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howard brace Feb 2012
Inconspicuous, his presence noted only by the obscurity and the ever growing number of spent cigarette stubs that littered the ground.  It had been a long day and the rain, relentless in its tenacity had little intention of stopping, baleful clouds still  hung heavy, dominating the lateness of the afternoon sky, a rain laden skyline broken only by smoke filled chimney pots and the tangled snarl of corroded television aerials.

     The once busy street was fast emptying now, the lure of shop windows no longer enticed the casual browser as local traders closed their premises to the oncoming night, solitary lampposts curved hazily into the distance, casting little more than insipid pools mirrored in the gutter below, only the occasional stranger scurrying home on a bleak, rain swept afternoon, the hurried slap of wet leather soles on the pavement, the sightless umbrellas, the infrequent rumble of a half filled bus, hell-bent on its way to oblivion.

     In the near distance as the working day ended, a sudden emergence of factory workers told Beamish it was 5-o'clock, most would be hurrying home to a hot meal, while others, for a quick drink perhaps before making the same old sorry excuse... for Jack, the greasy spoon would be closing about now, denying him the comfort of a badly needed cuppa' and stale cheese sandwich.  A subtle legacy of lunchtime fish and chips still lingered in the air, Jack's stomach rumbled, there was little chance of a fish supper for Beamish tonight, it protested again... louder.

     From beneath the eaves of the building opposite several pigeons broke cover, startled by the rattle as a shopkeeper struggled to close the canvas awning above his shop window.  Narrowly missing Beamish they flew anxiously over the rooftops, memories of the blitz sprang to mind as Jack stepped smartly to one side, he stamped his feet... it dashed a little of the weather from his raincoat, just as the rain dashed a little of the pigeons' anxiety from the pavement... the day couldn't get much worse if it tried.  Shielding his face, Jack struck the Ronson one more time and cupped the freshly lit cigarette between his hands, it was the only source of heat to be had that day... and still it rained.

     'By Appointment to Certain Personages...' the letter heading rang out loudly... 'Jack Beamish ~ Private Investigator...' a throat choking mouthful by any stretch of the imagination, thought Jack and shot every vestige of credulity plummeting straight through the office window and amidst a fanfare of trumpet voluntary, nominate itself for a prodigious award in the New Year Honours list.   Having formally served in a professional capacity for a well known purveyor of pickled condiments, who  incidentally, brandished the same patronage emblazoned upon their extensive range of relish as the one Jack had more recently purloined from them... a paid commission no less, which by Jack's certain understanding had made him, albeit fleeting in nature, a professional consultant of said company... and consequently, if they could flaunt the auspicious emblem, then according to Jack's infallible logic, so could Jack.  

     The recently appropriated letterhead possessed certain distinction... in much the same way, Jack reasoned, that a blank piece of paper did not... and whereas correspondence bearing the heading 'By Appointment' may not exactly strike terror into the hearts of man... unlike a really strong pickled onion, it nevertheless made people think twice before playing him for the fool, which sadly, Jack had to concede, they still invariably did... and he would often catch them wagging an accusing finger or two in his direction with such platitudes as... "watch where you put your foot", they'd whisper, "that Jack's a right Shamus...", and when you'd misplaced your footing as many times as Jack had, then he reasoned, that by default the celebrated Shamus must have landed himself in more piles of indiscretion than he would readily care to admit, but that wouldn't be quite accurate either, in Jack's line of work it was the malefactor that actually dropped him in them more often than not.

     A cold shiver suddenly ran down his spine, another quickly followed as a spurt of icy water from a broken rain spout spattered across the back of his neck, he grimaced... Jack's expression spoke volumes as he took one final pull from his half soaked cigarette and flicked it, amid an eruption of sparks against the adjacent brick wall.  Sinking further into the shadow he tipped his fedora against the oncoming rain, then, digging both hands deep within his pockets, he huddled behind the upturned collar of his gabardine... watching.

     It was times such as these when Jack's mind would slip back, in much the same way you might slip back on a discarded banana peel, when a matter of some consequence, or in particular this case the pavement, would suddenly leap up from behind and give the back of Jack's head a resoundingly good slapping and tell him to "stop loafing around in office hours... or else", then drag him, albeit kicking and screaming back into the 20th century.  This intellectual assault and battery re-focused Jack's mind wonderfully as he whiled away the long weary hours until his next cigarette; cup of tea, or the last bus home, his capacity to endure such mind boggling tedium called for nothing less than sheer ******-mindedness and very little else... Beamish had long suspected that he possessed all the necessary qualifications.  

     Jack had come a long way since the early days, it had been a long haul but he'd finally arrived there in the end... and managed to pick up quite a few ***** looks along the way.  Whilst he was with the Police Constabulary... and it was only fair to stress the word 'with', as opposed to the word 'in'... although the more Jack considered, he had been 'with' the arresting officer, held 'in' the local Bridewell... detained at Her Majesties pleasure while assisting the boys in blue with their enquiries over a minor infringement of some local by-law that currently had quite slipped his mind at that moment.  Throughout this enforced leisure period he'd managed to read the entire abridged editions of Kilroy and other expansive works of graffiti exhibited in what passed locally as the next best thing to the Tate Gallery, whereupon it hadn't taken Jack very long to realise that it was always a good place to start if you wanted free breakfast, in fact the weeks bill of fare was tastefully displayed in vivid, polychromatic colour on the wall opposite... you just had to be au-fait with braille.
                            
     No matter how industrious Beamish laboured to rake the dirt there always appeared to be a dire shortage of gullible clients for Jack to squeeze, what would roughly translate as an honest crust out of, and although his financial retainer was highly competitive he understood that potential clients found it bewildering when grappling with the unplumbed depths of his monthly expense account, which would tend to fluctuate with the same unpredictability as the British weather, the rest of Jack's agenda revolved around a little shady moonlighting... in fact he'd happily consider anything to offset the remotest possibility of financial delinquency... short of extortion... which by the strangest twist was the very word prospective clients would cry while Jack beavered around the office with dust-pan and brush sweeping any concerns they may have had frantically under the carpet regarding all culpability of his extra-curricular monthly stipend... and they should remain assured at all times... as they dug deep and fished for their cheque books, and simply look upon it as kneading dough, which eerily enough was exactly the thick wedge of buttered granary that Jack had every intention of carving.

     Were there ever the slightest possibility that a day could be so utterly wretched, then today was that day, Jack felt a certain empathy as he merged with his surroundings... at one with nature as it were.  The rain, a timpani on the metal dustbin lids, by the side of which Beamish had taken up vigil, also taking up vigil and in search of a morsel was the stray mongrel, this was the third time now that he'd returned, the same apprehensive wag, yet still the same hopeful look of expectation in his eyes, a brief but friendly companion who paid more attention to Jack's left trouser leg than anything that could be had from nosing around the dustbins that day... some days you're the dog, scowled Beamish as he shook his trouser leg... and some days the lamppost, Jack's foot swung out playfully, keeping his new friend's incontinence at a safe distance, feigning indignance  the scruffy mongrel shook himself defiantly from nose to tail, a distinct odour of wet dog filled the air as an abundance of spent rainwater flew in all directions.   Pricking one ear he looked accusingly at Jack before turning and snuffled off, his nose resolutely to the pavement and diligently, picking out the few diluted scents still remaining, the poor little stalwart renewed its search for scraps, or making his way perhaps to some dry seclusion known only to itself.
  
     Two hours later and... SPLOSH, a puddle poured itself through the front door of the nearest Public House... SPLOSH, the puddle squelched over to the payphone... SPLOSH, then, fumbling for small change dialled and pressed button 'A'..., then button 'B'... then started all over again amid a flurry of precipitation... SPLASH.  The puddle floundered to the bar and ordered itself a drink, then ebbed back to the payphone again... the local taxi company doggedly refused to answer... finally, wallowing over to the window the puddle drifted up against a warm radiator amidst a cloud of humidity and came to rest... flotsam, cast upon the shore of contentment, the puddle sighed contentedly... the Landlady watched this anomaly... suspiciously.

     The puddle's finely tuned perception soon got to grips with the unhurried banter and muffled gossip drifting along the bar, having little else to loose, other than what could still be wrung from his clothing... Beamish, working on the principle that a little eavesdropping was his stock-in-trade engaged instinct into overdrive and casually rippled in their general direction...  They were clearly regulars by the way one of them belched in a well rehearsed, taken-a-back sort of way as Jack took stock of the situation and was now at some pains to ingratiate himself into their exclusive midst and attempt several friendly, yet relevant questions pertinent to his enquiries... all of which were skillfully deflected with more than friendly, yet totally irrelevant answers pertinent to theirs'... and would Jack care for a game of dominoes', they enquired... if so, would he be good enough to pay the refundable deposit, as by common consent it just so happened to be his turn...  Jack graciously declined this generous offer, as the obliging Landlady, just as graciously, cancelled the one shilling returnable deposit from the cash register, such was the flow of light conversation that evening... they didn't call him Lucky Jack for nothing... discouraged, Beamish turned back to the bar and reached for his glass... to which one of his recent companions, and yet again just as graciously, had taken the trouble to drink for him... the Landlady gave Jack a knowing look, Beamish returned the heartfelt sentiment and ordered one more pint.

