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entablature archetypal wrangle arguable arraign arrest ascribe arsenal article artificial artisan ascension austere askance obliquely aspire assail assault assay assert diligence obsequious assimilate stigma perspicacious astute asunder atman atrium attrition intrepid autonomous avarice avert avocation azimuth azure abbreviate aberrant abhorrent relinquish loathe abstinence abstention  abysmal accelerate accordance accoutrement accrue exasperate acquaintance baccalaureate bacillus backbite baggage ballistic baluster bandolier banister barrage barranca barrier bartizan basilica bastion batholiths bathyscaphe battalion batten battle bauble ***** beastly ******* beckon beacon bazaar bizarre Bedouin beguile behavior beleaguer belligerent belvedere berserk beseech bewilder bezant bicker bigamy bight bilk billet billiard billow biogenic biscuit bivouac blatancy blizzard bodacious boggle bollix bombardier boudoir bouquet butte boutique bower brassier mesa breach breech brochure brogue brooch broach bruise brusque buccaneer buffoon bureau buttress buxom caffeine cauldron calisthenics calligraphy callous camouflage campaign campanile cannery cannibal canny cantaloupe cantankerous cantilever capacity capillary capricious carbohydrate caricature carnivorous carouse carriage cartography casserole cassette cataclysm catastrophe cache categorical caterwaul cavalier cauliflower celerity alacrity cellophane cellulose cemetery centennial cereal cerebellum ceremonial cesarean cessation chaff challenge champagne chandelier changeable chaparral charade chargeable chassis chateau chauffer chauvinism Cheshire chiaroscuro chicanery chiffon chigger chrysanthemum cipher circuit citadel clairvoyant clastic clique coalesce coercible coincidental colloquial colossal column combustible communicable community commute complacency compulsory comradery conceit conceal concession confetti conglomerate conjugal connive connoisseur consensus constellation consummate continuity contrivance convalesce convenient convertible convolution copasetic copious corduroy coriolis cornucopia corollary corpse corpuscle correlate correspondent corridor corroborate corrosion corrugate corrupt costume counselor countenance counterfeit courageous courier courtesy covert covetous cranny crease credenza credulity crescent ******* criterion crochet crocodile croissant crotchety crucial cruel cryptic cuddle cuisine cul-de-sac culinary culpable culvert cumbrous cummerbund ******* cunning curare curiosity curtilage curtsy curvaceous custody cylindrical cymbal cynicism cyst dabble daffodil daiquiri damsel dastardly dazzle deceit debilitate debonair debris debutant decency decipher decimate deconcentrate decorum decrepit dedicate defamation defendable defensible deference deficient deficit definitive defoliate delectable deliberate delicatessen delinquent delirious demarcate dementia demolish demure denigrate dentil denunciation deplorable depreciate dereliction derisory derrick descent desirable despair desperate despicable despondent destine deterrent detonate deviance devisal devisor devour dexterous diabolicalness diagnosis dialogue diamond diaphragm diarrhea dichondra dawdle differentia difficulty diffuse dilapidate dilate dilemma diligent dilute diminutive dinghy dinosaur director  dirigible disadvantageous disastrous disperse disciplinary discomfiture discordant discotheque discreet discrete discrepancy disgust disguise dishevel dispersal dissect dissention dissertation dissident dissipate dissolve dissonant distillate distortion distraught disturbance divvy docile docket doctrinal dodder ***** eccentric linguistics domical dominate domineer dominion dossier doubloon douse drawl dreary dubious dulcet dungeon duodenum duress dwindle dynamism dynasty ebullition echinoderm eclectic ecliptic economist ecumenism edifice editor educe effervesce efficacious egalitarian elaborate elapsed eerie elegy eligible eliminate elite elixir elongate elucidate elusion eluviation emaciate embarrass embassy embellish embezzle embroidery embryo emissary emollient emphatic enchilada encore encumbrance endeavor endogenous endure engender ensemble enthusiast entourage entrepreneur epaulet epitome erratic erroneous escapade esophagus espionage esplanade etcetera ethereal etiquette eucalyptus eulogy exaggerate exacerbate excellency exhilarate expectant exquisite facetious Fahrenheit fallacy fanion fealty feisty frisky felicitous fenestration ferocious fertile fervent fickle fictitious fiery finesse finial fjord flaccid fledge flippant flirtatious flivver fluctuate follicle forbearance forbiddance forehand forebode forceps forfeit forgo forlorn formidable foundry foyer fracas fraught frivolous frolic frontier funnel copious furrow fuselage fusillade futile forgone frivolity frolic galaxy galleon galoot galore galoshes gambit gangrene ganglion gargantuan gargoyle gardenia garret garrote gasolier gatling gawky gazebo gazelle gazette geezer geisha gendarme generosity genre genteel gentry genuine geodesic geranium gesticulate ghastly giggle ****** gimmick giraffe gizzard glacier glamour glimmer glimpse glisten glottis gluteus gluttony glyph gnarly gnaw goddess godling gorgeous gorilla gory gossamer gourd gouts gracious gradient granary grandeur granulation grapple gratify gratuitous gregarious grenade committee grievance griffin gristle grotesque gristly grotto grouch groupie grisly grovel grudge gruel gruesome gubernatorial guerrilla guffaw guidable guidon guile guillotine gullet gymnasium gyrate habitable hacienda haggard halibut halitosis hallelujah hallow halyard hammock harangue harass harried hasp hatred haughty hearth hedonism hegira heinous hegemony hemisphere hemophilia hemorrhage herbivorous hereditary heresy heritage heroine hesitate hibiscus hidden hideous hieroglyphic highfalutin high-rise hilarity hippopotamus hoarse holler holocaust holster homicidal horror hosiery hurricane hydrant hydraulic hydronic hyena hygiene hyphen hypnotize hypochondria hypocrisy hypocrite hypotenuse hysteria idiocy igloo ignoramus ignore illicit illiterate illustrate imbecile immaculate immaterial immature immersible immigrant immune impasse impeccable impedance impenetrable impervious imperfect implement implicate implicit important impressible innately inert impression impugn inadequate inanimate inauspicious incandescent incantation incarcerate incentive incinerator inclusion incoercible incompressible incontrovertible controversy indefatigable inconvertible inconvincible incorruptible indices indictment indigent indigestion digestible indignant indiscretion indiscreet indisiplined indiscernible inducible inebriate ineffable inefficacy ineludible inexorable inexpiable inextricable infallible infatuation inferior inflammatory inflexible infuriate inimitable iniquitous infuse infusion ingenuity ingratiate inimical innards innocence innovate innumerable inoculation insatiable insectivorous insincerity insinuation inspection inspirator instability installation insurance insufferable insufficiency insurrection insupportable integrity intellect intelligence intemperance intension interaction interception intercession interdiction interface interference interpolate interrogate interrupt intersperse intervene interstice intractable intergalactic intransigent intravenous intrepid intricate intrigue introductory introject intrude inundate invective invariable invertebrate investigate intuitive invertible investiture inveterate inviable invidious inviolate invigorate invincible invoke invocation invalidate involute invulnerable impregnable ionosphere ipso-facto irascible iridescent eradicable irrational irredeemable irrefragable irrefutable irregular anomalous irrelevant irreproachable irrepressible irresistible irrevocable irreverent irresponsible irritative irrigate irritability isolable isosceles isostasy issuance isthmus italicize iterative itinerary interjection ******* jackhammer jackknife jackpot jackrabbit jaguar jai alai jalopy jalousie jamboree Japanese jacquerie Jacobin jargonize jaunt javelin jealous jehoshaphat jeopardy jocular jouncy journal jubilant jubilee judgment judicature judicious juggernaut jugular juke julep juncture junta jurisprudence juvenilia juxtaposition kahuna kalpa kamikaze kerf kangaroo karat ken katzenjammer katydid kempt kerosene kewpie khaki kibitz kibosh kilter kimono kinesiology kleptomaniac knell knowledge knuckle kook kowtow kulak kyrie labyrinth laccolith laceration lackadaisical laconic lacunar lacquer lagging laissez-faire lamprey languish lanyard lapidary laputan larceny lariat laryngeal larynx lascivious latent latter lattice latrine launderette lavatory laxity lechery legacy bequeath legend leister lei leisure lemming leniency lentic leopard lethal lethargy lettuce leviathan levitate lexical liable levity liaison libation liberate licentious lieutenant ligament lilac limnetic limousine limpid lineage lynchpin lineolate lingerie lingual liniment linoleum liquefy litany literacy lithesome littoral lizard loath local loiter longevous loquacity lottery louver lucidity lucrative ludicrous luminary lummox lurid luscious lyricism machinator machinelike machismo macrocosm besmirched machiavellian mackerel mademoiselle maelstrom maggoty magisterial magnanimous magnifico maintenance malaprop malarkey malediction malamute malicious malign malinger malleable mandarin maneuver mange maniacal mannequin manure manzanita maquette maraca maraschino marauder marbleize marbly marionette marmalade marquee marquetry marrow marshal marshmallow martyr mascara masochism massacre matriarchy maudlin mausoleum maxillary mayonnaise meager meandrous medial medieval megalith mediocre Mediterranean megalomania melancholy melee membrane memorabilia menagerie mercenary mendacity meritorious mesmeric mesquite metallurgy metaphor meticulous metronome metropolitan mezzanine micrometer midriff mien demeanor millennium minarets minion minuscule minutia misanthropic miscellaneous mistletoe moccasin modus operandi monaural mongrel monotony morgue morose morsel moribund mortgage mosaic mosque mosquito motley mottle mucous membrane mucus mullion multifarious munificent museum musketeer mutable mustache mutineer myopic myrmidon mystique naïve narcissism narcosis narrate nausea navigable Neanderthal necklace needle nefarious negligible nemesis neophyte nertsy  nerve-racking nestle nether newfangled nocturnal nonchalant non sequitur normative Norwegian nostalgic nuisance nullify obedient obeisance obelisk obese objectify oblate oblique obliterate oblivious obsess obsolete obsolescence obstacle obstinate occupy occurrence ocelot odious oedipal officiate ogle ogre oligarchy omelet omnificent omniscient ontological argument oodles oomph opaque operable operative opossum optimal orangutan orchard orchestra ordinance oregano orgiastic oriel oriole ornery orphan osculate ostensive ostrich osteology oust overwhelm overwrought oyster pachyderm pacific pageant painstaking palate palaver libel palette pallet palomino pamphleteer panorama pantheism parapet paradigm papier-mâché paraffin paralyze parishioner parliament parody parquetry parsimonious pasteurize pathogenic payola ******* pediment pendant pendentives penicillin pennant pentathlon perception percussion perennial parameter perimeter peripheral peristalsis permissible pernicious perron perseverance persistent persona persnickety personnel persuasion petite pertinacious pessimistic pestilent pestle petticoat petulant phallus phantasmagoria pharaoh pharmaceutical peasant philander phenomenal philosopher phlegm phoenix phooey phosphoresce physique picayune picturesque piety pilfer finagle pilaster pillage pineapple pinnacle piquant pique piteous pitiful pittance pizzazz placate placenta plagiarism plaintiff plateau platypus plausible plinth plunderous pluvial poinsettia pollutant polygamy pommel ponderous portico portiere portentous prairie precipitous predecessor predicate predilection preeminent preempt preferential premier preparation preposition prerogative presumption pretentious preternatural privilege proclivity prodigious proffer progenitor progeny promissory promontory propellant propensity propound proselyte prospectus protégé protocol protuberant pseudonym  ptomaine pulchritudinous pursuant pygmy pylon python qualm quarrel quarry quash queer quell querulous quibble quitter quixotic rabbet rabbit rabbi radiant rambunctious rancor rankle raspberry rethink rebellion recant recital reconcile redundant referral reglet relevant reluctant remiss reminiscent remnant rendezvous renegade repartee reprieve repertoire repetitious reprehensive reprisal repugnant rescind reservoir resistant resurgence resurrect revelry reverie retaliate reticent retrieve retrograde reveille reverberation reversible reversion rhapsody rhetoric rheumatism rhinoceros rhinoceri rhubarb ribaldry ricochet riddance rigmarole risqué rive rollick Romanesque Rosicrucian rotisserie rotunda rogue roulette rubato ruminate rusticate sabotage sabbat saboteur sacrilege sadomasochist salacious salmon salutatory samurai sapphire sarcasm sarcophagus sardonic sarsaparilla sassafras sassy satiate satirical saturate saunter savoir-faire savvy scabbard scaffold scalawag scarcity scathe scenario scenic schism sciatic nerve ******* scintillate scissor scourge scrawny scrimmage scribble scruffy scrounge scrumptious scrunch scrupulous scrutiny scurry scythe sedition seethe seismic self-applause seltzer semiporcelain seniority sensible sensual separate sepulcher sequel sequin sequoia serape serenade sheaves serendipity  servant settee shabby shackle shanghai shanty shellac shenanigan Sherlock shirk shish kebob shoulder shrapnel shriek shrubbery shtick shush shyster Siamese sibyl significant simile simplicity simultaneous sinewy siphon skeptic skiff skillet skirmish skullduggery slaughter ****** sleeve sleuth slither slough sluice smart aleck  smidgen  smithereens  smolder  smorgasbord snazzy sneer snide snivel snorkel sobriety socioeconomic sojourn solder soldier solemn solicit soluble solvent sombrero somersault soothe soprano sophisticate sophomore sortie soufflé sousaphone ***** spiel souvenir sovereign spaghetti spandrel sparrow spatter sphinx spatula species specific spectacle spectral spelt sphincter spinach spinneret spiritual splatter splitting splurge spry  splutter sporadic sprawl sprinkler spree sprightly squawk spurious sputter  squabble squalor squander squeak squeal squeamish squeeze squiggle squinch squirrel stable squoosh stabilizer stagnant stagnate stalactite stalagmite stammer stampede stationary stationery statue statuesque statute staunch stealthy stein stellar stench stencil stoic steppe sterile stickler stifle stimulant stingy stirrup stolid strafe straggle strangulate stratagem strategy strenuous stretch strident stringent strudel streusel strychnine studious stultify stupe stupefy stupendous special stylus stymie styptic sublimate subliminal submergible substitute submersible subpoena subsequent subsidiary substantiate suburb subversion success succession succinct succor succulent succumb sufferance suffocate suggest suicidal sully sultry sumptuous sundae sundry superfluous superior supersede superstitious surreal supplicate surrender surrogate survey surveillance suspension suspicion sustenance swarthy ******* swath swear sweaty swelter swerve swindle swivel swizzle sycamore syllable symphony symposium symptom syndicate syndrome synonym synonymous synopsis synthetic syphilis syringe syrup suffrage tableau tabloid tacit tambourine tandem tangible tarantula tarot taunt technique telekinesis temperamental temperance thence temporal temporary tenuous tequila terrace terrain terrific terrify tetanus tether thatch thistle thither through though throat throttle thwack thwart ticklish tiffany timbre tirade titillate toboggan tolerant tongue top-notch topography  tortoise trauma tortuous torturous tourist tracery tournament tourniquet trachea traffic tragedy tragic traipse traitor tranquility transcend travesty transcribe treachery treatise trellis trepidation trestle trinket triplicate triumphant trivial troglodyte troubadour  trousers truncate tumultuous tundra turbid turpitude turquoise tutelage twixt twiddle twitter tycoon tyke typhoon tyrannical tyrannize tyranny umbrella unfulfilled unanimous usury undulate unequivocally unguent urethra unpre
There was a motion on the floor for the nomination of a proxy to be my epigone.  I feared I didn't have enough votes to challenge so I filibustered.
Ellie Shelley Nov 2016
Water that stands still becomes a poisonous petri dish of parasites
No one willingly drinks it
No one, not even dogs can survive on it

