Ode To The West Wind ~ by Percy Bysshe Shelley



O wild West Wind, thou breath of Autumn’s being,
Thou, from whose unseen presence the leaves dead
Are driven, like ghosts from an enchanter fleeing,

Yellow, and black, and pale, and hectic red,
Pestilence-stricken multitudes: O thou,
Who chariotest to their dark wintry bed

The winged seeds, where they lie cold and low,
Each like a corpse within its grave, until
Thine azure sister of the Spring shall blow

Her clarion o’er the dreaming earth, and fill
(Driving sweet buds like flocks to feed in air)
With living hues and odours plain and hill:

Wild Spirit, which art moving everywhere;
Destroyer and preserver; hear, oh hear!


Thou on whose stream, mid the steep sky’s commotion,
Loose clouds like earth’s decaying leaves are shed,
Shook from the tangled boughs of Heaven and Ocean,

Angels of rain and lightning: there are spread
On the blue surface of thine aëry surge,
Like the bright hair uplifted from the head

Of some fierce Maenad, even from the dim verge
Of the horizon to the zenith’s height,
The locks of the approaching storm. Thou dirge

Of the dying year, to which this closing night
Will be the dome of a vast sepulchre,
Vaulted with all thy congregated might

Of vapours, from whose solid atmosphere
Black rain, and fire, and hail will burst: oh hear!


Thou who didst waken from his summer dreams
The blue Mediterranean, where he lay,
Lull’d by the coil of his crystàlline streams,

Beside a pumice isle in Baiae’s bay,
And saw in sleep old palaces and towers
Quivering within the wave’s intenser day,

All overgrown with azure moss and flowers
So sweet, the sense faints picturing them! Thou
For whose path the Atlantic’s level powers

Cleave themselves into chasms, while far below
The sea-blooms and the oozy woods which wear
The sapless foliage of the ocean, know

Thy voice, and suddenly grow gray with fear,
And tremble and despoil themselves: oh hear!


If I were a dead leaf thou mightest bear;
If I were a swift cloud to fly with thee;
A wave to pant beneath thy power, and share

The impulse of thy strength, only less free
Than thou, O uncontrollable! If even
I were as in my boyhood, and could be

The comrade of thy wanderings over Heaven,
As then, when to outstrip thy skiey speed
Scarce seem’d a vision; I would ne’er have striven

As thus with thee in prayer in my sore need.
Oh, lift me as a wave, a leaf, a cloud!
I fall upon the thorns of life! I bleed!

A heavy weight of hours has chain’d and bow’d
One too like thee: tameless, and swift, and proud.


Make me thy lyre, even as the forest is:
What if my leaves are falling like its own!
The tumult of thy mighty harmonies

Will take from both a deep, autumnal tone,
Sweet though in sadness. Be thou, Spirit fierce,
My spirit! Be thou me, impetuous one!

Drive my dead thoughts over the universe
Like wither’d leaves to quicken a new birth!
And, by the incantation of this verse,

Scatter, as from an unextinguish’d hearth
Ashes and sparks, my words among mankind!
Be through my lips to unawaken’d earth

The trumpet of a prophecy! O Wind,
If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?

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The Vampyre ~ by Lord Lytton

the-vampire-philip-burne-jones (1)

The Vampyre by Lord Lytton

I found a corpse, with golden hair,
Of a maiden seven months dead.
But the face, with the death in it, still was fair,
And the lips with their love were red.
Rose leaves on a snow-drift shed,
Blood-drops by Adonis bled,
Doubtless were not so red.

I combed her hair into curls of gold,
And I kissed her lips till her lips were warm,
And I bathed her body in moonlight cold,
‘Till she grew to a living form:
Till she stood up bold to a magic of old,
And walked to a muttered charm –
Lifelike, without alarm.


And she walks by me, and she talks by me,
Evermore, night and day;
For she loves me so, that, wherever I go,
She follows me all the way –
This corpse – you would almost say
There pined a soul in the clay.

Her eyes are so bright at the dead of night
That they keep me wake with dread:
And my life-blood fails in my veins, and pales
At the sight of her lips so red:
For her face is as white as the pillow by night
Where she kisses me on my bed:
All her gold hair outspread –
Neither alive nor dead.

