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JPB Jul 2010
The tiny, black transistor, three wires,
One two three, ramrod straight get bent,
Quarter-inch strain, needle-nose pliers and it's broken.
Instructions: look, ask what "install"
Means: to bend the leads, push in, solder
Tightly and well, no crossing, to the board.

Lumps all over the green circuit board,
Yellow blue black etc., flip-side wires
Cut short, little silver domes of solder
With the leads set up just right, bent
Just right to stay in when you flip it over to install
Them so they don't fall out, but lost is better than broken.

The one transistor, Q1, J310, broken,
Lying against the also-black of the countertop, board
Loudly near, demanding, "Just install
It already, ******."  Just the two of three wires
On the Q1, last one lying lonely bent
Crying out, hollering, screaming for solder.

Look at the one straight piece of solder,
Two leads protruding from one hole, broken
Off by careless, melting hands, left stranded on the board,
Cut off from the spool, low melting point, easily bent.
It looks just like "one of the boys," the real wires.
Copper wires conduct well, very ductile and easy to install.

When you are attempting this, to install
Everything in its place (and there is one), beware excess solder;
Too much crosses from  hole to hole, uniting two wires,
Shorting it out and leaving you drifting with a broken,
Useless green hunk of circuitry and electronics (a board,
A dead board), which is just as useless as your leads which are too bent.

Some of these **** parts come pre-bent
(Why not each?), real easy to slide in and install,
Just bend slightly after sliding into the board,
Slightly enough to hold for the solder
Which is to come, assuming it's not broken
Yet, and that yours are still whole wires.

On the back, at the end, identical dots of solder
Run the length of the board.  If it's not broken,
Run a current through; see if you get a shock by the wires.
Cam Apr 2017
You can leave wires alone, hidden away
and they still get tangled, ******* in knots,
twisted around in angry coils, like a pit-full
of leathery snakes.  Everything appears to work still fine

and it looks nice and shiny, like it always did.
Dusted off every week. Our visitors admire it,
and family don’t notice it anymore.
It’s part of the furniture, there every day;

useful and pleasurable though it is, in its way,
if it broke, it would be replaced. So why,
though untouched in anyway
are the wires in such a state?

So, moving the furniture, you try
and release them. You try and follow the trail,
from where they used to run straight and true,
to where they now entwine and choke

each other with their tiny knotted fists of flex.
And you think this is beyond the laws of physics,
That an inanimate object can come alive
With such malevolence.


You look for explanation, such as
spectral interference or evil black-eyed
midnight fairies with sharp pin-teeth,
who, in glinting moonlight, spin and prance,

Whirling the wires around, as if in some frenzied pagan dance.
Rather, though, (and you know) it’s the small
unseen twists of time that, uncorrected in neglect,
have snared the wires in their own catch net.

However did it come to this? I ask her,
and she looks at me, as if
I shouldn’t be surprised. For so
it happens every time.
How and why do untouched wires entangle themselves?  It's so frustrating!
My Walk with Wires

I thought I was done,

Crawling away from devilish thoughts,

But they creep back in,

Twisting my brain into knots.

I thought I was done running away,

It was the first rain of May,

The numbness of my words and my love?

Procaine makes the numbness infinite.

I’m walking on thin wires,

My eyes roll,

Why am I not moving?
Is it my excavation of life, or just my flat tires?

What lead to this curse,

My life isn’t found in an expensive purse,

It’s not found in fables,

It’s found in the elegance of what gets worse.

There’s a forest,

It’s whispering your name,
Honestly, it’s screaming about my shame,

Is it my heart, or is it me that’s to blame?

I punch these mirrors,

You stare,

The ideas in my head?

 You made them so unfair.

White flashes,

Blue flashes,

Red flashes,

Broken blood flowing out of these gashes.

Did I fall,

Was it real?

The jagged wires collapsed?

I’m navigating away from these traps…?

I’m awake now,

Only a little bit of pain is here,

What did I dream of?

Was it about March 17th again?

I only need that eternal love,

I didn’t need the so called beauty of a dove,

You scream out,

I call back, but with eternal resentment.

We all need a little more love,

But some of us have to earn it by walking,

Walking on thin wires,

Because it’s a testament of your true heart.
THE BALLOONS hang on wires in the Marigold Gardens.
They spot their yellow and gold, they juggle their blue and red, they float their faces on the face of the sky.
Balloon face eaters sit by hundreds reading the eat cards, asking, "What shall we eat?"-and the waiters, "Have you ordered?" they are sixty ballon faces sifting white over the tuxedoes.
Poets, lawyers, ad men, mason contractors, smartalecks discussing "educated *******," here they put ***** into their balloon faces.
Here sit the heavy balloon face women lifting crimson lobsters into their crimson faces, lobsters out of Sargossa sea bottoms.
Here sits a man cross-examining a woman, "Where were you last night? What do you do with all your money? Who's buying your shoes now, anyhow?"
So they sit eating whitefish, two balloon faces swept on God's night wind.
And all the time the balloon spots on the wires, a little mile of festoons, they play their own silence play of film yellow and film gold, bubble blue and bubble red.
The wind crosses the town, the wind from the west side comes to the banks of marigolds boxed in the Marigold Gardens.
Night moths fly and fix their feet in the leaves and eat and are seen by the eaters.
The jazz outfit sweats and the drums and the saxophones reach for the ears of the eaters.
The chorus brought from Broadway works at the fun and the slouch of their shoulders, the kick of their ankles, reach for the eyes of the eaters.
These girls from Kokomo and Peoria, these hungry girls, since they are paid-for, let us look on and listen, let us get their number.
  
Why do I go again to the balloons on the wires, something for nothing, kin women of the half-moon, dream women?
And the half-moon swinging on the wind crossing the town-these two, the half-moon and the wind-this will be about all, this will be about all.
  
Eaters, go to it; your mazuma pays for it all; it's a knockout, a classy knockout-and payday always comes.
The moths in the marigolds will do for me, the half-moon, the wishing wind and the little mile of balloon spots on wires-this will be about all, this will be about all.
*****


Apr 7, 2012, 6:08:21 PM by ~OmegaWolfOfWinter
Journals / Personal




"Name: Amelia Weissmuler. Date of birth: June 6th, 1920. Test subject number 314-X. Specimen: Tiger." Amy heard all of this through a haze of sedatives that had begun to lose their already poor effect. She turned in the direction of the voice and saw a fearsome **** SS General standing behind a white clad scientist with a heavy accent. The general said nothing but listened and watched as Amy was strapped down to a cold metal table, completely **** with various wires, tubes and needles protruding from her flesh. She groaned painfully, the needles were extensive, and the **** scientists had no care of decency or respect. she was hit with another sedative and before she lost consciousness she heard the scientist, who she guessed was Dr. Heismeiller, say, "Name, Mordecai Dansker, former Major of the Third *****. Date of birth: September 19th, 1919. Test subject 14-W. Specimen: Wolf. As you
can see, Heir General, these are both healthy specimens, as are the test subjects." Amy heard a
rattling of cages. Her vison slowly went dark but not before seeing the doctor's face, uncovered and psychotic.
* *
When Amy woke up again, she was being suspended from the floor, the tubes and wires accompanied by menacing electrodes. there was an unnatural blue and white crackling of electricity around her, illuminating the other suspended tables nearby, the bodies in various grotesque positions and levels of decay. she tried to scream but found a machine unceremoniously shoved in her mouth, stretching deep inside her. she looked and saw nothing but obscene machines and various glass tubes of colored bubbling liquids. she tried sluggishly to break free but to no avail. what little strength she had was useless against the torturous devices emplanted in and around her. "Doctor, begin the experiment."
"Yaboe!" She heard a solid click resound through the room and heard a male scream in another room. the screams echoed for a long while, then nothing. she heard a gasp of releif from
the doctor and, "General! Subject 14-W... he has... Survived!"
"Good. now start on the frauline." there was a large thud from outside the room. "Quickly! this facility is under seige!"
"Yes sir, heir general. Test subject 314-X prepped and ready. Begin phase 1." she cried out silently as the needles burned hot inside her and the tubes boiled her insides. the electrodes soon incapacitated her and she fell unconscious.
*
*
"Phase 1 complete, heir general, subject is ready, proceeding to Phase 2."
Amy felt an intense burning around the needles, and an electric fire through her veins. the machine had been taken from her mouth, but she doubted she could scream any more, as her throat was raw from the silent screams of Phase 1. She felt her body shake uncontrollably as more electric shocks were administered. she was left panting and slumped over. "Sequence complete, the bonding process was a success." there was another thud and sediment from the roof fell to the floor. "Get her down now! They will be through soon!" She was lowered to the ground and unstrapped from the table, picked up, and placed on a stretcher. she raised her hands on front her face and nearly fainted, her hands, or paws, resembled that of a tiger, and as she looked, her whole body was covered in a slick orange, black and white fur. She was put into the backseat of an armored car with a simple blanket draped around
her. Amy felt nauseated
as the car sped off. It hit a bump in the road and she moaned painfully, clutching her furry belly and retching. the **** next to her turned away in disgust. the car ride was long and sickening, and she lost consciousness twice, and finally she tried to lay down in the cramped space. when the armored car finally stopped, she was pulled from the back seat and carried over a soldier's shoulder and into a small bunker. Once inside, amy heard a metal door open and was laid down onto a stiff bed with a single pillow and a single cover. There was a small window in the cell, a drab, grey stream of light shining in her eyes. She propped herself up on her elbow and shielded her eyes from the blinding contrast. Once her eyes adjusted, amy noticed that things had a particular sharpness to them and she had an acute awareness of things based on scent. she stood shakily, and noticed she was almost
six inches taller now, and her new tail swished back and forth along the concrete floor. she stepped
forward and grasped the iron bars and peeked out, seeing a black leather messenger bag and a black uniform lined with white. she couldn't quite reach the uniform, but was able to get a claw around the strap of the messenger bag. she pulled it closer to her and saw that her initials were monogrammed into the leather. she pulled it through the bars and opened the bag, pulling out a small, blank, leather bound journal and a pen. still ****, she sat on the bed and practiced writing, tearing out two pages of scratch paper. She began her journal with, "I am no longer the person i once was. i am something new, something... different."
• * *
The **** captain stepped into the bunker and saw amy, half lying, half dangling on the bed, the leather journal clutched close to her chest. he stormed into the cell and backhanded her awake, snatching up the journal as she cowered in the corner, her tail wrapped around her. the captain flipped through the pages of the journal and then closed iit with a snap. he glanced at it and dropped it on the bed. "it is yours now, Frauline. you are very special to the third *****. the fuhrer himself has asked for you to be placed in the Waffen SS and trained." amy glanced at the uniform on the table outside the cell and he nodded, "specially tailored for you, frauline. he stepped outside the cell and grabbed the uniform, setting it down on the bed. "you may Change into your new uniform and join the rest of us outside." he stepped outside and she was alone. she donned the simple uNdergarments then
slipped into the soft black trousers, after which she put on her military boots. next she put on the black and white jacket signature of the SS. the jacket was sleek and menacing, though it did little to flatten her chest, but that, she supposed, was one of her feminine charms. last was her hat and armband, both adorned with the *******. she gathered the leather messenger bag and stepped outside the cell, where a mirror stood, giving her a chance to see what had been done, the black uniform was a dramatic contrast to her brightly colored fur, and her new black stripes added a fierce look to her. she grinned and flashed menacing white teeth. she turned her body, looking at herself from different points of view. she slipped the **** armband onto her right arm and turned to leave. she stopped when she encountered a high pitch noise right next to the door. for the moment she just walked past, opening the door and adjusting her vision to the outside light. the layout was grey and barren,
as it always was in wartime. the captain was waiting for her along with a small squad of SS troops. a
Few laughed and remarked at her appearance, making cat noises and wolf whistling at her. she glared at them with a bright white snarl carved into her soft face. *they will fear me...

she saluted the captain and said, "heil ******." he returned the gesture, "heil. you are now part of the Waffen SS, frauline Amelia."
"please sir, its amy."
he noted her directness and ferocity, "very well, amy. before we assign you a task, though, you must prove yourself." he addressed the squad, "they are all corporal's and sergeants. you are merely a private. you will gain a rank for each one that you ****. however, they have been told that if they do not force you to submit, they will be killed or sent to the russian front. so you best fight your hardest, private amy."
as he finished, the squad set down their Mauser 98K's and MP-40's and stepped closer to her. her eyes widened in shock, then narrowed in ferocious determination. there were twelve of them.
"Fight!"
• *
Amy took a fighting stance and faced her attackers. she attempted a punch at the nearest one but was kneed in the gut, she was thrown back a few feet. she fell to her knees and clutched her stomach with one hand, holding herself upright with the other. tears sprung to life in her eyes and threatened to roll down her cheeks. she fought the tears back and stood, feeling her claws extend. she swiped at a soldier's throat, catching him right in the throat. blood splattered the ground as he choked on his own fluids. the remaining eleven were taken aback slightly, allowing her to pounce another soldier, punching and tearing at his gut with lethal force. her fur was bloodstained and she waited a moment too late, watching the cavity she created fill with blood. she was barreled over, the wind knocked out of her by a sergeant. she lay on her back, gasping for air as the soldiers closed in,
landing a few punches and sending her reeling back. she staggered back, struggling for breath. she
Bumped up against something and realized it was a bunker wall, she was trapped. she thought quickly and decided for a new course of action, she waited for one of them to gather his bravado and throw a solid punch at her, which was useless, she grabbed his wrist and smashed his head against the wall, filling his helmet with blood and brains. in the same move, she had grabbed his Luger and had downed three more of the remaining ten. in their moment of confusion she kicked the closest one in the fork of his legs and followed up with a pistolwhip. the man went down quickly and died by the heel of her merciless boot. the remaining six charged at her, one falling by her last bullet and another caught a swift kick in the ribcage, shattering the bones to peices. the rest of the men were sergeants, and they began to retreat, running into the open field. she was about to chase after them when she
heard another Luger fire. she turned to see the captain shooting the deserters. each fell, one by
One by the captain's gun to her surprise he let a single man go. "you have done very well, frauline amy. you have killed eight out of twelve men, not bad at all."
she was panting, her uniform dirtied, "why.. did you let.. him go?"
the captain smiled, "someone has to spread you're reputation, heir captain."
she gaped at him. "i am... captain?"
"yaboe, heir frauline. you have proved yourself worthy to serve under the fuhrer."
she saluted him, "thank you, heir captain."
*
amy wrote in her journal as they were driven to one of the Stalags: "my promotion to captain has earned me my choice of weapons, ive chosen a few, two long barrel Luger's, a cavalry saber, and a sixteen foot bullwhip. i also carry an automatic Mauser in my messenger bag. other than a few knives carefully hidden on my body, that should be it. ive become the fuhrer's favorite enforcer, though i feel as if i'm forgetting something..."
amy closed the journal and placed it in her bag with a soft snap.
Amy waited for a **** private to open the car door and let her out, tapping her foot impatiently. when he finally came, she had a luger pointed at his chest. "you're late. she got out of the car and shot him, holstering the pistol as he crumpled to the ground. the colonel in charge rushed towards her, "what is the meaning of this?!"
"your man on watch was late, and now he'll never be late again. and also, colonel, as i am a captain in the SS, i am your superior officer and you WILL adjust yourself accordingly or i will replace you with someone who will."
his expression was that of shock, "y-yes, heir captain, please follow me." he escorted her quickly to the main building. amy glanced around at the peering POWs, glaring at them with distaste as they whistled at her. "who's the kitty?" "what the hell is that?"
her hands fell to her lugers and she was ready to fire when she was beckoned inside by the colonel and she followed behind him reluctantly. "you should control your prisoners.
i find an overall lack of order in this camp. you're lucky i'm in a good mood, or i'd have you strung up for incompetence. lets hope my further evaluation of this... facility... does not make me any more inclined to do so."
the colonel stuttered again and dipped his head, "y-yes heir captain."
she stepped outside unopposed by any. she snapped her fingers and a sergeant rushed to her side and saluted. she handed him a journal logbook and he opened it to the page marked with the Stalag number. she entered the closed off areas of the stalag to inspect the barracks.
*
amy's fists were clenched with rag, a prisoner mocked her from within his confines. his fellow prisoners pleaded with him to stop. "she's lethal!" "she killed eight SS sergeants and corporals singelhandedly her first day!"
the prisoner ignored them and began gesturing at her. she snapped her head up and their eyes met for an instant, she growled through a gritted snarl and was over the fence in mere moments. once over,
the prisoner that mocked her was now on the ground, his throat between her fangs. he cried out once and then gurgled blood as she tore out his throat. she spat the flesh onto the dirt and stood, brushing the dusty particles from her uniform. the men around her backed away when she approached them, and watched her cautiously as she stepped back out of the fenceline. amy picked up her cap from the ground and brushed it off. one of the prisoners called for a doctor, and when one of the guards began to look for one, she merely said, "no, he wont survive. leave him be."
the soldier saluted and went back to his post. she walked up to the colonel and said, "your prisoner annoyed me, as do you, colonel. you have three days to turn this place around or you'll end up worse off then your prisoner over there."
the colonel had turned a pale white and whispered, "understood, captain."
she returned to her quarters and listened for a moment as the colonel shouted orders. "that was fun." she remarked.

