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Tommy Johnson Dec 2013
You can hear the voices of our peers being silenced, ignored, shunned and distorted.
Staggering out of their bedroom doorways to the street corner to score a dime bag.
Bright, insightful millennials freezing in search of warmth from something to believe in that will encourage them to look forward to see another day.
Where our economy has made financial prudence clear when talking about education, yet price tags of university tuition's skyrocket.
The refused, the ones with hope but no money or scholarships; tread the streets with the echoes of electro house pulsing in their skulls.
Those who strip themselves down and shred their own morals to scraps just to find themselves and to see their own limitations.
Searching for answers to the unknown, to ascertain what they are, who they are and why.
Timid in high school, pushed along with nothing and no one to put their creative vigor into.
The squeakiest wheels that were never even considered to be given a good greasing.
Faculties giving them lethargic hellos on the first day of school, bestowing celebrated goodbyes to them on graduation day, diplomas in hand.
Now are the ones slumped over in a lackadaisical position contemplating how they can afford an education.
They work eight to ten at seven twenty five an hour Monday to Friday; and weekends staying in as not to blow their earnings.
Those who commute to university and balance a job with it, I applaud you.
The bewilderment of adulthood, the overabundance of pressure and responsibility.
Awakened from nightmares of lost opportunities, missed trains and lost contacts.
To step out of bed and splash water onto a severely distressed face and staring into a mirror with a despairing look.
Then hoping a bus to Garfield to bring back weight for all the embryonic smokers not yet at the point of make or break, just save up enough to pave my own way.
Gazing at the town on a roof top, chugging down the tenth…no…twelfth beer of the night wondering how this all happened.
Wild sensations of kissing an attractive stranger, the rush of touching on things never felt, tasting pleasures only the lucky have known.
The passionate, yet dissolute yearning for that ever eluding ******* adrenaline. Pounding, Pounding, Pounding until the culmination of energy has come.
Flip sided to those dizzying, tear jerking thoughts of suicide, annihilation of ones being, the contradictions of their faith in themselves and the people around them.
Unexplainable waves of anxiety crashing onto the shore of a diminutive island of optimism
Striving to look past the panic, the gloominess and fury that may or may not be present. But to remain composed and press forward to what awaits them.
Coffee keeps them going. Cup after cup, late night cramming every bit they can; into their caffeine driven psyches until the indisputable crash and failure.
Packs and packs of menthol cigarettes to calm their rattling nerves but at the same time killing them slowly. Their lives will seem shorter than the time it took to finish one bogey when death is near.
Marijuana induced ventures to run down burger shacks, laughing hysterical in the car ride, eyes heavy with a most ridiculous elastic grin extending from ear to ear. While inside millions of thoughts and realizations of consciously simple speculations and troubles become clear and unproblematic. So the joy is mirrored outside in.
LSD trips in Petruska dancing and singing in the rain! Making music, making love; playing pretend and creating art. Becoming a family while kicking back under the warmth of an illuminated tree on a cool fall night.
MDMA streaming through the body, everything is as it should be
Beautiful, lovely to touch, wondrous to stroke, marvelous to move.
To contact and connect, converse and converge with the dwelling desire to share what you feel with everyone for it would be selfish and unpleasant to keep it in.
Mushrooms oh the emotional overflow I need not say more but ****.
Then there are over the counter candies, Oxycontin, ******, Adderall and Xanax, painkillers and antidepressants. Ups, downs, side ways and backwards.
Selling addiction and dependency legally to kids. Making heroine, ******* and speed easily obtainable to them. Changing the names and giving out prescriptions so the parents can feel like they're actually helping their children but are subconsciously making it easier on themselves because they cannot handle the way their offsprings actually are. Some parents a feel it is the only way, I wish it wasn't so. Becoming zombies, mindless addicts before they even start to mature into puberty. I've seen it, firsthand front row.
Oh, the monotonous, mundane rituals and agendas of our lives. School, work, sleep eat, the sluggish schedules and repetitions of yesterday's conversations and redundancy of itineraries we had plotted months prior.
Same people, the constant faces of boredom that groan in apathy and hold the fear of complacency.
We talk about how hum drum out lives have become and what we could to put some color in our world but don’t.
We speak of how unfair the system is but ultimately confuse ourselves and everyone else due to lack or organization and dedication so nothing is changed.
We speak of breath taking women we want to share ****** fantasies with but can’t even muster enough courage to send a trivial friend request.
Texting away for hours trying to court those who now occupy our minds and possess our hearts hoping they may allow us to acquire their attention and affection. Calling them only to receive futile dial tones and know we are being evaded.
Weeping on and on for seemingly endless time frames of a dilapidated relationship that was so strained that a miniscule breeze could cause it to collapse but still clinging to every memory as if they were vital hieroglyphics depicting your very essence.
Brilliant theories blurted out in a drunken stupor.
Ingenious hypothesis shrouded in marijuana smoked out room.
Remembrance of friends long gone.
The marines, the navy.
The casualties of drug addiction.
The conquerors or their afflictions.
The scholars.
The insane locked away on the flight deck never to be seen again.
Teenage mothers unsure of themselves, abandoned by their families for they believe that they brought fictional shame upon the family’s name. The fate of the child is unclear but the mother’s everlasting love shines through any obscurities in its way.
Dear mother of the new born winter’s moon may the aura of life protect you and your baby.
The father gone without a trace.
He will never know his daughter.
And it will haunt him forever.
Parents bringing up their kids with values and morals, The Holy Bible, mantras and meditation, the Holy Quran, The Bhagavad Gita, and Upanishads. Islamic anecdotes and Jewish parables.
The names all different
The message the same
The stories unlike
Goals equivalent
Faith
Kabala, Scientology and Wicca
Amish and Mormons
All separate paths that intertwine and runoff each other then pool into the plateau of eternal life.
But do we have faith in our country, our government?
They do not have faith in us. Cameras on every street corner, FBI agents stalking social media, recordings of our personal lives and police brutality. 4th amendment where have you gone?
We say farewell to Oresko the last veteran of the last great war. And revisit the Arab spring, Al-Assad’s soldiers opening fire on innocent protesters, one hundred fifteen thousand lay dead. Bin laden dead, Hussein hanged, Gaddafi receiving every ounce of his comeuppance. War, terrorism, the fear of being attacked or is it an excuse to secure our nation's investments across the sea? Throwing trillions of dollars to keep the ****** machine cranking away, taxes, pensions, credit scores, insurance and annuities all cogs in the convoluted contraptions plight.
My dear friend contemplates this every night laying in bed, fetal position; the anxiety if having to be a part of this.
Falling apart on the inside but on the outside, an Adonis, *******, Casanova wanna be. Who worshiped the almighty dollar, gripping it so tightly until it made change, drank until he had his fill falling face first into the snow. The guy who lead on legions of clueless girls wearing their hearts on their sleeves not knowing he had a girlfriend the entire time. Arranging secret meetings in hidden gardens, streaking into the early morning. Driving to Ewing in his yellow Mustang to woo a sado masochistic girl. The chains and whips do nothing to him he is already numbed by the thrill. Then he comes home, lays in bed until one, with no job and having people pay for his meals.
He knows what he does and who he is wrong. He recites and regurgitates excuses endlessly. He cries because he knows he is weak, he knows he must fix himself. I sit on the edge of myself with my fingers crossed hoping maybe, maybe he will set himself straight.
My chum who can talk his way out of any confrontation and into a woman’s *******. Multitudes of amorous affairs in backrooms, backseats, front rows of movies theaters. Selfish, boastful and ignorant, yet woman fling themselves at him like catapulted boulders over a medieval battle field just to say hello. These girls blind to see what going on, for their eyes were taken by low self esteem. A need to be accepted, to feel wanted even only for fifteen minutes. Poor self image, daddy issues, anorexic razor blade slicing sirens screaming on about counted calories and social status. Their uncontrollable mental breakdowns and emotional collapse. Their uncles who ***** them, their parents who split up and confusing their definition of love and loyalty for the rest of their lives. Broken homes, domestic abuse and raised voices, sending jolts of fright into the young girl’s fragile minds. I send my sorrows to you ladies, to see such beautiful creatures suffer then be used and thrown away with the ****** that was just ****** deep into their *****.
Then I see women and men of marvelous stature, romantic in the streets holding everyone and everything in high regards. Finding beauty in anything and anyone. Enjoying every second as if the rapture was over head eating exotic foods from unheard of countries and cultures. Bouncing to the sound of whimsical , reverb ricochets and sense stimulating music. Huffing inspiration to create something out of thin air. Dancing to retired jazz and swing albums as if no time had past since their conception. Wearing bold colors and patterns, thrifty leather shoes or suede.
Dawning pre-owned blazers because why spend hundreds of dollars on new clothes just to look good but feel uncomfortable with a hole in your pocket. Dressing up but dressing down, so class yet urban I love it, chinos, pea coats and flannels so simple but chic.
At night they go to underground dens, sweaty bodies, loud music and freedom. Expressive manifestations glowing fueled with MDMA and other substances to further their enjoyment of the dark glorious occasion. Kandi kids sporting colorful bracelets, not watches for time is of no concern to them, they have all eternity they know that.
Going to book stores, coffee shops just to have some peace of mind and a moment of silence to themselves so that can weave the tapestry of imaginative innovation. Writing their own versions of the same story, endless doors of perception, reading news papers and taking it with a grain of salt. Watching the news on TV with a hand full of salt. Searching for the real story so they can know if the world they all live in is actually safe.
She who made her own way breaking hearts, rolling blunts and making deals. The flower child of the modern age, left the rainy days in search of radiant sunshine, idealistic. Reality was subjective, purple dyed hair, multicolored sweater with sandals on her feet. A ten inch bowl with bud from California packed in tightly. Coming from Dumont to Bergenfeild then on to Philly to Mount Vernon. Off to Astoria and the Heights. Now to Sweden laying in the grassy plains below the mountains. Good for you my friend whom I have loved, may fortunes of unsullied joy come to you and all you meet.
Since you’ve left I have encountered drunken burly firemen just trying to have a good time. Pounding down Pabst Blue Ribbon as if it were water; as if it were good tasting beer. But heroes none the less.
EMT's, young eighteen years old high school graduates, saving lives reviving people who are a mere inch close to death.
Sport stars getting scholarships thanks to their superior skills and strength.
Striking beauty school students who are into making the people of this world a little bit more beautiful on the outside.
All these people, successful, doing things. Departing to their desired destinations. I see inside them, they carry baggage, loneliness and insecurities. I can feel their guilt slowing them down. All have their loads but it’s the way they carry them that shows who they really are. And to me their all gems.
Not far in Paterson I watch the junkies limping across busy winding street, perusing a severely needed fix. “Diesel!” they shout beneath flickering streetlights, asking for spare change and if bold enough a ride to some shady sketchy place. I give them a dollar and politely decline. They’ll die without it. Vomiting up bile and blood, twitches and shivers are all you feel when it’s not in you. They cannot stop, they need help. Why not help them instead of “assisting” those who are homosexual? Cleansing so they can be granted entry to the kingdom of God. Looking down on people who have found love and understanding and a deep attraction to others who just so happen to share alike genitals.
Narrow minded uproars about the spread of AIDS, nonsense! The puritanical onslaught of those who want nothing more than the rest of us, love. "Gay", "****", "******", "queer", how about "kind", "funny", "genuine human being"? The right to be married and divorced should be an option for everyone to enjoy. The strains and hardships of matrimony are yours if you want them. If you don’t agree don’t hate or harm just allow them to be peacefully. Same goes for anything for that matter, Jehovah's going door to door, Mormons from Burbank. New ideas are never a bad thing, they’re not a waste of time. On average you have about eighty years to mull over your options.
Some people don’t live long enough to do so, cancer is rampant, blood diseases, ****** diseases, natural disasters coming right out of left field and blindsiding the innocent bystanders of both hemispheres. Some go through life handicapped, autism is apparent these days. Schizophrenia, Asperburgers, ADD and ADHD. Some lose their golden memories of their many valuable years walking down Alzheimer's Lane, not being able to remember whatever transpired only a few moments ago but revisiting gold nuggets from from fifty-some-odd years ago with ease. Some go through life delusional or bipolar. Some can't even sleep at night but they still carry on. And if assistance is needed it is our job as a race to help our brothers and sisters, no one deserves to be excluded from the gala of life. Or be denied by society and pumped with brightly colored pills from doctors promising a cure but prescribing a crutch.
Finding solace in sincerity.
The serendipity of it all hasn’t been uncovered and that keeps me going.
“Radiate boundless love towards the entire world above, below and across. Unhindered without ill will without enmity.” Oh Buddha the truth as it ever was.
Who is he who keeps these thoughts from the conscious minds of the population?
Who is it that distracts us from the humbling beauty and overwhelming devastation of this place of existence we’re in?
It’s they who do under the table parlor trick behind our backs.
Those who broadcast mind numbing so called reality TV shows without an underlying value or meaning.
Those who produce music, proclaiming extravagance to be the end all be all gluttonous goal we all should aim to achieve.
And those who turn noble causes into money making scams and defile pure ideas.
And of course those who give false promises of easily obtained  bright futures, those who don’t care, those who steal, ****, curse, bad mouth and lie. But still manage to get elected into positions that more or less decide out fates. Monsters, demons, banshees howling inconsequential worries and leaving us deaf to hear the real issues.
The
Emmanuella Nov 2018
"I can’t figure it out.” She said.
“I like cigars,
and pretty dresses and crossing my legs.”
She paused,
then continued,
“And I like smoking cigars in pretty dresses while crossing my legs.”
She uncrossed them,
then crossed them again.
One smooth limb over the other.
Just like that.

