'I want you to use all your powers and your skills
I don’t want his mother to see him like this
Look, look how they massacred my boy'...
Don Corleone (Marlon Brando) in “The Godfather”
Playing the game. It's a game isn't it?
Life is but a game, but a dream isn't it?
I drove home by that road many, many times,
that very same short-cut country road that you drove
that road where our lives crashed, exploded and shattered
shattered in jagged shards of Silver-Saturn pieces
(This is where you must have seen the swerving headlights
What were your thoughts? Were you worried? Were you alarmed?
This is the spot, oh God this is where, where it all hap...
What were your LAST thoughts? What were your last words
when that pick-up jumped, jumped and flew out of that ditch?
You always said "WHAT THE!"... Yeah, you must have said that)
Driving myself to madness playing the 'what if' game
What if you had driven just a little faster?
A little slower? Stopped to pick up something?
DIDN'T stop to pick up something? (Did-didn't-did...)
Stayed at work a minute longer, or left a minute early?
Just what are the odds? Just what are the chances?
2:AM? Maybe one car, one car every 2 hours or so?
It was 'perfect' timing, a 'perfect' flash in time
I drove home by that same road many, many times,
that very same short-cut country road that you drove
that same short-cut road, that road you were driving
innocently driving....trying to get back home
Yes, playing the game. It's a game isn't it?
Life is but a game, but a dream isn't it?
And there you were -
blue cap and jersey, white pants
bat held high above the shoulder
cocked and ready to swat one out
in that perfect stance of yours...
Shoulder turned, name half visible
(Proud you were to wear that name
Proud was I you wore that name)
Yes there you were -
smiling that smile of yours...
Cocky, confident, ready-or-not smile
The kind of smile of someone who
was exactly where he belonged
exactly where he wanted to be
in that very place, that very moment
doing what he was born to do
Fulfilling his destiny...
(Yes that's my boy out there
Yes he IS a good player isn't he?)
So there you were -
An all-star you were, oh yes, a star
a shining, glittering star but:
Stars are born to flame out, die
We are all born to die it is said
Seems only the best of us die young
and far too soon, too soon
You died too soon...
Let me explain how it all began; retrace with me
the sordid steps back to childhood pain.
Imagine an endless war: fanaticism shackled to atheism,
ongoing castigation, brutal flagellation,
guilt's spike rammed and jammed deep inside me.
A mocking crucified rictus leered above my bed,
peered at me, probed the shadow-dark corners in my head.
One night I tore it from the wall, lovingly replaced it
with the head of a haunting horse.
Its soul-sad eye-pools shone with empathy,
radiated liquid love in my loneliness, kept me company.
I loathed the trembling, timorous wretch I was,
fear-filthy and saddled with sin.
My only outlet and release was equine.
To escape, to feel freedom's blaze, I followed
enticing hoofprints across searing amber sand,
pressed my face into imprints
on the gold burnished strand.
Equus, son of Flequus, son of Nequus,
we galloped out together on tumultuous darkness,
his brawny neck jutting from between my vice-tight thighs,
the bit biting into tender, froth-flecked mouth corners,
his flying mane a white whip slashing my skin, spurring us on.
Rubbing my sweat-soaked self against the ripple of muscle
under silk-sleek flanks; the power plunge of thunder-hooves,
the lunge of sturdy shanks; his bludgeoning body
a white gash in the blackness. Aching-wet and wild
to be inside him, at one with him - a pounding union.
Nefandous nightmare stampeded at the stable door. Love became bestial.
I stroked them in strange, strangled dreams;
hauled them, mounted them, whipped them round
the blood-sticky straw of the stable floor.
Twelve coal-ebon eyes stared into a sinuous, skewed psyche,
accusing my urges, pillorying my perversions;
soul-stark, snaffling the bitter apple of blighted youth.
Those eyes - I had to put them out like snuffing stars.
Sorrowfully I sluiced sticky scarlet warmth from fevered fingers,
wretched with regret. But it had to be done.
I still see them: the six silky-flanked, softly snuffling ones;
spike-blinded, eye sockets oozing quiet crimson,
blood-roses blooming on their harrowed haunches.
You still batter me with questions, trampling
the dark dream-dust of my fantasies, seeking answers.
But I have learned how to sidestep neatly,
how to bury guilt and horror silently and discreetly.
*based on the stage play 'Equus'
"Each experience is locked within my heart and only I hold the key..."
There was a time when Jess was young, that we thought we were going to lose him.
It all started with recurring headaches he would have. These headaches became more frequent and intense over a few months. Next, tremors on one side joined the headaches.
