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Long poem by Darryl Ashton | Details |

THE RETURN OF PETER PAN 2014

THE RETURN OF PETER PAN…2014  

And Introducing 
The arch enemy:
((Political Correctness and Health and Safety))

Ladies and Gentlemen: boys and girls. Peter Pan is set to strike again.

 
A sequel to J.M. Barrie’s classic tale will be published in the very near future, in which Tinkerbell will be replaced by a male fairy named Firefly, the Darling little children are all grown up, Neverland is blighted by pollution and Nana the dog, is sadly dead. 

Darryl Ashton has obtained this exclusive interview with Peter Pan to find out what went wrong. Peter says: “What has the world come to when someone like me is no longer allowed in children’s bedrooms? OK, so at first inspection things don’t sound too great.
I am someone who climbs secretly through children’s  bedroom windows. I have a friend called Tinkerbell who is, yes, a ‘Fairy’. The two of us tell the little Darlings’ to forget about their parents and come away with us on a big adventure to Neverland. But relax, will you! 
Looking’ back I guess my problems really began when I started planning this return trip to Britain after some 100 years. Do you know how hard it is for a guy like me to get the paper work together? By the time Childcare Agencies, Social Services and The Criminal Records Bureau had vetted me, the magic was wearing pretty thin, I can tell you.

Was I self – employed? Or were Tinkerbell and I in a VAT – registered partnership? Did I have a pilot’s licence, which met all compliance standards? Did I have the relevant Visa for tourists from Non – EU countries? Questions, questions! Don’t all these regulations get you down? Anyway, as Tinks and I soon came to discover, Britain has changed beyond all recognition in the years we have been away.
Our first discovery, much to our horror, was Wendy, and her brothers John and Michael, were some time ago taken into foster care. We learnt that their parents, who were in the habit of leaving them in the care of Nana the dog, had been stripped of access to the children.

TV crews chased Mr and Mrs Darling down the street and a police guard had to be placed outside their door to prevent vigilante gangs from attacking them. Well, that was all too much for Nana the dog who was carted off to an RSPCA hospital, where she was soon being seen by a strange Australian man with a beard and a didgeridoo, who said he could make her a star, on, Animal Hospital.  

Nana said she’d rather be put down, so after a quick call to an assisted suicide group called Dognitas, the old dear’s now pushing up the daises next to Shep in Blue Peter’s garden. Such a waste, she’d been trained by Norland, you know. 
But I don’t suppose that means much these days.

Unsurprisingly, the Darling children went rapidly down hill from there. Shunted from one foster home to another, they fell in with the wrong crowd. Before long, Michael was wearing a hoodie and worse, hanging out with Prince Harry’s lot. As for little John, without any proper father figure to look after him, he found solace in a new faith, changed his name to Sinbad, and was last heard of heading for the Afghan hills for a spiritual vacation. Which is why Wendy got back in touch with yours truly.

So with no one else left to help her, Wendy closed her eyes tight and sent a wish to her old mate Peter Pan. I must confess, when her message first popped up on my Blackberry, I winced. Is there nowhere the office can’t reach me these days? Even Neverland? So I made a few calls, and whaddya know? Hookie agreed to help me out. Yes, I know he’s a rogue and bounder who has polluted the whole of Neverland, after swapping the Jolly Roger for a fleet of turbo charged jet skis. 

Big mistake. We’d scarcely set foot in London before the anti – terrorism squad and Hookie was carted off to Belmarsh. You should have heard him shouting when they took him away! “I am Hook, one time bosom to Blackbeard. The only man to send a shiver up the wooden stump of, Long John Silver. The only consolation for the poor Captain was that the crocodile never made it through the security checks at Neverland Airport”. The other passengers heard that clock ticking in its belly and said they would not travel unless the croc was chucked off the flight.

As for Tinkerbell, no sooner had she returned to her old haunts than a gay rights group called Stonewall said it was totally unacceptable for her old name to be retained. When asked for an explanation, they just threw their eyebrows to the ceiling, sucked in their lips like lemon quarters and gasped: Firely was so much more ‘now’. They even wanted Tinks to change her gender, but we’re still negotiating on that. The Elf’s trade union is pretty sticky on that sort of alteration.

The fairy costumes had to go too, something to do with stereotyping. But when I showed Tinks her new thong, her little pilot light went out altogether, and I’m afraid no amount of Polish plumbers can get it started again. So now I’m stranded and alone, with only my shadow for company. Even Wendy has cut off contact after getting a six – figure deal to appear on a Celebrity show---get me out of here! All of this I can tell you, is incredibly upsetting.

What has happened to Britain these days? I know Neverlands not perfect, but it’s a place where time stands still – and innocence is preserved and I like it that way. Today’s inspectors and officials all say that they’re only interested in protecting children. But by imagining the worst of people they are only wrecking the very innocence they presume to defend.

As I was telling the tooth fairy the other day: “You know Gums, sometimes I wonder if childhood itself is vanishing”. And do you know what she said in reply: “Sorry Pete, I’ve gone private. If you want a consultation, you’ll have to pay up front”.
How about ‘Pay – as – you – go? Sorry Pete, it’ll Neverland!


