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Long Poems
Long poem by arthur vaso | Details |

The Library of Trust and Hope

The Library of Trust and Hope
The Bank of Trust and Hope

(Cant decide on title, so feel free to pick or suggest one)

She was all but four years of age
Birthdays were such magical moments
The cake was filled with candles
The balloons still in their package twelve on the table

Daddy daddy, I can not fill these balloons!!
They are not magic like you said!!!!!
Do not fret Maria, its daddy who is magical
I shall help you little one, let me see those balloons

Sure enough daddy blew up twelve white and pink balloons
Maria was in awe at daddy’s magical powers
She knew her daddy would fight dragons to bring her but a smile
Maria knew she was safe in daddy's arms, oh what a birthday this will be

Maria was now ten years older
Fourteen years old and already filled with so many happy memories
On this fall day, home from school
There was grandpa in the back yard as usual

He was tending his garden of roses
When she was younger, he told her they were magical roses
Grandma would speak to him in his magical garden
From the heavens above

Now at eighteen, daydreaming in a coffee shop
A stranger picks up a rose from an empty table
A smile oozing in charm, stares into her eyes
This is for you, beauty for beauty

She was swept off her feet, in a whirlwind romance
They danced and dined, it seemed all on her dime
Until the morning she awoke, completely alone
Both lover and credit cards did abscond

Now twenty one, and wise to the world
Absorbed in her studies, somewhat colder than one should be for that age
A chilly fall day in an empty library
A stranger comes, giving her a drawing of a red rose

Hello he says! I drew this for you!
Oh no she thinks to herself, not another one!
Politely she smiles and replies thank-you, but I am taken
This stranger smiles right back and says, the drawing is for you no matter

The next week, and the weeks after, the same routine
He comes to her with a drawing of another beautiful rose
She politely declines his advances
Maria knows that a rose, has a stem, and that comes with pricks

The twelfth week and here he is again
What is the poor girl to do?
She is curious, and she can not quite help herself
She asks, from what do you draw such beautiful flowers?

He smiles kindly and replies
How about next week, I show you?
We can have a coffee, and discuss art
Hesitating she just can not say no to this simple gesture of kindness

They are walking along, and surprisingly she finds herself
Quite intrigued with the ease of their conversation
He takes hold of her hand, and says I live over there, the house in red
She has no time to object as he pulls her forward to the backyard

She stares in absolute shock and awe at what appears before her
Why its the most beautiful, wonderful, enchanting English garden she ever saw
You? she stammers, you made this?
He smiles shyly and says; well now you know what inspires my drawings

Now Maria is eighty and filled with both happiness and sadness
Her husband of all these years has passed on
To be with all his precious roses in the heavens waiting
She sits in their garden, remembering a life time of memories

She picks a single rose, and inhales its fragrance
Contemplating the wisdom's of life
I miss you so much my love
You taught me trust is earned and not given
	Your love was my blanket of happiness, wait for me my love, 
		I am yours eternally

Dear Reader

I was lucky in life to have had a good upbringing. My daddy, showered me with love, but most of all he taught me that gifts were not objects, balloons were not magical, nor was he. I learned that what was magical is the time and effort he took to love me, and protect me and those memories I so cherish, but they also he showed me the values I hold dear in myself and those around me. 

Then there was dear old grandpa. His garden was his passion, and I suspect that if I could have had more time to spend with him, it was really grandma’s passion, and after her passing, this was the activity that kept him close to her soul. In that respect, I guess it was truly a magical garden. Whenever he saw me, his eyes would light up, he would pour lemonades and he told me such wonderful stories. Unlike many though, he listened to all my troubles and told me, that in life I had to learn some things the hard way, but that he himself knew for a certainty that I would find the love and happiness, that as a young women, I felt would be lost to me forever.

I re-tell my story for all the people out there that have lost trust in others, or have lost hope in humanity. You may have your heart stolen for awhile, someone can bring you sadness, but never let them steal your soul. Learn that trust is earned, not given, and never punish the rest of the world, for your bad experience, for ultimately it is you who suffers most. Be giving, kind and generous, with a strong will and mind. If someone does not respect you, then they shall never earn your trust, and that’s how it should be. Be wise, be prudent, be safe, but most of all be open to love and kindness

God bless
Maria Sefue

Copyright © arthur vaso

Long poem by Chris D. Aechtner | Details |

Workshop Poem: Black Jesus

Sitting in an ultra-modern café,
sitting among people too cool to be warm,
sipping on a coffee with a long, fancy name,
I ponder about how far I've come
since making coffee over an open fire --
brewing it like a true desperado.

