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CK Baker Mar 2017
there’s a barnacle scar
deeply ingrained
on the basalt stack
at mark thirty two
whispering summer winds
scented oil
cotton and roe
drift
as waves brush
and shape
the sandstone shore

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

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

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

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

cirrus strands
blanket the
outer edge
hovering craft
and shimmering willows
bolt the evening frame
blood orange
and tethered
with a filtered glare
bottle-nose dolphins
and seabirds
(and shifting tides)
are all settling in
for the long night stay
THE HOUSE OF DUST
A Symphony

BY
CONRAD AIKEN

To Jessie

NOTE

. . . Parts of this poem have been printed in "The North American
Review, Others, Poetry, Youth, Coterie, The Yale Review". . . . I am
indebted to Lafcadio Hearn for the episode called "The Screen Maiden"
in Part II.


     This text comes from the source available at
     Project Gutenberg, originally prepared by Judy Boss
     of Omaha, NE.
    
THE HOUSE OF DUST


PART I.


I.

The sun goes down in a cold pale flare of light.
The trees grow dark: the shadows lean to the east:
And lights wink out through the windows, one by one.
A clamor of frosty sirens mourns at the night.
Pale slate-grey clouds whirl up from the sunken sun.

And the wandering one, the inquisitive dreamer of dreams,
The eternal asker of answers, stands in the street,
And lifts his palms for the first cold ghost of rain.
The purple lights leap down the hill before him.
The gorgeous night has begun again.

'I will ask them all, I will ask them all their dreams,
I will hold my light above them and seek their faces.
I will hear them whisper, invisible in their veins . . .'
The eternal asker of answers becomes as the darkness,
Or as a wind blown over a myriad forest,
Or as the numberless voices of long-drawn rains.

We hear him and take him among us, like a wind of music,
Like the ghost of a music we have somewhere heard;
We crowd through the streets in a dazzle of pallid lamplight,
We pour in a sinister wave, ascend a stair,
With laughter and cry, and word upon murmured word;
We flow, we descend, we turn . . . and the eternal dreamer
Moves among us like light, like evening air . . .

Good-night!  Good-night!  Good-night!  We go our ways,
The rain runs over the pavement before our feet,
The cold rain falls, the rain sings.
We walk, we run, we ride.  We turn our faces
To what the eternal evening brings.

Our hands are hot and raw with the stones we have laid,
We have built a tower of stone high into the sky,
We have built a city of towers.

Our hands are light, they are singing with emptiness.
Our souls are light; they have shaken a burden of hours . . .
What did we build it for?  Was it all a dream? . . .
Ghostly above us in lamplight the towers gleam . . .
And after a while they will fall to dust and rain;
Or else we will tear them down with impatient hands;
And hew rock out of the earth, and build them again.


II.

One, from his high bright window in a tower,
Leans out, as evening falls,
And sees the advancing curtain of the shower
Splashing its silver on roofs and walls:
Sees how, swift as a shadow, it crosses the city,
And murmurs beyond far walls to the sea,
Leaving a glimmer of water in the dark canyons,
And silver falling from eave and tree.

One, from his high bright window, looking down,
Peers like a dreamer over the rain-bright town,
And thinks its towers are like a dream.
The western windows flame in the sun's last flare,
Pale roofs begin to gleam.

Looking down from a window high in a wall
He sees us all;
Lifting our pallid faces towards the rain,
Searching the sky, and going our ways again,
Standing in doorways, waiting under the trees . . .
There, in the high bright window he dreams, and sees
What we are blind to,-we who mass and crowd
From wall to wall in the darkening of a cloud.

The gulls drift slowly above the city of towers,
Over the roofs to the darkening sea they fly;
Night falls swiftly on an evening of rain.
The yellow lamps wink one by one again.
The towers reach higher and blacker against the sky.


III.

One, where the pale sea foamed at the yellow sand,
With wave upon slowly shattering wave,
Turned to the city of towers as evening fell;
And slowly walked by the darkening road toward it;
And saw how the towers darkened against the sky;
And across the distance heard the toll of a bell.

Along the darkening road he hurried alone,
With his eyes cast down,
And thought how the streets were hoarse with a tide of people,
With clamor of voices, and numberless faces . . .
And it seemed to him, of a sudden, that he would drown
Here in the quiet of evening air,
These empty and voiceless places . . .
And he hurried towards the city, to enter there.

Along the darkening road, between tall trees
That made a sinister whisper, loudly he walked.
Behind him, sea-gulls dipped over long grey seas.
Before him, numberless lovers smiled and talked.
And death was observed with sudden cries,
And birth with laughter and pain.
And the trees grew taller and blacker against the skies
And night came down again.


IV.

Up high black walls, up sombre terraces,
Clinging like luminous birds to the sides of cliffs,
The yellow lights went climbing towards the sky.
From high black walls, gleaming vaguely with rain,
Each yellow light looked down like a golden eye.

They trembled from coign to coign, and tower to tower,
Along high terraces quicker than dream they flew.
And some of them steadily glowed, and some soon vanished,
And some strange shadows threw.

And behind them all the ghosts of thoughts went moving,
Restlessly moving in each lamplit room,
From chair to mirror, from mirror to fire;
From some, the light was scarcely more than a gloom:
From some, a dazzling desire.

And there was one, beneath black eaves, who thought,
Combing with lifted arms her golden hair,
Of the lover who hurried towards her through the night;
And there was one who dreamed of a sudden death
As she blew out her light.

And there was one who turned from clamoring streets,
And walked in lamplit gardens among black trees,
And looked at the windy sky,
And thought with terror how stones and roots would freeze
And birds in the dead boughs cry . . .

And she hurried back, as snow fell, mixed with rain,
To mingle among the crowds again,
To jostle beneath blue lamps along the street;
And lost herself in the warm bright coiling dream,
With a sound of murmuring voices and shuffling feet.

And one, from his high bright window looking down
On luminous chasms that cleft the basalt town,
Hearing a sea-like murmur rise,
Desired to leave his dream, descend from the tower,
And drown in waves of shouts and laughter and cries.


V.

The snow floats down upon us, mingled with rain . . .
It eddies around pale lilac lamps, and falls
Down golden-windowed walls.
We were all born of flesh, in a flare of pain,
We do not remember the red roots whence we rose,
But we know that we rose and walked, that after a while
We shall lie down again.

The snow floats down upon us, we turn, we turn,
Through gorges filled with light we sound and flow . . .
One is struck down and hurt, we crowd about him,
We bear him away, gaze after his listless body;
But whether he lives or dies we do not know.

One of us sings in the street, and we listen to him;
The words ring over us like vague bells of sorrow.
He sings of a house he lived in long ago.
It is strange; this house of dust was the house I lived in;
The house you lived in, the house that all of us know.
And coiling slowly about him, and laughing at him,
And throwing him pennies, we bear away
A mournful echo of other times and places,
And follow a dream . . . a dream that will not stay.

Down long broad flights of lamplit stairs we flow;
Noisy, in scattered waves, crowding and shouting;
In broken slow cascades.
The gardens extend before us . . .  We spread out swiftly;
Trees are above us, and darkness.  The canyon fades . . .

And we recall, with a gleaming stab of sadness,
Vaguely and incoherently, some dream
Of a world we came from, a world of sun-blue hills . . .
A black wood whispers around us, green eyes gleam;
Someone cries in the forest, and someone kills.

We flow to the east, to the white-lined shivering sea;
We reach to the west, where the whirling sun went down;
We close our eyes to music in bright cafees.
We diverge from clamorous streets to streets that are silent.
We loaf where the wind-spilled fountain plays.

And, growing tired, we turn aside at last,
Remember our secret selves, seek out our towers,
Lay weary hands on the banisters, and climb;
Climbing, each, to his little four-square dream
Of love or lust or beauty or death or crime.


VI.

Over the darkened city, the city of towers,
The city of a thousand gates,
Over the gleaming terraced roofs, the huddled towers,
Over a somnolent whisper of loves and hates,
The slow wind flows, drearily streams and falls,
With a mournful sound down rain-dark walls.
On one side purples the lustrous dusk of the sea,
And dreams in white at the city's feet;
On one side sleep the plains, with heaped-up hills.
Oaks and beeches whisper in rings about it.
Above the trees are towers where dread bells beat.

The fisherman draws his streaming net from the sea
And sails toward the far-off city, that seems
Like one vague tower.
The dark bow plunges to foam on blue-black waves,
And shrill rain seethes like a ghostly music about him
In a quiet shower.

Rain with a shrill sings on the lapsing waves;
Rain thrills over the roofs again;
Like a shadow of shifting silver it crosses the city;
The lamps in the streets are streamed with rain;
And sparrows complain beneath deep eaves,
And among whirled leaves
The sea-gulls, blowing from tower to lower tower,
From wall to remoter wall,
Skim with the driven rain to the rising sea-sound
And close grey wings and fall . . .

. . . Hearing great rain above me, I now remember
A girl who stood by the door and shut her eyes:
Her pale cheeks glistened with rain, she stood and shivered.
Into a forest of silver she vanished slowly . . .
Voices about me rise . . .

Voices clear and silvery, voices of raindrops,-
'We struck with silver claws, we struck her down.
We are the ghosts of the singing furies . . . '
A chorus of elfin voices blowing about me
Weaves to a babel of sound.  Each cries a secret.
I run among them, reach out vain hands, and drown.

'I am the one who stood beside you and smiled,
Thinking your face so strangely young . . . '
'I am the one who loved you but did not dare.'
'I am the one you followed through crowded streets,
The one who escaped you, the one with red-gleamed hair.'

'I am the one you saw to-day, who fell
Senseless before you, hearing a certain bell:
A bell that broke great memories in my brain.'
'I am the one who passed unnoticed before you,
Invisible, in a cloud of secret pain.'

'I am the one who suddenly cried, beholding
The face of a certain man on the dazzling screen.
They wrote me that he was dead.  It was long ago.
I walked in the streets for a long while, hearing nothing,
And returned to see it again.  And it was so.'


Weave, weave, weave, you streaks of rain!
I am dissolved and woven again . . .
Thousands of faces rise and vanish before me.
Thousands of voices weave in the rain.

'I am the one who rode beside you, blinking
At a dazzle of golden lights.
Tempests of music swept me: I was thinking
Of the gorgeous promise of certain nights:
Of the woman who suddenly smiled at me this day,
Smiled in a certain delicious sidelong way,
And turned, as she reached the door,
To smile once more . . .
Her hands are whiter than snow on midnight water.
Her throat is golden and full of golden laughter,
Her eyes are strange as the stealth of the moon
On a night in June . . .
She runs among whistling leaves; I hurry after;
She dances in dreams over white-waved water;
Her body is white and fragrant and cool,
Magnolia petals that float on a white-starred pool . . .
I have dreamed of her, dreaming for many nights
Of a broken music and golden lights,
Of broken webs of silver, heavily falling
Between my hands and their white desire:
And dark-leaved boughs, edged with a golden radiance,
Dipping to screen a fire . . .
I dream that I walk with her beneath high trees,
But as I lean to kiss her face,
She is blown aloft on wind, I catch at leaves,
And run in a moonless place;
And I hear a crashing of terrible rocks flung down,
And shattering trees and cracking walls,
And a net of intense white flame roars over the town,
And someone cries; and darkness falls . . .
But now she has leaned and smiled at me,
My veins are afire with music,
Her eyes have kissed me, my body is turned to light;
I shall dream to her secret heart tonight . . . '

He rises and moves away, he says no word,
He folds his evening paper and turns away;
I rush through the dark with rows of lamplit faces;
Fire bells peal, and some of us turn to listen,
And some sit motionless in their accustomed places.

Cold rain lashes the car-roof, scurries in gusts,
Streams down the windows in waves and ripples of lustre;
The lamps in the streets are distorted and strange.
Someone takes his watch from his pocket and yawns.
One peers out in the night for the place to change.

Rain . . . rain . . . rain . . . we are buried in rain,
It will rain forever, the swift wheels hiss through water,
Pale sheets of water gleam in the windy street.
The pealing of bells is lost in a drive of rain-drops.
Remote and hurried the great bells beat.

'I am the one whom life so shrewdly betrayed,
Misfortune dogs me, it always hunted me down.
And to-day the woman I love lies dead.
I gave her roses, a ring with opals;
These hands have touched her head.

'I bound her to me in all soft ways,
I bound her to me in a net of days,
Yet now she has gone in silence and said no word.
How can we face these dazzling things, I ask you?
There is no use: we cry: and are not heard.

'They cover a body with roses . . . I shall not see it . . .
Must one return to the lifeless walls of a city
Whose soul is charred by fire? . . . '
His eyes are closed, his lips press tightly together.
Wheels hiss beneath us.  He yields us our desire.

'No, do not stare so-he is weak with grief,
He cannot face you, he turns his eyes aside;
He is confused with pain.
I suffered this.  I know.  It was long ago . . .
He closes his eyes and drowns in death again.'

The wind hurls blows at the rain-starred glistening windows,
The wind shrills down from the half-seen walls.
We flow on the mournful wind in a dream of dying;
And at last a silence falls.


VII.

Midnight; bells toll, and along the cloud-high towers
The golden lights go out . . .
The yellow windows darken, the shades are drawn,
In thousands of rooms we sleep, we await the dawn,
We lie face down, we dream,
We cry aloud with terror, half rise, or seem
To stare at the ceiling or walls . . .
Midnight . . . the last of shattering bell-notes falls.
A rush of silence whirls over the cloud-high towers,
A vortex of soundless hours.

'The bells have just struck twelve: I should be sleeping.
But I cannot delay any longer to write and tell you.
The woman is dead.
She died-you know the way.  Just as we planned.
Smiling, with open sunlit eyes.
Smiling upon the outstretched fatal hand . . .'

He folds his letter, steps softly down the stairs.
The doors are closed and silent.  A gas-jet flares.
His shadow disturbs a shadow of balustrades.
The door swings shut behind.  Night roars above him.
Into the night he fades.

Wind; wind; wind; carving the walls;
Blowing the water that gleams in the street;
Blowing the rain, the sleet.
In the dark alley, an old tree cracks and falls,
Oak-boughs moan in the haunted air;
Lamps blow down with a crash and ****** of glass . . .
Darkness whistles . . . Wild hours pass . . .

And those whom sleep eludes lie wide-eyed, hearing
Above their heads a goblin night go by;
Children are waked, and cry,
The young girl hears the roar in her sleep, and dreams
That her lover is caught in a burning tower,
She clutches the pillow, she gasps for breath, she screams . . .
And then by degrees her breath grows quiet and slow,
She dreams of an evening, long ago:
Of colored lanterns balancing under trees,
Some of them softly catching afire;
And beneath the lanterns a motionless face she sees,
Golden with lamplight, smiling, serene . . .
The leaves are a pale and glittering green,
The sound of horns blows over the trampled grass,
Shadows of dancers pass . . .
The face smiles closer to hers, she tries to lean
Backward, away, the eyes burn close and strange,
The face is beginning to change,-
It is her lover, she no longer desires to resist,
She is held and kissed.
She closes her eyes, and melts in a seethe of
WS Warner Nov 2013
Part One
Nascent Craving

The insular heart unsealed; pearled eyes
Breach parapets of stone— periled shield,
The sweetest ****—
A threatening wonder and irrefragable synergy,
Nervous routes of cognition  
In this nascent, amorous craving.
Locked and abased,
Dissonance lends pathos — euphoric and onerous,
Disconsolate cries curb sublimation,
The regnant bleed diffusing — fervid lust
Fondled, tactile surfaces in throbbing anticipation.

Sullen, aft a veil of laughter,
Visceral aftermath, out of
The ardent ash,
Burns a thirst;
Insuperable numbness and ache.
Efflorescent intimacy,
Table for two
Enraptured in new alliance,
Élan vital (psyche);
Urgent dialect petitions
Equivocation, jocularity blending
Provocation with indecision,
Noted lilt of descending inhibition.

Adrift, the incessant Now;
As occasion inexorably diminished;
Resonant simpatico tending,
Numinous amity;
Heard conversant, cognitive idioms—
Lassitude, time-eaten pangs of the unhinged heart,
Wounds axiomatic,
In disquieting synergy,
Nibbling, the circumference—
Misery’s permeating truth;
None immune, all trundle incongruously past,
Facing intrepid savages.

Licitly felt, reverberations of Amor
Whence the heart behaves;
Measured cadence, pulse elevating—
Treasured lover, contemplative muse;
Undulating clasp, inflated bone of absence;
Incarnation — a woman,
Beyond prosaic;
Ineffable adoration pours in certitudes of verse,
Elenita, enclothed —virtue unvarnished;
Reservoir intrinsic, poised advocate of the innocent:
The crooked lines of insolence,
Brazen culture of neglected youth.
Perceptive blue stare, sensitized tears—
Plaintively, evincing her injustice ago.

Part Two
Tendered Senses

Siren silence, eruptive blush, ampler between phrases
In dulcet tones — stirring discourse;
Foments rebellion, the strife beneath— his ****,
Out of its vast reserve,
Penetrate the narrowed ambit, vaguely announced.
Groping hands, migrating the sensual member
Stern faces grimacing— mirror in abrasion,
Under the blind surf of consent;
Burrowing ambiguity, emerging torsion,
Plunge, enlisted and content in the sea;
Subsumed in the nonverbal cue,
Persuasion’s plea,
Quelled in the post cerebral assent.

Piercing eyes parallel crystalline waters of Lake Tahoe.

An untouched portion of his awareness remains aloof,
Palpable in the subsequential quiet,
Obsequious and febrile, they sinned on sofas;
Peregrine predilections quenched and viscid—
Serenely requited, the room breathes her presence,
Limp, figures *******, mantled in adolescent torpor.

Erudition in bloom, trust undoubted,
Illuminating, satiating; tempest calm—
Under canvas
Terrain soaked and sodden,
Postliminary — rains of invalidation.
Allowance and permission
Recalibrate, salivate, shortly only—
Initiate, obliged consecration, appraising
Curvatures of the spine,
Stuns him obeisant, her femenine pulchritude,
Propinquity inciting vigor,
Emergent allure, the updriven
Tower of wood sprung from the blanket.


Suffused in ether, purring streams of remembrance
Vaginal honeyed dew, sung into
Orchids, remnants of remember;
Drenched down the cynosure of devotion;
Succulent view, diaphanous pantied bottom;
Halcyon mist, saporous wine — compliance of the will,
Freed fires wander,
Pliable rind, twin plums dripping,
Abject confession, dispatching doubt
In tendered senses,
Pivotal tree, lavender Jacaranda holds the key,
Unfurled, cindered vulnerability.

Half-denuded skin invites confessional savor
Acutely bubbled rear, fleshly furnished denim;
Sultry visit, San Ramon Valley in the fall,
Strewed limbs splendid, flowing filmy;
Imagination yields—
Bursting silk congealed
Across deft thighs, ambrosial thong draping ankles,
Grazing ascension, the curvaceous trajectory
Nose inflamed with fragrance,
Inhaling, climb of acquiescence,
The ****** weal, amid the globed fruit,
Focal intention — ploughed lance thrusting,
Absconding, the ancillary perfume of essence.

Perceiving avid validation,
Swimmingly, amid the monstrous gaze.
  
Humid skies simper dank, set swell the incense of Eros,
Surge of poetry engorged
The flame levened shaft,
Nimble ******* flounce, spill the harboring mouth;
Moist hands merging, unfettered,
Weave in supplication,
Vicinity voicing, enmeshed diversion;
Supple and spherical behind
Posterior arch, milky-skin against the lip—
Ripeness jostling their complacency;
Lapped the mooring, ridden decisively;
Recapitulating— spumed forth, bellied over hips warmth.
Abandon the dirge of self-pity
Late under ego’s trance.
  
Part Three
Present Tenses

Tempting trespass across sacred gardens,
Flowering, scandal set luminous: attachment—
Consensual, their corresponsive fear;
Protean manifestations— evocative, perpetual
Unutterable contention in a fictive resolve,
Deliberating the merits of their widely disparate tastes in coffee,
Amorously touring wine, let’s drowse through the gnarled vine.
Sundry deficiencies pale, once contrasted;
The beatific vision—
Material substance unaccompanied,
Imperceptible, tear-streamed cheeks in synch,
Ventral kiss, peak of carnal perfection,
Reminiscence— flesh violent with Love.

Fiction knew to meander the innominate rift,
A tincture of irony soften misdeeds
Immense as the sea.
Insolvent beast stippled with sapience—
Unmasked, the fabric of delusion;
Dependence smothering the disciplined heart
Resentment put up for release.

Waste of residual years
Fate’s apportion, scars bleakly observed;
Chastened by heartache, engulfing fervor
Too faint to recapture.
Vague glimpses dry—
Hypervigilant his defenses,
Veritable suspensions, embers lit linger;
Slender walls of solidity, the horizoned self,
Faith and reason in concert — stone levels of elucidation.

Fractured bones of distance, emanate a rigid salience,
Another ponderous night of absence—
Lingering, cauldron of dearth as indifference ushers,
The quotidian coil of contrition.
Tearful pallor, sequestered —ciphering time and solitude;
The unkissed mouth, his restive brow;
Suspend in the approximate span.
                      
After Lucid alliterations are spoken
Devoid of her face, his lover’s nudge—
The man nurtures his hurt.

Anxious as seldom unscarred,  
Venus’s susurrations,
In present tenses,
Kissed by her serenades of integration—
Notwithstanding metaphysic intrusion,
No chain stays unbroken,
Postponed drifts of deferment left unspoken,
Reverberations of amor.

© 2013 W. S. Warner
To Eileen
I remember the history well:
The soldiers and politicians emerged
With briefcases and guns
And celebrations on city nights.

They scoured the mess
Reviewed our history
Saw the executions at dawn
Then signed with secret policemen

And decided something
Had to be done.

They scoured the mess
Resurrected old blue-prints
Of vicious times
Tracked the shapes of sinking cities

And learned at last
That nothing can be avoided
And so avoided everything.
I remember the history well.

                                                                 2
We emerged from our ******* mounds
Discovered a view of the sky
As the air danced in heat.

Through the view of the city
In flames, we rewound times
Of executions at beaches.
Salt streamed down our brows.

Everywhere stagger victims of rigged elections
Monolithic accidents on hungry roads
The infinite web of ethnic politics
Power-dreams of fevered winds.

The nation was a map stitched
From the grabbing of future flesh
And became a rush through
Historical slime

                                                                 3
We emerged on edge
Of time future
With bright fumes
From burning towers.

The fumes lit political rallies.
We started a war
Ended it
And dreamed about our chance.

Fat fish eat little fish
Big ones arrange executions
And armed robberies.
Our ******* shapes us all.

I remember the history well.
The tiger’s snarl is bought
In currencies of silence.
Eggs grow large:

A monstrous face is hatched.
On the edge of time future
I am a boy
With running sores

Of remember history
Watching the stitches widen
Waiting for the volcano’s laughter
In the fevered winds

Hearing the gnash
Of those who will join us
At the mighty gateways
With new blue-prints

With dew as seal
And fire as constant
And a trail through time past
To us

Who remember the history well.
We weave words on red
And sing on the edge of blue.
And with our nerves primed

We shall spin silk from *******
And frame time with our resolve.
__
Source:
http://www.universeofpoetry.org/nigeria.shtml
Graff1980 Jan 2015
It never ends, fragments of visions collapsing upon themselves painfully. Her swollen eyes opening, and bursting with orange fire. Then closing just as fast. In between those agonizing seconds she sees everything. Thousands of years cycling over and over. Visions of visions within visions.


