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Long poem by Cindi Rockwell | Details |

THE JOURNEY - get low

Once upon a weedy lawn
At Cedar Oaks Retirement Home
There sat my mother, weak and old
On an afghan knit to block the cold.

It was summer, but in mom's grey eyes
Was winter, when all around us dies.
I had tried to park her in the sun
Though I doubt she could notice what I'd done.

The disease had eaten up her brain
So little of her now remained
She didn't even know my name
I knew her not, much to my shame.

I looked around our patch of earth
Saw dandelions,and thought with mirth
Of how when small these grew quite wild
Mom would pick them as she smiled.

"Blow upon this cloud of seed,
"Then wish for what you really need."
I picked one now,and sadly blew
I asked for "mom" I never knew.

Suddenly a gust of wind
Took those seeds and made them spin
I felt my body start to rise
And change to match the seeds in size.

My mother gasped, & sucked us in
The seeds and me like some great wind
I saw her teeth, quite brown from smoking
And feared that I might cause her choking.

I swirled around, then down a slide
"Is this my mother I'm inside?!"
I landed in a battered lung
Where signs of cigarettes had clung.

And unsure of just where to go
I found a bridge, and crossed it slow.
Whence I entered a crucial part.
I found myself in momma's heart.

Where in a corner, dark and dusty
A young girl played, her laugh so lusty.
Her eyes weren't grey but tinged with blue
The plaited hair I also knew.

Her teeth so white, her face unlined
It was my mother, quite a find!
A joy, a freedom never shown
A lightness in her manner, tone.

And then a moment changed it all
I saw my grandma softly call
And whisper in my mother's ear
"Your dad has died. I'm sorry, dear."

Her wailing nearly deafened me
As the joy drained out like tides at sea.
Seeing all her pain and grief
I felt unwelcome, like a thief.

So I moved further in her heart
And came upon a teenage tart.
Awkwardly smoking, trying too hard
And too easily letting down her guard.

She fell for boys like rain from clouds
Her clothes too tight, her make-up loud.
Each night she staggered home alone
Hoping one would actually phone.

Then came the day that in that place
Could only lead to her disgrace.
I saw my mom in grandma's parlor
And my granny pacing as she hollered.

She pointed at mom's bulging middle
Screamed, then cried, then swore a little.
Pulled my mom up to her feet
In one swift move, threw her on the street.

My mother was 16, expecting a child
Homeless as well, she ought to be wild.
But instead I saw a great peace abide her
As she gently caressed me still forming inside her.

I saw in her eyes how love was the way
She changed from a girl to a woman that day.
Not love for a boy, a career, a degree
The love that transformed her was her love for ME!

Already feeling like my heart could break
And not sure of how much more I could take,
I still turned around to roam and explore
Both anxious and wary for what was in store.

This part of her heart was lit bright as the sun
My mother was wedding her intended one.
I remembered the dresses, beautifully white
I remembered the dancing that went on all night.

And then like a knife tearing straight through my chest
I knew what I'd see when I looked at the rest.
My mother so happy to be loved and give back
And me, growing older, and jealous of "Zach."

My stepdad who treated me like I was his own
Whose only crime was to enter our home.
I wanted my mother's attention on me
I was blinded by self-centered jealousy.

I knew that my mother would have to pick me
Especially if he behaved violently.
I found I was born with a flare for theatrics
And ran to my mom, often faking hysterics

Til finally my mother was left with no choice
But to tell him to leave, with a crack in her voice.
And suddenly I saw what I hadn't before
This part of mom's heart looked all broken and sore.

I couldn't continue with ease like before
The walls were too thick, advancing a chore
As if my mother had run out of room
For chances of love to grow or to bloom.

Then finally I hit the last, great, thick wall
Without any access beyond it at all
And almost afraid to look at the view.
I nonetheless watched, as I knew I must do.

It was a scene I knew all too well.
My teenage years, when I put mom through hell.
When I dumped her for boys who cared nothing for me
Choosing from her real love just to flee.

I left her alone in her house in the woods
I left her for losers who sold me their goods.
And then, too proud to admit I was wrong
I never went back, til her health was long gone.

