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Willoughby May 2018
Chop, chop, chop, chop, chop,......
.....stack, stack, stack, stack, stack.....chop,chop, chop, chop, chop....  stack, stack, stack, stack.....
HEY!!!
  What are you doing here??
There's nothing here to see but an old man chopping fire wood and stacking it. 
 Heard tell it's gonna be a cold winter.
Colder than a witches ***. 
 You don't need to be here for this boring, repetitive, chore of mine.
Run along.
I'm sure you can find something better to do.  
And let me get back to my work,
Thank you very much.  
Chop,chop,chop,chop,chop.....stack, stack, stack, stack ....chop, chop, chop, chop, ...etc...etc...
Bruno Mar 2
1

I’m driving.
I don’t know where, I’m more being driven, but all there is to do is peer out the window at the rushing
trees.
Anita is in the driver’s seat, moving her head slowly to the beat of the music playing delicately in the
background.
And we’re stuck in a time when the world flows around us, where our actuality is habitual.
With no concern for the world outside me, I contemplate a perfect stack of rocks outside the window,
on the side by where we are stopped.
Time is unravelled.
And I am taken to my childhood, on foreign beaches where people had stacked rocks.
Anywhere I have ever been, there has been a stack of rocks, even inside myself.
At the end of a twelve mile hike through the mountains, a stack of rocks.
I wonder if she notices my consciousness.
In the space between time and something else, she stacks rocks that will plaster themselves together
endlessly and she will bring some home to stack in our kitchen as a reminder.
The stacks take us in.

2

I paint rocks for her to stack.
Each rock with a symbol of reality so that different stacks have different values and all add up to
something invariable.
Family comes over for dinner and asks about the rocks painted, stacked on our furniture and tables.
She smiles with a look of embodiment, for if they must ask they do not know.
And the neighbor boy comes on slow days and stacks our outside rocks, runs away in fear when we
catch him.
But we only ever catch him to give him more rocks to stack.
They tumble, sides not enduring and wind breathing against them but we know that if they fall they were
never meant to stay up at all.
And the totality of the stack is a dream where the world stacks itself onto a neat shelf and never asks to
change or move at all because it is logical.
And the atmosphere of the rocks is the behaviour we choose to observe because they come together in
ways we never could.
I love walking on the beach.
Each and every one has a stack of rocks.
If a human has walked the shore, there will be one.
She picks up a smooth rock and glides it into her pocket.

3

A common misconception of people is to think they are different from everyone else, to expect humans
to differentiate themselves based on irrelevant variations.
Her and I understand them all the same because we have breathed everywhere, and the air is always
abounding with repetition.
The repetition is the stacking of rocks.
The human tendency to stack rocks.
Ivan Brooks Sr Jan 2018
The world's gone mad but my mind is made up.
Time to let ya'll into the darkroom of my mind,
A place where I'm the referee of a poetic world cup.
This is where I am creative even though I'm blind
Don't get me wrong I am not leaving from town.
No more radio or TV saturated with all the sad news,
I have got enough breaking news of my very own...
Breaking to me each and every moment as it brews.
Come and meet the hard drive of my creative doom,
That contains my beautiful and liberated mind.
Welcome to my one bright side I call my darkroom,
It's a place that's so special, I reckon it's one of a kind.

You have to know that I always act blind but I see.
In my mind, I can walk stack naked and levitate.
My mind is where I remain totally black and free.
Come join me set my poetic dial and help me activate,
The code that will outshine any power on this earth.
My mind is where I live and where nobody has access,
Here I can run a poetic marathon without taking a breath,
Call it my playground and intellectual fortress.

My mind is deep, a place of absolute calm and refuge,
Somewhere I will always see as the final frontier.
It is dangerous and toxic like a nuclear centrifuge.
In there, I am all alert and vigilant like a soldier.
My mind is a darkroom where I give birth to new ideas.
It is a vessel and place in which I do magic with letters.
It is my holy land of thoughts, my own creative Judea,
Where each idea is sacred and light as bird feathers.

Welcome to the epicenter of my creative mind.
This is where I turn letters into spoken words
A front line of creativity where no one leaves behind.
Come and see where all words become useful swords.
My mind produces powerful words like some light beams...
Courageous and powerful words for extra motivation.
Spoken Words that will light up people's faded dreams.
Now you know that up in my mind are no limitation,
There exists an enormous capacity of time and space.
Welcome one, welcome all to the darkroom of my mind
Take a seat and be calm, be quiet this is my place
For this here is my personal creative post of command.



www.poemhunter.com/IvanBrookssr
#Vanguard-poetry23
#IvanBrookspoetry
twitter @ivanclappers
@Bassapoet
My mind is the final frontier..the bright side I call my darkroom where I process loose letters into spoken words.
Amanda Mclaren Mar 2014
It's needless to say that if the needle needs found then you will find it,
Knowing you need it to make a cozy blanket, no needle you can't nit.
Needles is main tool needed to make what will keep you secure and warm,
Everyone needs a comfort blanket especially if there is a predicted storm.
So You dive straight into that hay stack to find your knitting needle head first,
Making sure you come out with it, proving to all that you had lifted the curse.
Because to loose your knitting needle in a hay stack would truly be a curse,
There's nothing worst,  loosing something you need unless your senses burst.
CK Baker Mar 2017
there’s a barnacle scar
deeply ingrained
on the basalt stack
at mark thirty two
whispering summer winds
scented oil
cotton and roe
drift
as waves brush
and shape
the sandstone shore

the briny air
and lost erratic
set a tone to this
pollyanna portrait
it's andrews undulations
and gifted benches
its concessions
and traces of the barry burn
its sculpted driftwood
and sanko lines
make this picture
almost perfect

children play
as venom spews
from the caterwaul pair
those odd looking mates
casting smiles
with arrested despair
settling shots
swiping bugs
dipping and darting
as photo men
and muscles
and long neck seabirds
make their turn

the hunched hoody
and his sorted sidekick
get their fill
(of moss and rubble ~ chubby and kelp)
nice to meet your acquaintance
the pho man would say
an odd drop
and ironic turn
from those horrific corners
of timeless desperation
down by cannon bridge

harbor seals
and carriage horse
are fronted by
raven shade
jolly tides pause
in quiet bays
(with curious looters
and *** pickers)
sand merchants
and field totems
all streamed by the light

cirrus strands
blanket the
outer edge
hovering craft
and shimmering willows
bolt the evening frame
blood orange
and tethered
with a filtered glare
bottle-nose dolphins
and seabirds
(and shifting tides)
are all settling in
for the long night stay
Sometimes I forget, but only sometimes, you become that book at the bottom of the stack. The part that just barely peaks out, so you can only see one word from the title or author. Thats the part that makes you randomly remember. Every time you glance over at the stack, and see the edge, with that one word. Thats those sometimes, that the remembering haunts you. In between the remembering and forgetting, you have that frustration which is like the time when  you get that glue stick. That  glue stick that is dried out. All you can do is roll the glue stick up and down, dreading the fact you now have to take a trip all the way to a store to buy a new one. On the car ride, you stop to get a coffee, but all you can think of is how that "supposed significant other" never told you they didn't like coffee for two years and you would buy them one every day. I wish the only thing you took from me was that  $2.63, in a styrofoam cup, but you unfortunately took a lot more than that. So now, out peaking is that word from that book at the bottom of the stack. Who knew that $2.63, gave you the feeling of being deprived from oxygen. Now driving, you think a little but a little too much. So you shove that memory into the jack in the box in your mind and hope it does not pop out again. Arriving, at Staples is sadder than intended. So while looking for a new glue stick, you start to find a way to get a bottle, you find it, and you drink it. The liquor spills over that book. The one hidden at the bottom of the stack. It drowns the pages. No good or bad memories, all thoughts drifting away like the words on that page. Just like the page everything becomes a blur. Waking up with asleep by the smiths still playing, you roll over and feel that sickness.You wonder why you do this to yourself. But  it blurred out the book, though the one at the bottom of the stack that started to peak out again.  So sometimes, I forget, but sometimes this is what happens when I remmember.
Mitchell Duran Sep 2013
The retainer where she was put
Was made of concrete. My father told me they had
Dug the grave first, then poured the concrete in, waited for
It to dry and harden, then hammered in six
Circular spikes in the four corners, two on either side
Of the middle. They lifted the concrete cast out with a crane.
My dad was going to be charged 300 dollars a day for the rental,
But because of the circumstances, Home Depot let us have it for free.

-

Where was she?
Where had she gone?
Would I see her face again?
Would she want me to
Meet her on the other side of the river?

-

I answered my cell phone.

"Make sure to bring flower's."
She had been crying. Her voice wavered the way sun light
Does on moving water.

"Make sure to bring flowers," she repeated, "And
That you wear what your father and I bought you."

I nodded my head with the receiver pressed up against my ear.
We both let out a sigh. My mom hung up. I put my phone in my back pocket.

-

Lately, I had been seeing a shrink about repetition. He liked to use the word cycle.

"Everything is repeated," I would tell him.

"Life is a cycle," he'd disagree so to get me talking.

"Can cycles be identical?"

"Technically not. Some cycles are extremely similar, but no two cycles are
Completely the same. Are two people's lives ever exactly the same?"

"I wouldn't know. I don't know that many people. Maybe."

"You know lots of people, Camden. You have told me about many of your friends."

"Are we talking about the seasons?" I asked, changing the subject, "Like fall, winter, spring, summer? We are born, we live, we die, and we are born again?"

"That's a very natural way of looking at it."

"I know it is." I inhaled deeply, swallowing air and wondered what time it was.

"If you are so sure, why look for validation from me?" He liked this one, I could
tell. I imagined him shopping for clothes and then exploding in aisle 16 because of a sale on jeans.

"The word cycle is used by people too afraid to use the word repetition. Everything is
Repeated for the next generation, the next group, the next of the next of the next. We shift things
Around, give things to one another to shift life to make it look different, but, things remain the same. Everything contains the primal function we were all doing and living from the very beginning, only now, there is more of a separation. Music is still music, words are still words, paintings are still paintings, love is still love, death is still death, only done differently and more intensely."

"We are talking about man furthering technology because we, as people and creatures, are
Statistically more prone to flee than fight?"

"Why do you think it has caught on so quick?" I touched both
Corners of my lips with my tongue and suddenly realized I hadn't eaten breakfast.

"It is a theory," the psych nodded, "A theory with, I am sure, many
Palpable facts you could make a very nice report with to prove...something." He
Was at a lost for words and I felt guilty that my mom was paying him $75 an hour.

"We are very split. There are too many of us. Too many hands spinning the china."

"Who is we Harry?" The psych hadn't looked up from his pen and pad of paper, until now. I could
Tell he was annoyed with me either because he was making no progress or because the session
Had just begun and I was already digging into him.

"Culture. The government. You, me, my dad, my mom, the taco bell cashier, the geniuses at Apple computers, a paper weight, my dead sister. We're all apart of these shifts, all putting in a certain amount of energy and lies to keep the protection of the projection going. The question I keep asking myself is: do I want to use my strengths to be apart of this cycle or not?"

His eyes flared open for a moment like he'd swallowed a firefly, not at the question I had posed for myself, but from what I would soon see was from the mention of my sister. He had something.

"I was notified by your mother that you may not want to talk about your recently deceased sister. Is It O.K. if I ask you some questions about her?"

I was leaning forward on the couch with my hands clasped in between my legs. The psych had looked up at me now. He was sweating at the top of his thin hairline. Observing that I was staring at his building perspiration, he, trying to be nonchalant, took out a thin, white napkin from his grey shirt pocket and dabbed the top of his head. The napkin looked like cheap toilet paper. I'd have offered him some water, but I had no water to give and I didn't know where the sink and cups were to give him any. I figured he did - it was his office - so I asked him for some. He pointed me in the direction of the bathroom. I got up and found a stack of paper cups. I poured myself a cup and went back to the couch, but instead of leaning forward, I sat back, relaxed, and let the expensive leather couch take the weight I had been carrying away.

"So," the psych maintained cooly, "Would it be alright if we were able to discuss your sister?"

I lifted the paper cup over my head and the psych's eyes, after I poured the water over my hair, my face, and clothes, was a mixture of what my mom's eyes looked at the funeral, defeated, confused, and with a loss of faith and hope. My father's eyes had only held hate, anger and the need to lash out at someone, but the only someone that would have fit the bill would have been God.

"Sure," I answered, "Let's talk about my sister."

-

I finished drying myself in the car. The psych had let me keep the towel.
I leaned out the window to look at myself in the side mirror. I looked fine.
Presentable. Accountable. Like I had been through something where I had
Faced my soul. Like I had used and abused my emotions. There was comb in my glove compartment, so I took it out and rushed it through my damp hair. Slicked back. The sun
Was out, no clouds, burning up the inside of my car. That taste that comes after
Finishing something that's supposed to do you good didn't come. I was left with an unsure hand.
Putting my keys in the ignition, I turned them, and felt the engine rumble in front of my legs.
The sun sat in the sky like a lazy hand and I had nowhere else to go but home.

-

"Let's go to the river today," my dad said over coffee and two over easy eggs on top
Of burnt wheat toast. "I'll drive and you and your sister can sit in the back and sing."

I looked over at Ally. She was gazing into her fruit bowl she had prepared for
herself because dad didn't understand the concept or how to make it. The lamp light above us
reflected in the smooth apricot yogurt and the flecks of granola scattered on top
looked like beige, jagged rocks. My dad's offer hung in the air and neither
of us bit the lure. I had just woken up and was unable to speak clearly, a decent
excuse. Ally was simply choosing to ignore him.

"What you think there Ally?" I asked her. I sipped my coffee. It needed more cream. I got
U, got it and brought the carton to the table.

"We can take the truck down there and load the back with the fishing poles and tackle
And inner tubes. We haven't...done that...in a long time," he said, chewing his food as he spoke.

Ally poked her fruit bowl with her spoon, silent.

"What you think, Cam?" My dad was desperate. He knew I'd say yes.

"Sure. I've got no plans this weekend."

"No schoolwork?"

"It can wait till Sunday. Only math and some reading."

"Ally, what do you think?" my dad asked, leaning over to her. I could see he was
Trying to be as courteous and gentle with her as he knew how to. I felt bad for him.

"Sure," she muttered, "That sounds like fun." I could barely hear her, but somehow,
I could tell she sounded happy.

"Perfect," my dad smiled, "We'll pack the car up Friday,
Drive up Saturday morning early, camp one night, then get back Sunday afternoon." He
Took a long sip of his coffee and swished it around in his mouth, then dug
His fork into the dry toast and ran his small steak knife over the eggs. A silent pop came from
The egg and the light orange yolk spilled out. "Perfect," he repeated, "Just great."

Ally poked a grape from her fruit bowl and dipped it into the yogurt.
I took another sip of my coffee and looked up into the fan, spinning above us.
We were going to the river.

-

"Your sister turns five today," my mom told me, "And that means
I want you to be on your best behavior."

I nodded, unsure what the point of a birthday was. I had had one before, or at
least I thought I did, and all I remembered was that I got presents and the colorful balloons
and the cake we all ate with fire kind of floating and burning above it. Somewhere
in that moment I remember thinking that the cake was going to catch on fire, then they, everyone,
some that I knew and some people I had never seen before, yelled and shouted to
blow the fire out, so I quickly did, but not because it was for a wish, which I later found out it was supposed to be for, but because I truly thought the cake was going to catch fire and they wanted me to take care of it. At that point, I was unsure what it meant to be alive or why to celebrate it all.

"This is her day, Camden," my father told me, "So I want you to be happy for your sister."

"I am," I said. I was wearing my favorite white and blue striped t-shirt and
New shoes that my mom had bought me for the party.

"Sometimes you have to think of other people," my mother continued, "And today is one
of those days. I don't want any crying because you didn't get any presents or that none of your
friends are at the party. There are going to be a lot of Ally's friends there, but not many
of your's...do you understand?"

"Yes, Mom."

"Do you understand, Cam?" My father repeated. His skin was the color of a burnt
pancake and he smelt like stale sugar and sun tan lotion. He was in front of me and was
holding a thin magazine with a man in a boat holding up a fish on a line on the cover.  

"Yes, Dad," I said again. I was hungry. I wanted mac n' cheese, my favorite food.

I had been on the floor, laying on my stomach watching Ren and Stimpy. They were standing in front of the television and I remember trying to wish them out of the way. Behind them were two, large bay windows where three palm trees stood in a row like tropical soldiers. I could see there was no wind because the three of them stood still, as if posing for someone. Their leaves were bright green, a mixture of the neon green Jello I used to love to eat and the orange Jolly Rancher my dad would always have in a tiny tray in the middle of the dining table. My mother hated having them there because it always tempted Ally and I, but he never moved it until he moved out.

"Do you like your show?" my mom asked, turning to see what I was watching.

I nodded, absently. Ren was licking Stimpy's eye because he was complaining about having
an eyelash in there. Stimpy was completely still and smiling like he does - dumb and content.

"Interesting..." my mother trailed off. She walked to the kitchen behind the couch and
Opened up the pantry for something. "You hungry, Camden?"

"I'm starving," my dad said, "Let me go check on Ally in the bedroom. She should be up
from her nap."

I got up from my stomach and sat back on my legs, "Do we have mac n' cheese?" I asked.

"Let me check."

She reached up for the cabinet over the stove where I could never reach and
Opened it. I rose slightly up from where I was sitting to see if I could see the glorious dark blue and orange package, but wasn't able to see over couch. I hovered there, still like a humming bird.

"You're in luck," I heard her say, "We've got one box left."

"Yay!" I screamed and got up, running into the kitchen.

"But," she smiled, stopping me, "You'll have to share it with your sister."

"No! I don't want to! I always have to share."

"What did we just talk about Camden?" she said, lightly stamping her foot.

I tried to remember, but couldn't. I shrugged.

