Brandon K. Nobles – The Broken Mechanism, 2011

From one place to another
we move like caribou
huddled like the emperors of old
egg rests on their mottled feet
they gather as a circuit board for heat
when the sun and warmth are gone
so leave the birds in manic throngs
when gone the moss it grows

when seasons change
and melt the frost
blind children of the world are lost
in a world not seen yet heard
the mating calls of mockingbirds
nothing to see but mirrored glass
The rain clouds up above have passed

Their first view of the world
A world of water and of sand
Their fledgling waters meet the sand
And natures struggle starts again
In the spring the flowers bring
sparrows from their porch to sing
Alone are all the gulls that fly
Into the upturned bowl the sky

And underneath them hand in hand
the broken mechanism man
Hera’s necklace is the stars
to which we look through narrow bars
of our own creation made
placed before the dying man
was his last masquerade
the main performers night and day

the cycles of the sun once spun
is autumn by September done
and multicolored leaves are flung
against the speckled grass of green
the leaves are scattered in the breeze

fear keeps the hermit locked away
so bleak that no one could assuage
us to forget our yesterdays
the wounded bird stays in its cage
like a mockingbird that cannot fly
just like a one winged butterfly
that’s how the desperate circle dies

Brandon K. Nobles – The Hole, 2011

We try to fill our hole with pills
Some from books of old
Drug after drug until they dug
the anxiety hole

One other childhood misery
The adult fear of tomorrow
And the hole grows larger
Nothing can kill it, nothing stops

No one hears you in the box
No one left to lie
And no one there to say
Everything will be okay
The lie rings hollow in the dawn
And shimmers like a lake, the fawn
Hobgoblins eat our merry psalms

The bird of paradise
Follows the ox drawn plow
The fledgling worms caught in the ground
Ate by the bird of paradise
The seeds are planted in their song
And the reborn grass becomes the dawn
Must lie still, must lie still

At night the silhouette of luna glows
It’s silhouette on light post throws
The rats return to numbered holes
And we who walk, the hole just grows
Until it has swallowed hole

It’s all the algebra of need
Have a cigarette a drink
Look it in the face, then hail
You never will be high enough
Click it, view it
Watch it bloom
Anxiety the hole consumes

Upon our death I’m sure they’ll dress
In their Sunday best
The father’s collar is pristine
His life a blip between two screams
Inhale it, smell it
Eat it, drink
You’ll never feel so good in bed
Against the velvet cushions red

It never feels so good, so real
As natural as spring time hill
For there are floating moments still
The fleeing dream stuffed in our dreams
They melt away at night

To wake to find, the night before
Our hopes in puddles on the floor
Shoot it, just a little prick, a sting
The more you mourn the more it seems
Our life a struggle, just a dream
One comes out, one other dreams
One to scream and one now sound

Heaven comes in milligrams
Two loose psalms day
One to eat and one to drink
And two when down they lay
Smoke it, swallow
Eat it, hollow
The natural device is hollow

Click it, lust
You’ll never be high enough
A glass of whiskey and a puff
It’ll never be enough
Like in the crystal of a dream
As clockwork, runs the new machine
And clean his coat and cuff

You won’t see in your crystal ball
The weakest baboon of them all
A sleepy shepard of the heard
Was guided by a guilded bird
He walked along the wall
He ate rectangle palindromes
And did not mean to love at all

When we look down the inclined hill
Echoes of the sirens call
Knowing all the while he’d fall
He never meant to love at all
Eat, repeat
Until we all are obsolete

Just one hand full of dust
Smoke it, smell
Inject, inhale
You’re never high enough
Inhale it, hold
Try to fill the nervous hole

Dig until you can not see the light
There will never be enough
Those diamond bracelets, golden cuffs
Take a drink and take a puff
You’ll never be high enough
You’ll never feel so good, so real
That moment once, the moment still
Never to look down from the hill

Never meant to love at all
The dream of climbing up the walls
Eating rectangle palindromes
Two pills, two prayers, every day
It crawls inside our blood and leaves

When we take a pill we feel
As though we were in golden fields
And Mara chews the brain that bleeds
When tuned in her frequency
We see the hobo, ghosts inside
We flush them out with cyanide

Brandon K. Nobles – The Orphan’s Last Parade, 2011

1

At three years old–the kids were told,
their families were gone.
They were dead or lost instead.
Or so the old nuns said.
The cold that year I won’t forget.
like some old country song.

We ran under that paper moon
Our kites were drug along.
we played, and laughed,
we rolled in grass,
we had no for no life boat
we tried to tune into the sun.
just old willows, ragged pillows,
no way would we have fun.

How faraway the brilliant star,
The oft inspired songs
No signal on the way back in
perhaps some sing-a-long.

We went into a bedroom quiet,
With poles of artificial lights,
Back in the bedroom,
All was quiet;
Still colored by the neon lights,
The Chinese candles on the mantle,
Potpourri and incense burning
Logs in fire over-turning.
Washing the room with warmth.

We walked in circles all along,
And never found our way back home.
There was no beacon bright.
Staring at the ceiling, feeling,
Nothing would be alright,
We joined their cult and prayed along
Singing plagiarized angel songs.

2

The nuns came in at night, at ten,
to tuck the children into bed.
No attempt to comfort or console,
she knelt to pray instead.
just a tiny needle hole
–that’s all I need, I said.:

To quiet cries she heard at night-
she gave a piece of bread and rice;
to each child, still awake,
and gave out sleeping pills and slipped,
one into a glass of milk,
they drifted off, into the sky,
no glimpse of Heaven going by.

Drifting further, drifting by, a icy stream across the sky;
Too high to drift, to disappear–
and soon did fall their eyes.
the kiss of death swells in one’s chest
just one more kiss the last.

3

And all the hollow days that followed
for children in a kennels, cage
wagging their tail for minimum wage,
and when the days that follow hollow
the days before it fell tomorrow.
for the children in the cage
Out there at night they turn to stone,
and they had nothing left to say.
hauled up a mountain top along,
and had nothing left to say.
Every night they were their quiet
until some child cried
the children wept, they pined
For some mother bird to find.

4

“The older kids had lost their hope
Parental days were such a joke.
We wagged our tails and
cleaned our hair,
we brushed our teeth and combed
our hair,
as everyday some couple did come in
they opened up our mouths and
turned our chin
and then they all moved on-
looking for some child better-small
a little boy to call their own
and the others weren’t good enough
for a home and shelter, love
Sometimes its not in the cards for us

5

And in the pound my mahtra found,
all was done for naught
We played our games, and we watched tv
and then we talked and we talked
She read the Bible line for line
at each and every story time
and we were fast asleep.
We dreamed of open windows
they were no longer barred
and from the window we could
see the lovely distant stars
Whose light had been fractured
as it passed the iron bars.

6

There were other lost strays,
my bunk mate Adrian, that knew
how fond I was of books
He had his father order them
so I might take a look-
sending books his father did
but somehow could not raise his kid,
and Adrian used to say,
“One day When I leave this place
I want to have a house of birds
birds and never keep them in a cage-”
In that way he thought he’d help
having been caged himself

7

The footsteps at the dawn were soft,
when the nuns descended from the loft
to rouse them from their sleep
I could not sleep, try as I might
in delicate turns and twists the sprites,
Their shadows on the wall.
I covered my head and did not peek
and lay there silent in my sheets
to keep such a seneschal
the tedious watchman of the wall
Where shadow figures thronged to room
the preacher’s face was earnest, gloom
the parents had arrived too soon.

