Long poem by
Laura Breidenthal | Details |
I heavily recall two times when I had made you cry,
Both of which bewildered and moved me
My response was that of disbelief, and regret
And never, upon recalling,
Have I felt more of the need to address these moments
We were young, certainly, tied together by our imaginations,
Our wit, and artful talents,
You, an adept, musically inclined,
And I musically aroused
It seemed such a normal day that my guards were broken,
And I freely blabbered,
As I would to a sibling, or my favorite play thing
We had known each other for a while,
And I deemed it right to show my all
You shared your favorite toys with me,
And I made it my signature, in my goofy ways,
To disperse each play session stirring your mind
So that you may laugh, and I may laugh too
I remember the living room,
Sitting on the light brown carpet floor
And Grandma, for I considered her my grandma too,
Contented on the couch, enjoyed our giggles, and smiled,
While she read her weekly romance novel
I always wondered the reason for her reading,
And how she might receive pleasure in such a simple thing as
Attending to our nonsensical trifles
We played with our stuffed animals,
Hers was a white, fluffy bear with sophisticated clothes
And mine, an alligator, naked, and morose looking
I thought it would stir more laughter if,
In contrast to the kind, gentlemanly bear,
The alligator would respond in grumpy exclamations,
Even insult, if he were pushed too far to conform
For as the gentlemanly bear insisted upon conversing with the alligator,
Having tea with him and discussing matters of interest,
The alligator’s response, frank and cold was soon drawled to,
“No, no, no, I do not want to!”
Having repeated such a phrase a couple times,
I saw that it resulted in her laughing,
So, repeating the phrase,
I meant to conjure more fits of joy,
However, after the third repeat, she suddenly stopped,
The insistent gentleman was speechless
In a strange pause I stared at my friend,
Watching her pink cheeks pale,
And her eyes water with sudden tears
I squeezed the alligator, almost cursing it instead of myself,
Watching her and wondering what had caused this sadness and pain
She turned away from me, and cried,
Getting up quickly, embarrassed, and darting into her room
Grandma seemed understanding,
And this bewildered me even more
Surely, I had done something awful,
Making my closest friend cry,
And surely, a lecture was soon to put in me in my place
Instead though, she apologized to me,
And told me not to worry, that she would be just fine
Though never, being the friend pleaser that I was,
Did I feel more awful, and more worrisome
I thought of what I might do to make her feel better,
As Grandma walked down the hall and entered her room
I thought perhaps, she would want me to go home,
So I got up, stuffed my bag with my things,
And waited at the door,
Rehearsing in my mind a thousand apologies
She returned out of the room,
Saying nothing, but motioning me to the floor with the toys
I obeyed her, never more guarded and thoughtful in my life,
And we resumed our play session
The alligator had took a turn to being quite the sweet chap
And realized that the gentlemanly bear was not as annoying
And bossy as he first thought,
That he only needed a friend to talk to
Someone kind and understanding
The second instance was in a later year
Dear Grandma was away in a separate apartment
Her father was frequently at the house,
A quiet, but nice man,
Always retreating to the back room
Whenever we entered the house for lunch or to retrieve a doll
Despite his kindness, his reserve slightly intimidated me,
And the few times he addressed me
Were always awkward, and thankfully, short
We were more inclined to outside activities those days,
Roleplaying, sporting, and running about,
I the servant and she the princess
I did not much mind the role of the servant,
As I had many quirks,
And nothing too great was expected of me
We often, befriended despite our opposite positions,
Would sit at the swing set and converse together
As equals, almost,
The princess gaining from the servant wit and adventure,
And the servant, gaining from the princess,
Patience, poise and simplicity
But our session was long over as I heard the call from her father,
And we both sighed, and ran into the house
My mother had come to pick me up,
And her father, gently, led me to the front door,
With the usual, “See you later!”,
And, “It was good to see you again!”
My friend, happy in countenance, bid me goodbye,
Smiling, though pale, once again
It did not occur to me at the time,
That she was on the brink of tears
And as I got into the car,
As we pulled out of the driveway,
I saw the look of sadness and despair on her face
Her eyes… they splashed on me grief
She was staring at me, tears running down her face,
Her body quivering, standing at the curb
I could barely make out from the muffle of the car,
The sound of her crying out,
Just as her father stormed outside, dragging her away,
“Ashly, what the f*** is wrong with you!!!??”
And we drove away, my face plastered to the window,
Thinking to myself,
“What have I done?”
I was so confused,
So sad, and so strangely angry
To see her father drag her in that way
Though I wondered, perhaps, I had faulted her once more
That in me leaving, she took it as a rejection,
And I felt it my duty to be near her again,
To assure her that I was always her servant
And she was always the princess
I could not, if I wanted to,
Revert to the mindless alligator again,
And, like her father, disregard her enigmatic feelings,
As well as her insistent need for affection and kindness
I vowed I would always provide her with my best
So that only smiles and laughter animated her delicate being
To be a friend pleaser—yes, that is what I am,
Requires more of self, to even enhance oneself,
To build up the deprived,
To change perspective,
And change character,
And in turn, serve selflessly,
For to gain the thrill of happiness
From a more than worthy companion,
Is, for me, to gain the world
Copyright © Laura Breidenthal | Year Posted 2015
Long poem by
Russell Banks | Details |
Bright lights, big city...
bright lights, big city dreams...
please just take me away tonight
Let me rest on your elegance tonight
I have no energy left to spend in reality
so please knock me unconscious
just to be in the place that makes me...