     From the licenced premises opposite, a myriad of jostling customers plied through the door, business was picking up... the sudden influx of punters rapidly persuaded Beamish to retire from the bar and find a vacant table.  Sitting, he removed several discarded crisp packets from the centre of the table only to discover a freshly vacated ashtray below... by sleight of hand Jack's Ronson appeared... as he lit the cigarette the fragile smoke curled blue as it rose... influenced by subtle caprice, it joined others and formed a horizontal curtain dividing the room, a delicate, undulating layer held between two conflicting forces.

     The possibility of a free drink soon attracted the attention of a local bar fly, who, hovering in the near vicinity promptly landed in Jack's beer, Beamish declined this generous offer as being far too nutritious and with the corner of yesterdays beer mat, flipped the offending organism from the top of his glass, carefully inspecting his drink for debris as he did so.

     A sudden draught and clip of stiletto heels as the side door opened caused Beamish to turn as a double shadow slipped discreetly into the friendly Snug... a little adulterous intimacy on an otherwise cheerless evening.  The faceless man, concealed beneath a fedora and the upturned collar of his overcoat, the surreptitious lady friend, decked out in damp cony, cheap perfume and a surfeit of bling proclaimed a not too infrequent assignation, he'd seen it all before... the over attentive manner and the band of white, Sun-starved skin recently hidden behind a now absent wedding token, ordinarily it was the sort of assignment Jack didn't much care for... the discreet tail, the candid snapshot through half drawn curtains... and the all too familiar steak tartare... for the all too familiar black eye.

     To the untrained eye, the prospect of Jack's long anticipated supper was rapidly dwindling, when it suddenly focused with renewed vigour upon the contents of a pickled egg jar he'd observed earlier that evening, lurking on the back counter, his enthusiasm swiftly diminished however as the belching customer procured the final two specimens from the jar and proceeded to demolish them.  Who, Jack reflected, after being stood out in the rain all day, had egg all over his face now... and who, he reflected deeper, still had an empty stomach.  Disillusioned, Jack tipped back his glass and considered a further sortie with the taxicab company.

     "FIVE-BOB"!!! Jack screamed... you could have shredded the air with a cheese grater... hurtling into the kerb like a fairground attraction came flying past the chequered flag at a record breaking 99 in Jack's top 100 most not wanted list of things to do that day... and that the cabby should think himself fortunate they weren't both stretched flat on a marble slab, "exploding tyres" Jack spluttered, dribbling down his chin, were enough to give anyone a coronary... further broadsides of neurotic ambiance filled the cab as the driver, miffed at the prospect of missing snooker night out with the lads, considered charging extra for the additional space Jack's profanity was taking...

     And what part of 'Drive-Carefully', fumed Beamish, did the cabby simply not understand, that pavements were there to be bypassed, 'Nay Circumvented', preferably on the left... and not veered into, wildly on the front axle... an eerie premonition of 'jemais-vu' perched and ready to strike like a disembodied Jiminy Cricket on Jack's left shoulder, looking to stick its own two-penny worth in at the 'Standing-Room-Only' arrangements in the overcrowded cab... and at what further point, Jack shrieked, eyes leaping from his head as he lurched forward, shaking his fist through the sliding glass partition, had the cabbie failed to grasp the importance of the word 'Steering-Wheel...' someone wanted horse whipping, and as far as Beamish was concerned the sole contender was the cab driver...

     In having a somewhat sedate and unruffled disposition it had fallen to Beamish... as befalls all great leaders in times of adversity, to single handedly take the bull by the horns, so to speak and at great personal cost, alert the unwary passing motorist...  Waving his arms about like a man possessed whilst performing acrobatic evolutions in the centre of the road as the cabby changed the wheel came whizzing around the corner at a back breaking 98 on Jack's ever growing list... and why, Jack puzzled, why had they all lowered their side windows and gestured back at him in semaphore..?  Rallying to its aid, Jack's head and shoulders now joined his shaking fist through the sliding glass partition and into the cabby's face, "Who" Beamish screeched with renewed vigour ,"Who Was The Man", Jack wanted to know... *"a
I. Song of the Beggars
"O for doors to be open and an invite with gilded edges
To dine with Lord Lobcock and Count Asthma on the platinum benches
With somersaults and fireworks, the roast and the smacking kisses"

Cried the cripples to the silent statue,
The six beggared cripples.
"And Garbo's and Cleopatra's wits to go astraying,
In a feather ocean with me to go fishing and playing,
Still jolly when the **** has burst himself with crowing"

Cried the cripples to the silent statue,
The six beggared cripples.
"And to stand on green turf among the craning yellow faces
Dependent on the chestnut, the sable, the Arabian horses,
And me with a magic crystal to foresee their places"

Cried the cripples to the silent statue,
The six beggared cripples.
"And this square to be a deck and these pigeons canvas to rig,
And to follow the delicious breeze like a tantony pig
To the shaded feverless islands where the melons are big"

Cried the cripples to the silent statue,
The six beggared cripples.
"And these shops to be turned to tulips in a garden bed,
And me with my crutch to thrash each merchant dead
As he pokes from a flower his bald and wicked head"

Cried the cripples to the silent statue,
The six beggared cripples.
"And a hole in the bottom of heaven, and Peter and Paul
And each smug surprised saint like parachutes to fall,
And every one-legged beggar to have no legs at all"

Cried the cripples to the silent statue,
The six beggared cripples.

Spring 1935

II.
O lurcher-loving collier, black as night,
Follow your love across the smokeless hill;
Your lamp is out, the cages are all still;
Course for heart and do not miss,
For Sunday soon is past and, Kate, fly not so fast,
For Monday comes when none may kiss:
Be marble to his soot, and to his black be white.

June 1935

III.
Let a florid music praise,
The flute and the trumpet,
Beauty's conquest of your face:
In that land of flesh and bone,
Where from citadels on high
Her imperial standards fly,
Let the hot sun
Shine on, shine on.

O but the unloved have had power,
The weeping and striking,
Always: time will bring their hour;
Their secretive children walk
Through your vigilance of breath
To unpardonable Death,
And my vows break
Before his look.

February 1936

IV.
Dear, though the night is gone,
Its dream still haunts today,
That brought us to a room
Cavernous, lofty as
A railway terminus,
And crowded in that gloom
Were beds, and we in one
In a far corner lay.

Our whisper woke no clocks,
We kissed and I was glad
At everything you did,
Indifferent to those
Who sat with hostile eyes
In pairs on every bed,
Arms round each other's necks
Inert and vaguely sad.

What hidden worm of guilt
Or what malignant doubt
Am I the victim of,
That you then, unabashed,
Did what I never wished,
Confessed another love;
And I, submissive, felt
Unwanted and went out.

March 1936

V.
Fish in the unruffled lakes
Their swarming colors wear,
Swans in the winter air
A white perfection have,
And the great lion walks
Through his innocent grove;
Lion, fish and swan
Act, and are gone
Upon Time's toppling wave.

We, till shadowed days are done,
We must weep and sing
Duty's conscious wrong,
The Devil in the clock,
The goodness carefully worn
For atonement or for luck;
We must lose our loves,
On each beast and bird that moves
Turn an envious look.

Sighs for folly done and said
Twist our narrow days,
But I must bless, I must praise
That you, my swan, who have
All the gifts that to the swan
Impulsive Nature gave,
The majesty and pride,
Last night should add
Your voluntary love.

March 1936

VI. Autumn Song
Now the leaves are falling fast,
Nurse's flowers will not last,
Nurses to their graves are gone,
But the prams go rolling on.

Whispering neighbors left and right
Daunt us from our true delight,
Able hands are forced to freeze
Derelict on lonely knees.

Close behind us on our track,
Dead in hundreds cry Alack,
Arms raised stiffly to reprove
In false attitudes of love.

Scrawny through a plundered wood,
Trolls run scolding for their food,
Owl and nightingale are dumb,
And the angel will not come.

Clear, unscalable, ahead
Rise the Mountains of Instead,
From whose cold, cascading streams
None may drink except in dreams.

