Et Portæ Inferi Non Valebit
(And the gates of hell will not prevail)
Gates of Hell shall never ever prevail
promulgation of Truth forever stands
Soul and Spirit each rings a sounding bell
Fate's ruthless results judges all the lands
Vanities of all men foolishly praised
Spirit's dark desires bearing bitter fruit
Rejection of He that was truly raised
lies and corruption are the stolen loot
Righteous hearts look to Heavenly skies
sincere prayers, deliver such bless reward
Mankind races onward using blinded eyes
to an ending very bitter and hard
In the dark shadow of this evil world
Our Creator's redemption has been hurled!
Robert J. Lindley, 10-11-2014
Syllables Per Line: 10 10 10 10 0 10 10 10 10 0 10 10 10 10 0 10 10
Total # Syllables: 140
Total # Lines: 17 (Including empty lines)
Total # Words: 93
Dark River That Sought To Flood
I tamed the dark river that sought to flood
spreading darkness invading my blood
Battles raged for years every painful night
no victory ever won that dark fight
Tried to forget by being lost into my lust
a folly that gave all so much grief
Years passed before my learning what I must
find only source could give relief
A death leaped out into my sad, wicked life
a healing gift sent from high above
Healing to overcome all sadness and strife
mercy gifted from God's sweet love
Years have now passed into time's eternal realm
I thank divine mercy that removed "Me" from the helm!
Robert J. Lindley, 09-21-2014
one day you'll look for me to make amends
the weight of what you've done too much to bear
one day you'll ask for grace for what offends
You'll search for me but I will not be there
You'll come to me with heart and words exposed
a plea to start afresh and be at peace
You'll come with promise new that you've composed
and hope that guilty heart will find release
One day you'll come to know that you were wrong
and with the thought will come the awful pain
for you have robbed of me my inner song
and brought to me a grief I can't contain
One day, I know that this will come to be
too late will be that time for you and me
“…when power narrows the areas of man’s
concern, poetry reminds him of the richness
and diversity of his existence…”
—John F. Kennedy
Medieval misery crushing citizens;
Shackled: grueling, clanging, negativity
Middle Passage past, plaguing, yet frightens;
Intense insanity—gangs captivity!
Draining dreams and desires from hearts—slashed:
Ancestral destruction, devastating;
Bones protruding from ribs, weakening—lashed;
Sight yet sickening, distraught, disgusting!
Will God speak in molding humanity?
Will His divine grace cleanse such evil souls?
Self posed dictators, fool’s insanity
Greed in governing—crushing others’ souls!
Where art thou, Master of the Universe?
Hold not thy hands while the poor suffer worst!
© Joseph, 10/1/08
© All Rights Reserved
Semi finalist contestant
292 out of 887 submissions
June 1, 2009 International Contest
Joseph S. Spence, Sr., is the author of "The Awakened One Poetics" (2009), which is
published in seven different languages. He invented the Epulaeryu poetry form, which
focuses on succulent cuisines and drinks. He is published in various forums, including the
World Haiku Association; Poetinis Druskininku, Milwaukee Area College, Phoenix Magazine;
Möbius Poetry, and Taj Mahal Review to name a few. Joseph is a Goodwill Ambassador for
the state of Arkansas, USA, a college faculty, and a military veteran.
wandering in thoughts.
promises and hopes.
Hand in hand,
tumbling on slopes.
This is love
Running away from this world.
Warm bodies sliding in sheets,
to find another world.
Burning in cold flames.
No fear ... no shame ... no games
This is love
Your love is like a fall’s crisp kiss
I can walk a thousand miles to get away from you
I can swim to the bottom of the ocean blue
I can fly a million feet up, way high in the air
I can pretend each day that I just don’t care
Yet I am sorry for the way I acted, the words I left unspoken
When I think of how we ended, my heart feels way too broken
Do you really feel this way, my presence do you not miss?
You made it clear your heart has no place for me anymore
I will move on and hope to find another to love like you
I will walk away, our memories in my heart I’ll store
Never allowing my mind to believe that it is true
For I loved, I lost. But as a friend I will never again tell
That you hold my heart forever, you are my Angel.
Let no shadow be cast in my soul
for I have seen the countenance of grace.
Let my heart not build a wall
to hide the furious compassion of Your face.
Let the rain of mercy fall
upon the dry wasteland of my memories.
Let my life answer to Your call
and my own stubbornness cease.
Let me not at the foot of the cross
resent precious blood splattered for me.
Let it cover the pain of loss
and from sin set me free.
Thank the Lord my soul can rejoice
for I am but a sinner whom You gave a choice.
