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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 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 poem by David William Breidenthal | Details |

Echo Your Empathy

You’re my star – I set fire to our firey rose Bouquet of stars – I hand to you – We’re opposites, like poetry and prose You came out of the blue, I’m left without a clue! It all came so soon – the package of surprises All along, you were echoing your leave Anybody out there to help me? Hello? I can’t hear your echo Your echo is what keeps me on my feet I’m a believer…I’m getting discreet Around and round and round, We’re going round in circles We’re doing freestyle singing Swinging side by side…back and forth, Our fate keeps on swinging… Who will fill in the gaps? I never saw the light in goodbye… I’m caving in my ruins…I’m caving in my ruins I admit it – I can’t live without you, Lingering around me like a fly, enchanted by the lightbulb What am I supposed to do with this work of art? I’ve stumbled upon you and fell in love with you But, I’m lost in paradise – dropping levels – there’s mistakes we can’t undo There’s no perfect peace with the world falling at the seams, kissing the debris, Screwing with my head…you won’t ever see a trace of tears on my face – I’m left to be All alone, all along…but without you, I’m stranded in the wilderness… Giving me night-scares instead of dreams of reality I can’t hear your echo of empathy…I can hear chaos unraveling; I can hear the commotion of the ocean Falling victim to bittersweet emotion I can’t hear your echo of empathy…I can barely make out any hope in store I miss living my dream! I keep tell you that! – and all you do is ignore I’m on edge and I get upset and cry my eyes out No one can love this monster, but I won’t accept such foolishness I strayed from my heart’s passion and I got all the symptoms Of a guy with a solitary, silver soul….you stole my dignity My pride, my surreal sensations, my innocence Don’t dismiss me as nonsense Echo your empathy… I’m brokenhearted, but I won’t reveal it to you – you never felt for me So, don’t even bother to ask me why I’m crying? ’Cause I’ll never give you the full truth Almost all my life, I’ve been searching for the woman I love…and to find my heart’s tune But, love didn’t seem like enough – good luck will shower upon me soon You and I will view the astounding full moon… Find your way out of the maze of bewilderment I’m treading this rocky road with or without you – I can’t stand tall You are playing games with me, nourishing my resentment I’m swimming home – underneath the surface, feeling oh so blue Feeling the rejection…the jaded corruption banging at my skull I heard you screaming out my name Are you echoing your praise to me? Are you covering up my shame? Are you echoing my empathy? Echo your empathy… my delightful dolphin in the sea I’m screaming at the top of my lungs When I close my eyes, everything seems so fine Is my love good enough for you? I can hear you echo your empathy My voice is fading and dying out, but you’re my baby… My darling angelic friend of mine Our friendship mixed with love is as succulent as wine Listen to my echoes of my appreciation towards you I could make out your echo of empathy Echo your empathy of ecstasy! Give me your all…whisper in my ears I’ve been lost for many-a-years Come out of your black hole and resuce from my demise Echo your empathy upon me if can be so kind and wise Pursue our zealous goals and we’ll echo our triumph I don’t wanna bleed without you I don’t wanna breathe without you I wanna see your face, glistening with grace Gleaming with grace and I feel like I can beat this race I feel so alive for the first time in a lifetime For the first time in forever, you make me feel happy and oh so sublime Our exaltation is beyond amazing… I can’t get yah out of my head You’re my lullaby – I set fire to the pitch-black sky and I ascend so wondrously The firey rose – I give it to you – it’s a gift that’s articulate and almost flawless You blossomed like a precious rose in the Garden of Glory We’re opposites, like black and white, but you and I will never kiss the abyss Echo your empathy…my munificent maid! You’ve grown so much, miss! I can’t put my mind to bed…it’s racing with thoughts of you always and forever It’s racing with thoughts, blooming so true Echo your words of wisdom and hide not in shadows anymore (your hope’s a blur) – Come out of your shell and stop being so insecure Echo your empathy and you’ll be part of my crew


Long poem by Carrie Richards | Details |

Red Tulips

Under a tree of wet blossoms, shimmering to life in the sun, one honey bee is circling around two burly men, who wave it off,  with childlike dramatics...arms flailing.   One of them, wearing heavy leather boots, leaves his deep imprints in the grass, still wet from yesterday's storm.  I wince, as the toe of his left boot squashes a purple pansy that is growing along the border. Oh dear, her prized flowers,....they are like her babies!  She has always had the greenest, thumb..and the prettiest yard on the block!
                                             
a white blossom                         rush hour traffic...              a crushed pansy
lands on her shoulder....          bees circle the tree            still beautiful in my palm...
a goodbye gesture                     droning with noise              lines in her face

 Both men seem irritated, and anxious to get on the road, as they stand next to the giant truck, which is parked against the curb. The shorter man, nurtures a butt of a cigarette between gloved fingers with such intensity, it's as if he were sentenced to be hanged at noon, and this was a final puff.  He inhales deeply, then, after a careless toss of the stub,  they both climb aboard, into the cab, and squeeze their husky frames into the cab, like two coiled Slinkys , ready to spring into action.   They start up the engine, and trails of cigarette smoke are left to mingle with cloud-white petals, that drift from the tree.

smoke spirals up         from a spent cigarette......    truck coughs black exhaust

two nosy neighbors     watch from dark windows.... crows gather on grapevine

The moving van,... a huge, battered dinosaur, wearing a big red proclamation, "TWO BROTHERS-VAN AND STORAGE",...  looks so out of place, parked along my street. I begin to feel it vibrate the sidewalk and it deafens our ears.  Slowly, it begins to roll, and we watch, as it lazily, lumbers down the familiar street.  It turns the corner, and disappears out of sight. I lean over to grab her hand, and she is crying  
and I find myself breaking the promise not to.

muddy truck tires....                                                                     
parallel stripes                      
follow from behind                   

I suppose it shouldn't matter to me now, but can't resist, and lean down to pick up the discarded, lifeless cigarette butt, and walk it over next door, to the trash can,  that still waits for Thursday's pick-up.  I blow my nose and dry my eyes.  It won't help her, if she sees me fall apart.

I remember the day she moved in, over twenty years ago.  
We were strangers then, ...but sisters we became.
Now it seems all those years are packaged up inside those cardboard boxes, wrapped in newsprint, taped shut, now moving on to another state,  to somewhere I don't belong.
Her husband gently clears his throat, as he patiently waits by their car,  giving her one last moment.
Her eyes glisten with tears.  Mine sting too...but I had promised I wouldn't cry...so I am biting my bottom lip. A quick hug..   "Yes...we'll write...we'll visit...we'll call!   
Soon!   I promise,.........soon!"
She hands me a box of tulip bulbs.  "These are the red ones... the ones you loved so much, something to remember me by."...  I want to plant some in the new place, but have been saving some for you too"...
"Next year when they bloom, think of me, will you? A part of me to keep you company."
She walks to her packed car, turns once more with that familiar smile, the same little wave, that she gave me on that very first morning, as she stood at her mailbox.  She jumps in next to her waiting husband. He starts the engine, and soon their car is heading down the street, that is no longer her street. Around the turn at the corner, that is no longer her corner
    Tomorrow the SOLD sign comes down.  
Perhaps a new wave, another smile, someone gathering mail ...will brighten my day.          
But today, .....I will plant some tulips.

my garden awakes                                         coffee brings comfort
from muddy slumber....                              sipped from her favorite cup ... 
 lively red tulips                                                 my cat for company




____________________________________________________________
For Deb's Contest: Spring haibun


Long Poems