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Alyssa Underwood Dec 2016
O morning sky of endless blue
Tinged with purply-pinky hue
You tell me of His mercies new
Whose heart pursues my own

O geese in wingèd winter's flight
Your honking cries arouse delight
And lift my gaze to seek thy sight
As wooing from His hand

O softest breeze which skims my face
And stirs with such mysterious grace
My soul to reach for Love’s embrace
You brush me with His kiss

O snowflakes falling to the ground
You pierce my heart without a sound
To crave a purity only found
Beneath a bloodied cross

O setting sun in half-light glowing
Waning day’s last glorious blush showing
You paint with fire my spirit’s own knowing—
This life is fading fast

O stars of midnight’s blackest sky
Paraded forth, you pull my eye
Toward One Who speaks this ceaseless cry:
“I’m coming back for you.”

O creeping fog to dawn’s light clinging
You whisper, Love’s veiled message bringing,
With haunting echoes faintly singing,
“Lose all of you in Him.”
~~~

"The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge. They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them. Yet their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world."  ~ Psalm 19:1-4a

~~~
CK Baker Feb 2017
it falls through the glow of the wintery trees
building a cover under the breeze
luminous lights sparkle and hatch
snow pack high on the briar patch

pine cones fall from majestic fir
squirrel and robin rustle and stir
sitka spruce at tunnel bluffs
ravens roost on cedar rough

dusted peaks at hurley pass
snowline cuts the avalanche
fox and lynx are on the prowl
hollow eyes from spotted owl

cool winds up the valley trail
whirling snow from diamond vale
chilling flakes in candle hands
moonlight shines across the land

northern lights in krypton green
the sounds of verve are bitter sweet
curtains hang on a cold dark sky
counting stars, a lullaby
CK Baker Dec 2016
~ Ode to Joy ~

White gold ambassador
canine past eight
soul seekers ascend
(from cirque to seven)
to peak
to peak
to peak

Saddlerock spearhead
ptarmigan
and flute
Christmas trees
in winter glades
over dusted crystal scape

Fissile (eiger) sanction
open shale and tusk
indiscriminate members
roll the bluffs
and ice falls
above the
north face steep

dead dawn silent
breathless, bitter cold
the beating hearts
and brahmas
warm the spirit
of pakalolo
Donall Dempsey Aug 2018
SNOW FALLS

She wakes to a morning
with no reason for living

cries in the mirror
to be forgiven.

Puts on her make-up
takes off her clothes

sits there & bleeds
until she can’t feel

the blood in her veins
...runs cold.

The razorblade
bleeds...bleeds.

The cat cries
to be fed.

The batteries in her Walkman
go dead.

The Rachmaninov stops.

A letter she will never read
drops on the Welcome mat.

A mobile rings & rings &...stops.

A member of a minor political party
looking for her vote

rings the doorbell twice
slips on the ice    &   ruins his coat.

Curses.

A man laughs at another man’s joke.
It’s a big laugh...he’s a big bloke.

Laughter invades the square.

There’s a chill in the air.

A friend calls for her
(to go on a blind date)  

...she doesn’t hear.

Snow...
...snow...
...snow falls.
King Panda Feb 2016
you went sledding
with the kids
while I filed the paperwork
and cried

I used to be your lady boy
shining in green pit-bar light
as you kissed me like
the kids were with my mother
stuck at the bottom of the
treehouse slide in a pile
in mud
laughing
when

in reality they were
just budding inside of you
fertilized with apple liquor
and the perfume smoking
from my chest as you
unbuttoned the first few
revealing the scar left by
my brother's first pocket knife

the skin of my young years
the skin I am wearing now
cut by these ******* papers as
you freeze
tearlessly
in a pom pom hat
teaching our babies how to make
the perfect snowball
CK Baker Jan 2017
cedar planks line the dim lit hall
morning snow begins to fall
sepia print in a chip wood frame
embers spark from the franklin flame

rustling sounds from bunks below
records play in a tight alcove
bacon grills on the iron sheet
gloves are warmed by baseboard heat

bean bags tossed on colored ****
papka placed as a punching bag
red brick wall with mounted poles
windows filled with glacier bowls

whiskey jack on the southern rail
a frozen patch of wine and ale
pine cones fall in gathering white
brothers bathed in firelight

sleighs are on the table top
canyon road is at a stop
northern winds that bite the face
lines are up the gondola base

cornice clipped on gully goat
the rubber man appears to float
alpine depths are on the rise
peaking sun through parting skies

triple ropes and nordic luge
honored guests from baton rouge
gelande jumps on rainbow drive
nostalgia’s light and warm reply
Knit Personality Dec 2014
The wicked wind, it whips the snow,
And howls a bent and wavering tone,—
   A long, drawn-out moan,—
A blue-note hoarse and full of woe.

