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Long History Poems | Long History Poetry

Long History Poems. Below are the most popular long History by PoetrySoup Members. You can search for long History poems by poem length and keyword.

See also: Famous Long Poems

Long Poems
Long poem by SillyBilly theKidster | Details |

Today In Billy the Kid History - April 28, 1881

"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 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 filthy 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 boy 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 scenario ever truly took place,
but one thing's for sure. 
Ollinger tormented Billy at a merciless endless pace. 
They were enemies who fought against each other
during the Lincoln County War. 
Ollinger was in the posse that murdered 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 friendly grin. 
While in the outhouse, 
Billy managed to slip one of his hands out of his handcuffs. 
"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, 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 quickly 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 muttered, "..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 snapped his shotgun in two, threw it at him but missed. 
"You'll never rifle me again," he screamed, "you son of a bitch!" 
On the balcony he addressed the crowd whose jaws hung agape. 
"I do not want to hurt anyone, 
but I will 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 somewhat 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 bucked violently throwing 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. 
One might think that they were all too terrified to subdue him immediately,
but the truth is that he was so loved by so many
that they all just let him go free.
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.

*

It was a few days after the Kid's great escape, 
when the following happened to Sheriff Pat Garrett's dismay. 
A stranger rode into the town of Lincoln, 
with the same horse that the Kid stole for his escaping. 
The stranger approached Garrett and said, 'Excuse me partner,
"Billy said that you would return this horse to its rightful owner."
.....just another example of the Kid's unique sense of humor.

Copyright © SillyBilly theKidster | Year Posted 2016


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

Copyright © William J. Jr. Atfield | Year Posted 2014


Long poem by William Masonis | Details |

The Ghost Dance, Part I

                                                    1.

                                    Red Mesa Dreamscapes

The sun spreads its red light on the mesas, 
Those ancient sentinels, those fractured bones of the Earth
Scattered outposts that rise as lonely islands
Through the vast dry sea
That fills the heart of this continent;
Its heart beats in notes slow, deep and sonorous
Buried somewhere deep in its weathered flesh
Of canyon, mountains, desert -
All cast adrift upon this sea of hollow, howling spaces.
The mesas thrust themselves up, pointing at the sky
Like great bony fingers cut short at their last joints,
Reaching into the merciless deepblue immensity
Falling down on all sides, enfolding the distant horizons,
Where the light of the nearby yellow star
Goes shifting to red as this side of the Earth turns its face slowly away,
Burning in soft rose light
Caressing the cooling arms of the night in the brown flesh of the land,
So like the flesh of its people.

Dawnings and sunsets, ages and ages, the red light washes the mesas
Turns of the world beyond counting as the people gazed mute in wonder
Standing in the purity of the red light
Bathed in its clean magnificence, purified by its brutal beauty,
As alive in their way, these bones of a planet
Alive as the strong brown flesh of the people 
Who gazed on them in sanctified silence
The ancient people who took this land for their home
Long ago, when Man was new and still fearfully reverent;
These ancient ones were meant to live and die
Beneath this endless paradise of blue,
And to love this land at times in ways too deep
For any civilized mind to comprehend.

     The brown ones loved this land,
     And the land accepted their love in bountiful return to them
     In the fullness of the life and glory they once knew here,
     Singing to them in the eagle's screams that cut the still air
     Drumming in the brown waves of bison herds
     Speaking to their souls in Winter winds and coyote howls, 
     Rumbling in the dark voice of Summer thunderings
     Carrying down to the ears of men the mystic troubles of their gods.l

     They passed together a long, still time
     The people and the land.
     The balance smooth between them,
     Until the coming of the Others.

From across the Great Waters the Others came,
Beings white in both appearance and deed.
They walked and talked like other men.
But their ways were new and strange.

They came and they came,
More with every shift of the seasons
Filling the land 
Like the snow fills the forests in Winter.

They came, taming all that they touched,
The world to them a thing to be conquered and changed,
For this was their way; this their lives' purpose,
And the spirits of the land allowed it -
Neglecting their invasions, accepting the smallness of their thoughts,
Aloof and above in distant toleration.

Without the Spirits' help the people lost their fight for the land,
Falling ever back against the Others' strange magics.
More clever than strong they were,
But in the end, it's cleverness that wins.
They drew their strength from the magic words
Gifted to them by their god,
With which they would call on him for the powers of conquest,
And they were: Manifest Destiny.

Manifest Destiny granted them terrible powers,
The powers to build a new thing,
A thing which propelled itself in a way that none could stop,
And this thing's name was Progress.

