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Bat
At evening, sitting on this terrace,
When the sun from the west, beyond Pisa, beyond the mountains of Carrara
Departs, and the world is taken by surprise ...

When the tired flower of Florence is in gloom beneath the glowing
Brown hills surrounding ...

When under the arches of the Ponte Vecchio
A green light enters against stream, flush from the west,
Against the current of obscure Arno ...

Look up, and you see things flying
Between the day and the night;
Swallows with spools of dark thread sewing the shadows together.

A circle swoop, and a quick parabola under the bridge arches
Where light pushes through;
A sudden turning upon itself of a thing in the air.
A dip to the water.

And you think:
"The swallows are flying so late!"

Swallows?

Dark air-life looping
Yet missing the pure loop ...
A twitch, a twitter, an elastic shudder in flight
And serrated wings against the sky,
Like a glove, a black glove thrown up at the light,
And falling back.

Never swallows!
Bats!
The swallows are gone.

At a wavering instant the swallows gave way to bats
By the Ponte Vecchio ...
Changing guard.

Bats, and an uneasy creeping in one's scalp
As the bats swoop overhead!
Flying madly.

Pipistrello!
Black piper on an infinitesimal pipe.
Little lumps that fly in air and have voices indefinite, wildly vindictive;

Wings like bits of umbrella.

Bats!

Creatures that hang themselves up like an old rag, to sleep;
And disgustingly upside down.

Hanging upside down like rows of disgusting old rags
And grinning in their sleep.
Bats!

Not for me!
I will go where the swallows go,
following orange sunsets and
amber wings.
I will search for bottled letters,
written in the dawn of future,
for something more than bottomless worry.
I will go where the swallows go,
sleeping in the marshes' hollow,
I only hope for tomorrow.
My lungs may burst as I cover my nose and mouth,
I give my strength to the waters now.
With its will; I could too, learn to fly.
I will go where the swallows go,
because where they lead, I do not
know, but it's something better than here;
a being to cease my
fear--
Swallows are a meaning of love/hope
All feedback is welcome and appreciated
She knew
Swallows would come in spring time
She went to college
she studied and was taught
then she understood
swallows would come in spring time
she became a Sufi
and practiced mysticism
then she understood
swallows would come in  spring time
she became a master
and finally  God revealed to her
swallows would come in spring time
Morgan Mercury Sep 2013
The first time I saw you it was in math class.
I didn't notice anything about you at first I just memorized the back of how your head was.
After all, I had an hour to ****.
The second time I saw you were in English class.
You sat next to me but not by choice.
But I was happy about it.
It took me about four to five weeks to talk to you,
and I wasn't even the one to speak first.
You introduced yourself and then we worked together on an assignment.
It's been two weeks and I haven't said another word and I probably won't out of random.
My anxiety swallows me whole
and I'm sorry I can't even say hello.
But I have had time to notice you.
And let me just say
I'm in love with your taste in music
I'm in love with the way you hold your books
thinking that if you change the sound of your voice when the diagonal changes,
or if you struggle reading words you've never seen before and sit there for a few seconds trying to piece together what they mean.
I love how you can play the mandolin, you should show me sometime.
As I think about these things I also pick up how you would never even think of me.
I mean really,
you probably want some girl that's outgoing and can strum a guitar solo at midnight with you.
You probably want someone with long hair you can intertwine your fingers in,
or someone you can spend an afternoon together after church with.
I can't move mountains
and I can't even speak without looking like a fool,
but even if nothing will ever happen
It would be just as quite exciting being friends with you.
We could trade books and make each other mixtapes.
It hasn't even been a month yet and I'm already writing mediocre poetry about you.
I'm sorry about that by the way.
I'm not asking for a relationship but a friendship with someone like you would feel just the same.
I wrote this in like 20 minutes and I apologize I don't even know
2013
cliff-dwelling swallows in the dryer vent
are a connection that we have to face
between free nature and the harsh rat race
at intersection of domestic content
where meaning  action symbol and intent
all come together in a single place
as bird and woman each concede a space
and neither knows just what the other meant
the niche that out of nature has been set
for me to watch as swallows make their home
is given proper purpose by the flight
of urgent swallows leaving as the wet
signals of springtime depart from the dome
of bluing sky and cheer  me by the sight
SG Holter May 2014
The sound of swallows
Thrusting diving
Whistling
My first
Childhood home

House already then old
Even older barn smelled
Like livestock of
Distant times

Fell asleep between walls
Soaked in centuries
An infant

But the house and barn
Are gone -I remember-
And the swallows
With them
Kerli Tulva Oct 2014
Whopping blue sky
Rises above my eyes
Something nostalgic
Pervades my mind

The Yellow Eye observes
And gives light in that blue
Ocean with air for its water
And flimsy clouds for its foam

Swallows one by one
Trigger through the air
Plunge into the clouds
Come out to follow the
Track to their tiny prey

So lovely are those swallows for me
The special birds with magic in the heart.
Swallows' games
in the summer sky.
They ****
flutter
play
drawing wefts
with black and white colours
and with embroideries
the blue vault
seems to be painted.
My eyes follow
but chasing them
they get tired
until exhausted I close them
and in the darkness
the swallows
still fly about.

30.6.'13
The original poem ("Giochi di rondini") is in Italian.
There is no good translation for a poem.
I apologize for mine. Corrections are welcome.
As far as the sound of the poem is concerned,
please, read the original poem.
Emma Brigham Jul 2018
My baby moves in jumps and flutters inside me,
like the barn swallows that make nests
of dirt and twigs outside the restaurant.
Yesterday they disappeared
and I learned that a maintenance man came and hosed them down.  
Tragic, he said.
But necessary.  
Too much bird ****.  
When I got pregnant
it felt like waking up at the top of a roller coaster.
And then an engagement.  
Somehow
this is how my life is going
and somehow it does not feel like cliche.
Ask as many what-ifs as you want
but there is just a single trajectory.
Even though you have to fall asleep one day
before waking in the next.
Moving through concentric circles and trying to find the center.
Biology is happening
in a part of me that I am still getting to know.  
Kaleidoscoping.
She was once the size of a grape
but now I read she can blink her eyelids.
She is also not like the barn swallows.
Alan McClure Sep 2012
There was something wrong with the sky today
in the melancholy cold September sun.
Frost sculpted clouds hung in the empty blue,
bereft, uncelebrated

The swallows are gone.
No more exalting
in our wet summer
unfettered by earthbound grumbles:
now they scythe the skies
to Africa
leaving us completely behind.

A white-spattered woodshed -
over-bold insects -
and perhaps
the promise of return.
Michael John Jul 2018
i

give me my lifes´
the day crowded bright
and the night sumptuous..

give me my pretty wife
where love at first sight
bind us..

give us two souls blithe
fused as light within light
sweet bounteous..

let us soar and dive
like content swallows might
time in lost happiness..

( and let trouble and strife
bind-us the more tight
like our first kiss..)

give then to two one life
white to white
whole as stars

as love unto death
might break apart
and ride the cosmos..


ii

the jonah by james herbert
a heist goes wrong and a colleage
is shot..

just another debacle for our hero
in a long list
that has him transferred to the

drug squad and east anglia..
to live in a caravan..
keep his eye on the locals

and drink strong beer..
ellie his partner
makes him eat

and they fall in love
though various tentions rise
due to his troubles..

some flash backs
a left baby in a toilet
sadistic stuff at the orphanage..

bullies and dodgy collars
his step father is strict
he is an ornothologist..

there are drug related incident
a dead vole
a us pilot bites the farm..

some little boy thinks he
can fly..
the water supply
some pilfering

some heavy knocks
some bad lies
some kitchen

small potatoes
but all part
of mr herbert´ s charm..

a huge storm
the spooky old mill
a wild trip..

and regression
bad men
bad men..

lot´ s of struggle
the raw products
towed in by trawler

assembled by the knights
torn
and a lost twin..

a monster in the flood
where others die
a maitre d..

a ***** salesman and
his girl in a caravan
the fishermen..

helicopters and
victory for
the forces of good..

and the jonah
gone and all
is light..

the end..
Morgan Mercury Jul 2013
I found you in the cracks of winter. On our first date, we drank tea from cups bigger than our faces. You also told me you wrote poetry. I noticed how every time you would lick your lips before you would speak. The first time you read me a poem your window was open and it was raining. Your voice cracked and you cleared your throat six times. I was smitten. After our third date, I showed you my favorite place in the world. I took you to a bay on the outskirts of town. I told you the stories I carved into the sand a long time ago. I told you I came here every time the world kept turning but I felt as though I've fallen off, waiting for a guitar solo crash or a midnight knock on my window.

