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It is full winter now:  the trees are bare,
Save where the cattle huddle from the cold
Beneath the pine, for it doth never wear
The autumn’s gaudy livery whose gold
Her jealous brother pilfers, but is true
To the green doublet; bitter is the wind, as though it blew

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Which curbs the passion of that
The night is only a sort of carbon paper,
Blueblack, with the much-poked periods of stars
Letting in the light, peephole after peephole --
A bonewhite light, like death, behind all things.
Under the eyes of the stars and the moon's rictus
He suffers his desert pillow, sleeplessness
Stretching its fine, irritating sand in all directions.

Over and over the old, granular movie
Exposes embarrassments--the mizzling days
Of childhood and adolescence, sticky with dreams,
Parental faces on tall stalks, alternately stern and tearful,
A garden of buggy rose that made him cry.
His forehead is bumpy as a sack of rocks.
Memories jostle each other for face-room like obsolete film stars.

He is immune to pills: red, purple, blue --
How they lit the tedium of the protracted evening!
Those sugary planets whose influence won for him
A life baptized in no-life for a while,
And the sweet, drugged waking of a forgetful baby.
Now the pills are worn-out and silly, like classical gods.
Their poppy-sleepy colors do him no good.

His head is a little interior of grey mirrors.
Each gesture flees immediately down an alley
Of diminishing perspectives, and its significance
Drains like water out the hole at the far end.
He lives without privacy in a lidless room,
The bald slots of his eyes stiffened wide-open
On the incessant heat-lightning flicker of situations.

Nightlong, in the granite yard, invisible cats
Have been howling like women, or damaged instruments.
Already he can feel daylight, his white disease,
Creeping up with her hatful of trivial repetitions.
The city is a map of cheerful twitters now,
And everywhere people, eyes mica-silver and blank,
Are riding to work in rows, as if recently brainwashed.
Side by side, their faces blurred,
The earl and countess lie in stone,
Their proper habits vaguely shown
As jointed armour, stiffened pleat,
And that faint hint of the absurd -
The little dogs under their feet.

Such plainness of the pre-baroque
Hardly involves the eye, until
It meets his left-hand gauntlet, still
Clasped empty in the other; and
One sees, with a sharp tender shock,
His hand withdrawn, holding her hand.

They would not think to lie so long.
Such faithfulness in effigy
Was just a detail friends would see:
A sculptor's sweet commissioned grace
Thrown off in helping to prolong
The Latin names around the base.

They would no guess how early in
Their supine stationary voyage
The air would change to soundless damage,
Turn the old tenantry away;
How soon succeeding eyes begin
To look, not read. Rigidly they

Persisted, linked, through lengths and breadths
Of time. Snow fell, undated. Light
Each summer thronged the grass. A bright
Litter of birdcalls strewed the same
Bone-littered ground. And up the paths
The endless altered people came,

Washing at their identity.
Now, helpless in the hollow of
An unarmorial age, a trough
Of smoke in slow suspended skeins
Above their scrap of history,
Only an attitude remains:

Time has transfigures them into
Untruth. The stone fidelity
They hardly meant has come to be
Their final blazon, and to prove
Our almost-instinct almost true:
What will survive of us is love.
petalsofhope Nov 2013
I remember you
from your beautiful smile
your cinnamon scented hair
your contagious laughter
your nail-biting addiction
your pointless insecurities
to our silly inside jokes
our dumb little fights
our peculiar bets
our goofy text messages

through tears and smiles
you were the only one who understood
my unspoken words
my concealed pain
my unexpressed happiness
my puzzled feelings

counting your days
we recalled our mischievous memories
when we danced in the rain
when we rang doorbells and ran away
when we pranked the gullible ones
when we stole Ikea pencils
when we fangirled over stunning guys
when we were together
everything turn into excitements
moments with you
I remember them all, Grace

it was a week before December twenty-fifth
when the monstrous cells stopped your heart
a glimpse of smile
appeared upon your face
as you're being taken
far away from us
skin turned pale
body stiffened
tears flooded my sight
there were wailing across the room

time flies like a bullet train without you
it's a rainy day today
you've always loved rainy days
sinking my knees in the dew-wet grass
raindrops whisper in my ears
as I brush off the gray snow from your stone
I still remember you, Grace
I still do
into the smiting
sky tense

tree      leaps
                  a stiffened exquisite

wait the sweet
annihilation of swift

i make me stern against
your charming strength

O haste
drawing into you my enchanting
Molly Oct 2012
Singing birds are often better off caged, and maybe I’m no different. Maybe it’s safer, biting my tongue and shoving my hands deep in my pockets when the urge to delineate my woes shivers its way up my spine, shaking the rust from the back of my teeth and loosening the hinges on my jaw. I’m constantly reminded that the world outside my mind is far too dangerous, too brutal for my fragile thoughts, for my feeble words. But every now and then those words get the better of me. They convince me that their songs are worth hearing, that they’ll survive the hell that awaits them. Then, eager and  hopeful, they jump off my teeth like a diving board, spreading their wings and gliding out into the world of the unknown, the world of wars waged to divide and battles fought to conquer. I watch as they hang suspended in the air, wings spread, small and beautiful against the ominous background, innocent if only for a fleeting moment. But, of course, beauty has no place here.
I cringe as the shots ring out from all directions, as everyone around me opens fire upon my winged thoughts. I shut my eyes tightly against the firing of guns, arrows, cannons: delivering the message loud and clear that the airspace between me and the world is better left unclouded by my superfluous banter. I try not to watch as they drop from the sky, my unsuspecting words, but my eyes force themselves open. Wings broken, hearts still, they crash to the ground, silenced.
I want to gather them one by one, my feathered thoughts, gently in my hands; I would take them somewhere safe and give them a proper burial, for they were once so near and dear to me. But I’m afraid of what lies in the battlefield. I’m afraid of the landmines and the barbed wire and the trenches. So I bow my head, refasten the locks on my sore, stiffened jaw, and turn my back on the carnage, on the dirt and grass and the haze and smoke. I turn from my defeated birds, form the bodies of my barely spoken words, and I leave them.
This is old as well.
The shadows have their seasons, too.
The feathery web the budding maples
cast down upon the sullen lawn

bears but a faint relation to
high summer's umbrageous weight
and tunnellike continuum-

black leached from green, deep pools
wherein a globe of gnats revolves
as airy as an astrolabe.

The thinning shade of autumn is
an inherited Oriental,
red worn to pink, nap worn to thread.

Shadows on snow look blue. The skier,
exultant at the summit, sees his poles
elongate toward the valley: thus

each blade of grass projects another
opposite the sun, and in marshes
the mesh is infinite,

as the winged eclipse an eagle in flight
drags across the desert floor
is infinitesimal.

And shadows on water!-
the beech bough bent to the speckled lake
where silt motes flicker gold,

or the steel dock underslung
with a submarine that trembles,
its ladder stiffened by air.

And loveliest, because least looked-for,
gray on gray, the stripes
the pearl-white winter sun

hung low beneath the leafless wood
draws out from trunk to trunk across the road
like a stairway that does not rise.
Osondu Nov 2015
You swore you'd never love again
That you'd hardened your heart
Stiffened the walls of the four chambered *****
That Cupid's arrow would bounce off
That no love could move these stiffened walls

... Now
Your palms cradle in his palms
Your head gently on his chest, ears counting his heartbeat
His fingers tracing love letters on your back
Eyes closed, savoring the images of him they've captured

Well, Well, Well...
Look who's all lovey dovey
loving and ****...
A spur of the moment piece. No title cause I don't think it needs one
Kara Jean May 2016
The barbaric queen, her abilities stiffened
His presence strickened by her directed speech
Could it be her brick fence weakend
Love had made it's way into the leaks
Thoughts become lies, diminishing her kingdom
****** passion, a caused lusting
Touching her breast
Carressing her hips
Legs shake, she is a disgrace
The guards ushering him from her towering mattress
Empathy made her a mockery
A hatchet to the soul, he is nonexistent and undesirable
Her long webbed veil, disguises her weeping
Her eyes blackened, she is a demon bleeding
Halo misplaced, in dismay
She is a woman rigid and prevailing
Sean Jan 2012
These berries are bruises
Fading birthmarks I have still
Fresh from that morning you opened my curtains
Rolled down your window
Promised me honey and a candy-colored life.

These berries are bruises
You made me breakfast in bed.

Too early you lifted my tent,
brought a full spread:
Fruit, toast and black coffee--
But when I tilted my lips
You drunk first of my womanly cup.

Pouring out hot, bitter slick
My lips swelled blue blister
I stiffened under your dead weight,
I killed my tongue.

I tried to keep dreaming of
Hands to knead me
And butter the softness of these
Blueberry scone hips,  

But instead you picked all the berries out
Your greed a mouthful,
The growing woman inside me leavened--
Watching you stain my girlhood,
Popping one fruit bead after another
******* the seeds from my teeth.
Sarina Mar 2013
September speaks in dull sand flecks
and billowing my stiffened skirt to kneecaps
rested on for prayer, grinded on for ***.

