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Why in Baste Eyes my Form checks expect
Yet cast my Security for his Expense
Which, I suppose, that Report I prefect
Was a File un-welcomed for my Good Sense
Though, I assure, was all to contribute
For his Sweets added to his Nationed Chest
That, to chillax, take Tidbits absolute
And brisk the New Day for his Talent's Best
Now this, resolved to wax Slime and Conflict
Thus put my Loyalty to Terms reset
More fruitful, more pruned, from Pride's Tome inflict
Then this Orrery - strike Rocks to Sky's bet.
In turn perhaps recover from this Fling
On Muted Clouds do those Falcons still Sing.
#tomdaleytv #tomdaley1994
Apart from the Malice I'd like to Subsume
Are some Fortune's Tags which I strive to defer
And Mood the Dragon's Seasoned **** resume
Threw Slime instead; And dissolved my Brother
Shall I charge as your Fault? But then again,
Your same usual Stones pound my Bouncing Head
With no other Ritual to confront this Pain
You continue to bray; And play Mule instead
Unaware of the Grass you still do hurt
Blinded by the Light which you call Divine
Philosophy leashes your own True Worth
Sticks you in Trivia; And robs your eyes blind.
What is there to blame from such Harrowed Young
Since the Lord Philip's Man has not yet sung?
#tomdaleytv #tomdaley1994
Kristaps Oct 2018
As the deafening begins,
     slowly my cells struck by Cupid
start to devour themselves and each other. Like famished bodies with only teeth, they mutilate and feast; A morbid pulsating blood tinted slime starts to form where my body used to lay.
A tingle and then sleep from my toes to my ears. The last vision
for my eyes,  shows how everything
    melts and slowly starts to glow, then they are gone too.
A speck of my consciousness screams, as in the hellish heat it evaporates, but
      oh, how warm it feels for everything else.
Oh
     how warm.
My heart, so horridly engulfed in flesh at first yearns to peel off, but then
in not even a  breath,
some last whisper soothes it to bed, and so it
floats in the embryonic lake

Of
       Love
Michael Marchese Jul 2018
I need only to smirk and you’re mine
Anytime
If it’s god that you want
I have dozens in mind
Devilishly divine
Bending time like a grandeur delusional
Spine  

In a mad hatter ectoplas-mystical slime
A prismatic drug addict’s first nursery rhyme
Of accursed hearse verses of graphic design
Now to lay to rest intellect spectacles musing
Of selves glorified more than those of my choosing
To deify Destiny’s
Deathly serenity
Plentifully sending me vibrant surprises
And penning my ending in violent demises
Disguises surmised by the climate arises
Girl always there riding my similar waves
As I try to save face digging mechanized graves

But the cloud tentacles
To the depths
Drag me down
To demented ascension
Black holes in the ground
Where disciples of light
And my huntress in white
Vivify me by day
Resurrect me at night
To instruct and deduct
Reasoning in a state
Of a being supreme
Contemplating its fate
FIRST DAY

1.
Who wanted me
to go to Chicago
on January 6th?
I did!

The night before,
20 below zero
Fahrenheit
with the wind chill;
as the blizzard of 99
lay in mountains
of blackening snow.

I packed two coats,
two suits,
three sweaters,
multiple sets of long johns
and heavy white socks
for a two-day stay.

I left from Newark.
**** the denseness,
it confounds!

The 2nd City to whom?
2nd ain’t bad.
It’s pretty good.
If you consider
Peking and Prague,
Tokyo and Togo,
Manchester and Moscow,
Port Au Prince and Paris,
Athens and Amsterdam,
Buenos Aries and Johannesburg;
that’s pretty good.

What’s going on here today?
It’s friggin frozen.
To the bone!

But Chi Town is still cool.
Buddy Guy’s is open.
Bartenders mixing drinks,
cabbies jamming on their breaks,
honey dew waitresses serving sugar,
buildings swerving,
fire tongued preachers are preaching
and the farmers are measuring the moon.

The lake,
unlike Ontario
is in the midst of freezing.
Bones of ice
threaten to gel
into a solid mass
over the expanse
of the Michigan Lake.
If this keeps up,
you can walk
clear to Toronto
on a silver carpet.

Along the shore
the ice is permanent.
It’s the first big frost
of winter
after a long
Indian Summer.

Thank God
I caught a cab.
Outside I hear
The Hawk
nippin hard.
It’ll get your ear,
finger or toe.
Bite you on the nose too
if you ain’t careful.

Thank God,
I’m not walking
the Wabash tonight;
but if you do cover up,
wear layers.

Chicago,
could this be
Sandburg’s City?

I’m overwhelmed
and this is my tenth time here.

It’s almost better,
sometimes it is better,
a lot of times it is better
and denser then New York.

Ask any Bull’s fan.
I’m a Knickerbocker.
Yes Nueva York,
a city that has placed last
in the standings
for many years.
Except the last two.
Yanks are # 1!

But Chicago
is a dynasty,
as big as
Sammy Sosa’s heart,
rich and wide
as Michael Jordan’s grin.

Middle of a country,
center of a continent,
smack dab in the mean
of a hemisphere,
vortex to a world,
Chicago!

Kansas City,
Nashville,
St. Louis,
Detroit,
Cleveland,
Pittsburgh,
Denver,
New Orleans,
Dallas,
Cairo,
Singapore,
Auckland,
Baghdad,
Mexico City
and Montreal
salute her.



2.
Cities,
A collection of vanities?
Engineered complex utilitarianism?
The need for community a social necessity?
Ego one with the mass?
Civilization’s latest *******?
Chicago is more then that.

Jefferson’s yeoman farmer
is long gone
but this capitol
of the Great Plains
is still democratic.

