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Bo Burnham Mar 2015
Martha was ugly, like a shaven baboon.
So she wrapped herself up in a curtain cocoon.
One week later, she finally emerged---
She smelled like ****.
What a ******!
Alyssa Underwood Mar 2016
I

He did not wear his scarlet coat,
  For blood and wine are red,
And blood and wine were on his hands
  When they found him with the dead,
The poor dead woman whom he loved,
  And murdered in her bed.

He walked amongst the Trial Men
  In a suit of shabby grey;
A cricket cap was on his head,
  And his step seemed light and gay;
But I never saw a man who looked
  So wistfully at the day.

I never saw a man who looked
  With such a wistful eye
Upon that little tent of blue
  Which prisoners call the sky,
And at every drifting cloud that went
  With sails of silver by.

I walked, with other souls in pain,
  Within another ring,
And was wondering if the man had done
  A great or little thing,
When a voice behind me whispered low,
  “That fellows got to swing.”

Dear Christ! the very prison walls
  Suddenly seemed to reel,
And the sky above my head became
  Like a casque of scorching steel;
And, though I was a soul in pain,
  My pain I could not feel.

I only knew what hunted thought
  Quickened his step, and why
He looked upon the garish day
  With such a wistful eye;
The man had killed the thing he loved
  And so he had to die.

Yet each man kills the thing he loves
  By each let this be heard,
Some do it with a bitter look,
  Some with a flattering word,
The coward does it with a kiss,
  The brave man with a sword!

Some **** their love when they are young,
  And some when they are old;
Some strangle with the hands of Lust,
  Some with the hands of Gold:
The kindest use a knife, because
  The dead so soon grow cold.

Some love too little, some too long,
  Some sell, and others buy;
Some do the deed with many tears,
  And some without a sigh:
For each man kills the thing he loves,
  Yet each man does not die.

He does not die a death of shame
  On a day of dark disgrace,
Nor have a noose about his neck,
  Nor a cloth upon his face,
Nor drop feet foremost through the floor
  Into an empty place

He does not sit with silent men
  Who watch him night and day;
Who watch him when he tries to weep,
  And when he tries to pray;
Who watch him lest himself should rob
  The prison of its prey.

He does not wake at dawn to see
  Dread figures throng his room,
The shivering Chaplain robed in white,
  The Sheriff stern with gloom,
And the Governor all in shiny black,
  With the yellow face of Doom.

He does not rise in piteous haste
  To put on convict-clothes,
While some coarse-mouthed Doctor gloats, and notes
  Each new and nerve-twitched pose,
******* a watch whose little ticks
  Are like horrible hammer-blows.

He does not know that sickening thirst
  That sands one’s throat, before
The hangman with his gardener’s gloves
  Slips through the padded door,
And binds one with three leathern thongs,
  That the throat may thirst no more.

He does not bend his head to hear
  The Burial Office read,
Nor, while the terror of his soul
  Tells him he is not dead,
Cross his own coffin, as he moves
  Into the hideous shed.

He does not stare upon the air
  Through a little roof of glass;
He does not pray with lips of clay
  For his agony to pass;
Nor feel upon his shuddering cheek
  The kiss of Caiaphas.


II

Six weeks our guardsman walked the yard,
  In a suit of shabby grey:
His cricket cap was on his head,
  And his step seemed light and gay,
But I never saw a man who looked
  So wistfully at the day.

I never saw a man who looked
  With such a wistful eye
Upon that little tent of blue
  Which prisoners call the sky,
And at every wandering cloud that trailed
  Its raveled fleeces by.

He did not wring his hands, as do
  Those witless men who dare
To try to rear the changeling Hope
  In the cave of black Despair:
He only looked upon the sun,
  And drank the morning air.

He did not wring his hands nor weep,
  Nor did he peek or pine,
But he drank the air as though it held
  Some healthful anodyne;
With open mouth he drank the sun
  As though it had been wine!

And I and all the souls in pain,
  Who tramped the other ring,
Forgot if we ourselves had done
  A great or little thing,
And watched with gaze of dull amaze
  The man who had to swing.

And strange it was to see him pass
  With a step so light and gay,
And strange it was to see him look
  So wistfully at the day,
And strange it was to think that he
  Had such a debt to pay.

For oak and elm have pleasant leaves
  That in the spring-time shoot:
But grim to see is the gallows-tree,
  With its adder-bitten root,
And, green or dry, a man must die
  Before it bears its fruit!

The loftiest place is that seat of grace
  For which all worldlings try:
But who would stand in hempen band
  Upon a scaffold high,
And through a murderer’s collar take
  His last look at the sky?

It is sweet to dance to violins
  When Love and Life are fair:
To dance to flutes, to dance to lutes
  Is delicate and rare:
But it is not sweet with nimble feet
  To dance upon the air!

So with curious eyes and sick surmise
  We watched him day by day,
And wondered if each one of us
  Would end the self-same way,
For none can tell to what red Hell
  His sightless soul may stray.

At last the dead man walked no more
  Amongst the Trial Men,
And I knew that he was standing up
  In the black dock’s dreadful pen,
And that never would I see his face
  In God’s sweet world again.

Like two doomed ships that pass in storm
  We had crossed each other’s way:
But we made no sign, we said no word,
  We had no word to say;
For we did not meet in the holy night,
  But in the shameful day.

A prison wall was round us both,
  Two outcast men were we:
The world had ****** us from its heart,
  And God from out His care:
And the iron gin that waits for Sin
  Had caught us in its snare.


III

In Debtors’ Yard the stones are hard,
  And the dripping wall is high,
So it was there he took the air
  Beneath the leaden sky,
And by each side a Warder walked,
  For fear the man might die.

Or else he sat with those who watched
  His anguish night and day;
Who watched him when he rose to weep,
  And when he crouched to pray;
Who watched him lest himself should rob
  Their scaffold of its prey.

The Governor was strong upon
  The Regulations Act:
The Doctor said that Death was but
  A scientific fact:
And twice a day the Chaplain called
  And left a little tract.

And twice a day he smoked his pipe,
  And drank his quart of beer:
His soul was resolute, and held
  No hiding-place for fear;
He often said that he was glad
  The hangman’s hands were near.

But why he said so strange a thing
  No Warder dared to ask:
For he to whom a watcher’s doom
  Is given as his task,
Must set a lock upon his lips,
  And make his face a mask.

Or else he might be moved, and try
  To comfort or console:
And what should Human Pity do
  Pent up in Murderers’ Hole?
What word of grace in such a place
  Could help a brother’s soul?

With slouch and swing around the ring
  We trod the Fool’s Parade!
We did not care: we knew we were
  The Devil’s Own Brigade:
And shaven head and feet of lead
  Make a merry masquerade.

We tore the tarry rope to shreds
  With blunt and bleeding nails;
We rubbed the doors, and scrubbed the floors,
  And cleaned the shining rails:
And, rank by rank, we soaped the plank,
  And clattered with the pails.

We sewed the sacks, we broke the stones,
  We turned the dusty drill:
We banged the tins, and bawled the hymns,
  And sweated on the mill:
But in the heart of every man
  Terror was lying still.

So still it lay that every day
  Crawled like a ****-clogged wave:
And we forgot the bitter lot
  That waits for fool and knave,
Till once, as we tramped in from work,
  We passed an open grave.

With yawning mouth the yellow hole
  Gaped for a living thing;
The very mud cried out for blood
  To the thirsty asphalte ring:
And we knew that ere one dawn grew fair
  Some prisoner had to swing.

Right in we went, with soul intent
  On Death and Dread and Doom:
The hangman, with his little bag,
  Went shuffling through the gloom
And each man trembled as he crept
  Into his numbered tomb.

That night the empty corridors
  Were full of forms of Fear,
And up and down the iron town
  Stole feet we could not hear,
And through the bars that hide the stars
  White faces seemed to peer.

He lay as one who lies and dreams
  In a pleasant meadow-land,
The watcher watched him as he slept,
  And could not understand
How one could sleep so sweet a sleep
  With a hangman close at hand?

But there is no sleep when men must weep
  Who never yet have wept:
So we—the fool, the fraud, the knave—
  That endless vigil kept,
And through each brain on hands of pain
  Another’s terror crept.

Alas! it is a fearful thing
  To feel another’s guilt!
For, right within, the sword of Sin
  Pierced to its poisoned hilt,
And as molten lead were the tears we shed
  For the blood we had not spilt.

The Warders with their shoes of felt
  Crept by each padlocked door,
And peeped and saw, with eyes of awe,
  Grey figures on the floor,
And wondered why men knelt to pray
  Who never prayed before.

All through the night we knelt and prayed,
  Mad mourners of a corpse!
The troubled plumes of midnight were
  The plumes upon a hearse:
And bitter wine upon a sponge
  Was the savior of Remorse.

The **** crew, the red **** crew,
  But never came the day:
And crooked shape of Terror crouched,
  In the corners where we lay:
And each evil sprite that walks by night
  Before us seemed to play.

They glided past, they glided fast,
  Like travelers through a mist:
They mocked the moon in a rigadoon
  Of delicate turn and twist,
And with formal pace and loathsome grace
  The phantoms kept their tryst.

With mop and mow, we saw them go,
  Slim shadows hand in hand:
About, about, in ghostly rout
  They trod a saraband:
And the ****** grotesques made arabesques,
  Like the wind upon the sand!

With the pirouettes of marionettes,
  They tripped on pointed tread:
But with flutes of Fear they filled the ear,
  As their grisly masque they led,
And loud they sang, and long they sang,
  For they sang to wake the dead.

“Oho!” they cried, “The world is wide,
  But fettered limbs go lame!
And once, or twice, to throw the dice
  Is a gentlemanly game,
But he does not win who plays with Sin
  In the secret House of Shame.”

No things of air these antics were
  That frolicked with such glee:
To men whose lives were held in gyves,
  And whose feet might not go free,
Ah! wounds of Christ! they were living things,
  Most terrible to see.

Around, around, they waltzed and wound;
  Some wheeled in smirking pairs:
With the mincing step of demirep
  Some sidled up the stairs:
And with subtle sneer, and fawning leer,
  Each helped us at our prayers.

The morning wind began to moan,
  But still the night went on:
Through its giant loom the web of gloom
  Crept till each thread was spun:
And, as we prayed, we grew afraid
  Of the Justice of the Sun.

The moaning wind went wandering round
  The weeping prison-wall:
Till like a wheel of turning-steel
  We felt the minutes crawl:
O moaning wind! what had we done
  To have such a seneschal?

At last I saw the shadowed bars
  Like a lattice wrought in lead,
Move right across the whitewashed wall
  That faced my three-plank bed,
And I knew that somewhere in the world
  God’s dreadful dawn was red.

At six o’clock we cleaned our cells,
  At seven all was still,
But the sough and swing of a mighty wing
  The prison seemed to fill,
For the Lord of Death with icy breath
  Had entered in to ****.

He did not pass in purple pomp,
  Nor ride a moon-white steed.
Three yards of cord and a sliding board
  Are all the gallows’ need:
So with rope of shame the Herald came
  To do the secret deed.

We were as men who through a fen
  Of filthy darkness *****:
We did not dare to breathe a prayer,
  Or give our anguish scope:
Something was dead in each of us,
  And what was dead was Hope.

For Man’s grim Justice goes its way,
  And will not swerve aside:
It slays the weak, it slays the strong,
  It has a deadly stride:
With iron heel it slays the strong,
  The monstrous parricide!

We waited for the stroke of eight:
  Each tongue was thick with thirst:
For the stroke of eight is the stroke of Fate
  That makes a man accursed,
And Fate will use a running noose
  For the best man and the worst.

We had no other thing to do,
  Save to wait for the sign to come:
So, like things of stone in a valley lone,
  Quiet we sat and dumb:
But each man’s heart beat thick and quick
  Like a madman on a drum!

With sudden shock the prison-clock
  Smote on the shivering air,
And from all the gaol rose up a wail
  Of impotent despair,
Like the sound that frightened marshes hear
  From a ***** in his lair.

And as one sees most fearful things
  In the crystal of a dream,
We saw the greasy hempen rope
  Hooked to the blackened beam,
And heard the prayer the hangman’s snare
  Strangled into a scream.

And all the woe that moved him so
  That he gave that bitter cry,
And the wild regrets, and the ****** sweats,
  None knew so well as I:
For he who lives more lives than one
  More deaths than one must die.


IV

There is no chapel on the day
  On which they hang a man:
The Chaplain’s heart is far too sick,
  Or his face is far too wan,
Or there is that written in his eyes
  Which none should look upon.

So they kept us close till nigh on noon,
  And then they rang the bell,
And the Warders with their jingling keys
  Opened each listening cell,
And down the iron stair we tramped,
  Each from his separate Hell.

Out into God’s sweet air we went,
  But not in wonted way,
For this man’s face was white with fear,
  And that man’s face was grey,
And I never saw sad men who looked
  So wistfully at the day.

I never saw sad men who looked
  With such a wistful eye
Upon that little tent of blue
  We prisoners called the sky,
And at every careless cloud that passed
  In happy freedom by.

But there were those amongst us all
  Who walked with downcast head,
And knew that, had each got his due,
  They should have died instead:
He had but killed a thing that lived
  Whilst they had killed the dead.

For he who sins a second time
  Wakes a dead soul to pain,
And draws it from its spotted shroud,
  And makes it bleed again,
And makes it bleed great gouts of blood
  And makes it bleed in vain!

Like ape or clown, in monstrous garb
  With crooked arrows starred,
Silently we went round and round
  The slippery asphalte yard;
Silently we went round and round,
  And no man spoke a word.

Silently we went round and round,
  And through each hollow mind
The memory of dreadful things
  Rushed like a dreadful wind,
And Horror stalked before each man,
  And terror crept behind.

The Warders strutted up and down,
  And kept their herd of brutes,
Their uniforms were ***** and span,
  And they wore their Sunday suits,
But we knew the work they had been at
  By the quicklime on their boots.

For where a grave had opened wide,
  There was no grave at all:
Only a stretch of mud and sand
  By the hideous prison-wall,
And a little heap of burning lime,
  That the man should have his pall.

For he has a pall, this wretched man,
  Such as few men can claim:
Deep down below a prison-yard,
  Naked for greater shame,
He lies, with fetters on each foot,
  Wrapt in a sheet of flame!

And all the while the burning lime
  Eats flesh and bone away,
It eats the brittle bone by night,
  And the soft flesh by the day,
It eats the flesh and bones by turns,
  But it eats the heart alway.

For three long years they will not sow
  Or root or seedling there:
For three long years the unblessed spot
  Will sterile be and bare,
And look upon the wondering sky
  With unreproachful stare.

They think a murderer’s heart would taint
  Each simple seed they sow.
It is not true! God’s kindly earth
  Is kindlier than men know,
And the red rose would but blow more red,
  The white rose whiter blow.

Out of his mouth a red, red rose!
  Out of his heart a white!
For who can say by what strange way,
  Christ brings his will to light,
Since the barren staff the pilgrim bore
  Bloomed in the great Pope’s sight?

But neither milk-white rose nor red
  May bloom in prison air;
The shard, the pebble, and the flint,
  Are what they give us there:
For flowers have been known to heal
  A common man’s despair.

So never will wine-red rose or white,
  Petal by petal, fall
On that stretch of mud and sand that lies
  By the hideous prison-wall,
To tell the men who ***** the yard
  That God’s Son died for all.

Yet though the hideous prison-wall
  Still hems him round and round,
And a spirit man not walk by night
  That is with fetters bound,
And a spirit may not weep that lies
  In such unholy ground,

He is at peace—this wretched man—
  At peace, or will be soon:
There is no thing to make him mad,
  Nor does Terror walk at noon,
For the lampless Earth in which he lies
  Has neither Sun nor Moon.

They hanged him as a beast is hanged:
  They did not even toll
A reguiem that might have brought
  Rest to his startled soul,
But hurriedly they took him out,
  And hid him in a hole.

They stripped him of his canvas clothes,
  And gave him to the flies;
They mocked the swollen purple throat
  And the stark and staring eyes:
And with laughter loud they heaped the shroud
  In which their convict lies.

The Chaplain would not kneel to pray
  By his dishonored grave:
Nor mark it with that blessed Cross
  That Christ for sinners gave,
Because the man was one of those
  Whom Christ came down to save.

Yet all is well; he has but passed
  To Life’s appointed bourne:
And alien tears will fill for him
  Pity’s long-broken urn,
For his mourner will be outcast men,
  And outcasts always mourn.


V

I know not whether Laws be right,
  Or whether Laws be wrong;
All that we know who lie in gaol
  Is that the wall is strong;
And that each day is like a year,
  A year whose days are long.

But this I know, that every Law
  That men have made for Man,
Since first Man took his brother’s life,
  And the sad world began,
But straws the wheat and saves the chaff
  With a most evil fan.

This too I know—and wise it were
  If each could know the same—
That every prison that men build
  Is built with bricks of shame,
And bound with bars lest Christ should see
  How men their brothers maim.

With bars they blur the gracious moon,
  And blind the goodly sun:
And they do well to hide their Hell,
  For in it things are done
That Son of God nor son of Man
  Ever should look upon!

The vilest deeds like poison weeds
  Bloom well in prison-air:
It is only what is good in Man
  That wastes and withers there:
Pale Anguish keeps the heavy gate,
  And the Warder is Despair

For they starve the little frightened child
  Till it weeps both night and day:
And they scourge the weak, and flog the fool,
  And gibe the old and grey,
And some grow mad, and all grow bad,
And none a word may say.

Each narrow cell in which we dwell
  Is foul and dark latrine,
And the fetid breath of living Death
  Chokes up each grated screen,
And all, but Lust, is turned to dust
  In Humanity’s machine.

The brackish water that we drink
  Creeps with a loathsome slime,
And the bitter bread they weigh in scales
  Is full of chalk and lime,
And Sleep will not lie down, but walks
  Wild-eyed and cries to Time.

But though lean Hunger and green Thirst
  Like asp with adder fight,
We have little care of prison fare,
  For what chills and kills outright
Is that every stone one lifts by day
  Becomes one’s heart by night.

With midnight always in one’s heart,
  And twilight in one’s cell,
We turn the crank, or tear the rope,
  Each in his separate Hell,
And the silence is more awful far
  Than the sound of a brazen bell.

And never a human voice comes near
  To speak a gentle word:
And the eye that watches through the door
  Is pitiless and hard:
And by all forgot, we rot and rot,
  With soul and body marred.

And thus we rust Life’s iron chain
  Degraded and alone:
And some men curse, and some men weep,
  And some men make no moan:
But God’s eternal Laws are kind
  And break the heart of stone.

And every human heart that breaks,
  In prison-cell or yard,
Is as that broken box that gave
  Its treasure to the Lord,
And filled the unclean *****’s house
  With the scent of costliest nard.

Ah! happy day they whose hearts can break
  And peace of pardon win!
How else may man make straight his plan
  And cleanse his soul from Sin?
How else but through a broken heart
  May Lord Christ enter in?

And he of the swollen purple throat.
  And the stark and staring eyes,
Waits for the holy hands that took
  The Thief to Paradise;
And a broken and a contrite heart
  The Lord will not despise.

The man in red who reads the Law
  Gave him three weeks of life,
Three little weeks in which to heal
  His soul of his soul’s strife,
And cleanse from every blot of blood
  The hand that held the knife.

And with tears of blood he cleansed the hand,
  The hand that held the steel:
For only blood can wipe out blood,
  And only tears can heal:
And the crimson stain that was of Cain
  Became Christ’s snow-white seal.


VI

In Reading gaol by Reading town
  There is a pit of shame,
And in it lies a wretched man
  Eaten by teeth of flame,
In burning winding-sheet he lies,
  And his grave has got no name.

And there, till Christ call forth the dead,
  In silence let him lie:
No need to waste the foolish tear,
  Or heave the windy sigh:
The man had killed the thing he loved,
  And so he had to die.

And all men **** the thing they love,
  By all let this be heard,
Some do it with a bitter look,
  Some with a flattering word,
The coward does it with a kiss,
  The brave man with a sword!
Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore—
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping—rapping at my chamber door.
“’Tis some visitor,” I muttered, “tapping at my chamber door—
        Only this and nothing more.”

Ah, distinctly I remember, it was in the bleak December,
And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
Eagerly I wished the morrow;—vainly I had sought to borrow
From my books surcease of sorrow—sorrow for the lost Lenore—
For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore—
        Nameless here for evermore.

And the silken sad uncertain rustling of each purple curtain
Thrilled me—filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;
So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating
“’Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door—
Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door;—
    This it is and nothing more.”

Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,
“Sir,” said I, “or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore;
But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping,
And so faintly you came tapping—tapping at my chamber door,
That I scarce was sure I heard you”—here I opened wide the door:—
      Darkness there and nothing more.

Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering,
  fearing,
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before;
But the silence was unbroken, and the darkness gave no token,
And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, “Lenore!”
This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, “Lenore!”
      Merely this and nothing more.

Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning,
Soon I heard again a tapping, somewhat louder than before.
“Surely,” said I, “surely that is something at my window lattice;
Let me see, then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore—
Let my heart be still a moment, and this mystery explore;—
    ’Tis the wind and nothing more.”

Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter,
In there stepped a stately Raven of the saintly days of yore;
Not the least obeisance made he: not an instant stopped or stayed he;
But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door—
Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door—
    Perched, and sat, and nothing more.

Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,
By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore,
“Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou,” I said, “art sure no
  craven,
Ghastly grim and ancient Raven wandering from the Nightly shore—
Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night’s Plutonian shore!”
      Quoth the Raven, “Nevermore.”

Much I marvelled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly,
Though its answer little meaning—little relevancy bore;
For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being
Ever yet was blessed with seeing bird above his chamber door—
Bird or beast upon the sculptured bust above his chamber door,
      With such name as “Nevermore.”

But the Raven, sitting lonely on that placid bust, spoke only
That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour.
Nothing further then he uttered—not a feather then he fluttered—
Till I scarcely more than muttered, “Other friends have flown before—
On the morrow he will leave me, as my hopes have flown before.”
      Then the bird said, “Nevermore.”

Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken,
“Doubtless,” said I, “what it utters is its only stock and store,
Caught from some unhappy master whom unmerciful Disaster
Followed fast and followed faster till his songs one burden bore—
Till the dirges of his Hope the melancholy burden bore
    Of ‘Never—nevermore.’”

But the Raven still beguiling all my sad soul into smiling,
Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of bird and bust and
  door;
Then, upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking
Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of yore—
What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt, and ominous bird of yore
    Meant in croaking “Nevermore.”

This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing
To the fowl whose fiery eyes now burned into my *****’s core;
This and more I sat divining, with my head at ease reclining
On the cushion’s velvet lining that the lamp-light gloated o’er,
But whose velvet violet lining with the lamp-light gloating o’er,
      She shall press, ah, nevermore!

Then, methought, the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer
Swung by Seraphim whose foot-falls tinkled on the tufted floor.
“Wretch,” I cried, “thy God hath lent thee—by these angels he hath
  sent thee
Respite—respite aad nepenthe from thy memories of Lenore!
Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe, and forget this lost Lenore!”
      Quoth the Raven, “Nevermore.”

“Prophet!” said I, “thing of evil!—prophet still, if bird or devil!—
Whether Tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore,
Desolate yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted—
On this home by Horror haunted—tell me truly, I implore—
Is there—is there balm in Gilead?—tell me—tell me, I implore!”
    Quoth the Raven, “Nevermore.”

“Prophet!” said I, “thing of evil!—prophet still, if bird or devil!
By that Heaven that bends above us—by that God we both adore—
Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, within the distant Aidenn,
It shall clasp a sainted maiden whom the angels name Lenore—
Clasp a rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore.”
      Quoth the Raven, “Nevermore.”

“Be that word our sign of parting, bird or fiend!” I shrieked,
  upstarting—
“Get thee back into the tempest and the Night’s Plutonian shore!
Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken!
Leave my loneliness unbroken!—quit the bust above my door!
Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!”
    Quoth the Raven, “Nevermore.”

And the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;
And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon’s that is dreaming,
And the lamp-light o’er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
    Shall be lifted—nevermore!
Nik Krutilla Sep 2012
She sits across from me sipping and slurping her fat free french vanilla.
While I'm pacing myself with cappuccino imitation.

"All I'm saying is, that if he starts calling me baby, I might wanna keep him!"

She says it with that cajoling tone.
But I can notice the glimmer in her eyes that tells me she longs for that.
That sweet pet name that would mean she's special to him, in her mind...

I never could get comfortable around those things...pet names.
Cutesy little endearments reserved for a child's affection.

What is wrong with me?

She's vibrating with unmasked giddiness, glancing at her phone.
They've been dating for only months but she is lost in him.

Him.
With his once a week date nights
and clean shaven face
and joking interaction with her friends.  

She's full of soft embrace and warm affection and vulnerable interest.
Wanting never looked so form fitting on a person.
Like a cup waiting for a refill...

"If you want, I could see if his friend is up for dinner next week? You know it's been months for you..."

I hope she doesn't choke on her millionth slurp with the glare of indignation leveled at her cherub-like face.

"Ah thanks, but no thanks." races out of my mouth before I even hesitate to pretend to consider her obvious proposal.

How is it that easy to just offer companionship like that? Do I give off a "desperate for love" vibe?
And what the hell makes her think I can't find someone on my own **** time?


"Okay, okay. It's just...I hate seeing you alone. Don't you want to not be alone anymore?"

I know she loves me but those kind of questions from her caring heart, make me contemplate knocking her in the head.

My alone-ness she says.
My singular existence.

I'd laugh at her if I didn't know it would hurt her feelings.
To disregard her feeble attempts at pairing me up with whatever half-assed man candy she could sway my way.

I'm staring at the ring left from my coffee,
wondering if I should just give in this one time for her,
for me,
for the over used batteries at home.

"I'm not lonely you know. I just, haven't felt that connection yet."

Looking pitifully back at me she wonders aloud, "You're always waiting on that connection but have you ever felt it before? I mean, how do you know it's even real, that body, mind, spirit...magnet pull you believe so fiercely?"

It's the first time I've given her a genuine smile today as I tell her yes I have felt it before.
Briefly...
Bitter sweetly...

I just never got his last name.

It might have been years ago but I can still recall with clarity that electric tornado that seemed to have surrounded us.

We had only been gifted ten hours together but it left a mark on me for over fourteen years.
His face is definitely matured I imagine and his body shaped differently.
But I'll never mistake those sea green eyes, haloed by dusty blue cloud rings.  

The only boy who has ever made me want to get lost and never be found.

"Well...good luck with that. But until mystery man crashes back into your life, for god's sake live a little huh!"

She means well I'm sure but like an eager pup I just tsk at her goofily plastered expression and finish off the grainy remains of my only afternoon delight. She's in a hurry to make her "honey bunny" a homemade dinner anyway so it's not hard to cut things short on our weekly coffee shop vent session.

She's floating out the door before I even get my coat above my elbows but I can't feel offended.
Mulling over the uncomfortable idea of boring interaction with another stranger I decide to grab one more drink for the ride home.

Alone.

Oh, wonderful...now she's planted that seed.

Shaking it off, I order my vice and move benignly to wait and resolve to not think about anything related to that anymore either.

"Seems outrageous they charge so much for imitation don't you think?"

The question's asked to me but I pretend I can't hear it. A guy hitting on me today is not what I want to deal with.

And he seems to be standing right behind me
making goosebumps scatter across my neck.

He tries again, "So I guess you like buying bottom of the barrel cappuccino?"

This time I've gotten a little itchy from his voice and want him to just stop in his tracks.
So I turn to tell him where, in fact, he can go...

But I'm the one stopped short and a bit flabbergasted.

No way do things happen to me like this.

Those coincidental, lucky, fated things...

I almost wish I was a liar right now with the things I just spilled to my loyally, encouraging friend.
Because there is no way the universe would be this cruel.

Finally I exhale and word *****,

"They're the only place that taste just like the ones at my grandmas' house every summer when I was a girl. I waited a long time to find that connection again, even if it is just coffee..."

The smirking face and broad shoulders that greet me aren't the cause of my temporary delirium.
Not even the wild hair and black rimmed glasses.

It's the sea green, haloed dusty blue eyes centering all the rest that shallow my breaths

Of all the places.....

Like a falling satin sheet his face morphs into a query riddled expression.

I hear the barista call out a name and he reluctantly steps away, never taking his eyes off mine whispering,

"I'll...be right back. Don't move...please?"

I'm nodding like an awkward parrot and he turns to grab his imitation coffee.
The same kind I'm waiting on.
And I start smiling after a second.

Not because of the similar drink order, which could be anyone...

But because of something I haven't known until this moment for over fourteen years.
All thanks to fate, or destiny...
Or perhaps the oblivious barista.

His last name...


*© NDHK
Maggie Emmett Jul 2015
PROLOGUE
               Hyde Park weekend of politics and pop,
Geldof’s gang of divas and mad hatters;
Sergeant Pepper only one heart beating,
resurrected by a once dead Beatle.
The ******, Queen and Irish juggernauts;
The Entertainer and dead bands
re-jigged for the sake of humanity.
   The almighty single named entities
all out for Africa and people power.
Olympics in the bag, a Waterloo
of celebrations in the street that night
Leaping and whooping in sheer delight
Nelson rocking in Trafalgar Square
The promised computer wonderlands
rising from the poisoned dead heart wasteland;
derelict, deserted, still festering.
The Brave Tomorrow in a world of hate.
The flame will be lit, magic rings aloft
and harmony will be our middle name.

On the seventh day of the seventh month,
Festival of the skilful Weaving girl;
the ‘war on terror’ just a tattered trope
drained and exhausted and put out of sight
in a dark corner of a darker shelf.
A power surge the first lie of the day.
Savagely woken from our pleasant dream
al Qa’ida opens up a new franchise
and a new frontier for terror to prowl.

               Howling sirens shatter morning’s progress
Hysterical screech of ambulances
and police cars trying to grip the road.
The oppressive drone of helicopters
gathering like the Furies in the sky;
Blair’s hubris is acknowledged by the gods.
Without warning the deadly game begins.

The Leviathan state machinery,
certain of its strength and authority,
with sheer balletic co-ordination,
steadies itself for a fine performance.
The new citizen army in ‘day glow’
take up their ‘Support Official’ roles,
like air raid wardens in the last big show;
feisty  yet firm, delivering every line
deep voiced and clearly to the whole theatre.
On cue, the Police fan out through Bloomsbury
clearing every emergency exit,
arresting and handcuffing surly streets,
locking down this ancient river city.
Fetching in fluorescent green costuming,
the old Bill nimbly Tangos and Foxtrots
the airways, Oscar, Charlie and Yankee
quickly reply with grid reference Echo;
Whiskey, Sierra, Quebec, November,
beam out from New Scotland Yard,
staccato, nearly lost in static space.
      
              LIVERPOOL STREET STATION
8.51 a.m. Circle Line

Shehezad Tanweer was born in England.
A migrant’s child of hope and better life,
dreaming of his future from his birth.
Only twenty two short years on this earth.
In a madrassah, Lahore, Pakistan,
he spent twelve weeks reading and rote learning
verses chosen from the sacred text.
Chanting the syllables, hour after hour,
swaying back and forth with the word rhythm,
like an underground train rocking the rails,
as it weaves its way beneath the world,
in turning tunnels in the dead of night.

Teve Talevski had a meeting
across the river, he knew he’d be late.
**** trains they do it to you every time.
But something odd happened while he waited
A taut-limbed young woman sashayed past him
in a forget-me-not blue dress of silk.
She rustled on the platform as she turned.
She turned to him and smiled, and he smiled back.
Stale tunnel air pushed along in the rush
of the train arriving in the station.
He found a seat and watched her from afar.
Opened his paper for distraction’s sake
Olympic win exciting like the smile.

Train heading southwest under Whitechapel.
Deafening blast, rushing sound blast, bright flash
of golden light, flying glass and debris
Twisted people thrown to ground, darkness;
the dreadful silent second in blackness.
The stench of human flesh and gunpowder,
burning rubber and fiery acrid smoke.
Screaming bone bare pain, blood-drenched tearing pain.
Pitiful weeping, begging for a god
to come, someone to come, and help them out.

Teve pushes off a dead weighted man.
He stands unsteady trying to balance.
Railway staff with torches, moving spotlights
**** and jolt, catching still life scenery,
lighting the exit in gloomy dimness.
They file down the track to Aldgate Station,
Teve passes the sardine can carriage
torn apart by a fierce hungry giant.
Through the dust, four lifeless bodies take shape
and disappear again in drifting smoke.
It’s only later, when safe above ground,
Teve looks around and starts to wonder
where his blue epiphany girl has gone.

                 KINGS CROSS STATION
8.56 a.m. Piccadilly Line

Many named Lyndsey Germaine, Jamaican,
living with his wife and child in Aylesbury,
laying low, never visited the Mosque.   
                Buckinghamshire bomber known as Jamal,
clean shaven, wearing normal western clothes,
annoyed his neighbours with loud music.
Samantha-wife converted and renamed,
Sherafiyah and took to wearing black.
Devout in that jet black shalmar kameez.
Loving father cradled close his daughter
Caressed her cheek and held her tiny hand
He wondered what the future held for her.

Station of the lost and homeless people,
where you can buy anything at a price.
A place where a face can be lost forever;
where the future’s as real as faded dreams.
Below the mainline trains, deep underground
Piccadilly lines cross the River Thames
Cram-packed, shoulder to shoulder and standing,
the train heading southward for Russell Square,
barely pulls away from Kings Cross Station,
when Arash Kazerouni hears the bang,
‘Almighty bang’ before everything stopped.
Twenty six hearts stopped beating that moment.
But glass flew apart in a shattering wave,
followed by a  huge whoosh of smoky soot.
Panic raced down the line with ice fingers
touching and tagging the living with fear.
Spine chiller blanching faces white with shock.

Gracia Hormigos, a housekeeper,
thought, I am being electrocuted.
Her body was shaking, it seemed her mind
was in free fall, no safety cord to pull,
just disconnected, so she looked around,
saw the man next to her had no right leg,
a shattered shard of bone and gouts of  blood,
Where was the rest of his leg and his foot ?

Level headed ones with serious voices
spoke over the screaming and the sobbing;
Titanic lifeboat voices giving orders;
Iceberg cool voices of reassurance;
We’re stoical British bulldog voices
that organize the mayhem and chaos
into meaty chunks of jobs to be done.
Clear air required - break the windows now;
Lines could be live - so we stay where we are;
Help will be here shortly - try to stay calm.

John, Mark and Emma introduce themselves
They never usually speak underground,
averting your gaze, tube train etiquette.
Disaster has its opportunities;
Try the new mobile, take a photograph;
Ring your Mum and Dad, ****** battery’s flat;
My network’s down; my phone light’s still working
Useful to see the way, step carefully.

   Fiona asks, ‘Am I dreaming all this?’
A shrieking man answers her, “I’m dying!”
Hammered glass finally breaks, fresher air;
too late for the man in the front carriage.
London Transport staff in yellow jackets
start an orderly evacuation
The mobile phones held up to light the way.
Only nineteen minutes in a lifetime.
  
EDGEWARE ROAD STATION
9.17 a.m. Circle Line

               Mohammed Sadique Khan, the oldest one.
Perhaps the leader, at least a mentor.
Yorkshire man born, married with a daughter
Gently spoken man, endlessly patient,
worked in the Hamara, Lodge Lane, Leeds,
Council-funded, multi-faith youth Centre;
and the local Primary school, in Beeston.
No-one could believe this of  Mr Khan;
well educated, caring and very kind
Where did he hide his secret other life  ?

Wise enough to wait for the second train.
Two for the price of one, a real bargain.
Westbound second carriage is blown away,
a commuter blasted from the platform,
hurled under the wheels of the east bound train.
Moon Crater holes, the walls pitted and pocked;
a sparse dark-side landscape with black, black air.
The ripped and shredded metal bursts free
like a surprising party popper;
Steel curlicues corkscrew through wood and glass.
Mass is made atomic in the closed space.
Roasting meat and Auschwitzed cremation stench
saturates the already murky air.              
Our human kindling feeds the greedy fire;
Heads alight like medieval torches;
Fiery liquid skin drops from the faceless;
Punk afro hair is cauterised and singed.  
Heat intensity, like a wayward iron,
scorches clothes, fuses fibres together.
Seven people escape this inferno;
many die in later days, badly burned,
and everyone there will live a scarred life.

               TAVISTOCK ROAD
9.47 a.m. Number 30 Bus  

Hasib Hussain migrant son, English born
barely an adult, loved by his mother;
reported him missing later that night.
Police typed his description in the file
and matched his clothes to fragments from the scene.
A hapless victim or vicious bomber ?
Child of the ‘Ummah’ waging deadly war.
Seventy two black eyed virgins waiting
in jihadist paradise just for you.

Red double-decker bus, number thirty,
going from Hackney Wick to Marble Arch;
stuck in traffic, diversions everywhere.
Driver pulls up next to a tree lined square;
the Parking Inspector, Ade Soji,
tells the driver he’s in Tavistock Road,
British Museum nearby and the Square.
A place of peace and quiet reflection;
the sad history of war is remembered;
symbols to make us never forget death;
Cherry Tree from Hiroshima, Japan;
Holocaust Memorial for Jewish dead;
sturdy statue of  Mahatma Gandhi.
Peaceful resistance that drove the Lion out.
Freedom for India but death for him.

Sudden sonic boom, bus roof tears apart,
seats erupt with volcanic force upward,
hot larva of blood and tissue rains down.
Bloodied road becomes a charnel-house scene;
disembodied limbs among the wreckage,
headless corpses; sinews, muscles and bone.
Buildings spattered and smeared with human paint
Impressionist daubs, blood red like the bus.

Jasmine Gardiner, running late for work;
all trains were cancelled from Euston Station;  
she headed for the square, to catch the bus.
It drove straight past her standing at the stop;
before she could curse aloud - Kaboom !
Instinctively she ran, ran for her life.
Umbrella shield from the shower of gore.

On the lower deck, two Aussies squeezed in;
Catherine Klestov was standing in the aisle,
floored by the bomb, suffered cuts and bruises
She limped to Islington two days later.
Louise Barry was reading the paper,
she was ‘****-scared’ by the explosion;
she crawled out of the remnants of the bus,
broken and burned, she lay flat on the road,
the world of sound had gone, ear drums had burst;
she lay there drowsy, quiet, looking up
and amazingly the sky was still there.

Sam Ly, Vietnamese Australian,
One of the boat people once welcomed here.
A refugee, held in his mother’s arms,
she died of cancer, before he was three.
Hi Ly struggled to raise his son alone;
a tough life, inner city high rise flats.
Education the smart migrant’s revenge,
Monash Uni and an IT degree.
Lucky Sam, perfect job of a lifetime;
in London, with his one love, Mandy Ha,
Life going great until that fateful day;
on the seventh day of the seventh month,
Festival of the skilful Weaving girl.

Three other Aussies on that ****** bus;
no serious physical injuries,
Sam’s luck ran out, in choosing where to sit.
His neck was broken, could not breath alone;
his head smashed and crushed, fractured bones and burns
Wrapped in a cocoon of coma safe
This broken figure lying on white sheets
in an English Intensive Care Unit
did not seem like Hi Ly’s beloved son;
but he sat by Sam’s bed in disbelief,
seven days and seven nights of struggle,
until the final hour, when it was done.

In the pit of our stomach we all knew,
but we kept on deep breathing and hoping
this nauseous reality would pass.
The weary inevitability
of horrific disasters such as these.
Strangely familiar like an old newsreel
Black and white, it happened long ago.
But its happening now right before our eyes
satellite pictures beam and bounce the globe.
Twelve thousand miles we watch the story
Plot unfolds rapidly, chapters emerge
We know the places names of this narrative.
  
It is all subterranean, hidden
from the curious, voyeuristic gaze,
Until the icon bus, we are hopeful
This public spectacle is above ground
We can see the force that mangled the bus,
fury that tore people apart limb by limb
Now we can imagine a bomb below,
far below, people trapped, fiery hell;
fighting to breathe each breath in tunnelled tombs.

Herded from the blast they are strangely calm,
obedient, shuffling this way and that.
Blood-streaked, sooty and dishevelled they come.
Out from the choking darkness far below
Dazzled by the brightness of the morning
of a day they feared might be their last.
They have breathed deeply of Kurtz’s horror.
Sights and sounds unimaginable before
will haunt their waking hours for many years;
a lifetime of nightmares in the making.
They trudge like weary soldiers from the Somme
already see the world with older eyes.

On the surface, they find a world where life
simply goes on as before, unmindful.
Cyclist couriers still defy road laws,
sprint racing again in Le Tour de France;
beer-gutted, real men are loading lorries;
lunch time sandwiches are made as usual,
sold and eaten at desks and in the street.
Roadside cafes sell lots of hot sweet tea.
The Umbrella stand soon does brisk business.
Sign writers' hands, still steady, paint the sign.
The summer blooms are watered in the park.
A ***** stretches on the bench and wakes up,
he folds and stows his newspaper blankets;
mouth dry,  he sips water at the fountain.
A lady scoops up her black poodle’s ****.
A young couple argues over nothing.
Betting shops are full of people losing
money and dreaming of a trifecta.
Martin’s still smoking despite the patches.
There’s a rush on Brandy in nearby pubs
Retired gardener dead heads his flowers
and picks a lettuce for the evening meal

Fifty six minutes from start to finish.
Perfectly orchestrated performance.
Rush hour co-ordination excellent.
Maximum devastation was ensured.
Cruel, merciless killing so coldly done.
Fine detail in the maiming and damage.

A REVIEW

Well activated practical response.
Rehearsals really paid off on the day.
Brilliant touch with bus transport for victims;
Space blankets well deployed for shock effect;
Dramatic improv by Paramedics;
Nurses, medicos and casualty staff
showed great technical E.R. Skills - Bravo !
Plenty of pizzazz and dash as always
from the nifty, London Ambo drivers;
Old fashioned know-how from the Fire fighters
in hosing down the fireworks underground.
Dangerous rescues were undertaken,
accomplished with buckets of common sense.
And what can one say about those Bobbies,
jolly good show, the lips unquivering
and universally stiff, no mean feat
in this Premiere season tear-jerker.
Nail-bitingly brittle, but a smash-hit
Poignant misery and stoic suffering,
fortitude, forbearance and lots of grit
Altogether was quite tickety boo.