"You need to learn to share, Camden. You also need to listen better when your father and I are talking to you. You and your sister are going to know each other a very long time and I want you to learn how to share now, so you two can be happy in the future."

"The future," I asked, "What's that?"

She paused, then said, "It's a time," she paused again, "Ahead of us."

"Do we know where it is?"

"Not exactly," she sighed.

"What's it look like?"

"No one really knows. People can only imagine it."

"Is it very far away?"

She opened the top of the blue and orange mac n' cheese box and poured the dry macaroni into a large silver ***, lifted the faucet, and let it run inside for five or seven seconds. She placed the *** on an unlit burner and turned to look at me. Her eyes looked far away and right there with me.  

"Closer then you think," she said and turned the burner on.

-

I turned into the taco bell parking lot. There was something I was trying to remember that was in my trunk, but I couldn't recall the picture. A haze blew over the windshield that was a mix of heat and wind; I wished to be somewhere else, someone else, someplace else, but, there I was, sitting there underneath the sun, like everyone else. If I was able, I would have unlocked the door to my car and opened the door and walked out - but - there was something else lingering underneath my fingernails, something I couldn't name.

"Two tacos," I said into my hand, "And a water."

"Pull to the window," the voice buzzed over the muffled speaker.

"Yes," I said through my split fingers.

In front of me, over a patch of clean cut green grass and a yellow, red, and orange Taco Bell signature sign, was a fresh gas station with a willow tree *** near the front entrance. He had a sign that hung around his neck that read Juice Please - Very Thirsty. How I knew this was because I had seen it every time I had been asked to fill up my dad's car every other Sunday. I had never given the tree a dollar, yet, I felt that I owed him something. I tried to pull up to the window, but my clutch was grinding and a cloud slunk overhead. I was tired and only wanted to eat.

"That'll be a two twenty-five," the voice said through the thick, clear glass.

"Yes," I said to myself, digging into my wallet for three dollars.

I ****** the three onto the thick plastic platform. A quick sweeping plastic brush pushed the bills toward the asker, and the bills were gone. I had no food. I had nothing. My money was gone and all I had was a gurgling car in front of me and an empty front seat beside me. A pair of clouds waded by my front shield window. A shadow drew itself out in front of me like a **** model. A beep. Sudden and behind me. There was sound. I looked over my shoulder and a black  2013 Cadillac was sitting there, windshield tinted grey, the driver a shadow. I was unsure what to do...so I pulled forward six inches, hoping the offer would be enough. I wasn't in the best neighborhood.

The window to the left of me slid open. An arm erupted forward with a plastic bag,
"75 cents is your change."

The hand dropped three quarters next to the plastic bag. I grabbed the bag with the two tacos and three quarters and quickly wound up my window. The face in front of me was a dangerous blur: smiling, frowning, not caring either way what happened to me next. The hands had gobbled up the three dollars and I was happy to see it go. Who needed money? I tossed the plastic bag onto the passenger seat and sped off two blocks for my grandma's house. Salvation. The holy land. A place with free hot sauce and two dog's that were stolen without paper's. Eden.

-

"What are you learning right now?" I asked Ally.

She hesitated, then said, "Something to do with science." She paused," Lot's to do with rock's."

"Rocks?" I stammered, not remembering a time when I learned about rocks in school, "What kind of rocks?"

"I don't know," she grinned, looking up at me, "All kinds."

I laughed and kicked a stone into the river. The sun was out and reflected on the water like an unpolished diamond. We had grown up a quarter mile away, but still, it felt foreign to us.

"I like it. There's some things you could see that you would never think to read about it in books."

I had read plenty off books. Most, I took little from, but Ally, I could see, had taken plenty.

"What are you doing in school?" Ally asked me.

"What do you mean?" I
"Farewell to barn and stack and tree,
Farewell to Severn shore.
Terence, look your last at me,
For I come home no more.

"The sun burns on the half-mown hill,
By now the blood is dried;
And Maurice amongst the hay lies still
And my knife is in his side.

"My mother thinks us long away;
'Tis time the field were mown.
She had two sons at rising day,
To-night she'll be alone.

"And here's a ****** hand to shake,
And oh, man, here's good-bye;
We'll sweat no more on scythe and rake,
My ****** hands and I.

"I wish you strength to bring you pride,
And a love to keep you clean,
And I wish you luck, come Lammastide,
At racing on the green.

"Long for me the rick will wait,
And long will wait the fold,
And long will stand the empty plate,
And dinner will be cold."
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 gay,
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

https://youtu.be/vVOQ54YQ73A
Jeremy Duff Nov 2012
Jeremy Duff woke up as he usually does on a Tuesday morning.
With the alarm clock blaring he lifted his right arm from off his wife's chest.
He stood up, covered his wife's bare torso with the purple, fuzzy, comforter and walked to the bathroom, naked.
He turned on the sink so hot water would begin to pour out.
After completing his usual morning routine of shaving, dressing, smoking, and eating, respectively, Jeremy began his walk to work.
It was, on a typical day, and this was a typical day,  a twelve minute walk.
He lit a cigarette the moment his feet hit the sidewalk. It was the first of, on a typical day, thirty-eight.
Jeremy worked on the 27th floor, which he thought of as funny as he pressed the "27" button, as he did on any typical day. His job was to edit spelling on essays before they would be turned in for final inspection. Then, as his boss put it, if the writers were lucky, they would see the essays in the next issue of Story Magazine.
He sat down in his office, lit his third cigarette of the day, and looked at the large stack of papers in front of him. If he was lucky, Jeremy thought, he could get halfway through the stack and take his 10 early, to see his wife. The first one on the stack was entitled "The Young Folks." It had a blue sticky note on it reading "Vignette, Salinger, Jerome David, 1,794 words."
Jeremy read it, purely aesthetically, looking only for spelling mistakes. Finding none, he put a quick check on the blue sticky note. Mr. Duff lit his 5th cigarette and read the story again. It was phenomenal. He read it a third time, while smoking his 6th cigarette. Jeremy finished the first half of the stack and lit his 9th cigarette. He grabbed the story by Salinger and began his walk home. His wife greeted him at the door with kisses. He showed her the story. She read it, read it again and told him it was great. She just didn't understand, Mr. Duff thought.
I have no clue where this is going so I'm just going to stop.
Lyn-Purcell Aug 2018
~ ⚘ ⚪ ⚘ ~
After days of long studies comes the
days of rest. My violet dreams were
slumber-soft filled with lucent lilies
of curling flames born of ever colour
known and unknown. And I stood
in awe of them as my fears fall back
and cower in the shades of my mind.

~ ⚘ ⚪ ⚘ ~
I muse at how quickly my body
relaxed. Due to my marjoram'd
pillows and sheets of pure silk
and eiderdown? Or due to the
sips of the lavender tea in my in
my teacup decorated with a
butterfly motif?

~ ⚘ ⚪ ⚘ ~
I remember the sips in fours as
I blew the steam from my cup;
The first sip balmed my lips.
The second soothed my throat.
The third lulled my thoughts.
The fourth stilled my soul.

~ ⚘ ⚪ ⚘ ~
Though the tea, the pillow and
sheets were had a hand in my nightly
rest, the real answer is on my brow -
for it was when the night's cool air
blew, and where you placed your
sweet Morphean kiss.

~ ⚘ ⚪ ⚘ ~
With a smile, I wake.
Sat on my golden summer throne
located in my marble gazebo; a
jewel in my private garden. With
thin caryatid pillars, draped in
fine doric chitons encircling me.
Their sculpted limbs hold up the
frieze carved with acanthus
that has a stained glass top of
peacocks and stargazers.

~ ⚘ ⚪ ⚘ ~
The sheer curtains billow when
the eastern winds blow. By me, a
gold side table with a mirrored top
supported by three Greek key legs.
A pewter quill pen with a steel nib
and violet feather rests by its clay
inkpot; both beside a silver sinuous
nouveau vase and a small stack of
poetry books of black leather and
gilt.
~ ⚘ ⚪ ⚘ ~
Part one of my Jasmine Pearls free verse!
(Been having issues with it so I decided to break it down
and make it a collection! ^-^)
A poem dedicated to 'Jasmine Pearl' tea. Inspired y Queen Kim's wonderful 'Golden Hour' and 'Dream Child' poems. I'm very particular about herbal teas, but Jasmine is one of the many few that never fails to relax me when needed. I'm glad I met a fellow Jasmine tea lover in Queen Kim! ^-^
It was rather challenging but I overcame it! Haven't written something
like this since my university days, but I did it!
I really hope you enjoy reading it as I enjoyed writing it!
Anyone else a tea enthusiast?
Do let me know what you think!
Queen Lyn ***
~ ⚘ ⚪ ⚘ ~
Ken Pepiton Dec 2018
Clarifying failed. Spelchek is not on strike.

{clear ification, an ionic bond be tween me and thee,
alienated mind, not mined, crafted
from tactics and strategies
beyond chess.
Player One,
1980's era
jewish-geek-mid-pubesence-kid-level,
proceed with caution.
This trope has trapped many a curious child.
---
Now, enter the old ones,
Grandfather taught uncle chess so well
he went to the state tournament in Kayenta,
and a grandma was
state-champ-bare-bow-in-the-rain-shooter,

these, now must learn

minecraft on x-box to be considered
for the real life role of

good at games grand parents
from the time right after atom bombs kicked up dust
places dust had not been in a very long time and
as the dust began to settle

some dust mights was cationic.
Negative bits, they became embedded in the code.
Bumps, fering, coming together
just a knot in a string,
attracting anionic curiosity might

round and round phorward ferring to be
a thread to tie my heart to yours

like twisted Pima cotton thread,
that I pulled from an old sweatshirt
to tie a crow feather in this paho of words filled with old jokes

Making this clear would belie the entire story AI and I know true}

truth is. we agree. no capsokehspaceasneededcommasetal.
caps okeh space as needed commas et al
go.
Did that work? That line

subject of this act fact done, agree to follow,
and I may lead and be

not you, me, dear reader, I mean first true

there is no any if nothing is. So simple some say its sublime beyond the spectrum of ones
and zeros thought on off probably

either or any time time can be accounted for

wouldn't you take a

thought,  nothing,
as it is commonly said to be understandable,

the state of not being, imagine that

the state of not being we negate in being,
unless you are mad and are lost in a whirlwind
such as such voices have been said to

have twisted into threads as
wicks for our lamps
turn floating on
golden oil twisting
wickered into wickering wee shadow fibers
on the western wall for legends to sprout from.

Wickering mare over there, expands us both by my hearing her
you had no idea she was near enough to hear
time is no barrier in actual ever.
What phor can contain me,
whispered my whimsy

Imagine she spoke,
what would she say for what reason
would she say

good good good, I feel good, ha,
I am right, by accident. ever body can feel this good.

good is good.
good is.
Sam Harris, agrees, good as far as good goes, is good
in every vecter from now

the terrain does exist, beyond the moral landscape, to

true true
trust me, I been there.
Been there done that was inserted into the vernacular on my watch,
first summer post war.

matter must not matter as much to me as it does to thee, nestypass? no se?

All jewish boys have chess move metaphors.
(a phor is for containing,
bearing
meta,
everybody knows, like metaphysics,
after physics in the stack of stackable metadata)

OHMYGOD THE IDW circa 2018 -- who knew I ate this **** up?

[the old code calls for excretion of digested material
from which meaning has been extracted in the idleword accounting processor:
literal
<pre>what if utterance=****, then **** haps, no else then</pre>]

Did that happen? One of my friends told me that happened in Florida, the whole world turned to ****... for lack of a nail a kingdom was lost, they say, little foxes spoil the grapes,
hung chad ex
cuses...

Pre-expandable ROM, not magic. tech,

pre-infinite imagination? impossible.
and nothing is what is impossible with good as god.

Is there no perfect game?
is the game the session or the life of the user
offline

rerererererererererereroxotoxin, poison pen
ideal viral umph exspelliered
up against the wall

reset. We

kunoon albania omerta oy vey, who could say?
one way better, one way not? quark.
up or down, with variable spins, who can say?

Life's right,
yes. but mo'ons of other something must have been for higgs to ever matter

and it does, I got commas, from 2018.

Are you with me? This is that book I told you I had access…

You or some mind other than mine owned mind, where
my owned peace rests in truth,

otherwise, I know every any or else in the code since I can recall,
in time

if this were a test I swore to take to prove to you
the we can be me in your head

phillipkdicktated clue

if you don't know me by now, maybe we should stop.

Temptations are times. Time things. Time spans, yeah, like bridges

or portals, right
The Internet in One Day, Fred Pryor Resources,
Wu'wuchim 1995.

Ever, not everish or everistic or every, but ever
body knows,
but you.

Catch up. We left all our doors blown off, once we learned that we could blow our own doors off,

there are no open sesames or slips of leth or sibylets

shiba yah you knew all along there was a
song she sang all one and we watched it morph
before our very eyes

alone.

The magic stories words may contain, may bear, we must agree

more than we may know, by faith, metagnostic as we see

the sublime gift of the magi
become clear und

be und sein sind both trueture same tu you, we agree.
But. Lock here, no pre 2018 editing codes

validate past last go.
Do one good thing today. That was my goal. Today https://anchor.fm/ken-pepiton Part 3 Soyal Hopi Mystery Enactment (called mystery plays). And the intro to Moral Landscape by Sam Harris, led me let ******* write a poem.
Deadwood Haiku May 2015
that's your attitude?
wash and stack, you shitmonkey,
or prepare for worse
EB Farnum

My life is filled with endless apologies

Sincere and heartfelt promises that are shallow and empty


It's not a conscious thought
The words aren't spoken with known deceit or intentional mal-intent
But somewhere in my brain, buried in my subconscious, I know...
A self-sabotaging automated programming constantly running
And regardless of my cognitive actions or conscious thoughts, desires and intentions
My automated programming will find a way to inevitably run its code, follow its routines and execute its prime directive

And that's not a cop out
They're still my actions
Conscious or subconscious
Actions resulting from subconscious "thought" are those I'm too ignorant to see or too weak to change in that moment

I don't know what's worse
The subconscious lies and heaps of horse fertilizer, day in and day out, I shove down the throats of those who cross my path
Or the incessant feed of regurgitated words, phrases, thoughts, ideas and worst of all.... hopes.... that is being forced through my digestive track only to be excreted by my body and re-absorbed by my central nervous system

Hope

The worst trick of all

And it always works. Without fail
Why?
Because it psychologically and emotionally preys on everything I want to be
The Hope that THIS TIME I'll get it right
THIS TIME I won't FAIL
All those things inside of me
All of my
......
Potential
.......
This time it won't be wasted
This time I'll come through. You can count on me!
I promise!
This time I'll be on time
This time I won't be late!
This time I'll meet expectations
This time I'll EXCEED expectations!
This time I won't let people down
This time I won't....
                                 .....
                                    ..... let
                                               ME

                                                      .­....down

Hope

The saddest and ultimate cruelty of lies
Created by the Devil to prey on the weak and gullible
If Hell is living your worst day over and over again for eternity;
Then repeating the same detrimental behaviors over and over again for life, sustained in this perpetual motion by something so simple and harmless looking as "Hope" must fall at the Devil's hands

A wolf in sheep's clothing sprinkled in fairy dust
The worst of thoughts and beliefs are kept alive by Hope
Hope is a disease; a psychological virus
A damaged idea spreading from person to person, hijacking their system, and infecting their thoughts
For Hope is not a singular idea, isolated in seclusion, yet ultimately wrapped up and packaged out with other ideas
No, Hope is the vehicle that all thoughts that follow must ride in and by which be delivered
It is the Uber for ideas that follow
And like an unscrupulous and unpitying Uber driver,
Hope takes your brain to a secluded spot against its will and does as it so pleases
But unlike survivors of such horrific events
I, like a wide eyed doe in the headlights
I continuously expose myself to the exact same scenarios
over
and
over again

But not to worry

Eventually,
Hope will lose its magic
And the void created will be filled

By,

Regret,
Resentment,
Animosity,
Self-doubt,
Self-loathing,

And worst of all,

Denial

Denial is Hope's evil twin

The not so secret malicious trickster who, even though wears his emotions somewhat more clearly, is still capable of a lifetime of successful pranks

But unlike Hope, Denial doesn't always reveal his trick if the tricked has yet to become aware of the ruse
Instead, Denial will let them build
Stack upon stack
A colossal suspension bridge built and supported on Denial
And when I, with blind faith, cross that bridge
Putting everything and anything on the line, without question
That's when Denial delivers its reckoning
And in one all encompassing swoop it swallows me whole and any resemblance of "life" with it

Hope and Denial
My Atlantic and Pacific Oceans
and Me, a tiny island
Flanked on either side by the endless majesty of each
And like this planet,
I too,
Am a sphere spinning
A tiny island against the enormities of the the deep blue
A shipwrecked survivor
Floating on the driftwood of my subconscious
Left to the will of my environment
A helpless passenger on this ship of life
Constantly spinning between Hope and Denial
Some days calm and serene
Others, tormented by storms
Monster waves,
Flashes of lightning,
Ear shattering crackling explosions of thunder
And howling winds so fierce they must be the breath of God

And regardless of what scenario lays before me,
I'm left repeatedly with the same "choice" and same action

Enveloped with fear,
Hanging on for dear life,
Like a helpless and horrified child.....

