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FIRST DAY

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chicago,
could this be
Sandburg’s City?

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

Chicago,
Sandburg’s Chicago,
Could it be?

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

Now also
tourist attractions
for a cafe society.

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

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

Great restaurants
serve liquid jazz
al la carte.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Its mouth our Dixie Trumpet
guarded by righteous Cajun brethren.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

3.
There is faith in everything in Chicago!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

4.
Does Chicago have a future?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The analysts say
it’s all about capturing liquidity.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sorghum,
I think its hardy.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This is an efficient market
that crosses the globe.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Many striver rows compose
its many neighborhoods.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


SECOND DAY

1.
Out my window
the sun has risen.

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

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

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

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

I set my watch
to Central Standard Time.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Always more.
Much much more
in Chicago.

2.
Sandburg
spoke all the dialects.

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

Sandburg understood
what it meant to laugh
and be happy.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What level
is he speaking of?

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

I wonder
if I detect
condensation
in his voice?

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

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

This seditious talk!

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

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

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

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

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

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

It is the true level
of this city.

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

Splashing
the nation,
anointing
its people
with its
blessing.

A blessing,
Chicago?

All rivers
come here.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sandburg knew
a Chicago
I will never know.

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

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

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

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

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

Hell even Chicago
got its own brand
of Blues.

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

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

The Blues live
on in Chicago.

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

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

Music:

Robert Johnson
Sweet Home Chicago


jbm
Chicago
1/7/99
Added today to commemorate the birthday of Carl Sandburg
Fah Aug 2013
(via phatphilosophers)

(via phatphilosophers)

(via phatphilosophers)
jeffrey-lebowski:

Untitled by Yayoi Kusama.
Acrylic on canvas, 45.5 x 38.0 cm. Signed and dated 1993
jeffrey-lebowski:
Untitled by Yayoi Kusama.
Acrylic on canvas, 45.5 x 38.0 cm. Signed and dated 1993
(via phatphilosophers)

These are the days that must happen to you.
Walt Whitman, from Leaves Of Grass (via violentwavesofemotion)
(via phatphilosophers)
18 HOURS AGO / LARMOYANTE
axiatonal:

Canola Flowers Field, China
axiatonal:
Canola Flowers Field, China
(via awaveofbliss)

(via awaveofbliss)

whatisadvertising:
What would modern technology and social networks look like if they were vintage ads
This is a post gathered Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Skype, iMac, Nintendo Wii and Sony Playstation as if they were vintage ads.
(via thebronxisburning)
aplacetofindlife:

Someone Should Start Laughing
I have a thousand brilliant lies For the question: How are you?  I have a thousand brilliant lies For the question: What is God? If you think that the Truth can be known From words, If you think that the Sun and the Ocean Can pass through that tiny opening Called the mouth,
O someone should start laughing! Someone should start wildly Laughing Now!- Hafiz
aplacetofindlife:
Someone Should Start Laughing

I have a thousand brilliant lies
For the question:
How are you?

I have a thousand brilliant lies
For the question:
What is God?

If you think that the Truth can be known
From words,

If you think that the Sun and the Ocean
Can pass through that tiny opening Called the mouth,

O someone should start laughing!
Someone should start wildly Laughing Now!

- Hafiz
(via cosmic-rebirth)

meditationsinwonderland:
Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche, We Should All Be Feminists
How could I not reblog this?
(Source: bakongo)
1 day ago – 234,004 notes

artismyempire:
gentledom:
A wonderful analogy.
What I shall do today.
(Source: boyqueen, via thebronxisburning)
1 day ago – 30,054 notes

(Source: maryhadalittleblunt, via awaveofbliss)
1 week ago – 81 notes
beachsloth:

SYNESTHESIA by Joshua Espinoza
                God watches everyone’s first kiss. Although God used to be an awesome God He’s been a bit lazier as the years have progressed. Long ago God felt that raining frogs on Egypt was cool. People were turned into pillars of salt for looking at the destruction of their towns. Now God isn’t into that whole vengeful thing. Rather He realizes the importance of free will and understands it is more important than any instruction manual.
                Dreams are the ultimate instructional manual. Sub-conscious hates being a sub. Sub-conscious wants to be dom-conscious. Unfortunately such things do not happen anymore. Drinking dreams from people is potentially delicious. Flab is the hallmark of a family man or woman. Their dreams have become realities. Mere impulses of creatures become vaguely self-sustaining then fully self-sustaining. Right in the heart is where the familial love lives. Floaters in the eyes are more than floaters. When one sees floaters they see ghosts. Floaters are ghosts for the vision-impaired.
                Afterlife is big into God. Death brings people closer to God. They live in God’s domain hoping for the best. From on high the angels live on the down low. Beneath angels are the exciting ones, the ones they can and do mess up. Humans are interesting for their ability to mess up all the time and somehow remain completely loved. Every human is made in God’s image. Once people come back to God they realize how much of their decisions were good, how the evil was more than counterbalanced by the good. Living in Earth tends to make people forget how fortunate they really are.
                The world hates leaving people behind. In Heaven everything is fine. From Heaven people can see themselves from light-years away. Such distance makes it easier to see what the right and wrong decision was. Death takes the people away. Online presences remain long after the body has left. Everything has a digital footprint entirely different from their real life footprint. Sometimes it is bigger and sometimes smaller. It depends on the lust for life.
                Kissing is a form of lust. Lips love each other. Lips like locking together. That is where the key to the heart comes from, from the lips. Words flow from the mouths of babes. Life means the words work well but the tones work better. Even babies understand the importance of tone. Words are meaningless. Tones are tender. People wrap themselves up in tones, in the environmental sounds that surround them for that is what it means to be alive: it means to interact.
beachsloth:
SYNESTHESIA by Joshua Espinoza
                God watches everyone’s first kiss. Although God used to be an awesome God He’s been a bit lazier as the years have progressed. Long ago God felt that raining frogs on Egypt was cool. People were turned into pillars of salt for looking at the destruction of their towns. Now God isn’t into that whole vengeful thing. Rather He realizes the importance of free will and understands it is more important than any instruction manual.
                Dreams are the ultimate instructional manual. Sub-conscious hates being a sub. Sub-conscious wants to be dom-conscious. Unfortunately such things do not happen anymore. Drinking dreams from people is potentially delicious. Flab is the hallmark of a family man or woman. Their dreams have become realities. Mere impulses of creatures become vaguely self-sustaining then fully self-sustaining. Right in the heart is where the familial love lives. Floaters in the eyes are more than floaters. When one sees floaters they see ghosts. Floaters are ghosts for the vision-impaired.
                Afterlife is big into God. Death brings people closer to God. They live in God’s domain hoping for the best. From on high the angels live on the down low. Beneath angels are the exciting ones, the ones they can and do mess up. Humans are interesting for their ability to mess up all the time and somehow remain completely loved. Every human is made in God’s image. Once people come back to God they realize how much of their decisions were good, how the evil was more than counterbalanced by the good. Living in Earth tends to make people forget how fortunate they really are.
                The world hates leaving people behind. In Heaven everything is fine. From Heaven people can see themselves from light-years away. Such distance makes it easier to see what the right and wrong decision was. Death takes the people away. Online presences remain long after the body has left. Everything has a digital footprint entirely different from their real life footprint. Sometimes it is bigger and sometimes smaller. It depends on the lust for life.
                Kissing is a form of lust. Lips love each other. Lips like locking together. That is where the key to the heart comes from, from the lips. Words flow from the mouths of babes. Life means the words work well but the tones work better. Even babies understand the importance of tone. Words are meaningless. Tones are tender. People wrap themselves up in tones, in the environmental sounds that surround them for that is what it means to be alive: it means to interact.
(via bluishtigers)
1 week ago – 74 notes

(Source: samsaranmusing)
1 week ago – 78 notes
maymonsturr:

My mantra.
maymonsturr:
My mantra.
(via cosmic-rebirth)
1 week ago – 568 notes
foxxxynegrodamus:

***
foxxxynegrodamus:
***
(Source: lnpfeed, via awaveofbliss)
1 week ago – 1,635 notes
cosmic-rebirth:

Live joyfully, make your life a dance, all the way to the grave.
cosmic-rebirth:
Live joyfully, make your life a dance, all the way to the grave.
(Source: cookiecarnival)
2 weeks ago – 22,305 notes
“The point is not to pay back kindness but to pass it on.”
– Julia Alvarez (via cosmic-rebirth)
(Source: amandaonwriting, via cosmic-rebirth)
2 weeks ago – 275 notes

(Source: diawf, via awaveofbliss)
2 weeks ago – 2,799 notes
bl4ckhippie:

Fly.
bl4ckhippie:
Fly.
(Source: rootsrukkus, via awaveofbliss)
2 weeks ago – 750 notes

(Source: lizzlizzcomics, via bluishtigers)
2 weeks ago – 110,456 notes
meditationsinwonderland:

ॐ flower child in Wonderland ॐ
meditationsinwonderland:
ॐ flower child in Wonderland ॐ
(Source: vegan-hippie)
2 weeks ago – 139,177 notes

(Source: jrich103, via cosmic-rebirth)
2 weeks ago – 4,848 notes

pleoros:
Helminadia Ranford - Guilin,China
(via hungryforworld)
2 weeks ago – 329 notes
designgather:

Oak Room
Andy Goldsworthy
designgather:
Oak Room
Andy Goldsworthy
(via cosmic-rebirth)
2 weeks ago – 286 notes
miguu:
don’t be afraid.
lean into your genius.
let your own brilliance support you.
you are something
we have all been waiting to know.
please.
(via bluishtigers)
2 weeks ago – 339 notes

odditiesoflife:
Amazing Jabuticaba Tree
This is an incredible tree that bears its fruit directly on the main trunks and branches of the plant, lending a distinctive appearance to the fruiting tree. The jabuticaba (Plinia cauliflora) is a fruit-bearing tree native to Minas Gerais and São Paulo in southeastern Brazil. Otherwise known as the Brazilian Grape Tree, the jabuticaba is grown for its purplish-black, white-pulped fruits. They can be eaten raw or be used to make jellies and drinks, including juice and wine.
They are wonderful trees to have and are fairly adaptable to most environments but they grow extremely slow. Jabuticaba flowers are white and grow directly from its trunk, just like its fruit. The tree may flower and fruit only once or twice a year, but when continuously irrigated, it flowers frequently and fresh fruit can be available year round in tropical regions.
Common in Brazilian markets, jabuticabas are largely eaten fresh; their popularity has been likened to that of grapes in the US. Due to its extremely short shelf-life, fresh jabuticaba fruit is very rare in markets outside of areas of cultivation. So if you are ever in Brazil, be sure to try the incredibly tasty fruit called jabuticaba.
source 1, 2
(via hungryforworld)
2 weeks ago – 1,462 notes

(Source: samsaranmusing)
2 weeks ago – 118 notes

(Source: rorycwhatsyourthesis, via samsaranmusing)
2 weeks ago – 130,113 notes
oecologia:

Star Trails over Matterhorn (Switzerland) by Felix Lamouroux.
oecologia:
Star Trails over Matterhorn (Switzerland) by Felix Lamouroux.
(via samsaranmusing)

burningveins:
multicolors:
benskid:
Know where you stand.
Wow
This is kinda creepy..
(via hungryforworld)

Do not think you will necessarily be aware of your own enlightenment.
Zen Master Dogen - (1200- 1253) AD (via samsaranmusing)
2 WEEKS AGO
101fuymemes:

COLLECTION OF awesome CLOUDS
101fuymemes:
COLLECTION OF awesome CLOUDS
(via roslynoberholtzerbddd)

itscolossal:
Planetary Structural Layer Cakes Designed by Cakecrumbs

Do not resist events that move you out of your comfort zone, especially when your comfort zone was not all that comfortable.
Alan Cohen (via raeraenjma)
(via awaveofbliss)
4 WEEKS AGO / THE-HEALING-NEST
so apt
so apt
(via awaveofbliss)

