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FIRST DAY

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chicago,
could this be
Sandburg’s City?

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

Chicago,
Sandburg’s Chicago,
Could it be?

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

Now also
tourist attractions
for a cafe society.

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

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

Great restaurants
serve liquid jazz
al la carte.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Its mouth our Dixie Trumpet
guarded by righteous Cajun brethren.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

3.
There is faith in everything in Chicago!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

4.
Does Chicago have a future?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The analysts say
it’s all about capturing liquidity.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sorghum,
I think its hardy.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This is an efficient market
that crosses the globe.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Many striver rows compose
its many neighborhoods.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


SECOND DAY

1.
Out my window
the sun has risen.

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

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

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

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

I set my watch
to Central Standard Time.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Always more.
Much much more
in Chicago.

2.
Sandburg
spoke all the dialects.

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

Sandburg understood
what it meant to laugh
and be happy.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What level
is he speaking of?

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

I wonder
if I detect
condensation
in his voice?

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

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

This seditious talk!

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

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

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

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

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

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

It is the true level
of this city.

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

Splashing
the nation,
anointing
its people
with its
blessing.

A blessing,
Chicago?

All rivers
come here.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sandburg knew
a Chicago
I will never know.

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

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

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

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

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

Hell even Chicago
got its own brand
of Blues.

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

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

The Blues live
on in Chicago.

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

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

Music:

Robert Johnson
Sweet Home Chicago


jbm
Chicago
1/7/99
Added today to commemorate the birthday of Carl Sandburg
Terry Jordan Mar 2017
I am a thriving survivor
Though twice betrayed and abandoned
Often been lied to and cheated
Plutoed*, fired, hired then mistreated
Struggled getting up off the couch
Alienation caused self-doubt
For this thriving survivor

Release all the hurt and slander
To that past I will not pander
Determined to walk through the door
To a life with so much in store
For this thriving survivor
Trying my hand at the Rondine poetic form: #12 lines in #2 verses- with #7 lines in the 1st, #5 lines in the 2nd, consisting of 8-10 syllables for each except the refrain, or repeat of, part of the 1st line.  Awaiting feedback if I got the form right or not.  *demoted
ryn Oct 2014
tell me...

will tomorrow bring,
     all the things
i'm longing...
    stowed upon its elusive wings,
tirelessly beating
    and fighting
to show what's dangling
and hanging...
          ready for the picking...

                          awaiting...
such time so it could begin its need for unloading,
                   delivering
                                      and dropping,
its gleaming
                      treasures
on those who are deserving,
        in no way lacking
so they could be at the receiving
end of this pressurising,
           inking
                      of dwindling
                                        words...

carel­ess thoughts conceived only to
              fuel
           my deranged ramblings...
incessant mutterings of a shattering
                         mind...

           bending backwards, almost breaking,
         risking...
the chance of ever fully
                                          mending...

hopin­g and praying
   for a sentence that's pending
dawn's approval...

allowing
   the rising
of the sun...
                  paving
            ways for thriving
                                          wishes,
unbarr­ing
                  gates for soaring
                                                dreams, unlocking
                   latches,

relieving...
the heightening
                     anxieties of grieving
                                                        ­ hearts.

constantly whispering
                               utterances, promising
good will, happiness
                              and titillating
                                                     ­ sanity.

we're thinking...
     the earth is spinning,
         the moon is setting,
     so the sun must be rising
                         but...

             tell me,
                           tomorrow...

                                *is it coming?
S Nirmal Kumar Oct 2018
Blinding flashes of lightning
Deafening claps of thunder
Unflinching, mushrooms sprout in my backyard
winter sakuras Jul 2018
There is such a place, you know--
one that transcends time and space
and visions of what you're supposed to resemble,
and the limits placed by the digits
of your mortal age.

I can feel the presence of it
in my bones,
where the sky is never ending and liberated
and the sun and moon
can openly converse and love and exist,
without the rules of superiors
who like tragic love stories and twisted histories.

Whatever you decide to do, whatever you decide to feel,
there are no restraints
to keep you from the prospects of flying,
or dreaming,
or embracing things that you had to
let go of in another existence.

There is no fear, confusion, or awkwardness,
no doubts of not belonging,
of not deserving to exist in such a place
where your soul can be pure,
and being able to thrive
without having to try so hard
anymore.

You don't have to try anymore to
be a good person,
because you are one.
You don't have to struggle to hold on to yourself,
you don't have to feign ignorance
or enlightenment.

You can breathe and smile openly,
and every smile is so breathtakingly beautiful that
you glow and transcend above all heavens
and insecurities.

The ground is soft and supportive,
giving way to your feet, that no longer
feel so tired and heavy from having to labor to live,
or from constantly running away
from demons and voices
that tear at your conscience and soul.

No, you can now feel as light as air itself,
soft feet running on sunkissed clouds that
formed from tears of happiness.

When it rains,
you don't have to take cover
for it has already washed away all your sorrows and guilts,
guilts in the forms of hot, suppressed tears
in the failures of your lost ambitions
and stolen discoveries,
guilt from turning away, even when someone
asked you for help.

You can forever venture out here,
to unknown, misty, thriving islands and majestic palaces
far away,
you can do things you never got to do,
for you don't have to pretend
to be someone you aren't.

You don't have to live each day questioning
every single telltale of life.

You don't have to wonder anymore
about why the world can be
such a cruel place,
no matter how many rays of hope
reach into the darkness.

You don't have to wonder anymore,
because here
such misery does not exist,
and the ruins of a good soul
dance as a renewed, enlightened being again.

Above all,
you don't have to live someone else's life
because here, you find yourself
over and over
and over again.
07/09/18

The Green of this particular Nirvana is a component that allows you to love and live freely, with no restrictions or heaviness of people weighed down by the world, and themselves.

Here, you are liberated from the faults of others, and the faults of yourself in a time and place where you were ignorant and lost.

Here, there is no society to degrade you. You can exist solely in harmony with nature.

Edit: Wow, I can't believe this poem got chosen to be the Poem of the Day! I've never received so many likes, comments, and feedback on any of my poems, so I feel overwhelmed, but very happy. Thank you for taking the time to read my words; it really means alot to me <3 <3
Leah Marie Apr 2015
I was the sun,
You were the rain.
Our lotus flower bloomed,

Thriving with life,
Screaming in color.
We had the perfect flower.

But lack of rain,
And overwhelming sun-
Our flower died of thirst.

