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Cass was the youngest and most beautiful of 5 sisters. Cass was the most beautiful girl
in town. 1/2 Indian with a supple and strange body, a snake-like and fiery body with eyes
to go with it. Cass was fluid moving fire. She was like a spirit stuck into a form that
would not hold her. Her hair was black and long and silken and whirled about as did her
body. Her spirit was either very high or very low. There was no in between for Cass. Some
said she was crazy. The dull ones said that. The dull ones would never understand Cass. To
the men she was simply a *** machine and they didn't care whether she was crazy or not.
And Cass danced and flirted, kissed the men, but except for an instance or two, when it
came time to make it with Cass, Cass had somehow slipped away, eluded the men.
Her sisters accused her of misusing her beauty, of not using her mind enough, but Cass
had mind and spirit; she painted, she danced, she sang, she made things of clay, and when
people were hurt either in the spirit or the flesh, Cass felt a deep grieving for them.
Her mind was simply different; her mind was simply not practical. Her sisters were jealous
of her because she attracted their men, and they were angry because they felt she didn't
make the best use of them. She had a habit of being kind to the uglier ones; the so-called
handsome men revolted her- "No guts," she said, "no zap. They are riding on
their perfect little earlobes and well- shaped nostrils...all surface and no
insides..." She had a temper that came close to insanity, she had a temper that some
call insanity. Her father had died of alcohol and her mother had run off leaving the
girls alone. The girls went to a relative who placed them in a convent. The convent had
been an unhappy place, more for Cass than the sisters. The girls were jealous of Cass and
Cass fought most of them. She had razor marks all along her left arm from defending
herself in two fights. There was also a permanent scar along the left cheek but the scar
rather than lessening her beauty only seemed to highlight it. I met her at the West End
Bar several nights after her release from the convent. Being youngest, she was the last of
the sisters to be released. She simply came in and sat next to me. I was probably the
ugliest man in town and this might have had something to do with it.
"Drink?" I asked.
"Sure, why not?"
I don't suppose there was anything unusual in our conversation that night, it was
simply in the feeling Cass gave. She had chosen me and it was as simple as that. No
pressure. She liked her drinks and had a great number of them. She didn't seem quite of
age but they served he anyhow. Perhaps she had forged i.d., I don't know. Anyhow, each
time she came back from the restroom and sat down next to me, I did feel some pride. She
was not only the most beautiful woman in town but also one of the most beautiful I had
ever seen. I placed my arm about her waist and kissed her once.
"Do you think I'm pretty?" she asked.
"Yes, of course, but there's something else... there's more than your
looks..."
"People are always accusing me of being pretty. Do you really think I'm
pretty?"
"Pretty isn't the word, it hardly does you fair."
Cass reached into her handbag. I thought she was reaching for her handkerchief. She
came out with a long hatpin. Before I could stop her she had run this long hatpin through
her nose, sideways, just above the nostrils. I felt disgust and horror. She looked at me
and laughed, "Now do you think me pretty? What do you think now, man?" I pulled
the hatpin out and held my handkerchief over the bleeding. Several people, including the
bartender, had seen the act. The bartender came down:
"Look," he said to Cass, "you act up again and you're out. We don't need
your dramatics here."
"Oh, *******, man!" she said.
"Better keep her straight," the bartender said to me.
"She'll be all right," I said.
"It's my nose, I can do what I want with my nose."
"No," I said, "it hurts me."
"You mean it hurts you when I stick a pin in my nose?"
"Yes, it does, I mean it."
"All right, I won't do it again. Cheer up."
She kissed me, rather grinning through the kiss and holding the handkerchief to her
nose. We left for my place at closing time. I had some beer and we sat there talking. It
was then that I got the perception of her as a person full of kindness and caring. She
gave herself away without knowing it. At the same time she would leap back into areas of
wildness and incoherence. Schitzi. A beautiful and spiritual schitzi. Perhaps some man,
something, would ruin her forever. I hoped that it wouldn't be me. We went to bed and
after I turned out the lights Cass asked me,
"When do you want it? Now or in the morning?"
"In the morning," I said and turned my back.
In the morning I got up and made a couple of coffees, brought her one in bed. She
laughed.
"You're the first man who has turned it down at night."
"It's o.k.," I said, "we needn't do it at all."
"No, wait, I want to now. Let me freshen up a bit."
Cass went into the bathroom. She came out shortly, looking quite wonderful, her long
black hair glistening, her eyes and lips glistening, her glistening... She displayed her
body calmly, as a good thing. She got under the sheet.
"Come on, lover man."
I got in. She kissed with abandon but without haste. I let my hands run over her body,
through her hair. I mounted. It was hot, and tight. I began to stroke slowly, wanting to
make it last. Her eyes looked directly into mine.
"What's your name?" I asked.
"What the hell difference does it make?" she asked.
I laughed and went on ahead. Afterwards she dressed and I drove her back to the bar but
she was difficult to forget. I wasn't working and I slept until 2 p.m. then got up and
read the paper. I was in the bathtub when she came in with a large leaf- an elephant ear.
"I knew you'd be in the bathtub," she said, "so I brought you something
to cover that thing with, nature boy."
She threw the elephant leaf down on me in the bathtub.
"How did you know I'd be in the tub?"
"I knew."
Almost every day Cass arrived when I was in the tub. The times were different but she
seldom missed, and there was the elephant leaf. And then we'd make love. One or two nights
she phoned and I had to bail her out of jail for drunkenness and fighting.
"These sons of *******," she said, "just because they buy you a few
drinks they think they can get into your pants."
"Once you accept a drink you create your own trouble."
"I thought they were interested in me, not just my body."
"I'm interested in you and your body. I doubt, though, that most men can see
beyond your body."
I left town for 6 months, bummed around, came back. I had never forgotten Cass, but
we'd had some type of argument and I felt like moving anyhow, and when I got back i
figured she'd be gone, but I had been sitting in the West End Bar about 30 minutes when
she walked in and sat down next to me.
"Well, *******, I see you've come back."
I ordered her a drink. Then I looked at her. She had on a high- necked dress. I had
never seen her in one of those. And under each eye, driven in, were 2 pins with glass
heads. All you could see were the heads of the pins, but the pins were driven down into
her face.
"******* you, still trying to destroy your beauty, eh?"
"No, it's the fad, you fool."
"You're crazy."
"I've missed you," she said.
"Is there anybody else?"
"No there isn't anybody else. Just you. But I'm hustling. It costs ten bucks. But
you get it free."
"Pull those pins out."
"No, it's the fad."
"It's making me very unhappy."
"Are you sure?"
"Hell yes, I'm sure."
Cass slowly pulled the pins out and put them back in her purse.
"Why do you haggle your beauty?" I asked. "Why don't you just live with
it?"
"Because people think it's all I have. Beauty is nothing, beauty won't stay. You
don't know how lucky you are to be ugly, because if people like you you know it's for
something else."
"O.k.," I said, "I'm lucky."
"I don't mean you're ugly. People just think you're ugly. You have a fascinating
face."
"Thanks."
We had another drink.
"What are you doing?" she asked.
"Nothing. I can't get on to anything. No interest."
"Me neither. If you were a woman you could hustle."
"I don't think I could ever make contact with that many strangers, it's
wearing."
"You're right, it's wearing, everything is wearing."
We left together. People still stared at Cass on the streets. She was a beautiful
woman, perhaps more beautiful than ever. We made it to my place and I opened a bottle of
wine and we talked. With Cass and I, it always came easy. She talked a while and I would
listen and then i would talk. Our conversation simply went along without strain. We seemed
to discover secrets together. When we discovered a good one Cass would laugh that laugh-
only the way she could. It was like joy out of fire. Through the talking we kissed and
moved closer together. We became quite heated and decided to go to bed. It was then that
Cass took off her high -necked dress and I saw it- the ugly jagged scar across her throat.
It was large and thick.
"******* you, woman," I said from the bed, "******* you, what have you
done?
"I tried it with a broken bottle one night. Don't you like me any more? Am I still
beautiful?"
I pulled her down on the bed and kissed her. She pushed away and laughed, "Some
men pay me ten and I undress and they don't want to do it. I keep the ten. It's very
funny."
"Yes," I said, "I can't stop laughing... Cass, *****, I love you...stop
destroying yourself; you're the most alive woman I've ever met."
We kissed again. Cass was crying without sound. I could feel the tears. The long black
hair lay beside me like a flag of death. We enjoined and made slow and somber and
wonderful love. In the morning Cass was up making breakfast. She seemed quite calm and
happy. She was singing. I stayed in bed and enjoyed her happiness. Finally she came over
and shook me,
"Up, *******! Throw some cold water on your face and pecker and come enjoy the
feast!"
I drove her to the beach that day. It was a weekday and not yet summer so things were
splendidly deserted. Beach bums in rags slept on the lawns above the sand. Others sat on
stone benches sharing a lone bottle. The gulls whirled about, mindless yet distracted. Old
ladies in their 70's and 80's sat on the benches and discussed selling real estate left
behind by husbands long ago killed by the pace and stupidity of survival. For it all,
there was peace in the air and we walked about and stretched on the lawns and didn't say
much. It simply felt good being together. I bought a couple of sandwiches, some chips and
drinks and we sat on the sand eating. Then I held Cass and we slept together about an
hour. It was somehow better than *******. There was flowing together without tension.
When we awakened we drove back to my place and I cooked a dinner. After dinner I suggested
to Cass that we shack together. She waited a long time, looking at me, then she slowly
said, "No." I drove her back to the bar, bought her a drink and walked out. I
found a job as a parker in a factory the next day and the rest of the week went to
working. I was too tired to get about much but that Friday night I did get to the West End
Bar. I sat and waited for Cass. Hours went by . After I was fairly drunk the bartender
said to me, "I'm sorry about your girlfriend."
"What is it?" I asked.
"I'm sorry, didn't you know?"
"No."
"Suicide. She was buried yesterday."
"Buried?" I asked. It seemed as though she would walk through the doorway at
any moment. How could she be gone?
"Her sisters buried her."
"A suicide? Mind telling me how?"
"She cut her throat."
"I see. Give me another drink."
I drank until closing time. Cass was the most beautiful of 5 sisters, the most
beautiful in town. I managed to drive to my place and I kept thinking, I should have
insisted she stay with me instead of accepting that "no." Everything about her
had indicated that she had cared. I simply had been too offhand about it, lazy, too
unconcerned. I deserved my death and hers. I was a dog. No, why blame the dogs? I got up
and found a bottle of wine and drank from it heavily. Cass the most beautiful girl in town
was dead at 20. Outside somebody honked their automobile horn. They were very loud and
persistent. I sat the bottle down and screamed out: "******* YOU, YOU *******
,SHUT UP!" The night kept coming and there was nothing I could do.
jeffrey conyers Dec 2012
On Christnas' the childrens of the world will be opening toys.
While we'll be enjoying each other.
Sharing Christmas love.

You'll be my gift.
And I'll be yours.
Who needs anything else?
When we can be one another toy.

I can be jolly.
You can be joy.
As, we sharing Christmas love.

Bells will be ringing.
If we're the only one to hear them.
Angels will be singing.
If privately we are the one listening.
While we sharing Christmas love.

Candles burning.
Lights are radiant.
As shadows of us bounce off the wall.
We just know, we sharing our love on Christmas.

Santa doesn't have to come.
He will only interrupt us.
While we enjoying creating great fun.

So, stay away Kris Kringle.
You'll be putting wrinkles in our plans.
This is the night for a man and his woman.
Eudora Apr 2015
Breathing in your alluring scent
Enjoying the ride, as the wheels go round
Cherishing the times we have spent
Smiling to our 'question', an answer we have found

This romantic attraction
So beautiful, truly spellbinding
An intimate connection...
That's what we are sharing

Having simple meals together
Indulging in chucklesome little talks
Laughing cheekily, we teased each other
Ambling along the smooth sidewalks

This deep affection
So beautiful, truly spellbinding
An intimate connection...
That's what we are sharing

Fulfilling your heart's desire
Appreciating your genuine kindness
Seeing you smile from ear to ear
Bringing back the long lost happiness

This sweet satisfaction
So beautiful, truly spellbinding
An intimate connection...
That's what we are sharing

Cuddling in your loving arms
Holding back my tears
Embracing me with your hidden charms
Taking away all my fears

This perfect expression
So beautiful, truly spellbinding
An intimate connection...
That's what we are sharing
#intimateconnection #answer #you #me #special
#beautiful #straightfromtheheart #perfectexpression
Born Aug 2017
Poem. Call me poetry
Debbie Jean Embrey  ***! how those words spoke to me! Very well done! I love the part about calling you 'Messenger.' Keep inking! :)

Poem. She's said II
Terry Jordan  Amazing piece, esp. "It is for us to wash away our painful confusion with tears...." I'm sending a sympathy card today to the mother of a former student of mine, so this really speaks to that most terrible loss that we have no word for it. TFS, Born

Poem. I won't forget that you liked my poetry
Mary-Elizabeth Cotton  Beautiful write! I especially love the lines "When I could barely form words,/that would impress my shadow."


Poem. I'm Born
Pradip Chattopadhyay  your words are fabulous

Poem. Hi(gh)
Kim Johanna  Baker  Great write Born...I must say, you are a great writer and enjoy very much your pieces...this is raw and gets the message across.. tyfs... kimx

Poem. If I told you my story
Law lith iminika Reading this was like observing a preview to a movie, but I didn't pay for it, instead showed up willingly. And I'm hungry for knowledge and inspiration because I was refused popcorn

Poem. Thank you Pamela Rae
Pamela Rae  Please know that you have such talent and your words not only touch me, but so many here--keep writing, expressing and touching our souls, dear Born. You are a gift to this world and deserve to find your way, to embrace peace and tranquility and it will come. Will be sending along good vibes, thoughts for peace and happiness and Room to breathe with ease... (((hugs)))

Poem. Hello poetry
Wolf spirit Wow ..is this a poem . Because Id rather read this than delve on eloquent flattery of wistful words . Honesty expressed with such brevity is still the best policy .


Poem. When my heart pounds a little bit more
Modern Serenity  very well executed! truly deserves to be the poem for atleast a week. freaking fantastic poem. well done. honestly totally jealous of your poem its truly amazing and well said.


Poem. Shantel
---  Superbly penned, echoes of the great Pablo Neruda

Poem. Here we are
K Balachandran  so peaceful and meditative
yet passion filled love and life
chiseled and beautiful...without hiding truth
you have eyes full of love and light
exquisite..
Bala

Poem. Virgo 
Star BG  And..... open gateway to healing the soul.you are such a master with words. Thank you

Poem. Dusty coin
Pax  there will always be hope, even just a spark, or one candle, it can do many things in the dark..

Poem. My deepest sympathies
South by Southwest  There are answers to every question you pose . Only by a lifetime of searching will you find them .

Poem. Muse dear daughter
Sylvia Frances Chan  A most divine poem, loving and caring words. I have enjoyed this poem very much. God's Blessings be upon thee. Thank you for sharing this divine piece.

Poem. Leonard Cohen
Lazhar Bouazzi  Ah! Wonderful poem about one of my favorite poets/composers/singers of all time! Thank you for sharing

Poem. This poem III
Wyatt  Such a harsh, blunt piece. It hit me right in the gut! Congrats on the daily!

Poem. I won't forget that you liked my poem
patty m  Comments are a wonderful gift. I love your poem and the emotions that surface you are truly gifted.
hugs

Sally A Bayan  So much truth in your wondeful, touching words, Born..
I keep coming back to this poem...just had to repost.
Thank you for sharing

Poem. Juliet
Jamie King  I like the flow here the transition from one imagery to the imagery while maintaining the same flow requires a certain degree of finesse. Excellently executed piece

Poem. Un(real) istic
Botan  A high tech emotional intelegence will take over while humans express thier feelings by emoji. good writing
Poem. Poetic flavor
SøułSurvivør An awesome tribute! You're one of the poets I would elect for showing the most growth of any on this site. My heart twinkle with happiness, TOO! Thanks for your heart, Born! ☆♡☆

Lori Jones McCaffery  You make exquisite use of the words you have captured, Born. Keep thirsting. Love

SøułSurvivør Awe! I'm so glad to encourage you... you have such a powerful way with words. An innate talent. I count you as one of my best friends here. Be blessed!

Poem. 5 million am not just a number
Corvus  Wonderfully compassionate. It's so easy to be kind and sympathetic to those on your doorstep. Those further away but in even greater need are often ignored. Brilliant write.
The most important part of posting a poem is the response you get, I'd love to appreciate every single one of  you for the words you offered. For those who didn't make the list, I still appreciate you.

This poem is coming from an emotional place, for the longest time I never believed in myself. But now I do, thanks a lot
Cassie Mae Mar 2012
Last Sunday
I was curled up in bed
dreaming of you next to me.
Sharing a pillow,
sharing a kiss.

This Sunday
I want you curled up
next to me.
Sharing the space between your fingers
sharing the same feelings.