It pokes and I’ll awake –
I am just like a ***** in the autumn morn
first torn, the first born of a hundred
encounters of which I would not believe
it could be the opus of.

Ladies lose physical barriers, but they
do not evade a September when orchards are
trimmed and all that’s beneath is unveiled:
see it with my glass eye. No dust inside.

See it with your honey bulbs –
the foothills, the knees married to the floor
where stars first aligned, so I ****** you off.
Sombro Feb 2015
The broken clouds and cluttered mounds
Of the castle dark and grim
The straying woes of bootstruck hounds
Flew fast from deep within
And though the trees shed leaves and weep
While winter takes its grip
Still the grounds will never sleep
On those sullen earthly strips.

When came a knocking hard and fast
Urgency and haste
A figure tolling on the door
Tall and wooden, chaste
The simple portal opened to
A simple hallway bare
But of paintings, deep and clean
'Is your master there?'

Within the shadows of the night
The man spoke to the dark,
But saw no person, now he might
Perplexion left its mark
Peering through and searching in
The figure broke his tact
He took himself out from the wind
Door closing in the act

He called out soft and gently
Silent came the reply
The man looked in and then he
Searched down and up and by and by
The hallway stared in harder
The lounge looked on and dealt
A whisper to the larder
His footsteps on the boards were felt

The man, nonplussed, but guaranteed
His pay upon the meeting
Of the lord of the castle's deed
But he was paid no greeting
Not a soul to meet him there,
Though he searched the room
Of men he found no hide nor hair
Save the marks of a duster broom

And the spot of ***** pots in the kitchen
The soot at the foot of the chimney
The sound of hounds from about the grounds
And a meal to steal out on the table

The man looked from the window
And saw to his surprise
Some beast awalk without its tow
Of a master's watchful eyes
The wind blew strangely heavy
On a door that swung ajar
The man went down there, ready
To greet the host, but from afar

He saw the empty darkness fell
And heard the moan of the floor
He smelt the musk of rain as well
Pass by him from the door
The dining room mumbled to the hall
And it passed its message down
The cellar murmured through its wall
Creaks and groans from all around

The lamps behind him all were lit
The house was bathed in light
The fire took life within its pit
The man grew cold with fright
He shut the door and heard the roar
Of the wind break 'gainst the knocker
Thump, thump it spoke up more
Keys firmly in the locker

The stairs creaked under the feet
Which ne'er were seen to move
The man still followed achance to meet
The house's master so to prove
His duty done, his quest relieved
He followed up the stair
But a shout he passed, you'll soon reprieve,
For what he glanced on there

The doors aswing to beds and baths
With moanings and low crashes
The house alive with joyous laughs
At this venturer who passes
He looked in after shrieking
And saw a bedroom bare
But for the snores of the man he's seeking
His body lying there

The man asked not of his health
As he saw the stiffened white
Of the skin of the face apart from self
Aghast and dead from fright
The venturer looked 'round
And heard the cellar speak
It's booming sound from underground
Bade him leave below his shriek

The man abed had moved and walked
His taught face moved not, still
His teeth slid and their rotting talked
Breathed gas as his breath came shrill
Our frozen friend did not contend
With his meeting of the master
The castle changed him by the end
He fled there all the faster

He was not found till late that fall
By boys who played in the grounds
They'd crossed a wall and found him all
Near pawprints of the hounds
They saw his hand clasp round a sheet
Of paper, the castle's deed
On the page he'd told his meet
Of the lord of the castle and he'd agreed

By his signed name on the dotted line
To give to all who claimed it
'This castle which I have called mine
For a thousand years.' for he saw fit
To give to the man who spent a night
The castle they'd keep company
But for the men who died of fright
The castle is still empty.
August Oct 2012
3 inches of dust
Coat my nails
Been so long
Since I’ve
The golden waves
Stiffened wrists
Cardiac arrest
From ocean eyes
Depths unknowing
Only paper to guide
A pale hand
Towards a wizened tree
That used to scream
Songs so lovely
Core is rotted
Pesticides poisoned
Blood giving life
Through the roots
But not the right kind of life
The dead kind of life
Bounty dead
An innocent deer at the base
Her throat slit
And an arrow through her eye
The taste of salt
Still on her tongue
Amara Pendergraft 2012
Kara Jean Jun 2016
Situated in self caused misery
Her choices translucent
Influenced by a life of negativety
She filled her tub with murky water
Warm, a place filled to the tip with disgrace
A bed is shelter overhead,
comfort is never enough
In this vague interpretation of what is good,
she has stiffened posture
A symptom of exposure

This is the sea, then, this great abeyance.
How the sun's poultice draws on my inflammation.

Electrifyingly-colored sherbets, scooped from the freeze
By pale girls, travel the air in scorched hands.

Why is it so quiet, what are they hiding?
I have two legs, and I move smilingly..

A sandy damper kills the vibrations;
It stretches for miles, the shrunk voices

Waving and crutchless, half their old size.
The lines of the eye, scalded by these bald surfaces,

Boomerang like anchored elastics, hurting the owner.
Is it any wonder he puts on dark glasses?

Is it any wonder he affects a black cassock?
Here he comes now, among the mackerel gatherers

Who wall up their backs against him.
They are handling the black and green lozenges like the parts of a body.

The sea, that crystallized these,
Creeps away, many-snaked, with a long hiss of distress.


This black boot has no mercy for anybody.
Why should it, it is the hearse of a dad foot,

The high, dead, toeless foot of this priest
Who plumbs the well of his book,

The bent print bulging before him like scenery.
Obscene bikinis hid in the dunes,

******* and hips a confectioner's sugar
Of little crystals, titillating the light,

While a green pool opens its eye,
Sick with what it has swallowed----

Limbs, images, shrieks.  Behind the concrete bunkers
Two lovers unstick themselves.

O white sea-crockery,
What cupped sighs, what salt in the throat....

And the onlooker, trembling,
Drawn like a long material

Through a still virulence,
And a ****, hairy as privates.


On the balconies of the hotel, things are glittering.
Things, things----

Tubular steel wheelchairs, aluminum crutches.
Such salt-sweetness.  Why should I walk

Beyond the breakwater, spotty with barnacles?
I am not a nurse, white and attendant,

I am not a smile.
These children are after something, with hooks and cries,

And my heart too small to bandage their terrible faults.
This is the side of a man:  his red ribs,

The nerves bursting like trees, and this is the surgeon:
One mirrory eye----

A facet of knowledge.
On a striped mattress in one room

An old man is vanishing.
There is no help in his weeping wife.

Where are the eye-stones, yellow and valuable,
And the tongue, sapphire of ash.


A wedding-cake face in a paper frill.
How superior he is now.

It is like possessing a saint.
The nurses in their wing-caps are no longer so beautiful;

They are browning, like touched gardenias.
The bed is rolled from the wall.

This is what it is to be complete.  It is horrible.
Is he wearing pajamas or an evening suit

Under the glued sheet from which his powdery beak
Rises so whitely unbuffeted?

They propped his jaw with a book until it stiffened
And folded his hands, that were shaking:  goodbye, goodbye.

Now the washed sheets fly in the sun,
The pillow cases are sweetening.

It is a blessing, it is a blessing:
The long coffin of soap-colored oak,

The curious bearers and the raw date
Engraving itself in silver with marvelous calm.


The gray sky lowers, the hills like a green sea
Run fold upon fold far off, concealing their hollows,

The hollows in which rock the thoughts of the wife----
Blunt, practical boats

Full of dresses and hats and china and married daughters.
In the parlor of the stone house

One curtain is flickering from the open window,
Flickering and pouring, a pitiful candle.

This is the tongue of the dead man:  remember, remember.
How far he is now, his actions

Around him like living room furniture, like a décor.
As the pallors gather----

The pallors of hands and neighborly faces,
The elate pallors of flying iris.

They are flying off into nothing:  remember us.
The empty benches of memory look over stones,

Marble facades with blue veins, and jelly-glassfuls of daffodils.
It is so beautiful up here:  it is a stopping place.


The natural fatness of these lime leaves!----
Pollarded green *****, the trees march to church.

The voice of the priest, in thin air,
Meets the corpse at the gate,

Addressing it, while the hills roll the notes of the dead bell;
A glittler of wheat and crude earth.

What is the name of that color?----
Old blood of caked walls the sun heals,

Old blood of limb stumps, burnt hearts.
The widow with her black pocketbook and three daughters,

Necessary among the flowers,
Enfolds her lace like fine linen,

Not to be spread again.
While a sky, wormy with put-by smiles,

Passes cloud after cloud.
And the bride flowers expend a freshness,

And the soul is a bride
In a still place, and the groom is red and forgetful, he is featureless.


Behind the glass of this car
The world purrs, shut-off and gentle.

And I am dark-suited and still, a member of the party,
Gliding up in low gear behind the cart.

