poetry critical

online poetry workshop

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Welcome to Poetry Critical, an online poetry workshop. To post your own poetry you'll need to create a user id by typing a name and password in the box above and hitting 'New User'. If you just want to critique or jump into the discussion, however, you can go ahead and get started!

Random Poem:

The Woeful Tale of Humanity

I. A Story of Life
January is a sad month, forming
Basis for a new year, trying
Endurance and passions, fading
Hatred into pain.
Summer makes us cold, bringing
Artificial air, killing
The warm snow that we once forgot.
Winter surmised us, protecting all with a dreary hold; we dwell on what lies ahead,
Yet know not what’s to come, the cynical trials,
And live idly, and die for our failures.
Sum huius mundi, unus deis moriturus, sed dum tum contendam.
Even when we were young, so dumb and innocent,
We had hope, a weaker state of faith,
A longing for more. But this desire,
This ambition, is tried. It is tested
By the trials of Life; by the divine jurors.
We fail, much of our life, and deserve our own Hell,
But instead receive grace.
Where are the veins that pulse, what blood flows
Throughout this venomous flesh? Poor children,
You cannot possibly know the fate of your
Wasted Unreality, which reeks of pain,
And for you there’s no respite, no comfort, no solace,
And no hope for blessed redemption. Only
The calm in your sinfulness remains,
(And what a resting place is your sin!),
So you wonder why you should even try to live
In your own wasted Unreality,
In tortured individuality;
But He’ll show you hope in the crimson timbers
Temptas me,
Et deficiebo,
Itaque relinquebas me?
Vel dabis me auxilium?
You gave me nothing when we first met;
So I saw nothing in you.
Yet when met again, just now, I saw so much more,
Your hands – still empty – were less than before,
Humbled, before your brokenness I knelt, Unable
To speak at the sight of your body, bloody
And torn, your heart breathed the air, the sin, for me.
Nostros vitae vacuae compleamur eo.
Say hello to Lucifer, the demon angel,
Author of Pain, nevertheless
His evil goes beyond the smooth and placid surface,
Rooting in the lives of men. He inscribes,
With his quill of sin, emptiness in men,
(But the void there made can be filled!),
He wants the empty battle, but avoids the War,
The War of Eternal Damnation.
See his servants mock us with grim derision,
Succumbing to the Darkness of Night, earning
An entire Life of laceration, consumed by flames.
Either their fortune or God has damned them, but
At either’s hands they will be cut off, ending
The Humanity that plagues us all, night and day.
The wasted life of an ignorant pawn,
Useless souls in the Twin Towers, so many,
I never thought death had done so many.
Whispers, long and dying, drifted ‘round,
And each thin vapor a thing of deceit.
(But deceptive in its purpose or in its beat?)
Feel the sequence of useless, potent powers
Emanating from the Ocean of the Dead.
Then I saw one I knew, and stopped her, screaming:
‘You who were with me in life at one time!
‘Why did you leave me to drown in your wake?
‘Are you happier now? More glad and content?
‘Or do you long for more than the dead?
‘I know you’re at ease, more happy than men,
‘But it still hurts when I miss you again!
‘Why? Why did you leave me? – mea amica – mea soror!
II. The Game of Chance
Pale sunlight stabs through blinds, delivering
A jolt of reality to the sleepers, dreaming
Of a life not attainable, at least for them.
Why wonder when you can dream? Avoiding
The rites of this passage and contact of the living.
The golden mist of dreams settles ‘round, feel it take
Control of our existence and diminish the world.
(A world that concerns us yet bothers not!)
But we miss the gray lying within the gold, blending
Bliss and regret in one happy catastrophe,
An inevitable source of reformation,
Without any salvation,
Without love,
Watch the dreams shatter into bloody bits,
Destroying hope for anything better.
(But can faith live on without hope?)
Watch the mist scatter, the gold leaving us
Hanging by our fortunes, our desires, and wants.
Is that a cavern ahead? Right there, look!
I think it is, maybe we will find respite,
But see the walls bleed black on the slick floor.
Twisted pillars, risen by ages, adorn the air,
While a shimmering light hassles the darkness,
Reflecting and revealing pools of tar.