Next Sunday
I'll be curled up alone
cold spaces next to me.
Sharing my shivers,
sharing my tears.
© 2012
Counting Kisses Mar 2016
Since, as you know, a kiss is best when shared with someone else,
   And since you know a single kiss is not as good as two,
Let's make a deal we both can love like chocolate loves to melt:
   For every kiss you give to me, I'll give a kiss to you.
Ahmad Cox Dec 2012
The archaic knowledge
The old truths of sages
Long gone and past
Still have a lot of wisdom
Especially in todays times
We live in a world where
People are more disconnected
Than they have ever been
We live with disease and wars
People stealing and killing
Living with hatred and lost
In the cold without a place
To stay and a friendly face
To see for miles and miles
Living in a pavement jungle
Not knowing which way
We are truly going
Just wondering without
Direction or hope
Just floating a long
Without any type
Of mooring to graft to
The sages of old
Talked about the
Interconnectedness
Of everything in the
Universe and everything
Comes from God and spirit
There is a world beyond the
Physical and the material
That supercedes all
Material thought and
Consciousness just beyond
The veil of knowledge and
Intuition that ultimately springs
From the source of the universe
If we are to move forward we
Must not take the God out of
Equation when it comes to science
Or understanding the universe
Or trying to interpret our world
Or how we even fit into it
If you remove God from the
Universe and the equation
All together you are denying
Existence and everything in it
The old sages used to say that
We shouldn't harm another being
We should respect our planet
Respecting our mother and
Respecting spirit and each other
Respecting  nature and the animals
Respecting the whole of everything
Living in peace and harmony with
Everything and following the order
Of the world instead of trying to
Change or to alter it
We need to get back to this understanding
If we are truly going to move past
The separation we feel with ourselves
And with nature and even with our planet
We somehow think we are separate or
Somehow better than the plants or the
Animals as if somehow they are expandable
Not understanding or seeing the true spirit
That lives and breathes in all living things
If we did we couldn't even do half of the things
We do to our animal brethren on this planet
If we could understand and see the spirit
And the beautiful life and light in us all
We could never do half of the things
We do to each other out of hate and anger
We commit atrocity after atrocity
Thinking that somehow these
People are separate or different
From us they aren't the same
They are lesser than us so
We can treat them however
We want and not have any
Thought about it after
Ultimately even if you try
To justify these actions there
Is no true justification for
The ****** or slaughter
Of people simply based
Off of false fears and prejudices
And anger that boils up inside
No life should ever be forfeit for
Any reason whatsoever
There is no such thing
As a justified death or a
Justified ****** or a
Justified war that ultimately
Kills and destroys everything
In its sight leaving nothing
Behind for any body to
Ultimately take or claim
In the end once they are done
The sages used to say that love
Is the key to the universe and
And that light and love removes
All darkness in the world
Living with universal love
In your heart and being
Able to exude love from
Your breathe and from
Your pores and breathing
In love and light and healing
And passing it to every one
Around you and transmitting
It into the universe as well
Sharing love for the world
Sharing love for the life you live
Sharing love for the people who
Haven't found the light yet
Being able to love your enemies
Because you can see a piece of
Yourself inside of their hearts
And ultimately inside of their souls
Feeling ultimate joy and happiness
At the simple fact of living
Reveling in each moment
Being completely in yourself
Feeling that divine love and
Connection to everything
And feeling the universe
And everything in it
Sitting in your heart and
Being poured out through
Your thoughts and mind
As you float through space
And time sharing love and
Light and healing to as many
People as possible before you
Return to the source again where
You join in the union with the source
And with God and the universe
Where you join the ever lasting
Knowing and truth of the cosmos
Only to return to do it all over again
Bringing as many people to the light
Guiding souls with love and comfort
Guiding them into the ever lasting light
Imbuing Gods love and grace and
Showing the way through example
We need to get back to this universal love
And knowledge so that we know it in our
Hearts and we know it in our minds
There is a lot of hate going around
But there is not as much love
We tend to ostracize certain people
Or even judge people and see them as
Somehow different or worst because
Of where they are at in life or even
Because of the position they are in
We need to be able to feel and breathe
That love and light for everything
Being able to truly love ourselves
Loving our position in life
Loving our bodies and everything
That comes with but more than anything
Learning how to love everyone regardless
Of who or what they happen to be no matter
How far they might have fallen there is never
Anyone that doesn't deserve to be healed or
Loved or saved in some way and when we come
To this greatest realization and sharing and feeling
The love we will begin to understand and see just how
Beautiful and wonderful a place we live in and what
A special time it is to be alive and living in peace
And harmony with everyone and everything
And learning how to love in more whole ways
Spreading the love and light through the Earth
Until a wave of love and light sweeps over us
And peace and love become all we know
We just have to get back to those old archaic truths
That the sages knew a along time ago
emily mikkelsen Apr 2017
between the concrete river
& the park where the bums share a bottle
wrapped in a brown paper sack,

there is a cul-de-sac of plastic houses
holding hands & sharing manicured lawns
wooden cars that don't even make any smoke
drive down gray asphalt streets.

fathers that tell mothers they have jobs
wear down street corners sharing beers with the bums,
like they already are one.

all these paper families rubbing shoulders
until everyone has paper cuts.
going home to dinner around a table full of paper love.

suburbia is flimsy
paper towns shining white
smiling neighbors & shared lawns
paper people slowly falling apart.

couples with their tongues down each other's throats,
midnight in supermarket parking lots
dribbling beer in the backseat
they bought off the bums.  

they say,
I love you, I love you, I love you.
until she leaves for a paper husband
& he leaves for a paper wife.

now they live on two separate cul-de-sacs
with the same cutout love,
as the parents they despised.

& when they have kids one day
they will tell them
never kiss before driving,
never befriend bums,
or guzzle cheap beer in backseats,
or on park swings.
& never settle for a paper husband
or a paper wife.


remembering the love
that was flimsy,
but never paper.

100,000 miles away from where they grew up
& 3,000 miles away from each other
3 kids each & plastic houses
rubbing shoulders & sharing lawns

living in a paper thin suberbia
chafing under their paper love.
inspired by "Paper Towns" by John Green
Alyssa Underwood Jun 2016
O darkest night, what are you for?
Sometimes to wrestle, sometimes to rest
But always to cling to Jesus more

Though senses are dulled, desires awaken
Aching grows stronger, inhibitions are taken
Less seeing, less hearing, more hunger, more longing
Answers are dimming while questions are thronging

More drilling, more filling
The canyons of my soul
More boring, more pouring
Himself into the hole
More stretching, more catching
Away my gasping breath
More tearing, more sharing
In the union of His death
"But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them *******, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ--the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. I want to know Christ and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.

"Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus."  
~ Philippians 3:7-14

~~~
Simon Clark Aug 2012
CHRISTMAS PARADISE

The table was filled with lots of things to eat,
Mince Pies, Stuffing, Turkey and many other meats,
A candle in the centre to flicker out its gold,
A special time for all of us to cherish and to hold.

Everyone pulls a ******* and wears their hats with pride,
As they sit around the burning logs warming all inside,
But through the window they can see a chestnut skating on the ice,
It tries to break through the frozen sheet to a Christmas paradise.

The singers are singing their tunes of Christmas dreams,
So that everybody's hearts and eyes can gleam,
The ribbon that will lie stretched out across the floor,
Will be forever engraved to our minds and deep within our core.

From every house along their street giggling can be heard,
And silent prayers are spoken but God hears every word,
To sprinkle merriment upon their place if only for one day,
So that they can celebrate Christmas in their own special way.

ONE ENCHANTED DAY

I looked from the window on a misty Christmas morn,
The fog was thicker than it had ever been before,
It was cold and quiet and all around my house,
Nothing appeared cheerful not even the decorated tree,
The fairy she looked glumly down,
And the baubles hung their heads in shame,
The tinsel draped all carelessly among the fading lights,
Above the fire there stood one solitary card from someone I once knew.

Around the foot of my Christmas tree not a gift awaited me,
Santa forgot to visit and it all seems so lonely,
I was beginning to despair that this was just another day,
But along came an angel and this she said to me,
I'll give you a tree with decorations so bright and a mantle full of cards,
If you'll enjoy this special day with every inch of your heart,
And so now my Christmas is full of cheer, saved from heartbreak and despair,
I thank the moon and all the stars for my one enchanted day.

SANTA HOPPED ONTO HIS SLEIGH

Santa hopped onto his sleigh with his sack of treats,
Working hard and happy to deliver to the streets,
He carried with him gifts of gold, gifts of card and gifts of cheese,
In answer to the kiddies� wishes for around their Christmas trees.

Santa hopped onto his sleigh pulled by Reindeers strong,
There was Comet and there was Blitzen on his journey long,
Rudolph led the team of merry deer, his nose a shiny red,
While Santa glided down the chimneys - the children still in bed.

Santa hopped onto his sleigh running as fast as he could,
With Donner, Dancer and ***** he knew they'd do what they should,
Old Dasher and Reindeer Cupid flew Santa to the skies,
So that to every little girl and boy he could bring a surprise.

Santa hopped onto his sleigh with thoughts for everyone,
He knew he had to finish soon as he saw the rising sun,
High into the clouds they soared leaving only a jangling bell,
Removing all traces of his presence so that no one on Earth could tell.

SPARE A THOUGHT

As you sit there feeding your face full of seconds and thirds,
And opening gifts that you may not deserve,
There is a place where Santa won't go,
The doorways and steeples with people freezing below,
They only know its Christmas because the streets are so bare,
But on this day of happiness - who will show them some care?

So spare a thought this Christmas, spare a thought please do,
Spare a thought this Christmas for those less fortunate than you.

As we sit here laughing and falling asleep before the screen,
And eating lots more pudding - some with extra cream,
There is a place where Reindeer won't tread,
In the shelters and the hideaways filled with loneliness and dread,
They heard about a Christmas in a "once upon a time",
But on this day of indulgency - who will put their own greed on the line?

So spare a thought this Christmas, spare a thought please do,
Spare a thought this Christmas for those less fortunate than you.

As you secretly think of the things Christmas didn't bring to you,
And thinking of seasonal games for you to play and do,
There is a place so lost that Santa cannot find,
Just a box of cardboard where hope gets left behind,
They were told that Christmas was just around the corner,
It's a day that never comes - who will stand and be more than a mourner?

So spare a thought this Christmas, spare a thought please do,
Spare a thought this Christmas for those less fortunate than you.

So spare a thought this Christmas, spare a thought please do,
Spare a thought this Christmas for those less fortunate than you.

STOCKINGS

Timmy had a stocking hung from his bedroom door,
He wished that it be filled with things he'd never had before,
Maybe a toy soldier beating his drum,
Maybe a model sailor drinking his bottle of ***,
He hoped for a motorcar that could speed around his house,
Or maybe a cuddly toy the image of Mickey Mouse.

He hoped that Father Christmas would bring something for his mum,
Maybe a freshly baked cake or something filled with plum,
A brand new box of magic tricks for my brother Sam,
And a gift for dad to show how grateful I really am,
And Timmy hoped that his dog wouldn't be missed out,
Cause Rover would be sad and blue on Christmas day, no doubt.

Timmy was always thinking of others not only of himself,
That�s why he left a small token for Santa on the shelf,
There was plate filled with cookies - the ones with the choc-chip,
And there was some brandy to keep out the cold - just a little nip,
He also left a bag of many little snacks,
For all the hungry reindeer that'd help fly Santa back.

THE MEANING OF THIS CHRISTMAS

As you huddle beneath your Christmas tree,
Amidst a flame of warmth,
Opening presents, sharing presents, and sharing laughter too,
Remember the meaning of this Christmas is love and joy - peace, happiness for you.

Try to know the story of a baby that was born,
In a manger bed from a woman pure as snow,
Her husband he watched lovingly,
As he calmly cooled her brow.

On that starry night three wise travellers appeared,
Bearing gifts of golden wonder,
Without a need for return,
They sought only a moment with a new life that to this Earth He placed.

And now two thousand years away,
Let's try to recall the message of Christmas,
As we fill our plates with plenty - turkey and chocolate treats,
Singing carols and dancing alive with glee.

Try not to be contented with an overwhelming greed,
Look within your heart and see what you really need,
Is it music? Is it toys? Is it the latest craze?
Learn to embrace a loved one without a possession haze.

Hear the silent footsteps of the men, who travelled all night,
See the snowflakes drifting down from the heavens above,
A reminder to us all,
The meaning of this Christmas my dear, it must be love.

THE ROBIN

Is it the distant whisper of a thousand tiny bells?
Or is it the carolling that tells us when it starts?
I wish for the knowledge from many wishing wells,
I now know when Christmas arrives from the beating of my heart.

It's the day when first you see a robin perched upon a tree,
When you hear his little chirping from a snow covered branch,
You'll see his red breast moving in time with your heartbeat so free,
Be it snowy, be it wet, be it sunny, be it cold - I'll know from the robin on my ranch.

He comes my way each Christmas week and settles in his nest,
It's then I'll know that my sweet family will arrive,
And bring with them such hilarity that makes me truly blessed,
So I raise up my eyes to God and give thanks that I'm alive.

THE SNOWMAN COMES TO LIFE

Little Josephine spent yesterday outside,
She darted through the streets feeling snow under foot,
Her face shone out delight; her smile couldn't hide,
Nothing could ***** the blanket of white not even the blackness of soot,
So she found a silent spot, a space open wide,
A place to build her snowman, where he could always stay put.

She built him high and tall, as tall as her legs would allow,
She made him round and whole with a face that looked so proud,
Now the snow had settled down, it lay upon the bough,
She drew his eyes from coal and a mouth to laugh aloud,
She gave him nose of carrot, hat and scarf but darkness fell and go, she had to now,
She told the snowman she'd return tomorrow, this with crossed heart she vowed.

Home she ambled to her sleepy room to lay down her sweet head,
In her silent sleep that night the wondrous dreams she had,
She saw her snowman come to life and dance, not sit, around instead,
She watched him smile and seeing him fly - it all just made her glad,
In her books and stories a tale like this she'd never read,
She knew it was a dream yet she wasn't sad, the visions she saw were good - not bad.

Little Josephine returned the very next day,
Her snowman was gone the sunshine was here,
Her eyes welled up - her tongue no words to say,
The hat and scarf still on the ground showed nothing was to fear,
For in her mind she knew he'd visit - he would find a way,
If he couldn't get back inside, she'd made memories to recall each and every year.

TWO LOVERS HOLDING HANDS

Two lovers holding hands across the table,
Share this Christmas time,
Something simple no fancy foods,
Not concerned with wine,
They focus on the laughter, on the pleasure of this day,
As their smiles intertwine.

They take an elegant candle and place it in the mud,
They light the wick and out its fire shines bright,
There material belongings for which they will not care,
As they rest their heads on the carpet of endless white,
Holding each other tight they'll gaze beyond the stars,
Nothing will matter as their souls become one this Christmas night.

Two lovers holding hands for eternity,
Sharing each Christmas time,
Something precious and something true,
No concerns for design,
They focus on the sharing, on the wonder of each day,
As their lives will suddenly be defined.
Written in 2004
samasati Nov 2012
I believe in smiling at strangers. I believe in saying hello. I believe in shyness. I believe in fear of rejection. I believe in the need of affection. I believe in the need of reminders. I believe in candles, especially those that smell of vanilla or christmas. I believe in wearing small crystals around my neck. I believe in energetic vibrations. I believe in colours - I think each person has their own colour. I believe every feeling is valid. I believe in chapstick and I believe in mascara that doesn’t clump. I believe in nail polish - every colour of nail polish. I believe that the only reason we lie is because we fear something. I believe in poetry. I believe in bluntness. I believe in the intention behind words, but I don’t necessarily believe in words. I believe in travel. I believe in travelling solo. In fact, I believe in travelling so much that it is pretty much all I want to do. I believe in music. Boy, do I believe in music. I believe any kind of musical composition can change a person. I believe music can cure depression. I also believe music can feed depression. I believe a melody can say more than lyrics and I believe that lyrics can be what someone couldn’t put together themselves to explain exactly how they are feeling. I believe anyone can create a song, even though they believe they cannot. I believe a single note can sound like the most beautiful sound in the world. I believe if someone records a song when they’re in an ugly mood, the ugliness emits to its listeners and can drain them. I believe in art. Of course I do. I believe in acrylic paint. I believe in oil paint and watercolours, but not as much as I believe in acrylic. I believe in fingerprinting. I even believe in painting with your toes. And I believe in dancing; even if it looks weird. I believe in flailing your arms even, as long as it feels good and right. I believe in dancing ‘til you sweat, though I don’t like that icky feeling too much. I believe that a babe can be a very ugly person and a physically unattractive person can be a very beautiful person. I believe that people who smile are beautiful. I believe that people who frown are beautiful too, just in a different way. I believe that there are sincere smiles and there are manipulative smiles. I believe that some people just know how to use their eyes well. I believe in eye contact. I believe in engaging. I believe in listening and dropping everything else that is going on in your mind just to listen to what a person is trying to share with you. I believe in sharing - sharing cookies and sharing love. I believe in the frosty cold. I believe that it doesn’t have to feel as cold as it really is. I believe that people complain a lot. I believe that people often have too much pride to be happy. I believe that we should embrace our discomforts and shames, that we should welcome them wholeheartedly so that we can be happy. I believe in honesty. I believe in empathy. I believe in tea. I believe in jelly donuts but only on certain occasions. I believe in quirky bow ties. I believe in knit toques and mittens and scarves. I believe in dresses. I believe in flirting. I believe in coffee in the morning. I believe in big comfy beds. I believe in walking around your empty house in your underwear or birthday suit, singing loudly. I believe in singing in the shower. I believe in singing on the street. I believe in stage fright. I believe in meditation, though I don’t really strictly set times to do it anymore. I believe mundane activities can be done in a meditative state of mind. I believe in clarity. I believe in not judging people because everyone is human. I believe every human has something very interesting about them. I believe in boring people too. I believe in christmas music - not the radio kind, the choral kind. I believe in cheap sweet wine. I believe in Billy Joel and I believe in The Beatles. I believe in Regina and Sufjan too. I believe that the ukulele is a very overrated instrument. I believe in having healthy hair. I believe in moisturizer. I believe in getting to pick a coloured toothbrush at the dentist. I believe in thick wool socks. I believe in baggy sweaters. I believe in yoga gear but I do not believe in sweatpants. I believe that yoga is one of the healthiest things for a person - ever. I believe in buying a friend drinks or dinner once in awhile. I believe in collecting shoes and scarves and rings. I believe in chords but I don’t really believe in jeans. I believe in hot chocolate with whip cream but not with marshmallows. I believe in dorky Christmas sweaters. I believe in baking cookies instead of cake. I believe in eating disorders - I do not support them, but I do believe they are much more severe and various than most people think and I believe there should be better/proper help for those who suffer instead of the usual cruel inpatient/outpatient care. I believe in trichotillomania and I believe in dermatillomania and the severity and impact it can have on its sufferers. I believe in gardens. I believe in every single flower. I believe that everyone is always doing their best. I believe that most people love to struggle. I believe in hope. I believe in having faith in yourself. I believe in iPod playlists. I believe in gym memberships in the winter, not the summer unless it’s to swim. I believe in matching underwear every day. I believe in Value Village. I believe in singing in bus shelters when you’re waiting for the bus. I believe in dressing up according to holidays. I believe in Grey’s Anatomy and I believe in Community. I believe in skirts and dresses that twirl like the ‘ol days. I believe in longboards more than skateboards. I believe in plaid like most young people do. I believe in bows in my hair, but not as much as I used to. I believe in foot massages and hand massages. I believe in reflexology and reiki and essential oils and chakras and crystals and holistic nutrition. I believe in anxiety; even crippling anxiety. I believe in awkward romances. I do not believe in flip flops. I do not believe in Beatles covers unless they are really insanely good; then my mind is blown. I believe in having long enough nails to scratch someone’s back appropriately. I also believe in biting nails. I do not believe in telephone calls unless I am extremely comfortable with the person. I believe in blogs. I believe in journals. I believe in naming special inanimate objects like journals, instruments, technology and furniture. I believe in the idea of cats more than I believe in cats. I believe in sharpies or thin pointed permanent markers. I believe in temporary tattoos. I believe in streaming movies online. I believe in royal gala apples. I believe in avocados. I believe in rice cakes. I believe in popcorn. I believe in airports but I hate the LA airport. I believe in openly talking about *** but I don’t believe in making it seem shameful and gross. I believe there should be no shame regarding sexuality. I believe in reading some great books more than once. I believe in laying on the couch under cozy blankets, watching a great suspenseful tv show or movie. I only believe in having a couple bites of cheesecake. I don’t really believe in lulu lemon. I don’t believe many people can pull off the colour yellow. I believe in buttons over zippers even though zippers are easier, they just look kind of dumb and cheap. I believe in the sun and the moon equally. I believe in closets over dressers. I believe in staring out the window for a good hour or so.
In the digital l-and
We l-ive in
Mistakenly automatic
One pointing at a chest of tools
Eyes on i
No soul can tell a part a weakling metal


Robots robbing robbers rich
T-error terrifying t-errorists
Artist gods and goddesses
Sharing platform to unleashed gifts


Mint hue bubbles squeak
Fizzy dizzy violet haze
World head to toes spins
Any day it spins coins in change


A quiet girl is sinister
Siren of mystery or future
Robot is your mirror
Peach chin with teeth filter
No innocence and glitter litter
Guilty until proven the latter


A quiet girl a terrorist
Error mouths terror twist
Terrorist from the orient
They hide in between every end
Disguises they cover in
Racist as problem solving


Smile girl watch
A fake smile and eyes
Skin of steel so is her
Heart made alloy
How it blazes to the touch when heated
Oh it bites fingertips as it's cold
Hair resting on the curve of her spine
A woman's hair only breaks if it tries to grow


What she said
Tell me if you can tell us a part
Warning tears borne from her crooked eyes
Robot and soul
Terrorists from t-errorists
No soul knows either
Tattoos or memory shall identify you
© Teri Darlene Basallote Yeo
WistfulHope Nov 2014
Thank you for sharing your opinion
On something I didn't ask about

Thank you for generalizing groups
That aren't as like minded as you claim

Thank you for discriminating against views
That don't agree with your own
Thank you for acting like the dictating monster
Everyone expects me to be.
- - -
So I'm a Christian and we have a bad rep for not being tolerant, but I have a professor who claims to be 'tolerant,' but so isn't -- especially if you're Christian. I just think it's hysterical because I'm not the shove-my-views-down-your-throat type, and he completely is. Practice what you preach, please.
And so concludes my note-rant. I seem to be ranting a lot lately. Sorry.
Tommy Randell Dec 2014
To loosen with my bare hands
the wide air between us
in explaining something of meaning
I almost feel
I am pulling flesh
from the living and moving moments
possible here.

It is somehow breaking
the natural order of things
to use words alone
of all viable means
in setting out the wind-waves and rivulets
of ideas internally flowing -
but I must try and get something out for once.

I circle in bad phrases
prickling with the itchiness of sharing,
I send out a few vague words
horrified and perplexed
at their translation now they are naked
knowing you too listen
and they are at last unalterable.

Deep in the brain, far back
this is my bad time
but I know where the roots go
down into me
and from the storm’s heart
perpetual agitation pumps hand in hand
with calm acceptance.
The self *****, alternately
to fan and to freeze
whatever doubts or unease are burning.
Talk travels the spaces between us
through the clear air
in the kind of silence
surviving bones may know swinging in a wind.

But I know stillness can become alive
when living mouths bring their hearts to bear -
ears can well hear
what the breath has to say,
as the eye sees
the body’s smallest noises -
face to face we are a field of listening.

The warm comes without sound.
This is only the edge of a becoming.
We are not trapped in the lips -
already we lean inward
to know of each other and to give
not words for the wind
but a dance at ease with all that flows.
victor tripp Apr 2013