BY
DARRYL ASHTON                                                      

                                        


Long poem by Trisha Sugarek | Details |

The Ash Can

The Ash Can  ©

I got the call on Sunday night.  I was traveling on business.  When I looked at the caller ID
 I wondered why my husband’s boss would be calling me.  I was unprepared for what
 he told me and my legs turned to water when he said that my husband was dead. 
 ‘A heart attack?  An accident?’ I asked.  ‘No’, he said, ‘John committed suicide.  
 They found him in your garage this morning.’  I heard someone screaming and 
wished that they would stop so I could hear the rest.  His voice was very far away
 and the woman just kept screaming.  ‘Shut up! Shut up!’  I need to hear.  I clapped my
 hand over my mouth when I suddenly realized it was me who was screaming.
 I don’t remember hanging up or getting on the plane. (beat)  Yes, John and I were having
 problems and we had been separated for about three months but nothing was official. 

 After thirty years of marriage I never believed that we couldn’t weather this and share 
the rest of our lives together.  This was just a phase he was going through…some sort 
of mid-life crisis.  This had to be some horrible mistake, a case of mistaken identity.  
My John would never do this, leave me like this.  (beat)  

I stumbled into our home around nine the next morning.  The house looked like a woman
 hadn’t lived there for months. Dirty dishes in the sink, groceries half put away, empty 
beer cans and a full ashtray by John’s chair.  Seeking comfort I walked over to his chair. 
 Out of the corner of my eye, I caught a glimpse of a reflection in the mirror over the
 fireplace.  Some wild looking woman with mascara smudges under her eyes and smeared
 lipstick looked out at me. I walked closer to inspect this stranger in my house.  
She looked old and used up.  Who was she?  What had life dealt her to look so worn out? 
Oh, God, it was me.  Staring out with those eyes bleeding hot, raw pain.  (beat)  I curled
 up in John’s chair and closed my eyes.  Was this all I had left of my husband?  This slightly shabby piece of furniture that still smelled of him?  How could I tell our children?  Could I bear to go into the garage?  What would I find? 
 I knew that they had taken his body away but what had they left there for me to see?  
Maybe something there would prove that this was truly a mistake.    I rose to my feet and 
walked into the kitchen and through the laundry room to the garage door. (beat)

I slowly opened it and was knocked back by the remaining stink of gas fumes.   
John’s car sat in its parking spot, the garden hose hanging from the back window like 
some obscene snake.  I gagged and pressed the button to open the garage door.  
The passenger side window was open so I could look inside without having to touch the car.  And what I saw on the seat told it all.  There was John’s cell phone, an empty bottle of Vodka and a bottle of Excedrin.  (beat)  And something else…a second cell phone…what in the world? I was only allowed five seconds of blissful denial before it all came crashing down on me.  The second phone…the secret phone that men who cheat keep to talk to their lovers.  All those protestations he offered during the time that we were apart.  ‘No, there was no one else’, ‘I just need to find myself’, ‘I don’t want a divorce’, ‘I just need some time’. ‘I love you; I’m just not in love with you.’  Lies, all lies!  How could I have been so stupid?  Then I notice a crumpled manila envelope on the floor of the car.  Anger driven, I opened the door and picked up the envelope and the two cell phones and went back into the house.  Sitting in John’s chair once again, I smoothed out the envelope and read what was written there.  
‘Ricky, tell Sherry I love her. Tell Sherry I can’t live without her.  Tell Sherry not to cry
 for me. Sherry, I’ll love you forever. I’m sorry.....John-Boy.’  Who the hell was Sherry? 
 Did my husband of three decades kill himself over some tramp?  Some other woman 
whom he barely knew?  I picked up the second cell phone and scanned the history of calls.
  Where was area code 864? As I set the phone down my eye caught the partial title of 
a book lying on the rug under the table.  Picking it up, I read: ‘How To Keep A Long 
Distance Relationship Exciting and New.’  I opened it to the first few pages and found an
 inscription,  ‘To my tiny dancer, until we meet again.  Love forever, your John-Boy.’
My God, John, how could you?  How could you do this to us?  I yelled as I threw the 
book across the room; will this hellish nightmare never end? (beat)  I picked up the
 cell phone and scrolled down the history; Sherry Hoffman, Sherry Hoffman, Sherry Hoffman, Sherry Hoffman.  No other woman, huh, John? South Carolina…hence the long distance relationship…you’re such a fool, I told myself. There was voice mail saved and I listened to the most current ones.  Those messages told a story of a married woman who had a son and a new grandchild. 

