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Long poem by Mario DE PAZ | Details |

Divine Comedy translation Hell Canto XIV

Because the charity of my native place
Obliged me, the broken branches I the picked up
Them giving back him, who was to debase.

Then we finally reached where had to leap
From the second turn to third, and just where
Horrible art of justice you can seep.

To best describe new things I saw then there,
I tell that now we arrived at a site
Which any plant destroys and impair.

The painful wood is like a garland tight
Around it, like is the sad moat to it;
Here we stopped step after step nearby quite.

The space was of sand arid and thick split
Not quite so different shape from the one
Which was by Cato’s foot canceled to grit.

O God’s vengeance, how  much you ought to stun
And frighten whoever is reading now
What to my eyes then manifest was done!

Of naked souls I saw many flocks to bow
And all together wretchedly to cry,
As they were subject to a wicked law.

Some people of them supine to ground lie,
Some other sitting down fully curled up,
And other walked around with no why.

People who wandered was a larger group,
And the less ones lying to the torment,
But expressing their grief with louder weep.

Over the sandy soil, with slow descent,
Were pouring  of fire very large flaps,
As snow on mountains with no wind extent.

Like Alexander in hot lands perhaps
Of India over his army saw
Flames solid down to ground  to collapse,

So he designed pawing the soil to draw
With his arrays, so that the vapor hot 
Faster lapsed if let alone to withdraw:

So fell there the eternal fire spot;
Making sand to ignite, like the tinder
Under fire, to double the ache shot.

With no rest were waved around to hinder
The miserable hands, just side by side
To send away from self the hot cinder.

I started: “Master, who are winner wide
In all things, except with the demons tough
Who our entrance at the door before tied,

Who is that big who is careless enough
Toward fire and spiteful and grim lies,
So it look like on him fire to snuff?”

And just that one, as had way to comprise
That I was asking my duke about him,
Shouted: ”Like when alive, as dead my guise.

If Jupiter ha to remove his smith’s vim 
From which he took the lightning acute
That my last day me stroke with will grim;

Or if  is tiring others to pursuit
At Mongibello where is the smithy black,
Calling “Good Vulcan,help me, and be cute!”,

As he made at Phlegraean battle attack,
And he darted me with his strength at all: 
He couldn’t have his happy revenge back”

Then my duke shouted with his voice so tall
So tall, that never so strongly I heard:
“O Capaneus, since is not yet small

Your arrogance, you more with pain are spurred:
No torment, except your angry wrath bad,
Would certainly be to your rage concurred”.

Then turned to me, and better aspect had,
Telling: “He was one of  the seven kings
Who Thebes besieged; had and still to add

Contempt has to God, no regard brings;
But, as I told him, his despites are then
At his breast very appropriate things.

Now follow me, and careful not, again,
You put your feet in this hot and  scorched  sand;
But always keep your feet in wood as den”  

In silence passed over to reach the land
Out of the wood where is a tiny flow,
Whose reddish color  my mind still disband.

As from the Bulicame the waters go
Which women sinners then among them share,
Likely that runlet through the sand went low.

Its bottom and too both its steep banks pair
Were of stones, and the edges on the sides;
So I realized that the pass was there.

“With anything else I have shown besides,
After we entered the main door just through
Whose trespassing ever nobody chides,

You did not notice using your eyes too
Overt as it is this present river,
Which turns off all little flames not few”

Of these words my guide had been the giver;
So I begged him the dinner had to feed
After the wish he brought in me with shiver.

“In the sea midst is a place of misdeed”,
Then told me him , “which has the name of Crete,
Whose kingdom under was chaste world indeed.

There is a mount which was of pride replete
For woods and water, which Ida had as name;
Now is a desert as thing to deplete. 

Rea then chose it as cradle to acclaim
Of hers son, and she at best him to hide,
When he cried, she sound shouting overcame.

A grand old man stands up the mount inside,
Holding shoulders at Damietta town
And looks at Rome as in a mirror side.

His head of pure gold is done and crown,
Of pure silver his breast and limbs are done,
Then of copper is made to the fork down;

The part below is built of iron dun;
Except the right foot which of faience is;
And on that foot more stands, the other shun.

Each part, except the golden one, rift has
As a disruption which drips just tears’ flow
Which, gathered, drilling in that cavern does. 

Their course in this valley deep falls and throw;
Acheron, Stix and Phlegethon they form;
Then through this narrow penstock down they go,

At last, there where more drop cannot perform,
Produce Cocito, and how is that pond
You can’t see here, but you shall see as norm”.

 And I: “If this stream has to correspond
To a source like that in our world up there,
Why too in this fount we it see beyond?”.

And he: “This site is round, you are aware;
Although you already walked that much,
Even moving left, getting down to fare,

You did not yet complete the circle such;
So that, if it looks strange to you this thing,
Your face should not wonder and touch”.

And I again: “Master, where is the spring
Of Phlegeton and Lete? Of one are still,
Of other you tell it’s of this rain fling” 

“With all these questions, I admire your will,
He answered, “but the boiling water red
Should have just solved a question you made still.