And it was too late to say how much I cared
Too late to know it was something we shared.
Ready to go, I took one last long glance
And I saw something I never expected, by chance.

I saw my mother, like time lapse pics
Every night of her life, never missing a tick
Down on her knees, by the side of her bed
Praying for ME, who left her for dead.

She prayed for my health, she prayed I'd find love,
She prayed I'd be blessed by our Dad up above.
And even when she couldn't walk on her own.
My mom still put my needs o'er her own.

When the tears rolled free down my face,
I heard a huge sigh, and felt pulled from my place.
And in half a minute I was back on the lawn
Front of mom and Cedar Oaks Retirement Home.

My mother looked down on me, suddenly aware
And I saw for the first time her pain and her care.
And I noticed also an angel-like glow,
As she reached out her hand, and said, "Now you know."

I hugged her, held her, thanked her til night.
But the lucid look never came back in her sight.
She passed shortly after, to my great dismay
But I'll never forget the gifts given that day.

I learned never discount the love of your mother,
Never trade in that bond for the sake of a lover.
I learned there is power in a mom's loving prayers
And there is a God who hears and who cares.

I learned about faith, and love unconditional.
I learned about judging by standards traditional.
And I learned that from a little seed
Can come most everything we need!


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 Jayne Eggins | Details | . You can read it on PoetrySoup.com' st_url='http://www.poetrysoup.com/poem/i_hate_mothers_day_671015' st_title='I hate Mother's Day'>

I hate Mother's Day

Its been over 27 years coming
 this missive or letter,
 maybe poem ? 

I HATE Mother’s day !!
 with a passion ... I've said it ...
 The sheer relief is palpitating
 a load of my mind, and body,
 slithers away peacefully knowingly,
 just to see those words in writing,
 Actually I find the words out of reach
 to express my utter relief, just now 

Don’t get me wrong,
 It’s not that I don’t love or
 want to celebrate my mother
 or lack feeling for her
 Oh ! it’s completely the opposite 

Not only does it remind me what I miss (her)
 but it also reminds me, what,
 what I always felt I lacked
 (as a mother I mean), and I've felt
 it for many years, since my first 

My mother and hers and my father and his
 set the standards so high, so very high
 that I thought hey, I'm smart ?
 I can be a mother a better mother
 like no other, like no other indeed !

I remember receiving gifts
 being overwhelmed with joy
 that first mother’s day
 I was graced with that love
 and all those crazy
 Motherly emotions, we mothers feel
 I felt gratitude for all that
 and so much more 

But then doubt crawled into mind
 setting up house, making a home
 that would last the whole lifetime
 of my eldest son, until these past
 days filled with agony, measured
 no longer in minutes or hours
 but in each moment of pain 

I felt I hadn’t been there enough
 I knew, or thought I knew
 I hadn't loved them 'enough'
 or soothed their pains
 or made their bed 'enough',
 Jesus, the shit I poured
 down my own back 

I lack many things, though
 I had wisp of a dream
 that hope would win,
 I'd be a mother, like my own
 but that wasn't to be

life changed like a hurricane
 I lived one life and then
 another took its place
 no better or worse,
 just different 

my children never went without,
 then they did for more years
 than the former, I felt the pain
 each time I said 'no' but always
 tried to rob Peter paying Paul his due
 and went without, yes even food 

then slowly as times sands swiftly
 drew threw the hourglass
 they all left, got jobs, found love
 and made lives without me,
 I never get to see them much
 some more than others 

over time it’s taken its toll
 I thought lack of contact
 spoke about the mother I was
 how much I was loved
 I was right,
 it was saying something
 just not what I thought 

I have saved two of mine
 from the very hands of death,
 I have went without sleep
 for more reasons than I care to list
 I have answered the phone
 in the dead of night
 spoken about everything
 and nothing 

I missed a call to bail a man out
 but alas it was the one night
 I have known the hands of sleep
 all night, for a very long time
 so I forgive myself, even if he doesn't 

