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Long poem by Brian Johnston | Details |

A Better Kind of Poetry Contest on Poemhunter

CHALLENGE TITLE POETRY CONTEST FOR AUGUST ON POEMHUNTER.COM! 

'WHY DO TURTLES CROSS THE ROAD? '


OK FOLKS! Please choose your favorite poem from those entered here and remember too to give your reasons for your choice. How often is it that we get to hear why the judges (YOU) voted the way that you did. Really it is very important to give reasons. Believe me your reasons are a very important part of the show here. So tell us what you really think.

Poem's can be voted on from Sept.1 to Sept.12, 2014 at which time the winner will be formally announced. PoetrySoup members can vote too if they wish I would have liked to show you the other entries in the contest but since I only wrote two of the poems entered under PoetrySoups laws I cannot do so. Although hosting a contest in Poemhunter is much more difficult than on PoetrySoup,  there are innovations in my contest that I believe make it superior to contests on PoetrySoup. The biggest innovation is democratic voting. The second innovation, is that here is just one winner, and for your vote to count you must explain why you have voted as you have. This innovation can be very amusing. A final innovation is that the Contest Master can 'roast' the contestants. Go to Brian Johnston's site on PoemHunter.com and look for the poem...

[Challenge] Entrees for August! Vote Here!

Proposals of marriage, profanity and other inappropriate comments however will be deleted as soon as they appear. And like the US Supreme Court, I may not be able to define what is inappropriate here, but I know it when I see it.


! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! 
! ! ! ! ! THE AUGUST POEMS ENTERED START HERE! ! ! ! !  
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Why Do Turtles Cross The Road? 
(A **Joint** Poem by Diane Hine and 'THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA')          

‘Okie' turtles cross the road 
because they've all read 
‘The Grapes of Wrath' 
AND NOW LIVE 24/7 
IN AN ALCOHOLIC STUPOR 
IN MIGRANT WORKER HOUSING 
TRYING TO IMAGINE 
WHAT THE WORLD WOULD BE LIKE 
IF GILBERT GRAPE WAS PRESIDENT. 

Badbottom Leatherback bikie 
turtles on Harley-Davidsons 
don't just cross the road, 
they own the road 
AND LIVE IN 'HOG' HEAVEN 
THE TRUE FAT CATS (IS THAT A SLUR?)          
OF THE MODERN WORLD. 

Kerouac turtles are the road itself 
SO LIKE SCHROEDINGER'S CAT 
THEY ARE ALWAYS IN BOTH STATES 
AT THE SAME TIME, IE., 
CROSSED AND UNCROSSED, 
IT'S ALL PROBABILITY PROBABLY! ? ! 
ANYWHO, IT'S HARD TO LIVE ANYWHERE 
WHEN THE WORD DESTINATION 
IS NOT IN YOUR VOCABULARY. 

and Chuck Norris turtles never 
have to cross the road because 
the road crosses itself 
EITHER IN TRIBUTE TO L. RON HUBBARD 
(WHO LIVES IN THE HUBBARD TELESCOPE)          
OR BECAUSE THEY HAVE WATCHED 
SO MANY INFOMERCIALS 
THAT CROSSED EYES CAN'T TELL 
ONE SIDE OF THE ROAD FROM THE OTHER 
CHUCK NORRIS TURTLES DON'T LIVE ANYWHERE 
THEY PERSONIFY, ‘I AM.'


Contest Master's Comment - The 'dark horse' of the pack, this poem is probably way to literate to garner many votes even if you have taken voice lessons from the Master of Music himself. Who is that masked man I wonder. Will he ever be unveiled? Surely there enough literary references in this poem to make most vapid English Major cross-eyed.  The only groups left out that I can see are 'Samurai Ninja Turtles' and 'New Age Belly-Button Turtles' who are too frightened of the real world to ever come out of their shells anyway. Did you ever see a turtle levitate?  I think you should add a couple of verses Diane & BO (I mean PO), after the contest is over, don't you? 