I wanted to tell you, you were my midnight knock. You let me hold your book of poems that night. There were bite marks in them from when you said you climbed up in trees back when you were as tall as the kitchen counter. We had conversations of Bon Iver and soccer as we laid on the sandy bay.

I realized that night I wanted to be there with you when the clock swallows up your time and watch indie movies on Netflix when there is nothing good on TV. I turned to look into space and swallowed all my feelings. I felt hollow when I looked at you and noticed your skin was old and tired. But you looked at me like you were young. You said I was the first to make you feel this way. I was smitten.

At first, I looked at you like a star but ended up seeing the whole solar system.
Swift swallows sailing from the Spanish main,
O rain-birds racing merrily away
From hill-tops parched with heat and sultry plain
Of wilting plants and fainting flowers, say--

When at the noon-hour from the chapel school
The children dash and scamper down the dale,
Scornful of teacher's rod and binding rule
Forever broken and without avail,

Do they still stop beneath the giant tree
To gather locusts in their childish greed,
And chuckle when they break the pods to see
The golden powder clustered round the seed?
Tom Spencer Jul 2015
Summer morning -
pink jets of clouds
splash out
from the golden well of the east
falling just short
of an ebbing moon.

Streams of swallows
flutter and glide
over the garden -
they are all flying
in the same direction
as if erupting

from the sun’s waking pulse.
Just for a moment
one of the birds hangs
perfectly still -
like the top-most drop of water
from a fountain before it turns

to face the glittering pool.
Beneath them all
the hummingbird
makes her rounds
and a dove scratches the earth
below the feeder

keeping an wary eye
on the scribbling intruder.
So many summer mornings -
too many summer mornings
I have wasted
worrying about the world

and my place in it –
absent from my own body
and breath
the cage of my ribs
rising, falling, and pausing
without me. Meanwhile,

another swallow
stills her wings.
Buoyed by an unseen breeze
she is both feathered sail
and cresting wave as she slices
over my shoulder bearing west.


Tom Spencer © 2015
SG Holter Feb 2015
By the house where I
Lived my first two years
Stood a barn that a hundred years ago
Held pigs and horses.

The swallows sang me to sleep.
I can still smell the barnhouse that
Only held a Massey-F tractor by then.
All things change,

Some places more than people.
But the swallows don't care.
Neither they, nor the barn or
I are there. Anymore.
This English Thames is holier far than Rome,
Those harebells like a sudden flush of sea
Breaking across the woodland, with the foam
Of meadow-sweet and white anemone
To fleck their blue waves,—God is likelier there
Than hidden in that crystal-hearted star the pale monks bear!

Those violet-gleaming butterflies that take
Yon creamy lily for their pavilion
Are monsignores, and where the rushes shake
A lazy pike lies basking in the sun,
His eyes half shut,—he is some mitred old
Bishop in partibus! look at those gaudy scales all green and gold.

The wind the restless prisoner of the trees
Does well for Palaestrina, one would say
The mighty master’s hands were on the keys
Of the Maria *****, which they play
When early on some sapphire Easter morn
In a high litter red as blood or sin the Pope is borne

From his dark House out to the Balcony
Above the bronze gates and the crowded square,
Whose very fountains seem for ecstasy
To toss their silver lances in the air,
And stretching out weak hands to East and West
In vain sends peace to peaceless lands, to restless nations rest.

Is not yon lingering orange after-glow
That stays to vex the moon more fair than all
Rome’s lordliest pageants! strange, a year ago
I knelt before some crimson Cardinal
Who bare the Host across the Esquiline,
And now—those common poppies in the wheat seem twice as fine.

The blue-green beanfields yonder, tremulous
With the last shower, sweeter perfume bring
Through this cool evening than the odorous
Flame-jewelled censers the young deacons swing,
When the grey priest unlocks the curtained shrine,
And makes God’s body from the common fruit of corn and vine.

Poor Fra Giovanni bawling at the mass
Were out of tune now, for a small brown bird
Sings overhead, and through the long cool grass
I see that throbbing throat which once I heard
On starlit hills of flower-starred Arcady,
Once where the white and crescent sand of Salamis meets sea.

Sweet is the swallow twittering on the eaves
At daybreak, when the mower whets his scythe,
And stock-doves murmur, and the milkmaid leaves
Her little lonely bed, and carols blithe
To see the heavy-lowing cattle wait
Stretching their huge and dripping mouths across the farmyard gate.

And sweet the hops upon the Kentish leas,
And sweet the wind that lifts the new-mown hay,
And sweet the fretful swarms of grumbling bees
That round and round the linden blossoms play;
And sweet the heifer breathing in the stall,
And the green bursting figs that hang upon the red-brick wall,

And sweet to hear the cuckoo mock the spring
While the last violet loiters by the well,
And sweet to hear the shepherd Daphnis sing
The song of Linus through a sunny dell
Of warm Arcadia where the corn is gold
And the slight lithe-limbed reapers dance about the wattled fold.

And sweet with young Lycoris to recline
In some Illyrian valley far away,
Where canopied on herbs amaracine
We too might waste the summer-tranced day
Matching our reeds in sportive rivalry,
While far beneath us frets the troubled purple of the sea.

But sweeter far if silver-sandalled foot
Of some long-hidden God should ever tread
The Nuneham meadows, if with reeded flute
Pressed to his lips some Faun might raise his head
By the green water-flags, ah! sweet indeed
To see the heavenly herdsman call his white-fleeced flock to feed.

Then sing to me thou tuneful chorister,
Though what thou sing’st be thine own requiem!
Tell me thy tale thou hapless chronicler
Of thine own tragedies! do not contemn
These unfamiliar haunts, this English field,
For many a lovely coronal our northern isle can yield

Which Grecian meadows know not, many a rose
Which all day long in vales AEolian
A lad might seek in vain for over-grows
Our hedges like a wanton courtesan
Unthrifty of its beauty; lilies too
Ilissos never mirrored star our streams, and cockles blue

Dot the green wheat which, though they are the signs
For swallows going south, would never spread
Their azure tents between the Attic vines;
Even that little **** of ragged red,
Which bids the robin pipe, in Arcady
Would be a trespasser, and many an unsung elegy

Sleeps in the reeds that fringe our winding Thames
Which to awake were sweeter ravishment
Than ever Syrinx wept for; diadems
Of brown bee-studded orchids which were meant
For Cytheraea’s brows are hidden here
Unknown to Cytheraea, and by yonder pasturing steer

There is a tiny yellow daffodil,
The butterfly can see it from afar,
Although one summer evening’s dew could fill
Its little cup twice over ere the star
Had called the lazy shepherd to his fold
And be no prodigal; each leaf is flecked with spotted gold

As if Jove’s gorgeous leman Danae
Hot from his gilded arms had stooped to kiss
The trembling petals, or young Mercury
Low-flying to the dusky ford of Dis
Had with one feather of his pinions
Just brushed them! the slight stem which bears the burden of its suns