You told me people were changing
Tried to make me promise not to change
I didn’t think anything of it
I’ve always been a creature of habit
But I didn’t realize every still frame you took of us was turning us too still -
Stagnent

Every Creek runs a stream
Every stream runs a river
And water is always traced back to the oceans
The oceans
They support millions if not billions of creatures
Millions of different sources creating a big beautiful constantly moving changing habitat
Every part working together
And while parts of the ocean get terribly still
There is always a storm
Wave crashing destroying beautiful things
Only to be rebuilt in an even more fantastic way

Now don’t get me wrong stagnant water supports life
Like disease carrying bugs
And the bacteria that can give you malaria
Stagnation can take over whole creeks, streams, even ponds
Destroying whole ecosystems
Letting things rot

You said that I have started to change
Tried to make me think I was doing the wrong thing
When I put myself and my family first
When I kept running
You kept yelling
“WE HAVE TO STAND STILL”
Your toxicity can no longer touch me
I’ve found the ocean
An amazing ecosystem working together supporting life
Moving together and separately
Supporting growth

While your stagnant puddles are evaporating from the sunlight,    
The bugs keep crawling on you

But your disease can no longer touch me
Parasites can no longer reach me
I’m running and flowing
moving and growing through this ocean
And you stay still
In your still frame stagnant puddle
Jesse stillwater Jul 2018
there are the ones
that feel it climb up
the shadow towards the light,
hesitation on every rung,
each wave of the arising
      overwhelms  unabated ―
and woe betides those
who are on the run
from a storm's deluge


A rousing ocean breeze
stirs inside the memory
of an unframed seashell
lying on the hearth mantel;
heightened sensitivity
lapping soundlessly,
spindrift plashing
the shoreline
of another world's
feigned peace


Perhaps the muted voice
of guilty pleasures,
hushed by their own
hidden truths
Feeling the unfelt textures
of every stifled vibration
left unbreathed


The naked truth befallen
so cold and lonely
Running in circles,
volatile as all those
     unspoken excitations raging ―
and the whispers of those
who hear not
the voices in the wind


An emotionally enslaved  heart
tarries,  marooned high and dry
in a memory on a distant sand bar
     lain fallow for so long ―
stagnant darkness
of an unsated soul
gathered on the back
of a parched tongue
sullied wordless


Rising up through
a dusty hieroglyph corridor
through an unlocked
labyrinth gate;  vestige echoes
from somewhere left behind
in an incomprehensible
abandoned wake


It's getting harder and harder
   for an insatiable soul to breathe ...
   climbing up a tree trunk―
up within the silence
of the listening tree


  Toes dug into
the rough bark furrows ―
fingers reaching upwards
beyond their deepest known grasp


A shadow stranded
out on a hangin' bough
hearkening without ears that hear:
“perhaps they’ll listen now“  
the wingless bird sings
in psalms that fly away
on tattered feathers
over untamed waters roil


Back to nature’s waning youth,
the bough bends unbroken
to taste the freedom
of the wild absolving seas



Jesse Stillwater
June     2018
Notes:                                                                                                          
a friend sent  a link to a deeply thought provoking modern classic 70's song about Vincent Van Gogh and the complexities of imperfection some of us relate .... i'd listened to the words prior but never heard before now.

  Title is last final lyric line from:  "Vincent" (Starry, Starry night) 1971
Writer(s): DON MCLEAN, ENRICO NASCIMBENI,
ROBERTO VECCHIONI
Cyril Blythe Sep 2012
I followed him down the trail until we got to the mouth of the mines. The life and energy of the surrounding maples and birches seemed to come to a still and then die as we walked closer, closer. The air was cold and dark and damp and smelt of mold and moths. Delvos stepped into the darkness anyways.
“Well, girl, you coming or aren’t you?”
I could see his yellowed tobacco teeth form into a slimy smile as I stepped out of the sun. It was still inside. The canary chirped.
“This tunnel is just the mouth to over two hundred others exactly like it. Stay close. Last thing I need this month is National Geographic on my *** for losing one of their puppet girls.”
“Delvos, ****. I have two masters degrees.” He rolled his eyes.
“Spare me.” He trotted off around the corner to the left, whistling.
“I survived alone in the jungles of Bolivia alone for two months chasing an Azara’s Spinetail. I climbed the tallest mountain in Nepal shooting Satyr Tragopans along the cliff faces. In Peru I…” Suddenly I felt the weight of the darkness. In my blinding anger I lost track of his lantern. I stopped, my heartbeat picked up, and I tried to remind myself of what I did in Peru.
I followed a Diurnal Peruvian Pygmy-Owl across the gravel tops of the Andes Mountains, no light but the Southern Cross and waning moon above. I am not scared of darkness. I am not scared of darkness.
I stopped to listen. Somewhere in front of me the canary chirped.

When I first got the job in Vermont I couldn’t have been more frustrated. Mining canaries? Never had I ever ‘chased’ a more mundane bird. Nonetheless, when Jack Reynolds sends you on a shoot you don’t say no, so I packed up my camera bag and hoped on the next plane out of Washington.
“His name is John Delvos.” Jack said. He handed me the manila case envelope. “He’s lived in rural Vermont his entire life. Apparently his family bred the canaries for the miners of the Sheldon Quarry since the early twenties. When the accident happened the whole town basically shut down. There were no canaries in the mines the day the gas killed the miners. His mother died in a fire of some sort shortly after. The town blamed the Delvos family and ran them into the woods. His father built a cabin and once his father died, Delvos continued to breed the birds. He ships them to other mining towns across the country now. We want to run a piece about the inhumanity of breeding animals to die so humans won’t.” I stood in silence in front of his deep mahogany desk, suddenly aware of the lack of make-up on my face. He smiled, “You’re leaving on Tuesday.”
“Yes sir.”
“Don’t look so smug, Lila. This may not be the most exotic bird you’ve shot but the humanity of this piece has the potential to be a cover story. Get the shots, write the story.”

“Do you understand the darkness now, Ms. Rivers? Your prestigious masters degrees don’t mean **** down here.” Delvos reappeared behind the crack of his match in a side tunnel not twenty yards in front of me. He relit the oily lantern and turned his back without another word. I reluctantly followed deeper into the damp darkness.
“Why were there no canaries in the mine on, you know, that day?” The shadows of the lantern flickered against the iron canary cage chained on his hip and the yellow bird hopped inside.
“I was nine, Ms. Rivers. I didn’t understand much at the time.” We turned right into the next tunnel and our shoes crunched on jagged stones. All the stones were black.
“But surely you understand now?”
The canary chirped.

When I first got to Sheldon and began asking about the location of the Delvos’ cabin you would have thought I was asking where the first gate to hell was located. Mothers would smile and say, “Sorry, Miss, I can’t say,” and hurriedly flock their children in the opposite direction. After two hours of polite refusals I gave up. I spent the rest of the first day photographing the town square. It was quaint; old stone barbershops surrounded by oaks and black squirrels, a western themed whiskey bar, and a few greasy spoon restaurants interspersed in-between. I booked a room in the Walking Horse Motel for Wednesday night, determined to get a good nights sleep and defeat this towns fear of John Delvos tomorrow.
My room was a tiny one bed square with no TV. Surprise, surprise. At least I had my camera and computer to entertain myself. I reached into the side of my camera bag and pulled out my Turkish Golds and Macaw-beak yellow BIC. I stepped out onto the dirt in front of my door and lit up. I looked up and the stars stole all the oxygen surrounding me. They were dancing and smiling above me and I forgot Delvos, Jack, and all of Sheldon except it’s sky. Puffing away, I stepped farther and farther from my door and deeper into the darkness of night. The father into the darkness the more dizzying the stars dancing became.
“Ma’am? Everything okay?”
Startled, I dropped my cigarette on the ground and the ember fell off.
“I’m sorry, sir. I was just, um, the stars…” I snuffed out the orange glow in the dirt with my boot and extended my hand, “Lila Waters, and you are?”
“Ian Benet. I haven’t seen you around here before, Ms. Waters, are you new to town?”
“I’m here for work. I’m a bird photographer and journalist for National Geographic. I’m looking for John Delvos but I’m starting to think he’s going to be harder to track than a Magpie Robin.”
The stars tiptoed in their tiny circles above in the silence. Then, they disappeared with a spark as Ian lit up his wooden pipe. It was a light colored wood, stained with rich brown tobacco and ash. He passed me his matches, smiling.
“What do you want with that old *******? Don’t tell me National Geographic is interested in the Delvos canaries.”
I lit up another stick and took a drag. “Shocking, right?”
“Actually, it’s about time their story is told.” Benet walked to the wooden bench to our left and patted the seat beside him. I walked over. “The Delvos canaries saved hundreds of Sheldonian lives over the years. But the day a crew went into the mines without one, my father came out of the ground as cold as when we put him back into it in his coffin.”
I sat in silence, unsure what to say. “Mr. Benet, I’m so sorry…”
“Please, just Ian. My father was the last Mr. Benet.”
We sat on the wooden bench, heat leaving our bodies to warm the dead wood beneath our legs. I shivered; the stars dance suddenly colder and more violent.
“Delvos canaries are martyrs, Ms. Waters. This whole town indebted to those tiny yellow birds, but nobody cares to remember that anymore.”
“Can you tell me where I can find Mr. Delvos and his, erm, martyrs?” The ember of my second cigarette was close to my pinching fingertips.
“Follow me.” Ian stood up and walked to the edge of the woods in front of us. We crunched the cold dust beneath our feet, making me aware of how silent it was. Ian stopped at a large elm and pointed, “See that yellow notch?” Sure enough, there was a notch cut and dyed yellow at his finger’s end. “If you follow true north from this tree into the woods you’ll find this notch about every fifty yards or so. Follow the yellow and it’ll spit you out onto the Delvos property.”
“Thank you, Ian. I really can’t begin to tell you how thankful I am to find out where to find this elusive Mr. Delvos and his canaries.”
“You don’t have to,” he knocked the ash out of his pipe against the tree, “Just do those birds justice in your article. Remember, martyrs. Tell old Delvos Ian Benet sends his regards.” He turned and walked back to the motel and I stood and watched in silence. It was then I realized I hadn’t heard a single bird since I got to Sheldon. The stars dance was manic above me as I walked back to my room and shut the door.

