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Rockie Apr 2015
I skim the page
For any sign that
You acknowledged my presence
Atop the rooftop party that day

I skim the page
For the sign that
Everything was marginally magical
Below the ground of our feet that day

I skim the page
For I have seen the sign that
I needed to see.
Bo Burnham Mar 2015
Life is an open book.
           Time is an oscillating fan.

I've had to learn to skim-read because
           before I can read more than a few paragraphs,
that ******* airhead comes circling back,
           blowing pages like a medieval *******.

The cool air feels nice, though.
      Sometimes, when my head aches,
I let my eyes relax
       and I enjoy the breeze as the words blur.
Marshal Gebbie Oct 2009
The assassins hit in 63
And Camelot was gone,
Inspiration vanished
And the darkness sang it’s song.
Vietnam escalated
Brezhnev’s Russia loomed,
Africa was eviscerated
And Red China entombed.
Floating on a long white cloud
The Kiwis were replete
With abundant British markets
For their butter, wool and meat.
The Europeans went ****
And Britain lost it’s way
When the Beatles and the Rolling Stones
Monopolized their day.
Man landed on the moon
And raised the Yankee flag
And they shot Mahatma Ghandi
For making good things out of bad.
The Berlin Wall dividing,
The Cold War tense and spare,
ICBM’s threaten silently
In their silos of despair.
Bob Menzies ruled Australia
As an amassing of his loot
And his White Australia Policy
Condemned him as a brute.
Found naked on her tousled bed,
Blonde hair across her face,
Marylin Monroe is dead
The world’s a darker place.
In the Age of Aquarius
Our children lost their youth,
LSD and smoking ***
And Afro’s were the proof.
Lots of leg in miniskirts,
High bouffant’s in the hair,
Screaming teeny boppers
Rock with Elvis on “the Air”.
Giant, Rawhide, Ponderosa,
Martin Luther King,
Kaftans and a cheese fondue,
Abortion is a sin!

It’s a sixties kaleidoscope,
A panoramic skim
Of an era of wonderment
Which you and I lived in.


Marshalg
@the Gate
Mangere Bridge
20th January 2009
for leather accrues
The miracle of the streets
The scents & smogs &
pollens of existence

Shiny blackness
so totally naked she was
Totally un-hung-up

We looked around
lights now on
Top see our fellow travellers
~~~

I am troubled
Immeasurably
By your eyes

I am struck
By the feather
of your soft
Reply

The sound of glass
Speaks quick
Disdain

And conceals
What your eyes fight
To explain
~~~

She looked so sad in sleep
Like a friendly hand
just out of reach
A candle stranded on
a beach
While the sun sinks low
an H-bomb in reverse
~~~

Everything human
is leaving
her face

Soon she will disappear
into the calm
vegetable
morass

Stay!

My Wild Love!
~~~

I get my best ideas when the
telephone rings & rings. It’s no fun
To feel like a fool-when your
baby’s gone. A new ax to my head:
Possession. I create my own sword
of Damascus. I’ve done nothing w/time.
A little tot prancing the boards playing
w/Revolution. When out there the
World awaits & abounds w/heavy gangs
of murderers & real madmen. Hanging
from windows as if to say: I’m bold-
do you love me? Just for tonight.
A One Night Stand. A dog howls & whines
at the glass sliding door (why can’t I
be in there?) A cat yowls. A car engine
revs & races against the grain- dry
rasping carbon protest. I put the book
down- & begin my own book.
Love for the fat girl.
When will SHE get here?
~~~

In the gloom
In the shady living room
where we lived & died
& laughed & cried
& the pride of our relationship
took hold that summer
What a trip
To hold your hand
& tell the cops
you’re not 16
no runaway
The wino left a little in
the old blue desert
bottle
Cattle skulls
the cliche of rats
who skim the trees
in search of fat
Hip children invade the grounds
& sleep in the wet grass
’til the dogs rush out
I’m going South!
JR Falk Aug 2018
so I noticed that we both drink coffee.
just like anyone, we both like ours a certain way.
i like mine sweeter, with just the aftertaste of coffee there.
caramel, sugar, creamer.
i think about when i’ll have my next cup, and the idea of it alone makes me happy.
i don’t care what time of day i have it, i almost always have a cup.
i make time for my coffee.
it might be safe to say i think you like your coffee black.
you might add just the smallest touch to soften its bitter taste, but never too much.
sometimes i think you just pour it and carry on, as though it’s nothing important at all.
as though all it is, is just some quick fix.
like you just want to get it over with.
we drink it in two different ways.
i drink it slowly.
i note every flavor in every sip, i enjoy it.
i note the warmth it brings me.
i like it all hours of the day.
you drink it quickly.
quicker than me, at least.
you don’t care if it burns your tongue, or perhaps you’re used to the pain.
you accept it.
you never let it last, you move on to something else soon after.
i lay in your bed, watching your eyes as they skim the screen in front of you.
your mind is somewhere else.
i savor the moments you look my way, if even for a second, and smile at me.
i wonder if you even notice them.
i feel your laugh vibrate my bones, making the hair on my arms stand on end.
do i make you feel at all?
i reflect on it every time i drink my coffee.
i think about it with each and every sip, taking my time.
something tells me that you don’t do the same.
after all, it's just coffee.
but i put my all into this coffee.
i think you like your coffee black.
3:06am
08.09.18

im actually drinking coffee rn. rip
Mark Steigerwald Jan 2015
Float
into the blue

Skim
the mist

Row
far out

Dive
into the murky
depths

Sink
into an unknown
world

Drown
in the beauty
of your surroundings

Laugh
in the face
of opposition

Dance
in the winds
of time

Kiss
tranquility
on the cheek

Slip
off your shoes

Feel
the sand between
your toes

Walk
among the fish

Stroll
beneath the
surface

Float
softly alone

Sleep
you are
at home

Close
your eyes

Forget
your troubles

Embrace
this world

Slip
further
with me.

String
your bow

Let
loose your heart

Watch
her fly

See
her soar

Come
further with
me

And surrender
to the seduction
of
the deep.
THE HOUSE OF DUST
A Symphony

BY
CONRAD AIKEN

To Jessie

NOTE

. . . Parts of this poem have been printed in "The North American
Review, Others, Poetry, Youth, Coterie, The Yale Review". . . . I am
indebted to Lafcadio Hearn for the episode called "The Screen Maiden"
in Part II.


     This text comes from the source available at
     Project Gutenberg, originally prepared by Judy Boss
     of Omaha, NE.
    
THE HOUSE OF DUST


PART I.


I.

The sun goes down in a cold pale flare of light.
The trees grow dark: the shadows lean to the east:
And lights wink out through the windows, one by one.
A clamor of frosty sirens mourns at the night.
Pale slate-grey clouds whirl up from the sunken sun.

And the wandering one, the inquisitive dreamer of dreams,
The eternal asker of answers, stands in the street,
And lifts his palms for the first cold ghost of rain.
The purple lights leap down the hill before him.
The gorgeous night has begun again.

'I will ask them all, I will ask them all their dreams,
I will hold my light above them and seek their faces.
I will hear them whisper, invisible in their veins . . .'
The eternal asker of answers becomes as the darkness,
Or as a wind blown over a myriad forest,
Or as the numberless voices of long-drawn rains.

We hear him and take him among us, like a wind of music,
Like the ghost of a music we have somewhere heard;
We crowd through the streets in a dazzle of pallid lamplight,
We pour in a sinister wave, ascend a stair,
With laughter and cry, and word upon murmured word;
We flow, we descend, we turn . . . and the eternal dreamer
Moves among us like light, like evening air . . .

Good-night!  Good-night!  Good-night!  We go our ways,
The rain runs over the pavement before our feet,
The cold rain falls, the rain sings.
We walk, we run, we ride.  We turn our faces
To what the eternal evening brings.

Our hands are hot and raw with the stones we have laid,
We have built a tower of stone high into the sky,
We have built a city of towers.

Our hands are light, they are singing with emptiness.
Our souls are light; they have shaken a burden of hours . . .
What did we build it for?  Was it all a dream? . . .
Ghostly above us in lamplight the towers gleam . . .
And after a while they will fall to dust and rain;
Or else we will tear them down with impatient hands;
And hew rock out of the earth, and build them again.


II.

One, from his high bright window in a tower,
Leans out, as evening falls,
And sees the advancing curtain of the shower
Splashing its silver on roofs and walls:
Sees how, swift as a shadow, it crosses the city,
And murmurs beyond far walls to the sea,
Leaving a glimmer of water in the dark canyons,
And silver falling from eave and tree.

One, from his high bright window, looking down,
Peers like a dreamer over the rain-bright town,
And thinks its towers are like a dream.
The western windows flame in the sun's last flare,
Pale roofs begin to gleam.

Looking down from a window high in a wall
He sees us all;
Lifting our pallid faces towards the rain,
Searching the sky, and going our ways again,
Standing in doorways, waiting under the trees . . .
There, in the high bright window he dreams, and sees
What we are blind to,-we who mass and crowd
From wall to wall in the darkening of a cloud.

The gulls drift slowly above the city of towers,
Over the roofs to the darkening sea they fly;
Night falls swiftly on an evening of rain.
The yellow lamps wink one by one again.
The towers reach higher and blacker against the sky.


III.

One, where the pale sea foamed at the yellow sand,
With wave upon slowly shattering wave,
Turned to the city of towers as evening fell;
And slowly walked by the darkening road toward it;
And saw how the towers darkened against the sky;
And across the distance heard the toll of a bell.

Along the darkening road he hurried alone,
With his eyes cast down,
And thought how the streets were hoarse with a tide of people,
With clamor of voices, and numberless faces . . .
And it seemed to him, of a sudden, that he would drown
Here in the quiet of evening air,
These empty and voiceless places . . .
And he hurried towards the city, to enter there.

Along the darkening road, between tall trees
That made a sinister whisper, loudly he walked.
Behind him, sea-gulls dipped over long grey seas.
Before him, numberless lovers smiled and talked.
And death was observed with sudden cries,
And birth with laughter and pain.
And the trees grew taller and blacker against the skies
And night came down again.


IV.

Up high black walls, up sombre terraces,
Clinging like luminous birds to the sides of cliffs,
The yellow lights went climbing towards the sky.
From high black walls, gleaming vaguely with rain,
Each yellow light looked down like a golden eye.

They trembled from coign to coign, and tower to tower,
Along high terraces quicker than dream they flew.
And some of them steadily glowed, and some soon vanished,
And some strange shadows threw.

And behind them all the ghosts of thoughts went moving,
Restlessly moving in each lamplit room,
From chair to mirror, from mirror to fire;
From some, the light was scarcely more than a gloom:
From some, a dazzling desire.

And there was one, beneath black eaves, who thought,
Combing with lifted arms her golden hair,
Of the lover who hurried towards her through the night;
And there was one who dreamed of a sudden death
As she blew out her light.

And there was one who turned from clamoring streets,
And walked in lamplit gardens among black trees,
And looked at the windy sky,
And thought with terror how stones and roots would freeze
And birds in the dead boughs cry . . .

And she hurried back, as snow fell, mixed with rain,
To mingle among the crowds again,
To jostle beneath blue lamps along the street;
And lost herself in the warm bright coiling dream,
With a sound of murmuring voices and shuffling feet.

And one, from his high bright window looking down
On luminous chasms that cleft the basalt town,
Hearing a sea-like murmur rise,
Desired to leave his dream, descend from the tower,
And drown in waves of shouts and laughter and cries.


V.

The snow floats down upon us, mingled with rain . . .
It eddies around pale lilac lamps, and falls
Down golden-windowed walls.
