poetry
caty it is that sea of words that we cannot understand, which holds all of life's experiences. 981005
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dallas the rhythm and the flow of the characters across time is more fundamental to the human condition than any number of dollar signs. 981027
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allie is describing one hitng in the terms of another 990501
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allie is describing one thing in the terms of another 990501
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stephen the only way to turn a man into a puddle. 990502
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ceorl the art of expressing something in words without actually saying it 990502
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Zed and um
what I mean
you know.

beautiful, beautiful words
all that expressing of stuff

I can feel it now.
990503
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Krishone it's the heart and soul of the human language. no matter how someone thinks, no matter how someone feels, no matter what someone believes in, if they have any kind of heart, a poet out there can find a way to touch it. everything is poetic in some sort of way. the real trick is seeing the poem where it shouldn't be. 990503
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Nate Higgins Poetry poetry poetry
Always metaphor
For
Something else
Speak plainly please
So we may see
If you
Really do
Have something to say
991030
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marjorie the way things should be said
existence put into words
991203
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ready2run you don't understand
yet
you can't understand
from there
you have to come here
is it worth it?
you can't know
from there
you have to come here
then, if not,
it's too late
but it is
991221
...
Q besides play,
write poetry
and read it
000104
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bellee my salvation...
my sanity...
my soul...
000121
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apr!l "although they are
only breath, words
which i command
are immortal"
--sappho #9, as translated by mary barnard
000122
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ace the poets shall gain the universe back, eventually. 000224
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amorfus i dont pretend to be
good at it

but that's my own poetry...

how much of this is repated?
how much of this is original?

is_this what its supposed to be like?
000302
...
Mika If i had all the time in the world, the poet would be pleased. The world would cease to turn and the snowflake would be easy to catch with your tounge. 000306
...
Midnight Bliss as they ash
i breathe camoflaged corpses of disappointment and watch as the cold mourning air burns babies into molded gasses of vastness that
liquefy
into sound
under
pressure.

maybe not the best peice of poetry, but it's deep and i like it. i give props to the person who wrote it.

poetry is a way to free a part of yourself.
000402
...
MollyGoLightly Write it about icky things. Disease. Crime. Leave out the message and the platitudes. You're making a contribution to a language and a craft. 000402
...
Brad If your name is langston_hughes, then by all means let me read yours. If not, keep it to yourself. Let the painters paint, the musicians make music, and the writers write. Don't make a mockery of it, please. 000402
...
MollyGoLightly I see what you're getting at, Brad. But
do you think that poetry died with langston hughes?
One day i'll let you read some Charles Bukowski if i can remember to bring it with me to th boys' side.
000402
...
Brad I didn't mean it quite so literally Molly. I was thinking more along the lines of anyone on the level of Hughes, i just thought it sounded cooler to phrase it like i did. Haha. At any rate i would love to read some of this cat's stuff if you bring it over. 000402
...
MollyGoLIghtly I walked into one of my classes last week and as soon as I shut the door behind me this girl at the chalkboard said "Molly, we're taking a poll. What is a poet?" She was taking the list down on the chalkboard.
I said "Mount Rushmore" because the question irritated me and made me nervous and I wanted it over with.
The other responses worried me a little, especially number 3:
"A tortured soul."
UGH!
000404
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Midnight Bliss sometimes, poetry can be a cry from a tortured soul...a lot of poetry is depressing, on the other hand, there are also those poems out there that are romantic, funny, etc. but don't be disgusted by depressing poetry, or the fact that others think the way #3 did. it's sort of disrespectful because maybe that is beautiful and special to the author and others. 000404
...
Brad I'm sorry, but there's simply very little value in being trite. If it's already been well said before, you're probably not going to say it better. #3 strikes me as trite. Very banal. 000404
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MollyGoLightly It was a disrespectful thing for me to say.
I am a very disrespectful person.
Nyah! :P
000413
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Tank www.eneri.net
Go and be amazed...
000621
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daxle is shit 000628
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Grendels theory of everything see: not_really_jazz_slang_of_the_day

Bradley, Bradley, Bradley...

*shaking head, sadly*

Banality, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder.

see also: there_is_no_true_vision

There are more things under heaven than are dreamed of in your philosophy, but there is nothing new under the sun.

trite, maybe, but try and dispute it.

if it can be thought of
IT HAS BEEN THOUGHT OF
(repeatedly)
000629
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Zoe poets should be the most respected people on the earth. i have tried to write good poetry and it all turned out shitty. i just don't understand how good poetry is ever produced. 000718
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daisy311 he comes to me in the faint light
his hands, his touch feels so right
I inhale his scent and a strong force
comes over me
The passion I have for him he can see
My heart beats a million miles an hour
But be careful, for it is as sensitive as a budding flower.
000718
...
Brad Grendel: cf. Charlie Parker: "There is nothing new under the sun, everything is a derivation of something else." One of my favorite quotes from one of the masters. Yardbird = birdmad? 000718
...
guitar_freak The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both,
And be one traveler, long I stood,
And looked down one as far as I could,
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear,
Though as for that the passing there,
Had worn them really about the same;

And both that morning equally lay,
In leaves no step had trodden black,
Oh, I kept the first for the other day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back;

I shall be telling this with a sigh,
Somewhere ages and ahes hence,
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

~Robert Frost~
001110
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gigolo aunt yeh, me too 001110
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splinken that frost poem:

i hated it all throughout highschool. thought it was trite. then we studied frost in one of the lit. courses i took this semester, and...KA-POW! i learned that this poem is really about how and why people lie to themselves--the "road less traveled by" is just as worn as the other road, and the speaker is justifying going down this road by creating a little fiction in their head about it.

i used to dismiss frost as some fluffy-poo, "do your own thing," vague kind of writer. now i feel stupid.

read "Fire and Ice," too. that's my favorite.
001206
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Dafremen Milky silken soft caress of light cupped breast in wolfen hand
Runs the course of gentle curves til caution sighs its reprimand

Rounding rounded netherworld does stoke the flame of passions fire
To the tune of beating hearts now racing onward to desire

Then STOPPED. Accursed conscience pleas, it begs to stop the hot debate.
For heartstrings pluck fidelity then open eyes to sleeping mate.

...is a piece of me that I give to you, that you can't take from me.
010216
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little blond who thinks too much incredible depth of emotion put into words most of wish we'd have thought of first. 010318
...
13lueee . . . . When I saw you. . . . . I was afraid to talk to you. . . . . When I you talked to I was afraid to hold you. . . . When I Held you...I was afraid to
love you. . . .Now that I love you. . .I'm afraid to lose you. . . .Yesterday
is a history. . . . Tomorrow is the future. . . .and Today is a gift . .
. ..that's why it's called the present. . . . I was born when you kissed me. . . . .and I died when you left me. . . . But I lived for the two months you loved
me. . . .. .Until there was you, I cried myself to sleep... while I had you, I fell asleepwith a gentle smile on my face...Before I lost you, I worried myself tosleep... Now that I know you are gone, I sit up at night, waiting for
you to come back. .
010326
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camille http://www.geocities.com/SoHo/2850/mag.html 010408
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phil I don't like feeling stupid, but I guess I have too. Although it seems to me, I will one day learn this is not true. And I will put a knot in my head from hitting it so hard. I also had not realized the poem's lie to be true, and now I am like you. I wish life would open up to me, from what little I've seen. It would be fun to do.
-to splinken
010426
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m_e no one would care if a prisoner froze to death, but what if he tried to escape? prisoners had escaped, but the never got far. 010519
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m_e *they* never got far 010519
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god your reading it. 010522
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the corrector you're 010522
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god oops... yep, you're reading poetry 010522
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m_e i'm not reading poetry. i'm paraphrasing important comments from a novel. 010529
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burden Blood on pulp. 010529
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the corrector it's a poem. i'm serious. 010628
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The Truth a_glimps_of_the_inside of an artists mind. 010723
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bandaids go to: my_story 011221
...
Avalanched this morning i rose out of
rain and questionable intentions
honorable perhaps but never clear
i painted a smile and erased the sleep



all those pictures in your head
were false reaenactments of who i am
so there. see through the fog and flash light
just thinking of you made me stop in the road
caught me in your high beamed stare
so who i am to suppose anything
about what you want. so itís time for
me to go home again.




i hate how when i woke up
i felt in control and by midnight
my life is on the floor at my feet




about sadness
that feeling in your chest. itís just a dull pain but it throbs there inside of you, reminding you that it is slowly eating you outside from in. and itís there, it tears at your heart whenever you let it loose,
itís icy teeth knaw at you, never letting you rest easy with yourself. and when you are actaully alone it swells up and rises into your throat bringing tears and wet pillows and clenched fists. and it makes you realize how unfair the world is. it brings to light how unfortunate you are, how much you have against yourself and how much you loathe other people. it shows you how much your skin doesnít fit. it wallows in your self-pity until you canít stand bathing in your own tears. only then, when you are disgusted with sadness are you able to cleanse yourself. free yourself of the ache and then you smile.




indifference is the death
of all interests. locked in.
bordem chases the rosy health
from loveís cheeks. blocked in.
solitude makes either
peace or hunger. caught.
feelings i long for are slipping
through my fingers and time
(escaping my hold on them)
is flitting away from me
why do i want this and yet
run from it as i am looking back?
so chain them, capture them.




see that green eyed boy
loitering behind the tree
the sunshine missed him
must have forgotten to see him
wondering if itís going to rain
wondering if iíll see him again




my heart is that somewhere in between
in between the sleeping and waking
what i feel is real and whatís reality,
between the nightmare and the dream.
understands the ground beneath is quaking
but not sure where the quicksandís found.




not quite sure how to leap
havenít learned that yet (gotta work on getting up higher)
cause my heartís been nailed ground
and itís trying to jump, to skip that beat
but i donít even know what to think
what is there to do now that i canít sleep
canít even lie there anymore
because my heart is wondering
when love goes out the window
whoís there to open the door?



a friend wrote them, tell me, what do you think?
011221
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ClairE I can't believe I love you so. 011221
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the eye it's funny:

she detests poetry
but the thought of her makes me think in poetic terms

not the trite rhyming couplets that we first experience as poetry but the random flow of well placed words which can, when arranged properly set hearts and souls in motion
011221
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ClairE Je veux que tu l'ecrives pour moi. 011222
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Miffey My best friend
He always tells the truth, and what I really feel on the inside.
My psychiatrist
God knows I need one.
My Lover
Sometimes my only one, other times he brings me a few ;)
My art
When I write a good one
My hobby
When I write a bad one :)
My pride
When I write a good one
My shame
the rest of the time :)
Hey, that's enough about my poetry, go read some!!
http://members.home.net/jake.mueller
020105
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kerry poetry... i hate reading it, but love writing it

it's yet another weird thing about me
020106
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sabbie little presents in my inbox when i get to work 020209
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linden needs help 020214
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Dafremen Breeze Moves On
(Blather_Improvisation Number 2)
R. Dafremen

Feel a while
The air, the sky
Upon your face
The breezes try
To dry your cheeks
Of tears you cry
For gusts of wind
Still don't know why
You weep. For with
No heart to break
The wind knows not
The sound you make
The sobbing sound
You can't contain
The wind feels you
You feel the pain
And suffer it
And make it real
By dwelling on
The hurt you feel
Yet as the wind
It won't be long
Til this shall pass
And you'll move on.
020215
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. please 020611
...
god every day's a drinkin' day when yer drawin' a crazy check. 020719
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daxle is that like going off the rails on a crazy train? 020719
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Osinoche Poetry
Poetry is an expression
An Expression of the heart
An Expression of the mind
It represents fantasy
It represents reality
It is beautiful
It is inane
It is illogical
It is impecable
It is the images
I put in words from my brain
030323
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megan -a man's body
-psalms
-song of solomon
-young girls picking daisies
-playing on the railroad tracks
-the state fair in the morning
-riding horses
-blather
-love
030323
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pipedream i can't describe the way it moves me, in any form, written or sung or spoken, whatever langugage i can understand...magic.
pablo neruda, sonnet 17- dynamite, will reduce anyone to gibbering mush
030324
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wakinglife Richie Havens: Let the river rock you like a cradle,
close your fingertips and fly where I canít hold you
Let the sun rain fall and let the dewy clouds unfold you
And maybe you can sing to me the words I just told you
If all the things you feel ainít what they seem
Then donít mind me Ďcause I ainít nothing but a dream