Is hardly thicker than the gossamer,
Or poor Arachne’s silver tapestry,—
Men say it bloomed upon the sepulchre
Of One I sometime worshipped, but to me
It seems to bring diviner memories
Of faun-loved Heliconian glades and blue nymph-haunted seas,

Of an untrodden vale at Tempe where
On the clear river’s marge Narcissus lies,
The tangle of the forest in his hair,
The silence of the woodland in his eyes,
Wooing that drifting imagery which is
No sooner kissed than broken; memories of Salmacis

Who is not boy nor girl and yet is both,
Fed by two fires and unsatisfied
Through their excess, each passion being loth
For love’s own sake to leave the other’s side
Yet killing love by staying; memories
Of Oreads peeping through the leaves of silent moonlit trees,

Of lonely Ariadne on the wharf
At Naxos, when she saw the treacherous crew
Far out at sea, and waved her crimson scarf
And called false Theseus back again nor knew
That Dionysos on an amber pard
Was close behind her; memories of what Maeonia’s bard

With sightless eyes beheld, the wall of Troy,
Queen Helen lying in the ivory room,
And at her side an amorous red-lipped boy
Trimming with dainty hand his helmet’s plume,
And far away the moil, the shout, the groan,
As Hector shielded off the spear and Ajax hurled the stone;

Of winged Perseus with his flawless sword
Cleaving the snaky tresses of the witch,
And all those tales imperishably stored
In little Grecian urns, freightage more rich
Than any gaudy galleon of Spain
Bare from the Indies ever! these at least bring back again,

For well I know they are not dead at all,
The ancient Gods of Grecian poesy:
They are asleep, and when they hear thee call
Will wake and think ‘t is very Thessaly,
This Thames the Daulian waters, this cool glade
The yellow-irised mead where once young Itys laughed and played.

If it was thou dear jasmine-cradled bird
Who from the leafy stillness of thy throne
Sang to the wondrous boy, until he heard
The horn of Atalanta faintly blown
Across the Cumnor hills, and wandering
Through Bagley wood at evening found the Attic poets’ spring,—

Ah! tiny sober-suited advocate
That pleadest for the moon against the day!
If thou didst make the shepherd seek his mate
On that sweet questing, when Proserpina
Forgot it was not Sicily and leant
Across the mossy Sandford stile in ravished wonderment,—

Light-winged and bright-eyed miracle of the wood!
If ever thou didst soothe with melody
One of that little clan, that brotherhood
Which loved the morning-star of Tuscany
More than the perfect sun of Raphael
And is immortal, sing to me! for I too love thee well.

Sing on! sing on! let the dull world grow young,
Let elemental things take form again,
And the old shapes of Beauty walk among
The simple garths and open crofts, as when
The son of Leto bare the willow rod,
And the soft sheep and shaggy goats followed the boyish God.

Sing on! sing on! and Bacchus will be here
Astride upon his gorgeous Indian throne,
And over whimpering tigers shake the spear
With yellow ivy crowned and gummy cone,
While at his side the wanton Bassarid
Will throw the lion by the mane and catch the mountain kid!

Sing on! and I will wear the leopard skin,
And steal the mooned wings of Ashtaroth,
Upon whose icy chariot we could win
Cithaeron in an hour ere the froth
Has over-brimmed the wine-vat or the Faun
Ceased from the treading! ay, before the flickering lamp of dawn

Has scared the hooting owlet to its nest,
And warned the bat to close its filmy vans,
Some Maenad girl with vine-leaves on her breast
Will filch their beech-nuts from the sleeping Pans
So softly that the little nested thrush
Will never wake, and then with shrilly laugh and leap will rush

Down the green valley where the fallen dew
Lies thick beneath the elm and count her store,
Till the brown Satyrs in a jolly crew
Trample the loosestrife down along the shore,
And where their horned master sits in state
Bring strawberries and bloomy plums upon a wicker crate!

Sing on! and soon with passion-wearied face
Through the cool leaves Apollo’s lad will come,
The Tyrian prince his bristled boar will chase
Adown the chestnut-copses all a-bloom,
And ivory-limbed, grey-eyed, with look of pride,
After yon velvet-coated deer the ****** maid will ride.

Sing on! and I the dying boy will see
Stain with his purple blood the waxen bell
That overweighs the jacinth, and to me
The wretched Cyprian her woe will tell,
And I will kiss her mouth and streaming eyes,
And lead her to the myrtle-hidden grove where Adon lies!

Cry out aloud on Itys! memory
That foster-brother of remorse and pain
Drops poison in mine ear,—O to be free,
To burn one’s old ships! and to launch again
Into the white-plumed battle of the waves
And fight old Proteus for the spoil of coral-flowered caves!

O for Medea with her poppied spell!
O for the secret of the Colchian shrine!
O for one leaf of that pale asphodel
Which binds the tired brows of Proserpine,
And sheds such wondrous dews at eve that she
Dreams of the fields of Enna, by the far Sicilian sea,

Where oft the golden-girdled bee she chased
From lily to lily on the level mead,
Ere yet her sombre Lord had bid her taste
The deadly fruit of that pomegranate seed,
Ere the black steeds had harried her away
Down to the faint and flowerless land, the sick and sunless day.

O for one midnight and as paramour
The Venus of the little Melian farm!
O that some antique statue for one hour
Might wake to passion, and that I could charm
The Dawn at Florence from its dumb despair,
Mix with those mighty limbs and make that giant breast my lair!

Sing on! sing on!  I would be drunk with life,
Drunk with the trampled vintage of my youth,
I would forget the wearying wasted strife,
The riven veil, the Gorgon eyes of Truth,
The prayerless vigil and the cry for prayer,
The barren gifts, the lifted arms, the dull insensate air!

Sing on! sing on!  O feathered Niobe,
Thou canst make sorrow beautiful, and steal
From joy its sweetest music, not as we
Who by dead voiceless silence strive to heal
Our too untented wounds, and do but keep
Pain barricadoed in our hearts, and ****** pillowed sleep.

Sing louder yet, why must I still behold
The wan white face of that deserted Christ,
Whose bleeding hands my hands did once enfold,
Whose smitten lips my lips so oft have kissed,
And now in mute and marble misery
Sits in his lone dishonoured House and weeps, perchance for me?

O Memory cast down thy wreathed shell!
Break thy hoarse lute O sad Melpomene!
O Sorrow, Sorrow keep thy cloistered cell
Nor dim with tears this limpid Castaly!
Cease, Philomel, thou dost the forest wrong
To vex its sylvan quiet with such wild impassioned song!

Cease, cease, or if ‘t is anguish to be dumb
Take from the pastoral thrush her simpler air,
Whose jocund carelessness doth more become
This English woodland than thy keen despair,
Ah! cease and let the north wind bear thy lay
Back to the rocky hills of Thrace, the stormy Daulian bay.

A moment more, the startled leaves had stirred,
Endymion would have passed across the mead
Moonstruck with love, and this still Thames had heard
Pan plash and paddle groping for some reed
To lure from her blue cave that Naiad maid
Who for such piping listens half in joy and half afraid.

A moment more, the waking dove had cooed,
The silver daughter of the silver sea
With the fond gyves of clinging hands had wooed
Her wanton from the chase, and Dryope
Had ****** aside the branches of her oak
To see the ***** gold-haired lad rein in his snorting yoke.

A moment more, the trees had stooped to kiss
Pale Daphne just awakening from the swoon
Of tremulous laurels, lonely Salmacis
Had bared his barren beauty to the moon,
And through the vale with sad voluptuous smile
Antinous had wandered, the red lotus of the Nile

Down leaning from his black and clustering hair,
To shade those slumberous eyelids’ caverned bliss,
Or else on yonder grassy ***** with bare
High-tuniced limbs unravished Artemis
Had bade her hounds give tongue, and roused the deer
From his green ambuscade with shrill halloo and pricking spear.