Countless trips to the Doctor and days of having to leave work to go to his side at school to help him through the episodes. I blew a gasket. I demanded a CAT scan. I think that the only reason that the Doctor agreed, was to shut me up. But I knew in my gut, that these were not migraines as diagnosed.
The day of the CAT scan came. I sat in an area that allowed me to see my son and hear the technicians. At first, the techs were very chatty among themselves. Then, stark silence. As if a tomb door had been shut. Then the words that still haunt me were said..."Oh shit" on of the technicians whispered. I closed my eyes and felt my heart cry out in its pain.
I sat in the Doctors office, waiting for him to come and tell me my son was fine. That there was an error in the reading of the scan.
He entered with his nurse, who was carrying a box of tissues and cup of water.
"Your son has an arachnoid cyst. The left temporal lobe of his brain is not there. In its place is a fluid filled sack. The pressure of the filling fluid is causing all the symptoms. He will need to undergo brain surgery."
I sat there....numb. All I recall hearing are the words...Brain surgery.
The day of the surgery came. His younger brother was with me in the waiting room. Too young to understand the gravity of the situation. All he knew was that his brother was very sick.
Now, I want to take you to our sons Hospital room, post surgery.
There he was, lying in the big bed. White as the sheet that covered his small body up to his chest. His head wrapped in bandages. Tubes and wires everywhere.
As our son was waking up, his first words were "Where is my brother?"
Mike flew to the side of his bed and grabbed his hand. "I'm right here!" he said.
Very weakly, Jess was able to say "I love you Mike."
Mike in turn said, "I love you Jess."
My tears that had never flowed through the whole ordeal finally came. Not out of fear, but for the love that our sons had for one another.
For the A Fragment Of Life contest
sponsored by Constance La France
My eldest brother, nine years old,
Thought he could break a horse.
Our mother strictly forbade him.
A mother’s right of course.
Her young son mustered all his wiles,
Hoping he could sway her.
Unwilling to be defeated,
He vowed to disobey her.
He gathered a rope and bridle,
Went to the big corral.
He was there to break a wild colt,
Three brothers there to yell.
Our youngest brother, four years old
Yelled, “I’ll tell Ma on you
Unless you take me up there
And give me a ride too.”
In his eagerness to hush him,
His big brother agreed
And lifted him to the bare back
Of that big, trembling steed.
Our father came in nick of time
To salvage little brother,
Then watched as his son rode that colt.
No one told our mother.
"Am I a man
I am old and frail son;
His smiles and hugs
could not be bought
~~~Being for the Benefit of Mr Kite~~~
An all round performer was Mr William Kite
He trained and rode horses, but also walked the rope tight
He worked for Pablo Fanqué the Wells Circus owner in 1842
But his work gave inspiration for John Lennon to do.
Mr William Kite would never have dreamed.
That his skills as a performer would inspire a song theme
As he performed on his head, while balancing on a rope
A trumpet in his mouth, and he played a damn fine note.
When he was with John Sanger, who was equestrian minded
William appeared for a spectacular night, the poster has reminded
The celebrated horse called Zanthus was even there
With Mr William Kite to perform - boy what a pair
This poster impressed John Lennon so...
It inspired him to write about William and the show
Being for the Benefit of Mr Kite, the poster does show
Inspired quite a few lyrics as all Beatles fans will know.
What they may not know - but I am impressed
There is a man called David with whom I am blessed
He is the great great grandson of William by whom Lennon was inspired
But better than that David is my half brother it has so transpired.
The Beatles Album Cover is "Sergeant Peppers Lonely Heartclub" which potrays the poster of Mr Kite
In each others arm’s
with the warmth I receive from
these words from the depths of
his little heart,
past his precious lips:
“ I’ve been waiting for this Pops”
“What’s that son”,
while still wrapped in his warm grip
was mine query…
“Your golden hug Pops…
your golden hug”
as off to school he did trot
Daddy, were you alive when Jesus was born?
No honey, he was born a long time ago, over 2000 years ago.
Where was he born Daddy?
In Bethlehem, a small town in the desert in a manger,
Whats a manger Daddy?
It's a place where they kept animals to feed them.
You see when Jesus was born the Inn was full, so
they had to get Mary to a warm place to give birth to Jesus.
that was the only place they could go.
Daddy who is Jesus' Daddy?
God is his Father honey?
But who is Joseph?
The Chosen Father, who God chose to raise him, Mary's Husband
I don't understand Daddy!
God wanted a son, he could not have a son without Mary and Joseph's
help. God asked them both if they would help him, without even thinking
they said yes. God gave to them a great gift, God gave them Jesus.
