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Louis Verata Mar 5
I pray to the seven skies
But no one replies
The Moon under my feet
When I think of Meztli
That great umpire called Time
Makes me sigh
Endless tides could not
Stop Jesus' stride.

Great Dame Fortune
You turn that wheel
To no one's surprise
God to your right
One thing He cares  
Not to decide
Everywhere Krishna I see
Equalizing suffering and felicity.

Demiurge people teach
Gnosis I want to reach
Zoroaster laid the seed
For the Heavens to preach
Ahuramazda I wish to meet
To Allah I secretly plea
Shhh...

I don't want to wake up
From this dream!

In all honesty
Probably a gnat was I
That couldn't even fly
In my previous life.
mjad Jan 26
My head is against the hard plastic, my hair softening the uncomfortable edge
I catch a sliver of the snowstorm when I look out, blocked by his silhouette
My hands place themselves on his waist, preparing for the worst
Lips on lips feeling the unequal pressure and my heart feels it's cursed
My chest feels strange as he transfers his kisses and finds my hands
I feel him pressing against me and I sink myself into the stained fabric as far away as I can
My body tenses and my mind tells it to stop but it doesn't understand
His movements are choppy as he tries to explore the new terrain
Does he know this terrain is 17 years young
Because the ground can tell the excavator is at least 21
Teeth collide with my lips and I cringe at the lack of skills for a man
My eyes drift to the snow outside the warm well used minivan
Wishing how badly I could be a snowflake on the other side of the glass
I pull my sweater up
And let him take off my bra clasp by clasp
But I don't want him
I don't want this to last
be gone
cold weather
be gone
from here
be gone
and show
your freeze in another
hemisphere

too long
you've tarried
too long
you've stayed
too long
a gelid touch
you've so unpleasantly
flayed  

spring oh spring
bring your warmth of air
back again
to melt the landscape's
icicle encased
terrain
幽玄 Jun 2018
The first sign of a dream approaching is that when you’ve already awoken,
awoken to a strange place with no trace of how you could’ve gotten there.
And the unfamiliar, faces near, with eyes similar to shards– shaded  
you can’t help but notice those feelings emitted were somehow something you’ve come to known before,
but where?
–a notion coursing its way around a soundless observatory only to further dissipation—
A sign of discord covers the room,
all that was allowed is furthest from you,
a parched paper made from what seemed like rugged twine knows nothing but lead between,    you find a face emerging from it,
quickly drawn with detail,
there it stops from motion to undulating surpass,
away from a darkened room up in front of a morning taking.
This conjuring source flairs outward
rising through the outworn canvas
leading it to embers
dancing away along a fizzled plane
for what was despair inscribed in this meaningful dereliction.
To what is empty from emotion is nonexistent,
I couldn’t find the reason to live on,
this dream has died as will I... as will the will of this way this place carries over me.
Yes decay follows me,
unto everywhere will there be the silent breezes to carry me past the concrete terrain into nothingness.
I find myself to live this over,
until the advent of air drowns these lungs to knowing again,
to know exactly what it means to breathe again.
I see no reason for such things as unrealistic as they may seem likely for me to occur in this living.
Again I’m stuck in a room full of my owns thoughts,
such a dangerously sorrowful place to be.
‘For everything as it may have not been
weary am I for looking forward at
The things that never happened’

‘Turning over everyday, repetitively’

Let’s just say that this isn’t personal but for those whom share a common fate. Until overturned.
In its most rawest.
5.3

Parallels:
Snow, for me exemplifies a mute understanding from in juxtaposition with various types of sadnesses that branch off into disparately inclined yearnings, to nostalgic preferences, whether known or not. Why it happens is of course obvious but the way it affects you, makes one wonder, if at all— I think I’m trailing off my train of though here, I’m not sure where this is going..

This was inspired by a remarkable composer, as I recalled a dream before, along with the yearning of trying to expose my underlying expansion of myself with my current understanding of things. what it all could mean as much of his cello’s presence affected me during that process. I’m the gray area that needs deciphering.