(via awaveofbliss)
treewellie:

"The area between Kluane Lake and Haines Junction, Yukon, skirting the great cordillera of the Wrangell / St. Elias Mtn. range, is commonly productive of these stacked lenticular clouds … In late summer, as the sun begins to set around 11 PM, it’s beautiful to see these unique clouds, which are higher in altitude than their surrounding companions, catching the last peach coloured rays of the sun."
treewellie:
"The area between Kluane Lake and Haines Junction, Yukon, skirting the great cordillera of the Wrangell / St. Elias Mtn. range, is commonly productive of these stacked lenticular clouds … In late summer, as the sun begins to set around 11 PM, it’s beautiful to see these unique clouds, which are higher in altitude than their surrounding companions, catching the last peach coloured rays of the sun."
definitelydope:

BBQ on the balcony (by fernlicht)
definitelydope:
BBQ on the balcony (by fernlicht)
(via awaveofbliss)

Birth by Alex Grey
Birth by Alex Grey
(via receptive)

(via bluishtigers)

(via awaveofbliss)

There is a time and place for decaf coffee. Never and in the trash.
(via 17yr)
(via hungryforworld)
1 MONTH AGO / MIDWESTRAISEDMIDWESTLIVING
surreelust:

Man with His Skin by Peter Zokosky
surreelust:
Man with His Skin by Peter Zokosky
(via cosmic-rebirth)

Oh soul,
you worry too much.
You have seen your own strength.
You have seen your own beauty.
You have seen your golden wings.
Of anything less,
why do you worry?
You are in truth
the soul, of the soul,
of the soul.
Rumi, from Who Am I?   (via bluishtigers)
(via bluishtigers)
1 MONTH AGO / VIOLENTWAVESOFEMOTION
xpudding:

xpudding:
(via cosmic-rebirth)

(via thebronxisburning)

(via cosmic-rebirth)
treewellie:

La costa de la luz by Francisco Mingorance
treewellie:
La costa de la luz by Francisco Mingorance

itscolossal:
Mirror City: A Kaleidoscopic Timelapse of Chicago, San Francisco, San Diego, Vegas and L.A. [VIDEO]

(via cosmic-rebirth)

awkwardsituationist:
gmb akash documents the 350 kilometre journey from dhaka to sylhet, bangladesh made by those who, unable to afford the price of a ticket or find room to ride inside, risk death by traveling atop and between train cars
(via suntochukwu)
purpleaggregates:

White Tara The female enlightened being of long life, wisdom and good fortune When I see the signs of untimely death, May I immediately receive the blessings of Arya Tara; And, having destroyed the Lord of Death, May I quickly attain the deathless vajra body. OM TARE TUTTARE TURE MAMA AYUR PUNAYE GYANA PUTRIM KURU YE SÖHA OM TARE TUTTARE TURE SÖHA
purpleaggregates:
White Tara
The female enlightened being of long life, wisdom and good fortune

When I see the signs of untimely death,
May I immediately receive the blessings of Arya Tara;
And, having destroyed the Lord of Death,
May I quickly attain the deathless vajra body.

OM TARE TUTTARE TURE MAMA AYUR PUNAYE GYANA PUTRIM KURU YE SÖHA
OM TARE TUTTARE TURE SÖHA
(via dancingdakini)

(via guerrillatech)
hungryforworld:

Monet’s Garden. Givery, France.
hungryforworld:
Monet’s Garden. Givery, France.

(via awaveofbliss)

(via cosmic-rebirth)

Internal and external are ultimately one. When you no longer perceive the world as hostile, there is no more fear, and when there is no more fear, you think, speak and act differently. Love and compassion arise, and they affect the world.
Eckhart Tolle (via samsaranmusing)
(via suntochukwu)
1 MONTH AGO / SAMSARANMUSING
malformalady:

The golden spiral of fungus. In geometry, a golden spiral is a logarithmic spiral whose growth factor is φ, the golden ratio. That is, a golden spiral gets wider (or further from its origin) by a factor of φ for every quarter turn it makes.
Photo credit: Devin Raber
malformalady:
The golden spiral of fungus. In geometry, a golden spiral is a logarithmic spiral whose growth factor is φ, the golden ratio. That is, a golden spiral gets wider (or further from its origin) by a factor of φ for every quarter turn it makes.
Photo credit: Devin Raber
(via deeperthansoul)
polaroidsf:

Welcome to Eden
polaroidsf:
Welcome to Eden

(via bouddra)

It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living.
I want to know what you ache for, and if you dare to dream of
meeting your heart’s longing.

It doesn’t interest me how old you are.
I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for
your dreams, for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn’t interest me
Luna Craft Mar 2015
I use my eyes to see
As anyone else would
I see the colors all around me and the faces of those I love
I love my eyes for they let me see things some can't
Like the expression on your face when you make a mistake
Or the rare smile that you hide
But now my eyes are tired
Dark circles surround them
And my vision is slowly getting duller
The world seems to be turning into a monochrome mess
I couldn't even tell when the red under your eyes
Had turned to the same black as mine
A Thomas Hawkins Apr 2010
The people that come into our lives
do so for a reason
It may only be for a day or a month
or may just be for a season

But when two paths cross, no matter how brief
There's a lesson somewhere to be learned
It may be just that we're on the wrong path
and there's a corner that needs to be turned

It may be to teach us that we can still fly
and soar in the heavens above
or it may be a brief and torrid affair
to show us that we can still love

And maybe my words are speaking to you
and I'm part of some message you need
To show you the signs that surround you
so between the lines you can read.
Follow me on Twitter @athomashawkins
http://twitter.com/athomashawkins
Armand-DeamoJC Aug 2018
To all the goodbyes
I say goodnight
To everyone that dies
I hope it's bright

To everyone;
With a razor
Hand of pills
Tied rope
Dangling keys
Extreme height below
Finger over a light trigger
Electricity at hand
Open propane tank
Empty plate, with full glass

Stop, think about who you're leaving behind
I know my words aren't going to stop you, but just read
Did you bother to write and leave a note?
Is it worth it then?
Saying you're sorry, knowing you'll leave someone behind?
Stop. Think about why you're doing it
Do you have nobody?
Think about your opportunities that'll fly past
The chance of ever meeting someone?
Did you lose someone?
Think about if you'll actually see them again?
Being bullied?
Fight back, with whatever you have
Life shoved you down?
No, I'm not asking you to get up!
I'm telling you to get your *** into a nap
Think about all the possibilities that might not be
Think of all the opportunities and people in the future
Think of your legacy
Think of anything except the pain
Now balance the pain and everything else
Want to jump? Skyfall
Want to shoot? Paintball and games
Want to hang? Bungee
Want to overdose? Take 10% of it and party
Suffocate in propane gas, or blow up? Cook a nice meal, invite a friend or family. Surround yourself. No friends and family? Find a friend, build a family.
Want to speed wrong side of the road? Speed on the right side of the road and get carried with the wind, do it over again
Want to cut yourself? Cut off the pain and wrong influences
Electrocute yourself? Rather save electricity and watch a good movie with friends or family. Have none? Watch a movie alone, play a game online. Make friends, build a family
Want to starve yourself so you can get drunker and finally forget it all, when your liver gives in? Eat a lot more, blow off some steam at the gym and build a body that girls/guys would like, attract them and make new friends. Drink with friends.

I've tried many things, some of them didn't work out, or I couldn't stay awake longer. Create new dreams if the old ones died. Work hard for them. Achieve something
"At least leave a ******* legacy behind" is what my bestfriend, Steph used to say
"You can get out of this alive, but maybe a little ****** up, but anything damaged can be repaired" My bestfriend Josh used to say
"Life can carry you away without what you thought you needed" my bestfriend Divene used to say

Even more quotes from people I've lost in my life, so I ask you just think about it all
Still going through with it? Remember it's a one way ticket
I'm suicidal myself. Been for a long time. Just speak to me. Speak to someone. Let's fix this ****
Adeline Dean May 2013
I don’t need to know you personally to know that you are actually worth something. You are worth more than you think. Why do you feel the need to believe your own lies? You need to believe that you are worth it and you need to believe that you will get through this, the more you tell yourself that you aren’t worth it, you will start to feel like you’re not worth anything when the truth is you are worth everything. I understand that sometimes, the ones who surround you can make you feel like a worthless *******, they can make you feel like nothing. Simply because it always seems like no one cares about you, but I care about you, your family care about you, your followers care about you, your friends care about you. Sure, sometimes their actions seem to prove otherwise, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t care. Why would you let someone down grade you to something that you are not? Why would you let yourself fall for other peoples lies? You see all those people trying to make you feel like crap? Well you are above them and you should know that by now, simply because you do not feel the need to put someone down in order to make yourself feel better. Don’t you ever let an ex of yours, feel like you aren’t worth anything. Why give someone the power to control your life? To control what you do and how you feel? This is your life and you need to live it how you want to. This is your life and you need to realise that you are here for a reason. You don’t need someone to come along, to make you feel like you are worth something. You don’t need someone telling that you are worth it. Because you have always been worth it, whether you choose to believe it or not, is entirely up to you. Don’t let someone shape the way that you live and think. Don’t live in fear of never being good enough. The people around you see something special about you and now, it’s time for you. To see it within yourself. You’re worth it, see it. Believe it. Because its the truth and one day you are going to have to accept that fact.
md-writer Jul 2015
when galaxies surround
and gravity's unbound

and I'm floating in the midst
holding tightly to your wrist

and there is wonder in my eyes
because your face has told no lies

I hold you close so I can feel
if your heartbeat's even real

and press my lips against your cheek
because my heart is growing weak

against the love-tide rising
your presence prizing

above all else
Sharina Saad Jul 2013
I am a dreamer
A pure dreamer
Surround myself with the believers
Still I find myself dreaming..
Surround myself with the thinkers...
I dream still of rhymes and unpublished poetry
Surround myself with the doers
Been bombarded with a question...
Is your life a poetry?
I am a dreamer.. yes
But I love to be with the doers, the believers and thinkers,
but most of all,
I surround myself with those
who speak the truth when they criticizes
so I could polish myself...
till I shine...
at least I could still learn...
humbly educate myself...
with the things I don't know
or unsure about...
I surround myself with those who see
the greatness within me,
when I myself  fail to see ....
I may be a dreamer
but nothing begins...
without first a dream.....
CK Baker Mar 2017
the walls of inside passage
look the same
from sound to straight
tugs and plugs
dot the coastline
as the quartermaster rolls
giving time for evening glare  

pods are in sequence
as the high tail smashes
and jaws at the krill
white bellies and sea cows
bob and weave
as bow heads glide
over haida gwaii  

northern lights dance
and tlingit chant
as the tide settles softly
on savory shores
their getting hungry in hoonah
as the blue back and beating drums
mark the life blood of the sea  

driftwood nets
and sitka spruce
surround the cook house
ravens and tinhorns
man the scullery
kerosene lamps flicker
as clam shells roast
on open flames  

villagers stroll
on pebbled sand
in the harbor of souls
where ships set sail
on might and mass
into the steady winds
of the golden skies


ice fields (to the north)
of kryptonite blue
cutting hills at
a glacial pace
knuckle clouds
above the snowline
where warlocks
craft a hidden trade  

trappers, skinners
muscle shoals
grizzly feasts
in kodiak bowl
determined pilgrims
on a dead horse trail
in search of gold
the holy grail
1
I celebrate myself, and sing myself,
And what I assume you shall assume,
For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.

I loafe and invite my soul,
I lean and loafe at my ease observing a spear of summer grass.

My tongue, every atom of my blood, form’d from this soil, this air,
Born here of parents born here from parents the same, and their
parents the same,
I, now thirty-seven years old in perfect health begin,
Hoping to cease not till death.

Creeds and schools in abeyance,
Retiring back a while sufficed at what they are, but never forgotten,
I harbor for good or bad, I permit to speak at every hazard,
Nature without check with original energy.

