Long poem by
Suzette Richards | Details |
It was a visit long overdue by most people’s standards. I had last seen my daughter two years prior to that during a whirlwind trip which she and her fiancé had made to Cape Town. I had an unexpected financial windfall and the money was burning a hole in my pocket. On the spur of the moment, I called my daughter and asked her to source accommodation for me in London over the Christmas season. A few days later, she called me back with the news that all the hotels had been booked up, save for the Ritz. I chuckled at the idea of having to spend my entire holiday budget on just one night at the Ritz. Then reason asserted itself and we put our heads together to come up with an alternative solution. I could hear her flatmate in the background, chipping in with her penny’s worth of advice. My daughter hung up and I was feeling down in the mouth about the plans for the trip being derailed in such a fashion. Later that evening, my daughter called back with the offer that if I did not object to sleeping on the settee in the lounge, I would be most welcome to stay with them at their London flat. I gladly accepted. She is a chef at a top restaurant and I was looking forward to gourmet meals prepared by her - including the Christmas turkey.
screeching seagulls dive
at sushi scraps on a plate -
the urchin watches
The evening of the booked flight to London, arrived. It was an uncomfortable hot day and I showered and dressed with only minutes to spare before my friend took me to the airport to book in the statuary two hours before international flight departures. At the airport everything was in chaos. We were given the unwelcome news that our flight had been cancelled. This was the third direct flight to London which had been cancelled that week due to London experiencing the worst weather and snow since records began in 1890! We were offered alternative flights and had to stand in queues for hours in order to procure a new airline ticket. Some people became very verbose and insisted on being granted passage on other airline carriers (at the cost of our local airline carrier).
I do not know whether it was due to the weather or the disappointment I was feeling, but when my turn came at last to book a new flight, I readily agreed to fly on Christmas Eve ( three days hence) to London. If I had been given time to reflect on this date, I would not have accepted it. Arriving in London on Christmas Day would have been disastrous: The tubes and other public transport would have been curtailed on Christmas Day and shops and other amenities would have been closed for the day. This I knew from previous trips to the UK over the festive season. To add insult to injury, taxis would have charged triple for cab fare and no amount of quibbling would have swayed them. I phoned my friend to collect me and when we got home, I poured a large glass of Merlot and retired on the sun lounger in the garden. It was *full moon that evening and it was almost worth missing the trip to witness its beauty. I left my bags in the hallway and retired early – after phoning my daughter and giving her an update on the status quo.
between moon flowers -
Six am the following morning, I was woken up by the phone ringing. Sleepily I took the call. It was the airline inquiring whether I could get to the airport by seven am. My friend was dancing up and down in agitation and already had the car out by the time I had brushed my teeth. I offered to pay any speeding fines which she might incur during our mad dash to get to the airport on time.
The flight was an additional service which was laid on to get the backlog of passengers to their desired destinations. Heathrow had given our pilots permission to proceed, hence the call to me that morning. We were a total of thirty six passengers on the Boeing 747 – it translated to two passengers per crew member. We were treated to five in flight movies which were current and could eat and drink as much as we wished to. By the time we landed in London at seven pm that evening, there was a festive spirit among us. A radio taxi (which my daughter had organised) was waiting to collect me at Heathrow airport. It was a chilly four degrees Celsius below zero and I was grateful for my leather coat and wool accessories.
steep steps to flat
shut out the bitter world -
a heart pounds
*The December 2010 lunar eclipse occurred from 5:27 to 11:06 UTC on December 21, coinciding with the date of the December solstice. It was visible in its entirety as a total lunar eclipse in North and South America, Iceland, Ireland, Britain and northern Scandinavia.
"bitter" means piercingly cold..... A term commonly used by Britishers...
"flat" means apartment. The Londoners I know, refer to it as just "flat" with no adj or possessive noun or article. Please see the About section for explanations regarding the 1ST AND LAST haiku.
Haibun(literally, haikai writings) is a prosi-metric literary form originating in Japan, combining prose and haiku. The range of haibun is broad and includes the autobiography, diary, essay, prose poem, short story and travel journal. ~ Wikipedia
Long poem by
Brian Johnston | Details |
The ride to the country is uneventful
Except that I feel a little like
A man riding inside a cannon ball.
