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Long poem by Chris D. Aechtner | Details |

The Peter Conspiracy

This is not a poem, but a post meant to possibly offer an angle on why sometimes
people believe we are someone who we are definitely not.

You know, such as when a certain site member believes that you are named Peter, 
and live in NYC, that you are part of a "Peter Conspiracy", a ghost from the past who 
is haunting him/her, when you have never had the name, Peter, nor have you ever 
lived in NYC.
_______________


The human brain is hard-wired to seek meaning,
which includes making connections and finding supposed patterns from out of 
completely random data; connections and patterns which do not actually exist in 
the greater reality, but only within the mind of the 'believer'.

In statistics, the identification of false patterns in data, is called a: Type I Error.
This can be compared to "false-positives" in other types of tests such as:
Rorschach testing, Confirmation Bias Testing, and Illusion-Clustering Testing.

In psychology, the identification of false patterns and meaning in purely random data,
is called: Apophenia. This word has its roots from the Greek "apo"(away from) and 
"phaenein"(to show), to help reinforce the fact that the schizophrenic will initially go 
through a stage were delusion is experienced as personal revelation.

Peter Brugger attributed the term to Klaus Conrad, a German who made major 
break-throughs in the study of schizophrenia and psychosis in general. 
Klaus Conrad(June 19, 1905 in Reichenberg – 5 May 1961 in Göttingen) was a 
neurologist and psychiatrist who made important contributions to neuropsychology 
and psychopathology, which still stand to this day. Even after he joined the Nazi Party
("wot" a bad boy!)in 1940, neuropsychologists and psychiatrists from all over the
world held him in highest esteem, and refused to disregard his work because of his 
Nazi ties.

In 1958, Klaus Conrad published "Die beginnende Schizophrenie; Versuch einer 
Gestaltanalyse des Wahns"(The onset of schizophrenia: Attempting to shape 
analysis from out of delusion"). He coined the word "Apophänie" to characterize the 
initial onset of delusional psychosis, were the schizophrenic fall into a process of 
repetitively experiencing falsely abnormal meanings, connections and patterns in 
the entire surrounding experiential field, which are entirely self-referential, solipsistic 
and paranoid:

"being observed, being followed from place to place either by strangers or by 
known people who somehow take on disguises or other alterations of identity."

Klaus Conrad observed that when the schizophrenic move from phase I Apophenia, 
into phase II Apophenia, the intensity of the false revelations becomes more high-
strung, agitated and delusional, until the schizophrenic believe that many distinct 
individuals, animals and even inanimate objects, are actually one individual life-form 
or object who/that is a master of disguise; sometimes capable of performing 
extraordinary feats such as shape-shifting, teleportation and advanced telekinesis. 
These conspiratorial schizoid fusings happen because the schizophrenic notice 
that person A has the same favourite colour as person B, or person B and C both 
buy the same model vehicles during the same week, and person A and D use the 
same colloquialism; person A and E wear a similar piece of jewellry. 

The schizophrenic process these random, unrelated bits of data as a sign that all of 
these people are a collective villain, or are actually one person using many different forms. The schizophrenic blame these 'super-villains' for many of their supposedly traumatic past experiences, and these 'super-villains' are not only following the schizophrenic to make their lives miserable, but also because the schizophrenic 
believe that these 'super-villains' are attempting to undermine their genius, or to extract vital, 'secret' information or talents which the schizophrenic believe only they possess.


_________________________________________________________________

References:


- Conrad, Klaus (1958). Die beginnende Schizophrenie; Versuch einer Gestaltanalyse des Wahns. Stuttgart: Thieme. OCLC 14620263

- Conrad, Klaus (1959). "Gestaltanalyse und Daseinsanalytik". Nervenarzt. 
pp. 390 – 409.

- Brugger, Peter. "From Haunted Brain to Haunted Science: A Cognitive Neuroscience View of Paranormal and Pseudoscientific Thought", Hauntings and Poltergeists: Multidisciplinary Perspectives, edited by J. Houran and R. Lange (North Carolina: McFarland & Company, Inc. Publishers, 2001).

- Gibson, William (2003). Pattern Recognition. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons. 
ISBN 978-0-3991-4986-3. OCLC 49894062

- GrrlScientist (29 September 2010). "Michael Shermer: The pattern behind self-deception". London: Guardian.

- Shermer, Michael. "Patternicity: Finding Meaningful Patterns in Meaningless Noise". Scientificamerican.com. 2011-06-29.

_______________



It can be extremely difficult dealing with the schizophrenic.
Especially when the schizoid openly express a hostile abrasiveness towards you.
This can erode any empathy held for the victim of mental illness.

We should have empathy for victims of mental illness,
but such things are easier said than done when one becomes a target within a schizoid's conspiracy theory; they can become very obsessed.
Also, just like with every other element in life, schizoid personalities drastically
differ from one another. Then throw subjective perspective into the mix.
A schizoid can be the most wonderful person to be around; a best friend; a safe
guardian.
And as with anyone else, the schizoid can possess a monstrous mouth of madness.

For a community, it is a fine line between having empathy towards the schizophrenic,
treating them as equals, for surely they are(no one is lesser than, nor greater than another), offering them support and help, and protecting itself against the 
schizophrenic who exhibit volatile psychosis. And then there are the sleepers.
Yes, it truly is a fine line; a highly debatable one too. 


