Long poem by
Russell Banks | Details |
Just enough to make it just
I want this to be enough to make this
The last song ever, the last note ever
The last romantically, poetically sad excuse for an apology, epilogue
But I've already messed up the melody that would've carried me to the finish line from this moment in time
So if you would allow me to pick up my fragile pieces, go back to my quiet solace
Hit reset and start all over again...
This Wild Life, my muse today
A consistent mainstay
I just hope it helps okay
I made a mistake, a miscalculation
A slight misconception
Played a song to induce tears
I knew it would hurt
You'd think I would learn
It's been gone for years
And I can't get it back
You'd think I would learn
Cause for years, it's all I asked
Then I said, "Get Away, Get Away
Just give me some space"
Hey, This Wild Life
Is it okay for me to turn this into a song for myself
Give it away, give it away
Let me have this today
Don't Say no, at least not right now
For right now, I'm not fine
I'm not alright
And there goes my melody tonight...
I called you here, stay here please
I will get this right
Sarah, hey how are you
No, please don't look so confused
No, you did nothing wrong here
No, you haven't appeared in a blue moon
Forgive me, I just miss you
So soon, everyday feels so soon
Years too late and it feels so soon
Don't leave! Wait! Just hear me out
Please just stay, no don't turn away
I need you okay, I need you okay
If I told you to listen to this song
Would you say okay?
What did you do so wrong to me?
I turned the thought over and over in my head
Found negative answers instead
I turned the thought over in my head
And wanted to go home to sleep instead
I turned the thought over in my head
What did you do so wrong to me?
And there it is, the question it seems
You don't know and I don't apparently
What did you do so wrong to me?
Played our song on repeat as you told me constantly like a tape recorder mouthing off all your indecencies
As you washed yourself of me with love and all it's other drugs
Were you snug like a bug in your rug as you took your blanket shape shifting it like a knife constructed to pierce me
Were you happy knowing that you slit both my wrists and broke my neck leaving me dead
Did you ever once consider how I felt, did you ever even hear me when I said you were all I had left
Did you ever once hear me when I said you were all I had
You were all I had
There it rises, the problem I have with you
The anger, the rage your memory ensues
My gut says to hate you for all you put me through
The lies, the false goodbyes, the way you had me by rope tugging at me
A blind dog on all fours
My gut says to hate you
Call this the end, scream for you to
"GET AWAY, GET AWAY! LEAVE ME BE THIS DAY!
JUST GET AWAY, GET AWAY! Let me dabble in the misery you plagued me with this day"
While my heart says, "No, shut up. Sarah, I love you. Don't leave, stay with me. Sarah, pick up the phone, contact me. Sarah, I love you; say something to know you remember my name. Sarah, Sarah, Sarah please don't give up on me
As my mind bust out laughing maniacally, "She doesn't love you, why else would she torture you? Torture your insides till you felt like you were bleeding all the time?
Why would she love you, embrace you when all your love was blind?
Why would she love you when you've been living in her vicinity; you've lived in the same city as her and yet you've only seen her face once
Nearly collapsing on sight from a panic attack when you wished it, wanted it, asked for it
You cowardly fool, why would love someone like you when it's so much more fun to torture you? Muhahahaha!"
To be fair I thought you, Sarah, were all mine
Though maybe in truth my love was blind, I thought you were all mine
How many shared your fruit with me?
And that's what brings me to my dilemma
Why I called you here
Why I play this song on repeat, intentionally messed up the melody yet still keep it intact
Please don't go away, go away
Sarah, please stay
I am selfish, I don't understand
With you, I knew what it meant to be a man
Sarah, I'm lost without you
I'm no one, you were my dream come true
Sarah, I diluted myself with poison and revenge
I've turned green with envy, wanting you; demanding that you return to me so I can have the real closure I've wanted for so long
But all this closure that I seek, is for me to kiss your cheek and say see you soon
8 years later and it all still feels so soon
Don't get away, get away
Sarah, please answer me
Do you have any pleasant memories of us?
Do you think of us anymore?
I, cluelessly in love with you
You, blissfully radiant too
All I have are these downhill memories
A giant snowball of negativity
Please share with me what you have left
Sarah, please don't go away
I still carry pictures of you for my sake
So I don't run out of my house, screaming "where are you?!"
So I don't call your phone feeling blue saying I miss you
Sarah, please don't go away, go away
I need you okay
Sarah, please don't leave me all alone again
I can't keep screaming at your moving pictures saying I hate you with rage
I can't keep staring at your heart with wonder and puppy dog eyes
Thinking softly if I'm still there, somewhere
Sarah, please don't go away
I'm lost this day....
But she never answered me
She never heard me
I stare blankly at this mirror, envisioning her face
But it's just my own, twin streaks of tears rolling
This Wild Life singing softly
"Don't say it's over"
But it's over
It has been for 8 years
I've tried to twist time, make her mine one last moment for a lifetime
I saw it once, she was my forever
I am her never
What's funny is I know the words she'd say if she read this
She'd say incredulously
"Awe Russy, I'm impressed
You have a way with your distress
I love you too but there's no more room for you
I'm happy you see
You need to move on cause you won't be happy chasing after me"
But the thing is in small steps, I have moved on
There's a lovely lady I'm chasing west coast bound
I repeat for it to be real cause honestly it still sounds so make believe to me
That I am traveling to California to be with a girl I saw in the same light I saw Sarah
And I'm terrified, terrified
So I call back on my first promised wife
I don't say hello, and I won't say goodbye
I'm just letting my mirror know that I'm letting you go
So it can pass it on to your reflection so you can see me in your eyes one day and finally get back to me
Just don't say I love you too...
Just tell me "I remember you"
Because I can't forget you too
Copyright © Russell Banks | Year Posted 2016
Long poem by
Aa Harvey | Details |
Play Slipknot’s ‘Snuff’ song four times and use these lyrics:
(Do not use the official video clip. It has more than just the song.)