I have slaved and went without sleep
 Christmas night, just to see their
 little faces in the morning
 I always tried my best hoping
 and praying, yes praying !,
 (to that one in the second row
 Saying, "I always knew she prayed")

Some will take a shot at a guess
 at why I write this just now this close
 to a day that should be celebrated
 for all mothers the good ones and the bad 

It’s because even a bad mother can love
 with every fiber of her beautiful soul,
 even a bad mother can be a good mother
 on those days that end with a child’s peace 

As my days trickle to hours and minutes
 I know mothers never ever stop being mothers
 yes even the bad ones, can love forever
 with passion that burns from her womb 

There is a feeling that only a mother can feel
 and I don’t mean just birth mothers,
 I mean all mothers Biological or not
 they all feel it in their hearts and minds
 in their bodies and souls
 even the children she gave homes to
 (but not life), in doing so
 is giving a life to without
 knowing first breath,
 and yet still carry with them a love
 they will always bare
 then as times hand lays his head
 and says enough, she is gone 

it is now on this Mother’s Day
 I say, I hate mother’s day even more
 because I am a motherless child
 wishing for just a few moments more
 so I could tell my mother
 she was the best mother, like no other,
 Because she was mine 

--- 

Postscript:-

there’s a lesson here for you children
 those lucky enough to still have their mother
 give her a call and just say I love you, then hang up !!
 let her think what a "cray cray crazy" child she has
 but wouldn’t change for anything even life
 and I bet she smiles ... eventually 

time will never stand for no man or woman,
 So love your mother and tell her, once a week ? maybe? 

To my kindred souls who have felt the loss
 and the stinging cut of the wounds
 that drip with grief from their loss
 today I hate Mother’s day too ......

but there's a lasting but here,
 I forgive my beautiful soul,
 I gave 'enough', it was all I had ...


Long poem by David Meade | Details |

I See You Looking at Me - Collab with EM




I see you looking at me
There is an old pang in my chest
there where your hands used to  caress
where your lips loved to roam
there were you called your home
There is an old flutter now
What is that in your eyes?
Is it real or just a disguise
I see you looking at me
That way….

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
No, it can’t be
And in that instant your memory consumes me
   A roaring fire lighting the room
   Shadows dancing on the walls 
   We are drunk on desire
    ……breathing you
    ……holding you
    ……caressing your breasts
    ……kissing your body
    …... tasting your love upon my tongue

Unbelievable . . . panic sizes me
Don’t look at her -- flee
But in that moment my shattered heart
Leaps with joy 
I see your eyes
    …. and I feel the earth 
    …. moan with delight
 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I wish the world would go away
I turn away from your stare
Look down at my shaking hands
I'm breathless...overwhelmed
I need to think....
Why now? Why here?
Out of nowhere…you appear
Oh, but....I want you
I sneak another peak
As my mind brings to my eyes the memories
It seems just yesterday
you looked at me that way
     ….when you undressed me
     ….when you caressed me
     ….when you made me understand
how a body can speak
the language of love
Never before
Never since....
has my body spoken
with the same eloquence
That language I first learned with you
I want you
But....the pain won't go away
you were too proud to say
I'm sorry
Oh....but my lips are getting moist
hungering for your kiss
I look your way
And…nothing matters but those eyes
My heart will give me away
Thundering in joy
It won’t be still!
    ….. Let me think
    ….. Let me think
Oh...Oh...but....I want you
Here you are….
You’ve made it over to me
Here you stand
Looking down at me…
Reaching for me….
Oh…

