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
Suzette Richards | Details |
It was a visit long overdue by most people’s standards. I had last seen my daughter two years prior to that during a whirlwind trip which she and her fiancé had made to Cape Town. I had an unexpected financial windfall and the money was burning a hole in my pocket. On the spur of the moment, I called my daughter and asked her to source accommodation for me in London over the Christmas season. A few days later, she called me back with the news that all the hotels had been booked up, save for the Ritz. I chuckled at the idea of having to spend my entire holiday budget on just one night at the Ritz. Then reason asserted itself and we put our heads together to come up with an alternative solution. I could hear her flatmate in the background, chipping in with her penny’s worth of advice. My daughter hung up and I was feeling down in the mouth about the plans for the trip being derailed in such a fashion. Later that evening, my daughter called back with the offer that if I did not object to sleeping on the settee in the lounge, I would be most welcome to stay with them at their London flat. I gladly accepted. She is a chef at a top restaurant and I was looking forward to gourmet meals prepared by her - including the Christmas turkey.
screeching seagulls dive
at sushi scraps on a plate -
the urchin watches
The evening of the booked flight to London, arrived. It was an uncomfortable hot day and I showered and dressed with only minutes to spare before my friend took me to the airport to book in the statuary two hours before international flight departures. At the airport everything was in chaos. We were given the unwelcome news that our flight had been cancelled. This was the third direct flight to London which had been cancelled that week due to London experiencing the worst weather and snow since records began in 1890! We were offered alternative flights and had to stand in queues for hours in order to procure a new airline ticket. Some people became very verbose and insisted on being granted passage on other airline carriers (at the cost of our local airline carrier).
I do not know whether it was due to the weather or the disappointment I was feeling, but when my turn came at last to book a new flight, I readily agreed to fly on Christmas Eve ( three days hence) to London. If I had been given time to reflect on this date, I would not have accepted it. Arriving in London on Christmas Day would have been disastrous: The tubes and other public transport would have been curtailed on Christmas Day and shops and other amenities would have been closed for the day. This I knew from previous trips to the UK over the festive season. To add insult to injury, taxis would have charged triple for cab fare and no amount of quibbling would have swayed them. I phoned my friend to collect me and when we got home, I poured a large glass of Merlot and retired on the sun lounger in the garden. It was *full moon that evening and it was almost worth missing the trip to witness its beauty. I left my bags in the hallway and retired early – after phoning my daughter and giving her an update on the status quo.
between moon flowers -
Six am the following morning, I was woken up by the phone ringing. Sleepily I took the call. It was the airline inquiring whether I could get to the airport by seven am. My friend was dancing up and down in agitation and already had the car out by the time I had brushed my teeth. I offered to pay any speeding fines which she might incur during our mad dash to get to the airport on time.
The flight was an additional service which was laid on to get the backlog of passengers to their desired destinations. Heathrow had given our pilots permission to proceed, hence the call to me that morning. We were a total of thirty six passengers on the Boeing 747 – it translated to two passengers per crew member. We were treated to five in flight movies which were current and could eat and drink as much as we wished to. By the time we landed in London at seven pm that evening, there was a festive spirit among us. A radio taxi (which my daughter had organised) was waiting to collect me at Heathrow airport. It was a chilly four degrees Celsius below zero and I was grateful for my leather coat and wool accessories.
steep steps to flat
shut out the bitter world -
a heart pounds
*The December 2010 lunar eclipse occurred from 5:27 to 11:06 UTC on December 21, coinciding with the date of the December solstice. It was visible in its entirety as a total lunar eclipse in North and South America, Iceland, Ireland, Britain and northern Scandinavia.
"bitter" means piercingly cold..... A term commonly used by Britishers...
"flat" means apartment. The Londoners I know, refer to it as just "flat" with no adj or possessive noun or article. Please see the About section for explanations regarding the 1ST AND LAST haiku.
Haibun(literally, haikai writings) is a prosi-metric literary form originating in Japan, combining prose and haiku. The range of haibun is broad and includes the autobiography, diary, essay, prose poem, short story and travel journal. ~ Wikipedia
Long poem by
Kim van Breda | Details |
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
Bob Quigley | Details |
He stood and aimlessly watched the parade of patrons and volunteers that wandered daily past his kennel. All so familiar, so ordinary. Just like every other day he mused. Nothing new. Nothing special.