I wanted to sing
so loudly, proudly of a heroine
put aside a feeling of haste, of hate
of Juliet turned Medusa
now my Medusa Juliet turning Rapunzel
Strange it may seem, I'll explain a different day
something betters my attention
begs my words to form a letter
Veronica...once my Veronica
in this play, in this scene
we were able to make amends, stay friends
20, we are both 20
Life is confusing
all these convoluted schemes it throws our way
How are we supposed to seize the day
how about she seized me instead
A story, a flashback inside another story
remember 'If Your Reflection Could Kill'
a memoir asking questions and banishing Juliet from my life
if only for a while
I just wanted answers but she fled away
from what she believed to be cancer
though it gave a chance for Veronica and I to be consistently happy
but there is no happy for me
We hit a cosmic rift, a cosmic shift
a month after a daringly rushed proposal
someone got lost, got scared, turned ghost, just shutdown completely
Months go by and we reconciled
you'd think there'd be a happy ending in silver lining
yet a month maybe three weeks from present day
arrives Juliet atop her steed of do-overs and repeats
a fresh start
I didn't buy a single word
I don't subscribe to politics but I know how hers works
still I couldn't banish her again
I couldn't, I can't
Myself, I've been running away
pointing if only an ounce of blame her way
knowing full well I fell in love with the girl for three years
who was just words across a screen
a voice from a phone
I only dreamed of who she could be
now I know
and in her eyes I still felt that same bitter love
I wanted to keep 4 years back
so Juliet wanted my audience
my ears and my eyes to acknowledge she was finally here to stay
here to play no games
I had no good reason to deny
so my answer was obvious
but Veronica, she caught wind of this
and there went my attempt to gain back what time has torn apart
Veronica, she tore down my walls so she knew
I could hear her scream with disdain, curse my name
What was she angry for
an entire year, she tried to see my face again
an entire year, I had a list of excuses to keep her at bay
It was never because I didn't trust myself
it was all because I couldn't dare stare in the face
someone of importance
knowing it was me that once dared to keep a promised
and succeeded in the quickest time to break her and it
making her cry
What made her angry
She believed I chose Juliet over her
and I tried to defend myself with armed words
but I had no explanation to give
I was unarmed in these verbal fights
I didn't know what was right
what to say
that day changed everything
Juliet took Veronica's place
as the conversationalist, the smiling heroine
as the one I could compliment
the one I could make happy
the one I could just be me
Veronica, she just spent two weeks
taking jab after jab at Juliet
taking jab after jab at me...till yesterday
a bad day turned nightmare
when I unbottled truth built up for weeks
I confessed my reasons, my seasons
why she hasn't seen my face, a long list of apologies
so the weight of my shoulders would leave
so she would know, so we could grow
as like me, you would hope for a naive understanding response
as like me, you would hope for a silver lining
hope she'd understand
but I know all too well
there is no happy ending for me
The deities all laugh at my scorn
never happy till they see me destroyed
never satisfied till they, in awe, watch me weep
Veronica, I think I may have lost a friend in Veronica
I called it fate, I called it destiny
since she made it all to be my fault
that I'm a liar
when she knows full well I just want everyone in the world
who steps in my universe to be happy
Forgive me for my selfish desire but it's true
I may now talk about myself too much
but it doesn't compare to how much I cared about her
or want her to be happy
She pressed the button, she pressed the button
Did she really say that she doesn't know who I am
did she really say that I'm not her old sweet best friend
does she really have the right to say anything? !
She left me behind!
When we were kids, she left me behind
for the religious remarks of my cousin tore her apart
She could've came back at anytime
She left me behind
For years, I waited for her return with baited breath
though each time she came back
once to tell me at 2 in the morning that she got lucky
once to accompany me through my second tour of Juliet
as freaking spectator
she left and never said anything else
If it wasn't for a mutual friend
she would've never talked to me again!
She left me behind!
She wasn't there when I needed her the most
when I needed a friend the most
but that doesn't matter no cause oh I'm a liar
cause I have a selfish desire to be miserable
while I want the whole world who steps into my universe to be happy
All these words I never said to her, to Veronica
I just sat defenseless, sat stunned, sat fed up, sat done
tried to defend myself again but there's nothing to defend
told her good night, good life
hope to talk again
but if she was done with me, tell me so
cause I'd rather not spend another night
getting cussed out, getting yelled at
trying to muster up a defense case
for something I do that doesn't directly effect her
but in her eyes this friendship isn't worth it
I'm not worth it
Bright lights...big city...
just take me far away from here
give me amnesia or just omit her from my memory
I'm sick of this
of everything inadvertently being the fault of me
Are you happy deities? ? !
Are you happy?
There is no happy ending for me
Copyright © Russell Banks | Year Posted 2016
Long poem by
Carl Halling | Details |
I remember my cherished Wolf Cub pack,
How I loved those Wednesday evenings,
The games, the pomp and seriousness of the camps,
The different coloured scarves, sweaters and hair
During the mass meetings,
The solemnity of my enrolment,
Being helped up a tree by an older boy,
Baloo, or Kim, or someone,
To win my Athletics badge,
Winning my first star, my two year badge,
And my swimming badge
With its frog symbol, the kindness of the older boys.
I remember a child's West London.
One Saturday afternoon, after a football match
During which I dirtied my boots
By standing around as a sub in the mud,
And my elbow by tripping over a loose shoelace,
An older boy offered to take me home.