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Why Do Turtles Cross The Road? 
By Brian Johnston

‘So why are the turtles crossing the road? 
My sister ask wonderingly
As each turtle would come into view.
No guarantee, but sometimes we'd see them
As we drove with Dad out of town
Checking out cows on a farm or two.

‘It's a great mystery to me, ' I said, 
‘As both sides seem really the same, 
And our vision's much better than theirs.'
‘The problem I see with crossing for turtles…
Is that they're low and also slow
So fast autos catch them unawares.'

A nice gesture, Dad would frequently stop, 
Let us scoop them up in a box
For the ‘turtle farm' at our home place.
The grip's important when picking them up
‘Cause turtles can scratch, bite, and pee, 
Oh what a joke, … ‘turtle won the race! '

But now why does a turtle cross a road? 
Perhaps he's trolling for people? 
Buggers don't care about other side, 
From industries' leaders they take their cue, 
Their mentors, short visioned and slow, 
Who risk their lives to get a free ride.


Contest Master's Comment - Truly the oldest poet in the group, I am hoping to win by means of the sympathy vote crowd. Just think of me as a friendly, old, senile, grandfatherly type. Remember the reasons so many of you voted for Ronald Reagan you tea-party, sociopathic, nabobs of negativism and vote for me too or I will raise your taxes too just like Ronnie did! That's a promise! 

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There are several more poems by other gifted poets on my site. Please come visit.

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

If you like what we have done here.....

>>PLEASE VOTE ON THIS 'POEM CONTEST' (FROM 1-10 <<

Maybe PoemHunter will make contests like this a website
feature in the future like some other websites already do? 

And a huge vote of appreciation to both contibutor and my 
collaborator Bri Edwards (the disgraced ex-poet and now 
reinstated postman!)          

>>>Please help us make this contest even more popular <<<
>>>by emailing your friends on PH and elsewhere even, <<< 
>>>to make the vote as democratic as possible! ! ! ! ! ! ! <<<

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Poem Entries Continue in Part 2


Long poem by Brian Johnston | Details |

Growing Up, La - Part 2 - Rev 3

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Brian Johnston
August 20, 2014

Poet’s Notes:
* When I was in the American Peace Corps in Tanzania, East Africa we had a group of 7 
surveying assistants that were always with us in the first year and that we became very 
close to. Their conversation was always sprinkled with 'la' and I thought it was kind of 
cute. Like they might say to me, 'Why don't we stop in this village for some food, la.' 
They used this word kind of like I use the word ‘OK' in casual conversation. 'You've got 
food in your teeth, la.' I really enjoyed this idiosyncratic affectation.

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

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

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

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

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

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


Long poem by Joe Flach | Details |

Straight to Hell - A Short Story

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“So what are you going to do?”

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

“They just care about you.”

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

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

“Have you ever kissed a boy?”

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

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

“No.  Not the way you mean.”

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

“No.  Never,” she lied.

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

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

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

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

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

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


Long poem by Vic Pister | Details |

When I Die

When my life has finally left me and my last breath has been shed
And the silver cord is broken and my bodies firmly dead
I shall hover near the body, download the scenes of this past life 
Noting all minutest details rolling backwards past my eyes

I’ll store these scenes ‘til later when I can take the time to learn 
What the lessons have to teach me and help me to discern
How I treated other people, made them happy, made them sad
Examine all my actions, both the good and the bad

Three days later I’ll lose interest as my focus moves away
From the world that I just left behind, there is no need to stay
For a lifetime in the life of man to God is just a day
And my soul as God on the wheel of life must move along its way

I’ll take the download with me as I move into first heaven
It’s the first stage in the afterlife, in number there are seven
Here I’ll see and feel the good things that to others I have brought
And revel in the feelings of the kindness that I wrought

I will store these in my seed atom so in future lives I’ll know
They’re the things that I must multiply for my souls’ conscience to grow
For the conscience is the souls’ voice that guides you day by day
That still small voice that warns you in what you do and say

When that’s done my view will shift then to the things that I did bad
To the hurt I did to people that left them feeling sad
I will feel their pain intensely, ten times worse when in this field
For I’ll be purely spirit now with no flesh for a shield