Another sad, pedestrian story of a restless woman trapped in a loveless marriage but
 unwilling to leave.  The daughter-in-law apparently would not let Sherry see the child. 
 It seemed that John, in a misplaced attempt to help, called Sherry’s son to insist that
 he let Sherry see her grand-baby. 
 Only to succeed in blowing up that family.   The final message was not so sweet and 
sexy from his lover. Sherry had dumped my husband. (beat)  I didn’t know whether 
to laugh or cry.  I seemed to be trapped in a crazed, unbelievable soap opera.  But what 
is it that they say about truth being stranger than fiction?  I sighed.  John had always
 wanted to rescue anyone in trouble…even when they didn’t ask for help.   He had crossed
the line calling that woman’s son.  Oh, John, what were you thinking?,  I asked the empty
 room. Didn’t you know?  You were her dirty little secret.... (more)

(from my book, Monologues 4 Women) 





Long poem by Shadow Hamilton | Details |

A Journey Through Time final part revised

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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


Long poem by Suzette Richards | Details |

SUMMER, WINTER SOLSTICE - 2010

It was a visit long overdue by most people’s standards. I had last seen my daughter two years prior to that during a whirlwind trip which she and her fiancé had made to Cape Town. I had an unexpected financial windfall and the money was burning a hole in my pocket. On the spur of the moment, I called my daughter and asked her to source accommodation for me in London over the Christmas season. A few days later, she called me back with the news that all the hotels had been booked up, save for the Ritz. I chuckled at the idea of having to spend my entire holiday budget on just one night at the Ritz. Then reason asserted itself and we put our heads together to come up with an alternative solution. I could hear her flatmate in the background, chipping in with her penny’s worth of advice. My daughter hung up and I was feeling down in the mouth about the plans for the trip being derailed in such a fashion. Later that evening, my daughter called back with the offer that if I did not object to sleeping on the settee in the lounge, I would be most welcome to stay with them at their London flat. I gladly accepted. She is a chef at a top restaurant and I was looking forward to gourmet meals prepared by her - including the Christmas turkey.

screeching seagulls dive at sushi scraps on a plate - the urchin watches
The evening of the booked flight to London, arrived. It was an uncomfortable hot day and I showered and dressed with only minutes to spare before my friend took me to the airport to book in the statuary two hours before international flight departures. At the airport everything was in chaos. We were given the unwelcome news that our flight had been cancelled. This was the third direct flight to London which had been cancelled that week due to London experiencing the worst weather and snow since records began in 1890! We were offered alternative flights and had to stand in queues for hours in order to procure a new airline ticket. Some people became very verbose and insisted on being granted passage on other airline carriers (at the cost of our local airline carrier). I do not know whether it was due to the weather or the disappointment I was feeling, but when my turn came at last to book a new flight, I readily agreed to fly on Christmas Eve ( three days hence) to London. If I had been given time to reflect on this date, I would not have accepted it. Arriving in London on Christmas Day would have been disastrous: The tubes and other public transport would have been curtailed on Christmas Day and shops and other amenities would have been closed for the day. This I knew from previous trips to the UK over the festive season. To add insult to injury, taxis would have charged triple for cab fare and no amount of quibbling would have swayed them. I phoned my friend to collect me and when we got home, I poured a large glass of Merlot and retired on the sun lounger in the garden. It was *full moon that evening and it was almost worth missing the trip to witness its beauty. I left my bags in the hallway and retired early – after phoning my daughter and giving her an update on the status quo.
moths dart between moon flowers - lunar eclipse
Six am the following morning, I was woken up by the phone ringing. Sleepily I took the call. It was the airline inquiring whether I could get to the airport by seven am. My friend was dancing up and down in agitation and already had the car out by the time I had brushed my teeth. I offered to pay any speeding fines which she might incur during our mad dash to get to the airport on time. The flight was an additional service which was laid on to get the backlog of passengers to their desired destinations. Heathrow had given our pilots permission to proceed, hence the call to me that morning. We were a total of thirty six passengers on the Boeing 747 – it translated to two passengers per crew member. We were treated to five in flight movies which were current and could eat and drink as much as we wished to. By the time we landed in London at seven pm that evening, there was a festive spirit among us. A radio taxi (which my daughter had organised) was waiting to collect me at Heathrow airport. It was a chilly four degrees Celsius below zero and I was grateful for my leather coat and wool accessories.
steep steps to flat shut out the bitter world - a heart pounds
**************************************************************** *The December 2010 lunar eclipse occurred from 5:27 to 11:06 UTC on December 21, coinciding with the date of the December solstice. It was visible in its entirety as a total lunar eclipse in North and South America, Iceland, Ireland, Britain and northern Scandinavia. "bitter" means piercingly cold..... A term commonly used by Britishers... "flat" means apartment. The Londoners I know, refer to it as just "flat" with no adj or possessive noun or article. Please see the About section for explanations regarding the 1ST AND LAST haiku. Haibun(literally, haikai writings) is a prosi-metric literary form originating in Japan, combining prose and haiku. The range of haibun is broad and includes the autobiography, diary, essay, prose poem, short story and travel journal. ~ Wikipedia