This  is  a noted   to  remind   us  all  to  grow  tired   of  any  questionable  and  uncertain  path   your   relationship  might  take   and  always  realize  that  women  like  emotional   nurturing  and  centering  in  themselves-  which  helps  them  to  grow  in  a  positive / sane  direction   i've  often  wondered  and  it  is't  a  pleasant  wonder   why   the   wrong  people   fall  in   love   and   become   a   pair - what  causes   cracks   in  the  foundation   of  love -  some  warp   in  the  chromosomes,   some  flaw  in  the  genes   a thin   film  of  paranoia  in  the  embryonic  sac ?  is  it   the  stresses  of  modern  life  or  Mozart's  Requiem  of  the  full  moon  or  no  moon  at  all?  was  it  the  march   beyond  being  strangers  perhaps-  that  destroyer  of  great  expectations ?  or  does  love   bring  forth  a  dormant  madness  that  always   begins  on  a  day  that  other wise  seems  normal -  beautiful  even, fate  thumbing  its  nose  at  the  future ?   mutual   sharing  is  required  for  any  lasting  relationship  but sharing  is  not  in itself   what  i'm  talking  about. nor  is   relationship.   i'm  talking   of  the  capacity  to   meet  and  be  met   such  meetings   from  time  to  time   are  the  essential  growing  points   in  any  live   relationship  could  hardly  be  used.    the  modern  emphasis  on  relationships  between  two  people  can   degenerate  into  mere  exclusiveness   and  a    self-conscious  sharing  which   valuable  though   it  is   may   become   an  infringement  of  privacy  or  an  abuse  of  intimacy.  deliberate  sharing  is   dangerous.  new   ideas  which   are  forming  in  the  dephs  of  the  mind  can  be  destroyed  or  crippled  by  being  shared  to  soon   it's  like  dragging  a  baby  from  the  womb  before  it's  ready  to  to  be  born   or  digging   a  tulip  bulb   up  to  watch  the  sprouting  of  the  roots   respect   for  another  person's  privacy  is  as   important   as    sharing  thoughts  the  deepest  communication  will  in   any  case  take  place  in  moments   of  silence    every   time  i  think   it  is  one's  own  attitude  not  the  the  relationship  on  which  one  needs  to  work  it's  a  fact  that  in  any  partnership   if  one  partner  becomes  quite   clear  in  himself  what  it  is  the  situation  requires   the  chances   are  it  will  not  even  be  necessary  to  voice  it   the  other   will  somehow  pick  up  the  point  and  comply  with  no  words  said   internal  clarity  anywhere   seems  to  have  the  effect   of  an  invisible  guiding  force   can  be  trusted  to  affect  not   only   personal  relationships  but   outer   situations   for   the  person  who  has  achieved  inner  clarity   new  paths   appear  and  doors  open    without  the  need   to  knock
victor tripp Apr 2013
pete  called  me  and  said  that  he  wanted  to  talk  man  to   man  finally  battered  and    emontionally   wounded   he  said   his  girlfriend  was  gone  drained  and  tired  of  the   questionable  and  uncertain  path  the  relationship  had  taken  he  should've  realized  that  women,  like  men  need  emotional  nurturing   and  centering in  themselves- which  helps  them  to  grow  in   a   positive/sane  direction  i've  often  wondered  why  the  wrong  people  fall  in  love  and  become  a  pair... what  causes  cracks  in  the  foundation  of  love- some  warp  in  the chromosomes,some  flaw  in  the  genes, a thin  film of  paranoia   in  the  embryonic  sac ? is  it  the  stresses  of   modern  life  or  Mozart's  Requiem  of  the  full  moon   or no  moon? was  it  the  march  beyond   being   strangers,perhaps- that  destroyer  of  great  expectations? or  does  love  bring  forth  a   dormant  madness  that always  begins  on  a  day  that  other wise  seems  normal- beautiful even   fate  thubing its  nose  at the  future ? mutual  sharing  is  required  for  any  lasting  relationship  but  sharing is not  in  itself   what  i'm  talking  about   nor   is  relationship  i'm   talking  of   capacity  to  meet   and  be  met   in  the  soft  unkown  part  of  your being  such   meetings  from  time  to  time  are  the  essential   growing  points   in  any  live  relationship    can    hardly  be  used.  it  is  possible  i'm  sure  for  more  than  two  people  to  meet  at  the  same  time    the  modern  emphasis  on  relationships  between  only  two  people  can  degenerate   into   mere  exclusiveness  and  a  self-conscious  sharing  which  though  it  is,  may  become  an  infringement  of privacy,  or  an  abuse  of  intimacy. deliberate  sharing  is  sometimes  as  dangerous  as  sympathy  new  ideas  which  are  forming  in  the  depths  of  the  mind   can  actually  be  destroyed  or  crippled   by  being  shared  to  soon  it  is  like  dragging  a  baby  from  the  womb  before  it's  ready  to be  born  or  digging  up  a  tulip bulb  to  watch  the  sprouting  of  the  roots   respect  for  another  person's  privacy  is  as  important   as   sharing  thoughts   for  the  deepest  communication  will in  any case  take  place  in  moments  of  silence  every  time  i  think  its  one's  own  attitude, not  the relationship on  which  one  needs  to  work  its  a  fact   that  in  any  partnership  if  one  of  the  partners  becomes quite  clear  in  himself  what  it  is  that  the  situation  requires  the  chances  are  it  won't  even   be  necessary  to  voice  it   the  other  will   somehow pick  up  the  point  and  comply   with  no  words  said  internal  clarity  anywhere  seems  to  have  the  effect  of  an  invisible  guiding  force   which  can  be  trusted  to  affect  not  only  personal  relationships  but   other  situtions  for  the  person  who  has achieved  inner  clarity   new paths  appear  and  doors  open  without  the  need  to knock
against the wall, the firing squad ready.
then he got a reprieve.
suppose they had shot Dostoevsky?
before he wrote all that?
I suppose it wouldn't have
mattered
not directly.
there are billions of people who have
never read him and never
will.
but as a young man I know that he
got me through the factories,
past the ******,
lifted me high through the night
and put me down
in a better
place.
even while in the bar
drinking with the other
derelicts,
I was glad they gave Dostoevsky a
reprieve,
it gave me one,
allowed me to look directly at those
rancid faces
in my world,
death pointing its finger,
I held fast,
an immaculate drunk
sharing the stinking dark with
my
brothers.
Alyssa Underwood Sep 2017
There is little in this world that consistently causes our hearts more pain or which produces in us more need for forgiveness than rejection, especially from those whom it has cost us so much to love. It is universal anathema to the soul, and much of our lives can be unconsciously governed by the fear of it. So we find ourselves naturally asking, "Joy in the midst of rejection? Is that even possible?" Oh, yes! Not only possible but commanded of us who are believers in Christ. And not only commanded of us but ready to be gloriously bestowed on us like the most precious of pearls.

It's in the season of greatest rejection that we enter the season of greatest opportunity to discover the fullness of God's joy by discovering the fullness of His own heart. Walking in intimacy with Jesus through this searing pain may be one of the most priceless privileges of grace granted to us on this earth, for it opens up one of the widest doors for us to enter into the fellowship of sharing in His sufferings, and there is no more obvious chance to die to ourselves and live for Christ than in that holy communion of suffering with Him.

It's there that we're most able to clearly see Him and best prepared to clearly reflect Him, and it's then that we're empowered to live our lives here on earth from the very throne room of heaven, seated in the resurrected presence of our Bridegroom, where the joy always runs full and over. So our deepest heartaches will turn to deepest joys when we embrace them for the sake of Christ, to gain Him and be found in Him, to know Him in intimate detail through excruciatingly sweet experience. We will discover that the Lord entrusts the most luscious of blessings and the rarest of secrets to the most desperate and thirsty of souls, and that He delights to place the loveliest of wings on the lowliest of worms.

The gifts of myrrh's sorrow which the Father pours into the vessels of our lives are poured first into the hands of His own Son and flow through His nail-pierced scars before they ever touch us. And as we choose to graciously receive them as such, we are filled up with Him and enabled to pour Him out into the lives of others, even those who continually scorn and despise us.

The gift (yes, gift) of rejection is the high privilege of being asked by our Commander to become His flag bearer, receiving the esteemed honor of marching beside Him at the center of the front line, into the heat of the battle and into the face of the "enemy" (the rejecter), armed with no gun and carrying only His banner of love over our head for all to see. It's a sacred invitation into a certain death for the sake of knowing His love more intimately and for the service of displaying it more gloriously.

And if tempted to refuse the privilege, let us remember these two things: this life is so much more freely, joyfully lived when we have finally learned to count ourselves dead to it and alive to Christ, and the flow of His agape love through us will only be as strong as what it costs us to demonstrate it. The greater the cost, the purer the love; the purer the love, the more we are made like Him; the more we are made like Him, the more attuned we will be to His own heart's breaking and to our own breaking of it.

Oh, that we might be purged of ever thinking again that our neglecting of His love does not matter to Him! May He cause our hearts to break and break until we see how much it does! May we know the world's rejection again and again until we are finally scoured clean of our own despicable tendency to reject Him in favor of all our worldly playthings! No lover has ever endured more rejection than our Lover at our own hands and by our own hearts. And no lover continues to love through rejection with the determination and desire, suffering and sacrifice, tenderness and tenacity of our own Bridegroom. Can we not endure whatever He has called us to suffer for Him? Can we not allow it to drive us more fervently to His heart?... Lord, capture us by Your mighty hand and consume us by Your mighty flame, and may we pant and pine only for You, for Your love sets us free to dance in the midst of the fire!

How humbling, mystifying and worship-evoking it is to realize that the One we have so grievously rejected is the same One Who so perfectly understands and longs to comfort our own heart's grief when we are rejected. And to not run to Him now for that fellowship of healing would be to reject Him all over again and to break His heart once more. What could hurt Him more than our stubborn resistance to share in both His sufferings and His comfort when there is so much joy and intimacy waiting to be had with Him? Whatever ache our own heart knows, however deep and scathing, it cannot compare to the ache of His own heart when we let anything pull us away from Him, for He is rightly EVERYTHING to us—Father, Husband, Lover, Best Friend, Brother, Confidante, Kindred Spirit, Counselor, Nurturer, Rescuer, Healer, Hero... Behind the pain of every rejection is a legitimate need or desire that He is waiting to fill in us, and we have to let Him get to it by dying to our fleshly ones.

Or do we suppose that we might ever find true and lasting joy apart from dying to ourselves and abiding in Him when He died so that we might fully live in the joy of that abiding? No, true joy will only follow abiding; abiding and dying walk hand in hand, and rejection throws open the door for all three. Man's rejection is central to God's wooing, for it shatters our false expectations of human love and stirs in our hearts the longing for a perfect one. So let us not shrink back fearfully from that which can do us such good and teach us to love as Christ has loved us. With renewed passion, let us ask Him to wrap every affection of our hearts more tightly around Him that every desire might be united with His own and that we might learn to love in a way that sets our lives and the world around us ablaze!

To be despised and rejected and, still, to love—that is the ultimate triumph of Christ in our hearts, for we are never more like Him, never more full of Him, never more surrendered to His heart and His work than when He pours out His love through us to those who will not love us back. When we can stand in the face of bitter, cutting words, contemptuous looks and shaming mockery and still love fiercely but with a gentle and quiet spirit, we will know without doubt that it is His Spirit moving gloriously through us... Lord Jesus, Who so willingly floods our hearts with Your most precious gift, Yourself (and You are Love!), teach us to ever know You more and to rely fully on the love You have for us and ARE for us in infinite supply. Teach us to feast on the abundance of that love, and let it flow freely out of us to the ones who would reject, scorn, mock and hate us, so that they too might one day taste and be consumed by Your perfect love which drives out all fear—Your infinite, immeasurable love which heals all wounds and fills all emptiness and gives meaning to all of our pain. You alone, O LORD, are able to truly and purely love through rejection, but You live gloriously in us, so unleash Your mighty waters through us. Your love is everything, for You are Everything!...

Our all-sufficient Bridegroom is able to work His agape love most perfectly in us when that love poured out to another is not ever reciprocated, for it forces us to finally let Him fill us with Himself alone and to rely completely on His love instead of on the love of another to meet our heart's deepest hunger. The need for His filling IS our deepest hunger, and so our soul comes most alive not when it is loved by our fellow man but when it receives and pours out Jesus' love to our fellow man, expecting nothing in return but more of Him. Thus His love is made complete in us whether they ever love us back or not, and the fear of their rejection is eventually driven out by His perfect and perfecting love.

Even if love is never returned...never even received...it is never in vain, for "love never fails." To love someone, though we mean nothing to them, may seem too cruel a burden for the heart to bear, but the only thing worse than not being loved is to not love, and so the greatest tragedy of love spurned or lost would be to stop loving. For to cease loving that which causes us pain would be to let the pain win, but for as long as we love, really love with Christ's own heart, no matter what else happens, we win.

Love without pain remains unproven and, therefore, is meaningless, but love through pain invokes nothing less than the miraculous and inspires even the incredulous. The purer one's love, the more pain it causes when it is rejected, but only continued love can redeem the pain of loving, and only a perfect Love can heal love's scalding wound; the more scalding the wound, the better primed it is to receive that perfect Love fully into it.

There is great romance to be found in unrequited love that keeps loving, though it is beyond any human emotion or fleshly capacity or mortal understanding. It is a most sacred mystery which cannot be grasped with the head or even the heart but only with the spirit, for it is a love whose connection to Christ remains unsevered. There is perhaps no intimacy to compare to it, for it drives us to Him like nothing else will. It is a love whose longing for the other gives us the greatest insight into God's own aching longing for us. Only when it has cost us everything to keep loving do we begin to understand the smallest fraction of the wildly extravagant love Christ has for us or of the brutally scandalous pain which it has cost Him, and it will leave us in utter awe of Him and in love with Him like we have never been before.

As our focus is turned more and more toward His love for us and toward all of our previous rejecting of it, we will come to clearly see that agape love and rejection have everything to do with the the hearts of the lover and the rejecter and nothing to do with what the beloved and the rejected have done or deserve. For obviously we have done nothing to deserve God's love and He has nothing to deserve our rejection, yet He never stops loving us and we keep rejecting Him in ways we can't even comprehend. No one has ever known more rejection than the only One Who is completely worthy of love. Every time we sin we reject Him in favor of something else, but still He loves us without fail and without end. He loves us because He is love and because He has chosen to set His love on us. We are absolutely and irrevocably loved and accepted in Christ Jesus, and nothing and no one can ever change or mar that love. Our identity is completely secure in Him simply because of Who He is and who He says we are to Him.

Therefore no amount nor depth of rejection by anyone changes anything about who we are in Christ or our worth to Him. We do not need any man's love or acceptance to validate our worth, for it has already been established in the heavenly realms by the only One Whose verdict carries any real and lasting weight. We are significant and precious and holy to God regardless of what anyone else thinks of us or says of us or does to us. What has their rejection got to do with us? Nothing, for we are His! We are chosen and we are beloved! And so we are freed from the fear of rejection when we see that it cannot define us or taint us in the sight of the only One Whose opinion or judgment matters. It's a glorious thing to finally care what no man thinks of us, only the Master, for then we begin to be free to love all men as He loves them and to pray with deepest sincerity, humility and fervor even for those who spitefully reject us.

And even for that one who has hurt us most deeply, who has crushed our heart and thrown us to the wind like chaff without so much as a glance back, we will pray, no longer with only a slight and distant hope that he would return to us but now with a passionate desire to see the prodigal return to the heart of the Father. We will pray, not with a focus on life with him but with a focus on life for him. We will pray for a total and glorious restoration of his life to Christ, even if we will never be there beside him to share in the fellowship and joy of his homecoming, even if we will never get to experience up close in this life the thrill of seeing the Lord make something beautiful yet of his ashes. And this may be the hardest and truest test of our love for him—this painful sacrifice of desiring his absolute best apart from us. It is a wrenching blow to our pride and to our will (not to mention our codependence), for we had so longed to play the Muse and to awaken that beauty in him. So we know we could never yearn or pray for this out of our own strength or wisdom; it is simply too painful to our flesh. We must be led into it and through every delicate step of it by our loving Redeemer, our Bridegroom, as if He were leading us out under a canopy of the starry host and into the most intricate and intimate of moonlit dances. And so we begin to pray and to dance...

But even wrapped in Jesus' arms we are clumsy, stumbling miserably over our own feet. The music is perplexingly unfamiliar and the steps wildly unpredictable, and our toes feel terribly pinched in these new shoes. Maybe this dance is just too hard for us. Maybe we are not yet ready. Maybe we should sit it out for now and try again later when our shoes are a little more broken in or when our heart is a little less broken apart. So we pull away...

But He tenderly beckons us back: Dear and beloved bride, broken-but-beautiful one whom I have made My own, do not push Me away now, not after I have brought you so far. I have many more secrets to share with you and so much more to show you of Myself. But you are not letting Me lead this dance, beloved. Why are you so rigid in My embrace? Why so worried over the next steps? Let go of everything and abandon yourself to My love. Enjoy Me...Follow Me...Lean into Me...Keep watching My face...Let Me move you however I desire us to go...Trust Me...Love Me. Shall we dance, then?

Yes, we shall and we do! As He draws us into Himself, into the prayer of His heart and the dance of His Spirit, and as we give ourself over completely to the impulse of His leading, the details of our words and the precision of our steps give way to the desire and passion of His will, and the pulsating of our heart swirls to the rhythm of His own. The further He pulls us into union with Himself, the more we find ourselves desiring this same intimacy-with-Him for the very one who has so badly hurt us, for we see how badly he himself is hurting without it. We realize now that his running away from us and toward another is just as much a reflection of his insatiable yet misunderstood craving for God as was all of our running toward our own idols (including him). Our soul aches for his redemption and his healing and for his lost sheep's heart to be brought out of darkness and into the marvelous light that shines from Jesus' face, that he might truly know the pleasure of knowing the One Whose pleasure he was created for.

Somehow, through this heightened and mysterious intimacy of prayer for him, we are now discovering a strange and new kind of intimacy with this very one whose intimacy had so often given us the slip, this one whom we had so long loved and lived with but failed to uncover at all, and the fresh wind of it drives us even deeper into the ache of God's own heart for him and for us. It is at the center of that ache that we are finally able to let go of the hurt and the man and leave the matter entirely in God's hands, understanding that the Shepherd's aching heart knows fully all whom He has chosen and will never stop dealing with or seeking after any of His own sheep. And so...


                        We release to Him with a heart of trust
                        This one whom we love and always must
                        We can let go the man and rest because
                        It's out of our hands and always was



But the dance, like the feast, goes on and on, and the more we dance and the more we feast, the more we heal. Our Bridegroom wounds us by His own providence but washes our wounds with His faithfulness and binds them up with His love. The wounds and their healing make us beautiful to Him. They teach us to know Him, to hunger for Him, to enjoy Him and to please Him. And they get us perfectly ready for that most glorious of dances and that most joyous of feasts which are still to come but, perhaps, much closer than we might dare to imagine. It is time to awaken, dear bride of Christ, and to break in our dancing shoes!
~~~