We walked along streets,
Through subways crammed with rowdies,
White or West Indian, in black gym shoes.
"Shuddup!" my friend would cheerfully yell,
And they did.
"We go' a ge' yer 'oame, ain' we mite, ay?"
"Yes. Where exactly are you taking me?" I asked.
"The bus stop at Chiswick 'Oigh Stree'
Is the best plice, oi reck'n."
"Yes, but not on Chiswick High Street,"
I said, starting to sniff.
"You be oroight theah, me lil' mite."
I was not convinced.
The uncertainty of my ever getting home
Caused me to start to bawl,
And I was still hollering
As we mounted the bus.
I remember the sudden turning of heads.
It must have been quite astonishing
For a peaceful busload of passengers
To have their everyday lives
Suddenly intruded upon
By a group of distressed looking Wolf Cubs,
One of whom, the smallest,
Was howling red-faced with anguish
For some undetermined reason.
After some moments, my friend,
His brow furrowed with regret,
As if he had done me some wrong, said:
"I'm gonna drop you off
Where your dad put you on."
Within seconds, the clouds dispersed,
And my damp cheeks beamed.
Then, I spied a street I recognised
From the bus window, and got up,
Grinning with all my might:
"This'll do," I said.
"Wai', Carl," cried my friend,
Are you shoa vis is 'oroigh'?"
"Yup!" I said. I was still grinning
As I spied my friend's anxious face
In the glinting window of the bus
As it moved down the street.
I remember a child's West London.
One Wednesday evening,
When the Pops was being broadcast
Instead of on Thursday,
I was rather reluctant to go to Cubs,
And was more than usually uncooperative
With my father as he tried
To help me find my cap,
Which had disappeared.
Frustrated, he put on his coat
And quietly opened the door.
I stepped outside into the icy atmosphere
Wearing only a pair of underpants,
And to my horror, he got into his black Citroen
And drove off. I darted down Esmond Road,
Crying and shouting.
My tearful howling was heard by Margaret,
19 year old daughter of Mrs Helena Jacobs,
Whom my mother used to help
With the care and entertainment
Of Thalidomide children.
Helena Jacobs expended so much energy
On feeling for others,
That when my mother tried to get in touch
In the mid '70s, she seemed exhausted,
And quite understandably,
For Mrs O'Keefe, her cleaning lady
And friend for the main part
Of her married life
Had recently been killed in a road accident.
I remember that kind
And beautiful Irish lady,
Her charm, happiness and sweetness,
She was the salt of the earth.
She threatened to ca-rrown me
When I went away to school...
If I wrote her not.
Margaret picked me up
And carried me back to my house.
I put on my uniform
As soon as she had gone home,
Left a note for my Pa,
And went myself to Cubs.
When Pa arrived to pick me up,
The whole ridiculous story
Was told to Akela,
Baloo and Kim,
Much, much, much to my shame.
I remember a child's West London.
The year was 1963, the year of the Beatles,
Of singing yeah, yeah, yeah in the car,
Of twisting in the playground,
Of "I'm a Beatlemaniac, are you?"
That year, I was very prejudiced
Against an American boy, Raymond,
Who later became my friend.
I used to attack him for no reason,
Like a dog, just to assert my superiority.
One day, he gave me a rabbit punch in the stomach
And I made such a fuss that my little girlfriend, Nina,
Wanted to escort me to the safety of our teacher,
Hugging me, and kissing me intermittently
On my forehead, eyes, nose, cheeks.
She forced me to see her:
"Carl didn't do a thing," said Nina,
"And Raymond came up and gave him
Four rabbit punches in the stomach."
Raymond was not penalized,
For Mademoiselle knew
What a little demon I was,
No matter how hurt
And innocent I looked,
Tearful, with my tail between my legs.
I remember a child's West London.
Copyright © Carl Halling | Year Posted 2015
Long poem by
J. W. Earnings | Details |
I’m sure of it – we’ll do good enough in the long run
Let the crazy, busy, and sunny day begin and I welcome the sun
Do you welcome the sun?
You’re a lot of fun
Let’s run in the sun
Embrace your passions and good side
Our friendship bond is like a marriage commitment between a good-looking groom and a beautiful bride!
There’s a recompense for doing the right,loyal, and faithful thing…there’s a way out of captivity – don’t be fenced in by ferocious fears and be conquered by life-changing, wonderful cheers and be free like deer, hopping into the fervor-blossoming flower fields…have no feeling of overwhelming fear! You have no excuse for cheating on me - not while I'm around here...
Embrace your passions…never let it go…
Do your thing, oh you darling peace-abiding angel…oh, you peace-crafting angel of light – can you linger by my side everywhere I feel, darling, oh darling angel…believe and be stable –
Embrace your passions…never let it go…
And do your thing and be my everything – don’t be scattered on the ground like beads or shattered glass everywhere you step…and gloriously sing and bring everyone peace in mind with your unique, relishing ring – flourish like the tall grain in the golden terrain…fill everyone’s hearts with perpetual cheer!
Embrace your passions…never let it go…
You are such a beauty from every single angle…untangle me from the web of bewilderment and spread cream cheese to my bagel! Read God’s bible – nothing close to a mad myth or a frivolous fable! Place those beliefs under the table and give as you are able!
You gottah get up and try as P!nk sings in her song
Embrace your passions with me...and you'll slowly, but surely belong!
