A child of four suffers recurring dreams,
disturbing parents and siblings with screams.
When she awoke, always sore in one knee;
next to a birthmark, it throbbed painfully.
Night after night she feared going to bed.
What caused these nightmares that raged in her head?
Even when grown, the torment persisted,
so a therapist’s aid she enlisted.
“Hypnosis,” said he, “might offer some clues.
Why not try it? You’ve just bad dreams to lose.”
Once under, he guided her to a room --
here people’s lifetimes in books were entombed.
“Find one that is yours,” her counselor said.
Quickly she did, but before it was read,
she felt an ache, saw just a faint title.
The words, she thought, said “Alister Bridle.”
The hypnotic trance now suddenly broke;
puzzling questions “Mr. Bridle” evoked.
For many years she thought that was her name;
perhaps a past life had been filled with pain.
Who was this man? She simply had to know!
Seasons passed, summer suns made way for snow.
In Florida now, 1998,
she thought all the nightmares she had escaped.
But strange dreams always catch us by surprise --
when the lights grow dim, our minds fantasize.
Cloaked in velvet, she left her parents’ farm,
stealing away on a late autumn morn’.
To meet her love, she climbed on the carriage,
knowing her folks would forbid their marriage.
Warm-hued leaves carpeted the hillside road,
and her pulse beat fast; she’d soon join her beau.
She thought only of him; joy cast its smile,
but that’s when he called, “Alice, the bridle!”
The leather band broke and wrapped ‘round her knee.
To the ground she was pulled; her horse ran free.
She met death, but past-life dreams recycle,
and she’d never been “Alister Bridle.”
*Based on real events I experienced.
Copyright © Carolyn Devonshire | Year Posted 2009
In the middle of the universe, I stand
My mind seeking comprehension
The mysteries of life tantalize my tenacious grip on wisdom
Observing omnipotent organization
The universe expands as I stand in wonder
What does it all mean?
Infinite answers press against my finite mind
Clamoring for recognition
I stand: dazed, amazed, crazed
By all I don’t know and can never fathom
Until there is light
And the light dawns
And the meaning of the universe unravels
Your celestial body orbits mine
Time after time
Your gravitational force defies logic
Refusing to stay in the paths ordained
The laws of nature are flaunted
My head is crowned with your constellation kisses
I travel in the nebula of your dreams and fantasies
As you dip into my body the Milky whiteness of your WAY
The universe explodes in the starry heavens of your eyes
Meteorite words of ecstasy
Streak across my sky of consciousness
Time becomes a non-entity
The mystery of love overshadows the mystery of life
And now I see…
The beginning and end of all creation
The sum total of my existence
Of the universe
In the middle of the universe, I stand
The universe is LOVE
In the Middle of the Universe I Stand Contest
Sponsor: Vernela S Walker
February 5, 2015
Copyright © Eileen Manassian | Year Posted 2015
it is in this mural of splashing fuses
that I am lit with a solemn torch……
I gaze with back deck musing
but front porch eyes….
I see the distance beyond this world
(my own cosmic existence)
a residence I squandered
but my feet want to tread there
the green that surrounds me
suffuses me with lakeside dew
melodies drifting only the quiet can hear
ripples that only valid observers see
the kentucky breeze carries a lonely wind
where has it been?
has it touched the sand I have?
(bare toes buried)
somewhere a child cries in the still
shattering this serenity
(though some don’t hear it)
along the bank of shoal like tranquility
the birds will wail for broken dreams
(severed by thoughtless hands)
oh, its only a portrait
(an inspiring one though)
as open lashes stumble
a horizons sinking sun
multi hues of reckless red and pink
a blue print of what life should be
snap shot deftness in the perception
while beneath lay the sorrow
the last lingering tangerine shades
tease and taunt the tops of dogwood trees
oh beauty as far as eyes can see
a few silver shimmers of clouds
in a blue grass sky
flowers bloom sweet pea and peonies
raw carmine kisses in the silence
pretty pansy faces
and grass is verdant
green!! peacock sage and pine
arrayed in darks and lights
a myriad of different shades
brilliant in its lush velvet on my feet
to only live life this way (skimming surfaces)
just as the honey suckle does
how blissful that would be
(in all its exquisite ignorance)
branches sway in the song of a blue bird zephyr
as the fingers of it caress my skin
this expanse is my companion
but still I perceive it
what lies beneath
in stunning cognizance
bearing a strenuous burden
it is in this mural of splashing fuses
that I am lit with a solemn torch
I gaze with back deck musing
but front porch eyes
Copyright © Christie Moses | Year Posted 2009
Scientists say it’s just a mirage,
but sailors claim the ghost ship floats
in air, with stormy seas below.
Again he tries to round Cape Hope.
Captain van der Decken angered God
one savage 18th Century night.
Vowed he’d sail till “Judgment Day,”
to cross the Table Bay, he’d fight.
The Flying Dutchman disappeared
sank deep in foggy, wind-swept sea,
but the captain’s doomed to walk the deck
each night in perpetuity.