March 1936

VII.
Underneath an abject willow,
Lover, sulk no more:
Act from thought should quickly follow.
What is thinking for?
Your unique and moping station
Proves you cold;
Stand up and fold
Your map of desolation.

Bells that toll across the meadows
From the sombre spire
Toll for these unloving shadows
Love does not require.
All that lives may love; why longer
Bow to loss
With arms across?
Strike and you shall conquer.

Geese in flocks above you flying.
Their direction know,
Icy brooks beneath you flowing,
To their ocean go.
Dark and dull is your distraction:
Walk then, come,
No longer numb
Into your satisfaction.

March 1936

VIII.
At last the secret is out, as it always must come in the end,
The delicious story is ripe to tell the intimate friend;
Over the tea-cups and in the square the tongue has its desire;
Still waters run deep, my friend, there's never smoke without fire.

Behind the corpse in the reservoir, behind the ghost on the links,
Behind the lady who dances and the man who madly drinks,
Under the look of fatigue, the attack of the migraine and the sigh
There is always another story, there is more than meets the eye.

For the clear voice suddenly singing, high up in the convent wall,
The scent of the elder bushes, the sporting prints in the hall,
The croquet matches in summer, the handshake, the cough, the kiss,
There is always a wicked secret, a private reason for this.

April 1936

IX.
Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message He Is Dead,
Put crêpe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last forever: I was wrong.

The stars are not wanted now: put out every one;
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood;
For nothing now can ever come to any good.

April 1936

X.
O the valley in the summer where I and my John
Beside the deep river would walk on and on
While the flowers at our feet and the birds up above
Argued so sweetly on reciprocal love,
And I leaned on his shoulder; "O Johnny, let's play":
But he frowned like thunder and he went away.

O that Friday near Christmas as I well recall
When we went to the Matinee Charity Ball,
The floor was so smooth and the band was so loud
And Johnny so handsome I felt so proud;
"Squeeze me tighter, dear Johnny, let's dance till it's day":
But he frowned like thunder and he went away.

Shall I ever forget at the Grand Opera
When music poured out of each wonderful star?
Diamonds and pearls they hung dazzling down
Over each silver or golden silk gown;
"O John I'm in heaven," I whispered to say:
But he frowned like thunder and he went away.

O but he was fair as a garden in flower,
As slender and tall as the great Eiffel Tower,
When the waltz throbbed out on the long promenade
O his eyes and his smile they went straight to my heart;
"O marry me, Johnny, I'll love and obey":
But he frowned like thunder and he went away.

O last night I dreamed of you, Johnny, my lover,
You'd the sun on one arm and the moon on the other,
The sea it was blue and the grass it was green,
Every star rattled a round tambourine;
Ten thousand miles deep in a pit there I lay:
But you frowned like thunder and you went away.

April 1937

XI. Roman Wall Blues
Over the heather the wet wind blows,
I've lice in my tunic and a cold in my nose.

The rain comes pattering out of the sky,
I'm a Wall soldier, I don't know why.

The mist creeps over the hard grey stone,
My girl's in Tungria; I sleep alone.

Aulus goes hanging around her place,
I don't like his manners, I don't like his face.

Piso's a Christian, he worships a fish;
There'd be no kissing if he had his wish.

She gave me a ring but I diced it away;
I want my girl and I want my pay.

When I'm a veteran with only one eye
I shall do nothing but look at the sky.

October 1937

XII.
Some say that love's a little boy,
And some say it's a bird,
Some say it makes the world round,
And some say that's absurd,
And when I asked the man next-door,
Who looked as if he knew,
His wife got very cross indeed,
And said it wouldn't do.

Does it look like a pair of pyjamas,
Or the ham in a temperance hotel?
Does its odour remind one of llamas,
Or has it a comforting smell?
Is it prickly to touch as a hedge is,
Or soft as eiderdown fluff?
Is it sharp or quite smooth at the edges?
O tell me the truth about love.

Our history books refer to it
In cryptic little notes,
It's quite a common topic on
The Transatlantic boats;
I've found the subject mentioned in
Accounts of suicides,
And even seen it scribbled on
The backs of railway-guides.

Does it howl like a hungry Alsatian,
Or boom like a military band?
Could one give a first-rate imitation
On a saw or a Steinway Grand?
Is its singing at parties a riot?
Does it only like classical stuff?
Does it stop when one wants to quiet?
O tell me the truth about love.

I looked inside the summer-house;
It wasn't ever there:
I tried the Thames at Maidenhead,
And Brighton's bracing air.
I don't know what the blackbird sang,
Or what the tulip said;
But it wasn' in the chicken-run,
Or underneath the bed.

Can it pull extraordinary faces?
Is it usually sick on a swing?
Does it spend all its time at the races,
Or fiddling with pieces of string?
Has it views of its own about money?
Does it think Patriotism enough?
Are its stories ****** but funny?
O tell me the truth about love.

When it comes, will it come without warning
Just as I'm picking my nose?
Will it knock on the door in the morning,
Or tread in the bus on my toes?
Will it come like a change in the weather?
Will its greeting be courteous or rough?
Will it alter my life altogether?
O tell me the truth about love.

January 1938
BOOK I

     Deep in the shady sadness of a vale
Far sunken from the healthy breath of morn,
Far from the fiery noon, and eve's one star,
Sat gray-hair'd Saturn, quiet as a stone,
Still as the silence round about his lair;
Forest on forest hung above his head
Like cloud on cloud. No stir of air was there,
Not so much life as on a summer's day
Robs not one light seed from the feather'd grass,
But where the dead leaf fell, there did it rest.
A stream went voiceless by, still deadened more
By reason of his fallen divinity
Spreading a shade: the Naiad 'mid her reeds
Press'd her cold finger closer to her lips.

     Along the margin-sand large foot-marks went,
No further than to where his feet had stray'd,
And slept there since.  Upon the sodden ground
His old right hand lay nerveless, listless, dead,
Unsceptred; and his realmless eyes were closed;
While his bow'd head seem'd list'ning to the Earth,
His ancient mother, for some comfort yet.

     It seem'd no force could wake him from his place;
But there came one, who with a kindred hand
Touch'd his wide shoulders, after bending low
With reverence, though to one who knew it not.
She was a Goddess of the infant world;
By her in stature the tall Amazon
Had stood a pigmy's height: she would have ta'en
Achilles by the hair and bent his neck;
Or with a finger stay'd Ixion's wheel.
Her face was large as that of Memphian sphinx,
Pedestal'd haply in a palace court,
When sages look'd to Egypt for their lore.
But oh! how unlike marble was that face:
How beautiful, if sorrow had not made
Sorrow more beautiful than Beauty's self.
There was a listening fear in her regard,
As if calamity had but begun;
As if the vanward clouds of evil days
Had spent their malice, and the sullen rear
Was with its stored thunder labouring up.
One hand she press'd upon that aching spot
Where beats the human heart, as if just there,
Though an immortal, she felt cruel pain:
The other upon Saturn's bended neck
She laid, and to the level of his ear
Leaning with parted lips, some words she spake
In solemn tenor and deep ***** tone:
Some mourning words, which in our feeble tongue
Would come in these like accents; O how frail
To that large utterance of the early Gods!
"Saturn, look up!---though wherefore, poor old King?
I have no comfort for thee, no not one:
I cannot say, 'O wherefore sleepest thou?'
For heaven is parted from thee, and the earth
Knows thee not, thus afflicted, for a God;
And ocean too, with all its solemn noise,
Has from thy sceptre pass'd; and all the air
Is emptied of thine hoary majesty.
Thy thunder, conscious of the new command,
Rumbles reluctant o'er our fallen house;
And thy sharp lightning in unpractised hands
Scorches and burns our once serene domain.
O aching time! O moments big as years!
All as ye pass swell out the monstrous truth,
And press it so upon our weary griefs
That unbelief has not a space to breathe.
Saturn, sleep on:---O thoughtless, why did I
Thus violate thy slumbrous solitude?
Why should I ope thy melancholy eyes?
Saturn, sleep on! while at thy feet I weep."

