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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!


Long poem by Reshad Yahyaie | Details |

2 humans 2 hearts And 1 love

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

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

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


Long poem by Kim van Breda | Details |

OUR BABY GIRL TURNS 21

OUR BABY GIRL TURNS 21

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


Long poem by Victor Alexander | Details |

FRIENDS

THE FRIENDS

They were the best of friends to the best of friendship
They did everything together to the best of friendship
The three wise men that came together from different locations
One from the north, one from the west, the other from the east
These three friends has three different lands in different locations
Trees with different fruits filled their lands; it is a feast
The three friends visited each others farmland anytime they wish
Everything was perfect; there was never any cause to quarrel
The friendship was intact as palm fruit to the hand of a squirrel
So close they live close; always friends.

These friends have another friend that has a brother; both from the south
The three friends met this southern friend and his brother at different time and place
One friendship linked to another friendship and they all became friends
The friend from the south also has a farmland that the friends were free to visit
The five friends have many things in common that brings them regularly together
Everything bound by the seek for fun; anything that gives fun is welcomed
Even though these five friends are close, some are more close to another
The friend from the east is closer to the friend from the west
The friend from the north is closer to the friend from the south
The closer they lived close; still same friends.

There are two or more special trees in the different farmlands of the friends
Since these friends visits each others farm, they became automatic friends with the trees
These special trees are all matured with fruits; anyone can pluck and eat them
These friends have special trees they feed on their fruits from other people’s farmland
There was no rule not to feed on the fruits of the special trees in the friends different farmlands
Somehow it feels natural not to desire fruit from the special trees of the friends’ different farmlands
Nobody said but it seems natural that the fruits in the special trees the their friends farmland is sacred
Believing fruits in the special trees are sacred, there was a natural limit to interaction with the special tree
You can see and talk to the special trees but never to touch and pluck its fruits let alone eat it
Any outsider can pluck and eat the fruits of the special trees but out of bounds for friends.

It happened that the friend from the north has a liking for all special trees irrespective of where it is
It’s interesting to know that every special tree has a liking for the friend from the north irrespective of who he is
This friend from the north got close and closer to the special trees in his friends different farmlands
The friend from the north became more of a friend to the special trees more than his friends
Two special trees became more attached to the northern friend; they don’t mind giving out their fruits to him
The friend from the north asked his friends if it’s okay to pluck and eat the fruits of the special trees in their farms
The friends responded its okay so far they remain unaware when he starts plucking and eating from the special trees
For the northern friend, he has been issued a Go-ahead warrant to pluck and eat as much as he can
The friends were insincere with the approval given to the northern friend he cost them much
They really cared about the special tree so much they can’t let anyone eat it not even friends.

As days passed, the northern friend plucked and ate the fruits of the special tree in the western friend’s farmland
Time come time pass, he plucked and ate the fruits of the special tree in the eastern friend’s farmland
The two special trees grew very fond of the northern friend; they over-fed him more than he asked
The two special trees are ignorant that they are both eaten from; they hear the rumors and ignore it
The northern friend grew very fond of the special trees that he weeds their surroundings
The two special trees are struggling to make sure he ate from only one of them; he ate from both
The special tree from the west forced him to commitment with a promise to feed him all season
The special tree from the east is confused, just doesn’t know what to do as its owner is acting boss
The northern friend still feeds from other special trees; this northern friend has sworn to gluttony
With a smile and an innocent look; the weeds beg to feed him their grasses all through the season.

These friends shared many things in common but some things can never be shared
They can’t share the special trees they feed on and they can’t share the ones in their farmlands
The northern friend plucking and eating grew out hand; the western and eastern friend can no longer tolerate it
One common predator that preys on their farmland; ravaging, plucking and eating recklessly
They tried every strategy possible to stop the northern friend’s quest for ‘feed me more’
These efforts was a waste; when the friends don’t visit, the special trees visit, feeding enhanced
Since all solutions failed; the western and eastern friend proffered another solution
Draw line to the friendship; desist from visiting the northern friend’s farmland
No longer close friends, they exchange fake smiles and other pleasantries
End of friendship for the best yet the feeding continues for the worst.