The canary chirped and Delvos stopped.
“This is a good place to break out fast. Sit.”
I sat obediently, squirming around until the rocks formed a more comfortable nest around my bony hips. We left for the mines as the stars were fading in the vermillion Vermont sky this morning and had been walking for what seemed like an eternity. I was definitely ready to eat. He handed me a gallon Ziploc bag from his backpack filled with raisins, nuts, various dried fruits, and a stiff piece of bread. I attacked the food like a raven.
“I was the reason no canaries entered the mines that day, Ms. Waters.” Delvos broke a piece of his bread off and wrapped it around a dried piece of apricot, or maybe apple. I was suddenly aware of my every motion and swallowed, loudly. I crinkled into my Ziploc and crunched on the pecans I dug out, waiting.
“Aren’t you going to ask why?”
“I’m not a parrot, Mr. Delvos, I don’t answer expectedly on command. You’ll tell me if you want.” I hurriedly stuffed a fistful of dried pears into my mouth.
Delvos chuckled and my nerves eased, “You’ve got steel in you, Ms. Rivers, I’ll give you that much.”
I nodded and continued cramming pears in my mouth.
“I was only nine. The canaries were my pets, all of them. I hated when Dad would send them into the mines to die for men I couldn’t give two ***** about. It was my birthday and I asked for an afternoon of freedom with my pets and Dad obliged. I was in the aviary with pocketfuls of sunflower-seeds. Whenever I threw a handful into the air above me, the air came to life with flickering yellow brushes and songs of joy. It was the happiest I have ever been, wholly surrounded and protected by my friends. Around twelve thirty that afternoon the Sheriff pulled up, lights ablaze. The blue and red lights stilled my yellow sky to green again and that’s when I heard the shouting. He cuffed my Dad on the hood of the car and Mom was crying and pushing her fists into the sheriff’s chest. I didn’t understand at all. The Sheriff ended up putting Mom in the car too and they all left me in the aviary. I sat there until around four that afternoon before they sent anyone to come get me.”
Delvos took a small bite of his bread and chewed a moment. “No matter how many handfuls of seeds I threw in the air after that, the birds wouldn’t stir. They wouldn’t even sing. I think they knew what was happening.”
I was at a loss for words so of course I blurted, “I didn’t see an aviary at your house…”
Delvos laughed. “Someone burnt down the house I was raised in the next week while we were sleeping. Mom died that night. The whole dark was burning with screams and my yellow canaries were orange and hot against the black sky. That’s the only night I’ve seen black canaries and the only night I’ve heard them scream.”
I swallowed some mixed nuts and they rubbed against my dry throat.
“They never caught the person. A week later Dad took the remainder of the birds and we marched into the woods. We worked for months clearing the land and rebuilding our lives. We spent most of the time in silence, except for the canary cries. When the house was finally built and the birds little coops were as well, Dad finally talked. The only thing he could say was ‘Canaries are not the same as a Phoenix, John. Not the same at all.”
The canary chirped, still only visible by the lanterns flame. Not fully yellow, I realized, here in the mines, but not fully orange either.

When I first walked onto John Delvos’ property on Thursday morning he was scattering feed into the bird coops in the front of his cabin. Everything was made of wood and still wet with the morning’s dew.
“Mr. Delvos?” He spun around, startled, and walked up to me a little too fast.
“Why are you here? Who are you?”
“My name is Lila Waters, sir, I am a photographer and journalist for National Geographic Magazine and we are going to run an article on your canaries.”
“Not interested”
“Please, sir, can I ask you just a few quick questions as take a couple pictures of your, erm, martyrs?”
His eyes narrowed and he walked up to me, studying my face with an intense, glowering gaze. He spit a mouthful of dip onto the ground without breaking eye contact. I shifted my camera bag’s weight to the other shoulder.
“Who told you to call them that?”
“I met Ian Benet last night, he told me how important your birds are to this community, sir. He sends his regards.”
Delvos laughed and motioned for me to follow as he turned his back. “You can take pictures but I have to approve which ones you publish. That’s my rule.”
“Sir, it’s really not up to me, you see, my boss, Jack Reynolds, is one of the CEO’s for the magazine and he...”
“Those are my rules, Ms. Waters.” He turned and picked back up the bucket of seed and began to walk back to the birds. “You want to interview me then we do it in the mine. Be back here at four thirty in the morning.”
“Sir…?”
“Get some sleep, Ms. Waters. You’ll want to be rested for the mine.” He turned, walked up his wooden stairs, and closed the door to his cabin.
I was left alone in the woods and spent the next hour snapping pictures of the little, yellow canaries in their cages. I took a couple pictures of his house and the surrounding trees, packed up my camera and trekked back to my motel.

“You finished yet?” Delvos stood up and the memory of his green and brown wooded homestead fled from my memory as the mine again consumed my consciousness. Dark, quiet, and stagnant. I closed the Ziploc and stuffed the bag, mainly filled with the raisins I sifted through, into my pocket.
Delvos grunted and the canary flapped in its cage as he stood again and, swinging the lantern, rounded another corner. The path we were on began to take a noticeable ***** downward and the moisture on the walls and air multiplied.
The canary chirped.
The lantern flickered against the moist, black stones, sleek and piled in the corners we past. The path stopped ahead at a wall of solid black and brown Earth.
The canary chirped twice.
It smelt of clay and mildew and Delvos said, “Go on, touch it.”
I reached my hand out, camera uselessly hanging like a bat over my shoulder. The rock was cold and hard. It felt dead.
The Canary was flitting its wings in the cage now, chirping every few seconds.
“This is the last tunnel they were digging when the gas under our feet broke free from hell and killed those men.”
Delvos hoisted the lantern above our heads, illuminating the surrounding gloom. All was completely still and even my own vapor seemed to fall out of my mouth and simply die. The canary was dancing a frantic jig, now, similar to the mating dance of the Great Frigate Bird I shot in the Amazon jungle. As I watched the canary and listened to its small wings beat against the cold metal cage I begin to feel dizzy. The bird’s cries had transformed into a scream colder than fire and somehow more fierce.
The ability to fly is what always made me jealous of birds as a child, but as my temple throbbed and the canary danced I realized I was amiss. Screaming, yellow feathers whipped and the entire inside of the cage was instantaneously filled. It was beautiful until the very end. Dizzying, really.
Defeated, the canary sank to the floor, one beaten wing hanging out of the iron bars at a most unnatural angle. Its claws were opening and closing, grasping the tainted cave air, or, perhaps, trying to push it away. Delvos unclipped the cage and sat it on the floor in the space between us, lantern still held swaying above his head. The bird was aflame now, the silent red blood absorbing into the apologetic, yellow feathers. Orange, a living fire. I pulled out my camera as I sat on the ground beside the cage. I took a few shots, the camera’s clicks louder than the feeble chirps sounding out of the canary’s tattered, yellow beak. My head was spinning. Its coal-black eyes reflected the lantern’s flame above. I could see its tiny, red tongue in the bottom of its mouth.
Opening.
Closing.
Opening, wider, too wide, then,
Silence.


I felt dizzy. I remember feeling the darkness surround me; it felt warm.

“I vaguely remember Delvos helping me to my feet, but leaving the mine was a complete haze.” I told the panel back in D.C., “It wasn’t until we had crossed the stream on the way back to the cabin that I began to feel myself again. Even then, I felt like I was living a dream. When we got back to the cabin the sight of the lively yellow canaries in their coops made me cry. Delvos brought me a bottle of water and told me I needed to hit the trail because the sun set early in the winter, so I le
O'er the midnight moorlands crying,
Thro' the cypress forests sighing,
In the night-wind madly flying,
Hellish forms with streaming hair;
In the barren branches creaking,
By the stagnant swamp-pools speaking,
Past the shore-cliffs ever shrieking,
****'d demons of despair.

Once, I think I half remember,
Ere the grey skies of November
Quench'd my youth's aspiring ember,
Liv'd there such a thing as bliss;
Skies that now are dark were beaming,
Bold and azure, splendid seeming
Till I learn'd it all was dreaming —
Deadly drowsiness of Dis.

But the stream of Time, swift flowing,
Brings the torment of half-knowing —
Dimly rushing, blindly going
Past the never-trodden lea;
And the voyager, repining,
Sees the wicked death-fires shining,
Hears the wicked petrel's whining
As he helpless drifts to sea.

Evil wings in ether beating;
Vultures at the spirit eating;
Things unseen forever fleeting
Black against the leering sky.
Ghastly shades of bygone gladness,
Clawing fiends of future sadness,
Mingle in a cloud of madness
Ever on the soul to lie.

Thus the living, lone and sobbing,
In the throes of anguish throbbing,
With the loathsome Furies robbing
Night and noon of peace and rest.
But beyond the groans and grating
Of abhorrent Life, is waiting
Sweet Oblivion, culminating
All the years of fruitless quest.
Greedy claws cannot claim ownership
Of a stagnant heart.
One who cannot feel, cannot be owned
By an affectionate other,
Who sees all but the blood
Trickling down stained walls.

I’ll place death between my lips
Before allowing the death of another.
I’ll offer to hand over each breath until there are no more
Before I take the breath of a grieving life
I will not listen to muttered howls
Or tolerate gratitude for phony medals around my neck.

I will never defeat paralysis
Nor will I slaughter yours.
I bear no swords or heroism
I merely count the phases of the moon as it passes
I am brittle, I am incompetent,
And I am content, as I expect no more.

These walls are fading, finally,
As all others do
Eventually.

I want what I can not have.
I can not have what I want.
I can not want what I have.

A lost cause.
I do love myself,
But I do not recommend doing the same.
For I am a stagnant heart
And I no longer feel remorse.

Cover your eyes and flee;
The villain has red-stained lips
And she functions in ways
even science can't fix.
robin Mar 2013
i heard a girl once say,
if i could
i would drown
in poetry.
i would throw myself
into a sea of verses
and sink in splendor.

oh, no, i thought -

no you wouldn't.

if there was a sea of poetry
the coasts would be ringed with barbed-wire
and electric fences,
and signs that yelled warning
keep out
undertow

and swim on risk of death -
the beach would be littered with broken glass
from all the drunks that took their last drink
on the edge of a stanza.
the water would be turbulent
and *****
and cold,
and you might admire it one twilight,
when the sun is drowning and turning the sea
red,
and you'd say, oh
that's beautiful.

and you'd take a photo of yourself
grinning with the sunset at your back
and leave.

i heard a boy once say,
if i could
i would drown in your poetry.

oh, no, i thought.
no you wouldn't.
why is drowning such a common theme
in the minds
of readers of poetry?
i imagine it seems
romantic,
in some twisted morbid way -
but i think seeing a bloated corpse
pallid with seawater
missing a limb
or two
would put these delusions to rest.
i imagine seeing
the corpse of a poet
missing a heart
or mind
would put these delusions to rest.

you don't want to drown in poetry.

you want to watch me drown.

i heard a boy once say
if i could
i would drown in your poetry.

so says the boy who calls himself an artist
because he can play
'hey soul sister'
on guitar
and will prove it every chance he gets.
you don't want to drown in my poetry,
and even if you did
i doubt you could -
if poetry was bodies of water
you would throw yourself into a hotel swimming pool
miles away from the polluted lake
where i wash in stagnant water.
if poetry was bodies of water
you'd have someone build a koi pond in your backyard
and call yourself a poet.
if i could
i would drown in your poetry,

he said
and i told him to prove it.

if i could
i would drown in poetry,

she said.

the only people who say
they want to drown in poetry
are the people who don't know what it means.

the only people who drown in poetry
are the people who have no choice.
Lizzy Jan 2015
"Poor Yorick!",
His soul is saved.
Safe and sound,
In cold unbeing.

Cold unbeing,
For whom I am so hungry.
It's bitter tundra will fill me,
But my fire won't go out.

The burning won't stop,
And my ashes only gather.
There's something very wrong,
With a blistering winter.

Oh Yorick,
I envy.
Your sleep is undisturbed;
Where I am only tired.

You are bones,
And King Hamlet is a ghost.  
Floating like him and stagnant as you,
I cannot rest.

My sleep is disturbed.
Like the king, I can't find peace.
But like Yorick,
I am hollowed bones.
M e l l o Jul 2019
Simpleng aya lang pero alam ko na kung ano ang naglalaro sa isip mo.

Ano na? Sasama ka ba?
Wag kang mag-alala hindi ako magtatanong kung
"open minded ka ba?"

Kung matagal na tayong magkakilala
alam na alam mo na kung ano ang aking sadya.

Umpisahan natin sa simpleng kamustahan,
madalas pag ako nag-aya malamang matagal tayong hindi nagkita
Saan ba tayo magkakape?
Ayos lang ba sayo
kung d'yan lang sa tabi tabi?
Pero alam kong mas maganda
ang usapan natin sa loob ng magandang café
pero pag wala tayong budget
baka naman pwede na iyong nescafé?
Ano ba mayroon sa pagkakape?
At bakit tila ba napakaimportante?
Ang tanong ano ba ang iyong forté?
Oh natawa ka mali pala ang aking sinabi
Ang ibig sabihin ko ay ano ba
ang gusto mo sa kape?
Malamig o maiinit?
Latté ba o yung frappe ang gusto mo
okay na ko sa brewed o americano
sorry medyo lactose intolerant ako
kaya bahala ka na mamili ng gusto mo
may kwento ako habang ika'y namimili
kwentohan kita tungkol sa mga taong
minsan ko nang inaya o di kaya'y nag-aya sakin na magkape
at sana mabasa niyo din ito
alam niyo na kung sino kayo dito,
wag kayong kabahan sa pagkat
ang inyong mga pangalan ay hindi ko
ipaglalandakan masyado akong concern sa pagkakaibigan natin
baka ako ay inyong biglang iwanan wag naman.


Simulan natin ang kwento sa kaibigan kong mga lalaki,
special 'tong dalawa kasi kakaiba
yung isa ang lakas ng loob niyang ayain ako
nang makapasok kami sa café
akala ko magkakape kami
akala ko lang pala yun
aba'y pagkapasok umorder agad ako ng kape
pero siya'y umorder ng tsokolate
loko 'to na scam ako
habang yung isa well,
ako yung nag-aya medyo matagal na din kaming hindi nagkita
kaya naman ako'y nabigla bagong buhay na daw siya
at umiiwas magkape sabi niya
gusto pa daw niyang matulog
nang mahimbing mamayang gabi
kaya ayun tsokalate din ang pinili
Ano?
Alam mo na yan kung sino ka d'yan.

Kinakabahan ka na ba?
Ikaw na kasunod nito.

May dalawa pa akong kaibigan
na lalaki,
pareho silang pag nag-aaya magkape
kailangan ko pang bumyahe
yung isa mailap at andyan lang
sa makati
at yung isa kailangan ko pang mag mrt kasi nakatira siya sa quezon city
sobrang weird lang ng isa kasi
yung bagong flavor sa menu nang café
tinatry niya parati
banggitin ko yung nasubukan niyang
flavor sa teavana series ng SB
Hibiscus tea with pomegranate
nasabi mo lasang gumamela
at yung matcha & espresso fusion
na nagmadali kang umuwi pagkatapos **** uminom
Hulaan mo kung sino ka rito?


