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Long poem by Mario DE PAZ | Details |

Divine Comedy translation Hell Canto XIV

Because the charity of my native place
Obliged me, the broken branches I the picked up
Them giving back him, who was to debase.

Then we finally reached where had to leap
From the second turn to third, and just where
Horrible art of justice you can seep.

To best describe new things I saw then there,
I tell that now we arrived at a site
Which any plant destroys and impair.

The painful wood is like a garland tight
Around it, like is the sad moat to it;
Here we stopped step after step nearby quite.

The space was of sand arid and thick split
Not quite so different shape from the one
Which was by Cato’s foot canceled to grit.

O God’s vengeance, how  much you ought to stun
And frighten whoever is reading now
What to my eyes then manifest was done!

Of naked souls I saw many flocks to bow
And all together wretchedly to cry,
As they were subject to a wicked law.

Some people of them supine to ground lie,
Some other sitting down fully curled up,
And other walked around with no why.

People who wandered was a larger group,
And the less ones lying to the torment,
But expressing their grief with louder weep.

Over the sandy soil, with slow descent,
Were pouring  of fire very large flaps,
As snow on mountains with no wind extent.

Like Alexander in hot lands perhaps
Of India over his army saw
Flames solid down to ground  to collapse,

So he designed pawing the soil to draw
With his arrays, so that the vapor hot 
Faster lapsed if let alone to withdraw:

So fell there the eternal fire spot;
Making sand to ignite, like the tinder
Under fire, to double the ache shot.

With no rest were waved around to hinder
The miserable hands, just side by side
To send away from self the hot cinder.

I started: “Master, who are winner wide
In all things, except with the demons tough
Who our entrance at the door before tied,

Who is that big who is careless enough
Toward fire and spiteful and grim lies,
So it look like on him fire to snuff?”

And just that one, as had way to comprise
That I was asking my duke about him,
Shouted: ”Like when alive, as dead my guise.

If Jupiter ha to remove his smith’s vim 
From which he took the lightning acute
That my last day me stroke with will grim;

Or if  is tiring others to pursuit
At Mongibello where is the smithy black,
Calling “Good Vulcan,help me, and be cute!”,

As he made at Phlegraean battle attack,
And he darted me with his strength at all: 
He couldn’t have his happy revenge back”

Then my duke shouted with his voice so tall
So tall, that never so strongly I heard:
“O Capaneus, since is not yet small

Your arrogance, you more with pain are spurred:
No torment, except your angry wrath bad,
Would certainly be to your rage concurred”.

Then turned to me, and better aspect had,
Telling: “He was one of  the seven kings
Who Thebes besieged; had and still to add

Contempt has to God, no regard brings;
But, as I told him, his despites are then
At his breast very appropriate things.

Now follow me, and careful not, again,
You put your feet in this hot and  scorched  sand;
But always keep your feet in wood as den”  

In silence passed over to reach the land
Out of the wood where is a tiny flow,
Whose reddish color  my mind still disband.

As from the Bulicame the waters go
Which women sinners then among them share,
Likely that runlet through the sand went low.

Its bottom and too both its steep banks pair
Were of stones, and the edges on the sides;
So I realized that the pass was there.

“With anything else I have shown besides,
After we entered the main door just through
Whose trespassing ever nobody chides,

You did not notice using your eyes too
Overt as it is this present river,
Which turns off all little flames not few”

Of these words my guide had been the giver;
So I begged him the dinner had to feed
After the wish he brought in me with shiver.

“In the sea midst is a place of misdeed”,
Then told me him , “which has the name of Crete,
Whose kingdom under was chaste world indeed.

There is a mount which was of pride replete
For woods and water, which Ida had as name;
Now is a desert as thing to deplete. 

Rea then chose it as cradle to acclaim
Of hers son, and she at best him to hide,
When he cried, she sound shouting overcame.

A grand old man stands up the mount inside,
Holding shoulders at Damietta town
And looks at Rome as in a mirror side.

His head of pure gold is done and crown,
Of pure silver his breast and limbs are done,
Then of copper is made to the fork down;

The part below is built of iron dun;
Except the right foot which of faience is;
And on that foot more stands, the other shun.

Each part, except the golden one, rift has
As a disruption which drips just tears’ flow
Which, gathered, drilling in that cavern does. 

Their course in this valley deep falls and throw;
Acheron, Stix and Phlegethon they form;
Then through this narrow penstock down they go,

At last, there where more drop cannot perform,
Produce Cocito, and how is that pond
You can’t see here, but you shall see as norm”.

 And I: “If this stream has to correspond
To a source like that in our world up there,
Why too in this fount we it see beyond?”.

And he: “This site is round, you are aware;
Although you already walked that much,
Even moving left, getting down to fare,

You did not yet complete the circle such;
So that, if it looks strange to you this thing,
Your face should not wonder and touch”.

And I again: “Master, where is the spring
Of Phlegeton and Lete? Of one are still,
Of other you tell it’s of this rain fling” 

“With all these questions, I admire your will,
He answered, “but the boiling water red
Should have just solved a question you made still.

Lete you shall see, not in this hole of dread,
Where souls go to wash out their pain indeed
When their sin repented  has then been shed”

Then he told: “It’s time, to move now we need
From the wood, so follow and come me back:
Road is done by borders, which let accede,

And on them hot vapor will of course lack”   


Long poem by Mario DE PAZ | Details |

Dante's Hell translation CANTO X

Now is going on through a secret way
Between the martyrdoms and the ground wall,
My master, and I behind him to stay.

“Oh highest virtue, who me gently haul
In wicked rounds”, I started, “If you please,
Speak to me, and to my requests befall. 

The persons  who are in graves abductees
Might perhaps be seen? Because opened are
All covers, and too nobody guards these”

And he to me: “All will be closed by far
When from Iosafat they will come back
With their bodies which just there up left were.