Long poem by Joe Maverick | Details |

AN EARLY MORNINGS TALE

One morning early a Dad and his son Tom went for a walk in the country, they journeyed
through the still mist looking for flowers for the boy's Mom, but they did not see many.
Just then the foggy air began to thin as the sun climbed higher in the sky “look” cried the lad
pointing! There through some old white wooden gates were lots of flowers in the
garden just behind them. “Let’s get some for Mothers Day, Dad” said the boy,’ “hold on” said
his Dad, “first we must ask whoever lives in the house up there”, as they thought about that,
they seemed to hear a sad sighing sound. The Dad looked down and saw a pushed over
mushroom where he thought it came from, so they knelt down to hear properly. He straightened
the mushroom up with a toothpick which he pulled from his pocket. That’s when they saw a
small person shivering in fear hiding in the grass near the mushroom; “don't be frightened little
girl” said the Dad “we do not mean you harm”.. a very high voice answered them saying
“I thought you were the old witch”, “the old witch”, repeated the Dad and boy in questioning
tones, “yes” said the small girl, “we are Dymwellian folk,  we live in the woods and gardens in
peace, when the weather is good we like to sleep under the mushrooms when they grow but
there is an old woman who has come down and torn up all our spring roofs, it has happened
twice just lately and we don't feel safe”. “Now, do you know where this old lady comes
from? ” said Tom’s Dad.

The tiny person pointed to the old house faintly seen at the top of a twisty path that led up
from behind the white gates. “Did you say we, meaning there are more of your type of

people?” said Tom “Yes” said the Dymwellian girl person “if you promise not to harm us. “Yes
I will call them forth,” “Oh, we would not hurt you” said Tom and his Dad together, just then
she spoke some words in her high pitched voice and motioned with her hand; there was a
soft rustling in the undergrowth and soon she was joined by six other like her; two girls and
four little men. ‘" We were going up the path to ask if we could pick some flowers, “Oh we
don't think it wise” said the little people who repeated that they thought the old woman
to be a very wicked witch; as why else would anyone want to destroy their mushroom roofs?
“Well” said Toms Dad “I think we shall go up there and see about this situation! I don't like
seeing such nice folk as you deprived of their shelters,”  so leaving the little people, Tom and
his Dad started up the winding path; after a long walk they stopped in front of the house
door. It was a very old house and the door shone plum red. Tom’s Dad reached out and
taking hold of the brass knocker banged it twice; after a bit they heard footsteps and the
door opened a crack there was what appeared to be an old lady peering out at them “What
do you want?” she asked in a wary voice, “Oh we have come to see if you are a wicked
witch” Tom blurted out all of a sudden!!  When she heard that the old lady looked most 
shocked.’ “My, Oh my” she said... Just like that.! “What ever gave you that idea?”  So they
told her of their journey to gather flowers, and the plight of the Dymwellian folk who were living at the bottom of her garden,
 as
she listened her eyes began to fill with big tears, which she wiped away on her large white
pinafore. “Oh I do feel sad” she said, “you had better sit down on the those seats”.  And she
motioned to a  table and chairs to one side of the door. “I shall be back soon” she announced,
then with a bustling move she disappeared; well she didn't just disappear into the air! but
went back into her house I mean.  After a bit she returned with a maid and they both held
trays of the most delicious fare of honeyed tea, cherry cake and the like, then she
introduced herself; her name was Alice, which was a nice name Tom thought, and wondered
how they could have thought her a witch. “Now” said Alice “I have not lived here long and I
was merely picking those large mushrooms for a stew, I had no idea I had such neighbours
at all.” “You shall have to introduce me.! You go ahead and tell them it is safe and you may
pick a large bunch of flowers for Mothers Day. “We shall not be long.” Tom and his Dad said.
They went quickly back to the little people who stood in a rather bedraggled group near the
gatepost, once Tom and his dad had told them of the old lady’s response they were happier
but Tom and his dads knees got wet from kneeling in the grass, so the little folk decided it
would be safe enough to climb onto the gate so they could all understand each other better.
Just then Alice came along accompanied by a man dressed in country garb; the little people’s
spokesperson was the girl who introduced herself as Alfrisia. Alice told her if they did not
mind, her woodsman would be willing to make sturdy wooden mushrooms for them to use
when they made visits, that way Alice could enjoy mushrooms and know she was not causing
them hardship. The little people were overjoyed at this and apologised for telling Tom and his
Dad she was a wicked witch in the first place, then they all helped pick a large bunch of flowers for
Mothers Day and Tom and his Dad set off home to tell Mom all about their adventure!

©Joe Maverick 5-11-13


Long poem by William J. Jr. Atfield | Details |

Beginnings Endings

Beginnings – Endings

Out of the darkest reaches of time and space
came molten minerals, gasses, rocks, comets
– life traversing aeons, in suspended animation
across millions of light years, billions of desolate miles
creating unseen universe after universe,
creating unseen solar system after solar system.

Past galaxies, black holes, quasars, supernovas,
planets with their moon / moons orbiting.
Time and space expanding, along side, ride
asteroids, meteors, comets and star dust.
Star dust, travelling in time and space
follows a subconscious wave, a coarse

that has taken them – particles of life –
into this little blue planet and all that inhabit.
A fight for life, in the heat of battles with the gods,
was won, the gods kicked our ass into the prefect place
as star dust, eggs, came crashing down
their shells, shattered, melted away, as they

entered this little blue planets, once gray, atmosphere.
Upon entering, having contact with Mother Natures furry,
found their way into Mother Natures, pot of stew,
within which they grew, divided and conquered,
after millions and millions of years of evolution,
disasters, mutations, genetic manipulations

that brought out of the darkness a metamorphous
and their core essence, the yolk separated.
Separated into millions of microorganism, atoms,
millions of diverse cells, that in corporation, became all,
all that we thought we have known about life on this planet.
Until one fine day the gods finally got it right

and from the primordial – chicken gumbo – soup
we animate cells climbed, and the inanimate cells
lay in stone and other lifeless – in our view -  lives
as we evolved arms, legs, hands, feet – animal magnetism.
On days – every thirty six hundred years –
gods were at their closest point to the slaves they created.

