His daddy is fighting in Iraq.
His mommy is fighting tears.
His brother is fighting death.
He is fighting his desolation and fears.
Friends are but a dream
and companions are an illusion.
School is a concentration camp,
but he stands, though alone, in the midst of confusion.
His training school is loneliness.
His milestones are fears, thrust in lies.
His only weapon is faith
and his bullets are soft "hallelujah" cries.
Strength left his fragile body
and he lost the fight in life so coy,
yet on his knees he conquered agony
and I call him the little soldier boy.
A walk upon dark, icy ground
sends shivers down to bony spine;
spared from the choke of death thus bound,
breath comes whence love and hate entwine.
The count, their lord, doth rise at dusk
to terrorize blanched countryside
His steely eyes slice trembling husk
for drop of life, his brides abide.
The stench of corpse wafts from dead night
like sweet perfume on lover’s nape.
Enchanted by his starless flight,
he beckons with dark-wings of cape.
Then, like the moth to burning flame,
her fervor climbs for fangs drawn near.
a scarlet kiss to seize with shame,
Greed’s appetite expels stored fear.
In harsh rays of the waking dawn,
She curses beast, her longing’s doom.
With conscience breaking charm and brawn,
She lifts wood stake above his tomb.
By Rhonda Johnson-Saunders, 1/12/15
for Giorgio's Sketch a Fictitious Character II Contest
A boy lines up plastic soldiers
In straight rows across his floor.
He knocks them down with callow ease
In a naive game of war.
Far across the deepest ocean,
In between rich, well-known places,
Little boys become those soldiers -
Grow hard lines upon their faces.
Guns weigh down their frail frames,
As they march in groups like drones;
Passing by jumbles of bodies -
Messy piles of flesh and bones.
One cries softly in the corner,
Another cannot bear the sound.
He takes the blunt side of his gun
And beats the other to the ground.
In the streets they pass right over
Mothers murdered, sisters raped,
Countless men whose limbs are broken,
But whose empty eyes still gape.
Narrow roads become red rivers,
Neighbourhoods go up in flames,
Backyards turn into cold graveyards -
Still they play this twisted game.
Far across the deepest ocean,
In the richest, well-known places,
Boys line up their plastic soldiers
With blind smiles upon their faces.
I never knew following dreams could be this lonely,
But up on the hill, looking back, thank God I'm not the old me.
If the tears will fall, let them be;
I believe this is God's plan, follow your dreams.
Wintry night, the clouds were churning
While the lightning lit the sky
The old house it shook and trembled
As the howling wind went by.
I put out the waning candle
Total darkness all around
It felt cold, in bed I snuggled
Heard the thunder’s drawling sound.
It took ages till I drifted
Into rough and restless sleep
When at once I felt me falling
Down a tunnel deep and steep.
Chilly hands wrapped tight around me
Felt the breathing of a ghost;
In a daze it tugged and led me
To the open ragged coast.
Had no strength or will to struggle
The cold water dragged me down
Uncontrolled the helpless feeling
Of a man about to drown.
Then I woke all of a sudden
And I saw the dawning light
Found myself all wet and sweaty
From the dream I had that night.
So relieved! I felt elated.
What an ugly fright I’d had.
Then I looked and saw beside me
Soaking seaweed on the bed!!
23rd October 2014
Contest: Ghosts Stories
Sponsor: Kelly Deschler
My father had been out of work for way too long.
At night, I often heard him and mom weep
Food was scant, but love was strong.
As was that hunger pain when I lay to sleep.
My little brother was too young to understand.
Still a babe in arms, he brought our only smiles.
I loved to play with him and hold his tiny hand.
It seemed to take away the hurt from life trials.
Then, one-day dad came home all excited.
He was talking so fast, grinning from ear to ear.
He said that our future was well fated.
That we were in for adventure was clear.
It was that new ocean liner, the Titanic.
Dad had been hired for the maiden voyage.
We were going along as his sidekick.
A family destined for American homage.
In just five days we boarded that ship.
Immigrating was a dream come true.
Accommodations would be a hardship.
But it was worth opportunities…new.
Dad worked as a scullion in the restaurant.
We were housed on the lower deck.
It was a very crowded lodgment.
We stayed together until the shipwreck.
Sirens were screeching people screaming.
We could not find dad anywhere.
Was he locked up as a cageling?
Could it be true; was he trapped down there?
Lifeboats were being lowered.