There's a poster pinned up on the wall,
an image of Black Jesus staring down at me,
causing me to feel guilty
for hanging out with all this money,

for hanging out with all this decadence.

Black Jesus stares down at me,
causing me to feel guilty.

Is this how the madness starts?
I can hear Black Jesus talking to me,
while he hangs there on the wall.

"Why have you turned your back on me again?"

"Black Jesus, I haven't done such a thing, why I still...."

"Oh please man, don't tell me how I died for your sins, because my message was lost in translation. I didn't die for your sins, your egos are massive. I was merely made into a mirror for you to pick up and see your flawed reflection within -- to see how many sacrifices you need to make for this world."

"But, Black Jesus, I am trying so hard...."

"Stop. Son, you haven't been trying hard enough, mainly faking mere forgeries to make yourself feel better, is all. I was the beggar you passed before coming in here. You turned your back on the beggar, you turned your back on me."

"You mean -- he just wants another fix. If I give him money, he'll use it to buy another hit!"

"Nonsense. I gave you a test, and you completely failed it again. You should've brought me home, offered me a hot meal and a place to hang my weary head."

"That dude! He might have lice or worse. He might be a crazy, slit my throat from ear to ear while I sleep."

"Please kid, don't talk to me about sacrifice. You can't just walk around singing praise, thinking, 'Jesus loves me this I know', or 'Jesus died for our sins.' 
Nah, it isn't easy like that, it isn't easy like that at all. You have to make a sacrifice each and every time, no matter how high the cost. And not because someone might be watching, not for the reward of a make-believe heaven, but because it feels right.''

I stare into my ten dollar coffee, 
wonder if someone had spiked it hard,
spiked it with Uptight-Timothy Leary's magical carpet ride,
Black Jesus looming over me, causing me to feel guilty.

Hanging on the wall, Black Jesus looks straight through me.

April, 2010


Revised (so far -- needs more editing)

Sitting in an ultra-modern café,
sitting among people too cool to be warm,
sipping on a coffee with a long, fancy name,
I contemplate how far I've come
since making coffee over an open fire—
brewing it like a true desperado.

There's a poster on the wall—
an image of Black Jesus stares down at me,
causing me to feel guilty
for hanging out with all this money,
for hanging out with all this decadence.

I hear a voice emanate from the poster.
(is this how the madness starts?)

"Turned your back on me? Again?"

Black Jesus, I haven't done such a thing, why I still—

"Oh please man, don't tell me how I died for your sins, because the message was lost in translation. I didn't die for your sins, your egos are massive. I was made into a mirror for you to pick up and see your flawed reflection within, to see how many sacrifices you need to make for this world."

But, I am trying so hard—

"Stop. Son, you haven't been trying hard enough, conjuring up forgeries to make yourself feel better, is all. I was the beggar who you passed before coming in here. You turned your back on the beggar, you turned your back on me."

You mean—he just wants another fix. If I give him money, he'll use it to buy another hit!

"Nonsense. I gave you a test, and you completely failed it again. You should've brought me home, offered me a hot meal and a place to hang my weary head."

That dude! He might have lice or worse. He might be a crazy, slit my throat while I sleep.

"Please kid, don't talk to me about sacrifice. You can't just walk around singing praise, thinking, 'Jesus loves me this I know', or 'Jesus died for our sins.' 
Nah, it isn't easy like that, it isn't easy like that at all. You have to make a sacrifice each and every time, no matter the cost. And not because someone might be watching, not for the reward of a make-believe heaven, but because it feels right.''

I stare into my ten dollar coffee, 
wonder if someone had spiked it hard,
spiked it with Uptight-Timothy Leary's magical carpet ride.

In an ultra-modern café,
among people too cool to be warm, 
Black Jesus looms over me.

Nailed to the wall, 

Black Jesus looks straight through me.