NOTES ON THE POEM

Liverpool Street Station

A Circle Line train from Moorgate with six carriages and a capacity of 1272 passengers [ 192 seated; 1080 standing]. 7 dead on the first day.

Southbound, destination Aldgate. Explosion occurs midway between Liverpool Street and Aldgate.

Shehezad Tanweer was reported to have ‘never been political’ by a friend who played cricket with him 10 days before the bombing

Teve Talevski is a real person and I have elaborated a little on reports in the press. He runs a coffee shop in North London.

At the time of writing the fate of the blue dress lady is not known

Kings Cross Station

A Piccadilly Line train with six carriages and a capacity of 1238 passengers [272 seated; 966 standing]. 21 dead on first day.

Southbound, destination Russell Square. Explosion occurs mi
This poem is part of a longer poem called Seasons of Terror. This poem was performed at the University of Adelaide, Bonython Hall as a community event. The poem was read by local poets, broadcasters, personalities and politicians from the South Australia Parliament and a Federal MP & Senator. The State Premier was represented by the Hon. Michael Atkinson, who spoke about the role of the Emergency services in our society. The Chiefs of Police, Fire and Ambulence; all religious and community organisations' senior reprasentatives; the First Secretary of the British High Commission and the general public were present. It was recorded by Radio Adelaide and broadcast live as well as coverage from Channel 7 TV News. The Queen,Tony Blair, Australian Governor General and many other public dignitaries sent messages of support for the work being read. A string quartet and a solo flautist also played at this event.
IN A CHANG’AA DRINKING SPREE

(ONE ACT PLAY)

BY

ALEXANDER   K   OPICHO










CASTE
Advocate; self-styled advocate, his real job is insurance agent
Sampaza-changaa drunkard
Teacher-brother to Sampaza, also a changaa taker
Monica-changaa seller
Austeen-a lad, son to Monica
Watchman-changaa drunkard
Rono-friend to watchman
Njeri-friend to Monica, single mother
Atieno-friend to Monica, single mother
Driver- changaa taker and a smoker
Barasa-changaa taker and electrician
Ndhiwa- changaa taker, brother to barasa
Yator-changaa taker brother to barasa
Mavachi-changaa taker, with a fallen out wife
Mandila-relative to mavachi
Agnesi-wife to teacher
Music
*chang’aa is homemade alcoholic spirit consumed by the peasants in east and central Africa.




ACT ONE
In a slum area of Eldoret town, very many ramshackle muddy walled houses are seen; the setting takes place in the house of Monica the Changaa seller. There is low tone music humming from the DVD, playing Vincent Ongidi’s ‘mother is better than father.’
Music; Bakeni Nebekhale, bukula indika,
           Bukula indika samwana, Udimake kungeni
          Khusoko busia, bukula indika omusumba,
          Bakhwee nebechile, bukula indika
          Udimake khusoko yaya, bukula indika….
Driver; (dancing with a tumbler of chang’aa in his hand) let me dance! This is my best Sunday, let me dance, I am son of a woman. Sing! Sing! Sing! For us Vincent, you son of Ongidi, (pointing at the DVD).
Advocate; the problem you are only dancing with your class a half empty, moreover, you are not following the rhythm , I thought you dance to this song by shaking your shoulders, but instead you are gyrating your waistline.
Driver; (still dancing) let me dance because when I will go to the grave I will not get another chance to dance.
Advocate; (gulps from his tumbler) will you buy me chang’aa of ten shillings?
Driver; let me finish dancing first, I will see what to do about it.
(Enters Sampaza and teacher, as music goes off)
Sampaza; why are you dudes stopping the music on my entering?
Driver; it is not us who have stopped the music; you go and ask Vincent Ongidi why he did not sing a long song.
Sampaza; (sits at the old couch) where is Monica?
Driver; you burn us a cigarette before you ask for Monica, were you not with Monica upto the mid of last night?
Sampaza; why were you spying on me upto the mid of the night?
Advocate; (to Driver) give Sampaza time to introduce his friend to us
Sampaza; (to teacher) sit on this stool, forget about this drunkards.
Teacher; will this stool not break and sent me down like humpty dumpty? (Shakes the stool and sits on it)
Sampaza; It cannot even Monica herself sits on it and she is more huge than you do
Advocate; (to Sampaza) this is your brother?
Sampaza; now listen all off you
All; Sampaza we are listening to you all of us
Sampaza; had I killed our mother, he could not have born, (pointing to teacher).
Driver; if someone had not told me, there is no way I could know that this man is your brother. You are totally different from one another. Look, he is fat, strong, clean, well shaven and groomed brown and is like he took a bathe in the morning before he came here to chang’aa place, but you Sampaza tell us when you last washed your clothes? Even forget of washing your body.
Sampaza; (to driver) if you want to beg chang’aa from teacher just beg without using your desperate tricks of false praises.
Advocate; but me, I could easily know that teacher is a brother to Sampaza by simply comparing the shape of their heads, they look alike.
Teacher; who is serving chang’aa today?  I want to buy some for you guys.
Driver; it is Austeen, let me call him for you (goes at the door shouting) Austeen! Austeen! Aha! This boy is as earless as a female monitor lizard, (comes back) I have called him for you.
Teacher; thanks, let me believe he won’t take time, I am really thirsty.
Advocate; you can mitigate your thirst with this one of mine (gives teacher a tumbler).
Teacher; (sips) it was not a bad stuff (passes the tumbler to Sampaza)
Sampaza; (takes a full swig) uhm! The stuff is really the tears of the lion.
(Enters Austeen)
Austeen; My God, Sampaza is here again! Sampaza, why did you run away with my money last time? You take the beer and run away, even you made my mother to quarrel me yester night.
Driver; (to Austeen) you boy manage your mouths, don’t you see Sampaza is the age of your mother?
Austeen; wait! Sampaza must give me the money, give me the money you Sampaza!
Teacher; let me pay for him, how much was it?
Austeen; imagine Sampaza took off running into the darkness of the night after taking chang’aa of fifty shillings. Imagine a whole tumbler of fifty shillings.
Teacher; that was bad, Sampaza you did something very bad. You know Monica is a single parent and you run away with her money. This chang’aa is like Monica’s husband, so please let us be honest and pay our bills;
Austeen ;( to teacher) are you paying for Sampaza?
Teacher; yes, but before that; pour a tumbler of chang’aa worthy fifty shillings for each of these elders, including Sampaza. I am going to pay that one myself. But serve me with a tumbler of chang’aa that goes for a hundred shillings. May be it can quench my thirst.
Driver; brother you are a man (shakes teacher’s hand).
Austeen; (to Advocate) stand up for some minutes; I want to remove a grenade from your chair.
Advocate; you mean I was just sitting on the tears of the lion?
Austeen; yes (he fishes out a yellow plastic container, feels each tumbler as required).
Sampaza; you boy! What are you doing? Fill my tumbler to the brim, why are you now conning me off my chang’aa?
Austeen; (politely) Sampaza listen, you know my hands always shake when I am holding something. I didn’t want to spill chang’aa by struggling to fill your tumbler to the brim.
Teacher; (sipping, closing his eyes) Austeen now play for us another music.
Driver; yaah! The music, play for us Marashi ya karafu.
Austeen; my mother has not yet bought the DVD for Marashi ya karafu, let me play for you this one (shows him the DVD), it will thrill you to your bone marrow, (inserts the DVD in to the player).
Music ;( playing) ukiwa wa enda nyubani kwangu heee,
                          Umwambie stella mimi  sitakucha,
                         Umwambie stella mimi nimefungwa jela,
                      Anisalie mtoto mama nitaleaaaa!
Driver; ndio hiyo! (Stands up to gyrate his waist swiftly) that is my best song from Tanzania. How I wish I was still in prison on Christmas day of last year.
Sampaza; (sipping at his tumbler) if you want to be in prison go and make love to your goat and call people to help you.
Driver; look at you, with all this women, why should I go for a goat?
Sampaza; (standing up to dance, shaking his shoulders) because you want to be in
Prison.
Austeen; (giggling and shouting) look! Look! Look at Sampaza, he does not know how to dance, he is waving his hands like wings of a chicken.
Sampaza; you dance and I see (daring Austeen)
Austeen ;( dancing) look! Look! Fire! Fire! Fire! (He goes to sit)
All; (laughing loudly and clapping) Austeen! Austeen!
Advocate; this boy Austeen, became old while in his mother’s womb
                     (Enters Monica, Rono and watchman)
Driver; here comes Monica, (provokes Monica for a dance, they both dance).
Advocate; (joins Monica and driver to dance) Monica! Monica! Daughter of Zinjathropus, Waa!
Monica; I am an early woman, yaani! Womanopithecus africanus (dancing).
Driver ;( pushing away advocate), dance away from here, why are you bringing here this evil smelling sweater of yours?
Advocate; I am sorry.
Driver; that is empty jealousy, you only saw Monica’s pelvis touching mine and you jumped here to disrupt my gusto.
                               (Music stops and they all get sited)
Monica; (to Austeen) give watchman and his friend chang’aa of twenty bob, I will pay myself.
Austeen; yes mama (serves watchman and Rono chang’aa)
Rono; Kongoi, I mean thank you Monica, you are such a generous woman? (Takes a full swig).
Monica; Karibu, don’t mind I am always and I will be always an early woman.
Sampaza; (to watchman) when you came in I thought you were the crow.
Watchman; (sipping) who? Me, I was a policeman ten years ago but I was ******.
Driver; (to Sampaza) this man is not a muriakole, he is not a cop. This is a D.D.O.
Advocate; meaning?
Driver; daily drinking officer, hmmm! The DDO.
All; laughing loudly.
Monica; (to advocate) how is your brother and his witchdoctor of a wife?
Advocate; Monica, just keep quiet, my brother is in problems.
Monica; which problems? I told him to marry me and he refused because I did not have book education.  I am now making more money from chang’aa in a day than even he does from his education. Let that man, that brother of yours, chew the full scale of his misfortune. Now tell me which problem has he?
Advocate; today very early in the morning I heard my brother screaming, of course from his house. Out of anxiety I rushed there to find out what was happening. Jesus! What I so…..
Driver; what was it? Just say.
Monica; a man has nothing to fear just say.
Teacher; where is Austeen?
Austeen; I am here
Teacher; serve each of us chang’aa of fifty shillings, start with him (pointing at the advocate) give Monica, your mother a tumbler, that one of a hundred shillings.
Austeen ;( serving as he sings) how long will they ****,
              Our brothers, while we stand watching them,
                Redemption songs, Bob Marley! Sons of ghetto!
Sampaza; Austeen you are always not measuring my chang’aa to the money given, now look, does this grasshoppers spittle qualify to be chang’aa of fifty shillings?
Austeen; Sampaza, I told you my hands are not steady, they always shake whenever I am holding something.
Sampaza; (to Monica) I will bring a medicine man to give some manyasi to this son of yours, so that he stops shaking his hands like an epileptic.
Monica; Sampaza, you drink your chang’aa and to hell with your medicine-man. Let us listen to what happened to the brother of advocate.
Advocate; now, as I was saying I found my brother’s wife had swollen my brothers ***** to its base, the ***** was full deep in her mouth, my brother was screaming but the was dead silent ******* the *****, her teeth tightly gripping it at the same time.
All; laughing loudly
Teacher; Maybe it was oral ***, but not domestic violence
Monica; oral ***!?
Teacher; yes, it is possible
Advocate; but why was he crying?
Monica; because his wife was ******* his *****
Teacher; that is the case
Advocate; if at all it was pleasurable then why was my brother screaming?
Teacher;  maybe he was on ******* ecstasy, the same way a woman can be when you suckle or even ****** her *****.
Monica; but I can’t allow a man to suckle the eye of my breast.
Driver; even me, I can’t suckle my wife
Teacher; why?
Driver; even also, in my culture, one is not allowed to suckle a woman’s ****
Teacher; is that sexuology or culture?
Watchman ;( to driver) yes, answer that! Answer that question from teacher.
Monica; but it is only a foolish woman who can allow a man to suckle her *****, or if she can then she is not serious with that man.
Teacher; (to Monica) then which man do you like? Sampaza?
Monica; Me do love Sampaza?
Teacher; yes, Sampaza
Monica; this Sampaza, is always as miserable as a corpse in the grave without a coffin.
Advocate; you are as miserable as a corpse in the grave without a coffin.
Sampaza; I am not, I know am great
Teacher; yes, and capable to love the early woman like Monica.
Sampaza; (to Austeen) play for us some better music.
Austeen; which one mama? Which music can I play?
Monica; play for them Pamela Nkutha (sings) Nakula ebusi,
                  Nakula ewunwa, lalalaa! Lalalaa! Laaaa!
Austeen; Mama, that one we don’t have. Let me play for them Brenda *****.
Music; (playing) Songea nikubambe, songea nikubusu,
                          Nakupenda, nakubusu ehee monica eheee!
Austeen; Kula Ngoma; he who does not have chic let him embrace a stone (exits)
All; (dancing violently) Monica! Monica waaaaaaa!
Watchman; (dancing) Sampaza can you suckle the ***** of a woman?
Sampaza; ask driver that question.
Driver; I cannot suckle the ***** of my wife.
Teacher; I depend with nature of a woman you are in the bed with.
Watchman; correct , some women has fallen ******* like chapattis, but if a chic has ***** and pointed breast, I  can ****** and suckle her like nothing else in this world. I can even suckle her *******.
Teacher; by the way, ******* are the fountain of pleasure to a woman, when you suckle her she will just moan; Sampaza! Sampaza! Sampazaaaaa!
All; laugh raucously
Monica; these men are drunk.
Driver; no, they are now happy, pick one of them for yourself.
Monica; the man that I can love now must be having a death certificate.
Teacher; what does it mean? Me I thought you need a dark skinned man like Sampaza, you know the dark the skin of a man the greater the ****** pleasure ehee…
                       (Enters Njeri and Atieno)
Njeri; Monica, are you not aware that were are late for Chama? Look you are still *****, you have not even combed you hair.
Monica; Njeri come in why are rioting at the door, look at Atieno she is as miserable as usual.
Njeri; she was flogged by the husband.
Atieno; (to Njeri) you! Watch your mouths, I don’t have a husband.
All; laugh, (Njeri and Atieno sits).
Sampaza; look at this one (pointing to Njeri) can I give you some money so that you do me a favour.
Njeri; which favour?
Sampaza; of this…(Makes a sign of *** with his fist).
Njeri; I don’t sleep with chang’aa drunkards
Atieno; even me
Sampaza; (staggering, and then falling on Njeri’s laps) I want! Truly I want!
Advocate; Sampaza is drunk, let me take him home (pulls Sampaza).
Sampaza; (resisting, avoiding to be pulled out by advocate) leave me alone! You thief! You are an insurance thief! Who told you that you are an advocate? You are not! You want to steal my money. No, all these people are thieves, Monica is a big thief, and they want to steal my brother’s money!  Teacher! Come out of here! This is a den of pickpockets! They will still your wallet, come we go! Thieves! Thieves!
                        (Advocate pulls Sampaza out, as they both exit)
Driver; Sampaza does not have manners.
Njeri; Imagine he fell on my laps, what if my husband found him?
Monica; He would have now divorced you for eating rats.
Njeri; When I have not eaten any rat, it was only a drunkard supporting himself on my legs.
Atieno; he has spoken a lot of words.
Driver; and all the words were total lies.
Monica; no, whatever is in the inner heart of a sober man is always on the tongue of the drunkard man.
Teacher; to mean what? Anyway, forget about Sampaza.
Watchman; by the way
Rono; I am also off my senses, I am seeing each of you having seven heads, and the heads are a
Timothy Oct 2012
Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore—
    While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
“’Tis some visiter,” I muttered, “tapping at my chamber door—
            Only this and nothing more.”

    Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December;
And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
    Eagerly I wished the morrow;—vainly I had sought to borrow
    From my books surcease of sorrow—sorrow for the lost Lenore—
For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore—
            Nameless here for evermore.

    And the silken, sad, uncertain rustling of each purple curtain
Thrilled me—filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;
    So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating
    “’Tis some visiter entreating entrance at my chamber door—
Some late visiter entreating entrance at my chamber door;—
            This it is and nothing more.”

    Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,
“Sir,” said I, “or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore;
    But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping,
    And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door,
That I scarce was sure I heard you”—here I opened wide the door;—
            Darkness there and nothing more.

    Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing,
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before;
    But the silence was unbroken, and the stillness gave no token,
    And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, “Lenore?”
This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, “Lenore!”—
            Merely this and nothing more.

    Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning,
Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder than before.
    “Surely,” said I, “surely that is something at my window lattice;
      Let me see, then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore—
Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore;—
            ’Tis the wind and nothing more!”

    Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter,
In there stepped a stately Raven of the saintly days of yore;
    Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he;
    But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door—
Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door—
            Perched, and sat, and nothing more.

Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,
By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore,
“Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou,” I said, “art sure no craven,
Ghastly grim and ancient Raven wandering from the Nightly shore—
Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night’s Plutonian shore!”
            Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

    Much I marvelled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly,
Though its answer little meaning—little relevancy bore;
    For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being
    Ever yet was blessed with seeing bird above his chamber door—
Bird or beast upon the sculptured bust above his chamber door,
            With such name as “Nevermore.”

    But the Raven, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only
That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour.
    Nothing farther then he uttered—not a feather then he fluttered—
    Till I scarcely more than muttered “Other friends have flown before—
On the morrow he will leave me, as my Hopes have flown before.”
            Then the bird said “Nevermore.”

    Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken,
“Doubtless,” said I, “what it utters is its only stock and store
    Caught from some unhappy master whom unmerciful Disaster
    Followed fast and followed faster till his songs one burden bore—
Till the dirges of his Hope that melancholy burden bore
            Of ‘Never—nevermore’.”

    But the Raven still beguiling all my fancy into smiling,
Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of bird, and bust and door;
    Then, upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking
    Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of yore—
What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt, and ominous bird of yore
            Meant in croaking “Nevermore.”

    This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing
To the fowl whose fiery eyes now burned into my *****’s core;
    This and more I sat divining, with my head at ease reclining
    On the cushion’s velvet lining that the lamp-light gloated o’er,
But whose velvet-violet lining with the lamp-light gloating o’er,
            She shall press, ah, nevermore!

    Then, methought, the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer
Swung by Seraphim whose foot-falls tinkled on the tufted floor.
    “Wretch,” I cried, “thy God hath lent thee—by these angels he hath sent thee
    Respite—respite and nepenthe from thy memories of Lenore;
Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe and forget this lost Lenore!”
            Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

    “Prophet!” said I, “thing of evil!—prophet still, if bird or devil!—
Whether Tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore,
    Desolate yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted—
    On this home by Horror haunted—tell me truly, I implore—
Is there—is there balm in Gilead?—tell me—tell me, I implore!”
            Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

    “Prophet!” said I, “thing of evil!—prophet still, if bird or devil!
By that Heaven that bends above us—by that God we both adore—
    Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, within the distant Aidenn,
    It shall clasp a sainted maiden whom the angels name Lenore—
Clasp a rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore.”
            Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

    “Be that word our sign of parting, bird or fiend!” I shrieked, upstarting—
“Get thee back into the tempest and the Night’s Plutonian shore!
    Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken!
    Leave my loneliness unbroken!—quit the bust above my door!
Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!”
            Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

    And the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;
    And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon’s that is dreaming,
    And the lamp-light o’er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
            Shall be lifted—nevermore!

**~Edgar Allan Poe 1809—1849~
Poetic T Nov 2019
He was blind,
   but when he read the braille

of her shaven stubble it said

         one thing..

⠓⠕⠗⠝⠽
             *****...
(To Marcel Schwob in friendship and in admiration)

In a dim corner of my room for longer than
my fancy thinks
A beautiful and silent Sphinx has watched me
through the shifting gloom.

Inviolate and immobile she does not rise she
does not stir
For silver moons are naught to her and naught
to her the suns that reel.

Red follows grey across the air, the waves of
moonlight ebb and flow
But with the Dawn she does not go and in the
night-time she is there.

Dawn follows Dawn and Nights grow old and
all the while this curious cat
Lies couching on the Chinese mat with eyes of
satin rimmed with gold.

Upon the mat she lies and leers and on the
tawny throat of her
Flutters the soft and silky fur or ripples to her
pointed ears.

Come forth, my lovely seneschal! so somnolent,
so statuesque!
Come forth you exquisite grotesque! half woman
and half animal!

Come forth my lovely languorous Sphinx! and
put your head upon my knee!
And let me stroke your throat and see your
body spotted like the Lynx!

And let me touch those curving claws of yellow
ivory and grasp
The tail that like a monstrous Asp coils round
your heavy velvet paws!

A thousand weary centuries are thine
while I have hardly seen
Some twenty summers cast their green for
Autumn’s gaudy liveries.

But you can read the Hieroglyphs on the
great sandstone obelisks,
And you have talked with Basilisks, and you
have looked on Hippogriffs.