At that moment God gave us all a great gift, He gave us the Son of Man.
The Son of Man Daddy?
Yes honey, you see God is not Man, not one you can touch, Jesus
was, he healed people who were sick, He showed people how to love God
and how God loves them. There is one more important thing
I want to tell you honey.
What's that Daddy? Jesus did a coupla more things I think are
important, there are many of course but two I like.
Go on Daddy!
Jesus taught us how to love without conditions, like the way I love you
and you love me and your Mom and Brother. But how to love everybody
like that. The most important thing is, is that he died because we humans
broke God's laws, which means we sinned. He died so God would
Wow Jesus really did love us didn't he Daddy...?
Yes he did baby, and the really good thing is he still does and always will.
Come on it's time for bed!
Not until I say my prayers Daddy!
How bout we Pray together tonight?
I'd like that Daddy!
So would I baby, so would I .
Jump up on my back and I'll give you piggy back ride!
I love you Daddy!
I love you too baby, I love you too.........
My Christmas wish is you all have Conversations like this with your
kids. Trust me they bring tears of joy!
May God Bless you all this Christmas Season as he has Blessed me.
From Mary, Josh, Shay and myself MERRY CHRISTMAS and HAPPY NEW YEAR
He is caught between one life and another
while my pain lengthens like a shadow of the moon
We are like leaves, played with by the wind
O lengthening dark vision
reaching across our lives
It came, at last, without a sound...
his leave taking came without a word,
but we both heard it in the silence....
His world is in the palm of his hand
and my world is this moment that does not move
O furtuna, sternit fortem
O furtuna, rota tu volubillis
Never was he mine, never was he not mine
The child, no longer, child that bends and sways
My eyes reflect the clouds upon the sky
for he reaches out a hand upon my crown
and I feel the gentle warmth upon my head
A knowing hand of man, not boy, that once I vowed to keep
must leave and know that I will weep
as if I am the child, ....not he,...instead
O fortuna, velut luna
Statu variabillis, semper crescis, aut decrescis;
I force a smile, and watch him fly away
Quod per sortem .... Sternit fortem,
never was he mine, never was he not mine
For Deb's Contest: Bi-Lingual
O Fortuna (O Fortune)
Velut luna (like the moon)
Statu variabilis (you are changeable)
Semper crescis (ever waxing)
Aut decrescis; (and waning;)
Quod per sortem (since Fate)
Sternit fortem, (strikes down the string)
Rota tu volubilis, (you whirling wheel)
Corde pulsum tangite; (pluck the vibrating strings;)
Quod per sortem (since Fate)
Sternit fortem, (strikes down the string)
I took a rich man’s wallet
So that we would not starve
I’m sure the lord has forgiven me
But the judge he surely did not.
He spared me from the gallows
But sent me across the sea
Away from family and friends
And away from you sweet Molly
I could see you standing on the dock in the rain
As the ship lurched out in the mist
And I wondered sweet Molly would I ever again
Hear your laughter or feel your sweet kiss.
Well terrible fortune befell us
On that awful disease ridden ship
And brutes were the crew and the guards
Who beat us with fists and with whip.
And the wind howled and the seas rose
And many were washed overboard
And illness, storms and starvation
Were sent upon us by the lord
And gradually everyone perished
But somehow I seemed to survive
Until somehow I made it to Botany Bay
The only soul left alive.
I joined a prison gang Molly
And hard to work we went
They gave me a chisel and barrow
And told me to go and carve steps
From a mountain made out of rock
On a path that led to nowhere.
No food or drink did they give us
I feel that they wished we would die
Well their wish came true sweet Molly
As the men started dropping like flies.
The sun burned my face and my arms
As I hammered away at the stone
And when the rains finally came
They soaked us through to our bones
Then a flash flood swept the others away
And left me there all on my own.
Well my life was hard to be sure
But again I seemed to survive
And I finally made it back to the camp
The only soul left alive.
They all were surprised to see me
They clapped my back and shook my hand
They said we must throw a party
For the luckiest man in the land
Well a grand party it was
Under a night of starry skies
The officers all were so drunk
That they started dropping like flies
And in the morning the soldiers found me grinning
Twenty dead officers, two blood stained knives.
Holy Christ said the men as they clapped me in irons
He’s the only soul left alive!
So now I finally face the gallows Molly
And there are no more lies left for me
What I couldn’t eat of the men on the ship
I threw the remains to the sea
What I couldn’t eat of the men on the mountain
I buried among the trees
The drunken officers deserved all they got
So Molly my conscience is clear.