2015 workshop version

*Author's note: 

After removing some of the repetition/redundancy,
I felt that too much of it had been removed, 
thus negatively altering the original motion and sound 
by cutting too close to the bone.
So I cauterized the wound, gained back some weight, 
and unpinched the nerves, to offer more vessel 
for the intended frequency to flow through.    


Copyright © Chris D. Aechtner

Long poem by Robert Candler | Details |

The Sooner Recruit

Fifty years, boy and man, I’ve been a Sooners fan;
And watched thousands of recruits try to make my Sooners Team.
Often, I’ve enviously wondered what it must be like
To be a touted Sooners recruit, living out his dream.

He’d had a great career through high school;
Made good grades, was a football star, played baseball too.
Coach said college recruiters were watching closely;
So, he tried his very best to make his dream come true.

You see, he’d played on the L’il Sooners as a kid;
Started getting serious about the game when he was only eight
Played with older, bigger boys and practiced hard;
Always told his friends, “To be a Sooner, ya gotta play great”.

Oh yes, his parents raised a football player;
And, even more important, a Sooners fan;
But he wanted more, to be a Sooner,
To feel the glory raining down from the stands. 

Now, the Sooners’ Head Coach is in his living room.
“Son, you’ve got talent.  We think you fit our scheme.
We’re offering you a scholarship, an opportunity
To be an important member of our great Sooners Team”.

His mother smiles her biggest smile.
His father nods proudly and pats him on the knee.
“Lord knows, son, it’s a dream come true.
Go be the very best Sooner you can be”.

He walks into the locker room,
Not quite sure what to expect;
But sure that to play for the Sooners
He will first have to earn respect.

He looks each man straight in the eye - 
Other recruits, trainers, assistants, and every coach.
“Be proud, but respectful”, his mother had said;
Your character, more than your performance, must be above reproach”.

His handshake is firm and he smiles.
“Only one chance for a first impression”, his father had said;
"Always put yourself in positive light, on and off the field.
That’s what it will take to play for the mighty Big Red”.

He meets so many other recruits, each one a high school star.
He’s played against a few and knows they share his dream.
And, to a man, each knows before any chance for Glory,
He first must prove worthy to play for this Sooners Team.

He knows a few will fail to meet the coaches’ expectations.
For some, the scout team will be their fate.
Many will suit up, but rarely play.
Only the very best will ever dare to be great.

Coach says, “If every man learns and executes when called on,
Then this team, we Sooners, will win a lot of games;
But, win or lose, if you play hard and give your very best,
You’ll never have to hang your heads in shame”.

“But gentlemen, with or without you, this team will win.
Every season, the Sooners strive to win it All.
So, listen, work hard, and prepare yourselves.  Each game is war...
And you must be ready when Victory calls”.

Through grueling practices, he finds himself.
As he walks to class, his closest friends are aches and pains;
But, just the other day, Coach helped him up, smiled, and patted his helmet.
“You’re doin’ fine, son.  Keep pushin’.  Remember, no pain, no gain”.

He sees his name on the "open scrimmage" roster for the very first time.
It’s a moment he’ll never forget, another milestone in his dream.
He calls his Mom and Dad, knowing they’ll tell his family and his friends.
He hopes they’ll actually see him play, proof he’s made the Team.

As he suits up for the last pre-season open scrimmage,
He wonders if the coaches would really let a freshman play at all;
But Coach puts him in for eight plays against the first team;
He makes two great open-field tackles and intercepts the ball.

He barely hears the roar of the crowd, as the whole defense “gives him five”.
He’s so excited, he forgets to ask if he can keep that ball.
Fans are buzzing, “Did you see that hit”!?  “Who is that kid”!?
“Will he red shirt or will Coach let him play this fall”? 

He sees his name in the Sunday paper, hears it on local sports.
He’s happy, but he doesn’t let it go to his head.
He keeps his focus and uses it as motivation.
After all, he wants to start one day for the mighty Big Red.

Yes, we’ll hear more of this young recruit.
Perhaps, one day he’ll be the hero of the game.
A seasoned veteran, maybe All Conference or even All American,
Who’s tasted Victory many times and helped glorify the Sooners’ name.

Oh yes, there have been so many who’ve aspired;
But many fewer who’ve actually made our Sooners Team.
They are our heroes, each and every one;
For it’s through their accomplishments, we fans can live the dream.