* .
King Panda Nov 2015
it started with a jaw
twitch vibrating ear
to lip side to side up
and down like I was a horse
shaking off a fly I
saw her legs spread
scissors in hand
as her head popped
and popped
and
popped
like a jack-in-the-box film
screening 3 inches in front
of my eyes until I hid
in a barrel and kept on
driving
north to wherever
lights off and
hooting like a madman
to visions of ariana grande
standing
out in the snow with a purple
beanie and frozen mittens
waiting for me to pull up
the driveway tumble out
the car door and say
you were right
so she can pour hot chocolate
on my face and walk back
inside to stoke the dying
fire
September Roses Oct 2018
The arctic cold has brushed my cheek once again
The skies are stained white
and the ringing in my ears
is louder than ever
I wonder what the clouds are doing, I never see them anymore
The night doesnt come but the sun doesn't shine
I have a silver notebook
I write, spearmint
Because my eyes are watering but I feel nothing
The world is dry while the air is full
And the heavens take their morning pills
Wash their face
Head off sleepily to begrudgingly watch the icy seas
The wind bites my cheeks
But moves in such silence I wonder if the feeling is not just my routine punishment
At least I'm used to my spirits
At least I have a jacket on
At least the heavens didnt take a sick day all together.
Another Jun 2018
To what her words were softly spoken,
Weren’t they heard from the pushful ceiling?
Was there no other way to carry her softly upon shaken ground?
he held onto what she last felt then,
past his hearing the searing heart momentarily settled
Until it could no more
In the last whimper of sadness
Gone was her feeling, her letter of breathe and pith given to him
From him did he wail with expression
Welling was his lower sockets, with overbearing pressure did they overfill with premature remorse
Down,
down did they fall
tears had dripped over her face..
..Fallen from his grasp, a once braced, blackened tapestry, surges upward
he witnessed the blinds closing, her eyes watching
Overheard with great loudness she was deaf
Shallowed was that of their former laughter
Silence hurried the rush toward the floor’s
liberation  
a sunlit evening wilted dry in prosperity..
Dissipated was all perspiration
In a timely fashion she was not heard anymore nor seen for heaviness was all that some bore
The extraordinary pain I couldn’t understand then
For the reasons that caused its formation
If only..
there were enough hands to lead her to another way, another place
warmed but not displaced
She no longer knows where to go..
She’s gone unnoticed..
I can’t feel her presence anymore
yes, we’ll see another once again
From a pain stricken moment
Left in vespertine
Along those painless places
Where all that lingers high above the ambience
Will be your very childlike presence
Shown upon in your own exuberant smile
Thenceforth into tomorrow
Farewell till then
I have but one thing to say, please be kind to others as you would like others to be toward you.
And another thing, leap forward out of your comfort zone to help someone from leaping off the marked ledge of ‘enough’. It happens too often and I could say I know the reasons why, for others for their sake if only I could take on their pain. complicated is life huh.

—seeing her fall through hopelessly murmuring what would be her final words to the man striving to hold onto her pleading for her to stay within his grasp, she simply didn’t want to hold on anymore, tired by life’s hard trials. So am I. isn’t everyone
ConnectHook Feb 2016
by John Greenleaf Whittier  (1807 – 1892)

“As the Spirits of Darkness be stronger in the dark, so Good Spirits which be Angels of Light are augmented not only by the Divine Light of the Sun, but also by our common Wood fire: and as the celestial Fire drives away dark spirits, so also this our Fire of Wood doth the same.”

COR. AGRIPPA, Occult Philosophy, Book I. chap. v.

“Announced by all the trumpets of the sky,
Arrives the snow; and, driving o’er the fields,
Seems nowhere to alight; the whited air
Hides hills and woods, the river and the heaven,
And veils the farm-house at the garden’s end.
The sled and traveller stopped, the courier’s feet
Delayed, all friends shut out, the housemates sit
Around the radiant fireplace, enclosed
In a tumultuous privacy of storm.”


EMERSON

The sun that brief December day
Rose cheerless over hills of gray,
And, darkly circled, gave at noon
A sadder light than waning moon.
Slow tracing down the thickening sky
Its mute and ominous prophecy,
A portent seeming less than threat,
It sank from sight before it set.
A chill no coat, however stout,
Of homespun stuff could quite shut out,
A hard, dull bitterness of cold,
That checked, mid-vein, the circling race
Of life-blood in the sharpened face,
The coming of the snow-storm told.
The wind blew east; we heard the roar
Of Ocean on his wintry shore,
And felt the strong pulse throbbing there
Beat with low rhythm our inland air.

Meanwhile we did our nightly chores, —
Brought in the wood from out of doors,
Littered the stalls, and from the mows
Raked down the herd’s-grass for the cows;
Heard the horse whinnying for his corn;
And, sharply clashing horn on horn,
Impatient down the stanchion rows
The cattle shake their walnut bows;
While, peering from his early perch
Upon the scaffold’s pole of birch,
The **** his crested helmet bent
And down his querulous challenge sent.

Unwarmed by any sunset light
The gray day darkened into night,
A night made hoary with the swarm
And whirl-dance of the blinding storm,
As zigzag, wavering to and fro,
Crossed and recrossed the wingàd snow:
And ere the early bedtime came
The white drift piled the window-frame,
And through the glass the clothes-line posts
Looked in like tall and sheeted ghosts.

So all night long the storm roared on:
The morning broke without a sun;
In tiny spherule traced with lines
Of Nature’s geometric signs,
And, when the second morning shone,
We looked upon a world unknown,
On nothing we could call our own.
Around the glistening wonder bent
The blue walls of the firmament,
No cloud above, no earth below, —
A universe of sky and snow!
The old familiar sights of ours
Took marvellous shapes; strange domes and towers
Rose up where sty or corn-crib stood,
Or garden-wall, or belt of wood;
A smooth white mound the brush-pile showed,
A fenceless drift what once was road;
The bridle-post an old man sat
With loose-flung coat and high cocked hat;
The well-curb had a Chinese roof;
And even the long sweep, high aloof,
In its slant spendor, seemed to tell
Of Pisa’s leaning miracle.

