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zebra Oct 2018
stranded in
the beauty of her throat shunted

her preference
a short drop
in a bulwark twisting knot
a hanged ghastly pendent

her feet arching desperately in search of a floor
they will never find

obedient!

yet
her face
a hideous insubordination
she dissolves like tropical butter
a screaming silence
a falling prayer
shuddering
with downward sloping limbs

she
blue
hemorrhaging
eyes wobbled
bulging to break into paradise
tumbling
like a dizzied cyclops
as numb lipped jutting howls
turn cement

always willing to help
he scums
for her
in pulsing heaves
of beatific gush
dark eroticism
****** horror
Shrishty Apr 2017
Your love hits me like waves
Shuddering and shivering we meet
But in the flow I move with you
We repel and depart
Marooned by love and hurt by war
Holding hands with you feels like a sin
That I commit over and over again
Embracing your blades and forgetting the pain
To the river bed we travel
I stay. You leave.
A love that is this way,
Can be nothing but malignant.
Jules Nov 2017
“what are your special skills?”

well—
lately i have mastered the art
of silent tears
and wordless crying,
shuddering breaths
instead of wracking sobs.
my eyes don’t even get red.
if i do it right,
i have the exclusive ability
to break down in a full room
without anyone noticing.

also,
i can brush my weak gums in front of the mirror
and watch blood drip onto my uneven teeth
without flinching.

last,
i can give the best i have
every time
and still my brain can convince me—
worthless.
this poem is almost unbearably sad
Valsa George May 2017
On the bank of a rushing brook
I sat for hours watching its course.
Peered into the clear gurgling mass
That cascaded down from a mountainous source

Like a slithering snake, it slinks and slips
It babbles downhill night and day
Rolling and gliding through plains and dales
It winds its way to the wider bay.

Dipping my fingers in its icy chill
How my hand got repelled as from a shock!
In its ripples stirred by the kissing breeze,
I saw trees, clouds and the jutting rock-

All floating in queer, fanciful shapes,
Shuddering, trembling and standing still
And the fishes leaving zigzag trails,
Swishing and swimming in the winding rill.

As I quietly watched her speedy flight
With her ***** rising in mournful heaves,
In my ears fell her whispering soft
Orchestrated by the rustle of quivering leaves

I hardly knew the time speeding by
Nor noticed the birds’ homeward flight
Or the Sun moving to the west end side
And the Sky reddening at his sight

As the brook thus continued her headlong ride
To be mingled finally with the ocean wide
I walked, brooding over man’s relentless stride
To be merged eventually with the Cosmic Guide.
Logan Robertson Oct 2017
Perfect Storm

Two clouds
merge
spontaneous night
warmth's housing
before
shuddering rains

Logan Robertson

10/1/17
Sammy Harris Feb 6
She is numb and foggy
every tremor and twitch is a protest
trying to stay still in order to stop feeling
insomnia, she stares at a wall
thinking she doesn't deserve to dream

Now she is punished by day dreams
filling the gaps in her mind
visuals of isolate rooms and dry valleys
she shuts her eyes as guilt fills her chest

Shuddering, she shakes her head
thinking its foolish to feel this way
when freed she moves with grace
and drifts to dreamland with caution
knowing again she will be paralyzed
Pulse May 24
i wish my body wouldn't fail me;
limbs tensing and refusing to respond to my commands,
lungs suddenly unable to draw air,
heart pounding with such intensity it leaves my body shuddering,
or maybe the trembling is just because you're sitting too close and it makes me want to puke.

i feel as solid as air,
and as sturdy as a china doll that's already fallen to the ground a thousand times,
and come out of it as little more than dust and waning hope

the disconnect between my body and my mind widens every day that goes by until i don't know who i am anymore or who's body i inhabit.
there's no one home and you might as well have killed me the first night, because it would have been so much kinder.
Lexie Nov 2018
Pulling string riddled through my mindlessness
Never took me places I should of gone

I found in the dark
Things wrought in moonlight and tears of lost lovers
How beautiful they would be
Sparkling in the light of the sun

I need you as you are
You changed.
I slept, fool that I am

I am dying now, shuddering to think
That I will live another day
It will be a day I live alone

