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Long poem by Brian Johnston | Details |

Growing Up, La - Part 2 - Rev 3

- - Chapter 2: Adult Responsibility (With Some Breaks) - -     

By ten years old, no weekends off, 
Or Saturday cartoons, 
Although I did have cash to spend, 
I felt my life in ruins.
I dusted cars in my dad's store, 
And cleaned its toilets too, 
I fixed truck tires as I got old, 
Not much I couldn't do.

A trip to two month summer camp, 	
I learned to shoot and sail, 
At twelve years old, a pioneer, 
Canoed explorer's trail.
Near tragedy on my return, 
My sister paralyzed, 
A late victim of polio, 
My conscience brutalized.
Felt guilty leaving her alone, 
While I frolicked and played, 
Brotherly love had been displaced, 
Her protection was waylaid.

The washers, dryers, I repaired, 
And freezers with no chill, 
Then televisions came along, 
Tube testing my new skill.
Assembling new farm implements, 
And posting parts on hand, 
My driver's license opened doors, 
‘Collected bills' firsthand.

On Sundays we would go to church, 
To hear the preacher tell, 
Because my dad was not with us, 
His soul would burn in Hell.
	
Dad's Channelled Poem-[]
[‘It's bad news when a preacher comes.
They all want stuff for free.
I have to feed my children too,
I've problems they don't see.']

Three years of summer music camps, 
In Junior High reborn, 
I played piano in dance bands, 
Took lessons on French Horn.
My French Horn teacher laughed out loud
When I walked through the door, 
‘Your lips too thick, please stick out tongue, '
Now rolling on the floor! 
‘To take your money is a crime, '
The German said to me, 
‘You've no high notes, ' ‘I know' I said, 
‘Mom loves French Horn you see.'

Most summers were our busy time, 
We all worked hard till dusk, 
My ‘tail rung through a ringer, ' (1)    la, * 
The time for ‘smart mouth' (2)    brusque.
But then the job that I loved best, 
Flat tractor tires in field, 
A chance to meet a farmer's girl, 
The country's charm revealed.

One summer worked a cattle herd, 
Two thousand cows were planned, 	
By cutting, wind-rowing (3)    the grass, 
Soon haystacks dotted land.
Dakota winters could be fierce, 
The temp forty below, 
The stacks were shelter from the wind, 
A shield from blinding snow.
We'd use a horse for round-up, la! * 
My God that was a thrill, 
Except for blisters on your ass, 
Or when you took a spill.
I had not ridden horses much, 
You're so far from the ground, 
The horse not knowing you from spit, (4)   
Disdain can be profound! '
There was no time for niceties, 
And work to do, ‘C'MON! '
If horse and you somehow part ways, 
No choice, you climb back on.

Our ranch was all on ‘Indian Res., ' (5)   
By river loop enclosed, 
In South Dakota's Lower Brule, (6)   
A twelve year lease proposed.
Land acres more that twenty thou.
Covered by native grass, 
A chance like this was very rare, 
My father could not pass.
The river's edge a solid fence, 
No barbed wire to maintain.
The nearest town two hours by road, 
Security mundane.
Our days were mostly work and sleep, 
With meals our only break, 
Except for weekend groc'ry trips, 
No chance for love's heartache.

Till I discovered farmer's girl, 
Who lived half way to town, 
Contrived a way to go to church, 
When Sunday's call came down.
The church's name not one I knew, 
The people all seemed nice, 
To escape Sunday's usual fare
Was worth most any price.
Harmonica, accordion,
Played music we could sing, 
The pastor beat foot-pedalled drum, 
We made the rafters ring! 
I told myself, ‘there's something strange, 
The music's gone too long, '
Emotion peaking and yet I
Somehow did not belong.
With music's end the sermon broke, 
The world's sure end was near, 
Time now to sanctify all sin, 
‘Repent now! God's word hear.'
For God's quite mad, this cannot stand, 
No doubt that it is prov'n
Those rockets from Canaveral 
Are shooting holes in Heav'n.
I was in shock, glued to my seat, 
The flock their garments rent, 
And I the last one in his seat, 
No sin did I lament! 
At last not knowing what to do, 
I left and went outside, 
And knew whatever happened now, 
I hadn't found my bride.

Brian Johnston
August 20, 2014

Poet’s Notes:
* 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) 'tail rung through the ringer' - Early washing machines did not have a 'spin cycle.' So 
to get the excess water out of your clothing you would ring out the water from each item 
of clothing first before hanging it on a clothes line to dry completely in the sun. So the 
phrase 'tail rung through the ringer' means that you are all out of energy, and very tired. 
The energy has been squeezed out of you by your job like water rung out of newly 
washed clothing.

(2) 'smart mouth' Someone who likes to talk back to authorities, or who just complains all 
the time.

(3) 'wind-rowing' - To rake newly cut grass into long rows called 'wind-rows' that could be 
more easily picked up and bailed then by yet another machine.

(4) 'not knowing someone from spit' - To have no respect for the person at all.

(5) ‘Indian Res’ – Land that Indian’s were given official title to by the American 
government in an attempt to placate and domesticate them.