Lie still, lie still, O passionate heart, lie still!
O Melancholy, fold thy raven wing!
O sobbing Dryad, from thy hollow hill
Come not with such despondent answering!
No more thou winged Marsyas complain,
Apollo loveth not to hear such troubled songs of pain!

It was a dream, the glade is tenantless,
No soft Ionian laughter moves the air,
The Thames creeps on in sluggish leadenness,
And from the copse left desolate and bare
Fled is young Bacchus with his revelry,
Yet still from Nuneham wood there comes that thrilling melody

So sad, that one might think a human heart
Brake in each separate note, a quality
Which music sometimes has, being the Art
Which is most nigh to tears and memory;
Poor mourning Philomel, what dost thou fear?
Thy sister doth not haunt these fields, Pandion is not here,

Here is no cruel Lord with murderous blade,
No woven web of ****** heraldries,
But mossy dells for roving comrades made,
Warm valleys where the tired student lies
With half-shut book, and many a winding walk
Where rustic lovers stray at eve in happy simple talk.

The harmless rabbit gambols with its young
Across the trampled towing-path, where late
A troop of laughing boys in jostling throng
Cheered with their noisy cries the racing eight;
The gossamer, with ravelled silver threads,
Works at its little loom, and from the dusky red-eaved sheds

Of the lone Farm a flickering light shines out
Where the swinked shepherd drives his bleating flock
Back to their wattled sheep-cotes, a faint shout
Comes from some Oxford boat at Sandford lock,
And starts the moor-hen from the sedgy rill,
And the dim lengthening shadows flit like swallows up the hill.

The heron passes homeward to the mere,
The blue mist creeps among the shivering trees,
Gold world by world the silent stars appear,
And like a blossom blown before the breeze
A white moon drifts across the shimmering sky,
Mute arbitress of all thy sad, thy rapturous threnody.

She does not heed thee, wherefore should she heed,
She knows Endymion is not far away;
’Tis I, ’tis I, whose soul is as the reed
Which has no message of its own to play,
So pipes another’s bidding, it is I,
Drifting with every wind on the wide sea of misery.

Ah! the brown bird has ceased:  one exquisite trill
About the sombre woodland seems to cling
Dying in music, else the air is still,
So still that one might hear the bat’s small wing
Wander and wheel above the pines, or tell
Each tiny dew-drop dripping from the bluebell’s brimming cell.

And far away across the lengthening wold,
Across the willowy flats and thickets brown,
Magdalen’s tall tower tipped with tremulous gold
Marks the long High Street of the little town,
And warns me to return; I must not wait,
Hark! ’Tis the curfew booming from the bell at Christ Church gate.
Alexandra G May 2013
Placid waters graced by an angel
Of gold and pearl and white,
those gentle hues reflecting,
a haughty prince by sight.

No questions to the prince,
Why do serene and noble.
Does he not become restless with the placid waters?

The swallow flits and dives
Up and down closer to the ground
Travelling as always together,
Laughing away through summer nights.

I wish the swallows would not taunt me,
and laugh at my plans.
They do not know the darkness,
I hold within my hands.
WARNER BAXTER Dec 2013
geese and goose fly south
swallows return to San Juan
mean dog still on porch
Peter Cullen Jan 2015
Swallows sing, I  swallow that bitter pill.
Light reflects off cutlery,
and everything is still.
Shadows crawl, and then fall off the wall.
The sun that shun
when we we're young,
was big and now it's small.
The memories, cast in a golden light,
but memories can change in time,
depending on our flight.
Our hope, still sheltered with our love.
Forms the sense of who we are,
forms the sense of us.
The distant hollow of the high mountain pass
swallows the setting sun as it steals away southbound
behind the coastal mountain's tangerine sunset hued silhouettes
Mulberry plashed shadows pointing northward
across the evergreens outstretched dimming,
beneath the waning fade of each fleeting eventide

Sundown ebbing asunder the wafting daylight,
each gloaming of the day, helplessly a moment sooner past,
transfixed further south beyond yesterday's passing azure
The lazy days of summer escape unbounded,
nomadic as the sea I've seen sail away before;
evanescent as the beauty of the bloom summer days beheld
and the memory of the fragrance they exhale

The nebulous weight of the gravity is consciously denied
by the truths a human heart beholds
A moment’s epiphany afflicts like a rogue wave in a calm sea;
the only thing my heart ever wanted remains out of reach

Everything my heart needs consciously surrendering
to the poignant passing moment's beauty,
the falling sun at distance sets more suddenly now
Lost in the undeniable certainty
life's imminent season's change

Eyes drawn stubbornly from presence to a sky so far away,
knowing there'll be no restitution for the welling sense of loss...
A bitter sweet song mummers in the silence of the absorbing spell,
summer's sun stained pages of watermarked soul scribbles,
time tattooed reparation for the indelible ache
of a harsh grey winter loneliness

Perhaps too familiar, this whelming Déjà vu
that tears my soul;     that tugs at these roots
but cannot sever their sacred grasp
But for now, eyes fixed to the sun's
inevitable tightening tether hence —
to wear weary each fraying thread's  impending break

Each sunset leans a deeper angle southward
as it slips down through the firwood shadows;
illuminating other faraway latitudes
far beyond the distant horizon skies

The preordained continuum unfolding what will be ...


someone you used to know ... September 11, 2017 ... 7:30 PM
The Oblivion May 2014
Two people both alike in character
Of the opposite sexes
Sit across a candlelit dinner
In a lovely, fancy restaurant

The room is incandescently lit
With a dimness that balances between ever so bright and ever so dark
Allowing for a gold tinge to envelop the restaurant
But not gold enough to take away notice of the lit candle set upon the White table cloth

The waiter appears and asks the couple
What they would like for dinner
The couple order the food and drink
Much to the waiter's delight the food and drink is expensive

The waiter returns shortly
With a bottle of their finest Pinto Noir
And pours the blood-red wine slowly
Into each of the couple's glasses
And leaves the couple to sip upon their sweet sin delicately

The food is laid out
Triumphant in its debut
A vast smorgasbord of entries
Including frog legs, crab, and delicious ****** steak

The couple prepare their silverware for the battle that is eating

The man stabs his knife into the ****** steak
Cutting it open and spilling the juices all over his plate
He stabs the meat with the fork and guides it toward his mouth
And slowly but surely chomps upon it with the strength of his fine jaw
And swallows the meat into the unexposed mystery that is his stomach

The woman begins to mutilate the frog legs with her knife
Cutting into the once moveable limbs
And stabs the limbs with her fork and brings it to her mouth
And delicately bites the limbs and politely chews
And swallows it into her fine and precious insides

The couple then split the crab legs
Using their bear hands they split the shells open
And remove the meat or **** it right out of the shell
They swallow it whole and do nothing with the shell
Leaving the shell aside to be as still as a carcass

