Time (Percy Bysshe Shelley)

Time

by  Percy Bysshe Shelley

Unfathomable Sea! whose waves are years,
Ocean of Time, whose waters of deep woe
Are brackish with the salt of human tears!
Thou shoreless flood, which in thy ebb and flow
Claspest the limits of mortality!
And sick of prey, yet howling on for more,
Vomitest thy wrecks on its inhospitable shore;
Treacherous in calm, and terrible in storm,
Who shall put forth on thee,
Unfathomable Sea?

_________________________

My brother was the best brother a girl could ever want. He always intimidated any boy that came near me, stood up for me when girls were being mean, and put in a good word for me when I had another fight with our parents. He was so smart, so motivated. He even got into Harvard University.  He did so by getting a scholarship, seeing as he was the top football player of his high school. Everybody loved him, he was a true peoples person. He was beloved. He was… That sounds weird, doesn’t it? He was loved, he was smart.

I love him, no past tense, present tense. I love you. Do you hear me? I love you. Shelley, you will forever be in my heart. You left way too soon. You were taken away from me too soon. I will never meet your children, and they will never meet their father. But I guess that is life. We can’t control it. We are just given time, and we are to use it to the fullest. Some people just get way less time, you got way less time. You couldn’t control it, you couldn’t tame it. It slipped through your fingers just like water. Your life was like one long shower, all the minutes just slipping away. No that’s not a good comparison, because you can plug the shower. But we can’t plug life, we can’t plug time, it has no boundaries. It hits you, it hits you with a majestic force, like a wave hitting the shore. And just like that wave, as soon as it hits you, it starts separating, it breaks.

All those waves are the years you live. You didn’t have many waves. You had one big wave, I wish you had more, I wish I could bottle that wave, keep it with me, keep you with me. But you’re gone. Gone, finished, dead. Not here anymore. And it makes me cry. It makes me howl like the sound of a ship in the storm, blowing its horn in search for the shore. It makes me cry like the rain falling from the sky.

Seconds seem like years, years without you. And the years spend with you feel like seconds. All those memories, slipping through my hands, dripping through my mind. Clouding my head, making it rage, making me rage. I wish I could hold you, even just for a second. But every time I try, it’s like hugging air, like hugging water… They won’t be held, it just makes you cold. I feel cold, cold in my heart. You took all the warmth, all the love. And only you can give it back. Only you can make me warm again, happy again. So please wait for me. Wait for my waves to run out, for my time to be up, for my life to be over. Wait for me.

by Anonymous

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Speak Gently (David Bates)

Speak Gently

by  David Bates

Speak gently! — It is better far
To rule by love, than fear —
Speak gently — let not harsh words mar
The good we might do here!

Speak gently! — Love doth whisper low
The vows that true hearts bind;
And gently Friendship’s accents flow;
Affection’s voice is kind.

Speak gently to the little child!
Its love be sure to gain;
Teach it in accents soft and mild: —
It may not long remain.

Speak gently to the young, for they
Will have enough to bear —
Pass through this life as best they may,
‘T is full of anxious care!

Speak gently to the aged one,
Grieve not the care-worn heart;
The sands of life are nearly run,
Let such in peace depart!

Speak gently, kindly, to the poor;
Let no harsh tone be heard;
They have enough they must endure,
Without an unkind word!

Speak gently to the erring — know,
They may have toiled in vain;
Perchance unkindness made them so;
Oh, win them back again!

Speak gently! — He who gave his life
To bend man’s stubborn will,
When elements were in fierce strife,
Said to them, ‘Peace, be still.’

Speak gently! — ‘t is a little thing
Dropped in the heart’s deep well;
The good, the joy, which it may bring,
Eternity shall tell.

_________________________

Talk with kindness and consideration, for it is more desirable to be adhered out of trust given freely than out of trust taken by threat or force. Do so and let no crude or jagged remark unmake any progress which could be made.

Talk with calmness and tenderness, for those sacred promises are said in sureness and sincerity, not achieved through volume, but through honesty and openheartedness. And just as companionship and fellowship are felt most distinctively through intimacy and understanding, so too are affection and affinity conveyed most effectively with serenity and tranquility.