2
Houses and rooms are full of perfumes, the shelves are crowded with
perfumes,
I breathe the fragrance myself and know it and like it,
The distillation would intoxicate me also, but I shall not let it.

The atmosphere is not a perfume, it has no taste of the
distillation, it is odorless,
It is for my mouth forever, I am in love with it,
I will go to the bank by the wood and become undisguised and naked,
I am mad for it to be in contact with me.

The smoke of my own breath,
Echoes, ripples, buzz’d whispers, love-root, silk-thread, crotch and
vine,
My respiration and inspiration, the beating of my heart, the passing
of blood and air through my lungs,
The sniff of green leaves and dry leaves, and of the shore and
dark-color’d sea-rocks, and of hay in the barn,

The sound of the belch’d words of my voice loos’d to the eddies of
the wind,
A few light kisses, a few embraces, a reaching around of arms,
The play of shine and shade on the trees as the supple boughs wag,
The delight alone or in the rush of the streets, or along the fields
and hill-sides,
The feeling of health, the full-noon trill, the song of me rising
from bed and meeting the sun.

Have you reckon’d a thousand acres much? have you reckon’d the
earth much?
Have you practis’d so long to learn to read?
Have you felt so proud to get at the meaning of poems?

Stop this day and night with me and you shall possess the origin of
all poems,
You shall possess the good of the earth and sun, (there are millions
of suns left,)
You shall no longer take things at second or third hand, nor look
through the eyes of the dead, nor feed on the spectres in
books,
You shall not look through my eyes either, nor take things from me,
You shall listen to all sides and filter them from your self.

3
I have heard what the talkers were talking, the talk of the
beginning and the end,
But I do not talk of the beginning or the end.

There was never any more inception than there is now,
Nor any more youth or age than there is now,
And will never be any more perfection than there is now,
Nor any more heaven or hell than there is now.

Urge and urge and urge,
Always the procreant urge of the world.

Out of the dimness opposite equals advance, always substance and
increase, always ***,
Always a knit of identity, always distinction, always a breed of
life.
To elaborate is no avail, learn’d and unlearn’d feel that it is so.

Sure as the most certain sure, plumb in the uprights, well
entretied, braced in the beams,
Stout as a horse, affectionate, haughty, electrical,
I and this mystery here we stand.

Clear and sweet is my soul, and clear and sweet is all that is not
my soul.

Lack one lacks both, and the unseen is proved by the seen,
Till that becomes unseen and receives proof in its turn.

Showing the best and dividing it from the worst age vexes age,
Knowing the perfect fitness and equanimity of things, while they
discuss I am silent, and go bathe and admire myself.

Welcome is every ***** and attribute of me, and of any man hearty
and clean,
Not an inch nor a particle of an inch is vile, and none shall be
less familiar than the rest.

I am satisfied - I see, dance, laugh, sing;
As the hugging and loving bed-fellow sleeps at my side through the
night, and withdraws at the peep of the day with stealthy
tread,
Leaving me baskets cover’d with white towels swelling the house with
their plenty,
Shall I postpone my acceptation and realization and scream at my
eyes,
That they turn from gazing after and down the road,
And forthwith cipher and show me to a cent,
Exactly the value of one and exactly the value of two, and which is
ahead?

4
Trippers and askers surround me,
People I meet, the effect upon me of my early life or the ward and
city I live in, or the nation,
The latest dates, discoveries, inventions, societies, authors old
and new,
My dinner, dress, associates, looks, compliments, dues,
The real or fancied indifference of some man or woman I love,
The sickness of one of my folks or of myself, or ill-doing or loss
or lack of money, or depressions or exaltations,
Battles, the horrors of fratricidal war, the fever of doubtful news,
the fitful events;
These come to me days and nights and go from me again,
But they are not the Me myself.

Apart from the pulling and hauling stands what I am,
Stands amused, complacent, compassionating, idle, unitary,
Looks down, is *****, or bends an arm on an impalpable certain rest,
Looking with side-curved head curious what will come next,
Both in and out of the game and watching and wondering at it.

Backward I see in my own days where I sweated through fog with
linguists and contenders,
I have no mockings or arguments, I witness and wait.

5
I believe in you my soul, the other I am must not abase itself to
you,
And you must not be abased to the other.

Loafe with me on the grass, loose the stop from your throat,
Not words, not music or rhyme I want, not custom or lecture, not
even the best,
Only the lull I like, the hum of your valved voice.

I mind how once we lay such a transparent summer morning,
How you settled your head athwart my hips and gently turn’d over
upon me,
And parted the shirt from my *****-bone, and plunged your tongue
to my bare-stript heart,
And reach’d till you felt my beard, and reach’d till you held my
feet.

Swiftly arose and spread around me the peace and knowledge that pass
all the argument of the earth,
And I know that the hand of God is the promise of my own,
And I know that the spirit of God is the brother of my own,
And that all the men ever born are also my brothers, and the women
my sisters and lovers,
And that a kelson of the creation is love,
And limitless are leaves stiff or drooping in the fields,
And brown ants in the little wells beneath them,
And mossy scabs of the worm fence, heap’d stones, elder, mullein and
poke-****.

6
A child said What is the grass? fetching it to me with full hands;
How could I answer the child? I do not know what it is any more
than he.

I guess it must be the flag of my disposition, out of hopeful green
stuff woven.

Or I guess it is the handkerchief of the Lord,
A scented gift and remembrancer designedly dropt,
Bearing the owner’s name someway in the corners, that we may see
and remark, and say Whose?

Or I guess the grass is itself a child, the produced babe of the
vegetation.

Or I guess it is a uniform hieroglyphic,
And it means, Sprouting alike in broad zones and narrow zones,
Growing among black folks as among white,
Kanuck, Tuckahoe, Congressman, Cuff, I give them the same, I
receive them the same.

And now it seems to me the beautiful uncut hair of graves.

Tenderly will I use you curling grass,
It may be you transpire from the ******* of young men,
It may be if I had known them I would have loved them,
It may be you are from old people, or from offspring taken soon out
of their mothers’ laps,
And here you are the mothers’ laps.

This grass is very dark to be from the white heads of old mothers,
Darker than the colorless beards of old men,
Dark to come from under the faint red roofs of mouths.

O I perceive after all so many uttering tongues,
And I perceive they do not come from the roofs of mouths for
nothing.

I wish I could translate the hints about the dead young men and
women,
And the hints about old men and mothers, and the offspring taken
soon out of their laps.

What do you think has become of the young and old men?
And what do you think has become of the women and children?

They are alive and well somewhere,
The smallest sprout shows there is really no death,
And if ever there was it led forward life, and does not wait at the
end to arrest it,
And ceas’d the moment life appear’d.

All goes onward and outward, nothing collapses,
And to die is different from what any one supposed, and luckier.

7
Has any one supposed it lucky to be born?
I hasten to inform him or her it is just as lucky to die, and I know
it.

I pass death with the dying and birth with the new-wash’d babe, and
am not contain’d between my hat and boots,
And peruse manifold objects, no two alike and every one good,
The earth good and the stars good, and their adjuncts all good.

I am not an earth nor an adjunct of an earth,
I am the mate and companion of people, all just as immortal and
fathomless as myself,
(They do not know how immortal, but I know.)

Every kind for itself and its own, for me mine male and female,
For me those that have been boys and that love women,
For me the man that is proud and feels how it stings to be slighted,
For me the sweet-heart and the old maid, for me mothers and the
mothers of mothers,
For me lips that have smiled, eyes that have shed tears,
For me children and the begetters of children.

Undrape! you are not guilty to me, nor stale nor discarded,
I see through the broadcloth and gingham whether or no,
And am around, tenacious, acquisitive, tireless, and cannot be
shaken away.

8
The little one sleeps in its cradle,
I lift the gauze and look a long time, and silently brush away flies
with my hand.

The youngster and the red-faced girl turn aside up the bushy hill,
I peeringly view them from the top.

The suicide sprawls on the ****** floor of the bedroom,
I witness the corpse with its dabbled hair, I note where the pistol
has fallen.

The blab of the pave, tires of carts, sluff of boot-soles, talk of
the promenaders,
The heavy omnibus, the driver with his interrogating thumb, the
clank of the shod horses on the granite floor,
The snow-sleighs, clinking, shouted jokes, pelts of snow-*****,
The hurrahs for popular favorites, the fury of rous’d mobs,
The flap of the curtain’d litter, a sick man inside borne to the
hospital,
The meeting of enemies, the sudden oath, the blows and fall,
The excited crowd, the policeman with his star quickly working his
passage to the centre of the crowd,
The impassive stones that receive and return so many echoes,
What groans of over-fed or half-starv’d who fall sunstruck or in
fits,
What exclamations of women taken suddenly who hurry home and
give birth to babes,
What living and buried speech is always vibrating here, what howls
restrain’d by decorum,
Arrests of criminals, slights, adulterous offers made, acceptances,
rejections with convex lips,
I mind them or the show or resonance of them-I come and I depart.

9
The big doors of the country barn stand open and ready,
The dried grass of the harvest-time loads the slow-drawn wagon,
The clear light plays on the brown gray and green intertinged,
The armfuls are pack’d to the sagging mow.

I am there, I help, I came stretch’d atop of the load,
I felt its soft jolts, one leg reclined on the other,
I jump from the cross-beams and seize the clover and timothy,
And roll head over heels and tangle my hair full of wisps.

10
Alone far in the wilds and mountains I hunt,
Wandering amazed at my own lightness and glee,
In the late afternoon choosing a safe spot to pass the night,
Kindling a fire and broiling the fresh-****’d game,
Falling asleep on the gather’d leaves with my dog and gun by my
side.

The Yankee clipper is under her sky-sails, she cuts the sparkle
and scud,
My eyes settle the land, I bend at her prow or shout joyously from
the deck.

The boatmen and clam-diggers arose early and stopt for me,
I tuck’d my trowser-ends in my boots and went and had a good time;
You should have been with us that day round the chowder-kettle.

I saw the marriage of the trapper in the open air in the far west,
the bride was a red girl,
Her father and his friends sat near cross-legged and dumbly smoking,
they had moccasins to their feet and large thick blankets
hanging from their shoulders,
On a bank lounged the trapper, he was drest mostly in skins, his
luxuriant beard and curls protected his neck, he held his bride
by the hand,
She had long eyelashes, her head was bare, her coarse straight locks
descended upon her voluptuous limbs and reach’d to her
feet.

The runaway slave came to my house and stopt outside,
I heard his motions crackling the twigs of the woodpile,
Through the swung half-door of the kitchen I saw him limpsy and
weak,
And went where he sat on a log and led him in and assured him,
And brought water and fill’d a tub for his sweated body and bruis’d
feet,
And gave him a room that enter’d from my own, and gave him some
coarse clean clothes,
And remember perfectly well his revolving eyes and his awkwardness,
And remember putting piasters on the galls of his neck and ankles;
He staid with me a week before he was recuperated and pass’d north,
I had him sit next me at table, my fire-lock lean’d in the corner.

11
Twenty-eight young men bathe by the shore,
Twenty-eight young men and all so friendly;
Twenty-eight years of womanly life and all so lonesome.

She owns the fine house by the rise of the bank,
She hides handsome and richly drest aft the blinds of the window.

Which of the young men does she like the best?
Ah the homeliest of them is beautiful to her.

Where are you off to, lady? for I see you,
You splash in the water there, yet stay stock still in your room.

Dancing and laughing along the beach came the twenty-ninth
bather,
The rest did not see her, but she saw them and loved them.

The beards of the young men glisten’d with wet, it ran from their
long hair,
Little streams pass’d all over their bodies.

An unseen hand also pass’d over their bodies,
It descended tremblingly from their temples and ribs.

The young men float on their backs, their white bellies bulge to the
sun, they do not ask who seizes fast to them,
They do not know who puffs and declines with pendant and bending
arch,
They do not think whom they ***** with spray.

