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CharlesC Jul 2012
canals and containers
vital constrictions to flow
these common constraints
we find widespread..
at start of each day
a humble cup we see
holding our morning tea..

those outward vessels
mirror many inside..
these carry surprise
in acquaintance..
not knowing 'til just now
their containment of
everflowing light..

our task..
with urgency now..
to focus awareness
on those vessels which
are ours alone..
we need a simple
introduction to those
avoided constrictions
each of us owns..
often painfully seated
in solitary places..

a dear friend's illness
with diagnosis fleeting..
in desperation at last
filtering years of
bedridden strife..
new awareness uncovered
a new container for her
illumined voice..
with gifts for many
journeys unfolding..

my own discoveries
from life's late
diggings
found vessels quietly
buried and residing in
military formations of
gold and gray and black..
these are holders now
of lights of new
scope and scale..

the vessels we own
are lined and defined
awaiting discovery
sooner or late..
illumined..
with healing in-sight
and we are enriched
in knowing
our vessels..our lights
are one...
accompanying photographs may be found at polarityinplay.blogspot.com..
Adorned empty vessels,
Adorned empty vessels,
Beautiful on the outside,
Empty inside,
Empty,no emotions,no empathy,no love,
Adorned empty vessels,
Hoping to cover up all the scars with whatever they can,
Adorned empty vessels,
Hurt and broken inside,
Adorned on the outside,
Looks are deceiving they say,and they never lied.
Adorned empty vessels,
Empty tins make the loudest noise they say,
Well thats probably a scream for help,
Adorned empty vessels.
Noandy Mar 2015
My vessels
My veins
My vessels
My fiend

My pen I never strayed
My lungs I do disdained
My legs not rightly placed
My hands, beyond tangled

This is just some words about
The ethereal wandering spine:
Made of hard candled wood
To be laid cold on the lane

The ghost of it, I dare say, wandered around
Spoken of shame and of the nomads
And in silence, it sew the raging sea
Into yarns of distraught constellation
All in this ill world, not above

The spine was of rage and of distress
Wished forever to stop standing still
And forever more, laid to rest
As broken bones, as thousand glasses
To be unnoticed and blend as well

Fifteen years of shame
Haven’t eaten
Fifteen years of shame
Haven’t beaten
But bathe in dirt

To blend means to fade away
And to fade means to accept
Annihilation and memories that may
Dangle from the tip of your bones

Why would you
Or the spine
Take it for granted,
wish it to be true?

Truth be told;
a spine helps you to stand still
Aside from your legs and your partial heart

Imagine;
if it wander aimlessly
Where would you belong,
and where would you stand?

But still the spine wanders around
To reign upright on its own
Then decorate beauty of its own
Oh, and perhaps, again
Blend in as well as to fade away

Away
Away
Away
From you

From:

Fifteen years of shame
Haven’t eaten
Fifteen years of shame
Haven’t beaten
But bathe in dirt—
And could not stay

Look at your spine
Which you can’t see,
why are you so sure
That it is there?

Look at the spines
On your surrounding:
Lampposts
Broomsticks
Electric poles
Candles
Pillars

Look at the spines
That stand on their own
Just a single stick
And nothing more.

Believed to be incapable
Wished to be broken shards
Ended up standing still
For eternity, for darkness beyond

And what are you
Without them?
Just a lump of flesh
A fabricated skin
An empty will
And nothing more

Living in
Fifteen years of shame
Haven’t eaten,
haven’t beaten
But bathe in dirt.

And what are we,
without them?
Just dark vessels
And distraught veins.

My vessels
My veins
My vessels
My fiend.
Peter J Jul 2018
On flat bank’s where
grass runt reeds grow
waiting for rising tide,
A lone Heron stealths silently
while Gulls cry warning, and dive effortlessly in to a cold sea air.
Pheonix  Peanut and Pandora
stranded on wet mud bank,
wait for their chance to escape
but it’s bonds that need to be severed in their quest for freedom.
Estuary lights dim and flicker in the distance while closer to shore Mermaids sing on the breath of a storm.
Beckoning sailors "come ride the waves"
Siren songs of lost souls and shadows
“Come with us” on this bursting sea.
And they sing with a drowning charm
as fishermen launch vessels under a shawl covered wife's watchful eye.
And yesterdays widows weep, face rained bright from navigational lights.
Ships bell ring in time with a rollicking sea,
Pheonix  Peanut and Pandora
still await their escape but not this night.
While the Heron has long fled this great swell.
No cries now from gulls nor mothers hurrying their little ones to the safety of their coal fired warm homes.
Just the rage of wave riding mermaids that will have their bounty
the heart and souls from a fisherman life.
#Something I dotted down while sat under the brown Laugharne castle gazing  out to sea.
Alyssa Underwood Sep 2017
There is little in this world that consistently causes our hearts more pain or which produces in us more need for forgiveness than rejection, especially from those whom it has cost us so much to love. It is universal anathema to the soul, and much of our lives can be unconsciously governed by the fear of it. So we find ourselves naturally asking, "Joy in the midst of rejection? Is that even possible?" Oh, yes! Not only possible but commanded of us who are believers in Christ. And not only commanded of us but ready to be gloriously bestowed on us like the most precious of pearls.

It's in the season of greatest rejection that we enter the season of greatest opportunity to discover the fullness of God's joy by discovering the fullness of His own heart. Walking in intimacy with Jesus through this searing pain may be one of the most priceless privileges of grace granted to us on this earth, for it opens up one of the widest doors for us to enter into the fellowship of sharing in His sufferings, and there is no more obvious chance to die to ourselves and live for Christ than in that holy communion of suffering with Him.

It's there that we're most able to clearly see Him and best prepared to clearly reflect Him, and it's then that we're empowered to live our lives here on earth from the very throne room of heaven, seated in the resurrected presence of our Bridegroom, where the joy always runs full and over. So our deepest heartaches will turn to deepest joys when we embrace them for the sake of Christ, to gain Him and be found in Him, to know Him in intimate detail through excruciatingly sweet experience. We will discover that the Lord entrusts the most luscious of blessings and the rarest of secrets to the most desperate and thirsty of souls, and that He delights to place the loveliest of wings on the lowliest of worms.

The gifts of myrrh's sorrow which the Father pours into the vessels of our lives are poured first into the hands of His own Son and flow through His nail-pierced scars before they ever touch us. And as we choose to graciously receive them as such, we are filled up with Him and enabled to pour Him out into the lives of others, even those who continually scorn and despise us.

The gift (yes, gift) of rejection is the high privilege of being asked by our Commander to become His flag bearer, receiving the esteemed honor of marching beside Him at the center of the front line, into the heat of the battle and into the face of the "enemy" (the rejecter), armed with no gun and carrying only His banner of love over our head for all to see. It's a sacred invitation into a certain death for the sake of knowing His love more intimately and for the service of displaying it more gloriously.

And if tempted to refuse the privilege, let us remember these two things: this life is so much more freely, joyfully lived when we have finally learned to count ourselves dead to it and alive to Christ, and the flow of His agape love through us will only be as strong as what it costs us to demonstrate it. The greater the cost, the purer the love; the purer the love, the more we are made like Him; the more we are made like Him, the more attuned we will be to His own heart's breaking and to our own breaking of it.

Oh, that we might be purged of ever thinking again that our neglecting of His love does not matter to Him! May He cause our hearts to break and break until we see how much it does! May we know the world's rejection again and again until we are finally scoured clean of our own despicable tendency to reject Him in favor of all our worldly playthings! No lover has ever endured more rejection than our Lover at our own hands and by our own hearts. And no lover continues to love through rejection with the determination and desire, suffering and sacrifice, tenderness and tenacity of our own Bridegroom. Can we not endure whatever He has called us to suffer for Him? Can we not allow it to drive us more fervently to His heart?... Lord, capture us by Your mighty hand and consume us by Your mighty flame, and may we pant and pine only for You, for Your love sets us free to dance in the midst of the fire!

How humbling, mystifying and worship-evoking it is to realize that the One we have so grievously rejected is the same One Who so perfectly understands and longs to comfort our own heart's grief when we are rejected. And to not run to Him now for that fellowship of healing would be to reject Him all over again and to break His heart once more. What could hurt Him more than our stubborn resistance to share in both His sufferings and His comfort when there is so much joy and intimacy waiting to be had with Him? Whatever ache our own heart knows, however deep and scathing, it cannot compare to the ache of His own heart when we let anything pull us away from Him, for He is rightly EVERYTHING to us—Father, Husband, Lover, Best Friend, Brother, Confidante, Kindred Spirit, Counselor, Nurturer, Rescuer, Healer, Hero... Behind the pain of every rejection is a legitimate need or desire that He is waiting to fill in us, and we have to let Him get to it by dying to our fleshly ones.

Or do we suppose that we might ever find true and lasting joy apart from dying to ourselves and abiding in Him when He died so that we might fully live in the joy of that abiding? No, true joy will only follow abiding; abiding and dying walk hand in hand, and rejection throws open the door for all three. Man's rejection is central to God's wooing, for it shatters our false expectations of human love and stirs in our hearts the longing for a perfect one. So let us not shrink back fearfully from that which can do us such good and teach us to love as Christ has loved us. With renewed passion, let us ask Him to wrap every affection of our hearts more tightly around Him that every desire might be united with His own and that we might learn to love in a way that sets our lives and the world around us ablaze!

