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Bo Burnham Nov 2015
She waits. How beautifully she waits.
How impossibly lovely she is
with a thing so passive.

With what weight she waits,
making her bus or boyfriend
(or whatever she waits for)
seem like a first brunch with Christ.

She waits regally, in perfect contrast
to the drooling buffoon describing her.
Kia Aug 2018
she waits on knights and kings
the pain and glory that they bring
the laughter and mirth of their fans

she waits on dukes and lords
the greatness they launch you towards
the lifestyle, the grandeur, the decay

she waits on mansions and castles
and any other large parcels
to give her the joy that she craves

she waits on what she knows
from white fences to old shows
to once again make her feel

she waits on death and life
to combat her strife
and bring her peace amidst the pain

she waits on earth and moon
and every sandy dune
to love and adore her as one

she waits on what she can't take
and all her previous mistakes
it haunts and torments her at night

she waits on dark and light
she waits on her last true fight
a battle of place and time

she waits on pain and hate
wishing for a clean slate
"any moment now."
Jack Jul 2014
A heart waits

While sifting through the questions
piled high in a mountain of doubt,
reaching heights beyond belief
and scraping ceilings of torment

A heart waits…

Now tiring quickly, loosing strength,
finding the walk longer than you expected
Closing one eye to find the other does not see
and falling to dark corners of fear

A heart waits…

As volume amasses upon weakened shoulders,
and pain breaches the avenue
of store front sale signs
on locked door close outs

A heart waits…

When it all seems too much,
memos become lists of forever paper,
words scratched in blood ink
of empty pens spilling

A heart waits…

If you have found that point
where your mind says no more
and you feel that nothing will ever be enough,
please remember…

A heart waits…and that heart is mine
Gidgette Jan 2017
She waits,
Her waiting started in summer
Honey suckle, started to grow around her ankles
Ivey, took root between her toes
Still, she waits
Fall,
Honeysuckle, Now bare
Ivey, ever growing
Trees, losing their leaves
She waits,
Winter,
Even as the frost climbs her bare legs
Snow, sticking to her eyelashes
Winter winds, blowing, freezing
Still, she waits
Spring,
Birds nesting, chirping in her long hair
Honeysuckle, flowers to her knees
Ivey, growing and green
She waits,
Hundreds of sunrises, and sunsets
Countless new, and full moons
Eyes upward,
Arms out stretched
Still, she waits
Again, summer
She is covered now,
A lady of green
Vines of honeysuckle,
And Ivey
Unrecognizable,
She waits.......
I wait. I wait for something that I can never claim. I wait for you. You will never read these words, as poetry isn't "your thing". But still, I wait. For you, I wait........
Shannon Dec 2014
it's so perfect.
so divine.
inside she finds
that safe place and
like
a marble is blue
like a gesture
is small
like yeast must rise-
like the cat's eye,
paw at you.
because
as the cat waits
with the sunbeam she plays.
the tea
and the teacup-
exquisitely she waits.
she waits.
empty she will.
so
deny
still
exquisitely
majestically  
instinctively she waits.
on her own bone china
pretty little fragile
thing
on her own
she waits,
exquisitely she waits.


sahn
12/4/14
i am always grateful, say hello.
Leigh Jun 2015
The creature waits clenched.
It waits hunkered and steadfast
For the quintessential moment to
Dangle your pride and cut its
Throat where you can see it.

The creature waits fuming.
It waits - shadowed and drip-fed -
For the penny to drop from its height;
To pierce the soft body of calm
And let loose the mess.

The creature waits grinning.
It waits smug and hysterical
For the time and times before this
Where it beat down a smile by
Forcing the question:

What is wrong with me?
Nic Evennett Jan 2016
She stood beneath the breaking sky
And held every cloud in her hand.
Sang each a lullaby
And laid them to rest in the sand.

But tide waits for no one.
Tide waits for no one.

All the same, day after day,
The prowlers who preach to the sun,
Keeping some lonely at bay
And blind to all that they've done.

Tide waits for no one.
Tide waits for no one.

Clouds rise round the devil,
As he sits by the deep blue sea.
Cries as the waves lap his feet,
And each tear belongs to me.

Tide waits for no one.
Tide waits for no one.
https://soundcloud.com/wingless-night/tide-waits-for-no-one
Jack Dec 2013
A heart waits

While sifting through the questions
piled high in a mountain of doubt,
reaching heights beyond belief
and scraping ceilings of torment

A heart waits…

Now tiring quickly, loosing strength,
finding the walk longer than you expected
Closing one eye to find the other does not see
and falling to dark corners of fear

A heart waits…

As volume amasses upon weakened shoulders,
and pain breaches the avenue
of store front sale signs
on locked door close outs

A heart waits…

When it all seems too much,
memos become lists of forever paper,
words scratched in blood ink
of empty pens spilling

A heart waits…

If you have found that point
where your mind says no more
and you feel that nothing will ever be enough,
please remember…

A heart waits…and that heart is mine
Tessa F Jan 2014
Every second a moment waits
For someone to notice.
Every minute a clock waits
For it's hands to meet again.
Every hour the horizon waits
For the sun to get closer.
Every night the tides wait
For the pull of the moon.
Every month that moon waits
For the feeling of fullness.
I don't feel complete on my own.
Every star waits for darkness.
Every worm waits for wings.
Every dusk waits for dawn.
And every shoreline waits for waves.
I have always wanted to feel
Like a part of this Earth,
So I will wait too.
For you.
Don culman Jan 2010
See the man who sits and waits,
remaining ever so still;
Patiently, patiently among the rocks,
under a moonlit night.

Watch the younger one,
tense and all about;
Eagerly, eagerly aside the river,
above the glossy shimmer.

See the man who sits and waits,
not to flinch at nature's chill;
He hears a thump then sees bush rustle,
knocks an arrow without hustle.

Watch the youth,
his eyes wide with fear;
He spots  ripples in the river,
readies his spear in haste.

See the man who sits and waits,
his sure fingers hold their place;
From the bushes emerge a plump hare,
all it does is look and stare.

Watch the youth,
his face is sweaty and he is ready;
He sees a snake, but does not wait,
he thrusts in his spear not to be late.

See the man who sits and waits,
he eyes up his prey searching for a chance;
But then yet another hare is to follow,
it came out of a tree that was hollow.

Watch the youth,
he is going home without any food;
He scared away all the prey,
he has been hunting all day.

See the man who sits and waits,
he smiles to himself as he readies another arrow;
Thwoop, Thwoop go two arrows under the moonlit night,
the man's prey lie before him as he takes out his knife.
Diptesh May 2013
And so it comes to this: the end of days,
The sum of starlit nights and rain-washed years
I spent with friends who lie stone dead in fields
Of Troy. My faithful Andromache waits
With Astyanax, my son: I wish my stay
Would last one summer more; to see him grow,
To lie with her in balmy autumn nights,
And rest in fields where Golden barley grows.

But Achilles waits: no war is ever just,
And he is young, a boy who seeks his fame,
He does not understand my love for life.
The gods have foretold this: but I will not
Take shelter behind walls. I see old death;
He waits for me. What can a mortal do
When gods take sides, and all our years are bound
In dice that fates have rolled; and now death waits.

As long as mankind exists, Achilles wants
His name to last, but I just want to live
In peace, to tend my goats and watch the sun
In lands where neither men nor gods seek blood;
But Achilles waits: and death is waiting too.
And all my yesteryears have led to this:
This field, this god-infested ground, and I
Wait sword in hand for death: I am ready.

Diptesh Ghosh
Bridget Allyson Mar 2015
He watches me.
Dark or light.
He stands, he waits.
Waits for what?
Last night he smiled at me,
I asked him why.
He told me a story of a girl
Who sounded awfully like me.
"One day she will realize why I am here," He said.
And still he watches me.
Dark or light.
He stands, he waits.
Three years ago I had asked him why,
If I ask again now he won't respond.
"Who are you?" I ask,
"Some one important," He says.
And still he watches me.
Dark or light.
He stands, he waits.
Twelve years I had asked him who he was.
I grow weaker.
My days on earth are numbered.
I am hooked to IVs and still he stands.
And waits.
When I close my eyes for the last time, I realize who he is.
a gale Aug 2014
Through all those days
When the sun shines brighter
Than his hopes
He waits

Through all those nights
When the stars refuse to fall
For his wishes to come true
He waits

Through all those times
He ever wondered
When is long enough
He waits

Then when she came back
But not to him
She was never his
But still he waits

*a. gale
Shannon Dec 2014
she is gone
like the waves are to the sand
she was there and
then she's not.
she is gone.
like a hand is to the shake
like the Eve is to the snake
like the sun is to the morn
she is gone.
She has gone.
like the path is to the lost.
like the trees are to the roots.
like the skin is to the snake
she is gone.
she is gone.
like the kiss is to the cheek.
like the strength is to the weak.
she is gone.
and still, and still he waits
like the river rock he shakes
but no movement will he make
she is gone.
he will bide his time like lakes
she will roll like tides
and take
what is hers and what he left
she is gone.
and still he waits
and still he waits.
and time will edge and clip
and she will
dodge and she will duck
she will shine and she will grab
and
still he waits.
still he waits.


sahn12/17/2014
thank you as always, could not be more thrilled you share in my work.
FIRST DAY

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chicago,
could this be
Sandburg’s City?