The citizen’s of this city
would vote daily,
if they could.

Chicago,
Sandburg’s Chicago,
Could it be?

The namesake river
segments the city,
canals of commerce,
all perpendicular,
is rife throughout,
still guiding barges
to the Mississippi
and St. Laurence.

Now also
tourist attractions
for a cafe society.

Chicago is really jazzy,
swanky clubs,
big steaks,
juices and drinks.

You get the best
coffee from Seattle
and the finest teas
from China.

Great restaurants
serve liquid jazz
al la carte.

Jazz Jazz Jazz
All they serve is Jazz
Rock me steady
Keep the beat
Keep it flowin
Feel the heat!

Jazz Jazz Jazz
All they is, is Jazz
Fast cars will take ya
To the show
Round bout midnight
Where’d the time go?

Flows into the Mississippi,
the mother of America’s rivers,
an empires aorta.

Great Lakes wonder of water.
Niagara Falls
still her heart gushes forth.

Buffalo connected to this holy heart.
Finger Lakes and Adirondacks
are part of this watershed,
all the way down to the
Delaware and Chesapeake.

Sandburg’s Chicago?
Oh my my,
the wonder of him.
Who captured the imagination
of the wonders of rivers.

Down stream other holy cities
from the Mississippi delta
all mapped by him.

Its mouth our Dixie Trumpet
guarded by righteous Cajun brethren.

Midwest?
Midwest from where?
It’s north of Caracas and Los Angeles,
east of Fairbanks,
west of Dublin
and south of not much.

Him,
who spoke of honest men
and loving women.
Working men and mothers
bearing citizens to build a nation.
The New World’s
precocious adolescent
caught in a stream
of endless and exciting change,
much pain and sacrifice,
dedication and loss,
pride and tribulations.

From him we know
all the people’s faces.
All their stories are told.
Never defeating the
idea of Chicago.

Sandburg had the courage to say
what was in the heart of the people, who:

Defeated the Indians,
Mapped the terrain,
Aided slavers,
Fought a terrible civil war,
Hoisted the barges,
Grew the food,
Whacked the wheat,
Sang the songs,
Fought many wars of conquest,
Cleared the land,
Erected the bridges,
Trapped the game,
Netted the fish,
Mined the coal,
Forged the steel,
Laid the tracks,
Fired the tenders,
Cut the stone,
Mixed the mortar,
Plumbed the line,
And laid the bricks
Of this nation of cities!

Pardon the Marlboro Man shtick.
It’s a poor expostulation of
crass commercial symbolism.

Like I said, I’m a
Devil Fan from Jersey
and Madison Avenue
has done its work on me.

It’s a strange alchemy
that changes
a proud Nation of Blackhawks
into a merchandising bonanza
of hometown hockey shirts,
making the native seem alien,
and the interloper at home chillin out,
warming his feet atop a block of ice,
guzzling Old Style
with clicker in hand.

Give him his beer
and other diversions.
If he bowls with his buddy’s
on Tuesday night
I hope he bowls
a perfect game.

He’s earned it.
He works hard.
Hard work and faith
built this city.

And it’s not just the faith
that fills the cities
thousand churches,
temples and
mosques on the Sabbath.

3.
There is faith in everything in Chicago!

An alcoholic broker named Bill
lives the Twelve Steps
to banish fear and loathing
for one more day.
Bill believes in sobriety.

A tug captain named Moe
waits for the spring thaw
so he can get the barges up to Duluth.
Moe believes in the seasons.

A farmer named Tom
hopes he has reaped the last
of many bitter harvests.
Tom believes in a new start.

A homeless man named Earl
wills himself a cot and a hot
at the local shelter.
Earl believes in deliverance.

A Pullman porter
named George
works overtime
to get his first born
through medical school.
George believes in opportunity.

A folk singer named Woody
sings about his
countrymen inheritance
and implores them to take it.
Woody believes in people.

A Wobbly named Joe
organizes fellow steelworkers
to fight for a workers paradise
here on earth.
Joe believes in ideals.

A bookkeeper named Edith
is certain she’ll see the Cubs
win the World Series
in her lifetime.
Edith believes in miracles.

An electrician named ****
saves money
to bring his family over from Gdansk.
**** believes in America.

A banker named Leah
knows Ditka will return
and lead the Bears
to another Super Bowl.
Leah believes in nostalgia.

A cantor named Samuel
prays for another 20 years
so he can properly train
his Temple’s replacement.

Samuel believes in tradition.
A high school girl named Sally
refuses to get an abortion.
She knows she carries
something special within her.
Sally believes in life.

A city worker named Mazie
ceaselessly prays
for her incarcerated son
doing 10 years at Cook.
Mazie believes in redemption.

A jazzer named Bix
helps to invent a new art form
out of the mist.
Bix believes in creativity.

An architect named Frank
restores the Rookery.
Frank believes in space.

A soldier named Ike
fights wars for democracy.
Ike believes in peace.

A Rabbi named Jesse
sermonizes on Moses.
Jesse believes in liberation.

Somewhere in Chicago
a kid still believes in Shoeless Joe.
The kid believes in
the integrity of the game.

An Imam named Louis
is busy building a nation
within a nation.
Louis believes in
self-determination.

A teacher named Heidi
gives all she has to her students.
She has great expectations for them all.
Heidi believes in the future.

4.
Does Chicago have a future?

This city,
full of cowboys
and wildcatters
is predicated
on a future!

Bang, bang
Shoot em up
Stake the claim
It’s your terrain
Drill the hole
Strike it rich
Top it off
You’re the boss
Take a chance
Watch it wane
Try again
Heavenly gains

Chicago
city of futures
is a Holy Mecca
to all day traders.