A prompt, decisive man, no breath
Our father wasted: “Boys, a path!”
Well pleased, (for when did farmer boy
Count such a summons less than joy?)
Our buskins on our feet we drew;
With mittened hands, and caps drawn low,
To guard our necks and ears from snow,
We cut the solid whiteness through.
And, where the drift was deepest, made
A tunnel walled and overlaid
With dazzling crystal: we had read
Of rare Aladdin’s wondrous cave,
And to our own his name we gave,
With many a wish the luck were ours
To test his lamp’s supernal powers.
We reached the barn with merry din,
And roused the prisoned brutes within.
The old horse ****** his long head out,
And grave with wonder gazed about;
The **** his ***** greeting said,
And forth his speckled harem led;
The oxen lashed their tails, and hooked,
And mild reproach of hunger looked;
The hornëd patriarch of the sheep,
Like Egypt’s Amun roused from sleep,
Shook his sage head with gesture mute,
And emphasized with stamp of foot.

All day the gusty north-wind bore
The loosening drift its breath before;
Low circling round its southern zone,
The sun through dazzling snow-mist shone.
No church-bell lent its Christian tone
To the savage air, no social smoke
Curled over woods of snow-hung oak.
A solitude made more intense
By dreary-voicëd elements,
The shrieking of the mindless wind,
The moaning tree-boughs swaying blind,
And on the glass the unmeaning beat
Of ghostly finger-tips of sleet.
Beyond the circle of our hearth
No welcome sound of toil or mirth
Unbound the spell, and testified
Of human life and thought outside.
We minded that the sharpest ear
The buried brooklet could not hear,
The music of whose liquid lip
Had been to us companionship,
And, in our lonely life, had grown
To have an almost human tone.

As night drew on, and, from the crest
Of wooded knolls that ridged the west,
The sun, a snow-blown traveller, sank
From sight beneath the smothering bank,
We piled, with care, our nightly stack
Of wood against the chimney-back, —
The oaken log, green, huge, and thick,
And on its top the stout back-stick;
The knotty forestick laid apart,
And filled between with curious art

The ragged brush; then, hovering near,
We watched the first red blaze appear,
Heard the sharp crackle, caught the gleam
On whitewashed wall and sagging beam,
Until the old, rude-furnished room
Burst, flower-like, into rosy bloom;
While radiant with a mimic flame
Outside the sparkling drift became,
And through the bare-boughed lilac-tree
Our own warm hearth seemed blazing free.
The crane and pendent trammels showed,
The Turks’ heads on the andirons glowed;
While childish fancy, prompt to tell
The meaning of the miracle,
Whispered the old rhyme: “Under the tree,
When fire outdoors burns merrily,
There the witches are making tea.”

The moon above the eastern wood
Shone at its full; the hill-range stood
Transfigured in the silver flood,
Its blown snows flashing cold and keen,
Dead white, save where some sharp ravine
Took shadow, or the sombre green
Of hemlocks turned to pitchy black
Against the whiteness at their back.
For such a world and such a night
Most fitting that unwarming light,
Which only seemed where’er it fell
To make the coldness visible.

Shut in from all the world without,
We sat the clean-winged hearth about,
Content to let the north-wind roar
In baffled rage at pane and door,
While the red logs before us beat
The frost-line back with tropic heat;
And ever, when a louder blast
Shook beam and rafter as it passed,
The merrier up its roaring draught
The great throat of the chimney laughed;
The house-dog on his paws outspread
Laid to the fire his drowsy head,
The cat’s dark silhouette on the wall
A couchant tiger’s seemed to fall;
And, for the winter fireside meet,
Between the andirons’ straddling feet,
The mug of cider simmered slow,
The apples sputtered in a row,
And, close at hand, the basket stood
With nuts from brown October’s wood.

What matter how the night behaved?
What matter how the north-wind raved?
Blow high, blow low, not all its snow
Could quench our hearth-fire’s ruddy glow.
O Time and Change! — with hair as gray
As was my sire’s that winter day,
How strange it seems, with so much gone
Of life and love, to still live on!
Ah, brother! only I and thou
Are left of all that circle now, —
The dear home faces whereupon
That fitful firelight paled and shone.
Henceforward, listen as we will,
The voices of that hearth are still;
Look where we may, the wide earth o’er,
Those lighted faces smile no more.

We tread the paths their feet have worn,
We sit beneath their orchard trees,
We hear, like them, the hum of bees
And rustle of the bladed corn;
We turn the pages that they read,
Their written words we linger o’er,
But in the sun they cast no shade,
No voice is heard, no sign is made,
No step is on the conscious floor!
Yet Love will dream, and Faith will trust,
(Since He who knows our need is just,)
That somehow, somewhere, meet we must.
Alas for him who never sees
The stars shine through his cypress-trees!
Who, hopeless, lays his dead away,
Nor looks to see the breaking day
Across the mournful marbles play!
Who hath not learned, in hours of faith,
The truth to flesh and sense unknown,
That Life is ever lord of Death,
And Love can never lose its own!