“But I never seem to have a lighter on hand.
Could you— sir,
please light my cigar?”
“You see, I have no pockets to hold such things and my purse…
Well,
You’ve confiscated that, haven’t you?”

“Thanks.” She breathed,
and inhaled,
and exhaled;
Sluggish wisps of smoke dissipating into the air.
Just. like .that.

“I didn’t know L'homme was into women who smoke cigars in pretty dresses while crossing their legs", She said.
“I mean, how was I to know?
I only noticed him noticing me.
It was probably the way my hair was tousled like so,
Or how my lipstick shone a deep, dangerous rogue,
Or the way I sipped at my champagne…
That made him walk over.”

“But I never asked him to light my cigar
Or comment on my dress…
Or stroke my legs.
So when I whacked him up top over the head with my glass,
I bet he never expected it to shatter and split his skull like so.
He dropped so sudden, sir. I…”
Another ringlet of smoke, a sigh, an uncrossing and crossing of legs again.
“I had no clue,
what else to do,
But to sit still in my pretty dress, with my legs crossed, smoking my cigar trying to figure out...
Just how I'd committed ******.”
"She's a dangerous woman...
Who can ****,
Just with her *** appeal".
Ellen Joyce Jun 2013
In the murky depths of muck and mire
hope flickers in hearts
courageous enough to believe;
sending out ripples in the waters
like a domino effect rewound.
Insignificant seedlings to the cruel eye
filled with light and promise
as yet unseen turned
Fragile sprouts in healing green
reaching up and out
to rest hopes on the water front,
as if to console one another -
we are not alone.

Against all odds, bean of India,
Keep going –
Power through the sluggish resistance
Of this darkened plane.
Though life seems lost in loneliness
Listen closely,
Hear the Whispering rumours of life beyond the deep
Of basking in light and life
beneath the welcoming heat
of a dancing sun.

A triumphant act of faith indeed,
to content oneself with growing,
never really knowing
what lies beyond the darkness.
I weep for you
with joy, O little pocket of hope
as you propel yourself forward -
such strength, such courage
for one who as yet knows not
of that rosey happiness,
that snow white purity
that lies beneath your shell.

I stand in awe of you;
You with your absurd elegant beauty
tracing your journey
accepting it as part of yourself
embracing who you once were.
The original rags to riches tale;
Roots in putrid, ravenous foundations
yet you yourself remain unstained.
The journey every bit as beautiful
as your glorious destination –

a testimony to your essential self.
I see you take up your stance
Front and centre, finally ready
to declare yourself to the world.
Budding beauty of new life
awake! open your eyes, your heart,
you dont have to hide anymore
the world is missing who you are.

And time births healing and growth.
Every flower blooms at her own pace;
Tentatively unfolding - delicate and fragile still
with gentle colours begging will I do?
Caught up in a lighter life
becoming bolder, blessed, nurtured
blooming bright, opened out
hello world, here I am.
Your wary days drowned, you claim your space,
Fill your space,
Make it your own.

The ethereal splendour of your gentle petals
Succeeded only by the loveliness within,
As you build up your legacy of hope
So wonder will not be lost in the falling petals
but made more beautiful still
in the healing gifts,
in nourishing others,
in the gifts you give of yourself
back to the world.
Written 2011
Dedicated to the circle of warrior sisters who carried each other through such dark days and remain connected in this world, and in the next.  Death is no match for sisterhood.
This English Thames is holier far than Rome,
Those harebells like a sudden flush of sea
Breaking across the woodland, with the foam
Of meadow-sweet and white anemone
To fleck their blue waves,—God is likelier there
Than hidden in that crystal-hearted star the pale monks bear!

Those violet-gleaming butterflies that take
Yon creamy lily for their pavilion
Are monsignores, and where the rushes shake
A lazy pike lies basking in the sun,
His eyes half shut,—he is some mitred old
Bishop in partibus! look at those gaudy scales all green and gold.

The wind the restless prisoner of the trees
Does well for Palaestrina, one would say
The mighty master’s hands were on the keys
Of the Maria *****, which they play
When early on some sapphire Easter morn
In a high litter red as blood or sin the Pope is borne

From his dark House out to the Balcony
Above the bronze gates and the crowded square,
Whose very fountains seem for ecstasy
To toss their silver lances in the air,
And stretching out weak hands to East and West
In vain sends peace to peaceless lands, to restless nations rest.

Is not yon lingering orange after-glow
That stays to vex the moon more fair than all
Rome’s lordliest pageants! strange, a year ago
I knelt before some crimson Cardinal
Who bare the Host across the Esquiline,
And now—those common poppies in the wheat seem twice as fine.

The blue-green beanfields yonder, tremulous
With the last shower, sweeter perfume bring
Through this cool evening than the odorous
Flame-jewelled censers the young deacons swing,
When the grey priest unlocks the curtained shrine,
And makes God’s body from the common fruit of corn and vine.

Poor Fra Giovanni bawling at the mass
Were out of tune now, for a small brown bird
Sings overhead, and through the long cool grass
I see that throbbing throat which once I heard
On starlit hills of flower-starred Arcady,
Once where the white and crescent sand of Salamis meets sea.

Sweet is the swallow twittering on the eaves
At daybreak, when the mower whets his scythe,
And stock-doves murmur, and the milkmaid leaves
Her little lonely bed, and carols blithe
To see the heavy-lowing cattle wait
Stretching their huge and dripping mouths across the farmyard gate.

And sweet the hops upon the Kentish leas,
And sweet the wind that lifts the new-mown hay,
And sweet the fretful swarms of grumbling bees
That round and round the linden blossoms play;
And sweet the heifer breathing in the stall,
And the green bursting figs that hang upon the red-brick wall,

And sweet to hear the cuckoo mock the spring
While the last violet loiters by the well,
And sweet to hear the shepherd Daphnis sing
The song of Linus through a sunny dell
Of warm Arcadia where the corn is gold
And the slight lithe-limbed reapers dance about the wattled fold.

And sweet with young Lycoris to recline
In some Illyrian valley far away,
Where canopied on herbs amaracine
We too might waste the summer-tranced day
Matching our reeds in sportive rivalry,
While far beneath us frets the troubled purple of the sea.

But sweeter far if silver-sandalled foot
Of some long-hidden God should ever tread
The Nuneham meadows, if with reeded flute
Pressed to his lips some Faun might raise his head
By the green water-flags, ah! sweet indeed
To see the heavenly herdsman call his white-fleeced flock to feed.

Then sing to me thou tuneful chorister,
Though what thou sing’st be thine own requiem!
Tell me thy tale thou hapless chronicler
Of thine own tragedies! do not contemn
These unfamiliar haunts, this English field,
For many a lovely coronal our northern isle can yield

Which Grecian meadows know not, many a rose
Which all day long in vales AEolian
A lad might seek in vain for over-grows
Our hedges like a wanton courtesan
Unthrifty of its beauty; lilies too
Ilissos never mirrored star our streams, and cockles blue

Dot the green wheat which, though they are the signs
For swallows going south, would never spread
Their azure tents between the Attic vines;
Even that little **** of ragged red,
Which bids the robin pipe, in Arcady
Would be a trespasser, and many an unsung elegy

Sleeps in the reeds that fringe our winding Thames
Which to awake were sweeter ravishment
Than ever Syrinx wept for; diadems
Of brown bee-studded orchids which were meant
For Cytheraea’s brows are hidden here
Unknown to Cytheraea, and by yonder pasturing steer

There is a tiny yellow daffodil,
The butterfly can see it from afar,
Although one summer evening’s dew could fill
Its little cup twice over ere the star
Had called the lazy shepherd to his fold
And be no prodigal; each leaf is flecked with spotted gold

As if Jove’s gorgeous leman Danae
Hot from his gilded arms had stooped to kiss
The trembling petals, or young Mercury
Low-flying to the dusky ford of Dis
Had with one feather of his pinions
Just brushed them! the slight stem which bears the burden of its suns

Is hardly thicker than the gossamer,
Or poor Arachne’s silver tapestry,—
Men say it bloomed upon the sepulchre
Of One I sometime worshipped, but to me
It seems to bring diviner memories
Of faun-loved Heliconian glades and blue nymph-haunted seas,

Of an untrodden vale at Tempe where
On the clear river’s marge Narcissus lies,
The tangle of the forest in his hair,
The silence of the woodland in his eyes,
Wooing that drifting imagery which is
No sooner kissed than broken; memories of Salmacis

Who is not boy nor girl and yet is both,
Fed by two fires and unsatisfied
Through their excess, each passion being loth
For love’s own sake to leave the other’s side
Yet killing love by staying; memories
Of Oreads peeping through the leaves of silent moonlit trees,

Of lonely Ariadne on the wharf
At Naxos, when she saw the treacherous crew
Far out at sea, and waved her crimson scarf
And called false Theseus back again nor knew
That Dionysos on an amber pard
Was close behind her; memories of what Maeonia’s bard

With sightless eyes beheld, the wall of Troy,
Queen Helen lying in the ivory room,
And at her side an amorous red-lipped boy
Trimming with dainty hand his helmet’s plume,
And far away the moil, the shout, the groan,
As Hector shielded off the spear and Ajax hurled the stone;

Of winged Perseus with his flawless sword
Cleaving the snaky tresses of the witch,
And all those tales imperishably stored
In little Grecian urns, freightage more rich
Than any gaudy galleon of Spain
Bare from the Indies ever! these at least bring back again,

For well I know they are not dead at all,
The ancient Gods of Grecian poesy:
They are asleep, and when they hear thee call
Will wake and think ‘t is very Thessaly,
This Thames the Daulian waters, this cool glade
The yellow-irised mead where once young Itys laughed and played.