Cassandra saw her city razed to the ground. The wall which once stood firm against the onslaught of enemies crumbling with the ravages of time. She closed her eyes. When she opened them again she saw her own grief. Her cousin had fallen in battle. She closed her eyes again, and scratched at her itchy eyelids.



Ten weeks passed without a blink, not even a fraction of an opening. She was disciplined, but the longer she fought the more her eyelids would burn. One blink to ease the agony and she was forced to see her father’s skin. A purple mass of dead flesh bubbling swelling, exploding, and rotting, with maggots squirming in out and around till flies formed and flew away. Another corpse left out in a burning city. One among many denied a peaceful death. Buildings crumbled to dust, the bodies became one with the earth. Cassandra cried without opening her eyes. Her father stroked her long soft curls, whispering reassurances. “It’s all right my child.”


Another three or four weeks passed. She had become blinder than Tiresias the blind prophet. Unable to recall if that was a story she had heard, or would hear in the future.  She sobbed spilling each and every sorrow she could. Every tragedy yet to come. Her father smiled gently placing a warm cloth upon her brow. “Shush my child these nightmares will fade soon enough.”


The young girl opened her eyes again. This time a years’ worth of history unfolded. She saw soldiers gathering arms. Battlements born of the Bronze Age burning with righteous rage. Steel blades clanging against bronze shields in preparation for war. Boats fully loaded departed.


She closed her eyes once more. It would be another two months before she opened them. In the meantime she pleaded with her father to leave the city. Day in and day out begging, sobbing, and screaming until she was sent away.


It was becoming harder and harder to keep her eyes closed. There was a burning force aching to escape. She managed five more weeks until she could bare the pain no longer. As her new sisters bathed her pale dry skin with the sweetest scented oils the young girl recited all that she saw and felt.


The first footfalls of the first soldier’s feet to touch the beach. The feel of the sand as it swirled in, out and around the soldier’s sandals. The general howling commands. The green eyes hungry for battle. The faces contorted in controlled rage. All that intensity burning under the once civilized façade. She closed her eyes again.


Cassandra sat silently in exhaustion, as the sisters slowly brushed the knots out of her long brown hair. They brought her a blindfold, which allowed only a small comfort. This time she only managed to resist for two weeks. The vision came upon her with such force that she cried out and collapsed.


Now the city was burning. Citizen screamed as they ran in terror. Brave men rushed forwards to be impaled on the spears of other brave men. Arrows swallowed the moonlight picking at the earth and scavenging for some bare flesh to devour. Blood ran like red rainwater. Streets streamed thin crimson pools diluted by warm summer showers. The stench oh, the stench, it made Cassandra ***** up chunks of soggy bread and half-digested beef mixed with red wine and stomach acid, while she tried to force her eyes to close.


Finally, she closed her eyes again. The sisters tried to sooth her sorrows, to no avail. Within a years’ time the young girl lost the ability to close her eyes. Cassandra eyeballs slowly burnt out until there was nothing left but charcoaled eye sockets. By the next year she could no longer speak. Cassandra became paralyzed by the futility of her existence.


In her mind the war had come and gone. The sieges were no longer an issue. She no longer felt the urge to cry for the dead. What was, will be, and what will be cannot be undone. What cannot be undone has already happened. Apollo had cursed her. Her beauty had enraptured him, her wit had charmed him, but her will had enraged him.


She was only thirteen with brown eyes and long hair of rare quality, soul so powerful that almost anyone who met her could feel its energy. She shamed the gods with her purity, and unwillingly ensnared their affection.


At first Apollo came with strong arms and tender words. Wooing to the point of painful pleasure. Her eyes could not handle such radiance. His skin burned as his chariot burned. Hair golden flames, skin solar yellow, eye orange as the sun. Each kiss burnt like the worse fever, taking her against her will, savaging her sanity. As if, as if being a god gave him the right to take such liberties.


Apollo viewed her early rejections with whimsy, believing them to be some cute token of her modesty. A god can afford to wait, after all eternity was on his side. After the first hundred no’s his affection gave way to anger. Until his desire could not bear rejection any longer.


At last he cried out to Cassandra. “I will have you or else.”


With a firm but fiery hand he swept her up.  Forcing his mouth against hers. Parting her pursed lip with his powerful tongue.  He shoved his tongue into her mouth, until tears streamed down her cheeks. She could not resist with words, because her mouth was occupied, so she took the only action she knew available to her.


She bit down as hard she could. Lava spewed from Apollo’s lips, roughly singing the inside of her mouth. Without realizing what was happening she swallowed. Her skin began to glow, tiny childlike limbs lengthened and tightened. From her eyes radiated the most powerful light ever seen by man or god. For a moment Apollo cowered beneath the awe of her power, stumbling backwards to the ground dumbfounded.


Regaining his composure he slapped her aside. Scowling in rage “How dare you. You. You worthless *****.”


Her lips parted now of her own volition. Her voice raged with a deep and powerful resonance. “How dare you, you whimpering fool.” The power still flowing inwards filled her with confidence. “I see you for what you are. A tool, a man made invention.” The radiance of her skin was slowly fading. “I see too much now.” She cried out in an ******* fury. A smile crossed her lips. “I see what will become of you and your ilk.”


With strength previously unimagined the young girl thrusted her small hands out throttling Apollo’s throat. He trembled in fear. “You cannot hope to contain the power of me. I am generations incarnated. Passing power from one age to the next. I will not be enslaved.” Her skin began to blink, her voice loss much of its force. “I am Cassandra, and you a merely a passing phase. I will tell the world of all I have seen.”


The last bit of godly energy faded from her skin. Cassandra collapsed. “I still see it all, and you will never touch me again.”


Apollo brushed bits of earth off his person. “See all you want, I care not.” He lunged for her. A flash of thin white light flung him back.

Confused, Apollo rose. Glaring he screamed “You may see all now. It is a gift my blood has given you, but soon it will become a curse. For no mortal wishes to believe that the fates have already written their story. They will ignore you, and in doing so you will find that this power you have gained will be for naught. Thus will be your curse to see all, with no power to stop it.”


Cassandra’s eyes opened wide, seconds split into eternity. She felt the passing of all those around her. She felts time’s stench and rot all around her. Her skin would wrinkle to a certain degree but she would be eternal. She saw cities rise and fall. Some to rise again others to be forgotten. She saw herself seeing each of these visions again and again. She lived her immortal life over and over, events unchanged be anything she said.


The only real comfort was that she saw Apollo wither away. As the old gods fell to ruins weakened by the rationality of new gods, then the rationality of structured reason. Then came the rise of something new and better. Reason with abstraction, abstraction with order, a cycle of energy which emboldened and empowered man. She chuckled.
“Go away little godling.”
And like the little thing he was, Apollo ran.
Her father shushed her, wiping the tears from her face.
The sisters bathed her; singing songs of love and adoration.
Troy fell under the onslaught.
Apollo came and went again.


Cassandra’s eyes opened wide closed and open wide once more, seconds split into eternity. She felt the passing of all those around her. She felts time’s stench and rot all around her. Her skin would wrinkle to a certain degree but she would be eternal. She saw cities rise and fall. Some to rise again others to be forgotten. She saw herself seeing each of these visions again and again. She lived her immortal life over and over, events unchanged be anything she said.


The only one real comfort was that she saw Apollo wither away. As the old gods fell to ruins weakened by the rationality of new gods, then the rationality of structured reason. Then came the rise of something new and better. Reason with abstraction, abstraction with order, a cycle of energy which emboldened and empowered man. She chuckled.
“Go away little godling.”
And like the little thing he was, Apollo ran.
Her father shushed her, wiping the tears from her face.
The sisters bathed her; singing songs of love and adoration.
Troy fell under the onslaught.
Apollo came and went again.
I hate the dripping dark hollow behind the little wood;
Its tips a cursed maroon with a blood-red heath.
I think I praised and lamented it too soon;
Before seeing its scent; I saw already its stray mystical death.

My crown is torn, outraged by florid winds and scorn;
Like a tangled old roots of the windblown thorn;
I shall feel scanty by my own poetry,
And throw it about, duly, like a static little joke.

I shall let my heart grow dull and illiterate;
I shall not taste joy, no more, in any clear--flowery fate.
I shall seek everything bitter, and not sweet;
Even not pure as the honey of a bee; for it shall be plain.

I shall curve and bend any straightforward light;
I shall harass it, and blind it--as if my ghost’s dead soul is very not here.
Ah, where is but Maud, Maud, Maud, and Maud;
Perhaps she is astray in my memory still, and not by my side.

I feel relieved so soon as glanced at her beside me;
She owns still that full lips like a perniciously tasty moon;
She is adorable like the flower of heaven itself;
She strikes me again when away, and tosses me about when near.

Ah, Maud, Maud, Maud;
Tame me again with thy rain of laugh;
Saint me once more like a fresh young bird;
Come to me now, and return my unheeded love.

Ah, Maud, Maud, Maud;
And kissing her forehead takes me back to that day;
A day of myths, a day of agile swans and storms;
An ornate time of hatred; a whirl of bitter fate; a dust of sorrow.

Ah, Maud, Maud, Maud;
And again I was alive in this tale, with a burning heart;
On one eve of tears, a mischief, and a wan poetry;
I caught about shadows in which there was no soul of Maud.

I could only see the stones, lying ghastly about the fireplace;
Ah, Maud, are you but still haunting those whimsical moors?
Their strange murmurs but I cannot hear;
But still they consume me, ah, I am scared;
I wish they would be gone soon, I wish you were but here.

These storms were amusing but peculiar;
They are bizarre, but intelligent and stellar;
And calling thy name out but breathes into me strength;
Ah, but should I be here, and bear away thy image alone?

Ah, and thou wert in but nymphic and lilac dream;
And my heart was still not massaged by the tender storm;
For it meant thee, and hungered but for thee only;
And in the midst of love had it longed, and yearned for thee.

Ah, where is but Maud, Maud, Maud, and Maud;
Her with her childish eyes and rounded head of bronze,
With her rapturous steps and wild glittering aroma,
With her atrocious jokes, and a wintry secret touch?

But still she was not anywhere about;
She dissolved like one romantic bough of soda;
And within a rough joke, she would be but gone;
And now the storm returned, but I was wholly on my own.  

Ah, and now the striking storm is mounting the earth;
Should I write alone and chill myself by the green hearth?
For I hath nothing to console and lengthen my parched logs;
I shall wait outside and drift about yon wintry bog.

Ah, where is but Maud, Maud, Maud;
Maud with her heart-shaped face and bare voice aloud;
A voice that soaked my senses and craving throat;
Maud but teased me and left me to that joke.

Where is but Maud, Maud, Maud and Maud;
Maud, the goth princess within my ancient poetry;
Who but remained symmetrical and biblical in her vain torments;
Who but stayed sturdy and silent; amidst her anger, and vain fellows’ arguments.

Listen to me. I am but full of hatred.
I am neither a gentleman nor a well-bred;
I, who is just a son of an infamous parson;
A malleable son; with a bleak aura of a putrid spring.

I, one who crafted ingenious jokes;
But interminable as they always are;
I made Maud sit still as I held my woodwork;
While she perched herself on yon bench, gazing at dispersed starry stars.

Maud the shadow in my pale mirror;
At times she ceased at morns, but retreated at night;
On her brother’s sight she fled in horror;
But on mine her smile turned me bright.

Maud was idle, sparkling, vibrant, and tedious;
Her heart was free and not marred by stupor.
She was the sun on my very bright days;
She made me startled; she always left me curious.

Maud the green of the farm, the red of the moon;
Without her everything would spring not and remain odious;
Everything would be bleak and stayed tedious;
Ah, but still I could not own her, though I was her saviour.

I was a farmer and perhaps still am;
Perhaps that’s why her mother ditched me with shame.
Maud said she had not places like home;
Her house was the mere shallow--and gratuitous throne.

Maud came often down and agitated;
Her mood shadowy, she cried and cried too aggravated;
I caressed her back, and placed my palms on her white knees;
She told me stories whenever no-one else would see.

She wanted not to mount the throne;
She giggled often, at our country escapade;
She loved my cottage, she sweetened my thin grass;
Even those apple trees had then her eyes, which sprayed tough, lonely seas of green.

Maud took to hymn and dear children’s little songs;
She was popular always among the talkative throngs.
She would love to dance and wiggle and turn around;
While village pupils gathered to sing a noble sound.

Ah, but when the mirthless prince arrived;
With white horses and swords of a knight;
Maud was swallowed every morning, all through day and night;
Maud was no more seen by my side.

I thought I was not alive, for dreams were unreal;
If they had been, then they I’d have want’d to ****;
But seeing Maud not gave me fretful chills;
I often woke up tensely, within a midnight’s shrills.

Ah, where is but Maud, Maud, Maud, and Maud;
Maud my bumblebee and my delicate little honey.
I kept waiting for her behind the rustic brook;
I fetched my net and fished by my old nook.

Ah, and where is Maud, Maud, Maud, and Maud;
My eyes were still and my chest could no more speak.
I wearily fancied she had been kidnapped faraway;
She would be jailed in a sore realm, and would no more be back here.

Ah, for had she been lost, then I had lost my ultimate pearl;
For there would no more be magic, there would be no more of her;
No-one would so restore my original spring;
Perhaps there would be no spring at all, and I would suffer in summer.

And I would lose anyway--my lyrical, elusive demon;
For Maud had always been elusive herself.
She wore that evil smile and thin laugh;
As I told her tales of fairies that she loved.

As I am fond of magical poetry and dramas;
Maud too used to read them with genuine personas.
She was my epic fanatical little devil;
She liked tropical cold and a faithful Mephistopheles.

I should be Faust, as she once said;
For had I fair hair, yet a bald head;
She said like Faust, I was cleverly amusing;
But to me, like Mephistopheles--she was unusually entertaining.

She danced before me a beautiful ballet;
She was young and keen to levitate as a ballerina;
She crafted me limericks and such fair lines of sonnets;
She made earth my heaven, and my melodies a twin cantata.

Ah, and where is Maud, Maud, Maud, and Maud;
I need my butterfly amongst this wheezy curdling cold.
I need my lover to soothe my chained hysteria;
I need to get out of here, and feed my love with her charms.

Ah, but where is Maud, Maud, Maud, is not she here?
I was then screaming in my solitude, could she but not hear?
I could speak not, no more--sore and wounded by this snowstorm;
I crept sick and weak like a dumb old worm.

She was not even heard of upstairs;
While I was dying here as a roaring beetle.
I hath almost lost all my creative flair;
I felt tormented and neglected and nearly feeble.

Ah, but a story like this is not such a fable;
So at that time I did shun sadness and seek a warm ending;
But indeed, to escape fate the poor were perhaps not able;
And the farmer’s son shall never be a king.

And ‘twas the nobles’ right to be idyllic;
To be deemed far then fairly righteous.
My charms were trivial, and so was then my wit;
My prayers were too parted and despaired; no matter how rigorous.

I kept my work along the countryside;
I toiled all night and behind fierce daylight.
I hoped Maud would see me back one day;
But what I found was to my dismay!

Ah, Maud, for she was now engaged;
To that pathetic creature the cursed morn brought about;
And parties arranged, voices too raised;
The union was now what people had in thought.

Onto my shoulders my head kept sinking;
I killed myself nearly, for my irksome defeat in this rivalry;
A rivalry that failed to transgress vital destiny;
A rivalry I could not even bear to think.

But again, this love had always been everything;
And thus Maud’s union would equal my death;
One night I crept out of my bed;
I had in hand a keychain and a net.

The soldier was infused by sound sleep;
And into Maud’s grand chamber I crept;
Everything was pink and quite neatly kept;
But woke I her not--as I heard her breast breath slowly.

She was tremendous still--in beauty;
Maud in her splendour; so young and free.
Ah, she was free but not free, I fathomed;
I looked at her over and over again.

I looked at her violet bed and comfort net;
Ah, my Maud too ****** and temptingly red.
She was too abundant in her young and chaste soul;
Ah, I could not imagine how she would soon be one else’s.

Long did I stand; ‘till morning streamed back again;
Still I remained unmoved; I stared at my darling in vain.
I jumped startled as the door opened;
And showed me the horror of the Queen!

‘Come, ye’ fool’, she voicelessly instructed;
Her face emotionless as these words emanated;
‘And embrace thy very fate’, to the handcuffs me she directed;
‘For daring look into my dame’s immaculately flawless chamber’.

She pointed thereof--a black gun at my chest;
It would soon burst out and tear my vest;
And even fly me straight to death;
So drifted I, without further haste nor breath.

Those poor soldiers imprisoned me there;
A cellar room at the top of filthy stairs;
I stayed awake only for grief and tears;
And most of the time I laid about sleepless and stared.

I grew skinless as my bones squinted;
And laughed at me with their sordid might;
Flies were about me, bending onto my rotten pies;
And slices of meat left out by sniggering guards.

I hit my head on witnessing Maud’s cold marriage;
‘Twas on a Saturday on the castle’s rain-wetted field.
I heaved myself onto the windowsill and saw;
How the couples were blessed and sent thereby back.

I could not see Maud’s face and fleshy cheeks;
But didst I feel her discarded tears;
Marred and defiled her lovely fits;
Though just those innate, and not out there.

I struck the lifeless paint with my bare palms;
Now the walls were tainted; they smelled like my blood.
Time passed and desire for Maud was never killed;
I’th missed her every day, since then, and perhaps always will.

But my love for Maud was never probable;
I was decent, honest, but indeed not preferable;
I was not even preferable by fate, as thou might see;
Fate who is neither truthful; nor frankly urges us to lie.

I often laid hopeless by the moonbeam;
Until night came and eyesight grew more and more vulnerable.
I waited ‘till it was dark and left to day no more gleam;
Then took my journal of Maud’s jests and read her affable poems.

I turned around--and would disgrace my bed still;
I was plain starved but had no desire to be properly fed;
Of a dream of death I grew instantly pertinacious;
And of my future tomb I grew fonder--and yet rapidly curious.

Ah, but my sweet Maud, Maud, Maud, and Maud;
And deliriously she somehow became pregnant;
But remorse said she kept the souls of two;
And fatefully could not make them both perfect!

I indeed plain prayed for Maud’s survival;
I cared not whose sons they might be;
Ah, but the twins were still sinning babies--as I comprehended,
For they were formed not from cells of mine!

Ah, Maud, Maud, Maud,
And during those last days she was cautiously ill;
And a drive of cholera had again grown widespread;
But she was not maddened; by it she was not marred.

She was sickened by temper still;
And the prince found dead, she grew more terrifyingly ill;
She had a pure heart, so she flourished not over the beast’s death;
Nonetheless, he remained the father of yon sickly offspring.

Ah, Maud, Maud, Maud,
I was duly growing perfectly anxious;
She was to give birth--ah, to those little ignoramuses;
And within a little chord in one or days of two--she would do so.

But without a father to care for her notorious sons;
And even I was locked away, and could not do so;
I was terrified, I was horribly undignified;
To learn this stern reality we were so sullenly faced with!

Ah, not now! I could not too believe my ears!
Maud and her children were dead--they’d been stillborn;
Before they left Maud alone to receive her fate;
Her locksmith would not come; he had another due in a nameless town.

By the time he arrived my darling had gone;
Perhaps she was now shimmering in heaven;
Enchanting her children with her enormous spells;
Narrating stories no plain human could ever tell.

Even in heaven my love would perhaps be famous;
Her tenderness would make other angels jealous;
And angered by envy, they would gather and complain to God;
How an earthly soul could be more vivacious than their heavenly were.

Ah, but where is Maud, Maud, Maud;
Maud and her chain of songs that were never to be broken;
Maud and her familiarity with gardens and blue lilies;
Maud and her immaculate pets of birds that still sweetly sing.

Ah, but where is my darling, my darling, my darling;
My eternal ocean, my hustling flowerbed, my immortal;
My poem, my enchanting lyric, my wedding ring;
My novelty, my merited charm, my eternal.

And now she was longing for her grave, as I’d been told;
For I’d been told by the dimmed torches and fuss and mirthless air outside;
By the endless wandering and the prince’s wails and wordless screams.
Ah, my Maud had now migrated from her life--but attained her freedom!

And he was thus unworthy of being in her heaven;
Her heaven where there would be me, her true love;
And thus he would be glad to greet his fires of hell;
He would marry an evil angel there--and make himself again full.

But I’d be with Maud, Maud, Maud and Maud;
I’d be again with my gem, indefatigable little darling;
Whose voice was unsure, whose poems were never known;
But ‘twas enough that they’d been known to me, her secret--ye’ dearest lover.

So took I, that spinning penchant and a circle of strings;
The edges I matched to the chains on my ceilings.
I braced myself for my very own fiery death;
But again, I’d be with Maud and death would no more, aye, be sad.

Thus the above poem was done by my spirit;
But with the same token and awe of genuineness and wit;
I feel tired--I shall close my eyes, and thus enjoy my heaven now;
For my wife and starlings are all waiting for me to-morrow.

It is now nighttime in heaven;
And there is indeed, no place on earth lovelier;
I gaze into my wife with a loving madness;
Her cheeks sweeter still, than any proudest swiftness.

I shall take my vow of marriage tomorrow;
My proud wife sitting in yon angelic chair by my side.
I shall cradle, then, those white little nuptial fairies;
They are Maud’s children’s, but lithe and gracious and bow to me in chaste mercies.

Ah, Maud, Maud, Maud, she is but all mine now;
I am still surprised now, as sitting by this heaven riverside.
One even grander than the one I’d had beside the lake;
Which I often farmed when I had needs to bake.

Ah, Maud, Maud, Maud, she is a ghost but as ever lively;
We are both dead but she boldly remaineth lovely;
I know she is worthier than serene jewels or mundane affairs;
And still she is worthier all the same, than any other terrific palace--or heir.

Ah, Maud, Maud, Maud, and this war is but all over now;
Thus let us dream dead of the exciting tomorrow.
We shall see life and our children grow;
We shall witness delight--and miracles none ever knows.
II. TO DEMETER (495 lines)

(ll. 1-3) I begin to sing of rich-haired Demeter, awful goddess
-- of her and her trim-ankled daughter whom Aidoneus rapt away,
given to him by all-seeing Zeus the loud-thunderer.

(ll. 4-18) Apart from Demeter, lady of the golden sword and
glorious fruits, she was playing with the deep-bosomed daughters
of Oceanus and gathering flowers over a soft meadow, roses and
crocuses and beautiful violets, irises also and hyacinths and the
narcissus, which Earth made to grow at the will of Zeus and to
please the Host of Many, to be a snare for the bloom-like girl --
a marvellous, radiant flower.  It was a thing of awe whether for
deathless gods or mortal men to see: from its root grew a hundred
blooms and is smelled most sweetly, so that all wide heaven above
and the whole earth and the sea's salt swell laughed for joy.
And the girl was amazed and reached out with both hands to take
the lovely toy; but the wide-pathed earth yawned there in the
plain of Nysa, and the lord, Host of Many, with his immortal
horses sprang out upon her -- the Son of Cronos, He who has many
names (5).

