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
Copyright © Suzette Richards | Year Posted 2013
Long poem by
Timothy Hicks | Details |
I was wiping the dust off an old snow globe in the upstairs attic, when a mop of honey-blonde hair suddenly appeared through the wooden flooring.
"I thought I'd find you here," said the voice, warm and feminine. It was a lovely contrast to the thoughts that bloomed inside my head. The little red Santa smiling gaily, his gloved hand forever frozen in a wave. Truth be told it was over a hundred degrees outside, and up here in this cobweb-ridden place (by God) was practically unbearable.
But as I lightly shook the fragile keepsake I found myself dashing through the snow like I once did so many years ago. I heard the sound of high pitched laughter from afar, out in the sultry day (most likely the neighbor kids playing tag through a sprinkler-soaked lawn). But there, at that precise moment, I was taking the road before me, and singing a chorus or two.
"You miss him don't ya?" the voice broke me out of my thoughts, and for a moment I just stared at her as if she had a left over piece of spinach in her teeth. I nodded quietly in the silence and rubbed the smooth curvature of the glass with my thumb. It somehow felt cold, as if winter wonderland was still trapped inside.
I knew I hadn't stayed too long, though I knew my wife would be patient throughout this ordeal, however long it took. She didn't need to recite any famous sayings to pick me up, just her being there was enough. It was the unspoken truth between us, and it was always enough.
"Cody and Angie will be downstairs when you're ready to head out."
"I'm ready now. I was just doing a little cleaning up." It wasn't quite a lie. It was one of those statements we use to say one thing and mean the other. The attic was "okay", but I knew of more dire things in need of some organization.
Beth went down the ladder first, naturally. Then it was me, a bit awkwardly, still holding the snow globe. We both came into the living room, where our children sat waiting. Cody was playing some handheld video-game in his Hawaiian swimming trunks. Angie was quietly giggling at something her friend said, via text. Her blue bathing suit was barely more than a strap, and I knew I was this close from losing it. But this was a happy day, so I let it slide, just this once.
"Are you still not ready?" asked Angie.
I looked down at my blue work jeans and buttoned-up t-shirt. My wife gave her a fierce look, as if willing her to take back what she said. It didn't really matter though ... my emotions were spent.
"I was gonna change when we got there," I said, a bit defeated.
"Whatever." She rolled her eyes and plopped her phone right there on the couch. I just stood there like a lifeless statue, while my family got everything ready to head to the local pool. My wife was as patient as a snail, but the kids bustled about as if they've been down here a lifetime. Cody was mad when Beth took the game-boy from his hand, just before some big important checkpoint. Angie was calling Beth completely unfair for not letting her invite Tom over to come swim as well. My wife told her, "This is a family event, no exceptions, and for Pete's sake, listen to me for just this once!"
I just stood there, in quiet grief. Their voices were mere sounds, plastic and surreal, and I went along with it as if everything was alright. But it wasn't alright. The world was falling apart all around me, miraculously still turning, and I just stood there! Finally I reached for the doorknob, when I realized I still had the snow globe in my hand.
I looked at it longingly, with affection, and it came to me. A slightly crazy idea. Not the kind where it's life or death, but the fact that it was a spur of the moment decision, it felt totally crazy. I placed the snow globe on the mantel above the fireplace, where the glass caught the sun just right and the jolly Santa shone a brilliant red.
Allow me this simple pleasure, I asked God in silence. Let the neighbors gawk and smirk all they want. Let the kids think their father's going senile, thinking it's December and not August. I didn't care. I just watched the little flakes twinkle through out the water-filled dome.
I displayed it proudly, knowing that good will, kindness and love were never out of season. So I picked myself up out of my gloomy state, got inside the car, and slid into the driver's seat. "Alright, let's go!" I said cheerfully, and everyone looked surprised.
"Dad, is everything … okay?" asked Cody, from behind. But no answer was necessary. I just smiled, and looked across at Beth without a care in the world.
And since we've no place to go, let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.
First Published in Dual Coast Magazine Issue #3
NOTE: I've written a few short stories, but this one is special to me. It was well received by my family, and I was so excited to discover it was accepted by a magazine. It was my first non-poem to be published.
