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Nick Strong Aug 2015
Rising from the sand at low tide,
The shipwreck’s spars, brown wet, decaying
Reaching like skeletal fingers, grasping
For one last piece of the breaking daylight
Tentacles of seaweed, woven
Wrapped around decaying planks
Anchoring it firmly
To Davy Jones’ Locker
Barnacle encrusted planks
Lie twisted, turned, unnatural
Frozen in a final plea of mercy
Before white tipped monsters
Crashed across the bow,
Splitting,  tearing masts
Sending it to the murky depths
Written after viewing a ships carcass beneath the waves
Chuck Jan 2013
Ships, boats, seafaring vessels, and barks of yore
Showcased in acclaimed poetry
From Homer to Donne to Flores
Metaphors to represent sundry notions

Uncontrollably swirled in an unforgiving sea

An arc
persecuting the sinners ******

A shipwreck
on a desolate island, defining a lost soul

A speed boat
Perhaps, mans' innate desire to escape
Or searching for lands unknown

What marvels poets behold in ships?

If I scribed a verse about a yonder vessel
It would be a childish innuendo
About a ships mast
Or I'd make an astounding observation
Such as ships are big boats.

However, poets, true visionaries
Scope massive ships from
Microscopic aspects of daily life.

And I. . . I look at a powerful ship
And think I'm a little dingy.
Upon reading many great works that reference ships! I had to be silly at the end. I couldn't resist. That does not take away my respect for these poems or poets. I hope it was ok, Neva.
Silence Screamz Aug 2015
Life is a shipwreck but we must not forget to sing in the lifeboats
You and I fell in love with
the calm before the storm,
as all lovers do.
When the tepid winds blow across
the steady blue plains and sunlight
winks through the ocean's collar
like a shy school girl,
we are mad with happiness.
The waves are calm and everlasting
and we are just the same.
But any lover of the water must know
that its temper is likely to change
without warning.
The tide rushes high and low across
a distant shore, and here the waves
are churning with a mighty force.
It doesn't change how the Sailor feels at home on the Sea,
or how your love makes a Shipwreck of me.
I'll drown in my love for the water
before I waste away by the shore,
only looking out from a distance
at the ocean I love so.
Though this sea bears many storms
and my vessel is fragile and small,
I would give my life to weather its waves
and sail the sunny waters once more.
It's coming it's returning
The empty feeling that I get
I'm tossing and I'm turning
I'm feeling like a shipwreck

Empty and abandoned
An empty hollow shell of want
I've crash landed
A shell of what I was once

Please give me my pain
I need the truest agony
Just don't let it wash in rain
To let my own emotions flee

Dully I watch
As I go by many places
My emotions stop
In an empty sea of faces

Tell me how
How to feel empty
Tell me now
How do I again see

Everything's so empty and pointless
Life doesn't even seem worth it
Ships, abandoned for centuries and empty. They feel nothing, just like me.
Silverflame Oct 2016
Mayday, my ship is slowly sinking.
Crushed and then consumed by these merciless waters called your lies.
Your apologies came in like the Kraken, destroying every evidence of life.
But I was safe inside my cabin because you know;
the captain is supposed to go down with the ship.
And so I did.
Now I am just a skeleton with pointless memories,
resting at the obscure ocean bottom with my shipwreck.
Andrea Cullen Feb 2013
Caged in a prison, high on a hill, actions ensued but didn’t quite fit the bill
Words of not-always transformed promises to forever,
Side by side, naught to hide,
despite the cloudy weather
A friend, a rock, a ship almost wrecked was looking to dock

Alone in the harbour, under the moonlight,
The half-wreck shone bright for what it was famed.
Tough stains were covered, remains left undiscovered to be smothered by another
Heart still full of what was before, keen, loveful pursuers already knocking at the door

Cabin wide open: “Ahoy mateys! Ahoy!”
She soon set sail with the innocent boy.
Tides were rolling on peacefully by, some of them were low tides but mainly they were high,
When in need there was a shoulder upon which to cry
And the girl thought the boy would help her get by.

Way out at sea on a tropical isle the boy showed the girl daemons not seen in a while
Opened her up and dove right in, illustrated the flaws of reacting to whims
Alone at sea,
the boy turned his back as she fell to her knees

Floundering, drowning, thrashing in the waves
The girl succumbed to what her daemon craves
Underwater tears remain unobserved
A not-so-sly Fox spoke of acts undeserved
An unsure girl, curled up, abashed
Covered up the act and watched her daemon be tamed

A ship in the darkness, a ship under the stars
Saved the girl and craved the girl and hoped she knew right
And Oh! How she flourished in this dependable new light
“Love and peace, me mateys!”: a new reason to fight

The boy on his island, soon to return,
Will see that the shipwreck upon which they met, though
Trawls the coast to find an isle of its own
And though different to first-envisaged, Bristol shall be its home.
The road behind bares us a backdrop, too many nights find us fractured in our thoughts and the dreamers we once were are far from the two people who stand today.

We're broken, mere splinters of our shipwreck past, driftwood on a shore that drowns every time the ocean breathes.
The path is littered with slaughtered dreams that didn't bleed.

As time and tide wait for no man shall we find it a tragic scene?
simply erased with the sunsets demise?
No one gets away without a scar and mine speak a road map to chaos
and a found hello to you.

Mine own scars are fingertips
gouged into the sand and faded
but salted by tears of the ocean, inerasable by the tide.
A soul washed up upon the shore, a road map etched delicately into fine bones.
You can trace where I'd been before. All roads lead to your hello.

In broken lines and have uttered phrases and one too many empty night.
Backdrop of chaos does paint in the darkest colors you could ever imagine .

How does it gets so flawed by our own creations and vices my dear?
Does it still ring ever so true?

The bell rings true whispering distant voices
Empty nights are just bottles lined up as dead soldiers
We contemplated our own truths and fell victim to our own vices
The backdrop is black, no colour beneath skin.
Honestly? Where does our downfall begin?