Long poem by Reshad Yahyaie | Details |

2 humans 2 hearts And 1 love

Once there was a girl with a tough personality. She was considered to be a friendly and talkative. She was extremely tough regardless of love and crashes. She had wishes and dreams but was never sure when it’s gone come true. She was hard working always to satisfy her family and be a great daughter. She was tough about love but at the same time she knew a special and incomparable person will come to her life, who will be very different than others. When and where she will meet him, she never thought about it because she believed that we shouldn’t look for love, the reason was that love comes itself. However let’s see how and where she finds that special person. 
One night after working so hard of her project she was bored.
“Oh God I am so bored let’s see if my friends are online I will talk to them but at the same time gone download a song” she got online but unfortunately non of her friends were online so she thought to herself why don’t I make a new friend she requested a random boy who she never knew before.  After a week passed and that boy accepted her request but they never got the chance to talk to each other.
“Oh this boy looks so cute but why can’t I talk to him” although she wasn’t trusting any boys but her heart would tell her that this boy seems to be a good boy. So she used to leave an offline massages for him in order to contact each other and be friends. One day they both were online so their conversation started.
Boy…Hi
Girl…Hi 
Boy… how are u and how did u added me
Girl… I’m fine thanks well I was bored last week so I randomly added u.
They started questioning each other and she asked him have you got a brother or a sister he answered I have 5 sister but no bro. She reply but I have 2 sis and no brother. The time of Salah came and she had to pray and she asked if she can leave the conversation and pray but he was surprised that she prays. After she did her prayers she asked him why were you surprised when I said its time for me to pray? He reply afghans who live in foreigner most of them are not religious. 
Weeks passed and one day she was so excited.
Girl… You know what
Boy…what
Girl… I have a new baby sister
Boy… congratulations 
They kept contacting each other even though he had exams on that time but he would still take out some time for her. At the same time he would study for exams. 

Few month later they became best friends and one day he told her that he like her but she didn’t understand what does he mean by like. She called her best friend and told her he told her that he likes her but she doesn’t know why he said this because he loves her or just a simple like. 
Hey dude … he told me he likes me but I don’t know what he means by that.
My Friend…  ha ha stupid liking is the first step of love I think he loves u.
She also liked him but she needed time to know him more. He was so innocent and respectful boy she had ever meet. They became so closer and their friendship turned to love after a passing of time. She didn’t know much about his family and background but however she loved him and thought he is a right person for her life partner. 
For every relationship to became stronger and trust worthy it needs time. Relationships are like building a house. Some relationship ends fast because it was build quick and the foundation was not strong enough but some relationships last forever the reason is that the foundation which that relationship was build was strong. The foundation of every relationship is trust, promises, honesty, truthfulness, modesty, respect and most important thing is a true love. Be the kind of person you would like to be with. Some people come into our lives, make footprints on our hearts and we are never the same. People are lonely because they build walls instead of bridges.    
She always wanted someone who is respectful and modest towards girls. Someone who is honest but she never saw any boy with those qualities in him, she only saw those qualities in him.  Even though she faced so much hardships, impenetrability and tests in life however she knew that when Allah tests you, it is never to destroy you, it’s to teach us something in life that we do not know. When he removes something in your possession it is only to empty your hands, for an even greater gift. She learned so much from those test and tried hard to become better Muslim. 
 Now they know each other and they love each other a lot.  She has a full trust on him more than herself. Even though they sometimes have argument for some Issues but their love is strong enough and they are a smart people to find the solutions. No matter what we face and how we act towards it but it shouldn’t affect a person’s trust and love in relationship because it’s so hard to make one and takes a second to destroy it. This was a good story. It’s sad that it takes a long time for people to understand values and life. We as people are so consumed with our own lifestyles and duties we have made for ourselves. 
I miss him more then he could ever know, I often ask Allah why did he have to go? I fell in love and he means so much to me, if he could look into my heart then he could see. I found something so special and it is for real, being without my love is so hard to deal. I'll be here waiting until I can be with you again, because not only are you the love of my life you are also my friend.
I just want to tell you,
I think of you every moment of the day.
And how much I love you,
Words could never even say....

I just want to tell you,
I love you with all my heart.
I wish for us to be together,
Never shall we be apart.


Long poem by Kim van Breda | Details |

OUR BABY GIRL TURNS 21

OUR BABY GIRL TURNS 21

ON 1ST JULY 1990~ THE ANGELS DID SOMETHING ALMIGHTY
FROM HEAVEN THEY SENT US OUR LIFE-LONG DESIRE-A PRECIOUS DAUGHTER TO LOVE AND ADMIRE.
TRUE TO YOUR NATURE YOU ARRIVED WITHOUT FUSS OR PAIN--THE FIRST TIME OUR EYES MET WE KNEW OUR LIVES WOULD NEVER BE THE SAME

AS A BABY AND TODDLER YOU MADE US SO PROUD
YOUR VERY LONG HAIR, GREEN EYES AND SMILE-
ALL THOSE GOOD LOOKS MADE YOU STAND OUT IN A CROWD
YOU STARTED TALKING EARLY WITH MANY VOICEPRINTS 
YOUR CHARM AND GOOD LOOKS HAVE NOT STOPPED SINCE
YOU LOVED YOUR DOLLS AND PRAMS-- DREAMT OF BEING A “SINGER”
 AND VERY QUICKLY LEARNED HOW TO WRAP YOUR DAD AROUND YOUR LITTLE FINGER
YOUR BIG BROTHER DEVON--BEST FRIEND AND PROTECTER 
MOST OF THE TIME YOU GOT ON PERFECTLY TOGETHER

FROM AN EARLY AGE YOU SHOWED YOUR LOVE OF SWIMMING
AGE TWO AND A HALF YOU WERE ABLE AND WILLING
TO SWIM UNDER WATER AND DO MANY LENGTHS
THIS WAS CLEARLY ONE OF YOUR SPORTING STRENGTHS
AT AGE THREE YOU COULD BARELY WAIT TO START PLAYSCHOOL
“MISS INDEPENDENCE”, WAS YOUR GENERAL RULE
THE SLIDE AND JUNGLE GYM WERE YOUR FAVOURITE SPOTS
 AND TO OUR HORROR YOU WOULD CLIMB RIGHT TO THE TOP!
AT AROUND THIS TIME, YOUR FIRST BOYFRIEND YOU MET-
 HE LIVED NEXT DOOR, AND HIS NAME WAS BRETT