Their skin is gray,
hair disheveled,
loud ties and
funny coats,
thumb through
slips of paper
held by nail
chewed hands.
Selling promises
with no derivative value
for out of the money calls
and in the money puts.
Strike is not a labor action
in this city of unionists,
but a speculators mark,
a capitalist wish,
a hedgers bet,
a public debt
and a farmers
fair return.

Indexes for everything.
Quantitative models
that could burst a kazoo.

You know the measure
of everything in Chicago.
But is it truly objective?
Have mathematics banished
subjective intentions,
routing it in fair practice
of market efficiencies,
a kind of scientific absolution?

I heard that there
is a dispute brewing
over the amount of snowfall
that fell on the 1st.

The mayor’s office,
using the official city ruler
measured 22”
of snow on the ground.

The National Weather Service
says it cannot detect more
then 17” of snow.

The mayor thinks
he’ll catch less heat
for the trains that don’t run
the buses that don’t arrive
and the schools that stand empty
with the addition of 5”.

The analysts say
it’s all about capturing liquidity.

Liquidity,
can you place a great lake
into an eyedropper?

Its 20 below
and all liquid things
are solid masses
or a gooey viscosity at best.

Water is frozen everywhere.
But Chi town is still liquid,
flowing faster
then the digital blips
flashing on the walls
of the CBOT.

Dreams
are never frozen in Chicago.
The exchanges trade
without missing a beat.

Trading wet dreams,
the crystallized vapor
of an IPO
pledging a billion points
of Internet access
or raiding the public treasuries
of a central bank’s
huge stores of gold
with currency swaps.

Using the tools
of butterfly spreads
and candlesticks
to achieve the goal.

Short the Russell
or buy the Dow,
go long the
CAC and DAX.
Are you trading in euro’s?
You better be
or soon will.
I know
you’re Chicago,
you’ll trade anything.
WEBS,
Spiders,
and Leaps
are traded here,
along with sweet crude,
North Sea Brent,
plywood and T-Bill futures;
and most importantly
the commodities,
the loam
that formed this city
of broad shoulders.

What about our wheat?
Still whacking and
breadbasket to the world.

Oil,
an important fossil fuel
denominated in
good ole greenbacks.

Porkbellies,
not just hogwash
on the Wabash,
but bacon, eggs
and flapjacks
are on the menu
of every diner in Jersey
as the “All American.”

Cotton,
our contribution
to the Golden Triangle,
once the global currency
used to enrich a
gentlemen class
of cultured
southern slavers,
now Tommy Hilfiger’s
preferred fabric.

I think he sends it
to Bangkok where
child slaves
spin it into
gold lame'.

Sorghum,
I think its hardy.

Soybeans,
the new age substitute
for hamburger
goes great with tofu lasagna.

Corn,
ADM creates ethanol,
they want us to drive cleaner cars.

Cattle,
once driven into this city’s
bloodhouses for slaughter,
now ground into
a billion Big Macs
every year.

When does a seed
become a commodity?
When does a commodity
become a future?
When does a future expire?

You can find the answers
to these questions in Chicago
and find a fortune in a hole in the floor.

Look down into the pits.
Hear the screams of anguish
and profitable delights.

Frenzied men
swarming like a mass
of epileptic ants
atop the worlds largest sugar cube
auger the worlds free markets.

The scene is
more chaotic then
100 Haymarket Square Riots
multiplied by 100
1968 Democratic Conventions.

Amidst inverted anthills,
they scurry forth and to
in distinguished
black and red coats.

Fighting each other
as counterparties
to a life and death transaction.

This is an efficient market
that crosses the globe.

Oil from the Sultan of Brunei,
Yen from the land of Hitachi,
Long Bonds from the Fed,
nickel from Quebec,
platinum and palladium
from Siberia,
FTSE’s from London
and crewel cane from Havana
circle these pits.

Tijuana,
Shanghai
and Istanbul's
best traders
are only half as good
as the average trader in Chicago.

Chicago,
this hog butcher to the world,
specializes in packaging and distribution.

Men in blood soaked smocks,
still count the heads
entering the gates of the city.

Their handiwork
is sent out on barges
and rail lines as frozen packages
of futures
waiting for delivery
to an anonymous counterparty
half a world away.

This nation’s hub
has grown into the
premier purveyor
to the world;
along all the rivers,
highways,
railways
and estuaries
it’s tentacles reach.

5.
Sandburg’s Chicago,
is a city of the world’s people.

Many striver rows compose
its many neighborhoods.

Nordic stoicism,
Eastern European orthodoxy
and Afro-American
calypso vibrations
are three of many cords
strumming the strings
of Chicago.

Sandburg’s Chicago,
if you wrote forever
you would only scratch its surface.

People wait for trains
to enter the city from O’Hare.
Frozen tears
lock their eyes
onto distant skyscrapers,
solid chunks
of snot blocks their nose
and green icicles of slime
crust mustaches.
They fight to breathe.

Sandburg’s Chicago
is The Land of Lincoln,
Savior of the Union,
protector of the Republic.
Sent armies
of sons and daughters,
barges, boxcars,
gunboats, foodstuffs,
cannon and shot
to raze the south
and stamp out succession.

Old Abe’s biography
are still unknown volumes to me.
I must see and read the great words.
You can never learn enough;
but I’ve been to Washington
and seen the man’s memorial.
The Free World’s 8th wonder,
guarded by General Grant,
who still keeps an eye on Richmond
and a hand on his sword.

Through this American winter
Abe ponders.
The vista he surveys is dire and tragic.

Our sitting President
impeached
for lying about a *******.

Party partisans
in the senate are sworn and seated.
Our Chief Justice,
adorned with golden bars
will adjudicate the proceedings.
It is the perfect counterpoint
to an ageless Abe thinking
with malice toward none
and charity towards all,
will heal the wounds
of the nation.

