Long poem by
Victor Alexander | Details |
They were the best of friends to the best of friendship
They did everything together to the best of friendship
The three wise men that came together from different locations
One from the north, one from the west, the other from the east
These three friends has three different lands in different locations
Trees with different fruits filled their lands; it is a feast
The three friends visited each others farmland anytime they wish
Everything was perfect; there was never any cause to quarrel
The friendship was intact as palm fruit to the hand of a squirrel
So close they live close; always friends.
These friends have another friend that has a brother; both from the south
The three friends met this southern friend and his brother at different time and place
One friendship linked to another friendship and they all became friends
The friend from the south also has a farmland that the friends were free to visit
The five friends have many things in common that brings them regularly together
Everything bound by the seek for fun; anything that gives fun is welcomed
Even though these five friends are close, some are more close to another
The friend from the east is closer to the friend from the west
The friend from the north is closer to the friend from the south
The closer they lived close; still same friends.
There are two or more special trees in the different farmlands of the friends
Since these friends visits each others farm, they became automatic friends with the trees
These special trees are all matured with fruits; anyone can pluck and eat them
These friends have special trees they feed on their fruits from other people’s farmland
There was no rule not to feed on the fruits of the special trees in the friends different farmlands
Somehow it feels natural not to desire fruit from the special trees of the friends’ different farmlands
Nobody said but it seems natural that the fruits in the special trees the their friends farmland is sacred
Believing fruits in the special trees are sacred, there was a natural limit to interaction with the special tree
You can see and talk to the special trees but never to touch and pluck its fruits let alone eat it
Any outsider can pluck and eat the fruits of the special trees but out of bounds for friends.
It happened that the friend from the north has a liking for all special trees irrespective of where it is
It’s interesting to know that every special tree has a liking for the friend from the north irrespective of who he is
This friend from the north got close and closer to the special trees in his friends different farmlands
The friend from the north became more of a friend to the special trees more than his friends
Two special trees became more attached to the northern friend; they don’t mind giving out their fruits to him
The friend from the north asked his friends if it’s okay to pluck and eat the fruits of the special trees in their farms
The friends responded its okay so far they remain unaware when he starts plucking and eating from the special trees
For the northern friend, he has been issued a Go-ahead warrant to pluck and eat as much as he can
The friends were insincere with the approval given to the northern friend he cost them much
They really cared about the special tree so much they can’t let anyone eat it not even friends.
As days passed, the northern friend plucked and ate the fruits of the special tree in the western friend’s farmland
Time come time pass, he plucked and ate the fruits of the special tree in the eastern friend’s farmland
The two special trees grew very fond of the northern friend; they over-fed him more than he asked
The two special trees are ignorant that they are both eaten from; they hear the rumors and ignore it
The northern friend grew very fond of the special trees that he weeds their surroundings
The two special trees are struggling to make sure he ate from only one of them; he ate from both
The special tree from the west forced him to commitment with a promise to feed him all season
The special tree from the east is confused, just doesn’t know what to do as its owner is acting boss
The northern friend still feeds from other special trees; this northern friend has sworn to gluttony
With a smile and an innocent look; the weeds beg to feed him their grasses all through the season.
These friends shared many things in common but some things can never be shared
They can’t share the special trees they feed on and they can’t share the ones in their farmlands
The northern friend plucking and eating grew out hand; the western and eastern friend can no longer tolerate it
One common predator that preys on their farmland; ravaging, plucking and eating recklessly
They tried every strategy possible to stop the northern friend’s quest for ‘feed me more’
These efforts was a waste; when the friends don’t visit, the special trees visit, feeding enhanced
Since all solutions failed; the western and eastern friend proffered another solution
Draw line to the friendship; desist from visiting the northern friend’s farmland
No longer close friends, they exchange fake smiles and other pleasantries
End of friendship for the best yet the feeding continues for the worst.
Long poem by
Mario DE PAZ | Details |
Now we along one of hard rims are brought;
And a thin spray on the brook is fixed,
So shield to rims and water is begot.
As Flemings, Cadsand and Bruges bewixt,
Fearing the high waves pouncing against shore,
Build dikes to sea to have shield affixed;
And like Paduans near the Brenta core,
To defend their castles and too their fields,
That Chiarentana heat feels quite before:
Similar to those are just made the shields,
Even though neither so thick nor so tall,
As builder mind, whoever he is, yields.
We were just well outside the wood at all
Enough, so where it was I could not say,
Even though I looked back to recall,
When we just met of spirits an array
Who were coming on the bank and each one
Was looking at us as by night the way
Is looked another when new moon begun;
And they were squeezing eyelashes to us
As an old tailor in the needle bunt.
Spotted in such a way by a group thus,
I was recognized by one, who me took
At the flap and shouted: “What a success!”.
