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fleet footed fly by parker, cs

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A Former Great Nations Squandered Wealth I

Swept up into piles; everywhere 
Abouts; in collected heaps all 
Around.               
It is almost as if the drab 
Streets were strewn with the 
Precious wealth of King Solomon's 
Gold!                                    
How it seems so far back, when, at 
Springs nagging behest, those
Cautious tips, encouraged by 
Warming beguilement of new winds, 
Gingerly unwound                         
To reveal those never-before-seen 
Leaves;                               
But their sap, like my zest, has 
Run dry;
Shuffling disconsolately to and fro 
As those of us, that, in our 
Unnoticed maudulin, have grown 
Steadily more old:-  
As if Hardrada's slain warriors,
Covered by their cracked shields, 
Lifeless and fallen they lie.                              


A flock of racquous Starlings,
Scuttering downwards, noisily
Alight
On the stripped branchs of a 
Diminished and abject tree;
Although a sizeable band, growing
Daily, hardly a paused murmuration 
Dropped from flight...
Now I know another Autumn is 
Nearly done.
I note the resounding emptiness of 
The wide avenue compares favorably 
With the compressed and leaden sky;
The sudden intervention of an 
Appealing thought, and it occurrs
To me,
That, if I were as swift as 
Fleet-footed Leonidas then maybe
I too, this desperate day,
Could outstrip the retreating
Shadows of this disconsolate Sun?


Alas...I am aging with every
Approaching Winter, pattern 
Baldness spreading across my 
Thinning crown;
A body can feel a cold dampness in 
This sort of air...
Then - an involuntary shiver! 
Perhaps unwelcomed memories of
Many a wasted year...
Thinks I with a rueful frown;
In the minds eye a glimpse 
Of the ferocious Wolf slipping 
Quietly through the half-open gate -
Here he once roamed in all his
Perfect savagery!
And, standing admidst the vestiges
Of a former great nations 
Squandered wealth, to which 
many sentimental hearts still 
Adhere,
To wonder what the patient Saxon
Should make at the sight of such 
Frenzied lameness...
The ruination of this his once 
Untamed and wild estate?


That ancient Saxon full knew.             
He knew of cruel hardship, of all  
Essential things that so engaged 
Him,                                    
His pressing needs, his Thanes 
Daily bread;
Though of heady aspirations...he   
Had but few.                                    
He knew of the devastaing blight 
Of sweltering drought,
He knew of the tipped rivers 
Flooding swell;                         
But the old Saxon? ...he just 
Re-doubled his efforts - and took it 
Manfully on the chin!                            
For when the hardy Saxon undertook
To do a job it would usually happen 
That he did it well.                                      
 

And what of his countless, long since
Ignored, secluded and wooded dells, 
His dusky, hollowed glades?
Deep inside: trapped sunlight still 
Floating liken a glassed surface 
Upon a pond;
Once, therein, that Saxons 
All-consuming hours taken up by the 
Resounding crunch of the ever eager 
Blade!
And were it truly ever was this
Humongous supposed repository
For Englands "Green Man"? Ditto 
For the fabled Unicorn recorded 
By the minstral balladeer's 
Luteing song;
Ancient Greeks did say that only
The gentle and pensive maiden
Had the power to coax such a 
Timid beast: one of many wild
Wraiths, emblazoned on many a regal 
Shield, that do unashamedly beguile 
Throughout our legendary history!                                      


Our mundane present now a sad 
Parody of melancholic destitution; 
As if a Summer laid to rest...and, 
Thus, finally, we reluctantly 
Grieve.
The dismal plink, plink, plinks
Of trickling water dripping into
The roadside drain;
If that stoic Saxon had any woes 
He would have no time to lend to
Idle moments wasted dawdling 
Among dead leaves.
Where now Wodan, his many other
Gods? His charioteering tales and 
Warring stories not even 
Half-forgotten memories that only
Befuddled minds of lunatics might 
Mutter.
How resplendant the rusting gasworks
Appears, as, behind her looming tanks, 
Sol's disintegrating orb wearily 
Slinks;
Who would deny, at such instants, 
Much dimming beauty can be found... 
Even inside a crowded towns huddled
Clutter.