(6) ‘Lower Brule’ – A huge tract of Indian Land contained in a large meander of the 
Missouri River. Although the mouth of this loop is only one mile wide, to get from one side  
of the meander by river is over 28 miles. Lower Brule is owned by the Cherokee Indian 
Tribe.


Long poem by Brian Johnston | Details |

Driving Alone Through the Sand Hills of Nebraska

My love is light (a fairy kiss?)          
               Like the pressure of sunbeams on your cheek, 
        Ineffable, and yet capable of changing lives…
		Darkening skin to a more attractive hue, 
		Pushing spaceships to distant stars (given time) , 
		Even causing cancer given sufficient lack of love for self.
        For love is not about just getting needs met by another, 
        No, love is more like a laser's coherent beam….
                For in reflecting back a portion of what is given, 
                The power of what is being created grows
                Until it can cut through the hardest steel
        And span the gulf between galaxies.

Poetry too grows through the cross-fertilization of newborn lines, 
        The lines of this poem insist that I record their birth.
 	        Each new line grabs me by the scruff of the neck, 
		       Forces me to hit the brake, grab my pen, 
		       And claim it in my family bible…
	        My only children, clamoring to be set in ink.
         As these Voyagers' pass into the present state of my art
                (Some that I barely recognize in their profligate parentage
	               Of older verse's new verse's newer verse still)          …
		               Somehow still carriers of my own genetic code.
                They press my design against the blank page
	                Flying in search of, homing on… your heart.
 
My love's intent is simply truth (do you want less?)          
	 Would you have me downplay 
	 	The warmth of our connection
                        Because it is complicated by here-to-fore
			        Unacknowledged passion, spiritual connection, 
			        And the remnants of former relationships
			        (Even those still gasping for breath) ? 
		        Or feign a lack of attachment to it's denouement
			         In a solitary attempt to feel safer? 
	 No matter can restrain the effects of gravity
		On the orbits of other bodies in its field of influence, 
		 	Gravity that binds us all in deep wells of space-time.

 Your kiss of greeting…
	After so many years of imagining such a possibility, 
	Imprinted deeper than even my memory of our first meeting, 
		Our moonlit shadows touching as we soaked naked
		In the steaming waters of a volcanic mountain spring.
	This new conjunction of souls occurred in God's clear view, 
		Without artifice or scheming on our part
			And rocked my inner core to it's depths, 
	Organizing molten currents of confused turbidity
	Into a magnetic flare of such intensity
		That iron flew to my spine
	Inspired me to finally declare my love
		To acknowledge your impact on my life…
	And after a period of gestation
		Gave birth to this poem of celebration.

 Back to Nebraskan reality and a new mystery…
	I pass an overturned car, 
		Its wheels tied by yellow police tape, 
	A metaphor for my life perhaps
		'Damaged but still salvageable.'
	The windows are broken out, 
		The occupants removed to a distant hospital somewhere
			(Hopefully arriving alive) , 
		Their odds and ends of life scattered like garbage
			On the inverted ceiling of their car.
	The explanation, perhaps, is the water still standing
		Several inches deep on the road side near the wreck? 
	A sudden orgasmic release of cloud in a desert….
		The car tops the hill to find the highway
			Buried by a lake of dimensions only God can know.
		Who would expect such a thing in Nebraska's sand hills? 

And what does it say about me finally
	That I am so drawn to distant objects, 
        That the two women given access to my heart are
		Both still tied to failed marriages
			By dark chapters I am not part of
			And innocent children who need their love? 
	And at our age where is the partner without a past? 

 Is this all that God has planned for you and me, 
	That we 'just miss' every thirty years or so? 
		I know there are times I am afraid to trust another's love, 
			Cannot even hear words of genuine affection.
		Perhaps this explains my attraction to women
			Whose availability might really be in question? 
		Maybe I'm afraid to let a real lover in? 
			Is the simple dream of love a better choice
				Than the chance of finding real love anew
				(Even love with an expiration date) ? 
		I think I'm more distrustful of my own heart's passion
			Than I am of women being unreceptive to my love.
		Do you struggle with similar feelings? 
	And is it my lot to only remember passion like this in a poem
		While you spiral away to unimagined rendezvous'? 

The coldness of space is not after-all
		The simple absence of heat…
	No, in human dimensionality it is more the absence of others…
		Others who both shine life force toward us
			And reflect our own light back to us, 
		Who collide with us physically and emotionally
			Altering our pathways forever, 
				And who crater the façade whose design
				We imagine belongs to us alone.
	The void of human space-time is a true 'black hole'
		Sporting only star death fragments of the 'Big Bang.'
 
This is all I really know…
	I treasure the memory of our 'fly-bys'
		Even if that's all they ever are.
	And if I'm lucky this joy, 
                This celebration of your existence, 
	Will continue to pour out of me in songs and verse…
		For your ears always (if I am so honored) , 
			For God's heart (as I was born to honor Him) , 
	And to the stars alone if I have only them for company.

Brian Johnston
August 2009
     
This poem, like 'A Walk Near Blunt, ' began during an actual drive from South 
Dakota to Oklahoma and then took on a life of it's own. These 'real life 
narrative' poems are part of an attempt on my part to give precedence to truth 
and content over form and rhyme. For readers with an interest in science, I 
hope you also enjoy my attempt in this and other poems to bring my love of 
Physics into the world of poetic imagery.


