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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, 
Her protection was waylaid.

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 Channelled Poem-[]
[‘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 too thick, please stick out tongue, '
Now rolling 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.'
For God's quite 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 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 Eileen Manassian | Details |

Where Gladiators Fought

Part I

Where gladiators fought for life,
we meet to fight for love
The constellations in the Roman night sky,
celestial spectators, bathe the Colosseum
in the white blood of light
The night is throbbing with the heat of our battle,
our cries, more passionate than any that have gone before

Part II

A short while earlier
A well paid bribe found us in the remains of the Ludus Magnus,
the remains of the old Gladiator School in Rome
where lies buried
a hidden entrance to an underground tunnel 
You pull me with you into dark underground world of legend
By light of a flickering torch,
we travel into the entrails of the behemoth,
coming in time upon the holding rooms
My breath catches 
I hear the sounds of man and beast
carrying through the thin layers of time:
Slaves, criminals, debtors, all awaiting their fate…
Animals pawing, grunting, starved for food
Dying to kill to stave the gnawing pain
Waiting….
Waiting to be lifted up into the arena
Waiting to fight 
Waiting to live or die

Part III

We break into the hypogeum
The crispness of the night air stings us
The vastness of it all paralyzes all thought
Rome comes ALIVE
The resurrection of history enflames us,
and as we mount those final stairs up to the arena,
I feel your excitement blazing through me
Your grasp is almost painful in jubilee
“We are here…HERE!” Your voice is laced with the sacred.
Between those famed arches…XIX and XX
We stand 
You and I all and 50,000 ghost spectators
Here at the East Entrance
The Gate of Life Looms above us
True gladiators passed through these very gates 
Here the applause coursed through their veins
And thundered to the captives below…
Here I stand
Quivering with the knowledge of all this night means to me
That thunder reverberates through MY body
I can hardly breathe
Your eyes are looking up at tiered levels
while mine look ahead
There is the walkway connecting the east to west
At the far side is the Libitinarian, the Gate of Death,
through which dead gladiators were dragged,
their bodies dumped in the Spoliarium 
to be stripped of clothes and armor
Life and death
Here, they converged
Here, they fought
On this night
I know
I will strip myself of my clothing and armor
I will let down my defenses
and give in to your onslaught of passion
Here… I will die to all but your eyes

Part IV

I walk, quietly, with purpose
Here….in this place...
my virgin blood will be spilt
Halfway between life and death, I stop
I turn towards you
My voice reaches you on the night wind
“Come to me!”
I see you move towards me
My mighty gladiator
You who have fought my demons
You who have slain my nightmares
You who have held in check
A savage desire for possession
As you stand before me
I wonder if you know
Tonight is the night
You will plunder and ravage
to your heart's delight
your just reward

Part V

You find a place to keep the torch upright
You see the blanket I’ve spread on the ground
I answer the question in your eyes
With the curve of my lips
I steady my hands as they work to undress me
I feel my body burn in the warmth of your presence
Your eyes undress me faster than my hands can,
and yet... you are....immovable
You stand transfixed
You wait until my only covering
Is my flowing hair
"Make love to me
Here, now...be my gladiator
Come...claim your prize."
I reach out my hand to you
and in a moment
before my next intake of breath
you've come to life and crush me in your arms
Your mouth claims mine
like never before
seeking more
your tongue explores
demanding, commanding
it takes what it will
You pull me in to you 
Your hand in my hair,
my breath is raptured by your sheer strength
Your mouth travels along my neck
Hungry….like a famished animal finally set free to feast
You devour as you reach my cleavage 
I lean back to let you savor my breasts
For the first time
to taste 
You’re down on your knees
your tongue encircling my navel
going round and round and dipping inside
This prophetic dance of what is to come
washes over me
as you lower me to the ground
In a moment, I’m looking at the stars
The two brightest ones being your eyes
You are above me
You are everywhere
Kissing tasting touching feeling pleasing
Finding my voice, I pant...
“Don't...be gentle
not...now!"
I’m gasping with the effort
of all I need to say...
of the weight of feelings...
raging within me
"Don't...hold back anymore
Take me...
Take me...now."

Your hands reach for mine and pin them down
My breasts heave, my body rocks
as I feel you plunging into the moistness 
that your very presence always creates in me
But never...to this luxuriant degree
Pain mixes with pleasure again and again
As I hear your grunt and groan
Your ecstasy comes in manish moan
And I close my eyes to the Roman night sky

I sigh
I die
To the world
I am reborn in you
I hear your victory cry
And feel your jubilant release inside

Part VI

They fought for life
We fought for love
My fingers run through your hair
Your head is pillowed on my breast
My heart beat a reminder
Of what you have won
A gladiator’s reward...

