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Long poem by Mario DE PAZ | Details |

Divine Comedy, second canto

The day was going off, and the brown air
To the terrestrial animals gave rest
For their labors; and only me was there

Just ready to withstand the war at best
Both of the journey and of the torment,
Which by my mind will be rightly expressed.

O muse, o high genius, help my intent;
O mind which tried to write the things I saw
Here of  noblesse you will show the extent.

I then began: ”Poet , that guide  me and draw,
Look at my virtue if it has the power, 
Before I try the high step with no flaw.

You affirm that Silvio’s father not this hour,
While he was living, to immortal place
Just went, and was with senses free to scour.

But, if of any evil the adverse base
Favored him, accounting the high effect
Which had to come from him, it was the case

Well worthy looking to any mind perfect;
So he was of alma Rome and its domain
In the empyrean heaven father elect:

Both city and man, for real truth sustain,
Were then chosen: Rome as the saint ground
Where of Peter’s successor must remain. 

This going for praising him made it sound,
Things were achieved which allowed after then
His victory and the Pope’s mantle round.

Later on went the elected Bard just when
Had to give strength  to the true belief
Which is the principle to salvage men.

But me, why should I come? Who gives motif?
I’m not Aeneas, and nor Paul I am;
On this is mine and others’ disbelief.

Because, if to come there I do not stem,
I fear that coming will prove I’m insane
You’re sage; that I don’t reason you should pram”

And as who wants what then has to restrain
Following new thoughts with proposal change
So that all things have to begin again,

Similarly I did it in that obscure range
Because, by thinking, I rapidly succeeded
In the way which at start was to derange.

“If your words I have correctly heeded”,
Answered the shadow of that noble man,
“Your mind to dastardliness has ceded;

Which many times man hardly overran
So that diverts him from any honored deed,
As when see vicious beasts wrongly you can. 

From this alarm in order to be freed,
I’ll tell you why I came and what I heard
In the prime question to follow your need.

I was within the ones suspended herd,
When nice and blessed woman called out me, 
Such as to ask hers commands I preferred.

Much more than stars hers eyes were bright to see;
Then to talk she started gentle and low,
With angelic voice, in hers language free:

“O gracious soul from Mantua shiny glow,
Whose worldwide fame power to stand has still
And long time shall last as the world will go,

The friend of mine, and not of venture skill,
In the desert space is hardly entrapped
So that he is giving up for scare thrill;

And I fear for him to be already flapped,
That the rescue from mine might be too late,
As far of him from heavens I have kept.

Now you must go there, and with your speech straight
And giving him what needed to survive,
Help him, I will be free of anguish weight.

I am Beatrice and your step I drive;
I come from where I want be back again;
Love, making me speaking, made me revive.

When I will be in front of my Lord main
Often I shall praise to him your valid soul”
She then got silent, and I had to explain:
 
“O woman full of virtue , who is sole
To fill for human beings any empty space
Of heaven, which of  less rim has its bowl,

I like so much whatever is your trace
That obey, if it were, it would be late;
You have only to open me your case.

But tell me the reason why you took the rate
To descend down here in this dark center
From the wide site which  you dearly wait” 

“Since your knowledge wants so deep to enter,
Will tell you in brief” , she answered then,
“Why I don’t fear to bring here my mentor.

We can be afraid of things but only when
Show to be aggressive to others much;
If not, don’t fear, they cannot hurt the men. 

I am a Lord’s construction, thanks God ,such,
As your wretchedness cannot now me hurt
Nor flame of this hot burning can me touch.

Heavenly woman to tears must convert
This very hard task where you I send,
Compelling her a judgment to divert. 
 
She pleaded Lucia helpful commend
And told her: - Now your faithful man help needs 
From you, and him I warmly recommend-

Lucia, opposing any misdeeds,
Moved, and rapid came where I was
With ancient Rachele already sitting.

She told:- Beatrice, true God’s laud and  luz,
Why don’t you help the one who loved much you,
The vulgar herd so leaving for this cause?

Aren’t you hearing his painful tears undue,
Neither you see with death how hard his fight
Goes on the flood on which sea never flew?

Nobody in the world was rapid quite
To have a gain or a risk to escape
As I was, after such words I heard right,

I came down here from my blessed agape
Trusting your honest speaking good indeed
Honoring you and those who caught your shape-.

After these words to me wanted to cede
Hers shiny eyes than moved weeping with tears
Which pulled me to come with greater speed.

And I came here then following hers cares:
I took you off from facing up that beast
Which you to climb the hill impeded airs.

So: what happens? Why, why aren’t  you released,
Why such cowardice in your heart admit,
Why your courage and baldness are not pieced, 

As on three blessed women you can commit
Who care take of you in the heaven court,
And so much good  I’m talking to transmit? 

Like little flowers in the night chill fort
Are bent and closed, after white sun light,
Suddenly all open their stems are sort,

Similar I did with my tired virtue slight,
And so good boldness in my heart then came,
That I started speaking as I was all right:

“Oh indeed piteous and helpful dame!
And you that soon accepted hers request
With the true words which proffered in my name!

You have my heart with such desire stressed
So much to join you according your talk,
That my previous purpose I reassessed.

Since we have the same will, then start to walk:
You leader, you lord and you master main”.
So I told; when pace started to unlock, 

The path I entered savage and arcane.


Long poem by Brian Johnston | Details |

Growing Up, La - Part 2 - Rev 3

- - Chapter 2: Adult Responsibility (With Some Breaks) - -     

By ten years old, no weekends off, 
Or Saturday cartoons, 
Although I did have cash to spend, 
I felt my life in ruins.
I dusted cars in my dad's store, 
And cleaned its toilets too, 
I fixed truck tires as I got old, 
Not much I couldn't do.

A trip to two month summer camp, 	
I learned to shoot and sail, 
At twelve years old, a pioneer, 
Canoed explorer's trail.
Near tragedy on my return, 
My sister paralyzed, 
A late victim of polio, 
My conscience brutalized.
Felt guilty leaving her alone, 
While I frolicked and played, 
Brotherly love had been displaced, 
Her protection was waylaid.

The washers, dryers, I repaired, 
And freezers with no chill, 
Then televisions came along, 
Tube testing my new skill.
Assembling new farm implements, 
And posting parts on hand, 
My driver's license opened doors, 
‘Collected bills' firsthand.

On Sundays we would go to church, 
To hear the preacher tell, 
Because my dad was not with us, 
His soul would burn in Hell.
	
Dad's Channelled Poem-[]
[‘It's bad news when a preacher comes.
They all want stuff for free.
I have to feed my children too,
I've problems they don't see.']

