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i will wade out
                        till my thighs are steeped in burning flowers
I will take the sun in my mouth
and leap into the ripe air
                                       Alive
                                                 with closed eyes
to dash against darkness
                                       in the sleeping curves of my body
Shall enter fingers of smooth mastery
with chasteness of sea-girls
                                            Will i complete the mystery
                                            of my flesh
I will rise
               After a thousand years
lipping
flowers
             And set my teeth in the silver of the moon
252

I can wade Grief—
Whole Pools of it—
I’m used to that—
But the least push of Joy
Breaks up my feet—
And I tip—drunken—
Let no Pebble—smile—
’Twas the New Liquor—
That was all!

Power is only Pain—
Stranded, thro’ Discipline,
Till Weights—will hang—
Give Balm—to Giants—
And they’ll wilt, like Men—
Give Himmaleh—
They’ll Carry—Him!
Alexander Klein Oct 2013
I

In eras weird with old mythology,
As if asleep the fabled country lay:
Her wave-like hills and faerie forests dense,
Her thorny brambles budding curling claws,
And ivy circling all the woodsey way --
The far swan's cry came soft and woke them not.
Forlorn, that selfsame call upon the gates
Did break; those gates of Britain's long-lost keep.
She too slept fast, the weary weathered stones
Of fairest Caerleon. O pulsing stream,
Thou vein of life in woods a-slumber, Usk!
Alone are you in knowing castle's face,
From years of timeless burbling at her feet.
What tales are told by water over stone?
What lark or wren can sing of sadness come?
Aye, answers are the beach-wet sand, yet hark!
Rejoicings spilled, proud hails, from Caerleon:
They cheered the ****-frost's melting with the Spring;
The holy Gwyl Fair y Canhwyllau
Had come at last, in foliage of dawn.

Within, their goblets sailed, wassailed, and crashed
Like growling Jove, their boasts and toasts like wine --
They drank it spiced and over-strong. Indeed,
Some stretched exaggerations: 'twas Sir Bors,
That spotless sheet, who tried to contradict.
He quoted purifying texts and spurned
The wine that nature raised and crafted sweet.
Yet "Loosen up!" uproared the host to him.
"The time has come to celebrate," said Kay,
Beloved knight, step-brother to the King,
"Aloft thy wine, below thy gills! Drink! Laugh!
Your stomach is a falsehood-spewing fool,
It must be drowned for you to feel a lord.
I speak a sooth, you need wine's fleeting bliss!
Know thee that man's tomorrows bleed him dry:
A wade through death and depths as sure as pain
That shall tomorrow light your brow. Laugh! Drink!"
Bold cheering spread with Kay's advice, though yet
To no surprise Bors turned aside the drink,
Unblemished bore, so celebrates alone.
Weep not for him, for soon he'll find a cup
More suited to his strange of chaste and grace.
And none to waste: his share was drunk by all.

Engaged in feast Owain ap Urien,
Engaged in tale now Bedwyr and Kay,
And Lancelot made eyes at Gwenevere.
It was a feast of great success and joy
As fitting of the season's robust gleam,
Yet two there were with shallow-rooted smiles.
Prince Mordred one, though ever-somber he:
Accursed spawn with bone in place of heart
And dreaded incantations for his blood;
His brooding perched like crow on him. Alas:
The other joy-bled man had beard aflame,
A bear-skin drape, and crystal eyes, the Lord
He was of Caerleon and Mordred both.
'Twas not the gleam in lover's gaze that vexed
Though it was seen; he had no heart in him
To chain his Queen as if in dungeon steel,
For Arthur lived believing to be fair
Was paramount, to even paramour.
It wreaked its toll, yet caused small grief this day.
Not even serpent son gave cause to mourn
That greater was than missing nephew's spot
Among the feast. His chair was naked bare
Returned though he should be from faerie quest.
At Calan Gaeaf they expected him
When winter storms had racked their shoddy hall,
Yet since, the months had rolled to Gwyl Fair
The milder season come, but not his kin.
The image of his maiméd corpse did taunt
And haunt the agéd mind of Arthur, King,
His phantom nephew slain anon by knight
That of no flesh was made. In year that died
This green-mailed knight arrived a guest and called
Infernal challenge. Trick it seemed to them
And trick it was, for subsequent the blow,
This seaweed knight did lift his severed head
And from dead lips he cried "Well struck! Now come,
Fulfill me of my game. The year to come
Shall see thee in my home, and as agreed
My turn 'twil be to answer with my axe."

So rapt in recollecting, Arthur missed
The growing clamor that beset his hall.
His ******* cleared the grief from him with taunt,
To bring him into grief. "What say thee, Dad,"
Dripped venom from his mouth, "No love for us?
Your hail we called, but disapprove your eyes.
Methinks that far away thou seest a dream
That visits oft the elderly: a place
Thou knewst when in thy prime, with love
Now filled to burst. Yet fear us not, away!
To land of youth far more beloved than we
Whose happiness with thine own heart is twined."
"My fellow, soft!" the King began, distressed,
Yet Lancelot rose to his feet and spake
"Blackguard is he who mocks our Lord to face!
Thou palest hide, thou Mordred, sit thee down!
This sniveling craven knight should be replaced."
A sounding of the table met his speech,
Again was hailed his toast, and Arthur glad,
Though burdened to his breaking point, and sad.

"Blackguard is he who mocks our Lord to face,"
Had spake his bravest champion and friend
With no regard to Blackguard wrapped in stealth.
See how his roughspun fingers coil in hers
And how some sweetened whisper 'scapes her lips?
The beams of color-stainéd light slip down
To play upon their blissful sin almost
As if King Arthur's King approved on high.
Sovereignty is ruthless, Arthur thought,
Well-wishings of my God grow ever-faint.
I must believe in good though I am ill,
Just as I find my countrymen displeased
Though I did calculate my every breath
To see that it did stand with God's own will
To help my common people from their murk.
I fear I am not what I wished to be,
And now my only solace peaceful death.
If up to me, I'd wish it in my bed.

What horn's blare? Hark! King Arthur roused from thought.
Court gatekeeper Glewlwyd Gafaelfawr,
Dressed plain in brown, took down the horn from lips
And loud as elk called to the hall "Have cheer!
Sirs, drink another beer and wreath your brow
With springtime blooms, for lost knight fair is found!"
Old Arthur trusted not his feeble ears,
But came a hush and Lancelot confirmed:
"What **," he boomed, "our brother has returned!
'Tis grey Gawaine, aye, Gwalchmai! Drink his hail!"
The uproar was enourmous: "Gwalchmai! Cheers!"
Was like to wake the sleeping wilderness
That hung suspended in the myth and mist.

II

Astonishment had come like breaking wave
Upon the thirsty sands of monarch's face
So long consigned to reap the low-tide's grief.
When Arthur's ursine hand clenched round his cup
And hailed his nephew's presence with a roar
Long lost to hibernation's hoary spell,
The hearts that beat in armor under him
Did swell to find their lord with cheer at last;
The toast they drank so hearty as to give
Sweet Dionysus pause against excess.
Though only two there were who did not drink,
And one of these were Bors, a sadness fell
Once more as tangible as any wrong
That chose to haunt a hall. 'Twas Gwalchmai grey,
The conqueror now home from quest to rest
Who would not lift his eyes to meet the King's.

"Has cheer so fled from you? Your life remains!
What black has inked you in?" the King did ask,
And silence overtook the hall to hear.
How strongly then did Gwalchmai wish to leave,
To blend once more his form to root or branch
Or soaring river. Wind, the songbird's muse,
Had been his fast companion on the road,
For known to him were many things. He was,
They say, some god that stalked the minds of man
In young enchanted places of the world
Though all his magic helped him not at court:
His shyness was a leaf obscured by rain.
Yet even gods of silence know to speak
When words of pain encircle heavy hearts.
He let them fly, birds in the sky, he said
"I failed. My quest was long and arduous,
The seasons changed while I in heather lost,
The moon its phases shed as fen-frogs called,
I floated through the endless cloying mist
That flows, a ghostly sea wrapped round our isle.
The path had nearly drowned me when I found
The chapel green enough to spell my doom.
When entered I, methought "It cannot be!"
So kind and courteous a host met me
That would have been disgrace to call him green.
He feasted me, and warmed my wounded bones,
Yet I betrayed him in the end; I failed.
I stayed his guest, and friend, and swore to him
That for his hospitality I'd share
Each thing I won while underneath his roof.
And all was well -- I'd rest, he'd hunt -- until
His wife played hearts with me. I did refuse,
But by her final trick was tempted and --
So lost all knightly honor and renoun.
Her lusts I spurned three times, but on the third
She offered me that which my heart desired,
Instead of love she begged me take her boon:
A silken girdle sewn with charms, and green,
Deceit I should have seen. She said the spells
Would keep me safe from harm and spare my life...
When on my rugged journey all I'd feared
Was twisting face of death that loomed so near.
I could not help myself, it seemed so tame,
Yet when the time had come I could not share
That gift, or else expose the husband's wife.
Beneath my armor tied when left that place,
My secret wore me down upon the bog.
It seemed the mist grew thicker, wind grew swift,
I now know under spell was I, but then
It seemed some vengence coming to a head.
My tale grows long, and past the point am I.
The Green Knight and my host were one in fraud:
An airy insect's dream. His "wife," a witch,
Had formed him out of acrid moorland soil:
Homunculus to carry out her scheme.
The blow he owed me carried little force,
Though still this scratch is plain upon my nape.
And so you see my folly plain as oak:
For though I kept the life I feared to lose
My lie grows in me like a cancer bloom
That in the span of time shall **** me sure.
I failed; I'm gone; to revelry return."
The silence, vast again, gripped all the knights
And king too dry to cry, who drowned his heart.