My only regret dear Molly
The only thing that causes me pain
Is knowing that I shall never
See your sweet face again.
The story I have to tell- was told long ago to me,
About the creation of the Potawatomi Nation;
In the beginning the Creator made Anishabe,
And the Creator told Anishabe to name all of his creations,
Anishabe set out with a wolf, his companion,
And he went around naming everything;
From the mountains and the canyons,
To the Summer and the Spring;
He became lonely realizing, he alone had no mate,
And as he traveled everywhere searching,
He traveled towards the Great Lakes;
And there he heard a woman singing,
Her song was a thing of beauty,
About the home she was making for them;
Anishabe crossed the lake to meet her, finally,
The daughter of the Firekeeper-And quite a gem
Their’s was the first unity bond, It is where life came from;
Of each other they were inordinately fond;
Their union gave life to four sons,
Each of their sons went a different way,
The First son traveled North, it’s color is White, henceforth;
Given the first gift of the Creator-sweet grass-braided in a bouquet,
He married the daughter of the Spirit of the North;
The second sun traveled East, into the rising sun,
He learned that fire is the essence of life;
He was given the second gift-herbs to speak with the One,
East is the color Yellow, East’s daughter became his wife;
The third son traveled South, known as “The Way of The Woman”,
The way of seeds and all that give life, the color of South is Red;
He was given the gift of cedar-to purify and prepare food for his clan
And to the daughter of the Spirit of the South he was wed.
The last son traveled west, towards the mountain highlands,
He learned that the setting sun represents the circle of life;
Black is the color of West-Sage was the gift for his hands,
Married to the Spirit of the West’s daughter, Black stands for strife.
This is the story of the Creator, That my Grandmother told to me,
How my culture was started, And what our banner means.
~I've been holding on to this a while-Hope you enjoy the beginning of my culture~
~3rd Place in the "Broad Horizons" Contest by Deborah Guzzi~
As I think back to yesterday,
my vivid recall of your days of play.
I can still see you laughing as you ride your bike,
and all those expressions for the things you liked.
Now you are a man, and you stand so proud,
as you salute your commanders among the crowd.
Soon you will leave me for a far a way land,
filled with violence, and miles of sand.
Your dream has always been, to serve, and protect,
my son so proud of his country, with no regrets.
I pray for your safety, while wiping my tears,
your only nineteen, I can't hide my fears.
So tomorrow you will leave me, and your dreams fulfilled,
but you will always be my baby, and my life you thrilled.
He loved you too, you know
Loved you like his very own
In away you were
You came into his life as my friend
Through the years you grew to be my brother in arms
Along the way you became the son he never had
He loved you as a friend
He loved you even more as a son
A son he never had
When things began to spiral out of control
You stayed when so many others ran away
You helped when I couldn’t
You meant a great deal to him
You never looked at him differently
Nor did you treat him differently
You stood by his side
When he fell, you stood by his side and mine
You were willing to help me fight his battle for him
You were there from the beginning
You were there until the bitter end
Always remember my friend, my brother
He loved you more than you’ll ever know
Dedicated to close Family friend Rodney Howard. He loved my Daddy just as much as I did/do.
I always thought that I knew love
How intense that feeling could be
But, you were my gift from above
Just exactly what I'd need
I never thought I'd be a mother
I thought that time had past
It was a shock to believe another
For I was pregnant at last
I was 39 at the time
I felt kind of tired and old
My doctor said that I was fine
And a child is precious like gold
It wasnt always very easy
Being pregnant, working each day
Some times I'd get kind of queasy
But, eventually it went away
Tests, ultrasounds, bloodwork , all were fine
An amnio to see if you were okay
Monthly appointments, filled much of my time
Everything was progressing each day
I worked until the day before
Your grandparents flew out to see
I was very ready, couldn't take no more
Wanted my child for just for me
Finally the day had come,when I was to see my son
I got up early, got everything ready, even checked your room.
Slowly I drove to the hospital ,awaiting for the fun
For this was it what I had waited for, i'd see you before noon.
At the hospital they readied me
A Doctor put a catheter in my back
My Mom and Dad rushed up to see
Their grandchild in a wrap
I told them of my nervousness
How I forgot the words to say
So together we as a family
We were able to pray
I had to wait for a long time
Emergency twins were on the way
They said I was next in line
In the holding room was where I stay
So at 930 they brought me in to the room
They draped a sheet in front of my face
I hoped my head wouldn't zoom
I wanted to start this race
At 9:54 you came into my life
Your Dad ran to the end to see
The child that was bore by his wife
We became a family of three
My eyes filled with tears and I felt joy
It was all so new, I never had felt it before
Here's your child, perfect, handsome, and its a boy
For on that day my love for you grew even more
The bond between a mother and son
Is a story that can't be told
To look into your little eyes, I was overcome
My memories of that first time will never get old
So on this day when you had came
Was the best day I could have ever thought
Never mind fortune and fame
To have a child is a lesson in life that can never ever be taught.