And I, when his limb me grabbed as an hook,
In his baked burnt outward stuck then my eyes,
So that he could no more hide his burned look
To recognize him my mind to apprise;
And moving down to his face my hand,
Answered: “Are you then sir Brunetto wise?”
And he: “My dear son, you please demand
That Brunetto Latini stays a while
With you and comes back leaving the band”.
I told: “As much as I can, beg you I’ll;
And if you want that I with you may sit,
Will do, if for my mate it is worthwhile”
“My dear son”, told, “If any of us a bit
Stops walking, then hundred years must lie
With just no defense then from fire hit.
So, must go on: I shall follow you by;
And after that I shall rejoin my troop
Which its eternal sins always must cry”.
Yet I did not dare down the street to stoop
To reach him; but I had my head bent down
As man walking and reverent must droop.
He then started: “Which fate and luck is shown
Bringing you here just your last before?
And who is that who brings you around?”
“There up, where is serene the lifetime core”,
I answered him, “Path in a valley I lost,
Before I passed the maturity door.
Yesterday morning I turned it when crossed;
This one came in, compelling me go back,
And brought me here in this place at last”.
And he to me: “If now your star you track,
You cannot fail to reach the glorious port,
If in my life good wisdom did not lack;
And if I did not die in time so short,
Seeing to you a so benignant sky,
I would have given to your deed support.
But that malignant people too awry
Which from Fiesole anciently descended
And yet has much of stone and mount dry,
Will be, to your good will, enemy trended;
And there is reason, that the rotten fruit
Must be avoided by sweet fig splendid.
Old fame in world indeed calls them brute;
They are greedy, envious and superb too;
And their habits at best you must refute.
Your future prepares great honors for you,
So that both parts will have much need
Of you; but is their beck on grass undue.
The of Fiesole beasts then have to feed
Just of themselves, and don’t touch the plant
If any grows yet in their muck indeed,
In which then might live again the seed sant
Of those Romans who just there remained when
Malice nest was made that think worse I can’t”
“If my demands were all satisfied then”,
I answered him, “You would not still yet be
Now banned out of the nature of all men;
Because in my minds is etched, and grieves me,
The dear and good paternal image of you
When time by time during life I could see
You teaching me how reach eternal view;
And how much I like it, the time I live
To be recognized in my words gets true.
What you recount to write myself I strive,
And I hold it to gloss with other text
To woman who will know, if I arrive.
So much I want you be acquainted next,
Assuming that my conscience does not fail,
That to Fortune, as she likes, I am flexed.
It is not new this pledge to my hears’ sail:
So thus Fortune has now hers wheel to turn
The way she likes, and the boor his plow nail”.
My master then on his right cheek upturn
Looked at me back well fixing in my eyes;
Then told: “Who her listens has much to learn”.
Nor much less I am speaking with that wise
Sir Brunetto, and I am asking him who are
His companions well known of larger size.
And he : “Know of someone is good by far;
Of others it is better to be still,
Being short the time to hold the sound for.
As a matter of facts all have great skill
Clerics and writers who have weighty fame,
All of them soiled to world the same sin fill.
Prisciane goes with that crowd of blame,
And Francis d’Accorso too; and see,
If I had strong will of such horrible shame,
I could who the drudge of servants with lee
From Arno into Bacchiglione changed was
Where he left his nerves ill to high degree.
I would tell more but it cannot because
I don't follow you now, since I see there
New smoke that people from sand to grow does.
With guys coming company I don’t share.
My Tesoro to you I recommend,
In which I still live, ask more I don’t dare”.
Then turned back, and looked as to have the trend
Of runners in Verona the drape green
In countryside, among them to contend
Like a winner, not loser to be seen.
Long poem by
James W Johnson | Details |
February 27, 1861
My Dear Miss Holly Winegardner,
After saying goodbye to you, Johnny Birdeye and I traveled from Columbus to Nashville by train, then west to Memphis arriving home two days ago. Johnny’s family was glad to have him back and were grateful to me for going to Ohio to fetch him for them. You and I did not talk about young Johnny while I was there in Newark so perhaps I should tell you how I came to journey so far north and to eventually meet you.
As I mentioned in our passing conversations, I live on our family farm on Crawley’s Ridge in Arkansas. It is located some fifty miles west of Memphis on a ridge overlooking the Mississippi River basin. Our farm belonged to Mr. Raymond Bennett Dobbins, my mother’s second husband, until his death eight years ago. It amounts to about five hundred acres now, including the acreage of my father's farm, of mostly rolling, hilly land - a great deal of it wooded and untamed, but filled with a variety of lakes and natural springs. That which is arable provides deep rooting for generous orchards and vineyards. We farm some and graze some but mostly fruit out the land as much as possible.