To be despised and rejected and, still, to love—that is the ultimate triumph of Christ in our hearts, for we are never more like Him, never more full of Him, never more surrendered to His heart and His work than when He pours out His love through us to those who will not love us back. When we can stand in the face of bitter, cutting words, contemptuous looks and shaming mockery and still love fiercely but with a gentle and quiet spirit, we will know without doubt that it is His Spirit moving gloriously through us... Lord Jesus, Who so willingly floods our hearts with Your most precious gift, Yourself (and You are Love!), teach us to ever know You more and to rely fully on the love You have for us and ARE for us in infinite supply. Teach us to feast on the abundance of that love, and let it flow freely out of us to the ones who would reject, scorn, mock and hate us, so that they too might one day taste and be consumed by Your perfect love which drives out all fear—Your infinite, immeasurable love which heals all wounds and fills all emptiness and gives meaning to all of our pain. You alone, O LORD, are able to truly and purely love through rejection, but You live gloriously in us, so unleash Your mighty waters through us. Your love is everything, for You are Everything!...

Our all-sufficient Bridegroom is able to work His agape love most perfectly in us when that love poured out to another is not ever reciprocated, for it forces us to finally let Him fill us with Himself alone and to rely completely on His love instead of on the love of another to meet our heart's deepest hunger. The need for His filling IS our deepest hunger, and so our soul comes most alive not when it is loved by our fellow man but when it receives and pours out Jesus' love to our fellow man, expecting nothing in return but more of Him. Thus His love is made complete in us whether they ever love us back or not, and the fear of their rejection is eventually driven out by His perfect and perfecting love.

Even if love is never returned...never even received...it is never in vain, for "love never fails." To love someone, though we mean nothing to them, may seem too cruel a burden for the heart to bear, but the only thing worse than not being loved is to not love, and so the greatest tragedy of love spurned or lost would be to stop loving. For to cease loving that which causes us pain would be to let the pain win, but for as long as we love, really love with Christ's own heart, no matter what else happens, we win.

Love without pain remains unproven and, therefore, is meaningless, but love through pain invokes nothing less than the miraculous and inspires even the incredulous. The purer one's love, the more pain it causes when it is rejected, but only continued love can redeem the pain of loving, and only a perfect Love can heal love's scalding wound; the more scalding the wound, the better primed it is to receive that perfect Love fully into it.

There is great romance to be found in unrequited love that keeps loving, though it is beyond any human emotion or fleshly capacity or mortal understanding. It is a most sacred mystery which cannot be grasped with the head or even the heart but only with the spirit, for it is a love whose connection to Christ remains unsevered. There is perhaps no intimacy to compare to it, for it drives us to Him like nothing else will. It is a love whose longing for the other gives us the greatest insight into God's own aching longing for us. Only when it has cost us everything to keep loving do we begin to understand the smallest fraction of the wildly extravagant love Christ has for us or of the brutally scandalous pain which it has cost Him, and it will leave us in utter awe of Him and in love with Him like we have never been before.

As our focus is turned more and more toward His love for us and toward all of our previous rejecting of it, we will come to clearly see that agape love and rejection have everything to do with the the hearts of the lover and the rejecter and nothing to do with what the beloved and the rejected have done or deserve. For obviously we have done nothing to deserve God's love and He has nothing to deserve our rejection, yet He never stops loving us and we keep rejecting Him in ways we can't even comprehend. No one has ever known more rejection than the only One Who is completely worthy of love. Every time we sin we reject Him in favor of something else, but still He loves us without fail and without end. He loves us because He is love and because He has chosen to set His love on us. We are absolutely and irrevocably loved and accepted in Christ Jesus, and nothing and no one can ever change or mar that love. Our identity is completely secure in Him simply because of Who He is and who He says we are to Him.

Therefore no amount nor depth of rejection by anyone changes anything about who we are in Christ or our worth to Him. We do not need any man's love or acceptance to validate our worth, for it has already been established in the heavenly realms by the only One Whose verdict carries any real and lasting weight. We are significant and precious and holy to God regardless of what anyone else thinks of us or says of us or does to us. What has their rejection got to do with us? Nothing, for we are His! We are chosen and we are beloved! And so we are freed from the fear of rejection when we see that it cannot define us or taint us in the sight of the only One Whose opinion or judgment matters. It's a glorious thing to finally care what no man thinks of us, only the Master, for then we begin to be free to love all men as He loves them and to pray with deepest sincerity, humility and fervor even for those who spitefully reject us.

And even for that one who has hurt us most deeply, who has crushed our heart and thrown us to the wind like chaff without so much as a glance back, we will pray, no longer with only a slight and distant hope that he would return to us but now with a passionate desire to see the prodigal return to the heart of the Father. We will pray, not with a focus on life with him but with a focus on life for him. We will pray for a total and glorious restoration of his life to Christ, even if we will never be there beside him to share in the fellowship and joy of his homecoming, even if we will never get to experience up close in this life the thrill of seeing the Lord make something beautiful yet of his ashes. And this may be the hardest and truest test of our love for him—this painful sacrifice of desiring his absolute best apart from us. It is a wrenching blow to our pride and to our will (not to mention our codependence), for we had so longed to play the Muse and to awaken that beauty in him. So we know we could never yearn or pray for this out of our own strength or wisdom; it is simply too painful to our flesh. We must be led into it and through every delicate step of it by our loving Redeemer, our Bridegroom, as if He were leading us out under a canopy of the starry host and into the most intricate and intimate of moonlit dances. And so we begin to pray and to dance...

But even wrapped in Jesus' arms we are clumsy, stumbling miserably over our own feet. The music is perplexingly unfamiliar and the steps wildly unpredictable, and our toes feel terribly pinched in these new shoes. Maybe this dance is just too hard for us. Maybe we are not yet ready. Maybe we should sit it out for now and try again later when our shoes are a little more broken in or when our heart is a little less broken apart. So we pull away...

But He tenderly beckons us back: Dear and beloved bride, broken-but-beautiful one whom I have made My own, do not push Me away now, not after I have brought you so far. I have many more secrets to share with you and so much more to show you of Myself. But you are not letting Me lead this dance, beloved. Why are you so rigid in My embrace? Why so worried over the next steps? Let go of everything and abandon yourself to My love. Enjoy Me...Follow Me...Lean into Me...Keep watching My face...Let Me move you however I desire us to go...Trust Me...Love Me. Shall we dance, then?

Yes, we shall and we do! As He draws us into Himself, into the prayer of His heart and the dance of His Spirit, and as we give ourself over completely to the impulse of His leading, the details of our words and the precision of our steps give way to the desire and passion of His will, and the pulsating of our heart swirls to the rhythm of His own. The further He pulls us into union with Himself, the more we find ourselves desiring this same intimacy-with-Him for the very one who has so badly hurt us, for we see how badly he himself is hurting without it. We realize now that his running away from us and toward another is just as much a reflection of his insatiable yet misunderstood craving for God as was all of our running toward our own idols (including him). Our soul aches for his redemption and his healing and for his lost sheep's heart to be brought out of darkness and into the marvelous light that shines from Jesus' face, that he might truly know the pleasure of knowing the One Whose pleasure he was created for.

Somehow, through this heightened and mysterious intimacy of prayer for him, we are now discovering a strange and new kind of intimacy with this very one whose intimacy had so often given us the slip, this one whom we had so long loved and lived with but failed to uncover at all, and the fresh wind of it drives us even deeper into the ache of God's own heart for him and for us. It is at the center of that ache that we are finally able to let go of the hurt and the man and leave the matter entirely in God's hands, understanding that the Shepherd's aching heart knows fully all whom He has chosen and will never stop dealing with or seeking after any of His own sheep. And so...


                        We release to Him with a heart of trust
                        This one whom we love and always must
                        We can let go the man and rest because
                        It's out of our hands and always was



But the dance, like the feast, goes on and on, and the more we dance and the more we feast, the more we heal. Our Bridegroom wounds us by His own providence but washes our wounds with His faithfulness and binds them up with His love. The wounds and their healing make us beautiful to Him. They teach us to know Him, to hunger for Him, to enjoy Him and to please Him. And they get us perfectly ready for that most glorious of dances and that most joyous of feasts which are still to come but, perhaps, much closer than we might dare to imagine. It is time to awaken, dear bride of Christ, and to break in our dancing shoes!
~~~


"And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. We love because He first loved us."
~ 1 John 4:16-19

"And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us."
~ Romans 5:2b-5

"As you come to Him, the living Stone—rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to Him— you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ."
~ 1 Peter 2:4-5

"He was despised and rejected by mankind,
    a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.
Like one from whom people hide their faces
    He was despised, and we held Him in low esteem.
Surely He took up our pain
    and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
    stricken by Him, and afflicted.
But He was pierced for our transgressions,
    He was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on Him,
    and by His wounds we are healed."
~ Isaiah 53:3-5

"But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things... I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death..."
~ Philippians 3:7-8a,10

"But He said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong."
~ 2 Corinthians 12:9-10

"For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ."
~ 2 Corinthians 1:5

"'Blessed are you who hunger now,
    for you will be satisfied.
Blessed are you who weep now,
    for you will laugh.
Blessed are you when people hate you,
    when they exclude you and insult you
    and reject your name as evil,
        because of the Son of Man.
Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven. For that is how their ancestors treated the prophets...But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you...Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.'"
~ Luke 6:21-23,27-28,36

"Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else. Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus."
~ 1 Thessalonians 5:15-18

"You make known to me the path of life;
    You will fill me with joy in Your presence,
    with eternal pleasures at Your right hand."
~ Psalm 16:11

"I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen."
~ Ephesians 3:16-21

