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Long poem by Neldy Jolo | Details |

THE CRAFT CAN CAPTURE IT

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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






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

Copyright © Neldy Jolo | Year Posted 2013


Long poem by Yorn Called | Details |

The twins, Part 1

In the dark of night a wind took hold,
With powers charged to shake the sky,
By moody swings of gods up high,
Their breath alone enraged and bold.

In the dark of night history spoke,
Of a world alive with fury’s voice,
When life was full of fate and choice,
And death the augur in the smoke.

In the dark of night a man did dream,
Whose tale these words we now account,
Be brave my friend this chariot mount,
By nothing less shalt this vision redeem.

Struggling through the combative gales,
A sleepless figure tossed and rolled,
With wondering sight a story was told,
Of mysteries shrouded in ancient tales.

Upon this figure two more did glare,
Faces are but vessels for orbs to divine,
Not sufficient to be one through design,
Two alive but so unlike to us stare.

These twins that see by darkness alone,
Feel the truth in the shine of art,
Ending where the few dare start,
These bright globes make gold of stone.

With raging winds our story begins,
The battle set both within and out,
The world’s pictures thoughts about,
Action the habits, blindness the sins.

With Boreas alight wandering above,
A divine force teased with subtle math,
To follow the Phoenix on its path,
Or kneel in tears with a praying dove.

The tempest in all its mighty flight,
Decreed with a fist the obvious!
So proud, so proud, yet so oblivious,
The storm forgets his humble birthright.

The wild winds be but a paper tiger,
The hands that give it mighty thrust,
Wields no whip to allure its trust,
Holding a low cup, a cat just finds her.

Such be the crispy breeze in deed,
To roar, puff, blow things down,
Seeking doors to equilibrium’s town,
When heat in fact needs cold to feed.

Wind seeks the muse of inspiration,
A lull, then a rush to arms to end,
Her charms the air does commend,
She whispers with bated respiration.

Such my friend is the temperate truth,
The tempest being no storm cries,
For its maker with love sees its lies,
The swordsman’s tail swings uncouth.

With no further aside we now return
To one whose sleep our vision seeks,
Into this mind the devil now peeks,
Intellect put off so symbols could turn.

Seeking passage to dreamlands alter,
Further and further the eyes withdrew,
A fatherly vessel, twos sons the crew,
A ship who by one one would fault her.

The tides of reflection ebbed no more,
For the two in one the world was gone,
Sands of sleep their eyes set upon,
Dreams for obeying in days to store.

‘Saw the one, the troubled of the two,
Again vain Boreas with eyes asquint,
Forged to see not flowers but mere mint,
An ignoble man, through and through.’

‘His drifting eyes of warrior bent bow,
Blind to the combat of peaceful keys,
Gazed upon Orithyia ready to seize,
The light by which he would never know.’

‘In one fell swoop he swept upon her,
An immortal force not fit to engage,
Death by shock, a rose in a cage,
A sword can never a heart procure.’

Tailors we know make not the man,
Nor, to wit, does he who blow impress,
The finest garments fit best to undress,
The suitor, naked, conception’s plan.

The warrior’s blood once led the world,
What man wanted man merely took,
By far better ways the world was shook,
Now only fools let their swords unfurl.

Still within us sleeping reptiles wink,
Side by side the peace laying dove,
Whose golden egg sits on a glove,
Disarming the insults men might think.

Yet by tinted thoughts some still fall,
There walk among us wanting men,
Who touch stones instead of women,
Blind fools like statues they do install.

To such a fellow we now must return,
By unlucky choice he cast his dice,
Gambling rage would make life nice,
His heart of fire for ice would burn.
 
The I then of the one who took control,
With eye inclined to dote ambition,
In Boreas he saw worthy commission,
Jewels taken justly by godly parole.

‘Reading now the face of himself,
Pleased to see opportunity’s chance,
His office in life he wished to enhance,
His brother’s book push’d off the shelf.’

“This world is made for the taking,
By will alone my will will be done,
A wild beast untamed I roam alone,
But not for long my flight in staking.”