We were all born of flesh, in a flare of pain,
We do not remember the red roots whence we rose,
But we know that we rose and walked, that after a while
We shall lie down again.

The snow floats down upon us, we turn, we turn,
Through gorges filled with light we sound and flow . . .
One is struck down and hurt, we crowd about him,
We bear him away, gaze after his listless body;
But whether he lives or dies we do not know.

One of us sings in the street, and we listen to him;
The words ring over us like vague bells of sorrow.
He sings of a house he lived in long ago.
It is strange; this house of dust was the house I lived in;
The house you lived in, the house that all of us know.
And coiling slowly about him, and laughing at him,
And throwing him pennies, we bear away
A mournful echo of other times and places,
And follow a dream . . . a dream that will not stay.

Down long broad flights of lamplit stairs we flow;
Noisy, in scattered waves, crowding and shouting;
In broken slow cascades.
The gardens extend before us . . .  We spread out swiftly;
Trees are above us, and darkness.  The canyon fades . . .

And we recall, with a gleaming stab of sadness,
Vaguely and incoherently, some dream
Of a world we came from, a world of sun-blue hills . . .
A black wood whispers around us, green eyes gleam;
Someone cries in the forest, and someone kills.

We flow to the east, to the white-lined shivering sea;
We reach to the west, where the whirling sun went down;
We close our eyes to music in bright cafees.
We diverge from clamorous streets to streets that are silent.
We loaf where the wind-spilled fountain plays.

And, growing tired, we turn aside at last,
Remember our secret selves, seek out our towers,
Lay weary hands on the banisters, and climb;
Climbing, each, to his little four-square dream
Of love or lust or beauty or death or crime.


VI.

Over the darkened city, the city of towers,
The city of a thousand gates,
Over the gleaming terraced roofs, the huddled towers,
Over a somnolent whisper of loves and hates,
The slow wind flows, drearily streams and falls,
With a mournful sound down rain-dark walls.
On one side purples the lustrous dusk of the sea,
And dreams in white at the city's feet;
On one side sleep the plains, with heaped-up hills.
Oaks and beeches whisper in rings about it.
Above the trees are towers where dread bells beat.

The fisherman draws his streaming net from the sea
And sails toward the far-off city, that seems
Like one vague tower.
The dark bow plunges to foam on blue-black waves,
And shrill rain seethes like a ghostly music about him
In a quiet shower.

Rain with a shrill sings on the lapsing waves;
Rain thrills over the roofs again;
Like a shadow of shifting silver it crosses the city;
The lamps in the streets are streamed with rain;
And sparrows complain beneath deep eaves,
And among whirled leaves
The sea-gulls, blowing from tower to lower tower,
From wall to remoter wall,
Skim with the driven rain to the rising sea-sound
And close grey wings and fall . . .

. . . Hearing great rain above me, I now remember
A girl who stood by the door and shut her eyes:
Her pale cheeks glistened with rain, she stood and shivered.
Into a forest of silver she vanished slowly . . .
Voices about me rise . . .

Voices clear and silvery, voices of raindrops,-
'We struck with silver claws, we struck her down.
We are the ghosts of the singing furies . . . '
A chorus of elfin voices blowing about me
Weaves to a babel of sound.  Each cries a secret.
I run among them, reach out vain hands, and drown.

'I am the one who stood beside you and smiled,
Thinking your face so strangely young . . . '
'I am the one who loved you but did not dare.'
'I am the one you followed through crowded streets,
The one who escaped you, the one with red-gleamed hair.'

'I am the one you saw to-day, who fell
Senseless before you, hearing a certain bell:
A bell that broke great memories in my brain.'
'I am the one who passed unnoticed before you,
Invisible, in a cloud of secret pain.'

'I am the one who suddenly cried, beholding
The face of a certain man on the dazzling screen.
They wrote me that he was dead.  It was long ago.
I walked in the streets for a long while, hearing nothing,
And returned to see it again.  And it was so.'


Weave, weave, weave, you streaks of rain!
I am dissolved and woven again . . .
Thousands of faces rise and vanish before me.
Thousands of voices weave in the rain.

'I am the one who rode beside you, blinking
At a dazzle of golden lights.
Tempests of music swept me: I was thinking
Of the gorgeous promise of certain nights:
Of the woman who suddenly smiled at me this day,
Smiled in a certain delicious sidelong way,
And turned, as she reached the door,
To smile once more . . .
Her hands are whiter than snow on midnight water.
Her throat is golden and full of golden laughter,
Her eyes are strange as the stealth of the moon
On a night in June . . .
She runs among whistling leaves; I hurry after;
She dances in dreams over white-waved water;
Her body is white and fragrant and cool,
Magnolia petals that float on a white-starred pool . . .
I have dreamed of her, dreaming for many nights
Of a broken music and golden lights,
Of broken webs of silver, heavily falling
Between my hands and their white desire:
And dark-leaved boughs, edged with a golden radiance,
Dipping to screen a fire . . .
I dream that I walk with her beneath high trees,
But as I lean to kiss her face,
She is blown aloft on wind, I catch at leaves,
And run in a moonless place;
And I hear a crashing of terrible rocks flung down,
And shattering trees and cracking walls,
And a net of intense white flame roars over the town,
And someone cries; and darkness falls . . .
But now she has leaned and smiled at me,
My veins are afire with music,
Her eyes have kissed me, my body is turned to light;
I shall dream to her secret heart tonight . . . '

He rises and moves away, he says no word,
He folds his evening paper and turns away;
I rush through the dark with rows of lamplit faces;
Fire bells peal, and some of us turn to listen,
And some sit motionless in their accustomed places.

Cold rain lashes the car-roof, scurries in gusts,
Streams down the windows in waves and ripples of lustre;
The lamps in the streets are distorted and strange.
Someone takes his watch from his pocket and yawns.
One peers out in the night for the place to change.

Rain . . . rain . . . rain . . . we are buried in rain,
It will rain forever, the swift wheels hiss through water,
Pale sheets of water gleam in the windy street.
The pealing of bells is lost in a drive of rain-drops.
Remote and hurried the great bells beat.

'I am the one whom life so shrewdly betrayed,
Misfortune dogs me, it always hunted me down.
And to-day the woman I love lies dead.
I gave her roses, a ring with opals;
These hands have touched her head.

'I bound her to me in all soft ways,
I bound her to me in a net of days,
Yet now she has gone in silence and said no word.
How can we face these dazzling things, I ask you?
There is no use: we cry: and are not heard.

'They cover a body with roses . . . I shall not see it . . .
Must one return to the lifeless walls of a city
Whose soul is charred by fire? . . . '
His eyes are closed, his lips press tightly together.
Wheels hiss beneath us.  He yields us our desire.

'No, do not stare so-he is weak with grief,
He cannot face you, he turns his eyes aside;
He is confused with pain.
I suffered this.  I know.  It was long ago . . .
He closes his eyes and drowns in death again.'

The wind hurls blows at the rain-starred glistening windows,
The wind shrills down from the half-seen walls.
We flow on the mournful wind in a dream of dying;
And at last a silence falls.


VII.

Midnight; bells toll, and along the cloud-high towers
The golden lights go out . . .
The yellow windows darken, the shades are drawn,
In thousands of rooms we sleep, we await the dawn,
We lie face down, we dream,
We cry aloud with terror, half rise, or seem
To stare at the ceiling or walls . . .
Midnight . . . the last of shattering bell-notes falls.
A rush of silence whirls over the cloud-high towers,
A vortex of soundless hours.

'The bells have just struck twelve: I should be sleeping.
But I cannot delay any longer to write and tell you.
The woman is dead.
She died-you know the way.  Just as we planned.
Smiling, with open sunlit eyes.
Smiling upon the outstretched fatal hand . . .'

He folds his letter, steps softly down the stairs.
The doors are closed and silent.  A gas-jet flares.
His shadow disturbs a shadow of balustrades.
The door swings shut behind.  Night roars above him.
Into the night he fades.

Wind; wind; wind; carving the walls;
Blowing the water that gleams in the street;
Blowing the rain, the sleet.
In the dark alley, an old tree cracks and falls,
Oak-boughs moan in the haunted air;
Lamps blow down with a crash and ****** of glass . . .
Darkness whistles . . . Wild hours pass . . .

And those whom sleep eludes lie wide-eyed, hearing
Above their heads a goblin night go by;
Children are waked, and cry,
The young girl hears the roar in her sleep, and dreams
That her lover is caught in a burning tower,
She clutches the pillow, she gasps for breath, she screams . . .
And then by degrees her breath grows quiet and slow,
She dreams of an evening, long ago:
Of colored lanterns balancing under trees,
Some of them softly catching afire;
And beneath the lanterns a motionless face she sees,
Golden with lamplight, smiling, serene . . .
The leaves are a pale and glittering green,
The sound of horns blows over the trampled grass,
Shadows of dancers pass . . .
The face smiles closer to hers, she tries to lean
Backward, away, the eyes burn close and strange,
The face is beginning to change,-
It is her lover, she no longer desires to resist,
She is held and kissed.
She closes her eyes, and melts in a seethe of
I was going to write until it felt like the truth.

skim page, skim milk, skip
rocks and roll
into the water.

It's not sinking. It's a race.

This dance, this ricochet
roundabout remember.

Oh yes, the blinds flutter
like the wings of
a perched bird,

unable to decide where
it's off to.

Open them and we're in
the trees again,
closed November,

awake and asleep, too
black and white, too
beginning and end,

take a bite, right?

Nothing's cut and dry.
Dreams are proof of that.

Imagination doesn't follow
your rules.

The great empty plane
of this world. I'm
kicking up dust

just because I can, screaming
at the blank black sky
to show me a star

through all this smog,

meet the edge of the
world like I
always promised.
Homunculus May 2015
Behold!

The great
Leviathan, with
teeth of steel, with
feet of clay.

Subjected to this
giant's whim,
the sweet sojourn  
of life decays,

Infected now, we
lie and skim; while
markets mire
mother's way,

rejected reason,
presses on, to
try again
another day.
Serenity Elliot Sep 2014
I wish I was a dragonfly,
Blue in the shimmering sun
Settling on the tropical palms,
When my breeze guided journey was done.

The tips of my wings would softly skim
The water of the pool,
A microscopic dragon in flight
My eyes, two kaleidoscope jewels.

My family would have existed for three million years,
Or more,
But I shall glide for just six weeks,
Enough time to see, what’s worth flying for.
Tara Jan 2019
The ocean,
oh it looked so blue,
shades of colour swimming around like clouds around the moon,

The water,
oh it looked so clean,
but it was just the sun's reflection making it clear,

Underneath the waves lay a graveyard,
a promise of death,
a promise of extinction,

Tombs made of plastic,
slathered in oil,
steaming with toxic waste,
and all the people know,

The damage is unfolding faster than we are evolving,

The turtles are ingesting plastic as if it were their only meal,
begging for their fins to just be free,
so they can dive through the sea,

The seals are tangled in nets, lines and lures,
plastic bags and packing bands,
till they're tied to their grave as if life were just a brief phase,

The seabirds skim the ocean waves for fish and squid,
yet plastic is their only catch of the day,
leaving them broken inside and out,
and dead on the beaches we claim are our own,

The whales are submerged beneath the sea,
eating most things that they see,
plastic, plastic everywhere beneath,
not giving them much time before they can no longer breathe,

The dolphins are gliding through the sea,
taking what they can to eat,
plastic as their only meal,
tearing them apart from within,
leaving them starving for weeks,
till the grave is the only thing they see,

Us humans are so weak,
we can’t see how deep the pain seeps,
but when nothing is left for us to eat,
and the rich have nothing left to steal,
we’ll end in the same graves as all the lives we could have healed.
