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Long Poems
Long poem by Brian Johnston | Details |

Driving Alone Through the Sand Hills of Nebraska

My love is light (a fairy kiss?)          
               Like the pressure of sunbeams on your cheek, 
        Ineffable, and yet capable of changing lives…
		Darkening skin to a more attractive hue, 
		Pushing spaceships to distant stars (given time) , 
		Even causing cancer given sufficient lack of love for self.
        For love is not about just getting needs met by another, 
        No, love is more like a laser's coherent beam….
                For in reflecting back a portion of what is given, 
                The power of what is being created grows
                Until it can cut through the hardest steel
        And span the gulf between galaxies.

Poetry too grows through the cross-fertilization of newborn lines, 
        The lines of this poem insist that I record their birth.
 	        Each new line grabs me by the scruff of the neck, 
		       Forces me to hit the brake, grab my pen, 
		       And claim it in my family bible…
	        My only children, clamoring to be set in ink.
         As these Voyagers' pass into the present state of my art
                (Some that I barely recognize in their profligate parentage
	               Of older verse's new verse's newer verse still)          …
		               Somehow still carriers of my own genetic code.
                They press my design against the blank page
	                Flying in search of, homing on… your heart.
 
My love's intent is simply truth (do you want less?)          
	 Would you have me downplay 
	 	The warmth of our connection
                        Because it is complicated by here-to-fore
			        Unacknowledged passion, spiritual connection, 
			        And the remnants of former relationships
			        (Even those still gasping for breath) ? 
		        Or feign a lack of attachment to it's denouement
			         In a solitary attempt to feel safer? 
	 No matter can restrain the effects of gravity
		On the orbits of other bodies in its field of influence, 
		 	Gravity that binds us all in deep wells of space-time.

 Your kiss of greeting…
	After so many years of imagining such a possibility, 
	Imprinted deeper than even my memory of our first meeting, 
		Our moonlit shadows touching as we soaked naked
		In the steaming waters of a volcanic mountain spring.
	This new conjunction of souls occurred in God's clear view, 
		Without artifice or scheming on our part
			And rocked my inner core to it's depths, 
	Organizing molten currents of confused turbidity
	Into a magnetic flare of such intensity
		That iron flew to my spine
	Inspired me to finally declare my love
		To acknowledge your impact on my life…
	And after a period of gestation
		Gave birth to this poem of celebration.

 Back to Nebraskan reality and a new mystery…
	I pass an overturned car, 
		Its wheels tied by yellow police tape, 
	A metaphor for my life perhaps
		'Damaged but still salvageable.'
	The windows are broken out, 
		The occupants removed to a distant hospital somewhere
			(Hopefully arriving alive) , 
		Their odds and ends of life scattered like garbage
			On the inverted ceiling of their car.
	The explanation, perhaps, is the water still standing
		Several inches deep on the road side near the wreck? 
	A sudden orgasmic release of cloud in a desert….
		The car tops the hill to find the highway
			Buried by a lake of dimensions only God can know.
		Who would expect such a thing in Nebraska's sand hills? 

And what does it say about me finally
	That I am so drawn to distant objects, 
        That the two women given access to my heart are
		Both still tied to failed marriages
			By dark chapters I am not part of
			And innocent children who need their love? 
	And at our age where is the partner without a past? 

 Is this all that God has planned for you and me, 
	That we 'just miss' every thirty years or so? 
		I know there are times I am afraid to trust another's love, 
			Cannot even hear words of genuine affection.
		Perhaps this explains my attraction to women
			Whose availability might really be in question? 
		Maybe I'm afraid to let a real lover in? 
			Is the simple dream of love a better choice
				Than the chance of finding real love anew
				(Even love with an expiration date) ? 
		I think I'm more distrustful of my own heart's passion
			Than I am of women being unreceptive to my love.
		Do you struggle with similar feelings? 
	And is it my lot to only remember passion like this in a poem
		While you spiral away to unimagined rendezvous'? 

The coldness of space is not after-all
		The simple absence of heat…
	No, in human dimensionality it is more the absence of others…
		Others who both shine life force toward us
			And reflect our own light back to us, 
		Who collide with us physically and emotionally
			Altering our pathways forever, 
				And who crater the façade whose design
				We imagine belongs to us alone.
	The void of human space-time is a true 'black hole'
		Sporting only star death fragments of the 'Big Bang.'
 
This is all I really know…
	I treasure the memory of our 'fly-bys'
		Even if that's all they ever are.
	And if I'm lucky this joy, 
                This celebration of your existence, 
	Will continue to pour out of me in songs and verse…
		For your ears always (if I am so honored) , 
			For God's heart (as I was born to honor Him) , 
	And to the stars alone if I have only them for company.