O tell me, were you standing by when Isis to
Osiris knelt?
And did you watch the Egyptian melt her union
for Antony

And drink the jewel-drunken wine and bend
her head in mimic awe
To see the huge proconsul draw the salted tunny
from the brine?

And did you mark the Cyprian kiss white Adon
on his catafalque?
And did you follow Amenalk, the God of
Heliopolis?

And did you talk with Thoth, and did you hear
the moon-horned Io weep?
And know the painted kings who sleep beneath
the wedge-shaped Pyramid?

Lift up your large black satin eyes which are
like cushions where one sinks!
Fawn at my feet, fantastic Sphinx! and sing me
all your memories!

Sing to me of the Jewish maid who wandered
with the Holy Child,
And how you led them through the wild, and
how they slept beneath your shade.

Sing to me of that odorous green eve when
crouching by the marge
You heard from Adrian’s gilded barge the
laughter of Antinous

And lapped the stream and fed your drouth and
watched with hot and hungry stare
The ivory body of that rare young slave with
his pomegranate mouth!

Sing to me of the Labyrinth in which the twi-
formed bull was stalled!
Sing to me of the night you crawled across the
temple’s granite plinth

When through the purple corridors the screaming
scarlet Ibis flew
In terror, and a horrid dew dripped from the
moaning Mandragores,

And the great torpid crocodile within the tank
shed slimy tears,
And tare the jewels from his ears and staggered
back into the Nile,

And the priests cursed you with shrill psalms as
in your claws you seized their snake
And crept away with it to slake your passion by
the shuddering palms.

Who were your lovers? who were they
who wrestled for you in the dust?
Which was the vessel of your Lust?  What
Leman had you, every day?

Did giant Lizards come and crouch before you
on the reedy banks?
Did Gryphons with great metal flanks leap on
you in your trampled couch?

Did monstrous hippopotami come sidling toward
you in the mist?
Did gilt-scaled dragons writhe and twist with
passion as you passed them by?

And from the brick-built Lycian tomb what
horrible Chimera came
With fearful heads and fearful flame to breed
new wonders from your womb?

Or had you shameful secret quests and did
you harry to your home
Some Nereid coiled in amber foam with curious
rock crystal *******?

Or did you treading through the froth call to
the brown Sidonian
For tidings of Leviathan, Leviathan or
Behemoth?

Or did you when the sun was set climb up the
cactus-covered *****
To meet your swarthy Ethiop whose body was
of polished jet?

Or did you while the earthen skiffs dropped
down the grey Nilotic flats
At twilight and the flickering bats flew round
the temple’s triple glyphs

Steal to the border of the bar and swim across
the silent lake
And slink into the vault and make the Pyramid
your lupanar

Till from each black sarcophagus rose up the
painted swathed dead?
Or did you lure unto your bed the ivory-horned
Tragelaphos?

Or did you love the god of flies who plagued
the Hebrews and was splashed
With wine unto the waist? or Pasht, who had
green beryls for her eyes?

Or that young god, the Tyrian, who was more
amorous than the dove
Of Ashtaroth? or did you love the god of the
Assyrian

Whose wings, like strange transparent talc, rose
high above his hawk-faced head,
Painted with silver and with red and ribbed with
rods of Oreichalch?

Or did huge Apis from his car leap down and
lay before your feet
Big blossoms of the honey-sweet and honey-
coloured nenuphar?

How subtle-secret is your smile!  Did you
love none then?  Nay, I know
Great Ammon was your bedfellow!  He lay with
you beside the Nile!

The river-horses in the slime trumpeted when
they saw him come
Odorous with Syrian galbanum and smeared with
spikenard and with thyme.

He came along the river bank like some tall
galley argent-sailed,
He strode across the waters, mailed in beauty,
and the waters sank.

He strode across the desert sand:  he reached
the valley where you lay:
He waited till the dawn of day:  then touched
your black ******* with his hand.

You kissed his mouth with mouths of flame:
you made the horned god your own:
You stood behind him on his throne:  you called
him by his secret name.

You whispered monstrous oracles into the
caverns of his ears:
With blood of goats and blood of steers you
taught him monstrous miracles.

White Ammon was your bedfellow!  Your
chamber was the steaming Nile!
And with your curved archaic smile you watched
his passion come and go.

With Syrian oils his brows were bright:
and wide-spread as a tent at noon
His marble limbs made pale the moon and lent
the day a larger light.

His long hair was nine cubits’ span and coloured
like that yellow gem
Which hidden in their garment’s hem the
merchants bring from Kurdistan.

His face was as the must that lies upon a vat of
new-made wine:
The seas could not insapphirine the perfect azure
of his eyes.

His thick soft throat was white as milk and
threaded with thin veins of blue:
And curious pearls like frozen dew were
broidered on his flowing silk.

On pearl and porphyry pedestalled he was
too bright to look upon:
For on his ivory breast there shone the wondrous
ocean-emerald,

That mystic moonlit jewel which some diver of
the Colchian caves
Had found beneath the blackening waves and
carried to the Colchian witch.

Before his gilded galiot ran naked vine-wreathed
corybants,
And lines of swaying elephants knelt down to
draw his chariot,

And lines of swarthy Nubians bare up his litter
as he rode
Down the great granite-paven road between the
nodding peacock-fans.

The merchants brought him steatite from Sidon
in their painted ships:
The meanest cup that touched his lips was
fashioned from a chrysolite.

The merchants brought him cedar chests of rich
apparel bound with cords:
His train was borne by Memphian lords:  young
kings were glad to be his guests.

Ten hundred shaven priests did bow to Ammon’s
altar day and night,
Ten hundred lamps did wave their light through
Ammon’s carven house—and now

Foul snake and speckled adder with their young
ones crawl from stone to stone
For ruined is the house and prone the great
rose-marble monolith!

Wild *** or trotting jackal comes and couches
in the mouldering gates:
Wild satyrs call unto their mates across the
fallen fluted drums.

And on the summit of the pile the blue-faced
ape of Horus sits
And gibbers while the fig-tree splits the pillars
of the peristyle

The god is scattered here and there:  deep
hidden in the windy sand
I saw his giant granite hand still clenched in
impotent despair.

And many a wandering caravan of stately
negroes silken-shawled,
Crossing the desert, halts appalled before the
neck that none can span.

And many a bearded Bedouin draws back his
yellow-striped burnous
To gaze upon the Titan thews of him who was
thy paladin.

Go, seek his fragments on the moor and
wash them in the evening dew,
And from their pieces make anew thy mutilated
paramour!

Go, seek them where they lie alone and from
their broken pieces make
Thy bruised bedfellow!  And wake mad passions
in the senseless stone!

Charm his dull ear with Syrian hymns! he loved
your body! oh, be kind,
Pour spikenard on his hair, and wind soft rolls
of linen round his limbs!

Wind round his head the figured coins! stain
with red fruits those pallid lips!
Weave purple for his shrunken hips! and purple
for his barren *****!

Away to Egypt!  Have no fear.  Only one
God has ever died.
Only one God has let His side be wounded by a
soldier’s spear.

But these, thy lovers, are not dead.  Still by the
hundred-cubit gate
Dog-faced Anubis sits in state with lotus-lilies
for thy head.

Still from his chair of porphyry gaunt Memnon
strains his lidless eyes
Across the empty land, and cries each yellow
morning unto thee.

And Nilus with his broken horn lies in his black
and oozy bed
And till thy coming will not spread his waters on
the withering corn.

Your lovers are not dead, I know.  They will
rise up and hear your voice
And clash their cymbals and rejoice and run to
kiss your mouth!  And so,

Set wings upon your argosies!  Set horses to
your ebon car!
Back to your Nile!  Or if you are grown sick of
dead divinities

Follow some roving lion’s spoor across the copper-
coloured plain,
Reach out and hale him by the mane and bid
him be your paramour!

Couch by his side upon the grass and set your
white teeth in his throat
And when you hear his dying note lash your
long flanks of polished brass

And take a tiger for your mate, whose amber
sides are flecked with black,
And ride upon his gilded back in triumph
through the Theban gate,

And toy with him in amorous jests, and when
he turns, and snarls, and gnaws,
O smite him with your jasper claws! and bruise
him with your agate *******!

Why are you tarrying?  Get hence!  I
weary of your sullen ways,
I weary of your steadfast gaze, your somnolent
magnificence.

Your horrible and heavy breath makes the light
flicker in the lamp,
And on my brow I feel the damp and dreadful
dews of night and death.

Your eyes are like fantastic moons that shiver
in some stagnant lake,
Your tongue is like a scarlet snake that dances
to fantastic tunes,

Your pulse makes poisonous melodies, and your
black throat is like the hole
Left by some torch or burning coal on Saracenic
tapestries.

Away!  The sulphur-coloured stars are hurrying
through the Western gate!
Away!  Or it may be too late to climb their silent
silver cars!

See, the dawn shivers round the grey gilt-dialled
towers, and the rain
Streams down each diamonded pane and blurs
with tears the wannish day.

What snake-tressed fury fresh from Hell, with
uncouth gestures and unclean,
Stole from the poppy-drowsy queen and led you
to a student’s cell?

What songless tongueless ghost of sin crept
through the curtains of the night,
And saw my taper burning bright, and knocked,
and bade you enter in?

Are there not others more accursed, whiter with
leprosies than I?
Are Abana and Pharphar dry that you come here
to slake your thirst?

Get hence, you loathsome mystery!  Hideous
animal, get hence!
You wake in me each ******* sense, you make me
what I would not be.

You make my creed a barren sham, you wake
foul dreams of sensual life,
And Atys with his blood-stained knife were
better than the thing I am.

False Sphinx!  False Sphinx!  By reedy Styx
old Charon, leaning on his oar,
Waits for my coin.  Go thou before, and leave
me to my crucifix,

Whose pallid burden, sick with pain, watches
the world with wearied eyes,
And weeps for every soul that dies, and weeps
for every soul in vain.
Edna Sweetlove May 2015
I woke up to a beautiful summer morning. The sun was shining and the rainclouds were far away. I decided I would spend the day on the beach. I always enjoy visiting the beach as it gives me an opportunity to laugh at people's hideous bodies. But where? And then, suddenly, a wonderful idea came to me: why not go to a nudist beach as they always attract the ugliest people with the worst bodies imaginable. And you get to see their naughty bits too, for added humour.

So I rushed to my computer to check the Internet for possibilities and, to my utter amazement, I discovered there was a naturist beach only fifty miles from my beautiful home. As I read the details of the beach and the directions, I had a sense of déja vu; I realised with a frisson of ****** anticipation that it was the very same beach described by Victor the ****** in his wonderful story "Confessions of a ******" which held pride of place on my toilet reading shelf.

I was at the wheel of my incredibly expensive and luxurious car just as soon as my servants had packed my essential requirements: icebox with chilled vintage champagne, lightweight folding gold-plated sun-lounger, vicuna picnic rug and of course my lunch hamper. My chef had rapidly prepared a delicious impromptu luncheon of smoked salmon, steak tartare and a selection of other goodies. I decided to dispense with the services of my chauffeur in the interests of preserving the confidentiality of my destination.

In less than an hour and a half I was there; and the place was exactly as Victor had described it in his immortal novella: a long stretch of mixed sand and pebbles, backed by dunes planted with wild grass, waving romantically in the sea breeze. Idyllic, and crawling with naked perverts as a bonus. I parked my car and transported my equipment to the dunes. I regretted not having brought one of the servants as the hamper and icebox were quite cumbersome and heavy. I was perspiring gently by the time I had unloaded everything and set it all up to my satisfaction.

I took some care in selecting what I felt was the optimum location as I needed to combine the potentially conflicting benefits of wanting to see as many naked people as possible (hopefully including some *** action) with the need for privacy. After all I am famous. I finally chose a spot where there were several ghastly specimens on view for a few laughs and where I could also see a potentially interesting couple who might be exhibitionistic perverts. The man was about 45, shaven-headed, skinny and prematurely wrinkled all over by the sun (yes, I do mean all over) and he had an interesting tattoo on his back: "I love hot ***** ***", which I saw as promising. The woman was plump with pendulous ******* and very prominent buttocks; additionally - how can I put this delicately? - her **** was totally bereft of hair.

Before settling down to my lunch, I felt a little perambulation would not come amiss. So, as bold as brass, off I went for a little **** stroll through the dunes. I will not describe in full detail the visual horrors I encountered: hirsute old men playing aimlessly with wizened, shrunken todgers the size of a thimble; obese old biddies, their rolls of sun-tanned lard hanging round them like rows of bloated udders on a pregnant sow; tattooed bald queens, muscles bulging under lashings of sun-oil, their pierced genitals glinting wickedly in the sunshine; the list was endless. How could such grotesques revel in revealing their corporeal repulsion to the eager world?

And then I saw him! It had to be him! In a dip in the sand dunes lay a middle-aged, paunchy little man, intently watching a couple of old ******* groping each other incompetently. It could only be Victor the One-Legged ******! After all, just how many unipod Peeping Toms are there?

I strolled over to him, coughing discreetly so as to give him a chance to stop his furtive *******. 'Do excuse me for disturbing you,' I said, 'but are you by any chance Victor the famous ****** whose confession I read only last week?'

'Why yes,' he admitted, 'but how on earth did you recognise me?'

I smiled and pointed to the cast-off artificial leg lying next to his beach towel (which, incidentally, was emblazoned by a giant "V", a bit of an identity hint, I felt). He patted his stump ruefully and laughed uproariously so that his average-sized ***** flapped like a pennant in a Force Eight gale. 'I forgot,' he bellowed deliriously.

'I'm just about to have a spot of lunch,' I said. 'My personal Michelin-starred chef, Jean-Claude Anusse, always over-caters ridiculously as he knows I often pick up people on my excursions, so there'll be more than enough. I'm afraid it's nothing special: some smoked salmon and some assorted cold meats, possibly a spot of pâté de foie gras, if I know Jean-Claude. And, naturally, enough champagne to drown a hippo in. Please do say yes, as I have so many questions to ask you about your hobby.'

'That's very kind of you.' mumbled the astonished Peeping Tom, 'I should be very happy to accept your generous offer. Incidentally, to whom have I the honour of speaking?'

I was, frankly, shocked when I realised Victor had not recognised me, and then I remembered I was naked. That explained it. 'Why, I am none other than Edna Sweetlove, poetess to the stars, creator of the Barry Hodges "Memories" poems and biographer to the intrepid and incredible superhero SNOGGO,' I murmured sotto voce, not wishing to be mobbed for my autograph.

'Edna Sweetlove!' he exclaimed, 'you mean THE Edna Sweetlove?' And so saying he glanced down to my genital zone in order to answer the question which so many of my fans have asked over the years. He grinned as he saw the solution to the great mystery.

Victor quickly strapped on his prosthesis and accompanied me (slightly lopsidedly) to my little luncheon site. He helped me unpack our repast and then made himself as comfortable as a naked one legged ****** could reasonably expect to be without a chair.

I must say Chef and his team had excelled himself in the thirty minutes I had given them: smoked salmon roulades, a magnifique plateau de fruits de mer including a three-pound giant lobster, steak tartare, a whole cold pintarde à l'ail, a few dozen sushi rolls, a monster summer pudding, and naturally a Jeraboam of Krug '92. No wonder the hamper had been so ******* heavy. I could see Victor was impressed as I offered him a chilled flute of the most expensive champagne he had ever tasted. 'Better than the pathetic, poverty-stricken muck you were going to gobble, I expect,' I commented in a friendly way.

'Mmmmmmmmm! Absolutely delicious, Edna. I was certainly not expecting this! exclaimed the grateful freak. But before we start on what looks like a truly exquisite nosh-up, I must give you a word of warning.'

'A word of warning? What about, Victor dear?'

'Well, you see, there's no, um....er,' he blushed charmingly.

'No what, Victor? Don't be embarrassed, sweetie. This is Edna you're talking to. Spit it out, baby.'

'Well, um, there's no ******* on the beach, Edna,' explained Victor uncomfortably. 'So, if you need to pump ship, you have to do it native-style "au naturel" in the dunes over there, which can be a bit messy what with all the filth lying about the place in that area, not to mention the lavvo-voyeurs hanging round. Or else you need to swim out a bit and unload into the sea. Judging by what's on offer at your stylish picnic, we'll both be bursting for a good old **** and crap afterwards.'

I shrieked with laughter and explained there was nothing I liked better than a widdle en plein air or a double act dans l'eau. We then tucked into lunch with a vengeance. It was ******* delicious, even though I say so myself. After about fifteen minutes' happy munching, interspersed with witty small talk, Victor suddenly went rigid. 'Look over there!' he hissed and indicated the middle-aged couple by the windbreak.

I looked and I was surprised. The plump woman with the big *** was on her knees in front of her partner, giving him a vigorous *******, and he was lolling back in ecstasy, a broad smile on his face. He seemed to be looking straight at us, almost visibly willing us to watch. He winked repeatedly in a conspiratorial fashion; maybe he had St Vitus’ Dance. Or even worse, he wanted me to get stuck into the action with them.

'They're regulars here, they normally put on quite a good show,' explained Victor excitedly, his hand reaching down automatically to his rapidly stiffening ****.

'Victor!' I admonished him, 'I would prefer it if you didn't **** yourself off during lunch. How about another oyster, you silly old ****?'

'Sorry, Edna, I forgot,' he replied shamefacedly. 'No more oysters thank you; they only make me more randy than I already am. But I'll have another lobster claw if I may. My compliments to your chef.'

So we sipped our champagne and enjoyed our luncheon as we watched the couple give us their little exhibition. After a few minutes *******, the fat lady turned around and leaned forward on her hands and knees and her gnarled bald hubby ******* her doggy fashion from behind with some gusto; this made her beefy buns bounce about like two ferrets fighting in a sack.

I glanced around us and realised that, totally unbeknown to me, the little spectacle had attracted quite an audience. Nine men, young and old, short and tall, fat and skinny, stood staring transfixed by the petite scène erotique before us, all ******* wildly. 'Oi!' I called out. 'Can't you see we're eating?' I admonished them, but to no ******* avail whatsoever.

Victor was visibly torn between his innate desire to watch the copulators and masturbators and with his understandable wish not to offend his lunch companion by manhandling himself unrestrainedly. But, thank God, his natural good manners prevailed and we continued to converse and enjoy our meal in the midst of this Bacchanalian scene of depravity.

I watched dispassionately as the couple came to what sounded like a very satisfactory mutual ******, accompanied by the observers' seminal tributes to their performance. I naturally had filmed the entire scene secretly on my state-of-the-art mobile.

'If you give me your email address, Victor my love, I'll send you a copy of that little show,' I promised. He nodded in gratitude. 'Victor  the ****** at yahoo dot co dot uk,' he mumbled rapidly, 'no dots, Victorthevoyeur is all one word.'

Once we had polished off lunch, I told Victor I would like to interview him with a view to writing a short story about his life's work. He was touchingly flattered and, with a little judicious prompting and probing, told me his saga, which I recorded on my Edna-phone. I naturally don't want to pre-empt my forthcoming mini-biography of Victor, but suffice it to say that Victor told me how and why he became a ******, he regaled me with some of the staggering things he had seen, he gave me a list of some really ace ******* locations, he shared all his best peeping places with me, he gave me the ultimate lowdown on the world of Britain's most celebrated *** snooper and I was touched by his burning honesty. I felt a tear ***** my eye at this tragic tale.

All too soon it was time for us to part. After thanking me profusely and making me promise I would visit him one day so he could repay my generosity, he re-attached his metal leg and limped away towards his beach towel. I knew he was raring to go as the best of the action normally took place in the early evening.

'Farewell, dearest Victor,' I called out as he tripped clumsily over a fellow pervert who had been eavesdropping near us.
A Tale of Two
Her Story>>>>
Today was my free day and I longed for some soothing nature time. I had my picnic basket with some food and wine. I wanted to enjoy my afternoon alone. I was just standing there, waiting for the cars to pass me so I could cross the street to the park. He walked by me and the wind blew his scent right to me. He smelled like heaven on earth.
I am very familiar with many scents and this one was new to me. I watched him walk past me. He was hansom with dark hair are mysterious eyes. His hair blowing in the breeze just as mine was. I love that feeling, being caressed by the wind. Before I knew it he was out of sight. I did not see where he had gone, for I had been day dreaming of what he would be like to kiss.
I continued on my way to the park and found a nice quiet place to read my book. I laid out my blanket and flung off my shoes. I wanted to lay there under the fading sun and enjoy the wind flirting with my dress while I read. It’s a warm windy day and its perfect. I had been reading for 30 minutes before I was warmly surprised by the smell that came to me. It was the smell of the man who had passed me. I looked up and saw him; he was standing over me with a poetry book in his hand. I smiled and invited him to sit down.

He smiled and introduced himself as a fellow nature lover. He didn’t tell me his name and at this point I was so surprised by his presence that it didn’t matter. I sat up and I asked him if he would join me in a glass of wine. He comically answered that he is sorry but we both cannot fit in that glass! I laughed and poured two classes of BlackStone red. He accepted with a smile. I lay back down on my stomach with my book half-open. My heart was beating so fast, he was right here with me and I could smell him, it was wonderful. We were strangers and I had no idea how he found me or why.
"What brings you to the park today?" I asked. He didn’t answer me, he just looked into my eyes for the longest time and then slowly bent down and kissed me. I thought my heart was going to be heard for miles. Surely he could hear it! It was a very long sweet kiss, perfect in every way, as if we had been kissing each other for years. I broke my lips free reluctantly and asked him once again, "who are you?" He opened his mouth and he said, "I came to the park today because you are here" I was speechless, I didn’t know what to say.