King George the Fifth, the Prince of Wales
are two who saw the Dutchman.
Although these royal heirs survived,
most meet death -- the captain’s omen.
His curse prevails in Wagner’s Opera
and Washington Irving’s story;
crews tremble, ghost ship emerges
Dutchman floats in frightening glory.
So many sailors and their ships
still meet demise on starless nights,
when demons steer the Dutchman
and a vengeful God reads last rites.
Till this day the Flying Dutchman
looms threatening on a ravaged sea.
For Judgment Day the captain waits,
luring crews to their destiny.
*Entry for the Story Poem contest.
Copyright © Carolyn Devonshire | Year Posted 2011
Poetry is a highly personal endeavor for all who write
And answer the inspiration of Our Eternal Poetry Muse.
Why do we write poetry?
This a very important question for all of us who “spill ink.”
Poetry for me is a most wonderful magical medium and
An art and methodology which bespeaks the realm of the
Mysterious, Arcane, Uncanny, Mystical, Esoteric, and Divine.
Poetry is my personal endeavor to master the complexity of
Relating my deepest thoughts and connecting with the reader;
Developing a memorable and intriguing theme or subject;
Choosing the right words and composing meaningful verse;
Finding the best metaphors and the proper tone and balance;
Exploring key theme attributes (to name a few):
Feelings, passions, emotions, light, dark, happiness
Sadness, humor, good, evil, intelligence, stupidity,
Right, wrong, ethereal, ignorance, and indifference.
Our Poetry Muse touches each and every one of us at key times
When we least expect it: morning, noon, evening, after midnight.
Our Muse, for me, captivates my thoughts and illuminates my soul
While compelling me onward to communicate and share with others
What I see and perceive, sense and feel, think and understand about
A theme as it resonates in the depths of my innermost psyche.
I know that I have much to say now in my life . . .
Verse, meter, rhyme, tone, metaphors, metonymy, allegory, imagination—
All enliven my efforts and make easier my attempts to mirror my
Thoughts and views to the reading public.
I want my thoughts and doubts, as my passion abounds, to connect with
Those deepest elements of my human psyche and my emotions
In making my written message to be something that is:
Meaningful and significant, resolute and spirited;
Full of passion or compassion, humor or sadness, courage or fear,
Strength or weakness, Heaven or Hell, bliss or misery—or whatever
Motivates and inspires the Creative Process for me.
Our Muse is there with all of us, in reality, to inspire us and help us
To bring passion, meaning, certitude, and direction to our thoughts
As we attempt to infuse these very attributes into our poetic narrative.
Our Muse, in the end, leaves it up to each and every one of us
To go one further step beyond Her ethereal influence and inspiration:
To invest and infuse at the end of this process our own “Free Will”
In making the final decision pertaining to what our final verse or
Narrative product will look like To Our Reading Public.
This is my take, my view on what happens when Our Eternal Poetry Muse
Tantalizes us and awakens within each of us that undeniable Spirit of
Inspiration, and that giddy zest and irrepressible desire to “spill ink.”
Gary Bateman, Copyright © All Rights Reserved, Schoeningen, Germany (October 3, 2014) (Narrative poetic format)
Copyright © Gary Bateman | Year Posted 2014
" From the debt of my heart"
The African child
Sat behind the bamboo fence
He was sober and tense
Sputtering and wondering.
He forsook the bush meat
And the gathering under the moonlight
For sobriety and the causes of his uncertainties.
His clothes were like dried leaves
His feet like openings in the eaves
He longed to see a brighter tomorrow
He clarified the causes of his sorrow;
Sins of the father,
Fighting not to make things better
Therefore darkening the weather,
Making his destiny falter and bitter.
Tears exuded from the sound of his flute,
His fears enlarged like a parachute
But one thing he never understood,
Watch and pray, oh! African root
For your foundation is stinky, filthy,
Faulty and guilty...... watch and pray.
Copyright © Charles Melody Lightning Ink | Year Posted 2011
As I think back to that dark time in our community I don’t know if I’d ever seen anyone quite
like that (Cinder Girl). We girls thought she had (Lovely Bones). The last time I saw her alive,
she was sitting on her porch blowing a (Dandelion Wishing) for a long life.I think she knew
that (Before Night Falls) her (Worst Fear) would be realized. The beast from the nether
world, who I think directed everything was that (Dog That Wears a Cone). He sat in her side
yard staring at her. The locals called him Cujo, he was (By Any Other Name), (The Beast of
Our Making). Cujo aside, (That Guy Paul) Cujos’ minion, was one (Bloody Bastard). He was
going to involve Cinder in (A Rural Tragedy) of epic proportions.