They would come and tweak our genes until no longer
homo Neanderthal, ruled, no longer Cro-Magnon ruled,
the gods finally got it right and homo sapiens rule !!!
After all, we were created in the likeness of the gods
and did not the gods rule, and now god rules.
The gods sent their sons to investigate the progress

of what they had thrown onto this once barren rock
– our little blue planet – observe and obtain, to create
change in this upright creature that crawled out of the seas,
- and they mated with the daughters of created man –
who, after many alterations, natural mutations and genetic
manipulations – evolved from a single cell into an exotic creature

in the oceans, to this gorgeous mammal, upright upon land
who became the forefathers of man – from Austaustralopithecus,
Africanus, Homo-Rudolfensis, Homo Erectus, Neanderthal
and finally us – Homo Sapiens - Sapiens, the children of the gods,
gods who decided our fate ( slaves for all eternity ) with their
spaced out wisdom, and in their likeness, war against each other,

conquer, kill off nations, drown legions in the red sea, nuke cities
- Sodom and Gomorrah – wiped out the Earth with a tsunami
or at least, did little to prevent it, except to give man the ark,
that floating  laboratory with its vials of genetic material, D N A.
I think I am getting carried away, being a little redundant at times,
but the show must go on so that we can see man’s journey.

That spaced out wisdom – genetically create man in our likeness,
our image, we will give the evolution of man, a jump start,
we will insert, into his D N A, the essence from our gene pool,
at our science centre ( the garden of EDEN ) then Adam, and EVE,
the prototypes for us modern man / woman – the likeness of us gods.
Enter the sons of the gods, who found such beauty in the daughter of man,

the creations of the of their heavenly fathers, and began to lay – sleep –
with them giving birth to legends, – some horror stories -, creatures,
myths, stories of good and evil that have become the legacy of man.
We – mankind – are no better than the gods, the sons of the gods
who brought us out of our animal magnetism and into consciousness.
We are like them - the gods, the sons of the gods -  as the bible

and all the following religions – Adidam, Ásatrú, Atenism, Ayyavazhi, 
Aztec religion, Bahá'í Faith, Bön, Buddhism, Cheondoism, Christianity, 
Confucianism, Discordianism, Druidism, Druze, Ancient Egyptian religion
Etruscan religion, Ancient Greece, Hermeticism.Hinduism, Islam,
Jainism, Judaism etc., etc. – as well as the Sanskrit, tell us we are.
We fight among ourselves for control, for power, for prestige,

for all that we believe is our god given right as we lay siege
to the lands, the mineral rights etc., etc., laying waste
to Mother Earth and man, all that keeps this planet alive,
in our greed, our desire to dominate, in our haste
to achieve what ?, what in the end will not help us survive.
What will we learn ?, what will we derive ?

In the final analysis, will this planet last another million years ?
Or soon be lost, leaving itself and us in a tsunami of tears
that is about to drown history, mankind and all,
as, into space, Mother Earth, her children will fall.
Then, will we see, truly hear the gods call,
will they save us ?, take us into another hall.

B. J. “A” 2 ( Bill . )
June 13th 2004


Long poem by Isaiah Zerbst | Details |

The Maid of Orleans

Reflecting in her garden sits a winsome little maid;
She holds a purple flower like the circlet that she made
And wrapped about her braids to grace her forehead like a crown;
Her thick and shining braids that are the shade of chestnut brown.
A soft and dreamy smile lifts her lips of cherry rose
As she so elegantly lifts the flower to her nose
To smell the rich and heady fragrance rising from its soul-
Upon this day in early May, her heart with joy is full.
But look! The heavens open wide, and joy is changed to fear,
For Michael the Archangel in the garden does appear,
And with him stand Saint Margaret and Saint Catharine, sent to seek
This girl of twelve, and in her frightened youthful ears to speak
Words form the Lord, of how someday, somehow, she'll have to save
Her native land, her land of France, from lying in the grave.
When in their bright angelic garb these saints to heav'n returned,
She knew they had been sent from God, her heart within her burned
With strong desire, with heaven's fire, to do her Father's will;
Her heart beats hard, while all around is silent, calm and still.

The years pass by, now seventeen, her hour is fully come,
And what is now but distant fancy, dull and throbbing hum
Will be her life, her joy, her pain; her darkness or her light:
For God and country, king and freedom, must, she must needs fight.
The chains of England must be broken, young prince Charles crowned:
A source of hope, of inspiration must for France be found;
For civil war rakes raging claws through weary, hopeless men,
Who fight and die, and sacrifice, and lose their homes again;
Their gardens, flocks and herds, and treasures, all are swept away:
With nothing left but life itself, and naught to do but pray.