I turned over and lay on my back ready to question him again. He was right next to me, a man out of a dream, just appearing from no where. My mouth opened to ask once again who he was and as soon as I did his lips fell to mine in a long wet kiss. He was pure heaven to touch tongues with. I was enjoying myself too much to ask him anything. I dropped my book and heard the pages flapping in the wind while we kissed. My hands made their way to his dark hair and I could not help myself, I pulled him closer to me. There was no one around; we were in no danger of being seen. He moved closer to me and held me tight. I could not brake away from his kiss, nor did I want to.
He left my lips on his own, kissing my neck. He whispered in my ear "I have been watching you for a while now". I suddenly felt a little frightened. I do not know this man at all and yet he is kissing me. He reached past me and into my picnic basket. He pulled out the strawberries and nibbled on one while staring at me. I couldn’t speak, I was staring right back and it was like he had my mind engulfed with thoughts.
He then fed me a strawberry very slowly; juice ran down the side of my mouth. He reached down and licked it off with his tongue. I whimpered, I wanted him so bad. He picked up another berry and took a big bite, the juice feel on my chest between my *******. I looked him in the eyes, smiled and closed my eyes and waited for him to lick it off me. And he did, very slowly lick it off and trailed his tongue down the length of the opening of my blouse.
He began unbuttoning me, my hand went to stop him, and he reached out and held my hand. He kissed my fingers and said, "abandon all fears". I let my hand fall to the grass and let him unbutton me. I was wearing nothing under my shirt, no bra. I felt his breath touch me on my ******, and I felt it rise to a stiff peak. He took a bite of a strawberry and left half of it on the stem. He kissed me once again, and at the same time I felt the chill of the cold half strawberry touching my ******.
This was heaven, my god I felt a trickle of my own juice run from my *****. I was whimpering while he was kissing me. He touched me so slowly and with such care. The cold berry circling my ****** and the kiss at the same time was driving me wild. He moved and began ******* the strawberry mess of my ******. I held his head to my ****** for a moment, it felt so good. I felt his hand reach for my thigh, soft and warm hand just caressing me. He found my wetness and was surprised by it.
I smiled and giggled, what could I say. He looked right in my eyes and told me I was about to get a licking I would never forget. He was very right! He knew what he was doing, and he made me *** so fast I couldn’t believe it. I was in heaven. Still quivering and whimpering I rolled over on top of him. I kissed him like he was my long lost love. I quickly unbuttoned his pants while a stared at him with glazed satisfied eyes. I moved lower and found his throbbing **** staring at me. I took him into my mouth while I stared into his eyes. I saw the thrill he was having as the moistness from my mouth mixed with the wind as I moved up and down. He tasted and felt wonderful and I couldn’t stop myself from wanting all of it for myself.
I heard the noise of pleasure comes from him and suddenly he stopped me and laid me down in the grass next to the blanket. He wanted me as much as I wanted him. He joined me and made love to me in the grass. The breeze blowing over our bodies, the currents within exploding. He stayed on top of me and started kissing me again.

I broke the kiss and I whispered to him, "Who are you?" He simply reached for the wine and smiled. He filled my glass and placed the cup in my hand while he buttoned my blouse and smiled. I sat up and looked into his eyes, why do I feel is if I know him! He bit my thigh and I jumped spilling the wine on my skirt. I ran to the water fountain to rinse it off and when I looked back he was gone. There was no way he could have left without passing me! I was stunned. I went back to my blanket and collected my things. My book was gone, he taken it. And he had also replaced it with the book of poetry he had brought with him. There was no name written in it, no sign of who he was. Just a book of poetry and a note slipped into a fitting page of love for a moment and it read ‘Meet me in the moon light tomorrow night, I will be waiting" and it was signed no longer a secret admirer.

His Story>>>>
I saw her again yesterday. This time when I went past, she seemed to notice me. Like so many days recently, she took my breath away. I remember the first time I saw her; she was wearing a **** black dressed that crossed at the front. Today, she was carrying a picnic basket.
I ducked behind a corner and watched. Who was this woman? And more important, whom is she going to have a picnic with? I followed at a safe distance and watched her unpack & prepare a picnic for one. She started reading a book and I knew she would be there for a while. I don’t know why, but I decided to backtrack and bought collection of Emily Dickinson poems before making my way back to the park. When I got back, my heart pumped hard in my chest. I could feel a throbbing in my head as the blood coursed through my brain.

Suddenly, I was only aware of our immediate surroundings. The sun caressing my face, the wind lapping at my hair. And her. She looked radiant in the dappled light of the afternoon, her hair flowing over her shoulders. Her sensuous mouth twitched every now and again as she read. Something caught her attention and she looked up at me. I was a mess. All I could come up with was that I was a fellow nature lover. I just stood there until she invited me to sit down.
Worse still, when she asked me to join her in a glass of wine, I blurted "I’m sorry, but we both cannot fit in that glass". At least she laughed and when she handed me the wine she asked why I was there. Having made a fool of myself already, I decided that actions would speak louder than words and surprised both of us by leaning forward and kissing her.
Her mouth was beautiful- soft, full lips. I could taste the wine on her lips and as my tongue gently parted them. Her mouth opened to greet mine and I took her lower lip between my lips.
She was reluctant at first but warmed to me and I felt her hand on the back of my head pulling me to her. I was no longer aware of anything but her. Nothing else mattered.
At one point she asked me again why I was there. I couldn’t believe it when I heard myself say that I had been watching her. "Great", I thought. "Don’t worry about looking foolish because now you look like a psychopath". Deciding for the second time that silence was golden, I kissed her again. Our tongues explored each other’s mouths.
I could feel her warm breath on my face and I pressed my body firmly against hers. My leg found its way between her legs as I used it to press on her *****. Reaching for some of her strawberries, I took one in my mouth and fed her the rest. I put a strawberry half in my mouth and lent forward to give her the rest. She bit into it and our lips caressed as she swallowed it. When some juice escaped her mouth and ran down her cheek, I licked it off, running my ******* trail from the base of her neck up to her mouth.
She was now irresistible; I had to have her. I undid her dress button by button. I licked berry juice from her ****** as I felt it harden under my tongue. I ran my tongue around and around her ******, then from the base of it to the tip. I felt her back arch towards me as my hand wandered down her body. The leg, which had been pressing against her *****, was damp. Her ******* were completely soaked and I was astonished to find her completely shaven as my fingers slipped under the waistband.
She opened her legs as my fingers slipped inside her. As I let my fingers caress her ****, I kissed and nibbled my way down her body. The further I moved down, the stronger her scent became. It was intoxicating and I knew that I must have her juices flowing over my tongue. My fingers slipped under her ******* and I gently pulled them down, very slowly. She lifted herself off the ground, inviting me to take them off completely. It felt like I was 6 years old and opening a Christmas present. When they slipped off her ankles, I brought her ******* to my face and inhaled deeply.
The scent hit my nostrils and went straight to primitive parts of my brain. I dropped them and immediately ran my tongue up her inner thigh towards her *****. I stopped before my tongue reached there and let her feel my breath. I enjoyed the smell while I could as I plunged my tongue between her lips and straight into her *****, the sharp tang of her juice stimulating my taste buds.
She tasted as good as she smelled. I made my tongue rigid and slid the tip of it along her ***** up to her ****. My tongue broadened as I delicately licked her **** like it was a melting ice cream. My wet fingers found her ****** and I caressed it to the same rhythm as my tongue on her ****. I felt her ****** build up and a gush of her *** soaked my chin and my chest.
I was aroused to the point of unconsciousness when she suddenly pushed me on my back and straddled me. She was quick to free my **** and took it in her mouth and looked up at me. Our eyes met in a moment that I will never forget. We both knew what was to come. Releasing my ****, she straddled me and lowered herself onto my ****. We both gasped as she opened up and slipped over my head and down the shaft, her **** grinding against my ***** bone. We kissed deeply as our bodies united and we tasted each other’s juices. When I first saw her, I thought how much I would love to **** this angel. But we were not *******, we were making love.
At last, our bodies climaxed as we ****** hard at each other, my **** slamming hard, my ***** slapping against her *******.
We lay on the soft grass in ******* bliss and she asked me again "Who are you?". I avoided the question by biting her thigh, which made her spill her wine. I took my opportunity and left, but not before swapping books with her. I left a note for her asking her to meet me tonight. Such unimaginable beauty and sensuality can only be enhanced by the moons pale light.
a situation told by male and female perspectives
Eärendil was a mariner

That tarried in Arvernien;

He built a boat of timber felled

In Nimbrethil to journey in;

Her sails he wove of silver fair,

Of silver were her lanterns made

Her prow was fashioned like a swan,

And light upon her banners laid.



In panoply of ancient kings,

In chainéd rings he armoured him;

His shining shield was scored with runes

To ward all wounds and harm from him;

His bow was made of dragon-horn,

His arrows shorn of ebony,

Of silver was his habergeon;

His scabbard of chalcedony;

His sword of steel was valiant,

Of adamant his helmet tall,

An eagle-plume upon his crest,

Upon his breast an emerald.



Beneath the Moon and under star

He wandered far from northern strands,

Bewildered on enchanted ways

Beyond the days of mortal lands.

From gnashing of the Narrow Ice

Where shadow lies on frozen hills,

From nether heats and burning waste

He turned in haste, and roving still

On starless waters far astray

At last he came to Night of Naught,

And passed, and never sight he saw

Of shining shore nor light he sought.

The winds of wrath came driving him,

And blindly in the foam he fled

From west to east and errandless,

Unheralded he homeward sped.



There flying Elwing came to him,

And flame was in the darkness lit;

More bright than light of diamond

The fire upon her carcanet.

The Silmaril she bound on him

And crowned him with the living light

And dauntless then with burning brow

He turned his prow, and in the night

From Otherworld beyond the Sea

There strong and free a storm arose,

A wind of power in Tarmenel;

By paths that seldom mortal goes

His boat it bore with biting breath

As might of death across the grey

As long-forsaken seas distressed;

From east to west he passed away.



Through Evernight he back was borne

On black and roaring waves that ran

O'er leagues unlit and foundered shores

That drownded before the Days began,

Until he heard on strands of pearl

When ends the world the music long,

Where ever-foaming billows roll

The yellow gold and jewels wan.

He saw the Mountain silent rise

Where twilight lies upon the knees

Of Valinor and Eldamar

Beheld afar beyond the seas.

A wanderer escaped from night

To haven white he came at last,

To Elvenhome the green and fair

Where keen the air, where pale as glass

Beneath the Hill and Ilmarin

A-glimmer in a valley sheer

The lamplit towers of Tirion

Are mirrored on the Shadowmere.



He tarried there from errantry

And melodies they taught to him,

And sages old him marvels told,

And harps of gold they brought to him,

They clothed him then in elven-white,

And seven lights before him sent,

As through the Calacirian

To hidden land forlorn he went,

He came unto the timeless halls

Where shining fall the countless years,

And endless reigns the Elder King

In Ilmarin on Mountain sheer,

And words unheard were spoken then

Of folk of Men and Elven-kin,

Beyond the world were visions showed

Forbid to those that dwell therein.



A ship then new they built for him

Of mithril and of elven-glass

With shining prow; no shaven oar

N or sail she bore on silver mast;

The Silmaril as lantern light

And banner bright with living flame

To gleam thereon by Elbereth

Herself was set, who thither came

And wings immortal made for him,

And laid on him undying doom,

To sail the shoreless skies and come

Behind the Sun and light of Moon.



From Evereven's lofty hills

Where softly silver fountains fall

His wings him bore, a wandering light,

Beyond the mighty Mountain Wall,

From World's End then he turned away,

And yearned again to find afar

His home through shadows journeying,

And burning as an island star

On high above the mists he came,

A distant flame before the Sun,

A wonder ere the waking dawn

Where grey the Norland waters run.



And over Middle-earth he passed

And heard at last the weeping sore

Of women and of elven-maids

In Elder Days, in years of yore.

But on him mighty doom was laid

Till Moon should fade, an orbéd star

To pass, and tarry never more

On Hither Shores where mortals are;

For ever still a herald on

An errand that should never rest

To bear his shining lamp afar.
chichee Oct 2018
Once upon a time, Oh but that’s such a boring way to start-
                                                          ­                       Once upon a time.
I was little red riding hood that knowingly stepped
                              onto the wrong side of the path,
Hoping that a monster in the woods
                                              would come and get me, but you-
A hurricane,
           car crashes in slow motion,
                              personified heartbreak-
                                                     ­                    Too much.
Too much applesauce madam? The waiter asked, clean-shaven face bathed
            In the New York skyline, ignorant to the gunfire explosions
                          inside me as I waited for you.
                                                            ­                No thank you, sir.


     “Meet me at the station”,
                                scrawled in messy, love- stained letters
In between the railway roars and the clatters of foreign accent, you've flaked again, like the struck chord of a bass
                        Signifying disappointment like a punch line
                                    Reverberating through my skull.
             Okay, repeat the mantra, one-two-steady-
                                                 ­                                     Okay. It's Okay.

Four weeks later
                                   I had your body pushed up flush against bricks and-
No shut up you don’t get to say anything after you go and shatter me like that
You’re sick do you know that? Lips snarling, heart breaking.  

You’re sick.
So maybe I was the big bad wolf after all.
                   Stairwell bricks glinted off iridescence and
                                                       your mouth in that sad, sad laugh
Studying me like a dream brought
                                                         ­                  to the ground,
Puffy lipped and eyes blown wide like I was on some psychedelic high-
            And you said
                               “You’re still a child with fanciful ideas of love, and the way you cling onto them-
                            Quite frankly, it’s terrifying.”

                                                   ­  Please darling, let me redefine myself
Skip the pleasantries and small talk,
                     scrap the story of little red riding hood-

Once upon a time, I was apology and you were forgiveness
I can imagine inside you, of alarm bells and sunken souls
                 as you listen to the static white noise of
                                                              ­            A dying heart
Hello darling, are you there? Can you hear me? Is this mic working?
          I hate to sound like those magazine cut outs-
                                                           ­         I hate to sound like,
Just another lover, just another cliché-
                                       But you were the matchstick to my dynamite
                                                                ­            and nothing feels better
Than my own self- destruction, so won’t you please
                     Another chance? No?
                                Even Lucifer sometimes longs to be let
                                                      Into the gates of heaven again
I’ve cooked some apology,
          I saved a plate for you

So for the love of god come inside and have some before it goes cold.
A remix of Richard Siken's "Litany In Which Certain Things Are Crossed Out", it's a really beautiful poem.
Simon Clark Aug 2012
In my room alone,
I lay naked on my bed,
Magazines and videos - laid out nicely,
Not Andrex but Kleenex there instead,
I flick through the pages,
Holding on so tight,
While on the screen there's stuff obscene,
Ejoying this pleasing sight,
Up and down i gently rub,
'Til my head rolls back in bliss,
Faster, faster then i'll stroke,
Thinking of that kiss.

Wishing i were the one up there,
Getting ****** off by a pro,
Instead of spread eagle on my back,
I'd rather be getting a blow,
To have my **** ****** off by her,
The one with shaven lips,
To pull her close and enjoy the roast,
Driving at her hips,
Oh but alone i am with **** in hand,
Wanking myself to sleep,
But i know when i close my eyes,
The visions of you i'll keep.

So for now, content am i,
Playing with my ****,
Shooting out my *** in streams,
And tasting it til i'm sick,
I wish that you were back here with me,
To give me such a treat,
Then on my kness, for you i'd go,
And surely find something to eat,
But i'm stuck with magazines and videos,
Of ladies eating out,
So that's my tale for all to see,
What wanking's all about.
Written in 2004
50 quid a night
Bleak walls
***** curtains
'Thieves abound' signs.
What do you expect?

Rumbling
deep and dark
Boeings vying
with Airbus
for air space

Around me
surrounded
held hostage by
a mix of humanity
that defies belief

Tats & shaven eyebrows
Over there a Rolex
Business people
thin on the ground
Holidaymakers

construction gangs
football teams
flight crew...
No pilots, mind
Families

And then there are
the lonesomes
like me
and people shouting
into their digital fruits

Only 50 quid a night
What do you expect?
What you've got...
A melting *** of humanity
In all its gore & gloriousness
©Jacqueline Le Sueur 2011. All Rights Reserved
In memoriam
C. T. W.
Sometime trooper of the Royal Horse Guards
obiit H.M. prison, Reading, Berkshire
July 7, 1896

I

He did not wear his scarlet coat,
For blood and wine are red,
And blood and wine were on his hands
When they found him with the dead,
The poor dead woman whom he loved,
And murdered in her bed.

He walked amongst the Trial Men
In a suit of shabby grey;
A cricket cap was on his head,
And his step seemed light and gay;
But I never saw a man who looked
So wistfully at the day.

I never saw a man who looked
With such a wistful eye
Upon that little tent of blue
Which prisoners call the sky,
And at every drifting cloud that went
With sails of silver by.

I walked, with other souls in pain,
Within another ring,
And was wondering if the man had done
A great or little thing,
When a voice behind me whispered low,
‘That fellow’s got to swing.’

Dear Christ! the very prison walls
Suddenly seemed to reel,
And the sky above my head became
Like a casque of scorching steel;
And, though I was a soul in pain,
My pain I could not feel.

I only knew what hunted thought
Quickened his step, and why
He looked upon the garish day
With such a wistful eye;
The man had killed the thing he loved,
And so he had to die.

Yet each man kills the thing he loves,
By each let this be heard,
Some do it with a bitter look,
Some with a flattering word,
The coward does it with a kiss,
The brave man with a sword!

Some **** their love when they are young,
And some when they are old;
Some strangle with the hands of Lust,
Some with the hands of Gold:
The kindest use a knife, because
The dead so soon grow cold.

Some love too little, some too long,
Some sell, and others buy;
Some do the deed with many tears,
And some without a sigh:
For each man kills the thing he loves,
Yet each man does not die.

He does not die a death of shame
On a day of dark disgrace,
Nor have a noose about his neck,
Nor a cloth upon his face,
Nor drop feet foremost through the floor
Into an empty space.

He does not sit with silent men
Who watch him night and day;
Who watch him when he tries to weep,
And when he tries to pray;
Who watch him lest himself should rob
The prison of its prey.

He does not wake at dawn to see
Dread figures throng his room,
The shivering Chaplain robed in white,
The Sheriff stern with gloom,
And the Governor all in shiny black,
With the yellow face of Doom.

He does not rise in piteous haste
To put on convict-clothes,
While some coarse-mouthed Doctor gloats,
and notes
Each new and nerve-twitched pose,
******* a watch whose little ticks
Are like horrible hammer-blows.

He does not know that sickening thirst
That sands one’s throat, before
The hangman with his gardener’s gloves
Slips through the padded door,
And binds one with three leathern thongs,
That the throat may thirst no more.

He does not bend his head to hear
The Burial Office read,
Nor, while the terror of his soul
Tells him he is not dead,
Cross his own coffin, as he moves
Into the hideous shed.

He does not stare upon the air
Through a little roof of glass:
He does not pray with lips of clay
For his agony to pass;
Nor feel upon his shuddering cheek
The kiss of Caiaphas.

II

Six weeks our guardsman walked the yard,
In the suit of shabby grey:
His cricket cap was on his head,
And his step seemed light and gay,
But I never saw a man who looked
So wistfully at the day.

I never saw a man who looked
With such a wistful eye
Upon that little tent of blue
Which prisoners call the sky,
And at every wandering cloud that trailed
Its ravelled fleeces by.

He did not wring his hands, as do
Those witless men who dare
To try to rear the changeling Hope
In the cave of black Despair:
He only looked upon the sun,
And drank the morning air.

He did not wring his hands nor weep,
Nor did he peek or pine,
But he drank the air as though it held
Some healthful anodyne;
With open mouth he drank the sun
As though it had been wine!

And I and all the souls in pain,
Who tramped the other ring,
Forgot if we ourselves had done
A great or little thing,
And watched with gaze of dull amaze
The man who had to swing.

And strange it was to see him pass
With a step so light and gay,
And strange it was to see him look
So wistfully at the day,
And strange it was to think that he
Had such a debt to pay.

For oak and elm have pleasant leaves
That in the springtime shoot:
But grim to see is the gallows-tree,
With its adder-bitten root,
And, green or dry, a man must die
Before it bears its fruit!

The loftiest place is that seat of grace
For which all worldlings try:
But who would stand in hempen band
Upon a scaffold high,
And through a murderer’s collar take
His last look at the sky?

It is sweet to dance to violins
When Love and Life are fair:
To dance to flutes, to dance to lutes
Is delicate and rare:
But it is not sweet with nimble feet
To dance upon the air!

So with curious eyes and sick surmise
We watched him day by day,
And wondered if each one of us
Would end the self-same way,
For none can tell to what red Hell
His sightless soul may stray.