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

Chicago,
Sandburg’s Chicago,
Could it be?

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

Now also
tourist attractions
for a cafe society.

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

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

Great restaurants
serve liquid jazz
al la carte.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Its mouth our Dixie Trumpet
guarded by righteous Cajun brethren.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

3.
There is faith in everything in Chicago!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

4.
Does Chicago have a future?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The analysts say
it’s all about capturing liquidity.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sorghum,
I think its hardy.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This is an efficient market
that crosses the globe.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Many striver rows compose
its many neighborhoods.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


SECOND DAY

1.
Out my window
the sun has risen.

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

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

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

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

I set my watch
to Central Standard Time.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Always more.
Much much more
in Chicago.

2.
Sandburg
spoke all the dialects.

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

Sandburg understood
what it meant to laugh
and be happy.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What level
is he speaking of?

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

I wonder
if I detect
condensation
in his voice?

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

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

This seditious talk!

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

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

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

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

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

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

It is the true level
of this city.

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

Splashing
the nation,
anointing
its people
with its
blessing.

A blessing,
Chicago?

All rivers
come here.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sandburg knew
a Chicago
I will never know.

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

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

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

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

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

Hell even Chicago
got its own brand
of Blues.

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

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

The Blues live
on in Chicago.

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

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

Music:

Robert Johnson
Sweet Home Chicago


jbm
Chicago
1/7/99
Added today to commemorate the birthday of Carl Sandburg
Alyssa Underwood Nov 2015
Promises made by mortal man
Are rarely met by mortal hand
For though they strive to win your heart
Such passions land far from their start

They'll paint, so clear, a future bliss
And draw you in with blinding kiss
But just when you have bought the dream
Man finds pursuits more worthy to deem

Ambition, sport and other girls
Whose flattering words and smiles like pearls
Will tempt a fellow to leave his nest
And lie upon another's breast

'Tis pain so sharp you think you'll die
And tears aren't found enough to cry
A torture rack would be better friend
With all its tearing limb to limb

To have your innards disemboweled
Or face the fiercest lion's growl
Would be kinder punishment than this
From one who knew your ****** kiss

And yet within this darkest night
A hint of moonbeam's softest light
Might rise upon such blistered soul
And shine into its gaping hole

For romance still may spark a flame
And whisper to your heart by name
To woo you in your bleakest hour
With promises of healing power

Promises unlike the others you've known
Whose good intentions were quickly thrown
Away by the frailty of human flesh
When sin's entanglements did enmesh

No, this One's words are wholly sure
His heart and mind and will are pure
His faithfulness cannot be shaken
Nor His covenant love ever be taken

He chose you before He made the sun
And said to the Father, "I want that one!"
He searched you out through all your years
Through all your joys and pains and fears

And now He waits for you to grasp
That deepest pleasure lies in His clasp
That His own kiss brings highest delight
That His face is eye's sweetest sight

It's He alone Who can fill you up
And saturate your empty cup
When life has left you hollow and dry
And numb to further wish to try

When memories lie tarnished with stains
And not one worthy dream remains
He reaches in with perfect hope
That pulls you up like saving rope

And as He wipes tears from your eyes
He says to you: I am the Prize!
Take hold of Me and drink My love
Come sit with Me in realms above

For I have blessings prepared for you
That you've never imagined, but oh it's true
I long to give you all of Me
To draw you close and let you see

That in your pain you know Me best
That heart's rejection finds its rest
In this sweet fellowship of intimacy
Where you are made to look like Me

I'll give you love like you've not known
Enough to see your will o'erthrown
Enough to pour it out upon
That very one who did you wrong

For that one, too, knows thirst of soul
And needs My love to fill the hole
Which, though he's tried hard to ignore,
Pleads, "More and more and more and more!"

But if he never should respond
Still, that pure love will seal the bond
That ties you to My own heartbeat
For then you'll see My love complete

For though the world resists Me still
I love them fiercely and always will
I've known rejection like no other
From bride and kindred and friend and brother

And when you love through hate and scorn
A jewel within your heart is born
For then you glimpse My own heart's breaking
And learn My secrets of rarest taking

To rejoice in the face of bitter spite
Requires sure death but will invite
Your soul to dance in gardens of bliss
Where you will know My Lover's kiss

