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Vijaya Balan Jul 2018
Things happen, moments are created, faces are remembered and feelings are tightly grasped within the dry skin of our cracked hands,
Cracked hearts too maybe?
Where do we go but forward,
Remembering absent friends, lost loves, broken dreams and a hope to bury it all in that dark backyard behind our weathered but sturdy home,
We will move on, forge new paths, break new barriers, repeat a thing or two,
but oh well,
We all have some familiar cycles in our life right?
We are resilience built on the foundation of faith and belief,
We are unwritten pages, with past chapters that can fill a library, a library that none might visit,
And we will still go ahead and do everything that we want to, regardless of what anyone else ever said,
We are beings with a field of uncertainty surrounded by determination at the most unexpected moments,
Love and let go, love and cherish, love and be broken, love and not expect anything in return, love and be loved back a 1000 times,
We are the sum of billions of atoms,
We are the moments we create and the things that happen,
We are the beliefs of more than thousands of faiths in this world,
We are the tragedies of past, the conundrums of the present and the triumphs of tomorrow,
We are able,
We are capable of all of them,
We are capable and able.
Inspired by a mixed heavy week in July 2018. Death of a good friend, my 2nd year wedding anniversary, and 2nd year death anniversary of my mum. Love and death.
Flowers preach to us if we will hear:--
The rose saith in the dewy morn,
I am most fair;
Yet all my loveliness is born
Upon a thorn.
The poppy saith amid the corn:
Let but my scarlet head appear
And I am held in scorn;
Yet juice of subtle virtue lies
Within my cup of curious dyes.
The lilies say: Behold how we
Preach without words of purity.
The violets whisper from the shade
Which their own leaves have made:
Men scent our fragrance on the air,
Yet take no heed
Of humble lessons we would read.

But not alone the fairest flowers:
The merest grass
Along the roadside where we pass,
Lichen and moss and sturdy ****,
Tell of His love who sends the dew,
The rain and sunshine too,
To nourish one small seed.
1.

When I
was young
I listened to
Billy the Kid

I galloped
across the
living room floor
giddy upping
in an ecstatic
square dance
with my beloved
America

excitedly
enraptured
boundlessly
enthralled
in youthful
zeal
ebulliently  
yodeling
hymns
whistling
reveries to
America’s
heroic prairie
songs

a precocious
kinder beaming  
moved and illumined
by the broiling fanfare
of trilling trumpets

to uphold the promise
I pledged allegiance
to diligent  work
galloping onward
on ponies of
reverent faith
respectful duty
playful engagement
and guardianship

2.

expectation
never fell short
of resounding
supranaturalistic
optimism

energising
the sweep of
a nation’s
self evident
exceptionalism

our democratic
vista stirred
and steeped

a nation of
wheelwrights
building
wagon trains
to traverse
stratified latitudes
with sturdy ladders
erected with common
sense sensibility
of hands to work
and hearts to God

earthen
yeoman
dancing in
wheat fields
threshing sheaves
of prosperity
their exertions
elevating
families
raising
a glorious chorus,
a peeling crescendo
of horns of plenty
splayed across
landscapes of
an ennobled
nation
placing fruits
of labor upon
ascendent
alters to
to receive
the anointing
of abundance

the lighted grace
of infinite possibilities
shines for a grueling
world listening to the
clamouring drumbeats
sounding in the hearts
of all grace anointed
republicans


3.  

No lullabies
no quiet moonlit nights
we ardently
dance on keys
boasting soul
filled dexterity
the quick self
assuredness
extemporaneously
jazz tapping
across bold
hidden rondos
grasping
transcendence
squarely set
in the minds eye
of unbroken resolve
our cool countenance
an unassailable
righteous destination

any
spare sweeping
plaintive introspection
lends space to
affirm
an
affirmation
beginning
with the individual
unum to e pluribus

solitary dancers
incorporated into
fully enfranchised
troopers

the gyrations
the rhythms and steps
of individuated melodies
join to form a harmonious whole
a beautifully woven consensus

this democratic symphony
perfected in an intelligent
choreography of
separate people
sojourning  
toward
a mutually
constructed
shared destiny

aspirational desires
call forth generations
of spirits boldly engaging
the challenges upholding
the rights and privilege
of all citizens
the celebratory harvest
of a new nations
natural law


4.

As a man
I cruise
along
Main Street
in a joyless
joy ride
gliding by
disassembled
factories
moldering schools
defunct governments

surveying the
demolished ruins
of cities,
the decrepit
wrecking ball
of history
is busy,
rolling through
towns
not worthy
of cast iron
destruction
forged in
foreign kilns

we built palaces
to democracy
in the tiniest hamlets
dotting the granges
wholly assimilated
into a national congress
of freemen

today our
congress
is scattered
dialog seeking
resolution is considered
betrayal to holy
partisanship...

selfish insistence
masquerades as
high ideals

portraiture
of obstinance
is a grotesque
reflection
of virtue

we have
reduced
the peoples
house

to a battlefield
for tribes…..

once freemen
now captives….

soulless ghosts
wandering lost
inside grand
rotundas...

mocked
by murals
and inert
granite statuary
howling
expiration dates
of timeless
psalms

sojourning
the trail of tears
drinking from bowls
of anguish

our only
respite
the silent
ruins we
find impossible
to leave

fear fills our bellies
rust stains our hearts
abiding acrimony
ain’t easily brushed
from dust laden cloths

the deconstruction
of dead cities, mark
expired civilizations
centuries in the making
hammered by the blows
of the mightiest blacksmiths
with precision and deft craft


5.

the spareness of
Martha Graham's set
frame black shadows
of fortitude

it always starts
with the individual

then surely
sure footedness
measured footsteps
boldly dance about
the lily pads
of the keyboard
a resounding ballet
the arms wave
like swaying stalks of wheat
but hurry to respond
opportunity knocks
conditions change
the group awaits
to be joined

my pirouette
remains my solitary mark
on the weaving spindles
crafting the mosaic
of a complex American
complexion

the possibility
the promise
laid before us
wheat fields
of democracy
tilled planted
attended

the wondrous yields of
an Appalachian Spring
the promise
hectare of grace
apportioned to all
citizens

the promise
harvest of liberty
freedom
of opportunity
all anointed
freemen
conferred an
amazing grace

civil discourse
was once spoken
we can learn the
lost languages again
sitting on the porch
with neighbors
sipping ice tea
sharing thoughts on
hot summer evenings
caring too care

but scoundrels
became heroes
we fetishized
idiosyncrasies
of insisted
entitlement

we ******
the whole by
exalting the part

we dare not condemn them
lest we condemn ourselves




6.

the west was once woolly wild
I hear the sweeping sound
of my youth rustle again
the dramatic symphony
of a brilliant people
filled with courage
undeterred optimism
claiming a continent
manifesting a new
Pax Americana
a century
of immigrants  

coming to integrate
coming to assimilate
coming to believe in the promise
coming to make a new promise

I came to hear Copland
when I was young

when America was young
when promises were made
and sworn by a brilliant
fanfare of trumpets

when America was young
Copland composed
when America was young
a promise was made

come forth brothers
come forth sisters
come claim
the promise
of a simple gift


Aaron Copland:
Billy The Kid

11/29/11
Oakland
jbm
Amitav Radiance May 2014
I was brought into this house
Ordered from the local furniture shop
Made to order according to specifications
I am a wingback,
Upholstered in full-grain leather  
True to my rich heritage
I was placed in the library
Amongst the illustrious works of famous writers
Half- a - century have passed, providing support
To the backbone of the family
Although tired, he finds solace in my cozy embrace
I give him my wings to fly into the world of literature
Cervantes, Bunyan, Bacon, Goehte, Dostoevsky, Chekov, Tolstoy
Some of the names from the illustrious collection
Not all were privileged to have a seat here
He was transported to each era, savoring the rich legacy
Of literature down the centuries
I was privy to the mind-boggling debates
Which he conducted with himself
Trying to reason each work of literature
A mere wingback rose to be a companion
Providing sturdy support on the mahogany legs
One fine day the reading session ended in deep slumber
Five decades of bonding and companionship came to an end
Now, I stand here, forlorn, at the corner of the library
Reminiscing the reading sessions, and siesta
The wingback does not have the wings to fly away from this bond




© Amitav (Radiance)
Nihl Jun 2013
CHAPTER II

At once I was spat out into a familiar space, although still swimming in darkness. As I slowly adjusted to the dark, I realized I was sitting in my room at home. I was surrounded by large, vacant, white walls and a sturdy black bedside table. Crested on top of the sturdy black table was the same familiar dodgy lamp that never seemed to work particularly well. My whole world was spinning as I sat up in my bed, scanning the room for outlines and shapes to ensure I was in fact back home. Back home and not caught in another hellish fantasy.
My bed linen had been kicked off my bed during what I imagined was another nightmarish spasm, leaving me drenched in cold sweat and shivering. I lifted my hand to my brow to quickly swipe away some of the salted perspiration that had gathered in the corner of my eye.
I spread my hands out beside me, feeling the bed beneath me to ground myself.
I wasn't in danger, I was safe, I had to keep telling myself that it was just a dream to try and stay sane.
-
I picked myself off the bed until I was standing upright in the center of the room, still surveying every nook and space, places where things could hide. Nothing, there was nothing in this room but me, standing in the room sweating and spinning around like a madman. I pulled on a shirt and went to the bathroom. White tiles, a shower, toilet and sink. Everything in there was normal and safe. I was relieved, switching on the light as I entered. I stood in front of the mirror gazing into my reflection, I was older and I wasn't surprised. The events of the nightmare had actually happened, not five minutes ago but six years ago. And ever since then, this nightmare had been somewhat of a regular occurrence. Recently however, it has been getting worse, more lucid, every time, closer.
-
My father did in fact vanish six years ago, police found me cowering in the cabin three days afterwards, bruised, cut up and mumbling, they only came looking because dad stopped turning up to work without warning. And after the events of that night I’d struggled somewhat to maintain a normal life, having my parents stripped from me at sixteen. Growing up in foster care was hard; my foster parents were kind enough. But the system moved me around a lot, making school very hard to commit to.
-
Looking in the mirror I saw myself staring back, eyes slightly reddened and itchy, and my skin dry and flaky. I turned a faucet and splashed my face with some cold water, ice cold from sitting in the taps in the dead of the night. The cool was extremely grounding, it felt sharp and real. The nightmare had faded to shadows of thought, I felt human again. Quickly drying my face with a clean hand towel and moving back to my room. The room didn't feel so sinister now, probably because I was getting so used to these nightmares. I climbed back into bed, glancing the time on my alarm clock before getting under the covers. 3:25 Am. I moaned at the image, 3:25 Am means four and half hours until I had to go to work. Another disrupted sleep meant another day at work where I was in a state zombification. I turned off the dodgy lamp, instantly flooding the room with darkness once more, Only, I don't remember turning the lamp on. ‘Don't be an idiot’, I thought, before rolling over and falling into a quick, shallow sleep.
-
The next morning I got up, showered, brushed my teeth as usual and caught the express bus to work. I stood in front of 'Bayside Books', my place of employment. I enjoyed it there; it wasn't too demanding and paid for my rent and whatever little I ate. It was a warm little shop that stood unique amongst its surroundings, tall concrete hives of advertising and production on every side. ‘Bayside Books’ was little mahogany box on the bottom floor of some non-descript scraper.
-
As I entered the bookstore the greeting bell chimed, filling the shop with simple song. Just as the bell stopped a rotund man with a sky blue button down shirt almost bursting at the seams, emerged from behind a bookshelf.
“Coulter!” he called cheerfully, “Coulter! You’re late buddy, miss the bus?”
He asked harmlessly, now standing before me with an armful of old books. Assorted popular horror books like ‘Dracula’, ‘Frankenstein’ among some more obscure works I’d never seen.
“I slept through my alarm, I’m sorry Mr. Dupas.” I replied.
-
Mr. Dupas was a large man, although not much taller than me, he was far wider.
Dark, greasy, curly hair seemingly glued onto the top of his round head. Protruding cheeks and a chin that was almost just a button perched in front of a larger chin. He maintained an interesting standard of hygiene, fresh pressed clothes on an almost un-showered man. Perhaps he was just an extremely perspiring person, but I didn't have the courage to ask any time soon.
-
I did sleep through my alarm that morning. I didn't exactly have a habit of getting into work late, but it seemed that with all the sleep I had been losing and the fact I hadn't been blessed with a full nights rest for two weeks now. It was really starting to catch up to me.
-
“Don’t worry about it, happens to the best of us” He smiled.
Mr. Dupas moved behind the shop counter just beside the doorway, piling the stack of books into a small, neat cardboard box on the counter. I could see clearly scrawled on its side in block letters, ‘TO CLIFFORD’. I removed my thick black coat and hung it behind the desk squeezing past Mr. Dupas as I did. Dupas grabbed his coffee mug and drew it to his lips as he moved towards the back of the shop, taking a large gulp of his almost noxiously caffeinated drink.
“Put away the new arrivals then clean the shelves and when you get a chance, go take that box to Clifford!” He called from behind several bookcases. “The invoice for the box is in the second drawer!” as he followed I could hear each stride in his voice.
-
I spent most of the morning stacking the newly arrived books onto the ‘New Release’ shelves. The same old crime stories, successful underdog sportspersons biography and feel goods. I finished putting them in their respective places before quickly dusting the shelves. At about noon I’d finished my jobs, grabbed the cardboard box from atop the counter and hurried out the door, letting Mr. Dupas know that I’d gone.
-
‘Clifford’s’ was only a short walk from ‘Bayside Books’ and it was a journey to and from the store I’d have to make at least twice in any normal week. Mr. Dupas and Mr. Clifford had a little partnership, Dupas would send the odd box of all the supernatural, paranormal, grim dark stories, biographies and spell books of such to Mr. Clifford, where Clifford would pay a paltry price for these books that had been left unsold and gathering dust at ‘Bayside Books’.
-
As I made my way down the street towards ‘Clifford’s, I spotted a few people watching a news report as it was broadcasted through the gaps between security bars, guarding the window of a small electronics store. The images displayed across the several monitors within were of soldier, armored vehicles and unruly citizens in some nondescript middle-eastern country. American flags burning in the middle of busy streets, and giant dolls with paper heads that from a distance, looked uncannily like our American president. The only difference being, that the life-size doll on the monitor seemed as if it was created by an angry eight-year-old student as some twisted school project.
-
I passed the electronic store a ways down the street until I arrived in front of the familiar poorly-lit arcade. Neatly nested at entrance to the arcade was the dark and foreboding storefront. A wood paneled exterior, crowned with five large dusty windows, inside each window stood displays of everything creepy you could imagine, voodoo dolls, satanic bibles, pendants, candles,  statues of vague deities, dried pelts and skulls, and indistinguishable skins and teeth. Not to mention the books, there were hundreds of books. Unlike at ‘Bayside, where our books were categorized and organized by alphabetically author. These books were stacked and scattered in no inherent order. Every now and then I'd spot a group of vampire stories in close proximity and then the order would be disturbed by the odd ‘Cooking: How to prepare human flesh. ‘ followed by the uncommon Serial killer biography. This store, this little jewel of the unnatural and the unfathomable, this was ‘Clifford’s’’
-
‘Clifford’s’ Collectibles; oddities and curiosities.’

