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Long poem by William J. Jr. Atfield | Details |

Nowhere Man

Nowhere Man

Star dust, the stuff of a fool’s dreams.
Oh !!!, to travel upon star dust streams
- that glorious, never ending journey -
into the realms, the space of many.

This old spirit, seems, not to fit into any
mold nor on any rung of the social latter, 
that, I think, should not, ever matter. 
And so I have to wonder ?, 
as upon this planet, I wander.

Is there any place for me ?, 
where I might fit in – one day to see ?
In my youth, some perceived me to be 
Sall Minnio, even the King, 
- Elvis Presley, - this idea girls would bring
with them, in their pursuit of me.

As an adult, I came to be seen
– an Italian, a Greek, a Mexican – 
a First Nations is what I’ve been 
as folks do the best they can.
As people guessed at my race, 
looking and looking into my face,
the essence, the spirit, the soul of this man.

Yet nowhere do I fit - I belong to no place.
Nowhere do I find a fitting space
for this German, French, British, Native, 
gene pool, my heritage doth give. 
Plus the few – long forgotten – more 
that came through the genetic door 
– open for viewing the heart of this old soul – 
where there is reflection and getting to know.

There have been some who would pass 
this face of many – this face of looking glass 
refraction – to see truth – a Redman’s blood in the veins 
of this First Nation soul – the spirit which remains
for this old soul, the essence of my spirit, 
even in times when many would not tolerate it.
And so, it is not a wonder 
why this soul seems to flounder, 
cannot find anything sounder,

between the jagged, ragged edges 
of created, keen, sharp - wedges 
between who and what I am, and
where it is I could possibly stand.
There is not – it seems to me – a place
where I fit in, can stand, turn and face, 
see a possible niche – a place to belong,
before, my life is almost gone,
as I look back upon all the roads, 
- the stories, the tales, the heavy loads –

I have travelled, yet know not what will be told
of what rung, on the social ladder I hold,
what plateau to find shelter in ?,
what plane to fly above, be comfortable in ?,
what place to rest my spirit, my soul within ?,
what space can I find to forget all the sin ?
I have walked with the sane and insane.
I have talked with the educated and uneducated.
I have been in the company of intelligence and unintelligent.
I have laid with the secure and the insecure.
I have laid with passion’s fire and frigid’s cold.

I have known the moral and the immoral.
I have known those of faith and the faithless
I have known the killed and the killer
I have known those who have taken their own lives
I have known the givers and the takers
I have known the movers and the shakers
I have known the honest and the dishonest
I have known the psychic and the blind. 
I have known the truth sayers and the bullshitters,
The fast lane, the slow lane, the middle lane I’ve moved in.
The sober, the drunkard – I’ve been and been with.
The strong, the weak – I’ve been and been with.

The used, the abused  – I’ve been and been with. 
The users and the abusers -- I’ve known and know me.
The wealthy, the poor – I’ve known and know me.
Financial wealth and Spirituality -- I’ve known and know me.
The saver of a life -- I’ve known and was me.
The living and the dead -- I’ve known and know me.
Having a brush with artists has been my fate. 
Having acted up with entertainers has been my fate. 
Having had words with writers has been my fate.
Having become a rhymer, like my forth cousin, has been my fate.
I have played with players – strummed a note or two.
I have laid with singers-- sung a note or two.
I have laid with dancers – danced a step or two.

I have struck an arc alongside a welder – a time or two.
I have sprayed painted cars alongside a painter – a time or two.
Hammering out metal with body men – I have done.
Twisting wrenches with mechanics – I have done.
Busining along side business men – I have done.
Being a lover, I always thought, was my forte.
Being a husband, I thought I knew how to play.
Being a father, I thought I knew I would stay.
Being a friend, I thought was always my way.
To be a son – a child’s dream.
To be a brother – not to be it seems
as all the above drifts downstream,
leaving one to wonder, what life really means ?
Life’s journey can be a wondrous mystery !,
 
when one leafs through the pages of his history.
One’s life can also be a disastrous story ?, 
one of little hope, dim light and no glory.
So what is left for this old fool ?, 
but to carry on breaking the old rule, 
rules that make it possible to call oneself a poet, 
something I never call myself, a poet, and I know it !
I do the best I can
That is who I am !
Being a carny – traveling with The World’s Finest show.
For a couple of seasons – that is all I did know.
Being a dishwasher, a server, a busboy, a waiter, a manager 
of a restaurant, many dimensions of life. I was egger  
to come into contact with, to try and understand. 
As fate would have it, understanding never came to this hand.

Today, a bum – forty eight years ago – father said
“ the best dressed bum in town ” would be my stead.
What goes around – at some point in time – comes around.
There is some truth to this, that I have certainly found.
Even though I have touched the edges of many a life. 
Many places, pieces of each and everyone, not one has been 
a place for me, a place I felt I belonged, the places I’ve seen
do not leave pillows for my spirit,  beds to rest my soul, rife
with uncertainty, is my state, almost every day
I can find no place, no space for me to play.
Looking into this distorted collage 
I wonder if it is but a mirage ?
My flaws lie in the heart of my feeling !, it is my sin !,
this belief that there is no place, no space where I fit in.

B. J. “A” 2
May 1st 2004


Long poem by Trisha Sugarek | Details |

The Ash Can

The Ash Can  ©

I got the call on Sunday night.  I was traveling on business.  When I looked at the caller ID
 I wondered why my husband’s boss would be calling me.  I was unprepared for what
 he told me and my legs turned to water when he said that my husband was dead. 
 ‘A heart attack?  An accident?’ I asked.  ‘No’, he said, ‘John committed suicide.  
 They found him in your garage this morning.’  I heard someone screaming and 
wished that they would stop so I could hear the rest.  His voice was very far away
 and the woman just kept screaming.  ‘Shut up! Shut up!’  I need to hear.  I clapped my
 hand over my mouth when I suddenly realized it was me who was screaming.
 I don’t remember hanging up or getting on the plane. (beat)  Yes, John and I were having
 problems and we had been separated for about three months but nothing was official. 