Progress, right hand of Manifest Destiny,
Made everything change,
And change above all, as an end in itself,
Is what the Others loved the best.

The brown ones could not comprehend it,
And so they lost all before they fully new it was happening.

How to fight those armed with an oath from their god?
Through his will they held their power,
Never doubting the right of it.

For their love their god returned them power,
The magic of the metal tubes that boomed a hard burning death,
Weapons no magic could stop,
And more than this, numbers,
Numbers to drown the land.
Against all resistance they claimed the land for their own.

     The survivors they sent away
     To wait out their time in being forgotten,
     Casualties of Fate.

So now, the red light spreads across the mesas
Changed parts of a changed land that goes by another name
Part of a new nation vast of size and strength
And terrible in sleeping might,
Kindhearted giant, great and noble in its way,
Though forgetful of its native sons.

     Where now hangs the eagle's scream?
     - Lost, blown apart upon the wind.
     Where do the great gods of Old hide their faces?
     - They sleep, infusing the Earth with their dreams.

     Where walks the demon named Progress?
     Only look, his marks is everywhere.

Now we live in the long forgetting-time,
When the wrinkled elders sit in their ramshackle homes
The driftwood of some primeval sea's recession,
And dream.

They dream, in a fog blurred with the alcohol poison,
Of the stories of fathers and grandfathers,
Tasting memories again and again,
The salt lick of remembered moments aging like strange wine.

They dream of the ending-time,
Of the last stand made
In the face of the endless advance
When Progress buried the world in its relentless avalanche,
The dream of the wearied few,
Worn and shaken in disaster's wake,
Gathered one last time on the heartless plains.

They take a long straight look into the land of the Dead,
The shadowland out of sight beside our own,
Where the gone-before walk and watch in silence
The steady procession of the living,
Existing as memories until the time of reunion.


     

      
     

     







Copyright © William Masonis | Year Posted 2015


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 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 filthy 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 boy 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 scenario ever truly took place,
but one thing's for sure. 
Ollinger tormented Billy at a merciless endless pace. 
They were enemies who fought against each other
during the Lincoln County War. 
Ollinger was in the posse that murdered 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 friendly grin. 
While in the outhouse, 
Billy managed to slip one of his hands out of his handcuffs. 
"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 bitch!" 
On the balcony he addressed the crowd whose jaws hung agape. 
"I don't want to hurt anyone, 
but I will 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 somewhat 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 bucked violently throwing 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. 
One might think that they were all too terrified to subdue him immediately,
but the truth is that he was so loved by so many
that they all just let him go free.
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.

Copyright © SillyBilly theKidster | Year Posted 2013


Long poem by Stephen Barry | Details |

Reflections by Commodore John Barry

 “He fought often and once bled in the cause of freedom, but his habits of War did not lessen in him the peaceful virtues which adorn his private life.”  Doctor Benjamin Rush, signer of the Declaration

“In placing Barry at the head of the Navy I have special trust and confidence in [Commodore Barry’s] patriotism, valor, fidelity and abilities” President George Washington

Reflections by Commodore John Barry (1745-1803)
 It’s been a long voyage, this life. Me, son of a poor tenement farmer, now Father of the American Navy. I feel as though I have not unpacked my trunk since I first walked aboard Uncle Nickolas’ fishing skiff back at Ballysampson, County Wexford in ‘55. Searching like a young lad does for adventure, understanding, and lust. Wanting to escape oppression and to feel worthy and alive, I left my mossy island it disappeared with the tide.

It has been a little over a year straight now back here at Strawberry Hill. I believe it’s the first time I’ve seen all the seasons change consecutively since my youth. Father, he loved the earth but for me it would be the sea. The British kicked him off his land; they planted a seed in me. Cromwell watered that seed when, “by Hook or by Crook”, he massacred me countrymen, thousands: three. My enmity towards the British and oppression took root, grew wings.
 
‘Boutez En Avant’ our family motto ‘strike forward’ seemed not to be ignored. So off to sea I went under my father’s brother’s oar. Cabin boy, Able Seaman then Mate, what better place to feed my soul, then blanketed in mother oceans’ wave. I made my way to the new land, up the Delaware to Phil-idel-ph-ia. Easy to be a Catholic there and many ships come in and out every day. It’s there I realized that females would carry me through day to day; ships and wives and love letters to keep me on my way.