Copyright © Timothy Hicks | Year Posted 2016
Long poem by
Sunshine Smile | Details |
- A Most Irish Fairy Tale – Merry Christmas to All
It’s not just Santa Claus who we meet in the very cold of December;
There is “Carolina,” and she’s the beauty of a winter picture perfect
With luscious long, coal black curly hair far down on her back, and
As a true fairy princess, Carolina is quite beautiful with such bright
Blue eyes and that certain incandescent glow for all to see and
Dressed in a sparkling white robe made of angelic content with
A glossy coat so radiant and sprinkled with pearls and diamonds.
Out of the woods she walks so quietly in the night’s fresh snow
With a glimpse of two deer and a fox on hunt walking carefully,
Carolina hopes the deer will walk around with an angelic guard;
The secret is that beautiful Carolina speaks the animals’ languages
And this is an enchanted reality known only to the forest animals;
The birds play in all their splendor so fine without sorrow and they
Fly while Carolina—the “Fairy Maiden of this Enchanted Forest,”
Keeps watch carefully on the evening horizon while the snow falls
Now apace in the hope and wish for such a marvelous and majestic
Christmas—while in the distance the ground is now frozen frosted
Hard and like shining and sprinkling silver in the mist until the very
“Rays of Enraptured Sunlight” break in the morning mist—this most
Wondrous image is at once so divine and fabulous to behold and
Cherish as the annual “Spirit of Christmas” now comes alive again.
The Reindeer come alive and begin dancing joyfully together and
Create such a melodic sound almost like bells ringing aloud—
And then all of the Reindeer are here in their resplendent glory:
Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen,
And Rudolph, with his “Red Nose” so beautiful, and oh so bright—
And the sounds the Reindeer make stay in the minds of the little
Children—just like sweet-sounding little voices wonderful so in
Dreams singing such celestial tunes while a bright light appears
So magically on the horizon while planes from all over the world
Begin landing with such precious cargo like loads of neatly written
Letters from good little children—and with this joyous occurrence
Santa Claus begins calling his elfin troops into quick action while
The “Leprechauns” do the heavy work as they are much tougher
But all the while the “Old Fighting Irish” in them reflects a softer
Side while the Leprechauns drink a drop or two or three of some
Fine old fiery Irish dew to keep them both warm and smiling like
The very wee Little Devil in them—so mischievous and all—but
So content and happy to be part of such a delightful moment of both memories and joy for “The Little Children of the World.”
The Leprechauns do all the heavy work
Merry Christmas to All!!
Anne-Lise Andresen, Liam McDaid and Gary Bateman – A Collaborated Poem,
Copyright © All Rights Reserved (December 9, 2014) (Free Verse)
Copyright © Sunshine Smile | Year Posted 2014
Long poem by
John Arribas | Details |
NINETEEN FORTY TWO
JOHN M. ARRIBAS
As a young man in Jersey I wanted to be a cop
One sunday morning that dream came to a stop
Our nation had been a victim of a vicious attack
By an aggressive enemy , we had to fight back
The guys on my street, most still in their teens
Lined up the next morning to join the marines
We were all patriotic with a drive to avenge
That sneaky attack called for instant revenge
Bussed off to camps to be trained for killing
The need for payback made us able and willing
We gave not a thought for the ultimate cost
No one remembered the millions previously lost
In France and Belgium on Flanders’ field
Endless casualties that all conflicts yield
We eagerly toiled and polished our skill
Filed insurance papers and made out a will
Off to see mom and dad on a five day leave
I’ll be home soon mom, no need to grieve
We visited relatives , our neighbors as well
Unknown to many its my final farewell
Off to the west coast more training to follow
On and off boats in deep water or shallow
We did that maneuver over and over again
Disembark quickly we wont lose many men
We boarded troop ships and sailed west
Joined a convoy all in search of this quest
We arrived at an island being bombarded
The pinging of shell casing being discarded
The command was given, go over the side
Clinging to rope ladders as we battled the tide
Small boats all loaded with frightened men
Most are sea sick, ashen and pale and then
Circling, circling then circle once more
With a sudden lurch, we raced to the shore