N.H.
Mike Hauser Apr 2017
She is the chalk that draws the line
The sturdy rope, the ties that bind
The go-to when times are rough
The sweetness in the breath of love

She sets the rhythm of the day
She is the all in all she's made
And we, the gallery of her art

~The Family Matriarch~

She is the hope in all of us
The shinning light, the path of love
She is the strength from out the start
The very beat deep in the heart

And after all when all is said
Her children rise and call her blessed
Accepting life through joy and scars

~The Family Matriarch~
Just thinking of my Mother and feeling blessed at the strong Godly woman she is. It's been 13 years since my Dads passing and my Mother at 87 still holds the family tightly together.
In my Thirty-Fifth Year I juiced this Remark
The Crisque-Plaque Hotel named after a Tree
Sturdy, of Signage enhance the Grade's Bark
Wishing all else their Best Service was Free
If not the Years to Good Degree advance:
Fruits, Pasta, Meat, Veggies and Japanese
Mix the fricasee to match that of France
And serve it on a Platter, if you please
Only if the Staff were shy; But informed
How noted the needs of their Clients were
One Gesture made, took the Meaning lost cause
Pour some polished Suggestions done on here.
Thirty-Five Candles blown, all without Flame
It was still my Best Day; All just the same.
This old house, made just of wood,
For years so proudly how it has stood,
Perched high upon the hill nearby,
The memories sweet, and some we cried.

The roof was sturdy through many days,
When storms came crashing in the ways,
With rain that beat at times like a foe,
Deep inside was where the love  still flowed.

We painted it when time came round,
From very top to the bottom ground,
Polished the windows till shinny bright,
Our old house standing, a lovely sight.

Hung a porch swing for all to share,
Forgot our troubles, the devil may care,
Hugged one another on colder nights,
Inside the swing there were no fights.

The rickety furniture inside was there,
But comfort was not on them to bare,
And all the winter with quilts piled high,
We slept like dreamers, not knowing why.

So, as I leave old house to go,
Inside my heart, I still love it so,
And no matter where life now leads me on,
Still at the old house is where I belong.
Timothy Stout Nov 2014
Life is but a river.*
Opportunities and relationships float by like driftwood,
One must hold on to those most dear and sturdy
What is your driftwood?
Seanathon Mar 2017
Rolling hills
Golden fields
Left to right
Feet to feet
With every step
Through the wood
They stride away
Towards eternity
Into the deep
The unknown scene
Away from home
From everything
They’ve ever known
Or hoped to be
And with this step
One more has been
Further away from home before
Than he’d ever thought he’d been
God bless your feet Samwise Gamgee
Step onto the road and you will see
The greatest adventure you’ll ever keep
Burning alive within your mind alive
Until the in Havens you reside
And therein find the eternity you seek
For alive and well
You’ll ever be
And beside the bearer
You were meant to be
As a friend against all enemies
And the second set of sturdy feet
Inspired by three words... "Come on Sam"
Steve D'Beard Dec 2012
I love a good debate,
[science mixed with illusion]
and this year was no exception:
the debate on the best shapes for a kite
from design implementation, inception and execution

some sturdy string and industrial-strength glue
the machinations of whether to use plywood or bamboo
and of course built by your own fair hand
such was the intensity of discussion it continued
with an after-lunch stroll on the beach, where the uncles
drew their prize-winning geometry
with a primitive stick
in the sand

a question on the mathematics of aerodynamics aside
its currently a battle of the cyclic quadrilaterals
and documented film of it successfully tested and tried;
years of perfection honed by the skills of Fatherhood
to know instinctively the difference
between the brilliance of genius
and the borderline
just plain good

If nothing else has come from this
I now
know
[so as not to lose]

K = p/q over 2
or
K = ab – sin Ø

[are the formulas to use]
inspired by those festive drink fuelled debates which are lengthy and complex on simple non-life changing matters like this one... and left their crazy mathematics on a beach for a dog walker to ponder over
Dark Jewel May 2014
Angelic Beauty,
Sturdy and wise.
She gazes from above,
Into the darkest disguise.

Valkyrie is thee,
Sudden and strange.
Difference is an understatement,
Where royalty reigns.

Beside a Valkyrie,
A scaled beast resides.
Ready to fight,
And to die.

Alongside all Valkyries,
The dragons stand proud,
In armor of white.
They will fight.

The Valkyries,
Angelic and dark.
They will fight,
To save you from the dark..
May all who read know the life told here. Valkyries will save anyone, just know their name.
I remember my old grand dad
Always wore his Sunday best
We always called him "Poppy"
It was always pinned upon his chest

For as long as I remember
He always had that piece of red
Tattered, torn, but sturdy
In memory of the dead

Echoes in his mind of years
Images so real
I never asked him what he saw
His tears...they sealed the deal
A silver screen of vintage flicks
In his brain of days gone by
Of good times with the friends he had
Of the days he saw them die

"Poppy" sat out on the porch
With his beat up Meerschaum pipe
He kept it tight between his lips
I never once saw it alight

He'd stare out in the distance
Seeing things from back in time
He'd listen to the voices
He never quite heard mine

We lost him back in eighty three
When "Poppy" got the wire
He was the last of his platoon
They had just lost Cpl. Squire

Echoes in his mind of years
Images so real
I never asked him what he saw
His tears...they sealed the deal
A silver screen of vintage flicks
In his brain of days gone by
Of good times with the friends he had
Of the days he saw them die




"Poppy" went inside himself
Never spoke another word
He was back with his old friends
As free as a free bird

Each year he would get dressed up
"Poppy" would go out on parade
He never, ever left the house
The porch was the longest trip he made

On the eleventh of November
He'd would polish up his boots
And at precisely eleven hundred hours
He would stand there and salute

Two minutes more of silence
From a man who didn't speak
But his actions, they said volumes
They showed that "Poppy" was not weak

Echoes in his mind of years
Images so real
I never asked him what he saw
His tears...they sealed the deal
A silver screen of vintage flicks
In his brain of days gone by
Of good times with the friends he had
Of the days he saw them die


"Poppy" never left his prison
The one he created in his head
His world was just the front porch
And the life that he once led

I remember my old grand dad
With his poppy, beat by time
It would adorn his chest proudly
And I now wear it on mine.

A lively debate
that inside I create
A seemingly
simple state
But this state
of affairs
Is like a ****** affair
The details
I wish not to share
Please,
don’t stare
For inside
I’m scared
Am I prepared?
Do I have
the ***** to do
what I really care?
Or am I going
to stay on this ship
of self-despair
Where
I can scream
my lungs ******
into the air
But does anyone care?
Do I even f@cking care??

Maybe a life spared
but spare me the
retched bullsh@t

of self-pity
I’m self-giving
It wreaks up the air
It’s noxious scent
is not one I care
to ever encounter
or fair

Let’s “clear the air”
and take on
what I want
from now on
No longer a pawn
who is living the tired
joke
of some pathetic
love song


No, THIS
is my “Swan Song”
Where I belong
This sh@t is ON!

Climbing the mountain strong
Bellowing a chant
a song
That’s been so deep within
for so long
It can only come out
Right
Because “wrong”
does not belong
This virus
is airborne


No longer forlorn
All the darkness
is gone
You have been
forewarned
Are you ready?
Because it’s coming
Sounding the horn
Sacrificed
the firstborn
The “storm”
Once icy and cold
Now simmering warm
Going to bubble into
volcanic ash scorned
This Oath
hath been sworn
Tattered and torn
**** cloth
all that is worn

But forward my path
What’s behind me
My ***
The past
Worn out,
decayed,
and shriveling trash

All that
is gone
as I head
towards the dawn
Through the darkness
I’ve trekked
The Sun rises ahead
And with it
My song

My Swan Song
I am reborn
withered and worn
But still strong
I belong
I am one
with the Universe

The path before me
is brightly lit
with happiness and joy
No more patheticness
All the grit
and the spit
Broken teeth
All that sh@t
It all meant something
It was THIS

Every bruise
Every break
All the “wrongs”
and “mistakes”

Are what it takes
You can call it fate
or simply short of fatal
but since
neonatal
through this day till
Every day
I thankfully say
“Thank you”
for showing me the way
Because now I have
A love that stays
A true love
One that can’t
get away
Because I value Me
One ‘hopes’ or ‘prays’
But like a house
Each brick is laid
Onto the next
Foundation made
A sturdy house
Can’t blow away
Hard work put in
Made it this way
The same for me
The price I paid
But end result
A saving grace
Written: December 6, 2018

All rights reserved.
Kat Oct 2015
I'm really sorry for what I have done
I'm sorry for not being good enough
Man like me doesn't deserve a girl like you
But will prove to be the right one for you

The past will always be remained bitter
Don't use it with me as a barrier
Instead, let us just leave the past behind
Make new memories with a peace of mind

Let the Sunflower stand tall and sturdy
To find the light in your darkest journey
To be the source of joy in your sorrow
To be your hope in every tomorrow
Bus Poet Stop May 2015
"Many a physics graduate student has gnashed her teeth in frustration over the mathematics of general relativity. Perhaps she should try envisioning a flat, boundless desert, with rocks of various sizes scattered across its surface, whose mass creates dips of various depths in the sand. A sturdy canopy looms over that desert, stretched tightly over a skeleton of tent poles linked by bars, matching the rises and dips in the sand beneath it. The desert is all the matter and energy in the universe, while the canopy is the geometry of space-time. The poles and bars are the equations of general relativity, connecting the stuff of the universe with the shape of the universe. As Halpern writes: “Mass and energy warp space-time, telling it where and how to curve. The shape of space-time, in turn, governs how things move within it.”
-------------------------------------------------------
My mass and my energy are both warped, so the where's and the how's and the eyes of my curves are the poles and the bars of behind which I relentlessly cease to exist, only to seize what lies beyond the constraints of time and space, as eye wait for the bus to stop in the No Standing zone
The Bus Poet
Stop!
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/03/books/review/einsteins-dice-and-schrodingers-cat-by-paul-halpern.html?ref=review
Maggie Emmett Jul 2015
PROLOGUE
               Hyde Park weekend of politics and pop,
Geldof’s gang of divas and mad hatters;
Sergeant Pepper only one heart beating,
resurrected by a once dead Beatle.
The ******, Queen and Irish juggernauts;
The Entertainer and dead bands
re-jigged for the sake of humanity.
   The almighty single named entities
all out for Africa and people power.
Olympics in the bag, a Waterloo
of celebrations in the street that night
Leaping and whooping in sheer delight
Nelson rocking in Trafalgar Square
The promised computer wonderlands
rising from the poisoned dead heart wasteland;
derelict, deserted, still festering.
The Brave Tomorrow in a world of hate.
The flame will be lit, magic rings aloft
and harmony will be our middle name.

On the seventh day of the seventh month,
Festival of the skilful Weaving girl;
the ‘war on terror’ just a tattered trope
drained and exhausted and put out of sight
in a dark corner of a darker shelf.
A power surge the first lie of the day.
Savagely woken from our pleasant dream
al Qa’ida opens up a new franchise
and a new frontier for terror to prowl.

               Howling sirens shatter morning’s progress
Hysterical screech of ambulances
and police cars trying to grip the road.
The oppressive drone of helicopters
gathering like the Furies in the sky;
Blair’s hubris is acknowledged by the gods.
Without warning the deadly game begins.

The Leviathan state machinery,
certain of its strength and authority,
with sheer balletic co-ordination,
steadies itself for a fine performance.
The new citizen army in ‘day glow’
take up their ‘Support Official’ roles,
like air raid wardens in the last big show;
feisty  yet firm, delivering every line
deep voiced and clearly to the whole theatre.
On cue, the Police fan out through Bloomsbury
clearing every emergency exit,
arresting and handcuffing surly streets,
locking down this ancient river city.
Fetching in fluorescent green costuming,
the old Bill nimbly Tangos and Foxtrots
the airways, Oscar, Charlie and Yankee
quickly reply with grid reference Echo;
Whiskey, Sierra, Quebec, November,
beam out from New Scotland Yard,
staccato, nearly lost in static space.
      
              LIVERPOOL STREET STATION
8.51 a.m. Circle Line

Shehezad Tanweer was born in England.
A migrant’s child of hope and better life,
dreaming of his future from his birth.
Only twenty two short years on this earth.
In a madrassah, Lahore, Pakistan,
he spent twelve weeks reading and rote learning
verses chosen from the sacred text.
Chanting the syllables, hour after hour,
swaying back and forth with the word rhythm,
like an underground train rocking the rails,
as it weaves its way beneath the world,
in turning tunnels in the dead of night.

Teve Talevski had a meeting
across the river, he knew he’d be late.
**** trains they do it to you every time.
But something odd happened while he waited
A taut-limbed young woman sashayed past him
in a forget-me-not blue dress of silk.
She rustled on the platform as she turned.
She turned to him and smiled, and he smiled back.
Stale tunnel air pushed along in the rush
of the train arriving in the station.
He found a seat and watched her from afar.
Opened his paper for distraction’s sake
Olympic win exciting like the smile.

Train heading southwest under Whitechapel.
Deafening blast, rushing sound blast, bright flash
of golden light, flying glass and debris
Twisted people thrown to ground, darkness;
the dreadful silent second in blackness.
The stench of human flesh and gunpowder,
burning rubber and fiery acrid smoke.
Screaming bone bare pain, blood-drenched tearing pain.
Pitiful weeping, begging for a god
to come, someone to come, and help them out.

