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Afrodita Nestor Sep 2014
Unknown friends with
Unknown faces
Unknown ways to
Unknown places

Unknown depths
Yet to find
Unknown heights
Yet to climb

Unknown beauties
Yet to see
Unknown things
Yet to be

Unknown waters
I am not afraid
Unknown future
I am not scared

The shiny sun
During days
Will give me strength
On my way

The countless stars
So far above
Will keep me safe
With their tender love

My dearest one
My one and only
Will kiss me softly
When I feel lonely

I cannot wait
to meet you soon
I am prepared
For new typhoons

Unknown, Unknown
Yet to be
You have never met
Someone like me
Copyright Afrodita Nestor
Peter Balkus Sep 2016
Unknown error has occurred,
unknown things started to happen,
unknown windows opened up
by an unknown applications.

Unknown pictures and descriptions,
from which unknown files emerged,
they got multiplied so quickly
in the very unknown way.

Unknown error has occurred
in a strangely unknown way.
If you need help press OK
if you wanna leave - press ESCAPE.

If you see black screen - please wait.
Jenni Renealynne Aug 2017
I am the unknown
the unknown soul.
I have unknown friends
an unknown lover.
you do not know me
because i am the unknown
but you don't care
to know the unknown.
although I am unknown
I know exactly who you are
you are the person
who makes me
the unknown .
I write my own work about me and my feelings.
I'm unknown
so unknown the world
doesn't even know i
exist
so unknown that
i don't know who i
really am
this is only the beginning
of what is to come
the answer will be
unknown
how to stop it
but do you really want to
stop it
stop it all from happening
its too late
the unknown already has you
in its grip!!!
all you see is
a figure similar to your build
height
weight
hair
among other things
you think that its you but
you
cant
tell
you begin to piece things
together
you might as well say that
the unknown is a
clone of you
but
the figure then says
"you are relentlesssssss"
hissing at you
like a snake
then you begin to realize
the unknown
is really
your worst fear
becoming your worst nightmare
but you also begin to realize
becoming the unknown
will be the epiphany
of living
like a king
Azra Ajmal Oct 2018
Unknown fear
Unknown suspicion
Unknown search
Unknown to the start
Unknown in the mid
Unknown to unknown

Will there be an end???????
Saumya May 5
Take me to a place unknown,
A place that knows no flesh and bones,
Take me to a place unknown,
A place that knows no battles for thrones,
Take me to a place unknown,
A place that knows you're never alone,
Take me to a place unknown,
A place that sooths the souls forlorn,
Take me to a place unknown,
A place where miseries' forever unknown,
Take me to a place unknown,
A place where truths shine all alone,
Take me to a place unknown,
A place where love has no pros and cons,
Take me to a place unknown,
A place where's no one,
But I... I'm all alone,
Amidst the ideal nature I've yearned and known
Alone from the world,
Alone from the people,
Alone from the souls I loved,
Alone from the souls that loved me back,
Alive, alone, refreshed,
But dead, almost forever in their zone
And thence no more no one's...anything.
And...a someone in people's memory
No more, but always reverd and known.
Life becomes very intolerable and complex sometimes, and it is then the minds needs such an escape.

I hope you've a good read my friends :)

Have a great day! :)
The Caged Bird May 2018
She stood where she’d always stood. Bare feet pressed firmly into that which was familiar; solid ground and mundane days. The rolling hills of green, dripping of constant certainty, nearly surrounded her. Yet before her, and so many others, was the vast open space of The Unknown that promised the opposite of that reality. No one she knew dared approach the The Unknown as there was never any need or desire. Her world was an unfailing provider of worldly things and acceptance. The surrender to conformity never felt too high a price to pay.

But, her contentment had grown old despite her youth. She often dug her toes into that solid ground beneath her feet. For she had learned that with enough pressure, it wasn’t so solid after all. The earth crumbled into soft dirt and she took pleasure in the feeling of disrupting it’s rigid state. When The Wind from The Unknown surreptitiously swept over the land, others raised a brow in disdain when she breathed in it’s essence, as if she were trying to decipher that which drove it. Her eyes often gazed in the direction The Wind came from, regardless of the shame that slowly began to grow inside her from her need to move on.

Day after day, week after week, something began to manifest itself in her. A seed implanted by The Wind of The Unknown. Or perhaps it was always there, covert in it’s infancy, until it had gained enough confidence to grow and surface. She felt herself drawn to step past the dirt she’d grown fond of playing footsie with and move cautiously towards the direction of The Unknown. Each step she took brought fear and uncertainty, but that was curbed by the the constant reminder of The Wind’s confidence in her. As she travelled, The Wind silently retreated to watch her grow on her own. Unfamiliar feelings arose that she had never experienced before which only led to even more new desires. She tried to process her emotions, but she was already moving forward at a steady pace.

Those that knew her, stared as she moved on. Their faces displaying confusion and judgment, as her small frame quietly disappeared against the horizon that radiated a haunting yet mysteriously inviting glow over The Unknown. How she longed to express to them the urgency she felt to depart their world. To share with someone this journey that had turned from sheer curiosity to the need to fulfill something in her that even she could neither comprehend nor fully understand.

Suddenly, her feet came to an abrupt stop as The Wind silently reappeared. It’s presence was familiar and yet unyielding. Looking down at her feet, she slowly became aware that she was no longer standing on any remnants of where she came from. She was standing on the edge of The Unknown. A jagged rock cliff that was both beautiful and terrifying overlooking a dark, vast body of water that appeared to stretch farther then the eye could see. She quickly realized why the air she inhaled met her with familiarity. It was the very entity that secretly breathed life into her spirit and beckoned her to depart from all that she had known before. With this realization came another. Her journey thus far had slowly fostered a self awareness that, like the jagged cliff she stood on, was terrifying and beautiful. She was aware of every single nerve in her body. Every desire she longed for was now completely known, understood and wanted more than ever.

She looked out at the dark, yet unexplainably welcoming water of The Unknown. That ever familiar Wind, playfully swirling around her body, tempted and coaxed her as she stood unsteady at the edge. It moved through her hair and against her skin like fingertips, gently comforting her. She basked in it’s attention and the memory of it’s unfailing guidance... until it warmly kissed her ear and whispered a single word; a command that forced a gasp from her lips. Her body began to tremble with fear as she attempted to process it’s request. The Wind felt her hesitation and picked up speed, reassuring her safety and softly explaining itself to her. “Wanting is not the same as Feeling”, it said. And so The Wind gently repeated: “Jump”.

So she jumped.

And the water enveloped her.

She felt.

She evolved.

She became one with The Wind.