     As when, upon a tranced summer-night,
Those green-rob'd senators of mighty woods,
Tall oaks, branch-charmed by the earnest stars,
Dream, and so dream all night without a stir,
Save from one gradual solitary gust
Which comes upon the silence, and dies off,
As if the ebbing air had but one wave;
So came these words and went; the while in tears
She touch'd her fair large forehead to the ground,
Just where her fallen hair might be outspread
A soft and silken mat for Saturn's feet.
One moon, with alteration slow, had shed
Her silver seasons four upon the night,
And still these two were postured motionless,
Like natural sculpture in cathedral cavern;
The frozen God still couchant on the earth,
And the sad Goddess weeping at his feet:
Until at length old Saturn lifted up
His faded eyes, and saw his kingdom gone,
And all the gloom and sorrow ofthe place,
And that fair kneeling Goddess; and then spake,
As with a palsied tongue, and while his beard
Shook horrid with such aspen-malady:
"O tender spouse of gold Hyperion,
Thea, I feel thee ere I see thy face;
Look up, and let me see our doom in it;
Look up, and tell me if this feeble shape
Is Saturn's; tell me, if thou hear'st the voice
Of Saturn; tell me, if this wrinkling brow,
Naked and bare of its great diadem,
Peers like the front of Saturn? Who had power
To make me desolate? Whence came the strength?
How was it nurtur'd to such bursting forth,
While Fate seem'd strangled in my nervous grasp?
But it is so; and I am smother'd up,
And buried from all godlike exercise
Of influence benign on planets pale,
Of admonitions to the winds and seas,
Of peaceful sway above man's harvesting,
And all those acts which Deity supreme
Doth ease its heart of love in.---I am gone
Away from my own *****: I have left
My strong identity, my real self,
Somewhere between the throne, and where I sit
Here on this spot of earth. Search, Thea, search!
Open thine eyes eterne, and sphere them round
Upon all space: space starr'd, and lorn of light;
Space region'd with life-air; and barren void;
Spaces of fire, and all the yawn of hell.---
Search, Thea, search! and tell me, if thou seest
A certain shape or shadow, making way
With wings or chariot fierce to repossess
A heaven he lost erewhile: it must---it must
Be of ripe progress---Saturn must be King.
Yes, there must be a golden victory;
There must be Gods thrown down, and trumpets blown
Of triumph calm, and hymns of festival
Upon the gold clouds metropolitan,
Voices of soft proclaim, and silver stir
Of strings in hollow shells; and there shall be
Beautiful things made new, for the surprise
Of the sky-children; I will give command:
Thea! Thea! Thea! where is Saturn?"
This passion lifted him upon his feet,
And made his hands to struggle in the air,
His Druid locks to shake and ooze with sweat,
His eyes to fever out, his voice to cease.
He stood, and heard not Thea's sobbing deep;
A little time, and then again he ******'d
Utterance thus.---"But cannot I create?
Cannot I form? Cannot I fashion forth
Another world, another universe,
To overbear and crumble this to nought?
Where is another Chaos? Where?"---That word
Found way unto Olympus, and made quake
The rebel three.---Thea was startled up,
And in her bearing was a sort of hope,
As thus she quick-voic'd spake, yet full of awe.

     "This cheers our fallen house: come to our friends,
O Saturn! come away, and give them heart;
I know the covert, for thence came I hither."
Thus brief; then with beseeching eyes she went
With backward footing through the shade a space:
He follow'd, and she turn'd to lead the way
Through aged boughs, that yielded like the mist
Which eagles cleave upmounting from their nest.

     Meanwhile in other realms big tears were shed,
More sorrow like to this, and such like woe,
Too huge for mortal tongue or pen of scribe:
The Titans fierce, self-hid, or prison-bound,
Groan'd for the old allegiance once more,
And listen'd in sharp pain for Saturn's voice.
But one of the whole mammoth-brood still kept
His sov'reigny, and rule, and majesy;---
Blazing Hyperion on his orbed fire
Still sat, still *****'d the incense, teeming up
From man to the sun's God: yet unsecure:
For as among us mortals omens drear
Fright and perplex, so also shuddered he---
Not at dog's howl, or gloom-bird's hated screech,
Or the familiar visiting of one
Upon the first toll of his passing-bell,
Or prophesyings of the midnight lamp;
But horrors, portion'd to a giant nerve,
Oft made Hyperion ache.  His palace bright,
Bastion'd with pyramids of glowing gold,
And touch'd with shade of bronzed obelisks,
Glar'd a blood-red through all its thousand courts,
Arches, and domes, and fiery galleries;
And all its curtains of Aurorian clouds
Flush'd angerly: while sometimes eagles' wings,
Unseen before by Gods or wondering men,
Darken'd the place; and neighing steeds were heard
Not heard before by Gods or wondering men.
Also, when he would taste the spicy wreaths
Of incense, breath'd aloft from sacred hills,
Instead of sweets, his ample palate took
Savor of poisonous brass and metal sick:
And so, when harbor'd in the sleepy west,
After the full completion of fair day,---
For rest divine upon exalted couch,
And slumber in the arms of melody,
He pac'd away the pleasant hours of ease
With stride colossal, on from hall to hall;
While far within each aisle and deep recess,
His winged minions in close clusters stood,
Amaz'd and full offear; like anxious men
Who on wide plains gather in panting troops,
When earthquakes jar their battlements and towers.
Even now, while Saturn, rous'd from icy trance,
Went step for step with Thea through the woods,
Hyperion, leaving twilight in the rear,
Came ***** upon the threshold of the west;
Then, as was wont, his palace-door flew ope
In smoothest silence, save what solemn tubes,
Blown by the serious Zephyrs, gave of sweet
And wandering sounds, slow-breathed melodies;
And like a rose in vermeil tint and shape,
In fragrance soft, and coolness to the eye,
That inlet to severe magnificence
Stood full blown, for the God to enter in.

     He enter'd, but he enter'd full of wrath;
His flaming robes stream'd out beyond his heels,
And gave a roar, as if of earthly fire,
That scar'd away the meek ethereal Hours
And made their dove-wings tremble. On he flared
From stately nave to nave, from vault to vault,
Through bowers of fragrant and enwreathed light,
And diamond-paved lustrous long arcades,
Until he reach'd the great main cupola;
There standing fierce beneath, he stampt his foot,
And from the basements deep to the high towers
Jarr'd his own golden region; and before
The quavering thunder thereupon had ceas'd,
His voice leapt out, despite of godlike curb,
To this result: "O dreams of day and night!
O monstrous forms! O effigies of pain!
O spectres busy in a cold, cold gloom!
O lank-eared phantoms of black-weeded pools!
Why do I know ye? why have I seen ye? why
Is my eternal essence thus distraught
To see and to behold these horrors new?
Saturn is fallen, am I too to fall?
Am I to leave this haven of my rest,
This cradle of my glory, this soft clime,
This calm luxuriance of blissful light,
These crystalline pavilions, and pure fanes,
Of all my lucent empire?  It is left
Deserted, void, nor any haunt of mine.
The blaze, the splendor, and the symmetry,
I cannot see but darkness, death, and darkness.
Even here, into my centre of repose,
The shady visions come to domineer,
Insult, and blind, and stifle up my pomp.---
Fall!---No, by Tellus and her briny robes!
Over the fiery frontier of my realms
I will advance a terrible right arm
Shall scare that infant thunderer, rebel Jove,
And bid old Saturn take his throne again."---
He spake, and ceas'd, the while a heavier threat
Held struggle with his throat but came not forth;
For as in theatres of crowded men
Hubbub increases more they call out "Hush!"
So at Hyperion's words the phantoms pale
Bestirr'd themselves, thrice horrible and cold;
And from the mirror'd level where he stood
A mist arose, as from a scummy marsh.
At this, through all his bulk an agony
Crept gradual, from the feet unto the crown,
Like a lithe serpent vast and muscular
Making slow way, with head and neck convuls'd
From over-strained might.  Releas'd, he fled
To the eastern gates, and full six dewy hours
Before the dawn in season due should blush,
He breath'd fierce breath against the sleepy portals,
Clear'd them of heavy vapours, burst them wide
Suddenly on the ocean's chilly streams.
The planet orb of fire, whereon he rode
Each day from east to west the heavens through,
Spun round in sable curtaining of clouds;
Not therefore veiled quite, blindfold, and hid,
But ever and anon the glancing spheres,
Circles, and arcs, and broad-belting colure,
Glow'd through, and wrought upon the muffling dark
Sweet-shaped lightnings from the nadir deep
Up to the zenith,---hieroglyphics old,
Which sages and keen-eyed astrologers
Then living on the earth, with laboring thought
Won from the gaze of many centuries:
Now lost, save what we find on remnants huge
Of stone, or rnarble swart; their import gone,
Their wisdom long since fled.---Two wings this orb
Possess'd for glory, two fair argent wings,
Ever exalted at the God's approach:
And now, from forth the gloom their plumes immense
Rose, one by one, till all outspreaded were;
While still the dazzling globe maintain'd eclipse,
Awaiting for Hyperion's command.
Fain would he have commanded, fain took throne
And bid the day begin, if but for change.
He might not:---No, though a primeval God:
The sacred seasons might not be disturb'd.
Therefore the operations of the dawn
Stay'd in their birth, even as here 'tis told.
Those silver wings expanded sisterly,
Eager to sail their orb; the porches wide
Open'd upon the dusk demesnes of night
And the bright Titan, phrenzied with new woes,
Unus'd to bend, by hard compulsion bent
His spirit to the sorrow of the time;
And all along a dismal rack of clouds,
Upon the boundaries of day and night,
He stretch'd himself in grief and radiance faint.
There as he lay, the Heaven with its stars
Look'd down on him with pity, and the voice
Of Coelus, from the universal space,
Thus whisper'd low and solemn in his ear:
"O brightest of my children dear, earth-born
And sky-engendered, son of mysteries
All unrevealed even to the powers
Which met at thy creating; at whose joys
And palpitations sweet, and pleasures soft,
I, Coelus, wonder, how they came and whence;
And at the fruits thereof what shapes they be,
Distinct, and visible; symbols divine,
Manifestations of that beauteous life
Diffus'd unseen throughout eternal space:
Of these new-form'd art thou, O brightest child!
Of these, thy brethren and the Goddesses!
There is sad feud among ye, and rebellion
Of son against his sire.  I saw him fall,
I saw my first-born tumbled from his throne!
To me his arms were spread, to me his voice
Found way from forth the thunders round his head!
Pale wox I, and in vapours hid my face.
Art thou, too, near such doom? vague fear there is:
For I have seen my sons most unlike Gods.
Divine ye were created, and divine
In sad demeanour, solemn, undisturb'd,
Unruffled, like high Gods, ye liv'd and ruled:
Now I behold in you fear, hope, and wrath;
Actions of rage and passion; even as
I see them, on the mortal world beneath,
In men who die.---This is the grief, O son!
Sad sign of ruin, sudden dismay, and fall!
Yet do thou strive; as thou art capable,
As thou canst move about, an evident God;
And canst oppose to each malignant hour
Ethereal presence:---I am but a voice;
My life is but the life of winds and tides,
No more than winds and tides can I avail:---
But thou canst.---Be thou therefore in the van
Of circumstance; yea, seize the arrow's barb
Before the tense string murmur.---To the earth!
For there thou wilt find Saturn, and his woes.
Meantime I will keep watch on thy bright sun,
And of thy seasons be a careful nurse."---
Ere half this region-whisper had come down,
Hyperion arose, and on the stars
Lifted his curved lids, and kept them wide
Until it ceas'd; and still he kept them wide:
And still they were the same bright, patient stars.
Then with a slow incline of his broad breast,
Like to a diver in the pearly seas,
Forward he stoop'd over the airy shore,
And plung'd all noiseless into the deep night.

