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Best Famous Smashed Poems

Here is a collection of the all-time best famous Smashed poems. This is a select list of the best famous Smashed poetry. Reading, writing, and enjoying famous Smashed poetry (as well as classical and contemporary poems) is a great past time. These top poems are the best examples of smashed poems.

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Written by Charles Bukowski | Create an image from this poem

Let It Enfold You

 either peace or happiness,
let it enfold you

when i was a young man
I felt these things were
dumb,unsophisticated.
I had bad blood,a twisted mind, a pecarious upbringing.
I was hard as granite,I leered at the sun.
I trusted no man and especially no woman.
I was living a hell in small rooms, I broke things, smashed things, walked through glass, cursed.
I challenged everything, was continually being evicted,jailed,in and out of fights,in and aout of my mind.
women were something to screw and rail at,i had no male freinds, I changed jobs and cities,I hated holidays, babies,history, newspapers, museums, grandmothers, marriage, movies, spiders, garbagemen, english accents,spain, france,italy,walnuts and the color orange.
algebra angred me, opera sickened me, charlie chaplin was a fake and flowers were for pansies.
peace an happiness to me were signs of inferiority, tenants of the weak an addled mind.
but as I went on with my alley fights, my suicidal years, my passage through any number of women-it gradually began to occur to me that I wasn't diffrent from the others, I was the same, they were all fulsome with hatred, glossed over with petty greivances, the men I fought in alleys had hearts of stone.
everybody was nudging, inching, cheating for some insignificant advantage, the lie was the weapon and the plot was emptey, darkness was the dictator.
cautiously, I allowed myself to feel good at times.
I found moments of peace in cheap rooms just staring at the knobs of some dresser or listening to the rain in the dark.
the less i needed the better i felt.
maybe the other life had worn me down.
I no longer found glamour in topping somebody in conversation.
or in mounting the body of some poor drunken female whose life had slipped away into sorrow.
I could never accept life as it was, i could never gobble down all its poisons but there were parts, tenous magic parts open for the asking.
I re formulated I don't know when, date,time,all that but the change occured.
something in me relaxed, smoothed out.
i no longer had to prove that i was a man, I did'nt have to prove anything.
I began to see things: coffe cups lined up behind a counter in a cafe.
or a dog walking along a sidewalk.
or the way the mouse on my dresser top stopped there with its body, its ears, its nose, it was fixed, a bit of life caught within itself and its eyes looked at me and they were beautiful.
then- it was gone.
I began to feel good, I began to feel good in the worst situations and there were plenty of those.
like say, the boss behind his desk, he is going to have to fire me.
I've missed too many days.
he is dressed in a suit, necktie, glasses, he says, "i am going to have to let you go" "it's all right" i tell him.
He must do what he must do, he has a wife, a house, children.
expenses, most probably a girlfreind.
I am sorry for him he is caught.
I walk onto the blazing sunshine.
the whole day is mine temporailiy, anyhow.
(the whole world is at the throat of the world, everybody feels angry, short-changed, cheated, everybody is despondent, dissillusioned) I welcomed shots of peace, tattered shards of happiness.
I embraced that stuff like the hottest number, like high heels,breasts, singing,the works.
(dont get me wrong, there is such a thing as cockeyed optimism that overlooks all basic problems justr for the sake of itself- this is a sheild and a sickness.
) The knife got near my throat again, I almost turned on the gas again but when the good moments arrived again I did'nt fight them off like an alley adversary.
I let them take me, i luxuriated in them, I bade them welcome home.
I even looked into the mirror once having thought myself to be ugly, I now liked what I saw,almost handsome,yes, a bit ripped and ragged, scares,lumps, odd turns, but all in all, not too bad, almost handsome, better at least than some of those movie star faces like the cheeks of a babys butt.
and finally I discovered real feelings fo others, unhearleded, like latley, like this morning, as I was leaving, for the track, i saw my wif in bed, just the shape of her head there (not forgetting centuries of the living and the dead and the dying, the pyarimids, Mozart dead but his music still there in the room, weeds growing, the earth turning, the toteboard waiting for me) I saw the shape of my wife's head, she so still, i ached for her life, just being there under the covers.
i kissed her in the, forehead, got down the stairway, got outside, got into my marvelous car, fixed the seatbelt, backed out the drive.
feeling warm to the fingertips, down to my foot on the gas pedal, I entered the world once more, drove down the hill past the houses full and emptey of people, i saw the mailman, honked, he waved back at me.