Come here where your ears cannot hear
And close your ears child and listen to what I tell you
Follow in the darkest night the sounds that may impel you
And the song that I am singing may deserve or serve to quell you
If all the sounds you hear ainít what they seem
Then donít mind me cause I ainít nothing but a dream

The color of your eyes are fiery bright
While darkness blinds the sky with all its light
Come see where your eyes cannot see
And close your eyes child and look at what Iíll show you
Let your mind go reeling out and let the breezes blow you
Then maybe when we meet suddenly I will know you
If all the things you see ainít what they seem
And you can follow
030429
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wakin Let the river rock you like a cradle,
close your fingertips and fly where I canít hold you
Let the sun rain fall and let the dewy clouds unfold you
And maybe you can sing to me the words I just told you
If all the things you feel ainít what they seem
Then donít mind me Ďcause I ainít nothing but a dream

Come here where your ears cannot hear
And close your ears child and listen to what I tell you
Follow in the darkest night the sounds that may impel you
And the song that I am singing may deserve or serve to quell you
If all the sounds you hear ainít what they seem
Then donít mind me cause I ainít nothing but a dream

The color of your eyes are fiery bright
While darkness blinds the sky with all its light
Come see where your eyes cannot see
And close your eyes child and look at what Iíll show you
Let your mind go reeling out and let the breezes blow you
Then maybe when we meet suddenly I will know you
If all the things you see ainít what they seem
And you can follow (Richie Havens)
030429
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farmer a moment in time please 030430
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lookn for toxic_kisses 030507
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Ella You honour the poet
by reading the lines and you read
till your soul is sore and you read
till one day the words
say something other
than what you first saw.
030630
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phil pick a topic
a. b. c. d.
going on for infinity
030724
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Diabla two different eyes where givinn to me, to view the bad and good you see,
i did not know that love brought pain, for with out sun light who'd know rain,
but in the darkness of my day,
the sun i see yet look away,
when night time falls the sea is black,
when i see love i'll turn my back.
030725
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delial haiku 030725
...
joshua I don't have the intensity for it. Too loquacious really. I let big words do the work of thinking. That's why I'm stuck in a relationship that makes me unhappy and that I don't understand. Stupid boy. 030803
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Dafremen My first book is on its way. There is finally an illustrator who can do the words justice. The goal is and has been by the end of this year. Thanks blatherskites. I wouldn't have been able to do this without you.

Daf
-
-
030804
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etoiles i remain firmly convinced that those who write poetry do so only because they lack the sheer mental capacity to write fiction. poets tend to hide commonplace emotions and feelings behind flowery and convoluted language; they overanalyze the most animlistic instincts within man, trying to pardon them with a sleight-of-word - make us seem like more than animals, we cry! and the poets of society happily oblige. those poor poets, down on their luck and down on their hope, pen their metaphors only because they are incapable of writing fiction. 030906
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misstree oh, my darling etoiles, how much i want to leap upon you, how much i am willing to hold back...

you say that poets are poets because they can't write fiction? have you considered that the pure savagery, the delicate filgiree that is found in poetry, has no place in fiction? fiction is movement, it is plot, it is character, whereas poetry is a moment in a bubble, a single thrust to penetrate the thoughts, stimulate the center.

you think that poets try to hide the animal nature of man? then you have been reading only half of poetry; poetry plays with our vision, pulls lids wide open when we would rather sleep, lulls us to comfort with placid platitudes.

i am not down on my hope *or* down on my luck, precious sweetmeat, i simply worship words too fervently to waste them on "jane said to bob," i refuse to squander them for paragraphs and paragraphs to simply carry one nugget of glowing, bloody truth.

so, darling etoiles, if you believe that poets are simply lousy fiction writers, i would call you both ignorant, and useless as a poet.

of course, that would be my very own opinoin.

but without poetry,
everything becomes long-winded
and trivial.
030907
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minnesota_chris Dear rambling etoiles: if you could write your message as poetry, I would be very impressed. But I doubt you have the talent. 030908
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camille an ocean i love to float in 030912
...
oldephebe my God!!! misstree that was !@#%!! beautiful!! You are incredible. My heart is filled with thunder and breaking Light flowing over with the passion and glory your word have illicited..do i even do it justice in trampling upon the sacred space, the glimmering lacunae of sound, and thought you have created in me..thank you thankou WONDROUS!!

t h a n k y o u!!!!! for sharing your art and saying what we all were dying to say..and yet couldn't marshall the sheer prodigies of passion poetic vision

give me a canvas, give me a brush, give me paint, give me the open air and let my soul leap free..

your words really wound me all up and set me spinning, a mad shirling dervish of delight..thankyou again misstree
...
030912
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oldephebe you so inspire me!! what if the world were bereft or exanguinated of all the celestial lights i've encountered here in blather - okay i'm calming down now..

still mean it though i'm oldephebe and i can't i can't i STILL can't !@@#$ing believe the things you incredible souls write here!!!
...

umm..yeah
...
030912
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misstree i just speak it as i feel it, darlin'. poetry is an annoying, whiny child that no one understands, to the rest of the world. i've fought all my life for my right to express myself in sideslips and metaphors, i've seen eyes go baffled or hard at the mere mention of it, i feel a trickle of guilt and a rush of pride every time i say i'm a poet. i will staunchly defend anything that has value to me, and dammit, my words are the only thing that i know (hope) will stay.

you can't imagine the crazy grin that i have right now, just because you came the closest i've seen you to swearing. ;) seriously, though, thanks for the enthusiasm, it helps feed my drive to write, to send out something to other seeking souls, so said the man.
030912
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oldephebe (sigh) again... "i feel a trickle of guilt and a rush of pride every time i say i'm a poet"

'nuff said..
...
030912
...
calum There was a young sailor called rex
Who avoided premarital sex;
He thought about jesus
And penile diseases
And beat his meat below decks.
030912
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freddy I am triumphant in your place,
worshiping as you do
the very ground,
yes, the very dust
surrounding the soul of God.
Do not allow others to blaspheme
but to praise your light and space
and give us the honor to know who you really are.
Provide us with the insight,
the bravery,
the fortitude
to face that unknowing,
unknowable universe of trials,
pleasures, fires and blessings
of this, our time on earth.
And help us to surmount the impossibility of writing poetry
without
the access to spellcheck
and a built in thesaurus.
030928
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Eowithien Curving softly and sharply,
I watch the shadows on the wall.
What is that part that seems to stick out too much?
Somewhat like a knife, I notice my nose
That was once told it was cute.
The small chin lacks the dimple on the wall
That it shows with pride in real life.
Curving softly and sharply,
I watch my face cry on the wall,
With quiet shadows slinking away
From the dark masses.

That sucked. Oh well, off the top of my head poetry is fun sometimes.

Poetry is life, inspiration, and dreams, all thrown together into a beautiful mixing pot of metaphors and similies to describe anything and everything.
031126
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justapoem i pull the trigger
there goes the sound
releasing pressure
in my head
here goes, yeah, i see the light
a sure sign i must be dead.

flashing pictures
of the ones i loved
and the pain and torture
i served them,
God only knows
North or South
if ill ever see them again.

I only wish
that God understands
and for gives
my horrible sin,
he had to have seen
the pain and torture
MY poor little heart
was in.
040216
...
pete take a wing
try to understand the words that are never sung
yet the hang there like a dead cat
squng around the head one too many times
until its eyes went black
and its arteries exploded.

words that flow
words that never seem to stop coming
as i wrock back and forth on this chair of mine
listening to godspeed you black emperor
typing the words taht come to mind
with my eyes of hso closed
here in my room all al one.

time to tell time to take
time is nothing but a slim piece of cake
delet out with a moment's notice
and then left to go and seen again
together forever and never before

yo estoy leyendo todos y nunca. siempre nunca y siempre todos.

what is that you say
and i hear nothing but the tapping
of a thousand thoughts
finding refuge in this thing we call language
which creates great messes
such as religion and the belief in a god
that is everything but the that first beginning
when hydrogen A and hydrogen B thought that it would be nice to stand by eachother

and what does the bible say if not this:
"in the beginning crated god"
and god is but YHWH
I am waht I will be
How true that is
and forever a lie
so I guess the unasked question is answered
so why don't we all lift our skinny fists like atenneas to heaven?
which just means raise your arms and cheer as loud as you can
because after all when the system falls
we will still exists
and our life will become holy, that means sacred you know
and no longer will any incentimetre (the inch is truly illogical)
be profane
as the temple is everywhere
everywhere is the temple
and alone i sit here in my room
listening to this song
typing to you
whoever takes the time or the care to read this long and rather wierd passage
which some fools call poetry
for no one reads poetry but a fool
and it takes one to no one.
040217
...
Anonymous Beowulf
by Anonymous Works

PRELUDE OF THE FOUNDER OF THE DANISH HOUSE

LO, praise of the prowess of people-kings
of spear-armed Danes, in days long sped,
we have heard, and what honor the athelings
won!
Oft Scyld the Scefing from squadroned foes,
from many a tribe, the mead-bench tore,
awing the earls. Since erst he lay
friendless, a foundling, fate repaid him:
for he waxed under welkin, in wealth he throve,
till before him the folk, both far and near,
who house by the whale-path, heard his mandate,
gave him gifts: a good king he!
To him an heir was afterward born,
a son in his halls, whom heaven sent
to favor the folk, feeling their woe
that erst they had lacked an earl for leader
so long a while; the Lord endowed him,
the Wielder of Wonder, with world's renown.
Famed was this Beowulf:[1] far flew the boast of him,
son of Scyld, in the Scandian lands.
So becomes it a youth to quit him well
with his father's friends, by fee and gift,
that to aid him, aged, in after days,
come warriors willing, should war draw nigh,
liegemen loyal: by lauded deeds
shall an earl have honor in every clan.
Forth he fared at the fated moment,
sturdy Scyld to the shelter of God.
Then they bore him over to ocean's billow,
loving clansmen, as late he charged them,
while wielded words the winsome Scyld,
the leader beloved who long had ruled....
In the roadstead rocked a ring-dight vessel,
ice-flecked, outbound, atheling's barge:
there laid they down their darling lord
on the breast of the boat, the breaker-of-rings,[2]
by the mast the mighty one. Many a treasure
fetched from far was freighted with him.
No ship have I known so nobly dight
with weapons of war and weeds of battle,
with breastplate and blade: on his bosom lay
a heaped hoard that hence should go
far o'er the flood with him floating away.
No less these loaded the lordly gifts,
thanes' huge treasure, than those had done
who in former time forth had sent him
sole on the seas, a suckling child.
High o'er his head they hoist the standard,
a gold-wove banner; let billows take him,
gave him to ocean. Grave were their spirits,
mournful their mood. No man is able
to say in sooth, no son of the halls,
no hero 'neath heaven, -- who harbored that freight!

[1] Not, of course, Beowulf the Great, hero of the epic.
[2] Kenning for king or chieftain of a comitatus: he breaks off gold from
the spiral rings -- often worn on the arm -- and so rewards his followers.