I still feel your pain within my skin…
Ripping out my heart again,
So I can’t let you in.
Silence only ever hid my truths…
The Book of Life showed us the way;
My fate is up to you…amen.
Never been one to simply move on!
Like to stay in wonderland; all alone!
It still seems to feel like you inside;
All it took was the death of love and suicide.
To find our paradise!
I saw the love within your eyes;
It burnt my soul to say goodbye.
Oh…So now I scream “I’ve changed my mind!”
But apathy has got a grip over me!
Death will surely catch up, eventually…
But if I have you by my side
And I have your love for the rest of time;
Maybe then I can truly say “Goodbye.”
But only once and never again, not in this life!
Happiness has gone from me again!
All I’m left with within my world; is my own pain;
But I never said to you, just what I knew.
Just know I only ever spoke the truth.
I just couldn’t do this to you!
You’re much too weak to take this pain,
I guess thought the crazy fool.
Oh…But picture me within your heart;
I’ll be your love light in the dark!
I’ll be the one who cares!
I’ll be the one who is always there!
I’ll be the one you keep within;
I’ll be the one you let within!
I’ll be the one to teach you sin!
If you would only live again…
This bullet has your name on it.
Oh…I’ll bury it within my skin.
I’ll take you deep inside of me!
I’ll open up and I will live again!
PLAY TUNE AGAIN…
PLAY TUNE AGAIN…
PLAY TUNE AGAIN…
Bury me with love within your mind…
Dig me up to play with me, from time to time.
Read what I’m so desperate… to say
I’m older now and people change,
If I hadn’t just walked away…again.
I’d walk straight up to him!
And punch him hard in the face!
Such innocence you have no right to take!
My psychopathic, unstoppable, rage!
Would have put an end to his days!
But those words I guess I couldn’t say.
I guess you wouldn’t listen to them, anyway.
Oh so shocked that I would let you go!
I hope you know within my heart; you were the one!
But these words that you must never know…
Are truly spoken only to…cleanse my own soul.
Now I know I had to let you go;
I just wanted to tell you that…You are not alone.
Just tell me that you will never go!
Bury me with love and death, deep within your soul.
Know your words are in my heart…
But I could never let you know.
I wouldn’t want to make you cry!
Your tears only ever, made me want to die!
I couldn’t be the one to save your life;
Oh But you will never truly know,
Just how much you have affected mine!!!…
The pain I never made you face!
I kept it all deep within.
I buried it deep with you, inside of me;
But I never did find any kind of release.
I guess I just couldn’t let it ever end up like this.
So pity me for all I should have said!
Lay with me once more my love, in our broken bed.
Oh Kiss me deep within your soul of light;
Stay with me and hold me tight!
If you still care I just want you to know…
PLAY TUNE AGAIN…
PLAY TUNE AGAIN…
PLAY TUNE AGAIN…
Together we will surely show this,
This loneliness, its death;
For I will never let you go.
I will only ever walk away.
For I have seen the death of love…
Once more in time, I should…have tried.
But these words of mine,
I guess I just could never say!
I miss you right now my bitter love!
I think of you now and then; sometimes other stuff.
But I want you to know, you are always in my heart.
I never truly left you; but I did depart…
I never told you how I felt.
Oh…I had to leave your broken heart;
But never weep because of me!
Never say…you are unhappy.
You will never be alone,
For you are buried in my soul
And if something I guess I could have changed;
I would have left you to your pain,
I would still have walked away
And hope to God, I pray! I pray!
That you would only ever have followed me!
My love for you shall never go away.
I feel like I need your love to breathe!
I think I need you!
Trapped inside of me!
I think I saw something in your eyes;
I think I saw my paradise, but now I guess I’ll never truly know!
I think I’ve hit an all-time low!
So come to me, I’ll embrace you once again!
I’ll speak to you with honesty, my beloved friend;
Let me pay my penance for my sin.
Let me tell your heart and your soul!
That you my love, shall always be kept within.
I keep you safe within my dreams.
Oh I offer shelter to your hurt and pains,
I only ever wanted to let you in!
I only ever wanted to let you in!!!
PLAY TUNE AGAIN…
PLAY TUNE AGAIN…
PLAY TUNE AGAIN…
So you can truly believe my words when I say…
I will never walk away;
In the distance I see your faith.
One last time you smiled at me and then…
You walked away then you felt my hand;
Land upon your hand again…
I love you, I always have!
I just didn’t understand!
But all these words I keep within;
I’ll never hurt you; I’m your friend!
I’m sorry I just couldn’t let you in,
But I believed you would be better off in the end;
If you never saw my face…
Oh if once more I had just walked away;
You would never have read your words and all of this would be a waste!
But if I were to tell you how I really feel…
I’d simply scream at you “This is for real!”
Let’s once more live in sin.
So I can show you my love within…
That you shall always be kept with me, deep within.
So save my soul I need you to care;
I need you more than I need air!
I need your love to set me free;
I need you to become one with me.
I need to tell you I love you my Friend,
I’ll never truly hurt you…not in the end;
I never claimed to be a saint.
Oh in wonderland I love your soul,
It took her death to let me know, I love you so!
So come be with me or break my hope!
You My Love; I believe You could be the one;
I only tried to be of help,
But you are strong enough to help yourself
And I will pay penance for your pain!
I will not leave, I’m here to stay!
Angels like me fear our souls;
Oh for my love was banished long ago,
If you still care, just know I love you so!
If you still care, just know you are the one!
(C)2013 Aa Harvey. All Rights Reserved.