If it was thou dear jasmine-cradled bird
Who from the leafy stillness of thy throne
Sang to the wondrous boy, until he heard
The horn of Atalanta faintly blown
Across the Cumnor hills, and wandering
Through Bagley wood at evening found the Attic poets’ spring,—

Ah! tiny sober-suited advocate
That pleadest for the moon against the day!
If thou didst make the shepherd seek his mate
On that sweet questing, when Proserpina
Forgot it was not Sicily and leant
Across the mossy Sandford stile in ravished wonderment,—

Light-winged and bright-eyed miracle of the wood!
If ever thou didst soothe with melody
One of that little clan, that brotherhood
Which loved the morning-star of Tuscany
More than the perfect sun of Raphael
And is immortal, sing to me! for I too love thee well.

Sing on! sing on! let the dull world grow young,
Let elemental things take form again,
And the old shapes of Beauty walk among
The simple garths and open crofts, as when
The son of Leto bare the willow rod,
And the soft sheep and shaggy goats followed the boyish God.

Sing on! sing on! and Bacchus will be here
Astride upon his gorgeous Indian throne,
And over whimpering tigers shake the spear
With yellow ivy crowned and gummy cone,
While at his side the wanton Bassarid
Will throw the lion by the mane and catch the mountain kid!

Sing on! and I will wear the leopard skin,
And steal the mooned wings of Ashtaroth,
Upon whose icy chariot we could win
Cithaeron in an hour ere the froth
Has over-brimmed the wine-vat or the Faun
Ceased from the treading! ay, before the flickering lamp of dawn

Has scared the hooting owlet to its nest,
And warned the bat to close its filmy vans,
Some Maenad girl with vine-leaves on her breast
Will filch their beech-nuts from the sleeping Pans
So softly that the little nested thrush
Will never wake, and then with shrilly laugh and leap will rush

Down the green valley where the fallen dew
Lies thick beneath the elm and count her store,
Till the brown Satyrs in a jolly crew
Trample the loosestrife down along the shore,
And where their horned master sits in state
Bring strawberries and bloomy plums upon a wicker crate!

Sing on! and soon with passion-wearied face
Through the cool leaves Apollo’s lad will come,
The Tyrian prince his bristled boar will chase
Adown the chestnut-copses all a-bloom,
And ivory-limbed, grey-eyed, with look of pride,
After yon velvet-coated deer the ****** maid will ride.

Sing on! and I the dying boy will see
Stain with his purple blood the waxen bell
That overweighs the jacinth, and to me
The wretched Cyprian her woe will tell,
And I will kiss her mouth and streaming eyes,
And lead her to the myrtle-hidden grove where Adon lies!

Cry out aloud on Itys! memory
That foster-brother of remorse and pain
Drops poison in mine ear,—O to be free,
To burn one’s old ships! and to launch again
Into the white-plumed battle of the waves
And fight old Proteus for the spoil of coral-flowered caves!

O for Medea with her poppied spell!
O for the secret of the Colchian shrine!
O for one leaf of that pale asphodel
Which binds the tired brows of Proserpine,
And sheds such wondrous dews at eve that she
Dreams of the fields of Enna, by the far Sicilian sea,

Where oft the golden-girdled bee she chased
From lily to lily on the level mead,
Ere yet her sombre Lord had bid her taste
The deadly fruit of that pomegranate seed,
Ere the black steeds had harried her away
Down to the faint and flowerless land, the sick and sunless day.

O for one midnight and as paramour
The Venus of the little Melian farm!
O that some antique statue for one hour
Might wake to passion, and that I could charm
The Dawn at Florence from its dumb despair,
Mix with those mighty limbs and make that giant breast my lair!

Sing on! sing on!  I would be drunk with life,
Drunk with the trampled vintage of my youth,
I would forget the wearying wasted strife,
The riven veil, the Gorgon eyes of Truth,
The prayerless vigil and the cry for prayer,
The barren gifts, the lifted arms, the dull insensate air!

Sing on! sing on!  O feathered Niobe,
Thou canst make sorrow beautiful, and steal
From joy its sweetest music, not as we
Who by dead voiceless silence strive to heal
Our too untented wounds, and do but keep
Pain barricadoed in our hearts, and ****** pillowed sleep.

Sing louder yet, why must I still behold
The wan white face of that deserted Christ,
Whose bleeding hands my hands did once enfold,
Whose smitten lips my lips so oft have kissed,
And now in mute and marble misery
Sits in his lone dishonoured House and weeps, perchance for me?

O Memory cast down thy wreathed shell!
Break thy hoarse lute O sad Melpomene!
O Sorrow, Sorrow keep thy cloistered cell
Nor dim with tears this limpid Castaly!
Cease, Philomel, thou dost the forest wrong
To vex its sylvan quiet with such wild impassioned song!

Cease, cease, or if ‘t is anguish to be dumb
Take from the pastoral thrush her simpler air,
Whose jocund carelessness doth more become
This English woodland than thy keen despair,
Ah! cease and let the north wind bear thy lay
Back to the rocky hills of Thrace, the stormy Daulian bay.

A moment more, the startled leaves had stirred,
Endymion would have passed across the mead
Moonstruck with love, and this still Thames had heard
Pan plash and paddle groping for some reed
To lure from her blue cave that Naiad maid
Who for such piping listens half in joy and half afraid.

A moment more, the waking dove had cooed,
The silver daughter of the silver sea
With the fond gyves of clinging hands had wooed
Her wanton from the chase, and Dryope
Had ****** aside the branches of her oak
To see the ***** gold-haired lad rein in his snorting yoke.

A moment more, the trees had stooped to kiss
Pale Daphne just awakening from the swoon
Of tremulous laurels, lonely Salmacis
Had bared his barren beauty to the moon,
And through the vale with sad voluptuous smile
Antinous had wandered, the red lotus of the Nile

Down leaning from his black and clustering hair,
To shade those slumberous eyelids’ caverned bliss,
Or else on yonder grassy ***** with bare
High-tuniced limbs unravished Artemis
Had bade her hounds give tongue, and roused the deer
From his green ambuscade with shrill halloo and pricking spear.

Lie still, lie still, O passionate heart, lie still!
O Melancholy, fold thy raven wing!
O sobbing Dryad, from thy hollow hill
Come not with such despondent answering!
No more thou winged Marsyas complain,
Apollo loveth not to hear such troubled songs of pain!

It was a dream, the glade is tenantless,
No soft Ionian laughter moves the air,
The Thames creeps on in sluggish leadenness,
And from the copse left desolate and bare
Fled is young Bacchus with his revelry,
Yet still from Nuneham wood there comes that thrilling melody

So sad, that one might think a human heart
Brake in each separate note, a quality
Which music sometimes has, being the Art
Which is most nigh to tears and memory;
Poor mourning Philomel, what dost thou fear?
Thy sister doth not haunt these fields, Pandion is not here,

Here is no cruel Lord with murderous blade,
No woven web of ****** heraldries,
But mossy dells for roving comrades made,
Warm valleys where the tired student lies
With half-shut book, and many a winding walk
Where rustic lovers stray at eve in happy simple talk.

The harmless rabbit gambols with its young
Across the trampled towing-path, where late
A troop of laughing boys in jostling throng
Cheered with their noisy cries the racing eight;
The gossamer, with ravelled silver threads,
Works at its little loom, and from the dusky red-eaved sheds

Of the lone Farm a flickering light shines out
Where the swinked shepherd drives his bleating flock
Back to their wattled sheep-cotes, a faint shout
Comes from some Oxford boat at Sandford lock,
And starts the moor-hen from the sedgy rill,
And the dim lengthening shadows flit like swallows up the hill.

The heron passes homeward to the mere,
The blue mist creeps among the shivering trees,
Gold world by world the silent stars appear,
And like a blossom blown before the breeze
A white moon drifts across the shimmering sky,
Mute arbitress of all thy sad, thy rapturous threnody.

She does not heed thee, wherefore should she heed,
She knows Endymion is not far away;
’Tis I, ’tis I, whose soul is as the reed
Which has no message of its own to play,
So pipes another’s bidding, it is I,
Drifting with every wind on the wide sea of misery.

Ah! the brown bird has ceased:  one exquisite trill
About the sombre woodland seems to cling
Dying in music, else the air is still,
So still that one might hear the bat’s small wing
Wander and wheel above the pines, or tell
Each tiny dew-drop dripping from the bluebell’s brimming cell.

And far away across the lengthening wold,
Across the willowy flats and thickets brown,
Magdalen’s tall tower tipped with tremulous gold
Marks the long High Street of the little town,
And warns me to return; I must not wait,
Hark! ’Tis the curfew booming from the bell at Christ Church gate.
Graff1980 Jul 2015
You put garbage in you get garbage out
Health food fanatics know what I am talking about
McDonalds, Arby’s and all those Buffets
Sluggish citizens working Twelve to ten
And to cover up their poor nutrition
We soup up the brackish black brew
Killing ourselves with more caffeine till
We collapse

You put garbage in you get garbage out
Good teachers with years of experience
Know what I am talking about
The tweet, the face book
Are superficial connections
Binge watching brain-dead reality show people
Speed reading unverified Articles
Peer reviewed paper by academic writers
Don’t get the press the talking heads
With party lines and hateful sentiments get

You put garbage in you get garbage out
Any poet philosopher knows what I am talking about
Flashing screens switching scenes while twitching teens
Sit texting banal and ephemeral things
No grand dreams but to be normal
No expansion of the human potential
Just block and block of picket fence prisons
Dreams are limited to advertised fantasies
Stephen E Yocum Oct 2014
Fourteen years old and thinking I was older.
'Assistant Maintenance Man' at a Public School
Summer Camp. Billy Deitz had just graduated
High School, I thought him the coolest guy
I knew. The first week was ended, the little
kids gone home, a new batch in two days time.