Long poem by Gary Bateman | Details |

Rosalia - The Evil Black Witch of the Harz, Part Seven

Rosalia - The Evil Black Witch of the Harz, Part Seven

The Final Days:  Rosalia’s Death and Destruction
In the wake of such evil, debauchery and depravity what can be said now in the case of Rosalia?

Now in her mortal form the old black witch no longer had the unspeakable power of hell-spawned evil at her instant command. In spite of the victory of the power of goodness and light and the attenuation, if not the dissolution of witchcraft in the Harz, the memory of who Rosalia was and what she had done could now begin to be eased somewhat from the minds of local people and the clergy. But the memory of Rosalia and her evil could never be forgotten.  How could it be otherwise?

After three months of confinement in the dungeon at the Burg Worlerede, a fortress castle, very near to Cloister Marten in the Harz, Rosalia was eventually tried and convicted in a special church court convened at this castle to try cases concerning witchcraft and sorcery, which were beyond the normal jurisdiction of civil courts. Monseigneur Wolfgang Augustus Hardenberg of Cloister Marten was the residing church chief judge with four priests in his assistance serving as subordinate church judges.  One civil magistrate judge from the local Harz provincial government participated, in an advisory capacity, with the five church judges in these special judicial proceedings against Rosalia.

Everyone in attendance at the witchcraft trial of Rosalia knew what the outcome would be. With that said, the testimony of her victims on public record dragged on for several weeks, to include the final interrogation and confession of witchcraft and supreme evil doings by Rosalia herself.

In her rebuttal statement to the assembled church tribunal, Rosalia actually gained some of her old fire back as she spoke to the group—in a taunting and derisive manner. Rosalia showed no remorse whatsoever for what she had done and perpetrated upon others. She still renounced the Almighty Lord God and did not ask for his mercy and forgiveness. Her love and passion for being and existence was still with her god, Lucifer, who had forsaken her at last in her hour of need during All Hallows’ Eve and the Black Witches’ Sabbath. 

As easy as it might have been at that moment to pity such a pathetic and revolting creature, Rosalia’s hurtful words in complete defiance of God and her taunting mockery and snickering at the victims of her black deeds were beyond the pale of any shred or strand of human decency.

At the conclusion of Rosalia’s rebuttal statement, Monseigneur Hardenberg announced the verdict and sentence of the special church court:

“Rosalia, Black Witch of the Harz and Purveyor of Lucifer’s Evil on this Earth, you are hereby adjudged by this special court of being guilty of the practice of Witchcraft and Sorcery, and the murder of untold numbers victims over the centuries to this present one, and for the malicious corruption of your victims’ souls as they died in torment and faced the reality and agony of eternal damnation. And your acts even against young children and babies are so unspeakable and abominable that they readily defy any iota of rational understanding in our human society here on Earth. All these actions reflect your absolute depravity and lack of regard for human life, and they defy directly the teachings of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. All of your transgressions have been entered into the final record by this assembled court.”

“As a priest and a man of the cloth, I would normally ask the Almighty Lord God to have pity on you and your soul. But you have no mortal soul since you have been in very long service to Satan himself. Once more, you have committed the ultimate sacrilege by renouncing the Almighty Lord God yourself.”

“Therefore, there can be no plea of mercy or divine forgiveness rendered for you by this court on your behalf.  Your final fate and disposition beyond the reach of this court lies ultimately with your master—Satan.”

“It is therefore the judgment of this court that you Rosalia—Black Witch of the Harz—be taken on the next morn’ at dawn to the gallows specially constructed here at Worlerede and this is where you shall be hanged by the neck until pronounced dead, and then your mortal body shall continue to hang for three days on public display, for all to see, and then your mortal body shall be burned by fire while it is still in its hanging position. Your mortal body shall burn until it disintegrates into nothing but fine burnt ashes.”

“In God’s name, this is so adjudged and it shall be done!”
 
As Monseigneur Hardenberg finished his verdict and sentencing, before Rosalia was to be bound and shackled for her departure from the court, he asked her if she had any final words for the court.

At that very moment the wily old hag became extraordinarily animated, and in a wild-eyed uncontrollable manner, jumped high into the air with an energy she had not possessed in a while and made this very provocative pronouncement to the Monseigneur and all concerned:

“Monseigneur you may have me hanged and burned into nothingness, but I shall once again triumph with Lucifer’s will and power behind me for I lay eternally in his bed and seek not Jehovah’s forgiveness and the rapture of Heaven. My Master will restore me once again and resurrect me to return and execute his evil deeds once again here on Earth. It is I who renounce you and all the people assembled in this court. I renounce what all of you stand for. I curse all of you forever, and I shall be there at the very Gates of Hell awaiting the day when I can greet all of and condemn you to eternal hell fire and damnation on my Master’s behalf. A curse of death and eternal damnation be upon you all, and all of the relatives who follow you for future generations to come!”

End of Part Seven

Gary Bateman, Copyright © All Rights Reserved, Schoeningen, Germany (September 20, 2014)


Long poem by Mario DE PAZ | Details |

Dante's Hell translation CANTO X

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Which up to there his disgusting stench spew.
 