The waiter arrives and asks how the food was
The couple obliged him with their satisfaction
The bill is handed to them and the couple pay it
Leaving a hefty tip
They then leave the lovingly dimly lit restaurant
To enjoy the night that is ahead of them
Riley Dec 2013
Her prayers are
Breathy I love you's,
Warm and pained against your skin.
Your body is her altar,
Her temple,
The cathedral surrounding her
In her heartbroken worship
As she unravels,
Crying,
Shaking,
Clinging to you with
Everything
She
Has
Left.
The shattered pieces
Of her heart are the broken winged swallows,
Flocking in fluttering storms
In your bell tower,
Nesting in your rafters
Alongside the owls you've let be
To this point,
Content to allow them to roost.
Her hands are your bibles,
The creases telling a thousand stories
Of the girl who weathers the fiercest storms,
But falls apart at the seams
For love of you.
Your laughter serves as her hymns,
Ringing through the expanse of you,
Singing in her ears.
Sometimes she tries
Laughing alongside you,
But her voice cracks
Like an untuned piano
Whenever she opens her lips
To add her laughter to
Your songbooks.
You each find a different kind of heaven
In the stained glass windows
Of the other's eyes.
Hers are the ocean,
Deep and stormy,
Only ever calm
Just before lightning shakes her frame,
Rain and froth
Pounding
Against the glass,
Breaking it's way through,
Trying to flood your halls
As the tempest carves new legends
In her outstretched hands;
New biblical stories to lose yourself in.
She finds summer nights in your gaze,
Bonfires dappling damp grass,
And a boy
Laying on the hood of a run down car,
Staring too intently at the stars
To truly register their fragility,
Their mortality,
Even as they plummet from the sky,
Bursts of white light
Reflecting gold through green glass.
The comet-light ripples,
Climbing to the rafters,
Startling the owls from their perches,
And you can feel them thrumming,
Beating their wings against the ceiling of your ribs.


k. f.
Fell asleep in a hoodie that isn't mine and The Front Bottoms on shuffle. I woke up with this. Dedicated to my brushfire boy.
first step

when he looks at a woman he searches for qualities that attract him because he wants to desire her yet this tendency creates an imbalance or disadvantage he is rendered weak to a woman’s beauty or whatever traits he idealizes self-realizing this propensity he looks away from women years of disappointment neglect change him he becomes afraid of women gynophobic

2

when she looks at a man she searches for qualities she is critical of because she wants to be impervious to his power she is suspicious of all men their upper body strength penchant to be in control misperception of women as property misogyny emotional immaturity neediness to be mommyed selfishness insensitivity or over-sensitivity depending she wants to be treated with equal respect a loving nurturing relationship she is suspicious of all people their alternate realities passive aggressive behavior co-dependence craziness

3

he sees her then looks away she suspiciously notices nothing happens they go back to their separate homes alone always home alone grown calm in resignation yet disbelieving of this destiny saddened by this fate both worry about future she looks at her face naked body in mirror her stomach churns feels sad sickening remembers time when she was more carefree he puts one foot in front of other then walks tries to remember who taught him to walk how many times did he fall who taught him to laugh where did his sense of humor go

4

he sees her thinks she is lovely resists the urge to turn away he smiles says hello she notices nervously smiles her shaky voice articulates louder than a whisper hi

Tucson 2-step

they are standing in line at a café on 4th avenue he is directly behind her she is lanky wearing white background faded colors patterned summer dress thin straps over bare shoulders long brown hair few gray strands small unfinished tattoo on left calf leather slip-ons 1 inch heals he is at a complete loss for words thinks to make remark about the weather decides not to overhead fan stirs hot humid July air barista girl asks what she would like her eyes scan blackboard menu behind counter she hesitates remarks help him i need an extra moment to decide he steps up to counter money in hand orders small to go Arnold Palmer half black current lays $3 on counter mentions change goes in tip jar thank you barista girl moves fast he lifts cup from counter glances at woman still deciding then at barista girl says have a wonderful day turns walks out door dawns on him woman grows hair under her arms his 2nd most compelling female physique adornment fetish oh god he thinks to himself should i wait for her to make up her mind then approach try to craft conversation at least find out her name no i’m too weak in this moment she is so lovely let her go

2

she orders double Americana in small cup to go room for soy milk thinks to herself he did greet her perhaps their paths will cross on street why did he run off so fast she glances toward front of café notices window seat changes her mind instructs barista ******* 2nd thought make it for here digs through purse realizes she left wallet in truck explains to barista girl she needs to run out to her vehicle to retrieve wallet forgotten under front seat the air on the street is heavy dense she smells her own perspiration looks north then south does not see him walks to truck feels exhausted appetiteless almost nauseous wishes she did not order a drink thinks to get behind wheel drive home go to sleep

Tucson 3-step tango

she feels disappointment by her recent writings as if she is reaching a more sophisticated audience and setting a higher standard for her work yet she is not living up to her ambitions her recent writings smell of her past writings too emotional the damaged woman wounded child she wants to write more introspectively with detached humor that only comes from keener intelligence she slams her laptop shut decides to go to Club Congress for a ****** mary or margarita but Club Congress is haunted with small town cretins losers wannabes she considers Maynard’s decides Maynard’s is too safe suburban yuppyish finally gives in to thought of glass of pinot noir at Plush next comes what to wear jeans in mid-July desert heat is unacceptable perhaps loose fitting thin cotton white summer dress thin leather belt ankle high indian moccasins hair in ponytail no pigtail braids no ponytail no makeup maybe little ylang ylang oil no she thinks about her recent writings

2

i am one breath away from crying in every moment one breath away from flying m.i.a. in every moment one breath away from destroying everything there is beauty in ugliness beauty in decrepitude disease beauty in harm hurt suffering beauty in greed injustice betrayal beauty in corruption contamination pollution beauty in hate cruelty ignorance beauty in death we spend our whole lives searching for a good death we spend our whole lives searching for eternal love this modern world is too much for me over my head the horrors of this place are beyond words unspeakable voice inside maybe mom yells quit your whining or dad hollers stop complaining i am trying to smile through tears one breath away from giving in one breath away from becoming stranger to myself winter spring winter spring there is beauty in nothingness we spend our whole lives searching for ourselves learning who we are not finding grasping secrets from dark paths light trails winter spring winter spring i am one breath away

3

she sits alone at bar at Plush glass of pinot noir glass of ice water in front of her 2 bearded older men eye her from other end of bar she ignores them glances at her wristwatch tries to look like she is waiting for someone music from speakers antiquated rock standard it is early friday hours from dusk moderate middle aged crowd mingle wait for local jazz trio to begin she thinks about her recent writings wonders is it too late for love considers lesbian affair from 5 different perspectives 5 woman’s voices each describing same lesbian affair in 5 opposing accounts hmmm she sips dark red wine from glass chases it with ice water she considers a story about a gang of female bikers who ride south to Mexico

4

the Americans came through here last night crossing border illegally climbing over our fences digging tunnels beneath our barrier walls littering along their trail they travel in packs of every skin color carry guns knives explosives wear leather boots some are shirtless tattoos dyed hair mischievously smiling conceitedly stealing when in question murdering they rob our homes slaughter our chickens ransack gardens loot our harvest you can still smell the stink of their fast food breaths

5

she swallows the last dark red wine from glass chases it with ice water local jazz trio begins to play as bar fills with more people she decides to walk home one foot in front of other wonders who taught her how to walk how many times did she fall she laughs to herself

Tucson square dance

TPD 10-18 unconfirmed data report

7 post-University of Arizona female graduates go to Cactus Moon for several drinks and dancing then drive to Bashful Bandit for more drinks and dancing 2 women get into scuffle victim Brittany Garner female 23 years of age race #5 (Native American, Eskimo, Middle -Eastern, Other) 5’ 2” long black hair cut-off blue jean shorts clingy light blue top falls hits head on side of bar dies of fatal blow to skull forensics report crushed occipital lobe assailant Stacy Won female 31 years of age race #4 (Asian) 5’6” black jeans black leather jacket red helmet Honda motorcycle still at large

witness accounts

Jess Delaney female 33 years of age race #2 (White) 6’ tight black pencil skirt white sleeveless undershirt no bra 3” heels blond ponytail “that squirting little **** deserves everything she got she lied told Stacy i’m a ***** i never cheated on Brittany i don’t understand we were all having a good time getting buzzed and dancing we should never have left Cactus Moon **** Kerrie thought some biker dude might be hanging around the Bandit hell maybe the Bandit was a biker bar once but now it’s just a college sink hole full of drunken frat boys when Monique flashed a little *** they went crazy cheering and buying us shots it just got out of hand never should have happened the way it happened Stacy didn’t mean to **** Brittany it’s ****** up i want to go home please let me go home”

