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Cné Aug 2018
The evening's still and quiet
and the katydids abound.
The flag is hanging listlessly
as I listen to their sound.

Desultory the summer air,
as though the world awaits,
"Something evil this way comes."
the foe is at the gates.

A feeling of impending doom
accompanies the air.
Nothing moves.
A stifling presence hovers over there.

Like a blanket, smothering
t'is much too hard to breathe.
And yet, my arms are paralyzed
and sword, I can't unsheathe.

I watch as shadows gather
in miasma up the street.
A harbinger of evil
with an odor, sickly sweet.

I feel it getting nearer
and my heart beats fast with fright.
What imagination ...
on a stifling summer night.
It’s the dog days of summer!
some say we should keep personal remorse from the
poem,
stay abstract, and there is some reason in this,
but jezus;
twelve poems gone and I don't keep carbons and you have
my
paintings too, my best ones; its stifling:
are you trying to crush me out like the rest of them?
why didn't you take my money? they usually do
from the sleeping drunken pants sick in the corner.
next time take my left arm or a fifty
but not my poems:
I'm not Shakespeare
but sometime simply
there won't be any more, abstract or otherwise;
there'll always be mony and ****** and drunkards
down to the last bomb,
but as God said,
crossing his legs,
I see where I have made plenty of poets
but not so very much
poetry.
Pagan Paul Aug 2018
.
i.
Smoke coils up and dissipates,
soon the images will be clear,
as she stares with cold contempt,
into the depths of the Seers Sphere.
And she stands toking her pipe,
watching as the story unfolds,
soon her hate will boil once more,
unleashing her vengeance of old.

ii.
Smoke coils up and dissipates,
a thousand lifetime's away,
blackened stone and charred bodies,
the remains of a village destroyed.
The flames still licking at the flesh
and melting mortar of cottage walls.
Raiding horsemen ride off cheering,
with swords, shields and firebrands,
carrying amidst them a prisoner,
their prize and sport for the victory feast.
Savages are these violent men,
barbaric in their wanton lust for war,
the red mist and the ****** fury,
it's all they really have a care for.

iii.
She waits with patient seething,
her moments will arrive so soon,
the spilling of her black arts,
witnessed by a Woman's Moon.

iv.
The Vale was so beautiful lush and green.
Steep sided, oak trees, clear blue stream.
With fresh grass on which horses grazed,
and smooth rocks where wild fowl lazed.

v.
But the leader here was not a man,
she was the daughter of this warrior clan.
Fierce, cold, she barked out her orders;
build a fire, make food, secure the borders.
Her status unquestioned by her riders,
they would all fight and die beside her,
and as the camp grew out much wider,
her boot casually crushes a hated spider.

vi.
Manacles held her ankle fast,
shackled as she was to a tree.
Withdrawn, shivering with cold,
still seeing her burning family.
Images scorch her private intimacy,
awaiting the moment of her epiphany,
eyes watching with careless vacancy,
preparations for the nights ceremony.
But she would not co-operate,
would not give her jailers pleasure,
as she knows these last few hours
would seem to her like forever …

and Nature weeps with a prelude to grieve,
as the Maiden pulls a dagger from her sleeve.


… deny them their sport she will,
placing the dagger 'neath her breast,
a sharp tug towards her heart,
a thousand nightmares laid to rest.

vii.
A thousand lifetime's away,
smoke coils up and dissipates,
a cackle rents the air like ice,
the time her Woman's Moon anticipates.
And the instant arrives with joy,
as the Seers Sphere is thrown,
shattering and cackling hold hands,
as the glass touches solid stone.
At that moment of contact with rock,
time slips into a reverberating shock.

viii.
The Vale was so beautiful lush and green.
Steep sided, oak trees, clear blue stream.
With fresh grass on which horses grazed,
and smooth rocks where wild fowl lazed.

And the earth heaved and tremored,
shaking the Vales languid peace,
uprooting trees with tremendous urge,
rending the loamy soil from beneath.
Frenzied horses scatter with fright,
and men are thrown up high,
screams and shouts of piercing pain,
and the stream suddenly runs dry.
The quake unsettles the warriors camp,
leaving many broken bones and blood.
Then an ominous deafening roar
heralds the arrival of the coming flood.
And water coursed fast into the Vale,
no longer pretending to be calmer.
All living men drowned and dead,
encumbered by their heavy armour.
But she was much fleeter of foot
and ran hard as the waters rose.
Tripped by a treacherous branch,
head banged, stunned, her eyes closed.

ix.
Sunrise saw many things.
Smoke coiling up and dissipating,
over the ruins of a village,
crows and dogs feasting well.
It saw
the hooded robed figure of a woman,
squatting on top a new grave,
smoke coiling up from her pipe,
cackling …

x.
She awoke in darkness.
It didn't take long to panic and scream.
It took no time to realise,
she was sealed naked in a coffin.
And she screamed and screamed.
Pushing at the sides, the lid.
The air was heavy, stifling, stifling, stifling.
Precious oxygen running out.
The coffin moved, and she screamed,
desperately scratching and scratching.
And in the box she heard … cackling.
Her frantic screams turn to sobs of pleading
to be let out, to breathe, to live.
She felt something touch her inner thigh,
she screamed, as it touched again feint.
Brushing it away as the voice cackled on,
more tickles on her thighs, she screamed.
And something landed on her face.
The feel of a large spider on her mouth,
and she screamed and screamed.
But the cackling persisted
as she scratched at the wood,
her fingernails shredding to pieces,
but the wooden prison gave no quarter,
the skin raw and bloodied,
scratching, scratching, scratching.
And in her tomb she screams,
she screams and screams and screams.

xi.
… sunrise saw many things.
It saw a new river,
wending its way to the sea,
caressing the contoured land,
it saw horses running wild,
across the lush grass on plains.
It saw
the hooded robed figure of a woman,
standing beside a new grave,
as she places the flame dagger
upon the Maiden's final resting place,
it saw
ice blue eyes of fire and malevolence.
Weeping.


© Pagan Paul (02/08/18)
.
3rd poem in Judderwitch series.
https://hellopoetry.com/poem/2076298/judderwitch-the-beginning/
https://hellopoetry.com/poem/1923972/judderwitch/

Today, Aug 2nd, marks two years on hp for me.
Thankyou to all those who have supported and helped me over these last 2 years. You are all greatly appreciated :) PPx xox
Sophia Granada Nov 2012
Sweet-lipped Psyche's pale white skin
All the men in Greece dragged in.
And the poor girl's dark brown eyes
Led Aphrodite her to despise.
For Psyche truly was a beauty,
Reputed as brighter than Aphrodite.
If Aphrodite was a dark red rose,
Of which we've written poetry and prose,
Psyche was a pure-white Aganisia
For which they wrote a deep-sea saga.
But she knew it was sore unwise
To find herself level with a Goddess' eyes.
The only proof needed for Psyche
Was the sad fate of the maiden Arachne,
Who challenged Athena to a weaving contest,
And though her tapestry was judged the best,
It was she that ended as the melancholy loser,
For Athena punished her with the life of a spider.
And so it was that Psyche knew
Aphrodite wold claim her life too.
So Aphrodite sent her son,
The lovely, winged, holy one,
Whose golden arrows fly at night
And relieve bored lovers of their plights.
She sent Eros to shoot his arrow
And pierce it through to Psyche's marrow,
Then set before her a crocodile,
The scaly terror of the Nile,
With which she'd fall in love straightway,
And then she'd come to rue the day.
For crocodiles have no love to give,
So it would eat her, and she'd cease to live.
On the sleeping Psyche Eros descended,
Long before the night had ended,
In whose dainty breast to shove
A golden arrow poisoned with love.
He prepared to bury it to the hilt,
But a drop of love on him was spilt,
At the moment he saw her eyes, dark brown,
Look to him and stare him down.
Then Eros went back to his mother
And told her he could not wed another
Who did not shine quite so brightly
As his sweet-lipped brown-eyed Psyche.
So spiteful Aphrodite cursed
Psyche through her red lips pursed,
That the girl would find no husband
Among God, animal, or man.
And Eros this so greatly angered
He could no more with arrows linger
At the foot of lovers' beds
To foster love in their young heads.
The entire world then ceased to love
Whether it walked on foot or hoof.
Whether it swam or flew on wing
It could not love nor gain others' loving.
When love no longer circulated,
Aphrodite it aggravated
To see her temple lying bare
And to feel the gray growing in her hair.
She told Eros he'd have what he desired
If only he would kindle love's fires.
So at the mountain, Psyche's family offered her
And she was borne away on the back of Zephyr
To Eros' golden gay abode
That he and his ghostly servants called home.
In the golden rooms she wandered by daylight,
But she lay with Eros in the dark when came night.
She knew not who her darling was,
But called her ignorance a test of trust.
Never to look upon him by day,
She continued in this way,
Until she longed to visit her family,
Which her husband granted her gladly.
But he held her, and he warned her
Not to let her sisters persuade her.
"They may try to tear you away
By telling you gruesome stories." he'd say.
Then, trippingly, from Olympus she jumped down
To walk the streets of her hometown.
She told her sisters her whole story
And they turned it into something gory.
"He could be a serpent," they'd say,
"Fattening you up for the day
When he can pop you in his mouth and eat you"
Unfortunately, she took their words as true.
"So, when he comes to you at night,
Just gaze on him by candlelight!
If he's a serpent, use this knife,
And you'll no longer be his wife.
But make sure not to spill the oil,
Or his waking will cause great turmoil!
We'll find out about that young buck!
Use the candle, the knife, don't spill, and good luck!"
She walked back to the palace at their behest,
Butterflies banging within her chest.
Could the faceless man with whom she'd spent her nights
Be revealed as a serpent by candlelight?
She did not have to wait for long
To prove her treacherous sisters wrong.
As she lay in the great soft bed,
The instructions tangled inside her head,
And lighting the candle, she almost fumbled,
But when she saw his face, she truly stumbled!
Eros' beauty knocked her senseless,
Leaving mortal Psyche defenseless,
And causing her to spill the oil, which smoldered
On Eros' godly golden shoulder.
He, awaking with a start
Was disappointed to his heart
That Psyche cold be so unfaithful
And make a decision so egregiously fatal.
Then, jumping from the casing, he flew
Out of Psyche's lustful view.
And she, for her part, suddenly found
That from the palace she'd been cast down
To a field of which she had no memory,
Or very dim, if she had any.
In despair, she began to flounder,
Then resigned herself to wander
Until she came to a temple edifice,
Which was, on Earth, Aphrodite's face,
And begged the unseen Goddess hear her out,
Trying her patience with childish whining shouts.
Aphrodite, trying only to divert,
Cast a basket of grains down to the dirt,
And told the weeping lovely malcontent
That if she sorted the grains 'fore day was spent,
She just may see her sweetheart once again.
All she had to do was sort the grain.
But Psyche, though her fingers were dainty and thin,
To separate the grains could not begin,
And sobbing, lay upon the stony floor
That was as cold as the Goddess had acted before.
The ants, which had been drawn to the golden grain,
Bore her load and relieved her of her pain.
In their famously sure and straight black line,
They each picked up a piece of grain so fine
That it might with ease pass through a needle,
And into order they the sweet grain wheedled.
Then at the very setting of the sun,
Aphrodite found the task was done,
And though she praised the poor girl outwardly,
Inside she felt the bloom of hate for Psyche.
So she set her down on one side of a stream,
Where on the other was a field of green,
In which lived Helios' golden sheep
From which she was to obtain some shining fleece.
Then Aphrodite left her there to play,
And flew to Mount Olympus far away.
But Flumen, God of Rivers, raised his head
To warn sweet Psyche from his riverbed
That the sheep were so fierce, if she but pulled one hair,
They'd all turn on her and eat her then and there.
It was better if she waited 'til midday
When the sheep lay down to sleep the heat away.
Then she could cross where the river rushes,
And pick the wool that had got caught in the bushes.
So Psyche followed Flumen's good advice,
And for Aphrodite's cruelty she paid no price.
Aphrodite's blood boiled when she saw
That Psyche had survived it after all.
Again, she tried to send her to her death
And charged her to collect water from a cleft
Which mortal humans could not enter,
And in which serpents would surely spend her.
But now it was an eagle came to her aid,
Who stormed inside and flew between the snakes,
Then picked a pouch of water in its beak,
And back out of the cleft to Psyche it sneaked.
Aphrodite, at her dastardly wit's end,
Devised a horrible place for her to Psyche send.
"Psyche, caring for my ailing son
Has drained each drop of beauty, every one,
From my former glory of a face.
Therefore, I command you to that place
Where Persephone dwells. Then you must beg
For some of her beauty, just a tiny dreg.
Then you may have my son, I give my promise,
As holding him from you has marred my face."
Then Psyche, with tears streaming from her eyes,
Decided the only way there was to die.
In what she had appointed her fatal hour,
She climbed up to the top of a high tower,
But her melancholy was so disturbingly great,
All the Universe moved to it abate,
So that the very tower she climbed upon,
Awoke and spoke to her as if a person.
"Psyche, there is a way to the Underworld alive,
So that you need not from my roofing dive."
And to the Underworld the tower gave her
A route and some directions just to save her,
Then it sternly warned her that not of meat,
Nor of anything but bread in Hades could she eat.
So she followed the Tower's path back down
And disappeared into the heaving ground.
And when she found herself before Persephone's throne
She asked to take a parcel of her beauty home,
Which the emotionless Queen of the Screaming ******
Without word placed in Psyche's quivering hand.
The hardest part of the impossible task being done,
Psyche headed back up toward the sun,
And, reasoning that she was to see her beloved before nightfall,
Decided to use some beauty from the parcel.
Inside she found not beauty, but a stifling sleep,
Which forever in its clutches would she keep
If Eros had not chancely happened by,
And wiped Persephone's sleep from Psyche's eye.
Then, carrying her on his back, he barged
Into the Hall of the Olympian Gods.
He bade them let him wed himself and Psyche
And disregard the protests of Aphrodite.
Then Jupiter, indeed, allowed it obligingly,
For he was a man who greatly enjoyed a party.
Ambrosia she was given so to seal
Her immortality and place her among the surreal.
Then after many years of love and laughter,
Psyche bore Hedone, their lovely daughter.
This is how the beauty of the Human Soul,
Triumphed over the beauty of lust and gold.
All this Eros and Psyche had to take.
All this they endured for their love's sake.
They demonstrate the purity of love,
That is admired by Gods above.
In the end, it is the pure Mariposa
Who is more deserving of ambrosia.
I have known that the sun can hear thunder
and how its brightness
can be unfathomable,
like my dreams.
Since the beginning of my pulse
I have been honored
with good days
that left me grateful
inside of the sweetness
never stifling.........
within all it means.

When midnight kisses the glass
that morning has already
tasted......
Like a thirsty spider
crying out........
for the rain.
All of my senses are
swept through
knowing, my words don't fall
on deaf ears......
or stand there,
all wasted.

