At The Wayfarer's Inn, Outside London

The butcher's new, young apprentice
passes, just at dusk, through the marketplace,
with a small parcel, not worth a theft;
petite in stature, shy in demeanor,
still unfamiliar with the street names; unnoticed
except by some lurking, worldly wags:
"What a beautiful boy," they exclaim
thinking, erect, of sodomy in shadowed alleys.
A few minutes later, in the uppermost
(and the only well appointed) chamber,
rented under an assumed, quite common, name
(the Duke of Clarence, your brother, is not that clever;
sometimes the very obvious escapes him):
in candles' light and silence, both softly soothing,
you observe the slow and deliberate strip-tease---
floppy cap drops from boyish-cut hair, that was once long;
dirty, long-sleeved, oversized shirt peels right off
(the Duke of Clarence, your brother, cannot suspect this);
baggy pants, two inches too long, and worn boots drop away.
Now she stands before you, almost naked, once again,
like the night of the clandestine wedding, just last week.
Almost naked, clad only in silk stockings,
the pair you just bought her, the kind you like her to wear:
adorned, now, only in her desire for you,
she beckons you to her fiercely impatient embrace,
and all the night's hours reserved for sensual pleasure:

Lady Anne Neville,
the Earl of Warwick's daughter.

Author's Notes/Comments: 

I cannot now cite where I read that, in an attempt to remove Anne from his brother's grasp, Richard had Anne hidden in a butcher shop, disguised as a boy.  It may even be an urban legend; but if it is fictive, I will be happy to cite its source if someone will disclose it to me.

The poem was also inspired by one of Cavafy's poems, "One Of Their Gods."

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a meaningless revenge

we sat there... by the fire, and we just spoke... never in my life had i felt a connection with the woman... but tonight was different...

it was about 4 months until my wedding, when i found out. when WE found out... my brother had passed fighting in the war.

"...Ahnna, anghel... Dharling, I won't tell you that i know how you feel, because my own father had passed in the war two months before i was even born..."

pondered her words for a while before i spoke

"No. I think you do know how i feel. Your first husband passed unexpectedly, you never knew the love of a father... Meanwhile, I do."

"Ahnna. You are a very lucky girl, and yes, at times i envy you-"

"You envy me?"

"Who wouldn't? You have the world at your feet. Twenty-five, and already a well known artiist, you're getting married to a wonderful man that loves you, and... Your brother gave his life for you. This war is more than we bargained for, and soon, if we don't do something, we could all perish, and your brother will have died in vain." *she pauses* "We must live out our lives as though we have nothing to lose. Lead happy lives. It is how both he and your father would want it to be."

My father had been murdered by the English, for "treason to the crown" and now, my brother, who had followed father's lead, was also passed.

"I'm going to England."

"Ahnna! No, you can't!"

"Marjory... I know all you've ever wanted was to be a mother to me... Take care of the little one... I'm leaving everything to you. As my brother left everything to me." I pull the ring off of my finger and hand it to my father's wife. "Give this to Sean-Micheal... Tell him I love him and I am in a better place now, where angel sing and the sun always shines, as i shine upon him for the rest of his days."

Twelve days later, I stood before George V, with a dirk in my sleeve

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@ + 27.255 MHz: The Evangelist Saint Mark's Discrete Mood

When telling of the dreadful night she danced her shame,
he did not (out of common kindness) write her name.
But when she proved her faithfulness that ghastly day
beside the cross, he wrote her name, then---Salome.

Then, at that bright, besplendored Pascha dawn,

despite the worldly fear that hope was gone,

she came again and found new faith to claim.




Author's Notes/Comments: 

This is an original hypothesis:  that the Salome mentioned at being present at the Cross, and then, on Easter Morning, at the empty tomb, was, in fact, the stepdaughter of Herod Antipas, the girl who had danced for the head of John the Baptist.  In his play, Salome, Oscar Wilde has John the Baptist urging Salome to seek out the forgiveness of Christ; and I believe that is exactly what she did, but Wilde missed the opportunity to assert it as a finished event.

Some will say that Salome is the name of Zebedee's wife, the mother of James and John.  But this is not proven in Scripture.  The four Gospels describe the people present at the Crucifixion, and Zebedee's wife is among them; but cannot be proven to be named Salome.

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The Goat King's Concubine

Hedi (Häschen) loved Heini and that was that.  

They went out dancing, as the nations began to fall,

As if nothing else would matter!

The goat king's hooves made a noisy clatter,

Ringing out loud in the polished marble hall,  

Of the castle of the spear.

Hedwig basked in the black sun's rays

In Niederhagen's bloodbath, she bathed,

Bearing kids for her king.

Her memory will forever ring,

In the annals of those damned

By the shadows of the spear.

Temptress, mistress and concubine

She served iced tea to the murderer.

And joined him in the pagan dance,

Thrilled, in the thrall of the dismal lance.

The toasted hostess of the massed mass killers,

In the temple of the spear.

The world turned on, on a new axis,

And the black sun was eclipsed.

Heini died in flight, by his own hand,

In the ruin he helped bring to his own homeland.

The poised archpoisoner, poisoned.

While foreign hands took the spear.

The Goat king, a perfectionist to the end.

The gold rimmed monster's last resort,

Was marred by his perfect, fake, passport,  

Which simply wasn't tattered.

While the bells of the land struck the zero hour

As if that really mattered.

Hedi, Hedwig, Häschen…..

She has used many names since then

Hiding or hidden?  Living or dead?

With or without the two she-goats she bred?

The answers may lie in some foreign land,

Or in the new vault of the spear.