Long poem by Mario DE PAZ | Details |

Translation of Canto XVI Hell by Dante

Already I reached the place where heard the sound
Of falling water in the circle next
Suchlike the rumble done by hives around,

When three spirits together changed their treks,
Running, out of  an horde just passing there
Under the rain and of their pains effects.

Came towards us, each one shouting despair:
“Stop here you who by behavior look
One not belonging to this depraved air”.

Alas, the sores I saw their bodies took,
Recent and oldest, just burned by flames!
Recalling now again by pain I’m shook.

To their shouts my guide then offered his aims;
Turned his face to me and “should stop by now”,
Told “Courteous  be to this people’s claims.

And if there were not the strong fire’s blow
Along this place, then I would certainly tell
That you more with hurry then them move so”.

Restarted , as saw us resting, to dwell
The previous words; and when they reached us,
All three around us stood in circle well.

Similar to naked and anointed champs,
Warning their catching and their vantage too,
Before they start their fighting with hand clamps,

So moving around, each his face through
To me moved, so that backwards my neck
Moved respect to feet continuous soo.

And “If  the squalor of  this place you check
Puts us and our prayers in so a bad light”,
Started then one, “and our aspect of wreck,

Our fame your benignant soul induce might
To tell who you are, so alive your feet
That with much safe you move in this hell tight.

This one, whose footsteps I now step and meet,
Although going naked and completely bold,
You can’t believe the high grade he could seat:

Grandson he was of the Gualdrade good so told;
Guido Guerra his name, and in his life
Made many things with sense and with sword hold.

The one who on my back with sand has strife
Is Tegghiaio Aldobrandi, whose speech
In upper world should be considered rife.
 
And me, punished with them for the same breach,
Was Jacopo Rusticucci, and sure
My fierce wife made me this hard pain to reach.”

f I had been covered by fire spoor,
I would have thrown myself underneath them
I feel that pain to doctor could procure;

But since I could be burned more than the hem,
It happened that such fear won my good will
Which wanted then give help to fire stem.

Then I started: “Not mischief but grief still
Your condition painful fixed within me,
So hard that only later all can spill,

After this my guide sir had to decree
Such words which made me to be convinced deep
That people as you are, I had to see.

I am of your same country, and so steep
Your works and too your honored names indeed 
For bosom listened with my ears to keep.

I’m leaving gall to catch up more sweet seed
Promised to me by my duke who is true
To get through center is before my need”.

“If for a quite long time your life gets through
Your limbs”, then answered me again that guy,
“And if your fame after you will shine too,

Kindness and worth their lost dwelling cry
In our town as usually goes now,
Or have gone totally away thereby;

Because Whilelm Borsiere, who complains how
With us a while and then goes there away,
Much chagrin now to us his words endow”.

“New come people and rapid earning way
Generated proud and undue excess,
Florence, in you, so  only cry you may”.

So I screamed with lift up face to express;
And the three guys, who took it as reply,
Then looked each other as to truth give stress.

“If all times costs so little to imply”,
All replied, “satisfaction  to others,
You can be happy when some speaks of thy!

But, if you survive this place which bothers
Getting back the nice stars again to see,
When it will be worth tell “had togethers”,

Then make people to speak of us be free”.
After that broke the circle, and to escape
Wings resembled their slender legs to be.

Not the time of a word to tell with gape
When they had gone then vanishing away;
For my master decided to leave as scape.

I followed him, and after little way, 
The sound of water was so close to us,
That it was hard to hear a word to say.

As that river which carries out his course
Before Monviso and to east then flows ,
Of the Appennine just on the left coasts,

Whose upper name is Acquacheta, close
To the final drop in the lower bed,
And at Forlì another name it shows,

Over Saint Benedict rumbles its spread
From Alps then falling in a chasm steep
Where even thousand rivers could be shed;

So, down an abyss just immense and deep,
That roaring colored water we there found,
A sound for ears hard a short time to keep.

I had a rope encircled me around,
And with it never at no time I thought 
To catch the spotted panther as the hound.

After out of my chest I had it brought,
As had commanded the good duke to me,
And then I gave it him wrapped as he sought.

So then he turned to the right hand to see,
And far away from the bank with strong force  
He threw the rope then down in the gorge free.

“To some new action I should give the course”
I told to me, “when next gesture is done
By master with his eye of message source”

Ow so much cautious must be men with one
Who even not seeing the works and how,
Still in the minds can see and wisely stun!

He told me: “Early will come here now
What I am waiting for and that you dream;
It is time he arrives and shows to thou” 

Always the truth which false happens  to seem
Man must avoid to tell as much as can,
Even without fault people reproach deem;

But here I can’t be mute; for the span
Of this comedy, reader, I now swear,
If it hasn't to be void of grace plan,

That I saw in that heavy and dark air
Swimming a figure just coming straight up,
Wonderful for any heart with no scare,

As goes back a diver  after the drop 
The entangled anchor sometimes to free
From rocks or other in the sea to grip,

Who up moves with momentum foot and knee.