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Taking you into my arms – lifting 
Your eyes -- dark pools of honey
Your lips – full . . . moist . . . inviting 
Our bodies embrace – I am home
My prayers for another chance – answered by your kiss
Our words tumble over each other
Tears, laughter, kisses . . . relief
My beautiful darling – I’ve missed you
    …. Your smile
    …. your touch
    …. the way you look at me
Making love until the dawn
Our bodies intertwined 
My head resting upon your breasts
Listing to the rhythm of your heart – my heart
How beautiful you are my darling – 
Your love is fragrant and radiant
Filling my heart with light  . . . 
Look – I am glowing from within . . . 
But…wait…what’s this?
I feel a stiffness creeping into your body
WHAT –  fear seizes me – I can’t breath
My darling – abandon the hurt, the pain I have caused . .
I am on my knees begging 
   your forgiveness
   your love
How can I prove my love – 
   earn your trust?
I won’t leave – never again!
I love you
need you
you
you . . . 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 
What if you hurt me again?
This time....I won't recover
This time….I won’t survive
It has taken so long
for this heart to mend
Down on your knees
Your eyes plead
I see the tears gather
Can I risk it?
Can I?
But then again
Can I risk going back to the emptiness
that you left behind
A life without you
was days and nights
of longing...for you
My fingers reach
For those unruly strands of hair
You turn your face into my palm
Planting a kiss
Your arms go around my waist
as you rest your head against my body
We're lost to the world
Our moment
Our truth
You're finally home
I bend down to whisper
"Stand up and walk me home
There is language….I want to hear
I want to hear your body speak to me.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

And that night
In our hungry bed
The eloquence of our shared language
The body syllables of desire
The sound units of passion
The language of our love
Was heard by the world
 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The story of a chance encounter between two old lovers
*********** Love lost and love found **************
A Collaboration by Eileen Manassian and David Meade


Long poem by Scribbler Of Verses | Details |

A Story My Mother Told Me

someone always told me this with tears in her eyes...


(for Lata Sethi's late-mother, who was my mother’s ‘sister’ and who took us all into her heart, and for Lata and Ravi Sethi of Defence Colony, New Delhi)


a wife left South Africa in the 1960’s to join her husband 
who was in exile at the time...

in 1970 the husband was sent by the African National Congress to India to be its representative there...

the husband and wife spent two years in Bombay...

one afternoon the husband fell and broke his leg...

the wife knocked on their neighbour’s door, in an apartment complex in Bombay

the neighbour was an old Punjabi lady...

the wife asked the neighbour for a doctor to see to the injured husband...

a Parsi ‘Bone-Setter’ was promptly summoned...

the husband still recalls his anxiety of seeing ‘Bone-Setter’ written on the Parsi gentleman’s bag...

by the way, the ‘Bone-Setter’ worked his ancient craft and surprisingly for the husband, his broken leg healed quite soon...

but still on that day, while the ‘Bone-Setter’ was seeing to the husband...

the wife and the old Punjabi lady from next door got to talking about this and that and where these new Indian-looking wife and husband were from as their accents were clearly not local...

the wife told the elderly Punjabi lady that the husband worked for the African National Congress of South Africa and had left to serve the ANC from exile...

and that they had left their two children behind in South Africa and that they were now essentially political refugees...

the Punjabi lady broke down and wept uncontrollably...

she told the foreign woman that she too had had to leave her home in Lahore in 1947 and flee to India with only the clothes on her back when the partition of the subcontinent took place and Pakistan was formed and at a time when Hindus from Pakistan fled to India and vice versa...

the Punjabi lady then asked the foreign woman her name...

‘Zubeida’, but you can call me ‘Zubie’...

the Punjabi woman hugged Zubie some more, and the two women, seperated by age and geography, wept, sharing a shared pain...

the Punjabi woman told Zubie that she was her ‘sister’ from that day on, and that she felt that pain of exile and forced migration and what being a refugee felt like...

Zubie and her husband Mosie became the closest of friends with the Hindu Punjabi neighbours who were kicked out of Pakistan by Muslims...

then came the time for Mosie and Zubie to leave for Delhi where the African National Congress office was based...

the elderly Punjabi lady and Mosie and Zubie said their goodbyes...

a year or two later, the elderly Punjabi lady’s daughter Lata married Ravi Sethi and the couple moved to Delhi...

the elderly Punjabi lady called Zubie and told her that her daughter was coming to Delhi to live and that she had told Lata, her daughter that she had a ‘sister’ in Delhi...

Lata and Ravi Sethi then moved to Delhi...

This was in the mid-1970’s...