Moving to the small crumpled blanket near the back of his cage, he turned several times and finally curled up, head on his paws, positioned so that he could watch the activity around him. But in reality, he was bored. It had been a long time since he had met each morning with anticipation. Too many days. Too much disappointment. He would leave all that barking and racing to the front of their cage to the younger pups who hadn’t figured out yet that the cute ones went first. It didn’t really make any difference what you did to attract attention if you weren’t young or cute, or both.
Too much time had gone by to participate in the charade. In reality, Walter had seen a lot of people that he would rather not spend a lot of time with. You know the type. Kind of hyper, bouncing from stray to stray, looking for a perfect dog. Kids poking their fingers through the kennel screen or banging on it. Some even making barking sounds. He didn’t need any of that and was glad when they were gone.
Walter was very picky. Set in his ways after so many years. He had had it good for a long time. An only dog in a household of two people that let him be himself. No tricks. No stunts. Just long naps and daily walks. A yard to himself to reflect on what was for dinner. He had been fond of his doggy bed in their bedroom. Each night he would help his owner walk through the house turning off the lights and checking the doors before they climbed the stairs together. And there was always one last good night pat before settling down.
But those days were gone now. First one had become ill and went to the hospital and never came back. The other one changed overnight, spending long days, sitting mostly. The walks became less frequent. Walter did what he could. He could see it in their eyes that they were hurting from their loss. He would make a point of laying his head in their lap, trying to let them know that he missed them too. At times like this, he instinctively knew that although it remained unsaid, they only had each other.
He remembers well the day that his owner snapped a leash on him and said, “well Walter, I’m afraid we have to say goodbye. I have to go to a place where they won’t let me keep you, so I am going to have to let you go.” Walter could see the tears in his eyes. He knew it would do him no good to whine or resist. It was obvious there were no alternatives. And besides, it would just make it harder on his owner. But he was going to miss him. It was not going to be easy to adjust.
But adjust he did. He had been here a long time now and had seen countless pups and dogs trot past his cage with light hearts and new owners, heading off with new found hopes and expectations. But it soon became obvious that there weren’t a lot of people that wanted an old yellow hound. Everyone wanted the young ones. So here he lay, dozing a bit, but still keeping an eye on those walking by, many giving him but a glance before moving on.
He heard them before the saw them. ”Honey” the voice said. ”That looks like Walter, old Mr. Whitney’s dog.” Walters ears perked up a little. ”Do I know them” he thought. ”They seem to know me”. I’d better go take a closer look” and with that, he stood and slowly ambled toward his kennel gate, giving a cautious wag of his tail.
“It is him” the man said. ”Walter, how you doing boy? Do you remember me?”
And upon closer inspection, Walter did remember him. He used to live right across the street. He would see him in his yard and if Walter were to ramble over, he usually had a dog treat in his pocket. With the recognition, Walter gave a little stronger wag and moved toward the fingers extended through the fencing. It was good to see an old friend.
“What do you say hon” the man said. ”How would you feel about bringing Walter home with us?”
Walter looked at the woman and saw her nod in agreement. ”You wait here and I’ll go find a volunteer.”
The man bent down and said “What do you think Walter? Would you like to go home with us?”
Actually, Walter decided, he could think of nothing he would like more. A chance to go back to the old neighborhood with people he already knew. What was there not to like.
Soon the woman returned and the gate opened. A leash was snapped on Walter and together they proceeded past the rows of dogs and puppies, all vying for their attention. Walter couldn't help but stand a little straighter, stepping a little more lightly, showing off. ”This is what going home looks like guys.” he thought. ”Good luck and goodbye”.
As they neared the car the man said “I can’t believe we found you Walter. There is someone I am going to take you to see. I can’t wait to see the expression on his face when you walk in his room>”
Walter, of course, knew exactly who he was talking about. And he couldn't wait to see the expression on his face either.
