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Long poem by Mario DE PAZ | Details |

Dante's Hell translation CANTO X

Now is going on through a secret way
Between the martyrdoms and the ground wall,
My master, and I behind him to stay.

“Oh highest virtue, who me gently haul
In wicked rounds”, I started, “If you please,
Speak to me, and to my requests befall. 

The persons  who are in graves abductees
Might perhaps be seen? Because opened are
All covers, and too nobody guards these”

And he to me: “All will be closed by far
When from Iosafat they will come back
With their bodies which just there up left were.

The graveyard on this side happens to stack
Epicurus and followers them all,
Who make souls of dead corps follow the track.

But to the question you put with your call
An answer will be given in time short,
And also to untold  wish you enthrall. 

And I: “Good  duke, I just do not comport
To hide my heart if not to speak at less,
As you have always tried to me exhort”.

“Oh Tuscan going in the fire stress
Alive speaking in such an honest way,
Please stay more in this site and don’t egress.

Your way of speaking is a clear display
Of your indeed noble  homeland birth place,
To which I was nagging perhaps it may”.

Suddenly this loud sound came out to face
From one of the graves; so I went then close,
Fearing, to duke my guide a little space.

And he: “What are you doing? Don’t oppose! 
Now you see Farinata who stood up:
From the waist up you can see he arose”.

Yet I had turned my face his sight to clasp
And he with waist and forehead then stood
Looking as had hell in great spite to grasp.

And the lively hands of duke promptly could
Push me between the graves then towards  him,
Telling: “Your words be well weighed should”.

After I reached of his grave the rim
He looked at me, and then, scornful just a bit,
He asked: “Which is your original limb?”.

Since I was akin to his will admit,
I did not hide it, opening at all;
So he then scowled up the eyebrows well split; 

Then told: “Were fierce rivals, as I recall,
To me and parents and my partners too,
So that twice I could dispel them and maul.”

“If they were expelled, they came back, is true”,
I answered him, “And both the times indeed;
But yours this art were not able to view”

Then rose uncovered to my sight concede 
A shadow, along this, up to chin:
I think to rise on knees  it could succeed. 

It looked then me around as it had been
Anxious to see if any else was there;
And then after the suspect became thin,

Weeping told: “If you now in this despair
Prison are moving thanks to your brain height,
Where is my son? why with you doesn’t fare?”

And I to him: “Lone I don’t reach this site:
The one who waits me there, and is my guide
Maybe your Guido did not like his sleight”.

His words and the way too with which he cried
Already to know his name could allow ;
Thus my answer was so quickly implied.

Immediately pricked up he screamed: “How?”
You told:”he did not”? Does he not live yet?
Does not then lance his eyes the sweet light now?”.

When he realized that he did not met
Any word responding to his reply,
Supine fell and to show he did not let.

But the other noble, the reason why
I stopped there before, did not change face,
Neither moved his neck, nor bent his side by;

And replied keeping the previous trace,
“If they have that art”, told, ”so poorly got,
It gives me sorrow more than this bed place.

But less than fifty times of light will spot
The woman’s face which always commands here,
That you will know that art how weighs a lot.

And if your return to sweet world is clear,
Tell me: why that people is godless so
Against my guys in all laws to appear?”

So I to him: “The torment and ruin flow
Which the Arbia river colored red,
This speech in our temple makes then so low”.

After he sighing had shaken his head,
“I was not alone”, told, “And nor for sure
With no reason I moved with others then.

But I was alone, when hard to insure
For each one the city of  Florence save,
Who just defended it with open cure”.

“I pray, hoping your seed rests in this grave”,
I begged him, “You should now untie the knot
Which until now has knotted my speech wave.

It looks like you see, if rightly I caught,
In advance what in the future will be,
While in the present to see you cannot” 

“Like that one who has wicked light, we see
Future events”, he told, “which are still far;
This much our high lord to shine is yet free.

When things are closer or happen, vain are
Our arguments; and if no one gives news,
To know your human status is not our. 

So you can realize how we must lose
Any understanding from that point on
Which of the future the door must then close”.

Then, as by a sense of be faulty won,
Told: “Now to that fallen soul you shall tell
That his son away from life has not gone;

And if, before, I was not to retell,
Let him know I did it because I thought
In the wrong way, you after have cleared well”.

And my master already for me sought;
So that I begged the spirit onwards more
To tell me who to stay with him was brought.

Told me: “Here with more than thousand lay sore:
The second Federico is now here
And the Cardinal; others I ignore”.

Then he hid himself; and I walked near
The ancient poet, back thinking in the while
To those words which hostile might me appear.

He started to walk; and then moving so,
He told me: “Why are you so harshly lost?”.
And I satisfied his question aglow.

“Your mind has to remind at any cost
What heard against you, that wise could say;
“And now look here”, and up his finger tossed:

“When you shall be in front of the sweet ray
Of woman whose nice eye can just all trace,
From her you shall know of your life the way”.

He then after moved toward left his pace:
We left the wall and went the middle through
Making a path cutting a valley place,

Which up to there his disgusting stench spew.
 


Long poem by Jack Clark | Details |

The Beast of the Cave

When I was young, and adventure routine,
With excitement and newness still unforeseen
I was eager to spread my wings to the world
And seek more adventures as those wings unfurled

Within my long travels I happened to meet
Two other men, with friendships replete
One was named Beckett, the other one Flynn
And better friends there never have been.

We’d been together, ‘t was our sixth year,
And still our adventures made us cohere
To every madness – to every rave …
Until we decided to enter: The Cave.

With our ropes and lanterns and other such gear
It was into The Cave we then disappeared.
The light from our lanterns speared into the dark
We spoke very little - made no remark.

