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Sarita Crandall Dec 2012
It was in the park.
When I saw the scarf whirling in the wind,
The elegance in its movement was inspiring,
When the sun hit the cloth,
It twinkled under it's rays.
I continued my stroll in the brisk winter air,
Wondering about the poor soul with no scarf to keep warm.
It was then - when that thought crossed my mind - I saw a pair of mittens sitting on a bench.
Unlike the scarf, the mittens were rooted to the bench on which they lay.
A light coat of ice encased the mittens,
When the sun hit just right,
It twinkled under it's rays.
I continued my stroll in the brisk winter air,
Wondering about the poor soul with no mittens to keep warm.
It was then - when that thought crossed my mind - I saw a jacket hanging in a tree.
It looked as if a body still haunted it, because it waved furiously at me,
Probably hoping I could help it down.
The jacket gave up waving to me when it realized there was no way I was going to be its savior, but
When the sun hit the jacket,
It twinkled under it's rays.
I continued my stroll in the brisk winter air,
Wondering about the poor soul with no jacket to keep warm.
It was then - when that thought crossed my mind - I saw a blanket, with a man and women upon it.
And when the sun hit the eyes of the man,
They twinkled under it's rays.
And I realized, there was no poor soul without material to keep him warm,
There was a lucky soul, with a human being to keep him warm.
howard brace Oct 2012
Stood rigidly to attention either side of the hearth, the two bronze fire-dogs had been struggling to maintain that British stiff upper lipidness, which up until earlier that evening had best befitted their station in life... indeed, for the last half hour at least had become brothers in arms to the dying embers filtering through the bars of the cast-iron grate, passing from the present here and now, having lost every thermal attribute necessary to sustain any further vestige of life... to the shortly forthcoming and being at oneness with the Universe... only to fall foul of the overflowing ash-pan below.  This premature cashing in of the coal fire's chips could only be attributed to the recent and prolonged thrashing from the Baronial poker... and a distinct lack of enthusiasm from the family retainer, whom it appeared, required spurring along in a like manner... and while unseen mechanisms were heard to be engaging, then resonating deep within the Hall... that unless summoned... and quickly, the housekeeper had little intention of making an appearance of her own choosing and re-stoke the Study fire while the BBC Home Service were airing 'Your 100 Best Tunes' on the wireless, leaving the heavily tarnished pendulum to continue measuring the hour.

     An indistinct mutter and snap of a closing door latch sounded in the immediate distance as the unhurried shuffle of domestic footsteps... not too dissimilar from those of Jacob Marley's spectral visitation to Scrooge... echoed ever closer along the ancient, oak panelled hallway without.  Their sudden cessation, allowing the housekeeper ingress to  the book lined Study, was by way of sporadic groans from unoiled hinges, door furniture that voiced the same overwhelming lack of attention as that of the fire-grate set in the wall opposite and presumably, from the same overwhelming lack of domestic servitude.
     "Had his Lordship rang...?" the Housekeeper wailed dolefully, giving her employer what might casually pass for a courteous bob... and in lieu no doubt, of Marley's rattling chains, padlocks and dusty ledgers... "and would there be anything further his Lordship required..." before she took her leave for the evening.  The notion of a sticky mint humbug warming the cockles of his ancient, aristocratic heart gave her pause for thought as she rummaged through her pinafore pockets, then thought better of it, after all, confectionary didn't grow on trees...  In bobbing a second time she noticed the malnourished, yet strangely twinkling coal-scuttle lounging over by the hearth, whose insubstantial contents had taken on an ethereal quality earlier that evening and had now transferred its undivided attention to the recently summoned Housekeeper, who was quite prepared to offer up a candle in supplication come next Evensong were she mistaken, but the coal-scuttle's twinkle bore every intimation of giving what appeared to be a very suggestive 'come-on' in return... and had been doing so since she first entered the room... 'and did she have any plans of her own that particular evening', the coal-scuttle twinkled suavely, 'perchance a leisurely stroll down by the old coal cellar steps...'  Now perhaps it was the lateness of the hour which had caused the Housekeeper's confusion that evening, or perhaps an over stretched imagination, brought on through domestic inactivity, but it wouldn't take a great deal to hazard that a lingering fondness for Gin and tonic played no small part towards her next curtsey, which she did, albeit unwittingly, in the unerring direction of the winking coal-scuttle.

     With the household keys as her badge-of-office, jangling defiantly from the chain around her waist, the housekeeper began inching back the same way she came, back towards the study door and freedom... and back into the welcoming arms of her 1/4 lb. bag of peppermint humbugs and the pint of best London Gin she'd had to relinquish prior to 'Songs of Praise...' and which was now to be found... should you happen to be an inquisitive fly on a particular piece of floral wallpaper... half-cut, locked arm in arm with the bottle of Indian tonic water and in the final, intoxicating throws of William Blake's, 'Jerusalem...' hic.

     "Ha-arrumph..." the elderly gentleman cleared his throat... "ah Gabby" he said, lowering his book and placing it face down upon the occasional table set beside him.  The flatulent groan of tired leather upholstery made itself heard above the steady monotony of the mantle-piece clock as he stood and chaffed his hands in the direction of the bereft fire, "Oh! I'm sorry your Lordship, then there was something...?" as she maintained her steady but relentless backwards retreat unabated, the double-barrelled bunch of keys taking up a strong rear-guard action and away from the well disposed coal scuttle... "and was his Lordship quite certain that he required the fire stoking at such a late hour..." she dared, "perhaps a nice warming glass of port and brandy instead" gesturing towards the salver, long since tarnished by the half hearted attentions of a proprietary metal polish... "and would he care for..." then thought better of offering to plump the chair cushions herself, having discovered Mort, the household mouser in the final stages of claiming them as his own, deftly rearranging the Victorian Plush with far more than any noble airs or graces.

     "Poor Mrs Alabaster, you will recall Sir, I'm sure..." a pained expression crossed the Housekeepers face as she collided with a corner of the Georgian writing bureau and bringing her to an abrupt halt... "her late Ladyships lady" she continued, indiscreetly rubbing her derriere, "whose services your Lordship dispensed with at the onset of last Winter, shortly after the funeral, God rest her late Ladyship... when you made her redundant... and how she's been unable to find a new situation ever since on account of her lumbago flaring up again, seeing as how it's been the coldest January in living memory", which in all likelihood meant since records began... "and SHE didn't have any coal either... or a roof over her head for all anyone cared... begging yer' pardon, yer' Lordship", letting her tongue slip as she attempted yet one more curtsey... "and it's wicked-cruel outside this time of year Sir, you wouldn't turn a dog out in it..." and how ordering the coal used to be Mrs Alabaster's responsibility...

     "Oh no, Sir", as she unsuccessfully stifled a hiccup...she would be only too delighted to rouse the Cook, especially after that dodgy piece of scrag-end they'd all had to suffer during Epiphany, but it was only last week that the Doctor had confined Cookie to bed with the croup... "as I'm sure your Lordship will recall..." as she attempted a double curtsey for effect, the despondent coal-scuttle now all but forgotten, "that below-stairs had been dining on pottage since a week Friday gone... and it tends to get a little moribund after almost a fortnight your Honour... and that Mrs Cotswold's rheumatism was still showing no signs of improvement either by the looks of things... and was having to visit the Chiropodist every fortnight for her bunions scraping... and how she's been advised to keep taking the embrocation as required".

     As a young woman, any disposition her grandmother may have had towards sobriety or moral virtue had quickly been prevailed upon by the former Master's son taking intimacy to the next level with the saucy Parlour Maid's good nature.   Shortly thereafter, having been obliged to marry the first available Gardener that came along, she was often heard to say "a bun in the oven's worth two in the bush" for it was with stories 'of such goings-on'  that made it abundantly clear to the Housekeeper, that it was far more than old age creeping up... and that if she didn't keep her wits wrapped tightly about her, as she threw a sideways glance at the winking philanderer... then who would.

     As for the Gardener, "well... he couldn't possibly manage the cellar steps at this late hour, yer' Lordship, wot' with the weather being the way it is right now Sir, seasonal... and him with his broken caliper... and bronchitis playing him up at every turn, even though his own ailing missus swore by a freshly grown rhubarb poultice first thing each morning", but oddly enough, "how it always seemed to work better if the young barmaid down in the village rubbed it on, especially around opening time..." even his brother, Mr Potts Senior, ever since their Dad passed away... "God rest his eternal soul", as she whirled, twice in as many seconds, a mystical finger in the air... had said how surprised he'd been to discover that it could be used as a ground mulch for seed-cucumbers... it was truly amazing how The Good Lord provided for the righteous... and even as she spoke, was working in mysterious ways, His Wonders to Behold... "Praised-Be-The-Lord".

     And how the entire household, with the possible exception of Mrs Alabaster, her late Ladyships lady, who doggedly refused to be evicted from her 'Grace n' Favour cottage...' the one with pretty red roses growing around the door, that despite a string of eviction notices from the apoplectic Estate manager... had noticed what a fine upstanding Gentleman his Lordship had steadfastly remained since her late Ladyships sudden demise... "God-rest-her-immortal-soul..." and may she allow herself to say, "how refreshing it was to have such a progressively minded and discerning employer such as his Lordship at the helm, one filled with patient understanding and commitment towards the entire household..." much like herself...

     Fearing an uncontrollable attack of the ague, which invariably took the form of a selfless and unstinting dereliction to duty and always flared up at the slightest suggestion of having to roll her sleeves up and do something... which incidentally, was the first mutual attraction by common consent to which her parents, some forty years earlier had discovered they both held in tandem... and "would his Lordship take exception..." feigning a sudden relapse as she gestured towards the nearest chair, were she to take the weight off her feet... she plonked herself solidly upon the Chippendale before his Lordship could decline... "perhaps a recuperative drop of brandy" she volunteered, "just for medicinal purposes", she swept her feet onto the footstool, then crossed them with a flourish that would have caused Cyrano de Bergerac to hang up his sword... "the good stuff, if his Lordship would be so kind, in the lead-crystal decanter... over in the corner by the potted plant", she caught sight of the adjacent cigarette box, also tarnished... "just to keep body and soul together, may it please 'Him upon High'..." and just long enough to brave the coal cellar steps and refill the amorous scuttle... "if only it were a little less chilly", she gave an affected cough... on account of her diphtheria acting up again, she felt sure that his Lordship understood...  Moving over to one of the book lined alcoves, the elderly Gentleman lifted several tomes from the shelves... 'My Life in Anthracite', an illustrated compendium' "to begin with, I think... followed by... hmm!" 'The History of Fossil-Fuels, a comprehensive study in twelve breath taking volumes' "and we'll take it from there" as he threw the first on the barely smouldering embers...

                                                      ­     ...   ...   ...**

a work in progress.                                                        ­                                                         1859
jazz rocks Apr 2014
A warmth breath of the early morn,
A touched of the sun's hand to ones eyes.
A strong love that melted the heart of a lonely souls.  
A color of the spring to summer to fall.
A farewell friend in the beginning of the darkness and thy blooms the flower at the far sky.
A twinkled stars in cold breeze in the streets,
and a rising sun that never forgets to open a new life.
The Mermaid (Part One)

The evening was cool
and the sky was so clear
And ripples of waves
were all I could hear

The moon shone bright
and stars twinkled on high
Then from out of nowhere
came so seductive a sigh

I looked out to sea
to whence this sound came
And my eyes did believe
they were playing a game

For as waves lapped around
a rock out at sea
I saw a beautiful vision
who was staring at me

Naked as love
she sat all alone
On that rising edifice
of black granite stone

Her body so wondrous
that I shook with such lust
But a smile so pure
that my thoughts were unjust

Her hair was entangled
with luscious green kelp
That protected her modesty
without man-made help

It hung down over *******
so excitingly full
And covered the parts
that are made to enthral

My mind quickly taken
by this girl of my dreams
But as I looked closer
all was not as it seems

For legs this beauty
was completely bereft
And a long fishy tail
was all she had left

Then with a smile
that made my heart still
She slipped into the water
and I saw she was real

For she dived like a dolphin
under azure sea
And all that was left
were the ripples and me

The End........or is it?

The Mermaid (Part Two)

The man with the tear soaked eyes walked along the beach for the thousandth time, his hands were shaking and his lips quivering in the cold, he constantly looked out to sea, where was she, would she ever return, would she mend his broken heart. He had but caught a fleeting glimpse of this beauty as she preened herself on that ancient granite rock, but a glimpse was all it had taken; he was completely besotted by this angel from the deep.
Even now, weeks after the event he could still see every tiny detail of his wondrous vision, the sparkling brown eyes that outshone the sun, and the kelp entangled hair that seemed to be alive with light and glistened with the reflection from the moon. Her heaving ******* that had caused the man in him to want her body for his own ****** pleasures, and that oh so innocent smile that had replaced the pure animal lust within him with a more protective desire to take her in his arms and cherish her.
He had not kept her appearance a secret, he had told everyone he had met, and he had talked and talked and talked. He wanted to tell everyone about his dream girl, his mermaid from the deep, his beautiful fish tailed siren. But would they listen to him? The answer was no, a resounding no. He was laughed at, ridiculed, pointed at and made out to be the village idiot, just because he wanted to share what he had seen. But he didn’t care, he would see her again, he knew he would see her again; he had to see her again, otherwise, well otherwise he would go crazy.
Another tear ran down his face as he once again looked at the vacant rock where his angel had once sat and realised that maybe they were right, maybe he was mad, just a demented old fool, someone that had let his dreams overtake reality. His heart wrenched tear fell to the sand and along with his hopes and dreams soaked into nothingness; He turned away and looked no more, he must preserve his sanity at all costs so he walked away and returned to the boredom of his sad uneventful life.
So he was not there an hour later when a ripple formed in the water as a dream like beauty pulled herself from the sea and perched on her favourite granite rock. She looked around, but he was not there, maybe it was her imagination but she was sure she had seen love in his eyes, maybe if she waited he would return, but no, she was being foolish, she slipped off the rock once more and plunged deep into the dark forbidding sea, back to reality she told herself, back in the water where nobody could see her tears.

The End
NUMB, half asleep, and dazed with whirl of wheels,
And gasp of steam, and measured clank of chains,
I heard a blithe voice break a sudden pause,
Ringing familiarly through the lamp-lit night,
“Wife, here's your Venice!”
I was lifted down,
And gazed about in stupid wonderment,
Holding my little Katie by the hand—
My yellow-haired step-daughter. And again
Two strong arms led me to the water-brink,
And laid me on soft cushions in a boat,—
A queer boat, by a queerer boatman manned—
Swarthy-faced, ragged, with a scarlet cap—
Whose wild, weird note smote shrilly through the dark.
Oh yes, it was my Venice! Beautiful,
With melancholy, ghostly beauty—old,
And sorrowful, and weary—yet so fair,
So like a queen still, with her royal robes,
Full of harmonious colour, rent and worn!
I only saw her shadow in the stream,
By flickering lamplight,—only saw, as yet,
White, misty palace-portals here and there,
Pillars, and marble steps, and balconies,
Along the broad line of the Grand Canal;
And, in the smaller water-ways, a patch
Of wall, or dim bridge arching overhead.
But I could feel the rest. 'Twas Venice!—ay,
The veritable Venice of my dreams.

I saw the grey dawn shimmer down the stream,
And all the city rise, new bathed in light,
With rose-red blooms on her decaying walls,
And gold tints quivering up her domes and spires—
Sharp-drawn, with delicate pencillings, on a sky
Blue as forget-me-nots in June. I saw
The broad day staring in her palace-fronts,
Pointing to yawning gap and crumbling boss,
And colonnades, time-stained and broken, flecked
With soft, sad, dying colours—sculpture-wreathed,
And gloriously proportioned; saw the glow
Light up her bright, harmonious, fountain'd squares,
And spread out on her marble steps, and pass
Down silent courts and secret passages,
Gathering up motley treasures on its way;—

Groups of rich fruit from the Rialto mart,
Scarlet and brown and purple, with green leaves—
Fragments of exquisite carving, lichen-grown,
Found, 'mid pathetic squalor, in some niche
Where wild, half-naked urchins lived and played—
A bright robe, crowned with a pale, dark-eyed face—
A red-striped awning 'gainst an old grey wall—
A delicate opal gleam upon the tide.

I looked out from my window, and I saw
Venice, my Venice, naked in the sun—
Sad, faded, and unutterably forlorn!—
But still unutterably beautiful.

For days and days I wandered up and down—
Holding my breath in awe and ecstasy,—
Following my husband to familiar haunts,
Making acquaintance with his well-loved friends,
Whose faces I had only seen in dreams
And books and photographs and his careless talk.
For days and days—with sunny hours of rest
And musing chat, in that cool room of ours,
Paved with white marble, on the Grand Canal;
For days and days—with happy nights between,
Half-spent, while little Katie lay asleep
Out on the balcony, with the moon and stars.