I

Now Beowulf bode in the burg of the Scyldings,
leader beloved, and long he ruled
in fame with all folk, since his father had gone
away from the world, till awoke an heir,
haughty Healfdene, who held through life,
sage and sturdy, the Scyldings glad.
Then, one after one, there woke to him,
to the chieftain of clansmen, children four:
Heorogar, then Hrothgar, then Halga brave;
and I heard that -- was --'s queen,
the Heathoscylfing's helpmate dear.
To Hrothgar was given such glory of war,
such honor of combat, that all his kin
obeyed him gladly till great grew his band
of youthful comrades. It came in his mind
to bid his henchmen a hall uprear,
a master mead-house, mightier far
than ever was seen by the sons of earth,
and within it, then, to old and young
he would all allot that the Lord had sent him,
save only the land and the lives of his men.
Wide, I heard, was the work commanded,
for many a tribe this mid-earth round,
to fashion the folkstead. It fell, as he ordered,
in rapid achievement that ready it stood there,
of halls the noblest: Heorot[1] he named it
whose message had might in many a land.
Not reckless of promise, the rings he dealt,
treasure at banquet: there towered the hall,
high, gabled wide, the hot surge waiting
of furious flame.[2] Nor far was that day
when father and son-in-law stood in feud
for warfare and hatred that woke again.[3]
With envy and anger an evil spirit
endured the dole in his dark abode,
that he heard each day the din of revel
high in the hall: there harps rang out,
clear song of the singer. He sang who knew[4]
tales of the early time of man,
how the Almighty made the earth,
fairest fields enfolded by water,
set, triumphant, sun and moon
for a light to lighten the land-dwellers,
and braided bright the breast of earth
with limbs and leaves, made life for all
of mortal beings that breathe and move.
So lived the clansmen in cheer and revel
a winsome life, till one began
to fashion evils, that field of hell.
Grendel this monster grim was called,
march-riever[5] mighty, in moorland living,
in fen and fastness; fief of the giants
the hapless wight a while had kept
since the Creator his exile doomed.
On kin of Cain was the killing avenged
by sovran God for slaughtered Abel.
Ill fared his feud,[6] and far was he driven,
for the slaughter's sake, from sight of men.
Of Cain awoke all that woful breed,
Etins[7] and elves and evil-spirits,
as well as the giants that warred with God
weary while: but their wage was paid them!

[1] That is, "The Hart," or "Stag," so called from decorations in the
gables that resembled the antlers of a deer. This hall has been carefully
described in a pamphlet by Heyne. The building was rectangular, with
opposite doors -- mainly west and east -- and a hearth in the middle of the
single room. A row of pillars down each side, at some distance from
the walls, made a space which was raised a little above the main floor,
and was furnished with two rows of seats. On one side, usually south,
was the high-seat midway between the doors. Opposite this, on the other
raised space, was another seat of honor. At the banquet soon to be
described, Hrothgar sat in the south or chief high-seat, and Beowulf oppo-
site to him. The scene for a flying (see below, v.499) was thus very
effectively set. Planks on trestles -- the "board" of later English litera-
ture -- formed the tables just in front of the long rows of seats, and were
taken away after banquets, when the retainers were ready to stretch them-
selves out for sleep on the benches.
[2] Fire was the usual end of these halls. See v. 781 below. One thinks
of the splendid scene at the end of the Nibelungen, of the Nialssaga, of
Saxo's story of Amlethus, and many a less famous instance.
[3] It is to be supposed that all hearers of this poem knew how Hrothgar's
hall was burnt, -- perhaps in the unsuccessful attack made on him by his
son-in-law Ingeld.
[4] A skilled minstrel. The Danes are heathens, as one is told presently;
but this lay of beginnings is taken from Genesis.
[5] A disturber of the border, one who sallies from his haunt in the fen
and roams over the country near by. This probably pagan nuisance is now
furnished with biblical credentials as a fiend or devil in good standing, so
that all Christian Englishmen might read about him. "Grendel" may
mean one who grinds and crushes.
[6] Cain's.
[7] Giants.


II

WENT he forth to find at fall of night
that haughty house, and heed wherever
the Ring-Danes, outrevelled, to rest had gone.
Found within it the atheling band
asleep after feasting and fearless of sorrow,
of human hardship. Unhallowed wight,
grim and greedy, he grasped betimes,
wrathful, reckless, from resting-places,
thirty of the thanes, and thence he rushed
fain of his fell spoil, faring homeward,
laden with slaughter, his lair to seek.
Then at the dawning, as day was breaking,
the might of Grendel to men was known;
then after wassail was wail uplifted,
loud moan in the morn. The mighty chief,
atheling excellent, unblithe sat,
labored in woe for the loss of his thanes,
when once had been traced the trail of the fiend,
spirit accurst: too cruel that sorrow,
too long, too loathsome. Not late the respite;
with night returning, anew began
ruthless murder; he recked no whit,
firm in his guilt, of the feud and crime.
They were easy to find who elsewhere sought
in room remote their rest at night,
bed in the bowers,[1] when that bale was shown,
was seen in sooth, with surest token, --
the hall-thane's[2] hate. Such held themselves
far and fast who the fiend outran!
Thus ruled unrighteous and raged his fill
one against all; until empty stood
that lordly building, and long it bode so.
Twelve years' tide the trouble he bore,
sovran of Scyldings, sorrows in plenty,
boundless cares. There came unhidden
tidings true to the tribes of men,
in sorrowful songs, how ceaselessly Grendel
harassed Hrothgar, what hate he bore him,
what murder and massacre, many a year,
feud unfading, -- refused consent
to deal with any of Daneland's earls,
make pact of peace, or compound for gold:
still less did the wise men ween to get
great fee for the feud from his fiendish hands.
But the evil one ambushed old and young
death-shadow dark, and dogged them still,
lured, or lurked in the livelong night
of misty moorlands: men may say not
where the haunts of these Hell-Runes[3] be.
Such heaping of horrors the hater of men,
lonely roamer, wrought unceasing,
harassings heavy. O'er Heorot he lorded,
gold-bright hall, in gloomy nights;
and ne'er could the prince[4] approach his throne,
-- 'twas judgment of God, -- or have joy in his hall.
Sore was the sorrow to Scyldings'-friend,
heart-rending misery. Many nobles
sat assembled, and searched out counsel
how it were best for bold-hearted men
against harassing terror to try their hand.
Whiles they vowed in their heathen fanes
altar-offerings, asked with words[5]
that the slayer-of-souls would succor give them
for the pain of their people. Their practice this,
their heathen hope; 'twas Hell they thought of
in mood of their mind. Almighty they knew not,
Doomsman of Deeds and dreadful Lord,
nor Heaven's-Helmet heeded they ever,
Wielder-of-Wonder. -- Woe for that man
who in harm and hatred hales his soul
to fiery embraces; -- nor favor nor change
awaits he ever. But well for him
that after death-day may draw to his Lord,
and friendship find in the Father's arms!

[1] The smaller buildings within the main enclosure but separate from
the hall.
[2] Grendel.
[3] "Sorcerers-of-hell."
[4] Hrothgar, who is the "Scyldings'-friend" of 170.
[5] That is, in formal or prescribed phrase.


III

THUS seethed unceasing the son of Healfdene
with the woe of these days; not wisest men
assuaged his sorrow; too sore the anguish,
loathly and long, that lay on his folk,
most baneful of burdens and bales of the night.

This heard in his home Hygelac's thane,
great among Geats, of Grendel's doings.
He was the mightiest man of valor
in that same day of this our life,
stalwart and stately. A stout wave-walker
he bade make ready. Yon battle-king, said he,
far o'er the swan-road he fain would seek,
the noble monarch who needed men!
The prince's journey by prudent folk
was little blamed, though they loved him dear;
they whetted the hero, and hailed good omens.
And now the bold one from bands of Geats
comrades chose, the keenest of warriors
e'er he could find; with fourteen men
the sea-wood[1] he sought, and, sailor proved,
led them on to the land's confines.
Time had now flown;[2] afloat was the ship,
boat under bluff. On board they climbed,
warriors ready; waves were churning
sea with sand; the sailors bore
on the breast of the bark their bright array,
their mail and weapons: the men pushed off,
on its willing way, the well-braced craft.
Then moved o'er the waters by might of the wind
that bark like a bird with breast of foam,
till in season due, on the second day,
the curved prow such course had run
that sailors now could see the land,
sea-cliffs shining, steep high hills,
headlands broad. Their haven was found,
their journey ended. Up then quickly
the Weders'[3] clansmen climbed ashore,
anchored their sea-wood, with armor clashing
and gear of battle: God they thanked
for passing in peace o'er the paths of the sea.
Now saw from the cliff a Scylding clansman,
a warden that watched the water-side,
how they bore o'er the gangway glittering shields,
war-gear in readiness; wonder seized him
to know what manner of men they were.
Straight to the strand his steed he rode,
Hrothgar's henchman; with hand of might
he shook his spear, and spake in parley.
"Who are ye, then, ye armed men,
mailed folk, that yon mighty vessel
have urged thus over the ocean ways,
here o'er the waters? A warden I,
sentinel set o'er the sea-march here,
lest any foe to the folk of Danes
with harrying fleet should harm the land.
No aliens ever at ease thus bore them,
linden-wielders:[4] yet word-of-leave
clearly ye lack from clansmen here,
my folk's agreement. -- A greater ne'er saw I
of warriors in world than is one of you, --
yon hero in harness! No henchman he
worthied by weapons, if witness his features,
his peerless presence! I pray you, though, tell
your folk and home, lest hence ye fare
suspect to wander your way as spies
in Danish land. Now, dwellers afar,
ocean-travellers, take from me
simple advice: the sooner the better
I hear of the country whence ye came."

[1] Ship.
[2] That is, since Beowulf selected his ship and led his men to the harbor.
[3] One of the auxiliary names of the Geats.
[4] Or: Not thus openly ever came warriors hither; yet...


IV

To him the stateliest spake in answer;
the warriors' leader his word-hoard unlocked:--
"We are by kin of the clan of Geats,
and Hygelac's own hearth-fellows we.
To folk afar was my father known,
noble atheling, Ecgtheow named.
Full of winters, he fared away
aged from earth; he is honored still
through width of the world by wise men all.
To thy lord and liege in loyal mood
we hasten hither, to Healfdene's son,
people-protector: be pleased to advise us!
To that mighty-one come we on mickle errand,
to the lord of the Danes; nor deem I right
that aught be hidden. We hear -- thou knowest
if sooth it is -- the saying of men,
that amid the Scyldings a scathing monster,
dark ill-doer, in dusky nights
shows terrific his rage unmatched,
hatred and murder. To Hrothgar I
in greatness of soul would succor bring,
so the Wise-and-Brave[1] may worst his foes, --
if ever the end of ills is fated,
of cruel contest, if cure shall follow,
and the boiling care-waves cooler grow;
else ever afterward anguish-days
he shall suffer in sorrow while stands in place
high on its hill that house unpeered!"
Astride his steed, the strand-ward answered,
clansman unquailing: "The keen-souled thane
must be skilled to sever and sunder duly
words and works, if he well intends.
I gather, this band is graciously bent
to the Scyldings' master. March, then, bearing
weapons and weeds the way I show you.
I will bid my men your boat meanwhile
to guard for fear lest foemen come, --
your new-tarred ship by shore of ocean
faithfully watching till once again
it waft o'er the waters those well-loved thanes,
-- winding-neck'd wood, -- to Weders' bounds,
heroes such as the hest of fate
shall succor and save from the shock of war."
They bent them to march, -- the boat lay still,
fettered by cable and fast at anchor,
broad-bosomed ship. -- Then shone the boars[2]
over the cheek-guard; chased with gold,
keen and gleaming, guard it kept
o'er the man of war, as marched along
heroes in haste, till the hall they saw,
broad of gable and bright with gold:
that was the fairest, 'mid folk of earth,
of houses 'neath heaven, where Hrothgar lived,
and the gleam of it lightened o'er lands afar.
The sturdy shieldsman showed that bright
burg-of-the-boldest; bade them go
straightway thither; his steed then turned,
hardy hero, and hailed them thus:--
"Tis time that I fare from you. Father Almighty
in grace and mercy guard you well,
safe in your seekings. Seaward I go,
'gainst hostile warriors hold my watch."

[1] Hrothgar.
[2] Beowulf's helmet has several boar-images on it; he is the "man of
war"; and the boar-helmet guards him as typical representative of the
marching party as a whole. The boar was sacred to Freyr, who was the
favorite god of the Germanic tribes about the North Sea and the Baltic.
Rude representations of warriors show the boar on the helmet quite as
large as the helmet itself.


