Long poem by
Isaiah Zerbst | Details |
From Judges 11.
His brothers cast the young man out, the child of an harlot;
He fled away to distant Tob before they found an outlet
For anger, more than what they'd done, to fully disinherit
And drive him from his father's house, though not for foul demerit
Within himself, but all for greed- it made them hate their brother.
Now Jephthah lives his life alone, without a father, mother;
He goes about with newfound friends, considered rather shady:
At least he does not get too wild; he found himself a lady,
And has a one and only child, a daughter like her mother.
She's tall and slim, with long, black hair; as fair as any other,
And loves to dance and sing and play her timbrels with the daughters
Of the mighty men of Tob, who play their music by the waters
Of the brimming banks of Yarmuk; lovely music, song, and dancing,
In the evening, in the twilight, which is wordlessly enchanting;
So much so that all the stars come out before the sun has drifted
Below the burning desert sands, thus Nature's course has shifted
From what it was, what e'er has been his want, his call of duty,
And all to see some pretty maids who sing and dance with beauty.
The Ammonites come, bent on war, on taking land and cattle;
They'd kill the men of Gilead and claim the spoils of battle:
The land that once belonged to Sihon, which Israel gained possession,
Then Joshua allotted to the sons of Gad and Reuben.
Thus Ammon claimed what was not his, but what he thought he needed;
And Israel must be captained well, or else they'll be defeated.
The elders ride in haste to Tob, to Jephthah's lordly dwelling
To find the man who would be best and see if he is willing;
But Jephthah said, "Did you not hate me? Did you not expel me
Out of my father's house, and now you come to me and tell me
Of your need when in distress? If I by some rare providential
Act of mercy be successful, will you lay aside resentful
Ways and set me over you?" And this they would; they needed badly
A man who knew the art of war, who charged in battle madly;
So they agreed and made him captain over all the forces,
The leader of the fighting men, the officers, and horses.
Then Jephthah vowed a vow to God, he said, "If Thou wilt give me
A vict'ry over Ammon, then returning I will give Thee
Whatsoever first will greet me at the doorway of my dwelling
As an offering of fire for a savor sweet of smelling
Unto Thee." And having spoken he departed to the battle
With his whole command of soldiers, with a clash and tramp and rattle:
And they smote and killed the Ammonites until the Plain of Vineyards;
In twenty cities passing through as Jephthah drove them downwards.
The town of Mizpeh heard the news and every mouth was voicing
The praises of their leader and his soldiers with rejoicing;
Then, as they saw him from afar, the townsfolk all assembled
To cheer their hero, now their judge; but mighty Jephthah trembled,
For as he came unto his house his daughter came to meet him
With timbrels and with dances from his door she came to greet him;
Her raven tresses bouncing, and her flowing dresses swirling;
Her face alight with happiness, and glowing as she's twirling.
She smiles at her hero from the battlefront returning,
But he cannot return it for the raging storm that's churning
Inside himself, and making him so weak and sick and frightful
For his daughter, lovely daughter, blessed with grace and so delightful.
And he said, "O sweet Celena, you have cast my spirit downward,
For I've vowed a vow that's binding, and I cannot take it backward;
I have sworn to make a sacrifice of fire of whatever
First would meet me at the doorway of my house; but I had never
Thought that it should be a person, but a heifer or a doeling,
Or perhaps a dove or pigeon." Here he stopped, for tears were rolling
Down his cheeks, and rent his clothing as he stood there, crushed and grieving;
Amazed at what he'd done, and even now not quite believing
His hand must wield the wicked knife; his hand must light the fire;
His hand must end his daughter's life; his hand must build the pyre.
He stared at his offending limbs, said, "Would to God I'd lost them;"
For now he had to tell his wife how much his oath had cost them.
Then Celena, brave Celena said, "Perform what you have spoken;
For the Lord has taken vengeance and the Ammonites are broken:
Only grant me two months longer so that I and my companions
May bewail my virgin state among the mountains and the canyons."
One word was all that he could say, the one word, "Go," and held her
A moment to his bosom as his teary eyes beheld her;
A chain of gold about her neck, dress gay with colored sashes;
A tremble in her ruby lips, a teardrop in her lashes.
Then turning from her father, to the wilderness she stumbled;
Her eyes so filled with tears that down the road she tripped and tumbled,
And lay a while in the deep, deep dust that rose above her;
Then stripped her golden necklace, one gold ring and then the other
And threw them from her to be swallowed by the dusty powder:
"What good is gold?" she softly mumbled, crying ever louder.