O Venice, Venice!—with thy water-streets—
Thy gardens bathed in sunset, flushing red
Behind San Giorgio Maggiore's dome—
Thy glimmering lines of haughty palaces
Shadowing fair arch and column in the stream—
Thy most divine cathedral, and its square,
With vagabonds and loungers daily thronged,
Taking their ice, their coffee, and their ease—
Thy sunny campo's, with their clamorous din,
Their shrieking vendors of fresh fish and fruit—
Thy churches and thy pictures—thy sweet bits
Of colour—thy grand relics of the dead—
Thy gondoliers and water-bearers—girls
With dark, soft eyes, and creamy faces, crowned
With braided locks as bright and black as jet—
Wild ragamuffins, picturesque in rags,
And swarming beggars and old witch-like crones,
And brown-cloaked contadini, hot and tired,
Sleeping, face-downward, on the sunny steps—
Thy fairy islands floating in the sun—
Thy poppy-sprinkled, grave-strewn Lido shore—

Thy poetry and thy pathos—all so strange!—
Thou didst bring many a lump into my throat,
And many a passionate thrill into my heart,
And once a tangled dream into my head.

'Twixt afternoon and evening. I was tired;
The air was hot and golden—not a breath
Of wind until the sunset—hot and still.
Our floor was water-sprinkled; our thick walls
And open doors and windows, shadowed deep
With jalousies and awnings, made a cool
And grateful shadow for my little couch.
A subtle perfume stole about the room
From a small table, piled with purple grapes,
And water-melon slices, pink and wet,
And ripe, sweet figs, and golden apricots,
New-laid on green leaves from our garden—leaves
Wherewith an antique torso had been clothed.
My husband read his novel on the floor,
Propped up on cushions and an Indian shawl;
And little Katie slumbered at his feet,
Her yellow curls alight, and delicate tints
Of colour in the white folds of her frock.
I lay, and mused, in comfort and at ease,
Watching them both and playing with my thoughts;
And then I fell into a long, deep sleep,
And dreamed.
I saw a water-wilderness—
Islands entangled in a net of streams—
Cross-threads of rippling channels, woven through
Bare sands, and shallows glimmering blue and broad—
A line of white sea-breakers far away.
There came a smoke and crying from the land—
Ruin was there, and ashes, and the blood
Of conquered cities, trampled down to death.
But here, methought, amid these lonely gulfs,
There rose up towers and bulwarks, fair and strong,
Lapped in the silver sea-mists;—waxing aye
Fairer and stronger—till they seemed to mock
The broad-based kingdoms on the mainland shore.
I saw a great fleet sailing in the sun,
Sailing anear the sand-slip, whereon broke
The long white wave-crests of the outer sea,—
Pepin of Lombardy, with his warrior hosts—
Following the ****** steps of Attila!
I saw the smoke rise when he touched the towns
That lay, outposted, in his ravenous reach;

Then, in their island of deep waters,* saw
A gallant band defy him to his face,
And drive him out, with his fair vessels wrecked
And charred with flames, into the sea again.
“Ah, this is Venice!” I said proudly—“queen
Whose haughty spirit none shall subjugate.”

It was the night. The great stars hung, like globes
Of gold, in purple skies, and cast their light
In palpitating ripples down the flood
That washed and gurgled through the silent streets—
White-bordered now with marble palaces.
It was the night. I saw a grey-haired man,
Sitting alone in a dark convent-porch—
In beggar's garments, with a kingly face,
And eyes that watched for dawnlight anxiously—
A weary man, who could not rest nor sleep.
I heard him muttering prayers beneath his breath,
And once a malediction—while the air
Hummed with the soft, low psalm-chants from within.
And then, as grey gleams yellowed in the east,
I saw him bend his venerable head,
Creep to the door, and knock.
Again I saw
The long-drawn billows breaking on the land,
And galleys rocking in the summer noon.
The old man, richly retinued, and clad
In princely robes, stood there, and spread his arms,
And cried, to one low-kneeling at his feet,
“Take thou my blessing with thee, O my son!
And let this sword, wherewith I gird thee, smite
The impious tyrant-king, who hath defied,
Dethroned, and exiled him who is as Christ.
The Lord be good to thee, my son, my son,
For thy most righteous dealing!”
And again
'Twas that long slip of land betwixt the sea
And still lagoons of Venice—curling waves
Flinging light, foamy spray upon the sand.
The noon was past, and rose-red shadows fell
Across the waters. Lo! the galleys came
To anchorage again—and lo! the Duke
Yet once more bent his noble head to earth,
And laid a victory at the old man's feet,
Praying a blessing with exulting heart.
“This day, my well-belovèd, thou art blessed,
And Venice with thee, for St. Peter's sake.

And I will give thee, for thy bride and queen,
The sea which thou hast conquered. Take this ring,
As sign of her subjection, and thy right
To be her lord for ever.”
Once again
I saw that old man,—in the vestibule
Of St. Mark's fair cathedral,—circled round
With cardinals and priests, ambassadors
And the noblesse of Venice—richly robed
In papal vestments, with the triple crown
Gleaming upon his brows. There was a hush:—
I saw a glittering train come sweeping on,
From the blue water and across the square,
Thronged with an eager multitude,—the Duke,
And with him Barbarossa, humbled now,
And fain to pray for pardon. With bare heads,
They reached the church, and paused. The Emperor knelt,
Casting away his purple mantle—knelt,
And crept along the pavement, as to kiss
Those feet, which had been weary twenty years
With his own persecutions. And the Pope
Lifted his white haired, crowned, majestic head,
And trod upon his neck,—crying out to Christ,
“Upon the lion and adder shalt thou go—
The dragon shalt thou tread beneath thy feet!”
The vision changed. Sweet incense-clouds rose up
From the cathedral altar, mix'd with hymns
And solemn chantings, o'er ten thousand heads;
And ebbed and died away along the aisles.
I saw a train of nobles—knights of France—
Pass 'neath the glorious arches through the crowd,
And stand, with halo of soft, coloured light
On their fair brows—the while their leader's voice
Rang through the throbbing silence like a bell.
“Signiors, we come to Venice, by the will
Of the most high and puissant lords of France,
To pray you look with your compassionate eyes
Upon the Holy City of our Christ—
Wherein He lived, and suffered, and was lain
Asleep, to wake in glory, for our sakes—
By Paynim dogs dishonoured and defiled!
Signiors, we come to you, for you are strong.
The seas which lie betwixt that land and this
Obey you. O have pity! See, we kneel—
Our Masters bid us kneel—and bid us stay
Here at your feet until you grant our prayers!”
Wherewith the knights fell down upon their knees,

And lifted up their supplicating hands.
Lo! the ten thousand people rose as one,
And shouted with a shout that shook the domes
And gleaming roofs above them—echoing down,
Through marble pavements, to the shrine below,
Where lay the miraculous body of their Saint
(Shed he not heavenly radiance as he heard?—
Perfuming the damp air of his secret crypt),
And cried, with an exceeding mighty cry,
“We do consent! We will be pitiful!”
The thunder of their voices reached the sea,
And thrilled through all the netted water-veins
Of their rich city. Silence fell anon,
Slowly, with fluttering wings, upon the crowd;
And then a veil of darkness.
And again
The filtered sunlight streamed upon those walls,
Marbled and sculptured with divinest grace;
Again I saw a multitude of heads,
Soft-wreathed with cloudy incense, bent in prayer—
The heads of haughty barons, armed knights,
And pilgrims girded with their staff and scrip,
The warriors of the Holy Sepulchre.
The music died away along the roof;
The hush was broken—not by him of France—
By Enrico Dandolo, whose grey head
Venice had circled with the ducal crown.
The old man looked down, with his dim, wise eyes,
Stretching his hands abroad, and spake. “Seigneurs,
My children, see—your vessels lie in port
Freighted for battle. And you, standing here,
Wait but the first fair wind. The bravest hosts
Are with you, and the noblest enterprise
Conceived of man. Behold, I am grey-haired,
And old and feeble. Yet am I your lord.
And, if it be your pleasure, I will trust
My ducal seat in Venice to my son,
And be your guide and leader.”
When they heard,
They cried aloud, “In God's name, go with us!”
And the old man, with holy weeping, passed
Adown the tribune to the altar-steps;
And, kneeling, fixed the cross upon his cap.
A ray of sudden sunshine lit his face—
The grand, grey, furrowed face—and lit the cross,
Until it twinkled like a cross of fire.
“We shall be safe with him,” the people said,

Straining their wet, bright eyes; “and we shall reap
Harvests of glory from our battle-fields!”

Anon there rose a vapour from the sea—
A dim white mist, that thickened into fog.
The campanile and columns were blurred out,
Cathedral domes and spires, and colonnades
Of marble palaces on the Grand Canal.
Joy-bells rang sadly and softly—far away;
Banners of welcome waved like wind-blown clouds;
Glad shouts were muffled into mournful wails.
A Doge was come to be enthroned and crowned,—
Not in the great Bucentaur—not in pomp;
The water-ways had wandered in the mist,
And he had tracked them, slowly, painfully,
From San Clemente to Venice, in a frail
And humble gondola. A Doge was come;
But he, alas! had missed his landing-place,
And set his foot upon the blood-stained stones
Betwixt the blood-red columns. Ah, the sea—
The bride, the queen—she was the first to turn
Against her passionate, proud, ill-fated lord!

Slowly the sea-fog melted, and I saw
Long, limp dead bodies dangling in the sun.
Two granite pillars towered on either side,
And broad blue waters glittered at their feet.
“These are the traitors,” said the people; “they
Who, with our Lord the Duke, would overthrow
The government of Venice.”
And anon,
The doors about the palace were made fast.
A great crowd gathered round them, with hushed breath
And throbbing pulses. And I knew their lord,
The Duke Faliero, knelt upon his knees,
On the broad landing of the marble stairs
Where he had sworn the oath he could not keep—
Vexed with the tyrannous oligarchic rule
That held his haughty spirit netted in,
And cut so keenly that he writhed and chafed
Until he burst the meshes—could not keep!
I watched and waited, feeling sick at heart;
And then I saw a figure, robed in black—
One of their dark, ubiquitous, supreme
And fearful tribunal of Ten—come forth,
And hold a dripping sword-blade in the air.
“Justice has fallen on the traitor! See,
His blood has paid the forfeit of his crime!”

And all the people, hearing, murmured deep,
Cursing their dead lord, and the council, too,
Whose swift, sure, heavy hand had dealt his death.

Then came the night, all grey and still and sad.
I saw a few red torches flare and flame
Over a little gondola, where lay
The headless body of the traitor Duke,
Stripped of his ducal vestments. Floating down
The quiet waters, it passed out of sight,
Bearing him to unhonoured burial.
And then came mist and darkness.
Lo! I heard
The shrill clang of alarm-bells, and the wails
Of men and women in the wakened streets.
A thousand torches flickered up and down,
Lighting their ghastly faces and bare heads;
The while they crowded to the open doors
Of all the churches—to confess their sins,
To pray for absolution, and a last
Lord's Supper—their viaticum, whose death
Seemed near at hand—ay, nearer than the dawn.
“Chioggia is fall'n!” they cried, “and we are lost!”

Anon I saw them hurrying to and fro,
With eager eyes and hearts and blither feet—
Grave priests, with warlike weapons in their hands,
And delicate women, with their ornaments
Of gold and jewels for the public fund—
Mix'd with the bearded crowd, whose lives were given,
With all they had, to Venice in her need.
No more I heard the wailing of despair,—
But great Pisani's blithe word of command,
The dip of oars, and creak of beams and chains,
And ring of hammers in the arsenal.
“Venice shall ne'er be lost!” her people cried—
Whose names were worthy of the Golden Book—
“Venice shall ne'er be conquered!”
And anon
I saw a scene of triumph—saw the Doge,
In his Bucentaur, sailing to the land—
Chioggia behind him blackened in the smoke,
Venice before, all banners, bells, and shouts
Of passionate rejoicing! Ten long months
Had Genoa waged that war of life and death;
And now—behold the remnant of her host,
Shrunken and hollow-eyed and bound with chains—
Trailing their galleys in the conqueror's wake!

Once more the tremulous waters, flaked with light;
A covered vessel, with an armèd guard—
A yelling mob on fair San Giorgio's isle,
And ominous whisperings in the city squares.
Carrara's noble head bowed down at last,
Beaten by many storms,—his golden spurs
Caught in the meshes of a hidden snare!
“O Venice!” I cried, “where is thy great heart
And honourable soul?”
And yet once more
I saw her—the gay Sybaris of the world—
The rich voluptuous city—sunk in sloth.
I heard Napoleon's cannon at her gates,
And her degenerate nobles cry for fear.
I saw at last the great Republic fall—
Conquered by her own sickness, and with scarce
A noticeable wound—I saw her fall!
And she had stood above a thousand years!
O Carlo Zeno! O Pisani! Sure
Ye turned and groaned for pity in your graves.
I saw the flames devour her Golden Book
Beneath the rootless “Tree of Liberty;”
I saw the Lion's le
harlon rivers May 2018
(a travelogue)

He stared down through
the unbroken silence
lapping the shoreline
Water skippers dart around
the rocks and windfall driftwood
settled juxtaposed in cattail reeds
and emerging broadleaf sprouts

A petrified heartwood timber
lie fallow waiting bare barked,
hushed like a pining lover’s
     timeworn love seat,
     rubbed smooth as
     the crystalline waters
     of  half-moon lake

Lingering for a while  ―  
like a hidden stalker,
a perched wildcat waiting
for the full moon’s  
swooning spell to saturate
the thickening dusk quietude;
     arousing the urgent
     call of the wild —
exhaled from the held breath
of the wilderness nocturne
    on half-moon lake

The stillness was scattered
with the soft downy hairs
of the sleeping cattails,  and
the newly shed catkins
a spring gust bestrewed
from a tall resin birch tree
nigh the Sitka willows

     He  sat  quietly ...
     time out of mind ―

tossing his eyes up into the sky;
taking the time to read the stars ―
catching  them  each  again
as they fell into his gentle hands,
to show him who he was

Seeing their sparkly tracers  
trail-out above the cattails,
     from a distance
they resembled falling stars
unable to perceive their own renaissance ―
plashing lightly upon the still-water
     on half-moon lake

A lone shadow glides stealthily
near mid-tarn,.. swimming  
enchantingly with the grace
     of a blackswan
Appearing to glance shoreward
at the glowing low stars
rise and fall, as his eyes
twinkled skyward over
     the moonlit lagoon ―
heavenward of its moonlit ballet;
the lone sleek dark shadow
     slipping through
     a faint circular ripple
stirring the smooth as glass waters ―  
disappearing like a fleeting moment
     waning deep aneath
     a subtle silent wake.

When all the clear lines blurred,
he knew it had been so long ...

     but hearken !
… an interceding
     long drawn out wail  
     echoed  a feral ache
     across the stillness,
     breaking the silence ―

as the shadow reappeared;
     his tears surrendered
to the undulating call of the wild;
he felt the spirit of the sole Loon,
     as black and white
     as the moonlit night,
stir deeply in his wanting heart ―
     lay bare the silence
in lengthy yodeled psalms
to the god of the moon

Diving down deep yet again,
keeping the light he’d been given,
vanishing into the lifespring
sanctuary of half-moon lake

harlon rivers ... May 2018
travelogue: 4 of some more
Notes: i'm certainly aware i've not been here as often and active as i once was. **** happens and so does life, and it will ... so much so, the travelogue chronicles felt worthwhile for a moment, the first 4 were from the 1st 3000 mile leg of a 6000 mile and 6 month round trip road-trip journey ―

All apologies to those that found the length of my work tedious.   When i've tried to make the ink go other than where and how long it flows naturally ― i fail and stifle, paused in my own sown silence.   Too predictable to continue to ignore ― peace
little moon Apr 2014
the universe was toothache, the stars were giant cavities. “but it’s been far too long since i’ve had sugar,” cried the sun, the concerned star. “don’t lie to me,” said ever so smart mercury, “when we are right by the milky way.” the other planets jeered and the sun shed a tear and on the earth was rain, peeking through the clouds. you see, the sun was always body conscious. the planetary publication "zodiac almanac" always had an unruly comment or three to share, and after copious poring, the sun felt a little dimmer every time. but every night when the stars twinkled in all of their saccharine glory, they had the sun to thank. the sun, who boldly held itself up in the sky for the little specks on the planet earth, from the people taking walks in the park to the plants preparing to soak up their daily delight. they engaged in photosynthesis while the sun never felt too photogenic at all. the sun mused while listening to the twinkling music of the rotating planets and stars that kissed each other as they formed constellations, faint but audible nonetheless. the sun mused that it wasn’t shining brightly enough. it cried and wept and the people on earth mirrored its melancholy, for a day without the sun morphed into a day of rain-induced laziness.

mercury, who had since apologized, urged the sun to read a book to reinvigorate her intricate mind. jupiter and uranus suggested a workout for empowerment. mars recommended her to write an angry diatribe or five, she was so very fond of venting. venus reminded her again and again that she was beautiful. neptune sang her a lullaby every night. and saturn offered her a ring to lean on. pluto was on sabbatical, but sent her a postcard. all of these gestures were warm and lovely, but the sun still felt trapped and unworthy.

she felt too enormous, too blinding, and too far from earth, where she’d heard many wonderful stories about. the other planets had grown complacent with their distance from earth, but the sun always wanted more, and that was why it was so sunny sometimes, because she wanted to stretch out her wispy arms and embrace the world she knew she could never touch. so she never felt good enough.

but one day the earth seemed to have had enough, and the people were growing dreary of the absence of their beloved sunlight. the moon was especially privy to this information, as she’d watched over earth night after night (except in her first phases when she would rest), and witnessed many a complaint as the clouds would clock off from their shifts and heave sighs of resignation. they knew their golden friend was still weeping.

the moon decided to take a stand. she floated towards the sun even though they were so far away and told her softly: "darling, i know it’s sad that every day you can give so much to people who will never be able to give you anything back. i know it’s hard to peer over, having to watch their countless stories unfold and not ever being able to be one of them. but every time you shine down on that tiny planet over there, you change things. you are bigger because you are so full of light, gently cascading onto those lucky tiny specks down there. and i know you’ll never know what it feels to be fed rays of sunlight, but you can take all the moonlight you want from me and it won’t bother me at all."

and the sun cried more but this time, the tears were out of happiness, and the moon assuaged her again that it would all be fine. she knew she didn’t need to have her own sun, feeding her light, because she knew the light was within her, and her ***** friend, the moon. millenniums later the two would laugh about this.