Written by Larry Levis | Create an image from this poem

The Widening Spell Of Leaves

 --The Carpathian Frontier, October, 1968
 --for my brother

Once, in a foreign country, I was suddenly ill.
I was driving south toward a large city famous For so little it had a replica, in concrete, In two-thirds scale, of the Arc de Triomphe stuck In the midst of traffic, & obstructing it.
But the city was hours away, beyond the hills Shaped like the bodies of sleeping women.
Often I had to slow down for herds of goats Or cattle milling on those narrow roads, & for The narrower, lost, stone streets of villages I passed through.
The pains in my stomach had grown Gradually sharper & more frequent as the day Wore on, & now a fever had set up house.
In the villages there wasn't much point in asking Anyone for help.
In those places, where tanks Were bivouacked in shade on their way back From some routine exercise along The Danube, even food was scarce that year.
And the languages shifted for no clear reason From two hard quarries of Slavic into German, Then to a shred of Latin spliced with oohs And hisses.
Even when I tried the simplest phrases, The peasants passing over those uneven stones Paused just long enough to look up once, Uncomprehendingly.
Then they turned Quickly away, vanishing quietly into that Moment, like bark chips whirled downriver.
It was autumn.
Beyond each village the wind Threw gusts of yellowing leaves across the road.
The goats I passed were thin, gray; their hind legs, Caked with dried ****, seesawed along-- Not even mild contempt in their expressionless, Pale eyes, & their brays like the scraping of metal.
Except for one village that had a kind Of museum where I stopped to rest, & saw A dead Scythian soldier under glass, Turning to dust while holding a small sword At attention forever, there wasn't much to look at.
Wind, leaves, goats, the higher passes Locked in stone, the peasants with their fate Embroidering a stillness into them, And a spell over all things in that landscape, Like .
.
.
That was the trouble; it couldn't be Compared to anything else, not even the sleep Of some asylum at a wood's edge with the sound Of a pond's spillway beside it.
But as each cramp Grew worse & lasted longer than the one before, It was hard to keep myself aloof from the threadbare World walking on that road.
After all, Even as they moved, the peasants, the herds of goats And cattle, the spiralling leaves, at least were part Of that spell, that stillness.
After a while, The villages grew even poorer, then thinned out, Then vanished entirely.
An hour later, There were no longer even the goats, only wind, Then more & more leaves blown over the road, sometimes Covering it completely for a second.
And yet, except for a random oak or some brush Writhing out of the ravine I drove beside, The trees had thinned into rock, into large, Tough blonde rosettes of fading pasture grass.
Then that gave out in a bare plateau.
.
.
.
And then, Easing the Dacia down a winding grade In second gear, rounding a long, funneled curve-- In a complete stillness of yellow leaves filling A wide field--like something thoughtlessly, Mistakenly erased, the road simply ended.
I stopped the car.
There was no wind now.
I expected that, & though I was sick & lost, I wasn't afraid.
I should have been afraid.
To this day I don't know why I wasn't.
I could hear time cease, the field quietly widen.
I could feel the spreading stillness of the place Moving like something I'd witnessed as a child, Like the ancient, armored leisure of some reptile Gliding, gray-yellow, into the slightly tepid, Unidentical gray-brown stillness of the water-- Something blank & unresponsive in its tough, Pimpled skin--seen only a moment, then unseen As it submerged to rest on mud, or glided just Beneath the lustreless, calm yellow leaves That clustered along a log, or floated there In broken ringlets, held by a gray froth On the opaque, unbroken surface of the pond, Which reflected nothing, no one.
And then I remembered.
When I was a child, our neighbors would disappear.
And there wasn't a pond of crocodiles at all.
And they hadn't moved.
They couldn't move.
They Lived in the small, fenced-off backwater Of a canal.
I'd never seen them alive.
They Were in still photographs taken on the Ivory Coast.
I saw them only once in a studio when I was a child in a city I once loved.
I was afraid until our neighbor, a photographer, Explained it all to me, explained how far Away they were, how harmless; how they were praised In rituals as "powers.
" But they had no "powers," He said.
The next week he vanished.
I thought Someone had cast a spell & that the crocodiles Swam out of the pictures on the wall & grew Silently & multiplied & then turned into Shadows resting on the banks of lakes & streams Or took the shapes of fallen logs in campgrounds In the mountains.