Brian Johnston
August 2009
     
This poem, like 'A Walk Near Blunt, ' began during an actual drive from South 
Dakota to Oklahoma and then took on a life of it's own. These 'real life 
narrative' poems are part of an attempt on my part to give precedence to truth 
and content over form and rhyme. For readers with an interest in science, I 
hope you also enjoy my attempt in this and other poems to bring my love of 
Physics into the world of poetic imagery.


Long poem by Glenn Johnson | Details |

MY JOURNEY TO YOU

Little eyes search a new world . . .
  The gaze and suckle for food, body and soul.
     A tiny heart tuned to the glow and tone of love.
         Compelled to bond . . . drawn to the love gaze
             Mother . . . Father
                 Chosen in soul’s life quest
                     Spiritually . . . what was known
                         now obscured by soul’s desire to be flesh.

How was I conceived?
   An act of love, desire, need, lust, passion?
      Unconscious of my own conception
   The invisible participant
Life’s mysterious ménage a trios.

In the beginning was the word
  Your sounds in my mind and mouth.
                  Coo and babble.
The ancient celestial winds swirled in my lungs.
The divine conductor orchestrated the mystical moment: 
                    ma ma. . . .  da da 
                  Did you truly hear me?

My hands on a chair . . .  the letting go . . . timid steps into the great void  
  wobbling legs, diaper descending, butt naked, I toddled 
                                    pudgy arms reached to you.
                                           Were you there?

Being born oblivious provides no insulation
  when delivered into the acetylene torch
     crossed and frayed wires of bitter parents.
Explosions of rage . . . too sudden for small and toddling legs to escape.
    Tender senses scorched. 
                         Heart seared. 
                      Terrified.
Mind’s burrows dug deep beneath the conflagration
                   Huddle and tremble 
        Await signs of fire storms extinguish.

Calm?  
   A fearful crawl to the surface
      Barely exposed
          Eyes cautious 
     Deciphering the face of mother then father:
        Ashen 
             Exhausted
      Eyes, searing embers.
 They trudge through rubble 
                           cinders
                 charred corpses of words
                   shouted . . . threatened 
                hearts guarded, armored.

Words the mistaken enemy 
    Instigators of continued marital strife
       Silence a simmering refuge
          Frost bitten eyes of evasion
       Shielded, scorched hearts
    Tolerated phantoms they
An endless cold war in a place called home.

                       . . . Love . . .
            A mere obligation to a vow?

                       . . . Love . . .
A mere arrangement of consonants and vowels?

A child’s confusion:  
        Mother . . . Father 
  Did I lose the magic to enthrall?
        Did I fail you?
What did I do to lose your love?

Still the yearn for the joy that welcomed my birth.
   I was your precious one 
      Your bright eyes
          My joy of your joy
             My delight of your delight.

Vague memories of enfolded fondness
                tender embrace 
                serene snuggle 
               oneness of a we.
               
Time and again . . . the fearful crawl to the surface
  Decipher the face of mother then father
    Vacant gazes to anywhere but each other
      Mutual strangers carving a frozen asylum
   Indifference their drug for festering wounds.
             You . . . phantom to phantom 
                  become my phantoms.
            Your vacant stare my vacant stare.

The need and want of love:  
                  How can I rekindle your love?
                A desperate search for fuel.
I gather kindling in all that I do: school, sports, honors
       The ritual marches to deliver pleading offerings.
                      A love shrouded in absence
               I look down at my accomplishments:
           Mere twigs and sticks, decayed dead wood
                     food of ungrateful insects
                              Arms weaken 
                    Burden and tears fall to earth 
                  Healing is a foreign and alien place
               The decision final 
            Never again return.

A youth’s anguish: 
    I hate you for bringing me into your hell.
        I know my place . . . 
            Mind’s burrows dug deep beneath the carnage.
                Isolation . . . the numbness of drugs oblivion.
                     
                            Miracle of Miracles

                 Transformation . . . Before my eyes!
             Girls all about me . . . beauty. 
       A bolt of lightning, a direct hit, burrow piercing radiance.

Wild scramble to the surface.
                    Drawn to the love gaze 
                          a boy . . . a girl 
         chosen in soul’s life quest to love, be loved.

                                   You . . . I
                      Our limbs and hearts entwined  
                           Ethereal blazing stars               
                           Creator’s gift in deed.                  
                                                 
                          Born of wounded hearts
                         Witnesses to love's rebirth 
                                 A solemn vow
                 Spoken man-child to woman-child
                           In all our imperfection
                     In times of anger, hurt and fear
                 . . . No matter how difficult the task . . . 
              . . . No matter how great the challenges . . .
                         . . . together we will stand . . .
                                  . . . arm in arm . . .
                           . . . embrace to embrace . . 
                                . . . heart to heart . . .
                                  . . . soul to soul . . .
                    . . . Learn what we were never taught . . .
            . . . Give each other the words and touches that heal . . .
             . . . Our togetherness a true labor and gift of love . . .





