Long poem by
Mario DE PAZ | Details |
So bridge to bridge, of other things speaking
Of which my comedy does not take care,
We walked; and reached the top, when seeking
For watching the next slit, then we stopped there
Malebolge to see and crying vain;
And I saw it strikingly with no glare.
As the Venician dockyard attain
On winter boiling the tenacious pitch
To caulk their worn out wooden boats again,
Since these can’t navigate – differ by which
Has been renewed in wood and oakum has
In panels after trips with fixing rich;
Or who cares the prow, who the poop whereas
Someone oars builds, other wraps shrouds around;
Who mizzen and main sails mends as well as -:
So, not by fire but by divine bound,
Was boiling there down a quite thick mud,
Which soiled the bank everywhere on round.
I could see it, but in I saw no dud
Else than bubbles which for the boil came out,
And all swell, and deflate as a tide flood.
While there down my eyes tried closely to scout
My guide, telling “Look at there, look at there!”,
Pulled me to himself from my place of stake-out.
Then I moved as man who acts to late bear
To see events which avoid is better
And who is strongly undermined by scare,
But, when he sees, to escape can’t fetter:
And I saw a devil black behind us
Running up the rock faster than ever.
Ouch how his aspect seemed to be vicious!
And how ruthless appeared his act to be,
With open wings and so light on feet thus!
His shoulders, which were superb as was he,
With both his hips encumbered a damned then,
And he of feet held muscles with no plea.
From far he shouted: “Malebranche again
This one of Saint Zita’s elders I throw!
Submerge him, since I go back to catch men
In that land where they much abundant grow:
But Bonturo, all barterers are there;
To yes, for money, they transform a no”.
Down he threw him, and on the hard rock bare
Turned round; and mastiff loosened was never
In so much hurry a thief to ensnare.
That dived, emerging upset however;
But devils who of the bridge had the top,
Screamed: “Here Holy Face can’t endeavor!
Here swimming like in Serchio is a flop!
But, if you do not want the bites of ours
Have care for any emergence to stop”
Then beat him with many whips and bars,
Told: “For you is better that covered dance
So that, if you can, to steal empowers.
Not different from cooks who so enhance
Their aides in middle of caldron to dip
Meat with hooks, to avoid floatage advance.
The good master “In order that you skip
That you are here”, told, “you must crouch low
After a stone, so a screen you can grip;
And for offense to me any could throw,
Don't be afraid, already I learned,
Since the last time spent here I could know”.
Then he surpassed the bridge quite unconcerned;
And when he had arrived at the sixth bank,
Important was that all fear he had spurned.
With the same fury and with the same swank
Dogs come out against a coming poor man
Who help asks at once when he fears be yank,
Those so came out behind the bridge and ran,
Against him then directing their claws all;
But he shouted: “None of yours do harm can!
Before your hook could my body appall
Should one of yours come forward now and hear,
And then the clawing me should not befall”.
All screamed: “Malacoda must go, it’s clear!”,
So one then moved on – and the others stood –
And came close telling: “Why are you here?”
“Do you think, Malacoda, that I could
Show me when here”, my master replied,
If I had not to your attacks screen good,
Without divine will and lucky fate guide?
Allow us go, since is in heaven set
That I show to other this savage side”.
At this his pride was so hardly unset,
That he let the hook to fall to his feet,
And told the others: “with no hurt we let”.
And then my duke to me: “Oh you that seat
Well crouched down here between the bridge stones
Safely now with me can the way complete”.
By which I moved to him fast to unknowns;
And devils came on forward then them all,
So I feared the treaty fault in my bones;
Same way I saw the soldiers, I recall,
Come out from Caprona after the pact,
Seeing many enemies to appall.
I got me close with all my body packed
To my duke, the eyes well fixed with no turn
Toward their appearance making me racked.
They moved down their hooks and then “His back stern”,
Telling each other, “we ought to touch?”,
And answered: “Yes, I would do, no concern”.
But the devil who spoke that way such
Before with my duke, turned back very fast
And told: “Scarmiglione, to stop you must clutch!”.
Then told us: “Beyond you cannot go past
This rock, because it is completely gone
Just to the bottom the sixth arc at last.
And if going on you like as was drawn,
You now should go just up this cavern through;
Nearby you find a rock with new way dawn.
Yesterday, five hours more among now flew,
Twelve hundred and sixty six years ago
This way was broken while before was true.
To that end I send of my guys a row
To inspect if someone from pitch gets out;
Go with them, no bad behavior will show”.
Alichino, and Calcabrine come about”,
He started, “and Cagnazzo also you;
And Barbariccia will drive all-out.
Libicocco and Draghignazzo come through
Graffiacane and Ciriatto fanged hard
And Farfarello and Rubicante mad too.
Around the boiling lime you have to guard;
These ones must be safe until the next rock
Which as a whole over stands the sinners yard”
“Ouch, master, what is I see to unlock?”,
I told, “I pray, with no escort let go,
If you know how, I prefer alone walk.
If you are wise as normally I saw,
Do not you see that their teeth harshly gnash
And with their lashes bad intention show?.
And he to me: “I want you don’t abash;
Let them to gnash as much as they are sod,
Because they do so for the sores who splash”.
They turned along the left embankment odd;
But each first had his tongue to strict pass
Between teeth, toward their duke, as nod
And he had done loud trumpet of his ass.
Long poem by
Gary Bateman | Details |
Rosalia - The Evil Black Witch of the Harz, Part Seven
The Final Days: Rosalia’s Death and Destruction
In the wake of such evil, debauchery and depravity what can be said now in the case of Rosalia?
Now in her mortal form the old black witch no longer had the unspeakable power of hell-spawned evil at her instant command. In spite of the victory of the power of goodness and light and the attenuation, if not the dissolution of witchcraft in the Harz, the memory of who Rosalia was and what she had done could now begin to be eased somewhat from the minds of local people and the clergy. But the memory of Rosalia and her evil could never be forgotten. How could it be otherwise?
After three months of confinement in the dungeon at the Burg Worlerede, a fortress castle, very near to Cloister Marten in the Harz, Rosalia was eventually tried and convicted in a special church court convened at this castle to try cases concerning witchcraft and sorcery, which were beyond the normal jurisdiction of civil courts. Monseigneur Wolfgang Augustus Hardenberg of Cloister Marten was the residing church chief judge with four priests in his assistance serving as subordinate church judges. One civil magistrate judge from the local Harz provincial government participated, in an advisory capacity, with the five church judges in these special judicial proceedings against Rosalia.