Mom held my brother, crying.
Dad must be somewhere cloistered.
We all feared a dreadful dying.
Someone put me in a lifeboat.
I reached for mom as it descended.
The Titanic was still afloat.
But my family separated.
The water was freezing.
I had forgotten my coat.
People crying, sniffling, and sneezing.
The lifeboat soon became an iceboat.
Within a few hours, death began.
Shivering, I crawled beneath two corpses.
A young girl destined to live without her clan.
Hidden from polar breezes.
That was the last time I saw my mother.
My mind holds the image clearly.
She, calling for dad, was cuddling brother.
Oh, how I loved my family dearly.
When rescuers finally arrived.
I was the only one alive in the lifeboat.
Beneath those bodies, I survived.
Then, I was wrapped in a warm coat.
I never did see America.
I was sent to an orphanage back home.
Life had dealt a great trauma.
Forever had sunken in the ocean's foam.
© April 9, 2012
Dane Ann Smith-Johnsen
Written for Poetry Soup Member Contest: My heart will go on and on.... Free Poetry
Sponsor Tracie ~*~ Indigo Dreamweaver
The tapered blade glinted in the fast fading moonlight
It slipped so easy between the ribs on this, another murderous night
Swiftly the body was denuded of all his earthly goods
As the bladed murderer slipped off, into the nearby darkening woods.
The tapered blade reappeared two nights from that deed
No one took notice, the warnings they did not heed
The blade did flash the body fell, gurgling sounds did rise
As the body crumpled the life blood gone, twas no real surprise.
A vigilante, they declared, was on the prowl at night
Two evil men had been attacked and given more than just a fright
The death toll rose week by week, but none could tell the tale
The man with the tapered blade, not once his deadly blade did fail.
The bloody murderer with the blade came to a crossroads in his life
He stood between three roads marked Hope, Despair and Strife
Onto his knees he fell, he prayed and asked “Which road do I take?”
I have done your bidding Lord; help me my choice to make.
Looking down from heaven on high the Lord was angered so
“I never told you to act as judge and everyone will know.
Behind you a fourth road is opening this one is called Retribution.
Take that one if you dare I say, but expect no absolution.”
The murderous vigilante, his thanks did express in supplication
He took the given road, not realising this act was in its self the causation
Of the opening of a doorway where stood the Reaper with his scythe
As the curved blade came down, he watched his victim writhe.
The Grim reaper did smile his daily task he did so enjoy
To be given a soul to keep, would keep his devils in happy employ
So if you take the path-the one marked retribution
Remember at the end of it may not be the hoped for or best solution.
My blood trickles
through the tip of my pen
as my soul is exposed
yet once again.
Naked, my words
slowly open the door,
and step into the world
confront giants of hate,
Thus fixing their fate.
So bleeding, I
press my pen to the page
and bear my soul once more
to cowards’ rage.
Many voices from the past,
Always echoing in my head,
How long can it last,
I thought you were dead.
You always tell me what to do,
So I don't make a mistake,
Somehow you always knew,
How many I could make.
Because once I hurt you,
And you'll never let me forget,
But what can I do,
You're not quite dead yet.
Why won't you leave me alone,
Will you never forgive me,
I wish I could atone,
Please, just let me be.
The hollow echo of your voice,
Will linger on forever,
You've given me no choice,
It'll never stop, ever.
The sound of you used to make me smile,
But now it tortures me,
I will always be in denial,
So an end I'll never see.
Morning has broken as it has done for many years
Day to day we continue without the fear of fears
Then out of the blue their comes thoughts from long ago
Prophecies of a past, that could halt us humans flow
Tablets scribed in gold, have been uncovered in Peru
For in them they tell of the future, surrounding me and you
We await with fervour in the media, the radio and the t.v.
As I try to get my head around it, and what it means to me
The day that they speak of, it's a little over a year
Do we just laugh if off, or do the sensible in us fear
As I drive through my city, towards this impending day
The street corners start to fill, does panic have it's say
Speakers start to recite, of this doom that welcomes we
I see suicides in escalation, jumpers in front off me
Families leave their homes, for they no not where to go
Panic buying surrounds me, anarchy appears to flow
We now reach December 2012, as we gain on the scribed day
Can it be all that was written, have the ancient had their say
My eyes catch the clock, midnight is awaiting it's strike
It'll be the twenty first of December, are the Mayan scribes right
The minutes pass the hour, everything appears to be normal
Maybe the writes are fables, to them simply formal
To pacify myself, will it be the radio or the t.v.