Lete you shall see, not in this hole of dread,
Where souls go to wash out their pain indeed
When their sin repented  has then been shed”

Then he told: “It’s time, to move now we need
From the wood, so follow and come me back:
Road is done by borders, which let accede,

And on them hot vapor will of course lack”   


Long poem by Mario DE PAZ | Details |

Canto XVII Hell translation

“Here the fierce with the thin pointed tail,
Who passes mountains and breaks arms and walls!
Here who with stench can the world assail!”

So my duke started to talk with his calls;
And hinted then it to get the bank close,
Nearby to end of marbles and of falls.

And then that filthy image which fraud sows
Came close, and  just arrived with head and chest
But on the shore its tail it did not pose.

Its face was of the honest man at best,
So much benignant had its outer skin,
And of a snake was all its body next;

Two hairy gills it had to armpits twin;
Its spine and chest as well as ribs both too
With knots and wheels had like painted had been.

Vivid colors much overlapping do 
Neither Tartars nor Turks drapes never made 
No such canvas ever Arachne drew.

Likewise sometimes barges nearby shore stayed
In part in water and in part on ground,
And likewise there within the Germans strayed

The beaver prepares its war and to hound,
So the bad and evil fierce remained there
On stony rim of sandy soil around.

Its tail was flickering in void to scare,
Up twisting its fork poisonous indeed
Which armed tip like a scorpion unfair.

My duke told: “To modify now we need
Our pathway until we finally reach 
That evil fierce which there lies, careful heed”.

For this we down got toward the right beach,
Ten steps we did then on the limit rim,
The flames and too the hot sand to breach.

And when at end we arrived close to him
A little farther I see just on sand
People sitting near the site with no vim. 

Here the master “Now you have at hand
The truth about this circle in full just”,
He told , “go and their fate then understand.

Your reasoning way down there short be must,
Meanwhile you come back, I will speak with this,
So he will offer us his limbs robust”

So again up to the top of abyss
In that seventh circle now alone
I went, where sad people sitting exists.

Through their eyes the internal pain was shown;
Here, there defended themselves with hands
Now to steam, and now to hot soil of stone:

Not different are dogs in summer stands
Now with mug or with paw, when are bitten
Or by fleas  or by flies  or horseflies bands.

After I put  on some my eyes  smitten,
On whom the painful fire to fall saw,
No one I knew; but I saw as written

A pocket hanging from the neks to draw
With blazons and colors and well clear sign,
Of which they looked to be proud with no awe.

And as looking at them I joined their line,
In yellow bag I saw a sky-blue tint
Which of lion had face and clear design.

Then going to follow of sight the hint,
I saw another which was as blood red
With a goose that whiter exist didn’t.

And one who of a light blue sow well fed
Had his white bag clearly painted just so,
Told me: “How did you come in this ditch shed?

Now you can leave; and since you alive go,
Learn that my near Vitaliano still
Will seat then here at my left below.

These from Florence, I from Paduan mill;
So many times my ears are stunned nearby
From shouting: “Should come the sovereign will,

Who will carry his bag with three necks by!
Then he twisted his mouth and extracted
His tongue, as ox which nose to lick may try.

And since my stay could not be protracted
To shun master's regret asking be fast
I came  back to souls badly impacted.

I found my duke who already had passed
Sitting onto the croup of the fierce beast,
And told me: “Now be strong and bold not last.

Now we have to descend such stairs so pieced;
Come up ahead, at middle I must be
So that for you the tail’s danger is least”

Similar to one whose disgust is close to see
The quartan fever, with nails just pale,
And looks back  trembling at high degree,

So I became when heard the words assail;
But I was ashamed by his threats to me.
That a good lord makes right  his servant fail.

I found my place on that back hard to see;
So I tried to tell, but no voice I had
As I thought and desired: “Let embrace thee”

But he, who times before to help was glad
Maybe for other, when I was there sat
With both his arms gripped and sustained me sad;

And told: “Geryon, you should move now at;
Be the circles wide, and the slope down short;
You must be careful with such weight as that”

Like a small ship leaves off its  place in port
Backwards and backwards, so started then it;
And when he felt to be free to transport,

Where the chest was, he put his tail to fit,
And after stretching, it moved like an eel,
And with gills, inflated air to admit.

More fright I don’t believe would deal
When Phaeton unrestrained became then,
So that sky, as still seen, was burnt to seal;

Nor had Icarus with his sorry  loins when
Losing feathers perceived for the wax hot,
His father screaming to him “Bad way amen!”,

The fright I had, when I saw where I got 
Everywhere in air, and turned off  I saw
Any scenery out of the fierce spot.

It goes away swimming slow, with no flaw;
Rotates, descends, but I am not aware
Except for the wind which comes from yaw.

I felt just on right hand the eddy mare
Doing an indeed scaring roar below,
So that with eyes my head to jut I dare.

Then I became more bashful to that flow,
Since I saw fires and heard tears of pain;
And trembling all I snuggled in me so.

Then saw, since view on I could not attain,
Descent and turning those great pains around
Which came close from various parts again.

Like falcon whose wings long flied up from ground,
Without sight lure or any bird at all
Pushes the fa lconer to tell “Stop hound!”,

Descends tired while it moved easy and tall,
With hundred rounds, and then volplanes quite far
From its trainer, with disdain and fierce gall;

So Geryon put us on rocks which are
At foot at foot of the profound barrow
And, after discharged the persons of our,

It sudden vanished like from bow the arrow.


