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Richard Brautigan

Japanese Women

If there are any unattractive
Japanese women
they must drown them at birth.

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Patrick White

There Are Masks

There are masks I will not wear,
backstage wardrobes I won't dress up in,
lives someone else can star in,
fires that will never feather my voice,
or sweep the shadows
from my palace of ice and eyes,
faces that will never hang like fruit
from any bough of my being,
daggers I won't bury in the wounds
they inflicted like mouths
the tongue has been cut out of,
dignities of desire
that will not circle the roadkill,
my wings linked to the foodchain.
My heart will never labour
like the ox of a bell under a yoke,
though I plough the starfields;
nor will I fill its rivers
with leeches and eclipses
and let it sip the blood of others
to nourish my own lust.
I will not smudge the clarity of my heat
with greenwood, not sacrifice
the hawk's eye for the ant's,
cloud the integrity of love with acrid reason.
I will not eat the days
like spoonfuls of my own ashes,
a martyr to my own orthodoxies,
trying to be true to a creed of fire
that moves underground like a root-fire
in a choir of cedars, the forbidden flame
smouldering, trying to bite its own tail,
trying to put itself out with its own tears
for the best of reasons,
for lost earrings in a coffin.
Anyone can see
you're a raven worthy of silver
who's roofing her wings with tin,
an urgent orchid with flare
trying to bloom in the shadow
of a nightshift toy factory.
Your wingspan
should be measured in horizons
from dawn to dusk; and you
free to ride your own thermals,
to slide yourself like a theshold or a love-letter
under the door of the wind,
to take the hood off your sky
and explore your own vastness,
all the bridges you built
to lie in the shadows
of the burning cherry trees,
true to your own emergency,
true to your own fingertips and eyes,
the impulse of the serpent at the gate
who whispers to you like skin
when the candles go out,
who comes to you like water to a witching wand
a root-god to the poppy
that shudders with black lightning
to be consumed like a torch in her own flames,
to drown in the black rose
of an exquisite oblivion,
naked in a moist parachute that blooms
like a smile you'd thought you'd lost.
The butterfly can't be
stuffed back into the cocoon,
the bird back into the egg,
the pearl back into the grain of sand
that grew a palace
out of the tiniest foundation stone.
Fire is not a flower of ashes
that sheds its petals twice
There are roads that disappear
like stray threads of hair
over our shoulders
even as we walk them,
every step farewell and arrival,
as time yeasts the envelope
with crucial stars that make things happen,
the wheatfield of an autumn letter
in the loaf of the hollow mailbox
rising like dawn out of a dark mouth
over its own harvest.
You can't live forever like a sentence
balked at the fang marks of the colon
you can't remember biting you.
Because life is not punctuated
any more than space,
things will follow
the promise of the serpent's tattoo
to die back into life,
the black lioness
of your passionate constellation,
not a nun at the stake
of a forbidden lust to live,
but a new moon at the opening gates
of the parenthetical secret
between two crescents.
Are you afraid
to let your life graze like wild horses
on the grasslands
of your own transformations,
do you desecrate a greater law
to obey a smaller;
would you tie your last lifeboat,
your last island full of moonlight
to the sunken pillars of a wharf
that aged like a palace,
an endless prelude
to a book of farewell
that collapsed under the weight
of its own hesitation
to read itself to the end?
Even now your foundation-stones
are turning into quicksand
and the abyss
of what you must jump into
to follow your wings
out of the barnyard
opens like a mouth
trying to clear a wishbone
or a song from its throat.
Are you afraid
to give up your collection of hats,
those skies and overturned nests you walk under,
a hawk behind chicken-wire
for a bough in the wild
without a return address?
I want to hear the nightbird sing
that dazzles the serpent
with the joy of her own being,
slowly ascending the tree like a stairwell
to seize her in the dark rapture
of his amorous coils
and drown her in tide after tide of transfiguring wine,
the secret oceans of bliss
that lie hidden
in every dropp of blood, every tear
that falls from the thorns
of the black star that burns like a rose
in the mouth of the dragon
that is waiting like wings
at her bruised heel
for her to wash off the old mythologies,
naked in the eye of the rain,
and mount the taboo and eclipse
of her own repealed desire
and fly from the graveyard firepits
of the grounded comets
praying for a match in hell
to light the pyres of their own cremations.
Ill omen or good,
the brush is loaded with red,
with roses, blood, fire,
and the sky is primed
like the virgin seabed of the canvas before you.
Staring will not paint the apple
you want to bite into,
install the serpent like a voice
in the tree that tempts you,
run the fingers of the nightwind
through your raven hair like a mad pianist
trying to tune your keyboard
to the crazed scales of the full moon.
If you want to dance naked
under chandeliers of black cherries,
alive enough to get away with yourself
don't turn your eyes to glass
and scan the heavens
like the small end of a telescope
to see if you can spot your own approach
like an astronomical catastrophe
that will burn the house down,
the matchbook flaring of a coffin
that docks like a death-boat
to take on a cargo of ashes;
but lay down one stroke of paint,
risk your own interstellar spaces once,
leap like a wounded dolphin
from the wave of the mirror once,
and life will strew stars in your path
that will awake the dreamer
like gardens in the furrows
of your salted fields.
You will stop living
like an arsonist in a volunteer fire-brigade
before the blaze of your own hunger
for heat and light
and run like a sudden thaw of honey
from the frozen hive
that wants to ride its own melting
like a forge pouring out the hot metals
of the enchanted swords
the dark magicians plunge into the stone
to sort the jesters from the crowns.