So come and dance with Me, make haste
There's no spare moment left to waste
Abundant life waits through this door
With thrills and pleasures evermore!
~~~
jim moore Jun 2014
I wait

"Time waits for no one"

I watch

I think

I analyze
I calculate

Risk
Reward
Profit
Loss

I wait

"Time waits for no one"

These things take time
They don't happen overnight

"Time waits for no one"

*******, some things are worth waiting for
I wait

"Are you happy?"

Things could be worse

"That's not an answer"
"Are you happy"

No
It could be worse

"Life is short"
"You only get one shot"
"Time is precious"
"You're not getting any younger"

*******
I wait.  
Some things are worth waiting for

"Time waits for no one"
A conglomerate of conversation with an old friend Glenlivet, a real friend the other night, and the voices in my head.  I need to catch up with my dear friend Glenlivet more often.  A little grease for the synapses every now and then.
Alyssa Underwood Mar 2016
I

He did not wear his scarlet coat,
  For blood and wine are red,
And blood and wine were on his hands
  When they found him with the dead,
The poor dead woman whom he loved,
  And murdered in her bed.

He walked amongst the Trial Men
  In a suit of shabby grey;
A cricket cap was on his head,
  And his step seemed light and gay;
But I never saw a man who looked
  So wistfully at the day.

I never saw a man who looked
  With such a wistful eye
Upon that little tent of blue
  Which prisoners call the sky,
And at every drifting cloud that went
  With sails of silver by.

I walked, with other souls in pain,
  Within another ring,
And was wondering if the man had done
  A great or little thing,
When a voice behind me whispered low,
  “That fellows got to swing.”

Dear Christ! the very prison walls
  Suddenly seemed to reel,
And the sky above my head became
  Like a casque of scorching steel;
And, though I was a soul in pain,
  My pain I could not feel.

I only knew what hunted thought
  Quickened his step, and why
He looked upon the garish day
  With such a wistful eye;
The man had killed the thing he loved
  And so he had to die.

Yet each man kills the thing he loves
  By each let this be heard,
Some do it with a bitter look,
  Some with a flattering word,
The coward does it with a kiss,
  The brave man with a sword!

Some **** their love when they are young,
  And some when they are old;
Some strangle with the hands of Lust,
  Some with the hands of Gold:
The kindest use a knife, because
  The dead so soon grow cold.

Some love too little, some too long,
  Some sell, and others buy;
Some do the deed with many tears,
  And some without a sigh:
For each man kills the thing he loves,
  Yet each man does not die.

He does not die a death of shame
  On a day of dark disgrace,
Nor have a noose about his neck,
  Nor a cloth upon his face,
Nor drop feet foremost through the floor
  Into an empty place

He does not sit with silent men
  Who watch him night and day;
Who watch him when he tries to weep,
  And when he tries to pray;
Who watch him lest himself should rob
  The prison of its prey.

He does not wake at dawn to see
  Dread figures throng his room,
The shivering Chaplain robed in white,
  The Sheriff stern with gloom,
And the Governor all in shiny black,
  With the yellow face of Doom.

He does not rise in piteous haste
  To put on convict-clothes,
While some coarse-mouthed Doctor gloats, and notes
  Each new and nerve-twitched pose,
******* a watch whose little ticks
  Are like horrible hammer-blows.

He does not know that sickening thirst
  That sands one’s throat, before
The hangman with his gardener’s gloves
  Slips through the padded door,
And binds one with three leathern thongs,
  That the throat may thirst no more.

He does not bend his head to hear
  The Burial Office read,
Nor, while the terror of his soul
  Tells him he is not dead,
Cross his own coffin, as he moves
  Into the hideous shed.

He does not stare upon the air
  Through a little roof of glass;
He does not pray with lips of clay
  For his agony to pass;
Nor feel upon his shuddering cheek
  The kiss of Caiaphas.


II

Six weeks our guardsman walked the yard,
  In a suit of shabby grey:
His cricket cap was on his head,
  And his step seemed light and gay,
But I never saw a man who looked
  So wistfully at the day.

I never saw a man who looked
  With such a wistful eye
Upon that little tent of blue
  Which prisoners call the sky,
And at every wandering cloud that trailed
  Its raveled fleeces by.

He did not wring his hands, as do
  Those witless men who dare
To try to rear the changeling Hope
  In the cave of black Despair:
He only looked upon the sun,
  And drank the morning air.

He did not wring his hands nor weep,
  Nor did he peek or pine,
But he drank the air as though it held
  Some healthful anodyne;
With open mouth he drank the sun
  As though it had been wine!

And I and all the souls in pain,
  Who tramped the other ring,
Forgot if we ourselves had done
  A great or little thing,
And watched with gaze of dull amaze
  The man who had to swing.

And strange it was to see him pass
  With a step so light and gay,
And strange it was to see him look
  So wistfully at the day,
And strange it was to think that he
  Had such a debt to pay.

For oak and elm have pleasant leaves
  That in the spring-time shoot:
But grim to see is the gallows-tree,
  With its adder-bitten root,
And, green or dry, a man must die
  Before it bears its fruit!

The loftiest place is that seat of grace
  For which all worldlings try:
But who would stand in hempen band
  Upon a scaffold high,
And through a murderer’s collar take
  His last look at the sky?

It is sweet to dance to violins
  When Love and Life are fair:
To dance to flutes, to dance to lutes
  Is delicate and rare:
But it is not sweet with nimble feet
  To dance upon the air!

So with curious eyes and sick surmise
  We watched him day by day,
And wondered if each one of us
  Would end the self-same way,
For none can tell to what red Hell
  His sightless soul may stray.

At last the dead man walked no more
  Amongst the Trial Men,
And I knew that he was standing up
  In the black dock’s dreadful pen,
And that never would I see his face
  In God’s sweet world again.

Like two doomed ships that pass in storm
  We had crossed each other’s way:
But we made no sign, we said no word,
  We had no word to say;
For we did not meet in the holy night,
  But in the shameful day.

A prison wall was round us both,
  Two outcast men were we:
The world had ****** us from its heart,
  And God from out His care:
And the iron gin that waits for Sin
  Had caught us in its snare.


III

In Debtors’ Yard the stones are hard,
  And the dripping wall is high,
So it was there he took the air
  Beneath the leaden sky,
And by each side a Warder walked,
  For fear the man might die.

Or else he sat with those who watched
  His anguish night and day;
Who watched him when he rose to weep,
  And when he crouched to pray;
Who watched him lest himself should rob
  Their scaffold of its prey.

The Governor was strong upon
  The Regulations Act:
The Doctor said that Death was but
  A scientific fact:
And twice a day the Chaplain called
  And left a little tract.

And twice a day he smoked his pipe,
  And drank his quart of beer:
His soul was resolute, and held
  No hiding-place for fear;
He often said that he was glad
  The hangman’s hands were near.

But why he said so strange a thing
  No Warder dared to ask:
For he to whom a watcher’s doom
  Is given as his task,
Must set a lock upon his lips,
  And make his face a mask.

Or else he might be moved, and try
  To comfort or console:
And what should Human Pity do
  Pent up in Murderers’ Hole?
What word of grace in such a place
  Could help a brother’s soul?

With slouch and swing around the ring
  We trod the Fool’s Parade!
We did not care: we knew we were
  The Devil’s Own Brigade:
And shaven head and feet of lead
  Make a merry masquerade.

We tore the tarry rope to shreds
  With blunt and bleeding nails;
We rubbed the doors, and scrubbed the floors,
  And cleaned the shining rails:
And, rank by rank, we soaped the plank,
  And clattered with the pails.

We sewed the sacks, we broke the stones,
  We turned the dusty drill:
We banged the tins, and bawled the hymns,
  And sweated on the mill:
But in the heart of every man
  Terror was lying still.

So still it lay that every day
  Crawled like a ****-clogged wave:
And we forgot the bitter lot
  That waits for fool and knave,
Till once, as we tramped in from work,
  We passed an open grave.

With yawning mouth the yellow hole
  Gaped for a living thing;
The very mud cried out for blood
  To the thirsty asphalte ring:
And we knew that ere one dawn grew fair
  Some prisoner had to swing.

Right in we went, with soul intent
  On Death and Dread and Doom:
The hangman, with his little bag,
  Went shuffling through the gloom
And each man trembled as he crept
  Into his numbered tomb.

That night the empty corridors
  Were full of forms of Fear,
And up and down the iron town
  Stole feet we could not hear,
And through the bars that hide the stars
  White faces seemed to peer.

He lay as one who lies and dreams
  In a pleasant meadow-land,
The watcher watched him as he slept,
  And could not understand
How one could sleep so sweet a sleep
  With a hangman close at hand?

But there is no sleep when men must weep
  Who never yet have wept:
So we—the fool, the fraud, the knave—
  That endless vigil kept,
And through each brain on hands of pain
  Another’s terror crept.

Alas! it is a fearful thing
  To feel another’s guilt!
For, right within, the sword of Sin
  Pierced to its poisoned hilt,
And as molten lead were the tears we shed
  For the blood we had not spilt.

The Warders with their shoes of felt
  Crept by each padlocked door,
And peeped and saw, with eyes of awe,
  Grey figures on the floor,
And wondered why men knelt to pray
  Who never prayed before.

All through the night we knelt and prayed,
  Mad mourners of a corpse!
The troubled plumes of midnight were
  The plumes upon a hearse:
And bitter wine upon a sponge
  Was the savior of Remorse.

The **** crew, the red **** crew,
  But never came the day:
And crooked shape of Terror crouched,
  In the corners where we lay:
And each evil sprite that walks by night
  Before us seemed to play.

They glided past, they glided fast,
  Like travelers through a mist:
They mocked the moon in a rigadoon
  Of delicate turn and twist,
And with formal pace and loathsome grace
  The phantoms kept their tryst.

With mop and mow, we saw them go,
  Slim shadows hand in hand:
About, about, in ghostly rout
  They trod a saraband:
And the ****** grotesques made arabesques,
  Like the wind upon the sand!

With the pirouettes of marionettes,
  They tripped on pointed tread:
But with flutes of Fear they filled the ear,
  As their grisly masque they led,
And loud they sang, and long they sang,
  For they sang to wake the dead.

“Oho!” they cried, “The world is wide,
  But fettered limbs go lame!
And once, or twice, to throw the dice
  Is a gentlemanly game,
But he does not win who plays with Sin
  In the secret House of Shame.”

No things of air these antics were
  That frolicked with such glee:
To men whose lives were held in gyves,
  And whose feet might not go free,
Ah! wounds of Christ! they were living things,
  Most terrible to see.

Around, around, they waltzed and wound;
  Some wheeled in smirking pairs:
With the mincing step of demirep