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 |

Canto XX Hell translation

Of new pains new verses must be composed 
To give matter for the canto twenty
Of the canticle first, treating sunk posed.

I just was inclined with desires many
To thoroughly look at the open deep,
Which was moisten of mournful cry plenty;

And I saw people in round valley creep
Coming to us, mute and weeping, with pace
Which do the litanies in world with weep.

As lower went directed then my face,
It appeared admirably subject to twist
Each one between his chin and the chest base,

Because their face was opposite to midst,
And then they were thus compelled to walk back,
Since the observing forward they had missed.

Maybe due to paralysis attack
Somebody was  twisted completely all;
But I never saw him, total his lack.

If God lets you, reader, in mind install
What you have just read, now imagine then
If in wetting my face could not befall,

The closest to us image looking when
I saw thus distorted, that crying eyes
Wetted his buttocks falling down again.

Sure I cried, leaning on a jut with sighs,
Of the hardest reef, so that now my guide
Told me: “Are you of  other silly guys?

Here the pity lives when it's well died;
Who is even more wicked than the one
Who to God justice is with pain complied?

Straighten your head, straighten, and see beside
The one whose eyes on Thebans’ ground posed were;
So that all were shouting to him: Where hide,

Anfiarao? Why war don't you concur? 
And did not stop to leave to valley down
Til Minos who can everyone deter.

Observe now the ones who acted facedown;
Because wanted only forward to look,
Now only look and walk at back around.  

You see Tiresias, who new face took
When from male to female became just,
The form of all his body thus to crook;

And before, then, to beat again he must
The two wrapped up snakes, with the magic rod,
So his male feathers he could adjust.

Aronta is that who womb tails in way odd,
Who there in the Luni’s mountains, where dig
Men from Carrara who live there and plod,

Had in the white marbles a cave big
As his daily dwelling, the stars from where
And the sea also he could see and twig.

And that woman who covers hers breasts bare,
Which you don’t see, with loosened tresses yet,
And has a skin full of  fur everywhere,

Was Manto, who searching many lands met;
Then she rested there where I then was born;
So a  bit I like that my words you get.

After hers father his life had lost worn
And after slave became the Bacchus’ town,
She went long time around the world forlorn.

Italy nice has a lake with renown,
At the foot of Alps which the Germans stop
Over Tyrol, Benaco is its noun.

Thousand sources and more, I think, from top
Twixt Garda, Camonica and Pennino wet it  
With water which stands there after its drop.  

Halfway a place trentin pastors admit
And from Brescia and from Verona too
Who could hail, if their way with place should fit.

Sitting is Peschiera, nice mean strong true
With the Brescian and Bergamask to deal,
Where the bank around is steeper and skew.

There the need of water falling is real
All that exceeds Benaco’s full indeed,
Becoming river down valley with reel.

After water starts running to proceed,
No more Benaco, but Mincio is its name
Til Governol, where Po river can feed.

Not long way has run, when it meets an aim
In which it flattens and becomes a slew;
Which in summer is bad deserving blame.

Just there passing the raw virgin knew
An ample ground, in the midst of mire,
Uncultivated and no dwellers through.

She there, all human beings to retire,
Stopped with hers servants practicing hers art
And lived, and left hers vain corps to expire.

Men who in near places were split apart
Joined that site, because it was clearly strong
Thanks to mire which encircled any part.

They built the city over those bones wrong;
And in hers honor who first chose the site
Mantua was called with no chance along.

Already dwellers be numerous might,
Before the foolish Casalodi’s craze
By Pinamonte was deceived onsite.

For this I instruct you, if in some ways
You hear misplaced the true source of my land,
The truth could win any fib which betrays”.

And I: “Master, your thoughts are indeed grand
And are so sure to capture my faith then,
Such as the others would be extinct brand.

But tell me, of those forward walking men,
If you can see any who deserves note;
Since only to this I use mind and pen”.

He then told me: “That one who now from throat
Poses his own beard on the shoulders dark,
Lived – when Greece of males was empty moat,

Such as remained for babycots almost stark-
As augur, and with Calcant then hint gave
In Aulis to cut the first rope as remark.

Eurypilus his name, which I engrave
In parts of my poems here or there:
Which you well know and then in mind all save.

The other one with flanks skinny and bare,
Was Michael Scotto, who really had
Of the sorcery frauds knowledge and care.

See Guido Bonatti, Asdente bad,
Who now to his leather and to his thread
He would like to attend, but late is sad.

See there the dreary ones who were misled
From needle, pin and spool to be divine;
They did then enchantments with herbs instead.

But come yet now, because reaches confine
Of both hemispheres and touches wave
Down Seville Caino and forms of spine;

And yet yesterday night full moon behaved;
You should remember it then now so well
Because in the dark wood your way it saved”

So he, while going on, kept on to tell.


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

My Daughter The Need A walk from the dark side, into the darkness

My Daughter

My beautiful Daughter, walks life’s paths alone,
She does so, by design – not of hers – on her own.
She travels heavily !, from place to empty space,
from space to vacant place – in what kind of race?
A race towards where ?, towards what I do not know,
for, to me – an  age and place beyond – she does not show
where it is, - where she wants her future  to go
if ?, going anywhere – accomplishing - is a guiding
force in her life, seeking out, chasing after lightening.