You do not stand alone in your Battle
Your battle is our Battle
We may not be there in body
But we are there with you in Spirit
We are there in every beat of your Heart
In every whisper of the wind
In every thought and every touch
Every breath and every sound
We are there with you
You are wrapped in an Endless chain of Love
In every link we each send you a part of us
We send you some of our Strength
Some of our will to Fight
Some of our Courage
The most important of them all
We send you all of our Love
If you feel you need more
Just give that Endless chain a little tug
And we'll be there
Tug til you need us no more
Then we'll know you've gone Home
5/09/2014 Dedicated to my Aunt Nini, Wilma Thomas Gamble for Mother's Day. Sadly she lost her Battle w/ Stage 4 Pancreatic Cancer on 5/30/2014.
Story of a boy.....
I was to go to bed at 8 that night
When there was firing at the door,
Heard mom gasp,"God save my son."
I had no idea of what was in store.
We ran to the basement and shut it tight,
Mom pointed to the passage where dad hauls in wood
Sternly commanded me to go
While still as stone there she stood.
The sinners banged the door hard,
Through the passage there was just room for me to fit
So I sat down and shook my head,
There was no way that on my mother I'd quit.
She looked at me in the eye and gave me a kiss
And said,"Darling please listen to me,
I love you so very much
As fast as you can, do get to daddy."
'I'll get Dad' I thought and started to crawl,
I had to hurry,the door had almost gave way too
Noticed a sharp thing in the way and stopped,
But mom, in haste pushed me through.
I yelped in pain as iron cut my arm,
But what hurt me more was the door falling with a 'thud'.
Scars on my soul left me nightmares for years to come
Mom's cries and final scream echoing as I ran in the mud.
Fifteen years later, in the same but better town,
I show my arm to my wife and say
"If not for these scars I was left with
I would be with mom today."
My son Scottie and me
Are like two peas in a pod
The word “clone” certainly comes to mind
His humour is the same
His carefree look at life matches mine
There is no mistaking Scottie boy is my son
He's also inherited my creative genes
Following in his Daddy's footsteps
A techie version of his old man
Did I mention I'm proud of my Scottie
Does a bear poop in the woods
Of course I'm proud as a peacock
I love this boy!
He's now in his late forties
But he will always be my boy!
© Jack Ellison 2014
My son and his family drove down from the big city,
out to the countryside with open fields and steams.
They brought their standard golden poodle along,
a curly-haired fellow, name of Timmy.
Timmy had never seen a cat;
not even a mole or a furry rat.
Visiting country kin, he was checking things out.
Everything went fine that very first day.
Cats went about paying him no mind.
He walked about just passing time.
On that second day there was a big mistake.
Being a city dog with more worldy ways,
to add pleasure to his hum-drum days,
he thought it time to befriend these country kin.
The cats had never seen a dog this small,
only those on stilts, big, long and tall,
like Pyrenees, big wide mouths and teeth to match.
With barking big dogs on the scene,
up a tree they squirreled, never to be seen.
But this golden-haired fellow, with city clout--
they’d give him benefit of instinctive doubt.
Mama cat was even so bold
to sniff this city slicker right on the nose.
Sizing him up all the while, a friendly rat, she surmised,
a might bigger than some she had seen,
playing cat and mouse, yet acting so coy;
that is, until that overgrown golden-haired rat
walked up to Mama’s black baby boy.
Mama’s two other sons, another black and a blue,
began to gather nearer this city dweller, too.
Timmy politely extended his nose.
black son cat extended his razor-sharp claws,
with a bristled tail and fierce hissing jaws.
Timmy let out with a painful yelp,
as Mama cat called all boys in for help.
Cats surrounded and gave chase to the dog,
life-fearing circles around the cedar tree he’d log;
four hissing cats hot on his tail,
poor Timmy yelping in a desperate wail.
The master of Timmy gave rescue,
but Mama cat and her three grown sons,
strutting in pride, putting a dog on the run.
