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Joined: 11 May 2007
Age: 51
Gender: Male
Posts: 5,748
Location: International House of Paincakes...

14 Jan 2010, 3:05 am

My Papa's Waltz

The whiskey on your breath
Could make a small boy dizzy;
But I hung on like death:
Such waltzing was not easy.

We romped until the pans
Slid from the kitchen shelf;
My mother's countenance
Could not unfrown itself.

The hand that held my wrist
Was battered on one knuckle;
At every step you missed
My right ear scraped a buckle.

You beat time on my head
With a palm caked hard by dirt,
Then waltzed me off to bed
Still clinging to your shirt.

-Thoedore Roethke

For me, it brings back fond childhood memories, but it's amazing how many people think it's about child abuse. :?

No man is free who is not master of himself.~Epictetus


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Joined: 3 Dec 2009
Age: 61
Gender: Female
Posts: 2,067

15 Jan 2010, 3:48 am

Wild Geese

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of our body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

~Mary Oliver


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Joined: 15 Sep 2007
Age: 95
Gender: Male
Posts: 11,484
Location: Finland

15 Jan 2010, 7:52 pm


I see the tiger in the zoo
With days and months and years
Of nothing to do.
His yellow eyes are filled
With infinities of tragedies.
This box of iron has willed
He must carry to and fro
His heavy yellow yearnings
Whose wish is just to go.

Some delinquent night I could try
To slip back here, when the moon,
Blindfolded by a cloud, its eye
Undiscerning to permit
The mice and me
A modicum of

I would find the tiger’s cage unlocked.
“Come!”, I would beckon with my finger
And, in delight and surprise,
He would arise.
At first, in haste, we would not linger.
A quiet thunder in his throat
Would reveal an urgent note
And we would quickly pace
To make ourselves remote.

Through the murky alleyways
And ill-lit streets we would flee.
I would scout ahead
And he would follow me
Until we reached the sanctuary of my place
Where the doorman, ever discrete,
Would let us in
And gaze politely at his feet.

Up the elevator we would ride,
My finger on the button to my floor
With the tiger, yawning, at my side.
And then to bed
Where I would snooze
With the tiger stretched upon the rug
Which he would choose.

Next morning, in the bright of day,
We would make our plans.
I would figure out a way,
While making scrambled eggs
In several frying pans,
How we would spend our day.
But first, I must teach him
To perambulate on two legs.

That done, he’d don a derby hat,
A cut down pair of jeans
And, above that,
A sweater, turtle neck
And running shoes.
And then, we’d hit the deck.

On our morning’s stroll
He’d twitch his ears
At the taxi hoots, the buses’ growl
And suppress his disconcerting thought
About the city traffic clatter.
He will wonder why I brought
Him from his sterile sanctum
Into the nerve-wracking panic.
But it really wouldn’t matter.

Offhandedly he’d gobble down
A dog or two,
Perhaps, a pigeon and a sparrow.
This would cause distress.
I cautioned his ability
To violate finesse
He must maintain civility,
Or we’d end up in a mess.

Back at home, we’d discourse on
Basic metaphysics.
I’d do the dishes while he’d dry
And juggle them for kicks.
Nietzsche was his man, of course,
While I inclined to Kant.
He’d speak incessantly with force
With a tendency to rant.

In the end, he’d do well.
His personality was strong.
Wall Street was his first aim
But he’d ended in Hong Kong.
He’d be successful, as things go,
Being so relentless,
Becoming a rich CEO
Totally repentless.


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Joined: 3 Jan 2009
Age: 28
Gender: Female
Posts: 9,896
Location: Stoke, England (sometimes :P)

15 Jan 2010, 7:55 pm


From a radio broadcast. It's simple but funny.

What film do atheists watch on Christmas?
Coincidence on 34th street.


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Joined: 3 Dec 2009
Age: 61
Gender: Female
Posts: 2,067

15 Jan 2010, 8:48 pm

If that's your poem Sand, it's totally awesome, loved it.