And The Unknown became Known.
This poem/story is open to interpretation but simply put, it’s about moving on from one thing to another, despite the fear that accompanies change. In my personal journey, I evolved into living an alternative lifestyle and while the journey was scary, the outcome has been beautiful and fulfilling. “The Wind” is a representation of my husband helping me along my journey and watching me grow.
Love Jun 2015
To you, my one and only unknown love, I bestow unto you my heart and burning desires.
I've dreamed of our wedding day, and much more to come.
But still with a blank slate, for you, my one and only unknown love.
Francisco DH Jan 2013
It was unknown, the kiss you gave
The feeling of a kiss went unknown by me
Oh, But not unknown to him, No he was able to feel your lips against his
He was able to know what it felt like to be kissed by you

I was in the dark completely in the dark
I had no idea until today that you gave him that kiss
The kiss I wanted

The kiss I dreamt of experiencing
I wanted to feel the fire inside me burn
I wanted the fireworks go off
I wanted to get a taste of those lips
But No Once I was gone and not on the bus

You took a walk
It should have been our walk
You walked with him
It should have been me you walked with
You kissed him
It should have been me you kissed

Now, I know about this “unknown Kiss”
This “Keep it from him” kiss
This “It might break his heart if he knew kiss”
This, maybe, “I have mixed Feelings I need to know” kiss

I don’t know if I can forgive
I don’t know anymore
I can put up with all the **** you throw at the fan
I can put up with the words that slip out of your mouth
I can deal with almost anything but this kiss

The kiss that should have been never told
But My Best friend told me
The kiss that makes me wants to hurt you and him
The kiss that makes me want to cry
The kiss that should have been “Unknown”
That kiss might be too much
Raindrop Sep 2017
She really wants him to be her lover but the deity decided to set a game of love where two souls were born almost at the same time but in a different place. Thus, their love story remains unknown to the both of them.

She doesn’t really know what she looks for in a man but her heart aches for someone she doesn’t even know.

He reminds her of the cherry blossoms in spring when she started falling for him. He reminds her of the rain and how it falls down just like how her tears would. He reminds her of a sad love song just like their sad love story. It’s like he’s actually there but she’s unable to touch him.

She knows she can just find another man to begin her love story with; someone she knows, verily. But the feeling won’t be the same.

She can’t seem to fathom why she loves that particular feeling of loving someone unknown even though it pains her. Indeed, she’s trapped by the love she has, only she doesn't want to break free.

How astonishing it is that an unknown man is capable of making her feel that way ― that no man she knows had made her feel.

She wants to find him and end her longingness but she doesn’t know how.

Even if she walks his street, they’ll less likely meet. It doesn’t happen easily. They’re not in the movies. She doesn’t even know who is she looking for. All she knows is that he’s there when spring comes, when the rain falls and when a sad love song starts to play.

Still, she’s uncertain if she will ever meet that man but maybe... that’s how the deity wants their game of love to be ― to remain unknown.

But no, she won’t lose to the deity’s game. She will find him and she will end the game. Their love will bloom in a different season. And he will no longer remind her of the rain and the sad love songs. He will no longer be someone unknown and they can finally begin their love story.

That, she promised.
Maybe the deity wants to create a sad love story but she doesn’t.
Dominique U Apr 2014
I seek for things unknown...
I seek for the uncertain
I seek for the inanimate
It's a continuous gnawing hunger - of finding, discovering...
Traversing a world untraveled.
Unknown and hidden
Secret in my head

I do not search for utter understanding
I do not search for the right answer to life's greatest question
I do not search for comfort in knowing

The unknown is magnificent
The mysteries of life, left unfound, left to be sought...
But not to be found...
But to get lost in it

I seek to lose myself to life...
Not the crude life of just wasting away my freedom...
I seek to lose my life for something so much greater than myself
My soul yearns to get lost in the wilderness of the unknown
Amitav Radiance Dec 2014
In this journey
We walk into the unknown
The clock’s hands
Drag us towards it
A day packed with surprises
Our plans do not matter
We seem to deny the fact
Unknown is our journey
Afraid of the known
Created by our imagination
What have we created?
In the unknown we have to delve
To look for the right answers
We have to be aware
When we step into the unexplored
To be a willing learner
We have to be accepting
Robin Carretti Dec 2016
Were praying hand’s never giving up.
Getting frustrated & fed up.
Universal World speed of lightning mystery game.
My own known existence up in flame's?

Past not so perfect what’s in every body’s treasure.
Unknown chair darken's my pleasure.
Rumor has it to the very end of the game Scramble.

It what we all experience,no helping hands to connect too

Move be quick show your assets.
Be the leader in charge.
All the bets in the world could change.
It could B something special or just plain nothing,
That unknown chair could take you everywhere?

Journey leads  you in the middle of nowhere
All we are saying is give  peace a chance.
Thing's are looking better in the Riviera
of France..

All these unknown signs violating ones.
People are strange
the door  bell tone's You wanting to be alone
Sitting in your chair, feeling like a misfit.
His Power mind of his suit madly
Taking his hand gladly.

Putting the one piece, right, comfort spot.
what’s in your alphabet, Soupy Sale's, hot

of letters S secluded.
Journey spiritual, awakening, overrated, lady with  
simplest word, turned into wrong word. Marriage
you got separated.

S for smile loving your journey picking out the artifacts
biblical treasures don’t fit religiously.

to your chair or intellectual full of adventure, exotic world.

Charka healing feels the vibrations through another person

Connection you feel desirable in your seat
You planned it well, on your mission.

You know what to expect people bud in to interject.
Being right or wrong you go left his grin he smiled
uniquely you drift.

Somewhere under the rainbow, bad dealt hand Alfred Hitchcock journey demon suspense?Flying Raven Unknown  bird's needing
Spiritual cleansing rinse.

Electric Darth chair danger  force is not with you.
Watch out chair

Home got demolished  it went underground.You needed
2 buy new chair more polished.

Mysterious hit man wants a ransom, that chair heirloom.
Wanting to sit out beachfront, exotic flower's bloom.

Leads you to undesirable world, unknown love seat.

Or someone else sitting in the chair it look like a accident lady killer chair.

Priceless lesson, what vengeance, people have something sounds tempting but beware?

The chair with expectation looking straight in your future
Are you losing time new player, wanting to serve your best blend,
of Coffee he loves to talk  He's a free loader He turn's on  you with a gun he's a mobster.

Torture smile comes back to you devilish grin she tricks you The chair was her weapon, she threw it back at you.
A free bird leaps on the back
Of the wind and floats downstream
Till the current ends and dips his wing
In the orange suns rays
And dares to claim the sky.

But a BIRD that stalks down his narrow cage
Can seldom see through his bars of rage
His wings are clipped and his feet are tied
So he opens his throat to sing.

The caged bird sings with a fearful trill
Of things unknown but longed for still
And his tune is heard on the distant hill for
The caged bird sings of freedom.

The free bird thinks of another breeze
And the trade winds soft through
The sighing trees
And the fat worms waiting on a dawn-bright
Lawn and he names the sky his own.

But a caged BIRD stands on the grave of dreams
His shadow shouts on a nightmare scream
His wings are clipped and his feet are tied
So he opens his throat to sing.

The caged bird sings with
A fearful trill of things unknown
But longed for still and his
Tune is heard on the distant hill
For the caged bird sings of freedom.
Echoes from within-
The constant ripples of these calming echoes have become my own kind of serenity.
I feel as if I am walking under water, the angel of death has struck me with his intoxicating arrow.
When these unknown echoes bounce off the invisible walls that surround me I am able to stop time.
I move to the rhythm of this darkness, sway to the tempo of the echoes that have invaded me for so long. Hell this isn’t a cold war no more. .  I reminisce over the day I made my choice. The day I was saved by these unknown echoes, the day I received this freedom that has me enslaved.