Written by: Carolyn Henderson
For Constance LaFrance's Cat Poem Contest
Won 9th Place
DON’T BE AFRAID
I live to please you,
I live to see the best in you
You and I are the best match
Havens have open mountains
Heavy rains ought to end us
But don’t be afraid
I have created tents to keep you safe
The safest place for you is in my heart
Where only my thoughts and blood play
My blood oozes with oxygen and love
Don’t be afraid this love is forever
I have devoted all my love to you
The clouds have surrendered its beauty for us
This is all for you
So don’t be afraid
This is the love that children will fantasizes
This is the love that you wished for
Your wishes have come true
Hostile Times II
By Nate Spears
Busted love is my Crystal Ball's fortune
My heart hurts in a torturing way
Nothing ever works in my favor
I lower my head and pray
Confessing to God
All I have to give
A 16 year old rebellious daughter
A 13 year old son that’s dead
My father is in prison; so is the one of my two kids
Is this really a way of living?
I didn’t have a choice from the days beginning
Would have a given me a chance
Walls of barriers bearing on us
On this earth we stand
Refusing to let go of this curse
If no bill is signed by Congress
My unemployment runs out next Thursday
Now I contemplate what’s next?
Sex dollars or Creflo's Dollars?
Be an honest woman; or
Be a fool that’s starving?
When pushed to the limit
All governors are discarded.
Hostile Times rains upon us
Other nations joins the honors
The Elite makes me vomit
There’s plenty of resources among us
God have mercy and let it trickle down on us
Rather than become degrading
In this pew
I choose prayer
Becoming Sunday Mornings best
Washing away my pains that become abreast; with my chest
Bringing in a new day,
For a better way
In these hostile times we live in.
Although you never knew it,my LOVE was always there;there were many who did tell you,I
was a son who didn't care.But lifes a funny journey,some parts are good and bad;your
passing without warning,has truly left me sad.I'll pray to God to give you,all the LOVE you
hadn't here,lets hope we meet in HEAVEN......so I'll see you MOTHER Dear. ~ Princefreakasso
Your broken hearted son PRINCE!
Mother decided to die without saying goodbye,didn't give me the opportunity;to shed a single
tear or cry.
My mother passed away a short while back and I was too late for her funeral.Just got to put
some flowers and light some candles at her grave.Let's hope the good Lord blesses and
keeps her until we meet again.
He woke and he got down on the creaking knees
He didn't know if God listened but tried
His grandson was in a coma and God was asleep
But he said the prayer but was afraid of the silence
God was the great politician in the sky
And his son Jesus would listen to the poll
When there was trouble God was the first name
Grabbing his coffee he humbly turned to God
In his eyes it was humbly but he loved the sugar
As he sat stirring and sweetened thoughts
The prayers flowed with his coffee
"Maybe God only listens to the regulars"
And he definitely wasn't one
It was years and God was famished
The whispered prayer ended with death and the anger
"Why did you not take me"
"I have lived and gladly would take the grandson's place"
The pastor warmed up and the sisters hummed
The cup spilled over as the prayer of the faithful
He became a hugger and he covered each drink
And the Irish believed in wake and liquor
He hugged the people tight and the salt became a scab
And God left him there with his drink
It was a cold and rainy night.
The stars were shining bright.
It seemed as if the world was at a pause and not a person was in sight.
I sat quietly in my car,
the sound of music I heard blasting from a far.
I opened my door,
stepped out slowly and looked around.
Now suddenly the music stopped,
not a word is heard, not even a sound.
I turned my head, looked over my shoulder,
I saw a woman running.
She was wearing a white gown.
I couldn't help but wonder why this woman running
flaunted such a frown.
I followed her footsteps,
I listened for the sound.
Running through the darkness,
one question came to mind,
Who would leave this woman?
Who would be so heartless?
How can someone leave her when she is so obviously distraught?
Abruptly a sound was heard.
I came to a stop.
I listened closely.
It was a gunshot.
Now fearful I stood.
I began to run as fast as I could.
I ran so fast, I could hear my heart beating.
I came upon my car and noticed a woman bleeding.
She was gasping for air.
Someone had shot her and left her to die there.
It was as if they didn't even care.
She reached for my hand,
whispered softly to me
"never trust a man"
At that moment her hand dropped.
I knew her heart had stopped.
I looked at her white gown now dripping red.
I I cried to myself and pondered what she had said.
This could be me.
I could be lying here dead.
I will remember her words always.
They will haunt me for the rest of my days.
This moment I will never forget.
No man should ever be such a threat.
This was the day my life would change.
From this day on I would never be the same.
The lesson I learned here,
never have such fear.
Fear that will keep me from being free.
I learned that I can be happy just being me.
I went outside when my grandson called me.
Down the wheelchair ramp I walked while looking.