SOON IT WAS TIME FOR  PRE-SCHOOL
YOU LOVED YOUR TEACHER--YOUR NEW FRIENDS WERE COOL
‘SPRING BONNETS’ AND THE END OF YEAR SCHOOL PLAYS
THE TEDDY BEAR CLASS GAVE YOU SOME REAL SPECIAL DAYS
NEXT WAS ‘BIG SCHOOL’ AND YOUR FIRST CLASS
WE WERE SERIOUSLY ANXIOUS BUT FOR YOU JUST ANOTHER ‘MISS INDEPENDENCE’ TASK
LETTERLAND, MATHS AND LEARNING TO READ
YOU EXCELLED AT ALL THAT WITH INCREDIBLE SPEED
YOUR ACHIEVEMENTS CONTINUED THROUGH GRADES 2, 3 AND FOUR
YOUR PLACE IN THE SWIMMING TEAM HELPED YOUR SCHOOL WIN MORE

OUR MOVE TO AUSTRALIA… SAD FAREWELLS TO YOUR FRIENDS AND YOUR PETS 
BUT, GREAT EXCITEMENT YOU FELT AT ADVENTURES TO BE MET
A NEW SCHOOL--“METHODIST LADIES COLLEGE”
NEW FRIENDS--JUMPING A GRADE-- MET WITH SUCH POSITIVE COURAGE
YOU MADE US SO PROUD IN THE WAY YOU ADAPTED
MRS. WILLIAMSON SAID YOU WERE THEIR NEW CLASS ‘ASSETT’
.
THE ‘MR BEE’ SPELLING AWARD AND MANY MERITS LATER 
WE ALL GOT HOMESICK-- BUT YOUR POSITIVE NATURE DID NOT WAVER
THE DECISION WE MADE TO RETURN TO CAPE TOWN 
CAUSED YOU HEARTBROCKEN TEARS AND A PERMANENT FROWN
ONCE AGAIN A SAD FAREWELL TO YOUR NEW FOUND FRIENDS 
RETURNING TO S.A. FOR OLD ONES TO MAKE AMMENDS

IT WASN’T VERY LONG THAT YOU PICKED UP WHERE YOU LEFT OFF AT ALL
 ADDED TO YOUR TALENTS WERE NOW TEAM HOCKEY AND NETBALL

AS YOU APPROACHED THE FIRST OF YOUR TEEN YEARS
WITH YOUR LOOKS AND CHARM, INEVITABLY THE BOYFRIENDS WOULD APPEAR
SHOPPING, MOVIES AND MANY PARTY SLEEP-OVERS
CHOOSING TRUE FRIENDS AND DUMPING THE LOSERS
DANCE SHOWS AND DANCING EXAMS… YOU EXCELLED AT HIP- HOP
 FUN AND OF COURSE THE DESIRE TO SHOP

THE END OF JUNIOR SCHOOL-- THE FINAL ASSEMBLY—AWARDS
TROPHIES FOR SPORTSMANSHIP AND YOUR S.R.C. PRIZE GOT MANY APPLAUDS
SAD FEELINGS AT LEAVING YOUR OLD SCHOOL BEHIND 
EXCITEMENT AT STARTING HIGH SCHOOL WOULD SOON COME TO MIND
NO PROBLEM TO YOU, IT WAS ALL JUST A BREEZE 
AS YEAR BY YEAR YOU CONTINUED TO ACHIEVE
SWIMMING AND ‘A’ TEAM HOCKY MATCHES ON THE ASTRO TURF 
YOU EVEN STARTED TO LEARN HOW TO SURF
FRIDAY AFTERNOON CHRISTIAN MEETINGS AND EVENING CHURCH YOUTH
WE WERE SO HAPPY YOU FOUND GOD AND HIS TRUTH

THE REST OF HIGH SCHOOL PASSED IN THE BLINK OF AN EYE WHILE 
YOUR LIST OF ACHIEVEMENTS REMAINED EXCEPTIONALLY HIGH
YOUR ORGANISATIONAL SKILLS WERE ASTOUNDING
COPING WITH TOUGH SUBJECTS LIKE MATHS, SCIENCE AND ACCOUNTING
IN HOCKEY AND SWIMMING YOU MADE THE TOP TEAMS
NO SURPRISE AT ALL THAT SWIMMING COACHES MOVED IN ON THE SCENE.

THEY CULTIVATED YOUR TALENTS FROM STRENGTH TO STRENGTH
EVERY YOUR NIGHT YOUR PASSION SAW YOU DOING MANY LENGTHS
WEEKENDS OF GALA’S AND NATIONAL SWIMMING
S.A.SHORT COURSE, YOUR P.B’S, AND FAIR SHARE OF WINNING
TOGETHER WE CELEBRATED YOUR PLACE IN   W.P. SCHOOL CHAMPS THAT YEAR 
SO PROUD OF OUR BEAUTIFUL SWIMMER ALWAYS AHEAD OF HER PEERS 
.
FIRST YEAR AT UNIVERSITY YOU BECAME SO INDEPENDENT
 STARTING YOUR STUDIES AS A B.Sc. STUDENT
IT WAS ALSO THE YEAR YOU LEARNED TO DRIVE
GOT YOUR LICENSE—DAD SPOILT YOU—NEW CAR—RESPLENDENT


YOUR FAITH AND TRUST IN THE LORD STILL REMAINS FIRM
AS YOU WALK AND GROW SPIRITUALLY DAILY WITH HIM

SO MUCH HAS CHANGED, AND YET SOME THINGS REMAIN
YOU BEAUTY AND TALENTS SO EASILY MAINTAINED
YOUR  LOVE OF SWIMMING AND OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENTS IN WATER
YOU KNOW WE WILL ALWAYS BE YOUR NO. 1 SUPPORTERS
AND NOW YOU ARE 21, SWEETHEART 
YOUR WHOLE LIFE AHEAD OF YOU-- TODAY IS JUST THE START
IT SEEMS LIKE JUST YESTERDAY THAT YOU WERE BORN—
OUR DAUGHTER~LOVES BRIGHT SHINING LIGHT~ WE ADORE
YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL AND TALENTED IN EVERY WAY 
WISHING YOU GOD’S RICHEST BLESSINGS ON YOUR SPECIAL DAY
HAPPY 21ST BIRTHDAY TO OUR BABY GIRL