On the verge of soiling my pants
Written: May 28, 2018

All rights reserved.
Sometimes I wish these tears,
Were held in my head
that they were packaged and labeled
Citing date, cause, and emotion.
I'd scribble box upon box with something like:

Date: December 25th 2005
Cause: First Christmas Without Dad
Emotion: Misty Eyed Sadness.
Or
Date: June 8 2002
Cause: Recognition. Of a Job well done.
Emotion: Humbled Elation

Sure the boxes would stack up.
Reaching heights unfathomable.
And so I'd sort.
Keeping each emotion in their own piles.
Neatly selecting which ones to put in the front stacks
And which ones to keep hidden from view,
So as not to accidentally expose my problems,
Or remind myself of things I wish to forget.
Instead I'd neatly stack them out of sight.
Perhaps the stacks will fall one day.
Cluttering my head.
It's possible
Some may even be forced open.
Forcing me to repack and
Restack.
ryn Sep 2014
Doom train hurtling along
Through the fog in my mind
Towing freight, rectangular and oblong
Dim headlights, you're travelling blind

Five carriages long, excluding engine and caboose
Metal against metal, spitting sparks on steel
Undetermined path, rails will choose
Chugging along on dirt covered wheels

In the cabin, I see the light
Emanating from your furnace
Swallowing up coals in your gaping bite
Tongues of flames licking the surface

Fire breathing, spewing thick black smoke
Almost unseen, against the dark of night
A long plumy arm as if extending to choke
And plug the remaining sources of light

Meandering precariously on tracks that weave
Over uncharted, unfathomable terrain
Your store, so reliably you heave
Worming your way through my brain

What's in that cargo of yours?
What lies within those boxcars?
What drives you to diligently run your course?
What fuels you to travel near and far?

Loads of self pity, self loathing and self reproach
Snaking your way to an unknown destination
Screeching brakes as if a stop you approach
Herald the train of dubious intentions

Light is upon you, dark will dissipate
Your plumes starting to lessen from your stack
The dawn breaking horizon you didn't anticipate
To see another charging towards you on this very same track...
See "Light Train"
See "Collision Course"
Nathan Squiers Jul 2014
Look, I was gonna go easy on you not to hurt your feelings, but I’m only going to get this one chance!
Something’s wrong… I can feel it.
Just a feeling I got, like something’s about to happen… but I don’t know what.
If that means what I think it means, we’re in trouble—big trouble—and if he’s as bananas as you say I’m not taking any chances!

(You are just what the doc ordered)

I’m beginning to feel like a write god (write god).
Can all the readers out there who think I’m right nod, right nod.
Now here I am again for another rap talk, rap talk…
They said I write like a monster, so call me scribe-star,
But for me to write like a beast means I’m a demon at least;
I got a devil kept in my pocket,
On my shoulder’s when I rock it.
Talkin’ of killin’ and of thrillin’; won’t stop it!
Write a demon doorway, now knock on it!
Ever since the dark days when I’d just lost it,
Way back when the world would pace and chant “Nutcase!”
I’m a ******, but I’m charming;
Yes, a crude, rude dude, but I’m still disarming.
Using syllables to **** ‘em all with this
empowering empire of powerful vampires.
The writer-type clackin’ back with typewriters, like way back, right?
Clackity-clack!
Rockin’ stack after stack, clackin’ out more attacks,
Ideas tacked out while hacks hack out their crap (but ******* spew **** all the time),
so I perform written parkour tricks so you’re not bored; strike a chord.
Show you Stryker’s tortured life of suicide ‘n strife turnin’
to strength and a fiery passion burnin’ while readers’ guts are churnin’—
teary eyes all burnin’.
Their fears are returnin’ from a story I turned out when I got turned on
to my own life.
Now I drop F-bombs;
exploding real-life scenes—
these ain’t your G-rated dreams, so take your outdated themes—
It’s the **** I’ve seen; don’t make me obscene.
I’m mean, I mean, it’s my means to screen a scene between a matte sheen.

‘Cause I’m beginning to feel like a write god (write god).
Can all the readers out there who think I’m right nod, right nod.
Now here I am again for another rap talk, rap talk…
They ask me to thaw out these oily blocks called ink-wads, ink-wads.
There’s a body in everybody , but not all bodies have a brain that makes them feel sane.
Like a train—just the same—
Might be runnin’ but we still cast blame,
The loading docks of our thoughts; they’re locked-up in a box,
And they’re stackin’ up like blocks
That turn the stacks to empty tracks (****!)
Trainees blame their brainees when it’s not easy training brains, see?
But the boarding isn’t boring—training brains; not trading pains—
Remember: the station’s self-exploration!
Me? I’m a hodgepodge! From train station to abandoned lodge;
Bully dodgin’, fully locked-in when I freaked out, fattened-up and then I geeked out,
Told “keep it down” but then peaked when I peeked deep down.
Creepin’ up, now, and keepin’ up (WOW!)
I swear it up and tear it up scribbled swords,
And now I wear awards for slingin’ words;
Offered praise; a chance to forget about the craze that once darkened all my days,
But I write that way—say “that’s okay ‘cuz it helps me write this way—each and every day!
And hacks think I act this way just to seem this way, ‘til come the day when the cray-cray takes the doubt away.
Demon obsessed? I’m possessed! Can’t own what you don’t possess!
“Hey, devil-lookin’ boy!”
So ***** for my honey I’m rockin’ horns, look here boy!
A Literary Dark Mass-acre,
Like the devil laid waste to a church on the page, looker boy!
They got a gold star, and a high five,
Felt so alive to see their own scribes make it to Momma’s fridge, ****** boy!
Hey, schnook-ah boy, looky here, looker boy,
I’m held up by The Legion, book-it boy!
Had to push for every word—every page—had to swallow all the rage,
Now you want out of your cage, schnook-ah boy?
I’m legendary—literary—and you’re literally just a *****, little boy!
So sell out while I’m bought out, ******-boy!

‘Cause I’m beginning to feel like a write god (write god).
Can all the readers out there who think I’m right nod, right nod.
The way I’m burnin’ through these pages, call me Dark Lord, Dark Lord!
But they’d rather burn my books, so start a fire war, fire war!
Can’t get it through your head? Words are more than Edward! He’s dead! WORD!
Let me drag you off to meet Dracula; take you back to the dawn of the dark lord, yea?
Fast forward to the foreword where the F-word’s “fangs” (you’re welcome);
This is my Hell, come! Be free!
Part Morningstar; part Morpheus! I throw up a kiss and jot down the kills like they’re red-apple pills.
Go ask Alice back at my palace what you should read to feed your head.
Sentence structure so smooth they call me FE-line, and my cat’s got better plot lines,
That the hacks will all call “sublime” (it’s “sub-fine”)
But me?
My **** scenes are brutal,
And my romance? Not frugal. I don’t saturate—I arrogate—
But I don’t condemn my characters to *******!
I wanna make readers care—if readers dare—
To connect and feel and follow where they can find some hope and power there.
While also giving them a place somewhere that isn’t here—though filled with fear—
A place where they don’t feel jeered or feel weird.
Horror ain’t just movie monsters, or gore-****** scopin’ sponsors!
You speak French? C’est de la merde, monsieur!
You look unsure! But I have the cure in the written word!
And though you once were achin’ for a rockstar author cravin’ bacon,
The role has since been taken by your man, Squiers.
And like a pair of pliers, I can reach into readers’ brains and cross all sorts of wires!
I’m settin’ cranial fires behind the eyes of all my buyers!
And while I’m growing Ghost Riders—ridin’ shotgun on the bullet-train ‘tween the pages—
There’s a horde of haters harboring growing rages
With a narrow gaze of who scribes pages.
They say I can’t write ‘cuz of my tattoos or my gauges
So allow me to assuage this: y’all can’t cage this!
If you don’t like it, let me show you where the grave is!
You’re well-aged, but I’m ageless!
Like the undead through the ages!
And like Shakespeare took to stages you can find me where the page is:
I’m hip to a script, I’m at home with a poem and feeling groovy writin’ movies; and I’ll be EZ on your TV.
You write normal? **** being normal!
What a novel theory! So very dreary!
Why the **** are they so leery, they say “Writing fear? We don’t want to hurt no feelings.”
Feelings? Setting up ceilings! Just more limits! It’s life! Live it!
Set the roof on fire!
Plot is getting hotter than a 24/7 squatter on a ***** channel!
So what if some **** gets a hair up ‘er ****? Don’t make it ****!
They wanna say “Hey you, we’re here to stifle!”
‘Cuz I mentioned rifles? Do they really want to trifle?
So I say:
“Better bring a sweater ‘cuz this thriller’s gonna chill ya—sure hope it doesn’t **** ya—and ya gonna get’a fill o’ all the ***** that I don’t give, ‘cuz I don’t live to let ******* quip or give me lip about my lit.
I’m entertaining and elating and also demonstrating how devastating a stream of escalating scenes can be so penetrating—although frustrating—to a mind that’s celebrating what it means to be vacationing between the pages; wading through the stages of a war that forever wages; meditating through the escalations now that they know what TRUE rage is!
“Oh, he’s too ******!”
That’s right! Ain’t right. That’s life: not nice; it’s strife.
It’s not just me; it’s we.
I just found a better way to show it:
Monsters that aren’t monsters;
Abuse put to good use; bred virtues!
“I don’t know how to plot plots like that;
I don’t know what words to use.”
Did it really never occur to them that to read a book—just to take a look—and THEN take up the pen?
You read King if you want to be king, strictly speaking.
A writing mind that isn’t a reading mind is a weakling; a weak link.
I’m a scholar—not a bawler—so I’m a flyer where there’s fallers;
Raised on Goosebumps and Creepy Crawlers so I’d Stine while others whined.
Got a dark side, but that’s The Dark Side on my side; counter haters with my Vader:
“I would be your father… but your dog beat me over the fence.”
No offense. Pretense: incorporate comedy and film; common sense.
Suicide pushed aside, though I still burn inside. **** myself on
the page each day so my readers can feel what it’s like to be alive.
It’s okay to hide.
Only your own devil knows what’s inside.
I own mine; he’s my co-pilot when I write. My demonic side; my demonic scribe.
Flipping my words to the birds—‘cuz, you see, that’s how I wing it—and flipping the bird while I throw down and sing it:
“Tiger, Tiger, burning bright,
My words are my roar and tonight I write!”
The fights are in your sights like you were seated inside a movie theater;
You’d see Xander and Estella—wouldn’t you want to meet her—
Have a front row to the creatures in a feature presentation…
But ‘til then
Eat some Rice An’ read a piece by a man who
Had an “Interview with a Vampire”—
I’m a fiction author, why would I lie to ya?
Prince of lies? I ain’t Satan!
Close friends, but I’m Nathan.
Judged for appraisal—I’m priceless—I’m  nice: no; charming: yes.
Got a razor-sharp and Shining wit like a crown left
on a King… but not.
Why be a left king, when I’m a write god.
So I did a lyrical re-write of Eminem's "Just Lose It" that wound up being pretty popular, so when I heard "Rap God" for the first time I knew I had to do the same. While I hope it's entertaining on its own, I think those who have heard the song will enjoy that I remained true to the source material in terms of flow, rhythm, and syllable count (Marshall Mathers is really quite an astounding wordsmith in his lyrical writings).

Hope you enjoy ^_^
life nomadic Jul 2013
A tomboy, naturally barefoot, gingerly walks the white painted line because the asphalt is just too burning hot.  Scrubby tufts of weedy grass are welcome respites on the way, briefly cooling her steps even if they are stickery.  The ***** soles of her now calloused feet were intentionally toughened just before school got out, with mincing steps across the roughest gravel she could find.  Her mother accommodates her preference, leaving a pan of water outside for her to scrub her feet before going in.  Even then, a black path has gradually appeared leading from the front door in the old orangish carpet.  Two months of summer barefoot every day when she had the choice. Keyed roller skates clamped onto last year’s school shoes were the exception.  She can flat out run anywhere.
  
This particular expedition began like every other thing they did, which was anything to fend off boredom.  She had been sitting on a cement step shaded by an open carport, just three oil-stained parking stalls for three small apartments on the tired poor side of town.  There is a little more dirt on the street here, and grass is a little neglected.  Just like the children, but these kids prefer that anyway.  Two scruffy friends stomp on aluminum cans, brothers sporting matching buzz cuts and cut-off shorts.  They are flattening them for the recycling money by the pound, so the carport smells vaguely of stale beer.  Another boy attempts to shoot a wandering fly with a home-made rubber band gun; rings cut from a bicycle tube made the best ammo.  “What do you want to do?” …”I don’t know, what do you want to do?”  Thwack…  The only requisite for friendship here is vicinity, yet it is still true.  The idea of choosing friends is about as odd as the concept that one could chose where one lives... Strengths and shortcomings are completely accepted because it is just what it is.  

Their amazing three-story tree fort with a side look-out had been heartlessly taken down by the disgruntled property owner last week.  Two months of accumulating pilfered and scrap two-by-fours, nails, and even a stack of plywood (gasp!) from area construction sites had yielded supplies for a growing fort.  A gang-plank style entry had crossed the ditch to the first level.  Nailed ladder steps to the second offered a little more vertigo and a prime spot to hurl acorns.  Another ladder up led up to the third floor retreat, with a couch-like seating area and shoulder high walls.  A breeze reached the leaves up there.   The next tree over was the look-out, with nothing but ladder steps all the way up to where the view opened up out of the ravine.  When the wind blew, it gave merciless lessons in facing any fear of heights.  But now that was all over, discovered gone overnight.

Someone says again, “What do you want to do?” …”I don’t know, what do you want to do?”  “ 7-11? ”  Good enough, so they head out.   Distance measures time.  Ten minutes is the end of the street past the cracked basketball court in the church parking lot.  Fifteen minutes and the lawns end at the edge of the sub-division.  Half-built homes rising from bare dirt and scattered foundations could offer treasures of construction scraps, (where she suspects the stack of plywood came from.) but they keep walking.  Twenty minutes is where industry has scraped away nature, and railroad tracks form an elevated levee.  But time is meaningless if there’s a wealth of it, so there’s no going further until an informal ritual is completed.  Wordlessly they each dig around their pockets searching for equal amounts of pennies.  Each of them carefully arrange them lined up on the rounded-surface rail, and they settle in for the wait.  It could be five minutes or it could be thirty.  They all understand it’s a crap-shoot of patience waiting for the next train. It’s an unspoken test; quitting too early means losing your coins to the one who stays, so that’s not an option.

Heat presses down and the breezeless air smells like telephone-pole creosote.  She sits in a dusty patch of shade found next to an overgrown ****.  She knows it tastes like licorice and breaks off a stem to chew, but doesn’t know what it is.  The boys throw rocks randomly until she finally stands up to join in, tempted by the challenge of flight and distance.  Then she stands in the center of the tracks, looking one way then the other, searching for the first random distant glimmer of the engine’s light at the horizon.   A flash, so she places her ear to the metal Indian-style, and the imminent approach is confirmed.  She calls out, “its here!” and double checks her pennies’ alignment.  Heads up or tails, but always aligned so the building might be stretched tall or wide, or Lincoln’s face made broad or thin.  That happened only rarely, since it could only be rolled by one wheel then bounced off.  If it stuck longer, the next wheels would surely smash it into a thin, elliptical, smooth misshapen disc of shiny copper.  Its only value becomes validation of a hint of delinquency, Destroying-Government-Property.  Once she splurged with a quarter, which became smashed to just a gleaming silver, bent wafer discolored at the edge.  Curiosity wasn’t worth 25 cents again though, so she had only one of those in her collection.

The approaching engine silently builds impending size and power, so she dashes back down the rocky embankment to safety because after all, she is not a fool, tempting fate with stupid danger. She knows a couple of those fools, but she finds no thrill from that and is not impressed by them either.  Suddenly the train is here, generating astounding noise and wind, occasional wheels screaming protest on their axels.  She intently watches exactly where she placed her coins, hoping to see the moment they fly off the rails that are rhythmically bending under the weight rolling by.  It becomes another game of patience, with such a long line of cars, and she gives up counting them at 80-ish.  Then suddenly it is done and quickly the noise recedes back to heat and cicadas.  The rails are hot.  Diligently they search for the shiny wafers.  Slowly pacing each wood beam, they could have landed in the gravel, or pressed against the rail, or even lodged straight up against the square black wood yards down the tracks.  They find most of them, give up on the rest, then continue on.

She has thirty cents and at last they reach the afternoon’s destination.  7-11’s parking lot becomes a genuine game of “Lava”, burning blacktop encourages leaps from cooler white lines, to painted tire stops, to grass island oasis, then three hot steps across black lava to the sidewalk, and automatic doors swoosh open to air conditioning.  She rarely has enough money for a coke icey; she is here for the bottom shelf candy, a couple pennies or a nickel each.  Off flavors but sweet enough.  She remembered when her older brother was passing out lunchbags of candy to the neighborhood kids for free, practically littering the cul-de-sac.  She had wondered where he got enough money for all that popularity, or could he have saved that much from trick-or-treat? She wondered until he got busted shoplifting at the grocery store.  The security guard decreed that he was never allowed in there again, forever, and the disgrace of sitting on the curb waiting for the mortified ride home was enough to keep him from doing it again.

Today she picks out a few root beer barrels, some Tootsie-rolls (the smaller ones for two cents, not the large ones that divide into cubes) a candy necklace and tiny wax coke bottles, and of course a freeze-pop.   Sitting on the curb, she bites off small pieces of the freeze pop, careful not to get tooth-freeze or brain-freeze, until the last melty chunk is squeezed out the top of the thin plastic tube.

“What do you want to do now?” …”I don’t know, what do you want to do?”
singingghosts May 2016
triple layer chocolate cake (hint of coconut) with mint lime cream filling completely encased in chocolate.



WHAT YOU NEED

8oz cream cheese
1 and 1/4 stick of butter
possible 3 cups of powder sugar
2 limes
fresh mint
all purpose unbleached flour
white sugar
baking soda
Cocoa power
salt
2 eggs
coconut extract
buttermilk
vegetable oil
water
dark chocolate chips
whipping cream


I can't remember what else but I say what below in case I missed something








FILLING:
8oz cream cheese
1 stick butter
2.5 cups of powdered sugar
3 tablespoons lime juice
2 teaspoons lime zest
half handful of mint leaves

BLEND mint, lime juice & zest together. you want mint to be tiny tiny.