My first Merchantman Command the schooner Barbados, for a time, the West Indies my second home, nine runs on her, she ran steady, steady as a stone. “Big John” Barry they started calling me. I stood a full foot over most. The Patty and Polly a grand one tripper, the Industry, she a good sloop. The Page was quite a plumb for a Captain as young as I. Better still the Black Prince, I set speed records on her: 237 miles dead reckoning in 24 hours, if not in the blink of an eye.

Alas, the Black Prince was an omen as well, for soon the fight would come. I’d been waiting for the time to seize freedom and avenge my people from back home. The woman that drove my heart, my dear Mary Cleary breathed no more; in ’67 I was at sea when she arrived on heaven’s shore. When brother Patrick was lost at sea on a French frigate the limey’s sunk, my rage only grew. Feeding the old roots buried but now in death this marrow renewed. 


Saved from despair [by wife number two], Sarah Keen Austin, as Sally she was known. I had a home again and a dandy, steardy women to guide me, letters to see me through. Things happened quickly after the Prince it was war, and we needed a Continental Navy. “Get Big John Barry here, get him here immediately.”  I oversaw the rigging and reinforced the bulwarks. I secured the powder and the canvas, the hard tack and the jerky.

They gave me the first Captain’s Commission, a fantastic brig. I took this cruiser Lexington, so strong was she, in one hour I captured the Edward, loyal to the Queen. Then the command of the Effington sprung new up from the keel. While I watched her grow, they tried to bribe me but I spurned the eye-dee of being a traitor. Instead, I did some soldiering to pass the time while she was being built. I was handpicked to work for General George Washington what a privilege and honor I had felt.

As the British descended on Phil-idel-ph-ia I would have to scuttle the Effington to save her from red hands, leaving nothing for the picking, only splinters in the sand. I fought many a valiant battle with skiff and small boats, too. Ah, the Raleigh, she was a 32-gun frigate what a beauty; I had to scuttle her too, put fire to her on the rocks but I saved two-thirds of my crew.

It was the 36 gun Alliance in ‘82 that was my favorite lass. I took metal in my body in one grand battle but persisted as my blood ran, and the colors flew through the smoke and the crunching, through the fog and the mist. After I sunk the Atlanta and the Tresspassy I gave the captain back his sword, because he was and honorable man and my lessons from the Lord. By ’83 we had beat the red coats pretty darn well but I sheared off the Sybil for good measure and had the cook ring the ships bell.

Back to a Merchantman for a while and the Asia took me to Oriental lands but my country came a calling and me, always willing to lend a hand. From President Washington in ’97 I received Commission Number One and the 42 gun Frigate the [USS United States]. Keen, thought I-this is the one. We did many a mission in her; changed many a man’s fate.

Father of the America Navy, my contemporaries call me. Now I sit on Strawberry Hill, looking down on the port. I rake leaves for my daughter, my grandson, he’s a sport. I have more time now for my association, “Charitable Captains of Ships Club”. So many sailors lost in the war, their widows and orphans need the clothes, need the grub. I get called to teach the young cadets. I guess I’m father to them all. Boutez En Avant; persist, strike up an onward, good motto for one and all.

Copyright © Stephen Barry | Year Posted 2015


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

Copyright © William J. Jr. Atfield | Year Posted 2014


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.}

Copyright © Isaiah Zerbst | Year Posted 2014


Long poem by Robert Candler | Details |

Legend of the Red October Run

Dedicated to the 2000 National College Football Champions, the Oklahoma Sooners 

--------------------------------------------------------------

Over fifty years, boy and man, I’ve been a Sooners fan
Watched and reveled in their glories, every one;
But there’s no more glorious “Sooner Magic” 
Than the Red October Run.

The new millennium's first football season,
Excited Sooners fans’ hopes did soar.
They had tasted victory in Bob Stoops’ first year;
Now, they wanted - no, expected - even more.

There was a glint of promise in Bob’s eyes,
Strength and confidence in his every word.
“Our Team has shown improvement”, is what he said;
“We’ll win!” is what fans heard.

By September’s end, the Sooners were 4 and O,
A “cupcake schedule” some anxious fans would say;
Twenty-two days in October would rule their destiny.
Texas, K-State, Nebraska, the teams they’d have to play.

“OU’s October is a gauntlet”, said ESPN;
“Play #10 and #2 and #1…and win”?
So, on a rainy Saturday morning in Dallas,
The Red October Run would begin.

The Texas State Fair at the Cotton Bowl,
Fans were welcomed by Big Tex.
They screamed, “Go OU!” and “Hook’em Horns!”;
But none could imagine what happened next.

