birra's Journal

birra's Journal


Honor: 13    [ Give / Take ]


12 entries this month

Joli sharing some of her favorite photographs with me...

03:26 Nov 27 2008
Times Read: 877

Joli: It's Gloria Swanson

Birra: circa 1920?

Joli: Probably earlier

Birra: really?

Joli: hang a sec

Birra: no imdb'ing!

Birra: Wow... born 1899

Joli: ok, you're probably right

Joli: Mary Pickford is usually my favorite

Joli: want to see some of my favorites?

Birra: sorry. I'm just trying to get past a woman telling me, "I'm probably right."

Joli: ha

Birra: half expecting to see brimstone and horsemen...




Sleepless nights

07:09 Nov 26 2008
Times Read: 893

Sleepless nights fighting this urge

A distant call

Wanting to belong here

To fit this life

A dream

Only a dream

Far out of reach

From the earliest memories

To the pain of yesterday

This heart cannot become

A stone locked on a mountain side

To be moved

Only by a cosmic force

This face cannot be transformed

By the corduroy pillow

Slept on each night

These legs will not change into

The majestic plumage of a bird

Giving flight and freedom

To climb high above the sacrifices of the Earth

This skin cannot be the scales

Of the chameleon

Blending into every setting

This life will not lay dormant

Like the tulip under ground

Waiting for a better time to bloom

Underneath the skin and bone

Lives a man

This man who is

But can be undone

A man who is

But can change his ways

A man who is

But cannot be someone else

A destiny waits before him

Not one of pleasure in this life

The laughter comes

And the smiles

A touch of his lover

And a fleeting feeling of being wanted

Making the pain worthwhile

For a moment

No horse shoe

No clover


Nothing to bring luck to his heart

It is his trial to be stood

A defense to be presented


Always guilty

Unable to be proven innocent

Of the crimes society will perceive

The gavel drops and echoes through his life

Not meant to be

Never meant to be

And on this sleepless night

His mind sweats

And his hands grasp these covers

Cold above

Emptiness below

Always surrounded by the want

The desire

The weakness and the strength

To know

Only to know

To have

Wanting to have

And the willingness

Always willing

And when sleep finally comes

His dreams will reside

A life lived by the second

Hopes and fears

Wants and desires

Until the sun does rise again

And life

The return of life

And another day begins



11:11 Nov 26 2008

birra, this is such a good poem. Strong images, for instance:

A stone locked on a mountain side

Nothing to bring luck to his heart

The gavel drops and echoes through his life

His mind sweats

This struggle and the twists and turns of the story it tells is profound in many ways. I really enjoyed reading this. Thank you.



06:56 Nov 20 2008
Times Read: 926



End of all...

06:54 Nov 20 2008
Times Read: 928

There are no feelings now

Only an empty shell of a heart

No more blood or tears

No more desire or hate

No words from the poets

Writing in the tall grasses of August

About the love and sadness

That life crafts beneath us

A delicate chair to sit upon

Holding us

But precariously teetering

Over the gravity that pulls hard

When our hearts are heavy

And the kite string bound to ankles

Stopping our ascent

When our hearts soar

They will soar no more

Those days are gone

Past and forgotten

With the tears you used

To soften the Earth around the grave

Where you chose to leave me lying

Sopping in the sucking mud

Reaching for your hand

When the Earth offered me

No base to stand on

No wall to climb

No escape from this hole you dug

With the fragments of my shattered soul




12:27 Nov 20 2008

With the tears you used

To soften the Earth around the grave

Where you chose to leave me lying

Really powerful image.



06:49 Nov 20 2008
Times Read: 931



The Eternal Game

20:00 Nov 14 2008
Times Read: 972

I just submitted this poem to the database (fingers crossed I didn't f**k up the submission). I feel a bit like the Beatles.. "On behalf of the band I'd like to say, I hope we passed the audition..."

Anyway, my first attempt at a thematic poem, not just something written on feeling and on a whim.