Long poem by S.Jagathsimhan Nair | Details |

The story of history

The Story of History  

Beyond those beaten days’ depleted daylight
Beyond the bathos of a pandemic bondage
With  the resurrected  sashay’s charmed night
Down in the dumps   at the pretentious  proscenium
A  shy  orchestration sans bark and bite
Afloat in  the  air  of inarticulate mind games

Intuitive rains,  first ever, like the touch of Midas 
Informed  dense minds  and filled  their dented bowls
Birthing the quartet of Vedas and similar works
There was this epic, longest ever , they say
Bales and bales of tales in miscible moral wraps 
With a natal nugget, on  tall righteous props
The Mahabharata with the Gita, like Mata,  Pita

And its transcendental twin  revered more
For  a daily hosanna..the Ramayana with a deep lore
Banish-evil-battle-cries, confronting  blasted minds
Search lights, self’s  unfoldment  and its kind

Her  children  made but never did dig history
But loved digging up its bedraggled mystery
To find bone dry drains, history’s torn veins
Below multi layered mud and muddled bricks

Twisted  and labored logic on  tensile testaments
Sites that suffered blights thru unknowable nights
To find the four  battens , the debacle, to follow
Someone on the way labeled it  Harappa .

All the while Light ruled, but rigours too brewed
Calling often for a reordering of ways  so crude
Then there were slices of truce..
 The Buddha..Shankara..

Of  collapsed  black holes the horizon  was full
Faded for once their  gravitational  pulls 
Exploding back as eternal stars ..
Kalidasa, Aryabhata…

Alongside kings ruled and kingdoms rolled
‘ Ruler’-coaster-rides  on thrones and thorns followed
Till bandit chieftains erased the all important lines
To the dance of dust from an advancing west
 Battling  to drop anchors on motherly chest.

Bare-faced brigands. Among their odious offspring
Some stood out to shine with a stupendous ring
Either putting up   statecraft’s show pieces
Or  scripting  epitaphs in  eponymous edifices

Till dissipated and deterred they too heard
The trenchant  call of folks  come from far  to trade
That would spell , in time, your damnation
In manacles of measured manipulations.

Against  its prolonged , protracted reticulation
Rose legit  gripes from  gregarious  formations
That would coalesce under the one and only Gandhi
Into  their momentous waking into life and freedom

Split up, as it were, into  two bickering fragments
To play fitfully, for ever, their petulant fiddles
Averse to complement under demagogic detours
Falsely comfy under the convenience of  inheritance

                               -2-

Six decades of self rule on, your children feel conned
Not for failed hopes, but for the disharmony that haunts.

An  one- sport -nation fixated  with a fixing -fame-game
Movie-obsessed , and with  its TV 
Blank beyond trivia and brand names.


Money and food are no problem  for many
But, for too many, they are; vehicles are plenty
But roads aren’t ;  laws are varied and abundant
Some redundant , but every  pervert who counts
Interprets them different and funnily  implements.


Health care wears a five star halo sans humaneness.
It never frees a dying adult or kid from its kinky tubes
Nor permit  the company of kin to them  for one last time
Ignores the terminally and  unmovably sick stuck at home.

Agriculture does well, but farmers don’t ,.. and kill themselves
Petty  retailers  are swell making a killing, selling farm produce.

Stupidity grows muscles to muzzle humanity 
Hunks grow on  vitamins, video games and vanity
 Freed millions  press after pelf and power, plays hell
With the  weak and  the women , their perennial fair game

Profiteering,  covert, overt, and  across the board
The sick, the student, the seeker after any service  
Any  victim or one with a gripe being its victims
That’s by the very cream , no less, all the same
 Media scream with scam and spam all the time
Even the ones,( that’s about all), with their own aims
The combined  do’s of brash bravado and venality 
A  rash on governance   and a blot on name.
Effete ethics  and moribund morals, seniors mumble..

‘Equality before law’  means ’ Advantage to the outlaw’
Freedom for the grabs means  restraints to many
Succour  often hard-to -reach and  reaching-too-late
Louts and lousy offices dot street corners and roads

Governance press after  targets  too disparate 
To cohere or collaborate towards  a  wholesome goal,
Leaving holes for private or pet agendas to infiltrate.

Front-end-folks or  prickly pears?
Menace, malice, avarice,  lies, police…
Unrestrained delight in deliberate discourtesies.
Why -dad-anyway-Why- not- call-him-uncle-attitudes…

What does not tempt is in for contempt,
Being irreverent to the important, and indifferent
To the different,  is the norm and the trend.

Democracy could well slip into demonocracy  
Like when “Two wolves and a goat vote to decide dinner”**
In the absence of the Will to lift it to meritocracy?