I want to say good night
But its night as yet to you
I can see darkness now
If maybe you never left
I have to say good night
Darkness has defeated me
Only your love can resurrect me
I am afraid to go now
But I have to go and live under the shads
Love me to my silent place
Good night when you see the moon
Flower me with roses from abandon garden
Cover me with what i was and be now
Good night sleep with elevated power
My love, what shall you leave me with tonight?
What words are there to mend my broken heart?
Will our love be repaired with morning light,
Oh, or will nightfall be our last depart?
My darling, sha'nt I leave you without this,
My eternal promise of love to you
How could you pull apart this final kiss?
Don't let such love fade, whilst such lovely hue
So, before you give your final goodbye,
And your anger and hate bury your love
Remember what wishes, and dreams, will die
And the future that we had spoken of
So, I'll remind you with my final breath,
My eternal love is as strong as death
THE TEMPLE PROSTITUTE
The God came to me in the guise of a stranger
His gold body scent was of great sublimity
His arms were marble pillars, and his embrace
Melted the whole world on my belly.
He tuned me to the refinement of my own nature -
Pitched me so exquisitely I fell from heaven -
Totally vanquished, till I remembered
All there was of paradise, and the number seven.
He has the unfolding of centuries since
To worship me as a goddess divine,
But they couldn’t build churches fast enough
To deny our union in the votive shrine.
The salt of humble pilgrims for my wantonness
I, who had everything but blessedness.
(c) Rosemarie Rowley
From IN MEMORY OF HER (2008)
DEMETER AT THE CHINESE OPERA
So, I invited you to the Chinese Opera impulsively
Thinking of masks and dragons and triumphant mystery
I though it was time we threw off our coats
Of mourning, you for your daughter
Stopping one night, on the way home from a party,
So randomly, cruelly, killed by the monster
Who has slain more than all the century’s wars
And my private sorrow for which there is no funeral.
I remember your straying husband also
Loved the Chinese Opera. What will happen
If we all meet between the acts?
Surely forgiveness will come like snow on the mountain
And we will live in a harmony that can never be suppressed
In a slow majestic music that takes account of grief.
(C) Rosemarie Rowley
From IN MEMORY OF HER (2008)
Thirty-four years of fist fights and screaming fits;
threats of killing, suicide; public embarrassments.
In front of my husband and son they crossed a line.
What I gave them was a piece of my mind.
"I am done with this." "We should part ways." I said,
"Before someone ends up seriously hurt, or dead."
I felt no sadness. I couldn't shed a tear.
To think about it; I gave them 15 years.
I went to see them, knowing their health was bad.
Prayer and apologies from me, Mom and Dad.
Things are better after our long time apart.
Peace of mind for fifteen years; lost.... a piese of my heart.
With great sadnes, of disfunction I tell.
For giving and losing..... the balance scale.
July 01, 2014
Contest: What I gave
Sponsor: Sheri Fresonke Harper
what makes the heart feel for something it can't touch?
his tears caused contractions for his heart to pulse
floundered, looking for loves heartache to clutch
whimsical solace of her essence startles his impulse
shouldering the bane of a kiss that foreshadowed trifles
kooky huh? how time unleashes emotions restrained behind pride
losing his beloved inamorata to an admirer she mollycoddles
his heart became friable to the echo of her suicide
It was the absence of a note that left his worries unverified
what makes the heart feel for something it can't touch?
Now alone and without; a lovers heart is mummified
he will never love another as much
the “ghost orchid” has become her epithet
the rules of this game have changed, misère ouverte.
I chose Bonnie Raitt “I can't make you love me” because when I listened to it it brought
back memories of my childhood feeling second to my fathers work. His physical presence was
always their, but his heart belonged to his work and still is. After listening to the song 5 or 6
times I thought of the question, what makes the heart feel for something that it can't
touch----like love, and went from there.
a Spanish sonnet
Passion thrives on forgiveness, oh my sweet.
Your scorn will reason well to wonder why
I attempt a smile even though your eyes
refuse to cherish blooms laid at your feet.
We need to take stock of trust when we meet;
weeds of abomination poke and pry.
From the overlook, my soul heaves a sigh,
you uproot our relationship with deceit.
Your lie lacked confirmation from the start -
why you would mock or kid, I do not know.
Struggle rose within this admiring heart;
impatience flames and yet I rise with hoe
of love to root out what your two lips thwart.
Each day, sees me at work melting your snow.
I think patience works well to promote passion in love relationships.
Notice the words in italics in the second stanza, flowers bloom there.
December 18, 2012
Beautiful lies known as little white lies
yet one is no more deceptive than each
The truth is what makes it afraid of light
It's important we practice what we preach
Imagination built on lies destroy
Imagination built on truth create
Conquering evil we try to avoid
Tooth fairy, Halloween, Santa abate
Perceptions and images make it real
Origins of Pagan rituals true
We've wandered down this path for a bum deal
Now more lies are created all brand new
The mask behind a beautiful white lie
is the truth with a constant shield, but why?
