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Brian Foote Jan 2017
Oak Tree
My old friend,
Strength and beauty matched,
Sing a song tonight,
For,
    tomorrow,
You'll be axed.

    -b-
The ocean becomes my temperament vicious and uncalculated
Breaching boundaries and flooding streets with emotions  
Tidal wave's pull me under
But I still feel your light no matter how deep I delve
You became a new sun when my head convinced me my world had ended
And after all this time I've realized saving my self Is more important than saving grace so strike me down if I'm the devil in myself
Causing plague and disease in my own head .
pk tunuri Mar 2018
Spa D is on fire
Administration is a liar
Student body has a desire
Let's fulfill our needs before we expire

You think your threats can stop us
I'm sure we didn't want to make a fuss

What makes you be at a nonplus
Let us know when you are ready to discuss

For how long will you bluff?
Don't you think it's enough?

We've suffered enough over the years
We have overcome all our fears

Don't light up the fire with our tears
You better stop playing with our careers

All that we ask for is some trust
But you left us all in utter disgust

Spa D is on fire
Administration is a liar
Student body has a desire
Let's fulfill our needs before we expire
A poem on COLLEGE STRIKE
CK Baker Jan 2018
who lit the candles
placed eloquently
behind purple rock?
the sculpted radiance,
chapel grace
wound in a chosen
defined way
down the spiral
stone stairs

street cars dawdle
alongside
the packer slew
biding merchants
and frontmen
shuffle their wares
as the madman
and pock face
sing their
holy blues

cut jazz echoes
over the accompanying
gabble and drone
incense and haze
pour from
a lower trap door
sack fish, truffles
and splendid crafts shine
inside the stained glass fronts

a wide mouth
snapper
with a bloated tongue
greets the
morning tide
(not camera shy
in the least!)
fish traps
and beaneries
dot the busy causeway

hula hoops
and ballers
join the
cobaine stage
favoured rogues
and mac jacks
speak easy
of the big daddy

beth’s triple by pass
taking firm hold on
tricky ****
and the nutcracker
maze ways,
taggers and
lost tunnels
of cu chi
strike a
nerving blow

a poised finger man
belts out his tune
(with a sniff sock
and iterating glare)
his nosey neighbors
cut artisan bread
(with a white wine
and jelly spread)
midwives push forward
for an afternoon
toddle and stroll
Shofi Ahmed Mar 2017
Once, the summer sun will rise in London
Like the half of the Ge meets the other half.
Like a magic by the Lamp of Aladdin
The love flame hidden in the chest lits out!

Like a blooming rose in a glowing beam of light,
Like a smiling face speaks a gentle word,
Like a beautiful sunrise colour in the first light!

The summer in London will pop and sizzle
We will see a threshold in our land.
The rose for a while is tucked away
Off the winter and is given to the sun
Winter is not forever spring is on the corner
Come back in the sun with the early bird
Before Cinderella takes on the primrose path.

Keeping an eye on a thriller is in the winter’s field
Oozy ozone misty land gets a gingerly seasoning
What on earth will it strike, will it dish out?
Ah, the sun will pop out like a river breeze.

Like a southern song singing on a dream scene.
a smooth fairy dance facing the Moon
a thrill of exposing Stonehenge once and for all
a melodious raindrop in the serene pond
a butterfly dance on the rose
a turned on tall tale of the blue peacock
Like a pure belief in heaven without a pinch of salt!
This is a poem from my book Zero and One available on Amazon.
The uniVerse Jun 2018
Beauty lies bereft and bound
it cries for help but utters no sound
mascara kisses fade from your lips
etched by lovers worn fingertips
purple rings around sullen eyes
the broken skin it never lies
fists of thunder make not the man
nor the swift strike of back of hand
a thousand apologies can never repair
the displacement of a single hair
for she is not an object for you to own
she is a Queen that deserves a throne
and if she allows you to enter her chamber
it's also her decision if you should remain there.
her beauty is boundless
and cannot be tamed
all those who try
should be shamed

***** I have shared my poems on this website now since 2015 and this is my first daily, it has been a privilege and I appreciate all the lovely comments <3 *****
CK Baker May 2017
like that pill bitter Sunday morning (after)
with a nauseating hack
the previously uneventful Tuesday
derailed
in surrealistic tale
with Auntie and Jack (and a quarter of fate)
in the 748
on a night flight
from Sherwood to Lore

reverberating waves
of imminent summer haze
river flats
and flower fields
fly weights
and silver bait
shredders and shysters
and open gates
(into those everlasting
and sweated journeys of hope)

bloods and strays
and florentine grays
(reminiscent of Rockwell fame)
running horses
and overgrown country lanes
morning grace
and gentle cheer
eyes clear
on the river pass
blunted paddles for those ancient
and not so willing suckers!