—continuations:
the cello that wails the loudest, is one that suffers the most. Even so, every tone encapsulates the listener with resonance. And in that, it reaches its utmost vulnerability, showing the many hues imbedded in an infinite sadness, in an astronomical way, a type of exquisite somber, that resides in the instrument’s hollowness until implementation of procedure.
Logan Robertson Aug 2018
My Little Black Bear
Down by the singing river
Dancing with fate
Little ducks take to the rapids
Away from your dinner table
Off to the banks
You stand your grounds
Tall as you are wide
Your initials in the terrain
Cursive is the eye tooth that reigns
I see you
Posing with the lilies,
Elves and dwarfs
As the western sky looks down
Casting whispers
Is your closet filled
With both helping
The meek and sustenance
Under the skirts of nature
You're having an ****
Robbing all the salmon
And berries
Then slumbering under a tree
Tummy full
Those ******* eyes of yours
Catching shut-eye,
a couch potato, a game of the week
Your wide open mouth
Catching a bee,
A refreshment
That long smile on your face
Backpacking a dream
Mama and her cubs having your back
In some ways
My little black bear ...
hear, here
I see you, in me

Logan Robertson

8/08/2018
I once had a women friend.
Jade Oct 2018
Heart skips
like a warped record,
trembles over scarred vinyl
until "I love you"
tastes incomplete:

(I)                love                 you

I                  (love)               you

I                   love                (you).

My Swan Song mewls off key,
cascades across the
marred terrain of my soul
in a thick lacquer of tears.
Notes flatline
in unison with my
waning pulse
(waning, like the face
of the moon on the night
of my eighteenth birthday).

My breath
resigns to static,
dances in slow decrescendos--
sputters its way
towards nothingness,
slipping rapidly from
my consciousness until
I no longer hold
any recollection of the music
(or the poetry).
Don't be a stranger--check out my blog!

jadefbartlett.wixsite.com/tickledpurple

(P.S. Use a computer to ensure an optimal reading experience)
Sara Kellie Sep 2018
Starting with coverage from BBC2.

Brushing calm shadows into
pastel hills.
A rhythm paints terrain a
sugary brown.
Flicks of green create
fauliage serene.
The clean tasteless air is
cotton soft.
A effortless stream runs
cobalt clear.
Where salmon gymnastics begin
each year.
Squirrels practice dance routines a
glamorous red.
The doormice dressed and ready
for bed.

Continuing coverage on Ch4.

The perch, the tench sat together on an underwater bench.
Discussing bait and hooks whilst flicking through some fishing books.
What's he eating? Mr Mole,
it looks like cheese and ham
on a soft brown roll.
There's a chicken and a fox that
live round here.
Seriously, they've been dating each other for about a year.
Now, if you take the next left,
then over the stye.
There's a duck lives there and he's got a glass eye.

Poetry by Kaydee.
Poetry by Kaydee present what is believed to be a creative first.
One story, one habitat, one poem giving you the viewer, two different narratives.
Now here's another twist because instead of you, the reader, reading a poem in the traditional way. We handed our work straight to two television broadcasters and they have each made a program exactly as they wanted with no constraints.
Showcasing two well known broadcasters with polar opposite styles.
Poetry by Kaydee presents to you 'The Meadow'. We take up the story with BBC2 before switching over to CH4.
Will you notice a change of style as we go from the 'high brow' production of the BBC to a more laid back, social media type of production from Channel 4.
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
jane taylor May 2016
and there i am in the midst of it all, conscious of what appears to be existent, yet knowing it is illusory.  and if time is occurring synchronously then how can i look back with contrition?  for if i have the capacity to move backwards and forwards in quantum leaps, i can erase the past like pastel chalk on an antique blackboard, then start anew.  is not the sky my canvas and the arc of the rainbow my palette?  and the stars in lustrous luminosity light my way so that ev’n at dusk I can paint.  yet pain ne’er ceases to hollow me out.  then through a barren vessel i catch more rain, and pour it out upon the parched terrain.  just when i thought enlightenment was nigh, a sharp edge is discovered.  must it necessitate additional sandpapering from the wind?  when will the gemstone sparkle without further pressure?  does it lie in its power to simply shimmer sans duress?  perhaps it was dazzling at its inception, relinquishing its luster upon domestication.  with this proviso, as it nears twilight i shall tarry and blend with the night.  i’ll dance with a moonbeam knowing the jewel will glisten afresh upon the rise of the golden sun.