The graveyard on this side happens to stack
Epicurus and followers them all,
Who make souls of dead corps follow the track.

But to the question you put with your call
An answer will be given in time short,
And also to untold  wish you enthrall. 

And I: “Good  duke, I just do not comport
To hide my heart if not to speak at less,
As you have always tried to me exhort”.

“Oh Tuscan going in the fire stress
Alive speaking in such an honest way,
Please stay more in this site and don’t egress.

Your way of speaking is a clear display
Of your indeed noble  homeland birth place,
To which I was nagging perhaps it may”.

Suddenly this loud sound came out to face
From one of the graves; so I went then close,
Fearing, to duke my guide a little space.

And he: “What are you doing? Don’t oppose! 
Now you see Farinata who stood up:
From the waist up you can see he arose”.

Yet I had turned my face his sight to clasp
And he with waist and forehead then stood
Looking as had hell in great spite to grasp.

And the lively hands of duke promptly could
Push me between the graves then towards  him,
Telling: “Your words be well weighed should”.

After I reached of his grave the rim
He looked at me, and then, scornful just a bit,
He asked: “Which is your original limb?”.

Since I was akin to his will admit,
I did not hide it, opening at all;
So he then scowled up the eyebrows well split; 

Then told: “Were fierce rivals, as I recall,
To me and parents and my partners too,
So that twice I could dispel them and maul.”

“If they were expelled, they came back, is true”,
I answered him, “And both the times indeed;
But yours this art were not able to view”

Then rose uncovered to my sight concede 
A shadow, along this, up to chin:
I think to rise on knees  it could succeed. 

It looked then me around as it had been
Anxious to see if any else was there;
And then after the suspect became thin,

Weeping told: “If you now in this despair
Prison are moving thanks to your brain height,
Where is my son? why with you doesn’t fare?”

And I to him: “Lone I don’t reach this site:
The one who waits me there, and is my guide
Maybe your Guido did not like his sleight”.

His words and the way too with which he cried
Already to know his name could allow ;
Thus my answer was so quickly implied.

Immediately pricked up he screamed: “How?”
You told:”he did not”? Does he not live yet?
Does not then lance his eyes the sweet light now?”.

When he realized that he did not met
Any word responding to his reply,
Supine fell and to show he did not let.

But the other noble, the reason why
I stopped there before, did not change face,
Neither moved his neck, nor bent his side by;

And replied keeping the previous trace,
“If they have that art”, told, ”so poorly got,
It gives me sorrow more than this bed place.

But less than fifty times of light will spot
The woman’s face which always commands here,
That you will know that art how weighs a lot.

And if your return to sweet world is clear,
Tell me: why that people is godless so
Against my guys in all laws to appear?”

So I to him: “The torment and ruin flow
Which the Arbia river colored red,
This speech in our temple makes then so low”.

After he sighing had shaken his head,
“I was not alone”, told, “And nor for sure
With no reason I moved with others then.

But I was alone, when hard to insure
For each one the city of  Florence save,
Who just defended it with open cure”.

“I pray, hoping your seed rests in this grave”,
I begged him, “You should now untie the knot
Which until now has knotted my speech wave.

It looks like you see, if rightly I caught,
In advance what in the future will be,
While in the present to see you cannot” 

“Like that one who has wicked light, we see
Future events”, he told, “which are still far;
This much our high lord to shine is yet free.

When things are closer or happen, vain are
Our arguments; and if no one gives news,
To know your human status is not our. 

So you can realize how we must lose
Any understanding from that point on
Which of the future the door must then close”.

Then, as by a sense of be faulty won,
Told: “Now to that fallen soul you shall tell
That his son away from life has not gone;

And if, before, I was not to retell,
Let him know I did it because I thought
In the wrong way, you after have cleared well”.

And my master already for me sought;
So that I begged the spirit onwards more
To tell me who to stay with him was brought.

Told me: “Here with more than thousand lay sore:
The second Federico is now here
And the Cardinal; others I ignore”.

Then he hid himself; and I walked near
The ancient poet, back thinking in the while
To those words which hostile might me appear.

He started to walk; and then moving so,
He told me: “Why are you so harshly lost?”.
And I satisfied his question aglow.

“Your mind has to remind at any cost
What heard against you, that wise could say;
“And now look here”, and up his finger tossed:

“When you shall be in front of the sweet ray
Of woman whose nice eye can just all trace,
From her you shall know of your life the way”.

He then after moved toward left his pace:
We left the wall and went the middle through
Making a path cutting a valley place,

Which up to there his disgusting stench spew.
 


Long poem by Neldy Jolo | Details |

THE CRAFT CAN CAPTURE IT

Oh well I got an angry email to begin my day
Because of my last post on the Jabidah thing yesterday
Galit sa akin but greeted me with Assalamu alaykum.
And kung personal Moro friends ko naman ito 
They know I don't criticize Moro leaders
I always leave that to them to criticize their leaders
According to my friends baka nasa gubyerno or something
Next time I'll write na lang about the sea and the palm trees and the beaches 

Pray and pray nalang para walang provocation
ako nga ang daming nag-message sa akin nagalit sa issue ng Sabah standoff
Ikaw pa kaya na wala namanng masama na sinabi dun
Alam mo ‘buti na lang you verbalized that kasi iniisip ko rin ‘yun
I know you have reasons and you know better kaya; I just read your posts
I don’t have to go against parties kasi both have rights
And the issue must be solved

Wala, kasi sa akin kundi independence lamang ang kailangan
May ganyan din kasing realities? 
Minsan you are being asked or expected to take sides
Yes, my side is peace – with peace is independence
Yes, I heard that sa dating Jabidah Massacre celebration
Somebody said that, “Walang kapayapaan kasi walang kalayaan”
And that is very universal, kapatid.