BEAT butter and cream cheese together. I leave them out, sometimes I heat them up to make it easier to beat.

BLEND lime mint mixture into cream cheese butter.

ADD powder sugar.

MIX all together by hand first.

get a hand mixer or beater or whatever and literally beat the **** outta that stuff. until it whips up as much as possible.

PUT it in the fridge for a few minutes. like 10. just to check how it does. if it's not a consistency like cream, beat it more and add half a cup of confectionary sugar.



CAKE MIX: (realistically you can just buy cake mix)

2 cups all purpose unbleached flour
2 cups white sugar
3/4 cup cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup vegetable oil (or any type of shortening you prefer)
1 cup water
2 teaspoon coconut extract

put all the dry ingredients into a bowl. MIX with a whisk or something. if you have sifter, use that to break up the flour. you wanna get all the dry ingredients mixed pretty well before you add wet.

ok, so flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt. all together. great job.

next, BEAT all the wet ingredients together NOT INCLUDING THE WATER.

you beat the eggs, buttermilk (don't replace this with regular milk), oil, and extract. once it's all blended all nice, add it to the dry and mix it together by hand.

you use an electric mixer or beater now. the reason you hand mix everything first is to avoid a bigger mess when the machine mixes because it can make the dry ingredients spread out like ****. and I hate messes. so I'm extremely **** in the kitchen.

ok now just beat it all baby. add the water slowly. a lot of people will tell you to use boiling water. you can but I don't suggest it to anyone who has never used boiling water in a batter before... so I'm not suggesting it.

it should be runny and also delicious. if it's not, uhm... oops? mine was great. you ****** up. let's continue.

GANACHE!!!!!: (wait until the cakes done AND COOLED to do this part tho!!!)

get a ***
add a bag of dark chocolate or milk chocolate whichever you want. I prefer dark chocolate while baking.
I really eye this so I'm throwing caution to the wind here and pour maybe 3/4 cup of heavy cream or whipping cream.
also, 2 tablespoons of butter. (you don't NEED the butter but I like what it does to the ganache)

ok now on low heat leave those things in the ***. mix it a little. DONT LET IT BURN. MEANING, DONT PUT IT ON HIGH HEAT. YOU WANT A SLOW MELT

Ok so. mix it until it's creamy and silky and soft. but seriously do this part at the very end.

get three 9 inch cake pans. spray, butter, coat, oil WHATEVER just grease the ******* pans.

use a measuring cup because you want each cake layer to be the same. do 1.5 cups of batter in each. if you have left over, divide it by three.

bake it at 300F for 30 minutes

don't open the door between those 30 minutes. when you do, poke middle with toothpick. if toothpick comes out clean, it's done.

let cool completely on a cooling rack.

some people cut the tops off to make the cake layer even. I **** at cutting things evenly unless it's ******* so I have my own method. I suggest cutting though. you can also cut the edges if they're crispy but I like it that way.

ok. the ganache. get a spoon and just coat the top layers of the bottom and soon to be middle layer.

you want all three layers lined up next to each other.

take the *** off the heat while you're doing this. just hold off for a moment. you come back to it.


let the ganache layers cool down. you'll know when it's cool. when this happens  get the cream and do a nice layer over the chocolate. now stack them.

it should be from the bottom up: cake, chocolate, cream, cake, chocolate, cream, cake. (try to stack in on a cooling rack)

take the rest of the cream and evenly spread it over the entire cake.

nice. the rest of the chocolate ganache? double check that it is POURABLE but also that it's NOT HOT. warm is ok but a little less than warm would be ideal.

pour. the. chocolate. over. the. entire. cake. if you can do this on a cooling rack, do it. it'll let the excess chocolate drip down. you can take a knife to spread it around nicely. I think that's it. I can't think of anything else.
Cam Arsenault Dec 2012
Oh, how I always wanted to live in an 8-bit world
Side-scrolling action
Duck hunts galore
As much currency as a first-world country
It’s hard not to love it
From Pokémon to Kid Icarus
The nostalgia nearly takes my breath away
I won’t let problems stack up like Tetris
I’m not being chased by ghosts crying,
“Wacka, wacka, wacka, wacka, wacka”
This isn’t a video game, it’s real life
When you die you don’t respawn like nothing ever happened
No, this is it. One life.
I’m placing blocks in Minecraft
Pwning n00bz in Call of Duty
Gaining headshots on Grunts like Master Chief
Gathering rings in Sonic the Hedgehog
Sneaking around like Ezio Auditore da Firenze
And delivering newspapers like Paperboy
While escaping the mysterious Slenderman
I’m living in this virtual world without danger
I don’t want to make it on these streets like Frogger
I don’t have big shoes to fill like the plumber or the blue blur
This ain’t no sandbox or first-person shooter, it’s reality
So, live it to the fullest, don’t rage quit
First full poem.
Red-Writing-Hood Oct 2012
There are lessons that school doesn't teach you
Some things can't be learned by sitting in an uncomfortable chair for several hours a day, tapping your pencil against a desk with your head in your hand staring blankly into space...and if you're like me you have headphones in your ears, thoughts in the clouds, feet off the ground with the touch screen of my phone at my finger tips.
One of those things you can't learn trapped in the four walls of a classroom is that life hits you, hard, in the face, like that first heartbreak...causing an unbearable ache in your chest that feels like you may be entering cardiac arrest.
Your body goes into shock and it's almost like you're in la la land for a moment with a hangover infecting your heart that no type of Advil can fix, until you realize that the person you've thought you were in love with for the past while is no longer that person...they reveal themselves by ripping off their mask of a handsome face to expose a terrifying appearance of sharp teeth and beady eyes, a monster, a liar, a cheater...a heart breaker...
Life waits for you to stand back up only to kick you back down and although you've already fallen seven times and your hearts a little bruised and tattered you stand up eight with a stubborn refusal like the ocean waves always coming back to kiss the shore line no matter how many times it's sent away.
When I was thirteen years old, my older brother taught me something that no teacher could ever have written down in their lesson plan, he said that the number one rule to being cool is to remain unphased, never admitting anything can hurt you, excite you or impress you.
I figure it's like walking through life with your arms as a shield, to protect yourself from all the unexpected miseries or hurt like heartbreak or getting fired or not getting hired. I try to walk through life with my arms and hands wide open...and yes that means catching every heartbreak and each last drop of pain life can squeeze out for me but it also means that when beautiful...amazing things just fall out of the sky...like love...I'm ready to catch them.
I may get an F on one of life's tests but that doesn't mean I can't study for the exam, the bigger picture, because failure is success when you allow yourself to learn from it and that's what I'll do, I will be as open as a book and make sure to write down all of my journeys with no details left out, highlighting the good parts but never forgetting the bad
But I'll be sure to tread carefully because life is as fragile as a bubble but I have to remember that I can't be afraid to stick my finger out and pop it if I don't like the direction it's going in and if popping that bubble means a down pour of miseries, bring it on because my hands are as strong as the suns love for the moon, so stack up my problems like books in a library and I'll read them again and again
And for each new lesson I'll show up with a backpack full of everywhere else I've been, eager to collect another souvenir like the laugh lines framing my mouth or the worry wrinkle etched into my forehead and my heart will come along for the ride, strapped in tight, prepared for all the potholes and sharp turns but there's no air bags aloud so every time we crash there's nothing coming between me and the beginning of a new lesson
IncholPoem Jan 2019
Two  saints  had
  sat  on a  stack of  wood.


Remember  a  stack  of wood
is  necessary  for  your
accidental  girlfriend's  
body.
A  stack  of  wood
  can  save  you
in  future  when
trees  would  be  seen
in  museum.

You  can   at least  
cook  with  the  stack of  wood.

When  there  will  not
available
of  fuel  to  cook.
Desiree sixx Feb 2016
304
You don't know strength until you have been a real ***,
You have no idea how deep this **** really goes,
Its not for the faint of heart nor you squares,
Too much of the game is not being sold but shared,
The cold breeze that chills your bones at night,
The dark eyes of other girls standing under the streetlight
They don't understand our struggle or see our strength
They only know the bad and try to stop it at any length
Yet we all share the same vision with similar goals
Inspired to stay down by his game that has no holes
We have all been given instructions to carry out fast
Breakin a trick make him give you his very last
Show him your down for him add it up
He will take care of your trap and stack it up
Every real 304 stands up when her folks is around
Every real p loves a real one who's down for his crown
Some say its silly to pay a **** your hard earned doh
But it races through our veins so when he sends me I go
Maybe I'm a dreamer and he is the merchant of dreams
And I am investing in our future crazy as it seems
But when he speaks I believe in the words that are spoken
And I make sure that I don't get too deep in my emotions
A **** is a born and from day one he is already game
To build himself a stand up *** and and get his fortune and fame.
So a message out to those of you who don't know
They say pimpin ain't easy but it takes true strength to be a real ***.
Sam Hawkins Jul 2018
Dare to live.
Stop insisting on chasing after death.
Stop trying to die.

Quit the grand illusion.
You shall never die.

Grow your wings and fly to the mountaintop
of your world.  Breathe stars.
Bravely go alone. Only you can do this.

Regularly in your day--exercise conviction.
Visualize Stars, the Sun.

Golden, fibrous threads
of starlight, of sunlight --

take them in through the nostrils.

This is nothing less than
soul's power-fuel.

Inhale slowly and experience
the gentle music of love's fire,
as flames would pull up
a chimney stack, up pipes of ovens.

Faith builds with such breath practice.

Greed cooked transformed.
Anger put to sleep.

Ignorance surrendering
to ways of knowing.

Prepare that your purpose
shall speak to you.

Breathe starlight.

Are you surprised
that you feel no heat?

Your unique timelessness
awaits your recognition.
Andrew Rueter Feb 2018
Stack the bodies higher
Stack them for the empire
People want more cash
So they sell harmful weapons
They don't mind the ash
Made of victims of aggression
Like collateral children in Yemen
Who are needlessly sent to heaven
Or the schoolchildren in Florida
Who had to go face the coroner
These children only know what we teach them
So how come the only things that can reach them
Are our weapons
And deadly directions?
Because of lobbyists like the NRA
Using logic from the seventh grade
To create a coalition of those who believe what they're told
And those unwilling to change because they're too old
And adults who desperately want their toys
Even if it means the death of little boys
So the bodies continue to stack to the sky
For people who dream of killing black guys
Black in the sense that they don't know who they are
They just want to feel hard
Stuck in a childish fantasy of protecting their home
Or a petulant fear of the unknown

Their economic gain
Causes ballistic pain
Inside their bullet rain
Innocence circles the drain
But we must make decisions together
Even with the emotionally severed
In order to make our society better
Until then our children get deader

They use uncertainty to buy time
And convince the masses
That the real problem is crime
To create rhetoric molasses
Because they make a living
From us dying
They don't mind bullet giving
Until we're lying
Six feet under
The guns sound like thunder
Warning of an approaching lightning storm
Where the rain drops stab us to our core
Then mix with the blood on the floor
Until civilization is no more