It was beautiful;
We were beautiful.
Shofi Ahmed Sep 2018
Bud of the winter dew on lips grow,
Snowy boughs surrounding began to unfold,
'Spring it shall flower' you must travel along, to see
When she will flower and in her very first glance,
Shall innovate the ether lapis-lazuli sky,
And the glamorous sun in her luminous dews,
She will cast her gaze towards the infinity,
And the veiled spring-night of tender full-moon,
With millions of star thriving, will be reflected upon;
She will whisper to the sleeping morning breeze,
And that will wake dancing the primrose's aroma,
Smoothly waving over the green meadows!

Who will let it be freely, purely, organic!
In whose innovate warm touch shall dissolve,
Poor winter's covering upon the earth,
Hence, once again green earth shall cast,
A glance to its vernal zenana,
Beneath the sunny sky wherein the air,
Shall sniff the aroma of the radiant rose,
And the birds shall tour around,
Singing the song of freedom!

Endure, yet she is beyond the gaze of the sky!
Now a season poor as she has flown away,
Gone to address the assembly of the Angels!
Therefore, accepting an invitation from the fairies,
To have a bath in their lotus-pool, prior to flight.
Hence, delighted fairies all flew to the palace,
To give the news to Queen Mab!

And soon a while after they return,
Around the pool, they greeted and sang,
The spring while she steps into the pool,
They sing and dance, hail the spring:

'The troublesome thorn mingled into itself,
The long ugly arm has collapsed pieces itself,
And the beauty has broken through!
Behold! The shining sun under her shadow!
The beauty by her grace fathomless,
Gorgeous she looks, rosy winsome!
Make all dance her awakening fragrance,
Tenderness she breaths, and caresses the bliss,
With a heart of endless love,
Vivifies the file, pleasant, dynamic!'

Meanwhile, the maid of honour came with the news,
They wanted to hear 'the Houris too shall join them.'
Yet they are flowering themselves alike as they gaze,
Upon the adoring scene of divine, winsome, paragon, fashions,
Impressionist hairs of the Queen of Paradise!
Where lay upon the Throne, and youthful streams,
Flowing, surrounded by, and canopied by the sky
Of glory garnished by the millions of the divine artisans!
There the sun care greatest and offers harvest lights,
And now, she comes to the streams, she shall swim.
Therein the never fading water-lily will please her sight,
She will listen to the divine birds of joyfulness,
Singing the songs of the blissful souls,
In the name of the all praiseworthy,
The perpetual Creator, Allah.
As she will innovate the songs,
And the innovative image of the eternal creations,
Will be bestowed upon the spring and all the houris,
Shall greet the spring as they will pour
Flowery rain over the fairies' pool!

Listen, the angels sing 'Lo, the spring, '
Again and again, as she dives into the fairie's pool,
And dips out up to the earth! See for yourself:
As youthful as ever with the sun shining on her forehead
And the day on her flowers, with her the earth is radiant
Her soil is perfumed, she belongs to paradise!
Paul M Chafer Apr 2015
Even at my age,
I see mountainous lands in the sky,
Languishing among towering clouds,
A lofty empire, lost kingdoms,
Perhaps a strange magical realm,
Thriving with dwarves and giants,
Maidens in towers awaiting rescue,
Where lone horse warriors wander,
Maybe observing us, far below.

Must be a poetic creative thing,
Or simply the child deep within,
Viewing through the eyes of the man,
Dreaming ancient days of long ago,
When the child yearned to be grown,
To know all there is to know,
Never appreciating escapism,
The chance to drift within time,
Ponder upon distant, aerial, worlds.

Or maybe I’m just a dreamer,
That and nothing more, hmm,
Telling myself, I am a poet,
A procrastinating creative spirit,
In love with the trappings of art,
The child asleep within wisdom,
Languishing among towering clouds,
I see mountainous lands in the sky,
Even at my age.

©Paul M Chafer 2015
Inspired by the poem ‘A Procession Of Days’ and dedicated to fellow visionary, friend and poet, W L Winter.
Valora Brave Nov 2012
I'm living with a cloud
angrily trapped, separated from belonging
expressive, loud

I'm living in stormy weather
hidden protection from the sky above
attacked by wind, blown like a feather

I'm staring at the unforgiving sun
seeking out superior potential
sifting through ideas
before I'm undone

I'm delivering a speech
bounded to my emotion
I bear it, desire to reach
full potential, operate in purposeful motion

I'm thriving and its not enough
I hear my voice
full of nonsense and fluff
it angers me. I search for substance
by traveling a further distance

I resent the forced truth
I can lose my shoes eternally
where I stand, but I can never escape
the limbs that fill them

I'm echoing off the rim
circle back, I wonder
where these shoes
have been
Mary Ab Jul 2014
Our hearts and souls were so blessed to fast Ramadan sincerely
To be enlightened by its super mercy and extreme prosperity
purity abiding around my heart, kindling my every part

a gift from Allah came along to bless our hearts
to spread  peace and love, to dig faith in each part
A blessed bounty to wipe away our tears
to zest our souls and vanish our fears
to sparkle with faith with our keenest beliefs
and twinkle light in our bright smiles
oh dear eid, you can't help it but sowing seeds of joy,
Capturing joy and happiness in every single countenance ,
of a child's enthusiastic joy kindling a thriving inner radiance
joining hearts and souls with the deepest crystals of love
revealing such a fancy artistic touch of a peaceful dove
feeling the gratitude for Allah's super merciful blessings
praying to pluck the roses of peace each single moment

pounding hearts of affliction and yearning
missing your everlasting passion getting sick of poisoning
yearning for their peaceful deliverance
to catch glimpses of happiness
that once has been hunted by a sudden death of a loving part of soul
until Allah will send a cheerful hope,
just be patience to get over all the mope
smile and share the joy of eid and love  ,
work even harder to cherish the heaven above ....
This is the first draft of the poem " imprinted feelings"  written jointly with my dearest poet Amina ♡
Check the final version ^^
Tannor Fortin Dec 2014
The World Relies On What I Despise,
We Thrive On Its Soulless Power,
To Our Demise,
And We Hope To The Skies,
The End Of Its Mighty Hour,
Technology Will Fall So Fast,
And Most Of Us Won't Know What To Do,
As We Continue Thriving On The Past.
My opinion on technology as the world stands with it now.
Stephanie Lynn Sep 2015
i'm biracial
no i'm not an oreo
no i ain't your zebra
i ain't the best of both your worlds
i ain't mulatto either

i am white
and
i am black
living my life with a sense of inequality
my race always seems to follow me
no matter where i'm at

white people have jokes
black people have questions
my hair appeals to some of you
while the rest of you have suggestions

who said i needed you to tell me who to be?
who said i needed to explain who i really am underneath?

striving to be normal and thriving to be equal
i just so happen to be a white girl
that knows what it's like to be black
and that bothers a lot of people

my race may not define me but it is apart of who i am
so yes i get offended when you refuse to understand

that i am what i am
black and white
white and black
light brown complexion
***** curls front to back

a strong black woman resides inside and it's she you see
a white woman is there but will never be
but i never deny my lines culturally

because they are me
(C) Maxwell 2015
During my Childhood.
a New Hampshire father of twin boys named Joe taught me that friendship, love, and respect,
meant wrestling.
He was a burly man
with glasses and a salt and pepper beard
Who loved guitar hero, dunkin' doughnuts and Motorcycles.
One day joking to his adult friends I heard:
"I'm a lesbian trapped in a mans body"

Now, Joe did not mean this the way
we think of it in this community.
He was not transgendered.
probablly didn't even know they exist.
He was simply saying.
"I have an attraction to girls who will never love me, because I have a *****,
and Isn't that tragic enough for a punchline?"
Though a young boy,
I identified with that.