Copyright © Aa Harvey | Year Posted 2016
Long poem by
Teppo Gren | Details |
May 1979, Mount Druitt, Sydney, Australia
I was kneeling on the bathroom floor with my head over the toilet bowl. I felt sick. I felt nauseous, but instead of vomit, the only thing that came up was a white mixture of stomach acids combined with dis-solved pills. I felt terrible. The physical discomfort however was nothing compared to the mental hango-ver combined with the emotional state of despair I was feeling. It was only due to the mere fact that the pills I had taken the previous night were not strong enough that I was still alive. I had been a fool to think that heavy drinking combined with a large dose of headache pills would do the trick. It required something stronger, but due to my ignorance I had not acquired any sleeping pills or other stronger med-icine. I kept the stash of headache pills with me only for the purpose of taking them when the time be-came right: when the pain of living my life without love would become unbearable. They would be used to end the misery.
That time had come last night. Now I was feeling the after effects of the failed attempt. I felt worse than I had felt last night; worse than I had ever felt. The reason for this was not the physical distress, nor the mental hangover. It was much worse. After making a serious attempt to take my life, I now realized that I could never do it. The realization made me feel trapped. The only escape I had to get relief from the pain I was feeling was now gone. I was in a dead end trapped and surrounded by massive, dark walls of my mind. There was nowhere to escape. The only future I could see for myself was to continue living with the feeling of loneliness, misery and unworthiness. I had already experienced the torment of despair long enough to know how wretched it felt. And now that was the only future I could see for myself.
I was 23 years old and I was ready to end my life. During the last three years my emotional life had drifted into total turmoil and I was unable to change the course. I didn’t have the one thing I so longed in life: love. Why was it so difficult to find love? Why did I always find myself falling so deeply in love only to be rejected? The more I loved the greater would be the disenchantment and pain.
The continuous unfulfilled yearning for someone to love had taken its toll. It had not only shattered my heart, but it had also crumbled my self-esteem. Without love I felt I had nothing. It had become a fixa-tion: a desperate need without reality. The hopeless devotion had overpowered any sense of sanity caus-ing irrational actions which would only complicate the already unstable behavior: all because of love. What remained was a desolate, lonely solitude within my head: total despair with no escape. How to go forward without hope? How to go forward when nothing else mattered? The future looked dark, if not pitch black. That was the state I was in now, and the only direction I could take was the darkness which surrounded me.
The Olivia Newton-John song “Hopelessly Devoted to You” with words so fitting to describe the thoughts in my mind kept running in my head. This had been my favorite song and my song for her;
Guess mine is not the first heart broken
my eyes are not the first to cry
I’m not the first to know
there’s just no getting over you
But now there’s nowhere to hide
since you pushed my love aside
I’m not in my head
Hopelessly devoted to you
Hopelessly devoted to you
My heart was not broken for the first time. It had been broken many times, be as it may that I was to blame each time for setting myself up for the disappointment. Being an eternal optimist and a romantic soul, with even a glimmer of hope of finding true love I had to pursue that dream. This time around the dream had been shattered and the yearning for her love was so intense that I saw no way of getting over her pushing my love aside. But I had nowhere to go. I knew I no longer had a way out. I was trapped in my head. Hopelessly devoted to her: with no chance to possess her love. Hopelessly devoted and feeling hopelessly lost: hopeless, worthless, undeserving, and unwanted.
Love: such a simple word, such a strong feeling. But why was it so difficult for some? Why did love not come my way? Looking around me I saw loved ones getting together: feeling togetherness, bliss, and happiness. Why not for me? Love: such a powerful sentiment. The power to make or break: fulfill or leave empty: cries of happiness or tears of sadness. Looking around me I saw young love: the excite-ment, the hopefulness, the purity. Why not for me? Love: such a passionate emotion: togetherness or loneliness: acceptance or rejection: tenderness or pain: being loved or left hurting. Looking around me I saw love. Why did I get to experience only the downside of love: loneliness, rejection, pain, heartache, tears?
How did everything go so wrong? How did I mess everything up so completely that I ended up in this state of despair? Everything had been so easy and simple when I was a child, and even the years of my early adolescence went without apparent aberration. The answers lay down deep within my mind. A happy childhood didn’t guarantee a happy life fulfilled with love. Every action has its consequences. We sow the seeds of our future with the actions we take as the actions we take are echoed in our future. It was due to the choices and actions I had made that I now found myself living in a feeling of hopeless-ness. I was the only one to blame. With the mixed state of mind which I was in on that May morning in 1979 little did I know that the continued stupid actions I would take, would make things a lot worse before they would start to get better. I was lost and I had to find myself. The road to finding peace of mind was rocky and long.
SONNET – NO ESCAPE
The freedom of life’s end without escape,
no place to elude the pain of despair.
So close was the notion of a black cape,
darkness to cover existence unfair.
The pain of love far more than life itself,
to bear in hapless sorrow of regret.
Lost in the false sense of my darkest self
tainted minds morbid reflection‘s beset.
Dejected self with mindless thoughts adrift;
no lease of life to feel the next morrow.
I was chosen to live by nature‘s gift
and find freedom from the fear of sorrow.
Restrained by realities painful wrath,
a search begins to find life’s righteous path.
Copyright © Teppo Gren | Year Posted 2016
Long poem by
James Inman | Details |
When you came to me...
Not that you wanted me. Oh, no! It was I who wanted you,
Your comfort... your caring... your
... compassion, your compassion...
Your body, beautiful and young, perhaps that as well at some different time, some different circumstance.
The beauty of your mind, yes, your essence... yes, that which makes you.
I wanted YOU... needed you.
...you smiled... the light, the beacon that saved my sanity from the storm tossed sea of my existence.
I smiled my feeble simper in return.
You said you looked for me and slipped onto the silvery, wooden bench beside me.
I had run away unable to face you.
I knew what the night would deliver... Goodbye. We would yet share our days but no longer our substance... your pain... my insecurities...
Oh, how you opened to me when we were new, like a bird freshly freed from its cage, stretching its stiffened, unused wings, your thoughts... hesitant but fluid.