May 27, 2010
Bless it be Thee!
Bless it be Thee!
Truly, I love you.
My whole my new.
My heart your key!
Loose lips and free.
Realistically, I knew!
You are far and few.
I can justly let it be.
You know, it is Gemini’s Full Moon tonight,
The Universe is waking up figuring us all out.
Point me out as a random beam of Moonlight,
I am engulfing and enriching charts in route.
Swiftly suited, I stand in my place!
Bless it be it to Thee! A closed case!
®Registered: Ann Rich 2010
She quietly slipped into his room
There he lay very proud and arrogant
Who had held a gun to her child's head_ "boom",
He would say_Satan his assistant
He would tell her child that he would kill her
And he would kill her beloved family
She could not know that this would not occur
The child lived for eighteen years anxiously
How can one forgive heinous offense
Committed against a child that is loved
Only through God forgiveness for events
God forgave without Him she would be unloved
She asked him if he needed anything
Promised to visit while inside screaming
Our ex-son-in-law is in a nursing home now in the last stages of Huntington's Disease
We think that he was abusive because of the illness but don't know for sure..
Our daughter divorced him and remarried to a man who is treating her good...
Children with an illness,
Go through life,
They are looked down apon,
Because they are different,
When really they are not,
They are no different from you and me,
They have the same blood,
Running through their bodies,
Just as their hearts as well,
So, don't just look apon,
Their outer appearance,
And judge them,
For who they really are,
For a lot of them,
Are smarter and brighter,
Than you and I,
Could possibly be,
On our brightest day,
For they have the gifts,
From God up above,
So, always take the time,
To get to know their inner beauty,
For who they really are,
Cause they too need love,
Just as everyone else does,
If not even more.
When I consider all the friends I've lost,
On things that matter little to me now.
Or friends who gently warned me of the cost,
Of every argument I would allow
When every friend of mine who tried to share,
The harsher truths of life I did forget.
And make believe I didn't have a care,
In living every day without regret.
But as the autumn of my years draw near,
I think of friends in silent solitude.
And hope that some of them would reappear,
So that all our friendships could be renewed.
For if in forgiving me, my dear friends,
Our friendships would be restored to the end.
I have had many frightening visions
of demons pulling me down into the infernal abyss:
to burn and torment my bound and shivering body...
as Dante envisioned it in his Divine Comedy.
Ah, Popes, Presidents, Kings, enemies and friends made no apologies...
they were glad to see me join them in their cell!
I accursed them even in that place called," Hell ."
And that gave me an opportunity to write many appropriate analogies.
" My flesh will burn, not my spirit! " I desperately hollered.
" This is not a place where I should pay for my earthly sins!"
" Eternal fire and condemnation are wrong!" I protested.
" God loves everyone, and He only demands repentance!"
Finally, that dreadful vision ended at the coming of the sunrise,
I found myself on Earth witnessing the wonders of Paradise!
God never turns his back on you,
Even during your darkest hour,
When things may get the toughest in life,
Which make you question,
Whether He really exsist ot not,
But He has never left your side,
And He watches over you always,
During your good times and bad,
For you need to believe in Christ,
To see the light of the gates of heaven,
Which will brighten your everyday,
For you will feel his presence in your life,
Cause He is there to guide you,
All along your way...
A drink on the nightstand calls
To me who would be the listener
To hear what he has to say
About what happens in this room.
The water within the pale, clear cup
Is lined with lipstick and plastic
But all the while he still cries
As though the lips who touch him are his.
A drink on the nightstand screams my name
Come and taste what I have to give
But I know that one sip of his poisonous nectar
And no longer my life shall I live
For you are the drink within its tall
Drink on the nightstand that calls.
< amidst grass carpet he plays
long ears bushy tail white paws
nibbles bulbs munches away
poor little thing had some flaws
hides hair braided and despaired
didn't stop this little guy
thought to self this wasn't fair
bowed head and started to cry
nectar is what he had sought
on this hopeful days journey
not to be trapped or be caught
or carted off on gurney
Mister Nibbles came to play
In garden's bedding today
If I just had one day left in life,
I'd rid myself of anger, envy, strife.
I'd hug those I loved dearly through the years,
And kneel to God, crying with bitter tears.
My prayer, dear God, extend my days to live,
For there's still one more person to forgive.
It's me, that comes regretting my despair,
Having lived a pauper's life seemed unfair.
I wanted to travel across the lands,
To see mountains high and the ocean sands.
How can I forget untraveled highways,
And be content at the end of my days?
For all that needs be done, God gives grace.
Fretting life ends, with hopes of better place.