BOOK II

Just at the self-same beat of Time's wide wings
Hyperion slid into the rustled air,
And Saturn gain'd with Thea that sad place
Where Cybele and the bruised Titans mourn'd.
It was a den where no insulting light
Could glimmer on their tears; where their own groans
They felt, but heard not, for the solid roar
Of thunderous waterfalls and torrents hoarse,
Pouring a constant bulk, uncertain where.
Crag jutting forth to crag, and rocks that seem'd
Ever as if just rising from a sleep,
Forehead to forehead held their monstrous horns;
And thus in thousand hugest phantasies
Made a fit roofing to this nest of woe.
Instead of thrones, hard flint they sat upon,
Couches of rugged stone, and slaty ridge
Stubborn'd with iron.  All were not assembled:
Some chain'd in torture, and some wandering.
Caus, and Gyges, and Briareus,
Ty
Anonymous Oct 2012
The bus rumbles on,
it is an over crowded one -
not an unusual sight -
she stands in the space
reserved for women,
there's hardly any room
to breathe.
The broadcaster on radio
shows off her gift of the gab,
a popular film song follows;
a gush of wind
through the window
brings along smoke, dust
and other such components
of 'city-air'.
She looks out to see
impressive malls,
entrances to which, witness
beggars pursuing well dressed gentry,
in the hope of a penny or two;
billboards advertise
latest discount offers
appealing to her consumerist instincts;
constant honking of vehicles,
music blaring from an auto nearby -
these are common sounds
she is accustomed to.
The bus halts with a jolt,
she steps down,
tries to make her way,
through the crowd
avoiding hawkers lunging at her
from every side,
eager to make sales;
the smell of
pakodas fills the air,
autos carrying seven or eight passengers
limp away, surreptitiously,
at the sight of khaki clad men.
Out of the blue,
an elbow knocks into her chest,
she turns to look at the lout -
lecherous eyes mock at her impotent fury -
she mouths standard abuses,
walks away as if unruffled.
For this was not the first instance,
"Won't be the last either.",
she thinks at the back of her mind,
her heart chooses not to agree though.
She moves on,
pushing, shoving, cursing
her way through
'Battleground India'.
If you're wondering why I've written about life in an underground rail, let me clarify, metropolitan cities in India are commonly referred to as 'metros'.
Over crowded buses, autos are not an unusual sight in India, thanks to the 1.21 billion of us. The front part of buses is reserved for women (though some men choose to be ignorant about it) in some cities in India (in Hyderabad, for instance). Some buses and autos have radios. "Khaki clad men" refers to policemen, policemen in India wear khaki uniforms. According to law, an auto can seat only four adults or six children, but it is broken everyday, I will be honest and admit that I'm part of this rule-breaking. And standard abuses would be the Telugu/Hindi translations of mother f*****, sister f***** and the like.
The Noose Jan 2015
White river running
Delicately
Ethereal glow of
Twilight hues
Suffusing the atmosphere
Stark purple

Grass covered in aftermath
Of night's freezing cold
Miniature icicles
Tapering on mossy rocks
Melting with the sun's
Scattered rays
Unruffled indulgence
Bone-chilling splendour
In the arms of the mountain mist
LNI Apr 2018
I worship a body of one’s own
In a world where nobody is born naked anymore.

Please, show me how to own my ****** In the realm of human crudity.

So, bear with me, as I clear my thoughts.
Why is everyone more horrified by ******* and vaginas
Than authoritarianism in China?

We don’t blink an eye while watching executions on TV
Or images of refugees drawing in the Aegean sea.

But we need to be protected from the sight of women’s ******* as we stay unruffled on the sight of war cripples.

How bewilderingly curious we are
To watch the remains of a terrorist attack.

Or a knife across a throat that starts bleeding,
Or observe brain fluid's seeping.

But how indifference and repulse are leading
When it comes to watching vaginas discharges and period bleeding.

And how terror and fear are defeating
The grandeur of an image capturing an ******’s screaming.

How startlingly we have tangled the splendor of yearning for ****** violence with the horridness of capricious ultra violence.

The body doesn’t corrupt humanity. The body is humanity.

Where was your Jesus when you’re greedy?
Was he baptizing the human body’s affair with its holy cravings seedy?

Beware, beware,
of the fools who have debauched the human flesh
and give it to the dogs to tear.
ryn May 2017
lush cornucopia of greens
and overlapping canopies.
rays filtered through
somewhat a broken lens.

an arbour found
which carelessly took root.
calling out,
inviting,
offering sanctuary
from the shrill calls
of the turbulent outside.

a harbour
to which my heart
had taken to.
and had intended to stay.

but such is the nature
of man.

     no other man's peace
          can be left unruffled.
     no other man's cocoon
          can be left unravelled.
     no other man's haven
          can be left uninvaded.
     and no other man's trove
          can be left unraided.


like before I'll have to go.
and just like man's exploratory nature,
I leave seeking another
unfound recluse.
inadvertently,
paving the way for more to come.
A darkness engulfs my heart
Devouring it's fibers
One big chunk at time

Am lost of a soul,
But a wondering spirit,
With a decaying body

I hate to love,
Love to ****,
And **** for joy

I make bed in a den,
Where my head rests on skulls
Drowning in this pool of a nightmare

A young maiden,
Blooming,
With fair skin

Long dark hair
Swimming,
In a wooden bath

She smells of roses,
Standing within a flaring curtain
White, and lucid

She drips of innocence
Walking unto me
On the oak floor

She leaves tiny prints
Of her ****** feet,
Towards a canopy bed

Where white sheets fall
Like a stream onto the floor
With dotted petals of red

She climbs unruffled,
With a cordial smile
But salacious stare

Crawling slowly
To find my lips,
Kissing lightly

Feeling her cold,
Tingle my warm skin,
About the *****

Before laying gently
Her head on my chest
My hand about her shoulder

Humming to a heart's beat
The hymn of the fallen ones
The tale of a blood brother
Danielle Renee Nov 2012
Teaching me the correct way to make
a paper airplane. He took me to his bindery.
The machine beats bustled and roared and shook
the unruffled metal walls that made me feel
like I was sleeping in the middle of a dragon’s
den, its snoring breaths protecting me
from fathers who didn't know how to be fathers.