 After thirty years of marriage I never believed that we couldn’t weather this and share 
the rest of our lives together.  This was just a phase he was going through…some sort 
of mid-life crisis.  This had to be some horrible mistake, a case of mistaken identity.  
My John would never do this, leave me like this.  (beat)  

I stumbled into our home around nine the next morning.  The house looked like a woman
 hadn’t lived there for months. Dirty dishes in the sink, groceries half put away, empty 
beer cans and a full ashtray by John’s chair.  Seeking comfort I walked over to his chair. 
 Out of the corner of my eye, I caught a glimpse of a reflection in the mirror over the
 fireplace.  Some wild looking woman with mascara smudges under her eyes and smeared
 lipstick looked out at me. I walked closer to inspect this stranger in my house.  
She looked old and used up.  Who was she?  What had life dealt her to look so worn out? 
Oh, God, it was me.  Staring out with those eyes bleeding hot, raw pain.  (beat)  I curled
 up in John’s chair and closed my eyes.  Was this all I had left of my husband?  This slightly shabby piece of furniture that still smelled of him?  How could I tell our children?  Could I bear to go into the garage?  What would I find? 
 I knew that they had taken his body away but what had they left there for me to see?  
Maybe something there would prove that this was truly a mistake.    I rose to my feet and 
walked into the kitchen and through the laundry room to the garage door. (beat)

I slowly opened it and was knocked back by the remaining stink of gas fumes.   
John’s car sat in its parking spot, the garden hose hanging from the back window like 
some obscene snake.  I gagged and pressed the button to open the garage door.  
The passenger side window was open so I could look inside without having to touch the car.  And what I saw on the seat told it all.  There was John’s cell phone, an empty bottle of Vodka and a bottle of Excedrin.  (beat)  And something else…a second cell phone…what in the world? I was only allowed five seconds of blissful denial before it all came crashing down on me.  The second phone…the secret phone that men who cheat keep to talk to their lovers.  All those protestations he offered during the time that we were apart.  ‘No, there was no one else’, ‘I just need to find myself’, ‘I don’t want a divorce’, ‘I just need some time’. ‘I love you; I’m just not in love with you.’  Lies, all lies!  How could I have been so stupid?  Then I notice a crumpled manila envelope on the floor of the car.  Anger driven, I opened the door and picked up the envelope and the two cell phones and went back into the house.  Sitting in John’s chair once again, I smoothed out the envelope and read what was written there.  
‘Ricky, tell Sherry I love her. Tell Sherry I can’t live without her.  Tell Sherry not to cry
 for me. Sherry, I’ll love you forever. I’m sorry.....John-Boy.’  Who the hell was Sherry? 
 Did my husband of three decades kill himself over some tramp?  Some other woman 
whom he barely knew?  I picked up the second cell phone and scanned the history of calls.
  Where was area code 864? As I set the phone down my eye caught the partial title of 
a book lying on the rug under the table.  Picking it up, I read: ‘How To Keep A Long 
Distance Relationship Exciting and New.’  I opened it to the first few pages and found an
 inscription,  ‘To my tiny dancer, until we meet again.  Love forever, your John-Boy.’
My God, John, how could you?  How could you do this to us?  I yelled as I threw the 
book across the room; will this hellish nightmare never end? (beat)  I picked up the
 cell phone and scrolled down the history; Sherry Hoffman, Sherry Hoffman, Sherry Hoffman, Sherry Hoffman.  No other woman, huh, John? South Carolina…hence the long distance relationship…you’re such a fool, I told myself. There was voice mail saved and I listened to the most current ones.  Those messages told a story of a married woman who had a son and a new grandchild. 

Another sad, pedestrian story of a restless woman trapped in a loveless marriage but
 unwilling to leave.  The daughter-in-law apparently would not let Sherry see the child. 
 It seemed that John, in a misplaced attempt to help, called Sherry’s son to insist that
 he let Sherry see her grand-baby. 
 Only to succeed in blowing up that family.   The final message was not so sweet and 
sexy from his lover. Sherry had dumped my husband. (beat)  I didn’t know whether 
to laugh or cry.  I seemed to be trapped in a crazed, unbelievable soap opera.  But what 
is it that they say about truth being stranger than fiction?  I sighed.  John had always
 wanted to rescue anyone in trouble…even when they didn’t ask for help.   He had crossed
the line calling that woman’s son.  Oh, John, what were you thinking?,  I asked the empty
 room. Didn’t you know?  You were her dirty little secret.... (more)

(from my book, Monologues 4 Women) 