Billy Vessels, Steve Owens, Billy Sims, and Jason White,
The Selmons, Little Joe, the Boz, Josh Heupel, and “Q”
They, and so many others, were once touted Sooners recruits;
Who set a higher mark and built the Tradition that is OU.

So, c’mon! c’mon! all you great young football players!
Dedicate your talents to OU’s Team and OU’s Fans.
Make Oklahoma’s Owen Field your Field of Dreams,
And feel the Glory raining down from the stands. 

Copyright © Robert Candler

Long poem by Laura Breidenthal | Details |

Light On the Devil's Chord - Day 11

In a sudden nodding shift,
I was lifted into the air by the hard wings of the Devil
His putrid stench waking me from what seemed all dream
And upon a balcony of singed vine and blackened soot,
He set me standing
The persistent chirping and buzzing,
Wailing and crying from the maelstrom gnawed my gut
As my eyes opened to this new creation  
Swooping swiftly beside me, a tower of jagged filth and beauty all in one,
He looked down upon me, and out at the parted maelstrom,
And the mighty blue-green light pulsating periodically in golds and reds
Emanating in the center of its massive attachment on the walls of the pit
I stood beside him, in awe of my placement,
In awe of such a purpose now,
A moment that seemed so peaceful, yet full of plot and rot
For he rots and rots in his pit, delightful of it
Estranged from the light, and still intrigued by its merge with his nasty night
By the collaborating genius of his spite, and my light

“Look here, woman,
At the breathing entity before you,
How I breathe like you, sing like you, dream like you
And yet we are parted by such a thing as order
That in the command of your God you stand resilient before me
Splitting my maelstrom to merge with your light
And in turn releasing in me, confusing delight
I am most fortunate to attain such a pleasure as this
That He in such faith has put you before me,
To prove we cannot ignite each other 
To prove we cannot delight each other
Did He so believe you would sing these duets,
With sustaining soul and heart,
Without a withered doubt to part
To mark your superiority and strength,
Gainst a prisoner of art…”

I gazed at the masterpiece before me,
Having only heard his song in the background of the increasingly loud buzzing
And my eyes turned to face his gaze, 
For the masterpiece he beheld, was a masterpiece he wished to graze 

“I have suffered lesions of doubt in my past life, Prince,
Entities of darkness swarming like the insects buzzing in your maelstrom,
Their almost human temperaments convincing downfalls I was cursed with
How we are not as righteous as the next prisoner of sin
How we are no different, no special, and nobody wins…
I am not sad that you are here, Devil,
I do not grieve you like a poor kitten in a drainpipe, 
Like a wounded bird screeching for its wings to bring it upright,
You have brought this residence of woe onto yourself, 
And for that I cannot apologize, 
I cannot sympathize,
Or recognize the true feelings your trampled heart forays
I have risen above such angry, bitter and blackened thoughts,
To make need and necessity crave for spirit of truth,
To rest in virtuous contemplation of a heartier creation…
I look out upon this parted maelstrom and see your allowance of my light,
Though I know you cannot fully appreciate what it means to love,
To appreciate the sheer brilliance of its swell,
Its contrast of color from the green-blue fires, 
To the gaping swirls and screams of your hell
I do not feel sorry for what you have done,
But for what will become of you
In the ending times,
Where I will say goodbye

We shant meet upon this balcony as we do today,
Watching our creation, and singing through the fray
I will see no more the long wings, 
The pulsing rings, and the fetid stings 
 You are a lion who will not retreat
And I am a lion who refuses to eat…”

Staring off into the beaming light, 
His eyes trailing detailed swirls of screaming victims,
Hands and feet wriggling in the muck,
The monsters swimming, biting and grinning
He guided my hand to the center of my light

“See the shadows cast within the light you mast,
Your God fought me to never see how they danced,
How I serving He would always last, 
That even the heartiest angels could never surpass
See how the light fights to subsist with my subordinates
How it merely sustains to point out the beauty of each flaw
How it reveals the true evils within,
How it mocks with righteous piety
The Achilles' heel of sin
Without the light in this dark, 
Have I a place to retreat? 
Till Your God has blessed me,
Teased me, with a lioness so prone to me
See us dance in the center between dark and light
How none leads the other,
How none crests or smothers…
This is the Domination Age woman,
Where soon my gates will be open,
Where soon, even your light cannot remain so bright
Gainst the growth of the grin of my beastly scheme
I don’t need you to be sorry for me, woman!
Only awed, inspired, enlightened! 
How this new revelation reveals command only in hiding
You are no longer lion, dreadful daughter in my sight
You are a leech, a vermin, ready to eat, retreat and reveal
You are the messenger to all you stand up for
A slave, in a way, to understanding this bottomless me…”

Copyright © Laura Breidenthal

Long poem by Peter Duggan | Details |

In memory of Bob

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.