There is nothing sadder to my soul
Than one set of footprints in the sand
The oceans claims them just the same

In the frailty of my mind
I wonder
Do dreams come true
Or nightmares found a way to sweeten themselves

Sigh

The night never ends
She just takes coffee breaks
I just break
Break up
Break apart
Drift among the uncertainty
With one hand clasping the necklace around my throat
The other holding a rose pricking my fingers

I shudder to think
So I close my mind
Running circles in my skull
Just wearing out the floor
Just wearing out the floor
K Eaglechild Aug 2017
"Mom?" I whisper, your bedroom door slowly creaks open
Pill bottles still clutter around your nightstand along with
Your blue journal with a family photo of us glued to the front page.
My mind manipulates me, toys with my vision; hallucinations
Your bedroom is now bleak, bitter, a cloud of sadness above it
You're favorite blanket is still sprawled out on your perfect bed,
untouched and cold.
I'm afraid to touch it 'cause it was your favorite thing in this world.. I creep over to your bed, "Mom?" I wait for answer.
My fingers touch the softness of your blanket, memories appear like an adrenaline rush and the sadness accelerates.
I fling it over myself. It still smells like you.
I lay in your bed, wrapped in your fleece blanket, shuddering.
"Mom?" I whimper.
I remimince the sounds of your soft and loving voice, calming me
"My baby girl", "I love you", "I'm sorry".
I peek my head out from my bundle of comfort.
Reaching for the framed picture on your nightstand
Healthy, happy, full of life.
Last time I saw you, your eyes were puffy, your face was pale, your voice barely passed as a whisper.

Now, I lay here helplessly,
A empty bottle of pills inside my bitter cold hands.
Mom, please take me home.

"Mom?" I call out in the midst of your room. Everything around me fading to black..

"Hey baby girl." She finally answers back.
Written for my acquaintance.
Michael Apr 23
in flew a little wild finch
and I sprung to chase the demon
a chatter riddle sung
taunting fast fingers but faster feathers
we knocked over several chairs

I likened its shriek
to the memory of a nursery rhyme
it did not steal
any of the best plums
from my mother's pie

it was abandoned upon the counter
amongst the spilled salt
steaming and untouched
despite the belt buckle warning
I had been too determined

the bird was now gone
fluttered through the open door
swept away instantly
like a ghost
or shadow

shuddering against swallowed triumph
my sore shoulders and weeping skin
blue thumbprints the color of my eyes
I felt myself still whisper,
"what a good boy am I”
Little Jack Horner
Sat in the corner,
Eating a Christmas pie;
He put in his thumb,
And pulled out a plum,
And said, "What a good boy am I!”
Deadwood Jawn Nov 2018
Oh my!
             He is in terrible agony.
                  The weight of his sorrow poisons his anatomy.
                            Worthless..
                ­                     Pathetic..
                               Us­eless..
                      Underhand..
                  Aband­oned..
            He feels all these things.
       Let me place my hand on my heart and his;
I can feel it.

Oh my..
Darkness oppresses his resolve;
many demons have followed him.

                                    "H̫̩̪̪͕͈̀a̸̙͔̺̜̞̮̤r̮̗̀m­͍̭̯̟̫͓ y͢o̴͉̱͓̞͚͖̞u͎̣͙͈̺r̨̠̦̰̼̼s̠͎̬̤̹̖̩e͙͘  lf̯̱.̻͉̤͈̘͙"
          
    ­                                                                 ­   "K̫̹̺̻̣̬̯i̫͎̳̦̩l͇͙̞̳̘l̰̪̳̗̠̙̜ ͉̝̺͙̥͇͟y̕ͅo̙̮͓ͅu̟r̹̞͍̠̫͇̗s͓̞͇̥͚e̥̳͖  ͕lf҉̩".̙͈̠̼̭͇ͅ

      ̥"Ma̭͎­k̷̜̰̙̗̖̼e̘̣̳ͅ ̲̲t͍̯͕̱̞̼h̲̥̭e͎̼̰̣̭̹̥m̨̞͕̩̺ ̤̭̲̀ć͇͎a͎ŕ̬̦̳̱̬̞ͅe͕̥̦̗̯̻.̸̰͍͓"


They are tormenting him.
                       My sweet John.
                               As he lays down with constant tears:
                                       Suffering and anguish..
                                              He needs healing.
                            Love and affection..
              He is yearning.
Desperately pleading for endearment.