							…Lordvip…





















Long poem by Debbie Guzzi | Details |

Corpus delicti

Close your ears, close your eyes and pray to me for, as close as this, you may never get to God. What immortals have you hoped to see? What espirit de corp have you longed for? Who will guide your earthly plod? Kiss me for I have kissed the lips of Lestat, nipped and pricked, punctured and sucked to husks, occasionally with regret, but more often lust's ascot what once was I, reveling in your taste, your musk. As Louis, I beguile with tawdry tales surreal visages of plantation nights, horror of the color green, Letiche roaming creatures who our trails conceal, the true demons whose glamour goes unseen. Yes, I prayed for death, wrapped in the pain of lost kin but, by God I never wished, I never wished for Him. 2 But, by God, I never wished, I never wished for Him. Eternity alone is such a hollow thing, unripe, never, ever, feeling full, a marrow-less bone, scrim- shaw's sorry surface, a sperm-less whale to pipe. Such as this was He, when him came to me that mid- night, pleading, bleeding, ever feeding morbid life. A cameo on cowry shell, with skin which bid the touch of cheek on cheek to assuage my grief to fill the brother-less gap the lack of wife. This is how he lured me to the kill, the blood spilled how fire and innocence flamed when he arrived. Do not hate me for the fate his kiss instilled Surely, a family is the normal thing to long for alive or dead to long for an espirit de corp. 3 Alive or dead to long for an espirit de corp crestfallen at the lack of hearth and home, pride we hidden monsters kill what we adore, and more ... leaving us in marble crypts with no warmth inside. Then He saw her, the child beside the corpse of mother half dead, the pox upon her face, amidst the tears certainly to save her was His goal, what other? But now I think her savior - a most foul affair. Claudia, the child eternal, bidding, unformed blight, monster among monsters, her wee wicked formed unbudded curdled, curling ever inward, a trickster charming night stalker, dragging porcelain dollies by her side. Daughter mine? Temptress, maker-killer, unformed bride have you killed your father, dumped him in a swampy hide? 4 Have you killed your father, dumped Him in a swampy hide? Years you've planned and plotted, Lestat to defy and I absorbed in misspent fantasy with you; my fate allied. Damned one, poisoner, death angel, do you deny the desecration of the His unmoving vessel, fed to the fishes, the bottom feeders, oh but He made do ... absorbed recaste, laid in wait each hungry cell. We fled the patricide, you and I sought others of our kind. What gruesome, ill bred misfits the world held and so hardening the unbeating heart ... beloved to mankind we returned as if compelled. To the core of life and lore to Paree, to the bloody stage the Theatre des Vampires is home. Mockery's the rage. 5 The Theatre des Vampires is home. Mockery's the rage. Do you see them now? Four hundred years and Armand has not changed. See them lure the human meat upstage with laughter. Reality's the rage and oh the blood coined. "How gauche!" our petite Claudia sighs, the excess in gore and waste. But, the coven has my Armand's grace. For Claudia, Madeleine the doll maker dies, reborn to mother the horrific woman 'neath this childish face. A family formed again when Lestat steps in alive and the coven lets the sun take Claudia and Madeleine. I entombed, walled in, buried alive, if not for my Armand. Their ashes, oh my dears, in death entwined. I burned the lot of them within their caskets, burnt alive; the curtain fell yet there was still Armand and I. 6 The curtain fell yet there was still Armand and I. I could nor forget, would not forget, the fate of Claudia of which he was no small part, it was a small lust easily untied. Home was all I wanted, the damp, the swamp, the bougainvillea sickened of my Old World haunts, all I wanted was home. Never, never would I make another, a comfort I decline. Let the modern age wonder where it is I roam; penance unearned and ungiven in the shadows I hide. I can not live, I can not breathe, death's my only company my wife, my child, my brother, so many others. The living dead is what we're called, Vampire, do you pity me? Lestat "Do you see me? Your sight I dread!" West coast, golden gates Baghdad by the bay in the bars I linger where men are men, aren't they? 7 In the bars, I linger, where men are men, aren't they? I find you here, or you find me? I bare my soul to you of lessons learned, of men, of plays, ah cabarets. "What do you do, what do you say, you writer you ... two footed harridan of clay? You long for the eternal kiss as if the bliss of life was so very little to pay. Fool that you are ... not in life or death would you be grist a waste you are, a mortal led so far astray. No passion's left, no fond memories ... but her golden hair. Perhaps, I'll take a taste of you, foolish fop, and sigh; no immortal will I make. On the floor, I will leave you there refuse beside the pages, the sordid tales as my reply. As my lips close on your throat, heaven's absentee, close your ears, close your eyes and pray to me.


Long poem by Brian Johnston | Details |

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

Part I.

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

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

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

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

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

 
Part II.