There are times, when I hear, in my words
the sounds of need, – empty in their experience –
looking for some of what has been offered.
What has been offered, I see, it is not meant for me.

The Need

I keep being dragged back into this nightmare,
a nightmare ?, so I am lead to believe, could it be ?
Within the stories, the tone, I hear, I perceive it to be
but have to wonder ?, is it ?, really but a dream
that can find no reality on this plane , never comes true,
therefore it truly is !, becomes the nightmare.
In the words that tell, I see, I hear, I feel
the sword that plunges deep, with which to defend,
to destroy the foe – the lover – a man not to know
yet not forgotten, not left alone, not let go of.
He - the nightmare – is always there, he doesn’t care,
he is a rotting residue in, a part of life’s moments.
He is your nightmare, in your dreams, in every waking hour!
These sad eyes see, these sensitive ears, in pain, hear the pain,
this old heart feels, but this useless blade, – a knife that hides
within my, closed mouth – seems not able to cut away at the ties
that bind you to life’s strife – to the nightmare.
Could it be unfulfilled desires ?, unrealized dreams ?

What has taken forty nine life times to create,
might be attributed to nature, nurturing or fate,
but may not be digested, accepted, understood or dissipated.
Regardless of the words, the meaning, what else can be stated ?
I know that in forty nine hour days, my thoughts my feeling
will never find a way to reach out and touch a solid ceiling
and so, in my many words, in my actions, I pray
that it all can be set aside, and all can be put away.

A walk from the dark side, into the darkness.

Little, to nothing could this impotent old man / dad offer
his Child, his oldest Daughter, in so much need.
Nothing could he bestow upon his Child, or his lover,
with her insecurities, doubts, his insatiable greed,
and so, escape not, she walks along with his need
as it has been something he has decreed.
Oh !, how remiss to leave them on their own, to agree
to their coarse, a course that could take them on
to complete the journey they started, then gone.

Time, enough !, distance is past 
Time to stop !, turn around at last
and face what the outcome will be.
Open eyes, a new beginning to see.
May I leave sun set’s path, face the sun rise
coming through that black velvet screen before me
with it’s spattered, day-glow dots, all aglow
opening inner sanctum doors, allowing me to know.

Thoughts for me, alternative for them flash before my mind.
What will they do ?, am I being so unkind ?
Will one, the other or both be bussed back to Ontario ?
As I walk back to the room, I ponder the scenario ? 
Will we ( all three ) carry on with our little adventure
into the canyons and gorges, the city of all nights lights
– the city where angels never sleeps – I cannot be sure ?,
sure if they will end their – for my attention – fights.
Will we see the city ?, where one man built his fantasy,
walk among dreams brought to life, a fun reality 
of cartoon characters, animated for the child in us
or in the end, to Ontario on a Greyhound bus ?
Will we see stars ?, stars on a walk, in the city of angels
At this juncture, what will be the story one tells ?
Will the Golden Gate carry us ?, will we ride the hills ?,
on their steel rails, tell tales of all our thrills ? 
Will we end these moments in gods country ?, 
the city of the British, the salmon run, a hollow tree,
mountains, bays, bears, a Princess, poetess gone to ash,
her rhyme, this forth cousin of mine, they did stash,
hidden from obvious view, in the woods of Stanley park,
where few knew, and for a hundred years, lay in the dark.
Many know not where Native, folk lore doth reside ?
In her books, hand in hand and side by side,
along with as many nationalities as there are nations.
In this place, women brought to life her creations.

Before I leave this bleak walk, in the arms of this black night,
My thoughts are, hope that all will come out all right,
when one of those day glow dots, in that black velvet sky,
all a glow, took off, streaked south, caught my eye
as it crossed the heavens, fast as the speed of light,
in the pattern of a Zed, then disappeared from sight.

( Strange !!!, this speck of star light, it’s unusual flight
as it star-ts out from nothing, speeds south on a 
horizontal plane, pauses a split second, reverses direction,
drops down vertically, on an angle northward, towards a point
where it started out, again paused for a split second, then, 
on a horizontal plan, zipped south before disappearing into star,
in the starry back drop from whence it took life, for a moment. )

This story, – twenty five years old – in rhyme, comes to life,
for a brief moment, from a memories hoard, rife
with so many stories hidden from sight 
coming from rhyme - into light.

B. J.“A ” 2
May 30th 2002


Long poem by Debbie Duncan | Details |

BY THE SEA

PART One,,,, as she saw it.


The mountains and the meadows were always so beautiful this time of year.
 It seemed as if a fresh new world always came to life. The high cliffs turned sharply downward.  As I sat listening to the ocean tides smashing against the walls of the mountain below. There was a mild breeze blowing from the south. The grass in the flower covered meadows moved with the breeze. The sun shined so brightly I thought it would melt me at times.

As I stood up from the log where I was sitting by the emerald forest, the breeze pressed my dress against me. It formed to the soft round curves of my breast, down through the curves of my waist pushing against my yielding hips. As I blinked from the sun, I saw him there in the distance. I had thought I was alone. But there he was,  starring straight at me. What would I do and where could I turn? I knew what kinds of thoughts men had, my mother told me all about them. I saw that he was beginning to move my way !