8

*The older kids had lost their hope
potential days were a cruel joke*
I did not wear my baseball hat
it messed up all my hair,
I brushed my teeth in their old sink
and with the others marched
parade – the rubes so polished for
potential parents through the door
their clothes – so perfect starched
Lining up in that old row
*In the middle of the crowd stood
a girl once silent found
she ran up to the front
The parents looked and but to see
that young girl had a cavity
and she was turned away
Forgotten back in the stream of time
those orphans lost their minds*
that all once sifted alas go.

7

I walked amongst the judge, the trial,
and stood there on the stand
I fell, and almost swooned–
I crumpled like a paper man.
My girl she died! Too soon! Too soon!
she died under a paper moon

That night they stood and vigil kept,
for those between the worlds who crept,
the elders hanging on for life,
and the others on the fridge,
Someone just press the reset button
and let’s just try again.
His silhouette and rippled curtain
passed above him to make certain,
that I’d not him to see.
Man the burden, beast excuse,
behind the curtains walk the dolls
the velvet curtain and the shawl,
A silhouette, a certain, that,
like those ones of old who showed
their men across the sea.

22They put on their happy face,
and did not speak a word
they barely talked,
as slow they walked
The orphans last parade—
Their brightest eyes
In single file
a merry masquerade.
They thought about their futures

Yet only saw a grave
Rows and rows into the hill
A gray sky hanging o’er still
That waits for fools, for knaves
That golden meadow by the brook
Two angels and peered and Sol they took
And dissolved into the manhole
Inch by inch they shaped the flint
And walked blind in the winter’s breath
Unable to see their hands
No rope to guide them home

And blind and they find from dust at Everyday from dust to dawn
They always into had they saw
the mirage of a corner store
the electric neon lights were on
12 to midnight, a bag of coat
Honey, put some music on
time to close
And they run
in their white dresses
for their coke
anxiety feels like dying
conscious of erosion of the red blood cells
the shrinkage of the skin around the bones

Brandon K. Nobles – Mara in a Business Suit, 2011

King Mara’s back,
and dressed in black.
In a business suit and hat
alone he walks the Mile.
Whistling as he’s walking
Wearing such a charming smile.
Mara must be fed to live,
But he can’t feed himself.
He crawls inside our brains
and tells:
Feeding him is for ourselves.

We’re twisted and we’re warped,
he lied:
We’re born to rise and fall by pride—
Into a maze made by our mind,
left to find our way back home.
That could be King Mara’s song—
scattered people on the lawn.

Bow before the bottle, pray;
like birds of paradise—
Shrieking out their mating call,
so delicate, precise:
The Animals of the Earth pristine,
They roam the wilderness unseen,
Their tracks left in the snow;
Never has a human been,
To that place, nor have they seen,
What once lived long ago.

The obsolete, it makes me weep,
the things I’ve been, the things I’ve seen,
Yesterday was just a dream,
I must be someone else.
How much is a person worth,
Their strife, their happiness?
Their starry cars and dying houses
collapse into the ground around them.
In the tempest of the storm
the sun itself may be reborn.

From mother’s wrath we cannot hide,
Self sacrifice our alibi,
King Mara walks behind us,
And never does he rest,
like Oedipus Rex,
whose subtle complex,
In the throne of all our misery sat.

Life is a weekend in the rain;
And death is Monday—it’s a shame.
Don’t let the weekend slip away,
when Monday walks in all we lay,
in this world of ours to die.
Years from now will come the day,
when no one not a word can say,
when the body dies the essence flies
and gets scattered in the sky.

All we have is brief a time,
resting as our mother shines,
Miss Sol a dying star.
One day soon the sun will turn,
upon herself and earth will burn,
the lines of mountains like a scar.
The Earth adrift in open space,
rolling about with simple grace—
the moon follows from afar.

In Siberia the cold wind blows,
through the thickets and the foal,
the food is a mirage.
Through the deserts, and the snow,
migrating caribou they go—
the camels not far behind.
Across the river, ‘round the bind,
they eat from little piles of snow.

As nothing in the winter grows,
they long for warmth, for heat.
They march across the dunes of sand,
in their Pilgrims Caravan,
To a place they’ve never seen:
To a never-ending valley
of a water-color green.

And men they run in circles,
No idea where we go.
We try to find some meaning,
In life’s magic shadow show.
Desperate to fill that hole,
that anxiety bestows—
this generation’s plague.
Where everything is meaningless
that is their disease.
Meaningless, to know it’s so,
to know the Sun itself will go,
and become an unheard whisper in the dark,
the grand hoorah will be a blink,
amidst the black of space and shrink,
and disappear amongst the stars.

The disease infects all those who fret,
and rock silent on their bed,
for them there is no cure.
They never will get high enough,
And that at least is sure,
Never high enough to smile,
to walk with all the happy people
on the golden Miracle Mile.

The anxiety hole will still be there,
When Mara has you in his snare,
and sin your alibi.
Born with misplaced wires,
in our minds a software glitch;
there is no medicine for this,
and for it we will die:
A most peculiar mechanism,
the flaw deletes the organism.

Without a Heaven, or a God,
we live next-door to hell.
Plugged into some dream machine.
our fantasies rebel,
Like the seraphim who fell,
for pride,
those in their dingy houses lied,
watching a fan go ‘round and round,
smoking sticks and stems—
Every day the same game played;
no Miracle Mile for them.

They ache, they yearn, and justly dream,
On this King Mara loves to feed,
on fantasies of kings and queens,
upon a throne and looking down,
as the court jesters dance around—
their little toys, their little things,
if only happiness could bring,
itself to fruit upon the root,
of an adder bitten tree.
The dream dilutes the crown is gone,
and waking in that bad alone—
the morning sun rains down in beams.
Yesterday was just a dream.

There are those with defect parts,
Who can’t pull themselves together—
In Humpty Dumpty’s generation,
They stay broken forever.
With a job and normal life,
Everything will be alright—
We knew that was a lie.
I much prefer the word farewell,
and never wish to say good-bye.

And now we have our new machines,
So treat yourself just like a king,
And wear a Caesar’s crown,
welcome Bacchus into town,
to on the kingdom of the ants look down.

The kingdom lives in symmetry,
Precise in their geometry,
they’ll run themselves alone,
when our blood dries on the stone,
like all the others who have gone,
in picture frames upon the shelf,
their jail.

The man alone himself can’t help,
Spring them from their dusted cell,
But when the time comes he’ll kneel down,
And bow before the sleeping crowd

Brandon K Nobles – Chasing Yesterday, 2011

1

Our cameras catch echoes,
And the ghost-like faces fade
As snow angels in the dawn,
The ghosts of yesterday
Stranded on a Polaroid
In Technicolor graves,
Withering the cigarettes
Crawl in a plastic tray.
In silence while their dying
Their tobacco burns away.

2

A thumbprint on a skyscraper,
A smudge across a page,
That’s all the new exhibit
of the toy they would display.
Left behind their statues lone,
God’s experiment went wrong

3

These fraying letters
fortune tellers
Everything’s okay.
You walk the ground,
Where once we stood
And sang our simple songs
We walked between the raindrops
And an old man played along:
They danced in the rain and snow,
A ragtag fool’s parade.
These twilight years are getting cold
There’s not much left to say
They want to just belong again
In some lost yesterday
captured by another photo
a scene from some old play
The old guitarist plucked along,
We are not alone

4

More and more the echoes go,
In endless imitation rows.
The summer comes,
the summer goes.
The ballerina and her rose,
Her unkempt hair and crown of gold,
The ballerina has grown old.
A self absorbed pale apparition
Her weak ears and weaker vision.

5

Bags under her once bright eyes,
to sleeps—no greater pain.
I never want to say goodbye,
She walked between the rain.
She left behind just memories,
Of disappearing dreams poor-seen.