Everyone in attendance at the witchcraft trial of Rosalia knew what the outcome would be. With that said, the testimony of her victims on public record dragged on for several weeks, to include the final interrogation and confession of witchcraft and supreme evil doings by Rosalia herself.
In her rebuttal statement to the assembled church tribunal, Rosalia actually gained some of her old fire back as she spoke to the group—in a taunting and derisive manner. Rosalia showed no remorse whatsoever for what she had done and perpetrated upon others. She still renounced the Almighty Lord God and did not ask for his mercy and forgiveness. Her love and passion for being and existence was still with her god, Lucifer, who had forsaken her at last in her hour of need during All Hallows’ Eve and the Black Witches’ Sabbath.
As easy as it might have been at that moment to pity such a pathetic and revolting creature, Rosalia’s hurtful words in complete defiance of God and her taunting mockery and snickering at the victims of her black deeds were beyond the pale of any shred or strand of human decency.
At the conclusion of Rosalia’s rebuttal statement, Monseigneur Hardenberg announced the verdict and sentence of the special church court:
“Rosalia, Black Witch of the Harz and Purveyor of Lucifer’s Evil on this Earth, you are hereby adjudged by this special court of being guilty of the practice of Witchcraft and Sorcery, and the murder of untold numbers victims over the centuries to this present one, and for the malicious corruption of your victims’ souls as they died in torment and faced the reality and agony of eternal damnation. And your acts even against young children and babies are so unspeakable and abominable that they readily defy any iota of rational understanding in our human society here on Earth. All these actions reflect your absolute depravity and lack of regard for human life, and they defy directly the teachings of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. All of your transgressions have been entered into the final record by this assembled court.”
“As a priest and a man of the cloth, I would normally ask the Almighty Lord God to have pity on you and your soul. But you have no mortal soul since you have been in very long service to Satan himself. Once more, you have committed the ultimate sacrilege by renouncing the Almighty Lord God yourself.”
“Therefore, there can be no plea of mercy or divine forgiveness rendered for you by this court on your behalf. Your final fate and disposition beyond the reach of this court lies ultimately with your master—Satan.”
“It is therefore the judgment of this court that you Rosalia—Black Witch of the Harz—be taken on the next morn’ at dawn to the gallows specially constructed here at Worlerede and this is where you shall be hanged by the neck until pronounced dead, and then your mortal body shall continue to hang for three days on public display, for all to see, and then your mortal body shall be burned by fire while it is still in its hanging position. Your mortal body shall burn until it disintegrates into nothing but fine burnt ashes.”
“In God’s name, this is so adjudged and it shall be done!”
As Monseigneur Hardenberg finished his verdict and sentencing, before Rosalia was to be bound and shackled for her departure from the court, he asked her if she had any final words for the court.
At that very moment the wily old hag became extraordinarily animated, and in a wild-eyed uncontrollable manner, jumped high into the air with an energy she had not possessed in a while and made this very provocative pronouncement to the Monseigneur and all concerned:
“Monseigneur you may have me hanged and burned into nothingness, but I shall once again triumph with Lucifer’s will and power behind me for I lay eternally in his bed and seek not Jehovah’s forgiveness and the rapture of Heaven. My Master will restore me once again and resurrect me to return and execute his evil deeds once again here on Earth. It is I who renounce you and all the people assembled in this court. I renounce what all of you stand for. I curse all of you forever, and I shall be there at the very Gates of Hell awaiting the day when I can greet all of and condemn you to eternal hell fire and damnation on my Master’s behalf. A curse of death and eternal damnation be upon you all, and all of the relatives who follow you for future generations to come!”
End of Part Seven
Gary Bateman, Copyright © All Rights Reserved, Schoeningen, Germany (September 20, 2014)
Long poem by
Mario DE PAZ | Details |
“Here the fierce with the thin pointed tail,
Who passes mountains and breaks arms and walls!
Here who with stench can the world assail!”
So my duke started to talk with his calls;
And hinted then it to get the bank close,
Nearby to end of marbles and of falls.
And then that filthy image which fraud sows
Came close, and just arrived with head and chest
But on the shore its tail it did not pose.
Its face was of the honest man at best,
So much benignant had its outer skin,
And of a snake was all its body next;
Two hairy gills it had to armpits twin;
Its spine and chest as well as ribs both too
With knots and wheels had like painted had been.
Vivid colors much overlapping do
Neither Tartars nor Turks drapes never made
No such canvas ever Arachne drew.
Likewise sometimes barges nearby shore stayed
In part in water and in part on ground,
And likewise there within the Germans strayed
The beaver prepares its war and to hound,
So the bad and evil fierce remained there
On stony rim of sandy soil around.
Its tail was flickering in void to scare,
Up twisting its fork poisonous indeed
Which armed tip like a scorpion unfair.
My duke told: “To modify now we need
Our pathway until we finally reach
That evil fierce which there lies, careful heed”.
For this we down got toward the right beach,
Ten steps we did then on the limit rim,
The flames and too the hot sand to breach.
And when at end we arrived close to him
A little farther I see just on sand
People sitting near the site with no vim.
Here the master “Now you have at hand
The truth about this circle in full just”,
He told , “go and their fate then understand.
Your reasoning way down there short be must,
Meanwhile you come back, I will speak with this,
So he will offer us his limbs robust”
So again up to the top of abyss
In that seventh circle now alone
I went, where sad people sitting exists.
Through their eyes the internal pain was shown;
Here, there defended themselves with hands
Now to steam, and now to hot soil of stone:
Not different are dogs in summer stands
Now with mug or with paw, when are bitten
Or by fleas or by flies or horseflies bands.
After I put on some my eyes smitten,
On whom the painful fire to fall saw,
No one I knew; but I saw as written
A pocket hanging from the neks to draw
With blazons and colors and well clear sign,
Of which they looked to be proud with no awe.
And as looking at them I joined their line,
In yellow bag I saw a sky-blue tint
Which of lion had face and clear design.
Then going to follow of sight the hint,
I saw another which was as blood red
With a goose that whiter exist didn’t.
