Grateful Dead

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marye's picture
Joined: May 26 2007

By suggestion, a place for the poets among us to post their words.


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trailbird's picture
Joined: Jan 8 2011

Once, you opened up our eyes
Once, you said "let there be light"
Once, you walked upon the sea
Once, you rose to set us free

Once, you calmed the storm above
Once, you fed us with your Love
Once, you made the dead to rise
Once, you turned water to wine

For you are the life and
You are the way and
You are the truth that brightens our day
So I'm just gonna watch and wait for Love

Once, you travelled through the land
Once, you healed us with your hand
Once, you taught us to be kind
Once, you changed the course of time

For you are the life and
You are the way and
You are the truth that brightens our day
So I'm just gonna watch and wait
for Love

trailbird's picture
Joined: Jan 8 2011


Joined: Nov 20 2017
Wow, amazing

Wow, amazing

trailbird's picture
Joined: Jan 8 2011
To Believe

To Believe

I have died a thousand deaths
Still you take away my breath
And Lord I need you by my side
Or I won't make it through the night
You've shown me things I never knew
There's mystery in all you do
And even if the sun don't shine
I'll love you 'till the end of time

You lift me up and lead me on
You gave me hope when it was gone
I saw your smile through my tears
And knew there's nothing left to fear
Some things we aren't meant to see
And some things they won't ever be
As long as it's still you and me
There's still a reason to believe

And yes, there's still a magic we can share
It's running through our fingers and it's floating in the air
And yes, oh baby yes I still believe
If we try we can find everything we need

The seasons come the seasons go
There's always something new to know
Cause nothing ever stays the same
The weather always wants to change
So feel the sun and watch the storm
And let each day a new love form
A vision of what's meant to be
To hold us for eternity

And yes, there's still a magic we can share
It's running through our fingers and it's floating in the air
And yes, oh baby yes I still believe
If we try we can find everything we need

Randall Lard's picture
Joined: Jul 30 2012
The Manifestations of the Voyage

my house's stairway is seized
with vertigo.
Matter having forsaken its laws,
we land in hell,
ascending to heaven.

Shadows move along ladders
under the silence of ordinary things
there is another silence:
it belongs neither to the leaves nor to the

with a crown of birds circling
a child is running in an abandoned
the stairway takes the measure of
its own emptiness

I myself am the stairway that
Time has used in its
funeral course

wheels lift water in the
gardens of Hama
and come down
not waiting for the river
to put out the fire

Here we are left with
the river Seine and Paris's poisons.
I prefer gardens where
linden trees get ready for
a lunar voyage

The stairway that separates my
room from my memory
whispers in my ear...

I am not at the mercy of men
since trees live in my fantasies
men and trees long for fire
and call for the rain
I love rains which carry desires

Between one airplane and
space is disoriented
stars sneak into holes and brides
go naked to wells

their innocence wanes under
our eyes
You and I are made from a
worm-eaten wood

The Word has sunk
we are left with no cry gesture
or gaze
silence to us is forbidden.

We are threatened neither by life
nor by death
nor forced to admire the Spring

I found earth-castles on the edge
of the desert's torrents
I took their marble stairs
but could not find my way either
up or down
then I understood that I was
in a state of non-reason
and non-madness
and that the gardens of Andalusia
were standing
ready to die.

Two cities Two tears
Let insanity keep between
its skirts
within its black eyes
the fright of my adolescence
and the nocturnal walk on the hills:
which hill?
I mean the kingdom that a man carries
in his gut when
his love's fulfilled.

Two cities which are neither Beirut
nor Damascus
two tears: neither of alcohol nor of
Yes there has been a truck
and a blue-eyed woman
from Russia
—grey olive tree—
I was a butterfly caught by
a fire:
neither the day's not the night's
but the
incandescence that radiates
from the body like a
receding sickness,
Let tombs stay open!

The stairway which leads to my
borrows its metals from Babylon
The Prophet's Ascension
had two movements
we fell into whirlpools
of mud
and the wind followed his horse
A tempest went after
the sun's steps
The Prophet swam through waves
of clouds
a river of gold carried his
and away from the sun he reached Paradise
a Paradise made of light.

The stairway which leads to my room
leads to an observatory
I own two telescopes
to observe stars and black holes
and take mechanized stairs
which advance with no advance

my hair spins with

Illegitimate is this linden tree
which shakes by my door

let us get ready for Hell!

Cursed be messengers
tossing about water's tranquility
and building forest fences

Oh that the wind go quicker than us!
that we may be smothered by light!

This linden tree standing by my door
weights heavy on my days
I will finally marry it
and we shall bring children
condemned to terror

this tree looks at me
with insistence:
It will be kept waiting
until Time's end.

- Etel Adnan

from "The Manifestations of the Voyage" from The Spring Flowers Own & The Manifestations of the Voyage.

Joined: Aug 22 2017
Story that includes over 150 Dead songs

Check out my new 75-page novella, 'The Grateful Dead' that includes characters, places, scenes, and phrases from over 150 Grateful Dead songs. See if you can find them all!

Synopsis: Jed tries to decide whether to return to Tennessee or stay in the land of Fennario where he lives the good life in a house with his friends: Cassidy, Mason, Stephen, August West, and Jack Straw.

Here is the link to the story:

Jacob Sackin

Joined: May 28 2015

Perhaps we don't need another mean meme
While the despots demean all that they deem
Might interfere with nefarious schemes
Of reality muddied in live streams.
Though the furor denies folks real esteem
Does one stay mum through an evil regime
Doomed to endure what eternity seems
Smarting from deals pitched by little league teams.
Even Gandhi would have altered his theme
If leaders undermined beyond extreme
And extinguished light a distant hope gleams
Of life not lived just in afternoon dreams.
Kneel with the children, then stand up and scream
"Keeping still, kills, when war's not puff 'n' cream!