6

A juvenile search meaning,
For something more profound
Has left me looking like a sketch
Of a too lonely clown
Who tries too hard, to meaning show,
arranging it in little rows
So someone might look down and see,
The pages strewn with memories–
And on this page some meaning found
I stumbled into paradise—
Yet then I turned around.

7

Upon the lake, we used to take,
our rods and reels we’d go,
In an old boat we would float
Our fishing nets we’d throw.
When the moonlight breaks the night,
On the lake Miss Luna glows
We woke at dawn and walked along
The shore and looked above
We turned around when heard the sound
of a far off cooing dove.

1

We went there in the summer,
and we went there every year
The water quiet glimmered bright,
The lake itself was clear.
We stopped when my father died
He said it all would be okay,
And a list of other lies,
“I loved,” he said, I cried.

2

No more floating in the sun,
The tangled knots had come undone,
The rods and reels would break.
No more trips fishing trips for us
A childhood blown away like dust
I lost my father but why bother,
There’s no one left to take.
just effigies of loved ones gone.

3

On weekends and the gravel roads,
At the end a fishing hole
Always looking but to go
Down those old dirt roads and look
At winding roads beside the brook
The buzzards must remember too
This always feels like déjà vu.

4

Down the maze of those dirt roads,
The beauty of the moonlight showed
What they wished that they would find
Across the bridge around the bind
All my skies are inkdrop lies.
Pretty are they not? some say.
Why chase you your own yesterday
The grass a water-color green
A phony connoisseur’s scene
Dressed as a gaudy play.

5

The scene dissolves and die the sheen
As rusted parts of a machine.
Looking for what we used to find,
Across the bridge around the bind,
So pretty are they not? He said,
Where do all they go?
the pine combs blew about like leaves
and-scattered on the road

6

Trees and flowers,
Swift they blow
The trees leak leaves into the road
And then when the wind has blown,
The jigsaw shapes left on the lawn,
Ten years of memories were strewn
along the gutters in the street.

7

Wavering as though a dance,
when lightning strikes by happen chance.
Through the tumult of the sky
The rains picked up but to subside
And the dying puddles dried
Vanished underneath the sun.
It rolls around and upside down
Another cold day maybe rain
To watch life from a window pane.

1

Why celebrate the sadness of our lives,
And arrange our suffering to rhyme
As though those moments matter most,
When we still chase beloved ghosts
Long flittered down the hall.
It drifts about into my ears
bit by bit destroys my mind
They knock about inside my head
And I drown them all with wine
I have to take my medicine,
Maybe lay down and unwind
Many has a flower grown,
And kindled by the vine.

2

It gets no better, so it seems,
when walking through our waking dreams
Yesterday, when life was young
We ran through wheatfields, happy, dumb.
At night we knelt to pray:
Looking back, to think about
The ghost of yesterday.
Lamenting what we lost, to find,
The ashes blown away.

3

When I stand before the grand inquisitor,
Inevitably myself,
When I must justify my life, I’ll say,
Simply that I somewhat tried, some days,
That’s the problem all alone.
The list gets longer like the songs,
Written by candle light.
We pine away while strung along,
Into life then out of sight.

4

Twenty years, not much to say,
Too many pills and cigarettes,
A never ending stairway,
Oh how awful to know—
The door at the top of the stairway is closed.
Too many pills and cigarettes,
Pomnet, don’t forget.
We’ve looked into the past and saw,
Days of happiness, and all,
Days to chase if but to fall.
The bird songs of paradise,
Their songs of beauty sung,
They’ve sang for one hundred years
Generations in the sun.
My epitaph I’m sure will read,
The best is yet to come.

5

What can we do to help the doomed,
What isn’t being done?
Why do they need a little prick
In the morning to have fun?
Aware of our meaningless is for us
The disease of a generation
The side effect for all our woe
Is our lamentation and the self imposed,
Our lamentations,
Of the day that dances on the string,
The morrow a new line to bring.

6

Aware of living with no meaning,
The disease of a generation,
There is no one in charge,
And that’s the thing.
We sing about our suffering,
And somehow that brings joy.
Keep making that face,
It’ll get stuck like that,
Regret is to mourn history
Whenever we’re looking back.

7

Every day is called a present,
Life the gift to throw away
But it’s better not to care
Than chase forever yesterdays
Our heroes blew their brains out,
And left behind their songs,
Songs of lamentation,
Songs of life gone wrong.
The life as a lonely war,
Against the devil in the mind
We’ve been down the road before
Though often left behind
Dead end just make a circle
It happens every time.

1

The cameras catch echoes
And they play the old movies
They talk about that special day
The one that still we all can see
When the universe aligned at night
In that perfect memory.

2

What is now a point in time to dwell,
On some past unhappiness
or of some future hell.
They’ll never be a day lick that
When later we’ll sit around, look back.

3

And see it perfecting standing there.
In a Chinese dress with brunette hair,
Her eyes fixed on tomorrow where
She would get to dance
With stars along her neck
And flowers there by happen-chance
It had to rain that day.
Her make-up running down her face
Her hair in disarray
And never did I look as then
So wistful at the day.

4

The sun came out, the rain gave way,
Later on that night we played
In the storm and danced around
To that pitter-patter sound
When water hits the roof.
It was better than the glitz,
Of that old gaudy ballroom.

5

Where once I waited, as a child,
Looking at her across the aisle
Through the other people at the dance,
Between the couples caught a glance
Of her trying to look away.
When she looked I did the same,
We had nothing to say.

6

Later in my life I went,
Back to the ballroom, just to sit
And stare across the room.
I think about that day a lot,
The corny theme of my life.

7

I sat there wishing she would walk
Across the room to me, to talk
Say anything, it doesn’t matter,
Have something to say,
don’t live but to regret the day.

Brandon K. Nobles – Loralei, 2011

Loralei slept in a house by the sea,
she walked the shores at night
a basket full of flowers and tranquility
she dropped the flowers at her feet
And Loralei she lived alone
In a small house by the Sea.
No one left but her, at dawn,
By herself and humming a song

When she was young
her friends would come
At night they watched the sky
Making faces in the shapes
of clouds as they go by
Clowns and priests
Blankets and sheets

Dusty road, the countryside
a languid codeine afternoon
And Loralei was gone.
In one thought and out another,
It endless rigadoon
The suns and faces in the clouds
The wind will take the clouds tomorrow
The carousel is slow, and by,
Fades out with the neon lights
None of them lasted for  long.

Brandon K. Nobles – Inkdrop Skies, 2010

What is there to write about
Why do we write at all
what if all’s been said and done,
why do we care at all?

about the bushes or the birds
the songs and lullaby’s
to those who write of wistful clouds
that are the inkdrop skies.
and listless, free consistent circles
to pass few faces by.

Like carnivals with neon lights
that shine brilliant in the night
the words at night, they blur
One time or twice God rolled the dive
and shuffled us in turns

the old men with their torn notebooks
who have the time to bide:
with their pens they close their eyes
blurry figures in the rain
where then transcribed to page
became a melody and it sang.

What is there to write about
If all’s been said and heard
About the lies and butterflies
Sang by we mourning birds;
About the faces in the clouds
In listless circles went they round.
The music made by gamblers, gives
All the words make inkdrop skies.

Such images they blur with time
And each word dies along the lines
Just another nursery rhyme
Sometimes when your eyes are closed
You can see a picture show
Of whirling green, patterned white,
The shadows turn  to imps at night
About the room their pirouette,
In the color of a silhouette
Dancing on the walls
Up and down they prance around
My room their seneschal;
In pairs they go in silent rows
As they flitter down the hall.