At last the dead man walked no more
Amongst the Trial Men,
And I knew that he was standing up
In the black dock’s dreadful pen,
And that never would I see his face
In God’s sweet world again.

Like two doomed ships that pass in storm
We had crossed each other’s way:
But we made no sign, we said no word,
We had no word to say;
For we did not meet in the holy night,
But in the shameful day.

A prison wall was round us both,
Two outcast men we were:
The world had ****** us from its heart,
And God from out His care:
And the iron gin that waits for Sin
Had caught us in its snare.

III

In Debtors’ Yard the stones are hard,
And the dripping wall is high,
So it was there he took the air
Beneath the leaden sky,
And by each side a Warder walked,
For fear the man might die.

Or else he sat with those who watched
His anguish night and day;
Who watched him when he rose to weep,
And when he crouched to pray;
Who watched him lest himself should rob
Their scaffold of its prey.

The Governor was strong upon
The Regulations Act:
The Doctor said that Death was but
A scientific fact:
And twice a day the Chaplain called,
And left a little tract.

And twice a day he smoked his pipe,
And drank his quart of beer:
His soul was resolute, and held
No hiding-place for fear;
He often said that he was glad
The hangman’s hands were near.

But why he said so strange a thing
No Warder dared to ask:
For he to whom a watcher’s doom
Is given as his task,
Must set a lock upon his lips,
And make his face a mask.

Or else he might be moved, and try
To comfort or console:
And what should Human Pity do
Pent up in Murderers’ Hole?
What word of grace in such a place
Could help a brother’s soul?

With slouch and swing around the ring
We trod the Fools’ Parade!
We did not care:  we knew we were
The Devil’s Own Brigade:
And shaven head and feet of lead
Make a merry masquerade.

We tore the tarry rope to shreds
With blunt and bleeding nails;
We rubbed the doors, and scrubbed the floors,
And cleaned the shining rails:
And, rank by rank, we soaped the plank,
And clattered with the pails.

We sewed the sacks, we broke the stones,
We turned the dusty drill:
We banged the tins, and bawled the hymns,
And sweated on the mill:
But in the heart of every man
Terror was lying still.

So still it lay that every day
Crawled like a ****-clogged wave:
And we forgot the bitter lot
That waits for fool and knave,
Till once, as we tramped in from work,
We passed an open grave.

With yawning mouth the yellow hole
Gaped for a living thing;
The very mud cried out for blood
To the thirsty asphalte ring:
And we knew that ere one dawn grew fair
Some prisoner had to swing.

Right in we went, with soul intent
On Death and Dread and Doom:
The hangman, with his little bag,
Went shuffling through the gloom:
And each man trembled as he crept
Into his numbered tomb.

That night the empty corridors
Were full of forms of Fear,
And up and down the iron town
Stole feet we could not hear,
And through the bars that hide the stars
White faces seemed to peer.

He lay as one who lies and dreams
In a pleasant meadow-land,
The watchers watched him as he slept,
And could not understand
How one could sleep so sweet a sleep
With a hangman close at hand.

But there is no sleep when men must weep
Who never yet have wept:
So we—the fool, the fraud, the knave—
That endless vigil kept,
And through each brain on hands of pain
Another’s terror crept.

Alas! it is a fearful thing
To feel another’s guilt!
For, right within, the sword of Sin
Pierced to its poisoned hilt,
And as molten lead were the tears we shed
For the blood we had not spilt.

The Warders with their shoes of felt
Crept by each padlocked door,
And peeped and saw, with eyes of awe,
Grey figures on the floor,
And wondered why men knelt to pray
Who never prayed before.

All through the night we knelt and prayed,
Mad mourners of a corse!
The troubled plumes of midnight were
The plumes upon a hearse:
And bitter wine upon a sponge
Was the savour of Remorse.

The grey **** crew, the red **** crew,
But never came the day:
And crooked shapes of Terror crouched,
In the corners where we lay:
And each evil sprite that walks by night
Before us seemed to play.

They glided past, they glided fast,
Like travellers through a mist:
They mocked the moon in a rigadoon
Of delicate turn and twist,
And with formal pace and loathsome grace
The phantoms kept their tryst.

With mop and mow, we saw them go,
Slim shadows hand in hand:
About, about, in ghostly rout
They trod a saraband:
And the ****** grotesques made arabesques,
Like the wind upon the sand!

With the pirouettes of marionettes,
They tripped on pointed tread:
But with flutes of Fear they filled the ear,
As their grisly masque they led,
And loud they sang, and long they sang,
For they sang to wake the dead.

‘Oho!’ they cried, ‘The world is wide,
But fettered limbs go lame!
And once, or twice, to throw the dice
Is a gentlemanly game,
But he does not win who plays with Sin
In the secret House of Shame.’

No things of air these antics were,
That frolicked with such glee:
To men whose lives were held in gyves,
And whose feet might not go free,
Ah! wounds of Christ! they were living things,
Most terrible to see.

Around, around, they waltzed and wound;
Some wheeled in smirking pairs;
With the mincing step of a demirep
Some sidled up the stairs:
And with subtle sneer, and fawning leer,
Each helped us at our prayers.

The morning wind began to moan,
But still the night went on:
Through its giant loom the web of gloom
Crept till each thread was spun:
And, as we prayed, we grew afraid
Of the Justice of the Sun.

The moaning wind went wandering round
The weeping prison-wall:
Till like a wheel of turning steel
We felt the minutes crawl:
O moaning wind! what had we done
To have such a seneschal?

At last I saw the shadowed bars,
Like a lattice wrought in lead,
Move right across the whitewashed wall
That faced my three-plank bed,
And I knew that somewhere in the world
God’s dreadful dawn was red.

At six o’clock we cleaned our cells,
At seven all was still,
But the sough and swing of a mighty wing
The prison seemed to fill,
For the Lord of Death with icy breath
Had entered in to ****.

He did not pass in purple pomp,
Nor ride a moon-white steed.
Three yards of cord and a sliding board
Are all the gallows’ need:
So with rope of shame the Herald came
To do the secret deed.

We were as men who through a fen
Of filthy darkness *****:
We did not dare to breathe a prayer,
Or to give our anguish scope:
Something was dead in each of us,
And what was dead was Hope.

For Man’s grim Justice goes its way,
And will not swerve aside:
It slays the weak, it slays the strong,
It has a deadly stride:
With iron heel it slays the strong,
The monstrous parricide!

We waited for the stroke of eight:
Each tongue was thick with thirst:
For the stroke of eight is the stroke of Fate
That makes a man accursed,
And Fate will use a running noose
For the best man and the worst.

We had no other thing to do,
Save to wait for the sign to come:
So, like things of stone in a valley lone,
Quiet we sat and dumb:
But each man’s heart beat thick and quick,
Like a madman on a drum!

With sudden shock the prison-clock
Smote on the shivering air,
And from all the gaol rose up a wail
Of impotent despair,
Like the sound that frightened marshes hear
From some ***** in his lair.

And as one sees most fearful things
In the crystal of a dream,
We saw the greasy hempen rope
Hooked to the blackened beam,
And heard the prayer the hangman’s snare
Strangled into a scream.

And all the woe that moved him so
That he gave that bitter cry,
And the wild regrets, and the ****** sweats,
None knew so well as I:
For he who lives more lives than one
More deaths than one must die.

IV

There is no chapel on the day
On which they hang a man:
The Chaplain’s heart is far too sick,
Or his face is far too wan,
Or there is that written in his eyes
Which none should look upon.

So they kept us close till nigh on noon,
And then they rang the bell,
And the Warders with their jingling keys
Opened each listening cell,
And down the iron stair we tramped,
Each from his separate Hell.

Out into God’s sweet air we went,
But not in wonted way,
For this man’s face was white with fear,
And that man’s face was grey,
And I never saw sad men who looked
So wistfully at the day.

I never saw sad men who looked
With such a wistful eye
Upon that little tent of blue
We prisoners called the sky,
And at every careless cloud that passed
In happy freedom by.

But there were those amongst us all
Who walked with downcast head,
And knew that, had each got his due,
They should have died instead:
He had but killed a thing that lived,
Whilst they had killed the dead.

For he who sins a second time
Wakes a dead soul to pain,
And draws it from its spotted shroud,
And makes it bleed again,
And makes it bleed great gouts of blood,
And makes it bleed in vain!

Like ape or clown, in monstrous garb
With crooked arrows starred,
Silently we went round and round
The slippery asphalte yard;
Silently we went round and round,
And no man spoke a word.

Silently we went round and round,
And through each hollow mind
The Memory of dreadful things
Rushed like a dreadful wind,
And Horror stalked before each man,
And Terror crept behind.

The Warders strutted up and down,
And kept their herd of brutes,
Their uniforms were ***** and span,
And they wore their Sunday suits,
But we knew the work they had been at,
By the quicklime on their boots.

For where a grave had opened wide,
There was no grave at all:
Only a stretch of mud and sand
By the hideous prison-wall,
And a little heap of burning lime,
That the man should have his pall.

For he has a pall, this wretched man,
Such as few men can claim:
Deep down below a prison-yard,
Naked for greater shame,
He lies, with fetters on each foot,
Wrapt in a sheet of flame!

And all the while the burning lime
Eats flesh and bone away,
It eats the brittle bone by night,
And the soft flesh by day,
It eats the flesh and bone by turns,
But it eats the heart alway.

For three long years they will not sow
Or root or seedling there:
For three long years the unblessed spot
Will sterile be and bare,
And look upon the wondering sky
With unreproachful stare.

They think a murderer’s heart would taint
Each simple seed they sow.
It is not true!  God’s kindly earth
Is kindlier than men know,
And the red rose would but blow more red,
The white rose whiter blow.

Out of his mouth a red, red rose!
Out of his heart a white!
For who can say by what strange way,
Christ brings His will to light,
Since the barren staff the pilgrim bore
Bloomed in the great Pope’s sight?

But neither milk-white rose nor red
May bloom in prison-air;
The shard, the pebble, and the flint,
Are what they give us there:
For flowers have been known to heal
A common man’s despair.

So never will wine-red rose or white,
Petal by petal, fall
On that stretch of mud and sand that lies
By the hideous prison-wall,
To tell the men who ***** the yard
That God’s Son died for all.

Yet though the hideous prison-wall
Still hems him round and round,
And a spirit may not walk by night
That is with fetters bound,
And a spirit may but weep that lies
In such unholy ground,

He is at peace—this wretched man—
At peace, or will be soon:
There is no thing to m
T R Jan 2019
Stripping You of Your Privilege
YOU!

Tall and lean and impossibly handsome
and Corporate

In your magnificent pinstriped business suit
and perfectly tied silk tie
and your hundred dollar haircut
your privileged male feet hidden
inside impeccably polished black
English dress shoes

Staring at me through your
designer sunglasses

Haughty, confident, insolent
Stepping out of your Porsche
before you enter your office building

So smooth, clean, assured and perfect
Maybe you are 35 years old, maybe 40
the world is yours


Transformation
I have news for you
The tables are turned

YOU have been the one in power.
The one in control.
So proud, so arrogant, so confident

Starting at me, a total stranger
Just part of your usual day
I am just an object to you
I am an OBJECT to you!

Your beautiful smooth shaven
face turns...
but wait...

Wait! No more

NO MORE!

The world has turned upside
down

Now YOU are the OBJECT

I have the POWER to make things happen

NOW LISTEN TO ME

You have a new future

LISTEN. OBEY
Quit your important executive job
Leave your successful corporate career

That's right – now
QUIT!
Call from your phone
Don't enter the
building
Tell them you’re quitting

You are stunned and repelled and horrified
You resist and argue
You refuse and try to leave
Your pride and anger rise
But there is no escaping your destiny

Your power is gone
You are helpless to resist

Forget your MBA
Forget you ever went to a university
Slide the business school ring off your
long finger

Give me the keys to that Porsche
And take your Rolex,
your gold wristwatch,
off your
wrist
You won't be needing a watch
I will tell you the time
We will sell your watch

You slide off your watch and surrender it

Get those fancy, expensive,
polished handmade shoes off
Your pampered, privileged male feet
Yes, your black dress socks too

YOU, barefoot on the sidewalk!

Leave the shoes right there on the
sidewalk, in front of your former
office building, shining in the sun.
Empty and crying for their former owner

Shocked, unable to resist,
you untie and remove your shoes,
peel off your long dress socks

Put your expensive socks inside the shoes
and drop the briefcase too

Now get back into the Porsche
you used to own
Yes, in your bare feet
Your smooth, clean size tens
No - NOT the driver's seat
Get in the passenger side
I am driving

I'm taking you to your own home
as my Trophy

How many times
have you
had a woman in your passenger seat?

You behind the wheel,
smiling your proud smile
your perfect white teeth gleaming

Straightening your necktie as
your bragged about your corporate successes
You and your car the proud conquerors
Your handmade black leather shoes pressing the pedal
of male power and privilege

Now you - just a passenger!
along for the ride in your own car
the rich carpet of your Porsche
under the smooth soles of your bare privileged feet

Now the plan!
We will marry
and you will clean and cook and look very beautiful

Now your LIFE LESSONS:
Dumb down your smug,
expensively high-class male executive
SPEECH.
More slang. Much less education in your voice
Don’t talk – just listen to ME

And you have to wipe off
That arrogant male grin
like you own the world.

Destroy that haughty attitude
of conquest - so much a part of you until today

Replace it with humble respect
And attitude of submission and obedience

Give me those sunglasses
You can't wear them anymore
Look at me
with submissive adoration in your clear, blue
eyes

No need to make decisions now
I will take care of that

I will take away your ambition
Your self-assertion
Your independent thinking

We'll take apart your self-confidence
and throw the pieces in the trash
All of your initiative and desire to succeed
will be replaced
by the desire to make me happy

I will change your prestigious upper class name
You will take MY last name now
Your identity will disappear
What is your first name? William?
You are Billy boy from now

Your male executive image and power clothes
No longer have
Any place
In your new existence

We'll pick up some nice tight cheap jeans and
some nice tight undershirts for your
new look - the one I choose
Show off your chest and your arms
Flip flops and work boots
and sweatshirts and flannel.
You will LOVE them!

I want you tougher, grizzled
Blue collarized
Working class male
You’re too clean, too smooth, too perfect
We’ll fix that...

And your clean-cut corporate haircut is
now forbidden
I hate it. Too perfect

Grow out your golden brown hair into
A scraggly ponytail
a beard too...
Put some dirt under those clean fingernails
Calluses on those smooth clean palms
An earring in your ear

And no more SUITS!
I hate suits
symbols of white male power and authority
and no more ties
those symbols of oppression
your neck and long male
throat will be open and exposed
for the world to see

No, that pinstriped suit you're wearing
that you had made for yourself in London
and the silk tie
and the starched white shirt
will all be sold to a second hand clothing shop

The monograms taken off your
cufflinks before they are sold
Your golf clubs – sold
Your tennis rackets and
sports equipment - sold

Your credit cards in my name
Your condo is now ours
Your Porsche is now mine
You will drive my beat-up old Ford

All of your fancy clothes will be sold off
That will be tomorrow



You're gonne be barefoot in my kitchen
You won't be needing shoes anymore
on your privileged, pampered feet


Now - your soles on your own kitchen floor
Making dinner for me
T R Jan 2015
YOU!

Tall and lean and impossibly handsome
and Corporate

In your magnificent pinstriped business suit
and perfectly tied silk tie
and your hundred dollar haircut
your privileged male feet hidden
inside impeccably polished black
English dress shoes

Staring at me through your
designer sunglasses

Haughty, confident, insolent
Stepping out of your Porsche
before you enter your office building

So smooth, clean, assured and perfect
Maybe you are 35 years old, maybe 40
the world is yours


Transformation
I have news for you
The tables are turned

YOU have been the one in power.
The one in control.
So proud, so arrogant, so confident

Starting at me, a total stranger
Just part of your usual day
I am just an object to you
I am an OBJECT to you!

Your beautiful smooth shaven
face turns...
but wait...

Wait! No more

NO MORE!

The world has turned upside
down

Now YOU are the OBJECT

I have the POWER to make things happen

NOW LISTEN TO ME

You have a new future

LISTEN. OBEY
Quit your important executive job
Leave your successful corporate career

That's right – now
QUIT!
Call from your Iphone
Don't enter the
building
Tell them you’re quitting

You are stunned and repelled and horrified
You resist and argue
You refuse and try to leave
Your pride and anger rise
But there is no escaping your destiny

Your power is gone
You are helpless to resist

Forget your MBA
Forget you ever went to a university
Slide the business school ring off your
long male finger

Give me the keys to that Porsche
And take your Rolex,
your gold wristwatch,
off your
wrist
You won't be needing a watch
I will tell you the time
We will sell your watch

Get those fancy, expensive,
polished handmade shoes off
Your pampered, privileged male feet
Yes, your black dress socks too

YOU, barefoot on the sidewalk!

Leave the shoes right there on the
sidewalk, in front of your former
office building.
Empty and crying for their former owner
Put your expensive socks inside the shoes
and drop the briefcase too

Now get back into the Porsche
you used to own
Yes, in your bare feet
Your naked size tens
No - NOT the driver's seat
Get in the passenger side
I am driving

I'm taking you to your own home
as my Trophy

How many times
have you
had a woman in your passenger seat?
You behind the wheel,
smiling your proud smile
your perfect white teeth gleaming
Straightening your necktie as
your bragged about your corporate successes
You and your car the proud conquerors
Your handmade black leather shoes pressing the pedal
of male power and privilege

Now you - just a passenger!
along for the ride in your own car
the rich carpet of your Porsche
under the smooth soles of your naked privileged feet

We will marry
and you will clean and cook and look very beautiful

Now your LIFE LESSONS:
Dumb down your smug, expensively high-class male executive
SPEECH.
More slang. Much less education in your voice
Don’t talk – just listen to ME

And you have to wipe off
That arrogant male grin
like you own the world.

Destroy that haughty attitude
of conquest - so much a part of you until today

Replace it with humble respect
And attitude of submission and obedience

Give me those sunglasses
You can't wear them anymore
Look at me
with submissive adoration in your clear, blue
Male eyes

No need to make decisions now
I will take care of that

I will **** your ambition
Your self-assertion
Your independent thinking

We'll take apart your self-confidence
and throw the pieces in the trash
All of your initiative and desire to succeed
will be replaced
by the desire to make me happy

I will change your powerful upper class name
You will take MY last name now
Your identity will disappear
What is your first name? William?
You are Billy boy from now

Your male executive image and power clothes
No longer have
Any place
In your new existence
We'll pick up some nice tight cheap jeans and
some nice tight undershirts for your
new look - the one I choose

I want you tougher, grizzled
Blue collarized
Working class male
You’re too clean, too smooth, too perfect
We’ll fix that...

And your clean-cut corporate haircut is
now forbidden
I hate it. Too perfect

Grow out your golden brown hair into
A scraggly ponytail
a beard too...
Put some dirt under those clean fingernails
Calluses on those smooth clean palms
An earring in your male ear

And no more SUITS!
I hate suits
symbols of white male power and authority
and no more ties
******* symbols of oppression
your neck and long male
throat will be open and exposed
for the world to see

No, that pinstriped suit you're wearing
that you had made for yourself in London
and the silk tie
and the starched white shirt
will all be sold to a second hand clothing shop

The monograms taken off your
cufflinks before they are sold
Your golf clubs – sold
Your tennis rackets and
sports equipment - sold

Your credit cards in my name
Your condo is now ours
Your Porsche is now mine
You will drive my beat-up old Ford

All of your fancy clothes will be sold off
That will be tomorrow



You're gonne be barefoot in my kitchen
You won't be needing shoes anymore
on your privileged, pampered male feet
rather bitter but intended as humor too
none of you understand what i’m saying is i’m not like any of you never married never parented children never owned real estate don’t believe in government the law hate rich people not afraid to lose everything risk life for the chance at a better life yes i graduated from Philadelphia dental school practiced medicine several years dashing handsome cordial Georgia physician yet knowing i was dying then of tuberculosis i wanted to feel alive know danger taste possibilities ******* greedy ranch and railroad barons all you cotton gin grist mill moguls loud mouthed Yankee carpetbaggers bounty hunters self-righteous snake oil preachers with your fearful farmstead flocks what the hell do you think Big Nose Kate and me were doing in Tucson why i risked my life at Tombstone’s OK Corral i’ll tell you why because we were desperate beyond your comprehension long-drawn-out careworn hours twisted in desperation insufferably plodding nights so desperate Kate relieved me daily yet in back of each our minds we understood we were both slaves to ancient unfair corrupt economic system that provided enough whiskey to cope desperate for money allegiance shelter frantic enough to face loaded guns aimed firing at me it was hell on earth glaring sun beating down desert dust blowing burning eyes bullets cutting everywhere 1880’s revolvers lacking accuracy even with expert gunsmith modifications young men riddled with bleeding gunshot wounds in 6 years i was dead age 36 hey Kate was no cakewalk she was a ***** who knew how to play me flirting charming admiring exaggerating her strange Hungarian lust encouraging provoking prostituting on her knees back tummy fingers mouth managing somehow to become acquainted with Arizona Governor George Hunt then surviving to age 90 you modern day sleepers who read this rambling cower at airport security passively submit to insidious militarizing culture invasively inspecting camera scanning for cuticle scissors nail file weapons all ludicrous absurdist theatre while real bad guys can easily tape 3 McDonald’s plastic knives together or ball point pen pierce pilots passengers throat arteries skyjack planes hijack bus trains you are no safer than you ever were before Homeland Security Czars foreign wars where we don’t belong riding has grown so weary courage ruthless longing vexing generating entire industry of airport security corporate mall tariff duty free shops inflated restaurant menu prices liter bottle of water $4.99 welcome to America **** me now or **** me later who cares what i look like what i wear if i’m dry shaven smell like goat if i cough up chunks of lung spit tuberculosis germs on polished floors just so long as i pay the toll fee and don’t go shooting off my mouth
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Pederasty mol
Matalie Niller Jun 2012
Henceforth all ducks shall be shackled
entwined in martyrdom
half-shaven and fully aroused
baked and shaked and rattled and rolled
like bunnies, their reproduction
obviously
blantantly
even Freud would scratch his beard
too blatant the ***
obviously there must be another underlying problem
loving alcohol means you need ****
*** obsession means you need
love? Condoms?
Loch Ness Monster came over for tea
drank the imaginary brew
spat boiled liquid onto a canvas and sold it as art
"yes, yes, what does it mean?"
What does it mean?
It means that you think too much and don't feel
and don't think enough too caught up
like me
not perfect just only
and only is all one can do
can be accounted for
one, two, three
fall in-between the divisions of derivatives
damask dames like snoozing penguins
which is
black, white and dread all over
none too sure or very glassy
not too much of anything
just, just.
T R Nov 2014
YOU!