Moro or non-Moro and writing should always geared towards humanity
That’s why for me it “anti-humanity” if you will not listen 
Or suppress when somebody will talk about freedom.
That’s the problem with Filipinos, they don't listen.
Kasi the leaders may sarili ring interests.

How do you see being Filipino?
Ako, it's a cage, Filipino nationalism 
Agenda ng mga oligarchs and landowners 
Filipino nationalism is violence against Muslims and lumads
Kasi ‘pag ako ang tatanunginmo I will never say I am Filipino
Because Tausug it’s not a name but an identity...
I understand but kaunti na lang kayo

Ako sasabihin ko na I am a Filipino but I have reservations
When I was a teenager hindi ako tumatayo ‘pag Lupang Hinirang
ngayon tumatayo na kasi napapaaway ang mga kasama ko sa sinehan
Yes and identity should be critically assessed and examined.
Kaya if they say Filipino ang mga Tausug masakit sa aking loob
But not all, kapatid. try mo pumunta sa Manila
Yung mga Moro na malalapit sa mga institusyon ng Pilipinas
Bakit iba ang Moro at ibang ang Tausug
kaya sila naging Moro at masaya na tawaging Moro 

May identity na naiiba sa Filipino
Pinag-aaralan ko rin yan and ino-observe ‘yung pag-yield sa 'Filipino'
‘Will give Filipinos a disservice
Because it is tantamount to be an accomplice to a corrupt system
And this system is the one that oppresses Muslims
At alam natin ang Tausug di lamang taga-Sulu
Pati Bisayan, Tausug din

As much as possible I am trying to make my writings 'away' 
Away from Filipino nationalism
That's the right way for me and my writing
I will ask first, “How it is to be human?” 
At super last na ang, “How to be a Filipino” 
And the Bangsamoro struggle is the greatest critique to the violence
And failures of Filipino nationalism

Ang problema kasi kaya di successful ang Bangsamoro struggle
Dahil nagdadala sila ng pangalan na di naman originally sa kanila
How come ang pangalan ko ay Abdul sa rights
Gagamitn ko ang Juan para sa aking bayan?
Kaya war of ideas ito and alam mo naman sa akin, ‘pag ideas 
And perspectives walang kompromiso and peace talks 

I do not compromise my language, my craft and myself, my writing
Filipino is an imagined nation, as well as Bangsamoro
Bakit di natin magamit ang orignal nation natin 
Na based sa Sulu archipelago and Mindanao
Yes, actually diyan ako papunta - papunta

Bakit hindi i-Bangsamoro-ized ang buong Filipinas?
It doesn’t mean na i-convert ang Pilipinas 
But the spirit, the struggle it should mean something to Filipinos
It should kasi ang dami na nagbuwis ng buhay
Kaya ko pa na tanggapin kung Maharlika

‘Yan ang gusto kong ma-achieve: Filipinos should listen to Moros
Siyempre marami pang madidiscover along the way
Indeed. Ikaw ba ‘pag sasabahin ko na ‘Tausug’ ano ang maiisip mo?
Tausug is Moro and Moro for me is something that predates 'Filipino'
But now, I would like to know the concept of “Lupah Sug”
I want to know it, I think there are more and beyond Moro on it

Before ‘Moro’ was named to Mindanao and Sulu people
It was first name to Aceh people, Melaka, Brunei and then Manila
Sulu and Mindanao were the last places to have been called the name ‘Moro’
Sulu archipelago was united under the name Sulu archipelago 
The name of people is Tausug. 
Tausug is composed of different ethnics:
Arab, Banjar, Dampuan, Buranun etcetera.
The concept of Sulu as part of dar al islam 
Is already a nation and state 
Where the government is the people and itself headed by sultan or raja

Yes, and I would like to feel this from the ordinary Tausugs when I get there
I would like to experience this from ordinary Tausug and on from place itself.
In the hinterland of Jolo, their laws still on the ground not of Philippine law

I believe in narratives
I want to hear and feel this from the place and from the people.
And then capture it; I have these thoughts 
That Lupah Sug has something that the Moro concept does not have
And it’s a bit metaphysical but sige lang.

I know my craft can capture it.
I think there is a language that can capture it 
And specific craft that can carry its soul
Not fictionalize but put it in a form like a novel or a narrative
Which have their own logic and truths as crafts.






This poem is made after the conversation and sharing with Filipino writer Rogelio Braga who also serves as the editor of the poem. He is currently in Mindanao, travelling and writing; he will then proceed to Sulu Archipelago soon. 2:28PM, 19 March 2013, Facebook Chat across Sulu Sea!


Long poem by Cyndi MacMillan | Details |

SYLVIA, FOR CRAIG CORNISH, FOR ALL PLATH FANS

                         
                           It is a terrible thing
                           To be so open: it is as if my heart
                           Put on a face and walked into the world.


                                          Sylvia Plath, Three Women, 1962



_________________________________



SYLVIA

Sylvia, ever lucent, ever opaque,
an incongruity, a clever imbalance               
that spins collections her hounds facilitate.  
Failures and fractures she bravely lanced
with noncompliance. Reader, rebuff collars
labeled as forewords, smug introductions, 
for Plath’s voice is tenfold more a scholar 
than those receiving undue benedictions.    
Lofty beggars seek to bookend her words
and that empty space she instinctively refills
with her universe, a mayhem that girds,
unapologetic. Mirror images spill
over margins, searching for identity,
negating preamble, snubbing apathy.   

Negating preamble, snubbing apathy
with language that flickers, catches, combusts,
her volumes of wicks, her lit soliloquies,   
glint behind the stained-glass of trust.
There are those who are not really here,
they wander fault lines then crisscross chasms,
lost pilgrims who easily commandeer
unwary emotions. Some hearts just spasm,                         
pulled by their own nature, their delicacy,
for poetry is a weakness; poets die
between verses. Odes can become elegies.
The thin-skinned hear a snared rabbit cry,
and pray for the moonflower, always closing,
while cursing that page, unmoved and dozing.

