I passed beneath the bridge today
close by the place you once called home,
and I sensed your latent footprints
still lingering upon the stone.
I wonder . . . did you pass that way,
mysteriously, in the night,
as guardian angels carried you
across the galaxies t'ward light?
July 24, 2014
Do others think of you the way I do?
The embryo that grew beneath my heart.
There is so little proof you lived . . .
A metal marker on a grave,
A lighter, a wallet
That they gave . . .
Two certificates, official,
Like parentheses -
I sometimes see your friends . . .
On those days,
You seem alive in little ways.
Do others think of you the way I do?
The boy who grew into a man,
Unspoken dreams, unfinished plans.
There is so little proof you lived . . .
Some childhood books
And art, and yet . . .
How deeply carved
Your living marked my heart.
March 5, 2014
Faye Lanham Gibson
Poet III Contest
“Row-row-row your boat gently down the stream
Merrily-merrily-merrily-merrily life is but a dream”
Wake up Dad! Wake up!
That nightmare again, huh?
I’m starting to take this personally
You tryin to get rid of me or something?
I just ran over to Jason’s to give his CD back
C’mon outside, I’ll show you
See? Not a scratch or a scar
Don’t you understand? It never happened…
(Oh yeah, can you drop my suit by the cleaners?
BIG occasion…Once in a lifetime ya know
Gotta look sharp and stylish
That girl I like might come
Yeah I know , I’m kinda dreading it too
but He says they can’t start without me)
for René Etiemble (Jan. 26, 1909 – Jan. 2002)*
Barely a few speechless moments before your first words
burned the « Coplas por la muerte de su padre » :
‘Nuestras vidas son los ríos
que van a dar en la mar,
que es el morir ;
y llegados, son iguales
los que viven por sus manos
y los ricos.’
Is the open back door which emboldens courage
No untarnished name to be remembered by
No selfless mate to lay by your honour
No issue laying about themselves for your prize
Decidedly it was a door of stealth
As if choosing it you let it be known
you were only merely passing by
and stopped to hang your hat here for a while
Yet you let your kin and callers believe
your whims were worth putting up with
your mischievous tantrums and gripes
merely the mental athlete’s unwinding antics
The poïetic birth pangs of imminent glory
just the mounting stones in the monumental lighthouse
that ages from hence would pick forth
your works your unfathomable literary resource
You upheld dozens who did leave behind a name
a lasting name not quite torn from solitary pain
Yet who could deny you could have bettered their fame
What undisclosed pain you harboured in your brain
Oh so strangely were you endowed with the intelligence
of the Chun Tzu - that uncanny eagle’s scan
To rout out of the mazes of your students’ past lives
just that one passqge through their Tierra del Fuego
But then you who completely espoused the rigours
of that step by step mounting of respectful steps
Were unsparing in your demands of adherence
to old Master Kung’s hierarchical obedience
An open hand ready to sign any cheque
to succour the caller’s needs
was alas ! also the whip hand
To keep the renegades in constant check
You were possessed of a rare brand of anger
which shook the land about you
At those who bent justice to their unsavoury will
such thunder boiled from the guts of the earth
Now you’re gone and empty lecture halls echo your
uncontainable ire where forged resounding silence
You said at the start of a seminal master-seminar :
« Nul n’est prophète dans son pays ! »
With the distaff side hanging on your every word
wondering if your plans were for something yet undone
No stray notes lie about to record your travail
No visible correspondence to make it all credible
Only books and books files magazines and books
and an overcrowdedly conquered mental pad
jumbled words scratched into shaded inchoate sketches
ganglia synapses shot-up neurons
no clues to a ragingly flailing mind
none to record the lives you succoured
nor even the beneficiaries’ hurriedly scribbled thanks
nor besides to the beclouding relations with one and all
not even a hint at why you may have refused
to forge a name beyond the beaten path of fame
Would going by the front door
in a fanfare of tv talkshows conference papers prize-giving ceremonies paper- interviews in ample studied poses and thoughts for future auto-memoirs volume one to seven the rest put-together posthumously in an omnibus
expurgated version with prefaces notes introductions critiques eulogies
would it have been less like you
to exit by the side-door
the baywindow leading to reflected glory
in a cool cloister of loosened leaves
stray poems in the tradition of your schooled masters
or did you burn them all
in a fit of (cou)rage
tore them to bits incinerated by your fiery mind
or squashed within yesterday’s leftovers
not caring who thought what
the mocking condescension
* The late Professor René Etiemble held the Chair of Comparative Literature at the old, pre-1968 Sorbonne University but retired in 1978 while a professor at the Sorbonne-Nouvelle University. In later life, he even refused nomination to the French Academy of Letters, though he did accept the Academy’s Prize. He was a prolific critic, essayist, and memorialist, having published some poetry and three novels. A renowned linguist and grammarian (a graduate of the prestigious and elite Ecole Normale Supérieure de Paris), he remained until his very last days an inveterate Sinophile. He edited the Gallimard-instituted UNESCO oriental literary classics series, a fitting tribute to his encyclopaedic learning.