Talk with patience and understanding, for those youngest of age will then surely embrace you in amity and cheer. Let their lessons be learned from voices steady and at peace, and their embrace, finite as it is, may last just a little longer.

Talk with levity and joyfulness, for those not yet of age shall have their share of woes in all the days to come. Is youth not the cache of joy unmarred by sorrow or smart? Their journey will be long no doubt and full of twists and turns, all they can, with careful steps, is bravely soldier on.

Talk with consciousness and civility, for those who time passed by have felt and weathered each blow and each wrong that life doled out at will. Leave not another scar or bruise to join the motley crowd, the tock ticks its final tocks, let midnight pass in peace. For all the years that touched their hearts and all the hearts they touched in turn, is peacefulness at last not the least that they deserve?

Talk with sympathy and friendliness, for those who hit bedrock bear unfairly bigger burdens than those with greater luck. Let their ears not hear any thorn filled barbs or eyes glance any a wicked tongue. Solitude and destitution, desolation and scarcity. Are throes and woes begot of these burdens not terrible torment enough? More than enough if not too much too start with, without slights said without thought.

Talk with tolerance and leniency, for those who strayed the path might have forged ahead trudging, doomed to fail this way and that. As likely as not, assuming or not, a shortage sentiment veered them off course, a little or lots of endearment like shots of motherly care may keep them adrift, but strengthened assurance of having their back like ferroconcrete or a weathered wolf pack could possibly, plausibly, for all one knows bring them back on track.

Talk with serenity and decency, for the one to give last full measure, in hopes to curb or change the source feeding both Man’s every rise and fall, when all great components of life moved in chaos, simply spoke, “let naught be in disarray but exist in harmony, let all rise to equilibrium and let there be tranquility.

Talk with gentleness and good heartedness, for these are but ways winds blow past tooth and lip and mouth muscle flip, verily the simplest trick, learned within the day long seconds between life’s clock first great ticks. Even so, as light as they, these voice box birthed sounds, could ever have possibly been, like the ripple effect, the residual of (sci-fi) temporal treks they alter, affect, transform and upset monumentally far beyond the reach of what any sense may hope to perceive. The good brought forth, the hopes surely seeded, the strength awakened, the goals succeeded, all inspired by airborne vibrations, these outcomes seen only gazing back passed the long haul at the picture comprised of more than all life in this ‘verse, so who is to say it’s a blessing or curse.

by Zaël J. Maipauw

When I have Fears That I May Cease to Be (John Keats)

When I have Fears That I May

Cease to Be

by John Keats

When I have fears that I may cease to be
Before my pen has gleaned my teeming brain,
Before high-pilèd books, in charactery,
Hold like rich garners the full ripened grain;
When I behold, upon the night’s starred face,
Huge cloudy symbols of a high romance,
And think that I may never live to trace
Their shadows with the magic hand of chance;
And when I feel, fair creature of an hour,
That I shall never look upon thee more,
Never have relish in the faery power
Of unreflecting love—then on the shore
Of the wide world I stand alone, and think
Till love and fame to nothingness do sink.

_________________________

Dear beloved,

I write to you this letter, because I fear we will not see each other again. I fear that my time will come soon and therefore I want you to know my final thoughts.

I am afraid I will die before I have harvested my full ripened grain. I feel that I  am not fully developed as a poet yet. I reckon that in ten years’ time I will be much more mature and that only then I will be able to write to the best of my ability. In other words: I am afraid to die before I have written to the best of my ability.

When it is late and I can’t sleep, I look at the radiant stars and my eyes are then filled with tears, such beauty will never disappear, but I, I am transient and will one day disappear forever. Nature is full of surprises, full of miracles, things I want to transform into poetry, when I still have the chance.

There is of course the fear of losing you, my dearest Girl. We fell in love and got engaged, although we both know we will not see each other again. Love is just like you and me mortal and will not last.

And finally I am alone trying to understand these fears and to cope with them. But let me be honest, my dear Fanny, I am not managing so well. It may take a while before I die, but I will always be anxious and worried till the day I leave this earth forever.