We did our work, cleaned and swept, sweated
in the summer sun. Took the old surplus Jeep
over to the creek and plunged ourselves in.
Deitz had some beer in an Ice chest, I drank
one, my first ever. We shot his 22 for a while
and ate PBJs in the shade. Then we heard it.

A train horn in the mountains is a haunting
call. It does not seem to belong there among
evergreen trees and massive granite boulders.
We drove the hell out of the Jeep and found
our way to the down grade tracks. And there
she was maybe 50 cars long, snaking her way
from the summit of the Sierras out of California
into Nevada. Through the Pass over a hairpin
filled course hugging the skirts of the rock face
mountains, slowly rolling her massive load
pushing her four engines, breaks a screeching
in protest. "Click Clack, Click Clack", her steel
wheels clanging upon the rails, a rhythm like
her train heart beating.

Deitz grabbed his coat and tied it round his waist,
looped a canteen over his head, "Lets go kid!"
I did what he said, and then we were running
along beside the box cars, more a trot than a run,
"Do what I do!" Deitz yelled over his shoulder.
A flat car with some machinery approached and
He grabbed on to it and pulled himself aboard,
I copied his moves and he helped pull me up
and then there we stood on the deck of that
moving, mountain ship, with her grunting and
shaking under our feet. We could feel all her
massive weight and power vibrating up through
that wooden plank deck of the flat bed car,
entering our legs and spines. . . It was thrilling!

I had not had time to think all this through,
"Now what?" I asked some what perplexed
"Reno Kid." Deitz yelled with a grin.  

We climbed atop a Box Car, our ship crawled
out of the upper pass and we stared down
upon Donner Lake far below. Looking behind
and ahead it was hard to understand how they
had cut that track out of solid rock and how it
maintained it's frail finger tip grip on the sheer
mountain side.

We ducked nearly flat going through the snow
tunnels, the clearance was tight and it seemed
that a guy could lose his head. The diesel thick
air made us cover mouth and nose with our shirts.
Two tunnels in we noticed our faces getting
smoke blackened. We laughed at the joke.
Doing black face on a boxcar in a tunnel of wood.
Two city kids playing Hobo.

We reached the lower valley, passed the place
where the Donner Party met their grisly end.

Truckee was next and the highway grew close.
We got back down onto the flat car and hold
up by the machine cargo, more or less out of sight.

I thought of all the down on their luck men that
had ridden those rails, not on a some lark. That
whole Grapes Of Wrath, Woody Guthrie period
of no joke, for real ****. Pushed by poverty and hope.

I must admit at that moment, I felt more alive than
at any other time in my life. I felt grown up, like a man.
Until my belly began to rumble, the speed increased
and the wind began to chill. The Click Clacks of the
wheels quickened and grew irritatingly redundant.
The loud wailing of the engine horn no longer exciting.
Now only hurt my ears.

It was dark by the time we hit Reno, we jumped off
before the train yard. Walked into town with its
bright lights calling the casino gamers to unholy service
and nightly prayer. Proceeded over by hard-bitten
dealers in communal black, with cigarettes dangling
from their unsmiling lips, possessing the empty
dead eyes of the badly used up and down-trodden.
Through the ***** windows, the people there seemed
to possess no joy in their sluggish endeavors.
Both players and dealers all losers, merely Automatons
of those games of chance.

Reno was still rough-hewn in those days, a hard
scrabble place full of cigarette smoke, ******,
card tables, slot machines and not much else.
It seemed to reek of lonely desperation.

Having seen our soot ***** faces in the
window reflection, we washed up some
in the cold river that runs through town.

We walked around a bit, ate some hot dogs,
Downed a Doctor Pepper.
"Now what Deitz?"
"**** I don't know kid,
first time I ever did anything like this."

"What?" My world collapsed right then,
I thought he was much more than
he turned out to be. Maybe everyone is.
I even started to get a little scared.
No money, no place to stay and apparently,
like most of the denizens there, **** out ah'
luck. I'd never felt that way before, from
mountain high to valley low in two hours.
All that excitement turned to Dread.

We hitched a ride with a long haired
guy of questionable gender,
who kept staring at me in the rearview mirror.
West, to a Truck Stop on the edge of town.
Found a trucker willing to give us a lift back
up to the summit.
Jumped in and were happy to find,
that his cab heater worked just fine.

Badly judged our get out spot and searched
and stumbled around in the shadowy dark,
dim moonlight looking for that **** jeep,
all that friggin' night.

When the guy that ran the camp returned
and found us sleeping at half past two,
in the afternoon, to say the least,
He was not amused.

Need I say, I felt much older that day
and a little wiser too.
I know this is too long, more a short story than
a poem. A memory stirred up by a write of a HP
friend W L Winter about riding a box car. Little
stories recalled and shared. Too long to read,
I'll understand, I wrote it for me and my kids.
High in the midst, surrounded by his peers,
Magnus his ample front sublime uprears:
Plac’d on his chair of state, he seems a God,
While Sophs and Freshmen tremble at his nod;
As all around sit wrapt in speechless gloom,
His voice, in thunder, shakes the sounding dome;
Denouncing dire reproach to luckless fools,
Unskill’d to plod in mathematic rules.

Happy the youth! in Euclid’s axioms tried,
Though little vers’d in any art beside;
Who, scarcely skill’d an English line to pen,
Scans Attic metres with a critic’s ken.

What! though he knows not how his fathers bled,
When civil discord pil’d the fields with dead,
When Edward bade his conquering bands advance,
Or Henry trampled on the crest of France:
Though marvelling at the name of Magna Charta,
Yet well he recollects the laws of Sparta;
Can tell, what edicts sage Lycurgus made,
While Blackstone’s on the shelf, neglected laid;
Of Grecian dramas vaunts the deathless fame,
Of Avon’s bard, rememb’ring scarce the name.

Such is the youth whose scientific pate
Class-honours, medals, fellowships, await;
Or even, perhaps, the declamation prize,
If to such glorious height, he lifts his eyes.
But lo! no common orator can hope
The envied silver cup within his scope:
Not that our heads much eloquence require,
Th’ ATHENIAN’S glowing style, or TULLY’S fire.
A manner clear or warm is useless, since
We do not try by speaking to convince;
Be other orators of pleasing proud,—
We speak to please ourselves, not move the crowd:
Our gravity prefers the muttering tone,
A proper mixture of the squeak and groan:
No borrow’d grace of action must be seen,
The slightest motion would displease the Dean;
Whilst every staring Graduate would prate,
Against what—he could never imitate.

The man, who hopes t’ obtain the promis’d cup,
Must in one posture stand, and ne’er look up;
Nor stop, but rattle over every word—
No matter what, so it can not be heard:
Thus let him hurry on, nor think to rest:
Who speaks the fastest’s sure to speak the best;
Who utters most within the shortest space,
May, safely, hope to win the wordy race.