And one who of a light blue sow well fed
Had his white bag clearly painted just so,
Told me: “How did you come in this ditch shed?
Now you can leave; and since you alive go,
Learn that my near Vitaliano still
Will seat then here at my left below.
These from Florence, I from Paduan mill;
So many times my ears are stunned nearby
From shouting: “Should come the sovereign will,
Who will carry his bag with three necks by!
Then he twisted his mouth and extracted
His tongue, as ox which nose to lick may try.
And since my stay could not be protracted
To shun master's regret asking be fast
I came back to souls badly impacted.
I found my duke who already had passed
Sitting onto the croup of the fierce beast,
And told me: “Now be strong and bold not last.
Now we have to descend such stairs so pieced;
Come up ahead, at middle I must be
So that for you the tail’s danger is least”
Similar to one whose disgust is close to see
The quartan fever, with nails just pale,
And looks back trembling at high degree,
So I became when heard the words assail;
But I was ashamed by his threats to me.
That a good lord makes right his servant fail.
I found my place on that back hard to see;
So I tried to tell, but no voice I had
As I thought and desired: “Let embrace thee”
But he, who times before to help was glad
Maybe for other, when I was there sat
With both his arms gripped and sustained me sad;
And told: “Geryon, you should move now at;
Be the circles wide, and the slope down short;
You must be careful with such weight as that”
Like a small ship leaves off its place in port
Backwards and backwards, so started then it;
And when he felt to be free to transport,
Where the chest was, he put his tail to fit,
And after stretching, it moved like an eel,
And with gills, inflated air to admit.
More fright I don’t believe would deal
When Phaeton unrestrained became then,
So that sky, as still seen, was burnt to seal;
Nor had Icarus with his sorry loins when
Losing feathers perceived for the wax hot,
His father screaming to him “Bad way amen!”,
The fright I had, when I saw where I got
Everywhere in air, and turned off I saw
Any scenery out of the fierce spot.
It goes away swimming slow, with no flaw;
Rotates, descends, but I am not aware
Except for the wind which comes from yaw.
I felt just on right hand the eddy mare
Doing an indeed scaring roar below,
So that with eyes my head to jut I dare.
Then I became more bashful to that flow,
Since I saw fires and heard tears of pain;
And trembling all I snuggled in me so.
Then saw, since view on I could not attain,
Descent and turning those great pains around
Which came close from various parts again.
Like falcon whose wings long flied up from ground,
Without sight lure or any bird at all
Pushes the fa lconer to tell “Stop hound!”,
Descends tired while it moved easy and tall,
With hundred rounds, and then volplanes quite far
From its trainer, with disdain and fierce gall;
So Geryon put us on rocks which are
At foot at foot of the profound barrow
And, after discharged the persons of our,
It sudden vanished like from bow the arrow.
Long poem by
Mario DE PAZ | Details |
The great poem by the italian poet Dante is the DIVINA COMMEDIA
I have tried to translate in english a few verses of the first canto of INFERNO (HELL).
It was a very difficult task.
The result below was obtained with hard work and
probably is far away from the original spirit of our greatest poet.
The italian rhymes are of 11 syllables as requested by italian terza rima. In english language several verses sound well with 10 syllables, few with 9 or 11. I assume that in english there is no fixed rule for syllables in terza rima and I simply try to obtain a good sound of verses resembling the original italian poem.
I continue to translate and to add new verses until the characters reach the limit.
I submit to soupers expecting their sincere comments and criticism
CANTO I Inferno Original italian
When half the journey of my life was crossed Nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita
I found myself within a forest dark Mi ritrovai per una selva oscura
Because the correct way was harshly lost. Ché la diritta via era smarrita
Oh, it's so hard to say and to remark Ahi quanto a dir qual era è cosa dura
How strong and savage was the forest core Esta selva selvaggia e aspra e forte
That now again I am of fear stark! Che nel pensier rinova la paura!
So amara it is that death is lightly more; Tant'è amara che poco è più morte;
But to describe the sake that there I found Ma per trattar del ben ch'i' vi trovai,
I shall relate what I saw before. Dirò de l'altre cose ch'i' v'ho scorte.
How there I went surely I confound Io non so ben ridir com'i' v'intrai,
Since of slumber I was full so much Tant'era pien di sonno a quel punto
That I abandoned any pattern sound. Che la verace via abbandonai.
But with a hill foot when I got in touch, Ma poi ch'i' fui al piè d'un colle giunto,
There where the valley was close to end Là dove terminava quella valle
Which to my heart gave a fear clutch, Che m'avea di paura il cor compunto,
I looked up and saw its abrupt trend Guardai in alto e vidi le sue spalle
Already dressed by the planet rays Vestite già de' raggi del pianeta
Which the path to everybody always fend. Che mena dritto altrui per ogne calle.
So my fears were calmed in some ways, Allor fu la paura un poco queta,
Which in the lake of my heart had lasted Che nel lago del cor m'era durata
During the night I spent in so much haze. La notte ch'i' passai con tanta pieta.
And similar to one with lena labored, E come quei che con lena affannata,
Got out of open sea reaching the shore, Uscito fuor del pelago a la riva,
Looks the perilous water behind his head, Si volge a l'acqua perigliosa e guata,
Just so my soul, which was fleeing more, Così l'animo mio, ch'ancor fuggiva,
Looked behind to behold the pass Si volse a retro a rimirar lo passo
Which no living person ever left before. Che non lasciò già mai persona viva.
After a while to rest the body harass, Poi ch'èi posato un poco il corpo lasso,
The way resumed along the desert slope Ripresi via per la piaggia diserta,
So that was always lower my foot fast. Sì che 'l piè fermo sempre era 'l più basso.
Here, when I started with the rise to cope, Ed ecco, quasi al cominciar de l'erta,
Sudden a very rapid panther light, Una lonza leggera e presta molto,
Coated with spotted fur and little hope; Che di pel macolato era coverta;
Which didn’t leave apart from my front sight, E non mi si partia dinanzi al volto,
Or better so forbidding my path line, Anzi 'mpediva tanto il mio cammino,
That more than once I gave up to go right. Ch'i' fui per ritornar più volte vòlto.