Two ships underneath the nightscape past the spark once understood the flame and nothing more .
In empty alleys, like cats to prowl, we find our moments, and then bury our thoughts to lay for no others to see.

half written papers and half heard conversation the keys of the piano haunt the silence as myself shadows that still remain.

Nothing is but a thought and those are like dead flowers laid to waste a reflection of far better times

The night crawls to meet the day as it has so many times before.

The thought of the minds bottle lay empty upon the table.
A fond farewell is but a sugar coated goodbye.
And I seldom have minced my words to mask their sting.

The page forever bleeds.

Pages that lay scattered on a ***** floor
Bleeding ink into cracks
that will forever more
hide the spirit of our souls.
This co write was a true honor and something I feel was way over due .
Helen honestly deserves far more credit than myself on this for her lines in this truly are brilliant.

I give her all the credit in the world cause co writing with me I know is far from easy but this write was truly a pleasure and I look forward to this being the first of many writes with her .

Cheers Helen
Emily Archer Sep 2014
I sing the song of the sinking ships that drown in the vast, dark ocean of depression I call home. They slosh against my ribcage with such force, I fear I may break entirely.
I'm sorry I write so often about the ocean.
Mosaic Mar 2015
You lift the blinds
A message in a bottle
in the ocean between our homes
But you are a jellyfish

(When I was a child
you laid there
tender without oxygen
you blue little jellyfish
in innocence i tried to save you

But you are a jellyfish
And I am a lighthouse
I can't save you
Only (mis)guide you
Love me as though you are a ship that’s lost the wind from your sails,
But never fearing the weather that I hold.
Love me when I am a raging sea at a bright midnight,
As deeply as an anchor that’s fallen against the ocean floor.
And love me more after the tide has broken against the shore,
Bringing a grey morning.
Love me through the thunder and lightning, the hurricane winds;
Until you are no longer afraid of drowning in the waves I carry.
comments and feedback are encouraged an appreciated.
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Jo Baez Mar 2016
Two vessels afloat,
Lost at sea.
Fading beacon of fragmented promises.
Shun and shine among the raging waves.
Awaiting to get washed away or break among the corroding rocks.
Whom hold history of a ghost traveling through the past, present, and lingering in the future.
Waiting to collide
Shipwreck, shipwreck,
The sirens sing .
Callie Greene Jul 2015
I tried so **** hard to forget you, so hard.  But you telling me how long you've been here waiting just shows me why I held on so long.  
It just shows why I scavenged ever piece of the shipwreck that floated up to the top.  Those were the enjoyable memories, but the anchor is still at the bottom of the ocean.  
And that is why we can't fight this any longer.  face it, neither of us can pull the anchor out of the water anymore.
Allie Nov 2017
You stand here kissing the light.
A halo of red leaves fall past your head
Your lips leave sparks on my cheek
Your eyes are as steady as tree trunks
The touch of your hand,
Makes the wind roar.
Will you catch me if I fall?
I already am.
My shirt ripples like waves in the  sea,
I wish to fall forever.
Because your mountain lion purr is my new favorite song,
I feel that your mysterious mind is made of music,
Each breath is a tune, each word is a melody,
You smell like brown cabins and daisies,
Your naked feet are the mud I am stuck in.
H e l p
I'm going to hit the ground and disappear into your orange hands.

You stand here kissing the light.
The gray skies are meant to be your background
Your rosy cheeks look far too kissable,
While you dance as if it's all you know how to do.
Every glance you grant me is a blessing and a  s i n,
Memories of lip balm and car rides flood my brain.
My dress is soaked, I'm drowning in you,
I wish you were lost in me too.
Your baffling blonde hair blinds me,
I can no longer see where I step.
Caught in a whirlpool, drinking all your thoughts,
Cold evenings, sweaty bodies,
You smell like blue trampolines and bubblegum.
This love is a shipwreck,
Oh God, This daydream has an expiration date,
I can't live off empty kisses and blue eyes.

You stand here kissing the light.
And breathing burgundy words.
Your hands are searching for a spark,
But your touch is as light as a bumble bees.
When you laugh, I no longer feel alone,
Because you make my heart beat again.
I stand on tiptoe and kiss your habitual hat,
Wishing I could be happy in your arms.
You are a sunny serene statue
In this seriously fast-paced fast-racing world.
But, notes passed and dying embers won't save me from
H o l l o w  car rides home.
You smell like warm blankets and hot sauce.
I warn you not to drink me,
I am spoiled milk.
Get out, before it's too late,
I don't love your yellow mind like I should.

You stand here kissing the light.
A rainstorm strikes when you laugh,
Your bare back is the sturdy ship,
I am stranded on in this wide ocean.
I'm stuck in the jungle of your mind,
The story of you is locked in my bones,
You're wild, green, and reckless,
I'm etranced.
Our various vivacious ventures leave me in    r e v e r i e,
craving something I can't quite name.
Yet, smoky rooms and video games
can't protect me from these
black thoughts.
You smell like cinnamon and *****,
In this moment, that feels like home.
But god, I can't tell if I'm healing or hurting,
And I don't know if you'll survive
the hole in my heart,
Still, I'll kiss your brown lips,
and hope that you do
A poem about the three girls and one guy in my life I've loved
Darbi Alise Howe Dec 2013
I once met a captain, three yards from the sea
In a tavern where only true sailors should be
This captain questioned if I was a We
"No," I replied, "I am both lonely and free."
He, too, could relate to a life in this way
His comfort came from the boat's gentle sway
And time held nothing but day after day
Yet my smile, he said, kept his ship at bay.
The captain, filled with both warmth and fear
Watched our faces in the tavern's mirror
Sadly, and tenderly, he declared it was clear
I was the shipwreck into which he would steer.
m h John Jan 2019
You’ve sailed the deepest seas,
And have seen
the most exotic islands,
The most violent waves
Have left you a shipwreck
The oceans not always kind
Julie Butler Jul 2014
Breaking bonds
Like haunted hearts
Inside lost jars
From sunken ships
Lost at sea
I'm lost you see
& I can't tell you that
Cause it's not up to me
K Balachandran Apr 2015
Gently he'll take her in his arms,"Öh! my precious orchid"
he looks deeply in to her eyes, classic lover style, it still works,
that was the hope he finally clung on,her mother would murmur
something away from  his ears,to be careful, he didn't get her point.

her eyes were bright and deceptive, his Waterloo,those two were,
eyelashes always would flutter, as if she is afraid, he would abduct her,
how romantic, his heart jumps up at once in delight,
a shipful of bounty returning after the hunt of a lifetime!