‘Fighting the angel by his side,
He saw in Boreas a better figure,
With sharp mirror set to disfigure,
The Abel eye, his far better guide’

‘Eager as a dog ready to surprise,
Our hero set off to execute his plan,
With canine teeth and on four he ran,
To she who soon would be his prize’

To think a surprise can live in a dog,
Is like seeing a rat for a filet mignon, 
So deluded a man can appear to one,
Whose rose is above all mist and fog.

‘With tongue wild about he grabbed,
The hand intended for him that night,
So sure his lust would disarm a fight,
So shocked to see her smile stabbed’

“Unsightly hair-chested beast you are,
Withdraw from here in haste and fast,
Better to drown alone in seas outcast,
Then with you fly off with fettered tar.”

“Listen little man, listen with your ears,
Give not violets your muscular arms,
Whispered fumes make better charms,
Graceful words for love sheds tears.”

“Fear most of all power’s delusion,
For the deluded become denuded,
Gaining nothing, nothing included,
Power wins only a life in seclusion.”

“Go to thy chamber, scream and yell,
Amend, however, by all smart means,
Your spiteful mean loveless routines,
Thou art but a mute, a soundless bell”

‘With reproof in hand he up and went,
To vent the gales in charge of him,
The dogfight over with outlook dim,
He saw his brother of different bent.’

‘Reaching for the floor the fallen book,
Whose pages spoke a turtle’s tongue,
The unread by thorny bees are stung,
So wiser he for counsel stole a look.’

Copyright © Yorn Called | Year Posted 2014


Long poem by cherl dunn | Details |

MY LITTLE CREEPY DUDE

At the final stroking of saint Halloween eve, it seems not so long ago,
That my trusty SUV, transport vehicle unceremoniously broke down,
Right outside the local pet cemetery, what a marvelous place to
Spend the spookiest night of the year, changing a flat tire right next
Door to the graveyard of the barking dead!
 Ha, ha I thought to myself these children of the night better be at
Rest, I’m just not in the mood for playing fetch the bone, with
Any undead beasties tonight!
That’s when I heard a hellish sound, coming from this unconsecrated
Ground of Fido’s lost and found burial mounds, it started out low,
But grew with every shrill passing moment, I dropped the jack,
Picked up my throbbing heart, and became brave Balto of the
Polar North fame!
Inch by inch I approached, these iron bars gates that which were
Oddly left Unlocked, approaching the very center I stopped dead
Within my tracks, just as metal basketball rolled at my very feet,
Within two red glowing eyes meant mine, what the #### ####,
Is this thing, this it within a bob-wire metal shell?
It had very little hair, more like a grizzly patch here and there,
A ratty tail like a mouse, but what really caught my attention
The most was its sharp talon like claws, but it cried so, my
Mother instinct overrode my sinus of reasoning, it’s helpless,
Tender howling touched the darkness of my deepest Edger
Allen soul, so I picked it up, and took it home!
Now, now I told it, don’t be afraid, I’ll cut you free from
Your iron cage, it seemed to understand me in dark
Level that I can’t explain, my little creepy dude,
By the way such became his name, my undead pet
From the realm of the unknown!
It growled and hissed at me at first, almost nipping
At my bare fingertips, I’ll have none of that biting
Business, I told it just be patient I’ll have you out
In just a few minutes!
At long last it burst free, running attempting to
Flee far away from me, but I was quicker than it,
This terrifying thing, that captured me with it’s 
Howling cry!
Now my little creature feature, you need a bath
It shivered at the mention of the word, meaning clean!
But it had a very foul musty odor of brimstone, and
Rotten fleshy decay, into a vat of Mr. Bubbles it so went,
This it thing, my creepy little dude!
 After I brushed and towel him off, I feed him a mushy
Mush of oatmeal and milk, but he spit it at me, “ok what
Does a thing like you eat than,” I asked!
The creature than went to my fridge just as if it were
The most natural thing in the world to do, grabbed a 
Bottle of spuds suds, popped the cork, and sat next to
The old boo tube, now just you wait a cotton picking 
Minute, I thought to myself, no way!
 It than snatched a slice of day old pizza from a nasty,
Cardboard box sitting in my waste paper bin, gobbled
It down in a moment, than burped out soundly, 
It’s gratifications satisfaction!
The whole time I’m wondering what the #### did I bring
Home, this it thing, that now reminds me of my ex-husband,
Beer, pizza, and TV burping, but just as I was thinking about
Taking it to the dead creature’s animal shelter, it captured
My inner heart all over again, in a flick of my heart 
It had nestled in my lap, growling in a purr, than
Tenderly clawing at my tummy, it snoozed!
From that point on it this thing, fondly known as
My creepy little dude, could do no wrong in my eyes,
It stayed just the same size, even though it eat night
And day, it drooled on everything, from the baseboards
To the chandler but I didn’t care, for he was my
Creepy little dude!
Than the next Halloween night it happened,
I got a knock at my pantry door, it was two
Creatures, a female werewolf, and a male
Choapa Cobra, excuse us Miss Have you seen,
A metal basinet bob wire ball?
My little creepy dude ran passed me, in a flash yelled momma,
And the jig was up, these unusual parents thanked me,
Hugged their baby and left, I never saw the it thing again
After that, my little creepy dude was gone forever!
But I’ll never forget, what happened not so long ago,
On a Halloween night, or my treasured pet, the it thing,
Known as my little creepy dude!
 