Retreating to the lonely cliffs, the desert's jagged mountains,
Where desolation reigns enthroned, except for by the fountains
And streams that bring a thread of life, that ever downward trailing
Flows by the place where seven maidens gather as they're wailing
The loss of faithful friend, the favored, beautiful Celena,
Who would not flee, but e'er would be the dutiful Celena,
Submitting to her father's vow, though leading to her dying.
The place that used to ring with song and laughter fills with crying;
And music now is sighing of the maids and lonesome whispers
Of the wind. And those who danced are aimless wanderers and drifters,
Seldom speaking: consolation is but vain when 'tis imparted
To a soul whose days are numbered when its life has barely started.
Long poem by
Poet Destroyer A | Details |
Lost in a poets convention,
I can't recall every poem, I've read through the years
50518, unique comments I 'validate'---
Thank You For Sharing Your Happy and Sad tears
Since March 24, 2010 In the mist of every line,
I'm sending special hugs, for he/she that favorite me through the years
A praise to all poets mentioned and not mentioned
I will miss, the sweetest girl on this block LEONORA G.,
She treats me with love, adores my words and twisted poetry.
I will start with the soups famous October, 7th babies,
Frank and Kash, Debbie D, and myself, these lines belong to us,
Our best characteristic has everything to do with the mind
In our poetic hearts you'll find the symbol of justice and balance
This is not a song, it is not a poem, it's a free falling memo written with style
Back in March 2013, I said it then, I'll say it again
Andrea, you and only you are the Poet Queen
By the Queen, sits the Poet King of rhymes, Robert L. Hinshaw
Thank you both for never stepping on your loyal subjects
Carol B., & Linda Marie, no one can replace the hole you left inside
I will miss all the little poetry pups, who came and sat by my side
MAHIMA and Saanvi, and Sabrina, thank you for the encouragement
Phyllis, Joyce, Francine, Rhonda, Betty, sweet Karen A., and Catie,
Clap your hands for the lovely quiet soup ladies.
Okay, maybe not Karen A., and Catie, these ladies love speaking their minds:)
SARA K., a mentor to some, a Fairy Godmother in my book
I will miss her "Magic Pen like Wand" dearly.
Gail, thank you for spreading your wings, and teaching us how to fly.
Hopefully --wings are a nice gesture, --waving--
"One day I'll see you again, my friend."
Daver Austin, "Go ahead, make my day" thank you for the show
Now, you know why I referred to you as, "The Clint Eastwood of Poetry."
Russell Survey, encouraged my days and moods with his kind words
Scribe ML., where are you my friend?
Don't you know your BIGGEST FAN misses you!!!
Dr Ram, Bindu V, Litan D., Donna J, Shadow, Sandra A., Peter Durgan,
Giorgio V., Mystic Rose, BL Devnath and of course our Nette.
Thank you for being kind and rewinding and replying to every note.
Joseph M., Caleb S., Vincent F., Juliet L., Lucy Carrillo, Scott 37, Johnny R.,
Kelly D., thank you for the honor in always honoring my words
Roger Horsch meets Eileen Ghali, your smile, her smile always made me smile,
No matter how many miles apart, our smiles always met on the same page.
Jenish, Don J., S.Z. Kamoonpuri, Gideon, Gary, Austin E., and Jody M.,
Fatima N., Mark N., Aiyah B., Ralph F., Kathryn C., Elly, Ayesha A.,
Clay W., Erich, Syam, MIKKI, John B., Olusegun, *Sukmawati* Gwen,
Delysia H., Frederic P., Richard L., Brenda L., Keith, Debbie G.,
Thank you for painting the best IMAGERY
Michale Clarke, Charma C., Wayland B., Jancarl C., Carrie, and Harry,
M&M, Abdulhafeez, Michael B., Maria P. S., CHAN and Mandy T.
You are only the beginning of what makes this a good community
Arlid A., Dinda M., Silly Billy, Tim Ryerson, we go way back.
Ravindra, Kim M., Richard S., Honestly JT., Wade A., Dom-X.
The ingredients in your poems, makes the best soup remix
Joe M., Jack H., James H., James P., Tim B., Jon A. C., Allan K., Matthew A.
Deb Wilson, David S., David William, Thomas S., Cecilia M.
Keep that pen flowing for tomorrow needs poets like you.