The low streetlamps, mounted like 
Matt pearls, beginning, cautiously, 
To reignite;
Predictably this awakens some 
Roosting birds...some of which,
Dutifully, begin to sing.
A muddled obliqueness, inherent
On varying angles, converging
On the temporary juxtapositions 
Invented by the electric bulbs 
Deceitful light;
And although I have never felt much 
Of a compulsion towards sentimental 
Reminiscing, 
Or to seek solace in the comforting 
Familiarity of a mothers 
Romantic recollections, to which we 
All sometimes cling, 
I grope like a blind man...as if 
Reaching out into the foaming 
Darkness intent on finding 
Something essentially quintessential 
That I instinctively sense is so 
Oddly missing.




To be continued...


Copyright © john fleming | Year Posted 2017


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My Dog, Benbow

Somewhere beside the myrtle rose blooming white
By nutgrass overgrown, a palm tree sways in soft moonlight
Like an angel from the throne, and somewhere there
In your long forgotten bed sleep your bones alone
And though distant, for childhood I almost feel a tear
Benbow lies forgotten there, the first dog I ever owned

Some evening when the light was dim, without a call
He took his place at the front steps, surveying all
No more bones for him, no more sleight of teasing throw
No more joy to see him stand, fore legs paddling the air
Hind legs secure on the ground, then spinning to show
Dexterity, rolled on his back to our gleeful cheer.

My father named him for the English admiral those days
Gave him as hero, the sea dogs of Great England’s praise
Are but distant mist to me, but not my dear Benbow
My trusted dog, my loyal friend, ran over by a car
And leaving vacations behind returned a little low
Benbow was not there to leap and greet, his only czar.

I never owned another dog since, never could replace
The love I bore for my Benbow, a scrub exalted by its grace
When hunting mongoose in pingwing patch, or scaring
The clever kestrels from its swooping flight to spare
The hen house its tragic day. The time staccato barking
In four-part harmony is gone, the porch is sadly bare.
 
No Benbow will ever chase again a fleet footed boy
Gurgling fountains of joy, O how these memories annoy
My soul, time reaping our happiness first, and then us
Stripping our best possessions away, making us naked
Before returning us to barren bowels of brimless dust.
What had my dog to do with sin or fate among the wicked?

O Benbow, and old man needs a friend to walk at nights
A little boy needed a dog to be undefeated in all his fights.


Copyright © L'nass Shango | Year Posted 2009


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God's Grand Designs

Strolling thro' the zoo today, gazing at the various creatures,
I marveled at their shapes, colors and other distinctive features.
Some were graceful and sweet, others were cute and cuddly;
Others were grumpy and clumsy - some were downright ugly!

The ungainly giraffe, for instance, altho' much maligned,
Is one of the most graceful beasts that God designed.
But I saw no glamour in Godzilla the nine-hundred pound gorilla,
Scowling and holding the hand of his homely mate, Drusilla!

What splendid lions, tigers and other cats pacing to and fro!
And is there a more elegant animal than a fleet-footed doe?
The camels, elephants, kangaroos and yaks look mighty weird.
The buffalo isn't all that handsome with its shaggy beard!

Tho' 'tis risky with sneaky snakes, 'gators and crocs to coexist,
Even they are beautiful, according to the adoring herpetologist!
I suppose only its mother could love the lumbering rhinoceros.
For what purpose did God create the sinister hippopotamus?

Some seem to have been desisgned by an ad hoc senatorial committee,
And, alas, the results did not turn out to be all that pretty!
But beauty is in the eye of the beholder to savor and enthrall;
For each to treasure all of God's creatures, be they great or small!

Robert L. Hinshaw, CMSgt, USAF, Retired
(© All Rights Reserved)


Copyright © Robert L. Hinshaw | Year Posted 2010


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FROM EAST TO WEST

The morning sun showers its rays,
Standing between two mountain's way,
The valley of flowers opens its eyes,
And washes its face with melting ice,
The yellow glow slowly surrounds,
Like a majestic king's glittering gold crown.

The shinning dew drops down,
To kiss the scented lemon grass ground,
The raising enemy melts them out
But the green lady never worries about,
She is in high demand every night,
And the virgin dew never get a first night.