duke making his own way
(to the corner club)
Parsons and Poe
stream from the torn screen door
cricket cadence
and symphony of the Deere
calm and deliberate
in the soft
and silent fields

meadows open for grazing
(guineas scamper across the till)
pocket apples fill
the country ripe air
drunken bees
and chestnuts
and electric fingers
strike the surface pool
(a cedar ***** wedged on the white wash dock)

baited bull heads set to cast
evenings with hearts
and Nolten Nash
may flowers bloom
across the grass
~ time unmatched ~
with blue jays
and river bends
and channel cats
...and that warm
and recurring
Coleman drift
Nat Lipstadt Nov 2018
strike my eyes lovely


for S. B.

by way of introduction,
when you have gone to confession,
freely admitting you have nothing left for others to harvest,
no seed to plant a new crop, and lies and laughter, interchangeable,
there is no poetry left, not even raisin scone crumbs,
one good friend informs that a forgotten five month old poem,
a computer has selected & resurrected, for distinction

so months later you snicker for you have been seriously
self-kicked away from writing, all your vocabularies,
trite and yellowed overused, and you read
really good poetry and are
slapped-seen-outed by the impoverishment of
your own no-winsome word-smithy,
no delusions, even this, but a-quick script, more a thank you note,
and it’s the only lasting quality is the
genuine nature of its intent
but the poem itself falls bottom of the cliff, short on quality,
a victim of your dissatisfaction

let me explain better

she messages you while the time difference works in her favor,
she reads while you sleep the sleep of the soul-exhausted,
she, scoffing at your claims of motivation deprivation,
as she cherishes this forgotten one,
with words that cannot be ignored

the poem

                 strikes her eyes lovely

daggered, this morning phrase cannot go unchallenged  

for this a compliment that any poet would
weep for, be inspired by, stung into action,
provoked, ego flattered and challenged to-do more-better,
what writer could want for anything more!

who can own this ability  
accept this ultimatum of success, a cross-word crucification

to strike down lovely
the readers eyes, almost all once,
almost excuses me forever
for trying and failing so many times

you smile
but not in the chest where
lovely
needs to strike you

for if you cannot strike the readers eyes again and again, then...
let the moment gleam, and then disappear,
again and again, stored but not restorative

11/21/18
Miami
ever standing
body lithe, strong
trained to strike

too dashing for peeling paint
old verandas
slow-paced hamlet

waiting in country town
place to whizz past
road to tourist hub

how does his tale read
did he pay
for assault

struck the frame
holder of *****
spawning breath

cold fury
for scenes of his mother
thrown down

stain his every stance
grabbing mail swiftly
ahead of arrival

panther muscles
no more the crouching lad
shuddering

her screams
bounce off walls
as mother's body slumps

broken bottle scars
left to clean up the mess
as he leaves for school
forage into
fictional possibility -
penned
with deep respect
for David
of village
post office
Rui Rosa Nov 2018
There are those who wear masks to hide,
Those who wear masks to show us what they stand for,
to inspire,
to unite,
to define,
to strike fear,
There are those who wear masks to protect themselves.
And there are those who wear masks to protect us all.
Which mask you wear?
Cné Apr 2018

Many days without a muse.
Whatever shall I do?
Too long away from poetry
and sans a point of view

The moon has been so beautiful.
But words just would not come.
The sunrise has been glorious
the sunsets strike me numb.

Romance is in the air tonight.
Perhaps a muse will see...
And strike a chord that gives
a voice to verses now in me.

I close my eyes and see much more
than sight can ever see.
Colors swirl behind my lids
and rainbows, vividly.

Butterflies and hummingbirds
a ship of clouds glides by
Howling wolves in the wilderness
a pink and azure sky

And so, I find I need no sight
to find my inspiration.
The mind is far more "visual"
and gives its own sensation.

Just writing....
Logan Robertson Aug 2018
Stuffed seals.
Sits shelf,
soaking sunshine,
standing sentry,
soliciting smiles.
Shoppers smitten,
strike smiles,
spending silver.
Storied seals,
send shoppers shrilling.
Somewhere,
seamstresses
stitch supplementary shipments,
shaking store,
sustaining sales.
Sales staff splendidly stock shelf.
Seamlessly.
Such salvation, seals seeks.
Successfully, seashells.

Logan Robertson

8/1/2018
Robin Lemmen Jul 2018
We speak with fire on our tongue
Hoping to find a match in angry looks
Aiming to light up and respark
Hit where we know words hurt most
Lashing out and cashing in
I apologize for feelings for speaking truths
You are proud but  reach out
As a means of saying sorry
Ironic as we know we both
Will do it all again
Strike a match past the parchment
Of our skin, drawing fires
Drawing circles until we burn
Out, out, again and again
Smoldering embers of what could have been
Leaving marks shaped like feelings
Neither of us can make worth of