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

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


Long poem by Terry O'Leary | Details |

The Verdict

NOW
Well, GI Jack is welcome back, he left his legs in 'Nam.
He wakes at night in sweat and fright, then drinks another dram.
He doesn't know quite where to go, so seeks his uncle, Sam.

BEFORE
One can't ignore - his ma was poor, and life was sometimes cruel,
yet Jack was brave and well behaved and surely no one's fool	
so joined the ranks that man the tanks, as soon as he left school

He learned to kill our foes at will (ordained a sacred rite),
and packed his bag and wrapped his flag and went away to fight.
And yes, the tide was on our side (for, clearly, might makes right)

Through tangled days in jungles' maze, he sought the enemy
behind the trees where, ill at ease, he fought the Yellow sea -
Upon the waves of sunken graves he sailed a killing Spree

The napalm dropped and cooked the crops, burnt huts along the way
and tanks, with ease, mowed down the trees and villages of clay.
Yes, turret guns were loads of fun with roaring roundelays

While on the hunt with other grunts, he burned some babes alive
and wondered why frail things must die, while evil's phantoms thrive -
When folly ends, he'll make amends if only he'll survive
	
With booby traps (sticks dipped in crap)... yes, Charlie fought unfair.
He hid in holes like snakes and voles and snuck up everywhere
and like a mite beneath the night, caught Jackie unaware

At battle's end, Jack sought his friends - their souls were washed away
and only he and destiny were left in disarray -
With bed and pan, just half a man, the man of yesterday

When Jackie woke, beyond the smoke, his frame no longer whole,
he found instead a medalled thread, some wraps to hide the hole,	
and realized another prize: a chair on wheels to roll

Across his chest (you've surely guessed) his medals shone, arrayed.
His head felt light, as well it might, at Victory Day Parade
for when he rolled, while others strolled, his boots no longer weighed

AFTER
Well, Jack stayed home (no roads to Rome)  to start his life anew
receiving dole (that took its toll) which fell in Sam's purview,
but soon enough, when times got tough, his uncle, Sam, withdrew

To walk the streets with fine elites (or someone else who begs)
or find a job (or even rob) requires both your legs,
and those that don't and those that won't are those we call the dregs
 
For getting by he tried to ply and mine his medals' worth -
A tinny cup, a hungry pup near loamy pits of earth,
and best of all, per protocol, beneath a bridge, a berth

He clutched a sign 'A dime to dine?', if anybody cared,
but soon he found, as time unwound, that victors seldom shared.
And Jackie's pride was slowly fried by vacant eyes that stared

He took to drink to break the link with thoughts of what he'd done,
though threads of doubt began to flout the yarns Big Brother spun
of freedom's ring and other things like what it was we'd won

He told the breeze his vague unease; his words infused the air
and like the fogs above the bogs, soon floated through the square
where people sat at tea to chat, and thought 'How could he dare'

But freedom's price is never nice: like storms before the flood
the Daily Rag was on a jag, was looking out for blood,
deemed Jackie's thoughts untamed and fraught, then dragged him through the mud

By snooping clues, they plucked his views like grapes upon the vine.
Big Brother came, blamed Jackie's name for thinking out of line,
shut Jack away from light of day while letting freedom shine

The Junta Brass, with eyes of glass, were dressed in fine array
to hear the words (though slightly slurred) the witness gasped to say,
while Justice snored (the water board awash with Perrier)

Well, Jack was charged with laws enlarged in secret dossiers
within the guise of spreading lies and leading thoughts astray -
The Jury's out... the rabble shout 'well someone's gotta pay'

The Judge (who fears the mind’s frontiers), he turned his head to yawn
while making haste through courtroom waste, though slightly pale and wan -
The voodoo Lune withdrew as soon as Night condemned the Dawn

ETERNITY
While in his cell, the verdict fell - the sighs of Silence, rife
While in his cell, the verdict fell - the Reaper played a fife
While in his cell, the verdict fell - the price was Jackie's life

Epilogue
While censor’s cooks are roasting books (and truth) on stakes ablaze,
well, Jackie's head (though chopped and shed) still thinks about the praise
for deeds once done in victories won when cruising in a craze,
and then again about the sin of thinking, nowadays,
where, absently, humanity is served in urns on trays -
And, reconciled, it simply smiles at fortune's funny ways

Epitaph
A  mind was caught while thinking thoughts neath Sammy’s prying gaze
and forced to stop by concept cops, else join the castaways.
For now it's law to hold in awe the brave new world's malaise
and dance like mimes to rigid rhymes (which no one disobeys)
and celebrate with white-washed pate, adorned with dead bouquets -
With freedom’s death, time holds its breath, and waits for better days...