"what was wrong with me?" inquired the sun.

"everything happens in phases," replied the moon.
wrote this a while ago to represent my and emelina's tattoos
So all day long the noise of battle roll'd
Among the mountains by the winter sea;
Until King Arthur's table, man by man,
Had fallen in Lyonnesse about their Lord,
King Arthur: then, because his wound was deep,
The bold Sir Bedivere uplifted him,
Sir Bedivere, the last of all his knights,
And bore him to a chapel nigh the field,
A broken chancel with a broken cross,
That stood on a dark strait of barren land.
On one side lay the ocean, and on one
Lay a great water, and the moon was full.

      Then spake King Arthur to Sir Bedivere:
"The sequel of to-day unsolders all
The goodliest fellowship of famous knights
Whereof this world holds record. Such a sleep
They sleep--the men I loved. I think that we
Shall never more, at any future time,
Delight our souls with talk of knightly deeds,
Walking about the gardens and the halls
Of Camelot, as in the days that were.
I perish by this people which I made,--
Tho' Merlin sware that I should come again
To rule once more--but let what will be, be,
I am so deeply smitten thro' the helm
That without help I cannot last till morn.
Thou therefore take my brand Excalibur,
Which was my pride: for thou rememberest how
In those old days, one summer noon, an arm
Rose up from out the ***** of the lake,
Clothed in white samite, mystic, wonderful,
Holding the sword--and how I row'd across
And took it, and have worn it, like a king:
And, wheresoever I am sung or told
In aftertime, this also shall be known:
But now delay not: take Excalibur,
And fling him far into the middle mere:
Watch what thou seest, and lightly bring me word."

      To him replied the bold Sir Bedivere:
"It is not meet, Sir King, to leave thee thus,
Aidless, alone, and smitten thro' the helm.
A little thing may harm a wounded man.
Yet I thy hest will all perform at full,
Watch what I see, and lightly bring thee word."

      So saying, from the ruin'd shrine he stept
And in the moon athwart the place of tombs,
Where lay the mighty bones of ancient men,
Old knights, and over them the sea-wind sang
Shrill, chill, with flakes of foam. He, stepping down
By zigzag paths, and juts of pointed rock,
Came on the shining levels of the lake.

      There drew he forth the brand Excalibur,
And o'er him, drawing it, the winter moon,
Brightening the skirts of a long cloud, ran forth
And sparkled keen with frost against the hilt:
For all the haft twinkled with diamond sparks,
Myriads of topaz-lights, and jacinth work
Of subtlest jewellery. He gazed so long
That both his eyes were dazzled, as he stood,
This way and that dividing the swift mind,
In act to throw: but at the last it seem'd
Better to leave Excalibur conceal'd
There in the many-knotted water-flags,
That whistled stiff and dry about the marge.
So strode he back slow to the wounded King.

      Then spake King Arthur to Sir Bedivere:
"Hast thou perform'd my mission which I gave?
What is it thou hast seen, or what hast heard?"

      And answer made the bold Sir Bedivere:
"I heard the ripple washing in the reeds,
And the wild water lapping on the crag."

      To whom replied King Arthur, faint and pale:
"Thou hast betray'd thy nature and thy name,
Not rendering true answer, as beseem'd
Thy fealty, nor like a noble knight:
For surer sign had follow'd, either hand,
Or voice, or else a motion of the mere.
This is a shameful thing for men to lie.
Yet now, I charge thee, quickly go again
As thou art lief and dear, and do the thing
I bade thee, watch, and lightly bring me word."

      Then went Sir Bedivere the second time
Across the ridge, and paced beside the mere,
Counting the dewy pebbles, fixed in thought;
But when he saw the wonder of the hilt,
How curiously and strangely chased, he smote
His palms together, and he cried aloud,

      "And if indeed I cast the brand away,
Surely a precious thing, one worthy note,
Should thus be lost forever from the earth,
Which might have pleased the eyes of many men.
What good should follow this, if this were done?
What harm, undone? deep harm to disobey,
Seeing obedience is the bond of rule.
Were it well to obey then, if a king demand
An act unprofitable, against himself?
The King is sick, and knows not what he does.
What record, or what relic of my lord
Should be to aftertime, but empty breath
And rumours of a doubt? but were this kept,
Stored in some treasure-house of mighty kings,
Some one might show it at a joust of arms,
Saying, 'King Arthur's sword, Excalibur,
Wrought by the lonely maiden of the Lake;
Nine years she wrought it, sitting in the deeps
Upon the hidden bases of the hills.'
So might some old man speak in the aftertime
To all the people, winning reverence.
But now much honour and much fame were lost."

      So spake he, clouded with his own conceit,
And hid Excalibur the second time,
And so strode back slow to the wounded King.

      Then spoke King Arthur, breathing heavily:
"What is it thou hast seen, or what hast heard?"

      And answer made the bold Sir Bedivere:
"I heard the water lapping on the crag,
And the long ripple washing in the reeds."

      To whom replied King Arthur, much in wrath:
"Ah, miserable and unkind, untrue,
Unknightly, traitor-hearted! Woe is me!
Authority forgets a dying king,
Laid widow'd of the power in his eye
That bow'd the will. I see thee what thou art,
For thou, the latest-left of all my knights,
In whom should meet the offices of all,
Thou wouldst betray me for the precious hilt;
Either from lust of gold, or like a girl
Valuing the giddy pleasure of the eyes.
Yet, for a man may fail in duty twice,
And the third time may prosper, get thee hence:
But, if thou spare to fling Excalibur,
I will arise and slay thee with my hands."

      Then quickly rose Sir Bedivere, and ran,
And, leaping down the ridges lightly, plunged
Among the bulrush-beds, and clutch'd the sword,
And strongly wheel'd and threw it. The great brand
Made lightnings in the splendour of the moon,
And flashing round and round, and whirl'd in an arch,
Shot like a streamer of the northern morn,
Seen where the moving isles of winter shock
By night, with noises of the northern sea.
So flash'd and fell the brand Excalibur:
But ere he dipt the surface, rose an arm
Clothed in white samite, mystic, wonderful,
And caught him by the hilt, and brandish'd him
Three times, and drew him under in the mere.
And lightly went the other to the King.

      Then spoke King Arthur, drawing thicker breath:
"Now see I by thine eyes that this is done.
Speak out: what is it thou hast heard, or seen?"

      And answer made the bold Sir Bedivere:
"Sir King, I closed mine eyelids, lest the gems
Should blind my purpose, for I never saw,
Nor shall see, here or elsewhere, till I die,
Not tho' I live three lives of mortal men,
So great a miracle as yonder hilt.
Then with both hands I flung him, wheeling him;
But when I look'd again, behold an arm,
Clothed in white samite, mystic, wonderful,
That caught him by the hilt, and brandish'd him
Three times, and drew him under in the mere."

      And answer made King Arthur, breathing hard:
"My end draws nigh; 't is time that I were gone.
Make broad thy shoulders to receive my weight,
And bear me to the margin; yet I fear
My wound hath taken cold, and I shall die."

      So saying, from the pavement he half rose,
Slowly, with pain, reclining on his arm,
And looking wistfully with wide blue eyes
As in a picture. Him Sir Bedivere
Remorsefully regarded thro' his tears,
And would have spoken, but he found not words,
Then took with care, and kneeling on one knee,
O'er both his shoulders drew the languid hands,
And rising bore him thro' the place of tombs.

      But, as he walk'd, King Arthur panted hard,
Like one that feels a nightmare on his bed
When all the house is mute. So sigh'd the King
Muttering and murmuring at his ear, "Quick, quick!
I fear it is too late, and I shall die."
But the other swiftly strode from ridge to ridge,
Clothed with his breath, and looking, as he walk'd
Larger than human on the frozen hills.
He heard the deep behind him, and a cry
Before. His own thought drove him like a goad.
Dry clash'd his harness in the icy caves
And barren chasms, and all to left and right
The bare black cliff clang'd round him, as he based
His feet on juts of slippery crag that rang
Sharp-smitten with the dint of armed heels--
And on a sudden, lo! the level lake,
And the long glories of the winter moon.

      Then saw they how there hove a dusky barge
Dark as a funeral scarf from stem to stern,
Beneath them; and descending they were ware
That all the decks were dense with stately forms
Black-stoled, black-hooded, like a dream--by these
Three Queens with crowns of gold--and from them rose
A cry that shiver'd to the tingling stars,
And, as it were one voice, an agony
Of lamentation, like a wind, that shrills
All night in a waste land, where no one comes,
Or hath come, since the making of the world.

      Then murmur'd Arthur, "Place me in the barge,"
And to the barge they came. There those three Queens
Put forth their hands, and took the King, and wept.
But she that rose the tallest of them all
And fairest, laid his head upon her lap,
And loosed the shatter'd casque, and chafed his hands,
And call'd him by his name, complaining loud
And dropping bitter tears against his brow
Striped with dark blood: for all his face was white
And colourless, and like the wither'd moon
Smote by the fresh beam of the springing east;
And all his greaves and cuisses dash'd with drops
Of onset; and the light and lustrous curls--
That made his forehead like a rising sun
High from the dais-throne--were parch'd with dust;
Or, clotted into points and hanging loose,
Mix'd with the knightly growth that fringed his lips.
So like a shatter'd column lay the King;
Not like that Arthur who, with lance in rest,
From spur to plume a star of tournament,
Shot thro' the lists at Camelot, and charged
Before the eyes of ladies and of kings.

      Then loudly cried the bold Sir Bedivere:
"Ah! my Lord Arthur, whither shall I go?
Where shall I hide my forehead and my eyes?
For now I see the true old times are dead,
When every morning brought a noble chance,
And every chance brought out a noble knight.
Such times have been not since the light that led
The holy Elders with the gift of myrrh.
But now the whole ROUND TABLE is dissolved
Which was an image of the mighty world;
And I, the last, go forth companionless,
And the days darken round me, and the years,
Among new men, strange faces, other minds."

      And slowly answer'd Arthur from the barge:
"The old order changeth, yielding place to new,
And God fulfils Himself in many ways,
Lest one good custom should corrupt the world.
Comfort thyself: what comfort is in me?
I have lived my life, and that which I have done
May He within Himself make pure! but thou,
If thou shouldst never see my face again,
Pray for my soul. More things are wrought by prayer
Than this world dreams of. Wherefore, let thy voice
Rise like a fountain for me night and day.
For what are men better than sheep or goats
That nourish a blind life within the brain,
If, knowing God, they lift not hands of prayer
Both for themselves and those who call them friend?
For so the whole round earth is every way
Bound by gold chains about the feet of God.
But now farewell. I am going a long way
With these thou seest--if indeed I go--
(For all my mind is clouded with a doubt)
To the island-valley of Avilion;
Where falls not hail, or rain, or any snow,
Nor ever wind blows loudly; but it lies
Deep-meadow'd, happy, fair with orchard-lawns
And bowery hollows crown'd with summer sea,
Where I will heal me of my grievous wound."

      So said he, and the barge with oar and sail
Moved from the brink, like some full-breasted swan
That, fluting a wild carol ere her death,
Ruffles her pure cold plume, and takes the flood
With swarthy webs. Long stood Sir Bedivere
Revolving many memories, till the hull
Look'd one black dot against the verge of dawn,
And on the mere the wailing died away.
Gladys P Apr 2014
The*  fixed  stars  twinkled
Upon  the  sky,  le­aving moon
With  angelic  *smile

the adoration of the daddy,
as his red haired babes
leaned into
either side of him,
courtiers to a king
on the way to school this AM,
transfusing his magical super~fatherly,
by inhaling his special powers through
their nostrils, direct from his
broad and powerful brave-heart chest,
for use later in the wild jungle
of second grade
an elderly gent whose walker rattled
with every lift and kerplunk on
the street~steppes of a dangerous city
for the brittle of bone and the easily dentable,
and the crowd that gathered round walking
at precisely the same pace he required
to make it across the widest boulevard
which was thirty seconds more than the
Dept. of Transportation's asinine calculations
and a miracle from Lourdes occurred -
not one horn honked in ire as the court
escorted their Long Live the King
safely across the street, as if
idiocy was like rain, against the law,
until after sunset as in Camelot

an elegant germanic man,
in homburg and velvet collared overcoat,
taking care of sales and distribution of
newspapers and candy at the corner paper "stand"
while the elderly owner, whose partner~wife of
fifty years had recently passed, now had no one
but someone's pop whose was out
walking our cocker spaniel,
to tend the place while said candyman
obeyed nature's callings

and all his fans and friends who passed
on their way to the adjacent subway station,
exclaimed Erwin, Erwin what are you doing?
his twinkled crinkled eyes replied,
enjoying their puzzlement, laughingly saying
"making spare change"
where I lived these little miracles occurred so frequently,
was told a story that the ministering angels
could not keep up with their duties,
complaining to the On High, who resoundingly loudly
commanded their silence! by reminding them that
all these, his creatures, were his own precious,
the reason for creation and why they were needed,
and the sum of all these small acts gave them their own
existential purpose, now angry at himself for loss of temper,
soft spoke as a parent and told them better,
hush my children, we have much to do!
so now you impatiently need to know
why this scripture
came to be known as
for I was witness to all of this,
all on that day,
that was twenty fours hours long
across many hard hearted Hiroshima decades,
that made me
the richest man in the world
a proud member of the collective of the false.
Ek Jun 2014
I remember you told me that the first thing about me that you fell in love with were my eyes
You said it was because at first you couldn't tell what color they were
Maybe the color of coffee with too much milk
Or the shade of a dozen olives sitting in a mason jar
You couldn't help but notice the splashes of blue
That twinkled like a handful of icy diamonds sewn into an emerald dress
Mystery eyes
Mystery girl
Is what you said
And from that moment on you let me call you late at night
And kiss you on the cheek
And leave notes in the pockets of your sweatshirts
And when you told me for the first time that you loved me
There was not a trace of doubt in me as I looked into your own curious eyes
Pooling like maple syrup
As amber as a drop of sap
I always was a sucker for brown eyed boys
Sarah Zahidi Mar 2017
By the mountainside,

Hidden from the maps,

In a quiet and solitary life,

Lies a home that I longed for,

I stand on the road,

Barefoot; my feet burning,

The heat couldn’t compare to the warmth of my heart,

Telephone strings drew lines in the blue sky,

Connecting the past and the future,

I am, between the present,

In awe,

In a distance,

Said mountains hugged by the clouds from the east,

Moving lazily along with life,

Bright yellow light caught my eyes,

Rows of sunflowers blooming in the summer,

Beaming with happiness,

Traffic lights winked it’s colours,

Twinkled like the stars in daylight,

My home.
First attempt without thinking about grammar mistakes and the likes. Just saw this nostalgic artwork *v* I want to live in the countryside.. //it's not even summer// English is not my first language btww

I felt my life with both my hands
To see if it was there—
I held my spirit to the Glass,
To prove it possibler—

I turned my Being round and round
And paused at every pound
To ask the Owner’s name—
For doubt, that I should know the Sound—

I judged my features—jarred my hair—
I pushed my dimples by, and waited—
If they—twinkled back—
Conviction might, of me—

I told myself, “Take Courage, Friend—
That—was a former time—
But we might learn to like the Heaven,
As well as our Old Home!”
Lappel du vide Feb 2014
i remember when my mama took me up the mountain,
she told me,
"now, you are ready."
and pine and oak softly fluttered their leaves at my arrival.
there were yellow flowers,
growing wildly,
strangling the delicate blue blossoms,
made of flimsy roots and spindly bosoms.

i was the youngest in a tribe of
golden skinned people;
dreadlocks, tattoos,
moon cycles on the sides of their eyes,
and hair like cattails whispering in the dark.

with my stomach churning,
i entered the tall, dimly lit tepee.
the medicine man sat churning the ashes
in an empty fire-pit,
and women stood around me scattering
flower petals like
soft skin
all over the red-dirt earth.

