



The short night--
just as I'm falling asleep
my wife's waking up

     Larry Bole
Mira scott May 2014
she races through her mind, all the time
wondering
when?
where?
why?
how?

she sits in the shallows
sighing in her own drowned out howls
wondering
where?

she breathes in the dusty air
scrunching her hair
wondering
why?

but she looks to the sunset
flourishing in its beauty
secretly wishing she was of beauty

she wonders..
how?

she falls back
hoping to be of a catch

she hopes for the best
but expects the worse
because what is worse than what she hasn't already experienced?

she whispers,
I am a useless tinker.
I am delusional.
I am something yet, of nothing.

the wind..
it is what kisses against her cheek
and says,
you may be of the above,
but you are not anything less than a dove.
and I promise, you'll soon get the answer to when.
so please, do not clip your wings,
because who I am to have to caress?
or to softly brush the feathers on your back?
Because you do need an answer to how, correct?
well then let me show you how, and you will get your answer to when.
                                        (m.s]
bugsy Oct 2018
There once was beauty beyond belief
In far north Queensland’s barrier reef
Beneath the surface of the sea
There lay a world of fantasy

Amid the shallows of the deep
Countless crustaceans crawled and creeped
A place so different from the land
Until it was touched by humans hand

Now polluted by plastic sedimentary and decay
Has our only solution been washed away
Once a wondrous landmark to behold
Gone in a heart beat, the oceans tale, told

Although there a politicians that still deny
A warming ozone will bid the coral colours goodbye
Littered white graveyards accomplished the sin
If only we had thrown our ******* in the bin

A tremendous story of ecological distress
Hopefully we can learn from this disastrous mess
/gt
DJ Thomas May 2010
Moon swept itching dark
Twilight, sunrises curtain
pink lids - open eyes

Crossing the shallows
trout fingerling feed at dawn
White dots steep hill path

My stride increases
a shadow skipping pebbles
lone thoughts dismissed

White dappled ginger
Ungainly long knobbed legs,
rolling - then sitting aware

Midday, pours blue heat
Standing shading their new young,
across clear pebbled flow

Smile’s triumphant glow
rests briefly on sweet green bank
Silver flash of joy

Dusk - apart painted,
eight queued paired mare and foal
Foliage lined dark black
copyright©DJThomas@inbox.com 2010

— The End —