Amy was asleep in one of the larger rooms in the main  building, her uniform folded neatly on the table near the bed. she kep one luger on her bedside table and the mauser under her pilllow. her other luger, her sword and her whip were next to her clothes. she was clad only in her fur, as she'd found that the most comfortable way to sleep.
she was woken up by a knock at the door. she blinked her eyes a few times. clutching the mauser handle with one hand and holding the blanket to her chest with the other, she said, "what is it?"
"the colonel wishes to speak to you, heir frauline."
she growled, "grrr... fine. tell him to make it quick." she clutched the blanket closer as he opened the door. she held the mauser aimed at him and said, "turn." he did so without hesitation. she slipped cautiously out of the bed and began to dress. "what is it you wished to speak with me about, colonel?" amy put on her undergarments and then pulled her trousers up to her waist, fastening the belt comfortably.
"there is an important telegram for you, heir captain." she pulled on the jacket over her simple shirt, tugging out any wrinkles. "oh? from who?" next came the holster belts, each hanging slightly lower than her first belt. her sword was another belt, and there was a custom clip there for her whip as well.
"Himler, he has special orders for you." her messenger bag was next to last, slung over her shoulder before she slipped into her boots. ""You can turn now. hand them here." she stepped closer to him and took the envelope with her name scrawled on the front. the colonel excused himself so she could read the orders, "captain amelia weissmuler, once you have completed your assignment at Stalag 14, please make haste to stalingrad as there has been a number of our own turning against the *****. see to it that they cause no more problems. -heinrich himler"
she read it through three more times before folding it and placing it in her bag. she hurried outside, grabbing her hat
From the dresser.
* *
amy went about her inspection, seeing nothing wrong today. "the condition of stalag 16 has improved, heir colonel. well done. now send my car around." the colonel grinned and motioned for the car.
the black car adorned with swastikas roared to life, coming up beside her. the d
your little voice
                    Over the wires came leaping
and i felt suddenly
dizzy
     With the jostling and shouting of merry flowers
wee skipping high-heeled flames
courtesied before my eyes
                             or twinkling over to my side
Looked up
with impertinently exquisite faces
floating hands were laid upon me
I was whirled and tossed into delicious dancing
up
Up
with the pale important
                          stars and the Humorous
                                                  moon
dear girl
How i was crazy how i cried when i heard
                                            over time
and tide and death
leaping
Sweetly
          your voice
ConnectHook Feb 2016
by John Greenleaf Whittier  (1807 – 1892)

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

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


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


                                       EMERSON

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

https://youtu.be/vVOQ54YQ73A

BLM activists are so stupid that they defaced a statue of Whittier  unaware that he was an ardent abolitionist 🤣
Staff Sgt. Joseph D'Augustine
a proud Jersey son
whom Thou hast blessed
laid in St. Luke’s ground
for his heavenly rest
April 4, 2012

1.

in a far off province of
God forsaken Helmand,
our dear son Joey
met his untimely end

an explosive crack
a most terrible sound
felled a beloved Jersey son
to the cold cruel ground

working the live wires
of a well placed IED
a deathly burst killed him
it was awful to see  

Staff Sgt. Joseph D’Augustine
in solemn duty fell
fellow brothers in arms
will forever reverently tell

of courage and character
of a dear fallen friend
and how the valiant warrior
met with death at his end

for he was always faithful
to his beloved corps
comrades couldn't ask
a valiant marine for more


2.

details of his death
are not the real story
selflessness and bravery
are but part of his glory

is it brash to
question why he fell?
in a useless bitter war
an embroiled senseless hell

a generation mustered
to fight in the war on terror
serving four tours of duty
in a lost decade of errors

two tours in Afghanistan and Iraq
could a nation ask a man for more?
for he was always faithful to the call
upholding pledges he hath sworn

3.

the burden of war
to a  few confined
it rarely crosses
an American’s mind

incessant war machine
drones on apace
the horror of conflict
so cleverly displaced

with afternoon baseball
and super bowl parties
big disco paychecks
and other selfish priorities

pay hollow tribute
to dear weary troops
when valor is mentioned
we gather in groups

we’ll raise the flag
sing stirring anthems
than its back to the party
pay it no more attention

self styled patriots
wave handfuls of flags
but ask them to contribute
the zeal soon lags

its left to the few
to shoulder burdens of many
fairness is lost
its a democratic calamity

four tours in a decade
an inhumane task
burdens require sharing
its only fair to ask

Joey was always faithful
to the task at hand
willing to step forward
to serve his homeland


4.

in the wake of 9/11
a nation deeply shaken
young patriots stirred
liberty’s call not forsaken

a call to serve answered
to quell the rise of terror
a clear clarion alarm
marks the nature of the era

Joey boldly came forward
to train and learn
the art of warriors
his bright patriotism burned

deployed to Afghanistan
to capture Osama
routing the Taliban
without much problem

but a pacified Afghan
not enough for Bush
he invaded Iraq
another military push

we rolled into Baghdad
adorned with victors garlands
Saddam’s statue toppled
our troops were honored

deposing a dictators
soon turned to occupation
a ****** mission transformed
to build the Iraqi and Afghan nations

once honored liberators
now a conquering force
bestriding broken nations
on a civil war course

military industrialists
stood to profit most
sweet protracted conflict
record earnings to boast

lives bartered for lucre
a region held hostage
the conflict deepened
hostilities hardened

America dipped into
a great recession
the war machine
bled money and
kept on ticking

scooping up contracts
rewarding investors
the dividends of war
heaven sent treasure

continuation of hostilities
preys on a nation's youth
as casualties mount
ill portents forsoothed

a fraction of citizens
bare heartaches of war
gulping measures of despair
to guard a nations door

a nation always faithful
to the holy pursuit of profit
a highest citizens calling
put money into your pocket


5.

our beloved Jersey son
gave a full measure of devotion
in dress blues they shipped him
back across the ocean

on the Dover tarmac
they received his remains
for a last ride northward
to his hometown terrain

repatriated body
bereft of soul saluted
solemn escort knelt
hearts trembled, tears muted

a hearse for a gallant man
flanked by state troop cruisers
to escort the funeral train
assure an honored movement

one last trip up
old thunder road
the storied highway
Joey often trod

the last detail legged up 17
reverent firefighters saluted  
from overpasses
to honor  the woeful scene

as the motorcade passed
the Garden State Malls
frenzied consumers
failed to notice at all

busy window shoppers
didn't to turn an eye
as Joey rolled home
to the sweet by and by

vets interred at the
Old Paramus Church
gently stirred in their graves
reasons for war they search

Channel 12 Chopper
circled its eye in the sky
televised the sad parade
captured many teary eyes

the early spring blooms
colorful petals displayed
maples and forsythias
a royal carpet laid

spring remains always faithful
as the new season turns
offer sunshine and glory
as our sinking hearts burn

6.

motorcycle escort
northbound lane clear
rolling homeward
Waldwick was near

leaves exploding
green shoots budding
****** white maple blooms
natures accolades stunning

the oaks yet bare
just waking from slumber
winters death passing
a sad day put asunder

the motorcade passed
Joey’s home on Prospect Ave
few  envision lifes endings
this woefully sad

red chevy pickup idles
in hoop crowned driveway
never to drain jumpers again
departed children can’t play

the eye in the sky
framed neighbors in mourning
welcoming back a fallen hero
unsettled emotions dawning

neighbors waved Old Glory
from painted stoops and curbs
unsure how this tragedy
visits this blessed suburb

green grass of home
always flush with spirit
tears welled in the eyes
most difficult to bear it

last cruise of the town
sad neighbors stand witness
paying final due respects
and ponder from a distance

what purpose is served
by this man’s passing?
the dead cannot speak
rationale is for the living

the terrible herse
death circles our town
moves through our day
hope of spring drowned

murderer of sunshine
killer of young flowers
budding trees breaking
our hearts an ashen pallor

we remember the beauty
of Joey’s stout face
as it looked on your finest day
exuding pure honor and grace

old vets gather
donning caps and pins
boasting semper fi jackets
jutting tear dripping chins

shaking hands, giving hugs
bearing tattered banners
the hearse ambles onward
we head home in solemn manner

good folks are always faithful
where beloved ones grew
the death of our children
we sadly cannot undo


7.

the bells of St. Lukes
called out from the sky
platoons of limping vets
marched in with pride

pomp and circumstance
requisite dress blues
family, friends, townsfolk
overflowed the pews

doleful bells resound
tolling a mournful reckon
the cost of war mounts
a family’s loss beckons

the casualties of war
falls upon a nation's youth
a seasons page not  turned
a flowing wound not soothed

the wistful cornet calling
floats on the fluted air
the bereaved ***** gently sounds
a congregations somber despair

an unsettling dirge
the parish grows uneasy
nationalist bravado wanes
in the forlorn sanctuary

both church and flag
draped in colors of war
mock stain glass windows
communicants adore

is it a betrayal of the flag
to offer enemies
psalms of reconciliation?
where does true loyalty lay
with God or a warring nation?

afterall this is a sanctuary
where peace and harmony reigns
are we not called to beat swords
into ploughshares as the highest
calling of our Lord?

we are always faithful
to the pathways to war
when the practice of peace
is what we should adore

8.

coughing and whispers
incessant low murmur
a baby cries out
we sit and remember

the crucifers process
in solemnity to greet
subtle ***** notes salute
a coffin draped in Old Glory sheets

the beloved child welcomed
to his eternal repose
priests splash holy water
within the sacred dome

an amazing grace revealed
lifted by marine pallbearers
dearly departed body presented
gently placed at the altar

a grief struck sister
lovingly eulogizes
recalls tonka trucks,
GI Joe’s and cool transformers

a punch in the nose
an approaching wedding
beckoning Eastertide
vacation plans left begging

my second grade class sent
Christmas cookies and cards
to dear Joey and warrior friends
he said it warmed stark winter hearts

he was raised in this church
taught trust and reconciliation
the comfort of the Lords peace
may it surely go with him

for he was always faithful
to sisters, family and faith
his resurrection service
imbues sacredness
to this space

9.

sharp in dress blues
Eddie T USMC Gunny
big 50 caliber smile
offers his eulogy

Bada Bing Jersey Humvee
we called him Joey Calzones
good mood, loved sausages
he tickled the funny bone

always willing to sacrifice
loved the Patriots Tom Brady
a women dominated household
gave him a way with the ladies

his calling explosive ordinances
he said he was livin the dream
March 6th last time we met
knocking frost off cold ones
man whatta scream

a gallant marine,
beloved brother,
a sure friend
he was always faithful
I’m deeply wounded
by his untimely end


10.

the gospel read
the homily offered
Ecclesiastes wisdom
a time for everything
proffered

God never turns
an eye from the beloved
though seasons change
we are not forsaken
never unloved

as loss arrives
surely grief grows
turn away not
wisdom knows

in resignation
love lay dead
diligent intention
banishes dread

our rekindled hope
we rend and sow
our beloved Joey
knew this was so

our favorite son’s
example taught us
now rises on eagle’s wings
to claim his divine justice

Jesus faithfully tramped
the path to an awful death
Joey too fought the good fight
a warrior now gratefully at rest

The Lord holds him close
to the ***** of sure love
a cantors beatific voice incants
Joey’s spirit that forever enchants

The Lord is always faithful
to the bereaved and  beloved
no one ever forsaken
all unconditionally loved

11.

the Holy Eucharistic cup
affirms everlasting giving
tasted to nourish evermore
a libation for the living

singing the Beatitudes
praising peace makers
mercy filled voice and song  
pallbearers lift Joey’s coffin

off to seek his final peace
an earthly occupation ended
he’ll suffer worldly hate no more
down the aisle his coffin wended

the family closely followed
a mother haltingly sobbing
faithful marines came forth
to steady her wobbling

there is no sudden waking
from this terrible dream
the pungent incense rose
to the chapels sacred beams

the stained glass murals depict
the passion of Jesus’s story
illuming a consuming sorrow
in all its grace filled glory

the ***** of death slinks on again
we search for consolation
the recompense of honor blest
leaves a hollow heart wanting
no answers offered to quell the dark
of these terrible life’s moments
only the desperate need to hold onto
beleaguered treasure that sustains us

for we are always faithful
to the things we know
always faithful to the
things we refuse to let go

12.

the color guard and funeral detail
assembled in front of St. Luke’s
the cemetery right next door
the procession a short troop

the living will stumble through
the darkness of separation
seeking elusive answers
of poignant uncertainty;
all gave some, Joey gave all
nothing more required for his
journey through eternity

Joey will always be with us
his stories forever retold
as long as the machinery of
great nations engage
the gears of wasteful war

Joey’s spirit lives
in a peoples desire
for freedom, only if
our hope of peace
is greater than the
need for conflict

Joey’s lifes work
is sure to bear fruit
if those remaining
fight the good fight
by taking up the
task to protect and
expand the values
of liberty we
hold most dear

like our good
friend Jesus
Joey wears a crown
bejeweled with
a ring of thorns
hoisted on a
terrible cross
the sweet
incense of you
meets our nose
we inhale your
earthly presence
beholding beautifully
adorned crucifix,
a reminder of
unjust persecution
and a perfect
resurrection
yet this wretched
coffin remains

pledging allegiance
we rationalize our
stories, articulating
our small parts
in  heroic sagas,
reciting myths of
ourselves, recording
the grim history of
a young marine
surrounded by
a smart color guard,
feasting on todays
eucharist, this
days sweet taste
of  the daily bread
of human sorrow