~~~
Patrick Austin Sep 2018
Autumn Angel, bring in fall,
see me, like me, text me, call.
Connection made is strong and now,
life comes quickly, she comes how?
Traveling vessels far and near,
planes and ferries bring us here.
Walking, waiting I grow eager,
business first before I meet her.
In the district lounge I perch,
finding me will end her search.
Her approach was my delight,
for now, we can begin our night.
Strong and vibrant she is ample,
allure and wares for me to sample.
Pints and chatter, Blue Ribbon prize,
my glare is locked into her eyes.
Her exchanges are so charming,
pleasant, light and not-alarming.
Time has come to find our way,
joined departure, plans to play?
Lodging and rides arranged by phone,
She knows her way, away from home.
5th floor shoe box, now our lair,
pajamas, toothbrush I’m prepared.
Netflix and chill is common trend,
Hulu and hold is our new friend.
I lay beside her, still not sure.
She watched her show, as I watched her.
I longed to kiss her neck and ears,
doubtful hindrance of my fears.
Surely right, it must be so,
She wants me here, and this means go.
I slowly start to kiss her lobes,
Her standing neck hairs brush my nose.
My mouth, it waters, for her kiss,
She turns to me and grants me this.
Her constellations are so bright,
Her moles like stars, I count tonight.
Her lips transport me to this place,
where there’s no time but only space.
I’d live here for a thousand moons.
sadly, departures come too soon.
Our time is short, not long enough,
I touched her face, she felt my scruff.
Constant contact, senses aflame,
I want her more, she feels the same.
Her essence sweet like summer flowers,
I found the center of her powers.
Far inside, my fingers reach,
while I explored her weeping peach.
Touching, tasting, and some teasing,
Her satisfaction, was my pleasing.
I want to give her more of me,
the part that daylight never sees.
I gave myself the best I could
& tried to make her feel so good.
My comfort lies in her content,
She understands, our needs were met.
Lying by her was so free,
I love the way she feels by me.
Alongside slumber was so grand,
snoozing blissful, hand in hand.
Several times I would awake,
was so pleased with my evenings fate.
When light began to fill the room,
we knew that we’d be going soon.
We didn’t want to leave this place,
I planted kisses on her face.
Once again we shared in pleasures,
in life, these are important treasures.
The final moment had arrived,
we packed our bags, prepared to drive.
The sun shone like no other day,
as we drove down towards the bay.
I sadly had to disembark,
but kissed her more while we were parked.
We said goodbye and rightly so,
our faces had a special glow.
This magic evening, all a blur,
more vessels take us where we were.
This poem is about my chance encounter with another traveler and our romantic evening together before we parted ways. "Hulu and hold" was an original idea that came to me during our night together.
galio Mar 2016
the sailors called the sirens beautiful
they wept, tearing out their hair
and tossed it into the ocean
turning it into seaweeds.

the sailors called the sirens beautiful
who then hid themselves in caves, till they passed
their skin growing pale and lifeless
till feathers emerged from their hands.

the sailors called the sirens beautiful
who decided to mutilate their legs
and scar their feet
so they would no longer be human.

the sailors called the sirens beautiful
and the creatures wailed as loud as they could,
screeching noises, ringing
but sounded only like bells to men.

the sailors called the sirens beautiful
but they didn't see beauty or sin
instead,
walking vessels
an empty name
and a prize to win.
harpies are described as repulsive half-bird half-human creatures that represented evil. however in early greek mythology, hesiod described them as beautiful winged maidens.
Life's a Beach Aug 2014
Paper kites fly with colours of a dye
dipped in ribbons
Hypocrites die
An eye for a eye
yet ******* keep on living

And the sky was cloaked
in glorious intentions
and the world was soaked
in the liars hosts

We're just vessels
We're vessels

And the sky was cloaked
in glorious intention
And the evening wrapped us
in it's own directions

We're just vessels
We are vessels
Of a soul

The sky takes it all
And the evening wrapped
us in it's own glorious
intentions
First draft of a song :)
WS Warner Oct 2011
Static, memories
Emanating, separating  
The postcard- perfect
Still life speaks
From its storied past.
Invisible, to drift
Among  
The florid aphorisms,
Ending in
Deleterious debris,
Aftermath of
The inevitable.

Empty room, echo hollow
Tabula rasa -
Carpet clean, quite candid in it's
Return to callow.
Consciousness athirst,
Absorbing phenomena
Effervesce, inquisitive
Ideas foment,
Sealed inside a question.
The what -
Against the narrow
Scarcity,
And fatigue of should.

A tender malleable
Youth,
Betrayed, under
An assumed decorum -
Residue of truth,
Flattened emotion
Privations of a self
Unheard;
Misplaced affirmation,
Buried pathologies  
In architecture
Fear manifests symbolic.

Harboring apathy
The lunacy of pious
Pedigree,
Import contagion,
Fetters of benignity
Doubt and indecision  
Into ******
Cognizance,
Fallow spirits
Seep fumes of decay,
Credulity bleeds a human stain.

Social edifice, inoculated  
Heirs of neurosis;
Palpable, sensual pain
And transience, though
Tacit - remain,
Our haunted history,
The blind hyperbole,
Maudlin
Forbearance, this haven,
A portrait
Of immaculate condition,
Nurtured with precision
Under sterling pretense.

Provincial domicile -
House beautiful,
Savage irony -
Unseen treasure
Innocence unabridged,
Faces, tiny creations;
Compliant vessels
Wounded,  
While modernism murmurs  
Its promise.

Brave New World,
In a late model sedan,
Domestic ranch on a
Corner lot,
Suburban natives,
Silence means security.
The misunderstood
Speak louder -
Consumerism beneath    
Unvarnished ambition,
Never could
Repair the brokenness within...

© 2011 & 2018 W. S. Warner
Yue Wang Yidhna Sep 2019
How much poetry live within me

Or am I merely a vessel

That has to be loaded and unloaded

To not waste away under the calm wind

And sink to a weighted depth of silent

And unfulfilled dreams


Yet what is the use

Carrying a soul from an unwritten land

To an unread land

Both dotted with footprints of past voyageurs

But no path or end in sight


Perhaps I am destined to be an unnamed pilgrim

That treads upon and whose marks will be tread upon

The wasteland of hapless ambitions

Transforming it into a garden of everlasting

Love, freedom, and hope


There,

You may find me one day

Though you will not know it

Nor will I

Within a petal of the rose


A dust in the dew

The wings of a honeybee


And if you look closely,

Listen closely

Within the laughing wind

As the gale brings all of us

Across the sea

Carrying vessels after vessels

From dream to dream
Sentient Dreams: My Poetry Anthology

https://tiny.cc/sentientdreams

This is the manuscript to my amazon vanity press poetry anthology: "Sentient Dreams" that I have now decided to just share it here digitally. All of the poems have been published here on HP at certain points of time anyway.

Almost all of the poems are from October 2017-July 2019.
Please feel free to share! :)

I don't think I will be adding to this specific anthology in the future. (Except three more poems that will be updated later.)


---
Vessels from Dream to Dream
By: Yidhna
June 25, 2018
ili Jun 2016
I used to be convinced that we were made for one person.
I used to believe that one love was so powerful that it would keep someone investing more and more of their heart until there was nothing left to give.
But now, after 18 years of life I see that love is not constricted to one person.
One heart can be made for more than one person.
In the past four years,
love has found me in three different vessels.
Three different vessels have taken and given me nameless things that I would not have been given from anyone else.
So now I wonder,
how much of my heart will be left once I meet the love meant for the rest of time?
Or will I actually meet a long lasting love or continue to find love in different people?
How many vessels are my heart made for?
Cynthia Jean May 2016
But we have this Treasure
in earthen vessels
that the surpassing
Greatness of the Power
may be of God
and not from ourselves....