© T.Wignesan, 6 novembre 1997, Fresnes-94, France (from the collection : Poems Omega Minus, Paris, 2002)
Another son is dead, until five he lived.
For his long life at Shah-Hamdan he had threads tied
“Shehij ninder yee nai. Gahas Kormakh Khudayas Hawale”, his mother cries.
No news can penetrate across the mountains. Satellites work here no more
My Kashmir burns. And no one knows.
An old woman with torn scarf sits besides fire. While feeding her neighbor’s child
She sighs. Is my son dead or alive? She silently cries.
In Madrasa I hear children reciting Quran. A girl’s come out dragging her feet.
I remember her from somewhere. I remember her seeing naked.
Oh! God she is the one who was raped.
Nights have turned pitch black. My eyes are losing the habit of sight
Midnight soldier’s set another house ablaze. At least there is some sort of light.
Many letters have been written to God. Postcards posted of those raped girl’s
But its curfew again. No post office deliver’s the message again.
Death comes from everywhere. Close your windows mother
For bullet respects no womb. It turned Gulistans into tombs.
From the plains the visitors come to visit their God’s
They are our only witnesses but hypocrites at heart.
They say paradise is kaasmir. While my Kashmir is ablaze
They testify against us. Is anybody witnessing this? No one at all
Be witness to at least this. Open up your eyes my Lord!
When paradise is painted with colors of hell, certainly divinity loses its grace
In the news the reporter is beaten. Bamboo sticks are hungry for human blood.
Let Kashmir go to hell. A new promise in their portfolio.
Threads have given up at Dastegeer’s place. Even they are horrified at our fate.
In Maisuma boys are dragged by police. They close their dreams, end their screams
In a police gypsy.
Men shape into monsters when they are given right to anarchy.
The gypsy drives them into the dark cantonments. They will remember this day
Interrogation officer comes. After celebrating his son’s birthday.
The winds from the cantonments bring their news
Burned tires around their necks. Burning stoves near their heads.
The knife tearing up their flesh.
And the boys cry, “We haven’t batted yet. Cricket. We know nothing”.
Death wants children to be headlines
Hunger has affected the heavens as well.
Graves are full. No more space left.
We need land of the plains. For our graves.
In the ac car the bureaucrat goes. The mother’s with search full eyes
Ask about their sons they lost. They drink their tears
And he sips champagne.
(LAMENTATIONS BEFORE DEATH BY A DEPRESSED SON)
YOUR DREAM FOR ME WAS SO DEEP
THAT IS WHY I WAS BORN FOR KEEP.
YOU WANTED ME TO BE A TRUE SON
AND WANTED ME TO SHINE LIKE YOUR SUN-
YOU WANTED ME TO FOLLOW YOUR VALUES;
YOU WANTED ME TO BE IN THE RULES,
AND BE A MASQUERADE OF YOUR OWN
SO THAT YOU BE PLEASED; A SON LONE.
YOU WANTED ME TO BE A CHRISTIAN
AND WANTED ME TO ENTER YOUR TRAIN
OF HOPE AND GOOD LIFE.YES GOOD LIFE.
OH FATHER!HOW I HAVE STRIVED!
I BELIEVE YOU GAVE BIRTH TO THE WORST
OF CHILDREN IN THE MENTAL FROST;
CHILD 'MONG THE WORST, AN ACCURSED.
I AM THAT CHILD WHO IS CURSED-
FORGIVE ME FATHER.I AM SORRY.SORRY .
CAN'T FULFILL YOUR DREAMS;I'M NOT HOLY-
I'M INSTEAD A CHEAT;THIEF,DISGRACE.
I AM A BAD AND BAD FACE-
I AM THAT USELESS SON YOU HAD.
I AM THE BAD CREATURE WITH CRUEL HEART.
FORGIVE FATHER.FORGIVE ME, FORGIVE-
I CANNOT STILL BE YOUR SON;HOW I GRIEVE.
YOU HAVE NO HOPE,DON't DREAM-
YOUR CHILD IS BAD AS ALL SEEMS.
FORGIVE ME FATHER,SWEET FATHER.
GOOD BYE (WEEPS), SORRY FATHER....