Teve pushes off a dead weighted man.
He stands unsteady trying to balance.
Railway staff with torches, moving spotlights
**** and jolt, catching still life scenery,
lighting the exit in gloomy dimness.
They file down the track to Aldgate Station,
Teve passes the sardine can carriage
torn apart by a fierce hungry giant.
Through the dust, four lifeless bodies take shape
and disappear again in drifting smoke.
It’s only later, when safe above ground,
Teve looks around and starts to wonder
where his blue epiphany girl has gone.

                 KINGS CROSS STATION
8.56 a.m. Piccadilly Line

Many named Lyndsey Germaine, Jamaican,
living with his wife and child in Aylesbury,
laying low, never visited the Mosque.   
                Buckinghamshire bomber known as Jamal,
clean shaven, wearing normal western clothes,
annoyed his neighbours with loud music.
Samantha-wife converted and renamed,
Sherafiyah and took to wearing black.
Devout in that jet black shalmar kameez.
Loving father cradled close his daughter
Caressed her cheek and held her tiny hand
He wondered what the future held for her.

Station of the lost and homeless people,
where you can buy anything at a price.
A place where a face can be lost forever;
where the future’s as real as faded dreams.
Below the mainline trains, deep underground
Piccadilly lines cross the River Thames
Cram-packed, shoulder to shoulder and standing,
the train heading southward for Russell Square,
barely pulls away from Kings Cross Station,
when Arash Kazerouni hears the bang,
‘Almighty bang’ before everything stopped.
Twenty six hearts stopped beating that moment.
But glass flew apart in a shattering wave,
followed by a  huge whoosh of smoky soot.
Panic raced down the line with ice fingers
touching and tagging the living with fear.
Spine chiller blanching faces white with shock.

Gracia Hormigos, a housekeeper,
thought, I am being electrocuted.
Her body was shaking, it seemed her mind
was in free fall, no safety cord to pull,
just disconnected, so she looked around,
saw the man next to her had no right leg,
a shattered shard of bone and gouts of  blood,
Where was the rest of his leg and his foot ?

Level headed ones with serious voices
spoke over the screaming and the sobbing;
Titanic lifeboat voices giving orders;
Iceberg cool voices of reassurance;
We’re stoical British bulldog voices
that organize the mayhem and chaos
into meaty chunks of jobs to be done.
Clear air required - break the windows now;
Lines could be live - so we stay where we are;
Help will be here shortly - try to stay calm.

John, Mark and Emma introduce themselves
They never usually speak underground,
averting your gaze, tube train etiquette.
Disaster has its opportunities;
Try the new mobile, take a photograph;
Ring your Mum and Dad, ****** battery’s flat;
My network’s down; my phone light’s still working
Useful to see the way, step carefully.

   Fiona asks, ‘Am I dreaming all this?’
A shrieking man answers her, “I’m dying!”
Hammered glass finally breaks, fresher air;
too late for the man in the front carriage.
London Transport staff in yellow jackets
start an orderly evacuation
The mobile phones held up to light the way.
Only nineteen minutes in a lifetime.
  
EDGEWARE ROAD STATION
9.17 a.m. Circle Line

               Mohammed Sadique Khan, the oldest one.
Perhaps the leader, at least a mentor.
Yorkshire man born, married with a daughter
Gently spoken man, endlessly patient,
worked in the Hamara, Lodge Lane, Leeds,
Council-funded, multi-faith youth Centre;
and the local Primary school, in Beeston.
No-one could believe this of  Mr Khan;
well educated, caring and very kind
Where did he hide his secret other life  ?

Wise enough to wait for the second train.
Two for the price of one, a real bargain.
Westbound second carriage is blown away,
a commuter blasted from the platform,
hurled under the wheels of the east bound train.
Moon Crater holes, the walls pitted and pocked;
a sparse dark-side landscape with black, black air.
The ripped and shredded metal bursts free
like a surprising party popper;
Steel curlicues corkscrew through wood and glass.
Mass is made atomic in the closed space.
Roasting meat and Auschwitzed cremation stench
saturates the already murky air.              
Our human kindling feeds the greedy fire;
Heads alight like medieval torches;
Fiery liquid skin drops from the faceless;
Punk afro hair is cauterised and singed.  
Heat intensity, like a wayward iron,
scorches clothes, fuses fibres together.
Seven people escape this inferno;
many die in later days, badly burned,
and everyone there will live a scarred life.

               TAVISTOCK ROAD
9.47 a.m. Number 30 Bus  

Hasib Hussain migrant son, English born
barely an adult, loved by his mother;
reported him missing later that night.
Police typed his description in the file
and matched his clothes to fragments from the scene.
A hapless victim or vicious bomber ?
Child of the ‘Ummah’ waging deadly war.
Seventy two black eyed virgins waiting
in jihadist paradise just for you.

Red double-decker bus, number thirty,
going from Hackney Wick to Marble Arch;
stuck in traffic, diversions everywhere.
Driver pulls up next to a tree lined square;
the Parking Inspector, Ade Soji,
tells the driver he’s in Tavistock Road,
British Museum nearby and the Square.
A place of peace and quiet reflection;
the sad history of war is remembered;
symbols to make us never forget death;
Cherry Tree from Hiroshima, Japan;
Holocaust Memorial for Jewish dead;
sturdy statue of  Mahatma Gandhi.
Peaceful resistance that drove the Lion out.
Freedom for India but death for him.

Sudden sonic boom, bus roof tears apart,
seats erupt with volcanic force upward,
hot larva of blood and tissue rains down.
Bloodied road becomes a charnel-house scene;
disembodied limbs among the wreckage,
headless corpses; sinews, muscles and bone.
Buildings spattered and smeared with human paint
Impressionist daubs, blood red like the bus.

Jasmine Gardiner, running late for work;
all trains were cancelled from Euston Station;  
she headed for the square, to catch the bus.
It drove straight past her standing at the stop;
before she could curse aloud - Kaboom !
Instinctively she ran, ran for her life.
Umbrella shield from the shower of gore.

On the lower deck, two Aussies squeezed in;
Catherine Klestov was standing in the aisle,
floored by the bomb, suffered cuts and bruises
She limped to Islington two days later.
Louise Barry was reading the paper,
she was ‘****-scared’ by the explosion;
she crawled out of the remnants of the bus,
broken and burned, she lay flat on the road,
the world of sound had gone, ear drums had burst;
she lay there drowsy, quiet, looking up
and amazingly the sky was still there.

Sam Ly, Vietnamese Australian,
One of the boat people once welcomed here.
A refugee, held in his mother’s arms,
she died of cancer, before he was three.
Hi Ly struggled to raise his son alone;
a tough life, inner city high rise flats.
Education the smart migrant’s revenge,
Monash Uni and an IT degree.
Lucky Sam, perfect job of a lifetime;
in London, with his one love, Mandy Ha,
Life going great until that fateful day;
on the seventh day of the seventh month,
Festival of the skilful Weaving girl.

Three other Aussies on that ****** bus;
no serious physical injuries,
Sam’s luck ran out, in choosing where to sit.
His neck was broken, could not breath alone;
his head smashed and crushed, fractured bones and burns
Wrapped in a cocoon of coma safe
This broken figure lying on white sheets
in an English Intensive Care Unit
did not seem like Hi Ly’s beloved son;
but he sat by Sam’s bed in disbelief,
seven days and seven nights of struggle,
until the final hour, when it was done.

In the pit of our stomach we all knew,
but we kept on deep breathing and hoping
this nauseous reality would pass.
The weary inevitability
of horrific disasters such as these.
Strangely familiar like an old newsreel
Black and white, it happened long ago.
But its happening now right before our eyes
satellite pictures beam and bounce the globe.
Twelve thousand miles we watch the story
Plot unfolds rapidly, chapters emerge
We know the places names of this narrative.
  
It is all subterranean, hidden
from the curious, voyeuristic gaze,
Until the icon bus, we are hopeful
This public spectacle is above ground
We can see the force that mangled the bus,
fury that tore people apart limb by limb
Now we can imagine a bomb below,
far below, people trapped, fiery hell;
fighting to breathe each breath in tunnelled tombs.

Herded from the blast they are strangely calm,
obedient, shuffling this way and that.
Blood-streaked, sooty and dishevelled they come.
Out from the choking darkness far below
Dazzled by the brightness of the morning
of a day they feared might be their last.
They have breathed deeply of Kurtz’s horror.
Sights and sounds unimaginable before
will haunt their waking hours for many years;
a lifetime of nightmares in the making.
They trudge like weary soldiers from the Somme
already see the world with older eyes.

On the surface, they find a world where life
simply goes on as before, unmindful.
Cyclist couriers still defy road laws,
sprint racing again in Le Tour de France;
beer-gutted, real men are loading lorries;
lunch time sandwiches are made as usual,
sold and eaten at desks and in the street.
Roadside cafes sell lots of hot sweet tea.
The Umbrella stand soon does brisk business.
Sign writers' hands, still steady, paint the sign.
The summer blooms are watered in the park.
A ***** stretches on the bench and wakes up,
he folds and stows his newspaper blankets;
mouth dry,  he sips water at the fountain.
A lady scoops up her black poodle’s ****.
A young couple argues over nothing.
Betting shops are full of people losing
money and dreaming of a trifecta.
Martin’s still smoking despite the patches.
There’s a rush on Brandy in nearby pubs
Retired gardener dead heads his flowers
and picks a lettuce for the evening meal

Fifty six minutes from start to finish.
Perfectly orchestrated performance.
Rush hour co-ordination excellent.
Maximum devastation was ensured.
Cruel, merciless killing so coldly done.
Fine detail in the maiming and damage.

A REVIEW

Well activated practical response.
Rehearsals really paid off on the day.
Brilliant touch with bus transport for victims;
Space blankets well deployed for shock effect;
Dramatic improv by Paramedics;
Nurses, medicos and casualty staff
showed great technical E.R. Skills - Bravo !
Plenty of pizzazz and dash as always
from the nifty, London Ambo drivers;
Old fashioned know-how from the Fire fighters
in hosing down the fireworks underground.
Dangerous rescues were undertaken,
accomplished with buckets of common sense.
And what can one say about those Bobbies,
jolly good show, the lips unquivering
and universally stiff, no mean feat
in this Premiere season tear-jerker.
Nail-bitingly brittle, but a smash-hit
Poignant misery and stoic suffering,
fortitude, forbearance and lots of grit
Altogether was quite tickety boo.



NOTES ON THE POEM

Liverpool Street Station

A Circle Line train from Moorgate with six carriages and a capacity of 1272 passengers [ 192 seated; 1080 standing]. 7 dead on the first day.

Southbound, destination Aldgate. Explosion occurs midway between Liverpool Street and Aldgate.

Shehezad Tanweer was reported to have ‘never been political’ by a friend who played cricket with him 10 days before the bombing

Teve Talevski is a real person and I have elaborated a little on reports in the press. He runs a coffee shop in North London.

At the time of writing the fate of the blue dress lady is not known

Kings Cross Station

A Piccadilly Line train with six carriages and a capacity of 1238 passengers [272 seated; 966 standing]. 21 dead on first day.

Southbound, destination Russell Square. Explosion occurs mi
This poem is part of a longer poem called Seasons of Terror. This poem was performed at the University of Adelaide, Bonython Hall as a community event. The poem was read by local poets, broadcasters, personalities and politicians from the South Australia Parliament and a Federal MP & Senator. The State Premier was represented by the Hon. Michael Atkinson, who spoke about the role of the Emergency services in our society. The Chiefs of Police, Fire and Ambulence; all religious and community organisations' senior reprasentatives; the First Secretary of the British High Commission and the general public were present. It was recorded by Radio Adelaide and broadcast live as well as coverage from Channel 7 TV News. The Queen,Tony Blair, Australian Governor General and many other public dignitaries sent messages of support for the work being read. A string quartet and a solo flautist also played at this event.
ryn Feb 2015
Arms outstretched like the branches of a tree
Aspiring to be amidst with those borne of sky.
Gnarly bark, imploring the eyes of another
Weathered and worn... Skin and grain but parched dry.

Twig-like fingers that would bear no leaves.
With open barren palms that hover in the wind.
Longing and thirsty for the tears of rain
Pining for the heavens to wash away all they have sinned.

Spreading disjointed roots dig in,
In touch with the unseen core buried deep.
A tainted trove of lifelong poisons...
They greedily drink and keep.

Lone little trunk... That shoots up strong from ground.
Sturdy and hale, at least to the naked eye.
When in fact it's core is rotting within,
Eaten away by the worm of a single unassuming lie.

Sad fruitless tree...
Standing amidst the green thriving brush.
It dies with the hours baked in sun...
One day it'll fall, consumed by the secrets trapped in a silent little hush...
Amanda Dagnall Nov 2012
Its the flame that dies
which is reckless to hearts,
an aching burn that awaits peaceful sleep.

But eyes cannot shut
and hearts cannot heal
as the flame no longer flickers.

When did that familiar burn leave?
When betrayal became its motive;
to abandon its wick of sturdy compassion
for something of foreign smoke.

And forever shall that flame live in guilt
as its sturdy wick shall falter;
and fall into a dark abyss
of a light without its flicker.

That scented aroma that once was sweet
is now bitter and choked forever.
The foreign smoke overcomes all light
and pollutes the scented quiver.

Yet soon that smoke shall be blown!
As the wick begins to rise;
and that feeble flame shall light again
to banish foreign cries;

"In hope I raise my tarnished light
against your betrayal and pain
and soon I shall burn
like my sister the sun
and never stray again!"

Eyes may shut
Hearts may heal.