Tall and lean and impossibly handsome
and Corporate

In your magnificent pinstriped business suit
and perfectly tied silk tie
and your hundred dollar haircut
your privileged male feet hidden
inside impeccably polished black
English dress shoes

Staring at me through your
designer sunglasses

Haughty, confident, insolent
Stepping out of your Porsche
before you enter your office building

So smooth, clean, assured and perfect
Maybe you are 35 years old, maybe 40
the world is yours


Transformation
I have news for you
The tables are turned

YOU have been the one in power.
The one in control.
So proud, so arrogant, so confident

Starting at me, a total stranger
Just part of your usual day
I am just an object to you
I am an OBJECT to you!

Your beautiful smooth shaven
male face turns...
but wait...

Wait! No more

NO MORE!

The world has turned upside
down

Now YOU are the OBJECT

I have the POWER to make things happen

NOW LISTEN TO ME

You have a new future

LISTEN. OBEY
Quit your important executive job
Leave your successful corporate career

That's right – now
QUIT!
Call from your Iphone
Don't enter the
building
Tell them you’re quitting

You are stunned and repelled and horrified
You resist and argue
You refuse and try to leave
Your pride and anger rise
But there is no escaping your destiny

Your power is gone
You are helpless to resist

Forget your MBA
Forget you ever went to a university
Slide the business school ring off your
long male finger

Give me the keys to that Porsche
And take your Rolex,
your gold wristwatch,
off your
wrist
You won't be needing a watch
I will tell you the time
We will sell your watch

Get those fancy, expensive,
polished handmade shoes off
Your pampered, privileged male feet
Yes, your black dress socks too

YOU, barefoot on the sidewalk!

Leave the shoes right there on the
sidewalk, in front of your former
office building.
Empty and crying for their former owner
Put your expensive socks inside the shoes
and drop the briefcase too

Now get back into the Porsche
you used to own
Yes, in your bare feet
Your naked size tens
No - NOT the driver's seat
Get in the passenger side
I am driving

I'm taking you to your own home
as my Trophy

How many times
have you
had a woman in your passenger seat?
You behind the wheel,
smiling your proud smile
your perfect white teeth gleaming
Straightening your necktie as
your bragged about your corporate successes
You and your car the proud conquerors
Your handmade black leather shoes pressing the pedal
of male power and privilege

Now you - just a passenger!
along for the ride in your own car
the rich carpet of your Porsche
under the smooth soles of your naked privileged feet

We will marry
and you will clean and cook and look very beautiful

Now your LIFE LESSONS:
Dumb down your smug, expensively high-class male executive
SPEECH.
More slang. Much less education in your voice
Don’t talk – just listen to ME

And you have to wipe off
That arrogant male grin
like you own the world.

Destroy that haughty attitude
of conquest - so much a part of you until today

Replace it with humble respect
And attitude of submission and obedience

Give me those sunglasses
You can't wear them anymore
Look at me
with submissive adoration in your clear, blue
Male eyes

No need to make decisions now
I will take care of that

I will **** your ambition
Your self-assertion
Your independent thinking

We'll take apart your self-confidence
and throw the pieces in the trash
All of your initiative and desire to succeed
will be replaced
by the desire to make me happy

I will change your powerful upper class name
You will take MY last name now
Your identity will disappear
What is your first name? William?
You are Billy boy from now

Your male executive image and power clothes
No longer have
Any place
In your new existence
We'll pick up some nice tight cheap jeans and
some nice tight undershirts for your
new look - the one I choose

I want you tougher, grizzled
Blue collarized
Working class male
You’re too clean, too smooth, too perfect
We’ll fix that...

And your clean-cut corporate haircut is
now forbidden
I hate it. Too perfect

Grow out your golden brown hair into
A scraggly ponytail
a beard too...
Put some dirt under those clean fingernails
Calluses on those smooth clean palms
An earring in your male ear

And no more SUITS!
I hate suits
symbols of white male power and authority
and no more ties
******* symbols of oppression
your neck and long male
throat will be open and exposed
for the world to see

No, that pinstriped suit you're wearing
that you had made for yourself in London
and the silk tie
and the starched white shirt
will all be sold to a second hand clothing shop

The monograms taken off your
cufflinks before they are sold
Your golf clubs – sold
Your tennis rackets and
sports equipment - sold

Your credit cards in my name
Your condo is now ours
Your Porsche is now mine
You will drive my beat-up old Ford

All of your fancy clothes will be sold off
That will be tomorrow



You're gonne be barefoot in my kitchen
You won't be needing shoes anymore
on your privileged, pampered male feet
an angry feminist takes over a man's life
mother died today or maybe yesterday i can’t be sure  the telegram from the home says your mother passed away funeral tomorrow deep sympathy which leaves the matter doubtful it could have been yesterday - “the Stranger” Albert Camus

a misguided partiality exists inside me i feel safer around women maybe i’m fooling myself and women are equally capable of the brutal cruelties i associate with men i don’t know i guess i believe women hold themselves to a higher behavioral standard gentler more nurturing there’s another aspect to my belief women floor me i am totally vulnerable to a pretty woman but it must be stated my tastes run quite peculiar i prefer alternative looks and am put off by classic American glamour i guess the real deal is i’m a guy most comfortable among men watching World Series Sunday Monday Night Football despite the fact that if i were with a woman would be my greatest craving who cares what i think i apologize for opening my mouth

we are stranded by the side of road from out of nowhere a beat up gray truck pulls along side in a cloud of dust we cannot see driver from passenger side stubbly shaven mustached man wearing red bandana under tattered western hat in accented hoarse voice hollers out how much for the girl with terrified expression in her face her hand reaches for my arm i peer coldly into man’s eyes then glance away answering

a. what exactly do you have in mind

b. how much cash do you got on you

c. she’s not for sale

d. we need a ride

e. we’re lost do you have a cell phone

f. please leave us alone

g. all of the above

an extraordinarily attractive member of opposite *** runs into you on street in familiar tone of voice greets you speaking your name it’s been ages you look terrific i was just thinking about you the other day it’s such a wonderful surprise to see you do you have time to stop chat over coffee or drink i live quite near here please come over to my place let’s catch up i’d really love that this person then looks at you in a flirtatious seductive way yet you cannot place or remember where you know them or if you’ve ever known them you answer

a. yes

b. this is embarrassing i’ve forgotten your name

c. how do you know my name where do we know each other from

d. is it possible you’re confusing me with someone else

e. i have no idea who you are or what you want from me

f. all of the above

these are dark times every one acknowledges post-modernism post-911 is bleak jobless homeless callous frightful kali yuga no one nothing nowhere  is safe wars gruesome atrocities piracy blood diamonds **** mutilation theft deceit betrayal school yard bullying assassinations cyber espionage anti-depression drugs vicious video games why aren’t people making positive video games referencing cooperation affection happiness instead of Grand Theft Auto Vice City Call of Duty World at War Mortal Kombat what kind of world are we creating for future generations why does violence sell more than *** why is *** so unkind what kind of people are we better off dead they shoot horses don’t they what happened what’s happening why are we making this hell why aren’t we making better wiser more loving choices i don’t understand

in the late 1960’s early 70’s parents didn’t have money to buy their kids high school graduation gifts or perhaps the notion was not invented yet nobody had cars maybe a few guys i knew owned cars they bought with their own hard earned money everybody i knew who lived off campus and too far to bicycle hitch-hiked to school then hitch-hiked home every day for 4 or more years that’s how we all did it in Hartford i remember sitting in different adult’s cars indebted grateful looking thinking wondering will i grow up to be like him or her projecting connections

when i grew up it was a different time turn on tune in drop out in a way hippies were reactionary to all the modern progress atomic age we winged it by inexact methods that time is gone it is crucial at present to be coherent sober accurate mindful wakeful vigilant wary prepared 24/7 this history being written how will it be told i’ve been around long enough to know how these deceptions work we are all using feeding ripping off each other we give in to whoever wants us become whoever seeks to destroy us we disgust ourselves i’m astonished dumbfounded talk with me who are we please explain i beg you

who if i cried who would hear me among the angels even if one of them pressed me against heart i would be consumed in overwhelming existence for beauty is nothing but beginning of terror we are still just able to bear we are so awed because it serenely disdains to annihilate us every angel is terrifying – “2nd Elegy” Rainer Maria Rilke
There was a roaring in the wind all night;
The rain came heavily and fell in floods;
But now the sun is rising calm and bright;
The birds are singing in the distant woods;
Over his own sweet voice the Stock-dove broods;
The Jay makes answer as the Magpie chatters;
And all the air is filled with pleasant noise of waters.

All things that love the sun are out of doors;
The sky rejoices in the morning’s birth;
The grass is bright with rain-drops;—on the moors
The hare is running races in her mirth;
And with her feet she from the plashy earth
Raises a mist, that, glittering in the sun,
Runs with her all the way, wherever she doth run.

I was a Traveller then upon the moor,
I saw the hare that raced about with joy;
I heard the woods and distant waters roar;
Or heard them not, as happy as a boy:
The pleasant season did my heart employ:
My old remembrances went from me wholly;
And all the ways of men, so vain and melancholy.

But, as it sometimes chanceth, from the might
Of joy in minds that can no further go,
As high as we have mounted in delight
In our dejection do we sink as low;
To me that morning did it happen so;
And fears and fancies thick upon me came;
Dim sadness—and blind thoughts, I knew not, nor could name.

I heard the sky-lark warbling in the sky;
And I bethought me of the playful hare:
Even such a happy Child of earth am I;
Even as these blissful creatures do I fare;
Far from the world I walk, and from all care;
But there may come another day to me—
Solitude, pain of heart, distress, and poverty.

My whole life I have lived in pleasant thought,
As if life’s business were a summer mood;
As if all needful things would come unsought
To genial faith, still rich in genial good;
But how can He expect that others should
Build for him, sow for him, and at his call
Love him, who for himself will take no heed at all?

I thought of Chatterton, the marvellous Boy,
The sleepless Soul that perished in his pride;
Of Him who walked in glory and in joy
Following his plough, along the mountain-side:
By our own spirits are we deified:
We Poets in our youth begin in gladness;
But thereof come in the end despondency and madness.

Now, whether it were by peculiar grace,
A leading from above, a something given,
Yet it befell, that, in this lonely place,
When I with these untoward thoughts had striven,
Beside a pool bare to the eye of heaven
I saw a Man before me unawares:
The oldest man he seemed that ever wore grey hairs.

As a huge stone is sometimes seen to lie
Couched on the bald top of an eminence;
Wonder to all who do the same espy,
By what means it could thither come, and whence;
So that it seems a thing endued with sense:
Like a sea-beast crawled forth, that on a shelf
Of rock or sand reposeth, there to sun itself;

Such seemed this Man, not all alive nor dead,
Nor all asleep—in his extreme old age:
His body was bent double, feet and head
Coming together in life’s pilgrimage;
As if some dire constraint of pain, or rage
Of sickness felt by him in times long past,
A more than human weight upon his frame had cast.

Himself he propped, limbs, body, and pale face,
Upon a long grey staff of shaven wood:
And, still as I drew near with gentle pace,
Upon the margin of that moorish flood
Motionless as a cloud the old Man stood,
That heareth not the loud winds when they call
And moveth all together, if it move at all.

At length, himself unsettling, he the pond
Stirred with his staff, and fixedly did look
Upon the muddy water, which he conned,
As if he had been reading in a book:
And now a stranger’s privilege I took;
And, drawing to his side, to him did say,
“This morning gives us promise of a glorious day.”

A gentle answer did the old Man make,
In courteous speech which forth he slowly drew:
And him with further words I thus bespake,
“What occupation do you there pursue?
This is a lonesome place for one like you.”
Ere he replied, a flash of mild surprise
Broke from the sable orbs of his yet-vivid eyes,

His words came feebly, from a feeble chest,
But each in solemn order followed each,
With something of a lofty utterance drest—
Choice word and measured phrase, above the reach
Of ordinary men; a stately speech;
Such as grave Livers do in Scotland use,
Religious men, who give to God and man their dues.

He told, that to these waters he had come
To gather leeches, being old and poor:
Employment hazardous and wearisome!
And he had many hardships to endure:
From pond to pond he roamed, from moor to moor;
Housing, with God’s good help, by choice or chance,
And in this way he gained an honest maintenance.

The old Man still stood talking by my side;
But now his voice to me was like a stream
Scarce heard; nor word from word could I divide;
And the whole body of the Man did seem
Like one whom I had met with in a dream;
Or like a man from some far region sent,
To give me human strength, by apt admonishment.

My former thoughts returned: the fear that kills;
And hope that is unwilling to be fed;
Cold, pain, and labour, and all fleshly ills;
And mighty Poets in their misery dead.
—Perplexed, and longing to be comforted,
My question eagerly did I renew,
“How is it that you live, and what is it you do?”

He with a smile did then his words repeat;
And said, that, gathering leeches, far and wide
He travelled; stirring thus about his feet
The waters of the pools where they abide.
“Once I could meet with them on every side;
But they have dwindled long by slow decay;
Yet still I persevere, and find them where I may.”

While he was talking thus, the lonely place,
The old Man’s shape, and speech—all troubled me:
In my mind’s eye I seemed to see him pace
About the weary moors continually,
Wandering about alone and silently.
While I these thoughts within myself pursued,
He, having made a pause, the same discourse renewed.

And soon with this he other matter blended,
Cheerfully uttered, with demeanour kind,
But stately in the main; and when he ended,
I could have laughed myself to scorn to find
In that decrepit Man so firm a mind.
“God,” said I, “be my help and stay secure;
I’ll think of the Leech-gatherer on the lonely moor!”
It was the man from Ironbark who struck the Sydney town,
He wandered over street and park, he wandered up and down.
He loitered here he loitered there, till he was like to drop,
Until at last in sheer despair he sought a barber's shop.
"Ere! shave my beard and whiskers off, I'll be a man of mark,
I'll go and do the Sydney toff up home in Ironbark."
The barber man was small and flash, as barbers mostly are,
He wore a strike-your-fancy sash he smoked a huge cigar;
He was a humorist of note and keen at repartee,
He laid the odds and kept a "tote", whatever that may be,
And when he saw our friend arrive, he whispered, "Here's a lark!
Just watch me catch him all alive, this man from Ironbark."

There were some gilded youths that sat along the barber's wall.
Their eyes were dull, their heads were flat, they had no brains at all;
To them the barber passed the wink his dexter eyelid shut,
"I'll make this bloomin' yokel think his bloomin' throat is cut."
And as he soaped and rubbed it in he made a rude remark:
"I s'pose the flats is pretty green up there in Ironbark."

A grunt was all reply he got; he shaved the bushman's chin,
Then made the water boiling hot and dipped the razor in.
He raised his hand, his brow grew black, he paused awhile to gloat,
Then slashed the red-hot razor-back across his victim's throat;
Upon the newly-shaven skin it made a livid mark
No doubt, it fairly took him in — the man from Ironbark.

He fetched a wild up-country yell might wake the dead to hear,
And though his throat, he knew full well, was cut from ear to ear,
He struggled gamely to his feet, and faced the murd'rous foe:
"You've done for me! you dog, I'm beat! One hit before I go!
I only wish I had a knife, you blessed murdering shark!
But you'll remember all your life the man from Ironbark."

He lifted up his hairy paw, with one tremendous clout
He landed on the barber's jaw, and knocked the barber out.
He set to work with nail and tooth, he made the place a wreck;
He grabbed the nearest gilded youth, and tried to break his neck.
And all the while his throat he held to save his vital spark,
And "******! ****** ******!" yelled the man from Ironbark.

A peeler man who heard the din came in to see the show;
He tried to run the bushman in, but he refused to go.
And when at last the barber spoke, and said "'Twas all in fun'
T’was just a little harmless joke, a trifle overdone."
"A joke!" he cried, "By George, that's fine; a lively sort of lark;
I'd like to catch that murdering swine some night in Ironbark."

And now while round the shearing floor the list'ning shearers gape,
He tells the story o'er and o'er, and brags of his escape.
"Them barber chaps what keeps a tote, By George, I've had enough,
One tried to cut my bloomin' throat, but thank the Lord it's tough."
And whether he's believed or no, there's one thing to remark,
That flowing beards are all the go way up in Ironbark.
Dee Renee Smith Nov 2012
I will be peace
with head shaven
wrapped in monk robes
pacing my sanctuary
swinging emitting censers
placid with redemption
forehead crossed with oil
habit centered praising
under perpendicular rulers
and when I retreat
from the corporal worship
of the spirits
i won’t punish myself
not at that instant
for to be shaven
releases my past
and my prayers
drift from crystalline pendulums
to guard my steps
and the ruler embodies warnings
that I’ve ignored in surrender
while lapping fabrications
that stain my thighs
black and blue
permanent ink
helps my heart testify
that i was born accused
of worshiping your inspiration
I love to conceive
yet, conception
without accountability
has been my greatest sin
so, i seek atonement
through divine unification
and create for the spirits
as i become peace.
- From InterPositioned
Poetic T Oct 2014
I liked to taste you on my
Lips,
Tongue,
Breath,
Breathing you in
But the taste faded,
I longed for your aroma
To stay,
I was clean shaven,
You liked it that way,
Then a beard erupted
From my
Cheeks,
Throat,
Lips,
Surrounded kept warm,
It grew many colours  upon my
Face,
Hard at first, bristles stung your
Features,
But it matured, grew softer
You even stroked it,
I went to taste you, satisfy your needs
I savoured your
Flavour,
Aroma,
Nectar,
Upon my lips
Like before, but better
My fur added sensation to a sensitive
Place,
I was like a kitten with a bowl of milk,
I made you
purr,
Purr,
PURR,
Out loud, louder
Yet I was drinking from your
Soft lips,
I had my fill, a smile upon your face,
I slept satisfied as well as you.
The morning arose
And I breathed in, still upon my face
I curled my top lip inhaled
I could smell you upon my beard
I licked the edges around my fur
Taste,
Smelt,
Nectar,
Was still here, I smiled
What once had faded, now
To be enjoyed a second time during the day
Nirmalee Apr 2013
A River
In Madurai,
city of temples and poets,
who sang of cities and temples,
every summer
a river dries to a trickle
in the sand,
baring the sand ribs,
straw and women’s hair
clogging the watergates
at the rusty bars
under the bridges with patches
of repair all over them
the wet stones glistening like sleepy
crocodiles, the dry ones
shaven water-buffaloes lounging in the sun
The poets only sang of the floods.

He was there for a day
when they had the floods.
People everywhere talked
of the inches rising,
of the precise number of cobbled steps
run over by the water, rising
on the bathing places,
and the way it carried off three village houses,
one pregnant woman
and a couple of cows
named Gopi and Brinda as usual.

The new poets still quoted
the old poets, but no one spoke
in verse
of the pregnant woman
drowned, with perhaps twins in her,
kicking at blank walls
even before birth.

He said:
the river has water enough
to be poetic
about only once a year
and then
it carries away
in the first half-hour
three village houses,
a couple of cows
named Gopi and Brinda
and one pregnant woman
expecting identical twins
with no moles on their bodies,
with different coloured diapers
to tell them apart.
                                                          ­                                                                 ­          ~A.K.Ramanujan
The city of Madurai stands on the bank of river Vaikai. In this poem,the poet points out the implicit reality of the river  and the devastation it brings about in monsoon, unlike other poets who mostly focus on the beauty of a river . This is one of my favorite poems. So thought of sharing it here at HP !
510

It was not Death, for I stood up,
And all the Dead, lie down—
It was not Night, for all the Bells
Put out their Tongues, for Noon.