And so they kept on drawing fires
Past the parchment
Of their skins
Why in Baste Eyes my Form checks expect
Yet cast my Security for his Expense
Which, I suppose, that Report I prefect
Was a File un-welcomed for my Good Sense
Though, I assure, was all to contribute
For his Sweets added to his Nationed Chest
That, to chillax, take Tidbits absolute
And brisk the New Day for his Talent's Best
Now this, resolved to wax Slime and Conflict
Thus put my Loyalty to Terms reset
More fruitful, more pruned, from Pride's Tome inflict
Then this Orrery - strike Rocks to Sky's bet.
In turn perhaps recover from this Fling
On Muted Clouds do those Falcons still Sing.
#tomdaleytv #tomdaley1994
Lady Narnia May 2016
Oh, how dark our history is
You, my author of misery and pain
With fingers set to scribble my demise
This is our story, writ with chaotic pen

One that left calamity in its wake

You would always start the chapter
Every page inked with words of black
On the point of a pen, you'd viciously write
Using the sharp edge to stab into my being

Scripting, deeply, my eternal damnation

You erased my name and made me delusional
Always forcing me to your divine will
For the pen, always mightier than the sword
Was kept toward the edge of my neck

Swearing to strike at any given moment

Always determined, I'd end our sentences
Fighting to gain balance and bear the final period
Yet it was not without consequences
For you and I were wrought with scars

Etched into the bottom of our hearts, a burning black

If only these words painted a happy picture
But the thousand only paint a picture of pain
A dreary battle between two broken forces
On timeworn pages, brittle-ing on and on

Begging for the piece that holds our final chapter

And that chapter swiftly came for I was the ending
Leaving in the night, gone without a trace
With no words or ink left as a guiding clue
Carefully escaping from your paper prison

Free from the agony of the writer's press

On that day, I began my life again
Starting a happy story; free, original, and new
A home of letters filled with love, life, and joy
Where I'd never dare see you again, my dear, dear author

And never bleed black from your miserable weapon
Martin Dove Oct 2018
I had no idea how terrible it all was
Until I matured a bit and opened my eyes
It cleared the mist that I often now miss
From the eyes of an unwilling devil
Seeing the tragedy unfold from a first-person level
I remember it all from that god awful view
The bad things I’ve done, over which I had no control
The outcomes I hoped with the manifestation of some
Who am I kidding - I’ve been among a fortunate few
Except for the fact that life dealt me an ace with a ****** *****
Not quite like anyone - an outcasted sole
With depressive thoughts - eating them straight from the bowl
Until euphoria strikes - then I’m a lightning bolt
These emotional storms - they strike me as cold
Who am I to cry and complain about life
Everyone is united by the suffering light
The random subscription to a life with a set rhythm
If only I could command my heart not to wither
In as much as I tamed the Infidel
Baptism pokes her Holistic White Tongue
Such that if you try to flip the Role-Model
For which Hypocrisy had said and done
You do not know me. If Duty must care
And stand accused tackling my Man to like
Your Mass does not shrink me; And if you dare
Take a Pied Contest and taste the First Strike
Yet in fairness your Swan-Form does exist
As billed by Tom's Twin circled in craft
Now may I come in? Or should I resist
And Boot my *** on the Beach by the Draft?
Those Stripes were hostile from a Few Years Past
Enjoy Iberia Minor; Healing can last.
#ChrisMears93
Michael Kariuki Feb 2018
Blow to my head, I realize that
It may be my destiny.

Smack on my face, I realize that
It may be my reality.

Punch to my chest, I realize that
It may be my entirety.

Strike to my abdomen, I realize that
It may be my infinity.

Whack on my legs, I realize that
It could be gone.

     It was actually She.

          She was actually He.

               He was actually I.

                    I was actually We.

                         We are Celestial Energy.
FIRST DAY

1.
Who wanted me
to go to Chicago
on January 6th?
I did!

The night before,
20 below zero
Fahrenheit
with the wind chill;
as the blizzard of 99
lay in mountains
of blackening snow.

I packed two coats,
two suits,
three sweaters,
multiple sets of long johns
and heavy white socks
for a two-day stay.

I left from Newark.
**** the denseness,
it confounds!

The 2nd City to whom?
2nd ain’t bad.
It’s pretty good.
If you consider
Peking and Prague,
Tokyo and Togo,
Manchester and Moscow,
Port Au Prince and Paris,
Athens and Amsterdam,
Buenos Aries and Johannesburg;
that’s pretty good.

What’s going on here today?
It’s friggin frozen.
To the bone!

But Chi Town is still cool.
Buddy Guy’s is open.
Bartenders mixing drinks,
cabbies jamming on their breaks,
honey dew waitresses serving sugar,
buildings swerving,
fire tongued preachers are preaching
and the farmers are measuring the moon.

The lake,
unlike Ontario
is in the midst of freezing.
Bones of ice
threaten to gel
into a solid mass
over the expanse
of the Michigan Lake.
If this keeps up,
you can walk
clear to Toronto
on a silver carpet.

Along the shore
the ice is permanent.
It’s the first big frost
of winter
after a long
Indian Summer.