Lata and Zubie became the closest of friends and that bond stayed true, and stays true till today, though Zubie is no more, and the elderly Punjabi lady is no more...

the son and the husband still have a bond with Lata and Ravi Sethi...

a bond that was forged between Hindu and Muslim and between two continents across the barriers of creed and time...

a bond strong and resilient, forged by the pain and trauma of a shared experience...

and that is why, and I shall never stop believing this, that hope shines still, for with all the talk of this and of that, and of that and of this, there will always be a simple woman, somewhere, anywhere, who would take the ‘other’ in as a sister, a fellow human...

and that is why there will always be hope...
hope in the midst of this and of that and of that and of this...

hope...


(for Lata Sethi's late-mother, who was my mother’s ‘sister’ and who took us all into her heart, and for Lata and Ravi Sethi of Defence Colony, New Delhi)


Long poem by Rhonda Johnson-Saunders | Details |

Workshop Poem - Winds Forgive


Turning my back on typhoon skies, 
a pestilent past, I pitch my mistakes 
into a forgiving wind. Standing barefoot 
at the edge of apologies, 
coastal tides carry hope, tomorrows stir
on a mariner’s horizon. I search 
seafaring eyes to discover God waving heartily,   
welcome home…

Turning my back on a turbulent past, 
silence falls in waves…faces, that once stared
with confusion share smiles. I had mistaken
their curiosity for condemnation…faltering, 
teetering, capsized by my own insecurity, I see...
time changes perceptions – we can grow, rise.
I sing out greetings to this abundance;
a forgiving wind, God’s instrument, 
blows through my soul.
I worship in full afternoon sun;
riding waves of mid-life, 
I see you amid 
rhythmic seas,
                    sultry sunsets, 
sloping skies, 
                    sandy relics,
distant mountain peaks,
               depths of ocean caverns; 
when I hear a baby’s first cry or wise words 
of the aged to loved-ones near...
I remember your mercy;
when I hear the break of waves over
my own waking shores and welcome 
every birth of earth and sea…
I remember your mercy.

Turning my back on a past, shredded into wisps 
of yesterday’s despair, I rest
in innocence, where I am, 
where I was born…never looking back.
Breath of Life shares resonating beauty 
and carries my darkest regrets 
into Heaven’s forgiving winds;
I have prayed for this. 

Your love blankets tranquil dreams in sleep 
from night sky’s silvery arc of crescent moon.
Your love transforms my gifted day’s design
from beads of golden sun showers awaiting June.   

Your love awakens my soul, a gust of penetrating warmth.
Your love beats with mine, and I am changed…forever changed.



After advice from Cyndi, Debbie and Frederic:

Turning my back on typhoon skies, 
a pestilent past, I pitch my mistakes 
into windy seas on a quest for forgiveness; 
I plant bare feet at the edge
of apologies. Coastal tides 
roil in hope, tomorrows smooth out
a mariner’s horizon. I float in seafaring
eyes to discover God waving heartily,   
welcome home.

Turning my back on a turbulent past, 
silence falls in waves…I mold clay faces;
they once stared with confusion, smiles
posed too long. I had mistaken curiosity 
for condemnation. My body trembles. 
I falter, teeter, capsized by my own insecurity; 
Then, I blink and time changes
perception. I grasp sunshine till I beam. 
A golden wave, I taste salt air  
and greet abundant light;
a strong wind cleanses me. 
God’s soulful instrument blows free.
I worship in full afternoon sun;
riding waves of mid-life, 
I see you amid 
rhythmic seas,
                    sultry sunsets, 
a slope of sky, 
                    sandy relics,
mountain peaks high,
               depths of ocean caverns; 

when I hear a baby’s first cry or wise words 
of the aged to loved-ones near,
I remember your mercy;

when I hear the break of waves over
my own waking shores and welcome 
every birth of earth and sea,
I remember your mercy.

Turning my back, I shred gray paper
into confetti of yesterday’s despair; I rest
in innocence, where I am, 
where I was born, I never look back.
My Creator’s breath shares resonating beauty 
and carries my darkest regrets. 
Heaven’s winds forgive;
 

Your love blankets dreams 
in the silvered arc of moon,
your love redesigns my days untold
with summer sun showers, beads of gold. 