TO HAVE YOU AS A DAUGHTER HAS BEEN A REAL PLEASURE
-YOU HAVE AND ALWAYS WILL BE OUR MOST BEAUTIFUL TREASURE-

(FOOTNOTE: OUR DAUGHTER WILL BE 23 THIS YEAR, HAS COMPLETED HER BSc. AND HONOURS DEGREE’S IN PHYSIOLOGY AND GENETICS AND NOW DOING HER MASTERS DEGREE IN EXERCISE SCIENCE. SHE IS ALSO A PROFESSIONAL TRIATHLETE—DOING SWIMMING, CYCLING AND RUNNING AS ONE DISCLIPLINE)


Long poem by Brian Johnston | Details |

A Mom, Three Girls, Two Cigarettes, And A Sparrow

Part I.

Harvest time was winding down, 
I was taking lunch in town, 
After spending six long hours plowing stubble.
Washing up I met a man, 
Guessed he was a harvest hand, 
His combine crew, he said, was fixin’ to move out.
He was wearing dungarees, 
We exchanged some pleasantries, 
His grease stained clothes revealed he’d no fear of trouble
As I left to join the crowd, 
Well, the cafe was quite loud, 
Chose a corner seat where I would not need to shout.

From my new seat had a view
Of the whole room’s retinue, 	
Men and women who make a livin’ from the dirt.
A table seating seven, 	
Which could have held eleven, 
Was where my new acquaintance waited for his lunch.
A young woman with three girls, 
Blonde hair all done up in curls, 
Joked with and teased an older boy with a clean shirt.
The youngest seemed the cutest, 
Still with girls there’s no sure test, 
It was clear that these seven were a charming bunch.
 
Well quite soon our meals arrived, 
As I ate I still contrived, 
To simply take in all the action I could get, 
Even though I felt quite blest, 
How I longed to be their guest, 
What a gift to be their dad, uncle, or brother.
Then, ‘Oh God, ’ there came a shock, 	
And it hit me like a rock, 
As this loving mother smoked her first cigarette.
It was like my best friend died
And deep in my heart I cried
As quietly she lit up and smoked another.

Excuse me if I’m unkind, 
But all this brought back to mind, 
A smoking relative whose life was soon to end.
Her choice couldn’t be undone, 
For her daughter and a son, 
Her addiction's death came too late with no one spared.
God has a lien on my heart, 
He promised we’d never part, 
Required just that I serve Him by being a friend
To others in my pathway, 
(Whether they’re pure bred or stray)           
My most personal assets always to be shared.
 
I felt God’s call to action, 
But doubting words had traction
I had a C-note that I concealed in my hand, 
Walked to the group of seven, 
Prayed all the time to heaven, 
And as a joke said, ‘Are you all on safari? ’
Told them I was a farmer, 
And attempting to charm her, 
Praised her family in some ways I’d fore planned, 
She beamed at the attention	, 
Was surprised when I mentioned, 
That I also had designed games for Atari.

I said, ‘You might think this strange, 
But do you have plans to change
Your smoking habits? You smoked two after eating! ' 
She smiled, ‘Of course I’d like to.
But somehow I never do.’
I opened my hand, ‘It’s yours if you’ll quit today! ’
I knew she could feel the Love, 
With one source, from God above, 
It guided her heart to miraculous meeting.
She looked at my outstretched hand, 
Crying, ‘I don’t understand, 
This can’t be happening to me, there’s just no way! ’
 
She still couldn’t quite believe, 
And with heart out on her sleeve, 
She looked up at me and said, ‘You’re kidding, aren’t you? ’
I answered, ‘Give me your word, 
That these changes have occurred, 
That you will never smoke again, and all is good! ' 
She turned to her three daughters, 
As if to check the waters, 
Asked them, ‘Should Mommy bid her cigarettes adieu? ’
Well the girls all screamed out, ‘Yes! ’
And I really must confess, 
The mother’s smile convinced me she too understood.

She didn’t try to hedge her bets, 
Handed me her cigarettes, 
She took some paper and a pen out of her purse.
I guess I looked kind of blank…
‘Write down who I have to thank, ’
She said, ‘I want to write and tell you how I’m doing.'
As I handed back my name, 
She said, ‘Oh look! They’re the same! ' 
And I found myself rejoicing, ‘I have done worse.’
Fifteen years though now have past, 
Oh, My God, they went so fast, 
There’s been no word, but no doubts am I pursuing.

 
Part II.

On returning to the field, 
My work’s promise was to yield
A speedy death to any green weed still growing.
I have farmed now many years
Know just how to shift the gears
Of a tractor which out-pulls five hundred horses.
Things were going pretty good, 
When, by landing on the hood
A sparrow made a mockery of all knowing.
To start off the hood is hot, 
A place to rest, it is not, 
Yet he seemed quite content as I ran my courses.

Engine’s roar did not phase him, 
Its harsh sound sure was no hymn, 
I was plowing fast over ground that was quite rough.
He’d bounce forward and then aft, 
Even slide in the cross draft, 
But it seemed like the little sparrow did not care.
I thought maybe he is sick, 
Perhaps his brain isn’t quick, 
Then I thought, ‘He likes me, ’ and I stopped feeling gruff.
Some days I serve sea gull schools
Circling my tractor’s dust pools, 
A moving smorgasbord of insects that rise there.
 