(ll. 19-32) He caught her up reluctant on his golden car and bare
her away lamenting.  Then she cried out shrilly with her voice,
calling upon her father, the Son of Cronos, who is most high and
excellent.  But no one, either of the deathless gods or of mortal
men, heard her voice, nor yet the olive-trees bearing rich fruit:
only tender-hearted Hecate, bright-coiffed, the daughter of
Persaeus, heard the girl from her cave, and the lord Helios,
Hyperion's bright son, as she cried to her father, the Son of
Cronos.  But he was sitting aloof, apart from the gods, in his
temple where many pray, and receiving sweet offerings from mortal
men.  So he, that Son of Cronos, of many names, who is Ruler of
Many and Host of Many, was bearing her away by leave of Zeus on
his immortal chariot -- his own brother's child and all
unwilling.

(ll. 33-39) And so long as she, the goddess, yet beheld earth and
starry heaven and the strong-flowing sea where fishes shoal, and
the rays of the sun, and still hoped to see her dear mother and
the tribes of the eternal gods, so long hope calmed her great
heart for all her trouble....
((LACUNA))
....and the heights of the mountains and the depths of the sea
rang with her immortal voice: and her queenly mother heard her.

(ll. 40-53) Bitter pain seized her heart, and she rent the
covering upon her divine hair with her dear hands: her dark cloak
she cast down from both her shoulders and sped, like a wild-bird,
over the firm land and yielding sea, seeking her child.  But no
one would tell her the truth, neither god nor mortal men; and of
the birds of omen none came with true news for her.  Then for
nine days queenly Deo wandered over the earth with flaming
torches in her hands, so grieved that she never tasted ambrosia
and the sweet draught of nectar, nor sprinkled her body with
water.  But when the tenth enlightening dawn had come, Hecate,
with a torch in her hands, met her, and spoke to her and told her
news:

(ll. 54-58) 'Queenly Demeter, bringer of seasons and giver of
good gifts, what god of heaven or what mortal man has rapt away
Persephone and pierced with sorrow your dear heart?  For I heard
her voice, yet saw not with my eyes who it was.  But I tell you
truly and shortly all I know.'

(ll. 59-73) So, then, said Hecate.  And the daughter of rich-
haired Rhea answered her not, but sped swiftly with her, holding
flaming torches in her hands.  So they came to Helios, who is
watchman of both gods and men, and stood in front of his horses:
and the bright goddess enquired of him: 'Helios, do you at least
regard me, goddess as I am, if ever by word or deed of mine I
have cheered your heart and spirit.  Through the fruitless air I
heard the thrilling cry of my daughter whom I bare, sweet scion
of my body and lovely in form, as of one seized violently; though
with my eyes I saw nothing.  But you -- for with your beams you
look down from the bright upper air Over all the earth and sea --
tell me truly of my dear child, if you have seen her anywhere,
what god or mortal man has violently seized her against her will
and mine, and so made off.'

(ll. 74-87) So said she.  And the Son of Hyperion answered her:
'Queen Demeter, daughter of rich-haired Rhea, I will tell you the
truth; for I greatly reverence and pity you in your grief for
your trim-ankled daughter.  None other of the deathless gods is
to blame, but only cloud-gathering Zeus who gave her to Hades,
her father's brother, to be called his buxom wife.  And Hades
seized her and took her loudly crying in his chariot down to his
realm of mist and gloom.  Yet, goddess, cease your loud lament
and keep not vain anger unrelentingly: Aidoneus, the Ruler of
Many, is no unfitting husband among the deathless gods for your
child, being your own brother and born of the same stock: also,
for honour, he has that third share which he received when
division was made at the first, and is appointed lord of those
among whom he dwells.'

(ll. 88-89) So he spake, and called to his horses: and at his
chiding they quickly whirled the swift chariot along, like long-
winged birds.

(ll. 90-112) But grief yet more terrible and savage came into the
heart of Demeter, and thereafter she was so angered with the
dark-clouded Son of Cronos that she avoided the gathering of the
gods and high Olympus, and went to the towns and rich fields of
men, disfiguring her form a long while.  And no one of men or
deep-bosomed women knew her when they saw her, until she came to
the house of wise Celeus who then was lord of fragrant Eleusis.
Vexed in her dear heart, she sat near the wayside by the Maiden
Well, from which the women of the place were used to draw water,
in a shady place over which grew an olive shrub.  And she was
like an ancient woman who is cut off from childbearing and the
gifts of garland-loving Aphrodite, like the nurses of king's
children who deal justice, or like the house-keepers in their
echoing halls.  There the daughters of Celeus, son of Eleusis,
saw her, as they were coming for easy-drawn water, to carry it in
pitchers of bronze to their dear father's house: four were they
and like goddesses in the flower of their girlhood, Callidice and
Cleisidice and lovely Demo and Callithoe who was the eldest of
them all.  They knew her not, -- for the gods are not easily
discerned by mortals -- but standing near by her spoke winged
words:

(ll. 113-117) 'Old mother, whence and who are you of folk born
long ago?  Why are you gone away from the city and do not draw
near the houses?  For there in the shady halls are women of just
such age as you, and others younger; and they would welcome you
both by word and by deed.'

(ll. 118-144) Thus they said.  And she, that queen among
goddesses answered them saying: 'Hail, dear children, whosoever
you are of woman-kind.  I will tell you my story; for it is not
unseemly that I should tell you truly what you ask.  Doso is my
name, for my stately mother gave it me.  And now I am come from
Crete over the sea's wide back, -- not willingly; but pirates
brought be thence by force of strength against my liking.
Afterwards they put in with their swift craft to Thoricus, and
there the women landed on the shore in full throng and the men
likewise, and they began to make ready a meal by the stern-cables
of the ship.  But my heart craved not pleasant food, and I fled
secretly across the dark country and escaped by masters, that
they should not take me unpurchased across the sea, there to win
a price for me.  And so I wandered and am come here: and I know
not at all what land this is or what people are in it.  But may
all those who dwell on Olympus give you husbands and birth of
children as parents desire, so you take pity on me, maidens, and
show me this clearly that I may learn, dear children, to the
house of what man and woman I may go, to work for them cheerfully
at such tasks as belong to a woman of my age.  Well could I nurse
a new born child, holding him in my arms, or keep house, or
spread my masters' bed in a recess of the well-built chamber, or
teach the women their work.'

(ll. 145-146) So said the goddess.  And straightway the *****
maiden Callidice, goodliest in form of the daughters of Celeus,
answered her and said:

(ll. 147-168) 'Mother, what the gods send us, we mortals bear
perforce, although we suffer; for they are much stronger than we.

But now I will teach you clearly, telling you the names of men
who have great power and honour here and are chief among the
people, guarding our city's coif of towers by their wisdom and
true judgements: there is wise Triptolemus and Dioclus and
Polyxeinus and blameless Eumolpus and Dolichus and our own brave
father.  All these have wives who manage in the house, and no one
of them, so soon as she has seen you, would dishonour you and
turn you from the house, but they will welcome you; for indeed
you are godlike.  But if you will, stay here; and we will go to
our father's house and tell Metaneira, our deep-bosomed mother,
all this matter fully, that she may bid you rather come to our
home than search after the houses of others.  She has an only
son, late-born, who is being nursed in our well-built house, a
child of many prayers and welcome: if you could bring him up
until he reached the full measure of youth, any one of womankind
who should see you would straightway envy you, such gifts would
our mother give for his upbringing.'

(ll. 169-183) So she spake: and the goddess bowed her head in
assent.  And they filled their shining vessels with water and
carried them off rejoicing.  Quickly they came to their father's
great house and straightway told their mother according as they
had heard and seen.  Then she bade them go with all speed and
invite the stranger to come for a measureless hire.  As hinds or
heifers in spring time, when sated with pasture, bound about a
meadow, so they, holding up the folds of their lovely garments,
darted down the hollow path, and their hair like a crocus flower
streamed about their shoulders.  And they found the good goddess
near the wayside where they had left her before, and led her to
the house of their dear father.  And she walked behind,
distressed in her dear heart, with her head veiled and wearing a
dark cloak which waved about the slender feet of the goddess.

(ll. 184-211) Soon they came to the house of heaven-nurtured
Celeus and went through the portico to where their queenly mother
sat by a pillar of the close-fitted roof, holding her son, a
tender scion, in her *****.  And the girls ran to her.  But the
goddess walked to the threshold: and her head reached the roof
and she filled the doorway with a heavenly radiance.  Then awe
and reverence and pale fear took hold of Metaneira, and she rose
up from her couch before Demeter, and bade her be seated.  But
Demeter, bringer of seasons and giver of perfect gifts, would not
sit upon the bright couch, but stayed silent with lovely eyes
cast down until careful Iambe placed a jointed seat for her and
threw over it a silvery fleece.  Then she sat down and held her
veil in her hands before her face.  A long time she sat upon the
stool (6) without speaking because of her sorrow, and greeted no
one by word or by sign, but rested, never smiling, and tasting
neither food nor drink, because she pined with longing for her
deep-bosomed daughter, until careful Iambe -- who pleased her
moods in aftertime also -- moved the holy lady with many a quip
and jest to smile and laugh and cheer her heart.  Then Metaneira
filled a cup with sweet wine and offered it to her; but she
refused it, for she said it was not lawful for her to drink red
wine, but bade them mix meal and water with soft mint and give
her to drink.  And Metaneira mixed the draught and gave it to the
goddess as she bade.  So the great queen Deo received it to
observe the sacrament.... (7)

((LACUNA))

(ll. 212-223) And of them all, well-girded Metaneira first began
to speak: 'Hail, lady!  For I think you are not meanly but nobly
born; truly dignity and grace are conspicuous upon your eyes as
in the eyes of kings that deal justice.  Yet we mortals bear
perforce what the gods send us, though we be grieved; for a yoke
is set upon our necks.  But now, since you are come here, you
shall have what I can bestow: and nurse me this child whom the
gods gave me in my old age and beyond my hope, a son much prayed
for.  If you should bring him up until he reach the full measure
of youth, any one of womankind that sees you will straightway
envy you, so great reward would I give for his upbringing.'

(ll. 224-230) Then rich-haired Demeter answered her: 'And to you,
also, lady, all hail, and may the gods give you good!  Gladly
will I take the boy to my breast, as you bid me, and will nurse
him.  Never, I ween, through any heedlessness of his nurse shall
witchcraft hurt him nor yet the Undercutter (8): for I know a
charm far stronger than the Woodcutter, and I know an excellent
safeguard against woeful witchcraft.'

(ll. 231-247) When she had so spoken, she took the child in her
fragrant ***** with her divine hands: and his mother was glad in
her heart.  So the goddess nursed in the palace Demophoon, wise
Celeus' goodly son whom well-girded Metaneira bare.  And the
child grew like some immortal being, not fed with food nor
nourished at the breast: for by day rich-crowned Demeter would
anoint him with ambrosia as if he were the offspring of a god and
breathe sweetly upon him as she held him in her *****.  But at
night she would hide him like a brand in the heard of the fire,
unknown to his dear parents.  And it wrought great wonder in
these that he grew beyond his age; for he was like the gods face
to face.  And she would have made him deathless and unageing, had
not well-girded Metaneira in her heedlessness kept watch by night
from her sweet-smelling chamber and spied.  But she wailed and
smote her two hips, because she feared for her son and was
greatly distraught in her heart; so she lamented and uttered
winged words:

(ll. 248-249) 'Demophoon, my son, the strange woman buries you
deep in fire and works grief and bitter sorrow for me.'

(ll. 250-255) Thus she spoke, mourning.  And the bright goddess,
lovely-crowned Demeter, heard her, and was wroth with her.  So
with her divine hands she snatched from the fire the dear son
whom Metaneira had born unhoped-for in the palace, and cast him
from her to the ground; for she was terribly angry in her heart.
Forthwith she said to well-girded Metaneira:

(ll. 256-274) 'Witless are you mortals and dull to foresee your
lot, whether of good or evil, that comes upon you.  For now in
your heedlessness you have wrought folly past healing; for -- be
witness the oath of the gods, the relentless water of Styx -- I
would have made your dear son deathless and unaging all his days
and would have bestowed on him everlasting honour, but now he can
in no way escape death and the fates.  Yet shall unfailing honour
always rest upon him, because he lay upon my knees and slept in
my arms.  But, as the years move round and when he is in his
prime, the sons of the Eleusinians shall ever wage war and dread
strife with one another continually.  Lo!  I am that Demeter who
has share of honour and is the greatest help and cause of joy to
the undying gods and mortal men.  But now, let all the people
build be a great temple and an altar below it and beneath the
city and its sheer wall upon a rising hillock above Callichorus.
And I myself will teach my rites, that hereafter you may
reverently perform them and so win the favour of my
Ah, doth swayeth the grass around the heavily-watered grounds, and even lilies are even busy in their pondering thoughts. Dim poetry is lighting up my insides, but still-canst not I, proceed on to my poetic writings, for I am committed to my dear dissertation-shamefully! Cannot even I enjoy watery sweets in front of my decent romantic candlelight-o, how destructible this serious nexus is!

Ah, and the temperatures' slender fits are but a new sensation to this melancholy surroundings. How my souls desire to be liberated-from this arduous work, and be staggered into the bifurcating melodies of the winds. O, but again-these final words are somehow required, how blatantly ungenerous! What a fine doomed environment the greenery out there hath duly changed into. White-dark stretches of tremor loom over every bald bush's horizon. O-what a dreadful, dreadful pic of sovereign menace! Not at all lyrical; much less gorgeous! Even the ultimate touches of serendipity have been broomed out of their localised regions. Broomed forcibly; that their weight and multitudes of collars whitened-and their innocent stomachs pulled systematically out. Ah, how dire-dire-dire; how perseveringly unbearable! A dawn at dusk, then-is a normal occurence and thus needeth t' be solitarily accepted. No more grains of sensitivity are left bare. Not even one-oh, no more! A tumultous slumber hinders everything, with a sense of original perplexity t'at haunts, and harms any of it t'at dares to pass by. O, what a disgrace t'at is secretly housed by t'is febrile nature! And o, t'is what happeneth when poets are left onto t'eir unstable hills of talents, with such a wild lagoon of inspirations about! Roam, roam as we doth-along the parked cars, all unread-and dolefully left untouched, like a moonlit baby straightening his face on top of the earth's liar *****. Ah, I knoweth t'is misery. A misery t'at is not only textual, but also virginal; but what I comprehendeth not is the unfairness of the preceding remark itself-if all miseries were crudely virginal, then wouldst it be unworthy of perceiving some others as personal? O, how t'is new confusion puzzles me, and vexes me all too badly! Beads of sweat are beginning to form on my humorous palms, with lines unabashed-and pictorial aggressions too unforgiving too resist. Ah, quiver doth I-as I am, now! O, thee-oh, mindful joyfulness and delight, descend once more onto me-and maketh my work once again thine-ah, and thy only, own vengeful blossom! And breathe onto my minds thy very own terrific seizure; maketh all the luring bright days no more an impediment and a cure; to every lavish thought clear-but hungrily unsure! Ah, as I knoweth it wouldst work-for thy seizure on my hand is gentle, ratifying, and safely classical. How I loveth thy little grasps-and shall always do! Like a moonlight, which had been carried along the stars' compulsive backs-until it truly screamed, while the bountiful morning retreated, and mounted its back. Mounted its back so that it could not see. Invasive are the stars-as thou knoweth, adorned with elaborations t'at humanity, and even the sincerest of gravities shall turn out. Ah, so 'tis how the moon's poor sailing soul is-like a chirping bird-trembled along the snowy night, but knocked back onto abysmal conclusions, soon as sunshine startled him and brought him back anew, to the pale hordes of mischievous, shadowy roses. Ah, all these routines are similar-but unsure, like thoughts circling-within a paper so impure. And when tragic love is bound, like the one I am having with 'im; everything shall crawl-and seem dearer than they seem; for nothing canst bind a heart which falls in love, until it darkeneth the rosiness of its own cheeks, and destroys its own kiss. Like how he hath impaired my heart; but I shall be a stone once more; abysses of my deliciously destroyed sapphire shall revive within the glades of my hand; and my massive tremors shall ever be concluded. O, love, o notion that I may not hate; bestow on my thy aberrant power-and free my tormented soul-o, my poor tormented soul, from the possible eternal slumber without tasting such a joy of thine once more! I am now trapped within a triangle I hated; I am no more of my precious self-my sublimity hath gone; hath attempted at disentangling himself so piercingly from me. I am no more terrific; I smell not like my own virginity-and much less, an ideal lady-t'at everyone shall so hysterically shout at, and pray for, ah, I hath been disinherited by the world.

Ah, shall I be a matter to your tasty thoughts, my love? For to thee I might hath been tentative, and not at all compulsory; I hath been disowned even, by my own poetry; my varied fate hath ignored and strayed me about. Ah, love, which danger shall I hate-and avoid? But should I, should I diverge from t'is homogeneous edge I so dreamily preached about? And canst thou but lecture me once more-on the distinctness between love and hate-in the foregoing-and the sometimes illusory truth of our inimical future? And for the love of this foreignness didst I revert to my first dreaded poetry-for the sake of t'is first sweetly-honeyed world. For the time being, it is perhaps unrighteous to think of thee; thou who firstly wert so sweet; thou who wert but too persuasive-and too magnanimous for every maiden's heart to bear. Thou who shone on me like an eternal fire-ah, sweet, but doth thou remember not-t'at thou art thyself immortal? Thou art but a disaster to any living creature-who has flesh and breath; for they diverge from life when time comes, and be defiled like a rusty old parish over one fretful stormy night. Ah, and here I present another confusion; should I reject my own faith therefrom? Ah, like the reader hath perhaps recognised, I am not an interactive poet; for I am egotistic and self-isolating. Ah, yet-I demand, sometimes, their possibly harshest criticism; to be fit into my undeniable authenticity and my other private authorial conventions. I admireth myself in my writing as much as I resolutely admireth thee; but shall we come, ever, into terms? Ah, thee, whose eyes are too crucial for my consciousness to look at. Ah, and yet-thou hath caused me simply far-too-adequate mounds of distress; their power tower over me, standing as a cold barrier between me and my own immaculate reality of discourse. Too much distress is, as the reader canst see, in my verse right now-and none is sufficiently consoling-all are unsweet, like a taste of scalding water and a tree of curses. Yes, that thou ought to believe just yet-t'at trees are bound to curses. Yester' I sheltered myself, under some bits of splitting clouds-and t'eir due mourning sways of rain, beneath a solid tree. With leaves giggling and roots unbecoming underneath-ah, t'eir shrieks were too selfish; ah, all terrible, and contained no positive merit at all-t'at they all became too vague and failed at t'eir venerable task of disorganising, and at the same time-stunning me. Ah, but t'eir yelling and gasping and choking were simply too ferociously disoriented, what a shame! Their art was too brutal, odd, and too thoroughly equanimious-and wouldst I have stood not t'ere for the entire three minutes or so-had such perks of abrupt thoughts of thee streamed onto my mind, and lightened up all the burdening whirls of mockery about me in just one second. O, so-but again, the sound melodies of rain were of a radical comfort to my ears-and t'at was the actual moment, when I realised t'at I truly loved him-and until today, the real horror in my heart saith t'at it is still him t'at I purely love-and shall always do. Though I may be no more of a pretty glimpse at the heart of his mirror, 'tis still his imagery I keepeth running into; and his vital reality. Ah, how with light steps I ran to him yester' morning; and caught him about his vigorous steps! All seemed ethereal, but the truthful width of the sun was still t'ere-and so was the lake's sparkling water; so benevolently encompassing us as we walked together onto our separated realms. And passing the cars, as we did, all t'at I absorbed and felt so neatly within my heart was the intuitive course; and the unavoidable beauty of falling in love. Ah, miracles, miracles, shalt thou ever cease to exist? Ah, bring but my Immortal back to me-as if I am still like I was back then, and of hating him before I am not guilty; make him mine now-even for just one night; make him hold my hands, and I shall free him from all his present melancholy and insipid trepidations. Ah, miracles; I doth love my Immortal more t'an I am permitted to do; and so if thou doth not-please doth trouble me once more; and grant, grant him to me-and clarify t'is tale of unbreathed love prettily, like never before.

As I have related above I may not be sufficient; I may not be fair-from a dark world doth I come, full not of royalty-but ambiguity, severed esteem, and gales-and gales, of unholy confidentiality. And 'tis He only, in His divine throne-t'at is worthy of every phrased gratitude, and thankful laughter; so t'is piece is just-though not artificial, a genuine reflection of what I feelest inside, about my yet unblessed love, and my doubtful pious feelings right now-and about which I am rather confused. Still, I am to be generous, and not to be by any chance, too brimming or hopeful; but I shall not be bashful about confessing t'is proposition of love-t'at I should hath realised from a good long time ago. Ah, I was but too arrogant within my pride-and even in my confessions of humility; I was too charmed by myself to revert to my extraordinary feelings. Ah, but again-thou art immortal, my love; so I should be afraid not-of ceasing to love thee; and as every brand-new day breathes life into its wheels-and is stirred to the living-once more, I know t'at the swells of nature; including all the crystallised shapes of th' universe-and the' faithful gardens of heaven, as well as all the aurochs, angels, and divinity above-and the skies' and oceans' satirical-but precious nymphs, are watching us, and shall forgive and purify us; I know t'at this is the sake of eternity we are fighting for. And for the first time in my life-I shall like to confess this bravely, selfishly, and publicly; so that wherever thou art-and I shall be, thou wilt know-and in the utmost certainty thou canst but shyly obtain, know with thy most honest sincerity; t'at I hath always loved thee, and shall forever love thee like this, Immortal.
SassyJ Jan 2016
The snail strolls gently
Realigning hoped moments
A slow pace of consequences
****** and placed on tables
Harped to melodic tunes
Summed in upbeat sequences
The crescendo boils to ******
The climb of beats and undertones
All exposed and overlooked
The onlookers astonished
My ribs pinned out in pain
I squeeze to the cracks of normality
Attempting to slowly leap
To see the darkness of winter
To breath the stilled air
Yet, a hope lived, a life seen
We all shall make it to the end
Crawling to cut the finish line
Life seems slow but with minimal leaps. We shall all see the finish line. The aspect of living a "normal" life pain my ribs; up to the point the onlookers are astonished. We are all heading to the finish line, some things have to be embraced! But do we have to?
Akemi Apr 2017
Awhile ago, I had been at a party. I’d listened to someone talk about Kate Moss for ten minutes straight. I left the room, found my flatmate and asked why anyone was interested in anything at all. We’d come up with no answers.

All this started a month ago, and all that started long before. I will not bore you with trite aphorisms about how I survived, or how wondrous life has become since. At some point my mind broke. This is a collection of memories about my attempted suicide and the absurdity of the entire experience.

Wednesday, 26th of April, 2017, midnight.

Couldn’t sleep. Surfed the internet. Fell into ASMR sub-culture.[1] Meta-satire, transitioning to post-irony, before pseudo-spiritual out-of-body transcendence. I thought, *this is the most ****** experience I’ve had in half a decade
, while a woman spun spheres of blobby jelly around my head and whispered elephant mourning rituals into my ears.