We sped the time with stories old,
Wrought puzzles out, and riddles told,
Or stammered from our school-book lore
“The Chief of Gambia’s golden shore.”
How often since, when all the land
Was clay in Slavery’s shaping hand,
As if a far-blown trumpet stirred
Dame Mercy Warren’s rousing word:
“Does not the voice of reason cry,
Claim the first right which Nature gave,
From the red scourge of ******* to fly,
Nor deign to live a burdened slave!”
Our father rode again his ride
On Memphremagog’s wooded side;
Sat down again to moose and samp
In trapper’s hut and Indian camp;
Lived o’er the old idyllic ease
Beneath St. François’ hemlock-trees;
Again for him the moonlight shone
On Norman cap and bodiced zone;
Again he heard the violin play
Which led the village dance away.
And mingled in its merry whirl
The grandam and the laughing girl.
Or, nearer home, our steps he led
Where Salisbury’s level marshes spread
Mile-wide as flies the laden bee;
Where merry mowers, hale and strong,
Swept, scythe on scythe, their swaths along
The low green prairies of the sea.
We shared the fishing off Boar’s Head,
And round the rocky Isles of Shoals
The hake-broil on the drift-wood coals;
The chowder on the sand-beach made,
Dipped by the hungry, steaming hot,
With spoons of clam-shell from the ***.
We heard the tales of witchcraft old,
And dream and sign and marvel told
To sleepy listeners as they lay
Stretched idly on the salted hay,
Adrift along the winding shores,
When favoring breezes deigned to blow
The square sail of the gundelow
And idle lay the useless oars.

Our mother, while she turned her wheel
Or run the new-knit stocking-heel,
Told how the Indian hordes came down
At midnight on Concheco town,
And how her own great-uncle bore
His cruel scalp-mark to fourscore.
Recalling, in her fitting phrase,
So rich and picturesque and free
(The common unrhymed poetry
Of simple life and country ways,)
The story of her early days, —
She made us welcome to her home;
Old hearths grew wide to give us room;
We stole with her a frightened look
At the gray wizard’s conjuring-book,
The fame whereof went far and wide
Through all the simple country side;
We heard the hawks at twilight play,
The boat-horn on Piscataqua,
The loon’s weird laughter far away;
We fished her little trout-brook, knew
What flowers in wood and meadow grew,
What sunny hillsides autumn-brown
She climbed to shake the ripe nuts down,
Saw where in sheltered cove and bay,
The ducks’ black squadron anchored lay,
And heard the wild-geese calling loud
Beneath the gray November cloud.
Then, haply, with a look more grave,
And soberer tone, some tale she gave
From painful Sewel’s ancient tome,
Beloved in every Quaker home,
Of faith fire-winged by martyrdom,
Or Chalkley’s Journal, old and quaint, —
Gentlest of skippers, rare sea-saint! —
Who, when the dreary calms prevailed,
And water-**** and bread-cask failed,
And cruel, hungry eyes pursued
His portly presence mad for food,
With dark hints muttered under breath
Of casting lots for life or death,

Offered, if Heaven withheld supplies,
To be himself the sacrifice.
Then, suddenly, as if to save
The good man from his living grave,
A ripple on the water grew,
A school of porpoise flashed in view.
“Take, eat,” he said, “and be content;
These fishes in my stead are sent
By Him who gave the tangled ram
To spare the child of Abraham.”
Our uncle, innocent of books,
Was rich in lore of fields and brooks,
The ancient teachers never dumb
Of Nature’s unhoused lyceum.
In moons and tides and weather wise,
He read the clouds as prophecies,
And foul or fair could well divine,
By many an occult hint and sign,
Holding the cunning-warded keys
To all the woodcraft mysteries;
Himself to Nature’s heart so near
v That all her voices in his ear
Of beast or bird had meanings clear,
Like Apollonius of old,
Who knew the tales the sparrows told,
Or Hermes, who interpreted
What the sage cranes of Nilus said;
A simple, guileless, childlike man,
Content to live where life began;
Strong only on his native grounds,
The little world of sights and sounds
Whose girdle was the parish bounds,
Whereof his fondly partial pride
The common features magnified,
As Surrey hills to mountains grew
In White of Selborne’s loving view, —
He told how teal and loon he shot,
And how the eagle’s eggs he got,
The feats on pond and river done,
The prodigies of rod and gun;
Till, warming with the tales he told,
Forgotten was the outside cold,
The bitter wind unheeded blew,
From ripening corn the pigeons flew,
The partridge drummed i’ the wood, the mink
Went fishing down the river-brink.
In fields with bean or clover ***,
The woodchuck, like a hermit gray,
Peered from the doorway of his cell;
The muskrat plied the mason’s trade,
And tier by tier his mud-walls laid;
And from the shagbark overhead
The grizzled squirrel dropped his shell.