It was the time for morning starting shine, Temp'era dal principio del mattino,
And sun was rising moving with those stars E 'l sol montava 'n sù con quelle stelle
Which joined it when the love divine Ch'eran con lui quando l'amor divino
Moved for the first those full of beauty jars; Mosse di prima quelle cose belle;
So that I had more reasons to hope the best Sì ch'a bene sperar m'era cagione
About that beast whose pelt had many scars di quella fiera a la gaetta pelle
The hour of time and the season blessed; L'ora del tempo e la dolce stagione;
But not enough to forbid the fright Ma non sì che paura non mi desse
After my eyes a fierce lion guessed. La vista che m'apparve d'un leone.
This looked like against me pounced right Questi parea che contra me venisse
With ravenous hunger and head up high, Con la test'alta e con rabbiosa fame,
So that surrounding air looked to excite. Sì che parea che l'aere ne tremesse.
And a lupa, which greedy coming by Ed una lupa, che di tutte brame
Burdened looked as only skin and bones, Sembiava carca ne la sua magrezza,
And many people already made to sigh, E molte genti fé già viver grame,
This put on me indeed so heavy stones Questa mi porse tanto di gravezza
With the scare created by the appearance, Con la paura ch'uscia di sua vista,
That I lost the hope to reach the upper zones. Ch'io perdei la speranza de l'altezza.
And such as guy acquiring with decision,
And comes the time which brings him then to lose,
So that his thoughts with sorrow find collision;
Similar the peaceless beast with strong abuse
Coming against me direct bit by bit
Constrained me with shadow to confuse.
(No enough space left.
Continues in the next part.
The last rows of original italian will be repeated there)
Long poem by
William J. Jr. Atfield | Details |
Star dust, the stuff of a fool’s dreams.
Oh !!!, to travel upon star dust streams
- that glorious, never ending journey -
into the realms, the space of many.
This old spirit, seems, not to fit into any
mold nor on any rung of the social latter,
that, I think, should not, ever matter.
And so I have to wonder ?,
as upon this planet, I wander.
Is there any place for me ?,
where I might fit in – one day to see ?
In my youth, some perceived me to be
Sall Minnio, even the King,
- Elvis Presley, - this idea girls would bring
with them, in their pursuit of me.
As an adult, I came to be seen
– an Italian, a Greek, a Mexican –
a First Nations is what I’ve been
as folks do the best they can.
As people guessed at my race,
looking and looking into my face,
the essence, the spirit, the soul of this man.
Yet nowhere do I fit - I belong to no place.
Nowhere do I find a fitting space
for this German, French, British, Native,
gene pool, my heritage doth give.
Plus the few – long forgotten – more
that came through the genetic door
– open for viewing the heart of this old soul –
where there is reflection and getting to know.
There have been some who would pass
this face of many – this face of looking glass
refraction – to see truth – a Redman’s blood in the veins
of this First Nation soul – the spirit which remains
for this old soul, the essence of my spirit,
even in times when many would not tolerate it.
And so, it is not a wonder
why this soul seems to flounder,
cannot find anything sounder,
between the jagged, ragged edges
of created, keen, sharp - wedges
between who and what I am, and
where it is I could possibly stand.
There is not – it seems to me – a place
where I fit in, can stand, turn and face,
see a possible niche – a place to belong,
before, my life is almost gone,
as I look back upon all the roads,
- the stories, the tales, the heavy loads –
I have travelled, yet know not what will be told
of what rung, on the social ladder I hold,
what plateau to find shelter in ?,
what plane to fly above, be comfortable in ?,
what place to rest my spirit, my soul within ?,
what space can I find to forget all the sin ?
I have walked with the sane and insane.
I have talked with the educated and uneducated.
I have been in the company of intelligence and unintelligent.
I have laid with the secure and the insecure.
I have laid with passion’s fire and frigid’s cold.
I have known the moral and the immoral.
I have known those of faith and the faithless
I have known the killed and the killer
I have known those who have taken their own lives
I have known the givers and the takers
I have known the movers and the shakers
I have known the honest and the dishonest
I have known the psychic and the blind.
I have known the truth sayers and the bullshitters,
The fast lane, the slow lane, the middle lane I’ve moved in.
The sober, the drunkard – I’ve been and been with.
The strong, the weak – I’ve been and been with.
The used, the abused – I’ve been and been with.
The users and the abusers -- I’ve known and know me.
The wealthy, the poor – I’ve known and know me.
Financial wealth and Spirituality -- I’ve known and know me.
The saver of a life -- I’ve known and was me.
The living and the dead -- I’ve known and know me.
Having a brush with artists has been my fate.
Having acted up with entertainers has been my fate.
Having had words with writers has been my fate.
Having become a rhymer, like my forth cousin, has been my fate.
I have played with players – strummed a note or two.
I have laid with singers-- sung a note or two.
I have laid with dancers – danced a step or two.
I have struck an arc alongside a welder – a time or two.
I have sprayed painted cars alongside a painter – a time or two.
Hammering out metal with body men – I have done.
Twisting wrenches with mechanics – I have done.
Busining along side business men – I have done.
Being a lover, I always thought, was my forte.
Being a husband, I thought I knew how to play.
Being a father, I thought I knew I would stay.
Being a friend, I thought was always my way.
To be a son – a child’s dream.
To be a brother – not to be it seems
as all the above drifts downstream,
leaving one to wonder, what life really means ?
Life’s journey can be a wondrous mystery !,
when one leafs through the pages of his history.
One’s life can also be a disastrous story ?,
one of little hope, dim light and no glory.
So what is left for this old fool ?,
but to carry on breaking the old rule,
rules that make it possible to call oneself a poet,
something I never call myself, a poet, and I know it !
I do the best I can
That is who I am !
Being a carny – traveling with The World’s Finest show.
For a couple of seasons – that is all I did know.
Being a dishwasher, a server, a busboy, a waiter, a manager
of a restaurant, many dimensions of life. I was egger
to come into contact with, to try and understand.
As fate would have it, understanding never came to this hand.
Today, a bum – forty eight years ago – father said
“ the best dressed bum in town ” would be my stead.
What goes around – at some point in time – comes around.
There is some truth to this, that I have certainly found.
Even though I have touched the edges of many a life.
Many places, pieces of each and everyone, not one has been
a place for me, a place I felt I belonged, the places I’ve seen
do not leave pillows for my spirit, beds to rest my soul, rife
with uncertainty, is my state, almost every day
I can find no place, no space for me to play.