Abe our granite angel,
Chicago goes on,
The Union is strong!


SECOND DAY

1.
Out my window
the sun has risen.

According to
the local forecast
its minus 9
going up to
6 today.

The lake,
a golden pillow of clouds
is frozen in time.

I marvel
at the ancients ones
resourcefulness
and how
they mastered
these extreme elements.

Past, present and future
has no meaning
in the Citadel
of the Prairie today.

I set my watch
to Central Standard Time.

Stepping into
the hotel lobby
the concierge
with oil smooth hair,
perfect tie
and English lilt
impeccably asks,
“Do you know where you are going Sir?
Can I give you a map?”

He hands me one of Chicago.
I see he recently had his nails done.
He paints a green line
along Whacker Drive and says,
“turn on Jackson, LaSalle, Wabash or Madison
and you’ll get to where you want to go.”
A walk of 14 or 15 blocks from Streeterville-
(I start at The Chicago White House.
They call it that because Hillary Rodham
stays here when she’s in town.
Its’ also alleged that Stedman
eats his breakfast here
but Opra
has never been seen
on the premises.
I wonder how I gained entry
into this place of elite’s?)
-down into the center of The Loop.

Stepping out of the hotel,
The Doorman
sporting the epaulets of a colonel
on his corporate winter coat
and furry Cossack hat
swaddling his round black face
accosts me.

The skin of his face
is flaking from
the subzero windburn.

He asks me
with a gapped toothy grin,
“Can I get you a cab?”
“No I think I’ll walk,” I answer.
“Good woolen hat,
thick gloves you should be alright.”
He winks and lets me pass.

I step outside.
The Windy City
flings stabbing cold spears
flying on wings of 30-mph gusts.
My outside hardens.
I can feel the freeze
deepen
into my internalness.
I can’t be sure
but inside
my heart still feels warm.
For how long
I cannot say.

I commence
my walk
among the spires
of this great city,
the vertical leaps
that anchor the great lake,
holding its place
against the historic
frigid assault.

The buildings’ sway,
modulating to the blows
of natures wicked blasts.

It’s a hard imposition
on a city and its people.

The gloves,
skullcap,
long underwear,
sweater,
jacket
and overcoat
not enough
to keep the cold
from penetrating
the person.

Like discerning
the layers of this city,
even many layers,
still not enough
to understand
the depth of meaning
of the heart
of this heartland city.

Sandburg knew the city well.
Set amidst groves of suburbs
that extend outward in every direction.
Concentric circles
surround the city.
After the burbs come farms,
Great Plains, and mountains.
Appalachians and Rockies
are but mere molehills
in the city’s back yard.
It’s terra firma
stops only at the sea.
Pt. Barrow to the Horn,
many capes extended.

On the periphery
its appendages,
its extremities,
its outward extremes.
All connected by the idea,
blown by the incessant wind
of this great nation.
The Windy City’s message
is sent to the world’s four corners.
It is a message of power.
English the worlds
common language
is spoken here,
along with Ebonics,
Espanol,
Mandarin,
Czech,
Russian,
Korean,
Arabic,
Hindi­,
German,
French,
electronics,
steel,
cars,
cartoons,
rap,
sports­,
movies,
capital,
wheat
and more.

Always more.
Much much more
in Chicago.

2.
Sandburg
spoke all the dialects.

He heard them all,
he understood
with great precision
to the finest tolerances
of a lathe workers micrometer.

Sandburg understood
what it meant to laugh
and be happy.

He understood
the working mans day,
the learned treatises
of university chairs,
the endless tomes
of the city’s
great libraries,
the lost languages
of the ancient ones,
the secret codes
of abstract art,
the impact of architecture,
the street dialects and idioms
of everymans expression of life.

All fighting for life,
trying to build a life,
a new life
in this modern world.

Walking across
the Michigan Avenue Bridge
I see the Wrigley Building
is neatly carved,
catty cornered on the plaza.

I wonder if Old Man Wrigley
watched his barges
loaded with spearmint
and double-mint
move out onto the lake
from one of those Gothic windows
perched high above the street.

Would he open a window
and shout to the men below
to quit slaking and work harder
or would he
between the snapping sound
he made with his mouth
full of his chewing gum
offer them tickets
to a ballgame at Wrigley Field
that afternoon?

Would the men below
be able to understand
the man communing
from such a great height?

I listen to a man
and woman conversing.
They are one step behind me
as we meander along Wacker Drive.

"You are in Chicago now.”
The man states with profundity.
“If I let you go
you will soon find your level
in this city.
Do you know what I mean?”

No I don’t.
I think to myself.
What level are you I wonder?
Are you perched atop
the transmission spire
of the Hancock Tower?

I wouldn’t think so
or your ears would melt
from the windburn.

I’m thinking.
Is she a kept woman?
She is majestically clothed
in fur hat and coat.
In animal pelts
not trapped like her,
but slaughtered
from farms
I’m sure.

What level
is he speaking of?

Many levels
are evident in this city;
many layers of cobbled stone,
Pennsylvania iron,
Hoosier Granite
and vertical drops.

I wonder
if I detect
condensation
in his voice?

What is
his intention?
Is it a warning
of a broken affair?
A pending pink slip?
Advise to an addict
refusing to adhere
to a recovery regimen?

What is his level anyway?
Is he so high and mighty,
Higher and mightier
then this great city
which we are all a part of,
which we all helped to build,
which we all need
in order to keep this nation
the thriving democratic
empire it is?

This seditious talk!

3.
The Loop’s El
still courses through
the main thoroughfares of the city.

People are transported
above the din of the street,
looking down
on the common pedestrians
like me.