The priest finishes
his graveside
commendation
of Joey D

Taps conclude
a wind rises
crows take flight
winging over
a stand of budding
Sugar Maples
exploding in white
blooms, reveling
in the glorious
sunshine of this
magnificent day

St. Luke’s stairway to
God Country and Home
smiling portrait of you
forever young

we surround your grave
to bless the earth
you've returned home
to your place of birth

our flowing pride
and salty tears bless
the anointed ground
that you loved best

a proud Jersey son
whom Thou hast blest
laid in St. Luke’s ground
for his heavenly rest

for he was always faithful
to the blessed land
forever at peace
in the soils sure hands

Charles Ives
The Unanswered Question

Oakland
11/10/13
jbm
Cunning Linguist Nov 2013
Hella business
Got hella *******
Poppin double bottles
With a couple of mistresses
Stellar mistreatment
Here's the key
Lock em in the cellar
Forever their memory lies
But a troubling mystery

Hysteria erupting
Like waves gushing
From the tip of my *****
My genius is better
I'm the King here's my scepter
Now watch the teeth
You worthless Queen
Or I'll stifle them screams

I **** ******* on trampolines
Motion sickness?
Overdose on Dramamine

Slave to the magnitude
Of my impressive **** munching
Exploring deplorable nether-regions galore;
Can't touch me you got nothing
Broke *******
Grind your brain like morning coffee beans

Shame is a word just outside the boundaries
of my fabulous vocabulary

Oh, am I contrite?
How trifling
Check my charm I'm enlightening
Enigmatic and igniting sporadically like lightning
Magically radical voyaging down
                                                           down
                                                  down the rabbit's hole
Inciting excited riots to light fires spark fuses and chew on live wires
You do not frighten me.
Delivering excruciating asphyxiation to every pwn'd n00b
Is my modus operandi
And this is my magnum opus

I have Tourette's

Conceive these merriments of abhorrent mental abortions
Precisely concise and incisive concocting incoherent comatose monstrosities to flatten your lifelines
Conduct these ensembles of debauchery and narcotics -
I'm fascinating;
Crippling your mind like a lobotomy and tripping the light fantastic through bombarding planes of consciousness
I'm on acid thraxXx'd the **** OUT and faded
Levitating fading and oscillating in time while inflating my ego

But lets be realistic
the caliber of my linguistics is intrinsically aesthetic
but none too altruistic
Untrue!
Be reasonable lest I demand be-headings on grounds of treason
Its not hard for me -
It's profound, the sound of suffering;
I'll swallow your soul
'Tis the season!

Inference for instance -
****-hand upturned to oceans of incessant peasants
Pestering to ****** and fluster your festering ****-hole
Exact my revenge; begin phase mayhem
initiating total brain annihilation
interring bodies posthaste with skilled persistence
And sporting in poor taste
RESISTANCE IS FUTILE

You who peers through eye of the pyramid-
Would you be so kind as to interpret my footprint at face-value?
Do you take me for a fool yet seek prophets reaping profits?
Listen to them sleep, baaah-ing away like flocks of little sheep
My hearts not on my sleeve but I have a trick or two up there;

Now bow before my marvelous flow
As I behold my throne whilst throwing bows and exposing hoes.
Eve May 2015
Sitting on this addictive desk
Staring at the wonders of the world via the internet
From the modesty to the grotesque
It's funny how they all forget
The life outside of this intoxicating bottle of wires
But who am I to complain, for I am one of them
Lost inside these eccentricities that I admire
Wondering, conjecturing all about the beautiful eerie emblem.

What if just one day, one day we all stood and went outside?
Smell the breeze of the isolated air
Feel the earth, the dirt, that we denied
The earth we wear and tear
And yet, the ungrateful spends no time to relish
What we have, inexpensive
But all the care is for the wires; hellish
This is the mysterious truth
Of the brute
Of mankind and their neglect
Of a life that may never resurrect

-fir.m
I believe that this generation spend a whole lot of time on the internet and behind technology. They aren't realizing but they should try an look back to where tag was fun, it still is, just not to the memories of us.
Angie S Jun 2017
frayed copper wires never to be bound
electricity is lost, connections unwound, and
where one end surges in power
the other cowers, weak in comparison
i watched their awful lives and wished
someone's expert hands could finish their plight
i attempted to fix it in the past but
other copper wires are so tightly woven!
and meanwhile, this little lightbulb
flickers meaninglessly.
why no one has smashed the wires
under their feet and then in a raging fire from fatigue i
dont know.
im so tired of the dark. im so ******* tired of it but im afraid of the light.

rant poem.
Mike Bergeron Sep 2012
There was a house fire on my street last night …well… not exactly my street, but on a little, sketchy, dead-end strip of asphalt, sidewalks, weeds, and garbage that juts into my block two houses down. It was on that street. Rosewood Court, population: 12, adjusted population: 11, characterized by anonymity and boarded windows, peppered with the swift movements of fat street rats. I’ve never been that close to a real, high-energy, make-sure-to-spray-down-your-roof-with-a-hose-so-it-doesn’t-catch­ fire before. It was the least of my expectations for the evening, though I didn’t expect a crate of Peruvian bananas to fall off a cargo plane either, punching through the ceiling, littering the parking lot with damaged fruit and shingles, tearing paintings and shelves and studs from the third floor walls, and crashing into our kitchen, shattering dishes and cabinets and appliances. Since that never happened, and since neither the former nor the latter situation even crossed my mind, I’ll stick with “least of my expectations,” and bundle up with it inside that inadequate phrase whatever else may have happened that I wouldn’t have expected.



I had been reading in my living room, absently petting the long calico fur of my roommate’s cat Dory. She’s in heat, and does her best to make sure everyone knows it, parading around, *** in the air, an opera of low trilling and loud meows and deep purring. As a consequence of a steady tide of feline hormones, she’s been excessively good humored, showering me with affection, instead of her usual indifference, punctuated by occasional, self-serving shin rubs when she’s hungry. I saw the lights before I heard the trucks or the shouts of firemen or the panicked wail of sirens, spitting their warning into the night in A or A minor, but probably neither, I’m no musician. Besides, Congratulations was playing loud, flowing through the speakers in the corners of the room, connected to the record player via the receiver with the broken volume control, travelling as excited electrons down stretches of wire that are, realistically, too short, and always pull out. The song was filling the space between the speakers and the space between my ears with musings on Brian Eno, so the auditory signal that should have informed me of the trouble that was afoot was blocked out. I saw the lights, the alternating reds and whites that filled my living room, drawing shifting patterns on my walls, ceiling, floor, furniture, and shelves of books, dragging me towards the door leading outside, through the cluttered bike room, past the sleeping, black lump of oblivious fur that is usually my boisterous male kitten, and out into the bedlam I  had previously been ignorant to. I could see the smoke, it was white then gray then white, all the while lending an acrid taste to the air, but I couldn’t see where it was issuing from. The wind was blowing the smoke toward my apartment, away from Empire Mills. I tried to count the firetrucks, but there were so many. I counted six on Wilmarth Ave, one of which was the awkward-looking, heavy-duty special hazards truck. In my part of the city, the post-industrial third-wave ***** river valley, you never know if the grease fire that started with homefries in a frying pan in an old woman’s kitchen will escalate into a full-blown mill fire, the century-old wood floors so saturated with oil and kerosene and ****** and manufacturing chemicals and ghosts and god knows what other flammable **** that it lights up like a fifth of July leftover sparkler, burning and melting the hand of the community that fed it for so many decades, leaving scars that are displayed on the local news for a week and are forgotten in a few years’ time.



The night was windy, and the day had been dry, so precautions were abundant, and I counted two more trucks on Fones Ave. One had the biggest ladder I’ve ever seen. It was parked on the corner of Fones and Wilmarth, directly across from the entrance into the forgotten dead-end where the forgotten house was burning, and the ladder was lifting into the air. By now my two roommates had come outside too, to stand on our rickety, wooden staircase, and Jeff said he could see flames in the windows of one of the three abandoned houses on Rosewood, through the third floor holes where windows once were, where boards of plywood were deemed unnecessary.



“Ay! Daddy!”



My neighbor John called up to us. He serves as the eyes and ears and certainly the mouth of our block, always in everyone’s business, without being too intrusive, always aware of what’s going down and who’s involved. He proceeded to tell us the lowdown on the blaze as far as he knew it, that there were two more firetrucks and an ambulance down Rosewood, that the front and back doors to the house were blocked by something from inside, that those somethings were very heavy, that someone was screaming inside, that the fire was growing.



Val had gone inside to get his jacket, because despite the floodlights from the trucks imitating sunlight, the wind and the low temperature and the thought of a person burning alive made the night chilly. Val thought we should go around the block, to see if we could get a better view, to satisfy our congenital need to witness disaster, to see the passenger car flip over the Jersey barrier, to watch the videos of Jihadist beheadings, to stand in line to look at painted corpses in velvet, underlit parlors, and sit in silence while their family members cry. We walked down the stairs, into full floodlight, and there were first responders and police and fully equipped firefighters moving in all directions. We watched two firemen attempting to open an old, rusty fire hydrant, and it could’ve been inexperience, the stress of the situation, the condition of the hydrant, or just poor luck, but rather than opening as it was supposed to the hydrant burst open, sending the cap flying into the side of a firetruck, the water crashing into the younger of the two men’s face and torso, knocking him back on his ***. While he coughed out surprised air and water and a flood of expletives, his partner got the situation under control and got the hose attached. We turned and walked away from the fire, and as we approached the turn we’d take to cut through the rundown parking lot that would bring us to the other side of the block, two firemen hurried past, one leading the other, carrying between them a stretcher full of machines for monitoring and a shitload of wires and tubing. It was the stiff board-like kind, with handles on each end, the kind of stretcher you might expect to see circus clowns carry out, when it’s time to save their fallen, pie-faced cohort. I wondered why they were using this archaic form of patient transportation, and not one of the padded, electrical ones on wheels. We pushed past the crowd that had begun forming, walked past the Laundromat, the 7Eleven, the carwash, and took a left onto the street on the other side of the parking lot, parallel to Wilmarth. There were several older men standing on the sidewalk, facing the fire, hands either in pockets or bringing a cigarette to and from a frowning mouth. They were standing in the ideal place to witness the action, with an unobstructed view of the top two floors of the burning house, its upper windows glowing orange with internal light and vomiting putrid smoke.  We could taste the burning wires, the rugs, the insulation, the asbestos, the black mold, the trash, and the smell was so strong I had to cover my mouth with my shirt, though it provided little relief. We said hello, they grunted the same, and we all stood, watching, thinking about what we were seeing, not wanting to see what we were thinking.

Two firefighters were on the roof by this point, they were yelling to each other and to the others on the ground, but we couldn’t hear what they were saying because of the sirens from all the emergency vehicles that were arriving.  It seemed to me they sent every firetruck in the city, as well as more than a dozen police cars and a slew of ambulances, all of them arriving from every direction. I guess they expected the fire to get really out of hand, but we could already see the orange glow withdrawing into the dark of the house, steam and smoke rippling out of the stretched, wooden mouths of the rotted window frames. In a gruff, habitual smoker’s voice, we heard

                                      “Chopper called the fire depahtment

We was over at the vet’s home

                He says he saw flames in the windas

                                                                                                                                                We all thought he was shittin’ us

We couldn’t see nothin’.”

A man between fifty-five to sixty-five years old was speaking, no hair on his shiny, tanned head, old tattoos etched in bluish gray on his hands, arms, and neck, menthol smoke rising from between timeworn fingers. He brought the cigarette to his lips, drew a hearty chest full of smoke, and as he let it out he repeated

                                                “Yea, chopper called em’

Says he saw flames.”

The men on the roof were just silhouettes, backlit by the dazzling brightness of the lights on the other side.  The figure to the left of the roof pulled something large up into view, and we knew instantly by the cord pull and the sound that it was a chainsaw. He began cutting directly into the roof. I wasn’t sure what he was doing, wondered if he was scared of falling into the fire, assumed he probably was, but had at least done this before, tried to figure out if he was doing it to gain entry or release pressure or whatever. The man to the right was hacking away at the roof with an axe. It was surreal to watch, to see two men transformed from public servants into fingers of destruction, the pinkie and ring finger fighting the powerful thumb of the controlled chemical reaction eating the air below them, to watch the dark figures shrouded in ethereal light and smoke and sawdust and what must’ve been unbearable heat from below, to be viewing everything with my own home, my belongings, still visible, to know it could easily have gone up in flames as well.

I should’ve brought my jacket. I remember complaining about it, about how the wind was passing through my skin like a window screen, chilling my blood, in sharp contrast to the heat that was morphing and rippling the air above the house as it disappeared as smoke and gas up into the atmosphere from the inside out.

Ten minutes later, or maybe five, or maybe one, the men on the roof were still working diligently cutting and chopping, but we could no longer see any signs of flames, and there were figures moving around in the house, visible in the windows of the upper floors, despite the smoke. Figuring the action must be reaching its end, we decided to walk back to our apartment. We saw Ken’s brown pickup truck parked next to the Laundromat, unable to reach our parking lot due to all the emergency vehicles and people clogging our street. We came around the corner and saw the other two members of the Infamous Summers standing next to our building with the rest of the crowd that had gathered. Dosin told us the fire was out, and that they had pulled someone from inside the gutted house, but no ambulance had left yet, and his normally smiling face was flat and somber, and the beaten guitar case slung over his shoulder, and his messed up hair, and the red in his cheeks from the cold air, and the way he was moving rocks around with the toe of his shoe made him look like a lost child, chasing a dream far from home but finding a nightmare in its place, instead of the professional who never loses his cool or his direction.

The crowd all began talking at once, so I turned around, towards the dead end and the group of firefighters and EMTs that were emerging. Their faces were stoic, not a single expression on all but one of those faces, a young EMT, probably a Basic, or a Cardiac, or neither, but no older than twenty, who was silently weeping, the tears cutting tracks through the soot on his cheeks, his eyes empty of emotion, his lips drawn tight and still. Four of them were each holding a corner of the maroon stretcher that took two to carry when I first saw it, full of equipment. They did not rush, they did not appear to be tending to a person barely holding onto life, they were just carrying the weight. As they got close gasps and cries of horror or disgust or both issued from the crowd, some turned away, some expressions didn’t change, some eyes closed and others stayed fixed on what they came to see. One woman vomited, right there on the sidewalk, splashing the shoes of those near her with the partially digested remains of her EBT dinner. I felt my own stomach start to turn, but I didn’t look away. I couldn’t.

                                                                                It was like I was seven again,

                                in the alleyway running along the side of the junior high school I lived near and would eventually attend,

looking in silent horror at what three eighth graders from my neighborhood were doing.

It was about eight in the evening of a rainy,

late summer day,

and I was walking home with my older brother,

cutting through the alley like we always did.

The three older boys were standing over a small dog,

a terrier of some sort.

They had duct taped its mouth shut and its legs together,

but we could still hear its terrified whines through its clenched teeth.

One of the boys had cut off the dog’s tail.

He had it in one hand,

and was still holding the pocket knife in the other.

None of them were smiling,

or talking,

nor did they take notice of Andrew and I.