Long poem by J. W. M. Earnings | Details |

Your Sanity

Stuck in place…
Free in space…
you’re insane 
I’m as sweet as sugar cane…
Whatever happened to your unique personality?
Whatever happened to your sanity? 
Has it transformed to insanity?
I like the way you make me feel
Oh, you don’t have to make it a big deal
I love the way you lie about me 
Right behind my back
I never needed you in the first place
I don’t want you back! I don’t want to see your hideous face!
You pushed me in the margins…and you threw me away
You took advantage of me as if it was another boring and laborious day!
I don’t want you back, 
So go ahead and run away with your pack!
I’m the last magazine, 
Left alone on the magazine rack
I don’t want you to see my cry a river…
Whatever happened to your sanity?
Do you see my ocean of emotion? 
Why are you sponging in melancholy?
Pray to God for forgiveness 
He’ll consider you His faithful child of serenity
I don’t want to bleed without you…
But you’re rather bittersweet 
You boast way too much – that’s just neat…
I hate the way you treat me – like B.S. literally  
You think you’re better than everyone else – 
I think otherwise, you stinging bee!
You are literally bad to the bone
Whatever happened to your sanity?
Do you understand what I’m saying? 
Do you consider my plea?
Pray to God for forgiveness 
He’ll consider you His faithful child of serenity
I’m a loner, talking to myself again, 
Walking all alone…in the streets of shame
My happiness is hardly ever shown – this feeling of rejection has no name
Feelin’ this shame without a name…
I know these feelings might seem lame,
But they’re real to me – 
I’m jaded corrupted
Am I the cause of your misfortune?
Am I a singer, singing out of tune?
I miss you, but at the same time, 
I’m happy that you’re gone
I’ve never grown out of my fears of losing you – that’s sublime!
But, it seems like I can’t move on
Move on…man…just move on with this life
Though I might be the victim of strife
Your envy and heartless comments stabs me like a knife
And you ask if I’m alright…
Good riddance, you weren’t my ecstatic delight! 
You disowned me 
You joined the pack…
You rejected me…
You never got my back
Instead, you stabbed me in the back…
Whatever happened to your sanity?
Do you even remember who I was? 
Your friend who would make your 
Heart jump with glee?
Pray to God for forgiveness 
He’ll consider you His… 
His compassionate child of jubilance
Am I of any significance? 
You are a wolf in sheep’s clothing
You will feel my loathing…
I’m gaining fruitful insight 
That you lack tremendously
Your thoughtless words 
Made me taste your envy and vanity

Whatever happened to your sanity?
 
Whatever happened to your sanity? 

What are you afraid of? 
Returning to your misery?
Pray to God for forgiveness 
He’ll accept you in His family 
We’ll all sing with merriness 
In our hearts, we’ll never let our passion 
Get in the way or our lament will stay
God is our Father and 
We need to honor Him 
And obey every single day
I’m surrounded by my enemies now….
Save me…deliver me from them, 
For they use their bullying ways
God will answer our prayer in His own time – 
It might take hours, it might take days…
Until He takes full action
But He wants us to have a cheerful heart, 
Beating vigorously with gratification 
My emotions are ganging up on me…yah see? 
Will you ever leave me be?
I’m fighting this battle for my own sake…
I will watch you suffer and slowly, but surely break
Don’t take it easy, you’re getting it the hard way
Whatever happened to your sanity?
Whatever happened to your singing, uplifting me?
Pray to God for forgiveness 
He’ll consider you His faithful child of tranquility
Tough luck, you jerk! You’re so berserk! 
You’re like a madman…
Bombing the city and doing abominable work!
 
Maybe you’ll find your courage another day
Do me a favor and unchain me free from my poverty
Maybe we’ll be in good terms 
And in the same demented boat
Whatever happened to your sanity?
Why are using uncalled for profanity?
I can relate to your eccentric insanity…
I need you to do me a quick favor and 
Pray to God for forgiveness 
He’ll consider you His faithful child of serenity
Pray to God for forgiveness 
He’ll craft His miracles of mesmerizing euphoria 
Free me from this abhorrent agony 
Keep on pressing on with your uplifting ecstasy…
You would win my heart 
If you’d be so kind to make me a root beer float
You are the opposite of gravity, 
Lifting me higher than the mountains 
That used to stare me down 
The morning will be brought back to life 
Sooner than you think
I’m not in the brink of total disaster – 
I trust you won’t break my heart 
Like you did in the past…
The past’s wicked adversaries reduced me to sorrow
IS there hope in store for Tomorrow? 
Please tell me if it’s so…or this envied grief and curiosity will grow…
You wouldn’t catch me before I sink 
I’d like to thank you – that was sarcasm
I’ll give you a wink that signifies my appreciation of having you, you little brat 
But, you and I have gone through hardships in our personal lives…
I should’ve not of trusted you, but you were as mysterious as a bat! 
You were as sneaky as a black cat! 
You are so deceptive…so corruptive…so inattentive…but I still love you 
Hey! Don’t even try to step on me over and over again like a mat!
I won’t let you stomp all over me like that! 
My faith towards You will never shrink
As long as You’re here with me…
That’s what matters most, you see?
I would like to visit you 
We’ll meet eye to eye one day with a smile on our faces – 
Not a trace of dismay is seen and we’ll share our embraces
I really don’t know what to do or say
I’m speechless, but I’m fatigued, 
So let me lay my head on Your shoulders for a while
I want Your relief to shed Your perpetual peace on me, 
Wiping away the despicable bile
Rinsing away the mixed emotions, piling on me for a while…
It seemed like a long time 
At least it’s all over – at least I don’t take pleasure in committing a crime