We found a small dry spot and then we assessed
This was a place we could stop now to rest.
I set down my lantern, and took off my hat,
When Beckett said: “Hey.  Did you just hear that?”

I moved not a muscle, and my ears went to strain.
All I could hear were cave droplets, like rain.
Then … from The Cave’s bowels came a loud din
I continued to listen – then heard it again.

We looked at each other, but said not a word
Confused and startled by what we’d just heard
It wasn’t a moan, it wasn’t a gasp
But more rather like a guttural rasp

Then from The Cave’s deepened black hole
Came again sounds from a source with no soul
The sound was menacing, and one I despise,
I watched the fear grow within my friends’ eyes.

Instinctively then, we three moved as one
In that instant – our re-ascent had begun
I had been last in the line coming down
But first in line in this turnaround.

The lamp on my hat pierced through the black
And I looked for our markers to lead us back
To save our strength, nothing was said
Again - that loud sound which filled me with dread.

Somewhere behind me, then snarls I heard
Loud and vicious, run together and blurred
Close … so close … the Beast was so near
Adrenalin rushed through me to react to my fear

‘T was then I was hit by an overpowering stench 
My stomach turned and my bowels went to clench
The odor blew past me, and I knew t’was the breath
Of the Beast of The Cave – its’ stench of Death.

I was near running, but down on all fours
Sweat was streaming from all of my pores.
Then I heard those terrible screams
The ones I keep hearing in all of my dreams

It was Beckett I knew in his shocked agony
Midst the snarled snapping of jaws I can’t see
I heard bones cracking and squishing of flesh
And my fear within gave new strength afresh

My fingers were raw from grabbing the rock
But on moving forward my mind had its’ lock
My stomach still queasy from the stench of the beast
I knew it was finishing its’ beastly feast

I screamed: “Flynn!  Catch up to me!”
But took not the time to look back and see
For the beasts’ crashing against The Cave’s face
Told me it neared – and was upping its’ pace

In less than an instant, Flynn was there too,
His face in my hat-light was of a strange hue
And as he helped me get back to my feet …
Flynn turned around – t’was the Beast there to meet.

The stench overwhelming, but the sight was much worse
There standing before us: The beastly curse
Of layered scales in shades of dark gray
The rest of its body concealed in umbrae 

But its’ eyes … its’ eyes … I’ll never forget
Rheumatoid yellow, and deeply inset
Its’ reptilian lids blinked just one time
‘Fore its’ lips peeled back - revealing the slime,

Glistening yellow over dagger-like teeth
Then oozed from its’ mouth to fall there beneath.
The beast reared up, we then saw its’ claws
Sharp and deadly within its forepaws

Towering above us, no sound the beast made
On beams of our lights had his gaze stayed.
Unexpectedly Flynn then turned to face me
… With less blinding light, the beast could again see

Why Flynn had turned I never will know
For the beast bit him in two, at his torso
And I was looking at Flynn – direct in his face
When the beasts’ bite his life did erase.

I screamed, and instantly away did I run
Away from the beast, and dead companion
Through the price of Flynn’s life, more time had been bought
To reach The Cave’s entrance – the goal which I sought

I heard its’ clawed talons scraping the wall
And prayed I’d not again stumble and fall
Then, up ahead, a small opening I viewed
And I saw my chance, to hope there exude

Twelve feet … six feet … then it was three
But the beast and its’ stench was there behind me
I dove through the rock-opening, scraping my head
But better that injury than ending up dead

I was elated, and about to rejoice
I then heard a scream – it was my own voice!
In my leg erupted intense blinding pain
Looking down I saw the bloodstain

My leg, through the opening, still was stuck out
There was but split-seconds,’fore I’d lose it no doubt
I pulled my leg back, and in but a flash
My shoe was removed by a clawed talon slash

I crawled back from the opening, then I could see
My wound was deep, from ankle to knee
Then suddenly through the opening came
A clawed talon whose aim was to maim

I quickly withdrew out of its’ reach
As claws shot through the openings’ breech
The opening too small for continued rampage
And the beast began then to voice its’ outrage

Its deafening roars assaulted my ears
Echoed Cave chambers and to my mind did adhere
I began attending unto my grave wound
Knowing I now was no longer marooned.

Another two hours ‘fore I crawled out The Cave
And many more days ‘fore I’d shed the shockwave
Of what had transpired, and what I had seen
But my damaged leg was lost to gangrene.

Now sleep evades me, for my horrible dreams
Show beams of light, and unearthly screams
Of Beckett and Flynn and The Cave we were in
I know tonight, I’ll re-live it again.

So, now you’ve the story, you’ve heard the deed
I swear is the truth I’ve herein decreed
And Beckett and Flynn are enslaved in their grave
And I lost my leg to … The Beast of The Cave.