My eyes will shut
Our hearts might heal.
Just me and a map on this little wood boat lost at sea
My view is nothing but the oceans serene beauty
I have no compass to direct me so I know I'm free
Left to wonder endlessly until my eyes get droopy

Thinking what is to come on this journey
I now realize the only one I can rely on is me
This boat is not sturdy and the waves can be very jerky
Teaching me that life has no guarantee

I envy the weather for being so moody
One second so peaceful and clear the next being so dark and whirly
Now understanding why mother nature isn't fluky
There are reasons for everything I believe that now very firmly
1483

The Robin is a Gabriel
In humble circumstances—
His Dress denotes him socially,
Of Transport’s Working Classes—
He has the punctuality
Of the New England Farmer—
The same oblique integrity,
A Vista vastly warmer—

A small but sturdy Residence
A self denying Household,
The Guests of Perspicacity
Are all that cross his Threshold—
As covert as a Fugitive,
Cajoling Consternation
By Ditties to the Enemy
And Sylvan Punctuation—
Joseph S C Pope Jun 2013
There is nothing new under the sun, but it was night and the indifferent blinks of gaseous lives above looked down while my friends and I were at a new fast food joint that moved next to a now lonely Wendy's, with a faded sign tarnished by something the new fast food joint had yet to experience—mundanity by time. But I had my notebook with me while we ate outside, but it was in the car. My mind is always in that book, and I remembered something I had written for a novel in progress: 'Nothing is new under the sun. How is it possible to watch stars die? There is nothing new to their dust. We are the flies of the universes.'
It was just when I had finished my BBQ pork sandwich when Ariana suggested visiting a graveyard. I had the idea to visit a Satanist graveyard that our friend, Lanessa warned us against for the better safety of our sane souls—good luck with that. I wanted a revival of fear. How the beast would rip at the roof off our metal can of a car—the greater our barbarism, the greater our admiration and imagination—the less admiration and imagination, the greater our barbarism. But Ariana disagrees with words I never say, Nick laughs with my simple words to that previous thought. How funny it would be to burn eternal.
But then he suggested we should go to the Trussel in Conway. I had no idea or quote to think about to contribute to this idea. I wander, as I like to, into the possibility that his idea is a good one. Like some wanting hipster, I dress in an old t-shirt with of mantra long forgotten in the meaning of its cadence.
That is the march of men and women into the sea—honest, but forgetful and forgotten.
I was wearing a shirt sleeve on my head I bought from a mall-chain hippie store, and exercise shorts, finished off with skele-toes shoes. I was ready for everything and nothing at the same time. And that fits, I suppose. But all that does matter—and doesn't, but it is hard as hell to read the mind of a reader—it's like having a lover, but s/he doesn't know what s/he wants from you—selfish *******.
But there I was,  on the road, laughing in the back seat, sitting next to a girl who was tired, but also out of place. I could see she wanted to close arms of another, the voice of another, the truth that sits next to her while watching tv every time she comes over to hang with him, but never accepts that truth. She is a liar, but only to herself. How can she live with that? The world may never know.
The simple rides into things you've never done before give some of the greatest insight you could imagine, but only on the simple things that come full circle later. That is a mantra you can't print on a t-shirt, but if it ever is, I'm copyrighting it. And if it's not possible, I'll make it possible!
When we got to the Trussel, the scenic path lit by ornamented lamps seemed tame once I stepped onto the old railroad tracks. They were rusted and bruised by the once crushing value of trains rolling across it's once sturdy structure. Now they were old, charred by the night, and more than just some abandoned railroad bridge—the Trussel was a camouflage symbol birthed by the moment I looked into a Garfish's eye as it nibbled on my cork while I was on a fishing trip with my granddad when I was eleven. I remember that moment so well as the pale, olive green eye looked at me with a sort of seething iron imprint—I needed that fear, it branded instead of whispering that knowledge into my ears.
That moment epitomizes my fear of heights over water—what lies beneath to rip, restrain, devour, impale, and or distract me.
But epitomize is a horrible word. It reeks of undeveloped understanding. Yet  I want a nimble connection with something as great as being remembered—a breathe of air and the ideas  thought by my younger self, but I will never see or remember what I thought about when I was that young—only the summary of my acts and words. And by that nothing has changed—am I too afraid to say what I need to say? Too afraid to hear what everyone else hears? Or is it the truth—depravity of depravities that has no idea of its potential, so I am tired of the words that describe my shortcomings and unextended gasping hope. I am tired of living in the land of Gatsby Syndrome waiting for Takotsubo Cardiomyopathy!
But when we got to where the Trussel actually began I felt the fear hit like the day it was born—all hope was drained, and I was okay with abandoning all aspirations of having fun and being myself in the face of public criticism. I was flushed out by the weasel in my belly—the ******* beneath those still waters. I compare it to someone being able to handle Waterboarding, but can't handle being insulted—it's that kind of pathetic.
I stood just on the last understandably steady railroad ties that I knew were safe and watched my friends sit off the edge of the bridge, taking in the cold wonder of the night, and I was told at least I was smarter than my dead cousin who managed to get on top of his high school in the middle of the night, but had to be cohearsed down for fifteen minutes by a future marine, and future mourner who still grieves with a smile on his face.
The future mourner, he laughs at the times he insulted, or made fun of, or chilled with his now dead friend. It's never the bad times he cries about, there are none—just the good times, because they don't make them like they used to.
I watched them in that moment, and I don't know if I can deal with knowing my life is real. I began to blame my morality on this fear even though I already justified the fear just seconds before. But as I write this, I look over my notes and see something I wrote a few days ago: 'Life is ******* with  us right now. You laugh and I laugh, but we're still getting ******. The demon's in our face.'
As morbid as that comes off, it resonates some truth—what is killing us is going to **** us no matter what we do—and I don't want to be epitomized by the acts and words I didn't say.
I was never in the moment as a kid—I was raised by by old people and kept back by my younger siblings. The experienced tried to teach me wisdom, and the inexperienced kept my imagination locked in time. I don't want to go home as much now because I see that the inexperienced are becoming wiser everyday and the experienced are dying before my eyes. My idea of things is enduring leprosy.
But back to the simple moments.
Ariana saw a playground as she stood up and investigated the Trussel. It was next to the river, behind the church, fenced off by the fellowship of the church to keep the young ones in and the troublesome out. Of course, we didn't realize there was a gate and it was locked until Nick stated the probable obvious within ten feet of the nostalgic playground. And that's when Ariana pointed out the bugs swarming the parking lot outdoor lamp that blazed the fleshiness of our presences into dense shadows and more than likely caught the eye of a suspicious driver in a truck passing by. But I was still on the bridge—back in the past, never the moment. Me and my friends are still children inside these ***** forms. I muttered to myself: “Life ain't about baby steps.”
Nick looked over and asked what I said. I turned around, dramatic, like I always like to and repeated louder this time, “Life ain't about baby steps.”
He asked if I needed to do this alone, and I said he could come along. I walked rhythmically across the railroad ties, and heard Ariana comment that getting to the railroad up the small, steep hill was like being in the Marines. I laughed sarcastically. Nick and I had been to Parris Island before, and I know they test your possible fears, but they beat the living **** out of them.
I casually walk into the room where my fear lives and tell it to get the **** out.
When I reached the precipice of the last railroad tie I stood on before, I felt the old remind me that death awaited me, but there was no epic soundtrack or incredible action scene where I stab a manifestation of my fear in heart—a bit fun it might have been, but not the truth. I bear-crawled over the crossings of the ties and the structure of the bridge itself. I felt Relowatiphsy—an open-minded apathy self-made philosophical term—take over me. It is much simpler than it sounds.
There was no cold wonder as I imagined. There was just a bleak mirror of water below, a stiff curtain of trees that shadowed it, and the curiosity of what lies in the dark continuing distance past the Trussel.
Nick sat with me and we talked about women and fear, or at least I did, and I hoped he felt what I did—there was a force there that is nabbed by everyone, but cherished by few—courage. And I thank him for it, but I know I did it. Now I want to go and jump in that still water below—Ariana later says she's happy I got over my fear, but I'll probably have a harder time during the day when I can see what I'm facing, but I see it differently. During the day, the demons are stone and far away—like looking down the barrels of a double-barreled shotgun uncocked and unloaded, but at night is when the chamber is full and ready to go, and you have no idea who is holding the gun with their finger on the trigger and your destination in mind.
Then we threw rocks into the water in contest to see who could throw past the moonlight into the shadowy distance . I aimed for the water marker, and got the closest with limited footing, using just my arm strength. But it wasn't long before we had to leave, making fun of people who do cooler things than us, on the way to the car. I had to ride in the back seat again because I forgot to call shotgun. But on the way home, the idea popped in our heads what we should get my hooka and go to Broadway, and get the materials so we could smoke on the beach.
Nick's girlfriend and her friend joined us.
I missed a few puns against my co-worker as I was sent to get free water from the candy store where I work. I ended up doing a chore because I was taller than most of the people there. Appropriate enough, it was filling the water bottles up in the refrigerator.
All the while I loathed the fact that I would have to be clocked in tomorrow by two in the afternoon. I grabbed the water and got out of there as fast as possible without appearing to be in a hurry.
Impression of caring matters more than the actuality where I work—and yes, that makes me a miserable ****.
Perhaps it's not too late to admit I am recovering pyromaniac from my childhood and the flavoring we use for the taffy is extremely flammable. It would be a shame to drench the store in what people love to smell everyday when they walk in, and light the gas stove. Then, maybe I could walk away real cool-like as this pimple in this tourist acne town pops like the Hindenburg. The impression of splendor is like a phoenix—it grows old, dies, resurrects into the same, but apparently different form, spreads it's wings, and eats and ***** on everything simple, or presumably so.
I forget the name of the beach, but it was the best time I've had in a while. I was whimsy, and high on the vastness of the stretch of beach around us. They could bury us here. But me in particular. I rolled from the middle of the beach to the water, stood in the waves and shouted my phrase I coined when I realize something as wonderful as conquering a fear or realizing a dream;
--******' off!
And I stared at the horizon. My friends came up behind me and I looked back to see it was Nick and his girlfriend hugging. I gave a soft smile, put my hands in my pocket, and turned back to stare at the clouded horizon. What beasts must lie out there—more ferocious than the simple fresh water beings that wait beneath the earlier placid waters. I was a fool to think that was the worst. Nick said as I pondered all that, that I looked like Gatsby, and I tried to give him a smile that you may only see once in a lifetime, but I'm sure it failed.
I wanted to tell him that, “You cannot make me happy. It is usually the people who have no intention of making me happy that makes me smile the quickest.” But I don't. Let me be Gatsby, or Fitzgerald, if to no one else, but myself.

Hell is the deterioration of all that matters, and as the five of us sat around the hooka, and inhaled the thick blueberry flavored smoke that hinted at the taste of the Blueberry flavoring I use to make Blueberry taffy, there was a satirical realization that the coal used to activate the tobacco and flavor in the bowl is sparking like a firework, and reminds us all of where we're going.
It's a love affair between that hopelessness and hope of some destination we've only read about, but never seen.
By this point Nick and I are covered in sand, because he joined me in fun of rolling down the beach. We want so bad to be Daoists—nonchalant to the oblivion as we sit in. Just on the rifts of the tide, he and I scooped handfuls of wet sand, and I lost my fear of making sense and let Relowatiphsy take over again.
“Look at the sand in your hands. It can be molded to the shapes your hands make. We scoop it out of the surf and it falls through our fingers. There are things we're afraid of out there, and we sit just out reach of them, but within the grasp of their impressions. The sand falls through our fingers, and it plops into the tide, sending back up drops of water to hit our hands—the molders of our lives.” I said all that in hope against the hopelessness of being forgotten.
Then he said, “What if this is life? Not just the metaphor, but the act of holding sand in our hands.
I relish in his idea of wiping away my fear of an unimportant life. And by this point, it's safe to assume I live to relish ideas.

The last bit of sand from the last handful of sand was washed from my hand and I looked back at the clouded horizon, pitch black with frightful clouds and said:
“Nick, if I don't become a writer. If I live a life where I just convince myself everything's fine, and that dream will come true after I finish all the practical prep I 'must' do. I will **** myself.
I looked at him, Relowatiphsy in my heart, and he said:
“As a friend, I'd be sad, but I'd understand. But that means you have to literally fight for your life now—regardlessly.”
And he left me with those words. Just the same as my granddad left me a serious heed before he wanted to talk about something more cheerful, when I asked about his glory days fishing the Great *** Dee River. He said: “I wish I'd been here before the white man polluted the river. It would've been something to fish this water then”, then he paused to catch his breath, “Guess there are some things that stay, and others than go.” Then joy returned, as it always does.

But the idea of what was happening to me didn't hit me until we were a few miles away from the beach, covered in sand, but the potential of the night after conquering my fear of heights over water had been shed in the ocean.
Around midnight, when the headache from the cheap hooka smoke wore off and the mystic veil of the clouds over the horizon has been closed in by the condensation on the windows of some Waffle House in Myrtle Beach. There was a wave of seriousness that broke over my imagination. Works calls for me tomorrow by two.
There's not much vacationing when you live in a vacation town.
And midnight—the witching hour—spooks away the posers too afraid to commit to rage against the fear.
But there are others—college students that walk in and complain about the temperature of the eating establishment, and the lack of ashtrays—how they must be thinking of dining and dashing—running from a box, but forever locked in it.

They make annoying music as I write this. That is how they deal.
This one was the unedited version (if I make that sound naughty or euphemistic).
Rachel Dawn Jul 2015
Rich, dark soil after rain
Fresh brewed coffee with just a drop of cream
They want sky blue, aquamarine,
Or deep forest green,
But all I can give is brown.

Smooth, chocolate truffles
Hot cocoa on a bitter, snowy day
A ten-year-old boy's mudslide onto home plate
A freshly washed teddy bear

The world tells me these are not beautiful.
Instead they want a polluted, grey sky,
Or littered grass.

My eyes are strong bark,
And sturdy oak.
They are ancient roots reaching into fertile soil,
Out of which sprouts life.
Brown is all I can give to you.
Michael Grace May 2013
light skin
light curls
light laugh
light... heart

                                                          ­                                                                 ­                                     dark skin
                                                            ­                                                                 ­                                  dark curls
                                                           ­                                                                 ­                                 dark laugh
                                                           ­                                                                 ­                             heavy... heart

eyes clear green
                                                           ­                                                                 ­                            eyes deep cafe
                                                            ­              stare with electricity
                                                     ­                        carry me down
                                                            ­               feel the intensity

soft sweet sultry
                                                          ­                                                                 ­                    rough cut ravenous
delicate porcelain
                                                       ­                                                                 ­                           sturdy terracotta

envelope me
chase me
ravage me
break my porcelain skin

                                                           ­                                                                 ­                                    entice me
                                                              ­                                                                 ­                                awake me
                                                              ­                                                                 ­                               tighten me
                                                              ­                                                                 ­             sand my rough edges

                                                          ­                      hold me close
                                                           ­                      till days end
                                                             ­                 to show me love
                                                            ­                 and compliment
My first love poem... It can be about a girl or a boy, whatever your preference
Ayad Gharbawi Jan 2010
PASSION PLAY

Ayad Gharbawi




Location: Desert Shore, Bitterly Cold Night, next to strong waves from the ocean.
Characters: Man ((M) and his Lover, a Woman (W).