And the priest is a vessel,
A tarred fabric, sorry and dull,

Following the coffin on its flowery cart like a beautiful woman,
A crest of *******, eyelids and lips

Storming the hilltop.
Then, from the barred yard, the children

Smell the melt of shoe-blacking,
Their faces turning, wordless and slow,

Their eyes opening
On a wonderful thing----

Six round black hats in the grass and a lozenge of wood,
And a naked mouth, red and awkward.

For a minute the sky pours into the hole like plasma.
There is no hope, it is given up.
Jules com Nov 2012
I don't recall the moment responsibility grew arms hugging
with gnarled fingers, while burdened skies wrap like a promise,
with its soft tenor of lies and seduction.

Disowned, I remember the drunk old lady who hung
over my shoulders puking responsibility, as if to discharge
toxic waste on a pre-mature baby struggling in labor, while death
chokes the innocent, lost in love's knowledge.

She could have warned me, even better, ridiculed me rather
than put my head on a bludgeoned block allowing me to become
a scapegoat for all the past, present and future mistakes:
Some, of which was manufactured in threads of innuendo
by off-loaders.

These bones of mine are exposed in the twilight of their naked
prejudice, and 'I swear I could hear clouds' curse my name, chanting
wrath, creating chaos through veins of pride, before darkness
fell feasting off my flames.

There is nothing like hollow skeletons of the dead rustling
around in graveyards alone. I stopped to think despite efforts
of going solo; how I miss the stony silence of that skull, bent
with anger seeking solace from my venomous touch.

It would be a blessing to retreat into silent reveries
where I am alone, I am alive, the dead are no more, to wrestle
ghosts with words spoken into the heavens asking,
"is there enough forgiveness left for me?"

I don't want to remember her dead face, how it looked
when her neck snapped while life drained from her stiffened eyes.
I want the abstracts of my life to fit.

So, I howl upon her bitter pill - release me...

J Patrick H Feb 2013
What is that reality that appears to me in dreams,
chock-full of misgivings and doubt. I counteract my fear of life
with my fears of slumber,
dust in my eyes and stiff as lumber.

In truth - I'm not stiffened
by fear,
by nausea,
post-pubescent sacrilege,
or all of the above.
I'm not up-kept,
grizzly with ennui;
I'm dizzy, confiding my loss.

I feel the lips that kiss
but can't be drawn: from mind,
on sheets of thick
pale and
for the heart to mend.

My unsteady hand
is my fearful friend

A soft embrace
from a warm mind

and so full of Life
clung to by the scent of Death

with an eternal promise and regret
from veins of plants
or the glow of stars.
Cold, mechanical debt.

(my heart, so full of...)

(my mind, so hot with...)

(my body, trembling in...)

I am gulf-like
a stream full of trees and glass
echoing a promise of shattering wind.

Will I be published
after my death,
asleep predating, a life conceived.
Will I live to see myself alone,
and to discover
that which I'm not?
Or will I stutter
and wallow a curse,
Up towards the sky,
Until the final verse.
On a boast
or chasing the Rail,
pale as dirt, and shallow still.

Will my true love abandon,  break, strain,
Burn away the wax,
or hurry to blame?

Omit my evils from the star-charts,
then just to vacate the void.
From the half-broken corridors of rocks,
nooks, crannies.
Carry laughter through the night
burn the effigy bowed-down,
before dawn's courageous,
ever-splaying light

of Carlo and Marx,
plenty by noon
again by day
thus replay,
Endeavor to infinity, fair child.
Remold the light by Day
and remold the Day
by Night.
Two sparks of glass dancing on the currents
like two feathers with silk stiffened by salt.
Broken bottles to the midnight seascape sent
unsteady as whispers, sharp as the cold.
I’d drift as part of chandelier like rain
be the anglerfishes’ luminous snare
to tresses of jellyfish dresses vain
as the smooth face reflecting there.
On the plateau the sand will frost our smiles
smoothing those edges to a bent jigsaw piece.
This cold Desert of ebb raked sands and fells
from the bottle’s great birth into the sea.
Making blood fire by joining sparks by hand
as others join stones in returning to sand.
bex Dec 2017
Oh, Winter...
She says, “Come hither...”

She is an alluring *****
with her pure and virginal whites,
chaste as an egg.  Mm hmm.

Her flash frosts,
her intricate, fleeting diamonds,
her dew when she warms
drips and drops into ******* spears...
She pulls you in.

She pulls on you,
draws you,
milks you to the core.

She whispers “Come hither...”
in her squalls,
but she leaves only shells.
Such small feathered things,
stiffened and dead,
touched by Winter’s hand.

But she is beautiful,
and you...
You can not help yourself.
Dorothy A Mar 2015
Pastor Nate Yarborough knew since early on that he wanted to be a clergyman. He grew up in a Christian home and believed in God as long as he could remember. He dreamed of being a minister someday and becoming the pastor of  his own church. At only thirty-one-years-old, his dream came true. He was young, yet head pastor at Hope Christian Church and had a medium sized congregation that was thriving. To add to his dream-come-true, he had a beautiful wife, Veronica, and darling three-and-a half-year-old daughter, Michaela.

Jesus was the center of his life, but Veronica was the one who kept him grounded. Michaela was just the light of his world, a special blessing in his life. She was a happy baby who was just a typical daddy’s girl. When her father came home from his job she would squeal with delight and go running to him, at first as a wobbly toddler and then to a quick, little girl who would sprint to the door.  

“Daddy’s home!” she would announce in a big voice.

Nate would swoop up Michaela up in his arms as he planted gentle kisses upon her little cheek. “Michaela, my sunshine girl!” he would shout. “There’s my little beauty!” He definitely wanted more children, but he was thankful and felt so blessed to have her be his very first.      

“That is how we should with our heavenly father”, Veronica told Nate, in admiration of those two in action, “and not run from him in fear.”

Yet one day Michaela was having seizures and became quite ill. She transformed from a bubbly child to one who fussed and cried and didn’t want to play very much.  Her worried parents took her to the doctor, and she was put through a battery of tests. The church was praying for little Michaela, but the diagnosis was grim and shocking. She had a brain tumor. Her parent’s worst fears had been confirmed. Her tumor was malignant and it was inoperable.

Veronica would open up the outpouring of cards and letters of well wishes from parishioners. So many people were praying for the family. Veronica had hope even as her husband was growing distant as his little girl became sicker and sicker. In spite of treatment, in spite of prayers, little Michaela succumbed to her sickness. Her bright, little spirit was forever gone from their home.

“We will have more children”, Veronica assured her husband through her tears. “We will get through this—together. With God’s help, we’ll get through this!”  

Nate didn’t respond. Veronica felt him stiffen in his lackluster embrace. She stiffened, too, for she knew that wasn't of Nate's character, and she could tell by his face that he wasn’t buying any of it.  

His sermons now became shorter, far less engaging. They weren’t full of encouraging stories or inspirational words of faith, of challenging the defeated to never give up, and imploring everyone to always turn to the Lord—in bad times as well as the good.  

People in the church rallied behind Pastor Nate and his wife. They offered meals during the time that Michaela was laid out in the funeral home and finally laid to rest. They offered more prayers, encouraging words, and hugs for the couple to make it through this rough storm in their lives. A pastor friend of Nate conducted the funeral but Nate hardly heard a word. Veronica grew worried.

There were many in the congregation who grew concerned, too. They still were supportive, but now the elders and deacons had no choice but to gather at a meeting and figure out what to do. Nate’s leadership role was falling apart. His life, no doubt,  was falling apart.

“Why does God punish some on this earth who are innocent?” he asked one time at the pulpit.  “There are no answers when your heart is torn out from you, when you serve God with all you have, and He does this to you. Why? Perhaps, there is no such being as God. Perhaps, it is wishful thinking and we have all been duped…I’ve thought about it and I’ve searched the Scriptures, yet I get nothing there . I think the atheists aren’t so out of bounds, after all.”

Sitting a few rows back, Veronica looked nervously around. She heard some of the gasps in the crowd, heard many whispers, and saw the shocked faces. She laid her head in her hands and was too scared out of her mind to even pray.

“We are sorry, Veronica”, one of the elders told her one day. “We tried to reason with your husband. We care about you both, but this cannot go on. We asked Pastor Nate to get seek out some help—to step down temporarily—but he didn’t even flinch. He says he’s never coming back. He just doesn’t believe anymore. And he just doesn’t care. ”

Veronica tried to get Nate to go to counseling with her. She needed it, too, and he wasn’t helping her any. This church was his dream, and sure his daughter had tragically died, but he needed to hold it together—for their sake. To crumble on her was too much on top of losing her daughter. He just couldn’t do this!

She could handle her grief far better if they could remain a team. But he didn’t want to talk, wouldn’t listen to anyone, and now how were they going to make ends meet without his role as pastor? Nate fell into a severe depression, and Veronica felt helpless to do anything about it.

After a few months of trying to get through to him, her faith grew dim. How could this happen to them? To save herself from going down with him, she decided she had to walk away. She didn’t want to, but she had made up her mind to move back in with her parents.

