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Long poem by Brian Johnston | Details |

Growing Up, La - Part 2 - Rev 3

- - Chapter 2: Adult Responsibility (With Some Breaks) - -     

By ten years old, no weekends off, 
Or Saturday cartoons, 
Although I did have cash to spend, 
I felt my life in ruins.

I dusted cars in my dad's store, 
And cleaned its toilets too, 
I fixed truck tires as I got old, 
Not much I couldn't do.


A trip to two month summer camp, 	
I learned to shoot and sail, 
At twelve years old, a pioneer, 
Canoed explorer's trail.

Near tragedy on my return, 
My sister paralyzed, 
A late victim of polio, 
My conscience brutalized.

Felt guilty leaving her alone,
While I frolicked and played,
Brotherly love had been displaced,
Protection for her staid.


The washers, dryers, I repaired, 
And freezers with no chill, 
Then televisions came along, 
Tube testing my new skill.

Assembling new farm implements, 
And posting parts on hand, 
My driver's license opened doors, 
‘Collected bills' firsthand.

On Sundays we would go to church, 
To hear the preacher tell, 
Because my dad was not with us, 
His soul would burn in Hell.
	
Dad's Channeled Poem On Preachers-[]
[‘It's bad news when a preacher comes.
They all want stuff for free.
I have to feed my children too,
I've problems they don't see.']


Three years of summer music camps, 
In Junior High reborn, 
I played piano in dance bands, 
Took lessons on French Horn.

My French Horn teacher laughed out loud
When I walked through the door,
‘Your lips so thick, please stick out tongue,’
Died laughing on the floor!

‘To take your money is a crime,’
The German said to me,
‘You’ve no high notes,’ ‘I know’ I said,
‘Mom loves French Horn you see.’


Most summers were our busy time, 
We all worked hard till dusk, 
My ‘tail rung through a ringer,' (1) la,* 
The time for ‘smart mouth' (2) brusque.
 
But then the job that I loved best, 
Flat tractor tires in field, 
A chance to meet a farmer's girl, 
The country's charm revealed.


One summer worked a cattle herd, 
Two thousand cows were planned, 	
By cutting, wind-rowing (3) the grass, 
Soon haystacks dotted land.

Dakota winters could be fierce, 
The temp forty below, 
The stacks were shelter from the wind, 
A shield from blinding snow.

We'd use a horse for round-up, la! * 
My God that was a thrill, 
Except for blisters on your ass, 
Or when you took a spill.

I had not ridden horses much, 
You're so far from the ground, 
The horse not knowing you from spit, (4)
Disdain can be profound! '
 
There was no time for niceties, 
And work to do, ‘C'MON! '
If horse and you somehow part ways, 
No choice, you climb back on.

Our ranch was all on ‘Indian Res.,’ (5)
By river loop enclosed,
In South Dakota’s lower Brule, (6)
A twelve year lease proposed.

Land acres more that twenty thou.
Covered by native grass,
A chance like this was very rare,
My father could not pass.

The river’s edge a solid fence,
No barbed wire to maintain.
The nearest town two hours by road,
Security mundane.

Our days were mostly work and sleep,
With meals our only break,
Except for weekend groc’ry trips,
No chance for love’s heartache.

Till I discovered farmer’s girl,
Who lived half way to town,
Contrived a way to go to church,
When Sunday’s call came down.
 
The church’s name not one I knew,
The people all seemed nice,
To escape Sunday’s usual fare
Was worth most any price.

Harmonica, accordion
Played music we could sing,
The pastor beat foot-pedalled drum,
We made the rafters ring!

I told myself, ‘there’s something strange,
The music’s gone too long,’
Emotion peaking and yet I
Somehow did not belong.

With music’s end the sermon broke,
The world’s sure end was near,
Time now to sanctify all sin,
‘Repent now! God’s word hear.’

God’s really mad, this cannot stand,
No doubt that it is prov’n
Those rockets from Canaveral 
Are shooting holes in Heav’n.

I was in shock, glued to my seat,
The flock their garments rent,
And I the last one in his seat,
No sin did I lament!

At last not knowing what to do,
I left and went outside,
And knew whatever happened now,
I hadn’t found my bride.


Brian Johnston
August 20, 2014

Poet’s Notes:
* When I was in the American Peace Corps in Tanzania, East Africa we had a group of 7 
surveying assistants that were always with us in the first year and that we became very 
close to. Their conversation was always sprinkled with 'la' and I thought it was kind of 
cute. Like they might say to me, 'Why don't we stop in this village for some food, la.' 
They used this word kind of like I use the word ‘OK' in casual conversation. 'You've got 
food in your teeth, la.' I really enjoyed this idiosyncratic affectation.

(1) 'tail rung through the ringer' - Early washing machines did not have a 'spin cycle.' So 
to get the excess water out of your clothing you would ring out the water from each item 
of clothing first before hanging it on a clothes line to dry completely in the sun. So the 
phrase 'tail rung through the ringer' means that you are all out of energy, and very tired. 
The energy has been squeezed out of you by your job like water rung out of newly 
washed clothing.