Long poem by Allyssa Pate | Details |

My Hell

I fall down
deeper and deeper
into oblivion
nothing
only darkness.
the sounds of evil
dripping into my ears
slithering farther
and sliding down into me
filling me with echoes.
terror courses through
my veins
into each cell
turning them against
me
they are no longer mine
they follow another
a stronger being.
icy breezes come
they whisper to me
they say I'm bad
they call me to them
the breezes dance
hug me
covering me
hiding me from the light
shielding me from hope.
falling deeper
only down
my eyes are taunted
I see people
the ones I know
love
they are hurt
hurting
by me
I have betrayed them
left them
I am hurting them
it is me
but I can't stop.
my mind is plagued
sick
new thoughts
 every second
comes a new terror
a cruel joke
all a prank.
only deeper do I fall
light is disappearing
becoming dimmer
fading fast.
all a game
for one person
the puppeteer
the ringmaster
the man in the
mask
the one who is running the show
the show that is me.
he sees me falling
he laughs
I can't see him
but he is there
everywhere
teasing my brain
taunting my senses
he hates me
he wants to hurt me.
he throws it
the knife
I feel the pain
running up my leg
showing my bones
releasing my blood
it is blue
my blood is cold
it splatters my face
sprinkling my features
dotting them with blue
the blue liquid drips
jumping onto my tongue
I taste dirt
my blood is dirt
blue is all I see
blue is all I become
I am blue
blue is me.
a distant shout
who is it?
a cry for help
surely
the sound is mangled
twisted
young
desperate
hopeless
mine
the sound is mine
I shut my mouth
but I still hear it
chilling my blue blood
ringing in my ears
shaking my breathing
jump-starting my heart
then it's over
the scream has ceased
and silence returns
sounding more deadly than ever before.
still falling
only black do I see
the evil
the monsters' playground
the demons' joyride
and someone is hungry
it wants me
my innocence
my purity
it wants to take it
it feeds on people
people like me.
weightlessness
objects hitting me
ghosts' fingers prodding me
as I fall
I fall down
down into this never-ending hole
this abyss
for eternity
restless
empty
yet full
filled with misery
my worst fears
come back
how did he know?
he knows I'm afraid
the darkness
doesn't help me see
I can't see why
how does he do this?
they cut me again
spilling my blood
oh, the blue
I don't even feel it
I am numb
the sound of me
my skin
being sliced
a quick slashing
and they are done
I am cut
my legs
my arms
my stomach
my face
my neck
I can't see my blood
but I can see how evil it must look.
the thoughts that fell
fell down with me
they too
are damned
they talk to me
they tell me what they see
they can see
blue
yes blue
my cold blood
it is everywhere
I am pale
white
I look sick they say
oh, no
they say
oh, no
they see the bottom
be ready
they say
be ready.
I fall faster still
slowing for nothing
for no one
being pulled down
the puppeteer has me
he's got my string
and he's pulling
with no sign of letting go.
now I hear a song
they all sing it
the notes are cruel
unforgiving
they bump into the others
struggling to be heard
with no set order
it is musical chaos
he yells to me
it is beautiful
and he sings along to his song
it's made for me
musical notes are played
they come up to me
they greet me
they jump
right into my cuts
surging into my blood
they search inside me
no mercy
moving faster
the drum
keeping them steady
pounds faster
picking up tempo
searching
searching
until
they found it
they found
my heart
my soul
the music does the talking
it says to hush
hush now
slow down
my heart listens
and I get sleepy
just stop
they say
just stop
the music is evil
played by the man
the man in the mask
my brains sends
a message
one final request
it says to my heart
speed up
it says
speed up, can't you see?
she is dying
it says
you must speed up!
I still fall
with no way up
letting go of hope
why dream?
dreaming of being saved
when I already know
I'll only be dropped.
I smell
something burnt
burning
oh, no
I know what
that smell
it is flesh
not mine
surely
but belongs to someone else
someone close
they too
they smell of dirt
sinners burning
dead
they are nothing to me
they are the stench
in my nose
nothing more
the smell overcomes all
all the other senses
until it becomes me
and I burn too.
even in the dark
the black
I see something
darker
blacker than black
they are shadows
they mock me
they play
they sing
they dance
they laugh
I fill with evil
hatred
a longing to hurt
hurt the ones behind it all
then
without warning
I hear him
laughing
my pain
is his pleasure
oh so dark
it's over
I'm at the bottom
laying on the cold ground
in a small ball
too weak to stand
in a pool
of dark blue blood
I hold myself tight
I can't trust
these creatures
these beasts.
he likes my weakness
he tells me I am small
I am ugly
I am worthless
I am nothing
he laughs when I cry
I thought that
maybe
just maybe
it would be better
down here
instead of up there.
it's not.
hell is not a game.
death is not an
easy way out.
do not try to visit me.
do not try to rescue me.
for I am more lost
than I hope you will
ever be.
now that I am
at my fate
at the entrance to hell
at the bottom of this grave
of my eternity
and if I am truly
here forever,
I'll have plenty of time
to ask myself
why did I jump?


Long poem by Brian Johnston | Details |

So Many Questions

(A both serious and fanciful encounter with God)          

1. There are so many questions that I have for God, 
Oh my love, don't you feel the same way? 
While it's true that we may just have met in this poem
You must know that I care what you say.
Like who made the Creator and then who made Him? 
To infinity this clearly goes.
But a 'whole universe' that 'exists on its own? '
It's orgasmic! And that curls my toes.

It seems possible God could create this strange thing
Which some atheists call 'the big bang, '
Which puts God the creator at source once again
'Self-creation' becomes boomerang.
In the end science usually makes simple right
And in this case that doesn't seem odd
For it's clear that although God explains 'the big bang, '
'The big bang' just can't explain God. 


2. Now some people think that for the Church to survive
That the Bible must 'un-airant' be
Though that leaves many liberals gasping for air
And I certainly mean to include me.
Didn't Christ turn established Church square on its head
And accuse experts of speaking trash
Their self-aggrandizements the flailings of the dead, 
Their pronouncements the value of ash? 

So where in the Bible does it claim to be true
That each man's take on it is Gospel? 
The foolishness of this thought clearly would make the
Deity of mere men possible.	
And Christ spoke in parables, while I am on it, 
While they may contain truth, are they true? 
Shifting sand's the ground literalists stand on, 
I don't want God's Church built there, do you? 
 