Yuliya's father Igor drives
I'm also up front (the honored guest)
While Yuliya, her mom, and brother
Fill the back of the small station wagon
As we hurtle along roads unfamiliar to me.
There are fewer potholes than in Leningrad
And no pedestrians to be afraid for
Though Russian drivers seem not to care
(As if car ownership sets one apart) .
Spring is a lush green here as we leave
Flatter open spaces and fields near town
And enter a more rolling terrain
Forested by trees planted for lumber
With patches that are clear cut,
Like a crowd chopped down by machine guns.
The war relics and memorials that mark our passage
Remind us that this is a road won by Russian blood
And not man's sweat alone.
We leave the main road
And the pavement narrows, then disappears.
The car vibrates to the familiar corrugations
Of soft dirt sculpted by rubber tires.
We cross the bumpy trestle of a train
In a country village with a rustic platform
That signals a return to a simpler life
For commuters or holiday travelers.
The pavement returns briefly
And we stop at a small shop.
Bread, I discover, tastes better in the country.
Soon we leave even the dirt road for a trail
More passable to people than to cars.
Small cottages pass on both sides,
Some are tightly shuttered as if asleep,
Others sport a wisp of smoke from their chimneys
Or a colorful smile of clothing
Hung on a string between trees.
But one must drive slowly
For the road is not maintained
Except by the hands of those who live here,
This rural community it seems
Has no Public Works Department.
Before I'm ready, we have stopped
And I realize we are 'home.'
I like the little house at once,
It has no desire to be what it is not.
I imagine that it is winter -
How quickly would its rooms be warmed
By the simple wood burning range.
In a scene from a favorite Russian film -
Yuliya and I step from the troika
Alone like Zhivago and Laura.
The house is piled high with snow,
The horses' breath surrounds us like a cloud.
The little stove lights quickly and
Our bodies absorb its heat like a sponge.
Content, we pour the excess on each other...
And dream that we will be safe till Spring.
A picket fence surrounds the house,
Adds value to the yard it shields.
I've always liked a picket fence,
They have unique integrity -
A stranger always can look through
And can, of course, also be seen.
Still, such a fence handles the task
Of telling others where they stand.
Igor unlocks the gate
And as we open up the house
He moves the car inside.
The cottage has been newly purchased.
Igor is happy to have found it,
Proud that it belongs to him.
Yuliya and her brother Sergei
Are less excited, their friends are far away.
The building looks sound and has two heated rooms -
A kitchen and a living / sleeping room.
A glassed in porch affords some extra space
Especially for our spring time trip.
It has electric power and lights
And yet, conveniences are few.
The only water is an outside spigot
(Located near the door)
With a bench where dishes can be washed.
Water is stored indoors in milk cans
As water only flows during certain hours.
A wood burning stove is the only heat
Though a propane burner helps with the cooking.
The yard slopes down to a corner
Where Igor has parked the car.
This is also where the outhouse
And a small shed for storage are located.
A lean-to in back of the house
Holds split wood for the stove.
An orchard and a terraced yard reveal
Another gardener has loved this place
Though many of the plants,
Fruit trees, and shrubs need care,
A weeded patch of strawberries,
New flowers, and some cultivated shrubs
Suggest the family will be good stewards.
In speaking of the previous owner
Yuliya tells me in passing that
His children do not live in Russia,
And somehow this explains his absence.
Still I think kindly of the man
And hope another garden knows his touch.