PS:  This poem ( 100 lines, 777 words, as it turned about to be ) is about INDIA, my country.
*”Mata, Pita ‘  mean   Mother, Father
** Based on a quote seen somewhere.

S.Jagathsimhan Nair,  26 May 2013,

For Cyndi  MacMillan’s contest.


Long poem by Joel Lee | Details |

Unfinish

A Dark Identity

Days into nights... time without time
Normalities of everyday life beckons to remain
Shadows with lights.... to find to define
I am he who goes by without a name

The world is only up to date
And I’ve decided no more to follow
Bearing time to finally relate
Yet a self I’m to find to wallow

He who walks without an identity... walks alone
And he who walks alone needs be proud
Yet walking forever without finding a home
Have I that heaven beyond the clouds?

I cannot see either far or near
I cannot be to be neither nor
I’m listening... I cannot hear
I’m at peace... I’m at war

I did not know... am I suppose to?
I know I’m alive... is that enough?
Yet, rather not to know than knew
For knowledge shall never last

A mystery if not yet to be
That one mysterious hope to be searching for
I have dreams but what did I see?
I have no one... not one I can call

A darken need shall heed not words
For the dark shall rise as light
The fade will be a promise to be heard
For shadows are without night

And I started to listen distractedly
Hearing for what my eyes cannot see
A hallucinatory moment ever constantly
As I began to believe that of what cannot be

The instant my eyes close
My mind drew as suppose
Sketching a stand alone amid a world once seen
Of ranging fires to have had believed as a dream
And there I was... a lone figure enveloped in darkness
With crossing flames alight yet from a distance as useless
Left as I was before... I am to return as I am
Reliving once more this beginning with never the end
Thus did I continue my path away from the bloodshed
Carefully as one had hoped where a darker darkness be led
No more do I wonder what transported me here
To only know for certain I am riddled of constant fear

“Fear is a fire
To temper courage and resolve
Be it desire
To quench the thirst for one’s unfounded lost”

And there it was... words barely a whisper
Where it came from... no longer matters
For the intended vigor were already cast upon
Serving me with renewed purpose for a sense to belong
Before long, beyond doubts... my callings were clear
The source from where it first began was indeed here
Almost startled, I looked around knowing I’m blinded to see
Too dark as it was, had it not been a lighted green to be
And there it was... a single light beyond the almighty dark
That one greenish light to aid one’s lonesome heart
Rather peculiar for I haven’t notice it before
And naturally I am to walk towards the green grandeur
Flickering and wavy as I drew closer to my destination
Seeing finally for what appears to be the least of expectations
Astonishingly, it was a lantern where within was the sighted fire
And simply the fiery green alone ignites ever on in dire
Levitated in midair, it stands rigid with its haunting presence
With an aura more deserving then welcoming of essence
So mesmerized I was... I wanted to behold
That of warmth for perhaps deliverance from cold
A dare if not, if only, if I must
A flame to embrace, a curiosity to engulf
And surely... I lifted my hand with only a wanting touch
Surely but unknowingly... the flame itself is to parch
Sparkles of green eludes and transcends about
As well an aria, an ancient tune goes aloud
To only see to believe, perhaps my life to perceive
Yet the question being... what did I achieve?
Smoke arises... wavering, quivering, settling...
My time... misgiving, misguiding and misleading
And there he was... rather it be
A human?... isn’t to be I see

“A dark wanderer, perhaps a lone wanderer alone
Regardless... a stranger afar returning home
Have you the teachings bequeath upon you?
From a once being of a knight who knew
For he alone stands unnerve by another
Serving a purpose to hold true forever
The resemblance I see forth leaves me incertitude
Both as mortals... though only he remains in servitude
Yet... my appointment upon you is clear
I am to you drawn as you to me when you hear
Nevertheless, far too long were you of absence
And once more I am in honor to be in your presence
It never is clear what the heavens contrive
For this unsung war... humanities were birth to strive
Every one mortal given birth were forged for war
To ensure the survival of humanities and of peace to befall
For many years this bloodshed wages in dire
Almost as certainly, the spirits of men responsively tire
No more are there ideas nor hopes they are to see
Battling on for pure survival remains what leads them be
Your return however, will perhaps set the tides in our favor
Though I know not the intention, I do not disregard altogether
Do not let the reasons why you have returned cloud your mind
I ask of you rather to remember who you once were to define
The land of The Ancients is never a quest for truth to seek
Purely for good to triumph over evil is the only idea you will need
Prepare yourself well stranger, for good will always be in disguise
Treachery and deception as often will never in itself be a lie
The unforgiving way is still a long one I’m afraid
However well is Heaven to plan... evil as always will await
And until out time will once more cross between us
I assure you... your time in this world will outlast”