Copyright © Peter Duggan

Long poem by Gerald Dillenbeck | Details |

It's About NotFracking Time

A 1952 vintage Connecticut dormered Cape Cod
painted stark bleached white
with slick jet-black shutters,
hyperbolizing a deep racial minority
well, issue really,
in my mind of similar vintage
and incarnational permaculture,
conceived in bold ripe August,
born in bullish economy of May.


So, I painted her.
Wrapped my arms
and rolled around her
in turquoise sea,
and sky blue,
with rain-cloud grey trim,
so she might be less afraid
and so might I.

Born into late millennial Yang,
reconnecting and reweaving with each other
during trans-millennial now,
how will we transform our economic options
to full diversity and springtime
polycultures of May?

We grow transformed,
reframed to coincidentally cooperate our octaves of color
and sound
feeling and mind
Yin and Yang,
concavely conceived,
convexly displaying economic ecological
principles of mindfulness as coincidental noticing,
advent of winter's grateful hibernation,
enthymematically aptic communication
inducing measured calculations back through RNA-regenerating
origin of living systems.

Deductive Left-brained dominance need not apply for comprehension,
balanced by summer's yangish nutritional bullish market,
hope of fruitful outcomed spring,
then summer's faithful following
of full polyculturing
permacultured information root system
formating strings and tendrils
cooperatively absorbing nutrient Spring's and sprouts consumption,
to produce within life-sustainably proportional karmic response
to yang/yin coincidental rich deep ecologically efficient,
and inclusively effective for full speciating diversity,
nutrient cooperative economics,
that might actually be logical,
because they are ecological.

These, harvested permaculturally optimized
positive analogical and ecological,
digital and atomic,
temporal and spatial,
linear dynamic Open Set Universe String


Polynomial Closed Set Prime Relationship
neural frequency and flow,
balanced bicameral logos-logic:
P=NP because
Left-brained information language
thermodynamically balanced with 3 spatial dimensions
covering 1  equivalent temporal-linear dimension
Commons Economic Balance Assumption
(0) Core Vector [B. Fuller and Euler] =
(+) e-function =
+space/(-)(-)time =
space-time-squared =
+1 magnetic balanced QBit quark-function


(-)(0) QBit.


So, all that going on,
more or less,
in our dominant Left hemisphere newer speciated DNA-brain,
AND Right-brained non-linguistic and non-polynomial
intuitive intelligence codes memory dipolar and
coincidentally confluent
(harmoniously proportional flow/frequency neural pattern recognition)
(0) Core Vortex =
(-)(-) [not-polynomial dipolar stricture--implicate order] (D. Bohm)

putting all that mess together,
more or less confluently and permaculturally,
+Polynomial-Yang =
(-)(-)Yin (-1 QBit) Nonpolynomial
intuitive temporal-linear-neural balanced
Optimized Information Permacultured String.

now that my home and I are parting ways,
I'm finally noticing that even my friends and family
don't particularly care for our change of color
and culture.
It's still kind of a hard sell,
this more colorful permaculture
of community
and economy,
and identity,
and design.

Must be time for adventurous reincarnating revolutions
or we will remain merely ahead of our own non-polynomial ending time.

Time opens space's liturgical rite of passage.
Space coincidentally reincarnates time's
4 equivalent ecological dimensioned order.
Positrons incarnate,
inform negative-linear
4-dimensional equivalent dipolar time.

There is no such thing as non-polynomial time or space
or informatiion,
other than negative binomial time
(implicate ordered Right-brain reverse synchronic-aptic coded).
+P (+1QBit) = (-)(-)P =
+/(-)0 Core binary e-function
Prime Core Electromagnetic Balancing Binary-Binomial QBit.