Children running in the rain
Their feet a pitter patter sang
Again and again old men with their pen
Think of something to type,
To get off whatever is on their chest
Just to try to get some rest.

Brandon K. Nobles – Leaves, 2010

We form like leaves,
flowers on trees—
Fall and scatter in the breeze,
not knowing there to go,
or if to go at all.
The brightest life,
the Caesar’s crown,

The rest for paupers and for clowns—
the gaudy actor’s dance around.
Emperor’s behind their desk,
sit around and nervous fret;
while paupers dance like silhouettes,
to them the world was sweet,
and mother Earth stains dancing feet.
The world as is enough for them.

To bloom into a flower bright,
And when the leaves
wave with the night,
While tranquil yearning for the lights,
Unconscious leaves drift in the wind—
Oh, how are we so much like them,
Drifting amidst the sticks and stems.

The seed is planted, and it grows,
Before us like kaleidoscopes,
Of faces sounds a constant sea—
And born afraid are we,
of the Justice of the Sun.
In the winter they quiver
Clings tightly to its limb the falls
to the ground, whose seneschal,
keeps such a watchful eye.

Snakes weave in and out of fruit,
And leave the fresh fruit dead;
With the whim of breath that blows,
Like decks of cards are in it we.

The wormholes in the apple show,
how everything one moment goes—
another apple rots,
a fresh batch falls the rest forgot.
Our sun the seasons sets in line,
The raindrops quiver on the vines,
And under the bath of light they shone;
And in the winter they were gone

Brandon K. Nobles – Death by Intent to Save, 2010

Lost and wandering through the woods
a malchik found a horse
made silhouettes by gleaming rocks
it’s hair in rusted silver knots
and frozen in its course.

Atop the hill between the trees
frozen mid-gallop through the leaves
frozen in stone and cold as bone
the fossil no move made

It’s rusted eyes a dull surprise
Ivy wrapped it’s leg and neck—
Neighing though it made no sound,
The horse it seemed the world pulled down,
The flaming stallion flaked as flint
Planted on the time-worn plinth.

Sol gave way to Luna, night
the child approached the horse in quiet
extending his hand to touch
what was her hair was dust the mare
it flaked away with wind like sand
grey ashes on the young man’s hand.

The nochi blue had turned to night
and the boy chiseled with a knife
until he saw the first again
and as he brushed the stone away
it crawled up his legs in frays
and would not let him go.
the horse was free, the boy was stone
and still the flaming steed rides on

Brandon K. Nobles – Kingdom of the Ants, 2010

They slept in a chamber bed
and when they woke they had their bread
they had three meals a day
Under the sheets, and what a treat!
a frolic in the hay
they crawled inside each other’s heads
held hands but not a word was said
in the too large king sized bed.

They had their lunch three times a day,
as queens and kings they languid lay
Their genocide in silent rows
on an unmade bed the rose
was white upon the face

amidst the windswept desert sands
inside the barren western lands
they found the Kingdom of the Ants
and lay about as in a trance,
watching rows of worker ants
climb down the fridge
onto the bed
the soldiers shouted in their heads

After a wistful genocide,
The kingdom of the ants had died
King nor queen shed tears nor pined
Still in their dream world on the sheets
The Living Kingdom in their head
And silent not a word they said.

Their one week in the land, their glee
living out each other’s dreams
quicksand white hands upward reach
worried a white face kneeled
like water in the wind she spilled
her disappearing scream.

without mouths they cannot say
figures upon the blue screen lay
The Kingdom of the ants had gone
they found a kingdom of their own
of lazy days and the whispers touch
the jesters bed was big enough.

No more cars or discount stores
just endless checkered marble floors
and fiends of flowers in the field
two figures rolling in the hills00
a chandelier above their head
their eyes still closed in bed
appears the lady in a crimson red
no need for food, no need for flair,
Just to be together there.

Brandon K. Nobles – Dreamworld, 2010

Sometimes I dream of them, and see,
a blood soaked young girl’s face—
painted like a weeping clown in blood,
whose joy had left no trace.
Just weathered lines etched in by time,
spread like the twisted limbs of pines.

His conscience was the monster
called the Beast under his bed.
And when he finally shut his eyes,
the gun shot rang out in his head.
And half a yell—and half a shout—
when his beloved just blinked out.
Like the lighthouse to the shore,
of the land we call Dreamworld.

A swan song’s silence filled the room,
creatures on the paper made their
passage through the gloom;
a young girl’s ghost appeared.

Above the bed, and all she said:
And the ghost went in my head.
Remember me? she said. “Do you?”
It’s true the way, that day she died,
when Death shut down the neon ride.
She walked through the iron gates,
To find an endless sun-bathed day,
Where angels sing and children play.
And when I die, if I pass through,
The gate into the Dreamworld too—
If you see me in your dreams,
I’m looking at you too.

The world turns sideways in a dream,
And silent in your bed you see—
Endless valleys, golden streams;
and those long dead lay on the hill—
as you on your pillow still.

Seraphim in rows walk by,
barefoot on the rich green grass
under a milk-white sky;
yet Tomorrow is on time.
You leave the Dreamworld for a time,
until you’re trapped inside.

No need for worry, or for sorrow,
you will get that last Tomorrow.
The stalker dressed in black called death,
plays with us all as though it’s chess.
And we play death all of our lives,
and always lose the game.

Queens and bishops, knights and pawns,
vanish as the game goes on;
the King retreats, the day is saved,
and that is how our lives is played.

We are the Kings, we are the Queens;
moved around by Death.
We cannot save our pieces from
the stalker dressed in black.
Once a pawn is taken not a thing will bring it back.

And when they do, the pieces fall,
until the stalker has them all,
and the devil says Checkmate—
one last chance for one last dance,
with no game left to play—
they dance between the inkblots on
my tawdry ballad’s page.

A troupe of dancers with their lutes,
their pirouettes and magic flutes,
sing for the moment’s sake.
Hand in hand—their saraband,
was but a sad parade.
Their merry smiles, their wills,
a while,
with time begin to fade.
Yet it remains, the same malaise;
mourning the ghosts of yesterday.

Brandon K. Nobles – Lullaby, 2010

I

They were young—
when first they met,
in history at school.
Casey saw him look her way,
and she looked at him too.
Not too popular, you’d say—
they sat apart at vacant tables,
in the lunchroom every day.

Those islands of shame—
for kids without names,
with whom no one would play—
became their shrine,
for pantomimes,
for love they often prayed.
They only wished for normal lives,
perhaps God was away.

In both of their young lives
they felt:
the touch of tragedy.
Casey lost her little brother,
Daniel lost his niece.
These living scars-
they never heal,
and not with passing time.
Cuts will fade away from skin,
but never from the mind.
while it may be the heart that bleeds,
it is the mind that cries.

Her curly hair was doll-eye black,
her face a constellation-
of freckles down her rose red cheek
in endless variation.
She always bore a smile which seemed,
like polished ivory that gleamed,
a lovely girl, a lovely face,
with tired and darkened eyes.
It seemed as though, despite the show,
She was alone and cried.

Daniel was the quiet type,
devoid of social grace.
And often he became befuddled
when he saw her face.
His hair was short-
his eyes were sharp.
When classes ended,
he pretended—
played with figments,
of his mind.

Behind the school,
and in the park
on his own alone ‘til dark,
he felt just like a bum.
When he got home, his music on,
he played with his gun.

His brother was a poet, whom,
Daniel asked to pen-
some sort of lovely melody,
some tender ode to send.
After the note was written,
And he shaped it like a rose.
Daniel left it on her desk—
a flower made of prose.
When Casey came into the room
the origami flower bloomed.