  Some sidled up the stairs:
And with subtle sneer, and fawning leer,
  Each helped us at our prayers.

The morning wind began to moan,
  But still the night went on:
Through its giant loom the web of gloom
  Crept till each thread was spun:
And, as we prayed, we grew afraid
  Of the Justice of the Sun.

The moaning wind went wandering round
  The weeping prison-wall:
Till like a wheel of turning-steel
  We felt the minutes crawl:
O moaning wind! what had we done
  To have such a seneschal?

At last I saw the shadowed bars
  Like a lattice wrought in lead,
Move right across the whitewashed wall
  That faced my three-plank bed,
And I knew that somewhere in the world
  God’s dreadful dawn was red.

At six o’clock we cleaned our cells,
  At seven all was still,
But the sough and swing of a mighty wing
  The prison seemed to fill,
For the Lord of Death with icy breath
  Had entered in to ****.

He did not pass in purple pomp,
  Nor ride a moon-white steed.
Three yards of cord and a sliding board
  Are all the gallows’ need:
So with rope of shame the Herald came
  To do the secret deed.

We were as men who through a fen
  Of filthy darkness *****:
We did not dare to breathe a prayer,
  Or give our anguish scope:
Something was dead in each of us,
  And what was dead was Hope.

For Man’s grim Justice goes its way,
  And will not swerve aside:
It slays the weak, it slays the strong,
  It has a deadly stride:
With iron heel it slays the strong,
  The monstrous parricide!

We waited for the stroke of eight:
  Each tongue was thick with thirst:
For the stroke of eight is the stroke of Fate
  That makes a man accursed,
And Fate will use a running noose
  For the best man and the worst.

We had no other thing to do,
  Save to wait for the sign to come:
So, like things of stone in a valley lone,
  Quiet we sat and dumb:
But each man’s heart beat thick and quick
  Like a madman on a drum!

With sudden shock the prison-clock
  Smote on the shivering air,
And from all the gaol rose up a wail
  Of impotent despair,
Like the sound that frightened marshes hear
  From a ***** in his lair.

And as one sees most fearful things
  In the crystal of a dream,
We saw the greasy hempen rope
  Hooked to the blackened beam,
And heard the prayer the hangman’s snare
  Strangled into a scream.

And all the woe that moved him so
  That he gave that bitter cry,
And the wild regrets, and the ****** sweats,
  None knew so well as I:
For he who lives more lives than one
  More deaths than one must die.


IV

There is no chapel on the day
  On which they hang a man:
The Chaplain’s heart is far too sick,
  Or his face is far too wan,
Or there is that written in his eyes
  Which none should look upon.

So they kept us close till nigh on noon,
  And then they rang the bell,
And the Warders with their jingling keys
  Opened each listening cell,
And down the iron stair we tramped,
  Each from his separate Hell.

Out into God’s sweet air we went,
  But not in wonted way,
For this man’s face was white with fear,
  And that man’s face was grey,
And I never saw sad men who looked
  So wistfully at the day.

I never saw sad men who looked
  With such a wistful eye
Upon that little tent of blue
  We prisoners called the sky,
And at every careless cloud that passed
  In happy freedom by.

But there were those amongst us all
  Who walked with downcast head,
And knew that, had each got his due,
  They should have died instead:
He had but killed a thing that lived
  Whilst they had killed the dead.

For he who sins a second time
  Wakes a dead soul to pain,
And draws it from its spotted shroud,
  And makes it bleed again,
And makes it bleed great gouts of blood
  And makes it bleed in vain!

Like ape or clown, in monstrous garb
  With crooked arrows starred,
Silently we went round and round
  The slippery asphalte yard;
Silently we went round and round,
  And no man spoke a word.

Silently we went round and round,
  And through each hollow mind
The memory of dreadful things
  Rushed like a dreadful wind,
And Horror stalked before each man,
  And terror crept behind.

The Warders strutted up and down,
  And kept their herd of brutes,
Their uniforms were ***** and span,
  And they wore their Sunday suits,
But we knew the work they had been at
  By the quicklime on their boots.

For where a grave had opened wide,
  There was no grave at all:
Only a stretch of mud and sand
  By the hideous prison-wall,
And a little heap of burning lime,
  That the man should have his pall.

For he has a pall, this wretched man,
  Such as few men can claim:
Deep down below a prison-yard,
  Naked for greater shame,
He lies, with fetters on each foot,
  Wrapt in a sheet of flame!

And all the while the burning lime
  Eats flesh and bone away,
It eats the brittle bone by night,
  And the soft flesh by the day,
It eats the flesh and bones by turns,
  But it eats the heart alway.

For three long years they will not sow
  Or root or seedling there:
For three long years the unblessed spot
  Will sterile be and bare,
And look upon the wondering sky
  With unreproachful stare.

They think a murderer’s heart would taint
  Each simple seed they sow.
It is not true! God’s kindly earth
  Is kindlier than men know,
And the red rose would but blow more red,
  The white rose whiter blow.

Out of his mouth a red, red rose!
  Out of his heart a white!
For who can say by what strange way,
  Christ brings his will to light,
Since the barren staff the pilgrim bore
  Bloomed in the great Pope’s sight?

But neither milk-white rose nor red
  May bloom in prison air;
The shard, the pebble, and the flint,
  Are what they give us there:
For flowers have been known to heal
  A common man’s despair.

So never will wine-red rose or white,
  Petal by petal, fall
On that stretch of mud and sand that lies
  By the hideous prison-wall,
To tell the men who ***** the yard
  That God’s Son died for all.

Yet though the hideous prison-wall
  Still hems him round and round,
And a spirit man not walk by night
  That is with fetters bound,
And a spirit may not weep that lies
  In such unholy ground,

He is at peace—this wretched man—
  At peace, or will be soon:
There is no thing to make him mad,
  Nor does Terror walk at noon,
For the lampless Earth in which he lies
  Has neither Sun nor Moon.

They hanged him as a beast is hanged:
  They did not even toll
A reguiem that might have brought
  Rest to his startled soul,
But hurriedly they took him out,
  And hid him in a hole.

They stripped him of his canvas clothes,
  And gave him to the flies;
They mocked the swollen purple throat
  And the stark and staring eyes:
And with laughter loud they heaped the shroud
  In which their convict lies.

The Chaplain would not kneel to pray
  By his dishonored grave:
Nor mark it with that blessed Cross
  That Christ for sinners gave,
Because the man was one of those
  Whom Christ came down to save.

Yet all is well; he has but passed
  To Life’s appointed bourne:
And alien tears will fill for him
  Pity’s long-broken urn,
For his mourner will be outcast men,
  And outcasts always mourn.


V

I know not whether Laws be right,
  Or whether Laws be wrong;
All that we know who lie in gaol
  Is that the wall is strong;
And that each day is like a year,
  A year whose days are long.

But this I know, that every Law
  That men have made for Man,
Since first Man took his brother’s life,
  And the sad world began,
But straws the wheat and saves the chaff
  With a most evil fan.

This too I know—and wise it were
  If each could know the same—
That every prison that men build
  Is built with bricks of shame,
And bound with bars lest Christ should see
  How men their brothers maim.

With bars they blur the gracious moon,
  And blind the goodly sun:
And they do well to hide their Hell,
  For in it things are done
That Son of God nor son of Man
  Ever should look upon!

The vilest deeds like poison weeds
  Bloom well in prison-air:
It is only what is good in Man
  That wastes and withers there:
Pale Anguish keeps the heavy gate,
  And the Warder is Despair

For they starve the little frightened child
  Till it weeps both night and day:
And they scourge the weak, and flog the fool,
  And gibe the old and grey,
And some grow mad, and all grow bad,
And none a word may say.

Each narrow cell in which we dwell
  Is foul and dark latrine,
And the fetid breath of living Death
  Chokes up each grated screen,
And all, but Lust, is turned to dust
  In Humanity’s machine.

The brackish water that we drink
  Creeps with a loathsome slime,
And the bitter bread they weigh in scales
  Is full of chalk and lime,
And Sleep will not lie down, but walks
  Wild-eyed and cries to Time.

But though lean Hunger and green Thirst
  Like asp with adder fight,
We have little care of prison fare,
  For what chills and kills outright
Is that every stone one lifts by day
  Becomes one’s heart by night.

With midnight always in one’s heart,
  And twilight in one’s cell,
We turn the crank, or tear the rope,
  Each in his separate Hell,
And the silence is more awful far
  Than the sound of a brazen bell.

And never a human voice comes near
  To speak a gentle word:
And the eye that watches through the door
  Is pitiless and hard:
And by all forgot, we rot and rot,
  With soul and body marred.

And thus we rust Life’s iron chain
  Degraded and alone:
And some men curse, and some men weep,
  And some men make no moan:
But God’s eternal Laws are kind
  And break the heart of stone.

And every human heart that breaks,
  In prison-cell or yard,
Is as that broken box that gave
  Its treasure to the Lord,
And filled the unclean *****’s house
  With the scent of costliest nard.

Ah! happy day they whose hearts can break
  And peace of pardon win!
How else may man make straight his plan
  And cleanse his soul from Sin?
How else but through a broken heart
  May Lord Christ enter in?

And he of the swollen purple throat.
  And the stark and staring eyes,
Waits for the holy hands that took
  The Thief to Paradise;
And a broken and a contrite heart
  The Lord will not despise.

The man in red who reads the Law
  Gave him three weeks of life,
Three little weeks in which to heal
  His soul of his soul’s strife,
And cleanse from every blot of blood
  The hand that held the knife.

And with tears of blood he cleansed the hand,
  The hand that held the steel:
For only blood can wipe out blood,
  And only tears can heal:
And the crimson stain that was of Cain
  Became Christ’s snow-white seal.


VI

In Reading gaol by Reading town
  There is a pit of shame,
And in it lies a wretched man
  Eaten by teeth of flame,
In burning winding-sheet he lies,
  And his grave has got no name.

And there, till Christ call forth the dead,
  In silence let him lie:
No need to waste the foolish tear,
  Or heave the windy sigh:
The man had killed the thing he loved,
  And so he had to die.

And all men **** the thing they love,
  By all let this be heard,
Some do it with a bitter look,
  Some with a flattering word,
The coward does it with a kiss,
  The brave man with a sword!
carmen Nov 2012
He is a swan and he sits on a black lake trying desperately to save his feathers from soiling.
They all sit around him bobbing their heads in the filth and minding not one bit.
And as time goes by he knows his feathers have begun to dull
And he tries to fly away from it all
But they refuse to let him, he cannot fly, he is but a swan they tell him with pleasure
And he keeps getting filthier as they help paint each feather