Slow sinks, more lovely ere his race be run,
Along Morea’s hills the setting Sun;
Not, as in northern climes, obscurely bright,
But one unclouded blaze of living light;
O’er the hushed deep the yellow beam he throws,
Gilds the green wave that trembles as it glows;
On old ægina’s rock and Hydra’s isle
The God of gladness sheds his parting smile;
O’er his own regions lingering loves to shine,
Though there his altars are no more divine.
Descending fast, the mountain-shadows kiss
Thy glorious Gulf, unconquered Salamis!
Their azure arches through the long expanse,
More deeply purpled, meet his mellowing glance,
And tenderest tints, along their summits driven,
Mark his gay course, and own the hues of Heaven;
Till, darkly shaded from the land and deep,
Behind his Delphian rock he sinks to sleep.

  On such an eve his palest beam he cast
When, Athens! here thy Wisest looked his last.
How watched thy better sons his farewell ray,
That closed their murdered Sage’s latest day!
Not yet—not yet—Sol pauses on the hill,
The precious hour of parting lingers still;
But sad his light to agonizing eyes,
And dark the mountain’s once delightful dyes;
Gloom o’er the lovely land he seemed to pour,
The land where Phoebus never frowned before;
But ere he sunk below Cithaeron’s head,
The cup of Woe was quaffed—the Spirit fled;
The soul of Him that scorned to fear or fly,
Who lived and died as none can live or die.

  But lo! from high Hymettus to the plain
The Queen of Night asserts her silent reign;
No murky vapour, herald of the storm,
Hides her fair face, or girds her glowing form;
With cornice glimmering as the moonbeams play,
There the white column greets her grateful ray,
And bright around, with quivering beams beset,
Her emblem sparkles o’er the Minaret;
The groves of olive scattered dark and wide,
Where meek Cephisus sheds his scanty tide,
The cypress saddening by the sacred mosque,
The gleaming turret of the gay kiosk,
And sad and sombre ’mid the holy calm,
Near Theseus’ fane, yon solitary palm;
All, tinged with varied hues, arrest the eye;
And dull were his that passed them heedless by.
Again the ægean, heard no more afar,
Lulls his chafed breast from elemental war:
Again his waves in milder tints unfold
Their long expanse of sapphire and of gold,
Mixed with the shades of many a distant isle
That frown, where gentler Ocean deigns to smile.

  As thus, within the walls of Pallas’ fane,
I marked the beauties of the land and main,
Alone, and friendless, on the magic shore,
Whose arts and arms but live in poets’ lore;
Oft as the matchless dome I turned to scan,
Sacred to Gods, but not secure from Man,
The Past returned, the Present seemed to cease,
And Glory knew no clime beyond her Greece!

  Hour rolled along, and Dian’******on high
Had gained the centre of her softest sky;
And yet unwearied still my footsteps trod
O’er the vain shrine of many a vanished God:
But chiefly, Pallas! thine, when Hecate’s glare
Checked by thy columns, fell more sadly fair
O’er the chill marble, where the startling tread
Thrills the lone heart like echoes from the dead.
Long had I mused, and treasured every trace
The wreck of Greece recorded of her race,
When, lo! a giant-form before me strode,
And Pallas hailed me in her own Abode!

  Yes,’twas Minerva’s self; but, ah! how changed,
Since o’er the Dardan field in arms she ranged!
Not such as erst, by her divine command,
Her form appeared from Phidias’ plastic hand:
Gone were the terrors of her awful brow,
Her idle ægis bore no Gorgon now;
Her helm was dinted, and the broken lance
Seemed weak and shaftless e’en to mortal glance;
The Olive Branch, which still she deigned to clasp,
Shrunk from her touch, and withered in her grasp;
And, ah! though still the brightest of the sky,
Celestial tears bedimmed her large blue eye;
Round the rent casque her owlet circled slow,
And mourned his mistress with a shriek of woe!

  “Mortal!”—’twas thus she spake—”that blush of shame
Proclaims thee Briton, once a noble name;
First of the mighty, foremost of the free,
Now honoured ‘less’ by all, and ‘least’ by me:
Chief of thy foes shall Pallas still be found.
Seek’st thou the cause of loathing!—look around.
Lo! here, despite of war and wasting fire,
I saw successive Tyrannies expire;
‘Scaped from the ravage of the Turk and Goth,
Thy country sends a spoiler worse than both.
Survey this vacant, violated fane;
Recount the relics torn that yet remain:
‘These’ Cecrops placed, ‘this’ Pericles adorned,
‘That’ Adrian reared when drooping Science mourned.
What more I owe let Gratitude attest—
Know, Alaric and Elgin did the rest.
That all may learn from whence the plunderer came,
The insulted wall sustains his hated name:
For Elgin’s fame thus grateful Pallas pleads,
Below, his name—above, behold his deeds!
Be ever hailed with equal honour here
The Gothic monarch and the Pictish peer:
Arms gave the first his right, the last had none,
But basely stole what less barbarians won.
So when the Lion quits his fell repast,
Next prowls the Wolf, the filthy Jackal last:
Flesh, limbs, and blood the former make their own,
The last poor brute securely gnaws the bone.
Yet still the Gods are just, and crimes are crossed:
See here what Elgin won, and what he lost!
Another name with his pollutes my shrine:
Behold where Dian’s beams disdain to shine!
Some retribution still might Pallas claim,
When Venus half avenged Minerva’s shame.”

  She ceased awhile, and thus I dared reply,
To soothe the vengeance kindling in her eye:
“Daughter of Jove! in Britain’s injured name,
A true-born Briton may the deed disclaim.
Frown not on England; England owns him not:
Athena, no! thy plunderer was a Scot.
Ask’st thou the difference? From fair Phyles’ towers
Survey Boeotia;—Caledonia’s ours.
And well I know within that ******* land
Hath Wisdom’s goddess never held command;
A barren soil, where Nature’s germs, confined
To stern sterility, can stint the mind;
Whose thistle well betrays the niggard earth,
Emblem of all to whom the Land gives birth;
Each genial influence nurtured to resist;
A land of meanness, sophistry, and mist.
Each breeze from foggy mount and marshy plain
Dilutes with drivel every drizzly brain,
Till, burst at length, each wat’ry head o’erflows,
Foul as their soil, and frigid as their snows:
Then thousand schemes of petulance and pride
Despatch her scheming children far and wide;
Some East, some West, some—everywhere but North!
In quest of lawless gain, they issue forth.
And thus—accursed be the day and year!
She sent a Pict to play the felon here.
Yet Caledonia claims some native worth,
As dull Boeotia gave a Pindar birth;
So may her few, the lettered and the brave,
Bound to no clime, and victors of the grave,
Shake off the sordid dust of such a land,
And shine like children of a happier strand;
As once, of yore, in some obnoxious place,
Ten names (if found) had saved a wretched race.”

  “Mortal!” the blue-eyed maid resumed, “once more
Bear back my mandate to thy native shore.
Though fallen, alas! this vengeance yet is mine,
To turn my counsels far from lands like thine.
Hear then in silence Pallas’ stern behest;
Hear and believe, for Time will tell the rest.

  “First on the head of him who did this deed
My curse shall light,—on him and all his seed:
Without one spark of intellectual fire,
Be all the sons as senseless as the sire:
If one with wit the parent brood disgrace,
Believe him ******* of a brighter race:
Still with his hireling artists let him prate,
And Folly’s praise repay for Wisdom’s hate;
Long of their Patron’s gusto let them tell,
Whose noblest, native gusto is—to sell:
To sell, and make—may shame record the day!—
The State—Receiver of his pilfered prey.
Meantime, the flattering, feeble dotard, West,
Europe’s worst dauber, and poor Britain’s best,
With palsied hand shall turn each model o’er,
And own himself an infant of fourscore.
Be all the Bruisers culled from all St. Giles’,
That Art and Nature may compare their styles;
While brawny brutes in stupid wonder stare,
And marvel at his Lordship’s ’stone shop’ there.
Round the thronged gate shall sauntering coxcombs creep
To lounge and lucubrate, to prate and peep;
While many a languid maid, with longing sigh,
On giant statues casts the curious eye;
The room with transient glance appears to skim,
Yet marks the mighty back and length of limb;
Mourns o’er the difference of now and then;
Exclaims, ‘These Greeks indeed were proper men!’
Draws slight comparisons of ‘these’ with ‘those’,
And envies Laïs all her Attic beaux.
When shall a modern maid have swains like these?
Alas! Sir Harry is no Hercules!
And last of all, amidst the gaping crew,
Some calm spectator, as he takes his view,
In silent indignation mixed with grief,
Admires the plunder, but abhors the thief.
Oh, loathed in life, nor pardoned in the dust,
May Hate pursue his sacrilegious lust!
Linked with the fool that fired the Ephesian dome,
Shall vengeance follow far beyond the tomb,
And Eratostratus and Elgin shine
In many a branding page and burning line;
Alike reserved for aye to stand accursed,
Perchance the second blacker than the first.

  “So let him stand, through ages yet unborn,
Fixed statue on the pedestal of Scorn;
Though not for him alone revenge shall wait,
But fits thy country for her coming fate:
Hers were the deeds that taught her lawless son
To do what oft Britannia’s self had done.
Look to the Baltic—blazing from afar,
Your old Ally yet mourns perfidious war.
Not to such deeds did Pallas lend her aid,
Or break the compact which herself had made;
Far from such counsels, from the faithless field
She fled—but left behind her Gorgon shield;
A fatal gift that turned your friends to stone,
And left lost Albion hated and alone.

“Look to the East, where Ganges’ swarthy race
Shall shake your tyrant empire to its base;
Lo! there Rebellion rears her ghastly head,
And glares the Nemesis of native dead;
Till Indus rolls a deep purpureal flood,
And claims his long arrear of northern blood.
So may ye perish!—Pallas, when she gave
Your free-born rights, forbade ye to enslave.

  “Look on your Spain!—she clasps the hand she hates,
But boldly clasps, and thrusts you from her gates.
Bear witness, bright Barossa! thou canst tell
Whose were the sons that bravely fought and fell.
But Lusitania, kind and dear ally,
Can spare a few to fight, and sometimes fly.
Oh glorious field! by Famine fiercely won,
The Gaul retires for once, and all is done!
But when did Pallas teach, that one retreat
Retrieved three long Olympiads of defeat?

  “Look last at home—ye love not to look there
On the grim smile of comfortless despair:
Your city saddens: loud though Revel howls,
Here Famine faints, and yonder Rapine prowls.
See all alike of more or less bereft;
No misers tremble when there’s nothing left.
‘Blest paper credit;’ who shall dare to sing?
It clogs like lead Corruption’s weary wing.
Yet Pallas pluck’d each Premier by the ear,
Who Gods and men alike disdained to hear;
But one, repentant o’er a bankrupt state,
On Pallas calls,—but calls, alas! too late:
Then raves for’——’; to that Mentor bends,
Though he and Pallas never yet were friends.
Him senates hear, whom never yet they heard,
Contemptuous once, and now no less absurd.
So, once of yore, each reasonable frog,
Swore faith and fealty to his sovereign ‘log.’
Thus hailed your rulers their patrician clod,
As Egypt chose an onion for a God.

  “Now fare ye well! enjoy your little hour;
Go, grasp the shadow of your vanished power;
Gloss o’er the failure of each fondest scheme;
Your strength a name, your bloated wealth a dream.
Gone is that Gold, the marvel of mankind.
And Pirates barter all that’s left behind.
No more the hirelings, purchased near and far,
Crowd to the ranks of mercenary war.
The idle merchant on the useless quay
Droops o’er the bales no bark may bear away;
Or, back returning, sees rejected stores
Rot piecemeal on his own encumbered shores:
The starved mechanic breaks his rusting loom,
And desperate mans him ‘gainst the coming doom.