"And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. We love because He first loved us."
~ 1 John 4:16-19

"And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us."
~ Romans 5:2b-5

"As you come to Him, the living Stone—rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to Him— you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ."
~ 1 Peter 2:4-5

"He was despised and rejected by mankind,
    a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.
Like one from whom people hide their faces
    He was despised, and we held Him in low esteem.
Surely He took up our pain
    and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
    stricken by Him, and afflicted.
But He was pierced for our transgressions,
    He was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on Him,
    and by His wounds we are healed."
~ Isaiah 53:3-5

"But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things... I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death..."
~ Philippians 3:7-8a,10

"But He said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong."
~ 2 Corinthians 12:9-10

"For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ."
~ 2 Corinthians 1:5

"'Blessed are you who hunger now,
    for you will be satisfied.
Blessed are you who weep now,
    for you will laugh.
Blessed are you when people hate you,
    when they exclude you and insult you
    and reject your name as evil,
        because of the Son of Man.
Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven. For that is how their ancestors treated the prophets...But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you...Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.'"
~ Luke 6:21-23,27-28,36

"Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else. Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus."
~ 1 Thessalonians 5:15-18

"You make known to me the path of life;
    You will fill me with joy in Your presence,
    with eternal pleasures at Your right hand."
~ Psalm 16:11

"I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen."
~ Ephesians 3:16-21

~~~
Jeff Gaines Mar 2018
OK Reader, I'm going to tell you a tale … with great trepidation. You see, this tale, well, it's kind of like telling someone that you've seen a UFO. They want to believe you, but … it's never really been proven scientifically. Not to mention the fact that most folks who believe in such things are often the tin-hat wearing types, written off as … lets be nice and call them “odd”. And, of course, the more you swear to it, the crazier you appear. It's an epic tale, spanning 30 years of my crazy life.

  But, It's a story I want to tell, because it happened to me. I can barely understand it myself, let alone explain it. So … I'm just going to launch into it and you take it any way you wish.

*  *  
Where Can You Be?

Where can you be?
Where can you be, my love?
Oh, can't you see?
You're not with me!

I'll search with gazes and I'll search with cars,
I'll search the cities and I'll search the stars, well …
I'm gonna find you, oh, wherever you are,
I'm gonna find you baby …  near or far, but …

Where can you be?
Where can you be, my love?
Oh, can't you see?
You're not with me!

I thought I'd found ya, but she wasn't you,
that girl she left alone and blue, well …
I know that's something that you'd never do,
your love has always been strong and true, but …

Where can you be?
Where can you be, my love?
Oh, can't you see?
You're not with me!

If you must settle for some other man
and deviate from our immortal plan, well …
I hope you realize I will understand
and I'll try and do the best that I can, but …

Where will I be?
Where will I be, my love?
Hoping the next life sees …
our destiny!


Where can you be?
Where can you be, my love?
Oh, can't you see?
You're not with me!

~Wednesday, April 1st, 1987
10:30 P.M.



  I was singing in a band back in those days and, as it happened, this was the last song I'd ever write for it. Just after this, as it does, it all came crashing down and the band was finished. But in those last days, they pondered this song, with great puzzlement. You see, it was unlike anything I'd brought them before. It wasn't rock … It wasn't a ballad … it wasn't even structured like a “normal” 80's rock song.
  
  No bridge, no solo, no loud grinding guitars, etc. It even had bits where I hummed, yes hummed, the melody, like a lullaby. As they read the lyrics and I described how it went, they all looked at me like I had three heads and asked where this had come from. It was nothing like anything I'd written before. I could only tell them when and where I'd written it, but had no explanation of what inspired it. It had just came to me, so I wrote it down. They didn't know what to make of it, or even what to do with it.

  One of them said it sounded like a late 70's or early 80's adult contemporary song or even in the vein of The Eagles. Another asked if it was about reincarnation … And I honestly, until that moment, hadn't thought of it that way, I didn't think like that at 24 … but then, one of them said it was “Haunting” …

  “Haunting”?

  “Wow”, I thought, I'd never had anything I'd written described as that before. When I asked him what he meant by that, he told me that it was haunting to think that this poor guy is desperately seeking a girl, that may or may not even know that he exists … in a world with billions of people in it. To top that off, he fears that she may off and marry someone else if he doesn't find her in time.

  This, along with the suggestion of it being about reincarnation made me rethink and rewrite the song. Well, a few lines in the last verse and chorus anyways. It actually made the song flow better and seem more complete. In a way, it actually made the song make more sense … to me and them. Sadly, we never did anything with it. There wouldn't be time. Ha … Time … how ironic. Over 10 years later, came this …


For Someone I've Never Met

Please save a place for me,
deep inside your heart.
Always know that I think of you,
as we both practice our arts.

Our worlds are full of temptations,
so very hard to resist …
and the good Lord knows
we're both far from,
sixteen and never been kissed.

Wealthy men with jaws divine …
Temptresses with looks so fine …
Paths that lead our hearts away …
Paths that surely lead astray …

They'll lead us there every time.
They'll leave us there … so  unkind.
Our hearts must shine,
night and day.
Through any darkness … they'll light our way.

If you never touch my face …
If I never look into your eyes …
We'll always have the comfort of sharing
the same
big, blue sky.

If I never smell your hair …
If you never kiss my lips …
Always know the search for your smile
has launched a thousand ships.

So, I hope you save a place for me
in your heart so sweet and kind.
Please, save a place for me …
Heaven knows you've one in mine.

~Thursday, September 9th, 1999
9 A.M.



“For Someone I've Never Met ” poured out of me in the midst of another breakup from the second, and last, girl that I wanted to marry. That emotion, never found me again. I looked at it on my computer screen and smiled, seeing “Where Can You Be”, in my mind, on my tattered old note pad that I called my “Song Book”. The memory of me writing it while sitting in my Z-28, looking out over the Gulf of Mexico as a beautiful heat lighting storm sent bolts across the sky, came flooding back; as did the debate of reincarnation I'd had with my pals in the rehearsal room all those years before. Here I was, again, writing about “someone” that I sensed, for lack of a better term, was out there … somewhere.

  Well Reader, do you believe in reincarnation? I was never really certain, but, as you can see, I had twice written pieces to someone I wasn't completely sure existed. I had always “sensed” someone out there beginning with the period after I wrote “Where Can You Be?” and thereafter. So, there they were, each written after losing someone I was deeply in love with. Each came out of nowhere, as they usually do. By the time I was in my 40's, I began to think I was either imagining it all (a side effect of being a hopeless romantic) or that I had just somehow missed this person and our “moment”.

  And then …



Epiphany

There was a place.
There was a time …
There, I stood … still unknowing
and everything seemed fine.

But there in that place …
at that moment in time …
the moment I saw the eyes,
I'd never believed I'd find.

Well, what could I say?
What could I do?
In a world filled with billions …
and there … was a you.

I'd always known you were out there …
even written of something amiss.
I never, ever stopped looking for you …
because my heart always said you exist.

My breezy Fall became harshest Winter.
My crazy life left my health running out.
I'd resigned myself that our moment had passed …
but this moment … it removed all doubt.

Well, what could I say?
Tell me, what could I do?
There we stood, staring … alone … in a city of millions …
yes, there … there was a you.

Oh, that mistress fate, she is just so cruel.
Frustration, a curse to be mine.
   I'd searched for you my entire life …
but now … my clock … knows a limit of time.

You see, I would never venture a love with you,
while knowing I'd have to leave you … hurt and alone.
I could only admire from afar … stoic and aloof …
while turning my heart into stone.

Nothing I could ever say and nothing I could ever do …
But now, at long last … at least I finally knew.

There, you stood … green seas, gazing up … into skies of blue.
My long-awaited revelation … become sorrow-laced realization.
There really is … a you.

~August 12th, 2009
  

  Typical of my life-long Charlie Brown syndrome … After being told in 2005 that I had “the lungs of an eighty-year-old man” and that I had “Six to Ten years” to live, I made a conscious decision in that Doctor's parking lot that I could never have another girlfriend and that I must face this alone. I don't see woman as objects. They are glorious creatures that are here to be our partners and friends and to make our lives amazing. I could never, ever knowingly let a woman fall in love with me, all the while knowing I was going to die and leave her. It's not in me to do such a thing, lonely or not.

  Yes, I'm still alive, I'm stubborn like that. But, some days are better than others and my new doctors say that they don't give people “time limits” anymore … because of people like me. I can't afford the lung transplant. So, as Bono so aptly put in one of his songs: “The rich stay healthy, while the sick stay poor”. It is what it is … and like the energizer bunny, I'm still going. Good for me.

  In the moment that I met her, the morning that followed, and the amazing speed of our nexus over the next several months combined with a string of synchronicities (Coincidences? Did I mention that she too, was a poet and writer?) that not only came after I met her on the sidewalk in front of the publisher we shared, but in those pieces I had written before and in several after; I was pretty much convinced I had actually found her. I have NEVER experienced anything like this, or her, in my entire life.

  So, after all this time, here she was … and there wasn't a **** thing that I could do about it. Besides, she was much younger than I and it probably would never have worked anyways. ****, the universe is rotten sometimes, huh? Maybe, if I'm lucky, things will balance out better in the next life. I can only hope. But I'm reminded, worryingly so, of the **** The Alarm song: “Collide”:

“All of these thoughts pounding in my head …
with the words I've wrote, in the letters I've never sent.
The distance in our lives may change …
Times that you can never erase …
But will our worlds collide?
Will our worlds collide, the next time?”



  Only time will tell.



  “Colors”, and a few others, were written about/for her. But, I could never show them to her. I would never endanger my friendship with her. I just wanted to keep her in my life. That, and that alone, was the only motive I'd ever had with her. I looked forward to seeing her marry, hearing her stories of her three kid's adventures; Hubby, all greasy, working on the car in the driveway, rabbits in her garden at night, eating her precious organic veggies or even about her new curtains. Just to know that she was alive, happy and doing well. I found a solace in her voice I could never describe and I was completely content to just have her in my life and watch hers unfold. Only I could end up in this odd position.

  I feared that she might get weird-ed out because I'd never displayed any romantic inklings toward her, so, to suddenly read these might make her feel a bit, lets say: uncomfortable. Actually, I didn't write them with any romantic intentions, per se; I just did what I always do … write what comes out. Still, there's no denying that they come across romantic. Again, so, so Charlie Brown. (long sigh)
  
  It is what it is. I also have to ponder the fact that maybe all those Charlie Brown moments in my life were preparing me for this one big, painful one. That does makes sense … ******' Universe.


Colors

Well when you're Green, I'll be your Brown.
Like the earth that loves the flowers,
I'll will be your solid ground.

And I'll be your Azure, when you are Verdigris.
We'll be thee most beautiful ocean
that eyes have ever seen.

And when you're Black, I'll be your White.
Mixing all of the colors … I'll make everything alright.

Now when you're Blue, I'll be you're Red.
If something should make you wanna cry,
I will feel your pain instead.

And I'll be your Orange, whenever you are Pink.
We'll be thee most amazing sunset,
that the sky could ever ink.

And when you're Black, I'll be your White.
I'll mix all of your colors … and make everything alright.

Should you be Violet, I will be your Beige.
Like a sleepy moonlit desert,
pasteled in dunes and sage.

And when you're Grey, I will be your Rainbow.
We'll be thee most soothing rainstorm
the world has ever known.

And when you're Black, I'll be your White.
I'll mix all of your colors … yes, I'll make everything alright.

With love on my palette, painting a glorious sunrise …
I'll color all your mornings with a smile and brighten up your skies.
If you should find yourself in sorrow from someones hate or lies …
I'll take the stars down from the heavens … and paint them in your eyes.

So whenever you are Black, I will always be your White.
I'll mix all your colors with a promise … everything will be alright.

Yes, I'll mix all of your colors with a promise … Everything's gonna be alright.

~  Winter 2012



  I wrote this after she had rang me up one afternoon lamenting about her life at the moment, troubled that her latest novel hadn't done as well as she'd hoped and now she had to be waitressing to make ends meet. I tried my best to cheer her up and assured her that she was strong enough to handle anything and that she must keep chasing her dreams. I wrote it as a poem, but I can't help but notice it looks like a song, though I've never heard music for it. Those repeated verses look just like choruses to me.

  Earlier in the day, I had been looking at a booklet of paint swatches. I guess, up there on my roof looking at the Manhattan skyline, her sadness and me looking at all those colors melted together somehow and, as happens, out came this piece. Even this, became another synchronicity as she would name her next novel “Show Me All Your Colors”. I remember seeing it in the bookstore and looking straight up … shaking my head at the sky. Was this the universe telling me to show and tell her all this?

  Well, if it was, I stuck with my gut and kept it to myself. My God, if you only knew how many of these synchronicities there were between her and I. It simply boggles my mind. I wanted to call them “coincidences”, but there were just so **** many of them … Each so unique, they just couldn't be called that. I don't want to tell them all here, because like I said, the more you swear to it, the crazier you sound. And I'm sure your questioning my sanity by now, aren't you? (Smirk)


  OK, OK … this one is definitely romantic. I wrote it one night, drunk to the bejeezus. I'd done what we called “The Crosstown Crawl” with my pal Tristan and a gaggle of assorted waitresses we knew. This involved starting at Brass Monkey on the west side highway in the Gansevoort District and ending at my favorite hookah bar, Karma, on the Lower East Side … Drinking in, and often being “asked to leave” (Read: Kicked out of) every bar that took our interest as we walked (Read: staggered) west to east, staying below 14th St.

  On my way home from the city on the J train, I thought about all the phone conversations we'd had while I was on this train crossing the Williamsburg Bridge. Being drunk, I guess, I caught a bout of sadness that I'd never get to tell her any of this or even how I felt about it all. Before I hit my elevator, this piece was swimming in my head. It's about as mushy a piece as I've ever written … if not thee most! Not the norm for me, but this is, after all, a lot to keep pent up inside you. I wouldn't wish this predicament on anyone.


For My Little Red-Haired Girl …


You …

My Love.
My Queen.
This Shining Light in my eyes.

My Laughs.
My Dreams.
My Soft, Contented Sighs.

My *****.
My Lavender.
My Dew Covered Rose.

My Smile.
My Cinnamon.
The Joy in my heart … ever inspiring my prose.

My Best Friend.
My Co-Star.
My Fearless Partner in Crime.

My Breath.
My Cohort.
My Side-kick throughout time.

My Snow-capped Mountain.
The Wind caressing my face.
My Vast Green Field.

The Ivy Covered Wall
that harbors my soul … ever refusing to yield.

In a different time ...

You … would have been my Life.

You … would have been my World.

You … would have been my Everything

and I will always love you for my own special reasons.

It is just a shame … and I'm so, so sorry … that you … must never, ever know.

Maybe next time.


~Charlie Brown




   When I came-to in the morning and read what I had wrote, I had to laugh a bit. It is borderline corny, very beautiful, very telling and very sad … all at once. I shook my head, laughing and told myself :

  “*******, Sam … yer losin' it. Get your **** together, will ya?”

  I guess in my stupor, I was imagining what it would have been like to write something for her. I don't know … There it was and I was stuck with it. I almost deleted it, but, my finger wouldn't press the key. As I told you before … I'd NEVER show this to her. She'd probably never speak to me again.

   As a sadder epilogue, that eventually happened. I still don't know why, but we haven't spoken in years. Maybe she sensed this emotion in me and ran away. Or maybe, just maybe … she thought I'd pushed her away somehow … but for whatever reason, we drifted apart. I guess I'll never know.  As you can see by reading this, that was never my intention. But, like I keep reiterating … It is what it is.

  One day, I called her number to catch up and shoot the breeze. I hadn't spoken to her in a few months as she'd been busy promoting her new novel and I didn't want to pester her. But … it was disconnected … I checked my emails … nothing. I'd never been so confused, she just closed me out. I didn't want to bother her. I was sure she had her reasons and if she wanted to reach out to me again, she would. She had my email and my phone number. But, for now … she was gone … and that was that.

  So, what do you think, Reader? Do I get the Tin hat … or a Badge of courage? Am I bat-**** crazy … or just eccentric? I'll leave it up to you to decide, because as I said, this all happened to me and there isn't a thing I can do about any of it. I just had to get it off of my chest. Thanks for letting me vent.

  Wherever she is … she will always mean the world to me. I can see her green eyes if I close my mine and look for them. Sometimes, on occasion, her face haunts my sleep. Still, I like to picture her, kids playing in a sprinkler behind her, digging in her garden, wearing gloves too big for her hands and a smudge of fresh dirt on her cheek … it makes me smile.


-Sam Webster
Brooklyn, New York
2013
OK, you can stop scratching your head. I'm sorry if you feel like I tricked you or was playing a prank … That was not my intention. This piece is experimental writing, of sorts. If you are wondering, it's titled “Somewhere … Out There”. But I didn't want to put a title at the head of the page, as that might have clued you in too early.

I also confess that “Sam” the narrator is, on no uncertain terms, based loosely on myself. But hey, what better way to string you along? Besides, as Stephen King said, you “Write what you know”. As far as I 'm aware, using poetry within a short story like this, or in this manner, has never been done before. Welcome to the future!

It really belongs in my “From Thee Edge” Collection with the rest of my Twilight-Zone-esque short stories. (You can now read some of these fiction short stories here, posted in my "NoPo@HePo" posts, along with some non-fiction essays. I hope you enjoy them.) But, because I pieced together several of my poems to not only tell the story, but as a vehicle to carry it along as part of it; I wanted to put it here on Hello Poetry just to see if I could convince you long enough to get you through the story … while having you believe it was me speaking to you and that it was all very real to me. Thus, making it feel real to you as you read it.

Was I having you along right up until it was signed by someone else? Or, at least until the narrator addressed himself as “Sam”?

If so, then I accomplished my mission. I'd love to hear your comments on it. If you've been reading any of my other posts, I'm sure you've figured out that I like to run wildly outside of the box sometimes. This was just, as I said, an experiment in a different way to tell a story … fiction or otherwise. As always, I hope that I took you on a journey and, more importantly, that you enjoyed it.

~Jeff Gaines
L.A.
(Lower Alabama)
2015
Prathipa Nair May 2016
Kerala, with its blessed beauty of nature, long and silver-haired with colorful clips of fishes and a black mountain cap, standing in a green curly dress full of colorful butterflies and glowing flowers on it, mesmerizing eyes with calm and peaceful nature gifts us a pleasant world.