Three years of summer music camps, 
In Junior High reborn, 
I played piano in dance bands, 
Took lessons on French Horn.
My French Horn teacher laughed out loud
When I walked through the door, 
‘Your lips too thick, please stick out tongue, '
Now rolling on the floor! 
‘To take your money is a crime, '
The German said to me, 
‘You've no high notes, ' ‘I know' I said, 
‘Mom loves French Horn you see.'

Most summers were our busy time, 
We all worked hard till dusk, 
My ‘tail rung through a ringer, ' (1)    la, * 
The time for ‘smart mouth' (2)    brusque.
But then the job that I loved best, 
Flat tractor tires in field, 
A chance to meet a farmer's girl, 
The country's charm revealed.

One summer worked a cattle herd, 
Two thousand cows were planned, 	
By cutting, wind-rowing (3)    the grass, 
Soon haystacks dotted land.
Dakota winters could be fierce, 
The temp forty below, 
The stacks were shelter from the wind, 
A shield from blinding snow.
We'd use a horse for round-up, la! * 
My God that was a thrill, 
Except for blisters on your ass, 
Or when you took a spill.
I had not ridden horses much, 
You're so far from the ground, 
The horse not knowing you from spit, (4)   
Disdain can be profound! '
There was no time for niceties, 
And work to do, ‘C'MON! '
If horse and you somehow part ways, 
No choice, you climb back on.

Our ranch was all on ‘Indian Res., ' (5)   
By river loop enclosed, 
In South Dakota's Lower Brule, (6)   
A twelve year lease proposed.
Land acres more that twenty thou.
Covered by native grass, 
A chance like this was very rare, 
My father could not pass.
The river's edge a solid fence, 
No barbed wire to maintain.
The nearest town two hours by road, 
Security mundane.
Our days were mostly work and sleep, 
With meals our only break, 
Except for weekend groc'ry trips, 
No chance for love's heartache.

Till I discovered farmer's girl, 
Who lived half way to town, 
Contrived a way to go to church, 
When Sunday's call came down.
The church's name not one I knew, 
The people all seemed nice, 
To escape Sunday's usual fare
Was worth most any price.
Harmonica, accordion,
Played music we could sing, 
The pastor beat foot-pedalled drum, 
We made the rafters ring! 
I told myself, ‘there's something strange, 
The music's gone too long, '
Emotion peaking and yet I
Somehow did not belong.
With music's end the sermon broke, 
The world's sure end was near, 
Time now to sanctify all sin, 
‘Repent now! God's word hear.'
For God's quite mad, this cannot stand, 
No doubt that it is prov'n
Those rockets from Canaveral 
Are shooting holes in Heav'n.
I was in shock, glued to my seat, 
The flock their garments rent, 
And I the last one in his seat, 
No sin did I lament! 
At last not knowing what to do, 
I left and went outside, 
And knew whatever happened now, 
I hadn't found my bride.

Brian Johnston
August 20, 2014

Poet’s Notes:
* When I was in the American Peace Corps in Tanzania, East Africa we had a group of 7 
surveying assistants that were always with us in the first year and that we became very 
close to. Their conversation was always sprinkled with 'la' and I thought it was kind of 
cute. Like they might say to me, 'Why don't we stop in this village for some food, la.' 
They used this word kind of like I use the word ‘OK' in casual conversation. 'You've got 
food in your teeth, la.' I really enjoyed this idiosyncratic affectation.

(1) 'tail rung through the ringer' - Early washing machines did not have a 'spin cycle.' So 
to get the excess water out of your clothing you would ring out the water from each item 
of clothing first before hanging it on a clothes line to dry completely in the sun. So the 
phrase 'tail rung through the ringer' means that you are all out of energy, and very tired. 
The energy has been squeezed out of you by your job like water rung out of newly 
washed clothing.

(2) 'smart mouth' Someone who likes to talk back to authorities, or who just complains all 
the time.

(3) 'wind-rowing' - To rake newly cut grass into long rows called 'wind-rows' that could be 
more easily picked up and bailed then by yet another machine.

(4) 'not knowing someone from spit' - To have no respect for the person at all.

(5) ‘Indian Res’ – Land that Indian’s were given official title to by the American 
government in an attempt to placate and domesticate them.

(6) ‘Lower Brule’ – A huge tract of Indian Land contained in a large meander of the 
Missouri River. Although the mouth of this loop is only one mile wide, to get from one side  
of the meander by river is over 28 miles. Lower Brule is owned by the Cherokee Indian 
Tribe.


Long poem by Mario DE PAZ | Details |

Divine Comedy translation Hell Canto XIV

Because the charity of my native place
Obliged me, the broken branches I the picked up
Them giving back him, who was to debase.

Then we finally reached where had to leap
From the second turn to third, and just where
Horrible art of justice you can seep.

To best describe new things I saw then there,
I tell that now we arrived at a site
Which any plant destroys and impair.

The painful wood is like a garland tight
Around it, like is the sad moat to it;
Here we stopped step after step nearby quite.

The space was of sand arid and thick split
Not quite so different shape from the one
Which was by Cato’s foot canceled to grit.

O God’s vengeance, how  much you ought to stun
And frighten whoever is reading now
What to my eyes then manifest was done!

Of naked souls I saw many flocks to bow
And all together wretchedly to cry,
As they were subject to a wicked law.

Some people of them supine to ground lie,
Some other sitting down fully curled up,
And other walked around with no why.

People who wandered was a larger group,
And the less ones lying to the torment,
But expressing their grief with louder weep.

Over the sandy soil, with slow descent,
Were pouring  of fire very large flaps,
As snow on mountains with no wind extent.

Like Alexander in hot lands perhaps
Of India over his army saw
Flames solid down to ground  to collapse,

So he designed pawing the soil to draw
With his arrays, so that the vapor hot 
Faster lapsed if let alone to withdraw:

So fell there the eternal fire spot;
Making sand to ignite, like the tinder
Under fire, to double the ache shot.

With no rest were waved around to hinder
The miserable hands, just side by side
To send away from self the hot cinder.

I started: “Master, who are winner wide
In all things, except with the demons tough
Who our entrance at the door before tied,

Who is that big who is careless enough
Toward fire and spiteful and grim lies,
So it look like on him fire to snuff?”

And just that one, as had way to comprise
That I was asking my duke about him,
Shouted: ”Like when alive, as dead my guise.