God heard their prayer and sent her there for their deliverance,
To lead them on to victory through every circumstance
Of treachery or deviltry that loomed on every side.
Urged on by all the saints above and martyrs who had died,
She bound her armor to her body, helmet to her head;
A troop of eager soldiers to the Orleans siege she led.
Without a fear she faced the battle, banner held up high;
It filled each fainting heart with spirit, waving in the sky:
Unfailing, never falling, always standing at the fore,
And filling every weary soul with courage to the core.
Though wounded by an arrow striking close beside her heart,
She still pressed on to victory, she played her vital part.
The Maid of Orleans did her best, she held back not at all,
But risked her life at every turn to heed her heav'nly call;
She fought and bled and braved the beast until her king was crowned,
And even then she carried on, she traveled all around:
Each city gained broke off the chains of power-hungry kings,
Who killed to gain another's land, his citizens and things.

Alas! She met her fate at hands that should have helped her cause;
The countrymen she battled sold her to be judged by laws
And men that all disfavored her, yet still she firmly stood,
Proud head held high, two gleaming eyes; she answered best she could
Each twisted question meant to trap her clear but simple mind:
With wit and art she answered each; they really could not find
A cause for death, but death must be for such an enemy
The fate; who sees such visions full of vile heresy,
Of saints and angels revelating mortals with God's plan.
They also charged her with the sin of dressing like a man,
But it was of necessity she donned a soldier's guise;
For all throughout the war-torn realm roamed pairs of hateful eyes
Who did not heed a woman's cries, but did what pleased them best:
They killed or maimed or stained for life from eastern France to west.

So thus it is, not twenty years, they chain her to a stake-
The final chain that no amount of bravery can break.
Within her dress, hugged to her chest, she tucks a wooden cross;
The symbol of the Son of God, who faced such early loss
Of life, and like her was betrayed and mocked and led to die
Without a cause, without a crime, without a reason why.
Ten thousand people press around; she feels the burning heat,
As flames grow hotter, ever hotter- licking at her feet:
But on one thing and one thing only both her eyes are fixed;
Upon the figure held before her- on the crucifix.
And she is thinking of a time that seems so long ago,
When as a girl she used to sit and watch her garden grow;
She'd pick the purple petaled flowers, braid them in her hair;
Her life was simple, pure, and sweet, she hadn't any care
Until Saint Michael gave her calling to her way back then.
But if she had another life, she'd do it all again,
For God and country, king and freedom she could die this death;
And so it was that thus she died, and with her final breath
Her soul and body parted ways, and while her body burned,
Her soul went on to realms unknown, her soul to heav'n returned
Into the hands of He who made her, to the arms of Christ the Lord;
Who made for her a better body, more than just restored.
Here ends the troubles of this maiden, gone are jail cells dark:
Forever live the Maid of Orleans, known as Joan of Arc.



{Written by Isaiah Zerbst. For the first time published on October the 13th, 2014.}


Long poem by Terry Trainor | Details |

A Moment of Hope The Invisible Man 30

Sometimes I have the courage to think of the things that made me what I am today,
My memory takes me back to terrible things far away far off into my bitter past,
My mind like a maze of dirty black alleys that smell of waste, loss and disgust,
The losses, the drink ripped away, not happy until it was all gone respect as well.

Invisible thinks of a garden where roses clustered with lilies scent on the breeze,
Bees found stores of honey in the petals of a thousand and one different flowers,
Lovers walked hand in hand along its winding path a beautiful dream of the man,
Bright with the embroidery of nature where children played in new myrtle flowers,

As Invisible thinks of this garden it is neglected but flowers can grow with weeds,
It could put a smile upon his face, a face that had never known any joy recently,
He hopes a gardener can covert this garden get rid of ruined waste, back into Eden,
Tending all the beautiful flowers that spring up with the weeds and smell gladness.

If he helped the gardener in his quest a hand might hold his and guide him through,
Maybe a hand would go around his waist to support him as well as guide his hand,
Dare he wish that the guiding hand and the support would be his angel from heaven,
A dear person to help him clear his garden and walk down the winding path as lovers.

An angel that would smile at him maybe hold his hand and squeeze it so very gently,
Would the angel talk to him and tell him that one day they would be together again,
Her beautiful grace shining warmly as she looks up to him, to her he is her hero,
Not a drunken mess that cannot cope, not a dirty vagrant, but her knight her love.

The tenderness of this beautiful scene in his poisoned mind became real he smiled,
He grinned as she sat down next to him as close a she could get then wriggled closer,
Warmth from her body not only warmed him but gave hope this what he has waited for,
She whispered sweetly she loved him and would be waiting for him and they kissed.

Invisible woke with a start and was she not by his side, was she ever with him,
A dream another heart wrenching let down and how could he have dreamed the dream,
It was so real he still felt the warmth, the impression of her hand holding his,
But it must have been a dream his own mind conspired to deliver the hardest blow.


Lost in a grief so deep, his loneliness complete he talks to Sam his imaginary friend.