Long poem by SillyBilly theKidster | Details |

Billy the Kid's Great Escape

*
Sentenced to hang in the town of Lincoln,
Billy made his bold escape.
Both of his guards died from thinking
that a shackled young boy couldn't break away.
*
I've often wondered what thoughts were going through his head
as he stood staring out that window chained to the floor by his bed,
watching the gallows being built that would soon seal his fate.
Was he planning at that very moment his greatest escape?
Did he already know that his hanging would never come to be?
Was he already aware that before night fall, once again he'd be free?
Whatever his thoughts, they were interrupted rudely
by Deputy Bob Ollinger, one of his guards while in custody.
"Word has it you said that if we ever met again you'd kill me on the spot. 
Well here I am Kid. Now's your chance. Show me what you've got. 
It's a shame that you'll hang in another week or two, 
because I'd love to be the one who gets to kill you. 
I've got 16 silver dimes in the barrells of my shotgun. 
I'd love to try them out on you, but I can't unless you run. 
If I free you from those chains will you run for the door? 
Oh by the way Kid, your Ma was one sweet dirty whore. 
I'll kill you before you hang Kid. That's a sure bet." 
"Be careful Bob," said the Kid, "I'm not hung yet."
Bob thrusted his shotgun hard into Billy's gut. 
The Kid looked up at him in pain and said, "Now what?" 
"Don't do it Bob," Bell screamed angrily,
"or you'll be the one who'll hang for sure 
for killing an unarmed man in cold blood
who was chained helplessly to the floor. 
It's time for the other prisoners to be escorted across the street to be fed. 
The Kid's not going anywhere. He's chained to the floor by his bed. 
Anyway, I took the prisoners last so now it's your turn. 
Go and have yourself a beer and I'll stay here 
and guard the Kid until you return." 
Bob Ollinger placed his shotgun into the gun rack. 
Before he left he said to Billy, "I'll see you when I get back." 
No one can say for sure if the above dialog ever truly took place, 
but one thing's for sure, 
Ollinger tormented Billy at a merciless endless pace. 
They were arch enemies who fought against each other
during the Lincoln County War. 
Ollinger was in the posse that killed John Tunstall,
Billy's employer, friend and mentor. 
"I have to use the privy Bell," Billy said to the deputy. 
Bell kept his rifle trained on Billy as he tossed him the key. 
Billy unlocked the chains that kept him bound to the floor. 
Still in handcuffs and leg irons, Bell escorted Billy out the door. 
Billy entered the outhouse closing the door behind him. 
"Let's not take too long in there Kid," Bell said with a humorous grin. 
While in the outhouse Billy managed to slip one of his hands out of his handcuff. 
"You fall in there Kid?" Bell laughed, "You've been in there long enough." 
"I'm coming out now Bell," Billy said opening the door. 
"Sorry I took so long Bell. I must have ate something bad for sure." 
Deputy Bell then escorted Billy back to the jail cell. 
Once inside, Billy spun around and smacked hard Deputy James Bell. 
Bell lost his balance, dropped his rifle and was momentarily stunned. 
"Hands Up Bell!," the Kid yelled. In his hand was a gun. 
"Please don't do it Bell," Billy pleaded, but Bell tried to run. 
The Kid had no choice but to do what had to be done. 
He shot and killed Bell, then went and got Ollinger's shotgun. 
The Kid never found pleasure in killing, 
but Ollinger would indeed be the exception. 
Knowing that Ollinger heard the gunfire, Billy stood by the window 
and waited for Ollinger to appear in the street down below. 
One senior named Godfrey saw Bell fall dead down the stairs. 
The moment probably gave Godfrey a few more gray hairs. 
Ollinger ran out into the street as Godfrey screamed, 
"The Kid's killed Bell!" 
Ollinger looked up into both barrels of his own shotgun 
and whispered, "..and now he's killed me as well."
"Hello Bob!," Billy called out with a song in his heart 
just prior to blowing Bob Ollinger apart. 
He blasted both barrels into Ollinger's chest and face. 
Pieces of old Bob lay scattered all over the place. 
Billy smashed his shotgun in two, threw it at him but missed. 
"You'll never rifle me again," he screamed, "you son of a b*tch!" 
On the balcony he addressed the crowd whose jaws hung agape. 
"I don't want to hurt anyone, 
but I'll kill anybody who tries to prevent my escape." 
In the office he found a sledge hammer
and smashed the chains of his leg irons free. 
He told Godfrey to fetch him a fast horse immediately. 
As he walked down the stairs, he came upon Bell's lifeless body 
and many eyewitnesses admit
that the Kid looked upon him and said almost tearfully, 
"I'm sorry I killed you Bell, but couldn't help it." 
As Billy mounted the horse the chains of his leg irons startled the beast. 
The horse reared up and threw Billy down onto the street. 
He was at this point his most vulnerable laying down on the ground. 
The crowd could have overtaken him easily, but none made a move or a sound. 
Once again Billy mounted the horse
and fled with the sound of his leg iron chains ringing. 
Many claim that as he rode out of Lincoln County
that they heard the Kid singing. 
Billy had escaped danger so many other times in his past, 
but this was his greatest escape ever. It would also be his last.
*
"I had no intention of killing either one of them. My plan was to tie and gag Bell and then get out of there before Ollinger got back, but then things went terribly wrong.....I certainly didn't want to kill Bell, but I had to in order to save my own life....I never felt happier than when I gave it to old Bob. I said, "Look up here old boy and see what you're getting". I then blasted him in the face and breast. He use to ride me to the point where I just couldn't take it anymore."
- Billy the Kid


Long poem by Jorn Kolding | Details |

The twins, Part 1

In the dark of night a wind took hold,
With powers charged to shake the sky,
By moody swings of gods up high,
Their breath alone enraged and bold.

In the dark of night history spoke,
Of a world alive with fury’s voice,
When life was full of fate and choice,
And death the augur in the smoke.

In the dark of night a man did dream,
Whose tale these words we now account,
Be brave my friend this chariot mount,
By nothing less shalt this vision redeem.

Struggling through the combative gales,
A sleepless figure tossed and rolled,
With wondering sight a story was told,
Of mysteries shrouded in ancient tales.

Upon this figure two more did glare,
Faces are but vessels for orbs to divine,
Not sufficient to be one through design,
Two alive but so unlike to us stare.

These twins that see by darkness alone,
Feel the truth in the shine of art,
Ending where the few dare start,
These bright globes make gold of stone.

With raging winds our story begins,
The battle set both within and out,
The world’s pictures thoughts about,
Action the habits, blindness the sins.

With Boreas alight wandering above,
A divine force teased with subtle math,
To follow the Phoenix on its path,
Or kneel in tears with a praying dove.

The tempest in all its mighty flight,
Decreed with a fist the obvious!
So proud, so proud, yet so oblivious,
The storm forgets his humble birthright.

The wild winds be but a paper tiger,
The hands that give it mighty thrust,
Wields no whip to allure its trust,
Holding a low cup, a cat just finds her.

Such be the crispy breeze in deed,
To roar, puff, blow things down,
Seeking doors to equilibrium’s town,
When heat in fact needs cold to feed.

Wind seeks the muse of inspiration,
A lull, then a rush to arms to end,
Her charms the air does commend,
She whispers with bated respiration.

Such my friend is the temperate truth,
The tempest being no storm cries,
For its maker with love sees its lies,
The swordsman’s tail swings uncouth.

With no further aside we now return
To one whose sleep our vision seeks,
Into this mind the devil now peeks,
Intellect put off so symbols could turn.

Seeking passage to dreamlands alter,
Further and further the eyes withdrew,
A fatherly vessel, twos sons the crew,
A ship who by one one would fault her.