 I saw him there as he saw me. I was paralyzed, not knowing what direction to move. Though as I watched him from afar, he did not seem dangerous as my mother always warned. Still, I could hear her words like a tape recorder in the back of my mind.
               
 Should I dare take my eyes from his? I could see his eyes were dark, maybe brown, or even midnight blue.  What ever the color, I could tell they were smoldering with restrained passions. His hair was long to his shoulder blades. I knew that because it moved with the wind.  He had broad shoulders with long legs. I knew I must not let him reach me. If his arms entangled me , surely I would never get loose. And, I'm not sure I would want too. Even though I heard the words of my mother, running in my head.
 I could feel the tiny  beads of sweat trickling down between my breasts. I was not sure I should take my eyes from him as I leaned down to pick up the fan that had slipped from my hand to my bare feet.

PART ONE,,,, As he saw it .

  The winter snow had melted and yielded to the bright warming rays of the spring sun.  The bears had come out of hibernation with their  new born looking for food. The mountains and the meadows were born again, new, fresh and alive with life.  Everything was beautiful and as it should be. Birds singing, their mating songs blended with the crash of the surf against the steep cliffs of the mountain. Nature was at peace with itself, and I came here to share in this peace.  To be alone with the earth, or so I thought.  

I found a place to sit on the grass hidden among the flowers in the high meadows.  So I could enjoy the gentle breeze blowing while watching the forest animals. The warm sun caressed my body and warmed me. It was a prefect day, yet something was missing. A day like this needed to be shared with someone, someone special.  Stretching,  I caught a slight movement out of the corner of my eye, just across the enchanted forest. Of a beautiful women. It couldn't be possible as no one knew of this place. I had come here for years and had never seen a another person before. Yet, there she was. Dressed in a dress the wind made love to, pressing it to her body. Clinging to the sensual curves of her breast, down to her firm waist and full inviting hips. I suddenly felt drawn to her and stood up. I knew she had seen me as she was starring back at me, as I stood staring back at her. She was a vision. And I was afraid she would vanish if I approached her. Yet, she seemed to be smiling, calling to me as I started walking towards her. I remember the stories my grandmother had told me of the enchantresses that lived in this forest, but I did not hesitate. I would give to her anything she wanted, anything she desired.

As I approached her I realized she was real. She seemed to be looking at me, daring me to come closer. All the stories of the enchantress my grandmother had told me flooded my mind with a warning. Yet, she was so beautiful, so inviting  and I couldn't take my eyes from her. I was slowly losing control with each and every step that brought me closer to her. I knew I was lost as I felt the heat of my desire to be with her, starting to take control. It was a struggle not to run to this beautiful creature , with the golden hair, and angelic face.  As I came closer I couldn't help but notice her sensual breasts rising and falling with each breath she took. She seemed to be smiling, challenging me with everything that made her a beautiful, desirable woman. A woman this sensual, this beautiful, this desirable was surely the enchantress, and I was hers. As a bee is drawn to the flower, I was being drawn to this women.

Suddenly she reached down to pick something up. It was just then I noticed she was barefoot.  As she bent over to retrieve what she had dropped, the sun reflected off her spun gold hair. and radiated a golden brightness that was almost blinding.  Her dress shifted  allowing me to see that her body enhanced her dress, rather then the dress enhancing her body. She would look beautiful in anything she wore.  The heat of my desire for her was beginning to consume me with it's fire. I felt the beginnings of ,,,,,,,,,,   

   

   Nov. 18 1992,,,, Short story I started to write, A friend ask if he could write from a males point of view.


Long poem by Timothy Hicks | Details |

The Cascade Adventures - Part 1

It's been four years since I've seen so much as an insignificant mountain creek. Been overburdened with comfort, now frantic with nature withdrawals, having to settle for photos found on Google Images: emerald pine trees, blue jays on limbs, moonlight cutting through forests, lakes the color of Windex-ed glass. It's much like drinking water that's been doused with Crystal Light... you may feel yourself becoming hydrated, when it reality it's only satiating your thirst temporarily. So you can imagine my joy when my best friend called me up to break the news.

"Monica, Brandon, Joel and I are gonna go backpacking. Care to join?"

the finality
of a cell hitting the floor -
shoe tying

Like a bunch of sardines packed in a can on wheels, we headed out to beautiful Cascade: the place where the Idahoan mountains aren't just paintings from afar, but close enough to taste. We weave our way through the spider-like dirt trails, as we each take turns changing songs on Joel's iPod. It's my go and I'm searching through the John Denver list, mourning the fact that there's over a hundred songs by him, and not one of them is Colorado Rocky Mountain High (the one song I could say fit my feelings to a tee). The menagerie of everyone's taste in music made for an interesting trip no doubt - even if Jonathan picked the worst possible jams simply for annoyances sake.