Justin B., Laura B., your words will continue to be a part of me.
Owen Y., and John L., your visits, your friendship I will never forget
Yasmin and Carl F., hanging out with you on the soup was the best.
Cherl Dunn, and Colleen Bono, SandyIvy, I will miss everything about you,
Mostly I will miss your friendship and the way you took care of me.
Poet and sister Skat, keep rocking what I can't....
Copy paste your love, welcome in the new.
Show Edwina, Robin, Sam B., and all the NEW POETS they belong
Last but not least-- Behind every mess, they are the best
--Craig Cornish and Cyndi McMillan
What have you done, I admit without you this place would have been no fun.
Thank you for the spin, making every penny worth our paid premium memberships
Before I forget,
I want to take this time to reminisce and add two old friends to my hot list.
Nikko and Chris A..... My first POETRY SOUP FRIENDS.
I will never forget you, and all the fun moments we had,
Back when the soup was not like this:)
Chris, can you ever forgive me, I never stepped up to say "I was Sorry!"
As you know my kindness is my weakness
Now it's time to be strong and move on
If one day I return, then you know, I fell off the wagon
And, into arms and luring fingers of Team Poetry Soup
The Poet Destroyer
Long poem by
Peter Duggan | Details |
In memory of Bob
A true story.
It was in spring of two thousand when I first saw Bob. I’d just started working at Perth Dental hospital, and in fact it was my first day there. I walked up to the front door of this building, but it wasn’t yet opened. So I turned around and went to sit in the bus shelter which was just outside the building. As I went to sit down I noted a dark skinned gentleman sitting there with a happy, benign look on his face. He was about five feet eight give or take a little, and he was rather a thickset man who looked like he’d done his fair share of hard work in his sixty years or more.
There was something about this Gentleman that I could not quite put my finger on. He had a certain charisma about him; not the phony kind of charisma that one seen in the car salesman or the philanderer who messes with women’s heads, no, Bob had a kind of friendly smile for everyone that he met, and he seemed to draw people into him with his love, and gigantic heart. I knew as soon as I met him that Bob was most definitely for me.
As Bob looked at me and smiled, the whole world seemed to open up. He said “Ow ya going mate” in a loud ebullient manner, then we started to chat. Bob was like myself, a thinker, and straight away we started philosophizing about this, that, and the other, and it was like we had known each other forever. Then all of a sudden I found Bob talking about death, and the difference in the way the Maori people faced death, compared to the rather the silly way us white folk look at the subject with great fear in our hearts. Now this had always interested me, and somehow it just seemed natural to talk to this Maori gentlemen on this subject, and we spoke about it till the doors opened and it was time to work.
I don’t think anything happens just by chance, and I definitely have this feeling that Bob and I were meant to meet, and I really think this was a major destiny thing. I have found during the course of my life, that as I am aging, I can feel something pushing me into a certain direction, and I always felt that Bob was part of all this; and I had much to learn from him. Although I have never believed in organized religion, and never followed one I have always felt deeply spiritual, and I have met many people who I learned from, and Bob was most definitely one of them with all his great wisdom and patience. As I came to know Bob, we had many dialogues together, on many subjects. Bob used to love music and could always have time to plonk away on his guitar. He used to come round to my place and we would play songs together, though both he and I were no Eric Clapton’s, I would bang around on my guitar and play the harp, while we would both take out turns at singing. We’d have a smoke or a beer or two, and we’d play songs all day long, ahhh, I remember those days well, the memories are so strong.
Bob was one hell of a man, I could tell that he had been a wild one in his youth,
But when I knew him in his sixties he was an icon of wisdom and virtue; he had a kind word for everyone, and gave all his time to anybody who needed him, always.
He used to hear me waffling on like an idiot, trying to make him like me [as I always did] but never once did he tell me how foolish I was, he would just smile knowingly at me. He used to stand there at the window for hours, just drinking in the trees, or the clouds in the sky, and yet he was so aware, I used to try to sneak up on him; it couldn’t be done. His awareness was incredible.
Then one day Bob fell ill with terminal cancer, and he knew that he had very little time left on this Earth. He lay there sick for days in intolerable pain, but you never heard one complaint from him, even when he only had days to live, he was still worrying about the welfare of others. When the day finally come for Bob to leave his shell; he was lying there in deep sleep, when all of a sudden he woke up, with a smile on his face. His children asked him ‘Dad, do you want some pain killers” Bob laughed, compassion written all over his face, and he said to them ‘Not one of you has a clue, have you’ and he died with a big smile on his face.