In your arms I held so tight
to feel the warmth of your skin
you made me feel so bright and alive
I yearned for the next day you held me again
there was so much happiness when I saw your face
when I held your hand I never wanted to let go
you gave me so much joy there was nothing to lose
everyday was something special to me and so much more
when that last day came for me god was waiting by my side
he told me that the time had came and I couldn't stay
the life he had helped you make for me is something that was great
he assured me I'd be an angel to look over you and protect you
when I got to heaven I watched the pain you had when I left
I didn't understand because you had something so precious to remember
but when you look at my pictures and hold my blanket tight
I see that I gave you more than just a memory but a piece of something in your
but never would I have been there so long if you weren't there for me
as time goes by don't think of the pain of losing me
Don’t let guilt be the drive that takes you away
Eventually everything you feel emotionally will be
Honestly I never thought I’d care so much that
But, I miss you and I know now that I’m wrong…
Why did god have to take you away?
Couldn’t he see you’re still needed here?
Mom needs you and so do your kids.
Dad pretends not to care but inside the feelings
Why did you leave, you should’ve fought harder to
We miss you as the days go by.
I see your face every time I close my eyes.
But it’s not the same without you here today.
With you gone the days just fade away..
We put you down to sleep in your crib
We awakened to find, you were taken by SIDS
It was Sudden Infant Death Syndrome
That took you away from our home
So early in life, you were taken away
We're left behind with so little to say
The question of "Why?" fresh in our minds
The answers, we may never find
The pain will linger on for many years
We just have to fight, to hold back the tears
For we must go on with the rest of our lives
We must look at this tragedy through God's eyes
Our baby is in Heaven, He's our little Angel
We must look to our memories and be very thankful
We miss you, Our Angel, so very much
In our hearts, you'll always be loved
In Memory Of My Son Joshua
Copyright © 1997 Shari E Davis
THE BOOK OF HELL
[NB. This poem is the confession made by the biological son of the devil satan,SALAZAR, in
a court session in heaven. This is a confession he made under duress to the ears of
[HEAVEN 5th JUNE 1930...12:12 WHT OR WESTERN HEAVEN TIME.]
At midnight on the twelve of September
1912, when the bells of the elder
Church in town started tolling for the first
Time in twelve years, had death's taste.
As far as I can reveal, was twelve years old
Twelve years old when death, my brother, cold,
Grabbed me in his claws and ended my life.
And so I could not know how man could strive.
This was in compliance to the terms of my birth
Which had been drawn up in hell by my Dad as said,
APPOLYON.i was to come to earth sans fears,
And be nursed by a human being well dressed.
As I am clear of the earth, I can now unleash
The great secret I had hidden in my dish:
If I can really call my terrible mind likewise.
After all I was hooked to it as if by the aid of a vice.
My secrets are not those you listen to every day;
Those secrets of stupidity with no heat of May.
These secrets of mine are those to stagger a giant,
And destroy the hook of creation and the tyrant.
[HERE GOD FROWNED BUT SAID NOTHING.. BUT THERE WERE MURMURS IN THE COURT ROOM OF HEAVEN]
GOD: ENOUGH OF THE NOISE. SALAZAR GO ON.
YOU ARE REALLY A VERY FUNNY SON..
[SALAZAR STARED AT GOD WITH ANGER IN HIS EYES BUT NO WORD FELL FROM HIS MOUTH. HE CONTINUED..]
You should know that I spent only twelve days on earth,
Before my brother, honorable death,
Took me in his claws. But my deeds outdo those
Of the greatest devils who had sin in over-dose.
Here; let me speak and let you tremble like the feather;
I was born in 1912, on first December
And at midnight. After all let me continue well,
So that in my story you shall kindly dwell.
Christ had failed in his....................
[There were grumbles in the courtroom from the heavenly realm, because what SALAZAR had
said was sacrilegious...]
GOD: LET HIM SPEAK HIS MIND.GO ON SALAZAR, SON OF LUCIFER DARILIUS.
Christ had failed in his mission on earth
Because he could not conquer in its entity death.
On the cross he cried," Deus, guare me dereliquisti?"
That is what fell from his lips. What a tyranny!
[There were cries again from the Heavenly realm. God merely sighed and raised a hand for
SALAZAR to continue]
Where are you
You do not come to me
When I call your name
How long shall I wait
I walk alone in the shadows
Where only the moon shines bright
Will you be my guide
I stood there
In this place
I wish to drink you in
I wish to feel your cheek
Upon my lips
My arms are vacant
Where you once lay
I hear them still
Comes to me at last
You are near
We dance and sing
You are mine forever
My heart is full of pain
It weeps child
Where are you
From the moment I knew you were on your way, I dreamt of you every night and
I dreamt of who you would look like, your daddy or me, we imagined how much
happiness you would bring.
9 months later there you were "Mamma's smiling baby" and "Daddy's big boy"
Everyone who held you said you brought them so much joy.
You had such a personality, bringing a smile to every face,
you brought a happiness to everyone that could never be replaced.
You are loved by so many and are missed by even more
The urge to hold and kiss you is the greatest I've felt before!
But I know the angels are holding you know, so strong I will be...
Until the day I see you in Heaven and hold you close to me!