Long poem by Nii-Ayi Solomon | Details |

My First Love Experience

It was in the early days of our lives
We met
She was so beautiful 
My eyes could not stop admiring
My heart kept racing 
Every time it sensed
her good-looking approaching
But we were too young 
To give full meaning 
To the love language

Years passed
Time kept flying
We lost contact 
But the memory of our past
We lugged with us

Someway, somehow,
Fate found us
And brought us together

We have now grown 
So big and sweet
We both glitter
At each other’s presence
We were ready to do a recap 
of where we left off

We laughed and joked about our past
We talked about our hey days at the National Theatre
We remembered the beautiful past that reflects our true self
We both haven’t changed after all

At that moment my heart spoke 
The love language again
I knew I was in love with her
It wasn’t today
It started from when we were kids

Man must gather confidence
And speak out his feelings

Thoughts,
Thoughts of what she would say;

Don’t laugh at me,
We all do it sometimes


We were sweet friends
But now, I want to take 
The friendship a step further

My heart in full swing 
Of abnormal beating,
It beat faster
It spoke two different languages
Say it; and keep it
Don’t know which of these to believe 
I was shy
I was afraid
I was confused
I was happy
I was sad
I felt insane

There she was,
Standing in front me
In their house 
Beaming with smiles

Nii, she said tenderly,
‘I thought you said you had something to tell me,
Come on, I can’t wait any longer
My ears are itching’

My heart just jumped out
And now I want to escape from her presence
I wish I could vanish into thin air

Stop laughing at me
I’m not mouth lazy

I was just afraid of the outcome 
What if she said NO?
What if I lose her as a friend?
What if she vanishes into thin air?

And the what if’s continued …

Once in a man’s life time
He must draw together courage
To speak out his feelings

After all, I would not have violated any law
For telling a sweet scented woman 
Gorgeous, attractive and stunning 
About what I feel for her
So my nerves were clamed

This was how I started…

Esther, I mean, Naa Adjeley

The confusion has started

Errrmmm, you see,

Still didn’t know what to say

Hmmm, hope you are doing great?

Still confused…

‘I guess your brother, Thomas,
Is doing fine?’

She stared at me intently 
The smiles on her face kept 
My hopes alive 
And my heart awake 
I knew she was expecting 
Something more than making those comical remarks

It’s was now time to speak

Naa Adjeley, I travelled from Cape Coast 
To Accra to come see you
To tell you I miss you
and errmmm…

Please let it out
The small voice inside me whispered

I left campus to Accra just to let you know that
I AM IN LOVE WITH YOU

She laughed aloud and said
‘’are you serious!’’

‘Oh! Yes I am’
I said confidently,

Her face suddenly darkened
The smiles misplaced 
I wanted to fade away from her presence
After all I’ve let my feelings out
That was what mattered to me
But I did not have that special magic



How long have you felt this way towards me?
The next question to answer
‘When we were kids,
But it was revamped quite recently’
I replied

I could see the confusion on her face
She needed some more time 
To think things through
I was excited let it out
But she was confused

Days passed,
I went back to school,
We enjoyed chit chatting on the phone
But the answer to my request was still hanging

She mentioned in one of our conversations
She might be travelling
But didn’t say when
She was a nursing student
I was a tourism student
The beauty of having a friend 
You know and love
kept my mind awake in school

School was on recess
I arrived in Accra
Left my things unpacked
Borrowed money from my old girl
Picked a cab to Banana Inn
To see the woman 
That has taken my heart hostage

I kept bagging at their gate
Agoo! agoo! agooo! 

Waiting in anticipation to see
Her fine looking face
And present her with my first gift
Her brother, Thomas opened up

‘Hey! Where have you been?
It’s been a while’
Was the first question 
He asked

The only interest I had was to see her face
I wanted to see the woman 
That makes my heart beat
She was all I cared about

Where is Naa Adjeley?
I enquired from Thomas

I saw the shock on his face
My breathe was not catching up 
with me properly
I knew something was wrong

‘Where is she’,
I asked again
‘Didn’t she tell you
She was travelling?’
My face dropped dead at once
I felt a sharp heart ache
I almost fainted

She left for the U.K
Without even saying bye bye
Was that why, she didn’t give any reply
to my proposal?
Why did she keep my heart awake?