“It’s for the best, for now”, she told him. “It doesn’t have to be permanent.”

Nate sat there, staring at the blank TV. “Do what you want”, he replied.

One of the parishioners, Craig DeArmond, decided to pay him a visit. His mother, Marge, always admired Nate’s sermons. She was a big supporter of his, and wept when she heard of the news of his daughter's death. It was evident to her that his faith took a huge dip—actually a crash landing—and his world that revolved around his belief lay in shambles.

Craig was saddened by how quiet the place was, how unkempt and uninviting it appeared. He’s been to the house before, a once pleasant place to be.  Now, it was bleak and joyless. “Will you talk to my mother?” Craig asked him. “She’s sad since my dad passed away a week after last Christmas, you know. Forty-eight years of marriage has been much of her life . My mom could use some counseling.”

Nate looked at him without much emotion. “Let her talk to the current pastor. She doesn’t need me.”

Craig said, “But she looks up to you, and it might do you some good, too.”

Nate scoffed at that. “Look, I’m not in the faith business anymore. There’s no way I can be of comfort.” He dismissed Craig with his hand and said, “She goes to me or she goes to a fortune teller—tell her she’ll get about the same results, either way.”

Craig stood up over Nate, hoping Nate would look up at him. He wouldn’t, so Craig was about to walk away but turned around and replied, “God forgive me, for I want to make this clear. Listen to me, Nathan Yale! You are one selfish *******!”

Nate suddenly shot a look at him. “A what?” he demanded.

“You heard me”, Craig said, his arms crossed. “I know you are a man of God—or at least you used to be.  He grew more bold, was on a roll and said, “Look, you are pushing everyone away! People who love and care about you have lost you! Your wife, for crying out loud, is a wreck! I know you’re in pain, but—”

“What do you know of my pain?” Nate shot back. His eyes were bloodshot from lack of sleep. Perhaps, he had been crying or even drinking.

“I don’t know!” Craig shouted. “But what do you know of faith?”

Nathan didn’t know what to say, for he was never prepared for this. Craig continued, “My mother lost both of her parents by the age of thirteen. She grew up in an alcoholic home, so she watched her parents slowly drink away their lives. She had no choice but to live with her aunt while her other siblings were spread out to stay with other relatives.”

Craig had Nathan’s full attention now. He took advantage of this and pulled up a chair and sat right in front of him, saying, “Her aunt’s husband—her so-called uncle—wouldn’t stop pawing at her and trying to put his hand up her blouse. She had no lock on her bedroom door and so this guy would sneak in--and guess what? He ***** her! At first, it was shocking! The second time, it was Hell. The third time it was worse! The forth time….should I go on?”

“Oh, God, why?” Nate said, tears in his eyes at the thought.

“Yes, he ***** her”, Craig repeated, “until one day she was pregnant and her aunt was demanding how she ended up this way , calling her a **** and shaming her. Mom finally blurted out that it was her uncle who got forced himself on her, and the aunt didn’t believe her.”

Nate was fully engaged. “What happened to your poor mother?” he asked, trying to keep his mouth from quivering.

“She was kicked out on the streets... nothing but the clothes on her back. With nowhere to go, she went to a friend’s house. The stress was so bad on her that she miscarried the baby, laying on the floor in agony. So the authorities placed her in a home for girls and never did she have to live in that house again…but the scars are still there--ugly, deep scars!”

So Craig left Nate’s house, but Nate had joined him in the car. Craig told his mother what he had revealed to Nate—without her permission—but he felt he had to do it. She agreed it was the right thing to do.

Nate gave Marge a huge hug during his visit. She was such a motherly figure, and he admired her for what she went through. “How on earth did you survive?” he asked her.

“Like you”, she confessed. “I was so angry with God. I hated Him, just hated Him. But when I was living in the home for girls, I met a girl who had huge faith. It was sickening to me, at first. I thought to myself, ‘How can you have such faith when you’ve ended up in here?’ And she didn’t know what happened to me, for I was too scared to tell anyone back then.”

“But you have great faith now”, Nate stated. “Better than even I ever had, I’m ashamed to say. I’ve seen your faith in action! ”

Marge put her hand to his cheek. “I fought for every bit of it”, she said. “I didn’t want to believe in God, but their was a nagging presence that wouldn't go away!”

Nate smiled. “I love the way you put it, Marge”, he said.

“Well, I had that friend who talked about Jesus, and then I went to rent out a room of a woman who took in boarders. She had a strong faith, and she took me to church. I’ve never been to church in my life, and I just wanted to get her off my back for asking! But my heart slowly softened, for I never thought that I’d ever believe in God…and didn’t want to…ever!”

“Neither did I…after loosing Michaela”, Nate said. “I loved her so much." He began to cry and put his face in his hands.

Marge put her arm around him and said, “But I found out that I really needed God. I needed to forgive a lot of people—my mother and father, my aunt and uncle—especially myself because I felt so hateful all the time.”

Nate sobbed, “I feel hateful, too—and guilty. I don’t know if I’ll ever have faith again. It scares me to feel that way.”

Marge held him in her arms like he was her little child. “Oh, but you haven’t really lost it, Pastor. You see, I didn’t want to believe in God, either, because I felt He was against me. If God existed…well, than how come my parents were alcoholics? How come my uncle ***** me? How come I got pregnant and the baby died? Ended up by myself? How come…how come? I think we all can ask our share of questions in this world.”

“They are valid questions”, he admitted, tears still streaming down his face. “Frankly, many problems pale in comparison.”

Marge couldn't have disagreed more. "No, Nate..,pain is pain. Yours is just as valid as anyone else's.  It just is just when it is an excuse to be bitter that is dangerous.  And I used that as a reason for being bitter!” she said. “But the bitterness was killing me. Slowly, I was dying.”

"But you made it through. You're quite alive, Marge, quite alive... and quite amazing."

They lingered in conversation, for they both needed this to take place. After it was over, Nate went home, feeling like a dam of walled up emotions had been finally released. It was certainly a start. He called Veronica up and he managed to say, “Veronica…please forgive me. Let’s start again…our lives together…” before his voice broke and the tears poured out again.

“Of course”, she responded, her voice trembling. “I already have forgiven you because I’ve been waiting and praying for this moment to come.”
Alexis Jan 2015
My heart is burning inside of my chest and only you can put out the fire.
I want this to stop.
I want to be whole again.
I left half of me at your house in your bed and
I can’t get it back.
You sleep with half of me and you don’t even know it.
A week after we broke up I heard you talking,
you said you washed your sheets and blankets.
I wonder if you did it to **** my scent,
while all I’m doing is trying to hold onto yours.
I still remember the way I ran my hands down your chest,
and you put your hand on my back.
I hope when you sleep you remember the way
I couldn’t fall asleep without the blankets.
Now you probably wrap yourself in them.
You need something to fill the space I left.
I wonder if you still fall asleep early.
I used to tease you about it,
but I secretly loved it because you were so calm.
I still haven’t washed my sheets and the blanket smells like you.
Please come back.
Make me feel safe again.
Wrap your arms around me and rub my stomach.
Give me a goodnight kiss like you used to.
Who are we kidding, though?
You never loved me.
You were long gone before I even got in your bed that night.
You were long gone when I smiled and said I loved you,
you stiffened and turned away.
I should have left at that point,
but I was determined to make you feel something…
but how can you make someone love you?
I shouldn’t have gotten in bed with you that night.
This isn't actually about *** just fyi. We just slept with each other. Like sleep and cuddling was all that occurred.
barnoahMike Jan 2011
Good old Gregory Goose was Gladder  than any Gander could be  and not Just because Nelson the Ninja Snail had said he was "JUST-DUCKY" !     This was a Very Special morning for Gregory Goose,   in Fact it was yesterdays Super Special situation that made His Delight so DELICIOUS.      The comment by Nelson the Ninja Snail, had simply added to  His Glory!      Gregory's Special Situation  Had been the Unexpected Announcement that HE was to be Named  "TEAM-CAPTAIN"   for the Annual  "Hog Wallow and Here's Mud in Your eye" CONTEST ! !     "Oh the delight" He thought,   "I am to be Captain,  after waiting all these years".     "ME"   he exclaimed !  "Captain of the South Forty Blocks"......   "W O W ' ! !    At the most convenient time of the day,  Harold Hippo,   Candy Cow,   Curtis Chipmunk,   Marvin Monkey,   Beatrice Bovine   and Larry Lynx  decided to make a Personal call on Good Old GREGORY GOOSE  .   Keep in mind Now,   That Harold,  Candy,   Curtis,   Marvin,   Beatrice  and Larry we're the *INSIDE,  of the  "INNER-CIRCLE".     JUST ASK THEM !!    They were on the INSIDE ! !    Well,  when Gregory Goose heard the Knock at the door,   He opened it with a Great Big Grin,  That ONLY Gregory could Give!   Before Him stood  the "J U D G E S "  of All Contests and Efforts.    *Gregory was Beside Himself ! !     Instead of Seeing a group of Smiles and Handshakes,   He saw Staring Eyes,   Necks that had been stiffened  AND  *Gnashing of Teeth.    Beatrice Bovine was the First to Speak,   "Gregory,   it has been brought to our attention that you had a conversation with Nelson the Ninja Snail,,   and YOU didn't Rebuke his statement of being called  "JUST-DUCKY".    "As a result of this,  *WE  decided YOU  "Cannot  Be"    *CAPTAIN   of the Hog Wallow and Mud in Your Eye Contest,   PERIOD ! !      Gregory Simply smiled,  Looked Straight into their Eyes,   Quietly said  "BYE",   Softly Closed the door....    Turned Grinning,   Knelt to his Knees,   PRAYING,   Thanking GOD,  for the FACT,, That he,   Gregory,    He was Made just a   *LITTLE BIT PECULIAR  ! !
Copyright @ 2011    barnoahMike           Mike  Ham
CM Rice Dec 2013
He heard a last echoed clink of liquor-laden ice-cubes,
Stuck between two stools that screamed for company,
I gazed across his vacant stare to the barman –the silent DJ,