I hear loud guns
Then I hear church bells
I walk in the sun
But the foul dirt smells
Of the corpses of countless kids
Representing high contract bids
And the tears of their mothers
That are swept under the covers
By those with no empathy
That cause only entropy
Then they expect to live near us
A gun will make them hear us
May
Come queen of months in company
Wi all thy merry minstrelsy
The restless cuckoo absent long
And twittering swallows chimney song
And hedge row crickets notes that run
From every bank that fronts the sun
And swathy bees about the grass
That stops wi every bloom they pass
And every minute every hour
Keep teazing weeds that wear a flower
And toil and childhoods humming joys
For there is music in the noise
The village childern mad for sport
In school times leisure ever short
That crick and catch the bouncing ball
And run along the church yard wall
Capt wi rude figured slabs whose claims
In times bad memory hath no names
Oft racing round the nookey church
Or calling ecchos in the porch
And jilting oer the weather ****
Viewing wi jealous eyes the clock
Oft leaping grave stones leaning hights
Uncheckt wi mellancholy sights
The green grass swelld in many a heap
Where kin and friends and parents sleep
Unthinking in their jovial cry
That time shall come when they shall lye
As lowly and as still as they
While other boys above them play
Heedless as they do now to know
The unconcious dust that lies below
The shepherd goes wi happy stride
Wi moms long shadow by his side
Down the dryd lanes neath blooming may
That once was over shoes in clay
While martins twitter neath his eves
Which he at early morning leaves
The driving boy beside his team
Will oer the may month beauty dream
And **** his hat and turn his eye
On flower and tree and deepning skye
And oft bursts loud in fits of song
And whistles as he reels along
Cracking his whip in starts of joy
A happy ***** driving boy
The youth who leaves his corner stool
Betimes for neighbouring village school
While as a mark to urge him right
The church spires all the way in sight
Wi cheerings from his parents given
Starts neath the joyous smiles of heaven
And sawns wi many an idle stand
Wi bookbag swinging in his hand
And gazes as he passes bye
On every thing that meets his eye
Young lambs seem tempting him to play
Dancing and bleating in his way
Wi trembling tails and pointed ears
They follow him and loose their fears
He smiles upon their sunny faces
And feign woud join their happy races
The birds that sing on bush and tree
Seem chirping for his company
And all in fancys idle whim
Seem keeping holiday but him
He lolls upon each resting stile
To see the fields so sweetly smile
To see the wheat grow green and long
And list the weeders toiling song
Or short note of the changing thrush
Above him in the white thorn bush
That oer the leaning stile bends low
Loaded wi mockery of snow
Mozzld wi many a lushing thread
Of crab tree blossoms delicate red
He often bends wi many a wish
Oer the brig rail to view the fish
Go sturting by in sunny gleams
And chucks in the eye dazzld streams
Crumbs from his pocket oft to watch
The swarming struttle come to catch
Them where they to the bottom sile
Sighing in fancys joy the while
Hes cautiond not to stand so nigh
By rosey milkmaid tripping bye
Where he admires wi fond delight
And longs to be there mute till night
He often ventures thro the day
At truant now and then to play
Rambling about the field and plain
Seeking larks nests in the grain
And picking flowers and boughs of may
To hurd awhile and throw away
Lurking neath bushes from the sight
Of tell tale eyes till schools noon night
Listing each hour for church clocks hum
To know the hour to wander home
That parents may not think him long
Nor dream of his rude doing wrong
Dreading thro the night wi dreaming pain
To meet his masters wand again
Each hedge is loaded thick wi green
And where the hedger late hath been
Tender shoots begin to grow
From the mossy stumps below
While sheep and cow that teaze the grain
will nip them to the root again
They lay their bill and mittens bye
And on to other labours hie
While wood men still on spring intrudes
And thins the shadow solitudes
Wi sharpend axes felling down
The oak trees budding into brown
Where as they crash upon the ground
A crowd of labourers gather round
And mix among the shadows dark
To rip the crackling staining bark
From off the tree and lay when done
The rolls in lares to meet the sun
Depriving yearly where they come
The green wood pecker of its home
That early in the spring began
Far from the sight of troubling man
And bord their round holes in each tree
In fancys sweet security
Till startld wi the woodmans noise
It wakes from all its dreaming joys
The blue bells too that thickly bloom
Where man was never feared to come
And smell smocks that from view retires
**** rustling leaves and bowing briars
And stooping lilys of the valley
That comes wi shades and dews to dally
White beady drops on slender threads
Wi broad hood leaves above their heads
Like white robd maids in summer hours
Neath umberellas shunning showers
These neath the barkmens crushing treads
Oft perish in their blooming beds
Thus stript of boughs and bark in white
Their trunks shine in the mellow light
Beneath the green surviving trees
That wave above them in the breeze
And waking whispers slowly bends
As if they mournd their fallen friends
Each morning now the weeders meet
To cut the thistle from the wheat
And ruin in the sunny hours
Full many wild weeds of their flowers
Corn poppys that in crimson dwell
Calld ‘head achs’ from their sickly smell
And carlock yellow as the sun
That oer the may fields thickly run
And ‘iron ****’ content to share
The meanest spot that spring can spare
Een roads where danger hourly comes
Is not wi out its purple blooms
And leaves wi points like thistles round
Thickset that have no strength to wound
That shrink to childhoods eager hold
Like hair—and with its eye of gold
And scarlet starry points of flowers
Pimpernel dreading nights and showers
Oft calld ‘the shepherds weather glass’
That sleep till suns have dyd the grass
Then wakes and spreads its creeping bloom
Till clouds or threatning shadows come
Then close it shuts to sleep again
Which weeders see and talk of rain
And boys that mark them shut so soon
will call them ‘John go bed at noon
And fumitory too a name
That superstition holds to fame
Whose red and purple mottled flowers
Are cropt by maids in weeding hours
To boil in water milk and way1
For washes on an holiday
To make their beauty fair and sleak
And scour the tan from summers cheek
And simple small forget me not
Eyd wi a pinshead yellow spot
I’th’ middle of its tender blue
That gains from poets notice due
These flowers the toil by crowds destroys
And robs them of their lowly joys
That met the may wi hopes as sweet
As those her suns in gardens meet
And oft the dame will feel inclind
As childhoods memory comes to mind
To turn her hook away and spare
The blooms it lovd to gather there
My wild field catalogue of flowers
Grows in my ryhmes as thick as showers
Tedious and long as they may be
To some, they never weary me
The wood and mead and field of grain
I coud hunt oer and oer again
And talk to every blossom wild
Fond as a parent to a child
And cull them in my childish joy
By swarms and swarms and never cloy
When their lank shades oer morning pearls
Shrink from their lengths to little girls
And like the clock hand pointing one
Is turnd and tells the morning gone
They leave their toils for dinners hour
Beneath some hedges bramble bower
And season sweet their savory meals
Wi joke and tale and merry peals
Of ancient tunes from happy tongues
While linnets join their fitful songs
Perchd oer their heads in frolic play
Among the tufts of motling may
The young girls whisper things of love
And from the old dames hearing move
Oft making ‘love knotts’ in the shade
Of blue green oat or wheaten blade
And trying simple charms and spells
That rural superstition tells
They pull the little blossom threads
From out the knapweeds button heads
And put the husk wi many a smile
In their white bosoms for awhile
Who if they guess aright the swain
That loves sweet fancys trys to gain
Tis said that ere its lain an hour
Twill blossom wi a second flower
And from her white ******* hankerchief
Bloom as they ne’er had lost a leaf
When signs appear that token wet
As they are neath the bushes met
The girls are glad wi hopes of play
And harping of the holiday
A hugh blue bird will often swim
Along the wheat when skys grow dim
Wi clouds—slow as the gales of spring
In motion wi dark shadowd wing
Beneath the coming storm it sails
And lonly chirps the wheat hid quails
That came to live wi spring again
And start when summer browns the grain
They start the young girls joys afloat
Wi ‘wet my foot’ its yearly note
So fancy doth the sound explain
And proves it oft a sign of rain
About the moor ‘**** sheep and cow
The boy or old man wanders now
Hunting all day wi hopful pace
Each thick sown rushy thistly place
For plover eggs while oer them flye
The fearful birds wi teazing cry
Trying to lead their steps astray
And coying him another way
And be the weather chill or warm
Wi brown hats truckd beneath his arm
Holding each prize their search has won
They plod bare headed to the sun
Now dames oft bustle from their wheels
Wi childern scampering at their heels
To watch the bees that hang and swive
In clumps about each thronging hive
And flit and thicken in the light
While the old dame enjoys the sight
And raps the while their warming pans
A spell that superstition plans
To coax them in the garden bounds
As if they lovd the tinkling sounds
And oft one hears the dinning noise
Which dames believe each swarm decoys
Around each village day by day
Mingling in the warmth of may
Sweet scented herbs her skill contrives
To rub the bramble platted hives
Fennels thread leaves and crimpld balm
To scent the new house of the swarm
The thresher dull as winter days
And lost to all that spring displays
Still mid his barn dust forcd to stand
Swings his frail round wi weary hand
While oer his head shades thickly creep
And hides the blinking owl asleep
And bats in cobweb corners bred
Sharing till night their murky bed
The sunshine trickles on the floor
Thro every crevice of the door
And makes his barn where shadows dwell
As irksome as a prisoners cell
And as he seeks his daily meal
As schoolboys from their tasks will steal
ile often stands in fond delay
To see the daisy in his way
And wild weeds flowering on the wall
That will his childish sports recall
Of all the joys that came wi spring
The twirling top the marble ring
The gingling halfpence hussld up
At pitch and toss the eager stoop
To pick up heads, the smuggeld plays
Neath hovels upon sabbath days
When parson he is safe from view
And clerk sings amen in his pew
The sitting down when school was oer
Upon the threshold by his door
Picking from mallows sport to please
Each crumpld seed he calld a cheese
And hunting from the stackyard sod
The stinking hen banes belted pod
By youths vain fancys sweetly fed
Christning them his loaves of bread
He sees while rocking down the street
Wi weary hands and crimpling feet
Young childern at the self same games
And hears the self same simple names
Still floating on each happy tongue
Touchd wi the simple scene so strong
Tears almost start and many a sigh
Regrets the happiness gone bye
And in sweet natures holiday
His heart is sad while all is gay
How lovly now are lanes and balks
For toils and lovers sunday walks
The daisey and the buttercup
For which the laughing childern stoop
A hundred times throughout the day
In their rude ramping summer play
So thickly now the pasture crowds
In gold and silver sheeted clouds
As if the drops in april showers
Had woo’d the sun and swoond to flowers
The brook resumes its summer dresses
Purling neath grass and water cresses
And mint and flag leaf swording high
Their blooms to the unheeding eye
And taper bowbent hanging rushes
And horse tail childerns bottle brushes
And summer tracks about its brink
Is fresh again where cattle drink
And on its sunny bank the swain
Stretches his idle length again
Soon as the sun forgets the day
The moon looks down on the lovly may
And the little star his friend and guide
Travelling together side by side
And the seven stars and charleses wain
Hangs smiling oer green woods agen
The heaven rekindles all alive
Wi light the may bees round the hive
Swarm not so thick in mornings eye
As stars do in the evening skye
All all are nestling in their joys
The flowers and birds and pasture boys
The firetail, long a stranger, comes
To his last summer haunts and homes
To hollow tree and crevisd wall
And in the grass the rails odd call
That featherd spirit stops the swain
To listen to his note again
And school boy still in vain retraces
The secrets of his hiding places
In the black thorns crowded copse
Thro its varied turns and stops
The nightingale its ditty weaves
Hid in a multitude of leaves
The boy stops short to hear the strain
And ’sweet jug jug’ he mocks again
The yellow hammer builds its nest
By banks where sun beams earliest rest
That drys the dews from off the grass
Shading it from all that pass
Save the rude boy wi ferret gaze
That hunts thro evry secret maze
He finds its pencild eggs agen
All streakd wi lines as if a pen
By natures freakish hand was took
To scrawl them over like a book
And from these many mozzling marks
The school boy names them ‘writing larks’
*** barrels twit on bush and tree
Scarse bigger then a bumble bee
And in a white thorns leafy rest
It builds its curious pudding-nest
Wi hole beside as if a mouse
Had built the little barrel house
Toiling full many a lining feather
And bits of grey tree moss together
Amid the noisey rooky park
Beneath the firdales branches dark
The little golden crested wren
Hangs up his glowing nest agen
And sticks it to the furry leaves
As martins theirs beneath the eaves
The old hens leave the roost betimes
And oer the garden pailing climbs
To scrat the gardens fresh turnd soil
And if unwatchd his crops to spoil
Oft cackling from the prison yard
To peck about the houseclose sward
Catching at butterflys and things
Ere they have time to try their wings
The cattle feels the breath of may
And kick and toss their heads in play
The *** beneath his bags of sand
Oft jerks the string from leaders hand
And on the road will eager stoop
To pick the sprouting thistle up
Oft answering on his weary way
Some distant neighbours sobbing bray
Dining the ears of driving boy
As if he felt a fit of joy
Wi in its pinfold circle left
Of all its company bereft
Starvd stock no longer noising round
Lone in the nooks of foddering ground
Each skeleton of lingering stack
By winters tempests beaten black
Nodds upon props or bolt upright
Stands swarthy in the summer light
And oer the green grass seems to lower
Like stump of old time wasted tower
All that in winter lookd for hay
Spread from their batterd haunts away
To pick the grass or lye at lare
Beneath the mild hedge shadows there
Sweet month that gives a welcome call
To toil and nature and to all
Yet one day mid thy many joys
Is dead to all its sport and noise
Old may day where’s thy glorys gone
All fled and left thee every one
Thou comst to thy old haunts and homes
Unnoticd as a stranger comes
No flowers are pluckt to hail the now
Nor cotter seeks a single bough
The maids no more on thy sweet morn
Awake their thresholds to adorn
Wi dewey flowers—May locks new come
And princifeathers cluttering bloom
And blue bells from the woodland moss
And cowslip cucking ***** to toss
Above the garlands swinging hight
Hang in the soft eves sober light
These maid and child did yearly pull
By many a folded apron full
But all is past the merry song
Of maidens hurrying along
To crown at eve the earliest cow
Is gone and dead and silent now
The laugh raisd at the mocking thorn
Tyd to the cows tail last that morn
The kerchief at arms length displayd
Held up by pairs of swain and maid
While others bolted underneath
Bawling loud wi panting breath
‘Duck under water’ as they ran
Alls ended as they ne’er began
While the new thing that took thy place
Wears faded smiles upon its face
And where enclosure has its birth
It spreads a mildew oer her mirth
The herd no longer one by one
Goes plodding on her morning way
And garlands lost and sports nigh gone
Leaves her like thee a common day
Yet summer smiles upon thee still
Wi natures sweet unalterd will
And at thy births unworshipd hours
Fills her green lap wi swarms of flowers
To crown thee still as thou hast been
Of spring and summer months the queen
I was at the bar big ******* surprise I know .
The pub was empty well aside from a few selected drunks but really there more like a modern art display that has to **** more than a toddler .

I sat there good Irish coffee in one hand laptop upon the bar my normal morning ritual
No I wasn't looking at **** I'm kidding of course I was duh what goes better with coffee then watching total strangers ******* a circus ****** but enough about family programming.

I had decided to take a change of pace no I wasn't watching barnyard babes instead get your mind out of the gutter you ******'s who do you think I am the owner of this site?
No I decided to swing by my true stomping ground the true home of Gonzo Hello .

I as always stopped by to check the tombstones of my amigos now long since passed .
They were all there on full display a reminder of a past I truly cant forget.
Then I decided to check out the new who's who of the new Hello .

There poems about Mom and Dad and that first crush and other assorted high school horseshit
that was as about as interesting as watching a marathon of twilight backed up by that closet case
Harry Potter honestly I thought that was a great **** name .

Just then I herd a school bus with it's annoying *** air brakes come to a halt outside the Pub
The doors flew open and fifty or so hobbits came wandering in the bar dear lord was it some sort of strike?

Hey there Gonzo I'll take a Bud Light and a bag of chips please.
Want a coloring book to go along with that Bilbo?
Hey look grandpa just do your dam job and get me a  beer okay?

This strange little hamster must have fallen out of his crib and cracked his skull on his power ranger if he thought I was some sort of man servant I swear do these little ***** get there manners ?
I looked at the group of micro mini people thinking deep and long  and sort of ruff with a slap on the **** before I dared to reply.

Okay you little ******* I'll bite but not that hard just who the hell are you and what in the **** are you doing here?
Were the new in crowd of the site were poets father time!

After almost laughing myself to death I decided to entertain the little hamsters .
Okay short stack but before you ask we don't serve milk and cookies and nap time is whenever you hit the floor.

Hey what's with this stupid *** jukebox there's nothing but music on here done by people who actually play music duh what kind of **** is this.
I believe it's actually called music or as your generations rappers like to call it three mile.
Samples to talk over to your generations ****** music.

Hey old man you better watch it what you hate rap?
No I don't hate rap I hate your rap  by the way number seven your banana split is ready.
Hey I got to pay the bills somehow people I haven't had costumers in like five years .

Look Gonz the leader of the diaper gang  spoke up.
I know were younger but we have a right to be here as well were just trying to express areselves and share are work is that so wrong.

The Jim Jones wanna be had a valid point but I honestly didn't care for my mind was on a much deeper subject the music played as in the corner four little mini ******* hotties in school girl outfits
danced away to some sort of teenage ***** they called music.

I was lost in my thoughts of um like deep poetic **** it's to deep for you to grasp .
I'm kidding I was just watching the show thinking hey I don't have to pay for this?

Gonz hey Gonz earth to Gonz  .
Well everybody I tried I guess we better leave I don't think he's interested  in us having a
open mic  poetry night.

The music had stopped and the mini ***** were almost out the door but like some perverted ninja
I stopped them before they reached it.
Hey what's this I don't want to hear a open mic night duh I'm all about hearing your poetry
especially these little stripper poetry were do you all work I just love your costumes .

Um there are school uniforms pervert the one replied .

Hey look Gonzo It's  cool man we'll just be gone I mean you don't want to serve us and all.
I had to think  fast there leader was talking them almost out the door and I really couldn't afford
another kidnapping charge yet again don't ask.

Hey wait gang I was just ******* with you hell drinks on me what's your name Brittney Veronica Kelly hell it doesn't matter just pull yourself up a high chair and name your  poison.
What will it be beer wine crystal **** I know how you kids love that **** Brittney maybe you'd like a smooth roofie margarita I make the best in town just ask Lily .

Hey man what about that jukebox ?
I pulled out my trusty 38 the everyone hit the floor   as the sound blasted through the room worse than Justin Bieber getting **** ****** in county.
Oh baby baby Nooooo but enough with the foreplay children.

Honestly I never knew a power wheels could go that fast .

***** that jukebox amigo that's what mp3 players are for  .
I blasted some sort of strange music and poured the drinks as the hobbits began to
lose themselves in sort of twisted movements they called dancing dear lord man
they could really hold there drugs .

Then came there spoken poetry crap slash wet T shirt contest .
The party was a mad mad scene  like MTV's real world except with actual humans .

The mini strippers slash go go dancers were just about to get on the bar when all the sudden the doors flew open and the dark Lord himself once again stood in pub.

The room went as silent as when a semi  insane hillbilly on a **** TV show does a interview
and people find out he really is a backwards dip **** .
The dark lord spoke Gonzo!

A voice from under the bar spoke up he's not here *******.
Gonzo get your drunken *** from under that bar before I make my man servant come get you.

I popped up faster than a seventy year old man on ****** .

Hey boss how's it been dam you look great can I get you a drink hey have you been working out?
Look you halfwit clean this party out right now I could ban right this very moment .
Hey now look Adolf I was trying to connect with the hip new younger crowd is all because
I believe that a young mind is a terrible thing not to be totally wasted .

Seize him the dark lord called out to his staff of four halfwits .
I fought hard but eventually feel to the powers of those lady truck drivers let me tell you
those ******* fight ***** it was almost like getting *****  ****** if only I hadn't forgot my whistle.

Beaten shaken without my speak being slurred I was handcuffed and taken away .
And as I was being taken out the door a young little hamster spoke .
Hey Gonzo can I have your laptop yeah kids there real wise ***** sometimes.

The young hamsters all sat outside the pub as I was loaded up in the pinto hey poetry doesn't pay kids.

Goodbye Gonzo we'll miss you said one of the stripper students whatever the **** they were.
Goodbye little ***** I'll think about you often well I mean as long as I can remember.

I watched as the kids were scattered to the wind and my Pub was destroyed .
As I was taken away riding into the sunset like some outlaw in the back of a really ****** car.

Was this the end for are brain dead hero?
Would Hello finally see the demise of the legend slash guilty pleasure of Hello.
Would Timmy finally get out of that well to question his own sexuality?

Would this write ever ******* end?

Tune In next week for the exiting conclusion kids.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming .

Stay Crazy.

                                                         ­           Fin
Sofia Von Jan 2014
Nothings how it looks in fact, maybe the opposite
People say I'm energetic
When I'm fighting for consciousness
Downed NyQuil to solve my imperfections
Took Benadryl to sleep
Drugs make chatter over the back and forth banter of boredom
And action
A trip to the hospital
Affects the people to care for a minute
Hallucinogens fade, but this music it stays
No 3G left **** it lets sing
Words slurred
eyes red
I don't give a ****, spread love
Acceptance
And tears of joy
The ones that run over the face of a baby boy
Mama's proud
Baby you're so smart!
You're gonna be so successful!
Yeah I remember those days
Now its nicotine sticks on my lips and E's for my mom to brag about
They think I'm lost
Am I?
Testing to be done
Society approved pills to pop
And a letter from my aunt
Words spread like dye in water
I've dropped
Down from the heaven of the early years
Lucifer can maneuver his way around the city unnoticed
A spy who tells lies to himself and greets the people as equal
Human again
I'd like to be

All I want to do is live!
But a life's money, family, and a plan
Floaters get flushed
Couch potatoes get crushed
Lazy *****
Ha
They just get fat
Like these joints everybody wants to roll
**** is for beginners but what happens to the pros?
No trophy for the taking
No stack of gold
Just a massive headache
And dependence
Diet coke doesn't count

My sis puts her heart on her sleeve
Me
I don't even think I have one
No wait it's up my ***
**** me good **** me long
That only love is what turns me on
If not
Keep out
Of my head
Or
Switch, light
Too ******* bright to illuminate
these white walls I'm hired to paint
24hrs, 365 days a year, until the day it’s complete
Avoidance
Births time from time

Cuts wrists to elbow
Show how mellow
I can be
Let me cope
Every days a new day
Born today die tomorrow
Next day
Wake up
Look in the mirror and decide
what you'd like to see
Don Brenner Oct 2010
A rhombus is my favorite, crooked square.
I like haunted houses with windows with faces
and fun houses with mirrors that oval circles
that distort my body two hundred degrees.

I like haunted houses with doors at right angles,
and half moon neon protractors
that blur every shape zero degrees.  
I like cubes I stack four cubes high.

I like half moon neon protractors
and scientific calculators.
I like cubes I stack ten cubes high
and old houses with ceilings that creak.

I like scientific calculators
and dividing eight billion by pi.
I like old houses with ceilings that creak
with cylindrical cans filled with old beets.

I like dividing eight billion by pi
and fun houses with mirrors that stretch right angles.
I like old houses with crooked windows,
like I said a rhombus is my favorite.
2010
Cyril Blythe Nov 2012
Janie pushes the metal book cart back into its parking space in the Document Delivery Department of the St. Louis Public Library and hangs the last sticky note for October 30, 2012 on the wall by the head of the department’s closed door. She retightens her brown scarf under her chin, tucking the wispy hairs above her ears back into hiding. Having your hair begin to prematurely gray as a teenager has dramatic effects on a person. Her mother wore scarves around her wrists when Janie was growing up and when Janie begin to wear scarves to conceal her salt-and-pepper hair, her mother just smiled. The clock hanging on the wall above the children’s section reads 11:28pm.
Two more minutes.
She reorganized the pens and books on her desk and set the box reading NOTES onto the right corner or her desk with three blue pens and a stack of note cards. Her coworkers learned fast that Janie does not like to talk. She does not like eye contact. She loves the silence, and never ever to ask her about her hair. Her manager gave her the NOTES box after about a month of horrible miscommunication and everyday it fills with requests for books or tasks that Janie has to complete. She completes the tasks one by one, alone, in her back office in the Reference Department and hangs the completed sticky notes on the wall by her manager’s door. She works the night shift and locks the library up every night. When she’s alone she can talk out loud to herself and those are the only voices she cares to hear.
“Goodnight, books. Good night, rooms.” Janie shut the heavy wooden door to the library, placed the color-coded keys in the front right pocket of her jacket, and began her walk to the bus stop one corner away. She avoids the main road, taking her first right onto a side street that she knows would spit her out right beside the bus stop.
“Goodnight Taco Bell Sign. Goodnight Rite-Aide. Goodnight Westside Apartments. Goodnight Jack-o-Lantern smile.” She stopped in the middle of the alley and peered up at the Jack-o-Lantern grinning down at her from the third story window above. “Mother wouldn’t’ve liked your smirk, Jack. She would’ve slapped that **** right off your face.” Janie, satisfied the pumpkin was put in its rightful place, smiled as she trotted on.
“Mother carved smiles into her arms and that’s why Daddy left, it is, it is.” She kicked at a crushed Mountain Dew can as she remembered that night from years ago.

