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Poetry
#91
First aid face down in a muddy puddle

The first aid tutor gave us a scenario of stumbling upon a scene of five casualties: 
  • one screaming & moaning that his arm was broken 
  • one staring blankly into space 
  • one with a major bleed 
  • one on his back unconscious  
  • one face down with their mouth & nose half covered by a muddy puddle 
Who do you go to initially as the first-aider?

I go to you, Japanese girl, lying drowning, freezing, escaping, disassociating in your puddle, bubbling in a language that I recognise only as distress. (I do know that I’m not supposed to go to you first, but I do, because I recognise you)

This was no real scenario as the other four weren’t there & I’d never done a first aid course in my life at that point.....walked a few ‘blueys’ round when they went over, but that was it.....

The first aid scenarios today however, brought my mind reeling back to the lost & terrified Japanese girl face down in the muddy puddle, at a party to commiserate the end of the Waterloo cardboard city......
.....She wasn’t part of that harsh culture, too innocent & pure, unsullied by addiction & abuse, but had gone overboard & ended up face down in a muddy puddle, unable to answer the worried questions of her saviours & inquisitors, only crying & responding in a language no one could comprehend.

We were kind enough junkies, despite our usual desperate selfishness, to rescue & stay with her, but we were getting to the point where we were getting a little clucky & we couldn’t be keeping a distressed oriental girl with no means of telling us what to do with her, forever........
Before we had to abandon ship however, her friends found her & she spoke to them in perfect English about how she couldn’t find them......

Memories rushing back in a first aid course.....ten out of ten in the test before I have to rush off early to my provincial back-breaking life, a million miles from a Japanese girl face down in a muddy puddle in Waterloo
This.....is real life
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#92
Hello,

I have just had some really good news, and because my life (like a true artist) is so full of misery without any luck whatsoever regarding money, freinds, lovers, i intend to sing like a lark about it.

Finally after two years of waiting i have had the poems 'The Island' (The Cannon's Mouth' issue 44) 'Amsterdam' 'February' and 'Companion' (TCM issue 43, copyright restricted due to cock up, but am currently trying to correct this) published in the online digitisation project of the national poetry archive at the south bank centre. If you are interested you can view them here

http://www.poetrymagazines.org.uk/magazi....asp?id=71

I now truly feel that i have left some footprints in the sands of time, and i am immortal.

Maybe in 100 or 1000 years from now BBC4 will make a documentry about my life and work, which will annoy me, and result in me turning in my grave (or ashes) because like so many great artists/musicians/poets  i will have the thought 'Why the fuck did you not take an interest when i was alive, and give me some fucking money' at which point my spirit will decide to shit and piss over the entire world, and everybody in it! As i realise the final cruelest irony of the true meaning of 'Suffering the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune'

LOL!

yours sincerely,

D P Jones.
"Despite access to billions of people online, i have never felt so alone."
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#93
"HOME" by Somali poet Warsan Shire

no one leaves home unless
home is the mouth of a shark
you only run for the border
when you see the whole city running as well

your neighbours running faster than you
breath bloody in their throats
the boy you went to school with
who kissed you dizzy behind the old tin factory
is holding a gun bigger than his body
you only leave home
when home won't let you stay.

no one leaves home unless home chases you
fire under feet
hot blood in your belly
it's not something you ever thought of doing
until the blade burnt threats into
your neck
and even then you carried the anthem under
your breath
only tearing up your passport in an airport toilets
sobbing as each mouthful of paper
made it clear that you wouldn't be going back.

you have to understand,
that no one puts their children in a boat
unless the water is safer than the land
no one burns their palms
under trains
beneath carriages
no one spends days and nights in the stomach of a truck
feeding on newspaper unless the miles travelled
means something more than journey.
no one crawls under fences
no one wants to be beaten
pitied

no one chooses refugee camps
or strip searches where your
body is left aching
or prison,
because prison is safer
than a city of fire
and one prison guard
in the night
is better than a truckload
of men who look like your father
no one could take it
no one could stomach it
no one skin would be tough enough

the
go home blacks
refugees
dirty immigrants
asylum seekers
sucking our country dry
niggers with their hands out
they smell strange
savage
messed up their country and now they want
to mess ours up
how do the words
the dirty looks
roll off your backs
maybe because the blow is softer
than a limb torn off

or the words are more tender
than fourteen men between
your legs
or the insults are easier
to swallow
than rubble
than bone
than your child body
in pieces.
I want to go home,
but home is the mouth of a shark
home is the barrel of the gun
and no one would leave home
unless home chased you to the shore
unless home told you
to quicken your legs
leave your clothes behind
crawl through the desert
wade through the oceans
drown
save
be hunger
beg
forget pride
your survival is more important

no one leaves home until home is a sweaty voice in your ear
saying-
leave,
run away from me now
I don't know what I’ve become
but I know that anywhere
is safer than here
This.....is real life
Reply
#94
[img][Image: SdTUQR4.jpg][/img]
"To fall in hell or soar angelic you need a pinch of psychedelic".
Humphry Osmond to Aldous Huxley (in a book)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fxGqcCeV3qk
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#95
My favourite poem

IF you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;
If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: 'Hold on!'

