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Fatal Slip - A Steam Punk PoemFatal Slip
A Steam Punk Poem
The timbers blazed,
the ship's been razed.
The captain made one fatal slip.
The alarms made no sound
as we neared the ground.
And Fear held us in his grip.
They closed our eye
so they could hide.
And the console didn't blip.
The sky ran red
and we knew we were dead.
As the pirates boarded the ship.
UNTITLEDMy chimes they sing to a gust of wind
The feel of it somewhat cold
And I was dancing round the bend
In a field of marigolds.
Field mice scatter to where they may
The garden gnomes stoic and bold
I’m listening to what the wind might say
In a field of marigolds.
Fireflies are dancing in the field
Like me they are breaking the mold
Clouds providing a welcomed shield
In a field of marigolds.
Some Marmots are wobbling across the ground
Their meal is both damp and cold
The hummingbirds making that buzzing sound
In a field of marigolds.
The setting sun means that I must leave
But I’ll remember all that was told
Here we untangle the web that was weaved
In this field of marigolds…
Suven kehtoVainaja kuin harhain haamu hämärässä varhaisaamun
o'ottaa katveess' varjon puisen, alla pihlajan tomuisen.
Värisevi e'esmenneistä muistumista, murhehista
penkalla puron poloisen, varressa virran viluisen.
Kai sen nuotio varhain sammui omass' kyynelsatehessa,
kadoksiin unholan kehtoon vailla suojaa tuiskuhista
kesken pakkasyön kolkkoisen, kaamoksen lumivalkoisen.
Taisi vainaa painajaisen lainehiden alle jäädä,
alle hurmeen aamumeren sarastusta katsoessaan
manalan joen rajoilta, Tuonelan raunioilta.
Palaa pahin painajainen eilismuiston pirstaleista,
uni u’usta uupuvasta pimennosta painuvasta
elon hauraan haihtuessa, menetyksen kaikuessa.
Parvi vaipuu voipuneena huuruisille autiomaille,
luopuu hornan uumenista, korppikotkanaamioista
laulamahan kautta viiman virsistänsä kaunehimman:
Oi, harakka, nouse maasta, irti ketjust' luisevasta!
Karkaa rautahäkistäsi, pakoon arkkus' tammen taakkaa.
Poistu polust' poloisesta t
AugustThe printer-paper origami hung, suspended on twine
Above the desk where we sat for hours at a time,
Waiting for someone to approach us with timid inquiry.
Folded in the shape of a carnation, white on white,
It remained hung long past its occasion’s expiry
Floating from the ceiling without comment or fight.
Indeed, most days it wasn’t even noticed.
That’s how it was with us more often than not:
We’d hang decorations with permanent knots
And forget to see them from that point on.
We danced under mistletoe in the middle of the year
Not caring that the time for that was gone –
If it was gone wait five and it would be near.
Indeed, it would like overtake you.
All that said there was a certain cadence with us
That was always there though we never discussed
The appearance of patterns or their connotations.
What omens that might be present in our actions
Were never enough to uproot us from our foundations
And more oft than not we provided each other distractions.
The Phoenician Sailor's TestimonyI was thirteen when I touched the water first
Barely having reached the age of reason,
But filled with this unquenchable thirst –
The denial of which would be self-treason.
A thirst had I, O Lord my God, parched
By the budding truth that I would die –
Would die, and in some ways wanted to.
Wanted to die, yes, but not for you;
I wanted to die for the sake of my arched
Brows, knit with my own confused cry
Of Kyrie, Kyrie, for I do not believe –
I want to want – but I want to leave.
The sanctuary walls kept the danger within
So I sat in the lobby where I was free of sin.
And even at that age I was applauded for this –
Freedom from God is a freedom from stress –
The stress of sin that taints our brief bliss
While a perfect Other Being warns: Unless, Unless.