Your love awakens my soul, winds 
flood with warmth. Your love beats within, 
and I am changed, forever changed.


Long poem by Gerald Dillenbeck | Details |

Cooperative Investment

If you are asking me to forgive you
for being born human,
for the sins of making ignorant,
and often habitual,
mistakes of judgment and understanding,
for your lack of compassion and empathy,
for your cognitive and affective and effective dissonance,
for your part in our shared investment
in a cultural pool of violence,
mutual domination assumptions of win-lose logistics,
both intentionally and accidentally causing yourself to suffer,
others to suffer and become angry,
and hate,
and despair, 
and wilt, 
and develop climate-control issues,
and extinguish;
if you are asking me to forgive you 
for sometimes doing more than your fair share of mayhem,
then of course my answer is "Yes!"

Especially if you might forgive me
for the errors of my pathological ways.
If this could be a cooperative double-binding kind of transaction
of mutual forgiveness for sins already committed
and those still on their way,
then this might serve a mutually redemptive dynamic,
as well as mutual mentoring cooperative investment
all in one compost pile of coincidental enrichment.

But, while this is all fine and good,
you do not need my fore-giveness
nor can I participate in your redemptive investments
of life,
of time,
of resources,
of positive healthy sustainable relationships,
in your stead,
nor you in mine.
My capacity to fore-give, 
to invest in redemptive right relationship,
is limited not only by my own passioning capacity,
my ability and range of empathy,
but also by your own committed ability to empathize with,
identify fully with yourself,
your significant and also less significant others,
whether human or some other self-organizing
self-perpetuating
self-regenerative systemic form and force of nature.

Fore-giving,
like investment and karmic redemption of pay-it-forward
commitment to future hope of positive relationship,
begins as an internal economy
and grows out into Earth's natural
systemic ecology of cooperative relationship
intention and practice.
You need not compete for my fore-giveness
any more than you could dominate in earning
what best remains a zero-sum free market exchange
of mutual regard,
and hope,
and trust,
positive investment is also negative disinvestment
from further harm,
mistrust,
inequity,
dissonant dominating win-lose strategies.
This is basic Hippocratic Oath mutual mentorship.

To do no harm
we must at least intend no harm
in actions,
transactions,
practice,
intent,
giveness.
An optimally redemptive economy,
equitable return-to-zero-balance forgiveness
of your investments,
is also a balancing return toward zero-sum win-win ecology of grace.

I can only be your redeemer
if you are your own redeemer,
returning Time's investment in choosing to continue evolving,
incarnating,
your DNA potential since conception.
We are each coincidental co-redeemers,
redeeming Elder Time's DNA regenerative investment
in our interdependent,
multisystemic
polypathic prime bicameral relationship
from past generations of Time,
carnating future's regeneration
of our cooperative id-entity season.

You are your holonic subset
of nature's informating existence,
conscious of your Time's regenerating
and dissonant neural memories;
there, fore-given at birth, you know your redeemer lives.

If you're asking me how I know my redeemer lives,
because my Eco-Time's cooperative relational
(coincidental) investments
in this ego-ionic id-entity
of left-right neural balance
sing this song of miraculous co-harmony.


Long poem by J. W. M. Earnings | Details |

Deep Down Inside

In my heart, there's a tune dying to come out 
The solitude makes me feel so carefree and you don't talk trash about me like some
I feel like I've been taken advantage of...what's that all about? 
This song needs to have more passion...make me taste freedom 
Don't let the drown...
Deep down inside, 
I need you to leave my side

I'll meet you when I begin my journey 

Deep down inside, 
I want you to set me free from bondage
I need your support to push aside
The waves of fears - it overwhelms my heart
My dreams are nowhere in sight 
Deep down inside, 
I feel your attention is on me
I know you have sympathy...
Deep down inside...