Professionally ignorant as I gestured my hoarse thirst,
I waited a little minute, another minute an’ just one more,
Enter our businessman, full-schedule, long-hauled to drink,

With a rib-eye steak of a face an’ breath surely barbecued,
Two satisfied cheeks, pink-puffed with brows fit for burial,
Teeth ground with tension but brighter than the lighting

A fungal-lung nose perched upon a smile that I could smell,
He plumbed himself wet-shave close to my stiffened neck,  
“..Hana Drink..?” (Silence) best to follow the DJ’s example,

(Bullish huffs) (Lips licked) “.. Ya’ll wantin’ a drink, Mister?..”  
Flustered by the company, I replied “..Non, Je think eh Je chi..”
A retort of sorts, faux languages not my degree, “..Leaba..Bed!”

Spluttered just at the end – an insulting first impression,
He seemed nervously joyous, loosened from being himself,  
Yet his trouser belt buckled, pulled tight to conversation level,

An’ Redwood-trunk hands, alive with the latest deal struck,  
“..Bedtime for us..” he bare-bawled, splitting my weary eyes,
His numbed arm clumsily flung around me, “..bedtime for us!..”,

DJ unmuted, the music paused, I mouthed softly “..just the bill..”
“..Who’s Bill?.. a friend?…Is he cute?.. So this drink?” I panic still.
Rangzeb Hussain Jul 2010

“Hearken, all ye there!”

Seis Seis Seis Seis Seis Seis

It began, as these things tend to do, with a quartz encrusted howl,
Lamenting under the crystalline shadows of Leda’s heartrending growl,
Her ravished moon bled and sank into the vocal cords of guilt coated cowards,
“Come back, come back! Oh, frivolous sanity thou art truly unjust, most unkind!”
Right here in this lonely place did my Darling dear spill devotion onto spiced dust,
She swayed on the rickety ridge surveying her sapphire kingdom’s splintered trust,
There it lay glittering, her city of cities, nothing now but a jeweled corpse.


“Know ye not of the oft-told tale of the drinking-well at World’s End?”

Cinco Cinco Cinco Cinco Cinco

My Lady who did fire the lyre of Orpheus, she weeps there in the misty chilled cold,
Wild it is, all about her the night wind nibbles at the skin clothing her fractured soul,
Cacophonic waves of regret silently scurry to labyrinths entombed with truths bold,
“Come back, come back! Oh, to my tempestuous ***** hasten with thy canticles!”
The symphonic fingers of fog pluck a requiem upon her autumn flavoured hair,
My Queen is attired for her banquet at tables far beyond Persephone’s desolate tears,
On the precipice her figure rises for the final faithful leap into Styx’s stratosphere.


“Behold now the dread eyes of Hades, see how they hunger blood at the boil!”

Cuatro Cuatro Cuatro Cuatro

Carnivorous tasted memory plagues the betrayed Minotaur’s desired deliriums,
On these haunted shores I clutched her close and eagerly inhaled love’s elusive serum,
Legend has it a suicide was here on this very cliff-top, ‘twas a true Roman centurion,
“Come back, come back! Oh, let us under Demeter’s enchanted orchards lie!”
My obsidian-eyed Beauty gathers her eggs and over the fearful edge she unfurls them,
Closer to the dead of Euphrates she steps, I to madness hurtle as one condemned,
Bind savage Cerberus for the solitary reign of the wolf is fate for all hanged men.


“Prometheus thou hast drunk Pandora’s poisons, what sayest now the Titans?”

Tres Tres Tres

Golden fleeced days into the fleshy ground of Morpheus’s realm did seep away,
How well spent they were not even immortal Calypso shall decipher nor say,
Would that mine myopic ears had been shorn and tossed into Pompeii’s crisp clay,
“Come back, come back! Oh, gentle Maid no more, I beg thee stay awhile yet!”
What was it? Was it me? No, no, it could not be me for I was Achilles buried asleep,
How little we then knew, we two did partake of the stinging, you the wasp I the bee,
Mayhap ‘twas this unlocked the plumed towers to thy curled universe tunneled deep?


“Therefore did the Serpent spake and pronounce a judgment most nefarious!”

Dos Dos

She thinks back, my Lady fairer than Medea, she remembers a time happier,
Really there was, hear yet my credo, once upon-a-time there was no doubting terror,
But then a thing did into our guarded haven breach and wreathe about my treasure,
“Come back, come back! Oh, let me slake my thirst with thy honeyed spirit!”
My flesh did crawl, my fangs grew sharp, my spittle ran down and my fur stood taut,
The jawbone stiffened and all the while I burnt like an infernal phoenix caught,
Oh, my sweetly crazed fruit, did I for real the horror upon you wrought?


“Would that thou didst offer me thy riches upon the hour of the violet twilight...”


Wolfsbane moon, high above it rose in that final cracking of sacramental bones,
My Lady much wrong did you I, forever for this will the beast in me atone,
Now, at this baleful hour has the wolf left you on the edge of an embryonic cyclone,
“And so to the Elysian Fields where insanity fertilizes the soul do I embark...”
You cross the Rubicon and glide into the obliterating arms of Plutonic eternity,
The wolf, me, is left clawing your hooded red robe with absolutely no certainty,
I see you sailing upon Neptune’s trident, forever adrift on oceans of eternal cruelty.


“Seekest thou sanctuary in the hinterlands where the man with one eye is King?”


pretium libertas est nex**

©Rangzeb Hussain
When reeds are dead and a straw to thatch the marshes,
And feathered pampas-grass rides into the wind
Like aged warriors westward, tragic, thinned
Of half their tribe, and over the flattened rushes,
Stripped of its secret, open, stark and bleak,
Blackens afar the half-forgotten creek,—
Then leans on me the weight of the year, and crushes
My heart.  I know that Beauty must ail and die,
And will be born again,—but ah, to see
Beauty stiffened, staring up at the sky!
Oh, Autumn!  Autumn!—What is the Spring to me?
Akemi Feb 2017
Lily marked the gravestone. A white streak across grey cobble, the crumbling visage of a turning sky reflected in the puddle beside her. New dusk brimmed grey gold, a heady dust galloped with the rising easterly winds, a white streak across grey skies. Lily marked the edge of her notebook, nine-past-ten, the end of second period, a break in consciousness, then a tang of blood from her swollen gums. Lenin rose above the rooftops, a hand brushed her forehead as the paramedics left, a black bag.

The answer was heat death, compartmentalised energy, like fireworks falling into darkness. Burning rice, spilt coffee, Ain’s smile. Nights on counter, pad paper, day old rain. Lily fell into a nightmare, smooth black, a single light dissipating as the universe died. She spat blood, missed the bus and collapsed on the walk to school.

It was the anniversary. Setting sun, plumes of white, the exit sigh of a wasted day. Lily woke hours later. She returned to an empty home, suffocated in a dream and rose four hours too early for school. Climbing the roof, she watched the sun rise, grey and formless.

There was ash in the hallway to class, the remnants of the incense from yesterday’s memorial, pencil shavings from the forest, fingers blurring out of definition like the trees around her, the soft empty breath of loose soil. Ain came to the store on a night like this, wind gathered silent around her frame. They found themselves atop a bus shelter, lights rising from a sea of nothingness.

Eight-forty-five, the chalk felt heavy in Lily’s hand, white dash across infinity, city blackout. Everyone went to see the dam, cracked pavement, Ain dripping blood, Lily wreathed in ravens. Below the river, forest spirits wove among power lines, bird bones cracked beneath the soles of children, motes rose. Lily lost sight of Ain, the dam broke and children cheered.

Time passed. Ceaseless time.