There was a garden bag standing up next to them that looked pretty full,

and there was a small pile of leaves on the ground next to it.

In slow motion I watched,

horrified,

as one of the boys,

Brian Jones-Hartlett,

picked up the shaking animal,

put it in the bag,

covered it with the leaves from the ground,

and with wide,

shining eyes,

set the bag

on fire

with a long-necked

candle

lighter.

It was too much for me then. I couldn’t control my nausea. I threw up and sat down while my head swam.

I couldn’t understand. I forgot my brother and the fact that he was older, that he should stop this,

Stop them,

There’s a dog in there,

You’re older, I’m sick,

Why can’t I stop them?

It was like
Em Sep 2016
phone lines connect to phone wires
and birds sit on telephone wires
Together.
we don't sit Together
but I can't fly away
I Wait -
like mothers wait up at night for their teenage daughters,
like the Moon waits for the Sun to set,
but they never meet each other's peaks
and neither do we.
we drive our lives on Parallel lines,
and you have tinted windows
that only allow your rear-view mirror to know your eyes
as well as I wish I did.
and Beauty is in the eye of the beholder
but your lips have never called Beauty in my presence
and nothing of yours has held anything of mine -
I want to make a connection between these polar opposite poles
where birds sing Love songs
and flock Together.
beneath their feet there is
Nothing
coming through.
but I'm waiting for your call.
a random ramble for a slow friday afternoon
Wires & walls
rats in bathroom stalls
strained sinews drag
a Camel into my lungs
as I walk  over
asphalted hills.

Bridges span seas,
but to no memories
of a life unguided
by highways' helping hands;
all adventures are planned
ahead.

Cities grow
as cameras roll
to capture the movements
of every breaking soul.

Wires & walls
rats in bathroom stalls
beasts in a zoo
which we all walk through,
how miserable we have to be
to lock up all as we do.

Eyes to the night sky
avoiding neon lies
seek soothing drops
of moonlight trickling down
our crystalline, steel caves.

Killers and lovers
walk the parks together.
Knife in hand,
hand in hand
all hope to find
what they need.

Cities grow
as cameras roll
to capture the movements
of every breaking soul.
Akemi Oct 2013
Chapter 1

There was a woman. The cost to love her was your life. No other payment but a sending off, a revolver cocked to your temple’s side.
There was no spite in your death, just business.
Hell of a business to run.

I was protecting someone. Never been one to stick around, but this drag had carried for the past year. That gang-owned joint lay but two doors and a cold alley away. Popular place, maybe not the classiest but it had its patrons. Packed with your essentials: pool tables, dirt-licked walls and chairs, mean folk mixed in with the nice. Old fashioned joint with a history. You could almost feel it when you walked in. That small pressure when it’s about to rain? Felt like that had been building up for a decade there.
Some Madonna owned it. Names elude me, but she was just another front; as was the barkeep, the hired bouncers and those mean-eyed slingers that spoke loud in company, silent alone. Heh, almost like an old-fashioned saloon. Who the hell am I in this tale of cowboys and crooks?
I was holed up in that apartment block for the winter. Stiff drapes covering a stiff cold that seeped through the cracks anyway. Cold chills to wake to, and the whiskey don’t warm a **** thing. Maybe it was the ache of a past flame that led me to her. That old touch had languished and misted away in the night of some long dead memory, leaving an old kiss from a young lover on my shivering body. It grew faint with every year’s passing. I struggle to remember this keepsake.
Every night.
I was a no name protector protecting a no name ghost of a man. Yeah we knew each other. I’m no stranger to keep past talking terms . . . but, hell if I remember his name, how we got into this **** situation and why. Mind’s a little off. Been like that for years.

It was a stumble through the wrong door at the wrong time. Some spiteful voices in the back of the joint or the back of my mind telling me I’m headed for hell and ain’t coming back. See, every day is a crossroad, and I happened upon the worst one yet.
I remember that flaking paint; grime-covered white on a moulding door **** near off its hinges. That suited me, and I hated it. Maybe I grew sick of wandering the same way and turned my life on its spinning head. Spun me all the ways I couldn’t face. Saw a glimmer that fate had readied for me. Don’t think I’ve looked at anything with such eyes since; nor have they looked back at me.
The room was a cramped, dilapidated hellhole like every other room, but with her laying on that bed of hers . . . she was the only clean thing in the whole of this cursed city. Save, she wasn’t clean. No such thing exists; no such thing as clean since your adolescent innocence, and even that went up in flames. Hell, in a city like this I wouldn’t be surprised if the skeletons we kept so tightly locked in our closets outnumbered us ten to one.
Should have remembered that when I saw her, but my mind lay a blank canvas and I couldn’t help but fill it with all the details of this pretty bird. Even those that weren’t there.
No Name yanked me out quick. Never seen him so pale, ghosting further and further from a human being. He’d been running so long I don’t think he even knew what he was running from anymore. His past? Some cop chase from years back, ending with blood stains and shaky hands? A dead kid in the arms of a suicidal wife? Maybe he’s running from himself. Fear in the capacity we contain, and fear in the ways we unleash it around loved ones. I don’t blame him for running. If I was a worse man I’d run from him as well.
Now No Name has it all figured out, even if he won’t let on; and that bird in there ain’t part of the plan. Cash cash, first train out to some no name city for this no name man. In this together, he keeps repeating, like some broke down record player that only plays one song. Well I guess we share more similarities than I’d like to think so.

One night, about a month after settling in that old apartment, I hear raised voices. Not uncommon, but something about this still night woke some fear inside me. A fear I needed to meet with my eyes, a score to settle with myself. Sounded like some ******* outside was hoping to bring down the sky with volume alone. No type of gentleman, just a no ***** kid who doesn’t know the difference between command and screaming like a babe.
One gets you respect. Now, the other. . . .
I open those stiff drapes with stiffer fingers. Brush that layer of frozen breath and mist to find some mid-twenty good for nothing punk holding a struggling figure. The apartment ain’t exactly ground floor but even up here I can spot the difference between a gent and a sally. Some broad was in trouble.
Grab that six shooter, old man. The holster smooth from years of wear, small frays on the weathered jacket rubbing against goose-pricked skin. Comfort clothing that never really brings comfort. Not anymore. Guess I’m as bad as No Name. I’m just repeating routine.
Out the hall, no doors left in this apartment block. Stolen, broken, ain’t exactly your family fun lifestyle we’re living. No Name’s holed up in this fortress of upturned furniture and dresser-barred doorways. Lights flicker from between the cracks. The devil ain’t gonna bother with the door, I tell him. He doesn’t reply. Maybe he’s a religious man with one too many sins above his head.
There’s another yell and I feel my blood rise, hairs picking up static, a storm brewing inside that clenched stomach of mine. Take a tumble down the stairs in my haste. **** crooked balsa wood. Those stairs are gonna end me one day, I swear.
Ground floor. I slam that kitchen door and it cracks against the brick wall outside. ****. No Name’s gonna burst an artery. Call out for that ******* punk but he’s already eyeing me up. Only a few steps away and I can see the white in his eyes. No . . . those are his pupils. Wide, all cloud-like, he’s ******* dusted up. . . . Almost like looking into the past. Thrice-cursed ****. I’m in trouble.
This ain’t some lover’s quarrel, some twisted ****’s thought of a good way to end the night. This is a dusthead addict and I’m out of my league. His mid-snarl distorts and stretches past his cheeks and that devil grin sends an electric jolt from the wires of my brain to my heart.
This six shooter is as good as a pea gun against a Smiley.
He’s spouting some glossolalia drifts, layering it like an abominable duet. The coked-up boy in me yearns to understand again, but stiff joints and washed-out dreams have made me a cynic. Ain’t no beauty when you’re tearing things apart to see it. ******* Smiley’s on the edge and he’s ready to pounce right off. If that broad’s sobbing didn’t **** at those heart strings of mine I’d be running for my ******* life.
I lift that pea shooter and aim it straight at that devil smile.
He howls. Glass shatters from above. Some black monstrous thing comes speeding at me. I leap through that apartment doorway in time to see ******* Smiley consumed by it. All sharp, all solid that beast slams into Smiley, screaming loud enough to wake this dead city twice over. Smiley thrashes, he splays out to the ground, the beast’s seared flesh erupting in front of me. A piece slices past my cheek and I’m on the ground in tears. I hear No Name scream an incomprehensible curse above. I’m bawling now. Through my tears I spot that chunk of flesh. ******* balsa wood. Thrice-cursed balsa wood.
No Name had thrown a piano out that barricaded window of his. Tears of pure comedy, that’s what left my face. A Smiley taken out by No Name, I’ll never live this down. His mangled body lies under polished wood. Someone’s yearly worth gone in a second of frantic panic, reduced to twisted wires and cracked ivory. To see something so beautiful destroyed in seconds makes me wonder if the Smiley had gotten the better of us after all.
That broad’s in shock. Splinters covered every inch of ground save that around her; looked like a comet, trailing emptiness behind.  Should have noticed it then that something wasn’t right with that scene. Perfectly unscathed beauty sitting there with not a single scratch nor splinter on her, but I was too **** amazed I was alive. Knelt close to her and caught a whiff of some exotic scent on her skin. Some flower. Saw her face and it added another colour to that filling canvas of mine. This pretty bird from the joint. The one men died for. At least No Name had saved one life worth saving, funny it happened to be the one who could take yours in a night.
Names elude me, but the way I remember her . . . the way I remember her is Blossom, for when she came into my life she gave colours to my black and white memory, colours I didn’t know existed, and my black and white morals took a turn down some dawning grey-blurred alley.
So I’m a ******* gentleman and I walk Blossom home while No Name shifts furniture above us. Scrapes of hard wood against wood, filling that void in his once impenetrable bastion. I told you No Name’s got it all planned out already. Guess I’m just here for the ride.
Welcome to the paranormal neo-noir gangster world of Devil Smiles.
Supine Plath Oct 2014
These copper wires that hang from my head,
heat up so quickly, my mind is so sickly.
Can't be cooled until you've poured water over of my head,
that leaves me drenched only to be dried up again.
This slight evaporation. Oh what this head has done to me.
Samantha Cooper Feb 2010
inanimate objects that have a life breathing inside of them. always on, always blinking, changing, humming, glowing, but never moving. no real breath, but there is life. the wires inside are warm and working, sending transmissions, signals, data, never even knowing that they exist. they are quiet wires, on which i depend so much.
Mateuš Conrad Aug 2018
.reiteration... em.. you're not internet providers... are you?! the best you'll ever be, is, software *******... you're about as invested in hardware, as the mafia is invigorated by mainstream politics...******* wankers... you what?! huh?! censorship?! who's supplying you with the copper wires?! you?! ha ha ha ha! how about getting leg ***** by a mongrel tongue... and considering your type of companies, as, serious, "mediators"... no hardware... just a software monopoly... ******* **** wasps! you almost want to cannibalize their presence! like... ever taste bone marrow? these "companies"... are teasing a taste of bone marrow! i want to eat something... these, companies, forgot, that, they're, not, service, providers! d'uh! and they're making the dicta?! inch copper **** making all the rules... what rules?! they don't make the rules... they're not hardware enforcers! they block my presence, i subsequently return to over-exemplifying using the scissors, counter the computer! yeah?!

em...
but you're not BT...
British Telecommunications?
the hell is up with these
software nuggets?!
how can google,
facebook,
youtube, ban, someone...
when they pay...
for their hardware provider?
did, said companies,
pay, for the copper wires?!
i'm pretty sure the answer is
no...
    unless you've not been banned
by authentic internet providers,
but, rather,
banned by content creation
mediums?!
       **** 'em!
           **** 'em silly!
         they do not actually
own access to internet
provision, i.e. ACCESS...
they do not own
the armory
of copper wiring....
that connects the dots...
*******!
BT or SKY or ******
pulls the plug,
you're all out!
             you get the
differential "bias" against
the format of software
contra hardware?
no?
            there are,
internet, providers...
there is the hardware of
occupational hardware user basis...
these companies...
censoring...
have a software stature,
without a hardware status...
   want to rephrase the thesaurus
to concern yourself
with legislative phraseology?
      really?
     me? can't be bothered...
do it yourself,
VEGAN dietary requirements
and... whatever.
but you can't deny someone
content provision...
when they're paying for
an internet access...
these software companies
do not have to answer
to governments...
they have to answer
to hardware providers...
   internet access deposits /
access points...
            not governments...
hardware instigators...
    oh, really?
    software censorship?
   if there's no one using
the hardware?!
              good luck...
and a goof ball speeding!

these companies, who are exercising
"depth",
of the parameters of conscription
of legit consent?
   they have this amnesia...
this amnesia...
of...
   not being hardware utilities...
i.e.?
   a comic book...
without the printing press...
   savvy?
             now i'm mowing down
eyed
    claustrophobic eyed -
   horses running,
with shutters on their eyes
for the added advantage
of tunnel vision...
   that Bane scene equivalent...
    with the quote -
  crashing this plane...

"who" are these companies
to dictate,
"correct" internet usage?
they're not internet providers...
to begin with...
   if... a company like SKY...
or BT... or ******...
obstructed internet access
of a person?
  i'd be nodding...
    in a coherent access of
agreement...
    but...
      these websites are not
hardware, they're software...
see the difference?
they're not internet providers...
they're pixel blank bulk anticipating
canvases...

unless there's something
wrong with the original idea,
of an un- investigated
genesis of a pixel blank?!
     can i make this an issue
with your, internet provider?
i don't like you excluding
the content of the content
that is a blank pixel anticipatory
excavation wait...
   sorry...
  
   i don't like you miscarrying my
payment of internet access...
having censored interactive outlet
canvases...
   i pay for one... i pay for all...
   can you please pay
the proper amount of
compensation to the hardware
companies that provide
universal internet access to
the full spectrum of internet users?!

namely?
BT... SKY... ******?
yes?!
Melody Dec 2011
Have the flower in your hand,

Cupped in rainbow rain drops.

See the electric wires blaze at the joined up parts,

Cupped in rainbow rain drops.

Feel the river's setiment move up stream,

Cupped in rainbow rain drops.

You cry and speak this rainy dew,

But does it mean anything of sentiment value to you?



You had the flower in your hand,

Cupped in rainbow rain drops.

You saw the electric wires blaze at the joined up parts,

Cupped in rainbow rain drops.

You felt the river's setiment move up stream,

Cupped in rainbow rain drops.

But do they mean anything of sentiment value to you?



I saw you have,had,feel,felt,see,and saw these special things,

But you never showed any attention to them.

Maybe you just sit and hide your thoughts from me,

Maybe you just can't notice these tiny details that happen every minute of everyday of every year.

Maybe you haven't discovered these miniature rainbow rain drops,

That you're covered in from head to toe, yet.