And the lake begins to look more like a prison
And he watches his reflection become what he hates
He forgets about that before that has driven him
And he waits and he waits and he waits and he waits
For something he knows will never come
Help from elsewhere so he won’t have to try
Help from elsewhere to make it easy to fly
This help does not come as it was never out there
There’s no help for a swan that’s full of despair
Only he can turn his prison of hate, a lake full of muck, into a better landscape
The day will come when the swan flies away
And the others will watch and they’ll wonder and gasp
Because they thought swans were only swans, they know this from swans that lived in the past
And as this swan flies, sure his feathers are dull, he can barely flap, and his wings are quite small
But now he can see every lake all around
For there are many that wait for him to be found.
cp
2012
Zowie Georgia May 2015
There's a mermaid that waits under the sea,
she waits in hope that a brave soul shall surrender to her and in doing so she'll rescue them in return and embrace them into her watery world.

The sea belongs to The Mermaid, she's delved the underworld, lives for discovering and has left the surface for those that are not ready to meet her yet.

Maybe it's part of her enchanting beauty that she is always so immersed in the intensity of the water,
the darkening depths of the sea, her own emotions, the womb of her world giving sustenance.

In my curiosity to go deep into the abyss I met The Mermaid and there she asked me to plunge to the depths of the sea with her.
The water was no longer blue, the rays of the sun no longer illuminated,
it was cold and dark and I knew that I could just about reach the surface of the waters again to leave, but I also knew I'd done that many times before.

I begin to sink but apart of me still resists,
my legs slightly kicking and my hands unsure as I struggle to know what to do.
'Let go' -I hear The Mermaid echo through the water,
her patient voice holds me, I feel safe but still I'm in conflict with all that I'm confronted with above.

My mind continued to battle here as my body naturally slipped down some more,
the deeper under water I went the more everything felt still.
I felt The Mermaid on the periphery,
in a distant part of me I think she's always lived, I've just not been able to trust in her.

Everything feels longer underwater,
time isn't of importance once you've abandoned your anxious breath.
you begin to feel apart of it all,
as though you're a small ripple of an imperminant wave and an untameable current bound into One.

This place feels like I've been here forever now, it's so cold it actually begins to feel warm. The deeper I allow myself to sink the less I seem to contemplate. The less I struggle to let go the more peaceful I feel and the deeper I slip into the unknown the closer I get to her.

I soon reach the bottom, the deepest place I can go and here I meet her where I always knew I would;
It's too dark to see so I wait in the unknown for her to show herself but she didn't appear outside of me, in fact she spoke through me and with my own inner voice I heard ...'If you do not connect to the depth of yourself then you'll never know how you really feel. Just as a Mermaid swims so deep she can no longer see.. You must swim too, even when It's dark and scary and you might not even know what you feel or you feel too much and you feel as though you're drowning.. You must trust. Trust in yourself beyond anything and you shall always find your treasure here...

...There's a Mermaid that waits under the sea,
she waits in hope that you shall meet here and to see without having to see. <3
Chuck Kean Jan 31
My Soul

My soul waits more than the tired
Wait for the night so they may sleep
More than a child waits
To tell a secret they just can’t keep

More than a commuter
Waits for the morning train
More than a flower waits
For a gentle spring rain

More than a mother
Waits for the apgar score
More than the waves wait
To reach the shore

More than a fisherman waits
To fish with his new rod and reel
More than a spider waits
For its next meal

More than a band waits
To Rock & Roll
More than the watchmen wait
For the morning, for the Lord
Waits my soul

Written By:Charles Kean
Copyright © 01/30/2020
All rights reserved
Actually written in 2019
But I accidentally deleted it and
Had to have a friend re send it
To me and her copy didn’t have the
Date so since I had to rewrite it from
A picture, I just put today’s date on it.
Ajey Pai K Dec 2015
When eyes talk to eyes
All of world stands still.
Time waits and the nature listens.
They invite the inquisitive while all of existence celebrates eternally.

-The Silent Poet
Expression of love without words is the most strongest love there is.
Sheena Snell Jun 2010
In the darkness of the night she looks to the moon for help, falling to her
knees she prays.  Seeing the darkest of nights she feels more alone then she ever has.  The hairs on the back of her neck rising she raises to her feet and runs, knowing there is something deadly wrong.

Hearing footsteps up ahead he rushes on ahead praying to the stars that the girl hi is after has not rushed to far ahead.  Leaves crunching under his feet he hurries on panting and gasping for breath, heart beating loudly he surely thinks that if she were near she would be able to hear the beating.

Her eyes glowing like the eyes of a cat, she feels her reflexes going into full affect as she runs as fast as a cheetah.  She pounces up into a tree hissing at the figure behind her.  Her emerald green eyes glowing in the darkness she sees the figure stop and bend over their knees to catch their breath she assumes.  Getting into attack position she sits and waits.

Looking up ahead in the darkness he sees the bright green eyes in a tree staring dead at him, feeling shivers go down his spine he slowly goes forward not knowing what to expect.  The coolness of the night tightens around him making him shiver with cold and fear.

Waiting, waiting, and stalking she sits on a limb looking down on the figure.  No know that it is a man that has come after her.  Her hind legs drawn
tight with adrenaline she still waits for the right moment to pounce.

Fear clutching his heart he fears for his life and the girls.  Looking up in the tree where he had first seen the green eyes he sees them again staring at him once again.  He stands there not moving just looking.  Could it be, he wonders.  No, it could not be the girl he is after.  Could the legend he has heard be true?

Her claws digging into the bark of the tree she hisses down at the man just standing there, she can smell the fear off of him knowing that it is not her he fears, but the thought of loosing her to the panther that she has become.  
Growling she leaps down onto the ground and circles him growling and hissing under her breath.

Seeing the large cat jumps down from the tree he stands perfectly still not longer fearful.  As the panther circles him he watches the sleek black body moving, noting the powerful muscles within the legs.  Not daring to move he sits and waits.

Shock that he would sit down she stops and walks to the front of him and sits down herself.  Looking into his gray eyes feeling her soul tinge she lays to her stomach and waits to see what he'll do next.

Not knowing how to react he stares into her emerald green eyes as she stares into his.  How could a sweet beautiful girl all of a sudden turn into a dangerous cat?  He quietly and slowly rises to his feet as the panther jumps to hers he stands still not knowing what she will do if angered.

As he stares into her eyes her soul feels weird once again.  She is angered that he had the nerve to stand and still not be afraid.  As she lunges to her feet she growls, daring him to be afraid.

The wind howls through the trees as he watches the panther as she growls he knows that she is extremely angered.  What is he to do?  He cannot make himself feel something he has no need for.  He knows that she wants him to be frightened yet he cannot, for he knows in his soul that she will not harm him.

Growling she tackles him to the ground.  Pinning him down she looks into his gray eyes feeling that tingling sensation through her soul once again.  She hisses at him for making her feel this way.

No longer fearing for him or the girl’s life he lays pinned to the ground feeling the panther’s hot breath on his face, he waits for her next move.

With the moon high in the sky and the wind blowing she fears that the time has come where she will have to return back to her normal body form.
She growls one more time at the man on the ground and races off into the darkness growling all the while as she runs feeling the wind on her face.

Stunned at just what happened he jumps to his feet and takes off after the panther not wanting to lose it.  Desperately trying to remember the legend that his grandfather had told him the night before about the panther girl.  He looks up into the stars and sees them in a pattern of a panther.

Still racing through the night hearing her own breathing growing heavy and her hair flying behind her wildly as she runs.  Knowing that she has
returned.  Hoping that she will feel the power of the panther again.

Now remember the legend of the panther girl he recalls it so he will be prepared when he comes up on her again.  His grandfather had told him that long ago a young girl had wondered into the forest for comfort after her mother's death.  She had asked for protection of the lord above, and he had given it to her by when the night is dark and the moon is high with the stars bright, only when she be either afraid for her life or when she would just want to feel the cool wind flowing through her black fur, would she turn into the black powerful panther.

Gasping for air she stops and looks around feeling cornered she climbs a tree once again for protection.  She sits and thinks of her mother that she had lost long ago.  Thanks to the angels above she had found protection and comfort.  She looks down and sees the man that has been after her coming down the trail.  She sits and watches him, wondering what he sees in her.

His legs feeling ready to give out he knows he must rest if he is to be of any good in searching for the girl, he drops to the ground and leans against the tree starring off into the distance wondering where the panther girl
was now.  He hopes and prays she is not to far off.  Feeling sleep take over him he has now power to resist, he falls into a dream filled sleep of running panthers.

Feeling more trapped then she has ever felt she looks down again and still the man sleeps under the tree.  How is she to get out of the tree without waking him up?  Looking for an escape route and finding none, she quietly climbs down the trunk of the tree leaping over the sleeping man.  She stands in front of him and looks him dead in the face while he sleeps.  Seeing a scar along his neck she shudders now knowing that it is he.

Opening his eyes he is starring at the beautiful girl that he had helped so long ago, no remember why the eyes of the panther were so familiar, it is she, the panther girl.  He reaches out his hand, hoping that she will take it.

Seeing his eyes open she blinks like the deer caught in the brightness of the light.  It could not be the man she had to look to for help that long ago, no it could not be.  The scar on his neck however says so otherwise.  He extends his hand to her she gently takes it not knowing what else to do.