Sabrina Starn female 29 years of age race #2 (White) 5’8” trendy corporate gray suit black pumps red shoulder length hair “i have to be at work at 8 AM Stacy was drunk out of control she gets crazy when she drinks Brittany was trash talking pushing all Stacy’s buttons then Stacy accused Brittany of sleeping with Monique and all hell broke loose i didn’t see what happened i was in the powder room it’s a terrible tragedy unfortunate accident can i please be released i need to sleep this is madness”

Kerrie Angeles female 27 years of age race #1 (Hispanic) 5’ 6” black pants white shirt black hair cut stylishly short silver crucifix around neck red fingernails “when we got to the Bashful Bandit i was ***** soaking between my legs thinking about a cowgirl at Cactus Moon ready to **** anyone i saw fantasized pulling a train with those frat boys Monique had been kind of quiet at Cactus Moon but when we got to the Bashful Bandit she lit up dancing wild unbuttoning her top jacket Sabrina went to the ladies room to snort coke with biker dude Kerrie wanted but he wasn’t into her then Brittany started saying crazy stuff accusing Stacy of stealing Monique from Jess Jessie goes through women heartlessly she doesn’t give a **** about Monique Jessie knows if she wants Monique back she can simply fiddle a finger my guess is Stacy is half way to Argentina she never meant to **** Brittany i’m going to miss her real bad she was a good kid”

Ann Skyler female 28 years of age race  #2 (White) 4’ 11’’ green white red Mexican peasant skirt black t-shirt black high-tops hair in messy bun “i’m confused i saw them dancing laughing grinding up against each other Rage Against the Machine came on then Nine Inch Nails the room felt quaking dizzy claustrophobic then they were pushing each other shoving yelling frat boys cheering the next thing i knew Brittany was supine on the floor blood pouring out maybe she just slipped hit her head i don’t know what to think i feel real sad confused sick to my stomach scared”

Monique Smithson female 24 years of age race # 3 (Black) 5’ 9” blue jeans jean jacket cowboy boots nose ring braided pigtails “Stacy had it in for Brittany from the start i saw it in her eyes at Cactus Moon she made several clever toxic remarks they snapped at each other i never thought it would escalate to ****** poor sweet Brittany was always so susceptible i was looking down adjusting my jeans over my boots when it happened i heard felt a big thump glanced up Brittany was lying there lifeless blood spilling everywhere Stacy ran out fast i heard her bike engine take off in a hurry”

Rodeo Drive Tucson

matt’s hats tom’s tools & tobacco lou’s liquors fred’s beds frank’s planks bill’s drills jane’s drains & panes chuck’s check cashing cheryl’s barrels hank’s tanks tina’s trucks & tractors walt’s asphalt sean’s pawn rick’s rifles mom’s guns terry’s tires charlie’s harleys rhonda’s hondas jim’s rims art’s parts gus’s gasoline mike’s bikes frank’s feed gwen’s pens ann’s cans nancy’s nursery joes‘s clothes jess’s dresses bert’s skirts steve’s sleeves paul’s shawls michelle’s shells & bells al’s pails & snails sam’s hams & jams patty’s pancakes phil’s chili don’s donuts betty’s spaghetti bob’s burgers alycia’s quiches jean’s beans jerry’s berries anna’s bananas andy’s candies cathy’s taffies tony’s ponies roy’s toys kim’s whims marty’s parties jill’s pills rick’s tricks alice’s palace debbie’s disposal dave’s graves

Quinta Waltz de Tucson

she is definitely displeased profoundly disappointed in her latest literary efforts she dreams aches to create deeper discourse higher insight more thoughtful philosophical inquiries about life’s challenges beauty a better world overpowering love inspiration instead she writes paperback television trash stupid inadequate answers to solemn questions she wonders if she is too scratched dented to find love her ******* are definitely changing she is deeply disturbed not ready for menopause too young for menopause she wants to remain a fertile woman with smooth skin wet ******

2

her neighbor Leslie awoke to horrible morning Leslie’s 6 chickens were assaulted overnight precious Mabel dragged off feathers everywhere trail down the street other hens cowering slumped together with wilted necks 3 of them with puncture wounds Leslie carried them one by one inside washed their wounds hugged them cried who did this terrible act a neglected abusive neighborhood cat or some desert predator why didn’t Leslie wake to sounds of savage marauding now this creature knows hen’s whereabouts when will it return for more massacre what modifications need to be enforced to ensure their coup before nightfall

3

she wants to remain a hen keep producing eggs does not want is not ready to enter the next **** stage of this **** existence it was fun being pretty for men inspiring them to say do whacky things she wants to remain a hen she is definitely displeased profoundly disappointed in her latest literary attempts “Tucson square dance” (self-referential) ****** bit about Americans came through here last night in “Tucson 3-step” ****** "Rodeo Drive" tepid perhaps the pinot noir lowered her standards everything is becoming nothing she cannot sleep tosses turns thrashes sheets in humid heat of her lonesome bed is she is too scratched dented to find love she worries for Leslie

4

tomorrow is another day they say the rain will come last year’s monsoon never came the baking sun smothered her garden died one by one sleepless she will miss tomorrow’s pilates class the infrequent delightful chatty breakfast afterwards she dreams aches of deeper discourse higher insight with detached humor that only comes from keener intelligence more thoughtful philosophical inquiries about life’s challenges beauty a better world overpowering love inspiration she crossed the line tonight her ******* are definitely changing

Tucson 666

he decides to shave eighth to quarter inch length salt and pepper beard a.k.a. unshaven look he has worn for years and grow full mustache the whiskers on his upper lip are darker with sparse gray at first no one notices after weeks the mustache gradually fills evoking many contrasting remarks several women loath it several men admire it girl at grocery store suggests he grow Fu Manchu so she can tug on it shopgirl says he looks like Charlie Chaplin downstairs neighbor from Turkey explains most Turkish men traditionally wear mustaches he read mustaches masculinize and empower men especially men in authoritative positions he thinks back to the 1960’s when many hippie males grew mustaches then in the 70’s gay men fashioned mustaches then in the 80’s cops adopted mustaches he wonders why a swatch of hair beneath nose is so provoking examines his visage in mirror discerns the mustache confers a Pepé le Pew quality or European accent to his appearance he remembers when he was young hippie with many amorous episodes how his mustache preserved the scent of a woman but there are no women in his life for many years do post-menopausal women possess scent? he feels indecisive whether to retain it or be rid of it

2

she observes her figure in mirror thinks to herself maybe her ******* are not changing perhaps it’s all in her head she inspects the little lines forming near her eyelids studies her features for signs of aging hardly any silver strands in long brown hair she examines neck ******* arms elbows fingers tummy hips pelvic region thighs knees shins calves ankles feet detects subtle changes thinks to herself my ******* are possibly slightly changing turned 40 in March married briefly in late teens no children a 15 year old dog beginning to suffer veterinarian promises to warn her when the time comes she wonders why it is so difficult finding fitting mate men sleep with her several times then move on maybe she is not such a great lover perhaps she would be better if one of them stuck around perhaps she is a lesbian the whole ide
Mohamed Nasir Jun 2018
I love watching swallows
Gyrating and playfully swirls;
Mingle above over the river
Forming in a malee a ball.
Swiftly riding the thermals
Scooping the swelling water.
They shriek wheeling freely
Like boisterous little girls.

I came to see the lively acrobatics
In graceful motion of symmetry.
See enormous body of water flow
Pour itself into it's wide open mouth.
Slowly eroding shaping contours
And lives living along it's banks.
Constantly foreboding danger
And yet beauty and the mighty
Together in harmonious chemistry.

There I was many hours
In thought. What do I ever get?
At the jetty by the imperious
River where until dark I will be.
Time spent the opportunities
Passing by I have no regrets.
I'm like a ship from harbour
To harbour of a predestined life
With cargoes of worthless experience
Till I rot at the bottom of the sea.