Part 1 of 2: A trip to the Russian countryside in 1990
Long poem by
Timothy Hicks | Details |
That's my dad for you... getting his hands deep into the knitty-gritty, when most others would just back off a safe distance away saying, "No thanks! Maybe when Armageddon comes a'knocking we can talk religion, but right now I'm in the middle of favorite show so.... bye!". I have much respect for him in that sense... a hard working man as well as a man who never stops thinking... even when on the coattails of turning 60. Still in the fields of repairing roofs, fixing leaky pipes, (even building tree-houses for the overly eccentric clients that don't even have kids that would enjoy it). My siblings and I would unanimously agree that he's been in construction since the dawn of time. And in some ways that statement isn't so far off from the truth - depending of course on who's "time" you are referring too. In my heart and soul he will always be high in my book of Highly Admired People. But of course there will always be those personality traits I wish were apart of him. I can say this, in complete honesty, that I don't believe he ever once remembered my birthday. I don't hold it against him by any means. Truth be told he doesn't remember ANY holidays whatsoever (Fourth of July, Christmas, not even his own birthday, bless his soul). He's just not wired that way. To him a holiday is nothing more than a glorified day where telemarketers and business men take full advantage of. "Feel like your mother doesn't appreciate you enough? Well here's something that will change her mind, this coming mother's day. A brand new 24 carat diamond encrusted necklace that's guaranteed to dazzle those eyes. You can beam with pride when you hand it to her... I went to Jared, yes, indeed!". But in some ways I mourn his inability to become engrossed in a monotonous no-nothing conversation. We can't discuss movies, musicians or any upcoming local events. Sometimes I feel as though if the topic isn't of dire importance, he won't give it a second look. Sports won't hold his attention... doesn't everybody know the Superbowl is just a distraction from all the wars going on around us? Doesn't at times, we resemble Hitler hiding his bunker, drinking wine and eating gourmet delicacies of pate and caviar, while the rest of the world is battling it out? Perhaps he's a victim of too much truth and it consumes him... perhaps I just have a truth deficiency and just smile away, in ignorance, at some comedian on the TV, "I have no idea why I'm laughing, but I guess I'll sit awhile, and wait for this steeple of ours to come crashing down upon us." This proves just how much I take after my dad... might as well have a Walmart worthy button pinned to my shirt at all times, "HI! MY NAME IS TIM AND I'M A HOPELESS MELODRAMATIC... FREE SAMPLE?". Truth be told, I guess we both have elements of wisdom and elements of pessimism deeply ingrained into our thick skulls. It's one of the most difficult things in the world to explain the complexities (or in some cases, lack there of) of Garold Hicks. When my friends inquired, I'd cut it short saying, "Well he's different... not all that social I suppose." But I feel that is a great injustice to his personality, to sum it all up in pocket-sized sentence that takes barely more than a short exhale of breath, to let out. It's hard to end this ode of him, and still leave the reader with a clear sense of purpose, or any real sense of conclusion. I guess it's only fitting to end this piece, once and for all, with yet another my dad's witty zingers,
"I used to think I was in indecisive...
... but now I'm not so sure."
NOTE: I wanted to write a piece about my dad for ages, but couldn't find the words. He really is a strange person (and I don't mean to be insulting for I'm very much like him).
Long poem by
Cynthia Alvez | Details |
I wrote this poems some years ago when I was invited to be on a television program to read a Christmas poem to children as they gathered around me...I had not written a Christmas poem when the invitation was extended and wondered what to write as there were so many Christmas poems already...It was then I decided to write about the day before the night before Christmas...thus this poem which the children and listening audience enjoyed...
The Day Before The Night Before Christmas
It was December the 23rd
And Santa was packing his sleigh
Saying to his reindeer, "We've got
Lots of traveling to do today,
Tomorrow is Christmas Eve and I
Have lots of surprizes up my sleeve!"
The reindeer grumbled and were ill-at-ease,
Santa was worried and asked "
aren't you pleased?"
One reindeer who asked not to be identfied,
Stepped forward and replied,
"Christmas now is just a word!"
The other reindeer joined in,
"There is no peace on earth,
No good will between men!"
"No good will between people!" a liberated reindeer
Santa was aghast and could not believe what he
Had just heard,
It startled him, it made him sad,
Why, Christmas was the time of year to make folks glad.
A time for celebration, for spreading good cheer,
A joyful, happy time of year!
"I'll do some spot checking!" Santa said to Mrs. "C"...
"Christmas has lost its true meaning, this cannot be!"
"This is tragic!"
And with a little Santa magic, he transformed himself
Into a little child with a polka dot face,
This way he could represent every race...
He went caroling the world over and begged
Passers-by, "Please sing along!"
But no one would join him in song.
Santa was cold,
His coat was tattered and torn...
No one offered him shelter,
They looked upon him with scorn.
He stopped at several houses but no one
Would let him in...
Some shouted, "Come back again!"
They were busy decorating and wrapping
But no one would open their door.
Santa saw a family strolling hand in hand,
"What does Christmas mean to you?"