Tuesday, 27th of April, 2017, afternoon.

Woke up mid-day. Looked at all the objects in my room, unable to understand why any of them mattered. Milled around the flat. Went online to order helium so I could make an exit bag.[2] Cheapest source was The Warehouse, though the helium came with thirty bright multi-coloured party balloons. I kept imagining one of my flatmates walking in later that day, seeing my crumpled body surrounded by these floppy bits of rubber and a note saying this life is absurd and I want out of it. There was no online purchasing option, however, and I couldn’t be bothered walking into town. I began reading suicide notes. One was from a kid who’d slowly taken pills as he watched TV, culminating in a coma. That sounds pleasant, I thought, whilst at the same time knowing that it takes up to three days to die from painkillers and that the process is anything but painless or final. I opened my drawer, found a bunch of paracetamol and began washing them down with water, whilst listening to the soundtrack of End of Evangelion.[3]

I’m not sure why, but I began crying violently. I knew I’d have to leave the flat before my flatmates came home. I hastily scrawled a note that said, donate my body, give my money to senpai, give my possessions to someone I don’t know, it smells like burning, it was good knowing you all, before walking out the door with Komm Süsser Tod playing in the background.[4, 5] I’d already written my personal and political reasons for suicide in the pieces méconnaissance[6] and **** Yourself,[7] so felt there was no reason for anything more substantial.

I wandered the back roads of my neighbourhood. My body shook. I felt somnolent, half-dazed. I wanted a quiet place to sit, sleep and writhe in agony while my organs slowly failed. My legs kept stumbling, however, and my head was beginning to feel funny. I found a dead-end street and sat on one of those artificially maintained rectangles of grass. There was a black cat lying in the middle of the road, just bobbing its head at me. I zoned out for a bit and when I came to a giant orange cat was to my left, gazing intently into my teary face. I tried to refocus on my crotch. I couldn’t help but notice a white cat across the road, pretending not to be seen. It had a dubious look on its face, a countenance of guilt. What the hell was going on? A delivery person looped round the street. People returned home from work. Garage doors opened, cars drove down driveways. Here I was, slowly dying, surrounded by spooky ******* cats and the bustle of ordinary existence.

“Uh, hey. You look, uh, like something isn’t . . . do you need, uh, help?” a woman asked, crossing the street with a pram to reach me. I groaned.

“It’s just that, you know, ordinarily, um, I mean normally, people don’t sit on the sidewalk,” she continued, glancing down with the half-confused look of a concerned citizen who is trying to enter a situation outside of their usual experience. I mumbled something indistinct and went back to staring at my crotch.

“You know, I can, er . . . I can . . . I can’t really help,” she ended, awkwardly. “I have a daughter to look after, but . . . if you’re still here when she’s asleep . . . I’m the red fence.” She darted off without another word.

Had she wanted me off the sidewalk because it was abnormal to sit there, or had she seen the abnormality as a sign of something deeper? Either way, she’d used abnormality as a signifier of negative change. Deviancy as something to be corrected, realigned with some norm that co-exists with happiness and citizenship. I was being a bad citizen.

I thought, I miss those cats. At least they had judged me in silence. Wait, what the hell am I thinking? This is clearly a case of deviancy associated with negative feelings. Well, negative feelings, but not necessarily negative change. Suicide is only negative if one views life as intrinsically worthwhile

I could hear pram lady in the distance. She was talking to someone who’d just come back from work. They thanked pram lady and began moving towards me. Arghggh, just let me die, I thought.

She introduced herself as a nurse. From her tone and approach, it was clear she’d handled many cases like me. I’ve never hated counselling techniques. They seemed to at least trouble neoliberal rhetoric. There is little mention of overcoming, or striving, or perfecting oneself into a being of pure success. Rather, counselling seemed to be about listening and piercing together the other’s perspective. Counsellors tended not to interject words of comfort. They’d tell you mental illness was lifelong and couldn’t be fixed. They’re the closest society has to positive pessimists. Of course, they’d still want you to get better. Better, as in, not attempting suicide.

I talked with nurse lady for an hour about how life is simply passing. Passing through oneself, passing through others, passing through spaces, thoughts and emotions. About how the majority of life seems to be lived in a beyond we’ll never reach. Potential futures, moments of relief, phantasies we create to escape the dull present. About how I’d been finding my media and politics degree really rewarding, but some part of my head broke and I lost all ability to focus and care. About how the more I learnt about the world, the less capable I felt of changing it, and that change was a narcissistic day dream, anyway.

She replied “We’re all cogs. But what’s wrong with being a cog? Even a cog can make changes,” and I thought, but never one’s own.

She gave me a ride to the emergency clinic because I was too apathetic and guilt-ridden to decline. Why are people so nice over things that don’t matter? Chicks are ground into chicken nuggets alive.[8] The meat-industry produces 50% of the world’s carbon emissions.[9] But someone sits on the side of the road in a bourgeois neighbourhood and suddenly you have cats and nurses worried sick over your ****** up head. I should have worn a hobo coat and sat in town.

Tuesday, 27th of April, 2017, evening.

I had forgotten how painful waiting rooms were. It was stupidly ironic. I’d entered this apathetic suicidal stupor because I’d wanted to escape the monotony of existence, yet here I was, sitting in a waiting room, counting the stains on the ceiling, while the reception TV streamed a hospital drama.

“Get his *** in there!”

“Time is the real killer.”

“It wasn’t the cancer that was terminal, it was you.”

Zoom in on doctor face man.

Everybody hugging.

Emergency waiting rooms are a lot like life. You don’t choose to be there. An accident simply occurs and then you’re stuck, watching a show about *** cancer and family bonding. Sometimes someone coughs and you become aware of your own body again. You remember that you exist outside of media, waiting in this sterile space on a painfully too small plastic chair. You deliberately avoid the glances of everyone else in the room because you don’t want to reduce their existence to an injury, a pulsing wound, a lack, nor let them reduce you the same. The accident that got you here left you with a blank spot in your head, but the nurses reassure you that you’ll be up soon, to whatever it is you’re here for. And so, with nothing else to do, you turn back to the TV and forget you exist.

I thought, I should have taken more pills and gone into the woods.

The ER was a Kafkaeque realm of piercing lights, sleepy interns and too narrow privacy curtains.[10] Every time a nurse would try to close one, they’d pull it too far to one side, opening the other side up. Like the self, no bed was fully enclosed. There were always gaps, spaces of viewing, windows into trauma, and like the objet petit a, there was always the potential of meeting another’s gaze, one just like yours, only, out of your control.

I lay amidst a drone of machinery, footsteps and chatter. I stared at ceiling stains. Every hour or so a different nurse would approach me, repeat the same ten questions as the one before, then end commenting awkwardly on my tattoos. I kept thinking, what is going on? Have I finally died and become integrated into some eternally recurring limbo hell where, in a state of complete apathy and deterioration, some devil approaches me every hour to ask, why did you take those pills?

Do I have to repeat my answer for the rest of my life?

I gazed at the stain to my right. That was back in ‘92 when the piping above burst on a particularly wintry day. I shifted my gaze. And that happened in ‘99 when an intern tripped holding a giant cup of coffee. Afterwards, everyone began calling her Trippy. She eventually became a surgeon and had four adorable bourgeois kids. Tippy Tip Tap Toop.

The nurses began covering my body with little pieces of paper and plastic, to which only one third were connected to an ECG monitor.[11] Every ten minutes or so the monitor would begin honking violently, to which (initially) no one would respond to. After an hour or so a nurse wandered over with a worried expression, poked the machine a little, then asked if I was experiencing any chest pains. Before I could answer, he was intercepted by another nurse and told not to worry. His expression never cleared up, but he went back to staring blankly into a computer terminal on the other end of the room.

There were two security guards awkwardly trying not to meet anyone’s gazes. They were out of place and they knew it. No matter what space they occupied, a nurse would have to move past them to reach some medical doodle or document. One nurse jokingly said, “It’s ER. If you’re not moving you’re in the way,” to which the guards chortled, shuffled a metre or so sideways, before returning to standing still.

I checked my phone.

“Got veges.”

“If you successfully **** yourself, you’ll officially be the biggest right-wing neoliberal piece of ****.”[12]

“Your Text Unlimited Combo renewed on 28 Apr at 10:41. Nice!”

I went back to staring at the ceiling.

Six hours later, one of the nurses came over and said “Huh, turns out there’s nothing in your blood. Nothing . . . at all.” Another pulled out my drip and disconnected me from the ECG monitor. “Well, you’re free to leave.”

Tuesday, 27th of April, 2017, midnight.

I wandered over to the Emergency Psychiatric Services. The doctor there was interested in setting up future supports for my ****** up mind. He mentioned anti-depressants and I told him that in the past they hadn’t really worked, that it seemed more related to my general political outlook, that this purposeless restlessness has been with me most of my life, and that no drug or counselling could cure the lack innate to existence which is exacerbated by our current political and cultural institutions.

He replied “Are you one of those anti-druggers? You know there’s been a lot of backlash against psychiatry, it’s really the cultural Zeitgeist of our times, but it’s all led by misinformation, scaremongering.”

I hesitated, before replying “I’m not anti-drugs, I just don’t think you can change my general hatred of existence.”

“Okay, okay, I’m not trying to argue with your outlook, but you’re simply stuck in this doom and gloom phase—”

Whoa, wait a ******* minute. You’re not trying to argue with my outlook, while completely discounting my outlook as simply a passing emotional state? This guy is a ******* *******, I thought, ragging on about anti-druggers while pretending not to undermine a political and social position I’d spent years researching and building up. I stopped paying attention to him. Yes, a lot of my problems are internal, but I’m more than a disembodied brain, biologically computing chemical data.

At the end of his rant, he said something like “You’re a good kid,” and I thought, ******* too.

Friday, 28th of April, 2017, morning.

The next day I met a different doctor. I gave him a brief summary of my privileged life culminating in a ****** metaphor about three metaphysical pillars which lift me into the tempestuous winds of existential dread and nihilistic apathy. One, my social anxiety. Two, my absurd existence. Three, my political outlook. One, anxiety: I cannot relate to small talk. The gaze of the other is a gaze of expectations. Because I cannot know these expectations, I will never live up to them. Communication is by nature, lacking. Two, absurdity: Existence is a meaningless repetition of arbitrary structures we ourselves construct, then forget. Reflexivity is about uncovering this so that we may escape structures we do not like. We inevitably fall into new structures, prejudices and artifices. Nothing is authentic, nothing is innocent and nothing is your self. Three, politics: I am trapped in a neoliberal capitalist monstrosity that creates enough produce to feed the entire world, but does not do so due to the market’s instrumental need for profit. The system, in other words, rewards capitalists who are ruthless. Any capitalist trying to bring about change, will necessarily have to become ruthless to reach a position of power, and therefore will fail to bring about change.

The doctor nodded. He thought deeply, tried to piece it all together, then finally said “Yes, society is quite terrifying. This is something we cannot control. There are things out there that will harm you and the political situation of our time is troubling.”

I was astounded. This was one of the first doctors who’d actually taken what I’d said and given it consideration. Sure we hadn’t gotten into a length discussion of socialism, feminism or veganism, but they also hadn’t simply collapsed my political thoughts into my depressive state.

“But you know, there are still niches of meaning in this world. Though the greater structures are overbearing, people can still find purpose enacting smaller changes, connecting in ephemeral ways.”

What was I hearing? Was this a postmodern doctor?[13] Was science reconnecting with the humanities?

“We may even connect your third pillar, that of the political, with your second pillar and see that the political situation of our time is absurd. This is unfortunate, but as for your first pillar, this is definitely something we can help you with. In fact, it’s quite a simple process, helping one deal with social anxiety, and to me, it sounds like this anxiety has greatly affected your life for the past few years.”

The doctor then asked for my gender and sexuality, to which after I hesitated a little, he said, it didn’t really matter seeing as it was all constructed, anyway. For being unable to feel much at all, I was ecstatic. I thought, how could this doctor be working in the same building as the previous one I’d met? We went into anti-depressant plans. He told me that their effects were unpredictable. They may lift my mood, they may do nothing at all, they may even make me feel worse. Nobody really knew what molecular pathways serotonin activated, but it sometimes pulled people out of circular ways of thinking. And dopamine, well, taken in too high a dose, could make you psychotic.

Sign me the **** up, I thought, gazing at my new medical hero. These are the kinds of non-assurances that match my experience of life. Trust and expectations lead only to disappointment. Give me pure insurmountable doubt.

Friday, 28th of April, 2017, afternoon.

“The drugs won’t be too long,” the pharmacist said before disappearing into the back room. I milled around th
1. Autonomous sensory meridian response is a tingling sensation triggered by auditory cues, such as whispering, rustling, tapping, or crunching.
2. An exit bag is a DIY apparatus used to asphyxiate oneself with an inert gas. This circumvents the feeling of suffocation one experiences through hanging or drowning.
3. Neon Genesis Evangelion is a psychoanalytic deconstruction of the mecha genre, that ends with the entire human race undergoing ego death and returning to the womb.
4. Komm Süsser Tod is an (in)famous song from End of Evangelion that plays after the main character, who has become God, decides that the only way to end all the loneliness and suffering in the world is for everyone to die.
5. Senpai is a Japanese term for someone senior to you, whom you respect. It is also an anime trope.
6. https://hellopoetry.com/poem/1936097/meconnaissance/
7. https://thesleepofreason.com/2017/04/04/****-yourself/
8. See Earthlings.
9. See Cowspiracy.
10. Franz Kafka was an existentialist writer from the 20th century who wrote about alienation, anxiety and absurdity.
11. Electrocardiography monitors measure one’s heart rate through electrodes attached to the skin.
12. Neoliberalism is both an economic and cultural regime. Economically, it is about deregulating markets so that government services can be privatised, placed into the hands of transnational corporations, who, because of their global positioning, can more easily circumvent nation-state policies, and thereby place pressure on states that require their services through the threat of departure. Culturally, it is about reframing social issues into individual issues, so that individuals are held responsible for their failures, rather than the social circumstances surrounding them. As a victim-blaming discourse, it depicts all people equal and equally capable, regardless of socio-economic status. All responsibility lies on the individual, rather than the state, society or culture that cultivated their subjectivity.
13. Postmodernism is a movement that critiques modernism’s epistemological totalitarianism, colonial humanism and utopian visions of progress. It emphasises instead the fragmented, ephemeral and embodied human experience, incapable of capture in monolithic discourses that treat all humans as equal and capable of abstract authenticity. Because all objective knowledge is constructed out of subjective experience, the subject can never be effaced. Instead knowledge and power must be investigated as always coming from somewhere, someone and sometime.
NUMB, half asleep, and dazed with whirl of wheels,
And gasp of steam, and measured clank of chains,
I heard a blithe voice break a sudden pause,
Ringing familiarly through the lamp-lit night,
“Wife, here's your Venice!”
I was lifted down,
And gazed about in stupid wonderment,
Holding my little Katie by the hand—
My yellow-haired step-daughter. And again
Two strong arms led me to the water-brink,
And laid me on soft cushions in a boat,—
A queer boat, by a queerer boatman manned—
Swarthy-faced, ragged, with a scarlet cap—
Whose wild, weird note smote shrilly through the dark.
Oh yes, it was my Venice! Beautiful,
With melancholy, ghostly beauty—old,
And sorrowful, and weary—yet so fair,
So like a queen still, with her royal robes,
Full of harmonious colour, rent and worn!
I only saw her shadow in the stream,
By flickering lamplight,—only saw, as yet,
White, misty palace-portals here and there,
Pillars, and marble steps, and balconies,
Along the broad line of the Grand Canal;
And, in the smaller water-ways, a patch
Of wall, or dim bridge arching overhead.
But I could feel the rest. 'Twas Venice!—ay,
The veritable Venice of my dreams.

I saw the grey dawn shimmer down the stream,
And all the city rise, new bathed in light,
With rose-red blooms on her decaying walls,
And gold tints quivering up her domes and spires—
Sharp-drawn, with delicate pencillings, on a sky
Blue as forget-me-nots in June. I saw
The broad day staring in her palace-fronts,
Pointing to yawning gap and crumbling boss,
And colonnades, time-stained and broken, flecked
With soft, sad, dying colours—sculpture-wreathed,
And gloriously proportioned; saw the glow
Light up her bright, harmonious, fountain'd squares,
And spread out on her marble steps, and pass
Down silent courts and secret passages,
Gathering up motley treasures on its way;—

Groups of rich fruit from the Rialto mart,
Scarlet and brown and purple, with green leaves—
Fragments of exquisite carving, lichen-grown,
Found, 'mid pathetic squalor, in some niche
Where wild, half-naked urchins lived and played—
A bright robe, crowned with a pale, dark-eyed face—
A red-striped awning 'gainst an old grey wall—
A delicate opal gleam upon the tide.

I looked out from my window, and I saw
Venice, my Venice, naked in the sun—
Sad, faded, and unutterably forlorn!—
But still unutterably beautiful.

For days and days I wandered up and down—
Holding my breath in awe and ecstasy,—
Following my husband to familiar haunts,
Making acquaintance with his well-loved friends,
Whose faces I had only seen in dreams
And books and photographs and his careless talk.
For days and days—with sunny hours of rest
And musing chat, in that cool room of ours,
Paved with white marble, on the Grand Canal;
For days and days—with happy nights between,
Half-spent, while little Katie lay asleep
Out on the balcony, with the moon and stars.

O Venice, Venice!—with thy water-streets—
Thy gardens bathed in sunset, flushing red
Behind San Giorgio Maggiore's dome—
Thy glimmering lines of haughty palaces
Shadowing fair arch and column in the stream—
Thy most divine cathedral, and its square,
With vagabonds and loungers daily thronged,
Taking their ice, their coffee, and their ease—
Thy sunny campo's, with their clamorous din,
Their shrieking vendors of fresh fish and fruit—
Thy churches and thy pictures—thy sweet bits
Of colour—thy grand relics of the dead—
Thy gondoliers and water-bearers—girls
With dark, soft eyes, and creamy faces, crowned
With braided locks as bright and black as jet—
Wild ragamuffins, picturesque in rags,
And swarming beggars and old witch-like crones,
And brown-cloaked contadini, hot and tired,
Sleeping, face-downward, on the sunny steps—
Thy fairy islands floating in the sun—
Thy poppy-sprinkled, grave-strewn Lido shore—

Thy poetry and thy pathos—all so strange!—
Thou didst bring many a lump into my throat,
And many a passionate thrill into my heart,
And once a tangled dream into my head.

'Twixt afternoon and evening. I was tired;
The air was hot and golden—not a breath
Of wind until the sunset—hot and still.
Our floor was water-sprinkled; our thick walls
And open doors and windows, shadowed deep
With jalousies and awnings, made a cool
And grateful shadow for my little couch.
A subtle perfume stole about the room
From a small table, piled with purple grapes,
And water-melon slices, pink and wet,
And ripe, sweet figs, and golden apricots,
New-laid on green leaves from our garden—leaves
Wherewith an antique torso had been clothed.
My husband read his novel on the floor,
Propped up on cushions and an Indian shawl;
And little Katie slumbered at his feet,
Her yellow curls alight, and delicate tints
Of colour in the white folds of her frock.
I lay, and mused, in comfort and at ease,
Watching them both and playing with my thoughts;
And then I fell into a long, deep sleep,
And dreamed.
I saw a water-wilderness—
Islands entangled in a net of streams—
Cross-threads of rippling channels, woven through
Bare sands, and shallows glimmering blue and broad—
A line of white sea-breakers far away.
There came a smoke and crying from the land—
Ruin was there, and ashes, and the blood
Of conquered cities, trampled down to death.
But here, methought, amid these lonely gulfs,
There rose up towers and bulwarks, fair and strong,
Lapped in the silver sea-mists;—waxing aye
Fairer and stronger—till they seemed to mock
The broad-based kingdoms on the mainland shore.
I saw a great fleet sailing in the sun,
Sailing anear the sand-slip, whereon broke
The long white wave-crests of the outer sea,—
Pepin of Lombardy, with his warrior hosts—
Following the ****** steps of Attila!
I saw the smoke rise when he touched the towns
That lay, outposted, in his ravenous reach;

Then, in their island of deep waters,* saw
A gallant band defy him to his face,
And drive him out, with his fair vessels wrecked
And charred with flames, into the sea again.
“Ah, this is Venice!” I said proudly—“queen
Whose haughty spirit none shall subjugate.”

It was the night. The great stars hung, like globes
Of gold, in purple skies, and cast their light
In palpitating ripples down the flood
That washed and gurgled through the silent streets—
White-bordered now with marble palaces.
It was the night. I saw a grey-haired man,
Sitting alone in a dark convent-porch—
In beggar's garments, with a kingly face,
And eyes that watched for dawnlight anxiously—
A weary man, who could not rest nor sleep.
I heard him muttering prayers beneath his breath,
And once a malediction—while the air
Hummed with the soft, low psalm-chants from within.
And then, as grey gleams yellowed in the east,
I saw him bend his venerable head,
Creep to the door, and knock.
Again I saw
The long-drawn billows breaking on the land,
And galleys rocking in the summer noon.
The old man, richly retinued, and clad
In princely robes, stood there, and spread his arms,
And cried, to one low-kneeling at his feet,
“Take thou my blessing with thee, O my son!
And let this sword, wherewith I gird thee, smite
The impious tyrant-king, who hath defied,
Dethroned, and exiled him who is as Christ.
The Lord be good to thee, my son, my son,
For thy most righteous dealing!”
And again
'Twas that long slip of land betwixt the sea
And still lagoons of Venice—curling waves
Flinging light, foamy spray upon the sand.
The noon was past, and rose-red shadows fell
Across the waters. Lo! the galleys came
To anchorage again—and lo! the Duke
Yet once more bent his noble head to earth,
And laid a victory at the old man's feet,
Praying a blessing with exulting heart.
“This day, my well-belovèd, thou art blessed,
And Venice with thee, for St. Peter's sake.