Looking into this distorted collage
I wonder if it is but a mirage ?
My flaws lie in the heart of my feeling !, it is my sin !,
this belief that there is no place, no space where I fit in.
B. J. “A” 2
May 1st 2004
Long poem by
Mario DE PAZ | Details |
Already was straight up the flame and steady
To speak no more, and yet away it went
Being the sweet poet to let it ready,
When another, which followed in ascent,
Made us to turn our eyes to top from low
Since emitted sound with confused accent.
As the Sicilian ox first had to low
With tears of the one, and this was right,
Who it annealed before with his rasp though,
With the voice of afflicted bellow might,
So that, although completely of copper done,
It looked as was by pain speared wight;
So, having no way and outcome no one
Starting from fire, in its language thus
Were converted its wretched words to stun.
But after they ended their trip with fuss
Up to the top, giving that wriggle dart
Which gave the tongue when were passing and plus,
We heard to tell: “O you whom I impart
My voice and who now as a Lombard spoke
Telling “you must go, no more I take part”
Even though I came with a quite late stroke,
Don’t mind to stay and speak a while with me;
You see that I do not mind, I invoke!
If you just now this lost blind world to see
Have fallen from that really sweet land
Latin for which of fault I pay the fee,
Tell me if Romagna has peace at hand;
Since I lived between Urbino’s hills there
And the mount where Tiber starts to disband”.
I was still down bent to hear him and stare,
When my duke touched me on my body side,
Telling: “This is Latin; you speak aware”.
And I, just having the answer implied,
Straightaway started then to speak to him:
O soul who are hidden down there beside,
Your Romagna was never keen to trim
Wars in minds and hearts of its oppressors;
But none was there when now I left its rim.
Ravenna is as were predecessors:
The da Polenta eagle there can brood,
So Cervia covers with its lessors.
The land which before suffered the long mood
And of the French the bloody bunch as well,
Under the green domain are just now viewed.
The old and Verrucchio new mastiff fell,
Who of Montagna bad disposal made,
There where they stay then use their teeth to swell.
The Lamone’s and Santerno’s cities laid
Under the small lion reign with white nest
Which season by season changes side grade.
And the one which Savio wets at west,
As it seats between the flat land and hill,
Between tyranny and freedom lives best.
Now who you are, I beg you tell now will;
You ought to be less tough than others were,
If your name in world is well valued still”.
When the fire had bellowed much to blur
In its own way, it moved then its sharp tip
Here, beyond, and then this breath could spur:
“If I could believe that my answer grip
A person who by chance world could reach just,
This flame should then stay at rest with no flip;
But since yet never from this site cussed
Came back alive no one, if I hear true,
With no fear of blemish answer entrust.
Man at arms I was, and then friar skew,
Sure, so encircled, to my faults repair;
And certainly my faith could success view,
If not were the great priest, blasted unfair!,
Who induced to my prior faults then me;
And you understand how, and which, and where.
While of flesh and bones I had chance to be
Which my mother well gave me, my work was
Not of lion, but of fox, I agree.
The tricks and hidden ways a juggler does
I knew in full, exerting them so far,
That at end out of earth came out the buzz.
When I saw myself have reached not afar
From age where everybody should just
Drop the sails and the shrouds collect on spar,
What before I liked, I felt then disgust,
And repented and avowed I became;
Oh wretched weary! And it might adjust.
The leader of modern Phariseans same,
Having a war Laterano’s nearby,
And not with Saracens or Jews, for shame,
Since all his enemies were Christian by,
And no one had been in Acri to win
Nor in Soldano’s land a merchant guy,
Neither highest office nor holy skin
He considered himself, nor cord in me
Which had used to make the girded more thin.
But as Constantine Silvestro asked to be
Within Soracte his leprosy to heal,
So this one asked me to give the key
To heal him the arrogant fever appeal;
He asked me the advice, and I was still
Because his words looked to me mad for real.
And then he told again: “Your heart trust will;
Absolve you by now, and you teach to do
So Palestrina to ground I raze until.
I can close or clear heaven’s door to you,
As you just well know; but there are two keys
Which my predecessor didn’t care for true”.
I was then pushed by arguments as these
Where to be silent might be then the worst,
And told: “Father, since then to wash you please
The sin I must fall in which is cursed,
A long lasting promise with waiting short
Shall make you triumphant to the seat first”.
Francis then came, when I was dead by sort
To save me; but one of the cherubs black
Told him: “Do not abduct; Don’t do me tort.
He must come down with my wretched track
Because he gave the fraudulent advice,
For which I am called to his hair attack;
Since can’t be shrived who can’t regret devise,
Neither together can’t repent and will
For the contradiction which is precise”.
Oh painful me! How much a sorrow thrill
When he grabbed me sudden telling: “Maybe
You did not think I had a logic skill!.
He brought me to Minos; who enfolded me
Eight times with tail to my breast around;
And biting it with rage, so hard to see,
Told: “This in sinners fire must be bound”;
Thus where you are seeing me I am lost,
And so dressed, while going, I am now downed”.
When he ended to talk this way at last,
The flame went away expressing his pain
By twisting the sharp horn also quite tossed.
We passed beyond, and I with my duke main,
Up to the rock until we reached next arch
Which covers the trench of sinners in vain
Whose fault of betting compels them to march.
Long poem by
Joe Flach | Details |
I was a seventeen year old senior in a coed, catholic high school. Our gym classes however were still all boys and all girls. My senior year we had gym every other day and music every other day in the same time slot. The music classes, therefore, were also all boys or all girls.
She was a twenty-eight year old nun in her first teaching assignment. She was in way over her head. She was about five-foot-four and weighed practically nothing. The nuns in our school no longer wore habits and I remember thinking it was a good thing because she would probably fly away like Sally Fields. If you don’t know what I mean by that then you are too young to be reading my story.
The music class was a mad house. She could not control a room of twenty some boys bound and determined to make her life hell. I mean, music class? Really?
We never did the homework assigned; never answered her questions seriously; never believed her threats at discipline; wouldn’t accept the demerits she tried to hand out; and basically goofed off for the hour that was supposed to be dedicated to learning about music.