Go with the flow of the current of the aqua-blue sky
Kiss the abyss "farewell" - sit back and chillax and be high like a kite
Embrace your passions…never let it go…
Bring me to my dwelling place called Dandelion Delight
It’s time to face what we’ve done…
Guide me to my heavenly haven called Illuminated Night
It’s time to run the race – we’ll survive the run…
We’re sittin’ on the fence,
Catching a glimpse at the sundrenched sight
Am I makin’ any sense?
Watching a marvelous sunset transform into an illuminated night
Hand me a bouquet of stars
Don’t remind me of my past scars
Who can mend them now?
Embrace your passions…never let it go…
You’re more precious than the best of poetry
Do you know where the wind does blow?
It’s a mystery to conceal…say that you want to fall in love with me
’Cause I want to practice by admiring you with 100% certainty that you’re the one that I want to spend the rest of my life with…someday, the day will come somehow…this moment with you is so unreal
How can you blossom like fireworks in the midnight sky? I ponder about this as I find myself sitting on the ground – gravity-bound… How? Somehow, you do it…someday, I’ll know how! I wanna learn to give you space when you need it and I’ll know for sure that you’re my Only Devotion...how did these scars heal? Is it you, my dearest angel? I’m not insecure, but I do take things to the next level – it’s no good deal
Fight for the right purpose and fight the good fight…the reason I fight is for your sake…alright?
You and I will earn beyond-brilliant-and-flawless peace….don’t let the bright opportunities fade…you don’t make me flip out, but you allow me to look at the bright side of life – you’re the reason I’m shimmering anew and I’m the most handsome tint, not a shameful shade
Fight with your might – there’s an afterlife to look forward to – everything will be black and white
You’re quite a dashing princess – gracious evermore – go play that majestic melody of yours – I want you to know that you’re as sharp and tough as my favorite pocket blade
Come, face this roller coaster with me and go along with the ride
Face your fears…look them in the eye – you’re gonna be fine with me, though we’re not sitting on the ground…but later on, it’s a possibility possibly…
Go with the flow and put your hands in the air like you don’t care – care to be by my side?
Face your fears…face them eye to eye like a wo-man–you’re gonna be OK with me around…I guarantee! Stay with me and echo your feelings of ecstasy! Think of us next to a sparklin’ sea with serene shores washing against our bodies as one gaily…so happily…so merrily, do we sing!
Bring us accord and don’t sow discord,
Let your talents, gifts and high spirits take wing
Let’s sip some wine and be as happy as two jovial pigs in the mud – happiness, free will, and joyfulness are what we can afford!
Let's lock hands and make an agreement and a special bond plus a scared oath...
Like grand lands - just kick back and chillax for a time - you're the one I'll never have the heart's desire to loath
Spread butter to the toast...and slice away all doubt
You're the one I can't help but boast about
You lead me to a nirvana-like, narrow pathway
Come follow me as I blow you XOXO's along the way
Let positivity drive us on and trek that big mountain
Shine on, dear angel of unbreakable, ardeous strength, like the dawn - weep no more, you fretful fountain . . .
Let God's healing rain heal our pain
That's been driving you and I insane...but we're still sane,
Driving on our love-abiding, painless lane
Promise me you won't break our friendship vows...
Copyright © J. W. Earnings | Year Posted 2014
Long poem by
Bob Quigley | Details |
He stood and aimlessly watched the parade of patrons and volunteers that wandered daily past his kennel. All so familiar, so ordinary. Just like every other day he mused. Nothing new. Nothing special.
Moving to the small crumpled blanket near the back of his cage, he turned several times and finally curled up, head on his paws, positioned so that he could watch the activity around him. But in reality, he was bored. It had been a long time since he had met each morning with anticipation. Too many days. Too much disappointment. He would leave all that barking and racing to the front of their cage to the younger pups who hadn’t figured out yet that the cute ones went first. It didn’t really make any difference what you did to attract attention if you weren’t young or cute, or both.
Too much time had gone by to participate in the charade. In reality, Walter had seen a lot of people that he would rather not spend a lot of time with. You know the type. Kind of hyper, bouncing from stray to stray, looking for a perfect dog. Kids poking their fingers through the kennel screen or banging on it. Some even making barking sounds. He didn’t need any of that and was glad when they were gone.
Walter was very picky. Set in his ways after so many years. He had had it good for a long time. An only dog in a household of two people that let him be himself. No tricks. No stunts. Just long naps and daily walks. A yard to himself to reflect on what was for dinner. He had been fond of his doggy bed in their bedroom. Each night he would help his owner walk through the house turning off the lights and checking the doors before they climbed the stairs together. And there was always one last good night pat before settling down.
But those days were gone now. First one had become ill and went to the hospital and never came back. The other one changed overnight, spending long days, sitting mostly. The walks became less frequent. Walter did what he could. He could see it in their eyes that they were hurting from their loss. He would make a point of laying his head in their lap, trying to let them know that he missed them too. At times like this, he instinctively knew that although it remained unsaid, they only had each other.
He remembers well the day that his owner snapped a leash on him and said, “well Walter, I’m afraid we have to say goodbye. I have to go to a place where they won’t let me keep you, so I am going to have to let you go.” Walter could see the tears in his eyes. He knew it would do him no good to whine or resist. It was obvious there were no alternatives. And besides, it would just make it harder on his owner. But he was going to miss him. It was not going to be easy to adjust.
But adjust he did. He had been here a long time now and had seen countless pups and dogs trot past his cage with light hearts and new owners, heading off with new found hopes and expectations. But it soon became obvious that there weren’t a lot of people that wanted an old yellow hound. Everyone wanted the young ones. So here he lay, dozing a bit, but still keeping an eye on those walking by, many giving him but a glance before moving on.