Daniel looked upon her face,
his heart thumped in his chest:
Her eyes traveled down the note,
and read such tenderness—
the likes of which,
she’d never seen—
not in the world,
not in her dreams,
not even in her fantasies.
There is no better place to end,
than where you came apart;
there is no valley deeper,
than a fragile human heart.

When she finished with the note,
she cast a glance that somehow spoke:
his heart beat faster still.
Her tired eyes, to his surprise,
were radiant with hope.
When the old school bell had rang,
the children grabbed their books
and things,
and shuffled through the halls.

They met after school that night
on a playground eerie quiet,
and swung on creaking swings
the carousel, as it goes by,
the lives around us seem to die,
And when the ride slowed down we got,
off the ledge and to the stop—
the door to the other side.
In one door and out another,
nodding vaguely at each other,
a new group boards the ride.

They started on their short walk home,
while Casey eerie hummed along,
to the beat
of some forgotten
melancholy song.
Under streetlights, as they passed—
they walked together hand in hand.
Life was good again, that day,
for them,
as they slept well that night.
A ballet cut short far too soon,
down went the stage and paper moon,
the spotlight gave way to the night.

just like the setting of the moon,
they’ll soon blink out of sight.

They arrived on Casey’s porch
and stood before the door.
Goodnight, he said,
and turned to leave.
He wished he had the nerve to say,
What part she played in all his dreams.
Then she kissed him on the cheek,
and turned to walk inside.
He stood a moment on the porch,
and looked up at the stars.
But his concentration
was disturbed
by passing cars.

As time went by,
the years died off;
Before they met,
they both were lost—
in a forest dim and dark,
trying to find their way;
They yelled, and yelled,
“Hello? Hello?
Is anybody there?”
In the vain hope someone may,
call back from the darkness, “Hey.”
And save them from themselves.

As two birds in the fog that fly,
through the mist into the sky
to find one of their own.
Only to get lost in storm,
before they make it home.
And if the birds—
can’t find their way,
they fly forever on.

They had never loved another,
nor braced another nude:
All day every day they saw,
each other through and through
And they had the one real love,
the rare and selfless kind:
when alone, to past the time,
they danced a waltz to Patsy Cline:
I’m crazy for loving you—
was the line.

2

Only for so long can fate,
Spare our lives and, as we wait,
we count the hours,
check the dates:
the hours as they fly.
The ones we love may disappear,
in one blink of an eye.
Here they are,
and then they’re lost—
to live, to die,
so high a cost,
These lullabies—
for loved ones gone,
we make them live again—
through song.

Daniel was a child that day—
a static television gray,
he sat there with the gun.
It was taken from its place,
inside of the old gun case—
He played with it for fun.
Cowboys and Indians, my friends,
ran around fake guns in hand;
some Western fantasy, perhaps,
his rusted shotgun, and his hat.
“What should we play today?”

Casey with some effort sat,
and barely seemed to murmur back:
“I don’t have the cash to go.”
I’ll pay your way, he said.
Or we can go play in the snow.
“I don’t feel so good right now,”
Casey said and lay back down.
“What’s wrong?” he asked, and:
“Can I help?”
“I just need some rest,” she said.
“Maybe an Equate would be best.
Perhaps a Tylenol.”
Daniel stood, walked down the hall—
his shotgun propped against the wall.

He came back and weary said,
“Nothing in the cabinet.
You’ll have to wait it out.”
“Christ!” she said,
“Just shoot me now!”
Daniel grabbed the broken gun,
and laughing he said, “Pow!”

This will help you, said the gun.
To a not so far off beating drum—
the black angel Death had come,
and stood before the bed.
On the floor—a pool of blood,
on the white wall spattered red.
Her dying body twitched and shook,
violent spasms on the floor,
just like a fish upon the shore.

The ringing noise within the room,
was the harbinger of doom,
the ear cells swan song blue.
As she writhed about the floor,
Daniel realized no more,
would they hear their favorite tune—
I’m crazy for loving you.

He clasped his hands around her face,
and felt again her body shake:
He shook her harder, and he screamed:
“Please don’t leave me now, Casey.
Somebody help, somebody please!
Call an ambulance for me!“

And while they waited for some help,
Casey arrived at Death’s doorstep.
Her heartbeat fading, Daniel felt—
You are the world me, Casey.
There is nobody else.
Casey, Casey, come back please.
Don’t leave me by myself.

Her slender fingers on both hands
had began to shake:
Daniel lay beside her on the floor,
and watched her fade.
He held her shaking hands,
and remembered their first night:
when she hummed that haunting jingle,
under old street-lights.

She wasn’t moving;
Daniel screamed.
He put his lips to hers to breathe;
Casey? Casey! Casey, please!
What now will I do?
My life was nothing but a joke,
before I fell for you.

Again and again
her name he called,
his tears the taste
of salt would fall.
When in his dreams
her clothes, her rings,
glistened amidst
the golden beams.
He saw but half her face.

The cops arrived, the EMS,
went inside and almost left:
when they glimpsed the lovely girl,
their hearts were heavy,
almost torn:
And standing in the living room,
a crowd began to mourn.

They bagged her
and brought in the stretcher,
and Daniel rushed to see:
them take away his dying love—
his honey bird—Casey.

The living room was full of smoke,
Daniel like a toy had broke,
and struggled with the cops.
He slammed his fists against the wall,
as they drug him down the hall,
into the street outside.
He shouted but said nothing,
in his incoherent screams.
He managed to get loose from them,
and slammed his head against the street.

They put her in the ambulance,
yet they knew she had no chance,
Her pulse was weak, and fading still,
they kept the green light on,
until—
that awful monotone;
the dead end voice that told the world,
about the soon forgotten girl,
who died so far from home.
her breathing stopped,
her pulse had dropped—
the laughing girl was gone.

As people gathered in the street,
people stopped and whispered weak:
our baby girl is gone.
Now she’ll see her little brother,
and her lovely old grandmother,
on that long walk home.

Her plastic arms had clutched her face,
one side of which was still in place,
with rosy cheeks which had flushed red.
Blood like snakes ran down her head.
and of this world, her one last glance:
was Daniel speaking of their dance:
“I’m sorry son, just look:
she’s dead.”
A policeman in a white coat said.
And like a lifeless mannequin,
they held her by her clammy hands,
and loaded her into the van.

Later on the news was read:
“A fourteen year old girl is dead.”
It happened as an accident,
She was shot in the head,
there was little left to do,
when her mother heard the news,
“She’s not dead!” her mother said,
screaming in the streets.
A crowd of people stood in silence,
Yet no one dared to speak.
They sat in silent circles, sad,
they cried:
the beautiful fireside angels cried.

One moment sitting there alright,
she died under the pale lamp light.
Here one moment then they’re gone,
You love them,
and they love you back.
And all that’s left,
our rights, our wrongs—
about her earrings—abalone,
her lullaby—that haunting song.

The poet from his mind, had read—
a lullaby written for the dead:
There once was a girl I knew,
who left our world and far too soon.
They called her Casey,
lovely girl,
her tasseled hair in vibrant curls,
Her skin was ivory white.
Casey lived for fourteen years—
and bled to death that night.

4

I remember when I met her,
laughing in the sand.
I sat in a sandbox with her,
and she brushed against my hand.
The warmth and softness of her skin,
was as soft as porcelain.

The image in my mind remains:
the couch they left outside,
with stains,
that every day I had to see:
a blood soaked couch,
with trash thrown out
the dreams I had of she:
in a cemetery’s haze,
we walk together through a maze,
with nothing but her grave to see.