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

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

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

As this deep dark red liquid drips from my wrist I feel at ease. I feel as though I have paid the universe. I hope to lose myself in time, in space like the resonance that suffocates me.
I hope that this deep dark red pool that I lay in will help me float into the sunset. Award me the freedom I long begged for. I am tired of chipping bits of my dark soul in order to fit the picture, tired of the weight of the world on my shoulders, tired of chasing the fast spotlight. What I have, what I own, what I know are these echoes from within me, echoes unknown.
rolanda Feb 2014
„one two three“ go to boulangerie
„four five six“ may be write letter to missis x
„seven eight nine“ my call you deny
„ten eleven twelve“ …i slowly despise rhymes with sheer vengeance..

out of coquetry and out of bravado, i desist our memory,  i will turn to enter
in a new day, without prescribed lies and tainted tricks, without whens without whys, without "be blue" commands and daily ****** „luv-syndrome-disease“
& what in particular corrupts the works and days:
without nasty repressive syndrome as consequence of how ugly artistic comradeship can be.
Yah. just depart towards unknown, under guiding of trembling crescent,
to whatever oddness i will might to face..
O it wont  be worse i still guess...
something wrong with me?
so strangely i rejoice out of any certain cause.. ?
tis is may be shy anticipation of the delight which the read of some few subterranean poems can sometimes make ?
is there „land in sight“?
is here some flower to breath in?
even if it merely about basking in darkness,
not alone, but with sojourner..
my nonsense, your nods, isnt it slightly utopia?
O b s c u r i t y  i s  o u r  r e w a r d. seem be the single remnants to chant..
vomiting and scolding abundance is what only will remain to realize?
isnt it kind of tryst which satisfy the starving one at best..?
O to large demand!.., but still
towards all of futility my worn heart still embrace
the solemnity of unknown..
wish to inhale the solemnity of unknown..
to  enshroud myself with solemnity of unknown..
to chock on solemnity of unknown..

..as long as poetry is yet not dead
Black Jewelz Jun 2018
Have you ever realized ... that there are people who die alone?
Precious humans who pass just as they lived: mere decaying flesh and bone.
While we hope to die with things we own
A precious human dies unknown.

Unknown.
Unknown.

We study to create clones,
Then eliminate the original with drones.
We never find those who roam;
Our searching’s only done on phones.

Today they die alone.
Today they die unknown.

A girl, downtrodden and somber,
War-torn, no mother or father,
Tread the desert to wander
And find a drop of water...

Collapsed along the way,
Abject misery on display.
Such pain her soul fled away.
A vulture’s meal her life served to lay.

Today she dies alone.
Today she dies unknown.

With trembling hand and speech that’s terse,
I’m sorry that I could not reverse
Your horrid plight—or perhaps a curse—
With a pen or pathetic verse.

Today they die alone.
brandon nagley Aug 2015
Legend say's;
When you can't sleep at night,
It's because your awake
In someone else's dream.......
Just Facebook quote and I love ittt lol
You live a serious, secret life, a life that only you know about, a life unknown to man. This life is full of pain and happiness, love, and betrayal, this life you were king, you were powerful, but in this life there's a trouble, a trouble you don't even know about, a distraction only they can see, this life you are gay, you are different but in this life everybody is different, this life is abnormal, unknown to man special in your mind, crazy In your heart, but what's so secret in this world isn't the love, pain, happiness, betrayal, but it's you, because you aren't you the same as they aren't them, you get me now.
There is a life unknown to man, spectacular in the mind of the believers, but a joke to those who refuse to see reality, sanctuary for the weak, but a joke to the strong, peace for the judged, another joke for the unjudged, there is a life unknown to Man, unknown to creature but only, and only if you believe, you shall see, and your imagination shall open.
The Unknown Soldier fights for freedom,
Fights for tyranny, fights for God, and
Fights for himself, all in one.

His name, or rank matters not.
The Unknown Soldier can be Private
Or General, a Smith or a Ramirez.

He can stand for the holy light,
Or he can stand for the wicked darkness.
The Unknown Soldier fights regardless.

What matters most is doing what’s told,
Doing his job to his best ability,
And serving his authority as best he can.

Good or bad, evil or righteous,
There are unknown soldiers in each
And every country, each with a family.

So, remember. When you criticize the ‘enemy’,
The Unknown Soldiers are following orders,
Just like you, and just like me.
Abigail de Jesus Sep 2014
at the end of a hallway
looking out the window at night
there is a sense of coldness seeping through my warm blood
going through me and taking over

under the bed
inside of your head
is there a demon waiting?
lurking through the cover of darkness
stealthily destroying all sense of confidence

where is the light?
i can't find the switch
i'm just reaching out into the dark
a void filled with the unknown

the present is all you know
and maybe some of your past
and your future is all that's unknown
I apologize for the lowercase, I was too lazy to press the shift button over and over again.
i Mar 2014
we all fear the unknown,
it may be positive or negative,
but it always strikes
you like a lightning bolt.
Joseph Timothy May 2017
To the world unknown,
Be beautiful,
With great expanses of green,
Filled with flowers unseen,
Unicorns and the unreal animals.
Be gentle and kind,
Have no harsh weather or natural disasters,
Not too much sunlight,
I don't want sunburns,
Not too much snow,
I don't want to catch a cold,
Not too much rain,
I don't want flood.
Just adequate,
The way I like it.

To the world unknown,
Be filled with beautiful souls and beautiful people,
With no violence or war,
Where people die of old age,
Not of sickness or diseases,
Not of poison or venom.

To the world unknown,
I know you're not real,
But sometimes I wish you'd exist once in a while,
Because sometimes I need a break.
Sometimes, because other times Earth seems a lot more awesome,
Beautiful also,
And I haven't seen the half of it,
It may not be perfect as in the beginning,
But to an imperfect being such as myself,
You would only interest me for a while,
In the long run you'd be boring.

To the world unknown,
You cannot exist,
Because I don't have the power to make you exist.
I don't have the power to make you exist because
The I am that I am has made it so,
Because the world He has created,
The one I live in,
The one that actually exists,
Is more beautiful than you.
I'd count this as one of my favorites plus it's a happy one. Who says I can't write a happy one
Utkarsh Hathi May 2013
on an unknown path i walk ahead,
on an escape route or to accept myself?

On an unknown path, i walk ahead,
of the darkness or the enlightenment?

hoping to face my fears on way ahead,
or running far away from my insecurities?

On an unknown path, i walk ahead,
will i face myself…
or am i eluding?

to seek answers for these questions…
i walk ahead,
on an unknown path, i walk ahead..
Outside Words Oct 2018
At an unknown time of night at our cottage in northern Michigan…
My younger brother and I heard strange noises coming from the beach again…
We looked up at the ceiling and then the window…
As the voices from outside, in a lively allegro…
Grew softer and louder in repeating crescendos…
We skittered out the door and stared in fascination…
For what we saw must have been our imagination…

The door closed with a creak as our feet hit the grass…
It was at that moment we got a look at the mass…
Of stubby foot, hunchback creatures from which the sounds had amassed…

There was about six of them chanting like a choir…
They danced and paraded around our burnt out fire…
As we looked on, we saw our fire raise…
It got brighter as they lifted their hands in waves…
As light betook the blue beach night…
A crowd of colorfully masked gremlins caught us in their sights!

Their feet slowed to a stop and they quieted down…
They stood still as the fire flickered off their weird wooden frowns…
One reached out his hand in a come-here motion…
They seemed to stand and wait with an encouraging notion…
As the fire crackled and the waves tumbled onto the beach…

All I can remember, is for the rest of that summer…
My younger brother and I served as the drummers…
For that quirky marching band of lake sprites…
With which our burnt out fire we’d reignite…
At an unknown time of night at our cottage in northern Michigan…
© Outside Words
Hal Loyd Denton Jan 2012
The Unknown Desert
This area has some secrets some are unaware of here is a list first material items black sand apples that contained milk and the same grasses that grows along the coastal highway in California and sea gulls and chipmunks just like those found across the Golden Gate in San Francisco in The great conservationist John Muir’s stand of Redwoods. Then a black desert a jungle a secret pass a tunnel under the railroad right next to the place where it snowed all year round and Miss America undiscovered though.