These days get worse Sam they really do please help me,
I need to change but I need my drink more what can I do,
But I need to change so desperately Sam can you help?
My world has cracked and I've fallen into the crack,
But what I don't understand Sam that I was once good,
If I had any courage Sam I would be laying in my coffin,
Why does life drag you along with it I don't want to go,
Just a bit of icing on my cake Sam it is freezing cold,
Did you know this is where I was brought up my friend,
Did you know that most of the people that walk past I knew,
Sam! I know many of there people but they don't know me,
Why do they all walk past I wish somebody would help,
Maybe when I have drunk more cider I might feel better Sam,
I can remember being happy but not what being happy is like,

As Invisible sits drinking shoppers give him a wide berth and they look at him with hate.

These people Sam they look at me as if I have hurt them,
The people they are not our sort of people they hate me,
Has the world changed like I have but in opposite ways,
My life is full of sorrow drunkenness and dreams Sam,
Old sorrows wont go away new sorrows should take over,
So we have to face both the old and the new that's bad,
At night I try to close my drunken eyes it all returns,
Sam is that the same as you can you close your eyes,
Can you remember the valleys Sam the ones we used to play,
When we ran about all day Sam in the sun rolling in grass,
The old stream that twisted and turned, it had lost its way,
Floating lolly sticks watching them bounce away on ripples,
Buying bangers in November and throwing them into the water,
What I wouldn't do to go back for just a couple of hours Sam,
Just to feel the innocence and try to bring it back to now,
To enjoy what there is to enjoy and maybe get better Sam,
But that will never happen Sam we are lost on an island,
A well populated island but an island all the same Sam,
People are not like ships they don't bother to rescue people,
They just walk around or just walk away all the nice ones gone,
I remember my school Sam it's now been knocked down and left,
It has all gone, all gone no primroses in spring or bluebells,
Do you remember Sam the bluebells used to nod in the wind,
But they have all been built on, whats the use in talking,
Nothing changes from bad to good Sam remember that, eh Sam,

Still drinking his cider tears well into his eyes his nose runs and begins to quietly
to sob. He sits on the shopping parade seat, shaking as he sobs. His throat has a lump
in it so he stops talking to Sam. Invisible sinks his wet face into his overcoat
hides his misery from the people that walk past he just sat there lost and confused. His
greatest sadness an angel paid a visit to the maze of dirty black alleys that smell of waste,
loss and disgust,


Long poem by Broken Wings | Details |

La Collection

~^~ Dawn Walking in the dawn, in the forest loud with sound; Hear the birds sing in the trees! Listen to the wind, see the stream flowing free; Touch a leaf so green, dew wet! Do you hear it now, the sound of nature, the song; A song so sweet, magical Choka x3 Written April 23, 2009 ~~ Leaves Colourful leaves in piles, luminous colours for miles and miles. Burgundy, orange hovering, the trees slowly relinquishing, surrendering. A cool breeze makes them dance, some quiet and calm, some leap and prance. The Autumn sky so changing, clouds moving, billowing, shifting, expanding. And in one blustering wind, piles empty where once colourful leaves had been. Sun touches the leaves of a tree, Like a stained glass window scene, to see. Rhyme Written October 15, 2008 ~~ gliding deep clear sparkling snow diamond like snowflakes falling horse swiftly gliding Haiku Written October 28, 2008 ~~ my little garden plant unfurl your leaf send your root deep deep deep tis spring tis spring now Haiku Written April 23, 2009 ~~ Cluttered Dresser Ornate mirror Butterfly hair clip Deep purple antique necklace Doll, of my childhood Pearls, old and yellowed with time Pink glass vase with wilted roses Family pictures Mom's favourite earrings Hairbrush Scented candle, burning List Written November 5, 2008 ~~ On Bent Knees Prayer books waiting at the door, polished pews and stone cold floors. Specks of dust glitter in the light, half forgotten dreams still burn bright. Stained glass windows cast a glow, on bent knees this day my prayers flow. Couplet Written February 2, 2009 ~~ The Book Exploring the city on a rainy afternoon, I happened upon, Ye Olde Book Store; Opening the door, chimes sang out, The store dusty, small and amazing. To the ceiling books and rows of books, The shop keeper, an elderly man, nods; I walk quietly, I feel that I am in church, Alone, I am in this place of books. So many to touch, but one beckons me, Taking it in my hands, I brush off the dust; Opening the book, it seems to me so interesting, I purchase it of course for a small price. Finding a café close by, I settle in to read, The words on the cover seem to be engraved; A collection of poetry by the great poets of all time, Page after page, tattered, yellowed with age. Verse Written April 23, 2009 ~~ The Wind Standing on a sea cliff with salt on my lips, Holding out my hands to the heavens above; Moving past me, a roaring wind, blows my raven hair, Breathing in the sweetness, it whispers my name, Tangled with the crashing waves, the birds soaring, the clouds rolling. Verse Written March 13, 2009 ~~ O, The Glistening Tears You come in the light of day, Through the ornate cemetery gates you come; Down the lonely long road, Past the headstones, row on row on row. O, the glistening tears. With a broken weeping heat, You come, for us your family buried here; What a cruel destiny and cruel fate, Such love that even death cannot destroy. O, the glistening tears. And when the seasons change, And fall winds blow over us resting here; And when winter frost is in the air, And we lay beneath the pure white snow, O, the glistening tears. And when spring comes and flowers grow, You come in the light of day, you come, you come; For us your family buried here, Souls connected by bonds that even death cannot end. Verse Written February 8, 2009 ~~ The Memory Of You Mom, today I saw a girl with her Mom They were so happy laughing and talking Together, mother and daughter, friends I wondered if the girl realized My heart was filled with envy and pain I have so many things to tell you Happy things, sad things, just things Things only a mother would understand Tears came to my eyes as I watched God must have needed a special angel To separate the puzzle that was you and me The pieces that fit so well together Mom, our love is an endless river It will go on and on and on and never end God took you from me, it was your destiny I know nothing could keep you here Our parting words, I love you so much Your answer and I love you my daughter God took you in the dawn but he left me a gift A precious gift, the memory of you Verse Written February 8, 2009 ~^~