And I will give thee, for thy bride and queen,
The sea which thou hast conquered. Take this ring,
As sign of her subjection, and thy right
To be her lord for ever.”
Once again
I saw that old man,—in the vestibule
Of St. Mark's fair cathedral,—circled round
With cardinals and priests, ambassadors
And the noblesse of Venice—richly robed
In papal vestments, with the triple crown
Gleaming upon his brows. There was a hush:—
I saw a glittering train come sweeping on,
From the blue water and across the square,
Thronged with an eager multitude,—the Duke,
And with him Barbarossa, humbled now,
And fain to pray for pardon. With bare heads,
They reached the church, and paused. The Emperor knelt,
Casting away his purple mantle—knelt,
And crept along the pavement, as to kiss
Those feet, which had been weary twenty years
With his own persecutions. And the Pope
Lifted his white haired, crowned, majestic head,
And trod upon his neck,—crying out to Christ,
“Upon the lion and adder shalt thou go—
The dragon shalt thou tread beneath thy feet!”
The vision changed. Sweet incense-clouds rose up
From the cathedral altar, mix'd with hymns
And solemn chantings, o'er ten thousand heads;
And ebbed and died away along the aisles.
I saw a train of nobles—knights of France—
Pass 'neath the glorious arches through the crowd,
And stand, with halo of soft, coloured light
On their fair brows—the while their leader's voice
Rang through the throbbing silence like a bell.
“Signiors, we come to Venice, by the will
Of the most high and puissant lords of France,
To pray you look with your compassionate eyes
Upon the Holy City of our Christ—
Wherein He lived, and suffered, and was lain
Asleep, to wake in glory, for our sakes—
By Paynim dogs dishonoured and defiled!
Signiors, we come to you, for you are strong.
The seas which lie betwixt that land and this
Obey you. O have pity! See, we kneel—
Our Masters bid us kneel—and bid us stay
Here at your feet until you grant our prayers!”
Wherewith the knights fell down upon their knees,

And lifted up their supplicating hands.
Lo! the ten thousand people rose as one,
And shouted with a shout that shook the domes
And gleaming roofs above them—echoing down,
Through marble pavements, to the shrine below,
Where lay the miraculous body of their Saint
(Shed he not heavenly radiance as he heard?—
Perfuming the damp air of his secret crypt),
And cried, with an exceeding mighty cry,
“We do consent! We will be pitiful!”
The thunder of their voices reached the sea,
And thrilled through all the netted water-veins
Of their rich city. Silence fell anon,
Slowly, with fluttering wings, upon the crowd;
And then a veil of darkness.
And again
The filtered sunlight streamed upon those walls,
Marbled and sculptured with divinest grace;
Again I saw a multitude of heads,
Soft-wreathed with cloudy incense, bent in prayer—
The heads of haughty barons, armed knights,
And pilgrims girded with their staff and scrip,
The warriors of the Holy Sepulchre.
The music died away along the roof;
The hush was broken—not by him of France—
By Enrico Dandolo, whose grey head
Venice had circled with the ducal crown.
The old man looked down, with his dim, wise eyes,
Stretching his hands abroad, and spake. “Seigneurs,
My children, see—your vessels lie in port
Freighted for battle. And you, standing here,
Wait but the first fair wind. The bravest hosts
Are with you, and the noblest enterprise
Conceived of man. Behold, I am grey-haired,
And old and feeble. Yet am I your lord.
And, if it be your pleasure, I will trust
My ducal seat in Venice to my son,
And be your guide and leader.”
When they heard,
They cried aloud, “In God's name, go with us!”
And the old man, with holy weeping, passed
Adown the tribune to the altar-steps;
And, kneeling, fixed the cross upon his cap.
A ray of sudden sunshine lit his face—
The grand, grey, furrowed face—and lit the cross,
Until it twinkled like a cross of fire.
“We shall be safe with him,” the people said,

Straining their wet, bright eyes; “and we shall reap
Harvests of glory from our battle-fields!”

Anon there rose a vapour from the sea—
A dim white mist, that thickened into fog.
The campanile and columns were blurred out,
Cathedral domes and spires, and colonnades
Of marble palaces on the Grand Canal.
Joy-bells rang sadly and softly—far away;
Banners of welcome waved like wind-blown clouds;
Glad shouts were muffled into mournful wails.
A Doge was come to be enthroned and crowned,—
Not in the great Bucentaur—not in pomp;
The water-ways had wandered in the mist,
And he had tracked them, slowly, painfully,
From San Clemente to Venice, in a frail
And humble gondola. A Doge was come;
But he, alas! had missed his landing-place,
And set his foot upon the blood-stained stones
Betwixt the blood-red columns. Ah, the sea—
The bride, the queen—she was the first to turn
Against her passionate, proud, ill-fated lord!

Slowly the sea-fog melted, and I saw
Long, limp dead bodies dangling in the sun.
Two granite pillars towered on either side,
And broad blue waters glittered at their feet.
“These are the traitors,” said the people; “they
Who, with our Lord the Duke, would overthrow
The government of Venice.”
And anon,
The doors about the palace were made fast.
A great crowd gathered round them, with hushed breath
And throbbing pulses. And I knew their lord,
The Duke Faliero, knelt upon his knees,
On the broad landing of the marble stairs
Where he had sworn the oath he could not keep—
Vexed with the tyrannous oligarchic rule
That held his haughty spirit netted in,
And cut so keenly that he writhed and chafed
Until he burst the meshes—could not keep!
I watched and waited, feeling sick at heart;
And then I saw a figure, robed in black—
One of their dark, ubiquitous, supreme
And fearful tribunal of Ten—come forth,
And hold a dripping sword-blade in the air.
“Justice has fallen on the traitor! See,
His blood has paid the forfeit of his crime!”

And all the people, hearing, murmured deep,
Cursing their dead lord, and the council, too,
Whose swift, sure, heavy hand had dealt his death.

Then came the night, all grey and still and sad.
I saw a few red torches flare and flame
Over a little gondola, where lay
The headless body of the traitor Duke,
Stripped of his ducal vestments. Floating down
The quiet waters, it passed out of sight,
Bearing him to unhonoured burial.
And then came mist and darkness.
Lo! I heard
The shrill clang of alarm-bells, and the wails
Of men and women in the wakened streets.
A thousand torches flickered up and down,
Lighting their ghastly faces and bare heads;
The while they crowded to the open doors
Of all the churches—to confess their sins,
To pray for absolution, and a last
Lord's Supper—their viaticum, whose death
Seemed near at hand—ay, nearer than the dawn.
“Chioggia is fall'n!” they cried, “and we are lost!”

Anon I saw them hurrying to and fro,
With eager eyes and hearts and blither feet—
Grave priests, with warlike weapons in their hands,
And delicate women, with their ornaments
Of gold and jewels for the public fund—
Mix'd with the bearded crowd, whose lives were given,
With all they had, to Venice in her need.
No more I heard the wailing of despair,—
But great Pisani's blithe word of command,
The dip of oars, and creak of beams and chains,
And ring of hammers in the arsenal.
“Venice shall ne'er be lost!” her people cried—
Whose names were worthy of the Golden Book—
“Venice shall ne'er be conquered!”
And anon
I saw a scene of triumph—saw the Doge,
In his Bucentaur, sailing to the land—
Chioggia behind him blackened in the smoke,
Venice before, all banners, bells, and shouts
Of passionate rejoicing! Ten long months
Had Genoa waged that war of life and death;
And now—behold the remnant of her host,
Shrunken and hollow-eyed and bound with chains—
Trailing their galleys in the conqueror's wake!

Once more the tremulous waters, flaked with light;
A covered vessel, with an armèd guard—
A yelling mob on fair San Giorgio's isle,
And ominous whisperings in the city squares.
Carrara's noble head bowed down at last,
Beaten by many storms,—his golden spurs
Caught in the meshes of a hidden snare!
“O Venice!” I cried, “where is thy great heart
And honourable soul?”
And yet once more
I saw her—the gay Sybaris of the world—
The rich voluptuous city—sunk in sloth.
I heard Napoleon's cannon at her gates,
And her degenerate nobles cry for fear.
I saw at last the great Republic fall—
Conquered by her own sickness, and with scarce
A noticeable wound—I saw her fall!
And she had stood above a thousand years!
O Carlo Zeno! O Pisani! Sure
Ye turned and groaned for pity in your graves.
I saw the flames devour her Golden Book
Beneath the rootless “Tree of Liberty;”
I saw the Lion's le
Anthony Williams Oct 2014
You strayed independent across my unlaid path
impressing me with a hideaway around the thistles
where inlay thigh flints spark like butterfly wings
fused to outstretched but still flimsy present glinting
loose eyes a smoky incense close to gleam igniting
potent tinder sax on a beneficent Burns' night portent
whispering wick lit slivers of be live next to me glen scent
fluttering and roaming through saliva kissed gloaming
a light shaved window opening a misty eyed gap
opportune as a mysterious space between maps

crossed with aye formations and melted highlands
I slide into a bonnie loch when you return my glance
smooth as a swan stroking shallow into deep meeters
the swirl of bagpipes barely rippling the surface meters

a proud union betwixt us found expression
unflagging love notes ** streamed passion
red into sky blue twitchy nerves lend fingers
fondling unfurled clouds into catchy dance rings
retracing steps into tempestuous hearts I rose
so dryads can black watch temptation intertwine
painted inside as I woad your Pictish tartan

only now the pedestal wobbles a little
but you don't fall to my arms
brave destiny's turn is fickle
and straight on without being toppled
you hesitate but give no nod to lead
no quick look behind you as I hoped
shying awry to continue walking
the hot moment runs past cold
safe as before inhibitions land
like icicles on my fanciful back

upstanding Meissen men often talk
of perfection showing no cracks
and chuckled as they left their mark
in crossed swords kilned with clay ores
giving a porcelain lion soft pause
for thought about a heart out clause
and about lifting any kilt or unstuck thought
to keep established ruling embarrassment
but is that parley risking nought?
the mane's trimmed short
too correct to tip the hat
to a potential welcome
down falls harassment
south of the borderline
sad that no one can put
that man lass
yes
moment together again
but ever slow drifting apart
the dream mist
goes on
by Anthony Williams
SS Jun 2013
Buddha (may or may noy have-its controversial) once said, “Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.”  I am a strong believer in this statement.  For as long as I can remember, I have never been able to hold a grudge.  The longest timeframe that I have ever been upset with a person was twenty hours.  I counted back the hours because at the time, I realized that the anger was not worth it.  Being angered by people’s thoughts and actions is a frustrating thing, and in my opinion is not worth any of the stress. Anger is a poison to the body, and causes more stress and pain to yourself than to the person you are upset with.  As a relatively positive person, I have managed to stay as happy and grateful as I can no matter the circumstance. However, I was not always this way.
As a toddler I would get easily frustrated with the smallest things. When I would get upset I would begin having labored breaths, and my chest would tighten.  Sweat would begin beading down my face, and my little fists would contract and expand periodically.  The smallest things could set me off, such as not being able to listen to my own cassettes in the car on the way home from church, or rainy days when I would want to play outside.  Bed times and naps made me want to pull my hair out.  Controlled and healthy snack alternatives would make me zip my lips tight and had me throwing away the imaginary key to the lock that secured my lips against the unnaturally orange carrots.
On a different note, my grandfather on my mothers’ side was my babysitter/partner in crime/best friend as a child and he could bake the best sugar cookies on the planet.  I kid you not.  I always loved having them, and whenever I spent the day with my grandfather, we had to bake sugar cookies.  Days spent with him were always good days, and I loved listening to his stories he would make up about grand princesses and strong princes in far off lands.  My grandfather had been diagnosed with a severe form of diabetes and had several heart attacks and seizures as I was a child, and he was told to stay away from all unhealthy snacks and things with high sugary content.  My mother soon turned into a mother bear and would carefully watch over my grandfathers’ diet, because she was frightened she would lose her father.  As a child, I did not understand their conversations fully and never realized that my grandfather stopped baking and eating snacks because he was not allowed to eat these things.  I would throw the biggest tantrums for his cookies, and generally he would give into my constant bickering and give in to his cravings for sugar.  We would bake, and in the end my mother was always upset with my grandfather for eating sugar, and I was told that sugar was bad for Poppy (that was my nickname for him).  I did not understand how sugar could be bad at that age, because it tasted so good.  I constantly craved the way that the cookies practically melted in my mouth after being taken out of the oven.  I did not mind a temporarily scorched tongue if it meant getting my grubby hands onto those cookies as soon as I could.
One Sunday evening, Mommy and Daddy had a church meeting to attend to after the main service, so Poppy was in charge of me for the evening.  He took me home, and was asked to take care of me for the day.  I begged, screamed, twisted, and shouted for the heavenly cookies that I had not had in what seemed like ages to my childish mind, but Poppy did not budge.  “The answer was, is, and will forever remain to be no, pumpkin.” He calmly spoke to me. I could not wrap my mind around the fact that my Poppy had said no to the cookies.  I remember my chest beginning to feel tight, the labored breathing, and the light headedness that came afterwards as if it was yesterday.  Hot tears streamed down my chubby face, my bottom chin popped out, and my lower lip accentuated until I had a full on pout formed.  ‘No’ just was not in my vocabulary, at least not for that day.  I became so upset with my Poppy and my chest began to hurt so badly that I could not bear to see his face any longer.  I shouted at the top of my lungs, “I HATE YOU!”  I ran up my stairs and locked myself in my room for the remainder of the day and did not bother to come out until the next morning. That next morning my mom received a phone call at 7 AM.  My poppy had gotten a heart attack at about 6:20 that morning and was pronounced dead at the hospital at 6:54 AM.  Help was not reached in time to heal him.
The last thing I said to my poppy was that I hated him.  I will always remember that.  The fury I felt over something as trivial as cookies makes me so frustrated with myself, because in the end I only upset myself more.  Being angry with people does not hurt them nearly as much as it hurts you.  People are not always out looking for intentional ways to upset you, and in fact most humans nowadays only seek acceptance from others.  Whenever I am upset with someone, I always try and look through their eyes to see where they are coming from and what made them do such a thing to upset me.  The girl who called me a mean name? She had been abused at home and the only way she could uplift herself was by putting others down.  The boy who did not like me in the seventh grade?  His mother walked out on him as a child, and he has not trusted women since.  People constantly think that the only opinion that is right is their own, and if someone upsets them that person should disappear forever and feel incredibly horrible about upsetting you.  In reality, we should try to realize why they are thinking the way that they do.  Being upset with a person does you no good.  Forgiveness is always the answer, because you may not realize it at the time, but people generally get upset over the most trivial things that they will not remember anything about twenty years from now.  The anger you feel for a person is not nearly as strong as the anger they had for you when they did whatever it is they did to upset you.  
Anger poisons your body and never makes the other person feel any less sympathetic about what they did.  It only makes you worry more about the past things that you can do nothing about.   “Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.”  It has been twelve years since my Poppy passed away, and no matter who actually said it, I am still a strong believer in that statement.
This isn't really a poem.  I just needed to let this out somewhere.  Thank you for reading, who ever you are.
Coop Lee Jul 2014
in the year 2462 those with nails protruding from their palms
will talk in ancient tongues
& sway the tribes of men to eternal love,
& endless ammunition
of the soul.

spiritus.
kin, galactic
& the golden fire.
throb the saga of man,
into hip ****** illusions and combustive color schematas.
we bury our dead in flower clippings
or skull bits.

        [skateboarding rises as the highest form of intellectual sport]

thrum and plum-*** the sewers of electric babylon.
hive city reaching past gasp and wasteland,
her lips ruinous.
cement slabs and coils of fault with
vast artistic possibilities.
these skate-lords from their heaps, their clans, augmenting
& rattling bone masks
grinding themselves into meat-bit heroics
& death.
their teeth are yellowy awoken.

this is all seen globally,
via tele-cast-com-core-mind-warp-tech.
or video.

dreams impact reality
impact dreams
in such
that the cathode cortex filter, invented circa 2222,
evolves into a demi-god, a solar charged demon of unlimited knowledge.
& it mutates the psychosphere  of our mainstream public mind
with countless projected memories.
        [streamed alternate realities]
fills the belly and the brain,
but all those unhooked are skating.
sweet meat market.
ghost harddrives.

poor leftovers called children of the once-was-men
& their poolside parties.
they leap the rubble of centuries old plastic icons,
their boards, their weapons, their seeds and spit.
they hang chains from their necks
& spew black flame from their sunshaded boot-click
lickings.
they drink from large bottlesof elixer distilled
on old flowers
& worship archaic cassettes.

cults of cyborg women with gem-tipped-blade-additions
carve wooden planks from
groves of great oaks.
great oaken powers.
their creators chew gummies and bend time
to uphold
a proposed history of perfection.
they master pong from their crystalline towers,
& hire mathematicians to write
conceptual skate-deck algorithms,
solely for fun.
non-profit.
A lonesome figure stood upon the crashing waves
Extended arms to the darkest skies
Screaming out her fury at the heavens above
For the bitter storms she had survived

Tears streamed from weary eyes so tired of battle
Small shoulders shook in agony
Cursing the very things that made her stronger
As this, she could not see

Why me? She moaned and wailed in a mournful tone
Hot fear still gripping her heart
While forgetting that she was alive and well to cry
The most incredibly, important part

Those bitter storms will come and they will pass
They will never stay too long
Remember when you are screaming out in fury
It is The Storms that make you strong
Copyright *Neva Flores @2010
www.changefulstorm.blogspot.com
Flash. Dash. Blank. Tank.
I'm So Scared. I've Frightened Myself.
I Died. I'm Blinded.
All My Hopes, Sanity.
I've Drowned. My Heart Was A Loud Pound.
It Was A Disgrace...I Was Misplaced..
I Got Lost. My Screams Would Burst.
I Fell And Bowed. My Knees Hit The Cold Hard Ground.
My Arm Bleed And Ran So Wildly..Cuts,Scratches,Scars, All That Was Just A Simple Song...A Melody..My Blade Was Like A Same Old Tired Repeated Beat Against My Wrist...

My Skin The Thing That Makes Us Humans Have Beauty...Was Slit Open. I Bounced Nearly Pounced.....
Tried To Smile.
Tried To Laugh.
All I Did Was Cry. Because I Failed At All My Tries.
My Head Buried In My Arm...My Face Turned Red As The Apples That Lied On The Counter....
Tears Streamed Fast As A River.
They Fell Like The Rain Just Like August 17, 2014  The Thunder...The Lightening...The Pouring Rain...It Scared Me More....The Pain...Only If It Drained......Stop..........My Heart Skips Many Beats.....I Wish My Blankets Would Heat Me Up...I'm Cold...Scared...Love..I'm Really Scared..
Something I Went Through....Have You Ever Felt The Same?
Alex Apr 2018
You were both hell and heaven
Fire arose within
Every word you said, every breath taken
was passion
and heat
Like the kind we shared between the sheets.
But there was hurt in your eyes
You couldn’t imagine being a sinner
Every night,
You lay by my side
I told you I was no good.
You told them “there’s nothing I wouldn’t give her.”
For a second I thought I was being saved.
It felt religious believing with you
Courageous game, but we still played.
It was a dangerous world for us fools
Every piece of you was lost in a prayer.
My love for you was The Enemy.
And, my love, He was cruel.
Tears streamed down when I speak,
with my palms together,
I knelt down and repeat;
This man is a soul
I am nothing but a body
Never met a god
This life has been sold,
Never to what I thought.
I’ve lied in bed with what scares me most!
I have sinned, I have sinned!
But please, hear me out, first—
with a benevolent grin
He took me in—
Don’t forgive me, father
I’m a sin.
Ash Mar 2019
Humanity is at the ****** of connection
Connection is plastered to our bones
It’s on our wrists dinging reminding us to take our steps that will apparently make us one with nature, it’s latched to our arms so while we are so spent attaching ourselves to nature that we don’t have to attach our phones to our hands, it’s our sun rise, it’s our evening prayer, heck it’s the only thing reminding us to wake up in the morning and connect with these people that we can only reach through these dull technological connections. Facebook says we’re here to help you connect! The Bible app dings remindign you, “keep in check!” You’re surrounded by connection, it immerses you and embraces you with its WiFi streamed arms and blue tinted light
But shouldn’t you be embracing the connection? Shouldn’t you be the one to swallow connection? Shouldn’t you be the one to amplify connection?
Humanity is at the ****** of connection but we are disconnected.. Shouldn’t the rate of depression fall not rise with every purchase of an iPhone. We are disconnected
From ourselves from nature from the spiritual realm and from each other because we connect our souls to these arguable objects of connection. Seems like we need an intervention from connection.  Shouldn’t connection flow within our bones and not simply be plastered to it? Connection is around us, but we’re not making the connection
claire Mar 2012
Hanging from a Star
The girl sat on her star. The dark towering flowers around her, cast shadows over her blank face. She walked around the side of her star to the grass so she could watch the fiery sun and look down at the fluffy billowing clouds in earth’s atmosphere. Lying, hating thoughts floated up from the beautiful blue and green planet below. The girl had been watching earth since it was first created. Cain’s first thoughts of ****** were heard by the girl. She watched the black plague wash through the world, killing millions. The hell of the holocaust burned through her mind like fire across her own skin. Sometimes she swore she could almost smell the melting flesh and boiling blood from the sick world below.
The girl nestled down in the warm grass and focused her guarded mind in preparation to listening in on the earth, like she did every other day. “Her nose is so ugly.” “Why didn’t I do more today?” “I miss her.” “I need to put at least ten percent in savings if I’m ever going to retire.” “I hope no one else notices this huge zit protruding from my face.” “Why didn’t I just kiss him?” “The sun is burning my eyes.” She made her way through selfish minds of the shallow population and then moved for relief, to the newborn children. Images of parents, lights, and bright colors flashed before her eyes. Each new child’s face seemed to be surrounded in a beautiful clear light. The girl wished the children had never been brought to that terrible planet.
One child in particular tugged on the girls thoughts, making the girl want to focus entirely on her. The light around the child was brilliant. The baby’s ocean eyes were open and focused on the one beautiful flower in the room. The details of the daisy were perfect in the child’s mind. The baby fell deeply in love with the white petals that curled softly around the bright yellow center. The girl’s mind was entranced by the lovely child. The girl named the perfect child Claire and sent heavenly visions to entertain the child’s thoughts as the hospital buzzed around her.
As Claire grew, the girl watched her red curls flourish and darken with each day. Her blue eyes bloomed as she turned into a happy toddler and her pale skin stayed radiant and cloudless. Claire’s mommy was a large, reserved woman, but loved her little girl with all her heart. Her mommy sang her to sleep each night and gave her everything she could afford to. But the floor of the trailer where they lived was layered in mud, cat feces, and tobacco. Her father’s face and clothes were covered in stains and the beard that he never remembered to shave had remnants of chewing tobacco that he hadn’t spit far enough. Every night, his drunk, angry voice roared throughout the house, cursing at whatever he could get into his hands first. Each time this happened, the ******* the star poured daisies into Claire’s mind as Claire buried her china face into a soiled pillow.
After a sublime day of school filled with telling time and and reading silly stories, Claire  skipped back to her hostel under the warm autumn sun. She opened her front door to find her mommy in a pool of ***** and blood. Claire screamed in horror and fled back down the steps to the closest residence, trying to see through her own flooded eyes as she tripped along the avenue. Claire’s father never even went to the hospital to inquire about his wife. The hospital gave up calling him, and she was buried in an unplanned graveyard, under the cheapest tombstone.
Claire became the subject of her father’s wrath. Several times a month he would take Claire to bed with him and **** her. She cried silently as he seized her tiny body, leaving large dark bruises where he should have left kindness. The ******* the star filled Claire with exquisite thoughts as he blemished her, but a child may not always be calmed in a situation of pure agony. Tears streamed from the star, watering the daisies next to the trashed trailer.
The ******* the star watched as Claire grew and learned. Finally, Claire vacated the ***** trailer park, on her way to a brighter future. Then Claire met Him. His thoughts were black. Though his eyes scoured Claire’s body, his smile seemed sincere. The ******* the star tried to keep Claire away from him, but Claire was in love with his kindness and moved in with him. The bruises seemed to appear again on a larger scale all down her arms and across her stomach. This man’s hands were harsher than her father’s, but his constant words of kindness drew Claire in, melting her heart into his ice cold soul. Claire dedicated herself to the man, and just as she did, his temper turned fierce and there was fire in his hands.  Other girls seemed to appear in their small apartment dressed in scant ****** and smirks.
One night his fingers skimmed like sand paper up her frail arms and the smell of alcohol breathed down on her face. His fiery hands hit her over and over, slamming her into walls, bloodying her hands and knees, and knocking her out cold. He left her there, sprawled out on the floor, bleeding freely from several gashes. The ******* the star could not reach Claire. Her mind was gone. She thought Claire was dead, so in the path of the drunken abuser, the ******* the star put a murdering thought into a killer’s mind. The abuser was shot in an alley where no one would find him. Angry wailing poured down onto the streets.
Claire woke up and posed in the apartment for weeks. The ******* the star perceived in dismay, that Claire’s light was out. Claire drank whatever alcohol was left there and sliced her arms from wrist to shoulder. The apartment turned grimy along with her blood and oil matted hair. Some of her wounds became infected and her face was no longer a china doll, but a red splotchy entanglement, smeared with dirt and tears. For those weeks it rained steadily as the ******* the star wept. No pleasant thoughts were sent to any human’s mind, but the daisies grew tall and out of control.
Claire’s blackened spirit left the cool, ***** apartment one morning. Her tiny body abandoned in a corner, was huddled in the fetal position, covered in dust bunnies. The ******* the star made a noose from a black daisy, and for the first time, the sky rained blood on earth. Each morning thereafter, the ******* the star walked through her forest of black daisies, retied a noose , and hung herself from the bottom of her star, overwhelmed by the appalling nature of the world below, blocking earth out of her mind with her own pain and suffering.
vircapio gale Nov 2012
he could play a frakkin' minuet
with his hands, this dude,
with perfect pitch and key --
and birdcalls of a timeless cult.
he'd hangglided in volcano rainbows,
had meathook *** from rafters.
reciting Shakespeare, conjured instant goosebumps, tears --
towering heartwise, intellect vast
whatever roles he played at night to model for our soul
we ripped the roof from off my fathers house, sublime,
wearing attic soot in all our pores,
asbestos grin contracting into mycophile hopes
flirting with the passing birds
in leaves and pizza parlors,
tanned and buff, shingle tar on shoulders, nails,
iron hard for her and her and her
the beating sun-breath coughing under mask
each tack an instant echo for the breeze
to take direction from a symbol core
no symbol ever truly held..
refreshing airs to bleed away the vanity,
yet halfway on the ladder there
an interrupting brag, my father's fascia beams
report card scores as if a better world they made
in money pitted recess taxing hidden filth- -
thank you,
Bach, to break up pride with existential high
new melodic rain to cover over thousands lost to sell,
settle dust,
handwind bard, aesthete
innovate human
you turn me on with tales of your amazing wife
bareshirt in your unfinished house, lusting eaves,
backyard grasshoppers on the counter,
****** as insect brains can be
to tilt their eyes with me at unreal fullness spectra-circle on a cloud
not possible the wholeness found
in wish fulfilling living roofs
of ecosystem awe and sunlamp bottles
here, and here,
under moss on backwoods skillion
or trussed on tree spread wide, open-hipped for skylove --
contentednesses missed the meaning now
of mother-art to birth anew the endless homes,
ecosophy's abundant cheer
laughter even in the nooks of dying nails
extemporaneous arcology of barefoot
ridgetop feardance raked in soffit shift
from gray to green
invulnerable vigor gained and gone
and grown again
from marginalia to universal veil
'happy evermore' no matter this or that
a swimming hole of naked sayings streamed,
inner wash of salt and sweat, an afterthought deluge
to challenge dormer crease-dive of a dogma drain
structured, learned pillage ivory still
though greensulated soon