The world was young, the mountains green,
No stain yet on the Moon was seen.
No words were laid on stream or stone
When Durin woke and walked alone.
He named the nameless hills and dells;
He drank from yet untasted wells;
He stooped and looked in Mirrormere,
And saw a crown of stars appear,
As gems upon a silver thread,
Above the shadow of his head.

The world was fair, the mountains tall,
In Elder Days before the fall.
Of mighty kings of Nargothrond
And Gondolin, who now beyond
The Western Seas have passed away;
The world was fair in Durin's Day.

A king he was on carven throne
In many-pillared halls of stone
With golden roof and silver floor,
And runes of power upon the door.
The light of sun and star and moon
In shining lamps of crystal hewn
Undimmed by cloud or shade of night
Thee shone for ever fair and bright.

There hammer on the anvil smote,
There chisel clove, and graver wrote,
There forged was blade, and bound was hilt;
The delver mined, the mason built,
There beryl, pearl, and opal pale,
And metal wrought like fishes' mail,
Buckler and corslet, axe and sword,
And shining spears were laid in hoard.

Unwearied then were Durin's folk;
Beneath the mountains music woke:
The harpers harped, the minstrels sang
And at the gates the trumpets rang.

The world is grey, the mountains old,
The forge's fire is ashen cold;
No harp is wrung, no hammer falls,
The darkness dwells in Durin's halls;
The shadow lies upon his tomb
In Moria, in Khazad-dum.
But still the sunken stars appear
In dark and windless Mirrormere;
There lies his crown in water deep,
Till Durin wakes again from sleep.



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Joined: 4 Jun 2009
Age: 47
Gender: Male
Posts: 2,726

16 Jan 2010, 4:10 am

"Tonight I Can Write," Pablo Neruda

Tonight I can write the saddest lines.

Write, for example, 'The night is starry
and the stars are blue and shiver in the distance.'

The night wind revolves in the sky and sings.

Tonight I can write the saddest lines.
I loved her, and sometimes she loved me too.

Through nights like this one I held her in my arms.
I kissed her again and again under the endless sky.

She loved me, sometimes I loved her too.
How could one not have loved her great still eyes.

Tonight I can write the saddest lines.
To think that I do not have her. To feel that I have lost her.

To hear the immense night, still more immense without her.
And the verse falls to the soul like dew to the pasture.

What does it matter that my love could not keep her.
The night is starry and she is not with me.

This is all. In the distance someone is singing. In the distance.
My soul is not satisfied that it has lost her.

My sight tries to find her as though to bring her closer.
My heart looks for her, and she is not with me.

The same night whitening the same trees.
We, of that time, are no longer the same.

I no longer love her, that's certain, but how I loved her.
My voice tried to find the wind to touch her hearing.

Another's. She will be another's. As she was before my kisses.
Her voice, her bright body. Her infinite eyes.

I no longer love her, that's certain, but maybe I love her.
Love is so short, forgetting is so long.

Because through nights like this one I held her in my arms
my soul is not satisfied that it has lost her.

Though this be the last pain that she makes me suffer
and these the last verses that I write for her.


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Joined: 15 Sep 2007
Age: 95
Gender: Male
Posts: 11,484
Location: Finland

16 Jan 2010, 10:33 am

[quote="Meadow"]If that's your poem Sand, it's totally awesome, loved it.

Glad you liked it. All the poetry I've posted is mine.

Tufted Titmouse
Tufted Titmouse

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Joined: 6 Feb 2010
Age: 30
Gender: Female
Posts: 28

09 Feb 2010, 10:29 pm

Lady Lazarus
By Slyvia Plath

I have done it again.
One year in every ten
I manage it-----

A sort of walking miracle, my skin
Bright as a Nazi lampshade,
My right foot

A paperweight,
My featureless, fine
Jew linen.

Peel off the napkin
O my enemy.
Do I terrify?-------

The nose, the eye pits, the full set of teeth?
The sour breath
Will vanish in a day.