I would that this woman’s head
Were less golden about the hair:
I would her lips were less red,
And her face less deadly fair.
For this is the worst to bear –
How came that redness there?

‘Tis my heart, be sure, she eats for her food;
And it makes one’s whole flesh creep
To think that she drinks and drains my blood
Unawares, when I am asleep.
How could those red lips
Their redness so damson-deep?

There’s a thought like a serpent, slips
Ever into my head, –
There are plenty of women, alive and human
One might woo, if one wished, and wed –
Women with hearts, and brains, — ay – and lips
Not so terribly red.

But to house with a corpse – and she so fair,
With that dim, unearthly, golden hair,
And those sad, serene, blue eyes,
With their looks from who knows where,
With the grave’s own secret there –
It is more than I can bear!

It were better for me, ere I cam nigh her,
This corpse – ere I looked upon her,
Had they burned my body in flame and fire
With a sorcerer’s dishonor.
For when the Devil hath made his lair,
And lurks in the eyes of a fair young woman
(To grieve a man’s soul with her golden hair,
And break his heart, if his heart be human),
Would not a saint despair
To be saved by fast or prayer
From perdition made so fair?

She is unkind, unkind!
On the windy hill, to-day,
I sat in the sound of the wind.
I know what the wind would say.
It said…or seemed to my mind…
“The flowers are falling away.
The summer,”… it said… “will not stay.
And Love with be left behind.”

The swallows were swinging themselves
In the leaden-gray air aloft;
Flitting by tens and twelves,
And returning oft and oft;
Like the thousand thoughts in me,
That went, and came, and went,
Not letting me even be
Alone with my discontent.

The hard-vext weary vane
Rattled, and moaned and was still,
In the convent over the plain,
By the side of the windy hill.
It was sad to hear it complain,
So fretful, and weak, and shrill,
Again, and again, and in vain,
While the wind was changing his will.

I thought of our walks last summer
By the convent-walls so green;
Of the firs tkiss stolen from her,
With no one near to be seen.
I thought (as we wandered on,
Each of us waiting to speak)
How the daylight left us alone,
And left his last night on her cheek.

The plain was as cold and gray
(With its villas like gleaming shells)
As some north-ocean bay.
All dumb in the church were the bells.
In the mist, half a league away,
Lay the little white house where she dwells.

I thought of her face so bright,
By the sunlight bending low
O’er her work so neat and white:
Of her singing so soft and slow:
Of her tender toned “Good-night;”
But a very few nights ago.

O’er the convent doors, I could see
A pale and sorrowful-eyes
Madonna looking at me,
As when Our Lord first died.
There was a lizard or spider
To be seen on the broken walls.
The ruts, and the rain, had grown wider
And blacker since last night’s falls.
O’er the universal dullness
There broke not a single beam.
I thought how my love at its fullness
Had changed like a change in a dream.

The olives were shedding fast
About me, to the left and right,
In the lap of the scornful blast.
Black berries and leaflets white.
I thought of the many romances
One wintry word can blight;
Of the tender and timorous fancies
By a cold look put to flight.

How many noble deeds
Strangled perchance at their birth!
The smoke of the burning weeds
Came up with the steam of the earth,
From the red, wet ledges of soil,
And there sere weeds, row over row, –
And the vineyard-men at their toil,
Who sang in the vineyard below.

Last Spring, while I thought of her here,
I found a red rose on the hill.
There it lies, withered and sere!
Let him trust to a woman who will.

I thought how her words had grown colder,
And her fair face colder still,
From the hour whose silence had told her
What has left me heart-broken and ill;
And “Oh!” I thought, … “if I behold her
Walking there with him under the hill!”

O’re the mist from the mournful city
The blear lamps gleamed aghast, –
“she has neither justice, nor pity,”
I thought… “all’s over at last!”
The cold eve came. One star
Through a ragged gray gap forlorn
Fell down from some region afar,
And sickened as soon as born.
I thought, “How long and how lone
The years will seem to be,
When the last of her looks is gone,
And my heart is silent in me!”

One streak of sorrowful gold,
In the cloudy and billowy west,
Burned with alight as cold
As love in a much-wronged breast.
And she called me by every caressing old name
She of old had invented for me:
She crouched at my feet, with her cheek on my knee,
Like a wild thing grown suddenly tame.

