JE SUIS CHARLIE — Afterthought
The shock of this most frightening tragedy is practically beyond
the pale of any reasonable or adequate attempt or effort to explain
it or to rationalize the horrible circumstances surrounding it.
Let me just say that all of us who are writers and poets ply our
poetry, “our intellectual wares,” if you will, in a common written
medium that expects the same unrestricted level of freedom of
speech and expression exercised by those extraordinarily brave
artists at “Charlie Hebdo” who were recently murdered in cold
blood by self-styled Islamic extremists in Paris.
It is also equally saddening and deplorable that some courageous
police officers died in the line of duty defending these freedoms
as well as some other security people and hostages caught up in
the midst of these most terrifying circumstances.
The heinous actions perpetrated by these armed extremists
destroyed innocent lives and affected the lives of a number of
loved ones whose burden of sadness and tragedy is unimaginable.
Their actions also were an attempt to strike at the very heart of
those sacred freedoms that all of us who live in open societies and
democracies cherish as part of our everyday lives. The armed
extremists, by their actions, also personified and demonstrated an
obvious affectation for barbarity, stupidity, ignorance, and cowardice
that were all on ample display as a result of what they did.
Freedom of speech and expression are among those certain
historic inalienable rights given to all of us by the divine hand of
God himself, and certainly not by the generosity of any government
or religious group (regardless of faith). The brave souls who died
at Charlie Hebdo, died exercising this most sacred franchise.
The point I’m driving at is this: Those extremists who committed
these most reprehensible actions of recent against their fellow man
did not win in spite of their collective efforts to destroy lives and to
sully these precious freedoms that all of us as writers and artists
hold so very dear.
The outpouring of emotion and sadness in support of these slain
heroes in the face of this most despicable crime is quite compelling,
and underlies the continuing determination of all of us who love
and cherish the freedoms of speech and expression to continue to
speak out and to exercise these sacred rights without reservation.
With all of this in mind, I humbly and proudly conclude my narrative
to all of you here by saying and echoing as loudly as possible:
“Je Suis Charlie” . . . “I am Charlie.”
Gary Bateman, Copyright © All Rights Reserved (January 10, 2015)
Copyright © Gary Bateman
I'm always there, in that place that doesn't mean a thing to anyone but me. A far away
meadow where I don't have to hide all the happiness of a young girls heart. One that has
been ripped apart, so many times. I stare at all the beautiful flowers and trees of my
surroundings and let the wind gently rustle my hair. I close my eyes taking in all these
wonderful things, as I lie on the cool grass. My body mixes in with the air, and I'm blowing
past natures statues and creatures galore. I stop at the edge of a nearby pond, my body
floating softly to the ground as an eagles feather. I look deep into the sparkling image that
makes me who I am. I gracefully touch the water with my fingertips and let the water
shimmer like the stars. A white unicorn grazing near the freshly harvested hay, called out to
me. It approached me as I stood, and nuzzled my arm. I brushed its silk coat and burrowed
my face against her cool cheek. This is the reason I come to this place. To interact with the
things not known or believed in their world. Its just my own, my sound and the behind
scenes of my eyes. It's calm and peaceful, which their world is far from. I'm the only one with
the doorway to this meadow. I love going there, it's like a blanket that warms its comfort
over me when I need it the most. And when I get there, my feelings are a boat sailing to
sea, leaving me filled with perfect serenity. I'll always be there, till the end of all life, and I
know this lovely meadow will never be replaced.
Copyright © Audrey Hays
where were you when my world stopped moving?
your hands were there as instruments of pain
to inflict raw red burns and
wounds that lay hidden and bruised
on a child’s skin and…..
on tender hearts that can’t fight back
are you haunted buried six feet beneath…
as I shivered at night and grinded my teeth?
do you think of me and wonder what shreds
I managed to piece together of my tattered life?
tell me to let go and forget this hurt
that winds like poison ivy twisting
my heart into a mere tenth of what it could be
strangled in a mass of life eating lies
and mangled sorrowful soul songs
(mourning the sword slashes)
you never knew me and would you have cared
if you did…would you have wrangled with me
hanging on a hook while you dangled me
helpless and crying beneath a weeping moon
that still watches me with helpless eyes
(pity resting there)
a child is priceless
(innocence is worth more than gold)
and taking their lives
unforgivable….so I wonder…are you punished
do you cry in your darkness
knowing what you have done
will it pierce a naked sky with madness….