V

STONE-BRIGHT the street:[1] it showed the way
to the crowd of clansmen. Corselets glistened
hand-forged, hard; on their harness bright
the steel ring sang, as they strode along
in mail of battle, and marched to the hall.
There, weary of ocean, the wall along
they set their bucklers, their broad shields, down,
and bowed them to bench: the breastplates clanged,
war-gear of men; their weapons stacked,
spears of the seafarers stood together,
gray-tipped ash: that iron band
was worthily weaponed! -- A warrior proud
asked of the heroes their home and kin.
"Whence, now, bear ye burnished shields,
harness gray and helmets grim,
spears in multitude? Messenger, I,
Hrothgar's herald! Heroes so many
ne'er met I as strangers of mood so strong.
'Tis plain that for prowess, not plunged into exile,
for high-hearted valor, Hrothgar ye seek!"
Him the sturdy-in-war bespake with words,
proud earl of the Weders answer made,
hardy 'neath helmet:--"Hygelac's, we,
fellows at board; I am Beowulf named.
I am seeking to say to the son of Healfdene
this mission of mine, to thy master-lord,
the doughty prince, if he deign at all
grace that we greet him, the good one, now."
Wulfgar spake, the Wendles' chieftain,
whose might of mind to many was known,
his courage and counsel: "The king of Danes,
the Scyldings' friend, I fain will tell,
the Breaker-of-Rings, as the boon thou askest,
the famed prince, of thy faring hither,
and, swiftly after, such answer bring
as the doughty monarch may deign to give."
Hied then in haste to where Hrothgar sat
white-haired and old, his earls about him,
till the stout thane stood at the shoulder there
of the Danish king: good courtier he!
Wulfgar spake to his winsome lord:--
"Hither have fared to thee far-come men
o'er the paths of ocean, people of Geatland;
and the stateliest there by his sturdy band
is Beowulf named. This boon they seek,
that they, my master, may with thee
have speech at will: nor spurn their prayer
to give them hearing, gracious Hrothgar!
In weeds of the warrior worthy they,
methinks, of our liking; their leader most surely,
a hero that hither his henchmen has led."

[1] Either merely paved, the strata via of the Romans, or else thought of
as a sort of mosaic, an extravagant touch like the reckless waste of gold
on the walls and roofs of a hall.


VI

HROTHGAR answered, helmet of Scyldings:--
"I knew him of yore in his youthful days;
his aged father was Ecgtheow named,
to whom, at home, gave Hrethel the Geat
his only daughter. Their offspring bold
fares hither to seek the steadfast friend.
And seamen, too, have said me this, --
who carried my gifts to the Geatish court,
thither for thanks, -- he has thirty men's
heft of grasp in the gripe of his hand,
the bold-in-battle. Blessed God
out of his mercy this man hath sent
to Danes of the West, as I ween indeed,
against horror of Grendel. I hope to give
the good youth gold for his gallant thought.
Be thou in haste, and bid them hither,
clan of kinsmen, to come before me;
and add this word, -- they are welcome guests
to folk of the Danes."
[To the door of the hall
Wulfgar went] and the word declared:--
"To you this message my master sends,
East-Danes' king, that your kin he knows,
hardy heroes, and hails you all
welcome hither o'er waves of the sea!
Ye may wend your way in war-attire,
and under helmets Hrothgar greet;
but let here the battle-shields bide your parley,
and wooden war-shafts wait its end."
Uprose the mighty one, ringed with his men,
brave band of thanes: some bode without,
battle-gear guarding, as bade the chief.
Then hied that troop where the herald led them,
under Heorot's roof: [the hero strode,]
hardy 'neath helm, till the hearth he neared.
Beowulf spake, -- his breastplate gleamed,
war-net woven by wit of the smith:--
"Thou Hrothgar, hail! Hygelac's I,
kinsman and follower. Fame a plenty
have I gained in youth! These Grendel-deeds
I heard in my home-land heralded clear.
Seafarers say how stands this hall,
of buildings best, for your band of thanes
empty and idle, when evening sun
in the harbor of heaven is hidden away.
So my vassals advised me well, --
brave and wise, the best of men, --
O sovran Hrothgar, to seek thee here,
for my nerve and my might they knew full well.
Themselves had seen me from slaughter come
blood-flecked from foes, where five I bound,
and that wild brood worsted. I' the waves I slew
nicors[1] by night, in need and peril
avenging the Weders,[2] whose woe they sought, --
crushing the grim ones. Grendel now,
monster cruel, be mine to quell
in single battle! So, from thee,
thou sovran of the Shining-Danes,
Scyldings'-bulwark, a boon I seek, --
and, Friend-of-the-folk, refuse it not,
O Warriors'-shield, now I've wandered far, --
that I alone with my liegemen here,
this hardy band, may Heorot purge!
More I hear, that the monster dire,
in his wanton mood, of weapons recks not;
hence shall I scorn -- so Hygelac stay,
king of my kindred, kind to me! --
brand or buckler to bear in the fight,
gold-colored targe: but with gripe alone
must I front the fiend and fight for life,
foe against foe. Then faith be his
in the doom of the Lord whom death shall take.
Fain, I ween, if the fight he win,
in this hall of gold my Geatish band
will he fearless eat, -- as oft before, --
my noblest thanes. Nor need'st thou then
to hide my head;[3] for his shall I be,
dyed in gore, if death must take me;
and my blood-covered body he'll bear as prey,
ruthless devour it, the roamer-lonely,
with my life-blood redden his lair in the fen:
no further for me need'st food prepare!
To Hygelac send, if Hild[4] should take me,
best of war-weeds, warding my breast,
armor excellent, heirloom of Hrethel
and work of Wayland.[5] Fares Wyrd[6] as she must."

[1] The nicor, says Bugge, is a hippopotamus; a walrus, says ten Brink.
But that water-goblin who covers the space from Old Nick of jest to the
Neckan and Nix of poetry and tale, is all one needs, and Nicor is a good
name for him.
[2] His own people, the Geats.
[3] That is, cover it as with a face-cloth. "There will be no need of
funeral rites."
[4] Personification of Battle.
[5] The Germanic Vulcan.
[6] This mighty power, whom the Christian poet can still revere, has here
the general force of "Destiny."


VII

HROTHGAR spake, the Scyldings'-helmet:--
"For fight defensive, Friend my Beowulf,
to succor and save, thou hast sought us here.
Thy father's combat[1] a feud enkindled
when Heatholaf with hand he slew
among the Wylfings; his Weder kin
for horror of fighting feared to hold him.
Fleeing, he sought our South-Dane folk,
over surge of ocean the Honor-Scyldings,
when first I was ruling the folk of Danes,
wielded, youthful, this widespread realm,
this hoard-hold of heroes. Heorogar was dead,
my elder brother, had breathed his last,
Healfdene's bairn: he was better than I!
Straightway the feud with fee[2] I settled,
to the Wylfings sent, o'er watery ridges,
treasures olden: oaths he[3] swore me.
Sore is my soul to say to any
of the race of man what ruth for me
in Heorot Grendel with hate hath wrought,
what sudden harryings. Hall-folk fail me,
my warriors wane; for Wyrd hath swept them
into Grendel's grasp. But God is able
this deadly foe from his deeds to turn!
Boasted full oft, as my beer they drank,
earls o'er the ale-cup, armed men,
that they would bide in the beer-hall here,
Grendel's attack with terror of blades.
Then was this mead-house at morning tide
dyed with gore, when the daylight broke,
all the boards of the benches blood-besprinkled,
gory the hall: I had heroes the less,
doughty dear-ones that death had reft.
-- But sit to the banquet, unbind thy words,
hardy hero, as heart shall prompt thee."

Gathered together, the Geatish men
in the banquet-hall on bench assigned,
sturdy-spirited, sat them down,
hardy-hearted. A henchman attended,
carried the carven cup in hand,
served the clear mead. Oft minstrels sang
blithe in Heorot. Heroes revelled,
no dearth of warriors, Weder and Dane.

[1] There is no irrelevance here. Hrothgar sees in Beowulf's mission a
heritage of duty, a return of the good offices which the Danish king ren-
dered to Beowulf's father in time of dire need.
[2] Money, for wergild, or man-price.
[3] Ecgtheow, Beowulf's sire.


VIII

UNFERTH spake, the son of Ecglaf,
who sat at the feet of the Scyldings' lord,
unbound the battle-runes.[1] -- Beowulf's quest,
sturdy seafarer's, sorely galled him;
ever he envied that other men
should more achieve in middle-earth
of fame under heaven than he himself. --
"Art thou that Beowulf, Breca's rival,
who emulous swam on the open sea,
when for pride the pair of you proved the floods,
and wantonly dared in waters deep
to risk your lives? No living man,
or lief or loath, from your labor dire
could you dissuade, from swimming the main.
Ocean-tides with your arms ye covered,
with strenuous hands the sea-streets measured,
swam o'er the waters. Winter's storm
rolled the rough waves. In realm of sea
a sennight strove ye. In swimming he topped thee,
had more of main! Him at morning-tide
billows bore to the Battling Reamas,
whence he hied to his home so dear
beloved of his liegemen, to land of Brondings,
fastness fair, where his folk he ruled,
town and treasure. In triumph o'er thee
Beanstan's bairn[2] his boast achieved.
So ween I for thee a worse adventure
-- though in buffet of battle thou brave hast been,
in struggle grim, -- if Grendel's approach
thou darst await through the watch of night!"

Beowulf spake, bairn of Ecgtheow:--
"What a deal hast uttered, dear my Unferth,
drunken with beer, of Breca now,
told of his triumph! Truth I claim it,
that I had more of might in the sea
than any man else, more ocean-endurance.
We twain had talked, in time of youth,
and made our boast, -- we were merely boys,
striplings still, -- to stake our lives
far at sea: and so we performed it.
Naked swords, as we swam along,
we held in hand, with hope to guard us
against the whales. Not a whit from me
could he float afar o'er the flood of waves,
haste o'er the billows; nor him I abandoned.
Together we twain on the tides abode
five nights full till the flood divided us,
churning waves and chillest weather,
darkling night, and the northern wind
ruthless rushed on us: rough was the surge.
Now the wrath of the sea-fish rose apace;
yet me 'gainst the monsters my mailed coat,
hard and hand-linked, help afforded, --
battle-sark braided my breast to ward,
garnished with gold. There grasped me firm
and haled me to bottom the hated foe,
with grimmest gripe. 'Twas granted me, though,
to pierce the monster with point of sword,
with blade of battle: huge beast of the sea
was whelmed by the hurly through hand of mine.

[1] "Began the fight."
[2] Breca.