Long poem by
Just That Archaic Poet | Details |
Betty was bonafide crazy. She had shot her husband after a night of drunken quarreling, and was in the state mental hospital instead of being in the slammer. She'd shot the louse in the stomach and he had lived, fortunately for her. I never tired of hearing about Betty's attempted escape and eluding of the police in the aftermath. Over the river and through the woods she ran, but not to grandmother's house, sadly; she didn't know where she was going; all she knew was that she HAD to get the hell outta there.
Down a steep embankment she had tumbled, right next to the highway. As she attempted to orient herself, a car slowed down, it's lights blinding her as she tried to pick off the brush, debris and twigs that clung like glue to her hair and muddy nightgown. The car stopped, two cops sprang forth and yelled, "FREEZE!". The jig being up, Betty did as instructed, was cuffed and read her Miranda rights. She never bothered to elaborate how she wound up in the loony bin instead of staying in the pokey, but I can only imagine it was due to her obvious derangement.
Betty was a hoot; funny as could be and an excellent card player. She had long, shaggy salt and pepper frizzy tresses that looked more like a Halloween wig than an actual coiffure. She was well into her fifties but seemed much older with her deep smoker's wrinkles and heavy, sunken eyes, like a soul that's known too much wear, tear, pain and heartache and aged prematurely. On more than one occasion I questioned her actual insanity, but on one night, when the moon was full and all the crazies were, admittedly, much more maniacal than normal, my doubts about Betty's "playing possum" dissolved. It's true, you know, what they say about a full moon and the impact it has over the mind; I've witnessed it first-hand too many times in different psych wards to discount it as "old-wives" folklore. Nurses never fail to mention when there is a full moon; they know it to be true as well.
I don't know what set her off. I was enjoying a game of rummy with Angela, a paranoid schizophrenic with a penchant for identifying supposed conspiracies within the hospital, when I heard Betty screaming furiously and cussing up a hurricane. Well, something didn't suit her, obviously, and she was having none of it. This is when I began to wonder if Betty was not part "Bionic Woman". Next thing I knew, she wailed like a banshee, took off sprinting down the hall at incredible, breakneck speed that defied her rather plump figure and stubby legs, and drop-kicked the heavy, locked steel door that barred the exit of ward "Grag". Nurses hit the panic button and made urgent phone calls which signaled the goons and heavy muscle to race toward our ward to subdue the unsubduable. Soon as Angela heard the nurses all in a frenzy, she yelled, "CONSPIRACY LEVEL UP! TOP FLOOR!" ("Top Floor" being the ward that housed the most violent or dangerous loons.) Paranoid schizophrenics are such a suspicious bunch!
As Betty raced by, Angela immediately stood up, cheering her along, chanting "GRAG STYLE, BABY; YEAH!". In total astonishment I watched this Wonder Woman drop-kick this barricade (which was most definitely designed to keep us confined) in total kung-fu, samurai, ninja style with such force that it burst wide open! Talk about jaw-dropped incredulous! By the time Betty the She-Hulk nearly drop-kicked her way to freedom, the goons (as the big orderlies were dubbed) descended upon her, but she fought with such ferocity that for just an instant I thought she might break free, given that she had picked up a nearby chair and was using it to fend them off with the skill of a lion-tamer (or so I mused). But poor Betty was helplessly and hopelessly outnumbered and the whole incident must have happened in the span of maybe two minutes, but time has a funny way of slowing down and stretching in instances such as these, when the eyes and mind are trying to comprehend the incomprehensible. She was tackled on all sides, but not before one of the stooges took a whack upside his empty head. Nurses rushed forth, syringes in hand, and gave Betty the usual knock-out serum of hefty doses of Haldol and Benadryl (don't ask me how I know this!). Then, as was the procedure in all such cases, Betty was strapped down on a gurney and wheeled away to the "Quiet Room" where she was to be closely monitored by some muscle.
As one of the orderlies passed, carting the drowsy Betty past us, Angela barked one of her customary insults of, "YOU SMELL LIKE ASS AND NACHOS!" which never failed to tickle me to no end. The excitement over, Angela and I went back to our game of rummy and she accused me of cheating when I won, flipped over the table, and stormed off (but she always did this whenever she lost.) Ah, Angela; what I'd give to play rummy with you again!
A few days later, after a two week stint, I was finally released and never saw or heard from Betty (or Angela) again. Whenever I see someone fly into a rage, I am often happily reminded of Betty, Super-Woman of ward "Grag". Why was I there? I'll never tell!