The cuddling Cock feels so warm,
Unfurl its wings and crows nature's alarm,
The longing sunflower raises its head,
To see her lover and plead for a wed  
The pine and spruce frozen in cold,
Shakes its head and opens it's fold

The lazy river deeply snores,
Beneath the blanket of frigid ice floor,
Awakes from sleep and flows with elated joy,
And announces the summer to the tardy school boys.
It carries the logs on its back
To help the suffering Lumberjacks

The serf warm winds blows across,
And clear the snow on the uncovered cars,
The tiny droplets stick to the panes,
On which the naughty kids write their names,
It mobs the roads clean and bright,
For the frozen ice flakes to turn it white.

The moving sun stands at top,
Shadows falling on the afternoon back drop,
Sober nature alerts its friends,
To work for their living before the day ends,
Flora and fauna like fleet – footed bees
Hurries to gather the Vitamin D

The evening princess Golden Crown,
Wanna kiss the hottest Day light's Sun,
The nature's beauty blushes for million eyes,
Waiting to see the romantic skies,
She drops the night screen to make her hide,
Behind which two lovers peptide.

Murkiness fills the cosmos space,
And the dancing clouds falls into place
The resting time for the Sun,
The crescent night lamp glows with fun,
The sentinel stars shield the gate
And the Gorgeous universe hibernate,


 


Copyright © MADHUPRIYA SHANMUGAM | Year Posted 2016


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Rock, Roll, Love and the Epic Story of he Fall

Epics have seven main characteristics:
The hero is outstanding. ...
The setting is large. ...
The action is made of deeds of great valour or requiring superhuman courage.
Supernatural forces—gods, angels, demons—insert themselves in the action.
It is written in a very special style (verse as opposed to prose).and so on, so says Wikipedia...
On Wednesday 3.8.17, I will undergo a back surgery
That will stifle my active life for at least 3 months.   
You now have the title,
And here is the opening canto:

From life's underbelly,  sin unreconciled, masking pawns into fleet footed jokers, the epistle of the Most High,  to His most prized adversary, begin, now, that inspired frustration,  muse me, amuse us, in thoughtful verse, granting parables upon hints of riddles, until all the verbs conjugate lustful, creating the images of the following Fall, when sex trumps love and words ball sweating inches of permission.   Grant unto mind, spirit, and unto spirit power and volume, and power and volume.


Copyright © John Rockk-Fiordelisi | Year Posted 2017


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Thiru-Valluvar on Praising Ladies of their qualities: Canto 112 - Nalam Punainthu Uraiththal

Thiru-Valluvar on Praising the Good Qualiities of Ladies: Canto 112 - Nalam Pinainththu Uraiththal

[The poet devotes the third part of his treatise, the Thiruk-Kural to INBATHTHUPPAAL, the amorous relationship between the sexes, i.e.,  cantos 109 to 133. of which the first seven concerns itself with "concealed love" (the Gandharva marriage) while the last seventeen has to do with "wedded life".
Even if the place of the Hindu woman was at home, at the service of the man of the house, the mother's position in the family constellation was the holiest of all. The Tamil poetess, AVVAIYAAR (often linked to Thiru-Valluvar for her catechistic aphorisms) has this well-known dictum on the spiritual inviolability of the "Mother" in her didactic work, KONRAI VEENTHAN: "Thaayit siranthu oru  koyilum illai" (There is no greater temple than the mother.)
When it comes to the fairer sex, Thiru-Valluvar waxes romantically poetic in exquisite verses on love and beauty and pleasurable feelings; yet, on the other hand, he was quite obviously writing at a time when his society entertained no notion of "women's rights".  The woman was wife and child-bearer, required to be absolutely sub-servient and devoted to her husband - even worshiping him as her only God - while maintaining her position often under dire circumstances as the mainstay of domestic life. In most homes, she was cook, house-cleaner, washer-woman, servant, principal draper, slave to her husband, child-raiser and even the first teacher to her children, and she accomplished all this without setting foot out of the house, un-accompanied. She was the last in the family to bed herself down, and the first to be up before dawn. By the time she reached thirty, she was hard-put to retain her innate charms. Note also that she was forced to wed her husband, chosen by parents, while still in her early teens. 
Loose women, prostitutes and the unchaste wife were held to be the lowliest and vilest of beings; hence the bearing of sons conferred merit on her. Until the British administration abolished the practice of SUTTEE, widows were still - as late as in the nineteenth century - required to jump into the flaming fires of their husbands' pyres. What's worse, not until 1957, divorce in Hindu marriage was recognized by law: husbands could visit brothels or maintain mistresses, but the wife délaissée simply had to take it all - or nothing - lying down. In a certain incremental number of cases, very young girls, including orphans, were offered/sacrificed to the local temple to serve as "temple dancers", an euphemism for pedophily on the part of priests and the propertied classes/castes. Polygamy was not unknown to the rich, while the princely WARRIOR-caste (kshastriya) maintained "harems" at will. Often the latter caste of rajas/princes would wage against one another large sums to see who could "de-flower" the greatest number of virgins in any given year. No wonder the Muslim invaders found it easy to over-run (and split-up) the sub-continent with their superior fleet-footed cavalry as opposed to the clumsy slow-moving armada of elephants and peasant foot-soldiers with scant military training. 
It is therefore not surprising that the THIRUK-KURAL re-inforces the inferior social status of the fairer sex, though the dalliances of chaste love-play receive in our poet's eyes all the respect and jouissance the liana-like damsel deserves.] T. Wignesan