His daughter got in touch with me, and told me about his death, and also told me that his last wish was to have me watch his soul leave his body. I felt very honored about this and went and sat with his body [as Maoris do]. I got the most peaceful feeling come to me [which I presume was his spirit leaving his body] as I watched his silent body, a Mari war stick and a beautiful rose lay across his chest. I still see it, and I feel blessed by it. He was my Maori warrior, and I adored the man.
Long poem by
Diane Lefebvre | Details |
His walk into town would prove fateful that day,
As his mind wandered idly while finding his way.
His footsteps were brisk like fall chill in the air,
Past Wellington Gate, south of Denby town square.
He paused for a time as the hearse passed him by.
Its dark, somber outline contrasting the sky.
Stood still as it turned in through Wellington Gate,
Down this last dusty byway of sorrow and fate.
A pair of dark geldings, black plumes on their heads.
Seemed subdued in their manner while carrying the dead.
Their hooves beat dull thuds on the cold, hardened sod:
Alerting the devil, but more hopefully, God.
The box in the hearse lay there stark and austere.
Poor souls final journey, last trek anywhere.
The small group of mourners now somber and mute
Trailed after the hearse in reluctant pursuit.
His thoughts then turned back to concerns of the day.
The errands in Denby that had brought him this way.
His footsteps trudged on toward the town just ahead.
On past this bleak place with its fields of the dead.
And the day passed by quickly as he made all his rounds,
Attending to business before leaving the town.
Then an overdue visit to a friend from the past,
Would leave his mind reeling, in tumult, aghast!
For Nell Reed had returned from her home far away.
Nell Reed had come back, never more would she stray.
The scene he had witnessed at Wellington Gate,
The pine box, the mourners, lamented Nell's fate.
Then a blow to his middle - sharp twist like a knife.
Twice now he'd lost Nellie the love of his life.
Nellie, oh Nellie sweet child of his youth.
How could he accept this - admit to its truth?
She now lay in her coffin - pale, cold, not a sigh.
No words would she speak, not one single goodbye.
No explanation of the times in their past:
Of unanswered questions, he could now never ask.
He then found himself back at Wellington Gate.
Fall shadows had lengthened and the day had grown late.
Dead leaves of November swirled under his step,
Invited him follow to where Nellie now slept.
The despair that he felt huddled there by her grave,
Made him seem as a man now most surely depraved.
Harsh pleas for the answers to questions long asked,
From someone once cherished, now part of the past.
Where had she gone while he fought in that war?
Why did she leave, did she love him no more?
Upon his return, mind and body all scarred,
To face life without her - so sad and so hard?
He cried out in frustration, old sorrow and pain,
As he knelt by her grave there on Evermore Lane.
And the day turned toward evening, but he did not see,
Trapped there in his memories with no place to flee.
Then he sensed someone else, just behind, but nearby.
A young man with Nell's look, most especially her eyes.
In his hand was a letter, tinged yellow with time-
Nell's neat, tiny script penned on each faded line.
"She told me about you and what you once shared,
And asked me to find you, to tell you she cared.
She wished you to have this," his voice held a plea.
"Her last thoughts on this earth were of you and of me."
"The letter was written a long time ago,
When I was a child, before I came to know.
The man I called father, in the days of my youth,
Was only her husband; a well hidden truth."
"He raised me and fed me and treated me well,
But he never did love me and I always could tell.
This letter from mother should bring you at last,
Answers to questions that have troubled your past."
And the son placed the letter in his fathers cold hand,
Waited a moment - made a half-hearted stand.
But he turned then and left - back through Wellington Gate:
To the place he had come from and his own earthly fate.
And his father by the morning, lay frozen and dead,
On Nellie's cold grave with the message unread.
He never did view those last words meant for him,
It grew too dark to see as the cold night set in.
He succumbed to that cold and to Nellie's mute call.
And died where she lay on the last day of fall.
And the years passed on by, like the years always will.
They now lie there together, both silent: both still.
And all who'd remember lie near them as well,
No one now survives for this sad tale to tell.
Yet the legend goes on of this man and of fate.
It's still whispered while passing by - Wellington Gate.
Long poem by
Connor Burke | Details |
Proved me wrong.
Girl you are strong
No doubt about that
I am too though.
Don't you ever forget it
We are different strengths.
Girl please. You're losing it.