3. I suspect overall that our God is too small
Modeled after folks tied down with chain, 
A God that's too small is really no God at all
And our saying we know Him just vain. 
Today's Kingdom of Grace has become one of fear
As we try to trap God with His Word, 
Surely our doing battle with Father or Son	
Trying to save ourselves is absurd.

So what does it mean to believe in Christ Jesus? 
And how can I be cleansed in Christ's flame
I think it is clear you should be different from Satan
And he certainly knows Jesus' name.
In fact one could divine Satan knows Christ is real
A fact Satan will take to his grave.
But Satan's not willing to walk in Christ's footsteps
And that's whom God chooses to save.
 

4. Surely there's nothing wrong with our questioning God
For God commands us, 'Forbid them not, '	
'Suffer the little children to come unto me	.'
Does that sound like God's wrath is our lot? 
It is true of course, we know that God gets angry
But His essence still always is Grace.
It is not who you are, it is just what you do
That can make Him get into your face.

With Karen Armstrong now alive on the scene
It is clear that God's heart is still showing
When she says 'Doubt is not the opposite of faith...
Certainty is! ' A huge debt to God I am owing.
For certainty is certainly not my standard
And sometimes that does give me pause.
But the Grace that I feel in God's presence
Is what brings me to peace with His laws.


5. So now that we've managed to clear up some big stuff
Let's tackle some things that are fuzzy
Like Jesus would frequently call God his 'father'
But God could not have a thing, does He? 
I'm sure that some ladies will not be too happy
To hear that God's not one of their clan
Remember the Bible says God's church is His bride, 
Not much room there for doubt He's a man.

Women
'But if that's really true He's not me, more like you, 
No way could that ever be called fair.
Thanks a lot! Doesn't seem much like heaven to me
Woman still dragged around by their hair.	'
Men
'Hold on now, wait a bit: Please! let's not have a fit
Seems like men have a right to feel blue! 
Even though we are all getting married to God
Recall men are to be His bride too! ' 


6. If science and traditional faith disagree
Then it's clear that there is something wrong
One could ignore it but both come from God
So take care if the science is strong.	
Intelligent scholars of Biblical truth say 
Creation is six thousand years past
But science proves this wrong over 4 billion years
In one universally huge blast.

The Bible was written two thousand years ago
For folks who knew little of science.
When you speak to a child, you know he's not adult, 
And you use what we call common sense, 
Not hard to accept that the Bible is dated, 
Don't stew over it for heaven's sake.
This isn't a sign that our God would mislead us, 
He who died for you is not a fake.


7. And now for an odd bit, just where does Science fit
With God's gift of Grace for the many? 
'Seek, you shall find, knock and it be opened to you: '
As good a definition as any.
'Every good and perfect gift comes from the father.'
I am grateful to God for His Word.
And you devil's children who call God's gift evil, 
For repentance I offer a bird.

Our God's revelation to man is ongoing, 
With faithfulness through all the ages
The only requirement of mankind it would seem
Is willingness to turn the pages.
Not just pages of Bible but pages of stars
Which are surely God's heart written large.
Let us follow Him to where new worlds conquer fear 
And our service to LOVE so discharge.

Brian Johnston
December 17-19,2013

Poet's Notes:
Whew! This poem is another one of those 'where did that come from' poems. I want to let go of it, YET IT KEEPS  ON GROWING LIKE THE 'THE BLOB! '

So don't be surprised if I offer new stanzas.
Think I feel something else clearly perking.
I'm taking requests to so if you have a pet peeve 
Just forward on to me, don't be shirking.

Love in advance, 
Brian

PS: Thank you God


Long poem by Mario DE PAZ | Details |

Dante's divine comedy translation HELL CANTO VI

Continues the translation of the great Dante's poem written 700 years ago,
 probably the most important poetry ever written in the human story

When my mind returned back, after the stop
Due to pity for two brothers in law,
Which caused in sad confusion me to drop,

New torments and new too tormented flaw
I see around, as I move wherever
And as I look back, and with eyes I draw.

I am at the third circle, where forever
It rains, bloody, cold and heavy indeed
Bound and mood of it are changing never.

Large hailstone, dirty water and snow bead
In the gloomy air in great amount pours;
Smells bad the earth which then receives this feed.

Cerberus, cruel monster and grim corps,
With three throats he barks of a dog in guise 
Above the guys which here submerged stores.

Greasy and grim his beard, red ruby eyes, 
And belly large has, and harshly hooked hands;
Scratches the souls, flays and slashes those guys.

Makes them to scream as dogs the rain which lands;
One flank to other they in turn make screen;
Often the wretched trundle with no plans.

When Cerberus saw us, the worm obscene,
His mouths he opened fangs willing to show  
No part of his body he had to lean.  

And my guide rapid stretched then his hands low,
Picked up some soil, and with his fists full filled
It in eager throats he was prompt to throw.

Like a dog which barking covets the willed,
And becomes quiet after eating bite,
Since to devour it is focused and thrilled,

So made those dirty faces apt to fight
Of demon Cerberus, who growls with roars
To souls , who deafness would prefer to fright.

We walked on the spirits beaten corps
By heavy rain, and we were putting feet
On their pride which any person restores.

They all lying on ground in their defeat
Except one who to sit up, rapid rose
When he saw us while passing him to meet.

“Oh you that come within this hell so close”,
He told me, “Recognize me, if you know;
You were born, before my death you arose”.

And I to him: “the anguish you now show
Maybe is taking you out of my mind
So that it goes as I never you saw.

But tell me who you are in such unkind
Place you are held and suffer such a pain,
That, if any greater, no worse can find”

And he to me: “Your city, a full drain
Of envy that already slops the bag,
Held me during my peaceful life and plane.