.
arcology: a concept combining architecture and ecology as envisioned by Paolo Soleri.

greensulate: insulation made from mushrooms

'the endless house' is a light-maximizing design created by Friedrick Kiesler

'marginalia' and 'universal veil' refer to parts of a mushroom

'fascia, soffit, rake, truss, dormer' refer to parts of a roof; 'hipped' and 'skillion' are styles of roofs
Caroline Grace May 2010
A woman drew herself up from wrecked wood at the bottom of the ocean;
whispered sea-songs into the wistful ear of a long lost love;
shook her locks 'til his heart beat faster;
looked longer than she should into the deep pools of his pleading eyes.

"I will call you when I want to;
I will call you when I want."

Cooled his temples;
breathed her watery breath
as silvered beads streamed down his shocked skin.

                                       .......

Rumors rock an empty drifting boat;
a glazed shell faced with priceless pearl
broken from its moorings,
strangled by a knotted rope.

"You have not chosen me, but I have chosen you"

Hold fast the bestowed gift,
your Quinquireme of stowed treasure.
Protect its precious structure.
"Who are you, the one who stripped my soul?
Who is the third who stole yours?"  

                                          .........

B­roken from netting I lie
a beached starfish on burning sand,
wishing the waves to wash me
back through Time's receding current
to find the silence that once was;
to turn away before the sacrifice,
before the Eye of the storm.



copyright © Caroline Grace 2010
Mik Josefchuk Jun 2014
Today was a good day
The chords she strummed were pleasant
Melodic
C, G, F
She plucked my strings gently
Her voice was light
She doesn't miss him
As much as she did
Yesterday

Today
Not so good
She played the song again
And again
"I feel something so wrong
Doing the right thing"
She ripped at my strings
Till her fingers bled
And tears streamed down her face
Her voice was quiet
Choked
She missed him
Very much

Today was okay
She played the song
"Everything that kills me
Makes me feel alive"
But just once this time
It was flawless
But she forced a smile as she sang
Like the song meant nothing
It didn't hurt
Her fingertips were healed
There was applause
She whispered
"Thank you"

Today was a good day again
The chords weren't as flawless
As yesterday
She made mistakes
But her voice was strong
"I feel that love
And I feel it burn"
She missed him
More than ever
But he's the reason I stayed
Why I wasn't put away
He mattered because
He's her muse
Her life
The harmony to her melody
And hopefully
He'll know soon
My best friend jokingly told me to write a poem about someone having problems told from their guitar' s POV so I did.
Shofi Ahmed Aug 2018
The Eid is bustling with joy
come let’s give it a try
f  
  l
    y
     away!

To the deathless groovy paradise
floating high on the elixir flow:
The triumphant joyous wave
streamed up from the secret bottom line!  
Up above the lapis lazuli sky.

A pair of butterfly basks
in the sunlight
quietly indulges in style.
It goes on in slow motion
illuminating the night a firefly
perches on a slice of the Moon
flanked by the moonlight.

But you and me
we will rhyme and chant
in our lovely mother tongue.
In the same original lingua
like ‘Adam speaks up and all
angels listen in paradise’.
Come let’s give it a try
f
  l
    y
     away!

On the wings of the moonlight
we will
s
  a
    i
      l
       away!

Ambling by the Moon
we'll **** through the starry nooks.
Eyes open and gently perched
atop a star for a moment or two.
We will see miles of galaxies
over the moonlit lakes of the blue
playing cool ravishing lutes!

The spring night is in bloom
and the cute sleeping beauty
wakes up playing the flute!
Musical half lights filling the sky.
Come let’s give it a try
f
  l
    y
     away!

We’ll drink sharaban tahura
the holy wine of paradise
and once for all we will
k
i
  s
    s the death goodbye!

Our story will fill the divine soil
the heaven's flora and fauna
each and everyone will shine on our page
no houri will ever say finito singing our tale!

As Adam did it first stunned the angels
telling the nature of all things in paradise.
We will do that once more without a smirk
this time we will see the loving Creator!
Ellen Joyce Jul 2013
Her laugh broke the window pane -
shards of glass pouring like rain,
the sound of shattering safety made her blood run cold
as she clung to disintegrating silence.

Grains of silent-self
pricking the backs of her eyes until tears streamed down her cheeks
wiping fiction from flesh, eyes turned to the floor
so you won't see the sadness where the sparkle should be.
Could be.
Would be.
Maybe.

She feels the barbed wire noose around her tongue loosen,
unfurling its razor sharp grip on her throat
to the melody of the sweet small voice singing soothing songs
seducing her to speak.

Speak.
The words fall clumsily from her lips like ***** clattering plates
splattering waste on wall and doors
leaving a mess that cannot be swept
nor hidden under the carpet or clothes.
"Please. Please.".

She feels eyes burning into naked-self
declaring the truth as if it had the strength to stand,
to bear the weight of shame from times that should remain untold,
but she told.
"Look away. Please. Don’t look at me,
I need you not to look at me, please please please".

She squirms beneath the squirming,
the crawling cascade of bugs under her skin,
in her-self, ***** girl -
ankles twisting, fingers bending, hands trembling,
heart beating, breath quickening, mouth begging
"please please don’t look at me".

The kiss to be seen, breaks like a scream
on the back of a lifetime playing dead,
choking back the words left unsaid,
hiding scars of the wounds that once bled.  

Wounds that call from beneath layers of scar tissue,
a symphony of whispering simpering bacteria
recalling the filthy mire imploding from the pyre;
seal after seal broken leaving her less beauty, more beast.  

In a place where animals do what animals do,
mounted like cattle, like dog catching *****
whose losing the battle to guard her chasm,
to keep the place barred.

Her pleas broke the threshold,
falling forward, hands and knees grinding into twigs and leaves,
his grip so thick on her hair
that he heaves out a scream from the depths of her bowels,
ripping through tension and fear
to gift a ***** with a mark, a shame, a name that won’t disappear –
“Don’t look at me”.  

They call it ******
as if you could name a pain that seared so deep it
drew a blood that would take a week to heal
and a ***** that would never stop rising.  

Her arms buckled under the weight of shame,
of blame, of every screaming name he seethed into her sullied flesh,
with every wavering breath she breathed – “please don’t look at me”.  

His hands grip beneath her hips
nails biting into aching, seeping flesh, filling her pores with
more, more, more.  

Baths - a thing of the past,
water hot, rusted and greying with the rot that lies on her,
with the putrid knot that lies in her.  
“I’m so ashamed.”

Her exhaustion broke her human-ness –
body depleted from repeated invasion that she couldn’t stop,
that he wouldn’t stop -
was sure he had reached a perverse plateau of the boundaries that he breached.  
She underestimated him.  

Label weathered bottle,
nectar alluring drawing inside crawling bugs
as forced kisses stole breath,
focus lost and a nip to his tongue would cost a choke-hold to blur the world,
spit on her face hurled with the venom of an injured python.  

Cold, hard, scraping against skin trying to get in –
“Please.” –
bugs crawling, cascading, invading,
fighting my womb, biting my flesh raw, boring into my blood
turning life force to mud and self separated from beautiful source.  

I felt his thrill at my hip.
“Please don’t ...
Is it masochism to share the most humiliating, hurt or is it healthy?”

Her mouth broke -
alive with sensations and nerves that serve
to taste to feel, to flex a tongue to sing to speak to eat.  
He drew her to her knees,
with greater and greater ease
to penetrate perception with ******* till her jaw ached and strained,
drained, choking back the spoils of man,
feeling panic as her stomach recoils vomiting shame.

Every seal torn open; closed - locking the dirt inside.
This poem was written in the process of therapy to deal with **** and abuse experienced when I was in my early teens.  I share it now as I watch my god daughter turn thirteen and feel a fear for her and a need to protect her.  I share it now because I fought long for a voice and now its audible.
Ria Bautista Jan 2011
I
There once was a boy who lost his smile
His name was Colin Trench, born evil & vile
A pale-skinned young lad, tall, wide-eyed and frail
His ashen hair quite unkempt, but sometimes he puts it in a pony-tail
Always dressed in a proper black suit, bow tie & all
"It makes me look more evil" says he, standing proud and tall
He lived in a dark & dingy tower up on Dreadful Hills
Where birds refuse to sing and a mere glimpse would give anyone chills
His only consort is a cat named Lacrimose, vile & evil as he
Both love the taste of ginger bread, strawberry ale & rose tea

II
One dreary morning in November when Colin woke
He realized that he missed his smile, lost since he was a little bloke
He stepped out of his room and summoned his loyal cat
"O Lacrimose" he said, "Today we will find where my smile is at!"
They began searching the tower, high & low, left & right
"It's just around here somewhere" he whispered, "I probably lost it in the dead of night"
They pulled out old drawers, empty cupboards & dusty cabinets
But all they found were cobwebs, memorabilia & broken trinkets
"Ah Lacrimose!" shouted Colin, "Look what I found here!"
"This wind-up jumping frog was given to me by mother dear!"
They searched behind the curtains, under the bed and beneath the sheets
But all they found was another toy, a little black bird that tweets
"This little bird" he remembered, "I gave it a name"
"Ah yes, it's Horus and hide & seek was her favorite game."
He put both toys in his pocket and continued searching, never giving up
Colin & Lacrimose were determined to find the lost smile before the sun was up

III
They left the bedroom floor and down the basement they went
A dark & sinister place with walls of chipped cement
Colin turned the light on and a rusty typewriter is what they saw
“This clunky old machine” he said, “used to leave me in absolute awe.”
Pointing at the corner, he went on, “This is where father used to write”
“He read to me his wonderful adventures much to my delight.”
“Let’s go to the attic” he told Lacrimose with a sigh
“There’s nothing left to see here but half-written stories & goodbyes.”
So up the attic they went, but as they entered the floor began to creek
“This won’t take long, Lacrimose” he assured the cat, “We’re just going to have a little peek.”
“The last time I went up here” he recalled, “I was a little boy aged 7.”
“It was that fateful day I was told that my loving parents went to heaven.”
He looked at Lacrimose feeling somber as ever
And noticed his cat nibbling on what seems to be an old letter:
“Colin, our dear son” he read out loud, “We love you with all our hearts.
We’re sorry we had to leave you, in the morning we must part.
The choice is not ours to make, we have to fight for our country.
We’ll be home after the war is over, just in time for your birthday party.”


IV
As he held the letter in his hand, he sat on the floor and started to weep
His parents’ death he tried to forget, in his heart he buried it deep
“A few months after receiving this letter” Colin remembered completely,
“3 men in military uniforms informed me that my parents died valiantly.”
“They never made it to my 7th birthday, I had no reason to celebrate.”
“In my heart there used to be joy & love, but since that moment I replaced it with hate.”
And the days after that, Colin not once did cry
But today was different, he knew it was time to say goodbye
He went down the attic and walked to the garden behind the tower
Carrying with him Lacrimose, he picked up a tiny little flower
He approached his parents’ final resting place with hardly an upward glance
Colin yearned for forgiveness and this was his perfect chance

V
From his pocket he pulled out the wind-up frog & Horus, the little black bird
Along with the letter found in the attic and without saying a word
He neatly placed the items on the ground with the tiny flower on the side
Today Colin learned about acceptance; there is nothing left to hide
He began to speak and this is what he had to say:
“Forgive me mother & father, but your passing has left me in complete disarray.”
He kneeled on the ground and cried like he never did before
Tears streamed down his face and it didn’t stop ‘till his eyes were sore
His hands were shaking as he covered his face
He never did forget the loss he tried so hard to erase
As soon as he stood up and slowly opened his eyes
He saw on the horizon a beautiful & magnificent sunrise
Stepping through the field, wiping his tears away
To his loyal companion he said: “From now on we will have better days.”
“Lacrimose, my dear friend, we shall no longer be evil & vile”
Ah, it is a great day indeed for Colin Trench began to smile.
My first Children's Rhyme!

01.12.11
Nathan MacKrith Dec 2018
The Revolution will not be pay-per-view,
Streamed online, or listed in the TV Guide,
The Revolution will be LIVE ON AIR
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The Revolution is more than digital trolling,
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The Revolution is unauthorized
Written for and by all the people
The Revolution is radical, hands-on, and requires assembly
Batteries are not included and there is no manufacturer’s warantee,  
The Revolution will be uncomfortable for those living in leisure
For it has been bred to cause the Elite displeasure

Revolution 99% Uploaded
Press [ENTER] key to initiate collective action
~
NM 10/17/15
*After Gil Scott Heron's epic "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised"
Jester Andre Jul 2018
I clenched my fist and gritted my teeth as I gulped;
My head tilted upwards and stared at the sky filled with the
blue color that reminds me of your eyes filled with
wonders, trying not to look directly into the windows of your
soul;
I did all these not to suppress my anger, but something even more
difficult;
But no matter what I do, everything is not under my
control and will
never be
For these tears still streamed down my cheeks filled with deep sorrow and melancholy;
Yes, it's hard;
It's making me bleed so much that I feel like I'm dying yet still continuing to
breathe;
It's far more arduous than any predicament that I have encountered in my whole existence;
Yet I still have to do it;
For I cannot continue any longer to hurt you by offering you my heart, my dear;
As you continue to heal and purify all my sins
While all I ever do is
corrupt
your soul and drag you in the the deepest and darkest abyss that I call
home;
Darling, I am now setting you free and breaking the chains that
restrict
you from ascending into the
limitless sky where you truly
belong, so flap you wings
and fly to your
well-being;
Goodbye.
Over the darkened city, the city of towers,
The city of a thousand gates,
Over the gleaming terraced roofs, the huddled towers,
Over a somnolent whisper of loves and hates,
The slow wind flows, drearily streams and falls,
With a mournful sound down rain-dark walls.
On one side purples the lustrous dusk of the sea,
And dreams in white at the city's feet;
On one side sleep the plains, with heaped-up hills.
Oaks and beeches whisper in rings about it.
Above the trees are towers where dread bells beat.

The fisherman draws his streaming net from the sea
And sails toward the far-off city, that seems
Like one vague tower.
The dark bow plunges to foam on blue-black waves,
And shrill rain seethes like a ghostly music about him
In a quiet shower.

Rain with a shrill sings on the lapsing waves;
Rain thrills over the roofs again;
Like a shadow of shifting silver it crosses the city;
The lamps in the streets are streamed with rain;
And sparrows complain beneath deep eaves,
And among whirled leaves
The sea-gulls, blowing from tower to lower tower,
From wall to remoter wall,
Skim with the driven rain to the rising sea-sound
And close grey wings and fall . . .

. . . Hearing great rain above me, I now remember
A girl who stood by the door and shut her eyes:
Her pale cheeks glistened with rain, she stood and shivered.
Into a forest of silver she vanished slowly . . .
Voices about me rise . . .

Voices clear and silvery, voices of raindrops,--
'We struck with silver claws, we struck her down.
We are the ghosts of the singing furies . . . '
A chorus of elfin voices blowing about me
Weaves to a babel of sound.  Each cries a secret.
I run among them, reach out vain hands, and drown.

'I am the one who stood beside you and smiled,
Thinking your face so strangely young . . . '
'I am the one who loved you but did not dare.'
'I am the one you followed through crowded streets,
The one who escaped you, the one with red-gleamed hair.'

'I am the one you saw to-day, who fell
Senseless before you, hearing a certain bell:
A bell that broke great memories in my brain.'
'I am the one who passed unnoticed before you,
Invisible, in a cloud of secret pain.'

'I am the one who suddenly cried, beholding
The face of a certain man on the dazzling screen.
They wrote me that he was dead.  It was long ago.
I walked in the streets for a long while, hearing nothing,
And returned to see it again.  And it was so.'


Weave, weave, weave, you streaks of rain!
I am dissolved and woven again . . .
Thousands of faces rise and vanish before me.
Thousands of voices weave in the rain.

'I am the one who rode beside you, blinking
At a dazzle of golden lights.
Tempests of music swept me: I was thinking
Of the gorgeous promise of certain nights:
Of the woman who suddenly smiled at me this day,
Smiled in a certain delicious sidelong way,
And turned, as she reached the door,
To smile once more . . .
Her hands are whiter than snow on midnight water.
Her throat is golden and full of golden laughter,
Her eyes are strange as the stealth of the moon
On a night in June . . .
She runs among whistling leaves; I hurry after;
She dances in dreams over white-waved water;
Her body is white and fragrant and cool,
Magnolia petals that float on a white-starred pool . . .
I have dreamed of her, dreaming for many nights
Of a broken music and golden lights,
Of broken webs of silver, heavily falling
Between my hands and their white desire:
And dark-leaved boughs, edged with a golden radiance,
Dipping to screen a fire . . .
I dream that I walk with her beneath high trees,
But as I lean to kiss her face,
She is blown aloft on wind, I catch at leaves,
And run in a moonless place;
And I hear a crashing of terrible rocks flung down,
And shattering trees and cracking walls,
And a net of intense white flame roars over the town,
And someone cries; and darkness falls . . .
But now she has leaned and smiled at me,
My veins are afire with music,
Her eyes have kissed me, my body is turned to light;
I shall dream to her secret heart tonight . . . '

He rises and moves away, he says no word,
He folds his evening paper and turns away;
I rush through the dark with rows of lamplit faces;
Fire bells peal, and some of us turn to listen,
And some sit motionless in their accustomed places.

Cold rain lashes the car-roof, scurries in gusts,
Streams down the windows in waves and ripples of lustre;
The lamps in the streets are distorted and strange.
Someone takes his watch from his pocket and yawns.
One peers out in the night for the place to change.

Rain . . . rain . . . rain . . . we are buried in rain,
It will rain forever, the swift wheels hiss through water,
Pale sheets of water gleam in the windy street.
The pealing of bells is lost in a drive of rain-drops.
Remote and hurried the great bells beat.

'I am the one whom life so shrewdly betrayed,
Misfortune dogs me, it always hunted me down.
And to-day the woman I love lies dead.
I gave her roses, a ring with opals;
These hands have touched her head.

'I bound her to me in all soft ways,
I bound her to me in a net of days,
Yet now she has gone in silence and said no word.
How can we face these dazzling things, I ask you?
There is no use: we cry: and are not heard.

'They cover a body with roses . . . I shall not see it . . .
Must one return to the lifeless walls of a city
Whose soul is charred by fire? . . . '
His eyes are closed, his lips press tightly together.
Wheels hiss beneath us.  He yields us our desire.

'No, do not stare so--he is weak with grief,
He cannot face you, he turns his eyes aside;
He is confused with pain.
I suffered this.  I know.  It was long ago . . .
He closes his eyes and drowns in death again.'

The wind hurls blows at the rain-starred glistening windows,
The wind shrills down from the half-seen walls.
We flow on the mournful wind in a dream of dying;
And at last a silence falls.
“Ruin seize thee, ruthless King!
Confusion on thy banners wait!
Tho’ fanned by Conquest’s crimson wing,
They mock the air with idle state.
Helm, nor hauberk’s twisted mail,
Nor e’en thy virtues, Tyrant, shall avail
To save thy secret soul from nightly fears,
From Cambria’s curse, from Cambria’s tears!”
Such were the sounds that o’er the crested pride
Of the first Edward scattered wild dismay,
As down the steep of Snowdon’s shaggy side
He wound with toilsome march his long array.
Stout Glo’ster stood aghast in speechless trance:
“To arms!” cried Mortimer, and couched his quiv’ring lance.

On a rock, whose haughty brow
Frowns o’er cold Conway’s foaming flood,
Robed in the sable garb of woe
With haggard eyes the Poet stood;
(Loose his beard and hoary hair
Streamed like a meteor to the troubled air)
And with a master’s hand, and prophet’s fire,
Struck the deep sorrows of his lyre.
“Hark, how each giant-oak and desert-cave
Sighs to the torrent’s awful voice beneath!
O’er thee, O King! their hundred arms they wave,
Revenge on thee in hoarser murmurs breathe;
Vocal no more, since Cambria’s fatal day,
To high-born Hoel’s harp, or soft Llewellyn’s lay.