2 Corinthians 2:4
On Hellespont, guilty of true love’s blood,
In view and opposite two cities stood,
Sea-borderers, disjoin’d by Neptune’s might;
The one Abydos, the other Sestos hight.
At Sestos Hero dwelt; Hero the fair,
Whom young Apollo courted for her hair,
And offer’d as a dower his burning throne,
Where she could sit for men to gaze upon.
The outside of her garments were of lawn,
The lining purple silk, with gilt stars drawn;
Her wide sleeves green, and border’d with a grove,
Where Venus in her naked glory strove
To please the careless and disdainful eyes
Of proud Adonis, that before her lies;
Her kirtle blue, whereon was many a stain,
Made with the blood of wretched lovers slain.
Upon her head she ware a myrtle wreath,
From whence her veil reach’d to the ground beneath;
Her veil was artificial flowers and leaves,
Whose workmanship both man and beast deceives;
Many would praise the sweet smell as she past,
When ’twas the odour which her breath forth cast;
And there for honey bees have sought in vain,
And beat from thence, have lighted there again.
About her neck hung chains of pebble-stone,
Which lighten’d by her neck, like diamonds shone.
She ware no gloves; for neither sun nor wind
Would burn or parch her hands, but, to her mind,
Or warm or cool them, for they took delight
To play upon those hands, they were so white.
Buskins of shells, all silver’d, used she,
And branch’d with blushing coral to the knee;
Where sparrows perch’d, of hollow pearl and gold,
Such as the world would wonder to behold:
Those with sweet water oft her handmaid fills,
Which as she went, would chirrup through the bills.
Some say, for her the fairest Cupid pin’d,
And looking in her face, was strooken blind.
But this is true; so like was one the other,
As he imagin’d Hero was his mother;
And oftentimes into her ***** flew,
About her naked neck his bare arms threw,
And laid his childish head upon her breast,
And with still panting rock’d there took his rest.
So lovely-fair was Hero, Venus’ nun,
As Nature wept, thinking she was undone,
Because she took more from her than she left,
And of such wondrous beauty her bereft:
Therefore, in sign her treasure suffer’d wrack,
Since Hero’s time hath half the world been black.

Amorous Leander, beautiful and young
(Whose tragedy divine MusÆus sung),
Dwelt at Abydos; since him dwelt there none
For whom succeeding times make greater moan.
His dangling tresses, that were never shorn,
Had they been cut, and unto Colchos borne,
Would have allur’d the vent’rous youth of Greece
To hazard more than for the golden fleece.
Fair Cynthia wish’d his arms might be her sphere;
Grief makes her pale, because she moves not there.
His body was as straight as Circe’s wand;
Jove might have sipt out nectar from his hand.
Even as delicious meat is to the taste,
So was his neck in touching, and surpast
The white of Pelops’ shoulder: I could tell ye,
How smooth his breast was, and how white his belly;
And whose immortal fingers did imprint
That heavenly path with many a curious dint
That runs along his back; but my rude pen
Can hardly blazon forth the loves of men,
Much less of powerful gods: let it suffice
That my slack Muse sings of Leander’s eyes;
Those orient cheeks and lips, exceeding his
That leapt into the water for a kiss
Of his own shadow, and, despising many,
Died ere he could enjoy the love of any.
Had wild Hippolytus Leander seen,
Enamour’d of his beauty had he been.
His presence made the rudest peasant melt,
That in the vast uplandish country dwelt;
The barbarous Thracian soldier, mov’d with nought,
Was mov’d with him, and for his favour sought.
Some swore he was a maid in man’s attire,
For in his looks were all that men desire,—
A pleasant smiling cheek, a speaking eye,
A brow for love to banquet royally;
And such as knew he was a man, would say,
“Leander, thou art made for amorous play;
Why art thou not in love, and lov’d of all?
Though thou be fair, yet be not thine own thrall.”

The men of wealthy Sestos every year,
For his sake whom their goddess held so dear,
Rose-cheek’d Adonis, kept a solemn feast.
Thither resorted many a wandering guest
To meet their loves; such as had none at all
Came lovers home from this great festival;
For every street, like to a firmament,
Glister’d with breathing stars, who, where they went,
Frighted the melancholy earth, which deem’d
Eternal heaven to burn, for so it seem’d
As if another Pha{”e}ton had got
The guidance of the sun’s rich chariot.
But far above the loveliest, Hero shin’d,
And stole away th’ enchanted gazer’s mind;
For like sea-nymphs’ inveigling harmony,
So was her beauty to the standers-by;
Nor that night-wandering, pale, and watery star
(When yawning dragons draw her thirling car
From Latmus’ mount up to the gloomy sky,
Where, crown’d with blazing light and majesty,
She proudly sits) more over-rules the flood
Than she the hearts of those that near her stood.
Even as when gaudy nymphs pursue the chase,
Wretched Ixion’s shaggy-footed race,
Incens’d with savage heat, gallop amain
From steep pine-bearing mountains to the plain,
So ran the people forth to gaze upon her,
And all that view’d her were enamour’d on her.
And as in fury of a dreadful fight,
Their fellows being slain or put to flight,
Poor soldiers stand with fear of death dead-strooken,
So at her presence all surpris’d and tooken,
Await the sentence of her scornful eyes;
He whom she favours lives; the other dies.
There might you see one sigh, another rage,
And some, their violent passions to assuage,
Compile sharp satires; but, alas, too late,
For faithful love will never turn to hate.
And many, seeing great princes were denied,
Pin’d as they went, and thinking on her, died.
On this feast-day—O cursed day and hour!—
Went Hero thorough Sestos, from her tower
To Venus’ temple, where unhappily,
As after chanc’d, they did each other spy.

So fair a church as this had Venus none:
The walls were of discolour’d jasper-stone,
Wherein was Proteus carved; and over-head
A lively vine of green sea-agate spread,
Where by one hand light-headed Bacchus hung,
And with the other wine from grapes out-wrung.
Of crystal shining fair the pavement was;
The town of Sestos call’d it Venus’ glass:
There might you see the gods in sundry shapes,
Committing heady riots, ******, rapes:
For know, that underneath this radiant flower
Was Danae’s statue in a brazen tower,
Jove slyly stealing from his sister’s bed,
To dally with Idalian Ganimed,
And for his love Europa bellowing loud,
And tumbling with the rainbow in a cloud;
Blood-quaffing Mars heaving the iron net,
Which limping Vulcan and his Cyclops set;
Love kindling fire, to burn such towns as Troy,
Sylvanus weeping for the lovely boy
That now is turn’d into a cypress tree,
Under whose shade the wood-gods love to be.
And in the midst a silver altar stood:
There Hero, sacrificing turtles’ blood,
Vail’d to the ground, veiling her eyelids close;
And modestly they opened as she rose.
Thence flew Love’s arrow with the golden head;
And thus Leander was enamoured.
Stone-still he stood, and evermore he gazed,
Till with the fire that from his count’nance blazed
Relenting Hero’s gentle heart was strook:
Such force and virtue hath an amorous look.

It lies not in our power to love or hate,
For will in us is over-rul’d by fate.
When two are stript, long ere the course begin,
We wish that one should lose, the other win;
And one especially do we affect
Of two gold ingots, like in each respect:
The reason no man knows, let it suffice,
What we behold is censur’d by our eyes.
Where both deliberate, the love is slight:
Who ever lov’d, that lov’d not at first sight?

He kneeled, but unto her devoutly prayed.
Chaste Hero to herself thus softly said,
“Were I the saint he worships, I would hear him;”
And, as she spake those words, came somewhat near him.
He started up, she blushed as one ashamed,
Wherewith Leander much more was inflamed.
He touched her hand; in touching it she trembled.
Love deeply grounded, hardly is dissembled.
These lovers parleyed by the touch of hands;
True love is mute, and oft amazed stands.
Thus while dumb signs their yielding hearts entangled,
The air with sparks of living fire was spangled,
And night, deep drenched in misty Acheron,
Heaved up her head, and half the world upon
Breathed darkness forth (dark night is Cupid’s day).
And now begins Leander to display
Love’s holy fire, with words, with sighs, and tears,
Which like sweet music entered Hero’s ears,
And yet at every word she turned aside,
And always cut him off as he replied.
At last, like to a bold sharp sophister,
With cheerful hope thus he accosted her.

“Fair creature, let me speak without offence.
I would my rude words had the influence
To lead thy thoughts as thy fair looks do mine,
Then shouldst thou be his prisoner, who is thine.
Be not unkind and fair; misshapen stuff
Are of behaviour boisterous and rough.
O shun me not, but hear me ere you go.
God knows I cannot force love as you do.
My words shall be as spotless as my youth,
Full of simplicity and naked truth.
This sacrifice, (whose sweet perfume descending
From Venus’ altar, to your footsteps bending)
Doth testify that you exceed her far,
To whom you offer, and whose nun you are.
Why should you worship her? Her you surpass
As much as sparkling diamonds flaring glass.
A diamond set in lead his worth retains;
A heavenly nymph, beloved of human swains,
Receives no blemish, but ofttimes more grace;
Which makes me hope, although I am but base:
Base in respect of thee, divine and pure,
Dutiful service may thy love procure.
And I in duty will excel all other,
As thou in beauty dost exceed Love’s mother.
Nor heaven, nor thou, were made to gaze upon,
As heaven preserves all things, so save thou one.
A stately builded ship, well rigged and tall,
The ocean maketh more majestical.
Why vowest thou then to live in Sestos here
Who on Love’s seas more glorious wouldst appear?
Like untuned golden strings all women are,
Which long time lie untouched, will harshly jar.
Vessels of brass, oft handled, brightly shine.
What difference betwixt the richest mine
And basest mould, but use? For both, not used,
Are of like worth. Then treasure is abused
When misers keep it; being put to loan,
In time it will return us two for one.
Rich robes themselves and others do adorn;
Neither themselves nor others, if not worn.
Who builds a palace and rams up the gate
Shall see it ruinous and desolate.
Ah, simple Hero, learn thyself to cherish.
Lone women like to empty houses perish.
Less sins the poor rich man that starves himself
In heaping up a mass of drossy pelf,
Than such as you. His golden earth remains
Which, after his decease, some other gains.
But this fair gem, sweet in the loss alone,
When you fleet hence, can be bequeathed to none.
Or, if it could, down from th’enameled sky
All heaven would come to claim this legacy,
And with intestine broils the world destroy,
And quite confound nature’s sweet harmony.
Well therefore by the gods decreed it is
We human creatures should enjoy that bliss.
One is no number; maids are nothing then
Without the sweet society of men.
Wilt thou live single still? One shalt thou be,
Though never singling ***** couple thee.
Wild savages, that drink of running springs,
Think water far excels all earthly things,
But they that daily taste neat wine despise it.
Virginity, albeit some highly prize it,
Compared with marriage, had you tried them both,
Differs as much as wine and water doth.
Base bullion for the stamp’s sake we allow;
Even so for men’s impression do we you,
By which alone, our reverend fathers say,
Women receive perfection every way.
This idol which you term virginity
Is neither essence subject to the eye
No, nor to any one exterior sense,
Nor hath it any place of residence,
Nor is’t of earth or mould celestial,
Or capable of any form at all.
Of that which hath no being do not boast;
Things that are not at all are never lost.
Men foolishly do call it virtuous;
What virtue is it that is born with us?
Much less can honour be ascribed thereto;
Honour is purchased by the deeds we do.
Believe me, Hero, honour is not won
Until some honourable deed be done.
Seek you for chastity, immortal fame,
And know that some have wronged Diana’s name?
Whose name is it, if she be false or not
So she be fair, but some vile tongues will blot?
But you are fair, (ay me) so wondrous fair,
So young, so gentle, and so debonair,
As Greece will think if thus you live alone
Some one or other keeps you as his own.
Then, Hero, hate me not nor from me fly
To follow swiftly blasting infamy.
Perhaps thy sacred priesthood makes thee loath.
Tell me, to whom mad’st thou that heedless oath?”