(2) 'smart mouth' Someone who likes to talk back to authorities, or who just complains all 
the time.

(3) 'wind-rowing' - To rake newly cut grass into long rows called 'wind-rows' that could be 
more easily picked up and bailed then by yet another machine.

(4) 'not knowing someone from spit' - To have no respect for the person at all.

(5) ‘Indian Res’ – Land that Indian’s were given official title to by the American 
government in an attempt to placate and domesticate them.

(6) ‘Lower Brule’ – A huge tract of Indian Land contained in a large meander of the 
Missouri River. Although the mouth of this loop is only one mile wide, to get from one side  
of the meander by river is over 28 miles. Lower Brule is owned by the Cherokee Indian 
Tribe.


Long poem by Glenn Johnson | Details |

MY JOURNEY TO YOU

Little eyes search a new world . . .
  The gaze and suckle for food, body and soul.
     A tiny heart tuned to the glow and tone of love.
         Compelled to bond . . . drawn to the love gaze
             Mother . . . Father
                 Chosen in soul’s life quest
                     Spiritually . . . what was known
                         now obscured by soul’s desire to be flesh.

How was I conceived?
   An act of love, desire, need, lust, passion?
      Unconscious of my own conception
   The invisible participant
Life’s mysterious ménage a trios.

In the beginning was the word
  Your sounds in my mind and mouth.
                  Coo and babble.
The ancient celestial winds swirled in my lungs.
The divine conductor orchestrated the mystical moment: 
                    ma ma. . . .  da da 
                  Did you truly hear me?

My hands on a chair . . .  the letting go . . . timid steps into the great void  
  wobbling legs, diaper descending, butt naked, I toddled 
                                    pudgy arms reached to you.
                                           Were you there?

Being born oblivious provides no insulation
  when delivered into the acetylene torch
     crossed and frayed wires of bitter parents.
Explosions of rage . . . too sudden for small and toddling legs to escape.
    Tender senses scorched. 
                         Heart seared. 
                      Terrified.
Mind’s burrows dug deep beneath the conflagration
                   Huddle and tremble 
        Await signs of fire storms extinguish.

Calm?  
   A fearful crawl to the surface
      Barely exposed
          Eyes cautious 
     Deciphering the face of mother then father:
        Ashen 
             Exhausted
      Eyes, searing embers.
 They trudge through rubble 
                           cinders
                 charred corpses of words
                   shouted . . . threatened 
                hearts guarded, armored.

Words the mistaken enemy 
    Instigators of continued marital strife
       Silence a simmering refuge
          Frost bitten eyes of evasion
       Shielded, scorched hearts
    Tolerated phantoms they
An endless cold war in a place called home.

                       . . . Love . . .
            A mere obligation to a vow?

                       . . . Love . . .
A mere arrangement of consonants and vowels?

A child’s confusion:  
        Mother . . . Father 
  Did I lose the magic to enthrall?
        Did I fail you?
What did I do to lose your love?

Still the yearn for the joy that welcomed my birth.
   I was your precious one 
      Your bright eyes
          My joy of your joy
             My delight of your delight.

Vague memories of enfolded fondness
                tender embrace 
                serene snuggle 
               oneness of a we.
               
Time and again . . . the fearful crawl to the surface
  Decipher the face of mother then father
    Vacant gazes to anywhere but each other
      Mutual strangers carving a frozen asylum
   Indifference their drug for festering wounds.
             You . . . phantom to phantom 
                  become my phantoms.
            Your vacant stare my vacant stare.

The need and want of love:  
                  How can I rekindle your love?
                A desperate search for fuel.
I gather kindling in all that I do: school, sports, honors
       The ritual marches to deliver pleading offerings.
                      A love shrouded in absence
               I look down at my accomplishments:
           Mere twigs and sticks, decayed dead wood
                     food of ungrateful insects
                              Arms weaken 
                    Burden and tears fall to earth 
                  Healing is a foreign and alien place
               The decision final 
            Never again return.

A youth’s anguish: 
    I hate you for bringing me into your hell.
        I know my place . . . 
            Mind’s burrows dug deep beneath the carnage.
                Isolation . . . the numbness of drugs oblivion.
                     
                            Miracle of Miracles

                 Transformation . . . Before my eyes!
             Girls all about me . . . beauty. 
       A bolt of lightning, a direct hit, burrow piercing radiance.

Wild scramble to the surface.
                    Drawn to the love gaze 
                          a boy . . . a girl 
         chosen in soul’s life quest to love, be loved.