What is so hard to understand.
I sped up.
Now you slow down.
Because? Because what?
We both need it.
Always failing cause we start up again from where we last left off.
Gushing over a couple kids with me someday
tying the knot moving out to Texas
so you can be with your ma and see your siblings grow up.
Planning our future in a tornados hollow center.
In the wake of destruction.
Just cause our chaos has run out of steam.
Its only the eye of the storm.
And we always get our second wind is coming.
Inevitable unless we try to change once
but nah I guess we masochistically desire our dependent mutilation.
baby we don't have a story.
We are the book of Revelations.
Obedient plot with a deep tragedy.
Foreshadowing's nothing without an ending.
But no not us.
Fall asleep and wake up
at the starting line in our crazy, luke warm, loopy maelstrom.
Like the progress we made the day before never happened.
And hell neither one of us is gonna say anything about it
cause we're not schizophrenic.
But I don't know about you..
But I wouldn't call you crazy. Too risky.
I'll just assume the power went out before I got to save. Yep.
Eh. No worries
go get giggly with your girlfriends
clown around routinely
fill your room to the brim with smoke.
And I'll go get popular in a rowdy crowd
cause I'm an expert at chaotic mischief
when I've spent my day shutting my liver down.
And then its you and me
making plans to get married tonight
and we had an awesome tale going.
We liked reciting it
cause we were so numb and high we didn't realize we plagiarized.
Romeo and Juliet right down to the parts
where they hardly knew each other.
Mistaking lust for love.
And killing ourselves at last.
Its a shame that it took one of em seeing the other dead
to realize there's a time to play and a time to be serious.
Keep reading. Wait. Con. I. Think I'm. Feeling somethi--
And we always seemed to blackout before we could write a fin.
Coulda been a best selling book.
You Alcoholic author man .
Wait. Hey. Amb. Do you remember.
what. we were saying last. night.
Did we say something about.. Uh. Nevermind.
I'm hungover and out of it.
--Man I must forget alot.
Cause everytime I'm in a pit
I look at your picture in my wallet for solace.
But. Hold up. you're the one who put me in!
Its cause now I feel struggle I feel resistance
Something I never felt before
Its like that little worm has some rhythm in its heart.
Seeing something I normally didn't
Holding in its last breath.
To swim to the top of the bottle.
Through the liquor.
Like wait a second.
I looked at you and really felt love.
And I want a life with you. More.
This warmth? Woah
Never leave. I'll dig upwards.
Through hells ceiling.
Brake my wrists unremittingly.
Until I reach the surface.
And then I'll make my claws grow back round and soft.
So I can hold your hand.
And my teeth I'll file down.
To fit back in my mouth and scrub off all the blood.
So I could give you a kiss.
You can make a demon gentle.
And this monsters wrath will deplete
And my eyes for the first time join my lips in a smile.
as I kiss your forehead to sleep.
As this caterpillar finally builds his cocoon.
it looks like two humans interlocked.
Arms and legs crossed.
Like a force to be reckoned with.
Unstoppable together as one.
You are my woman.
And I Will always love you.
Cause you're my girl.
You're my one.
The truth of the matter though is that
you are a double wicked candle.
fuse not far from the igniting sight
i did you wrong, turned my eye, and blank for a second
but you said nah this is eternity now
This is all I know
How did I do this to myself all over again.
But its not.
no matter what I said u grew quiet And learned to do the same.
Ashamed. but I never jumped the edge
Believe me. I felt fine with being wanted that's it.
Never had them. never did.
It was you. You beat me.
You got this you win.
I didn't lose anything but you.
I just hope you know.
Its all good. Let that be the ending.
For all I care now.
Long poem by
Maurice Rigoler | Details |
Friend, whatever brought your life to end
had no appetite for mouse flesh, nudged your
small gray body on its side with thorough sniffing
and left your corpse exposed on the asphalt path,
then, for reasons of its own, wandered off
for something more substantial and better
suited to its hunger.
Flies hover over you like tiny buzzing vultures.
So, too, ants now engage in a reconnaissance
over the big gray hill that rose up during
the night from the asphalt when yesterday
it had been an unobstructed flat surface.
Your demise, friend, is only a beginning.
Nature is very resourceful and expedient.
In a day or two, inner microbes will rise within you
and inflate your small trim frame to twice its size,
then deflate you to a dried out, flat gray rug
with tail, unless another creature’s hunger
first makes you its meal.