No, you cannot know how I'm feeling
but that doesn't mean
our world's stopped spinning.
The sun.......
can still hear thunder
in all the ways you love me.
You lift me up
in the midst of a storm.
All my senses are swept through
my words stand in stillness
a storm's ending......
is love's beginning.
Copyright 2012 - Neva Flores - Changefulstorm
JR Rhine Jan 2017
I broke up with God
at our favorite eatery
in our favorite booth.

We settled into familiar creases
and asked for the usual.

My eyes lazily staring at fingers
stirring the straw around the ice cubes,
God cautiously spoke up:

“Is something wrong?”

“Nothing.” (Thinking about the dormant phone
concealing behind the lock screen
the open Facebook tab
lingering over the relationship status section.)

They silently mused over the laconic reply,
til the waitress showed up with the food.

“Thank you!” God blurted with agonizing alacrity.

I received the sustenance lifelessly
and aimlessly poked at the burgers and fries.

The waitress eyed me with vague inquisition,
popping a bubble in the gum between
big teeth, refilled my water
and pirouetted hastily.

We ate in ostensible harmony,
the silence gripping like a chokehold,
the visible anxiety and subdued resolve
settling like a stifling blanket
over the child waking
from a nightmare—

Til we couldn’t breathe,
and I ripped back the covers
and looked into the eyes
of my tormentor.

“It’s not you, it’s me.”

God, taken aback by the curt statement,
dropped their burger with shaking hands,
silently begging with wetting eyes
a greater explanation.

So I elaborated:

“It’s not you, it’s me.

For your immaculate conception
was created by human hands,

your adages rendered obsolete
by human words,

your purpose and plan for us
distorted by human nature—

I cannot hate myself any longer.

I cannot pretend to know you at all.

Who my mother and father say you are
is not who my friends think you are,
nor my teachers, my pastor,
the president, Stephen Hawking,
Muhammed, the KKK, Buddha,
the Westboro Baptist Church,
Walt Whitman, Derek Zanetti,
******,
and Billy Graham.

I am told you care who I bring into bed (and when),
and what movies I watch,
and what music I listen to—

I have not heard what you say about
child soldiers, the use of mosquitos,
or the increased destruction of the earth
which you proudly proclaimed your creation,
or the poverty and disease and famine
which has ridden so many of your children—”

God interjected,
“But you’re chosen!”

I snorted,

“You say I’m chosen
to spend eternity with you—
why me?

Why’d you pick me among
thousands, millions, billions?

I’ve been told I’m ‘chosen’
since birth
by others like me—

those with fair complexion,
blue eyes,
blonde hair,
a firm overt ****** attraction towards women,
and a great big house
with immaculate white fences
delineating their Jericho.

I’ve already fabricated eternity
here among the other ‘chosen’
and there is a world of suffering
right outside the fence
and I see them
through the window of my bedroom
every day.

Am I chosen,
if I don’t vote Republican

Am I chosen
if I am Pro-Choice

Am I chosen
if I cohabitate with my girlfriend

Am I chosen
if I never have kids

Am I chosen
if I say ‘Happy Holidays’

Am I chosen
if I don’t want public prayer in schools

Am I chosen
if I don’t want a Christian nation

Am I chosen
if I don’t repost you on my wall
or retweet your adages?

I’m tired
being the ubermensch,
for it has not brought me
happiness
and I blame you.

I will not ignore
the cries of the suffering
believing it is I
who is destined to live
in bliss.

I will not buy
Joel Osteen’s autobiography(ies).

I will not tithe
you my money
for a megachurch
when another homeless shelter
closes down.

I will not tell a woman
what to do with her body,
or a man
that he is a man
if they say they are not.

I am neither Jew nor Gentile,
and I will stand with
my brothers and sisters
of Faith and Faithlessness,

Gay and Straight,
Black and White,

and apart from these extremes
free from absolutes
the ambiguous, amorphous
nature of Humankind
which I praise.

There is much pain and suffering
in this world,
potentially preventable,
but hardly can I believe
it’s part of your plan
to save
me.

I will not be saved
if we are not
all saved—

not one will burn
for my divinity.

The gates will be open to all—
and perhaps you believe that too,
but I’ve gotten you all wrong
and that cannot change,
as long as there is
mortality, and
corruption, and
power, and
lust, and
greed.”

God whined, growing bellicose,

“It is through me that you will find eternity,
I am the one true god!
I am the God of your fallen ancestors,
it is because you have fallen short
that you need me!”

I replied, growing in confidence,

“We have all fallen short,
yes,
but we are also magnificent.

We have evolved,
we have created,
we have adapted,
we have survived.

We have built empires,
and we have destroyed them.

We have cured diseases,
and we have created them.

We have done much in your name.
We’ve done good,
and we’ve done evil—

And unfortunately it’s all about
who you ask.

Your name is a burden on the oppressed
and a weapon of the oppressor.

You are abusive, God.

You tell me you are jealous.

You tell me apart from you I will suffer for an eternity.

I’m scared to die, yet want to die,
because of you.

You have made life a waiting room
that is now my purgatory. It is

Hell On Earth.

So you see,
it’s not you,
it’s me—
a mere mortal
who has tried to put a face
to eternity
and it has left me
empty.

And also,
it’s me,
for I have learned to love me,
as I have expelled your self-loathing imbibition,
and the deleterious zeal
I have proclaimed
through ceaseless
trepidation
and self-flagellation—

I have learned to love me
by realizing I am not inherently evil,
that my body is not evil,
that my mind is not evil,
and, ultimately, that
there is no good
and there is no evil.

My body is beautiful,
my mind is beautiful,
this world is beautiful,
and we are destroying it
waiting for you to claim
us.

I leave you
in hopes to see you
again one day,

and perhaps you will look
different than I have
perceived or imagined,

and in fact
I certainly hope so.”

Just then the waitress strolled back up
with a servile smile:
“Dessert?”

“No, thank you,”
I smiled politely.

And with that,
I paid the check,
and took a to-go box—

walked out into the evening rain
to my car,
put on a secular song
that meant something real to me
and drove off
into the night—

feeling for the first time
free
and alive.
Nickols Nov 2012
A bleak motive, turning in a black backwards motion.
Fluent in rushing, pursuant in the crushing.
Ebony wood, the serenity compared to the knife.
A stifling recollection, within the house of corrections.
Was it a natural selection, gazing within the angel's reflection?
Garbed in white, and in her conviction.

A change of direction, now...

The resurrection of our mutual affection,
Was it over protection, or was it just mental rejection?
The pain was only an imperfection, built within all our disconnection.
My sense of direction gone within your vertical selection,
left with words- sharp like a needle;
sticking an intravenous injections.

So, should I offer my protection? Moments, within sight of the point of intersection?

No, keep on...
Keep on spreading the **rejection infection.
topacio Nov 2015
my fingers have become bored with
the quicksand of routine
they prefer to dance erotically over my typewriter
frolicking like naked ballerinas
over an ancient stage
spilling their secret thoughts
onto blank page,
after their day job
threaded together
over my lap,
or bending over to
reveal the contents
of my burlap sack

they have taken instead
to jumping over cracks
in the nothing of night
stifling the sound of silence
with assortments of clicks and clacks
punching in the perfect pitch of keys
to leave Beethoven blind
from this symphony of notes combined

and just like that at last
they have unfolded some rhyme
unachievable with ink and pencil,
without the stencil of time
dictating to work inside the lines
paprika Oct 2012
Only love her when she's dead
Swallowed whole by words unsaid
She sleeps among our gritty lies
A stab of truth to open eyes.

She walked among the living, shamed
Burdoned by the sharpest pain
It slid beneath her skin like glass
Haunting her with days that passed.

She never meant for this goodbye
But solace comes in quick demise
Now she's a thought and nothing more
A bruised and broken opened door.

She tried to tell us what she saw
The chafing life that rubbed her raw
We closed our eyes, our ears, our souls
And bundled up against the cold.

You see a perfect amber girl
Preserved in another world
But she will soon be cast away
Overcome by future days.

To keep the stifling guilt at bay
We give her life in hollow ways
Born again by selfish needs
An angel just to give us peace.

We act like we respect her pain
But we're just scared we'll do the same
She was not too perfect for this world
But just another broken girl.
Kevin Lee Feb 2015
Crash
Amnesia blaring in your ears.
Piano running through its arpeggio
as you hear muffled questions being
shouted from a distance.
Take off your helmet.
Remove your ear buds.
Open your eyes to a disgusting amount of dead valley sky.
It's time for you to sit up.
Engine still puttering like a champ.
The stranger mutters something like,
"That's a lot of blood. Are you ok?"
Stifling ***** and a laugh you reply,
"Feelin' fine. Never better."
You notice that he's still in his car.
He didn't even roll down his window fully. This is the extent of help or empathy you've come to expect.
The taste of iron fills your mouth.
You spit. Crimson.
You smile. Fake.
You wave him on.
It's time to work. It's a process.
Margo Polo May 2014
Last night I
had a dream that
you died.
Everyone we knew
came, said their I’m-so-sorry’s,
and
left, filtering out the front door
slowly
like sand through a sideways sifter,
leaving behind pieces,
words and memories
and casseroles I
could not taste.

And the whole time
everyone was here,
you were here, too.
I could hear
you, smell
you, feel
you.
I could feel you
surrounding me like the ghost of the baby blanket
I once had and could never leave at home.
I loved you here and here you would stay, with me,
and now you would never leave.
I could keep you.
You were bound to me.

But the ties that bind are tight and you did not like me leaving.
You could not go with me and
you
accidentally
and without words
by holding, enveloping,
suffocating
you told me
that you did not want me to ever leave again.
So I stopped.
I stopped leaving.
And the calls stopped, too.
The invites. The lunches. The impromptu trips to town.
All unnecessary noise.
The people left. And then it was just you and me.

Until one day I saw what you had done.
Tripping
I glanced in the mirror and saw.
You had etched yourself into my face.
Dug with your nails
terrifying ravines
escaping the corners
of my eyes. Pulled down
my mouth and every
shallow natural valley turned to
deep empty bowl, hungry and wanting.
My eyes no longer held light.
I saw this, all evidence against you,
and I still loved you.
You had hurt me in ways you never had
while you were here – here – and I knew.
And I still loved you.

Slinking up the stairs
I called you to me. I felt you surround
faster than before and
closer, tighter, colder.
Suffocating, stifling and
so destructive in how you loved me.

Slowly but faster
I grew to know
I would not become you and
you would not become me.
We were stuck on other sides of the mirror.
I was so angry
at what you had allowed me
made me
begged me to become.
Realizing
I gasped and put
hand to heart
it hurt so.
I stood upright
how long have I been bent
took in one long deep breath of stuffy air
how long since I opened the windows
and called you to me
when have I last heard a voice not my own
called you to listen.

I felt the loss of everything else
friends
family
adventure
excitement.
Nothing was left of that here
and I was so angry
and I am so sorry
and I yelled
      I screamed
      I roared
why are you still here
why are you making me like you
why did you come here and
hold me
and keep me here with you
I am not the one who is dead
and I said
and I regret
and I am so sorry
I can’t have you here
go away
and
leave me alone

and you did.
You left me
all alone.

Why would you leave me?
Cori MacNaughton Jun 2015
Abuser

Simple pleasures
Causing pain
Building up
To strike again
Draw them in
Shut them out
Weaving lies
Creating doubt
Love to take
But never give
Life expected
Not to live
Stealing hope
Stifling breath
Broken promise
Courting death
Cruel intention
Deed is done
Self-inflicted
Sparing none

Cori MacNaughton
8Apr99
This poem was inspired by a number of people in my life, from the abusers to those I saw abused, many of whom seemed complicit in their abuse, if only by their refusal (or inability) to stand up for themselves.  I also knew many people, including myself on occasion, who were their own worst abusers.

Please note that this was emotional abuse, as I would never have stood by without calling the authorities had physical abuse been involved.

I read this poem at the monthly meditation meeting I attended shortly after I wrote the poem.
Thinking, tangling shadows in the deep solitude.
You are far away too, oh farther than anyone.
Thinking, freeing birds, dissolving images,
burying lamps.

Belfry of fogs, how far away, up there!
Stifling laments, milling shadowy hopes,
taciturn miller,
night falls on you face downward, far from the city.

Your presence is foreign, as strange to me as a thing.
I think, I explore great tracts of my life before you.
My life before anyone, my harsh life.
The shout facing the sea, among the rocks,
running free, mad, in the sea-spray.
The sad rage, the shout, the solitude of the sea.
Headlong, violent, stretched towards the sky.

You, woman, what were you there, what ray, what vane
of that immense fan? You were as far as you are now.
Fire in the forest! Burn in blue crosses.
Burn, burn, flame up, sparkle in trees of light.

It collapses, crackling. Fire. Fire.
And my soul dances, seared with curls of fire.
Who calls? What silence peopled with echoes?
Hour of nostalgia, hour of happiness, hour of solitude.
Hour that is mine from among them all!
Megaphone in which the wind passes singing.
Such a passion of weeping tied to my body.

Shaking of all the roots,
attack of all the waves!
My soul wandered, happy, sad, unending.

Thinking, burying lamps in the deep solitude.

Who are you, who are you?
LDuler Jun 2013
First came the false presumptions of luxury
The gaudy glamour
Bright dresses and dark suits
Awkward glances and ****** food
Eventually though
The evening settled down
And then, after the smoking and drinking
Came 1 o'clock, the worn-out end of a hazy day

Suddenly,
It was a smother of time,
a stifling landscape of clocks
a decaying of darkness
The night gave way to trembling cold delirium
And slow and slow down
A slide from reality
Everything fell

I remember barely a glimmer- a hand, an arm, red sheets somewhere
Eyes that whispered "what's wrong with her? what's her deal?"
Or worse yet, faces that didn't care
To see me, my wrists
Appalling in all their shivering shaken chill dust
In moments like this,
I am nothing but a fearful machine
Broken in its deepest workings,
All function altered.

Clamors and tremors of panic
Withered illusions gathered at my feet like kittens
I tossed the blanket from the makeshift bed
Lay upon my back and waited
Watched, frightened, the night revealing
The hundred ignoble, vile images
Of which my thoughts seems consisted of

They flickered at bit- against the burgundy hammock
And empty Baccardi bottles
2 o'clock shook the memory
A crowd of twisted things,
Torn and stained and coiling about my wrists
I move by the sway of these thoughts that are curled around me
-The notion of some infinitely suffering thing

Oh I only need a lighthouse
To guide my soon-to-be shipwreck home
I only need a compass, a crucifix, a presence
But never
never to be found
the way
Sic transit gloria mundi
Kiva Beth Oct 2017
Once it started opening up,
Like a wound, the pearl sheen of skin
deepening into a red
As rare as the perfect rose
And just as treasured.

Bones dense around my heart
And lock themselves in place.
Stifling the voice - two beats -
The third one silent.

The fourth,
The fifth,
The third.