III

"Is there some madness come to roost herein?
Thy folly is ridiculous," said Kay.
"I valued mine own life past honor's flame,
A sin of selfishness, and blame, and wrong.
What of the world, if all would act as such?"
A weeping noise he made, but choked it back
And turned to leave in shame, and might have done
Had not the stout Sir Kay gripped Gwalchmai's arm.
He raised it in the air and shouted thus:
"Percieve our stunning champion stands nigh!
Though of a frail ennobled heart, we know
Thou art absolved. This trinket given free
To aid in quest I wager was for thee.
And as for sacred broken vows, this man --
You said yourself -- was conjured from a bug.
You owe him no alleigance Gwalchmai, sit!
This serious you need to be for wine:
Come sit with brothers now! We drink to thee!"
"Dispel the failure all you can, it stays
As weighty on my brain. It was a sign
To signify the kind of soul I am,
To me it showed my grimy ills and plain
Did tell my shaping, shape, and shape-to-be."
King Arthur to this nephew spake: "My child,
Is there no antidote to questing's woes?
What has become of jousts and silver swords?"
The anguish in the old man's eyes so keen
To those who knew him. Gwalchmai did reply
"Your majesty, there's not a grief can ****
My bird-like love of questing through the trees,
For only questing can redeem my shape."
"Then let us have this quest!" cried Kay beside
Him at the table, deep in drink he swore.
"Come with me, brother-knight, to clear thy mood!
You do you wrong blaspheming at yourself."
The wine was quaffed by Gwalchmai, yet he said
"I first shall stay, I need to rest my ills."
"Your ills are that which keep you ill, good knight.
I bid you come and we shall quest as birds
Who savor springtime berries in the mist."
"I shall not go, I seek my quietude."
"In sunlight you and I must bask. Comply,
Or else I challenge you by burnished blade."
All eyes on Gwalchmai, under pressure cracked
Into a grin and downed his kykeon.
"In stubborness persisting, Kay, you've won,
A river such as I could not keep stead
Against a boulder. When shall we away?
When come the summer blossoms, fair and red?
Or else not til the saps have lost their leaves?
Departure yours to choose, my brother-knight."
Kay beat upon the table and their ears
When called triumphantly "This very day,
This very hour! To help those who need aid
On holy days shall surely fix your heart.
No time to wallow in the swamp that's gone,
We now away, to break our swords with day!"
"You mock me or you heard me not, Sir Kay,
I wish not to away, I wish to rest!"
The fairest Guenevere, like silver bells,
Chimed in "You must forgive your heart's despair,
Or emanations of its guilt will plague
Your mind. I have a lunar garden if
You wish to sit in soothing calm and think."
"My queen is holy," Gwalchmai spoke in grace,
But Kay had cut him off with "Hear her not!
She will ensorce your mind to not explore,
To sit and think and mold with lunacy;
Beneath the sun we'll tred. It's known on quests
I favor Bedwyr, 'tis true, yet you
My fairest Gwalchmai, keep your wits -- and arms --
Two things in need of we shall be.
I mean you no offense, dear Bedwyr,
But I and Gwalchmai share a severed soul
And shall succeed; two sides of selfsame coin.
So come my cousin grey, to right our wrongs
We must away, to break our swords and say
'My heart is glad I did not stay at home!'
Consume your drink! We go," he trumpet-called.
Thus Gwalchmai was convinced, and so was forced
To nod politely to his Queen and stand,
Declaring to the court "I shall away,
This gloomy mood is dried beneath the sun
Though dearly do I wish some lunar grace
To lose myself in mysteries anew.
To bear this flesh is weighty, yet I've found
The strain to be rewarding in its way.
Think nothing of my former woes, they've passed
Like summer storm or wisp of misty cloud."
The hall at large did drink his hail, and then
Did thrice more drink for quest to which they went.
And Mordred scowled and drank the foulest wine
For his monsoon and fog would last his life.

So summoned then Glewlwyd Gafaelfawr
To hearken unto birds, as was his gift.
He said to all, "I shall now call my friends
And see what worthy tales of quests they bring!"
"There may be naught on Gwyl Fair," said Bors,
"A holy day, all wove with peace. Nor Gods
Nor men would stir their strife this day of days."
"We all shall see," the gatekeeper replied.
Beside his King upon the dais came
And played a serenade upon his horn
That rang throughout the keep and lands beyond.
A time did pass with no response recieved --
Slain silent was the raptness of the court --
But then through open pain in stainéd glass
A thrush did bob and weave in melody,
On finger of the Queen he briefly perched
Before he flit away upon the air.
His song so sweet, but then - what fright! No more!
A hawk had entered, just the same, and swooped,
And now the thrush was silent in his claws.
The cabinet of augers all took note
And sketched their calculations into books,
Though none, in this, more wise than Gafaelfawr
To whom the hawk said "Hail, you man of rank
Who speaks the tongue of wing-in-air. Now hark!
'Twas not in hunger slew this thrush, but fear
That what I have to tell might go unheard.
My family, we roost near Cornwall's sea
And late, the noises off the coast grew strange
As if some evil kraken raged at love.
My chicks; my wife and I; we're simple hawks.
We eat and some of us are eaten, yet
Beware the thing that slouched from out the waves.
His shape is something like a boar, but huge,
He dwarfs his kin, and hill, and oak,
This hall is large, yet he'd be stuck inside.
He does not eat what he has killed, instead
He smears the bloodied flesh on stones and trees,
What man could face a fear that bears this face?
If you could hear the rutting squeals he makes!
I swear this sooth by wind and waving plumes:
You men who craft with metal, hark!
Destroy the beast!" And then he flew away
Still calling after him "Destroy the beast!"