Yours forever
John Keats

by Anonymous

Come, walk with me (Emily Brontë)

Come, walk with me

by Emily Brontë

Come, walk with me,
There’s only thee
To bless my spirit now –
We used to love on winter nights
To wander through the snow;
Can we not woo back old delights?
The clouds rush dark and wild
They fleck with shade our mountain heights
The same as long ago
And on the horizon rest at last
In looming masses piled;
While moonbeams flash and fly so fast
We scarce can say they smiled –

Come walk with me, come walk with me;
We were not once so few
But Death has stolen our company
As sunshine steals the dew –
He took them one by one and we
Are left the only two;
So closer would my feelings twine
Because they have no stay but thine –

‘Nay call me not – it may not be
Is human love so true?
Can Friendship’s flower droop on for years
And then revive anew?
No, though the soil be wet with tears,
How fair soe’er it grew
The vital sap once perished
Will never flow again
And surer than that dwelling dread,
The narrow dungeon of the dead
Time parts the hearts of men -‘

_________________________

Time parts the hearts of men                                    

I arrived at the funeral covered in snow. Someone took my coat, and I rushed to one of the last seats that were not yet taken at the back of the church. They had already begun saying some nice words about her that would never be nice enough. She was one of the kindest and last people I knew. I looked around me and saw countless faces I didn’t recognise. New friends, I imagined. I eventually recognised her family on the right end of the first row. I recognised her husband and her two kids I had once seen on Facebook. I didn’t see her parents, so they must have passed away a while ago. It was about time they did. Not that I didn’t love them, but I think they both had dementia and were living in an elderly home. They’re “in a better place now,” they would have said.

After the service had ended, everyone went outside to the graveyard through the door at the front. I didn’t feel like watching tears of people I didn’t even know wet the soil and went out through the back door. That’s when I saw him. At first, I thought it was just wishful thinking, but he was still standing there a few seconds later, so I knew it couldn’t be my mind playing tricks with me. Seeing him again felt as if someone had finally lifted a weight that had been on my shoulders for years, and I could feel my whole body relax. I didn’t feel alone for the first time in forever. He looked up at me, and for a second he had the same look on his face as I did: relief combined with a little bit of grief. I couldn’t help but think about all of the times we had wandered through the snow on winter nights together, and I longed for that feeling of being understood that I had felt back then. He now was the only one I had left. Without hesitation, I approached him and said, “It’s sad how Death has stolen our company. At least I still have you. Come walk with me like we did when we were younger.” For a moment, I saw only the relief in his eyes as he opened his mouth as if he was about to say something, but the relief quickly turned into grief, and he took a moment before saying, “I don’t think that’s a good idea. Let’s not reopen wounds that were so difficult to heal.” “But we could pick up right where we left off! It could be the same as long ago, but this time sadly just you and me,” I said. “Time parts the hearts of men, Emily. I’m sorry, I just can’t,” he said before turning around and making his way to the graveyard.

And so there I was, all alone, left looking out from the mountain towards the dark and wild clouds that were rushing my way.

by Esther Anderson

Annabel Lee

Annabel Lee

By Edgar Allan Poe
It was many and many a year ago,
   In a kingdom by the sea,
That a maiden there lived whom you may know
   By the name of Annabel Lee;
And this maiden she lived with no other thought
   Than to love and be loved by me.
I was a child and she was a child,
   In this kingdom by the sea,
But we loved with a love that was more than love—
   I and my Annabel Lee—
With a love that the wingèd seraphs of Heaven
   Coveted her and me.
And this was the reason that, long ago,
   In this kingdom by the sea,
A wind blew out of a cloud, chilling
   My beautiful Annabel Lee;
So that her highborn kinsmen came
   And bore her away from me,
To shut her up in a sepulchre
   In this kingdom by the sea.
The angels, not half so happy in Heaven,
   Went envying her and me—
Yes!—that was the reason (as all men know,
   In this kingdom by the sea)
That the wind came out of the cloud by night,
   Chilling and killing my Annabel Lee.
But our love it was stronger by far than the love
   Of those who were older than we—
   Of many far wiser than we—
And neither the angels in Heaven above
   Nor the demons down under the sea
Can ever dissever my soul from the soul
   Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
For the moon never beams, without bringing me dreams
   Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And the stars never rise, but I feel the bright eyes
   Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side
   Of my darling—my darling—my life and my bride,
   In her sepulchre there by the sea—
   In her tomb by the sounding sea.
_________________________

Dear Annabel Lee,

It has merely been days, so why does it feel like a lifetime since I last saw you. Our love so pure and so strong, that heaven could not compete. I long for the light of your touch. I yearn for the love of your sweet lips, which have now turned ashen-grey. I wish I could hear your soft breath next to mine one last time.