Long poem by Robbie Butler | Details |

Meaningful Screw You's

I'm done with this I've had enough of this/
Slushy trip since Hell Paso son just quit
This empty pursuit
Of letting the past keep livin' through you/
Go ahead and equip the damn truth
It is that simple to choose
What state of the neighbor of the temple you use
But you're just so adamant to worship/
Every preliminary negative
Which is why you have sentiment for those sedatives
Want evidence man your head has been/
Set on making your *****Titanic as
You steer into a gigantic crash/
Without any ****ing idea what effect thy absence has/
On the kids and on me too/
My heart feels ripped the honest truth/
To see you empty as your holes in the wall
You're like a ghost to us all/
Pale as the Seroquil pills you down/
I want to help but under the meds what you feel gets drowned/
I have the inauspicious fear you'll end up just like Tommy
That's why I pray every night/ I can't lose you Robbie


You have no idea 
What it's like
To watch you die
Every day
Every night
All the time
You can't even see that I am
Here with you
By your side
But as much
As I try
You deny
That I fight
For your life then I scream that
To me your life's meaningful (good riddance) 
But I'm 'bout this close to sayin' **** you (you idiot)
To me your life's meaningful (good riddance)
But I'm 'bout this close to sayin' **** you (you idiot)


Why can't you just forget the past
Take some time to look at the bigger picture and not be back in a flash
We're Kruger (pronounced close to sounding like Kroger)/ the fear you helped restore gives me bags
And I'm beyond tired of takin' attacks from your last-
Ing grudge for my darker days/
I love you but I wish to part our ways/
There's only so much my heart can take
In terms of holes and you immerse me in 'em the Spartan way/
It's not our choice we're physically far away/
And yes half the reason is me that our spark gave way/
But this time it's your fault that our world is shaking
You shut me out because the ears of another girl were waiting/
It seems that even for Britney your concern's decaying
It's ****ed up/ 'cause you never acknowledged how much I changed/
'Cause of our rapport me and my fam are pretty much estranged
**** these games you love to play/ 'tween now and then nothin's changed
Good luck not lovin' me as much as pain


You have no idea 
What it's like
To watch you die
Every day
Every night
All the time
You can't even see that I am
Here with you
By your side
But as much
As I try
You deny
That I fight
For your life then I scream that
To me your life's meaningful (good riddance) 
But I'm 'bout this close to sayin' **** you (you idiot)
To me your life's meaningful (good riddance)
But I'm 'bout this close to sayin' **** you (you idiot)


For a year it's been suicide with clues to find solutions I/
Don't think you're usin' my heartful l advice/ damn dude have I
Not been full of time so you could find/ reasons for you to not be blue and live/
But everytime I cope a sit and let you vent/ you walk off and do the opposite/
Talk about exhausted *****try listenin' to all your promises
And problems it's/ a shame how it's all turned out
I'm so burnt out/
I'll be the last to say this won't work out/
If you take your anger out on me again like I'm a dating spot/
Speakin' of those feelings that you refrain from not (knot)-
Icing was it honesty/ or rants of despar (as in spar) ity exasperated by deprav (as in im"prov") ity/
Or is there a real fervor (as in carni"vore") for me
If so then why you ignor (same as above) ing me/
For a Vai's you say you are not strong enough to close
Go **** yourself with a rubber hose
I don't care where the **** it goes/
I was there when no one was and this' the thanks I get
Never was I a dick to you so why'd you wank me *****/
My tears have turned into repressed anger/
For you a brother to me now a depressed stranger
That I have to put up longer than my dress' hanger


You have no idea 
What it's like
To watch you die
Every day
Every night
All the time
You can't even see that I am
Here with you
By your side
But as much
As I try
You deny
That I fight
For your life then I scream that
To me your life's meaningful (good riddance) 
But I'm 'bout this close to sayin' **** you (you idiot)
To me your life's meaningful (good riddance)
But I'm 'bout this close to sayin' **** you (you idiot)


Long poem by Brian Johnston | Details |

Yuliya's Father's Cottage Part 1

The ride to the country is uneventful
Except that I feel a little like
A man riding inside a cannon ball.
Yuliya's father Igor drives
I'm also up front (the honored guest)         
While Yuliya, her mom, and brother
Fill the back of the small station wagon
As we hurtle along roads unfamiliar to me.

There are fewer potholes than in Leningrad
And no pedestrians to be afraid for
Though Russian drivers seem not to care
(As if car ownership sets one apart) .
Spring is a lush green here as we leave 
Flatter open spaces and fields near town
And enter a more rolling terrain
Forested by trees planted for lumber
With patches that are clear cut, 
Like a crowd chopped down by machine guns.

The war relics and memorials that mark our passage
Remind us that this is a road won by Russian blood
And not man's sweat alone.
We leave the main road
And the pavement narrows, then disappears.
The car vibrates to the familiar corrugations
Of soft dirt sculpted by rubber tires.