As mice go, your reputation did not
exceed that brotherhood of dreaded outcasts –
rats, snakes, bats, and spiders –
humans can barely mention and not shudder.
Decency compels me to inform you
that you will be given no formal burial.
That honor – or vanity, depending on your
viewpoint – humans reserve solely for
themselves; no eulogy, no flowers, not even
a headstone to verify the fact that you lived
and died – all of which even the vilest of our kind
receive, as though a residue of dignity remained
in them. You will pardon our vanity and irrationality.
Death does not change any life, it seals it.
It is the one event humans cannot explain
satisfactorily or agree upon. And yet death is
as common as weather, no day is without
the dark cloud of its knowledge or presence.
It exceeds, possibly, all human fears, real
or imaginery, and it plays cruel sport with
the imagination, all of which, little mouse,
you have been spared.
Few spectacles can match its elaborate rituals
and ceremonies, not to mention its afterlife scenarios
and aspirations, centuries old, stale, and reeking
with the smell of arrogance and irrationality; and not
forgetting its lofty, eloquent but empty
pronouncements and unreasoned speculations,
all devised to camouflage, deny, and ultimately
transform death’s otherwise simple and natural
reality, which is nothing more than
the absence of life.
No, little friend, none of this will attend
or insult your demise. Let it suffice that you
are no more, as we also will be one day.
Earth has decreed it so.
Difficult as it is to say, neither I nor anyone
can offer you hope beyond the sleep that now
holds you as the hawk’s talons holds its prey.
You have been ousted from the house of life,
the doors are locked, the windows sealed.
You are forever barred from reentering.
No redemptive price has been paid for you,
though you are not unworthy, and why not
I am at a loss to explain. No act of faith outside
your earthly life was asked or demanded of you.
And yet, far more than humans, you were
faithful to the laws imposed on you, though no
reward or better life was held out to you.
You lived the only life you knew. and you
lived it well, without questioning, without
complaint, without bitterness. I tell you, friend,
there is no greater achievement.
The dead exist only in the minds of them who once
knew them. They, not the dead, need to be consoled.
But who of your kind will console you?
As parting words, I can offer you only this
assurance: All living things share the same earth,
the same eventuality, all are destined to return there.
It is, I imagine, easier for you to accept this,
for you had no pretentions beyond this life,
this planet, and so your going down was only
a small step from no imagined height.
And now, you will pardon me if I lift you by
your tail and put you to rest in a setting
more suited to what you were once accustomed to,
and one I believe you would approve –
beneath a quilt of brilliant fallen leaves.
Nothing special or symbolic, just a natural covering.
As for me, and the rest of my kind who walk this earth,
it is the dark light of life they have become
accustomed to, not the natural darkness
you, little mouse, have entered.
Rest, then, in that uneventful darkness.
Rest, then, little mouse.
Long poem by
Herbert Siao | Details |
It was like a whisper-
My wife delivered the sad news-
"Your grandfather was dead."-
And so he was-
Her eyes was awfully sad-
Touched me gently on my back-
He was old-
The time I started to noticed him around-
He was a relic-
He talked about the war-
The warring in the land-
Dispute over religion-
The greatness of the past Presidency-
How Marcos summary killed young idealist-
How my uncle survived the bullet-
And wrote a letter to Imelda to help him-
The hospital bill in exchange of his ideology-
How he comes on this land-
Answered the migration call-
In the Southern Philippine-
He was young-
He loves democracy-
He went to street and joined the protesters-
To end up injustices-
He tilted the land-
Grow coffee and Avocado-
He sniffed the salty wind of the Celebes sea-
As he stood at the cliff of Matutum-
Sometimes they sale fruits in the public market-
Those years of the early 60's-
While my mother was just a kid-
Then we came-
My cousins and us-
We sat at the table-
Trembling in the dark of dawn-
That was during our summer escapade-
While grandma prepared for us a hot milk-
Then he walked near beside-
Staring on us-
Preached the narrative of his life-
As I perceived-
He was a learned man-
Our pillar collapsed-
My knees gave up-
I sat on a bench-
My body drenched by my cold sweat-
My eyes drawn beyond the wall-
Like I search things on the mirror-
Tears lined on my eye-
An innocent face-
Stared back from the reflection of the clear pond-