He is the lord from the heavens that gave her the power to turn into the panther.  He is the lord that his grandfather talked about.  He came to her
when she prayed up to the heavens for protection and came down to show her that there was hope and that he would indeed help her, scratching his neck she had sat there crying and watching his neck bleed, taking her wrist he had slit it to mingle their blood together, and there he stood chanting.  And that is how she became the panther girl for he was the panther man.

Dropping to her knees she sits in front of him again, once again as she did three years ago.  Looking into those warm hopeful gray eyes, she smiles at him knowing he will not harm her for he is her father.

Rising to his feet he gently pulls her to hers.  Taking his daughter in his arms he whoppers that the time has come for them to finally go home.  Looking to the moon he growls as his fur is rustled by the wind.

Feeling free once again standing on all fours by her father she races through the **** of a new day with her blood father finally going home.
Bridget Allyson Mar 2015
He watches me.
Dark or light.
He stands, he waits.
I feel no fright.
Last night he smiled at me.
I asked him why.
He told me the story of a girl
Who sounded awfully like I.
And still he watches me.
Dark or light.
He stands, he waits.
Eyesight locked tight.
Three years ago i asked him why.
If I ask again now he won't respond.
"Who are you?" I ask.
"Someone worth the bond."
And still he watches me.
Dark or light.
He stands, he waits,
Twelve years ago i asked him why the strange sight.
I grow weaker.
My days are numbered.
He stands.
And he waits.
I close my eyes, and realize our fate.
Kasper Jan 2019
He waits in the night
Such a glorious sight
With fingers like claws
And a crow that caws

He waits in the day
So he'll be at bay
With hair like the void
That no one can avoid.

He waits in the moon
It'll be over soon
With eyes like coal
That will rot your soul

He waits in the sun
It's almost done
With wings like fire
That suits his attire

He waits in the night
Such a glorious sight
As he goes by
You all will die
Savio Apr 2013
The library is too quiet to read
too contemplate her clothed *******
the wooden chairs are thick with boredom
the boys stare at words that hide themselves
and the women are brave enough to still search for love
I can't hear a thing
A Toilet flushes
The loud thin aluminum and molar teeth Air Conditioner rattles like a starving stomach
I can hear pages being changed
Chairs slowly creaking
The chairs are considering suicide
They'll jump right out this window
Outside the construction workers are smoking
Outside a girl with a pumpkin colored sweater talks to a boy
Outside The Mobiles await their masters
Outside a single orange cone is placed next to an eight foot black light pole
And I stare at it
More interesting than the girl in a pumpkin colored sweater
more sound than the Library's hallways and book isles
More ****** and ****
More cigarette smoke
More sweat
Louder than a thousand heart beats drumming to the Tribal tune of life
**** with out feet dancing on hot coals and slaughtering a Cow for rain
The Cone waits
its plastic thick
bending in like the gut of an exiled starving Tribal member
The light pole Waits too
it avoids eye contact with the people that pass by
it makes small talk to the wandering insects looking for a junk lit fix
“Not for awhile, not for a while.”
The LampPole would say
and the insect would fly away on all of its wings
and hide in the trash can
or the muffler of a Camaro

Outside the trees are waiting
waiting for Mother Kansas Common Bird
For a nest
For an egg
For now the trees are bare
stripped like P.O.W
barley blooming

I wonder how those buds taste like

I see the Cone
still orange
still waiting for me to say
“Cone, I know you. I see that you wait.”
and perhaps this is what he was waiting for
Then the eight foot LampPole droops like lovely Egyptian ***** eyelashes

Outside
Outside
Outside
the Sun is open for business
Sun dresses
and
sun glasses
Waiting
Waiting
Waiting for boy
career
house
baby boy
******
love
ultimate Zen
but Career but House but Baby Boy Anthony oh so sweet but ****** but Love
gets in the way
and the Ultimate Zen is recollected as Silly as Childish as Unattainable
saying to herself
“Life has its plan”

But it doesnt
Zen still waits
Orange Construction Cone still waits
Eight Foot LampPole waits

Inside Inside Inside
Toilets are flushes
Books develop Mold like pregnancies
Inside *** dances in the mind with every passing Legs *** and *******
Inside carpets groan
inside dandruff
inside Clocks endlessly fueled by a battery
inside outside being stared at like the Ocean
and a boat with the Ultimate answer is on it
Inside nothing happens at all
Inside the Books are wondering where have their stomachs gone
Inside Legs and feet go numb
Inside Dry mouths smack
Inside lesbian couples kiss
Inside the florescent Lights shine without stop

I am inside
looking through the window
admiring the smooth **** chaotic curves and heights and birds of outside

-A woman in a pink sweater
-A man in a blue suit
She waits-
At the gait
To see a glimpse
Of the man she love
The man who loved her
So dearly
So tenderly
So honestly
So passionately….

She waits-
At the gait
To see a glimpse
Of that turbulent past
In his deep brown eyes
A trace of remembrance
A trace of nostalgia
A trace of yearning
A trace of regret

She waits-
At the gait
To see a glimpse
Of the man she love
The man she can’t hate
Remembering the life they had
Love they shared
Embrace they cherished
Secrets they whispered

She waits-
At the gait
To see a glimpse
Of that past,
The past she wants to let go of
As he paces
Lost in serenity
Towards his goal
Passing her
With a serene smile
In a saffron robe

She waits-
At the gait
Drenched in nostalgia
As wistful tears sparkled
Living in that moment
Where he is
So close
Yet so far…..
Trying to overcome
The distance
The yesteryears
The  reminiscence
As his words of wisdom
Echoes…..

And she tries
But she fails
To hate him
“ Love is…. After all,
Merely a fleeting thought
That we choose desperately
To cling on to…
Without letting go.
Another thought,
Evanescent..”
https://www.facebook.com/Arunalanie/photos/pb.226021104198665.-2207520000.1433158198./226972407436868/?type=3&theater
Seán Mac Falls Jan 2013
When I was a youth, I spied a bird,
She filled my field with song,
And sadly it was, my duties began
But we made a vow singin,'
Together again!

    And a way'l we go, as I hurry the sea and—
    She waits the land.

My true love I call a nightingale,
And I myself a lark,
Together we make, two turtledoves,
And we made a vow singin,'
Together again!

    And a way'l we go, as I hurry the sea and—
    She waits the land.

    O come will the day, that my true will say,
    When all my sporting is over,
    'Do you remember the days, I waited the land,
    And you hurried the sea?'

Now, the sea is my girl and I her man,
I hear a lovers lament,
An old seabird cries from the brighty main,
And I join with him singin,'
Together again!

    O come will the day, that my true will say,
    'My heart, you've been the world over!'
    But until I rest free, I must hurry the sea and
    She waits the land.
Ida Blue Sep 2011
She sits there alone and cold
Cold from the fight they just had
Cold from the words given
Just cold

She rethinks the talk they had,
Rethinks all the moments that went bad
All the regret just harbored
She sits there alone
Isolated from the one she wants the most
He’s two hundred miles away, doesn’t even care
Doesn’t even say goodbye doesn’t even apologize
Apologize for all the neglect

All the strife
The pain between them
The anguish he gives
The lonely nights he induces
The broken heart he creates
He doesn’t even know

She sits there tending to the wound, the deep
Cut visible to no one but hurts her like a disease
Like a disease, it eats her away bit by bit
Clutching to her like a newborn child,
It won’t go away
Won’t let her forget that night
Won’t let her think of anything else but him

She sits there thinking
Being productive just isn’t an option
It’s like she’s sick
It’s like she can’t move, knowing he’s angry
But he doesn’t chase her
Doesn’t fight for her like he should
Like he told her that night
The confessions he gave her
The high he gave her
The addiction he’s given her
It’s like he forgot

Overwhelmed with himself and the moments he’s in,
He never recalls that night,
Neither does she
He never talks about the kiss,
Neither does she
He never tells her what she needs to hear,
Because he doesn’t know
Can someone be so ignorant?
Can someone really not sense a connection between two people?

He leads her on like a horse to water
But leads her to nothing but dry sand
He uses her like a tool,
One day but not the next
Like she’s a convenient item waiting around
For him when necessary
Like she doesn’t deserve better

Yet she sits, thinking
Her addiction is too strong
Her heart is weak
And her need is great
She texts him
Looking for a response
Anything to help her move forward
Anything to give her hope with a future with him
Anything to remind her of that night
Anything to remind her of the moments they shared
In denial,
He doesn’t say it
Not one word closer to what she needs
Not one call closer to what she yearns for
So she waits
She plays the friend card,
The loyal, pure-minded friend
Holding back her feelings,
Holding back the lust until he says it
Something, that anything
So she can finally tell him
She knows it won’t be tonight maybe not tomorrow
But she waits
Like a tiger to its prey,
She waits for a drunken night
And drunken texts
She waits for his vulnerability to heal her own
Waits for the confessions to begin
Waits

Day by day she withers away
Waiting for a boy
Who knows nothing but joy
Knows nothing of pain
Knows not the love he can gain
With such few words
Because she can love him like no other
Be like no other lover
Be like none before
And still have him coming back for more
So he sits there drinking a beer
Talking to his friends who sit near
Ignorant to the pain he gives her

As she sits there quietly
Hurting, yearning
Drinking the pain away
Smoking the hurt into ash
Getting her fix from the thing he quit
And falling faster and deeper into an emotional pit

This is why people isolate themselves
They don’t like vulnerability
They don’t like pain
The hurt, regret, stabbing, burning, cutting, pain
They don’t want to cry
To sit there all night on some false hope
False hope of attachment of potential
No
They turn their back
Ignore the person who hurts them
Ignores them like a child giving the cold shoulder
Facing away from him,
With tears in her eyes
She hurts herself by separating from him
By building a wall
Hurts herself by trying to end their relationship,
End everything they are,
But she’s weak

Looking over her shoulder to see if he’s still there,
She picks up her phone to write another text.
Terry Collett Mar 2016