K1111: nalniirai vaali anichcham* ninninum
             melniiral yaamviil paval
[*anichcham = according to Pope, "an imaginary (?) flower, the poet's commonplace for anything peculiarly delicate and sensitive"]

O flower of the sensitive plant! than thee
More tender's the maiden beloved by me. (Transl. G.U. Pope)
May you flourish, O Anicham! you have a delicate nature. But my beloved is more delicate than you. (Transl. Drew & Lazarus)

All Hail! to your exquisite nature, Anichcham!* By comparison
infinitely more tender is the one I love! (Transl. T. Wignesan)
[* the mythic anichcham flower is supposed to fade once it's smelt. Note the sexual connotations.]

K1113:  murimeeni muththam muruval verinaatram
             veelunkan veeyththO lavaddu

As tender shoot her frame; teeth pearls; around her odours blend;
Darts are the eyes of her whose shoulders like the bambu bend. (Transl. G.U. Pope)
The complexion of this bamboo-shouldered one is that of a shoot; her teeth are pearls;  her breath, fragrance; and her dyed eyes, lances. (Transl Drew & Lazarus)

Slender with pearls for teeth, enveloped in sweet-scented aura,
Her eyes lances darting over pliant bamboo shoulders - [‘that's my gal’, says the poet!] (Transl. T. Wignesan)

(to be continued)
© T. Wignesan - Paris, 2017


Copyright © T Wignesan | Year Posted 2017


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Retirement

Evening of life when struggles are over
Living without luxuries on a small monthly pension
Never needing the ferry back from Calais to Dover. 

Fleet-footed days driven from season to season;
No clutter but the essentials with access to Internet,
A telephone landline, and a flat-screen television.

One spare room to accommodate the sure guest
Family or friend, who'll be pleased to drift in,
Claiming their turn for a holiday and rest. 

Neighbours invited for a tonic with gin
Discover the shops where the price could be lower
But cart away the empties to the recycling bin.

Some may believe that our lives are in clover
Depends whether you like it less fast, or much slower.