                                   You . . . I
                      Our limbs and hearts entwined  
                           Ethereal blazing stars               
                           Creator’s gift in deed.                  
                                                 
                          Born of wounded hearts
                         Witnesses to love's rebirth 
                                 A solemn vow
                 Spoken man-child to woman-child
                           In all our imperfection
                     In times of anger, hurt and fear
                 . . . No matter how difficult the task . . . 
              . . . No matter how great the challenges . . .
                         . . . together we will stand . . .
                                  . . . arm in arm . . .
                           . . . embrace to embrace . . 
                                . . . heart to heart . . .
                                  . . . soul to soul . . .
                    . . . Learn what we were never taught . . .
            . . . Give each other the words and touches that heal . . .
             . . . Our togetherness a true labor and gift of love . . .





Long poem by cassie hellberg | Details |

over and over agin

sometimes i talk to myself, 
my mind is racing,
i dont know what to do...
so hard to explain.
depression isn't a stage
or a faze some kids go through
it shatters you...
i saw it all. 
she cried silent in her bed,
blood stains covered her favorite jeans,
her every shirt,
long sleeve ofcourse...
she suffered through it all with few people to call friend
and more to call enemy
even more to say where quite dissappointed....
FAT
her first name in school,
not started by a bully
or a mean rival,
but by her sister, 
and it echoed through her soul,
repeating in her mind... over and over again,
like the ripples of still water
when a pebble is dropped
flash frozen in time
repeating,
over and over again...
It was the first name they gave her,
millions where created over the years,
some unique
some repeating again, just as the first had..
gothic they called her,
emo, fat, ugly....worse things.
but in her mind, things where worse.
everything was repeating,
over and over again,
finally she believed it. 
she asked for help, from everyone
tried to explain to parents she wasnt well,
got called a psycho for asking to see a theripist,
not from a teacher,
not from a class mate,
but from her own father, who wouldn't, couldn't,
believe there could possibly be a thing wrong....
finally, crying, she confessed her bloody secret to a teacher.
rather then giving her time,
she is sent back to class crying her eyes out, as if she wherent going through enough...
she is sent to the principals office a few minutes later, after breaking down in class...
the princlipal says she needs help,
sends her and her dad for a risk evaluation,
her dads crying as she shows him her cuts...
they walk into a hospital room, 
it smells of chemicals and hand sanitizer,
the lady at the desk gives her a smile.
then she goes into a room with a lady,
her cheeks are sunken in and shes wearing way too much makeup,
the girl is gaging on her perfume,
and she looks really intimidating....
her dark brown hair looks dead and flat
even though its a bit wavy, 
and she wears somewhat of a mocking frown.
asks her all these questions,
is mommy beating her?
no
is daddy raping her?
no
is she doing drugs?
not alot
is anyone beating her?
pass...
did anyone molest her? 
pass....
oxcarbezapine, trazadone, citalipran, clinazapam, colonipan,
valium, lithium, more.......
and thats what they gave her,
more... 
some numbed the pain
some brought it out
tearing through her organs,
she became an addict by the time she was fourteen....
over dose after over dose
some for pleasure
some for pain,
gashes on her legs getting deeper,
this time she didnt tell a soul,
not even those she had come to call friends....
wakeup she screamed in her head over and over again
as she dropped weight like it was nothing....
you cant controll it she argued as things became worse. 
at age fourteen she attempted suicide,
she didnt quite succeed.
the medication took away her aappitite....
she liked it
she hated her body
hated herself
felt out of controll
found a new way to cope
as she shoved tooth brush after toothbrush down her throat
to keep her body from nuitrients...
as she whent weeks and weeks spitting food into napkins and making excuses 
I ate at my friends house....
spoken as a whisper
heard like a sentance
echoing in her mind over and over again,
along with that word, all the words,
FAT!!!!!!
ugy, anoying, stupid, fake, worthless, nothing...
one bite she would say
rocking back and forth
craving nothing but food
her body racked with hunger pain
one bite and there she was again
FAT!
over and over and over again
back to a toothbrush
this time she sees blood
she saw her ribs
she saw her bones,
it wasnt good enough,
she almost died, again....
choking on this deep dissappointment in herself,
gaging on everything they where pushing down her throat, 
their words, and their insults, their criticism.... their drugs
all shoved down her throat like candy
and just as she was was trained to do she swallowed despite the bad taste
or the hurt
or the fact that at the rate she was going she would be dead soon...
and you know why? 
because daddy yelled 
and couldnt accept what was happening
not because he wanted to hurt her
but because it hurt him,
and she let him believe,
because she could take the hurt if it meant he didnt have too.
because mommy didnt want to sit in her room all day
smoking weed
doing nothing,
practically having us raise ourselves,
she didnt mean to take anger, or frustration or hurt out on her daughter
she suffered everyday in her solitary confinement,
and from a young age she accepted her bedroom was the cage
 her mother had created for herself.
because sister didnt want to effect her the way she did
she was just frustrated
fed up with the way things where
scared, she needed someone to take her cruelty
and to help heal her pain...
because people in school
who where so cruel
had to have learned from somewhere
and she wasnt going to play into their games,
and they knew she was an easy target
because she would never attack someone so weak
and she accepted her suffering was a sacrafice
to help all these people....
to help her dad,
her mom,
her sister,
every person who was beaten abused or hurt
 and felt so weak at home they wanted to feel strong in the one safe place they had.
because depite the fact she had died inside,
and almost passed away on the out,
it was a saccrafice she was willing to make
so that no one else would have to feel that kind of pain,
and they all inflicted it and broke her down'untill there was nothing left but a shell
of somthing that could have been
and never had the chance
and why? 
because she would take it and wouldnt strike back,
because sometimes "just taking it"
isnt so much about the weakness not to do anything
but about the strangth not to hurt others the way they hurt you...