If Jupiter ha to remove his smith’s vim 
From which he took the lightning acute
That my last day me stroke with will grim;

Or if  is tiring others to pursuit
At Mongibello where is the smithy black,
Calling “Good Vulcan,help me, and be cute!”,

As he made at Phlegraean battle attack,
And he darted me with his strength at all: 
He couldn’t have his happy revenge back”

Then my duke shouted with his voice so tall
So tall, that never so strongly I heard:
“O Capaneus, since is not yet small

Your arrogance, you more with pain are spurred:
No torment, except your angry wrath bad,
Would certainly be to your rage concurred”.

Then turned to me, and better aspect had,
Telling: “He was one of  the seven kings
Who Thebes besieged; had and still to add

Contempt has to God, no regard brings;
But, as I told him, his despites are then
At his breast very appropriate things.

Now follow me, and careful not, again,
You put your feet in this hot and  scorched  sand;
But always keep your feet in wood as den”  

In silence passed over to reach the land
Out of the wood where is a tiny flow,
Whose reddish color  my mind still disband.

As from the Bulicame the waters go
Which women sinners then among them share,
Likely that runlet through the sand went low.

Its bottom and too both its steep banks pair
Were of stones, and the edges on the sides;
So I realized that the pass was there.

“With anything else I have shown besides,
After we entered the main door just through
Whose trespassing ever nobody chides,

You did not notice using your eyes too
Overt as it is this present river,
Which turns off all little flames not few”

Of these words my guide had been the giver;
So I begged him the dinner had to feed
After the wish he brought in me with shiver.

“In the sea midst is a place of misdeed”,
Then told me him , “which has the name of Crete,
Whose kingdom under was chaste world indeed.

There is a mount which was of pride replete
For woods and water, which Ida had as name;
Now is a desert as thing to deplete. 

Rea then chose it as cradle to acclaim
Of hers son, and she at best him to hide,
When he cried, she sound shouting overcame.

A grand old man stands up the mount inside,
Holding shoulders at Damietta town
And looks at Rome as in a mirror side.

His head of pure gold is done and crown,
Of pure silver his breast and limbs are done,
Then of copper is made to the fork down;

The part below is built of iron dun;
Except the right foot which of faience is;
And on that foot more stands, the other shun.

Each part, except the golden one, rift has
As a disruption which drips just tears’ flow
Which, gathered, drilling in that cavern does. 

Their course in this valley deep falls and throw;
Acheron, Stix and Phlegethon they form;
Then through this narrow penstock down they go,

At last, there where more drop cannot perform,
Produce Cocito, and how is that pond
You can’t see here, but you shall see as norm”.

 And I: “If this stream has to correspond
To a source like that in our world up there,
Why too in this fount we it see beyond?”.

And he: “This site is round, you are aware;
Although you already walked that much,
Even moving left, getting down to fare,

You did not yet complete the circle such;
So that, if it looks strange to you this thing,
Your face should not wonder and touch”.

And I again: “Master, where is the spring
Of Phlegeton and Lete? Of one are still,
Of other you tell it’s of this rain fling” 

“With all these questions, I admire your will,
He answered, “but the boiling water red
Should have just solved a question you made still.

Lete you shall see, not in this hole of dread,
Where souls go to wash out their pain indeed
When their sin repented  has then been shed”

Then he told: “It’s time, to move now we need
From the wood, so follow and come me back:
Road is done by borders, which let accede,

And on them hot vapor will of course lack”   


Long poem by Brian Johnston | Details |

Driving Alone Through the Sand Hills of Nebraska

My love is light (a fairy kiss?)          
               Like the pressure of sunbeams on your cheek, 
        Ineffable, and yet capable of changing lives…
		Darkening skin to a more attractive hue, 
		Pushing spaceships to distant stars (given time) , 
		Even causing cancer given sufficient lack of love for self.
        For love is not about just getting needs met by another, 
        No, love is more like a laser's coherent beam….
                For in reflecting back a portion of what is given, 
                The power of what is being created grows
                Until it can cut through the hardest steel
        And span the gulf between galaxies.

Poetry too grows through the cross-fertilization of newborn lines, 
        The lines of this poem insist that I record their birth.
 	        Each new line grabs me by the scruff of the neck, 
		       Forces me to hit the brake, grab my pen, 
		       And claim it in my family bible…
	        My only children, clamoring to be set in ink.
         As these Voyagers' pass into the present state of my art
                (Some that I barely recognize in their profligate parentage
	               Of older verse's new verse's newer verse still)          …
		               Somehow still carriers of my own genetic code.
                They press my design against the blank page
	                Flying in search of, homing on… your heart.
 
My love's intent is simply truth (do you want less?)          
	 Would you have me downplay 
	 	The warmth of our connection
                        Because it is complicated by here-to-fore
			        Unacknowledged passion, spiritual connection, 
			        And the remnants of former relationships
			        (Even those still gasping for breath) ? 
		        Or feign a lack of attachment to it's denouement
			         In a solitary attempt to feel safer? 
	 No matter can restrain the effects of gravity
		On the orbits of other bodies in its field of influence, 
		 	Gravity that binds us all in deep wells of space-time.

 Your kiss of greeting…
	After so many years of imagining such a possibility, 
	Imprinted deeper than even my memory of our first meeting, 
		Our moonlit shadows touching as we soaked naked
		In the steaming waters of a volcanic mountain spring.
	This new conjunction of souls occurred in God's clear view, 
		Without artifice or scheming on our part
			And rocked my inner core to it's depths, 
	Organizing molten currents of confused turbidity
	Into a magnetic flare of such intensity
		That iron flew to my spine
	Inspired me to finally declare my love
		To acknowledge your impact on my life…
	And after a period of gestation
		Gave birth to this poem of celebration.

 Back to Nebraskan reality and a new mystery…
	I pass an overturned car, 
		Its wheels tied by yellow police tape, 
	A metaphor for my life perhaps
		'Damaged but still salvageable.'
	The windows are broken out, 
		The occupants removed to a distant hospital somewhere
			(Hopefully arriving alive) , 
		Their odds and ends of life scattered like garbage
			On the inverted ceiling of their car.
	The explanation, perhaps, is the water still standing
		Several inches deep on the road side near the wreck? 
	A sudden orgasmic release of cloud in a desert….
		The car tops the hill to find the highway
			Buried by a lake of dimensions only God can know.
		Who would expect such a thing in Nebraska's sand hills? 

And what does it say about me finally
	That I am so drawn to distant objects, 
        That the two women given access to my heart are
		Both still tied to failed marriages
			By dark chapters I am not part of
			And innocent children who need their love? 
	And at our age where is the partner without a past? 