Lipat tayo sa mga kaibigan
kong mga babae
pero bago ko simulan ang kwento,
madami akong kaibigang babae na sobrang mahilig din magkape
pero pasintabi sa mga lalaki
may gusto lamang akong ipabatid
pag kaming mga babae
ang magkakasamang magkape
pag ikaw ang nobyo ng isa dito'y
malamang lovelife ninyo ang topic
wag mabahala kapatid kasi
madami dami din naman kaming
napag-uusapan maliban sa lovelife niyong medyo kinulang
minsan may nangyayari pang retohan
pero lahat yun biro lang baka mapagalitan
pag ang topic na yan ang hantungan
kung ikaw ay nasa tabing mesa lang
malamang mapapailing ka na lang
sa mga topic namin na
punong puno ng kabaliwan
minsan pinaguusapan pa namin
kung sino yung couple
na naghiwalayan kamakailan, inaamin ko
songsong couple kasama sa usapan.

Dalawang grupo 'tong kasunod.

Eto yung mga kaibigan ko na kung kami'y magkape puro deep talks ang nangyayari,
mga bagay sa mundo na hindi mo akalain nakakagulo sa taong akala mo hindi pasan ang mundo.
Mabibigat na usapan na may kasamang konti lang naman na iyakan
sama ng loob, pagkabigo at sobrang pagka stressed sa trabaho.
Ilang mura ang maririnig mo
pag sensitive ka at hindi nagmumura
hindi ka kasama dito.
Eto yung deep talks na walang tulogan
alam mo na yan part ka dito
mga usapan na kung iyong pakikinggan ay
masasabi mo sobrang weird naman
ang mga topic ay everything
under the sun yun nga lang dudugo tenga mo sa technical terms at englishan.

Eto yung grupo ng deep talks yung topic ay puro pangarap, eto yung deep talks na masasabi kong very inspirational at educational. Hindi tulad ng naunang grupo
sa ganitong usapan madami kang malalaman.
Dito lalabas ang mga katagang
"Wag mo kasing masyadong galingan"
at yung "baka hindi mo ginalingan"
Sasakit ang tiyan mo kakatawa at sasakit mata mo sa kakapigil ng iyong luha eto yung genres ng deep talks na may humor, drama, slice of life, at shoujo.
Mga usapang trabaho katulad nang parang naging monotonous at routinary na ang buhay:
Need mo lang ng new environment?
Mag bakasyon ka?
Career growth?
Feeling stagnant?
At
Mga usapang gigil sa ganitong mga tirada:
Ilang taon ka na?
Kelan ka mag-aasawa?
May boyfriend ka na ba?
Nagpapayaman ka ba?
Bakit si ano may ganito na ikaw kelan?
Naka move on ka na ba?

Ano asan kayo d'yan?
Wala ba?

May grupo din na sila laging nag-aayang magkape, mga kaibigan ko na ang usapan lagi ay magkita
sa ganitong oras ay palaging
hindi sumasakto ang dating
Pag eto yung kasama ko puro usapan namin ay mga memories noong elementary
minsan lang magkakasama pero ang samahan solid naman ang lalakas mag kulitan o ano kelan ulit tayo pupunta ng mambukal?
Sino na ang ikakasal?


Sa sobrang dami kong nabanggit
muntik ko nang makalimutan ang dalawang babae na 'to
pag kami nagkikita bakit puro ako yung napupurohan sa asaran
ang layo namin ngayon pero sana
pag-uwi ay magkakape ulit tayong tatlo
sobrang dami ko nang baong kwento malamang yung isa dyan isang maleta ang hila niyan
sagot ko na ang kape pero pakiusap
hayaan niyo muna akong makaganti.


Ang dami ko nang naikwento pero hindi mo ba naitanong
kung saan nanggaling ang pagkahilig
ko sa kape? Walk through kita sa buhay ko, mahilig magkape ang papa ko, mas naunang nakatikim ng kape ang kapatid ko, yung isa hindi mo mapipilit magkape at madalas magsimsim ang mama ko sa kape ko.

May mga tao din akong nakasama magkape, may mga sobrang ganda ng topic. Dali na kwento mo na. May mga taong tatanungin ka din kong ano ba ang hilig mo pati pagsusulat ko kinakamusta ako.
Hindi lahat alam na nagsusulat ako yung iba na may alam, kabahan kana alam **** andito ka.

Salamat sa pagbabasa, ngayon lang ako lumabas para isama ka sa obra na 'to.
Asahan mo na marami pang kasunod na iba,
nakatago lang sa kahon kung saan memoryado ko pa.


Lahat nang naikwento kong tao mahalaga sa buhay ko, yung iba nakilala ko lang nang husto dahil sa simpleng salita na "kape tayo"
Alam mo na kung bakit importante sakin ang pagkakape?
Alam mo na ang aking sadya?
Kung hindi pa baka hindi mo pa ako kilala. Handa akong magpakilala sayo, makinig sa kwento mo. Nag-aalala ka na baka isulat ko?
Sasabihan kita ng diretso kung oo.
Hindi mo pa ba ako nakasama magkape?
Ngayon pa lang inaanyayahan kita, taos puso kitang iniimbitahan.

"Kape tayo"

Sana sumama ka.
Poetry appreciation piece for my family, friends & coffee buddies
Melody Nov 2012
ceasing their rhythmic pursuit
of sustenance, wretched defiance -
loveless roots linger, unnoticed

calculated fascination abound
in unrelenting drifts of memories
rapidly morph into luck dissolving

beneath this earth, a resolute choir
battles within this treacherous mire
©MW
Today or should I say what was left of yesterday, the most important time during the day when the moon is in a modestly transient display, I would consider taking my life. It is early evening, I couldn’t hold onto what I thought I could live for, giving into intolerance too easily, was like life for me was cracking in two and I was unable to cause cohesion for the diverging halves. only the effect remains unhinged and hidden inside me, without notice I go on missing from society. I’ve greatly deteriorated over the past few months which felt to me like decades in a room resembling winter. I often open the window only to my dismay that the air out is uncomfortably thick and moist, enough to suffocate my concentration for concern to what lies around instead I retract into this niche I resent completely spectating this limited view found underneath monochromatic inverted shades, for something that might not be much greater than I had wished it to be, I let these ideals of mine run wild in an attempt to let them be real momentarily, to burn out eventually unseen. Nothing should be able to live in such a way, I’m as stagnant as the trees that lie ahead near the streets. They witness every passerby freely sauntering trails laid out for the day, perhaps they, these beings, take it for granted not giving much attention to anything else besides the very goal that keeps them afloat and moving toward for execution to whatever it is they have their minds eye simply on. I’ve known all too well that it is pointless to do the same, I can’t squander what I have right in front of me over a simple goal, although I might not live in life’s given moments pleading for the very attention I sometimes don’t give in to, nothing ever goes unnoticed, these impressions are all that I could ever ask for, the smallest of gifts for me to cherish. Anyways I was only wandering my sight around outside looking for a movement I could possibly run to for help, giving my ears away for barber’s melody to play out loud. Nothing more showed up, only a bitter heat wave, the trees left unshaken from vacant winds. Washing over me was the penetrative structure I felt his sorrowful life flash ahead of me wondering how misunderstood he must’ve felt in such a time where everything was unrightfully wasted from a society that never knew how normalized repression began to feel, so they went about it by going along with the feel other than freely being expressive about internal conflicting issues. Maybe to one or none at all. He deserved better as did all the others. Maybe I’m wrong and only being reflective of myself. For what reason I don’t know. I was telling myself on the car ride somewhere else that I won’t disclose, for it doesn’t matter. I imagined everything I was to do, or should I say that I was accepting of what was to come next reciting in my head that all the dreaming and envisioning I had done up to this point was my life possibly lived, the love I couldn’t help to resist myself from attaining, the opportunity to save the world from collision from and through a great work that could possibly impregnate every sensible mind with a broad spectrum of what an extra day of the week might feel like, more time to spend freely from life’s never ending demand of what is to be expected by and from each and every one of you. I daydreamed of everything I missed during my lifetime so far, I should’ve traveled but didn’t, I’m not filled with fear but that of insecurity always wins the day. I slipped on by to memories that never had the chance to be made, only the threading lies there on a timeless lot gravitating toward evaporation. I left no more hope for myself because I’ve chosen to give it to the others who could actually implement change, those of whom I know I can entrust the life that I wasn’t living to. I made a choice, to disperse this existing body from and to a place where time is stilted upon my departure outside the fields wherever that may be, music guiding me out of the overriding blur beyond the wilt— my memory subsided inside this symphony somewhere that is made up of very early mornings and the light that follows afterward, kindly implying, that maybe, they never existed. I’m without anymore words, Thank you
I’ve decided to lay this one out exactly how I intended it to look; in its most free format, untouched from editing. maybe to expose the half crumbled city that lies in the way.  

I have this thing to get carried away into needless thoughts. 4 am is the time when self-reflecting occurs.

It goes deeper than all this, this is but a simple opening to more uncovered doors.

0202, is when I will be leaving
Ken Pepiton Oct 2018
--- as a boy, I explored a hermit's lair
--- the hermit was not there, he'd left nothing but a tin box
--- of charcoal pills, a panacea for curiosity, I was told.

This old bearded fellow who lived at the foot o'thumb butte,
by the burro's water hole,
other side o'the hill from Doug McVicar's Jasper find

Tidal shorelines from my child hood
swirling through the softed rocks

Boulders on the bottom, roll on, crustal waves rise and fall

it all goes back to that 13,000 year mark
when Gobekli Tepi,
was in the building,
long long before
the Hopis were on the Pollen Way, leaving land marks on

Rocks risen above the desert floor

Some thing came from space, something very cold,
a snowball so big it tugged the ocean of magma
through the crust of the earth

nuclear glass, same time. nano diamonds

The younger dryas-

melt water pulse, fire from the sky, men could see that, with their own eyes.
and then they saw the clouds of witnesses

Rituals learned, the story heart seeps from mother to child,

at first touch some say.

Specialized touches were included in the 2.0s.
Holistic wuwu Randall Carlson laughs, why lie? Evidence, see.

What did you see when you passed through hell the first time?
Nothing, you kept your eyes shut.

Are you really
Experienced? That was the question. Ask the experts,
but some of them lie.
Never trust their clocks, that's wise. Time is too temporary to make
much difference
in the long run. Time, least of all powers in eternity. Chronos,
Chaos shattered him, and some story teller on a journey
saw the event
while his tongue was being tamed, a task no man can do.

Fire and Ice from heaven to earth,
whole peoples saw it,
with the eyes in their head

Hope is the key to the heart's lock on reality

The younger Dryad's oak burned,
Drought killed all the others, bugs killed the elms.

Ah spirit to spirit, compare. The heart of the world is weeping
for the ignorant eaters of poisoned poems and stagnant stories

speed kills when it comes to cosmic notes on rocks

patience, under stand the canopy of heaven can, filter
poison from those
stagnant stories's idle words, redemption draweth nigh,

count on it. Keep counting, patience finishes what she starts.

Sacred Geometry, scale invariance, I saw the Mississippi
Carve meandering ant canyons in the dirt
while watching the rain
Nothing's secret anymore, that's a reality that may be beyond

your thought. Textbook in stone. I know geometry Mr. P,

can I come in? She who builds, who destroys, who rebuilds, suggested
my bombs have a Nobel role,
in energizing

the ark
the earth is the ark, but you knew that already, right.

Acacia bush visions from a medium
of messaging the master builder,
who, you know, made this
happen, used to heal with ashes.

Healing war, study it no more, it is
possible man, alone, can imagine.

The Godhead? What's the big idea? You a heretic, Mr. P?

Come and see, leave the clock/phone.
---

This is big momma story, little clay doll with pointy feet
sticks in the dirt, stares at the fire,

the story mamma, shhh

Stands, and lifts her hands up high, pointing
all her fingers to the skies where ashes, glowing
rise,
like we can imagine the stars once scattered by God
and his sons's servants prepping

origins of human conflict taught
Tubalcain by fire light, while Jubal
Sang the very umph umph song from
Taj Mahal' 1970 with Jerry, Fillmore West,

A message to Garcia, from on high:
the imbecility of the average man—
the inability or unwillingness to concentrate on a thing and do it,
That, resist. It is evil.

Angels, imaginable, you know, mere messages, nothin more,

so great a cloud of witnesses
there was a times when  all
imaginations men were imagining heartily
were evil, altogether.

Enki left and went to the moon, or that's the story grandma's
sisters told me
when I was a little boy lost and found from time to time

The serpent on the staff, where's that story from?
Who says their mammy saw that happen.

Time, Hosts of Heaven, time is one of those.

Fan tasty taste, see, the truth is good.

Freedom, responsible freedom, take as granted,
intend good and go.
Seed of the Dream,
I planted that. It contained this fact,

we reap what we sow.

Ambi-Dios, ambit-ion with no hope for something just beyond
the best that I have ever done,
that'll make a child mean as hell, on the average,
according to the data Google smuggled into China
through those super phones,
unavailable in the USA, protected by the wielders
of destruction who eat the world up,
and drink its very blood.

the bread of shame, is fed to slaves to keep them in the queue,

BTW que-eee was the word I used for ****, when I was a child.
I took that word to school.
Nobody knew what it meant. I considered that cool
and kept my secret until just now.

I feel so free.

A builder sees a building and the builder in a single glance.
None may enter here lacking geometry, that's no secret now.
The cultivated Pythagorean mind, simple as pi.

'Cain't get to Romans eight, which is here, now, I think,
with out going beyond Hebrew six.