I just finished losing all my teeth,
the new ones growing in at different speeds,
my front two like frozen stalactites from different
ice ages. My hair was banana yellow blonde and I liked
to compare myself to a younger Britney Spears.

A potential avalanche of paper next to the metal walls,
vexed by one deep exhale and the pieces
would go up and around like dandelion parts.
My father, forever bound to binding the parts together.
He brought me a single sheet and began twisting and folding.

I always hated him for his genes, for having a Russian
heritage that made me annoyed at the klutzy appendages we shared.
Is it funny that I lie and say I'm Welsh?
It's not funny that I can remember every detail of his over-sized,
meaty hands, how he kept that silly ring on his finger,
the graying knuckle hairs peeking out:
free me!

Not to say I think about him every time I make a paper airplane,
but not to say I don't.
11/7/12, a revision of "Didn't Your Mother Ever Teach You?" from 10/12/12
Jimmy Solanki Feb 2014
Unruffled,
those feathers tell me
how rough its all been
But it can never be
can never be,
the same again

Disastrous
Your skin is so cold
Take away
All you're told
How can it ever be
Can it ever be
the same again

A silence in the breeze
A hope thats reeled
Just a steely mime
But I have no regrets
No regrets
This time
Valsa George Apr 2017
Nailed and ******* on hands and legs,
Maimed and marred beyond repair,
Cut and bruised out of shape,
Stripped and peeled, so bare to shock,

Lo, there lies a man! The Son of God,
On a cross erected on the summit of the Mount,
Brutally suspended between Earth and Sky,
Stationed amid thieves on either side.

He slipped and slithered under the yoke of weight,
And tottered the rugged route to Calvary,
Scourged and flogged all along,
He bore the cross with none to help.

Never complained nor cursed but suffered the pangs,
Never whined nor moaned, but drained the cup,
Through His death, mankind was to be redeemed,
By His precious blood, their infirmities to be cleansed

It was for our sins that He lay down His life,
It was our misdeeds that made Him bleed,
It was for our lust that He was painfully stripped,
It was our arrogance that bent Him low.

None could gauge the agony he endured,
No man ever performed such a daring deed,
To liberate mankind, the Lamb was slain,
To lead his Flock, He walked in front.

‘Love your enemy’ was the mantra He recited,
What He preached, He relentlessly practised,
While writhing in pain, He prayed for His foes,
Pleaded with his Father to spare the wrath.

When wrongly accused, never said He a word,
Unruffled remained He on painfully betrayed,
Hard it was to be deserted by those He loved,
Sore it was to be treated so very rude.


The Son of Man came seeking the missing sheep,
He builds from where everything is wrecked,
Rejoice in Him, for He is our Lord!
Adore and worship, He deserves to be praised.

Peace was what He promised the world,
Grace was what He gifted to all,
Look up to the Cross when trials confront,
And cast your burden at His feet!
On this Good Friday, on contemplating the agony of my Lord, I got inspired to write this!
Afore colliery doth the world be so suggestive of sublimity,
Upon me lay no residence that I may well take leave,
Barring, encompassed beneath the celestial witching hour,
Amassed unruffled, myself and thee.

A moment at time doth chattels be made the scene unmarred,
And thy look as if existed hence silver-tongued,
A haste of blustery weather hail from over me,
As I winched up from my pier and meandered absent.

Unknown to me could some unique facet be more veracious,
Nowhere be present at hand, a berth I be further elicit to,
O' be at disposal with me that we may saunter self-possessed, my unrivaled ecstasy,
Amassed unruffled, myself and thee.
Nigel Morgan Jan 2013
Carstairs  had been waiting for the boat for three days and there it was, suddenly appeared. He had dozed and it had appeared. He trained his binoculars on it, but it was too far away to be clearly recognisable. It seemed motionless, becalmed in a sheet of unruffled water.
 
He had dug himself into a bank in the sandhills. He still had a little water, some raisins; there was a final cube of chocolate carefully wrapped in the whole of its paper. It was the thought of this hidden pleasure that had sustained him during the hours of darkness when the slight rain and the chill of inactivity had forced him to exercise, to move about, though always afraid he would lose his burrow.
 
From the earliest light of dawn the day had been clear and still. The sea birds had muted calls, the sea itself more a presence than a sound. The tide had steadily retreated beyond his expectations. He knew he had to wait for the arranged signal.
 
Turning on his back he looked at the sky. A few clouds floated hesitantly in the glazed blue. He remembered suddenly a moment from his childhood,       above the beach at Red Point. He had escaped his parents, his adored sisters, and hidden himself in the marran grass. He had lain on his back and felt himself levitate into the clouds. He had looked down on the whole scene, a waking dream. Those moments floating above the long Highland beach had never left him. Sitting in the examination hall for his Tripos that memory had come upon him; he had been paralyzed by it, unable to write or think. He had closed his eyes and strange geometrical shapes had ensnared him. He had felt extremely sick . . .and then very calm. He had returned to the task in hand, a translation of Ovid's Metamorphoses, that opening passage describing Eurus, Zephyr, Auster and Boreas: the four winds.
 
. . . he felt something wet nuzzle his hand. A dog, a black shape no more. As he struggled to move himself a larger shape obliterated the sun and shot him.
Tim Peetz Dec 2016
I dreamed I stood upon a little hill,
And at my feet there lay a ground, that seemed
Like a waste garden, flowering at its will
With buds and blossoms. There were pools that dreamed
Black and unruffled; there were white lilies
A few, and crocuses, and violets
Purple or pale, snake-like fritillaries
Scarce seen for the rank grass, and through green nets
Blue eyes of shy peryenche winked in the sun.
And there were curious flowers, before unknown,
Flowers that were stained with moonlight, or with shades
Of Nature's wilful moods; and here a one
That had drunk in the transitory tone
Of one brief moment in a sunset; blades
Of grass that in an hundred springs had been
Slowly but exquisitely nurtured by the stars,
And watered with the scented dew long cupped
In lilies, that for rays of sun had seen
Only God's glory, for never a sunrise mars
The luminous air of Heaven. Beyond, abrupt,
A grey stone wall, o'ergrown with velvet moss
Uprose; and gazing I stood long, all mazed
To see a place so strange, so sweet, so fair.
And as I stood and marvelled, lo! across
The garden came a youth; one hand he raised
To shield him from the sun, his wind-tossed hair
Was twined with flowers, and in his hand he bore
A purple bunch of bursting grapes, his eyes
Were clear as crystal, naked all was he,
White as the snow on pathless mountains frore,
Red were his lips as red wine-spilith that dyes
A marble floor, his brow chalcedony.
And he came near me, with his lips uncurled
And kind, and caught my hand and kissed my mouth,
And gave me grapes to eat, and said, 'Sweet friend,
Come I will show thee shadows of the world
And images of life. See from the South
Comes the pale pageant that hath never an end.'
And lo! within the garden of my dream
I saw two walking on a shining plain
Of golden light. The one did joyous seem
And fair and blooming, and a sweet refrain
Came from his lips; he sang of pretty maids
And joyous love of comely girl and boy,
His eyes were bright, and 'mid the dancing blades
Of golden grass his feet did trip for joy;
And in his hand he held an ivory lute
With strings of gold that were as maidens' hair,
And sang with voice as tuneful as a flute,
And round his neck three chains of roses were.
But he that was his comrade walked aside;
He was full sad and sweet, and his large eyes
Were strange with wondrous brightness, staring wide
With gazing; and he sighed with many sighs
That moved me, and his cheeks were wan and white
Like pallid lilies, and his lips were red
Like poppies, and his hands he clenched tight,
And yet again unclenched, and his head
Was wreathed with moon-flowers pale as lips of death.
A purple robe he wore, o'erwrought in gold
With the device of a great snake, whose breath
Was fiery flame: which when I did behold
I fell a-weeping, and I cried, 'Sweet youth,
Tell me why, sad and sighing, thou dost rove
These pleasant realms? I pray thee speak me sooth
What is thy name?' He said, 'My name is Love.'
Then straight the first did turn himself to me
And cried, 'He lieth, for his name is Shame,
But I am Love, and I was wont to be
Alone in this fair garden, till he came
Unasked by night; I am true Love, I fill
The hearts of boy and girl with mutual flame.'
Then sighing, said the other, 'Have thy will,
I am the Love that dare not speak its name.'
This poem was written by Lord Alfred Douglas and published in "The Chameleon" in December 1894.
Nishant Mohan May 2015
He enters the door, waiting for her flesh to come,
Drops the glass and grabs hard to the core,
Unruffled her hair and lifts her up and close,
Unhook the blouse, and baby my body is all yours,

Deep, too deep you penetrate the soul of my skin,
Everything turns upside and you rock my world,
Something starts and something climbs up inside,
Pain, no pain, it’s all gain from these well-furnished sins.