 Is this all that God has planned for you and me, 
	That we 'just miss' every thirty years or so? 
		I know there are times I am afraid to trust another's love, 
			Cannot even hear words of genuine affection.
		Perhaps this explains my attraction to women
			Whose availability might really be in question? 
		Maybe I'm afraid to let a real lover in? 
			Is the simple dream of love a better choice
				Than the chance of finding real love anew
				(Even love with an expiration date) ? 
		I think I'm more distrustful of my own heart's passion
			Than I am of women being unreceptive to my love.
		Do you struggle with similar feelings? 
	And is it my lot to only remember passion like this in a poem
		While you spiral away to unimagined rendezvous'? 

The coldness of space is not after-all
		The simple absence of heat…
	No, in human dimensionality it is more the absence of others…
		Others who both shine life force toward us
			And reflect our own light back to us, 
		Who collide with us physically and emotionally
			Altering our pathways forever, 
				And who crater the façade whose design
				We imagine belongs to us alone.
	The void of human space-time is a true 'black hole'
		Sporting only star death fragments of the 'Big Bang.'
 
This is all I really know…
	I treasure the memory of our 'fly-bys'
		Even if that's all they ever are.
	And if I'm lucky this joy, 
                This celebration of your existence, 
	Will continue to pour out of me in songs and verse…
		For your ears always (if I am so honored) , 
			For God's heart (as I was born to honor Him) , 
	And to the stars alone if I have only them for company.

Brian Johnston
August 2009
     
This poem, like 'A Walk Near Blunt, ' began during an actual drive from South 
Dakota to Oklahoma and then took on a life of it's own. These 'real life 
narrative' poems are part of an attempt on my part to give precedence to truth 
and content over form and rhyme. For readers with an interest in science, I 
hope you also enjoy my attempt in this and other poems to bring my love of 
Physics into the world of poetic imagery.


Long poem by Gary Bateman | Details |

Rosalia - The Evil Black Witch of the Harz, Part Seven

Rosalia - The Evil Black Witch of the Harz, Part Seven

The Final Days:  Rosalia’s Death and Destruction
In the wake of such evil, debauchery and depravity what can be said now in the case of Rosalia?

Now in her mortal form the old black witch no longer had the unspeakable power of hell-spawned evil at her instant command. In spite of the victory of the power of goodness and light and the attenuation, if not the dissolution of witchcraft in the Harz, the memory of who Rosalia was and what she had done could now begin to be eased somewhat from the minds of local people and the clergy. But the memory of Rosalia and her evil could never be forgotten.  How could it be otherwise?

After three months of confinement in the dungeon at the Burg Worlerede, a fortress castle, very near to Cloister Marten in the Harz, Rosalia was eventually tried and convicted in a special church court convened at this castle to try cases concerning witchcraft and sorcery, which were beyond the normal jurisdiction of civil courts. Monseigneur Wolfgang Augustus Hardenberg of Cloister Marten was the residing church chief judge with four priests in his assistance serving as subordinate church judges.  One civil magistrate judge from the local Harz provincial government participated, in an advisory capacity, with the five church judges in these special judicial proceedings against Rosalia.

Everyone in attendance at the witchcraft trial of Rosalia knew what the outcome would be. With that said, the testimony of her victims on public record dragged on for several weeks, to include the final interrogation and confession of witchcraft and supreme evil doings by Rosalia herself.

In her rebuttal statement to the assembled church tribunal, Rosalia actually gained some of her old fire back as she spoke to the group—in a taunting and derisive manner. Rosalia showed no remorse whatsoever for what she had done and perpetrated upon others. She still renounced the Almighty Lord God and did not ask for his mercy and forgiveness. Her love and passion for being and existence was still with her god, Lucifer, who had forsaken her at last in her hour of need during All Hallows’ Eve and the Black Witches’ Sabbath. 

As easy as it might have been at that moment to pity such a pathetic and revolting creature, Rosalia’s hurtful words in complete defiance of God and her taunting mockery and snickering at the victims of her black deeds were beyond the pale of any shred or strand of human decency.

At the conclusion of Rosalia’s rebuttal statement, Monseigneur Hardenberg announced the verdict and sentence of the special church court:

“Rosalia, Black Witch of the Harz and Purveyor of Lucifer’s Evil on this Earth, you are hereby adjudged by this special court of being guilty of the practice of Witchcraft and Sorcery, and the murder of untold numbers victims over the centuries to this present one, and for the malicious corruption of your victims’ souls as they died in torment and faced the reality and agony of eternal damnation. And your acts even against young children and babies are so unspeakable and abominable that they readily defy any iota of rational understanding in our human society here on Earth. All these actions reflect your absolute depravity and lack of regard for human life, and they defy directly the teachings of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. All of your transgressions have been entered into the final record by this assembled court.”

“As a priest and a man of the cloth, I would normally ask the Almighty Lord God to have pity on you and your soul. But you have no mortal soul since you have been in very long service to Satan himself. Once more, you have committed the ultimate sacrilege by renouncing the Almighty Lord God yourself.”

“Therefore, there can be no plea of mercy or divine forgiveness rendered for you by this court on your behalf.  Your final fate and disposition beyond the reach of this court lies ultimately with your master—Satan.”

“It is therefore the judgment of this court that you Rosalia—Black Witch of the Harz—be taken on the next morn’ at dawn to the gallows specially constructed here at Worlerede and this is where you shall be hanged by the neck until pronounced dead, and then your mortal body shall continue to hang for three days on public display, for all to see, and then your mortal body shall be burned by fire while it is still in its hanging position. Your mortal body shall burn until it disintegrates into nothing but fine burnt ashes.”

“In God’s name, this is so adjudged and it shall be done!”
 
As Monseigneur Hardenberg finished his verdict and sentencing, before Rosalia was to be bound and shackled for her departure from the court, he asked her if she had any final words for the court.

At that very moment the wily old hag became extraordinarily animated, and in a wild-eyed uncontrollable manner, jumped high into the air with an energy she had not possessed in a while and made this very provocative pronouncement to the Monseigneur and all concerned:

“Monseigneur you may have me hanged and burned into nothingness, but I shall once again triumph with Lucifer’s will and power behind me for I lay eternally in his bed and seek not Jehovah’s forgiveness and the rapture of Heaven. My Master will restore me once again and resurrect me to return and execute his evil deeds once again here on Earth. It is I who renounce you and all the people assembled in this court. I renounce what all of you stand for. I curse all of you forever, and I shall be there at the very Gates of Hell awaiting the day when I can greet all of and condemn you to eternal hell fire and damnation on my Master’s behalf. A curse of death and eternal damnation be upon you all, and all of the relatives who follow you for future generations to come!”

