Walking through the land of shadows
wearing my yellow shoes
With each and every step
I created color and hues
The shadows started retreating
As color permeated the ground
Out of the darkness
I heard a horrible sound
"You do not belong here
I command you to go away
You are in the land of darkness
You must listen to what I say"
I kept on moving forward
Not sure what I would see
Where was the voice coming from
I looked behind a tree
Light and color expanded
Traveling up to the skies
The entity that scared me
Was right before my eyes
As my shoes banished the darkness
The entity was reduced to tears
Without the aid of shadows
He couldn't tap into my fears
I reached down to touch him
I told him he was safe
He looked up with confusion
As I gazed upon his face
"Are you here to destroy me?
Have you come to take me away?
There is a purpose for shadows
They create hope for brighter days."
I heard what he was saying
The shadows have their reason
In order for spring to come
We need a darker season
So I removed my yellow shoes
Watched as the shadows returned
It was time for me to go home
With this strange lesson I had learned
I like many others have lived in our dreams
In this world where I lived amongst forests and streams
Where the Great Plains stretched and our rivers flowed
If you could see through my eyes, how my tribe glowed
Born from my mother of Arikara descent
My father a Sioux warrior, his stature, augment
My growing up was no different than the others around
For the learnings that grew from our ancestors surround
Hunting and fishing, being told of the dangers in life
Cultural indifferences, to fearing tribal strife
But it's what my father taught me every single day
To learn from our lands for through the years they'd display
Tracking, seeking, searching, living from our lands
Every year more learned, growing in understand
From a boy to a man becoming a warrior through my years
Protecting what was ours, allaying modern fears
But the changes that we faced, suffocated our souls
There was only ever one outcome, other man's goals
I like many others, to live and eventually fall
Born from Arikara, Sioux, my name was 'Standing Tall'
A little story from my heart, where the Indigenous will always be.
So I walked into my local supermarket
to buy my weekly shipment of Kit Kat bars,
Cinnamon Toast Crunch,
and Ovaltine powder mix.
As I shake off the snow on my fake Timberland boots,
coated in frozen animation,
thaws into warmth’s teardrops from
the supermarket’s 75 degree vents.
This moist sense of happiness was quickly interrupted
when I heard Wilson Phillips, “Hold On”
over the PA system.
Thankfully, the cutlery isle was just to my left.
So, now, I had plans!
But, before I could commit felony’s song,
I saw her.
A Portuguese goddess
with a strut that can ruin a man’s dignity.
She had Autobahn curves,
dark brown curls of hair & visuals,
and thick flesh meat that even Vegans would envy.
Her face lacked Maybelline coated misapprehension.
Cause I never did like clowns.
After staring longingly at her,
like a crack head with impulsive eyes upon a broken/unlabeled bag of baby powder,
she breezed past my stifled posture and clocked in to work.
She didn’t even get a chance to smell my $500 cologne called “Piece of Me”.
So with new-found urges to grab all my groceries,
like a burglar who really has to pee,
I rush to express checkout.
There she is.
Her register beeps in coupon lady’s rhapsody,
while my register needs a cleanup on Isle 9.
Now it’s my turn.
With girlish inner-screams of boy-band intensity,
I say, “Hi”.
She scans my apples, while I scan her melons.
The melons that the customer ahead of me didn’t want…
…they were on sale.
As if she read my mind,
“Are you feeling warm now?”
“All I want is to be the heat in your moment”,
which I almost said.
But, “Now I am”, is uttered.
As she smiled with seductive demure,
she handed me my receipt
with her phone number on back.
As I left the market,
I began to get cold again.
These winds of change
became gusts of numbness.
I locked myself out of my heart.
I turned around to go back inside.
Only to discover,
she didn’t have the key.
© Drake J. Eszes
What Lurks Within
I picture in my mind an old colonial room,
With a door to the garden where my flowers can bloom.
A window in the back to see the main house,
A leaky roof and the scurry of a mouse.
Mold on the floor and old bricks in the wall,
And a door in the back to the main kitchen hall.
A stack of hay to the left leading out the front door,
To the gravel path that wraps around to the front porch.
The smell of moisture in the air so damp and so cold,
I can get some water and try to scrub up the mold.
A mat by the door to clean off my boots,
I can get into the car to start my commute.
So much I can picture for this small place,
Nothing to hold back my imagination, but space.
-For Seren’s What Lurks Within Contest
A familiar ambiance…she had known this air….
This sand she had felt on her feet before
Ripe red strawberries grew wild somewhere
For, they’d shared them on a quiet shore
Her soul felt stripped…..naked…left bare
A man once whispered love ever more
These eyes of hers had never seen this place
Yet her soul sang of his hands on her face
His fingers once kissed a gentle caress
On her starving mouth that craved his touch
His lips made her an angelic mess
Wild eyed passion…a brush fire crutch
His hands reminisced her summer dress
Love and fear that she could feel so much
Yes, in a sometime, somehow she’d been here
How she missed those distant eyes....so near....
History journeys along with its meandering flow as
a wide birth from bank to bank has eyes straining
trying to see across to the other side, far too wide.
Muddy rivulets stirred up by the river boats drift by
and my dreams become intertwined with what
I have read and the sleepy house boats floating near
the banks that the river dwellers call home.