We will start in order with the black sand this was the purist black crystal regular sand not so much
Ocean beach sand has a lot of powder content this you could scoop up hands full let it do that small
Wonder usually reserved for hour glasses gently cascade out soothing as it escapes whatever had it
Bound not being involved with the Spring Side mine in a professional sense I can only guess but like the
Mighty mountain of slack that stood as a giant discard pile to the mine operation this sand now it comes
To mind it had to be a pulverized cast off type of coal dust. They had a show one time that delved into
The byproducts of coal defiantly not as tasty or wonderus as the finds produced by George Washington Carver
From what he referred to as the lowly Peanut this will lead us into the Black Desert mentioned this was
The far end of the Spring Side mine to the east along the rail road right of way Why an artist never
Painted this I guess as spoken it was unknown Donna even missed it with her camera but it truly was a
Miniature desert with the same vistas but all contained within a quarter mile the long open stretch
Comparable to a large pond bordered at the edges by dunes with these grasses found along the coast I
wonder did someone while traveling harvest some then bring them and transplant them whatever they
Thrived and had the same pleasant effect not only on the eye but the soul it was always filled with the
Quietest hush our smallest land of enchantment Georgia O Keefe would have found it matched the
Dream shapes of New Mexico only thing missing were the flowers and sculls everything else was right
Here in your very own back yard it also was a bird sanctuary and the chipmunks still scurry about on this
Now lost dream land gone just like the native tribes the I lone the Sack, Pawnee, Potawatomie’s and the
Greatest tribe the Kickapoo bet you didn’t know this used to be Black Hawk hunting ground.
The milk apples not too big of a thrill unless your six and you look across the small pasture just out in
Front of homer’s Barn was their house Miss America undiscovered lived there I know beauty she didn’t
Walk around and she wasn’t at black desert but she shimmered just like a desert princess she could have
Been covered in coal dust it wouldn’t have mattered it would have looked liked gold dust if she had an
Native American name it would have been trance maker when she came outside the rest of the world
Stopped all activity except the part of paying her homage she was so humble she killed me if they had
Those portable oxen units back then I most likely would have been dragging one around in one of those
famous little red wagons she left me breathless then like a great devastating storm the news crossed the
Yard and ally she was getting married well what should you do probably not this but this is for everyone
Who has loved a living dream then fate oh blackest fate thy name was Richard comes and steals the
Most precious living one away I just went to say goodbye outside her bedroom window that wasn’t
What the girls that were to make up her wedding party heard a mix between a Irish Banshee and a small
Calf tangled in barb wire in a terrible storm would come close as you can expect someone finally said
What is that the answer the little neighbor boy did she close the window no she sealed my feelings for ever by her action of mercy, I don’t care I passed into the far
Reaches of agonies domain but I looked up from the ground where I was laying soaked in tears there she
Was kneeling beside me these fifty six years I have never laid down this torch that almost consumed
Me that night new tears now join those of long ago she touched my convulsing body and spoke I think
From that carving so deep in my heart when death to innocence was complete the poet in me was born
She even has spoken where does the depth come from don’t you know you looked into the cavernous
Abyss that lost love created I spoke of her in three lost loves and endless rails I told her someday I will
Make her famous I’m still working on that promise the apple with milk was an old green knobby hedge
Apple good descriptor for my heart after leaving her presence that night her earthly name is Eileen I call
Her summer’s night angel.

The pass was the space between the sugar creek creamery and Longwells Pana hotel sorry it was cool to
Cut through there and we lost another young prince when Pat Longwell died he was one of the first to
Color his hair he had the air of a beet nick he just didn’t do the lingo you instantly loved him he was a
True friend he owned the name cool the snow that snowed all year wasn’t cool but it snowed those
White feathers all the way to Wadley’s chicken processing at the end of commercial alley past the
Monument company how apropos for all the chicks that said there final Farwell the tunnel was there too
Under the railroad you walked down through it on stones that kept you out of the small amount of water
That trickled through go in and then pop out on the other side or get the thrill of the train rumbling over
Head. Thats your trip through this unknown hope you enjoyed the trip my only wish is that I could type faster.
September Roses Feb 2018
Brighter than the blinding flares of the sun, shimmering outward with power of thousands of stars
yet comforting
yet soft.
Filled with oceans crashing and wild, turning over ships, rushing under a powerful storm.
yet still
yet calm.
Filled with wonder and curiosity, yearning for the unknown, desperate for enlightenment
yet wise
yet content.
Eyes so wide, so deep, filled with delicate roses, the power of mighty warriors, elegant as the flowing dress of Venus, filled with souls of thousands, with passion, with yearning, with desire.
Filled with beauty
Filled with you.
Melody Jan 2011
If everything were to revolve around one topic it'd be the unknown
Because that is the unexplored land we humans have yet to uncover and discover.
Think of it as a newly discovered Hawaii island.
Or a strange city that came out of nowhere because only certain people can walk it's streets.
Or an old forgotten castle.
A photo album that was never known to anyone in the family.
A memory that you had sought to dig out from the back of your mind.
Not us humans nor any living thing can seek out the unknown.
So the unknown is unknown to everyone and everything.
If people ran out of things to talk about we would talk about the unknown. Because it is the only topic never talked or spoken out before.
Andrew McElroy Mar 2012
I feel like...
Uhh I feel like an unknown...
An unknown soldier
A beautiful monster
A complete disaster
Resentful of the shades of grey from my father
I fall farther
Farther away from the sun
or a son that was one
One more brighter than the sun
Alright I'll admit I didn't do much to change it from being like this with him.

I guess I could have tried and been more like the passing wind,
or the falling stars that appear for a show and then disappear back into the dark
only to be wished upon again.

Last one,
Remember the times that were spent in the woods behind our house
The closer I get to you the more I feel alive again
I wonder if it will reach your mind somehow.
Somehow, somehow I figure I must have fallen out
I fell out

I don't know the whispering answer for the unknown question from the bleeding woods
that stain my heart and tattoo my arms with all the memories and mementos
that bring me back there again with you
in the dark morning...

I'll never remember your lines again
They are unknown to me now.
FIRST DAY

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chicago,
could this be
Sandburg’s City?

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

Chicago,
Sandburg’s Chicago,
Could it be?

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

Now also
tourist attractions
for a cafe society.

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

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

Great restaurants
serve liquid jazz
al la carte.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Its mouth our Dixie Trumpet
guarded by righteous Cajun brethren.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

3.
There is faith in everything in Chicago!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

4.
Does Chicago have a future?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The analysts say
it’s all about capturing liquidity.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sorghum,
I think its hardy.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This is an efficient market
that crosses the globe.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Many striver rows compose
its many neighborhoods.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


SECOND DAY

1.
Out my window
the sun has risen.

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

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

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

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

I set my watch
to Central Standard Time.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Always more.
Much much more
in Chicago.

2.
Sandburg
spoke all the dialects.

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

Sandburg understood
what it meant to laugh
and be happy.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What level
is he speaking of?

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

I wonder
if I detect
condensation
in his voice?