It went down on a (Heavy Slush)y winters’ eve guaranteed not to be a pastoral (Scene On a
Road in Winter). I had entered the old abandoned farmhouse on my way home from town. I
was cold and my feet were wet from the slush. I sat down in a small room out of the draft. I
heard voices outside. Paul endured (The Wait) for his accomplice in the cold. When she
arrived he began talking to (The Girl Who Wears the Dragon Tattoo). Then I saw what he
(What was I Thinking) (What If) they found me hiding (Inside This Little Room). Paul and the
dragon lady were sweaty (Toilers at the Trench), digging frozen dirt in winter is hard work. I
heard Paul laugh as he said to “TATS,” this time we’re (Cleaning House)… Was I next?
Suddenly, the opportunity for escape from this nightmare arose. Jake the bumbling county
snow plow driver unknowingly swung the truck onto the farmstead with its’ halogen lights
probing deep (Into Night). He had (Thwarted) their hiding this heinous crime. The sight he
illuminated gave me the [That Potent Urge(Gotta Go, Gotta Go Right Now)]. I ran from that
house into the night. No one ever knew I was there and since Jake was the only witness the
court needed, I never came forward.
Jake had never been (My Kind of Apple) because (Jake Sure Loved His Beans). Regardless,
Jake unknowingly saved my life that night. I never thought it would happen but over time I’d
grown accustomed to the gas. We were married late last fall and as we left the reception I
saw Cujo on a nearby hill wearing that ominous cone. I thought to myself as he watched us
leave, he knows…
Oh God, he knows I was there!
*This narrative derived from the titles of one poets work here on the Soup.
Copyright © John Trusty | Year Posted 2010
She once met a man called Noel,
He was a musician of rock and roll,
They sang and played music into the night,
When she is with him she doesn’t get a fright.
Then He turned to her and said...
You’ve got the rhythm in you,
You’ve got it in your shoes,
You’ve got it in your bones,
You’ve got it in your toes,
You’ve got it in your hair,
You’ve got it everywhere,
You’ve had it from the start,
You’ve got it in your heart.
Through the wind they whispered singing softly,
Into the crack of dawn, morning light...
At 6am she fell asleep,
Subconsciously she heard a creep...
She woke up and he wasn’t there,
She called for his name,
It was like he didn’t care,
She was going insane!
She still hears those words at night,
Though unable to see Him through sight.
You’ve got the rhythm in you,
You’ve got it in your shoes,
You’ve got it in your bones,
You’ve got it in your toes,
You’ve got it in your hair,
You’ve got it everywhere,
You’ve had it from the start,
You’ve got it in your heart.
By: Ava Douglass Age: 12
Copyright © Ava Douglass | Year Posted 2010
It started growing in a field
Billy Stover watched it grow
Because the corn was tall
Because Billy Stover was small
No one knew
Now one saw
No one saw how the tiny boy watched by the hour in summer's heat
Even from the top of high elm trees by the road
who could have detected that small lad stretched out
on his stomach leaning on his elbows watching
On stormy days Billy watched from the closest window
elbows propped up on the sill
He knew it was growing though he couldn't see it
He'd be down in the field now in the mud watching
but his mother forbade it
"What do you do out there Billy all by yourself?
What is it you do out there instead of playing?"
On certain days when the wind swayed the green stalks
and nipped Billy's cheeks his eyes would light up
He fought back a burning desire to run into the white kitchen
to tug at his mother's apron to bring her out
and show her his one spot
He jumped up once when the flames leaped high
started running for the house
"Mother! Mother!" he silently shouted
Every part of his small body shook with joy but
The bleak white walls of the kitchen
his mother her hands dipped in bread dough....................................
It started growing in the field in the dirt in the mind of Billy Stover
And no one could have kept a secret better than Billy
Copyright © daver austin | Year Posted 2008
Insomnia, familiar friend,
crawled into bed this summer night
so once again, inflamed with dread
I wander now in pitch of dark
and touch the places, now by heart, that sprawl unstirred by weary minds
This lonely place, where I used to come
where armless grief, and headless doubt
and worry filled the rooms
I know you cold, my land of oz
So ruthless do you change your face
into a place I once refrained
But, don't pretend to make me fear, toxic robber of my sleep
I've known you much too long
You masquerade in shades of gray
And now I know that dark of night, is not the blackest thing
And room by room, I'll play the game
until the light of day
The shadows magnify your art
and though they magnify my loss of sleep
and while I've tossed and turned in vain
I've lost the lonely albatross
that pulled against the grain
From hooded thresholds I embark
to find a language of the dark
A liquid language of a mystic night,
that switches on the light
I've walked the halls of ghosts I knew, and those I hope to meet
I've felt the stares, and shared myself, no secrets left to keep
But not tonight, familiar friend
you bask in myth I understand
I'll fill the tasks that need my hands, until the light of day...