For some reason, she seemed too proud or too green or too determined to go to the principal or another teacher for help; and, sensing that, we knew we could get away with our childish behavior and so we did.
One day, a handful of us “got in trouble” and she said she wanted to talk to us after class. I was the only one that actually stayed. She tried to lecture me on my bad behavior but I guess my smirk was evidence it was not sinking in. Then, she started to cry, and for the first time I saw her as a person.
“What am I doing,” she cried. "I can’t do this. I am trying; I am really trying, but I am not cut out for this. Why are you boys so mean and hateful?”
I stood up in front of her not knowing what to do or what to say. I felt like a real jerk. I was a real jerk.
Tears poured down her face, which I finally recognized as being a pretty face. She bowed her head and just sobbed. In my awkward seventeen year old manner, I slowly opened my arms and allowed her to lean into me. And I hugged her while she wept.
At seventeen, I was no ladies’ man, and this crying nun was the first woman I had ever held so close to me. I could feel her breasts pressed against me; the heat emitting from her body; and, the delicate nature of her womanly form in my arms. I knew then that I was destined to go straight to hell for the thoughts that were going through my head and the feelings I felt between my legs.
She pulled away and whispered, “I am so sorry, I should not have done that. You may go.”
I simply said, “You know, you are doing fine, you just have a class of a bunch of butt holes”, and walked out of the room. It was that night that she started coming to see me in my dreams. To hell I go, for sure.
I wish I could tell you I had the moxie and the influence to whip that class into shape, but I did not. The mad house continued with one less student joining in the fun. I tried my best to behave, answer her questions, pay attention and feign interest in the topic of the day – but I was just one in a sea of monsters. I stayed after class and after school a few times to talk with her, ask her how she was doing, and see if I could help in any way. She was actually starting to get the hang of things and was able to focus on the few classes that were willing to learn.
At the end of the school year, I was one of the few students who had not enrolled in a college for the coming year. Because I was one of the better students, it caused a little bit of a fuss and a number of teachers talked to me about the huge mistake I was making taking some time off before going to college. It seems they were all convinced that if I did not start into college in the fall, I was doomed to never go to college. I challenged them by saying what they were really worried about was their statistics of percentage of students who went on to further their education.
During the last day of classes, the music teacher asked me to stay after class. It appears, it was her turn to try to talk some sense into me.
“So, I hear you are not going to college,” she said.
“No, I’m going to college … some day, just not this fall.”
“So what are you going to do?”
“I don’t know yet. Take some time off. Work. Nothing. I don’t know. Why is it so important to everyone? When the time is right, I’ll go to college.”
“They just care about you.”
“Bull loney,” I said, only it was another word.
She smiled at me. I had been dreaming about her now for six months. I changed the topic.
“Have you ever kissed a boy?”
She laughed, “You know, I grew up the same as every girl in this high school. I did have boyfriends.”
“Yeah, but have you ever kissed a boy,” I challenged.
“No. Not the way you mean.”
“Do you ever wonder what it would be like?”
“No. Never,” she lied.
“If I told you I will register for college if you kiss me, will you?”
“No. I believe you when you say you just need some time off. I think that is a good idea.”
Then she walked up close to me and stopped a heartbeat away. Suddenly, she reached down between my legs, grabbed the crouch of my pants and said, “Just don’t let this thing get you in trouble.”
She abruptly turned and walked out of the classroom while I tried to catch my breath.
During the graduation ceremony I saw her sitting with the other teachers and shared a private smile with her while walking back to my seat after being handed my diploma. I would never see her again … outside of my dreams.
I often think about my high school music teacher and my ticket straight to hell. Unfortunately, I never heeded her advice. That body part of mine she grabbed ahold of for a fleeting second those many years ago, has gotten me in trouble time and time again.
Long poem by
Jack Clark | Details |
When I was young, and adventure routine,
With excitement and newness still unforeseen
I was eager to spread my wings to the world
And seek more adventures as those wings unfurled
Within my long travels I happened to meet
Two other men, with friendships replete
One was named Beckett, the other one Flynn
And better friends there never have been.
We’d been together, ‘t was our sixth year,
And still our adventures made us cohere
To every madness – to every rave …
Until we decided to enter: The Cave.
With our ropes and lanterns and other such gear
It was into The Cave we then disappeared.
The light from our lanterns speared into the dark
We spoke very little - made no remark.
We found a small dry spot and then we assessed
This was a place we could stop now to rest.
I set down my lantern, and took off my hat,
When Beckett said: “Hey. Did you just hear that?”
I moved not a muscle, and my ears went to strain.
All I could hear were cave droplets, like rain.
Then … from The Cave’s bowels came a loud din
I continued to listen – then heard it again.
We looked at each other, but said not a word
Confused and startled by what we’d just heard
It wasn’t a moan, it wasn’t a gasp
But more rather like a guttural rasp
Then from The Cave’s deepened black hole
Came again sounds from a source with no soul
The sound was menacing, and one I despise,
I watched the fear grow within my friends’ eyes.
Instinctively then, we three moved as one
In that instant – our re-ascent had begun
I had been last in the line coming down
But first in line in this turnaround.
The lamp on my hat pierced through the black
And I looked for our markers to lead us back
To save our strength, nothing was said
Again - that loud sound which filled me with dread.
Somewhere behind me, then snarls I heard
Loud and vicious, run together and blurred
Close … so close … the Beast was so near
Adrenalin rushed through me to react to my fear
‘T was then I was hit by an overpowering stench
My stomach turned and my bowels went to clench
The odor blew past me, and I knew t’was the breath
Of the Beast of The Cave – its’ stench of Death.
I was near running, but down on all fours
Sweat was streaming from all of my pores.
Then I heard those terrible screams
The ones I keep hearing in all of my dreams
It was Beckett I knew in his shocked agony
Midst the snarled snapping of jaws I can’t see
I heard bones cracking and squishing of flesh
And my fear within gave new strength afresh
My fingers were raw from grabbing the rock
But on moving forward my mind had its’ lock
My stomach still queasy from the stench of the beast
I knew it was finishing its’ beastly feast
I screamed: “Flynn! Catch up to me!”
But took not the time to look back and see
For the beasts’ crashing against The Cave’s face
Told me it neared – and was upping its’ pace
In less than an instant, Flynn was there too,
His face in my hat-light was of a strange hue
And as he helped me get back to my feet …
Flynn turned around – t’was the Beast there to meet.