The court at large had heard the warbling hawk
But did not know the tongue, so only watched
Glewlwyd's unease upon his face
Until with stiff and rasping voice relayed
The content of the predatory news.
Unease began to show among the knights,
For many there recalled a beast so shaped
And all the blood and guile he took to drown
The first time. Arthur, grim, forbade Sir Kay
And Gwalchmai face these perils by themselves,
But recommended regiment of steel
To bolster ranks against the fearsome boar.
"I know this foe from days of old," he said,
His years of rule etched rough across his face,
"And so do most of you, though many gone
And this monstrosity not even slain."
But Gwalchmai said "'Twas hard indeed to win
Those relics that he bore. Remember I
That Trwyth was the name he chose, and we
Shall best him fair. Though not for trinkets now,
But with the zeal of mother guarding young:
This foe, Twrch Trwyth shall not raze the land
Nor wage a war against some peaceful ilk
While rounded table can beco
Nat Lipstadt Jan 2017
Yom Kippur this year was celebrated on Oct. 12th 2016.
Leonard Cohen passed away on November 7, 2016.


~~~

faint knocking at the door to the Tower of Song

the ministering angels, hearing a rhythmic, lyrical rapping,
sigh, thinking the atonement day,
the holiday/holy days, are supposedly over,
the human balancing act, the rush to judgement period,
all tallies totaled, the busy sale season for souls,
at last completed, each fate inscribed & sealed,
in the book of life^

but, always one,
the itinerant straggler, the last reluctant sinner, a judgment resister,
flaunting an expired coupon, trumpeting demands for a recount,
waving it, claiming it, the bearer, entitled to a mercy discount and
an extra 30 days

"who shall we say is calling?"

the Angels are stunned to hear,
a familiar raspy, growling, almost indescribable,
yet, stammeringly, beautiful voice enchanting,
equally asking and answering,  how both,
with a strident humility, "a man in search of answers"

this voice, instantaneous recognizable,
the asking superfluous,
all beating wings now, all in vast excitement,
this psalmist, long awaited, one of His best,
a chosen one, a courtly singer in the Temple of his people,
blessed with the curse of seeing and believing,
the comprehension of beauty of the human superior interior,
never being quiet or quite satisfied,
in capturing, its multifarious variations,
in every language spoken

this is the man who took ten years
to compose just
one song,
one poem,
one word,
Hallelujah,
whose faith was strong,
but still needed proofs,
whose every breath of oxygen inhalation,
brought more questions,
every exhalation, only releasing partial answers,
and yet, still, yes, yes! finding hidden verses inside

a simple, everlasting
hallelujah

the hubbub subsides, the man sings~speaks:
how came I here,
was I one, who by fire?
that fire afeared,  that my finality was spirit consumer?

one voice, answers,
in one voice, the swaying back-up singers answer,
not by fire, not by water, not by stoning or
even drowning
in tea that came from all the way from China

when sing we Angels, the Judgement Day poem,
we alone, on high and above,
we, keepers of the books and records of everyone,
are permitted this to query:

Who by Sufficiency?

you, the sidekick of the creator,
special commissioned by him, anointed to live a life of research,
record in word and song the mysteries of musical gene strings,
that intertwine the skin cells of man and woman,
man and his fellow us-human,
your soul commandeered, ordered, delve deeper,
into the consolable chasm tween divine and mortals,
all those who are poorly constructed
in his image

he, who has earned his place, his best rest,
his works adjudged sufficient,
he, who best answered
this judging,
this calling out,
calling in
incantation,

Who by Sufficiency?

now forward on, write only of answers,
wade in the troubled waters no more,
no more passports, or borders to cross,
no more measuring the days,
the last road trip finale
finished & feted,
fate meted

no more changing thy name, changeling priest,^^
sing songs of solution, salvation,
for the questioning hours of confusion,
the urgency of revolution,
no longer need a hallelujah resolution


                                                    ­| | |
Who By Fire                             Who By Fire, Who By Water:^
(lyrics by Leonard Cohen)     (A Yom Kippur Hebrew Prayer)

who by fire                             How many shall die and      

who by water,                                how many shall born,
Who in the sunshine,                 Who shall live      
who in the night time,                   who shall die,                      
Who by high                                Who at the measure of days,
who by common trial,                    and who before,
Who in your merry                            
                                                          Who by fire
month of May,                                 and who by water
Who by very                                 Who by sword,
slow decay,                                       and who by wild beasts,
And who shall I                      Who by hunger,
say is calling?                              and who by thirst,

And who in her,                           Who by earthquake
lonely slip,                                         and who by plague
who by barbiturate,                      Who by strangling,
Who in these                                    and who by stoning
realms of love,                               Who shall have rest,

who by,                                             and who shall go wandering,
something blunt,                            Who will be tranquil,
And who by avalanche,                  and who shall be harassed,
who by powder,                            Who shall be at ease,
Who for his greed,                           and who shall be afflicted,
who for his hunger,                      Who shall become rich,
And who shall I,                             and who shall become poor,
say is calling?                                Who will be raised high,
                                                         ­     and who will be brought low
And who by brave assent,                  
who by accident,
Who in solitude,
who in this mirror,
Who by,
his lady's command,
who by his own hand,
Who in mortal chains,
who in power,
And who shall I,
say is calling?




^From the liturgy of Rosh Hasanah, the Jewish New Year and Yom Kippur, the  Day of Atonement, there is this truly stunning prayer (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unetanneh_Tokef) in the Jewish liturgy. The Book of Life contents the fate of every sinner. From the first day of the new year, until ten days later, on Yom Kippur, depending on whether the sinner repents or not, his fate is sealed.
Yom Kippur this year was celebrated on Oct. 12th 2016.

Leonard Cohen passed away on November 7, 2016.

^^"A Kohens ancestors were priests in the Temple of Jerusalem. A single such priest was known as a Kohen, and the hereditary caste descending from these priests is collectively known as the Kohanim.[2] As multiple languages were acquired through the Jewish diaspora, the surname acquired many variations." Today, with no temple, the limited role of the Kohanim is to bless the Jewish people on the high holy days with a  special prayer with abeloved tune,  instantly evocative (see wikipedia.org/wiki/Priestly_Blessing) The Kohanim are still revered, honored, and always called up first to the Sabbath reading of the weekly portion of the Old Testament

A thank you to Bex for proofing and encouragement.
Part I of a trilogy
For a  more detailed analysis of the roots of the song, "Who By Fire," and its origins, see:
_____________________________________________
http://www.leonardcohen-prologues.com/who_by_fire.htm

He worked on the song Hallelujah, arguably his most famous composition, for ten years.
Eshan Mar 2011
Nikle to hum bhi the ghar se yahi soch kar ki shayad is bar manzil tak pahuch jayenge,
kyunki daudna to unhone hume bachpan mein hi sikha diya tha yeh kehkar,
ki agar nahin bhagoge to woh tumhe peeche chod jayenge.

Daudne ki kuch aisi adat se ** gayi hai ki pair ab rukne ka nam hi nahin lete,
lekin hume kya pata tha ki itna age nikal ane se, apne hi paraye,
aur woh sabhi raste anjane se ** jayenge.

Sabse door rehte hue bhi, in anjanon ki bheed mein woh ek chehra apna sa lagta tha,
lekin woh bhi hamesha kisi aur chehre ki talash mein rehta tha.

Sahi raste ko dhoondhne nikle to the, magar yeh nahin pata tha ki itni jaldi thak jayenge.
Kabhi kabhi to lagta hai ki ab ruk jana chahiye, thoda aram kar lena chahiye,
lekin woh bhi namumkin lagta hai kyunki, ab to sapne bhi ajeeb se ate hain.

Chalte chalte, wade to kafi kiye the is safar mein, kuch unse, kuch apne ap se,
lekin yeh andaza bhi nahin tha ki un sabhi umeedon par pani ferte hue chale jayenge.

Yeh mehsoos bhi nahin hua ki apne hi apnon ke pankh kat chuke the,
talash thi to bas us kandhe ki jo is ladkhadate hue ko sahara de sake.

Fir bhi, dheere dheere is katon ki chadar par age badna hai, dil yahi kehta rehta hai,
kyunki jhoothi hansi ki kuch aisi adat si ** gayi hai, ki ab chahte hue bhi dard ka ehsas nahin hota hai.
Julian Jul 2016
Fragile egg-shell mind on dawn’s highway bleeding the segue between times traversed only in momentary dreams or in enduring excursions

We drag our droll and quaint 60s baggage like the luggage of a safari made of concrete girding a cavernous expanse of unheralded ground

With our ears oriented to the floor, we leap out of body never to deplore….never to ignore….never to miss the blue bus of our drafted imaginations, so carefully culled from brash elitism

I trounce the intervening time between being friendless and an ironic end, and an irenic comrade becoming the dearest amazed but always aplomb friend

We simper in our glorious traversal, and though bedraggled through an ornamented cavern we linger just long enough to be celebrated

Then a blues riff emanates from a vapid bar, and finally someone heralds my exhumed memory still rusty with the pavement of encased concrete on an empty or full tomb

So I wander in my mind to that roughshod Paris glassy tincture a romanticized gild of proper sensibility crafted in the tongues of lizards emulating the tongues of serpentine Anglicans

As the power of love transcends the love of power, both are afforded serendipitously upon the stately occasion of a fitful revolt where heads literally rolled and deaths still unfurl from the slippage of a violent malevolent eternity, crafting a new creative way to expedite the smite of preventable scourge

So Jim, I see your picaresque side and your wide-eyed love for a listless ship anointed of a crystal blip just detectable long enough on RADAR to become the statistic to crack the slim WHIP

No wigs are needed at this formality, no figs grow from trees forty-five years buried and almost a full month unsung

Pitiable cretins of an invented insanity, they scoff at my ravenous and portentous heart for its excess and for aligning with an upstart verging on only a specious insanity

Why in all humanity could a month be mustered with every defense of history and yet for it to be so widely flouted as a risible exercise in futility

The irony that the artistic glamor of a past vogue becoming a revival that is often toked only to one song but never to the memorial of great cavernous and commodious imaginations, staggers with dismay where otherwise the mayday would be a disaster but still a great day

Then I look at a triggered-fingered omen of a death so ominous yet so brazenly confronted as the ambassadors of time provide plaudits to a fearless martyrdom

Why such a sad spate, why such a stringent but malevolent fate a malediction on a family whose crest is not crestfallen like rolling waves but ornamented with gravity impounding its own weight

A fugacious tomb, an eternal flame, a swan song announcing an independent authority on a prescient demise mashed and deprived

A single shot rippling through the broadened space between clasped eternity and a histrionic disgrace as a psychological confederate pays lip service to a reiterative applause

A cousin hardly American in a defected record of incendiary plumes of a hoarse hatred of waxen discs and flying discs alike,  climbs out of a bonfire mounted purely out of vindictive spite

Then upon a great white buffalo a wrapped package of Californian love before California ever alighted like something beyond an avaricious dove, saw a rocky park and a hearth of illuminated darkness the singular spark

Captain Morgan knows the jackknife applause of a botched deal morphing into a disbelieved spiel. A shibboleth of enormous mystical weight crashing down from an ethereal abode and heaven heavily saddened cannot hardly appeal

Then a loving spoonful of crystal blue persuasion led me to Ethel’s regimented keepsake and for once in my life nobility and I became a grateful waif. But temerity laughed, splintered spacecraft, and the wooden paws of a bearish applause led to resurgent clarity

Blinking stars shattered by knighted and raw applause punctured the liberated might of a sentient hortatory savior grasped by the internecine wrench of a waxen time

An indie track slides by unnoticed in an aleatory time, and the threadbare whine of centuries of lament becomes a dastardly barn set ablaze with the fury of ancients and the scurry of faineant patents