You are my arms outreached but selfish,
Hands open but stiff,
Palms red.
On my skin I wear the bands of shielded sun.
Commitment to the heart makes this skin colour run.
With one liberal hand, I tear down these branches being hung,
to shower in yellowed leaf confetti.

These forest roots ran like hair line skull fractures,
under canopies blooming red from the sunlight rapture
and now these trees leave their taller brothers to fall as ashes,
with ivy on my ankles, stifling hope up to my chin.

Living memories, my forest sheltered, scrambled for home;
small pretty beasts, unrefined, breathing caricatures with bones.
Screaming they beg for attention, inattentive to this situation as a whole.
Our own view is all we can consider.

This house of cards built on paper-cuts, from the trees before.
I'm now growing wiser to my winter freeze and your summer thaw.
I need all of these things I hate about me, and they can never be ignored;
a psychological pre-disposition, the only one I can afford.
it didn’t take a lot a look a few words a few more looks bam not that any girl stuck around and so it was on to the next nothing is precious everything is possible forget what you know leave the road behind invent dance new dance cough spit breathe dance verbs multiplying gazillions of verbs stars what is it about art in my mind i hear all these things i was going to express all these itches scratch pick scabs get drunk write poetry dance ******* in your mouth ******* in my mouth salty sea surfing waves Caravaggio Courbet Turner Goya Ad Reinhardt Rothko Rimbaud Johnny Unitas Walter Payton Annie Proulx Patty Berglund Hannah Wilke Kim Gordon dark clouds rainbows meteor showers lantern licorice amethyst bone

in the end it’s you and your maker ashes to ashes dust to dust Mom questions it’s 4:30 PM December in Chicago and pitch black i don’t understand it’s not supposed to be this dark this cold she imagines a past that never existed events never occurred

these old bones rattle and shake tremble and quake quiver and ache

it will be daylight soon and i am unprepared so terribly unfit for a new dawn suddenly realize tomorrow is today

these old bones rattle and shake tremble and quake quiver and ache

when people die in masses is it any less lonely more comforting than when you die individually or is dying solitary for everyone

these old bones rattle and shake tremble and quake quiver and ache

redemption is a powerful force but what if existence actually does not present second chances and we must live with the consequence of our mistakes

these old bones rattle and shake tremble and quake quiver and ache

if there is an afterlife do i have any say in it or are we all merely lost baggage tossed from airport to airport

these old bones rattle and shake tremble and quake quiver and ache

what if travelers at airports were met with welcoming arms shared stories food instead of suspicion body scanners separation boarding seating procedures

these old bones rattle and shake tremble and quake quiver and ache

i built a magnificent sandcastle with wide open rooms interesting views spacious bathrooms huge kitchen secret places winding stairways auspicious towers swinging rope bridges welcoming gates but the tide washed it all away

these old bones rattle and shake tremble and quake quiver and ache

i cry yet know not why am i a ***** i must take the goose by the neck whatever that means

these old bones rattle and shake tremble and quake quiver and ache

speaking personally i’m never interested in the last bite only the first bite the middle tastes rather bland all chewing gulping automatic consumption talking swallowing stifling gases

these old bones rattle and shake tremble and quake quiver and ache

horses mate with donkeys then out comes mules yet mules cannot propagate nature is so strange mysterious what is it about the attraction between donkeys and horses

these old bones rattle and shake tremble and quake quiver and ache

2 gorgeous petite charming sweet young girls are subletting my place in Tucson i imagine ménage à trios or relationship with either one of them then realized how improper my thoughts will i ever learn

these old bones rattle and shake tremble and quake quiver and ache

Reiko likes hanging out naked if the door is locked and they’re in for the evening she strips Reiko is one of those women who look better without clothes the curls under her arms are growing in dark thick her bush is filling out even her **** is hidden by silky brown hairs he cannot stop checking her out she pretends not to be aware as she trims her toenails he leers **** your cooch looks tasty Odys i like that you can speak crude to me he murmurs you really like that she answers yes i really like that he sees himself in her he is deep in sleep wakes by her hand pulling his hand down to her ***** bone he stirs confused in half sleep as she continues tugging his hand Odysseus realizes what Reiko wants it is 3 AM he touches her there warm distended begins to massage wetness gushes moves down bed puts face there she presses pumping grinding whispering repeatedly i want to *** so bad his mouth tongue breath work her hands grip his head push unyielding muscles stiffen arch shudder continues licking until her body lies still crawls up kisses her forehead hair bodies spoon fall to sleep in the morning he comments you were a naughty little girl last night Reiko grins answers i had an orangutan attack he questions an orangutan attack she confesses yeah they both laugh he has never known a woman so fierce urgent to ****** Reiko has a man’s libido she reminds him of himself they mimic each other hearing Reiko speak Odysseus’s own words back at him and visa versa convey how demanding insecure insensitive each can be to other they do not simply speak but mimic each other Reiko ‘s voice drops to low pitch as she grabs his buns kids hey Reiko Lee what do you think about us wiping each other’s butts we could become more intimate with our bodies Odysseus raises his voice sounding feminine replies Schwartzpilgrim you’re gross take a hike it is hilarious yet intuitive therapy that maintains level playing field neither allows other to be too weak or dominant

these old bones rattle and shake tremble and quake quiver and ache

it is Sunday snowing blizzard freezing cold outside Odysseus sits on floor watching Bear’s football game at Reiko’s she sits naked paging through Art Forum magazine across sofa from him he hears her crunching on bag of barbecue potato chips during half time he reaches touches her bush runs fingers through her ***** hairs twirling them in his fingers she spreads her legs wide open he smells her hair breath perspiration ****** *** feet feels both repelled and attracted he is lost in fascination gently tugs on her lips slides finger inside massages probes her opening she directs him to kneel stands above him her arms at waist her pelvic bone in his face she orders **** it **** it good he follows her instruction **** my ***** she commands as she holds his head in hands her long skinny body thrusts hips forward Reiko presses gently pumping then more furious rough into Odysseus’s face ooohhh i’m going to shoot a load baby swallow my *** she shoves ***** bone into his face bangs his nose hard yet he remains ******* her legs thighs stomach muscles tremble oh oooohhhhh ohh Odys did you see that i came just like a guy oh Odys i loved that he wipes mouth laughs

these old bones rattle and shake tremble and quake quiver and ache

a person’s sexuality is always in question how one interprets his or her own ****** persona relative to another person’s personality response ratio how one’s power measures reacts to another’s vulnerabilities strengths Odysseus and Reiko fit well together switching roles in impulsive volley he loves her masculinity the unpredictable equation of their love he teases Reiko Lee i’m so attracted to the tomboy in you i want to **** you off and let you **** me come over here and stick that fat hard **** in my pink little **** hole all the frustration rage pain pent up inside you i want you to harness that hurt and slam it into me and shoot your load all over me **** me good Reiko Lee she looks at him strange says you’re a weird bird Schwartzpilgrim how weird do you think he asks her voice takes on a creepy overruling tone Odys, you want me to fist-******* he snaps shut up Reiko Lee get out of here she runs fingers through hair breathes out through nose taunts Odys let me ******* a ***** and ******* in the *** Odysseus’s voice grows loud Reiko Lee you’re crossing the line just because i mention some crazy thought doesn’t mean i’m actually into such weirdness don’t try to take what i say to some sound conclusion i enjoy experimenting but i’m one hundred percent male i like to test limits because i’m secure in my manhood spicing our *** life with ***** fantasies is one thing but don’t overstep i got the **** and you got the ***** let’s keep it that way don’t mess with me she replies ok ok Odys i didn’t mean to offend you

these old bones rattle and shake tremble and quake quiver and ache

often he personifies the lead and she interprets the willing or amendable he requests many ****** urges she for the most part eagerly fulfills yet knowing his desires run over the top he considerately concedes to her sensibility he asserts rule number 1 Reiko Lee please let me have my way with you ok please try to not refuse me she smiles consents ok Odys and i want the same from you he insists rule number 2 repeat after me i’m addicted to your ***** i’m codependent on your **** she repeats i’m addicted to your ***** Odys i’m codependent on your **** he challenges rule number 3 at least one ******* a day agreed? She answers yes Odys agreed later he thinks about their conversation approaches her Reiko Lee sometimes i need more than one ******* a day maybe one in the morning and one after you get home from work i need your adoring attention down there will you do that for me please she shoots sarcastic look at him what are you a cow that needs milking everyday all right Odys whatever you desire he gratefully acknowledges Reiko Lee you’re so good to me thank you next morning he says Reiko Lee when i think about you the first image that comes to mind is your eyes i love your eyes more than any other part of you she comments oh yeah more than my **** hole? he flinches surprised oh god i can’t believe you said that you are so outrageous Reiko Lee you have got the sexiest **** hole i’ve ever seen i love adore revere your hairy **** hole when are you going to let me get some of that she remarks we’ll see Schwartzpilgrim in due time the following morning he notices bathroom door is wide open peering inside he sees her sitting on toilet she looks up smiling as he nears he questions which are you doing peeing or ******* she answers why do you need to know he requests lift up and let me watch she raises her thighs knees legs curling toes on toilet seat her **** muscles pucker then a brown extent begins appearing from her hole her vaginal lips flare urethra presses as short spurt of ***** accompanies discharge the ***** length drops into bowl followed by smaller piece Odysseus perceives the action produced by her body as intimate natural expression occurring without contrivance manipulation he studies the form as if it were a sculptural object descended into water to bottom of bowl Reiko reaches for roll of toilet tissue he interrupts **** she answers let me wipe myself first it reeks in here you mean watching me taking a **** turns you on you are one sick monkey he says shut up and **** she follows his instruction after several minutes he pulls out of her mouth jerks off while she watches he shoots wildly on her chin neck chest she rubs his ***** on her ******* they both break out in laughter she says come on let’s take a shower together she begins speaking sentence he finishes it she says Odys i’m not comfortable with more than he breaks in one ******* a day i understand Reiko Lee she expresses thank you Odys one is enough agreed he replies ok ok

these old bones rattle and shake tremble and quake quiver and ache

a week passes Saturday evening she comes from work to his place with stressed look on her face she falls back into wall on floor with her legs stretched out she asks got anything to eat he answers a couple of beers in the fridge her brow furrows as she speaks in low tone Odys i’m guessing there’s something seriously wrong with you he questions wrong with me huh what she comments your physique is weird your shoulder blades and rib cage stick out you’ve got a sunken sternum he answers yeah i know it’s not really a problem more like natural peculiarities she says yeah well you’ve got other peculiarities he asks oh yeah like what she remarks i’ve never known or heard of a man who gets hard as often as you it’s deviant you’ve got some kind of disorder you need to go see a doctor he admits i know i got a problem my libido is out of control it’ll calm down it’s been a long time since i felt so hot for someone do you really think it’s serious enough to go see a doctor she answers serious enough to insist you bone me once a day he laughs Reiko Lee you had me going she grins get over here you ***** ******* and **** me good Reiko’s favorite way to ****** is with her legs closed tight she lies beneath while his ******* presses in pumping her thighs buttocks squeeze stomach muscles tense whole body jerks spasms as she reaches ****** Odysseus’s favorite position is with Reiko on top he likes her rhythms and control

these old bones rattle and shake tremble and quake quiver and ache

when Michael Vick was found guilty for dog fighting mauling cruel killing i wanted him dead dead dead but he is a brilliant quarterback and i was wrong who am i to understand another person’s background judge them maybe there is redemption

these old bones rattle and shake tremble and quake quiver and ache

if another war comes it’s China we must fight to hate fear them run hide

these old bones rattle and shake tremble and quake quiver and ache

it’s a long twisted road down a dark cold hole many are too damaged others work toward salvation yet some unscathed by all this filth

these old bones rattle and shake tremble and quake quiver and ache

on the brighter side death gets a bad rap by mortals think positive perhaps death is graduation to whatever at worst death is release from life’s disappointments expectations responsibilities burdens betrayals pain horrors

these old bones rattle and shake tremble and quake quiver and ache

i remember when Dad was dying all these new people who i still remember entered my life for a brief time it seems like the same thing is happening now

these old bones rattle and shake tremble and quake quiver and ache

Mom i’m right here behind you don’t be scared i’m watching out for you

these old bones rattle and shake tremble and quake quiver and ache
From the ashes I descend,
Rising among the flames,
As shades of red.
Orange and yellow,
Blend within the explosion,
Of my rebirth,
Claiming my life force once more.

My deep hazel eyes,
Drenched in golden brown,
Surrounded by a burst of jade,
Speckled with dark green,
Reveal my humility,
Compassion and genuine kindness,
Allowing you to behold,
The window to my soul.

The vessel,
Containing my spirit,
Conflicts with the feminine demeanor,
Exposing sincerity,
Comforting hands of a care-giver,
The voice of loyalty,
Gently escaping lips,
Tears of empathy,
Seeping with understanding,
Kisses of affection,
As soft spoken words,
Depict desires,
Hopes and the warmth,
Of pure love.

Mystery envelops my origin,
Becoming a mystical being,
With the ability to heal,
The potential to inspire,
Living proof of an alleged myth,
Yielding in protection,
As my plethora of feathers,
Shield the individuals I adore,
From darkness,
Attempting to swallow the light,
We yearn to discover.

Blind Thoughts of denial,
Shall forsake your eyes,
If you pass judgment,
Upon me,
For my cloak of skin,
Concealing my true beauty.

As a Phoenix,
I refuse to watch,
The children of diversity,
Suffer degradation,
Living in fear of discrimination,
Stifling the right to love another,
To dress in garments,
That correlate the body with the mind.

I shall rage to cease,
The hands of violence leaving bruises,
Ignorance stripping,
Breaths of air from a pair of lungs,
As homophobia,
Transphobia, and intolerance,
Deplete individuality from a heart,
Deserving liberty,
The pursuit of happiness,
A chance to survive.