IX

ME thus often the evil monsters
thronging threatened. With thrust of my sword,
the darling, I dealt them due return!
Nowise had they bliss from their booty then
to devour their victim, vengeful creatures,
seated to banquet at bottom of sea;
but at break of day, by my brand sore hurt,
on the edge of ocean up they lay,
put to sleep by the sword. And since, by them
on the fathomless sea-ways sailor-folk
are never molested. -- Light from east,
came bright God's beacon; the billows sank,
so that I saw the sea-cliffs high,
windy walls. For Wyrd oft saveth
earl undoomed if he doughty be!
And so it came that I killed with my sword
nine of the nicors. Of night-fought battles
ne'er heard I a harder 'neath heaven's dome,
nor adrift on the deep a more desolate man!
Yet I came unharmed from that hostile clutch,
though spent with swimming. The sea upbore me,
flood of the tide, on Finnish land,
the welling waters. No wise of thee
have I heard men tell such terror of falchions,
bitter battle. Breca ne'er yet,
not one of you pair, in the play of war
such daring deed has done at all
with bloody brand, -- I boast not of it! --
though thou wast the bane[1] of thy brethren dear,
thy closest kin, whence curse of hell
awaits thee, well as thy wit may serve!
For I say in sooth, thou son of Ecglaf,
never had Grendel these grim deeds wrought,
monster dire, on thy master dear,
in Heorot such havoc, if heart of thine
were as battle-bold as thy boast is loud!
But he has found no feud will happen;
from sword-clash dread of your Danish clan
he vaunts him safe, from the Victor-Scyldings.
He forces pledges, favors none
of the land of Danes, but lustily murders,
fights and feasts, nor feud he dreads
from Spear-Dane men. But speedily now
shall I prove him the prowess and pride of the Geats,
shall bid him battle. Blithe to mead
go he that listeth, when light of dawn
this morrow morning o'er men of earth,
ether-robed sun from the south shall beam!"
Joyous then was the Jewel-giver,
hoar-haired, war-brave; help awaited
the Bright-Danes' prince, from Beowulf hearing,
folk's good shepherd, such firm resolve.
Then was laughter of liegemen loud resounding
with winsome words. Came Wealhtheow forth,
queen of Hrothgar, heedful of courtesy,
gold-decked, greeting the guests in hall;
and the high-born lady handed the cup
first to the East-Danes' heir and warden,
bade him be blithe at the beer-carouse,
the land's beloved one. Lustily took he
banquet and beaker, battle-famed king.
Through the hall then went the Helmings' Lady,
to younger and older everywhere
carried the cup, till come the moment
when the ring-graced queen, the royal-hearted,
to Beowulf bore the beaker of mead.
She greeted the Geats' lord, God she thanked,
in wisdom's words, that her will was granted,
that at last on a hero her hope could lean
for comfort in terrors. The cup he took,
hardy-in-war, from Wealhtheow's hand,
and answer uttered the eager-for-combat.
Beowulf spake, bairn of Ecgtheow:--
"This was my thought, when my thanes and I
bent to the ocean and entered our boat,
that I would work the will of your people
fully, or fighting fall in death,
in fiend's gripe fast. I am firm to do
an earl's brave deed, or end the days
of this life of mine in the mead-hall here."
Well these words to the woman seemed,
Beowulf's battle-boast. -- Bright with gold
the stately dame by her spouse sat down.
Again, as erst, began in hall
warriors' wassail and words of power,
the proud-band's revel, till presently
the son of Healfdene hastened to seek
rest for the night; he knew there waited
fight for the fiend in that festal hall,
when the sheen of the sun they saw no more,
and dusk of night sank darkling nigh,
and shadowy shapes came striding on,
wan under welkin. The warriors rose.
Man to man, he made harangue,
Hrothgar to Beowulf, bade him hail,
let him wield the wine hall: a word he added:--
"Never to any man erst I trusted,
since I could heave up hand and shield,
this noble Dane-Hall, till now to thee.
Have now and hold this house unpeered;
remember thy glory; thy might declare;
watch for the foe! No wish shall fail thee
if thou bidest the battle with bold-won life."

[1] Murder.


X

THEN Hrothgar went with his hero-train,
defence-of-Scyldings, forth from hall;
fain would the war-lord Wealhtheow seek,
couch of his queen. The King-of-Glory
against this Grendel a guard had set,
so heroes heard, a hall-defender,
who warded the monarch and watched for the monster.
In truth, the Geats' prince gladly trusted
his mettle, his might, the mercy of God!
Cast off then his corselet of iron,
helmet from head; to his henchman gave, --
choicest of weapons, -- the well-chased sword,
bidding him guard the gear of battle.
Spake then his Vaunt the valiant man,
Beowulf Geat, ere the bed be sought:--
"Of force in fight no feebler I count me,
in grim war-deeds, than Grendel deems him.
Not with the sword, then, to sleep of death
his life will I give, though it lie in my power.
No skill is his to strike against me,
my shield to hew though he hardy be,
bold in battle; we both, this night,
shall spurn the sword, if he seek me here,
unweaponed, for war. Let wisest God,
sacred Lord, on which side soever
doom decree as he deemeth right."
Reclined then the chieftain, and cheek-pillows held
the head of the earl, while all about him
seamen hardy on hall-beds sank.
None of them thought that thence their steps
to the folk and fastness that fostered them,
to the land they loved, would lead them back!
Full well they wist that on warriors many
battle-death seized, in the banquet-hall,
of Danish clan. But comfort and help,
war-weal weaving, to Weder folk
the Master gave, that, by might of one,
over their enemy all prevailed,
by single strength. In sooth 'tis told
that highest God o'er human kind
hath wielded ever! -- Thro' wan night striding,
came the walker-in-shadow. Warriors slept
whose hest was to guard the gabled hall, --
all save one. 'Twas widely known
that against God's will the ghostly ravager
him[1] could not hurl to haunts of darkness;
wakeful, ready, with warrior's wrath,
bold he bided the battle's issue.

[1] Beowulf, -- the "one."


XI

THEN from the moorland, by misty crags,
with God's wrath laden, Grendel came.
The monster was minded of mankind now
sundry to seize in the stately house.
Under welkin he walked, till the wine-palace there,
gold-hall of men, he gladly discerned,
flashing with fretwork. Not first time, this,
that he the home of Hrothgar sought, --
yet ne'er in his life-day, late or early,
such hardy heroes, such hall-thanes, found!
To the house the warrior walked apace,
parted from peace;[1] the portal opended,
though with forged bolts fast, when his fists had
struck it,
and baleful he burst in his blatant rage,
the house's mouth. All hastily, then,
o'er fair-paved floor the fiend trod on,
ireful he strode; there streamed from his eyes
fearful flashes, like flame to see.
He spied in hall the hero-band,
kin and clansmen clustered asleep,
hardy liegemen. Then laughed his heart;
for the monster was minded, ere morn should dawn,
savage, to sever the soul of each,
life from body, since lusty banquet
waited his will! But Wyrd forbade him
to seize any more of men on earth
after that evening. Eagerly watched
Hygelac's kinsman his cursed foe,
how he would fare in fell attack.
Not that the monster was minded to pause!
Straightway he seized a sleeping warrior
for the first, and tore him fiercely asunder,
the bone-frame bit, drank blood in streams,
swallowed him piecemeal: swiftly thus
the lifeless corse was clear devoured,
e'en feet and hands. Then farther he hied;
for the hardy hero with hand he grasped,
felt for the foe with fiendish claw,
for the hero reclining, -- who clutched it boldly,
prompt to answer, propped on his arm.
Soon then saw that shepherd-of-evils
that never he met in this middle-world,
in the ways of earth, another wight
with heavier hand-gripe; at heart he feared,
sorrowed in soul, -- none the sooner escaped!
Fain would he flee, his fastness seek,
the den of devils: no doings now
such as oft he had done in days of old!
Then bethought him the hardy Hygelac-thane
of his boast at evening: up he bounded,
grasped firm his foe, whose fingers cracked.
The fiend made off, but the earl close followed.
The monster meant -- if he might at all --
to fling himself free, and far away
fly to the fens, -- knew his fingers' power
in the gripe of the grim one. Gruesome march
to Heorot this monster of harm had made!
Din filled the room; the Danes were bereft,
castle-dwellers and clansmen all,
earls, of their ale. Angry were both
those savage hall-guards: the house resounded.
Wonder it was the wine-hall firm
in the strain of their struggle stood, to earth
the fair house fell not; too fast it was
within and without by its iron bands
craftily clamped; though there crashed from sill
many a mead-bench -- men have told me --
gay with gold, where the grim foes wrestled.
So well had weened the wisest Scyldings
that not ever at all might any man
that bone-decked, brave house break asunder,
crush by craft, -- unless clasp of fire
in smoke engulfed it. -- Again uprose
din redoubled. Danes of the North
with fear and frenzy were filled, each one,
who from the wall that wailing heard,
God's foe sounding his grisly song,
cry of the conquered, clamorous pain
from captive of hell. Too closely held him
he who of men in might was strongest
in that same day of this our life.

[1] That is, he was a "lost soul," doomed to hell.


XII

NOT in any wise would the earls'-defence[1]
suffer that slaughterous stranger to live,
useless deeming his days and years
to men on earth. Now many an earl
of Beowulf brandished blade ancestral,
fain the life of their lord to shield,
their praised prince, if power were theirs;
never they knew, -- as they neared the foe,
hardy-hearted heroes of war,
aiming their swords on every side
the accursed to kill, -- no keenest blade,
no farest of falchions fashioned on earth,
could harm or hurt that hideous fiend!
He was safe, by his spells, from sword of battle,
from edge of iron. Yet his end and parting
on that same day of this our life
woful should be, and his wandering soul
far off flit to the fiends' domain.
Soon he found, who in former days,
harmful in heart and hated of God,
on many a man such murder wrought,
that the frame of his body failed him now.
For him the keen-souled kinsman of Hygelac
held in hand; hateful alive
was each to other. The outlaw dire
took mortal hurt; a mighty wound
showed on his shoulder, and sinews cracked,
and the bone-frame burst. To Beowulf now
the glory was given, and Grendel thence
death-sick his den in the dark moor sought,
noisome abode: he knew too well
that here was the last of life, an end
of his days on earth. -- To all the Danes
by that bloody battle the boon had come.
From ravage had rescued the roving stranger
Hrothgar's hall; the hardy and wise one
had purged it anew. His night-work pleased him,
his deed and its honor. To Eastern Danes
had the valiant Geat his vaunt made good,
all their sorrow and ills assuaged,
their bale of battle borne so long,
and all the dole they erst endured
pain a-plenty. -- 'Twas proof of this,
when the hardy-in-fight a hand laid down,
arm and shoulder, -- all, indeed,
of Grendel's gripe, -- 'neath the gabled roof

[1] Kenning for Beowulf.


XIII

MANY at morning, as men have told me,
warriors gathered the gift-hall round,
folk-leaders faring from far and near,
o'er wide-stretched ways, the wonder to view,
trace of the traitor. Not troublous seemed
the enemy's end to any man
who saw by the gait of the graceless foe
how the weary-hearted, away from thence,
baffled in battle and banned, his steps
death-marked dragged to the devils' mere.
Bloody the billows were boiling there,
turbid the tide of tumbling waves
horribly seething, with sword-blood hot,
by that doomed one dyed, who in den of the moor
laid forlorn his life adown,
his heathen soul,-and hell received it.
Home then rode the hoary clansmen
from that merry journey, and many a youth,
on horses white, the hardy warriors,
back from the mere. Then Beowulf's glory
eager they echoed, and all averred
that from sea to sea, or south or north,
there was no other in earth's domain,
under vault of heaven, more valiant found,
of warriors none more worthy to rule!
(On their lord beloved they laid no slight,
gracious Hrothgar: a good king he!)
From time to time, the tried-in-battle
their gray steeds set to gallop amain,
and ran a race when the road seemed fair.
From time to time, a thane of the king,
who had made many vaunts, and was mindful of verses,
stored with sagas and songs of old,
bound word to word in well-knit rime,
welded his lay; this warrior soon
of Beowulf's quest right cleverly sang,
and artfully added an excellent tale,
in well-ranged words, of the warlike deeds
he had heard in saga of Sigemund.
Strange the story: he said it all, --
the Waelsing's wanderings wide, his struggles,
which never were told to tribes of men,
the feuds and the frauds, save to Fitela only,
when of these doings he deigned to speak,
uncle to nephew; as ever the twain
stood side by side in stress of war,
and multitude of the monster kind
they had felled with their swords. Of Sigemund
grew,
when he passed from life, no little praise;
for the doughty-in-combat a dragon killed
that herded the hoard:[1] under hoary rock
the atheling dared the deed alone
fearful quest, nor was Fitela there.
Yet so it befell, his falchion pierced
that wondrous worm, -- on the wall it struck,
best blade; the dragon died in its blood.
Thus had the dread-one by daring achieved
over the ring-hoard to rule at will,
himself to pleasure; a sea-boat he loaded,
and bore on its bosom the beaming gold,
son of Waels; the worm was consumed.
He had of all heroes the highest renown
among races of men, this refuge-of-warriors,
for deeds of daring that decked his name
since the hand and heart of Heremod
grew slack in battle. He, swiftly banished
to mingle with monsters at mercy of foes,
to death was betrayed; for torrents of sorrow
had lamed him too long; a load of care
to earls and athelings all he proved.
Oft indeed, in earlier days,
for the warrior's wayfaring wise men mourned,
who had hoped of him help from harm and bale,
and had thought their sovran's son would thrive,
follow his father, his folk protect,
the hoard and the stronghold, heroes' land,
home of Scyldings. -- But here, thanes said,
the kinsman of Hygelac kinder seemed
to all: the other[2] was urged to crime!
And afresh to the race,[3] the fallow roads
by swift steeds measured! The morning sun
was climbing higher. Clansmen hastened
to the high-built hall, those hardy-minded,
the wonder to witness. Warden of treasure,
crowned with glory, the king himself,
with stately band from the bride-bower strode;
and with him the queen and her crowd of maidens
measured the path to the mead-house fair.