She threatened to be a ghost and to be far away from him.
Yes.. my sweet John;
how terrible that must've been.
No wonder you feel pathetic and lowly..
My lovely child..

You cry.
                        Lash.
                                            Grit.
              ­                                                Tear.

          ­                                                      Your breath is hot.

                                            Your muscles twitching.

                        Your body shuddering.

Your eyes deadening.

You cry out to your loved ones;
                                 none give you the love you so desire.
                                            You feel cheated..
                                                My darling.. Oh..
                                                      I will heal you now..
                                   Do not resist sobbing upon hearing my words.
                                Sob for me, sweet child.
                            Let me feel your tears now.
                    I am the one who will heal you.
              Bury yourself into my compassionate arms.
          Listen to my heartbeat.
     Come onto me.
   I will sing for you.
You weep louder.
You're convulsing.
Your mouth trembles.

Please leave me and him alone.
Allow him to rest.
I will heal him the way he loves.

John, my love.
                 Let me carry your frail body.
                                   Please let yourself cry.
                                         There is no longer any more danger.
                                   You're lifeless...
                  What has happened, poor child?
Severe marks scattered on the body...

Ravaged.
                          Scratched.
                                                          Scarre­d up.
                                                             ­                             Burnt.

                            ­                                                              You­r hands
                                                                ­                      are callused.

                                                      ­  Your feet are broken.

                              Your knees are blackened.

Your elbows are grazed.
Your wrists bleed.

I will bandage you, sweetheart.
There is no painful disinfectant.
My love will heal you.

Pour your soul out to me.
I adore you, John.
I cherish you, Jawn.

I am your angel;
the one you desire.
I will give you anything, my love.
You don't need them anymore.
Written during a time of horrible suffering. Enough to trigger off despair. I believe I could feel an Angel present.. saying loving words to me..
zebra Dec 2017
damm men
predatory *** hounds
chasing skirts and tights
aching **** idiots
disciples of Eros
Christs of fetish
reconciling nothing
veiling that principled demeanor
of feminist culture
"of don't objectify me".....translation
sensual form is not natures ruse
machine Eve must
override override override

well the id does not negotiate
the superstructure of affected political tele-reality
starring
the liberal chattering class
who interminably speculate male motives to be some vainglorious power trip
while corperatized media personalities
feign out of control lust as a mental disorder
and
sit up like shuddering pekingese
yessing the lascivious
as a fiction

no ladies
its not just power
theories are not testosterone
it is pure unadulterated
relentless
irreducible
urge to merge
like the beluga **** channel
sea world as you've never seen it before
where male dolphins
batter and *******
the weaker ***
in search of feral harmony

in an overbuilt society
yet to become a civilization
are we
scissored between a wild ****** id
of the damed
and the Victorian sacred
of the damed

oh you silky damsels
makin men moody and humid
pure **** heroine
a poison ivy of ***
like a rash
givin men folk the itch
cant stop the twitch
rubber *******
in a rubbing frenzy
from your soaking heat and odor

we are  a rumbling of muttering torments
for the forbidden taste
of you
oooow
oooow
we are pan in a mad dance
for glistening shanks
and buttery kisses
we are the early bird looking for the worm
hunters decreed by the liturgy of heaven and hell
a constellation of infatuation and lechery
mad with adoration
love slaves in a raging furnace of desire
*** addicts
that just say yes
turgid dogs
hole sniffers
voluptuous monsters
all johnny apple seed
and sometimes your salvation
as you are ours
knowing that sometimes
real eroticism eclipses morality