End of Part Seven

Gary Bateman, Copyright © All Rights Reserved, Schoeningen, Germany (September 20, 2014)


Long poem by Gary Bateman | Details |

Rosalia - The Evil Black Witch of the Harz, Part Four

Rosalia - The Evil Witch of the Harz, Part Four

Rosalia’s Date with Destiny and the Power of Light and Goodness
It is said that the Almighty Lord God works in very mysterious ways . . . 
meaning that even an all-powerful witch like Rosalia had her Achilles’ heel, and could lose her sheen of invincibility in certain instances which date back to the earliest clashes between Good and Evil at the outset of mankind.

With her perfect cover working in a local village Inn near the Brocken, Rosalia could plan, plot and scheme her witchcraft activities at will 
when meeting unsuspecting villagers and outside visitors alike—
giving her near-unlimited control in shaping the very course of events.
Fate would have it, however, that one event would challenge and alter Rosalia’s perfect cover forever . . . 

One day a young girl—named Aurelia, who was barely 15 years old,
visited local village relatives while traveling near the Brocken.
Aurelia, who was quite intelligent and mature for her age was also a 
close relative of the regional church Monseigneur, Wolfgang Augustus Hardenberg, and she was part of a traditional German catholic family. 

Aurelia was a rare child indeed, endowed with “Heavenly Eyes”
from her eternal soul at birth which gave her a unique, unusual gift 
of sensing and seeing the true nature of the men, women, and children
as they came into contact with her . . . without them realizing it. 

Aurelia, with this fantastic gift, was truly one of God’s children,
and the antithesis of Rosalia and the incarnate evil she represented.
Aurelia’s family was fully aware of God’s favor on their daughter
and all of the goodness and light she shared with them in the family.

Aurelia was also quick study; she was endowed with an unusual ability to absorb, understand and remember vast amounts of information and detail.
And while attending religious schools, she demonstrated an exceptional proclivity early on for learning and mastering classical foreign languages. 

Aurelia too was a centuries’ old soul like Rosalia, but whereas Rosalia embraced the Dark Side, and was the very manifestation of evil and debauchery; 
Aurelia embraced the Light and Goodness of the Almighty,
and was one of God’s angelic souls destined to do his bidding in the continuous titanic struggle against Lucifer and his Dark World minions;
she was truly a “Princess of the Light” and a “Precious Child of God.”   

With this in mind . . .
On visiting the local village Inn with relatives one afternoon for lunch,
Aurelia immediately felt the presence of a specter of evil and foreboding.
And this specter was, of course, none other than . . . Rosalia.
Beyond her perceptible sensing and feeling of pure evil,
Aurelia was able to make momentary visual contact with Rosalia,
and with her God-given heavenly vision glanced the true image of Rosalia,
which filled her at once with undeniable dread, fright and revulsion
at the terrible visage cast by Rosalia among her unsuspecting relatives.

Aurelia was in luck since Rosalia felt no reason to suspect her, thus paying no attention to the young girl with her relatives.

Aurelia’s God-given power shielded her from Rosalia’s attention,
at least for now . . .  
From the encounter at the village Inn, Aurelia knew that some of her relatives were already marked by the witch.

After the visit to the Inn, Aurelia immediately informed her unsuspecting parents of the evil incarnate she sensed and discovered at the Inn.

Time was fleeting and quick action would be required to corroborate this event. It was already Monday, and on the upcoming Saturday, which was All Hallows’ Eve on October 31st, Rosalia’s Coven was set to conduct The Black Witches’ Sabbath in celebration of the Devil himself. This evil Sabbath event was done twice a year with the one preceding All Hallows’ Eve occurring on April 30th on the Great Sabbath of Walpurgis Nacht.

The preparation of the Black Witches’ Sabbath would include black rituals and both human and animal sacrifices with the invocation of the Vespers’ Prayer Preparation for Black Mass, followed by a 24-hour period of preparation by the Coven for its next attack on the local villagers.

Riding horseback to the Cloister Marten in the Harz some 20 kilometers away, Aurelia’s father traveled there with two close trusted friends to inform Monseigneur Hardenberg of Aurelia’s unexpected discovery of the infamous and evil Black Witch of the Harz known as Rosalia. 

On hearing of the discovery of Rosalia and her masquerade in human form,
the Monseigneur instinctively knew that immediate action was required, 
and that the very lives of the villagers and their eternal souls were in the greatest of peril.

An immediate meeting with his council of priests at Cloister Marten was in order; there was now a chance that Rosalia and her Coven could be finally 
destroyed forever. This chance event had been a long time coming and the Monseigneur knew that they must not fail.

The Monseigneur also knew that God’s avengers must act smartly . . .
Rosalia was a virulent evil force not to be taken lightly nor underestimated.
Many priests and their parishioners had already succumbed to the Devil 
and his Dark World of eternal damnation, courtesy of Rosalia.

The Monseigneur would need Aurelia’s help in finding Rosalia’s Coven,
and he realized that he and his priests must prepare for the greatest test of their faith, as they contemplated their plan to destroy Rosalia and her spawn of evil.

The Monseigneur understood all too well that to face down Rosalia was almost the same as facing the very Devil himself.

The Monseigneur and his priests must be swift in their vengeance against Rosalia in the name of the Lord, and that a second chance may not be in the offing.

End of Part Four

Gary Bateman, Copyright © All Rights Reserved, Schoeningen, Germany (September 20, 2014)