Long poem by Mario DE PAZ | Details |

dante's divine comedy first canto translation

Premise
The great poem by the italian poet Dante is the DIVINA COMMEDIA
I have tried to translate in english a few verses of the first canto of INFERNO (HELL).
It was a very difficult task. 
The result below was obtained with hard work and 
probably is far away from the original spirit of our greatest poet.
The italian rhymes are of 11 syllables as requested by italian terza rima. In english language several verses sound well with 10 syllables, few with 9 or 11. I assume that in english there is no fixed rule for syllables in terza rima and I simply try to obtain a good sound of verses resembling the original italian poem.
I continue to translate and to add new verses until the characters reach the limit.
I submit to soupers expecting their sincere comments and criticism

CANTO  I Inferno                                                           Original italian       
When half the journey of my life was crossed   Nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita
I found myself within a forest dark                    Mi ritrovai per una selva oscura
Because the correct way was harshly lost.            Ché la diritta via era smarrita

Oh, it's so hard to say and to remark              Ahi quanto a dir qual era è cosa dura
How strong and savage was the forest core    Esta selva selvaggia e aspra e forte
That now again I am of fear stark!                   Che nel pensier rinova la paura!

So amara it is that death is lightly more;          Tant'è amara che poco è più morte;
But to describe the sake that there I found     Ma per trattar del ben ch'i' vi trovai, 
I shall relate what I saw before.                      Dirò de l'altre cose ch'i' v'ho scorte.
  
How there I went surely I confound                 Io non so ben ridir com'i' v'intrai,
Since of slumber I was full so much                  Tant'era pien di sonno a quel punto
That I abandoned any pattern sound.              Che la verace via abbandonai.
 
But with a hill foot when I got in touch,            Ma poi ch'i' fui al piè d'un colle giunto,
There where the valley was close to end         Là dove terminava quella valle
Which to my heart gave a fear clutch,              Che m'avea di paura il cor compunto,

I looked up and saw its abrupt trend               Guardai in alto e vidi le sue spalle
Already dressed by the planet rays                  Vestite già de' raggi del pianeta
Which the path to everybody always fend.      Che mena dritto altrui per ogne calle.

So my fears were calmed in some ways,          Allor fu la paura un poco queta,
Which in the lake of my heart had lasted         Che nel lago del cor m'era durata
During the night I spent in so much haze.        La notte ch'i' passai con tanta pieta.

And similar to one with lena labored,                E come quei che con lena affannata,
Got out of open sea reaching the shore,          Uscito fuor del pelago a la riva,
Looks the perilous water behind his head,       Si volge a l'acqua perigliosa e guata,

Just so my soul, which was fleeing more,          Così l'animo mio, ch'ancor fuggiva,
Looked behind to behold the pass                    Si volse a retro a rimirar lo passo
Which no living person ever left before.            Che non lasciò già mai persona viva.

After a while to rest the body harass,       Poi ch'èi posato un poco il corpo lasso,
The way resumed along the desert slope     Ripresi via per la piaggia diserta,
So that was always lower my foot fast.    Sì che 'l piè fermo sempre era 'l più basso. 

Here, when I started with the rise to cope,   Ed ecco, quasi al cominciar de l'erta,
Sudden a very rapid panther light,                Una lonza leggera e presta molto,
Coated with spotted fur and little hope;       Che di pel macolato era coverta;

Which didn’t leave apart from my front sight,  E non mi si partia dinanzi al volto,
Or better so forbidding my path line,               Anzi 'mpediva tanto il mio cammino,
That more than once I gave up to go right.     Ch'i' fui per ritornar più volte vòlto.
 
It was the time for morning starting shine,      Temp'era dal principio del mattino,  
And sun was rising moving with those stars    E 'l sol montava 'n sù con quelle stelle
Which joined it when the love divine                Ch'eran con lui quando l'amor divino

Moved for the first those full of  beauty  jars;    Mosse di prima quelle cose belle;                               
So that I had more reasons to hope the best    Sì ch'a bene sperar m'era cagione
About that beast whose pelt had many scars    di quella fiera a la gaetta pelle 

The hour of time and the season blessed;        L'ora del tempo e la dolce stagione;
But not enough to forbid the fright                    Ma non sì che paura non mi desse
After my eyes a fierce lion guessed.                   La vista che m'apparve d'un leone.

This looked like against me pounced right     Questi parea che contra  me venisse  
With ravenous hunger and head up high,     Con la test'alta e con rabbiosa fame,
So that surrounding air looked to excite.       Sì che parea che l'aere ne tremesse.

And a lupa, which greedy coming by               Ed una lupa, che di tutte brame    
Burdened looked as only skin and bones,       Sembiava carca ne la sua magrezza,
And many people already made to sigh,         E molte genti fé già viver grame,

This put on me indeed so heavy stones             Questa mi porse tanto di gravezza  
With the scare created by the appearance,       Con la paura ch'uscia di sua vista,
That I lost the hope to reach the upper zones.  Ch'io perdei la speranza de l'altezza.