We cross the bumpy trestle of a train
In a country village with a rustic platform
That signals a return to a simpler life
For commuters or holiday travelers.
The pavement returns briefly
And we stop at a small shop.
Bread, I discover, tastes better in the country.
 
Soon we leave even the dirt road for a trail
More passable to people than to cars.
Small cottages pass on both sides, 
Some are tightly shuttered as if asleep, 
Others sport a wisp of smoke from their chimneys
Or a colorful smile of clothing
Hung on a string between trees.
But one must drive slowly
For the road is not maintained
Except by the hands of those who live here, 
This rural community it seems
Has no Public Works Department.

Before I'm ready, we have stopped
And I realize we are 'home.'
I like the little house at once, 
It has no desire to be what it is not.
I imagine that it is winter -
How quickly would its rooms be warmed
By the simple wood burning range.

In a scene from a favorite Russian film -

	Yuliya and I step from the troika
	Alone like Zhivago and Laura.
	The house is piled high with snow, 
	The horses' breath surrounds us like a cloud.
	The little stove lights quickly and
	Our bodies absorb its heat like a sponge.
	Content, we pour the excess on each other...
	And dream that we will be safe till Spring.

A picket fence surrounds the house, 
Adds value to the yard it shields.
I've always liked a picket fence, 
They have unique integrity -
A stranger always can look through
And can, of course, also be seen.
Still, such a fence handles the task
Of telling others where they stand.
 
Igor unlocks the gate
And as we open up the house
He moves the car inside.
The cottage has been newly purchased.
Igor is happy to have found it, 
Proud that it belongs to him.
Yuliya and her brother Sergei
Are less excited, their friends are far away.

The building looks sound and has two heated rooms -
A kitchen and a living / sleeping room.
A glassed in porch affords some extra space
Especially for our spring time trip.
It has electric power and lights
And yet, conveniences are few.
The only water is an outside spigot
(Located near the door)         
With a bench where dishes can be washed.
Water is stored indoors in milk cans
As water only flows during certain hours.
A wood burning stove is the only heat
Though a propane burner helps with the cooking.

The yard slopes down to a corner
Where Igor has parked the car.
This is also where the outhouse
And a small shed for storage are located.
A lean-to in back of the house
Holds split wood for the stove.

An orchard and a terraced yard reveal
Another gardener has loved this place
Though many of the plants, 
Fruit trees, and shrubs need care, 
A weeded patch of strawberries, 
New flowers, and some cultivated shrubs
Suggest the family will be good stewards.
In speaking of the previous owner
Yuliya tells me in passing that
His children do not live in Russia, 
And somehow this explains his absence.
Still I think kindly of the man
And hope another garden knows his touch.

Brian Johnston
Part 1 of 2: A trip to the Russian countryside in 1990


Long poem by Therese Bacha | Details |

My Friend MY PEN

                                   My Friend My Pen.

Moments ago my world has gone grey my lover who for years 
has governed my entire creation is walking away. 

My energy failed me i felt cold when my dark mind went astray 
I could not understand why? why I had to judge him hold a grudge 
against him his reasons should be justified hopefully one day. 

Staying home alone could not calm my storm
Wanting to talk and share my pain I searched for 
Someone but it was all in vain nobody was free
Friends were passive and non receptive. 

My persistence pushed me to climb up my favorite tree 
And find my old friend my pen which cannot talk or walk 
But knows whats in my soul will search to find a way to give
Me hope to accept & cope that my lover was walking away 
And my world was turning grey.

My Pen 
And I worked as a team for years forces me to dream 
Lifts me up high when I start to sigh encourages me 
Not to frown but to smile and comply to forget that my world 
Turned grey because i was about to be given away as a prey
Due to my lover walking away.

My Pen 
Stood by me when my days got cold & nights 
were dead as i refused to be fed i did not want 
to hear or fear that i should be ready to obey 
that my lover was walking Away.

My Pen 
My friend convinced me to stay as a mistress and 
begged me nothing should come to an end please 
defend his fate and admit to submit your love to 
him before he goes away as maybe someday he'll 
come back on any other day. 

Leaving my friend My Pen hanging alone on the tree 
I felt an uncontrollable urge to run be free to hold his 
Picture take a glance just a glance but in seconds tears 
Started dripping out of it. I sat on my rocking chair 
Staring through the night carrying my pain in my heart.
 
I needed to stay speechless not even a wink of hope 
Having no right at the moment to end it here i knew 
what i had to be doing I needed to remain his hero 
even helpless i will love my lover remembering years 
ago when our path crossed each other we froze stunned 
locked our eyes and uttered the unspoken It was love at 
first sight.