My friend wasn’t there for food
Which helped establish a mood
Of brotherhood like I’d felt in the restaurant.
It felt closer to caring, 
Something more than just sharing, 
Though glass stood inbetween, his eyes stayed locked on mine.
If our dance was like a dream, 
No enticement did I scheme, 
The sweet gift of his presence wasn’t meant to taunt.
When at last he shook his head, 
And into the sky he fled, 
I understood, by God, his visit was divine.


Long poem by Timothy Hicks | Details |

The Cascade Adventures - Part 1

It's been four years since I've seen so much as an insignificant mountain creek. Been overburdened with comfort, now frantic with nature withdrawals, having to settle for photos found on Google Images: emerald pine trees, blue jays on limbs, moonlight cutting through forests, lakes the color of Windex-ed glass. It's much like drinking water that's been doused with Crystal Light... you may feel yourself becoming hydrated, when it reality it's only satiating your thirst temporarily. So you can imagine my joy when my best friend called me up to break the news.

"Monica, Brandon, Joel and I are gonna go backpacking. Care to join?"

the finality
of a cell hitting the floor -
shoe tying

Like a bunch of sardines packed in a can on wheels, we headed out to beautiful Cascade: the place where the Idahoan mountains aren't just paintings from afar, but close enough to taste. We weave our way through the spider-like dirt trails, as we each take turns changing songs on Joel's iPod. It's my go and I'm searching through the John Denver list, mourning the fact that there's over a hundred songs by him, and not one of them is Colorado Rocky Mountain High (the one song I could say fit my feelings to a tee). The menagerie of everyone's taste in music made for an interesting trip no doubt - even if Jonathan picked the worst possible jams simply for annoyances sake.

My first peculiar observation:

Humans have been making calendars for thousands of years (the first being more akin to cave drawings and stone tablets than paper). But as long as all that has been going on, the mountains don't care that August is expected to be sultry as November is expected to be chilly. Cause June took her first baby steps with a stubborn December mindset - a meandering way to say it was cold enough to freeze your nads off. The mounds of five feet snow made it all the more comical the fact I was wearing plaid shorts. Mother Nature wasn't going to be kind, I could tell.

like turtles
struggling to stand -
our packs full of crockery

It was breezy at first. We would practically glide down the mountain side, using our backpacks as a counter balance. The snowy counterpart to kangaroos, we were. The glistening flakes were thick enough to snowboard down - granted I never touched a snowboard, let alone ridden one. But after seeing this it gives me ideas...

Monica smiled for the camera, as I fumbled for my iPhone, a smile that didn't even require the forcible Say Cheese! nonsense. It wasn't waiting for the camera flash, but the other way around. Now you might be calling that rather pathetic, but I brought my iPhone along simply for the function of capturing memories. Angry Birds just don't compare to the real ones, sweet with lilting songs.

My second peculiar observation:

Google Images is an absolute horrid plagiarist; some beauty just can't be encapsulated despite all our advances in high-def technology.

The downward slope finally leveled out a bit, if only for a few minutes. Truth be told the path never stopped declining - some routes were simply more apparent than others. Our group of five walked single file through the trees, all basing our faith that Joel (a person who has been to the site once when the trail WASN'T covered in snow) would lead us in the right direction. And here's another interesting fact; this was no official trail, but a hike through the purest of adventures, unpredictable and unreliable.

crushing pine needles
with un-gloved fingers -
roaring rivers beneath the snow

The first time my whole leg collapsed into the fragile surface of the snow made me realize just how far above the dirt I was walking. I'd ask Brandon for assistance with a beet red blush on my cheeks - I blamed it on my fair skin falling victim to the sunny day. From then out I tiptoed with exaggerated caution, my heavy pack helping me just as much as it was hindering me. For even a foot drop had to be taken with a grain of salt. Everyone had to adjust to the added weight (except for Monica, with her light load of a sleeping bag, nothing else). I'd very ungracefully glide through twigs and pesky low branches, oblivious of my bare legs. In all honesty the cold didn't get to me, just the scratches of neighboring trees is where my concerns lied. At anytime I could have stopped the whole gang, beaming, "Wait a spell and let me put on some pants for crying out loud". Course that never happened, my clothes were in the bottom of my pack, and I was no where near desperate enough for monkeying around with that sorry mess.

slick slates
slanting down the cliff edge -
helping hands

Joel, with his redneck stubble, beams up at me, "Every hiking trip needs a little bit of adventure, don't rush it by any means!". That's the last thing on my mind - the first is whether or not that rock I'm about to put my weight on is as stable as she looks. It's a very roundabout route, and as questionable as it is, it's safer by a long shot than the first path we took - call it a 103 degree wall.



NOTE: Still working on writing out the rest of my trip to Cascade. It was my first backpacking trip and even though we only stayed one night, the trip is full of wonderful memories.