The measure of a man that is the angel. No comma,
just a jot, then this means that,
to the mind
listening for mystery in beauty found lying around.,
glistening in the sun.
The charcoal pills I found fifty three years ago, these wandering thoughts I found dancing the trail earlier this morning.
mar Jun 2016
It's not fair that you only have to spend the morning without me
for I'm trapped in the night
darkness deafening me as I tell myself over and over that this is real
that midnight is only an hour
that I'll be home soon
and I never feel like I'm where I'm supposed to be
transporting myself place to place
continent hopping like a heart murmur
my soul is five hours behind
and when you sleep my whole being longs for your voice
glasses half empty stacked beside me
I remember a time when my hair danced at my hips
when the moon would be full and heat lightning blinded me
constantly praying to a god I didn't believe in that I could fall asleep
but dreams didn't come
and that summer lasted but eight days
when I can feel your heartbeat you are fire
but now that I'm so far away your voice is tired
your laugh is like a wind chime on a day when the air doesn't speak
milk moons have a habit of forcing me to reread your words
making me realize I now posess curses I never thought I'd have to endure
like how when I touch you I am not the girl my father raised
like how when you push me into the wall I hope your mother doesn't weep

We all have promises we wish we never made
I wish I didn't tie myself to you with silk
knotting each of my heartstrings around your fingers
I'm like your puppet
and it's wrenching because I had always been so brimmed with pride
conceived by my parents notion that I'd be doomed to wander alone
or blessed
if you choose to look at my freedom like it's that of a gift
but I don't want it anymore
I refuse to chain myself to my past
my frosted veins melting in your palms
I am not who I thought I was
I am not the lady my matriarch once bore that hot morning
a head full of curls and irises that told two different tales

I'm so lucky that the trees bend north tonight
I contribute secrets as clouds to the noir
unkept stands of chestnut trying to escape
but I don't blame them
and ink is all around me as I further my vices
counting down to paradise as I move a little too quickly from my bed
the other part of me wonders if I go visit him at this time
and I grin at that notion she thinks that's what I want from this hour
there are moments I forget to miss you
guild soaked as I remember love
I wouldn't call this bliss
it doesn't even scrape at happiness
it's emptiness
but not the way I've experienced before
I don't have words for this new feeling
not yet at least
I'll let anything in as an attempt to starve out this self doubt
but no whisper is as warm as your breath
because with you you don't even need to comfort me with diction
instead I swallow your glances like honey
I hope you know this mindset will never evolve
and if it does it is only to grow stronger

Some hearts change with the seasons
mine used to change at every chime of a clock
I'm stagnant now
laying calmly in the eye of the storm
the light hitting my skin the only thing changing each hour

Soon this will be over
No longer damning every firefly and its nerve to glow without purpose
Soon I'll be at your mercy again
Purple thighed and alive
Because right now without you I've never felt so alone
Eyelids like blankets
Terrified of what dreams could await my unconscious soul
But in the deepest hollows of my chest I hear your voice calming me
Saying what you always say when you hear my heart rate jump
"Let me sing you that song about the stars I know you love"
Pedro Tejada Apr 2010
It's yet another virginal autumn
sliding through the
core of my esophagus,
the most bitter medication,
and the healthiest
to some "He" I've never met.

Let us all take a gander
at the undersexed ice queen,
turning his moans
into a frostbitten cackle
heard far past his grave
crafted with the polarizing
limestone of unintentional cynicism.

He sits at the bumper
of your public transportation system,
perfectly positioned in the middle,
so he can play God,
he jokes!

But it's because he loves people watching.
People watching
is not
people knowing;
people watching
is not
people loving.

Judgmental
is a barrier
same as those
elementary PSAs
about saying no to
strangers, also known as
creepy men with toupees
in decades-old station wagons;
these filthy humans,
all know that man,
all are his children,
all his faithful followers,
his filthy, faithful followers,
no sensual thoughts
will creep into my untouched oats
this grimy morning!

I will never
have dreams
in warm Equator-creeping nights
of making friction with their flesh,
even the boy,
the beautiful boy
standing savagely
on this public bus,
making the waves
pumping through this contraption
that makes up my frame
no longer stagnant,
rabid with the saliva
begging to drop
to commemorate
my loss for words
and my panting
need
for action.

His body is eternally dripping
with the juice of a hard man's labor
luminous vibrance through the skin,
the power of the Latin sun
in the drops of salt running
all the way
down his body

and I feel myself
recording his existence,
no name needed,
just his face
and body
in this rhythmic Orlando morning.
Stanley Zakyich May 2014
An ecosystem found upon
An outer crust of dust
Inside abode without a lawn
With tenant taming rust.

Sitting stagnant, songs of stellar
Sing sublime lines
Through minds that remain in cellar,
Never seeing the pines.

Many stagnant years have passed,
Detectives overdue,
The body brought them all aghast,
The stench, the dust, and view.

An ecosystem found upon
An outer crust of dust
Inside abode without a lawn
With tenant taming rust.
Themes of isolation and the inability to move forward in life.

A man gives up on his dreams and sits still, dreaming of better days and trying to make the best of his situation without taking any actions. This leads to his death, and with "detectives overdue", the apartment becomes caked in a thick layer of dust, sprouting insects, spiders, and other miscellaneous creatures that can thrive in that sort of environment.
Tina Fish Jun 2013
Senseless living in Beirut. Disconnected from routine, from drama. Disconnected from passion and compassion in a stagnant, stagnant, stagnant place. No reassurance for tomorrow, and definitely no reassurance today.

And it all sounds so disheartening, even to yourself. So you put those thoughts on a dark shelf, resting in the cavities of your mind, only to find them oozing out again.

Making arms feel heavy. In a city that’s the perfect size for strolling every step feels like a chore. Like why’d I walk out here on the streets for? There’s no room for me. Too many holes in the street, and I wore these sandals coz they feel light on my feet, but they keep ripping. Dog ****, low-class spit, and high-class ****. It’s **** I tell ya. No room, nothing.

Unless you’re on a list. Then you’ll find endless place for you, and mix with commoners on the dance floors. Rub shoulders with those struggling artists and hidden talents, photographers and such. More images, much.

But still that’s not enough…. if you happen to make it, that is… still not enough. Because that kind of comfort is tough on the soul, and it hurts that you didn’t just go home and save it. You know, save your money, save your time, save your self. Not become someone else. Not finish the night rolled up in bed and thinking over those million things you said, was that the right thing? Perfecting social awkwardness by living it again, but alone. Just let it go, the past is dead.

You think, ‘let me think.’ Let me sink into the things that stimulate my mind, that I find interesting, revealing, revolutionary. And re- re- the process. Reanalyze in a new frame of mind. This isn’t that time, it’s now. I’m all so much more grown up. I can deal with the higher material. My envelopes carry essays, and my mirrors reflect mantras. I use my blade to cut Mongolian chicken.  A unique recipe I found on Pinterest. I’ve got several blogs I read…I’m sure you don’t know them, they’re avant-garde…and I dedicate a hard process into selecting the right documentary, something that’ll illuminate me further. We apply this fervor into knowing more, only to realize how little we can move with that knowledge.

Killer of dreams, Beirut is. This murderer of hope. Like even if you got home, and plugged that DVD in to get your mind off with a laugh and a lay, the electricity finds its way to blast through and ruin a perfectly good evening for you. See it was feeding off your ****** energy and ran a little too highly, and now your wires shot. And somehow it burned through your generator heart. Could we somehow spark the cables with some electricity again? I don’t know…let’s check the trunk for monkeys.

Senseless. Not seeing, not feeling, not tasting, hearing, or smelling of sense. Honestly, just pushed beyond the limit of decent respect. Rather ******, crass, crude, no sense to reason, only nonsense, like gibberish, a terrible two tantrum, nothing to pacify, no milk of poppy or anything else. The alcohol is hit so we can’t rub teething gums. Instead plastic BB guns, manufactured with lead, which I’ve read shouldn’t be given to children under the age of two. But still, this is what we do in Beirut.

I want to root for a winning team. Something that’ll keep me on the edge of my seat so I can leap at the final score. Give me a winning team to root for. Instead divided, and individualistic, the secret to the American dream, that didn’t seem to work. Or collective, and fanatic, fundamentalist and bat-**** problematic, because of loss of self. Now, what’s the fun in that? If those are the teams, don’t put me up to bat. Let me stand in the back, and please pick me last.

Senseless and fast. Each day merges into next, and Lebanon is an eternal vacation. Cheap time chalets and happy time oil rubs. Under setting suns that morph into other ones, instagrammed and timeless on HD…not very revolutionary if we think within the context of things. But still, we never seem to, think.

Rather reignite the old patterns of thought. The ones that brought pearls and Switzerland’s, French nights and Brazilian beats. Ones that won’t have us marching on streets, but rather cater to the revolution of our hearts. It’s called the revolution of love. But I hope you don’t mind I’ve forgotten my glove in the other room… don’t worry baby…I’ll pull out if I feel that I’m cuming too soon… uh oh…(boom).

Was that a bomb? Or fireworks coz we were looking in each other’s eyes? Hide nonsense with senseless pastimes, de-synthesizing further. Falling deeper into this cataclysmic abyss, that leaves no space for sense.

Give me a tissue to wipe it. Clear it away. There’s another day starting and I want to forget that even happened. That I tapped into something and remembered to care. That would make no sense, it’s senseless back there.
Amanda Jean Jul 2018
They say deja vu is a glitch in the matrix
Repeating numbers is a sign from the universe
Angels scream my name from upside down on the ceiling telling me to quit looking at the clock maybe demons maybe I should pay the **** attention
222333444555666777whaaaaaat
That’s not a time
Time ain’t it
Time heals don’t it
But what is stagnant
Sometimes we’re dead
But we move fast
Together
In time
Travel
Through space
Through a line meet your soul face to mine
Hearts beat faster time moves with it that’s the reality so what are you doing
Taking it slow or fast it’s you or pass
Illuminati my life with your eye-seed to the sky can’t remember my thoughts don’t know why I even try
Try to finish a creation pieces of art are never finished close to what I think
Is completion I think I forget how to breathe I’ve got a blemish I cannot see I’m not sure what’s on my lenses sometimes i don’t speak please tell me what the bens is
Keep saying I’m haunted aight
Keep tellling em I’m doing fine
Life’s chaotic but that’s what it’s about
The blends of of the **** around
The hint hang ying yang huh
The freak shows births golds of stone (gh) yeah
But do you even know what the sheets is what if we really going to do da business man **** this **** I don’t know it I already told you I don’t know how to complete this I have no solutions I feel soulless and too much negative too much negative shitnitz my focus my pictures too big I don’t know how to control this I kept saying that I want to relinquish self but what I really need to do is help make a squeal tell em truly how I feel Queen lions roar from the jungles to the shores sideways animals judging their **** from the sidelines
Wasn’t the point making them feel the fire burning in mountain veins but what animals can you truly tame
Cavemen mocking snakes forming fires for the first time killing em with their own tricks man we keep repeating history with our imperialisthe ******* stupidest **** ever
Please excuse my individual
I’ve not much experience with taking over but with my experience we’ll have an experience we’ve never had before and from there our experience will be something to learn from we learn from experiences
I’m opening my mind and my forgiveness forget to forgive I’m all in forgetfulness can we speed to the completion of wishes I beg this from the bottom of my ***** soles to the top of my buzzed head I hear sobriety is the path to success but I can’t create in loneliness I bring pain and sorrow to the art party drown me out with ***** and bring me to my knees in grass prairies in heaven Reaching out for angels bind me in confusion it’s raining in my heart tea parties never breed working brains did they never tell you that in school? Keep teaching myself everyday yeah in the backs of tiny rooms on mountain peaks I breathe in tropical trees blurring all the lines that form all sorts of definition communication of my mind to yours, the shore at the end of the telephone game I lost the rhythm that goes to the flow I dropped the wand that brings flying wings I smacked the lips of the devil I kreeped in hell I’ve been told I’ve always been addicted to pain repeats repeats 444
Mister J Apr 2018
My life in shades of gray
Of black and of white
This heart just pumping blood
No adrenaline nor thrill in life
No color in this stagnant art
No purpose in this senseless wandering
Switching destinations on a whim
Seeking warmth from those without it

Eyes grow souless
With each passing day
Mind feels wistful
With each passing thought
The youthful passion
Fading into nothingness
The fiery emotions
Slowly burning out

The enthusiasm of a young man
Crushed in the grip of reality
The loveless heart
Growing tired and weary
Everything feels cold
A long and harsh winter
In a young and untested life
A struggle just to feel alive

I am tired
I am weary
A stagnant pond
Seeking a ripple in my life
A chance to feel
And to turn my life around
From the gloomy colors of grey
Black and white
To a masterpiece of thrill
Of passion
Of love
And warmth
As colorful
As a kaleidoscope
With all these emotions
Flooding out
Trinkling down
Flowing and moving
Like a flooded stream
Connecting to people
Linking to hearts
No longer stuck here
No longer alone
Together with others
Just feeling alive
Just embracing Life
Feeling a bit down lately
I hope you like it.
Thanks for reading! :D

-J
Mitch Nihilist Aug 2015
awakened by the
offsprings cry,
baby powdered
morning dew
showers the room,
coffee stained smiles
shine about
cheerio blanketed
kitchens,
so worrisome
for office tardiness,
the carseat won't lock
into place,
tire marks on
fresh paved driveways,
to daycare tears dry not
she's on time,
fatigued she plants
her seed to the office seat
to grow even less
awaiting to see the smile
of her child and say
her prayers before
falling asleep