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There Are Times When Honesty Is A Luxury...

There are times when honesty is a luxury.
Like any luxury it always remains
a question of affordability


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Simple Observation #55 - There are more things in heaven and earth..............

There are more things in heaven and earth than what can be read about in any book
and there are certain things in this world that deserve or require more than one look.

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There Are Hills I Cannot Climb Up Anymore

THERE ARE HILLS I CANNOT CLIMB UP ANYMORE

There are hills I cannot climb up anymore
And those I must climb up more slowly-

More slowly
With more pain and difficulty -

Yet I climb up hills still
And will climb up them
For as long as I can walk.

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There Are Pains Beyond The Healing Of Poetry

THERE ARE PAINS BEYOND THE HEALING OF POETRY

There are pains beyond the healing of poetry-
Life’s wounds can be deeper than any helping song or thought-
A life can fail
And go into the ground
With all its cries unanswered.
Who are we to know why we suffer so sometimes?
Perhaps we deserve it,
Perhaps we do not.

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There Are No Poems In The Land Of The Dead

THERE ARE NO POEMS IN THE LAND OF THE DEAD

There are no poems in the land of the dead
No songs-
The dead do not sing and do not write poems-
Relatives friends perhaps come,
Perhaps pray perhaps say their poems
But the dead do not hear-
They cannot really hear any more-
There are no poems in the land of the dead,
And no songs either.

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There Are A Few Poets

THERE ARE A FEW POETS

There are a few poets
Beyond the poetry you and I know
And are capable of –

There are a few poets
Who seem to write a poetry
Which is Poetry itself,
A Poetry which is everything Poetry should be-

Those poets are somewhere else
On a level far beyond any we can hope to reach-
They are Poetry –

And we we are the little listeners and readers
Who can in awe and praise worship
What we ourselves will forever be incapable of.

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There Are Poets Better Than Me

There are poets better than me:
Many known, and many more unknown-
They have language I don’t have
And an ability to surprise in ways I cannot
And the beauty of their sound is a beauty beyond mine-
They have worlds I do not know
And rhythms I cannot reach
They can entertain as I cannot-
And they see and feel what I cannot;
They are better than me:

Other poets are better than me
Greater than me
More than me.

And the only consolation is
Writing what I feel I must-
Going on.

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There Are Many In Relationships Still Waiting For It

Trust is a creation that is developed over time.
Anyone believing it should be found immediately,
Should scratch that off of their list of preferences.
And 'demanding' that to be a priority.
Trust developed comes.
Like a respect that is given that becomes understood.

Even though a trust is wished...
There are many in relationships still waiting for it.
With a keeping of it away...
In the hopes that it comes to display itself,
Without them putting forth any effort.
And these are the people who mostly deceive.