The boat scraped the bottom, stuck on the sand
Gangway dropped open, a hundred yards from land
We exited the boat and into the water
Then began a blood splattering slaughter
Men were killed while still in the boat
Wounded men laden with ammo to heavy to float
Dodging and praying I made it to the beach
Before finding cover I was trying to reach
A mortar exploded which sent me reeling
When I came to, I couldn’t see I had no feeling
Hey mom I need a clean uniform for saturday
It’s the championship game at the ymca
I can hear my mom but I can’t reach her
Hi mrs. Ryan, she’s my sunday school teacher
I lay there motionless for who knows how long
I began to feel warm, then cold, I heard a song
Row, row your boat gently down the stream
This hell cant be happening , it must be a dream
All is quiet and peaceful now cause I’m not alone
My mom and dad are here we’re all going home
A telegram from the commander in chief
Won’t dampen the pain nor the grief
My mom is bitter it shows on her face
My dad mopes around in muted pace
Neither will be the same any more
Two more casualties due to the war
Pass by my house on foot or by car
Hung in the window you’ll see a gold star
Copyright © John Arribas | Year Posted 2015
Long poem by
Donetta Harless | Details |
Twas the night before a miracle, in a far away land
Traveled Mary and Joseph across the deserts white sand
The journey produced a mother-to-be all weary and worn
As she prays and awaits the birth of her first to be born
After traveling several days and several nights
Finally, Joseph's homeland is just in sight
God whispers softly time is at hand
As the two enter the city of Bethlehem
With proper accommodations unavailable
Mary and Joseph are offered a stable
Not even this would steal their joy
As they held a promise of a baby boy
Animals all about, a floor covered with hay
Joseph gathered the straw, enough for Mary to lay
Swiftly birth bangs, one than another
Born to man, the highest above all other
Laid in a crib, not fit for a beggar
A few old boards thrown carelessly together
A manger to hold God's answer to sin
The sacrificial lamb, a Savior to men
As the angel of the Lord visited shepherds nearby
His voice reign down and opened the sky
Be not afraid, your messiah is born
Salvation has come to all weary and worn
Leave thy flock, go in search for your king
Shout the good news as the angels sing
Find Him in swaddling clothes and laid in a manger
Safe in my presence and without danger
As the angel returned to heaven, the shepherds went on their way
To find baby Messiah, just as spoken, asleep in a manger of hay
They hastily spread the good news for all to hear
In amazement, far and wide the people cheer
Wise men travel to see the messiah from afar
Guided by the light of a bright shiny star
As the star shined directly above where baby Messiah lay
With many gifts to our Savior, their respect they did pay
A name chosen and given to our king
A name previously spoken by God, as the angels sing
Jesus the name that sits above all other
Spoken into existence from Father to mother
How blessed is a world to call Jesus our king
He is our hope of an eternity where righteousness will reign
He is the prince of peace, wonderful counselor is He
His death ransoms our soul and sets us free
So many denounce His precious holy name
A world cold and dark who is without shame
God's own children, sits silent not wanting to offend
Yet in their silence it is Jesus they refuse to defend
The meaning of Christmas, will always remain true
Because a Savior was born to die for me and for you
Throughout a dark world, remains a bright guiding light
Opinions exist but the truth will always shine bright
To know the true meaning of this very special day
Makes us a blessed nation if we are never to stray
As the sun sets and the night begins to fall
Happy Birthday Jesus and Merry Christmas to all
Written by: Donetta Harless
Copyright © Donetta Harless | Year Posted 2016
Long poem by
Shivanee Tinkerbelle | Details |
Where are you Tink,When are you coming home?
K missed me more than I knew,
But I was so caught up in work ,with my new life.
It was almost Christmas and I wanted to go home but the stress of work and
adjusting to this new place was tough.
I called K sometimes to make sure she was okay but then I realized had not for awhile.
She was always on my mind,she lived a nightmare taken for granted by her spouse ,
Whom to him she was a burden,
Yet in her fragile state,she had hope,she had love.
A cruel mother who wronged her,without seeing the true colours of the culprit.