your cry? Or is any semblance of sanity gone
buried beneath your shawl of rabid dog bites
and sad listless body
wasting into the sun as it flows back to earth
going nowhere as I flounder in my own broken fate
(swimming upstream as I slowly drown)
loss cannot be retrieved.....for it is lost
and letting go
is my way of revenge on you ….
so I let go now…I am free of you…
and I toss it all back to you
careful when you catch it…it burns the skin
the hands of destiny are crying out to me
I pull that little girl out of darkness
and let her see the sunshine again
as she smiles in to the light and takes my grown up hand
and I will keep her safe from you
hate is poison and I let it go….it crushes me no more
Copyright © Christie Moses
Please don't stop me, my love, let me lie down and kiss the ground,
let me taste the taste of freedom on my tongue and remember my
past no more. Let my tears mingle with the sand and the sun
comfort my soul, for the earth has opened up her mouth and
swallowed my past, no more pain, no more fear, only sweet music
shall ring in my ears.
Look down at her, O Lord, look down and see your daughter
weeping in the sand, she ripped out her heart and has casted it
into the sea, she said, "Tomorrow, I will be free."
But the ground where she laid is now drunken with her past,
affliction and confusion. The sea has spew out her heart and
the sun has hidden his face.
I tried to comfort her and said,
"Come, my love, come, for tomorrow is still yet to come,"
but she cannot be comforted, her body's covered with wounds I
cannot see and her words I do not understand.
Night is fallen and my soul grows weak, but I will not leave her,
I will cuddle her in my arms and whisper in her ears,
"Tomorrow, you will be free,
tomorrow, you will be free."
Copyright © Regether Pair
Speak, and be heard, let those feelings be set free,
our God given right, I once heard, freedom for you, and me.
Look at the picture, some paint covered in clouds,
isn't it our right, to speak out loud?
History in high school, was taught with pride,
now all those Americans we studied about, have long died.
With them went hope, and a chance of equality,
these are the things they fought for, not selfish greed.
The Pledge of Allegiance we said everyday,
and everyone stood, as the words were said.
The Constitution was studied, and reports were made,
in front of the class the next day, we would stand up, and say.
All our freedoms that were given to us,
now narrowing down, "help," who do we trust.
A prayer was given, with our heads humbly bowed,
using our freedom of speech, we thanked God out loud.
Everything has changed, now we worry about safety in schools,
shootings, perverts, and God was evicted, now Satan rules.
Copyright © Christy Hardy
In the past I remember how things were so simple
When I was little my cheeks had such cute dimples
Looking back I remember how sweet I was as a child
When I think again my heart told me I was so wild
Yet, in time my simple choices was revealed as true as anyone
The reason I was the way I am today, I did things, to get done
Finishing lots of my undone ideas was so incredibly hard
So I figure my heart and choices should never hold in no bard
I never thought I would learn heart aches and pain
With such under statement I did things for no gain
I was a child who held true to what he has learned
But as we got older those kinda perspective would get me burned
When I made up my mind that people was not kind
I led myself in a confusion that I was blind
In the past I do recall that seeing is believing
So I was the one who stood their with friends leaving
Alone, I felt I did not belong, I cherish each person who knew me
I got older too see how the world works it stung me like a bee
The feeling of tingling ran through my vain
My view of the world and people who knew me was stained
Now I know they are out for their selves with no kind feelings
Life I know is just a joke because of who I hung out with seeing
Today as I look at the world it is in such shambles and astray
And rather fallow everyone I just walk away
Copyright © Reynaldo Mast
from Uncle Tom's Cabin (See notes for story background)
The long night was not long enough;
The new master and his hired men
Soon will come; the river rages,
The water glistens in the morning sun.
The boat is tethered at the other side,
but water beats against the wharf
And ice blocks bob as if on ocean tide.
The child sleeps. I can but wait,
For merchants traveling to and fro
Will need to reach Kentucky’s shore;
I dare not rest when freedom is so close.
But hark! The men are in the street;
I fear one saw me in the window—
I hear the pound of booted feet.
Lord, help me, they will not take my only babe;
With the river, I’ll take my chance—
No thought. Ice bobs and sinks beneath the waves,
I leap without a backward glance.
The ice seems not so slippery
I leap and leap and leap again
God gives me purchase—we will be free!
The last frozen block sinks beneath
My numbéd feet. I toss my child to the ground
And lunge—gripping grass midst mud and sleet,
The river roars behind, a deafening sound.