Next, the dear aunt, whose smile of cheer
And voice in dreams I see and hear, —
The sweetest woman ever Fate
Perverse denied a household mate,
Who, lonely, homeless, not the less
Found peace in love’s unselfishness,
And welcome wheresoe’er she went,
A calm and gracious element,
Whose presence seemed the sweet income
And womanly atmosphere of home, —
Called up her girlhood memories,
The huskings and the apple-bees,
The sleigh-rides and the summer sails,
Weaving through all the poor details
And homespun warp of circumstance
A golden woof-thread of romance.
For well she kept her genial mood
And simple faith of maidenhood;
Before her still a cloud-land lay,
The mirage loomed across her way;
The morning dew, that dries so soon
With others, glistened at her noon;
Through years of toil and soil and care,
From glossy tress to thin gray hair,
All unprofaned she held apart
The ****** fancies of the heart.
Be shame to him of woman born
Who hath for such but thought of scorn.
There, too, our elder sister plied
Her evening task the stand beside;
A full, rich nature, free to trust,
Truthful and almost sternly just,
Impulsive, earnest, prompt to act,
And make her generous thought a fact,
Keeping with many a light disguise
The secret of self-sacrifice.

O heart sore-tried! thou hast the best
That Heaven itself could give thee, — rest,
Rest from all bitter thoughts and things!
How many a poor one’s blessing went
With thee beneath the low green tent
Whose curtain never outward swings!

As one who held herself a part
Of all she saw, and let her heart
Against the household ***** lean,
Upon the motley-braided mat
Our youngest and our dearest sat,
Lifting her large, sweet, asking eyes,
Now bathed in the unfading green
And holy peace of Paradise.
Oh, looking from some heavenly hill,
Or from the shade of saintly palms,
Or silver reach of river calms,
Do those large eyes behold me still?
With me one little year ago: —
The chill weight of the winter snow
For months upon her grave has lain;
And now, when summer south-winds blow
And brier and harebell bloom again,
I tread the pleasant paths we trod,
I see the violet-sprinkled sod
Whereon she leaned, too frail and weak
The hillside flowers she loved to seek,
Yet following me where’er I went
With dark eyes full of love’s content.
The birds are glad; the brier-rose fills
The air with sweetness; all the hills
Stretch green to June’s unclouded sky;
But still I wait with ear and eye
For something gone which should be nigh,
A loss in all familiar things,
In flower that blooms, and bird that sings.
And yet, dear heart! remembering thee,
Am I not richer than of old?
Safe in thy immortality,
What change can reach the wealth I hold?
What chance can mar the pearl and gold
Thy love hath left in trust with me?
And while in life’s late afternoon,
Where cool and long the shadows grow,
I walk to meet the night that soon
Shall shape and shadow overflow,
I cannot feel that thou art far,
Since near at need the angels are;
And when the sunset gates unbar,
Shall I not see thee waiting stand,
And, white against the evening star,
The welcome of thy beckoning hand?

Brisk wielder of the birch and rule,
The master of the district school
Held at the fire his favored place,
Its warm glow lit a laughing face
Fresh-hued and fair, where scarce appeared
The uncertain prophecy of beard.
He teased the mitten-blinded cat,
Played cross-pins on my uncle’s hat,
Sang songs, and told us what befalls
In classic Dartmouth’s college halls.
Born the wild Northern hills among,
From whence his yeoman father wrung
By patient toil subsistence scant,
Not competence and yet not want,
He early gained the power to pay
His cheerful, self-reliant way;
Could doff at ease his scholar’s gown
To peddle wares from town to town;
Or through the long vacation’s reach
In lonely lowland districts teach,
Where all the droll experience found
At stranger hearths in boarding round,
The moonlit skater’s keen delight,
The sleigh-drive through the frosty night,
The rustic party, with its rough
Accompaniment of blind-man’s-buff,
And whirling-plate, and forfeits paid,
His winter task a pastime made.
Happy the snow-locked homes wherein
He tuned his merry violin,

Or played the athlete in the barn,
Or held the good dame’s winding-yarn,
Or mirth-provoking versions told
Of classic legends rare and old,
Wherein the scenes of Greece and Rome
Had all the commonplace of home,
And little seemed at best the odds
‘Twixt Yankee pedlers and old gods;
Where Pindus-born Arachthus took
The guise of any grist-mill brook,
And dread Olympus at his will
Became a huckleberry hill.

A careless boy that night he seemed;
But at his desk he had the look
And air of one who wisely schemed,
And hostage from the future took
In trainëd thought and lore of book.
Large-brained, clear-eyed, of such as he
Shall Freedom’s young apostles be,
Who, following in War’s ****** trail,
Shall every lingering wrong assail;
All chains from limb and spirit strike,
Uplift the black and white alike;
Scatter before their swift advance
The darkness and the ignorance,
The pride, the lust, the squalid sloth,
Which nurtured Treason’s monstrous growth,
Made ****** pastime, and the hell
Of prison-torture possible;
The cruel lie of caste refute,
Old forms remould, and substitute
For Slavery’s lash the freeman’s will,
For blind routine, wise-handed skill;
A school-house plant on every hill,
Stretching in radiate nerve-lines thence
The quick wires of intelligence;
Till North and South together brought
Shall own the same electric thought,
In peace a common flag salute,
And, side by side in labor’s free
And unresentful rivalry,
Harvest the fields wherein they fought.