             In 1975, a new creation of God, his loving child came to this world. I cried as every child does but at the next moment I laughed because I have been born into God’s own country, The Paradise. Thanks to the Almighty for bringing me to this wonderful heaven. Oops! I forgot one special person. Slowly I turn towards that smiling face, the one who is holding me in her hands, my sweet Mother.

            Hi, I am Neha, the blessed child born into a loving and caring family. Our house too was not less than a paradise in a beautiful village which was full of greenery. It was a joint family with grandfather, grandmother, great grandmother, uncles, and aunts and especially with a dozen of cousins! After three years, being blessed with a younger sister.

          I was a shy and reserved character for strangers in the outer world but I was open with my family just because of the serenity they made me feel by giving the freedom to express my feelings and wishes. My childhood days gave me the most memorable and golden moments in my life. It was such great fun! In those days we used to play a lot of outdoor games, going for movies with our granny, fighting with brothers, walking on walls, sitting near the pond and chatting till our granny came running with a bamboo stick, competing with the cuckoo and making it angry and making fun of boys! My cousins and I never missed the regional movies on Doordharshan. I was passionate about listening to music on AIR, writing it down, memorizing it and singing along with the singer. When my mother finds me missing, she comes searching for me without a second thought to catch me red-handed with a radio.

         Then came the tape recorder which made it easier for me to listen to my favorite songs when I wish and record my own sweet voice... (giggling) Actually I love doing intoxicating things and have fun which I shouldn’t being doing! Isn’t it funny? But my grannies were too strict that I had to control all my mischievous behavior and be a very good girl. Got confused? Ha! Ha! There were about four grannies. There was always a unity in our family. I never had the feeling of being without a brother of my own as my cousins who were brothers always made me feel more like their own sister.

        One more thing about me friends, I am a great devotee of Lord Krishna, whom I believe is always with me as a friend, lover and well-wisher. Oh my God! I revealed the secret about my love and lover! Imagining Him as a lover, playing with Him, dancing with Him, enjoying happiness to the fullest with Him was my great dream. Please don’t shake with laughter but I really wish that to happen, a blessing to see the original form with His flute, the sky-blue colored Krishna and experience the love and lust transforming myself to Radha, making it a spiritual affair.

My father, who was a great artist, used to draw Krishna’s pictures especially for me, knowing my crazy love for Him.

            I did my schooling well as a normal child and scored average marks happily!

I felt that I was the luckiest person in this world. (smiling)

            Mmmm. Now it’s time for college. I got admission for BA English Literature, my favorite subject, my passion and one of my dreams.

            One of my cousins (sister) and I joined the college. We were in great excitement and were sure about having great fun because when we both were together, there was no doubt of pleasure and entertainment. Even though I was not so modern I was stylish and became a queen in everyone’s eyes!  We had a great time in college with our friends. There were boyfriends too.

One of our friends, a best friend, Nikhil was so special, caring and loving, always doing something exciting to make me fall hard into laughter.

         Hey! One more secret: I used to feel that I am playing with Krishna as a friend (Remember my wish?  ...LOL)

         Nikhil and I used to fight a lot on different topics but when it’s all over and we got tired, we were back together with more affection and fondness for each other. He was a very comfortable friend with whom I could share any of my feelings and viewpoints straight from the heart.

I was moving forward to the fourth month of my college, September, when the buds of beautiful flower forget-me-not blossom smiled at us.

       In this beautiful month, comes Onam, the day that welcomes the great King, Mahabali to Kerala. It was a month of celebration for me. A pookkalam would be drawn, decorated with different colorful flowers in front of each house till the day of Onam for ten days, which I really enjoyed during the festival.

       Knowing my wish to do this, permitting me to make pookkalam for those ten days.

      I got up early in the morning wandering everywhere to collect flowers from our house and of course our neighbor’s house (giggling).

       After making my art with flowers and admiring myself, I gave a pat on my back mentally as if I have won the first prize for pookkalam. The most interesting thing is, my cute great Grandmother joined me with a no tooth smile (imagine)

I enjoyed my holidays with my family in new clothes and Onam sadhya with my favorite Ada pradhaman ( payasam) ….yummy !!

       During those days there were only landline and it was strictly prohibited for us. Permitted to make only important calls if necessary and only girls could ring us, not boys (how sad, isn’t it?)


                        No mails! No Facebook! No Whatsapp!

      Still it was a great time because we were able to feel moment of celebrations, relationships and perceive the worth of feelings of our dear and near ones. Almost everyone was free of mental and emotional strain in our time. The only reason was many of them were able to solve the complications and pressure of their lives through direct communication, a joint family, a joint society. There was always a lot of helping hands.

         Children enjoyed each others company as they met daily by playing outdoor games, going to school by cycles, walking together and sharing their daily class sessions, their mischievous acts and how were they punished together by their teachers. They even shared their family issues and there was no need of counseling for children at that time.


         I was back to college after the Onam holidays and celebrations. You might be thinking why I didn’t mention about missing my friends and college.

Actually they were in my thoughts but I am the kind of person whose policy is to “Live in the Present” and not spoil the present happiness of oneself and others.


       I am sharing one more secret! I missed a special person among them. Guess who?

You were right! It’s none other than Nikhil, my Krishna.

       Reached college in my caravan, BSA SLR (my cycle) with my cousin sister. All our friends came running towards us and we contributed our love and affection for each other.

I lost my father when I was in college but my uncle never gave me a chance to mourn the loss and stood with me as a pillar filling absence of my father. I always believed that Krishna was with me in all my ups and downs in different forms to support me.

After my father’s death, I decided to take life in a methodical way with my credence in Krishna to overcome the trammels coming on my way.

I accomplished my graduation and joined for post-graduation. You might be wondering why I am not mentioning anything about Nikhil….hmmm….I read your mind….

The truth was that I was totally lost after the death of my father and my full concentration was to complete my graduation well.

        Hey! But his full support made me more ardent and to gain more will-power to face all ups and downs.

        Nikhil completed his B.com and then joined to do CA. As his father got transferred his family relocated to another state. That was a big shock for me but I consoled my mind and heart, requesting them not to make me weak.

Accomplished my post-graduation, did my Teachers Training and I am an English teacher now! Surprised? But happy for me, right?

       One thing friends, till now I have faith and belief in my Krishna.

I know what is going on in your mind. Did Nikhil and I communicate with each other after his father’s transfer? Did we meet again?

After leaving the city, we were in touch for few months till he flew to America.

Slowly I too stopped communicating with him and engaged myself in daily matters and family duties and took care of my mother and sister.

      All my cousins, one by one completed their academics, some got married and settled in their family life. But there was always a get together once in a month. Now my mother wanted me to get married and settled.

      Many alliances came and I was ready to shake my head like a goat to the one which my elders chose for me.

Ha! Ha! Just kidding…. They know what is good and bad for me. Actually that is what I believe.

Hmmm…. Anyway I made one promise to myself that if I give birth to a baby boy, I would surely name him “Nikhil”.

Now I am a wife and a mother of a one and a half-year old boy.

Excuse me, did you ask me something?

Oh! My son’s name?

One second please …. My baby is crying…

Nikhil…….

Please change the baby's diaper !
A short story of a girl who lived in Kerala in 80s and 90s.  Hope you all will enjoy it :-) Sorry, if it's too long.. Please take time and have patience to read it.. Read when you are completely free and mood off :-)
Sofia Von Aug 2012
Its all just words
No faces
No looks, no clothes, no smell
A simple connection

It could have been anybody

But it wasn’t

It started off as a hobbie
Something to keep boredom at bay

By now you’re junior olympics... At least

It can be as flawless as beach glass

Or jagged
and farspread like the trees still dieing

I never know what to expect
Excitement
Misunderstanding
Seriousness
Interest
Laughter
­Understanding
Awkwardness
Distracted
An idea
... Clearly I could continue

It’s like my little escape hole
A therapist that Actually understands and wants to
We just click
Alined by the sun
Some would say

But I dunno if that’s true
All I know is what I feel

Should I not feel what I feel?
Do I feel what I feel?
Is what I feel real?
Or is it fake

Is it a lie?

Or should I make it one

I don’t know what’s best
How can I

I’m new at this remember

All I know is the words of the known
Who are unknown to me in one world
And an empty chair in the next

I sit down and wait patiently

Until its finally my turn, here is where I’ll sit

There is no shame finding comfort in the little things the chair offers
Its smooth silky surface
The wine stain down the middle
the dots that resemble a smile in the corner

You don’t forget what you know so well
You open up your palm

A baby snake inside

He doesn't take it
He doesn't **** it on the spot
He doesn't grimace with disgust
He doesn't burst out in laughter

He picks it up
and cradles it in his hands

And sets it free

Back into the world where it belongs

And then he gives you a dalia

You take it and tuck it behind his ear as something to be admired

He blushes

He needs you too
Maybe

But its real
Almost too real

So you push it away
It’s impossible
It might not even be close to what you think it might be

Forget

And stay silent

Hey

We start again

A haha here
A smiley face too

Climbing up the uncertain mountain that has never been climbed before

The chance of falling high
But you like the chase

And for now
Its enough

You don’t really care if you summit anyway

A possible when
always dangling
Inside the clouds
Purcy Flaherty Jan 2018
Initially she began contacting me over the course of a year or so and increasingly over the last few months she started visiting me, helping me, caring for me and occasionally employing me in different ways.

She’d just had a break up a few weeks before, explaining that things hadn’t been right in the relationship for some time!

She presents herself as respectful, thoughtful, gentle, kind and considerate and after what seemed to be a very short length of time; unexpectedly declared that she had feelings for me; regarding love, admiration, desire and some other adventures.

She then began to bombarded me with love talk; occupying around 70% of my time gaining my trust, I was swept off my feet; she took a great deal of interest in me, learning everything about me, what I liked, where I would go, always asking what I was thinking feeling, how she could help and I was flattered and she was charming, though a little awkward at times.

As our friendship grew she started sharing her back story, including some tragic life experiences; she vilified her past lovers, and ex-partners and branded them as crazy, or bitter liars and troubled souls; slowly gaining my sympathy, whilst securing my allegiance, and keeping me on side; keeping me close; drawing on my compassion loyalty & trust!

During intimate moments she would sometimes seem a little awkward, false, over enthusiastic, or a little insincere and I made allowances for this given my knowledge of her backstory. Re: (The tragic life events & experiences)

She began to choose and buy me clothes; outfits, take me shopping, gradually altering my outward image and appearance.

She introduced me to her friends; but was careful to keep me and them at arms-length, I realise now that she was building an alternative profile of me in their minds and that the people she introduced to me rarely exhibited the behaviours or characteristic that I was led to expect.

She soon started to embroil me in her own rituals and compulsive behaviour’s, explaining that tasks needed to be performing in very specific ways to prevent her getting distressed!

She made many promises : ‘The hook’ It was my expectation i.e. waiting for some of those promises to materialise that kept me hanging on; This increased her control and exited her too. (None of her promises came to fruition!)

She gradually had a hand in almost every aspect of my life i.e. my home, my work, my friends, family, my finances, the way I dressed, the food I ate and many other things besides, much of which I didn’t realise until our relationship was finally over.

She often took immense pleasure in duping, individuals or companies out of something through theft, shoplifting, or getting something for nothing, a profiteer, a chancer!


To question or challenge her authority would result in seeing her façade slip and watch her decline into meltdown. It's at that point, she would lose composure, and I would see her irrationality come to the fore; revealing the real person underneath; childish, contrived and very fragile; It’s as if control is the glue that holds her together, without it she just falls apart, during this time she can’t be consoled and it’s impossible to calm this escalating situation; in fact at this point that she would attempt to regain control by ‘gas-lighting’ me, she would distort the truth; who said what; in an attempt to damage my self-esteem, to make me question my own mind, my words, my intention and any actions, apportioning blame, pointing fingers, making me feel guilty, use rejection, or using hurt, sorrow, tears, shame and even threaten liable or legal action, and then use *** to pacify or regain control over me and my actions.

These episodes would appear often; though irregular and without provocation, I would always be deemed at fault! I found silent compliance was less stressful than engaging in discussion.    

She never took responsibility or made any apologies for her conduct.

She would set me tasks and go out a lot and lie or bend the truth as to where she had been; I never challenged this behaviour!

When the relationship was finally deemed over! I was both devastated and relieved.


I began to see my new position in the cycle; as she immediately begin to vilify me in order to give credence to her new backstory, I felt very confused, disorientated and emotionally fraught, shell shocked! questioning, how much of our relationship was true and how much was a lie? For everything I thought I knew was now knitted together with a very complex web of loyalties, lies and half-truths.

Her pattern of repetitive and controlling behaviours have seemingly remained unchanging throughout all her relationships!; (I know! as I was contacted by many of her previous partners and other casualties since I shared this account.)

Within two weeks of being apart she told me that she had fallen in love (My replacement) someone she’d had her eye on for some time, some-one she admires, someone kept in the background, a friend a mutual acquaintance, and thanked me for bringing them together.
The grooming of her new lover would have come about in exactly the same way as previously described. It's her M.O. (Her pattern of behaviours, her techniques have remained fixed.)

She’s incredibly self-conscious, her biggest fear is that other people will find out about her true demeanour, her image and appearance is everything to her. She's afraid that people will shun her for being so very different. She is a wolf, that’s not a malevolent creature par-say; but you don’t want to be her pray.

Full circle:
I too have joined the ranks of the discredited; labelled a liar, troubled, bitter and crazy. (I Know this because secretly contacted members of my, family, friends and some fellow musicians; and they shared these conversations with me.) I suspect that she may even attempt to vilify me with authorities or threaten some form of legal action; as she has to others in the past!

I'm still drawn to her despite my knowledge of her sociopathic nature, and all the things that go with it, her charismatic boldness, her ****** power and her Svengali like intelligence.

I’ve had to block all means of contact and cut her off entirely to curtail my pathological interest, for despite everything that’s transpired, her lies, her infidelity, her deceit and appalling behaviour, I feel no malice towards her; quite the opposite, I'm drawn, intrigued, bewitched, beguiled by the person hiding underneath the façade!

Now the dust has finally settled; I’ve somehow remained sound of mind, and I don’t feel guilty anymore; I’m aware that I’ve been manipulated into thinking and acting in ways that don’t truly represent my character; and that I’m just one of many people seduced by a sociopath.

She’s just another natural human variant , an attractive person devoid of empathy for others, that’s developed a narrow set of skills and mirroring behaviours, that allows her to blend into mainstream society in order to feel safe, secure and in control.

She would have preferred to keep me hanging on, like many other dependants, adding me to the hareem; a bank of beguiled individuals that she occasionally calls upon to perform simple tasks, or to simply monitor and re-assess her handwork.

The last time I saw her she opened with nervous politeness and finished with veiled cruelty, I left feeling drained, uncomfortable and quite fazed.

I’ve written this account to help further understand what had transpired during this complicated relationship, I’m not sure publishing this account will be useful as to others.

But I’ve not mentioned any names; and at any rate the next person targeted; will ignore any pre-warnings as just bitter ramblings, and most individuals are driven by the natural pursuit of love, *** and romance rather than following advice of some seemingly bitter ex.

Bittersweet! The reason you and I might attract the attention of a sociopath is because we shine like stars; stars are both attractive and further enhance the image and status of the sociopath and the people around them; a sociopath will orbit a shiny star and use its energy to slingshoting into a larger more attractive orbit, either stealing a bit of its shine or destroy it in the process; To these people love, *** and desire is simply a tool for manipulation and gain.

Expect high drama.
She loves to watch you *** unstuck!
"I'm a mermaid," she said as she kissed me.
Ah! her kiss made me drunker than wine.
I'd been longing for the ocean in her blue eyes,
it was calling to the diver in mine.
She whispered, "I've got just a little bit of magic
from my home in this big blue lagoon--
join me tonight for a swim in the moonlight,
I'll make some magic for you."

The full moon was rising in Paradise
as I made my way down to the shore.
There I dove right into the water,
I just couldn't stand it anymore.
Here she comes, swimming up to meet me--
wraps her self around me like a glove.
As long as I live I never could tell
the magic of a mermaid in love.

Goddess of the crystal blue ocean,
sharing your mysteries with me.
When I'm with you I can breathe underwater
and swim beside you under the sea.
If I could stay here under the surface,
I would never go back to dry land!
Goddess of the crystal blue ocean,
Meet me here whenever you can.

The spell would be broken by sunrise,
but her "little bit of magic" was no lie.
We soared, freed by love, underwater,
free as two birds in the sky.
All too soon the sky began lightening,
the moon and the stars took their flight.
Our kisses were mingled with tears at the shoreline
where we promised to meet every night.

Goddess of the crystal blue ocean,
sharing your mysteries with me.
When I'm with you I can breathe underwater,
and swim beside you under the sea.
If I could stay here under the surface,
I would never go back to dry land!
Goddess of the crystal blue ocean,
make me a real merman.
This is a song I wrote some time ago. I can't read it without hearing it as a song--
Copyright  2010 by Michael S. Simpson. All rights reserved.
Syed S M Tabish Mar 2014
Main Aur mere roommates
aksar Yeh Baatain Karte Hain
Ghar saaf hota to kaisa hota
Main kitchen saaf karta, tum bathrooom dhote
main hall saaf karta, tum balcony dekhte
Log is baat pe hairaan hote
aur us baat pe haste….

Main aur mere roommates,
aksar Yeh Baatain Karte Hain
Yeh hara bhara sink hai
ya bartanon ki jang chidi hui hai
Yeh colour full kitchen hai
ya masalon se holi kheli hai
Hai farsh ki nayi design
ya doodh, beer se dhuli hui hain

Yeh cellphone hai ya dhakkan,
sleeping bag ya kisika aanchal,
ye airfreshner ka naya flavour hai,
ya trash bag se ati badboo
Yeh pattiyon ki hai sarsarahut
ke heater phirse kharab hua hai
Yeh sonchta hain roommate kab se gum sum -
Ke jab ke usko bhi yeh khabar hai
Ke machar nahi hai, kaheen nahi hai
magar uska dil hai ke kah raha hai
machar yaheen hai, yaheen kaheen hai !

Toand ( pet ) ki ye haalat, meri bhi hai, uski bhi,
dil mein ek tasvir idhar bhi hai, udhar bhi
Karne ko bohot kuch hai magar kab kare hum
Kab tak yoon hi is tarah rahe hum
Dil kahta hai Safeway se koi vaccum cleaner la de