He heard them before the saw them. ”Honey” the voice said. ”That looks like Walter, old Mr. Whitney’s dog.” Walters ears perked up a little. ”Do I know them” he thought. ”They seem to know me”. I’d better go take a closer look” and with that, he stood and slowly ambled toward his kennel gate, giving a cautious wag of his tail.
“It is him” the man said. ”Walter, how you doing boy? Do you remember me?”
And upon closer inspection, Walter did remember him. He used to live right across the street. He would see him in his yard and if Walter were to ramble over, he usually had a dog treat in his pocket. With the recognition, Walter gave a little stronger wag and moved toward the fingers extended through the fencing. It was good to see an old friend.
“What do you say hon” the man said. ”How would you feel about bringing Walter home with us?”
Walter looked at the woman and saw her nod in agreement. ”You wait here and I’ll go find a volunteer.”
The man bent down and said “What do you think Walter? Would you like to go home with us?”
Actually, Walter decided, he could think of nothing he would like more. A chance to go back to the old neighborhood with people he already knew. What was there not to like.
Soon the woman returned and the gate opened. A leash was snapped on Walter and together they proceeded past the rows of dogs and puppies, all vying for their attention. Walter couldn't help but stand a little straighter, stepping a little more lightly, showing off. ”This is what going home looks like guys.” he thought. ”Good luck and goodbye”.
As they neared the car the man said “I can’t believe we found you Walter. There is someone I am going to take you to see. I can’t wait to see the expression on his face when you walk in his room>”
Walter, of course, knew exactly who he was talking about. And he couldn't wait to see the expression on his face either.
Copyright © Bob Quigley | Year Posted 2013
Long poem by
Ivor Davies | Details |
Back in 1962 when I was just a lad
my dad gave me a holiday
the best I ever had.
A holiday of every dream
that one lifetime could hold
so listen while this wondrous time
to you I now unfold:
In bygone years to travel far
was not a normal thing,
to travel some six thousand miles
by plane was amazing!
Propellers aided by a jet,
a very modern way,
aboard a British Eagle plane
my life would change that day.
A little island in the sun
where British troops were based
on active service out Far East
where they would get a taste
of jungle warfare while they helped
to form a brand new state
by helping stop objections from
a few this change did hate.
But as a teenage boy, you see,
the politics of war
were not as noticeable to me
as other things I saw.
I felt the beauty of this land
with folk of every kind
for at this time in England
few ‘cultures’ could be found.
For back at home in Blighty
a youngster such as me
had to know his place in life
and couldn’t roam quite free,
but out here in the tropics
no prejudice I found
of the nature that had kept me thus
by England’s limits bound.
Now out here in Malaysia,
on this island of Penang,
I found a place where deep inside
stirred memories that sang
of a time in my existence
that I’d never felt before
born of ancient inner knowledge
that my soul was screaming for.
To continue with my story
of the time I was a lad,
when in a British Barracks
with a soldier for a dad
I had given up my schooling
for adventure in the world
and like a butterfly emerging
my wings were now unfurled.
On this truly wondrous island
Minden Barracks was my home
with excitement and adventure
wherever I could roam.
I immersed in all the wisdom
of simplicity I met
and learned that what you give to life,
returns in what you get.
For the Chinese and the Indians,
Malays and some ex-pats
had found ways to live together
though all wore different hats,
in perfect symbiosis
where all fulfilled their roles
and by leaning on each other
could emancipate their goals.
Now even at this early age,
I was not too dim to see
that the rich were getting richer
and the poor were never free,
but something buried deep inside
these people of Penang
bore a certain understanding
of the common song they sang.
Now I grew up very quickly
as my friends all went to war,
young soldiers who were now my age
what were they fighting for.
Atrocities befell them
as they fought Malaysia’s side
against those from Indonesia
who would not join this ride.
though Penang was hardly hit,
it was only very seldom
that we faced a scary bit.
When Minden B’ was threatened
all the locals stayed inside
just in case the British soldiers
started shooting the wrong side!
But throughout this ‘confrontation’
my job became pure joy,
for the Army’s recreation
then became my brand new toy.
On the island’s sandy beaches
you would find me day by day
driving speed boats for the soldiers
when they found the time to play.
In Penang, their favourite island,
the troops would take their leave
and have fun while water skiing
as they took a short reprieve
from the nature of their duties
that had brought them to this land
and for just a fleeting moment
could enjoy the sea and sand.
For three years whilst Water Skiing
I enjoyed this paradise
but the days I was not working
were all equally as nice
for at home in Minden Barracks
was a special swimming pool
where friends would meet
and wash their souls
with conversation’s tool.
This really was the centre
of our commune in this land,
the meeting place for sharing
where all friends would understand.
Soldier’s wives, their men at war,
and others gathered round,
if any place is hallowed
then this pool is sacred ground.
But Georgetown and its traders
was the place I loved to be
where the colour, noise and culture
always let my soul soar free.
Where the many, many trishaws
and the bikes and traffic mix,
with the hawkers, shops and markets
this is where I got my fix!
Four good years I lived my life
in this very special place,
at a multicultural pace.
I’d been born into a country
that the world thought was mature,
but maturity is lost of mind
when progress is the lure.
Back in 1962 when I was just a lad
my dad gave me a holiday
the best I’d ever had.