his eyes twinkled,
and told me things that he would only let the
dusk unfold.
i took my seat on a white sheep-skin,
settling myself.

as the night grew older,
the fire grew larger,
shapes elongated on the fair skin of the stretched
the flames dancing wildly,
smoke drifting up into the
starry dark.

the fire keeper stoked the raging
yellow and orange tongues,
and the medicine man sat with a bandanna on,
his waterfall nose moving,
and his leather brown skin creaking,
as he told us stories of the sacred medicine.

and we sat,
somebody started singing.
my mothers warm frame was close to mine,
and my step-father next to her,
shoulders touching in the close proximity,
intimate, smoky air.

they beat the deer-skin drum,
badum badum *** badum badum ***
in native languages like
roaring rivers,
they sang songs to the medicine,
for the opening of the heart;
their swift and strong voices
rising like smoke and flame.

when the drum was passed to me,
i didn't know any songs,
wasn't aware that i had to know any.
i started to hit the drum with the padded
stick, and
closed my eyes,
feeling the sticky sweat of my perspiring forehead
drip down upon my licked lips,
tasting of wood and dirt.
i sang something lilting
sounds coming from the deepest
crevices of my throat,
being gently pulled from the grasp of my ribs.

the medicine man put pine on the fire,
it sizzled and breath was filled with
sweet and sharp.

when the air was right, and
the night was thick with song,
he uncovered baskets of small,
green and ridged fruit-like shapes.

the medicine was taking her form, and was cradled
as a native man took it around the circle,
along with oranges.
i'd find out soon why.

i took two, small and light in my fingers.
i closed my eyes and took the first bite.

my mouth was struck, eroding teeth
and erupting tongue
my face contorted from the bitter juices the small fruit
held within its delicate skin,
my stomach churned and i swallowed it down
biting into the orange, skin and all
begging for a shock of zest to take
down the intense flesh of the medicine.

i looked around,
some people were on their third, fourth.
the beat of the drums was constant,
along with the quiet,
restful crackle of the sighing fire.

the second bite was less of a surprise,
and i finished my first one.

it was only at the third bite of the second button
that my stomach refused to go any more without
the astringent juices of the
small fruit working its magic on my stomach.

i closed my eyes and embraced what was around me;
slowly swaying in the deep voices of my
mi familia,
and the heartbeat of the
mountain drums.

soon, i felt weary.
my mother rested her hand like falling rain on my shoulder,
and i lay in the warm arms of her
twisting around me like snakes.

a traditional rollie was passed around,
made of corn husk and hand grown tobacco.
my eyes grew slow and drooping,
and i fell into the waiting arms of sleep
while listening to the music of
tobacco and wood smoke, hushed voices,
wilting night,
dancing fire, and alive laughter.

my sleep was deep and dreamless,
my body carried to other places by the medicine,
leaving my mind behind.

i woke to rough feet on the red dirt,
and my mother and father intertwined like red roses,
sleeping below the tepee's watch,
my mothers white skirt fanning out like
soft sheets in the summer

there were goodmorning smiles,
light spreading from one set of a skin to another,
as my family embraced me,
told me they were proud and grateful to me
for sitting with them.

a bowl of chocolate was passed around, along with a crate
of juicy, pink, dawn touched strawberries.
i dipped them in the dark, sweet and rich paste
and one after another,
felt myself expand into the universe even more.
only when my mother awoke,
to sprinkling flowers,
and lifted sky,
she told me that the chocolate held the medicine too.

i made my way across swaying, long grass,
and sat in the sun, sipping tea with a sliced lemon,
making art with twists and curls of my pencils and pens,
listening to the experiences of last night,
the enlightenment,
the sense of overwhelming love,
that was not quite drowning.

i basked in everything,
let the heat soak into my flesh,
the lilting laugh.
somebody handed me a guitar,
and i sang with my chocolate tinted lips,
and let my voice float within and around the mountain,
filling the tepee and the empty fire pit
once more,
with the sweet and bitter tastes of
the medicine
i wrote this when i started remembering the night my mother took me for a peyote ceremony tepee meeting at a very young age. it was so beautiful, and an experience i will never forget. not until now, i noticed i had no poetry from it, so i decided to try and recreate the mind-blowing feelings of that night.
this will be part one of many other poems about the sacred medicines i have taken with my family and friends.
more info on peyote:
Peyote is a cactus that gets its hallucinatory power from mescaline. Like most hallucinogens, mescaline binds to serotonin receptors in the brain, producing heightened sensations and kaleidoscopic visions.

Native groups in Mexico have used peyote in ceremonies for thousands of years, and other mescaline-producing cacti have long been used by South American tribes for their rituals. Peyote has been the subject of many a court battle because of its role in religious practice; currently, Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada and Oregon allow some peyote possession, but only if linked to religious ceremonies, according to Arizona's Peyote Way Church of God.
A Child’s Story

Hamelin Town’s in Brunswick,
By famous Hanover city;
The river Weser, deep and wide,
Washes its wall on the southern side;
A pleasanter spot you never spied;
But, when begins my ditty,
Almost five hundred years ago,
To see the townsfolk suffer so
From vermin, was a pity.

They fought the dogs, and killed the cats,
And bit the babies in the cradles,
And ate the cheeses out of the vats,
And licked the soup from the cook’s own ladles,
Split open the kegs of salted sprats,
Made nests inside men’s Sunday hats,
And even spoiled the women’s chats,
By drowning their speaking
With shrieking and squeaking
In fifty different sharps and flats.

At last the people in a body
To the Town Hall came flocking:
“’Tis clear,” cried they, “our Mayor’s a noddy;
And as for our Corporation—shocking
To think we buy gowns lined with ermine
For dolts that can’t or won’t determine
What’s best to rid us of our vermin!
You hope, because you’re old and obese,
To find in the furry civic robe ease?
Rouse up, Sirs! Give your brains a racking
To find the remedy we’re lacking,
Or, sure as fate, we’ll send you packing!”
At this the Mayor and Corporation
Quaked with a mighty consternation.

An hour they sate in council,
At length the Mayor broke silence:
“For a guilder I’d my ermine gown sell;
I wish I were a mile hence!
It’s easy to bid one rack one’s brain—
I’m sure my poor head aches again
I’ve scratched it so, and all in vain.
Oh for a trap, a trap, a trap!”
Just as he said this, what should hap
At the chamber door but a gentle tap?
“Bless us,” cried the Mayor, “what’s that?”
(With the Corporation as he sat,
Looking little though wondrous fat;
Nor brighter was his eye, nor moister
Than a too-long-opened oyster,
Save when at noon his paunch grew mutinous
For a plate of turtle green and glutinous)
“Only a scraping of shoes on the mat?
Anything like the sound of a rat
Makes my heart go pit-a-pat!”

“Come in!”—the Mayor cried, looking bigger:
And in did come the strangest figure!
His queer long coat from heel to head
Was half of yellow and half of red;
And he himself was tall and thin,
With sharp blue eyes, each like a pin,
And light loose hair, yet swarthy skin,
No tuft on cheek nor beard on chin,
But lips where smiles went out and in—
There was no guessing his kith and kin!
And nobody could enough admire
The tall man and his quaint attire:
Quoth one: “It’s as my great-grandsire,
Starting up at the Trump of Doom’s tone,
Had walked this way from his painted tombstone!”

He advanced to the council-table:
And, “Please your honours,” said he, “I’m able,
By means of a secret charm, to draw
All creatures living beneath the sun,
That creep or swim or fly or run,
After me so as you never saw!
And I chiefly use my charm
On creatures that do people harm,
The mole and toad and newt and viper;
And people call me the Pied Piper.”
(And here they noticed round his neck
A scarf of red and yellow stripe,
To match with his coat of the selfsame cheque;
And at the scarf’s end hung a pipe;
And his fingers, they noticed, were ever straying
As if impatient to be playing
Upon this pipe, as low it dangled
Over his vesture so old-fangled.)
“Yet,” said he, “poor piper as I am,
In Tartary I freed the Cham,
Last June, from his huge swarms of gnats;
I eased in Asia the Nizam
Of a monstrous brood of vampire-bats;
And, as for what your brain bewilders,
If I can rid your town of rats
Will you give me a thousand guilders?”
“One? fifty thousand!”—was the exclamation
Of the astonished Mayor and Corporation.

Into the street the Piper stepped,
Smiling first a little smile,
As if he knew what magic slept
In his quiet pipe the while;
Then, like a musical adept,
To blow the pipe his lips he wrinkled,
And green and blue his sharp eyes twinkled
Like a candle flame where salt is sprinkled;
And ere three shrill notes the pipe uttered,
You heard as if an army muttered;
And the muttering grew to a grumbling;
And the grumbling grew to a mighty rumbling;
And out of the houses the rats came tumbling.
Great rats, small rats, lean rats, brawny rats,
Brown rats, black rats, grey rats, tawny rats,
Grave old plodders, gay young friskers,
Fathers, mothers, uncles, cousins,
Cocking tails and pricking whiskers,
Families by tens and dozens,
Brothers, sisters, husbands, wives—
Followed the Piper for their lives.
From street to street he piped advancing,
And step for step they followed dancing,
Until they came to the river Weser,
Wherein all plunged and perished!
- Save one who, stout a Julius Caesar,
Swam across and lived to carry
(As he, the manuscript he cherished)
To Rat-land home his commentary:
Which was, “At the first shrill notes of the pipe
I heard a sound as of scraping tripe,
And putting apples, wondrous ripe,
Into a cider-press’s gripe:
And a moving away of pickle-tub-boards,
And a leaving ajar of conserve-cupboards,
And a drawing the corks of train-oil-flasks,
And a breaking the hoops of butter-casks;
And it seemed as if a voice
(Sweeter far than by harp or by psaltery
Is breathed) called out ‘Oh, rats, rejoice!
The world is grown to one vast drysaltery!
So munch on, crunch on, take your nuncheon,
Breakfast, supper, dinner, luncheon!’
And just as a bulky sugar-puncheon,
All ready staved, like a great sun shone
Glorious scarce and inch before me,
Just as methought it said ‘Come, bore me!’
- I found the Weser rolling o’er me.”

You should have heard the Hamelin people
Ringing the bells till they rocked the steeple.
“Go,” cried the Mayor, “and get long poles!
Poke out the nests and block up the holes!
Consult with carpenters and builders,
And leave in our town not even a trace
Of the rats!”—when suddenly, up the face
Of the Piper perked in the market-place,
With a, “First, if you please, my thousand guilders!”

A thousand guilders! The Mayor looked blue;
So did the Corporation too.
For council dinners made rare havoc
With Claret, Moselle, Vin-de-Grave, Hock;
And half the money would replenish
Their cellar’s biggest **** with Rhenish.
To pay this sum to a wandering fellow
With a gypsy coat of red and yellow!
“Beside,” quoth the Mayor with a knowing wink,
“Our business was done at the river’s brink;
We saw with our eyes the vermin sink,
And what’s dead can’t come to life, I think.
So, friend, we’re not the folks to shrink
From the duty of giving you something for drink,
And a matter of money to put in your poke;
But, as for the guilders, what we spoke
Of them, as you very well know, was in joke.
Beside, our losses have made us thrifty.
A thousand guilders! Come, take fifty!”

The Piper’s face fell, and he cried
“No trifling! I can’t wait, beside!
I’ve promised to visit by dinner-time
Bagdat, and accept the prime
Of the Head Cook’s pottage, all he’s rich in,
For having left, in the Calip’s kitchen,
Of a nest of scorpions no survivor—
With him I proved no bargain-driver,
With you, don’t think I’ll bate a stiver!
And folks who put me in a passion
May find me pipe to another fashion.”

“How?” cried the Mayor, “d’ye think I’ll brook
Being worse treated than a Cook?
Insulted by a lazy ribald
With idle pipe and vesture piebald?
You threaten us, fellow? Do your worst,
Blow your pipe there till you burst!”

Once more he stepped into the street;
And to his lips again
Laid his long pipe of smooth straight cane;
And ere he blew three notes (such sweet
Soft notes as yet musician’s cunning
Never gave the enraptured air)
There was a rustling, that seemed like a bustling
Of merry crowds justling at pitching and hustling,
Small feet were pattering, wooden shoes clattering,
Little hands clapping and little tongues chattering,
And, like fowls in a farmyard when barley is scattering,
Out came the children running.
All the little boys and girls,
With rosy cheeks and flaxen curls,
And sparkling eyes and teeth like pearls,
Tripping and skipping, ran merrily after
The wonderful music with shouting and laughter.

The Mayor was dumb, and the Council stood
As if they were changed into blocks of wood,
Unable to move a step, or cry
To the children merrily skipping by—
And could only follow with the eye
That joyous crowd at the Piper’s back.
But how the Mayor was on the rack,
And the wretched Council’s bosoms beat,
As the Piper turned from the High Street
To where the Weser rolled its waters
Right in the way of their sons and daughters!
However he turned from South to West,
And to Koppelberg Hill his steps addressed,
And after him the children pressed;
Great was the joy in every breast.
“He never can cross that mighty top!
He’s forced to let the piping drop,
And we shall see our children stop!”
When, lo, as they reached the mountain’s side,
A wondrous portal opened wide,
As if a cavern was suddenly hollowed;
And the Piper advanced and the children followed,
And when all were in to the very last,
The door in the mountain-side shut fast.
Did I say, all? No! One was lame,
And could not dance the whole of the way;
And in after years, if you would blame
His sadness, he was used to say,—
“It’s dull in our town since my playmates left!
I can’t forget that I’m bereft
Of all the pleasant sights they see,
Which the Piper also promised me:
For he led us, he said, to a joyous land,
Joining the town and just at hand,
Where waters gushed and fruit-trees grew,
And flowers put forth a fairer hue,
And everything was strange and new;
The sparrows were brighter than peacocks here,
And their dogs outran our fallow deer,
And honey-bees had lost their stings,
And horses were born with eagles’ wings:
And just as I became assured
My lame foot would be speedily cured,
The music stopped and I stood still,
And found myself outside the Hill,
Left alone against my will,
To go now limping as before,
And never hear of that country more!”

Alas, alas for Hamelin!
There came into many a burgher’s pate
A text which says, that Heaven’s Gate
Opes to the Rich at as easy rate
As the needle’s eye takes a camel in!
The Mayor sent East, West, North, and South,
To offer the Piper, by word of mouth,
Wherever it was men’s lot to find him,
Silver and gold to his heart’s content,
If he’d only return the way he went,
And bring the children behind him.
But when they saw ’twas a lost endeavour,
And Piper and dancers were gone for ever,
They made a decree that lawyers never
Should think their records dated duly
If, after the day of the month and year,
These words did not as well appear,
“And so long after what happened here
On the Twenty-second of July,
Thirteen hundred and seventy-six”:
And the better in memory to fix
The place of the children’s last retreat,
They called it, the Pied Piper’s Street—
Where any one playing on pipe or tabor
Was sure for the future to lose his labour.
Nor suffered they hostelry or tavern
To shock with mirth a street so solemn;
But opposite the place of the cavern
They wrote the story on a column,
And on the great Church-Window painted
The same, to make the world acquainted
How their children were stolen away;
And there it stands to this very day.
And I must not omit to say
That in Transylvania there’s a tribe
Of alien people that ascribe
The outlandish ways and dress
On which their neighbours lay such stress,
To their fathers and mothers having risen
Out of some subterraneous prison
Into which they were trepanned
Long time ago in a mighty band
Out of Hamelin town in Brunswick land,
But how or why, they don’t understand.

So, *****, let you and me be wipers
Of scores out with all men—especially pipers:
And, whether they pipe us free, from rats or from mice,
If we’ve promised them aught, let us keep our promise.
--To Elizabeth Robins Pennell

'O mes cheres Mille et Une Nuits!'--Fantasio.

Once on a time
There was a little boy:  a master-mage
By virtue of a Book
Of magic--O, so magical it filled
His life with visionary pomps
Processional!  And Powers
Passed with him where he passed.  And Thrones
And Dominations, glaived and plumed and mailed,
Thronged in the criss-cross streets,
The palaces pell-mell with playing-fields,
Domes, cloisters, dungeons, caverns, tents, arcades,
Of the unseen, silent City, in his soul
Pavilioned jealously, and hid
As in the dusk, profound,
Green stillnesses of some enchanted mere.--

I shut mine eyes . . . And lo!
A flickering ****** of memory that floats
Upon the face of a pool of darkness five
And thirty dead years deep,
Antic in girlish broideries
And skirts and silly shoes with straps
And a broad-ribanded leghorn, he walks
Plain in the shadow of a church
(St. Michael's:  in whose brazen call
To curfew his first wails of wrath were whelmed),
Sedate for all his haste
To be at home; and, nestled in his arm,
Inciting still to quiet and solitude,
Boarded in sober drab,
With small, square, agitating cuts
Let in a-top of the double-columned, close,
Quakerlike print, a Book! . . .
What but that blessed brief
Of what is gallantest and best
In all the full-shelved Libraries of Romance?
The Book of rocs,
Sandalwood, ivory, turbans, ambergris,
Cream-tarts, and lettered apes, and calendars,
And ghouls, and genies--O, so huge
They might have overed the tall Minster Tower
Hands down, as schoolboys take a post!
In truth, the Book of Camaralzaman,
Schemselnihar and Sindbad, Scheherezade
The peerless, Bedreddin, Badroulbadour,
Cairo and Serendib and Candahar,
And Caspian, and the dim, terrific bulk--
Ice-ribbed, fiend-visited, isled in spells and storms--
Of Kaf! . . . That centre of miracles,
The sole, unparalleled Arabian Nights!