They ate our neighbor, Mr.
Hirata.
They ate his whole family.
That is what I believed, Then.
.
.
that someone had cast a spell.
I did not Know childhood was a spell, or that then there Had been another spell, too quiet to hear, Entering my city, entering the dust we ate.
.
.
.
No one knew it then.
No one could see it, Though it spread through lawnless miles of housing tracts, And the new, bare, treeless streets; it slipped Into the vacant rows of warehouses & picked The padlocked doors of working-class bars And union halls & shuttered, empty diners.
And how it clung! (forever, if one had noticed) To the brothel with the pastel tassels on the shade Of an unlit table lamp.
Farther in, it feasted On the decaying light of failing shopping centers; It spilled into the older, tree-lined neighborhoods, Into warm houses, sealing itself into books Of bedtime stories read each night by fathers-- The books lying open to the flat, neglected Light of dawn; & it settled like dust on windowsills Downtown, filling the smug cafés, schools, Banks, offices, taverns, gymnasiums, hotels, Newsstands, courtrooms, opium parlors, Basque Restaurants, Armenian steam baths, French bakeries, & two of the florists' shops-- Their plate glass windows smashed forever.
Finally it tried to infiltrate the exact Center of my city, a small square bordered With palm trees, olives, cypresses, a square Where no one gathered, not even thieves or lovers.
It was a place which no longer had any purpose, But held itself aloof, I thought, the way A deaf aunt might, from opinions, styles, gossip.
I liked it there.
It was completely lifeless, Sad & clear in what seemed always a perfect, Windless noon.
I saw it first as a child, Looking down at it from that as yet Unvandalized, makeshift studio.
I remember leaning my right cheek against A striped beach ball so that Mr.
Hirata-- Who was Japanese, who would be sent the next week To a place called Manzanar, a detention camp Hidden in stunted pines almost above The Sierra timberline--could take my picture.
I remember the way he lovingly relished Each camera angle, the unwobbling tripod, The way he checked each aperture against The light meter, in love with all things That were not accidental, & I remember The care he took when focusing; how He tried two different lens filters before He found the one appropriate for that Sensual, late, slow blush of afternoon Falling through the one broad bay window.
I remember holding still & looking down Into the square because he asked me to; Because my mother & father had asked me please To obey & be patient & allow the man-- Whose business was failing anyway by then-- To work as long as he wished to without any Irritations or annoyances before He would have to spend these years, my father said, Far away, in snow, & without his cameras.
But Mr.
Hirata did not work.
He played.
His toys gleamed there.
That much was clear to me .
.
.
.
That was the day I decided I would never work.
It felt like a conversion.
Play was sacred.
My father waited behind us on a sofa made From car seats.
One spring kept nosing through.
I remember the camera opening into the light .
.
.
.
And I remember the dark after, the studio closed, The cameras stolen, slivers of glass from the smashed Bay window littering the unsanded floors, And the square below it bathed in sunlight .
.
.
.
All this Before Mr.
Hirata died, months later, From complications following pneumonia.
His death, a letter from a camp official said, Was purely accidental.
I didn't believe it.
Diseases were wise.
Diseases, like the polio My sister had endured, floating paralyzed And strapped into her wheelchair all through That war, seemed too precise.
Like photographs .
.
.
Except disease left nothing.
Disease was like And equation that drank up light & never ended, Not even in summer.
Before my fever broke, And the pains lessened, I could actually see Myself, in the exact center of that square.
How still it had become in my absence, & how Immaculate, windless, sunlit.
I could see The outline of every leaf on the nearest tree, See it more clearly than ever, more clearly than I had seen anything before in my whole life: Against the modest, dark gray, solemn trunk, The leaves were becoming only what they had to be-- Calm, yellow, things in themselves & nothing More--& frankly they were nothing in themselves, Nothing except their little reassurance Of persisting for a few more days, or returning The year after, & the year after that, & every Year following--estranged from us by now--& clear, So clear not one in a thousand trembled; hushed And always coming back--steadfast, orderly, Taciturn, oblivious--until the end of Time.
Written by Barry Tebb | Create an image from this poem