Mother Josephine dead. It's hard to believe, Sister Teresa muses to herself as she leaves the church after Sext. So long ago now since I first saw her. Thirty years ago, yes, thirty years ago. And as she walks along the cloister towards the refectory, she thinks over the many years of their relationship. The sun shines into the cloister and warms the ground beneath her feet. She passes the bell rope hanging like a tail in the cloister outside the refectory door. It was here, she says to herself as she enters the refectory, it was here that Mother Josephine first spoke to me all those years ago. And entering the refectory she bows towards the crucifix on the wall above Mother Abbess's table and goes to the old table where the bread is laid out for the sisters. She cuts herself two slices of brown bread and takes her place at the table where she has sat for the last six months. Yes, here, she repeats to herself, it was here that Mother Josephine first spoke to me that late evening that I arrived on my first visit to the convent. She stands by the table and awaits the arrival of Mother Abbess through the door. It seems years now since that evening. Thirty years. God. How time has flown. And seeing Mother Abbess enter, Sister Teresa bows towards her and waits for the signal to begin the grace. Tap tap and the grace begins and she recites the grace that she has said so many times now, that it seems like an eternity since she first said it way back in 1968. That long ago? Yes, I suppose it is, she thinks, sitting down at her place as the grace ends. And Mother Josephine was even then like a mother hen towards me that late evening I arrived. What did I ask her? Hard to recall now. Something about what qualifications I might need to enter the community, I think. And Mother Josephine said, returning from the kitchen where she had been to fetch me some warm food, only your willingness to serve and love of God. And I felt her wanting me to be there so much. Sister Teresa waits for the food to be brought to the table by one of the younger nuns. She looks across at the table opposite and sees Sister Martha pick up a glass and fill it with water from a glass jug on the table. So many have left or died over the years, she sighs looking away from Sister Martha. She waits until one of the young ones places a tray of meat and vegetables on the table and then offers it to her sisters on the right and left of her. They help themselves and then she, indifferently, takes a portion of each onto her plate and begins to eat. Mother Josephine has died, Mother Abbess had said that morning after Mass in the chapter house. And the community had not been that surprised but it had shocked Sister Teresa. It seemed as if old Mother Josephine would last forever but of course she didn't. Silly to think she would. Not think so much as wished it probably, she muses eating a portion and looking at the window up above her opposite. And Lucia not long gone either. It seems so many have gone recently. Lucia so suddenly last year. Shocked me that did and pained me terribly, she muses darkly putting down her fork and pushing food around the plate. Mother Josephine dead. Just like that. No more to know her about the house as such. No more to see her enter the church for Lauds or Vespers and Mass as she did those final weeks with effort. I wonder if she ever knew about Lucia and me. She may I think. When Lucia went to Rome way back in 1971 and I had problems settling down she had me sent home for a few weeks to recover. Breakdown of sorts. But she knew about us I'm sure. She said nothing but knew. Kind and gentle. Different from some that were here. Sister Teresa sips from the glass of water in front of her and gazes across at Sister Maria who was eating slowly from her plate. And then she looks up towards Mother Abbess who waits for the reader to finish the given text of the day. She cleans her knife, fork and spoon with her napkins and puts it away beneath the table ready for the next meal. Mother Abbess has finally settled down, Sister Teresa muses to herself. So sudden after Lucia's death. And Mother Josephine was always there then to guide the new Abbess. The tap tap from the Abbess and the reader stops in mid-sentence. All rise and the grace after the meal begins. After the Abbess has departed, the other nuns depart in whatever fashion and Sister Teresa walks out from the refectory and along the cloister in the sunshine. So alone now, Sister Teresa thinks, since Lucia went. Now even more so. The young are unfamiliar. The old too locked in their own world. Thirty years since I entered, she says to herself, as she walks along the cloister looking into the garth surrounded by flowers. And she remembers the time Mother Josephine came to the common room when she stayed that time in 1968 and said, “Mother Abbess says you can enter in the autumn.” But in fact she had entered in December because of other commitments and hence the late evening arrival, she thinks walking down the steps that lead into the grounds. Cold that year. Never known it so. But it was all part of the sacrifice I thought then, she tells herself as she walks slowly down the path leading to the beach. Now I take things in my stride, she muses smiling to herself and letting the sunshine warm her face. Never use to walk alone so much as I do now, she sighs, placing her hands inside her habit, there were usually others to walk with: Martha, Lucia, and of course Mother Josephine. Sometimes Martha comes and we walk along here but it's not the same. Years have given us little to talk about apart from the rumours and gossip. Mother Josephine is eighty-seven you know; Martha had said a few weeks back, I remember, Sister Teresa informs herself. Been a professed nun for seventy years. That's some time, Martha had added as we conversed along the cloister during our recreation period. Seventy years. I thought my thirty years was good, Sister Teresa muses. She looks up at the bright warm sunlight filtering through the trees above her head. She stands still for a few minutes and looks up and then around her. We use to walk here during our recreation with Mother Josephine those early years as novices. Georgina, Geraldine, Young Sister Henry and I. Never did quite take to Sister Henry. Gone now. Left years ago and married. Georgina and Geraldine left also after a year or so. Many called, few chosen, so the saying goes. And Mother would take us along here and down onto the private beach. We never sunbathed of course or anything like that. Just sat on the beach and watched the tide come in and out and talked and talked and occasionally in our youthfulness threw stones along the water. And Mother would join in too. So long ago, Sister Teresa says just above a whisper, so long ago. And she walks down onto the beach and stands looking out to sea. Sometimes Sister Lucy and I would come down here and just stand here. Sometimes we would hold hands and walk along the whole private stretch of beach. Once we saw Mother and quickly dropped our hands. She may have seen us but she never said or mentioned it. She never even tried to keep us apart as some may have done had they seen us so much together. But she never did. I can see her now standing here, her warm friendly eyes through narrow-wired glasses looking at me. Sister Teresa walks along the beach and hides her hands in her habit. She feels the salt from the sea on her tongue and in her nose. She closes her eyes and stands still again. Only the sound of the waves and the cry of far off seagulls now. I remember that time I went to see her because I had a falling out with Sister Henry. Yes, even here one can have falling outs, though one tries to resolve things not let them fester or become difficult. That is part of the test, Teresa. We all have our funny ways that may annoy another. We are all human. We may find others not to our taste or not those whom we would choose as friends. But we are bound by our vows and love of Christ to see Christ in all our sisters not just those whom we like or love, Mother had said. She may have been hinting about Lucy and me but she never said anything about names or such. Try to make an effort to see Christ especially in Sister Henry, Mother added looking at me through her glasses. I said I'd try. I did try and it made a difference. But we never really liked each other deep down, Sister Henry and I. Don't know why. Strange. But can you love someone whom you don't like? Possibly. I mean you may not always like those whom you love but you love them all the same. And others you like but not necessarily love. Well so I thought. Now I'm not sure. Mother was wise. She, who had been a nun for seventy years, knew human nature better than I. Sister Teresa opens her eyes again and looks out to sea. Sometimes, I remember, Sister James would come along on our walks. She was our assistant novice-mistress. I liked her. She had a great sense of humour and could throw stones along the waves better than any of us way back then. She too has left now. Mother Josephine was indeed like a mother hen to us who came into her care. Once she had retired, she was allowed to take things easy but she rarely did. She hated to be unoccupied. I bet even now she's asking Our Lord for things to do. People to pray for. Rest in peace, Mother, Sister Teresa says over the incoming tide. Now a bell rings. Recreation is over. Better return to the house, she says to herself as she turns back along the beach. And as she enters the cloister she senses that maybe Mother isn't far away. Just there. Watching. Listening. Smiling.
A NUN RECALLS THE MOTHERLY NUN WHO HAD DIED.
Alyssa Underwood May 2017
Promises made by mortal man
Are rarely met by mortal hand
For though they strive to win your heart
Such passions land far from their start

They'll paint, so clear, a future bliss
And draw you in with blinding kiss
But just when you have bought the dream
Man finds pursuits more worthy to deem

Ambition, sport and other girls
Whose flattering words and smiles like pearls
Will tempt a fellow to leave his nest
And lie upon another's breast

'Tis pain so sharp you think you'll die
And tears aren't found enough to cry
A torture rack would be better friend
With all its tearing limb to limb

To have your innards disemboweled
Or face the fiercest lion's growl
Would be kinder punishment than this
From one who knew your ****** kiss

And yet within this darkest night
A hint of moonbeam's softest light
Might rise upon such blistered soul
And shine into its gaping hole

For romance still may spark a flame
And whisper to your heart by name
To woo you in your bleakest hour
With promises of healing power

Promises unlike the others you've known
Whose good intentions were quickly thrown
Away by the frailty of human flesh
When sin's entanglements did enmesh

No, this One's words are wholly sure
His heart and mind and will are pure
His faithfulness cannot be shaken
Nor His covenant love ever be taken

He chose you before He made the sun
And said to the Father, "I want that one!"
He searched you out through all your years
Through all your joys and pains and fears

And now He waits for you to grasp
That deepest pleasure lies in His clasp
That His own kiss brings highest delight
That His face is eye's sweetest sight

It's He alone Who can fill you up
And saturate your empty cup
When life has left you hollow and dry
And numb to further wish to try

When memories lie tarnished with stains
And not one worthy dream remains
He reaches in with perfect hope
That pulls you up like saving rope

And as He wipes tears from your eyes
He says to you: I am the Prize!
Take hold of Me and drink My love
Come sit with Me in realms above

For I have blessings prepared for you
That you've never imagined, but oh it's true
I long to give you all of Me
To draw you close and let you see

That in your pain you know Me best
That heart's rejection finds its rest