Old friends I had a-many--kindly and grim
Familiars, cronies quaint
And goblin!  Never a Wood but housed
Some morrice of dainty dapperlings.  No Brook
But had his nunnery
Of green-haired, silvry-curving sprites,
To cabin in his grots, and pace
His lilied margents.  Every lone Hillside
Might open upon Elf-Land.  Every Stalk
That curled about a Bean-stick was of the breed
Of that live ladder by whose delicate rungs
You climbed beyond the clouds, and found
The Farm-House where the Ogre, gorged
And drowsy, from his great oak chair,
Among the flitches and pewters at the fire,
Called for his Faery Harp.  And in it flew,
And, perching on the kitchen table, sang
Jocund and jubilant, with a sound
Of those gay, golden-vowered madrigals
The shy thrush at mid-May
Flutes from wet orchards flushed with the triumphing dawn;
Or blackbirds rioting as they listened still,
In old-world woodlands rapt with an old-world spring,
For Pan's own whistle, savage and rich and lewd,
And mocked him call for call!

I could not pass
The half-door where the cobbler sat in view
Nor figure me the wizen Leprechaun,
In square-cut, faded reds and buckle-shoes,
Bent at his work in the hedge-side, and know
Just how he tapped his brogue, and twitched
His wax-end this and that way, both with wrists
And elbows.  In the rich June fields,
Where the ripe clover drew the bees,
And the tall quakers trembled, and the West Wind
Lolled his half-holiday away
Beside me lolling and lounging through my own,
'Twas good to follow the Miller's Youngest Son
On his white horse along the leafy lanes;
For at his stirrup linked and ran,
Not cynical and trapesing, as he loped
From wall to wall above the espaliers,
But in the bravest tops
That market-town, a town of tops, could show:
Bold, subtle, adventurous, his tail
A banner flaunted in disdain
Of human stratagems and shifts:
King over All the Catlands, present and past
And future, that moustached
Artificer of fortunes, ****-in-Boots!
Or Bluebeard's Closet, with its plenishing
Of meat-hooks, sawdust, blood,
And wives that hung like fresh-dressed carcases--
Odd-fangled, most a butcher's, part
A faery chamber hazily seen
And hazily figured--on dark afternoons
And windy nights was visiting of the best.
Then, too, the pelt of hoofs
Out in the roaring darkness told
Of Herne the Hunter in his antlered helm
Galloping, as with despatches from the Pit,
Between his hell-born Hounds.
And Rip Van Winkle . . . often I lurked to hear,
Outside the long, low timbered, tarry wall,
The mutter and rumble of the trolling bowls
Down the lean plank, before they fluttered the pins;
For, listening, I could help him play
His wonderful game,
In those blue, booming hills, with Mariners
Refreshed from kegs not coopered in this our world.

But what were these so near,
So neighbourly fancies to the spell that brought
The run of Ali Baba's Cave
Just for the saying 'Open Sesame,'
With gold to measure, peck by peck,
In round, brown wooden stoups
You borrowed at the chandler's? . . . Or one time
Made you Aladdin's friend at school,
Free of his Garden of Jewels, Ring and Lamp
In perfect trim? . . . Or Ladies, fair
For all the embrowning scars in their white *******
Went labouring under some dread ordinance,
Which made them whip, and bitterly cry the while,
Strange Curs that cried as they,
Till there was never a Black ***** of all
Your consorting but might have gone
Spell-driven miserably for crimes
Done in the pride of womanhood and desire . . .
Or at the ghostliest altitudes of night,
While you lay wondering and acold,
Your sense was fearfully purged; and soon
Queen Labe, abominable and dear,
Rose from your side, opened the Box of Doom,
Scattered the yellow powder (which I saw
Like sulphur at the Docks in bulk),
And muttered certain words you could not hear;
And there! a living stream,
The brook you bathed in, with its weeds and flags
And cresses, glittered and sang
Out of the hearthrug over the nakedness,
Fair-scrubbed and decent, of your bedroom floor! . . .

I was--how many a time!--
That Second Calendar, Son of a King,
On whom 'twas vehemently enjoined,
Pausing at one mysterious door,
To pry no closer, but content his soul
With his kind Forty.  Yet I could not rest
For idleness and ungovernable Fate.
And the Black Horse, which fed on sesame
(That wonder-working word!),
Vouchsafed his back to me, and spread his vans,
And soaring, soaring on
From air to air, came charging to the ground
Sheer, like a lark from the midsummer clouds,
And, shaking me out of the saddle, where I sprawled
Flicked at me with his tail,
And left me blinded, miserable, distraught
(Even as I was in deed,
When doctors came, and odious things were done
On my poor tortured eyes
With lancets; or some evil acid stung
And wrung them like hot sand,
And desperately from room to room
Fumble I must my dark, disconsolate way),
To get to Bagdad how I might.  But there
I met with Merry Ladies.  O you three--
Safie, Amine, Zobeide--when my heart
Forgets you all shall be forgot!
And so we supped, we and the rest,
On wine and roasted lamb, rose-water, dates,
Almonds, pistachios, citrons.  And Haroun
Laughed out of his lordly beard
On Giaffar and Mesrour (I knew the Three
For all their Mossoul habits).  And outside
The Tigris, flowing swift
Like Severn bend for bend, twinkled and gleamed
With broken and wavering shapes of stranger stars;
The vast, blue night
Was murmurous with peris' plumes
And the leathern wings of genies; words of power
Were whispering; and old fishermen,
Casting their nets with prayer, might draw to shore
Dead loveliness:  or a prodigy in scales
Worth in the Caliph's Kitchen pieces of gold:
Or copper vessels, stopped with lead,
Wherein some Squire of Eblis watched and railed,
In durance under potent charactry
Graven by the seal of Solomon the King . . .

Then, as the Book was glassed
In Life as in some olden mirror's quaint,
Bewildering angles, so would Life
Flash light on light back on the Book; and both
Were changed.  Once in a house decayed
From better days, harbouring an errant show
(For all its stories of dry-rot
Were filled with gruesome visitants in wax,
Inhuman, hushed, ghastly with Painted Eyes),
I wandered; and no living soul
Was nearer than the pay-box; and I stared
Upon them staring--staring.  Till at last,
Three sets of rafters from the streets,
I strayed upon a mildewed, rat-run room,
With the two Dancers, horrible and obscene,
Guarding the door:  and there, in a bedroom-set,
Behind a fence of faded crimson cords,
With an aspect of frills
And dimities and dishonoured privacy
That made you hanker and hesitate to look,
A Woman with her litter of Babes--all slain,
All in their nightgowns, all with Painted Eyes
Staring--still staring; so that I turned and ran
As for my neck, but in the street
Took breath.  The same, it seemed,
And yet not all the same, I was to find,
As I went up!  For afterwards,
Whenas I went my round alone--
All day alone--in long, stern, silent streets,
Where I might stretch my hand and take
Whatever I would:  still there were Shapes of Stone,
Motionless, lifelike, frightening--for the Wrath
Had smitten them; but they watched,
This by her melons and figs, that by his rings
And chains and watches, with the hideous gaze,
The Painted Eyes insufferable,
Now, of those grisly images; and I
Pursued my best-beloved quest,
Thrilled with a novel and delicious fear.
So the night fell--with never a lamplighter;
And through the Palace of the King
I groped among the echoes, and I felt
That they were there,
Dreadfully there, the Painted staring Eyes,
Hall after hall . . . Till lo! from far
A Voice!  And in a little while
Two tapers burning!  And the Voice,
Heard in the wondrous Word of God, was--whose?
Whose but Zobeide's,
The lady of my heart, like me
A True Believer, and like me
An outcast thousands of leagues beyond the pale! . . .

Or, sailing to the Isles
Of Khaledan, I spied one evenfall
A black blotch in the sunset; and it grew
Swiftly . . . and grew.  Tearing their beards,
The sailors wept and prayed; but the grave ship,
Deep laden with spiceries and pearls, went mad,
Wrenched the long tiller out of the steersman's hand,
And, turning broadside on,
As the most iron would, was haled and ******
Nearer, and nearer yet;
And, all awash, with horrible lurching leaps
Rushed at that Portent, casting a shadow now
That swallowed sea and sky; and then,
Anchors and nails and bolts
Flew screaming out of her, and with clang on clang,
A noise of fifty stithies, caught at the sides
Of the Magnetic Mountain; and she lay,
A broken bundle of firewood, strown piecemeal
About the waters; and her crew
Passed shrieking, one by one; and I was left
To drown.  All the long night I swam;
But in the morning, O, the smiling coast
Tufted with date-trees, meadowlike,
Skirted with shelving sands!  And a great wave
Cast me ashore; and I was saved alive.
So, giving thanks to God, I dried my clothes,
And, faring inland, in a desert place
I stumbled on an iron ring--
The fellow of fifty built into the Quays:
When, scenting a trap-door,
I dug, and dug; until my biggest blade
Stuck into wood.  And then,
The flight of smooth-hewn, easy-falling stairs,
Sunk in the naked rock!  The cool, clean vault,
So neat with niche on niche it might have been
Our beer-cellar but for the rows
Of brazen urns (like monstrous chemist's jars)
Full to the wide, squat throats
With gold-dust, but a-top
A layer of pickled-walnut-looking things
I knew for olives!  And far, O, far away,
The Princess of China languished!  Far away
Was marriage, with a Vizier and a Chief
Of Eunuchs and the privilege
Of going out at night
To play--unkenned, majestical, secure--
Where the old, brown, friendly river shaped
Like Tigris shore for shore!  Haply a Ghoul
Sat in the churchyard under a frightened moon,
A thighbone in his fist, and glared
At supper with a Lady:  she who took
Her rice with tweezers grain by grain.
Or you might stumble--there by the iron gates
Of the Pump Room--underneath the limes--
Upon Bedreddin in his shirt and drawers,
Just as the civil Genie laid him down.
Or those red-curtained panes,
Whence a tame cornet tenored it throatily
Of beer-pots and spittoons and new long pipes,
Might turn a caravansery's, wherein
You found Noureddin Ali, loftily drunk,
And that fair Persian, bathed in tears,
You'd not have given away
For all the diamonds in the Vale Perilous
You had that dark and disleaved afternoon
Escaped on a roc's claw,
Disguised like Sindbad--but in Christmas beef!
And all the blissful while
The schoolboy satchel at your hip
Was such a bulse of gems as should amaze
Grey-whiskered chapmen drawn
From over Caspian:  yea, the Chief Jewellers
Of Tartary and the bazaars,
Seething with traffic, of enormous Ind.--

Thus cried, thus called aloud, to the child heart
The magian East:  thus the child eyes
Spelled out the wizard message by the light
Of the sober, workaday hours
They saw, week in week out, pass, and still pass
In the sleepy Minster City, folded kind
In ancient Severn's arm,
Amongst her water-meadows and her docks,
Whose floating populace of ships--
Galliots and luggers, light-heeled brigantines,
Bluff barques and rake-hell fore-and-afters--brought
To her very doorsteps and geraniums
The scents of the World's End; the calls
That may not be gainsaid to rise and ride
Like fire on some high errand of the race;
The irresistible appeals
For comradeship that sound
Steadily from the irresistible sea.
Thus the East laughed and whispered, and the tale,
Telling itself anew
In terms of living, labouring life,
Took on the colours, busked it in the wear
Of life that lived and laboured; and Romance,
The Angel-Playmate, raining down
His golden influences
On all I saw, and all I dreamed and did,
Walked with me arm in arm,
Or left me, as one bediademed with straws
And bits of glass, to gladden at my heart
Who had the gift to seek and feel and find
His fiery-hearted presence everywhere.
Even so dear Hesper, bringer of all good things,
Sends the same silver dews
Of happiness down her dim, delighted skies
On some poor collier-hamlet--(mound on mound
Of sifted squalor; here a soot-throated stalk
Sullenly smoking over a row
Of flat-faced hovels; black in the gritty air
A web of rails and wheels and beams; with strings
Of hurtling, tipping trams)--
As on the amorous nightingales
And roses of Shiraz, or the walls and towers
Of Samarcand--the Ineffable--whence you espy
The splendour of Ginnistan's embattled spears,
Like listed lightnings.
That name of names!  That star-vaned belvedere
Builded against the Chambers of the South!
That outpost on the Infinite!
And behold!
Questing therefrom, you knew not what wild tide
Might overtake you:  for one fringe,
One suburb, is stablished on firm earth; but one
Floats founded vague
In lubberlands delectable--isles of palm
And lotus, fortunate mains, far-shimmering seas,
The promise of wistful hills--
The shining, shifting Sovranties of Dream.
Kataleya Feb 2015
Your eyes, they twinkled oh so bright,
like clusters of stars on a moonless night.
The dark no longer haunts me love,
I've learnt to get lost in your light.
Donna Aug 2018
So today I went
to a beach again , the sand
so soft so silky

No pebbles in sight
I think the ocean kept a
few in its pockets

Me sis and our two
younger boys,  mum and dad , all
had a lovely time

I like to meet my
mum and dad on days out , it's
much better than on

a phone line because
a memory we make , the
sky was cloudy grey

Yet the sun twinkled
against the passing clouds like
god wearing a big

diamond ring , was so
pretty , the ocean didn't
just wave it jumped in

excitement , our two
boys played for an hour in
navy cozy sea

We all went on a
ride it was a ghost train , it
was really corny

But we laughed out loud
Was nice to see mum and dad
having a good time

Tom and Finn went on
the bumper cars , Finn bashed his
car into all the

other cars , tom deemed
a little more seriously
A good driver he

will one day be , the
wind began to blow hard
I nearly became

a kite in sky , I
saw Jennifer the fairy
sunbathing in the

big ocean on a
fallen summer leaf , it sure
was rather lovely

It took an hour
to get home , we drove through lanes
full of cute houses

Trees bent over to
greet each passing car , the world
was truly smiling

Now I'm back home , I'm
chilling on sofa whilst Dean
and our sons watch there

favourite sport , boxing
on tv , and I'm writing
about my beach day

The house is messy
But that's okay because life
needs to be lived now :-))
Today I went to beach again with family it was again a lovely day ***
K Cash-Staley Oct 2013
I have a gift for them.
I should wrap it first.
Blue and gold ribbon
wound tightly to keep contents from overflowing.

I have been preparing their gift
since my birth, gathering the pieces
year after year
trying to connect carefree summer days of youth
with the concern and worry of adults.

Many teachers are on this planet to impart some knowledge to the future generations.
Roy G BIV, Please excuse my dear aunt Sally,
Columbus sailed the ocean blue in .... Yeah, whatever.
Knowledge like this can help children attain their dreams, they say.

I want to give them something else
Inject splices of film from my life into their vision.
Let them see first hand
the memories
Let them see first hand
the mistakes, the recurring nightmares of shame and regret

Take this gift
I see them suffering from their lack of insight,
like death by dehydration
at the river’s edge
I try to make them drink.
Drink up, Drink up this gift.
But their tongues swell with the cotton mouth of youth.
Only mumblings of in-text citation and Shakespeare reach their ears.

They write love poems, sicky sweet lines about prom and how his eyes twinkled like the stars.
“We will be together forever.”
They write adorable break up poems.
I want to tell them to run.
Run because that part only gets worse.
When he pawns your heart for a new leather jacket you were going to sell  to buy your childhood back,
They tell stories about bullies
on the playground.
Broken hearts and skined knees.

Please take this gift., Drink up.
I know how this goes.
None of it makes sense.
We spend 12 years trying to be cookie cutters of each other,
the rest of our lives we want to be snowflakes in January gust,
individuals dancing free in the wind

If they would just take my gift,
tip open the lid
peek inside.

This is not the end,
these four walls for four years.

I want to give this gift to you.
You need to know what I did not.
Pour your heart and soul into this.
Your life starts here.
Grab every opportunity that comes your way
Grab it like a life raft.
Love everyone,
that dorky guy in the corner, The mouth breather,
Love him the most.

I take it back,
Make your own mistakes. You are a clean slate.
Your life is that favorite coloring book,
create your masterpiece.
Go outside the lines.
Like the magic 8 ball, my answers are unclear, you fill in the details.

The bully doesn’t go away after high school,
It morphs into the bill collector, the tax assessor,
Your mother in law.
You will still be faced with deadlines, due dates.
You will still worry about how you look.
Trade your Proactive for Oil of Olay.
Your hair gel for Rogaine

The mirror reflects a new face back to you.
But you will still be you.

It is not the end, these four walls
for four years.
just the beginning.
Brian Fahey Jul 2015
There once was a pond off the Astrillian shore,
Where a billion clams lay underwater, they snored,
Day after day, tides change to tides,
Yet the life of a clam is still quite a bore.

