The writer of the poems featured below, Francis Thompson, was reckoned to be a genius by those who read his works, yet lived by the river Thames as a homeless man most of his adult life. Living in England during the late 1800’s, Thompson earned money by selling matches and newspapers and would often submit poems or letters to the editor of his favorite paper. One editor wrote that, “A genius greater than Milton lives among us,” but the editor had no way to contact him, as Thompson never provided a return address.
Thompson applied three times to Oxford either to finish the medical degree he had started at Owens College, or to pursue his true passion of writing. Each time he was denied admission due to an opium addiction which he never fully overcame. Near the end of his life he befriended a prostitute who allowed him to live with her and with whom she shared her income. Sometime later this benefactor left, never to return, perhaps a victim of her profession.
Thompson eventually died of tuberculoses, as so many of his era did, but not before friends and admirers collected his works and saw them published. His poems were often themed around his pursuit of God or God’s pursuit of him, and from his works we have the phrases, “Many a splendored thing,” and, “with all deliberate speed,” added to our vernacular.
I never knew you Francis, but in me you may count one more admirer. I hope God found you before the end, and that you and I might meet one day at the hems of heaven.
THE KINGDOM OF GOD
O world invisible we view thee
O world intangible we touch thee
O world unknowable we know thee
Inapprehensible we clutch thee
Does the fish soar to find the ocean
The eagle plunge to find the air
That we ask of the stars in motion
If they have rumor of thee there
Not where the wheeling systems darken
And our benumbed conceiving soars
The drift of pinions would we hearken
Beats at our own clay-shuttered doors
The angels keep their ancient places
Turn but a stone and start a wing
‘Tis ye, ‘tis your estrangèd faces
That miss the many-splendored thing
But when so sad thou canst not sadder
Cry and upon thy so sore loss
Shall shine the traffic of Jacob’s ladder
Pitched betwixt Heaven and Charing Cross
Yea, in the night, my Soul, my daughter
Cry clinging to Heaven by the hems
And lo, Christ walking on the water
Not of Genesareth, but Thames
~ Francis Thompson
TO A SNOWFLAKE
What heart could have thought you
Past our devisal
O filigree petal
Fashioned so purely
From what Paradisal
Too costly for cost
Who hammered you
from argentine vapor
God was MY shaper.
He wrought me
From curled silver vapor
To lust of His mind
Thou could’st not have thought me
Insculped and embossed
With His hammer of wind
And His graver of frost
~ Francis Thompson
The world doesn’t take kindly to those are not like it. It calls them nasty names.
There was a boy
A very strange, enchanted boy
They say he wandered very far
Over land and sea
A little shy, and sad of eye, but very wise was he
And then one day, one magic day
He passed my way
And while we spoke of many things
Fools and kings
This he said to me
The greatest thing you’ll ever learn
Is just to love and be loved in return
~ Eden Ahbez
* Happy Valentine’s Day *
Cute is something you might call a member of One Direction.
Maybe it’s a British thing. Cute.
The first time I saw you naked you called me gorgeous. Like a movie star or a model. The lights were bright and I was a little drunk, but still sober enough to be nervous under exposing glares. I told you that I knew I knew I knew you just wanted to get in my pants. You kissed me softly and I bit my cynical tongue.
You called me gorgeous as you dressed, right before you stepped out into the hotel corridor, left me alone in a strange room with nothing but the sad click of a closing door. You might have stayed for movie stars or models but not me.
A compliment uttered to excuse your imminent absence. Gorgeous.
The first time you called me beautiful I did not believe you. It came out in the dark corner of a November night and it sounded like the smirking smiles of all the other girls you’ve been with.
But I fell asleep with the warmth of you next to me and when I woke you were still there. Your alarm hadn’t gone off yet and I tried not to watch you sleep because I knew I knew I knew that this wasn’t ever going to be one of those relationships. There was that strange winter morning light that you only experience in England. I thought about getting up to shower but I didn’t know if I’d ever be in the same bed as you again so I stayed until your alarm went off and life moved on.
“…and it sounded like the smirking smiles of all the other girls you’ve been with.”
I don’t know that there’s anything worse
Than the loss of a dream
Children are dreams
Nations are dreams too
Faith is a dream
Always the last to go
Perhaps the saddest loss of all
~ Jayce Michael
There is nothing sweet or savory about the rotting carcass of a chicken twisted and crushed with cruelty. There is nothing delicious about bloodmouth carnist food. How does it feel knowing your stomach is a graveyard?
I’m sorry, but you just inadvertently wrote the most METAL description of eating a chicken sandwich in the history of mankind.
MY STOMACH IS A GRAVEYARD
NO LIVING BEING CAN QUENCH MY BLOODTHIRST
I SWALLOW MY ENEMIES WHOLE
ESPECIALLY IF THEY’RE KENTUCKY FRIED
I love tumblr metalheads so much
“Do you know what they do to those chickens?”
“No, but it’s delicious.”
Good grief, it’s surreal!
I wanted to run
But the body is a slow
Of muscle and bone
Even as my mind flew
~ Spoken by Dave, as played by Chase Williamson
in the film: John Dies at the End
Written by Don Coscarelli and David Wong
Tumblr is so goofy sometimes. If I want to reblog someone’s poem I have to capture it as a quote in order to get the whole thing displayed. But then something happens to the formatting. What the hell tumblr?
Friction and Fractures
i do not want a smooth skin love cushioned with flesh
give me your bones grating against my bones
stripped back skeletons of bare want and cracked promises
i will hate all your hairline fractures
and when we break (it is inevitable that we break)
we will use other lovers as splints
and they will reset our bones as best they can
but we will heal poorly in such soft relationships
because it is you (it is inevitable that it is always you)
the friction and the fractures get me naked
i need your bones grating against my bones