BY: CHERYL ANNA DUNN

 DEDICATED TO BEN STRONG-THE ORIGINAL CREEPY DUDE




Copyright © cherl dunn | Year Posted 2015


Long poem by Briana Lynn Minard-Adler | Details |

Bradlee Joe Rasmussen

Bradlee Joe is mine, he's always been mine,
The younger brother of David Authur Rasmussen Jr.,
Those gorgeous brown eyes staring at me, natural hair color,
That's brown; just like his brothers, but he dyed it blonde.<3
That gorgeous angel face, I think of him everyday all day, think of,
Those memories, that smile, that laugh, that voice, those strong arms,
The strong arms that hold me, just like his brother used to.
The sweet things he says to me, those precious eyes look into,
Into mine, the way he runs his fingers through my hair, the way he tickles me,
The way we play wrestle, the way we talk, the way we look at each other.
Eyes full of wonder, wonder how long we'll stay together, then he says,
He says "Baby we'll stay forever", and I believe every word he says,
My God if he only knew, knew how he makes my heart pound, the way,
The way it's just so easy to talk to him, man I can tell him anything, and I know,
I know that he'll keep it a secret, that's why I trust him with everything,
Everything inside of me. Everytime he asks me if I wanna start,
Start over with him, I always say yes, because I love him!!
No matter how much he hurts, I'll always love him, I do, because,
Because I know it's real, I love him with everything inside of me,
I want to wake up next to him everymorning and fall asleep,
Fall asleep in his arms everynight, say "I do" to him, have his,
Have his children, be in love forever, my God I've never felt this way before.
I fell for him the first moment I saw his gorgeous smile light,
Up that dark lunch room, the way you hugged me tight, exchanged,
Exchanged numbers with each other, and the way we talked on the phone for hours on end,
Oh how I wished for you to be mine, How I still wish to change,
Change my name to Briana Lynn Rasmussen.
Babe I can't inagine a world where you don't exsist, babe without you,
Without you I'd honestly die.
The son of David Authur Rasmussen Sr. and Sandi Rasmussen,
The brother of David Authur Rasmussen Jr, and Cheyeene Rasmussen,
The cousin of Kenneth Michael Hampton, better known as Mikey :) You have
Have a older bro, a younger sister & brother, and you have you,
Father's eyes, your brother's strength, your mother's beauty, and your crazy,
Crazy sense of humor.
With you I can't stop smiling, laughing and giggling.
Babe I am finally home, it's been a long time, and I am glad you kept the bed warm for me,
My home is with you, it's the only place where I belong, and babe I am so glad to be home.
I love your curly hair, I love the way you hold me, the way you kiss me, the way yoy,
You love me.
I love everything you do, and everything about you,
Babe I really do hope that day comes where we say "I do."
Hell I'd do it right now if I could, if you wanted me the same.
I want to be the mother of your children, I want to be the on;y woman you come home to,
Come home to after work, the one you give sweet kisses to, and the one you tell,
Tell me about your day, the one who wants to fall asleep in your arms, and 
Wake up in your arms with my head on your chest, see your sweet smile everyday,
Hear the words "Good Morning Baby, how'd you sleep?"
I'd reply sleepily "Great, how bout you Angel?" I love everything about you, everything
Everything you say, babe I love the fire in your eyes, the way you are protective over me,
The way you fight for me.
Babe I just wanna be your forever, and when we die baby,
I want to be laidto rest next to you, or with you in the same casket, because,
Because I'm only me when I'm with you, you are the only one who keeps me warm, The only one
Only one who makes me feel like I am home, like I'm finally alive,
Like I'm finally me, babe you are my better half and really honestly,
I've been so lost without you, and I am so glad to be back home.