Super CEO’s
populating the upper floors
of Romanesque,
Greek Revivalist,
New Bauhaus,
Art Deco
and Post Nouveau
Neo-Modern
Avant-Garde towers
are too far up
to see me
shivering on the street.

The cars, busses,
trains and trucks
are all covered
with the film
of rock salt.

Salt covers
my bootless feet
and smudges
my cloths as well.

The salt,
the primal element
of the earth
covers everything
in Chicago.

It is the true level
of this city.

The layer
beneath
all layers,
on which
everything
rests,
is built,
grows,
thrives
then dies.
To be
returned again
to the lower
layers
where it can
take root
again
and grow
out onto
the great plains.

Splashing
the nation,
anointing
its people
with its
blessing.

A blessing,
Chicago?

All rivers
come here.

All things
found its way here
through the canals
and back bays
of the world’s
greatest lakes.

All roads,
rails and
air routes
begin and
end here.

Mrs. O’Leary’s cow
got a *** rap.
It did not start the fire,
we did.

We lit the torch
that flamed
the city to cinders.
From a pile of ash
Chicago rose again.

Forever Chicago!
Forever the lamp
that burns bright
on a Great Lake’s
western shore!

Chicago
the beacon
sends the
message to the world
with its windy blasts,
on chugging barges,
clapping trains,
flying tandems,
T1 circuits
and roaring jets.

Sandburg knew
a Chicago
I will never know.

He knew
the rhythm of life
the people walked to.
The tools they used,
the dreams they dreamed
the songs they sang,
the things they built,
the things they loved,
the pains that hurt,
the motives that grew,
the actions that destroyed
the prayers they prayed,
the food they ate
their moments of death.

Sandburg knew
the layers of the city
to the depths
and windy heights
I cannot fathom.

The Blues
came to this city,
on the wing
of a chirping bird,
on the taps
of a rickety train,
on the blast
of an angry sax
rushing on the wind,
on the Westend blitz
of Pop's brash coronet,
on the tink of
a twinkling piano
on a paddle-wheel boat
and on the strings
of a lonely man’s guitar.

Walk into the clubs,
tenements,
row houses,
speakeasies
and you’ll hear the Blues
whispered like
a quiet prayer.

Tidewater Blues
from Virginia,
Delta Blues
from the lower
Mississippi,
Boogie Woogie
from Appalachia,
Texas Blues
from some Lone Star,
Big Band Blues
from Kansas City,
Blues from
Beal Street,
Jelly Roll’s Blues
from the Latin Quarter.

**** even Chicago
got its own brand
of Blues.

Its all here.
It ended up here
and was sent away
on the winds of westerly blows
to the ear of an eager world
on strong jet streams
of simple melodies
and hard truths.

A broad
shouldered woman,
a single mother stands
on the street
with three crying babes.
Their cloths
are covered
in salt.
She pleads
for a break,
praying
for a new start.
Poor and
under-clothed
against the torrent
of frigid weather
she begs for help.
Her blond hair
and ****** features
suggests her
Scandinavian heritage.
I wonder if
she is related to Sandburg
as I walk past
her on the street.
Her feet
are bleeding
through her
canvass sneakers.
Her babes mouths
are zipped shut
with frozen drivel
and mucous.

The Blues live
on in Chicago.

The Blues
will forever live in her.
As I turn the corner
to walk the Miracle Mile
I see her engulfed
in a funnel cloud of salt,
snow and bits
of white paper,
swirling around her
and her children
in an angry
unforgiving
maelstrom.

The family
begins to
dissolve
like a snail
sprinkled with salt;
and a mother
and her children
just disappear
into the pavement
at the corner
of Dearborn,
in Chicago.

Music:

Robert Johnson
Sweet Home Chicago


jbm
Chicago
1/7/99
Added today to commemorate the birthday of Carl Sandburg
i was born in the wrong time
the wrong day and age
i don't give a **** about making slime
i'm more interested in turning the page

today's music doesn't interest me
the 60s' and 70s' sets me free
but i prefer the jazz of the roaring 20s
i want to party like Nick, Jordan, and Gatsby

i don't like air pods
i prefer my records on vinyl
this life wasn't my decision it was God's
but now his decision is final
Megan Parson Aug 2018
Well, she looks like a witch,
Her pointed nose does twitch.
As she frowns upon the grocery list,
Then scrunches in a timely twist.

Bidding her straw broom,
Which she doth groom.
Hovers away into the gloom,
Over a pond she doth loom.

To frogs, rats, snakes and slime,
Quoth she, "All in good time!!"
Soon they'll be no room,
For the impending doom.

Her cauldron happily hissing,
As she adds to the seething,
Her black cat begins meowing,
After the rats, he begins running.

Slowly cooling the putrid portion,
She applies the lovely lotion.
The moles, warts and silver hair,
Disappear into thin air.

Her velvet apparel now lace,
Not a blemish does one trace.
Fondling her silky Siamese,
She heads home with ease.

To the little candy castle,
Awaiting Hansel and Gretel.
*Grand Witch, named after a favourite movie : Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters.

           What does beauty mean to you?
Donall Dempsey Oct 2018
VISITATION

Brian walked
through the wall.

Paused, smiled:
halfways in - halfways out.

"Jaysus..!" he said.
"That always feckin' happens!"

He pulled the rest of him
through to this room

leaving a glowing
trail of ectoplasm.

"It makes me feel
like a ****** snail!"

"Sorry about the ghostly slime
it's hard to get used to

being dead
if ya see what I mean!"

I couldn't have of course
so  I just nodded.

"And this ghost stuff
is really the pits.

Here I am and yet
here I am not."

He gave me a playful
punch on the shoulder

and went right through me
misjudging his new existence.

