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Edward Lear

There was an Old Person of Ischia,
Whose conduct grew friskier and friskier;
He danced hornpipes and jigs,
And ate thousands of figs,
That lively Old Person of Ischia.

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Edward Lear

There was a Young Lady of Parma,
Whose conduct grew calmer and calmer;
When they said, 'Are you dumb?'
She merely said, 'Hum!'
That provoking Young Lady of Parma.

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There Was One

There was one a-riding grand
On a tall brown mare,
And a fine gold band
He brought me there.

A little, gold band
He held to me
That would shine on a hand
For the world to see.

There was one a-walking swift
To a little, new song,
And a rose was the gift
He carried along,

First of all the posies,
Dewy and red.
They that have roses
Never need bread.

There was one with a swagger
And a soft, slow tongue,
And a bright, cold dagger
Where his left hand swung-

Craven and gilt,
Old and bad-
And his stroking of the hilt
Set a girl mad.

There was one a-riding grand
As he rode from me.
And he raised his golden band
And he threw it in the sea.

There was one a-walking slow
To a sad, Iong sigh.
And his rose drooped low,
And he flung it down to die.

There was one with a swagger
And a little, sharp pride,
And a bright, cold dagger
Ever at his side.

At his side it stayed
When he ran to part.
What is this blade
Struck through my heart?

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There Was A Man

There was a man
My father said
Who walked on water
Saying he was the Son of God.

There was a man
My father said
Who taught of love and peace
Healed the sick and raised the dead.

There was a man
My father said
Who gave his life for us
And died nailed to a cross.

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Once There Was Darkness

once there was darkness
that is the beginning of it all
actually.

And we did not like it really
and so we prayed for
light and Light was given
as asked.

And then we embrace dark
ness again as we get blinded
with so much light.

We shift between two states.
We know how is it to be blind
We know how is it to see.

In both states we see what the
other cannot singlehandedly
offer.

At the end, we find all of them
to be one. In unity. Then we
think we understand.

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There Was Nothing Left To Write

THERE WAS NOTHING LEFT TO WRITE

There was nothing left to write
Everything had already been written
And was being written over again and again
By thousands elsewhere-

There was nothing left to write
And nothing new to say -

And no need for anything he had to give-

It was over for him as a writer
Whether he accepted it or not-

No one would ever need or want anything he could do again-

And so when he despite all this still wrote

It seemed to many simply pathetic-

The obsessive reflex of an already lost soul-
Who wrote and wrote and wrote
Who writes and writes and writes

Who cannot stop
However senseless all he does, is.

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Walt Whitman

There Was A Child Went Forth

THERE was a child went forth every day;
And the first object he look'd upon, that object he became;
And that object became part of him for the day, or a certain part of
the day, or for many years, or stretching cycles of years.

The early lilacs became part of this child,
And grass, and white and red morning-glories, and white and red
clover, and the song of the phoebe-bird,
And the Third-month lambs, and the sow's pink-faint litter, and the
mare's foal, and the cow's calf,
And the noisy brood of the barn-yard, or by the mire of the pond-
side,
And the fish suspending themselves so curiously below there--and the
beautiful curious liquid,
And the water-plants with their graceful flat heads--all became part
of him.

The field-sprouts of Fourth-month and Fifth-month became part of
him; 10
Winter-grain sprouts, and those of the light-yellow corn, and the
esculent roots of the garden,
And the apple-trees cover'd with blossoms, and the fruit afterward,
and wood-berries, and the commonest weeds by the road;
And the old drunkard staggering home from the out-house of the
tavern, whence he had lately risen,
And the school-mistress that pass'd on her way to the school,
And the friendly boys that pass'd--and the quarrelsome boys,
And the tidy and fresh-cheek'd girls--and the barefoot negro boy and
girl,
And all the changes of city and country, wherever he went.

His own parents,
He that had father'd him, and she that had conceiv'd him in her womb,
and birth'd him,
They gave this child more of themselves than that; 20
They gave him afterward every day--they became part of him.