Perfidy slides in recess, and in gentle forbearance the winged angel lingers like a halo on conifer and spring above a remedial ring

I dial frisky celerity tingling the dangling claws of a raven’s screed and in plunder of all history’s pilfer secrets I eagerly weave a tapestry Indiana Jones himself would be proud to watch

Not the riotous ruin of a mystery tour of verdure crippled by genocide but overcome by the revived life of raised rain razing the moments of indelible pain

But the culmination of a proffered time taken at its word for its every careened bird, for its every brazen gird. The manger of proctored stars calls us home tonight and home forever. Life in quaked timorous stumbles suddenly no longer so fitfully absurd.

The quixotic plundered of pirates and emperors in direct emulation of some crooned pastiche of whittled integrity, surges above any encased blurb and any vain testament to a pyramid rigid in destiny and ragged in desultory and sturdy sincerity

Multiplying the ineffable by the division of arable divorced from edible is too creative to be eaten as pabulum when sparks curdle flickered moonlight crimson and that become golden only to the last laugh of ennobled ragamuffins

Frankly the desert of melliferous gorillas abetting the lark of a heavily vetted camarilla engaged in the sinecure of a rigged wall on a main street to block the tall from the lame bleat. Stocks grazed, costs engaged on a littoral beach at the end of a Bossy promenade

This prayer is a cutthroat collapse of a merry spare, a ribbed ****** waiting to plunge into the antithesis of female despair, but sincere in its restraint that vixens courted in love aren’t courted in litigation of a wagered dare

Ambulances chase Deloreans through the desolate moon-stricken skies of a time agape with fleets of phantasmagoria on a Cliffside too wise to ever mince words or excise cries

Skulking the red-teared caverns of entombed films and lampooned tinctures on a passion vetted only for certain and utter deracinated disguise, I wallop with winged men in a single soul armed to the teeth with inveterate tithes to eternal internments of poached and endangered gazettes

As growth older in wizened skin bets on epithets rather than epitaphs for rinsed peace and triumphant clefts we leap above in orbit of only the bellowing nether of blown tolls and untold souls aggregating the esoteric grasp of Alexandrian tomes

The denumeration of certainty is a carousel of wonder, a splurge of time ripped asunder with majesties of paparazzi scuttled impacts a throttled iniquity of regalia’s indicted blunder frenchified but still clean with inestimable sheens

With twenty-five dollars, a dime an assist and a nickeled reiteration of currency already so personable it is divine and sublime in crazed desist I watch the embroiled natives clash in denatured violence with the warriors of a crossed repast hearkening to an old land much of ire but too much of grandstand to ultimately last

Itching for a holy field husk of peerless ties listed as rumpus and beer, a two-packed smoked by bludgeoned blokes careless in irascible sputters of a muffled doom, a Vegan becomes the author of too many sacrosanct homilies becoming defiled witchcraft brooms dead on arrival too many lionized tombs

In plaudits and the scause of an amplified “what if?” of an olfactory nightmare of petrified fog of effluvium bogged in Wade and in heat it is always clogged, sinewy libations of toasted preemptive revenge become a powerballed hog

A castle in the sky founded on Franklin but scourged of wineskins brimming with a distilled time, a swift repartee becomes the whispered ladder of saints blather becoming not rather other than a Dan Rather spatter

A door breeched by a broached inconvenience of amphigory beyond common reach, I clamber excess and whisk the lingered love into destiny beyond any word other than a beseeched preach of nothing tired but everything inspired of noble love with abundance often to teach

Fireworks of turned tides of fallow tithes to aliens beyond any conceivable bribe the bushwhacker writhes but survives staying alive without even a hint of garbled jive a 27th floor glass elevator is quite a resplendent ride

Wellsprings knowing radical rolled tides of errant dice also themselves guilty of confessional tithes to the monolith of avarice at the nooked cranny of an evaporated time we whine as the police sting the album rained with songs too lugubrious to sing but in their elegy every lonely heart has a propinquity phone of souled resonance ring

Iterative mastery of a mathematics of love, loss decay and the dross of a dental Occidental floss, the sweep of screened queues become questions of inestimable importance to foreign dues on a horse with no name but so consumed with fumes

A fright occultist thriller prowls in a waylaying daylight, masquerading an innocent confection for a rescued triage of a dawn stabbed with knives in our last dying days of trembled plight

He resurrects only the wraiths of detest, squinted at by the putrefaction of summoned cardiac arrest and littered with bullets that somehow can penetrate even impregnable bullet proof vests the wrapped carcass of the mummified husk of ready despair offers itself a ghoulish and raspy prayer

Synchronized in a low roaring swathe of rollercoasters too immersive to ride, the terpsichorean obscurantism of deliberately shattered fragments becoming blurbs dismissed with hijacked deride the carnival of a summer sun becomes the ocean of limitless love becoming endless fun

We forget the drawl of the droll old tales that haunt like specters in the closet and beneath the bedridden valetudinarian of an effrontery of shackled fright, we sprawl the innumerable caverns of prophetic insight afforded by the pantheon of history enter stage left, depart stage right

And with their insight I write and write, I grasp the tusk of democracy and wage an insurrection against the doubt of plodding limitations in otherwise immaculate sight

*** and tyrannosaurus rex, of litigable offenses leading to pardonable arrests, the gated entryway of a poetic splurge leads to the demiurge of a demotic enlightenment and suddenly the frank becomes the frazzled retirement and that haunting hounding bunny transmogrified by a shattered eye averts the car crash that careens ponderous engines out of limitless twilight blue skies.

Diamond lightning in pristine skies escorts the telegraphic totems of riddled modems from 1967 to 2016 and suddenly all venerable personages converge on a teeming scene of a union unified by a universal dream. To become everything and yet nothing and out of light and darkness to become a beatific beam
Timothy Sep 2012
The curfew tolls the knell of parting day,
         The lowing herd wind slowly o'er the lea,
The plowman homeward plods his weary way,
         And leaves the world to darkness and to me.

Now fades the glimm'ring landscape on the sight,
         And all the air a solemn stillness holds,
Save where the beetle wheels his droning flight,
         And drowsy tinklings lull the distant folds;

Save that from yonder ivy-mantled tow'r
         The moping owl does to the moon complain
Of such, as wand'ring near her secret bow'r,
         ****** her ancient solitary reign.

Beneath those rugged elms, that yew-tree's shade,
         Where heaves the turf in many a mould'ring heap,
Each in his narrow cell for ever laid,
         The rude forefathers of the hamlet sleep.

The breezy call of incense-breathing Morn,
         The swallow twitt'ring from the straw-built shed,
The ****'s shrill clarion, or the echoing horn,
         No more shall rouse them from their lowly bed.

For them no more the blazing hearth shall burn,
         Or busy housewife ply her evening care:
No children run to lisp their sire's return,
         Or climb his knees the envied kiss to share.

Oft did the harvest to their sickle yield,
         Their furrow oft the stubborn glebe has broke;
How jocund did they drive their team afield!
         How bow'd the woods beneath their sturdy stroke!

Let not Ambition mock their useful toil,
         Their homely joys, and destiny obscure;
Nor Grandeur hear with a disdainful smile
         The short and simple annals of the poor.

The boast of heraldry, the pomp of pow'r,
         And all that beauty, all that wealth e'er gave,
Awaits alike th' inevitable hour.
         The paths of glory lead but to the grave.

Nor you, ye proud, impute to these the fault,
         If Mem'ry o'er their tomb no trophies raise,
Where thro' the long-drawn aisle and fretted vault
         The pealing anthem swells the note of praise.

Can storied urn or animated bust
         Back to its mansion call the fleeting breath?
Can Honour's voice provoke the silent dust,
         Or Flatt'ry soothe the dull cold ear of Death?

Perhaps in this neglected spot is laid
         Some heart once pregnant with celestial fire;
Hands, that the rod of empire might have sway'd,
         Or wak'd to ecstasy the living lyre.

But Knowledge to their eyes her ample page
         Rich with the spoils of time did ne'er unroll;
Chill Penury repress'd their noble rage,
         And froze the genial current of the soul.

Full many a gem of purest ray serene,
         The dark unfathom'd caves of ocean bear:
Full many a flow'r is born to blush unseen,
         And waste its sweetness on the desert air.

Some village-Hampden, that with dauntless breast
         The little tyrant of his fields withstood;
Some mute inglorious Milton here may rest,
         Some Cromwell guiltless of his country's blood.

Th' applause of list'ning senates to command,
         The threats of pain and ruin to despise,
To scatter plenty o'er a smiling land,
         And read their hist'ry in a nation's eyes,

Their lot forbade: nor circumscrib'd alone
         Their growing virtues, but their crimes confin'd;
Forbade to wade through slaughter to a throne,
         And shut the gates of mercy on mankind,

The struggling pangs of conscious truth to hide,
         To quench the blushes of ingenuous shame,
Or heap the shrine of Luxury and Pride
         With incense kindled at the Muse's flame.

Far from the madding crowd's ignoble strife,
         Their sober wishes never learn'd to stray;
Along the cool sequester'd vale of life
         They kept the noiseless tenor of their way.

Yet ev'n these bones from insult to protect,
         Some frail memorial still erected nigh,
With uncouth rhymes and shapeless sculpture deck'd,
         Implores the passing tribute of a sigh.

Their name, their years, spelt by th' unletter'd muse,
         The place of fame and elegy supply:
And many a holy text around she strews,
         That teach the rustic moralist to die.

For who to dumb Forgetfulness a prey,
         This pleasing anxious being e'er resign'd,
Left the warm precincts of the cheerful day,
         Nor cast one longing, ling'ring look behind?

On some fond breast the parting soul relies,
         Some pious drops the closing eye requires;
Ev'n from the tomb the voice of Nature cries,
         Ev'n in our ashes live their wonted fires.

For thee, who mindful of th' unhonour'd Dead
         Dost in these lines their artless tale relate;
If chance, by lonely contemplation led,
         Some kindred spirit shall inquire thy fate,

Haply some hoary-headed swain may say,
         "Oft have we seen him at the peep of dawn
Brushing with hasty steps the dews away
         To meet the sun upon the upland lawn.

"There at the foot of yonder nodding beech
         That wreathes its old fantastic roots so high,
His listless length at noontide would he stretch,
         And pore upon the brook that babbles by.

"Hard by yon wood, now smiling as in scorn,
         Mutt'ring his wayward fancies he would rove,
Now drooping, woeful wan, like one forlorn,
         Or craz'd with care, or cross'd in hopeless love.

"One morn I miss'd him on the custom'd hill,
         Along the heath and near his fav'rite tree;
Another came; nor yet beside the rill,
         Nor up the lawn, nor at the wood was he;

"The next with dirges due in sad array
         Slow thro' the church-way path we saw him borne.
Approach and read (for thou canst read) the lay,
         Grav'd on the stone beneath yon aged thorn."

THE EPITAPH

Here rests his head upon the lap of Earth
       A youth to Fortune and to Fame unknown.
Fair Science frown'd not on his humble birth,
       And Melancholy mark'd him for her own.

Large was his bounty, and his soul sincere,
       Heav'n did a recompense as largely send:
He gave to Mis'ry all he had, a tear,
       He gain'd from Heav'n ('twas all he wish'd) a friend.

No farther seek his merits to disclose,
       Or draw his frailties from their dread abode,
(There they alike in trembling hope repose)
       The ***** of his Father and his God.

~Thomas Gray 1716—1771~
Domford Aug 2018
Wade in the water
Be calm like the Waves
For the water cancels scent
And therefore protects the slaves
Oh youths, just listen
While the stars still glisten
The master is getting out of order
So Children, wade in the water
Woman trail across the stream
singing in harmony and burnt by the sun gleam
with heavy burdens and thoughts of their daughter
Children, wade in the water                
Children hidden by the monotonous weeds                           
as their footprints crunch on dead leaves finding mischief as they please,
Too young for labor to innocent for slaughter
So children, please wade in the water  
children, Follow the river, find peace along the path