LIFE
found
in the arms
of the woman
you
LOVE


For Justin Bordner’s Contest
Make Love to Me in that Ancient Place
November 16, 2014


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 Robert Stoner Jr | Details |

Scene Of The Crime - Trilogy

Scene Of The Crime :   Part I


tap, tap, tap, print faded as the worn ribbon
why am I doing this, I’m a detective not a secretary
the streets are my beat, not this rhythm of tap, tap, tap
a mouth full of day old coffee, too late to spit out

stuck doing night reports, hard chair
endless information, unsolved case
tap, tap, tap, time: 10.45 pm
place: 156 51st Ave. S, bad end of town

distracting radio playing Stormy Weather
new guy Sinatra adding to my headache
single gold earring ,strange where’s it’s twin
two bit room in a sleazy strip, tap, tap, tap

camels burnt low in the ashtray
victims cheap lipstick red as blood
not all butts stained by her lips, companion
dames probably a hooker working a john

packed bags, air line ticket to Miami in worn purse
cheap seat, one way trip, tap, tap, tap
one last trick for the road, smiling
one last trick for life, just another night


Scene Of The Crime: Investigation  Part II

second cup of coffee, half eaten lunker on the car seat
miserable drizzle matches the fog within
mornings are not my time, I’m a creature of night
perusing leads of last nights murder, unsolved case

follow up visit to the sleazy motel, worse by day
roust desk clerk for information, withholding ,evasive
name on guest log Mary Smith, obvious alias
what was she hiding, who was she hiding from

checked in alone, butts in ash tray tell different story
10:30 pm disturbance in room 18, scream, loud noise
room 19 called clerk complaining, can’t sleep, stop noise
door open woman on floor, blood , silence, noise stopped

drivers license, name Mary Hurte, appropriate
record check no priors, clean slate
no witnesses, everyone blind and deaf to questions
usual police cooperation, old news

rain now, the slap, slap, slap of wipers 
across town to airport, ticket to Miami, next lead
worn top coat and fedora to feign off  rain
appearance of hobo fresh from a box car

bring out the badge, flash the gold
records are open, passenger manifest checked 
connecting flight to Miami, light load
Mary Hurte 4:45 today, she’ll be late

one other passenger, Tony D’amato, rings bell
back to station to for records check, Tony D’amato
this old cop still has it, fresh on the blotter
fish fresh outta the can, robbery ,extortion

last address unknown, nothings easy
stake out at airport, follow up only lead
4:00 no lunch, grab cold dog and stale coffee at airport
officers staked out, gate 3, scanning for suspect

field of people, similar faces, no value to me
yellow cab stops at cab stand, tension, expectation
exiting large man, grey top coat, black fedora
cigarette hanging from droopy wet lips

bag unloaded, bills thrown to cabbie
suspicious nature, quick glances, stiff posture
suspect in sight, dangerous, hand in pocket
fingers fidgeting relentlessly in pocket, possible gun

approach with caution, big surprise my job
eyes meet, time stops, uncertainty
slide my coat open badge flashes, cold steel shown
suspects hands move, bag dropped, a reach for inside coat 

crowd screams, people run, cops shout
my weapons drawn in a flash, experience pays off
suspect freezes, pressure on my trigger
in gods hands now, not my choice

suspect stops, relief, caution, deceit
slow raise of hands, smiling like an innocent kid
slap to car, frisk, 38 snub nose inside coat, one gold earring in pocket
crisis averted, life goes on, just another day


Scene Of The Crime: Arrest  Part III


slap, slap, slap of the wipers, will this rain ever stop
suspect arrested, bracelets on in backseat, rides too long 
smell of fear, sweat, tension thick with windows up
questions to be asked, lies to unfold, truth torn out 

Name: Tony D’amato
Place of birth: Brooklyn NY
DOB : 1908
Age: 32

this bird has a wrap sheet like a Mozart Symphony
fan club of the N Y P D, career criminal 
regular tenant of the Grey Bar Hotel, jail bird
going to see he doesn’t miss his reunion at Rikers

Evidence: one gold earring, matching  gold earring at crime scene
                  two tickets to Miami bought in his name 
                  one in his possession, one in victims purse
                  one 38 caliber pistol, ballistics match to murder weapon

overwhelming evidence, confession forth coming, reluctance
events are told, same old story different day
small value to big events, wasted effort
anger, passion of the moment, thoughtless actions

Mary’s infidelity while Tony cooled his heals in the slammer
search to escape, changed plans, reluctant partner
anger, hate, vengeance, destruction
Toni’s pride, manhood, battle of wills, murder

tap, tap, tap, print as faded as the worn ribbon
endless information, hard chair
stale coffee burning a hole in my stomach
distracting radio, Stardust, hate Sinatra

another late night, reports, always reports
too many cigarettes, no sleep, bad food, lousy wages
why bother, get a different job, easy life, tap, tap, tap
justice done, case closed, just another night


Robert Gene Stoner Jr
12/6/14 ©


Long Poems