For Leonora Galinta's Contest
Copyright © Carrie Richards | Year Posted 2012
He glances out the window,
And watches the sunset,
But he doesn’t see the beauty,
Nor the warm rays which,
Pierces through the glass,
Only the anticipation and,
Anxiety of a long night,
Carefully, he watches,
The colors change,
First the bright orange,
"God I pray this never ends…"
Filling with a deep red,
"Just a little while longer…"
Slowly softening to the,
Deceptive pinks and purples,
"Please, one more minute…"
Fading into the crimson black,
Which only night can bring,
Reluctantly, he gets ready for sleep,
Yet, knows it will never come,
He tossed and turns,
Half praying, half waiting,
Knowing what will happen,
In the way only a child can,
A light! It peeks through a crack,
In the door as a shadow floods the opening,
Quickly, the figure slips through the door,
And shuts it softly, but not without the,
Empty creak which has become so familiar,
The shadow climbs in beside him,
Touching his trembling leg, whispering,
“Hush little brother, it’ll be alright,
While I’m here, have no fear,
I’ll keep you safe tonight,”
He struggles and writhes,
Sadly knowing he will never,
Break the grip and prays to faint,
To loss all consciousness and,
Memory of that horrible night,
Just for one night without the pain,
Just for one night without,
The cold empty feeling,
Several years pass, too many to count,
A single call, one he had never expected,
He rushes to the hospital to find,
His tormentor for so many years,
Lying on a cold, hard bed,
Able to move, but only by pushing a button,
Able to speak, but only with a whisper,
He stays by him for weeks, caring for him,
Reading to him, watching over him,
Still suffering, still unable to move,
He takes his brother home,
The day goes on, moving slow as all,
The evening comes and he,
Watches once more as the sun sets,
Carefully watching, Orange to red,
Red to purple, and as the purple turns to black,
He walks into the room where his brother lies,
Slowly, he sits next to him, holding a pillow,
Stroking his head whispering,
“Hush big brother, it’ll be alright,
While I’m here, have no fear,
I’ll keep you safe tonight,”
The difference between right and wrong,
Can be hard to find,
But who’s there to see you,
When justice is blind?
Copyright © Ian Sylvester | Year Posted 2006
As Marion trod the old familiar path
leading to the river of her childhood,
she viewed the willow tree across the river
and recalled with clarity
the event that changed her life
half a century ago - that memory
which for all her adult life
she‘d managed to suppress . . .
She was being chased by Ellie down the path;
Ellie, the fair haired younger sister
favored by their father
and wearing the golden pendant he had given her
when she’d won a spelling bee.
Yanking the pendant from her sister’s neck,
Marion ran into the river’s icy water,
threatening to throw the pendant in.
Screaming, Ellie followed right behind.
Farther into the river’s center, the two girls moved.
Where the riverbed dipped sharply,
Ellie had caught up.
Suddenly the wind blew violently,
The chain with its beautiful pendant
slipped from Marion’s hand
into the swirling water.
Ellie tottered, falling backwards.
Then the river was carrying
Marion’s little sister to the other side.
Marion called out, but Ellie did not answer.
A strong swimmer, Marion swam
to her sister’s lifeless body
on the opposite bank where a nearby willow stood -
witness to her crime.
Marion now was standing where she once had stood
that fateful day. The river had receded with time,
but its current was still strong.
She stood recalling her parents’ bitter tears
and how she had escaped their wrath
inventing her own version of the truth -
that Ellie had run into the water by herself
when the sudden wind came up
causing her demise.
She felt bad, but in the end,
she became her father’s newfound pride and joy.
Something glittered at the water’s edge.
Marion, now heavy and clumsy with age,
moved closer to see. Could it be after all these years?
Yes, it was the pendant, shining in the river’s sludge!
She stooped to pick it up, but lost her balance,
falling forward toward the slanting floor.
As she struggled, a great gust of wind
moved her out. . .farther and farther to the middle.
Before her head vanished below the water’s surface,
she saw that old willow’s leaves flutter angrily.
She could almost swear she saw the form of Ellie,
fair sweet Ellie, beckoning her from the other side.
July 30, 2015
Copyright © Andrea Dietrich | Year Posted 2015
There I stood in this massive hall, decorated with sophisticated settings,
White flowing drapes hung freely from an invisible ceiling
Twinkling stars, sparkled against the midnight blue sky
Though I could not see it, an orchestra played a lovely, unfamiliar tune
Well-dressed, others sat leisurely at circular tables covered in white draping linen
Adorned with colorful centerpieces and white candles in delicate crystal holders
Quite puzzled, I made my way toward the center of the room
I searched for familiar faces in the crowd to no avail
My dress, simple, yet elegant was of the brightest blue
Then out of nowhere this handsome, young man appeared and took my hand in his
As if on queue, the music stopped. Strangely the color of his suit matched mine
Unafraid, I stared into the stranger’s face, as the most beautiful melody played
As we danced, we seemed to be floating before the crowd of smiling faces
The music played on endlessly, as I danced in the stranger’s arms
His leading was perfect, not a word passed between us, but gentle smiles expressed the joy
Lost in wonder, feeling incredibly elated, I wished we would dance forever
In an instant I felt a light touch on my face, and I turned away to see
And to my surprise, there stood my little girl, saying, “Mommy, wake up, I’ll be late for
Note: True story- A dream I had some years ago and which I will never forget!! I have no
idea what that meant,..but who cares. It was one of the best dreams I ever had! One of
those dreams you hate to be awaken from. .