In middle school, the media convinced me
that gay boys were getting all the ladies.
So I needed everyone to know I was gay.
that way, they'd be my friends,
and get naked in front of me.
It worked.
However, I still could not get a girlfriend.
And I did not want a boyfriend.
because again, It was all a 10 year old me's
Con just to see girls undress.

A year or two goes by
being gay
To get a girlfriend.
when on the television:
I see Tila Tequila.
A bisexual Bachelorette reality Show.

Wait! I said to my mother.
"I CAN LIKE BOTH?"
"Sure you can! I do.
This one time, aunt spider and I"
"Mom! That's enough."

So in my living room,
Surrounded by fold-out tables
And chicken parmesisan
I pronounced myself bisexual.

I had the best of both worlds! I could watch girls undress, AND have a girlfriend.
This was not relevant however, for a while.
As I still had not developed social skills.

Enter highschool awkward bisexual boy.
I'd never actually been attracted to a man before...
But I wasn't ruling it out.
zero percent of the woman I fell for seemed to like men,
Or more accurately, me.
I was resonating closer to the
"Lesbian trapped in a mans body"
line then ever before.
I probablly asked out every female senior, every girl I grew up with.
every girl who looked at me, to go on a date.
All to be turned down.
Except one.
I entered college with a monogamous Long-term relationship raising A beautiful Nerd girl's daughter.
Seemed like I had it made.
Young parents.
Both bisexual.
Together we flushed out Every kink and curvature of what pleasured us.
Then two years later.
My grandmother died,
I lost my job of four years,
She left me,
taking our daughter with her.
Devastated, I turned to the most destructive of known vices.
Tinder.

I went on first and last date after parking lot hookup after rooftop romance with these girls.
Writing poetry all the while to document my stresses.
I was no longer "A lesbian trapped in a mans body."
If anything, I was a lesbian
Thriving! In a mans body.

This came up at a party once
We were playing rockband when I said it.
A woman spoke up:
"You're devalueing the phrase for transgendered woman who use it!
It's dissrepectfull."
When I tried to explain myself:
That it helped me rationalize
years of rejection
laugh at my own failure.
Build the foundation
for my optimistic attitude
By saying it's not me.
I just like lesbians.
it made my failures a predictable Punchline.

But I was weak.
They convinced me.
I stopped identifying as
"A lesbian thriving in a mans body."
from then on, I was a man.

Years have passed and I've given a lot of love to a lot of people.
Learned a lot about my preferences
Sexually, romantically, personally.

At the momment:
I am a:
Hetero flexible
Polyamorous
Male.

But deep down I know.
Even though I'll never say it.
Because it isn't really true.
Or maybe because it's offensive.
Or maybe because i'm scared.
I'll always be a lesbian
Thriving as a man.
I will have you know that you are in the mine-ority
If you don’t look at my pic and insta-click “like” on me
I thrive in this weblight, you subsist in ambig-you-ity
Mine is the looking glass of Aphrod-I-te
The un-My-ghty look on my aesthetic perfection and despair

I am the reason there is an earth
All was designed to usher in my triumphant birth
You are just hateful ab-you-sers and mis-you-sers
YOU are YOUVENILE YOULINQUENTS!

I am the oh-so-fleeting truth  
Present in a world obsessed with youth
I am only worth what others see in me

I embody the my-jority
My onscreen attention antics
Are the me-ssential components
Required to build a thriving Me-ocracy.
~
NM  
10/17/14
presented as part of a Dawkins’-meme based poetry collection at the 2019 “Trash Talkin’” literary Conference at the University of Regina, in Regina, SK, Canada
Dee Oct 2013
To explain in which extent I love you we would first have to explain how the tears of the clouds can fulfill the thirst of a plant how can the loss of something be the completion of another you empty yourself upon me and I grow from within the confinements of an un nourished soul you tell me your stories and fill up the voids within me with the sadness you've endured nourishing with life the pieces of me that I thought with sadness had already died in turn I recycle your energy and turn it into thriving life that from the ground you helped pick up like a perfect Eco system in which we rain upon each other to help each other flourish to everyone that watches it doesn't make sense but every time a bud grows within me i finally find beauty  in a world full of weeds
it was warm
for a winters eve
unusually warm
but damp very damp
birthing a persistent
midnight mist that
crawled over everything

avenging
halogen angels
flitted down from
streetlight perches
skidding through
bare limb bars
of broken trees
roped in by sagging
telephone wires

skulking
seraphs
joined
ebullient
neon auroras
laughingly
brake dancing,
jittering away on the
pock marked rims
of hip hop streets

the fine drizzle
descending from the
black urban heavens
splayed holy water
over the bodies
of anything
that moved; and
layered mounds
of transparent beads
on all inert things
chiding those yolked
to weighty burdens
to seek relief of
a much needed
breaking point

our
slouching city
mired in a cycle
of a prolonged
historical rut
beavers away
to lift the lid
on tomorrows
tipping point
in a desperate
labor to stop
tripping over
itself...

a dinged up
Sentra’s
flashing spinners
twisted round
our dark corner
nearly clipping
our troop

inside the
yakking low-riders
scuttled along,
their hidden ***** eyes
cruising the stoops
and cyclone alleys
scoping opportunities
for the next
jolly hustle
to feed
a growing
angry fix

tonight
Mother Nature was
running a *****
to the wall third shift,
manufacturing a
stationary low
of gagging precip
churning volumes
of Vulcan smoke
conjuring
convective spirits
from all the
dim places

emanations lit
the balmy January air
rising from
stubborn gray patches
of despoiled snow
and rancid ponds
organic gutter water
composting
in distilled pools
awaiting leakage
through flotsam
clogged sewage grids

Paterson’s
litter police
could close the
city’s budget deficit
if all infractions
were properly cited
and paid in this
neighborhood

this queer elixir of
rising vapors from
evaporating snow
escaping the cracks
lining the bowels of
mordant streets
joining descending
screens of billowing mists
blurs boundaries of light,
diffusing temporal time

people and things
lose precise definition
reducing sentient beings
to moving silhouettes of gray
photographic negatives
framed in dribbling palettes
of pastel hues

our
5th Ward mission
planted in the
hub of a neighborhood
still holding on...