12
The butcher-boy puts off his killing-clothes, or sharpens his knife
at the stall in the market,
I loiter enjoying his repartee and his shuffle and break-down.

Blacksmiths with grimed and hairy chests environ the anvil,
Each has his main-sledge, they are all out, there is a great heat in
the fire.

From the cinder-strew’d threshold I follow their movements,
The lithe sheer of their waists plays even with their massive arms,
Overhand the hammers swing, overhand so slow, overhand so sure,
They do not hasten, each man hits in his place.

13
The ***** holds firmly the reins of his four horses, the block swags
underneath on its tied-over chain,
The ***** that drives the long dray of the stone-yard, steady and
tall he stands pois’d on one leg on the string-piece,
His blue shirt exposes his ample neck and breast and loosens over
his hip-band,
His glance is calm and commanding, he tosses the slouch of his hat
away from his forehead,
The sun falls on his crispy hair and mustache, falls on the black of
his polish’d and perfect limbs.

I behold the picturesque giant and love him, and I do not stop
there,
I go with the team also.

In me the caresser of life wherever moving, backward as well as
forward sluing,
To niches aside and junior bending, not a person or object missing,
Absorbing all to myself and for this song.

Oxen that rattle the yoke and chain or halt in the leafy shade, what
is that you express in your eyes?
It seems to me more than all the print I have read in my life.

My tread scares the wood-drake and wood-duck on my distant and
day-long ramble,
They rise together, they slowly circle around.

I believe in those wing’d purposes,
And acknowledge red, yellow, white, playing within me,
And consider green and violet and the tufted crown i
MeanAileen Jul 2018
It must be so nice
to be as cold as ice
and live with a heart of stone.
No need to think twice
in a fools paradise
when your head is so overblown.

Existing so high
you can touch the sky
from your pillar of ivory and gold.
Everyday you lie
just to pacify
an ego which can't be controlled.

You don't play fair
nor do you care
who's heart you might break next.
Another sordid affair
caught in your snare,
treating women like they are objects.

You made love a joke
with vows you broke,
that golden ring is sure to rust.
One day you'll choke
on fallacies you spoke,
and your empire to fall to dust.

Looking down on all
like you're 12 feet tall
does not make you a bigger man.
Laughing as they fall,
watching them crawl,
forgetting where your own life began.

Just keep living in excess,
desperate to impress,
surround yourself with cool ****.
Cause what you possess
when dead from stress
in purgatory, won't matter one bit.
Ya...
lauren Nov 2016
i have slept restlessly for  nights now, reliving the events that have conjured within the past 72 hours. i think to myself, how would anyone want to bring another into this world knowing the pain they will endure? yes. you will feel pain, indescribable, chest filling, body aching pain from your head to your toes. i wont try to paint a perfect picture of this world and let you down. hating me every moment for the things i never said. you will be beaten down by others, torn away from the connection you thought you had. you will sit in a coffee shop alone, biting your lip with anxiety, and he will call you in the dead of night pleading for you to keep him company once more. you will miss the way you looked at the world, with innocence and purity, reliving every moment of suffering and rewriting its pages. you will invest your heart in people, things that will only let you down. but sweet child this suffering that you feel will be soon over. it is how you overcome these situations of awkward confrontation and scandalous betrayal. because one day a bee will buzz past you and you will jump up and down like a child again, tugging on the end of your own dress, smiling. you will laugh once again because the perpetual love you feel from those who surround you with positive energy will fill the gaping hole of disappointment that the world has so willingly handed you. like i said, i will not paint a perfect picture for you, because every artist has their flaws, but they cover them oh so well. and you should never have to carry that kind of burden.

love always,
me
You Surround Me


I find in your aura
a mighty tide of emotion
into the long hours of every night
with an endless yearning of joy and light.....

The time does not permit to have you with me
you bolted and ran after the ******* was over
why did you leave and find another, the canvas is gone
your muse i lost, in the faraway lands of tomorrow
your tender touch has faded, the devotion
I had for you, makes me wonder what could
be could be....

Your aura surrounded me, your passion for life
astounded me, as the tears flow they know me
as your presence had drawn my face....

Within the strokes of your artist touch
your inevitable emotion brings me to my knees
you were the sweetest heaven i knew
now draws the tears as they flow
to the scented candle so low...

You may be gone, our passion destroyed
but love yearns for you.... through you I know
and maybe you hate me, maybe you despise ...

I was caught in a current of surprises
melting upon the current of my tongue
drawing the strings of love
that held me captive....

You surround me even though you are gone....**

Debbie
Copyright Deborah Brooks Langford ® ♫
* No part of this poem may be used or reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any way or form or by any means electronic, mechanical, recording, or otherwise without the written permission of the author.
Francie Lynch Jun 2018
The hood won't be the same,
We're out standing in the rain,
To encourage sprouts as we once did our children;
For down the road you see it's as legal,
As a Timmy's and a cream-cheese bagel,
We're good to grow the free green grass at home.

On this side of our border,
Starting this October,
We'll bake it, vape it, roll and bowl to take it;
Down the road you see it's now legal,
The price of home grown's dropped to zero,
We're good to grow the free green grass at home.

Yes we're all on board to greet it,
Some inhale and some will eat it;
We're good to grow the free green grass at home.

I'm awake and it astounds me,
My four plants that surround me;
We've realized what we've long been dreaming;
For there's a store where we can cop some,
Come the fall fresh buds will blossom,
We're good to grow our free green grass at home.

Yes we're all on board to greet it,
Some inhale, and some will eat it,
We're good to grow our free green grass at home.
Sung to Tom Jones' "Green Green Grass of Home."
*** becomes legal in Canada on October 17th. We're permitted to grow four plants per household. Finally.
A "Timmy" is a Tim Hortons coffee.
Big Virge Jan 2015
The ... " GREAT DEBATE " ...
Would Seem To Surround This Thing Called Race ... ?
  
It Makes Some FROWN And Open Their Mouths ...  
About The Ways This Debate Is ... Swept AWAY ..............  
    
By ... " Heads of State " ...  
And Those Who Claim That .......................................  
    
"Racism displays are minimal today !  
So blacks who have a chip, should stop running their lips !"
    
Well Like The Young Orators ...  
Shown In ... " The Great Debators " ...  
    
My View Is Simply This ...  
    
Would They Rather Blacks Shoot ... Clips ... !?!  
Than Use Their Minds To .... " THINK " ...  ???  
    
A Question When Expressed ....  
That SHOULDN'T Be Answered ... YES ... !!!!!  
    
It's CLEAR The Great Debate Will ALWAYS Be This Way ...  
Because A Black Whose Brain ...
Is Used To EDUCATE And ELEVATE Our Strays ...  
  
Is One Who Will Be Labelled As A Person Telling Fables ...  
Whose Thought Waves Are ... UNSTABLE ... !!!!!
    
" A TERRORIST !!! "  
" A COMMUNIST !!! "  
AN UPSTART WHO ...  
SHOULD BE REMOVED !!!
    
... "HIS - Story" ...  
    
KEEPS Giving PROOF ...  
That Blacks Who Choose To RAISE THE ROOF ...  
When They REFUSE To ... " **** and Shoot " ...  
  
But Choose To Use Their Brain Tissue ...  
To ... Air Their Views On Race Issues ...  
Are DEMONISED By Those Who Unite Behind Racist Tribes ... !!!  
    
It's NOT A GAME To Face Race hate ... !!!
    
And Now Is NOT The Great Debate ... ?!?    
The Great Debate Has CLEARLY CHANGED ... !!!  
    
Osama ... Obama ...  
All Kinds of Street Drama ...  
With The Credit Crunch At Number One ... !!!!!!!!!!!!!  
    
Terrorist Crimes At Number Two ...  
And Number Three ... No Energy ... !!!  
    
No Oil ... No Gas .... !!!  
No Cash .... No Bank .... !!!  
    
No Bonuses The Onus is ......  
    
DIVERSIONS Folks And That's NO JOKE ... !!!  
    
Until I Hear This Very Quote ....  
    
"The President has sold his home !" ...
    
I Won't Adhere To Credit Fears ... !!!  
    
The Olympic Fund Has Seen NO CRUNCH ... !?!  
    
Even Though ... Cashflow Is Low ?!?!?  
DOESN'T Quite Add Up Like Government Sums ... !!!  
    
Their Great Debates Don't Seem To Relate ...  
About How They've ... Got EMPTY Plates ... !?!  
    
When I See THEM Starve Instead of Laugh ...  
About Policies That PROVE They're THIEVES ... !!!  
I'll Agree That WE ... Have Got PROBLEMS ... !!!  
    
The Type That Mean No Bonuses ...  
For ... BOARD CHAIRMEN ... !!!!!!  
    
No Whitehouse For The President ... !!!  
No Number 10 For The ... " PM ".... !!!!!  
    
And NO More Wars Where Cash Is Spent ...  
As If There's More For .... KILLING Men ... !!!!!  
    
That's A Great Debate ... I'd  Undertake ... !!!!!    
  
Non Violent Acts Against Government Plans ....  
Like Corporate Expedience ... Against Civil Disobedience ...  
    
Debates Like These Are RARELY Seen ...  
EXCEPT These Days On Movie Screens ...  
    
But Even Then Critics Defend ....  
The Lack of Facts These Movies Have ...  
    
... " So, a movie lied ! " ...  
    
How Many Times Has Hollywood ....  
Made Things Look .... " Good " ....  
Because The Bad Would DISPEL Facts...  
SOCIETIES ... Stick To Like GLUE ... !!!  
To KEEP The FOOLS ... IGNORANT To TRUTH ... !!!!!  
    
When Governments ...  
Become ... UNSTUCK ...  
Who'll Debate Then .... !?!  
    
The ... IGNORANT ... !?!
Who've Been FED LIES Most of Their Lives ... !!!!?!!!!  
    
Now That Will Be A ... WORRYING Time ... !!!!!    
    
The Average Joe Who Is GUNG ** ...  
RUNNING The Show When People BLOW ... !!!!!  
    
It's Happening NOW Some Youth Are WILD ... !!!  
    
Running Around ...  
Toting The Style of ... " Gangsta Clowns " ... !!!  
    
Guns And **'s In Videos ... !!!  
How REAL Are THEY Who Get .... " Airplay " .... !???!  
    
Another Debate That May Bring SHAME ... ?  
To Those With FAME ....
Because Their Fame Has Been Man-Made ... !!!  
    
Like HIS-Story Now Seems To Be ... ?  
The Racist Theme of This Here Piece ...
Is NOT All That It Seems To Be ... !!!  
    
Whether It Be RACE Or The Exchange Rate ...    
Or The Time It Takes For Equality To REIGN ... ?????  
    
It Is CLEAR Those Who ORATE And Try To Educate ...  
Should ALWAYS Have A Say ...  
  
Within ...  
    
...... " The Great Debate " ......
The Debate ... RAGES ON ... !!!
Years after I wrote this ........ !!!

Says it all really ... Smh.
Jacob Sanders Aug 2014
A dead end situation.
Stuck. Like brick to cement.
You'll do anything
for a hint of something.
It's been coming for ages;
building,
tumbling towards you
like a train on a track,
the damsel in distress,
tied down, downwards bound,
stalking around.
But you can't see,
it changes invisibly,
always going too fast,
momentum gathering;
letters,
beach shells,
names that would only ever have meaning
to you or her.
It was never going to last
always going too fast.
 
Past having a spark,
endlessly trying to relight.
Exhaust
all energy left,
find something to keep it fuelled,
to get you through the night:
caffeine,
narcotics,
late night television,
social networking sites,
talking to the ones you don't have the guts to in real life.
Real people. Reality TV.
What does it mean?
A blurred vision in which to entertain your life.
Surround yourself with
false dreams,
false hope,
fake plastic love
moulded into the form
that you want to see,
you want it to be
want it all to stop.
Go.
Any direction.
Forwards,
backwards,
mind spinning in circles,
turn it off.
Stop.