and yes my darlings*

NO MAN SHOULD EVER TRANSGRESS ANOTHER
NO MAN SHOULD EVER TRANSGRESS ANOTHER
NO MAN SHOULD EVER TRANSGRESS ANOTHER
NO MAN SHOULD EVER TRANSGRESS ANOTHER
NO MAN SHOULD EVER TRANSGRESS ANOTHER
NO MAN SHOULD EVER TRANSGRESS ANOTHER
NO MAN SHOULD EVER TRANSGRESS ANOTHER
NO MAN SHOULD EVER TRANSGRESS ANOTHER
NO MAN SHOULD EVER TRANSGRESS ANOTHER
NO MAN SHOULD EVER TRANSGRESS ANOTHER
NO MAN SHOULD EVER TRANSGRESS ANOTHER
NO MAN SHOULD EVER TRANSGRESS ANOTHER
NO MAN SHOULD EVER TRANSGRESS ANOTHER
NO MAN SHOULD EVER TRANSGRESS ANOTHER
NO MAN SHOULD EVER TRANSGRESS ANOTHER
NO MAN SHOULD EVER TRANSGRESS ANOTHER
NO MAN SHOULD EVER TRANSGRESS ANOTHER
NO MAN SHOULD EVER TRANSGRESS ANOTHER
NO MAN SHOULD EVER TRANSGRESS ANOTHER
NO MAN SHOULD EVER TRANSGRESS ANOTHER
NO MAN SHOULD EVER TRANSGRESS ANOTHER
NO MAN SHOULD EVER TRANSGRESS ANOTHER
Fọlá Mar 4
We touch.
My heart stops.
You come close,
My breath hits a pause.

You taunt, You tease.
The space between us shortens.
We kiss;
Sweet, The taste of your lips.

You nibble, You pinch.
The tension is building up.
The pace quickens,
Frantic, as our clothes come off.

You take the reigns,
Slithering your way on top.
You part the way,
Guiding me in,
My body quivering.

With every ******,
You speed up,
Gently.
Your body gliding along.
Stroking swiftly.
Moaning, with every motion.

Sweat dripping,
Every breath; fast, short.
The wind seems to stop.
As if taking a moment to watch.

A few yards left to run;
Our bodies respond,
The tempo picking up.
God, Oh God.
The Deity you start to call.

We push our limits,
Hanging on for a little more.
We go deeper,
Our bodies quaking,
Shuddering.

You grip my body,
Your nails digging into my skin.
For dear life, you hold on.
Squeezing tighter, as the moment comes.

Waves of euphoria crashing.
An explosion of Ecstasy.
All the hard work and effort,
Gone. In a few seconds. . .
when I saw you for the first time you were a dove on the branches shuddering with the sudden breath of sprite as white as pure snowballs
and………………………………………………………………………I
................................­.................................................................­!
days after visiting you reminding me a nightingale on the same branches singing glamorously although  comprehensible on some occasions and not very tangible on other times: hovering you upon the sky, upon the roof  was enchanting somehow
and......................................................­........................................................I
.......­.................................................................­....................!
later on, a tornado encapsulated the flight of a swallow in habit of severe immigration from the land uneasy to far and far while seeing the branches empty and songs silent tortuous the sight
and.............................................................­.................................................I
..............­.................................................................­...............!
years past and considering those days make me to reproach myself  that how wrong I was. only a butterfly sat on our written scriptures for a while never promise to stay a bit longer. Born  by spring will be die in winter night,
and.............................................................­...............................................I
................­.................................................................­.............?
Suresh Gupta Mar 27
VROOOOOOM!!! VROOOOOOMMMM!!!!!!
03/26/2019


SPARKS B R I D G E D the GAP
SHUDDERING, BODY AWAKENS
THIRSTY for HIGH OCTANE
ANXIOUS to be let LOOSE

The CROWD is QUIET
The one NEXT to me is FIDGETY
We Both **** SMOKE
With every drop of HIGH OCTANE

Come on MAN, let me go
I can already taste VICTORY
I can see the FINISH LINE
That we shall pass in the BLINK of TIME

Muscles wound up, aching
The COUNTDOWN goes from red to green
Left behind only BURNT smell
Where RUBBER meets the ROAD

The whole thing LASTED only a few ticks
But what a THRILL
I would surely need new RUBBER
Before I'm back at the STARTING LINE.
My first whack at jovialty, frivolity
Tap Water Oct 2018
Obnoxious buzzing rings through my sleep-deprived head, like usual.
I get up, get changed, don’t bother to eat.
Once again, like usual.
Every day, the same routine,
Go to school, fake emotions, learn useless stuff,
Go home, procrastinate, dive under the blanket and enter the void of sleep.
It makes me feel like a stupid robot
Who can’t do good, no matter how hard she tries.
At this point, the only thing keeping me alive
Is a dog who’s going to die in 7 years,
A goat who’s probably been sold and eaten,
And four mutts who will die in the next 3 years.
Sometimes I wonder why I even bother trying.