Every year, we load some ten wagons with fruits, vegetables and nuts, and travel to Memphis several times for money crops during the harvest season. There is never enough to sell and we are constantly clearing land for more orchard space. We raise a variety of apples, plums, peaches, cherries, pears, apricots and persimmon. Our pecans are widely known, and sought after even in an area with an abundance of such nuts. We have several vineyards of grapes for jams, jellies, and wines. Even wild muscadine grapes are in abundance. We also have a wonderful stable of horses and, as you know, this is my passion.
As I told your father while in Ohio, my mother married Mr. Dobbins, after my father’s death, on the condition that there be no slaves kept by him. At the time, he owned some fifty slaves and willingly freed them so that Mother would accept his proposal. Most of them moved away to Memphis and some further west but a few remained on our place, and worked along side the rest of the family. I will tell you sometime of John, our blacksmith, and Ethel, his wife, of Alice, who works in our home with my mother. Of young Tobacco Dobbins, my friend as a child, who now lives in California, having taken muscadine grapes there to grow. He has become quite a legend there and we are all proud of him.
Johnny Birdeye’s family lives in the basin at the eastern foot of Crawley’s Ridge bordering our property. Their spread is vast covering thousands of acres of timber and at least a thousand acres of cotton farming. Johnny is younger than me by a few years, and in some ways not very mature for his age. Perhaps it is due to his upbringing in a rich family; perhaps it is just the way he is.
A year ago, he left home with a gypsy girl, and it has taken the family this long to locate him and to dispatch me to Ohio to bring him home. I think he grew up some in this year, and realized that not everything in life is as it seems - meaning the girl was already married and leading him on. Perhaps I have said too much even now.
Miss Holly, it is a trying time in which we live. Since Lincoln’s election, so much has transpired. South Carolina’s secession followed by so many other southern states is unbelievable. If Lincoln is inaugurated in March, there will likely be a fight. There is talk that my own beloved state will resign the Union in the spring.
More chilling is the cold aspect of war. Many of my friends are arranging to travel to Little Rock or Fort Smith in case such a terrible turn brings us to incivility.
The Birdeye family has a friend in Memphis whose name is Bedford Forrest. He is a plantation owner and slave trader, but says that he will build a fighting unit, if war breaks out. Mr Birdeye has offered to introduce me to Mr. Forrest, and I have considered it. Given my attention to horse flesh and Mr. Forrest’s expectation that he will raise a cavalry brigade, I am leaning toward such a prospect.
Please understand that I want no part of war - it is a horrid thing to take a life. But, if we are invaded, as I told your father I will be compelled to defend our home.
This is not the letter I sought to write to you, Miss Holly. I wanted to tell you about my time with you and how I felt since I saw you last. I wanted to tell you about my home, for I wondered how you would like it here. Though warmer, it is somewhat like your rolling hills in Ohio. Perhaps you will consider visiting us some time; my mother would love to meet you.
Yours most sincerely,
Jas. W. Johnson,
-late of Ohio,
-now on Crawley’s Ridge near Cherry Valley,
-and west of Memphis.
Long poem by
ephraim crud | Details |
i miss the affect and effect
my father's experiences
of mindless mass destruction
that had me pinned to every word
as moonlight on each
shone down on their dugout
'johnny, got a light'
dad lit his zippo
and eric was gone
he didn't hear a thing
no bullet whirr
not even the 'tink' of his helmet
and i think how good it is
to smell life
to sniff an ambush of the heart
under heavy fire as he
forced to headlong a ditch
on the bloated green remains
of the enemy
and promptly puked over its putrid face
and shat himself
he'd not hear the next 'tink'
six hour he laid there
six ****ing hours
and i '****' and carp
as my oh-so convenient
worldwide walkie-talkie bill
dollops the coconut footwipe
and curse the dog crapped patio
can you imagine
i can feel the ****
the blink last glance in the mirror
reflecting how lucky i am
to breathe this chink of words
for your pleasure
tear or revulsion
your notions of a small constellation
and how good it is to eye
those chinks in the dark
that effeminate uncle john
may have faced
but for happenstance
his brother donald being short-fused
had stuck his cornea with scissors
which saw him stage
his most memorable performance
tending the testosterone of gold braid
for the duration
down the salt-watered south
others committed harakiri
for such failing the flag
for humility's sake
or the drip drip drip
of a tortuous rising sun
or the footrot thunder of a flemish field
or sodden wood where
on a sudden an adolescent fritz
no more summers than fifteen
crossed hairs in his eye
and dad sighted
his mutter at home
worried for the safe return of her joy
and her heart broken
by the black edged letter
as he triggered his brain
to a million specks of red
and wept uncontrollably