But you are cupped in rainbow rain drops.
Sha Aug 2015
The moment I turned the rotary dial
I freed all inhibitions
Finally, I can speak
But at the other end of the line
No ringing rang
Just busy tones beeped
I sighed
I thought we were connected by telephone wires
dead bodies floating
in our oceans
from the Asian Pacific
to the Mediterranean

crumpled corpses lying
on our beaches
thousands drowned unknown

overcrowded detention centers
not unlike concentration camps
behind barbed wires
guarded by police and snarling dogs

nobody feels responsible

not  those who started wars
destroyed whole cities
made millions homeless
and into refugees

not those who take advantage
of the chaos for their own gain
abusing the names of their gods
or some ancient figurehead
to excuse their atrocities and greed

not those who live
in comfortable homes
and wish the desperate crowds
would just stay on the TV screen
and not come close

nor those who pretend
to be the guardians
of our great humanitarian heritage
but show no backbone
against nationalist fanatics

it is the shame of the world
to sit and talk and watch
and not do enough

those who turn away
the needy and homeless
could also
      quite suddenly
lose their homes

forced to rely
on the kindness of strangers
Ben May 2013
The Morning After Part I
What the hell have I done? It feels like my temples are about to explode and the early morning light burns my eyes. My shirt is missing and I’m curled up on my Lovesac. I glance to the left to see Alice is sprawled out on my air mattress. She looks drained, even while asleep, and I think that I probably look a lot worse. Last night… What happened last night? It’s all just a jumble, my memories out of order. It’s a flash of colors, sounds, feelings and sensations, a blur in my mind. It feels like a tilt-a-whirl of sensory overload and I kind of want to puke. Then, like a dam breaking, fragments of memories flood my mind in a sickening torrent, too much, too much. ****. It’s starting to come back and that’s not even remotely helping, just making it worse. I feel even more confused and all I can think is What Happened…?

Ok! Let’s Party!
a three am party a trip edge
a witching hour emprise time to begin
a black and white strip of paper so thin
it looked so harmless, inconspicuous, even then
five hits for me, four hits for you,
placed under our tongues, we expectantly raise
eyes round the dark room for a white rabbits maze
or floating cat ears and Cheshire grin
the seconds pass, then minutes do spin
nothing
nothing
nothing shifts or shapes, bends or breaks
we wander to seats, choose movie to play
Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World comes to life on screen in a blaze
and…

Trip # Cats Everywhere
“WE ARE *** BOB-OMB 1 2 3 4 - !”
cats are crawling slinking stalking
their eyes are glowing growing pulsing
and bodies moving sinuously serpentine
flowing round the corners of my eyes
fleeing from sight like shadowy wraiths
insubstantial  sensory stimulation
hallucination

Trip # ****** Coma
“WE ARE *** BOB-OMB 1 2 3 4!”
Haven’t I seen this before?...

ringing blue lightning flashes razor sharp quick
cutting my mind in jaw breaking half
gasping for air I lunge forward hard
and break into silence, stillness, calm.
you have to remember to breathe
when things get fuzzy or funny or anytime now
otherwise sanity slips like water through fingers
or like rabbits down tunnels
on time to lost minds and messy motor control
****** coma, giddy, ecstatic, inescapable, unrelenting

Trip # I’m Melting
“WE ARE *** BOB-OMB 1 2 3 4!”
Haven’t I seen this before?...

I have to **** but the whole world is breathing
standing and swaying every step an adventure
entranced by the swirly dripping dropping walls
i barely stay balanced though trousers do fall
relief, ahhh, glance down what the ****!?
maniacal laughter rings through the room
I’m melting I’m melting in big drops and small
being pulled ever downward but never disappearing
warm like candle wax, thick and viscous
I’m leaving a trail of me on the floor

Trip # Music
“WE ARE *** BOB-OMB 1 2 3 4!”
Haven’t I seen this before?...

complex strains of sounds by vibrations
subtly influence the mood in the room
emotions experienced changing by song
upbeat pulse lively down tempo drops dangerous
I can feel the sound envelope my soul
Alice enraptured marries the music
sitting on moment to swaying the next
pressed up against me, blink, appears on by wall
(don’t drink and drive, take acid and teleport)
this controlling cacophony swells then settles
an ocean unseen deciding the trip

Trip # Alone
“WE ARE *** BOB-OMB 1 2 3 4!”
Haven’t I seen this before?...

Alice embarks on adventure to leave
a trip to the restroom a momentous maze
breathe deep and hold, keep it together
I slip from this plane to a place so strange
the chair is moving and so is her hat
were they ever just objects or always alive
pink and white fur slithers up in answer
caressing my arms sensual depraved
the laughter returns ever occurring involuntary
in fast rolling eyes at madness do gaze
I cavort around with fluffy new friends
tumbling and squirming wiggly worming
the fun never ends the fun never ends
“are you ok?” – Alice inquires
back after minutes turned hours
“is this how it feels to know you’re insane”

Trip # ******
“WE ARE *** BOB-OMB 1 2 3 4!”
Haven’t I seen this before?...

the blurry lights shimmer in colorful haze
I swim towards the surface lost in a daze
“hush now hush now you’re ok”
“how long was I out for” a question…a phrase
“ten minutes this time” “it felt like days”
harder to come back, feels like I’m drowning in rain
blood mixes clear with needle in vein
and fading to black and fading to grey
the blurry lights shimmer in colorful haze
I swim towards the surface lost in a daze
“hush now hush now you’re ok”
“how long was I out for” a question…a phrase
“ten minutes this time” “it felt like days”
harder to come back, feels like I’m drowning in rain
blood mixes clear with needle in vein
and fading to black and fading to grey
the blurry lights shimmer in colorful haze
I swim towards the surface lost in a daze
“hush now hush now you’re ok”
“how long was I out for” a question…a phrase
“ten minutes this time” “it felt like days”
harder to come back, feels like I’m drowning in rain
blood mixes clear with needle in vein
and fading to black and fading to grey
“I haven’t slept in eight days”
a half muttered phrase
“what are you saying, it’s been 10 minutes”
alice mouths back with questioning gaze
fade to black

Trip # Telepathic
“WE ARE *** BOB-OMB 1 2 3 4!”
Haven’t I seen this before?...
“mhm yeah like what like yeah what”
“mhm like yeah like what oh what like yeah”
“mhm yeah like what oh **** like what huh oh what”
“mhm yeah like what oh yeah like what mhm ****”
mhm yeah **** like what oh mhm yeah what”
“wait what?”
“****”


Trip # Blue Gum Matrix
“WE ARE *** BOB-OMB 1 2 3 4!”
Haven’t I seen this before?...

bubbles bubbles popping in pink
filling my mouth with cotton clouds
sugary sweet deliciously soft
seducing my mind into boiling blue bliss
I don’t notice the binary program lurking through unconscious thought
uploading software for changing perception
the transition to fiction so seamless like silk
I’ve jacked into the system with every chew
it’s twothousandwhatever in metrohive Tokyo
the future is different yet still feels the same
Alice sits solitary in darkened apartment
with wires like web strung throughout the room
all tracing with tracers glowing in ambience a glistening path
to electrical heaven, a desktop computer
my visual sensors are booting and loading
with mechanical perfection clarity arrives
a robot, I robot, created as A.D.E.M.
(Artificially Developed Emotional eMulator)
or A **** Excellent Machine (self-titled)
I sit up and blink as synapses fire
electrical currents carried on nanobig wires
I go move towards alice and watch binary code scroll
plugged into the network a direct hacker helper
this job’s objectives flash ‘fore my face
“we’ve got a big heist, security’s tight”
the scene’s fading out, cameras pan to the night

Trip # In Which I See the Future
“WE ARE *** BOB-OMB 1 2 3 4!”
Haven’t I seen this before?...

Alice and I curl up as one
excessive I know on this excessive night
but excessively is as excessively done, the social norm
it’s experience together and not alone
that draws us closer to breathe in unison
a chance to express feeling in this
uncharted sensory undertaking
together hearts beat in arrhythmic understanding
a feeling of pleasure creeps down my spine
and spreads out in ripples turning to waves
crashing and breaking on the sweet shore of…
alone in the bathroom I reflect on actions
for minutes and hours and finally days
I watch myself age and age and go grey
tormented by thoughts of actions and actions
guilt like creeping mold consumes my visage
decrepit and wasted I stumble from chambers
to find five am clock arms right in my face…

The Morning After Part II**
****.
lysergic acid diethylamide.... an adventure every time
Dorothy A Aug 2010
Phone in your home
Phone with you on the road
Three way connections
Incoming calls, not one, but another-aka call waiting
Phones with caller ID
Cordless phones
Hands free phones
Toothy phones sticking out of people's ears
Picture phones...say cheese!
Phone texting instead of talking
Hello? I cannot hear you!

Television and movies in your home
DVD players in your car
Watch those images on your computer
Watch them on your cell phone
Television in the airport
Television in the restaurant
Television at the gas pump
Television in the grocery store line
What's next? Television in the operating room?

Music on your home stereo
Music on your car radio
Store it all on your traveling ipod
Melodious cell phone rings everywhere
Your mp3 player and new computer speakers
Your favorite cable music channels
And plenty of music blasted in the stores
Can't I just have a thought to myself?

Don't forget computers!
Instant messaging
Junk mail in cyberspace
All your shows and movies
always at your instant access
Computer dating
Computer stalkers and hacking
Computer crashes I foresee
because computer bugs and viruses
are trying to invade my soul!
And I feel sick!

I can't get that music out of my head!
I think my ears are ringing!
You've heard of couch potatoes
I think I'm a mouse potato!
How is that for a human spud?
Yes, I admit I'm addicted to my PC!
That I spend more time with technology
than I do with the human race!

I should be burnt out
like old hardware
that is on extreme overload
Not made of wires and steel
but of flesh and blood
I am designed!

But I can't stop!!!

The technology of the future is now here!
I know what George Jetson was saying when he said:
JANE! GET ME OFF THIS CRAZY THING!
Swells Jul 2018
the bones were hard to give up,
they pushed out like daisies
caressed under the hounding
heart of a copper sun.
unbridled and undried they bore
zealous arrogance of themselves,
petals dripping ****** convictions
and vibrating like awful angels.

under cruel devices they tried to
soften my bones and mold thick skull
constructed of lackluster candles
on their last flame.
days passed like doctors and white nurses
examining old wires that pray tell
the routines, the stools, the teeth.
i am their Jesus, their Lazarus.

my hearse, my sheep keeper,
my pretty things,
i become the acrobat at the
finale, the last supper,
supplementing at the **** of my
recovery. i lay my skin down for all
of you to see:  here is my breast!
my toad belly!  my glass feet!
My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun;
Coral is far more red than her lips’ red;
If snow be white, why then her ******* are dun;
If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head.
I have seen roses damasked, red and white,
But no such roses see I in her cheeks,
And in some perfumes is there more delight
Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks.
I love to hear her speak, yet well I know,
That music hath a far more pleasing sound.
I grant I never saw a goddess go;
My mistress when she walks treads on the ground.
    And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare
    As any she belied with false compare.
Snehith Kumbla Aug 2016
what forests are those we pass,
blazing along the railway tracks,
a tree bloom of still cranes,
stream black of ******* bane,

stench of dead city rubble,
factories of rusted cast metal,
distant cotton twilight skies,
sun slide across a bunch of wires,    

passing tunnels echo
lonely platforms, frantic gecko,
looming hillside,
crackle dry wood fire,

a god barred in lock&key, 
blink glimpse of the sea 
one rush of vision,
pebble fling at frisson,

metal-crunch rhythm,
grind music sublime,
spark, grunt, grate,
we arrive, we dissipate...
(As experienced on a train journey undertaken in December 2014)
1
We, whose lungs fill with the sweetness of day.
Who in May admire trees flowering
Are better than those who perished.

We, who taste of exotic dishes,
And enjoy fully the delights of love,
Are better than those who were buried.

We, from the fiery furnaces, from behind barbed wires
On which the winds of endless autumns howled,
We, who remember battles where the wounded air roared in
paroxysms of pain.
We, saved by our own cunning and knowledge.

By sending others to the more exposed positions
Urging them loudly to fight on
Ourselves withdrawing in certainty of the cause lost.

Having the choice of our own death and that of a friend
We chose his, coldly thinking: Let it be done quickly.

We sealed gas chamber doors, stole bread
Knowing the next day would be harder to bear than the day before.

As befits human beings, we explored good and evil.
Our malignant wisdom has no like on this planet.

Accept it as proven that we are better than they,
The gullible, hot-blooded weaklings, careless with their lives.

2
Treasure your legacy of skills, child of Europe.
Inheritor of Gothic cathedrals, of baroque churches.
Of synagogues filled with the wailing of a wronged people.
Successor of Descartes, Spinoza, inheritor of the word 'honor',
Posthumous child of Leonidas
Treasure the skills acquired in the hour of terror.

You have a clever mind which sees instantly
The good and bad of any situation.
You have an elegant, skeptical mind which enjoys pleasures
Quite unknown to primitive races.

Guided by this mind you cannot fail to see
The soundness of the advice we give you:
Let the sweetness of day fill your lungs
For this we have strict but wise rules.

3
There can be no question of force triumphant
We live in the age of victorious justice.

Do not mention force, or you will be accused
Of upholding fallen doctrines in secret.

He who has power, has it by historical logic.
Respectfully bow to that logic.

Let your lips, proposing a hypothesis
Not know about the hand faking the experiment.

Let your hand, faking the experiment
No know about the lips proposing a hypothesis.

Learn to predict a fire with unerring precision
Then burn the house down to fulfill the prediction.

4
Grow your tree of falsehood from a single grain of truth.
Do not follow those who lie in contempt of reality.

Let your lie be even more logical than the truth itself
So the weary travelers may find repose in the lie.

After the Day of the Lie gather in select circles
Shaking with laughter when our real deeds are mentioned.

Dispensing flattery called: perspicacious thinking.
Dispensing flattery called: a great talent.

We, the last who can still draw joy from cynicism.
We, whose cunning is not unlike despair.

A new, humorless generation is now arising
It takes in deadly earnest all we received with laughter.

5
Let your words speak not through their meanings
But through them against whom they are used.

Fashion your weapon from ambiguous words.
Consign clear words to lexical limbo.

Judge no words before the clerks have checked
In their card index by whom they were spoken.

The voice of passion is better than the voice of reason.
The passionless cannot change history.

6
Love no country: countries soon disappear
Love no city: cities are soon rubble.

Throw away keepsakes, or from your desk
A choking, poisonous fume will exude.

Do not love people: people soon perish.
Or they are wronged and call for your help.

Do not gaze into the pools of the past.
Their corroded surface will mirror
A face different from the one you expected.

7
He who invokes history is always secure.
The dead will not rise to witness against him.

You can accuse them of any deeds you like.
Their reply will always be silence.

Their empty faces swim out of the deep dark.
You can fill them with any feature desired.

Proud of dominion over people long vanished,
Change the past into your own, better likeness.

8
The laughter born of the love of truth
Is now the laughter of the enemies of the people.

Gone is the age of satire. We no longer need mock.
The sensible monarch with false courtly phrases.

Stern as befits the servants of a cause,
We will permit ourselves sycophantic humor.