Until one day an otter, all spryly and nimble,
A prince from the infamous pool down the thimble,
Crossed the old straight with his men through mud and through wimble.

Valiantly striding his conquest was simple,
Representing his people in search of a love life to kindle.
He was quirky, and boisterous, and hard to ignore,

Splashing and thrashing about the good peoples shore,
A good lookin' pup, he swam round in circles,
Converting the Astrillian Algaeans to Murkles.

The clams weren't slow to catch on to the show,
For clams are very attentive you know,
And soon by council & seminar they mouth-fulled their garbles,

"Who yonder this monkey that endlessly wharbles?"
"Are you daft kind sirs?" asks one clam as she snarbles,
"It seems you old men have lost all your marbles,

That is the otter, his highness all the way from Port Schwarble!
He only plays cowbell, throws barbells, and a million such marvels,
It's an Astrillian holiday as far as I yarble, hmm"

She stops,
It's indeed very clear she's been pinned as kalopsious,

"My dear" one clammy clam-clam firmly speaks,
"I see your 'kidz-bop' as they say has given you gleecks,
Your highness, is an otter, we'll be extinct within weeks"

The elders agree and farble on lke sheep,
"The end is near!" the little ones squeak,

But none brave as Mandy,
This little clam candy,
Would even think that moving was handy,

Why, confronting a prince sounds totally dandy,
So she pipped and she chupped,
Getting the elders all sandy.

As she made her way up to her prince, who was also quite randy.
Approaching her man of a million wonders,
She squeaked a fine hello over his rambunctious thunder.

He stopped and observed,
"What is this, hors' doeurves?"
He plucked her and licked her, obviously deterred,

When she snarbled and blushed ignoring the blunder,
"My name is Mandy the First, from the land of down under,

She smiled as he turned to his squire,
"A fine maiden to invite to the royal dinner," laughing they snired.
"I caught wind of your plans to marry" she twinkled,
"I just thought that I'd say that I'm young and I'm single,"

And with a wink she gave off her lady like signal.
The squire scoffed at the lady so simple,
"May I remind you ma'am, this is the prince from the pool down the thimble.
He's come all this way through mud and through wimble,
In search of a maiden to love and ne'er let dwindle,
Yet this peasant clam reminds me of a fire in my belly, so long ago kindled,"

He snirped, Mandy quirped as the prince caressed her dimple,
"You'll not lay your paws on her or her people,
This girl is totally braver than you and our sheeple!
It is decided that I'll be bringing her all the way to the steeple."

The squire grumbled a pox on both sides,
"You princox, we haven't eaten since Ides,
If you really cared so much for your lady,
Then let us first feast on her friends and their babies,
For what is a wedding if we're all riddled with hunger and rabies?"

"Nay squire, for you are a bigger one,
Your princoxious gluttony far exceeds the range of the Astrillian Sun"
"Ooooooooohh!!" his guards hollered and bothered, oh but he wasn't done,

"If you really care for your stomach all the sudden,
Then come at me brother, make me your wet monkey mutton.
See if I care for your metabolic process, you square,
For nothing could separate me from my princess so fair."

And so they charged and they barged and splashed all about her,
As his guards cheered them on into brotherly slaughter,
Witnessing the madness, Mandy would rather be chowder.

As she quietly wept for her hunk of an otter,
She noticed the elders behind her surface the water.
"What do you want?!" snobbing she totally snared,

The elders snooted and bitterly declared,

"We warned you," they flarbed,
"Their kind is brutish and dull," they spat from afar,
"The feud between peoples is older than tar"

Mandy flushed beet red and crying she clacked,
"Your ignorance prevails clams, for that is your only knack,
This man loves me and I love him right back,
In fact he's saving us all from becoming a snack.
And if he succeeds I'll never see you again,

I'll never work your sand-bars, or attend colleges of mermen.
I'll never sing songs or clean up your dens,
And you'll all just be grumpy old clams forever, and then,
When I am queen I will not be so mean.

I will unite all the clamsfolk with our predators keen,
We shall not be afraid and they shall not come to prey,
And who knows maybe we'll all get along someday,"

And with that, the squire cried "Uncle!"
And the prince let go of his sleeper-hold struggle,

"Now will you praise your lady you poor jester thuggle?"
"I do, I do your highness, til death I shall juggle."
And so the otters and clams conjoined the whole island,

With only some leftover haters to beguile,
And within seven days time
People gave up on fear,

Threw out their hunger,
And then it became clear,
With only time left to ponder,

As the big day came near,
At the cathedral they concluded that love lasts much longer,
That really,

Whether one be a clam or an otter,
It is only together that we shall become stronger.
senior year creative writing poem.
Nigel Morgan Sep 2012
She was very warm in bed except for her nose, which was more than cold, though not quite frozen. Her bear, who she had folded into her arms but as a prelude to pulling back the covers - no duvees here just scratchy blankets- she placed on her on the pillow. Jellikins was pink and not a proper bear for a nine year old. She'd been her bear since infancy, small and a bit grubby, and pink.
It was still quite dark, silent. She could see her dressing gown hanging on the door - just. There was a movement downstairs; her father making tea perhaps. This was his time of day, the early morning. For as long as she could remember he was up and often out when she woke. Even at Christmas, particularly at Christmas when she sought her mother's bed he was 'out', working or walking in the park . But here at the farm he was here, downstairs, and if she went down now he'd wrap her in a blanket or two and read to her until the light changed through the kitchen window on to the yard, a gradual blueness, then, if it was a clear day she'd watch the sun draw itself from the sea in a golden ball.
She loved it when he read, because he loved to read, and because he loved to read to her, holding her gently in his arms, she would drift off into her own thoughts. Being out with dogs on the cliff paths, the smell of the Christmas tree at home that her mother would decorate tonight, being on the train for six hours with picnicy food, game after game of Go and those strange  word puzzles her father would invent , then the cycle ride with the big downhill rush to Morfyn and the long long push up Rhiw hill in the twilight . . .
Later, after their first breakfast they'd go out into the frozen yard and let the dogs out. Into the old sheds with their simple wooden latches hand-smoothed requiring the barest touch to open; then **** and his mum bounding out, and the little dogs yapping and yapping. Next, to barn and with the knife she'd been trusted with, she waited for the bales to land at her feet, flying out of the darkness up high near the roof. Cutting the baler twine and stuffing it in her coat pocket she opened out the compressed straw ready for Blossom and her friends to munch and scrunch, **** and **** their way through their breakfast.
On a farm the opening and closing of gates was like a little ceremony. Always the same careful ordering of movement; you could only open this gate if you'd closed that . . . you always checked the tail of the chain was the whole way through the loop and secure.
Meanwhile proper morning had arrived: it had been dark, now it was light, properly morning time. She could move all ten beasts on her own, from the Plas field across the yard to the Stack and back again - four gates each way and never a slip.
She had read at school that the beasts spoke to each other on Chrismas Eve, at the moment of the birth, when this baby was born in the stable. Although she doubted this just a little – Who had actually heard them? Was there  a recording perhaps? She wondered what they would say to each other tonight. Surely they spoke to each other all the time. Well, the beasts she knew mooed and grunted constantly. Was it just that we could understand them when suddenly it became Christmas? And how long could they talk for? Just a few minutes, or the rest of the night until the sun rose? She imagined herself opening her bedroom window at midnight to listen to them in the stack yard. She would look up at the sparkly sky, a sky that was so awesome that she and her father would, on a clear night, go up the mountain before bed and stand at the very top to look at the immense upturned bowl of the heavens rising out of the sea on three sides. At home the sky was just a red glow, occasionally the moon rose through the trees in the park, but the stars seemed hardly indistinguishable from passing aeroplanes, only they twinkled and moved. You couldn’t see those fields of stars her father wondered at it here on the mountain, those distant constellations, stars beyond number and time, light years away. Beside which the thought of animals talking to each other for a few minutes at Christmas seemed entirely possible.
He looked at her as if she was the moon and he was the tides
Everything she did pulled him closer to her side
Her eyes twinkled like stars in the sky
For she is the moon and he’s just some guy
Some guy who will go to the ends of the earth
Some guy who’s been waiting for her since his birth
But just so you know, nothing is as it seems
For it is not men that live in her dreams
Reanna Horsley Apr 2014
You swore you cared, I dared to believe you.
How could I not? Your eyes twinkled too bright.
    I let you get to me, I wasn't ready to be hit with what was coming.
       I assured myself it wouldn't happen, we could find a way to stop it.
          You were the one I trusted, when my gut is the one that should be believed.
                                 How Careless To Have Cared So Much
You swore you cared, I dared to think it to be truth.
  "You deserve better," everyone screamed so loudly my ears could bleed.
     I could have listened, took their advice and kept my heart to me.
       One day too soon, I saw what I knew but never wanted to actually see.
          Never again did I trust, yet my careless care has been placed in better hearts.
Donna Aug 2018
I woke this morning
and looked at my ring and I
smiled all of my smiles :)))))

The sun is shining
Bumbles bees like big full stops
Buzzing in the air

But these wasps are a
pest they want to attack me
So I got a bat

But I haven't used
it as yet,  I think they know
I'm ready to bite

Some of the chalets
have England flags upon roofs
Some have twinkled lights

Me and dean have had
such a relaxing time , we've
ate slepted watched tv

We've danced drank and hugged
lots of family , his dad
stayed with us until

Monday , then he flew
back to sunny Spain with a
cherished memory

We took time out to
recharge our batteries as
life just gets better

We bought new blinds to
make our Chalet feel homely
and a table cloth

It's beige with white spots
O it's so pretty I love
it..dinners look lush

We took our dogs for
a beach walk , the oceans is
windy gently soft

Trees so pretty , I
saw Jennifer the fairy
riding a wagtail

They were running so
fast on a field the daisies
giggled in the breeze

My daughter came down
last night to spend time with us
Tomorrow we shall

go for lunch next to
summer trees and a blue lake
filled with ducks and swans

But best of all I
get to make more memories
I feel like a bird

flying high in sky
as my heart and mind bind
as one big love heart :-)))))
I'm loving being down Chalet with dean we had a such a wonderful relaxin time except the wasps and there loads of them I think august is the main. Season for wasps  xxxx
Inspired :)
Sherry Lore Aug 2015
I found myself buried deep within the womb of creation
Lost, I climbed through the mud of life
Pulling myself up on the bones of the ancients
I broke through to the light, and heard the earth cry
Rise, Woman, Rise

I looked upon the face of the eternal
Reaching upward, I tried to touch the sky
So with my feet planted firmly in the past
I grew toward the future, bridging both earth and divine
And in me, the words rose once more,
Rise, Woman, Rise

After I had bridged the heavens,
After I had delved through the mud
I branched out towards the stars surrounding
Souls glittering in the lonely sky
Beckoned by a need, I reached to them
But just out of reach, they twinkled distantly
When a single answer I heard them call
Rise, Woman, Rise

And from my roots, I grew down deeper
And from my arms, I reached out high
With my fingers, stretched out longingly
Glancing over them, I swept the sky
Fingers clasped my own in their hands
Pulling me towards their brilliant light
Connected, I am tied to the universe
Woven into the web of life
And now, when I see another reaching,
I cry out the words that brought me here,
*Rise, Woman, Rise
..."Una selva oscura."--Dante.

Awake or sleeping (for I know not which)
  I was or was not mazed within a wood
  Where every mother-bird brought up her brood
    Safe in some leafy niche
Of oak or ash, of cypress or of beech,

Of silvery aspen trembling delicately,
  Of plane or warmer-tinted sycamore,
  Of elm that dies in secret from the core,
    Of ivy weak and free,
Of pines, of all green lofty things that be.

Such birds they seemed as challenged each desire;
  Like spots of azure heaven upon the wing,
  Like downy emeralds that alight and sing,
    Like actual coals on fire,
  Like anything they seemed, and everything.

Such mirth they made, such warblings and such chat
  With tongue of music in a well-tuned beak,
  They seemed to speak more wisdom than we speak,
    To make our music flat
  And all our subtlest reasonings wild or weak.

Their meat was nought but flowers like butterflies,
  With berries coral-colored or like gold;
  Their drink was only dew, which blossoms hold
    Deep where the honey lies;
Their wings and tails were lit by sparkling eyes.

The shade wherein they revelled was a shade
  That danced and twinkled to the unseen sun;
  Branches and leaves cast shadows one by one,
    And all their shadows swayed
In breaths of air that rustled and that played.

A sound of waters neither rose nor sank,
  And spread a sense of freshness through the air;
  It seemed not here or there, but everywhere,
    As if the whole earth drank,
Root fathom deep and strawberry on its bank.

But I who saw such things as I have said,
  Was overdone with utter weariness;
  And walked in care, as one whom fears oppress
    Because above his head
Death hangs, or damage, or the dearth of bread.

Each sore defeat of my defeated life
  Faced and outfaced me in that bitter hour;
  And turned to yearning palsy all my power,
    And all my peace to strife,
Self stabbing self with keen lack-pity knife.

Sweetness of beauty moved me to despair,
  Stung me to anger by its mere content,
  Made me all lonely on that way I went,
    Piled care upon my care,
Brimmed full my cup, and stripped me empty and bare:

For all that was but showed what all was not,
  But gave clear proof of what might never be;
  Making more destitute my poverty,
    And yet more blank my lot,
  And me much sadder by its jubilee.

Therefore I sat me down: for wherefore walk?
  And closed mine eyes: for wherefore see or hear?
  Alas, I had no shutter to mine ear,
    And could not shun the talk
  Of all rejoicing creatures far or near.

Without my will I hearkened and I heard
  (Asleep or waking, for I know not which),
  Till note by note the music changed its pitch;
    Bird ceased to answer bird,
And every wind sighed softly if it stirred.

The drip of widening waters seemed to weep,
  All fountains sobbed and gurgled as they sprang,
Somewhere a cataract cried out in its leap
    Sheer down a headlong steep;
  High over all cloud-thunders gave a clang.

Such universal sound of lamentation
  I heard and felt, fain not to feel or hear;
  Nought else there seemed but anguish far and near;
    Nought else but all creation
  Moaning and groaning wrung by pain or fear,

Shuddering in the misery of its doom:
  My heart then rose a rebel against light,
  Scouring all earth and heaven and depth and height,
    Ingathering wrath and gloom,
  Ingathering wrath to wrath and night to night.

Ah me, the bitterness of such revolt,
  All impotent, all hateful, and all hate,
That kicks and breaks itself against the bolt
    Of an imprisoning fate,
  And vainly shakes, and cannot shake the gate.

Agony to agony, deep called to deep,
  Out of the deep I called of my desire;
  My strength was weakness and my heart was fire;
    Mine eyes that would not weep
Or sleep, scaled height and depth, and could not sleep;

The eyes, I mean, of my rebellious soul,
  For still my ****** eyes were closed and dark:
  A random thing I seemed without a mark,
    Racing without a goal,
  Adrift upon life's sea without an ark.

More leaden than the actual self of lead
  Outer and inner darkness weighed on me.
  The tide of anger ebbed. Then fierce and free
    Surged full above my head
  The moaning tide of helpless misery.

Why should I breathe, whose breath was but a sigh?
  Why should I live, who drew such painful breath?
Oh weary work, the unanswerable why!--
    Yet I, why should I die,
  Who had no hope in life, no hope in death?

Grasses and mosses and the fallen leaf
  Make peaceful bed for an indefinite term;
  But underneath the grass there gnaws a worm--
    Haply, there gnaws a grief--
Both, haply always; not, as now, so brief.

The pleasure I remember, it is past;
  The pain I feel is passing, passing by;
  Thus all the world is passing, and thus I:
    All things that cannot last
  Have grown familiar, and are born to die.

And being familiar, have so long been borne
  That habit trains us not to break but bend:
Mourning grows natural to us who mourn
    In foresight of an end,
  But that which ends not who shall brave or mend?

Surely the ripe fruits tremble on their bough,
  They cling and linger trembling till they drop:
I, trembling, cling to dying life; for how
    Face the perpetual Now?
  Birthless and deathless, void of start or stop,

Void of repentance, void of hope and fear,
  Of possibility, alternative,
  Of all that ever made us bear to live
    From night to morning here,
  Of promise even which has no gift to give.

The wood, and every creature of the wood,
  Seemed mourning with me in an undertone;
  Soft scattered chirpings and a windy moan,
    Trees rustling where they stood
And shivered, showed compassion for my mood.

Rage to despair; and now despair had turned
  Back to self-pity and mere weariness,
With yearnings like a smouldering fire that burned,
    And might grow more or less,
  And might die out or wax to white excess.

Without, within me, music seemed to be;
  Something not music, yet most musical,
Silence and sound in heavenly harmony;
    At length a pattering fall
Of feet, a bell, and bleatings, broke through all.

Then I looked up. The wood lay in a glow
  From golden sunset and from ruddy sky;
  The sun had stooped to earth though once so high;
    Had stooped to earth, in slow
Warm dying loveliness brought near and low.

Each water-drop made answer to the light,
  Lit up a spark and showed the sun his face;
  Soft purple shadows paved the grassy space
    And crept from height to height,
  From height to loftier height crept up apace.