It shattered me to watch her suffer from this blood thirsty annihilation called Leukaemia everyday. I wasn't there,I was helpless so far away.
She was strong,stronger than any person I knew ,
Her faith made her the most gentle soul,
She lived for her daughter with every ouch of strength left in her,
Sometimes I called and she was drained to the core
Locked away and kept like a slave.
Holidays came as quick as the breeze but I was so busy I couldn't fly to and see her.
I knew she needed me and missed me ..
I called her on Christmas day and told her I loved her for a moment.
Old Years Morning I woke up a new dawn was near,
I heard the door bell rang, It was my boyfriend all energized,
So early babe to see me ,are you alright?
He took my hand and walked me the table
Sat me down and said to me "I have something to tell you"
Confusion filled my head ,Was he going to propose ?
I knew he wanted to for awhile ,but like this I thought it wasn't romantic.
Out came the words that pierced through my body like a knife,K's dead babe she
died this morning,
I said "Is this some kind of joke because it's not funny ?Then he held me then left me to be alone"
I ran upstairs and sat in the study searched for her picture and cried my life out,
I didn't get to see her or tell her I loved her"
She must hate me because she wanted to see me .
At her funeral on my Birthday as I watched her lifeless body,
So pale and sad,
I would not be able to laugh with her , go fishing,walk on the beach like the old days,
She wasn't here any more I had to face that fact,
What ripped me apart everyday was not telling her on her last days
,How much she meant to me although I am sure she knew, But still
When I wake up sometimes and call her phone I forget she's no longer here and I
cry myself to sleep.
I try to be strong everyday to live for her and not forget,
Never take anyone for granted or you will live in regret.
Copyright © Shivanee Tinkerbelle | Year Posted 2011
Long poem by
curtis johnson | Details |
My Name Is December
Hello dear one,
I have been a long time coming, but believe me when I tell you, “It’s worth the wait”. I mean that 'I'm worth waiting for. More about that later; but my arrival is really out of my control, as I have to wait my turn.
I am one of twelve, each of which has a different life span with a certain amount of days. I know. You think that our time is so short compared to your own span of uncertainty. But we are okay with the way we are, and we never debate our destiny with our maker. We take each day as they come, and make the best of each one whether it’s bright or not.
By the way, you look familiar and remind me of someone else I’ve seen before. Have we met? O, pardon me please. My name is December, and I must say that I’m not late, but I am the last. My name comes from the Latin word 'Decem' which means ‘ten’. I know that you are wondering why my name means ‘ten’ when I am presently the 12th month of the year. You must understand that I was the 10th month until my number was changed to the Gregorian Calendar from the Roman Calendar. Don’t you wish sometime that people would leave things the way they found them? Anyway, I still think that I am the most popular month of the year. More about that later.
I and all my siblings never cease to arrive each year at different times with various tasks. Some of us, 7 to be exact, live to be 31; 4 of us make it to 30; and for some reason, one of our brothers, February by name, lives to be 28; but occasionally, he gets stretched to 29. Please don’t ask me why, because I’m not that smart.
Did you know that I am the first month of winter in the Northern Hemisphere where I also have the shortest daylight hours of the year? And did you know that I am the first month of summer in the Southern Hemisphere where I also have the longest daylight hours of the year? I sure hope I got that right.
I don’t claim to be the most famous, though I really am. Please? Do not repeat that to my 11 siblings. I must say that perhaps more money is spent in my 31 day life span than any other month; more gifts are exchanged; lights are their brightest; more decorations are put up; and many people feel that a big fat guy name Santa Clause comes from the North Pole on Reindeers, bringing lots of toys to kids the world over. O, by the way, did I say that Christmas came in the month of December? And did I not tell you that l was worth the wait?
10232015 (Contest, "Screwed X11",Rob Carmack
Copyright © curtis johnson | Year Posted 2015
Long poem by
Dan Cwiak | Details |
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Copyright © Dan Cwiak | Year Posted 2015
Long poem by
Hakeem Sotayo Aro | Details |
The dry breeze moves gently
Infecting the Hamlet with its cool temper
Even the birds shake and generate calmly
A young lady sat at the front of a mansion
Her oily body shines with the aid of the moon. Anon
She look up to the sky and she remember
Her head comes down like a withered rose, sadly.