Tight-lipped, guided by reasons only
Cautiously let us step into the era of the unchained fire.
MaKenna May 2018
Sometimes I wonder if my suicide attempt actually worked and this is just hell i'm living in now.
Like I’m just another part of the statistic.
Research has shown that around 70 percent of people with BPD will have at least one suicide attempt in their lifetime, and many will make multiple suicide attempts, and people with BPD are more likely to complete suicide.
Sometimes I stand and everything goes black, and the static in my head gets louder and louder.
Sometimes I cry, sobbing between heaving- but not often because it’s hard for me to display emotions normally.
We’re supposed to be constantly feeling things at an intensified level than neurotypicals.
Sometimes I get distant. I disassociate from myself and exist somewhere in between reality and the void.
It’s hard for me to say sorry to those I hurt in the process of me hurting myself.
I can’t sit still.
My mind’s moving 100 mph and it’s almost impossible to slow it down.
Countless flashbacks play in the back of my mind on a reel. Like a horror flick I can’t get out of.
Like I’m in a nightmare and everything in me is saying run but my legs won’t move.
When you have BPD you can’t really control your emotions.
It’s an emotional switch that flips. Like the breaker box is shot and all the wires are frayed.
I wear his T-shirt’s when he’s gone to remind me that he still exists. His smell on the pillowcase is the only reminder that he was even here, that it was real.
When you have BPD nothing seems real. You often question if you really do exist.
A friend asked me why I write everything down and turn it into a poem. The only way I can assure myself it really happened is to let it live on through my art.
Everyday I wake up and ask myself if I can just be normal today. Be a normal sister, a normal girlfriend, a normal human being. I always set my expectations far too high.
It may not mean much to him but his slightly different demeanor has me in a state of panic fueled by my overwhelming fear of rejection and abandonment.
I live with this everyday and some days it’s harder to push all the fears to my subconscious.
It’s like I’m falling rapidly down a mountainside and the sudden occurrence of fear in overwhelming quantities is crushing my chest. Clogging my windpipe, making it seemingly impossible to breathe.
Living with BPD is the equivalent of constantly being at war with yourself. You don’t get quiet moments.
But I sustain myself on the idea that everything will be okay.
Everything’s okay.
I’m okay.  
And people ask me why I can’t just shut it off, as if it is that easy.
I’m doing everything I can to stop the voices in my head from screaming over his whisper in my ear.
I find comfort in the fact that he loves me despite the chaos. I sustain myself on the fact that he loves me. That’s all the justification needed.
I know he’s probably sick of always putting me back together, but his touch makes all the sharp edges fit perfectly together.
I have no impulse control.
But I am slowly accepting my disease, and I remember to not let it define me.
I’m learning to cope, and I have to remember to be kind to myself.
If you’re struggling with mental illness, please remember to be kind to yourself.
If some days you need to stay in bed, that’s okay.
If some days you forget to take your medication, that’s okay.
If some days you act on your impulses, that is okay.
Don’t hide yourself from the world because you are different.
You are radiant, you are celestial, you are loved.
Always remember you matter.
May is BPD awareness month and my only goal is to speak to other through my story.
If you or someone you know is struggling with BPD, educate yourself on the symptoms and traits.
Let’s raise awareness for Borderline Personality Disorder
Abbie Victoria May 2019
They call it BPD
A illness that shapes me,
Its the “I don’t fit in” disorder,
The “Your the one who’s out of order.”
Come to terms I now admit,
How hard I felt each near hit.
Always one with the conflict,
feelings of A counterfeit.
There turns A time of no cease,
absence of light is unleashed,
out of the blue from the inside,
this empty form and crowded mind.
A Diagnosis is in ..
The cerebrums burnt,
like third degree skin,
Its now over sensitive to everything.

The cause of the burns,
Is internal fires,
that incinerated mental wires.
Did I change who I am,
for A world i saw to be A sham,
attempting to form A personality,
Ill try them on to see what fits me.

Not afraid to be on my own
yet again, not all alone.
To see the great in everyone
until reminded that Im wrong.
If everything is all black and white,
Right or wrong,
where do I look too belong,
My solitary single handed fight,
To search for release of this plight.
Habits become traits.
Yasha Harkness Dec 2015
Mouth full of metal
Pocket full of teeth (broke)
These are the trials for perfect smiles
Our loss their gain
The dentists make money again
Weekly monthly wires crossing replacing
Wondering if its even worth it
Like false guarantees: "won't be like on TV"
Not even close.

Mouth full of wires
Pocket full of stones
One stops you at the airport-

The other at the  bottom  of the bay...
Benjamin Woolley Jul 2011
Bursting taps
Like broken feet
Crack,
Droning a beat.
Exclamations and hearts.

Facebook Frankenstein:
Nerves made senseless,
By hyperbolic sentiments.
Stripped as wires,
Latex skin and a rib removed,
Bringing the heart close to the keys.

Orchestrated wires and pulleys
Raising muscles like curtains.
Brushing ***** bleached hair,
Catching fingers like paper cuts.

A hollow form,
Designed in California,
Approved in New Jersey,
And made in some sweat shop.

Flash your smile,
Take your soma,
Dream of MTV;
You're the nightmare of my society.
Meena Menon Sep 2021
Flicker Shimmer Glow

The brightest star can shine even with thick black velvet draped over it.  
Quartz, lime and salt crystals formed a glass ball.
The dark womb held me, warm and soft.  
My mom called my cries when I was born the most sorrowful sound she had ever heard.  
She said she’d never heard a baby make a sound like that.    
I’d open my eyes in low light until the world’s light healed rather than hurt.  
The summer before eighth grade, July 1992,
I watched a shooting star burn by at 100,000 miles per hour as I stood on the balcony  
while my family celebrated my birthday inside.  
It made it into the earth’s atmosphere
but it didn’t look like it was coming down;
I know it didn’t hit the ground but it burned something in the time it was here.  
The glass ball of my life cracked inside.  
Light reflected off the salt crystal cracks.  
I saw the beauty of the light within.  
Nacre from my shell kept those cracks from getting worse,
a wild pearl as defense mechanism.  
In 2001, I quit my job after they melted and poured tar all over my life.  
All summer literature class bathtubs filled with rose hip oil cleaned the tar.  
That fall logic and epistemology classes spewed black ink all over my philosophy
written over ten years then.  
Tar turned to asphalt when I met someone from my old job for a drink in November
and it paved a road for my life that went to the hospital I was in that December
where it sealed the roof on my life
when I was almost murdered there
and in February after meeting her for another drink.  
They lit a fire at the top of the glacier and pushed the burning pile of black coal off the edge,
burnt red, looking like flames falling into the valley.  
While that blazed the side of the cliff something lit an incandescent light.  
The electricity from the metal lightbulb ***** went through wires and heated the filament between until it glowed.  
I began putting more work into emotional balance from things I learned at AA meetings.  
In Spring 2003, the damage that the doctors at the hospital in 2001 had done
made it harder for light to reflect from the cracks in the glass ball.
I’d been eating healthy and trying to get regular exercises since 1994
but in Spring 2003 I began swimming for an hour every morning .  
The water washed the pollution from the burning coals off
And then I escaped in July.  
I moved to London to study English Language and Linguistics.  
I would’ve studied English Language and Literature.  
I did well until Spring 2004 when I thought I was being stalked.  
I thought I was manic.  
I thought I was being stalked.  
I went home and didn’t go back for my exams after spring holiday.  
Because I felt traumatized and couldn’t write poetry anymore,
I used black ink to write my notes for my book on trauma and the Russian Revolution.
I started teaching myself German.  
I stayed healthy.  
In 2005, my parents went to visit my mom’s family in Malaysia for two weeks.
I thought I was being stalked.  
I knew I wasn’t manic.  
I thought I was being stalked.  
I told my parents when they came home.  
They thought I was manic.  
I showed them the shoe prints in the snow of different sizes from the woods to the windows.  
They thought I was manic.  
I was outside of my comfort zone.  
I moved to California. I found light.  
I made light,
the light reflected off the salt crystals I used to heal the violence inflicted on me from then on.  
The light turned the traffic lights to not just green from red
but amber and blue.  
The light turned the car signals left and right.  
The light reflected off of salt crystals, light emitting diodes,
electrical energy turned directly to light,
electroluminescence.  
The electrical currents flowed through,
illuminating.  
Alone in the world, I moved to California in July 2005
but in August  I called the person I escaped in 2003,
the sulfur and nitrogen that I hated.  
He didn’t think I was manic but I never said anything.
I never told him why I asked him to move out to California.  
When his coal seemed like only pollution,
I asked him to leave.  
He threatened me.  
I called the authorities.  
They left me there.
He laughed.  
Then the violence came.  
****:  stabbed and punched, my ****** bruised, purple and swollen.  
The light barely reflected from the glass ball wIth cracks through all the acid rain, smoke and haze.
It would take me half an hour to get my body to do what my mind told it to after.  
My dad told me my mom had her cancer removed.
The next day, the coal said if I wanted him to leave he’d leave.  
I booked his ticket.
I drove him to the airport.  
Black clouds gushed the night before for the first time in months,
the sky clear after the rain.  
He was gone and I was free,
melted glass, heated up and poured—
looked like fire,
looked like the Snow Moon in February
with Mercury in the morning sky.  
I worked through ****.  
I worked to overcome trauma.  
Electricity between touch and love caused acid rain, smoke, haze, and mercury
to light the discharge lamps, streetlights and parking lot lights.
Then I changed the direction of the light waves.  
Like lead glass breaks up the light,
lead from the coal, cleaned and replaced by potassium,
glass cut clearly, refracting the light,
electrolytes,
electrical signals lit through my body,
thick black velvet drapes gone.  





















Lava

I think that someone wrote into some palm leaf a manuscript, a gift, a contract.  
After my parents wedding, while they were still in India,
they found out that my dad’s father and my mom’s grandfather worked for kings administering temples and collecting money for their king from the farmers that worked the rice paddies each king owned.  They both left their homes before they left for college.  
My dad, a son of a brahmin’s son,
grew up in his grandmother’s house.  
His mother was not a Brahmin.  
My mother grew up in Malaysia where she saw the children from the rubber plantation
when she walked to school.  
She doesn’t say what caste she is.  
He went to his father’s house, then college.  
He worked, then went to England, then Canada.  
She went to India then Canada.  
They moved to the United States around Christmas 1978
with my brother while she was pregnant with me.  
My father signed a contract with my mother.  
My parents took ashes and formed rock,
the residue left in brass pots in India,
the rocks, so hot, they turned back to lava miles away before turning back to ash again,
then back to rock,
the lava from a super volcano,
the ash purple and red.  


















Circles on a Moss Covered Volcano

The eruption beatifies the magma.  
It becomes obsidian,
only breaks with a fracture,
smooth circles where it breaks.  

My mom was born on the grass
on a lawn
in a moss covered canyon at the top of a volcanic island.  
My grandfather lived in Malaysia before the Japanese occupied.  
When the volcano erupted,
the lava dried at the ocean into black sand.  
The British allied with the Communist Party of Malaysia—
after they organized.  
After the Americans defeated the Japanese at Pearl Harbor,
the British took over Malaysia again.  
They kept different groups apart claiming they were helping them.  
The black sand had smooth pebbles and sharp rocks.  
Ethnic Malay farmers lived in Kampongs, villages.  
Indians lived on plantations.  
The Chinese lived in towns and urban areas.  
Ethnic Malays wanted independence.
In 1946, after strikes, demonstrations, and boycotts
the British agreed to work with them.  
The predominantly Chinese Communist Party of Malaysia went underground,
guerrilla warfare against the British,
claiming their fight was for independence.  
For the British, that emergency required vast powers
of arrest, detention without trial and deportation to defeat terrorism.  
The Emergency became less unpopular as the terrorism became worse.  
The British were the iron that brought oxygen through my mom’s body.  
She loved riding on her father’s motorcycle with him
by the plantations,
through the Kampongs
and to the city, half an hour away.  
The British left Malaysia independent in 1957
with Malaysian nationalists holding most state and federal government offices.  
As the black sand stretches towards the ocean,
it becomes big stones of dried lava, flat and smooth.  

My mom thought her father and her uncle were subservient to the British.  
She thought all things, all people were equal.  
When her father died when she was 16, 1965,
they moved to India,
my mother,
a foreigner in India, though she’s Indian.  
She loved rock and roll and mini skirts
and didn’t speak the local language.  
On the dried black lava,
it can be hard to know the molten lava flickers underneath there.  
Before the Korean War,
though Britain and the United States wanted
an aggressive resolution
condemning North Korea,
they were happy
that India supported a draft resolution
condemning North Korea
for breach of the peace.  
During the Korean War,
India, supported by Third World and other Commonwealth nations,
opposed United States’ proposals.
They were able to change the U.S. resolution
to include the proposals they wanted
and helped end the war.  
China wanted the respect of Third World nations
and saw the United States as imperialist.  
China thought India was a threat to the Third World
by taking aid from the United States and the Soviets.  
Pakistan could help with that and a seat at the United Nations.  
China wanted Taiwan’s seat at the UN.
My mother went to live with her uncle,
a communist negotiator for a corporation,
in India.  
A poet,
he threw parties and invited other artists, musicians and writers.  
I have the same brown hyperpigmentation at my joints that he had.  
During the day, only the steam from the hot lava can be seen.  
In 1965, Pakistani forces went into Jammu and Kashmir with China’s support.  
China threatened India after India sent its troops in.  
Then they threatened again before sending their troops to the Indian border.  
The United States stopped aid to Pakistan and India.
Pakistan agreed to the UN ceasefire agreement.  
Pakistan helped China get a seat at the UN
and tried to keep the west from escalating in Vietnam.  
The smoldering sound of the lava sizzles underneath the dried lava.  
When West Pakistan refused to allow East Pakistan independence,
violence between Bengalis and Biharis developed into upheaval.  
Bengalis moved to India
and India went into East Pakistan.  
Pakistan surrendered in December 1971.  
East Pakistan became independent Bangladesh

The warm light of the melted lava radiates underneath but burns.  
In 1974, India tested the Smiling Buddha,
a nuclear bomb.  
After Indira Gandhi’s conviction for election fraud in 1973,
Marxist Professor Narayan called for total revolution
and students protested all over India.  
With food shortages, inflation and regional disputes
like Sikh separatists training in Pakistan for an independent Punjab,
peasants and laborers joined the protests.  
Railway strikes stopped the economy.  
In 1975, Indira Gandhi, the Iron Lady,
declared an Emergency,
imprisoning political opponents, restricting freedoms and restricting the press,
claiming threats to national security
because the war with Pakistan had just ended.  
The federal government took over Kerala’s communist dominated government and others.  

My mom could’ve been a dandelion, but she’s more like thistle.  
She has the center that dries and flutters in the wind,
beautiful and silky,
spiny and prickly,
but still fluffy, downy,
A daisy.
They say thistle saved Scotland from the Norse.  
Magma from the volcano explodes
and the streams of magma fly into the air.  
In the late 60s,
the civil rights movement rose
against the state in Northern Ireland
for depriving Catholics
of influence and opportunity.
The Northern Irish police,
Protestant and unionist, anti-catholic,
responded violently to the protests and it got worse.  
In 1969, the British placed Arthur Young,
who had worked at the Federation of Malaya
at the time of their Emergency
at the head of the British military in Northern Ireland.
The British military took control over the police,
a counter insurgency rather than a police force,
crowd control, house searches, interrogation, and street patrols,
use of force against suspects and uncooperative citizens.  
Political crimes were tolerated by Protestants but not Catholics.  
The lava burns the rock off the edge of the volcano.  