Lily drifted through petroleum smoke, dashi, the burning husks of gods. She watched the river ryū sweep through her street, turbid with the broken heads of graves, mad with phantoms. She visited memories yet to form, nurseries of dust, cosmic return of the infinite perceiving itself. She cried, remembering everything, the smell Ain’s wet hair, ricochet of a glass bottle, Lenin’s dirt-smeared skin, the birth and death of the universe; mother unable to afford pad paper, sakura bursting the sky pink, couples riding past on too expensive bikes, father drunk on sake. Ribbons of light danced around Lily, a playful susurration, feeding her more and more memories.

Isn’t it beautiful? Existence burning through itself? A departure with no ending, no beginning, no becoming? Haven’t you lived a full life? Won’t you live it again?

Lily screamed. Split dam flooded the empty grave. The same smell of soy, dust and sweat every day. Lack birthed in the space between, like teeth, lacuna bleeding. Nightmares and old memories pouring out like a knife. Ryū stiffened, red streak across the sky, tail burying into the earth. Rice steam filled the air, a passing train carried Ain and Lily into the city, crowds of smoke, her crescent eyes reflected in a storefront, the eyes her mother loved. April awakening of the forest gods, cool spring rustled the hair around her neck, a humid breath descended from the mountain to the lake. Warm rain fell in sheets, city smudged out of focus, bokeh lights departing, Ain’s wet skin—

The city retracted; a whimper escaped her mouth; her fingers passed through power lines, wood smoke, pavement; seasons collapsed, superimposed like holograms, snow and humus; gyoza steamed, air sirens blared beneath the shadow of foreign planes; kodama rose as ancient trees reclaimed the land; volcanic blasts shook the ocean, AI sped to singularity; reality vanished like light falling off a mirror and Lily ceased to feel.

Space is illusory.


It travels ceaselessly through itself.

Lily, stop.

And we don’t exist.

Lily grinned, rising from the reeds, a cattail in each hand. She sped towards a screaming Ain, who tripped on a willow root, and began bopping relentlessly.

“Lily!” Ain cried, squirming on the ground. “Lily, stop!”

Lily grinned, rising from the reeds, a cattail in each hand. She sped towards a screaming Ain, who tripped on a willow root, and began bopping relentlessly.

“Lily!” Ain cried, squirming on the ground. “Lily, stop!”

Lily grinned, rising from the reeds, a cattail in each hand. She sped towards a screaming Ain, who tripped on a willow root, and began bopping relentlessly.

“Lily!” Ain cried, grabbing Lily’s wrists. “Haven’t we done this enough?”
[3] time is a flat circle perceiving itself
Ah! changed and cold, how changed and very cold!
  With stiffened smiling lips and cold calm eyes:
  Changed, yet the same; much knowing, little wise;
This was the promise of the days of old!
Grown hard and stubborn in the ancient mould,
  Grown rigid in the sham of lifelong lies:
  We hoped for better things as years would rise,
But it is over as a tale once told.
All fallen the blossom that no fruitage bore,
  All lost the present and the future time,
All lost, all lost, the lapse that went before:
So lost till death shut-to the opened door,
  So lost from chime to everlasting chime,
So cold and lost forever evermore.
Mateuš Conrad Dec 2016
you know what i find funny? the phrase: i could eat you. juxtaposing vide cor meum against... this is the part where punctuation marks are never collision prone diacritical marks... but then again, there's that dietary joke... i could eat you... dependence on your bones not being properly disavowed within a langoustine broth... and there you are: a grey area mindful of Stalin... *****! i'm trying to humanise ******, stop interrupting! where once a moths' flutter, later a rainbow in the nacht! mind that niqab... nicht would mean nothing. some insinuated cappuchino, some cackles... some said cutie-pies invoking rouge cheeks... every time i watch these culinary shows i get thinking about cannibalism to counter veganism... and then i laugh... i don't want to find stinking socks and political correctness as "my way, did it to suit Lascaux cavern graffiti"... i preferred wanking than keeping up with women... it's the song i heard before lambs stiffened and muslims became muslims, and falafel was mince... ******, get under the hosepipe and you're there, all freely gagging for the fizz... a touch of tinsel... vide cor meum... return of policy... as half-heartfelt kaleidoscope returning to define a rainbow... i love that phrase given the palette opportunity... i could eat you. it's the demonic encouragement that solidifies the stench into what's to be seasoned properly... i don't know.. the phrasing: i could eat you sounds more formidable in delayed practice than: i can **** you... plus the gazpacho... which means: Batman ate cold cauliflower soup and slurred to slurp the question: but it's cold? Baldwin replied: it's supposed to be! they said orthography as a rigidness of aesthetic, i said... that's questionable whether any is applicable, given we're talking about graffiti.

i got tired of sensing other people's jealousy,
and tried to love them,
which ended up to be as much as a matrimony
toward one woman, ambition-bound
to incarnate the matrimony of swans...
  and the poor old ******, left to fantasy in
his days as a widower...
   every time i look at a lonely swans
i try to duck-quack the thing into existence...
            but there are variation of marriage...
a west london accountant can speak terrible
crap against an ethnicity i try to not identify with...
but i am courageously borne from,
    and therefore have to express some affiliation...
as a matter of principle...
  i rather not, but iu must, even though i sprechen
a host tongue... and am, therefore,
embedded with claims of socialite elitism...
                 but then i compare...
and these these comparisons are the due phrase...
Marilyn Manson's *a minute of decay

is a chance to hear the bass guitar overpower
           the drums... a bit like a culinary pistachio
moment in a risotto...
   i want room to breathe in!
     i want vaughan williams' fantasia on a theme
by thomas tallis... i sanctify the need
   for prokofiev's lieutenant kíjé's suite...
(dots are optional, the syllables aren't,
a classical dot above the iota might revel in
being the defining moment of tonguing /
dissecting a word... but it doesn't have to be so)
i need air to breath in, a moment to whimper...
why do the **** love Chopin and not Liszt?
   a bid ******* odd... i don't like either Chopin
or Liszt... because as Kaiser Yoseph said
in amadeus... to many notes...
and i agree... vivaldi made violins into cherub
       pumpernickle sparrows -
you danced, you joyed, you came across St. Vitus' dance...
   you were doing arithmetic as concord speed
within a framework of even (white) and odd (black)
numbers... once you played the nocturnal Fabergé -
someone suggested you move the ******
  goose to the Hermitage, and frame it!
why are the Japanese are the only Europeans in Asia...
      never mind, they just are,
hence they compete for playing Chopin like they consider
sushi to be a culinary exception of the tartar -
minus the influence, obviously, hence the stress to
impose Chopin... but never Liszt... odd...
          template virtuoso and you think of Liszt
than you might conjure Chopin...
           better than that... conjure champagne
bottles blundering to the volcano's worth of fizz...
still... the Japanese are a curiosity...
first of all: they abide by Chopin and chopsticks
not being utilised when gobbling sushi...
   they have the ambassadors of kimono,
samurai, origami, karaoke, bonßai (zye, rye),
          Fukushima... Hiroshima... yep, that place
were stanley lee derived the concept of x-men...
          still, they have permanent ambassadors in
opur midsts... words that can't be "translated" due
to etymological puritanism...
       finally the Portuguese sailed away, and founded
Brazil on the promise of an infinite supply of toothpicks
from the Amazon -
or? hai sensei!           hatch that with the catchphrase:
     kajagoogoo: shy-shy, hush-hush, eye-to-eye.
          we're storming the labyrinth right not,
and i still can't believe that poetry revolves around
the rhythm of rhyme... play any ping-pong, lately?
     no wonder poetry is a peacocking dollop
of clogged-up cow dung... it's just asking
for a *****-slap in a playground.
           but why Chopin and not Liszt?
the **** are what Napoleon was to the Duchy of
Warsaw... they love that arithmetic of
a pebble-dasher's *******...
       wet dreams... some authentic curiosities of
civilisation still have them... i wouldn't recommend
listening to them recounting the fables, personally...
i'd listen in on the succubus jerking them off...
  and just recently i was walking the deaf streets at
night with a bottle of beer and felt the bottle
of beer almost being tugged from my hand...
  and some say that eating a woman's umbilical-chord
is what's necessary to live as a man to later
sing some aria; or like drinking a pregnant woman's
**** will ensure you don't become myopic...
             i don't like Chopin,
i don't like Liszt either... i want a room, and a chance
to breathe... at the end of the classical expression
summarising the wind, we had a return
to the rooting in Africa... earthly delights
and a grumbling stomach in need of feeding,
  jazz did the work for us, jazz still had
an orchestral element to add a Lacan of all things
worthy of deconstruction...
       but then the French came along and shoved
fondue into our ears... and we said
alight with an eureka moment... pop!
             n'ah... the moment when the bass overpowers
the drums... i really have this wild fascination
with the bass guitar...
                 because i don't get Mozart,
and i do think that Handel did much more than
even the sacrificial lamb that Beethoven is...
                  listen... poetry doesn't have to be
music... rhyming is ping-pong anyway...
but as long as you feel in debt concerning music,
the music will come on its own accord...
today i was rattled by a mix of dub (without a step)
and beck's odelay... cruise-missile dylan...
give or take...
      well, given the italicised pr.s. (pre scriptum) -
much later an aged blonde boasted about snorkeling
******* and young ****... and missing out
when she teased me coming back to her abode...
           moth steals from a butterfly,
butterfly never turns into a daisy...
                       you're still a **** and i'm about
half of the total worth of being a ****...
which makes as equal... or queue more.
           variably condoned to be synonym with
mosque...  but i said mannequin...
     it's this **** with the five a day....
Christendom mentioned fruit & veg...
Islam mentioned variations of a murmur...
   is prayer classified as fruit, or vegetable?
you're as bewildered as i am...
   i too thought tomato is a fruit...
turns out it's a vegetable...
primarily due to basil, feta, and the mediterranean.
               herring belong in the baltic,
******* attempting that sort of ballistics...
ask about the relationship between
              a. yan sobieski
         b. ******
                    c. window on arabia (vienna,
counter st. petersburg) -
     oh you'll get many thanks...
sure... you'll end up becoming assured
that dogs don't need petting, but training,
and that you have to make all friends bound
to be kenneled, because they won't learn otherwise;
it's a bit sad...
          for about a minute...
                   you tried being peace-abiding,
   you wanted to state compassion...
  in the end people need a slap... or as 2000 years of
history proved... a crucifix.
JR Falk Nov 2016
We walked in together and from that moment on,
I watched the way your eyes traced each line in each portrait.
Arms stiffened in the pockets of your tight, but not too tight jeans,
I wondered what it would be like to kiss you.
In an art museum I'd never been to,
you were the most beautiful piece in the room.
I couldn't look away.
While most people take pictures of the paintings they love,
the sculptures that mesmerize them,
I turned my focus to those carolina blue eyes as they focused on the art.
I traced your jawline in my mind,
and I tried to count each hair in your ****** scruff.
I wondered who was responsible for such an incredible work,
who could have created such beauty,
and how I came so lucky to witness it.
At least a thousand other people were in the museum
yet I felt as though it was only you.
You seemingly perfect human being,
your elegantly disheveled hair,
your tired yet lively eyes.
I want to create something with you.
I want to make art so beautiful it radiates,
I want to love you so purely it never ends.
You stopped to get gas on the way back.
I stepped out of the car to take a mental picture of the way those iridescent lights hit your face,
and as I approached,
you kissed me.
This moment was a masterpiece,
the world should have counted my heartbeats.
We broke the kiss and headed home.
I held your hand the whole way.
I have loved art my entire life,
but have never come across
beauty as pure as
I'm falling so fast it's hard to catch my breath.
Your a lie.
you're a thirsty trick only after a stiffened ****.
one nice call and he'll have it all, was no parent for the first fall.
walk a new way with a grand strut keep you're legs shut.
forget the old ****.
Solo cause yolo
Diss Tolo
you trolo!