INCOMPATABILITIES

 For Brenda Williams



La lune diminue; divin septembre.
Divine September the moon wanes.
Pierre Jean Jouve Themes for poems and the detritus of dreams coalesce: This is one September I shall not forget.
The grammar-school caretaker always had the boards re-blacked And the floors waxed, but I never shone.
The stripes of the red and black blazer Were prison-grey.
You could never see things that way: Your home had broken windows to the street.
You had the mortification of lice in your hair While I had the choice of Brylcreem or orange pomade.
Four children, an alcoholic father and An Irish immigrant mother.
Failure’s metaphor.
I did not make it like Alan Bennett, Who still sends funny postcards About our Leeds childhood.
Of your’s, you could never speak And found my nostalgia Wholly inappropriate.
Forgetting your glasses for the eleven plus, No money for the uniform for the pass at thirteen.
It wasn’t - as I imagined - shame that kept you from telling But fear of the consequences for your mother Had you sobbed the night’s terrors Of your father’s drunken homecomings, Your mother sat with the door open In all weathers while you, the oldest, Waited with her, perhaps Something might have been done.
He never missed a day’s work digging graves, Boasting he could do a six-footer Single-handed in two hours flat.
That hackneyed phrase ‘He drank all his wages’ Doesn’t convey his nightly rages The flow of obscenities about menstruation While the three younger ones were in bed And you waited with your mother To walk the streets of Seacroft.
“Your father murdered your mother” As Auntie Margaret said, Should a witness Need indicting.
Your mother’s growing cancer went diagnosed, but unremarked Until the final days She was too busy auxiliary nursing Or working in the Lakeside Caf?.
It was her wages that put bread and jam And baked beans into your stomachs.
Her final hospitalisation Was the arena for your father’s last rage Her fare interfering with the night’s drinking; He fought in the Burma Campaign but won no medals.
Some kind of psychiatric discharge- ‘paranoia’ Lurked in his papers.
The madness went undiagnosed Until his sixtieth birthday.
You never let me meet him Even after our divorce.
In the end you took me on a visit with the children.
A neat flat with photographs of grandchildren, Stacks of wood for the stove, washing hung precisely In the kitchen, a Sunday suit in the wardrobe.
An unwrinkling of smiles, the hard handshake Of work-roughened hands.
One night he smashed up the tidy flat.
The TV screen was powder The clock ticked on the neat lawn ‘Murder in Seacroft Hospital’ Emblazoned on the kitchen wall.
I went with you and your sister in her car to Roundhay Wing.
Your sister had to leave for work or sleep You had to back to meet the children from school.
For Ward 42 it wasn’t an especially difficult admission.
My first lesson: I shut one set of firedoors while the charge nurse Bolted the other but after five minutes his revolt Was over and he signed the paper.
The nurse on nights had a sociology degree And an interest in borderline schizophrenia.
After lightsout we chatted about Kohut and Kernberg And Melanie Klein.
Your father was occasionally truculent, Barricading himself in on one home leave.
Nothing out of the way For a case of that kind.
The old ladies on the estate sighed, Single men were very scarce.
Always a gentleman, tipping His cap to the ladies.
There seems to be objections in the family to poetry Or at least to the kind that actually speaks And fails to lie down quietly on command.
Yours seems to have set mine alight- I must get something right.
Written by Adrienne Rich | Create an image from this poem