for an age
the futility and long awaited remembrance
of all those poor bastards whose heroics
led them insane
and blindfolded by their own waste
but it's dog eat dog
someone has to helm the hounds
be the master of bloodshed
suicide dead or alive
when demons rise
and i think of the insomnia
souls nightmared by hazard
horror lost hope
and the monsters that hatched
and slithered rope tricks
to mangoes pineapples
and hog plums
yet how good
to bite the sinful fruit
to feel the thunder of a storm
the cosiness of chintzy-chintzy
chinwags and muffled naughtiness
secreted beneath blankets
amid the cramped inconveniences
of smells and belly rumbles
and the weather speaks gales
blowing from the north
as on the day he reached
a small homestead
somewhere in belgium
a one room
one door where a woman hung
from a knife through the throat
her mammaries and genitalia
ripped from her red
and her daughter
of a few million breaths
swung in the chilled air
from a meathook in a beam
while a sepia'd loved one
stood by and smiled
and i think of the propaganda
the espionage and intrigue
the red herrings meticulously cast
for the irony of a pretend war
enduring the stark misery
but lies can be a bonus
in extreme circumstances
to assuage the inevitable hurricane
in the apple of its eye
and how good it is
to feel the skin and wetness
of gooseflesh giggling
to laugh a moment's relief
as father's platoon
in a lull from fear and sunshine
as they smoked and dusted their boots
through the ardenne forest
hundreds of them
when a whistle shellshocked the blood
pumping from the neck of
a glaswegian from peckham
who loved his potatoes greasy
after several headless footfalls
they never found his looks
and dad hungered how good
another chance of roast pork
and a handshake would be
and i think of the logistics
that beggars belief
and how much better equipped
to manage death than life
with all the fields that have harvested
bones of memories
blood rusted metal
medals hung from heroes
and arseholes alike
and i think of the what ifs
had little maria schicklgruber
drowned in a viennese lake
had hitler a bullet with his name
in world war one
the lives that would have had
their due iceblink of this gift
this diamond moment
to experience sunups
of love as i've been blessed
because an austrian megalomaniac
choreographed my parents footsteps
affecting and effecting your life
with my words
Long poem by
Sheri Fresonke Harper | Details |
(after Edgar Allan Poe's "The Angel of the Odd")
It was a tidy day and I sat, replete, under vellux blankets.
Sadly, my tea was weak, the bottle of cinnamon whiskey
tantalizingly low, and my feet swelling above my anklets.
So I was snippy one might say, zippy, flipping with zee...
from one screen to the next, oops, forgot! Poor Usain Bolt!
Yes, I took it out upon him. Dressed him first in bouncy hearts
cruel, I admit, and then purposefully fried him, let him float,
banged him, tripped him, let the sloth dine, and let out a fart.
Crude, I admit. Let's blame it on the tea, shall we? "I say not."
I sat up. Who had spoken to little old me, an old lady too weak
for any great villian with a booming voice. I blew out my snot,
found my glasses and good grief! The speaker made of teak.
Pseudo teak, my stereo a bit old. But leaning against the wall
fruity-kins wearing leotards when he should not, the belly
like a spiked watermelon. I admit I considered a sip at neck gall
but got turned off by papaya thighs, arms turned banana jelly.
Who are you, I squeaked, smushing low to hide like a flea.
"Zolar, the Inet God. Say, I wonder, are you a high roller?"
No, no, said I. No bingo, no slots, no high stake poker, just see...
"See? I see far too well. You let my buddy Usain go polar."
Tee hee. Just, um, fun and games. How about a nice slushy?
Yes, I admit it. With such as he, I couldn't help but imagine
giving a blender whirr, a smash and splash, sort of plushy.
With glee whee, off went vellux and I set to the kitchen.
The rum was old and watery, the vodka scummy at collar
and all went crash. Imagine the horror if you will, foot rot
in my fine spirits? My hoover sucked it without bother
and when I examined residue, found crumbs, hairs and a dot
of mushy raisins. So I googled on my phone with askance
how purify spirits? Zolar suggested kindly, "Try a colander."
A genius of the mash, a nonpariel of the objective chance.
My mind turned to such grater things I made my first blunder.
Who'd believe a fresh market reject could move with alacrity
I swung a hammer, missed his head, slipped on the slick floor.
The recoil hit my head, and I bled red vintage, singing a ditty,
Oh me, oh my. I'm gonna cry, while Zolar went out the door.
Not leaving my just desserts to chance, I slipped and slithered
rubbed my foot rot, and hopped after him, butcher knife in hand.
A beep from my iPhone and away he dodged, while I dithered
leading me, up, up and out to where it rained to beat the band.
It hit me then, just get close enough to hug Zolar, then push
he must have read my mind because he darted and I flew
head over heels, but thankfully over a branch like a lush
who did okay on the acrobatic bars, hair tangling in dew
covered maple leaves and my dismount worthy of a ten.
I mucked toward my door, my bare feet covered with mud
I opened the door, except it was locked, no window open.