Spiraled stairs descend below, appealing
To the poor passerby who looks for sleep.
Could we have known a thing without the light?
If I could just escape these surroundings, black as night
And ravaged by years of calloused abuse. Then I would
Never enter into the pitch of black again, Never
Desire the deceptive cool of night. But
That would take a miracle,
And though I believe in miracles, you see,
They just won’t believe in me.
Meet Chance, a prospective sort of fellow,
He invites all to his game,
But, unbeknownst to all, he wins every round,
Evoking a bet not wagered, not willingly.
It’s his game, don’t you see? And he plays his way.
Only fools play the game, and all fools cease to be,
(For to lose is to die!)
But we are all warrior fools, so we all will die.
Just wait your turn, don’t be impatient, it will come!
For although it’s the Game of Chance, the order
Of turns is out of his control (Thank God!).
Facedown, we set the pace,
Hoping to recover that which is lost, but not so,
For Chance, although quite genial, isn’t merciful,
So he always takes his reward, and in full.
(But he earns not the soul, which is for another.)
For it’s his game, you see.
III. The Whispered Winds of Denizen
Have you ever ventured down the road, the one past nature’s end,
The road that they call Denizen, one that has many bends?
Well, if you ever travel there, watch for the inn called Woe,
It’s ragged master will approach you, a dusty mop in hand,
And with winged words entreat you, to give in to his demand:
‘Weary traveler,
‘Come inside and rest your feet and mind.
‘Weary traveler!
‘I bid you to not depart from here, we’ve got room to spare.
‘Weary traveler,
‘No, don’t go. Enter my humble inn, I’ve got a room for you.
‘Weary traveler,
‘Where are you going? Come back! There’s nothing here to fear!
‘Weary traveler!
‘You better turn around or I’ll rend your righteous heart out!
‘Weary traveler!
‘I’ll hunt you down and burn your corpse! There’s nothing here to fear!
Ignore his calls and plod along, overlook the stones,
Avoid the pitfalls and snares set for the unaware.
If you keep on with your path, you’ll suffer much, it’s true,
But when you’ve reached the road’s end,
It’s worth all you’ve been through.
Near the end of this broken street, you’ll find,
A city, oh so picturesque, so lucid, so divine.
But your journey ends not there, unless you want
To reap the evil seeds sown within the handsome walls.
But when you reach the true end, the finish, the No More,
You will see a quaint old town, not like the city before.
Enter the place and call for Him, He’ll come to your side,
And after a few questions, will take you deep inside
The ugliest house of the town, where, if you have faith, you’ll find
A celestial store of treasures of the most valued kind.
IV. The Palate of the Soul
The grim pallor of Death alights,
In the souls of men…
It’s festered tone so delights,
In the souls of men…
Ripping, killing, stealing minds
That belonged to us…
Leaving trails of bloody rinds
That belonged to us…
It’s true – see our features fade
It’s all so befitting…
Watch it strengthen what we’ve made
It’s all so befitting…
Pulsing through our dying veins
It’s the opiate…
We scream for more while Life wanes
It’s the opiate…
Blood is so definitive
Of our human nature…
Yet we’re still so tentative
Of our human nature…
Now it seems as if we’ll die
For our sinful pride…
If we live then we’ll just vie
For our sinful pride…
Hear the fading beat of drums
Ending our humanity…
Yet, somewhere, some thing still thrums
Ending our humanity…
See the glimmer of war in his eyes
It’s coming upon him…
His courage is mounting to all’s surprise
It’s coming upon him…
Transfigured by the powers of godly Mars
It’s bubbling within…
Paying no heed to old timely scars
It’s bubbling within…
His features all changed by a deadly lust
It’s filled to the rim…
A lust for the blood which shed he must
It’s filled to the rim…
Look out! The fighting has frenzied his mind!
He just wants to win…
Descending to where no lights ever shined
He just wants to win…
Sacrificing his mind for more power
The world has gone dim…
He doesn’t care if this is his last hour
The world has gone dim…
Pray for his maddened and bloodthirsty soul
He lives on his sin…
The bloody opiate does him further cajole
He lives on his sin…
Spiraling down into the deep,
Where the secret sins do keep,
Blessed wings of bloody lies,
Lower us down to our sleep,
Once we’re dead, we open our eyes