Integrity

 the quality of being complete; unbroken condition; entirety
~ Webster
A wild patience has taken me this far

as if I had to bring to shore
a boat with a spasmodic outboard motor
old sweaters, nets, spray-mottled books
tossed in the prow
some kind of sun burning my shoulder-blades.
Splashing the oarlocks.
Burning through.
Your fore-arms can get scalded, licked with pain in a sun blotted like unspoken anger behind a casual mist.
The length of daylight this far north, in this forty-ninth year of my life is critical.
The light is critical: of me, of this long-dreamed, involuntary landing on the arm of an inland sea.
The glitter of the shoal depleting into shadow I recognize: the stand of pines violet-black really, green in the old postcard but really I have nothing but myself to go by; nothing stands in the realm of pure necessity except what my hands can hold.
Nothing but myself?.
.
.
.
My selves.
After so long, this answer.
As if I had always known I steer the boat in, simply.
The motor dying on the pebbles cicadas taking up the hum dropped in the silence.
Anger and tenderness: my selves.
And now I can believe they breathe in me as angels, not polarities.
Anger and tenderness: the spider's genius to spin and weave in the same action from her own body, anywhere -- even from a broken web.
The cabin in the stand of pines is still for sale.
I know this.
Know the print of the last foot, the hand that slammed and locked the door, then stopped to wreathe the rain-smashed clematis back on the trellis for no one's sake except its own.
I know the chart nailed to the wallboards the icy kettle squatting on the burner.
The hands that hammered in those nails emptied that kettle one last time are these two hands and they have caught the baby leaping from between trembling legs and they have worked the vacuum aspirator and stroked the sweated temples and steered the boat there through this hot misblotted sunlight, critical light imperceptibly scalding the skin these hands will also salve.
Written by Allen Ginsberg | Create an image from this poem

In The Baggage Room At Greyhound

 I

In the depths of the Greyhound Terminal 
sitting dumbly on a baggage truck looking at the sky 
 waiting for the Los Angeles Express to depart 
worrying about eternity over the Post Office roof in 
 the night-time red downtown heaven 
staring through my eyeglasses I realized shuddering 
 these thoughts were not eternity, nor the poverty 
 of our lives, irritable baggage clerks, 
nor the millions of weeping relatives surrounding the 
 buses waving goodbye, 
nor other millions of the poor rushing around from 
 city to city to see their loved ones, 
nor an indian dead with fright talking to a huge cop 
 by the Coke machine, 
nor this trembling old lady with a cane taking the last 
 trip of her life, 
nor the red-capped cynical porter collecting his quar- 
 ters and smiling over the smashed baggage, 
nor me looking around at the horrible dream, 
nor mustached negro Operating Clerk named Spade, 
 dealing out with his marvelous long hand the 
 fate of thousands of express packages, 
nor fairy Sam in the basement limping from leaden 
 trunk to trunk, 
nor Joe at the counter with his nervous breakdown 
 smiling cowardly at the customers, 
nor the grayish-green whale's stomach interior loft 
 where we keep the baggage in hideous racks, 
hundreds of suitcases full of tragedy rocking back and 
 forth waiting to be opened, 
nor the baggage that's lost, nor damaged handles, 
 nameplates vanished, busted wires & broken 
 ropes, whole trunks exploding on the concrete 
 floor, 
nor seabags emptied into the night in the final 
 warehouse.
II Yet Spade reminded me of Angel, unloading a bus, dressed in blue overalls black face official Angel's work- man cap, pushing with his belly a huge tin horse piled high with black baggage, looking up as he passed the yellow light bulb of the loft and holding high on his arm an iron shepherd's crook.
III It was the racks, I realized, sitting myself on top of them now as is my wont at lunchtime to rest my tired foot, it was the racks, great wooden shelves and stanchions posts and beams assembled floor to roof jumbled with baggage, --the Japanese white metal postwar trunk gaudily flowered & headed for Fort Bragg, one Mexican green paper package in purple rope adorned with names for Nogales, hundreds of radiators all at once for Eureka, crates of Hawaiian underwear, rolls of posters scattered over the Peninsula, nuts to Sacramento, one human eye for Napa, an aluminum box of human blood for Stockton and a little red package of teeth for Calistoga- it was the racks and these on the racks I saw naked in electric light the night before I quit, the racks were created to hang our possessions, to keep us together, a temporary shift in space, God's only way of building the rickety structure of Time, to hold the bags to send on the roads, to carry our luggage from place to place looking for a bus to ride us back home to Eternity where the heart was left and farewell tears began.
IV A swarm of baggage sitting by the counter as the trans- continental bus pulls in.
The clock registering 12:15 A.
M.
, May 9, 1956, the second hand moving forward, red.
Getting ready to load my last bus.
-Farewell, Walnut Creek Richmond Vallejo Portland Pacific Highway Fleet-footed Quicksilver, God of transience.
One last package sits lone at midnight sticking up out of the Coast rack high as the dusty fluorescent light.
The wage they pay us is too low to live on.
Tragedy reduced to numbers.
This for the poor shepherds.
I am a communist.
Farewell ye Greyhound where I suffered so much, hurt my knee and scraped my hand and built my pectoral muscles big as a vagina.
May 9, 1956