The tides of reflection ebbed no more,
For the two in one the world was gone,
Sands of sleep their eyes set upon,
Dreams for obeying in days to store.

‘Saw the one, the troubled of the two,
Again vain Boreas with eyes asquint,
Forged to see not flowers but mere mint,
An ignoble man, through and through.’

‘His drifting eyes of warrior bent bow,
Blind to the combat of peaceful keys,
Gazed upon Orithyia ready to seize,
The light by which he would never know.’

‘In one fell swoop he swept upon her,
An immortal force not fit to engage,
Death by shock, a rose in a cage,
A sword can never a heart procure.’

Tailors we know make not the man,
Nor, to wit, does he who blow impress,
The finest garments fit best to undress,
The suitor, naked, conception’s plan.

The warrior’s blood once led the world,
What man wanted man merely took,
By far better ways the world was shook,
Now only fools let their swords unfurl.

Still within us sleeping reptiles wink,
Side by side the peace laying dove,
Whose golden egg sits on a glove,
Disarming the insults men might think.

Yet by tinted thoughts some still fall,
There walk among us wanting men,
Who touch stones instead of women,
Blind fools like statues they do install.

To such a fellow we now must return,
By unlucky choice he cast his dice,
Gambling rage would make life nice,
His heart of fire for ice would burn.
 
The I then of the one who took control,
With eye inclined to dote ambition,
In Boreas he saw worthy commission,
Jewels taken justly by godly parole.

‘Reading now the face of himself,
Pleased to see opportunity’s chance,
His office in life he wished to enhance,
His brother’s book push’d off the shelf.’

“This world is made for the taking,
By will alone my will will be done,
A wild beast untamed I roam alone,
But not for long my flight in staking.”

‘Fighting the angel by his side,
He saw in Boreas a better figure,
With sharp mirror set to disfigure,
The Abel eye, his far better guide’

‘Eager as a dog ready to surprise,
Our hero set off to execute his plan,
With canine teeth and on four he ran,
To she who soon would be his prize’

To think a surprise can live in a dog,
Is like seeing a rat for a filet mignon, 
So deluded a man can appear to one,
Whose rose is above all mist and fog.

‘With tongue wild about he grabbed,
The hand intended for him that night,
So sure his lust would disarm a fight,
So shocked to see her smile stabbed’

“Unsightly hair-chested beast you are,
Withdraw from here in haste and fast,
Better to drown alone in seas outcast,
Then with you fly off with fettered tar.”

“Listen little man, listen with your ears,
Give not violets your muscular arms,
Whispered fumes make better charms,
Graceful words for love sheds tears.”

“Fear most of all power’s delusion,
For the deluded become denuded,
Gaining nothing, nothing included,
Power wins only a life in seclusion.”

“Go to thy chamber, scream and yell,
Amend, however, by all smart means,
Your spiteful mean loveless routines,
Thou art but a mute, a soundless bell”

‘With reproof in hand he up and went,
To vent the gales in charge of him,
The dogfight over with outlook dim,
He saw his brother of different bent.’

‘Reaching for the floor the fallen book,
Whose pages spoke a turtle’s tongue,
The unread by thorny bees are stung,
So wiser he for counsel stole a look.’


Long poem by Brian Johnston | Details |

Growing Up, La - Part 1 - Rev 4

- - - Chapter 1: Early Days - - - 

My father was a rich man, la, *
Though schooled in poverty, (1)  
As such he seldom raised his head, 
Displayed humility.
The center of the ‘Dust Bowl' years, 
Just thirty miles from home.
And children, seniors died from this
(Their lungs were clogged with loam) .

A huge tornado struck Woodward, (2)  
Destroying our downtown, 
It, cut a swath near one mile wide, 
Dad fought back, doubled down.(3)  
When storm had cleared, sky was fire red, 
Dad put me in the car, 
But roads were blocked in just three blocks, 
The world become bizarre! 
Barbed wire that penetrated trees, 
Homes cracked like eggs insides, 
Our home had grass blades drove like nails, 
Into its wooden sides.
The biggest storm in history, 
My dad was gone for days, 
Storm victims sleeping on our floor, 
The whole town in a daze.

Dad's rebuilt store, nicest in town, 
Our home ‘across the track, '(4)  
Attended too the poorest school, 
But did not suffer lack.
Appearance was Dad's calling card, 	
No pretense there to see, 
For ‘living too high on the hog, '(5)  
Caused bankers misery.
The school board melted to Mom's charm, 
(Or to her tongue of fire) , 
For with Dad's stature in the town, 
Few dared to risk her ire! 
Good teachers forced to leave rich schools, 
Complained it wasn't fair, 
Till they encountered Sis and I, 
And found that they could care.
That was my mother's legacy, 
And ‘ART' (6)   the air she breathed, 
Though slight she strongly stood her ground, 
Our future she bequeathed.
We did not know the difference, 
Just sometimes things were tough, 
Our clothing did set us apart, 
We always had enough.
There were some very poor kids there, 
The same clothes thru the week, 
Impoverished not just in clothes, 
But that which all men seek.		

I had a bike to ride around, 
Of course it was a Schwinn, 
And almost always home for lunch, 			
For Mom thought we were thin, 
With two desserts at every meal, 
(And Mom was quite a cook.)  
But if you didn't clean your plate, 
From Dad you got a look, 
The waste of food a mortal sin, 
A thump upon the ‘bean, '(7)  
Made every meal traumatic fare, 
And tears a daily scene.
My guess is Dad got worse than me, 
Depression's (8)   oldest child, 
I mourn the innocence he lost, 
That made his wrath seem mild.

Our parent's roles were well defined, 
My dad brought home the bread, 
My mom the joy of hearth and home, 
Dad's entrance met with dread.
My dad did most the punishments, 
But whippings weren't enough, 
We even weren't allowed to cry, 
To show we had the stuff! 
Small wonder romance frightened me, 
(So sure I'd be like him) , 
To challenge violence I feared, 
Chose music over gym.