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There are things that you cannot avoid

There are things that you cannot avoid
like the call-up instruction which cruelly
brings you to another world and measure you out
for whom you must become and be and stay
and you can never find escape
from violence, killing, guilt and grief.

There are things that a soldier cannot avoid
like war that cruelly let people suffer
with flames, bullets and bombs
and there are events that you cannot forget,
although you and you comrades freed the innocent
and at night it’s sweated out in dreams
and there are things that you cannot avoid.

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There Are Those Who Wait Years To Write A Poem

THERE ARE THOSE WHO WAIT YEARS TO WRITE A POEM

There are those who wait years to write a poem
The fruit slowly ripens inside and then as with Rilke
It suddenly falls -

There are those who write a few lines
And come back time after time
And find the poem after many efforts-

There are those who cannot wait to write a poem
And once conscious of it must write it down as fast as possible
Before it is lost-

And there are those who only in the present writing
Find the poem -

The page suffers many methods and modes

But what truly makes a poem worthy
Is another question.

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There Are Times

when you lose grip of
something poetic
when the moon is just a moon
when a bleeding heart does
not occupy any significance
when a vacant lot is just another empty space
you lose sight of the possibility
of someone coming to save you
someone that smiles though
you do not know who that person is
there are times when everything is bland
when a hamburger does not
satisfy hunger
when you lose sight of what once
was beautiful
when horses pass your way
and you are not moving
to feel the ride
when you just sit there and
do nothing
these are the times
when you begin to think
you realize
you are still alive.

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She Knows There Are Ghosts

Golden fish of Hemingway
Sylvia Plath is lost in the mirror
This morning hides the war
We walk amidst dark corridors
She wrestles with aliens
They come out of closets
They peer with sullen eternity
She knows they are there

Roman legions march without dreams
Frozen like nightmares
My mountain is so steep
The quiet rain has morning fingers
The basement light is dim
My mother’s photo is true
My father was wounded in the war
These circles draw blood

Take that poster of Jim Morrison down
The hallway whispers
Something dead wants to make love to me
Why is the air so thick with confusion?
Don’t ask them if their there
They might answer
Is that a mouse I hear?
I wished I wouldn’t have read the exorcist

We must fight them
These creatures of a séance
Leave a night light on
Their icy fingers reach
Time is their end
She wakes up
What’s that?
She knows they are there

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There Are No Children Here

The untrained eye
Walks down the street
And sees children
But they're not children
There are no children here

Adults look back
With hungry eyes
And someone thinks
''They're just children
With a mother and a father
Never any fear''
And they kid themselves
As there are no mothers
No fathers
Because there are no children here

Terror doesn't care
As they cry over there
It lets someone stare
Through the sight of a gun
Seeing everyone
And just for fun
Shoot them

People rush around crying
''But they were just children!
They were just children! ''

A man with a gun
Turns and runs
But as he does they hear
''They aren't children''
And
''They weren't children''
And
''You need to know:
There are no children here''

No one makes a sound
Listening to the truth he's found
And they know:
It's our fault
We didn't save them
We could have saved them
If we cared
There would be children here

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There Are No Stars In The Sky Tonight

it is dark and there are no stars tonight
the sound of the waves from the sea has been
as harsh as it was this morning
the trees swing to the dictates of the strong winds
and here i am sitting on a chair seeing things
move and listening to the sounds of their being

how can i just be an ordinary spectator all these years?
seeing all the phenomena as they all come and go
and not staying even in the memory of my mind

i know the reason why, i know it from the very start
i am letting go all that confront me
not touching them even for fear of interfering
what nature wants to accomplish
for what each creature deserve to be
to each strand of its DNA to each destiny

it is the mere seeing of letting nature do what is best
for each of us
that makes this life alive
it is the flower that must open itself with all spontaneity
that i must see and feel
without the slightest touch of my fingers

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There Are Walls Between Us

brother, there are walls between us
needles of rain between our faces
when i touch your hand
you seem so far away
like an island to another island
without a boat
just a telescope.