Long poem by Brian Johnston | Details |

Growing Up, La - Part 1 - Rev 4

- - - Chapter 1: Early Days - - - 

My father was a rich man, la, *
Though schooled in poverty, (1)  
As such he seldom raised his head, 
Displayed humility.
The center of the ‘Dust Bowl' years, 
Just thirty miles from home.
And children, seniors died from this
(Their lungs were clogged with loam) .

A huge tornado struck Woodward, (2)  
Destroying our downtown, 
It, cut a swath near one mile wide, 
Dad fought back, doubled down.(3)  
When storm had cleared, sky was fire red, 
Dad put me in the car, 
But roads were blocked in just three blocks, 
The world become bizarre! 
Barbed wire that penetrated trees, 
Homes cracked like eggs insides, 
Our home had grass blades drove like nails, 
Into its wooden sides.
The biggest storm in history, 
My dad was gone for days, 
Storm victims sleeping on our floor, 
The whole town in a daze.

Dad's rebuilt store, nicest in town, 
Our home ‘across the track, '(4)  
Attended too the poorest school, 
But did not suffer lack.
Appearance was Dad's calling card, 	
No pretense there to see, 
For ‘living too high on the hog, '(5)  
Caused bankers misery.
The school board melted to Mom's charm, 
(Or to her tongue of fire) , 
For with Dad's stature in the town, 
Few dared to risk her ire! 
Good teachers forced to leave rich schools, 
Complained it wasn't fair, 
Till they encountered Sis and I, 
And found that they could care.
That was my mother's legacy, 
And ‘ART' (6)   the air she breathed, 
Though slight she strongly stood her ground, 
Our future she bequeathed.
We did not know the difference, 
Just sometimes things were tough, 
Our clothing did set us apart, 
We always had enough.
There were some very poor kids there, 
The same clothes thru the week, 
Impoverished not just in clothes, 
But that which all men seek.		

I had a bike to ride around, 
Of course it was a Schwinn, 
And almost always home for lunch, 			
For Mom thought we were thin, 
With two desserts at every meal, 
(And Mom was quite a cook.)  
But if you didn't clean your plate, 
From Dad you got a look, 
The waste of food a mortal sin, 
A thump upon the ‘bean, '(7)  
Made every meal traumatic fare, 
And tears a daily scene.
My guess is Dad got worse than me, 
Depression's (8)   oldest child, 
I mourn the innocence he lost, 
That made his wrath seem mild.

Our parent's roles were well defined, 
My dad brought home the bread, 
My mom the joy of hearth and home, 
Dad's entrance met with dread.
My dad did most the punishments, 
But whippings weren't enough, 
We even weren't allowed to cry, 
To show we had the stuff! 
Small wonder romance frightened me, 
(So sure I'd be like him) , 
To challenge violence I feared, 
Chose music over gym.

Brian Johnston
August 20,2014

Poet's Notes: 
An auto-biographical look at family life impacted by both the American Great 
Depression  and the Dust Bowl years (1930-1950)   in the Mid-West, divided into 
Chapters. 
This is a work of love and homage to the courageous and desperate people who 
survived both. I hope that you enjoy it. New Chapters will be released as I complete 
them.

* When I was in the American Peace Corps in Tanzania, East Africa we had a group of 
7 surveying assistants that were always with us in the first year and that we became 
very close to. Their conversation was always sprinkled with 'la' and I thought it was 
kind of cute. Like they might say to me, 'Why don't we stop in this village for some 
food, la.' They used this word kind of like I use the word ‘OK' in casual conversation. 
'You've got food in your teeth, la.' I really enjoyed this idiosyncratic  affectation.

(1)   ‘poverty' - born in 1911, my father was just 19 years  old when ‘The Great 
Depression' hit the US economy. The Dust Bowl began shortly after.
(2)   Woodward, Oklahoma - the town that I grew up in.
(3)   ‘doubled down' - after Dad's business was destroyed completely by the tornado, 
he  doubled his efforts to be successful in Woodward, borrowing heavily from the 
local banks to do so.
(4)   'across the track' or 'wrong side of the tracks' referred to the part of town where 
poor people lived, frequently, but not always, meaning 'colored people' as well. In some 
towns no 'colored people' were allowed to live in the more prosperous 'white only' 
area. Some towns (like Woodward) had no Negros at all. I take that back. One black 
male did have a job shining shoes in the local 'Baker Hotel' but I think his home was 
in the country somewhere (He did not live in town).
(5)   'living too high on the hog' -  an idiom referring to people who have to have the 
most expensive things in life and buy them frequently on credit even though they 
can't really afford them.
(6)   ‘ART' - My mother was a gifted painter and wood carver, but even meals she 
prepared were done artistically. Art was always spelled with capital letters in her life! 
(7)   ‘thump on the bean' - to hit the offending child hard on the head with the 
knuckles of your closed fist.
(8)   'Depression' - Hard times, not mental issues. (Actually works both ways though 
I guess!)   Born the oldest of 3 brothers and one sister, my dad's father worked him 
hard and used a leather shaving strap to whip his boys when he was upset with them 
about anything. Grand Dad Johnston made my father seem like Florence Nightingale. 
I believe that he beat his wife as well (just a guess) .