"Now, listen bud...all this crying
is getting on me nerves.

It's gotta stop.

You've got a life
to live...now...live it!"

And then like e clichéd
cockerel crowing at the dawn

he faded into the curtains.
"Jaysus...these curtains

are truly terrible
they'll have to go!"

"Well. . ?"
said the sunlight

"...will we get on
with it?"

The day waited impatiently
hopping from one minute to the next.

"Yes. . ." I said
"Yes."
Ciel Noir Sep 2018
this is a pit                                                              ­          and into it
we throw our garbage                                           and our ****
       our grease                                                           ­      and grit    
   our slime                                                            ­and swill
  and all the people                                     that we ****
flotsam and jetsam                           film and oil
compacted into                              fertile soil
beneath the steep         and jagged *****
     there grows         a single flower








hope
Skywlkr Feb 4
My Mind Should Be In Its
"PRIME"
And Should My Words
"RHYME"
My Brain Is Doing So Much
"OVERTIME"
Please Don't Say Its a
"CRIME"
Mabey Our Minds Should Just
"ENTWINE"
Come On Surely My Words Are "SUBLIME"
But I Know My Mind Is
"SLIME"
Quick one for the impatient

I have something within me that I cannot
Bear the burden of of its insinuation.
In the sport-ability of chit-chat I have
Often tried to conquer these thoughts
And with infinite pain I have hazarded
A thousand things hidden within myself.

“Excuse me,’’ I said upon seeing his face
Coming toward me while walking in Central Park.
“Are you who I think you are?’’ I asked.
“I suppose that depends on who you think I am,” he replied.
Not wanting to be made out a fool I asked
“OK, are you best known as JFK?”
“Well not exactly, he was my father,” he said with a smile.

I stuck out my hand like an idiot – but -
He offered his hand and shook mine like a man.
“I can’t believe it,” I said, “You really can
Bump into anyone in the big apple.”
He said that he had to be going, had to finish
His walk and get back to the office.

I asked him if I could tag along, just walk with him.
He said, “Sure.”
He kept a brisk pace, it was a cool day but comfortable.
The leaves were turned, mostly all fallen and
Then I realized that it was November 22nd.
“I’m real sorry about your dad,” I said,

“It broke my heart when I was a child.”
He nodded his head and sort of slowed his pace.
“How old were you?” he asked.
“I was 9”.
“I was 3”, he said looking at the ground.
“Yeah I know,” I said, “Everybody knew.”

He stopped and turned toward me,
Tilted his head to the left and point blank said,
“You know the story about my dad’s assassination
Is all BS don’t you?”
He caught me completely off guard but before I
Could say anything he turned back around and starting

Walking away from me like I had the plague.
I stood in my tracks but after he had gotten about 10 paces
He stopped and turned, “Well, do you want to walk or not?”
I half jogged to catch up with him and when I did
I couldn’t think of anything to say.
“Look I don’t know you and you don’t know me, “ he said
In a rough almost angry voice.
“Can you keep a secret?” he asked.
Still half jogging to keep up with him I answered,
“Sounds like you need someone to talk to.”

He slowed a bit, “I just got confirmation on who killed my dad.”
OK, about this time I’m like you saying a few choice curse words
In my mind – like holy sh…. You know..
“What are you going to do?” I asked.
“**** I don’t know,” he said, “It’s all circumstantial.”
Coming to a complete stop, “There’s got to be a way that I
Can tell people, let the whole world know that I know who did it.”

He turned to me, “What would you do if you knew who took your dad
Away from you when you were just a baby but if you told anyone about these
Murdering, slime ***** they would most likely **** you too?” he asked.
“I don’t know sir,” I said shrugging my shoulders.
“If I had your money I’d figure out a way though,” I continued.
With a questioning look he asked, “OK, if you had my money what would you do?”

“I don’t know, man,” I said - “Maybe name a building after them or a street
Or something that everyone knew you named.
You know, like a hint or a clue or something.”
His eyes got big, “That’s it,” he said, “By God that’s it.”
He shook my hand again and asked me my name.
And a few short years later he was gone too.

But the name – the name he named his business – there’s your clue

They say that time heals all wounds.  That isn’t always true. Sometimes what is needed to heal some wounds is justice. I hope that someday this particular American wound gets its fully deserved justice. One thing for sure, there can never be any justice,in this instance or any other, without Truth. What is it about JFK Jr. that whispers to me that he is not really gone?
Ryan O'Leary Jan 25
You Waste.
                            Our Slime.
Terry Collett Feb 12
Mother said you told her
little of the war you fought;
and indeed what could you say
for a young girl's mind?

The curse of war
and what you'd seen?

Speak of men
blown apart
where once
they stood whole?

Detail men gone mad
by shell and ****?

Relate of lice and rats
and mud where brave men
drowned in shell holes
filled with slime
and dead men's rot?

Mother said you were kind
and gently spoken,
and said little of the war
you fought,
and indeed what
could you tell of that horror
to your little girl?

Speak of horses dead
and swollen in death
that could make you
feel ill by every breath?

Talk of men made blind
or limbless by shell's touch,
and if at all, tell how much?

Tell her of the sights
you saw and heard
and smelt and felt?

But you were wise,
and let none of that
hurt her ears
or wet with tears
her little eyes.
A man talks to his dead grandfather
Black Lips Mar 2018
I follow my gray sister
Into the mouth of a monster
Its teeth hanging from the ceiling
Then I hear bats start squeaking
I want to say hi
But my sister pulls me away
The bats say goodbye
She says we have more important things to do
I see skeletons on the floor
Covered in red and black slime
She says not to touch them
They start talking to me
The talk about a huge war
That doomed this monster
She tells me not to get distracted
I swallow hard and keep moving
To the end of the tunnel
Where I see knives and hammers
She picks a sharp one
And tells me to stab her
I can’t believe whats happening
But I do it anyway
She falls to the ground limp
I feel miserable and try run away
But the spirits grab me
And force me to stay
Oh the silver ships on plastic oceans ,
Marshmello clouds above garbage tips .
and the smell of acrid sewage pouring into rivers deep in slime and filth .