[1] "Guarded the treasure."
[2] Sc. Heremod.
[3] The singer has sung his lays, and the epic resumes its story. The
time-relations are not altogether good in this long passage which describes
the rejoicings of "the day after"; but the present shift from the riders
on the road to the folk at the hall is not very violent, and is of a piece
with the general style.


XIV

HROTHGAR spake, -- to the hall he went,
stood by the steps, the steep roof saw,
garnished with gold, and Grendel's hand:--
"For the sight I see to the Sovran Ruler
be speedy thanks! A throng of sorrows
I have borne from Grendel; but God still works
wonder on wonder, the Warden-of-Glory.
It was but now that I never more
for woes that weighed on me waited help
long as I lived, when, laved in blood,
stood sword-gore-stained this stateliest house, --
widespread woe for wise men all,
who had no hope to hinder ever
foes infernal and fiendish sprites
from havoc in hall. This hero now,
by the Wielder's might, a work has done
that not all of us erst could ever do
by wile and wisdom. Lo, well can she say
whoso of women this warrior bore
among sons of men, if still she liveth,
that the God of the ages was good to her
in the birth of her bairn. Now, Beowulf, thee,
of heroes best, I shall heartily love
as mine own, my son; preserve thou ever
this kinship new: thou shalt never lack
wealth of the world that I wield as mine!
Full oft for less have I largess showered,
my precious hoard, on a punier man,
less stout in struggle. Thyself hast now
fulfilled such deeds, that thy fame shall endure
through all the ages. As ever he did,
well may the Wielder reward thee still!"
Beowulf spake, bairn of Ecgtheow:--
"This work of war most willingly
we have fought, this fight, and fearlessly dared
force of the foe. Fain, too, were I
hadst thou but seen himself, what time
the fiend in his trappings tottered to fall!
Swiftly, I thought, in strongest gripe
on his bed of death to bind him down,
that he in the hent of this hand of mine
should breathe his last: but he broke away.
Him I might not -- the Maker willed not --
hinder from flight, and firm enough hold
the life-destroyer: too sturdy was he,
the ruthless, in running! For rescue, however,
he left behind him his hand in pledge,
arm and shoulder; nor aught of help
could the cursed one thus procure at all.
None the longer liveth he, loathsome fiend,
sunk in his sins, but sorrow holds him
tightly grasped in gripe of anguish,
in baleful bonds, where bide he must,
evil outlaw, such awful doom
as the Mighty Maker shall mete him out."

More silent seemed the son of Ecglaf[1]
in boastful speech of his battle-deeds,
since athelings all, through the earl's great prowess,
beheld that hand, on the high roof gazing,
foeman's fingers, -- the forepart of each
of the sturdy nails to steel was likest, --
heathen's "hand-spear," hostile warrior's
claw uncanny. 'Twas clear, they said,
that him no blade of the brave could touch,
how keen soever, or cut away
that battle-hand bloody from baneful foe.

[1] Unferth, Beowulf's sometime opponent in the flyting.


XV

THERE was hurry and hest in Heorot now
for hands to bedeck it, and dense was the throng
of men and women the wine-hall to cleanse,
the guest-room to garnish. Gold-gay shone the
hangings
that were wove on the wall, and wonders many
to delight each mortal that looks upon them.
Though braced within by iron bands,
that building bright was broken sorely;[1]
rent were its hinges; the roof alone
held safe and sound, when, seared with crime,
the fiendish foe his flight essayed,
of life despairing. -- No light thing that,
the flight for safety, -- essay it who will!
Forced of fate, he shall find his way
to the refuge ready for race of man,
for soul-possessors, and sons of earth;
and there his body on bed of death
shall rest after revel.
Arrived was the hour
when to hall proceeded Healfdene's son:
the king himself would sit to banquet.
Ne'er heard I of host in haughtier throng
more graciously gathered round giver-of-rings!
Bowed then to bench those bearers-of-glory,
fain of the feasting. Featly received
many a mead-cup the mighty-in-spirit,
kinsmen who sat in the sumptuous hall,
Hrothgar and Hrothulf. Heorot now
was filled with friends; the folk of Scyldings
ne'er yet had tried the traitor's deed.
To Beowulf gave the bairn of Healfdene
a gold-wove banner, guerdon of triumph,
broidered battle-flag, breastplate and helmet;
and a splendid sword was seen of many
borne to the brave one. Beowulf took
cup in hall:[2] for such costly gifts
he suffered no shame in that soldier throng.
For I heard of few heroes, in heartier mood,
with four such gifts, so fashioned with gold,
on the ale-bench honoring others thus!
O'er the roof of the helmet high, a ridge,
wound with wires, kept ward o'er the head,
lest the relict-of-files[3] should fierce invade,
sharp in the strife, when that shielded hero
should go to grapple against his foes.
Then the earls'-defence[4] on the floor[5] bade lead
coursers eight, with carven head-gear,
adown the hall: one horse was decked
with a saddle all shining and set in jewels;
'twas the battle-seat of the best of kings,
when to play of swords the son of Healfdene
was fain to fare. Ne'er failed his valor
in the crush of combat when corpses fell.
To Beowulf over them both then gave
the refuge-of-Ingwines right and power,
o'er war-steeds and weapons: wished him joy of them.
Manfully thus the mighty prince,
hoard-guard for heroes, that hard fight repaid
with steeds and treasures contemned by none
who is willing to say the sooth aright.

[1] There is no horrible inconsistency here such as the critics strive and
cry about. In spite of the ruin that Grendel and Beowulf had made within
the hall, the framework and roof held firm, and swift repairs made the
interior habitable. Tapestries were hung on the walls, and willing hands
prepared the banquet.
[2] From its formal use in other places, this phrase, to take cup in hall,
or "on the floor," would seem to mean that Beowulf stood up to receive
his gifts, drink to the donor, and say thanks.
[3] Kenning for sword.
[4] Hrothgar. He is also the "refuge of the friends of Ing," below. Ing
belongs to myth.
[5] Horses are frequently led or ridden into the hall where folk sit at
banquet: so in Chaucer's Squire's tale, in the ballad of King Estmere, and
in the romances.


XVI

AND the lord of earls, to each that came
with Beowulf over the briny ways,
an heirloom there at the ale-bench gave,
precious gift; and the price[1] bade pay
in gold for him whom Grendel erst
murdered, -- and fain of them more had killed,
had not wisest God their Wyrd averted,
and the man's[2] brave mood. The Maker then
ruled human kind, as here and now.
Therefore is insight always best,
and forethought of mind. How much awaits him
of lief and of loath, who long time here,
through days of warfare this world endures!

Then song and music mingled sounds
in the presence of Healfdene's head-of-armies[3]
and harping was heard with the hero-lay
as Hrothgar's singer the hall-joy woke
along the mead-seats, making his song
of that sudden raid on the sons of Finn.[4]
Healfdene's hero, Hnaef the Scylding,
was fated to fall in the Frisian slaughter.[5]
Hildeburh needed not hold in value
her enemies' honor![6] Innocent both
were the loved ones she lost at the linden-play,
bairn and brother, they bowed to fate,
stricken by spears; 'twas a sorrowful woman!
None doubted why the daughter of Hoc
bewailed her doom when dawning came,
and under the sky she saw them lying,
kinsmen murdered, where most she had kenned
of the sweets of the world! By war were swept, too,
Finn's own liegemen, and few were left;
in the parleying-place[7] he could ply no longer
weapon, nor war could he wage on Hengest,
and rescue his remnant by right of arms
from the prince's thane. A pact he offered:
another dwelling the Danes should have,
hall and high-seat, and half the power
should fall to them in Frisian land;
and at the fee-gifts, Folcwald's son
day by day the Danes should honor,
the folk of Hengest favor with rings,
even as truly, with treasure and jewels,
with fretted gold, as his Frisian kin
he meant to honor in ale-hall there.
Pact of peace they plighted further
on both sides firmly. Finn to Hengest
with oath, upon honor, openly promised
that woful remnant, with wise-men's aid,
nobly to govern, so none of the guests
by word or work should warp the treaty,[8]
or with malice of mind bemoan themselves
as forced to follow their fee-giver's slayer,
lordless men, as their lot ordained.
Should Frisian, moreover, with foeman's taunt,
that murderous hatred to mind recall,
then edge of the sword must seal his doom.
Oaths were given, and ancient gold
heaped from hoard. -- The hardy Scylding,
battle-thane best,[9] on his balefire lay.
All on the pyre were plain to see
the gory sark, the gilded swine-crest,
boar of hard iron, and athelings many
slain by the sword: at the slaughter they fell.
It was Hildeburh's hest, at Hnaef's own pyre
the bairn of her body on brands to lay,
his bones to burn, on the balefire placed,
at his uncle's side. In sorrowful dirges
bewept them the woman: great wailing ascended.
Then wound up to welkin the wildest of death-fires,
roared o'er the hillock:[10] heads all were melted,
gashes burst, and blood gushed out
from bites[11] of the body. Balefire devoured,
greediest spirit, those spared not by war
out of either folk: their flower was gone.

[1] Man-price, wergild.
[2] Beowulf's.
[3] Hrothgar.
[4] There is no need to assume a gap in the Ms. As before about Sigemund
and Heremod, so now, though at greater length, about Finn and his feud,
a lay is chanted or recited; and the epic poet, counting on his readers'
familiarity with the story, -- a fragment of it still exists, --
simply gives the headings.
[5] The exact story to which this episode refers in summary is not to be
determined, but the following account of it is reasonable and has good
support among scholars. Finn, a Frisian chieftain, who nevertheless has
a "castle" outside the Frisian border, marries Hildeburh, a Danish prin-
cess; and her brother, Hnaef, with many other Danes, pays Finn a visit.
Relations between the two peoples have been strained before. Something
starts the old feud anew; and the visitors are attacked in their quarters.
Hnaef is killed; so is a son of Hildeburh. Many fall on both sides. Peace
is patched up; a stately funeral is held; and the surviving visitors become
in a way vassals or liegemen of Finn, going back with him to Frisia. So
matters rest a while. Hengest is now leader of the Danes; but he is set
upon revenge for his former lord, Hnaef. Probably he is killed in feud;
but his clansmen, Guthlaf and Oslaf, gather at their home a force of
sturdy Danes, come back to Frisia, storm Finn's stronghold, kill him, and
carry back their kinswoman Hildeburh.
[6] The "enemies" must be the Frisians.
[7] Battlefield. -- Hengest is the "prince's thane," companion of Hnaef.
"Folcwald's son" is Finn.
[8] That is, Finn would govern in all honor the few Danish warriors who
were left, provided, of course, that none of them tried to renew the quarrel
or avenge Hnaef their fallen lord. If, again, one of Finn's Frisians began
a quarrel, he should die by the sword.
[9] Hnaef.
[10] The high place chosen for the funeral: see description of Beowulf's
funeral-pile at the end of the poem.
[11] Wounds.