Soon, soon the flesh
The grave cave ate will be
At home on me

And I a smiling woman.
I am only thirty.
And like the cat I have nine times to die.

This is Number Three.
What a trash
To annihilate each decade.

What a million filaments.
The Peanut-crunching crowd
Shoves in to see

Them unwrap me hand in foot ------
The big strip tease.
Gentleman , ladies

These are my hands
My knees.
I may be skin and bone,

Nevertheless, I am the same, identical woman.
The first time it happened I was ten.
It was an accident.

The second time I meant
To last it out and not come back at all.
I rocked shut

As a seashell.
They had to call and call
And pick the worms off me like sticky pearls.

Is an art, like everything else.
I do it exceptionally well.

I do it so it feels like hell.
I do it so it feels real.
I guess you could say I've a call.

It's easy enough to do it in a cell.
It's easy enough to do it and stay put.
It's the theatrical

Comeback in broad day
To the same place, the same face, the same brute
Amused shout:

'A miracle!'
That knocks me out.
There is a charge

For the eyeing my scars, there is a charge
For the hearing of my heart---
It really goes.

And there is a charge, a very large charge
For a word or a touch
Or a bit of blood

Or a piece of my hair on my clothes.
So, so, Herr Doktor.
So, Herr Enemy.

I am your opus,
I am your valuable,
The pure gold baby

That melts to a shriek.
I turn and burn.
Do not think I underestimate your great concern.

Ash, ash---
You poke and stir.
Flesh, bone, there is nothing there----

A cake of soap,
A wedding ring,
A gold filling.

Herr God, Herr Lucifer

Out of the ash
I rise with my red hair
And I eat men like air.


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Joined: 17 Jul 2004
Age: 46
Gender: Male
Posts: 104,869
Location: Canada in person, Germany in spirit

10 Feb 2010, 6:07 pm

Pardon Me for Being Rude

Pardon me for being rude
It was not me, it was my food
It just popped up to say hello
Now it's gone back down, below



Om Nom 2024


Yellow-bellied Woodpecker
Yellow-bellied Woodpecker

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Joined: 4 Feb 2010
Age: 65
Gender: Female
Posts: 51

11 Feb 2010, 9:59 am

It is a poem my friend, The Colonol, WWII Veteran, who died Apr. 1992, wrote me for the someday I achieve my bar admission:

Roses Are Red,
Violents Are Blue.
I need an Attorney,
How about you ?

~Col. McKay


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Joined: 30 Sep 2006
Age: 48
Gender: Female
Posts: 1,272

15 Feb 2010, 10:20 pm

Well, I love to hear Edgar Allen Poe, not because of the meanings necessarily, but because his meter was so satisfying. My favorite is too long, in my opinion, to put up here, but the first few lines should get the point across:

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
`'Tis some visitor,' I muttered, `tapping at my chamber door -
Only this, and nothing more.'

This one is by William Butler Yeats. I guess he felt the way I do about city life:

The Lake Isle of Innisfree

I WILL arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made;
Nine bean rows will I have there, a hive for the honey bee,
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.

And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;
There midnight's all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,
And evening full of the linnet's wings.

I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements gray,
I hear it in the deep heart's core.

And for my really dark moments (or my sick sense of humor):


Razors pain you;
Rivers are damp;
Acids stain you;
And drugs cause cramp;
Guns aren't lawful;
Nooses give;
Gas smells awful;
You might as well live.

Dorothy Parker

"Pack up my head, I'm goin' to Paris!" - P.W.

The world loves diversity... as long as it's pretty, makes them look smart and doesn't put them out in any way.

There's the road, and the road less traveled, and then there's MY road.


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Joined: 23 Dec 2007
Gender: Female
Posts: 1,280

26 Jan 2015, 11:15 am

Snow on the Desert

(Agha Shahid Ali)

“Each ray of sunshine is eight minutes old,”
Serge told me in New York one December
night. “So when one looks at the sky, one sees

the past?” “Yes, Yes,” he said, “especially
on a clear day.” On January 19,
1987, as I very

early in the morning drove my sister
to Tucson International, suddenly
on Alvernon and 22nd Street

the sliding doors of the fog were opened,
and the snow, which had fallen all night, now
sun-dazzled, blinded us, the earth whitened

out, as if by cocaine, the desert’s plants,
its mineral-hard colors extinguished,
wine frozen in the veins of the cactus.