He asked stepping up to the man.
"Presents for one and all said he!
"Trees a glitter, houses in holiday dress!"
"Toys!" said the little one, jumping with glee...
"If you are really good, Santa will bring you a color TV!"
"But he won't find your house on the other side
of the track,
You are poor and ugly with that polka dot face,
I know Santa won't find your place!"
They laughed and scoffed,
"Why you are a disgrace!"
"Christmas means a brand new car!" said the next
The next lady said, "Christmas made me spend every cent!"
Poor Santa was really sad,
No one had said Merry Christmas,
"This is really bad."
He shook his head as he pondered, "Is Christmas really dead?"
No one mentioned the babe in the manger,
Or the wise men who traveled afar.
No one mentioned Mary or Joseph or the
Bright guiding star.
Santa slumped his shoulders
He head beack home,
His heart was heavy, he felt all alone.
The suddenly, bells chimed; it was Christmas eve.
A lone man appeared and took the little child Santa
By his tattered sleve.
"Come child," he said softly, "I'll share my meal with you,
It is not much but it should warm you through and through."
He wrapped his worn scarf around Santa's cold head
Santa thanked him...
"Merry Christmas!" the stranger said, "I am traveling to
Bethlehem" and he was gone again.
Marry Christmas!" said Santa ss the stranger disappeared
From sight..."Christmas lives!" he shouted,
"The reindeer were wrong and I was right!
Carrolers sang in the distance,
Deck The Halls! Silent Night
Long poem by
Darryl Ashton | Details |
AN ODE TO DAVID CAMERON
Now I go taking freebies – just
like Tony Blair,
But my wife isn’t keen – she’d
rather wash her hair.
We like to go to America – and
stay with Obama,
But when I’m with the wife –
she always wants her momma!
I am the prime minister - and
the leader of the pack –
But when we’re in the house
of lords – we deserve a darn
I went away on holiday – but
Parliament was recalled –
What the heck is going on –
more terrorists, I am told?
Me and the Mrs, never pay
Just let the tax payer pay –
we then shout; Hip-Pip –
We are the Tory tossers –
who hate the disabled more,
They take far too much in
Benefits – enough to start
Smoking is now banned –
But we can smoke in the
Parliament – we simply do
We like to visit Sir Richard –
Branson is his name,
Holidays for free – is the
name of our game!
Sailing in Hawaii – and
surfing in the Med,
Then the wife starts to
whinge; “she’s now off
I’ve even had some dinner
with a man called Bush,
But the waiter didn’t like
his table manners – so he
hit him with a brush!
The Texan buffoon had an
If I ever go skiing with him –
I’ll push him off a ledge!
Air Force One - is a super jet,
and I feel part of a jet-set,
When I come back to the
USA – I’ll hire this for my pet!
No? It will be free – that is a
perk of my work,
The tax payers are my friends –
but they all think I’m a jerk!
I have to tell George Osborne,
that creep who handles the
Be very careful with my dough –
it is my only stash!
Then Nick Clegg, the wimp who
knows nothing –
Even on the tuition fees – he
really was just bluffing!
Did you see him on TV? He
had a lively debate –
Nigel Farage won the war –
and now he’s in a state?!
I’ve promoted a few young
women – well, I have to
show I’m keen.
But when I arrive home late
at night my wife asks;
“Where’ve you been?”
And then I have that fishy
bloke, you know who talks
All he does all day – is yap
about Scottish independence!
Then Vince Cable – a doctor
he used to be,
Well get you’re bleeding
money out, sir, your
prescription isn’t free!
He has a silly title – something
to do with business –
He sold off the Royal Mail –
that caused a bloody nuisance!
There are a lot of doctors – and
lawyers in the cabinet –
But why give up that status –
and join the poorest set?
They really are running scared,
of that guy with a garage –
You know who I mean – that’s
right – Nigel “Lord” Farage!
But one man is missing – the
honest one of all,
He is due back to the cellars
of Parliament – to answer our
The spirits of all spirits – a hero
to the English –
Please meet Sir Guy Fawkes –
the man we all do relish!
What a dream this would be –
and welcome to a new Prime
Nigel Farage and Sir Guy Fawkes –
gosh, it does sound sinister!