@2016janetaylor
sharpcastuser Nov 2011
Dark sky with amber stains
Sinking sun casts shadows over the plain
Fields of wheat redden for each strand of grain
Dark sky with amber stains
Wild horses sleep as their wanderings refrain
Full moon reigns over the terrain
Dark sky with amber stains
Sinking sun casts shadows over the plain

© 2004 - Pres  Hello-Poetry.com - All Rights Reserved
Daisy Marrow Nov 2017
21
It's late again and the room is dim
with candle lights taking over the night.
I'm swallowed in this empty space
counting the days.
How many moons must pass by
before I finally can fall asleep?
She no longer
is enough.
I've grown old.
I've grown slow.
I find my time lost in memories,
but I think it's now my turn to find someone
who looks at me like I'm glittering.
Show me the way,
Show me the signs,
I'm forgetting how to read.
Will I win,
Will, I walk,
I've seen this road before.
I've just never made it down to the end.
Luckily, the stars saw my grief and made amends with me.
They've kept me in the dark for so long,
and now are finally guiding me
through this terrain.
Through this rain.
Through the night.
Until I find someone who can carry me back
to the candle lights.
A poem about getting out of a funk and longing for love.
Mara W Kayh Jan 21
My life is a virtual battlefield
complete with hidden traps,
layered atop cowardly assaults

between highly guarded spans of peace,
Inside my house
chairs and walls
are coarsely blown to bits
by verbal bombs,
and stark fists of shrapnel.

Behind that simple smile,
semblance of solid love
so easily shaken,
lies a ripened mine field

I tread on tiptoes
yet it erupts under
calloused feet unprovoked,
blasting color to grey
as sacred sanctuary
falls to scarred terrain.

Spears lodged inside ribs
I peel myself from the ground,
shake off soot,
wait for dust to settle
before I march forward, again.

yes I lose the battles
But I will win this war.
Reminded me of the song by Pat Benatar, "love is a battlefield"
But again, hate seeps in as well.
She walks at night likes passion's grace
Through nebulous fields of dream landscapes
Wild Morpheus her footsteps guides

She’s lust’s impassioned wile incarnate
Her will like swirling ocean currents
Endows the night with wanton purpose

Sent from heaven's pearly gates
To make men ponder mortal fortune
Tempting spirits will to sate

Demanding accolades of prowess
To satisfy her primal needs
Traverse her treacherous terrain

Her visage of immortal love
Like honey dripping from the comb
Inspires reckless heart's abandon

Dawn comes like coitus interruptus  
Narcotic wisps of contention fade
A thrall with no earthly recourse
Infatuated with the feminine mystique in general can leave you unrequited.
ryn Sep 2014
Doom train hurtling along
Through the fog in my mind
Towing freight, rectangular and oblong
Dim headlights, you're travelling blind

Five carriages long, excluding engine and caboose
Metal against metal, spitting sparks on steel
Undetermined path, rails will choose
Chugging along on dirt covered wheels

In the cabin, I see the light
Emanating from your furnace
Swallowing up coals in your gaping bite
Tongues of flames licking the surface

Fire breathing, spewing thick black smoke
Almost unseen, against the dark of night
A long plumy arm as if extending to choke
And plug the remaining sources of light

Meandering precariously on tracks that weave
Over uncharted, unfathomable terrain
Your store, so reliably you heave
Worming your way through my brain

What's in that cargo of yours?
What lies within those boxcars?
What drives you to diligently run your course?
What fuels you to travel near and far?

Loads of self pity, self loathing and self reproach
Snaking your way to an unknown destination
Screeching brakes as if a stop you approach
Herald the train of dubious intentions

Light is upon you, dark will dissipate
Your plumes starting to lessen from your stack
The dawn breaking horizon you didn't anticipate
To see another charging towards you on this very same track...
See "Light Train"
See "Collision Course"
jane taylor Jun 2016
this time is dark and dreary
why do i live it out?
i’m in the dirt and dusty road
what’s this life all about?