lol by the way tolo means **** out legss open ;p
From Job

A spirit passed before me: I beheld
The face of immortality unveiled—
Deep sleep came down on every eye save mine—
And there it stood,—all formless—but divine:
Along my bones the creeping flesh did quake;
And as my damp hair stiffened, thus it spake:

“Is man more just than God? Is man more pure
Than He who deems even Seraphs insecure?
Creatures of clay—vain dwellers in the dust!
The moth survives you, and are ye more just?
Things of a day! you wither ere the night,
Heedless and blind to Wisdom’s wasted light!”
Cary Fosback Aug 2012
Dearly departed, we are gathered here today
To gaze in quiet wonder at the beauty of the grave
To remark in awe and gander at the body that here lies
And to spy the stiffened cheekbones beneath her sunken eyes
How pretty can a smile be when placed upon her corpse
While the fruit she has brought us leaks at life's divorce

But the truth is not a tragedy that we have underwent
And timing is imperfect, but in our breast is evident
So let us gather here to celebrate the Joyus Chorus' call
Let's join our hands to embrace the death of one and all
Really depressing poem guys, I'm sorry for that. Sadness has been a theme as of late.
Terry Collett Jan 2013
Benedict went out
with Steinbeck’s wife
and Steinbeck (no not

that Steinbeck, some
other, less know, not
a writer, but a driver)

didn’t know, or if he
did he didn’t show as
if he did. The small hotel

with the hot water tap
running cold, the cold
running hot, the gas

fire blazing like some
dragon in a Disney
cartoon. Steinbeck’s

wife lay on the bed,
her arms outstretched,
her small ***** like

abandoned babes.
Aren’t you coming in
bed? She asked. Sure

I am, Benedict said, just
washing my hands,
about to brush my teeth.

The mirror in the narrow
bathroom was steamed
up, except where his hand

had made a clearing.
He stared at his face,
showed his teeth. Job

done. He spat out wasted
paste. Come on in Honey,
she said, as he climbed into

bed **** naked, his pecker
flopping like a dead goose’s
neck. She killed the lights.

The room flashed on and off
with neon lights from across
the way. Her features shone

up and then went out like
some ancient ghost. She
handled his pecker, her grip

about the base. He put his
hands on her ****, felt flesh,
moved fingers crablike to

where the buttocks met,
the thin crack.  She quickly
manhandled the pecker

into life, stiffened its resolve,
moved into place. That’s nice,
she said, placing fingers on

his back, moving him down.
Benedict seeing her features
flash up and out, thought of

Steinbeck driving his truck,
while he the apprentice was
having his wife, getting the ****.

I was an ice baby.
I turned to sky blue.
My tears became two glass beads.
My mouth stiffened into a dumb howl.
They say it was a dream
but I remember that hardening.

My sister at six
dreamt nightly of my death:
"The baby turned to ice.
Someone put her in the refrigerator
and she turned as hard as a Popsicle."

I remember the stink of the liverwurst.
How I was put on a platter and laid
between the mayonnaise and the bacon.
The rhythm of the refrigerator
had been disturbed.
The milk bottle hissed like a snake.
The tomatoes vomited up their stomachs.
The caviar turned to lave.
The pimentos kissed like cupids.
I moved like a lobster,
slower and slower.
The air was tiny.
The air would not do.
I was at the dogs' party.
I was their bone.
I had been laid out in their kennel
like a fresh turkey.

This was my sister's dream
but I remember that quartering;
I remember the sickbed smell
of the sawdust floor, the pink eyes,
the pink tongues and the teeth, those nails.
I had been carried out like Moses
and hidden by the paws
of ten Boston bull terriers,
ten angry bulls
jumping like enormous roaches.
At first I was lapped,
rough as sandpaper.
I became very clean.
Then my arm was missing.
I was coming apart.
They loved me until
I was gone.


My Dy-dee doll
died twice.
Once when I snapped
her head off
and let if float in the toilet
and once under the sun lamp
trying to get warm
she melted.
She was a gloom,
her face embracing
her little bent arms.
She died in all her rubber wisdom.


I died seven times
in seven ways
letting death give me a sign,
letting death place his mark on my forehead,
crossed over, crossed over

And death took root in that sleep.
In that sleep I held an ice baby
and I rocked it
and was rocked by it.
Oh Madonna, hold me.
I am a small handful.


My mother died
unrocked, unrocked.
Weeks at her deathbed
seeing her ****** herself against the metal bars,
thrashing like a fish on the hook
and me low at her high stage,
letting the priestess dance alone,
wanting to place my head in her lap
or even take her in my arms somehow
and ****** her twisted gray hair.
But her rocking horse was pain
with ***** steaming from her mouth.
Her belly was big with another child,
cancer's baby, big as a football.
I could not soothe.
With every **** and crack
there was less Madonna
until that strange labor took her.
Then the room was bankrupt.
That was the end of her paying.

5. MAX

Max and I
two immoderate sisters,
two immoderate writers,
two burdeners,
made a pact.
To beat death down with a stick.
To take over.
To build our death like carpenters.
When she had a broken back,
each night we built her sleep.
Talking on the hot line
until her eyes pulled down like shades.
And we agreed in those long hushed phone calls
that when the moment comes
we'll talk turkey,
we'll shoot words straight from the hip,
we'll play it as it lays.
when death comes with its hood
we won't be polite.


you lie in my arms like a cherub,
as heavy as bread dough.
Your milky wings are as still as plastic.
Hair soft as music.
Hair the color of a harp.
And eyes made of glass,
as brittle as crystal.
Each time I rock you
I think you will break.
I rock. I rock.
Glass eye, ice eye,
primordial eye,
lava eye,
pin eye,
break eye,
how you stare back!

Like the gaze if small children
you know all about me.
You have worn my underwear.
You have read my newspaper.
You have seen my father whip me.
You have seen my stroke my father's whip.

I rock. I rock.
We plunge back and forth
comforting each other.
We are stone.
We are carved, a pieta
that swings.
Outside, the world is a chilly army.
Outside, the sea is brought to its knees.
Outside, Pakistan is swallowed in a mouthful.