Copyright © Briana Lynn Minard-Adler | Year Posted 2012


Long poem by Teenage Frustrations | Details |

I Hate

I hate the birth mark under my right eye
I hate my extremely static hair
I hate my big bottom lip
I hate my spotty nose

I hate that I have really *****y times
I hate that people only remember me for my really *****y times
I hate that the real *****es hate me
I hate being cautious so they don’t ***** about me

I hate that I cry over everything
I hate that people know I cry over everything
I hate that I hide from them anyway
I hate that they actually don’t care 

I hate the fact that my brother is leaving home next year
I hate the fact that I cried when he told me that
I hate the fact that I hid my tears from him
I hate the fact that he’s all I really have left

I hate my father for making me feel like he doesn’t care about me
I hate my mother for making me feel like she picked him over me
I hate that my brother had to look after me when they couldn’t be bothered
I hate that, in my eyes, they don’t deserve to be called mum and dad

I hate that when I was younger I had to run away from my father
I hate that my mother and brother left me by myself that day
I hate that they left me closer to my father
I hate that they went somewhere I would have felt safer

I hate that I feel like my friends are slowly fading away from me
I hate that I feel like I’m a third wheel
I hate that I feel like my friend’s don’t trust me
I hate that I feel like I can’t trust my friends

I hate the feeling of loneliness
I hate that I read books to escape to a world better than mine
I hate that I write to create a better life than my own
I hate that people want to invade that one heaven I invented

I hate that people ask me why I made Katy Clover Taylor
I hate that I had to make a role model for myself
I hate that she is the person I desperately want to be
I hate that she is the one thing I will never live up to

I hate that I feel like my grades would grasp my families attention
I hate that feeling of disappointment when I get a bad grade
I hate feeling like I have to live up to an expectation to hold their attention
I hate that I am relied on because of my grades

I hate that I am an older mind trapped in a younger body
I hate that I am limited in what I can do because of my age
I hate not being trusted upon
I hate people treating me as a kid

I hate not telling people how I feel
I hate hiding behind an invisible barrier
I hate not being able to share how I feel with people
I hate being scared that they won’t care.

I hate people judging me
I hate judging people
I hate that feeling of giving up
I hate the feeling of losing when I didn’t give up

I hate the choices I have made
I hate that nobody thinks I can live up to my dream
I hate people thinking they are so much better than me
I hate the fact that they are right

I hate that I will never make a good girlfriend
I hate the fact I know nobody would fall for me
I hate knowing that no one would help me pick up my life
I hate that it has fallen apart

I hate hurting the people I love
I hate them not loving me anymore
I hate knowing that what I would do would hurt people
I hate the fact I do it anyway

I hate knowing that I do all of this
I hate knowing I hate all of this
I hate trying to change it
I hate that I am not able to change it

I hate that I try not to give up hope
I hate knowing all hope is lost
I hate that I still try and cling to it anyway
I hate knowing I failed at that too

But most of all

I hate not being able to express this until now
I hate that this still won’t change a thing
I hate thinking that it still might
I hate knowing that no one cares

Copyright © Teenage Frustrations | Year Posted 2012


Long poem by Jennifer Cahill | Details |

Prose

Shane walked to the back of the bar and found the door opened to an alley littered with the garbage of the bar and the restaurant beside it, the one whose neon sign has two lights blown out.


“Sally, we should leave through this door if the man I told you about comes in.”