Copyright © Migel Jayasinghe | Year Posted 2010


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Churchyard Child

I love to visit the church; to wander in the graveyard…
Flitting fleet-footed amongst the copse of corpses, 
The grey stone groves of death – 
I love those humble long-suffering tombstones,
They rear their bleak blackened heads towards the eternal sky 
And remind me of the redeeming comfort of oblivion
I find it soothing, to wander in their company, to reach out – 
And lay a soft white hand upon their immortal chill 
Each footstep of mine cushioned in bone-rich moss,
Each breath adorning the air with gauzy veils of fog; 
I love too, the churchyard chorus, of robin’s peep 
And raven’s haunting harmony 
And the audible acrimony of ghosts, sitting amidst the trees, 
Watching me with curiosity…
I love to consort with them, the silent silver spirits here, 
Those who drift, lachrymose, beneath boughs bedecked with blossom 
With the pretty pink buds of May 
They seem to embrace me as I wander, seem to hold my hand, 
And their cool breath upon the nape of my neck comforts…
Soothes away the stresses and strains of this insufferable mortal life 
They understand my pain you see – for they have seen it all before, 
They learnt life’s cruelest lessons and took them to the grave,
Where they pondered and reflected upon all the reasons why…
Now their worm-eaten wisdom drenches the soil underfoot, 
And hangs from the stones themselves in silver trails of starlight 
Waiting for me to pluck them like cherries, 
To devour the flesh of their knowledge, 
And then swallow the kernel of cunning consolation the dead have left – 
The ghosts have left – for me…
And so you see, I hold the graveyard dear, and love to sit there 
Among the wakeful dead, my feet cushioned by corpse hands 
My heart cradled in a nest of ghostly fists…
Churchyard child I am, at home among the amorphous, 
And sometimes it seems to me that when life becomes too much to bear, 
And poisons my heart with dread, 
Then I can come to the graveyard – and find my cold eternal bed 
 


Copyright © Amy Van de Casteele | Year Posted 2009


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Angels And Their Friends

     Angels And Their Friends

All along the forest winds desire
Angels fly from side to side beguiled
At attention to the young running child
Allowed to frolic free between the trees awhile

Born to breathe below branch and leaf 

Chronicled are beginnings and child’s ends 
Charmed, fleet-footed with playful friends 
Charging past the forest to the open glen

Boundless energy, into the arms of parents with relief 
 

          Created on 8/27/14 for The Lady Of Shalott Poetry contest


Copyright © Earl Schumacker | Year Posted 2014


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Gifted

Peregrine falcons are built to terrorize the sky,
Fleet-footed cheetahs meant to run down prey,
Insulated penguins with the harshest winter vie,
Through the deep sleek orcas race without delay. 

Hummingbirds steal nectar, suspended in flight, 
Meerkats stand sentry on sturdy hind legs, 
Silverbacks reign with awesome shows of might, 
Camouflaged chameleons with the local flora mix. 

At a purpose each animal is designed to excel, 
And man with an outsize brain equipped to think, 
Yet from the state of the world one hardly can tell, 
Ours is the race chosen to do any such thing. 


Copyright © Bernard Chan | Year Posted 2017


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The Dead Man

The Dead Man

Through life, fleet footed and savagely silent
with little mercy, most often he was violent
In unguarded moments compassion won out
bursting forth, like water from a spout
Those former years are now lost in faded dreams
so like late afternoon's fading final beams
Mere wisps of shine, vanquished before dark of night
oft sad, unlike deep glory of dawn's first light.

Youth found he,  riding alone on a blind horse
with no worries, letting Fate chose the course
In that folly, he still found nuggets of gold
or were they false memories of he now too old
Still in his long life, he had family that truly cared
broken hearts he had once or twice repaired
Yet Time judged harshly and rushed him to his sad end
left behind, his great wealth he could never spend.

So few, so very few were saddened by his demise
recalling how he was selfish and not very wise
For in his vanity he thought to forever live on
and one day like a puff of smoke he was gone
A few noted his greed had his happiness cost
for without compassion and love, joy is forever lost
Now these sad words written on his tombstone
if, if only others mercy he had just shown.

Through life, fleet footed and savagely silent
with little mercy, most often he was violent
In unguarded moments compassion won out
bursting forth, like water from a spout
Those yester-years are now lost in faded dreams
so like late afternoon's fading final beams
Mere wisps of shine, vanquished before dark of night
oft sad, unlike deep glory of dawn's first light.

Robert J. Lindley, 8-14-2017
(Waking in a dark cavern, vanishing flashes of light from above.
Low echoes, pushing -down, down and down.
Cries unheard as darkness engulfs a pitiful and lost soul )


Copyright © Robert Lindley | Year Posted 2017


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fleet footed fly

203
Could I ever
Chance the power
To let you win
Race on back
To begin
This fleet footed fly
Repeat
I will stand
And be the blessed
Among the damned


Copyright © cs parker | Year Posted 2018