Copyright © Annalise a.k.a. Audrey Haick | Year Posted 2010
like the raven
who taps taps upon
your chamber door
do not fret my Virginia
for it's my shadow
moving across the floor
this is what I'm telling you my darlin
and nothing more
I still call your name
come to me virginia
come hear the tap tap
upon your chamber door
for only you my love
I surrender and never more
wind howls in blanket snows
here I stand so all alone
broken hearted and misconstrued
my Virginia who lies under stars and moon
just a tap tap upon your chambers door
tis I and nothing more
tales of hidas truth
blackbird sings harps cords
just like the tap tap upon your chambers door
my sweet Virgina whom I adore
for there'll be love waiting and nothing more
as I lay right next to you in this tomb
I counted only seven who have even knew
the times of this raven who
tapped tapped upon your chambers door
twas only I and will be never more
Tribute To Edgar Allen Poe
And His Young Bride Virginia
Also To His Poem The Raven
Copyright © Katherine Stella | Year Posted 2009
Tomorrow’s times are in these eyes of mine.
Away and far my world shall part.
The Seas shall rise from their depths of deep.
And in the glow of the shadows the willows will weep.
The Sun will rise as my days still come,
The glory, the power, it is the rains with Sun.
Tomorrow’s times are in these days of mine.
Far and gone my world shall bond.
The Mountains will fall from their heights they climb.
And in the glow of the shadows the willows will shine.
Tomorrow’s times are in these thoughts of mine.
Gone and here my world shall fear.
The Lands will separate the world by Sea,
And in the glow of the shadows the willows will be.
Tomorrow’s times I know are mine.
Here it is that I fear I’m near.
My Land, my Seas, my Mountains of plain sight,
And in the glow of the shadows the willows shall shed their light.
®Registered: Ann Rich 1998
Copyright © Ann Rich | Year Posted 2010
No one here.
I am alone.
Can you hear my loneliness?
The silence is disturbing…
It creates sound blasts in my eardrum
No spoken word
Laughter is distant
Thoughts of questioning
Why this is so?
Can I cry a little?
Is that ok?
But then I see a shadow
In the corner of my left eye.
I turn and recognise the face
Through the glints of light
Shone onto their abstract expression.
They lift their arm slowly,
Obscured in the dark shadow, a
Bony finger extends.
They beckon me over
To sit with them.
To cradle them and relate with them.
So they can stroke my hair and tell
Me I’m all theirs.
I know them to be quite the jealous type
As I have sat with them before.
Their name tingles on my lips
In my mind I know
I should avoid them but I
Have been spotted.
I was visible to them.
They saw my need.
Because I was alone.
I was open.
Like a deer by a brook.
I don’t want self-pity
To come over me.
But I would like company.
I would prefer a friend.
So I get up and leave
And walk away from the face I recognised,
Despite my loneliness.
I walk away, look back and see Depressions face.
He is angry. He wants me to sit and wallow.
But I got away.
Copyright © Samantha HAYNES | Year Posted 2006
My work finished
I glanced back at the clock
Ah… The Witching Hour
Hung heavy on the next tock
My thoughts raced back
To childhood days
To scary stories
Round campfires haze
To daunting dares
In dark woods maze
And then… It caught my eye
A phantom shape
That just moments before
Had been shadows tossed
Twixt the walls and floor
And I admit
Twas’ dimly lit
In chances knit
From where I sit
And then… I saw it move
Just then I thought
Tis’ time to trust and pray
And steady my hearts resolve
Should this be the reckoning day
And then I swear
The room grew cold
Moved to unfold
My chest I clutched
My soul to hold
And then… I heard it speak
“Time is at hand”
And those words comforted it seemed
And my God in a timeless moment
I became one with all I’d dreamed
Tis’ certain this
Event of page
Will visit all
Upon life’s stage
Life’s burning rage
Copyright © James Burns | Year Posted 2010
This night is a dancer
In a dark, velvet dress
This night is a singer
With a deep, rich voice
We are sitting, we are silent
And suddenly, we remember
Something and start talking
The window is opened
We are watching a small cloud
Floating beside the Moon
We are watching the stars
And their light is reflected
In our eyes, the light made of
Many, many millions of years
Copyright © Vesna Kovrlija | Year Posted 2013
A new path is what we seek.
The surroundings are taking a peek,
Going through, very meek,
Seeing no bleaks,
While hearing creaks,
In the new paths that we seek...
The new path is what is found,
Going through forests bound,
Going through the path inbound,
With soothing and raging water sounds.
Passed through burial grounds...
Seeking for another way around,
The paths newfounded,
Our instincts compounded,
Followed by the hounds,
Echoes in ultrasounds,
Passed through mysterious breeding grounds...
Going to stamping grounds,
Trying to get off this ground,
With those burial mounds,
Death moving the wheels around,
Silhouettes running aground,
Trying to leave safe and sound,
Passing through some hunting grounds...
Seeking for common grounds,
The mistaken path redounded,
Regretful screams abound.