To the next world—
just to see,
her younger brother,
laugh with glee.
and with him walk—
the golden roads.
And upon the walls of stalls,
she hears our lilting loving calls,
of this posthumous ode.

They disappear and one by one,
like lilies underneath the sun,
they abide their time and go.
With another season done,
another field of flowers come:
and all is gone too soon.

It happens in a past forgotten,
when a life on Earth begins,
when a child whose newborn eyes
are so much closer to the end.
One moment there,
and then they’re gone,
to hear an echo of the song.

Daniel drank, and Daniel sighed,
And line by line he lost his mind,
his eyes erratic showed:
He slammed his head against the road,
yet did not feel the blow.
Again and again,
He spit in the wind;
and turned a crusty red.
He had killed what he most loved,
and he inside was dead.
And the man who gunned her down,
himself so soon he’d try to drown,
in beer and drugs and guns.
And many times upon the table,
his revolver spun.

At her funeral in the fall
I stood with her family, all,
gathered ‘round to silent speak:
she lay there peaceful, solemn,
quiet:
no one by the casket
‘till her father spoke beside it.
And he hummed that same old song,
that haunting far flung sing-a-long,
that Daniel heard on that walk home.
And as it filled the hallowed hall,
the shadows crept along the wall,
and no one felt alone—
even though her lullaby,
was now forever gone.

Brandon K. Nobles – Willow, 2010

I
NO SIGNAL

Not far from here, not long ago,
an old man heard the voice of God—
through his old radio.
He lived with Willow,
his son—the Mute,
who never spoke a word.
His father did not care, he knew,
that when he prayed God heard.
All was well until the day,
the signal seemed to fade.
where once was the voice of God,
a tawdry ballad played.

He stayed awake all night and tried,
through the darkness light to find,
and could not tune back in.
His digital dials attempted forever
though deep down he knew he’d never
hear God’s sweet voice again
The holy frequency was gone,
and that old man, now scared, alone,
to the basement did descend.
His saddened son above remained,
while his father went insane,
yet all he did was pray.
“Don’t leave him in the dark, like that,
why have you left, will you come back?”
and yet the silence stayed.
“Bring him back to grace, and home.
Don’t leave him in the dark, alone.”

He paced about the basement dark,
oft lit by radiator sparks.
A sick God seemed to rise;
In the twisted shape of his dad, late,
were tired and bloodshot eyes.
“The child must go,” the sick God said.
“There are devils in his head.
The child—the Mute—must die.

“I’ll give you the frequency,
so you can tune back into me;
you know just what to dial.
The sick God in his father’s skin,
faded into black again,
and ‘lone the old man cried.
It goes on now, to never end,
like that which did not begin.

II
FOR YESTERDAY

The silence stayed for several days,
on antique speakers never played,
the sublime songs of God delayed;
Just echoes of a man who screamed,
and tufts of smoke in slanting beams,
the day was sickly gray.
The old man with his knives in hand,
walked the quiet stairs to stand,
in Willow’s gold doorway.

And on the pillow,
lay there, Willow,
who silent cried for help.
He prayed for his father, and,
his lovely long lost mother Anne
but never for himself.
destiny weaves spider webs—
the tide comes in, the water ebbs,
leaving shells upon the shelf.

The disconnected loved ones mourn,
their life upon the shore forlorn,
where once they went to play.
The sunshine and the ocean breeze,
they made sandcastles by the sea.
When they were done—
down went the sun,
and then they tired lay.
The sun went down,
when Willow frowned—
a lament for the day.
That which never did begin
like a circle will not end.

III
ANGEL IN THE DESERT

The crazed old man sat by his son,
on a ragged racecar bed.
He said, “We have to talk, my son.”
Yet Willow turned his head.
He tucked him in, and sang his song
until his son had safely gone
to the dream world Gilead.

And while there, the pale blue air,
in dancing circles did not care,
and words passed through the sky.
Amidst the endless wheatfield stalks,
above he heard a lost crow squawk,
and his lost mother’s cry.

He ran blind into the field,
his hands before him grasped to feel,
and Willow came to find:
A radio and crying tape,
he knew at once he was too late;
the digital crying died.
It hacked and coughed,
and then shut off;
young saddened Willow sighed.

Willow in the wheat field heard,
the sound of something like a bird;
he stood and looked around.
All he saw was trees, and quiet,
twisted trees their shapes beside it,
and the shrouds of silken clouds
looked just like his mother’s gown—
he chased it through the night.
Through the rows of stalks,
he heard his mother call.
He walked amongst the dying leaves
as they around him fall.

He found her on a quiet hill,
a breathing mannequin lying still—
he then walked up the slope.
He knelt and tried to hold her hand—
it slipped away like grains of sand,
and then turned into smoke.

Don’t cry for me,
my sweet, you’ll see,
at rest in El Dorado.
The wind picked up,
the voice was gone,
and he was on the hill alone,
until, at last, he thought:
How could what did not begin,
ever stop or ever end?

IV
THE MAN IN THE MIRROR

Beside him when he woke, there lay,
a hundred knives lay by his face.
as chalk around a corpse and facing in.
Outside his door his father wept—
and then with bloodshot eyes he crept,
from the basement to the den.
Willow wished to call his name—
he tried “I love you”—nothing came,
then silent Willow sighed again.

Underground his father watched,
the man in the mirror he forgot,
his mind was white noise now.
The ticking clock above had stopped,
like crumpled paper Roger dropped,
again he heard the sound.

The sun came up—to his surprise;
The radiator shrieked, and cried,
and static seemed to drown:
Roger stumbled to his feet,
and his eyes tired seemed the greet:
his father’s pictures spread around.

The more he stared—the wall,
which bore,
His father’s pictures smeared with
WHORE
written in blood,
like caked on mud,
he tore the pictures from the wall,
shouts his son heard down the hall—
with vertigo he stood.
The tempest of the moment gone,
he remained there, cold alone;
he tacked his father’s
blood stained pictures,
on the wall again:
only to take them off once more:
the circle never ends.

V
THE TREE THAT SEED BECAME TO BE

Willow had his mother’s eyes,
as blue as springtime azure skies;
his hair was tasseled, black.
He got his name from an old tree,
where his father asked his mother,
“Will you marry me?”
She said yes and they both sat,
together in one silhouette,
when love and life was free.

Five months later they were wed—
the newlyweds played in their bed,
and planted the seed.
over the months it steady grew,
until the seed itself had bloomed,
when Willow came to be.

And all the wondrous years that followed—
one after another ‘morrow,
were joyful times for all;
They ate together, smiled, and laughed,
as hour after hour passed,
as an apple from a tree to fall.

VI
LIFE IN ONE STANZA GONE

All was well, and life was bright,
until wandered in that night,
when they played lost and found.
Willow splashed in pools of rain,
when a car passed in the lane,
and lifeless Anna hit the ground.
Her young son,
now frightened, stunned,
heard but a ringing sound.

Willow by his mother lay,
unable, as he wished to say,
mother I love you so.
He watched her life drain,
as she died,
he saw that frightened look,
her eyes,
and she dissolved like smoke.

Silent Willow, by the grave,
stood by as the reverend prayed:
“Let Anna find her rest.”
Even as hard as Willow tried—
he couldn’t hold back as he cried,
and Willow did his best.
They buried her beneath the tree,
the weeping willow in the spring—
in the orchard where they loved:
The sad and listless loves one lost,
in tears they stood above.

VII
IN FALL WHEN FALL THE LEAVES

Later on when he got home—
he stood in his room alone,
and wistful held his breath.
That poem, he thought,
that poem of old—
in lyricism quaint yet bold:
You are what you become, no less.