The Earth returns my soul,
To reap the love,
Concealed in assumptions,
And sow acceptance into,
The fields of society,
As I continue,
To soar into a cerulean sky.
I put on my Sunday best
Wait by the door have my bible rest  at my side
With my skinned up knees and little party dress
Today is my birthday I feel extra nice
My mother polished my shoes and bought me fancy ruffled socks
I await with anticipation to head to my church
A place to feel protected this I’m sure
It is such a warm day I feel the sun kiss my youthful skin
Can’t believe I’m twelve today
Thoughts race through my head
I wonder if they will remember and do something special?
Will I get a new bible for mine is tattered and the cover is torn
I wonder? It does serve the purpose so maybe not
I watch the cars go on by  one by one
Feeling a bit antsy maybe they forgot to get me today
But within a few minutes I’m on my way
With a happy birthday from some fellow church members
I feel so proud twelve years old time flies by  
We head into the house of God
I could hear the bell charming oh so loud
My favorite sound on Sunday morning
My stomach starts to growl it distracts me
Punch and cookies await for me
Church hymns begin to waken my ears
I fiddle with the lace  on my new pretty dress
Clicking my heals and accidentally hit the wooden bench
I’m in the house of god
Mommy always taught me to not entertain myself with other thoughts
So I focus on that white and black collar
He is so large standing like a king
One bead at a time let my fingers dance across
I think of sunflowers and rainbow colors
We stand up and sit down and repeat this again
Its time for fellowship to begin
I need to get myself a drink its stifling hot in here  
I tell the family that brought me here that I would be back in a bit
I skip to get a drink that water is so cold
Why do I like drinking out of a fountain? Is it  because it tickles my nose?
After cookies and punch I’m told I have an extra surprise
For today I can get a ride home
I see the black and white collar its looks so scratchy
But this is Gods house and he does what’s best
As  people say goodbyes and I sit and wait for my surprise
Maybe because momma can’t afford much I will get something nice
Its peaceful as the church hymns are gone

I have never been in here when it is silent
He tells me to sit down and gives me a drink
It taste familiar maybe that wine that only those who had communion can taste
I drink it down so fast it makes me a little dizzy
Perhaps it’s the heat in this building
The fans seemed to be broken on the hottest of Southern days
Father tells me my dress is pretty
I smile politely waiting for a surprise
He ask if my socks are new and I reply with a very loud excited “Yes “
What have I done to get the attention like this?
My best friend had a birthday two Sundays ago
What did she get?
I hear mommas voice run in my head don’t entertain yourself in the house of the Lord
So I close my eyes for a moment or two
So I hear today is your birthday , that makes you a special girl
I nod my head still feeling a little loopy
May I take your picture for the church paper?
You look so pretty but first take your hair down
I release my braids one at a time
My hair is wavy and long and so baby fine
I show off my socks so proud of them
He smiles at me with his  bright smile
Can I see you twirl around in your Sunday best ?
I giggle and spin in a circle or two
Smile he tells me so I do
Come sit here I sit upon a desk
I must be special to be up here
Father asks to see what’s under my dress
I ask why but know father knows best
For a quick moment I lift my dress
Feeling my face become flushed
Its alright you’re the birthday girl
I ask if I get a bible he says after were done with pictures and such
I sit quietly listening to his voice its deep but soothing
My feet don’t want to hold still
I try and be polite and use my manners just like momma likes
He has his fingers stroke my face they are soft but large and feel nice
May I give you a birthday kiss? I have seen my elders  kissing and practiced on my doll
This wont be wrong we are where god lives
His lips graze mine slowly at first
Then it becomes harder and he is full of thirst
These hot Southern days
His face feels like sand paper like grandpa has to make his Christmas gifts
It warms me suddenly then cools me down
I feel a burning between my legs it aches
He reaches for me my wavy hair resting in his hands
I feel so special but keep wondering what my gift will be
He gives me another drink of that pretty red stuff
Giving me sips slowly as he grips the cup
It spills down my lips a little at a time
But we don’t waste any he drinks it from my chin
I feel as though I suddenly forgot how to breathe
There is something under my slip of my dress
It makes me at ease
At night when I go to sleep and put my head on the pillow
I feel that kind of rest
There is an sensation in my chest
He reaches up and pinches these small pink eraser like dots
A noise is able to escape it’s a noise I have heard before
Through closed doors but never from me
He takes off my dress slowly and meticulously
I don’t want to rip my new dress or the slip that grandma made
His mouth finds my little mounds of pink and nibbles away
He makes no sound I finally breathe
As colors start to run down his neck and onto the once white crisp shirt
He removes it . I want to touch it feel it around my neck
Its just paper with cloth but he allows me this
So I stand with my *****  pink erasers and this collar
I wonder am I a man of God now?
He asks if I would like to see why he is a man
I apply yes use my manners so nice
He takes my hand and puts it on a warm hard lump that is escaping his pants
I’m not scared I feel safe
He takes out the thing that makes him a man and he wants it against my face
My birthday present at last
Father is careful placing it  on my lips
So I try and kiss it like its one of my dolls
I feel kind of silly so I ask him how
Like a ice-cream take your time
Go in circles over this spot
So I do and it grows I try and put it in my mouth
My lips are sore and I need a drink
He laughs at me and gives me more red drink
I want you to lay down he says to me
So I do and feel like I have been on a merry go around
He removes my flowered printed *******
My stomach starts to feel woozy  
But I still feel good
I’m twelve today he is so impressed
I lay down with butterflies in my chest
At first it hurt his finger exploring me
But then it was like a warm day and a cool breeze washed over me
It kind of tickled when he put his tongue there
I giggled and moved my hips
But something happened that felt like my favorite candy
My body wouldn’t quit moving beneath his face
I shivered and wondered am I getting sick
Then just like that it was over
He flipped me around and put his fingers in another place
I was kind of worried that I done something wrong
He reassured me that I was doing fine
Something felt warm on my behind
He told me its going to hurt but it will be alright
I felt a pain that heard a sound  
His rough deep voice maybe this is where he belongs
For a moment I didn’t breathe
I held back the tears because I’m twelve a big girl
He turns me over once again takes my tears and put them in his mouth
He was looking for salvation he drank every last one
So as I lay thinking of rainbows and the evening sky
He has some fluid that I drink like the wine
It tasted like nothing but was thick and made me feel shy
But as we finish he hands me a new bible I tear a page and wipe myself dry
patty m Mar 2017
Cornered like a rat in a cage,
unable to vent my mental rage,
trembling on the brink of doom,
I stand submissive in my gloom.
I blink my eyes to hide the tears
and smile a smile to hide my fears.
I ***** my way through daily chores
and long to be behind closed doors.  
I focus on my paperwork
to chase away the thoughts that lurk.

The answers to questions are slow to arrive,
the curse of not knowing makes it hard to survive.
This stifling suppression creates a knot of suspense,
paralyzing my mind and makes muscles tense.
The mushroom cloud rises
the dread day is near,
my depression consumes me,
                                 I'm no longer here!
Undoubtedly he will relent, and turn
From his displeasure; in whose look serene,
When angry most he seemed and most severe,
What else but favour, grace, and mercy, shone?
So spake our father penitent; nor Eve
Felt less remorse: they, forthwith to the place
Repairing where he judged them, prostrate fell
Before him reverent; and both confessed
Humbly their faults, and pardon begged; with tears
Watering the ground, and with their sighs the air
Frequenting, sent from hearts contrite, in sign
Of sorrow unfeigned, and humiliation meek.
Thus they, in lowliest plight, repentant stood
Praying; for from the mercy-seat above
Prevenient grace descending had removed
The stony from their hearts, and made new flesh
Regenerate grow instead; that sighs now breathed
Unutterable; which the Spirit of prayer
Inspired, and winged for Heaven with speedier flight
Than loudest oratory:  Yet their port
Not of mean suitors; nor important less
Seemed their petition, than when the ancient pair
In fables old, less ancient yet than these,
Deucalion and chaste Pyrrha, to restore
The race of mankind drowned, before the shrine
Of Themis stood devout.  To Heaven their prayers
Flew up, nor missed the way, by envious winds
Blown vagabond or frustrate: in they passed
Dimensionless through heavenly doors; then clad
With incense, where the golden altar fumed,
By their great intercessour, came in sight
Before the Father’s throne: them the glad Son
Presenting, thus to intercede began.
See$ Father, what first-fruits on earth are sprung
From thy implanted grace in Man; these sighs
And prayers, which in this golden censer mixed
With incense, I thy priest before thee bring;
Fruits of more pleasing savour, from thy seed
Sown with contrition in his heart, than those
Which, his own hand manuring, all the trees
Of Paradise could have produced, ere fallen
From innocence.  Now therefore, bend thine ear
To supplication; hear his sighs, though mute;
Unskilful with what words to pray, let me
Interpret for him; me, his advocate
And propitiation; all his works on me,
Good, or not good, ingraft; my merit those
Shall perfect, and for these my death shall pay.
Accept me; and, in me, from these receive
The smell of peace toward mankind: let him live
Before thee reconciled, at least his days
Numbered, though sad; till death, his doom, (which I
To mitigate thus plead, not to reverse,)
To better life shall yield him: where with me
All my redeemed may dwell in joy and bliss;
Made one with me, as I with thee am one.
To whom the Father, without cloud, serene.
All thy request for Man, accepted Son,
Obtain; all thy request was my decree:
But, longer in that Paradise to dwell,
The law I gave to Nature him forbids:
Those pure immortal elements, that know,
No gross, no unharmonious mixture foul,
Eject him, tainted now; and purge him off,
As a distemper, gross, to air as gross,
And mortal food; as may dispose him best
For dissolution wrought by sin, that first
Distempered all things, and of incorrupt
Corrupted.  I, at first, with two fair gifts
Created him endowed; with happiness,
And immortality: that fondly lost,
This other served but to eternize woe;
Till I provided death: so death becomes
His final remedy; and, after life,
Tried in sharp tribulation, and refined
By faith and faithful works, to second life,
Waked in the renovation of the just,
Resigns him up with Heaven and Earth renewed.
But let us call to synod all the Blest,
Through Heaven’s wide bounds: from them I will not hide
My judgements; how with mankind I proceed,
As how with peccant Angels late they saw,
And in their state, though firm, stood more confirmed.
He ended, and the Son gave signal high
To the bright minister that watched; he blew
His trumpet, heard in Oreb since perhaps
When God descended, and perhaps once more
To sound at general doom.  The angelick blast
Filled all the regions: from their blisful bowers
Of amarantine shade, fountain or spring,
By the waters of life, where’er they sat
In fellowships of joy, the sons of light
Hasted, resorting to the summons high;
And took their seats; till from his throne supreme
The Almighty thus pronounced his sovran will.
O Sons, like one of us Man is become
To know both good and evil, since his taste
Of that defended fruit; but let him boast
His knowledge of good lost, and evil got;
Happier! had it sufficed him to have known
Good by itself, and evil not at all.
He sorrows now, repents, and prays contrite,
My motions in him; longer than they move,
His heart I know, how variable and vain,
Self-left.  Lest therefore his now bolder hand
Reach also of the tree of life, and eat,
And live for ever, dream at least to live
For ever, to remove him I decree,
And send him from the garden forth to till
The ground whence he was taken, fitter soil.
Michael, this my behest have thou in charge;
Take to thee from among the Cherubim
Thy choice of flaming warriours, lest the Fiend,
Or in behalf of Man, or to invade
Vacant possession, some new trouble raise:
Haste thee, and from the Paradise of God
Without remorse drive out the sinful pair;
From hallowed ground the unholy; and denounce
To them, and to their progeny, from thence
Perpetual banishment.  Yet, lest they faint
At the sad sentence rigorously urged,
(For I behold them softened, and with tears
Bewailing their excess,) all terrour hide.
If patiently thy bidding they obey,
Dismiss them not disconsolate; reveal
To Adam what shall come in future days,
As I shall thee enlighten; intermix
My covenant in the Woman’s seed renewed;
So send them forth, though sorrowing, yet in peace:
And on the east side of the garden place,
Where entrance up from Eden easiest climbs,
Cherubick watch; and of a sword the flame
Wide-waving; all approach far off to fright,
And guard all passage to the tree of life:
Lest Paradise a receptacle prove
To Spirits foul, and all my trees their prey;
With whose stolen fruit Man once more to delude.
He ceased; and the arch-angelick Power prepared
For swift descent; with him the cohort bright
Of watchful Cherubim: four faces each
Had, like a double Janus; all their shape
Spangled with eyes more numerous than those
Of Argus, and more wakeful than to drouse,
Charmed with Arcadian pipe, the pastoral reed
Of Hermes, or his ****** rod.  Mean while,
To re-salute the world with sacred light,
Leucothea waked; and with fresh dews imbalmed
The earth; when Adam and first matron Eve
Had ended now their orisons, and found
Strength added from above; new hope to spring
Out of despair; joy, but with fear yet linked;
Which thus to Eve his welcome words renewed.
Eve, easily my faith admit, that all
The good which we enjoy from Heaven descends;
But, that from us aught should ascend to Heaven
So prevalent as to concern the mind
Of God high-blest, or to incline his will,
Hard to belief may seem; yet this will prayer
Or one short sigh of human breath, upborne
Even to the seat of God.  For since I sought
By prayer the offended Deity to appease;
Kneeled, and before him humbled all my heart;
Methought I saw him placable and mild,
Bending his ear; persuasion in me grew
That I was heard with favour; peace returned
Home to my breast, and to my memory
His promise, that thy seed shall bruise our foe;
Which, then not minded in dismay, yet now
Assures me that the bitterness of death
Is past, and we shall live.  Whence hail to thee,
Eve rightly called, mother of all mankind,
Mother of all things living, since by thee
Man is to live; and all things live for Man.
To whom thus Eve with sad demeanour meek.
Ill-worthy I such title should belong
To me transgressour; who, for thee ordained
A help, became thy snare; to me reproach
Rather belongs, distrust, and all dispraise:
But infinite in pardon was my Judge,
That I, who first brought death on all, am graced
The source of life; next favourable thou,
Who highly thus to entitle me vouchsaf’st,
Far other name deserving.  But the field
To labour calls us, now with sweat imposed,
Though after sleepless night; for see!the morn,
All unconcerned with our unrest, begins
Her rosy progress smiling: let us forth;
I never from thy side henceforth to stray,
Where’er our day’s work lies, though now enjoined
Laborious, till day droop; while here we dwell,
What can be toilsome in these pleasant walks?
Here let us live, though in fallen state, content.
So spake, so wished much humbled Eve; but Fate
Subscribed not:  Nature first gave signs, impressed
On bird, beast, air; air suddenly eclipsed,
After short blush of morn; nigh in her sight
The bird of Jove, stooped from his aery tour,
Two birds of gayest plume before him drove;
Down from a hill the beast that reigns in woods,
First hunter then, pursued a gentle brace,
Goodliest of all the forest, hart and hind;
Direct to the eastern gate was bent their flight.
Adam observed, and with his eye the chase
Pursuing, not unmoved, to Eve thus spake.
O Eve, some further change awaits us nigh,
Which Heaven, by these mute signs in Nature, shows
Forerunners of his purpose; or to warn
Us, haply too secure, of our discharge
From penalty, because from death released
Some days: how long, and what till then our life,
Who knows? or more than this, that we are dust,
And thither must return, and be no more?
Why else this double object in our sight
Of flight pursued in the air, and o’er the ground,
One way the self-same hour? why in the east
Darkness ere day’s mid-course, and morning-light
More orient in yon western cloud, that draws
O’er the blue firmament a radiant white,
And slow descends with something heavenly fraught?
He erred not; for by this the heavenly bands
Down from a sky of jasper lighted now
In Paradise, and on a hill made halt;
A glorious apparition, had not doubt
And carnal fear that day dimmed Adam’s eye.
Not that more glorious, when the Angels met
Jacob in Mahanaim, where he saw
The field pavilioned with his guardians bright;
Nor that, which on the flaming mount appeared
In Dothan, covered with a camp of fire,
Against the Syrian king, who to surprise
One man, assassin-like, had levied war,
War unproclaimed.  The princely Hierarch
In their bright stand there left his Powers, to seise
Possession of the garden; he alone,
To find where Adam sheltered, took his way,
Not unperceived of Adam; who to Eve,
While the great visitant approached, thus spake.
Eve$ now expect great tidings, which perhaps
Of us will soon determine, or impose
New laws to be observed; for I descry,
From yonder blazing cloud that veils the hill,
One of the heavenly host; and, by his gait,
None of the meanest; some great Potentate
Or of the Thrones above; such majesty
Invests him coming! yet not terrible,
That I should fear; nor sociably mild,
As Raphael, that I should much confide;
But solemn and sublime; whom not to offend,
With reverence I must meet, and thou retire.
He ended: and the Arch-Angel soon drew nigh,
Not in his shape celestial, but as man
Clad to meet man; over his lucid arms
A military vest of purple flowed,
Livelier than Meliboean, or the grain
Of Sarra, worn by kings and heroes old
In time of truce; Iris had dipt the woof;
His starry helm unbuckled showed him prime
In manhood where youth ended; by his side,
As in a glistering zodiack, hung the sword,
Satan’s dire dread; and in his hand the spear.
Adam bowed low; he, kingly, from his state
Inclined not, but his coming thus declared.
Adam, Heaven’s high behest no preface needs:
Sufficient that thy prayers are heard; and Death,
Then due by sentence when thou didst transgress,
Defeated of his seisure many days
Given thee of grace; wherein thou mayest repent,
And one bad act with many deeds well done
Mayest cover:  Well may then thy Lord, appeased,
Redeem thee quite from Death’s rapacious claim;
But longer in this Paradise to dwell
Permits not: to remove thee I am come,
And send thee from the garden forth to till
The ground whence thou wast taken, fitter soil.
He added not; for Adam at the news
Heart-struck with chilling gripe of sorrow stood,
That all his senses bound; Eve, who unseen
Yet all had heard, with audible lament
Discovered soon the place of her retire.
O unexpected stroke, worse than of Death!
Must I thus leave thee$ Paradise? thus leave
Thee, native soil! these happy walks and shades,
Fit haunt of Gods? where I had hope to spend,
Quiet though sad, the respite of that day
That must be mortal to us both.  O flowers,
That never will in other climate grow,
My early visitation, and my last
;t even, which I bred up with tender hand
From the first opening bud, and gave ye names!
Who now shall rear ye to the sun, or rank
Your tribes, and water from the ambrosial fount?
Thee lastly, nuptial bower! by me adorned
With what to sight or smell was sweet! from thee
How shall I part, and whither wander down
Into a lower world; to this obscure
And wild? how shall we breathe in other air
Less pure, accustomed to immortal fruits?
Whom thus the Angel interrupted mild.
Lament not, Eve, but patiently resign
What justly thou hast lost, nor set thy heart,
Thus over-fond, on that which is not thine:
Thy going is not lonely; with thee goes
Thy husband; whom to follow thou art bound;
Where he abides, think there thy native soil.
Adam, by this from the cold sudden damp
Recovering, and his scattered spirits returned,
To Michael thus his humble words addressed.
Celestial, whether among the Thrones, or named
Of them the highest; for such of shape may seem
Prince above princes! gently hast thou told
Thy message, which might else in telling wound,
And in performing end us; what besides
Of sorrow, and dejection, and despair,
Our frailty can sustain, thy tidings bring,
Departure from this happy place, our sweet
Recess, and only consolation left
Familiar to our eyes! all places else
Inhospitable appear, and desolate;
Nor knowing us, nor known:  And, if by prayer
Incessant I could hope to change the will
Of Him who all things can, I would not cease
To weary him with my assiduous cries:
But prayer against his absolute decree
No more avails than breath against the wind,
Blown stifling back on him that breathes it forth:
Therefore to his great bidding I submit.
This most afflicts me, that, departing hence,
As from his face I shall be hid, deprived
His blessed countenance:  Here I could frequent
With worship place by place where he vouchsafed
Presence Divine; and to my sons relate,
‘On this mount he appeared; under this tree
‘Stood visible; among these pines his voice
‘I heard; here with him at this fountain talked:
So many grateful altars I would rear
Of grassy turf, and pile up every stone
Of lustre from the brook, in memory,
Or monument to ages; and theron
Offer sweet-smelling gums, and fruits, and flowers:
In yonder nether world where shall I seek
His bright appearances, or foot-step trace?
For though I fled him angry, yet recalled
To life prolonged and promised race, I now
Gladly behold though but his utmost skirts
Of glory; and far off his steps adore.
To whom thus Michael with regard benign.
Adam, thou knowest Heaven his, and all the Earth;
Not this rock only; his Omnipresence fills
Land, sea, and air, and every kind that lives,
Fomented by his virtual power and warmed:
All the earth he gave thee to possess and rule,
No despicable gift; surmise not then
His presence to these narrow bounds confined
Of Paradise, or Eden: this had been
Perhaps thy capital seat, from whence had spread
All generations; and had hither come
From all the ends of the earth, to celebrate
And reverence thee, their great progenitor.
But this pre-eminence thou hast lost, brought down
To dwell on even ground now with thy sons:
Yet doubt not but in valley, and in plain,
God is, as here; and will be found alike
Present; and of his presence many a sign
Still following thee, still compassing thee round
With goodness and paternal love, his face
Express, and of his steps the track divine.
Which that thou mayest believe, and be confirmed
Ere t
Brittany Wynn Nov 2014
Alone, I sit with my feet
propped in front of the flames.
Heat pushes along the curve of my instep.
Bug spray coats my legs and arms, stickier
than sweat, which flows like raindrops down the back
of my neck, pools in the valley between my *******.
Even the air feels too warm in my lungs.