Though some are fouled,
Throughout the paths that were found...
However, most are lost and wounded,
Most tended to walk out,
Some minds and hearts full of doubts.
Hearing salvation shouts,
From all these new paths walked and found...
Copyright © Ruben A. Hernandez Diaz | Year Posted 2013
Walking alone in the dark
All is silent
Until theres a snap of a twig
Hands come from behind
Holding my neck
I try to scream
The hands grow tighter
I give up fighting
I take a final breath
He lays me in the bushes
My body cold and still
Noone knows who did it
They probly never will
Copyright © cara paynter | Year Posted 2013
I sleep. The hours tick by mercilessly;
unfilled, purposeless, full of potential
"What to do? What to do???" I mutter,
tumbling, like Alice, down the rabbit hole.
My hands push down ballooning petticoats,
careful not to show or touch anything.
I twirl beneath the pile down comforters.
The hours tick by crimson red
and in the dream,
the rose Queen shouts, "Off with HER HEAD!"
An eyebrow is plucked whole from my face.
It falls matted and to the ground leaving me,
brow akimbo, surprised, and horrified.
"What to do? What to do? What to do???"
Half shorn. Half drawn. Half born?
A painter's pallet appears before me.
A brow is drawn… for me.
Yet, the Rose Queen still screams on.
"Off with HER HEAD! Off with HER HEAD!"
Copyright © Debbie Guzzi | Year Posted 2012
I was running some errands and stopped into the little waterfront restaurant for a late lunch. It was kind of that in-between lunch and dinner time hour, so the place was completely empty.
I ordered a bread bowl clam chowder at the counter and took a seat next to the large bay-window looking out over the water in the empty seating area. As I was lost in a daydream staring out the window, I noticed a cell phone sitting on the window ledge. I looked around the empty room to see if I might have missed who it belonged to before picking it up and turning it on.
I slid the “slide to unlock” bar and got to the main menu with no password required. Thinking I was smart, I decided to see who the most recent phone calls were received from and thought I would “call back” that number to see if they might know who the phone belonged to so I could get it back to the rightful owner.
By far, the most phone calls were from “Sally”. I touched the “Call back” button.
Ring sounds were followed by a quick, hurried and frantic, “I told you not to call me! I can’t talk now, you need to stay way!”
Flabbergasted and embarrassed, I tried to stammer out that I was simply trying to discover who this phone might belong to, but I could not get the words out as I heard screaming in the nearby background.
“Who is that? Is that him?”
“No. No, it’s …”
“Give me that damn phone!”
I could hear sounds of rustling and crying; then, what sounded like a slap and …
“Hey you, << expletive >>, what the << expletive >> are you doing”, shouted a man’s voice into the phone.
This was immediately followed by more rustling and sounds of a struggle. I could hear the original voice, Sally’s I assume, crying, “Give me my phone you << expletive >>!”
Another slap. Rustling. And then a loud: POP! POP! POP! And silence.
The phone was still on. I could hear heavy breathing for what seemed like hours.
Then the man’s voice said, “And, now I am coming to get you”, and the phone went dead.
Sweat was pouring down my forehead. Oh my God, what had I done? And, now what do I do?
The waitress brought me my soup and I asked her if she knew who might have left that phone there. She simply said, “No” and sauntered back to the kitchen area.
I called 9-1-1 and tried to explain what had happened. They connected me to the police but I had no luck in convincing them that a crime had occurred. For over 45 minutes I was transferred from department to department; put on hold; and, transferred again before someone finally took down Sally’s number, but I hung up convinced nothing was going to be done.
I looked for other numbers in the phone’s directory to see who I might call to try to identify the phone’s owner and tell them what had taken place. The second most popular number belonged to a Tony so I pushed the “Call” button.
The phone was answered by a now familiar voice that yelled, “That’s right << expletive >> I am on my way to get you!” And he hung up before I could explain.
Quickly, I went to the “Messages” icon on the phone, selected “Tony” and tried to type out an explanation of what was going on. When I touched the “Send” button an error message came up indicating, “You have exceeded your text allotment for this month. Please visit the App Store to purchase more options.”
Then I heard someone yelling from the kitchen, “Linda, have you seen my cell phone? I can’t find the stupid thing.”
The waitress yelled back, “Oh hey, that guy out there found a phone on the window sill. Is that yours?”
I saw the cook come out of the kitchen heading toward my table about the same time a large man burst into the front doors with a gun in his hand.
The cook turned; said, “Tony, what the hell”; and then took three shots into the face.
The waitress started screaming from the back of the restaurant. Tony turned and stared at me; placed the pistol into his mouth; and, pulled the trigger one last time.
By now, the waitress had fainted. The metallic smell of spent pistol cartridges hung in the air.
I called 9-1-1 one more time from the found phone and told them there was a shooting at the restaurant. I wiped down the phone and dropped it by the cook’s lifeless body and walked out of the restaurant glad that I bought my lunch with cash and not my debit card.