"Could I call you anytime, please let me, even if it's too late"
she would plead, too cute,then pretend dejection, ah! he  likes it
as if he'll deny it and she can't bear that thought, her heart'd break,
he'd say" Ẅhy not, I'd anticipate your call all night"

he would stand sentinel,that night, wait for her call
hell, she won't call, not a day!, still can he go and sleep?
he'd meet her with bleary eyes, the day after so apologetic,
she'd get offended at his disheveled , mad look.

"Aren't you my heart's poem, then come to me little more decently"
asking him  to keep awake all night, this wasn't her speaking!
"Come to coffeehouse, sharp at  four" she is curt this time.
then, someone will come and inform, "She won't  make it today"

And when things get muddled, she comes running
and pretend **** apologetic,"Sorry, a fool I am, to hurt you, dear"
never did he tell her what she really was, never asked her to *******
she was a shipwreck, spectacular, rescue was someone else's business..
Bailey Lewis Apr 2016
She was a shipwreck
Her body couldn’t handle
The sorrowful sea
And board by board
The tide took her away
From me
I hate generic rhyme patterns, but it has been awhile and I need to keep posting.
LDuler Jun 2013
First came the false presumptions of luxury
The gaudy glamour
Bright dresses and dark suits
Awkward glances and ****** food
Eventually though
The evening settled down
And then, after the smoking and drinking
Came 1 o'clock, the worn-out end of a hazy day

It was a smother of time,
a stifling landscape of clocks
a decaying of darkness
The night gave way to trembling cold delirium
And slow and slow down
A slide from reality
Everything fell

I remember barely a glimmer- a hand, an arm, red sheets somewhere
Eyes that whispered "what's wrong with her? what's her deal?"
Or worse yet, faces that didn't care
To see me, my wrists
Appalling in all their shivering shaken chill dust
In moments like this,
I am nothing but a fearful machine
Broken in its deepest workings,
All function altered.

Clamors and tremors of panic
Withered illusions gathered at my feet like kittens
I tossed the blanket from the makeshift bed
Lay upon my back and waited
Watched, frightened, the night revealing
The hundred ignoble, vile images
Of which my thoughts seems consisted of

They flickered at bit- against the burgundy hammock
And empty Baccardi bottles
2 o'clock shook the memory
A crowd of twisted things,
Torn and stained and coiling about my wrists
I move by the sway of these thoughts that are curled around me
-The notion of some infinitely suffering thing

Oh I only need a lighthouse
To guide my soon-to-be shipwreck home
I only need a compass, a crucifix, a presence
But never
never to be found
the way
Sic transit gloria mundi
Rain in July Oct 2015
Clutters of broken emotions
Floating on the salty sea of tears
My heart is a shipwreck.
SinEater Nov 2014
My skin is p a  l e
My body c o ld
     And in my chest lies a broken heart of fools gold
My re alit  y   I  on ce knew is ha z  y    a nd n on exist en  t
It's grown old
     And I'm becoming tired of being bold
And being told right from wrong
      I'm sinking softly down when I don't know how to swim
  Every inch that I further lose from possibility to stay afloat is lessening my want or need for a life boat
    Every breath I attempt to take fills my lungs with ugly pseudonyms and sends me down deeper into my lonesome underpopulated town inhabited only by fragments of once strong relationships that i held so close to me that I c ould n't  b reat h e, the relationships that kept my entire being from sinking in the first place.
   I'm drowning and I can't see what's even in front of me
       I'm a ship bound by anchor to the wrong bad habits of shedding my   blood willingly to bloodthirsty ravenous sharks in the sea of my minds eye
       This was once a safe harbor for the ones I kept close
  The ones that knew what mattered to me and the ones I cherished most
      Now its a sea full of  gh o sts
Of the people I trusted them the most
    I trusted them to not turn on me or use me like a host
And now I'm the one  dro w ning
I' m    so  sca re      d
   Now when I share my harbor it feels so
    U    n    fa    i r
        They don't understand what I risk give to let them be there
It never harbors in their heart as deeply as it does mine
     The possibility of even defining how hard it is to let these ships safely     pass through this harbor will now and forever never be able to escape  my pale numbing lips
    Only silence
Everything here is just riddled with murderous crashing waves
   Any relationship that enters I try so desperately to save
     And in that attempt
  The harbor starts to misbehave
            The waves destroy every boat or anything that floats
  Anything at all to help me cope with being so alone or the feeling of even remotely being at home.
      My fingertips are numb and cold and starting to fold and I can't feel those things I could before
I just want all of this over
N o    m   o re   dro w n    i n          g
All my life boats have sunk
    Now I'm just stuck
     All these hands and graves are grabbing at me and pulling me down        ev ery   whi ch     wa y  at  the
    bott om of the
oce an
u  nd   er

     al l
th e s     e  
h e   a     v y

Anatidaephobic para siesta,
on the park bench w/ the child molesters:

eyeballs eyevory as Arctic detergent,
amid shingle by De Beers are REMurgent.

Whitsands of some incroyable Bermuda
(white man even his own intruder,

upon cetocephalic theta depths,
that whistle crystal Dixie, seahorses for clefts).