Games and night walks do not appeal
to me as I sit in stifling confinement without
a cool breeze to whisper relief.  Suffering the fire pit’s front
row seat wins over stretching my lips into insincere
smiles, watching, but absent, while
my friends talk of a life
I try to forget.

Snickers buzz up to my ears.
I lean my head back
as a whole pitcher
showers me with
arctic salvation.
Tony Luxton Sep 2015
Some say you can't read someone's thoughts.
Some claim to read them like a book.
It's phantom pages may engage
but I move on from thought to thought.

Those readings choke like a bindweed cloak,
coiling, twining, transmuting brutes.
Stereotypes shape many folk,
stifling, stunting valuable fruit.
PAST arthritic decrepit elderly female wearing traditional black southern Mediterranean clothing long silver hair braid sits in stiff wooden chair

PRESENT handsome athletic 21-year-old male soldier in tan uniform stands at ease

FUTURE eye-catching 32-year-old female wearing spaghetti-strap dark slate gray slinky cocktail dress 3” black Italian calf heals long loose brown red hair red fingernails lipstick



act 1 scene 1

PAST (clasped hands) you’re ruining everything

PRESENT get out of the way old woman you don’t belong here anymore

PAST (hands gesture) you think you’re making things better look around the earth is a toilet of human errors accidents self-destruction violence greed corruption horrible secrets

PRESENT be quiet old woman silence hear me shut the **** up (short pause) what? you think your former oppressive hierarchies were better

FUTURE talk ***** to me

PAST shush up girl

PRESENT let the pretty lady speak

FUTURE (coquette stride across stage) i have a vision a world where everyone is equal living in harmony shared respect appreciation for each other we’re entering a critical crossroads extraordinary passage in time

PRESENT you hear what the pretty lady said

PAST she’s baiting you hook line and sinker

PRESENT (male bravado stance) you wrinkled bitter blind old woman can’t you see feel this critical crossroads extraordinary passage in time

PAST i know a black widow when i see one

FUTURE who you calling black widow you old witch

PAST i remember when food was good natural cows chickens lived happy neighbors were neighborly you could walk home at night without looking over your shoulder or stick out your thumb hitch a ride or if you drove up to a stop sign no one was in front of you people greeted each other as they passed it wasn’t that far back just 50 years ago

PRESENT ***** you old woman i don’t know what time that was what were you some privileged person

FUTURE let’s order pizza

PAST who can eat at a time like this

PRESENT pepperoni and mushroom

FUTURE mushroom tomato basil no meat

PRESENT cool

PAST you’re escaping into comfort food immediate gratification

FUTURE why must you judge everything

PRESENT i’m with pretty lady pass away old witch let the future and me figure this out

PAST don’t say i didn’t warn you all this banter has exhausted me i need a little nap (she tilts head closes eyes slumps in chair)



act 1 scene 2

PRESENT (swaggers up to eye-catching female) perfect now you pretty lady and i can get more familiar with each other know what i mean

FUTURE what do you have in mind

PRESENT pardon my straightforwardness i’m shooting for 69 you know what that is

FUTURE hmmm uhh yes i know what that is

PRESENT you mind spreading open those long lovely legs of yours and let me see what you got hidden there

FUTURE you think you’re man enough to see what i’ve got hidden here

PRESENT oh yes ma’am

FUTURE lie down on your back on the floor

PRESENT anyway you want it i’m glad to oblige you ma’am

FUTURE (lifts dress to waist and stands over his head) like what you see

PRESENT oohhh you are a beauty my mouth is watering please let me have a taste

FUTURE (bends knees squats above his head sinks pelvic area into his face) give me your best shot soldier boy

PRESENT mmmmmmm (long pause)

FUTURE ease up (pause) it’s a delicate flower slow gently treat it like an intricate story plot construct it carefully strong foundation listen to my breathing heartbeat feel my muscles flex follow mounting rhythm by rhythm building to crescendo

PRESENT (long pause) how am i doing

FUTURE terrible (stands ***** drops dress walks away) you’re all over the place no skill discipline direction you need to be more precise more anticipatory more presence of mind less messy rashness

PRESENT no girl ever told me that before

FUTURE probably because she was so grateful to see your face down there she would not think to ask for more but i’m the future and my needs are more demanding

PRESENT you sure do smell and taste good ma’am may i please have another shot

FUTURE listen up soldier boy i know understand you you’re a man with needs that torment you i think you have been going through this long before i knew you i see through your tough veneer i have an idea what haunts you

PRESENT what do you mean what haunts me

FUTURE maybe you didn’t get enough love from mom dad was never around none of your teachers at school knew how to get through to you now look at yourself soldier boy you’re fighting a war inside and out trying to save something that can’t be saved the world is changing faster than you can keep up do you honestly think your life and labors will have any effect on me

PRESENT i don’t understand

FUTURE i’m on the horizon you desperately need me (pause) and i don’t need you



act 1 scene 3

PAST shut up i can’t get any rest around here can’t stand hearing all this drama gibberish

PRESENT you’ve been listening (pause) you heard everything

PAST i’ve heard enough to make my stomach turn sour i don’t need to hear any more of this crap

FUTURE (flexed posture eyes glare at elderly female) don’t give me reason to trash you

PAST you think i’m afraid of you

FUTURE i mean it old witch i’ll annihilate you

PRESENT what’s happening here i don’t understand let’s all just chill

FUTURE stay out of this soldier boy it’s between the old witch and me

PAST (stands from chair raises arms revealing long black shawl) you think i am a feeble old woman or witch as you like to call me but my power goes beyond your imaginings wherever you go i will follow track you down haunt you infect you with your errors accidents self-destruction violence greed corruption horrible secrets

FUTURE shut up shut up you’re ruining everything (frantically rushes to edge of stage looks out searching audience paces back and forth hands cover ears)

PRESENT i’m lost who do i believe listen to

PAST (spreads arms out like wings) you want to know about the future i’ll tell you i can see right through her lies it’s a world devoid of fish in the seas or creatures in the forest instead industrial farming complexes producing genetically altered strains of cattle pig chicken flavorless fruits vegetables grains toxic black oceans toxic black skies stifling temperatures coastal cities swamped swarms of vermin parasites oh lest i forget trillions upon trillions of humans and robots robots!

FUTURE (abducts arms) but what about my beautiful vision a world where everyone is equal living in harmony shared respect appreciation for each other

PAST you’re in love with your own deceptions foolish woman you can’t possibly believe the sins of the past will ever let go of you

FUTURE that’s it you ***** you die (attacks old woman’s throat strangling)

PRESENT (intervenes pulling enraged female off elderly female) please stop this fighting stop your hostility

PAST (coughing choking trouble speaking) it’s up to you now soldier boy what will you do

PRESENT i need fresh air i have to go get away from here goodbye to both of you

FUTURE not so fast

PAST in a way we’re all joined at the hip understand soldier boy now lie down on your back on the floor there’s something i’ve got hidden if you’re man enough to see (lifts skirt hem)

FUTURE i want in on this

PRESENT oh god
AC Nov 2012
It's like that time the windows blew open,
And the gust carried snow in towards us,
Us huddled on the couch under that calico crocheted blanket,
And I looked at you, corners of my mouth pulled down,
And you,
You sighed, and shrugged,
Removed your arm from around my comfortable shoulders,
Struggled up and over to wrestle the pane
And lock the shutters,
And when you sat back down, you looked at me,
And all I had to do was smile.

It's like that time when we packed a picnic to the park,
And we only made it so far as the lake
Before our stomachs rumbled and your grumbling gave us an early lunch,
And then after, lay in the grass, pointing out
All the obscurities of our imaginations in the clouds.

It's like that time I came home,
So tired and worn out,
Hair askew with a smudge of dirt on my cheek,
And the lights were out, but you had lined the hall
To the bathroom with candles,
And as I made my way through their soft, whispering light
Towards the escaping tendrils of steam,
You jumped from the dark,
Stifling my shriek with a hug.

It's like that time I realized that I loved you,
It's like that time right now.
Sarah Spang May 2014
Seeing the world after having your eyes
Veiled
For the longest time is like being born again.
Colors are sharper.
Air is crisper.
Sensations, so much stronger than I had ever felt because I had been stifling them like a bad cough.
Now,
Letting them rip through me,
I saw the world for what it was,
And saw that I was worth saving.
And once I realized this...
Saw the colors in the air...
Heard each new
Noise
Scent
Taste
Touch,
I knew that before long they would be nothing again if I didn't have you.
O, but needst I to listen to t'ese wishes, benign as t'ey are, but wild and inevitable-yet inaudible as dreams. Burnt by sophisticated passion, and whirring hells of torpid astonishment as my being at t'is moment, but smooth and glowing tenderly with affection-as thy love still I long for, woven so secretly ye' neatly alongst th' tangled paths of my mind! Yes, and its layers-turbulent patches of skin, yellow skin, crafted passionately by whose Creator, and imbued with unconquerable infatuation just like 'tis now. But no breathing soul canst I bestow it on-this overarching destiny, healthy and red as t'ose garden plums-impatient in t'eir wait for the shiny May summer-aside from thee, as 'tis but always thee, Kozarev! Uninvited as I am, by any other'ness' t'at might as well enrich my love story, as enough I feel, about t'at unrelenting history! Thou art th' sole man, th' only justified heart whom I adoreth, and want, so selfishly, to marry! As ripe as t'eir lips might be-but stifling, and immature in constitution, thinkable only when juxtaposed merrily with t'ose squirming nymphets about yon schoolyard; corrupted not as a newborn fern-with thighs carefully fastened to greedy-looking material, basked in immaculate sunlight, and so fresh to human sight, when all t'ese circumstances art but chaste no more, but beg, beg our hearts, and implore our worrying souls, to stay.