Brian Johnston
August 20,2014

Poet's Notes: 
An auto-biographical look at family life impacted by both the American Great 
Depression  and the Dust Bowl years (1930-1950)   in the Mid-West, divided into 
Chapters. 
This is a work of love and homage to the courageous and desperate people who 
survived both. I hope that you enjoy it. New Chapters will be released as I complete 
them.

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

(1)   ‘poverty' - born in 1911, my father was just 19 years  old when ‘The Great 
Depression' hit the US economy. The Dust Bowl began shortly after.
(2)   Woodward, Oklahoma - the town that I grew up in.
(3)   ‘doubled down' - after Dad's business was destroyed completely by the tornado, 
he  doubled his efforts to be successful in Woodward, borrowing heavily from the 
local banks to do so.
(4)   'across the track' or 'wrong side of the tracks' referred to the part of town where 
poor people lived, frequently, but not always, meaning 'colored people' as well. In some 
towns no 'colored people' were allowed to live in the more prosperous 'white only' 
area. Some towns (like Woodward) had no Negros at all. I take that back. One black 
male did have a job shining shoes in the local 'Baker Hotel' but I think his home was 
in the country somewhere (He did not live in town).
(5)   'living too high on the hog' -  an idiom referring to people who have to have the 
most expensive things in life and buy them frequently on credit even though they 
can't really afford them.
(6)   ‘ART' - My mother was a gifted painter and wood carver, but even meals she 
prepared were done artistically. Art was always spelled with capital letters in her life! 
(7)   ‘thump on the bean' - to hit the offending child hard on the head with the 
knuckles of your closed fist.
(8)   'Depression' - Hard times, not mental issues. (Actually works both ways though 
I guess!)   Born the oldest of 3 brothers and one sister, my dad's father worked him 
hard and used a leather shaving strap to whip his boys when he was upset with them 
about anything. Grand Dad Johnston made my father seem like Florence Nightingale. 
I believe that he beat his wife as well (just a guess) .


Long poem by Eileen Manassian | Details |

Where Gladiators Fought

Part I

Where gladiators fought for life,
we meet to fight for love
The constellations in the Roman night sky,
celestial spectators, bathe the Colosseum
in the white blood of light
The night is throbbing with the heat of our battle,
our cries, more passionate than any that have gone before

Part II

A short while earlier
A well paid bribe found us in the remains of the Ludus Magnus,
the remains of the old Gladiator School in Rome
where lies buried
a hidden entrance to an underground tunnel 
You pull me with you into dark underground world of legend
By light of a flickering torch,
we travel into the entrails of the behemoth,
coming in time upon the holding rooms
My breath catches 
I hear the sounds of man and beast
carrying through the thin layers of time:
Slaves, criminals, debtors, all awaiting their fate…
Animals pawing, grunting, starved for food
Dying to kill to stave the gnawing pain
Waiting….
Waiting to be lifted up into the arena
Waiting to fight 
Waiting to live or die

Part III

We break into the hypogeum
The crispness of the night air stings us
The vastness of it all paralyzes all thought
Rome comes ALIVE
The resurrection of history enflames us,
and as we mount those final stairs up to the arena,
I feel your excitement blazing through me
Your grasp is almost painful in jubilee
“We are here…HERE!” Your voice is laced with the sacred.
Between those famed arches…XIX and XX
We stand 
You and I all and 50,000 ghost spectators
Here at the East Entrance
The Gate of Life Looms above us
True gladiators passed through these very gates 
Here the applause coursed through their veins
And thundered to the captives below…
Here I stand
Quivering with the knowledge of all this night means to me
That thunder reverberates through MY body
I can hardly breathe
Your eyes are looking up at tiered levels
while mine look ahead
There is the walkway connecting the east to west
At the far side is the Libitinarian, the Gate of Death,
through which dead gladiators were dragged,
their bodies dumped in the Spoliarium 
to be stripped of clothes and armor
Life and death
Here, they converged
Here, they fought
On this night
I know
I will strip myself of my clothing and armor
I will let down my defenses
and give in to your onslaught of passion
Here… I will die to all but your eyes

Part IV

I walk, quietly, with purpose
Here….in this place...
my virgin blood will be spilt
Halfway between life and death, I stop
I turn towards you
My voice reaches you on the night wind
“Come to me!”
I see you move towards me
My mighty gladiator
You who have fought my demons
You who have slain my nightmares
You who have held in check
A savage desire for possession
As you stand before me
I wonder if you know
Tonight is the night
You will plunder and ravage
to your heart's delight
your just reward

Part V

You find a place to keep the torch upright
You see the blanket I’ve spread on the ground
I answer the question in your eyes
With the curve of my lips
I steady my hands as they work to undress me
I feel my body burn in the warmth of your presence
Your eyes undress me faster than my hands can,
and yet... you are....immovable
You stand transfixed
You wait until my only covering
Is my flowing hair
"Make love to me
Here, now...be my gladiator
Come...claim your prize."
I reach out my hand to you
and in a moment
before my next intake of breath
you've come to life and crush me in your arms
Your mouth claims mine
like never before
seeking more
your tongue explores
demanding, commanding
it takes what it will
You pull me in to you 
Your hand in my hair,
my breath is raptured by your sheer strength
Your mouth travels along my neck
Hungry….like a famished animal finally set free to feast
You devour as you reach my cleavage 
I lean back to let you savor my breasts
For the first time
to taste 
You’re down on your knees
your tongue encircling my navel
going round and round and dipping inside
This prophetic dance of what is to come
washes over me
as you lower me to the ground
In a moment, I’m looking at the stars
The two brightest ones being your eyes
You are above me
You are everywhere
Kissing tasting touching feeling pleasing
Finding my voice, I pant...
“Don't...be gentle
not...now!"
I’m gasping with the effort
of all I need to say...
of the weight of feelings...
raging within me
"Don't...hold back anymore
Take me...
Take me...now."

Your hands reach for mine and pin them down
My breasts heave, my body rocks
as I feel you plunging into the moistness 
that your very presence always creates in me
But never...to this luxuriant degree
Pain mixes with pleasure again and again
As I hear your grunt and groan
Your ecstasy comes in manish moan
And I close my eyes to the Roman night sky

I sigh
I die
To the world
I am reborn in you
I hear your victory cry
And feel your jubilant release inside

Part VI

They fought for life
We fought for love
My fingers run through your hair
Your head is pillowed on my breast
My heart beat a reminder
Of what you have won
A gladiator’s reward...