Know your God and keep astray from wrath
The sun elevates and the shadows dance
Move in silence and don’t miss your chance
Be proud and love your brown skin
Wade In the water, a message to our kin
Freedom is the ultimate goal
The water chills your body but will never chill your soul.
Naomi Sa'Rai Jan 2013
The night will **** us
Days haunt
Coffin open
What more could slaves want
The waters will lead us
Wade wade
As the songs say
Drug my feet
I swung
Tiptoed over oak
Couldn't catch ground
The runaway
They've found
John told Annabelle
Who whispered truths to Sally
Shovel heavy
Hand
Pouring sand over
Covering man
Coffin open
How often slaves taunt
Spoke
To an essence
Molded from clay
Adam told Eve
Gardens where all should have stayed
Haulted
Feet fell to earth
Simply rethinking life
Death births
I swung
Couldn't catch ground
Tiptoed over oak
Wade wade
Rivers flowed
To heavens gates
Waited till sun down
Till the soul escaped
ryn Sep 2014
Life throws at us the worst practical pranks
Some call them challenges... I call them sick ironies
With challenges you might emerge victorious, and slide up the ranks
Ironies are just mean, bad jokes; locks with no keys

Call me godless, sad and trodden, bitter man
Call me a cynic, call me all including jaded
I've arranged it all in various permutations, much as I can
But my view at this point cannot be compensated

Allow me to illustrate...

•It's funny how you feel very certain or strongly
About the bog of sadness and depression you wade in deepest
You know it's real, you fan it with strength your mind could carry
When it could be better used to rise from when you're weakest

•What's this about having to crash to your fiery death
Into the realm of darkness; into the belly of hell
You'd have to almost die and lose your last breath
Before granted an epiphany, a slim chance that you could turn out well

•When life throws you in the deepest end
Fills your lungs with copius amounts of bad water
Tries to **** you before allowing time to mend
When if we were first taught to swim, it would've been much easier

•Sure... A treasure trove of splendours, life does offer
But like a spin of the lottery, you mightn't get even if you deserve
No matter how far you reach into it's elusive coffers
No matter how hard you worked to get ahead of the curve

•Life is like Christmas at times when it feels like giving
Like the gift of love much coveted by most individuals
Gives us all these fanciful things that need extensive assembling
But mischievously hoarding all the instruction manuals

•Fraught with grey areas and blind spots to fight
Presents ample opportunities to find the place that you'd belong
You go through shitloads of wrongs to get a right
And finally you think you're right, in actuality, you're dead wrong!

"More", you say?

•Friends during good times but not the bad
•The perfect red apple hosting a worm inside
•Faking a happy smile when you're deep down sad
•Putting our blind faiths in politicians we know who've lied

•Achieving superstardom only after death had ensnared
•Using heavy machinery to rid the Earth of impurity
•Shooting your mean motor mouth and wonder why no one cared
•Starlets dying for attention but crumble under scrutiny

•Health warnings on cigarettes but still sold for revenue
•Acquiring your sought after sports car but drive within the limit
•Promotions to idiots in suits who haven't got a clue
•Stretching up for the stars even when you know you'll never reach it

Well...

I could give more examples but I've typed enough
Life is but a game we're all playing; a circus we're all living
We can't help being helpless when unable to read and call its bluff
All we can afford is to keep siphoning water out of our boat that's sinking
I know I have been whiny in my recent writes. I also know that living a hard life makes you stronger... When life gives you lemons, make lemonade... Blah blah, yada yada... YAWN... SNORE... Zzzzzz. I know these already and I'm sure they're true to a certain degree. Just want to rant and complain. Please forgive my whining.
Christine R Jul 2014
Air
When I look at you
You send shivers
No – sparks.

The air is charged with them
Dense.

I can feel just how much of it
is between us –
(always too much)

And I want more than anything
To cross it –
Wade through the ions
to you.

To only stop when my lips
Meet yours
(the only way I have found
to get rid of the air)
and you take my breath away.
Ahmad Cox Aug 2012
Wading in the water
We all want to be cleaned
Our hearts want to be whole
Wade in the water for a little while
And let it wash you clean
Wade in the water for a little while
And let all the pain
The stress
The things
In your past
You would rather forget
I want that place called 'back in the day'
where love wasnt all about *** & foreplay
when it wasnt "oh baby what can I get?"
"I'll do anything for love, please dont leave me yet."
You stole my innocence along with my heart,
tore me to pieces, ripped me apart.
Our love wasnt real just a physical game
you got what you wanted & I'm stuck with the pain.
And now that you've gone theres no one to blame
I swore after you I'd 'never be the same'
I'm lost and alone with no where to go
thank God for the case of Wade versus Roe.
I never told you but now truth comes out
we had a child but no one found out
I walked to that place without you my dear
I took that baby's life as I swallowed the fear.
You left in a hurry, and that's all that I knew
I figured a child would be bothersome to you.
Now I'm a murderer it wasn't worth the cost
two hundred and fifty and that baby was lost.
Now tell me why, darling, that child had to die
all because you left without saying goodbye?
I looked to the heavens and saw a blue sky
&  thought at once that the baby didn't die.
She was somewhere in heaven above the clouds
she was happy as could be I had no doubt
I would've named her Hope and here's why:
she was a lesson I would never let die
and while I'm at it, I'll say goodbye
life without you is a beautiful thing
I can say your name, it no longer stings
I waited so long for this moment to arrive
I'm free from you; not caged, but alive.
And out of this pain I learned how to fly
I let it all go with one quick sigh
pushed you away with one last breath
and my love for you was put to death.
I wade the waters of my fear
And know why Jesus walked above
I am immobilized except for tears
As terror shoves to fit the glove

The silent dogs that run the fence
Whose presence is felt not heard
To snake fangs that make me winch
Slurs my speech faltering all my word

The angels sit upon the wall
Casting lots on when my time expires
So Adam this is how you fall
From Heaven's grace down to hellacious fires

So dance with me on the graves at sea
On the promises you will never keep
Come wade the waters of my fear
Watch out for stingrays beneath your feet
Anna Burkett Dec 2011
We wade in the tidal pools of fright,
Fearing the waves that kiss the sky,
Wanting the shield of celestial light.

We dream of sailors and of their might,
Of waterfalls, flowing high.
We wade in tidal pools of fright.

We dance in the rain of an autumn night
That chills, then passes by,
Wanting the shield of celestial light.

We admire the fish and their admiral plight,
Where others are grounded, they venture to fly.
We wade in tidal pools of fright.

We touch our lips to fear as we struggle and fight,
Our bodies tell us to swallow and in vain, we try.
Wanting the shield of celestial light.

We leave the sea with desert in sight,
Pack our things and wave goodbye.
We wade in tidal pools of fright,
Wanting the shield of celestial light.
Jeremy Lately May 2015
This heart of ice is multifaceted.
This stone cold ice is dense but weeps.
There is a shallow trigger that radiates
Shy a wade from me; volcanoes are deep.
Josh Nov 2017
Neatly coating the floor in thin white trails, woven into floorboards like cotton twine, sunbeams snake their way across hardwood.

Books scream to be read & my yellowed pages ache to detail my experience as a widowed reader of time.

Magazines pile, while my simple hands grow a day older.

Heat on my neck.

The driver of time exhales grandiose,
tells me to travel while I'm young,
visit regions on this globe that grow green with age,
listen to honest trumpets before I gray,
wade in pools of clear urgency.

He said:

"Find a walking stick out beyond the ether
laugh with veracity, poking fun at Saturn & the Stars."
What will the future hold? Only Time will tell.
ava Nov 2019
i love you
as you wade through the sunlight
never again
will i see a sight so pretty
as your curvature [among other delicacies]
as you wade through the sunlight
the back of your body bathes in gold,
the hairs on your face and the green in your eyes
        gleaming
as you wade through the sunlight
Anastasia Webb Apr 2014
Too late
to turn back from the flurry
of painted snowflakes
on a gossamer wind.

In a
whirlwind they spin
up and upwards
to the timeless lands.

Frozen
specks of crystal;
perfect and unimaginable
melt on my face.

Shadows
fall and they turn
grey and the painter leaves
his canvas unfinished.

A soft
white sea has emerged
below my feet
and immersed the world in white.

Foamy
to wade through and yet
impossible to resist
spoiling the untouched.

Then sun
arrives, and he brings warmth
and light, and so
the sky’s daughters melt in all
their sweet virginity
and the ground is rendered wet
once more.
KKM May 2014
We are born free people, yet there are always restrictions.
We choose if we want to break them, whether with facts or through fiction.
Whether on walls using diction,
Or any crawl through confliction.
And no amount of chains and barriers
Will restrain us, no contradiction.
We understand we’re not on ice,
That there’s always going to be friction.
As expressers, fighters, artists, world changers
It comes from an Italian word, meaning scratch.
Look at it again and a whole new world
Has hatched.
The term graffiti, referred to the inscriptions, figure drawings, and such, found on the walls of ancient graves or ruins, as in the Catacombs of Rome or at Pompeii. Use of the word has evolved to include any graphics applied to surfaces in a manner that constitutes vandalism.
75% of people think its vandalism.
Toronto spends one million a year on graffiti removal.
When artists get back in the game, they haven’t given their approval.
Why don’t you use that money to feed the thousands of poor in society?
Instead of worrying about the art that the citizens need to see.

I never got A’s in elementary school art.
Getting marked on art still sounds like you need to be smart.
But graffiti doesn’t have to mean anything,
Not every letter is a symbol.
There are complications too but it can also be simple.
Almost every kind that I saw on the streets
Took a soft place in my heart, eventually turned concrete.
Let me reel back to grade 10 when I actually took art courses
In the media arts classroom I was taught people as my sources
Banksy, JR, Sofles, Katsu, Kidult, Shepard Fairey.
After my first graffiti assignment I understood clearly
What would happen if you brought a spray paint can near me.
The reason for graffiti is a simple one,
Not always about rebelling, or having fun.
Every artist craves to paint in his or her own way.
And all of us have messages that need to be portrayed.
Like, I was here, I’m alive, let me leave my mark.
This city is mine too, and I want to give it my spark
I belong, I have a voice, and I crave to make a change
These walls are too voiceless when it comes to the speaking range
My love for social justice brings in political ties
Through graffiti one can tell what country thrives with lies
It gives any surface a story, makes it come alive.
Change the system if you strive, until justice is revived.
To try to help the oppressed,
The shapes and lines were mine,
But they’re the ones on the line,
And to sit and do nothing would be an even bigger crime.
I even changed my initials to KKB
The B is for Banksy, its everywhere you see me.
My email has a Banksy, my Twitter did too.
Graffiti is my life, though you already knew.
Humanity is lost within the walls that we made
Graffiti brought it back to me,
And like the ocean did I wade.
Inside the political aspect that structures our brains
And the society that gives us money to drain
All the false information and the things we don’t need
Gives me hope to find these messages written on the streets
Sometimes freedom of speech isn’t so free at all.
But if Facebook deletes posts, documentaries have biased calls,
There’s another way of speaking, even if we fall,
I love how it’s not typical; no tag is the same.
Its breathing life on the walls, not stuck in a frame.
It stands out.
Stands outside of a museum where you always have to pay.
To see something that may or may not catch your attention right away.
That makes your head sway,
Give you some kind of reaction, moves you to action.
Not something you have to think hard about,
There’s little analysis needed, a splash merrily seeded.
Its urgent, its in the moment, for realization.
Once the message has been received, it’s an artist’s confirmation.
I integrated graffiti as a part of my every day life, including school
Drew it in math projects, French presentations, writer’s craft essays, it was my arts night welcome sign tool.
I will carry this with me through university
And it’ll take me further in the arts industry.