Then in the Senates of your sinking state
Show me the man whose counsels may have weight.
Vain is each voice where tones could once command;
E’en factions cease to charm a factious land:
Yet jarring sects convulse a sister Isle,
And light with maddening hands the mutual pile.

  “’Tis done, ’tis past—since Pallas warns in vain;
The Furies seize her abdicated reign:
Wide o’er the realm they wave their kindling brands,
And wring her vitals with their fiery hands.
But one convulsive struggle still remains,
And Gaul shall weep ere Albion wear her chains,
The bannered pomp of war, the glittering files,
O’er whose gay trappings stern Bellona smiles;
The brazen trump, the spirit-stirring drum,
That bid the foe defiance ere they come;
The hero bounding at his country’s call,
The glorious death that consecrates his fall,
Swell the young heart with visionary charms.
And bid it antedate the joys of arms.
But know, a lesson you may yet be taught,
With death alone are laurels cheaply bought;
Not in the conflict Havoc seeks delight,
His day of mercy is the day of fight.
But when the field is fought, the battle won,
Though drenched with gore, his woes are but begun:
His deeper deeds as yet ye know by name;
The slaughtered peasant and the ravished dame,
The rifled mansion and the foe-reaped field,
Ill suit with souls at home, untaught to yield.
Say with what eye along the distant down
Would flying burghers mark the blazing town?
How view the column of ascending flames
Shake his red shadow o’er the startled Thames?
Nay, frown not, Albion! for the torch was thine
That lit such pyres from Tagus to the Rhine:
Now should they burst on thy devoted coast,
Go, ask thy ***** who deserves them most?
The law of Heaven and Earth is life for life,
And she who raised, in vain regrets, the strife.”
Madisen Kuhn Aug 2013
I feel invisible
Yet you claim(ed) I am the air you breathe
And perhaps like air I am always present,
But presently forgotten

The heaviness of your hush is crushing me with empty blows
This silence leads me to wander down a path cloaked in a heavy mist
That whispers harsh truths such as:
Our hopeless, fictitious, drawn out infatuation is like
A library book that was checked out last March
You underlined and doggie-paged the first few chapters
And then left it on your shelf to collect dust all of April and May

I foolishly kept begging you to finish the book
Read the last sentence
Take time to skim over the epilogue
Please
Find your way to the back cover

I foolishly ignored your “I can’t”s

And now it’s late August and our love is long overdue,
In the opposite sense of what the phrase typically means

I write with angry lead because
I am too stubborn to admit I just filled a trash bin with tissues
And that the cuffed sleeves of my flannel
Are damp like grass’s morning dew

I have so much more to say,
Although I cannot find the words
To say anything more than



You should’ve written.

Because two weeks of nothing
Was enough for me to realize that you are just a passing breeze
Seldom present, presently becoming something of the past.
Claire Walters Jun 2017
I walked into a 7-11 with you and  then all of the sudden I stopped and starred,
not because a loud and angry guy was screaming at his kids not to touch anything,
but because,
the coffee in the pots were cold and less than half full just sitting there on the counter
and no one was going to come in and drink it,
it would be left there to sit all night getting colder, until someone dumped them and cleaned them out, that's how I was before you came along,
I was a cold *** of coffee left over from that morning that no one wanted anymore,
you see, you seemed to drink the whole coffee *** before it even had a chance to get cold,
And if it did get cold,
You'd drink it anyway,

You got ecstatic over the thought of having caffeine in you to wake you up and make you lively again  
And I love that about you

You are different
You don't care about my non-coffee drinking past
You don't care about the dark rough grinds that took over me and made me undrinkable
You don't care if I was French pressed or keurig'd out
You still love me

You'd still love me if I was skim milk
If I was a skinny fat free latte
You love me now, even when I'm whole milk
If I became a double chocolaty chip
And I love that about you

You love my "I wanna white mocha latte",
and my "I need an iced French vanilla coffee from Dunkin' Donuts right now!",
And my "I am on a first date with this guy walking around with this amazing dude spilling a watered down small coffee all over my hands because I am so nervous, AND I DONT EVEN CARE BECAUSE I DONT KNOW IT YET BUT HE WILL BE MINE FOREVER!"

You're that kind of "I-don't-need- another-espresso-shot-but-I'll-take-an-extra-one-anyway-even-if-I­-do-have-to-pay-fifty-more-cents" type of guy,

Because in the end I realized paying that extra fifty cents was worth it and I'm glad I did
Because this is the best cup of coffee I've ever had and i don't want any other kind,

And I wish I would have tried this sooner and I want this feeling to last forever, because this feeling is nothing like I have ever felt before, it's like the first time sipping a different kind of coffee and not sure how it's going to taste and then all of a sudden your taste buds start going crazy and you lose your **** mind because it is so good,
And you want the cup of coffee to last forever, and it will,
Because you will keep going back to your most favorite and amazing cup of coffee for every day that you live

We went to Dunkin' Donuts again the other day,
We're known as the 7pm coffee drinkers,
One of the workers that's always there gave you two free to go cups,
We're there a lot....

The first thing I gave you was a small coffee with cream and sugar filled kiss,
the second thing was a gift card to a coffee shop,

I love you a latte
And you know i espresso a lot of feelings towards you
You're my 4 packs of sugar
My hazelnut and French vanilla creamer
You're the first thing I think of when I wake up and what keeps me up at night,
You and my coffee
Us and our coffee,
Surprising each other at work with a 16 oz coffee in our hands with a dumb smile on our faces

You are the reason I am happy
You are the reason I love coffee so much
You are the reason I wake up
You're the reason I ask if you want coffee
And the baristas at our school have an odd look on there face when I order not one but two cups of coffee and they can't help but wonder if there's someone they don't know about
And there is
It's you
And you are mine
Nico Julleza Jul 2017
Anxious
Dull, a boy is he
names he would not plea
eyes like baby blue-
lips a crimson hue
Feelings like me and you

Reclusive
Outsiders he'd not choose
In his mansions he bore
luring himself-
with enchanting lore's
drifting away, loosing woes

A Xenos
Traveling in his hallways
unknown, ominous
a wretched life he portrays
even in his heart, he'd say-
"Loneliness, such a Cliché"

Forsaken
Befriended, unseen
though he's not a devil
-for I believe
tortured, battered on thee
delude by his mistress' skim

He Left
portals out from misery
gone himself eagerly
then comes back, with such
-A Victory
for now, a statured man is he

Knights & Kings
upon bended knees
and everything he please
from a man to a boy
-in a dream
A Castle, now he redeems
YES TO "ANTI-BULLYING"
Support "ANTI-BULLYING"

#Boy #Castle #Man #Dream

(NCJ)POETRYProductions. ©2017
i
i am an animal— should I not delight in this?
Should I not celebrate
                                  bare skin and bared teeth?
Should I not
dance
barefoot in the light of the moon, jubilating in all that I am?

I praise this body that moves me— from the too rough soles of my feet, the hungry churn of my stomach, the burn between my legs. I give thanks to broken skim and bruises; these are the evidence of my life force.

I sit in a Labyrinth, a holy place where my brother & sister stones give me solemn council.
I feel life.
I smell it, I hear it, I taste it on cold air.
Life energies flitting all around me. I soak it up as my skin drinks the sun.

Am I thankful for life in this place?
                                                        No.
But I am happy to greet it. I accept its presence for another day and I move with it, dancing and contorting as I ought. I stretch my muscles and fill my lungs.
And in this moment I feel no fear.

When you do not fear Death how can you fear Life?
How can I fear anything in this life when death—full of the unknowing dark, full of the unblinking darkness, full of that which is unspoken— is known as a friend?

When you welcome death into yourself, you gain and lose life simultaneously.
While you see the day in a different light— more pure, calmer, brighter that you ever could have imagined— this light you are observing doesn’t really
reach you. It doesn’t
wash nor warm you as it
                                          once
                                                     did.
Everything
becomes Colder.
Everything becomes colder, but the cold doesn’t hurt
quite
          as
much.
It’s there, but distant— ebbing at the edges of my nerve endings, but my body doesn’t dispel it nor does it coil away, spitting. Rather, it embraces it. Grows little white flowers in its dark shade and growls merrily from the frozen ground.
        
Let Winter come
and let it awaken the dead-tree creature living within me, somewhere between my
spine
and
my
rib-bones.
Let the cold douse the fire and let that which is pale and hungry roam. Let it breathe its own fire amid the skeletons of Elms and Pine. Let this feverish animal breathe steam into the night air. Let it roam, choking and coughing on a too hot stomach {too much burbon and hot chemical fire}. Let it run itself back into the ground, squirming with the grubs and the centipedes, blind and snuffling, frantic.

You cannot cage your own animal nature.
It will only grow Wilder there. Wilder and hateful— it will turn on that which tried to lock it away. Let it live free, by Bone and by Fire, by Water and by Stone— let it come Alive.

Something made of teeth lives there, breathing shakily, bleeding and slithering in the dark we all try to put away from the light of social normality. Something anthropomorphic and angry. You can’t hide away that which is within you. Maybe it lives at the center of the Labyrinth, waiting on you to stumble upon it. Maybe it only lives at the Labyrinth’s edges— skittering around  outside walls, keeping you fighting within it.
You could drown this creature with bourbon and whiskey, but it will only laugh and dance out of your throat. You could stab this animal, but it will only bleed ink and raven feathers. Ink from words left unwritten and thoughts unsaid.
            I am the snake, the bird, the cat, the wasp, the human.
        The Animal.
I am the mother, the daughter, the grandmother.
                            I am Alive.
There is power in the bones.
May mine rattle in the hollow night, may mine howl, hungry at the moon. May I crave blood, may I hunger for its life as my body hungers for sustenance.
Sarah Spang Oct 2017
Skim to search the airwaves seeking
To abandon you
I fill this empty silence with a
Useless song or two
In silence creeping, weeping, you fill
Up my nodding head.
And all the words you've spoken hence
Flood forth to fill my head.
The voices on the radio say
All I should have said-
I skip those haunting broken tunes
And search for more instead.
Though truthfully excuses fail to
Negate what is true:
I fill this car with music to
Escape my thoughts of you.
Tommy Randell Dec 2016
The bed is too short for a lie-in
The wife's dog owns the settee
There's a sun lounger out in the garage
But it's winter and 7 degrees

I can hear at least 4 kinds of music
A muted electric guitar
There's a scream like a broken Jet engine
That's the wife reversing the car

My son and his mates had a late night
I can smell beer and left-over curry
The kitchen will look like a bomb-site
Which won't get cleaned up in a hurry

The heating has just gone into turbo
Yes, there's someone else in the shower
Any minute now the alarm will go off  … 'cos
I've been awake nearly two hours

It is the usual Saturday
Believe me I've been here before
It can make me tired and grumpy
And that's not what Saturdays are for ...

Two hours later and I'm startled!
Oh, I must have dropped off
There's an ominous silence around me
Like the whole spinning world has just stopped

I know they have gone out to be busy
The last thing they want is to rest
Gone shopping, breakfast or lunching
Leaving the old man to rot and the kitchen a mess

Me and the wife's dog we'll go walkies
Skim a few stones on the sea
He'll meet a few dog pals and eat a dead fish
And sit quietly down by my feet

On the way home we might call for a pint
Meet up with the lads and de-stress
I might even text with my love to the wife
Hoping her day is filled with success

Your favourite dinner I'll tell her
Tinned Pie, French fries and beans
And she will reply with a little red heart
And you know what that normally means

Plenty of time though to clean up the Kitchen
Detox the hallway, and sit on the Loo
And time left over for some sport on the telly
And a bottle of Cider or … Three!