----------------------------------------


W: “Search as I forever do, in manifold ways unknown, I seek but to love thee, and the meagre goodness from Life, with steely ardour - my armour faithful.”
M: “Alone I may be, and still, yes I love thee; these days heavy are and beset I am by burdensome trivialities, but I remain trusting, though my corner so narrow remain.”
W: “My Love! Your speech I hear aloud and thine lips I live within and yet, my Love, all Solitude I am. Man! I am unaided! In this journey of sinful thorns, my love, in this unforgiving journey, this blurred odyssey, I stand alone”.
M: “This trial you speak of, but I do know of it well; so, listen then: within the strength of trusted togetherness we can plough on, though everlasting harm shall do its spiteful tricks, warm to our united truth shall we remain.”
W: (Surprised) “O! My love! This thought I cannot hear! My life, my destiny, is but mine. And all have their own solitary roads of jagged rocks to embrace, like it we or not. We heartbreaking earthly sad beasts, either fiercely clutch at integrity, or we do let it go to perish away.”
M: (Confused) “My Love! I do hear, I do hear. But when Times decide on burdening us, what then can we achieve? To face Reality within the frail arms of solitude is to ignore, to refuse the severe threats of repulsive grins.”
(Silence)
M: (Passionately) “O! My sweet! Only in us, can we envelope, through joined, clasped warmth can we be as one united! The screams that so truly are meant to slice us off, only we, our Unity, can destroy. For mine eyes can only find sleep in your ears, and it is so - for otherwise nothing and no one can be.”
W: (Angry) “My Passion too is bubbling for thine bewildered ears. Am I not your soul? Do we not suffer as one? Do we not reflect as one? Am I not your lover true? Is not our warmth not weighty to our fickle bones?”
(Silence)
W: (Passionate) “But, Lover, this much ought I to formally declare unto thee: For our eyes, and all eyes, envision unequally at one another. Till eternity, in its casual, indifferent flicker, snatches at us all wretched mortals, the gazes from lords to paupers remain veritably mismatched. O my passion! My woeful heart! These words I thunder forth defines love unfeigned, and what mine eyes do pour out unto thine ears is authenticity true.
(Silence)
W: (Passionately) “What joined mem’ries you choose to caress may possess thee, but your exactness for what love is to you, doth not dwell in mine mind. What tears, what weepings you do, fall stormily upon thine own soul’s wildernesses. You choose to be chained by changing visions and indefinite sentiments of light weight – though so poignant at the moment they veritably are?”
M: (Inquiring) “My love! I cherish thee; where hast thou been in thine mind, for now ye talk of that truth you relate to in your heart. Your pronouncements, what depths I do feel! Can it perchance be that my passion has strayed our winds far from me?”
W: “No, my love! Why is anger, I feel, lush on thine tongue?”
M: (Surprised and Frightened) “Anger! I am too distant from that affliction! But yes, I feel my words make only for unstable murmurs in my breath.”
W: (Quietly) “Then, do tell me, lover, who do your murmurs betray - myself or yourself then?”
M: (Quietly) “Perhaps so, perhaps so. But my anxiety wilfully demands of me to eradicate your vision.”
W: (Firmly) “You answer naught from my undemanding question. Or, are mine meanings too violent for you? What aches thee?”
M: (Passionately) “My sweet! In so many moments, I created mysterious planets for thee! Bizarre worlds of contrasts and opposites and musical words of antiquity and sensual ravines. My love! I, my soul, my life, my inner deepest breath, tempted as I am by Fates’ inscrutable cruelties to ashamedly yield, I have yet always expressed to mine eyes’ heart, though they be in bleak darkness, to faithfully fight without pause all shades of vice and still yet - with loving integrity; I have stood with arms of righteousness and love for thee up and never down! Yes, sincere good and venal ill remain joined in life for all to feel, but you knew it was not for me to disentangle them. And so, I pronounce unto thee, still, and yet ever and ever more, my love for thee, though still beholding a thousand mountains before me, I remain sturdy for thee; I remain undisturbed by burly laws, and by exotic dictums, I stand fierce and unhurt, save in your absence.”
W: (With Sadness) “My beloved, your vivid voice stabs the falsehoods for thee, and I say unto thee, unto thee your excessive and unreasonable chains, and for myself my unreasonable and extreme chains remain.”
M: (Shocked) “But I burden thee with no steely chains, nor verbal fetters! For naught I produce for thee save grace, passion and freedom to love for us both to be in Unity Sacred! Dost thou embrace my visions as ‘shackles’, then ‘tis better we agree to class that which we are as but madness! Hear me, for my tears now must truly change their colours!”
W: (Determined) “Your feverish hands clutch only upon mine erratic wings!”
M: (Anger) “Never! Never! For I clutch only to destroy all malevolence; as for thee, Lady of the purest, untouched, guarded, secluded Ponds, I seek to unshackle for you the scattered, scared shadows that yearn for thine sovereignty. And what is this ‘sovereignty’ but our Sacred Union? What curse deemest you I impose? Do you equal my purest passions with atrocities? Murmur unto mine ears, your clearest love for me.”
W: “Ah! You enquire of me my ‘sincerity’ for thee? What demands!”
(Silence)
M: “I see naught but heaving forests of love betwixt us, and yet, you discover my words being ‘demanding’?”
W: (Drily) “Perchance, your visions are indistinct and ever more blurred, through these years cannot be ignored.”
M: (Begging) “My love! All mine life, though it be lengthy, I fought most venal tyranny, and for this moment, you question my righteousness?”
W: (Indignantly) “I have been plunged into seas hostile and I have plunged in a thousand miles of inert minds troubled beyond conceivable comprehension and I have yet to have my Right for my own greedy, ravenous flesh to be vigorously and forcefully embraced by sensuality and serenity. Yes, I do love thee, and yet in our union, as in all unions, I have been adorned with naught, save snickering, gossiping scenes of festive *****, games, chatter and farewells, themselves festooned within silly and sincerely stupid smiles and frowns, and shallow tears and never ending ludicrous chatter unworthy of monkeys conversing. I have met programmed rows of pats, respect and all other so-called decent intents and gestures, but, where, lover that you are of mine, where does my personal heart, throb and manically vibrate, save in your heavenly imaginations?”
(Silence)
W: (Quietly but Determinedly) “My love! I truly thee love and with passions, I tell you, of proportions of precise exactitudes; in your eyes I have witnessed symphonies of exquisiteness; and, I of thee ask: where dwelleth your own love for myself in thine body?”
(Silence)
W: (Passionate) “Do you recognise the changing structures that form this, that I name ‘My Love’? In my solitude eternal, I do evermore and always do pause, and be pensive, and be thinking of questions, such as ‘where’, ‘why’, ‘when’ ‘how’, and ‘which’ should be my path; I am forever and ever more searching, seeking the heavens of every corner, and the irritable tempests, within my changing self as they themselves do try to seek me, and we forever, through inconceivable murkiness, do try to assemble the everlasting entirety of these disorganized puzzles into some measure of comprehensible cohesion that ‘I’ am. That is how the ‘I’ you love is forever changing and thereby formulating itself, and within all these meandering passions, and endless errors, where am I to feel thee? Where? And where do you seek me? In which land? In which forest? You trivialise my beingness as you focus upon my lands as being that which so effortless to find, and yet, you are much too distant from an understanding of my conflicting, emerging civilisations.”
(Silence)
W: (Passionate) If the utterance ‘Never’ is pathetic for thee, then allow me to introduce you to my latest heart: for it screams out that single, protracted utterance! Never! My love, these winds of raging wraths, both within and outside by flesh, must and can only be annihilated by mine own sincerities – were I not to play against my own self. My uncontrolled desires and, yes, thirsty manic passions can only be tempered and thoroughly satiated to the utter brim, by mine own loving, sources of pleasure, my own uncontrollable ecstasies. As for the rest of ****** pleasures, my own erroneous words, speeches and utterances can only be severed and sliced by my tranquillity.”
M: (Resigned) “I hear thine words. Do not abandon me. Do not destroy our civilisation of justice.”
W: “What we share, the bonds, are enjoyment. Listen though to mine lips: enjoyment is what - when it is to be compared with convulsive ecstatic quivers of satisfaction?”
M: (Puzzled) “And what of all our journeys to attain that unity? For all that, is it to be of mere insignificance? And if that be your truth, for what then did we toil and labour for unity of minds and bodies?”
W: (Laughing) “Did you understand from Life itself, that here it was, grandly to proclaim its furtive faces unto thine own awaiting face?! “
M: (Baffled) “It was so far too plain and vastly clear unto me these sceneries we faced before our loving bodies.”
W: “Yes, and I too, did see them with thee. Our four eyes, did see unity for that flicker of time. How true you speak! But, time clocked on, I saw you as you stood there, moving nowhere, unawares that it was your duty to squash onwards whatever vile breaths faced us.”
M: (Desperate) “And did I not? Did I abandon thee in these crushing paths?”
W: (Accusing) “No, you did not. Never, once did you abandon me. I ask of thee; for what sense do we feel a need for a continuation of these gruelling marches? For unity? For love? Or, is love unity? Was that and is this our reason for us to carry on with these shackles?”
M: “For assuredly, yes, and more yes, I tell thee! Toil and gruelling dawns, and unbearable evenings and the whitest of nights are all for the sacred attainment of that heavenly summit of joy I name as blessed ‘Love’.”
W: (Assured) “And, Sire, what if my nerves, blood and ****** hunger tell thee in truth that we, all of us, need no longer, and need never in truth, to undertake these paths, for we find naught that nourishes us at the blessed summit of your definition of what ‘Love’ is?”
M: (Confused & Sad) “So, I falter here and now upon understanding your speech; do I reason from thee that our loving days in unity are frivolously bygone now?”
W: (Calmly & Gracefully) “Do the wandering birds, and do the blind bats, and do the reckless storms, and do the blindly, raging waves and do the supremely arrogant oceans eternally march on in but one direction only with the savage passage of time within their particular lives? You did pronounce that you built planets for our unity; well then, did you not view how planets endlessly revolve along the same path?”
(Pause)
W: (Calmly & with Dignity) “For, Sire, I am not as a Planet - could you not feel that throughout our journeys? You endlessly query and question ‘who’ it is that ‘I’ am? Well, I speak this much on myself; I am as the birds, and the bats, and the storms and the waves and the oceans.”  
M: (Angry) “Woman! I can only then tell of thee that you are naught but feuding clutter and violent disarray!”
W: (Unconcerned) “Those are your words. Not mine. Speak for what you wish, Sire.”
M: (Angry) “And I stand here, before thee, in anger – nay, more, more! In fury!”
W: (Laughing) “For what? For the deeds that created but sticky, and grimy grains of sand for the undoubted pleasure our eyes?”
M: “And so you label our truths, our love so much! Fair indeed, you speak, Woman of Justice.”
W: (Arrogantly) “Man! Express your delights for your own delights. And, alas, there the circle and reality ends – and it ends only for you. That is one morsel of truth for you to ponder. What we ‘created’ and what we ‘loved’ was never and never, ever be the same for you as it is for me. Are you a sincere believer that your personal vision is the same sight all other seeing creatures envision?”
M: (Angry) “Woman, you enrage me! Your arrogance is drenching thine rags.”
W: (Sarcastic) “Tis the Man with no reason who allows his breath and words to be a veritable cesspool of fuming stenches!”
M: “But I, that I am, no longer can define your contours?”
W: (Pointedly) “Precisely, Man, precisely. Perhaps, now you have come closer to the vulnerable shores of reality!”
M: (Confused) “Do you express that you are ever varying and so for that reason there is not a one unified you?”
W: (Calmly) “For we are all ‘varying’, to borrow your word – if you do so allow me, Sire. There was never ‘unity’ of soul, nor mind, nor self, nor of any one personality. This, I desire, that you may understand.”
M: (Aghast) “Then if that be your truth and then, are we naught but multitudes of ever changing confusions, Lady of the Desert?”
W: (Calmly) “Yes and no! For those who are muscular and full of fertile vigour in their flesh, and in their intellects, and those that are severely and strictly scholastic, then they do need and they can succeed in time, in their never ending struggle to bring together the mutually antagonistic factions of that which constitutes our beingness. And, as for the dense brained soulless beings, then, it is equally veritably true that, a descent into madness can be rapidly produced, since from their erratic constituents, they cannot attract together these antagonistic and mutually-hating emotions in some vision of cohesion, and thus mayhem can be fashioned.”
(Silence)
M: (Calmly) “So, pray do tell me, where does Love and Justice and Truth and Morality stand in your universe?”
W: (Serenely) “That has been mine desire to hear the words being produced from your lips, Man!”
(Pause)
W: “So, now perhaps, your sight may be getting clearer, for your question is certainly apt. Foremost, we pathetic mortals, we the be are forever slimy specks of sand that  crumbles, must necessarily seek to survive and flourish within whatever forest, desert, meadow we find ourselves cast upon.”
M: (Startled) “At what cost, Woman? At the expense of Morality?”
W: (Rapidly) “Yes and no.”
M: (Shocked) “Horrendous! How can you spout out such filth?”
W: (Quietly) “Restrain your stupidities, and give more room to your intelligence, Sire.”
(Silence)
W: (Gracefully) “In times of trouble, what can Man do when he be forced to embrace evil, even though he finds the act of the embrace loathsome, but he does what he does for the truth of his vital existence to continue. Only when he need never embrace vile, and then allows himself to commit the act, then he is for certainty to incur the everlasting wrath of God. Evil is thus never one truth to be utterly rejected, perchance you may now see. ”
M: (Calm but Tired) “I follow your words and their ideas therein.”
W: (Gracefully) “When you talk to me on Man and everlasting, conflicting changes within that self-same creature, I tell you with all the earnestness that I possess, of what God has scattered and endowed upon me; for this beast, we all call in unity Man, this creature has far too many a numberless number of mutually self-contradicting, distrusting, loving, hating, inspiring and a never ending number of feelings and emotions that are in constant flow and change – as in any rapid river descending unto its eventual destination, which in its case, is the sea, while in our case, it is Death itself for sure.”
M: (Despair) “And how can this beast ‘love’ anyone within this welter of confusion?”
W: (Rapidly) “He cannot!”
M: (Rapidly, Begging) “But Man and Woman do love with bristling passions! Do you deny that, Woman?!”
W: (Calmly, eyes downwards looking) “Yes, and no. Since the beast has needs, based on his vastly intricate constituents, to ‘love’ his fellow beast, he imagines and believes
clouds grace the mountain
look like rising mist
trying to find space to fit
between the trees and bare ski slopes
waiting for snow