On January 30, 1972, ****** Sunday,  
British Army policing killed 13 unarmed protesters
fighting for their rights over their neighborhood,
protesting the internment of suspected nationalists.
That led to protests across Ireland.  
When banana leaves are warmed,
oil from the banana leaves flavors the food.  
My dad flew from Canada to India in February 1972.  
On February 4, my dad met my mom.  
On February 11, 1972,
my dad married my mom.  
They went to Canada,
a quartz singing bowl and a wooden mallet wrapped in suede.  
The rock goes down with the lava, breaking through the rocks as it goes down.  
In March 1972, the British government took over
because they considered the Royal Ulster Police and the Ulster Special Constabulary
to be causing most of the violence.  
The lava blocks and reroutes streams,
melts snow and ice,
flooding.  
Days later, there’s still smoke, red.  
My mom could wear the clothes she liked
without being judged
with my dad in Canada.  
She didn’t like asking my dad for money.
My dad, the copper helping my mother use that iron,
wanted her to go to college and finish her bachelors degree.
She got a job.  
In 1976, the police took over again in Northern Ireland
but they were a paramilitary force—
armored SUVs, bullet proof jackets, combat ready
with the largest computerized surveillance system in the UK,
high powered weapons,
trained in counter insurgency.  
Many people were murdered by the police
and few were held accountable.  
Most of the murdered people were not involved in violence or crime.  
People were arrested under special emergency powers
for interrogation and intelligence gathering.  
People tried were tried in non-jury courts.  
My mom learned Malayalam in India
but didn’t speak well until living with my dad.  
She also learned to cook after getting married.  
Her mother sent her recipes; my dad cooked for her—
turmeric, cumin, coriander, cayenne and green chiles.  
Having lived in different countries,
my mom’s food was exposed to many cultures,
Chinese and French.
Ground rock, minerals and glass
covered the ground
from the ash plume.  
She liked working.  

A volcano erupted for 192 years,
an ice age,
disordered ices, deformed under pressure
and ordered ice crystals, brittle in the ice core records.  
My mother liked working.  
Though Khomeini was in exile by the 1970s in Iran,
more people, working and poor,
turned to him and the ****-i-Ulama for help.
My mom didn’t want kids though my dad did.
She agreed and in 1978 my brother was born.
Iran modernized but agriculture and industry changed so quickly.  
In January 1978, students protested—
censorship, surveillance, harassment, illegal detention and torture.  
Young people and the unemployed joined.  
My parents moved to the United States in December 1978.  
The regime used a lot of violence against the protesters,
and in September 1978 declared martial law in Iran.  
Troops were shooting demonstrators.
In January 1979, the Shah and his family fled.  
On February 11, 1979, my parents’ anniversary,
the Iranian army declared neutrality.  
I was born in July 1979.
The chromium in emeralds and rubies colors them.
My brother was born in May and I was born in July.

Obsidian—
iron, copper and chromium—
isn’t a gas
but it isn’t a crystal;
it’s between the two,
the ordered crystal and the disordered gas.  
They made swords out of obsidian.  





Warm Light Shatters

The eruption beatifies the magma.  
It becomes obsidian,
only breaks with a fracture,
smooth circles where it breaks.  

My dad was born on a large flat rock on the edge of the top
of a hill,
Molasses, sweet and dark, the potent flavor dominates,
His father, the son of a Brahmin,
His mother from a lower caste.
His father’s family wouldn’t touch him,
He grew up in his mother’s mother’s house on a farm.  
I have the same brown hyperpigmentation spot on my right hand that he has.

In 1901, D’Arcy bought a 60 year concession for oil exploration In Iran.
The Iranian government extended it for another 32 years in 1933.
At that time oil was Iran’s “main source of income.”
In 1917’s Balfour Declaration, the British government proclaimed that they favored a national home for the Jews in Palestine and their “best endeavors to facilitate the achievement” of that.

The British police were in charge of policing in the mandate of Palestine.  A lot of the policemen they hired were people who had served in the British army before, during the Irish War for Independence.  
The army tried to stop how violent the police were, police used torture and brutality, some that had been used during the Irish War for Independence, like having prisoners tied to armored cars and locomotives and razing the homes of people in prison or people they thought were related to people thought to be rebels.
The police hired Arab police and Jewish police for lower level policing,
Making local people part of the management.
“Let Arab police beat up Arabs and Jewish police beat up Jews.”

The lava blocks and reroutes streams, melts snow and ice, flooding.
In 1922, there were 83,000 Jews, 71,000 Christians, and 589,000 Muslims.
The League If Nations endorsed the British Mandate.
During an emergency, in the 1930s, British regulations allowed collective punishment, punishing villages for incidents.
Local officers in riots often deserted and also shared intelligence with their own people.
The police often stole, destroyed property, tortured and killed people.  
Arab revolts sapped the police power over Palestinians by 1939.

My father’s mother was from a matrilineal family.
My dad remembers tall men lining up on pay day to respectfully wait for her, 5 feet tall.  
She married again after her husband died.
A manager from a tile factory,
He spoke English so he supervised finances and correspondence.
My dad, a sunflower, loved her: she scared all the workers but exuded warmth to the people she loved.

Obsidian shields people from negative energy.
David Cargill founded the Burmah Oil Co. in 1886.
If there were problems with oil exploration in Burma and Indian government licenses, Persian oil would protect the company.  
In July 1906, many European oil companies, BP, Royal Dutch Shell and others, allied to protect against the American oil company, Standard Oil.
D’Arcy needed money because “Persian oil took three times as long to come on stream as anticipated.”
Burmah Oil Co. began the Anglo-Persian Oil Co. as a subsidiary.
Ninety-seven percent of British Petroleum was owned by Burmah Oil Co.
By 1914, the British government owned 51% of the Anglo-Persian Oil Co.  
Anglo-Persian acquired independence from Burmah Oil and Royal Dutch Shell with two million pounds from the British government.

The lava burns the rock off the edge of the volcano.
In 1942, after the Japanese took Burma,
the British destroyed their refineries before leaving.
The United Nations had to find other sources of oil.
In 1943, Japan built the Burma-Thailand Railroad with forced labor from the Malay peninsula who were mostly from the rubber plantations.

The rock goes down with the lava, breaking through the rocks as it goes down.
In 1945. Japan destroyed their refineries before leaving Burma.
Cargill, Watson and Whigham were on the Burmah Oil Co. Board and then the Anglo Iranian Oil Co. Board.  

In 1936 Palestine, boycotts, work stoppages, and violence against British police officials and soldiers compelled the government to appoint an investigatory commission.  
Leaders of Egypt, Trans Jordan, Syria and Iraq helped end the work stoppages.
The British government had the Peel Commission read letters, memoranda, and petitions and speak with British officials, Jews and Arabs.  
The Commission didn’t believe that Arabs and Jews could live together in a single Jewish state.
Because of administrative and financial difficulties the Colonial Secretary stated that to split Palestine into Arab and Jewish states was impracticable.  
The Commission recommended transitioning 250,000 Arabs and 1500 Jews with British control over their oil pipeline, their naval base and Jerusalem.  
The League of Nations approved.
“It will not remove the grievance nor prevent the recurrence,” Lord Peel stated after.
The Arab uprising was much more militant after Peel.  Thousands of Arabs were wounded, ten thousand were detained.  
In Sykes-Picot and the Husain McMahon agreements, the British promised the Arabs an independent state but they did not keep that promise.  
Representatives from the Arab states rejected the Peel recommendations.
United Nations General Assembly Resolution181 partitioned Palestine into Arab and Jewish states with an international regime for the city of Jerusalem backed by the United States and the Soviet Union.  

The Israeli Yishuv had strong military and intelligence organization —-  
the British recognized that their interest was with the Arabs and abstained from the vote.  
In 1948, Israel declared the establishment of its state.  
Ground rock, minerals, and gas covered the ground from the ash plume.
The Palestinian police force was disbanded and the British gave officers the option of serving in Malaya.

Though Truman, Eisenhower and Kennedy supported snd tried to get Israel to offer the Arabs concessions, it wasn’t a major priority and didn’t always approve of Israel’s plans.
Arabs that had supported the British to end Turkish rule stopped supporting the West.  
Many Palestinians joined left wing groups and violent third world movements.  
Seventy-eight percent of the territory of former Palestine was under Israel’s control.  

My dad left for college in 1957 and lived in an apartment above the United States Information services office.
Because he graduated at the top of his class, he was given a job with the public works department of the government on the electricity board.  
“Once in, you’ll never leave.”
When he wanted a job where he could do real work, his father was upset.
He broke the chains with bells for vespers.
He got a job in Calcutta at Kusum Products and left the government, though it was prestigious to work there.
In the chemical engineering division, one of the projects he worked on was to design a *** distillery, bells controlled by hammers, hammers controlled by a keyboard.
His boss worked in the United Kingdom for. 20 years before the company he worked at, part of Power Gas Corporation, asked him to open a branch in Calcutta.
He opened the branch and convinced an Industrialist to open a company doing the same work with him.  The branch he opened closed after that.  
My dad applied for labor certification to work abroad and was selected.  
His boss wrote a reference letter for my him to the company he left in the UK.  My dad sent it telling the company when he was leaving for the UK.  
The day he left for London, he got the letter they sent in the mail telling him to take the train to Sheffield the next day and someone from the firm would meet him at the station.  
His dad didn’t know he left, he didn’t tell him.
He broke the chains with chimes for schisms.


Anglo-Persian Oil became Anglo-Iranian Oil in 1935.
The British government used oil and Anglo-Persian oil to fight communism, have a stronger relationship with the United States and make the United Kingdom more powerful.  
The National Secularists, the Tudeh, and the Communists wanted to nationalize Iran’s oil and mobilized the Iranian people.
The British feared nationalization in Iran would incite political parties like the Secular Nationalists all over the world.  
In 1947, the Iranian government passed the Single Article Law that “[increased] investment In welfare benefits, health, housing, education, and implementation of Iranianization through substitution of foreigners” at Anglo-Iranian Oil Co.
“Anglo-Iranian Oil Company made more profit in 1950 than it paid to the Iranian government in royalties over the previous half century.”
The Anglo-Iranian Oil Company tried to negotiate a new concession and claimed they’d hire more Iranian people into jobs held by British and people from other nationalities at the company.
Their hospitals had segregated wards.  
On May 1, 1951, the Iranian government passed a bill that nationalized Anglo- Iranian Oil Co.’s holdings.  
During the day, only the steam from the hot lava can be seen.
In August 1953, the Iranian people elected Mossadegh from the Secular Nationalist Party as prime minister.
The British government with the CIA overthrew Mossadegh using the Iranian military after inducing protests and violent demonstrations.  
Anglo-Iranian Oil changed its name to British Petroleum in 1954.
Iranians believe that America destroyed Iran’s “last chance for democracy” and blamed America for Iran’s autocracy, its human rights abuses, and secret police.

The smoldering sound of the lava sizzles underneath the dried lava.  
In 1946, Executive Yuan wanted control over 4 groups of Islands in the South China Sea to have a stronger presence there:  the Paracels, the Spratlys, Macclesfield Bank, and the Pratas.
The French forces in the South China Sea would have been stronger than the Chinese Navy then.
French Naval forces were in the Gulf of Tonkin, U.S. forces were in the Taiwan Strait, the British were in Hong Kong, and the Portuguese were in Macao.
In the 1950s, British snd U.S. oil companies thought there might be oil in the Spratlys.  
By 1957, French presence in the South China Sea was hardly there.  

When the volcano erupted, the lava dried at the ocean into black sand.
By 1954, the Tudeh Party’s communist movement and  intelligence organization had been destroyed.  
Because of the Shah and his government’s westernization policies and disrespectful treatment of the Ulama, Iranians began identifying with the Ulama and Khomeini rather than their government.  
Those people joined with secular movements to overthrow the Shah.  

In 1966, Ne Win seized power from U Nu in Burma.
“Soldiers ruled Burma as soldiers.”
Ne Win thought that western political
Institutions “encouraged divisions.”
Minority groups found foreign support for their separatist goals.
The Karens and the Mons supported U Nu in Bangkok.  


Rare copper, a heavy metal, no alloys,
a rock in groundwater,
conducts electricity and heat.
In 1965, my Dad’s cousin met him at Heathrow, gave him a coat and £10 and brought him to a bed and breakfast across from Charing Cross Station where he’d get the train to Sheffield the next morning.
He took the train and someone met him at the train station.  
At the interview they asked him to design a grandry girder, the main weight bearing steel girder as a test.
Iron in the inner and outer core of the earth,
He’d designed many of those.  
He was hired and lived at the YMCA for 2 1/2 years.  
He took his mother’s family name, Menon, instead of his father’s, Varma.
In 1967, he left for Canada and interviewed at Bechtel before getting hired at Seagrams.  
Iron enables blood to carry oxygen.
His boss recommended him for Dale Carnegie’s leadership training classes and my dad joined the National Instrument Society and became President.
He designed a still In Jamaica,
Ordered all the parts, nuts and bolts,
Had all the parts shipped to Jamaica and made sure they got there.
His boss supervised the construction, installation and commission in Jamaica.
Quartz, heat and fade resistant, though he was an engineer and did the work of an engineer, my dad only had the title, technician so my dad’s boss thought he wasn’t getting paid enough but couldn’t get his boss to offer more than an extra $100/week or the title of engineer; he told my dad he thought he should leave.
In 1969, he got a job at Celanese, which made rayon.
He quit Celanese to work at McGill University and they allowed him to take classes to earn his MBA while working.  

The United States and Israel’s alliance was strong by 1967.
United Nations Security Council Resolution 242 at the end of the Third Arab Israeli War didn’t mention the Palestinians but mentioned the refugee problem.
After 1967, the Palestinians weren’t often mentioned and when mentioned only as terrorists.  
Palestinians’ faith in the “American sponsored peace process” diminished, they felt the world community ignored and neglected them also.
Groups like MAN that stopped expecting anything from Arab regimes began hijacking airplanes.
By 1972, the Palestine Liberation Organization had enough international support to get by the United States’ veto in the United Nations Security Council and Arab League recognition as representative of the Palestinian people.
The Palestinians knew the United States stated its support, as the British had, but they weren’t able to accomplish anything.  
The force Israel exerted in Johnson’s United States policy delivered no equilibrium for the Palestinians.  

In 1969, all political parties submitted to the BSPP, Burma Socialist Programme Party.
Ne Win nationalized banks and oil and deprived minorities of opportunities.
Ne Win became U Nu Win, civilian leader of Burma in 1972 and stopped the active role that U Nu defined for Burma internationally
He put military people in power even when they didn’t have experience which triggered “maldistribution of goods and chronic shortages.”  
Resources were located in areas where separatist minorities had control.

The British presence in the South China Sea ended in 1968.  
The United States left Vietnam in 1974 and China went into the Western Paracels.
The U.S. didn’t intervene and Vietnam took the Spratlys.
China wanted to claim the continental shelf In the central part of the South China Sea and needed the Spratlys.
The United States mostly disregarded the Ulama In Iran and bewildered the Iranian people by not supporting their revolution.

Obsidian—
iron, copper and chromium—
isn’t a gas
but it isn’t a crystal;
it’s between the two,
the ordered crystal and the disordered gas.  
They made swords out of obsidian.