Written by Henry Van Dyke | Create an image from this poem

The Foolish Fir-Tree

 A tale that the poet Rückert told
To German children, in days of old;
Disguised in a random, rollicking rhyme
Like a merry mummer of ancient time,
And sent, in its English dress, to please
The little folk of the Christmas trees.
A little fir grew in the midst of the wood Contented and happy, as young trees should.
His body was straight and his boughs were clean; And summer and winter the bountiful sheen Of his needles bedecked him, from top to root, In a beautiful, all-the-year, evergreen suit.
But a trouble came into his heart one day, When he saw that the other trees were gay In the wonderful raiment that summer weaves Of manifold shapes and kinds of leaves: He looked at his needles so stiff and small, And thought that his dress was the poorest of all.
Then jealousy clouded the little tree's mind, And he said to himself, "It was not very kind "To give such an ugly old dress to a tree! "If the fays of the forest would only ask me, "I'd tell them how I should like to be dressed,— "In a garment of gold, to bedazzle the rest!" So he fell asleep, but his dreams were bad.
When he woke in the morning, his heart was glad; For every leaf that his boughs could hold Was made of the brightest beaten gold.
I tell you, children, the tree was proud; He was something above the common crowd; And he tinkled his leaves, as if he would say To a pedlar who happened to pass that way, "Just look at me! don't you think I am fine? "And wouldn't you like such a dress as mine?" "Oh, yes!" said the man, "and I really guess I must fill my pack with your beautiful dress.
" So he picked the golden leaves with care, And left the little tree shivering there.
"Oh, why did I wish for golden leaves?" The fir-tree said, "I forgot that thieves "Would be sure to rob me in passing by.
"If the fairies would give me another try, "I'd wish for something that cost much less, "And be satisfied with glass for my dress!" Then he fell asleep; and, just as before, The fairies granted his wish once more.
When the night was gone, and the sun rose clear, The tree was a crystal chandelier; And it seemed, as he stood in the morning light, That his branches were covered with jewels bright.
"Aha!" said the tree.
"This is something great!" And he held himself up, very proud and straight; But a rude young wind through the forest dashed, In a reckless temper, and quickly smashed The delicate leaves.
With a clashing sound They broke into pieces and fell on the ground, Like a silvery, shimmering shower of hail, And the tree stood naked and bare to the gale.
Then his heart was sad; and he cried, "Alas "For my beautiful leaves of shining glass! "Perhaps I have made another mistake "In choosing a dress so easy to break.
"If the fairies only would hear me again "I'd ask them for something both pretty and plain: "It wouldn't cost much to grant my request,— "In leaves of green lettuce I'd like to be dressed!" By this time the fairies were laughing, I know; But they gave him his wish in a second; and so With leaves of green lettuce, all tender and sweet, The tree was arrayed, from his head to his feet.
"I knew it!" he cried, "I was sure I could find "The sort of a suit that would be to my mind.
"There's none of the trees has a prettier dress, "And none as attractive as I am, I guess.
" But a goat, who was taking an afternoon walk, By chance overheard the fir-tree's talk.
So he came up close for a nearer view;— "My salad!" he bleated, "I think so too! "You're the most attractive kind of a tree, "And I want your leaves for my five-o'clock tea.
" So he ate them all without saying grace, And walked away with a grin on his face; While the little tree stood in the twilight dim, With never a leaf on a single limb.
Then he sighed and groaned; but his voice was weak— He was so ashamed that he could not speak.
He knew at last that he had been a fool, To think of breaking the forest rule, And choosing a dress himself to please, Because he envied the other trees.
But it couldn't be helped, it was now too late, He must make up his mind to a leafless fate! So he let himself sink in a slumber deep, But he moaned and he tossed in his troubled sleep, Till the morning touched him with joyful beam, And he woke to find it was all a dream.
For there in his evergreen dress he stood, A pointed fir in the midst of the wood! His branches were sweet with the balsam smell, His needles were green when the white snow fell.
And always contented and happy was he,— The very best kind of a Christmas tree.
Written by Derek Walcott | Create an image from this poem