I checked my pockets, found a lighter, snapped, a dud.
No phone, can you imagine? Even Usain Bolt wouldn't recover
such blasphemy as rain, muck, and maniac fruit without zen.
I now had an axe to grind and a green house to uncover.
My thirst now absurd, my mind stuck on might have been
I raged, thrashed through cabinets, seeking a bottle once stored
and found it. Amen. I uncapped it, took a deep swallow
Hot. Hot, hot! Immediately I upchucked, help me I implored
to the God of the Inet, Oh Zolar, call 911, don't let me wallow
It's cold, wet, dark and mucky, and here I'm all upchucky
I pounded on doors, they'd open, snap a flash then close
oh, woe, woe. I clutched my head, my throat, I'm ever so unlucky
to wish to slip into slushy and end up posted before repose.
A siren in the night grew and grew, then flashed beside me
a voice said, "Ma'am? Can you hold it right there, put your hands
overhead?" Sure, but bladder being bad I couldn't stop my wee wee
from dribbling down my leg, then my feet slipped unplanned.
That's how the news pictured me, along with neighborhood
postings, feet all asply, a phew of urine and of whiskey,
my hair filled with leaves, eyes black and blue, and would
you believe it? My hand rests on watermelon, me unable to flee.
I never go near the iNet, never search out or bash Usain Bolt.
The night of Zolar in mind, I even gave up cinnamon whiskey.
Because a fruit in hand is better than an axe to grind or a volt
from lightning, with tush grounded and no vellux to cover me.
Long poem by
Dylan Irvin | Details |
You can always tell by the eyes
When they’re starting to go
You’ll fall for a few of their lies
Before you begin to know
And you will just defy it
(But they know you will never go)
They’ll glide through the waters and skies
The erratic behavior will soon begin to show
Above and away the storm dies
A cold, hollow feeling in a black and white glow
And they will justify it
(But you know it will take them slow)
You’ll slowly begin to realize
Static is policing their echo
The red stitching in their burnt Eye
That will probably never unsew
And they will just deny it
(But you know they will always go)
The phantom’s days are aphotic
Ocean whispers deicide to Moon
The morning clouds aquatic
Reaching the waves with a bent spoon
Mind is lifted and neurotic
The Earth will come back to you soon
And you won’t feel so erotic
While alone in your hotel room
(Sex with the city sleepers)
Alive where Death lives
Gone where the waves go
Asleep where dreams wake
Dead where feelings die
…A light where the stars are burnt…
Bid these feelings words
The machines of waters and skies
Embody the gliding emotions
Like clouds they shape themselves and go
Write this bidding to feel
Remember the thoughts that were
Like waves they flow and fade away
Rid these words of feeling
Feel anything at all, fall…
Like wind they take and they stray
Feel these words to rid
The masks and chains of oneself
And the dark feelings that boil within
Like trees they raise themselves and grow
Ocean dreams of phantom mechanisms
The world is cold and full of ghosts
They watch as their generation swims in murk
And the funeral of social segregation will never breathe
The night mirrors reflect the soul of a poet
Only one comprehends these idiosyncratic vowels
Like waves they flow and fade away
Under the white and blue cloak
The clouds are my poet smoke
Rain is the cleansing of wicked nights
With venom pollution and spider bites
That flood my mind with a static tan
Vanished through the wire, I already am
Her clouded eyes they lock to me
I, a sight she was not meant to see
My ghastly ripped soul exposed
Our deepest feelings transposed
And I know this one’s a lie
A worn exhausted sigh
Printed from the pressed death within
Those eyes seek Life all over again
(Her flawlessness the only flaw)
(His flaws make him flawless)
Phantom is high and dark as crow
Moon showers greetings below
Ocean mirrors it’s divine glow
Cloud attempts to steal the show
Earth is screaming, we ignore it though
Mind is planted and dying to grow
Life is tired and waiting to go
Static is torn and ready to sew
Death is late and killing slow
Eye is two and one doesn’t know(Shhh!)
The flames scorching the depths of Eye
Splitting the reign of one into two
I met Satan at the gates of Hell (Phoenix)
Only to be spit back to Earth like scum
Half alive and crawling through the moor
Realization was the key to the shining door
Oh my god, I’m one. Eye am God.