i look up and it seems like miles
‘till i could reach the sky
someone told me that i could go
but i know it’s a lie

but somethin’ says
fly high butterfly
come on, you won’t die
fly high butterfly
come on reach for the sky
fly high butterfly
come on butterfly fly

fly high butterfly

i feel that i can’t do it
i wanna stay the same
though this is hard and rough terrain
to me it’s home i say

then groundhog day it is again
please stop it i implore
the wounds need healin’ i am hurt
can’t take it anymore

but somethin’ says
fly high butterfly
come on, you won’t die
fly high butterfly
come on reach for the sky
fly high butterfly
come on butterfly fly

fly high butterfly

i crawl up to my empty shell
i curl up inside
i wait, i’m frightened, what to do?
i feel like i will die

i melt down into nothingness
i cannot take the pain
but something’s changin’ i wake up
to see life once again

cuz somethin’ said
fly high butterfly
come on, you won’t die
fly high butterfly
fly on up to the sky
fly high butterfly
come on butterfly fly

i flew and saw the light
i’m alive butterfly
now i know that this is the life
have the courage fly

fly high butterfly

©2016janetaylor
this is a song i wrote the music and lyrics to
https://youtu.be/idWIrkCVKPw
jane taylor Jun 2016
how i have ached to walk amongst the evergreens
encased by dazzling quaking aspen
in my rocky mountain home

i yearn to fall again while skiing
and catch a wisp of icy sky blue
snow powder crystals
on my tongue
******* feelings
rise and fall
as they melt
and disappear

i long to breathe in your scent
sitting on the peak of wooded ridges
amidst slate colored boulders
sea salt combined with cinnamon
laced with wildflowers
crisply filling my lungs

i hunger to once again
behold again your red rock formations
creating tender hollows
through which timid coral sunsets peer

i crave hiking at dusk
into your jagged emerald forests
and sit wistfully mid the columbine
while darkened sunflowers juxtapose
against the jet black emptiness
enticing the stars
to etch enchanting paintings
on inky cobalt skies

hankering to be at the sundance film festival
coyly peeking into restaurants
covertly spying on the movie stars
on old park city main

itching to experience waiting patiently
for a moose to cross the street
its majesty splashing gingerly
sending chills throughout the galaxy
magnificence abounds

i pine to have memories gently cradle me
like worn out patchwork quilts
warmed by incandescent fires
wrapping me in soft colored canvas
the past craving transformation
by an echo that’s now dim

faintly crying out for
an old familiar artist’s brush
that still lingers
to snag times gone by
and paint the future in

amalgamating the antiquated
with the present
luring in
my destiny

i dream to don my fringed leather jacket
and hear my cowboy boots
fiercely clicking
against charcoal shadowed midnight sidewalks
while i watch the harvest moon

i’m parched too see your autumn chestnut leaves
against the bloodshot auburn sky
as cardinal hues give way to glistening winter
melding into tender spring

your summertime birthing
tingles down my spine
as chartreus aspen leaves
morph to golden bisque
enticing ute country
to blow in
copper colored indian summers
with cherry fragrant wind

yutaahih you were called
by the apaches
their historic essence
somehow ingrained within
my every cell
thirsty to lie enveloped
like a long lost lover
in your rugged western terrain

once having left your presence
i return to you now
my heart flutters
with wild anticipation
to see your precious face again
utah

©2016janetaylor
after a 5 year absence, we are returning to utah at the end of this month
Each step is taken                      
                                for granted.

Confident that the terrain will remain
unchanged, solid and dependable beneath
our feet, beaten down by the ones
who have walked before us,
we forget to think about
our destination, and when the
path inevitably betrays our trust,
our arrogant stride falters
as the world shifts beneath our soles.

It is no wonder that we stumble when
trying to blaze our own trail.
So, remember to be wary about
where you step on your quest
for answers.
david mungoshi Mar 2016
this is where you find us
with our bits of paraphernalia
and our shredded hopes
reclining upon our mad fantasies
this is where you find us
on our windswept bits of  concrete floor
hoping against hope to one day be loud and rich
our affluent mouths enriched with aromatic cigars
this is where you find us,
our women ravaged by the wind
and our children taking whatever we give them
from heaps of misfortune
festering like putrid wounds
on forgotten bits of terrain
along cursed routes that lead to where it all stops
this is where you find us
with our broken teeth and our losses
with our jaded dreams and our hallucinations
this is where you find us, we the deluded many
who were foolish enough to imagine a community
glued by common bonds of former oppression
Megan Jones Sep 2015
“Put pressure on it, it needs more pressure”
Holding your wounds shut
That senseless force is what took you away
Pressure- to be... whilst not desiring to be
You saw the clouds moving in greyscale
I saw the hills below scattered in shades of green,
Cavernous, shadowed, cryptic, familiar-