I love you Landen and we will never be apart,
because your precious little smile left such a big imprint on my Heart!
An old man sat on his porch
rocking his life away
watching the sun fade in the horizon
each and every day
He wondered of all the days gone by
all the memories he had lived
trying to remember the reasons why
he chose the life he did
The old man who rocked the chair
was burdened by years of pain
but I told him not to close his eyes
for there is beauty in the rain
The old man said many things that day
and one sounded like goodbye
so I touched his hand asking him to stay
but his head lay silent at his side
I rocked him in the evening wind
silently beginning to cry
knowing I didn’t ease the pain
my father carried inside
Old man you tried to rock away
those many years of pain
but decided to open your eyes
and join the beauty in the rain
As the tears pour down
In a harsh rain
The pool of memories
Fills and just as suddenly
Leaves a stain
Our pain shows like
Fear of losing this precious
One has hit our hearts full
Of shock It's frightening
Now gripping reality we realize
Our loss was great and
Our tears are many
Our memories are recapped
Plenty We will miss you
Dear one We will close your
Special book; only because
This chapter is done
Dedicated to my Son: Zachary
I miss my father everyday,
He is no longer there...
I miss him dearly,
Somedays too hard to bear...
When I envision him at the table,
Or playing his mouth harp,
An instrument on which he was,
Oh so very sharp...
Still flow through cracked windows,
of 100 years ago...
Memories of family gatherings,
No more shall I ever know..
I grow old and frail and wonder,
When will it be my time to go...
Oh, if miracles God could grant,
Based on necessity,
He'd have me No. 1, first on line,
From the need only he and I could see
The last vibrations,
Of his final vocalizations,
Still within my heart,
Will linger until I utter mine,
And at last I, as well, do depart...
One last hurrah,
One last sweet afternoon,
Having a beer on the porch together,
Listning to Glenn Miller,
Or perhaps one of the Dorseys,
Enjoying just being alive together,
Oh, all the things he taught me,
Family love hard as steel,
Now breaks my heart,
You likely know how I feel
Treasured hours on our porch,
Hearing "American Standards Radio"
Or watching the Yankees, or the Mets,
Just about as sweet as life gets...
The need to converse optional,
We've already shared our own secret beliefs,
Our feelings slowly peeling from our souls,
So there, no words need we share,
Just so glad each is there...
Flying amongst the trade winds,
So pregnant with emotion,
A sense of finality,
Of our love and deep devotion...
People who are no more,
In a place no longer there,
Echoes of time,
And words we did once share...
Something is flying about.....
My angel came from heaven.. Though I had to give him back,
Too soon for my liking, for it was out of my hands.
Please let me hold him. I want to brush my lips
against his cheek. . But it was not to be,
as he would be gone in a few short weeks.
He would not die in vain I kept telling myself,
He'd not be forgotten on some dusty shelf.
A child so small can he really make
a difference?.. Oh yes beamed our lord as my
son made his entrance..
I will always grieve for this small son of mine,
proof of these empty arms by my side.
Yes the years have passed but the shattered
dream is still there, I have proof of this each
time I hold his lock of hair.
I know that he gave so that others could live,
Whenever I think of him I try to remember this.
So long my dear son, please don't stray too far.
for if you do, it will surely again break my heart...
My son was born 17 weeks premature on 9/11/1988. He should have never made it out of
the operating room alive let alone survived 26 more days.He weighed 1Lb and was only
11'' long. By the time he died he weighed under a pound. His skin was so translucent that
you could see through his tiny hands.I was so desperate for him to live that I enrolled him
into an experimental study for a drug that would rapidly grow his lung tissue.He ended up
developing pneumonia in his tiny lungs and within 24 hours we realized that we were
prolonging his death not his life. So we ended the life support and cradled him as he
passed. The one and only good thing that came out of this is that the drug was approved,
and today thousands of premmies are alive because of this life saving drug. Here in
St.paul, minnesota at the childrens hospital, there is a tree planted in his honor. The part of
my poem that says he gave so others could live.. well, this is what i meant(the experimental
Pain and sorrow are my best friends,
We walk this road that never ends,
Pain rips my heart in early morning light,
Sorrow causes tears as I fall asleep at night,
I dream of happier days that, sadly, have gone by,
When I could see your little face and know you were alright,
But now I’m here without you, my world is dark and gray,
Pain and sorrow keep me company, by my side they always stay,
A part of me was buried too the day we said goodbye,
My tears mingled with the rain as I knelt there and cried,
Oh pain will you haunt me, forever never cease?
Oh sorrow will you always cling, my heart never ease?
What I wouldn’t give to have spent another day with you
But I know you were suffering and now your pain is through,
You’re free to run and play under heavens beautiful blue sky,
No more worries or pain for you, your soul is free to fly,
So until we meet again, my son, please know this much is true,
Your mother always remembers and loves and misses you.