It is my usual Dad-Friendly Saturday
With it's uptake on free-time and space
And tomorrow my wife will get her turn
And Her Sunday can take pride of place

She can cook dinner and Hoover
Catch up with her Soaps to her heart's content
I'll wander off to see the lads at the pub
And compare how our Saturdays went

Tommy Randell    01st December 2016
Kim Davis Oct 2013
Once there was a girl
Who could feel
A young, playful, and truly memorable child
naturally born to lead, learn, and strive,
Jumped in front of any camera she saw,
because she wanted all eyes on her.
Yet that didn't prevent an inevitable day,
an insignificant, random day
when she was faced with her new reality.
An old lady took a fall,
an animal she'd grew with began its downward spiral towards death
a neighbor robbed of weapons,
and no more did the girl get attention,
but was rather brought to the attention that the world was cruel.
But attention was her drive, her motivation to live
and taken from her, she desperately tried to regain her spirit
but couldn't handle everything she'd ever known changing on her,
and a little girl, third grade, began a path of self destruction.
The natural leader now a follower,
The playful girl turned her interests into other people's pain,
She enjoyed that year the most she could,
secretly hating the old woman, mistreating her
saying her goodbyes to the dog that was there years before she was born,
grades turning from all A's, to B's, to C's, to D's and F's,  year by year.
getting rejected just a few times, but over-complicating it, as she would do everything later,  
taking it personal, letting it destroy her
and so the little girl grew,
first into an angry, manipulative version of herself,
she was no longer slender, pretty, or girly in any way.
She was a wreck. No care for herself anymore.
Sharpened her finger with a pencil sharpener.
When mad, would beat herself up.
Demented, but that was just covering a layer of desire for attention.
Something so simple, something everyone has to learn to live without, took such a toll on a little girl, because it was just cut off, one insignificant day.
But one day she got attention again, months after another
insignificant day.
This insignificant day, she remembers,
daddy standing by the mailbox
she was outside playing with neighbors
and she heard daddy talk funny.
A sliver in his voice, that was never there, was it?
and listening, she heard it again,
and she looked at dad, and in his eyes, he wasn't there.
his body, his face, his smile, but his eyes weren't there.
And the little girl ignored it.
But daddy was in pain for months. Didn't tell a soul.
and when that sliver in voice kept going, mom forced him to go to the doctor.
But the sliver wasn't it, there was blood, daddy was coughing blood.
And so the doctor diagnosed it as bronchitis.
But it was deeper than that, it was the big C,
and the little girl knew that daddy saw it coming
his smoking tripled
and he got a recorder so as to record what he was thinking
and there was that night, at her aunts, everyone in the kitchen,
the little girl heard it from a distance,
cancer,
but she wanted to be wrong, so bad.  
She gets in the car with her mom, and receives the news,
but upon seeing her mother crying, doesn't know what to do.
She was supposed to be strong for her mother, everyone expected that of her,
but everyone also expected her to be fragile, and wanted her to cry more than anyone about her dad.
But the conflicting emotions resulted in the girl, not so little anymore, to grow up.
To shut off all human emotion, to be a walking robot. To never cry, never feel.
That made everything pile up in her head.
Daddy had cancer.
Daddy was doing Radiology treatments.
Daddy's treatments were failing.
Daddy was getting skinnier.
Daddy was doing Chemo.
Daddy was trying to **** himself.
Daddy was in and out of the hospital.
Daddy wanted her there.
Daddy needed her there.
Daddy cried in front of her and asked, "Why don't you love me anymore?" because she showed her disinterest in tying his shoes for him since he couldnt.  
But there's nothing more terrifying, than seeing someone one genuinely cares about in the hospital.
Than being afraid to break the person one loves in half with just a hug.
Daddy was dying, and daddy wouldn't talk all day until she got home, even if it was just a hey and a smile.
To this day, she'd love to say now that she would go back, and do it all differently, show that she loved him, not that she was disgusted in what he'd become, but  she knows herself, and she'd shut herself down again in a heartbeat.  
Daddy died of three types of cancer,
and the little girl got the attention she'd longed for, but in the form of pity.
But she hated pity.
She stopped doing anything.
Couldn't go out with friends,  secluded herself in her mind.
Until she found a way to be herself and get attention, and became someone new.
Then someone else.
Then someone else.
And then the girl was no longer herself, she was someone who made an impact on people.
Someone who people were attracted to,
Someone who had friends,
Someone who had company who couldn't physically show her pity,
company that satisfied her romantic desires, and company that was there when she was down,
and who she could manipulate to her desire, to understand men and women on a deeper level.
And that sweet, playful, little girl, was a monster.
Divided in two, she emoted on a fake half of her, a half that wasn't her, a fake story personified,
what was left of that little girl was skinned, and buried in dirt.
So when the girl had had enough damage inflicted on the sane, but fake side of her,
and was unhappy regardless of who she was that day,  at that hour,
she would tell herself it was over, it was time, this should have ended a long time ago,
and her skinned corpse of a soul was trying to crawl out of its grave,
pulled back by the dark cloud it became, and buried again with the fake's love,
because that side of her, with skim, but human emotion,
couldn't bear to hurt people it'd already done enough damage to.
So one day, when she was found out, by best friend and an ex, it was a sigh of relief,
just to feel the air on that hand, reaching up to get out of her grave.
But she didn't know that what followed was losing half the people she loved,
most being the ones she loved most, the most active in her life at the given moment,
And even then, with the remaining few, she felt too awkward in that situation,
too conflicted, that she once again, turned off her emotions.
And now, what's left?
A broken little girl, in a big, damaged carcass, freezing in mud, staring down at her own grave, unable to find her skin.
Emilie Mar 2013
It was a Sunday like most and she walked to the store for a can of
Tomato soup
A kid two isles over bumped into her leg with his cart
He didn't apologize, and she was mad at him.
She picked up the last gallon of milk
Then put it back and grabbed the pint
Skim, organic with an expiration date she’d never reach
She stood in a line to pay for her things,
The old woman in front of her was buying cat food and cheddar cheese
And she laughed at her because she was somehow pathetic and strange,
She locked eyes with a boy in the front of the store,
They were blue and bright, he had cropped blonde hair and a brilliant smile,
Maybe she could talk to him when she was done here.
She was next in line but the cashier ignored her, instead she devoted attention to the terrified screams outside.
People ran everywhere and some came into the shop, for shelter and safety.
There’s nothing more painful than listening to a grown man beg for his life from a stranger who’d gone crazy and decided he’d ‘had enough.
She watched them plead for one last look into the brown-edged photos in their wallets.
People laugh and they joke about death but when it’s staring you in the face,
And you feel its warm breath on your cheeks
You can hardly think at all and your mind is like a bad book with all its pages out of order
And you can’t control what comes next.
In those few moments she tried to take everything back, trying to remember what she did this morning where she left her laundry. She tried to take back her cynicism toward the woman and her anger at the boy, she continued to ask herself why she didn't grab the gallon when she knew she could drink a full gallon and she got the store brand when she should have gotten the campbells.
But she didn't.
It’s not safe inside anymore,
The pristine tiles are no longer clean.
Her eyes followed the boy, he was fit and handsome and about her age,
With kind eyes and a blue collared shirt,
She hid with him behind a shelf,
They were quiet, she and this boy whom she’d never met but they smelled the same,
They smelled of fear and words the two of them would never again utter.
He turned to her, a stranger, and confessed that he’d never loved a woman.
Cans of beans and corn that litter the shelves of lovers and families alike topple over onto them
But they don’t move.
Instinctively they clutch each other’s hands and sweat pools in their palms
But they don’t move.
The footsteps that seem to control the store eventually call for them, he’d never loved a woman but in that moment he made the choice to put him between her and the edge of insanity.
She saw that his shirt tag was flipped up and his wallet was sticking out of his back pocket.
So she tucked his tag and touched his shoulder and felt the air leave his lungs for the last time.
She was alone.
The last sound she’d ever hear was echoed by sirens that were just a little too late.
It was a Sunday like any other and she walked to the store for a can of
Tomato soup.
Ellen Joyce Jun 2013
A petal haired army saluting the call of the skies
- it made my heart go to her
until I hope her into being
and I look into her eyes -

eyes that shimmer with every shade of springtime
with frolicking lambs and trumpeting daffodils
with the glint of her chocolate stained Sunday dress,
dancing and whirling with the matriarch blues of six generations
to know our dance, but to write her own song -

a song composed of notes she will fashion for herself in
flower petal perfume and dirt and birthday cake tummy ache
and she can write them in gummy bears or wiggly worms
in any way she might choose, on bill boards or in locked diaries
but it will be beautiful beyond words because its her way -

her way - choosing to skim cliff edges over mama's apron strings,
tearing frills on tree branches and turning back her watch to arrive home late
and you can bet when she dreams him in her sleep she won't be feeling that pea.
But so long as she takes her dreams to heart and cuddles them to life
and knows that she is perfectly imperfectly beautiful and remembers that -

that life is lived as much on cliff edges as it is in your own home
that dress tears and stains speak joy every bit as much as a photograph
that mama's apron strings stretch far and wide,
and that though the shades of seasons change, she must sing her song
and dance.
For L.J and A.R with longing.
2013
canto 1
I call her daddy my own. He felt nothing for her when the time had come for him to do something he fell and she felt nothing at all, nothing whatsoever. It is a cruel world, mateys, and the best thing you can do is curse God and die. Hard to ditch the pity act. Ditching is denying and there is much truth to the lie.

canto 2
Their eyes bubble in the open air, they fill to bursting and scrub until they scratch. **** drips. It's a sound that I will never forget. A sight that should be reserved for the dream world...a stench unrivaled.

canto 3
The Chinese bomber is persistent. One has to wonder why he bothers at all, seeing that his attempts have been futile up until the present moment. It's shoe week, so I guess he has his reasons. But this has gone on for far too long. If there were a way for me to stop him I guess it wouldn't hurt to try.

canto 4
Random parking lots and good God what have they done? I thought it was all over, these thoughts were through, these voices are mad. Usually it's not as upsetting. Your car door gets stuck, you know, it happens all the time. It happens every day, still you never get used to it, do you? You're always stuck inside that ugly mirror.

canto 5 (the "missing canto")

canto 6
I want to tell the world how good you are. Amazing and incredible. **** and *******. Talented and unrestrained. Honey nut Cheerios. You give it but I have a sneaky feeling you would rather be lost in a dream. A banal night vision. Comparably

canto 7
I want to make it better. I want to see you smile. What can I do? You are my own heart ripped from my chest and given wings to fly. Your smile is a lost treasure I would do anything to get it back to give it back to you, I didn't mean to take it away from you. You push me up against a stone wall and you don't even realize you're doing it. That my soul cries and prays for something real, for some kind of explanation or even an excuse would be fine right now. Instead I float. Not the way I like to float. I drift and crash, a dizzying spiral out of control, confused and dumbfounded by the realization that none of it means a ******* thing. What I thought was love turned out to be a jester's game, a joker's trick. You don't need me anymore.

canto 8
I hide myself behind a blanket of stone where you cannot spit fireballs at me without cracking an egg. Cold breeze tickles my news. It's not too chilly in this room. But the fireballs warm things up. "Blanket of stone"...what a stupid expression. Why do you have to be so hateful to me? How many times can a man say I'm Sorry without losing an eyeball?

canto 9
I have no right to feel the way I do. I don't think I can control it, though. This is one of the ****** up idiosyncrasies of my confused existence. Vanish without a trace and look for clues in the alphabet soup.

canto 10
Weariness is like a slug, a giant slug, a parasite infesting my body, hanging on and hanging out. A fire down below that waits for my imagination. My sleep patterns are getting ****** up but I'm not sure if I was sleeping or just dreaming I was awake. Under the impression that it doesn't matter? Well, you are a stone fool for thinking that way. You've never experienced the life-changer. Else you would know. But all I want to know is this: Why am I afraid of sleep?