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

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

This seditious talk!

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

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

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

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

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

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

It is the true level
of this city.

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

Splashing
the nation,
anointing
its people
with its
blessing.

A blessing,
Chicago?

All rivers
come here.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sandburg knew
a Chicago
I will never know.

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

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

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

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

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

Hell even Chicago
got its own brand
of Blues.

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

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

The Blues live
on in Chicago.

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

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

Music:

Robert Johnson
Sweet Home Chicago


jbm
Chicago
1/7/99
Added today to commemorate the birthday of Carl Sandburg
db cooper Feb 2015
Let's set out together
Explore the breeze
We'll walk hand in hand
Beneath the trees
In no particular direction
No direction we need
These adventures of the unknown
Leave us freed
ConnectHook Feb 2016
by John Greenleaf Whittier  (1807 – 1892)

“As the Spirits of Darkness be stronger in the dark, so Good Spirits which be Angels of Light are augmented not only by the Divine Light of the Sun, but also by our common Wood fire: and as the celestial Fire drives away dark spirits, so also this our Fire of Wood doth the same.”

        COR. AGRIPPA,
           Occult Philosophy, Book I. chap. v.


Announced by all the trumpets of the sky,
Arrives the snow; and, driving o’er the fields,
Seems nowhere to alight; the whited air
Hides hills and woods, the river and the heaven,
And veils the farm-house at the garden’s end.
The sled and traveller stopped, the courier’s feet
Delayed, all friends shut out, the housemates sit
Around the radiant fireplace, enclosed
In a tumultuous privacy of storm.


                                       EMERSON

The sun that brief December day
Rose cheerless over hills of gray,
And, darkly circled, gave at noon
A sadder light than waning moon.
Slow tracing down the thickening sky
Its mute and ominous prophecy,
A portent seeming less than threat,
It sank from sight before it set.
A chill no coat, however stout,
Of homespun stuff could quite shut out,
A hard, dull bitterness of cold,
That checked, mid-vein, the circling race
Of life-blood in the sharpened face,
The coming of the snow-storm told.
The wind blew east; we heard the roar
Of Ocean on his wintry shore,
And felt the strong pulse throbbing there
Beat with low rhythm our inland air.

Meanwhile we did our nightly chores, —
Brought in the wood from out of doors,
Littered the stalls, and from the mows
Raked down the herd’s-grass for the cows;
Heard the horse whinnying for his corn;
And, sharply clashing horn on horn,
Impatient down the stanchion rows
The cattle shake their walnut bows;
While, peering from his early perch
Upon the scaffold’s pole of birch,
The **** his crested helmet bent
And down his querulous challenge sent.

Unwarmed by any sunset light
The gray day darkened into night,
A night made hoary with the swarm
And whirl-dance of the blinding storm,
As zigzag, wavering to and fro,
Crossed and recrossed the wingàd snow:
And ere the early bedtime came
The white drift piled the window-frame,
And through the glass the clothes-line posts
Looked in like tall and sheeted ghosts.

So all night long the storm roared on:
The morning broke without a sun;
In tiny spherule traced with lines
Of Nature’s geometric signs,
And, when the second morning shone,
We looked upon a world unknown,
On nothing we could call our own.
Around the glistening wonder bent
The blue walls of the firmament,
No cloud above, no earth below, —
A universe of sky and snow!
The old familiar sights of ours
Took marvellous shapes; strange domes and towers
Rose up where sty or corn-crib stood,
Or garden-wall, or belt of wood;
A smooth white mound the brush-pile showed,
A fenceless drift what once was road;
The bridle-post an old man sat
With loose-flung coat and high cocked hat;
The well-curb had a Chinese roof;
And even the long sweep, high aloof,
In its slant spendor, seemed to tell
Of Pisa’s leaning miracle.

A prompt, decisive man, no breath
Our father wasted: “Boys, a path!”
Well pleased, (for when did farmer boy
Count such a summons less than joy?)
Our buskins on our feet we drew;
With mittened hands, and caps drawn low,
To guard our necks and ears from snow,
We cut the solid whiteness through.
And, where the drift was deepest, made
A tunnel walled and overlaid
With dazzling crystal: we had read
Of rare Aladdin’s wondrous cave,
And to our own his name we gave,
With many a wish the luck were ours
To test his lamp’s supernal powers.
We reached the barn with merry din,
And roused the prisoned brutes within.
The old horse ****** his long head out,
And grave with wonder gazed about;
The **** his ***** greeting said,
And forth his speckled harem led;
The oxen lashed their tails, and hooked,
And mild reproach of hunger looked;
The hornëd patriarch of the sheep,
Like Egypt’s Amun roused from sleep,
Shook his sage head with gesture mute,
And emphasized with stamp of foot.

All day the gusty north-wind bore
The loosening drift its breath before;
Low circling round its southern zone,
The sun through dazzling snow-mist shone.
No church-bell lent its Christian tone
To the savage air, no social smoke
Curled over woods of snow-hung oak.
A solitude made more intense
By dreary-voicëd elements,
The shrieking of the mindless wind,
The moaning tree-boughs swaying blind,
And on the glass the unmeaning beat
Of ghostly finger-tips of sleet.
Beyond the circle of our hearth
No welcome sound of toil or mirth
Unbound the spell, and testified
Of human life and thought outside.
We minded that the sharpest ear
The buried brooklet could not hear,
The music of whose liquid lip
Had been to us companionship,
And, in our lonely life, had grown
To have an almost human tone.

As night drew on, and, from the crest
Of wooded knolls that ridged the west,
The sun, a snow-blown traveller, sank
From sight beneath the smothering bank,
We piled, with care, our nightly stack
Of wood against the chimney-back, —
The oaken log, green, huge, and thick,
And on its top the stout back-stick;
The knotty forestick laid apart,
And filled between with curious art

The ragged brush; then, hovering near,
We watched the first red blaze appear,
Heard the sharp crackle, caught the gleam
On whitewashed wall and sagging beam,
Until the old, rude-furnished room
Burst, flower-like, into rosy bloom;
While radiant with a mimic flame
Outside the sparkling drift became,
And through the bare-boughed lilac-tree
Our own warm hearth seemed blazing free.
The crane and pendent trammels showed,
The Turks’ heads on the andirons glowed;
While childish fancy, prompt to tell
The meaning of the miracle,
Whispered the old rhyme: “Under the tree,
When fire outdoors burns merrily,
There the witches are making tea.”

The moon above the eastern wood
Shone at its full; the hill-range stood
Transfigured in the silver flood,
Its blown snows flashing cold and keen,
Dead white, save where some sharp ravine
Took shadow, or the sombre green
Of hemlocks turned to pitchy black
Against the whiteness at their back.
For such a world and such a night
Most fitting that unwarming light,
Which only seemed where’er it fell
To make the coldness visible.

Shut in from all the world without,
We sat the clean-winged hearth about,
Content to let the north-wind roar
In baffled rage at pane and door,
While the red logs before us beat
The frost-line back with tropic heat;
And ever, when a louder blast
Shook beam and rafter as it passed,
The merrier up its roaring draught
The great throat of the chimney laughed;
The house-dog on his paws outspread
Laid to the fire his drowsy head,
The cat’s dark silhouette on the wall
A couchant tiger’s seemed to fall;
And, for the winter fireside meet,
Between the andirons’ straddling feet,
The mug of cider simmered slow,
The apples sputtered in a row,
And, close at hand, the basket stood
With nuts from brown October’s wood.