The mountains between the waters and skies
Keeps dreams from reality and pulls reality from dreams
Mind faces fears of the night mirrors and reflections sleep
And the liquid light of the moon opens a gateway
Where dreams don’t sleep and strength never weakens
A world where control doesn’t slip between the seams
Of your sewn mind…
(Free yourself from the shadows of life and death)
Through cataracts in the skies
A distant moan begins to rise
Through an uncharted cloud
Of a puddle yet to be in drops
The fruit sky shrieking aloud
In a garden of iridescent crops
With blooming pollution in clad soil
Entwined in a cumulonimbus coil
Morphing into a levitated brook
With a broken and faceless rook
In a receding horizon losing it’s form
Cackling out to the tempestuous storm
Flashes of embers in skies blink
Flooding the faintly seen brink
Of the distant washed away galaxies
Pygmy slowly galloping through
Rolling clouds in the skies of aquatic blue
A delicate touch of colored waves
Painting rainbows on sea graves
Where pirate ships set sail
Through a violent pour of hail
In a limitless sky of falling streams
And an icicle ocean of drying dreams
Through cataract jets in the skies
A static ambience calms and dies…
Long poem by
Brian Johnston | Details |
You Know Who You Are!
I know that you probably know who you are...
Abusers who prey on women (or men) .
Your aberrance mostly extends to the weak,
Your generosity just serves other's pain
And, of course, their misery's your only gain.
Do not think that you'll find me turning my cheek
For doing so would just encourage your sin.
I'd rather see you in a specimen jar,
Or displayed on corkboard impaled with a pin,
Some place where your psyche has no powr' to mar.
Some say that it's likely that you were abused,
The sins of the parents passed on as it were,
God forgive me, if you're not really liable,
But your friendship's not the company I seek
God grant you don't find fellowship with the meek
And your progeny all be un-viable.
It's not that I curse you, but I would deter
Your excess on innocents already bruised,
My prayer's not for you but for those you injure,
God forgives but your deeds cannot be excused.
To see people like you removed from the earth
Would most certainly fill up my cup of mirth!
The Wages of Sin
The bush in which you hide
Reveals your cowardice,
The wall, behind which you speak,
Testifies against you,
The seed which you so blithely sow,
Grows bitter fruit that does not nourish
Or weeds that suck soil dry
So that good seed barely feeds the birds,
Does not take root,
To wet the soil.
Bad intentions blow
What good soil there is
Across the sea to waiting deserts
More deserving in Africa,
The rocks left behind,
Only bruise your feet.
‘An interesting guy I think, '
People might say on meeting you for the first time,
Oh yes, I've come to know you too well.
Thank God for the Internet,
Although there are bodies in your wake,
And stench follows you like a garbage scow
There is protection for many in distance from,
In the miles of wire, the waves of wireless
Communication, and so like a deer
Caught in the headlight of your amazing ego,
[Fashioned by the fires of Hell (like Gollum's ring)
And as empty as the devil's soul],
They stand frozen for a moment,
Throwing it off finally, the vision of their own death
Shaking their heads in wonder, ‘What just happened? '
It's like the first lesson your mother tries to teach,
‘Be careful who you choose as a friend, '
A cautionary tale for adults too.
‘Fire does burn' even when you reach adulthood,
All that sparkles is not gold, my friend,
And a ‘nom de plume' like Talvia Sprinkles,
Just one more bush the troll hides in.
Sometimes that strange feeling that you have
Is actually another human? being? peeing on your soul
The golden shower they offer, however,
Does not assuage your guilt (which is real, so what?)
You've just been sold a bill of goods,
Dr. Killdeers Magic Elixir, a not so benign fixer.
If you have been in this dark place of the soul
And saved by Satan not in fact being God,
Then rejoice my friend in God's provision
In youth or childhood, you did something good?
Do more, bear witness of your weakness to others,
Not to mortify your own flesh (God knows you're sorry)
But so that those with ears to hear (also God's gift)
Perchance will themselves not feel so alone.
Remember that half-truths strung together like pearls
Are still sh**, if you'll pardon the expression.
‘If it sounds to good to be true it isn't, '
Remember only God knows your soul,
Satan is just a very experienced guesser
And revels in our penchant to deny our own sin.
His wisdom does not serve the greater good.
Do not look for truth among the cold stones
Of the temple that once stood at Delphi either,
Or trust any oracle that does not bend his knee
To the living God, the creator of us all.
It is your life, it is your responsibility,
Don't parrot Cesar's surprised last words
As a ‘friend' slipped his knife into Cesar's heart,
‘Et tu, Brute? ' You have been warned!
Poet's Notes are listed separately because of space limitations on Poetry Soup. Sorry for the inconvenience. I hope that you will take the time to read them.
Long poem by
Brian Johnston | Details |
The ride to the country is uneventful
Except that I feel a little like
A man riding inside a cannon ball.
Yuliya's father Igor drives
I'm also up front (the honored guest)
While Yuliya, her mom, and brother
Fill the back of the small station wagon
As we hurtle along roads unfamiliar to me.
There are fewer potholes than in Leningrad
And no pedestrians to be afraid for
Though Russian drivers seem not to care
(As if car ownership sets one apart) .
Spring is a lush green here as we leave
Flatter open spaces and fields near town
And enter a more rolling terrain
Forested by trees planted for lumber
With patches that are clear cut,
Like a crowd chopped down by machine guns.