While cursing that page, unmoved and dozing,
she corners rigid guides, keeps fingers poised,
synchronicity goes, the flow of typing
disappears, mislaid, that perfect noise
of a carriage return, a sound exclamation.
Joy is inspiration making its way home,
her Olivetti forages like a raven,
gifting found nouns, verbs that glare like chrome,
but love still flits, turns from hoarse requests,
and she longs for more than any man can give
for what snags worn ribbons will not rest,
it emits a strong beat, throbs as it loves.
Bless the bitter of life, all wisdom owing,
curse the open heart, its shadows showing.
  

Curse the open heart, its shadows showing,
for worldly delights take full advantage
of the wounded, their brokenness growing.
Everyday beauty wrings arteries, dredges
chambers with barbs, a prompt disobedient.
Fact, there’s no folder large enough to hold 
elation’s girth, no ink conveniently
on hand to black out depression. So, scold
the yew, its roots and branches reaching,
then poke at petals for being complacent, 
when all the while a candle is preaching
of give and take, surrender, luminance,
So, carefully archive apprehension,
revealing blue veins to tender lesions.

Revealing blue veins to tender lesions
requires much more than a room of one's own,
hours do dissolve, days lack cohesion 
when milk sours and tantrums are thrown.
Solitude is in short supply, loneliness,
however, is overstocked; her mind tugs      
at busy hands for attention, such darkness
contrasts to jammy smiles and sleepy hugs.
Elusive titles whimper each morning,
and short stanzas steep, so desperately,
all the while a manuscript is scorning
her swipes at dry crumbs, cold pots of tea.
A life sheds its months, gallows take delight
as sundials atrophy in the arms of night. 

As sundials atrophy in the arms of night. 
the moon blanches tidepools, suckles sand,
even the face of the clock is pulled too tight
and the new calendar can not understand
that writing is sex, is fresh bread, is air,
that time is a brute, quick fisted, rough,
that weeks come and go without a care
that a marriage vow is never enough
to mend adoration, repossess bliss.  
Words make better lovers, rarely stray,
upon her lips, the impression of a kiss
feels as cold as sheets then melts away.
Paper sops afterbirth, accepts her all:
fossil and seed, shackles and free falls.


Fossil and seed, shackles and free falls,
unlocking visions, defying any cage, 
art resists validity, upsets stone walls  
to scale the scarlet heights of a rampage,
to breach the barricades to euphoria.
She excavates id, bares teeth at ego, 
plays the parts of illusion and phobia
then infuses rhyme with soft indigo. 
Colossus begins to shrivel as Ariel
unmans him, riding hard upon metaphors,
and will remain strong, constant, ethereal. 
but curtailed are epics that still implore  
like the cusp of dream long after you wake

Sylvia, ever lucent, ever opaque.









 

 
* For Craig Cornish, whose contest inspired this piece. Thank you, Daddy-O. 




About this poem

This is my first crown of sonnets. It took over 25 hours to write, a full week of me-time! 

These are modern sonnets and the syllable count is extremely loose, intentionally, as it would seem odd to keep things too tight when writing of Sylvia. If anything, I regret not being even looser, altering syllable counts DRAMATICALLY. Also, I used a great deal of slant rhyme for the same reason.


I really wanted to capture Sylvia Plath with this poem, and it was a real struggle. Her language is so precise, and I wanted to do her justice. I had wanted to feel, upon its completion, that Sylvia would have said, "Well, it isn't quite horrible. Not bad for a novice. And there are parts of me there, but only the smallest bits." I do not feel I did this.  I feel like I didn't even TOUCH her mastery of language. But, it is good enough for now.. one day, who knows? 

Oh, Sylvia's typewriter was a Olivetti Lettera 22. It was portable!


Long poem by Demetrios Trifiatis | Details |

ETERNAL RECURRENCE

ETERNAL RECURRENCE*


----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 
“I am certain that I have been here as I am now a thousand times before and
 I hope to return a thousand times after.”  GOETHE 
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


1.

Once upon a time, 
The Lord of spiritual consciousness was sitting peacefully on His blissful throne 
Ceaselessly contemplating upon His equilibrium
T’ was the era of no moon, no sun, no stars, no earth, no oceans, no rivers
Just a motionless, timeless and deathless entity it was happy with His existence  

2.

Suddenly the thought of sacred motion was felt deep down in his essence
Seeking the chaos to be stirred from its core outwardly
Consequently separating the light from the darkness and all the other elements 
That constitute the Cosmos
Thus giving birth immediately to old mighty time

3.

When Time: This wizard of celestial art found himself alive
His expert hands stretched in advance, wanting to create
For that the plastic energy he took, that was everywhere around
And skillfully and patiently the Cosmos carved according to the Logos
Creating thus, the nebulae, the galaxies, the stars and all the other planets

4.

Then God looked at times creation and marveled with its beauty
But as there was no life to be seen in all of this creation
The thought of desire was born in God to inhabit every place
For that out of himself he cut myriads blazing souls
Which like shooting stars he sent downwards to animate nature,

5.

In this way, to manifestation’s cosmic sphere, the souls were beamed
Radiating their luminosity to reality’s lower planes  
Bringing with them the sacred principles to denser forms of life 
As they were passing from the spiritual, the mental and the astral
And finally materializing, themselves on the physical solid plane
Where life began on earth, with God’s will and grace!

6.

Each soul an ambassador was and is of God’s will and grace
A ray of divinity, a guardian of the Holy Law 
Each with a specific mission: to learn or rather to remember
How to find the way of return throughout space and time
And with the divine, again, to be seen in perfect equilibrium

7.