Thank God
I caught a cab.
Outside I hear
The Hawk
nippin hard.
It’ll get your ear,
finger or toe.
Bite you on the nose too
if you ain’t careful.

Thank God,
I’m not walking
the Wabash tonight;
but if you do cover up,
wear layers.

Chicago,
could this be
Sandburg’s City?

I’m overwhelmed
and this is my tenth time here.

It’s almost better,
sometimes it is better,
a lot of times it is better
and denser then New York.

Ask any Bull’s fan.
I’m a Knickerbocker.
Yes Nueva York,
a city that has placed last
in the standings
for many years.
Except the last two.
Yanks are # 1!

But Chicago
is a dynasty,
as big as
Sammy Sosa’s heart,
rich and wide
as Michael Jordan’s grin.

Middle of a country,
center of a continent,
smack dab in the mean
of a hemisphere,
vortex to a world,
Chicago!

Kansas City,
Nashville,
St. Louis,
Detroit,
Cleveland,
Pittsburgh,
Denver,
New Orleans,
Dallas,
Cairo,
Singapore,
Auckland,
Baghdad,
Mexico City
and Montreal
salute her.



2.
Cities,
A collection of vanities?
Engineered complex utilitarianism?
The need for community a social necessity?
Ego one with the mass?
Civilization’s latest *******?
Chicago is more then that.

Jefferson’s yeoman farmer
is long gone
but this capitol
of the Great Plains
is still democratic.

The citizen’s of this city
would vote daily,
if they could.

Chicago,
Sandburg’s Chicago,
Could it be?

The namesake river
segments the city,
canals of commerce,
all perpendicular,
is rife throughout,
still guiding barges
to the Mississippi
and St. Laurence.

Now also
tourist attractions
for a cafe society.

Chicago is really jazzy,
swanky clubs,
big steaks,
juices and drinks.

You get the best
coffee from Seattle
and the finest teas
from China.

Great restaurants
serve liquid jazz
al la carte.

Jazz Jazz Jazz
All they serve is Jazz
Rock me steady
Keep the beat
Keep it flowin
Feel the heat!

Jazz Jazz Jazz
All they is, is Jazz
Fast cars will take ya
To the show
Round bout midnight
Where’d the time go?

Flows into the Mississippi,
the mother of America’s rivers,
an empires aorta.

Great Lakes wonder of water.
Niagara Falls
still her heart gushes forth.

Buffalo connected to this holy heart.
Finger Lakes and Adirondacks
are part of this watershed,
all the way down to the
Delaware and Chesapeake.

Sandburg’s Chicago?
Oh my my,
the wonder of him.
Who captured the imagination
of the wonders of rivers.

Down stream other holy cities
from the Mississippi delta
all mapped by him.

Its mouth our Dixie Trumpet
guarded by righteous Cajun brethren.

Midwest?
Midwest from where?
It’s north of Caracas and Los Angeles,
east of Fairbanks,
west of Dublin
and south of not much.

Him,
who spoke of honest men
and loving women.
Working men and mothers
bearing citizens to build a nation.
The New World’s
precocious adolescent
caught in a stream
of endless and exciting change,
much pain and sacrifice,
dedication and loss,
pride and tribulations.

From him we know
all the people’s faces.
All their stories are told.
Never defeating the
idea of Chicago.

Sandburg had the courage to say
what was in the heart of the people, who:

Defeated the Indians,
Mapped the terrain,
Aided slavers,
Fought a terrible civil war,
Hoisted the barges,
Grew the food,
Whacked the wheat,
Sang the songs,
Fought many wars of conquest,
Cleared the land,
Erected the bridges,
Trapped the game,
Netted the fish,
Mined the coal,
Forged the steel,
Laid the tracks,
Fired the tenders,
Cut the stone,
Mixed the mortar,
Plumbed the line,
And laid the bricks
Of this nation of cities!

Pardon the Marlboro Man shtick.
It’s a poor expostulation of
crass commercial symbolism.

Like I said, I’m a
Devil Fan from Jersey
and Madison Avenue
has done its work on me.

It’s a strange alchemy
that changes
a proud Nation of Blackhawks
into a merchandising bonanza
of hometown hockey shirts,
making the native seem alien,
and the interloper at home chillin out,
warming his feet atop a block of ice,
guzzling Old Style
with clicker in hand.

Give him his beer
and other diversions.
If he bowls with his buddy’s
on Tuesday night
I hope he bowls
a perfect game.

He’s earned it.
He works hard.
Hard work and faith
built this city.

And it’s not just the faith
that fills the cities
thousand churches,
temples and
mosques on the Sabbath.

3.
There is faith in everything in Chicago!

An alcoholic broker named Bill
lives the Twelve Steps
to banish fear and loathing
for one more day.
Bill believes in sobriety.

A tug captain named Moe
waits for the spring thaw
so he can get the barges up to Duluth.
Moe believes in the seasons.

A farmer named Tom
hopes he has reaped the last
of many bitter harvests.
Tom believes in a new start.