The Sons of Science these, who, thus repaid,
Linger in ease in Granta’s sluggish shade;
Where on Cam’s sedgy banks, supine, they lie,
Unknown, unhonour’d live—unwept for die:
Dull as the pictures, which adorn their halls,
They think all learning fix’d within their walls:
In manners rude, in foolish forms precise,
All modern arts affecting to despise;
Yet prizing Bentley’s, Brunck’s, or Porson’s note,
More than the verse on which the critic wrote:
Vain as their honours, heavy as their Ale,
Sad as their wit, and tedious as their tale;
To friendship dead, though not untaught to feel,
When Self and Church demand a Bigot zeal.
With eager haste they court the lord of power,
(Whether ’tis PITT or PETTY rules the hour;)
To him, with suppliant smiles, they bend the head,
While distant mitres to their eyes are spread;
But should a storm o’erwhelm him with disgrace,
They’d fly to seek the next, who fill’d his place.
Such are the men who learning’s treasures guard!
Such is their practice, such is their reward!
This much, at least, we may presume to say—
The premium can’t exceed the price they pay.
Three sang of love together: one with lips
  Crimson, with cheeks and ***** in a glow,
Flushed to the yellow hair and finger-tips;
  And one there sang who soft and smooth as snow
  Bloomed like a tinted hyacinth at a show;
And one was blue with famine after love,
  Who like a harpstring snapped rang harsh and low
The burden of what those were singing of.
One shamed herself in love; one temperately
  Grew gross in soulless love, a sluggish wife;
One famished died for love. Thus two of three
  Took death for love and won him after strife;
One droned in sweetness like a fattened bee:
  All on the threshold, yet all short of life.
It is a land with neither night nor day,
Nor heat nor cold, nor any wind, nor rain,
Nor hills nor valleys; but one even plain
Stretches thro' long unbroken miles away:
While thro' the sluggish air a twilight grey
Broodeth; no moons or seasons wax and wane,
No ebb and flow are there among the main,
No bud-time no leaf-falling there for aye,
No ripple on the sea, no shifting sand,
No beat of wings to stir the stagnant space,
And loveless sea: no trace of days before,
No guarded home, no time-worn restingplace
No future hope no fear forevermore.
Joseph S C Pope Sep 2013
Childhood was the greatest time for Timothy, and he remembers it that way. No disposition on the fact that his parents divorced when he was eight. Just old enough to develop a mental connection with the idea of a union. So when he was ten, his father remarried, moved to a farm in the southeast, and tried living off the land. The topic of an ecological environment had hit the internet heavier than global warming hit the ice caps. And everyone was pursuing happiness with steep drops in city living, and an up swing in rural living.
Timothy's mom refused to believe it though. She wrote about such cultural climates, the invasion of neo-british pop boy bands, the decline of football, and the hippie lifestyle clawing its way back up the columns of big city papers. So when the recession hit, and it suddenly became cool to dress like a homeless person, she saw the disgust, moved overseas and focused on the world-political spectrum.
“Societal fads be ******! I'm going to do something that actually matters.” And she did.
Timothy Glasser, age 82 looks back on that moment with pride.
“There was a sense that she had the ***** to change the world. With Russia building up Imperial popularity, it was cool to be big. America was on the decline by the word of all the heavy-hitter magazines.
“That was when I started to take my life serious. She had shown me all the would-be Bob Dylans, Lennons, Hunter S. Thompsons. She would say, 'These kids have all the brass words of a ****** who can bite down ******* the world, but they don't have the actual brass. Men who are not recognized for what they've done have the brass. Hell, women have ten more pounds of that kind of brass!'
'I would laugh, but she was serious. I think she thought I was too masculine to understand what she was saying.”
When Timothy's father moved him and his little sister, Sunni Glasser out to the backwater community of Oggta-Cornelius, there was a certain relief in his demeanor. In a matter of months the country way of living had worn down his impatience to a sluggish pace.
“Greg was my father's name. He's been raised in a similar place in the Midwest, but the slowness of that life got to him in his teens so he left for the city. I guess when he met my step-mom he found the good ol' girl that he'd been trying to cling to since he left home. And it was Sunni's choice to come with us. She always had the same kind of 'brass' Mom had, but there was a closeness she shared with Dad that adventure couldn't break. It's a **** shame too. But once the slow pace of the backwater hit Sunni, she rebelled. It was a catastrophe to watch her and Dad argue over the most petty things you've ever seen. The way our step-mom, Claire would fold clothes or how early she had to wake up in the morning for school. Five o'clock, five days a week, and sometimes Dad would wake her on Saturday just to punish her for talking back. There was always blood in the water.”
Timothy's face settles, his lower lip curls, and his eyelids clinch for a moment before he changes his position in his chair.
“Is everything okay, Timothy?” I ask.
There is a pause, almost as if he is reliving what he was just describing.
“**** has always been real, you've been fantasizing.” I hear him say. He refuses to look at me, let alone answer my question.
“Mr. Glasser?” I ask again.
He exhales suddenly, eyes watery, and lets out a sigh.
“Let's talk about Sunni. I never really talk about her much, and I think now is a good time. Don't you?”
I nod in agreement and try to give him a smile.
He still refuses to look me in the eye.
“When Sunni was in first grade, she was beginning to prove to be a bit of a handful. There was a small patch of corn out back. Maybe half an acre Dad keep for us to put up for the winter. Sunni was about seven years old around this time and she had the idea to make crop circles. Now I was out with my friends, played football in those days so I didn't have the time to be home all the time. Dad and Claire kept themselves busy with the work about the place, so Sunni got bored real fast. One day during the summer, Dad went to the store to get some groceries. A friend of his came up to him and said, 'I was up in the plane yesterday and I saw something strange in your cornfield. Like some kind of crop circle. Weird ain't it?'
“This rattled my Dad's brain for a few minutes until he got home and saw the two-by-four with rope tied to either end of the thing. Sunni was staring at the clouds and Dad walked over to her, and yanked her up off the grass. 'What are you doing flattening my corn for? Don't you know that's goin' to save us money in the long run?” She just stared at him. Not dumbfounded, just intrigued.
“That was kind of the starting point of their bickering. She had blonde hair running to the base of her skull brushed down neatly. A subtle blush in her cheek from the sun. And she always wore a dress, especially if it had sunflowers on it. She brought life to that house.
“On her tenth birthday, Mom sent her a touch screen phone, an iPhone, I think it was called with a two-year contract. It was so long ago minor facts like that seem to hang on for no reason.”
Timothy shuffles in his chair. Then clears his throat.
“Would you like to take a break, Timothy?” I ask him.
“I ignored most of the arguments Sunni and dad had after I graduated high school. As soon as fall semester started at Cornelius College I fled the backwater and started by life near the OceanFront. Oggta-Cornelius was divided into two sections: the Backwater and OceanFront. And like a sports rivalry there was always trash talk about the tax bracket you were in or how much you worked. After the first few weeks for sneaking into bars and partying on campus, the fun died down because of the arrests. I almost got caught twice, but my sixth sense for trouble tingled at just the right time. When the middle of the semester hit I was over-booked with mid-terms and reading assignments. I actually lived in my dorm then. Never really left the place. And soon fall semester was over. Nothing worth mentioning now. Sunni and I texted often, but she had become a brat and I wanted alone time to learn what I'd read. For everything literary to go beyond just test and quizzes.
“But right towards the end of the semester, one morning I was walking to an early exam and on the ground was a kid, a little older than me lying there looking up at the sky. I had the urge to walk up and ask him what he was doing, but it felt too rude so I left him. I kept walking and heard a voice call back to me, 'Hey, guy.' I turned around, 'Yeah you, come here.'
“I walked up to him, he motioned for me to kneel beside him.
'What day is it?
I told him it was a Monday.
'Really? Wow, must've fell out watching the stars with this gir--'
He reached to his other side, feeling for a body, but no one was there. He never broke eye contact with me.
'Well, with his lovely imaginary girlfriend I have. Her name's Elsie. She's a charm.'
I helped him up and he left without much of a goodbye. A disrespectful mysteriousness. And I didn't see him again till the weather warmed up in the spring semester. Which was a repeat of the fall.”
Timothy asks me for some water. I started to feel like I'm one of his grandkids. How far in the trunk of memories is he going for this information?
“Thank you. Now the next time I saw Alan was in a smoking gazebo along a walking path on campus.
'Hey, guy!” he shouted, getting my attention. I walked back to the gazebo, coughing as the smoke roughhoused it's way into my lungs. He had those circular shades on, like the one John Lennon wore back in the day. A tie around his head, a light blue button up shirt that hung loose off his think frame. His hair was long and parted, and he sported a straggly red and black beard.
'Top of the morning, ta ya.' he said, putting out a cigarette on the tray. I opened my mouth, but all that came out was coughing.
'Course, the Irish don't really say that. It's actually quite racist, but I'm half Irish so no skin of my knuckles. I'm a mutt.'
“He smiled with such pomp. The arrogance was so natural, it fit him like his face. Other people around him were having conversations about Samuel Beckett, John Irving, Stephen King, and Jimmy Hendrix tripping acid together in the great T.A.R.D.I.S. in the sky. I remember laughing at that. They were all smiling at the ludicrous actuality of it happening. And it was late evening.
'Stay! Be silly and merry with us!” he shouted. I held my breath and sat down. I never made it to the rest of my classes that afternoon or for the next week. Alan and I chilled in my dorm, burned incense and plotted a protest. The whole time I was telling him he had to be literal with the cause. It couldn't be just because the college bookstore sold shot glasses, but confiscated any paraphernalia they found in the dorms.
'*******,I say. It's hypocritical and a scam. Like police pulling you over for going two-miles over the limit because they need to feed their kids. It's a Darwin rip-off.'
“Later that week he took my phone while I was sleeping, got my number, and Sunni's too. He never asked if he could come over after that night. He just did.
'I thought it was cool since we had a good time.'
"I didn't know what to say so I let it continue. His reason for stealing Sunni's number still baffles me. He said he thought she was a girl I was into. She was my sister, he was right in his own way. It was a while before he ever texted her.
“The next time I saw him he told me, 'I feel like a clockwork man running on thousands of gallons of caffeine.' I laughed at him and told him to stop reading Burgess.”
I stop Timothy for a moment. “Anthony Burgess? The author of A Clockwork Orange?” He nods and goes back to the story.
“You know, with the Second Cold War flaring up again I don't think it's wise to be worrying about an old man like me. This has been a century of second fillings. There are still Hipsters running about. This makes me feel no better. I want to go home.”
“Alright Mr. Glasser, but can we reschedule? I need to finish this article.” As he rises out of the chair, he agrees and goes for his coat.
“One more question, Mr. Glasser. Can you give me another quote from Alan? A bit of closing for this bit?
He turns around and looks me in the eye for the first time since the beginning of the interview. He squints his eyes at me and says, “When we would hang out at the gazebo where we actually met for the first time, and after that week I got back in the habit of going to class and doing my work. As I would leave I'd say, 'Alright man, I'm off to class, to learn and stuff.' He'd moan about it, and say, 'Look at him now, growing old and dying young.' Behind that same pompous grin."
Pardon that it is fiction, but poetry has inspired this short-short story. Maybe the beginning of work on my novel, but it is along the same lines as "This is why the Hipster dies".
I wait for you to come closer,
To draw closer and tell me
That you can't deal with me
Any more. Not with my
Insane, bordering on
Psychotic, behavior, and
My bipolar mood swings.
But, you draw closer
And you smile right at me,
And draw me into a hug
For a second, that little voice,
Which I am always aware of,
Which tells me I'm never
Going to be good enough
For anyone to accept or like,
Let alone love,
Fades to the back of my mind.
I let myself relax
Into your warm embrace and
I let myself be and believe.
I turn to smile at you...
Before I can see your face,
Your features, I am woken up
From my daydream
By the bell signalling the
End of school. I pack my bag
And head towards my carpool,
My movements sluggish-
Even cheerily wave goodbye to
A few stragglers.
I reach home and eat lunch alone.  
I go for tuition, let myself
Become numb to everything
But learning and understanding.
It becomes darker and it's almost 8,
I come back home again.
I had been out from 7 in the morning.
This time, my family's there and
We eat dinner together, though,
I am barely there with them.
They're discussing important
Things like business and will
Talk to me later.  I finish eating
And go sleep. Tomorrow's going to
Be the exact robotic same.
Millerdeux Mar 2015
Since...
Terrain was ridged
In blinding grime
Sluggish ride devoured darling time
It was dark

Now...
A velvety way
Crisp air purifying the lungs
Time feel scarce
It still dark, but there is luminous light along the way
Jules Mar 2017
'i'm tired,'
i say,
and my mother asks me how, and why;
tells me i haven't been doing that much today.
i don't know how to tell her
that the exhaustion goes deeper than bone,
how the weariness takes my heart in its hold,
seeps into my skull
and settles there.