But o’er my head—an open hand,
A heav’n sent soul, my babe held in his arms—
A chance at freedom in an angry land.
Copyright © Karen Ruff
Which way leads to the
land of green white
Which way are we
A country the wicked
bears the rulership, and
the people sighing
A terrible thing sprouts
beneath the sun: a
Imps come to lime-light
by snuffing air from the
goose that laid the
The blind guiding the un
The weak suppressing
the strong-a terrible
Like the overthrow of the
gods at Mt. Olympus by
A country where also
thieves appear as men of
Land of green white
A land where the
enlightened ones are
peanuts given to them.
The masses are dogs that
eat the crumbs.
Which way to go you
Iliterates stand on
podium of power
bellowing orders as milk
of sorrow known as
dividends of democracy
is passed around.
The machine of progress
manned by the
"There is better
tomorrow" we hear.
Land of green white
where rule of law walk
The proles are sentenced
to adversity,and there
endured death-like trials.
Chai! Aru! People
dancing on thorns
whimpering as they
I see a new sun rising
from the horizon,hope is
rekindled as its rays
grace on hopeless bodies.
Look!! there soon be
Copyright © Ifeanyi Bob Ekechukwu
Unless you understand ,
What it's like to have noises inside your head
Loud sometimes buzzing ,always keeping beat.
They say to have tinnitus is temporary you see
But when I have these noises, they envelop me.
Lose my concentration,
Cannot sit and think.
Want them to stop buzzing.
Like cicadas on a tree.
Constantly building intensity and force.
I feel that there will come a day
When I stand some where and scream
Tell each and ever person
To remove the sounds I hear
For once nothing would be good.
I know it's my condition
To listen every day
To buzzing crackling noises
That never go away.
If I'm lucky they diminish.
There not as loud as some
Days that had me crying
Wanting just to run
This is my affliction
I battle every day.
Because I let a surgeon
Roto root my head
He was supposed to fix my sinus
Not turn on headphones
Buzzing every day.
Copyright © Jennifer Marie Oliver
When man reaches perfection in any area want to chaos.
Why feel hostage to the predictability
that will give a sense of lack of free will of his ideas,
because a full understanding of the law governing an argument-event.
So for the perfect thing, man will put imperfection
to return the imprecise nature of the facts that surround it.
Copyright © Max Diniz Cruzeiro
My first love - when we ended,
They told me to pray to God,
And that he would make time,
My new best friend.
And with the love I had for you,
The despair I would fall out of.
My second love - when we ended,
They did not tell me anything,
For what really could they say?
I sit and watch the hands of grace,
Embalming memories of emotion.
Love forbidden to ever die but,
Peace in how under time it hides.
So I still know,
In spirits and parallels,
I am still with you both,
And this was never written.
From a brunette final encore,
they told me to pray to God,
and that he would make time
my new best friend.
And with the love I had for you,
the despair I would fall out of, but
when blond strands reached split ends,
they did not tell me anything,
for what really could they say?
I sat and watched the hands of grace,
embalming memories of emotion.
Love forbidden to ever die, but
peace in how under time it hides.
So I still know,
in spirits and parallels,
I am still with you both,
and this was never written.
Copyright © rob carmack
Why to Sulu you cannot grant?
To Sulu you don’t mind!
Sulus cried for once!
Sulus need to embrace then…
Until this shall not achieve
Still the march towards it!
Sulus need this to happen
United Nations please do what is due to them!
Freedom and independence
Are basic human rights
For the Sulu to regain!
Should other nations feel
What was their will to have their freedom?
They could have felt how Sulus
Wanted to be like them!
Do not add time to waste lives!
Please act to help Sulu stateless nation!
This could be done by United Nations?
Justice! Justice! Justice!
Copyright © Neldy Jolo
Gun fire all around, bombs going off in the distance
It was some of the angry mobs and resistance
Father was the king of SafeHaven a small kingdom
Like all other kingdoms it fell in random
Fire started in the castle
And along with it came a battle
It was a distance memory now because the child has now grew
Many things in this child that made memories stew
My name is Mastrey, a young orphan who was there that night
Mastrey saw her in the distance and her father and mother in his sight
Everyone was loud that night and made all the children hide
But that evening Mastrey saw her mother and father die
She ran into the bushes in such a fright
And evil doers were running around with flashlights
Mastrey remember it as he distracted them
Her eyes was so confused with problems
Mastrey new that it was because of what just occurred
His feelings of what those people did was not awkward
The distraction worked, he went back to were she was
Hiding and very scared she was, he asked her, can you trust me just because?