I left her house, depressed
Her gift was a bonus for the cab driver
My face drenched in pool of tears

I know it hurts
But I felt more relieved

Why?

My feelings had been made lucid to her
I now walk with my chest out
Ready to move on
Ready to open myself up to happiness

I still remember
Her looks
Her smiles
Her beauty
Her mannerism

My first love story
The one I have kept furtive
Over the years

Naa Adjeley
My old time love.


Long poem by Andrey Peysin | Details |

Purity-Love

Freed from my mind
I escape it
I end time
I think it
I think nothing of it
I believe in you
I believe in the American Dream
I think of it
I think nothing
I know you are something
How is it found 
Where are you going
Where are you flowing
the child is christened in the name of beginnings
I think it and it appears
I make it
Golden 
Slow
Shower my notions
Employ my emotions
Destroy my devotion and crush my spirit
Gaunt
So hear it
where do I enjoy you
I see you
How dare you make me feel you
I don't know what to believe but I hear you
I entertain the notion that you are with me
I believe you are near me
But the truth might be sullen
So broken and sudden
Lee...Quite, I train thee
I believe you are not ready
I believe you are rock steady
How quite faulty
You are my enemy
My devoted
My first born
I am so often quoted
who am i
No one
I tell you
I am nothing but me
I dare you
How can I be anything other then me
I am someone who shines
Like it or not I don't care...don't wine
How could you
No you don't know me
You don't show me
I don't believe anything you did anyway
How could I
I am your friend ..not your enemy do I
Look at me
I think of nothing of your desires
I don't care
I think it is so amazing that you think I am flaunting my emotions
I am not
I am devotion
I am heart and saviour
Know my soul
hear it
Feel it and send me on a spirit chasing car ride like a fly trite respite
I think it
Feel me
I think nothing of it
I am enjoying your pain and I suffer
It is so pure that you laugh and I wonder
How could you believe in me
I don't understand thee
You 
I don't get you
How could you be someone I care for and let you
Be me
How do you
I do not know what you do
I just know that you do and you do it well too
How. Destroyer of worlds 
You amaze me
I don't care for your words
I am action word; phase me
Trust
I forgot what it's like
lust
I feel it daily
Like
It or amaze me
plainly
Live die young
and escape me
I am more and more ranked and how does that take me
I don't care about games, I play them too often
I lose quite a bit and enjoy them not too breach it
I think
I wonder
where do you hold regard for my trance verb
I wonder what you'll do next in this causative turd
It is just that
It is just a wonder
I don't care what you do because doing it tears you assunder
Don't
Engage in the enemy
I slink forward and left of me
I see something coming out of you
Something dreadful and something pure
I think it is clean and dirty at the same ****ing time
How can I end it, how can I end this rhyme
I don't actually know, I don't actually care
I wonder where I left my ****ing underwear
Where what who why 
When do I leave the time beat
drummers never learned to retreat
I think they just walk and walk the beat follows
 how could you know the facts when you learned just to swallow
I think...damn girl you know it and you know it well
Question my rythm and cast a damn spell
So..what is left
I think nothing is here for me
But the truth is ...it remains hidden from me
Lolz. I think it is funny as hell
However divine I have never been in it oh well
I think...wait a minute hell is on earth it is not a place deep
it is here and oh damn that curse
I think it is magical, how can it be so ****ing real
I am such a spiel
I think and it happens
It just appeals
I wander
It makes me slender
I think I lost weight when I enter the rhyme world
I enter devine world
I think well oh well how I left it and hell 
It is...Yes it is
It is truly a miss
I am wondering why I have never just kissed ...
you
I am
Wondering
But simply stuttering
I leave myself out of it
I am so plain and cluttering
I think
How dare you make me so plain
I mean
damn girl you hate me too much to say
I think you just wanted to twist the handle deeper
push
I want to make you happy...so just make it hurt
I crush
I think
damn
It is so wonderful
it hurts but it's plainly cursed upon me
I don't care ...just stun me
I am at least careless 
she wanted to just caress
I wanted to make her mine
She wanted to spend my...time
I wanted nothing more and now
I am alone and all the time in the world is left ...shone
I see it
lolz I don't care but I'm deceived by it
I think
How dare you
How can you make me into something or other devine and not like a brother
but really
I am so pure and destruction is so meaningless
I am so feeling less
I think...wait
I can't feel any longer
My heart ripped asunder and I am so blunt
Like an instrument forced by the way you want me t ojust glance at your breasts
but the rest...it's like a beautiful test?
yes.
Just a test
A test in time
I think it is just a rhyme but the truth is I am being tested by G-d 
How could I know what I have done, I have not
When I do it I do it I don't just believe it
I don't care for the rhetoric
I don't deceive it..
I before e except after C and that is the question I place before you
How can you care about appostrophes and comma's 
when there are more important things in life
Like...Love
Isn't that enough?