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

Your Sanity

Stuck in place…
Free in space…
you’re insane 
I’m as sweet as sugar cane…
Whatever happened to your unique personality?
Whatever happened to your sanity? 
Has it transformed to insanity?
I like the way you make me feel
Oh, you don’t have to make it a big deal
I love the way you lie about me 
Right behind my back
I never needed you in the first place
I don’t want you back! I don’t want to see your hideous face!
You pushed me in the margins…and you threw me away
You took advantage of me as if it was another boring and laborious day!
I don’t want you back, 
So go ahead and run away with your pack!
I’m the last magazine, 
Left alone on the magazine rack
I don’t want you to see my cry a river…
Whatever happened to your sanity?
Do you see my ocean of emotion? 
Why are you sponging in melancholy?
Pray to God for forgiveness 
He’ll consider you His faithful child of serenity
I don’t want to bleed without you…
But you’re rather bittersweet 
You boast way too much – that’s just neat…
I hate the way you treat me – like B.S. literally  
You think you’re better than everyone else – 
I think otherwise, you stinging bee!
You are literally bad to the bone
Whatever happened to your sanity?
Do you understand what I’m saying? 
Do you consider my plea?
Pray to God for forgiveness 
He’ll consider you His faithful child of serenity
I’m a loner, talking to myself again, 
Walking all alone…in the streets of shame
My happiness is hardly ever shown – this feeling of rejection has no name
Feelin’ this shame without a name…
I know these feelings might seem lame,
But they’re real to me – 
I’m jaded corrupted
Am I the cause of your misfortune?
Am I a singer, singing out of tune?
I miss you, but at the same time, 
I’m happy that you’re gone
I’ve never grown out of my fears of losing you – that’s sublime!
But, it seems like I can’t move on
Move on…man…just move on with this life
Though I might be the victim of strife
Your envy and heartless comments stabs me like a knife
And you ask if I’m alright…
Good riddance, you weren’t my ecstatic delight! 
You disowned me 
You joined the pack…
You rejected me…
You never got my back
Instead, you stabbed me in the back…
Whatever happened to your sanity?
Do you even remember who I was? 
Your friend who would make your 
Heart jump with glee?
Pray to God for forgiveness 
He’ll consider you His… 
His compassionate child of jubilance
Am I of any significance? 
You are a wolf in sheep’s clothing
You will feel my loathing…
I’m gaining fruitful insight 
That you lack tremendously
Your thoughtless words 
Made me taste your envy and vanity

Whatever happened to your sanity?
 
Whatever happened to your sanity? 

What are you afraid of? 
Returning to your misery?
Pray to God for forgiveness 
He’ll accept you in His family 
We’ll all sing with merriness 
In our hearts, we’ll never let our passion 
Get in the way or our lament will stay
God is our Father and 
We need to honor Him 
And obey every single day
I’m surrounded by my enemies now….
Save me…deliver me from them, 
For they use their bullying ways
God will answer our prayer in His own time – 
It might take hours, it might take days…
Until He takes full action
But He wants us to have a cheerful heart, 
Beating vigorously with gratification 
My emotions are ganging up on me…yah see? 
Will you ever leave me be?
I’m fighting this battle for my own sake…
I will watch you suffer and slowly, but surely break
Don’t take it easy, you’re getting it the hard way
Whatever happened to your sanity?
Whatever happened to your singing, uplifting me?
Pray to God for forgiveness 
He’ll consider you His faithful child of tranquility
Tough luck, you jerk! You’re so berserk! 
You’re like a madman…
Bombing the city and doing abominable work!
 
Maybe you’ll find your courage another day
Do me a favor and unchain me free from my poverty
Maybe we’ll be in good terms 
And in the same demented boat
Whatever happened to your sanity?
Why are using uncalled for profanity?
I can relate to your eccentric insanity…
I need you to do me a quick favor and 
Pray to God for forgiveness 
He’ll consider you His faithful child of serenity
Pray to God for forgiveness 
He’ll craft His miracles of mesmerizing euphoria 
Free me from this abhorrent agony 
Keep on pressing on with your uplifting ecstasy…
You would win my heart 
If you’d be so kind to make me a root beer float
You are the opposite of gravity, 
Lifting me higher than the mountains 
That used to stare me down 
The morning will be brought back to life 
Sooner than you think
I’m not in the brink of total disaster – 
I trust you won’t break my heart 
Like you did in the past…
The past’s wicked adversaries reduced me to sorrow
IS there hope in store for Tomorrow? 
Please tell me if it’s so…or this envied grief and curiosity will grow…
You wouldn’t catch me before I sink 
I’d like to thank you – that was sarcasm
I’ll give you a wink that signifies my appreciation of having you, you little brat 
But, you and I have gone through hardships in our personal lives…
I should’ve not of trusted you, but you were as mysterious as a bat! 
You were as sneaky as a black cat! 
You are so deceptive…so corruptive…so inattentive…but I still love you 
Hey! Don’t even try to step on me over and over again like a mat!
I won’t let you stomp all over me like that! 
My faith towards You will never shrink
As long as You’re here with me…
That’s what matters most, you see?
I would like to visit you 
We’ll meet eye to eye one day with a smile on our faces – 
Not a trace of dismay is seen and we’ll share our embraces
I really don’t know what to do or say
I’m speechless, but I’m fatigued, 
So let me lay my head on Your shoulders for a while
I want Your relief to shed Your perpetual peace on me, 
Wiping away the despicable bile
Rinsing away the mixed emotions, piling on me for a while…
It seemed like a long time 
At least it’s all over – at least I don’t take pleasure in committing a crime


Long poem by Mario DE PAZ | Details |

Dante's Divine Comedy III Canto translation

“Through me you enter the city of woe
Trough me you enter the eternal pain
Through me you go to people lost below.

Justice inspired my highest factor reign;
I was created by act of divine,
Supreme wisdom and the first love as main.

Of all created things the first is mine
Unless eternal, and I eternal last.
Who enters here must any hope resign”.

These words in color of obscure contrast
I written saw on top of a big door;
So I: “Master, their meanings me harass”

And he to me, as guy with a shrewd  core
“Here you must abandon any bad mind;
Of any cowardice must die the bore.

We reached the place I told you, so remind,
Where you shall see the people full of pain
Who good of intellect have lost behind”.

And when his hand on mine put to remain
With happy face, giving consolation,
Told me deep secrets in a fashion plain.

There sighing, tears, cries of desperation
Were filling all the air empty of light,
So I had to cry with desolation.

Strange sounds, screeches with horrible insight,
Painfulness words, furious rage tones,
High and hoarse voices, and sounds to incite

Were doing much noise, which there high intones
Throughout that turbid air for endless time,
As when swirl wind moves sand and little stones.

And since I had so wrong my own head prime,
I told: “Master, what is the noise I hear?
Which is the people here bummed in such grime?”.

And he to me: “This forlorn way of here
Assume the dreary souls of those men past 
Who with no blot or laud a life had mere.

Among that evil choir are badly classed
Of angels who neither became barely rebels
Nor faithful to God, with selfishness vast.

Heaven to shun less beauty them dispels,
Nor can welcome them the deepest hell,
Since for no sinner are of glory wells”.

And I: “Master, what is  so hardly fell 
To make indeed them strongly to complain?”.
He answered: “Few words to you I will spell.

For these of death the prospect is in vain,
And their blind living is so badly low,
So that of any doom have envious brain. 

Of their renown worldwide there is no show;
Compassion and true justice them despise:
Don’t care for them, look simply and go low”.