The war relics and memorials that mark our passage
Remind us that this is a road won by Russian blood
And not man's sweat alone.
We leave the main road
And the pavement narrows, then disappears.
The car vibrates to the familiar corrugations
Of soft dirt sculpted by rubber tires.
We cross the bumpy trestle of a train
In a country village with a rustic platform
That signals a return to a simpler life
For commuters or holiday travelers.
The pavement returns briefly
And we stop at a small shop.
Bread, I discover, tastes better in the country.
Soon we leave even the dirt road for a trail
More passable to people than to cars.
Small cottages pass on both sides,
Some are tightly shuttered as if asleep,
Others sport a wisp of smoke from their chimneys
Or a colorful smile of clothing
Hung on a string between trees.
But one must drive slowly
For the road is not maintained
Except by the hands of those who live here,
This rural community it seems
Has no Public Works Department.
Before I'm ready, we have stopped
And I realize we are 'home.'
I like the little house at once,
It has no desire to be what it is not.
I imagine that it is winter -
How quickly would its rooms be warmed
By the simple wood burning range.
In a scene from a favorite Russian film -
Yuliya and I step from the troika
Alone like Zhivago and Laura.
The house is piled high with snow,
The horses' breath surrounds us like a cloud.
The little stove lights quickly and
Our bodies absorb its heat like a sponge.
Content, we pour the excess on each other...
And dream that we will be safe till Spring.
A picket fence surrounds the house,
Adds value to the yard it shields.
I've always liked a picket fence,
They have unique integrity -
A stranger always can look through
And can, of course, also be seen.
Still, such a fence handles the task
Of telling others where they stand.
Igor unlocks the gate
And as we open up the house
He moves the car inside.
The cottage has been newly purchased.
Igor is happy to have found it,
Proud that it belongs to him.
Yuliya and her brother Sergei
Are less excited, their friends are far away.
The building looks sound and has two heated rooms -
A kitchen and a living / sleeping room.
A glassed in porch affords some extra space
Especially for our spring time trip.
It has electric power and lights
And yet, conveniences are few.
The only water is an outside spigot
(Located near the door)
With a bench where dishes can be washed.
Water is stored indoors in milk cans
As water only flows during certain hours.
A wood burning stove is the only heat
Though a propane burner helps with the cooking.
The yard slopes down to a corner
Where Igor has parked the car.
This is also where the outhouse
And a small shed for storage are located.
A lean-to in back of the house
Holds split wood for the stove.
An orchard and a terraced yard reveal
Another gardener has loved this place
Though many of the plants,
Fruit trees, and shrubs need care,
A weeded patch of strawberries,
New flowers, and some cultivated shrubs
Suggest the family will be good stewards.
In speaking of the previous owner
Yuliya tells me in passing that
His children do not live in Russia,
And somehow this explains his absence.
Still I think kindly of the man
And hope another garden knows his touch.
Part 1 of 2: A trip to the Russian countryside in 1990
Long poem by
Brian Johnston | Details |
Everyone’s life’s really tragic it seems,
There’s just not time friend to live all our dreams.
While you may try to keep stiff upper lip,
Gravity’s plotting to just sink your ship!
Wonder why some people’s face sports a frown?
Most of our trains never get out of town
Yes, there are those with bright lives that seem charmed
(Living in fenced fear, their houses alarmed!)
Our fullest flower’s the fruit of all breath
Blossoms revealed as harbinger of death
Our seed the key to mortality’s curse
Our blood the oil for humanity’s hearse.
Einstein’s reality always a lie*
Truth(s) we are seeking in quite short supply
Death is an area most think is real
Candidate surely for concept puerile!
When we are sure that the opposite’s true
Death’s unreality comes into view!
Credible evidence that soul exists.
Vanity skewered by what it resists.
Poetry can’t prove that man’s soul is real,
Satan’s best plot not a single soul steal,
Your darkest moment when love hides its face
God’s possibility blows up the place!
Sept. 3, 2014
* Einstein's famous quote is 'Reality is an illusion!'
If Einstein says that our reality is illusion, and the reality that we most ‘believe in’ is our death, does this not suggest that we are very likely mistaken about death being real? The soul must be real because we so strongly fear that it is not real! Ha! I love it! What I think Einstein is saying is that our senses are so limited, that if we had super eyes that responded to almost all wave-lengths of light, that the world would look completely different to us. There would be thousands of new colors perhaps that no man has ever seen before (colors are how our brain ‘sees’ different wavelengths of light). This new reality would be so much different than our present reality (and even then still not real).
I think that Einstein is also referring to how different things would look to us as we begin to approach the speed of light. When this happens the experience would be so uncommon as to make us believe that we were crazy if we did not have the training to understand what our senses were telling us.