Copyright © Joe Flach | Year Posted 2012
Long ago I lost a precious thing that used to lift me up as it lifted burdens shouldered with it's way of
tender holding .How barren now that what has left it's mark to shame us .Just in a role and this acheless
rage so apt a trick it lies alone as so in many ways reaching each as it denied us. Tertiary paid in knowledge
first an icon green so paramount.Strip ped barren now and left us naught but naked thoughts of whats
spilled a path while denying everything but woe to us the wickedness to whats yet still left so easily still
Apr 17 at 3:25am · · Like · Share · Remove
Love Fast Run Far
by James P Kail Wednesday April 17th 2013
Like · Edit · Apr 17 at 3:56am
Copyright © jamesp kail | Year Posted 2013
I've done it again, I've overslept
I've failed to finish my homework
I've missed so many classes
that I can't recall which room
that I am supposed to go to
and maybe I'm on the wrong floor
and oh god the wrong building?
and besides they all look the same
and besides the last time I found it
all the seats were taken...
The semester is almost over
My attendance is still required
or there will be some sort of penalty...
(Tuition is so expensive, son
Why waste it, why throw it away?
Now your brothers and sister...)
The hall is empty and endless now
I'm running and sweating now
The whole class is waiting now
The teacher is waiting now...
I've already flunked his course
but still have to take his exam...
The bell screams and the doors slam shut
Once again they have started without me
Once again I'll be marked absent
when they call the roll...
(Based on vivid, recurring dreams I used to have)
Copyright © Tim Ryerson | Year Posted 2013
I AM QUASIMODO, THE BELLRINGER OF NOTRE DAME,
WHOSE FATED MYSTERY IS TO SUMMON THE MASSES
UPON THE APPOINTED HOURS OF THEIR FAITH.
A MISBEGOTTEN BIRTH HAS BROUGHT ME HERE,
ABANDONED, RECOVERED, (HIDDEN AWAY) IN MY AFFLICTION -
A DENIZEN OF HIGH PLACES, MADE DEAF BY LABOR AT THE BELLS;
A SUBTERRANEAN CREATURE
SNIFFING MY SURE WAY THRU THE BACK WAYS
AND FORGOTTEN STREETS OF A CITY AT NIGHT,
Notes (not mine) on the beginning of something, a narrative poem perhaps?
Found in a box recovered from storage, along with scanned photos from that time;
An interesting characterization worth preserving...
and possibly completing...? ...as a PoetrySoup cooperative project?
Questions one could comment or expand upon:
Are there aspects of Quasimodo in each of us?
I love the turn of phrase, "whose fated mystery is to summon the masses upon the appointed
hours of their faith."
I ponder my own fated mystery. What is yours?
How does it feel to be at the center (and the maker) of so much sound and not be able to
Do you 'hear' sound differently?
What are you deaf to? a call to faith? love?
How does Quasimodo's sense of isolation mirror your own?
The contrast of being a "denizen of high places", yet a "subterranean creature" roaming
forgotten 'streets' in the dark. What does that mean to you?
Copyright © Linda Witt-King | Year Posted 2010
I lay, half asleep in the dark morning, listening to her get ready for work.
She opens the door to the dressing room, turns out the light,
and cautiously moves in the darkness to the side of our bed
where she feels her way with her hands up my body,
accidently caressing my erection,
to find my face and give me a good-bye kiss.
“Have a nice day”, she whispers;
I groan in a sleepy reply.
I hear her go down the stairs and into the kitchen.
I semi-consciously listen to the sounds of a quick morning breakfast being prepared.
I hear her gather her work-day stuff;
open and close the front door;
and open and close the door to her car that I imagine is frost covered
in the still dark driveway, illuminated by a lone, fog incased street light.
I hear the sound of the car choking to a start and drift away down our lonely street.
I relapse into a deep, morning slumber.
Awakened by the sound of the front door opening again;
I wonder what it is she forgot this time.
I follow the sounds of steps coming up our stairs and
feel the slight smile being painted on my face
anticipating another good-bye kiss and, perhaps,
another accidental brush against my still erect member.
With eyes still shut by left-over sleep, I mumble, “Forget something?”
The quick, bright flash of light accompanying the loud bang from the loaded weapon
are the last sensations I experience in this life here on earth.
Whether it was her;
a paid assassin; or,
a random crime -
I will never know.
Copyright © Joe Flach | Year Posted 2012
It was about a weak
After that night walk
The unknown dangers,
Made known, turned me weak,
I was managing myself,
After my heart was pulled,
From where it sank,
I was yet in the oven,
Of my haven,
To dry up the coldness,
And the wetness,
Of that fearful night loneliness,
Today is Christmas,
The whole mass,
Every home, glorious,
Meat was plenteous,
Rice and beans.
Was every homes means,
Children bouncing in,
New goat skin jackets,
Mother’s dressed in costly
Beads and all the way,
For Christmas had taking over,
Taking over the African Shrine,
It supplied a joyous sunshine.