It was not Frost, for on my Flesh
I felt Siroccos—crawl—
Nor Fire—for just my Marble feet
Could keep a Chancel, cool—

And yet, it tasted, like them all,
The Figures I have seen
Set orderly, for Burial,
Reminded me, of mine—

As if my life were shaven,
And fitted to a frame,
And could not breathe without a key,
And ’twas like Midnight, some -

When everything that ticked—has stopped—
And Space stares all around—
Or Grisly frosts—first Autumn morns,
Repeal the Beating Ground—

But, most, like Chaos—Stopless—cool—
Without a Change, or Spar—
Or even a Report of Land—
To justify—Despair.
Derek Yohn Jan 2014
Arthur McKnight was a powerful man and New York was his playground.  Not that he ventured out anymore at night now that he had met Evangeline.  The long days of mind-numbing numbers he crunched managing Wall Street hedge funds had taken their toll on him over the years, but becoming intimate with Evangeline had saved him, had changed him in ways so fundamental that for him she was all that mattered.

     Arthur no longer noticed these subtle differences.  He daydreamed by the dim LCD light of stock tickers, craving the touch that only his woman could bestow upon him.  He had surrendered completely to her bliss.

     These days when he woke to her already gone from his Upper West Side apartment all that was left of her presence was a lipstick kiss on the mirror and a bottle of Sally Hansen Tangerine Orange nailpolish.  The quiet was deafening, but that bottle of Sally Hansen left on the bathroom counter held the promise of Evangeline's return.

     It was just after 7 p.m. when Arthur made it home and he could already sense her.  She was coming.  He strode with purpose to his master suite, spying the black thigh-highs and silky red dress he had laid out for her arrival.  The waiting was unbearable, and Arthur finally broke, needing Evangeline so badly he could smell her perfume, could taste her in his throat.  It was time; no more waiting.

     "You look lovely tonight, Evangeline," Arthur croaked aloud as he pulled the first of the thigh highs onto his shaven legs...
mannley collins May 2014
and the unconditional love and the humility
that it takes, to stand naked with **** erected
and to be whipped,long and hard and loveingly,
with a custom 3 foot signal whip.
The welcome 500 to 700 lashes
laid upon my naked back and buttocks,
vigoriously and lovingly by my twin flame,
that take me beyond any adrenal blockage
imposed by mind and conditioned identity.
Ah the warm comfort of ******.
"Just warming up" she giggles, then takes
her custom 2 foot bullwhip and give the shaft
of my stiff wobbling and bobbing **** 65 carefully
aimed and oh so stinging strokes,
the tip of the whip painfully flicking my shaven *****
on each stroke,
and like a proper slave I say"thank you Mistress" after each
stinging burning stroke.
And then I slide the full length of my stiff and burning shaft
into the unconditionally loving cool and soft fragrant moisture
of her beingnesss
and am absorbed instantly  without a trace.
I burn in multi colours.
I am two in one.
I am one in two.
I am a Lava Lamp!!!.
Do you have the discipline to deep nasally breathe your way into the maximum Adrenalin flow that comes as a result of the sadomasochistic ****** way of breaking your lifelong Adrenal suppression?.
my life is a continuous poem.
written with fingers and eaten with ever open mouths.
In the end
I'll always just be
a pair of lonely hairy legs
with no need of a
razor
bleh Dec 2014
'i've only ever really read one poem. i, i have to admit.*  
You know, that, that one poem that everyone’s read, whatsit,
Howl by Ginsberg, 'best-minds-of-my-generation-destroyed-by-madness,-starving-hyste­rical-naked,' , yeah, that one;'
'It's just, I identify with it so strongly.' she says,
'That poem is soo me.'
It's funny how commentary on a generation 60 odd years ago come across as timeless insights..
how we learn that true spirit of rebellion and counterculture three generations ago,
  as it is taught to us by two generation ago countercounterculture academics.
but I guess, inevitably
                                         we
                                                  return,
  to those half drowned pontifications inevitably decried into transcendental truth by the onward spilling ratchet of cultural recognition;
  that sense of universal oneness generated by the unwashed ramblings of beat-generation hipsters dense innuendo in run on sentences running, running from their upper-lower-middle-class New York homes and their privilege of true vacant meaninglessness and despair,
   to those nervous tucked in shirted clean shaven scholars swooning over the same seme drugged, melancholic bearded men profussing the deepest of opaque truths only found up the furthest reaches of their own *****.
  As we push through to our lectures, the mosaic in motion of blazer wearing mac-users and mac-pac wearing blazers,
  As we hysterically interpret the formatting conditions for our reports, which could hang in the balance of whether the dreams we once had will ever be actualised,
  As we felt lost and found and found and lost at those park benches under the stars, where occasional strangers strolled by offering sessions and life-stories,
  As we paid exorbitantly to get out of our parents homes, and into tin-can flats with broken windows, absentee landlords and cracked paint only held together by all the moss, (the empowerment that is wage slavery,) for in our youth, poverty is not an ever-present pejorative, but the rite of passage to show that we are alive,
  As rituals of manhood are defined by two things and two things only; how much insomnia one can accumulate to meet insane and inane deadlines, and how much one can illuminate the walls in ***** from all the beers, spirits, cheap wines and questionable home-brews,
  As the government dismantles the human-rights commission, and we nervously attend the rallies initiated by the radicals, and the man on the megaphone calls on the crowd to chant and we can only mumble and laugh nervously at ourselves,
  And when the next speaker runs onto stage feeling the need to plead to this already nervous, placid mass that this is in-fact a PEACEFUL PROTEST, and that we are all true patriots and they insist everyone start singing the national anthem and we all look down and we again mumble, or pretend somehow not to hear them,
  and when, in this biggest independent rally around a unified cause our generation's ever seen, we have never felt so alone ,
  and isolated,  
                                  we
                                             remember,
                                                                    those earlier days,
  When we'd bleach our hair; we'd poison ourselves white, in the vain mystic hope that this was just the transition period to the time when we'd get true colour into our lives,
  Remember our wonder at the Eurocentric Asiatic television representations of the Abrahamic faiths, given transubstantiated holy revival by the medium of Saturday morning digital pastel pasture; when we were children staring excited and wide eyed into the Metatrons Fire of Sinai 'Random Almighty Mega Damage'; as Dante and the seraph class Tyrant-infused-Michael inevitably made battle with YHWH, -in the one True End,- as we grinded within the monolithic emerald obsidian halls, Mystical wonderment spilling forth from our reddened hollow eyes, at the beautiful unlimited expansive world contained within our console/consoling digital unit discs; conformally mapped and etched into the convex hull of our minds,
  Where we were gods, doing battle with every possible creature in morphospace, filleted into overpriced cards and cartridges, for which our strategies meant so much to us though none of us really understood the game,
  When we could quote verbatim every piece of dialogue in GTA2, and get concerned glances from our parents as we conjured veiled imagery of bukake-ladled innuendo which we didn't really understand until six or seven years later,
  When sexuality was a special secret club our elders and the kids in the years above came across so wise for being a member of, rather than an anti-turing test; a farcical ritual where everyone tries their best to imitate the hyper-reality of MTV while hiding the nervous feelings that this whole thing was really meant for someone other than us,
  When creating a whole new lexicon for our self-hood (be it artistic, ******, political or philosophical) felt like existential emancipation; a transcendental rebellion against the normalising identities and semantics of old, rather than an impenetrable circle-**** taxonomy,
  When one day we'd unveil a new term in some text, and it would completely change our outlook on every corner of our lives,
  Or, the next day, when we'd give up and just sit back on rolling banks, and look out at a veil of stars,
  Or the next day, when we'd wonder desperate and painfully, which of the last two was the real pursuit and which was wasted time? (Or was it this day, the day spent building an illusory dialectic between them?)
  Remember when we were in kindergarden, and you had to pass through the kitchen, -the adults zone,- to get to the toilet, and you'd feel both shame and wonderment listening in of the snippets of conversation muttered by these titanic figures; discussing abstruse issues from the newspaper in foreign yet noble tongues?
  Remember when we were teens, and every form-checking observation and question from these same adults was so painstakingly pedantically banal and asinine, that one could only respond with monosyllabic grunts and silent hysterics?
  And remember as 'young adults', when we'd inevitably entered this same dull Aristotelian world of forms, how we'd ask the same adults for advice on filling these paperworks, at once still asemic gibberish, and at once the fine-print that contained and predicted our lives?
  Remember when our dreams for the future were not bounded by the economy of our grade point averages and just how much debt we were willing to incur
                                …
I've seen the best minds of my generation climb into pre-packaged little boxes; and pay through the teeth for the privilege of doing so.  
  Akin to a 'Howl' they call it? Our cry for selfhood? What a scream.
It's not even a cry. Barely a whimper.
More of a zombified groan, completely aware our intrepid Journey of Self is just a pricey guided tour. (Tv Ad's static commodified existential emancipatory platitudes; 'your place in the world' / 'well it's my place and it's my time' urgh.)
And so we march asleep; all lame all blind.
  Trudging through the mind-fields; arguing, unravelling the semantic distinctions between the empty boundaries and the boundaries of emptiness.
  Transcribed down for essay deadlines,  /  assessing our lives trajectory as dead lines,
Becoming increasingly aware,
  We are not the living beings, the dasein, the Übermenschen being actualised; we are the machinery through which the institutions, the factories, the markets and education facilities actualise themselves.
  (While the only acceptable language we can breathe in opposition to these ratcheting pedagogical machines is the lexicon they provide us..
  ('oh, you hate systemic neoliberal alienation; the deestablishment of ontological anthropocentrism? Tell me more about the esoteric uselessness of academic culture.') bluh.)

But

       the more we follow those phantom images we built of ourselves,
the more we become aware they are but sirens; hypnotic dreamlike figures luring us to our doom,
  and as this awareness dawns; and the cognitive dissonances and schizophrenia grows,
       We


                                just try to keep calm and carry on regardless.

Can we really claim the arrogance of having a better path?
The conceit that there's a better cliff we should be guiding ourselves to to top ourselves off?
I don't know,
I reaally
really
just don't know.
..i think i started out with a theme here, but it mostly devolved into venting.
      i finished another year of university recently. i'm not really sure to what extent higher education's given me perspective on life, and what extent it's simply annihilated what little i had.
   from my experiences of student culture, i feel our generation views itself as abandoned by the world, but to good for it anyway. We aren't the bohemians or beatniks or hippies or punks; our drinking and drugging ourselves to death isn't a counter-cultural high-minded rebellion. It's more a prideful self destructive egotism, a self derisive narcissism.   or something. i dunno.
  whether it's from cowardice or a more genuine scepticism, i certainly have no idea what i am (or ought to be) doing in/with/about this world.
Daisy Chain Jan 2013
Your tan won't matter,
nor will leather shoes.
A wink, an eyelash flutter
Eyes that look only through

Her darkness penetrating
your light, but a dream
Inside her silent fountain
you, a trickle touch of stream

Your perfume may entice her
A cleanly shaven caress
But to get down inside her
march through your own mess

To really get down inside her
all you knew stands in your way
**** all your shine and shimmer
the polished opinions thrown away

Even on your knees, she cannot see
Even your serenade, she cannot hear
The only volume she can muster
is the volume of your love or fear.

Stand, sit, lean or cower
Poetry, curses, gold or brown
Dive into her world of power
Leaving ripples without a sound.
Sanja Trifunovic Dec 2009
Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
“‘Tis some visitor,” I muttered, “tapping at my chamber door –
Only this, and nothing more.”
  
Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December,
And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
Eagerly I wished the morrow; – vainly I had sought to borrow
From my books surcease of sorrow – sorrow for the lost Lenore –
For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore –
Nameless here for evermore.
  
And the silken sad uncertain rustling of each purple curtain
Thrilled me – filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;
So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating,
“‘Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door –
Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door; –
This it is, and nothing more.”
  
Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,
“Sir,” said I, “or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore;
But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping,
And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door,
That I scarce was sure I heard you” – here I opened wide the door; –
Darkness there, and nothing more.
  
Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing,
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortals ever dared to dream before;
But the silence was unbroken, and the stillness gave no token,
And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, “Lenore!”
This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, “Lenore!” –
Merely this, and nothing more.
  
Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning,
Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder than before.
“Surely,” said I, “surely that is something at my window lattice:
Let me see, then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore –
Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore; –
‘Tis the wind and nothing more.”
  
Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter,
In there stepped a stately raven of the saintly days of yore;
Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he;
But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door –
Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door –
Perched, and sat, and nothing more.
  
Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,
By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore.
“Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou,” I said, “art sure no craven,
Ghastly grim and ancient raven wandering from the Nightly shore –
Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night’s Plutonian shore!”
Quoth the Raven, “Nevermore.”
  
Much I marvelled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly,
Though its answer little meaning- little relevancy bore;
For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being
Ever yet was blest with seeing bird above his chamber door –
Bird or beast upon the sculptured bust above his chamber door,
With such name as “Nevermore.”
  
But the raven, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only
That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour.
Nothing further then he uttered – not a feather then he fluttered –  
Till I scarcely more than muttered, “other friends have flown before –
On the morrow he will leave me, as my hopes have flown before.”
Then the bird said, “Nevermore.”
  
Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken,
“Doubtless,” said I, “what it utters is its only stock and store,
Caught from some unhappy master whom unmerciful Disaster
Followed fast and followed faster till his songs one burden bore –
Till the dirges of his Hope that melancholy burden bore
Of ‘Never – nevermore’.”
  
But the Raven still beguiling all my fancy into smiling,
Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of bird, and bust and door;
Then upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking
Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of yore –
What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt and ominous bird of yore
Meant in croaking “Nevermore.”
  
This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing
To the fowl whose fiery eyes now burned into my *****’s core;
This and more I sat divining, with my head at ease reclining
On the cushion’s velvet lining that the lamplight gloated o’er,
But whose velvet violet lining with the lamplight gloating o’er,
She shall press, ah, nevermore!
  
Then methought the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer
Swung by Seraphim whose footfalls tinkled on the tufted floor.
“Wretch,” I cried, “thy God hath lent thee – by these angels he hath sent thee
Respite – respite and nepenthe, from thy memories of Lenore!
Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe and forget this lost Lenore!”
Quoth the Raven, “Nevermore.”
  
“Prophet!” said I, “thing of evil! – prophet still, if bird or devil! –
Whether Tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore,
Desolate yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted –
On this home by horror haunted – tell me truly, I implore –
Is there – is there balm in Gilead? – tell me – tell me, I implore!”
Quoth the Raven, “Nevermore.”
  
“Prophet!” said I, “thing of evil – prophet still, if bird or devil!
By that Heaven that bends above us – by that God we both adore –
Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, within the distant Aidenn,
It shall clasp a sainted maiden whom the angels name Lenore –
Clasp a rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore.”
Quoth the Raven, “Nevermore.”
  
“Be that word our sign in parting, bird or fiend,” I shrieked, upstarting –
“Get thee back into the tempest and the Night’s Plutonian shore!
Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken!
Leave my loneliness unbroken! – quit the bust above my door!
Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!”
Quoth the Raven, “Nevermore.”
  
And the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;
And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon’s that is dreaming,
And the lamplight o’er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
Shall be lifted – nevermore!
Poetic T Jan 2015
It happened every moon that
Filled the sky, the transformation
Couldn't be stopped.
I howled in defiance
I howled to cure the moon
I spoke unto the heavens
"Freedom from you"
I walked the places I could not
Have before, birthday suit
Wasn't the suit to show my
Face arrested for sure.
"Washing lines"
"Like a free store"
Socks,
Knickers,
Trousers,
Then last of all a shirt to finish me off,
Knickers you think?? this doesn't happen
All the time, but I find them nice to the touch.
I could feel you clawing upon the flesh
"Needing release"
But this is the moon of plenty now play
Nice, soon it will be your turn.
I sink pints as if water, then I find
Myself licking at the pint of ale,
Looking around,
Quizative,
Stares,
Beard
Upon my face, weren't you shaven when
You entered this place??
Hoooooowwww.
Do I know, I didn't look in the mirror
Before I left home.
"You drunk fella"
Nooooowwww
Right out the door I was politely
Thrown to the curb.
Well at least I tasted it this time,
"Golden nectar"
The animal is approaching
"My moment has pasted"
As I arch in agony,
Some one kicks me,
"Laughs at my pain"
"Would you like to meet my friend"
"He'll take a bite out of you friend"
Kicked upon the face as clothes shred off.
"The wolf is released"
Gone is man, primal form freedom
From that white hell that plagues
Every full moon,
I clamp down upon
Meat,
Marrow,
Bone
Shatters in my fanged grasp,
As my claws rip upon his throat.
I swipe once more as his head detaches
And leaves a frozen look of terror,
Rolling upon the floor.
I am free, I am the beast as I
Pounce upon road and path,
I reach the outskirts of my home
"I look at the manmade filth"
Howling into the night I am wolf,
Cured to be man for when the moon shines
I am that which is cursed I become man.
  .
A twist on the story,,
Thus the Mayne glideth
Where my Love abideth;
Sleep ’s no softer: it proceeds
On through lawns, on through meads,
On and on, whate’er befall,
Meandering and musical,
Though the niggard pasturage
Bears not on its shaven ledge
Aught but weeds and waving grasses
To view the river as it passes,
Save here and there a scanty patch
Of primroses too faint to catch
A weary bee…. And scarce it pushes
Its gentle way through strangling rushes
Where the glossy kingfisher
Flutters when noon-heats are near,
Glad the shelving banks to shun,
Red and steaming in the sun,
Where the shrew-mouse with pale throat
Burrows, and the speckled stoat;
Where the quick sandpipers flit
In and out the marl and grit
That seems to breed them, brown as they:
Naught disturbs its quiet way,
Save some lazy stork that springs,
Trailing it with legs and wings,
Whom the shy fox from the hill
Rouses, creep he ne’er so still.
Nat Lipstadt Apr 2019
You seem to know where you're needed


to whom this command addressed is a crazy me-man,
a street walking big DaVinci ibearded mumbler,
the kind you would cross the street
before the smell is close enough
to sending you running, not just
politely walking fast but a souped up
hi-yo silver away!

this guise no surprise,
you must and do
already know where I’m needed,
sealing the pact with a yellowtine post-it
writ in simple block letters ordered in a brewed cafe,
my latte arrive states my name as


come see me

come to the time the place and the date

and prepare oneself for twenty and fours
of rigid interoperability as our systems
interface reach the pure state of 100%
ultimate wordless dialogue

communicating
in with by
perfect silence
heaven

you will write a verse,
my reciprocation
is already prepared

this terse repartee
will many spawn poems generational
for your family amazing and extended

an elephnat never forgets,
his servers are a rolling stone
with no direction home,
capacity unknown
every blade sighted retained,
and every sensate glance
a phrase seeded

departure will find me clean shaven,
pressed jeans neat,
and shod in well worn dockers,
cloaking my innate invisibility

when the children ask who was that,
you’ll sage reply

one new who knew where one was needed
April  8  4/6/nought nineteen
10:13 am

https://www.google.com/search?q=da+vinci%27s+beard&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&hl=en-us&client=safari#imgrc=q3e6G4ijVeXNKM:
This is the church which Pisa, great and free,
Reared to St. Catharine. How the time-stained walls,
That earthquakes shook not from their poise, appear
To shiver in the deep and voluble tones
Rolled from the *****! Underneath my feet
There lies the lid of a sepulchral vault.
The image of an armed knight is graven
Upon it, clad in perfect panoply--
Cuishes, and greaves, and cuirass, with barred helm,
Gauntleted hand, and sword, and blazoned shield.
Around, in Gothic characters, worn dim
By feet of worshippers, are traced his name,
And birth, and death, and words of eulogy.
Why should I pore upon them? This old tomb,
This effigy, the strange disused form
Of this inscription, eloquently show
His history. Let me clothe in fitting words
The thoughts they breathe, and frame his epitaph.

  "He whose forgotten dust for centuries
Has lain beneath this stone, was one in whom
Adventure, and endurance, and emprise
Exalted the mind's faculties and strung
The body's sinews. Brave he was in fight,
Courteous in banquet, scornful of repose,
And bountiful, and cruel, and devout,
And quick to draw the sword in private feud.
He pushed his quarrels to the death, yet prayed
The saints as fervently on bended knees
As ever shaven cenobite. He loved
As fiercely as he fought. He would have borne
The maid that pleased him from her bower by night,
To his hill-castle, as the eagle bears
His victim from the fold, and rolled the rocks
On his pursuers. He aspired to see
His native Pisa queen and arbitress
Of cities: earnestly for her he raised
His voice in council, and affronted death
In battle-field, and climbed the galley's deck,
And brought the captured flag of Genoa back,
Or piled upon the Arno's crowded quay
The glittering spoils of the tamed Saracen.
He was not born to brook the stranger's yoke,
But would have joined the exiles that withdrew
For ever, when the Florentine broke in
The gates of Pisa, and bore off the bolts
For trophies--but he died before that day.

  "He lived, the impersonation of an age
That never shall return. His soul of fire
Was kindled by the breath of the rude time
He lived in. Now a gentler race succeeds,
Shuddering at blood; the effeminate cavalier,
Turning his eyes from the reproachful past,
And from the hopeless future, gives to ease,
And love, and music, his inglorious life."

— The End —