“We can’t”.

“Why?” He seemed agitated, and unused to disagreement.


“The alley has no exit, except for a locked chained linked fence, and besides, we have nothing to be afraid of.” She says, rubbing his shoulders soothingly.
The bar was crowded, and despite smokers hanging outside, the air seemed thick, or viscous, with something that felt like dewdrops suspended: they almost could not breathe. Yet they felt warm within the crowd, and the frigid air outside was an incentive to stay put, at least for awhile.


Sally and Shane ordered two beers, and nursed them for twenty minutes before they started to discuss the real reason they were meeting tonight, on such a cold night in a seedy part of town.


“The money is with my cousin, actually distant cousin; he will bring it to my apartment tomorrow night, just as the sun sets.” Shane wiped the moisture that had left a mark on the counter. Sally swallowed the last drops of her beer. She ordered another; Shane was still taking shallow sips of his.


“Okay, then. Put the money in a laundry sack surrounded by linen and bring it to the laundry mat across the street from my apartment. I will meet you there at nine. It will still be quiet at that hour. We won’t be seen.”


“Okay.”
“

I will pay the woman who has helped others with this money, and the problems we have been having will go away. She never speaks of such matters to others, and her word is good.” Sally was finished with her second beer, and tying her scarf tightly around her pale neck and tucking the woolen red and blue scarf into her brown jacket. She took a deep breath and declared the matter settled. She did not see the man with the knit black cap, pulled so low over his face one could not see his eyes, a scarf wrapped around his mouth, come in and approach the bar.


“One vodka and tonic, please”.


Shane immediately recognized the voice and became afraid. He whispered to Sally about this man, and she frowned deeply, only to smile abruptly when she saw Shane’s fear.


“The woman who we are paying knows of him. He cannot harm us.”
Shane walked quickly to the exit, Sally behind him, noticing the streetlights outside flickering as he stepped outside, and, pulling his dark coat tightly around him, bid goodnight and walked quickly down the street, his footsteps echoing like the voices of long lost friends. Sally waited for her ride, and as the car pulled up, Shane turned and saw the driver was his wife and the passenger his brother. Shocked, he almost ran to the car, now leaving the curbside, and called out “Sharon! Bill!”


A blackness enveloped his senses after unbearable pain and he was unaware of falling.
The next morning, at a corner newsstand near where Shane used to commute by train to work, the newspapers sold had as a bottom headline, in small bold printing, the news of the murder of a man: the commuters ruffled through the articles, and then set the papers aside after reading of such events in a small brightly lit city.

Copyright © Jennifer Cahill | Year Posted 2013


Long poem by elizabeth landon-lane | Details |

Free Base Fable

My baby brother had the face of an angel;
One proud young lion all supple grace and golden hair
Shamelessly evocative against the backdrop of life.
My baby brother...untutored gigelo from birth. 
His eyes: sapphire blue and beautiful
And he could shame a whore back into innocence
If he chose that part.
One lazy smile like a laser beam through the heart..  
One inexpensive smile to melt raw anger to a shrug,
Or a sigh...in return for our rage,
However well and truly earned.
Enticed us all to willing hugs for any sin,

And so, as always, forgiveness came
Because there were so many hate filled things uncounted.
He seemed intent on the tally of invisible wounds...
Useless transgressions turned expensive through the years.
They festered behind those beautiful eyes
And a cracked glass pipe;
Using that deadly grin to blind those who loved him still...
But still....we saw the danger, denied a name in deference
To us all - who could not - would not act.
And he wasted all that love he so loudly demanded;
Shrill and greedy, emotional vampire...my baby brother.
Pouring love into him like molten gold
Hot and bright and blinding
Into an empty vessel that never seemed to fill.

My pure bred lion turned alley cat;
Turned indolent, arrogant, dangerous and dirty.
This magnificent human turned crazy,
Investing his money - and ours - into the art of throwing his life away
With vengeance and malice aforethought.
My baby brother:
Proud owner of his own self destruct button
And a .38 revolver,
Well hidden, until recently...
Until junkie fantasies gobbled up the truth
And the veneer of his sanity.