When you walk by graffiti in the street, do you ever take the time to notice it? Like, really notice it? Do you ever think about the person behind the spray paint can? Writers are not only being underappreciated for their talents, but they’re being harassed, looked down on, all for no reason. Do you know any of their stories? Do you know what thoughts and feelings sprayed out of the can when the paint hit the wall? Do you ever think about the history behind the art? To breakdown the styles of graffiti, here’s a simple introduction. There are tags, the simplest forms of graffiti. A signature. There are stencils. There are stickers, also known as slaps. Wildstyles are also used, and they’re more intricate, more colourful, and harder to read. It’s a particular style of writing developed in New York City. A piece is one that takes time an effort, and requires more than three colours. A blockbuster is used to cover the most space in the least amount of time. And a heaven is a piece that’s put in a hard to reach area, like the tops of tall buildings or on freeway signs. There’s the style bubble, old school, brush, abstract, bombings, whole car, ignorant, landscape, realistic, billboard, cartoon and sharp as well.
A sense of tranquility seeps into my veins every time my marker hits the paper, full of energy, full of hope. Starting graffiti was a way to combine my passion for speaking out against oppression and my love for the arts. Even though my work is not displayed on the streets, it has the same style, and it may not have the same effect but it counts as an escape for me. It doesn’t make me a graffiti artist, and some would even argue that doing canvas work kills the purpose of graffiti but I always want my work to make an impact on people no matter which way I do it. It’s something I love to do, and anyone can take that any way they desire. There are stereotypes that I’ve had to battle, but in the end, I know my true intentions. I don’t need to make a name for myself. I don’t need to create a reputation for myself either. True, this is not real graffiti, but that’s as far as I choose to take my fascination. I do it because of the escape it provides for me, the sense of freedom, and the sense of power in my markers.
These are the little movements of writers, all of us trying to get at revolution. Art is not supposed to be limited in frames. That’s why to me, the streets are some of the biggest forms of freedom – do as much as you like, however you like, all free. The poor and rich all have to see it. No one can avoid the message. It is not only artistic expression; it’s a protest. A scream of anger and emotion aimed towards public spaces. Graffiti artists did not start the war, they just respond to defend our vision of what graffiti and society should be: free. A battle against commercialism and a way of saying ‘no’ to materialism and society’s over consumption.  To the government, you are not the only ones who own these cities. What about the rest of us that do not exist until we leave a mark of our own? This is a game of action and reaction, if you will.
Taking care of our society is our obligation. That means changing anything harmful to us with every mean possible. Graffiti seems to offend a majority of society but if we took the time to appreciate and understand, a lot of good can be done if we turned the negatives into positives. So if we aimed for change and acted on it, especially with art, we’d be much less stressed. More often, we’d just remember, to stay blessed.
an assignment for a writers class. i made a video, but this is the word version (:
Emily Watkins Aug 2014
you always had a pull on me;
you were my moon,
and I, your tide

many moonless nights have passed since the moment you decided it was over
the waves cease to crash against the shore

stagnant

the vast, black ocean
waits for someone to wade in
swim around
and make her feel whole
again.
Lyn-Purcell Aug 2018


She walks in the shade of the night,
the archways entwined with vines;
green and black. Her feet gently slaps
the cobblestones, ice cold beneath her soles.

Her mind wanders as she stares at the
moon before falling upon the calm
azure seat. Boats wade out in the water,
perhaps the people on-board are ride into
a new world.

How the winds howl.
How the birds coo.
How the stars shines.
How her dreams cry.


Just letting my mind wander.
King Panda Jun 2017
sundog—small and incomplete
half-***** rainbow.
light.
at least once a week for
the clever dreamer,
the girls with no eyes,
the men with small *******.
there is

fortune in the river—it swims
away when I take you breath
down to it in a bucket. and my hands
quilt flawless wade of
nighttime water.

*where is the colored light?

nowhere, sundog.
nowhere.
spysgrandson Jul 2016
anonymous winds
bend tall Timothy grasses,
wake rabbits napping
in the brush

they ripple the surface
of the stock tanks, tickle the haunches
of the beasts who wade there
to slurp the tepid waters

they birth red dust devils
for my eyes to follow, as they scud
through mesquite, and hopscotch over canyons
older than time

one day, soon, they will blow
over a shallow earth bed; I will not hear
their sibilant song, but my sleep will be deep,
unperturbed by their mystic music
PoserPersona Jul 2018
You are my love light of summer.
  For this I wade through winter.
Glowing 'bove, the trees are greener;
  blooming nascent desire


of which I never knew I'd need
  let alone make a heart bleed
girl, you got me on both my knees
  praying you'll also need me,
too, to finally be complete
  or otherwise reach life's peak.

Your hair stills heart's rhythmic meter.
  For this I wish forever.
Strands spun with goddess gossamer;
  softer than touch of mother


of which I never knew I'd need
  let alone cause ex's envy
girl, you got her so **** ******
  she blames you as much as me,
too, as love for you made her weep
  and revealed her love is cheap

Your voice humbles angel choirs.
  For this I listen eager.
Songs that shift the course of rivers;
  in harmony with nature


of which I never knew I'd need
  let alone so romantically
girl, you got me frantically
  writing you some poetry,
too, and I hope you now can see
  that maybe I'm also sweet

Your soul ignites wildfire.
  For this I bear the pleasure.
Ethereal flames dance together;
  fueled by spiritual tethers
  
  
of which I never knew I'd need
  let alone spark fantasies
girl, you got me crying, "please, please!"
  that you never take the lead,
too, cause this would be a done deed
  if you wanted it to be.
Ari Dec 2011
See the Rabbi.  See him tormented by choice.  See his people.  See them wracked by hate.  See the others.  See their anger radiate outward in glowing spokes, exploding firebrand in a tinder city.

On a night like any other, the moon at sixth house, fulcrum of pinwheel zodiac, the Rabbi, awash in lidless starlight, rises somber and makes his choice.  And when the sun is furthermost, he and three of his others gather at the murmuring riverbank where the brown clay is most pliable and begin to dig, sifting rock and root from trundled earth.  Hours spent exhuming the clay, molding it, kneading its muscles, tracing its veins, baking its skin in the starlight.  More hours spent in whispering prayer, the words bent and somersaulting over themselves like tumbling books.

See Truth drawn on its forehead, life etched from clay and word.  As the sun rises, so it does, wavering at first, but steadier, lapping at the river, and their faces move slowly across the water.  See the Rabbi speak to it, his words winding its mechanism.  See it stride past the ghetto, wade through the market, and into the borough, siege unto its own.

See the others scream for mercy from the kiln of its stare, from their flaming tenements, their crumpling rooftops.

See it wade back through the market, past the ghetto, back to the riverbank to kneel in the underbrush.  See it tilt its head to the lilt of a stranded daisy caught in a vagrant gust.   See it caught, too, and see it see.  It sees the colors of Eden in the ferns.  It hears the river churning sediment, fossils, gravel, whirling over driftwood.  It touches moss on a rock; gently rotates its hand to let a grub complete an oblivious circumference.  See it sit in silence.

See the Rabbi meet with the others, then his others.  And on a day like any other, when the sun is at its apogee, they slip down the riverbank where it still sits, still.  It ignores their autonomous logic, their homunculus rationale.  They are perversions of variety cloaked in righteous intention.  So it remains.

See the Rabbi and his others gather at the murmuring riverbank, shadow conclave in shifting sunlight, then rise somber and decided.  They pin it to the earth as the Rabbi chants, invoking the void in which forbidden knowledge spirals.  It squirms under the power of the Word, mind-forged manacle as incantation.  See the Rabbi draw to a close.  His hand is arbiter, swooping down to smudge Truth from its forehead.  What is left but Death.

See its hand crumble in its passage as it reaches for the stranded daisy.  See the colors of Eden darken in its eyes, its own body the dust that denies it light.  See it collapse into itself, the clay that was once animate spilling onto the riverbank.  See the Rabbi and his others shimmer then fade into city grey.

The daisy stands still.
Vamika Sinha Jul 2015
Little girl in a blue
snow globe.
Pressed white shirt and tartan skirt.
Hair slipping
out of a ponytail or braid or something
like that.
Laughter like a current
to be lost in by a boatman.
Her first time at the beach.
Writing
childish saltwater sonnets
in the sand with her toes.

Paper-plane sky
kisses
sea brimming
out of its seams.
Singing, on-off key,
school choir tone,
'Never Let Me Go'.
Who needs, she needs
nothing
but
the horizon
cupped
in outstretched palms.
Innocence stored
in jagged-shiny shells
waiting to be
buried
in hot, bare sand.

Time comes to shore, oceans
grow warmer,
shallow.
No more of kid braids
but a woman in
azure.
Her whole life having been
a half-moon run
out of deep, dry wells
in search of,
in search of...
in search of
what, but
hope.
Cracking oyster shells
looking for
pearls.

Time again comes to shore.
Cigarette pants for tartan skirt,
in a blue-almost-black.
Staring out
at water lapping before her,
before her, after the sky.
Before,
after.
The horizon is a pretty picture
she wants to hang
on the wall of her heart.
But she, schoolgirl trapped in snow globe,
remembers
textbook phrases like
'Humans are made up of 75%
water.'
So we are drowning every moment,
she thinks dryly.

Water within,
inevitable.
Maybe her skin or nerves or vocal cords
sensed it all those years ago
in the schoolgirl's snow globe.
Like crying, like love,
like fearing, like dying.
Shifting, receding, flowing in
and out.

Could emotions be tides she dares,
dares not
row, row,
row through?

Where did it all leak away?
Was it in the salt
running down her face?
If she is 75% water,
where has it drained
to leave the heart parched,
and her tartan days a distant drought
of memory?

Snow globe melts away.
Wade in, wade in,
have your fill,
until skin is slick
with better pain.
You told the ocean years ago,
you sang in schoolgirl choir tones,
never,
never,
never let me go.

Now it never will.
Nat Lipstadt May 2019
~for Steve Yocum~

if
well you know me, ken the man that has
surf-surrendered before you in one too many visions,
if well you know me, now with solstice summer just to come,
a man ever asking, where’s shelter, returns to the whence and why,
for each year, the summer man (1) was and is reborn to die,
reborn at the whence and where each wave dies storytelling of him

you see him, but do not see-think, the man’s endless wave watching, final resting on a shoreline, think incorrectly, each, just a repetition,
one story come and gone then shattered, busted-blasted,
into sea green glass pieces, then when retold, worn yet further,
into granulated pictures, each a sugary sand speck, a letter-memory, locked, loaded, then hid embedded on an ocean graveyard

no two waves alike, men cannot distinguish, same as humans cells,
the body itself, all its microscopic cells, cosigned and cousin’d,
yet each minutely singularly unique and differentiated,
so the waves as well, of single droplets ribbed, but ocean appearing
as a forestal paradisal garden with trees of life and apples of death,
each customized, but all of one body of blue soil clayed with water

there summer man pilgrimages, on a May to Fall Jerusalem journey,
sits on the sand amidst ocean angels come to grasp dead carcasses,
he observes his summer New Year rituals, the waves grasp his soul,
wrap him in prayer shawl, skin striped by tefillin leather straps,(2)
each wave, a sentencing, a long novel of the loving life, writ by an
infinity of recombo-wakes, some woke/some sunk - all never-ended

I crawl into foamed dreams, the white salt blanches living skin,
swim out to wherever legs and arms have no power of propulsion,
carried and drift but never aimless, never shameless, always endless,
we, all, children of  Israelites, wade on water a 1000 fathoms deep,
soaking in tales of landlocked organisms, all from the water created,
all are sprung, all come, returned, waves speak, histories for retelling

so from now till the fell of fall, the summer man pays obeisance,
his sitting place, his sand markings so well entrenched, waves
leave it untouched, his indentation upon the grains, they go around,
friends, sun wind tide seagull and ospreys, keep their distance, not disturbing his reading, telling, praying, adding his owned/disowned
particle-of-the-day of creation/becoming/diminution,

his poem tales written, then diminished, the man


lost in the waves, found in the waves