Old WASP’s
of St. Paul’s
long ago
winged away
from this
princely
Episcopate
principality

the abandoned
conical nest, its
chambers filled with
the mud of 50 dead rectors
precariously clings
to its shivering
boulevard corner

its endowment depleted
its earthly treasure rusting
grandiose Tiffany windows
remain the last legacy of an
opulent faith now
shamefully rattling away
in moth eaten frames

once icons of
adulatory reverence
the final sparkling asset
of a distressed religion
begs to be monetized
by flummoxed vestrymen
yearning to extend
a stewardship
over a dissipating
ESL flock

distress in the hood
parades down Broadway
in all directions

a few blocks east
a shuttered
Barnert Hospital
transfigured into an
urban enterprise zone
for health-care privateers
working overtime to
extract federal
corporate welfare
rent subsidies
dutifully fulfilling
fine print obligations of
Obamacare legislation

Old Mayor Barnert’s
namesake synagogue
once hard by
City Hall
is long gone
its absent footprint
now centered by
a thriving
White Castle

near Broadway’s end
on the outskirts
of Eastside Park
Art Deco Emanuel Temple
the last anchor
for the city’s Judaism
lies vacant
awaiting a renewed
purpose

fraught with irony
a thriving Islamic Center
stands juxtaposed
across the street
from the old
Hebrew Temple

we wonder what
will emerge
from the
hallowed chrysalis
of decommissioned
Emanuel?

rumors of a
Great Falls Art Center
trickle like a leaking faucet
failure to secure a mortgage
in the post credit
bubble pop economy
dams the possibly
of a new centers
coming to fruition

will
the city’s
changing
demography of
reverent Muslim’s
genuflecting
across the street
take time away
from prayer to
patronize a venue
offering decadent
bourgeois jazz and
risqué reviews
of retro Borscht Belt
vaudeville?

when Constantinople
became Istanbul they
converted the Christian
churches into mosques

when the Inquisitioners
drove the Moors from
Granada they converted
the Grand Mosque to
the Cathedral of the
Incarnation

what incarnations
will this city’s
twilight bring?

As Byzantine
begets
Constantinople
begets
Istanbul
the links
in the Silk Road
spanned west
to the new world
of mechanized looms
powered by
Great Falls
raceway water
and a distribution
and procurement
chain anchored
by the Morris Canal

Capitalist
modernity
begets
our Silk City
it also bespeaks
its demise

in the courtyard
of St. Paul’s
a muffled chorus
trawls the thick air

a posse of pimps
done wrangling
their stables
of $5 ******
sing reveries to
the evening haul

midnight lullabies
of corner crooners
lift a Capella hosannas
from the dark armpit
of an alley behind
the Autozone

“i said
you say
what can make
me feel this way
my girl”

juiced pimps
cashin in
livin large on
a skanks
50 cent haul

the trade in flesh
of distressed
human capital
remains a
growth industry

Music Selection:  
Temptations, My Girl

jbm
3/1/13
Oakland
Part 1 of extended poem Silk City PIT.  PIT is an acronym for Point In Time.  PIT is an annual census American cities conduct to count the homeless population.  Paterson NJ is nick named The Silk City.
Madisen Kuhn Jun 2013
soon i will f a d e
like a photograph
left upon the windowsill,
and you will wipe away
my name from your lips

my laughter will become
a faintly familiar echo
in the hollows of your memory,
and unlike your thriving soul,
i will be fixed in a state of affliction
by the absence of your tenderness

yes, the fire in your heart
that once burned brightly for me
is growing dimmer by the hour,
however, you shall remain with me
e v e r m o r e
thejohnags Jul 2018
you're lost in the wild
you don't know where you are,
you don't know what to do,
so you're dying in the dark.

you're looking for a trace
you're looking for a place,
but all you get is this maze
you should've seen your face
you got burned, got cornered
no turns, just liars.

and when you try to seek out the exit,
you find the monsters in your closet
smiling, waiting, hungry to dive in
you can run, but you can't hide
you can try, but you'll be found

so you're lonely in the streets,
you've been sleeping there, no sheets
you're looking for a mirror, looking for a lover,
looking for a mother, looking for a savior,
but you're alone, child.
but are you lone, child?
are you gonna cry now? be brave child.

the time is ticking
this game you're playing,
it's never ending,
but try to win it.

you say you're fine,
but you hope with fright.
you curse your life,
cuz it's killing you with pride.

the door is open,
but the sign says closed
your heart is breaking,
but you got no one to hold.

so you hold onto your dreams:
bright, and thriving lights, NYC
but is it worth it? can you chase it?
can you catch it? or miss all of it?

you sit in the corner of the bed
you're thinking about life, you're thinking about death
you're thinking about your friends, you're thinking about your family
when you thought of yourself, you thought of yourself lastly.

you sit and think about living
what to do to learn? what to do to earn?
how to keep up the pace?
how to dance in the rain?
and why are you lonely in this sick, crazy game?

so you wake up in the streets
the air is warm, so you smile, and you breathe
looking for dime, looking for a rhyme,
looking for more time, looking for your prime

looking for a flower,
looking for a paper,
cuz that is what you're best at:
painting words then you're a goner.
NC Aug 2018
She is not thriving in the fancy place
but she grow up with the fertile mind
Other people think like she is in prison
But she feels like in mansion

She grow up and feel comfy
Stuck in her own routine
Doesn't makes her feel unlucky

No one can judge her, she doesn't care
She will prove it someday
What she's been prepare.
©anecstatic 2018
cxffee and rain Jan 2019
My beautiful sunflower,
of warm, yellow joy -
infectious - as sunshine
beams across our faces.

An abundance of petals,
golden in the light.
Growing toward the sun,
striving for perfection.

Our beautiful sunflower,
nurtured and thriving,
growing through my heart, warm
with happiness and love.
happiness of being in love? feels gross to read it now haha
Isaac Golle Sep 2012
Grace.
Let it fall like an ocean
Let it rip through the skies
Let it fill up my heart and pour out my eyes
Let it gravitate my soul
Let it make me feel whole
Let it remind me of why I live
Let it remind me of all that you give!