Long poem by Keith Bickerstaffe | Details |

Obsession


...inspired by 'Portrait Of A Lady' by T.S. Eliot


On winter days the view outside is nebulous at best,
within, the furniture is as it always was, and I am waiting,
waiting for a glimpse of you to silence my equivocating.
Somber is my attitude, the light is dim, curtains at rest,
as dust mites dance, the clock ticks unobtrusively,
marking time, the chamber maids make ready for my guest,
and dust the tables, clean the silver, place the flowers perfectly.
You return from 'La Boheme,' affected by the tragedy, 
emboldened by Puccini's art, transfiguring his sadness
to an everlasting theme of hope eternal, with no misery.
A small group of confederates who seize the meaning clearly,
examine his conceptions with a true and honest face,
only those who can conceptualize his grace.
And we are bereft of conversation.
The curtain falls between our faces,
we are left with little else to say.
Gone are common talk, and airs and graces,
walls have grown, and bars along the way.
Your friends have grown in stature, tried and true,
reflecting what you feel within your soul,
and you must follow them and share their view,
as long as it will bring you to your goal.
Friendship is a bond that can't be broken,
even though you dally with your heart,
you cannot spring the lock, that sacred token,
that keeps your deepest feelings true to art.
Your friends are pure disciples of your creed,
they will legitimize your need
to pave your way to conquer and succeed.

Within the mellow of the violins,
the sweetness of the celli and the horns,
I hear a tattoo beating all alone,
the tympani begin to pound 
a loud crescendo of their own.
I listen, there is something out of tone.
With cigarettes and sherry, unconcerned,
we wander through the garden unaware, 
take in the sights and pass without a care,
as if our similarities don't matter,
we give ourselves to nonsense, idle chatter.

Roses now are brightly blooming,
to your friends now you are calling.
I know not of what you speak,
I cannot fathom your delight.
You say: 'Try to understand my mission,
learn to trust in things unseen,
I must find what nature seeks
and fathom its eternal meaning.
Youth will never gather roses,
never see beyond the garden.'
I will stay for now, trapped in the cold.

Though I'll remember nature's wonders,
sunsets and the breath of spring,
feel the wind blow through my hair
and know the thrill of sunrise cresting.

We see the universe as dancing,
two such different creatures trancing,
we two will never understand
the private notions of the other,
even if we take each other's hand.

Coming close to your destruction
you will see the other side,
who says who has satisfied
requirements for a better life?
Friendship, if we could but find it,
yields the seeds of greater profit,
greater than the seeds of strife.

I now remain just as I ever was.

I shall take my morning walk,
communing with the birds and talking
to myself while reading Kafka,
glancing at the latest headlines.
Dear Stravinsky's 'Rite' is slighted,
(he'll return when ears are righted.)
When I smell a rose I'm prompted 
to recall a certain lady, gifted with
a new perception, I must sadly 
take exception, for the moment anyway.

The chill of morning, people yawning,
I am tired, the blush of dawning has me
feeling ill at ease, my spirit sags,
I barely reach the second floor.
'When will you return? Is Paris so much more
than you have here?' is my unanswered question.
I drag my heels to breakfast, 
listless as a lazy dog, and nibble toast,
my countenance as pallid as a ghost.

A letter would be welcomed. 
I shall miss you; there, I've said it. 
I am your friend, are you not mine? 
Tenuous and strained, two casual 
acquaintances who share so little time,
we brush elbows, like strangers passing
on a platform, sharing sidelong glances,
afraid to say hello. I watch you as you go.

Others swore we would be close,
peas in a pod, familiar.
Instead there is no warmth, not yet.
Were you to try we might combine
and nibble toast together, and take
a walk, your hand in mine, and
stammer conversation 'til we knew
there was no reason e'er to rue.
I shall sit with pleasant thoughts of you.

Desperate, I ponder on your death,
scant breath expended twixt the two of us,
and loneliness an ache too harsh to mention,
pen in hand and no one to subscribe.
I'll scarce recall the softness of your skin,
or search your heart to find what lies within.
Should I be bold, or take a gentler path?
encourage you... would I incur your wrath?
If you were to die I'd never know your truth,
and I should lose the vigour of my youth.


Long Poems