"Eat it..eat it..eat it..",my older cousin whimpered-
We wore straw hat-
And a checkered polo-
And the place was cold-
That morning, we went into a brook-
We forgot time went by-
It was already two in the afternoon-
"Let's go home!", I don't recall who said that-
We walked briskly-
Hold a big salmon on our hand-
We were afraid-
The sky was slowly given up from the dark-
The rain started to pour-
Then we saw him-
He was there signaling us to halt-
Tending his carabao-
We gathered on the sofa-
Only the flickers of the light glows-
He sat on the dark corner-
Listened the radio transistor gibbers-
The mountain loomed in silence-
The radio announcer talked about the cold front-
The wind outside whistled-
At school he asked on us sometimes-
How things going on-
He bragged about it-
To his neighbors-
On his house at Tieza-
There was this book rack-
I sat there often-
Those stories about the Greeks-
The Filipino contemporary authors-
Because of that I love to stay in the library-
Hand gripped the yellow mongol pencil-
Scribbling some words on crumpled papers-
And hid it somewhere-
At college he went to our house at Silway-
He watched the television-
I read silently the Doveglion-
Near beside him-
He was weak and knew his end was coming-
I touched his head always-
He breath weakly and coughed-
How I love my old man-
My son likes to play beside him-
He was on his death bed-
Then my wife-
Was standing right in front on the workplace-
She looked at me on the eye-
And I knew the smile of there is something-
I knew he was gone-
Long poem by
William J. Jr. Atfield | Details |
A perilous flight
I do so want to take wing and fly so high with you.
At every attempt, you took the opportunity, clipped my wings
until not a feather – nothing but flesh on pinions that do
not give flight to dreams, – no feathers – on air, sings
not the pulchritudinous songs of eternal, blissful love
nor are able to carry the hopeless romantic above
the grounding that your world of indifference makes
nor give life to the heart, spirit, soul that it takes.
Your reality – my Dear, - has been a very harsh sight
for this one – loving you as I do, has been quite a fight
in order to maintain some semblance of dignity,
knowing that nothing would bring you closer to me,
in any meaningful, deep, relevant, passionate, loving way
and so here I stand – irrelevant – on the outside, every day,
watching, feeling you step backwards, ever further away
from where I wanted to take you – to always be
your other half, everything in my dreams – I’d see
visions dancing across inner screens, - lids of my eyes, -
visions of your naked beauty, floating in heaven’s skies
far above the mask, the veneer, the façade, the lies
I know are but the truths of who you are, of your soul
that believes that every thing I will ever know
comes at me from the heart of belief in a truth
that at this man, believed to be so uncouth,
who has lost out !, because decades ago – lost his youth.
I have walked within your shadow for so long –
becoming an intricate part of it – it’s become my song
“ it is you, it is me, it is what could have made a we ”,
in your heart, in your world, would never be !
I have also walked in the light, casting my own shadow,
but none of this, do you ever care to know.
I know !, we share much in the way of thought,
much in the way of tastes, beliefs, experiences - you not !,
for you believe, with me, nothing in common doth show nothing with me do you want to touch, or places to go.
For me, with you, nothing much,
I do believe – these my thoughts, as such !
Walking beneath your shadow – sometime – was a trying experience, sometimes it left me in tears – crying !
Walking with your shadow, at times, was a beautiful experience, I will cherish for all eternity, my life was full.
Walking in the light of the sun – together- side by side, shadows entwined, dancing, sharing – nothing to hide
would be most illuminating, a most satisfying a ride.
These days, the light hides, as do we and our shadows. Time seems to have unraveled the dance of our shadows, aa for me, there seems to be – only empty spaces,
not an image greets these eyes – of your many faces and it seems to me, we will not be going places,
any place together that is – journeys, adventures, walks
and now – I do believe – there will be no more talks.
What ever it was that has brought us to this place,
me Dear, remember this, I will never forget your face !
B. J. “A” 2
February 2nd 2009
Long poem by
Drake Eszes | Details |
It has been 9 months since your sudden disappearance.
That Hallowed night when your 5’11” nerd aura
Handed me my early birthday gift
A cold shoulder wrapped in a velvet bow
Made in Sri Lanka, sold exclusively at the Dollar Store
That was your appraised value.
But, today, revival’s whisper enters my gently waxed earlobes.