Finding all torn to our surprise,
And though the darkness still does seep,
It’s only products of our leap,
Waiting for a restoration of sight,
We dream on fitfully in the night,
And even when the world goes by,
We slumber still in more delight,
And on our bed of promise, lie,
Until the day when we shall die,
Giving in to it without fight,
Not caring what things are wrong or right,
Watch the night conquer me,
Drawing me below the sea,
The black tides simply – justly – waiting,
To wrap me in complacency,
But as I descend further, hating
All the planning and debating,
The thing consumes completely,
Just as the sea that overtakes me,
Whispered vines and tethered ropes,
Choke away all of our hopes,
And we feel despair set in,
Killing all with which life copes,
And I sense the pain begin,
Filling up with rage again,
Unable to live while Life still mopes,
Unable to accept any more tropes.
Scream out loud,
Dream out loud,
Give it up for potency,
Three hurrahs for power,
Give it up for influence,
Three hurrahs for power,
Like an ebbing, flowing tide,
Soak away our fear,
Our reluctance for strength,
Take it all away and leave us here,
Then we will no longer hide,
Then we will go the length,
Not afraid to deeply peer,
And fall to the power ride,
Raise up,
Raise up to the call,
Raise up,
Raise up or you’ll fall,
Force yourself to meet the onslaught,
Brace for the charge of collision,
Square your shoulders and set your jaw,
For this battle beyond your vision,
You say we’re all just normal men,
Well, I say that you’re dead wrong,
Just simply living makes us unique,
The abilities we have make us strong,
We can keep on the path even when
Faced with things of higher mettle,
Even when the war lasts so long,
We’ll always come out on top in the end,
Face it,
Face the final hour,
Face it,
Face our tide of power,
Stare it down and start a rave,
A delirium for muscle,
Turn about and face the wave,
Struggle through the tussle,
Dream out loud,
Scream out loud,
Give it up for potency,
Three hurrahs for power,
Give it up for influence,
Three hurrahs for power
V. The Creatures Within
Wandering twixt here and there,
Moving to a lost beat,
Masters of their forlorn lair,
Trusting in their own feet.
Scarred by years of hard abuse,
They can never turn back,
Afraid that they’ve lost their use,
Their accustomed to lack,
Hurting, nameless entities,
Is what they have become,
They don’t want your sympathies,
Just for you to succumb,
Everyone has their demons,
They’re overcome by theirs,
Learn from their hard-earned lessons,
Ignore demonic cares,
Look in their eyes if you dare,
If you feel that you must
You’ll find that nothing is there
But sadistic bloodlust
More animal than human,
They’ve lost all distinction.
They have strengthened as they’ve ran,
Not close to extinction.
When you near the forest’s line,
Beware the victims claimed,
For when you’re where no lights shine,
You’re likely to be maimed.
Hear gibbets ringing plainly
For those who dance with Death,
Trying to oppress vainly,
Those who still possess breathe.
From now on fear the ones who
Have scarred and torn features,
For who knows what they could do,
Those known as the creatures.
Yes, it’s me – I’ve failed again,
I didn’t pass the mark.
Yes it’s me – I’ve bailed again,
When asked to work through dark.
Yes it’s me – not good enough,
To amount to something.
Yes it’s me – don’t have the stuff,
To ever count for something.
I know I’ll never make it,
But I try anyway,
It’s better than to fake it,
Or to lie anyway.
How about some help down here?
I know I could use it,
I’ll never escape the fear,
That I might abuse it.
Yes it’s me – I’m calling now,
Come and take me away.
Yes it’s me – I’m falling now,
And for your aide I pray.
Yes it’s me – I’m crying now,
Assure me all is well.
Yes it’s me – I’m dying now,
Lord, save me from this Hell.
I’m living in the Darkness and
For you groping blindly.
Why can’t You just take my hand
And then simply guide me?
I hear the wind howl at me,
Guarding my ears from you,
Lord, please don’t speak so softly,
I am so full of rue.
Fine, You gonna play that way?
I’ll ignore you as well,
Just throw what we had away,
After I’ve so long fell.
Yes it’s us – but we’re not here,
We ignore all Your calls.
Yes it’s us – blinded by fear,
And building up our walls.
Yes it’s us – we like dreaming,
We take it without fuss.
Yes it’s us – we’re all screaming,
And keeping you from us.

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