Well, roll on the next election –
let the battle run,
As long as we defeat that Tory
cretin – the “honourable”
Long poem by
Kelly Crenshaw | Details |
I'm 51 today.
51 tomorrow, yay
Was 51 yesterday.
52 is months away,
And yes I'm thankful.
Although it's not my real birthday,
It kinda is in a certain way.
I'm still alive another day.
I had the notion to celebrate.
And be thankful.
Though it's not a holiday.
Thanksgiving has come and gone away,
I'm just alive today.
For that I'm thankful.
Honestly, I am not just trying to make these lines rhyme,
Or reflect upon the deep sublime.
I'm just grateful today to be alive.
I mean really thankful.
I'm not trying to wow you with philosophy,
Or impress you with theology.
It matters not at all to me.
I just feel thankful.
So tonight I take a walk outside,
I look up into the endless sky and then I breathe.
I breathe in deep,
And I say thank you.
And maybe not just to Who you think,
Man let's throw in the kitchen sink,
And include all who've touched my life, to whom I'm thankful.
Some of you I'm glad you're gone,
Frankly you stayed a bit too long
And some you the grave stole far too soon,
And yet I'm still thankful.
Today the living and the dead
You've both been right up inside my head,
And synergized this verbal thread.
For that I'm thankful.
I close my eyes and think of Tim, named David right there toward the end.
I always smile when I think of him,
And now I listen
I heard a siren going by,
I wonder who and wonder why,
Was it a wreck, did someone die?
Yet still I listen.
Neighbors dogs are going wild.
Was that the laughter of a child.
Seems like I can hear for miles.
Still I listen.
I hear the hi-way roar of cars.
Tho I have never heard the stars
Is there really life on Mars?
Shhh brain please shut up and listen!
The soft night whispers in my ears.
Pressing through my random fears,
I stand amazed at what I hear.
And now I wonder.
I open up my eyes and see as I feel this winter breeze
The silhouette of leafless trees.
I stand in wonder
Then I wonder about the first man to ever be,
Or the first time he looked up to see
The Milky Way the galaxies.
Did he wonder?
I wonder what he did
How he loved how he lived.
If he ever lost a friend?
Man oh man I wonder.
Was he the first to dig a grave?
How it sounded if he prayed?
How he fought?
How he played?
If that man could see us all today,
What would he say I wonder?
In ways was he a lot like me?
Did he sometimes fear what he could not see?
Did he create unseen walls
I stand and wonder.
Did he ever hurt the ones he loved?
Did life convince him not to trust?
My great grandfather lived
My DNA is shared with him.
I wonder how we are the same,
And I don't even know his name.
Still I wonder.
Will my great grand kids know my name?
Will it even matter who's to say?
Will they look up in wonder?
Will they listen?
Will they be thankful?
Not much I can leave to them
That would matter too much in the end.
I suppose the primal hope in man
Is the hope I hope lives on in them
I hope they wonder. About the universe.
I hope they listen. To life's unspoken verse.
I hope they're thankful. Even in midst of deepest hurts.
I hope they're thankful.
I hope they listen.
I hope they wonder.
And no matter what life hands them,
I hope they hope.
Long poem by
Scott Bronner | Details |
In eternity past, the Father asks the Son to go down.
Having equal Love for humans the "Yes" comes fast.
When Creation leads to time, the world waits for 4 BC
Marking the start of the end of Satan's long rule at last.
Did Satan laugh at the poor setting for Jesus' birth here?
A cry in a cave for animals pierces the night, changing all.
Shepherds worship; later wise kings give precious gifts.
Mary and Joseph marvel, yet Herod's rage soon gives a call.
A call to leave quickly to Egypt where they'll live as refugees.
Sparing the Christ child a merciless death of those under three.
When Herod finally dies, Jesus' parents head back to Israel.
Still not fully safe from mad rule, Nazareth is their destiny.
Here the child will grow to be a man, following His parents rule.
Surprising the Pharisees with His wisdom at 12, at 30 riling them.
Preaching with authority, healing the incurable, loving the humble.
Women weep repenting at his feet; one's healed by touching his hem.
Zacchaeus risks going into a tree and finds Jesus' salvation so free.
Nicodemus comes at night to ask and ends amazed he's met God's Son
The Woman at the Well gets far more vital water than the usual kind.