my art is slow, sluggish;
my writing is a dying fire.
my body is a sunken ship upon my bed
half the time.
my lungs do not breathe, only rattle;
and i?
i am simply tired,
tired,
tired.
this is a horribly sad poem and i'm sorry for it. i'll post a better one soon, promise.
But oh, I suppose she was ugly; she wasn't elegant;
I hadn't yearned for her often in my prayers.
Yet holding her I was limp, and nothing happened at all:
I just lay there, a disgraceful load for her bed.
I wanted it, she did too; and yet no pleasure came
from the part of my sluggish ***** that should bring joy.
The girl entwined her ivory arms around my neck
(her arms were whiter than the Sithonian snows) ,
and gave me greedy kisses, thrusting her fluttering tongue,
and laid her eager thigh against my thigh,
and whispering fond words, called me the lord of her heart
and everything else that lovers murmur in joy.
And yet, as if chill hemlock were smeared upon my body,
my numb limbs would not act out my desire.
I lay there like a log, a fraud, a worthless weight;
my body might as well have been a shadow.
What will my age be like, if old age ever comes,
when even my youth cannot fulfill its role?
Ah, I'm ashamed of my years. I'm young and a man: so what?
I was neither young nor a man in my girlfriend's eyes.
She rose like the sacred priestess who tends the undying flame,
or a sister who's chastely lain at a dear brother's side.
But not long ago blonde Chlide twice, fair Pitho three times,
and Libas three times I enjoyed without a pause.
Corinna, as I recall, required my services
nine times in one short night - and I obliged!
Has some Thessalian potion made my body limp,
injuring me with noxious spells and herbs?
Did some witch hex my name scratched on crimson wax
and stab right through the liver with slender pins?
By spells the grain is blighted and withers to worthless weeds;
by blighting spells the founts run out of water.
Enchantment strips the oaks of acorns, vines of grapes,
and makes fruit fall to earth from unstirred boughs.
Such magic arts could also sap my virile powers.
Perhaps they brought this weakness on my thighs,
and shame at what happened, too; shame made it all the worse:
that was the second reason for my collapse.
Yet what a girl I looked at and touched - but nothing more!
I clung to her as closely as her gown.
Her touch could make the Pylian sage feel young again,
and make Tithonus friskier than his years.
This girl fell to my lot, but no man fell to hers.
What will I ask for now in future prayers?
I believe the mighty gods must rue the gift they gave,
since I have treated it so shabbily.
Surely, I wanted entry: well, she let me in.
Kisses: I got them. To lie at her side: There I was.
What good was such great luck - to gain a powerless throne?
What did I have, except a miser's gold?
I was like the teller of secrets, thirsty at the stream,
looking at fruits forever beyond his grasp.
Whoever rose at dawn from the bed of a tender girl
in a state fit to approach the sacred gods?
I suppose she wasn't willing, she didn't waste her best
caresses on me, try everything to excite me!
That girl could have aroused tough oak and hardest steel
and lifeless boulders with her blandishments.
She surely was a girl to rouse all living men,
but then I was not alive, no longer a man.
What pleasure could a deaf man take in Phemius' song
or painted pictures bring poor Thamyras?
But what joys I envisioned in my private mind,
what ways did I position and portray!
And yet my body lay as if untimely dead,
a shameful sight, limper than yesterday's rose.
Now, look! When it's not needed, it's vigorous and strong;
now it asks for action and for battle.
Lie down, there - shame on you! - most wretched part of me.
These promises of yours took me before.
You trick your master, you made me be caught unarmed,
so that I suffered a great and sorry loss.
Yet this same part my girl did not disdain to take
in hand, fondling it with a gentle motion.
But when she saw no skill she had could make it rise
and that it lay without a sign of life,
'You're mocking me, ' she said. 'You're crazy! Who asked you
to lie down in my bed if you don't want to?
You've come here cursed with woolen threads by some Aeaean
witch, or worn out by some other love.'
And straightway she jumped up, clad in a flowing gown
(beautiful, as she rushed barefoot off) ,
and, lest her maids should know that she had not been touched,
began to wash, concealing the disgrace.
delicatefractal Jun 2011
A sluggish haze
blocks the smell
--vanilla--
from next door.

I sneak into the shower.
Lazhar Bouazzi Sep 2017
I am the quill that marks
The water-walled history
Of the sea as it may -
A swan, be it, or a black-backed
Gull.

I am the pariah who
Failed to posit his load on
A hill that hung low, like a
Sunless moon, but who can still
hark the dark
Rumbling of repetition.

I am the Quixote who took
On the wind who made the mill
Sob like a bronze leaf in grief,
Seared by the passage of
A sluggish summer.

I am the pariah, the
Quixote, and the historian
Of the rainbow runner.

©LazharBouazzi, August 5, 2017
Tadashi Pinder Jun 2015
I go to a gym to run and lift.
After I feel weaker rather than stronger.
I eat for nutrition.
After the meal I feel sluggish and sleepy.
Weakness is a prerequisite of Strength.
Chris Thomas Nov 2017
Metallic heart,
Savor what you can
While you can
And rest where you lie

Rain.

Sanguine flesh,
I will pierce thee
To feverishly rip, and tear
At these rusted-over heartstrings

Rust.

Sluggish pulse,
Hand over calloused hand
Wipe the luster from her brow
And drown me in the clamor

Pain.

Dangerous dreams,
I smell the rain from years away
I recede, and believe
That time won't repair this erosion

Lust.

.
Elizabeth Jul 2018
And after the sun had set and the kitten was sleeping, I’d lie awake dreaming of a me I could never be. I’d lie awake promising a change I would fail to make as the days went by - As I marked my calendar June 29. I lied awake hoping for a chance I would fail to take because somewhere along the way I lost sight of my strengths, I switched paths on who I really wanted to be. But one day I hope I lie awake at night only dreaming of beautiful sunflowers of yellow and sluggish greens. I hope one day I wake up in the morning greeted with warm tea and an overcasting shadow of soft pinks and purples in the sky. I hope one day it’s you and me instead of just me. Just me
Sunflowers of sluggish yellow and green.
On Lolham Brigs in wild and lonely mood
I’ve seen the winter floods their gambols play
Through each old arch that trembled while I stood
Bent o’er its wall to watch the dashing spray
As their old stations would be washed away
Crash came the ice against the jambs and then
A shudder jarred the arches—yet once more
It breasted raving waves and stood agen
To wait the shock as stubborn as before
—White foam brown crested with the russet soil
As washed from new plough lands would dart beneath
Then round and round a thousand eddies boil
On tother side—then pause as if for breath
One minute—and engulphed—like life in death

Whose wrecky stains dart on the floods away
More swift than shadows in a stormy day
Straws trail and turn and steady—all in vain
The engulfing arches shoot them quickly through
The feather dances flutters and again
Darts through the deepest dangers still afloat
Seeming as faireys whisked it from the view
And danced it o’er the waves as pleasures boat
Light hearted as a thought in May—
Trays—uptorn bushes—fence demolished rails
Loaded with weeds in sluggish motions stray
Like water monsters lost each winds and trails
Till near the arches—then as in affright
It plunges—reels—and shudders out of sight

Waves trough—rebound—and fury boil again
Like plunging monsters rising underneath
Who at the top curl up a shaggy main
A moment catching at a surer breath
Then plunging headlong down and down—and on
Each following boil the shadow of the last
And other monsters rise when those are gone
Crest their fringed waves—plunge onward and are past
—The chill air comes around me ocean blea
From bank to bank the waterstrife is spread
Strange birds like snow spots o’er the huzzing sea
Hang where the wild duck hurried past and fled
On roars the flood—all restless to be free
Like trouble wandering to eternity
spysgrandson Feb 2014
I wish I could run with you
in your silent packs  
I have done my share of howling
a prisoner of this sluggish, two legged species
that cannot chase down prey
or take flight, without the crafted creations
of others,
I can, if I wade warily through
waves of wind, and time,
dance with you,
on moon grazed prairies  
but only until the sun cracks the dawn
and exposes me, for the vain actor I am
Shumanitutonka ob wachi is Lakota for dances with wolves
Sally A Bayan Jul 2018
The sight of rain,
of wet clothes, wet plants,
wet doorsteps, wet hopes and dreams,
and, that known scent of sadness and grief
all these...create soggy, sluggish minds

we just lost two dogs to the virus
the glum of monsoon rains affects the moods
the "yays" from cancelled classes
have all passed...
sun is shining, not too bright, though,
peeps like a tease, but,
enough to dry the ground...

i see vacant lots...almost naked now
motor's droning hum is a lullaby
that lulls the mind
a strong smell stirs the nostrils and
defines a welcome pleasance...
i sniff....and chase away sadness,
with this intriguing scent
.....of freshly cut grass....


Sally

© Rosalia Rosario A. Bayan
    July 25, 2018
Ray Suarez Sep 2015
Ah!
She's latina thigh
Ice cream
With shining blank
Teeth, skin, and soul
She gazes fiercely
Though terrified
At this sluggish life
Her quiet cotton voice
Stabs me in the chest
Baby, take my blood
Take my eyes
And whatever morsel of soul
You can **** from my body
I'm on fire
Forever burning lust
Like gasoline
For you
I clench my fists
And want to scream
You are inspiring
Honey, you look
So good
Victoria Truax Jun 2013
The caterpillar was raised by worms.
The worms loved the caterpillar,
But the worms didn't know much
About the caterpillar's nature.
They tried to understand,
And they tried to help as best they could,
But when the caterpillar got really hungry,
All they could understand was that
They had never been so hungry,
And they were happy,
And if the caterpillar wasn't careful,
He would become corpulent and fat.

So in their kind, ignorant, wormy way,
The wonderful worm family
Discouraged the caterpillar from eating too much,
And being too hungry.

The caterpillar was confused,
But he loved his worm family
So he tried his best to eat less and
Not get too hungry.

But the less the caterpillar ate,
The more hungry he got,
Until he was so starving,
He didn't even feel like himself.
He felt sad and sluggish and purposeless.

Then, in the middle of the night,
The caterpillar snuck up to he favourite leafy tree,
To just get a small midnight snack.
Before he knew it though, he had eaten
An entire branch of leaves.

And the caterpillar was still hungry.

He couldn't get enough.
He ate all through the night, and into the next day.
When his worm family awoke,
They saw the caterpillar up in the tree
Eating away.
They tried their best to get the caterpillar to stop,
But it was too late.

Soon with tears in their eyes,
The worms saw they're dear brother
Become sluggish and
Tired.
Until finally
The caterpillar wrapped himself up in a whitened
Casket, and hang motionless in a leafy
Grave.

The worm family mourned the loss of their beloved caterpillar brother,
And once again warned the other children about the dangers
Of being too hungry.

A few days later,
One of the wormy sisters went to visit her brother's grave.
But when she arrived she saw the most miraculous thing!
A butterfly was emerging from her brother's tomb.

The caterpillar-butterfly
Was not angry at the worms for trying to stop him from becoming a butterfly,
They didn't know he would be able to
Be a butterfly after all,
And they were just trying to keep the caterpillar from harm.

After the family had a beautiful reunion,
The butterfly flew away to somewhere
He could be hungry, and beautiful. And
Somewhere he could fly.
Evan Backward Mar 2012
If I stayed any longer,
Who knows?
I might have gone insane too.

He told me his name.
I never asked him why he was there,
Why everyone else avoided him.  

I regret it now
But now is not the time,
There is no time left.  

He said he could get out
Whenever he wanted.
He just had no reason to go.  
He told me if I would come with him,
Stay with him forever, we’d leave.  

Can you imagine that?
He even said he loved me.  
The weirdest part is, I think I loved him to.
I would keep trying to remember
Where this love was taking place,
In this asylum but, I always forgot.

All we had to do was walk out.  
Nobody touched us.  
When we were out, we ran, and ran, and ran.  
In the middle of the forest,
There was no way they could find us,
We still wanted to be safe.

We found a cave in which we could stay,
Until we had enough strength to explore.
There was plenty of apples and firewood around.  
That first night, I just ate, and ate, and ate.  

I noted the big willow tree
and boulder next to the exit.
Natural, and calm.
This was a place of my refuge,
Where I would be happy.

We set out to explore,
The cave must have been close to the surface,
There were cracks in the ceiling that lit our way.
The cave was filled with tunnel after tunnel.  
Sometimes the tunnel would split into five or six
And we would have to choose one.
Giving the false sense of direction
As we wandered, aimless.
  
When I got scared,
He would assure me it would all be fine.
That must have been the worst lie,
Anyone has ever told me.

I finally worked up the courage
To ask him why he was in the asylum.  
He told me he could fool the mind.
Fool it into believing its body was in pain,
He said his looks could ****.

I scoffed.  

He stared at me,
Completely bewildered.  
I clearly thought him insane.  
He let that slide.  

He never kissed me fully, passionately.  
They were always short and sweet.  
He only brushed my face
When he wanted me to calm down,
Making jokes whenever
I was having second thoughts.
  