XVII

THEN hastened those heroes their home to see,
friendless, to find the Frisian land,
houses and high burg. Hengest still
through the death-dyed winter dwelt with Finn,
holding pact, yet of home he minded,
though powerless his ring-decked prow to drive
over the waters, now waves rolled fierce
lashed by the winds, or winter locked them
in icy fetters. Then fared another
year to men's dwellings, as yet they do,
the sunbright skies, that their season ever
duly await. Far off winter was driven;
fair lay earth's breast; and fain was the rover,
the guest, to depart, though more gladly he pondered
on wreaking his vengeance than roaming the deep,
and how to hasten the hot encounter
where sons of the Frisians were sure to be.
So he escaped not the common doom,
when Hun with "Lafing," the light-of-battle,
best of blades, his bosom pierced:
its edge was famed with the Frisian earls.
On fierce-heart Finn there fell likewise,
on himself at home, the horrid sword-death;
for Guthlaf and Oslaf of grim attack
had sorrowing told, from sea-ways landed,
mourning their woes.[1] Finn's wavering spirit
bode not in breast. The burg was reddened
with blood of foemen, and Finn was slain,
king amid clansmen; the queen was taken.
To their ship the Scylding warriors bore
all the chattels the chieftain owned,
whatever they found in Finn's domain
of gems and jewels. The gentle wife
o'er paths of the deep to the Danes they bore,
led to her land.
The lay was finished,
the gleeman's song. Then glad rose the revel;
bench-joy brightened. Bearers draw
from their "wonder-vats" wine. Comes Wealhtheow
forth,
under gold-crown goes where the good pair sit,
uncle and nephew, true each to the other one,
kindred in amity. Unferth the spokesman
at the Scylding lord's feet sat: men had faith in his
spirit,
his keenness of courage, though kinsmen had found
him
unsure at the sword-play. The Scylding queen spoke:
"Quaff of this cup, my king and lord,
breaker of rings, and blithe be thou,
gold-friend of men; to the Geats here speak
such words of mildness as man should use.
Be glad with thy Geats; of those gifts be mindful,
or near or far, which now thou hast.
Men say to me, as son thou wishest
yon hero to hold. Thy Heorot purged,
jewel-hall brightest, enjoy while thou canst,
with many a largess; and leave to thy kin
folk and realm when forth thou goest
to greet thy doom. For gracious I deem
my Hrothulf,[2] willing to hold and rule
nobly our youths, if thou yield up first,
prince of Scyldings, thy part in the world.
I ween with good he will well requite
offspring of ours, when all he minds
that for him we did in his helpless days
of gift and grace to gain him honor!"
Then she turned to the seat where her sons were
placed,
Hrethric and Hrothmund, with heroes' bairns,
young men together: the Geat, too, sat there,
Beowulf brave, the brothers between.

[1] That is, these two Danes, escaping home, had told the story of the
attack on Hnaef, the slaying of Hengest, and all the Danish woes. Collect-
ing a force, they return to Frisia and kill Finn in his home.
[2] Nephew to Hrothgar, with whom he subsequently quarrels, and elder
cousin to the two young sons of Hrothgar and Wealhtheow, -- their natural
guardian in the event of the king's death. There is something finely femi-
nine in this speech of Wealhtheow's, apart from its somewhat irregular and
irrelevant sequence of topics. Both she and her lord probably distrust
Hrothulf; but she bids the king to be of good cheer, and, turning to the
suspect, heaps affectionate assurances on his probity. "My own Hrothulf"
will surely not forget these favors and benefits of the past, but will repay
them to the orphaned boy.


XVIII

A CUP she gave him, with kindly greeting
and winsome words. Of wounden gold,
she offered, to honor him, arm-jewels twain,
corselet and rings, and of collars the noblest
that ever I knew the earth around.
Ne'er heard I so mighty, 'neath heaven's dome,
a hoard-gem of heroes, since Hama bore
to his bright-built burg the Brisings' necklace,
jewel and gem casket. -- Jealousy fled he,
Eormenric's hate: chose help eternal.
Hygelac Geat, grandson of Swerting,
on the last of his raids this ring bore with him,
under his banner the booty defending,
the war-spoil warding; but Wyrd o'erwhelmed him
what time, in his daring, dangers he sought,
feud with Frisians. Fairest of gems
he bore with him over the beaker-of-waves,
sovran strong: under shield he died.
Fell the corpse of the king into keeping of Franks,
gear of the breast, and that gorgeous ring;
weaker warriors won the spoil,
after gripe of battle, from Geatland's lord,
and held the death-field.
Din rose in hall.
Wealhtheow spake amid warriors, and said:--
"This jewel enjoy in thy jocund youth,
Beowulf lov'd, these battle-weeds wear,
a royal treasure, and richly thrive!
Preserve thy strength, and these striplings here
counsel in kindness: requital be mine.
Hast done such deeds, that for days to come
thou art famed among folk both far and near,
so wide as washeth the wave of Ocean
his windy walls. Through the ways of life
prosper, O prince! I pray for thee
rich possessions. To son of mine
be helpful in deed and uphold his joys!
Here every earl to the other is true,
mild of mood, to the master loyal!
Thanes are friendly, the throng obedient,
liegemen are revelling:
040218
...
kermits_perfect_rainbow_/^\ i am nothing i am anyone
internet user unknown
facing facts i cannot take
only works when im alone
040229
...
kermits_perfect_rainbow_/^\ anonymous i cant even imagine how long it took you to type that. that is fuckin awesome i applaud you 040229
...
within_words_without_letters poetry feeds my thoughts as it eats my life away. No, non_poetry is eating me. Why can happiness seem so wrong at times? He wants me to be darker. He wants me to want. Wants me to think more along lines. Cannot love first cannot love first. Hate the breeding shedded fetus. I take you in like a tide and you tear me apart. It hurts so bad but to no avail. I cannot feel you are numb. Why is there so much more when it is not me? Can this be in me, is it dead/grating guises guessing descent. 040302
...
forobosco josep carner, rainer maria rilke, w.h. auden, but probably not ginsberg. and i'm willing to fight someone on that. 040302
...
... I don't like poetry at all.
but I love the lyrics to the latest number one.
040401
...
Derghaust Thus I fled, ridiculous hairy creature torn apart by poetry--crawling, whimpering, streaming tears, across the world like a two-headed beast, like mixed-up lamb and kid at the tail of a baffled, indifferent ewe--and I gnashed my teeth and clutched the sides of my head as if to heal the split, but I couldn't.

I clamped my palms to my ears and stretched up my lips and shrieked: a stab at truth, a snatch at apocalyptic glee. Then I ran on all fours, chest pounding, to the smoky mere."

-Grendel, by John Gardner
040507
...
oldephebe worlds within words...the objective side of me says poetry is the gateway to mystical thinking...mires the psyche in the quicksand of the quixotic...wild, unchecked emotions become the author of our acts, half formed thoughts become the thatch roofs that eventually cave in under life's indescriminate salvo's..i guess..i think my soul would be sick if it were not for poetry..though..
...
040508
...
Jess Can only be good if it rhymes
Who pretends they meant to use that metaphor? Only those who can't think how to use one.
040513
...
pete for some reason i highly dislike poetry. oh the curse of being a poetry detesting poet! 040901
...
lifay 944
HeavensSeersGift GoingInFromTired
layed down on a bed last night biked 157 miles within the previous 24 hours. minds racing, exhausted but my heart wont stop. i want to keep going but know i should rest. layed on my back (usually i cant sleep on my back unless im very tired but when i do i always rest best) listening to "a warm place" on repeat of course there i lay with steady focus on being aware though exhausted enough to get deep, deep into my mind. i enter dream. still awake. dreaming. free. like a door held open by the kindest soul you can imagine, it let me know it's my own willingness that lets me through secret doors. (been repeatedly "reading" my intuition these past few hours, learning that love is energy to pay attention. exercise is a simple effort, thinking is the next level of effort, then finding that you yourself can be that happiness which you can bring to any situation. just be humble enough to laugh away your fears - then love knows no fatigue.) so im crossing this door or portal i suppose, the symbol i focused on was a simple dot. therefore all my energy was put to not on what i was perceiving but how i was perceiving it. i became pure consciousness again. "funny" thing is i knew that that was real more than i knew this waking state is real. there was no death, just a new room for me and my thoughts. actually there wasnt any me, just thought itself. the true quality of the experience is hard to describe by any quantity of words. all this happened in a fraction of a second. minds moving so fast, as if my willpower to control my body biking before granted me now the speed at which i made an effort to think. so maybe the spirit uses the body as a tool to push the mind. all thats not even the room yet. just the doorway. out into the room i found that dreams, the desires of spirit, manifest themselves through the physical. i watched the birth of life from spirit through body via mind. all the spirit is, is the vibe, the wave. i saw specifically my spirit "wiggle" it's way using dirt to express itself as a flower. i watched the transformation from life to life through life. clear as day and unmistakably perceiving through light, i saw the colors of a beautiful flower. yellows, with a blue inside. i was momentarily frightened when i realized that what i was witnessing was me. there wasn't any young man looking at a flower, it was life choosing life at that instant witnessing itself from the outside as proof that it had no limits. on two accounts, one its instantly creating itself while at the same time, two, witnessing itself being conscious in both places at once. i think maybe we all know but forget special things like this because, the knowledge behind how to get back home to pure consciousness is unimportant in specifics. y? because every path is the path if you follow it with enough heart. mastering any art brings you to the apex of the pyramid where the view is quite nice.

love,
Mastering All Tricky Trades

894
Dep'd Of Tranceportat.on (DOT)

.m just a dot
Happ.ness Seems to Get us through
Hsg Is The HackeySackGuru

a lot has changed and noth.ng knew

reach for the stars
fast as l.ght must do

for me, my art .s reach.ng out
from a vantage po.nt afar
a satell.te master.ng react.on
un-judgement y.elds an act must all for sat.sfact.on
just to feel exact muscle contract.on

The Department Of Transformat.on
My m.nd .s a dot
The true w.tness ab.d.ng
Med.tat.on .s not dec.d.ng

The Mean.ng of abbrev.at.on
.s to play w/th words .n mot.on
Th.s Must be fast
apparently the not.on

HackeySack.nG .s a metaphor
of percept.on and react.on
hsg met a form
a model sat.sfact.on

keep control of the ball
here your m.nd as a hole
(hearyourmind,asshole!)
dont let .t h.t the floor
(dont you fall and plug your hole)
your attent.on .s your door

come pass.onate soul
.ts love you adore
cons.der.ng all
theres really noth.ng more

compass.onate's all for an object to never end
rel.ve th.s l.fe just for love to beg.n aga.n
fore.gn ob,ects to newer and
creat.ve rel.ef too eager beg.ns aga.n

Gen.uSHears you backwards and . meant for wards
So they put u .n mental wards
Hope they real.ze i meant all words
. ,ust see .t ups.de down

Great Sp.r.t of He's us
Is Compass.on'symbol
I.C.

God.sSymbolofHope ob,ects stat.on every t.me
So Gen.usSeesw.thHeaven
HaStoGo back .n t.me
i HsgSeektoG.ve my san.ty
.
Happ.ness.StheGame we play
Sever the rules and regulate your we.gh
G.ve ,ust f.fteen m.nutes to wa.t

pat.ent m.nd k.cks the wordplay
Gen.us yields
the k.nd .,you, us we pract.ce
[the GEN + I + U + S]

894
maybe an open mind
for certain i am blind

utilizing all other tools at my diposal
i keep grabbing at water
fear is drowning
like flying in my dreams
letting go needing to control anything but me

centered, calm, and cool
structure sails the streams

judgement sets the trap
fire burns your map

the key i turn is very nice
memories turn time to ice

have we seen our deepest insides
the light we reflect affects the tides?