It's all a dream.
Awake,
to a new day, new life,
new home,
new car,
new wife.
Choose a diamond or pearl to cement these new found pleasures,
choose it all, self-absorbed in your own little world:
petty things,
the colour of paint on your bathroom wall.
Cream.
Chestnut.
Teal.
Another abstract way to cover up what is the simple truth.
Conspiracy everywhere;
newspaper, post office,
your local chippy, chips wrapped in ‘The Independent’
not ‘The Sun’.
Gossip,
front page
back page,
a wave of infatuation with the lives of people no better than yourself,
your image,
in the looking glass
see straight through.
This house,
this car,
this life,
it isn't you.
The radio plays through that knock off surround sound system you bought in a drunken haze,
and the cranking of your Ford Fiesta's deteriorating exhaust reminds you of her
as it pulls up on your drive.
It’s never going to happen now,
Still going to love her anyhow.

They're flying round your stomach again -
another one of those black, rainy days.
This isn't what you want,
not just another phase.
You read through 'Wilde',
'Wordsworth',
'William. Shakespeare';
Stolen tales
of life, love, loss,
lust,
loathing another man,
because he holds the pearl of your heart so dear.
They keep flying,
drumming, beating louder,
louder,
three words could change it all,
yet somehow it's your greatest fear.
Get-away.
A nice holiday to ease your mind;
Florida, Turkey,
Isle of Wight.
Another mask
to an already
covered over life.
Escape to your dreams,
anything that will get you there:
class a,
class b,
class c,
the class of '99,
the cream of the crop, you were just kids
and everyone’s heart
was just diddly dandy fine.
Move on, move out.
Wave
goodbye.
Find someone else,
grow old
in a nice little bungalow,
just the two of you,
lie in each others arms,
softly, quietly
fall to sleep.
Lame Poet Oct 2013
I hide within a shroud, but that allows me to be loud.
Within the fog of a cloud, I wring the walls, cause you to drown.

The lightning springs forth from my shadow--
The sound vibrates; you think your window's gonna shatter.

The cause of much calamity, you wonder when I'll stop;
I swallow up the ground as I push every single drop.

A blanket but relentless: I leave you defenseless.
I surround you
I surround you
I surround you
I surround you
sound you
sound you
sound you
sound you
sound
sound
sound
sound--
It compounds.

The cause of many nightmares--
Suburban children run scared;
But in the landscapes of the tribal,
I harken the arrival of a season of survival--
Postdiluvian Bible.

Ultimate roar of dominance; celestial umbra continent--
I am the nothingness you hear; the darkenss in the sneer--
I am the archetypal boast; I am the quintessential ghost--
I am the presence innate; I am your questions of fate.

I resound here
I resound here
I resound here
I resound here
sound here
sound here
sound here
sound here
sound
sound
sound
sound--
All around.

I waste my own existence to exist as a motif--
Pathetic base of happenstance, model your power and your grief.

Tenderly I wane
as the armor of the gods is torn to shreds
and the sunlight shines through
the tattered bits.
Tenderly drops drain
into the ground. You stop the tossing in your bed
your dreams imbibe what I imbued
and my voice marries the whispers of the winds.




-LP
To be connected or disconnected, it depends on what you surround yourself with.
If it's people, then do you know them, or know of them? If you know them, then do you know them socially? Or physically? And if you know them so well, do they know you in the same way and to the same degree?
If it's animals, are they creatures of the air, the water, or the land? Do they speak a similar language as you or did you create your own tongue? (Tongues are funny as they flap away with useless blabber.) And with this secret language, are bonds created that even words could never explain?
If it's walls covered in books, which ones do you gravitate to? The mysteries, the romance, the non-fiction, the science-fiction, the biographies, the literature? Does each book that you surround yourself with provide an adventure for you? And with these books, do you escape to live in their worlds? Or are you motivated to make it your world by changing your habits or hobbies?

Maybe you surround yourself with space and silence.
Enough silence to think for years.
Enough space to lay your mind, thoughts, ideas, memories, and imagination out on a giant's table and sort through every nook and cranny.
Enough space and silence for protection.
Protection against the world, the pain, the fear, the dullness of it all.
That way all you have is yourself, and that's just the way you like it.
Dead Rose One Jun 2015
Lush is the quietude
of the late Saturday afternoon,
rich are the silencing sounds,
as variegated as the shades of greens
of a man-seeded, nature-patchworked lawn

rays reveal some bright,
some yellowed spots,
all a potent color palette

resting worry wearied eyes,
untroubled by the gentle fading light's illumination,
that soon will disappear and seal officially,
another week gone by

the lawn,
acting as an ceiling acoustic tile,
absorbing and reflecting
the varied din of disharmonious
natural sounds orchestrated,
an ever present reminder
     that true quiet
is not the absence of noise

I hear
the chill in the air,
insects debating vociferously
their Saturday evening plans,
the waves broom-swishing beach debris,
pretending to be young parents
putting away the children's toys for the eve

the birds speak in Babel multitudes of tongues,
chirps, whistles, clicks and clacks,
then going strangely silent as if all were
praying collectively the afternoon sabbath service,
with an intensity of the silent devotion

this moment, i cannot
well enough communicate,
this trump of light absolutes,
and animal maybes,
that are visually and aurally
presented  in a living surround sound screen,
Dolby, of course,
all a plot of
ease and gentility,
in toto,
sweet serenity

here to cease,
no more tinkering,
leave well enough,
plenty well enough
for Sally and Rebecca, who love the lushness best....

JUNE 2015
Visionary2020 Oct 2014
Everything comes back to your hometown
You go to college looking for a fresh start
But you know everything about you still gets around
In college who do you go to first, your high school friends
Go to college in the same state
And nothing ever ends
You stay where you are comfortable
Because in an environment with strangers you look for the familiar faces
Seeing a piece of home in crowd places
A sense of relief over flows
You don't need to stress to impress them
They have seen you at your low
Unlike these strangers that surround you
Soon enough you'll feel like you're living in a zoo
And the first person you will turn to will be from your hometown
The last person you'll end up with will be from your hometown
The person you will be with forever will be from your hometown
Brianna Ki Apr 2014
Mirror, mirror on this wall, I’ll remember you as you fall.

In slow motion you crumble, you stood so strong.
Keeping all records of their wrongs, but why?
Your burden was what you reflected, what you surround.
You fell in the open, but no one heard a sound.

Discouraged and misplaced, you shattered
All of your pieces scattered.

Broke apart to create a work of art
Written Sept. 25th 2013
Cyril Blythe Sep 2012
I followed him down the trail until we got to the mouth of the mines. The life and energy of the surrounding maples and birches seemed to come to a still and then die as we walked closer, closer. The air was cold and dark and damp and smelt of mold and moths. Delvos stepped into the darkness anyways.
“Well, girl, you coming or aren’t you?”
I could see his yellowed tobacco teeth form into a slimy smile as I stepped out of the sun. It was still inside. The canary chirped.
“This tunnel is just the mouth to over two hundred others exactly like it. Stay close. Last thing I need this month is National Geographic on my *** for losing one of their puppet girls.”
“Delvos, ****. I have two masters degrees.” He rolled his eyes.
“Spare me.” He trotted off around the corner to the left, whistling.
“I survived alone in the jungles of Bolivia alone for two months chasing an Azara’s Spinetail. I climbed the tallest mountain in Nepal shooting Satyr Tragopans along the cliff faces. In Peru I…” Suddenly I felt the weight of the darkness. In my blinding anger I lost track of his lantern. I stopped, my heartbeat picked up, and I tried to remind myself of what I did in Peru.
I followed a Diurnal Peruvian Pygmy-Owl across the gravel tops of the Andes Mountains, no light but the Southern Cross and waning moon above. I am not scared of darkness. I am not scared of darkness.
I stopped to listen. Somewhere in front of me the canary chirped.

When I first got the job in Vermont I couldn’t have been more frustrated. Mining canaries? Never had I ever ‘chased’ a more mundane bird. Nonetheless, when Jack Reynolds sends you on a shoot you don’t say no, so I packed up my camera bag and hoped on the next plane out of Washington.
“His name is John Delvos.” Jack said. He handed me the manila case envelope. “He’s lived in rural Vermont his entire life. Apparently his family bred the canaries for the miners of the Sheldon Quarry since the early twenties. When the accident happened the whole town basically shut down. There were no canaries in the mines the day the gas killed the miners. His mother died in a fire of some sort shortly after. The town blamed the Delvos family and ran them into the woods. His father built a cabin and once his father died, Delvos continued to breed the birds. He ships them to other mining towns across the country now. We want to run a piece about the inhumanity of breeding animals to die so humans won’t.” I stood in silence in front of his deep mahogany desk, suddenly aware of the lack of make-up on my face. He smiled, “You’re leaving on Tuesday.”
“Yes sir.”
“Don’t look so smug, Lila. This may not be the most exotic bird you’ve shot but the humanity of this piece has the potential to be a cover story. Get the shots, write the story.”

“Do you understand the darkness now, Ms. Rivers? Your prestigious masters degrees don’t mean **** down here.” Delvos reappeared behind the crack of his match in a side tunnel not twenty yards in front of me. He relit the oily lantern and turned his back without another word. I reluctantly followed deeper into the damp darkness.
“Why were there no canaries in the mine on, you know, that day?” The shadows of the lantern flickered against the iron canary cage chained on his hip and the yellow bird hopped inside.
“I was nine, Ms. Rivers. I didn’t understand much at the time.” We turned right into the next tunnel and our shoes crunched on jagged stones. All the stones were black.
“But surely you understand now?”
The canary chirped.

When I first got to Sheldon and began asking about the location of the Delvos’ cabin you would have thought I was asking where the first gate to hell was located. Mothers would smile and say, “Sorry, Miss, I can’t say,” and hurriedly flock their children in the opposite direction. After two hours of polite refusals I gave up. I spent the rest of the first day photographing the town square. It was quaint; old stone barbershops surrounded by oaks and black squirrels, a western themed whiskey bar, and a few greasy spoon restaurants interspersed in-between. I booked a room in the Walking Horse Motel for Wednesday night, determined to get a good nights sleep and defeat this towns fear of John Delvos tomorrow.
My room was a tiny one bed square with no TV. Surprise, surprise. At least I had my camera and computer to entertain myself. I reached into the side of my camera bag and pulled out my Turkish Golds and Macaw-beak yellow BIC. I stepped out onto the dirt in front of my door and lit up. I looked up and the stars stole all the oxygen surrounding me. They were dancing and smiling above me and I forgot Delvos, Jack, and all of Sheldon except it’s sky. Puffing away, I stepped farther and farther from my door and deeper into the darkness of night. The father into the darkness the more dizzying the stars dancing became.
“Ma’am? Everything okay?”
Startled, I dropped my cigarette on the ground and the ember fell off.
“I’m sorry, sir. I was just, um, the stars…” I snuffed out the orange glow in the dirt with my boot and extended my hand, “Lila Waters, and you are?”
“Ian Benet. I haven’t seen you around here before, Ms. Waters, are you new to town?”
“I’m here for work. I’m a bird photographer and journalist for National Geographic. I’m looking for John Delvos but I’m starting to think he’s going to be harder to track than a Magpie Robin.”
The stars tiptoed in their tiny circles above in the silence. Then, they disappeared with a spark as Ian lit up his wooden pipe. It was a light colored wood, stained with rich brown tobacco and ash. He passed me his matches, smiling.
“What do you want with that old *******? Don’t tell me National Geographic is interested in the Delvos canaries.”
I lit up another stick and took a drag. “Shocking, right?”
“Actually, it’s about time their story is told.” Benet walked to the wooden bench to our left and patted the seat beside him. I walked over. “The Delvos canaries saved hundreds of Sheldonian lives over the years. But the day a crew went into the mines without one, my father came out of the ground as cold as when we put him back into it in his coffin.”
I sat in silence, unsure what to say. “Mr. Benet, I’m so sorry…”
“Please, just Ian. My father was the last Mr. Benet.”
We sat on the wooden bench, heat leaving our bodies to warm the dead wood beneath our legs. I shivered; the stars dance suddenly colder and more violent.
“Delvos canaries are martyrs, Ms. Waters. This whole town indebted to those tiny yellow birds, but nobody cares to remember that anymore.”
“Can you tell me where I can find Mr. Delvos and his, erm, martyrs?” The ember of my second cigarette was close to my pinching fingertips.
“Follow me.” Ian stood up and walked to the edge of the woods in front of us. We crunched the cold dust beneath our feet, making me aware of how silent it was. Ian stopped at a large elm and pointed, “See that yellow notch?” Sure enough, there was a notch cut and dyed yellow at his finger’s end. “If you follow true north from this tree into the woods you’ll find this notch about every fifty yards or so. Follow the yellow and it’ll spit you out onto the Delvos property.”
“Thank you, Ian. I really can’t begin to tell you how thankful I am to find out where to find this elusive Mr. Delvos and his canaries.”
“You don’t have to,” he knocked the ash out of his pipe against the tree, “Just do those birds justice in your article. Remember, martyrs. Tell old Delvos Ian Benet sends his regards.” He turned and walked back to the motel and I stood and watched in silence. It was then I realized I hadn’t heard a single bird since I got to Sheldon. The stars dance was manic above me as I walked back to my room and shut the door.

