These LINES are a SILENT WHISPER
A RHYME of BRICK and IRON
BIGGER than a dam across
A tumbling RIVER
SAFETY is found at a HEIGHT
Soaring away from the crowd
A FINE fence of mortar and steel
A DIVIDE against floods of emotions
THEY MULTIPLY every time I WRITE
I GRADE each sentence and angle
A PILOT, I scribble my guide
An INCH neither GIVEN nor taken
The hurricane of life swirls around me
Courage my only REPLY
I often find myself looking back on brighter days,
eyes wide awake, dreaming of life on the water.
In school, I'd Write stories of being a River Pilot,
as if in a trance, oblivious to any Grade Given.
At first, words would only Whisper onto the page,
then I watched as those letters began to Multiply,
Inch by inch, the Lines taught my mind to expand.
It grew Bigger, until a false sense of freedom was born,
leaving me with a need to fulfill that urge to escape.
The greater the Height, the farther I would fall.
It wasn't long before the bottom was all I knew.
At night I cradled memories of a wasted youth,
Turned to God in search of answers with no Reply.
My voice remains lost, hidden behind Iron gates.
Funny how fine, how lovely life had once been.
The visits had stopped and they wrote only to say,
They feared for my Safety but mostly my sanity.
Now I listened as the air hung Silent, like a noose,
while I became desperate to Divide each sound,
that sweet childhood Rhyme, now a banshee wail,
that weaved in and out of every Brick, as my hands
stretched themselves over the cracks in the wall,
knowing that one of them must lead to salvation.
THEY say I'm the PILOT of my plane, but I don't know how to fly;
and I've heard I can WRITE my own story, but which one's mine?
every INCH and hair of skin and head
are mine, I know but
if I never REPLY will you feed me LINES in your head?
will you know me at all?
I was BIGGER when I started;
every BRICK I add to the wall makes it smaller, somehow
if the RIVER would just take me away I would thank it,
it and its little pebbled waves and the leaves dropped,
GIVEN by the willows like SILENT tears
my FINE-tipped pen will trace every vein I can see through my skin
until the WHISPER in my head becomes a RHYME I can repeat;
traces of IRON won't make me strong with
such a hard shell around my heart
at the HEIGHT of my SAFETY
take me away from here
because I've had enough of this
and I don't know how to leave
the GRADE of sea to sky
and if I drive my plane into the waves
I think I would keep on flying forever
MULTIPLY my aspects and
DIVIDE the walls I've built and
all the stories can be mine
The Lacrimose Ballad of Charlie Tawl
An inch of height, stood Charlie Tawll
a grade of man, beyond all told,
in size, so poorly, in spirit, high,
'freinded birds, withwich to fly.
his noble heart in airstream, rise,
lest he be burdned by his size.
his pigeon Dunne, a bird so true,
it feared no cat, when flew they, two.
he rode the bird, brave Charlie Tawll
no rain, nor fire, ice, nor squall,
he passed all tests, of pilothood,
surmount all challenge that he could.
o'er chimney stacks, and rooves of grime,
he took to air aloft to climb,
and looking down, on street and hall,
bleakly gazed he, Charlie Tawll.
the city's rife, with crime and greed,
and lurid acts, the poor, in need,
'it can't be helped, that is the price,
where wants arise, they turn to vice.'
he flew above, such putrid clime,
now shunning moral's whisper chime.
but saw he once, a dame so fair
she all but sent ,him in despair.
oh, this Madame, walked tall, in silk,
her heart was cold, a bassilisk
and skin she had,of cream and milk,
danger, walking, Lizbeth Whick.
despite her heart, she was all looks,
caught poor Charlie with her hook.
he soared above, and longful yearned
but without money him she spurned
he called to her, poor Charlie Tawl,
alas his voice was weak and small,
and Lizbeth Whick she would not fritter,
gold, craved, she, and no love-glitter.
Spurned his cries, with callus airs
her many gentlmen as Charlie glared.
bigger johns, her time divide,
welling tears, by river side.
there's no safety for the heart,
in this world, we're torn apart
Charlie hoped they'll intertwine,
the light of love, for them will shine.
Charlie hoped, and hoped in vain,
and so he turned his love to pain.
multiply the pain enough,
and revenge will come, is better stuff,
that's the time, he came to think,
of plummeting of hardned bricks.
flying silent, with his Dunne
practiced they the bombing run.
once the brick hit home with skill,
Charlie Tawl set out to kill,
every suitor, who sought the lass
got his head caved, 's broken glass.
the streets awash, with blood and bone,
of Lizbeth's patrons, clay bricks sewn,
men of finance and high station,
felled by such precipitation.
no one knew , why bricks would fall,
none thought blaming Charlie Tawll,
on Lizbeth Whick, they placed the guilt,
Arraigned her for the murder stint.
"it go easy, if you comply,
and all the questions, to reply"
the judge admonished her , so pious,
it was , a prejudicial bias.
the sentence given, so he write:
"defendant: coldly , not contrite
her brazen way, she brought men low,
with blunt materials struck her blow"
no one questioned, verdict signed,
write the judge, to death consigned.
Lizbeth Whick, was sent to jail,
with iron bars, and narrow cell.
through the bars flew Charlie Tawl,
his old flame he could recall,
yearned to touch her hair of blond
past the window, to abscond.
but she could not, Lizbeth Whick,
in her troubles, she grew thick,
and the hole , that he done blowed
insufficient for to accommode.
left she was, by Chrlice Tawl
to the morrow, and her fall,
as they tied that hempen noose,
she did not let her heart loose.
didn't cry, she, didn't kick,
so she ended, Lizbeth Whick.
as he saw the crowd disbursed
Charlie knew that he was cursed.