While opposite the sun a gazing moon
  Put on his glory for her coronet,
Kindling her luminous coldness to its noon,
    As his great splendor set;
  One only star made up her train as yet.

Each twig was tipped with gold, each leaf was edged
  And veined with gold from the gold-flooded west;
Each mother-bird, and mate-bird, and unfledged
    Nestling, and curious nest,
  Displayed a gilded moss or beak or breast.

And filing peacefully between the trees,
  Having the moon behind them, and the sun
Full in their meek mild faces, walked at ease
    A homeward flock, at peace
  With one another and with every one.

A patriarchal ram with tinkling bell
  Led all his kin; sometimes one browsing sheep
  Hung back a moment, or one lamb would leap
    And frolic in a dell;
Yet still they kept together, journeying well,

And bleating, one or other, many or few,
  Journeying together toward the sunlit west;
  Mild face by face, and woolly breast by breast,
    Patient, sun-brightened too,
  Still journeying toward the sunset and their rest.
Zac Walter Jan 2013
Awoken from a 4 1/2 month dream
Find myself hanging by my feet
30,000 above and swinging wildly
Nose bleeding like waterfalls
Eyes suffering drought in Arizona
                           The dream was about you
                           Unsure if it was reality
                           It sure wasn't fake though
A "steal" heart shall sit in my chest
because you stole the one that beats
Swing, Bleed, Suffer some more
Fake airplane air makes me wonder
Where I am whenever I awoke
Captain, "To the right lies Kansas City"
I knew those lights in the distance
They twinkled like your ***** eyes.
Lee Janes Jan 2013
You removed your delicate hand away
From your *****, and sprinkled
Stardust upon the moon tonight.

While the clouds obeyed her secret palms,
She parted them enough
For her borrowed light to shine through.

Her beams glittered cataract diamonds,
As any found within Leone’s chest;
Upon boulders centred within this field.

So I approached, aloft, pedestal-like,
And mimicking David’s marble form
Gleaming bright in the Florence midday heat,

With no less than a thousand eyes
Gazing upon his dreaming stare,
I perched and mused of my lady-fair.

While above, each star hummed
It’s distant faint tune, and twinkled
Their beat towards Earths gentle breath.

I inhaled the air freezing this night;
Into, not only my lungs,
But my heart reached over to lend her appetite.

Aided by the cool soft wind,
My voice was never the more raised
Above a lonely child’s whisper.

Thus I began: ‘I thought of how
This glorious globe, with her wondrous hue,
Is the envy of all these great spheres,

‘And to muse with the ebb
Of immeasurable times flow
Over the laments of my darling dove,

‘To relay through my mind,
All the moments I could
Have been with your willing body,

‘The many scenes I should
Have been with you. Those times
I should have said exactly

‘What I felt when you were with me,
When I possessed you
Within my gaze. I rue those chances,

‘And missed opportunities. Know that
You occupy my slumbered visions
From when sleep closes my eyes,

‘Till the birds of dawn awakens them.
And as the year closes,
Since first I kissed your smooth cheek,

‘Know humbly, within your breast,
That you were the shining beacon,
A light which guided me over stormy seas.

‘I pray, realise my words,
Softly spoken from the pages sent
To your hands, were meant for your heart,

‘And your smile, mixed with glances,
Were always a true delight
You bestowed on to me.

‘I let you bathe in my soul,
And I truly thank you,
And forever sing your name aloud.

‘I sit alone here under a chilly
Suffolk night and think
The heavens bright of you.

‘Months have fled, and ease of
My sorrow toward the sky
Is a gift I must offer for my changeless love.’

And ending, ‘Take what you wish, my dove,
But please, I beg on bended knees,
Please, do not take my memory of you.’

These words were cupped on the north wind,
While the moon spread a veiled
Duvet of polished silver over the field,

Spilling dew upon the grass
Bleeding from her sheen, moist,
Velvet sheets of liquid nectar.

Before my eyes, the grass stood to attention.
A million green-eyes begged
More from my heated pores.

Amazed; for rooted to the soil,
Adding immense weight to the ground;
They calmed their sway to my measures.

Clouds rushed over to hear, even
The rested sun-chariot peeped
Back over the forbidden western shores.

The birds of day appear, crying
A chattered song for the suns yearning.
Clouds began to weep uncontrollable tears.

As a ripple from a pond, speeds
Over the smooth surface towards
The shade of the blessed river bank,

As did a wave flow from one end
Of the field to these boulders,
And with fresh breath, these blades spoke,

And graced my ears with speech:
‘Oh soon to be spirit, we can sense
What is about to come on to you.

‘Your love, you love, with every
Drop of blood that beats
Within ones heart, we envy you.

‘Can there ever be a time,
Where eagles roar; when lions fly;
Lambs bite; or wolves graze on us?

‘Ever an instance, a time to come,
Where the moon becomes the sun,
In turn, the giver of life, the moon?

‘When the earth, herself, slows,
And rotates back along her axis?
Men born old; death at birth?

‘Hills, majestic sloping hills, iron flat?
Rivers become grain; ocean freeze over;
Skies, and air, turn to solid?

‘Science; vain in being,
Predicts too much; and beauty
Is lost forever in her words.

‘May some farm boy look through
A hole in that there fence,
And sneak a peak at me,

‘May he run to his herd and tell
The leader of the flock the sight
His eyes just bore in witness.

‘For your cries; may a sudden
Rush of blush greet your lady’s cheeks;
May her legs tremble; her hips grow weak.

‘Let the once ferocious deep blue
Calm his waves, and in his face,
Mirror the skies glorious expanse.

‘The moon; may the moon, believe
That she is not eternally alone,
Swimming in the inky black;

‘Let her study her reflection;
And fall in love with her new mate.
May the stars, count not all, shrink

‘The distance between themselves,
Place tender arms around one another,
In a much longed-for embrace.

‘Finally; may Orion, when touching
Western waters; let him relinquish his sword,
And stem the rains from the bellowing east.

‘We feel your pain!’ And they ceased.
They too, felt my joy.
For my wonderful words spun;

Mingled with undiluted wine placed in a
Golden goblet from a heart-stricken tongue;
Which lapped the chilly air while I spoke freely.

‘I knew once a sweet tender maid,’ I began,
‘And without diminishing
The daughters of this night away from you,

‘I will swiftly say she became my voice.
And as the buds burst free
From winters icy hold; and as around

‘Earths eternal prisioned orbit
Spans another of her quarters,
When the sun strikes intense onto Saharan sands;

‘I was with her, and she with me too.
She graced my songs with galloping mane
And eagle striking ***** of wind.

‘She tenderly flowed through my veins,
As any stream from high sacred fountains;
Any river that deposits into sea;

‘Any artists stroke from his brush
To canvas, that paints oil drenching
Figures of unrivalled beauty.’

I paused my strain, and glanced
At our moon, hung high; hung also;
On my every word, halting her route.

‘And with this’, I continued, ‘and your tones
You gifted to me upon these boulders,
I take this poisoned flower from out my pocket.

‘My young blood presented this to me,
Long ago; for the sun has yoked
His steeds passed four full moons since.

‘He too, my brother, calls aloft
To the tunes of music; he too,
Guides his hand to the strums of natures beats.

‘Against that aged oak, with acorns
Spread at its feet, my brother, leaning
His back to its wrinkled trunk,

‘Plucking in harmony strings which,
In his blonde presence never lay slack;
And flinging away his melodies on the breeze,

‘Spoke thus; “If any time on your travels,
A day presents itself, when you find
Yourself sitting upon those boulders there;

‘“And the moon in her glory,
Glows a frosty crystal white, and the voices
In their millions sway to your laments,

‘“Eat this; for your time has come.
One night waits for all of us and all must
Walk the path of death, and walk it only once.

‘“Look to your moon, and bade it goodbye.
Glance at the grass, and bid it adieu.
And say, above all, farewell to your lady.”
So I eat, and sing farewell my love, with a kiss.’
six chapters of Catcher in the Rye
keeping my hero alive, Normandy
how he must of felt, the headlines
breaking his heart, America is full of heart break
and all for the fickle romance and seductive nature
of war time Hollywood. What a *****!
fill that selfish empty hand, when the world twinkled for you
and you were only in love with yourself in the mirror

he may be passed away, and far over the disappointment
the anger turmoil now understood of my favorite novel
written on tour during the second world war and for what
hundreds of thousands of copies of paper sold each year
and all he wanted was that one ear to kiss, he confessed Holden to.

I hope your life was as inspirational as it started , you hermit, you legend.

but ******* *****, Charlie Chap Coke **** *******.
Shruti Atri Nov 2014
Remember the first good day we spent?
The sea washed out the sand at our feet,
The city lights twinkled like the stars above.
Only, these were the stars we could touch.
It was the first I'd seen of your carefree laugh;
I told myself then, I haven't seen it enough.
I still haven't had enough of it...

She said, 'The city lights are the stars,
They twinkle in the shrouded night.
I have been waiting for someone
To help me reach for the light.'

It's like I'm in a dream...
Were we together in our past lives?
I was holding this torch forever,
In the darkness, I could only burn bright,
For my neverending love, to seek the forgotten light;
To reunite, and spark into flames together,
Like the Sun, warming, *burning,
with it's light;
And I finally found you, through all those blackest nights.

He said, 'If this was meant to be,
I will die over & over again to be in different eras with you.
*To live forever despite living various lives,
To live in the end and die in the beginning!'
First collab with Erenn!
Sub Rosa Dec 2013
Do yourself a favor and keep scrolling.
Our first snowfall began at 9 a.m. this very morning.

Down came crystal ice, lacy clouds, and with it came the seasonal side of human troubles. I found my self transformed into a filthy romantic, gazing longingly out the window, wrapped in a wool blanket and holding my little brother who smiled at the Frosty the Snowman cartoon on TV. With the cold always comes the chills. The ones that shimmy up your shirt as you stand in the bathroom, trying not to look in the mirror while you undress. The chills that creep into your veins through open wounds and wind themselves around your rib-cage. I couldn't feel the warm air shooting from the vents while I sat beside them. I couldn't taste the Jack-In-The-Box daddy brought home at midnight. He put on an old movie and slowly everyone drifted to sleep. That's when I stole a few hours for myself. Taking my little doe-eyed puppy out into the yard, tossing him into a snowdrift for the first time. He cowered there for a moment, before darting back onto the deck, staring in awe and terror down at the snow. I lit a stolen cigarette and plopped down into the freezing mess.

I had a little too much to eat and felt like sleeping right there in my dampened jeans and Joe's Crab Shack t-shirt. I thought about putting out the Pal-Mal stick and being a straight-laced little girl for the holidays. I thought about the stinging of my latest stress-relief therapy (a bit of a home remedy) and also about Robert Plant's hair. Soon enough, after endless replays of my favorite music videos, my mind had emptied. The frigid air had ****** all my thoughts and memories from my head like a vacuum cleaner. All that remained was a sense of impending doom. A needle in the base of my skull, every nerve-ending in my body was pinched by icy fingers. Someone was calling my name from inside me, My own skin was shifting and rippling over my muscles, trembling and tingling. There was somewhere I had to be, something I should be doing, someone who needed my help. I sat up and looked around the yard, from the chain link fence, to the gorgeous view of the valley and the city *******, to the ugly siding of my manufactured home. My eyes darted back and forth, my puppy, the chicken house, the dead rose bush. I was alone, alone with my dog in a white miracle. Every snowflake looked like a stray bullet, raining down on me from the gods, but kissing my cheeks and melting on my feverish skin. I wished i could fall like that, and drip onto someone's lips or cling to their eyelashes.  But i was here, alone in the darkness with smoke-scented gloves and breath, in a yard of dead grass frozen in a flood.And then I started to cry. I didn't know why, I still have no idea what kind of madness washed over me as I shivered, my *** soaked and my nose running. But I sobbed and sobbed and put my head between my knees. The snow had gathered on the shoulders of my woolen pea-coat and sprinkled down as I shook and gasped, I must have sat there for half an hour, listening to a train go by in the valley, singing to the empty streets, trying to pull myself together. I'm still shivering even sitting here in my warm bed. But at that moment, I was as fragile and fleeting as the very dust that had settled across the entire town.

I managed to dry my eyes and stumble back through the front door tailed by a whimpering brown pup. Everyone, still crashed on the couches and floor, unaware of the scraggly disaster crawling through the living room. The Christmas tree twinkled in the corner and the TV played static. I kissed my baby brother on the forehead and slipped my lighter back into my coat pocket. The season had set in, the snow was here to stay. I was left wondering about the madness of  the season and the sanity of the skies.

Every year,  water freezes mid air and falls onto the earth in heaps of cold white heaven. It's a ******* miracle. It happens every year without fail and yet somehow it surprises and amazes us every time.
What is it about the cold that chills us so?
I sound like an angsty basketcase.
Someone throw me off a cliff before I do it myself.
I always thought a good ******-ending would be a nice touch to my biography.
My night was awful.
Akira Chinen May 2016
Have you stopped to listen to the sound of poetry before the hands of women or man
The silent words spoken before our bodies crawled from the muck and the ooze
The songs that fluttered in the wind long before our hands held quill or pen
Poetry has always been and will always be
Before the first star twinkled in the void
Before the sky knew the color blue
Before the ocean had its depth
There in the silence before the hands of time had ticked
Poetry lived and danced and breathed and sang
Before the leaves knew the breeze
Before the pollen and the stem
Before the stinger and the wing
There in the solitude before life and death
Poetry wept and smiled and loved
Before heaven had wars with hell
Before demons had horns and tails
Before angels had cloud and flight
There in the absence of earth and women and man
Poetry beat in the heart of love
And should mankind become eternaly extinct
Murdered by by his own hate and war and greed
Talking god and heaven in his ****** hands with him unto death
And should hell and devils crumble into grief and fade
Poetry will still live and dance and sing and weep and smile  and love
Will birth stars to fill the sky and sing the void sweet lullabies
Will dream stories to tell the sky its blue or grey with storms
Will fill the ocean with tales of lovers drowning in its depths
Poetry will wind the wheels and springs behind the face of time
Will forever kiss the leaf with the breeze
Bring the pollen to the stem
Attach the stinger to the wing
Marry life to death
Give demons flight
And angels horns
Rebuild heavens
Give gods new names
Place new crowns and thrones in hell
Poetry has always been and will always be
And would only flourish
By the death of man
And forever live and beat in the
Heart of love
Nicole Bataclan Dec 2014
The Christmas lights are up
I am in the mood,
Have they always
Twinkled like that
Or do they
Because it parallels
My own delight.

They are the same

While my eagerness
To stop,
Observe and smile
Has me burning
On the inside.
Under pressure I am
A snowball
Of anger
Out of control

I am the same

But the difference
This year
I forgive myself
Like others
In the long stretch
In my lasting search
Of what matters

And I have you
As seed
To my everyday glee.

It is Christmas time
The lights are up
This time, I am looking up.
Katryna Mar 2014
"what are you holding on to?"

the question wasn't rhetorical but the earth stood still. the clocks stopped ticking and the distant hum of car engines was silenced. even the street lights with their comforting buzz, stopped abruptly to take a pause. the stars nearly fell out of the sky, and nothing twinkled and danced in your dilated pupils. the air was dead and the strands of hair the wind had taken hostage were offered respite as they fell like pins down my back. the world faded - not into black - into nothing, into complete and absolute emptiness. your cigarette smoke hung in the air and the filter never came nearer and nearer. my heart, by some miraculous count, stopped racing long enough to reduce the sound in my ears to complete and utter silence.

i tried to answer, but all that came out was "I think we should paint the apartment soon."

you stared, "we should paint the apartment?"

"yes, I think so, it's so awfully bland. it makes me feel cold."

"why does it make you feel cold?"

"because of the absence of colour."

"what do you make of the absence of warmth?" your eyes were saying less than your mouth, and my words kept getting stuck in my throat.

"I think it's somewhere, maybe beneath the floorboards. we should change the floor, put in carpet. carpet is comforting."

"is that what you think? we can repaint and re-floor and we will be warm."

"I should think so. maybe a new bedspread, what do you think? we could go shopping maybe. tomorrow? or the day after?" my voice trailed off when your gaze shifted from my face to the ground.

"you're not holding on to renovation prospects and you're not answering my question."

in this state of universal paralysis, i became the focal point of the entire universe, to everything but you. i took a breath, and held it in, i thought and thought and though carbon copied hallmark responses danced around my brain, i had no words. i had only this moment, of complete and utter stasis, of company among solitude, of enlightenment as my senses betrayed me and my emotions were given room to embrace this artificial reality.

"the colour of light"

i know this surprised you, and i know you don't know why, even to this day. so i continued.

"i'm holding on to the sound of silence, and the taste of reassurance despite. the cathartic feeling of abandoning the conscious mind and licking mercury from your eyelids. the putrefaction of tactile and the vicious assimilation of awareness. the relentless burning of the merriem-webster definition of what it means to feel, to be. i'm holding on to everything you've cultivated within my mind, every stream of consciousness you diverted and corrupted, every single thought you've planted and watered and allowed to spiral out of control. i'm holding on to the challenge. i'm holding on to knowing - and what i know, is nothing."

you blinked, one hundred and twenty three times exactly - before you spoke, "you're holding on to what you know."

it was less of a question than a statement but I answered nonetheless, my voice was meek, "yes"

"well then," you flicked your cigarette and exhaled a breath, "we should pick out paint colours tomorrow. what were you thinking? red?"