The hunger and thirst

That never subsides

This ancient game

We play

The hunt

My passion

The blood

My quest

The prey

She walks through shadows

In a visionless world

And the night turns cold

The Earth surrenders its heat

As the sky surrenders its light

The sun and the moon

Eternal lovers

One submitting to the other

A fluid exchange

To be played out this night

Before she submits to me

Her heart beats in time

With every quickening footstep

Her breath curls

My lamb

My slaughter

Wide eyed she moves

With such grace and beauty

Only for my seduction

Will she stumble and fall

As the night’s black cloak

The reaper’s guise

My moonless cover

To be her undoing

Her scent surrounds me



I breathe it in

She exudes her sex

Curves and softness

I watch her body move

In her silky dress

A shape to sin for

A sway

A step

Her hips sing to me

She flips her hair

Golden threads

Like lassos

Tying my desires

My most carnal desires

This sin will be mine

She is my prey

I close in toward her

Stopping her step

Without a startle or surprise

Our eyes lock

In a dance of love

A dance of death

The mongoose

The snake

Skin touches skin

A look

The hook

Her breath

My lips part

Her pulse quickens

With each breath

I pull her close

Hips grind on hips

Her hands embrace

My arms

My back

I lean in

She pulls me closer

My eyes close

Teeth sink into flesh

My surprise

I should have seen it in her eyes

I am the lamb

She is the wolf

Now I belong to her



20:11 Nov 14 2008

You were my first approval :-)

I just hope it doesn't get revoked! lol

20:33 Nov 14 2008

OOhh Brava.

Me thinks we might have another Joli in our midst.

20:30 Nov 17 2008

very..very good WOW!

12:28 Nov 20 2008

This was a fun read. Thanks.


In the minds eye

04:18 Nov 12 2008
Times Read: 1,000

A homely cherub perches

On a marble ledge

Watching over an effervescent pond

Where the bull frogs are known

Only by their eyes

And the birds pause

A little longer on the shore

Reeds grow solemnly around

The willow that stretches and yawns

Its arms covered in a sweater

Of Spanish moss

Tangles of hair and yesterdays

Swaying with the wind

And a dragonfly darts

In a dance of delight

Under the tree

In the long summer grass

A boy lies dreaming

A dream awake

A life lived vicariously

In the wonders of his mind

The inertia that can only

Set in motion

The dreams of youth

The wonders of the future

And what life holds

Beyond the life known

Spurred on by the words

Written by another

Pictures painted and hung

So carefully on the wall

Creativity captured by a hand

But seen better in the mind’s eye

The intentions not of matter

But of feeling

Nay, not of the physical

But spiritual

Commanding the heart to move

Commanding the mind to dream

Commanding the passion to flow

And giving life

Oh, giving a breath taking life

To the world to have for its own

But it is here

Within an audience of one

Where a friend is found

A confidant

Offering comfort on lonely nights

Soothing the aching heart

And letting a weary mind rest

At ease with a dream

A star to reach toward

A hurt to leave behind

Tomorrows defined

Only by possibility and hope

Without this

What would a tomorrow be?

And a life lacking this

Would be more difficult to lead

Left with the stark and empty promises

Of the world that surrounds

And the bitterness of living

Without a dream

No stars at night

No clouds in the sky

A heart without a beat

Without love or desire


Is no life for me



10:47 Nov 12 2008

Oh to be such a one as this cherub and the boy sounds oddly familiar...heh. This is a lot of fun to read birra. Thanks for a good morning start my friend.

17:00 Nov 12 2008

you... *sigh*

20:37 Nov 12 2008

"Reeds grow solemnly around

The willow that stretches and yawns

Its arms covered in a sweater

Of Spanish moss

Tangles of hair and yesterdays

Swaying with the wind

And a dragonfly darts

In a dance of delight"

I am absolutely smitten with this part.

19:02 Sep 26 2009

A familiar place to sit and dangle my toes in the pond while I rest my mind and body. Thank you.


What is this?

11:40 Nov 06 2008
Times Read: 1,019


Forgive me for not understanding

That which was never explained

But my heart moves

And my heart loves

And my heart commands my body

My heart can understand

And my heart can work towards a compromise

But only when a compromise is offered

And the reasons are made clear





11:38 Nov 06 2008
Times Read: 1,020



It is all in the knowing...