Back in 1966 I went back home again
and the schooling that I’d given up
had not been lost in vain,
for I’d learnt the real meaning
of my Life in this short stay,
a meaning full of everything
I carry till this day.
So now I’m in My sixties,
not the sixties of my past
and the thing I’ve found along the way
is most things never last.
But learn from where you travel,
let morals be your guide
for none can steal the things you hold
and carry deep inside.
Ivor G Davies
Copyright © Ivor Davies | Year Posted 2015
Long poem by
William J. Jr. Atfield | Details |
Moving on ???
I have come to wonder – as time passes – why ?,
the lady brings tears to my heart – makes me cry.
This lady who took in hand, in holy of holies, in mouth,
resurrecting a dyeing old soul, then went south.
This lady who, with a little time, could raise,
the dead, and in that time, did vigorously praise
as she took a weeping willow, turned it into a mighty oak.
That was then, now, never comes back, not a word has she spoke.
I think of times, when beaver lips, kissing, did stroke
a fading son into becoming a mighty oak, at midnights son rise.
I do feel – maybe too much sometimes – that I have lost the prize.
Oh !, why ?, does she choose to ignore, to leave behind
this old man’s limp, impotent, troubled mind,
a mind that feels, that senses, that is trying to find
out why it is that he seems so unimportant,
why ?, it is that this is all he can rant.
B. J. “A ” 2
July 26th 2003
I wonder ?, - with your distance –
if we, at these moments,
are not closer than time will tell.
I wonder ?, - if you, as do I –
feel the losses in never knowing
a mornings glory, of never hearing,
knowing, telling a positive story.
I wonder ?, if our time has reached
out and touched an end.
I wonder ?, if you no longer look for,
need, no longer want me as a friend.
The naked winds of actions, reactions flow past these eyes.
They do not deceive, hide their meanings, nor do they tell lies.
What lies lie behind the eyes of the beholder, is in the telling,
is in their perception of the world, it is what their mind is spelling
out for them, and does not have a thing to do with cold
receptions, distances, avoidances or harsh words told
as moist air drifts across the bridge and it begins to rain
and with one’s nose, know what brings on the pain.
B. J. “ A ” 2
July 28th 2003
A war of the roses, by any other name, was no sweeter !,
as pre and post-midnight hours dragged on in battles waged,
from both sides, where I experienced a clever, cunning, crafty,
master manipulator, a shrewd, screwed, master of mass destruction
that used words as weapons, breaking, crushing the head of the enemy.
I have to wonder if I am the enemy proper ?, or that of a cracked mirror ?,
reflecting the many facets of your life’s experiences ?, and because of this roll
– a docile, inanimate entity – it is easy to throw sticks and stones, darts, knifes
and other keen, explosive, destructive projectiles that seem to flow with such ease.
Could this all be ?, because I have no value, no meaning, no relevance, no importance.
Are these the reasons for the twisted perversions of reality, of my phrasings ?,
of my statements ?, my beliefs ?, my thoughts, thoughts that have come back at me
in a barrage of hostility, at such a driving force, it could knock ones world of its axis’s.
I wonder ?, just how much of this comes from a lifelong habit, of defending against ghosts.
I wonder ?, just how much of this is your reality and how much of this is imaginary / fantasy.
I wonder ?, just how much of this might be – attempted one up man ship.
I wonder ?, just how much of this might be – pure, unadulterated, game playing.
I wonder ?, just how much of this scenario might be an offensive / defensive mechanism.
I wonder ?, just how much of this might be the walls, the moats, the chasms that might hide
whatever the reasons for you choosing / taking an opposing position – for taking the opposite side.
The choices made are the choices I have to live with – acceptable or not.
There is no possibility for me to be in control ?, especially if I am being controlled.
Being in control seems to be the essence, the heart, soul, spirit, the name of your game.
Being right, seems to be an aspect of your game, no matter if the evidence proves otherwise.
You are not the only one. I see many of these troubling traits in other areas of life on this plane.
I see it in other people, friends, relatives, acquaintances and professionals.
So too, with me, and so I must not place to much stock in how I seem affected
by these behavioral traits, I have observe in human nature / nurture, for I am a big boy
and walk this earth, this plane, with both eyes wide open, even if they have been blackened
many times, swollen shut, along with my bruised soul, battered spirit and beaten, grounded ego.
But then, what ?, is a good friend if he cannot stand some abuse
still hang in there and remain a good friend that can be counted on.
Thoughts – few of the many – left in the wake of another battle, waged,
in the war of the roses, that will never be able to release their sweet fragrance,
with total abandon, freedom or true understanding and acceptance of what they are.
Without prejudice – Without judgement
B. J. “A ” 2
July 29th 2003
Copyright © William J. Jr. Atfield | Year Posted 2014
Long poem by
matthew harris | Details |
uncomfortableness, and hesitation arose that you might reassess a possibility for friendship or.... whatever with me.
A disappointment set in place in the event that based on some facet of my being (inexplicable flaws within this corporeal human male), forecast that an about face (booked on charges inherent in this googly eyed, earth-linked, kool hotmail of a yahoo) would be un liked!
Juno what i mean?
In retrospect, no matter that this average boyish chap desires enjoyment, he admits that ordinary punctuating various stages of development difficulty coping found him msn (miss sin, missin, missing, et cetera) on ordinary interpersonal experiences!