'Peas have great individuality,'
but peristerite is this sea,

not peagreen.  A pickpoctopus of preag
(pre-peag more offshore than 64,000 leagues),

klepto Neptune mudlarks the silica,
into his limelylit hypothermia

sleeves shells, like the desirable hermitcrab Earth
of my astrally orarian self.

My gaze stolen by tealeaf tides:
samphire, sapphire, squid's suckereyed .

Under the sea, there is no CCTV.
But guilt is a silk meat to the nee-

dleeyed nostrils of PC Jaws;
feefifofumes slip faded scabs' pores.

He's not a panoptopus catching your tentacle in your mouth,
but squaloid cop whose own gob's a ganch.

Phaser intangible thru verdantique,
Policeshark! does davyjonestowns deek.

On a fishing expedition in shipwreck slums,
whose 19 new tenants are pinklewickers from Morecambe,

but they're innocent as God's goslings, so Policeshark!
capriciously octocuffed a gangster's mollusc

- by 'octocuffed', I meant crunched the suspect's stu-
diously nonevolved backbone in his beartrap bazoo.

After flossing the caries of noble cause corruption,
moody maccarelics had snubsnouted selachian

policesharkraid! an octopus's gardengate,
& half a McCalf, knee, did he confiscate

- minus the 'confisc'.
His beat is wide & his beat is deep, from Frisc-

o to Portalprints,
Constantlynubile  (Instantbeau) to Pawsmith,

from pertly lisped Perth to hellsmiled imorteen's
imaginary Miami, styrofoam unicorn shoreline.

& traversing isthmus now wasthmus, Lemuria,
where  the wreck of the Sargassoworks lies similar-

ly submerged, sunk by Cap'n Sanforisedbeard,
nautical vagabond who thought he'd blagged a pond,

but was wonking all the angles on the sextant,
till mainsail was mainly flailing like an introvert

among many reprikates of Rik Mayall. Policeshark! swam
thru turquoise ****** of amino acids, liquid farm-

yards of forms not yet strangely familiar enough,
where plankton are those new clear vitals' scurf,

or Creation's intelligent designer stubble.
& Creation's archeozoic goosepimples are bubbles.

For around Policeshark!, waves may turn time-
twiddlingly wavy: Zeit's gristle to the Sein-

shark, the Aardshark, the Wailsnark, the Sharchetype
worrying my liminal jugular like a vamp-

ire scarf. In the blink of the eye of the
Policesharknado!, Policeshark! the merciless mer-

monitor has done his bloodhound rounds,
reset his primordial aura dial, outswam Ground

Zerocean brane, that damp original,
even aquathreshed the 'bi.ven.' in that bilateral

venture 'tween surf 'n' turf, Sinbad the Flavour.
So as to spyhop above cursive of rips & rollers

to stake out this shorehugger, whose Shutter Island discs
sirenade not of Portalsmith, Bizzyhandyman or Frisc-

o, but of a more prosaic 'mare where sharks go quack.
So rage, Ol' Cuntsea, Thalassa you ****!

Big blue wobbly ****, Red Label Sea
of my unconscious! It is mens rea

for which Policesharks! frenze, pinprick of shame,
but the dreaming animal's meat is not game.

I am Ruestungminister in his Argentine cabana!
I am God in His Gondola!

& the Policesharkcage! is the cordon sanitaire
of my not really being there. Or here.

I'm Shore Ryder splittin' for a sun-Ken-
tucky, para siesta passing for a con-

tent Tuesday come to pass like the rainbands
that wore Ray Bans were disbanded by whitsands

fresh-CV-not-cream-scroll-brill, yet
inadmissible as Icarus giblets

or a mohican of gills' nullity.
O Policesharkbait! paltry

as dismembered Freudianism of carnal lagan!
Less catabasis & more embasan.

A dreampoet about to jump the Policeshark!,
awoke to the trope of a Savileville park.

Was it a dream within a dream within...
TL; DR, Policesharkfin!!
'embasan'  (Filipino)- to wear clothes in the bath
Tucker Freeman Oct 2012
in love, in lust
in bed, in dust
we lie together
blind and deaf
mere sheep
till the day of death............

tell them i'm government
that i did came
only peace and virtue
flow from my name
and if you don't listen
it's a god ****** shame
far from fame
i cure thy lame
the youth i'll train
to die
to fight
to pillage
to plight
with pen
with knife
from darkness til light
to believe and receive
to **** that which you conceive
with anger and greed
an unstoppable seed
drug and arm these streets
the bass and the beats
under the cadillac seats
next to the stamps with which you eat............

god is online
a friend of mine
in a lighted box
with airwaves of angels
joining both you and me
why can't you see
the ******* they feed
the bulletins and tickers
lollipops and stickers
flashes and flickers of truth
but we don't see
for our eyes are covered
when we are mothered by them.
Quinn Sep 2011
broken baby girl
screams of want
for the new world
just beyond the horizon

but she's been
sailing a sinking ship
with holes in the
sails and
an anchor that
drags through the depths

crew jumped
a thousand
leagues ago
and she stands
at the helm
compass in hand
perfectly unwilling
to live this one down

100 yards from land
she holds the hand of the
figurehead tight enough
that slivers work their way
throughout her palm

and as she breathes in
the salty liquid and watches
the sun streaked sky
littered with screaming gulls
fade away

she knows that she's finally
found a way
into the great unknown
Raven Oct 2015
After a while, you'll get used to being a shipwreck but there will be days that you'd feel that sinking feeling all over again.
LJ Chaplin Apr 2015
He waits for the wind to carry him home,
Across waves that rise and fall with
The pulsing of his aching heart,
She waits on rocks by the shipwreck,
Wondering how he got away,
He counts his blessings and clutches his chest,
The lurching feeling fading with the haunting
Visions of the flames in her eyes,
She cries and buries her face into her hands,
Tears forming shallow bodies of water
Like the rock pools where she dreamed of
Capturing  his heart.
© LJ Chaplin
Tab Jan 2016
I'm a shipwreck
Not a traditional wreck
No I'm shipwrecked on the beach
My lungs are full of sand
The sun is burning my eyes
I can't see the world around me
I don't want to go down with this ******* ship
I consider myself a shipwreck
TTodd Nov 2018
Monstrous waves,
unworldly breadth and height –

Angry tempest breath!