Spring springs polyculture economics
composting through dark and winterish minds and forms and functions,
still looking for greatest inclusive nutrient yield
without suffering dissonantly wilting loss,
cooperatively flying our regenerative kites
co-id/eco-entity tied with time's river of flowing
informating memory strings.

I know,
you were wondering when
I would finally conclude
with the sex part.

Copyright © Gerald Dillenbeck

Long poem by Timothy Hicks | Details |

Know That I Am There

It's the best I can do to explain myself
is standing in between it all, so I can view both sides.
Who are you to say that a summer days more beautiful
than the dead of night?
You profess to have to wisdom by dousing words in philosophical jargon,
but I'm here to let it all loose with an unchained honesty...
it's the best bargain
I have to offer. I practice love cause it's simple.
Respect your body cause it's sacred, a well built temple.
like ramen noodles from the supermarket, just add water
and presto! Easier than reading words off a teleprompter.
Uncensored laughter like it ought to be,
letting it self be know, however audibly.
You don't have to have to reason to love thy neighbor.
When smiles are born from your efforts,
ain't no such thing as hard labor.
Nobody's righteous, man, just a few
who strive to be a little less wicked.
No matter the masks we give ourselves
is ever gonna change the facts that the clock's still ticking.
I believe in God despite what friends close to me might say.
For the sake of fitting in I could claim ignorance,
but there's just no other way.
Cause I know at the end of the day,
there's one all encompassing thought that keeps the doubts at bay,
there's gotta be something more than what I see currently.
Is it so naive to think there lies ahead my unfolding destiny?
God's guidance may be obtained from a book, perhaps,
but I dare you to take a second look
when passing by a mirror
... tell me there's more than what appears.
Is it God you see or is it the devil?
Now let me bring it up a notch to a philosphical level.
Whether you're planting the seeds of kindness
or the seeds of deceit, either way,
it takes effort to roll up your sleeves.
You might as well just be providing carbon dioxide for the trees.
If you don't take chances nothing much happens:
the universe and I unanimously agree.
Call me cardinal cause here I am stating first things first.
Just who the hell are you and what's your purpose?
If a messenger is what you be make it clear as crystal.
Vagueness and obscurity be corruptions might.
A gardener need not be afraid of thorns and thistles.
That's where the berries congregate, am I right?
It's all just talk and not enough walk,
with poetic phrasing I aim to knocks your socks off.
But if you judge by actions I'd be lucky to get a sneeze or cough.
Oh the bitter irony of this conundrum!
A lover of the night who chaseth the sun.
I'm stuck between my two great loves:
The naps in the shadow
and the beauty of the spotlight.
My wish to see the crowds
from the solace of the clouds
or be squeezed between 'em, airtight.
But I just cannot seem to change my outlook,
in many ways I'm both a closed door and a open book.
War and politics wish to claim my writer's soul,
though love and kindness be the intended goal.
They be packing nuclear weapons, but all I got is this pistol.
Flashing with them golden intentions like bedazzled tinsel.
But when the end comes all our egos take advice from soft drinks, fade and fizzle
Guess peace never come, 'til Jesus blows forth the heavenly whistle.
I can't just brush the deaths going on around me as nothing,
despite what the Beatles sang about, love isn't everything,
from experience I've learned, however,
when all you care for just shatters,
love is perhaps the only thing that matters.
So when you see me or when you don't,
a person you can touch and feel or a singular thought
pulled straight from thin air,
know that I am THERE!
I have a heart and mind, and flesh and bone.
Knowing this none can say that I am alone.

Copyright © Timothy Hicks

Long poem by Robert Nehls | Details |


He sat behind the counter, 
   Inside the used bookstore.
      I thought I recognized him, 
         As if we'd met before.
"Can I be of service Sir," 
   He asked with smiling face.
      I'm looking for a book, says I, 
         Called, "Life's Impassioned Race."
It's poetry that touched my heart, 
   With words that long endure.
      Though we've not met, I know him well. 
         The author Isadore.
Introduced in sixty four.

I was but a young lad then,
   Whose race had just begun.
      My wings were young and fragile.
         My future plans were none.
Had left the comfort of my home,
   Determined to be free.
      Then, suddenly I found the world
         A dreadful place to be.
I was hungry, cold, and beaten.
   Had to fight the urge to steel.
      And many times I fought the cats
         In alleys for a meal.
It all seemed so unreal.