Out of all the seasons it knows
the north seems only to remember
winter

When we go hiking
my aunt reminds me to remember
the weather changes rapidly
while the mountain remains still

Having a sturdy mindset
cannot keep away feeling

From the balcony
rain falls five stories down
today I decide
not to fall with it
My Aunt Kelly and I have gone to Vermont almost every summer since I was in the fourth grade. This year, she really spoiled us and got us a hotel room at Stowe Mountain Resort; the room featured a balcony looking out over Mt. Mansfield. I cannot explain how awesome it felt to have a room with a balcony – I don’t think I ever want to live anywhere that doesn’t. I absolutely adore Vermont, so I was really surprised when life continued to feel so heavy even while I was there. This poem absolutely holds it’s own; I wrote it sitting on the balcony watching the rain over the mountain while there was some rain going on in my own mind.
Joseph S C Pope Jun 2013
There is nothing new under the sun, but it was night and the indifferent blinks of gaseous lives above looked down while my friends and I were at a new fast food joint that moved next to a now lonely Wendy's, with a faded sign tarnished by something the new fast food joint had yet to experience—mundanity by time. But I had my notebook with me while we ate outside, but it was in the car. My mind is always in that book, and I remembered something I had written for a novel in progress: 'Nothing is new under the sun. How is it possible to watch stars die? There is nothing new to their dust. We are the flies of the universes.'
It was just when I had finished my BBQ pork sandwich when Ariana suggested visiting a graveyard. I had the idea to visit a Satanist graveyard that our friend, Lanessa warned us against for the better safety of our sane souls—good luck with that. I wanted a revival of fear. How the beast would rip at the roof off our metal can of a car—the greater our barbarism, the greater our admiration and imagination—the less admiration and imagination, the greater our barbarism. But Ariana disagrees with words I never say, Nick laughs with my simple words to that previous thought. How funny it would be to burn eternal.
But then he suggested we should go to the Trussel in Conway. I had no idea or quote to think about to contribute to this idea. I wander, as I like to, into the possibility that his idea is a good one. Like some wanting hipster, I dress in an old t-shirt with of mantra long forgotten in the meaning of its cadence.
That is the march of men and women into the sea—honest, but forgetful and forgotten.
I was wearing a shirt sleeve on my head I bought from a mall-chain hippie store, and exercise shorts, finished off with skele-toes shoes. I was ready for everything and nothing at the same time. And that fits, I suppose. But all that does matter—and doesn't, but it is hard as hell to read the mind of a reader—it's like having a lover, but s/he doesn't know what s/he wants from you—selfish *******.
But there I was,  on the road, laughing in the back seat, sitting next to a girl who was tired, but also out of place. I could see she wanted to close arms of another, the voice of another, the truth that sits next to her while watching tv every time she comes over to hang with him, but never accepts that truth. She is a liar, but only to herself. How can she live with that? The world may never know.
The simple rides into things you've never done before give some of the greatest insight you could imagine, but only on the simple things that come full circle later. That is a mantra you can't print on a t-shirt, but if it ever is, I'm copyrighting it. And if it's not possible, I'll make it possible!
When we got to the Trussel, the scenic path lit by ornamented lamps seemed tame once I stepped onto the old railroad tracks. They were rusted and bruised by the once crushing value of trains rolling across it's once sturdy structure. Now they were old, charred by the night, and more than just some abandoned railroad bridge—the Trussel was a camouflage symbol birthed by the moment I looked into a Garfish's eye as it nibbled on my cork while I was on a fishing trip with my granddad when I was eleven. I remember that moment so well as the pale, olive green eye looked at me with a sort of seething iron imprint—I needed that fear, it branded instead of whispering that knowledge into my ears.
That moment epitomizes my fear of heights over water—what lies beneath to rip, restrain, devour, impale, and or distract me.
But epitomize is a horrible word. It reeks of undeveloped understanding. Yet  I want a nimble connection with something as great as being remembered—a breathe of air and the ideas  thought by my younger self, but I will never see or remember what I thought about when I was that young—only the summary of my acts and words. And by that nothing has changed—am I too afraid to say what I need to say? Too afraid to hear what everyone else hears? Or is it the truth—depravity of depravities that has no idea of its potential, so I am tired of the words that describe my shortcomings and unextended gasping hope. I am tired of living in the land of Gatsby Syndrome waiting for Takotsubo Cardiomyopathy!
But when we got to where the Trussel actually began I felt the fear hit like the day it was born—all hope was drained, and I was okay with abandoning all aspirations of having fun and being myself in the face of public criticism. I was flushed out by the weasel in my belly—the ******* beneath those still waters. I compare it to someone being able to handle Waterboarding, but can't handle being insulted—it's that kind of pathetic.
I stood just on the last understandably steady railroad ties that I knew were safe and watched my friends sit off the edge of the bridge, taking in the cold wonder of the night, and I was told at least I was smarter than my dead cousin who managed to get on top of his high school in the middle of the night, but had to be cohearsed down for fifteen minutes by a future marine, and future mourner who still grieves with a smile on his face.
The future mourner, he laughs at the times he insulted, or made fun of, or chilled with his now dead friend. It's never the bad times he cries about, there are none—just the good times, because they don't make them like they used to.
I watched them in that moment, and I don't know if I can deal with knowing my life is real. I began to blame my morality on this fear even though I already justified the fear just seconds before. But as I write this, I look over my notes and see something I wrote a few days ago: 'Life is ******* with  us right now. You laugh and I laugh, but we're still getting ******. The demon's in our face.'
As morbid as that comes off, it resonates some truth—what is killing us is going to **** us no matter what we do—and I don't want to be epitomized by the acts and words I didn't say.
I was never in the moment as a kid—I was raised by by old people and kept back by my younger siblings. The experienced tried to teach me wisdom, and the inexperienced kept my imagination locked in time. I don't want to go home as much now because I see that the inexperienced are becoming wiser everyday and the experienced are dying before my eyes. My idea of things is enduring leprosy.
But back to the simple moments.
Ariana saw a playground as she stood up and investigated the Trussel. It was next to the river, behind the church, fenced off by the fellowship of the church to keep the young ones in and the troublesome out. Of course, we didn't realize there was a gate and it was locked until Nick stated the probable obvious within ten feet of the nostalgic playground. And that's when Ariana pointed out the bugs swarming the parking lot outdoor lamp that blazed the fleshiness of our presences into dense shadows and more than likely caught the eye of a suspicious driver in a truck passing by. But I was still on the bridge—back in the past, never the moment. Me and my friends are still children inside these ***** forms. I muttered to myself: “Life ain't about baby steps.”
Nick looked over and asked what I said. I turned around, dramatic, like I always like to and repeated louder this time, “Life ain't about baby steps.”
He asked if I needed to do this alone, and I said he could come along. I walked rhythmically across the railroad ties, and heard Ariana comment that getting to the railroad up the small, steep hill was like being in the Marines. I laughed sarcastically. Nick and I had been to Parris Island before, and I know they test your possible fears, but they beat the living **** out of them.
I casually walk into the room where my fear lives and tell it to get the **** out.
When I reached the precipice of the last railroad tie I stood on before, I felt the old remind me that death awaited me, but there was no epic soundtrack or incredible action scene where I stab a manifestation of my fear in heart—a bit fun it might have been, but not the truth. I bear-crawled over the crossings of the ties and the structure of the bridge itself. I felt Relowatiphsy—an open-minded apathy self-made philosophical term—take over me. It is much simpler than it sounds.
There was no cold wonder as I imagined. There was just a bleak mirror of water below, a stiff curtain of trees that shadowed it, and the curiosity of what lies in the dark continuing distance past the Trussel.
Nick sat with me and we talked about women and fear, or at least I did, and I hoped he felt what I did—there was a force there that is nabbed by everyone, but cherished by few—courage. And I thank him for it, but I know I did it. Now I want to go and jump in that still water below—Ariana later says she's happy I got over my fear, but I'll probably have a harder time during the day when I can see what I'm facing, but I see it differently. During the day, the demons are stone and far away—like looking down the barrels of a double-barreled shotgun uncocked and unloaded, but at night is when the chamber is full and ready to go, and you have no idea who is holding the gun with their finger on the trigger and your destination in mind.
Then we threw rocks into the water in contest to see who could throw past the moonlight into the shadowy distance . I aimed for the water marker, and got the closest with limited footing, using just my arm strength. But it wasn't long before we had to leave, making fun of people who do cooler things than us, on the way to the car. I had to ride in the back seat again because I forgot to call shotgun. But on the way home, the idea popped in our heads what we should get my hooka and go to Broadway, and get the materials so we could smoke on the beach.
Nick's girlfriend and her friend joined us.
I missed a few puns against my co-worker as I was sent to get free water from the candy store where I work. I ended up doing a chore because I was taller than most of the people there. Appropriate enough, it was filling the water bottles up in the refrigerator.
All the while I loathed the fact that I would have to be clocked in tomorrow by two in the afternoon. I grabbed the water and got out of there as fast as possible without appearing to be in a hurry.
Impression of caring matters more than the actuality where I work—and yes, that makes me a miserable ****.
Perhaps it's not too late to admit I am recovering pyromaniac from my childhood and the flavoring we use for the taffy is extremely flammable. It would be a shame to drench the store in what people love to smell everyday when they walk in, and light the gas stove. Then, maybe I could walk away real cool-like as this pimple in this tourist acne town pops like the Hindenburg. The impression of splendor is like a phoenix—it grows old, dies, resurrects into the same, but apparently different form, spreads it's wings, and eats and ***** on everything simple, or presumably so.
I forget the name of the beach, but it was the best time I've had in a while. I was whimsy, and high on the vastness of the stretch of beach around us. They could bury us here. But me in particular. I rolled from the middle of the beach to the water, stood in the waves and shouted my phrase I coined when I realize something as wonderful as conquering a fear or realizing a dream;
--******' off!
And I stared at the horizon. My friends came up behind me and I looked back to see it was Nick and his girlfriend hugging. I gave a soft smile, put my hands in my pocket, and turned back to stare at the clouded horizon. What beasts must lie out there—more ferocious than the simple fresh water beings that wait beneath the earlier placid waters. I was a fool to think that was the worst. Nick said as I pondered all that, that I looked like Gatsby, and I tried to give him a smile that you may only see once in a lifetime, but I'm sure it failed.
I wanted to tell him that, “You cannot make me happy. It is usually the people who have no intention of making me happy that makes me smile the quickest.” But I don't. Let me be Gatsby, or Fitzgerald, if to no one else, but myself.

Hell is the deterioration of all that matters, and as the five of us sat around the hooka, and inhaled the thick blueberry flavored smoke that hinted at the taste of the Blueberry flavoring I use to make Blueberry taffy, there was a satirical realization that the coal used to activate the tobacco and flavor in the bowl is sparking like a firework, and reminds us all of where we're going.
It's a love affair between that hopelessness and hope of some destination we've only read about, but never seen.
By this point Nick and I are covered in sand, because he joined me in fun of rolling down the beach. We want so bad to be Daoists—nonchalant to the oblivion as we sit in. Just on the rifts of the tide, he and I scooped handfuls of wet sand, and I lost my fear of making sense and let Relowatiphsy take over again.
“Look at the sand in your hands. It can be molded to the shapes your hands make. We scoop it out of the surf and it falls through our fingers. There are things we're afraid of out there, and we sit just out reach of them, but within the grasp of their impressions. The sand falls through our fingers, and it plops into the tide, sending back up drops of water to hit our hands—the molders of our lives.” I said all that in hope against the hopelessness of being forgotten.
Then he said, “What if this is life? Not just the metaphor, but the act of holding sand in our hands.
I relish in his idea of wiping away my fear of an unimportant life. And by this point, it's safe to assume I live to relish ideas.

The last bit of sand from the last handful of sand was washed from my hand and I looked back at the clouded horizon, pitch black with frightful clouds and said:
“Nick, if I don't become a writer. If I live a life where I just convince myself everything's fine, and that dream will come true after I finish all the practical prep I 'must' do. I will **** myself.
I looked at him, Relowatiphsy in my heart, and he said:
“As a friend, I'd be sad, but I'd understand. But that means you have to literally fight for your life now—regardlessly.”
And he left me with those words. Just the same as my granddad left me a serious heed before he wanted to talk about something more cheerful, when I asked about his glory days fishing the Great *** Dee River. He said: “I wish I'd been here before the white man polluted the river. It would've been something to fish this water then”, then he paused to catch his breath, “Guess there are some things that stay, and others than go.” Then joy returned, as it always does.

But the idea of what was happening to me didn't hit me until we were a few miles away from the beach, covered in sand, but the potential of the night after conquering my fear of heights over water had been shed in the ocean.
Around midnight, when the headache from the cheap hooka smoke wore off and the mystic veil of the clouds over the horizon has been closed in by the condensation on the windows of some Waffle House in Myrtle Beach. There was a wave of seriousness that broke over my imagination. Works calls for me tomorrow by two.
There's not much vacationing when you live in a vacation town.
And midnight—the witching hour—spooks away the posers too afraid to commit to rage against the fear.
But there are others—college students that walk in and complain about the temperature of the eating establishment, and the lack of ashtrays—how they must be thinking of dining and dashing—running from a box, but forever locked in it.

They make annoying music as I write this. That is how they deal with the inevitable death of the night. They bruise the air I breathe with love and faith and trust with no meaning—without even meaning it. But what do they know what I didn’t feel when I sat on that bridge or cowered on the fringes of the ocean? Their hands aren’t ***** like mine—their confidence does not seem fractured by these words that will never reach them, or their kids, or grandkids.
As day begins to move, I know I work at two and will be home by midnight again. The witching hour—where some stay and others go.
Palpating the empty cavernous realm of intellect and morality,
I find a restricting noose constructed of the finest strands of insecurity, but it's more proportionally comprised of self-doubt. Each fiber's soaked in a vat of social restraint, the ineffective capability of people to deny injustice. Choosing instead the intoxicating mirage that hereditary lies has handed down throughout the centuries.