Blues

 Those five or six young guys
lunched on the stoop
that oven-hot summer night
whistled me over.
Nice and friendly.
So, I stop.
MacDougal or Christopher Street in chains of light.
A summer festival.
Or some saint's.
I wasn't too far from home, but not too bright for a ******, and not too dark.
I figured we were all one, wop, ******, jew, besides, this wasn't Central Park.
I'm coming on too strong? You figure right! They beat this yellow ****** black and blue.
Yeah.
During all this, scared on case one used a knife, I hung my olive-green, just-bought sports coat on a fire plug.
I did nothing.
They fought each other, really.
Life gives them a few kcks, that's all.
The spades, the spicks.
My face smashed in, my bloddy mug pouring, my olive-branch jacket saved from cuts and tears, I crawled four flights upstairs.
Sprawled in the gutter, I remember a few watchers waved loudly, and one kid's mother shouting like "Jackie" or "Terry," "now that's enough!" It's nothing really.
They don't get enough love.
You know they wouldn't kill you.
Just playing rough, like young Americans will.
Still it taught me somthing about love.
If it's so tough, forget it.
Written by Vladimir Mayakovsky | Create an image from this poem

Past One O'Clock ..

 Past one o’clock.
You must have gone to bed.
The Milky Way streams silver through the night.
I’m in no hurry; with lightning telegrams I have no cause to wake or trouble you.
And, as they say, the incident is closed.
Love’s boat has smashed against the daily grind.
Now you and I are quits.
Why bother then To balance mutual sorrows, pains, and hurts.
Behold what quiet settles on the world.
Night wraps the sky in tribute from the stars.
In hours like these, one rises to address The ages, history, and all creation.
Transcribed: by Mitch Abidor.
Written by Denise Levertov | Create an image from this poem

What Were They Like?

 Did the people of Viet Nam
use lanterns of stone?
Did they hold ceremonies
to reverence the opening of buds?
Were they inclined to quiet laughter?
Did they use bone and ivory,
jade and silver, for ornament?
Had they an epic poem?
Did they distinguish between speech and singing?

Sir, their light hearts turned to stone.
It is not remembered whether in gardens stone gardens illumined pleasant ways.
Perhaps they gathered once to delight in blossom, but after their children were killed there were no more buds.
Sir, laughter is bitter to the burned mouth.
A dream ago, perhaps.
Ornament is for joy.
All the bones were charred.
it is not remembered.
Remember, most were peasants; their life was in rice and bamboo.
When peaceful clouds were reflected in the paddies and the water buffalo stepped surely along terraces, maybe fathers told their sons old tales.
When bombs smashed those mirrors there was time only to scream.
There is an echo yet of their speech which was like a song.
It was reported their singing resembled the flight of moths in moonlight.
Who can say? It is silent now.
Written by Robert William Service | Create an image from this poem