Long poem by
Stephen Kilmer | Details |
On the plane I meditated or at least I tried to. Most of the time I get a seat to myself. These days it’s just a ****ing Greyhound in the sky. I am not the most handsome man and the tattoos don’t help. I always wear a baseball cap with the logo: “Talk to Me About Jesus”. That usually steers normal people away from me. But every now and again I get a winner. This gives me a chance to discuss religion, which is one of my favorite subjects. Especially since I am in the business of sending souls to meet their maker. These people are usually high on Jesus or hooked on dope. But hey I am just an arbitrator. You pay I play. You want to make a deal I’ll deal. I owe no one my soul except me. This trip it turns out is an exception to the rule. The most handsome woman I have every laid my eyes upon sits next to me. There are other seats open but she shimmies down the aisle and says, “excuse me is that seat taken?” I try to keep my cool but I sputter out “Yes, I mean no…”
“Well which one is it?” she says with a smile.
“Not taken,” I stiffly mutter back.
Before I can stand up she squeezes past me with her butt in my face. She’s wearing a pair of tight leather pants and I don’t see any panty lines. I ask myself why are you even thinking about that? I need to get my head straight and she is a distraction. She plops down in the window seat and asks me if I can hold her drink, I dumbly reach out and take it. It’s going to be a long flight.
“So where you heading,” she asks nonchalantly
I lie and say Hawaii.
“Oh my God, I have always wanted to go there. Do you have family there?”
“No I just like pineapples.”
She looks at me again with those green eyes. She is a dark haired beauty with a hint of Boston in her voice. Jaw cut of stone and olive complexion. I am smitten.
“Your ****ing with me, aren’t you?” she asks.
“No I really like pineapples.” I reply.
“Bullshit, you wouldn’t know a pineapple if it bit you in the ass.”
“Ok I give, I’m going to L.A. to kill someone. Do you feel better now?”
She stares and her eyes’ widen and for a moment, I think she believes me.
“Ok pineapples, dead people, **** you.” She says and pulls a pair of headphones from her bag.
“Hang on,” I said, “I’m just messing with you. What’s your name?”
“Anna…Anna Virginia Collins” and she extends her hand to me.
We shake hands and she asks me my name.
“Rick Powers,” I say.
“What’s with the hat?” she asks.
“I use it to attract weirdo’s”
“Well it’s working”
I laugh and say, ”Yeah they are usually not so pretty.”
“Well thank you, and by the way I don’t believe in Jesus.”
And we are off into a full-blown discussion of religion, which keeps us talking for at least and hour. I buy her a scotch, straight up, and we share some inner secrets. Then I realize I have got to get rid of this woman; otherwise, things could get dicey and I can’t compromise my client or the job. I become belligerent and act like I am drunk…nothing. She just laughs at me.
“I know a drunk when I see one and your not drunk,” she say’s pointing an accusing finger at me.
“Ok I’m not, I need some sleep though.”
“Alright sleep then,” she mutters and puts her headphones on.
I close my eyes and feign sleep but I can’t get her out of my brain. I can hear the restrains of “Roxanne” by the Police leaking out of her headphones.
Who is this woman? Finally I drift off and dream of pineapples and Sting.
I am awakened by something on my shoulder. I slowly open my eyes to find her head resting on my shoulder; she is asleep and snoring. I close my eyes and think why now? Twenty years I have lived alone and never really had a girl friend or thought about having one. Now I am in love with this person and I don’t like it.
“Anna,” I whisper. “Anna, I love you.” Nothing.
I nudge her in the ribs and she stirs.
“Did you just say I love you?” she says sleepily.
I lie and say, “No you must have been dreaming.”
The Captain comes over the radio and tells we are about to land. The waitresses in the sky scurry up and down the aisles picking up trash and drinks. Time to hit the ground.
When we land things are awkward, I don’t know how to say goodbye. Anna hands me her card shakes my hand and says goodbye. I let her go thinking that I am better off without her, but knowing it’s a lie.