canto 11
Things get slow. Patience is required, but I don't have any. Why does it have to be that way, o cruel dictator? You get a kick out of this ****, don't you?

canto 12
Spill your guts, maties, it's the only way you'll ever come out of this situation with even a shard of dignity intact. I know it's early and you haven't had time to adjust your eyes and your wrists for this delicate task. Go! Do it now before you lose confidence.

canto 13
We took a holiday and it was so nice. She stood there on that stage without a stitch of clothing on her voluptuous body. Baby, don't you let your hairdresser down

canto 14
Who doesn't love breakfast? Me, actually.

canto 15
I can't help it if I'm changing every day. Ask the question later, maybe my answer will be suitable. I don't think I can help you because I'm not like anyone you've ever known or will ever know or can ever know or would ever want to know and why do you keep wanting to know where I've been? I've been right here. Right where I've always been. Haven't moved a muscle.

canto 16
This is the 16th and I should be proud but the apathy seeps from my very pours. That little ******* was about to take a **** in the corner. When I picked him up to take him to the paper he dropped a couple of turds on the floor beneath me. I guess he couldn't wait.

canto 17
Sometimes things change so much that it's hard to tell if they're for the best or the worst. It is at these times that I enjoy a good evening on the water, enjoying my yacht and eating peanuts from another man's sack. Salted peanuts with pickled eggs and deviled ham with a side order of angel food crack.

canto 18
My wrist hurts and I've lost the will to **** socks.

canto 19
The lawn chair has been placed under extreme scrutiny. It's rocking motion is being scientifically tested and arranged for packaging. The physics of this miracle are in the process of logistical infiltration. You'd be surprised at how useful a rocking lawn chair can be in a world tangled in war. It's a good place to relax. For paranoids, that is.

canto 20
Bird feathers of a different post, it has never made a lick of sense and the promises made were broken. Who was that man in the bird suit? Why was he making all those funny noises? I'll have to investigate. Lawd have mercy I do believe I've **** my pants.

canto 21
Don't come crying to me if you feel misunderstood. I can read right through you and I know that all you're doing is fishing for a compliment. You will not receive one from me, Salty Dog, not because you don't deserve one. You probably do. But not from me. Perhaps you should take up your case with Hoda Kotbe. Who knows but that you might look really, really good on television. Just remember to feed the dog before you leave. He gets hungry. But he doesn't miss you. I don't mean to break your heart, but the rational man within me is very convincing when he tells me you are a real pickle.

canto 22
Those comments are found particularly offensive in light of the situation in the Gulf. You need to regulate your interest in beans. One day you'll fly to the Middle East looking for peace and all you will find are demons like the ones who raised so much hell in "The Exorcist". You don't want that, do you? Settle for Ranch Style and leave the diplomacy to the masters.

canto 23 (the "lost" canto)
I wouldn't wish this on a barrel full of monkeys. They say that time heals all wounds and I suppose it does. No "if"s, "and"s or "but"s. Don't believe me? Listen to 'em snarl. They're hungry for blood and sandwiches. I owe you nothing, so perhaps I'll send you a good time from New York. You gotta love a trapeze artist.

canto 24
I'm trying my best to change the world but the fact remains that the human race does not deserve the kind of tender loving care that I'm well known for. This holiday event will not include high temperatures or the kind of crap the weather people try to sell you.

canto 25
******* Valhalla. This is how it always seems to wind up, isn't it, Pinnochio? Just when you think things are getting better, BAM, ****** up again.

canto 26
You know you've reached a severe point of boredom when you switch to the Daystar Network and find yourself singing along to the bogus faith healers. Pecans on that one, please.

canto 27
Plug away, Sailor. Keep plugging away. When you get there you can say you plugged away with as much vim and vigor as a much larger man. Slough it off, O Great one. Keep sloughing it off. When you get there you can say you sloughed it off with as much skill and empathy as one might expect from a lizard. Or a monster frog.

canto 28 (the "twenty-eighth canto")
Come, look at my incredible collection of dice. Right next to my collection of mice. Next to that bowl of rice. Sugar and spice, everything nice. My head's full of lice. Don't think twice, just break the ice. Pup your puppy dog in the freezer.

canto 29
My toes are cold and so is my nose. I should be concerned with this situation but, strangely, I could care less. There are so many other, more important things to worry about. Like how many frosted flakes are in that box over there. And is there any milk left? And is it the real deal or that phony 2%? 1%? Skim milk is even worse. If it gets down to that point I'll save the money and use tap water. Don't think for a moment that I won't.

canto 30
Colored pencils expect risque answers to tame pencils. Unfortunately the quality of superior eggs is relative to the ice cream that has dripped down your shirt. You're starting to smell bad and I would highly recommend soaking in vinegar for an hour or six.

canto 31
There are times when I wish the planet would implode and **** every living thing into a void. I don't wanna die, but if I'm gonna I want everyone else to come with me. I'm tired of hearing about God's word. But even more so John Hagee's special gift for your love offering of any amount, the super duper Bible verse audio player, with selected passages read by the man himself. You can leave him behind.

canto 32 (the "same as the 31st" canto)
There are times when I wish the planet would implode and **** every living thing into a void. I don't wanna die, but if I'm gonna I want everyone else to come with me. I'm tired of hearing about God's word. But even more so John Hagee's special gift for your love offering of any amount, the super duper Bible verse audio player, with selected passages read by the man himself. You can leave him behind.

canto 33
Yazaa, yazaa, yazaa I told you I was gonna steal that car. You didn't think I had the guts, did you? But look who's laughing now! That guy with the big flower in his pocket must really feel like **** right now, realizing that his awesome vehicle is no longer in his possession. Maybe get an ice cream cone, maybe feel better.

canto 34
Come out of your hidey-hole, scurvy dog. Rat scabies be breathing down your neck and it's cold and old and you'll do as you're told. Pinch back that stray lock of hair, O Queen of Sheba. You shall spend the rest of your days parked on a green chariot overlooking Lake Erie

canto 35
You could have given me a reason for the season. Instead you had nothing to offer but a huge chunk of pepperoni that had mold growing all over it. Admittedly it was delicious but surely you could have come up with something a bit more expressive of the tender emotions I inspired within your fluttering heart.

canto 36
The prospect of a news reporter calling you a crack head based on information gleamed from your Internet social network profiles is quite terrifying, but when you tie the noose you might as well make sure it was time well spent. It's a shame you shaved your head because the painful truth is that now you bear a striking resemblance to Telly Savalas.

canto 37
Energy. That's what is required. And not just the kind of energy you can get from sugar, caffeine and butter. If it were that easy you could be **** sure that the Catholic Church would be the first in line to canonize it. They have a burning desire to fall off the wagon. "Which wagon?" you may ask. The one with the ice cream, of course. Don't be a fool.

canto 38 (a "short" canto)
If boredom is a sea in which one can easily sink into and drown in, I must be swimming the Atlantic.

canto 39
When the dog barks like that it's a sure bet that he's been neutered in the last few days. It's a sad and sorrowful sound that is only recognized by **** knockers in the deep woods.

canto 40
I could stare at the bars of this prison for the rest of my life. Okay, that's *******.

canto 41
Who was it that once said time is the only reliable concept in the universe? Oh, wait. That was me

canto 42
They tell you to wait. That's what it's all about. Wait, wait, wait, wait until I can almost feel my hair turning gray. The estimated time is currently number 7 the estimated hold time is 4 minutes, thank you for your patience. Well, you're welcome, comrade.

canto 42
I've only to surrender you to the world, lie down and wait for it to crush me.

canto 43
If I can only keep it together...if I can only hold it together this one time, I know the gravy train will come my way. Would it do any good to pray? This isn't the first time that enlightenment and illumination have reared their blessed heads. Would that I could live within them this time.

canto 44
Have I told you lately how much I hate to wait? Thinketh not that the Chair has lost it's financial imbalance, the very thread of chocolate that brought you here. It is still a very important and, some would say, a hot topic regardless of the amount of grime, sweat, blood and V8 juice is spilled on it's ivory shaped pear seat.

canto 45
The shadows turn into cloaks, dark itchy woolen capes that enfold the nothingness beneath them, the nothingness of being. You could have worked a little longer and a little harder on that one, amigo.

canto 46
It's been awhile but my wrist still hurts and I've written the word "moon" on the back of my hand with a Sharpie.

canto 47
I'm movin' this **** to WordPress. No I'm not. **** WordPress. Press WordFuck. Word FuckPress. On and on and on and on and not the least bit clever or entertaining. But I do like steaks.

canto 48
I swear to God I wish I had never taken that first hit of ****. Look what it's done to me. After so many years, I guess I was only fooling myself. Or maybe I was so dumbed down that it didn't seem to matter. But now things have changed. And I can do nothing about it. Dump a can of Campbell's Chunky Soup into a bowl, throw it into the microwave, let 'er go for three minutes, let 'er cool down in the oven for a couple more, stir in a quarter cup of Tabasco sauce, let 'er cool down for a little while longer, mix in a ****-load of Cheez-It reduced fat crackers and then go to ******* town. Go to ******* town, I say, **** the stoner days.
Sheeda Oct 2012
I want to be your dreamcatcher
And skim sweet dreams
Off of nightmares black.
Made by the most careful hands
To hang over your bed on the darkest nights.
Twine entwined 'round a circle never ending
And feathers tumbling to the wind
That seeps in through the
Window cracked open.
Night night
and only the sweetest of dreams
to plague your sleep.
Nat Lipstadt Jun 2013
The Breakfast Fairies (a humorous treatise)

Summoned for to break the fast
of sleep-and-dreams that can no longer last,
As the clock to noon draws nigh,
I happily paddle off to the cabinet
Where the cereals that I CHOSE,
Since I am now a grownup,
faithfully await, calm and in repose.

The refrigerator, in nearby proximity,
sources a Stony-field yogurt,,
A yogurt that I CHOSE,
light and sweet with processed fruit,
due to the miracle of Aspartame.

Distracted, back to the kitchen for
Some multi-grain slices to hail and toast,
Which I prefer dry (no butter)
and ready for anointing with oils of
Strawberry jelly.

To the table return ready to sound
The horn of plenty,
When I see the ****
Breakfast Fairies have struck yet again!

Cousins first to those that reside in nearby dishwasher*
The nefarious fairies guard my health
tho nobody asked them too!

My Crispix, with its malty sweetness,
And the ***** aftertaste of sprayed-on "enriched vitamins,"
has been smothered neath layers of
Granola, with cranberries and nuts,
Contaminated with a hint of cinnamon.

My processed yogurt,
vanished, without a trace,
replaced by their bacterial cousins from Thrace,
which is in Greece,
who, tho white, taste like plain yogurt sourpusses,
Even when littered with blueberries,
Nothing can replace the taste of my
Artificial Sweetener!

Dry toast has been sheeted and shined neath
A tribute of fattening butter,
rationalized by a commonality,
"Everything is better with butter..."

The last indignity is that my coffee,
Not the light brown I cherish
When kissed by whole milk,
Now muddled and muddied by skim milk, so named,
Cause they skim off all the taste.

Because they are fairies,
With fluttering wings,
Hasty retreat they beat,
But I know where they hide.

The next time it be for the morning meal,
I will eat it in bed,
far from their kitchen hiding places,
And celebrate my heroics with original
Frosted Flakes and milk,
And extra sugar just for spite!
The bedroom fairies, living under the pillow,
Emerge to beg in iambic pentameter,
Won't get nary a bite,
Until they they return the poems they stole
From my midnight dreams.