LIFE
found
in the arms
of the woman
you
LOVE


For Justin Bordner’s Contest
Make Love to Me in that Ancient Place
November 16, 2014


Long poem by William J. Jr. Atfield | Details |

Beginnings Endings

Beginnings – Endings

Out of the darkest reaches of time and space
came molten minerals, gasses, rocks, comets
– life traversing aeons, in suspended animation
across millions of light years, billions of desolate miles
creating unseen universe after universe,
creating unseen solar system after solar system.

Past galaxies, black holes, quasars, supernovas,
planets with their moon / moons orbiting.
Time and space expanding, along side, ride
asteroids, meteors, comets and star dust.
Star dust, travelling in time and space
follows a subconscious wave, a coarse

that has taken them – particles of life –
into this little blue planet and all that inhabit.
A fight for life, in the heat of battles with the gods,
was won, the gods kicked our ass into the prefect place
as star dust, eggs, came crashing down
their shells, shattered, melted away, as they

entered this little blue planets, once gray, atmosphere.
Upon entering, having contact with Mother Natures furry,
found their way into Mother Natures, pot of stew,
within which they grew, divided and conquered,
after millions and millions of years of evolution,
disasters, mutations, genetic manipulations

that brought out of the darkness a metamorphous
and their core essence, the yolk separated.
Separated into millions of microorganism, atoms,
millions of diverse cells, that in corporation, became all,
all that we thought we have known about life on this planet.
Until one fine day the gods finally got it right

and from the primordial – chicken gumbo – soup
we animate cells climbed, and the inanimate cells
lay in stone and other lifeless – in our view -  lives
as we evolved arms, legs, hands, feet – animal magnetism.
On days – every thirty six hundred years –
gods were at their closest point to the slaves they created.

They would come and tweak our genes until no longer
homo Neanderthal, ruled, no longer Cro-Magnon ruled,
the gods finally got it right and homo sapiens rule !!!
After all, we were created in the likeness of the gods
and did not the gods rule, and now god rules.
The gods sent their sons to investigate the progress

of what they had thrown onto this once barren rock
– our little blue planet – observe and obtain, to create
change in this upright creature that crawled out of the seas,
- and they mated with the daughters of created man –
who, after many alterations, natural mutations and genetic
manipulations – evolved from a single cell into an exotic creature

in the oceans, to this gorgeous mammal, upright upon land
who became the forefathers of man – from Austaustralopithecus,
Africanus, Homo-Rudolfensis, Homo Erectus, Neanderthal
and finally us – Homo Sapiens - Sapiens, the children of the gods,
gods who decided our fate ( slaves for all eternity ) with their
spaced out wisdom, and in their likeness, war against each other,

conquer, kill off nations, drown legions in the red sea, nuke cities
- Sodom and Gomorrah – wiped out the Earth with a tsunami
or at least, did little to prevent it, except to give man the ark,
that floating  laboratory with its vials of genetic material, D N A.
I think I am getting carried away, being a little redundant at times,
but the show must go on so that we can see man’s journey.

That spaced out wisdom – genetically create man in our likeness,
our image, we will give the evolution of man, a jump start,
we will insert, into his D N A, the essence from our gene pool,
at our science centre ( the garden of EDEN ) then Adam, and EVE,
the prototypes for us modern man / woman – the likeness of us gods.
Enter the sons of the gods, who found such beauty in the daughter of man,

the creations of the of their heavenly fathers, and began to lay – sleep –
with them giving birth to legends, – some horror stories -, creatures,
myths, stories of good and evil that have become the legacy of man.
We – mankind – are no better than the gods, the sons of the gods
who brought us out of our animal magnetism and into consciousness.
We are like them - the gods, the sons of the gods -  as the bible

and all the following religions – Adidam, Ásatrú, Atenism, Ayyavazhi, 
Aztec religion, Bahá'í Faith, Bön, Buddhism, Cheondoism, Christianity, 
Confucianism, Discordianism, Druidism, Druze, Ancient Egyptian religion
Etruscan religion, Ancient Greece, Hermeticism.Hinduism, Islam,
Jainism, Judaism etc., etc. – as well as the Sanskrit, tell us we are.
We fight among ourselves for control, for power, for prestige,

for all that we believe is our god given right as we lay siege
to the lands, the mineral rights etc., etc., laying waste
to Mother Earth and man, all that keeps this planet alive,
in our greed, our desire to dominate, in our haste
to achieve what ?, what in the end will not help us survive.
What will we learn ?, what will we derive ?

In the final analysis, will this planet last another million years ?
Or soon be lost, leaving itself and us in a tsunami of tears
that is about to drown history, mankind and all,
as, into space, Mother Earth, her children will fall.
Then, will we see, truly hear the gods call,
will they save us ?, take us into another hall.

B. J. “A” 2 ( Bill . )
June 13th 2004


Long poem by Isaiah Zerbst | Details |

The Maid of Orleans

Reflecting in her garden sits a winsome little maid;
She holds a purple flower like the circlet that she made
And wrapped about her braids to grace her forehead like a crown;
Her thick and shining braids that are the shade of chestnut brown.
A soft and dreamy smile lifts her lips of cherry rose
As she so elegantly lifts the flower to her nose
To smell the rich and heady fragrance rising from its soul-
Upon this day in early May, her heart with joy is full.
But look! The heavens open wide, and joy is changed to fear,
For Michael the Archangel in the garden does appear,
And with him stand Saint Margaret and Saint Catharine, sent to seek
This girl of twelve, and in her frightened youthful ears to speak
Words form the Lord, of how someday, somehow, she'll have to save
Her native land, her land of France, from lying in the grave.
When in their bright angelic garb these saints to heav'n returned,
She knew they had been sent from God, her heart within her burned
With strong desire, with heaven's fire, to do her Father's will;
Her heart beats hard, while all around is silent, calm and still.