And such as guy acquiring with decision,
And comes the time which brings him then to lose,
So that his thoughts with sorrow find collision;

Similar the peaceless beast with strong abuse
Coming against me direct bit by bit
Constrained me with shadow to confuse.

(No enough space left. 
Continues in the next part. 
The last rows of original italian will be repeated there)


Long poem by Mario DE PAZ | Details |

Dante's Divine Comedy III Canto translation

“Through me you enter the city of woe
Trough me you enter the eternal pain
Through me you go to people lost below.

Justice inspired my highest factor reign;
I was created by act of divine,
Supreme wisdom and the first love as main.

Of all created things the first is mine
Unless eternal, and I eternal last.
Who enters here must any hope resign”.

These words in color of obscure contrast
I written saw on top of a big door;
So I: “Master, their meanings me harass”

And he to me, as guy with a shrewd  core
“Here you must abandon any bad mind;
Of any cowardice must die the bore.

We reached the place I told you, so remind,
Where you shall see the people full of pain
Who good of intellect have lost behind”.

And when his hand on mine put to remain
With happy face, giving consolation,
Told me deep secrets in a fashion plain.

There sighing, tears, cries of desperation
Were filling all the air empty of light,
So I had to cry with desolation.

Strange sounds, screeches with horrible insight,
Painfulness words, furious rage tones,
High and hoarse voices, and sounds to incite

Were doing much noise, which there high intones
Throughout that turbid air for endless time,
As when swirl wind moves sand and little stones.

And since I had so wrong my own head prime,
I told: “Master, what is the noise I hear?
Which is the people here bummed in such grime?”.

And he to me: “This forlorn way of here
Assume the dreary souls of those men past 
Who with no blot or laud a life had mere.

Among that evil choir are badly classed
Of angels who neither became barely rebels
Nor faithful to God, with selfishness vast.

Heaven to shun less beauty them dispels,
Nor can welcome them the deepest hell,
Since for no sinner are of glory wells”.

And I: “Master, what is  so hardly fell 
To make indeed them strongly to complain?”.
He answered: “Few words to you I will spell.

For these of death the prospect is in vain,
And their blind living is so badly low,
So that of any doom have envious brain. 

Of their renown worldwide there is no show;
Compassion and true justice them despise:
Don’t care for them, look simply and go low”.

And I, looking, saw a flag of big size
Which run whirling around at such a speed,
That looked to me to stop unworthy guise;

And back was followed by a crowd indeed
Of people, which I would never believe
That so far a large amount was death’s deed.

After who he was I reached to conceive
I saw and knew the shadow of the one
Who mean refused his great role to receive.

At once my understanding was thus done
That it was the sect of those captives here,
Not pleasing God and his enemies none.

These evil-born who had never life clear,
Had naked bodies and strongly harassed too
By blowflies and wasps which were flying near.

So doing blood was streaming their cheeks through,
Which, mixed with tears, fell to ground at their feet
Where it was picked up by pesky worms not few.

And since I looked back for a view complete,
I saw people nearby a large stream;
So I told: ”Master, you now me repeat

So that I know who are and for what theme
They have to look ready forthwith to pass,
As I descry in this light lack extreme”

And he to me: “Clear will be things at last
When our steps walking we shall bring to rest 
At the sad bank of Acheronte vast”.

With shameful eyes low looking at my chest,
Because I feared by speaking to bore him,
Silent to the river I was at best.

And came us towards of a  boat aboard
An old man, white for his ancient hair,
Shouting: “ Woe unto you, oh souls abhorred!

You have no hope to see the heaven air
I come to bring you to the other bank
In the eternal dark, warm and cold scare.

And you right there, of living souls your rank,
Divide your path from these ones who are dead”.
But when he saw I was not moving flank,

Told me: “Different ways, and ports instead
You have to reach, not here, to freely pass
A lighter vessel conveniently will lead”.

My guide to him: “Charon, don’t you harass:
So is the will up there where is the sway
To reach the will, and put no more contrasts”

After the fleecy chicks calm had to stay
To the old pilot of the livid slew,
Who flames round his eyes had to display.

But those souls, which were weary and naked too,
Forthwith turned pale and started to chatter 
When heard the meaning of words so askew.

Blasphemed God and their relatives latter,
The human beings, where, when and the seed
Of their seed pearl and of newborn scatter.

They then all joined and came compelled to cede, 
Bitterly weeping, at the wicked bank
Deserved by any man of God’s fear freed.

Charon demon, has ember’s eyes with swank,
Moving to them, is now collecting all;
With paddle beats whoever sits or sank.

As leaves which faded drop down during fall
One after the other, until the bough
Sees all his spoils fallen to ground to stall

So the wrong seeds that Adam could endow
Themselves throw from beach one by one,
His nod follow as a bird to call now.

So they above the obscure wave just run,
And before they the other bank descend
Another new swarm on this side is done.

“My dear son”, then told me the master friend,
“The wretches ones who die in God’s disgrace
From any country here come to their end;

The river crossing are ready to face,
Because divine justice now them spurs
So that their fear deep desire must displace.