What matter how the night behaved?
What matter how the north-wind raved?
Blow high, blow low, not all its snow
Could quench our hearth-fire’s ruddy glow.
O Time and Change! — with hair as gray
As was my sire’s that winter day,
How strange it seems, with so much gone
Of life and love, to still live on!
Ah, brother! only I and thou
Are left of all that circle now, —
The dear home faces whereupon
That fitful firelight paled and shone.
Henceforward, listen as we will,
The voices of that hearth are still;
Look where we may, the wide earth o’er,
Those lighted faces smile no more.

We tread the paths their feet have worn,
We sit beneath their orchard trees,
We hear, like them, the hum of bees
And rustle of the bladed corn;
We turn the pages that they read,
Their written words we linger o’er,
But in the sun they cast no shade,
No voice is heard, no sign is made,
No step is on the conscious floor!
Yet Love will dream, and Faith will trust,
(Since He who knows our need is just,)
That somehow, somewhere, meet we must.
Alas for him who never sees
The stars shine through his cypress-trees!
Who, hopeless, lays his dead away,
Nor looks to see the breaking day
Across the mournful marbles play!
Who hath not learned, in hours of faith,
The truth to flesh and sense unknown,
That Life is ever lord of Death,
And Love can never lose its own!

We sped the time with stories old,
Wrought puzzles out, and riddles told,
Or stammered from our school-book lore
“The Chief of Gambia’s golden shore.”
How often since, when all the land
Was clay in Slavery’s shaping hand,
As if a far-blown trumpet stirred
Dame Mercy Warren’s rousing word:
“Does not the voice of reason cry,
Claim the first right which Nature gave,
From the red scourge of ******* to fly,
Nor deign to live a burdened slave!”
Our father rode again his ride
On Memphremagog’s wooded side;
Sat down again to moose and samp
In trapper’s hut and Indian camp;
Lived o’er the old idyllic ease
Beneath St. François’ hemlock-trees;
Again for him the moonlight shone
On Norman cap and bodiced zone;
Again he heard the violin play
Which led the village dance away.
And mingled in its merry whirl
The grandam and the laughing girl.
Or, nearer home, our steps he led
Where Salisbury’s level marshes spread
Mile-wide as flies the laden bee;
Where merry mowers, hale and strong,
Swept, scythe on scythe, their swaths along
The low green prairies of the sea.
We shared the fishing off Boar’s Head,
And round the rocky Isles of Shoals
The hake-broil on the drift-wood coals;
The chowder on the sand-beach made,
Dipped by the hungry, steaming hot,
With spoons of clam-shell from the ***.
We heard the tales of witchcraft old,
And dream and sign and marvel told
To sleepy listeners as they lay
Stretched idly on the salted hay,
Adrift along the winding shores,
When favoring breezes deigned to blow
The square sail of the gundelow
And idle lay the useless oars.

Our mother, while she turned her wheel
Or run the new-knit stocking-heel,
Told how the Indian hordes came down
At midnight on Concheco town,
And how her own great-uncle bore
His cruel scalp-mark to fourscore.
Recalling, in her fitting phrase,
So rich and picturesque and free
(The common unrhymed poetry
Of simple life and country ways,)
The story of her early days, —
She made us welcome to her home;
Old hearths grew wide to give us room;
We stole with her a frightened look
At the gray wizard’s conjuring-book,
The fame whereof went far and wide
Through all the simple country side;
We heard the hawks at twilight play,
The boat-horn on Piscataqua,
The loon’s weird laughter far away;
We fished her little trout-brook, knew
What flowers in wood and meadow grew,
What sunny hillsides autumn-brown
She climbed to shake the ripe nuts down,
Saw where in sheltered cove and bay,
The ducks’ black squadron anchored lay,
And heard the wild-geese calling loud
Beneath the gray November cloud.
Then, haply, with a look more grave,
And soberer tone, some tale she gave
From painful Sewel’s ancient tome,
Beloved in every Quaker home,
Of faith fire-winged by martyrdom,
Or Chalkley’s Journal, old and quaint, —
Gentlest of skippers, rare sea-saint! —
Who, when the dreary calms prevailed,
And water-**** and bread-cask failed,
And cruel, hungry eyes pursued
His portly presence mad for food,
With dark hints muttered under breath
Of casting lots for life or death,

Offered, if Heaven withheld supplies,
To be himself the sacrifice.
Then, suddenly, as if to save
The good man from his living grave,
A ripple on the water grew,
A school of porpoise flashed in view.
“Take, eat,” he said, “and be content;
These fishes in my stead are sent
By Him who gave the tangled ram
To spare the child of Abraham.”
Our uncle, innocent of books,
Was rich in lore of fields and brooks,
The ancient teachers never dumb
Of Nature’s unhoused lyceum.
In moons and tides and weather wise,
He read the clouds as prophecies,
And foul or fair could well divine,
By many an occult hint and sign,
Holding the cunning-warded keys
To all the woodcraft mysteries;
Himself to Nature’s heart so near
v That all her voices in his ear
Of beast or bird had meanings clear,
Like Apollonius of old,
Who knew the tales the sparrows told,
Or Hermes, who interpreted
What the sage cranes of Nilus said;
A simple, guileless, childlike man,
Content to live where life began;
Strong only on his native grounds,
The little world of sights and sounds
Whose girdle was the parish bounds,
Whereof his fondly partial pride
The common features magnified,
As Surrey hills to mountains grew
In White of Selborne’s loving view, —
He told how teal and loon he shot,
And how the eagle’s eggs he got,
The feats on pond and river done,
The prodigies of rod and gun;
Till, warming with the tales he told,
Forgotten was the outside cold,
The bitter wind unheeded blew,
From ripening corn the pigeons flew,
The partridge drummed i’ the wood, the mink
Went fishing down the river-brink.
In fields with bean or clover gay,
The woodchuck, like a hermit gray,
Peered from the doorway of his cell;
The muskrat plied the mason’s trade,
And tier by tier his mud-walls laid;
And from the shagbark overhead
The grizzled squirrel dropped his shell.

Next, the dear aunt, whose smile of cheer
And voice in dreams I see and hear, —
The sweetest woman ever Fate
Perverse denied a household mate,
Who, lonely, homeless, not the less
Found peace in love’s unselfishness,
And welcome wheresoe’er she went,
A calm and gracious element,
Whose presence seemed the sweet income
And womanly atmosphere of home, —
Called up her girlhood memories,
The huskings and the apple-bees,
The sleigh-rides and the summer sails,
Weaving through all the poor details
And homespun warp of circumstance
A golden woof-thread of romance.
For well she kept her genial mood
And simple faith of maidenhood;
Before her still a cloud-land lay,
The mirage loomed across her way;
The morning dew, that dries so soon
With others, glistened at her noon;
Through years of toil and soil and care,
From glossy tress to thin gray hair,
All unprofaned she held apart
The ****** fancies of the heart.
Be shame to him of woman born
Who hath for such but thought of scorn.
There, too, our elder sister plied
Her evening task the stand beside;
A full, rich nature, free to trust,
Truthful and almost sternly just,
Impulsive, earnest, prompt to act,
And make her generous thought a fact,
Keeping with many a light disguise
The secret of self-sacrifice.

O heart sore-tried! thou hast the best
That Heaven itself could give thee, — rest,
Rest from all bitter thoughts and things!
How many a poor one’s blessing went
With thee beneath the low green tent
Whose curtain never outward swings!