A homeless man named Earl
wills himself a cot and a hot
at the local shelter.
Earl believes in deliverance.

A Pullman porter
named George
works overtime
to get his first born
through medical school.
George believes in opportunity.

A folk singer named Woody
sings about his
countrymen inheritance
and implores them to take it.
Woody believes in people.

A Wobbly named Joe
organizes fellow steelworkers
to fight for a workers paradise
here on earth.
Joe believes in ideals.

A bookkeeper named Edith
is certain she’ll see the Cubs
win the World Series
in her lifetime.
Edith believes in miracles.

An electrician named ****
saves money
to bring his family over from Gdansk.
**** believes in America.

A banker named Leah
knows Ditka will return
and lead the Bears
to another Super Bowl.
Leah believes in nostalgia.

A cantor named Samuel
prays for another 20 years
so he can properly train
his Temple’s replacement.

Samuel believes in tradition.
A high school girl named Sally
refuses to get an abortion.
She knows she carries
something special within her.
Sally believes in life.

A city worker named Mazie
ceaselessly prays
for her incarcerated son
doing 10 years at Cook.
Mazie believes in redemption.

A jazzer named Bix
helps to invent a new art form
out of the mist.
Bix believes in creativity.

An architect named Frank
restores the Rookery.
Frank believes in space.

A soldier named Ike
fights wars for democracy.
Ike believes in peace.

A Rabbi named Jesse
sermonizes on Moses.
Jesse believes in liberation.

Somewhere in Chicago
a kid still believes in Shoeless Joe.
The kid believes in
the integrity of the game.

An Imam named Louis
is busy building a nation
within a nation.
Louis believes in
self-determination.

A teacher named Heidi
gives all she has to her students.
She has great expectations for them all.
Heidi believes in the future.

4.
Does Chicago have a future?

This city,
full of cowboys
and wildcatters
is predicated
on a future!

Bang, bang
Shoot em up
Stake the claim
It’s your terrain
Drill the hole
Strike it rich
Top it off
You’re the boss
Take a chance
Watch it wane
Try again
Heavenly gains

Chicago
city of futures
is a Holy Mecca
to all day traders.

Their skin is gray,
hair disheveled,
loud ties and
funny coats,
thumb through
slips of paper
held by nail
chewed hands.
Selling promises
with no derivative value
for out of the money calls
and in the money puts.
Strike is not a labor action
in this city of unionists,
but a speculators mark,
a capitalist wish,
a hedgers bet,
a public debt
and a farmers
fair return.

Indexes for everything.
Quantitative models
that could burst a kazoo.

You know the measure
of everything in Chicago.
But is it truly objective?
Have mathematics banished
subjective intentions,
routing it in fair practice
of market efficiencies,
a kind of scientific absolution?

I heard that there
is a dispute brewing
over the amount of snowfall
that fell on the 1st.

The mayor’s office,
using the official city ruler
measured 22”
of snow on the ground.

The National Weather Service
says it cannot detect more
then 17” of snow.

The mayor thinks
he’ll catch less heat
for the trains that don’t run
the buses that don’t arrive
and the schools that stand empty
with the addition of 5”.

The analysts say
it’s all about capturing liquidity.

Liquidity,
can you place a great lake
into an eyedropper?

Its 20 below
and all liquid things
are solid masses
or a gooey viscosity at best.

Water is frozen everywhere.
But Chi town is still liquid,
flowing faster
then the digital blips
flashing on the walls
of the CBOT.

Dreams
are never frozen in Chicago.
The exchanges trade
without missing a beat.

Trading wet dreams,
the crystallized vapor
of an IPO
pledging a billion points
of Internet access
or raiding the public treasuries
of a central bank’s
huge stores of gold
with currency swaps.

Using the tools
of butterfly spreads
and candlesticks
to achieve the goal.

Short the Russell
or buy the Dow,
go long the
CAC and DAX.
Are you trading in euro’s?
You better be
or soon will.
I know
you’re Chicago,
you’ll trade anything.
WEBS,
Spiders,
and Leaps
are traded here,
along with sweet crude,
North Sea Brent,
plywood and T-Bill futures;
and most importantly
the commodities,
the loam
that formed this city
of broad shoulders.

What about our wheat?
Still whacking and
breadbasket to the world.

Oil,
an important fossil fuel
denominated in
good ole greenbacks.

Porkbellies,
not just hogwash
on the Wabash,
but bacon, eggs
and flapjacks
are on the menu
of every diner in Jersey
as the “All American.”

Cotton,
our contribution
to the Golden Triangle,
once the global currency
used to enrich a
gentlemen class
of cultured
southern slavers,
now Tommy Hilfiger’s
preferred fabric.

I think he sends it
to Bangkok where
child slaves
spin it into
gold lame'.

Sorghum,
I think its hardy.

Soybeans,
the new age substitute
for hamburger
goes great with tofu lasagna.