Unless you behave and deny all you are,
Unless you die to your old, former self,
Unless you find yourself broken on a rock
Unless you bend the knee and wish on that star
Unless you give it all
Lie With My CountrymenHere I lie in a time now lost
To me and my countrymen
But we still want and wait and worry
That our prices to bear are given to wind tossed
A tale my friend like any other
O how I long for it to end
But here I stay to drudge the mud
Which circles like the arms of a mother
When I lived my life was full
My raising of half-gesture
I grew in ways more than one
And saw my life; one of a dying bull
There was time to cast my ballot in
To voice what I wanted my life to be
But the time came and past like the summer breeze
And what I did not do seemed the greatest sin
So I left the place which reared me
I went far to find a way to forget
The things that marked my treading path behind
The foreground came, and I did see
Commerce and Construction. Chaos amid Peace
I was staggered and lost
I was swept under the tide
Of human expansion that did not cease
There was barely space for breath
And the air was always scarce
I did not know that
This led to my slow death
The rooms stunk of smoke
JulyThe gurgling stream in the park where I meditate ripples
Trickles and slurps as it runs
So close to the home where I’ve never been
The soothing sounds hush the din
Of competing voices all in my head
That clutter the place like kipple -
Shouting like thunder or twenty-one guns
In my soul long after the maestro declares “fin!”
This creek alone – small and unseen
To most who pass by this place –
This creek alone can find me there, in the depths
Of my soul where I go to hide away –
This creek alone can bring calm to my face
On the raging days when all else is dead
Weight on my shoulders with little to allay
The pain that develops in my kidneys and spine.
And I can sing hallelujah, hallelu, I am fine
Again for a small time – glory, glory from the bed
Of this little trickling brook with its smooth stones
That rattle and quake like my own shaking bones
Or the frame of the bed when we are alone
And I sing hallelu, hallelu, though I know it isn’t
ParisklageUnd hinter ihm die Trümmerstadt,
Ist er es, der sie verwüstet hat?
Er rennt nicht, geht ganz ruhig daher,
Trümmerstadt, du sahst ihn nimmer mehr.
Sein Schatten fällt auf See hinab,
Fort treibt's ihn von der Trümmerstadt,
Oh sag mir, Meer, oh sag mir Strom,
Hast du ihn gesehen, den Königssohn?
Den Göttern gleich sein Antlitz war,
Gemüt, wie Feuer, doch ehrlich war,
Nie trat er falsch, nie bracht' er leid,
Was geschah mit ihm, dass ihn verleit'?
Oh, Trümmerstadt, du weißt es nicht,
Niemand kann es dir je sagen, denn
Der Königssohn verschwand von Land,
Und auch im Meer, ich ihn nie fand.
CompelledI walk a path well worn
seeking shelter from the storm
if not for rutted trail
this journey would entertain fail
certainty though always coy
darting shadows favorite ploy
content to watch from apt distance
my stumbling insistence
to seek elusive trail head
discovering no end instead
mounting like faithful doubt
combat general in midst of rout
urge to flee white flag upheld
claim retreat mercy compelled
JuneThe shouts of children let loose at last echoed on
The pavement of Clemente Street as the long
School year for them finally showed itself out
Leaving no disappointment when it was gone.
Outside the gates the parents milled, knowing
That the longest time of the year was about
To begin again, with no respite coming till cold
Returned to sweep the children to school
And thoughts of Christmas and the one holy rule:
“Be good for goodness sake”
In summer there is no concern for behavior, though
There is only the rush of freedom and the laughs
And tears of friends together and friends apart
As parents struggle to keep their children in tow.
The parents will try
As hard as they can
But what can they do
But hold their kid’s hand
The hottest months: the most irritable times
This is when the world decided to leave the kids
In the lap of idle chaos to commit their bored crimes
With or without their parents to see it.
And why not: we never minded the adventures
1420 MHzHe keeps a list wadded in the depths of his front, left pocket: where he holds his keys, and the forgotten/abandoned shell of a lone pistachio. The list is his biography, written in the shape of Argentine Spanish:
Me gustan los tomates en verano.
Yo amo a mi novio.
Nos besamos. (Mi novio chupa mis dedos de los pies.)
Las estrellas cantan sus canciones.
Mi nombre no es Eduardo.
Vivo con Jacobi ahora.
His pants are wadded, now, on summer-warmed hardwood; his shirt is draped over the back of a cane-back chair, the most incongruous of antiques in Jacobi’s tech-nerd lair. Headphones clamp his ears, and fill his head with the lisping whisper of interstellar hydrogen, broadcasting itself at a neat 1420 MHz. Bedroom is the wrong word for a place like this, despite the sorts of furnishings one might expect. There is a bed, a dresser, a bookshelf and two nightstands cramped with magazines, graphic novels. An alarm clock
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