Oh Mark, where have you gone..?
Sweetheart, where are you now...?
What White Mountain have you climbed this time
Dealing yourself madness and death in a locked room...
And blaming everybody but yourself
Witih a torch made of nightmares and hate...
Hot enough to crack the glass.

Crying for a Father - long dead - to come and "save" you..
Come and get you....
Crying for a man you would not love in life.
Punish him still, lost and ugly child.
Hideous child grown and almost lost forever...
Perhaps he remains just one more demon
In some toxic level memory
Shoving hard for elbow room
Among all the other monsters shrieking in your head.
Oh Mark, where are you now..?

Baby brothers don't grow on trees, you know.
What will we do if you are really lost
And long gone beyond the medicines of love and speech..
And human tears...all wasted.

My baby brother, no baby any more;
Psychotic fallen angel
Who never grew to manhood by any man's side...
Who will not climb out of the stygean darkness by himself,
Even though we all share your guilt if not the crimes.

My baby brother:
Obscene imitation of some one especially loved;
Living proof of a bad attitude gone beserk.

Your life in the real world begins
When you lose your name at the tip of your tongue;
The moment we finally call you junkie loser...
Junkie liar...junkie weapon...out loud,
And you agree.

One split second after you know it is true...
The day - that moment - when you reach out and say,..."Help me...
Oh my beautiful Mark,
Where are you now...


Copyright © elizabeth landon-lane | Year Posted 2012


Long poem by Jesu Johnson | Details |

Examples-I call you

The World can be Bruising, to the flesh, Battering, to the soul, Beating, upon the mind , trying the whole body, to control. Brainwashing, a dowsing of it's trials, negative, as I live, invoking grief, purposely, by design, trying, at times, to replace what's rightfully mine. My thoughts, my beliefs, my smile, my dreams. But it's time, that me and the world, get a whole new, understanding. YOU SEE. When the world tries to sow it's seeds of: Fear,Worry, Doubt, Hate, Shame, All of those terrible things. Followed by: Humiliation, Degradation, chased with Devastation, and such. I hear you, my brothers, my sisters, say to the world: "ENOUGH!!!!" Then the world can't SHOW or TELL me NOTHING about Striving, about struggling, being pushed backwards, falling down, but not staying down. Getting Up!!!! Rising Up!!!! Standing Up!!!! FEARLESS, WORRYFREE, DOUBTLESS, CONFIDENT, I'm restored, PROUD, & PROFOUND. My brothers, My sisters, My examples. I CALL YOU, &....... NO matter the subject, the matter, the topic at hand, Me and the rest of the world are about to get a better understanding . Then the world can't SHOW or TELL me NOTHING about PRIDE, DIGNITY, OR LOVE. I CALL YOU, & I GOT THIS, No matter what the world's throwin' or showin' but that's another matter, stay tuned, a different Poem .

Copyright © Jesu Johnson | Year Posted 2014


Long poem by VAL BROOKLYN Rogers BLK PANTHER | Details |

MEMORIES OF A CITY CHILD

Writing about daisies roses rainbows and waterfalls helped me
Escape the madness of the city LIFE.  The JUNGLE. 
Whenever I wished to return I laid my pen down and
Anticipated the next siren.  So...

I laid back and reminisced for most of the day. Now, time for
Concrete and asphalt.  Cement and metal fire escapes.  I
Screamed more times than not with every passing siren.
I wanted to admire  the faults in the pavement  close up.  I
Missed  NEW YORK when I stayed  half the Summer at my
Aunt's  place in Brunswick, Georgia.  So I've  been away for
A while,  just My style.

In this aisle!  That's my CHILD! My mother screamed in the 
Local SUPERMARKET with her thick Caribbean accent.  It seemed
As though her voice boomed  through every aisle in the 
Market.  She would  search the security monitors  when ever I
Wasn't at her side.
YEAH,  I'm   pretty regular  now.
Not  versatile anymore at all. 

I dance SMALL.  EXQUISITE.  I've had about enough of
This.  O.k let me  entertain you."  I'll put. On a skit."  Then
I said " I know. Look out of the window.  I'm going down 
Stairs to dance barefoot!!"
If you danced barefoot  You're sure to Gather a huge crowd.
"I HOPE they throw money at me."