Heupel was a dominating General;
The Sooners Offense, his relentless troops.
Calmus and the Defense assured a total rout,
The Coach of the Day was Bob Stoops.

Sooners fans were wild, delirious with glee;
But Bob seemed focused and sedate.
“We’ll enjoy this victory Sunday;
Then Monday, we’ll prepare for Kansas State”.

No time to revel in the Glory, #2 was tough.
Better than the Huskers?  The possibility was real.
The road to #1 went through Manhattan,
And the Sooners would have to win it on the field.

The sportscasters had a field day.
Last year’s “coaching coup” was news again.
Beasley versus Heupel was “The Match-up”.
Could Heupel evade K-State’s awesome defense 
   and find a way to win? 

Again, Heupel and his troops met the challenge;
And as the Sooners “D” assured a hard fought win,
Every Sooners fan’s heart was stirred.
Could our Sooners be “Big Red” again?

Mighty Nebraska, #1, was coming to Owen Field.
“Biggest OU - Nebraska game in years!” Corso said.
It would be 1 versus 2, a heralded gridiron epic
For the coveted title of…”Big Red”.

It was OU’s biggest home game ever.
The campus was alive with vendors and would-be 
   ticket buyers.
Every Sooners Fan’s heart was pounding.
Could the smell of #1 stoke the Sooners' fires?

The Huskers struck so quickly.
At 14 to nothing, Sooners fans were stunned.
It was shaping up to be a long, long day;
And it wasn’t going to be fun.

Quickly tho’, Heupel rallied his Sooners troops.
They scored and scored and scored again.
The Sooners “D” built a Wall at the 50,
And would not let the Huskers in.

Winners, the Sooners ran and jumped with glee.
Fans flooded Owen Field, milling all around,
Praising and hugging their Sooners Heroes.
They even tore the goal post down.

Now #1, the Sooners had won it on the field.
Their preparation had been well taught.
Bob Stoops, all his great coaches and assistants,
Took pride in how the Sooners fought.

Someone once said, “Everyone loves a winner.”
Everywhere you looked confirmed it’s true.
OU flags fluttered.  Decals, hats, and clothes abound.
Come November, the Sooners and their Fans
    had been renewed,

There’s no slighting the importance of Red October.
The Sooners came together as a Team.
No doubt too, without “The Red October Run”
Their National Championship would still be just a dream.

For the next five games, it was simply unacceptable
For the Sooners to even think that they could fail;
And, tho’ Heupel played injured, they won the Big 12 Championship;
Great Sooners Defense had prevailed.

But no one gave these Big 12 Champs the slightest chance to win
Against the mighty Seminoles of Florida State.
The Heisman Trophy Winner was their quarterback
And their defense was touted to be great.

At the coin toss, Team Captain Torrance Marshall
Said to their quarterback in words most serious and sure,
“You took our boy’s trophy”.  Then he smiled,
“Now we’re gonna take yours”.

The Sooners “D” was everywhere and completely shut them down;
And, when Quentin Griffin’s touchdown closed the door,
Their quarterback knew that Marshall’s words rang true;
The not-so-mighty ‘Noles had not been allowed to score.

Yes, Bob Stoops and his Sooners knew the challenge:
To win Each game ‘til Every game’s been won;
Win for Sooners and their Fans the unchallenged right
To revel in the Glory of being #1.

Yes, my Sooners Team goes on and on,
Different faces, different names;
But these Sooners Champions will be well remembered
For the Season they won Every game.

Undefeated National Champions!
Before October, who would have ever dreamed?
Why, just last year, we didn’t even know the players' names;
And now, they’re College Football’s Greatest Team.

To overcome all adversity and rise to every challenge,
The reward for such a feat is being #1;
Their path to Glory born of a Sooners Legend
Called The Red October Run.