My first peculiar observation:

Humans have been making calendars for thousands of years (the first being more akin to cave drawings and stone tablets than paper). But as long as all that has been going on, the mountains don't care that August is expected to be sultry as November is expected to be chilly. Cause June took her first baby steps with a stubborn December mindset - a meandering way to say it was cold enough to freeze your nads off. The mounds of five feet snow made it all the more comical the fact I was wearing plaid shorts. Mother Nature wasn't going to be kind, I could tell.

like turtles
struggling to stand -
our packs full of crockery

It was breezy at first. We would practically glide down the mountain side, using our backpacks as a counter balance. The snowy counterpart to kangaroos, we were. The glistening flakes were thick enough to snowboard down - granted I never touched a snowboard, let alone ridden one. But after seeing this it gives me ideas...

Monica smiled for the camera, as I fumbled for my iPhone, a smile that didn't even require the forcible Say Cheese! nonsense. It wasn't waiting for the camera flash, but the other way around. Now you might be calling that rather pathetic, but I brought my iPhone along simply for the function of capturing memories. Angry Birds just don't compare to the real ones, sweet with lilting songs.

My second peculiar observation:

Google Images is an absolute horrid plagiarist; some beauty just can't be encapsulated despite all our advances in high-def technology.

The downward slope finally leveled out a bit, if only for a few minutes. Truth be told the path never stopped declining - some routes were simply more apparent than others. Our group of five walked single file through the trees, all basing our faith that Joel (a person who has been to the site once when the trail WASN'T covered in snow) would lead us in the right direction. And here's another interesting fact; this was no official trail, but a hike through the purest of adventures, unpredictable and unreliable.

crushing pine needles
with un-gloved fingers -
roaring rivers beneath the snow

The first time my whole leg collapsed into the fragile surface of the snow made me realize just how far above the dirt I was walking. I'd ask Brandon for assistance with a beet red blush on my cheeks - I blamed it on my fair skin falling victim to the sunny day. From then out I tiptoed with exaggerated caution, my heavy pack helping me just as much as it was hindering me. For even a foot drop had to be taken with a grain of salt. Everyone had to adjust to the added weight (except for Monica, with her light load of a sleeping bag, nothing else). I'd very ungracefully glide through twigs and pesky low branches, oblivious of my bare legs. In all honesty the cold didn't get to me, just the scratches of neighboring trees is where my concerns lied. At anytime I could have stopped the whole gang, beaming, "Wait a spell and let me put on some pants for crying out loud". Course that never happened, my clothes were in the bottom of my pack, and I was no where near desperate enough for monkeying around with that sorry mess.

slick slates
slanting down the cliff edge -
helping hands

Joel, with his redneck stubble, beams up at me, "Every hiking trip needs a little bit of adventure, don't rush it by any means!". That's the last thing on my mind - the first is whether or not that rock I'm about to put my weight on is as stable as she looks. It's a very roundabout route, and as questionable as it is, it's safer by a long shot than the first path we took - call it a 103 degree wall.



NOTE: Still working on writing out the rest of my trip to Cascade. It was my first backpacking trip and even though we only stayed one night, the trip is full of wonderful memories.


Long poem by Thomas Mansfield | Details |

When Three Cousins Played

Three cousins played a “game’ of war
A map of Europe spread across the floor
No adults there to keep the score
As each of them wanted more and more

Three of four empires lay upon that map
As they played and ‘warred’ and they did clap
For them it was so much fun
The Tsar, the King and the Kaiser Hun

Their brightly painted toy soldiers there
Horses, cannon and ships to spare
Fields of green, mountains so high
And winding rivers flowing by

They chatted, laughed - each did deride
No malice here - no need to chide
“I’ll take that while you have this”
“And you can have the rest” said with a hiss

The little prince was not too happy
Didn’t like being the youngest chappy
Scattered toys with a vicious kick
“One day, you watch, your wounds you’ll lick”

But then they laughed and had some tea
(Cakes and scones stop the fighting, see)
Then the boisterous cousins resumed once more
Horses and soldiers were flung against the door

Cannon crashed and sabres slashed
Lances lunged and bayonets flashed
Horses fell amid broken carts
These small boys played in fits and starts

The clock rolled on relentlessly
Who knew then what would come to be
These boys now grown to Emperors
Played with real life and caused real wars

No longer soldiers made of lead
These soldiers breathed and fought and bled
And now the grown children fought for real
With a rancour fuelled by their ardent zeal

The call to arms was swift and sure
Decrees brought nations to their war
Men and women joined the cause
Volunteered without let or pause
On land and sea and in the air
The raw recruits signed up everywhere
Landlord, docker, farmer, daughter
Leapt like lemmings to the slaughter

Knowing not that they were pawns
In this “family” feud, so filled with scorn
Becoming airman, sailor, soldier, wren
Many would never see their land again

Their women joined as well, of course
And filled the factories, making guns and gauze
Toiled and sweated, fabricating bombs
As the cousins watched with such detached aplomb

The First World War: “War to end all wars”
Was the Emperors’ legacy to ours and yours
They took their subjects from far-flung lands
Pulled them from forest, dale and Raj and sand.