You told me of your helplessness... of the night of fear and anger, the giving and loving in your heart stripped from you... taken by the one closest to you, so... violent, so... abasing.
How could anyone ever love you again, you asked...
I felt your pain.
I could not, but I wished to share it with you... to take it from you... to leave you whole, to help you... forget.
You used it. In your beautiful way... you wanted it... to create comfort where there was hurt... warmth where there was fear
...How could you not be loved!
...our talks and feelings... and you... never more to be a meaningful measure of my life. Then there was me. My destruction was my own. Concern on your face told me of the helplessness you felt as I confessed my demons. You had no answers. I wanted none... only comfort, your comfort.
I opened my soul to you... said things... private things... things that should never have left my lips... things I had never, could never share with anyone.
I told of destroying those closest to me...
I told of my feelings for you...
Then things changed. I approached you one warm, bright morning and you looked at me. The deep, bright orbs of cerulean that are your eyes twinkled then squinched gently as the edges of your supple... soft... inviting lips mingled with your blossoming cheeks. As always, the warmth of your alluring smile enveloped me.
You whispered in your gentle voice, “I missed you.”
Such beautiful words that I had so longed to hear. I returned your words, “I missed you.”
-But you need not miss me.... I am here.- You looked at me in deep reverie. You said nothing but I knew that I would never again hear those words pass through your delicate lips.
...you spoke of your doubts.
You spoke of your desires.
I felt shame for who I was and what I did, but you gently touched me... caressing me... my back... my shoulder.
You said “I care about you,”
You pulled me to you and we embraced. For long moments I held you, our bodies pressed together like a flower’s clinging petals... always touching... never wanting to release their grasp... to unfold... to open... for fear of ending the moment...
Not long before, I remember you turning to me.
“A magic hug,” you said, your searching arms reaching for me... and magic it was... they were.
The touch of your hands gently soothing me... the weight... the firmness of your full body against mine... your petite silhouette lingering beneath my awkwardly grasping arms.
How could you not be loved!
Each touch inviting more... each movement of my fingers tasting your skin. But it had to end as each instant... even a magical one... does.
...but as with everything the sweet moment was slowly lost. You sat as if waiting. Still... not moving, quiet... not speaking. I leaned toward you...
You grew cold. I did not understand. You withdrew from me... not speaking to me... not looking at me. I knew not what pain I had caused you, my friend... no... not friend... you never thought of me as your friend... never wanted me as a friend. You made that clear, I am not your friend. Friend... yes... you were my friend... are my friend... will always be my friend.
You called me needy.
You said you could not bear the strain of your pain and mine.
You said you cared too much... for whom? You never said... never too much for me.
I seemed to be your charity... Fix him! He’ll be well. He is broken but not beyond repair, fix him!
I thought our need was mutual. You listened... I listened. I cared... You cared.
I was still broken.
Then came the rage. You screamed. Like a Banshee filling the night sky you howled into the wind, “ I’M ANGRY... AT EVERYONE!!” I tried to understand... to help. You never explained. You never seemed to look at me... you avoided me...
You... hurt me, you hurt me.
...I kissed you...
sweet... gentle... beautiful.
The most tender of touches, your supple, full lips against mine... between mine. I drew you in with every breath. I tasted you.
I lingered against you... please don’t end.
I savored your gentleness... please don’t pull away.
Oh God what am I doing!!
I desired you, your presence, your voice, your touch, yes, your
Don’t pull away... it will end me.
“Please tell me you want this.”
“Of Course I do,” gently whispered, you appeased me...
never again to feel your lips against mine...
never again to press my body against yours... to feel the softness of your smooth skin beneath my finger tips...
to languor in your magical embrace.
I HATE YOU... simple words, easily said. Why could you not say them.
I HATE YOU... they would have ended things so much more quickly.
I hate you, leave me alone. It would have been so much kinder.
I hate you, don’t talk to me. I gave you the chance, “You seem to hate me,” I offered.
You couldn’t say them
I will never say them.
How could you not be loved? You never let me.
You arose from the bench as dusk turned to dark. The evening air was cool and the time was late.
I gazed longingly into your blue eyes. You spared me a last smile... beautiful smile... sweet smile... your good bye... thank you.
Copyright © James Inman | Year Posted 2015
Long poem by
Silent One | Details |
Part two: Outbreak of civil war
Imaani’s world is falling apart around her. Protests against a dictatorship government go out of control as activists are brutally killed. Rebel groups are formed and a civil war breaks out between rebels and the government. Imaani’s life is in danger as her father is a political activist. Her father is arrested and her mother dies after a local shopping centre is bombed.
Oh my beloved, I must leave you now. War has broken and I must hide myself from the world. Be patient my beloved, if our love is true we will be together soon.
Mathias is heartbroken and alone once again,
“Don’t tell me love hurts,
It hurts just like death.
Everyone has a love story,
But my story I can never tell.
No one ever taught me how to love,
I only learned through experience.
Loss leads to pain, sorrow and no hope for tomorrow,
If pain is temporary, then why do i feel hollow?
No one ever told the truth to me,
About growing up, and the troubles I would face.
Everything I was taught,
had not prepared me for this.
Love is like the sun,
The closer you get, the quicker you burn.
Lies and betrayal will destroy your trust,
Your mind will be at war and there will be no peace.
Maybe it was never meant to be,
especially when you feel you never tried hard enough.
So, is it better to let dreams fade away?
To break two hearts, that are meant to be?
With so many doubts and so many questions,
I guess I will never know the true answers
In a society where love can be a taboo,
A beautiful love, sometimes cannot blossom
What kind of world do we live in?
When society cannot let you be you.
So don’t tell me love hurts,
It hurts more than anything.”
As the war becomes more brutal, a refugee crisis hits the country. Imaani is forced to leave her home,
“Society has shunned me and I feel neglected,
I am like a foreigner, so it is time to say goodbye.