I tried to speak my mind,
But you healed it and I started to unwind
I strayed away into my perplexing maze
But I was guided by your graceful gaze
Deep down inside,
I felt truly happy to find someone who feels for me and there's no need to hide my feelings, though I don't fully abide
In the tranquil light
I should've known that you were right
About where I stand
 I'll be a man...
Deep down inside, 
I think I can
I think I can

I'll meet you when I arrive on the other side 

Deep down inside, 
I want you to set me free from the emotional mess
I need your support to push aside
The waves of misery - it weighs down my heart
My nightscares are gone this holy night
Deep down inside, 
I feel your eyes on me lovingly
I know you have serenity...
Deep down inside...

Feelings of losing you 
Floods my thoughts, burning me with terror and distress
Hoping for a miracle to make me as fresh as morning dew
My blood is at a high temperature...watch out or you'll be caught up in my mess...
is there anything to address?
do you have something to confess?
'Cause deep down inside, 
I know you're hiding something from me 
I believed in your fairytales...
I put my trust in your spellbinding words
You don't have a clue what emotions strike me at this very moment
You made me look like an idiot in front of everybody...
Now I'm considered a "nobody"!!
Your speech enticed me 
You won't listen to my side
Of the story
But deep, deep down inside, 
You care...do you care to tell me what's going on?
All of my faith in you has died
why do you pretend that I'm gone?
maybe it would've served you right if I didn't exist....
You scared away my confidence...now I feel neglected
Deep, deep, deep down inside

Deep down inside, 
I wanted you to know what upsets me the most is hearing you boast 

I need to forgive you to move forward
Passed the challenges in this race - my legs are aching, but I won't complain just like my classmates in my smelly dorm
My feet run swiftly and I'm soaked as if I was caught up in a rainstorm
My gifts have more meaning than it ever did before  
Deep down inside, 
I feel you're ignoring me on purpose 
I know you're suffering from this heartless disease
Deep down inside...
You haven't really put my mind at ease
You were there to please
Your own heart's wicked ambitions and admirations
While I'm taking a while to recover...

Now I feel unimportant and unsure 
And I'm screaming silently... I wish
I can get over you...
I'll get over it... I have the man guts
To move on and find someone else who will cherish me, not treat me like rubbish You erased my fantastic pictures of the joyous future...that was very uncalled for - you act so immature

Do I feel a special connection with you? 
the answer is there, 
Deep down inside...


Long poem by Gerald Dillenbeck | Details |

Red Sky At Night

Once upon a nightime grim
all creatures of Earth dreamed
our Mother was not enough for everyone,
just "me."

This collective nightmare thunderously rolled out
dark implications:

Earth is insufficient for our needs!

We live in Closed Systems of immunity,
heading toward decay!

EarthTribe is not enough to sustain all this life!

I am not enough, yet!
I do not have enough, yet!

When someone grabs from me
they steal from my self-identity!
Grab back!

When someone strikes and hits to hurt,
is mean to those I care about,
I hit back!
with self-righteous flashing anger,
equity and integrity mere feckless values.

They must learn my right
or I may perish from their wrong!

With such dark dreams
our primal twins,
Yang and Yin,
thrashed about in tangled sheets
each unaware of Other's parallel flight
within this blue-black brackish night,
til Yang whacked Yin upside the head
completely unaware of how this would unfold.

So Yin hit back in fright
and soon this ruckus raised a violent alarm
among their household, neighbors, Tribe.
This outrage spread
sweeping across land and oceans
then back again to where it all began
until exhausted and dark bruised
all earthbound life fell down unconscious.

Within this loss of self-defense,
our open-handed peaceful nest,
dawn quietly crept toward abundant light
for all to feel and hear and touch
her sobbing singing warming beauty.

Scent of sun-baked cotton sheets
invites Yin's eyes to uncover sight
of radiant light
abundantly growing nutrient wealth,
a yeasty compost sustaining interweaving life,
incarnating karmic response 
to each species' evolving wants
and worthy hope.

As her awareness of Earth's vast creation
lit her eyes of self-discovery
dawn's diastasis filled hearts and minds
of all coincidental early risers.