Here no a good spirit ever occurs;
So, then if Charon is to complain with you,
You ought to catch well what his speech incurs”.

And when he ceased, the land obscure to view
Trembled so loud, that owing to my freight
My mind of lather still perceives the dew.

The tearful ground created a wind rate,
Which suddenly flashed a vermilion light
Winning my senses knocking down my state;

And I fell down as man who sleeps at night.


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 Joe Flach | Details |

Straight to Hell - A Short Story

I was a seventeen year old senior in a coed, catholic high school.  Our gym classes however were still all boys and all girls.  My senior year we had gym every other day and music every other day in the same time slot.  The music classes, therefore, were also all boys or all girls.

She was a twenty-eight year old nun in her first teaching assignment.  She was in way over her head.  She was about five-foot-four and weighed practically nothing.  The nuns in our school no longer wore habits and I remember thinking it was a good thing because she would probably fly away like Sally Fields.  If you don’t know what I mean by that then you are too young to be reading my story.

The music class was a mad house.  She could not control a room of twenty some boys bound and determined to make her life hell.  I mean, music class?  Really?

We never did the homework assigned; never answered her questions seriously; never believed her threats at discipline; wouldn’t accept the demerits she tried to hand out; and basically goofed off for the hour that was supposed to be dedicated to learning about music.

For some reason, she seemed too proud or too green or too determined to go to the principal or another teacher for help; and, sensing that, we knew we could get away with our childish behavior and so we did.

One day, a handful of us “got in trouble” and she said she wanted to talk to us after class.  I was the only one that actually stayed.  She tried to lecture me on my bad behavior but I guess my smirk was evidence it was not sinking in.  Then, she started to cry, and for the first time I saw her as a person.

“What am I doing,” she cried.  "I can’t do this.  I am trying; I am really trying, but I am not cut out for this.  Why are you boys so mean and hateful?”

I stood up in front of her not knowing what to do or what to say.  I felt like a real jerk.  I was a real jerk.

Tears poured down her face, which I finally recognized as being a pretty face.  She bowed her head and just sobbed.  In my awkward seventeen year old manner, I slowly opened my arms and allowed her to lean into me.  And I hugged her while she wept.
   
At seventeen, I was no ladies’ man, and this crying nun was the first woman I had ever held so close to me.  I could feel her breasts pressed against me; the heat emitting from her body; and, the delicate nature of her womanly form in my arms.  I knew then that I was destined to go straight to hell for the thoughts that were going through my head and the feelings I felt between my legs.

She pulled away and whispered, “I am so sorry, I should not have done that.  You may go.”

I simply said, “You know, you are doing fine, you just have a class of a bunch of butt holes”, and walked out of the room.  It was that night that she started coming to see me in my dreams.  To hell I go, for sure.

I wish I could tell you I had the moxie and the influence to whip that class into shape, but I did not.  The mad house continued with one less student joining in the fun.  I tried my best to behave, answer her questions, pay attention and feign interest in the topic of the day – but I was just one in a sea of monsters.  I stayed after class and after school a few times to talk with her, ask her how she was doing, and see if I could help in any way.  She was actually starting to get the hang of things and was able to focus on the few classes that were willing to learn.

At the end of the school year, I was one of the few students who had not enrolled in a college for the coming year.  Because I was one of the better students, it caused a little bit of a fuss and a number of teachers talked to me about the huge mistake I was making taking some time off before going to college.  It seems they were all convinced that if I did not start into college in the fall, I was doomed to never go to college.  I challenged them by saying what they were really worried about was their statistics of percentage of students who went on to further their education.

During the last day of classes, the music teacher asked me to stay after class.  It appears, it was her turn to try to talk some sense into me.

“So, I hear you are not going to college,” she said.

“No, I’m going to college … some day, just not this fall.”

“So what are you going to do?”

“I don’t know yet.  Take some time off.  Work.  Nothing.  I don’t know.  Why is it so important to everyone?  When the time is right, I’ll go to college.”

“They just care about you.”

“Bull loney,” I said, only it was another word.

She smiled at me.  I had been dreaming about her now for six months.  I changed the topic.

“Have you ever kissed a boy?”

She laughed, “You know, I grew up the same as every girl in this high school.  I did have boyfriends.”

“Yeah, but have you ever kissed a boy,” I challenged.

“No.  Not the way you mean.”

“Do you ever wonder what it would be like?”

“No.  Never,” she lied.

“If I told you I will register for college if you kiss me, will you?”

“No.  I believe you when you say you just need some time off.  I think that is a good idea.”

Then she walked up close to me and stopped a heartbeat away.  Suddenly, she reached down between my legs, grabbed the crouch of my pants and said, “Just don’t let this thing get you in trouble.”

She abruptly turned and walked out of the classroom while I tried to catch my breath.

During the graduation ceremony I saw her sitting with the other teachers and shared a private smile with her while walking back to my seat after being handed my diploma.  I would never see her again … outside of my dreams.

I often think about my high school music teacher and my ticket straight to hell.  Unfortunately, I never heeded her advice.  That body part of mine she grabbed ahold of for a fleeting second those many years ago, has gotten me in trouble time and time again.


Long Poems