~~~~~~~
5/07/2019
writ upon an isle of concrete,
resting upon a bedrock of volcanic schist at 4:24am
before the pilgrimage to a true sandy isle

~~~~~~~~
inspired by a rendition of “Lost in the Waves”

https://youtu.be/MayNMko-e4s


Lost in the Waves, written by Kooman & Dimond

At the edge of the Atlantic,
Can't bring myself to swim.
I choked back the tears for twenty two years,
Drowning in shadows of him.
The waves etch out a pattern
Long after they're gone.
The lines that they trace, they quickly erase,
But something's still lingering on.
Lost in the waves.
I am lost in the waves.
No one but me and the silent black sea;
I am lost in the waves.
A vision in the moonlight:
A family on the beach.
A boy on his own, by the undertow thrown
Far beyond his father's reach.
He's caught in a riptide.
A man has to choose.
There's a race to be won for the life of his son,
But someone has to lose.
Lost in the waves.
He was lost in the waves.
Salt water burns, the tide always turns,
When you're lost in the waves.
Now I'm the one sinking.
There's no solid ground.
And I can't help thinking
I'm the one who has drowned.
Now knee-deep in the water,
I feel my father's touch.
And though fully grown, I've still never known
How to love someone that much.
Lost in the waves.
I am lost in the waves.
No one but me and the silent black sea;
I am lost in the waves.
I am lost in the waves.
I am lost in the waves.

heard last night in a Master Class for actors/singers taught by
Lea Salonga, in Studio 5, City Center,  NYC
(1) https://hellopoetry.com/poem/447181h/i-am-a-summer-man/
(2) https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tallit   lookup tefillin
Dan Hess Feb 2014
Happenstance to the melancholic gives leave the sin of pride.
Inbound reconnaissance tells not the bearer of influence.
Squeamish at first: a foreshadowing of calamitous bonding.

A space between the mark of corporeal and the ethereal; a stringent hiatus
That which rattles the concrete foundation of morality is scarcely a malleable recourse.
Regret stains the unfounded soul: an enigma of ephemeral perforations.

A separation of the unmitigated humanities; misandry topples the writhing snake.
Impact; a cleansing of the maker's flaws integrated solemnly.
Complacency arrests the administration of the abhorred; unbridled is the autonomy of a guru.  

Ambivalent giftedness burdens the reliant and haughty.
A flick of the tongue brings forth the cinema mortem.
Castaway: alone to wade in the sea of obscenities.

A temporal causality allows no mourning to abscond.
Negligence is not the enemy, but indulgent wrath.
Hesitant: a stroke of qualia begets the end of a maiden.
love runs deep
and true like the Isar

flowing as an
amorous stream

immersing lovers
in the surge of
golden currents

its thrilling
buoyancy
lifting the
beloved

reaching sanctuaries
on soft grassy banks

finding solace
in trickling eddies

sustaining the
most hungry
of hearts

Isar springs
from a far off
continental
pinnacle

tipping from the
mystic peaks of
mythical Valhallan
tables

royally set to feast
the unabashed love
of Tristan and Isolde

she
pours
as an
ambrosial
libation
brewed
by master
Brewmeisters

coursing through
the veins of all
Bavarians
she sweeps across
lush Alpine meadows
anointing the water
with nectarous
edelweiss fragrance
and budding sprigs
of mountain laurel

generous streams
gently cascade
down the Alp’s,
sloping through
picturesque
valleys,
sustaining the
blue on white
Maypoles of
busy hamlets
crafting the
things of life

the glacial melt
of Spring swells
the flows of
a rising Isar

bringing new things
from far off places
heralding arrivals
revealing epiphanies
washing the
deepest stains
carrying away
the unholy flotsam
of loved
starved souls

proclaiming fidelity
tributaries are joined
in a holy union

once submerged
hidden doubts
yearnings and
unrequited
longings
are banished
in a mornings
lifting mist
charting new
courses for
companionship

summer reveals
sparkling waters
winding its way
through beds
of polished stones

during the
easy season
the river offers
respite from
pressing heat

clear waters
invite bathers
to dip a toe,
wade deep or
fully submerge
oneself in pools
of rejuvenation

British Gardens
offer spectacle
of self affirmed
nudists and
surfers tacking
atop waves,
while spectators
marvel from
protected alcoves
yearning to
peel off
extraneous
layers of cloths
to experience
the joy of naked
freedom

during gay times
carefree summer
lovers intoxicated by
the sweet scent of
blooming tulip trees
rendezvous in
hidden glades

breathlessly
relishing the
intimate reveries
of seclusion
embracing
renewed
discoveries of
fathomless desire

along canals
laborers find
the recompence
of a well earned
day of rest

families lay blankets
to define the space
where circles of trust
are assembled,
where identity
is sculpted
and family folklore
is handed down,
entrusted to the  
guardianship of
a new generation

the boughs of
broad leaf trees
seat heralds
of songbirds,
gracefully shading
the resting with
a welcomed lullaby
while shielding loungers
from the remorseless
hum of a busy city

water and
love unite
forming a base
compound element
nurturing companionship
gleaned on the gentle ebbs
of a green river calling  
its estuaries to rejoin
its fluxing host

in Autumn
the foliage of
the glorious season
paints a Monet
masterpiece
a life of love
has wrought

dazzling
watercolor portraits
are splayed onto the
glass surface of her
magnificent face

revealing
the depth
and dimension
of loves full
pallet of life's
seasons
beheld
in living
color for all
to behold

enthralled we
marvel at the
wondrous
portraiture
nature
composed
urging us to wade
into the golden pools
baptized by the grace
of reconciliations from
the dislocations of
expired seasons

as the hard times of winter arrives
serrated edges of ice floes creep
across the snow laced stones
reminding us how jagged
seasons may be

the gray steel water challenges
the warmest hearts of love

but elegant bridges
crowned with
statuesque keystones
arch across the water
joining the river walkways

the knowing statuary
of a city's mythic guardians
are ever watchful
assuring the Isar’s flow
remains unimpeded
and uncorrupted

the beloved of
Munchen sleep well
during the harshest
Bavarian nights
knowing the Angel of Hope
gleams through the darkness
her fluttering wings
sounding surety
to the faithful

her protective pinions
sprinkle gold upon the frozen river
planting the hopeful seeds of spring
whispering reassurances that
love will never be extinguished

Music Selection:
Bette Midler, The Rose

Composed for the marriage
of Maxine and Glendon McCallum
Munchen
7/4/14
Composed for the marriage
of Maxine and Glendon McCallum
Munchen
7/4/14
kalpana nayak Jun 2015
Jee aur aieee k sadme k mare ** jte h anjne anokhe unvrsts k hawale,nya clg nya jgh nye dost sb kch hta h nw nw,clg k strtng s hr ksi k dil m hta h rgng ka dar....2nd yr m cnr bnne ka hta h sbko gurur,frnds kai grp m bat jte h,hr koi dkhte h nye luks m,3rd yr m sbko ati h apni jimedari ka ahsas aur fnl yr ata h dston m fasle bdhte h...rah dkhe the is din k kbse,age k sapne saja rkhe the njane kbse,sb bde utavle the yhn se jne ko,zndgi ko dusre trke se dkhne ko....pr njane aj dil m kch aur he ata h,piche ja k waqt ko rok k apne andr sare lmhe ko samet lne ka jee krta h....at d strtng f btech kha krte the bdi muskil s y 4 sal bitenge lkn kse pta tha y sb chd k jne ka mn ni krga...na vulne wali kch yadein reh *** o yadein jo ab jine ka sahara bn ***...na jne aj q un palon k yad bht ati h jin baton ko lekar tab rote the ,aj un palon ko yad kar bht hsi ati h....y sch k ankhein nam ** jte h k mri tang ab kn kncha krga,m apne bton s kska sar khaungi,pranks ksk 7 krngi,ab mjhe kn itna jhlga,ksk smne ntnki krngi,jin dst p lakh kurban whn 1 rupye k ly  kn ldhnge,kaun rat vr bina soye bt krga,kaun bina pche 1 dusre ka chj istml krga,kaun nya nm rkhga,bina ksi bt k m ab ksse ldhungi,bina ks tpc k fal2 bt kn krga,bkws q kn krga,xam k ek din phle o tyri o rate,kn rat var 7 jag kr pdhga,kn fail hne p dilasa dlyga,y hasin pal ab ksk 7 jiungi....yad ati h o rec k choti si cntn bar bar jhn kch v ni mlta mre yar fr v na jane q hum gye hnge so bar...tum jse kmine dost khn mlnge jo khai m v dhaka de ayen sale srs mtr ko v joke m cnvrt kr de,par fr tmhe bachane khud v kud jye....mre hrkton se nakhro se jid s prsan kn hga ,ksk 7 brng lctrs jhlngi..bina mtlb k ksko v dkh kr pglon k trh hsna,na jne y fr kb hga....ky hm y sb fr krpaenge....bdy clbrt,ek h rm p bth k 1 dusre s wtsap p bt krna...rat k 3-4 bje khna pkana....bina ksi mtlb k rat ko chilana....mlk pina...pgl jse hrkt krna..mlk ghumna....kaun mjhe apni kabiliat pr vrosa aur jyda hawa m udne pr zamin p lyga....mre khusi m sch m khus kn hga,mre gam m mjhse jyda dukhi kn hga....keh do doston y dubara kb hga....dil m ek kasak hoti h jb hr ankhein nam hti h,fir mlne k wade se hm ek dusre se juda hte h,kv na akle rhne wle dost bas yadon k sahare zndgi bitate h....lkn jb v y clg k din yad ate h ankhon m hasin aur ansu ek 7 late h...engnr bnne k khusi v ansu rok na pai ,q k njr aa rai t doston s judai...ab jo hna tha o ** gya akhir m sbse juda ** h gye....aj v un palon ko yad kr k ansun rok ni pte h ....nkl he jte h...aur yuhi lkh lkh k apko pka rai hn....char sal yu he gye hmri beet..ab khn mlnge wo dost wo mit...dua krt hn sb k ly race y zndgi k jao tm jit....
I ms my clg clg dys.....
Fair stood the wind for France
When we our sails advance,
Nor now to prove our chance
Longer will tarry;
But putting to the main,
At Caux, the mouth of Seine,
With all his martial train,
Landed King Harry.

And taking many a fort,
Furnished in warlike sort,
Marcheth towards Agincourt
In happy hour;
Skirmishing day by day
With those that stopped his way,
Where the French gen'ral lay
With all his power;

Which, in his height of pride,
King Henry to deride,
His ransom to provide
Unto him sending;
Which he neglects the while,
As from a nation vile,
Yet with an angry smile
Their fall portending.

And turning to his men,
Quoth our brave Henry then,
"Though they to one be ten,
Be not amazed.
Yet have we well begun,
Battles so bravely won
Have ever to the sun
By fame been raised.

"And for myself (quoth he),
This my full rest shall be;
England ne'er mourn for me,
Nor more esteem me.
Victor I will remain,
Or on this earth lie slain;
Never shall she sustain
Loss to redeem me.

"Poitiers and Cressy tell,
When most their pride did swell,
Under our swords they fell;
No less our skill is
Than when our grandsire great,
Claiming the regal seat,
By many a warlike feat
Lopped the French lilies."

The Duke of York so dread
The eager vaward led;
With the main Henry sped
Amongst his henchmen.
Exeter had the rear,
A braver man not there; -
O Lord, how hot they were
On the false Frenchmen!

They now to fight are gone,
Armour on armour shone,
Drum now to drum did groan,
To hear was wonder;
That with the cries they make
The very earth did shake;
Trumpet to trumpet spake,
Thunder to thunder.

Well it thine age became,
O noble Erpingham,
Which didst the signal aim
To our hid forces!
When from a meadow by,
Like a storm suddenly,
The English archery
Stuck the French horses.

With Spanish yew so strong,
Arrows a cloth-yard long,
That like to serpents stung,
Piercing the weather;
None from his fellow starts,
But, playing manly parts,
And like true English hearts,
Stuck close together.

When down their bows they threw,
And forth their bilbos drew,
And on the French they flew,
Not one was tardy;
Arms were from shoulders sent,
Scalps to the teeth were rent,
Down the French peasants went -
Our men were hardy!

This while our noble king,
His broadsword brandishing,
Down the French host did ding,
As to o'erwhelm it;
And many a deep wound lent,
His arms with blood besprent,
And many a cruel dent
Bruised his helmet.

Gloucester, that duke so good,
Next of the royal blood,
For famous England stood
With his brave brother;
Clarence, in steel so bright,
Though but a maiden knight,
Yet in that furious fight
Scarce such another.

Warwick in blood did wade,
Oxford the foe invade,
And cruel slaughter made
Still as they ran up;
Suffolk his axe did ply,
Beaumont and Willoughby
Bare them right doughtily,
Ferrers and Fanhope.

Upon Saint Crispin's Day
Fought was this noble fray,
Which fame did not delay
To England to carry.
O, when shall English men
With such acts fill a pen;
Or England breed again
Such a King Harry?
Dorothy A Mar 2017
Aubrey was confronted by her mom in the kitchen as she was making her lunch for school the next day. "Two sandwiches?" her mom questioned. "What's up with that, Aubrey? Since when do you eat more than one sandwich?" Actually Aubrey ate well. It was always a healthy lunch for her, perhaps a sandwich with some lettuce and tomato on it, or something cooked and leftover. She rarely indulged in sweet snacks, like her brother and sister did, never going without a couple pieces of fruit in her bag.  

Audrey was a freshman in high school, and she was a forthright girl. There was no need to hide anything, so  she replied nonchalantly, "It's not for me. It is for Wade Hodak. He doesn't have a sandwich in his lunch".

With her hands on her hips, Audrey's mom smelled something fishy. Was Wade taking advantage of her? She replied, "And why not? Since when is it up to you to look after him?"

"Mom!" Aubrey protested. "He is lucky his mom even gets any child support from his dad! Her paycheck doesn't come til the end of the week. Sometimes, he eats okay, but sometimes they just don't have the money! You know how it is with bills and stuff! It is usually just a bag of chips and whatever else he can find"

Aubrey's mom only vaguely knew of Wade Hodak. What little she knew of his mother, his mom seemed on the up-and-up. She remembered that the woman had to pull her daughter out of  dance class because she couldn't afford it, the same class her younger daughter was in.