Corn,
ADM creates ethanol,
they want us to drive cleaner cars.

Cattle,
once driven into this city’s
bloodhouses for slaughter,
now ground into
a billion Big Macs
every year.

When does a seed
become a commodity?
When does a commodity
become a future?
When does a future expire?

You can find the answers
to these questions in Chicago
and find a fortune in a hole in the floor.

Look down into the pits.
Hear the screams of anguish
and profitable delights.

Frenzied men
swarming like a mass
of epileptic ants
atop the worlds largest sugar cube
auger the worlds free markets.

The scene is
more chaotic then
100 Haymarket Square Riots
multiplied by 100
1968 Democratic Conventions.

Amidst inverted anthills,
they scurry forth and to
in distinguished
black and red coats.

Fighting each other
as counterparties
to a life and death transaction.

This is an efficient market
that crosses the globe.

Oil from the Sultan of Brunei,
Yen from the land of Hitachi,
Long Bonds from the Fed,
nickel from Quebec,
platinum and palladium
from Siberia,
FTSE’s from London
and crewel cane from Havana
circle these pits.

Tijuana,
Shanghai
and Istanbul's
best traders
are only half as good
as the average trader in Chicago.

Chicago,
this hog butcher to the world,
specializes in packaging and distribution.

Men in blood soaked smocks,
still count the heads
entering the gates of the city.

Their handiwork
is sent out on barges
and rail lines as frozen packages
of futures
waiting for delivery
to an anonymous counterparty
half a world away.

This nation’s hub
has grown into the
premier purveyor
to the world;
along all the rivers,
highways,
railways
and estuaries
it’s tentacles reach.

5.
Sandburg’s Chicago,
is a city of the world’s people.

Many striver rows compose
its many neighborhoods.

Nordic stoicism,
Eastern European orthodoxy
and Afro-American
calypso vibrations
are three of many cords
strumming the strings
of Chicago.

Sandburg’s Chicago,
if you wrote forever
you would only scratch its surface.

People wait for trains
to enter the city from O’Hare.
Frozen tears
lock their eyes
onto distant skyscrapers,
solid chunks
of snot blocks their nose
and green icicles of slime
crust mustaches.
They fight to breathe.

Sandburg’s Chicago
is The Land of Lincoln,
Savior of the Union,
protector of the Republic.
Sent armies
of sons and daughters,
barges, boxcars,
gunboats, foodstuffs,
cannon and shot
to raze the south
and stamp out succession.

Old Abe’s biography
are still unknown volumes to me.
I must see and read the great words.
You can never learn enough;
but I’ve been to Washington
and seen the man’s memorial.
The Free World’s 8th wonder,
guarded by General Grant,
who still keeps an eye on Richmond
and a hand on his sword.

Through this American winter
Abe ponders.
The vista he surveys is dire and tragic.

Our sitting President
impeached
for lying about a *******.

Party partisans
in the senate are sworn and seated.
Our Chief Justice,
adorned with golden bars
will adjudicate the proceedings.
It is the perfect counterpoint
to an ageless Abe thinking
with malice toward none
and charity towards all,
will heal the wounds
of the nation.

Abe our granite angel,
Chicago goes on,
The Union is strong!


SECOND DAY

1.
Out my window
the sun has risen.

According to
the local forecast
its minus 9
going up to
6 today.

The lake,
a golden pillow of clouds
is frozen in time.

I marvel
at the ancients ones
resourcefulness
and how
they mastered
these extreme elements.

Past, present and future
has no meaning
in the Citadel
of the Prairie today.

I set my watch
to Central Standard Time.

Stepping into
the hotel lobby
the concierge
with oil smooth hair,
perfect tie
and English lilt
impeccably asks,
“Do you know where you are going Sir?
Can I give you a map?”

He hands me one of Chicago.
I see he recently had his nails done.
He paints a green line
along Whacker Drive and says,
“turn on Jackson, LaSalle, Wabash or Madison
and you’ll get to where you want to go.”
A walk of 14 or 15 blocks from Streeterville-
(I start at The Chicago White House.
They call it that because Hillary Rodham
stays here when she’s in town.
Its’ also alleged that Stedman
eats his breakfast here
but Opra
has never been seen
on the premises.
I wonder how I gained entry
into this place of elite’s?)
-down into the center of The Loop.

Stepping out of the hotel,
The Doorman
sporting the epaulets of a colonel
on his corporate winter coat
and furry Cossack hat
swaddling his round black face
accosts me.

The skin of his face
is flaking from
the subzero windburn.

He asks me
with a gapped toothy grin,
“Can I get you a cab?”
“No I think I’ll walk,” I answer.
“Good woolen hat,
thick gloves you should be alright.”
He winks and lets me pass.

I step outside.
The Windy City
flings stabbing cold spears
flying on wings of 30-mph gusts.
My outside hardens.
I can feel the freeze
deepen
into my internalness.
I can’t be sure
but inside
my heart still feels warm.
For how long
I cannot say.