Her maids calls her in, she refuses she is forlorn.
I was fourteen when our neighbor came to take me
My parents, happy that their daughter goes to the city
Gave her presents. My parents hugged and gave me a pea
She hold my hand roughly as we walk along the street some people pity
Me. She left me with some men. We didn't eat till night only a nut
We were twenty. We were packed in a juggernaut
We slept in the container till morn. We had all cried like a dying kitty
My good neighbor is nowhere and they stood on us like Mcafee
Fifteen of us where above fifteen. Each of them was to be a harlot.
Two years for me to join them I spent as a house worker
With a man a wife and four kids. No I worked more than break pads
It was a house of six rooms of which I am the washer
I wash clothes from pants to suits to wears mostly laces and jacquards.
The box room was where I slept like a rodent
Though delicious I ate twice daily, the dogs six times with content
I never went to school; to the kids I was a rival and always a loser
After my second year I flee to the streets where I prayed to meet some lads
All alone I was lost not knowing were to go I slept under a bridge tent.
Then I turn to the markets to carry loads for lords
Before then I had been raped twice
The token I got I used to maintain despite all odds
By then I had known the city. Going to my parents was my one vice
They received me with high expectations
But they saw and got nothing. They asked me questions.
I promised not to tell the truth I told them good words
They wished to hear. To come back home three years after was very nice
I cried, I had to endure the shame, villagers taught I should be rich I got no
She now leaves in a villa
As the governess. Her maids call her in once more
With their dry lips. With her face now unwithered
She rise up to retire at the door
She looks back at the sky and her smiles awaken.
Twenty first December she was taken
Twenty first December the day she was raped at the street corner
Twenty first December today. Her name? Bimpe Oladapo
Twenty first December the day she will die. That day is waiting.
Copyright © Hakeem Sotayo Aro | Year Posted 2006
Long poem by
Loch David Crane | Details |
Santa’s Responsibility Rap
Loch David Crane
July 2, 2006
Santa's jolly all year long
he’s such a happy soul;
but if ya ever cross him
he’ll put you in a hole.
Santa’s very red and white
he knows who's good and bad.
His character assessment
shows us what a life you’ve had.
So obey your Mums and Daddies
and the helpful officers too
then we can jail the bad guys
and help each other through.
We write laws to protect us all,
both powerful and least;
treat others as you treat yourself,
respecting all, is best.
But if you sass your Daddy,
or the officer ignore,
expect a swat upon your rump
or SWAT outside your door.
Ol' Santa reads the crime reports
on a computer he refused
to deliver to a bad boy
whose trust had been abused.
He's read your blog on Facebook
and he knows what's in your heart:
so "you better be good for goodness’ sake"
or your gifts will all depart.
Santa doesn't like bad boys
or messes on the floor.
He doesn't have to forgive you
and he doesn't have to bring more.
For Santa reflects what you give to others
and whom you choose to be;
because only a pleasant person
gets dreams beneath his tree.
A loud, or stubborn, or spoiled child
sees an empty cactus tree;
a helpful, cheerful, giving kid
is a joy that Santa sees.
You must think as much of others
as you do just for yourself
if you want to see those goodies
coming towards you off the shelf.
'Cause Santa isn't Jesus,
that's why he keeps a list
of happy little readers
and those in whom he's disappointed.
Santa doesn't love you all
or listen when you pray--
just good behavior is the key
for toys on Xmas day.
"What's the X in Xmas?"
trembling little voices cry.
X is an unknown value
until you steal or lie.
For Santa isn't Jesus,
he's an atheist you see –
he dispenses voluntary gifts
underneath his pagan tree.
He doesn't owe you anything,
his gifts are from the heart..
He judges your behavior
and each year is a new start.
As you behave, so shall you be
rewarded by St. Nick;
but if you're bad the year before
then coal will be his trick.
What goes around comes back around
and what was old is new;
When you give respect to others
it returns increased to you.
Copyright © Loch David Crane | Year Posted 2014