Yet, through the pain and hunger,
   My wings began to grow.
      I spread them wide and rode the wind,
         Wherever it would go;
Until I found a friendly town,
   That looked like home for sure.
      I saw a sign, "HELP WANTED,"
         Outside a Used Bookstore.
This very store we're standing in;
   An old man with a flame.
      In fact you look a bit like him,
         And, Jacob was his name.
Into his world I came.

Oh, I was grateful for the job,
   And Jacobs pay was fair.
      In back a cozy little room,
         He said that he could spare.
So, there I was, at home and work,
   With time and books to read.
      The wee-hours my companion,
         As mind and soul I'd feed.
I read my way to poetry,
   And high among the dust,
      The title, " Life's Impassioned Race,"
         Came at me with a thrust.
It's reading was a must.

I read it time and time again,
   Surprised at all I learned.
      I felt my soul cry out with joy.
         A fire in me burned.
So, I brought the book to Jacob,
   And asked of Isadore.
      "Did he write any other books?
         Are they here in the store?"
" Isadore? Oh, it's that old book.
   The only one he's done.
      Old poems of life's impassioned race,"
         He then began to read one.
A strange phenomenon.

As if it was a part of him,
   His heart poured out each line.
      With Isadore, he ran the race
         That God and man design.
And I could see, and feel, and smell,
   The world of Isadore.
      I thought that I'd found all his gifts,
         But, Jacob gave me more.
I asked him if he'd read them all.
   "Just one each day," he said.
      Each morning we would journey on,
         Until they all were read.
My need for truth was fed.

It wasn't too long after that,
   I felt the wind once more.
      "I'll learn of life's impassioned race,"
         "Like he author, Isadore."
So, I bid farewell to Jacob,
   With a tear and smiling face.
      "You might be needing this," he said.
         It was, "Life's  Impassioned Race."
I carried it for many years.
   It's wisdom served me well.
      It's words have helped me gain the strength,
         To shun the gates of hell.
There's so much I could tell.

Well, I came to see old Jacob.
   The book has been misplaced.
      Every man should have a copy,
         Of, "Life's Impassioned Race.
Then, the man that looked familiar,
   With a smile and a tear,
      Said, "fortunes your companion, friend.
         I have the book right here."
"You're right, I look a bit like him,
   This was my father's store.
      Well known as, Jacob to his friends.
         His Pen Name, Isadore!" 

Copyright © Robert Nehls

Long poem by Laura Breidenthal | Details |

In the Upper Floor of the Scottish Rite Cathedral - Part 1

The name of my sidekick was Benjamin, a fellow church member An ornery, brown haired boy who had nothing in common with me Save for his sudden sense of adventure and exploration He asked me, “Laura? Have you ever been up there?” I said, my voice soft, innocent, and practical, “No. My dad says we are not allowed up there…” “I’ve gone halfway up already,” Benjamin said proudly. “What do you think is up there?” I looked at him in surprise. “You know you shouldn’t go near there Ben!” “I know, but what do you think is up there?” “I don’t know, Ben. I don’t know…” This was the first time I had ever entered the Scottish Rite Cathedral Where our congregation was to meet for the Passover Holy Day I was the snarky seven year old, and Benjamin was the terrible ten His eyes glistened in real wonder I remember my soul shuttered, as I stood there with him Just looking above at the staircase before me… My mind drifted, as it still does even now… The temple was grand, spacious, cream white I remember feeling very safe beside its lovely walls Upon entering, I marveled at the two Sphinx guardians, Watching over the temple in their strange stone supremacy I was recalling such things when Benjamin poked me “Hey Freckles! Quit your dreaming will you? We need to go see what’s up there! I mean look!” And my eyes were forced to look up those magnificent, Yet eerily dark stairs… He whispered, “I know they’re hiding something up there! I just know it!” The thought of me going up these stairs was terrifying, Yet…oddly, I felt suddenly drawn to it… I needed to know what was up that stairway, And I didn’t like needing anything at all He started tugging me, already standing on the first stair “Come on Laura. Come on! I don’t want to go alone! It will only be for just a few seconds. We’ll take a quick peak, and then we can go. No one will see us, I promise!” I felt a sacred and crawling feeling that someone was watching Like someone already knew our plans… I looked around warily, my eyes drifting back upwards toward the stairway Stop it, eyes…stop it… “Ben. No. What if we get lost?” He took my hand earnestly and forcefully “We won’t Breidenthal!” “Don’t call me Breidenthal, Ben…” I looked at him long and hard, Seeing him as both a bully and a blessing I wanted to go, don’t get me wrong, But I did not like needing to go up there, And I definitely did not like him holding my hand… His eyes were pleading me to come along It was clear he wasn’t going to have his adventure without me “Okay, okay…let’s go….” He smiled wide. “Yes! Don’t worry! I won’t let go of your hand!” A dully comforting promise… From then on, I cannot decipher dream from reality… As we ascended the stairway, I started hearing the air heavier than before Going up, the stairway was not as dark as I thought Though as we climbed higher, Ben picked up his speed And the darkness became heavier We passed the large glassed window of little light, Reaching the top of the first set of stairs On the left, I cringed There was complete darkness up the next set Ben looked at me and stared back up the stairs He was scared…really scared “This is how far I got last time,” He said quickly, His voice was strange to me, shaky and squeaky “Are we going all the way up?” I asked faintly, The sound of the air now sounded like a hollow hum “Yes, Laura. There’s no going back…”