Long poem by Carrie Richards | Details |

MOCKINGBIRD - crown of sonnets

#1 "It is a sin to kill a Mockingbird. When playing games with rocks or guns, defray, them, please, ...shoot old tin cans!" "Whispered words of Mockingbirds, only heal wounds of the day" Virtues are cultivated, children are weeds, exploring a small southern town. Seeds, so rare, spread moral ivy, filling knotholes, threading trees, lining streets, during mad-dog summers. Scout, one sprout with solid roots, sifts wrong from right in spite of bull-headed pride. Stirring up dust, where resistance incites, although, brother, Jem, gently, grows more reserved. Scout, Jem, ...best bud, "Dill", are bronzed by summer's sky Moral's compass guides them home, as night returns #2 Moral's compass guides them home, as night returns yet challenged, the precocious child making assumptions. Folks would confound her! Some people were an oddity and quite beguiling Summer would sigh with ceiling fans, softly purring, people napping, long afternoons. Wilted yawns of a lethargic town, might seem undisturbed, with complacency, behind pruned shrubs, tall grass, mowed. Yet stilted air, would suffocate, with racial slurs and secret hate. Some hid by day, and spending their nights in masquerade, while crosses burned. We'd see a face, pretentious smile, falsely blend Integrity, at bitter cost, split wide the seams in 1930. Civil rights were just a dream #3 In 1930, civil rights were just a dream, and motherless children were coming of age. Bare feet were swift. Bandaged knees and hands unclean, would slam old screen doors, to seek lemonade. A ghost, they feared, in the raw sided house, watched close. A tree in his yard, hid treasures he stashed. The three Musketeers, upon discovering, shout! Armed by bravado, they are ready to dash. Putting yourself into another man's shoes, is a lesson, soon learned by Scout and Jem. They've faced their fear, and will make a friend. "Boo", the 'phantom', a new best friend left trinkets and gems. Kindness learned, role model intact, was Atticus Finch. A measure of integrity, inch by inch. #4 A measure of integrity, inch by inch, advocate for those who won't stand a chance. Folks down on their luck, where dollars won't stretch in a depression full blown. Money is scant. Fighting for the underdog, who have no paycheck. What's right is right. What's wrong, is wrong. Someone must stand at the end of the day, where flies fill a courtroom and tempers grow stronger. Regardless of skin, be it black, be it white Unfit, by standards of talcum shaved chins, if injustice is war, he'll give his lot. The falsely accused, he'll defend, to the end Those who wallow in mud, eventually sling lies when honor goes to hell, and folks sit idle #5 When honor goes to hell, and folks sit idle, false accusations can simmer, slowly inciting bigoted people, into mobs, spewing cries of hate. Screaming "rape" into the night. Ignorance and prejudice, are all of one stuff with corn-likker sauce and gravy mentality, amphibian worms, as if from a trough, gorging on mania. They covet brutality. Led by Bob Ewell, with arrogance oozing. Clan- fed, tantrums squirming out of control. Small minded men, choosing squalor, alluding the truth. Some would sell their mother's soul. They have lied on the stand, where justice treaded thin. Where white man's word, over a black, always wins. #6 Where a white man's word, over black, always wins, was a rule of the thumb, during those years... The innocent man, Tom, shackled, condemned, taken away and waits to die, and endure With Indian summer, waxing and waning, Atticus chooses the simplest words. His children need, wisdom, and calm understanding, in trying to explain, that most men are good. He tells them, gently, how someone so crude, even Bob Ewell, no matter how evil perhaps in his life, was misunderstood. The hellish of summers begins to unravel. But another ill wind, would brew up a storm, to bring more than a flurry, into their home. #7 To bring more than a flurry into their home, burnt embers of color, drift down, red and yellow. Carved pumpkins, and a grieving autumn, looms in the night. Roaches encroach, deep in the shadows As Scout rushes homeward, behind her on the trail, a whiskey-breath nightmare, with evil intentions Then, someone appears! Halts this devil,...,Ewell is not immortal! .....as we come to conclusion. A guardian presence, waiting to rally has kept a vigil, guarding children who run, swiftly through thickets. Lonely Boo Radley, appeared like an angel, a bird seeking the sun So pure of heart, and a thing so rare It is a sin to kill a mockingbird
2/17/14


Long poem by Erin Soares-Anselmi | Details |

My fifty years in a nut shell

I was born fifty years ago on April 10th 1964
Looking back through the years I began to explore

My mama said when it was time for me to be born
I decided to come early and fast in the wee morn

Born five week premature with jaundice I had to stay
High fevers, convulsions and even a coma would come my way

But by the grace of God I made it through each and every one
I could have died before my life really started or even begun.

And through my fifty years God has shown me grace and mercy 
As I look back I’m so glad he loved me and thought of me worthy
 
I remember my first home in Hayward on Burr way
Memories are a little foggy but my sense of home will stay 

Moved to Dixon when I was just four years old
To a big beautiful house where my life started to unfold

This would be the place I would meet my life long best friend
She was playing in our backyard the first day we moved in.

So many memories in this house in Dixon on Marvin way
 A Baby deer named Bambi and our first dog named Maggie mae

My life sized doll house my parents gave me as a birthday surprise
I would spend hours in there with my plastic appliances making mud pies

Life was blissful and I had not a care in the world I was living
Until the day my parents sat us down and said they were splitting

I just remember crying and in total shock this was happening
My parents would no longer be together my whole life unraveling 

We ended up moving to a two story house with mice and peeling paint
Mom worked long hours to feed us four kids who showed no restraint

My mom struggled to balance work and being home with us four
Soon my brothers moved to dads who’s idea was it I’m not sure

My dad died August 19th 1979 at the age of forty from a massive heart attack
I didn’t know then how this would change my life but now can see its full impact

 My teen years were cut short because I decided to become a mom
How scared I was to have to drop “mom, I’m pregnant” bomb

Have you ever heard of the song “Going to the chapel of love?”
Married now at seventeen feeling all grown up; well sort of.


On January 2nd 1982 my daughter Melinda was born fuzzy & screaming
Didn’t know what I was really get into, I must have been dreaming

She was the first baby born of the year and was the winner of two contests
So many prizes couldn’t collect them all but we sure tried to do our best

Isn’t it funny how you imagine how it would all work out in your young mind?
But then reality sneaks up on you and smacks you hard on your behind.

Now a single mother at the age of nineteen and moved back in with my mom
 And throughout my life I will make poor decisions but no need to write every wrong

Pregnant at twenty with my son Joshua and Melinda now two almost three
I didn’t know what I was going to do but knew they deserved better than me

This you see will be the hardest thing I would ever have to do in my life
I chose to give Josh new parents whom I lived with until I said goodbye

I was blessed to have pictures and letters sent through his growing up years
I remember the first letter I received from Josh I was so nervous eyes filled with tears

My son Brandon was born on my mom’s birthday he was my biggest and my last
He was my little dare devil and escape artist who was always trying to get past

He would like to climb out of his crib and sneak out the front door for a stroll
I chained and locked the door and even barred the windows thinking I was in control

Till one day two police officers were at my door wanting to see him and talk to me, I guess
They said a neighbor called out of concern and then the police threaten me with CPS.