* * *

The Desert Smells Like Rain: in it I read:
The syrup from which sacred wine is made

is extracted from the saguaros each
summer. The Papagos place it in jars,

where the last of it softens, then darkens
into a color of blood though it tastes

strangely sweet, almost white, like a dry wine.
As I tell Sameetah this, we are still

seven miles away. “And you know the flowers
of the saguaros bloom only at night?”

We are driving slowly, the road is glass.
“Imagine where we are was a sea once.”

Gathering speed, I repeat, “Imagine,
just imagine!” The sky is relentlessly

sapphire, and the past is happening quickly:
the saguaros have opened themselves, stretched

out their arms to rays millions of years old,
in each ray a secret of the planet’s

origin, the rays hurting each cactus
into memory, a human memory—

for they are human, the Papagos say:
not only because they have arms and veins and

secrets. But because they too are a tribe,
vulnerable to massacre. “It is like

the end, perhaps the beginning of the world,”
Sameetah says, staring at their snow-drenched

arms. And we are driving by the ocean
that evaporated here, by its shores,

the past now happening so quickly that each
stop light hurts us into memory, the sky

taking rapid notes on us as we turn
at Tucson Boulevard and drive into

the airport, and I realize that the earth
is thawing from longing into longing and

that we are being forgotten by those arms.

* * *

At the airport I stared after her plane
till the window was

a mirror again.
As I drove back to the foothills, the fog

shut its doors behind me on Alvernon,
and I breathed the dried seas

the earth had lost,
their forsaken shores. And I remembered

another moment that refers only
to itself:

in New Delhi one night as
Begum Akhtar sang, the lights went out. It

was perhaps during the Bangladesh War,
perhaps there were sirens,

air-raid warnings.
But the audience, hushed, did not stir.

The microphone was dead, but she went on
singing, and her voice

was coming from far
away, as if she had already died.

Like this turning darkness of the fog, it
was a moment when only

a lost sea
can be heard, a time to recollect every

shadow, everything the earth was losing,
a time to think of everything

the earth
and I had lost, of all that I would lose,

of all that I was losing.


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Joined: 31 Aug 2012
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Posts: 10,660
Location: In the heart of the dust bowl

26 Jan 2015, 11:19 am

The Bells
Edgar Allen Poe

HEAR the sledges with the bells,
Silver bells!
What a world of merriment their melody foretells!
How they tinkle, tinkle, tinkle,
In the icy air of night!
While the stars, that oversprinkle
All the heavens, seem to twinkle
With a crystalline delight;
Keeping time, time, time,
In a sort of Runic rhyme,
To the tintinnabulation that so musically wells
From the bells, bells, bells, bells,
Bells, bells, bells-
From the jingling and the tinkling of the bells.

Hear the mellow wedding bells,
Golden bells!
What a world of happiness their harmony foretells!
Through the balmy air of night
How they ring out their delight!
From the molten-golden notes,
And all in tune,
What a liquid ditty floats
To the turtle-dove that listens, while she gloats
On the moon!
Oh, from out the sounding cells,
What a gush of euphony voluminously wells!
How it swells!
How it dwells
On the Future! how it tells
Of the rapture that impels
To the swinging and the ringing
Of the bells, bells, bells,
Of the bells, bells, bells, bells,
Bells, bells, bells-
To the rhyming and the chiming of the bells!

Hear the loud alarum bells,
Brazen bells!
What a tale of terror, now, their turbulency tells!
In the startled ear of night
How they scream out their affright!
Too much horrified to speak,
They can only shriek, shriek,
Out of tune,
In a clamorous appealing to the mercy of the fire,
In a mad expostulation with the deaf and frantic fire,
Leaping higher, higher, higher,
With a desperate desire,
And a resolute endeavor
Now-now to sit or never,
By the side of the pale-faced moon.
Oh, the bells, bells, bells!
What a tale their terror tells
Of Despair!