Her answer that night depended on her lively hood
As Mastrey was their with his hand reaching out to her as he stood
Pulling her up from the ground he looked into her eyes that were SeaBlue
Mastrey had made a life long friend and love, She knew it was true
Next: My Story Telling, Who is this Princess
Copyright © Reynaldo Mast
We left the barracks in mid-March,
With snow still on the ground,
Drove two days across the border,
To participate in a multi-national event,
Commemorating the World War II atrocities,
The Japanese called Death Marches.
Our soldiers, sailors, and airmen,
Were marched relentlessly across the Philippines.
Bataan Death March,
Where only the strongest survived.
Today I march for them,
For fallen comrades,
Recognizing their sacrifices.
Freedom’s price so high, paid with our brothers lives.
Here I am, out of water, as I march through the deep sands;
Bataan Memorial Death March,
Where quitting is not my option,
As my brothers marched without choice.
Wounded warrior, I suffered through dehydration,
Through pain in joints already injured in service to my country.
Out of water, I did not worry, for I knew;
The human body’s capability to survive,
For days on end in relentless conditions,
I marched on, to the end…
16 Feb 2015
© 2015 CM Davidson Pickett
Copyright © C.M. Davidson-Pickett
MINE not YOURS
Did your day meet adversary in the face? For I the LORD have proven myself to you, over a thousand times.
I’ve been with you in your corner,
Your foot have not fallen or slipped, through it all I’ve been right there beside you.
Do you not understand the reward for finishing the race?
Do you not deserve rewards for staying the course? When all around you others seem to be failing,
Am I not with you?
If love equal to victory, then have I failed in my love to you?
If I’m powerful would I let you slip through the cracks?
Forces can try to bind you, but you can move
In all this I say na, for not once have you fallen or slipped from my sight.
You reside in the eyes of the LORD, yours are forever and eternal
I repeat these are MY words not YOURS
Copyright © F. Darlene Mack
The night air made her feel tired
As she looked out side all the fences were wired
In the distance she hears crowds yelling
As she was to young to know they were rebelling
Father she asked where are we going?
Mother said to keep quiet and keep walking
Mother yelled in the night air
Father gave out a blank stare
They yelled run my princess run as far as you can
As that moment past her little feet pushed off and she ran
She ran to the nearest bushes and crawled into it to hide
She never smelled the air before as if someone just had died
As she lay on the ground under a bush she heard
A loud yell in the distance almost to absurd
My name is Angelica, I am just a young girl who does not know
Angelica just wants to live her life with help to grow
Angelica did not know what just happened she notice a figure in the distance
A little person just like her, a strong but gentle presence
Angelica saw the people who were shouting run off toward the voice
She was scared and she knew that she had to make a choice
Angelica fragile state was so confused and lost
She knew it will take burden on her at a cost
But in that moment of quietness a young but strong voice called out
Can you trust me just because? will you come with me with no doubt
My Story Telling Together In A Strange World
Copyright © Reynaldo Mast
It’s one o'clock in the morning on a Monday
Not much to look forward to this week. Just another week in the life of a workingman. Punch the clock. Punch the boss. What’s the difference? A paycheck. Living week-to-week and scrounging around for sustenance. You call this a life? I call it hell.
Yes hell is right here on this earth. No need to go looking for it. It will find you soon enough. And in it’s time it will drive you mad. Mad as a hatter. You will grow into this vision of capitalistic euphoria and then realize that the numbing of your soul is a tiger that smiles on a box of cereal.....It’s frosted flakes. Corn flakes dressed up like a transvestite on the corner or your life; a corner that you can’t turn. It keeps coming back like a dream of cornfields withering in the August heat. Billowing up and the fading to gray mindless matter that drifts down and settles on your brain.
Rows and rows of the same green dragon grinning with a twinkle in its eye that pulsates with every breath you draw. You can try and plow it under but it will grow back like a virus. You can’t escape the endless letting of your blood to the Man. You kneel down and pray like a fool. Did you not hear the whistle blow it’s five o’clock in the afternoon? You will have wasted another day in this meaningless mire of apocalyptic goo.