O Kozarev! Startled wasth I, to enter into thy proceedings, yester! Like an imbecile now my whole countenance-and its entire, ****** constitution-ah, but depleted, harmfully depleted, by laughter. What a raft of cynical conflagration! How grimly sadistic, ye' poetic in some ways! And t'ese remarks, and praises of love-begin but to dwelleth upon me all over again. Distracted is my firmness-by thy invincible power, guileless as thou hath always been, seeming not to hath heard my volatile heartbeat; and how doth I uttereth t'ose chuckles to my own mirrors upon flinging back into my bedchamber whenst our exchanges areth over. But indignant art thou not to my reddish blushes-which, like t'ose thorns of morning roses-enliven my soul up from within, after t'eir bleak winter!-and blanch darkly all my griefs away. In a thousand years and I shalt still miss thee, just like t'is, but 'tis just now t'at futility seemeth no more capable of wooing my calamity-and indulge it so adversely t'at it shalt turn towards me! Yes, how thou hath, with holiness, touched and entrapped my amorous passion, my love! In t'ese dreams-flourishing dreams, just like th' greenish pond and its superficial foliage outside, I but walk by thy moonlight and be blessed in thy fascination. Mighty and balmy shalt be th' sky overhead, hanging aloft with its mild arrogance, smelling like roofs of restrained rain-musty and soaking with glittering reproof; and wan abomination. But pure! Purity is but its sanctity, and protected by miraculous heavens, dwindling about like whitewashed statues being shoved around by a deadly lagoon of children-unknowing of what tomorrow shalt baffle us on, with faces of steel-like jubilance. And th' trees! Tropical wands be t'eir refuge-but horrifying as t'eir remorse-ah, in which souls shalt be brought about whirls of contemptuous winds, enslaved and stupefied all th' time-by mounds and havens of gruesome cruelty. But no care doth I fix on yon mortification-as thou art t'ere with me, Kozarev! Strolls shalt we take-t'ose encompassed by purplish and cheerful verdure, who admire us from t'eir gold-like stems afar-and into each other's cleavages shalt we retreat, by th' means of stories-yes, my love, stories of glee, pleasure, and yet-uneasiness, in order t'at t'ey shalt be wounded away and superseded by joy. Our love, rings of love, t'at is to come as immediate as nature might permit, and shalt allow us to admit-as yester hath unfolded, by bracing my feet for bouncing outside, across t'ese carpeted tiles-into th' very vicinity of thy chamber. Ah, thy handsome face! As white as pearls-yet frail as th' bulbous chirping snow. May I console 'em, my love, by my hands proffered-in th' most honourable marriage I desireth to come? But look, look afar, how t'ose stars-in t'is merciless universe, whispereth to one another, and talk gaily between t'eir wicked souls, of plans on bewildering our love-our bonds of vivid, mature fragrant compliments! How t'eir jealousy is mockery, and a swelling threat to us. And th' moon t'at is combing the hair, again, of t'at vicious ethereal princess-with a snooty swish of anot'er black hair-which is but a sea of anguished torment to me, should she descend the steps of her own ***** maidenhood-and carry herself off into our earth. Hark, how she doth it! How heathen, and indecent! But canst thou hear that-Kozarev? Canst thou be knowing of her shamelessness-and her counterfeit jewels? And her claws, her foster claws-ah, sharp as bullets, and notorious as her own evil heart! Luxury t'at is fake, ye' miserably auspicious! How I loathe her! Boil doth my temper at her genteel sight-and hostile auras, with t'at pair of necklaces t'at wasth born from falsehood, and ah! concealed deceit by portraits of clever contentment. How should thou hath seen her lips twitch over and over again, upon her setting t'at blackening imbecile gaze on me-me, who albeit from th' same brethren, but far from her flawless marches and stately refinement. And a creature, just a minuscule part of th' others, t'at she deems unworthy ye' deserving of torture! Silver and gold is she exclusively acquainted with, whenst torches in my garden art not even set alight. But look! How thou proudly saunter forward to welcome her, and salute her unforgiving cordiality with th' marks of thy lips, on her hand! And how t'is view scythes my chest, my heart, and tears it open just like th' blade of a sneaky knife shalt do. I am dying, dying from t'is tampered heart! And t'ese candles of my heart t'at hath been heartlessly watered-look how t'ey art brimming with sweat in cold demise. O Kozarev! Hath I been too late to seek thy love? Thy hands, my faultless prince, art but th' only mercy I canst pray for! Hath nature been so unfair as to savour all my dreams, ah, and even t'is single longing-and bequeath onto me a tragic life of undesired ghostlike mimes-in th' wholeness of my future? Thou art th' lost charm of t'at wholeness, my love, and should be I bereft of thee again, I shalt but be robbed of my entirety-and pride, womanly pride t'at I sadly out'ta hath. Ah, Kozarev, in thy movements doth I find bliss-a creaking blow to my wood-like stillness, and a cure for my sickly contrivances. I came here for thee, and always didst! Canst thou hear t'at-and satisfy this fierce longing with just a second of thy soundless touch? Lights flicker, and smile in t'eir subsequent death-but t'is is a token of subservient passion. And I shalt not give up like 'em-as t'is life greets us once only, before transporting us into regions of th' unknown-yes, it doth, my love, wherein eerieness is still questioned and overtly unfathomed. Ah, and before death I long to have you-Kozarev, and sit as we shalt-side by side, charmed by our generous yet moronic affection, until th' earth doth make us part, and shalt then we retreat into our most dimmed apertures.

Thou art my blissful paradise, Kozarev! Thy presence but bringst out my well of solemn cheers and proud, sun-like congeniality. And in t'is warm, gentle spring I shalt write but merely on thy vivacity! O imagination-blame, and curse her as thou might do, is in fact, my key, to my newborn triumph and infallible victory; th' marks of glimmering satisfaction-and visible restoration of my sin, my soul. T'is is because I believe, strongly, with all th' forlorn might of my heart, t'at sincerity shalt forever tower over every tweak of malevolent innocence and repressed wishes for destruction. 'Tis, Kozarev, is th' voice emanating towards me from within; and bracing t'ese lips, and *****, for facing her-t'at accursed rival of mine, with bravery and independence I hath never been brought to acknowledge. Ah, petrified as my customs let me be, conviction shalt stay within my hands; and t'at shadow-o, picture of our old days together, on th' veranda-yes, decorated with lights of our love, spur me on. Thy love is born as, and devoted to mine, my love! Crafted, shaped, and designated for me only-and to be mine, only mine-for evermore. We art but a chain of perfect concord, as God hath so sweetly decreed! And I shalt doth nothing else as remarkable as determine to retrieve it-with all th' charms and intellect t'at I possess-and my words as sugar sweet, as well as th' leaves of grace and my becoming, comely wit.
Ere on my bed my limbs I lay,
It hath not been my use to pray
With moving lips or bended knees;
But silently, by slow degrees,
My spirit I to Love compose,
In humble trust mine eyelids close,
With reverential resignation,
No wish conceived, no thought expressed,
Only a sense of supplication;
A sense o’er all my soul impressed
That I am weak, yet not unblessed,
Since in me, round me, every where
Eternal strength and wisdom are.

But yester-night I prayed aloud
In anguish and in agony,
Up-starting from the fiendish crowd
Of shapes and thoughts that tortured me:
A lurid light, a trampling throng,
Sense of intolerable wrong,
And whom I scorned, those only strong!
Thirst of revenge, the powerless will
Still baffled, and yet burning still!
Desire with loathing strangely mixed
On wild or hateful objects fixed.
Fantastic passions! maddening brawl!
And shame and terror over all!
Deeds to be hid which were not hid,
Which all confused I could not know
Whether I suffered, or I did:
For all seemed guilt, remorse or woe,
My own or others still the same
Life-stifling fear, soul-stifling shame.

So two nights passed: the night’s dismay
Saddened and stunned the coming day.
Sleep, the wide blessing, seemed to me
Distemper’s worst calamity.
The third night, when my own loud scream
Had waked me from the fiendish dream,
O’ercome with sufferings strange and wild,
I wept as I had been a child;
And having thus by tears subdued
My anguish to a milder mood,
Such punishments, I said, were due
To natures deepliest stained with sin,—
For aye entempesting anew
The unfathomable hell within
The horror of their deeds to view,
To know and loathe, yet wish and do!
Such griefs with such men well agree,
But wherefore, wherefore fall on me?
To be beloved is all I need,
And whom I love, I love indeed.
JR Rhine Dec 2016
Vast, empty, midnight hour,
hunchbacked lampposts glaring over parasitic black earth
choking its host.

A parking lot,
an ecosystem’s blemish—
hot tar seeping into the pores of the earth
like a stubborn blackhead in a lip line.

When no cars burrow into the blackened hide
like lice
the great absence of life
is an atrocity.

I imagine myself skateboarding across the tier
as the small town cops
watch languidly with vague interest—

A skateboarder’s paradise
where wheels and accomplice minds roll across celestial barriers
blasting infinite pulses
into the microcosm.

What greasy punks have their mother’s van parked here,
huddling by the heat vents
and jerking off into a Pringle’s can?

Empty parking lot
looks like a cemetery
filled to the brim
where headstones meld
over a mass grave—

delineated by white lines,
the apparitions of vehicles and their hosts
haunt the frozen space.

Another horrible excuse
to waste land,
a wasteland in and of itself
where Tom Eliot saunters aimlessly
and buries the dead.

The saddest sight to behold,
this vacuous parking lot
littered with stray shopping carts,
phantasmal plastic bags,
gum splotches,
***** stains,
candy wrappers,
cigarette butts,
used condoms,
lonely cops
and patient drug dealers,
ambulant skaters,
tired punks,
bored teenagers,
somnambulists,
stumbling drunks,
hunchbacked ***** lights
prying for life beneath its sallow gaze—

The air encapsulated within the perdition
stifling,
the pavement below stifling,
a constriction only visible
when emptied of its contents.

A cop wakes from their choking nightmare gasping
to find themselves trapped,
****** in this parking lot
where the walkie-talkie buzzes
with the weeping and gnashing of teeth.

The warehouse store
looming above the waiting room
lifeless, silent, dark countenance—
Big Brother sees all in the gaping maw.

Cascading before me,
stretching towards the highway passing by,
waiting for the panorama to finish scrolling,
the treadmill to cease its cycle—
all the while lamenting life’s absence
and reveling in the potentiality it possesses.
Anya Oct 2018
My parents...
are immigrants
Yet, why is it I,
so strongly
reject
their once,
homeland?
...
Perhaps,
the cause
it rooted at
my dad's cynical
comments
and critics
...
Perhaps,
it's my own visits
stifling relatives
horrible traffic
definitely
less, comfortable
...
Maybe,
it's the rejection
of such a gripping
religion
when I myself,
am an atheist
...
Maybe it's
the stereotypes
Chaining me
enclosing me
irritating me
...
...
...
Whatever the case,
it's there

I can be whoever I want to be
what-blood-crap?

Go far back enough,
and we're all related

The only links I have,
are my visits
and influence
of my parents
who once lived there
...
It's not a bad place...
at all...
...
That's not the problem
...
Is there one even?
...
...
...
I,
can be
who
I want
to
be
spysgrandson Jun 2013
“Beautifully Oppressive”

she called my work
“beautifully oppressive”  
did she mean like the stifling pall
of equatorial heat?  
what lines had I writ
to elicit such truthful and prodigious
adverbs and adjectives?  
I can not recall being more flattered  
or believing more that it mattered  
what one said of my
delirious desultory delusions,
my petty pecking indulgences…
I believe I was recalling a dream  
that spoke of elusive, fickle salvation,  
the perennial  curse of the chosen ******,
and their haunting hunger for implacable peace  
when I evoked that response from her  
“beautifully oppressive” to feel such a fate?  
the promise of heaven for those trudging through hell?  
what other beautiful oppressive story could I tell?
I wrote a poem about a dream and victoria from Hello Poetry called it "Beautifully oppressive"--I felt the comment was high praise given that I generally only shoot for "mildly depressing"
D Conors May 2010
“The rest is silence.”"-A. Crowley

I

I will know you only because
you are known to me deep down
beneath the subtle shadows carved
permanently upon your deceivingly
angelic face
sculpted by an artist
nameless to none but the heavy slab of stone
he used to create an ache
I’ve come to want to know as you
whose soft and silent rolling voice
where from there springs the torrents
of a turmoil melting like wax
in the mixed up chasm
of your mind
the destroyer of your smile
the reminder of bad times
that causes me to know you and from where you come
riding in bare-back
jet-black hair flying on
the hated molten roaring
riveted steel furnace
of inner anguish
again
and again
you beautiful deadly diamond black jewelry rose
of unworldly charm and perfected pain.

II

This is how I know you
in the steamy swelter of the nightfall’s
stifling bluish pall
you and I alone somewhere
anywhere
but probably nowhere
between the silken smooth heavenly legs of
here and there inside
the broken smoked crystal chandelier
of an ancient chamber room illuminated by
the flicker of more than fifty slowly disappearing
jutting candle-flames
I know you
because you make yourself known
to me
on the black-satin wrinkled bed-sheets that
we lie
writhing around upon like two
dying dancing angels
being swallowed by the suffocating oil
of a shame we bother created
just like gods
or dancing dancers dancing slowly
dying
in the pallid ***** fuming fog
…dancing with the gods.


you are as I know you
silhouetted in the silence of our
ecstatic shattered sighs
as we fly through lust’s futile passions where
we lie, we lie
we lie…


III

You are crawling across
the one-thousand mile mattress
stalking towards me
starvation’s fire fuels
your steely-sharp brown eyes
leopard-like your lithe,
tiny olive-brown body poised
ready to pounce
ready to strike
arrayed in skin-tight crimson lace
deadliness flashing on your face
your ******* dark and pointy ******* feel
fit for me to fed the song—
I smile—
then with healthy, stealthy fury
you leap
and pin me down
trapping
me between these shiny sheets of coal
and your sweeping feline glowing
perfumed-prison hair
polished glossy ruby fingernails
dig deep
into my massive arms
ivory razor-baring teeth
bite my hips
my neck
my chest
my thighs
you stop just in time
to devour me
delightfully
rocking, reeling in the sounds of us around
the intoxicating scent of your
flaming fountain-***
colognes my livid throbbing burning *****
I yell
I try to scream
I want to cry
…but instead, drift off to dream.