The day I was born, as every man alive,
I found my immortal self bound to the wheel of time 
That around eternity’s circumference took me, in very heavy chains
Asking to follow obediently the unswerving path of fate:
This endless trip of return where the only constant thing is change

8.

Since then I have died once and many times after
But death's dark palaces to hold me were unable
As my soul’s perpetual desire to follow my destiny
Brought me back to this ephemeral world of fleeting dreams
With a new body, new hopes, new goals but always with the 
Same desire

9.

Thus I journeyed back and forth the plains of oblivion
Choosing the best conditions I could, according to my karma
Trying to find endlessly the golden middle way 
That unmistakably between the extremes is only to be found
But since from the river of forgetfulness each time I was drinking 
I was obliged, unfortunately, to start over again

10.

So, I was born once a king and another was I born a beggar
And in turns I was born a coward, a hero, a holy man, a vicious man,
A  Christian, a Muslim, an atheist, an idolater a strong man and a woman
And healthy and sick I was born and intelligent and witless
And was I born to love so much the things I once detested
And to hate passionately the things I once held dear

11.

And I was born once to laugh and another just to cry
And I drunk successively from joy’s cup and that of sorrow’s
And was born to make friends out of my enemies 
And enemies out of my brothers
And was born to realize the impossible dreams and fail the very easy  
And I was born to slay and to be slain alternatively for thousands of years

12.

Thus I lived continuously the extremes of both good and evil
Striving to find endlessly the balance in my soul
Through the wisdom that was endowed upon me by the Great Spirit
That like a beacon, luminous, to guide me waits
To my supreme destiny that GOD for me has traced

13.

So, as was passing from life unto death, from darkness unto light
With a speed determined by me, I don’t put on GOD the blame,
All my lessons have I learned through trial and error
Up to the very last reincarnation, in body’s mortal temple

14.

Now free, AT LAST, from all earthly desires and every karmic blame
Radiating with holiness and glowing with grace 
My immortal soul, HER divine wings unfolds and soars upwards the heavens
White light blazing in perfect equilibrium 
And pure now to her glorious creator returns and with 
HIM UNITES! 


©Demetrios Trifiatis
  11 DECEMBER 2013


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
“A little while and my longing shall gather dust and foam for another body.
A little while, a moment of rest upon the wind and another woman shall bear me”
KAHLIL GIBRAN
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

* This poem because of its length I was unable to post it in one piece for I was not a
member for life at that time therefore I published it in two parts as: “CREATION” and as “REINCARNATION.” Here is the entire poem as it was originally written.
Now, my friends know that apart from my epigrams I write... long poems as well!    
  


Long poem by Mario DE PAZ | Details |

Divine Comedy translation, Hell Canto XI

On the extremity of  a tall bank 
Of big broken stones in round circle done
We reached up a more cruel clutter flank;

And there, for the horrible and strong stun
Of rotten stench which the deep abyss throws,
We then approached, from back, a stone lid dun

Of a large grave, where written words arose
Telling: “Pope Anastasio I see,
Who to Fotin the wrong way could impose”.

“Our getting down suitably slow should be,
So that we use not sense at first too much
Toward bad souls, and then at high degree”.

So my master; and I “No fee as such”,
Told him, “Finds the one who obtains that time
Is not lost”. And he: “My thought you touch”.

“My dear son, inside this stony grime”,
He started to tell, “Three small circles are
Grade after grade, as the one you just climb.

All are full of souls accursed by far;
And even if their view enough be might,
You may know why they have such a bar.

Of all evils, which blame in God ignite,
Hurt is the end, and any end is thus
With force or fraud to else a stinging bite.

But since fraud in man is wrong built in plus,
Displeases God; and for this are more low
Fraudulents, and have more sorrow and cuss.

Violent people have all the first bow;
But since three kinds of forces are in act,
It is shared in three turns I shall show.

To God, to oneself, to else is impact
Produced, either to them or to their things,
As you shall hear and feel quite well in fact.

Death with wildness and painful stings
To else are given, and to what he has too
Ruins, fire and whatever losses brings;

Thus killers and any who wildness grew,
Robbers and raiders, harasses them all
The circle first just for damned not a few.

A man can in himself roughness install
And in his goods too: but in the doors
Of second circle he has then to bawl

Whoever self  deprives in world of yours,
Bets and destroys his goods in full indeed,
And cries just there where joy ought to have corps.

One might too against God roughness mislead,
Within heart denying and cursing him,
Despising his nature and his good deed; 

For this reason marks in the lowest rim
Both Sodoma and Caorsa with his sign
And who, with heart against  God exerts vim.

Fraud, for which any conscience has to pine, 
Might man exert against whom gives him trust
And when a loan return has to decline.

This way of acting looks as breaking just
Even the bond of love which nature did;
So that in the second circle stay must

Cant, flattery, and who uses cheat bid,
Deceitfulness, theft, and simony too,
Pimps, fences and similar degraded.

Such way of acting then that love cuts through
Done by nature, and the one which adds next,
Which can a special form of faith accrue;

Thus in the minor circle, at the plex
Of universe where Dite happen to dwell,
Whoever deceives is forever vexed”.

And I: “Master, progresses clearly well
Your reasoning, and it shows clear  indeed
This abyss and folks which here live and  fell.

But tell me: that people in the swamp decreed,
Windswept, and hardly swept by rain,
And with harsh words to ever fighting cede,

Why aren’t they in the red town domain
Punished, if are that much in wrath to God?
And if doesn’t feel so, why in that bane?

And he to me: “Why is your mind so flawed”,
Told, ”your genius from usual is so far?
Or your mind by something else might be awed?

Don’t you now remember those words which are 
The ones your Ethics then well knows and wants
The three provisions which heavens bar,

Incontinence, malice and also taunts
Of mad wildness? And how incontinence
Less God offends of  people who it flaunts?