The stench overwhelming, but the sight was much worse
There standing before us: The beastly curse
Of layered scales in shades of dark gray
The rest of its body concealed in umbrae
But its’ eyes … its’ eyes … I’ll never forget
Rheumatoid yellow, and deeply inset
Its’ reptilian lids blinked just one time
‘Fore its’ lips peeled back - revealing the slime,
Glistening yellow over dagger-like teeth
Then oozed from its’ mouth to fall there beneath.
The beast reared up, we then saw its’ claws
Sharp and deadly within its forepaws
Towering above us, no sound the beast made
On beams of our lights had his gaze stayed.
Unexpectedly Flynn then turned to face me
… With less blinding light, the beast could again see
Why Flynn had turned I never will know
For the beast bit him in two, at his torso
And I was looking at Flynn – direct in his face
When the beasts’ bite his life did erase.
I screamed, and instantly away did I run
Away from the beast, and dead companion
Through the price of Flynn’s life, more time had been bought
To reach The Cave’s entrance – the goal which I sought
I heard its’ clawed talons scraping the wall
And prayed I’d not again stumble and fall
Then, up ahead, a small opening I viewed
And I saw my chance, to hope there exude
Twelve feet … six feet … then it was three
But the beast and its’ stench was there behind me
I dove through the rock-opening, scraping my head
But better that injury than ending up dead
I was elated, and about to rejoice
I then heard a scream – it was my own voice!
In my leg erupted intense blinding pain
Looking down I saw the bloodstain
My leg, through the opening, still was stuck out
There was but split-seconds,’fore I’d lose it no doubt
I pulled my leg back, and in but a flash
My shoe was removed by a clawed talon slash
I crawled back from the opening, then I could see
My wound was deep, from ankle to knee
Then suddenly through the opening came
A clawed talon whose aim was to maim
I quickly withdrew out of its’ reach
As claws shot through the openings’ breech
The opening too small for continued rampage
And the beast began then to voice its’ outrage
Its deafening roars assaulted my ears
Echoed Cave chambers and to my mind did adhere
I began attending unto my grave wound
Knowing I now was no longer marooned.
Another two hours ‘fore I crawled out The Cave
And many more days ‘fore I’d shed the shockwave
Of what had transpired, and what I had seen
But my damaged leg was lost to gangrene.
Now sleep evades me, for my horrible dreams
Show beams of light, and unearthly screams
Of Beckett and Flynn and The Cave we were in
I know tonight, I’ll re-live it again.
So, now you’ve the story, you’ve heard the deed
I swear is the truth I’ve herein decreed
And Beckett and Flynn are enslaved in their grave
And I lost my leg to … The Beast of The Cave.
Long poem by
Trisha Sugarek | Details |
The Ash Can ©
I got the call on Sunday night. I was traveling on business. When I looked at the caller ID
I wondered why my husband’s boss would be calling me. I was unprepared for what
he told me and my legs turned to water when he said that my husband was dead.
‘A heart attack? An accident?’ I asked. ‘No’, he said, ‘John committed suicide.
They found him in your garage this morning.’ I heard someone screaming and
wished that they would stop so I could hear the rest. His voice was very far away
and the woman just kept screaming. ‘Shut up! Shut up!’ I need to hear. I clapped my
hand over my mouth when I suddenly realized it was me who was screaming.
I don’t remember hanging up or getting on the plane. (beat) Yes, John and I were having
problems and we had been separated for about three months but nothing was official.
After thirty years of marriage I never believed that we couldn’t weather this and share
the rest of our lives together. This was just a phase he was going through…some sort
of mid-life crisis. This had to be some horrible mistake, a case of mistaken identity.
My John would never do this, leave me like this. (beat)
I stumbled into our home around nine the next morning. The house looked like a woman
hadn’t lived there for months. Dirty dishes in the sink, groceries half put away, empty
beer cans and a full ashtray by John’s chair. Seeking comfort I walked over to his chair.
Out of the corner of my eye, I caught a glimpse of a reflection in the mirror over the
fireplace. Some wild looking woman with mascara smudges under her eyes and smeared
lipstick looked out at me. I walked closer to inspect this stranger in my house.
She looked old and used up. Who was she? What had life dealt her to look so worn out?
Oh, God, it was me. Staring out with those eyes bleeding hot, raw pain. (beat) I curled
up in John’s chair and closed my eyes. Was this all I had left of my husband? This slightly shabby piece of furniture that still smelled of him? How could I tell our children? Could I bear to go into the garage? What would I find?
I knew that they had taken his body away but what had they left there for me to see?
Maybe something there would prove that this was truly a mistake. I rose to my feet and
walked into the kitchen and through the laundry room to the garage door. (beat)
I slowly opened it and was knocked back by the remaining stink of gas fumes.
John’s car sat in its parking spot, the garden hose hanging from the back window like
some obscene snake. I gagged and pressed the button to open the garage door.
The passenger side window was open so I could look inside without having to touch the car. And what I saw on the seat told it all. There was John’s cell phone, an empty bottle of Vodka and a bottle of Excedrin. (beat) And something else…a second cell phone…what in the world? I was only allowed five seconds of blissful denial before it all came crashing down on me. The second phone…the secret phone that men who cheat keep to talk to their lovers. All those protestations he offered during the time that we were apart. ‘No, there was no one else’, ‘I just need to find myself’, ‘I don’t want a divorce’, ‘I just need some time’. ‘I love you; I’m just not in love with you.’ Lies, all lies! How could I have been so stupid? Then I notice a crumpled manila envelope on the floor of the car. Anger driven, I opened the door and picked up the envelope and the two cell phones and went back into the house. Sitting in John’s chair once again, I smoothed out the envelope and read what was written there.
‘Ricky, tell Sherry I love her. Tell Sherry I can’t live without her. Tell Sherry not to cry
for me. Sherry, I’ll love you forever. I’m sorry.....John-Boy.’ Who the hell was Sherry?
Did my husband of three decades kill himself over some tramp? Some other woman
whom he barely knew? I picked up the second cell phone and scanned the history of calls.