I have been married more than my fair share to tell the truth and it’s hard to admit
 I have walked down the aisle six times and finally found the one to whom I commit

TJ is my husband who I met six years ago and have been married to him for three
Unable to have children of his own he now is known fondly as Dad, Padre and Papa T

My grandchildren make me smile just thinking of them and oh how I miss their precious faces
I have eight all together and love each and every one so much my heart had to grow extra spaces

As I look through my mind’s eye and examine my past adventures, blessings and sorrows
I have come to realize to cherish each and every moment because no time can be borrowed



My fifty ….. In a nut shell.

 


 


Long poem by Carol Eastman | Details |

A Spark of Hope

A little girl lost her home this year, for her, Christmas wouldn't be there.
Her family was angry from all the troubles, they simply couldn't repair.
Don’t bother us about presents her parents said, they were depressed by their fate.
With bitterness they said, you’d be lucky to have dinner tonight, or even a plate.
Life was harsh, nowhere to go, anger and fear had put their souls, in a terrible place.
The little girl had found no hope or joy, lurking near their old car, of late.
The car was their home, gas money was scarce, and with few places they could park.
Yes, their troubles had slowly extinguished, that precious hopeful spark.
Without that spark, they’d never find their way, from this terrible place of cold and dark.
And life’s darkness grew deeper nightly, as hope vanished under a reality so stark.
Even the very fiber of her family, seemed to be shattering slowly, slowly, apart.
The child felt alone here in this dark car, as sadness tried to engulf her little girls heart.
The future seemed filled with hopelessness, as shame and dread, were leaving their mark.
Embarrassment to be seen and turned away, made it hard for them to reach out, to restart.
But life goes on, and we can’t fear to rebuild, or the future will be hard to impart.
The girl suddenly declared there’s more to life, and she wouldn't let it conquer her heart.
She decided triumphs will come, and all will get better, if she held to that hopeful spark.
Seeing the desolation and anger here, she couldn't stay around, she had to get away…
So she climbed out of the car, and she walked into town, not so very far to stray.
She went and looked at the store windows, where Christmas was being displayed.
The music and people filled her heart, lifting her spirits, deep inside, that day.
She noticed a store, way down at the end of the row, on the next block, where it lay.
No one was there, it seemed lonely, and the darkness was again, spreading it’s decay.
She ran there in time to see an old man closing up, with sadness on his face betrayed.
What use were his goods, if no one would shop, or come down along his way?
The super store down the block, was daily making him lose more and more in the fray.
He could no longer afford to hire people, and the season had very little time, to stay.
As they talked the girl saw that she couldn't let the darkness take another, so she prayed.
Then she told the old man, if he’d open the shop, she’d bring customers down his way.
She added, she’d find reasonable workers, if her family could live upstairs, she portrayed.
First bring the customers, he said, and the rest will be yours little friend, he conveyed.
She had him put his best toys, as a contest prize, and to add lots of lights on the display.
He set a contest, “Winners-the best collectors for families in need” on Christmas Eve.
He put out a bright contest sign, but still nobody came to his end of the block, to survey.
So she had him call the Salvation Army, for a kettle, Bell ringer, and Carolers, who came 
Lickety split, their way.
Then she had him call a dear old friend, and farmer, to bring a tractor full of bails of hay.
Another volunteered his horse and sleigh, both, to see the city lights thru New Years Day.
This was a great idea, since the older drivers, could use the help, for their bills to pay.
The girl ran all over spreading the excitement, and to come see the prizes, his way.
The families suddenly started heading toward his door, and to those wondrous rides.
At that moment her parents came, and she explained what her hope, had improvised.
Her father talked a contractor into building a disabled family a home, to help advertise.
He could get a tax break; come to this store for supplies, and hire unemployed workers, he devised, so wise.
In the end, each night grew brighter, because of a girls hope, and heart-warming delight.
And the old man began smiling for the first time, in a long, long, time, starting that night.
All was saved, a home was found, and another built, as a sad little girl taught grownups to smile along the way… 
You might say, A Spark of Hope lit a candle, then a raging fire, which was burning bright by Christmas day.

The moral to my story is:
Never give up on Hope; it’s your best friend, as life brings its troubles your way…
Know that with time, a good heart, good will, and friendly ways… 
You can find God’s gifts again, if you don’t let the dark take you away…


Long poem by Chris D. Aechtner | Details |

23 warning signs that you are severely addicted to poetrysoup dot com



1) Since you have such a crazy drive to post every thought which goes through your mind, you consider posting your grocery lists.

2) You come up with another lame senryu just to post something new(and create a cheap entry for yet another contest).

3) Even though you post everything which comes to mind, post 3+ poems per day, every day, you believe all of your posts to be exemplary pieces.

4) (in relation to #3) You believe all of the "This is a masterpiece!" comments left on your poems, to be completely sincere.

5) You have the tendency to ignore that you are nearing 60 years of age. You put up avatars of yourself, circa 1971, and flirt with nearly every Souper below the supposed age of 30.

6) Instead of having a romantic evening with your significant other, you end up surfing the Soup blogs and drooling over member avatars.

7) After being single for 15 years, a completely compatible person asks you on a date. You decline the offer, end up surfing the Soup blogs and drooling over member avatars.

8) The admin makes an announcement concerning site maintenance, how the site might be down for 24 hrs -- upon reading the announcement, your stomach drops-out, you are filled with a phantasmagoric sense of doom which escalates into a bout of nihilism so strong, you consider methadone treatment to prepare yourself for the upcoming site-shutdown.

9) You begin methadone treatment in preparation for the two hours you will be away from the Soup(and awake)attending your best friend's funeral.