Dunne the pigeon, turned a crow,
and they had more bricks to throw,
end more lives, with falling stone
with bashed heads for to atone.
in the morrow, watch ye head,
Charlie tawl yet flies, the dread.
mark this verse, these rhymes so weak
'o Charlie Tawl and Lizbeth Whick.
Here and Now
Inch by inch I plod along,
a Pilot wary of the clouds.
The Lines aren't ready yet.
I cannot form a reply.
I am most honest when I am Silent.
I Whisper 'I'm Fine', but it's a lie.
Like an iron fist to my chest,
the pain you caused then is still here.
You tell me there is Safety in numbers, it's a Given,
when I was in third Grade I may have believed this.
But as groups get Bigger and Multiply,
there is more Divide than ever.
In my tower of solace, I gaze at the River.
Each Brick protects me. And I feel safer, safer
Like that girl in the nursery Rhyme,
I am dancing, dancing, but completely alone.
Given sunlight, They Multiply And Divide
this is utopia, flowers bloom and they cannot hide
a Silent, Fine wish to hold them like this
comes true and clear no wear and tear in utopia
the wind will Whisper and they all Reply,
"the Height of comfort has gone goodbye"
home sweet home is now a movement
but still a utopia
Safety wades between the Lines
the River calls, "aren't i what binds? i'll never leave you."
and it flows, and knows of every fine detail
Inch by inch, it grows Bigger in sequel
a Brick road can't halt it
Grade three exalted
because they can do no wrong
their Pilot propositions Write the rules of the trade
they collect and collect
with no rest and no weep
until they see the moon that puts the flowers to sleep
like a plan of Iron
a poem with a Rhyme
the kids gather to discuss
the big next time
China Doll in the Junkyard
I was GIVEN the name "Jessie"
So they put me in skirts
to take the space of a pretty RHYME
in honor of all of the mothers and godmothers who survived
THEY choked me with bluebells and rubber Polly Pocket
with LINES of sheet music at my recitals
this is how my parents invited SAFETY
to our FINE Christian suburb
I would MULTIPLY a RIVER of proper melodies for them
and sing pink dreams that were not mine
because I never knew Hera Syndulla was a PILOT
instead I learned that Mulan could save China
by pretending to be a boy
I WRITE to my memory of Für Elise
and curtsy on the tape for polite applause
standing an INCH from girlhood
or was it SILENT performativity?
I thought to DIVIDE myself:
GRADE A ballerina Cinderella
he dared to WHISPER
so I made his eyes roll against the BRICK
and REPLY, "I am" with wrought-IRON HEIGHT
Fine! I'll break my silence! No longer Silent. Not just a Whisper but like a River that broke the damn. No Height high enough for Safety. No boat bigger than my rage, see They tried to hold me back and Divide me, but they didn't know it sharpened me like a piece of Iron ready to dismantle every Inch of my adversary. Like a Pilot I rise above. No Reply, just Grade A mercy, just like it was Given to me. As I broke my silence no Brick left my hand to break you. Not to Multiply the hate in you. But to erase the Lines of lies you wrote on your heart about me. And with hope you'll Write and Rhyme about the love, grace, and mercy you received from me even in the middle of the storm.
Eye Hear You
I WHISPER when i talk they say
My REPLY is my eyes arent good anyway
Therefore the HEIGHT of my hearing will MULTIPLY
AND any noise i hear i must DIVIDE
Into the initial notes from off the FINE LINES
That THEY WRITE their music on from the mind
So every note is its own PILOT
As i stare off, head tilted but im SILENT
It is because im listening for the BIGGER picture in your words
As i GRADE the tone of your verbs
That will either ease me to SAFETY
Or an INCH away from danger leaving my heart racy
Any GIVEN person will not take the time
To understand the reason or the RHYME
That the mind can be as impenetrable as an IRON BRICK
But your imperfections should also flow like a RIVER, only if you let it
They Multiply and Divide. I map them out as I see them, Write them in my mind; the phylogenetic tree, the fungal veins, the billowing Iron hills. All a pattern, a system, a universal code. Perhaps if I was a Pilot, I could see the whole thing swirling in on itself. River's carve out the trapezoidal mounds at Gunnison. Plateaus of lichen covered rocks top each one like a tooth just emerging from the gum. They are hard lime colored, strewn out Silent, dividing into smaller Bricks. Everything is compact and preserving dimensions, even by the Inch. The hills only Whisper their Rhymes to onlookers through water once flowed and countless quartz cascaded down the slopes. Our only proper Reply to it is marvel at the lines we read between each Fine sketch the hills have carved for no one. It's a repetitive story, but an engaging one, like the repetition of a song. Unlike a song however, this phenomena expands. Nothing is official. No Height, altitude, Grade, or name can be Given to the hills. They are existence itself. They are a complex pattern growing Bigger and smaller to the whims of the River. Each mound branches into smaller mounds which branch to smaller mound sections. The hill is a reptilian skin carved by the rain. So is the lichen. Miniscule green branches fanning out to their lichen twigs on the rocks. They are a microscopic tree within another within another. That last another is the river, a watershed creating a branched network of hills, everything a pattern growing out and folding in. Nothing but a repetitive Safety of design. Nothing but pattern and rhythm. Nothing but Fractals.