Grace
Let my heart be made still and let mine eyes be opened!
Let me remember that my ears
were made to listen
And my lips exist for a lot more than just kissin'
Let me remember that these hands simply cannot do it all
Cuz see I wasn't made for that
I wasn't made for that at all

Grace
I was made to live and when I say live I think I mean give
But then I quickly realize I can only give so much!
And there's only so many lives I can touch!
Well how can I love if I can't constantly give
And how can I live if I can't constantly love but
Where's the hope in the God above if I'm the one doin' all the work?
And that's when I remember I accomplish the most when I just let go
And let You grab hold

Grace
Well what were these hands made for if not feeding the poor?
And what are these heart-wrenching feelings of constantly wanting more?
Why do my bones ache and my soul quake at the thought
Of living for myself?
Why do I worry so much about putting the marginalized on the shelf?
Why do I worry
about a life that loves hell?
Well maybe all this
is an unidentified desire to glorify God personified in Jesus Christ crucified

Grace
And maybe my soul's been singin' songs to my saviour since the day I was born
And maybe my saviour's been singin' sweet lullabies to quench the fear in my eyes
Maybe not all is lost
Maybe hope and salvation really come without cost
WELL TRY AND TELL THAT TO THE MAN LIVIN' ON THE STREET WITH NOTHIN' TO EAT
an'
TELL THAT TO THE CHILD WHOSE FATHER GIVES HIM A DAILY BEATING
TELL THE MURDERER'S AND RAPISTS THAT THEY CAN GO FREE
TELL THEIR VICTIMS...
Tell them what?

Grace
Maybe it's time I remembered I don't have all the answers
Maybe it's time I remembered I am a speck of dust in a rolling beach of existence
Maybe it's time I look at what's right in front of me
And not strain my neck as far as the eye can see
Maybe it's time to focus on living and not just surviving
Maybe thriving looks more like trusting than trying
Maybe all the answers to my questions aren't really answers at all
Maybe it's alright that my walk sometimes feels like a crawl
Maybe 100% of the wrongs I do are all my fault

Grace
Maybe God's lookin' at me like a child set free
Maybe God's not lookin' at who I used to be
Maybe God's lookin' right past all the bitterness and apathy
Maybe God really does look at the heart
And maybe He's been holding mine from the very start
Maybe this is all going according to plan and if it's not well then maybe God's still using it to help me become a better man
Maybe it's time I stopped trying to figure all this out!

Grace
Let it be felt
Tangibly
Kitty Oost Oct 2014
Crumbling cities.
Beauty in decay has always reminded me
of you.
When we were little and climbing trees
you told me of ow you would be great
one day,
like Athens and Rome.
I had laughed and called you silly.
Those were places and not people, I had said.
You shoved your tongue out and clamored:
"Watch me do it!"
I think I finally understand what you meant.
Singing songs to me in my backyard you
were amazing, thriving like you had sworn
to me
those many years before.
We danced and screamed from hilltops
with cities unfolding beneath
our mere human feet.
You weren't kind of the world, but you were
king of mine.
Later that night you dropped me off
at my front door.
Kissed my forehead and murmured
"Goodbye, I love you"
instead of wishing me goodnight.
You fell in the time between night and dawn
and when I woke up the next morning
our empire was gone.
Zeyea Jul 2018
sometimes she daydreams about life the way i do about death. it's ironic, i know: black and white aren't meant to be grey and the rumbling hum of expletives digging into mauve lips pass through like desaturated light to translucent statures. it makes everything seem sweeter than it looks. she thinks the ache feels lukewarm, just like those half-hearted smiles she gives out like presents on a holiday, and she may be right. pain is not cold, it covers your entire heart with microwaved fingers, leaving burn marks that leave chars and ashes. snaps the purple heartstrings and clumsily tries to mend it.

(i love you because you're corporeal, she murmurs, you keep me sane)

she's spider-webbed, sung gossamer and silk while her bar lines drip with ink. and she seems moonstruck—because of me she says and blooms throughout my epiphanies. fancies herself a ghost, a wisp, something ethereal that lingers on my lips like a kiss. and she lingers, oh she does. toppling from the skies and collapsing into my rib-cage, she stays, blushing rose-like and thriving. velvet and constellations of blood clots patter against her skin. it blooms like she blooms, a paint splattered canvas meant for all to see.
Emanuel Martinez Feb 2013
What are we scared of?

Fending off hoards of oppressed human beings
Of acquisition, of possession, of autonomy, of legitimacy
Never been anyone; why empower them now

Legitimized crucification
No exoneration for grave transgression
Morality of mankind stabbed, under siege, defiled
Integrity constantly bloodily ***** like the virtue of women during war
Transgression, nonetheless, legitimized not by the law of a god or science
But that of a righteous m/an

Bodies without agency traversing into illegitimacy
Becoming illegal human beings
Transgression thrusting them into humiliation
Derailed, deprived, dehumanized
Earning rights to hunger, sickness, homelessness in the eyes of civilized man

Growing global economic hubs welcoming
Illegitimate bodies with contempt, violence, violation
Don't belong, lives becoming expendable, adversary to structured society

Trafficking, dragging, trading disempowered labor across meaningless borders
Nationalists disregarding with much pride illegitimates' desires for life
Killing them after you've beaten their soul, in negligence, extracting the fruit of their labor

Xenophobia killing Japan, dying refusing to open its borders to starving workers
When will a muslim sister in headscarf travel across ALL Europe without discrimination
Be careful America, you're murdering liberty's meaningless oath to the homeless of the world
Preaching the birth of the greatest nation on earth on the backs of immigrants across time
When it refuses to cease the political firing of condemnation against displaced human beings

Greatest plunderers of this world, those who set the rules, guarding their loot
Having had displaced black, colored, and brown bodies across time
Abducting black bodies from mother Africa
Contaminating mother America's native bodies with the corruption of whiteness
Causing mother Asia to discourage its pores from allowing the mobility of bodies

Greatest plunderers of this world, those who set the rules, guarding their loot
Legitimizing their stolen appropriations for the world to see
By excluding those they extract the wealth from
Displaced bodies achieving transnational identities in pursuance of unreachable wealth
For far too long trickled out of their home nations
To build the wealths of the new homes they're delegitimized from

Every country great or small falling in line with border policies
Desperate developing countries much too worried to contain fleeting flocks
Developed and thriving nations too ready to ****** the souls of bodies without agency