If you consider well again this sentence,
And recall to your mind now who are those
That just up there outside have penitence,

You see well how for such sinners it goes 
A different way, and why worried less
Divine revenge hits them but then less close”.

“Oh sun which aids any sight under stress,
You can fill so much my hope when you solve,
That, more than knowing, I like  doubts to guess.

Yet back just a little you should revolve”,
I told, “where is who with usury hits
The divine goodness, and the knot  resolve”

“Philosophy”, he told me, “If  brain fits,
Notes, and not only in one of its parts,
How nature always hers good pattern gets

From divine mind and also from his arts;
And if your Physics are perceiving well,
You shall find, and not after many charts,

That your art, when possible, to excel
As scholar with master, follows that one
So that your art can almost God propel. 

From these two, if your thought can also run
To Genesis from beginning, is right
To get  own life and surpass the outdone; 

And since the usurer chose a way trite,
Neither nature nor what it follows yet
Prizing, to pose his hope in else he might.

But follow me by now, I like sky set;
Since Fishes flicker on horizon up
And Dipper above Chorus is to get

And the flounce above there is our down step”. 


Long poem by T Wignesan | Details |

Is there an Exclusive All-in-One Principle

        
  ‘ In general, quantum mechanics does not predict a single definite result for an observation. Instead, it predicts a number of  different possible outcomes and tells us how likely each of these is. ‘

 
Which side of the Wolf-coin are we looking at

                  the red or the green

           
                                 nothing then is certain

not even death but the life one endures

             
 quarks protons neutrons electrons bosons

particles like men and beings in general

                                             bathe not necessarily in the same lifeless soup

         great teachers or rather teachers with great followings

     those that always attract those who prefer to let others do the thinking  for them

         especially through transcendentally transmitted interstellar telegraphy

                 would want us believe

                                             there’s just This One

  and all comes and goes to That Only ONE

        
If only it were just as simple as that

Then what is it that This One wants

Or is It caught up in its own caveat

And must of needs come apart

        on the seed that It alone plants

 
                           and do what we may

   nothing goes wrong

            whatever the explanation

everybody is right

right from the start

 

         Big Bang from a tight-fisted unfurling hand

         Big Crunch to a crushing tightening stranglehold

and out again

         for the Brahma Day

and after aeons the Brahma Night

 
And at the stillstanding blackhole singularity

         neither space nor time

            squeezed in and out

Birth as in Death

An eventual point of total extinction

        if ever there was one

 
Yet always the two extremes

      and the ever-changing in-betweens

Matter versus Anti-Matter

Here the Yang is not lkely to be set againt the Yin

Though matter itself is neither

Is nor Is-Not-ness

         And the 96% Dark Matter

          And the infinite number of parallel universes

Does it really matter

                                        when

 
         ‘ … if you meet your antiself, don’t shake hands !

            You would both vanish in a great flash of light.’                   

 
Vanish into what

                                    Dark matter

or just non-dark matter

 
Still the duality of matter

Still the ever-changing conundrum

 
              Everything moves jostles couples alters reproduces destructs

        self-destructs
 

         ‘Sex is emotion in motion.’

 
Emotion erupts

           into thin air

      into where

Dark air

 
Motion disrupts

         and roots one here

      tied to the lunar year

 
       why should it matter

if we cannot know the reason why

ego id libido

drive faith fame femme father future

 
if super/alter ego connects the ego

       to the collective unconscious 

     
       why drown the self in the Great Self

by wilful act

       when the Ultimate One

is the sum of all the little ones

 
Is the Original One incapable of absorbing all the ones

each of whom must move to eat drink sleep

copulate make money grow roots in a society

get and fight to keep a job

make love marry raise children

struggle to keep one’s wife one’s children        

one’s house  if one can get one

one’s career one’s future

and helter-skelter race to cheat death

 
If it’s the self-same thing that’s being born anew

What does it matter if it keeps changing in view

Of the desperate haste with which everything

We see smell hear feel intute sense

Keeps hurtling away from the Ding an Sich

And leaves us with a parochial Milky Way

Bastardised stealthily by grandiose Andromeda        

Left retrograded entwined within measely galaxy clusters 

Through some trillion cataclysmic light years

 
What’s the impulse to keep moving

Is the yogi’s stilled-centre

The death of all action

Which cannot call for a reaction

Or is the art of keeping still

Merely the art of making belief

 

          ‘…actors act out the pun that life is the art of acting

until your performed role becomes your normal character.

Then you are safe inside your character armour.’

 

As soon as you have thought It out

It turns around and re-structrures Itself inside out

                 and you know just why

                                                               don’t you now

 

References to the quotations

Stephen W. Hawking, A Brief History of Time : From the Big Bang to Black Holes, London-New York, 1988.

Ibid.

Attributed to Mae West.

Eric N. W. Mottram,  « Men & Gods : A Study of Eugene O’Neill », Encore (London), 1963.

I’m not sure the « re-structuring » bit at the end comes from
Steven Weinberg or John Gribbin, or perhaps even from Fred Allan Wolf ?

 

© T. Wignesan – Paris, 2005 ; rev. 2012. From the collection : Poems Omega-Plus, 2005.


Long poem by Leon Enriquez | Details |

EASTER SUNDAY

(Notes: 
1.  Ancient esoteric teachings state that
"The Christ" is the divine blueprint for the man
imaged in the likeness of God. This is the divine
destiny for each soul that walks the path of life.
2.  This is the final destiny of all men of goodwill,
and belongs to our collective humanity, regardless
of spiritual affiliation. 
3.   "The Christ" bestowal is for all mankind and 
is all-inclusive. 
4.   This poem is my personal reflection of that 
harmony; and is not meant to be a religious discourse. 
My apologies to those who think that I am evangelising. 
That's not my intention. Thank you.)

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

An Easter song to tell the world
That Love lives strong in joyous swirls.