“To Venus,” answered she and, as she spake,
Forth from those two tralucent cisterns brake
A stream of liquid pearl, which down her face
Made milk-white paths, whereon the gods might trace
To Jove’s high court.
He thus replied: “The rites
In which love’s beauteous empress most delights
Are banquets, Doric music, midnight revel,
Plays, masks, and all that stern age counteth evil.
Thee as a holy idiot doth she scorn
For thou in vowing chastity hast sworn
To rob her name and honour, and thereby
Committ’st a sin far worse than perjury,
Even sacrilege against her deity,
Through regular and formal purity.
To expiate which sin, kiss and shake hands.
Such sacrifice as this Venus demands.”

Thereat she smiled and did deny him so,
As put thereby, yet might he hope for moe.
Which makes him quickly re-enforce his speech,
And her in humble manner thus beseech.
“Though neither gods nor men may thee deserve,
Yet for her sake, whom you have vowed to serve,
Abandon fruitless cold virginity,
The gentle queen of love’s sole enemy.
Then shall you most resemble Venus’ nun,
When Venus’ sweet rites are performed and done.
Flint-breasted Pallas joys in single life,
But Pallas and your mistress are at strife.
Love, Hero, then, and be not tyrannous,
But heal the heart that thou hast wounded thus,
Nor stain thy youthful years with avarice.
Fair fools delight to be accounted nice.
The richest corn dies, if it be not reaped;
Beauty alone is lost, too warily kept.”

These arguments he used, and many more,
Wherewith she yielded, that was won before.
Hero’s looks yielded but her words made war.
Women are won when they begin to jar.
Thus, having swallowed Cupid’s golden hook,
The more she strived, the deeper was she strook.
Yet, evilly feigning anger, strove she still
And would be thought to grant against her will.
So having paused a while at last she said,
“Who taught thee rhetoric to deceive a maid?
Ay me, such words as these should I abhor
And yet I like them for the orator.”

With that Leander stooped to have embraced her
But from his spreading arms away she cast her,
And thus bespake him: “Gentle youth, forbear
To touch the sacred garments which I wear.
Upon a rock and underneath a hill
Far from the town (where all is whist and still,
Save that the sea, playing on yellow sand,
Sends forth a rattling murmur to the land,
Whose sound allures the golden Morpheus
In silence of the night to visit us)
My turret stands and there, God knows, I play.
With Venus’ swans and sparrows all the day.
A dwarfish beldam bears me company,
That hops about the chamber where I lie,
And spends the night (that might be better spent)
In vain discourse and apish merriment.
Come thither.” As she spake this, her tongue tripped,
For unawares “come thither” from her slipped.
And suddenly her former colour changed,
And here and there her eyes through anger ranged.
And like a planet, moving several ways,
At one self instant she, poor soul, assays,
Loving, not to love at all, and every part
Strove to resist the motions of her heart.
And hands so pure, so innocent, nay, such
As might have made heaven stoop to have a touch,
Did she uphold to Venus, and again
Vowed spotless chastity, but all in vain.
Cupid beats down her prayers with his wings,
Her vows above the empty air he flings,
All deep enraged, his sinewy bow he bent,
And shot a shaft that burning from him went,
Wherewith she strooken, looked so dolefully,
As made love sigh to see his tyranny.
And as she wept her tears to pearl he turned,
And wound them on his arm and for her mourned.
Then towards the palace of the destinies
Laden with languishment and grief he flies,
And to those stern nymphs humbly made request
Both might enjoy each other, and be blest.
But with a ghastly dreadful
Mike T Minehan Jan 2013
She is equipped with sensitive *******
and those other secret places
that ladies give out as prizes
to deserving guys as long as
they adopt the right disguises
of gods, gurus, intellectual giants,
goats, children, father figures, macho brutes,
sugar-daddies, supermen, seminal vessels,
house-repairers, jar openers, jocks, hate objects,
handy shoulders to cry on, emotional support systems,
sensitive, intuitive, yet strong silent types
who can also pay the bills,
tall dark and handsome total strangers,
toy boys, clowns, jugglers, jokers, millionaires,
wood choppers, ******* removers,
bottomless reservoirs of reassurance
or just plain spunky studs when the moon is right.
In fact, anything but woffly wimps.
Oh God, no.  Anything but woffly wimps.
Yes, but what about stoic, steadfast SNAGS,
you know, the Sensitive New Age Guys
who won’t face-shift for a ****?
Yes, well, let's try to sum all this up here right now.
I think that the woman is dripping
with a brimming reservoir
of luscious and sensitive resources on tap for  
the man who can figure out her cosmic kaleidoscope  
of swirling dreams and desires,
which is definitely not to say she can’t be totally independent.
Although please don't be confused.
Friendly boy-next-door types who are handsome,
aren't too hairy, who like to laugh, who have a boyish braggadocio,
who are students, who appear to be intellectuals,
who are not nerds,
and who can **** it in the kitchen, who  can be oh, so cool,
who can convince a maiden that she is in distress,
and is in need of rescuing, while he has
a swaggering hard-on will do, too.
Oooh. You devil.
And if you think this poem is misogynist, misanthropic or myopic,
well, I’ve been around and by now, well,
I really should be panoptic
because I’ve seen all the fads,
and really, it’s sadly too bad
about those poor old
earnest SNAGS.
But you know what?
I don't think I understand anything, because
I'm really a victim of worshiping women.
I'm bedazzled and as blind as the next man, and
yes,
I'm just happy whenever I'm with them.
Yes. A complex topic, this one...
Filmore Townsend Nov 2013
quandering, pondering
and whiskey has become
first and only desk liquor. now
digressing to the Blue Eyed
beauty writ of this the final
page of notebook. and now,
reflecting on this early hour.
an hour when the goat's
head stares thru to soul
with always lifeless eyes. stares
thru this soul with lack of
energy, with entire days'
lack of consumption. and with
ease this one has been long
and gone in falsified attraction
of angelfaced Blue Eyed
matriarch; this one patriarch.
thought entirely conceived. contrac-
epted by reality of situation. by
reality in general sense, yet words
spew unfiltered with lingering hope
behind slanted smile. shying stares,
all the while watching from eyes'
corners. voices of all but her's
fall deaf; vessels otherwise mute to
concerns not of the Blue Eye's. and
here this one finds self lost to rom-
anticized thoughts knowing they can
be found sterilized via logic.
contradicting always, yet
no brass holding finger locked to
joint. and realizations of actual
place spears forehead; spears fore-
brain. disrupting what is preconceived
concerning entangled souls. hair falling
aside temples. point of restraint, this
one must end before depression catches
hold; this one calling abrupt ending.
Danny Wolf Oct 2016
twirling bodies and witching eyes
yellow moon turning tides,
I found liberation in the dark of night.