-----------------------------------------


Copyright © Robert Candler | Year Posted 2014


Long poem by S.Jagathsimhan Nair | Details |

The story of history

The Story of History  

Beyond those beaten days’ depleted daylight
Beyond the bathos of a pandemic bondage
With  the resurrected  sashay’s charmed night
Down in the dumps   at the pretentious  proscenium
A  shy  orchestration sans bark and bite
Afloat in  the  air  of inarticulate mind games

Intuitive rains,  first ever, like the touch of Midas 
Informed  dense minds  and filled  their dented bowls
Birthing the quartet of Vedas and similar works
There was this epic, longest ever , they say
Bales and bales of tales in miscible moral wraps 
With a natal nugget, on  tall righteous props
The Mahabharata with the Gita, like Mata,  Pita

And its transcendental twin  revered more
For  a daily hosanna..the Ramayana with a deep lore
Banish-evil-battle-cries, confronting  blasted minds
Search lights, self’s  unfoldment  and its kind

Her  children  made but never did dig history
But loved digging up its bedraggled mystery
To find bone dry drains, history’s torn veins
Below multi layered mud and muddled bricks

Twisted  and labored logic on  tensile testaments
Sites that suffered blights thru unknowable nights
To find the four  battens , the debacle, to follow
Someone on the way labeled it  Harappa .

All the while Light ruled, but rigours too brewed
Calling often for a reordering of ways  so crude
Then there were slices of truce..
 The Buddha..Shankara..

Of  collapsed  black holes the horizon  was full
Faded for once their  gravitational  pulls 
Exploding back as eternal stars ..
Kalidasa, Aryabhata…

Alongside kings ruled and kingdoms rolled
‘ Ruler’-coaster-rides  on thrones and thorns followed
Till bandit chieftains erased the all important lines
To the dance of dust from an advancing west
 Battling  to drop anchors on motherly chest.

Bare-faced brigands. Among their odious offspring
Some stood out to shine with a stupendous ring
Either putting up   statecraft’s show pieces
Or  scripting  epitaphs in  eponymous edifices

Till dissipated and deterred they too heard
The trenchant  call of folks  come from far  to trade
That would spell , in time, your damnation
In manacles of measured manipulations.

Against  its prolonged , protracted reticulation
Rose legit  gripes from  gregarious  formations
That would coalesce under the one and only Gandhi
Into  their momentous waking into life and freedom

Split up, as it were, into  two bickering fragments
To play fitfully, for ever, their petulant fiddles
Averse to complement under demagogic detours
Falsely comfy under the convenience of  inheritance

                               -2-

Six decades of self rule on, your children feel conned
Not for failed hopes, but for the disharmony that haunts.

An  one- sport -nation fixated  with a fixing -fame-game
Movie-obsessed , and with  its TV 
Blank beyond trivia and brand names.


Money and food are no problem  for many
But, for too many, they are; vehicles are plenty
But roads aren’t ;  laws are varied and abundant
Some redundant , but every  pervert who counts
Interprets them different and funnily  implements.


Health care wears a five star halo sans humaneness.
It never frees a dying adult or kid from its kinky tubes
Nor permit  the company of kin to them  for one last time
Ignores the terminally and  unmovably sick stuck at home.

Agriculture does well, but farmers don’t ,.. and kill themselves
Petty  retailers  are swell making a killing, selling farm produce.

Stupidity grows muscles to muzzle humanity 
Hunks grow on  vitamins, video games and vanity
 Freed millions  press after pelf and power, plays hell
With the  weak and  the women , their perennial fair game

Profiteering,  covert, overt, and  across the board
The sick, the student, the seeker after any service  
Any  victim or one with a gripe being its victims
That’s by the very cream , no less, all the same
 Media scream with scam and spam all the time
Even the ones,( that’s about all), with their own aims
The combined  do’s of brash bravado and venality 
A  rash on governance   and a blot on name.
Effete ethics  and moribund morals, seniors mumble..

‘Equality before law’  means ’ Advantage to the outlaw’
Freedom for the grabs means  restraints to many
Succour  often hard-to -reach and  reaching-too-late
Louts and lousy offices dot street corners and roads

Governance press after  targets  too disparate 
To cohere or collaborate towards  a  wholesome goal,
Leaving holes for private or pet agendas to infiltrate.

Front-end-folks or  prickly pears?
Menace, malice, avarice,  lies, police…
Unrestrained delight in deliberate discourtesies.
Why -dad-anyway-Why- not- call-him-uncle-attitudes…

What does not tempt is in for contempt,
Being irreverent to the important, and indifferent
To the different,  is the norm and the trend.

Democracy could well slip into demonocracy  
Like when “Two wolves and a goat vote to decide dinner”**
In the absence of the Will to lift it to meritocracy?


PS:  This poem ( 100 lines, 777 words, as it turned about to be ) is about INDIA, my country.
*”Mata, Pita ‘  mean   Mother, Father
** Based on a quote seen somewhere.

S.Jagathsimhan Nair,  26 May 2013,

For Cyndi  MacMillan’s contest.