Dream if you must. Let the fires burn in the fields of your dreary illusions. But for God’s sake don’t forsake your love for the job. The Man waits and the money goes into his account. Don’t give up there is a pension and one day you will you fly to Hawaii and limp on the beaches of your sorrowful work.
You put the gun against your head and feel the cold steel against your skin. I can’t do this anymore you think. Pull the trigger. I can't do this anymore you think. Pull the trigger. You lay the gun down next to the glass filled with sorrow. You have a mortgage and a wife and kids. You have to do this. And so it goes. Life is always there and is stronger than death. But the gun is always there too. What should you do? Pray to the Man because he is your keeper? Or take a chance on life?
The rusty cage of work will hold you and feed you but you will never break free until you realize that it is you that lives in your soul and you are a not a Godless animal but a child of this world. Don't let this world pass you by my friend.
Copyright © Stephen Kilmer
And so, I have made up my mind, once more.
I have decided to depart, to bid this husk farewell.
In order to do that, I must save coins if I desire to save myself.
For with it, I will be able to buy my ticket out here to a more blessed realm or the eternal void. Either way, I will be winning.
I mustn't, any longer, feel the starvation of affection and no more I shall be fed by the crumbs of fleeting joy they toss at me.
Thoughts of finishing are always in my mind, flooding it, making hard to go day by day, making hard to sleep, to have hope.
I fail to see where the hope is, I like to think that it can be find inside of one's heart.
But even so, I think I am mistaken, and when I glance at myself in the mirror, I quickly lose any spark of what could-be hope.
With the aid of the metallic sling, I shall leave this husf behind, heavy with its sins and sorrows, to no more nourish hatred.
For it does only to hinder my advance towards elevation.
With my metallic sling, I shall pierce, first, my heart, where lies the sorrow, then, my mind, where resides the sins.
Whilst the life in me start to wane, regrets I will not have, when my consciousness fade, my spirit will be no longer be trapped inside this imperfect cage of flesh.
Being free, my spirit shall roam far and beyond to, before, unseen places by men, to untouched places by men.
Another day,someone inquired me "Are you happy now?" and for that I just said "Yes". How else could I have responded if not with a lie?
How could I tell them that I yearn for a premature closure in order to stop thinking and feeling but I also yearn for love.
"I am not absolutely happy, as per say, but I do suffer less when I am asleep" I could never say that to anyone...
Copyright © The First Born The First Forgotten
A sign of courage
Upon your stead
You let me lead
Through your own strength
I love your grace
Your peace warm embrace
I long for the caress
That you’re every thought brings
A set of harmony only heaven bound
I seek a refuge only your light brings
The loving kindness you so give
Ever so freely I honor you
By honoring me
Copyright © Apolo Amai
Out in the cold, chained to a tree,
The old dog watched as the sad little girl approached.
Meeting, loving, the poor things cuddled close,
Sharing their animal heat on that cold Christmas night.
A passing stranger and his wife halted in their journey home,
Taken by the sight of the ugly old dog leaning trustfully,
As the small barefoot girl slowly, carefully freed it from its chain.
"You're my Christmas baby now," they heard her whisper.
The man said, "Surely the dog must be abandoned," and
The wife said, "That child has been thrown away, too."
Both asked in unison, "What can we do?" In unison they replied,
"Let's take them home and adopt them both."
Entry for contest #25 inspired by "The Little Match Girl" by H.C. Andersen
By Pat Holland
528 Prescott Rd
Paris, KY 40361
Copyright © Pat Holland
I watch them fight,
taking a stand,
all they want,
is a free land.
Keeping them quiet,
a country in chains,
these young people,
have freedom to gain.
Copyright © Christy Hardy
Tried to trace this man,
studied the case and had my plan,
a soul is whispering from somewhere
asking for help, I said, back off !!!
But a call is a call
it searches my soul and being,
then found myself doing it
i must say, back off to this man!
Met him and succeeded
invited me to his place, we proceeded,
as I enter his great place
full of goons, must I back off from it?
He offered a drink as he mixed,
he went for a while to change his shirt,
so when he came back and drink his piece,
Alas! 10minutes, he went off asleep!
Traced the walls for possible passage,
and I have found where she was a savage
I hurriedly searched for the lock and there I found
hanging at the back of her life size portrait in grief profound!
I ease to unlock by the key I got
and quickly lift her up, help her to get up
we walked pass by the sleeping monster
tried cautiously to escape away from there.
Damn, he is awake!