He was using me.  
I was a shield, nothing more.  
I would have to be disposed of.

Back to staring,
I realized that his back
Is not made of duck feathers.
My scoff doesn't slide.

I ran faster I’d ever run before.
All this flew through my mind
As I scrambled up from the cave floor for the third time.
The exit was just around the corner.
It just had to be.  

As I stumbled back
Onto the cold hard rock
The exit came into view.
I saw the light shimmering on the broken rock.
The shadow of a willow tree.
Ironically I was so happy I could cry.  
I’d hide in the trees
I’d never have to see this murderer again.  
Tripped for the fourth time.

I looked up,
Still sprawled out on the cave floor.  
There was a hole in the ceiling,
Sending shattered shafts of light to where I was lying.  
I watched the dust fall in lazy spirals.

I jumped off the floor.
Back to my peril,  
I heard his sluggish footsteps.
Turned around for one last look.
He stood in those shattered beams of light
Glaring at me.

Now on my feet, I stood
In the dark half of the spacious hall of rock
As if that would help my situation.  
If only I could fade into the shadows.  
I was trapped.
With no escape but the cave's tunnels behind me,
Or the death awaiting me.  

Just a few more steps back.  

He’s eyes snapped to my feet,
"You don’t want to do that.”
Back to my face.
His smile was only evident in his voice.
He was right.  
I didn’t want to die in that moment.  

The room’s light darkened
As if someone had put out the sun.
I knew it was coming.

I loved him.
He may not love me now.
He may never have.
But I don’t care.  
If I never loved him,
I may not be in this situation,
I might not be about to die.  
But I think just maybe,
It was worth it.  

Those smiles,
Stolen kisses and touches,
Just the sound of his voice.
Running in the middle of the forest
Away from the asylum.
It was all worth the pain I was about to feel.  

We stood staring at each other,
Waiting for the other to make the first move.  
The tension mounted.
Hatred started coming off him in waves,  
Hitting me over and over
Threatening to pull me under.  
I could feel his anger.

The air seemed to thicken,
Weighing down on me,
Forcing from me my last breath.
Draining me of what little strength
I had left to remain standing.

I began to gasp for air,
Unable to feel my lungs expand.
Feel the relief of oxygen in my blood.  
My eyes were locked in his
Begging to turn away,
To save my life.  

I was mesmerized.
Like prey waiting for the snake to strike  
I watched helplessly as his face,
Distorted with anger, began to twitch.  

I could see the words that would end this,
Begin to form on his lips.
Waiting to be released.
***** off his spit stained *****.  
After the agony of anticipation seemed to reach its peak.  
They dropped like acid into the open air.

I lost the fight against the pressure.
Finally crumbling under the strain,
I rested on my knees.
Holding my head in my hands
Preparing to resist the attack.

It hit me full force
Like a subway train at full speed.
I did all I could not to cry out,
To give in to this miserable existence,
To give him the satisfaction of my death.  

I broke out in a cold sweat
As my muscles continued to fight,
Melting with the strain.  
Adrenaline pumped through my veins
As the true attack began.  

The pain started at the tips of my fingers and toes.  
Slowly crawling, burning,
It continued to eat away at my flesh.  

Much to my dismay
I remained intact
But paralyzed by the pain
Unable to run away,
To escape it.

I was unaware of the storm of tears
Falling from my cheeks.  
Oblivious that he continued to circle closer,
Waiting for his moment to strike.  

The pain began to worsen,
Shifting from fire to lava,
Lava to lightning.  
It was unimaginable, indescribable.

Then I lost control.
This body– it was no longer mine.
It began to betray me.  
It shuddered, then shook spasmodically.  

Its back arched knowing what was to come next,
Preparing as the bubble of air was pushed slowly
Up its tongue, against its lips.
Its blood curdling,
Gut wrenching shriek
Lasted mere hundredths of a second.

He comes into view for a brief moment.
My eyes roll back into my head,
And I lose myself in the blackness.  
Emily Jones Oct 2012
Eros
In my soul
Taking my breath
Thrumming in my heart

Eros
In your touch
The flitting-fondness of skin to skin
Sweat, beaded-trickle down
Salted flesh
Curly topped, flayed on satin

Eros
In your taste
The sweet tangle of tongue
Twisted-cheeky
Raspberried laughter

Eros
In the presence of your wit
The clever-confines of your mind
Depressed-displacement of your thought
Sophia

Eros
From one being to another
Thundering
Chaotic in my breast
Burning my throat
Scalding-stinging
Across the distance

Eros
In the silence of contentment
With arms wrapped
Smooth
Held close to the rhythm of your light
The hammering of blood

Pacing
Pitter
     Patter
        Sluggish-slowing
Lull of sleep
Eros, even in my dreams

Σε στιγμές σαν και αυτές που φέρνουν μου όλου του κόσμου για να γονατίσει
(In moments like these you bring my whole world to its knees.)
Eros- Greek word for passionate love, romantic love.
Sophia- Greek word for wisdom
If you wonder why I only stay for hours,
and pull out of your drive at midnight..
Its because I don't want you to see me
pulling at my skin and
clawing at my face.
I don't want you to see me
snap rubber bands on my wrists to
hide the lines the next morning.
I don't want you to see me,
Tear streaked,
Red faced,
Screaming out at everything inside of me,
Trying to cut the broken pieces out of myself,
Tongue black from the smoke
and sluggish from the bottle.
Have you ever noticed that you've necer seen me cry?
You've never seen me bleed?
No.
Because once I start, I can't stop.
I'm going from bad to worse,
and I refuse to take you with me.
Joshua Quinones Nov 2011
It rained a lot that June,
and July,
and August,
but mostly June;
probably no more than any other start of summer,
or middle,
or end.

But this time I was there
to feel it;
to hear it; to smell it,
and to watch it from a splintery chestnut bench
beneath the sheltering arms of Blueberry.

It was an eyelid-drooping-day
(that day we arrived),
and I remember well
the syrupy spread of hazy heat
o’er that frog polluted lake (or pond)
and the perspiration, all but dripping from every spruce
(or hemlock).

“And this,” David said, “is the Barn.”
Cracked and shaky it stood
like a dusty, weathered book,
unwanted, tossed into the woods.
“Here stay the pigs and the horses.”

“And this,” Daniel said, “is the animal pen.”
Where goats and sheep of black and white
roved their cells with passive acceptance,
and puppies pawed and nipped at each other’s ears,
and ducks awaited the arrival of a hungry fox
(that blasted, blasted fox)

And then the Taj Mahal
like a jewel protruding from the forest’s earthy *****,
sporting its sparkling bathroom
stretching on as a football field,
complete with stadium seats
of the finest porcelain.

Through the burning day we rambled,
every inhale, a different experience—
for me: aromas of the new
to someday fashion potent memories,
for them: a blissful return.
Like coming home
(as in fact it was).

And though it had a night,
that day could run forever
on a thin white track
picked freshly off the stack,
but it won’t
for it was but the first domino
and maybe even the one that is blank on both sides.

Lazily we fell
as if onto the moon
through mornings of sluggish scrubbing,
afternoons of anything, anything at all,
and bare-chest-bonfire nights.

And that rubber ball
loving no one like it did Philip.
With solid swings; fantastic flourishes
his hand was as God’s—
directing the perilous orbit with ease
and the care of a diamond cutter.

And so it was us,
the four:
I, the brothers, and the ruler of the tethered pole
conquering seven foot ping pong tables
and seven acre deer fences
and mountains.

So passed weeks, and we were diminished
to a trio
for David had stepped off of the continent
to the land of the “highest” religion,
but we didn’t miss a beat
and plowed through month’s end, ridding our bodies of water
through nothing but sweat.

And we held every moment for ransom
forcing the next to give us better
so by sunset we were rich as kings,
and then Robin Hood would slip out of the woods
and rob us blind ‘til we awoke
and stole it all back.
    
So came July,
trotting in with bloated pride
upon his mighty steed of white
and red
and blue,
and us:  riding cheerfully behind.

It was a splendid night on moon-streaked shores
where once again we fell
to one less than three,
and Daniel with his ancient mandolin,
    and I with hearty laughter
played the night a song more lovely even than those steady, falling waves
under bottle rocket stars.

Then celebration folded
as peace made way
for mighty conqueror’s return,
and we paraded through the streets
(gravel strewn, and dusty clouded),
four flags raised high on their posts
once again.

Our arrival was rejoiced
and met with days of games and feasting,
and we embraced our loyal subjects
and friends
and family
and bathed in bliss until our skin wrinkled.

The festivities were a glorious potpourri
of doctor ball and bombardment,
frisbee goal and son of prisoner’s base,
but one kicked dust in all of there faces
and was known to only us.

The most dangerous game,
in expansive fields of ferns and fiery thorns
and rivers of knotted rhododendrons
was played,
and we were darting swallows, prancing fawns, and stealthy owls
hunters and hunted
wielding broken hockey sticks.

Our war wounds burned
when merged with the salty grime
of humidity and blood
and ravenous gnats.
Gritting our teeth, we brandished our staves,
Hacking through brush, towards survival.

Each quivering breath—
an alarm
-to prey or predator-
‘til we discovered it was just our own,
and then a snapping twig
would bulge our eyes and wretch our heads
to put us right back on our guard.

And when the chase was on
it was a race against the beating of our hearts
(whose footsteps may have ran a mile
in a minute).
With flailing arms, wildly we sprinted
grateful to the wind
for tending to our wounds.

And it always came down to three:
two to make the wolf
against one to make the timid hare,
and our brilliant, clashing swordplay
out-rang the tick of the clock
until our arms were merely crutches
held firm against our quavering knees.  
      
Hungry, weary, we returned
to eat our fill and drink
nearly twenty glasses of water,
and Nate: his nine cups of tea,
and Sarah: her mug, larger than the coffee *** itself,
and Rhodan: the entire pond
for his sweat-rag had ****** him bone dry.

We sat impatiently
conversing through our grinning teeth
who yearned to navigate the textures of the awaited food.
And then it arrived,
shoved out onto ebony countertops,
accompanied by salt
and pepper.

We downed every morsel
in a single,
hour-long gulp,
then cursed our gluttonous guts
for expanding far beyond their boundaries
and sat
for walking was as thin a hope as eating dessert.

Rhodan then reached his charcoal hand
and swiped the salt from where it had static stood:
beneath the feet of its dark companion.
I watched in wonder as the dropped container swayed and swayed—
a drunkard with his shoes nailed firmly to the ground—,
then righted itself with a final shake.

We all declared it simple
and stacked the salt atop the dusky survivor.
Swipe after swipe, we beat that pepper ******
and left the pale mineral to gravity’s mercy,
rebuilding and razing again and again
our cookies n’ cream totem pole,
but not a soul prevailed.

Finally, Rhodan interrupted our failures,
and between squeaking giggles voiced,
“Well, you can’t do it that way!”
and gently helped the milky shaker to its feet
and retrieved the other battered building block.