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
' Or walk with Kings - nor lose the common touch,
if neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man, my son!
It's ok if you disagree with me. I can't force you to be right.
Reply
#96
Sometimes a Wild God by Tom Hirons

Sometimes a wild god comes to the table.
He is awkward and does not know the ways
Of porcelain, of fork and mustard and silver.
His voice makes vinegar from wine.


When the wild god arrives at the door,
You will probably fear him.
He reminds you of something dark
That you might have dreamt,
Or the secret you do not wish to be shared.


He will not ring the doorbell;
Instead he scrapes with his fingers
Leaving blood on the paintwork,
Though primroses grow
In circles round his feet.


You do not want to let him in.
You are very busy.
It is late, or early, and besides…
You cannot look at him straight
Because he makes you want to cry.


The dog barks.
The wild god smiles,
Holds out his hand.
The dog licks his wounds
And leads him inside.


The wild god stands in your kitchen.
Ivy is taking over your sideboard;
Mistletoe has moved into the lampshades
And wrens have begun to sing
An old song in the mouth of your kettle.


‘I haven’t much,’ you say
And give him the worst of your food.
He sits at the table, bleeding.
He coughs up foxes.
There are otters in his eyes.


When your wife calls down,
You close the door and
Tell her it’s fine.
You will not let her see
The strange guest at your table.


The wild god asks for whiskey
And you pour a glass for him,
Then a glass for yourself.
Three snakes are beginning to nest
In your voicebox. You cough.


Oh, limitless space.
Oh, eternal mystery.
Oh, endless cycles of death and birth.
Oh, miracle of life.
Oh, the wondrous dance of it all.


You cough again,
Expectorate the snakes and
Water down the whiskey,
Wondering how you got so old
And where your passion went.


The wild god reaches into a bag
Made of moles and nightingale-skin.
He pulls out a two-reeded pipe,
Raises an eyebrow
And all the birds begin to sing.


The fox leaps into your eyes.
Otters rush from the darkness.
The snakes pour through your body.
Your dog howls and upstairs
Your wife both exults and weeps at once.


The wild god dances with your dog.
You dance with the sparrows.
A white stag pulls up a stool
And bellows hymns to enchantments.
A pelican leaps from chair to chair.


In the distance, warriors pour from their tombs.
Ancient gold grows like grass in the fields.
Everyone dreams the words to long-forgotten songs.
The hills echo and the grey stones ring
With laughter and madness and pain.


In the middle of the dance,
The house takes off from the ground.
Clouds climb through the windows;
Lightning pounds its fists on the table.
The moon leans in through the window.


The wild god points to your side.
You are bleeding heavily.
You have been bleeding for a long time,
Possibly since you were born.
There is a bear in the wound.


‘Why did you leave me to die?’
Asks the wild god and you say:
‘I was busy surviving.
The shops were all closed;
I didn’t know how. I’m sorry.’


Listen to them:

The fox in your neck and
The snakes in your arms and
The wren and the sparrow and the deer…
The great un-nameable beasts
In your liver and your kidneys and your heart…


There is a symphony of howling.
A cacophony of dissent.
The wild god nods his head and
You wake on the floor holding a knife,
A bottle and a handful of black fur.


Your dog is asleep on the table.
Your wife is stirring, far above.
Your cheeks are wet with tears;
Your mouth aches from laughter or shouting.
A black bear is sitting by the fire.


Sometimes a wild god comes to the table.
He is awkward and does not know the ways
Of porcelain, of fork and mustard and silver.
His voice makes vinegar from wine
And brings the dead to life.


A little bit of Charles Bukowski for World Poetry Day





(03-09-2015, 11:51 PM)tralala Wrote:
A little bit of Charles Bukowski for World Poetry Day




And......

Just for one day I couldn't see through the rain as it poured down my face
Through hail storms and blizzards, the sky cracked with lightning
Air charged with foreboding and menace

Though rainbows spring often, sunrises and blossom
Fluffy white clouds bounce playfully by,
Today only rain from my sky
This.....is real life
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#97
I'm under orders to reanimate this skittering impossible beast. So here's a poem I wrote which is losing a bad poetry contest, to give you some idea of how much of your acclaim I deserve.

It's about an old fighter struggling with alcoholism.

A Fight.

He said it was the hardest fight he'd ever had.

Although his face bore no marks of hard use
He was getting sore organs,
And he knew that bodyshots were hard to shake off.