Aubrey's mom smiled and gave her a kiss and a hug, "Peanut butter and jelly?" Well, don't lay it on too thin.", she advised.  Aubrey smiled big, a sweet smile with those braces on her teeth, and she was becoming a beautiful, young woman, both inside and out.

"That's what I was hoping you would say", Aubrey said and added, gratefully. "Thanks mom".  Peanut butter and jelly it was.
Nigel Morgan Nov 2012
A thousand peaks: no more birds in flight.
Ten thousand paths: all trace of people gone.

In a lone boat, rain cloak and hat of reeds.
An old man’s fishing the cold river snow.

I am alone in this mountain fastness, on a steep downward path in the deepest shadow. I play with the twelve characters of Lui Tsung-yaun’s poem. How few poems tell of the desolation of winter. The coming of Spring, the passing of Autumn? Yes. But the onset of Winter? Even my sharp memory only recalls a meagre handful of poems to this season: the time of the first snows. Against all good sense I set out from Stone Village too late in the year: now I search for comforting word images to accompany me on this journey. Just below the snowline I pass through a stunted forest of ancient walnut trees almost leafless; the unrelenting wind has dispatched them crinkled brown into the valley below. I see there a winding river. I see its distant lake. I think of this poem known since my teenage years, puzzled over that one could see in one sweep of the horizon a thousand peaks. Here are that thousand and more if the ranks of limestone pillars in these mountains can be counted as peaks. I count them as peaks. And those thousand paths? At every turn there is some fresh way falling into the valley, or a faint trail rising to the heights. But this path I tread asserts itself on the traveller. Its stones are worn and the excrement of passing pack animals sticks to my boots.

Last night a cave, tonight I will reach the village of Psnumako. My former guide provided its name with a disdain he could not hide. When questioned he warned me not to enter without a stout staff against the mastiffs that guard each house, supposedly ******* during the day but apt to break their bonds at the smell of a stranger.

The steep and ever steeper descent brings pain to my knees. At this hour of the day my body would prefer to climb to the heights, but descend I must. The cold, the damp cold begins to stiffen weary limbs. I am tired from a day’s travel, tired from three hard climbs, two descents and this, my third, to complete before nightfall. I enter a narrow gorge loud with clamour of running water, cascade upon cascade flowing from the heights, falling fast to the river soon to interrupt my path. I shall have to force a crossing. What passed for a bridge were two fallen pines lashed together.  Now they lie akimbo a little distant, thrown apart like sticks by the spring flood as the deep snows melt. I must divest myself of boots and lower garments and wade across, stumbling on stones up to my waist in swift waters, terrified under the weight of my pack that I will fall and be swept under and along. To travel alone at such moments is foolhardy, but on this cold afternoon I have no choice.

I am so intent on preparing for this crossing it is only when I reach the end of the path that I notice snow is falling, its flakes sharp and white against the dark-water flow. The whirl and turn of the water mesmerises. Fatigue, fatigue embraces me, a day’s fatigue holds me fast on the river’s stony side. I close my eyes and hear the water rush and place myself into the protection of a mountain charm learnt from a passing traveller. Dwarfed by the size of his burden I see him negotiate a narrow path high above a chasm; he walked trance-like to the intoning of this charm.

It is soon done, the cold crossing, and with a lighter step I walk the remaining leagues to the lake-side and sight of the village. There are the faintest sparks of light amongst the silhouettes of houses. Animals are being brought in from the home fields against the night. A sudden shout, the barking of dogs, and now the snow falls thick and fast.

The guttural dialect here is barely discernable as speech. We are from different worlds this shepherd and I who meet at the stupa guarding the village entrance. This is not a Buddhist shrine but an acknowledgement of some mountain giant of terrifying aspect. The shepherd sees my official insignia and nods, knowing I will require shelter. He utters what may be a welcome, but could be a warning, and leads me forth. The mastiffs leap and bay as I pass between the primitive two-storey houses, animals below, humankind above. He disappears. I stop and wait. He returns with a woman who beckons me to climb the ladder to what may be her home. A widow perhaps? She is alone unless the rank darkness hides a man or child. But there is none. I hear animals move and grunt under the floor, a mat of dirt and straw. There is a sleeping loft, a cooking corner. I can see little else. But I am out of the snow, the biting wind, the cold. She pulls at my cloak, wet and caked with ice. There is a bowl placed in my hands; a rough tea. I speak a greeting, but there is no reply just a rustle of straw as she moves across the room.

The stupor of a journey’s pause is upon me. After three days on the trail to the heights I am numb with fatigue. I need food and sleep. I need rest before a final trek into the wilderness. Beyond Psnumako Lake known paths end. Except for the tracks used by shepherds to move their flocks to different seasonal pastures, there is wilderness. I hope for guidance, for the whereabouts of the sages who, in the winter months I am told, leave their reed huts on the heights for caves in the lower valleys. I shall be patient, remain here a little while. I am now immune to the discomfort and dirt of travel. That is how it is. That is how is must be. I miss only the mental absorption of writing, the caress of the brush on a scroll. In my home in Louyang I keep brush and paper close to hand; wherever I may be I can write, even in, especially in, the privy. If a line comes to me I can write it down. Here there is only the comfort of memory.

To think that in the past I wrote of this mountain wilderness out of my imagination and the descriptions of others. I once thought of these remote places as havens of spiritual liberation.

In the hills there is the sound of zither.
White clouds stay over shaded peaks,
Red flowers shine in the sunlit woods
Rocks are washed in the stream like jade;

How very different is the reality of it all; in this emerging winter world of mist, where the sun rarely visits and most living things have departed, where wind colours silence and one’s footfall becomes consolation. The sound of stone rubbing stone on the path is the eternal present. There have been days when only a distant crow moves in the landscape. Lammergeyers are known in these parts, but I have yet to see one. If there are wild beasts, they shun me.

As this bowl of tea cools in my hands but warms my frozen fingers I form pictures of the past day on its dark surface. Before dawn from the mouth of a river cave I sensed changes in the qualities of darkness that have hidden the heights above me. Then a perceptible line appeared and divided the mountain from the sky. That line became variegated; there were trees bristling on the highest rocks. It appears that at this hour the prevalent mist settles in the valleys leaving the sky clear.

The woman comes to me. She kneels to untie my boots. She looks with a curious innocence at my strangeness, the distortion of my face, the cleft palette, the deformed upper lip, the squint of my left eye. She is kindly as I give her my best smile though my face seems frozen still. There is a whisper, a prayer of welcome possibly. Then she bows her head, unravels a long scarf to reveal a mane of oiled hair, and sets about removing my boots. I see only the top of her head, a severe parting, hair held tightly in wooden combs. I close my eyes to bring to mind the image of Xaoli, so slight in comparison, her butterfly hands flittering into and around my sleeves, her seeing touch mapping out the extent of me, each piece of clothing, only later my face.

My reverie is broken by the entrance of two men. They squat behind the woman and, after taking in my ugliness and my hairpins of office, patiently wait for her to finish and retire. We stand and bow, then sit again amongst the straw.

‘Honoured Lord, I am Yun. You have travelled from Stone Village? And beyond?’

I pass him the Emperor’s seal he cannot read, but remain silent.

‘You are seeking those who live in the heights? The village only sees their servants, young boys sent for a goat or flasks of barley spirit. They bring herbs our women favour. Some have seen their huts when seeking lost animals. Now it is said they are gathered in the caves like animals waiting for the spring moon.’

‘When was the village last visited by their kind?’

‘ Hanlu, my Lord, the time of cold dew, two boys appeared with a pony. There was trading. They brought Chrysanthemum flowers and herbs for two geese and wine. They left scrolls for passage to Stone Village. Now the snows fall we may not see them until the Spring’

‘How far are your summer pastures? Have you any who would guide me there ?’

‘We do not seek these places after the first snows. The sages haunt the region beyond Chang Mountain. Before the 11th moon you might pass into the valley of Lidong where it is believed their caves lie, but to return before the Spring will not be possible.’

‘How many days there?’

‘Allow four. A difficult way, unmarked, rarely trodden, much climbing. There is one here who we could send with you – part of the way, and at a price, My Lord. Dahan travelled two seasons since as groom to a party of six with ponies, but then in late Spring.’

‘I will stay three days.’

‘Just so My Lord. Xiu Li will see to your wishes.’

And they depart, Yun’s companion has remained silent throughout, though searched my face continually. By the door he places his hand against the stout bag that carries my lute. ‘Guqin’, he says tenderly.

This instrument is my pass to the community of the reclusive. I am renown for my songs and their singing. My third-best guqin has not left its bag since Stone Village and I fear damage despite all my care on the path.

Later, as the village mastiffs gradually cease their baying as the quarter moon rises I take this instrument and place it across my lap. Its seven silk strings I wipe with a cloth and gently tune with its tasselled pegs. I then prepare myself through meditation to avoid the intrusion of distracting thoughts. With my eyes closed I allow my hands to seek out and name each part of guqin: from the Forehead of the Top Board, to the String Eyes, the Dew Collector, The Mountain, Shoulder and Phoenix Wings, past the Waist, the Hat Lines and the Dragon’s Beard, to the Dragon’s Gums and thence to the Inner Top Board. I can feel the Pillar of Heaven – the sound post – has moved a little in my recent travels. So too the Pillar of Earth – but with care I move both to their rightful positions. And so on naming the inner and outer parts of each of the two boards that make up the guqin. I begin to regulate my breathing and allow the fingers of my left hand to stroke and touch, to press and oscillate in the manner of vibrato. Zhoa Wenji describes twenty-three kinds of vibrato. I feel in turn each of the hui, the thirteen gold studs that mark the harmonic nodes and allow me to play the guqin by touch alone. In these moments of preparation I hear the words of my teacher: a good player makes sounds that are plentiful but not confused. As the moon reflecting on water, so the sounds are together but not combined. Like wind in the pines, they are combined but also spread out. Such sounds are valued for their lightness. Avoid the addition of inappropriate  "guest" sounds. This is the refined theory of the guqin. To be knowledgeable about music, one must seek this, then one can realize its beauty.

I have tuned to the Huangzhong mode. The song *Amidst Mountains Thinking of an Old Friend
I have brought to mind. I recall the words of The Slender Hermit who says of this piece that its interest lies in holding cherished thoughts, but having no way to tell these to anyone. There are emotions about the present time, longings and laments for the past, but there is no way to express any of this. And so this piece.

In this poor reed hut the room is filled with mist and haze,
how far away are the things I love;
the old plum tree seems exhausted, its flowers about to die,
the mountains are lonely and I am nostalgic for past times.
The moon shines brightly on this lovely evening,
from this distance I think of my old friend and wonder where he is.
The green of the mountains never fades,
but before I know it my hair will turn white;
the moon is waning and flowers wither,
Old friend, I dream constantly of meeting you.
How hard it is to recall the joy of our last meeting!
With the many mountain ranges,
and its hidden tigers and coiled dragons,
I am unable return to you in Chang An.
The road is distant, the tall trees make the road dark,
and the world is vast.

I mourn Aquila and Lyra
separated by the Milky Way like the cowherd and weaving girl,
on the ground we are separated by 1,000 li
in the sky we are each in a separate place,
though our passions remain strong
There has been no warm correspondence,
there is restraint to the bright harmony,
and the flowing streams are swallowed by the setting sun.


The thought of this song of mid autumn touches me before its words have issued from my lips. I play the last two lines in harmonics and sing.
Zuo Si was the brother of the courtesan and poet Zuo Fen. This short story is based on a chapter from my novel Summoning the Recluse. The opening poem appears in a translation by David Hinton from his collection Mountain Home.

— The End —