Once my boots hit the ground it’s time to round up my gear. I have shipped it to predetermined location in L.A. paid for by my benefactor. You can’t carry that *****on a plane anymore without drawing a lot suspicion. Nobody needs a 9MM Mouser to shoot rabbits in America. I rent a car and head for Huntington Beach. There are enough tourist there to allow me to blend in with the locals. I always stay at the same cheap hotel. No one remembers me because the turnover is so high that I never see the same person when I check in.
Once in my room it’s time to check my weapon. I can’t live without her. Which her am I thinking about? This is not good.
Long poem by
Andrey Peysin | Details |
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
Shower my notions
Employ my emotions
Destroy my devotion and crush my spirit
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 first born
I am so often quoted
who am i
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
Feel it and send me on a spirit chasing car ride like a fly trite respite
I think it
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
I don't get you
How could you be someone I care for and let you
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
I forgot what it's like
I feel it daily
It or amaze me
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
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
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
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 ...
But simply stuttering
I leave myself out of it
I am so plain and cluttering
How dare you make me so plain
damn girl you hate me too much to say
I think you just wanted to twist the handle deeper
I want to make you happy...so just make it hurt
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
How dare you
How can you make me into something or other devine and not like a brother
I am so pure and destruction is so meaningless
I am so feeling less
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?
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
Isn't that enough?
Long poem by
matthew harris | Details |
Pardon any absent adulation, bequeathed capitulation, devoted dedication, indiscretion, blabbering peroration, improper salutation or any unintended vexation if this unknown earthling sent a nearly identical message. He over-looked a small number of errors and hoped that this version accepted as the most satisfactory to me.
Oh please for the sake (and sock e) of brethren deemed friendly, i beseech ye with genuine humility to desist launching nuclear missiles!
This American bloke put his lock, stock and barrel of gunmetal faith in mister Dennis Rodman to serve as a figurative lightning rod against any aggressive actions that would set in motion the end of civilization.
Not only would the majority of homo sapiens (yes, some clusters of earth-linked yahoos might still remain a live) suffer a nasty, short and brutish death, but also other flora and fauna could be equally annihilated!
Understandable, those grievances against sanctions against the populace of north Koreans (who most likely experience unfair hardship) fuels resentment against the hegemony of western powers. Many of these societies authoritatively brandish their devout pledge for concurrence with democratic principles.
Any endemic protestations declaiming objection to the American way affect an immediate alarm. Imposition of so called "puppet" regimes get forcibly installed sans those countries leaders who run counter to capitalistic productivity.
This one anonymous citizen of those fifty states also takes umbrage how the might of american to predominate and demand that other nations follow suit solely based on what agrees with those like minded in power sans the brotherhood/sisterhood of vast swaths of the global population.
No great expectations (by dickens) to affect passionate sentiments per those peoples somewhat hermetically sealed off and separated (viz - by the demilitarized zone) from the billions of other human beings.
Thy sole missive from one older mwm dreads the catastrophic chain reaction of events once atomic warfare triggered by the disgruntlement over some differences in outlook could possibly resolved via "active listening" and access to exchange a word of reconciliation.
As one flawed chap prone to his own bouts of anger, he attests that more positive pleasing results can prevails with the treat of world war three diffused in a manner that plays less havoc once unleashing of weapons of mass destruction occurs!
This notion came to me while tending to a basic bodily urge, thus intent to share my poem whence sitting
Upon the porcelain goddess,
A most brilliant idea in me mind did lit
This sole seasoned bugs bunny car tune character son of kit
Soon after on the road his imagination
Fired up with gaseous fleeting thought that softly hit
Attempting with futility to net ideas in me mind that flit
I yam a poet favoring words that rhyme a bit!
Iambic pentameter strands crochet themselves
Magically into verse
Interleaving like boughs of an arbor
Shielding this solitary soul
From shafts of sunlight that doth dapple
The canopy affecting shadows to disperse
Ebbing and flowing in tandem & sync
With circadian metronome this troll
Transformed by serenade from Mother Nature
With hand doth scythe lent curse
Congregating amongst a distinguished flora and faun
The latter sending tendrils
Poised on the brink of some philosophical revelation
Delicate as hocked china
Which capricious metaphorical musings
Resurrected from propriety
Devoid of any vicious evocations nor premonitions
While ensconced in eyesight of my adobe
Dwelling away from mass of society
Return of this native son harbors thoughts
Against madding crowd that cease to dwindle
To less than the effect of a mosquito needling proboscis
In the nape o me neck
As this contemplative human being feels
Leaves of grass each like a spindle
Completing a colorful pastoral palette
Of utmost verdant splendor upon flotsam speck
Allowing wisps of euphoria
To warm thine psyche easing books set afire to kindle
Under the azure vault
The entire warp and woof of one mortal male as he does lie
Where arises finding incriminating fault
Beneath the celestial sphere transfixed where mysteries catapult
As those simians who preceded him
Millenniums before similarly inebriated
From wondrous panoply of one star
That comprises a near infinite candelabra
Guiding the mind to posit the universe
This mission must come to a HALT!