I glanced all around, left and right, searching.
Then, I heard it, his wee small voice saying,
“Look, Memaw, I am up here in the tree!”
To my surprise, I had to look way up.
Not ten feet, not twenty feet, thirty feet –
Yes, tiny as he is, he climbed that high.
Afraid to show alarm, that he might fall.
I laughed and said, “What are you, my primate?”
“What’s a primate?” he asked curiously.
“A monkey, a primate is a monkey.”
After I responded, he replied, “No.”
With great pride, adding, “I am a tree frog.”
© February 29, 2012
Dane Ann Smith-Johnsen
© February 29, 2012
Dane Ann Smith-Johnsen
Written for Poetry Soup Member Contest: Narratives Free Poetry
Sponsor Catie Lindsey
We walk the rocky shore
and you lean heavily on me,
Mother, bruising my balky arm --
muttering "Ay, Hijo!";
a few steps and, breathless,
we are both exhausted.
Your once-brown eyes, gone gray,
are like concentric rings
rippling from a random stone
thrown into a polluted pond
in winter: eyes as flat
as the latex paint that
coats a cheerless rented room.
Cataracts circle your lenses;
they have a ruptured look --
purple, jellied -- like the eyes
of a dead fish, which I poke,
It is puffed and rotten.
Your eyes are puffed, too, red-rimmed,
moist with tears that brim over
though you try to blink them back.
That you love me and I you,
and that we wish to extend
our time together, is clear --
as clear as the black water
in the pond, as clear as your
as clear as my conscience
when I drop you at the Home,
cleverly inventing an important
meeting, to which I hastily fly.
A decade in to
a new millennium,
a woman, nearing
a century on Earth,
braces herself in
a doorway of
she has lived in since birth.
Her oldest son unfastens his belt, and takes a seat at the end of her table,
where her middle son just fixed the legs of the chair; to make sure it was stable.
Her youngest son brushes the webs off the wall, and scrubs the stains from the floor.
Her only daughter packs up her pictures, and helps her through the door.
A decade in to
a new millennium,
a life, almost
a century long,
comes flooding back
to the thoughts of a woman
who feels removed
from where she belongs.
Her daughter tries to lift her spirits, (from the room in which, she slept as a child)
but no one could easily witness their memories, all being sorted, and filed.
Her house is dissected, and put in a truck that waits - like a thief - in the drive.
-The cumbersome stance; the delicate dance; together, they help one another survive.
A decade in to
a new millennium,
a woman approaches
a century - passed.
A man in the attic
waves from the window -
This home will not be her last.
My first concern was to contact family, friends and employees that might be in the
immediate vicinity of the event. We are one of those lucky stories where my wife
had a doctor’s appointment and did not go to work that morning, otherwise - well,
I’d rather not think about otherwise.
Given what I do and where I was living at the time, I spent the rest of the week
trying to find corporate real estate immediately available for occupancy and doing
interviews. If you do a web search on my name and “eagle rock” you can still find
some of those articles.
Early Saturday morning, I took my one son who still lived at home onto the city to
volunteer our assistance. We took the Jersey City ferry into midtown. At first, we
made our way to the Javits Center where volunteers were to gather. Even at 6:30
in the morning this place was pure chaos with hundreds of people wandering
around with no organization.
We decided this was a lost cause and started walking down towards the World
Trade Center. What a surreal experience this was. For 30 blocks we walked down
the middle of NYC streets without any traffic in site. No taxis; no cars; no buses; no
pedestrians. It felt like a scene out of a science fiction movie with NYC totally barren
of life, save for the two figures making their way downtown.
A few blocks from downtown, we were met by roadblocks. We walked up and down
a few streets to see if there was any place we could be of service. We came upon a
street with a man on the other side of the blockade handing out water bottles to
rescue workers returning from the WTC. We asked the police officer if we could
assist the man and he let us inside the barrier.
The supply of water bottles was getting low so I gave the man $200 and he went
off to purchase more. Meanwhile, my son and I handed bottles of water to rescuers
covered in sweat and soot. Over time, a crowd started building up behind the
barriers and people started cheering and clapping for each rescue worker as they
came up to get some water.
Somehow, whenever the water bottle supply got low, a new supply arrived. My son
and I spent hours handing out water to tired and thirsty rescue workers as the
crowd grew and the cheering increased. It was just our way of providing what little
help we could and it helped us, personally, come to terms with what had taken place
in our own backyard.