And many healed can't but tell others of the miracle God has done.
The babe in the manger now stills the storm and his disciples believe
Even seeing the dead arise, like Lazarus in the tomb for four days.
Foretelling a greater rising coming but not before immense suffering.
The sword Mary was told would pierce her heart is soon on its way.
For most religious leaders cannot tolerate Jesus' lack of respect for them.
Calling them whitewashed tombs and pointing pride out to Pharisees.
Not endearing Himself with the establishment, but following God's way.
Knowing soon He'd be betrayed, arrested, tried and tortured brutally.
Still, he calmly feeds them body bread and blood wine in a final feast.
Tells them the Spirit comes, and prays they'd be one like Father and Son.
Heads to the Garden, prays to His Father for another way if possible.
Your will be done ends and the soldiers come and with Judas kiss it's done.
The most pure, innocent Man who's ever lived is now in hostile hands.
A trial by dark without witness or any rights – and off to Pontius Pilate.
Then Herod then back to Pilate whose wife dreamed Jesus was innocent.
But the people's cries to crucify win over – Jesus caught in intrigue's net.
The child of Bethlehem now hung on a Cross between two criminals.
The Light of the World by darkness and our sins is being slowly slain.
Feeling forsaken by God, but then "Into Your hands I commit my spirit."
Reunited and soon to show the world that this Child was no ordinary one.
Risen as Jesus predicted, for how can death conquer everlasting, perfect life?
From childhood to adult not one sin, not once yielding to Satan's temptations.
Proving we can have life eternal if we confess and believe in Jesus as our Savior.
Calling His followers in risen form to await the Spirit and share Christ to the nations
Long poem by
Carol Eastman | Details |
On a cold, cold night with a touch of snow, a cat wished quietly and sadly for a home.
For a year he’d found nowhere with love to call home. Yes, he’d been, so very, very alone.
He lived under a deserted car now, where his family had lived long ago, for a while.
They were now gone to a new home, and he feared, he couldn’t carry on without them, my dear.
So before going to bed he wished on a star, which appeared ever so brightly above, from far.
All he wanted from anyone was some food, and to sleep next to a warm, warm fire, too.
As he fell asleep he also wished for a hand to touch his fur, gently and kindly, again.
Then he awoke to a sound he’d heard once before, as Christmas bells had tolled, long ago… He was sure.
That night an old man in red had come from out of nowhere, to take his family a new home, so fair.
Scared by the sleigh and the reindeer he drove, the cat had run away, that I know to be true.
But not any more would he run away, his legs would no longer take him very far, any way.
He grabbed all his courage and around he snuck, until hiding under a bush nicely tucked.
There before him was a jolly old man with his reindeer and sleigh lined up, yes, again.
The man was dressed in warm, warm clothes, and stopped to lay down a beautiful bowl.
The man then turned away to do business forthright, inside the neighboring house that night.
I swear on my heart that this is ever so true, as the cat crept closer giving curiosity it’s due.
Coming closer he could sense the most wonderful smell, calling him forward, as if under a spell.
The bowl was filled with warm, warm cream, which he licked up fast as if caught in a dream.
Moments later the man came from that house, with a smile and a wink for that dear old cat.
The man in red picked up the bowl with a quiet demand, urging him gently to stroll to his hand.
Now was the dilemma to run, or to stay, but it was the large shining star that decided it all that day.
As he stood before that great big man in red, the star beckoned brightly from behind the man’s head.
The cats’ fears left as the man stayed with a smile and a grin, and a Ho Ho Ho that day, my friend.
He realized here was the home he’d wanted for so long, and had dreamt in his head, where he could belong.
Some how, he knew he’d be safe in that beautiful sled, and warm in that coat the color of red.
He came forward to lick and nuzzle the man, as yes; he was picked up gently, in his hand.
The jolly old man put him snug in his coat, as a red nosed reindeer winked from the front, I must note.
Then the man climbed in and sent forward the sleigh, as the cat curled up to sleep, the rest of the way.
Miracles can happen each day, at the hand of others who are wise and kind, I say.
This jolly old man was right in this deed, and ever so wise to stop and kind to care, you see…
So I’ll let you in on a little secret I know…
They lived happily ever after, at the North Pole.