Long poem by Dorine R Spruill | Details |

Mommy Why

 Molested the first fifteen years of my life. My mother remained silent the whole time. As the molesting continued all those years. Forced to live a pretend life all my childhood. Beaten and punished every other day. For no reason other than being a child. After all this I figured I was a unwanted child. My mother couldn't love me abusing me. She brought me fancy expensive clothes every year. To cover up all her verbal, mental, and physical abuse. She tried to hide me from people, family and friends. So that they wouldn't see the embarrassing scars and bruises. Sometimes so bad I couldn't even go to school the next day. Or I would get into fights or act rude to get a suspension notice. That would have allowed my body to heal. One time I even tried to get ex-spelled. However, it didn't work. I only came home to more beatings. Her boyfriend watched and help hold me down on the floor as she would beat, and beat, and beat. Maybe this gave him a idea that it was ok to abuse me. Being that my mother was already doing it. Yeah! From the outside looking in my childhood was perfect. Every child wanted my seat. Name-brand clothes, shoes, computers, and almost every toy in the Jc Penny catalog. From the inside looking out I was screaming to get out. Scared, alone, abused, and still a child. So there was nothing I could do. I had no brothers or sisters at the time. All my family wouldn't believe me.No! Not him they would say, and did say at age fifteen I started getting older, and more developed. I had to put a stop to this. So after talking to some school friends. I decided to talk to my mother about what was going on.  So later on that night I called my mother in to talk to her. I had told her what had been going on. while she was a work, and out late shopping. She in return asked me  to draw a picture of his *****. As if she didn't believe me on the spot. What! I thought to myself. How could she ask me a thing like that? After one hour she finally called the police. I was brung in also for video questioning. I told them what had been going on  in the house while my mother was away. The police in return asked me "what took so long for me to tell" I replied" I was scared, alone, and threatened. I had no one in the house to protect me. From my mothers abusive ways. I thought people would tease me." The next question was to my mother.  The police asked "How could you live in the same house, and not know that your child was being raped?" My mother sat quietly and had no answer. So she got charged with neglect. My mother's boyfriend got charged with child molestation, and a few other things. I can't remember them all. After all that I was still scared, but finally free. Free to be a kid again.
    Awh, hell the relationship between my mother and I went down the drain. After trial  she hated me even more. Every day she was threatening to kick me out of the house. I was only sixteen so she couldn't just kick me out. Yet! She even got so angry at times. She went as far as not letting me communicate with my newborn brother.  She even told people to keep him away from me. That hurt me so bad everyday. I prayed to God everyday to soften my mother's heart, but it never happened. When I turned eighteen she finally kicked me out the house for real. With no place to go, no money , and no food to eat.  I ended up living with family and friends until she let me back in. I don't know why, but I thought things had changed. About a week after moving she called the police and told them that I was prostituting. Which was a lie. Thank God I didn't spend time in jail. Due to her lies and deceit. I never thought I would have to leave my own mother alone. However, after that incident that was my final decision. Sporadically I call her to hear her voice, and check on my brother. Unfortunately she never answers the phone. Her guilt for abusing me won't let her answer the phone.
    I moved to Albany, NY for a fresh start. A new beginning! There I met  more friends, moved into a brand new apartment, and fell in love. I wasn't expecting to fall in love, but I did. With a adorable, hot, and sexy Italian guy. For the first time my life was great, and I was happy. I even tried some plus size modeling, nursing, and I started self-publishing my writings. I was accomplishing things that my mother never encouraged me to do.
 After about four years I started feeling homesick . So I came back to Virginia. Wow! What destruction was happening. My whole  family fell apart. Nothing or nobody were the same. They all became police property. That was a sign to continue to stay away from them. Continue my happy life. Continue self-publishing my stories. Praying to God everyday. that I remain successful. This is a true story. Unfortunately it happened to me. From a mother who brung me in this world. Only to use and abuse me my whole entire childhood. Then pretend that nothings even going on.


Long Poems