You fellows named me Ciacco as a tag
For the gluttony indeed damned my sin,
As you can see, in this rain I drag.

And I sad soul am not alone here in,
Because all  these in such a pain are held
For the same sin”. And then hushed with a grin.

I answered : “Ciacco, to see you felled
Weighs on me so much that it makes me cry;
But tell me, if you know, where are impelled

The people of  city used to defy;
If anybody fair is there; and tell 
Of such a great discord the reason why”.

And he to me: “After long fight and yell
Blood shall then flow, and after the wild side
Will expel others with offense as well.

After that correctly this will down slide
Within three suns,  overcoming other
With the strength of guy who is now beside.

High will hold foreheads for long time rather,
Keeping the other under heavy weight
So that it will cry and strongly bother.

Two fair there are, and have no hearing mate;
Arrogance envy and avarice are
The three sparks which the hearts enkindled sate”.

Here put an end to crying words so far.
And I to him: “I want you teach me still
And that of your speaking give me a jar. 

Farinata and Tegghiaio, who honor fill,
Jacopo Rusticucci, Arrigo, Mosca too
And the others who for good used their skill,

Tell me where are and how can see them through
Because a great desire I have to know
If own sweet heavens or hell gives them ado” 

And he: “are within the most black souls low;
Many different faults brings them to deep:
You will see them down there if you far go.

But when to the sweet world again you keep,
I pray you that my mind have to recall:
I don’t speak more, no word from me can reap”.

The straight eyes to grim he twisted to stall;
Looked at me a bit and his head then bent:
Fell down with it as the others blind all. 

And guide told me: “He will not have ascent
Until angelic trumpet shall bring sound,
When of the hostile power occur descent:

Each one shall then see his grave in the ground,
Shall keep his body then and shape again,
Shall hear the eternal roar to rebound”.

So we trespassed over that dirty drain
Made of shadows and of rain, with slow pace,
Touching a bit of future life the lane; 

So I told: “Master, these torments we face
After the final verdict shall more grow,
Or will be less, or equal will retrace?

And he: “Back to your science have to go,
Which implies, as much as it is perfect,
That you feel the good, as well as the woe.

Although this people damn and also wrecked
A truly perfect status cannot get,
In other place not this is to expect”.

We walked that circle  road for a bit,
Much more speaking than I can now recall;
We reached the point which to down grade admit:

Here we found Pluto, the enemy tall.


Long poem by Mario DE PAZ | Details |

Divine Comedy translation, Hell Canto XI

On the extremity of  a tall bank 
Of big broken stones in round circle done
We reached up a more cruel clutter flank;

And there, for the horrible and strong stun
Of rotten stench which the deep abyss throws,
We then approached, from back, a stone lid dun

Of a large grave, where written words arose
Telling: “Pope Anastasio I see,
Who to Fotin the wrong way could impose”.

“Our getting down suitably slow should be,
So that we use not sense at first too much
Toward bad souls, and then at high degree”.

So my master; and I “No fee as such”,
Told him, “Finds the one who obtains that time
Is not lost”. And he: “My thought you touch”.

“My dear son, inside this stony grime”,
He started to tell, “Three small circles are
Grade after grade, as the one you just climb.

All are full of souls accursed by far;
And even if their view enough be might,
You may know why they have such a bar.

Of all evils, which blame in God ignite,
Hurt is the end, and any end is thus
With force or fraud to else a stinging bite.

But since fraud in man is wrong built in plus,
Displeases God; and for this are more low
Fraudulents, and have more sorrow and cuss.

Violent people have all the first bow;
But since three kinds of forces are in act,
It is shared in three turns I shall show.

To God, to oneself, to else is impact
Produced, either to them or to their things,
As you shall hear and feel quite well in fact.

Death with wildness and painful stings
To else are given, and to what he has too
Ruins, fire and whatever losses brings;

Thus killers and any who wildness grew,
Robbers and raiders, harasses them all
The circle first just for damned not a few.

A man can in himself roughness install
And in his goods too: but in the doors
Of second circle he has then to bawl

Whoever self  deprives in world of yours,
Bets and destroys his goods in full indeed,
And cries just there where joy ought to have corps.

One might too against God roughness mislead,
Within heart denying and cursing him,
Despising his nature and his good deed; 

For this reason marks in the lowest rim
Both Sodoma and Caorsa with his sign
And who, with heart against  God exerts vim.

Fraud, for which any conscience has to pine, 
Might man exert against whom gives him trust
And when a loan return has to decline.

This way of acting looks as breaking just
Even the bond of love which nature did;
So that in the second circle stay must

Cant, flattery, and who uses cheat bid,
Deceitfulness, theft, and simony too,
Pimps, fences and similar degraded.

Such way of acting then that love cuts through
Done by nature, and the one which adds next,
Which can a special form of faith accrue;

Thus in the minor circle, at the plex
Of universe where Dite happen to dwell,
Whoever deceives is forever vexed”.

And I: “Master, progresses clearly well
Your reasoning, and it shows clear  indeed
This abyss and folks which here live and  fell.

But tell me: that people in the swamp decreed,
Windswept, and hardly swept by rain,
And with harsh words to ever fighting cede,

Why aren’t they in the red town domain
Punished, if are that much in wrath to God?
And if doesn’t feel so, why in that bane?

And he to me: “Why is your mind so flawed”,
Told, ”your genius from usual is so far?
Or your mind by something else might be awed?

Don’t you now remember those words which are 
The ones your Ethics then well knows and wants
The three provisions which heavens bar,

Incontinence, malice and also taunts
Of mad wildness? And how incontinence
Less God offends of  people who it flaunts?