10) Your sleep-time has drastically altered to less than 4 hours of sleep per night. This is for various reasons, one of these being that every week you feel the need to leave a minimum of 1000 comments on poems, so whenever you post something new, the 'return' comments on said post, help push it up the 'Top 100 Recent Poems' list. You consider this to be an accomplishment akin to winning the Nobel Prize in Literature. You are awesome.

11) Instead of watching your favourite soap opera on the booby, you follow the soaps happening between Soupers in the blogs.

12) Every time you get a splinter, you have a strong urge to put up a blog about it to gain support and sympathy during your ordeal.

13) You put up blogs telling members that you are going to be 'gone' for 2 days, and apologize for not "being there for everyone" while away from the site.

14) After not seeing daylight for months on end, you put up a blog about seeing the most amazing thing .... you finally went outside and saw this blazing orb in the .... in the .... in the whatchamacallit, sky?

15) You forget to say "Merry Christmas!" to your family at home, but 'say' it in the Christmas blog that you put up on the Soup.

16) You forget your significant other's Birthday, but remember the Birthday of your favourite 'platonic' Souper.

17) Whenever you see or hear the word "Soup", your palms become itchy and you can barely contain yourself from using a computer/phone to login to poetrysoup.com.

18) You believe that if a poem rhymes, it is automatically a decently written poem.

19) In desperation, your family members and friends create accounts on the Soup, believing this to be the only way left to interact with you. In return, you have your account deleted and open a new one under an assumed pen-name.

20) You make the rounds each new day leaving "Good Morning!" comments on your friend's poems.

21) You go on vacation to an exotic beach location. The weather is gorgeous. The water is wonderfully warm. The sand is splendid. You don't swim in the wonderfully warm water. You don't take in the sights of the beach. You barely even notice the beach. Instead, you log onto the Soup via your laptop/phone.

22) Your children are hungry. You barely even know who your children are anymore. You don't care. *click* *clickety-click*

23) Your significant other finally offers to "do THAT thing"(yes, THAT one!)you've always fantasized him/her doing with you, but until now, he/she has always refused to fulfill for you. Now .... you don't care. *click* *clickety-click* 










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Long poem by Anthony Slausen | Details |

Rouging of the Lamb

        Sweet Mother of pearl
struck a ruby eyed reef 
then quickly sank into the deep,
just shy of the cay of life. 
Don't remember much about her,
those that did have long since blown away,
daddy  never had much to say... about the sinking.
Ancient pictures tempered fawn curiosities..
whispered to me that she had sunset red hair
a mother of pearl smile..
diamond chips set deep in lonely eyes...that's about it
    
 Soon after the sediment of death settled,
         "wrecking ball mom"
swung into the salty blue mix... 
Daddy must have been moon rock lonely
because he only waifed the soft, silky pretty
not the pyrite hearted 
soul licked
by cold, cold fires....
     A much to young, to cuddle a half orphan, kind of bride.
In public her voice cooed ,
"I'll buoy your little sinking heart,
with a million butterfly kisses
chocolate chip all your wishes"...
but in private
she plotted, with steely strap, to carve a granite man 
from a wandering lamb,
who never really needed carving 
only a little gentle kneading
on the potters wheel of life and love.
     I spent a healthy wedge of childhood 
treading a rolling ocean of dorsal fin coldness:
cutting a backyard full of weeds 
with a pair of rusty hand shears,
rescuing favorite toys from the garbage can
staring into plates of things I didn't like to eat.
like asparagus my least favorite "anti-treat".
Everyone would drift into the living room
to frolic away the evening
but I was chained to her electric chair... 
gazing into a saucer filled with green devil spears..
At times I sat so long the food would harden 
into the face of  mother of  pearl, 
her sweetness trapped between rows of bitter things.. 
a gone forever kind of look in our mutual deadened eye.
    Most of the time wrecking ball mom won the food battles. 
Rarely did the boy under the sink come out on top.
One night I'm sparring with the devil spears... again,
deciding on a whim, to slide them under the table, 
into the willing jaws of my beagle friend.
Chalk one up for the half orphan...right?....Not so fast.
The next day I shuffle home from school...
wrecking ball mom is frothing in the doorway,
wants to show me something..
She quickly leads me under the kitchen table
and to my ,deep green, horror..
there lay a small forest of day old asparagus..
Seems this is the one thing my best friend didn't care for.
This is when I was first introduced to 
wrecking ball's wicked handiwork,
that would often rouge the face and back, 
but cunning enough not to crease or crack the lamb.
wham...wham... 
I saw "hitting stars" for the first time,
wham.... wham.. 
I swear a cluster of explosions went off inside my head..
Carving a man out of a paper lamb 
was a long and painful sort of task.
In a way I felt lucky because, for a moment, 
I thought she was going to rub my nose into the regurgitation, 
Just like the time she rubbed the nose of my best friend for pissing up her new bride carpet.
By the way, daddy (the swing shifter) was oblivious to these rougings ...
its ok daddy your fully forgiven for wearing that rose colored hard hat,
we all must wear it at some point in time-to deflect the offal of life.
       Anyhow, that was many years ago...
doesn't really matter anymore,
I've outlived a few best friends.
the wrecking ball's backhanding and black belting days are over. 
She's silver headed and soft as a plate of over cooked veggies...
Every time I visit, I fantasize about rouging her...
wham- wham
until she sees that same pack of hitting stars...
wham- wham until she cracks...
You know, carve an old step bride 
into an under the sink child.
rub that nose in yesterday's piss in honor of my best dead friend.
Unveil those wrinkled whips disguised as mommy hands,
for the whole rosy eyed world to finally see.
but that fantasy will forever go unfulfilled...god willing..
So instead I offer her an atlantic-cold hug instead.
just like any good, semi-forgiving step man would do.
        
Now, I'm heart deep 
in the meloncholy mist of fatherhood..
To this day, I won't touch asparagus
and 
never never 
rouge the lamb- 





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