In the world there are women enough, maids or mothers;
Yet in multiplied millions, I never should find
The symbol of aught in her face, or her mind.
She has nothing in common with others.

And she loves me! This morning, the earth pressed beneath
Her light foot, keeps the print. ‘Twas no vision last night,
For the lily she dropped, as she went is yet white
With the dew on its delicate sheath!

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women of color


well, that patronizing downward chin waggle scrape me off the bottom of your manolos look you are glasscutting across the room at me
doesn’t really speak much of
doesn’t really define
Why do we topple our sisters?
Why does a woman look at another woman 
in That Way?
You know the one….
the one only another woman recognizes as a challenge
a gauntlet thrown down
but instead of an armored glove
a freakishly plucked eyebrow
tilted in your obviously inferior direction
often accompanied by a viciously sharpened tongue…
Who does it profit when a woman grinds another one down?
Distributing shame should never be a condiment…
and that ladder you clamber up so forcefully
 should never be made of the leftover pieces
of people you have broken.
Let that prescription for venom lapse
file down those claws.
Pack away the hurdles, the flags, the glossy posters for the pettiness race:
 lets all quit
lets all boycott 
that performance.
A woman’s heart is never indestructible, it never feels things differently
 just because its not yours 
and scars still feel the pain
still throb
long after they fade…
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Casper-Friendly-Ghost-Mobile-Game-for-Halloween-2 casper1 casper2 casper3

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Absinthe Visions ~ a Halloween Re-fit


Green_Dream_by_HauntedVisions (Sarah McConnaughey)

Come with me
walk with me
guide me through the alley

 and knock upon the door

with surreptitious glances
giggling deliciously
as we trip across the threshold and
  enter another sphere… 

A welcome shift in perspective
inflamed like a cube of sugar
let me drop into the dwelling place
 of the green fairies 
where the eye can be teased into showing the mind new tricks.
This portal moves at will 
and you follow it at your peril
or your pleasure…
*artwork by haunted visions (sarah mcconnaughey)
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Geese ~ by Michael Shorb



Geese ~ by Michael Shorb

Just north of Valley Falls
  rust mustard hue of
  fading autumn
                chills the marsh
  last storm of
    Canadian geese
  stuns the flyway

      imprinted engines of feathers and cries.

      I wonder how they’ll
    thread their way
  how instincts born of spanning
  northern frosts and raw
  walnut air
            navigate interstate
  haze to pinpoints in
  South American distance
  zeroing back with
  each unerring swoop
  to splashdown
                on a mountain lake
  where reeds bend
  mirrored in watery
              of their own swaying

    they and the vanishing geese
  a single string
            neutron dance
          branches of the actual
  surrounding me like
    breath returning
  when everything else
                        is gone.


*artwork by sophy white*

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The Fairies ~ by William Allingham


The Fairies ~ by William Allingham

Up the airy mountain,
   Down the rushy glen,
We daren’t go a-hunting
   For fear of little men;
Wee folk, good folk,
   Trooping all together;
Green jacket, red cap,
   And white owl’s feather!

Down along the rocky shore
   Some make their home,
They live on crispy pancakes
   Of yellow tide-foam;
Some in the reeds
   Of the black mountain-lake,
With frogs for their watchdogs,
   All night awake. 

High on the hill-top
   The old King sits;
He is now so old and grey
   He’s nigh lost his wits.
With a bridge of white mist
   Columbkill he crosses,
On his stately journeys
   From Slieveleague to Rosses;
Or going up with the music
   On cold starry nights,
To sup with the Queen
   Of the gay Northern Lights.

They stole little Bridget
   For seven years long;
When she came down again
   Her friends were all gone.
They took her lightly back,
   Between the night and morrow,
They thought that she was fast asleep,
   But she was dead with sorrow.
They have kept her ever since
   Deep within the lake,
On a bed of fig-leaves,
   Watching till she wake.

By the craggy hillside,
   Through the mosses bare,
They have planted thorn trees
   For my pleasure, here and there.
Is any man so daring
   As dig them up in spite,
He shall find their sharpest thorns
   In his bed at night.

Up the airy mountain,
   Down the rushy glen,
We daren’t  go a-hunting
   For fear of little men;
Wee folk, good folk,
   Trooping all together;
Green jacket, red cap,
   And white owl’s feather!

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