The years pass by, now seventeen, her hour is fully come,
And what is now but distant fancy, dull and throbbing hum
Will be her life, her joy, her pain; her darkness or her light:
For God and country, king and freedom, must, she must needs fight.
The chains of England must be broken, young prince Charles crowned:
A source of hope, of inspiration must for France be found;
For civil war rakes raging claws through weary, hopeless men,
Who fight and die, and sacrifice, and lose their homes again;
Their gardens, flocks and herds, and treasures, all are swept away:
With nothing left but life itself, and naught to do but pray.

God heard their prayer and sent her there for their deliverance,
To lead them on to victory through every circumstance
Of treachery or deviltry that loomed on every side.
Urged on by all the saints above and martyrs who had died,
She bound her armor to her body, helmet to her head;
A troop of eager soldiers to the Orleans siege she led.
Without a fear she faced the battle, banner held up high;
It filled each fainting heart with spirit, waving in the sky:
Unfailing, never falling, always standing at the fore,
And filling every weary soul with courage to the core.
Though wounded by an arrow striking close beside her heart,
She still pressed on to victory, she played her vital part.
The Maid of Orleans did her best, she held back not at all,
But risked her life at every turn to heed her heav'nly call;
She fought and bled and braved the beast until her king was crowned,
And even then she carried on, she traveled all around:
Each city gained broke off the chains of power-hungry kings,
Who killed to gain another's land, his citizens and things.

Alas! She met her fate at hands that should have helped her cause;
The countrymen she battled sold her to be judged by laws
And men that all disfavored her, yet still she firmly stood,
Proud head held high, two gleaming eyes; she answered best she could
Each twisted question meant to trap her clear but simple mind:
With wit and art she answered each; they really could not find
A cause for death, but death must be for such an enemy
The fate; who sees such visions full of vile heresy,
Of saints and angels revelating mortals with God's plan.
They also charged her with the sin of dressing like a man,
But it was of necessity she donned a soldier's guise;
For all throughout the war-torn realm roamed pairs of hateful eyes
Who did not heed a woman's cries, but did what pleased them best:
They killed or maimed or stained for life from eastern France to west.

So thus it is, not twenty years, they chain her to a stake-
The final chain that no amount of bravery can break.
Within her dress, hugged to her chest, she tucks a wooden cross;
The symbol of the Son of God, who faced such early loss
Of life, and like her was betrayed and mocked and led to die
Without a cause, without a crime, without a reason why.
Ten thousand people press around; she feels the burning heat,
As flames grow hotter, ever hotter- licking at her feet:
But on one thing and one thing only both her eyes are fixed;
Upon the figure held before her- on the crucifix.
And she is thinking of a time that seems so long ago,
When as a girl she used to sit and watch her garden grow;
She'd pick the purple petaled flowers, braid them in her hair;
Her life was simple, pure, and sweet, she hadn't any care
Until Saint Michael gave her calling to her way back then.
But if she had another life, she'd do it all again,
For God and country, king and freedom she could die this death;
And so it was that thus she died, and with her final breath
Her soul and body parted ways, and while her body burned,
Her soul went on to realms unknown, her soul to heav'n returned
Into the hands of He who made her, to the arms of Christ the Lord;
Who made for her a better body, more than just restored.
Here ends the troubles of this maiden, gone are jail cells dark:
Forever live the Maid of Orleans, known as Joan of Arc.



{Written by Isaiah Zerbst. For the first time published on October the 13th, 2014.}


Long poem by ravin Gupta | Details |

My Princess Of Imagination

                                        MY PRINCESS OF IMAGINATION
                                       -----------------------------
                                       -----------------------------

You are an empress of Heaven who descended on earth
A dear angel of God has taken birth

Your presence brings an awesome fragrance of joy
You are more beautiful than the Helen Of Troy

You resemble a symbol of peace, calmness, wonder and cheer
Like numerous scented flowers engulfed the entire atmosphere

Your presence enthralls the atmosphere with such an ardent passion
Flowers bloom, birds sing, oceans roar, Heaven rejoices in a supernatural fashion

Being a stranger but yet so familiar is an experience of mystery
I wanna be with your present, wanna be with the dreams of your future but never become your past history

I know nothing of you... but your life is a holy book written so well
Synonymous in nature to a religious novel

Every word of which would be so pious and divine
Their utterance will strengthen my soul and make it purely refined

And every word of which I wish you would share with me
And I would keep on listening with extreme curiosity

Hope this book of your life is so lengthy never ending and complicated
That while explaining me with clarity, your entire life is dedicated
Going through your inspiring life will make my mind so captivated
That in things of the world my attention will be never diverted

I would sync deep into your thoughts dreams and emotions
Explore your life like navigating through the depth of mighty oceans
The facts of your life will be as delightful as your nature
Synonymous in experience with a lifetime adventure 
                          to be remembered forever

I wish I was a memorable entity always alive in the vicinity of your thought
Some one who gifted u a special feeling which is beyond the scope of being bought
Spiritual connection with you is magical pleasure. My soul rejuvenates a lot

Your life is extraordinary, it is an eternal bliss
Similar to such a wonderful voyage, the bitter past I shall never reminisce 

Your soul resembles heaven's beauty filled with an angel's grace
I wish to find rest and comfort in such a sacred place

Worldly creatures are mesmerized by your supreme fragrance of serenity
The peace u provide, the calmness u bring resembles an heavenly entity
Synonymous to a medical replenishment of decaying souls to repair all their defects
Such that all disturbance, grief and sorrow are conquered and lose their effects

By the holiness of your spirit every evil existence shall perish
This divine revolution will leave behind only sweet remains to cherish
You bring forth the delight of eternity, a heavenly aura and shine
Which enlightens, encourages depressed souls, their lives renewed and new hopes defined

The everlasting impact of your presence inspires me to build an immortal attachment
And reside under your shadow which symbolizes an abode of holy settlement

I observe a pattern of silence in your behavior
I am unsure if this is part of your natural gesture
What is the reason for this sense of melancholy strain?
May be there is some trauma which brings you pain
Some moments of life you spend in mere solitude
What made u acquire such a lonely attitude?