And I, looking, saw a flag of big size
Which run whirling around at such a speed,
That looked to me to stop unworthy guise;

And back was followed by a crowd indeed
Of people, which I would never believe
That so far a large amount was death’s deed.

After who he was I reached to conceive
I saw and knew the shadow of the one
Who mean refused his great role to receive.

At once my understanding was thus done
That it was the sect of those captives here,
Not pleasing God and his enemies none.

These evil-born who had never life clear,
Had naked bodies and strongly harassed too
By blowflies and wasps which were flying near.

So doing blood was streaming their cheeks through,
Which, mixed with tears, fell to ground at their feet
Where it was picked up by pesky worms not few.

And since I looked back for a view complete,
I saw people nearby a large stream;
So I told: ”Master, you now me repeat

So that I know who are and for what theme
They have to look ready forthwith to pass,
As I descry in this light lack extreme”

And he to me: “Clear will be things at last
When our steps walking we shall bring to rest 
At the sad bank of Acheronte vast”.

With shameful eyes low looking at my chest,
Because I feared by speaking to bore him,
Silent to the river I was at best.

And came us towards of a  boat aboard
An old man, white for his ancient hair,
Shouting: “ Woe unto you, oh souls abhorred!

You have no hope to see the heaven air
I come to bring you to the other bank
In the eternal dark, warm and cold scare.

And you right there, of living souls your rank,
Divide your path from these ones who are dead”.
But when he saw I was not moving flank,

Told me: “Different ways, and ports instead
You have to reach, not here, to freely pass
A lighter vessel conveniently will lead”.

My guide to him: “Charon, don’t you harass:
So is the will up there where is the sway
To reach the will, and put no more contrasts”

After the fleecy chicks calm had to stay
To the old pilot of the livid slew,
Who flames round his eyes had to display.

But those souls, which were weary and naked too,
Forthwith turned pale and started to chatter 
When heard the meaning of words so askew.

Blasphemed God and their relatives latter,
The human beings, where, when and the seed
Of their seed pearl and of newborn scatter.

They then all joined and came compelled to cede, 
Bitterly weeping, at the wicked bank
Deserved by any man of God’s fear freed.

Charon demon, has ember’s eyes with swank,
Moving to them, is now collecting all;
With paddle beats whoever sits or sank.

As leaves which faded drop down during fall
One after the other, until the bough
Sees all his spoils fallen to ground to stall

So the wrong seeds that Adam could endow
Themselves throw from beach one by one,
His nod follow as a bird to call now.

So they above the obscure wave just run,
And before they the other bank descend
Another new swarm on this side is done.

“My dear son”, then told me the master friend,
“The wretches ones who die in God’s disgrace
From any country here come to their end;

The river crossing are ready to face,
Because divine justice now them spurs
So that their fear deep desire must displace.

Here no a good spirit ever occurs;
So, then if Charon is to complain with you,
You ought to catch well what his speech incurs”.

And when he ceased, the land obscure to view
Trembled so loud, that owing to my freight
My mind of lather still perceives the dew.

The tearful ground created a wind rate,
Which suddenly flashed a vermilion light
Winning my senses knocking down my state;

And I fell down as man who sleeps at night.


Long poem by Mario DE PAZ | Details |

Divine Comedy translation CANTO XII

Was the place where we climbing down the bank
Then arrived, alpine and, for what was there
Such as, that any eyesight would be shrank.

Similar to landslide that in side bare
Before Trento the Adige just smote,
Or for shake or as missing supports were,

That from mountain top, where had to demote,
To end plain are so steep the rocks indeed, 
That no path to any up could denote:

Likewise down that ravine one must proceed;
And on the rim of the broken abyss
Lied along of Crete the infamous weed

Who was conceived in the cow false amiss;
And when he saw us, then  himself he bit,
The way of guy on whom anger insists.

My sage toward him shouted: “Maybe it 
You think that Atene’s duke is now here,
Who up in world to death you could commit?

Go away, beast, since this is not a mere
Learner from your sister already trained
But he is to see your pains as appear”.

As a bull which sudden becomes unchained
When it already received the deathblow,
And to move is not able, but jumps strained,

Likewise the Minotaur acted then so;
And that sage then shouted: “Through passage run:
While it is furious, better you go”.

So we our path then down rapid begun
Through those heavy stones, often not stable
Under my feet, by the new weight just won.

I was thoughtful, and he: “You are able
To think about this ravine, under guard
Of that bestial wrath I could disable.

The time, you now must know at this regard,
I came down here into the lowest hell.
This fallen rock had not yet crashed down hard.

But slightly before, if I recall well,
That came over the one who the huge prey
To Dis withdrew from the supernal shell,

Everywhere the high valley foul and grey
Trembled so that the universe  I thought 
Felt love, for which somebody trusts a way

Of world repeatedly to chaos brought;
And at that time this very ancient rock
Then here and elsewhere to revolve just ought. 

But address eyes down valley, we now dock
At the blood bank in which is boiling now
Who other people with wildness could sock”.

Oh blind greed and too crazy anger bow,
Which indeed spurs us on in our life short,
And in eternal so bad to endow! 

I saw a wide trench in bow self-contort,
As the one which is all the plane around,
According to what had told my escort;

And between foot of  bank and it, compound
In group centaurs run, well armored with darts,
As used to do in world hunting and hound.

Seeing us climbing down, everyone departs,
And three of them then moved just toward us
With bows and arrows as their ready parts;

And one shouted from far: “At what distress
Along this coast now getting down are you?
Tell us right now; else my bow  arrows shoots”

My master told: “the answer shall in short
Be given by us to Chiron forth on:
Bad was your will always prone to distort”

Then touched me, and told: Nexus is that one,
Who for the handsome Deianira died,
And by himself , the self-revenge was done.

And the one halfway, gazing his breast wide,
Is the great Chiron, who Achilles fed;
The other is Pholus, who rage complied.

Thousands and thousands at trench are there spread,
Darting any soul which tries to come out
From blood much more than their sin mislead”

We went closer to those lean beasts to scout;
Chiron took a dart, and then with the nock
Pushed back his beard to jaw ready to clout.

After he had uncovered his mouth block,
Told then to his mates: “Are you aware
That the guy back moves what he has to knock?

This way do not act feet of  the deads bare”.
And my good duke, who just was at his breast,
Where the two natures are well joined and share,

Answered: “He is living, and is so pressed
That I have this valley dark him to show;
Not for delight, but for need is this quest.

Somebody from alleluia moved although
And then committed me to this task new:
He is not a thief, nor to steal I go. 