The canary chirped and Delvos stopped.
“This is a good place to break out fast. Sit.”
I sat obediently, squirming around until the rocks formed a more comfortable nest around my bony hips. We left for the mines as the stars were fading in the vermillion Vermont sky this morning and had been walking for what seemed like an eternity. I was definitely ready to eat. He handed me a gallon Ziploc bag from his backpack filled with raisins, nuts, various dried fruits, and a stiff piece of bread. I attacked the food like a raven.
“I was the reason no canaries entered the mines that day, Ms. Waters.” Delvos broke a piece of his bread off and wrapped it around a dried piece of apricot, or maybe apple. I was suddenly aware of my every motion and swallowed, loudly. I crinkled into my Ziploc and crunched on the pecans I dug out, waiting.
“Aren’t you going to ask why?”
“I’m not a parrot, Mr. Delvos, I don’t answer expectedly on command. You’ll tell me if you want.” I hurriedly stuffed a fistful of dried pears into my mouth.
Delvos chuckled and my nerves eased, “You’ve got steel in you, Ms. Rivers, I’ll give you that much.”
I nodded and continued cramming pears in my mouth.
“I was only nine. The canaries were my pets, all of them. I hated when Dad would send them into the mines to die for men I couldn’t give two ***** about. It was my birthday and I asked for an afternoon of freedom with my pets and Dad obliged. I was in the aviary with pocketfuls of sunflower-seeds. Whenever I threw a handful into the air above me, the air came to life with flickering yellow brushes and songs of joy. It was the happiest I have ever been, wholly surrounded and protected by my friends. Around twelve thirty that afternoon the Sheriff pulled up, lights ablaze. The blue and red lights stilled my yellow sky to green again and that’s when I heard the shouting. He cuffed my Dad on the hood of the car and Mom was crying and pushing her fists into the sheriff’s chest. I didn’t understand at all. The Sheriff ended up putting Mom in the car too and they all left me in the aviary. I sat there until around four that afternoon before they sent anyone to come get me.”
Delvos took a small bite of his bread and chewed a moment. “No matter how many handfuls of seeds I threw in the air after that, the birds wouldn’t stir. They wouldn’t even sing. I think they knew what was happening.”
I was at a loss for words so of course I blurted, “I didn’t see an aviary at your house…”
Delvos laughed. “Someone burnt down the house I was raised in the next week while we were sleeping. Mom died that night. The whole dark was burning with screams and my yellow canaries were orange and hot against the black sky. That’s the only night I’ve seen black canaries and the only night I’ve heard them scream.”
I swallowed some mixed nuts and they rubbed against my dry throat.
“They never caught the person. A week later Dad took the remainder of the birds and we marched into the woods. We worked for months clearing the land and rebuilding our lives. We spent most of the time in silence, except for the canary cries. When the house was finally built and the birds little coops were as well, Dad finally talked. The only thing he could say was ‘Canaries are not the same as a Phoenix, John. Not the same at all.”
The canary chirped, still only visible by the lanterns flame. Not fully yellow, I realized, here in the mines, but not fully orange either.

When I first walked onto John Delvos’ property on Thursday morning he was scattering feed into the bird coops in the front of his cabin. Everything was made of wood and still wet with the morning’s dew.
“Mr. Delvos?” He spun around, startled, and walked up to me a little too fast.
“Why are you here? Who are you?”
“My name is Lila Waters, sir, I am a photographer and journalist for National Geographic Magazine and we are going to run an article on your canaries.”
“Not interested”
“Please, sir, can I ask you just a few quick questions as take a couple pictures of your, erm, martyrs?”
His eyes narrowed and he walked up to me, studying my face with an intense, glowering gaze. He spit a mouthful of dip onto the ground without breaking eye contact. I shifted my camera bag’s weight to the other shoulder.
“Who told you to call them that?”
“I met Ian Benet last night, he told me how important your birds are to this community, sir. He sends his regards.”
Delvos laughed and motioned for me to follow as he turned his back. “You can take pictures but I have to approve which ones you publish. That’s my rule.”
“Sir, it’s really not up to me, you see, my boss, Jack Reynolds, is one of the CEO’s for the magazine and he...”
“Those are my rules, Ms. Waters.” He turned and picked back up the bucket of seed and began to walk back to the birds. “You want to interview me then we do it in the mine. Be back here at four thirty in the morning.”
“Sir…?”
“Get some sleep, Ms. Waters. You’ll want to be rested for the mine.” He turned, walked up his wooden stairs, and closed the door to his cabin.
I was left alone in the woods and spent the next hour snapping pictures of the little, yellow canaries in their cages. I took a couple pictures of his house and the surrounding trees, packed up my camera and trekked back to my motel.

“You finished yet?” Delvos stood up and the memory of his green and brown wooded homestead fled from my memory as the mine again consumed my consciousness. Dark, quiet, and stagnant. I closed the Ziploc and stuffed the bag, mainly filled with the raisins I sifted through, into my pocket.
Delvos grunted and the canary flapped in its cage as he stood again and, swinging the lantern, rounded another corner. The path we were on began to take a noticeable ***** downward and the moisture on the walls and air multiplied.
The canary chirped.
The lantern flickered against the moist, black stones, sleek and piled in the corners we past. The path stopped ahead at a wall of solid black and brown Earth.
The canary chirped twice.
It smelt of clay and mildew and Delvos said, “Go on, touch it.”
I reached my hand out, camera uselessly hanging like a bat over my shoulder. The rock was cold and hard. It felt dead.
The Canary was flitting its wings in the cage now, chirping every few seconds.
“This is the last tunnel they were digging when the gas under our feet broke free from hell and killed those men.”
Delvos hoisted the lantern above our heads, illuminating the surrounding gloom. All was completely still and even my own vapor seemed to fall out of my mouth and simply die. The canary was dancing a frantic jig, now, similar to the mating dance of the Great Frigate Bird I shot in the Amazon jungle. As I watched the canary and listened to its small wings beat against the cold metal cage I begin to feel dizzy. The bird’s cries had transformed into a scream colder than fire and somehow more fierce.
The ability to fly is what always made me jealous of birds as a child, but as my temple throbbed and the canary danced I realized I was amiss. Screaming, yellow feathers whipped and the entire inside of the cage was instantaneously filled. It was beautiful until the very end. Dizzying, really.
Defeated, the canary sank to the floor, one beaten wing hanging out of the iron bars at a most unnatural angle. Its claws were opening and closing, grasping the tainted cave air, or, perhaps, trying to push it away. Delvos unclipped the cage and sat it on the floor in the space between us, lantern still held swaying above his head. The bird was aflame now, the silent red blood absorbing into the apologetic, yellow feathers. Orange, a living fire. I pulled out my camera as I sat on the ground beside the cage. I took a few shots, the camera’s clicks louder than the feeble chirps sounding out of the canary’s tattered, yellow beak. My head was spinning. Its coal-black eyes reflected the lantern’s flame above. I could see its tiny, red tongue in the bottom of its mouth.
Opening.
Closing.
Opening, wider, too wide, then,
Silence.


I felt dizzy. I remember feeling the darkness surround me; it felt warm.

“I vaguely remember Delvos helping me to my feet, but leaving the mine was a complete haze.” I told the panel back in D.C., “It wasn’t until we had crossed the stream on the way back to the cabin that I began to feel myself again. Even then, I felt like I was living a dream. When we got back to the cabin the sight of the lively yellow canaries in their coops made me cry. Delvos brought me a bottle of water and told me I needed to hit the trail because the sun set early in the winter, so I le
Eric W Dec 2017
I wouldn't even recognize you,
nor you I.
How we have changed and grown,
how the years and loves
have formed us.
How the trials have toughened
or beaten us.

I hope you are well.

I hope that the world has not
stricken the love from you,
and that the lives which
surround you and which you surround
still smile upon your kind soul.

I hope you have not been beaten too much.

I hope you have faced down more trials
than have faced down you,
and that the things which you have conquered
have been strengthening instead of
diminishing to your spirit.

Of all hopes, I hope that you still
find a reason to smile
every day.
When the end of eternity arrives, you shall be by my side awaiting the dawn.
The Sun rises bringing newfound hope to the denizens of a light and airy realm,
Our spirits reanimate, rejuvenate, resurrect; intercept weariness of heart.
Doves above the high plains carry our love across the infinite sea of the Universe.

Stars and twinkling celestial bodies swirl around the center of all creation.
Pianos, my threnody has become a source of lament and bemoaning but in time a love song will revitalize a deadened soul with a deprivation of cosmic oxygen.
I want you to breathe newfound air into my nostrils, fill me to the brim with your breath of life, toxicity to the bones.
Being able to stand in your midst will be an impossibility.

My knees will give out and as I fall to ground you will tightly grasp my hand and pull my body into yours.
“Amplify my heartbeat with the sound waves of your voice.”
“Ensconce within the warmth of my body, feel the heat rise when we begin to caress each other softly.”
My blood becomes frigid smoke when I’m in your midst.

Nothing but cold heat courses through my body.
I’m frozen, stuck in a cube of time and space where you and I reside in comfort and abysmal enamorment.
-Ardent passion-
This is where my heat lies.

The inferno that burns beneath my wary skin is a tempest of sequestered affection.
“I’m afraid to be touched.”
You are the element of freedom.
You are the most sought after and desired material in all creation.

The materialistic nature of this world has accosted me with a cannonade of ****** bullets, pleasing in a forbidden way…
Gazing upon you with my eyes is a sin.
A transgression.
But the platinum heart in your possession is my desire.

Daffodils and roses surround us in a floral sphere; a yellow tinged bubble..
We transcend gravity and float above the ground.
-Fragrance-
An aromatic barrage of iridescent fumes intoxicates us as we rise past the stratosphere, mesosphere, troposphere, and conscious- sphere.

Being with you is a higher plane of existence where your every breath is vital to my survival.
Magic courses through my veins when I hold your arms around me.
Aqueous bombs descend from my eyelashes when you depart.
A deluge of tears has accosted me.

My body contorts and I crawl into a corner; this is my cloister of trials.

Those seemingly eternal eons during which I endure the withdrawal symptoms of your narcotic love…
Maybe you’re a hallucinogenic?
Lying on the cold and sobering concrete floor beneath me, I **** my thumbs in the fetal position.
I’m an infant after you vanish in the thick and noxious puff of smoke that lingers long after you are gone.