Another guest that winter night
Flashed back from lustrous eyes the light.
Unmarked by time, and yet not young,
The honeyed music of her tongue
And words of meekness scarcely told
A nature passionate and bold,

Strong, self-concentred, spurning guide,
Its milder features dwarfed beside
Her unbent will’s majestic pride.
She sat among us, at the best,
A not unfeared, half-welcome guest,
Rebuking with her cultured phrase
Our homeliness of words and ways.
A certain pard-like, treacherous grace
Swayed the lithe limbs and drooped the lash,
Lent the white teeth their dazzling flash;
And under low brows, black with night,
Rayed out at times a dangerous light;
The sharp heat-lightnings of her face
Presaging ill to him whom Fate
Condemned to share her love or hate.
A woman tropical, intense
In thought and act, in soul and sense,
She blended in a like degree
The ***** and the devotee,
Revealing with each freak or feint
The temper of Petruchio’s Kate,
The raptures of Siena’s saint.
Her tapering hand and rounded wrist
Had facile power to form a fist;
The warm, dark languish of her eyes
Was never safe from wrath’s surprise.
Brows saintly calm and lips devout
Knew every change of scowl and pout;
And the sweet voice had notes more high
And shrill for social battle-cry.

Since then what old cathedral town
Has missed her pilgrim staff and gown,
What convent-gate has held its lock
Against the challenge of her knock!
Through Smyrna’s plague-hushed thoroughfares,
Up sea-set Malta’s rocky stairs,
Gray olive slopes of hills that hem
Thy tombs and shrines, Jerusalem,
Or startling on her desert throne
The crazy Queen of Lebanon
With claims fantastic as her own,
Her tireless feet have held their way;
And still, unrestful, bowed, and gray,
She watches under Eastern skies,
With hope each day renewed and fresh,
The Lord’s quick coming in the flesh,
Whereof she dreams and prophesies!
Where’er her troubled path may be,
The Lord’s sweet pity with her go!
The outward wayward life we see,
The hidden springs we may not know.
Nor is it given us to discern
What threads the fatal sisters spun,
Through what ancestral years has run
The sorrow with the woman born,
What forged her cruel chain of moods,
What set her feet in solitudes,
And held the love within her mute,
What mingled madness in the blood,
A life-long discord and annoy,
Water of tears with oil of joy,
And hid within the folded bud
Perversities of flower and fruit.
It is not ours to separate
The tangled skein of will and fate,
To show what metes and bounds should stand
Upon the soul’s debatable land,
And between choice and Providence
Divide the circle of events;
But He who knows our frame is just,
Merciful and compassionate,
And full of sweet assurances
And hope for all the language is,
That He remembereth we are dust!

At last the great logs, crumbling low,
Sent out a dull and duller glow,
The bull’s-eye watch that hung in view,
Ticking its weary circuit through,
Pointed with mutely warning sign
Its black hand to the hour of nine.
That sign the pleasant circle broke:
My uncle ceased his pipe to smoke,
Knocked from its bowl the refuse gray,
And laid it tenderly away;
Then roused himself to safely cover
The dull red brands with ashes over.
And while, with care, our mother laid
The work aside, her steps she stayed
One moment, seeking to express
Her grateful sense of happiness
For food and shelter, warmth and health,
And love’s contentment more than wealth,
With simple wishes (not the weak,
Vain prayers which no fulfilment seek,
But such as warm the generous heart,
O’er-prompt to do with Heaven its part)
That none might lack, that bitter night,
For bread and clothing, warmth and light.

Within our beds awhile we heard
The wind that round the gables roared,
With now and then a ruder shock,
Which made our very bedsteads rock.
We heard the loosened clapboards tost,
The board-nails snapping in the frost;
And on us, through the unplastered wall,
Felt the light sifted snow-flakes fall.
But sleep stole on, as sleep will do
When hearts are light and life is new;
Faint and more faint the murmurs grew,
Till in the summer-land of dreams
They softened to the sound of streams,
Low stir of leaves, and dip of oars,
And lapsing waves on quiet shores.
Of merry voices high and clear;
And saw the teamsters drawing near
To break the drifted highways out.
Down the long hillside treading slow
We saw the half-buried oxen go,
Shaking the snow from heads uptost,
Their straining nostrils white with frost.
Before our door the straggling train
Drew up, an added team to gain.
The elders threshed their hands a-cold,
Passed, with the cider-mug, their jokes
From lip to lip; the younger folks
Down the loose snow-banks, wrestling, rolled,
Then toiled again the cavalcade
O’er windy hill, through clogged ravine,
And woodland paths that wound between
Low drooping pine-boughs winter-weighed.
From every barn a team afoot,
At every house a new recruit,
Where, drawn by Nature’s subtlest law,
Haply the watchful young men saw
Sweet doorway pictures of the curls
And curious eyes of merry girls,
Lifting their hands in mock defence
Against the snow-ball’s compliments,
And reading in each missive tost
The charm with Eden never lost.
We heard once more the sleigh-bells’ sound;
And, following where the teamsters led,
The wise old Doctor went his round,
Just pausing at our door to say,
In the brief autocratic way
Of one who, prompt at Duty’s call,
Was free to urge her claim on all,
That some poor neighbor sick abed
At night our mother’s aid would need.
For, one in generous thought and deed,
What mattered in the sufferer’s sight
The Quaker matron’s inward light,
The Doctor’s mail of Calvin’s creed?
All hearts confess the saints elect
Who, twain in faith, in love agree,
And melt not in an acid sect
The Christian pearl of charity!