Sometimes one has to ask oneself, to simply look and see
Visions on the screen appear, many screens my eyes do view
Reports from many countries are brought to me and you
They show events of nature, more fierce than naturally so
Rainfall in arid areas, deserts in metres off snow
The Polar ice caps start cracking, exploding ice in crying break
Mudslides now carry cities, everything caught in their wake
Bangladesh now no longer exists, the Maldives have disappeared
The Mariana Trench now starts to rise, her ridges in rampant rear
A bulletin catches my ears, Yellowstone has started to erupt
Is this what the scribes have warned of, our planet being so abrupt
A rumbling I start to feel, where I stand I feel I move
I'm in tumble across my floor, in fear of their impending prove
My apartment on the only hill, allows through my window to view
A giant fissure slices through my city, for into it, buildings spew
The free ways now broken and torn, many cars in tumbledown
From here I hear the screaming voices, I'm deafened by their drown
Oh souls that brave All Hallow's moon
whose shadowed face would bid us swoon.
We stare upon your ghostly veil
a-flight on twilight's empty trail.
And yet, we delve where darkness daunts
to fathom mystery, know what haunts
our souls when comes October's tide,
where fear and anguish both abide.
Each hidden passage, road or rill
we spy while walking makes us chill.
Gray shadowed wings on ghostlike trees
make heart and footsteps quickly freeze.
All pathways lead where horrors thrill.
The heart is numbed as is our will.
Frail steps draw close toward the lair
where phantom talons might ensnare.
How long until we're safely home
free of this mental catacomb?
These questions spin within our head
as we trek fully gripped by dread.
How do souls flee such grievous fright?
Oh moon, postpone our dreadful plight.
Deliver us to warmth and home
from black enigmas in the gloam.
The fear of her looks
Became thorns in her side
Her images were shattered
Because the mirrors decide
This beautiful girl
Who sees a different face
She hears the world laughing
No matter where she is in place
In her bedroom at home
She faces her demons alone
Unknown to her family
For years she has roamed
In her dreams one night
She receives her wish
Surrounded by mirrors
She cuts her wrists
Because the fear of her looks
Had penetrated so deep inside
This beautiful girl
Who now, no longer resides
When night burns starless like a tomb,
shadow exults the dark and gloom.
Our souls hone fears sharp as a blade,
and every path holds certain doom.
To dare a trek on nights thus made
all rue in heart their fool's crusade.
Through shadowed vestige, mute and still
our dreams of past and future fade.
Fainthearted soon, we lack the will
to slow our heart, to mount near hill,
where specters sing their doleful tune,
and dread alone makes one's blood chill.
Dark, boundless night would have us swoon,
so pray that safety comes, and soon.
When souls feel trapped by shadows dire
we cast our hopes upon the moon.
the moon sustains as twilight's fire,
it tarries until dusk expire.
When sunlight ends the gloam's deep mire,
we'll share new hope by dawn's bright pyre.
There on that bench, here in this park
Was where I met God, alone in the dark.
He wasn’t adorned with riches galore.
He was a pauper man, not needing more.
He sat with me then, as I was so scared.
Just eight years old, and I got lost at the fair.
Separated from family, didn’t know where to go
I sat on the bench and waited there so.
Along came this man, scared of him I was
Until he sat next to me, I lost fear because
He spoke with a tone and offered a hand,
A sign to me that he would understand.
I told him my story. He said not to fear.
He’d stay with me until family was near.
I felt reassured and safe as could be.
His warm soft voice, it blanketed me.
Then in the distance, my dad had appeared.
He was right all along, I had nothing to fear.
My dad came up crying and hugged me so tight.
I then turned to that man to wish him goodnight.
He was there on the bench, I knew it for sure.
When I turned my head, he wasn’t there anymore.
I looked at my dad and told him of my tale
He smiled back at me and fell awfully pale.
He said, “Son when you need him, God does appear.
It’s not very strange that He was right here.
He serves and protects and loves us all much.
I believe He was here and gave you His touch.”
I was amazed at those words that my father said.
I couldn’t wait to go home and pray at my bed.
“Dear God up in the Heaven, I thank you, I do.
You sent me a savior and that savior was You.
You reached to this child, protected this night.
You offered him hope and provided light.
You took away his fear and made him feel warm.