You are a master of the arcane.
You are nothing short of extraordinary.
Even when you disappear it is nothing short of awe-inspiring.
I feel the love spells from your tome of seduction blast my fragile spirit till’ I begin to lose my sight.

I clench my forehead with the back of my skull pressed against, being caressed by these sanguine reds walls that seem to cave in.
I can’t hold my head up any longer.
I lie in darkness as chaos consumes my soul.
The murky and dank ambushes me from the corners of an unknown dimension.

I’ve slipped into an unknown land.
A myriad of ravens with ebony wings surround me until I am no longer visible to another human soul.
They latch onto my skin, grapple onto my thighs, weigh me down with despair and push me six feet under.
When all is dim and lost?

I realize this is figment of the imagination, a fabrication…
I realize this is all a dream.
A dream of what could be.
A dream of a narcotic love.

I have yet to jostle that unknown creature who lurks at the threshold of the limitless skies.
When I reach the stars in my spaceship of galactic love then I will find you.
Obscurity runs amuck in the dimension that I now reside in.
Dark clouds loom above the skies…

The sun is nowhere in sight.
A storm is brewing as lightning begins to crash.
In those brief seconds of illumination I am bombarded with visions of your face.
The complexion of your skin, the feel of your flesh beneath my fingertips.

I hope that your touch will unbind me, loose me from the disillusionment that I’ve been threatened by all my life.
I beseech the heavens to shackle me with iridescent chains to the stars so that gravity will never pull me away from my dreams.
I will hang above the terrene never plummeting down the sea of the skies, never being incinerated by the blaze of freefalling down the atmosphere.
You will be my reward.

That glowing gift box with a celestial wrapping.
A diadem with the most extravagant gems and diamonds shall be waiting for me beneath the cosmic plastic wrapping and the golden ivory box that surround this gift.
When I open it, this crown shall begin to levitate and a human silhouette made of light shall begin to transfigure itself from naught beneath it.
Skin will slowly attach to your luminescent body.

Your metacarpals and phalanges will appear.
Your ribcage will expand and a platinum heart will begin beating within it’s confines.
-The heart that I’ve always wished for-
I will finally be able to gaze upon your face.

I will hold onto and never let you go.
We will grow old together and when we near the end of our lifetime, we shall become nebular gases.
We will then become one with the Universe.
The remnants of our love will last everlastingly even after the spark of passion is long gone, when our corporeal vessels no longer exist in a physical form.

“I don’t…I have nothing else to say but that I will be waiting.”
“I will wait for you to materialize in my midst.”
“My heart ails for you but my malady will dissipate once you arrive.”
“Every heartbeat leads you and I one step closer to one another.”

“You will be my remedy, my panacea of love.”
“I love you but I don’t even know who you are!”
“The reason why is unknown to me.”
“I will be waiting darling.”

“I will be waiting for your earth-shattering kiss.”
When the ground beneath us begins to crumble, we shall plummet beneath the lithosphere and asthenosphere till’ we reach the core of the planet.
We shall become the inferno beneath the ground.
Our passion will burn so brightly, so fervently, that an eruption will take place above the surface of the ground.

The world will know that when we make love, the air will be ignited.
Our passion shall heat up the Universe.
You will be in my Universe  and you will be my Universe…
Maybe then?

-I’ll become yours-

To my Future Lover, to my moon, sun, and stars, to my Universe,
By, Iridescently Efflorescent
Camila Feb 2014
I cut my hair,
the tips that you liked curlying around your fingers while you sang are now gone.
I painted it with sunshine rays,
To surround me with all the light I've been needing since the last time I got blinded by yours.
And that flock of hair that was shorter from that time I accidentally burned it trying to light you a cigarrette, the one that made me smile with its stubborness to stay still, the one that reminded me of our first night, it has growned.
RM
Lani Foronda Sep 2014
I want to surround myself with photographs at my feet.
I want to explore and have adventures with my camera in hand.
I want to get up early in the morning to see the sun rise and see drops of dew on the grass.
I want to walk around at night and see the city lights shine.
I want to count the stars as I lie down on a field of grass and play Us Against the World.
I want to write in a leather notebook all my thoughts.
I want to have a bonfire and watch all my memories burn in the flames.
I want to curl up on the couch and read as the sun warms my skin.
I want to sleep at 2 am and wake up to the birds chirping outside my window.
I want to remind myself of why I fell in love with photography and writing.
I want to go back to makes me me.
May 22, 2012
Staff Sgt. Joseph D'Augustine
a proud Jersey son
whom Thou hast blessed
laid in St. Luke’s ground
for his heavenly rest
April 4, 2012

1.

in a far off province of
God forsaken Helmand,
our dear son Joey
met his untimely end

an explosive crack
a most terrible sound
felled a beloved Jersey son
to the cold cruel ground

working the live wires
of a well placed IED
a deathly burst killed him
it was awful to see  

Staff Sgt. Joseph D’Augustine
in solemn duty fell
fellow brothers in arms
will forever reverently tell

of courage and character
of a dear fallen friend
and how the valiant warrior
met with death at his end

for he was always faithful
to his beloved corps
comrades couldn't ask
a valiant marine for more


2.

details of his death
are not the real story
selflessness and bravery
are but part of his glory

is it brash to
question why he fell?
in a useless bitter war
an embroiled senseless hell

a generation mustered
to fight in the war on terror
serving four tours of duty
in a lost decade of errors

two tours in Afghanistan and Iraq
could a nation ask a man for more?
for he was always faithful to the call
upholding pledges he hath sworn

3.

the burden of war
to a  few confined
it rarely crosses
an American’s mind

incessant war machine
drones on apace
the horror of conflict
so cleverly displaced

with afternoon baseball
and super bowl parties
big disco paychecks
and other selfish priorities

pay hollow tribute
to dear weary troops
when valor is mentioned
we gather in groups

we’ll raise the flag
sing stirring anthems
than its back to the party
pay it no more attention

self styled patriots
wave handfuls of flags
but ask them to contribute
the zeal soon lags

its left to the few
to shoulder burdens of many
fairness is lost
its a democratic calamity

four tours in a decade
an inhumane task
burdens require sharing
its only fair to ask

Joey was always faithful
to the task at hand
willing to step forward
to serve his homeland


4.

in the wake of 9/11
a nation deeply shaken
young patriots stirred
liberty’s call not forsaken

a call to serve answered
to quell the rise of terror
a clear clarion alarm
marks the nature of the era

Joey boldly came forward
to train and learn
the art of warriors
his bright patriotism burned

deployed to Afghanistan
to capture Osama
routing the Taliban
without much problem

but a pacified Afghan
not enough for Bush
he invaded Iraq
another military push

we rolled into Baghdad
adorned with victors garlands
Saddam’s statue toppled
our troops were honored

deposing a dictators
soon turned to occupation
a ****** mission transformed
to build the Iraqi and Afghan nations

once honored liberators
now a conquering force
bestriding broken nations
on a civil war course

military industrialists
stood to profit most
sweet protracted conflict
record earnings to boast

lives bartered for lucre
a region held hostage
the conflict deepened
hostilities hardened

America dipped into
a great recession
the war machine
bled money and
kept on ticking

scooping up contracts
rewarding investors
the dividends of war
heaven sent treasure

continuation of hostilities
preys on a nation's youth
as casualties mount
ill portents forsoothed

a fraction of citizens
bare heartaches of war
gulping measures of despair
to guard a nations door

a nation always faithful
to the holy pursuit of profit
a highest citizens calling
put money into your pocket


5.

our beloved Jersey son
gave a full measure of devotion
in dress blues they shipped him
back across the ocean

on the Dover tarmac
they received his remains
for a last ride northward
to his hometown terrain

repatriated body
bereft of soul saluted
solemn escort knelt
hearts trembled, tears muted

a hearse for a gallant man
flanked by state troop cruisers
to escort the funeral train
assure an honored movement

one last trip up
old thunder road
the storied highway
Joey often trod

the last detail legged up 17
reverent firefighters saluted  
from overpasses
to honor  the woeful scene

as the motorcade passed
the Garden State Malls
frenzied consumers
failed to notice at all

busy window shoppers
didn't to turn an eye
as Joey rolled home
to the sweet by and by

vets interred at the
Old Paramus Church
gently stirred in their graves
reasons for war they search

Channel 12 Chopper
circled its eye in the sky
televised the sad parade
captured many teary eyes

the early spring blooms
colorful petals displayed
maples and forsythias
a royal carpet laid

spring remains always faithful
as the new season turns
offer sunshine and glory
as our sinking hearts burn

6.

motorcycle escort
northbound lane clear
rolling homeward
Waldwick was near

leaves exploding
green shoots budding
****** white maple blooms
natures accolades stunning

the oaks yet bare
just waking from slumber
winters death passing
a sad day put asunder

the motorcade passed
Joey’s home on Prospect Ave
few  envision lifes endings
this woefully sad

red chevy pickup idles
in hoop crowned driveway
never to drain jumpers again
departed children can’t play

the eye in the sky
framed neighbors in mourning
welcoming back a fallen hero
unsettled emotions dawning

neighbors waved Old Glory
from painted stoops and curbs
unsure how this tragedy
visits this blessed suburb

green grass of home
always flush with spirit
tears welled in the eyes
most difficult to bear it

last cruise of the town
sad neighbors stand witness
paying final due respects
and ponder from a distance

what purpose is served
by this man’s passing?
the dead cannot speak
rationale is for the living

the terrible herse
death circles our town
moves through our day
hope of spring drowned

murderer of sunshine
killer of young flowers
budding trees breaking
our hearts an ashen pallor

we remember the beauty
of Joey’s stout face
as it looked on your finest day
exuding pure honor and grace

old vets gather
donning caps and pins
boasting semper fi jackets
jutting tear dripping chins

shaking hands, giving hugs
bearing tattered banners
the hearse ambles onward
we head home in solemn manner

good folks are always faithful
where beloved ones grew
the death of our children
we sadly cannot undo


7.

the bells of St. Lukes
called out from the sky
platoons of limping vets
marched in with pride

pomp and circumstance
requisite dress blues
family, friends, townsfolk
overflowed the pews

doleful bells resound
tolling a mournful reckon
the cost of war mounts
a family’s loss beckons

the casualties of war
falls upon a nation's youth
a seasons page not  turned
a flowing wound not soothed

the wistful cornet calling
floats on the fluted air
the bereaved ***** gently sounds
a congregations somber despair

an unsettling dirge
the parish grows uneasy
nationalist bravado wanes
in the forlorn sanctuary

both church and flag
draped in colors of war
mock stain glass windows
communicants adore

is it a betrayal of the flag
to offer enemies
psalms of reconciliation?
where does true loyalty lay
with God or a warring nation?

afterall this is a sanctuary
where peace and harmony reigns
are we not called to beat swords
into ploughshares as the highest
calling of our Lord?

we are always faithful
to the pathways to war
when the practice of peace
is what we should adore

8.

coughing and whispers
incessant low murmur
a baby cries out
we sit and remember

the crucifers process
in solemnity to greet
subtle ***** notes salute
a coffin draped in Old Glory sheets

the beloved child welcomed
to his eternal repose
priests splash holy water
within the sacred dome

an amazing grace revealed
lifted by marine pallbearers
dearly departed body presented
gently placed at the altar

a grief struck sister
lovingly eulogizes
recalls tonka trucks,
GI Joe’s and cool transformers

a punch in the nose
an approaching wedding
beckoning Eastertide
vacation plans left begging

my second grade class sent
Christmas cookies and cards
to dear Joey and warrior friends
he said it warmed stark winter hearts

he was raised in this church
taught trust and reconciliation
the comfort of the Lords peace
may it surely go with him

for he was always faithful
to sisters, family and faith
his resurrection service
imbues sacredness
to this space

9.