Long poem by Shadow Hamilton | Details |

A Journey Through Time final part revised

Now as the years passed by everyone became so tired
the heaps of things scattered around became too much to bear
some benevolence was certainly grand but this was too much
the two felt unable to undertake  the long arduous journey
so it was agreed their sons Bam and Muss would go
setting out they followed their fathers footsteps back to the cave

Eventually they arrived at the bottom of the valley to see just ruins
Bam said " Lets look for tracks" and soon they found a path
Travelling for days they followed it deep into new territory
until in the far distance they saw some huts in a clearing
As they approached they were surrounded by the natives
who took them to the Shaman who said " I foresaw your coming"

Seated they feasted and chatted telling the Shaman about their fathers
like them they found the food very hot and spicy gulping down the coconut brew
and drifted off into a mysterious sleep that took them back to the monolith
entering through the gate of light they found the Druids gathered
and saw the Tree of Life was half restored.  " Your fathers did well " said the Druid
" but things still need to be Adjusted.  We have one gift for you to take back "

"It is the gift of Tranquillity together with Benevolence it will help restore the balance
but you will need to journey on from here to the spirit world  and talk to the old Gods
and with a bright flash the Druids vanished leaving one shiny stone on the ground
the young men picked it up and found themselves  once more spinning through time
until they found themselves  in a very strange land. Here was the home of the Gods
mighty Jupiter roared " You men are fools with your wanton destruction of things."

"Yet you come to us expecting our help  in putting right the world's balance."
Mars the mighty war god then spoke " There are three tasks you must complete
before we will help you. First you must clean out the Royal Stables and re-bed them"
The young men set to work it took them five days to complete this onus task.
Returning to Mars who hummed and accepted their work with praise. "Now go 
to Venus she will give you your next task, mind she is a hard goddess to please."

When they met her she looked at them and laughed. " Never have I seen such
puny specimens. I doubt you have the strength to complete even a simple task.
Still if you you succeed you will be nearer your goal, and she pointed at a rocky
place, clear this and make me a garden I am bored of having no where of beauty
to sit and reflect and to entice my lovers into my arms. Build it so I may sing my songs and enthral the heart of Thor too long he has been impervious  to my whiles. " 

Bam and Muss started to clear the site but there was one rock that was massive
it defeated all their attempts to smash it up or even to roll it out of the way
so they went to the Royal Stables and explained their plight to Hermes " That   
is easy" he said " Take twenty horses they will soon remove it for you, mind 
you feed them well or they will cease to work for you. They need the freshest
hay grown from the clover fields A ton or two will do the trick and keep them happy."  

First it took them another week gathering in the sweet hay which they then fed
to the Royal Steeds. Already happy with their clean stables they were happy to help.
In no time at all they cleared away the massive bounder leaving the ground ready 
now it needed to be tilled and planted. Soon the ground was ready and flowers of
rare beauty began to grow spreading enticing smells and the Gods were pleased.

"All it needs now are some benches and arches  and a lovely fountain then I will 
surely ensnare Thor's heart." At last all was done to her commands and Thor
wandered over and seeing Venus sat near the fountain was captivated by her
charms. Of course they had one more task and this one was for Thor himself.
He wanted a new thunderbolt spear made of the finest silver from Hades mines
Hades said they could mine as much as needed in return for their hard work.

At last after many hours of toil the had the silver needed now it needed to be forged 
and tempered. For this they needed a furnace and blacksmith so they asked Vali
for his help. He started a mighty fire in the furnace and when it was hot enough
added the silver and when ready forged it into a mighty spear. "Here take it to Thor"
he said. Thor was delighted with it and said " You have completed your tasks here
is the gift of Temperance take it and restore your world's balance and harmony."

They picked it up and were whisked through time back to  the lake. They hastily made two more shrines and placed the rocks inside their safety, immediately they all started to glow. They could feel the currents emitting from the rocks and over time harmony
returned and the Tree of Life began to again thrive and protect.