A Moment Gone…

Those fleeting moments they always come…where you think youhave found the answer or the words to say – when you’re so sure that when you put your pen to paper all the ideas and passion and fire inside of you will pour out like a crystal waterfall, flowing into life. And you will find freedom and liberation in your thoughts and weight will lift off your shoulders, lift like a bird taking flight for the first time after so many feeble and failed attempts, almost discouraging – but something inside told you to hold on and then that first flight - it just lifts you up. Worth the wait. Though still, fleeting. And you’ve seen the other birds in long, graceful flights of triumph, you’ve listened to their hum…their beautiful, esoteric hum – filling your ears, your heart, your body, your soul – their beautiful hum and you wish that could hum like the other birds on your flight. Singing your heart song, just going. And you don’t know where ‘cause that’s fleeting too. Sense, flight, humming. Where am I going? Nowhere. Fleeting. What if we could harness it, get it to stay just another moment. Just keep flying and humming and going. Nowhere. Oh, to be like a bird. That’s what they do – fly and hum and go. Work their whole life for the first trip to the sky, but writing, man, we could right every day and never take our first flight. Never get to sing or hum or go. Never get anybody to sing or hum our song – filling their ears, their heart,their body,  their soul. Taking them over. Those beautifully heartbreaking words. So much power in words but not many people who know how to use them. You know, I used to think humans were animals. But we’re not. We’ve removed the “nature” from “human nature” like we’ve cut it out of our physical world. Cutting the trees, polluting the air. Us humans, we don’t know how to use the one single thing that separates us from other creatures: words, language. We’re not animals – birds know how to usetheir wings, fish their gills, tigers their teeth – but humans don’t know how to use their most potent feature: their WORDS. But why? Because we’re disconnected from our minds, our hearts, our bodies, our souls – the language of our vessels that govern our being – we are removed. How can we be expected to find the words to say, to write, to hum, to sing, when we don’t even know the mind they’re coming from? It’s like trying to read the pages of a closed book. But the fliers, the hummers, those rare thinker-feeler-speaker-articulators, thoserare, complete vessels, they’ve opened the cover of many books and they’re read– not skimmed – every page. Digested the words. Let them seep through their veins, becoming a part of their vessel. Turning blood to ink, regurgitating pages and using their own words to sing their own song. But even they, eventhose rare, complete vessels, have had fleeting moments. Those fleeting moments –the first few line of a masterpiece, then author evaporates before it’s finished. Can’t find him again. Gone. Those fleeting moments, I believe them to be pieces of another part of us that surface temporarily when triggered by a full moon in a dusty sky, or the touch of a lover, perhaps the crash of an ocean wave. A piece of another part of us is awakened, temporarily. Gone so quickly we can’t hold on. We must learn to hold on, to harness. To squeeze the nectar out of the fruits of life before they soil brown and useless. Hold on, harness. And when we hold on, when we let the juice drip down our fingers, we synchronize. Synchronize hand with mind with heart with body with soul. Complete vessels. That’s when we will fly and sing and hum and go; touch a million other souls and help them fly and sing and hum and go until they can sing their own song. And then they will fly and sing and hum and go on their own. Complete vessels.
madameber Mar 2016
mark us
like sheep
my fleece may be
store-bought,
washed clean
of all
identity
but i’ve got
a patchwork neck
spotted and dotted
with broken
blood vessels and
i’ve seen the
girls with pennies
scraping at their
skin trying to
get rid of him
one stroke
at a time
(his lips were
just as rough
as the ridges
of their coins)
and
i’ve heard the
girls with pennies
their marks may
have faded
but their pockets
jingle with
each step they
take each move
they make they say
his tongue dripped
gold and
silver and
bronze all over
them but all he
left was
red

mark us
like cattle
my ears may
hold rings and
not tags
but i’ve got
skin so fair
you’d never
dare believe
that beneath
i’m just
another collection
of broken
blood vessels and
he may be
gone from the
surface
may be
easy to remove
but i still
bleed
(and the girls
with pennies
scrape at my
neck one
stroke at a
time)

mark me
like property
my body may
be a temple
but your
prayers will
not be
heard here
you say
the girls
don’t need
their pennies
we say you
have no say
in the way
we heal

our vessels
may have been
yours to break
but they are
not yours to
mend and you
can pretend
you never knew
what we went
through when
you decided
to leave
your signature
on our skin

but we promise
when we look at you
we only see
red
here's a fun method of hickey removal: rub the hickey with the ridge of a coin
Joseph Valle Aug 2012
These two things I remember:
the lights dimmed slowly
and then went dark,
and my mouth was filled
over the teeth, to the lips,
with dirt-ripened maggots.

Those little mongrels had grown inside me,
my saliva was their nourishment,
my cheeks, their protection.
They nestled so deeply into my gums,
in the crevices where cavities were to grow
on the walls of their ebony buildings.
We were beautiful
but none would call it symbiotic.

Illumination ran away,
far off, bounded for the infinite fields.
The light lightness left me.
I don't know who was in charge
of sending the charge
through my electric chair.
I grew to embrace the seat,
that splintered piece of wood,
the pain in my sweating palms,
and the metal clasps which restricted my arms.
It gave security to impending doom,
the promise of finite end.
The wooden back
gave rest to my love-ridden bones
so I tongued my friends
straggling about my chops
in comfort and pleasure.
That chair, those lights,
they were empty vessels.
Built for, but never meant to,
fulfill their purposes.

That is,
until a bulge-eyed, masked man
connected the current.
The lights went out
and maggots filled my mouth.
Akemi Jan 2016
There was a dream here. It passed over in the night; a blur that burnt a fever into the earth. It died in the gap between. Fingers unlaced. Hand to the side. The sun runs soft tendrils through thick curtains. Or something like that.

Have you seen the new Star Wars movie? No. You’d like it. It’s the same thing all over again, but with a black guy and a chick as the main characters instead. I guess that’s what you call progress.

There was a dream here. A thick, unfurling mass of potentialities. Sartre once wrote existence precedes essence. Schopenhauer believed the essence of a chair was as much willed into being as the essence of a man. There was choice once, but it died when we chose. The breath you took before your last smoke. The air is stirred by a passing train. A woman steps off a bridge, into the mourning blue of an autumn lake. There is an empty car on fire. There is a man inside. His brother sleeps through his exam, doped up on too much codeine. There is the stench of lack. There is death passing a mirror, seeing herself in haste, but too rushed to make sense of it.

He runs fingers down the scars of her arm. A trickling, stream awakening from a long winter thaw. Vessels blue. Oceans of laughter tucked deep in the folds of her skin, so faint you can barely see them any more.

The sheets are black. The city folds itself. The sky collapses into the gutter; Jupiter bleeds into the apartment block on east side. A man leaves his home, but never reaches his destination.  There is a movie Face Off, where the identity of Nicholas Cage is challenged through the transplantation of his face. If reincarnation were possible, would we even be capable of recognising our reincarnated selves, stumbling through the visage of a billion other, unknown vessels? The skip collectors come at 4am. Metal grinds against metal until all that is left is dust.

Hands shaking a pit of coal. Shake shake. Shake shake. Your mother is dead. Shake shake. Shake shake. Jesus working at a shoe store. Shake shake. Shake shake. An atheist. Hah hah, hah.

The channels fill. Ink drops on water. Fireworks blackening the contours. There is a sun in Peru. Waste water pumps through the vessels of the city. The mayor drinks punch. The catacombs crumble like desert bones. The roads split above. Traffic stalls. Shadows stretch. Meet at the centre. A core. Slender fingers. The infinite. A hollowed heart. A heritage.

Drink your punch, says the mayor, try the grape and cheese.

There is a comic. Five or six woodland friends play grab the tail. After one round, they look over to find friend raccoon sleeping. They laugh and shout next round. Friend scorpion looks at his tail with tears in his eyes. It is funny, because death is boundless, amoral, and imminent.

A group at a party. Someone brings up the right-wing branch of their government. Everyone begins laughing, red in the face, spit flying from their mouths, arms noodling into the sky. Yeah, yeah. Hella. It is an imitation game. A laugh track on repeat. Maybe someone scratched it on purpose, or the sound guy fell asleep on the button. Now everyone is stuck, laughing. They begin to doubt themselves, but look up, reassured by the glowing sign above their heads that displays the text laughter, in bold black Helvetica. The sign is faded from heavy use, a sickly cream that looked bad before it left the factory. They were made in batches of a thousand and shipped across the country. One begins to choke, spilling her drink, bunching the cloth on the table beside her. They keep laughing. She is purple now. Another group spots them and joins in. The party next door. The whole neighbourhood. It is broadcast across the city. A wave of hysteria sweeps the nation. An online celebrity creates mugs. A famous rapper uploads himself eating pancakes. The sound guy wakes up and turns off the display, but everyone keeps laughing.

God died today. Crumpled jacket at the foot of an apartment block. Creased ticket. Crooked can rolling down suburbia. American dream wakes up. Finds herself an amnesiac in a foreign land. Catches bus downtown. Wanders vacant sun. Blood trickles from wrinkles. So many now. Creased, crumpled, crooked. Drinks from gutter. Chokes. Stumbles into abandoned church. Blood dries into grotesque mask. Hard to feel through it. Like second skin. Tired. Rests head against wall. Waits for pulse. Finds nothing.

A joke to break the gloom. Two crows are perched opposite one another, partitioned by a one-way mirror. Both break into laughter.