As a final example if you photograph a distant galaxy in ultra-violet light and then again in infra-red light the image you see looks very different and yet both images are true and are photographs of the same window into space. Both photographs would be equally clear, it is just that each photo would show things that the other photo didn't. Though it is also true that both photos would show many things the same as well. Our eyes work the same way! Because we see such a small percentage of all the light that exists, because our hearing is also quite limited to frequencies from 20 to 20,000 Hertz, there is much that exists (that is real) that we cannot either see or hear and using Scientific instruments to expand our range of hearing and seeing will never be quite as good as actually seeing or hearing. For example it has recently been discovered that much of elephant conversation takes place at frequencies below 20 Hertz. We cannot hear it at all! And because such low sounds seem to come from everywhere (are non-directional) elephants can talk without giving away their location to possible predators. Wow, isn’t God’s creation by Natural Selection His most wonderful accomplishment? Creation without end!
Imagine if the only way you could ‘hear’ your baby cry was to have a light near your bed that flashed on and off when the baby was crying. Think of the information you are still missing completely. Yes, you know the baby is crying, but loud or soft, lonely or happy? Using Science to expand our senses has many of the same limitations. It is better than nothing of course. Psychological limitations also ‘blind’ us! If you are focused on a man's good qualities you see one thing, but if you are suspicious, then you may likely see him in quite another way. What we think is real, is truly an illusion 24/7. To understand that your 'reality' is an illusion is quite possibly the 'rock' upon which the possibility of all humility stands.
Long poem by
James Blubaugh | Details |
It was a beautiful October day, and the rolling hills of the Laurel Highlands were splashed with glorious autumn colors. I was pursuing ruffed grouse in the State Game Lands near Glencoe, PA.
The weather was pleasant, not requiring a heavy, cumbersome coat. A flannel shirt topped by a hunting vest felt just right. The vest was heavy with three-inch twenty gauge shells stuffed in the elastic slots. My reliable Red Wing boots, blue jeans and a camouflage Jones-style cap completed the outfit.
Balanced delicately in my hands was my Ithaca double barrel with twenty-six inch improved cylinder and modified barrels. The absolute perfect gun for a perfect day.
One grouse bounced reassuringly in my game pocket, and there was plenty of time to bag the remaining bird to fill my daily limit.
I crested one of the ridges which descended into a partially wooded hollow before rising again to another ridge beyond. I stood resting, and embracing the scene before me. Scattered trees, locust, oak, maple, hickory and sassafras dotted the hillside. There were also areas of tall summer grass, now turned a golden brown.
In the bottom of the hollow I noticed the partial foundation of a house, crumbling from the stress of many years. Just beyond I could make out the stone outline of a barn long gone. A few old and gnarled apple trees with small fruit clinging to the nearly leafless branches stood near the foundations. The rotting corners of a picket fence spoke of gardens long ago.
The scene was pleasant to the eyes and invited me to linger a while and enjoy the simple beauty. After all, hunting is not just about bagging game.
Removing my hunting vest, I used it to cradle my shotgun. I unscrewed the cap of my Thermos and enjoyed the pungent smell of hot, black coffee. Unwrapping a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, I enjoyed a meal that could not have been duplicated by the finest restaurant in the country.
Savoring a second cup of coffee and absorbing the pristine setting, I noticed a row of markers on top of the ridge, almost hidden by briars and leaves. Six white slabs, setting at odd angles, their letters nearly worn away by years of rain, wind and snow.
I brushed aside the leaves and studied the writing. Each slab bore a name and two dates, a beginning and an ending. A man and a woman in their early thirties, and four children not yet teenagers. The ending dates for all six were within a span of two weeks in the year 1928.
Was this the family from the foundations below in the hollow? And what had taken them all so quickly and so close together? Flu? Possibly. Pneumonia from the harsh Somerset County winters? Times were tough in 1928.
As I stood looking at the little row of reminders, I wondered about their dreams and sorrows. As I stood in the silence of that midday, I could imagine the laughter of the children playing on the hillside. Had the father harvested grouse as I was doing to feed his family? How the mother must have laughed and enjoyed her young family in that beautiful hollow.
I am not ashamed to admit that I removed my cap and shed a few tears as I considered dreams unfulfilled and six lives cut down in the prime of life.
Later that afternoon, I bagged that second grouse, but it was not as rewarding as the lesson I learned that day beside the row of white markers.
That day of hunting was exciting, the beauty of nature was breath-taking, the scent of autumn was uplifting, but it was simply wonderful to be alive. I returned home, not just a day wiser, but better in every way - and oh so thankful for every blessing I had been given.
That day was nearly forty years ago and the memories are not about filling my quota of grouse, but about six white markers and life itself.
Then again, perhaps it was only yesterday that I was touched by that secluded hollow and six people I will never know, but who gave me one of the most wonderful gifts I have ever received.