Returning to their village they recounted all to their fathers who were amazed
that the Shaman and his people remembered them. They were amazed by all
that their sons had done to bring this about and celebrated their feats. Now 
Temperance took care of people's overboard Benevolence bringing in its wake
Peace and Prosperity (and no more piles) while the gift of Tranquillity brought
Happiness and Love and so the Natural balance of things was restored



I hope you all have enjoyed this epic if only it was so easy to put the world to rights
we would have an even lovelier world   
  


Long poem by Ian Howard | Details |

Phobia's

     Phobias
	A Bluto is not that Disney dog
	It was when a mewling 
	that I would scream 
	Should they wet my body
	And then apply cream
	
	Ablutophobia – fear of bathing, washing, or cleaning
	
	Achluo the demon that lurks
	In darkened corners
	The long toothed life suckers realm
	I am scared as the sun dims
	It seems to bare my soul
	
	Achluophobia – fear of darkness
	Acro what did they do 
	They called me acrobat 
	This will not do
	I get giddy standing on a matchbox
	Please get a net to see me through
	Acrophobia – fear of heights

	
	Agora just shut that door 
	I am staying here forever more
	Bring me food put it on the floor
	The letter box is just for you
	Don’t, Don’t,  try to get through
	
	Agoraphobia,  Fear of open spaces or of being in public places. Fear of leaving a                    safe place
	Agrap stole my feelings 
	He caught me unaware
	I am now afraid of sex 
	don’t ask me anymore
	It frightens me that’s for sure
	
	Agraphobia – fear of sexual abuse

	Agrizoo an angry gorilla I knew
	Wild as hell was kept in a cell
	As all his kind, even a timid Hind
	They scare the crap out of me
	Please let them run free

	Agrizoophobia – fear of wild animals

	A gyro is just what I need
	I will fit it to my trusty stead
	He will fly straight across that band
	A tarmac nasty throughout the land
	I cannot face the walk you see
	Agyrophobia –fear of crossing the road

	Aichmohe got in a hell of a fight
	They killed him with a pointed knife
	It will come for me just you see
	I cannot even mend his cloth
	Won’t  touch a needle at any cost
	
	Aichmophobia – fear of sharp or pointed objects (such as a needle or knife)
	

	Ailuro he lived next door 
	The bastard sits on the fence
	To me he snarls not a purr
	A Persian he is supposed to be
	Frightens the *****out of me
	
	Ailurophobia – fear of cats
	
	Algo, Away, I am pain free
	This morphine is the best
	First day of pain free rest
	Been told that it will return
	Got some gas, peace I yearn
	
	
	Algophobia - fear of pain

	Andro I’d rather be               (android)
	I am metal and plastic you see
	Electric person not man or woman
	That would be so sad
	If just a man I would go mad

	Androphobia – fear of men

	Antho the pologist got the plan
	He put concrete throughout the land.
	Not one shrub or flower seen
	Not one blade of grass green
	A flower would make me scream

	Anthophobia – fear of flowers


	Anthropo was a lonely man
	Wouldn’t mix with others so
	He lived in a cave, well just a hole
	You would see his eyes peeping out
	A shaking frame if people were about
	
	Anthropophobia – fear of people or the company of people, a form of social phobia.

	Aqua marine or even the wet stuff
	Is enough to drive me mad
	I stay in when there is rain
	Just wait for the sun to shine again
	A damp tissue that’s quite enough

	Aquaphobia – fear of water. Distinct from Hydrophobia, a scientific property that makes chemicals averse to interaction with water, as well as an archaic name for rabies

	Arach no, and know the score
	Those creepy creatures on the wall
	Send shivers up and down my spine
	Six legs and venom to drive you mad
	I am running already it is sad.

	Arachnophobia – fear of spiders


	Astra my name you would think of the stars
	My gaze goes up but not that far
	To the first cloud there in the sky
	If it’s the shape of an anvil I will fly 
	Fear grips me and I don’t know why
	
	Astraphobia – fear of thunder and lightning
	Atychi that was about the size of me
	The others would just make fun
	I was no good to anyone
	A failure of the first degree
	Nothing my goal, was all I could see
	
	Atychiphobia – fear of failure

	Auto matic I will seek people out
	To touch to play as long as they are near
	Don’t leave me in this place alone 
        A singularity is my biggest fear
	I will hold anyone you see I care

	Autophobia – fear of being alone or isolated
	
	Automat o no it’s not true how could you
	An advert that’s telling just lies
	Don’t all the others realize
	What you say is not true, put it right 
	It will drive me crazy I’ll keep out of sight
	
	Automatonophobia – fear of anything that falsely represents a sentient being

	Aviat o if you think I am going in that
	No I am not a scared ***** cat
	If we were meant to go fly
	Wings we would have from him on high
	Fold your machine and put it just so.
	