Helping the constructors of irrationalism build their platform upon supports of popular opinion.
Equipping it with the ingenious trap door many a potential scholar of entropy and fatalism has fallen through. Snapped necks they suffocate on the breath of pseudo-liberty; as the French have, and Americans still do.

Hands bound behind their backs by indecision, latent anger, the belief in a system far from progressive. Where morals and codes of conduct are tempered, and deliberately shaped into devices of torture sugar coated, and worn pridefully without knowing the restrictions nor the pain, any form of progressive thought is absent. The mass majority select intellectual stagnance over the enlightening evolution of attempting to understand the human condition.

They are not to blame.
For shame and resentment are left for frugal debates over each new candidate, sheered from the same wormwood poisoning the stream of consciousness ****** by a nationalistic fervor full of flavor, no long lasting integrity, only iron clad walls of discretion and misrepresentation.

Traveling great distances, shoulders encumbered with regret, apathy, and triviality; the phantom that is a patriot has left his burden laden tracks for the next poor sap to find his way far from freedom, closer to slavery. The yoke fits loosely but unlike the bumbling oxen his purpose is indiscernable, his capacity to think of a way to escape is neutralized by the bag of oats and blinders he himself accepts; by abhorring what he’ll call disrespect and irreverence toward a slave driving body masked by the right to live fruitfully, albeit sedentary.

The joy of complacency is not holding responsibility, not feeling accountable for any choice where the dangers of rational thinking may awaken the bitter, savage realization that he is merely a by-product, a cog in a larger scheme to keep freedom a longer journey than it is according to the whip holder’s theory. The excruciating knot is pulled tightly together by hunger, so the worker satisfies this hunger with more intricately designed knots. His concentration isn’t in untying it, it’s merely compounding it with greater enigmas he’ll leave for the omniscient to decipher, and untangle.

He’ll wash his hands of the assignment and swallow what he deems nourishment, but the hole is never plugged. The hole grows and the abyss growls, the sounds of thousands of souls in constant traction, but this man of many fantasies can have no distractions. His focus remains selectively aimed upon projects the future will later ruin, yet without foresight the ambition has no name so the cycle remains the same.

His lifeless body now swings to and fro above gallows where the omnipotent applaud the writhing spirit of free will convulsing violently; gyrating while the sedated world of the executed continues being recreated to disguise the sincerest, deepest pain he’ll never know, because knowledge is will and the power struggle is one of isolation and possible destitution. So only when he wakes after his fate has been sealed will free spirit, and free will assault his no longer inebriated body, showing no mercy and reminding him of every time they tried to save him.

He’ll scream in utter agony placing his voiceless soul amongst those bellowing from the abyss he never tried to close. What’s more, choosing to ignore such an enormous expanse of nothing, makes the punishment perfectly sufficient, and succinct with every bit of skepticism he had that such a void of expression, virility, and endless suffering even existed. The twisting twine that holds this wretched, still body of reason securely above the wastelands of awareness makes the most insidious noise. It’s like rubbing famine and pestilent ridden bodies together; the crunching sound of bones absent of mass, riddled with brittle chip marks where the consciously aware soldiers of misfortune have attempted to shape spearheads of vindication, but are then left where they were found because even the potential tools of warfare are less sturdy and strong than the flesh bound mind of sterility from whence they came.

So there is nothing this heap of biological ingenuity and imagination can offer, but to swing in each gusting breeze like a sign posted “No Loitering,” “No Trespassing” would when pushed by the conglomerate gales of assembled hundreds. Ignorance prevails, those who fight are made to accept this evil mantra not out of doubt, but hope that once one awakes before his/her spirit and will has been completely removed, they’ll feel the refreshing irony of those who prayed silently that their army of insolent rewriters of justice has grown by one more.

Still breathing, within a masked struggle fought on separate planes of reality, behind curtains weaved of Kevlar, lead, and iron, many perverts of theory co-opt covertly in absolute anonymity fashioning plans: the plans of liberty, freedom, and prosperity.

They’re his only means of acquittal. Slashing the ropes and allowing those long since dead to die in peace, and those whose breath still has a bit of resistance to fight; the chance to view in full honesty and tragedy the gallows where weary travelers of theory are beaten by conviction and moral restrictions.
Do we ride the rolling crest of towering waves
Or do we save ourselves the tears?
I say: Give me a sturdy raft
And I will ride.
Give me an anchor
For the windstill days
In between.
Ayad Gharbawi Jan 2010
PASSION PLAY

Ayad Gharbawi




Location: Desert Shore, Bitterly Cold Night, next to strong waves from the ocean.
Characters: Man ((M) and his Lover, a Woman (W).

----------------------------------------



W: “Search as I forever do, in manifold ways unknown, I seek but to love thee, and the meagre goodness from Life, with steely ardour - my armour faithful.”
M: “Alone I may be, and still, yes I love thee; these days heavy are and beset I am by burdensome trivialities, but I remain trusting, though my corner so narrow remain.”
W: “My Love! Your speech I hear aloud and thine lips I live within and yet, my Love, all Solitude I am. Man! I am unaided! In this journey of sinful thorns, my love, in this unforgiving journey, this blurred odyssey, I stand alone”.
M: “This trial you speak of, but I do know of it well; so, listen then: within the strength of trusted togetherness we can plough on, though everlasting harm shall do its spiteful tricks, warm to our united truth shall we remain.”
W: (Surprised) “O! My love! This thought I cannot hear! My life, my destiny, is but mine. And all have their own solitary roads of jagged rocks to embrace, like it we or not. We heartbreaking earthly sad beasts, either fiercely clutch at integrity, or we do let it go to perish away.”
M: (Confused) “My Love! I do hear, I do hear. But when Times decide on burdening us, what then can we achieve? To face Reality within the frail arms of solitude is to ignore, to refuse the severe threats of repulsive grins.”
(Silence)
M: (Passionately) “O! My sweet! Only in us, can we envelope, through joined, clasped warmth can we be as one united! The screams that so truly are meant to slice us off, only we, our Unity, can destroy. For mine eyes can only find sleep in your ears, and it is so - for otherwise nothing and no one can be.”
W: (Angry) “My Passion too is bubbling for thine bewildered ears. Am I not your soul? Do we not suffer as one? Do we not reflect as one? Am I not your lover true? Is not our warmth not weighty to our fickle bones?”
(Silence)
W: (Passionate) “But, Lover, this much ought I to formally declare unto thee: For our eyes, and all eyes, envision unequally at one another. Till eternity, in its casual, indifferent flicker, snatches at us all wretched mortals, the gazes from lords to paupers remain veritably mismatched. O my passion! My woeful heart! These words I thunder forth defines love unfeigned, and what mine eyes do pour out unto thine ears is authenticity true.
(Silence)
W: (Passionately) “What joined mem’ries you choose to caress may possess thee, but your exactness for what love is to you, doth not dwell in mine mind. What tears, what weepings you do, fall stormily upon thine own soul’s wildernesses. You choose to be chained by changing visions and indefinite sentiments of light weight – though so poignant at the moment they veritably are?”
M: (Inquiring) “My love! I cherish thee; where hast thou been in thine mind, for now ye talk of that truth you relate to in your heart. Your pronouncements, what depths I do feel! Can it perchance be that my passion has strayed our winds far from me?”
W: “No, my love! Why is anger, I feel, lush on thine tongue?”
M: (Surprised and Frightened) “Anger! I am too distant from that affliction! But yes, I feel my words make only for unstable murmurs in my breath.”
W: (Quietly) “Then, do tell me, lover, who do your murmurs betray - myself or yourself then?”
M: (Quietly) “Perhaps so, perhaps so. But my anxiety wilfully demands of me to eradicate your vision.”
W: (Firmly) “You answer naught from my undemanding question. Or, are mine meanings too violent for you? What aches thee?”
M: (Passionately) “My sweet! In so many moments, I created mysterious planets for thee! Bizarre worlds of contrasts and opposites and musical words of antiquity and sensual ravines. My love! I, my soul, my life, my inner deepest breath, tempted as I am by Fates’ inscrutable cruelties to ashamedly yield, I have yet always expressed to mine eyes’ heart, though they be in bleak darkness, to faithfully fight without pause all shades of vice and still yet - with loving integrity; I have stood with arms of righteousness and love for thee up and never down! Yes, sincere good and venal ill remain joined in life for all to feel, but you knew it was not for me to disentangle them. And so, I pronounce unto thee, still, and yet ever and ever more, my love for thee, though still beholding a thousand mountains before me, I remain sturdy for thee; I remain undisturbed by burly laws, and by exotic dictums, I stand fierce and unhurt, save in your absence.”
W: (With Sadness) “My beloved, your vivid voice stabs the falsehoods for thee, and I say unto thee, unto thee your excessive and unreasonable chains, and for myself my unreasonable and extreme chains remain.”
M: (Shocked) “But I burden thee with no steely chains, nor verbal fetters! For naught I produce for thee save grace, passion and freedom to love for us both to be in Unity Sacred! Dost thou embrace my visions as ‘shackles’, then ‘tis better we agree to class that which we are as but madness! Hear me, for my tears now must truly change their colours!”
W: (Determined) “Your feverish hands clutch only upon mine erratic wings!”
M: (Anger) “Never! Never! For I clutch only to destroy all malevolence; as for thee, Lady of the purest, untouched, guarded, secluded Ponds, I seek to unshackle for you the scattered, scared shadows that yearn for thine sovereignty. And what is this ‘sovereignty’ but our Sacred Union? What curse deemest you I impose? Do you equal my purest passions with atrocities? Murmur unto mine ears, your clearest love for me.”
W: “Ah! You enquire of me my ‘sincerity’ for thee? What demands!”
(Silence)
M: “I see naught but heaving forests of love betwixt us, and yet, you discover my words being ‘demanding’?”
W: (Drily) “Perchance, your visions are indistinct and ever more blurred, through these years cannot be ignored.”
M: (Begging) “My love! All mine life, though it be lengthy, I fought most venal tyranny, and for this moment, you question my righteousness?”
W: (Indignantly) “I have been plunged into seas hostile and I have plunged in a thousand miles of inert minds troubled beyond conceivable comprehension and I have yet to have my Right for my own greedy, ravenous flesh to be vigorously and forcefully embraced by sensuality and serenity. Yes, I do love thee, and yet in our union, as in all unions, I have been adorned with naught, save snickering, gossiping scenes of festive *****, games, chatter and farewells, themselves festooned within silly and sincerely stupid smiles and frowns, and shallow tears and never ending ludicrous chatter unworthy of monkeys conversing. I have met programmed rows of pats, respect and all other so-called decent intents and gestures, but, where, lover that you are of mine, where does my personal heart, throb and manically vibrate, save in your heavenly imaginations?”
(Silence)
W: (Quietly but Determinedly) “My love! I truly thee love and with passions, I tell you, of proportions of precise exactitudes; in your eyes I have witnessed symphonies of exquisiteness; and, I of thee ask: where dwelleth your own love for myself in thine body?”
(Silence)
W: (Passionate) “Do you recognise the changing structures that form this, that I name ‘My Love’? In my solitude eternal, I do evermore and always do pause, and be pensive, and be thinking of questions, such as ‘where’, ‘why’, ‘when’ ‘how’, and ‘which’ should be my path; I am forever and ever more searching, seeking the heavens of every corner, and the irritable tempests, within my changing self as they themselves do try to seek me, and we forever, through inconceivable murkiness, do try to assemble the everlasting entirety of these disorganized puzzles into some measure of comprehensible cohesion that ‘I’ am. That is how the ‘I’ you love is forever changing and thereby formulating itself, and within all these meandering passions, and endless errors, where am I to feel thee? Where? And where do you seek me? In which land? In which forest? You trivialise my beingness as you focus upon my lands as being that which so effortless to find, and yet, you are much too distant from an understanding of my conflicting, emerging civilisations.”
(Silence)
W: (Passionate) If the utterance ‘Never’ is pathetic for thee, then allow me to introduce you to my latest heart: for it screams out that single, protracted utterance! Never! My love, these winds of raging wraths, both within and outside by flesh, must and can only be annihilated by mine own sincerities – were I not to play against my own self. My uncontrolled desires and, yes, thirsty manic passions can only be tempered and thoroughly satiated to the utter brim, by mine own loving, sources of pleasure, my own uncontrollable ecstasies. As for the rest of ****** pleasures, my own erroneous words, speeches and utterances can only be severed and sliced by my tranquillity.”
M: (Resigned) “I hear thine words. Do not abandon me. Do not destroy our civilisation of justice.”
W: “What we share, the bonds, are enjoyment. Listen though to mine lips: enjoyment is what - when it is to be compared with convulsive ecstatic quivers of satisfaction?”
M: (Puzzled) “And what of all our journeys to attain that unity? For all that, is it to be of mere insignificance? And if that be your truth, for what then did we toil and labour for unity of minds and bodies?”
W: (Laughing) “Did you understand from Life itself, that here it was, grandly to proclaim its furtive faces unto thine own awaiting face?! “
M: (Baffled) “It was so far too plain and vastly clear unto me these sceneries we faced before our loving bodies.”
W: “Yes, and I too, did see them with thee. Our four eyes, did see unity for that flicker of time. How true you speak! But, time clocked on, I saw you as you stood there, moving nowhere, unawares that it was your duty to squash onwards whatever vile breaths faced us.”
M: (Desperate) “And did I not? Did I abandon thee in these crushing paths?”
W: (Accusing) “No, you did not. Never, once did you abandon me. I ask of thee; for what sense do we feel a need for a continuation of these gruelling marches? For unity? For love? Or, is love unity? Was that and is this our reason for us to carry on with these shackles?”
M: “For assuredly, yes, and more yes, I tell thee! Toil and gruelling dawns, and unbearable evenings and the whitest of nights are all for the sacred attainment of that heavenly summit of joy I name as blessed ‘Love’.”
W: (Assured) “And, Sire, what if my nerves, blood and ****** hunger tell thee in truth that we, all of us, need no longer, and need never in truth, to undertake these paths, for we find naught that nourishes us at the blessed summit of your definition of what ‘Love’ is?”
M: (Confused & Sad) “So, I falter here and now upon understanding your speech; do I reason from thee that our loving days in unity are frivolously bygone now?”
W: (Calmly & Gracefully) “Do the wandering birds, and do the blind bats, and do the reckless storms, and do the blindly, raging waves and do the supremely arrogant oceans eternally march on in but one direction only with the savage passage of time within their particular lives? You did pronounce that you built planets for our unity; well then, did you not view how planets endlessly revolve along the same path?”
(Pause)
W: (Calmly & with Dignity) “For, Sire, I am not as a Planet - could you not feel that throughout our journeys? You endlessly query and question ‘who’ it is that ‘I’ am? Well, I speak this much on myself; I am as the birds, and the bats, and the storms and the waves and the oceans.”  
M: (Angry) “Woman! I can only then tell of thee that you are naught but feuding clutter and violent disarray!”
W: (Unconcerned) “Those are your words. Not mine. Speak for what you wish, Sire.”
M: (Angry) “And I stand here, before thee, in anger – nay, more, more! In fury!”
W: (Laughing) “For what? For the deeds that created but sticky, and grimy grains of sand for the undoubted pleasure our eyes?”
M: “And so you label our truths, our love so much! Fair indeed, you speak, Woman of Justice.”
W: (Arrogantly) “Man! Express your delights for your own delights. And, alas, there the circle and reality ends – and it ends only for you. That is one morsel of truth for you to ponder. What we ‘created’ and what we ‘loved’ was never and never, ever be the same for you as it is for me. Are you a sincere believer that your personal vision is the same sight all other seeing creatures envision?”
M: (Angry) “Woman, you enrage me! Your arrogance is drenching thine rags.”
W: (Sarcastic) “Tis the Man with no reason who allows his breath and words to be a veritable cesspool of fuming stenches!”
M: “But I, that I am, no longer can define your contours?”
W: (Pointedly) “Precisely, Man, precisely. Perhaps, now you have come closer to the vulnerable shores of reality!”
M: (Confused) “Do you express that you are ever varying and so for that reason there is not a one unified you?”
W: (Calmly) “For we are all ‘varying’, to borrow your word – if you do so allow me, Sire. There was never ‘unity’ of soul, nor mind, nor self, nor of any one personality. This, I desire, that you may understand.”
M: (Aghast) “Then if that be your truth and then, are we naught but multitudes of ever changing confusions, Lady of the Desert?”
W: (Calmly) “Yes and no! For those who are muscular and full of fertile vigour in their flesh, and in their intellects, and those that are severely and strictly scholastic, then they do need and they can succeed in time, in their never ending struggle to bring together the mutually antagonistic factions of that which constitutes our beingness. And, as for the dense brained soulless beings, then, it is equally veritably true that, a descent into madness can be rapidly produced, since from their erratic constituents, they cannot attract together these antagonistic and mutually-hating emotions in some vision of cohesion, and thus mayhem can be fashioned.”
(Silence)
M: (Calmly) “So, pray do tell me, where does Love and Justice and Truth and Morality stand in your universe?”
W: (Serenely) “That has been mine desire to hear the words being produced from your lips, Man!”
(Pause)
W: “So, now perhaps, your sight may be getting clearer, for your question is certainly apt. Foremost, we pathetic mortals, we the be are forever slimy specks of sand that  crumbles, must necessarily seek to survive and flourish within whatever forest, desert, meadow we find ourselves cast upon.”
M: (Startled) “At what cost, Woman? At the expense of Morality?”
W: (Rapidly) “Yes and no.”
M: (Shocked) “Horrendous! How can you spout out such filth?”
W: (Quietly) “Restrain your stupidities, and give more room to your intelligence, Sire.”
(Silence)
W: (Gracefully) “In times of trouble, what can Man do when he be forced to embrace evil, even though he finds the act of the embrace loathsome, but he does what he does for the truth of his vital existence to continue. Only when he need never embrace vile, and then allows himself to commit the act, then he is for certainty to incur the everlasting wrath of God. Evil is thus never one truth to be utterly rejected, perchance you may now see. ”
M: (Calm but Tired) “I follow your words and their ideas therein.”
W: (Gracefully) “When you talk to me on Man and everlasting, conflicting changes within that self-same creature, I tell you with all the earnestness that I possess, of what God has scattered and endowed upon me; for this beast, we all call in unity Man, this creature has far too many a numberless number of mutually self-contradicting, distrusting, loving, hating, inspiring and a never ending number of feelings and emotions that are in constant flow and change – as in any rapid river descending unto its eventual destination, which in its case, is the sea, while in our case, it is Death itself for sure.”
M: (Despair) “And how can this beast ‘love’ anyone within this welter of confusion?”
W: (Rapidly) “He cannot!”
M: (Rapidly, Begging) “But Man and Woman do love with bristling passions! Do you deny that, Woman?!”
W: (Calmly, eyes downwards looking) “Yes, and no. Since the beast has needs, based on his vastly intricate constituents, to ‘love’ his fellow beast, he imagines and believes
Em Glass Jul 2015
at three times the speed of sound the SR-71
was so fast it didn’t need to hide, but when
I met you we were slower, metal walls covered
in black reconnaissance paint, sonar silence.