This year marks the 10th anniversary of that tragic day on September 11. I hope we
"hola" (nino pasajero del tren)
Hola donde estan tus padres chiquillo
"No le hables ha ese tipos de persona mi hijo" le dijo la madre al nino "ellos no son como
nosotros criatura, ellos son una maldicion del mundo"
Me preocupa la ignorancia de las personas sobre clase sociales
Dios las comprenda
Ya que a mi, se me hace imposible reconocer tal ignorancia de tan magnitud
pero bueno sigamos con mi regreso a Nueva York
regresando a mi ciudad lo primero que hice fue correr a la casa de sus padres
LLegando a esa casa
color casi mostaza con ventanas blancas
me sorprendi mucho al ver que nada habia cambiado
Demaciadas memorias se me venian a la cabeza
Como cuando eramos ninos y hasta el primer beso que nos dimos
Finalmente, me arme de valor y toque la puerta
El mayordomo contesto la purta y me dijo "Muchacho(George)""Que desea? A aqui no empliamos
a personas como usted"
Y yo le conteste-No, no busco empleo yo busco a Sandy
Y el me contesto "Sandy" "La senorita Sandy se esta casando hoy mismo en la Iglesia de San
No podia entender lo que estaba pasando
Sentia un dolor tan grande
Como si me huvieran enterrado un punal en el corazon
Y las lagrimas se me salian de los ojos enevitablemente
Pues sentia un savor bien amargo en toda la boca
Asi sali corriendo hasta la iglesia
Ya que estaba lloviendo no se si corria mas rapido por la lluvia o por la deseperacion de
ver a verla
Aun que fuera por ultima ves
LLegando a la iglesia havia un rotulo que decia "NO NEGROS ALLOW""NO PERSONA DE COLOR ES
Mas yo entre a fuersa y asi luchando con los guardespaldas llegue hasta en medio de la iglesia
y la gente conmovida y sorprendida decian "Que hace este mulato en la iglesia"
Y alli estaba ella luciendo como una reina
Mas me fue suficiente con verla una ves mas y asi sali de ese lugar
Sin mirar atras ni a los lados
Nada mas pensaba desaparecer y no volver nunca mas
Asi fui hasia la estacion del tren y compre un voleto con destino hasta la ultima parada
crusando el pais entero
LLegando ala estacion, una mujer de vestido blanco color perla y de sombrero igual me toco
el hombro y me di vuelta
Voltiandome ella se quito el sombrero y sus ojos brillaban como el mar brilla al resplandor
Ella me pregunto si necitaba compania
Me abrazo y me dio un beso y asi partimos juntos en el TREN HACIA EL OLVIDO
Sin importar la clase social y lo mas importante
de que color era nuestra piel.........
DIOS ES AMOR Y TODOS SOMOS IGUALES PARA EL...
Soccer was the thing for all young men to play.
And my little love wanted to join desperately in the game.
So he got to be the goalie… to wear that special crown.
He was so excited as he was sent in front of that net.
And we were so very proud of what this honor surely meant.
I told every one he was my son and we couldn’t be prouder of him, than that.
But it didn’t take long for him to feel lost as his friends went running in the game.
So alone, he started kicking at dirt clods and looking for bugs with which to play.
Then he spun in circles and showed off for some girls in every way…
So the girls were sent to help keep his eye on the ball… as best they could.
For he had been paying attention to them, as the first goal went sailing through…
At this point I said oops and boys will be boys… as I smiled, though in doubt…
But it got better as he suddenly started exploring the net, and I heard a shout…
He’d decided to play spider man as he ran and threw himself at the net.
He tried to cling up higher with every jump he brilliantly took.
As I was waving my hands back and forth while trying to tell him to cut it out…
I was getting really frantic, trying to tell him that the ball was coming close…
But he was half way up the net as the next goal came sailing past to score.
Now my head was in my hands for the team kids were looking kinda sore....
For now they had to run their hearts out… to try to win the game and score.
I began to wonder if the team would ever forgive him if they lost?
The coach made two more visits to try to get his attention at any cost…
He really was quite kind as he said in no uncertain terms to leave the net alone…
And so, my son paid attention for another moment or more, you know…
But while everyone was running and scoring at the other end…
I turned to see him hanging upside down, his foot caught in the net, up in the air.
Everyone ran out to save him with me… or was it to save the net?
When we got back to sit down the coach was looking a little strained.
And I was contemplating hiding under the bleachers as the other team scored, again.
At half time, my little goalie seemed happy relegated to the bench with all his friends.
But I was worried he might be… kicked off the team… I was in terror, my friend…
At this point, several turned to assure me every thing would be all right...
After all, last year it had been their kid’s turn for… hanging upside down...