Wounded

 Is it not strange? A year ago to-day,
 With scarce a thought beyond the hum-drum round,
I did my decent job and earned my pay;
 Was averagely happy, I'll be bound.
Ay, in my little groove I was content, Seeing my life run smoothly to the end, With prosy days in stolid labour spent, And jolly nights, a pipe, a glass, a friend.
In God's good time a hearth fire's cosy gleam, A wife and kids, and all a fellow needs; When presto! like a bubble goes my dream: I leap upon the Stage of Splendid Deeds.
I yell with rage; I wallow deep in gore: I, that was clerk in a drysalter's store.
Stranger than any book I've ever read.
Here on the reeking battlefield I lie, Under the stars, propped up with smeary dead, Like too, if no one takes me in, to die.
Hit on the arms, legs, liver, lungs and gall; Damn glad there's nothing more of me to hit; But calm, and feeling never pain at all, And full of wonder at the turn of it.
For of the dead around me three are mine, Three foemen vanquished in the whirl of fight; So if I die I have no right to whine, I feel I've done my little bit all right.
I don't know how -- but there the beggars are, As dead as herrings pickled in a jar.
And here am I, worse wounded than I thought; For in the fight a bullet bee-like stings; You never heed; the air is metal-hot, And all alive with little flicking wings.
But on you charge.
You see the fellows fall; Your pal was by your side, fair fighting-mad; You turn to him, and lo! no pal at all; You wonder vaguely if he's copped it bad.
But on you charge.
The heavens vomit death; And vicious death is besoming the ground.
You're blind with sweat; you're dazed, and out of breath, And though you yell, you cannot hear a sound.
But on you charge.
Oh, War's a rousing game! Around you smoky clouds like ogres tower; The earth is rowelled deep with spurs of flame, And on your helmet stones and ashes shower.
But on you charge.
It's odd! You have no fear.
Machine-gun bullets whip and lash your path; Red, yellow, black the smoky giants rear; The shrapnel rips, the heavens roar in wrath.
But on you charge.
Barbed wire all trampled down.
The ground all gored and rent as by a blast; Grim heaps of grey where once were heaps of brown; A ragged ditch -- the Hun first line at last.
All smashed to hell.
Their second right ahead, So on you charge.
There's nothing else to do.
More reeking holes, blood, barbed wire, gruesome dead; (Your puttee strap's undone -- that worries you).
You glare around.
You think you're all alone.
But no; your chums come surging left and right.
The nearest chap flops down without a groan, His face still snarling with the rage of fight.
Ha! here's the second trench -- just like the first, Only a little more so, more "laid out"; More pounded, flame-corroded, death-accurst; A pretty piece of work, beyond a doubt.
Now for the third, and there your job is done, So on you charge.
You never stop to think.
Your cursed puttee's trailing as you run; You feel you'd sell your soul to have a drink.
The acrid air is full of cracking whips.
You wonder how it is you're going still.
You foam with rage.
Oh, God! to be at grips With someone you can rush and crush and kill.
Your sleeve is dripping blood; you're seeing red; You're battle-mad; your turn is coming now.
See! there's the jagged barbed wire straight ahead, And there's the trench -- you'll get there anyhow.
Your puttee catches on a strand of wire, And down you go; perhaps it saves your life, For over sandbag rims you see 'em fire, Crop-headed chaps, their eyes ablaze with strife.
You crawl, you cower; then once again you plunge With all your comrades roaring at your heels.
Have at 'em lads! You stab, you jab, you lunge; A blaze of glory, then the red world reels.
A crash of triumph, then .
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you're faint a bit .
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That cursed puttee! Now to fasten it.
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Well, that's the charge.
And now I'm here alone.
I've built a little wall of Hun on Hun, To shield me from the leaden bees that drone (It saves me worry, and it hurts 'em none).
The only thing I'm wondering is when Some stretcher-men will stroll along my way? It isn't much that's left of me, but then Where life is, hope is, so at least they say.
Well, if I'm spared I'll be the happy lad.
I tell you I won't envy any king.
I've stood the racket, and I'm proud and glad; I've had my crowning hour.
Oh, War's the thing! It gives us common, working chaps our chance, A taste of glory, chivalry, romance.
Ay, War, they say, is hell; it's heaven, too.
It lets a man discover what he's worth.
It takes his measure, shows what he can do, Gives him a joy like nothing else on earth.
It fans in him a flame that otherwise Would flicker out, these drab, discordant days; It teaches him in pain and sacrifice Faith, fortitude, grim courage past all praise.
Yes, War is good.
So here beside my slain, A happy wreck I wait amid the din; For even if I perish mine's the gain.
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Hi, there, you fellows! won't you take me in? Give me a *** to smoke upon the way.
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We've taken La Boiselle! The hell, you say! Well, that would make a corpse sit up and grin.
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Lead on! I'll live to fight another day.
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