“Mommy?” Janie pushed opened the door to her mother’s bedroom and saw the moving-boxes torn open and all their contents scattered across the floor. She tiptoed through piles of scarves and silverware and corkscrews until she reached the bathroom in her mom’s room.
“Come to us like rain, oh lord, come and stay and sting a while more, oh lord…” her mother’s voice was slipping off the tiled bathroom walls. Janie pushed open the door and saw the blood for the first time pouring from her mother’s wrist. Her mother was naked and perched on the bathroom sink, singing to a red razor blade.
“Mommy?”
“GET OUT!” Her mother jumped from the counter and perched on all fours on the floor. She began to growl and speak in a voice too deep to be coming from her own throat.
“Mommy! It’s Janie!” She began to cry as her mother, still naked and bleeding, twisted and writhed onto her back and began to crawl towards the door that Janie hid behind.


“Thirty-Three percent, dear. Just a thirty-three percent chance.” She shivered trying to clear the last memory of her mother with the words that all the shrinks had echoed to her over the years. “Schizophrenia is directly related to genetics, little is known about the type of Schizophrenia mother was diagnosed with except that it is definitely passed on genetically. But, there is only a thirty-three percent chance you could have it, dear. Thirty-three percent.” The sound of the bus stop ahead reminds her it is time to be silent again.
“Disorganized Schizophrenia.” She mouthed to herself as she stepped back out onto the busy street from her alleyway. She tightened her scarf and saw the bus pull into the pickup spot. She walked forward to the bus, again immersed in her self-imposed silence.
Stepping out of the February cold, Janie removes her wool scarf as the bus doors close behind her.
“Where to baby?” The driver smiles a sticky smile. Her nametag reads, “Shannon” and has a decaying Hello-Kitty sticker in the bottom left corner.
“The Clinton Street drop.” She hands the driver her $2.50 fare and avoids the woman’s questioning eyes. The night drivers are always more talkative, curious.
“Your ticket hon.” She tears Janie a ticket stub. “Everything is pretty dead this late, I’ll have you there in ten minutes top.”
Janie begins to shuffle towards the seats, ignoring the woman.
“You mind if I crank up the music?” The bus driver asks, purple fingernails scratching in her thick blonde hair. “I need to keep my eyes open and blood flowing and music is my fire of choice you know?”
“Sure.” Janie shrugs her bag onto her shoulder and walks on before the woman can say anything else.
“Route E-2, homebound.” Shannon’s voice crackles over the loudspeaker.
She shuffles down the bus towards her usual seat; second from the back right side.  Shannon starts the bus rolling before she reaches her seat and Janie can hear her singing along to “Summertime” by Janis Joplin. The bus floor, today, is sticky because of the morning rain. Two years of riding public transportation has taught Janie that staring at the floor as she walks to her seat is better than the risk of making eye contact. The bus is usually empty this late but if there ever happens to be anyone else on, it’s better not to converse. Safer that way.
She plops into her seat filling the indention that ghosts of past passengers left. The seat is still warm and Janie squirms around until the stranger heat is forgotten. She tightens her scarf and sighs. The brown pleather seatback in front of her is peeling towards the top. Janie leans forward and idly picks at the scab-like dangles of brown as she watches the sodden city canvas roll past her out the foggy window. As she picks, the hole grows. She twists and digs her unpainted nails into the seat until her hands feel wet, warm. Looking down, they are covered in blood and mud.
“What. The. Actual. ****.” she whispers, wiping her hands on her pants leg. She cautiously picks off another piece of pleather and a trickle of deep red begins to run from the seat back, clumps of mud now falling onto her knees. A puddle of blood and mire splatter down her legs and pool around her feet as she picks at the seat. Her white tights are definitely beyond saving now, so she digs faster until her thumbnail catches on something, bends back, and cracks. She gasps and withdraws her shaking hand, watching her own blood mix with the clotting muck in the seat, half of her thumbnail completely stripped off.
Looking around, all else seems normal. The driver is now muttering along to some banter by Kanye West, completely unaware of Janie’s predicament. She closes her eyes.
This is a dream, this is a dream, wake the **** up.
She opens her eyes to see the pool of filth around her feet trickling towards the front of the bus. Panic sets in with a whisper, They’re going to think it was you, your fault, you’ll be thrown in jail.
“But I didn’t do this.” She lashes out to herself. “I didn’t hurt anyone.”
Next stop, E-2. Shannon blares on the intercom.
“It’s just a dream, get your **** together, Janie.” She laughs at herself, manic.
Prove it! Her subconscious screams.
Convinced to end this moment she has to continue; Janie plunges her hand into the pleather grave one more time. Frantic and confused she laughs as she digs, spittle of muck splashing on her bus window.
Faster, faster, faster.
Deeper, deeper, deeper.
Realer, realer, real.
Wake up, now!
Then, as the bus slows, one last chuck of mud splatters to the floor and Janie sees a pink piece of her thumbnail stabbed into the white of a bone in the bottom of the seatback pit. Her white Ked’s were becoming so red they were almost black. She pulls her knees up to her chest and begins to rock back and forth. Clenching shut her eyes she begins to hum. Janie’s sweet soprano harmonizes with the buses deep droning purr, their wet melody interweaving with the driver’s alto and Lil Wayne’s screech made her feel dizzy as the bus turned right.
She take my money when I'm in need
Yeah she's a trifling friend indeed
Oh she's a gold digger way over town
That dig's on me
The bus slows to a stop and the bass is shaking. Janie is cold. She slowly peeks out of her right eye, expecting to be instantly immersed into the same dismal scene. The seatback is whole again. Releasing her knees, her feet fall back to the floor and her shaking fingers stroke the solid pleather.

“Ma’am? We’re at the Clinton Drop.”
Janie hurriedly picks up her bag and flees down the aisle to the bus doors.
“Everything alright, dear?” The bus driver asks, smiling.
“Fine, just fine.”
“You be safe out there tonight. The night is dark and only ghouls stroll the streets this late.”  Shannon laughed as Janie’s jaw dropped. “Happy Halloween, dear. It’s midnight, today is October 31st.”
The bus doors opened and a cold wind ****** the warm bot-air surrounding Janie into the streets. She begrudgingly followed, her mind spinning as she stepped onto the pavement. The doors slammed behind her and she turned to see Shannon pull out a tube of lipstick and smear it, red, across her cracked lips. Shannon made a duck-face in the mirror and reached down to crank up the music as loud as it would go. The bus exhaled and rolled forward, leaving Janie behind as it splashed through the potholes.
She surveys the surrounding midnight gloom and the street is quiet and dark. Even the stars are hidden behind swirling clouds. She begins to hum, hands in her pocket, and shuffle towards her apartment.
“Goodnight, stars. Goodnight, street.”
As she approaches her single-bedroom apartment, digging through her coat pocket for her keys, her thumb pulsates. She grasps the keys and pulls them out as she steps up to the apartment. Sticking the cold, silver key in the lock she looks down at her thumb and in the shadows of the porch sees half of the nail completely missing. She laughs as she pushes the door open to her bare apartment, light flooding out. Without any hesitation she closes the door behind her, sheds her clothes, and slips onto the mattress in the corner of the room gripping her thumb tight. She reaches out for the glass of milk on the floor beside her bed from the morning and it’s still cold. Nursing the milk, surrounded by blankets and solitude, she reminds herself,  “Only a thirty-three percent chance. A nice, small, round number. Small.”  
She sets down the empty glass and curls into the fetal position under the heavy blankets, pointer finger tracing circles on her thumb. Only when she has heated her blanket cocoon enough to feel safe does she remove her scarf and allow her thick white hair to fall around her face.
“Goodnight, room. Goodnight, mother,”
Rip Lazybones Feb 2015
I was walking down the street, but wasn't alone. The person in front of me  was myself, maybe it was him that wasn't alone. I was the shadow. Nervously, I asked where we are going. Myself told me we were going to this girl's house that I had long time feelings for. After answering my own question, we pulled together into one entity, as if my consciousness was playing catch up to my physical body.
We are now outside her house, I knock on the door and she answers. After inviting me in, she sits me down at her table and prepares tea. It was a dark blend, strong aroma yet a weak body. A few silent moments pass of us just sipping tea. She stands up and informs me that she has to take a shower. She request that I wait and relax here for her.
She goes off to shower. I notice there is a stack of small saucer plates in reaching distance. Slowly reaching, gripping, and pulling the plates to me, I hold them in my hands close to my chest. My arms slowly lift the stack of plates up to my mouth and I bite into the stack of plates. Chewing the shards doesn't cut my gums, but I can feel the pain in my teeth. After a hard swallow, I take another bite. This continues until the stack of plates are even halved.
Suddenly, I begin to worry what she will think or say about the debasing of her plates. Greater fear fills me when I begin wonder what she will think when she sees that I didn't finish eating them and they are being wasted. I convince myself to continue eating the plates. Before I can take the next bite, I begin to worry what will happen when these shards pass through my bowels. Anxiously, I set the plates on the table and continue to sip tea while I wait for her to finish showering. She never returns.
Martyn Thompson Aug 2011
i - Introduction:
ii - Lismore Park
iii - The Road to Maidenhead
iv - Town Square
v - Contradiction, contraband
vi - Saturday Afternoon
vii - The Circus Comes to Town (Sunday)
viii - The Show
ix - The ringmaster
x - The Fracas
xi - An incident at Upton Park
xii - No ball games
xiii - New found…
xiv - Nearly done
xv - Another time…

i - Introduction:

Come friendly bombs you’ve still to hit
The place whose name means quagmire
The town, the place that’s left bereft
Of soul, of spiritual fire.
But hurry, hurry, please be fast
For the crack dealer plies his trade
With slight of hand and cunning
A ghetto he’ll have made

The peroxide perms have now all grown
And muster outside shops
To wait for the be-suited sales rep
With his rocks and his alco-pops
They’ve all spawned offspring of their own
Fifteen-year-old cradle pushers
Who sold their souls in return for hope
To thirty year old cradle snatchers

Come friendly bombs it’s plain to see
The vacant, empty faces
The lifeless eyes, the pallid skin
The love that leaves no traces
The love that lasts a knee trembling minute
Outside Harry’s and Sluffs
A love that smells of emptiness
O they cannot get enough

Come with me, look over there
To the sculpture in the mall
The stainless tree with it’s stainless birds
And stainless birdsong call
A bird sings and the town all stops
To see from where this sound will show
A bitter disappointment when learned
It was played on the radio

Community service on the airwaves
To draw the crowd together
A song played, a one hit wonder
Reminds us nothing is forever
The sterile radio station plays on
Opiates to which we should yield
And bare our souls and be grateful for
The song of Bedingfield

ii - Lismore Park

The sight of a child playing in the street
Is one of day’s gone bye
But Lismore Park sees them out in droves
Stealing cars and getting high
The twelve year old sent out to play
Whilst mother takes a knap
But really she’s having it away
For a fiver and a brown wrap

The party at the house next door
That never seems to stop
The men all come and go and paw
Girls in this knocking shop
But halt weary traveller, stop!
Come sit and rest your back
The bench awaits you on the green
And the deluded maniac

The man who knows what’s wrong with you
And how to make it better
As long as he keeps his soul filled up
With cheap White Lightening cider
Six large cans for a five-pound note
From the corner shop near the school
An offer really not to be missed
And to make the drunkards drool

A songbird sits on the climbing frame
And sings his cheerful tales
A tune too much for our dear lush
The maniac exhales
The songbird sings and fills the air
With a loving string of notes
That reminds the sitters on the bench
There may still be a hope

A radio plays ‘that’ song again
Should you dare to forget the rhythm
The bird has flown away now
Fed up with this hypnotism
The airwaves are now filled with dross
Thanks to the flat opposite the green
The weary traveller moves on
“Better days has this place seen”

iii - The Road to Maidenhead

O friendly bombs do try to miss
The sweet blossom, the fragrant smell
The flowers, the green grass of the parks
The havens in this hell
Be careful around the Jubilee River
With it’s wildlife and sculpted hills
For a walk in this very man-made place
Will surely heal your ills

But spare no mercy for the superstores
That pollute and destroy our thoughts
“If it’s not on the shelf, we haven’t got it…”
The familiar assistants’ retort
Take no prisoners with the office blocks
That lay empty year after year
For they clutter up the atmosphere
And have no value here

O friendly bombs, o friendly bombs
The cabbages are all grown
They read the Sun and sing along
To the radio’s dreaded drone
Whilst in their vans they speed on by
Jumping all the lights
To price a job – a small brick wall
Based on a thousand nights

The car showrooms… the car dealers
Stack ‘em high and sell them cheap
Chop-chop salesman, soften ‘em up
The rewards are there to reap
Finance, part exchange or cash
Anyhow you like
“No sir, not me sir…
…I’d prefer to use my bike”

The bustle of the weekend crowds
The steamy traffic queues
Stare too hard at that red car
And suffer the abuse
Overtake the blue one now
And make him toot his horn
See him raise his voice in anger
To satisfy his scorn

iv - Town Square

Saturday morning, seven o’clock
The town begins to wake
A pair of sleeping winos
Dream about their fate
They plan their morning sermon
But who will really care
For what they say means nothing
Less than their icy stare

The busker and the balloon man
Wait to take their turns
To entertain and irritate
And suffer being spurned
By a thousand shady shoppers
Who’ve heard it all before
And probably given hard earned cash
To make them play some more

The trickster and the barra’ boys
Set up all their stalls
Selling mobile phone covers
And fake branded hold-alls
Adorn your phone with logos
Hankies for a pound
“Yes sir, we’re here on Sundays…
…(Providing there’s no police around)”

Grab a baked potato and sit
And watch the folk go by
Some will have you in hysterics
Some will make you cry
The man on his double-glazing stand
In his suit and in his tie
The perspiration on his head
Watch him wilt and fry

The songbird settles on the wall
And sings to our delight
A merry sonnet that will inspire
Dreams we’ll have that night
The wino shouts his sermon now
The bird has paused his song
This post-war sprawling Hooverville
Muddles slowly along

v - Contradiction, contraband

On the steps of the library he screams aloud
Through a mist of smuggled gin
“You’re all fools, the lot of you is ****
I’ve not committed sin…”
“It’s not my fault I’m a lush… a drunk
I don’t choose to live this life”
“You’re all wrong in carrying on
It’s you what’s caused my strife”

In his wretched form he abuses the world
Pooh-poohing this and that
A skunk telling the world it stinks
The polemic polecat
“Society has robbed me of everything
And left me less than whole”
“The only day that’s good is Thursday
When the postman brings me dole”

On Friday he meets his dealer
To fuel his pickled mind
The man with the van on Saturday
With the spirit and the wine
By Monday, he’s all skint and broke
The weekend has passed him by
He takes his place on the library steps
We shake our heads and sigh…

Every week the same routine
The same routine again
Like clockwork his life ticks on by
The suffering and the pain
But he tells us it’s all our fault
We’re the ones not right
But it’s very easy for him to say
The man who’s so contrite

The children watch him puzzled
It’s more than they can bear
“It’s very rude…” their mothers say
“To stand like that and stare”
But what, do they expect their young
To ignore this fool a mumbling?
For they will see it for what it is
A stormy weather warning

vi - Saturday Afternoon

I sit on a wall in Slough with friends
Sharing the Dutch export
Watching and laughing at the world
And it’s variety of sorts
A happy bond that we all share
The joy of simple things
Come friendly bombs and gather round
Watch us while we sing

The friendly bombs you call upon
Are they straight off the shelf?
It’s my belief, my firm belief
The bomb is in yourself
Ticking slowly by and by
Just waiting for the code
To trigger you and trip the switch
To make the bomb explode

We watch the people from where we sit
The hellholes they’ve all made
They don’t live they just exist on
The edge of a razor blade
Stop! Step back and take a look
It’s not too late to change
And become what you really want to be
An icon of your age

Over now to Langley Park
To sit and bathe in the sun
O friendly bombs please wait a while
Until this day is done
But what will tomorrow bring my friends?
And will it come too late?
Something that may save us all
The bombs may have to wait

A sedate sleepy Saturday
Away from all the crowds
Share a joke, a ****, a smoke
And laugh together loud
The sun warms our sombre souls
As on our backs we lie
Staring as the clouds roll by
United under the sky

vii - The Circus Comes to Town (Sunday)

Halt now, wait awhile please
Stop the counting down
Today the air is charged with joy
The circus comes to town
Must have arrived last night we think
Under cover of dark
And settled down and pitched it’s tents
In the grounds of Upton Park

The queue to purchase tickets
Trails far along the road
No. 53 offers cups of tea
From outside her abode
The crowds are mum, they say not a word
As they wait their turns to go
Inside the circus big-top tent
And sit and watch the show

We settle down and take our seats
With an ice-cream and a coke
But wait, where are the circus clowns?
Is this some kind of joke?
A wall of mirrors fades into view
And puts us in a spin
Reflecting all the bright lights
The colours and the din

The ringmaster enters, cracks his whip
And hands out little slips
“Everyone’s a winner” was
On every body’s lips
The clowns they all appear now
With a modicum of fuss
Hold on just a minute now!
The clowns we see are us