So days went on: a week had passed
Since the great world was heard from last.
The Almanac we studied o’er,
Read and reread our little store
Of books and pamphlets, scarce a score;
One harmless novel, mostly hid
From younger eyes, a book forbid,
And poetry, (or good or bad,
A single book was all we had,)
Where Ellwood’s meek, drab-skirted Muse,
A stranger to the heathen Nine,
Sang, with a somewhat nasal whine,
The wars of David and the Jews.
At last the floundering carrier bore
The village paper to our door.
Lo! broadening outward as we read,
To warmer zones the horizon spread
In panoramic length unrolled
We saw the marvels that it told.
Before us passed the painted Creeks,
A   nd daft McGregor on his raids
In Costa Rica’s everglades.
And up Taygetos winding slow
Rode Ypsilanti’s Mainote Greeks,
A Turk’s head at each saddle-bow!
Welcome to us its week-old news,
Its corner for the rustic Muse,
Its monthly gauge of snow and rain,
Its record, mingling in a breath
The wedding bell and dirge of death:
Jest, anecdote, and love-lorn tale,
The latest culprit sent to jail;
Its hue and cry of stolen and lost,
Its vendue sales and goods at cost,
And traffic calling loud for gain.
We felt the stir of hall and street,
The pulse of life that round us beat;
The chill embargo of the snow
Was melted in the genial glow;
Wide swung again our ice-locked door,
And all the world was ours once more!

Clasp, Angel of the backword look
And folded wings of ashen gray
And voice of echoes far away,
The brazen covers of thy book;
The weird palimpsest old and vast,
Wherein thou hid’st the spectral past;
Where, closely mingling, pale and glow
The characters of joy and woe;
The monographs of outlived years,
Or smile-illumed or dim with tears,
Green hills of life that ***** to death,
And haunts of home, whose vistaed trees
Shade off to mournful cypresses
With the white amaranths underneath.
Even while I look, I can but heed
The restless sands’ incessant fall,
Importunate hours that hours succeed,
Each clamorous with its own sharp need,
And duty keeping pace with all.
Shut down and clasp with heavy lids;
I hear again the voice that bids
The dreamer leave his dream midway
For larger hopes and graver fears:
Life greatens in these later years,
The century’s aloe flowers to-day!

Yet, haply, in some lull of life,
Some Truce of God which breaks its strife,
The worldling’s eyes shall gather dew,
Dreaming in throngful city ways
Of winter joys his boyhood knew;
And dear and early friends — the few
Who yet remain — shall pause to view
These Flemish pictures of old days;
Sit with me by the homestead hearth,
And stretch the hands of memory forth
To warm them at the wood-fire’s blaze!
And thanks untraced to lips unknown
Shall greet me like the odors blown
From unseen meadows newly mown,
Wood-fringed, the wayside gaze beyond;
The traveller owns the grateful sense
Of sweetness near, he knows not whence,
And, pausing, takes with forehead bare
The benediction of the air.

Written in  1865
In its day, 'twas a best-seller and earned significant income for Whittier
cait-cait Apr 2018
i put my hands on your throat ;

veins pumping red
like little boats
inside the storm ,

your hands tangle around me ,
they grasp, tug, hit:
and this is a fight that
i am losing.

outside, it snows ,
and my pink skins flushes red
as you have burned me
from the inside out .

everything becomes white , when
you touch me
for the first time ,

and then i cry when you hit me .
.

we kiss.
he kissed me and it felt like i got hit.
L B Jan 2017
If that night could remember
it would call him back
to our Chinese restaurant
to fried rice and steaming tea
to our winter refuge of tile and cushions
60s retro black and white
Chrome legs of lacquered tables
with its mural of
our Great Wall

...winding, distant, wonder

If the snow hadn't muffled all
but our voices
we would not be—

so alone

Only I
felt his arm take its chance
around my shoulder
Guiding warmth
as good excuse as any
to touch

Two miles on foot
An arc in time
In lace of white
to hide— what might....

Below my window
“Good Night”
not enough
for troubadour
singing, pleading, stumbling...

(I worry about his long way home)

...and hardly notice...

How gently Time joins Snow
as if they cannot bare
instead, conspire
Decide the crystals
Send the flakes to sift over him

This loss needs snow
to blur his face
to fade from view....

This— tender let-down from the sky
As only snow can do...

Cover with beauty

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6o6zMPLcXZ8
Lowell, Massachusetts, January, 1970... Love was lost in the storm of war politics, *****, drugs, and grief.  His brother was a priest and chaplain, killed in Vietnam.
Rose Dec 2011
"leave me alone-"
she says,
as he's reaching
for her shoulder.
little does he know
really anything
about her



outside the rain turns into snow.
cars crash into one another
and family members burn together.
if only a few extra flakes had fallen,
the flames would have extinguished

i am childish in that way

now we are learning*



                       this wave will crash
                         so ******* you
                  swim faster to the shore
sand in your grasp and already you're drowning
Kevin J Taylor Oct 2015
Snow last night
Raven king
Calligraph on folds of white
Calligraph means to write in the style of calligraphy but is used here as a proper noun.
Jeni Jan 2016
Standing still
Breath uneven
Gaze slipping down the snowy tracks
I watch
exasperated as you stutter
reasons
You can't
like the way
the slush clings
to my heart
unwilling to stop
Skiing,
I glance around at the beautiful
You
Breath uneven
You're laughing
Over me
The altitude,
And I can't think of anything else
Clouds gathering
The future
And I'm confused
As the rain melts down me
Breath uneven
My body
One great icicle
You see
Breath uneven
I'm crying
Snow dances
Weaving frozen tears
Together
Breath uneven
Blizzard
We can't find
The way back
to where
We began
But there's no forgetting
the journey
Here
I'm lost but found
Breath uneven
As your eyes
Tell me
Everything.
Haven't written in awhile, but this just came about.
Deb Jones Oct 2017
February 2017