We woke uncovered to discover immensity of life
and color swarming far beyond our needs,
nutrients absorbed for taste, and touch, and scent, and sound,
and sight, freely accessed to fit each synchronic need,
each longing to belong,
each Self fading into and out of Other,
sufficient place for each species' time and space.
Last night's primal screams of insufficiency replaced
by dawn's ecology of karmic grace.

Yang woke alarmed at loss of cover.
His arms flew out to hide his fall
from dawn's radical gift of generosity
and harmonic praxis.
And, in so doing, he hit Yin's head.

This blow did smart
but seeded tears of redeemer healing.
Yin justly smiled and absorbed around
reminding Yang she is his graceful mentor
interpreting his dreams.

She sang with harmony 
swallowing unredeemed dissonance and disease,
hope for suffering and insanity's dark lessons,
dawn's well-lit vocation for us all
softly individuating within Earth's optimizing life,
all brittle boundaries of mutual immunity
relaxing into resonance.

In this Transition Time from dark competing violence,
we remain cooperatively nested within Earth's well-being,
so, dear Yang,
return toward redemptive rest,
regenerating memory seeds,
stringing songs dancing back,
back to stardust's Ecologic Elders.

Fear and violence display synaptically sharp;
competitive "Loser!" economies;
love's justice peace remains buoyant, resilient, 
robustly evolving
cooperation's mutual winner revolution
away from red skies of mourning.


Long poem by Ndaba Sibanda | Details |

Pledge of love and loyalty

This pledge that l,Ntando, make today serves
as my guideline that I shall follow
happily, ungrudgingly and tirelessly
for the sake of our love life.
Indeed l am well aware of the fact that
the beauty of this pledge does not only lie
in word alone but in action as well.

For that reason in every season
I shall show steadfast commitment
to the implementation of this pledge
with a great deal of astuteness.
I therefore commit myself to be your
devoted and delivering husband for
all the years l shall live with you
on this earth.

I shall treat you with the love and care
you deserve as my wife.
Indeed l shall treat you with
the distinction and dignity
that is befitting of the queen of my heart.
That body, that bone, that breath
shall be my mine to treasure,
for sure;
a dearness to promote and protect
for dear life…and love!
I shall stand by and with you in all the
situations of our life.
If the situation demands that we sail,
sail we shall together.
If the situation demands that we
climb,
climb we shall together.

I know very well what l am getting into:
I am getting into a marriage that is
overflowing with blessings.
This marriage- with our mutual
commitment-
will stand the test of time.
I know very well what I am getting into:
I am getting into a relationship that
brims over with a transforming power
of love.

This marriage-with our
mutual commitment –
will transform naivety into maturity
troubles into challenges
pretence into practice
pride into progress
bachelorship into companionship.
I pledge to be your steward and partner
for all times.

I shall value the consultations
and decisions that we make as
husband and wife.
As head of the family I shall do nothing

 

to derail our love train for anything else
least of all for personal and selfish reasons.
Now and forever

I am your lawful and loving husband…
This pledge that l, Nothando, make today serves
as my guideline that I shall follow
happily, ungrudgingly and tirelessly
for the sake of our love life.
Indeed I am well aware of the fact that
the beauty of this pledge does not only
lie in pronouncements but in practice
as well.

For this reason every season
I shall demonstrate untiring love
and loyalty to you;
a love and a loyalty that is a living
embodiment of our marriage vows.
I therefore commit myself to be your
honouring, supportive and loving wife
for all the years l shall live with you.
I shall treat you with the love and care
that you deserve as my husband.
Indeed I shall treat you with
the dignity and nobility that is befitting
of the king of my heart.
On my mind it is always fresh
that I am the flesh of your flesh.
Green or grown

I am the bone of your bone.
I know very well what I am getting into:
I am getting into a relationship that
elevates me into a kingdom of wifehood.
I shall endevour to put my family first
with all the rights, obligations
and privileges that come with wifehood.
I shall endevour to wipe off and ward off
loneliness and lostness from our relationship,
seeking nothing but your companionship;
banking on your stewardship,
sinking together any hardship.
Since you are mine
I shall not do anything else to undermine
our relationship for personal
or egotistical
reasons.
Now and forever
I am your lawful and loving wife…


Long Poems