Mostly, Dear God, you kept him from harm.
O Lord! Thou art my Coach
I shall never be defeated
Strengthen me for this game
As I humble call on your name
Invigorate my heart, mind and body
When I fall, pick me up and energize me
Grant me the tenacity to win every ball
And courage to stand whatever befall
Yea, though my opponents frighten me
Like roaring Lions out of their den
My great Coach always inspires me
Your pep talk! Your word! Uplifts me
Though fear and despair bites me
Like venomous snakes out of the shadow
My Lord is with me everywhere I go
You prepare a strategy to defeat my foe
When the final whistle is blown
And the team heads to the dressing room
May my Lord, the great Coach when He calls my name
Say “Gideon! You played like a Lion, you played the game”
And surely victory, glory and goodness
Will hunt me all the days of my life
And I shall look up to my Coach forever
Walking with me now and ever!
The Poet Preacher © 2014
Ps 18:39 My Coach has fortified me with strength [energy, power, strategy, capability] for the battle [big game, contest, combat]: He has subdued [vanquished, beaten, massacred, overpowered] my opponents.
Rising from their graves,
Breaking through the ground,
Raised by radiation waves,
They are coming to your town.
Board up all your doors,
Nail them good and tight,
Or there will be blood and gore,
By the end of the night.
They tear down your walls,
Break through your window pane,
No one can help you at all,
When they try to eat your brain.
Those dead eyes make you shiver,
You scream out with alarm,
Zombies try to eat your liver,
And, chew on your leg and arm.
There is no point to tell her,
That it is just too late,
Go hide down in your cellar,
You cannot escape your fate.
Zombies are the living dead,
They do not easily expire,
So, cause injury to their head,
Or, burn them with fire.
Hungry zombies do not give,
Oh, you better run,
Or you will not live,
To see the rising sun.
Written by: Kelly Deschler
October, 11th, 2013
For Leonora Galinta's contest -
"Halloween-Only One Theme...Zombies!"
You sit in darkness, watching the lightning,
You listen to every clap of thunder,
There could be nothing any more frightening,
But, in your mind you still wonder.
The howling wind blows the curtains,
The falling rain taps your window pane,
There is nothing there, you are certain,
But, an uneasy feeling drives you insane.
Tree branches sway within the breeze,
Their shadows fall along your wall,
You find every explanation with ease,
And convince yourself it's nothing at all.
A black shadow darts in your direction,
There's nothing more menacing than that,
Two eyes are seen with the light reflection,
Suddenly, you realize it's just your cat.
But, then a cold chill races down your spine,
It's not the wind, your window is now closed,
You try to say that everything is fine,
So, what is it, do you suppose.
Listen, something is walking up the stairs,
You can hear it's footsteps on the floor,
All this tension begins to raise your hairs,
Do you dare open your bedroom door.
Today I am about to embark on a journey
that I have waited for, for so long,
they say that this one is the safest ship
were nothing could ever go wrong.
As I stare down at the crowd, I think,
here I am, traveling on the R.M.S. Titanic,
this is the most exciting day of my life
and yet I feel a sense of anxiety and panic.
I calm myself by breathing in April's fresh air
and the sea's waves begin to roll and rock,
I close my eyes and feel the warm sunshine
as the ship finally departs from the dock.
Even though I'm not a first class passenger
I admire the grandeur of the White Star Line,
my few luxuries and the kindness shown to me
are enough to warm this heart of mine.
For Carolyn Devonshire's Past Lives Contest
I'm very interested in learning about the Titanic, but sometimes when I look at a
picture of the ship, I get this tremendous feeling of dread and fear. So much so,
that I cannot look at the photo any longer. I don't know where my fear of this
ship comes from. I have never been on a cruise or had any kind of traumatic
experience on a ship. Sometimes, I think that I may have been on the Titanic
in my past life. I don't know if I would have survived or not.
My heart is on Your shoulders,
And You are lifting me up.
With every spoken tender gesture,
I fall a little farther in love.
I stood alone on the ship's deck all afternoon
just to watch the sun sinking low on the sea,
the Atlantic ocean is so calm this evening
but, that old feeling of dread still bothers me.
I slowly exhale to calm myself once again
and my breath comes out in a white mist,
the air is slowly turning cold and frigid now
as the night's darkness pulls me into it's own abyss.