A  can of tin lies abandoned in the road ,
Cars with petrol heads ,
Children lying in their mothers beds ,
Wheeze as plumes of smog rise above their heads .

Mattresses dumped on public land ,
a mother to tired to think ,
Worn out by screaming child who just needs a ***** or a drink ?

And on we go round and round on a merry go round ,
While the earth looks weary on.

And aliens surround us with their knives and mobile phones ,
to scared to walk ,
talk ,
just run .


The hospitals await them still full to the brim with gun law and hate . And on we go ,
to Whales washed up on beaches  
Polar bears drift on sheets of ice,
burning oil fills the sea ,
man lights a cigarette in silence ,
and yes it still bothers me .
Even  so ,


the  earth looks  on in silence .
Turtles and fish eat and die from plastic that swells the Ocean deep .

,Now silence and weeping as floods and bugs enter our summer and winter .
No frost to chill the dawn ,
summer with its beaches full of idol sun lovers who left bags and cans now where have they gone ?
Not to the sea ,
for it is empty ,
not to buy for the shops have all closed .
To their beds they lay dying ,
as the earth looks ever on .
Then with candy floss dreams ,
and fair ground rides stop and sick and ***** we fall ,
One baby ,
One gift was born to save us all .
J Christmas Jan 19
Amillion steel pin ****** divine
each day closer to death we climb
crystal shards bejewel the sky
While
The Cities beneath me
Kicking and crying
But all I hear is goodbye
-
Unreason not able
Why are these ****** Not stabled
Just wanderin
Thru this fable
stubbed my toe
on your god of stone
That litters this river
We all flow
So
Let’s dance in this
Technicolor bliss
And never ending showers
of little lead gifts
human disinfectant
for where the slime live
Where the slime live
-
Broken bones remind the soul
of the all violence that’s been sold
All the while racing toward
that ever after
We once called home
No more
boiling jealousy
envious bedroom eyes
hideous tongues beguile
Thick salavatory lies
Lifeless imbeciles
Revolving doors
carnivorous smiles  
covetous masturbators
**** Gazing while
Justice is *******
Coming a little premature
Serving our just deserves
oh my libertine
How I loathe to
See you In chains
If their speed is good enough for 6 yr olds
Then it’s safe enough for me
HEY!!!!!
I want my! I want my! I want my
methamphetamine!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
-
I got too many middle fingers
Shoot straight from the cuff
Humans might lose the race
Oh well, close enough
Outlawed truth and reason
But here, I just took a dump
Never waste a good crisis
My Re-elected incumbents
Gotta Fill Them Prisons
Protest prices ‘cause
Dollars fill the fists
Along the streets uprisen
HEY!!!
Whats the policy on returns?
I’m just not happy with this
Oblivion
-
broadcast opinions
Regimental TV
Coerced confession
global stupidity
Yes, I’d like to report a hijacking
0f another species
Endangered or
Polluted at best
Just Don’t forget to breath
Oh yeah, you’re dead
Copyright2018 John D Christmas
Zizaloom Dec 2018
Peculiar speckled stones
on my lids, in them
When eyes are locked and closed
See yellow see yellow
Vision obstructed
Beams of sunlight slicing, sharp blades
Grasping before dusk
What was left to see
The carpenter shrugged, shook his rug
Early at night, late in the morning
Half of the worms underneath
Underneath underneath, far
Were crying soil and cinder
Flesh puncturing
The depth turning black
Boiling magma farthest point
Unreachable destination
Could it be a goal
Could there be a path
Is there supposed to be one
Dislocated elbows
Shoulders fractured twice
To remember to remember
Atmosphere in the ****
Trapped in a jelly fish
Ashore under the heat
Blaze scorching
Melted slime in the ears
Think you are fading
Disappearing to the world
To everything and everyone
No body prints on the sand
No scratch of jelly fish
Gleaming through water
You were here before
You were here then
You were
When is now?
Lara Ozdemir Dec 2018
Slippy slimy slime
Slugging through time
Sublime hate crime
It’s a pain going through mine
• • •
Don’t you know?
What it’s like to fight with all your might
Pity going through
But at the end
You’ve won the battle
A teenager’s chapter
Mark Motherland Nov 2018
The *** Gardeners there were twelve in all. Hurrah! Hurrah!
everyone a Hero and answered the call. Hurrah! Celagh!
they were going out to war to fight the ***
soon be back as Heroes when the work is done
so get the Cheer Leaders ready...
the *** Gardeners are coming home

poison gas threatened from afar. Hurrah! Hurrah!
Soon be back as Heroes and first at the bar. Hurrah! Celagh!
they climbed over the top of the fields of fire
and complex networks of barbed wire
so get the fireworks ready
the *** Gardeners are coming home

deadlocked enemies on the Western line. Hurrah! Hurrah!
their bodies were earth their hands were slime. Hurrah! Celagh!
they didn't have time to take a breath
out of duty to the King they laughed at death
so get the flagpoles ready
the *** Gardeners are coming home

specialist bombers of an infantry platoon. Hurrah! Hurrah!
our Heroes longed to be home so soon. Hurrah! Celagh!
overhead shellfire scared them out their wits
dropped in their trench and blew them all to bits
so get the coffins ready...
the *** Gardeners are coming home.
The *** Gardeners were twelve young men who were masters of their craft. They transformed the gardens of Kinloch Castle, on the Isle of *** (Scotland) into a veritable paradise. There were Palm trees, a Japanese walled garden, an array of tropical plants, crops of peaches, nectarines, figs and grapes as well as acres of glass houses with free flying hummingbirds. Out of the 12+ young men that went to war, only two returned.4
Alyssa Underwood Mar 2016
I