He advanced to kick
threw it hard so quick
too glad I managed
to kick back in a glimpse!
I reached my gun, hidden on my waistline,
Aimened vigorously, with authority
Stay where you are!
Back off !!!
He tied her up,
used her for his cover-up,
urging needs of flesh he had...
Damn man, back off !!!
Two years she wept for pain
asked mercy from this man but in vain,
she almost lost her mind and gave up her soul...
Spare her, back off !!!
Caught between the crossfire
of ravaging flame of bonfire heat,
Burnt her skin like hell...
Back off !!!
He tried to get up, moved forward,
I have to trigger the gun,
I said, "Come on, and you'll be gone!"
Back off !!!
And bullet is heard, ripping his left leg,
fell down to the floor, he cried and beg
"Daughter, I love you so much, don't let her do this!
help me, tell her back off please!"
I almost killed the man!
Yes, why not? I can do it!
But I controlled, called backups
I will never back off to this fight!
I saw her weep loudly, her life was a mess
Damn to this vulture who eats his own flesh!
He deserve a bullet on his head, don't you think?
Ruining his daughter's life, he must be thrown in hell!
Flesh to flesh, blood to blood
Is it easy to back off and just let this pass?
No way! How dare anyone would say:
Back off, Carole, stop and never look back!
No, no, no, no, no!
He must pay his crime, I swear he must die!
But I am not a killer,
nor a hunter but I would lie,
If I don't admit I wanted him to burn in hell and die!
Then I turned my back, let them get him
Turned him over, trembling with anger
He must be thrown into steel bars
let him pay what he has done, for years...
Steel bars, keep this man!
(dedicated to the victims of sex slavery and incest)
Copyright © Inner Whispers
sore in soaring flight
clouds streaming beyond fog
three barrel rolls
swirling through silver light
simulcast storm shakes black topsoil
seep through porous skin
providing synthesized eruptions
cataclysmic spasms drop knowledge undetected by erudition
Thick walls wobble, crack, then begin to close in on the thin skull
a metaphysical transformation manifests
Earth, moon, stars
proton, neutron, electron,
mother, father, child
Fertile land dissolves for the horizon
turquoise soaks toes
an enigmatic awakening
idle imagination swiftly shifts gears here
from stationary stone
to being thrown through the moon
effervescent agitation bubbling oceans strewn
sleet sheets pelt clipper ships
Parochial, no longer the vision
mood scoots through sinister to happy-go-lucky
three grim blankets lift from melodramatic souls
This mighty universe revolves
aflame with AGAPE...
(*sappy to sophisticated)
The final oscillation
©2014 ~JSL PoetTreez Publishing
Copyright © JSLambert Mister ROBOTO
Whether it be foreign country or terrorists that attack our land,
I will fight them on the beaches on the streets and from my home.
If necessary I will retreat to the foothills and then to the mountains,
Still I will never raise white flag to those who would steal my freedom.
AS GOD IS MY WITNESS!!
I SHALL NEVER SURRENDER!!
Having been a knight on ancient past battlefields,
This soldier knows no fear of any enemy!!
Copyright © Robert William Gruhn
How do I stay soulful, without seeming like a raging goddess?
I would always be the raging sea,
Don’t sail your boats or ships upon my waters!
Expected to be slaughters, by my sharks
The rough waves: and the haunted ghost slaves.
You toss abroad, unlike the garage you scattered on my shore,
I kept your secrets; at the bottom of ocean floor
I sting your eyes, and bitter your taste:
Rock your ships from side to side
Yet, you smuggle my fish out to land:
what a disgrace!
A man would always be a man
Why did you leave the dry land and sail the ocean blue
You pirate! You luxury ocean liners: you liars
Can you hold on to my waters?
The laughter takes hold of you.
I filled myself with rage, because of the things you do
No safety nets……
Copyright © Annie Lander
Sitting on stage
The glare of the audience immobilizes my every move
Is there a way this paralysis will soothe?
The lights suddenly blare
Like a deer bathed in headlights
How can I escape from this radiant bear?
The conductor baton rises into the soundless air
Sweating, stammering, shivering
Will this be my final prayer?
The sound of an A fires from a clarinet
Bow on string, I imitate the shrill
This magical note seems to be my fever pill
A-D, D-G, A-E
Instrument seems in tune
But will this miniscule fact solve my problem soon?