He could not live without his Anne,
but Willow did his best.
He met a lawyer late that night,
and found his mother’s locket white—
it dangled on his chest.
On each side, when open pried,
a picture of himself.

One of them, a child who cried,
the other—Willow smiling wide:
“You were the world to me, my son,
And now that you are gone—
I only want to tell you now,
I heard your every song.”

He did his best all of his life,
when terrified awake at night,
his mother’s ghost appeared:
Don’t you love me?
Can you say it?
The forlorn loved one leered.
Willow tried to speak again,
just silence with his mouth open:
his mother disappeared.

He lay there in the bed, at night—
his hands clenching the covers tight,
hoping his mother would appear.
And sobbing Willow on his pillow,
thought that he could hear:
the love and comfort in his mother,
be replaced by fear.

VIII
THE LIGHTHOUSE GONE

In the years that after passed,
Willow seldom—if all—laughed,
instead in silence moped;
his father waited in the hall—
with his back against the wall,
that his son would see the light—
the light of God at night to strike,
that he might hear the good Lord call—
though all he heard was silence, all;
the shadows danced the night.
Amidst the shadows that he saw—
the ones that up his wall had crawled,
his mother— his dead lighthouse bright.

Anna’s ghost transparent white,
came to Roger in the night:
I guess you’ve left me, nothing new,
my father and your father too.
I guess you’re gone,
and I have grown;
that’s what we always do.
We all leave, and in the end—
return to whence we came again,
and so the circle goes.

IX
THE NEVER ENDING VALLEY

The tragedy of those days gone,
his father underground, alone:
tacked pictures on the wall.
Where once was his father’s face,
his own sadness had replaced:
and above it, as with all:
he scrawled above his pictures, that,
what once was red was written black.
BASTARD in his blood he scrawled,
in his despair he heard a call—
the sickly God of old was back.
“If you wish to save your son,
I’m sure you know what must be done.”
and the voice slipped through the cracks.

Roger made the preparations,
for the junkie constellations.
The needle sighed, Roger, relieved,
Thought about his son and then,
saw the valley by the bend,
and felt the ocean breathe.
It was the song, that sing along,
the Earth’s soliloquy.
Roger was so close to drowning,
in a numb opiate sea

There amidst the rich green grass—
under a blue sky made of glass,
Roger was at peace.
Paradise was within sight—
where grew a never dying light:
the never-ending valley of the free.
And then he saw behind his eyes—
that far flung long gone night:
when laughing Willow, in the rain,
skipped through puddles as he sang,
his mother’s smile so bright.
And when she faded like a flame,
Roger had himself to blame;
he thought of Humpty Dumpty,
and saw it was his life:
and he thought that he was not
put back together right.

The quiet children, pale, naive,
lay in their beds in far off dreams—
of velvet skies and golden streams,
and watch the good Sol die by eve.
to lose it is not high a price,
and no one has to grieve.
Just a flicker of the eye,
Another pilgrim passes by,
as yet another leaves,
That which never did begin,
in no way could come to end.

X
AUTUMN

Roger walked the stairs with care,
Looked through doorway, Willow there,
On his side and legs withdrawn.
For a moment Roger watched,
And all the moments he forgot,
Drowned him as the dawn.
He took the needle from his pocket,
and his mother Anna’s locket,
and then he shot the faun.

Willow woke and saw his dad,
in the chair beside his bed
with tear stains in his eyes—
What’s wrong daddy? Willow wrote
“I’m sorry,” Roger penned a note.
And nervous turned to leave.
But Willow drowsy wrote, to ask,
“Will you read to me?”

His father Roger turned around,
went by the bed and sat back down,
“Of course I can,” his father, pleased.
“What do you think that I should read?”
“On the bookshelf by the door—”
He wrote it down just like before.
“—was a book my mommy read to me.”
Before she died on Blossom St.

Roger pushed the chair and stood,
and walked across old planks of wood—
to his son’s bookshelf.
Sitting on top of clothes and socks,
Was an old book dog-eared at the top,
a book he’d bought himself.
A Child’s Garden of Verses,
he found the favorite verse of his;
and read it to himself:

When I was sick and lay in bed,
I had two pillows at my head,
And all my toys beside me lay,
To keep me happy through the day.

Sometimes for an hour or so,
I watched my leaden soldiers go,
With different uniforms and drills,
Among the bed clothes through the hills

And sometimes sent my ships in fleets,
All up and down amongst the sheets,
Or bright my trees and houses out,
And planted cities all about.

I was the giant great and still
That sits upon the pillow hill,
And sees before him, dull and plain,
The pleasant land of Counterpane.

He took a pillow from the bed,
and put it over Willow’s head:
Willow gasped but could not call,
His father pressed down on his nose,
that stained the pillow like a rose.
A minute passed, with his last gasp,
a silent child named Willow passed.

XI
THE MURAL IN THE CLOSET

He took his body to the basement,
were he kept Willow’s replacement:
a gaudy harlot mannequin.
He unlocked the closet door,
and drug his son across the floor—
and the white noise came again.

He propped it up as Willow sat—
in Willow’s clothes and baseball hat,
and Roger grabbed the bin.
The pictures of young Willow spread
across the wall and down the halls.
The white noise came again.

Above the pictures lined in rows,
He wrote in thick white paint
WILLOW
he closed the closet door behind,
and tried to keep it from his mind,
he walked in an unsteady line;
to the sofa apropos.
The sound of static hissing, cracked,
it seemed the sick God had came back.

He tried to trace the source,
the sound,
and on the radio he found—
such an old song playing slow.
It reminded him of that lost day,
just him and Willow on the lake,
they climbed into the boat.

They made their way to deeper water,
and Willow smiled beside his father—
the winds of Spring began to blow.
They sang together in the breeze,
the thought made Roger hit his knees:
he changed the channel on the old,
radio he wish he’d sold;
tears were streaming down his face—
his heart had quickened in its pace:
and then he heard the Ghost.

He changed the channel, yet he heard,
a string of disconnected words,
all soft as they came in.
Behind the songs and sing-a-longs,
“Daddy what did I do wrong?”
As he had done all of his life,
Roger ran again.
As he passed a pane of glass,
Roger turned and saw, at last:
the sick God in the frame was him.

He hurried up the creaking stairs,
and opened up his dresser, where,
lay the only gun he had.
He ran back to the basement, and,
his wife and son stood hand to hand;
he put the magnum to his head.
After a flash he hit the ground,
slurring words he twitched around—
and Roger lay there dead.

Roger passed by in a dream,
as he unraveled at the seams:
trapped in his mind alone.
Frozen in a chair beside,
the ghost of Willow which replied:
“Daddy what did I do wrong?”
He repeated the question,
over and over,
The question went unheard,
and Roger could not reply.
There he was inside his mind,
and trapped he could not cry.

With silent Willow standing by him,
in vain he often tried:
to say those words, Will wished to hear:
just a simple, “Daddy’s here.”
Their souls are stuck—
between two worlds,
a silent circle not to end:
like that which did not begin.
And they came like water,
and as wind they go:
they’re all buried underneath,
that old and weeping Willow.

Brandon K. Nobles – The Silent Circle, 2010

Not far from here, not long ago,
lived a manic madman and his son, the mute.
The old man talked to God each night,
just through the radio,
until one day he lost the signal,
then he lost his mind.

He stayed awake all day, all night,
trying to tune back in—
to tune into the channel where
he first heard the voice of God,
a murmur through the speakers.
God’s frequency seemed gone forever,
and the old man despaired.