There is nobody here of mine, so I will be leaving,
colourful memories have faded away, all I see is gloom.
All those I loved have been stolen from me,
taken away by the evil brutality of man.
Their voices still echo around me,
their screams continue to traumatise me.
Derelict streets and buildings are all around me,
with haunting sounds of happiness and laughter.
All around me is pain and cries of injustice,
atrocities that the world turned a blind eye to.
All has been lost, so I guess I will be leaving,
disappearing behind a trail of sadness and sorrow.
I will soon be forgotten as will my childhood memories,
forced into an unknown fate as I become part of the Diaspora.”
Mathias’s world is falling apart. He loses his job and falls into depression at the sudden loss of his soul mate,
“Life is a poisoned chalice, full of betrayal and hypocrisy,
an evil society which breaks your heart and then mocks you.
My destiny is a deceitful one, full of deception and regret,
there is no happy ending, this is no enchanting fairy tale.
I feel no love and have been left all alone,
nobody really understands, so I hide myself from them.
I have become indulged in a dimension of deepest despair,
within an abyss, where darkness is my only loyal friend.
so many tears have been shed, I have drowned myself in sorrow,
I am drowning in what feels like the deepest ocean and I cant swim.
I am falling, but no one is there to catch me,
my emotions are out of control, my mind is betraying me.
My heart is so fragile and sensitive, it is hurt by the smallest thing,
these voices in my head are driving me insane.
I am going crazy, when will it all end,
as no longer do I have the strength to carry on.
As every sigh becomes deeper, I contemplate my fate,
is life really worth living, what do I have to live for?
Help me please, no go away, leave me alone!
I await the final betrayal, so then I can say goodbye forever,
I will leave without a trace, without an explanation.
But, please forgive me, I never meant any harm,
I can't help it, I'm falling,
and no one can catch me now.”
Months go by and there does not seem to be any end to the war. The powers of the world stand by and look on, not intervening as they have no political gain from the conflict. The refugee crisis increases with overflowing refugee numbers in camps around neighbouring countries. Imaani, has not eaten for days and is a shadow of the woman, she used to be,
“Do you hear my call?
Here, I stand,
battered and bruised.
Thirsty, hungry and confused,
do you hear my call?
Look into my eyes,
they have ran dry, no more tears.
The world has become blind,
they do not see my suffering.
The world has become deaf,
they do not hear my call.
So hungry, that I cannot sleep,
so tired, that I cannot sleep.
Life is a chance of luck,
a child born into luxury,
a child born into poverty,
sadly, a definition of what is to come.
soon, I will be gone,
but my plight, must never be forgotten.”
Part three: The union
Imaani has not forgotten the love of her beloved even with her life in extreme danger and close to death she calls out,
“I was never a poet,
but your vision became my poetry,
I had heard about love,
but only your existence turned me into a lover.
I thought romance was dead,
but, your companionship, seduced me into a romantic.
I was never a musician,
but, now I compose melodies to describe what I feel for you.
I was never a believer,
but, your beauty made me believe, now I worship you.
I have never asked for anything from God,
I enjoin my hands and pray for your return.
I search for you with every sunset,
I search for you with every sunrise.
They mock me and say you will never return,
soon you will forget and love again.
Happiness or sadness, no matter where, my love will never change,
for those whose love is true, devotion always remains.”
A voice whispers into the ear of Mathias,
“Do you think you have time? Go to her, to your beloved.”
To be continued...
The Silent One. 20 August 2015.
Copyright © Silent One | Year Posted 2015
Long poem by
Brian Johnston | Details |
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.
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.
Copyright © Brian Johnston | Year Posted 2014
Long poem by
Scott Howard Myers The Gypsy King | Details |
Set upon the new world stage within the burning fires of hell. Silently posed factions of the elite, suppress the true inherit of Mother Earth. The meek children bending over for millennium, taken spankings of bare bottoms, pelted slavery.
Upon entry to rule, the open stage of smoked mirrors began to reflect back upon the podium of lies. Taught by scholars from university books of political science. Fearful of leadership matching mirrored images, of false pretense, babbling rhetoric. The stirring masses of discontented, individualistic, thought of as dead - enders, trouble makers, and rebel rousers, rallied aimlessly.
With super hero, Captain Do Gooder, bleeding helpless on the floor of Wall Street. Weary lost hope combatants mustered courage, and accepted destiny. To this point, someone shouted against the wind of change. Felt by all who sensed the importance.
"To death do us part of the purpose to which we, the united, stand for justice".
The chant began, as Captain Do Gooder was dragged away, and cuffed, once bleeding helpless on the floor of Wall Street.
Damn the torpedoes. Damn the torpedoes.
Captain Do Gooder, fallen, bruised ego matching skinned knees, lays helpless. Who will save them now.
Second glances from high rise penthouses. Serving champagne and caviar. Brought iron clenched hands once hidden, to draw the stage curtain down.
With Captain Do Gooder nowhere to be found. The voice that came from pain of pupil. Born within broken dreams of promised lands. Realized nothing was coming cheap on this occupation.
The dusty streets found Captain Do Gooder aimlessly stepping against the winds of change, down Wall Street. The well-intentioned, arrested and broken spirited, lost hope of recycling any salvage rights taken from them by Metro.
Was this the end of the well thought out, pushed down occupation.
Was this the beginning, of the underground faction. Where was senior generation X hiding. Only Captain Do Gooder and the well-intentioned, world stage occupiers, hold the key to that Pandora's box of hope.
The peoples across the oceans were already springing far ahead in their own, more brutal campaign. For they had no cushion on which they were raised to kneel against. Tyranny ran over them. A lesson yet not felt, or learnt, or taught, in the new world. No chance of city mayors issuing eviction notices. Bullets, tanks and bombs were of the order. Brought down the line, traced back to the ones our United Nations to this day, refuse to acknowledge.