blackbird, shy

sometimes you bit your lower lip, or my
eyes drowned, and we looked down and I cursed
my stubbornly earthbound feet, but blessed
be the stars that crossed for us to meet.

blackbird, cry

under the cozy cover of quietly building-up time
we moved on. when the back of your hand
brushes my face it slowly lifts another brick
of something sturdy into place.
the way your palms get clammy with excitement
when you point out planes coming out and in,
the way your eyes light with joy and nervousness
at my reaction is how I feel when I lean over your shoulder
and point out jupiter in the sky.

blackbird, dry your eyes

the hello was slow, but goodbyes move
faster than sound. we finally found saturn
and then time ran out.
standard procedure for the SR-71
in the event of a missile lock-on
was to continue being
the fastest thing in the sky.

blackbird, fly
I'm into space lately guys
Oh! a bare, brown rock
Stood up in the sea,
The waves at its feet
Dancing merrily.

A little bubble
Once came sailing by,
And thus to the rock
Did it gayly cry,--

"**! clumsy brown stone,
Quick, make way for me:
I'm the fairest thing
That floats on the sea.

"See my rainbow-robe,
See my crown of light,
My glittering form,
So airy and bright.

"O'er the waters blue,
I'm floating away,
To dance by the shore
With the foam and spray.

"Now, make way, make way;
For the waves are strong,
And their rippling feet
Bear me fast along."

But the great rock stood
Straight up in the sea:
It looked gravely down,
And said pleasantly--

"Little friend, you must
Go some other way;
For I have not stirred
this many a long day.

"Great billows have dashed,
And angry winds blown;
But my sturdy form
Is not overthrown.

"Nothing can stir me
In the air or sea;
Then, how can I move,
Little friend, for thee?"

Then the waves all laughed
In their voices sweet;
And the sea-birds looked,
From their rocky seat,

At the bubble gay,
Who angrily cried,
While its round cheek glowed
With a foolish pride,--

"You SHALL move for me;
And you shall not mock
At the words I say,
You ugly, rough rock.

"Be silent, wild birds!
While stare you so?
Stop laughing, rude waves,
And help me to go!

"For I am the queen
Of the ocean here,
And this cruel stone
Cannot make me fear."

Dashing fiercely up,
With a scornful word,
Foolish Bubble broke;
But Rock never stirred.

Then said the sea-birds,
Sitting in their nests
To the little ones
Leaning on their *******,--

"Be not like Bubble,
Headstrong, rude, and vain,
Seeking by violence
Your object to gain;

"But be like the rock,
Steadfast, true, and strong,
Yet cheerful and kind,
And firm against wrong.

"Heed, little birdlings,
And wiser you'll be
For the lesson learned
To-day by the sea."
Titus Aduxus Nov 2012
Mrs Merkel, fair and sturdy
Dour and doughty
High and mighty
Saviour of the sinking Euro
Female icon, Teuton hero
Stand up for our rights!.

Daughter of the old Republic
Proud and plumptious
Rarely bumptious
Quantum spousal and mechanics
Scourge of Grecian's and Hispanics
Onward from Berlin!

Lean upon the sturdy lectern
Softly spoken
Never broken
Deliver to the gathered masses
Words of warning and molasses
Deliver us from evil!

Target of the shocking Silvio
Chauvinistic
Almost mystic
While all things must come to pass
She's most certainly not a lard-***.
Gott mit Uns!
KG Nov 2013
I am a knight,
Yet, I carry no sword, nor ride a sturdy stead.

My domed armour, an architectural wonder,
Its smooth curvature, my only defence.

Fragile, I withstand great force.
Unyielding, I surrender under pressure

When struck, I succumb to my inevitable fate.
Helpless as the enemy raids my stronghold.

Fractured, blood oozes from my gouging wound.
Shattered, surrounded by the fragments of my doomed existence.

Discarded, I am left, forgotten.
Gabriel K Feb 2016
Let me not to the marriage of Katie
Hellkvist and me admit impediments
e.g. her boyfriend it’s complicatey
a smug **** wannabe, irrelevant

to me no he is immaterial
I want you so bad I would roast you *****
you’re a special spirit ethereal
I gotta chubby thinking about it

thy cherry lips and smudged eye make-up like
that Goth guy in The Cure Nick Cave maybe
sturdy face infectious laugh raven eyen
like Whitney truth I Will Always Love thee

If this be false and upon me prov’d
I never Facebook stalked nor ever lov’d
Flavia Nov 2012
Pale and swift the moorings lie:
Roosting on the masts were nye.
Peculiar was the indigo
in the water's moonlit glow.
The ship was ailing through the night
casting wayward, staggered light.
And oceanic tides were bound
to throw the ship into the sound.
But though the water pulled and fought
the Phantom ship could not be caught;
The cargo stayed and sat to mull
well within the sturdy hull.
It was a most peculiar eve,
though the average won't perceive.
The queer and devient, however,
noticed that the sky forever
loomed with great intensity
with clouds as far as eyes could see.
What secrets held this murky water?
Burning mysteries, growing hotter?
I was there, I hope you know
I have a ship, my own, and so:
remembering that eve's deception,
I take my boat in that direction.
Standing now to face the sea,
deciding where and whom to be.
For pale and swift the moorings lie;
Roosting on the masts are nye.
Distinctive be that indigo
in the water's moonlit glow.
Yet **! My schooner dipp and quaff
And with that, I must be off.
Inspired by Longfellow's "Midnight Ride of Paul Revere"
En robe de parade.
                                        Samain

Like a skien of loose silk blown against a wall
She walks by the railing of a path in Kensington Gardens,
And she is dying piece-meal
        of a sort of emotional anaemia.

And round about there is a rabble
Of the filthy, sturdy, unkillable infants of the very poor.
They shall inherit the earth.

In her is the end of breeding.
Her boredom is exquisite and excessive.
She would like some one to speak to her,
And is almost afraid that I
        will commit that indiscretion.
ryn Aug 2014
Grey is my pain(t)
Smeared on this tain(t)

Seeping in(k)
Entanglement be my kin(k)
Now I thin(k)
Soon I will sin(k)

My mind ramble(d) on and on
Struggle(d) till I'm almost gone

Overused angular frow(n)
Paint over the brow(n)
That had (s)oiled this painting
(Sp)Oiled by sporadic inking

The (ch)ink in my skin
Sung of battles that reside (with)in
My armour though(t) sturdy
In(side) I only bury

Must...

Plan(t) my feet
Swift is my flee(t)
Envision my escape(s)
Beyond the cordoning tape(s)

Shed the armour and reveal the s(h)eep
My vulnerability hid(den) deep
Let loose... The courage I hone(d)
Let them be heard... Voices that groan(ed)

I await... Patient(ly)
Time I bide... Defiant(ly)

Fade(d), bleeding away
Shade(d)... With gloom that stay

Grey is my pain(t)
Only colour, tinting my tain(t)
I see you hiding beneath
Old shirts and memories
***** jeans and worn-out shoes
That have walked a saddening mile
Weakest armour of cloth
Ripped and torn by cruel adolescence
Cursed with hate or blessed with indifference
I see you in there

Surrounded by toys
Some broken, unneeded
I see you and I know that you want to play with them
But time seems to have withdrawn permission
Or maybe you're frightened
Of how happy they once made you
Reluctantly believing they will never again make you smile or laugh
For they have become little more than fodder for the garbage heap
You find yourself beneath

On the other side of the locked door
I bend to peek through the keyhole
Expecting no more than shadows on the wall
But I see you

I've watched you walk in...
(you didn't know I was there...sorry)
...and it broke my heart
To see how swiftly you ran to the door
To behold the look of relief on your face
That broke up and melted the death mask of grief
Saved by grace
When you stepped in and turned the lock
A beaten veteran getting off a plane, whose salvation is the tarmac beneath him
You kiss the ***** carpet and call this place "home"

"How can a man be born when he is old?
can he enter the second time
into his mother's womb, and be born?"
Behind a locked door
You found the answer
Discerning flesh from flesh and spirit from Spirit
From the crowded confines of  your mother's womb

I wanted so badly to see the look on your face when you emerged
Refreshed and ready to battle demons
Or downcast, crestfallen for another day
It would have been worth the waiting hours to bear witness
To the power of this basement haven
Alas, sleep was not as curious
I could not risk your discovering me
Where I was not meant to be
Fallen from my hands and knees
Best to settle for forbidden glimpses through a keyhole
Best you didn't know I'd stolen a tiny part of your soul

I see you there, hiding from the light
Books on shelves half read or dog-eared to the very ends
A hardback Bible, the binding cracked, it's pages would spill out on the floor if not for your curiosity
66 books held tightly in your grasp to hold them together
In order
Camus, King...Baldwin, Irving...tattered paperback
Koran, Augustine...Srimad Bhagavatam, L. Ron Hubbard...sturdy hardback, spines still cracking
Barnes & Noble books unnaturally pinched between mold smelling garage sale bargains and bulky Salvation Army bookends (Webster's Dictionary, Complete Works of Shakespeare, Bullfinch's Mythology, Asimov's Chronology of Science & Technology...anything thick and sturdy enough to squeeze in a row of lesser volumes)
I see all those books but I don't see you reading them
Still, I don't wonder why they are there

I only wonder of you
Why you lie like a skeleton
Beneath piles of junk

I only wonder how
You find comfort there
And not in the arms of the ones who love you

— The End —