The bravest of them
prayed and quaked with fright.
Ashley Chapman Nov 2018
Rolling a Pall Mall in the courtyard,
of Ye Olde Swiss Cottage Tavern,
in the last of November's sun:

      Lovely sunlight,
      You are,
      Filling me warmly with joy.

Thinking of our desires,
from summer and autumn months,
up to this bright November morning,
we have happily danced,
e'en in the shadows.

Above me two brick turrets,
as I dreamily smoke,
state nonchalantly 'Underground'.
High-raised logos winking at our play,
struck through with horizontal blue,
in that circle of familiar enamel white.
'Old Fool!' the towers hiss,
directed at my mortal sensibilities,
'winter has come.'

But nothing buries us
as inside our sun still comfortingly kindles
a friendly star
which when all is dark,
guiding the shipwreck of my sunken years
- the debts and all those unpaid thrills!

Dreaming and Loving,
as children out,
lost in our abundant *****,
each holding off for as long as we dare,
lovers masked,
hidden from suffocating paternity,
and cold winter's bite!
where to we hardly know,
to avoid its cruel embrace.
There are cemeteries that are lonely,
graves full of bones that do not make a sound,
the heart moving through a tunnel,
in it darkness, darkness, darkness,
like a shipwreck we die going into ourselves,
as though we were drowning inside our hearts,
as though we lived falling out of the skin into the soul.

And there are corpses,
feet made of cold and sticky clay,
death is inside the bones,
like a barking where there are no dogs,
coming out from bells somewhere, from graves somewhere,
growing in the damp air like tears of rain.

Sometimes I see alone
coffins under sail,
embarking with the pale dead, with women that have dead hair,
with bakers who are as white as angels,
and pensive young girls married to notary publics,
caskets sailing up the vertical river of the dead,
the river of dark purple,
moving upstream with sails filled out by the sound of death,
filled by the sound of death which is silence.

Death arrives among all that sound
like a shoe with no foot in it, like a suit with no man in it,
comes and knocks, using a ring with no stone in it, with no
     finger in it,
comes and shouts with no mouth, with no tongue, with no
Nevertheless its steps can be heard
and its clothing makes a hushed sound, like a tree.

I'm not sure, I understand only a little, I can hardly see,
but it seems to me that its singing has the color of damp violets,
of violets that are at home in the earth,
because the face of death is green,
and the look death gives is green,
with the penetrating dampness of a violet leaf
and the somber color of embittered winter.

But death also goes through the world dressed as a broom,
lapping the floor, looking for dead bodies,
death is inside the broom,
the broom is the tongue of death looking for corpses,
it is the needle of death looking for thread.

Death is inside the folding cots:
it spends its life sleeping on the slow mattresses,
in the black blankets, and suddenly breathes out:
it blows out a mournful sound that swells the sheets,
and the beds go sailing toward a port
where death is waiting, dressed like an admiral.
Who would not laugh, if Lawrence, hired to grace
His costly canvas with each flattered face,
Abused his art, till Nature, with a blush,
Saw cits grow Centaurs underneath his brush?
Or, should some limner join, for show or sale,
A Maid of Honour to a Mermaid’s tail?
Or low Dubost—as once the world has seen—
Degrade God’s creatures in his graphic spleen?
Not all that forced politeness, which defends
Fools in their faults, could gag his grinning friends.
Believe me, Moschus, like that picture seems
The book which, sillier than a sick man’s dreams,
Displays a crowd of figures incomplete,
Poetic Nightmares, without head or feet.

  Poets and painters, as all artists know,
May shoot a little with a lengthened bow;
We claim this mutual mercy for our task,
And grant in turn the pardon which we ask;
But make not monsters spring from gentle dams—
Birds breed not vipers, tigers nurse not lambs.

  A laboured, long Exordium, sometimes tends
(Like patriot speeches) but to paltry ends;
And nonsense in a lofty note goes down,
As Pertness passes with a legal gown:
Thus many a Bard describes in pompous strain
The clear brook babbling through the goodly plain:
The groves of Granta, and her Gothic halls,
King’s Coll-Cam’s stream-stained windows, and old walls:
Or, in adventurous numbers, neatly aims
To paint a rainbow, or the river Thames.

  You sketch a tree, and so perhaps may shine—
But daub a shipwreck like an alehouse sign;
You plan a vase—it dwindles to a ***;
Then glide down Grub-street—fasting and forgot:
Laughed into Lethe by some quaint Review,
Whose wit is never troublesome till—true.

In fine, to whatsoever you aspire,
Let it at least be simple and entire.

  The greater portion of the rhyming tribe
(Give ear, my friend, for thou hast been a scribe)
Are led astray by some peculiar lure.
I labour to be brief—become obscure;
One falls while following Elegance too fast;
Another soars, inflated with Bombast;
Too low a third crawls on, afraid to fly,
He spins his subject to Satiety;
Absurdly varying, he at last engraves
Fish in the woods, and boars beneath the waves!

  Unless your care’s exact, your judgment nice,
The flight from Folly leads but into Vice;
None are complete, all wanting in some part,
Like certain tailors, limited in art.
For galligaskins Slowshears is your man
But coats must claim another artisan.
Now this to me, I own, seems much the same
As Vulcan’s feet to bear Apollo’s frame;
Or, with a fair complexion, to expose
Black eyes, black ringlets, but—a bottle nose!