If you consider well again this sentence,
And recall to your mind now who are those
That just up there outside have penitence,

You see well how for such sinners it goes 
A different way, and why worried less
Divine revenge hits them but then less close”.

“Oh sun which aids any sight under stress,
You can fill so much my hope when you solve,
That, more than knowing, I like  doubts to guess.

Yet back just a little you should revolve”,
I told, “where is who with usury hits
The divine goodness, and the knot  resolve”

“Philosophy”, he told me, “If  brain fits,
Notes, and not only in one of its parts,
How nature always hers good pattern gets

From divine mind and also from his arts;
And if your Physics are perceiving well,
You shall find, and not after many charts,

That your art, when possible, to excel
As scholar with master, follows that one
So that your art can almost God propel. 

From these two, if your thought can also run
To Genesis from beginning, is right
To get  own life and surpass the outdone; 

And since the usurer chose a way trite,
Neither nature nor what it follows yet
Prizing, to pose his hope in else he might.

But follow me by now, I like sky set;
Since Fishes flicker on horizon up
And Dipper above Chorus is to get

And the flounce above there is our down step”. 


Long poem by David William Breidenthal | Details |

My Fruitful Flight During Nightfall

I’m getting tracked down by nightfall
Hear me…hear me…out as I fall…
Hear my call; my heart’s pounding in appall 
I fall down – hear my pleas and answer my call
Don’t hang up on me at all!
I’m losing my head – it’s nothing new…
No one has a clue that I’m feeling blue
Steer me…steer me…Out of darkness and the abyss 
Let us float away from the ebony skies of lies
It’s so spooky in this solitary cave
But, I’ll remain brave…brave…
I’m alone – are you alone?
I’m getting tracked down by nightfall
Hear me…hear me…out as I fall…
Hear my call; my heart’s pounding in appall 
I fall down – hear my pleas and answer my call
Don’t hang up on me at all!
I’m walking in the woods with no one by my side as usual
I’m sleeping on the branch of a giant tree…
Hear my lament in this song of sadness and slight content
Things could be worse today – 
I sway like the wind…so free and gay
You put a spell on me like a Disney movie…
You are my treasure to discover under the wild, blue sea
Feeling shady and rather terrible today
I’m getting tracked down by nightfall
Hear me…hear me…out as I fall…
Hear my call; my heart’s pounding in appall 
I fall down – hear my pleas and answer my call
Don’t hang up on me at all!
Friends cheer me up all the way all day long – yay! 
Let’s have a magical duel! That would be cewl!
I have outlandish, yet epic pals, 
Filled up with passionate and eccentric fuel! 
They have answered my many calls!
I sing with so much heart and soul – I sang with effort and pride!
Confidence has leaded me along the way – don’t swallow me up, sorrow tide!
You are my emerald compass…
Not leading me astray…
Filling my heart up to the brim with cheerfulness and hopefulness
I’m getting tracked down by nightfall
Hear me…hear me…out as I fall…
Hear my call; my heart’s pounding in appall 
I fall down – hear my pleas and answer my call
Don’t hang up on me at all!
I pray I would remain happy forever and ever – I want you to stay!
I want you to stay and motivate me to push forward
I know, dear child – sometimes, I can act awkward! 
The spotlight is staring me down like a hawk, looking for prey day and night
I pray…I earnestly pray 
That I sing well! Might as well take divine flight
However, I’m getting tracked down by nightfall
Hear me…hear me…out as I fall…don’t kick me around like a ball!
Hear my call; my heart’s pounding in appall! 
I will remain as robust and firm like a wall 
I will not fall down anymore – I will not give in to you
Hear my pleas and answer my call! Healing from the love flu
Sick with the love flu still…and you still don’t get the clue, do you?
I love you…but I’m lost in the maze of bewilderment…
I throw a fit like a 2-year-old infant! I must be bold and be made whole with content 
I hate being in my skin – I’d rather be in someone else’s shoes
Don’t hang up on me at all!
I pray…that you would stay and not stray!
Do not stray…obey and go this way!
My flight during nightfall
Is extraordinary – I must stand tall and give it my all! 
I must stand tall and give it my all
I must stand my ground and give it my all…
Don’t make me feel invisible…
You’re so irresistible…irreplaceable!
Walk with confidence
Let gladness and joyousness enter your heart 
Be optimistic and take fantastic flight with me! Perlease? 
Take action and the chaos will cease…you have heard my pleas!
You have heard my pleas at least! 
It feels that the atmosphere is negative 50 degrees…
You caught my dreamy gaze
Your friendship is a priceless deal
Your maze – I would gratefully graze!
I wish you would emotionally heal
Conceal the sorrow and reveal your high hopes in Tomorrow! ~
What are you waiting for? Explore the Joyous Island with me, please?
We used to roam the fields of innocence 
We’re just a few minutes from Home – am I of any significance? 
I have memorized your face like the lyrics to my favorite song 
Do you have enough energy to finish the race?
I can tell you’re putting effort into your work by the sweat of your brow…I long…
To see you at the finish line! You and I aren’t left without a trace!
Where’s the finish line? You’re looking fine and I feel like I truly, sincerely belong!
Your glory is what I envy, but you and I can share vast grace
The many shimmering stars start to align
You and I…you and I can shine on…we unveil a secret, harmonious sign
I don’t know why… I don’t know why I cry tears of anguish…
Goodbyes afflict my soul…overwhelming me with lament…I wish!
I wish! I wish! I can shine on like a gem in my solitary cave
I don’t want to succumb to my fretful fate – leading me to my death…my misery grave
We can both glisten in the moonlight
We’re flying so high in the aqua-blue sky – I’m not afraid at all!
I must not stumble or fall! David, stand tall! I must give it my all!
I must get a grip and take fervor-flavored, fantastic flight…
You placed me on Cloud 7! Wish me luck in my fruitful flight during nightfall!