As one who held herself a part
Of all she saw, and let her heart
Against the household ***** lean,
Upon the motley-braided mat
Our youngest and our dearest sat,
Lifting her large, sweet, asking eyes,
Now bathed in the unfading green
And holy peace of Paradise.
Oh, looking from some heavenly hill,
Or from the shade of saintly palms,
Or silver reach of river calms,
Do those large eyes behold me still?
With me one little year ago: —
The chill weight of the winter snow
For months upon her grave has lain;
And now, when summer south-winds blow
And brier and harebell bloom again,
I tread the pleasant paths we trod,
I see the violet-sprinkled sod
Whereon she leaned, too frail and weak
The hillside flowers she loved to seek,
Yet following me where’er I went
With dark eyes full of love’s content.
The birds are glad; the brier-rose fills
The air with sweetness; all the hills
Stretch green to June’s unclouded sky;
But still I wait with ear and eye
For something gone which should be nigh,
A loss in all familiar things,
In flower that blooms, and bird that sings.
And yet, dear heart! remembering thee,
Am I not richer than of old?
Safe in thy immortality,
What change can reach the wealth I hold?
What chance can mar the pearl and gold
Thy love hath left in trust with me?
And while in life’s late afternoon,
Where cool and long the shadows grow,
I walk to meet the night that soon
Shall shape and shadow overflow,
I cannot feel that thou art far,
Since near at need the angels are;
And when the sunset gates unbar,
Shall I not see thee waiting stand,
And, white against the evening star,
The welcome of thy beckoning hand?

Brisk wielder of the birch and rule,
The master of the district school
Held at the fire his favored place,
Its warm glow lit a laughing face
Fresh-hued and fair, where scarce appeared
The uncertain prophecy of beard.
He teased the mitten-blinded cat,
Played cross-pins on my uncle’s hat,
Sang songs, and told us what befalls
In classic Dartmouth’s college halls.
Born the wild Northern hills among,
From whence his yeoman father wrung
By patient toil subsistence scant,
Not competence and yet not want,
He early gained the power to pay
His cheerful, self-reliant way;
Could doff at ease his scholar’s gown
To peddle wares from town to town;
Or through the long vacation’s reach
In lonely lowland districts teach,
Where all the droll experience found
At stranger hearths in boarding round,
The moonlit skater’s keen delight,
The sleigh-drive through the frosty night,
The rustic party, with its rough
Accompaniment of blind-man’s-buff,
And whirling-plate, and forfeits paid,
His winter task a pastime made.
Happy the snow-locked homes wherein
He tuned his merry violin,

Or played the athlete in the barn,
Or held the good dame’s winding-yarn,
Or mirth-provoking versions told
Of classic legends rare and old,
Wherein the scenes of Greece and Rome
Had all the commonplace of home,
And little seemed at best the odds
‘Twixt Yankee pedlers and old gods;
Where Pindus-born Arachthus took
The guise of any grist-mill brook,
And dread Olympus at his will
Became a huckleberry hill.

A careless boy that night he seemed;
But at his desk he had the look
And air of one who wisely schemed,
And hostage from the future took
In trainëd thought and lore of book.
Large-brained, clear-eyed, of such as he
Shall Freedom’s young apostles be,
Who, following in War’s ****** trail,
Shall every lingering wrong assail;
All chains from limb and spirit strike,
Uplift the black and white alike;
Scatter before their swift advance
The darkness and the ignorance,
The pride, the lust, the squalid sloth,
Which nurtured Treason’s monstrous growth,
Made ****** pastime, and the hell
Of prison-torture possible;
The cruel lie of caste refute,
Old forms remould, and substitute
For Slavery’s lash the freeman’s will,
For blind routine, wise-handed skill;
A school-house plant on every hill,
Stretching in radiate nerve-lines thence
The quick wires of intelligence;
Till North and South together brought
Shall own the same electric thought,
In peace a common flag salute,
And, side by side in labor’s free
And unresentful rivalry,
Harvest the fields wherein they fought.

Another guest that winter night
Flashed back from lustrous eyes the light.
Unmarked by time, and yet not young,
The honeyed music of her tongue
And words of meekness scarcely told
A nature passionate and bold,

Strong, self-concentred, spurning guide,
Its milder features dwarfed beside
Her unbent will’s majestic pride.
She sat among us, at the best,
A not unfeared, half-welcome guest,
Rebuking with her cultured phrase
Our homeliness of words and ways.
A certain pard-like, treacherous grace
Swayed the lithe limbs and drooped the lash,
Lent the white teeth their dazzling flash;
And under low brows, black with night,
Rayed out at times a dangerous light;
The sharp heat-lightnings of her face
Presaging ill to him whom Fate
Condemned to share her love or hate.
A woman tropical, intense
In thought and act, in soul and sense,
She blended in a like degree
The ***** and the devotee,
Revealing with each freak or feint
The temper of Petruchio’s Kate,
The raptures of Siena’s saint.
Her tapering hand and rounded wrist
Had facile power to form a fist;
The warm, dark languish of her eyes
Was never safe from wrath’s surprise.
Brows saintly calm and lips devout
Knew every change of scowl and pout;
And the sweet voice had notes more high
And shrill for social battle-cry.

Since then what old cathedral town
Has missed her pilgrim staff and gown,
What convent-gate has held its lock
Against the challenge of her knock!
Through Smyrna’s plague-hushed thoroughfares,
Up sea-set Malta’s rocky stairs,
Gray olive slopes of hills that hem
Thy tombs and shrines, Jerusalem,
Or startling on her desert throne
The crazy Queen of Lebanon
With claims fantastic as her own,
Her tireless feet have held their way;
And still, unrestful, bowed, and gray,
She watches under Eastern skies,
With hope each day renewed and fresh,
The Lord’s quick coming in the flesh,
Whereof she dreams and prophesies!
Where’er her troubled path may be,
The Lord’s sweet pity with her go!
The outward wayward life we see,
The hidden springs we may not know.
Nor is it given us to discern
What threads the fatal sisters spun,
Through what ancestral years has run
The sorrow with the woman born,
What forged her cruel chain of moods,
What set her feet in solitudes,
And held the love within her mute,
What mingled madness in the blood,
A life-long discord and annoy,
Water of tears with oil of joy,
And hid within the folded bud
Perversities of flower and fruit.
It is not ours to separate
The tangled skein of will and fate,
To show what metes and bounds should stand
Upon the soul’s debatable land,
And between choice and Providence
Divide the circle of events;
But He who knows our frame is just,
Merciful and compassionate,
And full of sweet assurances
And hope for all the language is,
That He remembereth we are dust!

At last the great logs, crumbling low,
Sent out a dull and duller glow,
The bull’s-eye watch that hung in view,
Ticking its weary circuit through,
Pointed with mutely warning sign
Its black hand to the hour of nine.
That sign the pleasant circle broke:
My uncle ceased his pipe to smoke,
Knocked from its bowl the refuse gray,
And laid it tenderly away;
Then roused himself to safely cover
The dull red brands with ashes over.
And while, with care, our mother laid
The work aside, her steps she stayed
One moment, seeking to express
Her grateful sense of happiness
For food and shelter, warmth and health,
And love’s contentment more than wealth,
With simple wishes (not the weak,
Vain prayers which no fulfilment seek,
But such as warm the generous heart,
O’er-prompt to do with Heaven its part)
That none might lack, that bitter night,
For bread and clothing, warmth and light.