                     -

awaked by the
offsprings cry,
gun powered
morning dew
showeres the village,
rotted teeth smile
amongst the
body-blanketed township,
so worrisome of finding
a slain mother
sister
brother
just like father,
the gun won't lock
into place,
they never will,
tattered couches
paved with the
***** of
slaughtered buildings,
mother's dead
tears dry not,
fatigued,
hands of
grungy drainpipes
plant beside,
holding stagnant
a somber sibling,
tremors ripple
crimson tides,
planted to
grow even less
awaiting to see
the smile of
his mother
his father
his sister
and say his prayers
with brother
before laying down
persp ective
Dondaycee Jul 2018
I once heard of name,
Am I death?
Because I never heard of it twice,
I never played the game,
I left it to the rest,
I don’t think it’s right that even the dead lose their life,
What is a legacy, if summarized,
Where’s the integrity if gun aside,
Hearing the melodies of summer nights,
Hennessey and jealousy mixing; some will die,
Memory was therapy, now it is Cherokee,
Longevity became cellularity, no longer a friend to prosperity because the scars attached reiterated a son cry,
This all started with a name,
If I’m escaping parliament, how is it logical to feel obligated to my last?
I tried to explain this to my class,
But I wasn’t named “teacher”,
Instead; a preacher,
And I Practiced what I expressed so that part of me; in the past,
Pardon me for showing class,
I did it because of past,
They taught me to see trash,
I taught me to see the math,
They measured success with material, to validate time,
I expressed choice, I measured it by what constituted the spiritual to validate mind,
These structures are constituted by thoughts that no longer serves a purpose,
With all this baggage, it’s inevitable to replace our self,
I feel innovative because I express what we forgot, they act like they never heard of this,
All this action and acting… it’s inevitable to mistake ourselves, un-appreciate, and deviate to a state in which we hate our self,
Personally speaking, I don’t take advice from people less successful to me,
Your thoughts aren’t medicinal if the archetypes that are habitual aren’t transmuting from distressful to a state in which you are happy to be,
That advice just isn’t attractive to me,
It’s more like I’m back tracking to find the root cause of what’s blinding your perception so that I can heal your expression by removing the thought of neglection and oppression so that you are able to think free,
And I don’t mind…
In the process, I’m judged and crucified,
I’ll reiterate; my intentions are to love and unify,
We’re stagnant because of choice,
If there’s silence in the voice, I throw a nudge to refine, that’s freedom for define, I’m bringing the awareness of choice so that it’s possible to decide on what we personally do with life,
I was stabbed in the back and forgave that,
I was stabbed again and almost resorted to my decision making tactics from way back,
Then came another stabbing that had me lying on the floor,
I got up, but couldn’t find my way back,
Then came a love, she needed an eye,
She took that and saw her way out, I let her go,
Leaning on a wall, I bumped into another,
I gave her my other because she’s a passenger; hetero,
Love comes in trinities; currently dependent on sound,
It was all I had to give; then debt arose,
The next love that came just wanted to hear her name,
I chanted Satchitanada, and that became a death note,
In trials and tribulations I resorted to love and nurturement,
I call this an understanding,
I created this path, there was no one to follow in this century,
If you can’t comprehend that then there’s no possible way for you to understand me,
I never had a plan B, I was dependent on faith,
Independent from wave, I road the waves,
I had to experience what others had experienced, and had to remember myself along the way if I ever wanted to see some type of change,
I played the game and had to retain the focus of me, when I attained the focus to see, all this weight pilling, I was losing my ability to breathe; I was getting hostile,  frustrated, thinking about choosing to lose my ability to breathe,
And it’s because I solidified the W to attract enough attention to reiterate me, if I died I’d be apart of the past with the others; they’d appreciate me, saying my name, expressing a memory lane that would bring change the moment you speak…my name and that’s change,
My arrogance seeks credit, convincing ourselves that we’re victims is easy to me,  
It was difficult for me to exist in this world,
That’s why I decided to live,
That’s how I kept my lid,
That’s why I continue to give,
If I’m bringing truth and love, then this awareness becomes easy to see,
I don’t care about no dollar *****,
I don’t care about your opinions on Donald Trump and Obama; Mister,
I care about our species and our galaxies picture,
I care about the success in reaching the state of nirvana and the help from seven sister’s ,
The Pleiades,
Believe in me,
I heard of a name once,
Does this make me dead?
If so, then my rebirth was captured in everything you just read…
Notice the name.
ryn Nov 2014
In solitude...
There's constant talk of the moon
And incessant wishes upon stars
Each word is cast unto paper
Unsure if they'd stretch that far

In solitude...
I embody pelts of droplets from the sky
As thunder mark the seconds that would elapse
Stagnant puddles of liquid dreams
Ever flowing in endless traps

In solitude...*
I feel the urge to lose all balance
Aloneness beckons like a long lost friend
Always strange but familiar
To see and be at the bitter end
Olivia King Sep 2014
I'm a bow turned too tight
wanting to break my own ankles
to feel relaxed

I would scream if I didn't feel
uncomfortable and too big
doing so

I'm tired of shrinking as I grow
and playing nice to people
who don't deserve it

I paint myself like a *****
to see if I can emulate it
so I hope it's working

I'm not stagnant
ryn Nov 2014
While you were away,
My words seem to fall on deaf ears.
Unvoiced mutterings that fall out in droves,
Burning rants swallowed back in singes and sears...

While you were away,
Time was stagnant; a viscous puddle.
Hours only stretched longer,
The second hand jabbing its ferocious needle...

While you were away,
The clock drove me insane.
Ticking my life away in literal seconds.
Losing sand grain by grain...

While you were away,
And when it's all quiet and dark,
I could hear my heartbeat...
Awaiting the new day to make its mark.

While you were away,
My words seem to have lost their meaning...
As if they were stuck in limbo,
Unanswered calls that keep on ringing...

While you were away,*
I am but a little lost foal...
Because whenever you're away,
I am never whole...
Ben Holders Apr 2013
Whisky breath and
cold sweat stench
fill this room
as there are fewer hours
till work
than will sober me up.

One last cigarette
One more affirmation
To keep the promises
we will slumber past
their breaking point

Class can wait
Work can wait
Life waits for none
I wait
For life to
Become
More than cycle
Of light and dark

Of stagnant art
And stagnant words
That still drip
From the corners
Of my ethyl lubricated
Mouth.

That still pool in
Your soul as
You drift to sleep

Goodnights said to every
Underage youth now
Napping away
Morning rush.
Tom Leveille Mar 2014
2002:
today i kicked the door
to history off it's hinges
my jealous frame:
still too proud to say a word
it seems my folks forgot
to pencil in growth marks
cause they thought their boy
would never grow out of small breath
******* dead, years now buried
and i bare his name
too many syllables
for my father to go back
fish & play football
to stand in the yard and play catch

1994:
my mom, the bombshell in retrospect
broke her back in her sleep
a thousand times
since the stairwell in 87'
she still sits for spills
post nuclear about settling
now from the couch
she's a weather report
spouting nonsense
that makes my father
grow grey, crack remotes
& slam doors to dark rooms
abandoning ship
for "cheers" & "scienfeld"
while my mother
sometimes forgets
and sets his place at the table
and my appetite is abducted
by family photos
my mother says things like
"go see your brother today"
-- Johnny's long gone
don't you remember?
we buried him
the day your smile died

2014:
you are inches from me
******* a stray hair
caught in the fabric of your coat
the last remnants of a dog
we laid to rest last week
and here we are
in the hospital again
people don't shake like dogs
finality is found
in the eyes of humans
passing archways
into shallow rooms
where plague and prayer
are the only songs sung
round the stagnant clocks
it makes me wonder
if the clipboards cry
over being the last thing
someone ever writes on
take a number, have a seat
stay a while
i am back, 7 years old
& there are different doors now
they buried the ones
you kicked in that night in '92
when my lungs
were filled with holy water
you never stopped smoking
*i never grew out of asthma
1281

A stagnant pleasure like a Pool
That lets its Rushes grow
Until they heedless tumble in
And make the Water slow

Impeding navigation bright
Of Shadows going down
Yet even this shall rouse itself
When freshets come along.
Michael W Noland Sep 2012
The words are bleeding out, and pooling into stagnant solace.

The drive-less inhibitions of roads ends, losing me in the after thoughts of my reflections now lost to oblivion.

The stillness is heavy.

Devoid of imagination, and wonder, i am null in the nothing.

Devoid of the spark that turned to fire, i am aware of nothing.

Focusing on nothing unfurling in the darkest of hours, accepting the timelessness, of my limited consciousness, drifting outside of self, through the fruitless branches of my destination unbeknown to me.

All roads leading into themselves.

The means, justifying the ends, as my eyes only but close in settled closure.

I am closer to god in knowing.

In knowing nothing within this dreamless sleep that i keep to myself.

The low humming encapsulating the causeless cyphers of thine own obscurity.

Blurred.

Wordless.

My words are worthless, as they collapse into non-existence, and erupt upon the other side in a foray of images unseen by unlooking ears that peered into the sounds of sights heard, but only once.

Written, but only once.

Forgotten, but only once.

The sun shone but once, and the grass grew over the sidewalk.
Scott M Reamer Apr 2013
Man life know just set eyes way like young world soul day hunger space mouth earth thoughts ignorance blind things mind knew final moment human creation kind creatures souls high forgotten dream love spoke self existence face holy deep bound think home void say surrender ear forever called held ephemeral red state end shall heed hope edge living waking fall sea wake garden need February thought past wanderer got men page colored tepid terrible **** proudly untitled features point painted faceless box forgot render wild spring splendor  handfuls looking half brain lost torn ancestral  unseen vision inner summer honor mister owned banner save today fear groans wasn't smoke  street fable strange year contrast black years  able pain body spoken word known motion  palpitate reeling nature culture disclaimers  cancer beg attentive frames ****** base profound double remember wholly finger death token  cries continue folk oh fishing form broken true  divides spread ah twas away breathe wait warning hallowed wish closer lens turn eye live  constant current author hung theory dangle  bramble chemical new force changes adderall  anymore giving beneath possess pardon commentaries eternity internal walk reason  long change does idea glimpse consciousness  wandering simply wonder physical dreams war  sleep told rest benign prior begging truth little  2012 born tale crow bowels allegory animal rule  exasperate making horse curse hands ones read  rearrange capture doing command fail awake  aperture seedlings shift steely sir nap spead ****** demons slits clever telling loud spits la-la-di-dah killing slip game reflected nameless ask  lovers rabid bear salivate plunder shameless  famously savior mint rides menthol bully fate traded melodies play misunderstand mammals gentle witless fine utterly savage silt tongue-less  dirt dilutes pure non-sensory taste briefly ravage dismember it''ll shedding ruined curtain  knots offers plot fulfills munificent two-act  relegates boxz bug altruistic wintergreen tossing  callously guise grovels one's singers treachery ashes mid-life mutter fashion parading  ambiguity separatist liars staple steeping neath  guidelines scoffing stitch moans civil wrote  Fictitious undoing fables table effigies serve  sonnets staged remark psalm swoll praise harken  beggar verse bread lines heavily electricity detection snow sack-happy preaching credit  spotted wicked best gravity gun campaign owe  barge choir revelry celebratory satiated sinking  headline pack hound persistently propaganda  gentlemen excluding diminished ******* run idles  occupied levies wolfishly honestly misinformation cuba vehemently dumb grace spectator erasing  toned sage crowded secrets inter-connectivity  loaned prayer hymns grave mistaken magnified  vandals selective jump leak escapes says minister  buckle mass honesty shut tar children's hats  monument doping long-lived electrical ladle  exaggerated cartoons address seconds cool cradle bleak yang's mind-framed hypnotic  walker caps folly treble claim streaks mixtures  swelled interstate elapse teasing spoon mobile  succulent witchcraft borderline fatal 99 temple stacks sups plastics creeps neurotic ills tossed  meek sipping old crack interlock wax alleyway  coughing blown freak clock birthdays societies  slow flashing viscous candy argument toothless  pills cerebral rapt wall bisect lives wheezing  photo kid starter foiled pair saturated self-castrating pre-packed naked uncertainly pill  used came chaos coated reprisal fells wrack  irreverent mirth sickly disinherited proudest  collate wheeze appearance palette disharmony  discontented bastardized emotive bio inhale diction beat spoiled reclamation loudest tempo  totally disembodied matte imperfect shells flat  struck sounding imparts flak origin severance remarked bone walls snared leaflets mocking  hot scripting adjective noun agape seemingly  resistant gawk calamity passage paintings wind  trashcans signings sits cheap makers poetry persist scrap slipping individual talk wonders  leaving questions fold actor fancy parchment  fates engenders flown jaws stripped longer music  sacrifice fakers book boldly frown sigh atop patient hang trade occupation blows spectacular  whispers worthy backward waving certainty danced suppose needn't ‘drawkcab’ second-guessing  boys forget marched motto heads tightly lies two-tone earthbound harp twice turns goodnight  lying ***** internally indiscriminate nickname  drunk convictions myth steep  in-consumption  fitting artist **** universal sick expressions bad  du spell melody big siphon proud learn sprawls song spastic something temperaments utter check  fissures stomp totality blend definitely thrall sing rug voice shade pestilence ties commiserate round devil steady brains emotional certain gate  suckling gates dearth decay weight bounce pound  carrier pangs glass startle contest earthen web  tug pressed air patience flush amassed guest gone apprehension staring empathize captain believe fading in-perceivable deathbed guarder makes surrounds scatter drooling ebb blink cob tome  venom near door lair derision draws host stairs scent parts curiosities spider webbing surprise wares tips stepping ascetics starkness realize picture surroundings dictations grand pillars  deaf limited comparisons greet visual residents  personal settings dismiss alien law stability common earthly shiftless places prelude  understanding mosaic keen trifling embodiments  geared inception whisper visible jowls kiss murky  puddle rank dawn dichotomy single faithful fraying pays tailor veil climb mores pence whim  breath wellspring samara god stony pear  shadows fruiting forebodes moonlit looming  shown passed bog gold wracked faint tongues  noble preachers mirror shifting layered depth  threads jungle narcissus bemused seamstress self-worshiping architect's wore slumber anomalous  opened barren seam lip caustic scene coupled brick gardener's clenches -with forms idle breed  embodied lore starving empathy design illusion  tree coat fabricate lucid mason scatter-all  narrative seeking imbued 16th shivering chemicals 17th 15thrisk improperly dare  deliberate plan purge try brought chapter speed  aide utmost spirit leading intervention felt  recall recent advent sincerity times diary  lackluster piously lasting happy holding hear  stem tasteless whimpers wet spine monstrosity  dripping causes position quite softly claws pallet  answer digging tearing beast satiating circle breaks skips redwoods beckoning rotted hushed  gray lapsing monoliths deities creborus  imbuement hand stroll paradigm rendered chorus shy whispering forest residual tension  surrenders tolerance lull anew sentenced  bearing tide birds dirge divergent rim joined  cogs wood hesitant mist emergent towering offer  awareness confinement inverted faultier stowed  plane sanctified blanketing trusting memory fossil flash twists laden self-indulgent fleeting invitation agony grip shore impetus lingering  crows promise gift union swallowing endless floor supposed ecstasy sensory intent  psychotropic cradling placement interned  jagged connectivity exchange congenial begun  summons singular spiral assumes ambient reciprocates re-entry fruition reached aggregate lifetime limbs birthed instinct  frightening tarry proper entire light  boundaries innocence pursuit ago discover left  youth's unknowing sacred time place meager  simple fact cast ceaseless wide-eyed literal  apparent coincidence create boldness morphed  crooked kempt mere stumble buried shutter fairy  pivotal definitive months worth shear ambition sound required journeyed self-reflections title  facets vague restless intimation gut wanderer's  leap motivate path account boy soon bears faith  question tripped reasons uproot awaited confronted days step heal provocations wisps crushing transcend chronicles instance  directness raw drove occurrence objective-less  real enters slightest confident nondescript  typify  foreshortened interment paradox bitter heart  devoid jeopardy angry sensation confidential guilty arrogance mercy compliance reprieve  vincent deadening factual sign emotion awe  inhibition shackled butterflies absence actual sciences acknowledgement violent stagnant  spiritual American doors roots lack matted fore  gestures society cause streams intensity hair impossible discord lonely hearts resounding  jest  what's flavored pains closed toxic contented  happenstance scientific knowledge yeah  wizardry shaking stifled withdrawn bloom  jitter dreads settle asocial hulton make  predisposed figurative reflections demeanors  wondered affect hulton's projected sense  morning industry arrays ghosts feeling  certainly endomorphic where's partially wrath  passer mornings jovial unease advertized asking  trash onward wished tempers media mentality connect pasts sharp-toothed scramble great colours trial test salvation continually lent  degree secretly subjection social waned  disconnected colors grimly intellectual civilization cash trading baffling particular  digest myths monumental ending seasons winter  repetition introducing agent everlasting  shoulders delivered honestly-- possession funny  continence history unsightly function suffering propulsion profession divulge familiar tugs era  importance capability perpetuation spite inventory words entirety leveling fray insight  date record continues writer getting evermore fellow tongue possessions identical proof accuracy education similar sack admittance  favor unravel conveyance guilt gives beginnings  predicting audacity definition bobby heady eaters frameless learned release stone grandeur sang  speak molds sleeps split built seats people folded  sheer pour evoked playhouse liquid boring  tellers frayed stark walked reality pleas doth  preformed shows beak pride squawks opinions  greatest bold stunning sightings he'd loudly slain  sunk watch legend precipice theater deeper compound commentator civility justly silly sin  reverent seen prophetic moral confounds notion  lacking explain attempt prolific viral estrange proclivity scorn hide blur pious strung eden's  horror cut skin arch cruel twig mother vile  pass lend woods peach shrunken trail man's canopy worn 434 eat warm limb familiar father delete.