* see "Men Going Off To War (a/k/a Washing The Dishes)"
I think about how you skim and past my sentence's of deep thought

if you could meet me and I you,
what would I say that can interest you?

should compliment the fact on how gracefully you wear, wore, have those shoes,
or stare in your brown, green-blue-hazel-crystal-transparent eyes e.t.c
speak to you about what you do.
speak to you about what you think.
show me a sign that you exist. exceed my imagination as I try to bring you to life through pen an ink

im a nice person

I think about how you skim and pass my sentence's of deep thought.
Elizabeth P Mar 2015
Digging down deep is difficult
So many things these days only skim the surface
Or what we are capable of
No one dares to look inside
Afraid to shovel out the bones buried in the graveyard of memories
Afraid to be paralyzed with the fear that is ever apparent
Cry the tears that are ever evident
Be struck with the burning lightening of anger
Or the shallow mallet of loss
We bury them all so deep
We believe nothing can touch us
There is no way any being on this earth can touch this stone cold iron heart, no one
Then someone comes along
And without knowing, teases out little bits of that heart
Melting it slowly
Leaving us vulnerable once again
Exposed to others
What we wished to avoid in the first place
Sometimes, the person tosses the glass heart aside
Shattering it into a thousand sharp pieces
And other times, they cradle the masterpiece of human desire gently between their hands and place it on a shelf only they can reach
And toss you theirs for safe keeping
A gamble of emotion
An exchange of hearts
Love it is

Feeling all
Embracing all
Fearing not
Love it is...
Don't fear the notion of emotion.
King and Queen of the Pelicans we;
No other Birds so grand we see!
None but we have feet like fins!
With lovely leathery throats and chins!
    Ploffskin, Pluffskin, Pelican jee!
    We think no Birds so happy as we!
    Plumpskin, Ploshkin, Pelican jill!
    We think so then, and we thought so still!

We live on the Nile. The Nile we love.
By night we sleep on the cliffs above;
By day we fish, and at eve we stand
On long bare islands of yellow sand.
And when the sun sinks slowly down
And the great rock walls grow dark and brown,
Where the purple river rolls fast and dim
And the Ivory Ibis starlike skim,
Wing to wing we dance around,--
Stamping our feet with a flumpy sound,--
Opening our mouths as Pelicans ought,
And this is the song we nighly snort;--
    Ploffskin, Pluffskin, Pelican jee!
    We think no Birds so happy as we!
    Plumpskin, Ploshkin, Pelican jill!
    We think so then, and we thought so still!

Last year came out our daughter, Dell;
And all the Birds received her well.
To do her honour, a feast we made
For every bird that can swim or wade.
Herons and Gulls, and Cormorants black,
Cranes, and flamingoes with scarlet back,
Plovers and Storks, and Geese in clouds,
Swans and Dilberry Ducks in crowds.
Thousands of Birds in wondrous flight!
They ate and drank and danced all night,
And echoing back from the rocks you heard
Multitude-echoes from Bird to bird,--
    Ploffskin, Pluffskin, Pelican jee!
    We think no Birds so happy as we!
    Plumpskin, Ploshkin, Pelican jill!
    We think so then, and we thought so still!

Yes, they came; and among the rest,
The King of the Cranes all grandly dressed.
Such a lovely tail! Its feathers float
between the ends of his blue dress-coat;
With pea-green trowsers all so neat,
And a delicate frill to hide his feet,--
(For though no one speaks of it, every one knows,
He has got no webs between his toes!)

As soon as he saw our Daughter Dell,
In violent love that Crane King fell,--
On seeing her waddling form so fair,
With a wreath of shrimps in her short white hair.
And before the end of the next long day,
Our Dell had given her heart away;
For the King of the Cranes had won that heart,
With a Crocodile's egg and a large fish-****.
She vowed to marry the King of the Cranes,
Leaving the Nile for stranges plains;
And away they flew in a gathering crowd
Of endless birds in a lengthening cloud.
    Ploffskin, Pluffskin, Pelican jee!
    We think no Birds so happy as we!
    Plumpskin, Ploshkin, Pelican jill!
    We think so then, and we thought so still!

And far away in the twilight sky,
We heard them singing a lessening cry,--
Farther and farther till out of sight,
And we stood alone in thesilent night!
Often since, in the nights of June,
We sit on the sand and watch the moon;--
She has gone to the great Gromboolian plain,
And we probably never shall meet again!
Oft, in the long still nights of June,
We sit on the rocks and watch the moon;--
----She dwells by the streams of the Chankly Bore,
And we probably never shall see her more.
    Ploffskin, Pluffskin, Pelican jee!
    We think no Birds so happy as we!
    Plumpskin, Ploshkin, Pelican jill!
    We think so then, and we thought so still!
unwritten Jul 2016
i will never know the black mother’s ache,
but i imagine that if the phrase “adding insult to injury” had a feeling,
that would be it.

i will never know the black mother’s ache,
but i imagine that it sounds like “hands up, don’t shoot,” like “i can’t breathe,”
like blood hitting a pavement that seems as though it was built
to catch those droplets.

i will never know the black mother’s ache,
but i imagine that it tastes like skittles and arizona tea,
four years old but still carrying the fresh sting of a wound just opened.
i imagine that it tastes 
like history repeating itself,
like seeing your son or daughter recycled each week
on every news report, on every tv station.
each time it is a different body, 
but it is always the same hand pulling the trigger,
the same black blood being spilled,
the same cries left unheard;
we shout “black lives matter”
and yet, still,
they cut them too short.

i will never know the black mother’s ache,
but i imagine that it looks like a web of lies too thick to cut through — 
every strand another weapon that he did or did not have,
another order that he did or did not follow,
another sin that he did or did not commit;
the only black they care about
is the color of the ink they use
to draw your angel-headed boy
a set of horns.
i imagine that it looks like evidence hidden,
like sparknotes-type skim-throughs labeled “thorough investigations,”
like another unindicted officer walking freely atop the cries of those 
who charged into a battle they knew they would, but hoped they would not, lose.
a battle they have fought too many times before.
i imagine that it looks
like an empty chair at the dinner table,
like cold-blooded ****** disguised as justice
with the help of a blue hat and a badge.

i will never know the black mother’s ache,
but if you listen closely enough,
you can hear it
in every cautious goodbye she says to her children whenever they leave the house,
or in the silence that those goodbyes used to fill.

can you hear it?
you will have to push past the shouts
of the big bold letters that they want you to believe.

somewhere,
somewhere in there,
a black mother’s heart is crying.
it is a gentle, hushed cry 
that the world does not want to hear.

but the tears are still just as wet.

(a.m.)
#BLACKLIVESMATTER.
written 7.6.16 in honor of alton sterling, philando castile, and all the other black men and women who have lost their lives to similar injustice. this is no longer acceptable. we can not allow the people who are paid to protect us to continue getting away with ******. something needs to change.
"Oh tell me once and tell me twice
  And tell me thrice to make it plain,
When we who part this weary day,
  When we who part shall meet again."

"When windflowers blossom on the sea
  And fishes skim along the plain,
Then we who part this weary day,
  Then you and I shall meet again."

"Yet tell me once before we part,
  Why need we part who part in pain?
If flowers must blossom on the sea,
  Why, we shall never meet again.

"My cheeks are paler than a rose,
  My tears are salter than the main,
My heart is like a lump of ice
  If we must never meet again."

"Oh weep or laugh, but let me be,
  And live or die, for all's in vain;
For life's in vain since we must part,
  And parting must not meet again

"Till windflowers blossom on the sea,
  And fishes skim along the plain;
Pale rose of roses let me be,
  Your breaking heart breaks mine again."
florence Sep 2012
Its the words that we hear, the life that we seek that makes us impeckable.
 
I listen deeply to your soothing voice, cherishing each word you tell me.
 
You used me.
Broke my heart.
Than dated my best friend.
 
You made us fall into a gab, made us hold on to the past for dear life. Things will never be the same all because of you.
 
She said she was sorry, but sorry doesn't mean anything when you can't accept it. I lost you. Than I lost her. The two most important people in my life.
 
I lost hope. I tried to converse with my peers but all I ended up doing was bashing her. The one you stole from me. They got tired and stopped trying to make me happy like I once was. Like I was when I was with you.
 
Each day, I would walk the halls to see her with you. My anger would boil in my vains, and all the memories between us would hit me like bullets. All the times you told me you loved me. All the times you held me close, when you never let me go. All the times you wishpered in my ear how much I changed you. All those times were gone, forgotten, like a gust of wind, you forgot about us. But I could never forget, even the countless times I tried its too hard. You left a whole in my heart, one that can never be perpared.
 
Than I see you. See you with her. I feel the pain once more. The urgeing sensation to graspe you from her grip and make you mine once more. To be able to call you mine once more.
 
But that can never happen. Or so I thought.
 
The days pass by that your with her. That you are caught up in every aspect of the one I used to call best friend. Now I only call her words that are beyond my reach, ones that I regret the moment they leave the tip of my lips. But I stay loyal, I never spread her secrets. Nor do I hope she will fail. Instead, I wish her luck with you; the guy who made my heart bleed with hate, you changed me. Some might say its for the better but all I can say is you changed me in a way that I can never be pepared again.
 
The sun sets, the moon rises and the stars are twinkling in the dark sky, when my phone rings. I see your name. The name I spit on with hate. I let it go to voicemail not wanting to hear your voice, scared that if I do the tears will start again. I wonder how that's possible, since I wasted all my tears on you but yet I'm proven wrong its possible.
 
Your voicemail is cut short. I hear your voice, its strange at first but then I fall deeply in love once more with the way you pronouce my name. Full with love and admiration. I'm falling for you once more. Falling slowly, and slowly. But when the end is near I think of you and her. The pair who made me suffer all those nights, the ones who made me cry myself to sleep.
 
Then I fall full speed into the whole, the rocks crashing on top of me. I scream, and scream untill I realize I am stuck. How much I try to push my way through there is no use.
I am stuck in your wrath forever.
5  years. 
 
5 long years filled with related concepts always bringing my thoughts back to you. 
 
I tried to forget. Belive me. But somehow its like you are carved into me like wood. I could never forget you. 
 
Its been 5 years since I last saw you. I wonder each morning when I wake up if you changed. Or if you still have that charming smile, and that flirty personallity But the thought that comes across me the most is if everyone falls for you as hard as I did or it was only me. 
 
You made my heart bleed that senoir year. You made me fill endless emotions towards you, and all I got in return was a wink and a "hey baby we didn't say we were exclusive" 
 
Those words burned through me. Leaving me with only hate to deal with. I made a vow with myself I would forget you. But it was impossible. Every where I turned I saw your flawless face within my reach. Your pulmp lips wishpering my name soothingly making me fall only deeper in love with the fake you. I made a character out of you. One which loved me with all its heart and cared for me endlessly. 
 
I tried to believe it was true. That there was such a thing but once again its only a fantasie. Soon I will be brought into reality to see you with her. She who shall not be named. 
 
Its the day that changed me once again. A day which you made me choke and feel the emotions you cast on me once again. My phone vibrates, for a moment I belive its a dream as your name blinks on the small screen. I feel the anticipation arising throughout me. Why would he be calling? I thought while picking on my nails. My hands shaky, I picked up the phone. And once again I fell beneath your spell. 
 
"Florence..." I heard your voice say. The world spinning around me I was almost lost in your voice. Snapping back into reality I prayed my voice wouldn't brake, that it would be stable but once again life is against me. 
 
I cleared my thraot, the curses I was getting ready to say formng in my mind. All the things I wanted to remind you of ready to come bursting out of me. But at that moment only one thing came out. One word. "Jake....." I heard myself say it. The way my voice said it, it was as there hadn't been 5 years between us. And we were just back on that night, in senior year, when you held me close and wishpered to me. 