IV

You lie awake
aiting watching and waiting allowing
your imagination and your hands
on a journey to your ever-lingering
flaming fury far beyond the heights of hunger’s call
just as we have done no doubt
without each other
for a long time
in the cold
in and out
up and down
back and forth
body arches
thighs uptight
muscular calves quivering
toenails clenching like an eagle’s talons
on the bed
--lift high your sweet holy offering to the air!

Hands wet and warm fly from the glistening
magic perfect patch of forever music
that makes me want to weep
you scream
I awake
we breathe deep
we go back.
Repeat the scene.

V

Pre-dawn purple painted brush-strokes streak the sky
framed by the window where I know I will find you
in nothing more than a gown of sleek vermillion
light-chamois
that displays the room glow striking at your body’s faint
outline
your slender legs
your precious girlish hips
that golden chain around your waist
Divine
your blushing tearless chiseled cheeks
I arise
and walk behind you
run my trembling fingers up your spine
I still don’t really know you as your sighs compete with
mine
you reach around and lead me away
behind a peeling splintered door
warped and withered with
dismay
where you will teach me how to paint
by spilling your blood in
splatters
upon the floor
in said consequence I
calmly take the blade from
your tiny talking hands
pull your slashed and sliced torn wrists
to my tongue
and slowly lick
with a lingering criminal kiss
the dripping cuts that begin to fade
and go away forever in the day
now that the wounds have disappeared
becoming scarless
bloodless
sere
I can but heal your beaten lost youthful body
although I cannot convince you that
I care.
Daylight here.

VI

I know now that I know now
that I know you
and in the ****
with suntanned bodies wind kiss-hissing
through our hair
we walk side by side
on the blistering shoreline sand
avoiding bits of broken glass bottles
one by one
if we can
slowly strolling to the edge of the
abysmal eternal
emerald omniscient ocean-waves
breaking
ttundering
blanketing our feet
spraying its mist upon
our hands
I stop
you sprint
on diving headlong at the deep
the foamy water roars
and roars
you emerge and approach the shore
standing straight along
beside me
to stare
at a pair of grayish seagulls circling
in the air
squawking songs about themselves
when before the breathing of a minute
one
bird drops dying dead to feed
the never-ending belly
of the sea
the other screeches viciously
mourning
you look
at me
and then I come to know now how to know you
now that you have at last known me
as your part your pink and precious lips
for the first time
we will ever kiss
as you finally cry for
our
reality.

That is not sand left clinging to your cheeks
Just the salty tears we need
To set us free.


Now you can bury you and me.


(Threnody means “funeral chant.”)
D. Conors
c. November 1994
All original documentation has been preserved.
Shirley Antonio Jun 2019
The blood in my ****** runs on the pure waters of the river
The blood in my ****** smells rotten like the person who ***** her
The blood of my life runs on the white of the cloud ...
The blood in my ****** smells like the baby I abhorred
The blood in my ****** smells like the curse of being a woman in the world without equality
The blood in my ****** smells like the mouths of women stifling rights
The blood in my ****** smells like ***** girls
The one of my life smells bad like the men who force their daughters to marry
The blood in my ****** smells like *** of ****** exploitation
The blood in my ****** smells bad like pedophiles.
The blood in my ****** smells the future. The blood in my ****** is female liberation.
I.
Fair Isabel, poor simple Isabel!
Lorenzo, a young palmer in Love's eye!
They could not in the self-same mansion dwell
Without some stir of heart, some malady;
They could not sit at meals but feel how well
It soothed each to be the other by;
They could not, sure, beneath the same roof sleep
But to each other dream, and nightly weep.

II.
With every morn their love grew tenderer,
With every eve deeper and tenderer still;
He might not in house, field, or garden stir,
But her full shape would all his seeing fill;
And his continual voice was pleasanter
To her, than noise of trees or hidden rill;
Her lute-string gave an echo of his name,
She spoilt her half-done broidery with the same.

III.
He knew whose gentle hand was at the latch,
Before the door had given her to his eyes;
And from her chamber-window he would catch
Her beauty farther than the falcon spies;
And constant as her vespers would he watch,
Because her face was turn'd to the same skies;
And with sick longing all the night outwear,
To hear her morning-step upon the stair.

IV.
A whole long month of May in this sad plight
Made their cheeks paler by the break of June:
"To morrow will I bow to my delight,
"To-morrow will I ask my lady's boon."--
"O may I never see another night,
"Lorenzo, if thy lips breathe not love's tune."--
So spake they to their pillows; but, alas,
Honeyless days and days did he let pass;

V.
Until sweet Isabella's untouch'd cheek
Fell sick within the rose's just domain,
Fell thin as a young mother's, who doth seek
By every lull to cool her infant's pain:
"How ill she is," said he, "I may not speak,
"And yet I will, and tell my love all plain:
"If looks speak love-laws, I will drink her tears,
"And at the least 'twill startle off her cares."

VI.
So said he one fair morning, and all day
His heart beat awfully against his side;
And to his heart he inwardly did pray
For power to speak; but still the ruddy tide
Stifled his voice, and puls'd resolve away--
Fever'd his high conceit of such a bride,
Yet brought him to the meekness of a child:
Alas! when passion is both meek and wild!

VII.
So once more he had wak'd and anguished
A dreary night of love and misery,
If Isabel's quick eye had not been wed
To every symbol on his forehead high;
She saw it waxing very pale and dead,
And straight all flush'd; so, lisped tenderly,
"Lorenzo!"--here she ceas'd her timid quest,
But in her tone and look he read the rest.

VIII.
"O Isabella, I can half perceive
"That I may speak my grief into thine ear;
"If thou didst ever any thing believe,
"Believe how I love thee, believe how near
"My soul is to its doom: I would not grieve
"Thy hand by unwelcome pressing, would not fear
"Thine eyes by gazing; but I cannot live
"Another night, and not my passion shrive.

IX.
"Love! thou art leading me from wintry cold,
"Lady! thou leadest me to summer clime,
"And I must taste the blossoms that unfold
"In its ripe warmth this gracious morning time."
So said, his erewhile timid lips grew bold,
And poesied with hers in dewy rhyme:
Great bliss was with them, and great happiness
Grew, like a ***** flower in June's caress.

X.
Parting they seem'd to tread upon the air,
Twin roses by the zephyr blown apart
Only to meet again more close, and share
The inward fragrance of each other's heart.
She, to her chamber gone, a ditty fair
Sang, of delicious love and honey'd dart;
He with light steps went up a western hill,
And bade the sun farewell, and joy'd his fill.

XI.
All close they met again, before the dusk
Had taken from the stars its pleasant veil,
All close they met, all eves, before the dusk
Had taken from the stars its pleasant veil,
Close in a bower of hyacinth and musk,
Unknown of any, free from whispering tale.
Ah! better had it been for ever so,
Than idle ears should pleasure in their woe.

XII.
Were they unhappy then?--It cannot be--
Too many tears for lovers have been shed,
Too many sighs give we to them in fee,
Too much of pity after they are dead,
Too many doleful stories do we see,
Whose matter in bright gold were best be read;
Except in such a page where Theseus' spouse
Over the pathless waves towards him bows.

XIII.
But, for the general award of love,
The little sweet doth **** much bitterness;
Though Dido silent is in under-grove,
And Isabella's was a great distress,
Though young Lorenzo in warm Indian clove
Was not embalm'd, this truth is not the less--
Even bees, the little almsmen of spring-bowers,
Know there is richest juice in poison-flowers.

XIV.
With her two brothers this fair lady dwelt,
Enriched from ancestral merchandize,
And for them many a weary hand did swelt
In torched mines and noisy factories,
And many once proud-quiver'd ***** did melt
In blood from stinging whip;--with hollow eyes
Many all day in dazzling river stood,
To take the rich-ored driftings of the flood.

XV.
For them the Ceylon diver held his breath,
And went all naked to the hungry shark;
For them his ears gush'd blood; for them in death
The seal on the cold ice with piteous bark
Lay full of darts; for them alone did seethe
A thousand men in troubles wide and dark:
Half-ignorant, they turn'd an easy wheel,
That set sharp racks at work, to pinch and peel.

XVI.
Why were they proud? Because their marble founts
Gush'd with more pride than do a wretch's tears?--
Why were they proud? Because fair orange-mounts
Were of more soft ascent than lazar stairs?--
Why were they proud? Because red-lin'd accounts
Were richer than the songs of Grecian years?--
Why were they proud? again we ask aloud,
Why in the name of Glory were they proud?

XVII.
Yet were these Florentines as self-retired
In hungry pride and gainful cowardice,
As two close Hebrews in that land inspired,
Paled in and vineyarded from beggar-spies,
The hawks of ship-mast forests--the untired
And pannier'd mules for ducats and old lies--
Quick cat's-paws on the generous stray-away,--
Great wits in Spanish, Tuscan, and Malay.

XVIII.
How was it these same ledger-men could spy
Fair Isabella in her downy nest?
How could they find out in Lorenzo's eye
A straying from his toil? Hot Egypt's pest
Into their vision covetous and sly!
How could these money-bags see east and west?--
Yet so they did--and every dealer fair
Must see behind, as doth the hunted hare.

XIX.
O eloquent and famed Boccaccio!
Of thee we now should ask forgiving boon,
And of thy spicy myrtles as they blow,
And of thy roses amorous of the moon,
And of thy lilies, that do paler grow
Now they can no more hear thy ghittern's tune,
For venturing syllables that ill beseem
The quiet glooms of such a piteous theme.

**.
Grant thou a pardon here, and then the tale
Shall move on soberly, as it is meet;
There is no other crime, no mad assail
To make old prose in modern rhyme more sweet:
But it is done--succeed the verse or fail--
To honour thee, and thy gone spirit greet;
To stead thee as a verse in English tongue,
An echo of thee in the north-wind sung.

XXI.
These brethren having found by many signs
What love Lorenzo for their sister had,
And how she lov'd him too, each unconfines
His bitter thoughts to other, well nigh mad
That he, the servant of their trade designs,
Should in their sister's love be blithe and glad,
When 'twas their plan to coax her by degrees
To some high noble and his olive-trees.

XXII.
And many a jealous conference had they,
And many times they bit their lips alone,
Before they fix'd upon a surest way
To make the youngster for his crime atone;
And at the last, these men of cruel clay
Cut Mercy with a sharp knife to the bone;
For they resolved in some forest dim
To **** Lorenzo, and there bury him.

XXIII.
So on a pleasant morning, as he leant
Into the sun-rise, o'er the balustrade
Of the garden-terrace, towards him they bent
Their footing through the dews; and to him said,
"You seem there in the quiet of content,
"Lorenzo, and we are most loth to invade
"Calm speculation; but if you are wise,
"Bestride your steed while cold is in the skies.

XXIV.
"To-day we purpose, ay, this hour we mount
"To spur three leagues towards the Apennine;
"Come down, we pray thee, ere the hot sun count
"His dewy rosary on the eglantine."
Lorenzo, courteously as he was wont,
Bow'd a fair greeting to these serpents' whine;
And went in haste, to get in readiness,
With belt, and spur, and bracing huntsman's dress.

XXV.
And as he to the court-yard pass'd along,
Each third step did he pause, and listen'd oft
If he could hear his lady's matin-song,
Or the light whisper of her footstep soft;
And as he thus over his passion hung,
He heard a laugh full musical aloft;
When, looking up, he saw her features bright
Smile through an in-door lattice, all delight.

XXVI.
"Love, Isabel!" said he, "I was in pain
"Lest I should miss to bid thee a good morrow:
"Ah! what if I should lose thee, when so fain
"I am to stifle all the heavy sorrow
"Of a poor three hours' absence? but we'll gain
"Out of the amorous dark what day doth borrow.
"Good bye! I'll soon be back."--"Good bye!" said she:--
And as he went she chanted merrily.

XXVII.
So the two brothers and their ******'d man
Rode past fair Florence, to where Arno's stream
Gurgles through straiten'd banks, and still doth fan
Itself with dancing bulrush, and the bream
Keeps head against the freshets. Sick and wan
The brothers' faces in the ford did seem,
Lorenzo's flush with love.--They pass'd the water
Into a forest quiet for the slaughter.

XXVIII.
There was Lorenzo slain and buried in,
There in that forest did his great love cease;
Ah! when a soul doth thus its freedom win,
It aches in loneliness--is ill at peace
As the break-covert blood-hounds of such sin:
They dipp'd their swords in the water, and did tease
Their horses homeward, with convulsed spur,
Each richer by his being a murderer.

XXIX.
They told their sister how, with sudden speed,
Lorenzo had ta'en ship for foreign lands,
Because of some great urgency and need
In their affairs, requiring trusty hands.
Poor Girl! put on thy stifling widow's ****,
And 'scape at once from Hope's accursed bands;
To-day thou wilt not see him, nor to-morrow,
And the next day will be a day of sorrow.

***.
She weeps alone for pleasures not to be;
Sorely she wept until the night came on,
And then, instead of love, O misery!
She brooded o'er the luxury alone:
His image in the dusk she seem'd to see,
And to the silence made a gentle moan,
Spreading her perfect arms upon the air,
And on her couch low murmuring, "Where? O where?"

XXXI.
But Selfishness, Love's cousin, held not long
Its fiery vigil in her single breast;
She fretted for the golden hour, and hung
Upon the time with feverish unrest--
Not long--for soon into her heart a throng
Of higher occupants, a richer zest,
Came tragic; passion not to be subdued,
And sorrow for her love in travels rude.

XXXII.
In the mid days of autumn, on their eves
The breath of Winter comes from far away,
And the sick west continually bereaves
Of some gold tinge, and plays a roundelay
Of death among the bushes and the leaves,
To make all bare before he dares to stray
From his north cavern. So sweet Isabel
By gradual decay from beauty fell,

XXXIII.
Because Lorenzo came not. Oftentimes
She ask'd her brothers, with an eye all pale,
Striving to be itself, what dungeon climes
Could keep him off so long? They spake a tale
Time after time, to quiet her. Their crimes
Came on them, like a smoke from Hinnom's vale;
And every night in dreams they groan'd aloud,
To see their sister in her snowy shroud.

XXXIV.
And she had died in drowsy ignorance,
But for a thing more deadly dark than all;
It came like a fierce potion, drunk by chance,
Which saves a sick man from the feather'd pall
For some few gasping moments; like a lance,
Waking an Indian from his cloudy hall
With cruel pierce, and bringing him again
Sense of the gnawing fire at heart and brain.

XXXV.
It was a vision.--In the drowsy gloom,
The dull of midnight, at her couch's foot
Lorenzo stood, and wept: the forest tomb
Had marr'd his glossy hair which once could shoot
Lustre into the sun, and put cold doom
Upon his lips, and taken the soft lute
From his lorn voice, and past his loamed ears
Had made a miry channel for his tears.

XXXVI.
Strange sound it was, when the pale shadow spake;
For there was striving, in its piteous tongue,
To speak as when on earth it was awake,
And Isabella on its music hung:
Languor there was in it, and tremulous shake,
As in a palsied Druid's harp unstrung;
And through it moan'd a ghostly under-song,
Like hoarse night-gusts sepulchral briars among.