No, wait. Maybe tears.
January 2016

(Crows are one of the few birds capable of self-recognition.)
mt Oct 2013
Deadbeat
Smelly feet
Walking across its own callouses
Creator of worlds
Perfect inscriber of nameless wonders beyond mere
Conception and discrimination
That permeates the minds of men
Misguided across the arc of ages
Leading only to cycles of
Hollow pain repeating itself
Lacking substance but appearing
Like unmovable boulders perched
Atop greener mountains
That whisper using their voice,
The wind
Carrying its message in its form
Disappearing but never gone
The homeless,
Not content to trap two sided
Ideas of being in overflowing
Homes filled with the true
Forms of out sourcing
The spirit, torn for
Perfect packages to be sent
To faceless names to further
The collection of vessels
Unused.
The wanderer,
Unhappy with goals
Moving towards the never ending
Journey of perfection
That ends nowhere but travels
Everywhere leaving no quarter
Uninvaded and sadly ringing
In transcendental ears
The lonely,
Unwilling to spread their
Personal pain
From personal failures
To any one but themselves
Using the compressed aggregate
Sickness in scientific lobes, only
Representations, to create faucets through which representations
Of the unrepresentative
Eek out an existence
Among glaring, modern edgy
Movements in endless circles
That sear images into retinas
Working their way to ******
Thoughts, deflowering the only
Worthwhile virginity in the sad reflections of experience
Called man.
The ******,
Never fulfilled from false conceptions
Or the self materializing aspect as
The passage of time
Looking to capture the eternal moment and ****** of the Now
Lasting forever but done long
Ago
Chasing the end of self
And forgetting the body for
Higher realms untouched by lazy
Thoughts and repetitive notions
Creating the mundane
The un-mundane is furthur up than most of us can see
Even if touching it is
The experience
Not different from the life you will
Live for a million regressions
The contemporaries
Never travel the
Path of the Mountain
First camels, then lions
Finally to turn into godly offspring of
Flowering being at the peak
Standing above ubiquitous faces
But contact on level planes
The mountain of self
To create a new identity divorced from the diseased blockage
Flowing through humanity's veins
Only to tumble down
Into the pulsating
Heart filling, disintegrating
All in one undiscriminating
Destruction unborn from the
Young universe only
To lose the conception
And absorb the absorber
Forgetting that once,
A young man carried all the
Pain he had handed to himself
In shiny packages
Pretending that the others
Ever even existed.
Wack Tastic Nov 2012
Muted, muffled, dull thud on concrete,
Staggered, drunken, half conscious nobody,
Starved, seeking, worried about payments,
**** in hand, knocking on the wrong doors,
Fire and brimstone stoked in the belly,
Mad, strange, appetizing burlesque eyes,
Obnoxious smacking and licking of parched lips,
Rolling on half rationed legs,
Quiet, sullen, mournful footsteps,
Presently placed awkwardly one in front of the other,
Memory serves correctly, destitute, reprise,
Thunderclaps and crashing roars,
Almost forgotten, with great relief,
Soon, very soon, to be lost forever,
Candlelight, sobbing vigils, no power,
Nail, Nail, Nail,
Praise in the box, graffiti walled,
Like a bathroom stall, just as ******,
Docile dissolving vessels,
Brought to the commonplace dropoff,
Settled down and greatly relieved.
Jonathan Witte Oct 2016
I

Battered by a brute
Nor’easter, the cottage
rocks in rough wind,
teeters on tall stilts,
architecture animated
by howling provocations
until even the somnolent
wine glasses begin to sway;
suspended and racked in rows
below kitchen cabinets,
crystal clinks on crystal,
clear bells signaling alarm—
the storm forewarned is upon us.

II

This seaside aerie rises
high above sand dunes,
undulating driftwalls
feathered with sea oats.
Protected by weathered
shingles and salt-pocked
windows never shuttered,
the house stands sentry,
stoic structure overlooking
the Graveyard of the Atlantic,
the vast saltwater cemetery
where untold ships and sailors
have come to wreck and ruin,
subverted by shifting sandbars
and chancy wayward currents.

Buried in navigational Neverland,
vessels slumber in oceanic silence
on a seabed as soft as coffin plush.
***** convene in chambers of ruin,
scuttling over rotted mainsail masts;
the jellyfish hover, ghostlike, in hulls
above steerage skeletons bedecked
in crenulated shells and sea anemones.
Plankton settles on shipwreck rust:
pervasive spores, mausoleum dust.
And draped across each wreck,
a pelagic pall of melancholy.  

III

On summer nights, children
chase ghost *****, freezing
them with flashlights, scooping
them into buckets brimming
with a berserk racket of claws
and shells scratching circular
walls of makeshift plastic crypts.
From the top deck, we follow
disembodied beams of light
zigzagging in darkness,
graveyard robbers darting
above holes in the sand,
black portals, each one
the size of a child’s fist.

IV

Years ago, so-called
wreckers would hang
lanterns from horses’
necks and lead the beasts
up and down the beach,
yellow beacons signaling
as though from distant ships
buoyed on placid waters.
The lights lured desperate
vessels inland, unsuspecting
captains and crews crashing
ashore in blind catastrophe.
At daybreak, islanders
scavenged the spoils
of their subterfuge—
silver chalices,
jeweled goblets,
golden cups and bowls—
treasures cast to rapacious
hands upon an indifferent tide.
And of course the corpses came,
caught between shore and sea,
rolling in breakers, stuck
in salty purgatory, churning,
shell-pocked and unsanctified.

V

Tonight a yellow mote of light
floats miles from shore, some ship
flickering like a votive stowed
upon a headstone’s crown.

And the half-drunk bottle
of pinot noir in the ship’s
decanter has me thinking:
When my time comes round,
wait for a moonless night,
black funeral gown
of sky embroidered  
with stars and satellites,
and sneak to the end
of the Avon fishing pier
and release the ashes
from whatever vessel
you’ve decided best
accommodates me.
Scatter finite confetti
to an infinite tomb,
ashes dissolving
unceremoniously
in saltwater,
subsumed.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Once more the tremulous waters, flaked with light;
A covered vessel, with an armèd guard—
A yelling mob on fair San Giorgio's isle,
And ominous whisperings in the city squares.
Carrara's noble head bowed down at last,
Beaten by many storms,—his golden spurs
Caught in the meshes of a hidden snare!
“O Venice!” I cried, “where is thy great heart
And honourable soul?”
And yet once more
I saw her—the gay Sybaris of the world—
The rich voluptuous city—sunk in sloth.
I heard Napoleon's cannon at her gates,
And her degenerate nobles cry for fear.
I saw at last the great Republic fall—
Conquered by her own sickness, and with scarce
A noticeable wound—I saw her fall!
And she had stood above a thousand years!
O Carlo Zeno! O Pisani! Sure
Ye turned and groaned for pity in your graves.
I saw the flames devour her Golden Book
Beneath the rootless “Tree of Liberty;”
I saw the Lion's le
Ariana Sweeney May 2014
And finally
After time seemed
suspended,
We looked into each other’s
Longing
Lusting
Eyes and leaned in,
Tentative
Tantalizing
Taking sharp breaths.

Every time skin
skimmed skin,
a sizzling segment
was breed from
blazing bodies.

Each exhale
Was inhaled
By the other
And turned into steam

With every kiss,
Blood vessels boiled, burst
Burning a trail
Made of ice and fire

Hands shook
Fingers trembled
Bodies meshed
Heads thrown
Eyes closed

Slowly.

Softly.

Panting
Pleasing
Pleasuring
Playing

We were just toys
And we liked it that way.
JB Claywell Apr 2017
He makes them,
fired firm and
full of glory
in their emptiness.

I’ve never seen
one of Dooley’s pots
born,
but I’ve been
present during the kiln’s
gestation
of brick, wood, and fire
nurturing clay into a
more substantial being.

In his shop now,
we sit and fill these vessels
with condensation,
communication.

Conversation made from philosophy,
spiked with profanity.

We, The Potter and I,
strut like roosters,
bray like *****,
circle like tigers.

We know one another
and ourselves
all the better for this.

In the dark, cool
emptiness of a closed-up
Dooley Room,
our conversation’s condensation
evaporates.

We’ve gone our own ways for the night.

When next we meet,
the vessels will again
be empty.

I look forward to filling them.

*
-JBClaywell

© P&ZPublications
MRR Oct 2012
Sometimes I hate
Every single word I write.
Nothing can be good enough,
For what is a word? A mere
Vessel. A vessel can not be a
Complete expression of that
Which it carries. For how could a
Vase of water contain the
Vastness of the sea, or the
Power of her waves? My words:
Futile attempts. Mere vessels, a
Partial representation of a soul's
Cry. What am I left with?
School has taught us much,

Our friends were our teachers of life.

The building was nearly a mold

And our instructors are our vessels of knowledge.

It’s time to move on.

It’s time to say good bye to a trial

And open our eyes to the final exam of time,

Where none pass or fail, just seize the moment at hand.

Years spent in books and homework

Will test the knowledge you’ve learned in school.

Life will test you in performance

And performance will judge on experience.

Be ready for a fight

Because life won’t be easy.

Several challenges it will be

But together we shall triumph.

Let us not be a burden

But a blessing on a seed.

That seed will grow into a tree

And may that tree spread many more seeds.

In the end, we will be together

And reminisce on the years below.

Let us be happy wherever we blow

And blessed we shall be in anything we do.
Ivan Brooks Sr Feb 2018
High up above our war-torn city,
On Snapper hills sit the old lighthouse.
For years in storms, she did her duty
Rain or shine without any kind of excuse.

High above our beautiful sandy shores,
Just like a good mother, she watches
not only over vessels but those
Who lost hopes and suffered all kinds of damages.

The light she flashes has for years,
Served as a perpetual beacon of hope
For those with bad memories and fears,
those traumatized by wars who still can't live and cope.