I hate having to hide behind a mask,
To hide my true self behind someone who’s not me.
A probably depressed insomniac Autist, hidden by a neurotypical extrovert.
Because the real me is labeled as ‘socially unacceptable’
While the fake me is apparently a ‘good person’.

When I show my true self,
I feel like ending it, right there, right then.
Because nobody accepts the mess I am.
They tell me it’s hormones,
Or it’s not really what I think it is,
Or I’m just faking it for attention.
I want to tell them it’s not that,
I try to tell them it’s not that,
But the feelings I abandoned years ago
Come flooding back as my broken soul cracks even more.

Oh jeez, I’m sorry, I’m rambling again, aren’t I?
I mutter and type as I sit at this desk,
In a classroom too bright for my sore, tired eyes.
Nervously nibbling at my too-short fingernails
And shuddering even though it isn’t that cold.
Rubbing my already half-closed eyes,
I sigh and wrap up this long mess of words.
Wrote this for English class. It's really more of a vent than a poem tbh.
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 ***;
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 ***,
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 ***,
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!
The streets were barren and quiet,
not a hush or whisper of sound;
The moon disappeared beyond the hills,
so there was little light on the ground.

I awakened to chords of laughter,
their ethereal voices taunting me;
My pillow was wet with solitary tears,
as anxiety washed over me like the sea.

Maple trees growing outside my room,
their leaves swaying in the haunting breeze;
I tried to call out but no voice projected,
Shuddering like an icicle about to freeze.

Aroused by the sound of horses' hoofs,
a carriage stopped right outside my home;
I looked down from the prominent bay window,
somewhat relieved at what I was shown.

Now waving upward toward my room,
a smooth gentle hand displayed its desire;
And soon I was captivated by my own soul,
which finally returned to fuel my heart with fire.
A mysterious re-awakening of one's own soul through the loneliest of times.
will19008 May 6
filthy whiskey
smoking asphalt alleyways
roaring ******* windowsills
shuddering stoops

midnight money
shaking subway traffic
neon red hotels
battered archangel blues

starving madness
sweet ecstatic ***
naked eyes lounging
******* harlequin ******

blemished evenings
hopeless
humorless
concrete amnesia
blind hungry dreams

jukebox consciousness
bald drunken incantations
suicide waitresses
the holy pavement angel

tenement jazz
weeping
dreaming
scribbling *****
screaming delight

sirens
sunrise
disgorged rivers
tender moans
pure unshaven salvation
ever standing
body lithe, strong
trained to strike

too dashing for peeling paint
old verandas
slow-paced hamlet

waiting in country town
place to whizz past
road to tourist hub

how does his tale read
did he pay
for assault

struck the frame
holder of *****
spawning breath

cold fury
for scenes of his mother
thrown down

stain his every stance
grabbing mail swiftly
ahead of arrival

panther muscles
no more the crouching lad
shuddering

her screams
bounce off walls
as mother's body slumps

broken bottle scars
left to clean up the mess
as he leaves for school
forage into
fictional possibility -
penned
with deep respect
for David
of village
post office
My demons stir,
a light that bleeds
through a crack,
and they are alive
once more, to torment
my every waking thought,

the threads of time
align against me,
stitching together to form
one shuddering roar
from within,

my honey trap of memories
are theirs to flick through,
to select at random which
one they want to play,

I am Godless in a faith filled world,
a host for a sinning parasite,
that wraps me up in curses
and black magic, killing me
with shame and self disgust
that's palpable to the touch,