“You see,”  
he said while delicately setting his stage
“the pepper must always be on top.”
With a blink he swept his hand across the table
rendering the black bottle dizzy
but securely parked in its place.
“It’s the only one that can land on its feet.”

Amazed, we tried again,
of course
and succeeded for the most part,
both perplexed and delighted—
a combination that is
a magician’s best friend.

Although, Rhodan was no magician,
just a giddy boy
who understood simple physics
and lived for moments where he could explain
his confused and jumbled symbolism
(the kind that you know you could discover
if you searched for half of a Summer).

Then August
Where time, not at all anxious to win,
slowed tremendously on the homestretch.
Every day that passed was a cloud
who emptied all of its contents
before waving goodbye.

The water slowed our falling bodies even more
(as water tends to do),
and David with his quiet disposition
sung the loudest, danced the wildest
at waning firesides,
and soon we all began to wish
that we would never land.

And as the ground rushed ever nearer
we made our final mark
on brim of mighty mountain
whose shadow had generously cooled us from the sun
all Summer.

And the skies leased a stronger storm
than any we had ever beheld,
and gazing from that towering peak
into the face of midday’s cloud,
we thanked God
for not dropping us as hard as he did that rain.

And now, thinking back,
I would say it rained more in August
than in June
for that single afternoon of thunder shattered skies
must have drowned the earth a thousand times over
and then some.

And when we made our dripping descent,
I heard the echo of a gleeful voice
revealing the secret,  
and I knew then that we were pepper,
that we would land feet first
so as to leap straight up again.

That we would soar
  from the chalky flats of that pallid moon
to discover planets of lower gravity
and more rain
and greener forests
and higher towers.
Valo Salo Aug 2015
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Arcassin B Sep 2018
By Arcassin Burnham

this is so lovely and this is so weird with Nature's intention for humans
to fear,
I never had problems with anyone here,
They came up so ignorant , but will cry
tears,
the people are sluggish and drowning in sorrows,
there are no handouts ,from me you can't borrow,
you speak ill of my name then I won't hesitate
to let these motor hands go, leave you
slump though.
If I didn't know better , I would say these
are the worse days.
Did enough harm and now to me you can
not phase.
Tired of not using my brain to get out of this life.
I'm pretty chill today got nothing to do on the side.
©abpoetry2018

https://arcassin.blogspot.com/2018/09/sluggish.html
Dark n Beautiful Nov 2013
I’m not a hideous wall flower;
school girl steam pleat, designer girl,
Nike or Jordon’s silly Preteen, air heads
I’m gifted, provocative,
I am the teen princess.

I able to fuss, blush and rebel,
I’m awkward, backward,
I am Peppy long stocking;
I’m all that!
I am teen of the pack;
I am not likely to turn back
I am your commercial, billboard cover story

Smarter than you can imagine,
I am passionate,
but a little old fashion, yet modern,
bold and witty,
Oh yes!
I’m so ambitious, super delicious, super fly
with an upbeat modernize Hollywood red carpet style
I speak in a youthful way;
that’s my urban thesaurus

I am not curse, the curse that invades your privacy,
sometimes, I am sluggish and  downright lazy?
I am mommy baby and Daddy maybe
However, I’m no wall flower
A Tayea May 2012
Texting somebody close to you,
Gossiping,
Chatting,
OMGees are all flying around,
LoLs flooding your tiny box,
Yet you're determined to stay aground.

I always have wondered why to limit,
Why to cap English or inhibit,
Replacing good ol’ words with some wicked text,
Emoticons they call,
Insipid, dull, and sluggish,
Emoticons they’re called.

Although indolence has reached its bounds,
And although my vote is utterly trifling,
Admit it,
Concede it,
Conclude it,
Emoticons’ presence should be abolished.
Crystal Erickson Dec 2014
After decades and decades of distance
I've found you
The sluggish, torturous moments of the laps
have finally passed.
Time has bruised me, pounded me, bled me
to the core.
Hours spent as a pack of wolves,
howling for a soul.
I've hunted, starving in my travels.
Searching for you.
Me, a pack of hunting dogs not just stalking
quietly through still woods....
but bolting with snarling furled lips....
exposing razor sharp fangs to sink deep within
the throat of the love I long for.
Hold tight until the struggling gazelle gasps its last.
The hunt is over,
the heart full from the gorging.
Purring in each others company.
While resting tranquilly on the aromatic clover.
Riffles unable to focus, our stripes blending,
as our bodies merge.
The great cats we are, no predator to fear.
We slumber and bask in our regal glory.
Our cat eyes fixed on each other!

© Crystal Erickson  12/14/07
Arcassin B Jun 2016
By Arcassin Burnham

I lay my head knowing you'll recover,
Losing every inch of mind that I had,
Pouring cola in the sink where I sob,
For that I'd be glad,
I'm dishing out the good with the bad,
I'm sick of feeling sad,
I think I really need a friend,
I'm knowing that my heart lives deep in the
Lawn,
Can not pretend,
I'm sluggish but it can't get me down,
No matter what happens in my life,
Stretching to stars just feel something taking
Flight,

Think about the children and the mothers,
You know they say that life is what you make it,
Conscious leaking everywhere so I know,
That this feeling I can't shake it,
Knowing that in life I can not fake it,
I'm nearly irritated,
I really freaking need a friend,
I'll never know what happens til it's too
Late and then I'll see the end,
I'm sluggish but it can't get me down,
No matter what happens in my life,
I'm putting down the gun and throwing it
In the river now I have a flashlight,
I'm sluggish but it can't get me down,
No matter what occurs in my life,
I can't stand the moon or the sun for
It is my personal guide.
http://abpoefall.blogspot.com/2016/06/f-l-l-e-n-lp-deluxe-edition.html
mEb Oct 2010
You hear those saint fainted swines? Slopping around ****** in muck. For hogs seeking bogs, bespatter the pink with thick mire. Dull sluggish foul smelled trolls, basking a bridges under cove, feasting on distant mare. But old boar’s belly’s’ under grown, he has not self meat to spare. Go elsewhere wise butcher. Go elsewhere. Grieve not thy ******* of purification, instead satisfactory of sales. He has not the soul to touch rare blood of a bessy hung by hook. Sars covered hands, sars drenched the feet. Not here butcher, elsewhere lay menial meat.
There are false idols in my room.
There are false idols in my head.
To idols, I have lent my life.
To idols, I have lent my bed.
Statues of the world I seek,
Semblances of what I know,
Truth has burnt its image here,
But ever floated on, its glow.
Holding tight to broken dreams
That crumble-crackle as I clutch,
I could have built them pinions fair
But I have strangled them too much.
Now fresh lucidity is here
To wake me from my sluggish sleep
Oh, glorious sanctity of light
Your mindful meaning I shall keep.
09/22/12




To letting go.
ottaross Nov 2013
[Hint - it's fun to read this one out loud :) ]*

Upon a crusty and spinning crag
Herbert's trusty craft did set,
Out beyond the path of Mars
In an asteroid belt they met.

Picked from out of thousands there
He selected a rocky home,
The perfect kind of rocky mass
To end his spacely roam.

First Ceres was too large and bold
And Pallas was too pale,
Old Vesta flew with sluggish wings
And Hygiea seemed too frail..

Ah, Sylvia seemed a likely rock
And her orbit seemed fine too,
But t'was Juno caught his eye at last
So what else could he do?

He sat his craft upon that rock
And loosed his robot throng,
Soon they mined and smelted ore
And built a structure strong.

That dome rose up with welded struts
To stand on a bright-lit plain,
The jewel-like panes filled out the place
O'er that kingdom he would reign.

Industrious 'bots and a stately home
So there did Herbert rule,
O'er a stark and rocky, lonely view
In the asteroid belt so cruel.

T'was far away to the nearest soul
No one to share Herb's tea,
To simply chat or share a bite
How lovely would that be?

Deep beneath old Juno's crust
'Bots mined for all their worth
Pulling out rare stuff and gems
And sending them to Earth.

But all the gold and diamond stones
Could hardly even start,
To fill the void that Herbert felt
Where he knew he kept a heart.

Yet, several rocky asteroids out
Across that rocky belt,
Another set upon her task
With ores and **** to melt.

Past Callisto and Iris zones
Where Cybele and Psyche spin
Fair Susanna tended Hektor's mines
Of silver, zinc and tin.

Now orbits often twist and dance
And trade with one another,
Where one boulder once was kin
There soon will be some other.

T'was thus that Herbert's Juno rock
Slowly made it's way,
To catch-up Susie's Hektor world
And shadow it one day.

Sue looked out her glass abode
To see what blocked the sun,
Then seeing Juno with its mines
A visit seemed like fun.

Toward a spot near Herbert's ship
Suzanna's came a-falling,
Imagine Herbert's bright surprise
Seeing visitors a-calling.

A shapely suit with bubble head
And jet-pack soon came floating,
To Herbert's door that afternoon
The sight had him emoting.

"Well hello there friend, and who are you
That to my rock comes knocking?"
"Just another miner fool
Whose sun your Juno's blocking"

"In just a little while, I'm sure
Our asteroids will part,
So why not stay a little while
And a friendship we can start?"

Double shipments soon they made
To send away to Earth
While their robots toiled each day
The sweethearts shared their mirth.

Great love did our Herb and Susie share
Built on those pleasant talks
And soon a tractor beam they fixed
Between their drifting rocks.

And still today in spacers' lore
They talk about that tether,
That linked two hearts among the rocks
Two asteroids bound together.
Oh love! that stronger art than Wine,
Pleasing Delusion, Witchery divine,
Wont to be priz'd above all Wealth,
Disease that has more Joys than Health;
Though we blaspheme thee in our Pain,
And of Tyranny complain,
We are all better'd by thy Reign.

What Reason never can bestow,
We to this useful Passion owe:
Love wakes the dull from sluggish ease,
And learns a Clown the Art to please:
Humbles the Vain, kindles the Cold,
Makes Misers free, and Cowards bold;
And teaches airy Fops to think.

When full brute Appetite is fed,
And choakd the Glutton lies and dead;
Thou new Spirits dost dispense,
And fine'st the gross Delights of Sense.

Virtue's unconquerable Aid
That against Nature can persuade;
And makes a roving Mind retire
Within the Bounds of just Desire.
Chearer of Age, Youth's kind Unrest,
And half the Heaven of the blest!
On being asked, Whence is the flower?

In May, when sea-winds pierced our solitudes,
I found the fresh Rhodora in the woods,
Spreading its leafless blooms in a damp nook,
To please the desert and the sluggish brook.
The purple petals, fallen in the pool,
Made the black water with their beauty gay;
Here might the red-bird come his plumes to cool,
And court the flower that cheapens his array.
Rhodora! if the sages ask thee why
This charm is wasted on the earth and sky,
Tell them, dear, that if eyes were made for seeing,
Then Beauty is its own excuse for being:
Why thou wert there, O rival of the rose!
I never thought to ask, I never knew:
But, in my simple ignorance, suppose
The self-same Power that brought me there brought you.

— The End —