Long poem by
Odin Roark | Details |
Animal Chain Atrocities
No longer a bucolic photo op
bedecking a cover of Life magazine
now but bewildered enslavement
factory farms and feedlots
CAFO habitats raising
sixty billion a year for dinner tables
football fields long
four walled ovens of another kind
debeaked and toe-chopped fowl
jammed in cages
made to stand in
Wing stretching impossible
starvation strategy amok
long darkened days
long trickery days
springtime in winter
maximized egg laying
castrated within hours
crunched in miserable confinement
Brown and white fur for acres
a canvas of massacre
a sea of cattle
mooing for survival
no Blue Grama Grass
Buffalo Grass off prairie
Three months before execution
feed dumped in highway-like divider troughs
Day of reckoning
Strong herded forward
weak cattle forklifted to their feet
into the slaughter chute all
hoisted upside down
eyes staring wild at blood drenched killing floors
legs cut off
while sport and laughter
fill the air
With stunning devices
any not working used to hit
pried open mouths
more prods electrifying
Happy meal pleasures
Hardly the American myth
cowboys herding cattle on the plains
big dumb gentle beasts
chewing what cud they have
know not their horrible fate
becoming tomorrow night's
rib-eye steak in the making
Pigs and hogs
No Orwell's Animal Farm here
used to thirty miles a day travel to
interact with natural environments
live their highly social and active nature
but tormented boars
castrated to barrow identity
jammed in small pens
trampling each other
Pulled upon sharp hooks dangling
from overhead conveyer belts
bolt bullets shot in heads
rush of blood and entrails
all witnessed by live pigs
hanging from their own hooks
waiting their turn to become
sausage for pizza
shame for the conscious
Even arid winds of desert
pity the suffocating innocent
beneath airless breath of
eroding Nature's senses
promoting profits over compassion
technology over natural food
confusion over honesty
only minor rungs removed from us
incurring unnecessary suffering
for human-kind entitlement
openly disgraced by butchery
while Man's dying conscience
Who are the animals?
Long poem by
Brian Johnston | Details |
I am driving Dad to his appointment
In a city more than two hours from home
They will spend a month watching behavior,
(We realize that he needs a savior
Or for this testing we would never come.)
My father has shown disappointment,
Family feels that we must take him there,
But he's going without really squawking
And time passes without either talking,
Though I am sure that he knows it's not fair.
I am having to make tough decisions
That I really wish were not mine to make
Though my mother is truly quite fragile
(Her power of reason remains agile)
Dad hospitalized for my mother's sake.
My father has been suffering visions
Which aren't in touch with the real world at all,
But after a couple of days have past
It is clear that his confusion won't last,
Still our hopes for recovery are small.
I was home when his last episode struck
Mom was up with him throughout the whole night
'Do I know you? ' he quietly asked her.
'So lucky to have a nice lady care.'
Even in this state his manner was bright.
That I was home when it happened just luck
Mom exhausted by the time I woke up.
'Why do the ceilings here go up and down? '
My dad's puzzled face was sporting a frown.
Horrified tears filled my mom's and my cup.
'Pay yourself first! ' his best lesson for me,
'Think of the man that you'll be tomorrow
'The man who's a man does work that's at hand,
His eyes open for an unplanned demand,
Lest the future be found filled with sorrow.'
My trips home from school had no guarantee
That a holiday mood would be found there,
And though the chores were all finally done
The time we'd spend working was never fun,
And was no treat for him either I swear.
Mom hoped that I'd be some kind of artist
Dad dreamed that I would be an accountant.
But I came to see their fight over me
Was selfish because it left me not free
Respect for my dreams just a nonevent.
I have always known I'm not the smartest
I had friends who were much better in school
It was certainly a tough decision
But confronting parental derision
Proved to me at least I was not a fool.
There's always enough guilt to go around,
There's so little in life that we get free,
Dad aware on some level he's leaving
Uncomfortably says (he is grieving,)
'When bad things happen, Brian, that's not me.'
I watch his tears come and make not a sound,
Like my dad I face life stoically,
With my love for the man hardly showing,
Who to my dying breath I'll be owing,
I must reverently own 'That's not me.'
What can I say? Forgive me Father. Wish I could have been a better son to you. How I wish I could have loved you more.