Is my life not tortured enough for you to see?
I am broken as can be.
My heart is torn.
My tears stain these perfect floors.
Why are singing with glee?
Why do you not care about my every plea?
I am trapped in your arms.
I am the hopeless moth.
How did you pick me?
What is it that you see?
A girl untouched by life?
A flower blooming in the desert?
I have said goodbye to my loving integrity.
You took that from me through R-A-P-E.
Shadows Creep, I Lost Sleep
Shadows crept into my room late at night
those dark nasty ones with razor like teeth
Defiant I soon dared to taunt and fight
slimy ones prancing down and underneath
Climbing ones scratched slowly up moving walls
fat, dark and nasty ones scattered about
Shrieking ones gave out wicked little calls
some cursed my soul with demonic shout
Last came ever patient and slashing kind
creeping in so close to my shaking bed
Searching very slow for bare toes to find
clawing bed sheets now wrapped over my head
A light blasts on from lamp on my nightstand
Strange, they vanished, I never lifted my hand!
Robert J. Lindley, 08 -22 -2014
Dark memories haunt my past.
I know such are dead and blessings are here
now to last...
Like roses on a thorn I never knew
What I thought was beneath and what was there
I look inside and all I see is you
And there I found I actually do care
More than I deserve, you make me feel
Am I awake? Or is this just a dream?
Heart Beats, with a tear and my thoughts unreal
Perhaps this world is more that what it seems;
I hope someday you'll see what I see
Away with your pity and no more sighs
You'll look inside and tomorrow we will fly
You'll change and the sky will darken its hue
Whatever you become I will still love you
The great wish is that we shall never feel,
Dark as the shady thorns over the yonder;
Beating hearts of gloom just atop the hill
Men with rage they neglect the ponder.
Oh, it were I was happy fool as any
Content to play the game of dull pretense,
Specious are these moments for so many;
Truth tales of lies to their own bitter ends.
Some would weasel that amends could be made
Bed is done lied in, for shame has come in;
Son against father with sharp verbal blade
Killed a command, instead honored sin.
Yet in the dark, light still filtered good through,
Heaven and hell, God above only who knew.
LETTER TO A SORE BROTHER, BEAUTIFUL SISTER (DEDICATED TO MY BROTHER’S AND SISTER’S LOVE)
Early jungle makes me a desire
To be alone in the belly of our dear beautiful mother
Because our growing up is such and irony
Which made me rejoiced each moment this time
That wishes were never allowed to be rose
For men of wrong mind to buy
There in my childhood irony moment
We fought as if it is created share hatred
We wish for all except one that pays a little pain
For i held back from all
As all held back from me and other all
Indeed, people taught that our life is a share pain
A sore injury to the world of love
Because i loved each moment my brother bleed from our father’s hell
I went behind the scene to celebrate my goal
kindly, the moment is always become
As i happily shun and damn the future
... who did you think you are with my future
I sometimes ignorantly murmur as a child
In my little kingdom emptiness, i rejoice in the brothers pain
A little hatred of thee, a more love of me
I love each time i am loved alone
To hate thee by my blood and cause sheepishly i became and honour
As this irony grows into something still ironic
I wish my pain could allow my pen speak plain
To cry such an awesome deep and sore blood
At each moment the rain of thee bath me thoroughly
To see thee share all to have me clothed
To borrow from the enemy to have me homed
even to lose all from the gods to make sure that i have all from the goddess
The brother even stole to have me meal
More like the blood and doing of the mother, it shared abroad
As brothers all lie to have me protected
Much illiterate to make me the literate king
Oh bleed me death less i say this pain of love
Sisters risk of the night, the horror evil men to see a smile in this lips of mine
That i wish never remember the selfish boyhoodness
Ay! How i see my brother’s cry in his desolation
Not for him or for his little joy
But for the pain of a dear brother
To save all only to loose all to life a brother
Its pain of the ugly moment in a close death
It was determined and death paid of thee
But the brother and sister’s coming death
Woke brothers will up, sisters ghost down
I need to save my brother
Leave my life to save my brother
And take it once his breath is back
There the sacrifice of a dear brother made me desire
Never a child as this in my next world
Because you are a brother, a beautiful brother
A sister, very handsome sister that i hold dearest to my breath
And love dearest to my heart beat
Your cloying tales of days gone by,
memories of sugar crystals.
Saccharide words of poisoned lies
shot me point blank from your pistol.
You spin a web of golden beams,
flashing starlight, a laughing face.
With secrets shared and rainbow dreams,
you weave deceit in threads of lace.
Dark clouds of broken promises
cast in the shadows of your smile.
Forgotten deeds and air kisses,
forgiveness tainted with denial.
In time, I know I'll come to forgive.
Though, I only have one heart to give.