Edelweiss

I laid out in my backyard in my bikini.  
I love the feeling of my body in the sun.  
I’d be dark from the end of spring until winter.
The snow froze my bare feet through winter ,
my skin pale.
American towns in 1984,
Free, below glaciers the sunlight melted the snow,
a sea of green and the edelweiss on the edge of the  limestone,
frosted but still strong.    
When the spring warmed the grass,
the grass warmed my feet. 
The whole field looked cold and white from the glacier but in the meadow,
the bright yellow centers of those flowers float free in the center of the white petals.
The bright yellow center of those edelweiss scared the people my parents ran to America from India to get away from.  
On a sidewalk in Queens, New York in 1991, the men stared and yelled comments at me in short shorts and a fitted top in the summer.  
I grabbed my dad’s arm.

























The Bread and Coconut Butter of Aparigraha

Twelve year old flowerhead,
Marigold, yarrow and nettle,
I’d be all emotion
If not for all my work
From the time I was a teenager.
I got depressed a lot.
I related to people I read about
In my weather balloon,
Grasping, ignorant, and desperate,
But couldn’t relate to other twelve year olds.
After school I read Dali’s autobiography,
Young ****** Autosodomized by Her Own Chastity.
Fresh, green nettle with fresh and dried yarrow for purity.
Dead souls enticed to the altar by orange marigolds,
passion and creativity,
Coax sleep and rouse dreams.
Satellites measure indirectly with wave lengths of light.
My weather balloon measures the lower and middle levels of the atmosphere directly,
Fifty thousand feet high,
Metal rod thermometer,
Slide humidity sensor,
Canister for air pressure.

I enjoy rye bread and cold coconut butter in my weather balloon,
But I want Dali, and all the artists and writers.
Rye grows at high altitudes
But papyrus grows in soil and shallow water,
Strips of papyrus pith shucked from their stems.
When an anchor’s weighed, a ship sails,
But when grounded we sail.
Marigolds, yarrow and nettle,
Flowerhead,
I use the marigold for sleep,
The yarrow for endurance and intensity,
toiling for love and truth,
And the nettle for healing.
Strong rye bread needs equally strong flavors.
By the beginning of high school,
I read a lot of Beat literature
And found Buddhism.
I loved what I read
But I didn’t like some things.
I liked attachment.  
I got to the ground.
Mushrooms grow in dry soil.
Attachment to beauty is Buddha activity.
Not being attached to things I don’t find beautiful is Buddha activity.  
I fried mushrooms in a single layer in oil, fleshy.
I roasted mushrooms at high temperatures in the oven, crisp.
I simmered mushrooms in stock with kombu.
Rye bread with cold coconut butter and cremini mushrooms,
raw, soft and firm.  
Life continues, life changes,
Attachments, losses, mourning and suffering,
But change lures growth.
I find stream beds and wet soil.
I lay the strips of papyrus next to each other.
I cross papyrus strips over the first,
Then wet the crossed papyrus strips,
Press and cement them into a sheet.
I hammer it and dry it in the sun,
With no thought of achievement or self,
Flowerhead,
Hands filled with my past,
Head filled with the future,
Dali, artists poets,
Wishes and desires aligned with nature,
Abundance,
Cocoa, caraway, and molasses.

If I ever really like someone,
I’ll be wearing the dress he chooses,
Fresh green nettle and yarrow, the seeds take two years to grow strong,
Lasting love.
Marigolds steer dead souls from the altar to the afterlife,
Antiseptic, healing wounds,
Soothing sore throats and headaches.
Imperturbable, stable flowerhead,
I empty my mind.
When desires are aligned with nature, desire flows.
Papyrus makes paper and cloth.
Papyrus makes sails.
Charcoal from the ash of pulverized papyrus heals wounds.
Without attachment to the fruit of action
There is continuation of life,
Rye bread and melted coconut butter,
The coconut tree in the coconut butter,
The seed comes from the ground out of nothing,
Naturalness.
It has form.
As the seed grows the seed expresses the tree,
The seed expresses the coconut,
The seed expresses the coconut butter.
Rye bread, large open hollows, chambers,
Immersed in melted coconut butter,
Desire for expansion and creation,
No grasping, not desperate.
When the mind is compassion, the mind is boundless.
Every moment,
only that,
Every moment,
a scythe to the papyrus in the stream bed of the past.  

































Sound on Powdery Blue

Potter’s clay, nymph, plum unplumbed, 1993.
Dahlia, ice, powder, musk and rose,
my source of life emerged in darkness, blackness.
Seashell fragments in the sand,
The glass ball of my life cracked inside,
Light reflected off the salt crystal cracks,
Nacre kept those cracks from getting worse.
Young ****** Autosodomized By Her Own Chastity,
Nymph, I didn’t want to give my body,
Torn, *****, ballgown,
To people who wouldn’t understand me,
Piquant.

Outside on the salt flats,
Aphrodite, goddess of beauty, pleasure and fertility and
Asexual Artemis, goddess of animals, and the hunt,
Mistress of nymphs,
Punish with ruthless savagery.

In my bedroom, blue caribou moss covered rocks, pine, and yew trees,
The heartwood writhes as hurricane gales, twisters and whirlwinds
Contort their bark,
Roots strong in the soil.
Orris root dried in the sun, bulbs like wood.
Dahlia runs to baritone soundbath radio waves.
Light has frequencies,
Violet between blue and invisible ultraviolet,
Flame, slate and flint.
Every night is cold.

Torii gates, pain secured as sacred.
An assignation, frost hardy dahlia and a plangent resonant echo.
High frequency sound waves convert to electrical signals,
Breathe from someone I want,
Silt.
Beam, radiate, ensorcel.
I break the bark,
Sap flows and dries,
Resin seals over the tear.
I distill pine,
Resin and oil for turpentine, a solvent.
Quiver, bemired,
I lead sound into my darkness,
Orris butter resin, sweet and warm,
Hot jam drops on snow drops,
Orange ash on smoke,
Balm on lava,
The problem with cotton candy.

Electrical signals give off radiation or light waves,
The narrow frequency range where
The crest of a radio wave and the crest of a light wave overlap,
Infrared.
Glaciers flow, sunlight melts the upper layers of the snow when strong,
A wet snow avalanche,
A torrent, healing.
Brown sugar and whiskey,
Undulant, lavender.
Pine pitch, crystalline, sticky, rich and golden,
And dried pine rosin polishes glass smooth
Like the smell of powdery orris after years.
Softness, flush, worthy/not worthy,
Rich rays thunder,
Intensify my pulse,
Frenzied red,
Violet between blue and invisible ultraviolet.
Babylon—flutter, glow.
Unquenchable cathartic orris.  

















Pink Graphite

Camellias, winter shrubs,
Their shallow roots grow beneath the spongy caribou moss,
Robins egg blue.
After writing a play with my gifted students program in 1991,
I stopped spending all my free time writing short stories,
But the caribou moss was still soft.

In the cold Arctic of that town,
The evergreen protected the camellias from the afternoon sun and storms.
They branded hardy camellias with a brass molded embossing iron;
I had paper and graphite for my pencils.

After my ninth grade honors English teacher asked us to write poems in 1994,
It began raining.
We lived on an overhang.
A vertical rise to the top of the rock.
The rainstorm caused a metamorphic change in the snowpack,
A wet snow avalanche drifted slowly down the moss covered rock,
The snow already destabilized by exposure to the sunlight.

The avalanche formed lakes,
rock basins washed away with rainwater and melted snow,
Streams dammed by the rocks.  
My pencils washed away in the avalanche,
My clothes heavy and cold.
I wove one side of each warp fiber through the eye of the needle and one side through each slot,
Salves, ointments, serums and tinctures.
I was mining for graphite.
They were mining me,
The only winch, the sound through the water.

A steep staircase to the red Torii gates,
I broke the chains with bells for vespers
And chimes for schisms,
And wove the weft across at right angles to the warp.  

On a rocky ledge at the end of winter,
The pink moon, bitters and body butter,
They tried to get  me to want absinthe,
Wormwood for bitterness and regret.
Heat and pressure formed carbon for flakes of graphite.
Heat and pressure,
I made bitters,
Brandy, grapefruit, chocolate, mandarin rind, tamarind and sugar.
I grounded my feet in the pink moss,
paper dried in one hand,
and graphite for my pencils in the other.  



































Flakes

I don’t let people that put me down be part of my life.  
Gardens and trees,
My shadow sunk in the grass in my yard
As I ate bread, turmeric and lemon.
Carbon crystallizes into graphite flakes.
I write to see well,
Graphite on paper.  
A shadow on rock tiles with a shield, a diamond and a bell
Had me ***** to humiliate me.
Though I don’t let people that put me down near me,
A lot of people putting me down seemed like they were following me,
A platform to jump from
While she had her temple.  

There was a pink door to the platform.
I ate bread with caramelized crusts and
Drank turmeric lemonade
Before I opened that door,
Jumped and
Descended into blankets and feathers.
I found matches and rosin
For turpentine to clean,
Dried plums and licorice.  

In the temple,
In diamonds, leather, wool and silk,
She had her shield and bells,
Drugs and technology,
Thermovision 210 and Minox,
And an offering box where people believed
That if their coins went in
Their wishes would come true.

Hollyhock and smudging charcoal for work,  
Belled,
I ground grain in the mill for the bread I baked for breakfast.
The bells are now communal bells
With a watchtower and a prison,
Her shield, a blowtorch and flux,
Her ex rays, my makeshift records
Because Stalin didn’t like people dancing,
He liked them divebombing.
Impurities in the carbon prevent diamonds from forming,
Measured,
The most hard, the most expensive,
But graphite’s soft delocalized electrons move.  






































OCEAN BED

The loneliness of going to sleep by myself.  
I want a bed that’s high off the ground,
a mattress, an ocean.
I want a crush and that  person in my bed.  
Only that,
a crush in my bed,
an ocean in my bed.  
Just love.  
But I sleep with my thumbs sealed.  
I sleep with my hands, palms up.  
I sleep with my hands at my heart.  
They sear my compassion with their noise.  
They hold their iron over their fire and try to carve their noise into my love,
scored by the violence of voices, dark and lurid,  
but not burned.  
I want a man in my bed.  
When I wake up in an earthquake
I want to be held through the aftershocks.  
I like men,
the waves come in and go out
but the ocean was part of my every day.  
I don’t mind being fetishized in the ocean.  
I ran by the ocean every morning.  
I surfed in the ocean.  
I should’ve gone into the ocean that afternoon at Trestles,
holding my water jugs, kneeling at the edge.  














Morning

I want to fall asleep in the warm arms of a fireman.  
I want to wake up to the smell of coffee in my kitchen.  

Morning—the molten lava in the outer core of the earth embeds the iron from the inner core into the earth’s magnetic field.  
The magnetic field flips.  
The sun, so strong, where it gets through the trees it burns everything but the pine.  
The winds change direction.  
Storms cast lightening and rain.  
Iron conducts solar flares and the heavy wind.  
In that pine forest, I shudder every time I see a speck of light for fear of neon and fluorescents.  The eucalyptus cleanses congestion.  
And Kerouac’s stream ululates, crystal bowl sound baths.  
I follow the sound to the water.  
The stream ends at a bluff with a thin rocky beach below.  
The green water turns black not far from the shore.  
Before diving into the ocean, I eat globe mallow from the trees, stems and leaves, the viscous flesh, red, soft and nutty.  
I distill the pine from one of the tree’s bark and smudge the charcoal over my skin.  

Death, the palo santo’s lit, cleansing negative energy.  
It’s been so long since I’ve smelled a man, woodsmoke, citrus and tobacco.  
Jasmine, plum, lime and tuberose oil on the base of my neck comforts.  
Parabolic chambers heal, sound waves through water travel four times faster.  
The sound of the open sea recalibrates.  
I dissolve into the midnight blue of the ocean.  

I want to fall asleep in the warm arms of a fireman.  
I want to wake up to the smell of coffee in my kitchen.  
I want hot water with coconut oil when I get up.  
We’d lay out on the lawn, surrounded by high trees that block the wind.  
Embers flying through the air won’t land in my yard, on my grass, or near my trees.  





Blue Paper

Haze scatters blue light on a planet.  
Frought women, livid, made into peonies by Aphrodites that caught their men flirting and blamed the women, flushed red.
and blamed the women, flushed red.
Frought women, livid, chrysanthemums, dimmed until the end of the season, exchanged and retained like property.  
Blue women enter along the sides of her red Torii gates, belayed, branded and belled, a plangent sound.  
By candles, colored lights and dried flowers she’s sitting inside on a concrete floor, punctures and ruin burnished with paper, making burnt lime from lime mortar.  
Glass ***** on the ceiling, she moves the beads of a Palestinian glass bead bracelet she holds in her hands.  
She bends light to make shadows against  thin wooden slats curbed along the wall, and straight across the ceiling.
A metier, she makes tinctures, juniper berries and cotton *****.
Loamy soil in the center of the room,
A hawthorn tree stands alone,
A gateway for fairies.
large stones at the base protecting,
It’s branches a barrier.  
It’s leaves and shoots make bread and cheese.
It’s berries, red skin and yellow flesh, make jam.
Green bamboo stakes for the peonies when they whither from the weight of their petals.
And lime in the soil.  
She adds wood chips to the burnt lime in the kiln,
Unrolled paper, spools, and wire hanging.
Wood prayer beads connect her to the earth,
The tassels on the end of the beads connect her to spirit, to higher truth.
Minerals, marine mud and warm basins of seawater on a flower covered desk.  
She adds slaked lime to the burnt lime and wood chips.  
The lime converts to paper,
Trauma victims speak,
Light through butterfly wings.  
She’s plumeria with curved petals, thick, holding water
This is what I have written of my book.  I’ll be changing where the poems with the historical research go.  There are four more of those and nine of the other poems.
Kassiani Nov 2010
I always suspected electricity
Ran rampant through my veins
To make me dazed and dizzy
But unable to sit still
It made me prone to flights of fancy
So I left giddy trails of sparks
Blazing proof of my restlessness
That once brightly caught your eye

Once your gaze had found my own
My moods came in swooning flares
And you crackled alongside me
Filling my aching, empty silence
With shiny, blessed noise
We burned so beautifully
With my electric fire
And your trilling declamations
Light and sound intertwining
Like thunder that had finally caught up with its lightning

It seemed like Nature's order
A completion of the whole
Two halves that followed each other
Unthinkingly and automatically

So one day when I found silence
It felt like Earth itself was splitting

Panicked, I burned more brightly
Stoked the fire just in case
I feared that I had dimmed
And been the cause of this new quietness
So when I still heard nothing
I thought my efforts insufficient
And I ran my highest currents
Until my wires nearly melted
Thinking the sun and I were comparable
And anticipating a response

And still I heard no trilling
No crackling at my side
So I wondered if perhaps
I had shined beyond your limits
Swiftly, I contracted
Reined in my flares and doused the fire
Thinking sudden darkness
Might just shock you into sound

I finally heard the faintest popping
Not quite the rending that I wanted
But a break from quiet all the same
Afraid of spoiling the moment
I leashed my electricity
Kept myself dim so I could hear you
Though I felt the writhing beneath my skin

It finally became unbearable
So I flashed like wild lightning
Lashed out and struck the ground
Hoping for your thunder
A dark and roiling storm
Swirling raindrops and clouds colliding
And deep, ugly noise

All I wanted was your thunder
But in the end
It was only me yelling
Screaming out for downpours
Alone
Listening to my own echoes
Waiting for you to harmonize

In the end
I was always waiting
Wondering when you'd chosen silence
Wondering why I'd let you dim me
Wondering how it was we'd ever *burned
Written 5/22/10

— The End —