I commence
my walk
among the spires
of this great city,
the vertical leaps
that anchor the great lake,
holding its place
against the historic
frigid assault.

The buildings’ sway,
modulating to the blows
of natures wicked blasts.

It’s a hard imposition
on a city and its people.

The gloves,
skullcap,
long underwear,
sweater,
jacket
and overcoat
not enough
to keep the cold
from penetrating
the person.

Like discerning
the layers of this city,
even many layers,
still not enough
to understand
the depth of meaning
of the heart
of this heartland city.

Sandburg knew the city well.
Set amidst groves of suburbs
that extend outward in every direction.
Concentric circles
surround the city.
After the burbs come farms,
Great Plains, and mountains.
Appalachians and Rockies
are but mere molehills
in the city’s back yard.
It’s terra firma
stops only at the sea.
Pt. Barrow to the Horn,
many capes extended.

On the periphery
its appendages,
its extremities,
its outward extremes.
All connected by the idea,
blown by the incessant wind
of this great nation.
The Windy City’s message
is sent to the world’s four corners.
It is a message of power.
English the worlds
common language
is spoken here,
along with Ebonics,
Espanol,
Mandarin,
Czech,
Russian,
Korean,
Arabic,
Hindi­,
German,
French,
electronics,
steel,
cars,
cartoons,
rap,
sports­,
movies,
capital,
wheat
and more.

Always more.
Much much more
in Chicago.

2.
Sandburg
spoke all the dialects.

He heard them all,
he understood
with great precision
to the finest tolerances
of a lathe workers micrometer.

Sandburg understood
what it meant to laugh
and be happy.

He understood
the working mans day,
the learned treatises
of university chairs,
the endless tomes
of the city’s
great libraries,
the lost languages
of the ancient ones,
the secret codes
of abstract art,
the impact of architecture,
the street dialects and idioms
of everymans expression of life.

All fighting for life,
trying to build a life,
a new life
in this modern world.

Walking across
the Michigan Avenue Bridge
I see the Wrigley Building
is neatly carved,
catty cornered on the plaza.

I wonder if Old Man Wrigley
watched his barges
loaded with spearmint
and double-mint
move out onto the lake
from one of those Gothic windows
perched high above the street.

Would he open a window
and shout to the men below
to quit slaking and work harder
or would he
between the snapping sound
he made with his mouth
full of his chewing gum
offer them tickets
to a ballgame at Wrigley Field
that afternoon?

Would the men below
be able to understand
the man communing
from such a great height?

I listen to a man
and woman conversing.
They are one step behind me
as we meander along Wacker Drive.

"You are in Chicago now.”
The man states with profundity.
“If I let you go
you will soon find your level
in this city.
Do you know what I mean?”

No I don’t.
I think to myself.
What level are you I wonder?
Are you perched atop
the transmission spire
of the Hancock Tower?

I wouldn’t think so
or your ears would melt
from the windburn.

I’m thinking.
Is she a kept woman?
She is majestically clothed
in fur hat and coat.
In animal pelts
not trapped like her,
but slaughtered
from farms
I’m sure.

What level
is he speaking of?

Many levels
are evident in this city;
many layers of cobbled stone,
Pennsylvania iron,
Hoosier Granite
and vertical drops.

I wonder
if I detect
condensation
in his voice?

What is
his intention?
Is it a warning
of a broken affair?
A pending pink slip?
Advise to an addict
refusing to adhere
to a recovery regimen?

What is his level anyway?
Is he so high and mighty,
Higher and mightier
then this great city
which we are all a part of,
which we all helped to build,
which we all need
in order to keep this nation
the thriving democratic
empire it is?

This seditious talk!

3.
The Loop’s El
still courses through
the main thoroughfares of the city.

People are transported
above the din of the street,
looking down
on the common pedestrians
like me.

Super CEO’s
populating the upper floors
of Romanesque,
Greek Revivalist,
New Bauhaus,
Art Deco
and Post Nouveau
Neo-Modern
Avant-Garde towers
are too far up
to see me
shivering on the street.

The cars, busses,
trains and trucks
are all covered
with the film
of rock salt.

Salt covers
my bootless feet
and smudges
my cloths as well.

The salt,
the primal element
of the earth
covers everything
in Chicago.

It is the true level
of this city.

The layer
beneath
all layers,
on which
everything
rests,
is built,
grows,
thrives
then dies.
To be
returned again
to the lower
layers
where it can
take root
again
and grow
out onto
the great plains.

Splashing
the nation,
anointing
its people
with its
blessing.

A blessing,
Chicago?

All rivers
come here.

All things
found its way here
through the canals
and back bays
of the world’s
greatest lakes.

All roads,
rails and
air routes
begin and
end here.

Mrs. O’Leary’s cow
got a *** rap.
It did not start the fire,
we did.

We lit the torch
that flamed
the city to cinders.
From a pile of ash
Chicago rose again.