A huge stainless steel arch with its catenary curve
looms gracefully nearby as a gateway of welcome,
built as a monument to Thomas Jefferson and the
pioneers who braved making their way to St. Louis,
why it is fondly called “the Gateway to the West.”
I felt as if the Arch was paying homage to the mighty
Mississippi with its tall shadow falling on her erratic waters.
Children were waving from the banks at contented tourists
waving back as they drifted slowly by and time stood still
with the music of the river taverns mingling with the
contrasting sounds of riverboat whistles, and I drifted along
with them sensing serene pleasure into another time and place.
Way back in the woods all nestled away
I found the place where Leprechauns play
To find the place I had to first find the door
Keeping it hidden is what the Waterfall is for
Behind the falls there lies a mystical cave
To scale the cliff one must be very brave
As you enter the cave these words are true
The most magical of places is waiting for you
The cave is not dark in fact it’s rather bright
For thousands of crystals are beaming with light
As you pass through the cave it is so clear to see
There are places on earth where men shouldn’t be
As I stepped out of the cave on the other side
My own amazement I could never hide
There were waterfalls, Rainbows & Butterflies galore
I felt as though I had stepped through Heavens door
As I took to the path it suddenly occurred to me
This path is made out of gold, as gold as could be
I looked at a tree stump and got lost in the spell
For the sign in front said, “The Leprechaun Hotel”
A hundred tiny windows were all beaming with light
For the sun had just dropped, dropped clean out of sight
A whole world had lit up right before me
Mushrooms were homes for Fairies you see
Sometimes in life we embrace the magic of a spell
Mystical creatures in heaven, far as my eyes could tell
The fairies were tiny angels that lit up the night
I’ve never seen anything so beautiful and bright
Then all at once a feeling took over my soul
And I truly felt that it was time I should go
As I turned to leave I heard a Leprechaun say
From all of this gold you’ll just walk away
The fairy said, “One wish is granted to you”
“Make any wish you like and it will come true”
I explained how wealth was once all that I sought
And my dreams and wishes were already bought
You see God sent an Angel who planted a seed
That sprouted our love, which is all that I need
Inspired by a wall painting at my Dentist office
and written for my wife.
They ask me why I’m so happy
Asking me, if I just won a prize
I replied, well I reckon I did
Today is a wonderful surprise
When you have a past like mine
My today is always bright
There is no better feeling on earth
Than the joy of doing right
I may be an old man on a cane
My heart is skipping along
I learned to embrace the meaning
Life is a beautiful song
True life has its ups and downs
There’ll be forks in the road
With a smile I’ll stop for a while
Help you with your load
I had me a bag of popcorn today
It tasted exceptionally good
In fact, I will go as far as to say
Better then it probably should
For years, I had a guard in the pen
Popped him a bag each night
Then he would simply throw it away
His twisted little delight
He knew, it was those little things
Ate at our heart and soul
Movie with the wife Friday night
Popcorn in the bowl
I had a bag of popcorn today
Wife sitting at my side
I had a smile, which lasted awhile
One I could not hide
They ask me why I’m so happy
Asking me, if I won a prize
I replied, I reckon I did
Today is a wonderful surprise
For some reason today I was thinking about C.O. Talbert and
how he would pop a bag of popcorn even though he didn't eat
popcorn. He did it just because he knew it would make everyone
want some. I always felt sorry for him. His life must have been
very disappointing. The moral here: when you learn to appreciate
the little things in life your popcorn will taste a whole lot better.
Riding an elephant
Down the narrow trail looking triumphant
Scanning the golden landscape
Like Hannibal with enemies in flight
Sight from a lofty height
King of the jungle moving
With lioness by his side
Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro
Guides by my side with packs on their backs
Some paths steep with rocks
Boots slipping below our tired feet
Beautiful birds in unison flight
Moving with terrestrial light
Stunning sunlight summit on the peak
Praying in an Ethiopian Church
Preserved in rocks built by humans’ hands
Never touched by conquest plans
Protected from the invaders’ footsteps
Queen of Sheba and Solomon’s nest
Touched by Arch of the Covenant
Mary, Joseph, and Jesus once slept
Eating yam, sipping palm wine, and tasting milk
Freshly squeezed by experienced hands
Taste of life in the mosaic grassland
Sustaining and soul refreshing
Cradle of humankind adorning
Invaded for its gold, riches, and human capacity
Birth of life on earth with tenacity
Respecting its living and arduous journey
Essence of life once was and is again to come
Riding a camel across the hot Sahara sand
Once wet now dried, exported gold from Mali…
Treasures from the hearts of once African empires
That which was, is, and shall forever be
Africa the birthing Motherland
We still love and respect thee!
Seventh Place Winner
"African's Pride" Poetry Contest
Sponsored by Adeleke Adeite
June 30, 2010
She danced across the heavens
Whirling and twirling in delight
She slid up and down creating images
With delight she colored the sky
She made no sound as she moved
She sculpted as she danced
Unique patterns unfolded
the heavens became her canvas
colors became more vibrant
Her colors changed with each breath
She danced merrily for hours on end
Until the final curtain was drawn
With the up coming dawn.