I pray in your life there must not be any sorrow
Even if there is, I would willfully like to borrow
Any cloud of darkness over your life is beyond my tolerance
No power can besiege your holy throne of reverence

Alas and at last, there is something to say
I am striving with a pathetic feeling of dismay
Why I am so helpless that can not talk to you
Why are you a stranger? Am I some one so new?
Albeit a stranger, why I feel myself so close to you

Its my dream to talk to you for indefinite moments 
To disturb this peaceful conversation, i would'nt prefer ugly opponents

The passion of my imagination is beautiful far beyond the facts of reality
Where in I understand your holy life book in the sacred place with sanctity

I believe you live on earth but exist in the wonders of heaven
Alas your presence in my life may be something I am against hope hopen

Wish for an opportunity to express myself to you
Seems an awkward desire as u consider me so new

In the vision of my imagination, I will always find you near
Your divine presence eliminates any syndrome of fear
And I promise to cherish your presence in my memories till my days are over

I recognize your adorable nature rather than your beautiful look
I already defined you Synonymous to a precious holy book

Wish these feelings on your mind will have a profound impact
Finding acceptance in your life is still an unknown fact
Unknown is whether I bear that supreme fortune to experience your acceptance
Or Else you would consider me unimportant and indulge me in repentance

Wishing you all the best in your future endeavors
To honour my thoughts, please do me some small favours

Give me a true promise that you will forget me never
Request you to cherish these thoughts in your memory with pleasure
And edify yourself as heavenly princess as you are an eternal treasure

Thank You


Long poem by Brian Johnston | Details |

The Troll

‘An interesting guy I think,’
People might say on meeting you for the first time,
Oh yes, I’ve come to know you too well.
Thank God for the Internet,
Although there are bodies in your wake,
And stench follows you like a garbage scow
There is protection for many in distance from,
In the miles of wire, the waves of wireless
Communication, and so like a deer
Caught in the headlight of your amazing ego,
[Fashioned by the fires of Hell (like Gollum’s ring)
And as empty as the devil’s soul],
They stand frozen for a moment,
Throwing it off finally, the vision of their own death
Shaking their heads in wonder, ‘What just happened?’

It’s like the first lesson your mother tries to teach,
‘Be careful who you choose as a friend,’
A cautionary tale for adults too.
‘Fire does burn’ even when you reach adulthood,
All that sparkles is not gold, my friend,
And a ‘nom de plume’ like Talvia Sprinkles,
Just one more bush the troll hides in.
Sometimes that strange feeling that you have
Is actually another human? being? peeing on your soul
The golden shower they offer, however,
Does not assuage your guilt (which is real, so what?)
You’ve just been sold a bill of goods,
Dr. Killdeers Magic Elixir, a not so benign fixer.

If you have been in this dark place of the soul
And saved by Satan not in fact being God,
Then rejoice my friend in God’s provision
In youth or childhood, you did something good?
Do more, bear witness of your weakness to others,
Not to mortify your own flesh (God knows you’re sorry)
But so that those with ears to hear (also God’s gift)
Perchance will themselves not feel so alone.
Remember that half-truths strung together like pearls
Are still sh**, if you’ll pardon the expression.
‘If it sounds to good to be true it isn’t,’
Remember only God knows your soul,
Satan is just a very experienced guesser
And revels in our penchant to deny our own sin.
His wisdom does not serve the greater good.
Do not look for truth among the cold stones
Of the temple that once stood at Delphi either,
Or trust any oracle that does not bend his knee
To the living God, the creator of us all.
It is your life, it is your responsibility,
Don’t parrot Cesar’s surprised last words
As a ‘friend’ slipped his knife into Cesar’s heart,
‘Et tu, Brute?’ You have been warned!

Brian Johnston
September 26, 2014

Poet’s Notes:
The Troll now joins what I am calling ‘My Ring Trilogy’ and completes this cycle very well I think, though I had no idea I was writing a trilogy when I started it many months ago. ‘God is Great!’ Hope that you find it interesting too! All three poems while not written to attack Merov Tachgovirian specifically, do in my humble opinion describe him all most perfectly by accident as it were. Perhaps because he uses my verse as a sick goal for his own life, lacking the imagination to come up with his own game plan for a truely evil life.

On PoemHunter.com there is a poorly implemented rating system that if allowed by each individual poet, allows visitors to the poet's site to rate each poem from 1 - 10. Used in its intended manner, this allows visitors to my site for example, to easily see which of my 200+ poems have been the most popular so far. This can be a nice tool for a visitor when he/she comes to my site for the first time. I use it myself quite frequently in this way, not really a gauge of true quality but at least a crude measure of popularity. What Merov and his like are doing are doing on PoemHunter is to, without regard for the poem at all, to give the poem MULTIPLE VOTES of 1.0 which can bring the 'average rating' of a poem that has been given 4 votes of 10.0 for example whose average rating should in fact be 10.0 down considerably. I had one poem like this that Merov gave 8 votes of 1.0 to (in a 24 hour period). So doing the math, 40 normal points + 8 Merov points equals 48 points in total. You divide that by th number of votes cast 12 votes and now the poems average rating is 4.0 and not a perfect 10.0 that it should be. Merov can do this because he joins a site with multiple false identities and then uses these membership votes as a base from which to launch attacks on others.


A note in passing to honor the 'Walking Dead' among us (Hi Merov):

Well apparently PH has banished you from it’s halls and once again because of your amazing ego (your greatest weakness and most devastating weapon), and, of course, the pornographic language you use to comment on other's poems. If you have not been attacked by people like him, count yourself lucky. If you do not care about the pain that he brings to others by this behavior, then count yourself his victim already. ‘Talvia Sprinkles’ and  ‘Jimmy Tuhans’ (nom de plumes he used recently on PH) may be history, but Merov certainly is not. There are an infinite number of internet ‘nom de plumes’ for him to hide behind, more sites will be attacked, more sites and feelings damaged by his misinformation and scurrilous comments. Do not dream that evil is not real. Good men may lay down their arms, even admit defeat, admit that they were wrong. Evil never does. The suffering of others is its only goal.


Long Poems