The mother at home, quietly placing the dishes on the supper-table;
The mother with mild words--clean her cap and gown, a wholesome odor
falling off her person and clothes as she walks by;
The father, strong, self-sufficient, manly, mean, anger'd, unjust;
The blow, the quick loud word, the tight bargain, the crafty lure,
The family usages, the language, the company, the furniture--the
yearning and swelling heart,
Affection that will not be gainsay'd--the sense of what is real--the
thought if, after all, it should prove unreal,
The doubts of day-time and the doubts of night-time--the curious
whether and how,
Whether that which appears so is so, or is it all flashes and specks?
Men and women crowding fast in the streets--if they are not flashes
and specks, what are they? 30
The streets themselves, and the façades of houses, and goods in the
windows,
Vehicles, teams, the heavy-plank'd wharves--the huge crossing at the
ferries,
The village on the highland, seen from afar at sunset--the river
between,
Shadows, aureola and mist, the light falling on roofs and gables of
white or brown, three miles off,
The schooner near by, sleepily dropping down the tide--the little
boat slack-tow'd astern,
The hurrying tumbling waves, quick-broken crests, slapping,
The strata of color'd clouds, the long bar of maroon-tint, away
solitary by itself--the spread of purity it lies motionless in,
The horizon's edge, the flying sea-crow, the fragrance of salt marsh
and shore mud;
These became part of that child who went forth every day, and who now
goes, and will always go forth every day.

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Then There Was You!

clouds hanging, frozen still,
banging the tool shed door.
sunlight colors the morning

with a hundred things to do.
cars speed by going nowhere,
the railroad tracks are empty.

the old store building creaks,
the windows boarded over.
the ghosts of small town heroes

going to and fro unseen.
a different world, a different me,
and then there was you!

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Ever since there was sun and stars

If you wipe away those tears
And look back over all of those years
You will find not a surer kind of love
Ever since there was a sun and stars
Above to warm the blood in our hearts
"Forever you" I've been in love
"Forever you" I've been in love
I've been there in love for you

You will find not a surer kind of love
You will find every wish
You've only been thinking, dreaming of
Oh, dream of me!
Like I'm dreaming of you again…

Oh when the winter raps its cloak
Around your heart
I will always be there to warm
And shelter you
"Forever you"
"Forever you"
From the cold and dark
Sure as a fire is burning in your heart
"Forever will I be"
Tracking back in the melting ice
And snow
It's never easy but if you love me
You will discover and find the old me
And I will be
Sure to follow you
"Forever you"
For all eternity
Because of what you have meant to me.

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There was a Boy

There was a Boy; ye knew him well, ye cliffs
And islands of Winander!--many a time,
At evening, when the earliest stars began
To move along the edges of the hills,
Rising or setting, would he stand alone,
Beneath the trees, or by the glimmering lake;
And there, with fingers interwoven, both hands
Pressed closely palm to palm and to his mouth
Uplifted, he, as through an instrument,
Blew mimic hootings to the silent owls,
That they might answer him.--And they would shout
Across the watery vale, and shout again,
Responsive to his call,--with quivering peals,
And long halloos, and screams, and echoes loud
Redoubled and redoubled; concourse wild
Of jocund din! And, when there came a pause
Of silence such as baffled his best skill:
Then, sometimes, in that silence, while he hung
Listening, a gentle shock of mild surprise
Has carried far into his heart the voice
Of mountain-torrents; or the visible scene
Would enter unawares into his mind
With all its solemn imagery, its rocks,
Its woods, and that uncertain heaven received
Into the bosom of the steady lake.
This boy was taken from his mates, and died
In childhood, ere he was full twelve years old.
Pre-eminent in beauty is the vale
Where he was born and bred: the churchyard hangs
Upon a slope above the village-school;
And, through that church-yard when my way has led
On summer-evenings, I believe, that there
A long half-hour together I have stood
Mute--looking at the grave in which he lies!

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You See...There Was Just Too Many Of Us!

I smell my grandmother's molasses cookies.
Deep dish apple and peach pies.
And grape preserves she would make.
And my own mother's beautiful hair,
Before she grayed.
And 'overnight'...
Seemed to have aged.

As I sit and reminisce.
About so many things I miss!

I see my grandfather,
Working in the backyard.
In the shed.
Where he 'diagnosed' the engine...
Of an old truck.
With every part of it laid in pieces.
Each of them,
Carefully spread to keep them near.