We were advised to go as the crow flies
I cried to a nameless God that your crow’s feet
Were from insurmountable happiness, not the pressures endured
I’ve forgotten much since the storm some-178 weeks ago
Though my body remembers yours over and over again
My skin has yours imprinted, correlated
Forged into one point on the axis between here and there
You the X, I the Y

The Earth crept between the crevices, curling
Through the distance between the Right radius and ulna
Elbows breaking knuckles, blood remains to be spilt
Blood doesn’t connect, if anything it merely separates

Scarecrows don’t help much when the crops won’t grow this year
Ants crawled out of the barrel of a shotgun
Observing the process of cleaning bones after tragedy

Follow the moss to find your way North with no direction-
Sometimes on the other side it’s not greener,
It’s more terrifying than ever before
Terrain untouched, unspoiled, sacred-

Climb up the trees with me, find your quiet
We won’t carve our names but we’ll find our niche
You’ll have quills and I’ll have armor
Not even the thought of stolen arrows,
Lost time through distance,
Or perhaps a slew of chemical imbalances
Can reach us up here
I chose to glue your pieces back together with mud and straw
Taken from the fallen, the loved and now distant memories

You may be an abandoned military base offshore
What was once used by many-
Witnesses life again, life of a different kind
The vegetation will ease its way into the cracks
Constructed when the foundation began to decay
It has a beauty of its own, one of self-sustainment
An everlasting beauty that connects itself
To the surrounding extravagance, often times ignored,
Death isn’t the only way to be forged into nature, remembered

Fear doesn’t always win, nor death do us part so soon
I hope your skin and bones remember before the end
zebra Mar 2017
split the atom an we get fission
mass becomes energy
but can we split a second
enter the essence of the present
what would it mean to us
to be that mindful

ask your self doesn't your mind
only occupy past future
abjectly incapable of living in the present
in the true present there could not be even a ghost of a thought
theres no time to think

can we enter
an incalculable split second
and totally take in that instant
with a forgotten organic technology

is it the big bang in perpetuity
yet quiet as a mute
a raging ever expanding sea in a connected
but distinct dimension

if you entered it
would it not utterly erases all of history
the thinkers and doers along with it
the step beyond the alpha and omega
the great underlining reality

imagine the penetrated moment
an all consuming unimaginable
trans-mutational merge
omnipotent
yet forever imperceptible
to those among us
time locked
an irreducible limitation
like an ant in a closed paper bag
a fixated reflexive machine
wandering aimlessly
with an unknowable mission
and a relentless survival mechanism
with no chance of survival

time as a cosmic metabolism
its medium space
a vast cauldron
an infinite vessel containing endless points of light

everywhere
myriad phenomena
its terrain and the temporal creatures that inhabit it
both exquisite and hideous
an incalculable zoo
histories victors and victims
one and all vanquished
by the curse
consciousness of dis-juncture
a merciless countenance of limitation

yet could time be an illusion
rooted in a narrow awareness
bereft of an eternal
inexhaustible self effulgent now
the rapture
an eternal ******

if we could only ******* into it
would it swallow us
and blot out the drama of creations theater

is the
now
conscious
illimitable
ecstatic
a perfect meta moment ?

we hear from sacred texts
like the Vedas... Bhagavad Gita.... and Kabbalah
that we may enter beyond the veil
passed time and its ravages
passed mind and its distortions

not to the heaven of religion
in its endless
closed system precepts
anthropomorphic metaphors
theistic gobbledygook
and
sophomoric social engineering
a kind of cliffs notes
god for dummies

we can enter
the eternal abode of the divine
a point between
the splitting of seconds
revealed through the simple act of mindful breathing
pierced by the effort of a focused mind
we definitely can!
but do we dare?
David Hutton Nov 2018
Raw landscapes shape the far distance
Brutal terrain tests our endurance
A greeting with coldness
A sheet of fog invites us
Raw landscapes welcome us with silence.
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