sharp in dress blues
Eddie T USMC Gunny
big 50 caliber smile
offers his eulogy

Bada Bing Jersey Humvee
we called him Joey Calzones
good mood, loved sausages
he tickled the funny bone

always willing to sacrifice
loved the Patriots Tom Brady
a women dominated household
gave him a way with the ladies

his calling explosive ordinances
he said he was livin the dream
March 6th last time we met
knocking frost off cold ones
man whatta scream

a gallant marine,
beloved brother,
a sure friend
he was always faithful
I’m deeply wounded
by his untimely end


10.

the gospel read
the homily offered
Ecclesiastes wisdom
a time for everything
proffered

God never turns
an eye from the beloved
though seasons change
we are not forsaken
never unloved

as loss arrives
surely grief grows
turn away not
wisdom knows

in resignation
love lay dead
diligent intention
banishes dread

our rekindled hope
we rend and sow
our beloved Joey
knew this was so

our favorite son’s
example taught us
now rises on eagle’s wings
to claim his divine justice

Jesus faithfully tramped
the path to an awful death
Joey too fought the good fight
a warrior now gratefully at rest

The Lord holds him close
to the ***** of sure love
a cantors beatific voice incants
Joey’s spirit that forever enchants

The Lord is always faithful
to the bereaved and  beloved
no one ever forsaken
all unconditionally loved

11.

the Holy Eucharistic cup
affirms everlasting giving
tasted to nourish evermore
a libation for the living

singing the Beatitudes
praising peace makers
mercy filled voice and song  
pallbearers lift Joey’s coffin

off to seek his final peace
an earthly occupation ended
he’ll suffer worldly hate no more
down the aisle his coffin wended

the family closely followed
a mother haltingly sobbing
faithful marines came forth
to steady her wobbling

there is no sudden waking
from this terrible dream
the pungent incense rose
to the chapels sacred beams

the stained glass murals depict
the passion of Jesus’s story
illuming a consuming sorrow
in all its grace filled glory

the ***** of death slinks on again
we search for consolation
the recompense of honor blest
leaves a hollow heart wanting
no answers offered to quell the dark
of these terrible life’s moments
only the desperate need to hold onto
beleaguered treasure that sustains us

for we are always faithful
to the things we know
always faithful to the
things we refuse to let go

12.

the color guard and funeral detail
assembled in front of St. Luke’s
the cemetery right next door
the procession a short troop

the living will stumble through
the darkness of separation
seeking elusive answers
of poignant uncertainty;
all gave some, Joey gave all
nothing more required for his
journey through eternity

Joey will always be with us
his stories forever retold
as long as the machinery of
great nations engage
the gears of wasteful war

Joey’s spirit lives
in a peoples desire
for freedom, only if
our hope of peace
is greater than the
need for conflict

Joey’s lifes work
is sure to bear fruit
if those remaining
fight the good fight
by taking up the
task to protect and
expand the values
of liberty we
hold most dear

like our good
friend Jesus
Joey wears a crown
bejeweled with
a ring of thorns
hoisted on a
terrible cross
the sweet
incense of you
meets our nose
we inhale your
earthly presence
beholding beautifully
adorned crucifix,
a reminder of
unjust persecution
and a perfect
resurrection
yet this wretched
coffin remains

pledging allegiance
we rationalize our
stories, articulating
our small parts
in  heroic sagas,
reciting myths of
ourselves, recording
the grim history of
a young marine
surrounded by
a smart color guard,
feasting on todays
eucharist, this
days sweet taste
of  the daily bread
of human sorrow

The priest finishes
his graveside
commendation
of Joey D

Taps conclude
a wind rises
crows take flight
winging over
a stand of budding
Sugar Maples
exploding in white
blooms, reveling
in the glorious
sunshine of this
magnificent day

St. Luke’s stairway to
God Country and Home
smiling portrait of you
forever young

we surround your grave
to bless the earth
you've returned home
to your place of birth

our flowing pride
and salty tears bless
the anointed ground
that you loved best

a proud Jersey son
whom Thou hast blest
laid in St. Luke’s ground
for his heavenly rest

for he was always faithful
to the blessed land
forever at peace
in the soils sure hands

Charles Ives
The Unanswered Question

Oakland
11/10/13
jbm
Echoes from within-
The constant ripples of these calming echoes have become my own kind of serenity.
I feel as if I am walking under water, the angel of death has struck me with his intoxicating arrow.
When these unknown echoes bounce off the invisible walls that surround me I am able to stop time.
I move to the rhythm of this darkness, sway to the tempo of the echoes that have invaded me for so long. Hell this isn’t a cold war no more. .  I reminisce over the day I made my choice. The day I was saved by these unknown echoes, the day I received this freedom that has me enslaved.

As I walked down the aisle, my shadow comforts me. I look back and smile. At least someone stayed behind.
I stood at the altar, my bare feet adorning the cold floor. Taking in all of what I deserved, nothing.
I stood at the cold altar, looking death in the face as I said my vows; I pledged my life, confessed my eternal love.  As I engraved death’s name across my chest, my empty hallow chest.

My long walk to freedom is an infinite road, a deadly labyrinth that has me going in circles.
These cold metals hold me in my right place, like gravity they hold me down, down where I belong.
As these chains cut deep into my skin, I feel a bit of relief. I still appreciate the pain that never left me.
I am filled with gratitude as this sharp razor blade embraces my flawless skin, as I receive the only love I’ve ever known.
This is the kind of love that fills me with uttermost joy, love that life could not give me.
As this sharp blade carves into my pale skin I drift into my happy place, my safe place.
The clinking sound of the cold metals sinking into my skin sends me on a rampage inside this comforting cage. If I don’t have these echoes I have nothing!

As the spotlight focuses on me, I can’t help but disappear into the background.
I am dead beat from chasing these shadows that deprecate me into nothing.
I see my pain bouncing off these walls like relentless echoes that end up in this empty space.
As this red liquid drips and dances to the rhythm of my empty beating chest I curse the darkness that gave birth to me.
This deep dark dripping liquid, matches the pulse of these echoes that surround me, these unknown echoes.
As I stand on top of this mountain that amounts to the sins against me: cases against my innocent tainted blood I can’t help but scream. I question the shadows that surround me I summon the death that gave birth to me, but what I hear are echoes of my own voice.

As this deep dark red liquid drips from my wrist I feel at ease. I feel as though I have paid the universe. I hope to lose myself in time, in space like the resonance that suffocates me.
I hope that this deep dark red pool that I lay in will help me float into the sunset. Award me the freedom I long begged for. I am tired of chipping bits of my dark soul in order to fit the picture, tired of the weight of the world on my shoulders, tired of chasing the fast spotlight. What I have, what I own, what I know are these echoes from within me, echoes unknown.
Black loom the crags of the uplands behind me,
Dark are the sands of the far-stretching shore.
Dim are the pathways and rocks that remind me
Sadly of years in the lost Nevermore.

Soft laps the ocean on wave-polish'd boulder,
Sweet is the sound and familiar to me;
Here, with her head gently bent to my shoulder,
Walk'd I with Unda, the Bride of the Sea.

Bright was the morn of my youth when I met her,
Sweet as the breeze that blew o'er the brine.
Swift was I captur'd in Love's strongest fetter,
Glad to be here, and she glad to be mine.

Never a question ask'd I where she wander'd,
Never a question ask'd she of my birth:
Happy as children, we thought not nor ponder'd,
Glad of the bounty of ocean and earth.

Once when the moonlight play'd soft 'mid the billows,
High on the cliff o'er the waters we stood,
Bound was her hair with a garland of willows,
Pluck'd by the fount in the bird-haunted wood.

Strangely she gaz'd on the surges beneath her,
Charm'd with the sound or entranc'd by the light:
Then did the waves a wild aspect bequeath her,
Stern as the ocean and weird as the night.

Coldly she left me, astonish'd and weeping,
Standing alone 'mid the legions she bless'd:
Down, ever downward, half gliding, half creeping,
Stole the sweet Unda in oceanward quest.

Calm grew the sea, and tumultuous beating
Turn'd to a ripple as Unda the fair
Trod the wet sands in affectionate greeting,
Beckon'd to me, and no longer was there!

Long did I pace by the banks where she vanish'd,
High climb'd the moon and descended again.
Grey broke the dawn till the sad night was banish'd,
Still ach'd my soul with its infinite pain.

All the wide world have I search'd for my darling;
Scour'd the far desert and sail'd distant seas.
Once on the wave while the tempest was snarling,
Flash'd a fair face that brought quiet and ease.

Ever in restlessness onward I stumble
Seeking and pining scarce heeding my way.
Now have I stray'd where the wide waters rumble,
Back to the scene of the lost yesterday.

Lo! the red moon from the ocean's low hazes
Rises in ominous grandeur to view;
Strange is its face as my tortur'd eye gazes
O'er the vast reaches of sparkle and blue.

Straight from the moon to the shore where I'm sighing
Grows a bright bridge made of wavelets and beams.
Frail it may be, yet how simple the trying,
Wand'ring from earth to the orb of sweet dreams.

What is yon face in the moonlight appearing;
Have I at last found the maiden that fled?
Out on the beam-bridge my footsteps are nearing
Her whose sweet beckoning hastens my tread.

Current's surround me, and drowsily swaying,
Far on the moon-path I seek the sweet face.
Eagerly, hasting, half panting, half praying,
Forward I reach for the vision of grace.

Murmuring waters about me are closing,
Soft the sweet vision advances to me.
Done are my trials; my heart is reposing
Safe with my Unda, the Bride of the Sea.
Alex Apr 2018
I walk with my head down, I've outgrown this town,
I know my way around but it's boring now,
I'm snoring now, ignoring clowns that surround me, how
Do I break out, find some glory now,
See the globe, rewrite my story, develop some clout,
Enveloped by doubt...can't seem to figure it out,
Developed my sound, need to deliver a shout, no fuss, gotta row,
This **** bridge fell in the moat,
Forget a paddle,
I'm still building a boat,
Don't doubt though, I'll break out now, might be slow but expect a ******* as I go,
Not gonna linger, stay sharp like iguana fingers,
Depressed and full of stress, my best is yet to come,
Inhibitions, lack of rest keep my ambitions undone,
My dreams have been oppressed, my soul remains repressed,
But instead of being stunted I'll stun, refuse to just regress
Let love's sunset into my heart
With sullen greys tinged in pink
With last rays of warmth
Before there comes the chill

Let the last breath of fulfillness
Ease around my heart
Take away the sunny memories
Softly as the light fades away

Fading fast empty embraces
And kisses that have no taste
As softly whispered I love yous
Fall into the Atlantic sea

Come nightness surround now
My empty heart
Console my ache and care
So come now , sunset of my heart
Margo Polo May 2014
Last night I
had a dream that
you died.
Everyone we knew
came, said their I’m-so-sorry’s,
and
left, filtering out the front door
slowly
like sand through a sideways sifter,
leaving behind pieces,
words and memories
and casseroles I
could not taste.

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

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

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

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

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

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

and you did.
You left me
all alone.

Why would you leave me?
Em E Sep 2015
all the things you surround yourself with sit and gather dust
the landscape of your past
shadows, icons, only that.

a room full of objects
but empty of meaning
the ins and outs of your life as if on display
but in fact, no,
they are hidden away.

the energy that once filled these shells is long gone
without this,
their relevance, their spirits moved on.

sometime ago you acquired that book,
that candle,
that objet d’art
and you thought “look at this”
and you thought “this is me”
and you kept it.
And through it, you kept yourself,
frozen,
and apart.
Moments like this aren't hard to find.
Wooden floors beneath my feet,
Screaming fans glued to the seat,

Everyone looks at me with a grin.
Pay it no mind for they will see.
First three minutes I'll score ten.

I hear the voices in the crowd.
Just keeping playing with out a word.
The court is the sky, I am the bird.

The game approaches the end.
They surround me by four.
So I shoot one more.
As a white short kid, people always underestimate me on the court.

— The End —