My Pen woke me up one day to open my mail I found a 
note from My lover unexpectedly my breathing stopped 
the excitement to search through his soul gave me the 
reason to jump and read. It said:

My Darling:
I have a confession to make why i walked away 
Let us connect to talk as it feels a lifetime has gone by
During your absence the clock is ticking our now will 
Become a past i beg you heal my pain and allow 
Me to recreate the moment that could last forever
As I never lost my passion loving you.

You have to understand the gravity of my sickness 
i pray to have a second chance as my thoughts were 
out of control had to take my own punishment in silence 
the day i woke up with no memory because of those attacks 
I was giving you a hard time but i loved you since day one.

When i am awake even when my thoughts abandon me 
i feel you are my a-liveliness does that make any sense to you? 
Wait for me help me build the ruins around my brain
allow your miraculous hands to cure me.

Due to my medications nothing makes sense to me anymore one 
day I am here another day I am unaware who I am how I look 
What I think where am I will I live will I die help me feel 
Anything something help me to heal.

My Pen my friend dropped from my hand leaving me alone 
to sink and think. Suddenly i felt my pillow was wet my forehead 
was sweating my whole body was shaking I have to let him 
Comeback like nothing ever happened I called out loud 
Come my way and stay. I love you my man my lover.
I dialed his number.

                         Thank You My Friend
                               "My Pen".
                            9/12/12
                                Terry.


Long poem by Cyndi MacMillan | Details |

SUNDAY SOJOURN

                                                                                                    July 2000



It’s early morning, Sunday, midsummer. I have the kitchen to myself, and I decide to make an omelet from the brown eggs and farmer's cheese that I bought at the market, yesterday. The house is still, save for the sound of the fans and the occasional squeak of a floor board. I consider turning on the radio, but change my mind. How often do I allow myself silence? 

Tea is steeping, a blend called Nile Pearls, and the aroma of pineapple fails to overshadow the black currant. I’m still in my nightshirt. Day can wait. The view from my window makes me smile for my herb garden has gone quite riotous.  I decide to make my simple dish more flavorful. 

Pushing open the screen door, I pause, stretch and lift my face to the sun. The thermometer is sure to climb over 30 today but, right now, it is comfortable. Stepping off the deck, my toes are grateful for the coolness of the grass, the absence of tight shoes, those self-imposed feminine trappings.

my clean feet wet with dew – warm breeze
There is a feeling of sanctity, here. My garden is raised, built into a small hill that provides privacy, yet swallows yard space. I pause to sniff the lavender, let the week dissolve into soft, purple splendor. Pointless, really, to even try to ignore the rhubarb. It is a tyrant, defying borders, refusing to compromise its position. Enormous leaves rustle and I grin as a chipmunk streaks for the cedar hedge. I close in on the herbs, consider my options and snap off several long, verdant spikes. Close to fields, we have had our share of visitors, small frogs, grass snakes, rabbits, red tailed hawks, the occasional raccoon. Nature is taking back the encroachment of suburbia. I rip off a mint leaf, finger its fur and a movement catches my eye.
through thyme a snail inches towards my sundial
There is no artifice in dawdling. Often, I think that my small plot of land is enough for me. No adventure to the far East, no sabbitical on a windswept isle off the coast of Wales. Pleasure, riches, surround me. Perhaps, I will never see the Louvre, but then, in small ways, the Louvre visits my plain home.
a spider's web and my clothesline tangled
The neighbours tolerate my brown thumb, our patchy lawn and my horrid bird calls. They have witnessed the earth under my fingernails, encrusted knees , those afternoons I spent coddling seedlings. One keeps gifting me surgical gloves, a nurse who fights weeds with an antiseptic resolve. The gloves pile in a drawer, unused. I gaze at my roses, notice the gnawed growth, wonder who thinks them delicious. Smart wee beastie. The street is stirring, and my sojourn will end, soon.
the widow next door refills her new bird bath - empty nest
I search for a cloud, find one so far away that it appears otherworldly. Peat and black soil perfume the air. Inhaling, I accept a gentle invasion, a piercing that brings a deep sense of purpose and peace. For just one moment, I feel that I am not walking the earth at all, but that somehow, as impossible as it seems, the Earth just began to move within me. *written May 2013. I miss my herb garden!


Long poem by Samir Georges | Details |

Gods

It has come to be
such that we are risen
from the fabric of sustenance formed,
come to be
that there resides a structure
so rarely formed
beneath humble conditions
of stagnation and retention
in which the atom has come to grow,
from substance develop form.

These hands and flesh,
this fire and zeal that from absence flared,
grand constructs
that like others absorb
reforge, and retain.
How is it then, that matter has come to converse,
reproduce, recreate?
How is it that from this ore I make civilization,
how is it that from the space about I unsheathe sword?
And all that is within our reach
is like a sea of humble play dough
that yet threatens to drown us out.