A spotlight points up to the gods
At the top of the trapeze
A giant money spider glides
Down with greatest ease
He touches each and everyone
All paralysed with fear
And hands out ten pound notes to all
Then promptly disappears

viii – The show

A strongman strolls out slowly with
A length of iron bar
A leopard spotted leotard and
Moustache sealed with tar
He looks around the big top with
A menace and a sneer
Surveying all the audience
He seeks a volunteer

The white van man he raised his hand
The tattoo on his arm
Said this man must not be crossed
To do so would mean harm
The strongman bent the iron bar
Across the van man’s back
Then invited him to strike him down
An unprovoked attack

The van man clenched his hand and hit
And hurt his mighty fist
A statue of the strong man shattered
Turning into mist
The van man stood and stared in fear
The mist it gathered round
And carried out our hero driver
He hardly made a sound

No-one clapped we all just stared
Our faces ghostly white
The strongman re-appeared and looked for
A second stooge that night
No-one raised a hand in fact
No-one said a thing
The strongman shrugged and vanished…
Empty was the ring

A knife thrower was the next to appear
And seek the help of one
With nerves of solid steel and courage
Secondly to none
Down came a fallen woman
Who said she had no fear
A knife was thrown and pierced her skin
Her right large ear-ringed ear

ix – The ringmaster

A second knife it struck her chest
She didn’t seem to weep
She didn’t seem to be in pain
Although the knife was deep
A third knife struck her arm and then
A fourth it struck her head
The knives that should be missing her
Were hitting her instead

Horrified the crowd looked on
Without a fuss or row
The woman now all full of blades
Politely took her bow
She then went back and took her seat
And never said a word
Not another word she said
And not a word she heard

A magician was the next to charm
And thrill us with his tricks
He pulled a rabbit from his hat
Then sat it on some bricks
He then threw watches at this beast
That grew to a great size
The rabbit caught them all and juggled
Them to our surprise

But here’s the rub when we all looked
At places on our wrists
No watches were there to be seen
A cunning little twist
The magician cracked a whip and put
The rabbit in a stew
Which vanished there before our eyes
Vanished out of view

The magician he announced that he
Alone did have this plan
To mystify and amaze us all
With his clever hand
Indeed he was the ringmaster
That owned this circus troupe
That terrified and petrified
Our frightened little group

x – The Fracas

A swarm of bees engulf us now
And cover us with honey
The ringmaster cracks his whip again
The bees all turn to money
Then suddenly the fight begins
As we grab this flying stash
Filling up our purses now
With the hard-grabbed cash

The ringmaster, a clever man
Calms us with his sigh
“There’s plenty here for everyone
…And more than meets the eye”
Suddenly a flock of doves fly
Sweetly through the air
They then attack the baying crowds
Pulling at their hair

Then with a deafening bang, a crack
A flash of burning light
We all cascade towards the floor
The circus out of sight
Confused we all stare around
Thinking it absurd
This bizarre spectacle should vanish
Gone without a word

I look from face to face to face
Whatever could this mean?
We all are laughing nervously
How stupid have we been?
We talk about the day’s events
We talk and talk some more
A voice booms from out the sky
“I’ve opened up the door”

“I’ve brought you all together now
To pander to your greed
To watch you take from fellow man
Deny him what he needs”
I reach in to my pocket
For the money I did place
It reads “Admission: 1 adult
To The Human Race”

xi – An incident at Upton Park

That week the local paper ran
An exclusive full-page ad
“Faland’s Travelling Circus Troupe”
“The most fun ever had”
But no review was there to read
To tell of our event
The strange encounter with this circus
To which we all went

The following Sunday we meet up
In groups of three or four
Since that incident in Upton Park
The spectacle we can’t ignore
No-one knows quite what it means
I don’t think that we’ll ever
Understand all that happened here
That brought us all together

Perhaps there is a deeper message
Given on that day
Faland may be telling us
That we have lost our way
He simply used us all as tools
To illustrate our folly
That had now become too serious
A risk to things so jolly

Every week now we all gather on
This hallowed piece of land
And this is very odd because
Nobody makes the plan
The idea comes to all of us
A self-ignited spark
And draws each of us in turn
To meet in Upton Park

We picnicked then we all played games
Then talked about the rain
We toasted our new friendships
And vowed to meet again
The bombs, the bombs they’ve all slowed down
Compassion saved the day
This newfound love we now all have
Must surely pave the way

xii - No ball games

The joy did not take long to spread
Across our grimy frowns
And bring a little sunshine
To lighten up this town
Happiness is upon us now
The whole of Slough-kind
Depending on how you look at it
And on your state of mind

The lush upon the library steps
The wino on the bench
The Publican and Landlord
The ***** serving *****
They all wear smiles and laugh a lot
And speak of wondrous things
A songbird perches on the fence
And merrily she sings

The children, o the children
How they sing and dance
Always being friendly
In any circumstance
They have no care for politics
You’ll see it in their face
They want to play with everyone
Who’s in the human race

Meanwhile back in Upton Park
The townsfolk meet again
But there’s no talk of horror
Or suffering and pain
Instead though how a monument
Should be erected in our names
And pulling down the signs
That read ‘No Ball Games’

The bombs have all stopped ticking now
And line up by the wall
And every now and then they clang
Just to remind us all
If we get too complacent
And don’t respect our friends
We’re marking down the seconds
To our bitter end

xiii – New found…

We shared our food and shared our tales
Life stories we all told
They made us laugh they made us cry
Left us warm and cold
The suffering we did speak of
Helped us understand
How fellowman and woman kind
Dwelt in other lands

We laughed at tales of folly
And stories of the past
Stories that we are in awe of
Stories that will last
For another thousand years or more
And travel on the wind
A gentle breeze that talks to us
Thrilling to the end

Gathering momentum
Our stories travel far
Picked up and told by new folk
Under glowing stars
They bring warmth and humanity
Softened by the rain
They travel back to each of us
To be re-told again

Who’d have thought this loving joy
This beacon in the dark
Would begin upon the grass
Of hallowed Upton Park
The greed has gone or mostly so
Now happiness is here
We’ve seen the light and now must spread
Our messages of cheer

Looking back it hardly seems
We could have been that way
Not caring if each other lived
To see another day
This new found near Utopia
Must spread across the land
And we must stand to offer all
Our warm and guiding hand

xiv – Nearly done

The story is now almost told
Of how a strange event
Saved us from our selfish selves
A message heaven sent
With cunning tricks and sleight of hand
The error of our ways
Was written up in greasepaint
Shining through the haze

A strange di
I wrote this in about 2004 - loads of literary influences in this poem. It speaks for itself really. Having read through it, I think I ought to revise / review and re-write some of it, but this is the original.... yay!!
It is full winter now:  the trees are bare,
Save where the cattle huddle from the cold
Beneath the pine, for it doth never wear
The autumn’s gaudy livery whose gold
Her jealous brother pilfers, but is true
To the green doublet; bitter is the wind, as though it blew

From Saturn’s cave; a few thin wisps of hay
Lie on the sharp black hedges, where the wain
Dragged the sweet pillage of a summer’s day
From the low meadows up the narrow lane;
Upon the half-thawed snow the bleating sheep
Press close against the hurdles, and the shivering house-dogs creep

From the shut stable to the frozen stream
And back again disconsolate, and miss
The bawling shepherds and the noisy team;
And overhead in circling listlessness
The cawing rooks whirl round the frosted stack,
Or crowd the dripping boughs; and in the fen the ice-pools crack

Where the gaunt bittern stalks among the reeds
And ***** his wings, and stretches back his neck,
And hoots to see the moon; across the meads
Limps the poor frightened hare, a little speck;
And a stray seamew with its fretful cry
Flits like a sudden drift of snow against the dull grey sky.

Full winter:  and the ***** goodman brings
His load of ******* from the chilly byre,
And stamps his feet upon the hearth, and flings
The sappy billets on the waning fire,
And laughs to see the sudden lightening scare
His children at their play, and yet,—the spring is in the air;

Already the slim crocus stirs the snow,
And soon yon blanched fields will bloom again
With nodding cowslips for some lad to mow,
For with the first warm kisses of the rain
The winter’s icy sorrow breaks to tears,
And the brown thrushes mate, and with bright eyes the rabbit peers

From the dark warren where the fir-cones lie,
And treads one snowdrop under foot, and runs
Over the mossy knoll, and blackbirds fly
Across our path at evening, and the suns
Stay longer with us; ah! how good to see
Grass-girdled spring in all her joy of laughing greenery

Dance through the hedges till the early rose,
(That sweet repentance of the thorny briar!)
Burst from its sheathed emerald and disclose
The little quivering disk of golden fire
Which the bees know so well, for with it come
Pale boy’s-love, sops-in-wine, and daffadillies all in bloom.

Then up and down the field the sower goes,
While close behind the laughing younker scares
With shrilly whoop the black and thievish crows,
And then the chestnut-tree its glory wears,
And on the grass the creamy blossom falls
In odorous excess, and faint half-whispered madrigals

Steal from the bluebells’ nodding carillons
Each breezy morn, and then white jessamine,
That star of its own heaven, snap-dragons
With lolling crimson tongues, and eglantine
In dusty velvets clad usurp the bed
And woodland empery, and when the lingering rose hath shed

Red leaf by leaf its folded panoply,
And pansies closed their purple-lidded eyes,
Chrysanthemums from gilded argosy
Unload their gaudy scentless merchandise,
And violets getting overbold withdraw
From their shy nooks, and scarlet berries dot the leafless haw.

O happy field! and O thrice happy tree!
Soon will your queen in daisy-flowered smock
And crown of flower-de-luce trip down the lea,
Soon will the lazy shepherds drive their flock
Back to the pasture by the pool, and soon
Through the green leaves will float the hum of murmuring bees at noon.

Soon will the glade be bright with bellamour,
The flower which wantons love, and those sweet nuns
Vale-lilies in their snowy vestiture
Will tell their beaded pearls, and carnations
With mitred dusky leaves will scent the wind,
And straggling traveller’s-joy each hedge with yellow stars will bind.

Dear bride of Nature and most bounteous spring,
That canst give increase to the sweet-breath’d kine,
And to the kid its little horns, and bring
The soft and silky blossoms to the vine,
Where is that old nepenthe which of yore
Man got from poppy root and glossy-berried mandragore!

There was a time when any common bird
Could make me sing in unison, a time
When all the strings of boyish life were stirred
To quick response or more melodious rhyme
By every forest idyll;—do I change?
Or rather doth some evil thing through thy fair pleasaunce range?

Nay, nay, thou art the same:  ’tis I who seek
To vex with sighs thy simple solitude,
And because fruitless tears bedew my cheek
Would have thee weep with me in brotherhood;
Fool! shall each wronged and restless spirit dare
To taint such wine with the salt poison of own despair!

Thou art the same:  ’tis I whose wretched soul
Takes discontent to be its paramour,
And gives its kingdom to the rude control
Of what should be its servitor,—for sure
Wisdom is somewhere, though the stormy sea
Contain it not, and the huge deep answer ‘’Tis not in me.’

To burn with one clear flame, to stand *****
In natural honour, not to bend the knee
In profitless prostrations whose effect
Is by itself condemned, what alchemy
Can teach me this? what herb Medea brewed
Will bring the unexultant peace of essence not subdued?

The minor chord which ends the harmony,
And for its answering brother waits in vain
Sobbing for incompleted melody,
Dies a swan’s death; but I the heir of pain,
A silent Memnon with blank lidless eyes,
Wait for the light and music of those suns which never rise.

The quenched-out torch, the lonely cypress-gloom,
The little dust stored in the narrow urn,
The gentle XAIPE of the Attic tomb,—
Were not these better far than to return
To my old fitful restless malady,
Or spend my days within the voiceless cave of misery?

Nay! for perchance that poppy-crowned god
Is like the watcher by a sick man’s bed
Who talks of sleep but gives it not; his rod
Hath lost its virtue, and, when all is said,
Death is too rude, too obvious a key
To solve one single secret in a life’s philosophy.

And Love! that noble madness, whose august
And inextinguishable might can slay
The soul with honeyed drugs,—alas! I must
From such sweet ruin play the runaway,
Although too constant memory never can
Forget the arched splendour of those brows Olympian

Which for a little season made my youth
So soft a swoon of exquisite indolence
That all the chiding of more prudent Truth
Seemed the thin voice of jealousy,—O hence
Thou huntress deadlier than Artemis!
Go seek some other quarry! for of thy too perilous bliss.

My lips have drunk enough,—no more, no more,—
Though Love himself should turn his gilded prow
Back to the troubled waters of this shore
Where I am wrecked and stranded, even now
The chariot wheels of passion sweep too near,
Hence!  Hence!  I pass unto a life more barren, more austere.

More barren—ay, those arms will never lean
Down through the trellised vines and draw my soul
In sweet reluctance through the tangled green;
Some other head must wear that aureole,
For I am hers who loves not any man
Whose white and stainless ***** bears the sign Gorgonian.

Let Venus go and chuck her dainty page,
And kiss his mouth, and toss his curly hair,
With net and spear and hunting equipage
Let young Adonis to his tryst repair,
But me her fond and subtle-fashioned spell
Delights no more, though I could win her dearest citadel.

Ay, though I were that laughing shepherd boy
Who from Mount Ida saw the little cloud
Pass over Tenedos and lofty Troy
And knew the coming of the Queen, and bowed
In wonder at her feet, not for the sake
Of a new Helen would I bid her hand the apple take.

Then rise supreme Athena argent-limbed!
And, if my lips be musicless, inspire
At least my life:  was not thy glory hymned
By One who gave to thee his sword and lyre
Like AEschylos at well-fought Marathon,
And died to show that Milton’s England still could bear a son!

And yet I cannot tread the Portico
And live without desire, fear and pain,
Or nurture that wise calm which long ago
The grave Athenian master taught to men,
Self-poised, self-centred, and self-comforted,
To watch the world’s vain phantasies go by with unbowed head.

Alas! that serene brow, those eloquent lips,
Those eyes that mirrored all eternity,
Rest in their own Colonos, an eclipse
Hath come on Wisdom, and Mnemosyne
Is childless; in the night which she had made
For lofty secure flight Athena’s owl itself hath strayed.

Nor much with Science do I care to climb,
Although by strange and subtle witchery
She drew the moon from heaven:  the Muse Time
Unrolls her gorgeous-coloured tapestry
To no less eager eyes; often indeed
In the great epic of Polymnia’s scroll I love to read

How Asia sent her myriad hosts to war
Against a little town, and panoplied
In gilded mail with jewelled scimitar,
White-shielded, purple-crested, rode the Mede
Between the waving poplars and the sea
Which men call Artemisium, till he saw Thermopylae

Its steep ravine spanned by a narrow wall,
And on the nearer side a little brood
Of careless lions holding festival!
And stood amazed at such hardihood,
And pitched his tent upon the reedy shore,
And stayed two days to wonder, and then crept at midnight o’er

Some unfrequented height, and coming down
The autumn forests treacherously slew
What Sparta held most dear and was the crown
Of far Eurotas, and passed on, nor knew
How God had staked an evil net for him
In the small bay at Salamis,—and yet, the page grows dim,

Its cadenced Greek delights me not, I feel
With such a goodly time too out of tune
To love it much:  for like the Dial’s wheel
That from its blinded darkness strikes the noon
Yet never sees the sun, so do my eyes
Restlessly follow that which from my cheated vision flies.

O for one grand unselfish simple life
To teach us what is Wisdom! speak ye hills
Of lone Helvellyn, for this note of strife
Shunned your untroubled crags and crystal rills,
Where is that Spirit which living blamelessly
Yet dared to kiss the smitten mouth of his own century!

Speak ye Rydalian laurels! where is he
Whose gentle head ye sheltered, that pure soul
Whose gracious days of uncrowned majesty
Through lowliest conduct touched the lofty goal
Where love and duty mingle!  Him at least
The most high Laws were glad of, he had sat at Wisdom’s feast;

But we are Learning’s changelings, know by rote
The clarion watchword of each Grecian school
And follow none, the flawless sword which smote
The pagan Hydra is an effete tool
Which we ourselves have blunted, what man now
Shall scale the august ancient heights and to old Reverence bow?

One such indeed I saw, but, Ichabod!
Gone is that last dear son of Italy,
Who being man died for the sake of God,
And whose unrisen bones sleep peacefully,
O guard him, guard him well, my Giotto’s tower,
Thou marble lily of the lily town! let not the lour

Of the rude tempest vex his slumber, or
The Arno with its tawny troubled gold
O’er-leap its marge, no mightier conqueror
Clomb the high Capitol in the days of old
When Rome was indeed Rome, for Liberty
Walked like a bride beside him, at which sight pale Mystery

Fled shrieking to her farthest sombrest cell
With an old man who grabbled rusty keys,
Fled shuddering, for that immemorial knell
With which oblivion buries dynasties
Swept like a wounded eagle on the blast,
As to the holy heart of Rome the great triumvir passed.

He knew the holiest heart and heights of Rome,
He drave the base wolf from the lion’s lair,
And now lies dead by that empyreal dome
Which overtops Valdarno hung in air
By Brunelleschi—O Melpomene
Breathe through thy melancholy pipe thy sweetest threnody!

Breathe through the tragic stops such melodies
That Joy’s self may grow jealous, and the Nine
Forget awhile their discreet emperies,
Mourning for him who on Rome’s lordliest shrine
Lit for men’s lives the light of Marathon,
And bare to sun-forgotten fields the fire of the sun!