  Dear Authors! suit your topics to your strength,
And ponder well your subject, and its length;
Nor lift your load, before you’re quite aware
What weight your shoulders will, or will not, bear.
But lucid Order, and Wit’s siren voice,
Await the Poet, skilful in his choice;
With native Eloquence he soars along,
Grace in his thoughts, and Music in his song.

  Let Judgment teach him wisely to combine
With future parts the now omitted line:
This shall the Author choose, or that reject,
Precise in style, and cautious to select;
Nor slight applause will candid pens afford
To him who furnishes a wanting word.
Then fear not, if ’tis needful, to produce
Some term unknown, or obsolete in use,
(As Pitt has furnished us a word or two,
Which Lexicographers declined to do;)
So you indeed, with care,—(but be content
To take this license rarely)—may invent.
New words find credit in these latter days,
If neatly grafted on a Gallic phrase;
What Chaucer, Spenser did, we scarce refuse
To Dryden’s or to Pope’s maturer Muse.
If you can add a little, say why not,
As well as William Pitt, and Walter Scott?
Since they, by force of rhyme and force of lungs,
Enriched our Island’s ill-united tongues;
’Tis then—and shall be—lawful to present
Reform in writing, as in Parliament.

  As forests shed their foliage by degrees,
So fade expressions which in season please;
And we and ours, alas! are due to Fate,
And works and words but dwindle to a date.
Though as a Monarch nods, and Commerce calls,
Impetuous rivers stagnate in canals;
Though swamps subdued, and marshes drained, sustain
The heavy ploughshare and the yellow grain,
And rising ports along the busy shore
Protect the vessel from old Ocean’s roar,
All, all, must perish; but, surviving last,
The love of Letters half preserves the past.
True, some decay, yet not a few revive;
Though those shall sink, which now appear to thrive,
As Custom arbitrates, whose shifting sway
Our life and language must alike obey.

  The immortal wars which Gods and Angels wage,
Are they not shown in Milton’s sacred page?
His strain will teach what numbers best belong
To themes celestial told in Epic song.

  The slow, sad stanza will correctly paint
The Lover’s anguish, or the Friend’s complaint.
But which deserves the Laurel—Rhyme or Blank?
Which holds on Helicon the higher rank?
Let squabbling critics by themselves dispute
This point, as puzzling as a Chancery suit.

  Satiric rhyme first sprang from selfish spleen.
You doubt—see Dryden, Pope, St. Patrick’s Dean.
Blank verse is now, with one consent, allied
To Tragedy, and rarely quits her side.
Though mad Almanzor rhymed in Dryden’s days,
No sing-song Hero rants in modern plays;
Whilst modest Comedy her verse foregoes
For jest and ‘pun’ in very middling prose.
Not that our Bens or Beaumonts show the worse,
Or lose one point, because they wrote in verse.
But so Thalia pleases to appear,
Poor ******! ****** some twenty times a year!

Whate’er the scene, let this advice have weight:—
Adapt your language to your Hero’s state.
At times Melpomene forgets to groan,
And brisk Thalia takes a serious tone;
Nor unregarded will the act pass by
Where angry Townly “lifts his voice on high.”
Again, our Shakespeare limits verse to Kings,
When common prose will serve for common things;
And lively Hal resigns heroic ire,—
To “hollaing Hotspur” and his sceptred sire.

  ’Tis not enough, ye Bards, with all your art,
To polish poems; they must touch the heart:
Where’er the scene be laid, whate’er the song,
Still let it bear the hearer’s soul along;
Command your audience or to smile or weep,
Whiche’er may please you—anything but sleep.
The Poet claims our tears; but, by his leave,
Before I shed them, let me see ‘him’ grieve.

  If banished Romeo feigned nor sigh nor tear,
Lulled by his languor, I could sleep or sneer.
Sad words, no doubt, become a serious face,
And men look angry in the proper place.
At double meanings folks seem wondrous sly,
And Sentiment prescribes a pensive eye;
For Nature formed at first the inward man,
And actors copy Nature—when they can.
She bids the beating heart with rapture bound,
Raised to the Stars, or levelled with the ground;
And for Expression’s aid, ’tis said, or sung,
She gave our mind’s interpreter—the tongue,
Who, worn with use, of late would fain dispense
(At least in theatres) with common sense;
O’erwhelm with sound the Boxes, Gallery, Pit,
And raise a laugh with anything—but Wit.

  To skilful writers it will much import,
Whence spring their scenes, from common life or Court;
Whether they seek applause by smile or tear,
To draw a Lying Valet, or a Lear,
A sage, or rakish youngster wild from school,
A wandering Peregrine, or plain John Bull;
All persons please when Nature’s voice prevails,
Scottish or Irish, born in Wilts or Wales.

  Or follow common fame, or forge a plot;
Who cares if mimic heroes lived or not!
One precept serves to regulate the scene:
Make it appear as if it might have been.

  If some Drawcansir you aspire to draw,
Present him raving, and above all law:
If female furies in your scheme are planned,
Macbeth’s fierce dame is ready to your hand;
For tears and treachery, for good and evil,
Constance, King Richard, Hamlet, and the Devil!
But if a new design you dare essay,
And freely wander from the beaten way,
True to your characters, till all be past,
Preserve consistency from first to last.

  Tis hard to venture where our betters fail,
Or lend fresh interest to a twice-told tale;
And yet, perchance,’tis wiser to prefer
A hackneyed plot, than choose a new, and err;
Yet copy not too closely, but record,
More justly, thought for thought than word for word;
Nor trace your Prototype through narrow ways,
But only follow where he merits praise.