He only stopped for water between rounds,
And doc knows that's not enough
But they always said "There's no quit in this fighter!"
No less true for an insult.

Our man was fighting Irish,
And Jamaican, French, Russian,
Whatever else he could lay his gloves on
So that no matter how spirited the defence he was bound to lose on points


Can he stand from his stool?

The man with the towel is coming

And here's a couple I really like from people who aren't unilaterally awful!

Renascence

Edna St. Vincent Millay



All I could see from where I stood

Was three long mountains and a wood;

I turned and looked another way,

And saw three islands in a bay.

So with my eyes I traced the line

Of the horizon, thin and fine,

Straight around till I was come

Back to where I'd started from;

And all I saw from where I stood

Was three long mountains and a wood.

 

Over these things I could not see;

These were the things that bounded me;

And I could touch them with my hand,

Almost, I thought, from where I stand.

And all at once things seemed so small

My breath came short, and scarce at all.

 

But, sure, the sky is big, I said;

Miles and miles above my head;

So here upon my back I'll lie

And look my fill into the sky.

And so I looked, and, after all,

The sky was not so very tall.

The sky, I said, must somewhere stop,

And—sure enough!—I see the top!

The sky, I thought, is not so grand;

I 'most could touch it with my hand!

And reaching up my hand to try,

I screamed to feel it touch the sky.

 

I screamed, and—lo!—Infinity

Came down and settled over me;

Forced back my scream into my chest,

Bent back my arm upon my breast,

And, pressing of the Undefined

The definition on my mind,

Held up before my eyes a glass

Through which my shrinking sight did pass

Until it seemed I must behold

Immensity made manifold;

Whispered to me a word whose sound

Deafened the air for worlds around,

And brought unmuffled to my ears

The gossiping of friendly spheres,

The creaking of the tented sky,

The ticking of Eternity.

 

I saw and heard, and knew at last

The How and Why of all things, past,

And present, and forevermore.

The Universe, cleft to the core,

Lay open to my probing sense

That, sick'ning, I would fain pluck thence

But could not,—nay! But needs must suck

At the great wound, and could not pluck

My lips away till I had drawn

All venom out.—Ah, fearful pawn!

For my omniscience paid I toll

In infinite remorse of soul.

 

All sin was of my sinning, all

Atoning mine, and mine the gall

Of all regret. Mine was the weight

Of every brooded wrong, the hate

That stood behind each envious thrust,

Mine every greed, mine every lust.

 

And all the while for every grief,

Each suffering, I craved relief

With individual desire,—

Craved all in vain! And felt fierce fire

About a thousand people crawl;

Perished with each,—then mourned for all!

 

A man was starving in Capri;

He moved his eyes and looked at me;

I felt his gaze, I heard his moan,

And knew his hunger as my own.

I saw at sea a great fog bank

Between two ships that struck and sank;

A thousand screams the heavens smote;

And every scream tore through my throat.

 

No hurt I did not feel, no death

That was not mine; mine each last breath

That, crying, met an answering cry

From the compassion that was I.

All suffering mine, and mine its rod;

Mine, pity like the pity of God.

 

Ah, awful weight! Infinity

Pressed down upon the finite Me!

My anguished spirit, like a bird,

Beating against my lips I heard;

Yet lay the weight so close about

There was no room for it without.

And so beneath the weight lay I

And suffered death, but could not die.

 

Long had I lain thus, craving death,

When quietly the earth beneath

Gave way, and inch by inch, so great

At last had grown the crushing weight,

Into the earth I sank till I

Full six feet under ground did lie,

And sank no more,—there is no weight

Can follow here, however great.

From off my breast I felt it roll,

And as it went my tortured soul

Burst forth and fled in such a gust

That all about me swirled the dust.

 

Deep in the earth I rested now;

Cool is its hand upon the brow

And soft its breast beneath the head

Of one who is so gladly dead.

And all at once, and over all

The pitying rain began to fall;

I lay and heard each pattering hoof

Upon my lowly, thatched roof,

And seemed to love the sound far more

Than ever I had done before.

For rain it hath a friendly sound

To one who's six feet underground;

And scarce the friendly voice or face:

A grave is such a quiet place.

 

The rain, I said, is kind to come

And speak to me in my new home.

I would I were alive again

To kiss the fingers of the rain,

To drink into my eyes the shine

Of every slanting silver line,

To catch the freshened, fragrant breeze

From drenched and dripping apple-trees.

For soon the shower will be done,

And then the broad face of the sun

Will laugh above the rain-soaked earth

Until the world with answering mirth

Shakes joyously, and each round drop

Rolls, twinkling, from its grass-blade top.

 

How can I bear it; buried here,

While overhead the sky grows clear

And blue again after the storm?