You are what your reading lady. Now would you hold this gun?
Amanda Jean Jul 2018
Timing rhymes
Does it heal
Proximity
Close to feel
And this crutch
It’s a spinning wheel
Imagine us getting killed
And then you see it in your sleep
It just repeats and repeats
Sometimes I'm the only hero
And sometimes it's you who's saving me
We watch it on tv
Getting killed in societies across nationalities, we catch you screaming in your sleep
Sometimes you gotta bleed
We'll leave you to patch it up yourself 'cause
You're all you really need
This is what it means to be free
We catch you getting help we lock you up, it's the rules of the games, money paper book tree
Paper cures us all the time in the schools, the libraries, and outdated trees in the courtyards
They say nobody reads ours
Nobody has gotta breathe trees for any hours unless you breed ours
Gotta pay to breathe
Repeat repeat
First breath I'm writing on paper
Breathe in again we on the crystal
Square shining on my face
We're mentally chasing the sun that never satisfies
Looking for light in all the wrong places we're constantly mystified by how it never seems to last

I'll chase the light in your eye a day before I die staring at the fire of the sun as it slips to early morn where Luna's shining in the storm

So fierce but lonely does she seem without the fire burning her soul to gleam so clean

We scream fire ****** bathroom sinks filled the graves the shining metal gleams gory ****** are sipping tears from powder quakes

We rake the crowds with raining sun so one day we pray we'll see the light of glory goddesses to be won

We’re shambling ourselves
We're lying in the muck
Crying ghostly in our sleep trying to beat the sound of screaming sheep

One side of me growing closer to the sun, she weeps, I'm drowning in these sheets
She pulls me closer and questions me
My split soul is a far reach

Why even ask why you're trying
I know what we’re finna keep
I'm glad who I meet
We should shatter in these streets

I know what you're asking me
But I don't think you're saying it quite right
I don't think we have the time
I'm riddling you and me we're questioning

I don't know how to say it fine
How to finesse the letters to make em mine
Dancing phrases of better days but I know I haven't yet paid the price to pay to shave the way of better feelings

But standing in this storm I'm reeling
I'm hiding, cover, summer stealing smiles from off the deep end brothers flaked and waked you out you baked in heat from another paper so timeless easy smoking

Like my father, a toking fighter lighter laugh on the wall to appall and adore show us more the universe is sure that we're lurking for a cure

Lurking in the hard to reach forbidden injustices in the back of memories of these contemplated possibilities rolling over thots like a crusted raw prince’s

Tongues never seem to think of where their words travel whether they keep their mouth shut or mind open maybe closed like the door to this blocked soul

I want to write and I do kind of sometimes get something out of me that I haven’t seen before.
Times like these I can’t get more.
I’m bore such a sore grasping, letting go in the face of someone I adore.
I need you.
I can’t do this without you I need somewhere to keep my heart arrest while I dive into these depths of ***** streets, dungeons in the roots of mind where lies me dead and stagnant.
Disgusting ******* written on walls in these tunnels, gulping all love, dear please spit out your fears you may never know the destinations of your timeless travels.
But I yearn to, I dig deep scratching at my skull trying to figure out who I am and why and who I am supposed to be in this world, I twitch at thoughts of happiness while dreaming of death I plead, for better days and understanding I’ve never been fond of this blissful lie.
We all die we all live we all run to jump to fly as high as we can possibly imagine knowing that one day we will fall only to be picked up by lovers still floating in the trees.
My guardian angels of my soul.
We speak to the trees of ancestors of these trying again to win our hearts back from these time never healing devil memories.
We only sleep to name the trees our memories.
They say our hair contains our memories.
If that’s how you really feel, squeal.
Zhanuary Arielle Jun 2017
Bowing down settles our stagnant hearts,
little touch, palm to palm,
turn your face but do not leave.

Fickle world, consumed with history,
lesser truth, no permanence,
let me bathe with unsaid goodbyes.

Rainfall covets the familiar warmth,
I want to be strike by hurt and revival,
handpick the pieces of what you left behind,
return the name we borrowed from above.

By the end of it all,
leaving will settle in our stagnant hearts.
Potential

I was told I had potential
That I could do great things
But nothing has transpired
Into the glory that it brings
And so the bar gets lowered
As far as it can go
Until, it can get no lower
No room for me to grow
Perspective is welcomed greatly
Opinions come and go

Focus is illusive
As well the ebb and flow
Focus is illusive
As well the ebb and flow

I've been stagnant without direction
As the years pass and I grow old
The consensus is its never too late
Or at least that's what I've been told
It's far, so far beyond my vision
Down that long and winding road
I once thought I held it in my grasp
But it slipped right through the fold

Focus is illusive
As well the ebb and flow
Focus is illusive
As well the ebb and flow

Greatness isn't given
Or earned through years alone
It's what we say and how we say it
It's with our words and tone
It's possible you've reached your peak
Up the mountain through the snow
It's still no cause to lower the curtain  
After each and every show

Focus is illusive
As well the ebb and flow
Nothing is more conducive
Than letting shine your inner glow

If there's a chance then you should take it
Show us all how much you've grown
From the prince who lost his kingdom
To a crowned king on his throne
Not everyone can make it
The choice is yours and yours alone
Just don't become complacent
When the world is yours to own

Focus is illusive
As well the ebb and flow
Nothing changes without change
When you still have room to grow
This started as a writing prompt many months ago. Directly due to positive feedback, it was made into this poem and ultimately, into a song.
Esmena Valdés Sep 2018
Acts of love save.

They save from evil
from envy
from suffering
from disturbing memories.

Only acts of love save.

From the nightmarish and stagnant life.

From anxieties
from unnecessary tears.

Acts of love save.

From words that hurts
from the fiend of insomnia.

From self-flagellation.

From monotony and emptiness.

Only love saves you

from sadness lagoon

from yourself.
As I brushed off
The six week old dust
Off the mirror the other day,
I was happily taken aback to see
Myself a tad bit prettier, after weeks.

Funnily enough, I had made
The mistake of believing my
Reflection to be me.
Introspection's a better mirror,
I reflected.
Why does one look into the mirror everyday?
To remind himself how, or rather who he is?
That opaque shard of glass
Could never encompass
The zoetic surge of thoughts
That have gushed forth from me
Since the time I have existed.

I'm sure, the mirror pities
It's own lack of identity.
Manipulated by reflections
Of a myriad kind,
The mirror manipulates us thus,
Mirroring us and itself
In another way.
They thought this opaque shard of glass
Could contain the infinitude within us.
It has only mirrored the illusions
We projected each time we looked into it.

I am only distanced from myself
Each time I seek to find myself
In that stagnant pool of perceptions.
What good is a mirror, which itself is under constant manipulation.
taylor May 2015
it feels like popcorn is popping in my guts
like my entire emotional state lies in my stomach
i'm surrounded by people
literally surrounded
all the time..
but i always feel alone
left out of the loop
misunderstood
on my own wavelength entirely
as if some sort of wall is in the way
keeping me from moving forward
equivalent to riding a never ending escalator
upward. upward.
but nothing changes.
stagnant scenery
unfocused energy
people run passed me up the left side
and i'm planted on the right side
the slow lane
but moving quickly to nothing
like always
Klvshp0et Feb 2016
What we know/
Is far from what
we need to know./
What we need to know/
Is the only thing
That will help us grow./

You ask me
What do we need to know?/
I tell you
The hell if I know./
The whole world
has gone insane./
Our brains are programmed
to erase the obvious stains./
From our vices we never refrain./
Speeding through life
our minds remain slow./
Drinking from a legal bottle/
with a message at the bottom/
that will leave us low. /
To allow our demons
to grow six fold. /
To attack our souls/
with a grip of a choke hold./
Master you. Know you./
Is something that we don't do./
Is something we were never told./
So behold
a world with experiences untold./
A life with no true goals/
to find what it is
That we need to know. /
I search and search and search
for answers with standards/
Deep in the land
of the *******/
and the crooked pastors./
Who tell us our obedience
will get us to the kingdom faster./
All this talk of faith/
across the globe
has caused a mental cancer/
because we can't see his face/
and the tired souls can no longer wait. /

What we know/
Is far from what
we need to know./
What we need to know/
Is the only thing
That will help us grow./

You ask me
What do we need to grow?/
I tell you
the hell if I know./
The right question is
what do you need to grow?/
What is it that
makes you whole?/
Is it money?
Is it love?
Is it knowledge of self
found deep in your soul?/
That That gives you goosebumps
from head to toe/
is what lets you know/
you are achieving a true life goal./
No boundaries or rules
should stop you/
from doing what
you need to do./
As long as those actions
do not hinder you/
from doing you./
Paying attention
to the signs of life/
will keep you free from strife/
and far from pain./
Life is no game/ nor irritant
but an experience/ to gain
resilience from the infinite/
powers that be.