As the chief baton swings side to side
Flickering images in my mind crash like a tsunami tide
Joy, Love, Hardship, and Harmony
Music conducted the opening to my passion ceremony
Fire ignites my being
Like bungee-jumping off a bridge
The words “Anything is possible!” now beaming
Like poetry, music is an art
Raw emotion strangles uniformity
Expression bears no limit
Creativity beats as our vital body part
*This poem is dedicated to a cure for stage fright (bless those poor souls)
Copyright © Michael Mitchell
First time I saw them all together,
They were waving at me from old glory.
Never saw so many stars before that day either;
There were a lot of nights I saw more yet not as close.
Ripples of freedom met my eyes that sunny afternoon;
That special piece of cloth transfixing a little boy's mind,
Finding later that heroes had kept her flying all along.
Watching now as evil ones try to burn her down.
Problem is they'll have to torch every liberty loving heart,
Now that task will not be a simple one to accomplish.
Ever tried to lock up a spirit and keep it there?
No colors in any rainbow have ever flown brighter.
Even with the many faults that have creased her fabric,
She still soars freer above those who would bring her down.
This flag which once mesmerized that five year old boy,
Wraps around this man now in an embrace that won't let go.
Copyright © 2014 Robert William Gruhn - All Rights Reserved
"A poem to me is the essence of any thought,
Being built from its foundation into tower scraping sky.
It can fly like no other bird to places never seen,
Even spaceships can only dream of taking its place."
© 2014 Robert William Gruhn
Copyright © Robert William Gruhn
Imagine sinking. To a place yet to be known but with a dark atmosphere already known to you, like the place where you are. Perhaps you can't, denial is a strong medicine.
Before reaching the bottom, you will find yourself in a void, light will have no place nor meaning, the same way for those that have sunk in life. To the bottom of a deep dark pit free of vision but replete with turmoil and hopelessness. Trying to leave is futile, clawing the walls, struggling to reach a kind of light, one born from a torn mind. Illusions that are delusions seen in shape of gaps in walls that causes the skin to cringe upon touch.
Sinking towards the oblivion of a duality, to an ending that is also a new beginning. Not only that, but may also be nothing.
How bad can it truly be? To relinquish all unto the unknown to attain the exchange of one uncertainty for another, but hopefully better... There may be the fabled peace, a kind of it, at least.
Dry me clean and let me sink. For as the last breath is drawn and things start to look (feel) better, rejoice forwhy the end is near. As they say, things ought to get worse before getting better.
Copyright © The First Born The First Forgotten
Tears that flow
Each time I look back.....
Waters that run down my cheeks
Meeting my lips
I discover that you are the salt in my tears.....
Squeezed from the fruit of emotion.
Winds that blow freely
From my lips
When tunes of loneliness
Out to console.
I make discovery the air we breath in
Is the same we breathe out.
The drum that paces
Rhythm within my ribs
Racing with these thoughts of you.
Mystic once blowing
With these your vexations.
So let me be
Me and you can never be
I want to be free....
Like a butterfly
Let me dance in the air
Land on the flower I choose.
Copyright © Robert Hanson
Lend me a listen
And hear this tale of woe
The life and times
Of a man 'called' Joe
Keep still, keep quiet
Hush, listen to the sound
The silent footsteps of a man
As he walks his native ground
Joe was born long, long ago
Across the waters blue
In a land of plenty
There, Joe the babe grew
Five generations deep
A lifetime of needs supplied
Hard work, respect for self
Full of heritage and pride
Now, Joe's given name was 'Shakka'
A father, a husband, a strong man
One day while hunting
Was snatched from the 'Motherland'
In a ship made of wood
With white sails full mast
Joe and fellow countrymen
Were in the deep below casted
Please, listen a little longer
Can you hear the pain
The fear, the confusion
The frustration of chains
Landing on the auction block
Stripped of humanity and pride
There, Shakka's name was lost
And all his rights deprived
The years were hard, the master cruel
In a strange and foreign land
With obstacles to suppress
Still Shakka (called Joe) remained a man
The whip couldn't break that freedom spirit
Held deep within his soul
Joe vowed that freedom dream
His people someday restore
Listen, can you hear the silence
As his people struggle on
Keep still? ...Keep quiet?
Has all the work been done?
Prison doors closing
Refusing the back
A borrowed ear, Joe's tale's been told
Yet the struggle remains
Speak Out! Shout Loud! the time has come
Total freedom we must regain
Copyright © Hattye Jones