23:17 Nov 05 2008
Times Read: 1,031

The world turns invisible

Under the rising sun

Heating the rocks and the ground

And the world turns ever on

This I know

Behind this veil of light

And cold silken shadows

She wears her disguise

Unknown to those unwilling to see

The disguise now wears her

In this shroud of mystery

Found only by the wandering

The vagabond

And loved by the few

For she holds her heart

Throbbing in her hand

This heart once so precious

Now bled of life and love

Broken by the weight of its loss

Burned to smoldering ashes

But the world turns ever on

For those who give their own heart

Absolute and without compromise

For they know

Those that are willing

The wanderers

They see beyond this veil

A clairvoyance

A knowing

That only the loving heart can see

And I say

To the world this day

I know

With the skin of my hands

I have felt the beating of this heart

In the rocks and the sand

Through the tides and the wind

And with my ears

I have heard the beating of this heart

In the music that surrounds us

About the love that we make

And the laughter of the children

The golden laughter

And with my eyes

I have witnessed the power of this heart

In the deeds of the few

Who give everything they have

For a purpose felt only by their heart

And all the love they share

Only with them

The world turns ever on

And I can shout it this day

I know

And in the knowing

Is the freedom we seek

The magic of life

I know

This heart beats with mine

It can be disguised no more

I have lifted the veil

And kissed the lips of this blessed life

I have suffered and bled

And given all I have

I have burned my skin

With the searing flame

I have stood the trial

Of the ignorant and hurtful

I have paid the penance

And will pay no more

I have spoken to angels

And listened to the wise men

Their words

From the mountains

As whispers on the wind

And I can scream it this day

I know

And it is in the knowing

That I have found my freedom

And I know

This world can only take

What I am willing to give

I have given my strength to another

In their time of need

Only asking for love in return

I have offered my heart

Willingly to those who need love

Only asking for love in return

I have boiled my skin in the sun

To offer shade to another

Only asking for love in return

I have surrendered my flesh

For those who would demand it

And ceased to expect love in return

I know

And it is in the knowing

For those that know

We give of ourselves

And ask only for love in return

The love that exists always

In this beating heart

I know



22:15 Nov 14 2008

"She wears her disguise

Unknown to those unwilling to see

The disguise now wears her" - mmmm...

This is a tightly crafted piece that I have read upwards of a half dozen times. I'll come back again and again to read it. Each time I do, I see something new.


What life hinges on...

14:43 Nov 05 2008
Times Read: 1,045

Unprepared but determined

Under dressed but willing

I step out into the thin mountain air

Lungs tight

The cold seeps in

Through my mouth agape

Trying to take in

What the Earth will not give

A breath

Life giving

But the mountain desires

To control my breath

I fight for control

Stepping into the snow

The icy rocks

And rolling pebbles

Slip out from under my feet


The cold air claws at my exposed skin

My hands begin to numb

My feet begin to ice

Nary protected from the snow

They sink into

A shiver

A tremble

The pain of not feeling

Which path?

Further up I go

Keep a landmark in sight

A rock

A peak

The trees disguise

What little the mountain provides


But fighting

It tires me

The steep






14:58 Nov 05 2008

Magnificent in words and images. You are an amazing artist.

16:49 Nov 05 2008

I'm uncertain as to whether the words were crafted for the image or the image captured for the words. I'm far more certain that they were designed, each for the other. For many it is enough to be skilled in a single craft. To display such skill in two, and to meld them so well is a very rare ability indeed.

17:32 Nov 05 2008



The pale light cast upon the skin of a sinner...

13:57 Nov 02 2008
Times Read: 1,073

The night holds no promise

This empty street provides no forgiveness

Between the shadows

That dominate the cleaved

Cobblestone paths

The uneven steps

Cautiously treaded upon

By the pointed shoes

She wears like a sandwich board

As the street surrenders

Mist and fog in the cold night air

The dampness cuts

A knife prickling the skin

And hair standing on end

On arms

On neck

A chill that crushes bone

And a mortal cry

For sanctuary

In this aquarium

The eyes watching through the glass

Between the buildings

A towering cityscape

Of these judging eyes

She feels these eyes

Hiding behind the curtains and blinds

Under the glow of the moon

Circled by its holier-than-thou halo

High above and removed

So purely preserved

From the sins of the city it smiles upon

But its ancient craters and scars

Evidence of its abuse

The past pain of living to serve another

And never given

A chance to recover

But still it shines on

Even if only to reflect the light of another

To give the other hope

In the darkest of nights

When the stars don’t provide

The guidance

And the clouds creep in

Shadowing the world

She walks between these shadows

Each night

Judged and scorned

By those surrounded by their own halos

Glowing not by their own light

And as unforgiving as the street at night

These judging eyes

Unwilling to speak

Deaf to her testimony

Still putting her on trial

For the sins they only read about

In the second section of the newspaper

And what they see on television

Their sympathy never exists

For those already convicted

Placed on trial by their eyes

And their judgment

In the alleys and city streets

Under the light of the moon



01:40 Nov 03 2008

I have read this over and over again. Each time I find a new jewel inside. At this moment, as I lie here in the dark, these words are reaching out and pulling me along.

Under the glow of the moon

Circled by its holier-than-thou halo

High above and removed

So purely preserved

From the sins of the city it smiles upon

But its ancient craters and scars

Evidence of its abuse

The past pain of living to serve another

And never given

A chance to recover

But still it shines on

Even if only to reflect the light of another

I like so much of what is in this one. I can't wait to talk to you about it. I plan to read it a whole lot more.

05:59 Nov 03 2008

This is my third read through and I'm in agreement with Joli, each time a different section jumps out at me but every time I'm left in awe.

11:55 Nov 03 2008

birra, this is a great piece, really. Blown away.

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