World's population imploding
Countries' power structures hungering to exploit the oppressed within their borders
Majority of us peasants, poor, without agency, moving across borders
Everyone's in danger of falling in line with the masses
Or the monopolistic governments deliberately creating monstrous line divides
February 4, 2013
Lyn-Purcell Aug 2018
✿⊰✲⊱✿
The air filled with laughter and cheers, leaving me
and Ainhara on the hill
"Oh dear," my handmaid smiles. "It appears it will be a long night.
Parting Paul from our sweet Esshi will prove difficult."
"Difficult but not impossible," I chime. "Come, Ainhara,
let us enjoy the rest of the night!"
'My wish came true tonight,' I beam.
'I will always remember this fantastic gala...' as I enter
the main dining hall with all my friends from near and far,
all my friends of many cultures as we join in laughter, in
glee, ever hopeful for the future of our thriving Kingdoms.
With every sip of wine, every nibble of the fine
dishes, all of our bonds have strengthened.
So now, let us be like the lanterns,
and rises together, sailing through the horizons
to touch the Heavens above.
Eager for the adventures ahead...
This marks the last chapter of the Gala series!
I do hope everyone enjoyed it, I had a blast writing it.
Thank you so much everyone for the support!
It truly means to the world to me,
To Queen Donna and King Dean of Vesian,
I wish you all the happiness in the world.
Congratulations again on your marriage
and to the Great Lady of Haikus, happy belated birthday!
Tomorrow, I'll be sure to put it all in a collection for
you. I hope you enjoyed the series! ^-^
Stay blessed everyone and much love!
Queen Lyn ***
zoie marie lynn Nov 2017
i gave my heart away to a traveler in ****** shoes,
he had pretty eyes that made up for his pretty lies,
and now i don't know what to do.
i gave my soul away to a girl that said she worked for god,
she had oil in her hair but i didn't really care,
but she wasn't at all what i'd thought.
i gave my dreams to an artist i met down the street,
he knew what buttons to press to make me scream,
and now i'm not so sure that was a good thing.
i fell for a rose i thought was thriving,
but she was wilted, she was dying,
and i left quick as lightning.
i gave my limbs to a walking light beam,
he was made of this steel that tightly wrapped around me,
but these indents in my bones are a little too extreme.
i gave my poetry to the monster under my bed,
she crawled in and promised in the morning we'd be wed,
and now there's no rings but a shadow begging me to turn off the sun instead.
i'm just a moment, so don't let me pass you by
Lastuxedo Nov 2015
There is an ecosystem of conflict thriving in my brain.
A world with questions for residents and doubts for landscapes.
I’m not sure if I’m actually reaching for answers right now,
although something in my soul aches.
Those landscapes are parched
and turning to deserts under the sun the residents have named:
Uncertainty.
Claire Jan 2014
Air

  "I'll tell you what I've told everyone else.  The lake doesn't usually freeze because the air isn't usually so cold.  It was frigid that day.  Or more so, that week.  That year.  It wasn't a good one for Amie, she told me that.  And while the lake consistently stayed warm throughout the coldest of times, even it gave up that day, as had she.  It gave up and froze, the warmth taking Amie with it, lost under the icy surface. I know you know this."

  "Well, you have gotten us off to a good start.  I'm going to ask you some questions. What was Amie like at school that day?"
  
  "As far as I can remember, she wasn't acting in any unusual way.  They all ask me if I saw her smiling or laughing; pouting or crying.  School certainly isn't anything to cherish, nor anything to dread.  Amie wasn't some sort of intellect, she didn't want to be.  Or maybe she did.  She woke up at the outrageous time, walked the gloomy halls and did the infinite amount of meticulous homework-"

"But did you hear her complain?"

" No.  In fact, Amie was so monotonous in everything she did, it was hard to tell if she was truly alive.  She didn't talk, she listened, and to more than just voices.  All it took for people, including you and your coworkers, to become aware of this 'boring' life she lead was, ironically enough, her death."

"Don't say that. We were all aware of her existence in one way or another, and if not, you surely were.  You and her were good friends, is this correct?

"Amie was my best friend.  Not in the way your best friend is yours.  She was my best friend in knowing that I could sit in the same room as her for hours in utter silence.  I didn't even cry that day.  We weren't even close.  Our friendship was exclusive--the only person I wanted to be around was her because she was as human as everyone else but yet she served as my escape from everything human.  Do you know what I mean?  I know why she didn't hesitate the moment she fell through the ice.  And I'm the only one who understands because I am the only one who understood her."

"You said she listened to more than just voices.  What exactly are you implying?"

"I'm saying she could hear the earth breathe.  And you could too, if you tried.  It's all she did and it's all she ever wanted to do.  She was more than in love with nature and its simplicity; she believed that it was everywhere, alive and thriving.  I honestly don't think any person could ever make her feel the way she felt when she sat in an empty classroom.  Or when she laid on her driveway at night.  Or, the most relevant scenario, when she ran her fingers through the water of the lake in her backyard.  Amie may have been my best friend, but that lake was hers."  

"So this lake was clearly very important to her.  How often did she go outside to visit it?"

"Oh, every day.  More often than that on days she was home.  I spent a lot of time there at her house, and most of the time I would only watch as she went.  I think the lake gave her the same kind of escape that she gave me.  It was a beautiful thing and I wouldn't take that lake away from her even if it meant she would still be here today.  You just have to see things in the light that Amie saw them before you try to comprehend exactly what happened that day."

"Listen to me.  Do you know why you're here?"

"I'm here because you think Amie drowned herself.  And listen to me when I say that that's not what happened.  She let the lake drown her.  Willingly, yes, but this is a completely different situation.  You didn't know Amie, none of you did.  Even I may not have known who she was, but I knew her.  And I know that there is no other way she would've wanted to die."

"You're here because a girl is dead, presumably from a suicide.  It was you who, in fact, reported the incident a few moments too long after you witnessed from a window the disappointment in her face when her fingers touched the ice, which cracked beneath her feet at the center of the lake .  You watched and felt the indifference run through her body as the water enveloped her lungs, and this girl drowned.  She lived alone in a house with a backyard lake, and every other person we have brought in here sits down exactly where you're sitting and draws a blank after that.  Nobody knew Amie."

"I know what you're going to say and I've heard it countless times.  She was not depressed!  Haven't you been taking in what I've been telling you?  Despite her lack of interest in everything every human considered interesting, Amie was happier than you or I could ever be.  This is because, unlike us and everyone else in the world, she didn't need people to be happy.  I am like her in many ways except that because I needed her.  Shes gone but i'm ok because i still find her in the littlest things i see or hear, and she taught me how to do that.  She was and still is everything good in my life and subconsciously in yours, too."

"I don't think you have been taking in what I'm telling you.  Please listen to me.  You might not think so right now, but Amie was sad.  she was helpless and broken and without words, no one could hear her cry.  Amie, this girl who loved nature, this girl who didn't need people, who passed all of her classes in school but barely spoke, who lived in a perfect house with her beloved backyard lake, who no one really knew about, this girl is you.  And you're still alive."