Dressed in Jean shorts and a new green T-shirt,  she 
Pursued her money making scheme.
I was thankful for that summer.
9 years old and bored in NYC.
IT'S  only a matter of time before I found trouble.
Little child running WILD with brick feet.

I had to get their attention.
"This here Is about to be a  TREAT!!"
A teenager had a boom box with him.
"Hey  yeah, that sounds nice. Turn that up"
He increased  the volume as high as the sky.

She tapped her feet listening for the beat.
A slightly raised portion of the stoop was her stage.
Before  anyone knew it she whipped the crowd with 
The NAE  NAE for at least 8 to 10 minutes and the
Crowd grew as they oohed and aahed.

Someone in the crowd asked her what her name was.
"Licia."  She smiled breathlessly.
"My name's Licia", she repeated.

They responded just as she hoped they would.
They threw money at her.
Yeah! She danced more and heard the excitement of her cousins
Racing down the stairs to her aid.
That was fly LICIA.
No one ever called her Val, her first name.
FANTASTIC!! When ever we.
 Needed money all we had to do was dance.
Sometimes my identical twin cousins 
Damian and  Dezrah joined me.

That was a little adventure.

THEY bounded the  stairs swiftly, anxious for an accurate count.
That was it she had a rep now.
Her three cousins cheered her as they entered the 
Apartment still the only ones home.

She lived with her mother. A nurse at the local 
Hospital.
She wouldn't be home until twelve tonight.
The four of them sat on the bed counting what looked
A bit like bank robbery stash.
It was $137 and 50¢

Copyright © VAL BROOKLYN Rogers BLK PANTHER | Year Posted 2016


Long poem by Monterey Sirak | Details |

MAKING BEDS IN A BURNING HOUSE

           

I found you crying in the closet when you were only five
A walk-through closet that opened onto both our bedrooms
You had a bad dream    didn’t know where to turn
Mom and Dad weren’t home    left us with Uncle Joe
but he always went to bed right after supper
And he wasn’t our uncle    just a lonely old man
who stayed on when we rented his house

You were my little brother    so I took you to my bed
Later you told me I petted you like a little lost puppy
The next morning I helped you make your bed
Our first chore of the day    making beds    
smoothing and tucking covers 
erasing signs of disturbed nights
Making neat what was chaos
We didn’t realize we were making beds in a burning house

Inside our home reality was knocked askew
to match our town    struck by the tornado a week ago
I held tightly to your hand as we boarded the bus
Mom was running away from Dad    taking us with her
No great adventure awaited us    only fear of an unknown future
At ten all I knew to do was bury my face in your cowlick and cry

You ran away from home     I found you sitting at the corner
with tears rolling down dirty    freckled cheeks
stumped because you were not allowed to cross the street
Your pillowcase full of clothes    a sad lump on the pavement
I took your hand and led you home
I taught you to make your own bed
with perfectly tucked corners and fresh clean sheets
But our house was still burning

Soon only the two of us would be left
Our sister headed to Heaven wrapped in her chenille bedspread
Mom trailed behind hanging onto a loose tail of the sheet
flapping forlornly in a cool autumn breeze
I took your hand    sat with you on the window seat
We watched parades of people passing through our house
who never noticed us     And we waited
We waited years for Mom to return    although she slept in her bed
each night and made it first thing in the morning
Our house was still burning

You grew up to set your own houses on fire     
It was what you knew    making beds in burning houses
Each time I found you    took you by the hand
led you to a peaceful place where we could sit quietly
and watch the world go by for a time    
Words    unnecessary between us     
They had been since before you could talk
when Mom placed your chubby newborn self 
in my four-year-old arms    and said    Here’s your baby brother    
You watch out for him    He needs you

Your fires have all gone out now    
No burning embers left to catch on the bed covers
You make your bed with ease    precision    
and a renewed sense of purpose
I watch happily from a distance of only miles
And know you can feel me    still holding your hand




For Kevin, the most exasperating, loyal, and lovable little brother anyone could have.

Copyright © Monterey Sirak | Year Posted 2014


Long Poems