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


II

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


III

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


IV

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


V

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


VI

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

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

And all men **** the thing they love,
  By all let this be heard,
Some do it with a bitter look,
  Some with a flattering word,
The coward does it with a kiss,
  The brave man with a sword!
What4221 Mar 2
Sometimes the earth breathes
It takes in air as tornadoes and hurricanes
Coughing up tsunamis and floods
In the electric static shock of the atmosphere
Lightning cuts through the clouds yelling

The earth holds its breath
It waits in calm stillness
Silent and waiting for something
As people breathe above it
Creating their own storms
Their own natural disasters

The earth gasps for air through smoke choked skies
And it drinks in green slime
And polluted water.

Lumbering
Pulling
Pushing
Moving through space
Gasping and sputtering
Pushing and pulling

Red
Red
Red

Mars was supposed to be the red planet
But ours is covered in blood

Innocent
Evil
It’s hard to breathe.

Gasping and shaking
We make storms and live through them
And walk and drag and pull
With broken bones
With blinded eyes
With scars and pain
Bruises and fear.

Breathing
Moving
Destroying.

*

The earth sleeps sometimes
It snores in gentle rumbles of faraway thunder
As people live above it

As plants push through to sunlight
And food arrives at another starving place
The earth sleeps as it heals
Through natural disasters.

As the scars left by wars fade
And the people sing
And the sky clears
As we take our time
As we walk instead of drag
Instead of crawl

As our broken bones mend
And the blood is washed clean.

Green bursting from gray ash
Pink and white delicate flowers
Buds on trees.

Another hole dug in the ground
But this time it is roots being lowered into it
Not a coffin.

The earth sleeps
And the people heal
And fix
And build
And plant
And live.

We clean after the storms we have lived through
Strolling through space
Pulling up life from death.

Breathing
Moving
Creating.
Such artificial nonsense rhyme,
That can turn art into slime,
And make your thoughts not worth a dime,
And words a total waste of time.

Throw away the limiting forms,
Burn all the idiotic norms,
Old-fashioned rules apply to fools,
No one but me plays with my tools!

The new trinity is Me, Myself and I!
I set the rules for every game,
And follow none, just the same,
Anarchy rules all, and that's no lie!

Iambic pentameter? Pyrrhic substitutions?
Who the **** cares about those illusions!
Counting syllables and each line?
Grand, old, pompous idiocy most sublime!

Write a sonnet? I'd rather wear a pink bonnet!
But if I do 15 lines it will be
Why, 'cause I say so, doggone it!
And no idiot ABAB CDCD EFEF GG

I am GOD and rule it blasphemy,
To follow both hard and easy rules,
That can make heads hurt, you'll agree,
Or burn in eternal **** as reactionary fools.

There is more art in a cow's mighty ****,
Than in Milton, Shakespeare, Wordsworth and Pope,
If you can't beat them, marginalize them from the start,
Drag them through the mire to raise me up, that is my hope.

From now on all couplets shall triplets be, thus do I decree,
Come to me on bended knee and I will set you free,
Everyone's a poet, welcome to the new reality.
This was originally submitted to another poetry site a short time ago in response to a challenge to essentially write an anti-rhyme poem in rhyme. For anyone who takes this at face value and misses the point, I hear my shrink has some openings available this week. Glad to pass along her contact information . . . :)
Jules Feb 24
Go to the gym, dance, exercise
2. Snap a rubber band or preferably hair band against your wrist
3. Listen to music and sing along loudly
4. Draw a picture of what is making you angry
5. Poetry. Reading or writing
6. Organize or redecorate
7. Beat up a stuffed bear
8. Color or scribble over the “perfect” people in magazines.
9. Pop bubble wrap
10. Make “wounds” with makeup, like lipstick
11. Acknowledge that self harm is harmful behavior: say “I want to hurt myself” rather than “I want to cut”
12.Compliment a stranger
13.  Massage where you want to hurt yourself
14. Paint your nails! (Guys can do it too it’s 2019)
15. Pop balloons
16. Talk to someone!!! (If you need someone I’ll be here to talk whenever :))
17.  Buy a plant and take care of it
18. Spend time with pets if you have them
19. Choose a random object and try to come up with as many uses for it as possible
20. Marie Kondo’s KonMari decluttering method
21.Write out lyrics to your favorite song
22. Find a show or book that you really really love and say “I’ll self harm if I still feel like it after this episode/chapter” hopefully if it’s an addictive enough show you’ll keep watching until you either forget or run out of time
23. Splatter paint (messy but fun)
24. Scribble on a piece of paper until the whole page is black
25. Filling a piece of paper with drawing cross hatches
26. Tumbler deep dive! Great waste of an hour
27. Throw darts at a dartboard
28. Go for a run
29. Retail therapy
30. Chew gum
31. Coloring books! No longer just for kids
32. Name all the inanimate objects in your room
33. Write your feelings on paper then rip it up
34. On a sketch or photo of yourself, mark in red ink where you want to cut instead
35. Chocolate. No explanation needed
36. Play the A-Z game (Pick a category ie. Animals, and think of an animal for every letter of the alphabet)
37. Play with or make slime
38. Stress ***** or other toys
39. Smash old plates (very carefully!)
40. Congratulate yourself on each minute you go without self harming!

Added: You could also play with a younger family member (if you have one lol)
If you have any others comment them and I will add it!!
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