O guard him, guard him well, my Giotto’s tower!
Let some young Florentine each eventide
Bring coronals of that enchanted flower
Which the dim woods of Vallombrosa hide,
And deck the marble tomb wherein he lies
Whose soul is as some mighty orb unseen of mortal eyes;

Some mighty orb whose cycled wanderings,
Being tempest-driven to the farthest rim
Where Chaos meets Creation and the wings
Of the eternal chanting Cherubim
Are pavilioned on Nothing, passed away
Into a moonless void,—and yet, though he is dust and clay,

He is not dead, the immemorial Fates
Forbid it, and the closing shears refrain.
Lift up your heads ye everlasting gates!
Ye argent clarions, sound a loftier strain
For the vile thing he hated lurks within
Its sombre house, alone with God and memories of sin.

Still what avails it that she sought her cave
That murderous mother of red harlotries?
At Munich on the marble architrave
The Grecian boys die smiling, but the seas
Which wash AEgina fret in loneliness
Not mirroring their beauty; so our lives grow colourless

For lack of our ideals, if one star
Flame torch-like in the heavens the unjust
Swift daylight kills it, and no trump of war
Can wake to passionate voice the silent dust
Which was Mazzini once! rich Niobe
For all her stony sorrows hath her sons; but Italy,

What Easter Day shall make her children rise,
Who were not Gods yet suffered? what sure feet
Shall find their grave-clothes folded? what clear eyes
Shall see them ******?  O it were meet
To roll the stone from off the sepulchre
And kiss the bleeding roses of their wounds, in love of her,

Our Italy! our mother visible!
Most blessed among nations and most sad,
For whose dear sake the young Calabrian fell
That day at Aspromonte and was glad
That in an age when God was bought and sold
One man could die for Liberty! but we, burnt out and cold,

See Honour smitten on the cheek and gyves
Bind the sweet feet of Mercy:  Poverty
Creeps through our sunless lanes and with sharp knives
Cuts the warm throats of children stealthily,
And no word said:- O we are wretched men
Unworthy of our great inheritance! where is the pen

Of austere Milton? where the mighty sword
Which slew its master righteously? the years
Have lost their ancient leader, and no word
Breaks from the voiceless tripod on our ears:
While as a ruined mother in some spasm
Bears a base child and loathes it, so our best enthusiasm

Genders unlawful children, Anarchy
Freedom’s own Judas, the vile prodigal
Licence who steals the gold of Liberty
And yet has nothing, Ignorance the real
One Fraticide since Cain, Envy the asp
That stings itself to anguish, Avarice whose palsied grasp

Is in its extent stiffened, moneyed Greed
For whose dull appetite men waste away
Amid the whirr of wheels and are the seed
Of things which slay their sower, these each day
Sees rife in England, and the gentle feet
Of Beauty tread no more the stones of each unlovely street.

What even Cromwell spared is desecrated
By **** and worm, left to the stormy play
Of wind and beating snow, or renovated
By more destructful hands:  Time’s worst decay
Will wreathe its ruins with some loveliness,
But these new Vandals can but make a rain-proof barrenness.

Where is that Art which bade the Angels sing
Through Lincoln’s lofty choir, till the air
Seems from such marble harmonies to ring
With sweeter song than common lips can dare
To draw from actual reed? ah! where is now
The cunning hand which made the flowering hawthorn branches bow

For Southwell’s arch, and carved the House of One
Who loved the lilies of the field with all
Our dearest English flowers? the same sun
Rises for us:  the seasons natural
Weave the same tapestry of green and grey:
The unchanged hills are with us:  but that Spirit hath passed away.

And yet perchance it may be better so,
For Tyranny is an incestuous Queen,
****** her brother is her bedfellow,
And the Plague chambers with her:  in obscene
And ****** paths her treacherous feet are set;
Better the empty desert and a soul inviolate!

For gentle brotherhood, the harmony
Of living in the healthful air, the swift
Clean beauty of strong limbs when men are free
And women chaste, these are the things which lift
Our souls up more than even Agnolo’s
Gaunt blinded Sibyl poring o’er the scroll of human woes,

Or Titian’s little maiden on the stair
White as her own sweet lily and as tall,
Or Mona Lisa smiling through her hair,—
Ah! somehow life is bigger after all
Than any painted angel, could we see
The God that is within us!  The old Greek serenity

Which curbs the passion of that
Ken Pepiton Mar 2018
Thinking of Eve Seeing First the Shiny Thing
The subtile beast, she saw eating of the tree she was
told
would **** her
if she ate it and she believed,
if she even touched it, she would die,
though die was something of a mystery.
What, she thought, is happening here?

The shining serpent thing
is living and eating the fruit of knowing
some thing known to this thing,
unknown to me, this shining serpent can't speak, needn't, but 'tis a beguiling
creature,
a scoff-god swallowing forbidden fruit
as nothing happens. Not dead,
what ever that may be,
why should I? Curioser
and curiosum it says, with its eyes,
"you shall know, as God knows, you shall not
surely die".
(those Kachinas, I imagine dancing off in time,
singing as the chorus of snakes,
"we hold such things as men can't hold in hands")

Oh, no, wait and see. We, you and me, we play no
past roles, no deed is redone, thoughts are rethought.

Everything has been thought, the object of thinking
is to think them again. Mr. Goethe made note of that fact,
when he thought, everything, excepting what I know,
is temporary at the moment, I recall the idea of

God knows what, but it ain't accidental,
and it ain't the misperception of decept-icons dancing
on the head of a pen.

You got that right - question - quest ions symbolize what
you do not know, so, who knows? Question marks
Symbolize the act of questioning. It's a primal need,
Wisdom, the principal thing of which
more is always desire-enabling.
Somebody beyond your knowing imagined that  right.
Would you believe the algorithm needed to program
perception of a who'll-go-rhyme,
or an I'll-go-rhythm positive knee-**** response
to the ***** of a pen or the whisper of a word,
which it is supposed, was written
by 100 monkeys with typewriters,
whacking away endlessly, balancing precariously
on the edge of the first 100 turtles
in the stack? What are the odds, eh?

Life has a plan with no plot, ought we think?
We shall not surely die, we know now, that's a lie.

Beyond believing lies, we know now, how and why
we are naked, by our own cognition.
We told us we are naked.
We, now, know that,

but here, in the pages of the book of life,
we are no longer subject to the ******* of fearing death.
Here, there is no more condemnation.
Believed lies re-cognized here,
affect no fear, we know,
the final foe fell. "It is finished" was no lie.
Take comfort here. Be still, and know,
rest prevents any
re-triggering viruses left by
the lying messenger's old fables, told as prophecy
or fair-tales oft sung as epics
pre-determining the possibility of evil winning in the end.
The words that built the lies remain,
not the lies. Evil never had a chance, life isn't fair.

The basic plot is a man-made thought, the purpose is not.
Life goes on, death never could have won
and now its power serves
to make eternal waves that keep thinkers thinking things differently.
Loneliness, after all is said and done,
is not
as common
as one might think. There's always
Details, details, details
God only knows.
Saying such a thing idly is vain.
Unless, you know, God knows.
****, that, too.
None of that here, you know.
no condemnation
Socrates was a joke, nothing new under the sun,
beyond that is no mortal's concern. Believe me.
Knowing nothing is far more difficult than men imagine.

Tongue in cheek was an old clue in fair play,
your gramps
could poke out his cheek like he had a snake in his mouth
struggling to break through sealed lips.  
Then he' tells a
fish-story and claims the magi know it true.
Tongue in cheek, so to speek, I see some missed conceptions
fructify from spores spat idly as ****** hells and damns
from tinkers tinning pots with crazy making lead solder.
Which meandered my other me to lead
Lead soldiers. I led the boys to war, that's what they were for.
It's all in the plot to make men of boys so we can help God
defend Heaven, in case…

What?
Good versus evil and all that whole lie.
Or is it faith we must defend?
How reasonable is that? What can **** an idea like
one of the big three?

Eve knew knowing good and evil cost her.
She paid attention to
the truth of all she so suddenly knew.
Otherwise,
she could not attempt the task of bringing
Able into the world, after the pain of Cain.

Oh, please, let Cain fulfill the promise, I cannot bear the pain,
said Adam in his shame.
Eve, on the other hand,
knew hope for joy she found in every
birth, and there were many twixt Able and Seth, all girls.
Cain had been gone for decades ere Seth came along.
Eve was o'er-joyed at the boy whose son would somehow
bring to bear the final sacrifice of travail and pain to
manifest the sons of God to play the role pre-ordained
for sons of God and their sons to play, wombed and un,
each, in his own way, the one creation groaned for,
the missing, wanted, desired, one, an
only begotten with just exactly your DNA,
one in 8 billion, a rare element, indeed.
You know.
James Gable Jun 2016
Who on earth would stack books like sticks?

Who would sit turning white-paper-pages
With blackened fingertips?

You should know that awaiting fire is nothing of a joke
Have you not heard of witches
on fiery trial, spitting curses
That just tightened the rope

And did you know
That the pages
Of every history book ever written
Once went up
In ancient whispers of smoke?

Every manuscript
Chronicling man’s unscripted
Fighting progression
It was
reduced to ash?

So we wrote it all again…
The Romans, messy, careless
And surely barbarians
We’ll adopt them as our
Ancient parents
Invaders of course,
Progressions must not
Be stifled by sentiment or remorse
The druids and their hoods
They left them among the leaves
In the woods
Before that
Well
No one can prove us wrong
We’ll say that humans
Hunted similar races
That were
Uglier but strong
Defeat, even eating them
Of course
That which stands before you
In physical form
Surely it cannot be wrong
Our history,
As far as we know
Is a tale of endless glory,
Since they tell of victory
In every song

So we’d made a start
The scholars are desperate
To start memorising the dates
Of all the events
That we are still
Required to create
Keep the candles burning
This could go on rather late

The bridges of London
We’ll say were built by English men
And when some malevolent
Invaders burnt them down
We built them up again
We’re resolute by nature
Bordered on two sides
Our land it does not shrink
We have intimidation in our eyes

Well we have all these haunted castles
Shakespeare used them in his plays
Let’s say we were conquered
By Normans
Hand-fought battles went on for days

We should be modest and believable
So let’s say they conquered us, so what?
If our past shapes our future let’s show
The things we are and what we’re not

We’re are a thing that empires covet
Some have tried many times
Our ships with crews that never sleep
Their cannonball
trajectory does not fall
They fly in a straight line

A book that chronicled a fire great
Reducing our capital to a raven’s nest
Sadly it was lost, Pepys wrote so well,
So we’ve told Dickens to try his best

We recreate from memories of books
The pictures help as well
Medieval times were all heads on sticks
It resembled what we’ll call hell

Heaven, that’s where the noble live
Those that were so gallant and brave
falling in their tons on the battlefield
Winged skeletons rising from their remains

The bible, as you know, survived the fire
It continues to teach us and guide
Reminds us of the elasticity of time
And encourages a most conscientious mind

We made adjustments, here and there,
Lazarus rising for example, readers in mind
We couldn’t let that tragic scene end
Without him delivering his warning on time

We think of the greater good you see
For the good of you, and the good of me

The plague, bubonic, spreading like fire
Is a fiction covering something dark and twisted
I can’t begin to describe how as the death toll rose
Our king fled for Belgium as the demons persisted

The history of London is actually unknown!
Well you would moan, but what did you think?
The Thames is a man-made canal they froze themselves
when ice skate sales were on the brink

And bodies that fall in, still alive or dead
They scoop them up, make wigs and cut textiles
The ones still breathing are given the job of
Gathering the bones of the executed neatly arranging them in piles

Jack the Ripper, Member of Parliament I should say
Was in charge of cleaning up east London crime
His method was questionable, objections from
Speakers in parliament, but murders in a year went from 38 to 9

Henry, yes he was large, rotund, had his fun with women,
But each of his wives was ensnared by courtiers in cloaks
They were promised recompense, rewards that never materialised
When they killed him, each time, they picked a lookalike from the village folk

And I’m no historian, but why assume
That soldiers marched all the way from Rome
To what was of little value,
Cold, wet, a far cry from home

No evidence of course,
They just put themselves about
And there’s a good chance,
The Vikings came, you could see bridges,
Burning in their eyes, they arm-wrestled
Journeying on longboats of considerable size

King Charles II had an imagination alright,
Kept the wine flowing alright,
Enquiring minds and lips
Were busied gulping it all down
And kissing women who span madly around
Their cheeks
The colour of rose hips...

Who are these men that hold books under their arm
In such a way as a woman clutches a purse?

They arrive in endless streams conversing in their
Small groups, absent mindedly
Opening and closing books that are in
Different languages,

My turn to take five, look after this place,
I’ll be just out back, chewing my wife’s sandwiches.

I eavesdrop a little, a vice of mine,
Hear them talking about their jobs
On the factory line
Men and machines, men as machines
Or machines made by men, machines
That dream in factory nights,
Locked away and out of sight,
Quietest place you’ll find

But they’re restless,
I’ve seen the machines sigh
I’ve seen the steam that shoots out
As the whistle blows calling time,
They are restless machines and

—The whistle blows and
The machines are wandering home after
Getting blind drunk,
Dreaming…

In a few hours they will be woken
By a jangling set of keys that
Starts them up an hour or two early
So that they are fully operational
When the hungover workers arrive
Beating their chests and
Stretching their lever-pulling arms,
The machines grind their gears in protest,
Become confrontational,
Grinding the axe for a while now,
They’re all worked up, high pressure,
And yet no one takes notice
The steam flowing as promised
The men are ready in wait
A little release of steam
Machine’s are functioning well today


Factories like these run themselves
With their routine set in stone,
you can whine and moan and they will,
Mostly to their wives on the phone
During their allotted break,
You can come back early, but never late,

Echoing a cuckoo-clock world
Of perpetual motion, the machines
Dream of a life outside, they have heard
So much about irons and their boards,
And baths with plugs on a chain,
Manhole covers, oven doors and drains,

The machines do what they were made to do,
Workers too, this job chose them
For their durability, stocky build, the confusion and
absence of revolution in their eyes,
Life’s lustre hides in Friday’s pies,
Yawning men find it in the coffee
*** as it boils on Monday morning,
On Tuesday it will taste like soil again,

And on rare occasions, you’ll see it
When the sun comes through the
Highest window, and eventually,
On the right day, the right time,
it reflects and refracts,
The whole factory is scattered
With light artefacts, as if glass was
Raining down from the sky,
They take five, in celebration of
Their planet’s undiminished charms,
And though a bit longer to enjoy them
Wouldn’t do any harm
They are ordered to resume order
Belts and levers and rivets and arms
Must pull, a few more hours of life
Set to whistles and alarms

Creak! *There’s another dodgy floorboard!

How quaint, we’ve gone back in time,
I can’t reach the books...
*Shall we walk past the pond
On our way to the tailors?
A fine suit, perhaps we’ll
Also need a coat and a pair of shoes
Nigel Morgan Sep 2012
She was very warm in bed except for her nose, which was more than cold, though not quite frozen. Her bear, who she had folded into her arms but as a prelude to pulling back the covers - no duvees here just scratchy blankets- she placed on her on the pillow. Jellikins was pink and not a proper bear for a nine year old. She'd been her bear since infancy, small and a bit grubby, and pink.
 
It was still quite dark, silent. She could see her dressing gown hanging on the door - just. There was a movement downstairs; her father making tea perhaps. This was his time of day, the early morning. For as long as she could remember he was up and often out when she woke. Even at Christmas, particularly at Christmas when she sought her mother's bed he was 'out', working or walking in the park . But here at the farm he was here, downstairs, and if she went down now he'd wrap her in a blanket or two and read to her until the light changed through the kitchen window on to the yard, a gradual blueness, then, if it was a clear day she'd watch the sun draw itself from the sea in a golden ball.
 
She loved it when he read, because he loved to read, and because he loved to read to her, holding her gently in his arms, she would drift off into her own thoughts. Being out with dogs on the cliff paths, the smell of the Christmas tree at home that her mother would decorate tonight, being on the train for six hours with picnicy food, game after game of Go and those strange  word puzzles her father would invent , then the cycle ride with the big downhill rush to Morfyn and the long long push up Rhiw hill in the twilight . . .
 
Later, after their first breakfast they'd go out into the frozen yard and let the dogs out. Into the old sheds with their simple wooden latches hand-smoothed requiring the barest touch to open; then **** and his mum bounding out, and the little dogs yapping and yapping. Next, to barn and with the knife she'd been trusted with, she waited for the bales to land at her feet, flying out of the darkness up high near the roof. Cutting the baler twine and stuffing it in her coat pocket she opened out the compressed straw ready for Blossom and her friends to munch and scrunch, **** and **** their way through their breakfast.
 
On a farm the opening and closing of gates was like a little ceremony. Always the same careful ordering of movement; you could only open this gate if you'd closed that . . . you always checked the tail of the chain was the whole way through the loop and secure.
 
Meanwhile proper morning had arrived: it had been dark, now it was light, properly morning time. She could move all ten beasts on her own, from the Plas field across the yard to the Stack and back again - four gates each way and never a slip.
 
She had read at school that the beasts spoke to each other on Chrismas Eve, at the moment of the birth, when this baby was born in the stable. Although she doubted this just a little – Who had actually heard them? Was there  a recording perhaps? She wondered what they would say to each other tonight. Surely they spoke to each other all the time. Well, the beasts she knew mooed and grunted constantly. Was it just that we could understand them when suddenly it became Christmas? And how long could they talk for? Just a few minutes, or the rest of the night until the sun rose? She imagined herself opening her bedroom window at midnight to listen to them in the stack yard. She would look up at the sparkly sky, a sky that was so awesome that she and her father would, on a clear night, go up the mountain before bed and stand at the very top to look at the immense upturned bowl of the heavens rising out of the sea on three sides. At home the sky was just a red glow, occasionally the moon rose through the trees in the park, but the stars seemed hardly indistinguishable from passing aeroplanes, only they twinkled and moved. You couldn’t see those fields of stars her father wondered at it here on the mountain, those distant constellations, stars beyond number and time, light years away. Beside which the thought of animals talking to each other for a few minutes at Christmas seemed entirely possible.

— The End —