	Aviophobia, Aviatophobia – fear of flying
	
	
	
	
	Chaeto he was a Greek of old
	Bald as a badger so the story is told
	But why you say is there no cure 
	For him to grow some lovely hair
	For him it would give such a scare

	Chaetophobia – fear of hair

	Chemo therapy keep away from me
	Chemicals scare me I know they are free
	But to have them coursing through my veins
	No matter how good they are, and that jar
	The fear of everything for what they are 

	Chemophobia – fear of chemicals

	Chirop to or not too so I am told
	They stick in your hair best to be bald
	Now I find that my nails are made of hair
	Chirop is what I fear not chiropodist is that clear!!
	Just shave my head and cut my nails dear

	
	Chiroptophobia – fear of bats

	Chromo shines bright in my eyes
	The fear of all colours  I realise
	Now I am safe from a troubled day
	Into my dark room, I have found my way
	Knock when that sun has met its demise

	Chromophobia - fear of bright colors


Long poem by Debbie Duncan | Details |

BY THE SEA

PART One,,,, as she saw it.


The mountains and the meadows were always so beautiful this time of year.
 It seemed as if a fresh new world always came to life. The high cliffs turned sharply downward.  As I sat listening to the ocean tides smashing against the walls of the mountain below. There was a mild breeze blowing from the south. The grass in the flower covered meadows moved with the breeze. The sun shined so brightly I thought it would melt me at times.

As I stood up from the log where I was sitting by the emerald forest, the breeze pressed my dress against me. It formed to the soft round curves of my breast, down through the curves of my waist pushing against my yielding hips. As I blinked from the sun, I saw him there in the distance. I had thought I was alone. But there he was,  starring straight at me. What would I do and where could I turn? I knew what kinds of thoughts men had, my mother told me all about them. I saw that he was beginning to move my way !

 I saw him there as he saw me. I was paralyzed, not knowing what direction to move. Though as I watched him from afar, he did not seem dangerous as my mother always warned. Still, I could hear her words like a tape recorder in the back of my mind.
               
 Should I dare take my eyes from his? I could see his eyes were dark, maybe brown, or even midnight blue.  What ever the color, I could tell they were smoldering with restrained passions. His hair was long to his shoulder blades. I knew that because it moved with the wind.  He had broad shoulders with long legs. I knew I must not let him reach me. If his arms entangled me , surely I would never get loose. And, I'm not sure I would want too. Even though I heard the words of my mother, running in my head.
 I could feel the tiny  beads of sweat trickling down between my breasts. I was not sure I should take my eyes from him as I leaned down to pick up the fan that had slipped from my hand to my bare feet.

PART ONE,,,, As he saw it .

  The winter snow had melted and yielded to the bright warming rays of the spring sun.  The bears had come out of hibernation with their  new born looking for food. The mountains and the meadows were born again, new, fresh and alive with life.  Everything was beautiful and as it should be. Birds singing, their mating songs blended with the crash of the surf against the steep cliffs of the mountain. Nature was at peace with itself, and I came here to share in this peace.  To be alone with the earth, or so I thought.  

I found a place to sit on the grass hidden among the flowers in the high meadows.  So I could enjoy the gentle breeze blowing while watching the forest animals. The warm sun caressed my body and warmed me. It was a prefect day, yet something was missing. A day like this needed to be shared with someone, someone special.  Stretching,  I caught a slight movement out of the corner of my eye, just across the enchanted forest. Of a beautiful women. It couldn't be possible as no one knew of this place. I had come here for years and had never seen a another person before. Yet, there she was. Dressed in a dress the wind made love to, pressing it to her body. Clinging to the sensual curves of her breast, down to her firm waist and full inviting hips. I suddenly felt drawn to her and stood up. I knew she had seen me as she was starring back at me, as I stood staring back at her. She was a vision. And I was afraid she would vanish if I approached her. Yet, she seemed to be smiling, calling to me as I started walking towards her. I remember the stories my grandmother had told me of the enchantresses that lived in this forest, but I did not hesitate. I would give to her anything she wanted, anything she desired.

As I approached her I realized she was real. She seemed to be looking at me, daring me to come closer. All the stories of the enchantress my grandmother had told me flooded my mind with a warning. Yet, she was so beautiful, so inviting  and I couldn't take my eyes from her. I was slowly losing control with each and every step that brought me closer to her. I knew I was lost as I felt the heat of my desire to be with her, starting to take control. It was a struggle not to run to this beautiful creature , with the golden hair, and angelic face.  As I came closer I couldn't help but notice her sensual breasts rising and falling with each breath she took. She seemed to be smiling, challenging me with everything that made her a beautiful, desirable woman. A woman this sensual, this beautiful, this desirable was surely the enchantress, and I was hers. As a bee is drawn to the flower, I was being drawn to this women.

Suddenly she reached down to pick something up. It was just then I noticed she was barefoot.  As she bent over to retrieve what she had dropped, the sun reflected off her spun gold hair. and radiated a golden brightness that was almost blinding.  Her dress shifted  allowing me to see that her body enhanced her dress, rather then the dress enhancing her body. She would look beautiful in anything she wore.  The heat of my desire for her was beginning to consume me with it's fire. I felt the beginnings of ,,,,,,,,,,   

   

   Nov. 18 1992,,,, Short story I started to write, A friend ask if he could write from a males point of view.