Long poem by Timothy Hicks | Details |

Different Dream

After a hard day at work I come home
Hear my boy rapping the words to his headphones
Every bleep comes another bleep
As he keeps dancing to the beat
Come upstairs and barge through the door
Say to him, "Boy whatcha listenin' to that for?"
As I rip it out of his ears
Turn around and look in the mirror
Get ya head outta the gutter son
You talk to ya mother with that tongue?
Ought'a lean you down and wash your mouth soap
Teach you a lesson and just barely make you choke

Dad, you don't understand
This is me, this is who I am!

Boy, you freeze it right there
Just so I know we're good and square
I'm your father, sit down when I say so
This is home, this is where the green grass grows
Can't be the one to follow you where you go
Can't take you as is and just tie a little bow
Around it and be happy
You ain't what I expected you'd be
After all this hard work to bring home the bacon
Just to come home to see the fuss you making!?

Imma be big and travel the world,
Be famous and get hooked with any girl
I'm tired of this rice 'n' beans, I wanna taste some of that green!

Stop it child, you making a scene, a mockery of ya ma and me
Do yourself a favor and dream a different dream

 The strings are for those with charm
And fame are for those holding cards
Your inner core will just burst at the seams
They say play it safe
And dream a different dream
Billionaires are cowards in disguise
Their careers built upon money and lies
Your inner core will just burst at the seams
They say play it safe
And dream a different dream

I remember when you was little
Your mind was like some twisted riddle
Rapping the lyrics
To your idols, Snoop Dog and Jay-Z
Acting like you knew what they meant
But boy, you could barely read
Spittin' rhymes don't put a roof over ya head
Or clean the dirty sheets in your bed
All those fancy clothes don't give ya fame
just brings your family to shame
Look at you playing life like it's a game
Joining all those gangs just to bleed
Gettin' high and smokin' weed

Dad, it ain't like that
I'm not some filthy rat
Planting my seed wherever
Imma stay true forever
Build myself upon lyrical tether
Striving to be as authentic as leather
Come on dad, can't we get it together?

Your grandpa was born and raised in the meadows
No Internet, no microwave, just planting corn rows
But right now the grass is as green as it's gonna get
And if you ain't got that through ya head yet
As your pops I'm really quite upset

 Take these words right from my mouth
And give 'em wings to fly south
Or I will run from this house like the ratatouille mouse
Tired of this cheese I want something more
The birds and the bees aren't what I'm looking for
I don't wanna die like everybody else
Just put in a hole and call it a grave
I don't wanna die with nothing to my name
If I'm not looking up I'm going south
You can scream and cuss at me with ya sailor's mouth
I'm still leaving and I'm taking the dangerous route

The strings are for those with charm
And fame are for those holding cards
Your inner core will just burst at the seams
They say play it safe
And dream a different dream
Billionaires are cowards in disguise
Their careers built upon money and lies
Your inner core will just burst at the seams
They say play it safe
And dream a different dream

Here I am, standing in this trailer
In your eyes I'm a failure
For wanting to travel the world like a sailor
From Beverly Hills to New York City
At this point I don't even care if you're with me
I may have augmented my hopes a bit too high
But I was tired of looking through telescopes, that habit can die
But dad look at me now
No longer in a small town
Can't be modest I have to boast
I'm traveling the world from coast to coast
In everybody's head is my riffs
And I wish you were here to see this
Swallow your pride long enough to shed a tear
Remember what you used to say, "Turn around, look in the mirror"...?
I wasn't no golden child and you weren't the perfect dad
But come on now, that's a thing of the past
You can ditch your bacon, eggs and Jimmy Dean
Live in luxury in your fields of green
Come on dad, won't you dream this different dream
with me?



NOTE: Words in italics are from the son's perspective, words in normal font are from the father's perspective, and words in bold is the chorus line.

I'm not sure where the idea came from. I was on a camping trip, heading back home, and all the sudden this whole elaborate story came to me and I started writing it all down on a notepad (back then I didn't have my Kindle Fire).


Long poem by Roy Jerden | Details |

La Bejarena

La Béjareña

Oh sweet Angel of Jesus, wherefore lies your grave?
Your blood that is of Navarro, that Corsican so brave
She was a proud Tejana, such a beauty once they say
That enchanted Santa Anna, so far back in the day

On fairy feet she floated in Béjar’s promenade
Like radiating moonbeams her beauty was conveyed
Mantilla and peineta in the latest Spanish style
Caballeros peacocked near her, each hoping for a smile

But for noble Béjar maidens, any glancing was taboo
Except for caballeros that her family nodded to
A curtsey and a flourished bow were the courtly ways
Of greeting one another back in those golden days

Such a fine tradition was the Béjar promenade 
To the Veramendi Palace, perhaps a masquerade
Or to dance a light fandango by the river’s perfumed air
All seemed much more beautiful when close to one so fair

Those were the days of wonder, when Béjar was so sweet
Before the revolution, and the Alamo’s defeat
Before some Anglos came to take with gun and Negro slave
The land that brave Tejanos had bled and died to save

Béjar was filled with drunkards, and rogues of every kind
No promenade was possible in streets so unrefined
And over near the Alamo, where freedom’s price was dear
The price was now determined by the slavery auctioneer

And yet one Anglo gentleman, a major in the war
Touched with noble chivalry, and the ways of a señor
The captured despot’s life did save, upon that victory day
From those who would have hanged the knave, down San Jacinto way