While leaders there home internet shop, and pump out the lies. Everyone dies.
In the heart of the continent of center, where unto which as mankind sprang forth, for its first and ever conquest.
The lights kept dim, to obscure the violent cleansing. A facade to disguise once moreover, the brutal tyranny for which the greed of the elite, control the dimmer switch. Diamonds and oil fuel the fire of war and oppression, on this stage of greed and guilt. Too far away, and too many distractions upon center stage for one to see or care. Thought and looked upon by most as racially motivated. The origins of all mankind, to be left, far too far, behind. The true forsaken people. Why is man unkind.
So..........will Captain Do Gooder raise the bar to which drinks for the house, and all around, will quench the thirst felt by ninety nine percent of the people............mother knows best.
Yet, still, self-inflicted roadblocks of appointed destiny, drop kicked long days past. Faint light shining far ahead, within the tunnel of hell, brought up to land. Firm above the depths to which it sprang. The truth of world order.
Wait......what do we see......do our closed eyes deceive our cries........................................
We see Captain Do Gooder catching second wind.
She breathes deep now and all can hear her war cry, no longer whimpering softly. As in past tense situations, given way to dazed and confused wall street *****es.
She builds momentum, as our brothers and sisters lay dying and bleeding. On the streets of some not so distant for telling, of what's to be, will never not be coming full steam ahead and plowing through the hidden agenda. One step beyond the line drawn in the sand of time, we thought would never be crossed. Give way thoughtless future tellers, and takers. Still holding firm with paper cuts, deep into the hands who printed and prepared such slave papers, kept by the elite bankers.
Captain Do Gooder returns renewed and refreshed. Our true Mother.
Captain Do Gooder feels strong, as bruised knees and scraped hands heal.
Brush of destiny sweepstakes, allots winnings of earth shaking, volcano erupting, tsunami tidal waves, with bonus draws of worldwide chaos. Future draws are to be held with worldwide winners. Grand prize, dead oceans rising.
The next generation have no fear digest writes the next chapter.
Hold the press down firmly wall street backbiting backbenchers. Drawn into the crossfire, on her mark, place the x on the next general who dares not fall into civil disobedience.
Captain Do Gooder has grown teeth, and she is biting down hard against the line to pipe riches, spoiled from her lands. Stolen from the first pilgrimage, fifteen thousand years old, lost empire.
How dare you steal from, and pollute the minds of her children. Yet old enough to drink and drug and die in war. How dare all of us.
Meanwhile back at the ranch. Captain Do Gooder hugs tight that tree of life, to which sprang all this elbow rubbing and diversion. Wall street huddles in her corner, painted red to match the lengths to which an end will surely bring to it.
Painted red for all to see.
The end to friendly letter writing, give peace a chance, make love not war, generation taking a bow, and snow birding it, to false sense of security land. Like the ostrich with its head in the sand.
Copyright © Scott Howard Myers The Gypsy King | Year Posted 2013
Long poem by
CJ Krieger | Details |
These 2 different versions are separated by nine years
MUST BE SPRING
Small speckles of wild grass
Looking like tiny green drops
That had fallen to the earth
Were the very first sign
Waving in the breeze
With their feathery tops rippling
They slowly reached for the sun
Growing much taller than myself
Then the dragonflies
Darting about like lost Messerschmitts
Looking for a place to land
Foretold of the coming
As I looked down the long winding path
I saw off in the distance
A slight figure of a woman
Drawing closer and closer
It was you
(And I had missed you so)
With your smiling face
And your arms wildly waving hello
Must be spring
MUST BE SUMMER
The unusually humid
Hot summer night
Found my hands sliding
Along your warm, moist body
As I watched you
Lying nakedly on the cool sheets
My eyes followed a single drop
Of beaded sweat
Which had leisurely rolled down
Your gentle curves
And magically disappeared
As you awoke to my touch
We both followed
The movements of my fingers
For a single drop of water
Lost within the folds
Of your thighs
Must be summer
- - - - - - - - - - - -
MUST BE AUTUMN
There was not a bird in the sky
They had all fallen
Into the top
Of a large red oak tree
On the northeast side of the meadow
Each one singing
Louder than the next
Until all the leaves shattered
Must be autumn
- - - - - - - - - - -
MUST BE WINTER
A single leaf
On a tree
Is all that remains
As a tribute to summer
While on the ground
Changing patterns with the blowing wind
The dry crinkling sound of leaves
Moves to and fro
As the tree quietly sleeps
For the chilly mornings to pass
And the warmth of a spring rain
To say… hello
Sit at my window
Staring down the road
Still waiting… for you
Must be winter
The windows rattled
As the spring winds blew
Down from the mountains
And across the forest
As I watched the newly budded trees
Bend and sway
Although spring was here
It was a cold wind
That chilled my cheeks
As I pulled the hood
Tighter over my face
Walking home I watched
While last year’s winter leaves
Scurried across the ground
Every so often stopping to rest
Before running out of view
I enjoy days like this
It keeps my thoughts from rambling
On thoughts of you
With your Easter dress and bonnet
Walking down this old country path
Waving to me as you fall
Silently over the mountain
It was the last days of Spring
It was one of the warmer summer days
Not a breeze or cloud in the sky
The humidity so high
I could almost reach out
And pluck it from the air
I watched the sunlight
Hitting the north side of my house
Seeking shelter then slowly roll away
Towards whatever little shade remained
With the speed of Grandma’s Black Molasses
A few miles east of the old country trail
The river’s waters had fallen
Lower than I had seen in years
Even the riverbanks had dried
Into a crumbling hard brown clay
That yearned for the rains to come
The heat, so oppressive and unyielding
Muted the voices of the birds
While all the wild animals
That usually ran about the fields
Sought out some relief or at the very least
Waited until night fell
Before coming out to play
These were the quiet days
The silent times of life
It was the summer of waiting
A time that I could no longer dance
Or sing, or see you under the starry sky