Candy coated revelations
For my allergic blood
“I said yes!”, as she flashed Cracker Jack ring
Filled with Monopoly dollar signs and “Go directly to Jail” Chance cards
I almost applauded, my hands sarcastically never connected
While my eyeballs rolled in epileptic banter
We scream in misguided nerd joy
As if we witnessed Monty Python & Darth Vader having a make-out session
Sudden urges to watch movies about Traveling Pants & Sisterhood
And PSing my I Love You
While we eat Dark Chocolate Klondike bars and Chipwich Ice Cream Cookies
My ovaries were bursting with INSANITY’S JOY!
But, WAIT, I quickly realized I didn’t have such parts!
It was then, reality crashed
As if Spider Man ran out of web during mid-air leap
My essence now halts at crossroads’ throat.
To my left, “celebration”
To my right, “other”
I chose to be a human this night.
Current time- 9:15pm
Current location- Reception Hall
A 5 course meal,
Including dinosaur shaped chicken nuggets
Smiley face French fries
And 3 glasses of Tang
Surrounded my space on the dinner table
Heavenly echoes of forks & glass,
Ringing in ignorant unison,
Give birth to Tinnitus in my drums
In their 9 months of togetherness,
They kiss with forcible ease,
Frogs refusing to show their true form
It is then, ignoring listless stares from guests,
I stood up holding my half-empty Tang glass
Which MIGHT have contained a smidge of Grey Goose
At the TOP of my LUNGS,
“Friend, I should be so proud of you. I would. I could.
You never responded to my open-hearted palm.
You left my vulnerabilities dangling at half-mast, as if I lost our final game of Hang Man.
But, TONIGHT, it is I & this delicious Dinosaur nugget that will HAVE a final say!
You are impeccably flawed, like I. But, I still wanted you to be a part of my tomorrows.
Yet, you turned me into a muted yesterday.
So, I will wish congratulations on your new slav…um, husband,
Pouring this glass of yummy Tang onto this stapled dance floor in a straight line
Each drop will be a symbol of how many tears he will shed, before that line is crossed.”
As silence slapped each other in its face
Across candle flame blanketed, marble dance hall,
With children pointing & laughing hysterically,
“Security” enters the room
As I hold hands with Cuban female rent-a-cop, her head warming my shoulder,
“Thank you for these 9 months. For now, I have given birth to a new me.
The Best Man that you will never hold again.”
©Drake J. Eszes
Long poem by
Maz Zie | Details |
When I think of the times in therapy that I spent with Lenny, they weren't that of a therapist to a patient. They were more of daughter to father or daughter to grandfather. Like every teacher has their favorite student, he was one of my favorites of all time. This man had a sense of humor that could turn any piece of hard advice into a joke or any situation to a smile.
"Why didn't you just fix your watch instead of buying a new one? that's the problem with your generation today!" He'd say when I walked in.
"Did you call the foot doctor like I asked you to get those special made shoes so your feet don't hurt? No! you didn't listen!" He'd retort.
Some coworkers saw Lenny as short and mean tempered, but I saw his light, humorous side and pictured him more as a tough-love family member.
I noted a picture of his grandson and granddaughter sat by his bed.
One morning, I went to visit him even though he wasn't scheduled for treatment, 'he's all alone ', I thought,' 'I should probably check on him, I'll just make sure he's alright, he's probably lonely.'
As I walked by, I overheard a conversation with Lenny and his 90-something veteran, roommate, Sonny, "you know why you're here?!" he smugly explained, "your wife's pretty smart, she is smarter than me, she just just don't want to deal with you, my wife's dead. that's why I'm here." He smiled.
I kept walking, frowning on the inside and out, That was pretty mean, if it was or wasn't true.
A Frail old man in the 80s, with large rimmed glasses, a pronounced Jewish nose and a few wisps of gray hair, he was then the highlight of stressful days & a dear friend of mine. I loved to walk into his room and rescue him from the dullness that had become his life after a long stint of failing health & trips to the hospital. Perhaps, sometimes he too, rescued me.
One morning, I approached the nurses station of unit three in my building to get him, only to hear that Lenny had gone to the hospital after falling out of bed over the weekend. They told me he was far too weak to make the trip back.
My heart broke and I walked on down the hallway, fighting the tears.
"What's wrong??" A coworker from rehab approached me, seeing my blank expression. 'everything's wrong....' I wanted to explain, 'life's not fair.'
I knew this would happen, I knew deep down of how he was old and frail. But sometimes the sharpness of someone's mind and the truthfulness of the spirit can lie to us. Promising times to come. Goodbye my friend. It does not get easier but dulls my sadness once more to say...I was lucky to know you. Your suffering will be over soon.
Lenny died the next day.