Within our beds awhile we heard
The wind that round the gables roared,
With now and then a ruder shock,
Which made our very bedsteads rock.
We heard the loosened clapboards tost,
The board-nails snapping in the frost;
And on us, through the unplastered wall,
Felt the light sifted snow-flakes fall.
But sleep stole on, as sleep will do
When hearts are light and life is new;
Faint and more faint the murmurs grew,
Till in the summer-land of dreams
They softened to the sound of streams,
Low stir of leaves, and dip of oars,
And lapsing waves on quiet shores.
Of merry voices high and clear;
And saw the teamsters drawing near
To break the drifted highways out.
Down the long hillside treading slow
We saw the half-buried oxen go,
Shaking the snow from heads uptost,
Their straining nostrils white with frost.
Before our door the straggling train
Drew up, an added team to gain.
The elders threshed their hands a-cold,
Passed, with the cider-mug, their jokes
From lip to lip; the younger folks
Down the loose snow-banks, wrestling, rolled,
Then toiled again the cavalcade
O’er windy hill, through clogged ravine,
And woodland paths that wound between
Low drooping pine-boughs winter-weighed.
From every barn a team afoot,
At every house a new recruit,
Where, drawn by Nature’s subtlest law,
Haply the watchful young men saw
Sweet doorway pictures of the curls
And curious eyes of merry girls,
Lifting their hands in mock defence
Against the snow-ball’s compliments,
And reading in each missive tost
The charm with Eden never lost.
We heard once more the sleigh-bells’ sound;
And, following where the teamsters led,
The wise old Doctor went his round,
Just pausing at our door to say,
In the brief autocratic way
Of one who, prompt at Duty’s call,
Was free to urge her claim on all,
That some poor neighbor sick abed
At night our mother’s aid would need.
For, one in generous thought and deed,
What mattered in the sufferer’s sight
The Quaker matron’s inward light,
The Doctor’s mail of Calvin’s creed?
All hearts confess the saints elect
Who, twain in faith, in love agree,
And melt not in an acid sect
The Christian pearl of charity!

So days went on: a week had passed
Since the great world was heard from last.
The Almanac we studied o’er,
Read and reread our little store
Of books and pamphlets, scarce a score;
One harmless novel, mostly hid
From younger eyes, a book forbid,
And poetry, (or good or bad,
A single book was all we had,)
Where Ellwood’s meek, drab-skirted Muse,
A stranger to the heathen Nine,
Sang, with a somewhat nasal whine,
The wars of David and the Jews.
At last the floundering carrier bore
The village paper to our door.
Lo! broadening outward as we read,
To warmer zones the horizon spread
In panoramic length unrolled
We saw the marvels that it told.
Before us passed the painted Creeks,
A   nd daft McGregor on his raids
In Costa Rica’s everglades.
And up Taygetos winding slow
Rode Ypsilanti’s Mainote Greeks,
A Turk’s head at each saddle-bow!
Welcome to us its week-old news,
Its corner for the rustic Muse,
Its monthly gauge of snow and rain,
Its record, mingling in a breath
The wedding bell and dirge of death:
Jest, anecdote, and love-lorn tale,
The latest culprit sent to jail;
Its hue and cry of stolen and lost,
Its vendue sales and goods at cost,
And traffic calling loud for gain.
We felt the stir of hall and street,
The pulse of life that round us beat;
The chill embargo of the snow
Was melted in the genial glow;
Wide swung again our ice-locked door,
And all the world was ours once more!

Clasp, Angel of the backword look
And folded wings of ashen gray
And voice of echoes far away,
The brazen covers of thy book;
The weird palimpsest old and vast,
Wherein thou hid’st the spectral past;
Where, closely mingling, pale and glow
The characters of joy and woe;
The monographs of outlived years,
Or smile-illumed or dim with tears,
Green hills of life that ***** to death,
And haunts of home, whose vistaed trees
Shade off to mournful cypresses
With the white amaranths underneath.
Even while I look, I can but heed
The restless sands’ incessant fall,
Importunate hours that hours succeed,
Each clamorous with its own sharp need,
And duty keeping pace with all.
Shut down and clasp with heavy lids;
I hear again the voice that bids
The dreamer leave his dream midway
For larger hopes and graver fears:
Life greatens in these later years,
The century’s aloe flowers to-day!

Yet, haply, in some lull of life,
Some Truce of God which breaks its strife,
The worldling’s eyes shall gather dew,
Dreaming in throngful city ways
Of winter joys his boyhood knew;
And dear and early friends — the few
Who yet remain — shall pause to view
These Flemish pictures of old days;
Sit with me by the homestead hearth,
And stretch the hands of memory forth
To warm them at the wood-fire’s blaze!
And thanks untraced to lips unknown
Shall greet me like the odors blown
From unseen meadows newly mown,
Wood-fringed, the wayside gaze beyond;
The traveller owns the grateful sense
Of sweetness near, he knows not whence,
And, pausing, takes with forehead bare
The benediction of the air.

Written in  1865
In its day, 'twas a best-seller and earned significant income for Whittier

https://youtu.be/vVOQ54YQ73A
Mohammad Skati Feb 2015
I am not in a dream or                                                                                                I am in a nightmare,but                                                                                                 It's a real thing that                                                                                                         I see myself walking towards                                                                                       An unknown world that depicts                                                                                  Things as real,but                                                                                                          They are not ...                                                                                                                 It's like I am watching myself                                                                                         In a mirror ...                                                                                                                     I am not in the stone age,but                                                                                     I am living in a primitive age of mine ...                                                                  My feelings and my emotions suppress                                                                 Themselves to let me feel down ...                                                                           I am walking into that unknown world                                                                 That I made it for myself ...                                                                                        I put myself in some circles ,                                                                                    In some squares ,and                                                                                                In some other shapes                                                                                                  To test life in truth ...                                                                                                     My world is called                                                                                                      The unknown world of mine                                                                                        In which I walk endlessly in                                                                                     Its ways until I reach the end of                                                                                  It ...                                                                                                                            ___________________­
Shari Forman Jan 2013
It was my father who left me,
To discover a place of his own,
Lonely and disheartened I felt,
For a place called, "unknown."
Baffled was I,
As to why he suddenly left me,
I trembled alone in fear,
Was I a goner soon to be?
Where have my hopes gone?
Withered away to stone,
Leaving nothing but the past,
For a place called, "unknown."
Why do I feel resentment,
My father had a horrifying tone,
Had left me heartbroken,
For a place called, "unknown."
My heart beats like thunder,
As I shiver to the bone,
My father ruined me,
For a place called, "unknown."
Where will I go from here?
Too much my father had shown,
A martyr my father will always be,
For a place called, "unknown."
At this particular time I have no one
Particular person to grieve for, though there must
Be many, many unknown ones going to dust
Slowly, not remembered for what they have done
Or left undone. For these, then, I will grieve
Being impartial, unable to deceive.

How they lived, or died, is quite unknown,
And, by that fact gives my grief purity--
An important person quite apart from me
Or one obscure who drifted down alone.
Both or all I remember, have a place.
For these I never encountered face to face.

Sentiment will creep in. I cast it out
Wishing to give these classical repose,
No epitaph, no poppy and no rose
From me, and certainly no wish to learn about
The way they lived or died. In earth or fire
They are gone. Simply because they were human, I admire.

— The End —