But all I hear now are the torturing sounds of the sea. God’s fury, which we have come to know so well, reflected in the water that moves fiercely alongside your tomb. He and His angels are mocking me. I hear their scoffing laughter in every new wave that crashes down beside you and transforms into an avalanche of pure, white sea foam which conceals their jealousy and hate.

People must be wrong about divinity. How can heaven take away something that is even more sacred than itself? Why would a God, with all his holiness, chill the heart of the little girl with the most love to give in the entire human kingdom? No deity I could ever think of would do something so foul and awful. I have come to loathe God and his spiritless slaves they call angels.

Our souls shall never part ways, my dearest Annabel Lee, even though our bodies have been separated. My body has become nothing but a shell, containing the hunger for your love. A shell which sole purpose is to find its way back through the darkness that surrounds it, towards the lights that shine from your eyes.

Now I see it. A dim light, glimmering through the dark fog, barely meeting my eyes. I have found you, love of my life, now I can join you. At last.

Eternally yours,

Edgar Allan Poe

by Simone Flipse

She walks in Beauty

She Walks in Beauty

By Lord Byron (George Gordon)

She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that’s best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes;
Thus mellowed to that tender light
Which heaven to gaudy day denies.

One shade the more, one ray the less,
Had half impaired the nameless grace
Which waves in every raven tress,
Or softly lightens o’er her face;
Where thoughts serenely sweet express,
How pure, how dear their dwelling-place.

And on that cheek, and o’er that brow,
So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,
The smiles that win, the tints that glow,
But tell of days in goodness spent,
A mind at peace with all below,
A heart whose love is innocent!

_____________________________________________________

Dear diary,
Today she asked me why I loved her, once again. Those thoughts tugging at her heartstrings like a sickening virus got a hold of her once more and left her feeling like she wasn’t worthy of the love I am willing to give to her, the love she deserves. I didn’t have the strength to explain it to her, nor is my eloquence sufficient to put my feelings into words. Only now the words are starting to appear in my mind, leaving me able to visualise every concept that was once abstract.

But oh dear diary, she is so much more gorgeous than she believes she is. She walks in beauty, every step as simple and yet stunning as the night of cloudless climes and starry skies. She is not pure, yet her imperfections and darkness are what make her shine only brighter. All the best of dark and bright, both the light enough to make any ordinary soul avert their eyes, and that suffocating darkness which leaves her unable to get out of bed on some days, meet in her aspect and her eyes, where they are mellowed to that mild glow, so simple that it is even overlooked by some who don’t bother to look past the walls she has built, and which heaven to gaudy day denies.

No other bit of shade, no other ray of light can change that nameless grace, which is visible in every raven lock that casts shadows over her olive complexion, or that glow that makes her eyes glimmer every time she smiles and makes it seem as if her face emits the most heavenly light that makes all the angels turn to ash; that face where she expresses her thoughts, serenely sweet. How pure, how dear their dwelling place, and what I’d give to get even a glimpse into the small piece of heaven she calls her mind.

Though perhaps an inner war might be raging where no one but her notices it, on those rosy cheeks, over her perfectly shaped brow, in her smile, in ever other aspect of her body that is shaped with such utmost care that every sculptor on earth would give up their masterpieces to be able to create something like that, there is nothing but peace. A peace that can only come from a heart whose love is innocent.

That is what I wanted to tell her at that time, dear diary. The way she gazed at me with such hopelessness in her amber-tinted irises left me at a loss for words. All I could do was stare back and wonder how such an angel could not see herself the way I see her. Perhaps I will show her this if she ever asks me that question again, or perhaps I will leave her wondering, for I believe true love cannot be explained. This was only a fraction of what I truly feel for her, and I will never be able to convey my love in something as simple as words.  I hope there won’t be a next time she asks me that feared question, instead I pray that it might be in my power, by actions rather than words, to convince her that I love her.

by Aranka van der Post