ye Carpet jo jine ko zoonz raha hai, fikwa de
Hum saaf rahe sakte hai, logon ko bata dain,
Haan hum roommates hai – roommates hai – roommates hai

Ab dil main yehi baaaat, idhar bhi hai udhar bhi..

Sab ko bata dain..
Wendell A Brown Mar 2017
Kindred spirits sharing love from around the world,
Touching each other with their welcoming words
Having never seen another face to face at all
Embracing life pages as their words are now heard

We find great hope in the hearts and minds we meet
Eating from the same table of Gods creative delight
As are filled daily with amazing genuine words
Finding our great love for sharing helps us to unite

Daily together we lift up hungry spirits in this world
With our individual gifts trying not to leave one behind
As we all are part of the same beautiful sharing coverlet
Full of the real love which our God always had in mind

Even though we as humans in many ways are the same
We each are gifted specifically by His heavenly design
Being bound to the loving spirit of sharing our words
To shine radiantly through others His true love divine

United we become a real compelling power to others
When our written words genuinely carry true weight
Because the strength of our inner spirits great vigor
Over time helps many lives in this world be reshaped.
“You are all beautiful people, continue to help
change, and reshape the world.”
Star Dec 2015
See from a far
Reunited under the stars
Sharing our own stories
Twisted with different memories

The feeling of ecstasy
With each others company
It feels good
To have this mood

The sun will soon rise
Together with our mind so wise
But one thing is for sure, we'll be friends
In a day that never ends
I wrote this poem when i was w/ my friends.
RAJ NANDY Feb 2015
AN INTRODUCTION TO INDIAN ART IN VERSE  
By Raj Nandy : Part One

INTRODUCTION
Background :
The India subcontinent and her diverse physical features,
influenced her dynamic history, religion, and culture!
The fertile basin of the Sapta-Sindu Rivers* cradled one of
world’s most ancient civilization, (seven rivers)
Contemporary to the Sumerians and the Egyptians, popularly
known as the Indus Valley Civilization!
The Sindu (Indus), Jhelum, Chenab, Ravi, Sutlej, Bias, along
with the sacred river Saraswati, shaped India’s early History;
Where once flourished the urban settlements of Harappa and
Mohenjodaro, which lay buried for several centuries;
For our archaeologists and scholars to unravel their many
secrets and hidden mysteries!
Modern scholars refer to it as ‘Indus-Saraswati Civilization’;
By interpreting the text of the Rig Veda which mentions
eclipses, equinoxes, and other astronomical conjunctions,
They date the origin of the Vedas as earlier as 3000 BC;
Thereby lifting the fog which shrouds Ancient History! +
(+ Two broad schools of thoughts prevail; Max Mullar refers
to 1500 BC as the date for origin of the Vedas, but modern scientific findings point to a much earlier date for their Oral composition and
their long oral tradition!)

On the banks of the sacred Saraswati River the holy sages
did once meditate, *
When their third eye opened, as all earthly bonds they did
transcend !
From their lips flowed the sacred chants of the Vedas, as
they sang the creator Brahma’s unending praise!
These Vedic chants and incantations survived many
centuries of an oral tradition,
When Indian Art began to blossom into exotic flowers like
Brahma’s divine manifestations;
With all subsequent art forms following the model of
Brahma’s manifold creations!
The Vedas got written down during the later Vedic Age
with commentaries and interpolations,
And remain as India’s indigenous composition, forming a
part of her sacred religious tradition! *
(
Rig Veda the oldest, had hymns in praise of the creator;
Yajur Veda spelled the ritual procedures; Sama Veda sets
the hymns for melodious chanting, & is the source of seven
notes of music; Artha Veda had hymns for warding off evil
& hardship, giving us a glimpse of early Vedic life.)

IMPACT OF FOREIGN INVASIONS:
Through the winding Khyber Pass cutting through the rugged
Hindu Kush Range,
Came the Persians, Greeks, Muslims, the Moguls, and many
bounty hunters storming through north-western frontier gate;
Consisting of varied racial groups and cultures, they entered
India’s fertile alluvial plains!
Therefore, while tracing 5000 years of Art Story, one cannot
divorce Art from India’s exotic cultural history.
From the Cave Art of Bhimbetka, to the dancing girl of Harappa,
To the frescoes and the evocative figures of Ajanta and Ellora;
Many marvelous and exquisitely carved temples of the South,
And Muslim and Mogul architecture and frescoes along with
India’s rich Folk Art, enriched her artistic heritage no doubt!
Yet for a long time Indian Art had been the least known of
the Oriental Arts,
Perhaps because from Western point of view it was difficult
to understand the spirit behind Indian Art!
For Indian Art is at once aesthetic and sensual, also passionate,
symbolic, and spiritual !
It both celebrates and denies the individual’s love of life,
where free instinct with rigid reason combine !
These contradictory elements are found side by side due to
her culturally mixed conditions, as I had earlier mentioned!
Now, if we add to this the constant religious exaltation,
With the extensive use of symbolic presentation, from the
early days of Indian civilization;
We have the basic elements of an Art, which has gradually
aroused the interest of Western Civilization!

The further we get back in time, we only begin to find,
That religion, philosophy, art and architecture,
Had all merged into an unified whole to form India’s
composite culture!
But while moving forward in time, we once again find,
That art, architecture, music, poetry and dance, all begin to
gradually emerge, with their separate identities,
Where Indian Art is seen as a rich mosaic of cultural diversity!

(NOTES:-In the ancient days, the Saraswati River flowed from the Siwalik Range of Hills (foothills of the Himalayas) between Sutlej & the Yamuna rivers, through the present day Rann of Kutch into the Arabian Sea, when Rajasthan was a fertile place! Indus settlements like Kalibangan, Banawalli, Ganwaiwala, were situated on the banks of Sarsawati River, which was longer than the Indus & ran parallel, and is mentioned around50 times in the Rig Veda! Scientists say that due to tectonic plate movements, and climatic changes, Saraswati dried up around 1700BC ! The people settled there shifted east and the south, during the course of history! Some of those Indo-Aryan speaking people were already settled there, & others joined later. Max Muller’s theory of an Aryan Invasion which destroyed the Indus Valley Civilization during 1500BC, supported by Colonial Rulers, was subsequently proved wrong ! Indo-Aryans were a Language group of the Indo- European
Language Family, & not a racial group as mistaken by Max Mullar! Therefore Dr.Romila Thapar calls it a gradual migration, & not an invasion! The Vedas were indigenous composition of India. However, they got compiled & written down for the first time with commentaries, at a much later date! I have maintained this position since it has been proved by modern scholars scientifically!)

SYMBOLISM IN INDIAN ART
From the ancient Egyptian hieroglyphic to the Cretan Bull
of Greece,
Symbols have conveyed ideas and messages, fulfilling
artistic needs.
The ‘Da Vinci Code’ speaks of Leonardo’s art works as
symbolic subterfuge with encrypted messages for a secret
society!
While Indian art is replete with many sacred symbols to
attract good fortune, for the benefit of the community!
The symbols of the Dot or ‘Bindu’, the Lotus, the Trident,
the Conch shell, the sign and chant of ‘OM’, are all sacred
and divine;
For at the root of Indian artistic symbolism lies the Indian
concept of Time!
The West tends to think of time as a dynamic process which
is forward moving and linear;
Commencing with the ‘Big Bang’, moving towards a ‘Big
Crunch’, when ‘there shall be no more time’, or a state of
total inertia !
Indian art and sculpture is influenced by the cyclic concept
of time unfolding a series of ages or ‘yugas’;
Where creation, destruction and recreation, becomes a
dynamic and an unending phenomena!
This has been artistically and symbolically expressed in the
figure of Shiva-Nataraja’s cosmic dance,
Which portrays the entire kinetic universe in a state of
eternal flux!
The hour-glass drum in Nataraja’s right hand symbolizes
all creation;
Fire in his left hand the cyclic time frame of destruction!
The raised third hand is in a gesture of infinite benediction;
And the fourth hand pointing to his upraised foot shows the
path of liberation!

It was easier to teach the vast untutored population through
symbols, images, and paintings in the form of Art;
For a picture is more effective than a thousand words!
The Dot or ‘bindu’ becomes the focus for meditation,
Where the mental energies are focused on a single point of
creation,
As seen in the cotemporary art works of SH Raza’s
artistic representations!
Yet the same dot when expanded as a circle becomes
wholeness and infinity;
The shape of celestial bodies of the cyclic universe in its
creativity!
The Lotus seen in many sculptures, on temple walls, and
majestic columns, denotes purity;
A symbol of non-attachment rising above the muddy waters,
retaining its pristine color and beauty!
The Lotus is a powerful and transformational symbol in
Buddhist Art,
Where pink lotus is for height of enlightenment, blue for
wisdom, white for spiritual perfection, and the red lotus
symbolizing the heart!
This Lotus symbol also finds a place in Mughal sculptural
carvings and miniatures;
The inverted lotus dome resting on its petals, forms the
crown of Taj Mahal’s white marble architecture!
The trident or ‘trishul’ symbolizes the three god-heads
Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva;
As the Creator, Preserver and Destroyer, in that cyclic
chain which goes on forever!
The ***** stone of Shiva-lingam surrounded by the oval
female yoni symbolizes fertility and creation,
Usually found in the inner sanctuary of Hindu temples!
Finally, the symbol of ‘OM’ and its vibrating sound,
Echoes the primordial vibrations with which space and
time abounds!
All matter comes from energy vibrations manifesting
cosmic creation;
Also symbolized in Einstein’s famous matter-energy equation!
The Conch Shell a gift of the sea when blown, sounds the
ancient primordial vibration of ‘OM’!
It’s hallowed auspicious sound accompanies marriage
ceremonies and rituals whenever occasion demands;
And pacifies mother earth during Shiva-Nataraja’s sudden
seismic dance! (earthquakes)
Dear readers the symbols mentioned here are very few,
Mainly to curb the length, while I pay Indian Art my
artistic due!

A BRIEF COMPARISON OF ART:
Despite the many foreign influences which entered India
through the Khyber and Bholan pass,
India displayed marvelous adaptability and resilience, in
the development of her indigenous Art!
The aesthetic objectivity of Western Art was replaced by
the Indian vision of spiritual subjectivity,
For the transitory world around was only a ‘Maya’ or an
Illusion,- lacking material reality!
Therefore life-like representation was not always the aim
of Indian art,
But to lift that veil and reveal the life of the spirit, - was
the objective from the very start!
Egyptian funerary art was more occupied with after-life
and death;
While the Greeks portrayed youthful vigor and idealized
beauty, celebrating the joys of life instead!
The proud Roman Emperors to outshine their predecessors
erected even bigger statues, monuments, and columns
draped in glory;
Only in the long run to drain the Roman treasury, - a sad
downfall story!
Indian art gradually evolved over centuries with elements
both religious and secular,
As seen from the period of King Chandragupta Maurya,
Who defeated the Greek Seleucus, to carve out the first
united Indian Empire ! (app. 322 BC)

SECULAR AND SPIRITUAL FUSION IN ART:
Ancient Indian ‘stupas’
and temples were not like churches
or synagogues purely spiritual and religious,
But were cultural centers depicting secular images which
were also non-religious!
The Buddhist ‘stupa’ at Amravati (1stcentury BC), and the
gateways at Sanchi (1stcentury AD), display wealth of carvings
from the life of Buddha;
Also warriors on horseback, royal procession, trader’s caravans,
farmers with produce, - all secular by far!
Indian temples from the 8th Century AD onwards depicted
images of musicians, dancers, acrobats and romantic couples,
along with a variety of Deities;
But after 10th Century ****** themes began to make their mark
with depiction of sensuality!
Sensuality and ****** interaction in temples of Khajuraho and
Konarak has been displayed without inhibition;
As Tantric ideas on compatibility of human sexuality with
human spirituality, fused into artistic depictions!
Religion got based on a healthy and egalitarian acceptance
of all activities without ****** starvation;
For the emotional health and well-being of society, without
hypocritical denial or inhibition!
(’Stupas’= originated from ancient burial mounds, later became devotional Buddhist sites with holy relics, & external decorative gateways and carvings!)

KHJURAHO TEMPLE COMPLEX (950 - 1040 AD) :
Was built by the Chandela Rajputs in Central India,
When Khajuraho, the land of the moon gods, was the first
capital city of the Chandelas!
****** art covers ten percent of the temple sculptures,
Where both Hindu and Jain temples were built in the north-Indian
Nagara style of Architecture.
Out of the 85 temples only 22 have stood the vagaries of time,
Where a perfect fusion of aesthetic elegance and evocative
Kama-Sutra like ****** sculptural brilliance, - dazzle the eyes!

KONARAK SUN TEMPLE OF ORISSA - EAST COAST:
From the Khajuraho temple of love, we now move to the
Konark temple of *** in stones - as art!
Built around 1250 AD in the form of a temple mounted on
a huge cosmic chariot for the Sun God;
With twelve pairs of stone-carved wheels pulled by seven
galloping horses, symbolizing the passage of time under
the Solar God !
Seven horses for each day of the week, pulls the chariot
east wards towards dawn;
With twelve pairs of wheels representing the twelve calendar
months, as each cyclic day ushers in a new morn !
The friezes above and below the chariot wheels show military
processions, with elephants and hunting scenes;
Celebrating the victory of King Narasimhadeva-I over the
invading Muslims!
The ****** art and voluptuous carvings symbolizes aesthetic
bliss when uniting with the divine;
Following yogic postures and breathing techniques, which
Tantric Art alone defines!
(
Both Khjuraho & Konark temples were re-discovered by the
British, & are now World Heritage Sites!)

Artistic invention followed the model of cosmic creation;
Ancient Vedic tradition visualized the spirit of a joyous
self-offering with chants and incantations!
The world was understood to be a structured arrangement
of five elements of earth, water, fire, air, and ethereal space;
Where each element brought forth a distinct art-expression
with artistic grace!
Element of Sculpture was earth, Painting the fluidity of water,
Dance was transformative fire, Music flowed through the air,
and Poetry vibrated in ethereal space!

CONCLUDING INTRODUCTION TO INDIAN ART:

Indian Art is like a prism with many dazzling facets,
I have only introduced the subject with its symbolism,
- without covering its complete assets!
After my Part Three on ‘Etruscan and Roman Art’,
Christian and Byzantine Art was to follow;
But following request from my few poet friends I have
postponed it for the morrow!
Traditional Indian Art survives through its sculptures,
architecture, paintings and folk art, ever evolving with
the passing of time and age;
Influenced by Buddhist, Jain, Muslim, Mogul, and many
indigenous art forms, enriching India’s cultural heritage!
While the art of our modern times constitutes a separate
Contemporary phase !
The juxtaposition of certain concepts and forms might
have appeared a bit intriguing,
But the spiritual content and symbolism in art answers
our basic artistic seeking!
The other aspects of Indian Art I plan to cover at a later
date,
Hope you liked my Introduction, being posted after
almost forty days!
ALL COPY RIGHTS ARE WITH RAJ NANDY
E-Mail: rajnandy21@yahoo.
    FEW COMMENTS BY POETS ON 'POETFREAK.COM' :-
I have a vicarious pleasure going through your historical journey of Indian art! Thanks for sharing this here! 2 Mar 2013 by Ramesh T A | Reply

The prism of Indian Art is indeed has myriads of facets and is an awesome mixture of many influences some of which you list here so clearly - a very understandable presentation of symbolism too - -thank you for your fine effort Raj. 2 Mar 2013 by Fay Slimm | Reply

Oh what an interesting read with immense information capturing every single detail. You painted this piece of art with utmost care. Truly, it's works Raj…tfs 2 Mar 2013 by John Thomas Tharayil | Reply

First, I have to say, the part about the lotus symbolism reminds me – My name ‘NILOTPAL’ can be split into ‘NIL’ meaning BLUE and ‘UTPAL’ meaning LOTUS. So my name represents wisdom (although it contradicts ME.. LOL). A lot of things were mentioned in the veda and other ancient Indian texts that were way ahead of the time Like the idea of ‘velocity of light’ got considerable mention in the rig veda-Sahan bhasya, ‘Elliptical order of planets, ‘Black holes’ , although these are the scientific aspects. The emphasis on contradictory elements or even the idea of opposites in Indian art is interesting because India developed the mathematical concept of ‘Zero’ and ‘infinity’. Hard to believe Rajasthan was a fertile place but now it possesses its own beauty. It was great to read about the Natraja, ‘OM’ and the trident(Trishul). Among symbolisms, Lord Ganseha is my favorite because a lot is portrayed in that one image like the MOOSHIK representing
When I composed the History of Western Art in Verse & posted the series on 'Poetfreak.com', few Indian poet friends requested me to compose on Indian Art separately. I am posting part one of my composition here for those who may like to know about Indian Art. Thanks & best wishes, -Raj
wes parham Oct 2014
Pour one under the table for those who walk outside.  In memory of Spalding Gray, for what he meant to me...
    Thanks, “Spuddy”, for sharing your inner life.   Thanks for having the courage to bring so many troubles into the light.  You laughed at your troubles and allowed us a way to laugh at our own.  You put a voice to carrying an unbearable shyness or an excess of fear along with us as we go through life.  You strived to care when caring was out of fashion and in short supply.  Thanks for reminding us that life is the journey, and not only the destination.  You wrote a book.  You played a minor role in a feature film.  Those were some of your destinations.  When you shared your journey, you did it with humor, humility, and with love.  Thanks for reminding me that storytelling is all around us.  Thanks for reminding me that it need not be complex.  You were merely observant during your journey,  and you shared it through the lens of your own perception.
    I learned this January that life became unbearable for you.  If only we, your audience, could have comforted you or somehow stemmed the river; the flood that carried you to leave so early.  I would like to believe that, once you died, you might be able to hear our collective voice.  I imagine that you are able to see the people affected by your work, some inspired thus to create works of their own; tell their own awkward stories, sharing them as you shared yours.  I am far back in the line, and I eventually arrive at your table.  You flip a page in your spiral-bound notebook and take a sip of water before glancing up inquiringly.  I only have one thing to say, really.  “Thanks, Spalding.  Thanks for sharing”.
Written after I learned of Spalding Grey's suicide in 2004.   His performances, full of a bare, self-deprecating and personal mania, touched me as they made me laugh.  They said, "I feel this ridiculous *******, too".  They said, "we get by anyway, despite the confusion, the fear, or the pain".  They inspired me to share some of my own self in personal narrative or poetry.  He wasn't any idol to me, I just felt his passing strongly since his own work had inspired me, personally, to live just a little bit more.  Life's a collaboration.
Ooolywoo Oct 2016
I LOVE MYSELF
With all my flaws
In my Beautifulness,
In my mistakes,
In my weakness,
In my darkness.
I love myself, because I am worth it.
I am a high power person who can move mountains with my love, thoughts and dreams
I am good, kind, funny, full of life and love, contagious with my explosive energy
Some things may be equally essential but nothing is more important than loving oneself
And at this moment the love I have for myself goes above and beyond.
It could reach the end of the universe if I just unwrap it
I love me in my inane, craziest, sanest, beautiful twisted, darkest and funniest way
I love me in a way that no one does
I love me in my fullest woes
I am everything that I can and will be
I am frightfully proud of my flaws and proudly wearing them as no one is perfect
This is the start of a new journey to me
The journey of love and self acceptance
The journey to fully embrace and value my own self
I allow myself to fall in my stupidest and biggest way, just to get back up and catch my breath again
Failure will not stop me but make me stronger
I am fully seeing me and smiling at my imperfected and distorted reflection
Hugging myself so tightly, refusing to let go
The more I am spending time with me,
The more and more my love grows
Is it bad for my health ? I do not think so.
It’s true, I am better, happier, more free, powerful, at peace
The sun is shining on me
I don’t need no help to be beautiful, ‘cause I’ve got me
I’ve got that uncontainable light from within me
I am smoldering a treasure, sharing laughter, joy and sadness with myself
I have learnt the phases of myself
So distant from that little insecure girl I used to know
As I allow her opinions to matter
I have accepted her difference
Her different kind of beauty, I have learned to love
This feeling of wholeness, self acceptance, comfort and love, is liberating
I wrap myself around my contorted and beautiful else to form a ME
As I am, Raw and Real
DC raw love Jan 2015
What would you do