A brand new sphere with promise bright;
From darkness here to realms of light.

A happy morn with wondrous sight;
Now comes the dawn: glorious, sure light!

Round stone slab rolled, the tomb empty;
Laid linen folds for faith to see.

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

The Christ once slain in sure fashion,
From death's domain: resurrection!

The empty tomb with folded sheets,
Just like a womb where new life greets.

Lone angel waits, glad tidings dwell;
Here at tomb's gate, pious women tell.

The women tell of empty earth;
The Christ now dwells in Love's re-birth.

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

The stone slab moved so we can see
The hollow groove, unmasked empty.

A promised plan: beyond fable,
From Son of Man, grand miracle.

A grandeur shown for select few:
The Christ made known in glorious hues.

The Christ once slain in sure fashion,
From death's domain: resurrection!

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

Christ is risen to set us free;
From death's prison, from misery. 

How do we know that this is true?
Love and truth show what Spirit cues.

The facts don't lie on this account;
The Christ did die upon that mount.

Now trumpets blast for The Christ lives
A sacred trust, for God forgives.

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

The Christ Living beyond death's veil;
Light undying as Love prevails.

Man is made whole in mind and heart;
A brand new soul that lives Love's art.

Grace now uplifts, death and sin die;
What precious gift, Love and life sigh.

This day of grace when Love abides;
Truth frees our race from time and tide.

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

Today true light shines once again
To put things right in message plain.

Hence man can live with precious peace
For Love now gives true life increase.

Thank you dear God for Love and Light;
Thank you dear Lord for Grace and sight.

The risen Lord calls out to each;
To look to God within sure reach.

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

With grace and calm, follow your heart;
Love is the balm that helps you start.

Go on your way, live night and day
With passion play, with Love that stays.

Live life path well with wholesome cheer;
Love all who dwell on earthly spheres.

Let peace abide with ebb and flow;
Let joy firm stride in your life's show.

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

Our time is brief, our days must end;
Go beyond grief, let your soul tend.

Our space is small, our act looks vain;
Yet fond Love calls to live truth plain.

Our life is brief, our moments tint;
Just live and breathe, listen Love hints.

Our tale must end with death that comes;
Around the bend, Love squares all sums!

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

I am the Light that lights the way;
Live with clear sight through night and day.

I am the Way, life beyond life;
Live well each day with faith alive.

I am the Truth, the humble gate;
Live Love's sure proof to find your fate.

I am the Life, the precious gift;
Live beyond strife -- The Christ uplifts!

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

Look to this day, for life ascends;
Live your fond play, see death descend.

Look to this earth, for heaven comes;
Live your sure birth, see wonders sum.

Look to this race, for blessings form;
Live your bold trace, see faith's sure norms.

Look to this heart as Yeshua said:
"Live your best part: Love unafraid."

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

The Christ now calls to one and all;
Be beyond gall, rise when you fall.

Follow your heart, link mind and soul;
Begin and start with action bold.

Seek path and choice, seek happy way;
Fill poise and voice, live well each day.

"Come follow me," The Christ still says,
"Now let peace free true life this day."

The Christ for all mankind remains
To big and small The Kingdom's gain.

And for all time, The Christ within
Speaks the same rhymes: "Come, let me in."

The Son of Man loves all mankind;
You know you can; God's Love now finds.

Listen, The Word now comes to each;
Let Love be heard within fond reach.

Your actions preach the tact you take;
Love lives fine reach to heal and make.

Now act by act, you fashion here
The heart you fact as cause marks clear.

Here at the end, true message sums:
Love works the plan, Love facts outcome.

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

Leon Enriquez
20 Apr 2014 (on Easter Sunday)
Singapore


Long poem by Keith Bickerstaffe | Details |

Obsession


...inspired by 'Portrait Of A Lady' by T.S. Eliot


On winter days the view outside is nebulous at best,
within, the furniture is as it always was, and I am waiting,
waiting for a glimpse of you to silence my equivocating.
Somber is my attitude, the light is dim, curtains at rest,
as dust mites dance, the clock ticks unobtrusively,
marking time, the chamber maids make ready for my guest,
and dust the tables, clean the silver, place the flowers perfectly.
You return from 'La Boheme,' affected by the tragedy, 
emboldened by Puccini's art, transfiguring his sadness
to an everlasting theme of hope eternal, with no misery.
A small group of confederates who seize the meaning clearly,
examine his conceptions with a true and honest face,
only those who can conceptualize his grace.
And we are bereft of conversation.
The curtain falls between our faces,
we are left with little else to say.
Gone are common talk, and airs and graces,
walls have grown, and bars along the way.
Your friends have grown in stature, tried and true,
reflecting what you feel within your soul,
and you must follow them and share their view,
as long as it will bring you to your goal.
Friendship is a bond that can't be broken,
even though you dally with your heart,
you cannot spring the lock, that sacred token,
that keeps your deepest feelings true to art.
Your friends are pure disciples of your creed,
they will legitimize your need
to pave your way to conquer and succeed.

Within the mellow of the violins,
the sweetness of the celli and the horns,
I hear a tattoo beating all alone,
the tympani begin to pound 
a loud crescendo of their own.
I listen, there is something out of tone.
With cigarettes and sherry, unconcerned,
we wander through the garden unaware, 
take in the sights and pass without a care,
as if our similarities don't matter,
we give ourselves to nonsense, idle chatter.

Roses now are brightly blooming,
to your friends now you are calling.
I know not of what you speak,
I cannot fathom your delight.
You say: 'Try to understand my mission,
learn to trust in things unseen,
I must find what nature seeks
and fathom its eternal meaning.
Youth will never gather roses,
never see beyond the garden.'
I will stay for now, trapped in the cold.

Though I'll remember nature's wonders,
sunsets and the breath of spring,
feel the wind blow through my hair
and know the thrill of sunrise cresting.