I have danced with the Devil tonight
Travis Green Nov 2018
There I was standing in the stark cold
in New York staring at the fast-paced
traffic breezing past my sight, flashing
bright blurs blinding my eyes, heavy
rising fumes lost in the air from rusty
engines, as I breathed in the loud
vibrations and mixed creations
surrounding my eyesight.  
The towering buildings concaving
around my soul.  The high pitched
trains pounding my brain, steel
scraped railroad tracks sifting
inside broken lanes.  The blinking
stoplights lingering in helpless
shadows.  And as I gazed at the
scarlet stained sidewalks, how
the cigarette butts sunk in
meaningless mazes, screaming
embers disturbed and scorched,
scarred and surrendering,
my heart was against the wall.
I could feel everything around me
moving in accelerating speeds,
scurrying pedestrians clouding
my wild breaking frame, swollen
grayed trees clicking and blazing
in little language, red smashed stop
signs falling in between compromised
worlds, while I struggled to break
from the love that stole my heart
in the nighttime spark.  I could see
his dark twisted eyes in the shadows,
crimson-black designs destroying
my mind, smoke shattered kisses
torturing my dimension, as I
gasp deep heavy breaths,
embracing every single solid
drum shuddering inside my nation.
How was I to know that your love
could burn my flesh, razor flamed
and ******, over flattened and
rammed, a cold unrhymed beat
diminishing my existence in the
blackened skies.
Columbusphere Nov 2018
Light pooling on a surface
And breaking through in beams
Hundreds of passageways allowing this spectacle
To fill one room with sun
Shining, flickering dust particles
Batting against your skin
And this same air swollen with a thousand
                                                  beatin­g insect wings
Which to the light all softly cling
Mashed in colours that the glass carved in
Flying shapes that join the buzz
And spiralling greens lumbering towards the sky
Resting, hunched and pressed against the glass
So shuddering with life they seem to sigh
Solid, light stone in colour
Is the current, wrapped around it's base
River like and over flowing
Is this place
The great outside pointing in
Like a planet inverted or a doctors blue box
Tended, and yet containing a mind of its own
It is mightily over grown
And that is the way it should be
© 2018 Columbusphere All rights reserved
Iska Apr 13
I rarely write poetry for others
I find it to be a waste of words
But occasionally I will stumble
Upon a soul who deserves
To be heard.

So this one is for the girl
With the gleaming red hair
The one who bares an impish grin
Cursed with a storm that blazes within.

Hush little soldier,
Bow your weary head.
You hold the world on your shoulder
Your shaking knees bear the weight
your teeth ache with the effort
As you take one faltering step after another.

Sweat beads upon your brow,
As you attempt to accomplish,
that which grand Atlas could not,
To live and to grow,
to wander free
Whilst holding the world on your battered and bruised shoulders
Determined to succeed.

And then you stumble.
And then you fall.
The world has defeated you
You were merely human after all.

And now this maiden,
both young and fair,
draws in a breath of frigid air.

With steel for eyes
she bites her tongue.
Tasting a mouth
of copper and blood,
she forces her shuddering limbs to move...
and she stumbles to her feet.
Heedless to the seeming defeat.

With rasping breath,
her demeanor grim,
she squares her shoulders
and slowly begins.
Much like clever Sisyphus,
to move the Earth as a boulder,
up and down each hill.

And as I beheld the spectacle,
I am at a loss for words.
For in your eyes,
I beheld a fire
That scorches me down to my core.
I realized you had the strength to crush mountains as you began to step forward once more.

And in you, I saw my mirror,
I then realized you were quite like me,
Willing to sacrifice yourself, so that no others would bleed.

Oh brave Warrior, beware!
The Earth is no easy boulder to bear. For it will roll back and crush you. All that is needed is a simple gust of air.

But you, much like I, know this.
I can see it in your eyes.
You are no foolish simpleton.
If this were to happen,  
You would get up once more
and simply start over again.

So, my sweet summer soul,
I see you, and what a sight you are to behold. And since defeat is not in your nature...
I will stand by you.
And together this boulder we’ll roll.
For the Earth is quite a burden,
But one that is far easier with two.
And I am willing to go the distance,
Side by side with you.

So come, unbreakable spirit,
Let us begin at dawn,
And together we’ll conquer the mountains.
Together we’ll devour the sun.
And once we have accomplished,
That which grand Atlas could not,
We will know that the deed is done.
Having defied all odds,
It is we, in the end, who have won.

~iska
To the girl with hair of flames
May you never burn out
But if you do
I will ignite your flames


https://hellopoetry.com/Impish_Crow/
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