The Emperors vied each other viciously
Ego and spat sparred ominously
It was another’s war but they refused to see
The brutal costs of this calamity

War declared and fought  - millions died
While these three cousins sat on their thrones and sighed
Just like the children with the map
They battled hard but now they didn’t clap

The cost of war was a heavy one
Ypres, Verdun, Mons, the Somme
Paschendale just to name a few
The blood rivers flowed and grew and grew

Four years of war and carnage
Ravaged Europe’s lands
While those three wretched cousins
Stood and wrung their hands

One Emperor imprisoned by his very own
Would soon be killed and there no more throne
Another forced to abdicate
Death in a foreign land was his fate

The third had played a different card
Had visited men and women so battle scarred
Had he foreseen the masses plight
Had he “joined’ in their fight?
Yet not even he was spared
As the masses had seen, had felt, had heard
That no more will a king decide
Their fate, the deaths, the genocide

One of those three cousins and his family
Was cruelly murdered ignominiously
After centuries the hated, despotic Tsar
Made way to the Bolshevik commissar

The second cousin haughty, proud
Was chased away by a defeated crowd
Languished in the land of dyke and dam
Helplessly watched blitzkrieg from a sure madman

The third cousin watched this sullenly
His health was racked for all to see
Perhaps he reflected and recalled the days
When as boys those three cousins had played

Republics sprung up everywhere
The spoils of war the people’s share
Though kings were replaced by presidents
Again war would follow. Again Europe rent

In an aside, as the map was shred
Europe torn apart as the Empires bled
The fourth Empire also crumbled
Started it all – now meekly humbled

The proud Hapsburgs also dethroned
Austro-Hungarian Empire creaked and groaned
Then splintered and shattered like crystal glass
As Europe fell to the common mass

Three young cousins with the lead/tin toys
Had played and warred when they were boys
What frightful shameful fact
When, as men, they again did act

When Emperors played with human lives
Unheeded the senseless sacrifice
Aided by ruthless men of state
That threw Europe to a dreadful fate

A bygone age; a noble past
Had been replaced. The die was cast
Let’s not place on them the singular blame
When politicians and tyrants did the same

Three young cousins played a game
The map of Europe, then the same
But they would live to see the end result
For throwing the world into blind tumult


Long poem by Gary Bateman | Details |

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

Rosalia - The Evil Black Witch of the Harz

Prologue
This is a rather grim epic poetic tale of Rosalia, a 16th century German witch who terrorized villages, destroyed the lives and corrupted the souls of many people throughout the countryside in the Harz Mountains in Germany. 

Rosalia focused her evil and malicious activities at the outset in a land area directly below the Brocken summit in the Harz. Over the time and extent of her macabre reign as a Black Witch and a Master of the Black Arts, Rosalia began to expand her campaign of evil among other provincial areas of the Harz beyond the Brocken. Her periodic nightly raids on villages in the Harz are part of the continuing legends of witchcraft and sorcery that still pervade the local culture there to this very day. 

Rosalia in modern day parlance was the “real deal” when it came to wreaking havoc and pandemonium among mankind. That is, she was truly a redoubtable force of evil and unmitigated malevolence, not to be toyed with nor underestimated by anyone seeking to confront her. Rosalia was bent on fulfilling Lucifer’s principal goals: destroying the peace and harmony of mankind; disrupting the holy balance of the relationship between Man and God; corrupting the eternal souls of men, women, and children; extinguishing the light in the world; and bringing mankind into darkness and despair.       

Rosalia’s Entrée to the 16th Century
Rosalia was born and later raised as a child in a Witches’ coven.
Although Rosalia was born in the 16th century again in human form, 
she was, in reality, a reincarnated evil soul many centuries old.
Her Hell-spawned soul was seared in Hell’s very own oven, 
and like the Gorgon Medusa herself—she was a creature gone wild. 

Rosalia indeed was also an intense and a very precocious child: 
who was imbued with uncanny and unearthly powers,
who was “left-handed” and obviously “sinister,”
who possessed a keen and piercing intellect,
and had scaurous, strong ankles and a schnauzkrampf-like mouth,
and was fisslingual like the Devil—with a “forked tongue,” 
who had a horrifying and monstrous Medusa-like appearance
at a glance—stark and menacing, frightening and rapacious, 
with jet black stringy, snake-like hair and black teeth,
with dark probing eyes and exceptional sensory perception,
and a bulbous, bile-ridden black wart . . . 
protruding on the lower left side of her nose close to the tip.

Rosalia and Black Magic were one in the same, and
her craggy appearance and coarse demeanor—black wart and all,
her deceptive powers, and her utter malevolence toward man— 
all constituting a terrifying reflection of pure evil and foreboding, 
and all the while illuminating mankind’s quizzical wonderment 
at the power of die Hexerei.

Rosalia was aptly known and greatly feared as the “Queen of Walpurgis Nacht,” “The Devil’s Concubine,” and “The Queen of Darkness.”

Rosalia delighted in being “The Devil’s Concubine” by name,
for her liaisons with Lucifer made her omnipotent and devoutly unholy.
Her unbridled sense of power and invincibility was this Black Witch’s aim,
for this fed her conviction to do vicious and evil things—to be unholy.

Rosalia’s Power and Relationship to the Devil
It is said that Rosalia’s power of Witchcraft and the Black Arts
derived from her worship to and direct relationship with the Devil himself,
thus making her virtually omnipotent, all-powerful.