8/2/4
i keep dying in my dreams
and i wake up in another
is this the secret to death?
but one dream is not easily remembered to the next.
meditation is the space between dreams
pause for one second right before you touch a doorknob and ask, "am i dreaming?"
so that was interesting. i mean, i really did die. and i had to choose "do i believe that i was dreaming so its ok or do i face that i know it was real and try not to freak out because im still here."
so it seems dreams are constantly making loopholes in whats real and how to escape from death. theres an underground system of mental backup plans and places to go when your dreams fail to maintain a certain consistency.
tunnels. i keep seeing tunnels. and i m just a thought. a dot. shooting through a tunnel. just a spec of consciousness feeling rhythmic light. ive controlled my dreams on and off since i was 14. it feels like everday reality of sorts. in my sluggish passive state of watching the day unfold and not push the limits of my attention, events follow much like a dream. ive found theres a comfort zone in dreams where u just sit back and watch them happen. to gain control though you have to exercise will power to take an active role in the creation of your reality. much like any discipline in life. direct your life or you are subject to use in others dreams. your power of free choice is much like money and much more valuable. the power to attend your own habits and be in control of your own thoughts is a very special thing. though real control is hidden behind a fascade of other fake forms to make yourself think that you're in control. they say its the illuminati but i dont think so. i think we keep ourselves down and give up our attention too easily. we get tired and thus we sleep. in the field of game attention keeps you alive. always hunted. when u rest u dream. and travel from life to life. some believe food has consciousness in it. call it energy. it is a blueprint of experiences. maybe clowns decay into funny food.





7r4 HealthySystemsGrow
our acts in life are liken to the growth of cells in the animal brain. the cities we build reflect our thought patterns. we are still in a womb though its hard to see. we're still primitive in that we eat things which are dead. when we fully develop, i see food as a continuous living breathing substance. i believe that consciousness will evolve until are there is, is light. mass orders itself into energy and contiunuous functionality aware of all its intrinsic parts. eventually.

7I4 The Art of Simple Laundry
red bracelet. white t shirt. blue jeans.


6L4 (june 22nd '04) mellow dull habit
formulate the necessary chores into a mellow dull habit. constant repetition the day comes full circle. minimizing external interaction, the path once breathing green, soft & moist beneath my feet now severs the lanscape. a city built on meditation linking the lands between my dreams. incessant beat on the drum of contemplation, i cycle faster forward in ten cities. intentional delirium, caffeine, mp3's, h2o, sunflower and flax seeds. knowing its personality i set a snare on time, memorize the landscape, close my eyes, slow the rhythmic referrences, i arrive easy with peace of mind.


604
Caught in his eyes I couldnít look away.
Heís shown me a world which I never would have wanted.
Tricked by curiosity into a world of endless possibility
but only one real outcome.
ďWe sit here and drink our tea. We must not move for at least two weeks. You must become too weak to do anything but see. then only are you strong enough to follow me



644 Treeching Out Sharing Shade with You.
I want to tell you how I feel. The word I'm looking for is on the tip of my tongue. An image I can just almost remember. Its like I know what I'm trying to say but I cant put it into words to describe it. I must not have allowed myself to be fully conscious of it in everyday reality because it doesnít make sense within the accepted limits of reason. So it seems. But now I see my reason was there just to protect myself from the pain of remembering, or from the effort of cultivating the thought to surface. I recognized the seed, pushed it down with my finger so the soft soil surrounds. New tree instant pinhole of light. I focus so intently on the one opening that I leave my forgetfulness. My head was under dirt the whole time. I thought I had a grasp but I was surrounded still, in the dark which really had a grasp on me. I was on the other side of my judgment, and all I needed was empathy to set me free.


634 HugtoStoptheGameoflies

Love brings together the
Separation of events
In your
Mind.
The time between
Friends is too
Long and
Dark.
Still they are
Just an
Arm's length
Away.
I used
To be
Scared to
Hug.
How silly
Games kept
Us
Apart!
Love steps
Out
Of
Shadows.
Forgotten
Roots
Again
Remembered.
&-
ernal
Patient
Method.
For
Get
Lin
Ear.
T
I
M
E.
.
.
.
.

.... ... --.

oh6oh2oh4 oh/no/another poem.

Usknow Angel and You

If you knew the truth you would
feel so loved it would scare you.
The truth is the whole world is
made of different forms of angels; here
to teach you how to love in
every way. If one was to pull you
aside and shake up your globe and
explain how each piece is here working
hard at your happiness, plant an animal,
darkened light, day in night, in all
you need is TrusTrYes whatever comes your
way, make your friend okay with kindness.
Too direct and rigid is scary. Natural
variation leaves a little willingness to find
your own happiness in your own way.


052404 0102 antemerrydiem
hurts all gone in your dreams but still that nagging feeling that nothings what it seems.

you know in the back of your mind you're ignoring that obvious truth
that you cant pretend forever.

looking over one by one each object in eternity until you accept it for what it is
then move on to the next.

a simple view that what you are is
staring back at you.

forgiveness by any means
theres hope yet to wake up and not want to scream.


042004
HandSqueezerGripper poetry (those exercise gripper things)
ah, my main squeeze
so petite
so convenient
she offers just the right resistance
and makes me sweat
until im spent.

040804
i have witnessed a ... few intense minds with
eyes flexing to one ... point. i have the
feeling that to arrange ... all objects, thoughts and
functions throughout a single ... cause, one can solve

the enigma of .... consciousness .... in space, time,
and purpose and .... arrive .... at one conclusion
with god. to .... reach .... this state, viewing
the whole landscape .... at .... a distance, detached

from it all yet ... entirely empathetic, the potential
energy of love may ... only be released through
the lifes kinetic pursuit ... with the pure intent
of spreading happiness. the ... end result is to know

for certain that .... the .... will of the
master who guides .... at .... a distance wants
objects to become .... only .... completely conscious in
happiness. in effect, .... you .... could say that

happiness is the aim
of the evolution
of consciousness.


031804
Levers of Love (lol!)

A warm love flowing through my veins. Its amazing that it leads to the heart of such matter...the mind...never minds the course! The lover is a lever. It is the course love flows. It is the love of levers. Is all the effort worth it? What else is there but love? To make things light? To give life? To give light? to make things, life. Light is the path that the lever loves and the trail that the lover leaves. You can travel and arrive at any desire or destination, if you donít mind loving your journey to get there. They all lead to the same place. A mind wakes up and knows what love truly is. Lifeís footsteps lead us there with each trial and error. Efforts flow one right after the other, just to know whatís true and real... What wont give in after time. What leads out of this fearical lyrical labyrinth of eternal suffering....only after infinite and unreserved trust in effort can you love the journey, you can arrive with your desire being any and all journeys. You can turn effort in upon itself to make it your desire to become a better ďtry-erĒ. Put aside all destinations and first master the art of effort. Love the way ďLove is the way.Ē. A common point for all to meet is the center of our journey where we kindly greet the softest way to move our feet to an open heart so our minds can see that if you love the path all effort is free.

A common point where all things meet
The journey's center we kindly greet
Light is the softest way to move our feat
An open heart so that our mind can see
You love the path then all effort is free.

(: hehe, brought to you by HeSaGenius, hsg




031404 0050
(this ones a response to a post entitled ďdonít readĒ by ofsuch)

ofsuch,
i am
absolutely
falling
for.....
u....

ahhh,


pandora's box.



reminds me of my shiny poem.




look in Dark Poetry under my unremarkable work.





can we trust that we can be happy enough right now?






once we reach our goals, can we stay there? time and space will dissappear.







a bipolar universe. a curious egotistical trend of intellectuals. compulsion furthered by "what if". the beat of life.








the cosmic joke of it all is: if we could just stay in one place long enough (in our minds) it would all come together.








it would be A Warm Place.









Dream a New Joke. and all its possibilities ģ


*******

022804 0300 in response to dark corner's "what are your thoughts on life?"

so much feeling at first
not sure how to respond
i start out and ask,
"are you sure you want to know?"
check back a few days later,
someone answered yes.
i dig deep inside
answer it with my best......

life.

a vibe.

lifes purpose is to express to itself, by shaking and waking up its other parts, that it is
capable of doing anything and satisfying any desire. from the origins of the universe, the
bare minimum of consciousness saw it had a chance if it tried to become the infinite. as
every species fulfills its semidreamlike urge to procreate and release its wonder, it cant
help but to result as a tap on the shoulder of the inanimate and its imagination whispers to
the bored ďits time to wake upĒ. enough space is filled with the urge just in time to grow.
as you read these words and i transfer my thoughts to you, diseasing your mind and
fuckingyour serenity, your perception and my suggestion together form a greater picture
like a map for a new strand of DNA. together this social interaction forms agreements of
what we have seen and upon synchronized urges work to achieve a focus. you and i, two
and one point of a try angle, focusing on a third. see the triangle. try like an angel above.
become self aware that the essence of your effort is creation. a pyramid is formed from
peering into the center.
all things appear as one.
all things up here as won.
all things a pair as one.
from three separate... directions ...to one focus.
look up here itís all the same.
look up, hear, itís all the same.
look up, here its soul this aim.
focus. together. we all want the same thing.
itís time to wake up the thought
ďitís time to wake upĒ.
ďit is time, that we want, to wake up
three legs of a pyramid, past, present, and future.
three ways to look at it. itís passed the present and future.
three times to stop the illusion of movement past your train of thought.
one meeting place for all of it, pass the future in my-end to the present.
the whole time of being alive, trying to see just what to focus on, the only survivor since
the beginning, has been effort. to follow the words and hopes and dreams, you have to try
and keep in mynd all of it to make sense out of evolution and checkmate emotion. to follow the words and hopes and dreams, you have to try and keep in mynd all of it to make sense out of evolution and checkmate emotion. from distant prayers of help once screamed be kind enough to listen, and rescue their dreams. theyíre hoping to get free though you may be quite secure, they want to be warm because called, you too, someday will be. dont say you werent warned when youíre lonely and scared to try, for if you give up on others itís the essence of your soul that dies. so you open your arms though the cold wind blows and much to your surprise a beautiful angel spreads her wings and you trust deep inside, a warm cottage with some hot cocoa and a fire witch you never knew existed, it could have been yours sooner, you were never meant to resist it.

life.


012104 1443
The Fishy Ocean Scene (un .s.o.f.T)
----title inspired by, ďSomething FishyĒ article on proana
whatís that shiny object dangling just ahead? could it be a meal? could it make me full? if
i just take a bite maybe i'll find out and maybe i'll get stuck. is there a way out? when its
too appealing to resist and you know its something Iíll have to do
Eventually, is there a way out? i think that way is through and i'll come out the other side.
hooked on appearance, a fishy game, but really its something else. i dont care what i look
like; i just want to be able to detach and reattach at will. so many things so many
addictions all from which i could be free. the sport of holding immediate gratification at
bay, undo the compulsive behavior, from my lips ive found my way.

*** * ***

This Moment Reflects Forever

now's my chance to be free
-now that ive moved away.
nothings holding me back
no friends to give me their two cents
about how my life should be.
parents constant vigil
faded by 50 miles.
left to answer to myself
ive always waited for this day.
but now that ive got this chance
why do i resume my old ways?
as i was younger i took up studying in the library instead of eating in the cafeteria. buried
myself in after school activities no dinner to have to answer to. varsity track gotta keep a
strict diet. work straight through lunch break gotta make that extra buck, out to a diner
and nothing good for a vegetarian on the menu.
no excuse sir, no excuse for sure.
"you just wait and see til that day im free"
but soon id find out
all the things i thought that held me back werenít anything compared to the sound of my own voice.
so now its snowing at 242 a.m. and again am left with a choice do i "right" before i sleep
the mark of footprints in the snow a letter to myself for on my way back when im tired
with vision blurred a note a prayer running on a cloud of pure hope that i can master this
human spirit before its too late, before i fall numb into the abyss of mass mediocrity, like
those from whom ive fled my whole life that scariest part of me fearing that i wont live
up to that god im supposed to be? a single footstep crunches the snow deafens my voice
and self talk. a single action ends all doubt. act first and motivation follows second.
roommates waited all around for there to be a motivation to make it worth their while to
inspire them to try in life. but ive found a secret gold lied buried beneath white streets of
hopeless seemingly insane selfless effort, that to give of myself freely and not hold back,

to end that inner chatter, that inner judge mumbling something about whether or not the
efforts worth it, to let that miser die in the bitter cold out there, out here on this run
tonight, ive found my purpose. to keep running though my feet are numb i stay warm
running in pure bliss as my ego dies of hypothermia.

_____
021004 2221
try, its all you can do
try, one day you can fly
try, must be done by you
try, to become more alive
-------


january 2003
With every day that passes by
Every dream that you