XXXVII.
Its eyes, though wild, were still all dewy bright
With love, and kept all phantom fear aloof
From the poor girl by magic of their light,
The while it did unthread the horrid woof
Of the late darken'd time,--the murderous spite
Of pride and avarice,--the dark pine roof
In the forest,--and the sodden turfed dell,
Where, without any word, from stabs he fell.

XXXVIII.
Saying moreover, "Isabel, my sweet!
"Red whortle-berries droop above my head,
"And a large flint-stone weighs upon my feet;
"Around me beeches and high chestnuts shed
"Their leaves and prickly nuts; a sheep-fold bleat
"Comes from beyond the river to my bed:
"Go, shed one tear upon my heather-bloom,
"And it shall comfort me within the tomb.

XXXIX.
"I am a shadow now, alas! alas!
"Upon the skirts of human-nature dwelling
"Alone: I chant alone the holy mass,
"While little sounds of life are round me knelling,
"And glossy bees at noon do fieldward pass,
"And many a chapel bell the hour is telling,
"Paining me through: those sounds grow strange to me,
"And thou art distant in Humanity.

XL.
"I know what was, I feel full well what is,
"And I should rage, if spirits could go mad;
"Though I forget the taste of earthly bliss,
"That paleness warms my grave, as though I had
"A Seraph chosen from the bright abyss
"To be my spouse: thy paleness makes me glad;
"Thy beauty grows upon me, and I feel
"A greater love through all my essence steal."

XLI.
The Spirit mourn'd "Adieu!"--dissolv'd, and left
The atom darkness in a slow turmoil;
As when of healthful midnight sleep bereft,
Thinking on rugged hours and fruitless toil,
We put our eyes into a pillowy cleft,
And see the spangly gloom froth up and boil:
It made sad Isabella's eyelids ache,
And in the dawn she started up awake;

XLII.
"Ha! ha!" said she, "I knew not this hard life,
"I thought the worst was simple misery;
"I thought some Fate with pleasure or with strife
"Portion'd us--happy days, or else to die;
"But there is crime--a brother's ****** knife!
"Sweet Spirit, thou hast school'd my infancy:
"I'll visit thee for this, and kiss thine eyes,
"And greet thee morn and even in the skies."

XLIII.
When the full morning came, she had devised
How she might secret to the forest hie;
How she might find the clay, so dearly prized,
And sing to it one latest lullaby;
How her short absence might be unsurmised,
While she the inmost of the dream would try.
Resolv'd, she took with her an aged nurse,
And went into that dismal forest-hearse.

XLIV.
See, as they creep along the river side,
How she doth whisper to that aged Dame,
And, after looking round the champaign wide,
Shows her a knife.--"What feverous hectic flame
"Burns in thee, child?--What good can thee betide,
"That thou should'st smile again?"--The evening came,
And they had found Lorenzo's earthy bed;
The flint was there, the berries at his head.

XLV.
Who hath not loiter'd in a green church-yard,
And let his spirit, like a demon-mole,
Work through the clayey soil and gravel hard,
To see skull, coffin'd bones, and funeral stole;
Pitying each form that hungry Death hath marr'd,
And filling it once more with human soul?
Ah! this is holiday to what was felt
When Isabella by Lorenzo knelt.

XLVI.
She gaz'd into the fresh-thrown mould, as though
One glance did fully all its secrets tell;
Clearly she saw, as other eyes would know
Pale limbs at bottom of a crystal well;
Upon the murderous spot she seem'd to grow,
Like to a native lily of the dell:
Then with her knife, all sudden, she began
To dig more fervently than misers can.

XLVII.
Soon she turn'd up a soiled glove, whereon
Her silk had play'd in purple phantasies,
She kiss'd it with a lip more chill than stone,
And put it in her *****, where it dries
And freezes utterly unto the bone
Those dainties made to still an infant's cries:
Then 'gan she work again; nor stay'd her care,
But to throw back at times her vei
Mel Mar 2015
My being craves a sun so vibrant
an unwinding summer
for my wilted heart anew
Heat that gives the air such humid kisses
leaving it stifling, sweet, and sticky
Rays of fiery gold
that pierce my cold, pale, and weathered skin
Rushes of warm air flowing over my body
heating me up
burning my skin
melting away my makeup
and carrying away the emotions
that I wear on my sleeve
My heart is eager
to be naive, carefree, and open
I long to be freed
to burst like an overripe plum
These walls I’ve built up
are ready to fall
Charlie Hazels Jun 2014
I'm still waiting for you to kiss me
With those crimson lips so smooth.
And I'm still waiting for us to be alone
When the pain in your bright eyes can be soothed.

I'm still waiting for you to get help
For the carmine rivers that you trace.
And I'm still waiting for a reason why
You broke the promise you put in place.

I'm still waiting for my head to stop spinning
The rose hairclip means I see you down the hall.
And I'm still waiting to tell when my stomach flips
If it's good or not at all.

I'm still waiting for my logic to return
But love gives an alazarin tint to every drama.
And I'm still waiting for a chance to talk to you
But I seem to have bad karma.

I'm still waiting for that hug you owe me
My ruby hair shoelace flopping in my eyes
And I'm still waiting to be the tall one of the pair
As I try to move on, part of me dies.

I'm still waiting for that movie date we planned
And the ketchup coloured earring you wear in the left ear
And I'm still waiting to dance and twirl you round
In my arms I could hold you near.

I'm still waiting for when you blush
Vermillion as insults are thrown across the street
And I'm still waiting for the chance to set that right
Remmembering you defending me in the stifling heat.

I'm still waiting for the time to tell you
How much you're in my thoughts
And I'm still waiting for your birthday so I can gift
The cadmium sketchbook that I bought

I'm still waiting for the coral pain to stop in my heart
It's there for you, of that I have no doubt
And I'm still waiting for the laughter to return
To my life when we sort this out

I'm still waiting for the trip to the coast
The bergundy viking boat alight
And I'm still waiting for what will never be
But then again, it might.
George Anthony Sep 2016
Surrounded by a bunch of fake friends, claiming
"We don't talk like we used to anymore,"
Passing blame like cigarettes,
And stifling the urge to choke:

Strong men. Even the sponge of our lungs is hardened
Stainless steel because no broken promises
Are gonna mar the way we breathe,
**** panic attacks; just contain it 'til we implode

Volcanoes collapsing in on themselves,
Chests crumbling, collapsing, converted into ash
Blood turned lava, thick like the way we all used to be
(Thick as thieves, thick as thieves)

And hot as the temper that erupts in me
Every time you fog my head with morphine,
Numb the pain your lies have caused me
Have me lie back and swallow down pills

Am I supposed to just take what you've given me
And ignore what you've taken from me?
Thick as thieves, thick as thieves:
Why'd you steal from me?
JoJo Nguyen Jun 2013
The Rain falls warm.
It's humid and the shirt
sticks to my *******.
How much has fallen
into my collective bucket
during the pass hour
Of heavy monsoon rain?

I gulp chunks
to replace water
in this futile work cycle.
Adiabatic landscaping
in a stifling heat,
within some complex
feed-forward loop.

The cigarette burns
beneath a protective dome,
my cupped hand.
Particulates drift away into
the hazy mist, embedding
itself in breath,
and choking congested,
fluid-filled lungs.

I watch a tiny display
showing small spiking memes
feeding forward to what?
Will it be an apocalyptic
firing storm  or a recognition
gestalt, inhibitory spikes
triggering attenuation.

I drink again the rain.
Can I supervise Win-Lose
games? Am I learning
some wrong algorithm
while drunk on heavy water,
in Futile cycles?

With my open hand
I take Virgil's lead
into our Gradient descent,
urging him on, afraid
our alpha steps are too
small, and the time too
short. There is a constant
fear of being trapped
in some eternal,
local minimal.
Maisha Mar 2013
Dear Charlie,
I assume you may not know me, but I know you. Well, how else could I not know you when your story has been adapted into a book and a movie? You may not recognize the way you can reach me back, because you’re fictional. But I’d like to think you’re real, and that’s good enough for me.
I’ve been reading your letters, just like any other kids my age and some adults who are still intrigued by young adult fiction. You cried a lot for a boy. You were not ashamed of it, too, even when you were with your friends, Patrick and Sam. They seemed to be really nice people, and I learnt that what they did didn’t define them. The fact that they like to smoke and drink doesn’t make them bad people. I like that. And as always, eventually, people stop doing things but their personality stays strong. Who you are comes from inside.
Anyway, yes, you cried a lot for a boy. You were lucky to have friends that appreciate your tears. Sometimes, they would join you, but in cheers. You cheered along, too, but they weren’t yelps or shouts of joy but whimpers of happiness. Crying may seem weak and vulnerable, but I think you didn’t need to stop.
I would like to tell you a story, if I may. Well, how would you reply to my request of patience and lending both of your ears when you’re only inside our minds? However, Charlie, if you were ever alive, I think you would be a good listener. This reminds me of one of the lines in your letter, stating that you’re “a wallflower”. Anyway, now, let’s get to my story.
In a few months, I will be packing my bags then depart to your country, the United States. A few months ago, I was tested whether or not I was eligible to live in your country and represent my nation. I passed. Though I thought that my interview kind of ******, I still passed. After being declared that I was qualified to go to the U. S., I was given a 27-page form I needed to fill. And so I did. The form consisted of student profile, student questionnaire, student’s letter to host family, parents questionnaire, interviewer’s report, medical records, academic records, a photo album, and a contract. I don’t know why, but this form seemed to weigh down on me, even though it shouldn’t feel tiring at all. I had the pleasure of writing my letter to my future host family, because I love writing, but somehow, I just didn’t like dealing with the official stuffs. But gradually, I put up with it and ended my misery.
Today, I gave the form to my counsellor. I was ready to feel satisfied. I was so ready because I had been feeling very ******* of late, and my rage peaked when my mom forgot to print the photos I needed for the photo album for my future host family to see. My anger still haven’t soothed down, though. Which means I am really mad. Little did I know, after all that ice cream of strolls between the school building to the administration to get my academic records and car rides from home to the doctor to clarify my medical records, topped by an icing of stress due to the ignorance in putting the photos together, there was a cherry on top. I had to print another copy of the same form, photocopy my passport photo, get my dad to sign my form, and if all that was not enough, my counsellor poured down a chocolate syrup into my wombs. I needed to refill my medical records which would only mean going back to the doctor for several more times. I don’t want to exaggerate by saying the hundredth time, because I am already tired.
Of course, all I did was put on my poker face for security, even though my mom yelled at me for not telling her sooner about the correct way to fill my medical records. To be honest, that is all I do. Put on a face of a clear expression of unclear emotion. I felt really stupid for not listening intently to my counsellor when we first met. I felt so stupid, I felt like I already wasted my opportunity. My opportunity to be myself to the fullest extent. My opportunity to feel what is unfelt. My opportunity to meet people I have not encountered. My first opportunity to really go.
But of course, that is not true. I just need to do what needs to be done and I’m all good. But I can’t help feeling like a failure. And I have been stifling more cries than I have ever been in my entire life. I wanted to cry when my brother left. All I did was covered my mouth with the bottom tip of my t-shirt and tried to catch myself when I fell. This time, I wanted to cry because I had never been so ignorant in following instructions. I don’t just tell myself this everyday, I am fully aware that I am observant. I see things people don’t. I feel things that people would dismiss. I listen to unspoken thoughts rather than what has been stated. I really like this part of myself. I feel like this is something that makes me me, and when I don’t do well on something simple like this, something has got to be wrong.
The first thing that came up to mind when I was faced with my mistakes was, “So this is my karma.”
I am a strong believer in karma, Charlie. I bet you know what it is. It’s the punishment you get after doing something bad. Nobody seems to know this, but I’m a bad person. I am. I have a bad habit of judging people; of collecting prejudices to make myself feel good; of being good even when I don’t want to; of not making the best of things; of lying, lying, and lying; of constantly hiding even when I have the chance to fully display myself out there; of being a burden to my parents and friends; of being vague about my faith; of not having a voice. I feel weak, but I won’t say I’m a weakling because I won’t make it become me, although all I want to do is to cry all the time because unlike you, I have no idea how to do that.
All I know right now is when I can feel there’s water in my eyes, I blink to dry them out. When my lips seem to turn upside down, I give them a rubdown so that they would look nice and pretty again. I don’t know how to cry, Charlie, I really don’t. I can already see myself next week at school, making an excuse to the toilet, or having lunch with friends and while having a good laugh I find myself crying, and I wouldn’t be able to distinguish my happiness and my melancholy. Neither would my friends.
I’m sorry for making it really long for you to read. I could just make it into several sentences, like, “Didn’t correctly fill out my form. Feeling like a failure. I don’t know how to express myself.” But knowing that you really like reading books as much as I do, I think you would appreciate my effort in writing my story as detailed as possible. I hope you enjoy it, too, no matter how miserable it seems when it really shouldn’t be. But then again, I wouldn’t be telling you a story.
During my inconsolable moment, I decided to make a list of things to remember when I’m an adult. In my mind, I wrote the first one down. I said to myself, “Remember the feeling of holding back.” I muttered the line aloud inside again and again, so that it would feel natural for me when I see someone in a situation like mine. As much as I hate that feeling, I need to be reminded so that others won’t be as miserable as I was. It seems pretty selfish of me, to see other people smile so that I can join them, but if you think again, it’s also for their own good.
The second one is to be sensitive, because it’s the only way you can understand anyone, especially your kids. I feel like people should not forget the fact that others of their kind is others of their kind. They’re not only their fellow citizens, they’re not only what they do for a living, they’re not doctors, or lawyers, or engineers, or archeologists. They are human. The basic form of every occupation. And they have feelings, just like we do. Sometimes we are blocked by the boundary of professionalism that we forget who they really are. There is not a day where we’re not divided based on jobs, religions, races, nationalities, and the list keeps going. But in the end, what we are is not based on those factions. We’re just mortals.
I would tell you more about the four other things I’ve listed, but I don’t want to keep you from doing what you’re supposed to do now. I think there are more things to be listed, too, when my days have moved on. But the four other things I’ve written down are, “Keep in mind Alesso’s quote, that you’re not gonna get any younger”, “Make ‘Listening to Sigur Rós’ a routine”, “Always eat your breakfast”, and “Remember the feeling of being a teenager, because most parents have already forgotten”. I thought that I would erase the last one because it is pretty similar to the second one, but I guess it has a different understanding. I’m sorry for keeping you from doing your job for awhile, whatever it is you are doing now. But I do hope you turn out well.
If you do reach the end, Charlie, now is the time that I thank you for reading this from the beginning to the end. I don’t get listened to much actually, so I think it is very kind of you for having finished reading every word. Anyway, I need to get busy printing my form again. I hope to recognize you in one of the souls I will be meeting one day.

Love always,
A friend

— The End —