"Wait, stop.  What are you talking about? I told you she was my best friend-"

"I know you love this lake and I know you have no one to live for but you have to believe that whether or not you need people, people need you.  You said it yourself.  YOU need you."

"No, I'm fine, I'm here in this room and I'm alive and-"

"You need to swim.  Swim towards the surface."

"I-"

"Amie, you need to press your hands against the ice.  Press it and push up.  Push!"


And suddenly, there was air.
CC Sep 2014
I mean to go through life like I mean to live
The stories say that we aren't meant
To be happy and free
Engineering a means of surviving
Bending our wits in hopes of thriving

We will never be
We will never be
Shut it down
The evidence claims otherwise
Sealed the fate of the dying
Freedom is reminded
That no entity has the power

I mean to go through life like I mean to live
The stories say that we aren't meant
To be happy and free
Engineering a means of surviving
Bending our wits in hopes of thriving

Dominate your lives
Work work work
Against the man
I will fight for you
Who is worth living for?
You told me we were good
I believe in you
Do you believe in me?
Alexis Martin Jul 2012
I want to sit in the soil
until my veins transform into roots
and reach through the Earth
clinging to nutrients
thriving
slowly my skin becomes petals
opening with the rise of each new day
basking in the glow of the sun
infinite

I want to sit in a jar
that you placed on your bedside table
on a warm summer afternoon
reminding you that I am forever yours
captured
but as I slowly wilt and wither away
and you begin to lose interest in me
you will find a new love to call home
replaced
Kerli Tulva Jan 2015
Sailing in my thoughts
            Like a ship in the ocean
Swaying up and down
               On the poetical waves.

Thoughts are the waves
                     Poetic and creative
Painful and joyous
                        Stormy and calm.

They hit unexpected
             Leaving a mark behind
Like love leaves a scar
           Thoughts leave a notion.

Poets are in need of them
         The ideas of stormy waves
Their mind is able to create
         After a thriving earthquake
Which brings about the storm
                       In the creative days.
Pierre Ray Mar 2012
There once was a black man... Old at heart, he fought verbally and accordingly with bold words, which abbreviated and arbitrated great art! He spoke of activism. Not just racial, and economic racism. He fought against demonic injustices for you, yes, made me see. He stood for principles of non-violence. Acknowledged corrupt government

mileage, European knowledge and college. A philosopher, teacher
and preacher as well as a civil rights leader. When he spoke his words of fire indeed chiseled and inspired. Causing some to conspire and also perspire! Born January 15th 1929 in Atlanta, Georgia. Named in honor of the German protestant Martin Luther. Bachelor of Arts

degree in sociology. Making a mark in doctoral studies, systematic theology. June 5th 1955 This King married Corretta Scott in Heiberger,
Alabama for many to see. Proceeding with four children: Yolanda, Martin Luther the 3rd to be! Dexter Scott and Bernice to increase the peace. Despite the European police, the movements and stressed

protests, the silence, ****** and racial violence. The segregation and interrogations in force, instead of integration of course. Black mishaps, lack of differences in relapse perhaps! Plagiarized and slandered, demised by some of the wise. Accused of communistic ties. Blinded
by others’ eyes and of our world’s twisted lies. Montgomery, Georgia

bus boycott, 1955 was the year. However, forever in disguise, our fear of tears was apparently adhered. From here to near, also all those dear. Mere letters he wrote, from Birmingham jail I quote! From the slums, some of sums, hail and prevail! A creation prevailing into a deriving and thriving nation. Mr. King’s vision of a dream, mission,

opposition, optimism and truism, on our wars, welfare and more. I suppose this sounds honest and fair. Mr. King’s theories and worries in emotionalism, evangelism, humanitarianism, racism and socialism. Nobel Peace Prize won in 1964. Regretfully, you may have heard of this before. Government conspiracies and indecencies. Assassination

and discrimination, allegedly, by James Earl Ray. On April 4th, I
almost choke, because for him, his blood did soak. Some thought this **** was a thrill or forced by will. Others still procrastinate in hate! However, forever Martin Luther King was and still is one of the late greats.
Tyler Nicholas Oct 2012
The Mill sits comfortably among the sea of red.
Unwavering, unyielding, and thriving.

Cafe Espresso and oolong tea.

The booths are occupied with
reminiscence of the glory days,
contentment between mothers and daughters and sons and fathers,
appreciation of music and art and literature.

All the while sunlight illuminated
the scarf and the starfish
of the girl across from me

as our minds were slowly revealed to one another.
For E.
LDuler Mar 2013
The leeching color from my eyes
My parched mouth puckered
My joints are stiff, stubborn and brittle
Creaking like exhausted floorboards
Wringing my fists, white ands shriveled
Twisting my hands, skinned and raw
I'm ill with desperate thriving
Too weak to carry on, don't have the choice
Veins laden with liqueur, thinning hopes and regret
Pulsing pulsing pulsing
Bones fluttering with birds of bad omen
Scalp rid of hair to make place for the thorny crown of vanquishment
Blood diluted with bitter disappointment,
Sloshing, smearing through my mucked-up system
Aching from the deadly drone of existence
From small victories, large defeats
I'm the mortar, they're the pestle
Clobbering into my hollowed life.

The hammer of that thing
Routine so dull and tedious
Pounding and pounding and pounding
When you can't even scream or weep
Thud thud thud
My temples scream with dank submission
My brain is reeling, hurling from the vertigo of it all.

Morning, noon & night
The dead avenues, the empty buzzing
Beats hammers in my brain
Throb throb throb
I'm quivering with numbness.

I'm mature now, I'm ripe
So ripened and rotten
Adult things, adult preoccupations pulsing around me
It seems like person really only has two choices
Get in on the aimless hustle or be forsaken
I've taken it all up
Rent, coffee, wine, cigarettes and newspaper
Forgotten pills
Unpaid bills
Thump thump thump
Anguish, pain, woe and misery
Turbulence and stress, the banging hammer.

I'm a drunkard, a wanderer
With a beaten, battered suitcase
Days like these, weeks like these, when all the weapons are pointed at me
I'm a ***, an outcast
A pigeon in the pummeling rain
Dribble dribble splash
The ache is a relentless thing.

My job, my rent, my house
My walls limp with memories stuck with rotting glue
Wallpaper torn, curling at the edges
The cold hard floor radiates and screams
The couch, cold & hollow
Incrusted with bits of filthy grime
The dead radiator hisses like an angry snake
The shades down, no sunlight
No life seeping through the venetian blinds
And my clothing sits in the chairs
Like the dead emptied out
The blankets are thin, frayed and tattered
As hope is
The moths, on the other hand, are alive and well
They weave webs of moribund rot
Interlacing me into their strands of decay.