Copyright © S.Jagathsimhan Nair | Year Posted 2013


Long poem by Maurice Rigoler | Details |

Jeffersons Reply to Rev Jonah Stoughton


                                     Monticello
                                  July 1, 1826

Sir: I have before me your letter of 
the second of June, and I thank you 
for having taken the time to write it. 
I have read it carefully and given it 
as much thought as my eighty-three years 
and present bodily disorder will permit – 
a re-ascerbation of some months ago 
that prevents me from making water 
and has confined me to my walls 
and indeed my couch, so that I must
remain recumbent if only to avoid
to suffer my physician’s complaining.
I therefor have been prevented from 
returning my attention to your enquiries 
sooner, but which, now, I am happily 
prepared to do. 
	Your enquiry as to what I am in 
my beliefs – Christian, Deist, or Materialist –
comes as a surprise, since I have given
repeated answers to these questions over
the course of my life, public and private. 
That you are, I must presume, not aware 
of them at this late date is to be 
wondered at. To your question, then, I 
answer with as much certitude as any 
thinking man of my many years is 
capable – to wit, I am in fact, all three.
Our pseudo-Christians would deny me
the first two, but not the last, as I am 
well aware, for they never tire of 
labelling me a heathen, pagan, or simply 
godless. And so they may. And what of it, 
say I. Let a man know himself first; 
what others think or say, seems to me 
of no consequence.
	I am soon to be leaving this earthly
abode, as yet unfinished, for that other 
in which I expect to dwell in forever –
my enemies notwithstanding. Indeed,
I now see more clearly the door that must 
soon open to me and through which every
man must pass. But, I tell you with conviction, 
it is not a door that conceals a world 
of contrived terrors our religionists 
have so tediously painted. Not at all.
Rather it is a door as familiar and inviting – 
and welcoming – as any that opens to 
my several gardens; so that I know what
lies behind and within each even before 
I put my hand to their latches. Indeed, 
I enter there with not the least fear or doubt
or trembling, rather with the confidence 
and certainty that what I find there shall 
be to my expectations and liking. 
That, Sir, has always been my estimate.
	And so I leave this world, whether it be
today, tomorrow, or whatever time He, 
our wise and just Maker, sees fit to call me, 
assured of a better world, whatever
its nature be –certain as I am it will
be without any trace or odor of this one. 
	I am by my God-given reason 
persuaded of this, and therefore unfettered 
by doubts that rattle the consciences 
and thoughts of so many who, either
by willing failure or some other excuse 
to ascertain the truth or falsehood 
of cherished beliefs, or by inborn
indolence or ignorance, or fear, have 
not labored to separate the chaff from 
the wheat.
	In a few days the citizens of these
united States, after a half century of 
experience and prosperity, will celebrate 
the momentous choice they made. May it 
be to the world  (what I believe it will be) 
a loud call to men to burst the chains 
of monkish domination, and to assume 
the blessings, and freedom, of government. 
I say here and now, all eyes are open, 
or opening, to the rights of man. The light 
of science is spreading, laying open to 
every view fresh and useful truths. 
The masses of mankind must know
or, at the least, be told that they are 
born free and not with saddles strapped 
to their backs, to be neither ridden
nor spurred by others as they see fit. 
	Let a man worship as his knowledge
(or lack of it) and conscience sees fit, 
but let him not insist, either by force,
threat, or coercion, that others abide 
by his. For what profit is there in a false 
belief before Him who will judge every 
secret of the heart? 
	Sir, it is my fervent hope that your
“christianity”, regardless of its persuasion,
with its centuries of strife, oppression, 
and blood-letting, will, given sufficient 
time, be but a memory, much as are 
now the cults and religions of antiquity. 
	Sir, you have asked for a reply to your
question, and so you have it. I do not
expect you will approve of it, nor even
respect it. But as one man to another,
I would rather, in the spirit of our
newly gained independence, that you 
tolerate mine and another’s views 
or beliefs as I do yours and others, 
assigning judgement to Him alone,
whose children, if I am not mistaken,
we all are. For what has every form 
of bigotry accomplished other than 
to devastate the good that cries out for 
expression in all men?
	Sir, the dinner hour strikes, and my 
appetite, denied these past several days
its usual nourishment, begs for some 
small portion, for as I glance outside
my window, the day races to its stable, 
and my hand, reflected in my shaky
script, tires like a war-worn soldier
calling out for rest.
			Ever in your service,
 			Thomas Jefferson.

Copyright © Maurice Rigoler | Year Posted 2015


Long Poems