Her cousin's name was Jason
His brother's Fiancé'
Had a brother named Mark
They became good friends
Jason and Mark

Jason was attending college
His dream was to work for
A big cat rescue service
For which he volunteered.

Mark was nursing a broken heart
He had just split up with his girlfriend
Justin and Mark were both 22
Jason wanted to cheer up Mark

Jason was an experienced hiker
His Dad worked
For the Sheriff's office
As Captain of the Search and Rescue team

Jason asked Mark
To go on a day hike with him
In the snow last May
They were excited

8,000 feet up
The snow was crisp
The crunch of the ice
Was loud in the silent air

They mostly stayed on the trail
Occasionally stepping over
The barriers when something
Caught their attention

The last time was when
Jason said he knew
Of a perfect view beyond
A stand of trees

Again, they thought nothing
Of stepping over the barrier
Despite the warning signs
Posted along the trail

Mark was in front of Jason
Both walking and talking
Laughing
Mark asked Jason a question

Jason didn't answer
Mark turned around
Bewildered
Jason was gone

Mark thought Jason was playing a game
He called his name
No answer
He called his cell phone
No answer
He screamed for Jason
No answer
He pleaded for him
No answer

He thought he heard Jason's
Cell phone ringing in the
Quiet bleakness of the snow
But no answer.

He saw Justin's footprints
Seeming to disappear
Into a darkened area
In the snow

Mark followed their foot prints back to the trail
He called the park rangers
And was told to wait there

The search and rescue team responded
Jason's father was not
Officially
Allowed to go

He drove to the site by himself

They found Jason quickly
He had fallen down
A crevice
Approximately 1800 feet deep

Without a sound to echo in the silent snow

There was nothing they could do
The fall killed him
The snow prevented
A rescue for a body

His father setup a campsite
And stayed there
With his son
For several days

Until he was forced to leave
By a heavy snow storm

The family had a moving and emotional memorial service
Of all he was
And all he could have been

The church was overflowing
With family and friends

Many Police officers
And Sheriff Deputies
Attended in full uniform
To support the parents

They, alone, filled 4 pews

Over the months
The snow melted
Unfortunately Justin's body
Was not recoverable
The crevice too deep and narrow

His mother won't accept that
Some day she hopes to have her son home.

We all pray for the same thing too.

Goodbye Justin, we all love you and haven't forgotten you one bit
This happened this past year. It seemed forever for spring to come around and to try and recover his body. Some people said they should have never went beyond the trail step-over fencing. But don't all youths feel infallible? Such a horrific death would not have been foreseeable
Robin Lemmen Sep 2018
My favorite times with you were the ones well after twelve. Long after the clock had sung its midnight song. Eyes sticky with sleep, heavy from dreaming and the naked truth inviting. We found ourselves daring to walk into darkness. No trace of fear lingering onto our unmarked skin. It was you and me, two strangers, against the world. Together found, and for a sliver of time, happiness no longer seemed an eternity away. Love can exist for infinite times but sometimes that means not together but apart. Memories and warm hearts trapped inside the protection of a delicate glass world. Turned upside down and waking up, forgetting we ever said farewell at all. Snow starts falling, each and every time I whisper goodbye, to the ghost of our winter love. Stuck, forever, reliving memories inside the snow globe of my mind.
Knit Personality Dec 2014
Hear the pealing of the bells—
          Christmas bells!
What a world of siblinghood their merry ringing spells!
      As carolers go singing
      What the merry bells are ringing,
      And hot chocolate—spiced and stinging—
        Is drunk in duple time,
      A warmth arrives and swells
      As it jingles with the bells,
And impels the glass to shed her robes of frosted fleecy rime.
    Through downy flake on downy flake,
    O'er cozy wood and frozen brake,
      Adown the sledded dells—
          Powdered dells!
      Where holly berries ******
      Off the beard of old Kris Kringle,
The merry sounds, they mingle in a medley of noëls—
          Belles noëls!
    And "peace on earth, good will to men
    And women" then is heard again
    By every girl and every boy
    And every ear long deaf to joy;
For everywhere the pealing, the reeling of the bells,
The glory of the Christmas story resoundingly retells.
      The big, bronze bells—
      Where the boldest volume dwells,
And prays in sacred solitude when it, like a liquid, wells—
    Ring out in mercy, forgiveness, and love—
    The will to assume the white wings of the dove:
Hear them! and sing with the dinging, the donging of the bells,
    Of the bells, bells, bells, bells,
      Bells, bells, bells—
The binging and the bonging of the bells!

* .
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