Stranger in no eyes, you and me, crawled up like a snake,
Time for break, let’s try something else,
Been running over each other on the same grounds,
I love the way you pounce and makes me create new found sounds,

Fire, oomph, nirvana, you reach the ultimate moment breathless,
Wish I could pull over every skin of mine over you and give you unfound pleasures,
Rubbing against you, the friction, the force, I am drop dead,
Catch me please I have no energy left, just do it once more and help me spread.
Stephan May 2016
-
*Lying alone on a mattress of caverns
Pillow sham dreams only cool on one side
Twin fitted sheets in a queen-less adventure
Beneath a blanket of tears drops I hide

Headboard illusions cast vacancy shadows
Along the place where the bed is still made
Unruffled covers are lost in translation
LED numbers past midnight displayed

Caught in the silence so loud it is deafening
Even the moon cranks its volume too high
Shouted my prayer though there won’t be an answer
Folding away endless questions of why

Soon every star in the sky will be leaving
Shimmers will fade without even a care
Space quickly made for a hopeless sun rising
Another morning I won’t find you there
VII - The Event. (23rd June 2011).

It started off normal,
wispy clouds
on an unexceptional morning,
that’s what it looked like,

but no, was not a normal day.
Calm, unruffled, no fear in my head.
The exam started, albeit a little later than planned,
it went OK I thought, but the rain, the rain,

nearly messed it up for us.
But it stopped - an omen perhaps?
P was there
and into the unfamiliar we went.

Can’t thank him enough
for his help that Thursday afternoon.
He bought something to eat first,
this is what, not long after twelve.

Later, two bouquets, as I said, red and pink.
Delicate petals wrapped up in my hands.
Sat in this small park area, oh man,
people are going to see this, I was adamant.

My watch kept smirking
each time I glanced at my wrist.
When we got back
K and M

almost found out,
however fast thinking
saw the package stashed
behind a tree.

J was upset,
it’d be me later I guessed,
we spoke fleetingly
before the earwax bus arrived.

You were on it,
thank heavens for that.
I jumped high like a kid
who’d scoffed too many Skittles.

Pretty of course.
Part of me knew I wouldn’t see
anything so striking again
for a long time after.

Brown cake, brown tea,
brown hair,
I look at the pictures
every now and then,

I looked an idiot
in my cobalt cardigan.
Then as expected,
you ruined it.

VIII - The Non-Fiction. (22nd/23rd June 2011).

The boy and the girl are in love.
Urgh, *****.
The girl has to leave for the big city.
Not good.
She departs and the boy is distraught.
Oh dear.
He meets up with a friend.
OK then.
They choose to go and see her.
Excellent news.
They get to where she is.
How exciting.
The three have fun that evening.
Quite nice.
The boy whispers in the girl’s ear.
Say what?
The story ends unfinished.
**** it.

IX - The Event (Part 2). (23rd June 2012).

Why’d you have to get a lift?
Why’d you have to change it?
At the end of the class,
I fetched them

and you hugged me.
Didn’t want to I bet.
Everybody saw,
H, C, L and J (all three),

you with roses and part four
of the story.
Then gone.
Everybody gone.

On my way home
I saw S on his bike.
Said well done.
Thanks, but the icy actuality was there.

You were gone.
You haven’t come back.
Written: June 2012.
Explanation: These three parts of the poem were written in my own time over the space of several days. It is the most personal poem I have written to date.
Part Seven refers to The Event, a huge moment in my adolescent life.
Part Eight refers to the most recent instalment of my stories for her.
Part Nine refers to the second part of The Event.
Fake Knees Nov 2014
An indistinct smell of wood primer
fills my bedroom as
glitzy images hover
above my head
of you,
wearing over-all's and painting
our picket fence
white.
It turns me on
and I start removing
my clothes,
alone,
though I want you
to be doing this
for me.
Increasing the pace
within minutes,
I touch myself
to the thought
of our first Christmas and
getting used to your shampoo.
Massaging every settled-in scar,
consenting to the electricity
passing through,
that make all of the
unresponsive parts of me,
finally,
effervescent and vigorous.
Envisioning us
making love at that waterfall and
now my fingers are soaked
but it should be yours
and I really want you
to be doing this for me.
Quivering and tearing up,
I have never felt so
satisfied and unruffled
having an ******
to the thought of a future
with you.
But Oh,
to lie down in bed at night,
alone,
without your hand in mine,
it forces me to love myself.
Even though,
I really, really
want you to be doing that for me.
david mungoshi Nov 2015
The water was quiet and unruffled:
Though intemperate winds blew on it
Ne’er once did it ever really stir
And we got so used to its pervasive presence

In line with global trends everywhere
We took notice only when loud waters bubbled
       Like wayward children we scoffed
       When delectable words of wisdom
Wafted like therapeutic mist out of Wisdom Well

But now that the well is empty and dry
Our deprivation begins in earnest
And soon, very soon, nostalgia will whip us
One and all till we learn the bitter lesson:

That second chances belong to storybooks only;
Now that this veritable repository of true wisdom
Is in other dimensions our dilemma cries out
Who amongst us shall quench our thirst
Now that the water in the well has dried
A close friend and colleague, brilliant as an academic and gifted as a literary critic, passed on yesterday. I have been asked to say something at his funeral tomorrow and since he was aware of my current poetry project and eagerly awaiting its conclusion, I have written  this poem in his memory, and will perform it tomorrow and hope it can bring some comfort to his loved ones.
vamsi sai mohan Oct 2014
Few years from now where you
Will be living a fulfilling life and
myself unruffled inhabiting the latent aura ,
Ouch!then smites the peripetia,
Ensuingly at a gratifying glance,
You see me,you merely remember me.
Your mind ponders but your eyes struck
as if it has a memory,but
at the very Perceptively
poising moment I see you,
my mind and eyes struck intimately,and
Satiable senses synergize momentarily,
while the other senses get numb.
Nothing travels in my mind,
no electrical impulses,it is as if  I am meditating,
but my eyes gets emotional as if it bears an image.
It secretes the preserved fluid  
that gravitates  to my cheek,
where my hands scatter it along my face.
the years don't matter,even at the touch
of trance,you sprout from my thought.
The thoughts of partaken moments
vacillate in my mind,perhaps,
my senses don't work but
my heart works for you......
I love you for the millionth time,as
I say this it adds to another or nothing.

(A moment that happened for once,
never promised to happen twice nor hence,
but the fantasy pursues me thence,
the fantasy that pierces (me) )
Lieve Nov 2015
The last times I wore a french braid:

17, laying on my stomach in the psychiatric intensive care unit, (adolescent)
I reach for my hair, and let them grow tired,
tirelessly overlapping the strands until the entire mass is taken care of.
I stay on my stomach,
I try not to move too much or the orderlies will think I'm at it again.
A few days later, in the unit common room, my new roomate has me sit in front of her.
She runs fingers through, twists and playfully tugs she says if we hadn't met here she'd be in love.
I agree.
Still braided by her delicate hands my hair flicks as we giggle together into the early hours of my 18th birthday,
sipping at ***** dipped pepsi she had her sister sneak in.
The nurses chant "this isn't a sleepover! Get back to your beds!"
But we are kids,
So we feast on the cookies and crackers I'd been shoving down my pants at mealtimes then she waits patiently as I purge them.
We make blood sister bonds in our skin with razorblades and she braids my hair one last time before they move me to the adult ward. Because I was no longer a kid.
So the next day I cut it off.
I cut it off the next year too.
And half way through the next I cut it again,
keeping my hair just out of braiding reach,
Just out of length of fingers running through,
twisting and playfully tugging,
I like it a mess, so they won't fall in love with me anymore.
Braidless, I can stay distant, unattached like the feeble, overdyed locks matting on my head, but I can feel it growing every second

20, I lay on my stomach, hospital bedsheets unruffled in starch allegiance,
Reach behind my head and see if it's long enough, and I braid.
Ian Beckett Nov 2012
Trees whisper with a lazy-leafed murmur,
Starlight strange in this shadow-land stark,
At night window-watching, wanting, wishing,
Empty black winding road, without you.

Wind moans soft and branches knock,
Ceiling alive with my shadow nightmare,
An acre of bed, listless, lonely, longing,
Soft white sheets unruffled, without you.