Even when that is achieved/
we still should seek/
What need to know/
and what will help us grow/
Because
What we know/
is far from what
we need to know./
What we need to know/
is the only thing
That will help us grow./
Cyril Blythe Nov 2012
I followed Delvos down the trail until we could see the mouth of the mine. The life and energy of the surrounding birches and sentential pines came to a still and then died as we left the trees shelter behind and walked closer, closer. The air was cold and dark and damp and smelled of mold and moths. Delvos stepped into the darkness anyways.
“Well, girl, you coming or aren’t you?”
I could see his yellowed tobacco teeth form into a smile as I stepped out of the sun. It was still inside. The canary chirped in its cage.
“This tunnel is just the mouth to over two hundred others exactly like it. Stay close. Last thing I need this month is National Geographic on my *** for losing one of their puppet girls.”
“Delvos, ****. I have two masters degrees.” I pulled my mousey hair up into a tight ponytail. “I’ve experienced far more fatal feats than following a canary in a cave.”
He rolled his eyes. “Spare me.” He trotted off around the corner to the left, whistling some Louis Armstrong song.
“I survived alone in the jungles of Bolivia alone for two months chasing an Azara’s Spinetail. I climbed the tallest mountain in Nepal shooting Satyr Tragopans along the cliff faces. In Peru I…” Suddenly I felt the weight of the darkness. I lost track of his lantern completely. I stopped, my heartbeat picked up, and I tried to remind myself of what I had done in Peru. The mine was quiet and cold. I wiped my clammy, calloused hands on my trail pants and took a depth breath.

In through the nose. Out through the mouth. This is nothing. I followed a Diurnal Peruvian Pygmy-Owl across the gravel tops of the Andes Mountains, no light but the Southern Cross and waning moon above. I am not scared of darkness. I am not scared of darkness.
I stopped to listen. Behind me I could hear the wind cooing at the mouth of the mine.
Taunting? No. Reminding me to go forward. Into the darkness.
I shifted my Nikon camera off my shoulder and raised the viewfinder to my eyes, sliding the lens cap into my vest pocket. This routine motion, by now, had become as fluid as walking. I stared readily through the dark black square until I saw reflections from the little red light on top that blinked, telling me the flash was charged. I snapped my finger down and white light filled the void in front of me. Then heavy dark returned. I blinked my eyes attempting to rid the memories of the flash etched, red, onto my retina. I clicked my short fingernails through buttons until the photo I took filled the camera screen. I learned early on that having short fingernails meant more precise control with the camera buttons. I zoomed in on the picture and scrolled to get my bearings of exactly what lay ahead in the narrow mine passageway. As I scrolled to the right I saw Delvos’ boot poking around the tunnel that forked to the left.
Gottcha.
I packed up the camera, licked my drying lips, and stepped confidently into the darkness.

When I first got the assignment in Vermont I couldn’t have been more frustrated. Mining canaries? Never had I ever ‘chased’ a more mundane bird. Nonetheless, when Jack Reynolds sends you on a shoot you don’t say no, so I packed up my camera bag and hoped on the next plane out of Washington.
“His name is John Delvos.” Jack had said as he handed me the manila case envelope. He smiled, “You’re leaving on Tuesday.”
“Yes sir.”
“Don’t look so smug, Lila. This may not be the most exotic bird you’ve shot but the humanity of this piece has the potential to be a cover story. Get the shots, write the story.”
I opened the envelope and read the assignment details in the comfort of my old pajamas back at my apartment later that night.
John Delvos has lived in rural Vermont his entire life. His family bred the canaries for the miners of the Sheldon Quarry since the early twenties. When “the accident” happened the whole town shut down and the mines never reopened. . There were no canaries in the mines the day the gas killed the miners. The town blamed the Delvos family and ran them into the woods. His mother died in a fire of some sort shortly before Delvos and his father retreated into the Vermont woods. His father built a cabin and once his father died, Delvos continued to breed the birds. He currently ships them to other mining towns across the country. The question of the inhumanity of breeding canaries for the sole purpose of dying in the mines so humans don’t has always been controversial. Find out Delvos’ story and opinions on the matter. Good luck, Lila.
I sighed, accepting my dull assignment and slipped into an apathetic sleep.


After stumbling through the passageway while keeping one hand on the wall to the left, I found the tunnel the picture had revealed Delvos to be luring in. Delvos reappeared behind the crack of his match in a side tunnel not twenty yards in front of me
“Do you understand the darkness now, Ms. Rivers?” He relit the oily lantern and picked back up the canary cage. “Your prestigious masters degrees don’t mean **** down here.”. He turned his back without another word. I followed deeper into the damp darkness.
“Why were there no canaries in the mine on, you know, that day?” The shadows of the lantern flickered against the iron canary cage chained on his hip and the yellow bird hopped inside.
“I was nine, Ms. Rivers. I didn’t understand much at the time.” We turned right into the next tunnel and our shoes crunched on jagged stones. All the stones were black.
“But surely you understand now?”
The canary chirped.

When I first got to Sheldon and began asking about the location of the Delvos’ cabin you would have thought I was asking where the first gate to hell was located. Mothers would smile and say, “Sorry, Miss, I can’t say,” then hurriedly flock their children in the opposite direction. After two hours of polite refusals I gave up. I spent the rest of the first day photographing the town square. It was quaint; old stone barbershops surrounded by oaks and black squirrels, a western-themed whiskey bar, and a few greasy spoon restaurants. I booked a room in the Walking Horse Motel for Wednesday night, determined to get a good night’s sleep and defeat this town’s fear of John Delvos the following day.
My room was a tiny one bed square with no TV. Surprise, surprise. At least I had my camera and computer to entertain myself. I reached into the side of my camera bag, pulled out my Turkish Golds and Macaw-beak yellow BIC, and stepped out onto the dirt in front of my motel door and lit up. The stars above stole all the oxygen surrounding me. They were dancing and smiling above me and I forgot Delvos, Jack, and all of Sheldon except its sky. Puffing away, I stepped farther and farther from my door and deeper into the darkness of Vermont night. The father into the darkness the more dizzying the star’s dancing became.
“Ma’am? Everything okay?”
Startled, I dropped my cigarette on the ground and the ember fell off. “I’m sorry, sir. I was just, um, the stars…” I snuffed out the orange glow in the dirt with my boot and extended my hand, “Lila Rivers, and you are?”
“Ian Benet. I haven’t seen you around here before, Ms. Rivers. Are you new to town?” He traced his fingers over a thick, graying mustache as he stared at me.
“I’m here for work. I’m a bird photographer and journalist for National Geographic. I’m looking for John Delvos but I’m starting to think he’s going to be harder to track than a Magpie Robin.”
Ian smiled awkwardly, shivered, then began to fumble with his thick jacket’s zipper. I looked up at the night sky and watched the stars as they tiptoed their tiny circles in the pregnant silence. Then, they dimmed in the flick of a spark as Ian lit up his wooden pipe. It was a light-colored wood, stained with rich brown tobacco and ash. He passed me his matches, smiling.
“So, Delvos, eh?” He puffed out a cloud of leather smelling smoke toward the stars. “What do you want with that old *******? Don’t tell me National Geographic is interested in the Delvos canaries.”
I lit up another stick and took a drag. “Shocking, right?”
“Actually, it’s about time their story is told.” Benet walked to the wooden bench to our left and patted the seat beside him. I walked over. “The Delvos canaries saved hundreds of Sheldonian lives over the years. But the day a crew went into the mines without one, my father came out of the ground as cold as when we put him back into it in his coffin.”
I sat in silence, unsure what to say. “Mr. Benet, I’m so sorry…”
“Please, just Ian. My father was the last Mr. Benet.”
We sat on the wooden bench, heat leaving our bodies to warm the dead wood beneath our legs. I shivered; the star’s dance suddenly colder and more violent.
“Delvos canaries are martyrs, Ms. Rivers. This whole town indebted to those tiny yellow birds, but nobody cares to remember that anymore.”
“Can you tell me where I can find Mr. Delvos and his, erm, martyrs?” The ember of my second cigarette was close to my pinching fingertips.
“Follow me.” Ian stood up and walked to the edge of the woods in front of us. We crunched the dead pine needles beneath our feet, making me aware of how silent it was. Ian stopped at a large elm and pointed. “See that yellow notch?” he asked. Sure enough, there was a notch cut and dyed yellow at his finger’s end. “If you follow true north from this tree into the woods you’ll find this notch about every fifty yards or so. Follow the yellow and it’ll spit you out onto the Delvos property.”
“Thank you, Ian. I really can’t begin to tell you how grateful I am.
“You don’t have to.” He knocked the ash out of his pipe against the tree. “Just do those birds justice in your article. Remember, martyrs. Tell old Delvos Ian Benet sends his regards.” He turned and walked back to the motel and I stood and watched in silence. It was then I realized I hadn’t heard a single bird since I got to Sheldon. The star’s dance was manic above me as I walked back to my room and shut the door.

The canary’s wings and Delvos stopped. “This is a good place to break our fast. Sit.”
I sat obediently, squirming around until the rocks formed a more comfortable nest around my bony hips. We had left for the mines as the stars were fading in the vermillion Vermont sky that morning and had been walking for what seemed like an eternity. I was definitely ready to eat. He handed me a gallon Ziploc bag from his backpack filled with raisins, nuts, various dried fruits, and a stiff piece of bread. I attacked the food like a raven.
“I was the reason no canaries entered the mines that day, Ms. Rivers.”
Delvos broke a piece of his bread off and wrapped it around a dried piece of apricot, or maybe apple. I was suddenly aware of my every motion and swallowed, loudly. I crinkled into my Ziploc and crunched on the pecans I dug out, waiting.
“Aren’t you going to ask why?”
“I’m not a parrot, Mr. Delvos, I don’t answer expectedly on command. You’ll tell me if you want.” I stuffed a fistful of dried pears into my mouth.
Delvos chuckled and my nerves eased. “You’ve got steel in you, Ms. Rivers. I’ll give you that much.”
I nodded and continued cramming pears in my mouth.
“I was only nine. The canaries were my pets, all of them. I hated when Dad would send them into the mines to die for men I couldn’t give two ***** about. It was my birthday and I asked for an afternoon of freedom with my pets and Dad obliged. I was in the aviary with pocketfuls of sunflower-seeds. Whenever I threw a handful into the air above me, the air came to life with wings slashing yellow brushes and cawing songs of joy. It was the happiest I have ever been, wholly surrounded and protected by my friends. Around twelve thirty that afternoon the Sheriff pulled up, lights ablaze. The blue and red lights stilled my yellow sky to green again and that’s when I heard the shouting. He cuffed my Dad on the hood of the car and Mom was crying and pushing her fists into the sheriff’s chest. I didn’t understand at all. The Sheriff ended up putting Mom in the car too and they all left me in the aviary. I sat there until around four that afternoon before they sent anyone to come get me.”
Delvos took a small bite of his bread and chewed a moment. “No matter how many handfuls of seeds I threw in the air after that, the birds wouldn’t stir. They wouldn’t even sing. I think they knew what was happening.”
I was at a loss for words so and I blurted, “I didn’t see an aviary at your house…”
Delvos laughed. “Someone burnt down the house I was raised in the next week while we were sleeping. Mom died that night. The whole dark was burning with screams and my yellow canaries were orange and hot against the black sky. That’s the only night I’ve seen black canaries and the only night I’ve heard them scream.”
I swallowed some mixed nuts and they rubbed against my dry throat.
“They never caught the person. A week later Dad took the remainder of the birds and we marched into the woods. We worked for months clearing the land and rebuilding our lives. We spent most of the time in silence, except for the canary cries. When the house was finally built and the bird’s little coops were as well, Dad finally talked. The only thing he could say was “Canaries are not the same as a Phoenix, John. Not the same at all.”
We sat in silence and I found myself watching the canary flit about in its cage, still only visible by the lanterns flame. Not fully yellow, I realized, here in the mines but not fully orange either.

When I first walked onto John Delvos’ property on Thursday morning he was scattering feed into the bird coops in the front of his cabin. Everything was made of wood and still wet with the morning’s dew.
“Mr. Delvos?”
He spun around, startled, and walked up to me a little too fast. “Why are you here? Who are you?”
“My name is Lila Rivers, sir, I am a photographer and journalist for National Geographic Magazine and we are going to run an article on your canaries.”
“Not interested.”
“Please, sir, can I ask you just a few quick questions as take a couple pictures of your, erm, martyrs?”
His eyes narrowed and he walked up to me, studying my face with an intense, glowering gaze. He spit a mouthful of dip onto the ground without breaking eye contact. I shifted my camera bag’s weight to the other shoulder.
“Who told you to call them that?”
“I met Ian Benet last night, he told me how important your birds are to this community, sir. He sends his regards.”
Delvos laughed and motioned for me to follow as he turned his back. “You can take pictures but I have to approve which ones you publish. That’s my rule.”
“Sir, it’s really not up to me, you see, my boss, Jack Reynolds, is one of the editors for the magazine and he...”
“Those are my rules, Ms. Rivers.” He turned and picked back up the bucket of seed and began to walk back to the birds. “You want to interview me then we do it in the mine. Be back here at four thirty in the morning.”
“Sir…?”
“Get some sleep, Ms. Rivers. You’ll want to be rested for the mine.” He turned, walked up his wooden stairs, and closed the door to his cabin.
I was left alone in the woods and spent the next hour snapping pictures of the canaries in their cages. I took a couple pictures of his house and the surrounding trees, packed up my camera and trekked back to my motel.

“You finished yet?” Delvos stood up. The mine was dark, quiet, and stagnant. I closed the Ziploc and stuffed the bag, mainly filled with the raisins I had sifted through, into my pocket.
Delvos grunted and the canary flapped in its cage as he stood again and, swinging the lantern, rounded another corner. The path we were on began to take a noticeable ***** downward and the moisture on the walls and air multiplied.  
The lantern flickered against the moist, black stones, sleek and piled in the corners we past. The path stopped ahead at a wall of solid black and brown Earth.
The canary chirped twice.
It smelled of clay and mildew and Delvos said, “Go on, touch it.”
I reached my hand out, camera uselessly hanging like a bat over my shoulder. The rock was cold and hard. It felt dead.
The canary was fluttering its wings in the cage now, chirping every few seconds.
“This is the last tunnel they were digging when the gas under our feet broke free from hell and killed those men.”
Delvos hoisted the lantern above our heads, illuminatin

— The End —