This was the summer you had gone
And I had grown much, much too old
To wait for another winter
To bring you home
It was the last days of Summer
With a cool morning wind
And the rustling
Of golden brown leaves
That changed color
As they hysterically danced
Through the town streets
Before heading out
To their winter home
Here and there
Gangs of ferocious squirrels
Ran up and down the trees
Harvesting whatever fruits and nuts
That refused to drop
From the shivering trees
Whose bare bark
Could be heard
All about the woods
As I watched
Their once small mouths
With bits and pieces
Of summers’ leftover bounty
The old woodland paths
I couldn’t help but smile
This is the time of year
That I enjoy the most
A time of transition
When the earth
Prepares for a long winters nap
Yes, it most definitely was
(As I thought to myself smiling)
A time of scurrying squirrels
It was the last days of Autumn
Night inched its way
Up the north-east side
Of my house
Much in the way
A little child
Would climb over a fence
One small hand at a time
And as night's shadow
Reached the very top
It stopped for a moment
Before tumbling over
And falling down
The south-west wall
Plunging the house into darkness
It was a familiar winter night
But what I remember most
Was how much colder it seemed
Then other winters before
Warm or cold
It was winter
Complete in every way
With winds like icy fingers
And falling snow
That seemed to go on and on
It was on a night like this
That I thought of you
When I was overwhelmed
By everything that winter was
Compounded by a darker darkness
Than any nights I could remember
That had come before
And try as I might
I could not summon the sun
Or make it rise more swiftly
To free my mind
From unwanted thoughts
Nor could I find any solace
In the quiet, quiet
Of winter’s silence
It was Winter
Copyright © CJ Krieger | Year Posted 2015
Long poem by
Trisha Sugarek | Details |
The Ash Can ©
I got the call on Sunday night. I was traveling on business. When I looked at the caller ID
I wondered why my husband’s boss would be calling me. I was unprepared for what
he told me and my legs turned to water when he said that my husband was dead.
‘A heart attack? An accident?’ I asked. ‘No’, he said, ‘John committed suicide.
They found him in your garage this morning.’ I heard someone screaming and
wished that they would stop so I could hear the rest. His voice was very far away
and the woman just kept screaming. ‘Shut up! Shut up!’ I need to hear. I clapped my
hand over my mouth when I suddenly realized it was me who was screaming.
I don’t remember hanging up or getting on the plane. (beat) Yes, John and I were having
problems and we had been separated for about three months but nothing was official.
After thirty years of marriage I never believed that we couldn’t weather this and share
the rest of our lives together. This was just a phase he was going through…some sort
of mid-life crisis. This had to be some horrible mistake, a case of mistaken identity.
My John would never do this, leave me like this. (beat)
I stumbled into our home around nine the next morning. The house looked like a woman
hadn’t lived there for months. Dirty dishes in the sink, groceries half put away, empty
beer cans and a full ashtray by John’s chair. Seeking comfort I walked over to his chair.
Out of the corner of my eye, I caught a glimpse of a reflection in the mirror over the
fireplace. Some wild looking woman with mascara smudges under her eyes and smeared
lipstick looked out at me. I walked closer to inspect this stranger in my house.
She looked old and used up. Who was she? What had life dealt her to look so worn out?
Oh, God, it was me. Staring out with those eyes bleeding hot, raw pain. (beat) I curled
up in John’s chair and closed my eyes. Was this all I had left of my husband? This slightly shabby piece of furniture that still smelled of him? How could I tell our children? Could I bear to go into the garage? What would I find?
I knew that they had taken his body away but what had they left there for me to see?
Maybe something there would prove that this was truly a mistake. I rose to my feet and
walked into the kitchen and through the laundry room to the garage door. (beat)
I slowly opened it and was knocked back by the remaining stink of gas fumes.
John’s car sat in its parking spot, the garden hose hanging from the back window like
some obscene snake. I gagged and pressed the button to open the garage door.
The passenger side window was open so I could look inside without having to touch the car. And what I saw on the seat told it all. There was John’s cell phone, an empty bottle of Vodka and a bottle of Excedrin. (beat) And something else…a second cell phone…what in the world? I was only allowed five seconds of blissful denial before it all came crashing down on me. The second phone…the secret phone that men who cheat keep to talk to their lovers. All those protestations he offered during the time that we were apart. ‘No, there was no one else’, ‘I just need to find myself’, ‘I don’t want a divorce’, ‘I just need some time’. ‘I love you; I’m just not in love with you.’ Lies, all lies! How could I have been so stupid? Then I notice a crumpled manila envelope on the floor of the car. Anger driven, I opened the door and picked up the envelope and the two cell phones and went back into the house. Sitting in John’s chair once again, I smoothed out the envelope and read what was written there.
‘Ricky, tell Sherry I love her. Tell Sherry I can’t live without her. Tell Sherry not to cry
for me. Sherry, I’ll love you forever. I’m sorry.....John-Boy.’ Who the hell was Sherry?
Did my husband of three decades kill himself over some tramp? Some other woman
whom he barely knew? I picked up the second cell phone and scanned the history of calls.
Where was area code 864? As I set the phone down my eye caught the partial title of
a book lying on the rug under the table. Picking it up, I read: ‘How To Keep A Long
Distance Relationship Exciting and New.’ I opened it to the first few pages and found an
inscription, ‘To my tiny dancer, until we meet again. Love forever, your John-Boy.’
My God, John, how could you? How could you do this to us? I yelled as I threw the
book across the room; will this hellish nightmare never end? (beat) I picked up the
cell phone and scrolled down the history; Sherry Hoffman, Sherry Hoffman, Sherry Hoffman, Sherry Hoffman. No other woman, huh, John? South Carolina…hence the long distance relationship…you’re such a fool, I told myself. There was voice mail saved and I listened to the most current ones. Those messages told a story of a married woman who had a son and a new grandchild.