So we are atoms that can reforge
In their own image remake,
look at the bonding of tree
and see with these curious eyes
a fortress, a stake.

Humble little cretins that scurry beneath the sky,
bitter little sprites stung deeply by defeat.
Lo it is only human
to suffer, to fall, to writhe
to cry out in supplication and victory all the same.
Human to take joy, roar with passion,
intent, to savor fragrance and flight
fervent upon our plight.

Yet look only to your nearest possession,
your last sentiment, harbored gift,
you who will one day possess the stars
you who have laid claim upon all
and it rests so easily in your palms.

And who
but the gods
was made to anguish?
Who but the gods
rose to care?
Who but maker, master
from mere hands create?
We stand above all else the makers of fire,
thunder, the benders of substance and form.
Young Zeus and kin,
milling subtly beneath the ire of titans,
our parents the sun, the earth, the depth of space;
in innocence shying away from our birthright
yet dare I claim what is ours:

Look only to your hand, the length of your sight,
the depth of your heart.
Look next upon the fated atom, the collapsing star,
the waning giant.
See then your magnitude,
young God astride the Earth.

See then that immortality is but the guile of innocence,
a child’s dream upon the night.
Here we are, learning to stand
our gaze locked surely to the maw of defeat,
we know that all there is must crumble,
we know that all we touch must change,
we know that we are shaper, sculptor 
not sacred nor divine.
Nothing but the children of stars,
birthed upon their godhood
and we need only claim our death,
stare down our demise,
learn that godhood is not given or granted
but once upon a twinkling star
comes birth and growth and complex form,
though tiny and frail it may be
has come to hold all the structures within me
that love and laugh and dream to see
the skies above so dark and clear,
it draws my gaze and thrills my depths
with the seduction of silence it calls me near.

The many gods of humankind,
yet too busy upon their strife
battling over mother’s teat.
I wonder if you will grow soon,
crown yourselves king,
stand tyrant before that which is free,
and how long till we relinquish this potential
before the certainty of matter?
How long till we truly learn
that gods are by their own substance humbled,
that gods are by their flesh curtailed,
nothing more than ashes
that before a star had flared.


Long poem by Brian Johnston | Details |

The Way It Is: Echo Poem 3

Afraid To Face The World

You may be the one to help redeem my spirit 
For you seem so incredibly inspiring. 
Anything I create I destroy 
Save me from destroying myself 
Oh potential Muse 
A wild vision I can't ignore 
A wild shade of cherry red 
Embrace my mind 
And I will embrace your soul 
Despair is the key to failure 
And with you I cannot fail 
And with you I cannot lose 
Let our imaginations bind together 
Let us make something magical happen 
I want to kiss you with my chain of philosophies 
Philosophies that are rational within reasoning 
For I haven't been rational lately 
I am afraid to face the world 
For why is the world so judgmental 
When one is at their lowest? 
So many times I have fallen apart 
Irrational circumstances bring major reactions 
Come to my rescue oh potential Muse 
Drive me wild 
Give me strength 
Touch me with your provocative appeal... 
Do you feel? 

Do you feel a little bit of attraction between us? 
This is so wildly tragic I can't explain 
I shall die a little... 
A moment of bliss.

Beauteous Victory
April 21,2014

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Rationality Is Way Over-Rated! 

Every true poet is my muse. Their poems, 
The cannon fodder of dreams exploded, 
(Feed me a dark crow) , even if they walk 
With only one leg, or have to be carried 
In the arms of, on the back of a friend. 
Even if they have forgotten their purpose, 
And only in fleeting lucid moments, 
Remember their days as a poet, 
Who could make sunshine last forever, 
A mere smile into Christ's death on the cross, 
I swear to God I will love him/her till death. 

And you, you blackguard of Hell's gate, 
This is your punishment, God's justice. 
I bite off your head and spit the bitterness out. 
I drink the warm blood of your still flapping body, 
A flagon of the sweetest wine at a wedding feast, 
My white shirt now bright red with your blood. 
In your days of merciless flight, did you ever dream 
That your death would bring such pleasure? ! 
Oh let me till death bring fear to the black heart 
Who cannot distinguish me from its next victim, 
Just by knowing I await you too, like Dexter. (1)         

And you, heart of every poet, dare to dream 
Of an absence of crows in blue skies 
For this is God's Grace that awaits you. 
Embrace the irrational, for the joy it brings, 
We are truly the children of God. 
In its time, what is low will be lifted up. 
God is real and His Love is your reward, 
Be your words without rhythm or rhyme, 
For your words are the words of a poet. 
And I do feel (though I am old and getting older) , 
You have a well earned place in my heart. 

Rage with Dylan ‘against the dying of the light, ' 
Like a child rest your head on my thigh, 
Rationality is way over-rated, 
Just open your heart to my poem and you'll see.

Brian Johnston
April 23,2014


Long Poems