“Cold is Cadwallo’s tongue,
That hushed the stormy main;
Brave Urien sleeps upon his craggy bed:
Mountains, ye mourn in vain
Modred, whose magic song
Made huge Plinlimmon bow his cloud-topt head.
On dreary Arvon’s shore they lie,
Smeared with gore, and ghastly pale:
Far, far aloof th’ affrighted ravens sail;
The famished eagle screams, and passes by.
Dear lost companions of my tuneful art,
Dear as the light that visits these sad eyes,
Dear as the ruddy drops that warm my heart,
Ye died amidst your dying country’s cries—
No more I weep. They do not sleep.
On yonder cliffs, a grisly band,
I see them sit; they linger yet,
Avengers of their native land:
With me in dreadful harmony they join,
And weave with ****** hands the tissue of thy line.

“Weave, the warp! and weave, the woof!
The winding sheet of Edward’s race:
Give ample room and verge enough
The characters of hell to trace.
Mark the year and mark the night
When Severn shall re-echo with affright
The shrieks of death, thro’ Berkley’s roof that ring,
Shrieks of an agonizing king!
She-wolf of France, with unrelenting fangs,
That tear’st the bowels of thy mangled mate,
From thee be born, who o’er thy country hangs
The scourge of Heaven! What terrors round him wait!
Amazement in his van, with Flight combined,
And Sorrow’s faded form, and Solitude behind.

“Mighty victor, mighty lord!
Low on his funeral couch he lies!
No pitying heart, no eye, afford
A tear to grace his obsequies.
Is the sable warrior fled?
Thy son is gone. He rests among the dead.
The swarm that in thy noon-tide beam were born?
Gone to salute the rising morn.
Fair laughs the morn, and soft the zephyr blows,
While proudly riding o’er the azure realm
In gallant trim the gilded vessel goes:
Youth on the prow, and Pleasure at the helm:
Regardless of the sweeping whirlwind’s sway,
That, hushed in grim repose, expects his ev’ning prey.

“Fill high the sparkling bowl,
The rich repast prepare;
Reft of a crown, he yet may share the feast:
Close by the regal chair
Fell Thirst and Famine scowl
A baleful smile upon their baffled guest.
Heard ye the din of battle bray,
Lance to lance, and horse to horse?
Long years of havoc urge their destined course,
And thro’ the kindred squadrons mow their way.
Ye towers of Julius, London’s lasting shame,
With many a foul and midnight ****** fed,
Revere his consort’s faith, his father’s fame,
And spare the meek usurper’s holy head.
Above, below, the rose of snow,
Twined with her blushing foe, we spread:
The bristled Boar in infant-gore
Wallows beneath the thorny shade.
Now, brothers, bending o’er the accursed loom,
Stamp we our vengeance deep, and ratify his doom.

“Edward, lo! to sudden fate
(Weave we the woof. The thread is spun.)
Half of thy heart we consecrate.
(The web is wove. The work is done.)
Stay, oh stay! nor thus forlorn
Leave me unblessed, unpitied, here to mourn:
In yon bright track that fires the western skies
They melt, they vanish from my eyes.
But oh! what solemn scenes on Snowdon’s height
Descending slow their glittering skirts unroll?
Visions of glory, spare my aching sight,
Ye unborn ages, crowd not on my soul!
No more our long-lost Arthur we bewail.
All hail, ye genuine kings! Britannia’s issue, hail!

“Girt with many a baron bold
Sublime their starry fronts they rear;
And gorgeous dames, and statesmen old
In bearded majesty, appear.
In the midst a form divine!
Her eye proclaims her of the Briton-line:
Her lion-port, her awe-commanding face,
Attempered sweet to ****** grace.
What strings symphonious tremble in the air,
What strains of vocal transport round her play!
Hear from the grave, great Taliessin, hear;
They breathe a soul to animate thy clay.
Bright Rapture calls, and soaring as she sings,
Waves in the eye of heav’n her many-coloured wings.

“The verse adorn again
Fierce War, and faithful Love,
And Truth severe, by fairy Fiction drest.
In buskined measures move
Pale Grief, and pleasing Pain,
With Horror, tyrant of the throbbing breast.
A voice, as of the cherub-choir,
Gales from blooming Eden bear;
And distant warblings lessen on my ear,
That lost in long futurity expire.
Fond impious man, think’st thou yon sanguine cloud,
Raised by thy breath, has quenched the orb of day?
Tomorrow he repairs the golden flood,
And warms the nations with redoubled ray.
Enough for me: with joy I see
The diff’rent doom our fates assign.
Be thine Despair and sceptred Care;
To triumph and to die are mine.”
He spoke, and headlong from the mountain’s height
Deep in the roaring tide he plunged to endless night.
Ivy Rose Mar 2014
How
I remember the last day very well.

How happy we were to be away from the rest of them.

How fun it was sitting in your car, and screaming out lyrics to songs we would one day want marked on our bodies.

How we happily giggled and allowed every ounce of insecurity to melt away into the air around us.

How the sunlight streamed in through my windows and covered your golden skin in a thin film of white.

How it felt to kiss your lips.

How it felt to hold you close.

How your body pressed to mine created one continuous aria of love.

How my last words were "text me when you're safe and sound"

How I didn't know I would be leaving my heart in your shirt pocket.

"Will do"


(i. r)
Polar Feb 2016
Goblin Market
by Christina Rossetti

Morning and evening
Maids heard the goblins cry:
"Come buy our orchard fruits,
Come buy, come buy:
Apples and quinces,
Lemons and oranges,
Plump unpecked cherries,
Melons and raspberries,
Bloom-down-cheeked peaches,
Swart-headed mulberries,
Wild free-born cranberries,
Crab-apples, dewberries,
Pine-apples, blackberries,
Apricots, strawberries; -
All ripe together
In summer weather, -
Morns that pass by,
Fair eves that fly;
Come buy, come buy:
Our grapes fresh from the vine,
Pomegranates full and fine,
Dates and sharp bullaces,
Rare pears and greengages,
Damsons and bilberries,
Taste them and try:
Currants and gooseberries,
Bright-fire-like barberries,
Figs to fill your mouth,
Citrons from the South,
Sweet to tongue and sound to eye;
Come buy, come buy."

Evening by evening
Among the brookside rushes,
Laura bowed her head to hear,
Lizzie veiled her blushes:
Crouching close together
In the cooling weather,
With clasping arms and cautioning lips,
With tingling cheeks and finger-tips.
"Lie close," Laura said,
Pricking up her golden head:
"We must not look at goblin men,
We must not buy their fruits:
Who knows upon what soil they fed
Their hungry thirsty roots?"
"Come buy," call the goblins
Hobbling down the glen.
"Oh," cried Lizzie, "Laura, Laura,
You should not peep at goblin men."
Lizzie covered up her eyes,
Covered close lest they should look;
Laura reared her glossy head,
And whispered like the restless brook:
"Look, Lizzie, look, Lizzie,
Down the glen ***** little men.
One hauls a basket,
One bears a plate,
One lugs a golden dish
Of many pounds' weight.
How fair the vine must grow
Whose grapes are so luscious;
How warm the wind must blow
Through those fruit bushes."
"No," said Lizzie: "No, no, no;
Their offers should not charm us,
Their evil gifts would harm us.'
She ****** a dimpled finger
In each ear, shut eyes and ran:
Curious Laura chose to linger
Wondering at each merchant man.
One had a cat's face,
One whisked a tail,
One tramped at a rat's pace,
One crawled like a snail,
One like a wombat prowled obtuse and furry,
One like a ratel tumbled hurry scurry.
She heard a voice like voice of doves
Cooing all together:
They sounded kind and full of loves
In the pleasant weather.

Laura stretched her gleaming neck
Like a rush-imbedded swan,
Like a lily from the beck,
Like a moonlit poplar branch,
Like a vessel at the launch
When its last restraint is gone.

Backwards up the mossy glen
Turned and trooped the goblin men,
With their shrill repeated cry,
'Come buy, come buy.'
When they reached where Laura was
They stood stock still upon the moss,
Leering at each other,
Brother with queer brother;
Signalling each other,
Brother with sly brother.
One set his basket down,
One reared his plate;
One began to weave a crown
Of tendrils, leaves, and rough nuts brown
(Men sell not such in any town);
One heaved the golden weight
Of dish and fruit to offer her:
"Come buy, come buy," was still their cry.
Laura stared but did not stir,
Longed but had no money.
The whisk-tailed merchant bade her taste
In tones as smooth as honey,
The cat-faced purr'd,
The rat-paced spoke a word
Of welcome, and the snail-paced even was heard;
One parrot-voiced and jolly
Cried "Pretty Goblin" still for "Pretty Polly";
One whistled like a bird.

But sweet-tooth Laura spoke in haste:
"Good folk, I have no coin;
To take were to purloin:
I have no copper in my purse,
I have no silver either,
And all my gold is on the furze
That shakes in windy weather
Above the rusty heather."
"You have much gold upon your head,"
They answered all together:
"Buy from us with a golden curl."
She clipped a precious golden lock,
She dropped a tear more rare than pearl,
Then ****** their fruit globes fair or red.
Sweeter than honey from the rock,
Stronger than man-rejoicing wine,
Clearer than water flowed that juice;
She never tasted such before,
How should it cloy with length of use?
She ****** and ****** and ****** the more
Fruits which that unknown orchard bore;
She ****** until her lips were sore;
Then flung the emptied rinds away
But gathered up one kernel stone,
And knew not was it night or day
As she turned home alone.

Lizzie met her at the gate
Full of wise upbraidings:
'Dear, you should not stay so late,
Twilight is not good for maidens;
Should not loiter in the glen
In the haunts of goblin men.
Do you not remember Jeanie,
How she met them in the moonlight,
Took their gifts both choice and many,
Ate their fruits and wore their flowers
Plucked from bowers
Where summer ripens at all hours?
But ever in the moonlight
She pined and pined away;
Sought them by night and day,
Found them no more, but dwindled and grew gray;
Then fell with the first snow,
While to this day no grass will grow
Where she lies low:
I planted daisies there a year ago
That never blow.
You should not loiter so."
"Nay, hush," said Laura:
"Nay, hush, my sister:
I ate and ate my fill,
Yet my mouth waters still:
Tomorrow night I will
Buy more;' and kissed her:
"Have done with sorrow;
I'll bring you plums tomorrow
Fresh on their mother twigs,
Cherries worth getting;
You cannot think what figs
My teeth have met in,
What melons icy-cold
Piled on a dish of gold
Too huge for me to hold,
What peaches with a velvet nap,
Pellucid grapes without one seed:
Odorous indeed must be the mead
Whereon they grow, and pure the wave they drink
With lilies at the brink,
And sugar-sweet their sap."

Golden head by golden head,
Like two pigeons in one nest
Folded in each other's wings,
They lay down in their curtained bed:
Like two blossoms on one stem,
Like two flakes of new-fall'n snow,
Like two wands of ivory
Tipped with gold for awful kings.
Moon and stars gazed in at them,
Wind sang to them lullaby,
Lumbering owls forebore to fly,
Not a bat flapped to and fro
Round their rest:
Cheek to cheek and breast to breast
Locked together in one rest.

Early in the morning
When the first **** crowed his warning,
Neat like bees, as sweet and busy,
Laura rose with Lizzie:
Fetched in honey, milked the cows,
Aired and set to rights the house,
Kneaded cakes of whitest wheat,
Cakes for dainty mouths to eat,
Next churned butter, whipped up cream,
Fed their poultry, sat and sewed;
Talked as modest maidens should:
Lizzie with an open heart,
Laura in an absent dream,
One content, one sick in part;
One warbling for the mere bright day's delight,
One longing for the night.

At length slow evening came:
They went with pitchers to the reedy brook;
Lizzie most placid in her look,
Laura most like a leaping flame.
They drew the gurgling water from its deep.
Lizzie plucked purple and rich golden flags,
Then turning homeward said: "The sunset flushes
Those furthest loftiest crags;
Come, Laura, not another maiden lags.
No wilful squirrel wags,
The beasts and birds are fast asleep.'
But Laura loitered still among the rushes,
And said the bank was steep.

And said the hour was early still,
The dew not fall'n, the wind not chill;
Listening ever, but not catching
The customary cry,
"Come buy, come buy,"
With its iterated jingle
Of sugar-baited words:
Not for all her watching
Once discerning even one goblin
Racing, whisking, tumbling, hobbling -
Let alone the herds
That used to ***** along the glen,
In groups or single,
Of brisk fruit-merchant men.

Till Lizzie urged, "O Laura, come;
I hear the fruit-call, but I dare not look:
You should not loiter longer at this brook:
Come with me home.
The stars rise, the moon bends her arc,
Each glow-worm winks her spark,
Let us get home before the night grows dark:
For clouds may gather
Though this is summer weather,
Put out the lights and drench us through;
Then if we lost our way what should we do?"

Laura turned cold as stone
To find her sister heard that cry alone,
That goblin cry,
"Come buy our fruits, come buy."
Must she then buy no more such dainty fruit?
Must she no more such succous pasture find,
Gone deaf and blind?
Her tree of life drooped from the root:
She said not one word in her heart's sore ache:
But peering thro' the dimness, nought discerning,
Trudged home, her pitcher dripping all the way;
So crept to bed, and lay
Silent till Lizzie slept;
Then sat up in a passionate yearning,
And gnashed her teeth for baulked desire, and wept
As if her heart would break.

Day after day, night after night,
Laura kept watch in vain
In sullen silence of exceeding pain.
She never caught again the goblin cry,
"Come buy, come buy"; -
She never spied the goblin men
Hawking their fruits along the glen:
But when the noon waxed bright
Her hair grew thin and gray;
She dwindled, as the fair full moon doth turn
To swift decay and burn
Her fire away.

One day remembering her kernel-stone
She set it by a wall that faced the south;
Dewed it with tears, hoped for a root,
Watched for a waxing shoot,
But there came none.
It never saw the sun,
It never felt the trickling moisture run:
While with sunk eyes and faded mouth
She dreamed of melons, as a traveller sees
False waves in desert drouth
With shade of leaf-crowned trees,
And burns the thirstier in the sandful breeze.

She no more swept the house,
Tended the fowls or cows,
Fetched honey, kneaded cakes of wheat,
Brought water from the brook:
But sat down listless in the chimney-nook
And would not eat.

Tender Lizzie could not bear
To watch her sister's cankerous care,
Yet not to share.
She night and morning
Caught the goblins' cry:
"Come buy our orchard fruits,
Come buy, come buy:" -
Beside the brook, along the glen,
She heard the ***** of goblin men,
The voice and stir
Poor Laura could not hear;
Longed to buy fruit to comfort her,
But feared to pay too dear.
She thought of Jeanie in her grave,
Who should have been a bride;
But who for joys brides hope to have
Fell sick and died
In her gay prime,
In earliest winter time,
With the first glazing rime,
With the first snow-fall of crisp winter time.

Till Laura dwindling
Seemed knocking at Death's door.
Then Lizzie weighed no more
Better and worse;
But put a silver penny in her purse,
Kissed Laura, crossed the heath with clumps of furze
At twilight, halted by the brook:
And for the first time in her life
Began to listen and look.

Laughed every goblin
When they spied her peeping:
Came towards her hobbling,
Flying, running, leaping,
Puffing and blowing,
Chuckling, clapping, crowing,
Clucking and gobbling,
Mopping and mowing,
Full of airs and graces,
Pulling wry faces,
Demure grimaces,
Cat-like and rat-like,
Ratel- and wombat-like,
Snail-paced in a hurry,
Parrot-voiced and whistler,
Helter-skelter, hurry skurry,
Chattering like magpies,
Fluttering like pigeons,
Gliding like fishes, -
Hugged her and kissed her:
Squeezed and caressed her:
Stretched up their dishes,
Panniers, and plates:
"Look at our apples
Russet and dun,
Bob at our cherries,
Bite at our peaches,
Citrons and dates,
Grapes for the asking,
Pears red with basking
Out in the sun,
Plums on their twigs;
Pluck them and **** them,
Pomegranates, figs." -

"Good folk," said Lizzie,
Mindful of Jeanie:
"Give me much and many:" -
Held out her apron,
Tossed them her penny.
"Nay, take a seat with us,
Honour and eat with us,"
They answered grinning:
"Our feast is but beginning.
Night yet is early,
Warm and dew-pearly,
Wakeful and starry:
Such fruits as these
No man can carry;
Half their bloom would fly,
Half their dew would dry,
Half their flavour would pass by.
Sit down and feast with us,
Be welcome guest with us,
Cheer you and rest with us." -
"Thank you," said Lizzie: "But one waits
At home alone for me:
So without further parleying,
If you will not sell me any
Of your fruits though much and many,
Give me back my silver penny
I tossed you for a fee." -
They began to scratch their pates,
No longer wagging, purring,
But visibly demurring,
Grunting and snarling.
One called her proud,
Cross-grained, uncivil;
Their tones waxed loud,
Their looks were evil.
Lashing their tails
They trod and hustled her,
Elbowed and jostled her,
Clawed with their nails,
Barking, mewing, hissing, mocking,
Tore her gown and soiled her stocking,
Twitched her hair out by the roots,
Stamped upon her tender feet,
Held her hands and squeezed their fruits
Against her mouth to make her eat.

White and golden Lizzie stood,
Like a lily in a flood, -
Like a rock of blue-veined stone
Lashed by tides obstreperously, -
Like a beacon left alone
In a hoary roaring sea,
Sending up a golden fire, -
Like a fruit-crowned orange-tree
White with blossoms honey-sweet
Sore beset by wasp and bee, -
Like a royal ****** town
Topped with gilded dome and spire
Close beleaguered by a fleet
Mad to tug her standard down.

One may lead a horse to water,
Twenty cannot make him drink.
Though the goblins cuffed and caught her,
Coaxed and fought her,
Bullied and besought her,
Scratched her, pinched her black as ink,
Kicked and knocked her,
Mauled and mocked her,
Lizzie uttered not a word;
Would not open lip from lip
Lest they should cram a mouthful in:
But laughed in heart to feel the drip
Of juice that syruped all her face,
And lodged in dimples of her chin,
And streaked her neck which quaked like curd.
At last the evil people,
Worn out by her resistance,
Flung back her penny, kicked their fruit
Along whichever road they took,
Not leaving root or stone or shoot;
Some writhed into the ground,
Some dived into the brook
With ring and ripple,
Some scudded on the gale without a sound,
Some vanished in the distance.

In a smart, ache, tingle,
Lizzie went her way;
Knew not was it night or day;
Sprang up the bank, tore thro' the furze,
Threaded copse and ******,
And heard her penny jingle
Bouncing in her purse, -
Its bounce was music to her ear.
She ran and ran
As if she feared some goblin man
Dogged her with gibe or curse
Or something worse:
But not one goblin skurried after,
Nor was she pricked by fear;
The kind heart made her windy-paced
That urged her home quite out of breath with haste
And inward laughter.

She cried, "Laura," up the garden.
"Did you miss me?
Come and kiss me.
Never mind my bruises,
Hug me, kiss me, **** my juices
Squeezed from goblin fruits for you,
Goblin pulp and goblin dew.
Eat me, drink me, love me;
Laura, make much of me;
For your sake I have braved the glen
And had to do with goblin merchant men."

Laura started from her chair,
Flung her arms up in the air,
Clutched her hair:
"Lizzie, Lizzie, have you tasted
For my sake the fruit forbidden?
Must your light like mine be hidden,
Your young life like mine be wasted,
Undone in mine undoing,
And ruined in my ruin,
Thirsty, cankered, goblin-ridden?" -
She clung about her sister,
Kissed and kissed and kissed her:
Tears once again
Refreshed her shrunken eyes,
Dropping like rain
After long sultry drouth;
Shaking with aguish fear, and pain,
She kissed and kissed her with a hungry mouth.

Her lips began to scorch,
That juice was wormwood to her tongue,
She loathed the feast:
Writhing as one possessed she leaped and sung,
Rent all her robe, and wrung
Her hands in lamentable haste,
And beat her breast.
Her locks streamed like the torch
Borne by a racer at full speed,
Or like the mane of horses in their flight,
Or like an eagle when she stems the light
Straight toward the sun,
Or like a caged thing freed,
Or like a flying flag when armies run.

Swift fire spread through her veins,
knocked at her heart
Met the fire smouldering there
And overbore its lesser flame;
She gorged on bitterness without a name:
Ah! fool, to choose such part
Of soul-consuming care!
Sense failed in the mortal strife:
Like the watch-tower of a town
Which an earthquake shatters down,
Like a lightning-stricken mast,
Like a wind-uprooted tree
Spun about,
Like a foam-topped waterspout
Cast down headlong in the sea,
She fell at last;
Pleasure past and anguish past,
Is it death or is it life?

Life out of death.
That night long Lizzie watched by her,
Counted her pulse's flagging stir,
Felt for her breath,
Held water to her lips, and cooled her face
ok it's long but in my opinion it will always be one of the most awesome poems ever!
Lydia Samantha Nov 2011
For as long as I can remember
My daddy doesn't cry.
Ridiculous, I know,
But I never saw a tear leave his eyes.
When his son got sent away,
My daddy didn't cry.
When he lost his job
Again and Again and Again
My daddy didn't cry.
When his brother died
My daddy didn't cry.
When we found out my siblings had autism
My daddy didn't cry.
When his sister in law died,
My daddy didn't cry.
When his mom died 26 hours later,
My daddy didn't cry.
But when my father realized that he was slowing losing me
When I had failed to tell him how much I loved him
He sat in the car
Tears shining in his eyes
And he begged me
He begged me to give him a second chance.
And as a single tear streamed down his face
I couldn't help but tear up myself
At the thought of all the miscommunication
All the fights and all the misunderstandings
For the first time in forever
I actually felt loved by father,
That first time
I saw my daddy cry.
Joel Mathew Sep 2019
Before I realised anything, an hourglass stood before me
It stood before me, majestic and strong, sand sizzling down its top
Golden sand so beautiful, like crystals of light stolen from the sun
Encased in glass so clear, like diamond, void of everything but itself

What was it trying to tell me? I didn't know.
My gaze was lost in it, awestricken by curiosity
I crawled around the glass floor inspecting the peculiar object
For it was the most beautiful thing I'd ever seen.

As grains of sand hit the bottom, I grew closer to the top
Intimacy led to trust, trust led to kinship, kinship led to family
As grains of sand hit the bottom, I found myself wanting to protect each grain
I found myself wanting to cherish for eternity, each fleeting grain.

As grains of sand hit the bottom, I grew closer to the top. But not close enough.
Close enough to see what secrets the top held
Close enough to understand what this hourglass meant
As grains of sand hit the bottom, I found myself wishing they'd fall faster.

Eventually I stopped growing and the sand slowed down.
My gaze was lost in it, numbed by boredom
What waited at the dreary end? What was the point of any of this?
Filled with questions and no answers, I started clawing at the glass.

It felt wrong. It felt like I was betraying something important.
I had reached a miserable point where I couldn't care less.
Right and wrong were like glass and sand. I kept clawing until the horrendous screeching ceased with a cold cold crack.
The squalid sand poured out onto the glass floor.