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 S.Jagathsimhan Nair | Details |

The story of history

The Story of History  

Beyond those beaten days’ depleted daylight
Beyond the bathos of a pandemic bondage
With  the resurrected  sashay’s charmed night
Down in the dumps   at the pretentious  proscenium
A  shy  orchestration sans bark and bite
Afloat in  the  air  of inarticulate mind games

Intuitive rains,  first ever, like the touch of Midas 
Informed  dense minds  and filled  their dented bowls
Birthing the quartet of Vedas and similar works
There was this epic, longest ever , they say
Bales and bales of tales in miscible moral wraps 
With a natal nugget, on  tall righteous props
The Mahabharata with the Gita, like Mata,  Pita

And its transcendental twin  revered more
For  a daily hosanna..the Ramayana with a deep lore
Banish-evil-battle-cries, confronting  blasted minds
Search lights, self’s  unfoldment  and its kind

Her  children  made but never did dig history
But loved digging up its bedraggled mystery
To find bone dry drains, history’s torn veins
Below multi layered mud and muddled bricks

Twisted  and labored logic on  tensile testaments
Sites that suffered blights thru unknowable nights
To find the four  battens , the debacle, to follow
Someone on the way labeled it  Harappa .

All the while Light ruled, but rigours too brewed
Calling often for a reordering of ways  so crude
Then there were slices of truce..
 The Buddha..Shankara..

Of  collapsed  black holes the horizon  was full
Faded for once their  gravitational  pulls 
Exploding back as eternal stars ..
Kalidasa, Aryabhata…

Alongside kings ruled and kingdoms rolled
‘ Ruler’-coaster-rides  on thrones and thorns followed
Till bandit chieftains erased the all important lines
To the dance of dust from an advancing west
 Battling  to drop anchors on motherly chest.

Bare-faced brigands. Among their odious offspring
Some stood out to shine with a stupendous ring
Either putting up   statecraft’s show pieces
Or  scripting  epitaphs in  eponymous edifices

Till dissipated and deterred they too heard
The trenchant  call of folks  come from far  to trade
That would spell , in time, your damnation
In manacles of measured manipulations.

Against  its prolonged , protracted reticulation
Rose legit  gripes from  gregarious  formations
That would coalesce under the one and only Gandhi
Into  their momentous waking into life and freedom

Split up, as it were, into  two bickering fragments
To play fitfully, for ever, their petulant fiddles
Averse to complement under demagogic detours
Falsely comfy under the convenience of  inheritance

                               -2-

Six decades of self rule on, your children feel conned
Not for failed hopes, but for the disharmony that haunts.

An  one- sport -nation fixated  with a fixing -fame-game
Movie-obsessed , and with  its TV 
Blank beyond trivia and brand names.


Money and food are no problem  for many
But, for too many, they are; vehicles are plenty
But roads aren’t ;  laws are varied and abundant
Some redundant , but every  pervert who counts
Interprets them different and funnily  implements.


Health care wears a five star halo sans humaneness.
It never frees a dying adult or kid from its kinky tubes
Nor permit  the company of kin to them  for one last time
Ignores the terminally and  unmovably sick stuck at home.

Agriculture does well, but farmers don’t ,.. and kill themselves
Petty  retailers  are swell making a killing, selling farm produce.

Stupidity grows muscles to muzzle humanity 
Hunks grow on  vitamins, video games and vanity
 Freed millions  press after pelf and power, plays hell
With the  weak and  the women , their perennial fair game

Profiteering,  covert, overt, and  across the board
The sick, the student, the seeker after any service  
Any  victim or one with a gripe being its victims
That’s by the very cream , no less, all the same
 Media scream with scam and spam all the time
Even the ones,( that’s about all), with their own aims
The combined  do’s of brash bravado and venality 
A  rash on governance   and a blot on name.
Effete ethics  and moribund morals, seniors mumble..

‘Equality before law’  means ’ Advantage to the outlaw’
Freedom for the grabs means  restraints to many
Succour  often hard-to -reach and  reaching-too-late
Louts and lousy offices dot street corners and roads

Governance press after  targets  too disparate 
To cohere or collaborate towards  a  wholesome goal,
Leaving holes for private or pet agendas to infiltrate.

Front-end-folks or  prickly pears?
Menace, malice, avarice,  lies, police…
Unrestrained delight in deliberate discourtesies.
Why -dad-anyway-Why- not- call-him-uncle-attitudes…

What does not tempt is in for contempt,
Being irreverent to the important, and indifferent
To the different,  is the norm and the trend.

Democracy could well slip into demonocracy  
Like when “Two wolves and a goat vote to decide dinner”**
In the absence of the Will to lift it to meritocracy?


PS:  This poem ( 100 lines, 777 words, as it turned about to be ) is about INDIA, my country.
*”Mata, Pita ‘  mean   Mother, Father
** Based on a quote seen somewhere.

S.Jagathsimhan Nair,  26 May 2013,

For Cyndi  MacMillan’s contest.


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