Another sad, pedestrian story of a restless woman trapped in a loveless marriage but
unwilling to leave. The daughter-in-law apparently would not let Sherry see the child.
It seemed that John, in a misplaced attempt to help, called Sherry’s son to insist that
he let Sherry see her grand-baby.
Only to succeed in blowing up that family. The final message was not so sweet and
sexy from his lover. Sherry had dumped my husband. (beat) I didn’t know whether
to laugh or cry. I seemed to be trapped in a crazed, unbelievable soap opera. But what
is it that they say about truth being stranger than fiction? I sighed. John had always
wanted to rescue anyone in trouble…even when they didn’t ask for help. He had crossed
the line calling that woman’s son. Oh, John, what were you thinking?, I asked the empty
room. Didn’t you know? You were her dirty little secret.... (more)
(from my book, Monologues 4 Women)
Copyright © Trisha Sugarek | Year Posted 2014
Long poem by
cassie hellberg | Details |
sometimes i talk to myself,
my mind is racing,
i dont know what to do...
so hard to explain.
depression isn't a stage
or a faze some kids go through
it shatters you...
i saw it all.
she cried silent in her bed,
blood stains covered her favorite jeans,
her every shirt,
long sleeve ofcourse...
she suffered through it all with few people to call friend
and more to call enemy
even more to say where quite dissappointed....
her first name in school,
not started by a bully
or a mean rival,
but by her sister,
and it echoed through her soul,
repeating in her mind... over and over again,
like the ripples of still water
when a pebble is dropped
flash frozen in time
over and over again...
It was the first name they gave her,
millions where created over the years,
some repeating again, just as the first had..
gothic they called her,
emo, fat, ugly....worse things.
but in her mind, things where worse.
everything was repeating,
over and over again,
finally she believed it.
she asked for help, from everyone
tried to explain to parents she wasnt well,
got called a psycho for asking to see a theripist,
not from a teacher,
not from a class mate,
but from her own father, who wouldn't, couldn't,
believe there could possibly be a thing wrong....
finally, crying, she confessed her bloody secret to a teacher.
rather then giving her time,
she is sent back to class crying her eyes out, as if she wherent going through enough...
she is sent to the principals office a few minutes later, after breaking down in class...
the princlipal says she needs help,
sends her and her dad for a risk evaluation,
her dads crying as she shows him her cuts...
they walk into a hospital room,
it smells of chemicals and hand sanitizer,
the lady at the desk gives her a smile.
then she goes into a room with a lady,
her cheeks are sunken in and shes wearing way too much makeup,
the girl is gaging on her perfume,
and she looks really intimidating....
her dark brown hair looks dead and flat
even though its a bit wavy,
and she wears somewhat of a mocking frown.
asks her all these questions,
is mommy beating her?
is daddy raping her?
is she doing drugs?
is anyone beating her?
did anyone molest her?
oxcarbezapine, trazadone, citalipran, clinazapam, colonipan,
valium, lithium, more.......
and thats what they gave her,
some numbed the pain
some brought it out
tearing through her organs,
she became an addict by the time she was fourteen....
over dose after over dose
some for pleasure
some for pain,
gashes on her legs getting deeper,
this time she didnt tell a soul,
not even those she had come to call friends....
wakeup she screamed in her head over and over again
as she dropped weight like it was nothing....
you cant controll it she argued as things became worse.
at age fourteen she attempted suicide,
she didnt quite succeed.
the medication took away her aappitite....
she liked it
she hated her body
felt out of controll
found a new way to cope
as she shoved tooth brush after toothbrush down her throat
to keep her body from nuitrients...
as she whent weeks and weeks spitting food into napkins and making excuses
I ate at my friends house....
spoken as a whisper
heard like a sentance
echoing in her mind over and over again,
along with that word, all the words,
ugy, anoying, stupid, fake, worthless, nothing...
one bite she would say
rocking back and forth
craving nothing but food
her body racked with hunger pain
one bite and there she was again
over and over and over again
back to a toothbrush
this time she sees blood
she saw her ribs
she saw her bones,
it wasnt good enough,
she almost died, again....
choking on this deep dissappointment in herself,
gaging on everything they where pushing down her throat,
their words, and their insults, their criticism.... their drugs
all shoved down her throat like candy
and just as she was was trained to do she swallowed despite the bad taste
or the hurt
or the fact that at the rate she was going she would be dead soon...
and you know why?
because daddy yelled
and couldnt accept what was happening
not because he wanted to hurt her
but because it hurt him,
and she let him believe,
because she could take the hurt if it meant he didnt have too.
because mommy didnt want to sit in her room all day
practically having us raise ourselves,
she didnt mean to take anger, or frustration or hurt out on her daughter
she suffered everyday in her solitary confinement,
and from a young age she accepted her bedroom was the cage
her mother had created for herself.
because sister didnt want to effect her the way she did
she was just frustrated
fed up with the way things where
scared, she needed someone to take her cruelty
and to help heal her pain...
because people in school
who where so cruel
had to have learned from somewhere
and she wasnt going to play into their games,
and they knew she was an easy target
because she would never attack someone so weak
and she accepted her suffering was a sacrafice
to help all these people....
to help her dad,
every person who was beaten abused or hurt
and felt so weak at home they wanted to feel strong in the one safe place they had.
because depite the fact she had died inside,
and almost passed away on the out,
it was a saccrafice she was willing to make
so that no one else would have to feel that kind of pain,
and they all inflicted it and broke her down'untill there was nothing left but a shell
of somthing that could have been
and never had the chance
because she would take it and wouldnt strike back,
because sometimes "just taking it"
isnt so much about the weakness not to do anything
but about the strangth not to hurt others the way they hurt you...
Copyright © cassie hellberg | Year Posted 2013