"red is alive."

"grey it is then."

"but grey is oh so dull," I said, devoid of emotion.

you looked up for the first time in a while, "yes, I know, i'm holding on to what I know."

i heard a car horn or two. the colours returned and the sky had in fact remained full of stardust. we walked, quite a distance, until our senses once again became the paragon of normalcy. we both knew the ambiguity of my answer, we both knew that it ran deeper than we wanted to face, and we both knew that despite the inundation of motion in the perceivable world, the earth had not yet, begun to spin again.
Donna Oct 2018
I woke this morning
all snuggly warm wrapped in
my lovely blanket

Then I heard blackbirds
tweeting with the rising sun
Was a lovely sound

Before I knew it
I was as small as a blackbird
standing under an

old tree!  I blinked once
than twice , I couldn’t believe
it, I was so small

And wow!! the tree looked
like a big planet and the sky
was bigger than it

ever was! The blackbirds
began to tweet again so
i picked up a twig!

I became there new
conductor , I swayed the twig
from side to side which

made the blackbirds sing
even louder , they sang so
beautiful just like

dear Pavarotti!
I wore a dress made of red
autumn leaves and my

hair was curled with pink
flowers , I even spruced up
the twig with a few

golden leaves and it
twinkled like glitter under
the bright morning sun

Even the pigeons
stop to join in , they coo coo
in the background whilst

crows cawed and sparrows
played the harps like angels! I
gently closed my eyes

to listen to there
song but when I opened eyes
I was snuggled up

in bed wrapped up in
cozy blanket , I quickly
looked out the window

‘‘Twas there I saw a
twig in golden leaves lying
on outside window

ledge twinkling like
glitter under the rising
morning yellow sun
A couple of gardens up from me loads of blackbirds sing early in the morning so I made up fun story :)
Been a busy day I’ll catch up soon :)
All I ever wanted left me,
So I took it all.
All my lovers betrayed me,
So I ruined thee.
All I've ever known was subjective,
So I really knew nothing.
All my advice was selfish,
So I grinned right throughly.

I'm a wonderful caricature,
of what it means to be human.
Clowned up, and distorted,
that is the vision of me.
But worry not, fair sweet.
I'll be here as you worry and rot.
And I will feed.

I am all six circles of hell,
I am every demon.
I am the lie in the truth,
That glints so eagerly,
In the soft blue eyes of mine,
That can almost... make you feel mine.
Almost, but just out of a trance,
nay nothing ever was, just a circle,
That has never closed, just a cycle that,
has no history, impotent, yet
all consuming, I can't find the truth,
So I'll live in the lies, and they shall be,
The ties that I bind,
myself and others, delicately,
deliciously enjoying the feast,
I provide, alone, in the dark,
talking to those who live,
far far away in here, so that in my hell,
I can reside as king, and feel in control,
or an owner of something.

Yet still I awake,
stilly, I create,
These little poems on my own,
That you'll read on your own.
And you'll think, something but,
It'll be gone abruptly, as if you almost held a star,
but it twinkled unlucky.
A sunny shaft did I behold,
  From sky to earth it slanted:
And poised therein a bird so bold—
  Sweet bird, thou wert enchanted!

He sank, he rose, he twinkled, he troll’d
  Within that shaft of sunny mist;
His eyes of fire, his beak of gold,
  All else of amethyst!

And thus he sang: ‘Adieu! adieu!
Love’s dreams prove seldom true.
The blossoms, they make no delay:
The sparking dew-drops will not stay.
    Sweet month of May,
      We must away;
      Far, far away!
        To-day! to-day!’
Shelby Easley Jun 2010
to be touched.
as gentle as a summer's breeze.
for i am the leaves hanging from the branches.
as quiet as a roaring mouse.
as silent as a squeaky house.
we praise the moonlight,
that enveloped hands reach toward.
the night is made of blankets.
twinkled sheets and bright covers
to keep the streets warm,
to put the sky to sleep.
and to protect the silent trees,
the animals in slumber,
the ground filled with tired flowers,
and the foaming sea.
while the sun was gone,
roaming grace fell upon me.
for you i've come to know so well.
grow we did in moonlight's spell.
we put up no fights.
stay right here with me.
free to love under gentle touch.
such fingers made of shy midnight clouds.
fly me to new heights.
through night sky cotton.
through desires not forgotten.
and we'll float; mid-space flyers.
in a twinkled sea; higher now.
never coming down.
Abdallah Sadiq May 2016
I'm living with my reflection
I craved to live in the reflection.
A reflection existing in another dimension;
Every step I took, he took them more buoyantly
Every night l slept, he slept more peacefully
Every word I spoke, he spoke them more blissfully.
His skies were bluer than mine—
His sun shone brighter than mine—
The stars in his world twinkled effortlessly.
Never did he seek refuge in dusk
Nor use his pillow as headphones whenever it poured down rain.
My suicidal thoughts were his love for the world
My sorrow was his laughter
My pain— his euphoria.
Every move I made, every  breath I take
I reflect on the reflection I could've been without my mistake.
To summarize this, this poem is just about imagining how different your life would've been if you didn't make some certain mistakes.
loggi Jun 2017
October 14th

When is October,
With the leaves of red,
With the crisp cold wind
Blowing to the west.
There she sits and waits,
For the boy with the red Chevrolet.
It is eight o five,
He is five minutes late.
But she occupies herself
With the crumbling pastry
On her tiny plate.
He pulls up outside,
And she looks and waves,
With a smile she cannot hide.
It is nine o five.
It is time to go.
She had a great time, he knows.

It is November,
The pine is yellow,
As they walk down the lane.
He holds her slim hand,
And she laughs again
To a joke she would never tell
To any of her friends.
As they walk down the lane,
They talk about a future
They might never attain.
But here they are walking,
Down a yellowing park lane
With their hands linked together,
Waiting for time to go away.
There is a park bench,
Aside a small lake
With red and brown shapes
Just drifting upon
The placid landscape.
He motions to her
To come and sit with him
And take it all in:
This favorable day.
But she thinks of the time,
The job she has at five,
And she tells him, "let's go."
He looks at her and smiles,
Wishing time would go away
As they walked together,
towards the red Chevrolet

Here is December,
The leaves have lost their ember,
As she sits drinking coffee
By her apartment's window.
she is clad in comfort
Snug in a blanket
From her bed she had to unearth.
She blows her hot breath
Upon the chilled window pane,
And draws shapes, words, names
Upon the fogged window frame.
Finally she traces a heart,
With two initials
Separated by a plus sign.
She smiles at her art,
And the heart she has made,
And wishes it would not clear away.
But something catches her eye,
Through the unfogged heart lines,
A red Chevrolet parked
On the side of the street lane.
There is a knock on the door.
She gets up and tidies her space,
She looks in the mirror
And pouts about not having
Makeup on her face.
She goes to the door,
Takes a breath and opens
It to a familiar form.
He has flowers in a vase,
That has an etched heart, with her name


It is January,
a month of frigidness,
but of drunken merry.
Here they survived
for only a time ago,
and the seasons
change with heavy snow.
They do not talk for a time,
But each of them wonder
If it is all fine.
Things return, as you know
A car running the highway,
And a girl living alone.
Oh that message said,
“I can’t wait to see you again.”
To her it was a punch,
To him it was a friend.
But their bonds to each other
They were only flailed,
But the cut would not make an end.
So this passage stayed this way,
He would drive a car,
She would look away.
But its hard not to see
A bright red Chevrolet.
So with a phone call,
at the crack of dawn.
A girl fell in love,
Which was all wrong.
The other would come,
And it will not be long.

Love in February,
pastel hearts and a chocolate box.
Bouquets, and fancy gin
All the flattery would begin.
Some weekends at the movies,
Some nights meeting her friends.
Their life started to return,
But what from it could she earn?
Some nice nights in candle light,
A stuffed animal from a claw,
But what did it mean at all?
“Yes, I’m free at eight.
Be on time you're always late.”
“Oh sure! I love to catch up.”
“Oh yeah, remember our lake?”
“Yes the one with all the ducks.”
“Yes that is the place, right?”
“Yeah I’ll see you there tonight?”
“I can’t wait at all,
I haven't seen you for so long.”
Some things are sacred,
When they are not shared.
But really this new girl,
Was not at all new.
She was the first one
And this other girl
Was a replacement
That he met in the fall.

Then walked in March
With his hands and loud clatter,
But he could not shake
The peace that had begun.
Two girls, different lives,
But they were both the same.
Same long flaxen hair,
That drifted below their backs.
same smile and loving stare,
But the only difference
Was their loving eyes.
The girl from the fall,
Had brown eyes, a soft voice,
and a spirit so gentle.
The girl from before,
had blue eyes and a voice
of loud summer laughter
who lived with a sense of death.
Blue eyes lived on the edge,
Brown eyes lived on the current.
But both girls would be the same,
nights wiping mascara,
Similar nights at the parlor.
Both were each others’ mirror
But none would take the curtain,
and reveal what was hidden.
He would not worry,
As he drove down the highway.
No grey doubt ever minded him
As he rode his red Chevrolet.
To him, it was a game.

Then April rain fell.
Can you even tell
What were the feelings
That were felt when she saw
The two plane tickets?
She was taken aback,
She had never left
The city she lived in,
And she rushed at him
With clutching arms and happy grin.
No words would describe
what she felt within.
The old girl had gone
to Europe for a trip,
Leaving him with one set of lips.
So he thought to himself,
a trip away would be good.
He would spend some time
With the girl he loved.
He would do whatever he could.
So at an airport,
at a quarter to nine,
The two of them talked
And everything was fine.
She would joke with him
That he was actually on time,
And he would make a face
To resent the sense of disgrace.
But here he was thinking,
Of the girl in another place.

Blooming flowers in May,
Were her favorite sight.
The reds, blues and pinks
were among spring’s delight.
She enjoyed the ducks on the lake.
This was her first time
Ever seeing these mallards
Bask and splash their heads.
He was on the other side
On a call he could not ignore.
Things started to slip with him.
She would call and he would say,
“Sorry, I’m busy.”
She asked him if he wanted
To meet her family.
“I’m sorry, I’m busy that day.”
But here she saw this sight,
A boy across the lake she liked.
She did not know who
gave him an “urgent” ring,
But he was laughing
At this emergency.
He seemed so distant this May,
But he was not far away.
She could go up and walk to him,
But if she dared cross
This great immense strait,
She could effortlessly reach midway.
But her balance would falter
Because he would not cross for her.
So she would sink underneath.

Runaway in June,
With flaxen hair flowing
With wind blowing down the highway
In that red Chevrolet.
Tan skin and sunglasses on,
These were the parts she enjoyed,
All summer long.
Although they neared a place,
Here time slowed and she could stop space.
She would turn up that song
And sing each lyric she liked,
and then toss it to him
as she passed him the mic.
All their troubles in May
Seemed to wither away,
as the hot air curled
each locket of hair.
Planes streaked up in the sky
As birds kited by.
The greenery of the trees
Flowed with life effortlessly:
Waving a sort of fresh hello
As the asphalt steamed
a cool dew of tomorrow.
They approached the exit,
With the harsh winding twist
That they would slow down and glide.
The sun streaming up in the sky,
Her happy gentle eyes.
He had another date at five.

Pink sky in July,
and a black aqua night
With night bugs buzzing
and the firefly light.
then on some warm nights
The sky filled with red, blue and white,
As fireworks attempted
to journey so high,
Until they bursted
And died in the cold atmosphere.
When it was past dusk
And the time settled on twilight,
The great blue vault would open up,
And reveal the infinite.
Stars twinkled, and flew
Against the nothingness
Hopping to find a purpose
For their brief existence.
The girl from the fall
Believed she had some worth,
That a creator put people
that she was meant to meet
Upon this sad Earth.
The girl from before
Did not know she encroached
On a love so new,
Nor did the girl from fall
know she was doing that too.
He would say “I love you.”
Which to her it was sweet.
But “you” can be plural.

They met in August,
August the tenth to be exact.
They knew each other
Ever since junior high,
But neither mustered the courage
To come up and say hi.
She went off to college,
He went away too,
But they met in a coffee shop
In the middle of June.
They soon started to talk,
and soon a new love grew.
This was the girl from before,
A clever girl who loved books
And a long afternoon snore.
He was a year older,
and he graduated a year ago.
She trusted him so much.
He bought her flowers,
He would spend hours with her,
Walking to the edge of nowhere,
And slowly journeying back.
But for some reason
Something came undone.
She wondered as she walked
Down upon the gray sidewalk.
Not watching or minding her step,
As she bumped into the girl
Walking to her left.
A brown eyed girl with flaxen hair,
Both unaware of a love they share.

A new friend in September,
She had began to know well.
Last August they collided,
Laughed at each others’ mistake,
and then chatted as if they knew
Each other for a longer time
than is accustomed to new friends.
They sometimes saw each other
While walking on the sidewalk.
Sometimes they smiled to chat,
And sometimes they waved
And never looked back.
Little by little they came through,
They talked, and they laughed
About anything old and new.
But soon they started to fade too.
The girl from before,
Started to work at night
And would not leave her apartment,
Until an hour after
The girl from the Fall left hers.
Maybe she was not meant to know,
Perhaps fate decided
That the truth would never come
If they never collided.
So things continued this way,
Until they met again one day.
They laughed and said they should catch up.
She got her number,
Next month it went under.

When is October?
Where she cried her eyes.
When in October,
Did she find out his lies?
She was someplace away,
Cruising down the highway.
It was at a party,
from a girl she would never know,
Who told her about the girl
That they both came to know,
Who had a boyfriend
That was so very sweet,
and a picture of them
That put her heart in her teeth.

October 14th
9:14 pm

An hour does seem so long.
She asked him if she could
Borrow his red Chevrolet,
Because she had no other way.
It was late, and then came the rain
As she sped down the highway.
She left him a message,
that he did not understand:
“I’m coming to see you.”
As the car furiously ran.
The wind whipping, the clouds crying,
It was not safe the speed she went
In that red Chevrolet
Running down that highway.
She wanted to scream,
She wanted to fade away.
But time was there edging her so,
As she counted the minutes
For the amount of time
It would take to get there.
She would have to tell
The girl she began
To know so well as a friend.
But this had to come to an end.
She neared the exit
That had the sharp twist,
She tried to slow to a glide,
But the water kept up the stride.
And suddenly time slowed
As the car leapt off the road.

October 14th
9:44 pm

Everything floated,
The dust, the old receipts
As she gripped the leather seat.
She just hit the guard rail right,
As the car flipped in the night.
glitter headlight shards,
And red sirens blurring,
Why was she in such a hurry?
One flip, then came two,
The mechanical acrobat
Performing a stunt
That was doomed to fail.
She counted the minutes,
That she still had left,
As her broken head
Leaked her thoughts upon the dash.
The memories slipped out:
The dates by the lake,
The days in the red Chevrolet,
and the girl who bumped
Into her on the sidewalk.
Sirens blurring, people looking,
at the side of the road.
A stretcher was coming,
her body they were carrying;
Pale, limp, and bleeding.
When is October?
Where she took a drive.
When in October,
She died.

October 14th
10:14 pm
The line count is significant.
Leonard Green Jul 2013
Round 1: New Life
Entered abruptly, this world out of the caretaker’s womb
astonished by the awe of unusual surroundings
so unlike the comfort of the nine month pacifier
images fade in, then out, and in, then out once again
feel this empty sensation, deep inside the belly
initially a murmur, then a monstrous growl
shall this need drive the emerging beast…

Round 2: Survive
Astounded still, by the incentives from the senses
nonetheless, comprehension builds mostly from stumbling
and the consequences of actions may honor or condemn
imitating and discovering, touching and tasting, the wants
hear this curious whisper, deep inside the mind
initially a hum, then a vicarious voice
shall this be the song of a destined course…

Round 3: First Love
Twinkled eyes, with the melody of hypnotizing admiration
wanting so fierce, the heart skips several beats
beauty so pure and deep, the skin becomes totally immaterial
can’t eat, can’t sleep, want to caress this haunting dream
but wait, maybe the feelings lack mutual perception
then to experience the piercing silence of rejection
shall this fear define the character…

Round 4: Nuptials
Exchanged vows, two mates to share eternity as one soul
to nurture one another with the food of selfless care
instead, demons from the spirit’s dark side arose
mistrusting and abusing, suffocating and killing, the love
no room, no place for compassion and understanding
only the refuge for a hollowed indifference
shall this be the start of a fragile heart…

Round 5: Bounce Back**
Continued hope, for the chance to champion a cause
to humbly honor the truth in self and in others
reckless to the tangible constraints weighing on the mind
to decease, to desist, the will to life’s tribulations
the blows come and go, a jab here, a jab there
striking with unforeseen yet uncanny precision
shall this bell ring in the final round…

— The End —