Copyright © Laura Breidenthal

Long poem by Laura Breidenthal | Details |

In the Upper Floor of the Scottish Rite Cathedral - Part 2

The truth was, we very well could go back, But there was sudden authority and determination in his voice It was the first time I ever respected Benjamin The first time and only that I ever liked holding his dirty boy hands “Well let’s go, scaredey cat!” I giggled, ripping my hands away from him, Running up the stairs crazily, I heard his voice at the bottom but I didn’t care “LAURA…. WAIT! DON’T GO WITHOUT ME…” I reached the top and stopped, My chest heaving, my fear returning There was a double door here, and it was wide open What I thought was pure darkness coming up the last stairs, Was evidently not as pitch black as what lay beyond that double door… “Ben, get…” My voice disappeared… I felt strange, like I was in a trance… The hollow humming was deeper now It sounded like a well with lips whispering unknown truths… It sounded like…slow dripping…dripping too… And it echoed…fading….and returning…. I heard Ben behind me, and I knew he heard the dripping too Without a word, I slowly walked inside the pitch blackness… I walked inside, seeing silhouettes of strange objects, Some human-like, others oddly shaped…some pointy, others smoother I touched the blade of a sword-like object It was cold, heavy and nice on my fingertip… I heard Ben groan in fear “Laura let’s get out of here!” I continued walking, disregarding Ben’s panicky pleas Till I was glued to a very certain position, The dripping purer and clearer where I stood… “Laura….look…” His voice was trapped in complete horror My eyes, getting used to the darkness Fixed in reverential wonder and bewilderment I slowly looked up, And there she was… It was a statue of a woman, surrounded by the darkness… As I stared at it, her face became clearer and clearer She was sad, she was intelligent, her face showing no alarm As if she expected two stupid children to come and explore her strange abode She was a fountain…the dripping… those were her tears… Sliding down her perfect cheeks… Falling into the dark crimson waters below Why is she crying….. “Tears of blood…” Ben screamed and pointed beyond the statue A bright glow from afar suddenly surrounded us My heart pounded out of my chest… There, beyond between two blue and gold silken curtains Was a bright white cross… extremely clear and crisp…. Petrifying in size and stature I was frozen, as if I had become like the objects in the dark Benjamin grabbed my hand and dragged me out of the room Behind us I heard the wailing of the statue woman in pain… Beyond child labor…past many lives as I would ever know She sobbed in sorrows beyond our youthful imagination The last thing that I know was real was running down the staircase Ben screaming, “Did you see that!? Did you see that!?” I hushed him and said with strange maturity, “You broke your promise Ben…” He looked at me like I was a loony… “What the heck are you talking about?” “You said no one would see us Ben… But you were wrong…” We never spoke about what we saw up there… In fact, he never really spoke to me at all… Sometimes we choose to be traumatized, even scarred by our past I see even my strangest, most frightening experiences As enlightenment, self-discovery and sacrificing illumination Assurance that we are always being watched over, By entities large and small, Ancient architects of fate Even in the growing darkness they are there… Even through bleeding tears…they are there……

Copyright © Laura Breidenthal

Long Poems