Laboriously river meander and flow
Agile wings twist and turn in the air
With invisible brush of arcs and lines
With a vast sky as an open canvas.
The two characters, elements
Of nature, demonstrate their part;
In the theater of strength and grace.
While I am but a nameless intruder
Grateful of the kindness forever last.
This is an old poem written a long time ago when I was a young lad. Rewritten certain parts as I had grown older better as a writer.
ryn Mar 2015
Wonder if when constellations do align
And universe would finally see.
Would it be presumptious of me
To claim that then, finally you'd be mine.

Wonder if my sense would triumph over
So that my heart would be muted.
With all its contents looted...
Would I only seem sillier?

Wonder if I walked away
In due course.
You'd then take my hand in yours
So that a minute longer I'd stay...

Wonder if you'd understand
When if these feet
Should choose to retreat...
That they had to... It wasn't planned.

Wonder if it'd make a difference
If I said that I had to...
Not for me but more for you.
Would we still be able to love in silence?

Wonder if you'd wish that you made it all clear.
Before the gravity of reality would crush us,
Before the vastness of uncertainty swallows us,
Before my presence would diminish and inevitably disappear.

Wonder if you find my pessimism exhausting.
The volatile nature of my moods...
Especially when I dive deep in solitude
And resurface with a trove of words that are no less than exasperating.

Wonder if you loved me enough
In a day...
To stop me from walking away...
Or loved me too much to plainly say

That...

Future's days would see us apart...
Future's moon would glow but not for us...
Future's stars would sing but not of us...
Future's sun would dry out the passion in our hearts.
Hollow Steve Aug 2018
Faded eye
Numb skull
Empty veins
Uncontrollable blow

It rolls inside itself
Then swallows itself whole

Wallowing inner ache

Can't see
Only looking

It falls within
It's numb

I have no place left to see
What could have been
My life held within

I can not see
No longer me

Everything fades
Farewell my dismay
When man,
enters woman,
like the surf biting the shore,
again and again,
and the woman opens her mouth with pleasure
and her teeth gleam
like the alphabet,
Logos appears milking a star,
and the man
inside of woman
ties a knot
so that they will
never again be separate
and the woman
climbs into a flower
and swallows its stem
and Logos appears
and unleashes their rivers.

This man,
this woman
with their double hunger,
have tried to reach through
the curtain of God
and briefly they have,
through God
in His perversity
unties the knot.
Emily Pidduck Mar 2014
I've thoughts about the Swallows
and laments for my own
I've ears for tales
from sailor boys
who got to bring them home

The majesty of the thralling blue
entices me so vastly
but it's a land of sea I've never knew
Gaze o're the port
Await the crew
Pretend that ship come sailin' in
holds my own tattoos

But years ago I heard the news
of that return
that wasn't coming
The whales and waves
had 'come the graves
the Locker claimed
eight rocker'

But with my grief I felt not fear
though the depths
gulped my dear
And I've still the wish
of crossing tides
but by superstition
of the Hearty Folk
who prowl the shores
I shall abide!

And the legend uses the Swallow
one to depart
one on return
but I'd fall short
to qualify
for the journey coming home

With whopper tales I fell in love
That love took the rest
such is the Sea
I'll keep to the ground
easy to be found
though still dreamin' of
sailing free

But,

I.

can't.

ever.

simply put
my boys are dead
There's none to wait for me.
Feel free to ask questions if you're not sure about the legend or Swallows, or anything else
Gailyn Bybee Feb 2011
There is a place I go,
that swallows me whole,
when I allow my eyes to rest.
In this place,
my mind thrives,
and I have no say,
as to what use my thoughts are put to.
Here,
I am small and feeble,
swallowed by darkness,
and drowned,
in the hues of shadowy black,
and morbid red discoloring.
In this place,
my writing comes to life.
Wrecking all in its' path,
including myself.
This place I speak of,
is simply my imagination.
And it takes hold whenever it is given the chance.
Derick Smith Sep 2014
The swallows and sparrows
dance on the cool morning breeze.

They rise and fall;
         float and stall;
         soaring, diving, fluttering
and all the while chattering—
         not about days been,
         nor days to come—
         but the present moment;
         their current joy.

They trust the sun to rise at dawn,
the moon to appear in the even cooler twilight air.

The swallows and sparrows
      (dancing as they do on the cool morning breeze)
worry not about tomorrow—
for today will have troubles of its own.
This is my life at times; the embodiment of Matthew 6:26...
It was passed from one bird to another,
the whole gift of the day.
The day went from flute to flute,
went dressed in vegetation,
in flights which opened a tunnel
through the wind would pass
to where birds were breaking open
the dense blue air -
and there, night came in.

