Seizured and blackened by years of futile excess.
Unquestioned, roaring, fetid laughter
Exposing vile indifference to virility.
Or is it the mark
Of the broken? The hooks
And barbs of gleaming brass,
And the swells of ill-chosen
Faded, it too worn down
And hopeless, beneath the boots of the forgotten.
They swim daily in poisons and ales,
The yellowing stem bores
Deep and merciless past the flickering nerves, clinging.
Soft, rotten fragility.
The soul of a tiny ivory goddess.
Unacknowledged, or abandoned.
All in a line, they leer, flames extinguished.
A mockery, blasé.
My fingertips score on the wire,
The blood dissipates to the carpet,
And I swim with them. Backstroke.
For a price I never asked.
A mermaid found a swimming lad,
Picked him for her own,
Pressed her body to his body,
Laughed; and plunging down
Forgot in cruel happiness
That even lovers drown.
William Butler Yeats
my dad used to give me a lot of poetry books and this is by far one of my favorites. It was pretty when i was little, but it means so much more now.
done at Sting Ray Tattoo in Allston, MA
done by george motta, who’s awesome.
I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.
A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth’s sweet flowing breast;
A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;
A tree that may in Summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;
Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.
Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.
- Alfred Kilmer (1913)