I rock. I rock.
You are my stone child
with still eyes like marbles.
There is a death baby
for each of us.
We own him.
His smell is our smell.
Beware. Beware.
There is a tenderness.
There is a love
for this dumb traveler
waiting in his pink covers.
heavy with cancer or disaster
I will look up at Max
and say: It is time.
Hand me the death baby
and there will be
that final rocking.
Being male, I wander
Mom dares not wonder
What kind of monsters she birthed
She brought her own equipment
I was aggressive but shy

Her womb is the most magnificent
Temple I’ve ever visited
There is nowhere else I want to be
Sister insisted
I stiffened then gave in

Children tease, squeal, scamper
Adults know unspeakable reality
Dizziness of first love
Mayhem, ******
Solemn whisper of infinity

After an uncertain age,
No one wants you anymore
Old women bond
Confer their anger
Old men tread alone

She knew from moment he laid eyes on her, she had him. She wore no make-up, anemic complexion, chin and jawline slightly broken out with red spots, cobalt blue irises, aquiline nose, hair dyed dark, fuzz-balled scarf, light blue fluffy sweater, big buttons, canvas shoulder bag, skinny jeans, leather boots, little boney black dog with ashen appointments. Instantly he fell in love. He confessed, “Your Chinese Crested pup stole my heart.”

In ******* position, neither lover sees other’s face. The top sees backside. The bottom sees what? He didn’t know.

She unlocks the door. He enters room. She tells him what to do, making demands. He follows her orders. She questions, “Why do we dance to these tunes?” He answers, “I want to smell your smells, ****, drink your darkest juices.” She articulates, “Stay,” then kisses him goodbye. She wakes wearing his ring, around her neck. They are each other’s slaves. Ceiling leaks, floor creaks, light beams through window as they waltz arm in arm.

She demands, “I want roast rack of lamb, or thinly sliced Serrano ham on buttered toast for dinner. And then I want to go home alone. I need some down time, away from you. I don’t belong to you, god-****-it!” Deep in financial debt, he hands the waiter his debit card.
Aŧül Apr 2014
Welcome my darling, love welcome.

Enter this realm I created with love,
Into that inner room you follow me.

Stout & charming reddish cylinder,
Curious you look closely at the pole,
Muscles have stiffened up so much.

Eager as we both had expected this,
I look into the lovehole you possess.

In the lovehole I insert my lovepole.
Lovehole: Kisser, mouth
Lovepole: Quite the same, tongue
My HP Poem #607
©Atul Kaushal
Stacey Hecht May 2013
He sat strapped into his chair like a shrunken scarecrow.
A motorized miniature from the Wizard of Oz, roaming the yellow brick road in his chrome chariot.
His clothes hung from his stick thin limbs like fresh wash on a clothesline.
As new as the day his Mom brought them home from the store.
Adournments for a body on display, not designed to be used.

Around and round circles ring, whole, symmetric complete.
But the coil of life, puzzle pieces in a whirl, must be free, infinite, unfettered.
The text misprinted, the logic destroyed, the flesh misshapen, the extremties unusable.

Tied to his wheelchair like the scarecrow to his rack, guarding a field of linoleum on the hospital ward.
His eyes blind to color and light, I saw only clouds as I peered into his mind with my inquisitive scope.
The boy's hair had the texture of straw on his nubbin head and he smelled of dry leaves before the winter's chill.
His useless limbs twisted and fine, delicate as dried twigs, they draped his John Deere in the vegetable garden of his imprisoned life, bound with the barbed wire of his treacherous genes.

He could move his head, and played a game of cat and mouse to us tinmen, who lumbered by his throne with our toolboxes full of bright scopes and latex gloves, frozen saucers and wasp sharp stings.
His head would bow, limp upon his neck like an overripe sunflower at the end of its stalk.
As our footsteps grew louder his Jack-in-the-box head would fly up, a clown's grin upon his silly face.
Was this the boy or his disease we would wonder despite the reruns of his show.
What could he know? This crumpled moonbeam parading as a child in rumpled clothes.

But one day upon a whim, I took him for a ride into the big blue sky and over the rainbow.
I grabbed the handles of his chair and slowly, slowly began to spin.
His head shot up like a shooting star, his twiggy limbs stiffened even more.
Faster and faster, I whirled him and twirled him.
A twister on the hospital floor, sending doctors, nurses and patients diving for cover as we spun, building like cotton candy strands.
His mouth opened wide, a huge smile spread across his face like sunshine pouring over a mountain's edge.
Beams of light speared through the clouds that filled his eyes.
A rusty hinged croak jumped from his throat as he hee-hawed a laugh as I flung him to the moon, ruby red slippers upon his feet.
Those unchained melodies are heard-
slayed and naked, like a lost soul-
wand'ring along a village; a dejected village!
And hark, hark to how they plead!
O, how they beg to be alive, to be free
from the deadness of these winds.
But no-one greets them, with a handful
of care!-how ill, and thievery is,
such inattentiveness! What a smug
egotism!-For these areth living
creatures, not lurking shadows as they'th seemed!
Blackened willows, stiffened dust;
trembling trees, affronted branches-
bending in their nakedness, a scene of vulgarity
with no ******* and sensations-
to capture attention, o, am'rous
attention! How poor these humans are! Brutes
are they to natureth-dappled with disgrace,
insincerely prayin' for more and more to feed their
ungrateful innuendoes-which prey on their
mortality-to fascinate their tongue,
and *****! And elements with no such marks
are out of them, no thinking is set on them;
no moreth! Peek, peek now, at how those
bountiful thorns blureth, and dieth!-at the scorn
and rivalry amongst humans-and still no-one bothers
kindethly-to eventh peek at 'em, yon miserable,
pitiful creatures! But 'ose humans, whose spitefulness
is awayth from b'ing praiseworthy, are aboundth with
death; cannot they defy it, inescapable as it's always
been-for death is not destined to dieth-never!
Thus thy sins, humans, wilt swing thy joys into swamps
of guilt, denial, and suffrage-be unafraid of which,
straighten thy chins-for these are all what thou'th
deserved, all along! Thou'th betrayed nature, and now
thy souls wilt be thy subtlest enemy-thy veiled threat!-
beware of 'tis, but still perchance, it is futile to
exhort thee-now and again! Thou art stained with
remorse, and prefereth doth thou-to follow thy own
course, rather than nature's bliss's vows.
Oh, yes, he is immortal.
Immortal in his youthfulness indeed!
He shall age and grow but never change;
he shall wane and wither just in pain!
Just like a stubborn day rainfall-
ah! which remains a thick stifling veil
to our young sky, and its starlights-
like a loyal fence and its old window;
sitting and hoping that endings shall never show
Yes, he shall but still look the same tomorrow.

Ah! In his silliness and bold playfulness,
he sometimes makes fun of his own madness,
with a conscience that somehow be rapid
and cheerful smiles so genuine and sweet.
Like a miracle in one dull puppet show
He canst list five jokes in a row!
But a certain poison is in his blood;
and unreachable thoughts forever colour his heart.
His youthful lips are full of secret tales;
and his white skin can at times be pale.
His stories are songs we've never sung
and his breaths are simply words to my poetic lungs.
With daring steps that this earth never fails
into the moors every morning he sails.
Once I found him behind the walls
among the long corridor of my halls.
With lightness he sounded plain but sure
Yet the cold outside made him obscure;
his purity was like a shadow of lightning
so calm but innocent and bewitching.
But as soon as gales wafted through the grass
He would once again; flock away into its mass.
Glee, glee, was what then astonished my poetry;
with tears and feelings that might have lit-
o, immortal man, I have only words to play with!

And ah! How once I startled him by my lover's name;
which he enquired more without any shame.
But envious was my heart's flame-
and delight was sadly never there to tame.
I ran, and ran away-without staring back at him,
no matter how absurd it'ght hath seemed!
With turmoils that were inside of me-
I clouded his picture once more,
stiffened by cries, but hated by my own delight-
scarred by lies, and loathed by very fright-
but now and then he would spring back into my steps,
demanding me to give what had been said away,
but I sped and hurried 'till he no more tapped,
and was turned aback and into his own day.
O, immortal man, please just forgive-o forgive me,
for I shalt have no more courage to face thee.

And lust, and love are but my forbidden triumph
Which he can only be see within my poems.
With his hands that shall stay awake forever-
and never age behind eternal rains and thunder;
to every single day he shall wake gladly in wonder.
Gazing through his very own unnatural universe
with holy regrets but intense admiration
But sadly his life might never be my verse;
neither his charms ever be my wifely laudation.
The fate of his might just not be my course;
and as how my being; is not his envied incarnation.

But blessings be with him, whoever's precious treasure
and be pains his heart shalt never endure.
O, immortal man, our paths are one, but never meet;
and forever are just enemies like coldness is to heat.
Again whenst I am to die I shalt remember thee;
for being more awesome than even the lake
and more delightful than any words canst take.
Ah! And thy silliness is one that makes thee so special
and even lighter than letters that hide behind the wall.
How thou would be one of my firsts to call!
Just like how thou art always immortal;
as thy portrait is eternally young and genial;
from which my pondering eyes shall never stir;
as whispers my human heart forever longs to hear.

— The End —