  For you, young Bard! whom luckless fate may lead
To tremble on the nod of all who read,
Ere your first score of cantos Time unrolls,
Beware—for God’s sake, don’t begin like Bowles!
“Awake a louder and a loftier strain,”—
And pray, what follows from his boiling brain?—
He sinks to Southey’s level in a trice,
Whose Epic Mountains never fail in mice!
Not so of yore awoke your mighty Sire
The tempered warblings of his master-lyre;
Soft as the gentler breathing of the lute,
“Of Man’s first disobedience and the fruit”
He speaks, but, as his subject swells along,
Earth, Heaven, and Hades echo with the song.”
Still to the “midst of things” he hastens on,
As if we witnessed all already done;
Leaves on his path whatever seems too mean
To raise the subject, or adorn the scene;
Gives, as each page improves upon the sight,
Not smoke from brightness, but from darkness—light;
And truth and fiction with such art compounds,
We know not where to fix their several bounds.

  If you would please the Public, deign to hear
What soothes the many-headed monster’s ear:
If your heart triumph when the hands of all
Applaud in thunder at the curtain’s fall,
Deserve those plaudits—study Nature’s page,
And sketch the striking traits of every age;
While varying Man and varying years unfold
Life’s little tale, so oft, so vainly told;
Observe his simple childhood’s dawning days,
His pranks, his prate, his playmates, and his plays:
Till time at length the mannish tyro weans,
And prurient vice outstrips his tardy teens!

  Behold him Freshman! forced no more to groan
O’er Virgil’s devilish verses and his own;
Prayers are too tedious, Lectures too abstruse,
He flies from Tavell’s frown to “Fordham’s Mews;”
(Unlucky Tavell! doomed to daily cares
By pugilistic pupils, and by bears,)
Fines, Tutors, tasks, Conventions threat in vain,
Before hounds, hunters, and Newmarket Plain.
Rough with his elders, with his equals rash,
Civil to sharpers, prodigal of cash;
Constant to nought—save hazard and a *****,
Yet cursing both—for both have made him sore:
Unread (unless since books beguile disease,
The P——x becomes his passage to Degrees);
Fooled, pillaged, dunned, he wastes his terms away,
And unexpelled, perhaps, retires M.A.;
Master of Arts! as hells and clubs proclaim,
Where scarce a blackleg bears a brighter name!

  Launched into life, extinct his early fire,
He apes the selfish prudence of his Sire;
Marries for money, chooses friends for rank,
Buys land, and shrewdly trusts not to the Bank;
Sits in the Senate; gets a son and heir;
Sends him to Harrow—for himself was there.
Mute, though he votes, unless when called to cheer,
His son’s so sharp—he’ll see the dog a Peer!

  Manhood declines—Age palsies every limb;
He quits the scene—or else the scene quits him;
Scrapes wealth, o’er each departing penny grieves,
And Avarice seizes all Ambition leaves;
Counts cent per cent, and smiles, or vainly frets,
O’er hoards diminished by young Hopeful’s debts;
Weighs well and wisely what to sell or buy,
Complete in all life’s lessons—but to die;
Peevish and spiteful, doting, hard to please,
Commending every time, save times like these;
Crazed, querulous, forsaken, half forgot,
Expires unwept—is buried—Let him rot!

  But from the Drama let me not digress,
Nor spare my precepts, though they please you less.
Though Woman weep, and hardest hearts are stirred,
When what is done is rather seen than heard,
Yet many deeds preserved in History’s page
Are better told than acted on the stage;
The ear sustains what shocks the timid eye,
And Horror thus subsides to Sympathy,
True Briton all beside, I here am French—
Bloodshed ’tis surely better to retrench:
The gladiatorial gore we teach to flow
In tragic scenes disgusts though but in show;
We hate the carnage while we see the trick,
And find small sympathy in being sick.
Not on the stage the regicide Macbeth
Appals an audience with a Monarch’s death;
To gaze when sable Hubert threats to sear
Young Arthur’s eyes, can ours or Nature bear?
A haltered heroine Johnson sought to slay—
We saved Irene, but half ****** the play,
And (Heaven be praised!) our tolerating times
Stint Metamorphoses to Pantomimes;
And Lewis’ self, with all his sprites, would quake
To change Earl Osmond’s ***** to a snake!
Because, in scenes exciting joy or grief,
We loathe the action which exceeds belief:
And yet, God knows! what may not authors do,
Whose Postscripts prate of dyeing “heroines blue”?

  Above all things, Dan Poet, if you can,
Eke out your acts, I pray, with mortal man,
Nor call a ghost, unless some cursed scrape
Must open ten trap-doors for your escape.
Of all the monstrous things I’d fain forbid,
I loathe an Opera worse than Dennis did;
Where good and evil persons, right or wrong,
Rage, love, and aught but moralise—in song.
Hail, last memorial of our foreign friends,
Which Gaul allows, and still Hesperia lends!
Napoleon’s edicts no embargo lay
On ******—spies—singers—wisely shipped away.
Our giant Capital, whose squares are spread
Where rustics earned, and now may beg, their bread,
In all iniquity is grown so nice,
It scorns amusements which are not of price.
Hence the pert shopkeeper, whose throbbing ear
Aches with orchestras which he pays to hear,
Whom shame, not sympathy, forbids to snore,
His anguish doubling by his own “encore;”
Squeezed in “Fop’s Alley,” jostled by the beaux,
Teased with his hat, and trembling for his toes;
Scarce wrestles through the night, nor tastes of ease,
Till the dropped curtain gives a glad release:
Why this, and more, he suffers—can ye guess?—
Because it costs him dear, and makes him dress!

  So prosper eunuchs from Etruscan schools;
Give us but fiddlers, and they’re sure of fools!
Ere scenes were played by many a reverend clerk,
(What harm, if David danced before the ark?)
In Christmas revels, simple country folks
Were pleased with morrice-mumm’ry and coarse jokes.
Improving years, with things no longer known,
Produced blithe Punch and merry Madame Joan,
Who still frisk on with feats so lewdly low,
’Tis strange Benvolio suffers such a show;
Suppressing peer! to whom each vice gives place,
Oaths, boxing, begging—all, save rout and race.