As the most favored disciple and mistress of the Dark One
Rosalia acutely honed her pagan skills in the Black Arts 
to the highest rapture while using her Gorgon-grimaced face
to strike fear in all who resisted her using a withering and wicked 
mesmerizing gaze with which she paralyzed her victims with unending
torment, agony, and fear.

On occasion she would extract the putrid bile liquid from her Black Wart
and used it to poison and corrupt the life essence of her victims—if they resisted.

The utter revulsion and palpable fear felt by Rosalia’s victims
was practically indescribable given its horrible nature. 

Both her power and her conviction to do vicious evil things 
appeared to be wrapped in a cloak of seeming invincibility.

Lucifer did exceedingly well in his choice of Rosalia as his most favored disciple and mistress—for she savored his ferocious favor and unleashed without a conscience a torrent of evil doings and unholy machinations on those unlucky enough to cross her path.  

To know Rosalia was to realize a gorgonesque damnation forever 
while she pursued the unholy glorification of her master—Lucifer.
In time Rosalia was granted the power over all hell-spawned demons forever to support and consummate her unholy activities in the name of Lucifer.

End of Part One
Gary Bateman, Copyright © All Rights Reserved, Schoeningen, Germany (September 20, 2014)


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

My Dear Sweet lost Child Daughter of my wasted youth A Confession

My Dear, Sweet, lost Child ?
Daughter of my wasted youth !
A confession

I am truly sorry Gail, for all that I was  
- that selfish, inconsiderate, thoughtless man -
I am truly sorry Gail, for all that I was not !, 
- a responsible, considerate, good father -  
as I left behind, in the wake of my life, a beautiful girl child, 
a child who, by her own strength, came to a stage, 
just one of many, - as I recall – in her life, 
that have plagued her, with so many questions,
so much insecurity, such deep doubt about what she is ?, 
who she is ?, how she got to be ?, what it will take to be free ?

What I see !, is a beautiful young woman, who has found the answers, 
who has the strength, the courage, the wisdom to move beyond
all of her life’s adversities, moved beyond all that has troubled her, 
- filled her mind for so many, long and wasted years – 
to find and live a life few can only hope to achieve.
She has left her troubled soul behind, stepped out of the limitations 
her creators instilled, - limitations her creators are trapped in -, 
walked past, and far beyond the worst and best they could be, 
to be a much better person then they and in her own right.

Their right Gail, - your mothers and mine – was created by forces, 
forces beyond the innocent, naiveté of our youthful experiences.
And so my Dear, sad to say, we are left to deal with all of life 
- rainbows, black clouds, mirrored lakes, raging seas, open fields, 
dark and mysterious caves, happiness, securities, doubts,
insecurities and a life time of sadness’s – yet most of us,
realize, ( to one degree or another ) that life goes on in spite
and perpetuates itself – for the good of mankind and this planet 
we share ( from the infinitesimal atom to the mighty, majestic mountains 
or the destruction of conscious humanity and our tiny inverse  - 
for better or worse as we act out the characters our forefathers created.

I can not help but be deeply saddened – heart broken – by all
that troubles you, about me, about your mother, 
but most of all – troubles you about yourself.
You know my Dear, there is positively nothing you can do, 
think, feel, understand – no matter how much, I wish 
I could take the hands of father time and turn them back –
that will take the hands of time, turn them to the time of youth 
and change what I, and the past created for you.

Fear not my Dear, for you can ask ?, question ?, understand,
and with that knowledge, step aside, embrace the past 
and with knowledge in hand, walk a different path 
then those that came before knowing that the past
permeates the present with its essence, as it does the future, 
but it is only you, who has the power to make the choice, 
of whether or not the past controls you or you the past.

Ones actions – at a time when another’s needs, need be met – 
does not necessarily mean what the other has thought and felt.
My actions, my choices Gail, where just that, my choices. 
None of what I did or did not do had anything to do with you, 
even though – in the end – it did, it affected you negatively.
My decision Gail, good or bad, selfish and thoughtless
where not meant to take anything away from you – but did –
except for my physical presence, for my love and concerns 
where always in mind, where always with you, even if I wasn’t.

You know my Dear, - of course you don’t – I wish you had kept 
all the correspondence from me, as I have done, from you, 
so that we might go through them all and see, and know 
if what I now perceive of myself these days, reflects a truth 
of the man I think I was in those days. Was I the man then 
I am now ?, is the man I am now, one of worth ?, 
more worthy today then yesterday ?, I cannot say, I do not know 
but what ever the case ?, I loved you as much then as I do now, 
regardless, and in spite of all that may seem, and seemed uncertain.

I realize Gail, that certainty, memories, experiences are but illusions 
in the mind, in the passing of time, what counts, is living the moment, 
– at least for me – sucking the life out of it, without reservation, 
for, within the moment, are carried the all, and all we are 
at that precise moment when the twinkling of life’s eye 
shows us the light, the colours, the knowledge, the wisdom 
as they move on, on the wings of rainbows, that are moved 
by the solar winds of our conscious / subconscious life.
The all we were, the all we are, the all we will ever be,
in this moment, all or fragments of, will live in the next moment.
How we direct our moments Gail, come on the wings 
of who and what we were, who and what we are 
and what previous moments added to the equation.


Long Poems