Forever Chicago!
Forever the lamp
that burns bright
on a Great Lake’s
western shore!

Chicago
the beacon
sends the
message to the world
with its windy blasts,
on chugging barges,
clapping trains,
flying tandems,
T1 circuits
and roaring jets.

Sandburg knew
a Chicago
I will never know.

He knew
the rhythm of life
the people walked to.
The tools they used,
the dreams they dreamed
the songs they sang,
the things they built,
the things they loved,
the pains that hurt,
the motives that grew,
the actions that destroyed
the prayers they prayed,
the food they ate
their moments of death.

Sandburg knew
the layers of the city
to the depths
and windy heights
I cannot fathom.

The Blues
came to this city,
on the wing
of a chirping bird,
on the taps
of a rickety train,
on the blast
of an angry sax
rushing on the wind,
on the Westend blitz
of Pop's brash coronet,
on the tink of
a twinkling piano
on a paddle-wheel boat
and on the strings
of a lonely man’s guitar.

Walk into the clubs,
tenements,
row houses,
speakeasies
and you’ll hear the Blues
whispered like
a quiet prayer.

Tidewater Blues
from Virginia,
Delta Blues
from the lower
Mississippi,
Boogie Woogie
from Appalachia,
Texas Blues
from some Lone Star,
Big Band Blues
from Kansas City,
Blues from
Beal Street,
Jelly Roll’s Blues
from the Latin Quarter.

**** even Chicago
got its own brand
of Blues.

Its all here.
It ended up here
and was sent away
on the winds of westerly blows
to the ear of an eager world
on strong jet streams
of simple melodies
and hard truths.

A broad
shouldered woman,
a single mother stands
on the street
with three crying babes.
Their cloths
are covered
in salt.
She pleads
for a break,
praying
for a new start.
Poor and
under-clothed
against the torrent
of frigid weather
she begs for help.
Her blond hair
and ****** features
suggests her
Scandinavian heritage.
I wonder if
she is related to Sandburg
as I walk past
her on the street.
Her feet
are bleeding
through her
canvass sneakers.
Her babes mouths
are zipped shut
with frozen drivel
and mucous.

The Blues live
on in Chicago.

The Blues
will forever live in her.
As I turn the corner
to walk the Miracle Mile
I see her engulfed
in a funnel cloud of salt,
snow and bits
of white paper,
swirling around her
and her children
in an angry
unforgiving
maelstrom.

The family
begins to
dissolve
like a snail
sprinkled with salt;
and a mother
and her children
just disappear
into the pavement
at the corner
of Dearborn,
in Chicago.

Music:

Robert Johnson
Sweet Home Chicago


jbm
Chicago
1/7/99
Added today to commemorate the birthday of Carl Sandburg
Jamie Riley Apr 2018
They look out from the terrace.

At the borders of sight
live rocky hills behind brown
and golden and olive crop
under a cloudless sky.

Sun beams brighten motley roofs
on tessellations which blacken beige
in blurry air.



























BANG!





















An artificial cloud.

































“Look,” she points, “Let’s go!”

She takes him and they fly down stairs,
diving like sparrows
into the street.

Boys sprint across pavements and climb;
men vault over fences in time
for news to reach ears.

“They’re coming!
"¡Ya vienen!"

Excitement and fear.
The rattling of cow bells
and galloping nears.

Men bait and dodge horns
and escape through doors
and up and over
red wooden bars.

Sticks beat on the concrete ground
and drive the mute beasts's sounds.

Seconds away –
until the last,
he side steps into a house;

indoors,

apart,

he runs through the foyer
and up the stairs
around a corner.

Long strides

too fast to follow.

She chooses left and
sings soprano
when doors won't budge
and a beast crashed in.

She turns and the fear is paralysing.




"FERMIN!"







































­












He leaps down steps
and explodes
as it rams her
to and fro,
bashing her head
against the wall
where horns sin
and horns gore
cement and brick.

He grips the tail
heaving its hide from
side to side as
hooves smash
crates of wine,

he slips and slides
in fractured glass
and finds a horn
and yanks the head;

is yanked instead,
half dead before the men
arrive down stairs
to shout and kick it;
strike and stick it
smack and hit it;
'til it
fits and quits
and flees the foyer
fast and frantic
flying flustered
by the frenzy
finding the
pattering
of
pavement



petering



into





the











street.





"¿Que ha pasado?
  ¿Quien ha sido?
  ¡El Balbotin
  y la Chicha!
  ¡Que una vaca
  les ha pillado!"





His hands bleed
and flesh breathes.

"¿Estas bien?"

Dizzy, she tends to him
with searching hands,
and scolding words.
Men and women
fuss and frown,
always making sure.

"Podria haber sido peor"

Another story for the herd.
This poem is about an incident which happened to my Grandparents, Fermin Yanguas Ochoa and Raimunda Ramos Frias.

It was during a bull run in their village (Fitero) in Navarra, Northern Spain. 1972
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