O, multi-colored, multiform,

Beloved beauty over me,

That I shall never, never see

Again! Spring-silver, autumn-gold,

That I shall never more behold!

Sleeping your myriad magics through,

Close-sepulchred away from you!

O God, I cried, give me new birth,

And put me back upon the earth!

Upset each cloud's gigantic gourd

And let the heavy rain, down-poured

In one big torrent, set me free,

Washing my grave away from me!

 

I ceased; and through the breathless hush

That answered me, the far-off rush

Of herald wings came whispering

Like music down the vibrant string

Of my ascending prayer, and—crash!

Before the wild wind's whistling lash

The startled storm-clouds reared on high

And plunged in terror down the sky,

And the big rain in one black wave

Fell from the sky and struck my grave.

 

I know not how such things can be;

I only know there came to me

A fragrance such as never clings

To aught save happy living things;

A sound as of some joyous elf

Singing sweet songs to please himself,

And, through and over everything,

A sense of glad awakening.

The grass, a-tiptoe at my ear,

Whispering to me I could hear;

I felt the rain's cool finger-tips

Brushed tenderly across my lips,

Laid gently on my sealed sight,

And all at once the heavy night

Fell from my eyes and I could see,—

A drenched and dripping apple-tree,

A last long line of silver rain,

A sky grown clear and blue again.

And as I looked a quickening gust

Of wind blew up to me and thrust

Into my face a miracle

Of orchard-breath, and with the smell,—

I know not how such things can be!—

I breathed my soul back into me.

 

Ah! Up then from the ground sprang I

And hailed the earth with such a cry

As is not heard save from a man

Who has been dead, and lives again.

About the trees my arms I wound;

 

Like one gone mad I hugged the ground;

I raised my quivering arms on high;

I laughed and laughed into the sky,

Till at my throat a strangling sob

Caught fiercely, and a great heart-throb

Sent instant tears into my eyes;

O God, I cried, no dark disguise

Can e'er hereafter hide from me

Thy radiant identity!

 

Thou canst not move across the grass

But my quick eyes will see Thee pass,

Nor speak, however silently,

But my hushed voice will answer Thee.

I know the path that tells Thy way

Through the cool eve of every day;

God, I can push the grass apart

And lay my finger on Thy heart!

 

The world stands out on either side

No wider than the heart is wide;

Above the world is stretched the sky,—

No higher than the soul is high.

The heart can push the sea and land

Farther away on either hand;

The soul can split the sky in two,

And let the face of God shine through.

But East and West will pinch the heart

That can not keep them pushed apart;

And he whose soul is flat—the sky
Will cave in on him by and by.

The Death of a Toad
by Richard Wilbur

       A toad the power mower caught,
Chewed and clipped of a leg, with a hobbling hop has got
   To the garden verge, and sanctuaried him
   Under the cineraria leaves, in the shade
      Of the ashen and heartshaped leaves, in a dim,
          Low, and a final glade.

       The rare original heartsblood goes,
Spends in the earthen hide, in the folds and wizenings, flows
    In the gutters of the banked and staring eyes. He lies
    As still as if he would return to stone,
        And soundlessly attending, dies
           Toward some deep monotone,

       Toward misted and ebullient seas
And cooling shores, toward lost Amphibia's emperies.
    Day dwindles, drowning and at length is gone
    In the wide and antique eyes, which still appear
        To watch, across the castrate lawn,
            The haggard daylight steer.
So We'll Go No More a Roving

George Gordon, Lord Byron



So, we'll go no more a roving

   So late into the night,

Though the heart be still as loving,

   And the moon be still as bright.



For the sword outwears its sheath,

   And the soul wears out the breast,

And the heart must pause to breathe,

   And love itself have rest.



Though the night was made for loving,

   And the day returns too soon,

Yet we'll go no more a roving
   By the light of the moon.

There are loads by St Millay I'd love to share but I think I want to keep something in reserve in case I ever get attacked by a roving band of poetry students and I have to attack their weak spot (which is everywhere).
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#98
I really liked your poem Charlington, but the black type on dark background isn't very reader-friendly!
This.....is real life
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#99
The Platypus

I really like the platypus,
Because it is anomalous,
I like the way it raises its family,
Partly birdly,
Partly mammaly, 
I like it's fiercely independent attitude,
But let no one call this a duck billed platitude.

This Be The Verse

Larkin

They fuck you up, your mum and dad.
They may not mean to, but they do.
They fill you with the faults they had
And add some extra, just for you.

But they were fucked up in their turn
By fools in old-style hats and coats,
Who half the time were soppy-stern
And half at one another's throats.

Man hands on misery to man.
It deepens like a coastal shelf.
Get out as early as you can,
And don't have any kids yourself.
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Ah this be the verse...one of my all-time favourites and the only one I know off by heart!
This.....is real life
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