No matter yours truly usually finds me each morning, noon or night conjuring up maximizing temporary residence on this planet earth versus bemoaning those futile and essentially counterproductive mind games sans could a, might a, should a, would a...
today = the moment to cherish, enjoy, help others, ponder the remaining years
since fruitless to expend tears
for suppressed emotional, financial, grammatical, hormonal, physical, and spiritual angst
that roiled mine inner sanctum - mainly from decades in the past
which unseen scars with humor this fellow (who by the way likes you) wears!
Notice the sly inclusion of my comment per -- affinity, desirability, rhapsody for you
although just but a mere inkling prevails about an ye taelje john thru
a rather contrived manner - albeit an online adult oriented website - amongst a slew
which yields to this bipedal hominid a scant few
initial responses - as if a ghost app paired in the recipient email - going boo
which unwittingly seems to turn the ivy blue!
So...no matter a constancy of follow-up electronic communiques occurs from ye
bringing tears of joy, that nobody can see
while simultaneously delivering digital glee
a reality check restrains proclivity and predilection to let thoughts run wild and free!
Immense and immeasurable mounts in moi little rock
inducing an electric arc for myself to kin neck embedded in all this schlock
for a sixth sense arises that this holme body strongly suspects yar self
to generate sunny watts as an s spy she lee Sherlock
but, reticence to gush with ebullience reins in a cascade
of utter delight washing o'er this less than satisfactory mwm
who as a boy and youth happened to b a frayed
of his own shadow - while walking along the boulevard of broken dreams
listening to the sounds of silence on a green-day.
Thus => the following from one
Cerebral being ™ in the am and pm
This ordinary human
Finds himself a mystery
Within the terrestrial
Firmament and frequently
Feels in a feverish pitch
At his existence
That seers the temple
Mounted upon this slender
Frame - wrought by the
Combination of genetics
In tandem with exercise
Which latter helps to
Sublimate the coiled
Tension wound tightly
Like an indestructible spring
Without a healthy medium at large
To channel emotions fraught within
Me might find demise
That would rent asunder literate fellow
And thus annihilate without a trace
One true valued father of two us special
Lovely lasses as just another statistic among
As the world turns (indiscriminately oblivious of the harrowing days per one simian), an agreeable, amiable, edible, immeasurable, likeable, pleasurable, sensible woman (such as yourself - predicated on a gut level intuition) goads more seriousness to share
Plaintive unheard heart strings o mine that wail
Displeased with this marriage fraught with travail
As if in a maelstrom whip-lashed vessel without a sail
Yet - averse to lambaste or rail
Against abby (whereby we pass like two ships in the night) who married this male
When each of us happened to seem more similar
And thought each ourselves to fail
At any endeavor, though now confidence
Buoys my heart while she doth ail
And exemplifies attitudes, beliefs, efforts,
Idiosyncrasies, pathos that life does rot
Ill suited to Matthew Scott,
Whose bon vivant manifesting faith in him
Perhaps from herself deferring many domestic
And child rearing tasks not
Of course being boasting - even when scissoring the umbilical cord
As a now beaming papa, whose daughters
Blithely ignore "mother" a lot
Thus necessitating this quest
For a counterpart to offer succor
To eden (age 16) and shana (14 on february 4th, 2013)
Yet accepts that i must dispel any dreamy fantasy even this ours - a mere jot
At this juncture knowing full well how unwise to set myself up for disappointment
By thinking and rushing like a fool,
Where angels fear to tread
Though "chutzpah" i got!
U r slowly filling my mindscape with joy
Thank you so much - for accepting without complaint how atypically words this writer wannabe
Named Matthew Scott Harris dozen ploy.
Copyright © matthew harris | Year Posted 2013
Long poem by
DENNIS DE ROSE | Details |
What's that in your hand?. Let me see.. He said.
It's a picture; that`s Chuck; he is my friend... I said.
You pick your friends kinda young, don't you?... He said.
No, that was a long time ago. We were in college... I said.
I'd like to hear more about your pal Chuck... He said.
Okay... I met Chuck in New Paltz in `74... I said.
Oh, that's the pot smoking college, isn't it... He said.
Don't generalize, everyone's not the same... I said.
You're right. So tell me some more about Chuck... He said.
Okay, so you want the short version, or long one ... I said.
Whatever you like, I have plenty of time ... He said.
Well, this guy Chuck approaches me; he looks perplexed... I said.
So what was his issue. Why that look on his face... He said.
Chuck tells me "No one will stay with me in the room."... I said.
How odd is that? That doesn't make sense... He said.
You and I swing one way, Chuck swings the other. ... I said.
Now I see what the problem was; What did you do?... He said.
What do you think ? That doesn't bother me.... I said.
Hey, you want to hear a funny story? It's a side splitter... I said.
I've got time. I could use a good laugh right about now... He said.
Chuck had a 53 Schwinn bicycle, all chrome, red and white... I said.
You've got to be kidding me. I haven't seen one in years.... He said.
I'd hop on back. We`d go to town and chug down a few together... I said.
That's not funny. Where's the punchline? So what happened?... He said.
Well, one day Chuck failed a test and got super pissed off.... I said.
That's not funny either. You've got to do better than that.... He said.
He yanked on the handlebar so hard, he busted it clean in half... I said.
Wow ! Did they have "Funniest Home Videos" back then?... He said.
That's not all. We had so much fun together. There's more... I said.
Don't keep me in suspense. Lay it on me..... He said
There was this girl; unique with a special attribute.... I said.
What was so special? Three breasts instead of two?... He said.
No joke, her name was Madam Clittora! Enough said... I said.
I can't believe that. You gonna leave me hanging?... He said.