When I returned from so many journeys,
I stayed suspended and green
between sun and geography -
I saw how wings worked,
how perfumes are transmitted
by feathery telegraph,
and from above I saw the path,
the springs and the roof tiles,
the fishermen at their trades,
the trousers of the foam;
I saw it all from my green sky.
I had no more alphabet
than the swallows in their courses,
the tiny, shining water
of the small bird on fire
which dances out of the pollen.
1967 san francisco is transformed into city of missing children haight ashbury brims with scraggly orphans thousands sit on street curbs live in cars hang out on floors of shops roam streets parks sleep on sidewalks unthinkable social cultural phenomenon Odysseus embraces madness walking through different neighborhoods going without food sleep in golden gate park floral smells so strong he can taste flowers kids openly pass joints acid doses trip dance make music laugh Odysseus is risk-taker but he is not street smart along with flocks of totally wasted kids street hustlers abound Odysseus sets down backpack beside eucalyptus tree rests when he wakes backpack is gone he is penniless disconnected hitchhikes across bay to berkeley less congested more manageable meets some runaways like him but not like him they squatter in abandoned house off telegraph avenue maybe 20 hippies crashing in house Odysseus adopts enormous closet hidden in back bedroom as his space has small window feels like sanctuary sometimes he comes home finds 5 or 6 kids sleeping in closet in a way people in house become his family tribe some of people are suspicious especially older secretive man with 2 tongue-tied underage girls whom he claims are his daughters Odysseus suspects veiled ****** exploitation girls are lovely yet behave frightened repressed life on street does not come easy telegraph avenue overflows with lost souls searching to hook-up fragrance of frankincense drifts amidst music drug deals rip-offs bullying brawls hierarchy from hell’s angels down Odysseus stays high dances sometimes panhandles “i live in commune with 2 pregnant girls” whatever cash he collects scores acid **** subsists on diet of gum candy sunflower pumpkin seeds sometimes ketchup with french fries his acne crescendos he learns if he drops acid daily by third or fourth day he cannot get off no matter how much he doses tries peyote cactus buttons after waiting nearly hour to get off he suffers stomachache dizziness projectile vomits finally flies into freaky hallucinations he swallows mescaline capsules feels sick to his stomach forgets about his nausea trips for 9 hours tries psilocybin mushrooms laughing straight through night experiments with stp trips for 3 days Bobby Stern and Martha Quigley come out from chicago to visit they are curious about the scene need to hook up Odysseus introduces them to his friends shows them telegraph avenue he turns and they have vanished he does not know where they have gone everybody is losing everybody new kids show up everyday oakland **** named red rat kidnaps Martha is heiress from distinguished chicago family their disappearance makes chicago papers after week Bobby and Martha manage to escape they never reveal to Odysseus what red rat did to them radio plays doors’ “light my fire” and jimi hendrix’s "purple haze" Odysseus has crush on beautiful blonde Patty she  ran off for summer from her parent’s home in sunset section of san francisco Odysseus and Patty hang out go see country joe and fish in provo park on sundays hitchhike into city watch Jefferson Airplane play for free in golden gate park hitchhike to marin see Grateful Dead jam at muir beach dude hands out free acid Odysseus is total acidhead acid reveals everything in new intensified light *** on acid is beyond *** wilder than *** more primal *** so intense it transcends limits of eroticism acid helps Odysseus realize his true self his pain sadness tears lies crazy-*** side first tingling tremors in stomach chest hands then initial flashes of sparkle traces of color echoes of giggling laughter lucid thoughts sometimes he swallows such large doses all he can do is stare out at white light what is it about massive hits of acid? measure of how fierce his spirit? self-punishment? escapism? he wonders why he so desperately needs to escape from what whom? himself? Mom’s numerous efforts to convince him he is mentally disturbed? Dad’s fists? escape from real world to where? Odysseus hangs with Pluto skinny 16 year old ****-addict golden wavy hair rotting teeth finesse with girls Pluto claims crystal **** enhances *** more than acid needles frighten Odysseus he lets one of Pluto’s girls hit him up with methamphetamine feels sudden overwhelming rush through head body forgets about needle before it ever leaves his arm having been initiated Odysseus begins scoring with Pluto’s girls Pluto knows tons of girls Odysseus loves feeling numb free being out of control not giving a **** getting ****** ****** by pretty girl if he could have his way he would go from ****** to ****** with pretty girl all day every day deep in drug induced state because drugs lower inhibitions allow them to explore some sick disgusting stuff that is paradise for Odysseus he is rapidly slipping into street life drug addiction wakes up with ants crawling in his hair witnesses numerous fights freak-outs 2 different kids o.d. while he is present lots of creepy stuff  by early august realizes he might wind up dead soon or rotting like Pluto Odysseus has spirit but troubled by what he sees troubled enough to return home go back to school he feels lost desperate alone not thinking plots drug deal swindle double-crosses some people guilt and shame for conning people haunts him for years he gives Pluto half the money tells him to share with Patty with his cut buys ticket back to chicago Penelope is first to greet him she gives him big hug comments “you need a shower and shave real bad!” his hair is wild scraggly beard Odysseus holds on to her he has missed his little sister glad to be near her feels panicky his parents will punish him Mom and Dad are relieved but agitated their worry and shame at his flight have turned to anger resentment they rationalize he selfishly ran off merrymaking for 3 months they sternly make plans for his next semester while Odysseus was away in california Penelope has ****** ******* for first time in back seat of Jed Zurbeck's black pontiac Penelope in secret goes to see doctor for pregnancy test doctor recognizes Penelope’s last name calls house Odysseus answers phone doctor asks to speak with Mr. or Mrs. Schwartzpilgrim Mom picks up phone doctor informs her Penelope is pregnant all hell breaks loose doctor makes house call with Mom and Dad present offers 2 options for Penelope “you can be picked up by limousine on state street and blindfolded you will be taken to an undisclosed location where abortion procedure is performed then re-blindfolded and returned by limousine to state street or you can report incident as **** and get signatures of three physicians then have abortion in a hospital” Mom and Dad choose to report it as a **** fabricate story about Penelope walking home from school and being grabbed pulled into alley by black man who rapes her Penelope is made to tell lie three times deeply disturbs her after abortion is done in hospital Dad makes Penelope swear not to admit abortion to anyone insists she tell Jed Zurbeck she made up stupid lie and she was never really pregnant Penelope obeys and tells no one
Eilis Ni Eidhin Sep 2014
the bird not the body function
leave the body behind
the birds are being swallowed by the sky
The clouds are welcoming to them
I think 'take me too'
feeling left behind
martin May 2012
No, you can't nest there!
Chatter, swooping, fly around
I must close the doors!
Truly this happened
Emma Liang Mar 2012
I bounce a volleyball as I walk to my dorm
just to hear that delightful sound, that satisfying, clean thud off the cement.

look up, see you in that grey hoodie that gives me bad dreams
and curse under my breath, eyes darting like a cornered fox,
            there is nowhere to hide.
we almost exchange eye contact, I almost taste blood in my mouth
            I hate how familiar you are.
you look down, cough;
I murmur a dusty hello-goodbye into the ground, hold my volleyball tighter
against my chest –
and hurry on, court sneakers straining on the pavement, trying too hard to forget your cracked smiles.

--

I remember how we used to pass for hours
no sound but the volleyball slapping against our forearms,
brushing off our fingertips,
echoing through that Choate gymnasium, that cold spring;

My head had barely reached the middle of the net,
but you were tall and brave and handsome, my Prince Charming, and
I was a freshman girl with her heart on her sleeve, who
hugged a warm volleyball to her heart and smiled,

thinking herself lucky.

--

Spring thawed your heart, eventually,
and you let me hold your hand;
you had long fingers, cold to the touch.
you taught me how to set, complimented my hands,
trained me to cradle the ball with my thumbs like it was made of glass,
your hands around mine.

I was braver than you were,
because everything felt fresh and exciting to me, like the
smell of crushed pine needles in the air;
you kissed me (I kissed you?) on that night
and I leaned forward, curious and eager, and wrapped my arms
around your neck.

--

The days melted into one another,
and we became
like chalk drawings blurring after rain,
like floor burns from sliding to save a falling ball –
but missing it, all the effort gone to waste;
the burns will still burn and still scar, for nothing.

May to June, June to July,
I hugged you and laughed, but my eyes
were cold; you said I love you
And I tried to say it back, but I couldn’t without
sticking a used to before the love –
            the honey words stuck in my throat.

Our kisses were routine, stale
like the crackers I left out the night before;
I tapped my foot and
tossed the volleyball quickly behind my back with nimble fingers
and counted the seconds before it was acceptable to pull back;
I had homework and volleyball practice and quizzes to study for, you know – I tried to smile but
it felt so wrong, I stopped –
you asked what was wrong, I shook my head, there are no answers for some questions.

--

It’s been four years since we’ve spoken,
shared secret moments under solemn oak trees, behind library bookshelves
that promised to keep us away from prying eyes,
smiled into each other’s lips,
blinked stories into each other’s eyes.
It’s been four years since people have teased you for not
hitting the ball when we passed – you gentleman, you –

I will not say I miss you, because I refuse to lie for your sake;
but sometimes as I set a ball perfectly to a hitter
I think of you for a split second, wonder where you are and if you remember as much
as I do, which is, honestly
not very much.

--

she writes letters to him and then burns them all, the smell of smoke fills the room.
It’s as if she is stealing the fury of the sun, which is cooling down, melting into lava at the horizon –
it will be another cold winter, there is already frost in the grass, the air smells chilly.

Dear you,

I broke up with you as nicely as I could –
there was no reason I fell out of love, the same way
there is no reason people fall in love.

you have no right ******* me out on the internet the way you did.
Every time I hit a volleyball I imagine your face on my palm, and I hit harder.
I will never forgive you for the things you wrote,
and I don’t know if I ever loved you at all,
because you are despicable.

Goodbye,
the girl of your dreams.


--

it’s the beginning of the end of July, everything is so hot.
the pavement is baking, the volleyballs are flat,
her arms feel weak and limp like overcooked noodles.

it’s hard to think straight. She can hardly remember
her own name before remembering that she has a boyfriend.
He calls, he says I love you and she tries to choke out that well-rehearsed lie –
what was it again? something like I love you too?

But it’s too hot, and she
can’t do it anymore –

she swallows hard and grips her volleyball tighter,
her hands sweating against the weathered sphere that has been through so much with her
as she prepares to say goodbye.
no grieving then but seize the darting joys
that pass like summer birds above the lake
enjoy the time and all the things you make

ignore the pain avoid the childish noise
see how the breezes still the reeds do shake
no grieving then but seize the darting joys

before they pass on to new girls and boys
as life requires since every reed must break
eternity's the dream that we mistake
no grieving then but seize the darting joys

— The End —