Our pockets were full of cowries,
Like a goldmine,
Happiness was mine,
For the usual war seemed
To be hidden, and our teethes where like,
Oh! Joyful, blissful, plentiful Christmas.
Providing joy each time it surface,
But joy has a slender waist that breaks so soon.
Christmas night came, so we visited
Our beds as night rang it’s bell,
(To be continued in the next, same Poem).
Copyright © Charles Melody Lightning Ink | Year Posted 2010
One cold night, deep in thought, and curled in fright,
From folklore tales aimed to scare;
My rigid poise froze to a screeching noise
Outside, a voice not like I've heard before, to leave I would not dare
“It’s probably just an owl or creature of the night out there"
I muttered to myself, then pretended not to care
Oh, I recall quite vividly this icy Winter’s night
With grainy sight, the sandman came to lead me to his land
The weariness I fought but eventually he caught
Pulling me quite taut to somewhere far less bland
Where I became the leader of a marvellous brass band
And down that path sandman tightly gripped me by my hand
Trumpeters and trombone players played musically in layers
Exciting each and everyone, spreading joy to all around
But my dreams were playing tricks, my mind was in a mix
The bass tuba sounded sick, not playing tuneful sounds
Instead a grating shrill, then the whining of a hound
The lightning and the rain came too, my dream then ran aground
Alone I grew more frightened and the intensity just heightened
The shrieks and shrills grew louder with an occasional thunder clap
Taking sanctuary under bed sheets, preying for melodic sound beats
Suffering this painful feat, my soul took a massive slap
Oh how I longed for it to stop and to return me to my nap
The bleakness of that night, my mind caught in a trap
Morning later broke, the ground outside was soaked
The noise had faded but there was still a haunting in my ears
A crunch, a grind, a squeak a whine
The cause I vowed to find, and to take away my fears
From the upstairs window I saw a farmer crouched in tears
And a windmill's broken sails; the mystery closure neared
Across the muddy field, I approached the man kneeled
Sobbing over what appeared to be a dead Alsatian
He'd found it just lying there, the hound, his best friend
Downed by a falling windmill piece, killing gods creation
"A slow death" the farmer said "he must have cried out for attention"
"And my mill cranks broken causing noises of a nauseating sensation"
Copyright © Rob Carter | Year Posted 2014
A TRAGEDY OF PRIDE ( hubris)
In the Arctic nights the jazz born North Lights sound
with a music of their own. Fair winds ferry fragile birds--
take to the skies in search of sympathetic warmth profound
while white breathless silence magnifies each sound as it is heard
and few venture forth, like bears they dash to find a haven
where they can hide until reluctantly the sun has stirred--
But, there is one jay bird who is not one of nature’s craven
creatures-- Waiting for a spring call from his mate, he hops into the hungry snow
to dance a dangerous dance in icy morning with the ravens.
There is a God flung magic that dashes high above the haughty human know
among the ancient secret kingdoms of the mystery sky--
And there it is that Wisdom’s Word is spread by wing and wayward winds that blow
their way in worldwide splendor and intricate magnificence that defies
the mind of man. It is a truth that dalliance in vanity is inborn---
Man or bird, into the nature of some spirits-- it low lies
and becomes incited when grand fame or imagined glory has been shorn
by another . And , so-- in Persia when the Prince of Peacocks heard
murmurs of the razzing ravens and the sassy sparrows high sky airborne
a proclamation that the World knew now there lived a peerless bird--
plucky-proud, surpassing the peacock -- Jay magnificent with a spirit daunting, a weight
of valiant blue in shades escaped of double rainbows, color-blurred
who bedazzled all nature’s eyes and winds of ear, that judiciously beheld each trait.
The peacock, no longer Highest Prince of Birds, screamed a terrible and cosmic sound
of jealousy. Ignoring all the glory that still made him great--
the vain and foolish peacock fell-- stunned and breathless to the ground.
Victoria Anderson-Throop 2012 ©
Written in Juja, Kenya
Bird is Stellar Jay, common in Valdez, Alaska
Copyright © Victoria Anderson-Throop | Year Posted 2012
People are my weakness and hidden fear
I just feel that some words they say set me in tear
For example I gave a person a smile one day and they gave me a glare
I did not know that smiling in the world today cause people to stare
These types of stare gave me chills down my spine a feeling that made me blind
Why? why is my weakness the people who are very unkind
Hiding is all I can do when people give me a unkind view
I get to a point that my fear seems to wonder and stew
People are who they are and what should I even do
I don't understand that they are evil and some times nice too
My hidden fear are people just because they are always around
That is no argument and my feeling are perfectly sound
The hate builds up in my mind, but does not bother, how my heart feel
I learned to undergo a change that my feelings become like steel
Hard as it should be in situations needed I forget how to use it
So it becomes my weapon and it is to some people heartless just a bit
My hidden fear is what I see in people today
They harm others and they think it is okay
That is why I fear my feelings for others at times because it is so confusing
My hidden fear is some what bad and some what a blessing
Copyright © Reynaldo Mast | Year Posted 2013