Rain rattles like a rasping smoker’s cough,
Spot-lit droplets make snail shadowed walls
Staring solo awake, alone, alert, alas,
Boredom-struck insomniac, without you.
Twinkle Jan 2017
"I Love U" whispered the Moon  to the Sun. A forlorn look crept into her eyes. "I've always been in love with you", she whispered in a hoarse voice, choking on the oceans of love which welled up in her eyes.  A whisper barely audible and poignant.  She looked at the Sun, knowing fully well that she cud never stand in the brilliance of his love. Knowing that as the day separated the night their love could never unite. Yet she pined for him, with undying love.

She revolved around the earth, but her heart had only eyes for him. Of all the planets she had to fall in love with him.  A tiny spec, unnoticed in the galaxy.

Eclipses were short lived phenomena occurring few and far in between, rare and once in a year maybe.

But she waited for the day, when she would bask in his glory and be the cynosure of his eyes alone. She waited patience personified, knowing it was sheer madness to love the Sun.  Dazzling, hot and magnificent that he was, the universe revolved around him. He didn't even know she existed. Except for that one special day, when his eyes would notice her momentarily.

So she dressed up as pretty as she cud hoping his wayward heart would see, that it was her love which adorned her.  Just the thought of seeing him upfront would bring a twinkle in her eyes.

She waited with baited breath for that fleeting moment, shorter than a quarter of a hour. A quarter of an hour in the 8760 hours he spent outside of her world. While she waited, hopelessly endlessly, pining for the his love.

Then mockingly he came to her at last. At that designated time, teasing her about how naive she was. "Show me" she blurted with baited breath, her heart racing the universe in those fleeting moments. So he gathered her in his huge embrace and pressed his wild heart close to her breast. And in that embrace the earth was eclipsed in their union.

She could feel his wild heart through the layers of the physical distance which still separated them and she closed her eyes to his scent, the scent of the universe, that brought waves of nostalgia. She longed for more, and hugged him back. Aching to tell him how much she loved him and wanted this moment to last.  She wondered what it would be like to taste him.  She wanted his brilliance to permeate every fiber of her being.  But, she realized she was playing with the Sun.  His fire would consume her, if she flew too close to him.

He seemed unruffled, as she quivered at his touch, his scent, so full of him and so dizzy with that euphoria. Did time stop? Would the universe allow a few seconds of oblivion?

But then the world was in an eclipse. He had to leave.  So softly he whispered in her ear, "I have to leave". Reluctantly she let go, feeling the extricated from the universe, as if separating from him, meant death, fearing that perhaps this may be the last time she would see Him.

For as the world waited with expectation for an eclipse to occur and counted days when their union would be so spectacular, it also longed for normalcy.  Something wasn't right when the Moon embraced the Sun. A tiny creature smaller than the earth, she shouldn't dare hold him, they said.

She for once knew what it was to keep wandering in eternity, with so much love held in her ***** with the only hope that an eclipse would occur some day and that her yearning for the Sun would never ever fade or dwindle, in this lifetime or the next. A tsunami of a sob escaped her lips, oceans in turmoil. The door had closed on her universe, she was in a darkness. She could feel his warmth even then, but it began to grow cold. A panic started to form as she struggled to retain control.

He however, was far away unknown to her misery.  He on the other hand, belonged to the universe, no one could hold him back. Self-made, disciplined, his was a journey few would understand.

She did, she perfectly did understand. Only, she didn't expect anything from him, except few words of reciprocation. Few words, that he loved her just the same way, that she meant something to him. That his heart beat the same way for her.  She also knew that this experience meant nothing to the Sun, he would move on as he always did. He had a status to keep and the universe was watching.

But alas, he was The Sun, would he tell a tiny insignificant creature like her anything at all?

The Sun left her abode, he shrugged off the experience, and got back on his journey. While far away those watching the Sun, began to notice that a few spots had appeared on the Sun.  A memory of where he had embraced the Moon, had left a black hole on his heart.

Dedicated to the one and only man my heart loves
My first stint at creative writing...a dream tale of the romance between the Sun and the Moon revolving around an eclipse, converted to a love story.  Please share your feedback for improvisation.
raen Mar 2012
The scurry and flurry of thoughts
hound me
jabbing, stabbing
so I seek comfort
in the ebb and flow…

I do not rush and dive in.
Rather,
I let myself
slip softly…
easing myself carefully into
the saline calm

fingerlings of froth
licking my skin

Only my face,
save for my ears
greet frigid air

All the rest of me
just wants to
drown out
drawn out
waves
of thoughts
and words

It's not enough
to mute everything
so

I take that deep breath
and sink myself
deep
   deep
          er
        deep
               est

The weight of the waves
bearing down on me
s-lapping, c-rashing
th-rusting
p
  lung
          ing

me
to the unruffled depths

I crave for breath
yet

I welcome the cool liquid.
So soothing…
embracing me
drinking me in

I wallow in it
as it swallows me in

and then…
and then
I find out
that all along
I was inside
my own
tear
d
r
o
p
.
.
317182012
vamsi sai mohan Sep 2014
If you evade me,
I will not enlighten you.
If you are oblivious of me,
I will not make obvious myself,
If you don't love me,
I will not seek love from you,
I you don't like me to pursue you,
I will not pursue you,
I will do whatever you intend,
Lest my resistance will hurt you,
If it distresses you,then it will distress me,
I impersonate your volition,
and I am your mother,
As an air and space I include you,
As a water you quench by including me,
As a land,I am your body,
If you cry,I cry...
If you are in distress,so will I be,
If you are blissful,so will I be,
and where by your intentions my existence around you emanates,
And I am always with you not as a thought nor physical presence,
but as an air,as a land,as a water,as a fire and as a space....
Always in contact because you are a product of my 5 elements,
And I have a memory,the memories are your intentions,
Every element that exists in and out,
transfigures with your volition,
So,if your intentions are pure,pristine,
Then you shall master my five elements,
If you seek me,then I will reveal myself....
Your seeking has to be super-intense that you could be receptive to the truth,
When I reveal myself,you will dissolve in me,
Into the eternal maternal muse....
Where bliss never cease to exist....
And then there are no intentions but unruffled reverberations.....
Seek me unto "that which is not"
From the creation...
Maryyum Oct 2013
To him, she was like the breeze;
Wild. Unruffled. But never constant
The strange kind. The piercing kind.
The kind that makes your eyes water.
The kind that tickles your skin like ice
Under the scorching heat
Relaxing. Dangerous. So vibrant

To her, he was all the four seasons,
Of the entire year;
Changing. Moody. Shifty. So dry. And oh-so lively.
And so beautiful. And yet so horribly terrible.

And they were a mistake they always made
And swear never to make again before they make it again.
Like a sin. So tempting to be made and so regretful when it's over.
Like an addiction. A promise not to indulge in again, before indulging in again.

He was a plethora of untold secrets under a blanket of stars
She was all the blues and greys of Nostalgia
They were a strange forbidden reminder of a never-forgotten past
A story revised but never concluded.
And the lesson never learned.
Bo Tansky Feb 2019
Let us put a few pages between us
Unread, unsaid, unshed
Unsoiled if it could be said
Likened as if they would stay
Empty as the newborn day
Unruffled as a Sunday afternoon

Too many flavors have spoiled the cook
Shape-shifting constituents of exactitude
Aplomb with certitude
Straight as an arrow
Smooth as certainty
Singular as perfect pursuit
Agaze are you, blue hue
Cobalt true and blue
Cerulean sometimes soft
and clouding
Metallic pallet surrounding
Hard as steel,
Warm as a cold day in May

Where analysis paralysis
Has you curious
Doubting and dubious
Calculous and carefulness
Left you immaculately scandleless

Does it sometimes get so lonely
Between the devil and the deep blue sea
Have you ever not looked before you leap
Do you ever gurgle goo goo’s
Before you go go
Running in place
Going nowhere
Never too close
Never too base

Was it ever not intentional
Wrought by incompleteness
Messy this neatness
Red hot chili sweetness
Intense with meetness
Hurt and heat compete
Will you ever admit defeat

This can’t go on
I’m ending it here now
This is the end
My pretend friend
I tore up the recipe
I’m going to make you over again
A pinch of friendly less pretense
A dash of vulnerabilities
Stir to understanding consistency
Deep well cooker piquancy
Boil until bubbles break
Give and take
Friend
Skewer to hold shape
Then lift with a circular motion
More kneading
Less bias
Low and slow
Until tender
More me
Less you
This I can do
And so can you

I’ve made you anew
The Noose Aug 2014
Cradling the night
Beneath whispers
Of consequence

Expunged from the realm
Of unruffled gaiety
Entangled in the womb
Of wrathful shadows
There it goes
The fleeting light

— The End —