But for that virtue for which I move through
My passage now on such a savage way,
Give us one of yours, to be a guide true, 

And where is ford be able to display, 
And also carry this one on his back,
Since he isn’t a spirit that fly may”.

Chiron then turned on his head the right whack,
And told Nexus: “Come back and guide them so,
And make move aside other groups’ attack”-

Now with the trusty escort we could go
Along the border of the boiling red,
Where the boiled were shouting their pain to show.

I saw people close to the edge of dread;
And great centaur told: “These evil tyrants are
Who bloodily acted and wildness shed.

Here are just cried the grim sins by desper;
Here is Alexander and Dionisio grim
Who gave Sicily years of pains with scar. 

And that brow with black hair on him,
Is Azzolino, and the other who has fair hair,
Is Opizzo from Este, who looks so dim

Was killed by his stepson in world up there”.
Then I revolved toward poet, and he told:
“This one as first from now, me second bear”.

Just beyond on the centaur had to hold
Above some people who up to his throat
Looked as from that boiling tried to unfold.

He showed us a spirit well alone to float,
Telling: “That one in God’s lap had to cut
The heart dripping on Thames you can yet note”.

After that I saw people who out of river uncut
Kept their heads and their breasts at all;
Ad of these I recognized more than somewhat.

So more and more the depth became so small
Of that blood, and griddled also the feet,
Until the ditch our pace could not appall.

“As you can see here in a way concrete
The boiling stream becoming less and less”
Told the centaur, “I whish for you be neat

That the other part gives more and more stress
Toward the bottom, till is reached a state
Where tyranny is stricken in excess.

Divine justice can here sting and abate
That Attila who was on earth a scourge,
Pirro and Sesto; for eternal fate

Tears sucks, in boiling river to submerge,
Rinier from Corneto, and Rinier mad,
Who wherever wars always made emerge”.

Then turned his way and passed the river sad.


Long poem by Ed Ebbs | Details |

LA Sewers

This is a draft, my computer is being weird, so I put this here...

There was a time to survive the streets of Los Angeles without bruises, cuts and possibly your life, you had to size up those approaching by carefully watching each and every move they make; are you a target. 

I'm watching to see if they take notice of me as I cross over the other side of the street. Sigh, they crossed over to the other side matching my movements. I'm in trouble, I can feel their penetrating eyes and everything inside is screaming. Remembering there was a storm sewer at the corner of the street I just passed a few moments ago, and without hesitation I turned to run for my life. Sliding into the street corner between the sidewalk above and the street below…a few more pounds and I would have been stuck. This storm sewer basin is a large concrete box with a large concrete pipe in the corner that goes somewhere. The gang members are all around outside of preventing any escape swinging their chains, sticks and blades. They're acting like a pack of dogs yelping and hollering as their prey is trapped in a corner. They are working on the manhole cover above with a crowbar which would give them access to me below. Fear is now getting the best of me so without much thought I quickly entered the large drain pipe and went deeper into a abyss.  This drain pipe connects to a tunnel large enough for a car to pass through. 

They must have opened that manhole because I hear their voices, they’re following me so I decide to run down the tunnel into the darkness so they would not see me and then stop to listen.  I hear no footsteps, but I ran so far I cannot see a thing, there is no light, just nothingness. I start to walk and I bump into a wall. I can’t go back the way I came because the fate that would await me going that direction, but there is nothingness is all around me so I am not sure what direction that would be. I remember running down the left side of the tunnel before stopping to listen. When I start to walk again and I run into a wall, so that must be the right side, I think? I decide to continue, and being right handed I'm more comfortable on the left side so I turn and walk towards the left side to have something to touch. It seems like an eternity until I finally reach a wall. This wall will become my security from the nothingness...I can’t see my hands or feet, or even hear a sound. There is no frame of reference, only the wall and the solid ground under my feet. Thank God this was a time before those vampire movies or Freddy Krueger; I have only the Alfred Hichcook movies to pull fears from. Continuing through this nothingness a beam of light begins to appear from above. It’s amazing how much light is coming from this little tiny whole in that manhole cover—it lights up the whole area. I stand there amazed and I take a deep breath in this light, it has been a long journey to this point.  Standing there I notice a ladder leading up to a possible escape. Listening carefully before pushing up on the cover, I push and push...I'm not strong enough. Many of the manhole covers are spot welded by the public works department to prevent an open manhole in the middle of a street. I climb down from the ladder and pause for a few moments in the light absorbing what I could before continuing on; this tunnel must lead somewhere, right? Another beam of light, another welded manhole cover. The fear of the gang has long past, my only thoughts now are those of being lost and I am starting to feel hopeless. I remember a verse I was taught about falling down, the faithful fall down seven times, but they get up again..at least that is how I remember it. They're words from a Sunday school teacher. I was terrible at remembering scriptures to get those stickers, but I remember what the verses meant. The nothingness continues as I walk, and it has been a long time since the last little beam of light and I have found the meaning of hopelessness.  The floor below is beginning to get damp, ick, what am I walking in? I can’t see a thing still and I'm too afraid to stop touching the wall or even to stoop down--the wall is my security.  My mind is pretty numb right now, my only thoughts are dragging my hand on the wall wall and walking. The dampness becomes wet, and from wet to splashing. A moment almost overcomes me fear, I pause to sense if the water is moving; am I going the wrong way and about to get swallowed up by a wall of water. The water seems to be static and the nothingness yields no sounds, so I continue. Finally, salvation from a beam of light shining from above reveals little fish in the water below. I'm headed to the ocean, I'm sure, confidence starts to be renewed. The movie Jaws was years away so there are no fears. The nothingness continues until again there is a light at the end of the tunnel. The wall is no longer my security, I follow the light.  The water is at my knees as I continue towards the light. I can smell the ocean and feel a breeze. I can see the ocean and the sand. Sigh, there is a bar screen blocking my exit—I'm feeling defeated, their is no way I can every go back. Looking closely at this bar screen in the way of my freedom, one corner has been pulled away, it’s bent outward under the high tide. There are no other choices really, so I take a deep breath and down I go. My shirt snags on something as I start to reach around to the other side and pull. I struggle, my shirt tears and I am free.  Freedom never felt so good. I look around at the beach, it’s rather windy, only a few people walking here and there, but it’s sunny! I turn in a circle to get my bearings, it’s sure great to be alive and free.  Months later they’re welding bars over these points of escape.  I am heavier now, and I would not fit anyway, but I ponder about my escape, what about others. I feel sad for them..
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Long Poems