We see the universe as dancing,
two such different creatures trancing,
we two will never understand
the private notions of the other,
even if we take each other's hand.

Coming close to your destruction
you will see the other side,
who says who has satisfied
requirements for a better life?
Friendship, if we could but find it,
yields the seeds of greater profit,
greater than the seeds of strife.

I now remain just as I ever was.

I shall take my morning walk,
communing with the birds and talking
to myself while reading Kafka,
glancing at the latest headlines.
Dear Stravinsky's 'Rite' is slighted,
(he'll return when ears are righted.)
When I smell a rose I'm prompted 
to recall a certain lady, gifted with
a new perception, I must sadly 
take exception, for the moment anyway.

The chill of morning, people yawning,
I am tired, the blush of dawning has me
feeling ill at ease, my spirit sags,
I barely reach the second floor.
'When will you return? Is Paris so much more
than you have here?' is my unanswered question.
I drag my heels to breakfast, 
listless as a lazy dog, and nibble toast,
my countenance as pallid as a ghost.

A letter would be welcomed. 
I shall miss you; there, I've said it. 
I am your friend, are you not mine? 
Tenuous and strained, two casual 
acquaintances who share so little time,
we brush elbows, like strangers passing
on a platform, sharing sidelong glances,
afraid to say hello. I watch you as you go.

Others swore we would be close,
peas in a pod, familiar.
Instead there is no warmth, not yet.
Were you to try we might combine
and nibble toast together, and take
a walk, your hand in mine, and
stammer conversation 'til we knew
there was no reason e'er to rue.
I shall sit with pleasant thoughts of you.

Desperate, I ponder on your death,
scant breath expended twixt the two of us,
and loneliness an ache too harsh to mention,
pen in hand and no one to subscribe.
I'll scarce recall the softness of your skin,
or search your heart to find what lies within.
Should I be bold, or take a gentler path?
encourage you... would I incur your wrath?
If you were to die I'd never know your truth,
and I should lose the vigour of my youth.


Long poem by Mario DE PAZ | Details |

Dante's Hell, fourth canto translation first part,

Fourth canto (first part)

The deep slumber was broken in my head
By a strong thunder, so that I woke up
As person forced to arouse from bed;

My rested eye I moved around then deep,
Erect uprisen, and also stared straight
In order of the place a knowledge to buildup.

It’s true that I was just in the side trait
Of the deep valley in the sore abyss
Where infinite troubles one has to wait.

Obscure and foggy was certainly this
So much that, having my face deeply stuck,
Anything there my sight was bound to miss. 

“Now into the world blind straight down we chuck”,
Started to tell the poet completely pale.
“I will be first, and you second to duck”.

And I, seeing his hue and its entail,
Told him: ”How can I come if you just fear
Being the one who supports when I quail?”.

And he to me: “Of people the distress
Lying down here, imprints then on my face
The same compassion you feel due to stress.

Now go, since we have a long way to trace”.
So he moved and so pushed me to step in
The first circle which starts the chasm to lace.

Here, to extent of what you could listen,
Never was heard so much crying which ails
And made the eternal air quake and spin;

This happened without any  torment bales,
Which had the crowds, many and large indeed,
Of infants, of women and of males.

The good master to me: “Do not you need
To know which souls are these that you see?
You must be aware, before you proceed,

They did not sin; if have worth as a fee
Is in vain, baptism they did not receive,
Which is the door to faith that you agree;

And if they lived before the Christ achieve,
They did not properly adored to God:
And to these I myself pertain and cleave.

Due to this lack, and not for being sod,
We are lost, and offended in a way
That to a life with no hope we must nod”.

Great grief then kept me when I heard his say,
Because people of value very high
Who I met in limbo compelled to stay.

“Tell me, my master, you that underlie”,
I started willing briefly to be sure
On that faith with no error to rely:

“Nobody came out of here, being pure
Or with intercession, blessed became?
And he understanding my say obscure,

Answered: “Short after in this state I came,
When I saw arriving a man with sway,
Crowned with signs of victory and great fame.

The soul of the first father took away,
His son Abel and Noah could bring,
And Mose’s loyal who gave the laws array;

Abraham’s patriarch and David’s king, 
Israel with his father and his breed
And with Rachel, which took under his wing,

Many others, to be blessed agreed.
And I want to let you know that, before,
No human soul’s salvation had succeed”.

While he was speaking we were walking more ,
But the wilderness we were going through,
The wilderness, I mean, of souls hard core.

Not very long the way we had to do
Before night, when I saw a fire bright
Which dark hemisphere was able to hue. 

We were still far more than a little bite 
But not much so I could partly discern
The honorable people lying in that site.

“You that raise science and art with concern,
Who are these having honor just so great
That a different mode deserve in turn?”

And he to me: “The honored fame and trait
Which sounds up there where really you live 
Mercy in heavens grows who pass them straight”.

Meanwhile a voice I heard to me arrive:
“Do honor to the poet which is at top;
His soul comes back, next had to derive”.

When that voice was calm and allayed to stop,
I saw four big shades toward us to come:
They did not show delight or of mood drop.

The good master then started telling some:
“Look well at the one holding that big sword,
Who is by of three as a king become:

That is Homer who all other poets scored;
Horace the satirist is the other;
Ovid the third, Lucan last of the board.

Since all of them now welcomes me further
According to the voice before I heard,
They honor me, and then are good farther.

So I saw the well worthy school conferred 
Of that lord in the most distinguished song
Which over others flies as eagle bird.

After they friendly reasoned enough long,
They turned their heads to me sending a nod,
And then my master smiled for that along;

And they gave me honor even more broad,
Since they made me member of their array,
So I was sixth in all that wisdom laud.

So then we moved toward the light our way,
Speaking of things at best silent to keep,
Like it was speaking where I had to stay.

(continued next, not enough space)


Long Poems