'Don't...
Move,
A thing!
Or pick it up...
Because you're curious!
I got my eye on ya! '

I hear my father say...
'It is time to get your haircut, boy.
And when you sit in that barber's chair...
You bet not make a fuss!
And don't say nothing to annoy! '

I remember my aunts and uncles...
Rushing to pick apples, grapes and pears.
From an old pig farm,
Where Chappelle Gardens now sits.
In a neighborhood in Hartford, Connecticut.

I remember this as if yesterday!
And the whippings we all shared.
Regardless...
Of who or who was not actually there!
No one was spared.

'I don't care who did what!
All of you are getting it! '
My grandmother would say!

I remember rolling my eyes...
With wishes I could run away!

~Grandma, I didn't do anything.
It was her! ~

*No it wasn't it was him! *

**No it wasn't it was them! **

You see...
There was just too many of us!
And my grandmother didn't really care.
She just wanted all of us to know...
The punishment she dealt,
Would be quick.
Honest.
And fair!


Note:
Dedicated to my wonderful family.
When we (many of us) all lived in either Stowe Village,
And/or Bellevue Square.
Tenement projects.
In separate buildings AND apartments.
Back in 'the day'.

Love you!

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As There Was No Other Option 2

...........When I blasted the earth with all life on it
There began a phase of silence in the solar system.
God ' the almighty ' further said, ' What next? '
I stared at him and asked, ' What do you mean? '
And a greater silence surrounded us next.

He said, 'Brother, your act leaves me null and void,
Along with this end you know, my relevance has been lost'.
I retorted, 'Your relevance was never my concern
And I have just righted a wrong done by causes unknown'.
God 'the almighty ' fumed within I knew, but He kept mum.

I said, 'Listen, the origin of life wasn`t an error,
As a choice wasn`t there within the first organism
And life had no pretentions of the kind.
Then, you weren`t there to create a relevance'.
You were not there as none thought and spoke of you'.

I said, 'Listen, then emerged the man the supreme
And he invited you into his lobby to wrong many a right.
Religions and their scriptures had you fattened....
Men and women and the old and the young
Sang hymns and your relevance got a glitter'.

Life on the planet was a mixture of pleasure and pain
And there blew the winds of disaster of might and wealth.
Crumbling the castles of ' civilization and humanity'.
Emerged many animals that crushed the hapless,
Still there were you, man said, everywhere signifying no relevance'.

I said, 'Listen, the pathos and the plight of the flora and the fauna
Spread over millenia necessitated my emergence.
From nothingness have I emerged thanks to you,
With blind eyes you saw your ghost pouncing somewhere'.
God 'the almighty' was disintegrating, the image was silent.

The planets minus the earth still revolved round the Sun
And there was an end to the dual notions of
The Great creation and The big bang.
The Milky way and the galaxies lingered on..
God 'the almighty' withered into the nothingness.

As there weren`t minds to think, nor mouths to speak next
The final philosophy of silence began and
I wasn`t there anymore for the work had been done.