He descended to the basement,
and left his son up stairs, and by himself,
in his room, and silent praying,
for his father to come home.
When the old man found the channel again,
the voice of a sick God was on the line,
and said:
‘The child—he talks to demons now.’

The old man walked the stairs in quiet,
and stopped before his son’s cracked door,
to listen to the mute child mumble,
by the bed his hands in prayer.
The sick God in the old man’s mind,
he said:
‘A child who talks to demons,
must be punished—must be dead.’

When the child was sound asleep,
his father crept in quiet to his bed;
he took a pillow and he softly placed it
over his young son’s head.
He pushed down on the bridge of his nose,
until the pillow was blood red-
until the blood came from his nose,
his father choked him, and, when dead,
dragged his body to the shed.

The ghost of that young child
somehow whispered through the radio
and hid behind the songs:
his father, still alive, yet froze—unmoving,
and the young ghost sang the song:
‘Daddy, daddy? What did I do wrong?’

He repeated the question over and over,
and his father never heard.
And when the old man finally died
he found himself trapped in his mind,
in a dead shell could not move.
Frozen in the chair beside,
the ghost of his unhappy son:
unable to move or speak or hear,
unable to say “I’m sorry for what I’ve done.”

With his son’s ghost right beside him,
he tried to say in vain,
yet knew his son would never hear:
The words he prayed for all his life,
just a simple, “Daddy’s here.”
The silent circle never ended;
they try to speak today.
Neither hears the other,
they shout forever anyway.

Brandon K. Nobles – Apparition of a Dead Tomorrow, 2010

1

The hopes of childhood,
hopes, someday,
everything will be okay.
All will be alright.
You’ll have all the things you need,
a quiet normal life.
Happy mornings, happy days,
and peaceful sleep at night.

Yet every day those dreams they fray,
dead colors on the seams.
You’re not looking at a page:
this silhouette of me.
The portrait fades to ash somehow,
and someday dies the dream.
A painting fragile, frail, and shaking,
Who takes the time to care?
What about behind the words,
the man with dirty hair?

Cynical, that’s what they say,
when one man has spent all his days,
to sing what can’t be heard.
Hopes they come, and hopes they go,
down the winding dusty roads.
we don’t know how, we don’t know why,
we mourn our dreams that silent die.
(In silence mourn our dreams that die.)

And all my life, the things I’ve seen
will pass me by as though dream.
This shopping spree,
don’t waste your days.
Don’t wander blind into the maze,
without a light to see.

II

Everybody in their lives,
looked to the sky with star filled eyes.
a glimpse into the future that,
on which the hopeful hang their hats,
And as the day approaches,
into the now out of the clouds,
the cloud that is the future
is amnesia’s fog-like shroud.

It has never been the same,
as you’ve imagined when it’s came
sometimes that face,
those eyes, that smile
you’ve watched approaching for a while,
They are not on time.
So like the others in the row
you fall back into line.
And when they stumble into view
nobody there just lonely you.

Everyone alive I’ve seen,
has their own unique tragedy,
from their hole they helpless call.
They beat their fists against the wall,
then the dirt slides terror-eyed,
trapped in the prison of the mind.

III

The wall between the world,
and you,
sometimes a glimpse, a peak into,
to see if all the dreams came true.
And if not,
the air is free.
Look to the sky, into the eyes,
of the ghostlike passersby.
The body is on loan,
I think,
and we surely cannot stay
at least we have the time to say,
that we are here alive today.

So write it down, that you may say,
a thousand years from now just, “Hey.”
A hundred years after the day,
you sat down with your pen-
turn the page, and then you may,
speak from the past again.
The words and portraits,
from the page,
do not fade or die with age.

Sometimes I don’t know what to do,
I just don’t know at all.
I’ve already prayed and written
help me on the walls.
Just for the chance
that you may glance,
this page and hear me call.

IV

With my dad, far in the past,
on a lake our lines were cast,
fishing in the sun.
Under a blue torn, ragged sky,
We watched a flock of cranes go by.
we felt the breeze of coming eve.
I looked up, to my surprise,
“Everything is beautiful,”
in the shape of clouds went by.

We left our lines in the lake
and fitted worms on hooks as bait,
and ebbed upon the lilting waves,
and felt the summer air.
I thought about the happy times,
not knowing they were there,

We watched our corks,
and sat to wait,
our faces shimmered in the lake.
And as the time walked silent by,
the lost sun wandered through the sky.
Above us as we waited, lone,
other than the fish below
we together were alone.

V

The deepest holes,
where scared fish go,
no sympathy for the birds.
Always looking, never finding,
a harder life than ours.
Origami hummingbirds,
so delicate and fine,
in the spring, the songs they sing
are rehearsed pantomimes.
and all the sing song verses, “Bye,”
and they sing themselves to sleep,
with haunting lullabies.

The birds whose dreams
dwell on the spring,
and all those lovely songs they’ll sing-
about the good, about the bad,
before the season of their love is gone,
turns into a coda for the sweet bird’s crying song.

I think back to my childhood, and,
see crumbling statues made of sand.
When I was young, I used to ride,
with father through the country side.
Looking for deer, and turkeys, too,
just me and him, nothing to do.

VI

Until we found our quarry, then
shot a picture with my lens.
Then we stopped, a bite to eat,
and at cafe took our seat.
He ordered what I wanted,
anything for me.
Yet on the best day of my life,
all I could do was dream.

About a future poorly seen,
the ghostlike shadows of my dreams,
the dream may never come—
and on my grave it just might say,
I wish I had just one more day,
here lay the bastard son.
I wasted all the happy times,
too busy looking down the line,
of coming days behind the sun.

Now that I’m grown,
The world, it’s tone,
has turned a static gray.
The dreams I had,
Though now long gone,
I still see that face.
Too busy looking to the future,
I forgot the day.
I wanted to be just like him,
Though now that he has long been gone,
I play Hank Williams while I ride
those old dirt roads alone.

VII

We walked between the raindrops
on the narrow winding streets.
The people under black umbrellas
walked on tired feet.
Bustling amidst the crowd,
We passed and said “Hello.”
No one stirred or said a word,
not even a “Goodbye.”
And blind in winding maze like streets
they pass each other by.

When we strangers saw each other,
we nod or shake our head.
Sometimes they don’t even look,
and watch their feet instead.
Never living in the moment,
always they look ahead.
They never talk with other ghosts,
instead they turn their head.
looking down as slow they walk.
so they will never have to talk.

They avert their eyes sometimes,
Families which once were tied
seem these days to cut the ties.
No more talking, face to face,
The portrait is an echo,
of what was its place.

Between the raindrops we had walked,
some faces looked but never talked,
they go back to their home alone,
and stay up all day all night long.
Locked in the room they only talk,
and whisper to themselves.
They toss and turn under the sheets,
until they cry themselves to sleep.
And in their dream again they see,
a flooded water covered street.

A Weird Little Dance

What can I say when words give way
to windows to the mind
where all the memories replay
chased by the beast of mine
To eat the happy memories
and write me only eulogies
and when I close my eyes, I see,
my own eyes look back at me

and the monster in the lens
crawls from my back and then gets in
Say what you’re thinking, you miserable fuck!
I’m not that sad, just out of luck
Who are you trying to fucking defend?
Why trust you when you’re pretend?

Another demon of the mind
drowned in liquid anodyne
falls over the table and into the floor
never to eat my mind anymore.
Then I hear an open door
through which came a thousand more
and I just let them feed.

They pick apart my mind and play
the same old routine every day
chain me down and, underground
descend upon me as their prey
I lay there in the stifling air
and dying never prayed.
After all what is the chance,
that we’ll survive this little dance?
And if we don’t where go our words?
Unheard in the wind like birds.’