  Farce followed Comedy, and reached her prime,
In ever-laughing Foote’s fantastic time:
Mad wag! who pardoned none, nor spared the best,
And turned some very serious things to jest.
Nor Church nor State escaped his public sneers,
Arms nor the Gown—Priests—Lawyers—Volunteers:
“Alas, poor Yorick!” now for ever mute!
Whoever loves a laugh must sigh for Foote.

  We smile, perforce, when histrionic scenes
Ape the swoln dialogue of Kings and Queens,
When “Crononhotonthologos must die,”
And Arthur struts in mimic majesty.

  Moschus! with whom once more I hope to sit,
And smile at folly, if we can’t at wit;
Yes, Friend! for thee I’ll quit my cynic cell,
And bear Swift’s motto, “Vive la bagatelle!”
Which charmed our days in each ægean clime,
As oft at home, with revelry and rhyme.
Then may Euphrosyne, who sped the past,
Soothe thy Life’s scenes, nor leave thee in the last;
But find in thine—like pagan Plato’s bed,
Some merry Manuscript of Mimes, when dead.

  Now to the Drama let us bend our eyes,
Where fettered by whig Walpole low she lies;
Corruption foiled her, for she feared her glance;
Decorum left her for an Opera dance!
Yet Chesterfield, whose polished pen inveighs
‘Gainst laughter, fought for freedom to our Plays;
Unchecked by Megrims of patrician brains,
And damning Dulness of Lord Chamberlains.
Repeal that act! again let Humour roam
Wild o’er the stage—we’ve time for tears at home;
Let Archer plant the horns on Sullen’s brows,
And Estifania gull her “Copper” spouse;
The moral’s scant—but that may be excused,
Men go not to be lectured, but amused.
He whom our plays dispose to Good or Ill
Must wear a head in want of Willis’ skill;
Aye, but Macheath’s examp
Third Eye Candy Mar 2015
again and again
the morning comes undone
and we march -
stuff-lunged into crunch
and mule love
blunder-bused  and lump-kin
but for always
a short ton
of long grief
tweaking the snip
of a dead sow's ear
to reap a jewel
from a dead

but here

i love you like a war in Spain
spiking the Punch and Judy/
a fugue grief on a tide of dark joy
slavering at the haunches
of a Pegasus.

kaylene- mary Sep 2017
but isn't the real tragedy that I found myself within you
as you briefly gazed into the mirror that is me and walked away
isn't the real tragedy that I have become a vise of borrowed space
a gap to be filled by hands I have reached for in the dark
that I have misplaced my emptiness for loneliness
and in return
lost count of the bodies I have slipped into like old coats
trying to find the one that shapes me into the woman I was before you left
my bones may be empty but my fists are full of the laughter of native ghosts
mocking me for holding onto a love less real than they are
isn't the real tragedy that I can't place the nights I have attempted to answer my question of grief with ***
a wreckage of ash perading as anguish
but isn't that love
not seeing the explosion when you are the bomb
isn't the real tragedy that I am alive purely by luck at this point
that I am nothing more than a decorated shipwreck
*an obituary
my very own ceremony
heather leather Apr 2015
some people don't believe in ghosts,
but i am not one of those people,
because you are a ghost
in every sense of the word
whenever i close my eyes, i
do not see black anymore instead i see
your body strung up in your closet
with your eyes closed, as if you were at rest
i don’t know where you are but hopefully you
are getting some rest because i am
tearing myself apart because it doesn’t seem like
you’re gone
the curtains they’re half opened just like you left it
the kitchen is still a mess
the coffee stain that you promised to clean up but didn’t
is still there and i swear when i close my eyes and then
put my head on your pillow i can still hear
your even breath against my neck
and those are the only nights i ever get any sleep
so excuse me for thinking you’re not gone
because in my mind you aren’t
you’re still there next to me on the coach
and you are still complaining about how unrealistic everything is;
you are still next to me and i know that because i am telling you to
shut up, shut up, shut up
my therapist says that it’s my brain’s way of
coping with pain but that doesn’t make any sense to me
because my heart is still beating
and if my brain really wanted to cope with pain it would
shut down, it would collapse; like your body did when
it couldn’t handle the pain
because let me tell you something: i can’t handle this pain
this never ending torture of dancing delicately around the fact that
you are dead and i am very well alive even though
i don’t want to be, even though my hands have no purpose
without holding yours, my arms
nothing but useless props anymore and that is why
you are very well alive in
my mind because if you weren't i know that i would collapse

some people don't believe in ghosts,
but i am not one of those people,
because you are a ghost
in every sense of the word.

the first stanza and the last are from unwritten's poem "ghost" and it's amazing. i highly encourage you all to read it
Michael Marchese Sep 2016
The hull
Is his skull
Damaged and cracked
Teenage bliss
Existence rocks smashed
His cradled youth brain
    And over
        And over

The mast
Is his past
Black tattered sails soared
Plundered his splitting mind
In the depths he explored  
Left him drowning
Then washed up  
And stranded ashore
Consumed by his drinking
Anchored in thinking
These bones nothing more
Than the sinking
    The sinking
         The sinking

The stern
Is his spine
The helm of his motion
With no wheel it bends
To his current emotion
Emptiness craving
The weight of this ocean
A storm-weathered back
And eroded ribcage
Set a course for astray
As he drifts
     Ever further
         And further

The bow
Is his sternum
Sunken chest treasure
Greed sleeps in its hold
Through selfless endeavor
Still coveting gold
Yet pounding desire
White-cap knuckles slam
Against ego waves
Like a battering ram
Towards an island of purpose
His bones can stand for  
After yearning
    And longing
        And lusting
             For more

His heart
Precious cargo
Still breaks as it's thrown
To the soul-crushing blue
Lovelessness all alone
He clings to frail hopes
And starves to taste home
Yet thirsts for her fair
Aphrodite sea foam
To kiss his bones bare
This shipwreck skeleton
   And over
       And over
“Let the steel of my resolve be not bested by the sum of my fears.”
-Parkway Drive

— The End —