If no one loved you

Would you cry
or
Would you sigh

Love

Do you care
or
Do you swear

Do you look for love
or
Do you hide from love

Do you want it
or
Do you need it

Do you know what love means
Real love
Never ending love

are you a hopeless romantic
or
romantically wanting love

What are the feeling of no love

are they silent
or
are they loud

are they sharing thoughts
or
are they lonely thoughts

do you have thoughts of joy
or
do you have thoughts of nothing

do you smile
or
do you cringe

do you want it
or
not

It's actually not that hard to find

JUST LOVE ANOTHER
LOVE ANOTHER
Tomas Denson Apr 2014
A wild flight into drizzled dark night
The chorus line thumping
Overcome by roar and strain
Of metal tested to limits as we race
An endless risk disregarded as thought
And the sound of a bright giggle
Wondrous eyes lit in thrill of threat
Fear has no place in this setting

A manic gleam and set to her face
Sharing a secret as we laugh and howl
Because this is who we are
For all out control and desire
We scream endlessly through life eternally silent
Until we do not have to be
And in glory we release!

Fear is a thing to be learnt
A feeling to ******* and freeze
Is it felt here?
A resounding no! Shatters the question
In the screech of tires
In the surge of adrenaline
In the wild savage smile of freedom
Of a shout into the night in defiance of order!

Does my heart race as we tear around?
Not even a tremor! Until I turn,
My face from the moaning wind rushing past
And i gaze upon this savage exposed
Lips pulled back in ferocious glee
A focused and fierce glare to the world
We deny life and taunt the spectre
Come to us, we cry!

The paths are slick with tears of the gods
The roads tempestuous writhing in deceit
I sit in peace, relaxed
A warrior companion at my side
We know no fear of what may come
For trust
Ah trust
Is the colour of life
Ever shadowed as a challenge to endings!

She lights as a fire of the brightest stars
And i would embrace her
Burning endlessly.
Styles Jan 2018
The
warm whipped cream
dripped from her succulent lips
thick liquids drips
smooth tastebuds sips
big long strokes
deep penetrating licks
sensational vibes capsize our hips
riding each other's waves like two crossing ships
mesmerized as our two worlds collide
and coincide like nature designed  us
to co-exist we a twist
two organisms sharing a gift
shifting from the present to the moment
relishing in the sensations before they cease to exist
Ahmad Cox May 2012
I love seeing
People happy
People laughing
People singing
People dancing
Full of life
Full of light
Expressing themselves with love
Sharing their gifts and themselves
With every one around them
There are a lot of people
Who have forgotten their voices
Who have forgotten how to truly sing
Who have forgotten how to dance
Who have forgotten how to be joyful
To share themselves with love
So it does my heart good
To see people who have that light inside
And don't mind sharing it
With everyone else around them
Looking out across the shore,
there's nothing now that i want more
than you right next to me
sharing that sweet little breeze
Sharing memories
It's you that I want
it's always been you
It's you right there
in a little of all I do

(CHORUS)
It's a beautiful day for memories
a day for fun,
a day for sharing summer sun
But It feels cold & lonely inside my heart
because we're so far apart

Strolling along in summer sun
watching the children having fun
Icecreams and slushies
rollerskates and puppies
Waves dance upon the sand
there's a broken boardwalk for me to stand
Artists gather to paint such a day
In my painting I'd use just grey
It's how I feel when you're so far away

(CHORUS)
It's a beautiful day for memories
a day for fun,
a day for sharing summer sun
I wish you were here to ment my heart
I ache inside when we're apart

I look across the grains of sand
I meet a face from where I stand
deep inside I feel a warm glow
for it's the face I love you know
I run to you, you run to me
you're here to share a memory
I've been waiting here every day
and you've never been too far away

(CHORUS)
It's a beautiful day for memories
a day for fun,
a day for sharing summer sun
Now that you're here we'll never part
for you're here to offer me your heart
nivek Oct 2014
Forever sharing
Something.
In spite of
Ourselves.

Sharing
On a monumental
scale.
Everything.
Nigel Morgan Nov 2012
As a woman, and in the service of my Lord the Emperor Wu, my life is governed by his command. At twenty I was summoned to this life at court and have made of it what I can, within the limitations of the courtesan I am supposed to be, and the poet I have now become. Unlike my male counterparts, some of whom have lately found seclusion in the wilderness of rivers and mountains, I have only my personal court of three rooms and its tiny garden and ornamental pond. But I live close to the surrounding walls of the Zu-lin Gardens with its astronomical observatories and bold attempts at recreating illusions of celebrated locations in the Tai mountains. There, walking with my cat Xi-Lu in the afternoons, I imagine a solitary life, a life suffused with the emptiness I crave.
 
In the hot, dry summer days my maid Mei-Lim and I have sought a temporary retreat in the pine forests above Lingzhi. Carried in a litter up the mountain paths we are left in a commodious hut, its open walls making those simple pleasures of drinking, eating and sleeping more acute, intense. For a few precious days I rest and meditate, breathe the mountain air and the resinous scents of the trees. I escape the daily commerce of the court and belong to a world that for the rest of the year I have to imagine, the world of the recluse. To gain the status of the recluse, open to my male counterparts, is forbidden to women of the court. I am woman first, a poet and calligrapher second. My brother, should he so wish, could present a petition to revoke his position as a man of letters, an official commentator on the affairs of state. But he is not so inclined. He has already achieved notoriety and influence through his writing on the social conditions of town and city. He revels in a world of chatter, gossip and intrigue; he appears to fear the wilderness life.  
 
I must be thankful that my own life is maintained on the periphery. I am physically distant from the hub of daily ceremonial. I only participate at my Lord’s express command. I regularly feign illness and fatigue to avoid petty conflict and difficulty. Yet I receive commissions I cannot waver: to honour a departed official; to celebrate a son’s birth to the Second Wife; to fulfil in verse my Lord’s curious need to know about the intimate sorrows of his young concubines, their loneliness and heartache.
 
Occasionally a Rhapsody is requested for an important visitor. The Emperor Wu is proud to present as welcome gifts such poetic creations executed in fine calligraphy, and from a woman of his court. Surely a sign of enlightment and progress he boasts! Yet in these creations my observations are parochial: early morning frost on the cabbage leaves in my garden; the sound of geese on their late afternoon flight to Star Lake; the disposition of the heavens on an Autumn night. I live by the Tao of Lao-Tzu, perceiving the whole world from my doorstep.
 
But I long for the reclusive life, to leave this court for my family’s estate in the valley my peasant mother lived as a child. At fourteen she was chosen to sustain the Emperor’s annual wish for young girls to be groomed for concubinage. Like her daughter she is tall, though not as plain as I; she put her past behind her and conceded her adolescence to the training required by the court. At twenty she was recommended to my father, the court archivist, as second wife. When she first met this quiet, dedicated man on the day before her marriage she closed her eyes in blessing. My father taught her the arts of the library and schooled her well. From her I have received keen eyes of jade green and a prestigious memory, a memory developed she said from my father’s joy of reading to her in their private hours, and before she could read herself. Each morning he would examine her to discover what she had remembered of the text read the night before. When I was a little child she would quote to me the Confucian texts on which she had been ****** schooled, and she then would tell me of her childhood home. She primed my imagination and my poetic world with descriptions of a domestic rural life.
 
Sometimes in the arms of my Lord I have freely rhapsodized in chusi metre these delicate word paintings of my mother’s home. She would say ‘We will walk now to the ruined tower beside the lake. Listen to the carolling birds. As the sparse clouds move across the sky the warm sun strokes the winter grass. Across the deep lake the forests are empty. Now we are climbing the narrow steps to the platform from which you and I will look towards the sun setting in the west. See the shadows are lengthening and the air becomes colder. The blackbird’s solitary song heralds the evening.  Look, an owl glides silently beneath us.’
 
My Lord will then quote from Hsieh Ling-yun,.
 
‘I meet sky, unable to soar among clouds,
face a lake, call those depths beyond me.’
 
And I will match this quotation, as he will expect.
 
‘Too simple-minded to perfect Integrity,
and too feeble to plough fields in seclusion.’
 
He will then gaze into my eyes in wonder that this obscure poem rests in my memory and that I will decode the minimal grammar of these early characters with such poetry. His characters: Sky – Bird – Cloud – Lake – Depth. My characters: Fool – Truth – Child – Winter field – Isolation.
 
Our combined invention seems to take him out of his Emperor-self. He is for a while the poet-scholar-sage he imagines he would like to be, and I his foot-sore companion following his wilderness journey. And then we turn our attention to our bodies, and I surprise him with my admonitions to gentleness, to patience, to arousing my pleasure. After such poetry he is all pleasure, sensitive to the slightest touch, and I have my pleasure in knowing I can control this powerful man with words and the stroke of my fingertips rather than by delicate youthful beauty or the guile and perverse ingenuity of an ****** act. He is still learning to recognise the nature and particularness of my desires. I am not as his other women: who confuse pleasure with pain.
 
Thoughts of my mother. Without my dear father, dead ten years, she is a boat without a rudder sailing on a distant lake. She greets each day as a gift she must honour with good humour despite the pain of her limbs, the difficulty of walking, of sitting, of eating, even talking. Such is the hurt that governs her ageing. She has always understood that my position has forbidden marriage and children, though the latter might be a possibility I have not wished it and made it known to my Lord that it must not be. My mother remains in limbo, neither son or daughter seeking to further her lineage, she has returned to her sister’s home in the distant village of her birth, a thatched house of twenty rooms,
 
‘Elms and willows shading the eaves at the back,
and, in front,  peach and plum spread wide.
 
Villages lost across mist-haze distances,
Kitchen smoke drifting wide-open country,
 
Dogs bark deep among the back roads out here
And cockerels crow from mulberry treetops.
 
My esteemed colleague T’ao Ch’ien made this poetry. After a distinguished career in government service he returned to the life of a recluse-farmer on his family farm. Living alone in a three-roomed hut he lives out his life as a recluse and has endured considerable poverty. One poem I know tells of him begging for food. His world is fields-and-gardens in contrast to Hsieh Ling-yin who is rivers-and-mountains. Ch’ien’s commitment to the recluse life has brought forth words that confront death and the reality of human experience without delusion.
 
‘At home here in what lasts, I wait out life.’
 
Thus my mother waits out her life, frail, crumbling more with each turning year.
 
To live beyond the need to organise daily commitments due to others, to step out into my garden and only consider the dew glistening on the loropetalum. My mind is forever full of what is to be done, what must be completed, what has to be said to this visitor who will today come to my court at the Wu hour. Only at my desk does this incessant chattering in the mind cease, as I move my brush to shape a character, or as the needle enters the cloth, all is stilled, the world retreats; there is the inner silence I crave.
 
I long to see with my own eyes those scenes my mother painted for me with her words. I only know them in my mind’s eye having travelled so little these past fifteen years. I look out from this still dark room onto my small garden to see the morning gathering its light above the rooftops. My camellia bush is in flower though a thin frost covers the garden stones.
 
And so I must imagine how it might be, how I might live the recluse life. How much can I jettison? These fine clothes, this silken nightgown beneath the furs I wrap myself in against the early morning air. My maid is sleeping. Who will make my tea? Minister to me when I take to my bed? What would become of my cat, my books, the choice-haired brushes? Like T’ao Ch’ien could I leave the court wearing a single robe and with one bag over my shoulders? Could I walk for ten days into the mountains? I would disguise myself as a man perhaps. I am tall for a woman, and though my body flows in broad curves there are ways this might be assuaged, enough perhaps to survive unmolested on the road.
 
Such dreams! My Lord would see me returned within hours and send a servant to remain at my gate thereafter. I will compose a rhapsody about a concubine of standing, who has even occupied the purple chamber, but now seeks to relinquish her privileged life, who coverts the uncertainty of nature, who would endure pain and privation in a hut on some distant mountain, who will sleep on a mat on its earth floor. Perhaps this will excite my Lord, light a fire in his imagination. As though in preparation for this task I remove my furs, I loose the knot of my silk gown. Naked, I reach for an old under shift letting it fall around my still-slender body and imagine myself tying the lacings myself in the open air, imagine making my toilet alone as the sun appears from behind a distant mountain on a new day. My mind occupies itself with the tiny detail of living thus: bare feet on cold earth, a walk to nearby stream, the gathering of berries and mountain herbs, the making of fire, the washing of my few clothes, imagining. Imagining. To live alone will see every moment filled with the tasks of keeping alive. I will become in tune with my surroundings. I will take only what I need and rely on no one. Dreaming will end and reality will be the slug on my mat, the bone-chilling incessant mists of winter, the thorn in the foot, the wild winds of autumn. My hands will become stained and rough, my long limbs tanned and scratched, my delicate complexion freckled and wind-pocked, my hair tied roughly back. I will become an animal foraging on a dank hillside. Such thoughts fill me with deep longing and a ****** desire to be tzu-jan  - with what surrounds me, ablaze with ****** self.
 
It is not thought the custom of a woman to hold such desires. We are creatures of order and comfort. We do not live on the edge of things, but crave security and well-being. We learn to endure the privations of being at the behest of others. Husbands, children, lovers, our relatives take our bodies to them as places of comfort, rest and desire. We work at maintaining an ordered flow of existence. Whatever our station, mistress or servant we compliment, we keep things in order, whether that is the common hearth or the accounts of our husband’s court. Now my rhapsody begins:
 
A Rhapsody on a woman wishing to live as a recluse
 
As a lady of my Emperor’s court I am bound in service.
My court is not my own, I have the barest of means.
My rooms are full of gifts I am forced barter for bread.
Though the artefacts of my hands and mind
Are valued and widely renown,
Their commissioning is an expectation of my station,
With no direct reward attached.
To dress appropriately for my Lord’s convocations and assemblies
I am forced to negotiate with chamberlains and treasurers.
A bolt of silk, gold thread, the services of a needlewoman
Require formal entreaties and may lie dormant for weeks
Before acknowledgement and release.
 
I was chosen for my literary skills, my prestigious memory,
Not for my ****** beauty, though I have been called
‘Lady of the most gracious movement’ and
My speaking voice has clarity and is capable of many colours.
I sing, but plainly and without passion
Lest I interfere with the truth of music’s message.
 
Since I was a child in my father’s library
I have sought out the works of those whose words
Paint visions of a world that as a woman
I may never see, the world of the wilderness,
Of rivers and mountains,
Of fields and gardens.
Yet I am denied by my *** and my station
To experience passing amongst these wonders
Except as contrived imitations in the palace gardens.
 
Each day I struggle to tease from the small corner
Of my enclosed eye-space some enrichment
Some elemental thing to colour meaning:
To extend the bounds of my home
Across the walls of this palace
Into the world beyond.
 
I have let it be known that I welcome interviews
With officials from distant courts to hear of their journeying,
To gather word images if only at second-hand.
Only yesterday an emissary recounted
His travels to Stone Lake in the far South-West,
Beyond the gorges of the Yang-tze.
With his eyes I have seen the mountains of Suchan:
With his ears I have heard the oars crackling
Like shattering jade in the freezing water.
Images and sounds from a thousand miles
Of travel are extract from this man’s memory.
 
Such a sharing of experience leaves me
Excited but dismayed: that I shall never
Visit this vast expanse of water and hear
Its wild cranes sing from their floating nests
In the summer moonlight.
 
I seek to disappear into a distant landscape
Where the self and its constructions of the world may
Dissolve away until nothing remains but the no-mind.
My thoughts are full of the practicalities of journeying
Of an imagined location, that lonely place
Where I may be at one with myself.
Where I may delight in the everyday Way,
Myself among mist and vine, rock and cave.
Not this lady of many parts and purposes whose poems must
Speak of lives, sorrow and joy, pleasure and pain
Set amongst personal conflict and intrigue
That in containing these things, bring order to disorder;
Salve the conscience, bathe hurt, soothe sleight.
Festivals of my
land are

Filled with

The brilliance of colors..
The elegance of attire..
The resonance of lights..
The flamboyance of richness..
Of
The essence of laughter..
The sense of happiness..
The fragrance of love ..
The immence feeling of Joy..
The exuberance of festivities..
The relevance of celebration..
The Perseverance of culture..

Its all about
My Motherland....
My India..

Yes !! Its that time of the year
When 1/7 th population of the world
celebrates
The Festival of Lights..
On the dark night of No Moon ..
The whole country is filled
with lights..
From earthen lamps and LEDs

To
Celebrate the win of
Good over evil..
To celebrate
The homecoming -
after the win..

The brightness of lights..
The purity of air..
The brimming faces..
The laughter echoes..
Elders, kids, adults
all come together,
To fill the land with
Sparkles and Divinity....

Diwali it is !!
Diwali it will be !!
The festival of love..
The festival of respect..
The festival of sharing..
The festival of caring..
The festival of loving..
The festival of giving ..
!!!

Sharing,
Caring,
Loving,
Giving....
The young kids rhyme..
We teach them by action,
That we want them
to remember...!!

Happy Diwali..
The festival of lights..!!
**
Sparkle In Wisdom
Nov 2018
#Sharing #Caring #Loving #Giving... Four golden words I taught my daughter very early in her childhood..!!
Amitav Radiance May 2014
There is beauty in simplicity
There is beauty in just loving
There is beauty in not knowing
There is beauty in just holding hands
There is beauty in sharing the same drink
There is beauty in being just unclad
There is beauty in just gazing at each other
There is beauty in drawing imaginary hearts
There is beauty in playing with her twitching nose
There is beauty in just running your hands through hair
There is beauty in sitting amidst nature, and counting stars
There is beauty in wishing upon a falling star
There is beauty in listening to each other’s heart beats
There is beauty in watching yourself in her eyes
There is beauty in kissing her twinkling eyes
There is beauty in having her head on your lap
There is beauty in watching her fall asleep
There is beauty in waking her up in the morning
There is beauty in touching her glowing skin
There is beauty in making her a cup of coffee
There is beauty in kissing her throughout the day
There is beauty in going for a walk, holding hands
There is beauty in soaking in each other’s silence
There is beauty in being in each other’s heart
There is beauty in just having her around
There is beauty in just thanking her with your love
There is beauty in being in love with all your heart
There is beauty in acknowledging her presence*




© Amitav (Radiance)
dennis gunsteen Jan 2011
April rain an rainbow dreams.
i wish up on the stars tonight.
too build a rainbow of peace
in this  world.
sharing the love of peace
in life
for children an people of this
world.
April rain an rainbow dreams.
dry your tears O' little one.
feel the joy of peace my love.
sharing the love of peace in life.
April rain an rainbow dreams.
can we love one another in life.
can we have respect for one
another in life.
can we stop this senseless hate
we have for people in life.
can we help one another in life
as we travel these roads in life.
an can we  building a world of
peace for are children in life.
listen to our heart listen too
hearts of children in life
peace is the true keys to our
happiness in life
sharing the love of peace
in life
bring  joy to people in life
walk with peace in our life.
to end the hate and fighting in life.
feel our hearts with joy an love.
April rain an  rainbow dreams.
let give peace a chance in life.
an respect one another in life.
sharing the love of peace in life.

— The End —