Anyway, shortly after that, I graduated. Chuck was younger.... I said.
So what happened to Chuck? Good friends keep in touch... He said.
We saw him two years later. We visited With his family, was nice... I said.
Ever see them again? You shouldn't desert a friend.... He said.
You're right. But things don't always pan out... I said.
So what does that mean? You both seemed quite close.... He said.
I was married at the time with a lot of responsibilities... I said.
So that's no excuse. You should've kept in touch... He said.
After that, I didn't. Time changes things. Wasn't intentional.... I said.
So is there more to this story? There's got to be more... He said.
Oh, there is. Time moves on. 35 years later... I said.
It's 2010 and out of the blue, I think of my old pal Chuck... I said.
So you didn't forget him after all, but almost... He said.
It's a gamble, Chuck Drzal was in the phonebook; I called... I said.
Good for you. You took a chance, renewed a friendship... He said.
You're right. Just like old times. `74 again. What a feeling... I said.
So what happened next. Tell me quick, can't wait... He said.
We talked off and on, old times and new things; it was good... I said.
So it sounds like things are really working out for you guys... He said.
We saw Chuck, in the summertime; looked good for 52... I said.
Hey that's great news; Is there more to the story?... He said.
A little more... His friend died the day after we saw him... I said.
Oh, bummer. Sorry to hear that. How`s Chuck now?... He said.
Called him in November. His diamond ring was stolen... I said.
Wow ! That's a real downer. Did they catch the bastard?... He said
No !... I said.
There's got to be more than that. Call him since then?... He said..
Yeah... but... I called twice... he never answered the phone... I said.
Well, I hope you find out how he is doing?... He said.
I did. Saw his obit a few days ago. He died November 17th... I said.
He looked at me. A tear rolled down his cheek... He said nothing..
I looked at him. Couldn't speak, all choked up.... I said nothing.
He looked at me. Gave me a hug, turned and walked away.
I yelled to the universe... "That's Chuck, he's my friend!"
Copyright © DENNIS DE ROSE | Year Posted 2013
Long poem by
Carrie Richards | Details |
Under a tree of wet blossoms, shimmering to life in the sun, one honey bee is circling around two burly men, who wave it off, with childlike dramatics...arms flailing. One of them, wearing heavy leather boots, leaves his deep imprints in the grass, still wet from yesterday's storm. I wince, as the toe of his left boot squashes a purple pansy that is growing along the border. Oh dear, her prized flowers,....they are like her babies! She has always had the greenest, thumb..and the prettiest yard on the block!
a white blossom rush hour traffic... a crushed pansy
lands on her shoulder.... bees circle the tree still beautiful in my palm...
a goodbye gesture droning with noise lines in her face
Both men seem irritated, and anxious to get on the road, as they stand next to the giant truck, which is parked against the curb. The shorter man, nurtures a butt of a cigarette between gloved fingers with such intensity, it's as if he were sentenced to be hanged at noon, and this was a final puff. He inhales deeply, then, after a careless toss of the stub, they both climb aboard, into the cab, and squeeze their husky frames into the cab, like two coiled Slinkys , ready to spring into action. They start up the engine, and trails of cigarette smoke are left to mingle with cloud-white petals, that drift from the tree.
smoke spirals up from a spent cigarette...... truck coughs black exhaust
two nosy neighbors watch from dark windows.... crows gather on grapevine
The moving van,... a huge, battered dinosaur, wearing a big red proclamation, "TWO BROTHERS-VAN AND STORAGE",... looks so out of place, parked along my street. I begin to feel it vibrate the sidewalk and it deafens our ears. Slowly, it begins to roll, and we watch, as it lazily, lumbers down the familiar street. It turns the corner, and disappears out of sight. I lean over to grab her hand, and she is crying
and I find myself breaking the promise not to.
muddy truck tires....
follow from behind
I suppose it shouldn't matter to me now, but can't resist, and lean down to pick up the discarded, lifeless cigarette butt, and walk it over next door, to the trash can, that still waits for Thursday's pick-up. I blow my nose and dry my eyes. It won't help her, if she sees me fall apart.
I remember the day she moved in, over twenty years ago.
We were strangers then, ...but sisters we became.
Now it seems all those years are packaged up inside those cardboard boxes, wrapped in newsprint, taped shut, now moving on to another state, to somewhere I don't belong.
Her husband gently clears his throat, as he patiently waits by their car, giving her one last moment.
Her eyes glisten with tears. Mine sting too...but I had promised I wouldn't cry...so I am biting my bottom lip. A quick hug.. "Yes...we'll write...we'll visit...we'll call!
Soon! I promise,.........soon!"
She hands me a box of tulip bulbs. "These are the red ones... the ones you loved so much, something to remember me by."... I want to plant some in the new place, but have been saving some for you too"...
"Next year when they bloom, think of me, will you? A part of me to keep you company."
She walks to her packed car, turns once more with that familiar smile, the same little wave, that she gave me on that very first morning, as she stood at her mailbox. She jumps in next to her waiting husband. He starts the engine, and soon their car is heading down the street, that is no longer her street. Around the turn at the corner, that is no longer her corner
Tomorrow the SOLD sign comes down.
Perhaps a new wave, another smile, someone gathering mail ...will brighten my day.
But today, .....I will plant some tulips.
my garden awakes coffee brings comfort
from muddy slumber.... sipped from her favorite cup ...
lively red tulips my cat for company
For Deb's Contest: Spring haibun
Copyright © Carrie Richards | Year Posted 2013