From - one whom u kin newt re:fuse
No claim to be Walt Whitman only venturing forth
That all of mankind we lose
In the event of such apocalyptic once the fuse
Lit to launch missiles meant to zero in and cruise
Upon the masses a severe planet earth detonations
Inflicting concussions more fatal
Than the most lethal booze.
Long poem by
Peter Duggan | Details |
In memory of Bob
A true story.
It was in spring of two thousand when I first saw Bob. I’d just started working at Perth Dental hospital, and in fact it was my first day there. I walked up to the front door of this building, but it wasn’t yet opened. So I turned around and went to sit in the bus shelter which was just outside the building. As I went to sit down I noted a dark skinned gentleman sitting there with a happy, benign look on his face. He was about five feet eight give or take a little, and he was rather a thickset man who looked like he’d done his fair share of hard work in his sixty years or more.
There was something about this Gentleman that I could not quite put my finger on. He had a certain charisma about him; not the phony kind of charisma that one seen in the car salesman or the philanderer who messes with women’s heads, no, Bob had a kind of friendly smile for everyone that he met, and he seemed to draw people into him with his love, and gigantic heart. I knew as soon as I met him that Bob was most definitely for me.
As Bob looked at me and smiled, the whole world seemed to open up. He said “Ow ya going mate” in a loud ebullient manner, then we started to chat. Bob was like myself, a thinker, and straight away we started philosophizing about this, that, and the other, and it was like we had known each other forever. Then all of a sudden I found Bob talking about death, and the difference in the way the Maori people faced death, compared to the rather the silly way us white folk look at the subject with great fear in our hearts. Now this had always interested me, and somehow it just seemed natural to talk to this Maori gentlemen on this subject, and we spoke about it till the doors opened and it was time to work.
I don’t think anything happens just by chance, and I definitely have this feeling that Bob and I were meant to meet, and I really think this was a major destiny thing. I have found during the course of my life, that as I am aging, I can feel something pushing me into a certain direction, and I always felt that Bob was part of all this; and I had much to learn from him. Although I have never believed in organized religion, and never followed one I have always felt deeply spiritual, and I have met many people who I learned from, and Bob was most definitely one of them with all his great wisdom and patience. As I came to know Bob, we had many dialogues together, on many subjects. Bob used to love music and could always have time to plonk away on his guitar. He used to come round to my place and we would play songs together, though both he and I were no Eric Clapton’s, I would bang around on my guitar and play the harp, while we would both take out turns at singing. We’d have a smoke or a beer or two, and we’d play songs all day long, ahhh, I remember those days well, the memories are so strong.
Bob was one hell of a man, I could tell that he had been a wild one in his youth,
But when I knew him in his sixties he was an icon of wisdom and virtue; he had a kind word for everyone, and gave all his time to anybody who needed him, always.
He used to hear me waffling on like an idiot, trying to make him like me [as I always did] but never once did he tell me how foolish I was, he would just smile knowingly at me. He used to stand there at the window for hours, just drinking in the trees, or the clouds in the sky, and yet he was so aware, I used to try to sneak up on him; it couldn’t be done. His awareness was incredible.
Then one day Bob fell ill with terminal cancer, and he knew that he had very little time left on this Earth. He lay there sick for days in intolerable pain, but you never heard one complaint from him, even when he only had days to live, he was still worrying about the welfare of others. When the day finally come for Bob to leave his shell; he was lying there in deep sleep, when all of a sudden he woke up, with a smile on his face. His children asked him ‘Dad, do you want some pain killers” Bob laughed, compassion written all over his face, and he said to them ‘Not one of you has a clue, have you’ and he died with a big smile on his face.