you expect too much, like the way you want me
to devote all the attention you need:
every need,
every discomfort,
every uneasiness,

every asking ungiven seems to be unforgiven
i resign.
i stop
from this unfair brotherhood
that you
impose upon me

there are walls and walls that you are building now
and i cannot see and hear you anymore
you built them
i won't destroy them and i will not ask the reasons why

we deserve a distance, a far away distance, perhaps
for us to rethink
what brotherhood is all about

it is not a one-way traffic i suppose so
you must understand it as i do

i am going inside this road with my own car
you take yours and we meet halfway

keep those walls, they are yours
i keep this road, this bridge, this open space

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There Are Demons Needing To Feed

Demons needing to feed on negativity,
Eventually devour themselves.
With the hopes that the doing of it,
Will attract those who come to empathize...
In a sacrifice that devotes the giving of their lives,
As an unconscious act that snaps backs...
For snacks to crack while munching on their missions,
To rid any sign of peace!

There are demons needing to feed,
On the presence of harmony.
They are demons seeking a need,
To lust on those sufferers...
Aiming to please the greeding of beasts.
Feeding their cravings as if at a feast.

They're demons seeking a need,
To lust on those sufferers...
Aiming to please the greeding of beasts.
Feeding their cravings as if at a feast,
To rid any sign of peace...
Wherever presented.

Demons needing to feed on negativity,
Eventually devour themselves.
With the hopes that the doing of it,
Will attract those who come to empathize...
In a sacrifice that devotes,
The giving...
Of their lives.
To follow and to be devoured.

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Who are you Really? for nellas Elendil

There are questions which we must ask
and answers we must try to find
Sometimes it seems a thankless task.
We all have masks we hide behind.

Although I think that I know you.
I only know what you will show.
I must confess I’m guilty too
some things I will not let you know.

Our public personality
is tailored so that we conform.
Far from the true reality
which is quite different from the norm.

Why are we so afraid to be
ourselves in any circumstance.
I’m too afraid to let you see
just who I am. Daren’t take the chance.

I wearmy mask as you wear yours
whilst wondering what lies behind.
Small talk and social intercourse
we both engage in whilst still blind.

Suspicion guides our every move.
We are afraid we may not be
the kind of person you could love
and so we suffer needlessly.

Remove your mask and I will too
Deal with each other openly
theres nothing else that we can do
which will prove satisfactory.

14-May-08
http: //blog.my space/poeticpiers

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There Are Those Who Have Known Daily Horrors

THERE ARE THOSE WHO HAVE KNOWN DAILY HORRORS

I have had a relatively easy life-
There are those who have known daily horrors
Beyond those any human being should ever have to imagine
I think of the last generation of survivors of the Shoah
Slowly dying out now
Taking with them their memories of loved ones murdered before their eyes
Of incredible tortures and cruelty
Of horrible partings and endless humiliations-

I think of these people my fellow Jews
And wonder why God allowed it to happen to them
And what it all means-

I certainly don't know-

I have had a relatively easy life
With of course my own griefs and sorrows and failings
But nothing at all like what they went through -

Oh God what is this whole thing about anyway?
And why did You let the Nazi Germans and their Austrian Polish Lithuanian Slovak Romanian Hungarian Dutch French helpers
Do it to them?

Why families with tens of members murdered
Why the children?
The incredible cruelties and humiliations and horrors
Why?

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There Are Moments

There are moments
In the reservoir of life
When the hours become twisted
And slowly drown in infinity.

There are moments
When traveling through
The unending highway of destiny,
One feels like wasted in a bin of time.

There are moments
When the mind is trapped
In the tunnel of forgetfulness
While words become muted
And the fragile body motionless.

there are moments
When you feel like in a vessel
Caught on fire and capsizing
In the middle of the sea
Sadly knowing
There is not help at all.

There are moments
When facts are unknown
Why or what has happened
In the urgency of self-preservation
And the only help is oneself alone
In the rescue of the senses-flammable
Until oppositely charged
By expulsion or exposition.

Knowing the vessel was capsizing
and that the only sailor was me,
I found the way to stay afloat
Along with an invisible friend named Hope
Who gave me strength to keep on going
Until reaching the solid ground
Thank you, my Lord!
For no abandoning me
In this tumultuous journey!

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