There is nothing that I can see out there now
except clear-white burgs of ice in the distance,
another odd feeling hits me that I cannot deny
but, how could ice play a role in my existence?
The sun's rising on April 15th will warm me
and I will escape this feeling of an early fate,
my entire body shudders for the very last time
as the sounds of breaking ice and bending iron reverberate.
This poem was inspired by Paul Callus, who suggested that a sequel
to my poem, "Aboard The Titanic", might make for an interesting read.
Love in His name.
Saved by grace;
AS THE CLOCK OF WAR IS TICKING
(Let us do whatever we can to stop it!)
As the clock of war is ticking
Broader the smiles of death become
Cause the untimely passing away of souls is thinking
Onto the oblivion’s horrific land!
© Demetrios Trifiatis
02 SEPTEMBER 2013
I have some choices to face,
But these are not my decisions to make.
God told me what He wants me to do;
He said, "Listen, Son, I have a plan for you."
Follow your dreams and follow your heart;
God has shown you the path to start.
Never give up and always have faith;
Do what you love and enjoy this place!
It's not the same without you;
The days are rainy and the nights are blue.
My heart is crying and God is too,
But we are smiling, waiting here for you.
Lord, I do not know what to do;
Please, lead me by Your side.
Decisions I'm facing are lost and through;
Please, lead me to do what's right.
You've heard it said... "follow your heart"
For relentless desire bleeds for craven want
Yet when indecision weighs on life's many parts
Those opposed abandon not incessant haunt
Pin pricked light shines brighter
Through onyx colored scene
Weakness revealed when life is darkest
Specks of defect in the fortress of our need
Ones heart can be a complexity
An up hill struggle when obscurity feels blind
A quandary of perception in a house of mirrors
Reflections twisted by perplexities of the mind
Follow your heart yes live your dreams
Leave not your mind unreasoned
To walk the path less traveled leaves
A consequence of actions completed
So it is with indecision
To scale the weight of what's to come
When precious life hangs trembling in the balance
A calculated measure of the hearts true sum
Can we really overthink those choices we make
For somewhere every road has an end
Rugged or velvety destinations take root
And blossom where choices were stemmed
I've heard of double minded fools
Tossed like waves in the sea
Perhaps it's simply this woman's folly
To think it couldn't happen to me
Oh to measure the value of dreams
Which to follow or leave for not
Simplicity frowns on passions extremes
Such answers must be skillfully wrought
I pray that with my every tomorrow
I'll be wiser than today
Knowing when it's time to seek the dream
And patient if I must wait
For now I wish but only
To know my own heart in truth
And weigh the scales of value correctly
Then follow with greater wisdom when in naivety's youth
Darkness steals the day’s fading sunlight
as the moon opens his bright eye above.
Stars begin to spray the ebony night
that grips the still earth like a glove.
Streetlight burns through curtained window
casting shadows along my painted wall.
Exhausted eyes commence to grow
but laggard body tends to stall.
Body at last yields to cool sheets
as exhausted mind transcends overhead.
Eventually vigor within depletes
feeling as though I’m living... dead.
Springs beneath start to creek and move
as strong weight engulfs a motionless stiff.
Core sinks deep into mattress groove
as eyes search for something to biff.
Time lapses; frozen body fights to free
resisting an opposing force unknown.
Managed to scream let me be, let me be
before drifting off to sleep on my own.
Copyright © 2013 By Caryl S. Muzzey
Go to sleep little child;
Close your eyes and shut them tight,
For we do not know if day will break
And be swallowed up by night.
But for now, worry not, my dear;
The dark's not as bad as it seems.
Though darkness looms over the future,
You can still escape into your dreams.
Lie still my darling baby;
Breathe calmly and breathe slow
Enjoy the quiet of the tranquil night
And the moon's hypnotic glow.
Worry not about the closet
Or the things under your bed;
Escape into Dreamland, my dear,
Safe from all the things you dread.
And if tomorrow fails in coming,
At least you will not be here;
Fly away my child, to the Land of Dreams...
Or be consumed by your fears.
Oh great and powerful future
What will you do with our past?
We’ve labored over the years
To make sure our photos last.
Having filed hundreds in books
Where they’re somewhat organized
By event, by year, but by god
When we’re gone, will they still be prized?
Oh great and powerful future
I know I’m a simple man,
Without powers of prophesy
My life has a limited span.
But please remember these photos
Or if not, why do we save.
Can’t a record of memories
Have a future beyond the grave?