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Lady Anne's Estate In The North, 2

[her reply to Sir Thomas Wyatt's poem,

'The Lover Showeth How He Is Forsaken . . .']


Into our chamber just last night, barefoot

and naked, I walked; and at once, I put

on just a pair of stockings, rather sheer

like morning mist, except around each heel,

opaque and soft, the same around the toes.

(No ordinary lout's insouciant prose

can find the words to tell how stockings feel

on me, and on my poet's upturned face---

across his glistened lips or at his nose,

or cradled in his arm's gentle embrace.)

Transcending ordinary time and space,

love seems like a dimension without measure

a foretaste of eternal 'now' and 'here',

our private penetralia of pleasure.

(The way we please each other bears no shame.

Our satisfactions, as they are, embed

in licit coverlets for we are wed:

no gossip and no perverse prude to fear.)

Then, as desire's epitome drew near . . .

my silk-sheathed feet enjoying his ardent kisses. . .

with racing breath and gentlest moan, we came

together to the pinnacle of blisses.






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At Remembrance Of The Apostles

Death claimed all the Apostles, but they took
care to provide that Christ's eternal Word
remains available. What once was heard
from them is now recorded in a book.
They wrote down what they once had preached about---
beyond all worldliness, dispute, and doubt,
pure testimony with immediacy
as much in Rome as, still, in Galilee.   

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Ceaser's Poem

Ceaser's Poem

For days now I travel in pain

The pain of this sickening sea

They already think me a king

Maybe it’s how I’m suppose to be

They laugh as I tell them of what is to come

How stupid can they be?

Because my eyes hold no laughter

Or do they not look at me?

Their time came and it went

Finally I was set free

I came back at night and crucified

My eyes, they should have seen

A lass I grow stronger with each day

My power it grows and grows

Money well spent my good friend paid

What will happen nobody knows

Three people of power my friends and I

At lest that’s what it should have been

But I needed more then just two friends

Maybe what I did was of sin

But soon I became leader, unopposed

The people they want me as king

The people they roar as I come out

What happens next, do you think?

Two by two they stab me

As I feel the blade enter my skin

I turn around to see them

Oh Gods, how could this have been?

There is my son the one I trust

I ask him if it’s true

I close my eyes, without a sound

No sound I make, would you?

I look down from the skies and tell you

The way things should have been

One question I do have for you

Is democracy the real sin?

Author's Notes/Comments: 

This is in the memory of Julius Ceaser.

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Lady Anne's Estate In The North, 1

Two lovers fled to one life on a plain

and common farm, far in the North domain

of Henry's somewhat ostentatious power;

and, later on, Lady Elizabeth

(her child), would come for secret visits too.

The baleful shadows of the high-walled Tower---

where Anne awaited her impending death

(by sword, not ax, and yet as coldly dreaded)---

proved useful, for the sparing of that hour.

A substitute, veiled well, was seen beheaded;

and witnesses said the expected thing

(paid quite well to do so) unto the king.

Silenced by gold or, even more so, fear

of implication in conspiracy,

they held their peace so we could disappear

and live, obscurely safe, from kingly view.

What she had been, or thought she was, no more

obtained; although by some judged as a whore,

she was, rather, a brash, misguided girl---

by sires' desires wed to a royal churl . . .

then.  But henceforth she dwelt in modesty,

untainted by contempt or by conceit.

And when the neighbors came for bread, or meat,

they all enjoyed her casual friendliness---

ignored by gossip, and by history

already.  From the first, she often said

she found her heart having not lost her head.

What neither Henry kept, nor Wyatt sought,

became mine solely, and so fully brought

me joy unbound; told in this poetry.

And, when the first stars constellated night,

and beauty glowed like gentle candle-light,

the Lady scampered almost nakedly,

keeping only her stockings on for bed.

And at its edge, I sprawled out on the floor

(summoned there by that smile so purely sweet),

and gave my unclad flesh to the caress

of her exclusive, eager, stockinged feet.

Author's Notes/Comments: 

The poem alludes to Sir Thomas Wyatt, who brought the Petrarchan sonnet to England, and who was said to have loved Lady Anne, before and after her disastrous marriage to Henry Tudor.  The poem implies that Wyatt was not the only poet to have loved her; but, overall, somewhat less successful in his effect upon her life.

The plural, possessive "sires'" alludes to both Anne's father and the king---for both of them used her badly and unfairly for their respective lusts (for power and sensual pleasure, respectively).

In the triple epithet describing her feet, the third adjective is obvious; the first suggests her domestic faithfulness, the second her pleasure to please her lover, the speaker.

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Hanging by a String

Your heartfelt words and gestures alike are a far away cry from this turbulent flight

Non-stop and direct, indeed it is that

One emotional shake down after another, what an adventurous life

A small carry on… hmmm, I thought that it was, but as you surround me with glory growing larger that bag does

It becomes the suitcase of life, harboring issues of long ago and what now we see, are issues of present I tow

I’m dangling over a fierce sea of the past, emotionally exhausted, hanging by a string

I feel that I’m not worthy of the love you freely give,

Worthy someday, maybe, but how can you live?

With a heart that offers half of a whole, I have nothing to give worth longing for

A heart that slams the window when you try to climb in

I’m certainly dangling over a fierce sea of the past, hanging by a string, trying to face my woeful past

My heart and soul must be healthy inside… the secure rock of my strength is needed to guide

My strength is buried in stones, trapped beneath walls and barriers,

To love you, they must come down will you ever get inside?

My heart yearns to settle down, to trust and to love,

I just can’t let go and I hover above,

Ah yes, dangling over a fierce sea of the past, hanging by a string, I’m falling at last.

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