Surrounded by the coldhearted, they snarl
And their laughs abash, dishearten the pure
Bruising me relentlessly
They are so tired, mutilated
either by love or no love
All their bleak and sunken eyes
All their weak and drunken souls
All their meek and shrunken hearts
Vultures with neckties
Weasels in frocks
Collared beasts, that's all they are.

The mournful poet with the shrapnel wound
Was so wrong
I guess he wanted to be lyrical, but his words led astray
Time is not water
It does not flow easy, smooth and transparent
It drags you into dark alleys and batters the hell out of you
Punches you in the ribs, rips your skin,
Jerks you by your hair, stabs you, disfigures you
Leaves you crippled and broken, gasping for air.

Sweating in a rocker
Lanky skeleton hands clasped, praying- for what?
I'm not living, or dying
I'm simply crawling backward
Or no, I'm not crawling, I'm being dragged,
Through nights of lonely perfidy, breathing the beaten dusty air
The dark wind wailing, ebbing through the frail curtains
Laying in bed, too wretched to move
When memories, of heaven and hell,
Droop like broken shades
Across the window of my mind
And ****, I can feel my soul slowly dropping down through the mattress
My stomach is heaving, my teeth clenched and gritted
But not with fear, no, it's too late for dread
And it *****, because we realize we were all so caught up in a life in which we can find no meaning...we end up wrong and graceless and sick
We're born shriveled and alone, we die shriveled and alone
No matter what.
The Hammer by Geneviève Pardoe Macchiarella is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Ginelle Dec 2015
Your scent still lingers.
It reminds me of the winter breeze, so chill and cold to the bone; so brittle, yet joyful.
It reminds me of you: so sad and cold and empty, but still thriving to bring joy to others.
Thank you.
Chris Voss Feb 2013
I'm leaving.
Less like, Peace the **** out,
more like, I gotta go.
I'm leaving the way ships are wooed by waves,
under the pretense of more promising continents.

I can see where countless hands have pulled at my shoelaces,
wrapped my arches in ribbons of origami,
left me second guessing how well holes burn through soles.
It's been a long day of finding breathing space between double-knots and bending
broken fingernails back into place;
the self-constrained chaotic embrace of something supposedly so
straight as string brings forth beckoning ghosts of
those figure-eight souls who laid themselves
horizontal
to waste their Sundays tracing the Hills
on the breath fogged side of some painted-shut window sill;
trading the promise of Infinity
for the Religion of Monotony.
Praying through agoraphobic day-dreams
raining across the night sky of their eye lids
with the brilliance of meteorites,
imagining how earth-shattering they could be
if only these tyrannosauruses would just look up.

I have come here;
Less like, conquest
more like, exploration.
--Abandoned the comfort of quaint, suburban
ruins of the American Dream, which buckled
like widows knees mid frail-voiced eulogy
mourning the death of their Salesman--
and wandered aimlessly into the improvisation of some story-book jungle,
wishing I was better rehearsed.

I have come here
to congregate with the snakes and beasts; to feast beneath
the din of carnal sin and primal instincts. I've chosen to begin jumping
from stump-to-stump like stepping headstones
in a graveyard of fallen trees, where men,
                     who grew up too quickly and forgot the importance of pretend,
                     who learned early on how to black-market trade
                              the need to imagine for something a little bit more
                                                      tangib­le,­
                     who, smiling through serrated teeth,
saw it fit to clear this wilderness for something a little bit more
domesticated.

But thank god, these brambles grow so thick!
For every hail Mary their metal tongues would lick
into the trees' skin, a hallelujah of vines and branches and roots
would erupt in confused medley,
and their finest mathematics couldn't begin to calculate
the thriving division of a place so ungoverned by logic.       
In a jungle plucked straight from storybook pages
I'll band together with these untamed brutes
--these feral barbarians and unbroken monstrosities--
to howl at the moon with the effervescence of a Ginsberg poem.
We'll forge a tinsel-town crown and take turns
playing king of Where the Wild Things Are found.

See, unlike concrete cities
The Wild of Atavism has never forgotten that
Tradition is a catalyst for change
and that nothing is permanent.
Hell, I've been having laughing contests with a mountain
because every now-and-again he will crack
A smile, and when a mountain laughs
He does so, so gutturally,
From deep within his catacomb chest that
the whole Earth quakes -- everything shifts--
And I'm not gonna lie to you right now,
I've sort of got my heart set on being a part of something so
significant.

So if you follow,
shipwrecked and mapless,
Keep your shoelaces strapped tight
and run off the infinity of double knots.
If you go looking for me, continue
past the paint chips, through
the open window;
Set your sights to the far treelines.
And don't strain yourself listening for
the laughter of mountains,
Because when that stoic disposition
Finally does crack, you'll feel it in your feet
no matter where you are.
And from the way his ridges are crumbling,
I think I've almost got him beat.
Feb 27, 2013

© Christopher Voss
Papers are flimsy, fragile
   so susceptible to time
      and harsher climates.

Scissors cut and divide
   thriving on irreparable separation
      to leave us in pieces and scattered.

Rocks are rough and tough
   facing--and looking--the worst
       while enduring every day and night to come.

My choice resides amongst the stones
   constant, long-lasting, dependable
      in the challenges that may have others call
      for support when they can't stand alone
   for maybe the times they lived were too much, too long
after facing the blades which cut them into small, segregated fragments.
ryn Feb 2015
Arms outstretched like the branches of a tree
Aspiring to be amidst with those borne of sky.
Gnarly bark, imploring the eyes of another
Weathered and worn... Skin and grain but parched dry.

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

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

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

Sad fruitless tree...
Standing amidst the green thriving brush.
It dies with the hours baked in sun...
One day it'll fall, consumed by the secrets trapped in a silent little hush...
Rae Slager Jan 2015
Red                                                              ­Red
blood                                                        ­    poppies
splatters the ground                                       blanket the ground
on a cold                                                      on a calm
Orange                                                      ­   Orange
autumn day                                                   autumn day
a bitter, biting wind                                        a cool, rousing breeze
meets the                                                      meets the
Yellow                                                       ­  Yellow
piercing sun                                                   warming sun
beating down                                                shining down
on dead, littered bodies                                 on thriving, vibrant flora
skin turning                                                   emerging from
Green                                                       ­    Green
decay                                                      ­      grass
an ugly scene                                                 a brilliant display
of man's loss                                                 of nature's victory
Blue                                                     ­        Blue
uniforms                                                    ­    sky
war-torn, battered                                        endless, infinite
hidden                                                  ­        retires
by the                                                           to the
Purple                                                       ­   Purple
night                                                             night
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— The End —