 
I didn't realize it was quiet untill I heard ask me if I wanted to delete this message. I saw I had a miss call from you. You of all people. I was gettng ready to blast you but all I could think was if I should call you back. But then my phone rang, and I saw your name once more. 
 
One voicemail. That's all it took for me to rush to the phone and want to hear your voice again. I picked it up, feeling the nerves arising beneath me, the goosebumps starting to form on my arms. "Hello." I breathed into the reciever. 
 
"Florence?" I heard your voice ask. The same voice that I heard on the voicemail, the same voice that you had over me the years before. 
 
I tried to compose my voice, trying to make it like I forgot you. But in reality it was the exact oppisite. 
 
"Yeah, its me." I said in a strained voice. 
 
Suddenly slience struck upon us. None of us said a word. Just the dead selience between us. The tension high. 
 
But I didn't mind it. 
For what was there to say to the man who destroyed any ounce of belief I had in me? 
To the man who left me when everything was wrong. 
Now he calls me, I know what I must do. 
But in the end love does a funny thing to you; no matter how much you try to lock someone out, deep beneath the depths the right guy always finds the key. 
 
You foiund the key, opening the door slightly I heard your voice. Looking around me horror crept into my whole body, making me frozen in place. "......I was a **** and idiot...." You trailed off on the reciever. Barely listening to your words I was too caught up on the way you made me feell, the way you made everything appear perfect.
That night, the night you barged in and put me under your spell once more. Compelled by you I acted like your puppet, mimicking your every movement, following your every order. The distance between us fulled with tension. The anxiety of seeing your face again, uprising beneath me, while I took each step cautously to the Diner.
 
The Diner.
The place were everything had once been perfect between us. You would play with a stroke of my hair, I would giiggle in apparation as your gaze would be locked on mine.
Everything completely perfect.
 
Now, as I step foot into the diner, the goshtly images of us by our daily table, the one in the back corner. For a moment I could swear I saw us giggling and smiling at eachother. But as I look back the figures are gone and all that's there is an empty chair.
 
I walk in, immidently I am greeted by a middle aged waitress. Awe shown on her wrinkled face. "You here again?" She squels in delight. I looked at her puzzled.
 
"Your a legend here." She said, her eyes gleaming. "You don't remember I had been your waitress everyday when you guys would come. Your love so pure and magical it made me believe."
 
Suddenly the images were flooding back into my head. The ones of the giddy waitress we used to make fun of. The one we thought had a crush on you. We had laughed it off, you would remind me how I was your only one. But now it all fit into place. She hadn't been watching you, she had been watching us., mesmerized by our love that's what she had been doing.
If only she knew.
If only she knew that our love had failed, that you had cheated.
 
Our love had once been a blossoming flower, now all it was was a distant memory.
 
A gust of wind pulled me out of my daze. I noticed the waitress had been stareing at me all along with questioning eyes. I knew I should have been nicer, more apealing but this went along with all of the things I wish I was.
 
The sound of an schreeching door being opended caught my senses, everything hapend so quickly. I saw his face. That face which had haunted me all these years. The one which appeared in my dreams, day after day, I would wake up sweating, screaming his name for help. The hysterical cry I wouild scream, but he would never come. Nor would he answer my calls.
 
The anger boiling up in me once more, I swiftly forgot the love I had felt for him earlier this day. I wanted to remind him of everything. All the hurt he caused me, the tears shed on his behalf. I hated him for everything.
For the way he made me blush when he would wink at me.
For the way he caused me to act in sivere ways.
And for the way he made me love him so deeply that I had to make myself angry at him.
 
You were a few feet away from me, enough for me to reach out my hand and touch you. Everything around us was silent. It seemed as though all eyes were on us. I could hear the distant sounds of a cricket and I was definite you could hear my loud breathing or the accleration of my beating heart. Pounding against my chest, it acclerated with each cautous step you took.
 
I could smel your chlonage, your famillar smell rininging up the senses which have been held hostage for so long. Your aroma taking up the air, ******* out all the oxygen making it hard for me to breathe. Taking deep breathes, I couldn't help but feel compelled for a moment. I would have done anything you wished.
 
The awkwardness hit upon us. All we did was stare at eachother. Unable to speak I was hoping you would start. My mind blank, full-speed I tried to skim my brain for a word, anythjing. Everything seemed forgien to me. I felt useless. Parralyzed.
But I couldn't help but realize you were stareing at me with the same baffled expression as I was to you.
 
A word escaped your mouth. Your voice sounding like bells, having a musical ring to it. It caught me off gaurd, causing my heart to skip a beat. Just like the old days.
 
Looking around me I noticed the cracked wholes in the wooden walls, the hardwood floor beneath us, dusty with names carved into it. While you stared at me waiting for a response, my eyes skimmed over the floor beneath us, desperatly searching for it. That one thing that would remind me of what you did. So that I wouldn't fall for you once more.
There it was::
'Jake&Florence-F;&A.;' But starein
g at it closely, I noticed the one thjing I had been looking for. The word 'Florence' had been crossed out and replaced with 'Nicole'.
 
My best friend which you stole for me.
Bringing my attention back up to you I fought back the tears which had been trying to force there way out.
 
"Save it." I spat, not before letting the heel of my shoe dig into the wood earasing our names from the hardwood floor. Forever.
Drift on silver moon
be an alluvion amongst the stars.

Float on silver moon
Hover above.

Fly on by, silver moon
Forget about the emotions below you.

Leave me, silver moon
Be with the stars you deserve.

Move away, silver moon
You don't need to see the stupidity of humanity.

Navigate me, silver moon
Take me to where you're going.

Reach towards me, silver moon
If only for a few moments.

Run away with me, silver moon
I'll sail the galaxies with you.

Shoot on, silver moon
Let me billow behind your coat tail.

Skim the clouds, silver moon
and hide behind them if you must.
I understand.

Soar on, silver moon
For the future needs your light at night.

Sweep me away, silver moon
and lay me down upon a different world.

Cast off, silver moon
You're the captain.

Make headway, silver moon
You'll always be the captain.
Pat Broadbent Oct 2018
Clusters of lights like lilies,
Or like boiling craters in obsidian
The black is inky,
It could swallow me whole,
I'm thankful to be strapped in

The horizon scrolls back as the plane lilts
Like an image in an old slide projector
Suddenly the moon is below me
Icarus should have winged by night
I’d be god if I weren’t strapped in

Clusters of light like lilies
In this lolling pond we skim
Light strung like dew on spider silk
A flattened web to stretch the land
thankful not to be attached

Shimmering grids draw nearer
Enveloped in their seductive shimmer
thankful not to crash
Doreen Cavazza Apr 2012
The river flows over empty promises
depositing sediment
in the form of confusion and stagnation
leaving a bad taste in one's mouth.
I hang on your every word.
Grainy is the trail
of crumbs left for inspection:
affectation over articulation;
all the better to hear you.
Skim a stone across the surface
leaving ripples of insecurities
and questions past.
The message is clear.
Marsha Singh Jan 2011
We drift along through moss and moon,
the currents swift from love's typhoons,

skim fingertips through stirred up sins;
we never speak of daybreak things.
September Oct 2011
I think in statistics,
and you in heartbeats.

I am. You are. I am. You are.
I am chemical-based, you are a meaningful scar.

You explore,
covet,
and hoard,
anything near you.

While I am
stuck,
looking at my addiction,
through a lens.

I am forever cursed:
to skim for importance,
to look only at the bigger picture,
to glance only with logic's borrowed eye,

but you are here beside me, and you take in every little detail.

To me, blood is but a fluid,
yet in your eyes,
it is the fuel for lovers and the ink for poetry.

You are feather pens, I am erasable chalk.

The insomniac that is so filled with dreamer-talk.
So enticed by the world, that you couldn’t close an eye.

My mind is logic, reasoning, and your complete opposite.
Every word has a different meaning in your perspective
and every syllable holds a secret—
     one you must find out.

I am textbooks and punctuality and schedules.
But you, you are the only person I can wait on.

This is a cycle with ragged edges, bizarre.
I am. You are. I am. You are.

We are combined; a marvelous oxymoron.
These are just spare thoughts that I thought I should write down.
Mary Gay Kearns Apr 2018
At the end of the pier you could look out to sea
Listening to the swell flap on the rusty cast iron
Of geometrical supports.
Barnacles clung, sealed like gold nuggets
And in the distance the slow **** of a tanker.

The wind would whisk around the terminal
Throwing hair to the sky
Floating chandelier skirts tipped
Revealing best underwear.
And the clock sang its time to the birds.

Over both sides were fishing rod rows
Their owners sitting on canvas stools
Above seagulls nibbled the air for food scraps
And beneath strong swimmers bobbed
Watching children skim pebbles in the waves.

Love Mary xxxx
Arthur Habsburg Jul 2018
Cockcrow harbour:
the gulls whining like tethered dogs
about rooftops
paliophobic cars and
grounded vessels..
Look:
on the hoary horizon
a glaucous strip
beguils
with backwater.
Not putting on a show
the frigid sea benumbed..
Easily,
with a tail of emerald jelly
skim a vanishing lane off that
lustrous sheet
and watch
the trailblazing mainland
scuttle.

Now,
Only scattered dreaming is possible.

In it's bachelor pad,
cradling over crinkles,
away from the meretriciosness
of validating the real by sharing it,
THE WIND
blusters off any veneer.
Here,
stale but spry,
fare your way around the inoffensive isle
to it's most shyest of harbours:
a mouth full of silver
saving it's breath.
The windows facing the sea
seem
black & white,
their wooden frames hooked to the wind,
the splattered gulls meow
your name
in a way
that's
personal.
Of course comes to mind.
The pines
are demanding a visit,
They're whispering
so you can hear them,
each as different as every snore,
these pines know
how to grow in the sand
and still reach for
the Nimbostratus with heads in unison.
The spaces
between their trunks illuminating
the blazing needles
raining down
painting the ground
familiar
to your lover's
skin texture:
Feel her closeness
from jilted borderwatchtowers
as she speads her mire
like no one's watching:
weedy and sugared
with bellflowers,
the waves in her shallow armpit
billeting a pair of white swans:
demurely they float
sometimes as pillows and sometimes
as question marks..
Go ask the seasoned locals,
they say the bones she parked
when she let her ice sheet melt
are portals
to her noble underbelly.

Hidden in the woods
reminiscent of your heart,
the red
tank-sized stone
is sealed,
but what the lighting reach cannot
the rain shall sluice apart
dumbly.
And though her hair has
come to be
the moss
black and hoarse
as sailor's beard,
there is still time.
The void says
her noisy neighbour is nothing
to die for.
The theadbear car with absent doors
incites
to drive her
in reverse gear
to the first few
days of holidays:
her golden locks a-blaze,
her arm around your
hind-sighted doppelganger.
Going to Prangli island.
Kara Jean May 2016
Deranged and rearrange
Obsessed and repressed
You skim the surface,
Proudly believing you know the inbetween
*** is a flame,
Still tamed
Perfect doll patiently coaxing
It's a hoax,
Attention you spent
A rotted scarred, heart
Depiction of the girl who giggles and says yes
She died when she was thirteen
Along with her virginity
Miss Masque Feb 2012
Pouring a glass of skim milk
and squeezing a bottle of
Hershey's chocolate syrup
into the glass,
until the last drop is drained
from its wheezing container

Watching, as the chocolate
settles at the bottom of the
glass, creating a barrier
between the creamy ivory
and the sticky, rich brown.

Taking a spoon
and putting it in the glass,
stirring up the milk and
forcing it to take on
the identity of the chocolate,
the spoon clinking merrily
as it churns two very
distinct substances
into one entity:

The milk with the
brown sugar coating,
Allowing for you
to think for a moment:
the skim milk
doesn't taste so bad.

— The End —