Randall Lard's picture
Joined: Jul 30 2012
The Artist's Duty

So it is the duty of the artist to discourage all traces of shame
To extend all boundaries
To fog them in right over the plate
To kill only what is ridiculous
To establish problems
To ignore solutions
To listen to no one
To omit nothing
To contradict everything
To generate the free brain
To bear no cross
To take part in no crucifixion
To tinkle a warning when mankind strays
To explode upon all parties
To wound deeper than the soldier
To heal this poor obstinate monkey once and for all
To have kids with pretty angels
To display his dancing seed
To sail only in polar seas
To laugh at every situation
To besiege all their cities
To exhaust the primitive
To follow every false track
To verify the irrational
To exaggerate all things
To inhabit everyone
To lubricate each proportion
To experience only experience
To deviate at every point
To offer no examples
To dismiss all support
To make one monster at least
To go underground immediately
To smell the shark's ass
To multiply all opinions
To work only in the distance
To extend all shapes
To acquire a sublime reputation
To consort forever with the runaway
To sport the glacial eye
To direct all smouldering ambitions
To frequent only the exterminating planets
To kidnap the phantom's first-born
To forego no succulent filth
To masquerade as the author of every platitude
To overwhelm the mariner with improper charts
To expose himself to every ridicule
To ambush their blow-nose Providence
To set a flame in the high air
To exclaim at the commonplace alone
To cause the unseen eyes to open
To advance with the majesty of the praying serpent
To contrive always to be caught with his pants down
To sprinkle mule-milk on the lifted brows of virgins
To attach no importance whatever to his activity
To admire only the absurd
To be concerned with every profession save his own
To raise a fortuitous stink on the boulevards of truth and beauty
To desire an electrifiable intercourse with a female alligator
To lift the flesh above the suffering
To forgive the beautiful its disconsolate deceit
To send the world away to crawl under his discarded pedestals
To have the cunning of the imperilled wave
To hide his lamentations in the shredded lungs of the tempest
To recommend stone eyelashes for all candid lookers
To attribute every magnificence to himself
To maintain that the earth is neither round nor flat but a scomaphoid
To flash his vengeful badge at every abyss
To be revolted by only the sacred cow which piddles at the toes of the swamp
To kneel with the blind and drunk brigands and learn their songs
To happen
To embrace the intemperate hermaphrodite of memory
It is the artist's duty to be alive
To drag people into glittering occupations
To return always to the renewing stranger
To observe only the funereal spectator
To assume the ecstasy in all conceivable attitudes
To follow the plundering whirlpool to its source
To cry out nervously with every knock
To stock his shelves with plaintive confessions and pernicious diaries
To outflow the volcano in semen and phlegm
To be treacherous when nothing is to be gained
To enrich himself at the expense of everyone
To reel in an exquisite sobriety
To blush perpetually in gaping innocence
To drift happily through the ruined race-intelligence
To burrow beneath the subconscious
To defend the unreal at the cost of his reason
To obey each outrageous impulse
To commit his company to all enchantments
To rage against the sacrificing shepherds
To return to a place remote from his native land
To pursue the languid executioner to his hall bedroom
To torment the spirit-lice
To cover the mud with distinguished vegetation
To regain the emperor's chair
To pass from one world to another in carefree devotion
To withdraw only when all have been profaned
To contract every battering disease
To peel off all substances from the face of horror
To glue himself to every lascivious breast
To hurl his vigorous cone into every trough
To unroll the hide from that repugnant rhinoceros Time
To refrain from no ownership
To crowd the squat-rumped centuries into his own special residence
To plunge beyond their smoking armpits

- Kenneth Patchen

Randall Lard's picture
Joined: Jul 30 2012
Prerequisites for Preservation

we're gonna need to get organized
live beyond boundaries
soften our hearts
talk to each other

we're gonna need to leave behind our baggage
relinquish our comfort
release our control

we're gonna need to give up our addictions
confront our pain
ask for help
give more than we take

we're gonna need to dream bigger
work harder
get dirty
take time

we're gonna need to remember
we're gonna need to forgive
we're gonna need to let go
we're gonna need to let go

we're gonna need to feel fully
revive our intuition
make up our minds
enact change

we're gonna need to look at ourselves
reconcile our ignorance
sacrifice shame

make amends

we're gonna need to need less

peel away the nonessential
go hungry
break a sweat

we're gonna need to heal our fears
tell our secrets
share with our enemies
love ourselves

we're gonna need to study existence
refine our dreams
mediate our shadows
cure our disbelief

we're gonna need to practice magic
we're gonna need to cherish water
we're gonna need to grieve
we're gonna need to move on

we're gonna need to stay focused
we're gonna need to be strong
tend our commitment to beauty
fuel our devotion to truth

we're gonna need to pray
we're gonna need to follow through

endure burning
we're gonna need to

we're gonna need to trust

we're gonna need to give light
we're gonna give light
we are light
we are

- Naima Penniman

Randall Lard's picture
Joined: Jul 30 2012
American Smooth

We were dancing - it must have
been a foxtrot or a waltz,
something romantic but
requiring restraint,
rise and fall, precise
execution as we moved
into the next song without
stopping, two chests heaving
above a seven-league
stride - such perfect agony,
one learns to smile through,
ecstatic mimicry
being the sine qua non
of American Smooth.
And because I was distracted
by the effort of
keeping my frame
(the leftward lean, head turned
just enough to gaze out
past your ear and always
smiling, smiling),
I didn't notice
how still you'd become until
we had done it
(for two measures?
four?) - achieved flight,
that swift and serene
before the earth
remembered who we were
and brought us down.

- Rita Dove


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