High above Monrovia, she stands
Watching the resilient people below
Survivors of the deadly Ebola strands
Who once refused to bow their heads low.

High above she sits, beyond the Montserrado basin.
At night her light remains the star of the city,
That has endured moaning and crying,
A city that has seen the good, the bad and the ugly.

The old lighthouse still stands there today,
directing maritime traffic at night
and flashing light over our beloved city
That for years witnessed a ****** and senseless fight.

IB-Poetry©️
2/19/2018
For 17 years brothers fought and killed each other...she just stood and watch, unable to do a thing.
Zedler Jun 2013
Lungs are full of sludge and it's getting harder to breathe. Tripped in quicksand and its all the way past my sleeve as I sink lower and take at last look at what is surrounding me. My body is being crushed and I just want someone to set me free.

Recollect each memory held dear to me and wondering in my last moments what mark on humanity I've chosen to leave.

Sand consuming  my torso. The one she held onto while we kissed and wiggling to much so quickly I start to sink.

The sand at level with my back as I recall the times she left a scratch because she could never see me without leaving a mark or keeping my body intact.

Sand up to my neck while I refer to the burgundy erupted blood vessels that with her lips shes disturbed and because of it I can only hear her moans and not words.

Sand up to my lips and happiness enters my forsaken body as I recall that hers were the last ones I kissed.

Sand now over my head and in our moment of death we refer to the past and learn to love each moment in time. Safe to say that in my moment of death she was the only one on my mind.
galaxy of myths Apr 2017
We are made of vessels.
I've traveled alone
but we bumped,
collided.

"A mistake?"
I thought.
No.

We were too different.
Why are we here?
Oh, I realised.

I see the similarities.
You and I, are made
of the same vessel.

This isn't what I expected.
A dream in the form
of a human.

-m.b
Amit Shroff Dec 2014
Its just a fantasy the only regret is permanence,
The life of a modern day gypsy, an unknown destination.
I wake up to new faces from past day's bruises,
A long journey into some town, exploring the unknown.
Green sanctum reflecting the temple top,
Woken up by the gong of the ancient metals.
Treated like a royal guest, offered a lot of the harvest,
Walking down the symmetric coconut grooves.
I see vessels carrying newest of the goods,
But here they still stick to their roots.
True its a gods own country, abundant beauty,
I'm lost amidst the hills sipping the Malabar coffee.
melinoe immortal Jul 2018
Selene.

By the sea, I have been staring,
at your bright colours change.
Erythematous, murderous intentions of
a disease disseminating
on your surface.

The slow, penetrating anguish
tearing the guts,
a one-sided, disdained,
newborn sadness,
I am welcoming in my arms.

On the operating theatre of life
white and now dead moths,
stillborn butterflies
inside the flesh removed,
drowned themselves in a pool of blood.
They, an absurd joy
that never stood a chance
inside this cyanide prison.

Portals of loaned,
disillusioned happiness closed.
The liquid that raced turbulently
through my vessels, drained on a half-filled
with tears palette.

With menacing, impasto knife-like strokes
on the body
Morpheus painted the shadow-covered moon
with memories that refuse to be forgotten
from purulent, open wounds.
'Those worlds you will (never) see.
The people you will (never) meet' he said.

Soul chemicals eroding
the behemoth sky,
as the paint dries out.
Ashes of my Dreams (Not) Achieved,
astral remains;
everything I silently kept inside.
Sethnicity Nov 2016
Less Is more Need Less
Words and Walls of self assured
Vacuous Vessels
More or Less tRUMp.
Lysander Gray Oct 2012
Her mouth glittered agape
With sacred promise,
Like a box of unused
Engagement invites
Christening invites
Birthday invites
Still in the wrapper
For sale at a
Lifeline.

When you’d rather live
In a car
Than the zombie stance
Of a modern house,
Clean and soulless
With a hermetically sealed lawn,
Winter pageantry draws to a close
With bogan’s shooting-
Pearly eyed paupers
With constellations in their gaze.
With eyes full of hope and stars
That burnt bright and fade for
Flickering lens light.

Their voices murmur soft
Through catacomb
And underbrush
As only the ephemeral things are whispered of –
Dreams.
The addicts of ideals
The junkies of hope
The drinkers of despair
Have tiger soft tongues.

They lap and feast gladly,
From broken vessels
Chipped with hazardous teeth
That seek to fill their
Ermine mouths with the ******
Draught
Of truth.
Stumbling through wine-hour
They swarm, with tongues ******
And all constellations burnt out.

The hyacinth rides wild
Upon her shoulder,
Writhes in the silver brunt
Of moonlight,
Writhes in the stillness of dead perfume.

Marching to the beat
Of my enemies drum,
My hands inside my pockets.

Little bluebirds spun from dream
Sit on the holy perch,
A branch in all innocent minds.

The redeemed and patient
Make a subtle art from
Long distance perversions.

Similarly as we chase ghosts over Daffodils.

Fields of winter
under lunar glow
sway without us.

Long distance love
lingers with loose lust
along Regret street.

I hung it next to the memory
Of childhood cooking and Indian summers
Without further thought.

It slipped into the novel that took the form
Of an old coat, slipping into the lined pocket
It sank with a sigh.
Satisfied with itself.

Bombarded by the pounding
Dead eyed stare of ***** goddesses,
Broken by the undisputed angelic
And unglued ones,
All moon faced
All hopelessly optimistic
All lawfully rebellious
With green serenity
We pasted our dreams
On a wall so real it shone gossamer.
He counted the imperfections in the glass
With mind hesitation
As the whole world went black,
In a sea of much deserved discontent,
Wishing for the soft.

A moment of pure luck?
Jesus was an astronaut
Smoking Zen by the fire.

Suicidal angst
never had you in sonnets?
What a ******' shame.

Our life is but a song
We never hear.

I chipped away at the excesses
of my baroque person,
each strike took a
Railing
mounting
wall
decoration
desire
demand
exclamation
from the battlements.
All left now, a hill.

I paid for my banquet
with a sip of loneliness
and left behind the question
that asked all quiet poets
the meaning of love,
that asked all quiet poets
to answer with a villanelle
shouted from every
distant peak.

They sent the troopers
to greet me instead,
and my library was put in shackles,
and I kissed their ***** feet.

I answered that I carved this mountain
from the baroque bedrock
upon which they laid their city.
They smiled and asked about the aqueducts.
I wept and spoke of kitchenettes.

A meal provided
on a lead cast plate
my jailor asked about freedom
I answered with defeat.

There were two atoms
One questioned the meaning of existence
The other the existence of meaning.
             -Regardless they looked the same.

An apple on a branch,I took
The same way history takes a footnote.

The same way cashiers are all doctorates.
The same way trains find the station.
The same way you sing like a bird (and I like a cow).
The same way we never really wish to be writers.
The same way our final friend is made of pine.
The same way all streets lead to nowhere.
The same way all jobs **** society.
The same way we always lie to our children.
The same way a man loves a woman.
The opposite way we ****.
The opposite way we make love.
The way that I know a man who’s totem animal is a worker ant and he is unemployed by choice.
The same way we take old memories and turn them into fashion.
The very same way all sacred things become profane and all profanity becomes sacred in the eyes of many.

Dying relic of the Optimistic Seventies,
A new coat of paint for the old irony
     -slap dashed with obscurity.
Although I wear the costume of my enemy,
I will write the exaltation in blue smoke
As **** by an unsuspecting victim
Occurs in the dark.

The face of another love stares down at me.
I smile.
Yet I know it is not her.
I weep.
A sudden method sparks revival.

Jackie Pleasure wore a gray smile,
The anthem of a lost generation:
‘Happiness is lost in smiling.’

You are dead to me,
the boatman calls
I will not taste of your amber lips
I will not taste.

The welfare of all never hinged on darkness as we fear the fall,
A multitude of angels sang their songs
And never learnt to say goodbye
Or cast a long distance eye
Over half spent desire.

Drawn out caricatures,
Paraded intoxication
Flirt with our mistress death
And have her pick up the tab.
She pays with silent music.

The ***, we learn, is a bridge
Between all words and waltz’s,
Our Light Brigade to conquer art.

In the twilight of this, our mansioned night
Let us ring out true with indulgence,
Excess, abandon and the call of ‘yes’
Kali rang on the wire of a golden telephone.
Her name
“Kali, Kali…”
Like a quarrelsome minotaur
Flew through the waves of silk ideal
And strangled the babe
With cool breath.

There was ice (oh yes!) and fire and song.
With our candles burnt down to the ash of all streets
We walk then. We walk.
All life is but a song.

The ghosts of all forgotten stamps
Now echo on the wind of speech.
On High! Oh speak!
Of songs sung but never danced
With our broken dream.
When starlight meets the dust, and
Shadow eats the snow,
All our stories are satin sheer
And all our wants are gone.
We watch the memories march, until
They find a sliver of chrome that showed that place
Where all piano’s live and breathe.
My father in the wishing well,
My mother played trapeze.
My sister never saw the light,
My brother never born.
That was that,
Where stars meet dust
And floorboards sing off key.
Over the course of several months, I carried a small notebook in which I kept random musings and poetic snippets that came to me. This is the compilation of that.

— The End —