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Patrick White

There Was Nothing Ever To Forgive You For

There was nothing ever to forgive you for
I'd say to you now if you were still alive.
Pain doesn't maintain an agent,
though as many who have lived
have been named as perpetrators;
it just occurs
like happiness just happens
like a stroke of luck, a touch of grace
in an astronomical lottery of famished chances.
Voices arise in my head to address you
in the immensities of time and sorrow
like spokesmen for my heart
and another part of me
listens from the audience to this play
that's been going on for light years without you.
I suspect I'm still trying to perfect the way I loved you
out of force of habit, knowing how
redundant and absurd that is
long after the play closed
and the plaster cherubs
on the Ionian cornices of the theatre
were buried in the rubble
along with the comic and tragic masks
that shed their petals when the lights went off
and everyone was left face to face with themselves.
You have drifted in and out of my poems for years
like a curtain at an open window
in an abandoned house,
like blue smoke from an autumn fire,
the fragrance of the bath you draw from the stars
and sweeten with the salts of lunar wildflowers
whenever you want to renew your virginity
like the kings' mistress
stepping out of the sea
like some Renaissance Venus
covering her sex up with a serpentine lock of hair.
You're the sparrow on the finger of Catullus' lover
except now you can only make it as far
as my windowsill
though I leave everything open to you
to come and go as you please and must.
No illusory skies. No broken necks.
No more finger-stroking the soft walnut of a bird's head
like a lost locket full of grief,
like a small lamp that can't grant anymore wishes
however you caress it.
Ah, the genie's out mingling with the Milky Way
like all unencompassed spirits of the night,
like dead souls in the bodies of Canada geese
heading southwest
though their echoes are veering northeast
as if their homeless ghosts
had a place and mind of their own,
an airy nothingness
without a local habitation or a name.
In my view of the world as picture-music
in an expanding universe with its foot to the floor
on a pedal of dark energy
the vision's always too big
for any frame or stage or star map
you bring to it to try and express
where things are improbably at now.
We were young together for awhile
and we sought to embrace the world
and everything in it
even if it meant kissing the dead on the forehead
to wake them up gently from their long dream
of flying in formation with Canada geese,
though it never did.
I tried it on you more than once.
I kissed every bead on a rosary of prophetic skulls.
And still to this day no one answers, no one hears.
I tried to scry the future
in the crystal balls of my tears
but all I ever saw was the same old moon,
the same old stars that crossed us off
their birthday guest list
like a calendar of total eclipses
that had already taken place.
And I knew the future was far behind us.
And your early death could only make you more beautiful
as the years wore out their threadbare flying carpets
and those rare bright nocturnal spirits of life
you were meant to meet and fall in love with
like the heart loves its bloodstream
like a waterclock loves the passage of time
when it's full to overbrimming
with water on the moon
grow rarer and further apart
like stars on the skin of our cosmic enlargements.
Just like this open window
that never lets eternity become a barrier to the dead.
I've never closed the curtains on the play.
I've never drawn a veil over
the fountains and the waterfalls
the wetlands and rapids of my mindstream
and said to the lady of the lake
in her garment of mist
this is live water
and that water's dead
as if there were a wave of difference
between the one that carries forth
and the one that carries away.
The cloud and the snow on the mountaintop
both speak the same language,
share the same mother-tongue
as does the fog in the valley
the ice, the rain, the dew,
as if what's false about the living
were true of the dead as well,
everything sublime, everything trivial.
Hydra-headed water shapeshifting
through our hands
like the desert sands of an hourglass
that dump the pyramid
and finally get out of the box.
Lunar landscapes
with transmogrifying mindstreams
that apply themselves like water
to mending gardens on the moon
while death waits like a stranger at the gate
to commend you on the green thumb
that's apparent in your choice of wildflowers.
I can still feel you bend time
like the body of a guitar
when you're around me
trying to tune the spider webs
in the corner of the room I write in
to your cosmic whole note of silence.
And just as you were a muse of mine in life
and I drew your intoxicating waters
deeply from the well
and we walked under the stars awhile
without caring where we were going
so even in death
I can feel you come to the dead branch sometimes
like inspiration to a night bird's heart
when it doesn't really matter
if anyone answers or not
because you flower like longing
in the roots of my solitude
and the moon blossoms
and my poems unfold like leaves.

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Edward Lear

There was an Old Person of Ems,
Who casually fell in the Thames;
And when he was found
They said he was drowned,
That unlucky Old Person of Ems

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Edward Lear

There was an Old Person of Tring,
Who embellished his nose with a ring;
Ha gazed at the moon
Every evening in June,
That ecstatic Old Person in Tring.

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Edward Lear

There was an Old Person of Wick,
Who said, 'Tick-a-Tick, Tick-a-Tick;
Chickabee, Chickabaw.'
And he said nothing more,
That laconic Old Person of Wick

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Edward Lear

There was an Old Person of Spain,
Who hated all trouble and pain;
So he sat on a chair,
With his feet in the air,
That umbrageous Old Person of Spain.

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Edward Lear

There was an Old Person of Bangor,
Whose face was distorted with anger!
He tore off his boots,
And subsisted on roots,
That irascible Person of Bangor.

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Once There Was A True Love

once there was a true love
no poem was written

and then that true love
somehow failed

and since then
hundreds and hundreds of poems have been written.

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Edward Lear

There was an Old Person of Dutton,
Whose head was as small as a button,
So, to make it look big,
He purchased a wig,
And rapidly rushed about Dutton.

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Edward Lear

There was an old person of Troy,
Whose drink was warm brandy and soy,
Which he took with a spoon,
By the light of the moon,
In sight of the city of Troy.

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