The sand scrunched against my feet, it felt... different.
I knew I should fix the ominous crack, but I didn't
My sinful hands felt heavy, it was almost like I didn’t care anymore.
Bitter tears streamed down my face and were soaked into the acrid sand.

Tears for the hourglass it could've been
Tears for the man who felt nothing when he broke it
Tears for the man who'd given up on fixing it.
Tears for the child who was lost in the blissful dunes of oblivion

The sand stopped pouring out, where the crack once was now the glass lay welded
Beside my pathetic hourglass stood hers, the most beautiful hourglass I'd ever seen
Golden sand so beautiful, like crystals of light stolen from the sun
Encased in glass so clear, like diamond, void of everything but itself.

Beauty in simply existing, ambition in each sizzling grain
Audacity to dream dreams for a tomorrow
I knew none of those so I copied her hoping
Someday I'd be able to stand beside her as her equal

In her I saw myself, a fascinated child beside his hourglass
Her existence rekindled a flame within, sparked by determination
Lost in my hourglass I realised the unfathomable potential in each grain
Conceiving the myriad of grains coursing through the glass... a latent being awakened

With that the gears of the cosmos were clanked into motion
And for the first time, I heard winds howl in this windless plane
Winds of fate, winds of time, winds from the birth of continuum
Propelling me towards the point where the sun melts sand to glass

Propelling me towards the singularity where a God is born.

And thus the saga began and the timeless grains of sand fell
As the final grain fell my entire life flashed before my eyes, and by far
the  most important grains were: the first that birthed my existence, and the other, when I found out why
As the final grain fell, I closed my weary eyes, smiling, seeing the most beautiful hourglass I'd ever seen.
I tried to express what my life was like the past year and my journey in discovering my purpose. I still haven't but when I do I think it'll be something like this.
It was my thirtieth year to heaven
Woke to my hearing from harbour and neighbour wood
     And the mussel pooled and the heron
               Priested shore
          The morning beckon
With water praying and call of seagull and rook
And the knock of sailing boats on the net webbed wall
          Myself to set foot
               That second
     In the still sleeping town and set forth.

     My birthday began with the water-
Birds and the birds of the winged trees flying my name
     Above the farms and the white horses
               And I rose
          In rainy autumn
And walked abroad in a shower of all my days.
High tide and the heron dived when I took the road
          Over the border
               And the gates
     Of the town closed as the town awoke.

     A springful of larks in a rolling
Cloud and the roadside bushes brimming with whistling
     Blackbirds and the sun of October
               Summery
          On the hill's shoulder,
Here were fond climates and sweet singers suddenly
Come in the morning where I wandered and listened
          To the rain wringing
               Wind blow cold
     In the wood faraway under me.

     Pale rain over the dwindling harbour
And over the sea wet church the size of a snail
     With its horns through mist and the castle
               Brown as owls
          But all the gardens
Of spring and summer were blooming in the tall tales
Beyond the border and under the lark full cloud.
          There could I marvel
               My birthday
     Away but the weather turned around.

     It turned away from the blithe country
And down the other air and the blue altered sky
     Streamed again a wonder of summer
               With apples
          Pears and red currants
And I saw in the turning so clearly a child's
Forgotten mornings when he walked with his mother
          Through the parables
               Of sun light
     And the legends of the green chapels

     And the twice told fields of infancy
That his tears burned my cheeks and his heart moved in mine.
     These were the woods the river and sea
               Where a boy
          In the listening
Summertime of the dead whispered the truth of his joy
To the trees and the stones and the fish in the tide.
          And the mystery
               Sang alive
     Still in the water and singingbirds.

     And there could I marvel my birthday
Away but the weather turned around. And the true
     Joy of the long dead child sang burning
               In the sun.
          It was my thirtieth
Year to heaven stood there then in the summer noon
Though the town below lay leaved with October blood.
          O may my heart's truth
               Still be sung
     On this high hill in a year's turning.
judy smith Jan 2016
The news that Jonathan Anderson — a.k.a. J. W. Anderson — would live-stream his fall men’s show exclusively on Grindr, the gay social-networking app, has been the whispered, and then not-so-whispered, talk of the first days of men’s fashion week here. “Now there’s a show that would’ve looked good on Grindr,” one showgoer cracked to another about a collection that featured men in cutout trousers and one very visible pair of thong underwear.

On Sunday, just after 10 a.m., Mr. Anderson’s collection hit the runway and the Internet. Those unsuspecting souls surfing Grindr for lust or companionship were offered the chance to see his show unfold: its polka-dot furs and knitted trousers, appliquéd snails and boxing-boot shoes.

Whether it was what the virtually gathered crowd came to the app for or not, Grindr personnel were sanguine. “You know as well as I do, there are the fashion gays,” Landis Smithers, the company’s vice president of marketing, said in an interview last week. “They love them a show and an exclusive.”

Not everyone was as eager. In the immediate aftermath of the announcement, rumors circulated that model agencies were leery of sending their charges, many of them underage, to participate in the show. (To be live-streamed via Grindr is not the same as to use Grindr, though the company’s terms of service restrict use to those who are at least 18, and in some places, 21.)

But if there were holdouts among the models, it wasn’t immediately evident from the runway, and Mr. Anderson said that he had experienced pushback from potential collaborators only at the outset.

“I think at the beginning there was a bit of unknowingness, which was stressful,” he said. “But I believe in this project. I think it’s very important that brands explore media; I think it’s the only way forward. I don’t see any differentiation between Grindr and Tinder or any sort of dating app, or Instagram. I feel like people now can use any sort of social device to meet people.”The show’s final casting, he added, was “exactly the way it should be.”Among those who saw the show live, without having to resort to the app, the idea was largely popular.The rapper ASAP Rocky, waiting a turn to congratulate Mr. Anderson, expressed an appreciation for the silk pieces in the collection and the good vibes of the Grindr partnership. “I heard about that last minute,” he said. “Gay people supporting gays. That’s what it’s all about: support. I support everybody.”Some wariness persisted. “It is what it is, you know?” said one young model from the show when asked how he felt about appearing on Grindr, before reversing himself and declaring that he was uncomfortable answering the question. He declined to give his name.

“Some people don’t get it,” shrugged Michel Gaubert, the in-demand D.J. who provided the show’s thumping score, “But it’s the gay Facebook.” He called the idea to live-stream the show on the platform “fantastic.”

Certainly the possibilities are large on a platform that engages millions.“Every single person I know is on Grindr,” said Bryan Grey Yambao, better known as the blogger Bryanboy, after the show. (Even assuming some mild hyperbole on Mr. Yambao’s part, the numbers are formidable: seven million users by Grindr’s own estimate, as many as a million or more users are on the platform at any given moment.)He added: “I think it’s a great audience to tap into.”He said that he had downloaded the app that morning but had already deleted it.Whether that suggests less overlap between fashion obsessives and would-be couplers than Grindr might like remains to be seen. But according to Mr. Smithers, by Monday morning (an edited version of the video remained accessible via Grindr for 24 hours following its live debut), Mr. Anderson’s show had been streamed about 100,000 times, about a third of them during the event.

read more:www.marieaustralia.com/red-carpet-celebrity-dresses

www.marieaustralia.com/formal-dresses-adelaide
Mary Mar 2019
We relaxed by the ocean
Walked on the beach
Laughed until our stomachs hurt
And our eyes streamed
We wrote poetry
Enjoyed some day drinking
And a little night drinking, too
We looked ahead to our future
And back at our long and lovely past
For a brief time we left it all behind
And you and I were all that mattered

Let's do it again
"Oh yes, I went over to Edmonstoun the other day and saw Johnny, mooning around as usual! He will never make his way."
Letter of George Keats, 18--


Night falls; the great jars glow against the dark,
Dark green, dusk red, and, like a coiling snake,
Writhing eternally in smoky gyres,
Great ropes of gorgeous vapor twist and turn
Within them. So the Eastern fisherman
Saw the swart genie rise when the lead seal,
Scribbled with charms, was lifted from the jar;
And -- well, how went the tale? Like this, like this? . . .

No herbage broke the barren flats of land,
No winds dared loiter within smiling trees,
Nor were there any brooks on either hand,
Only the dry, bright sand,
Naked and golden, lay before the seas.

One boat toiled noiselessly along the deep,
The thirsty ripples dying silently
Upon its track. Far out the brown nets sweep,
And night begins to creep
Across the intolerable mirror of the sea.

Twice the nets rise, a-trail with sea-plants brown,
Distorted shells, and rocks green-mossed with slime,
Nought else. The fisher, sick at heart, kneels down;
"Prayer may appease God's frown,"
He thinks, then, kneeling, casts for the third time.

And lo! an earthen jar, bound round with brass,
Lies tangled in the cordage of his net.
About the bright waves gleam like shattered glass,
And where the sea's rim was
The sun dips, flat and red, about to set.

The prow grates on the beach. The fisherman
Stoops, tearing at the cords that bind the seal.
Shall pearls roll out, lustrous and white and wan?
Lapis? carnelian?
Unheard-of stones that make the sick mind reel

With wonder of their beauty? Rubies, then?
Green emeralds, glittering like the eyes of beasts?
Poisonous opals, good to madden men?
Gold bezants, ten and ten?
Hard, regal diamonds, like kingly feasts?

He tugged; the seal gave way. A little smoke
Curled like a feather in the darkening sky.
A blinding gush of fire burst, flamed, and broke.
A voice like a wind spoke.
Armored with light, and turbaned terribly,

A genie tramped the round earth underfoot;
His head sought out the stars, his cupped right hand
Made half the sky one darkness. He was mute.
The sun, a ripened fruit,
Drooped lower. Scarlet eddied o'er the sand.

The genie spoke: "O miserable one!
Thy prize awaits thee; come, and hug it close!
A noble crown thy draggled nets have won
For this that thou hast done.
Blessed are fools! A gift remains for those!"

His hand sought out his sword, and lightnings flared
Across the sky in one great bloom of fire.
Poised like a toppling mountain, it hung bared;
Suns that were jewels glared
Along its hilt. The air burnt like a pyre.

Once more the genie spoke: "Something I owe
To thee, thou fool, thou fool. Come, canst thou sing?
Yea? Sing then; if thy song be brave, then go
Free and released -- or no!
Find first some task, some overmastering thing
I cannot do, and find it speedily,
For if thou dost not thou shalt surely die!"

The sword whirled back. The fisherman uprose,
And if at first his voice was weak with fear
And his limbs trembled, it was but a doze,
And at the high song's close
He stood up straight. His voice rang loud and clear.


The Song.

Last night the quays were lighted;
Cressets of smoking pine
Glared o'er the roaring mariners
That drink the yellow wine.

Their song rolled to the rafters,
It struck the high stars pale,
Such worth was in their discourse,
Such wonder in their tale.

Blue borage filled the clinking cups,
The murky night grew wan,
Till one rose, crowned with laurel-leaves,
That was an outland man.

"Come, let us drink to war!" said he,
"The torch of the sacked town!
The swan's-bath and the wolf-ships,
And Harald of renown!

"Yea, while the milk was on his lips,
Before the day was born,
He took the Almayne Kaiser's head
To be his drinking-horn!

"Yea, while the down was on his chin,
Or yet his beard was grown,
He broke the gates of Micklegarth,
And stole the lion-throne!

"Drink to Harald, king of the world,
Lord of the tongue and the troth!
To the bellowing horns of Ostfriesland,
And the trumpets of the Goth!"

Their shouts rolled to the rafters,
The drink-horns crashed and rang,
And all their talk was a clangor of war,
As swords together sang!

But dimly, through the deep night,
Where stars like flowers shone,
A passionate shape came gliding --
I saw one thing alone.

I only saw my young love
Shining against the dark,
The whiteness of her raiment,
The head that bent to hark.

I only saw my young love,
Like flowers in the sun --
Her hands like waxen petals,
Where yawning poppies run.

I only felt there, chrysmal,
Against my cheek her breath,
Though all the winds were baying,
And the sky bright with Death.

Red sparks whirled up the chimney,
A hungry flaught of flame,
And a lean man from Greece arose;
Thrasyllos was his name.

"I praise all noble wines!" he cried,
"Green robes of tissue fine,
Peacocks and apes and ivory,
And Homer's sea-loud line,

"Statues and rings and carven gems,
And the wise crawling sea;
But most of all the crowns of kings,
The rule they wield thereby!

"Power, fired power, blank and bright!
A fit hilt for the hand!
The one good sword for a freeman,
While yet the cold stars stand!"

Their shouts rolled to the rafters,
The air was thick with wine.
I only knew her deep eyes,
And felt her hand in mine.

Softly as quiet water,
One finger touched my cheek;
Her face like gracious moonlight --
I might not move nor speak.

I only saw that beauty,
I only felt that form
There, in the silken darkness --
God wot my heart was warm!

Their shouts rolled to the rafters,
Another chief began;
His slit lips showed him for a ***;
He was an evil man.

"Sing to the joys of women!" he yelled,
"The hot delicious tents,
The soft couch, and the white limbs;
The air a steam of scents!"

His eyes gleamed, and he wet his lips,
The rafters shook with cheers,
As he sang of woman, who is man's slave
For all unhonored years.

"Whether the wanton laughs amain,
With one white shoulder bare,
Or in a sacked room you unbind
Some crouching maiden's hair;

"This is the only good for man,
Like spices of the South --
To see the glimmering body laid
As pasture to his mouth!

"To leave no lees within the cup,
To see and take and rend;
To lap a girl's limbs up like wine,
And laugh, knowing the end!"

Only, like low, still breathing,
I heard one voice, one word;
And hot speech poured upon my lips,
As my hands held a sword.

"Fools, thrice fools of lust!" I cried,
"Your eyes are blind to see
Eternal beauty, moving far,
More glorious than horns of war!
But though my eyes were one blind scar,
That sight is shown to me!

"You nuzzle at the ivory side,
You clasp the golden head;
Fools, fools, who chatter and sing,
You have taken the sign of a terrible thing,
You have drunk down God with your beeswing,
And broken the saints for bread!

"For God moves darkly,
In silence and in storm;
But in the body of woman
He shows one burning form.

"For God moves blindly,
In darkness and in dread;
But in the body of woman
He raises up the dead.

"Gracile and straight as birches,
Swift as the questing birds,
They fill true-lovers' drink-horns up,
Who speak not, having no words.

"Love is not delicate toying,
A slim and shimmering mesh;
It is two souls wrenched into one,
Two bodies made one flesh.

"Lust is a sprightly servant,
Gallant where wines are poured;
Love is a bitter master,
Love is an iron lord.

"Satin ease of the body,
Fattened sloth of the hands,
These and their like he will not send,
Only immortal fires to rend --
And the world's end is your journey's end,
And your stream chokes in the sands.

"Pleached calms shall not await you,
Peace you shall never find;
Nought but the living moorland
Scourged naked by the wind.

"Nought but the living moorland,
And your love's hand in yours;
The strength more sure than surety,
The mercy that endures.

"Then, though they give you to be burned,
And slay you like a stoat,
You have found the world's heart in the turn of a cheek,
Heaven in the lift of a throat.

"Although they break you on the wheel,
That stood so straight in the sun,
Behind you the trumpets split the sky,
Where the lost and furious fight goes by --
And God, our God, will have victory
When the red day is done!"

Their mirth rolled to the rafters,
They bellowed lechery;
Light as a drifting feather
My love slipped from my knee.

Within, the lights were yellow
In drowsy rooms and warm;
Without, the stabbing lightning
Shattered across the storm.

Within, the great logs crackled,
The drink-horns emptied soon;
Without, the black cloaks of the clouds
Strangled the waning moon.

My love crossed o'er the threshold --
God! but the night was murk!
I set myself against the cold,
And left them to their work.

Their shouts rolled to the rafters;
A bitterer way was mine,
And I left them in the tavern,
Drinking the yellow wine!

The last faint echoes rang along the plains,
Died, and were gone. The genie spoke: "Thy song
Serves well enough -- but yet thy task remains;
Many and rending pains
Shall torture him who dares delay too long!"

His brown face hardened to a leaden mask.
A bitter brine crusted the fisher's cheek --
"Almighty God, one thing alone I ask,
Show me a task, a task!"
The hard cup of the sky shone, gemmed and bleak.

"O love, whom I have sought by devious ways;
O hidden beauty, naked as a star;
You whose bright hair has burned across my days,
Making them lamps of praise;
O dawn-wind, breathing of Arabia!

"You have I served. Now fire has parched the vine,
And Death is on the singers and the song.
No longer are there lips to cling to mine,
And the heart wearies of wine,
And I am sick, for my desire is long.

"O love, soft-moving, delicate and tender!
In her gold house the pipe calls querulously,
They cloud with thin green silks her body slender,
They talk to her and tend her;
Come, piteous, gentle love, and set me free!"

He ceased -- and, slowly rising o'er the deep,
A faint song chimed, grew clearer, till at last
A golden horn of light began to creep
Where the dumb ripples sweep,
Making the sea one splendor where it passed.

A golden boat! The bright oars rested soon,
And the prow met the sand. The purple veils
Misting the cabin fell. Fair as the moon
When the morning comes too soon,
And all the air is silver in the dales,

A gold-robed princess stepped upon the beach.
The fisher knelt and kissed her garment's hem,
And then her lips, and strove at last for speech.
The waters lapped the reach.
"Here thy strength breaks, thy might is nought to stem!"

He cried at last. Speech shook him like a flame:
"Yea, though thou plucked the stars from out the sky,
Each lovely one would be a withered shame --
Each thou couldst find or name --
To this fire-hearted beauty!" Wearily

The genie heard. A slow smile came like dawn
Over his face. "Thy task is done!" he said.
A whirlwind roared, smoke shattered, he was gone;
And, like a sudden horn,
The moon shone clear, no longer smoked and red.

They passed into the boat. The gold oars beat
Loudly, then fainter, fainter, till at last
Only the quiet waters barely moved
Along the whispering sand -- till all the vast
Expanse of sea began to shake with heat,
And morning brought soft airs, by sailors loved.

And after? . . . Well . . .
The shop-bell clangs! Who comes?
Quinine -- I pour the little bitter grains
Out upon blue, glazed squares of paper. So.
And all the dusk I shall sit here alone,
With many powers in my hands -- ah, see
How the blurred labels run on the old jars!
***** -- and a cruel and sleepy scent,
The harsh taste of white poppies; India --
The writhing woods a-crawl with monstrous life,
Save where the deodars are set like spears,
And a calm pool is mirrored ebony;
***** -- brown and warm and slender-breasted
She rises, shaking off the cool black water,
And twisting up her hair, that ripples down,
A torrent of black water, to her feet;
How the drops sparkle in the moonlight! Once
I made a rhyme about it, singing softly:

Over Damascus every star
Keeps his unchanging course and cold,
The dark weighs like an iron bar,
The intense and pallid night is old,
Dim the moon's scimitar.

Still the lamps blaze within those halls,
Where poppies heap the marble vats
For girls to tread; the thick air palls;
And shadows hang like evil bats
About the scented walls.

The girls are many, and they sing;
Their white feet fall like flakes of snow,
Making a ceaseless murmuring --
Whispers of love, dead long ago,
And dear, forgotten Spring.

One alone sings not. Tiredly
She sees the white blooms crushed, and smells
The heavy scent. They chatter: "See!
White Zira thinks of nothing else
But the morn's jollity --

"Then Haroun takes her!" But she dreams,
Unhearing, of a certain field
Of poppies, cut by many streams,
Like lines across a round Turk shield,
Where now the hot sun gleams.

The field whereon they walked that day,
And splendor filled her body up,
And his; and then the trampled clay,
And slow smoke climbing the sky's cup
From where the village lay.

And after -- much ache of the wrists,
Where the cords irked her -- till she came,
The price of many amethysts,
Hither. And now the ultimate shame
Blew trumpet in the lists.

And so she trod the poppies there,
Remembering other poppies, too,
And did not seem to see or care.
Without, the first gray drops of dew
Sweetened the trembling air.

She trod the poppies. Hours passed
Until she slept at length -- and Time
Dragged his slow sickle. When at last
She woke, the moon shone, bright as rime,
And night's tide rolled on fast.

She moaned once, knowing everything;
Then, bitterer than death, she found
The soft handmaidens, in a ring,
Come to anoint her, all around,
That she might please the king.

***** -- and the odor dies away,
Leaving the air yet heavy -- cassia -- myrrh --
Bitter and splendid. See, the poisons come,
Trooping in squat green vials, blazoned red
With grinning skulls: strychnine, a pallid dust
Of tiny grains, like bones ground fine; and next
The muddy green of arsenic, all livid,
Likest the face of one long dead -- they creep
Along the dusty shelf like deadly beetles,
Whose fangs are carved with runnels, that the blood
May run down easily to the blind mouth
That snaps and gapes; and high above them there,
My master's pride, a cobwebbed, yellow ***
Of honey from Mount Hybla. Do the bees
Still moan among the low sweet purple clover,
Endlessly many? Still in deep-hushed woods,
When the incredible silver of the moon
Comes like a living wind through sleep-bowed branches,
Still steal dark shapes from the enchanted glens,
Which yet are purple with high dreams, and still
Fronting that quiet and eternal shield
Which is much more than Peace, does there still stand
One sharp black shadow -- and the short, smooth horns
Are clear against that disk?
O great Diana!
I, I have praised thee, yet I do not know
What moves my mind so strangely, save that once
I lay all night upon a thymy hill,
And watched the slow clouds pass like heaped-up foam
Across blue marble, till at last no speck
Blotted the clear expanse, and the full moon
Rose in much light, and all night long I saw
Her ordered progress, till, in midmost heaven,
There came a terrible silence, and the mice
Crept to their holes, the crickets did not chirp,
All the small night-sounds stopped -- and clear pure light
Rippled like silk over the universe,
Most cold and bleak; and yet my heart beat fast,
Waiting until the stillness broke. I know not
For what I waited -- something very great --
I dared not look up to the sky for fear
A brittle crackling should clash suddenly
Against the quiet, and a black line creep
Across the sky, and widen like a mouth,
Until the broken heavens streamed apart,
Like torn lost banners, and the immortal fires,
Roaring like lions, asked their meat from God.
I lay there, a black blot upon a shield
Of quivering, watery whiteness. The hush held
Until I staggered up and cried aloud,
And then it seemed that something far too great
For knowledge, and illimitable as God,
Rent th
Jonny Angel Dec 2013
This morning gray skies prevailed,
an icy wind bit my face,
cold tears streamed down
as I pedaled along the deserted streets.

The few drivers who did pass
had no faces.
Perhaps they
were chilled,
crying,
felt a bit empty too.
Blue Jay Jun 2014
She sat there in silence as tears streamed down her flustered cheeks.
The sound of her sniffing trying to hold them back, echoed throughout the room.
She was frozen.
She couldn't move, she could barely even breathe.
The light wasn't allowed in this room,
like love wasn't allowed in her heart.
It was all dim and dark.
Much like the tired eyes she had been wearing,
As a result of this nightly routine.
The air was thick and felt as though she was trying to breathe with her face pressed into a pillow.
Everything in her screaming for help but she sat there quietly, alone, engulfed in darkness.

**Slow self-suffocation at its finest.

— The End —