Where was area code 864? As I set the phone down my eye caught the partial title of
a book lying on the rug under the table. Picking it up, I read: ‘How To Keep A Long
Distance Relationship Exciting and New.’ I opened it to the first few pages and found an
inscription, ‘To my tiny dancer, until we meet again. Love forever, your John-Boy.’
My God, John, how could you? How could you do this to us? I yelled as I threw the
book across the room; will this hellish nightmare never end? (beat) I picked up the
cell phone and scrolled down the history; Sherry Hoffman, Sherry Hoffman, Sherry Hoffman, Sherry Hoffman. No other woman, huh, John? South Carolina…hence the long distance relationship…you’re such a fool, I told myself. There was voice mail saved and I listened to the most current ones. Those messages told a story of a married woman who had a son and a new grandchild.
Another sad, pedestrian story of a restless woman trapped in a loveless marriage but
unwilling to leave. The daughter-in-law apparently would not let Sherry see the child.
It seemed that John, in a misplaced attempt to help, called Sherry’s son to insist that
he let Sherry see her grand-baby.
Only to succeed in blowing up that family. The final message was not so sweet and
sexy from his lover. Sherry had dumped my husband. (beat) I didn’t know whether
to laugh or cry. I seemed to be trapped in a crazed, unbelievable soap opera. But what
is it that they say about truth being stranger than fiction? I sighed. John had always
wanted to rescue anyone in trouble…even when they didn’t ask for help. He had crossed
the line calling that woman’s son. Oh, John, what were you thinking?, I asked the empty
room. Didn’t you know? You were her dirty little secret.... (more)
(from my book, Monologues 4 Women)
Long poem by
cassie hellberg | Details |
sometimes i talk to myself,
my mind is racing,
i dont know what to do...
so hard to explain.
depression isn't a stage
or a faze some kids go through
it shatters you...
i saw it all.
she cried silent in her bed,
blood stains covered her favorite jeans,
her every shirt,
long sleeve ofcourse...
she suffered through it all with few people to call friend
and more to call enemy
even more to say where quite dissappointed....
her first name in school,
not started by a bully
or a mean rival,
but by her sister,
and it echoed through her soul,
repeating in her mind... over and over again,
like the ripples of still water
when a pebble is dropped
flash frozen in time
over and over again...
It was the first name they gave her,
millions where created over the years,
some repeating again, just as the first had..
gothic they called her,
emo, fat, ugly....worse things.
but in her mind, things where worse.
everything was repeating,
over and over again,
finally she believed it.
she asked for help, from everyone
tried to explain to parents she wasnt well,
got called a psycho for asking to see a theripist,
not from a teacher,
not from a class mate,
but from her own father, who wouldn't, couldn't,
believe there could possibly be a thing wrong....
finally, crying, she confessed her bloody secret to a teacher.
rather then giving her time,
she is sent back to class crying her eyes out, as if she wherent going through enough...
she is sent to the principals office a few minutes later, after breaking down in class...
the princlipal says she needs help,
sends her and her dad for a risk evaluation,
her dads crying as she shows him her cuts...
they walk into a hospital room,
it smells of chemicals and hand sanitizer,
the lady at the desk gives her a smile.
then she goes into a room with a lady,
her cheeks are sunken in and shes wearing way too much makeup,
the girl is gaging on her perfume,
and she looks really intimidating....
her dark brown hair looks dead and flat
even though its a bit wavy,
and she wears somewhat of a mocking frown.
asks her all these questions,
is mommy beating her?
is daddy raping her?
is she doing drugs?
is anyone beating her?
did anyone molest her?
oxcarbezapine, trazadone, citalipran, clinazapam, colonipan,
valium, lithium, more.......
and thats what they gave her,
some numbed the pain
some brought it out
tearing through her organs,
she became an addict by the time she was fourteen....
over dose after over dose
some for pleasure
some for pain,
gashes on her legs getting deeper,
this time she didnt tell a soul,
not even those she had come to call friends....
wakeup she screamed in her head over and over again
as she dropped weight like it was nothing....
you cant controll it she argued as things became worse.
at age fourteen she attempted suicide,
she didnt quite succeed.
the medication took away her aappitite....
she liked it
she hated her body
felt out of controll
found a new way to cope
as she shoved tooth brush after toothbrush down her throat
to keep her body from nuitrients...
as she whent weeks and weeks spitting food into napkins and making excuses
I ate at my friends house....
spoken as a whisper
heard like a sentance
echoing in her mind over and over again,
along with that word, all the words,
ugy, anoying, stupid, fake, worthless, nothing...
one bite she would say
rocking back and forth
craving nothing but food
her body racked with hunger pain
one bite and there she was again
over and over and over again
back to a toothbrush
this time she sees blood
she saw her ribs
she saw her bones,
it wasnt good enough,
she almost died, again....
choking on this deep dissappointment in herself,
gaging on everything they where pushing down her throat,
their words, and their insults, their criticism.... their drugs
all shoved down her throat like candy
and just as she was was trained to do she swallowed despite the bad taste
or the hurt
or the fact that at the rate she was going she would be dead soon...
and you know why?
because daddy yelled
and couldnt accept what was happening
not because he wanted to hurt her
but because it hurt him,
and she let him believe,
because she could take the hurt if it meant he didnt have too.
because mommy didnt want to sit in her room all day
practically having us raise ourselves,
she didnt mean to take anger, or frustration or hurt out on her daughter
she suffered everyday in her solitary confinement,
and from a young age she accepted her bedroom was the cage
her mother had created for herself.
because sister didnt want to effect her the way she did
she was just frustrated
fed up with the way things where
scared, she needed someone to take her cruelty
and to help heal her pain...
because people in school
who where so cruel
had to have learned from somewhere
and she wasnt going to play into their games,
and they knew she was an easy target
because she would never attack someone so weak
and she accepted her suffering was a sacrafice
to help all these people....
to help her dad,
every person who was beaten abused or hurt
and felt so weak at home they wanted to feel strong in the one safe place they had.
because depite the fact she had died inside,
and almost passed away on the out,
it was a saccrafice she was willing to make
so that no one else would have to feel that kind of pain,
and they all inflicted it and broke her down'untill there was nothing left but a shell
of somthing that could have been
and never had the chance
because she would take it and wouldnt strike back,
because sometimes "just taking it"
isnt so much about the weakness not to do anything
but about the strangth not to hurt others the way they hurt you...