His daughter got in touch with me, and told me about his death, and also told me that his last wish was to have me watch his soul leave his body. I felt very honored about this and went and sat with his body [as Maoris do]. I got the most peaceful feeling come to me [which I presume was his spirit leaving his body] as I watched his silent body, a Mari war stick and a beautiful rose lay across his chest. I still see it, and I feel blessed by it. He was my Maori warrior, and I adored the man.
Long poem by
Carol Eastman | Details |
A little girl lost her home this year, for her, Christmas wouldn't be there.
Her family was angry from all the troubles, they simply couldn't repair.
Don’t bother us about presents her parents said, they were depressed by their fate.
With bitterness they said, you’d be lucky to have dinner tonight, or even a plate.
Life was harsh, nowhere to go, anger and fear had put their souls, in a terrible place.
The little girl had found no hope or joy, lurking near their old car, of late.
The car was their home, gas money was scarce, and with few places they could park.
Yes, their troubles had slowly extinguished, that precious hopeful spark.
Without that spark, they’d never find their way, from this terrible place of cold and dark.
And life’s darkness grew deeper nightly, as hope vanished under a reality so stark.
Even the very fiber of her family, seemed to be shattering slowly, slowly, apart.
The child felt alone here in this dark car, as sadness tried to engulf her little girls heart.
The future seemed filled with hopelessness, as shame and dread, were leaving their mark.
Embarrassment to be seen and turned away, made it hard for them to reach out, to restart.
But life goes on, and we can’t fear to rebuild, or the future will be hard to impart.
The girl suddenly declared there’s more to life, and she wouldn't let it conquer her heart.
She decided triumphs will come, and all will get better, if she held to that hopeful spark.
Seeing the desolation and anger here, she couldn't stay around, she had to get away…
So she climbed out of the car, and she walked into town, not so very far to stray.
She went and looked at the store windows, where Christmas was being displayed.
The music and people filled her heart, lifting her spirits, deep inside, that day.
She noticed a store, way down at the end of the row, on the next block, where it lay.
No one was there, it seemed lonely, and the darkness was again, spreading it’s decay.
She ran there in time to see an old man closing up, with sadness on his face betrayed.
What use were his goods, if no one would shop, or come down along his way?
The super store down the block, was daily making him lose more and more in the fray.
He could no longer afford to hire people, and the season had very little time, to stay.
As they talked the girl saw that she couldn't let the darkness take another, so she prayed.
Then she told the old man, if he’d open the shop, she’d bring customers down his way.
She added, she’d find reasonable workers, if her family could live upstairs, she portrayed.
First bring the customers, he said, and the rest will be yours little friend, he conveyed.
She had him put his best toys, as a contest prize, and to add lots of lights on the display.
He set a contest, “Winners-the best collectors for families in need” on Christmas Eve.
He put out a bright contest sign, but still nobody came to his end of the block, to survey.
So she had him call the Salvation Army, for a kettle, Bell ringer, and Carolers, who came
Lickety split, their way.
Then she had him call a dear old friend, and farmer, to bring a tractor full of bails of hay.
Another volunteered his horse and sleigh, both, to see the city lights thru New Years Day.
This was a great idea, since the older drivers, could use the help, for their bills to pay.
The girl ran all over spreading the excitement, and to come see the prizes, his way.
The families suddenly started heading toward his door, and to those wondrous rides.
At that moment her parents came, and she explained what her hope, had improvised.
Her father talked a contractor into building a disabled family a home, to help advertise.
He could get a tax break; come to this store for supplies, and hire unemployed workers, he devised, so wise.
In the end, each night grew brighter, because of a girls hope, and heart-warming delight.
And the old man began smiling for the first time, in a long, long, time, starting that night.
All was saved, a home was found, and another built, as a sad little girl taught grownups to smile along the way…
You might say, A Spark of Hope lit a candle, then a raging fire, which was burning bright by Christmas day.
The moral to my story is:
Never give up on Hope; it’s your best friend, as life brings its troubles your way…
Know that with time, a good heart, good will, and friendly ways…
You can find God’s gifts again, if you don’t let the dark take you away…