In this sweet fellowship of intimacy
Where you are made to look like Me

I'll give you love like you've not known
Enough to see your will o'erthrown
Enough to pour it out upon
That very one who did you wrong

For that one, too, knows thirst of soul
And needs My love to fill the hole
Which, though he's tried hard to ignore,
Pleads, "More and more and more and more!"

But if he never should respond
Still, that pure love will seal the bond
That ties you to My own heartbeat
For then you'll see My love complete

For though the world resists Me still
I love them fiercely and always will
I've known rejection like no other
From bride and kindred and friend and brother

And when you love through hate and scorn
A jewel within your heart is born
For then you glimpse My own heart's breaking
And learn My secrets of rarest taking

To rejoice in the face of bitter spite
Requires sure death but will invite
Your soul to dance in gardens of bliss
Where you will know My Lover's kiss

So come and dance with Me, make haste
There's no spare moment left to waste
Abundant life waits through this door
With thrills and pleasures evermore!
Repost
Seán Mac Falls Aug 2012
.
When I was a youth, I spied a bird,
She filled my field with song,
And sadly it was, my duties began
But we made a vow singin,'
Together again!

    And a way'l we go, as I hurry the sea and—
    She waits the land.


My true love I call a nightingale,
And I myself a lark,
Together we make, two turtledoves,
And we made a vow singin,'
Together again!

    And a way'l we go, as I hurry the sea and—
    She waits the land.

    O come will the day, that my true will say,
    When all my sporting is over,
    'Do you remember the days, I waited the land,
    And you hurried the sea?'


Now, the sea is my girl and I her man,
I hear a lovers lament,
An old seabird cries from the brighty main,
And I join with him singin,'
Together again!

    *O come will the day, that my true will say,
    'My heart, you've been the world over!'
    But until I rest free, I must hurry the sea and
    She waits the land.
oldbutnotwise Oct 2013
to forget all about him,
what does it take to extract
someone from the mind?

painfully she waits,
she realizes that for the past 12 hours,
not a single thought of him crossed her mind.

but now she waits,
and he is back on her mind again,
it feels like it is back to square one.

so she waits,
because 12 hours without him,
meant the tomorrow would be 13 hours without him.

when she waits,
eventually 24 hours without him,
leads to many more hours and days without him.

n.y.
A woman waits for me, she contains all, nothing is lacking,
Yet all were lacking if *** were lacking, or if the moisture of the
   right man were lacking.

*** contains all, bodies, souls,
Meanings, proofs, purities, delicacies, results, promulgations,
Songs, commands, health, pride, the maternal mystery, the seminal
   milk,
All hopes, benefactions, bestowals, all the passions, loves,
   beauties, delights of the earth,
All the governments, judges, gods, follow’d persons of the earth,
These are contain’d in *** as parts of itself and justifications of
   itself.

Without shame the man I like knows and avows the deliciousness of
   his ***,
Without shame the woman I like knows and avows hers.

Now I will dismiss myself from impassive women,
I will go stay with her who waits for me, and with those women that
   are warm-blooded and sufficient for me,
I see that they understand me and do not deny me,
I see that they are worthy of me, I will be the robust husband of
   those women.

They are not one jot less than I am,
They are tann’d in the face by shining suns and blowing winds,
Their flesh has the old divine suppleness and strength,
They know how to swim, row, ride, wrestle, shoot, run, strike,
   retreat, advance, resist, defend themselves,
They are ultimate in their own right- they are calm, clear, well-
   possess’d of themselves.

I draw you close to me, you women,
I cannot let you go, I would do you good,
I am for you, and you are for me, not only for our own sake, but for
   others’ sakes,
Envelop’d in you sleep greater heroes and bards,
They refuse to awake at the touch of any man but me.

It is I, you women, I make my way,
I am stern, acrid, large, undissuadable, but I love you,
I do not hurt you any more than is necessary for you,
I pour the stuff to start sons and daughters fit for these States, I
   press with slow rude muscle,
I brace myself effectually, I listen to no entreaties,
I dare not withdraw till I deposit what has so long accumulated
   within me.

Through you I drain the pent-up rivers of myself,
In you I wrap a thousand onward years,
On you I graft the grafts of the best-beloved of me and America,
The drops I distil upon you shall grow fierce and athletic girls,
   new artists, musicians, and singers,
The babes I beget upon you are to beget babes in their turn,
I shall demand perfect men and women out of my love-spendings,
I shall expect them to interpenetrate with others, as I and you
   inter-penetrate now,
I shall count on the fruits of the gushing showers of them, as I
   count on the fruits of the gushing showers I give now,
I shall look for loving crops from the birth, life, death,
   immortality, I plant so lovingly now.
Seán Mac Falls Jul 2013
When I was a youth, I spied a bird,
She filled my field with song,
And sadly it was, my duties began
But we made a vow singin,'
Together again!

    And a way'l we go, as I hurry the sea and—
    She waits the land.

My true love I call a nightingale,
And I myself a lark,
Together we make, two turtledoves,
And we made a vow singin,'
Together again!

    And a way'l we go, as I hurry the sea and—
    She waits the land.

    O come will the day, that my true will say,
    When all my sporting is over,
    'Do you remember the days, I waited the land,
    And you hurried the sea?'

Now, the sea is my girl and I her man,
I hear a lovers lament,
An old seabird cries from the brighty main,
And I join with him singin,'
Together again!

    O come will the day, that my true will say,
    'My heart, you've been the world over!'
    But until I rest free, I must hurry the sea and
    She waits the land.
jad Jul 2013
Put on your father's hat
Full of stickers
About nuclear war.
It Will Be The Death of Us
Send it in a package
as Thomas waits
He listens to Tom Waits
But only the old stuff,
the better stuff...
Waits for reality
To be as good as mine.
Snapshots of his jealousy flash from the screen,
I pity him and his envy.
Ridge lines could **** me.
I never want to sleep again.
I have slept enough, eleven days
Only dreaming for sixteen years
Now I could die.
But I died before,
This time it is only fun and I am only happy.
Terry Collett Dec 2014
Yiska knows how she feels but how it got that way she's unsure and that aspect worries her the uncertainty of life and being young being thirteen being like an unfolding flower she feels vulnerable and yet excited as if she could suddenly jump up in class at school and say I am me I am who I am and I love Benedict and I don’t give a **** who knows it and such and such but she doesn't she just waits for the school bus to arrive with him on-board see his face in the window peering out looking for her he a year older and in a different class and some days she doesn't see him(except like now waiting for the school bus) or maybe if it is sunny and they can out on the playing field during recess and she meet him and be with him for a while but it looks like rain and she knows that means she might not see him any more that day unless she's lucky and sees him in the corridor in between lessons as she did the other day on her way to biology and he was coming the other way(she can picture him now his hazel eyes and quiff of brown hair and that Elvis smile) and he paused and spoke to her briefly and touched her hand O so softly his fingers gently holding(hots O hots) and she felt perspiration run down the back of her legs and elsewhere and the other students with her were saying O come on Yiska put him down you don't know where he's been and such words but she didn't care she had him briefly and then a prefect came along and said to move on get to classes but now she waits for the bus the rain beginning to come down so she moves under shelter of the front door and peers out through the rain at the road leading into the school the wire fence mesh fence trees each side of the road other students arriving on foot but no bus and she thinks of the time they managed to get behind the maths block and be alone and out of sight of others(the teachers gone for their lunch) and she sat on his knees and he held her around the waist and kissed her and spoke and said things about his life and she was listening but not listening her body was on fire each particle of her was vibrating each nerve tingled her hands around him were wet with perspiration her neck damp where his lips had been and her cheek wet and warm and her heart beat so fast it felt as if it might take off out of her ******* and she wondered how far can they go and how far is far? the bus comes into sight slowly taking the bend and she looks at it her eyes following its every move watching the windows looking for his face searching for a sight of him the rain down pouring now the students getting out of the bus and running towards school and she waits and looks and then there he is Benedict running towards school his head slightly bent forward his coat unbuttoned and flying out like wings and he sees her and waves a hand and she feels as if someone had knifed her guts and ripped her open so that her heart was hanging out there pumping for all to see and he comes over and stands with her in the cover of the front door and his hair is plastered down and his hazel eyes alight with eagerness and he says something but she is only half listening only catches the words and not meanings and he laughs and she laughs too and he whisperers in her ear and the words are warm as his breath and seem to echo through her like kids at play been waiting for you she says **** rain he says won't see you after this unless maybe in the corridor or after school as you get on your bus he looks at her his quiff of hair drowned and limp maybe we might he says maybe in the school gym and she feels a pleasure at this if it's free and no one else is there she thinks sensing him there his hand on hers and warm hand her flesh his skin touching better go he says bell will ring soon and he goes and she waits and watches him go her body a buzz of activity as if she were a bees nest buzzing and O she mutters and nerves seem to explode in her and fireworks in her head and her body best get a move on a teacher says who passes her by the door no place to linger and she looks at the teacher and nods her head but feels like saying drop off drop dead but moves off and out in the rain the wetness cooling down her hotness and she runs through the girl's playground towards the school buildings her coat of green damp and her hair beginning to hang limp by her face and she enters the school with a rush of emotions her thoughts everywhere her body tingling like a live wire ready to set alight on edge about to set all of her on fire.
A SCHOOL GIRL WAIST FOR HER BOYFRIEND'S BUS TO ARRIVE IN 1962. THE DELIBERATE ABSENCE OF PUNUCATUON AND PARAGRAPHS SHOULD MAKE IT UNDULY HARD TO READ. DISCOVER YOUR OWN BREATHING SPACES; READ IT SLOW AT FIRST, TAKE IN THE WORDS, ONE BY ONE.

— The End —