How they clang, and clash, and roar!
What a horror they outpour
On the bosom of the palpitating air!
Yet the ear it fully knows,
By the twanging
And the clanging,
How the danger ebbs and flows;
Yet the ear distinctly tells,
In the jangling
And the wrangling,
How the danger sinks and swells,-
By the sinking or the swelling in the anger of the bells,
Of the bells,
Of the bells, bells, bells, bells,
Bells, bells, bells-
In the clamor and the clangor of the bells!

Hear the tolling of the bells,
Iron bells!
What a world of solemn thought their monody compels!
In the silence of the night
How we shiver with affright
At the melancholy menace of their tone!
For every sound that floats
From the rust within their throats
Is a groan.
And the people-ah, the people,
They that dwell up in the steeple,
All alone,
And who tolling, tolling, tolling,
In that muffled monotone,
Feel a glory in so rolling
On the human heart a stone-
They are neither man nor woman,
They are neither brute nor human,
They are Ghouls:
And their king it is who tolls;
And he rolls, rolls, rolls,
A paean from the bells;
And his merry bosom swells
With the paean of the bells,
And he dances, and he yells:
Keeping time, time, time,
In a sort of Runic rhyme,
To the paean of the bells,
Of the bells:
Keeping time, time, time,
In a sort of Runic rhyme,
To the throbbing of the bells,
Of the bells, bells, bells-
To the sobbing of the bells;
Keeping time, time, time,
As he knells, knells, knells,
In a happy Runic rhyme,
To the rolling of the bells,
Of the bells, bells, bells:
To the tolling of the bells,
Of the bells, bells, bells, bells,
Bells, bells, bells-
To the moaning and the groaning of the bells.


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Age: 35
Gender: Male
Posts: 2,604

26 Jan 2015, 5:46 pm

"The Rainy Day" by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

The day is cold, and dark, and dreary
It rains, and the wind is never weary;
The vine still clings to the mouldering wall,
But at every gust the dead leaves fall,
And the day is dark and dreary.

My life is cold, and dark, and dreary;
It rains, and the wind is never weary;
My thoughts still cling to the mouldering Past,
But the hopes of youth fall thick in the blast,
And the days are dark and dreary.

Be still, sad heart! and cease repining;
Behind the clouds is the sun still shining;
Thy fate is the common fate of all,
Into each life some rain must fall,
Some days must be dark and dreary.


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Joined: 25 Feb 2014
Age: 38
Gender: Female
Posts: 3,543
Location: Mostly in my head

26 Jan 2015, 8:08 pm

You Will Hear Thunder by Anna Akhmatova

You will hear thunder and remember me,
And think: she wanted storms. The rim
Of the sky will be the color of hard crimson,
And your heart, as it was then, will be on fire.

That day in Moscow, it will all come true,
when, for the last time, I take my leave,
And hasten to the heights that I have longed for,
Leaving my shadow still to be with you.

Tufted Titmouse
Tufted Titmouse

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Joined: 14 Feb 2013
Gender: Male
Posts: 41

26 Jan 2015, 10:07 pm

Ariel by Sylvia Plath

Stasis in darkness.
Then the substanceless blue
Pour of tor and distances.

God’s lioness,
How one we grow,
Pivot of heels and knees!—The furrow

Splits and passes, sister to
The brown arc
Of the neck I cannot catch,

Berries cast dark

Black sweet blood mouthfuls,
Something else

Hauls me through air—
Thighs, hair;
Flakes from my heels.

Godiva, I unpeel—
Dead hands, dead stringencies.

And now I
Foam to wheat, a glitter of seas.
The child’s cry

Melts in the wall.
And I
Am the arrow,

The dew that flies
Suicidal, at one with the drive
Into the red

Eye, the cauldron of morning.