The moment that she met him, in the formal Spanish style
And looked into his honest eyes without a trace of guile
And read his soul so brave and pure, it seemed that time stood still
As nature linked their hearts as one, according to its will

A thousand days of happiness, a thousand days of bliss
Were all that God would grant them both before their final kiss
She laid her hero in his grave, and took their son in hand
And thought of how to speak to him and make him understand

Her gentle eyes had lost their shine; her hair was touched with gray
They wed her to the Dunker man, who took her far away
He never knew her sorrow, he never knew her soul
Inside her lonely citadel of iron self-control

He left her for another wife, and cast them all aside
But a mother’s duty to her sons would never be denied
And at the age of fifty-six, the time at last arrived
When she could welcome willingly the deadly reaper’s scythe

Oh sweet Angel of Jesus, wherefore lies your grave?
Your blood that is of Navarro, that Corsican so brave
By the village of Las Moras, down Rio Bravo way?
No one seems to know for sure, unto this very day

Oh, sons of Navarro!  Let not that Béjar rose
Lie with the dust of strangers, where no one ever goes
Join her with her heart's true love, on acres gently blessed
With shady hills below pecans, where heroes go to rest

Notes:
This historical poem is about one of my HS classmate's Tejano (in the original 
sense) ancestors from the time of the Texas Revolution and the story is told 
from that perspective.

The main characters are not named in the poem intentionally, and place names 
are the old Spanish ones, but I will share with you the names of the 
protagonist and her true love, in case you are interested in reading about 
them. Her name was Angela de Jesus Maria Blasa Navarro. She was the niece of 
Juan Antonio Navarro, one of the signers of the Texas Declaration of 
Independence and a member of the important Navarro family of Bejar, present 
day San Antonio. She married William Gordon Cooke, one of the heroes of the 
Texas revolution, who is buried on Republic Hill at the Texas State cemetery 
along with other notables. Angela was buried near Brackettville, originally called 
Las Moras.


The Dunker man was Angela's 2nd husband, Abraham Geiger Martin. He was a 
member of the German Baptist Brethren church, nicknamed Dunkers because 
they practiced full body baptism, but required three full immersions before you 
were properly baptized. Apparently the marriage was a total failure and he 
divorced her, leaving her to raise his son and William Cooke's son alone.


Long poem by Amber Stratton | Details |

Blinded By Darkness

I was blinded by darkness
Not knowing where I planted each footfall
I had a body I had a heart
I had a mind and most of all a soul
I thought I was alive with happiness and joy
Alive with peace in my soul
But I was wrong dead wrong
I was all but dead to the world
It was Death that captured and trapped me
In a grave not letting go of me
In the end not knowing it was little ol’ me
Trying to breathe trying to fight my way out
Thinking I was almost there to the top but not even moving
I thought I was justified by my negativity and actions
Not knowing it was trapping me further down
Displaying the ignorance of my ways without caring for the ones I loved
The pain of it that was caused went noticed 
Everyone telling me but not realizing it until now
Letting the deceit and evil willingly roll off my tongue
Thinking I was always right on everything
Thinking that all I need was the trust of man
No matter how long I sat by the fire I was cold
Even when the sunlight was resting upon my skin
I was still ice cold as Death’s very own 
I did not think that life would be this dead within
The darkness of the ice cold abyss of the grave yard
Picking and choosing what to do seems right but it wasn’t
Trying again and again until finally picking up the one thing 
That I thought would not help me in the long run
Thinking that I had all the love in the world 
Knowing that nothing can bring me down was one
Of the biggest lies I made myself believe for so long
Thinking I had fait and love in my life but I was wrong
And in the end all there  is was nothing but darkness 
Deceit and evil rolling off the tongues of you so called 
People walking blindly through the shadows
Of the ever present grasp of Deaths darkest abyss
Of all the wickedness that has been committed in my life 
Why now has the Mighty Father and Mother given me a second chance 
Why have they forgiven me of my sins without a second thought
Have I really forgiven myself so the Father the Mother and the Divine
To enter my body my mind my heart and my soul
Has the Lord and the Lady really seen that I have been trying to 
Change and to become an adult woman mentally so my 
Husband can rely on me in the time of need like now
I thought I was ready to begin a life with kids 
Until I realized that I am still one myself
How will the Lord and Lady tell me when I am ready to have
The family I want with my husband who is my soulmate 
All I can do is wait ever so patiently for the moment
The Lord and Lady will tell me when I am ready 
Inside that dark grave a white light came to me
With a hand to pull me out of my hole I dug and saved me
From my own condemned version of hell after praying 
They deliver me from my sins and the trespasses I’ve done
What are people going to do when they see me 
Completely changed after the long visit to LCJ
God and Goddess thank you for saving my when I thought 
There was no way for me to be saved and unworthy of it
Again thank you for everything I currently have
In my life my wonderful loving husband that only
Sees the potential in me all the time and the love he 
Gives so unconditionally to me even when I 
Do wrong in his eyes or the law’s eyes please 
Show him the same lovingkindness and forgiveness you 
Have so heavily laid on me to realize and forgive 
Myself and those around me like I should
Have so long ago when you tried to show me the light
I have forgiven myself of the anger and hate I had
For my adopted family and now it is in the past I cannot 
Change that but however I can change how the future 
Goes by what I say and plan to do now today
I can look back not so long ago the darkness that 
Covered my eyes then and hope the light keeps the veil away
I can see all the negative emotions that were running 
And controlling me I had no idea what to do 
Now I am grateful for the things I have for 
The things I have come to realize on top of everything
I am the most thankful to you in my life 
When I thought I did not deserve the love 
And the care you have shown me 
 
Love is for an eternity, not just a second, minute, hour or even a day. 


Long Poems