These painful lessons will imprint upon my seed atom as well
In some religions we are told our soul’s in everlasting hell
In the stages of the afterlife, this is your punishment in heaven
This is the third and the most painful of the total seven

The Grim Reaper now has visited with his scythe so I will know
Through natures Law of Consequence I will reap what I did sow
He has shown me all my misdeeds and caused me many tears
And this purgatorial experience may last for twenty years

When my suffering soul recovers and the pain has died away
And I’ve incorporated the lessons to never act this way
In future lives I’ll be a better man from these lessons I have learned
One step closer to perfection that my growing soul has earned

Now I can sleep, Oh peaceful sleep, a state of heavenly rest
I’ll dream the dreams I love in life, of things I love the best
All desires that my soul has yearned, not a thing I can’t create
In the Great Silence of the spirit world to help me concentrate

The colors are much brighter, the scent of flowers more sublime
The senses are much sharper, there is no sense of time
I will see all other people as pure souls just like me
And I’ll know we’re all evolving to the bliss of eternity

I will hear the mystic music of the planets as they pass
Like a thousand singing angels, heavenly peace has come at last
Every planet sings its own song, we’ve grown deaf to this below
But in this super consciousness we’re in the eternal flow

I’ll be with my friends and family and others whom I love
The ones who left before me and currently live above
There they wait with arms wide open and rejoice when I arrive
In the fourth stage where I now live, it’s utter joy to be alive

I’ve incorporated my lessons, I now recall my goal
And my mind begins to focus on further growth of my soul
I must make further preparations and my vision starts to clear
I feel I must keep moving forward for all my works done here

I now have gone through five and six, there is just one more 
In years it’s been from birth to birth one hundred forty four
The time has come to move along and leave this place called heaven
Prepare for life in the physical world, I move to number seven

My soul has gathered the material, I now know what I must do
To make some more improvements in the places I need to
I must take another body, I must live another life
To grow and liquidate more karma though it means more pain and strife

I build an archetype of the body that in future I will form
When embodiment is offered, and I can be reborn
I will see the opportunities and be able to discern
The ideal embodiment for me when the right egg meets the sperm

I will hover near the fetus, influencing where I can
And I’ll have the power to make it be a woman or a man
I will help to build the body to suit the lessons I must learn
To overcome more issues so more advancement I can earn

When baby takes its first breath and my soul is taken in
With the imprint of my seed atoms that it has brought within
Now the babys’ atoms resonate to my seeds vibration rate
Making it the perfect body for my soul to habituate

The new body will be my new home, I will live a life anew
Gain experience, learn more lessons, through the things that I will do
I’ll apply the added knowledge that I learned in this past life
More evolved than in the last one, and cause me less pain and strife

This will happen just as often as required by the soul
As it pushes ever onward, pushing ever t’ward its goal
Of complete re-integration back from whence it came
To the universal soul of life no matter what its name

Nature is not personal, it does not seek revenge
If we mess it up we have the chance to do it all again
We arrived here by this process, nothing’s changed it’s still the same
But our souls have evolved immensely since we stepped into the game

We started out as fallen angels with no experience on this plane
We’ve grown to this by coming back again and again
Though we cannot remember for each conscious mind has died
The feelings in the soul remained in our subconscious mind

And so this is the story of the cycle of the soul
As it struggles through evolution on its way toward the goal
It’s this way for all unfailing, from natures law there’s no relief
All living things go through it, no matter their belief


Long poem by Laura Breidenthal | Details |

Light On the Devil's Chord - The Challenge

My hair bristled in the crisp breeze
Excitement spreading throughout my body
Even the sudden cold amused my fingertips,
Tingles spreading through my hands and up my arms
Soon I would be there too. . .
In the murky shadows of mysterious malice
To see the claws and talons of humanity’s greatest foe
The Prince of Darkness—the Saint of Woe

The great seal remained closed as I stood before it
Not a peep was heard from inside

“Knock, and it will be opened to you . . . “

Lightly, my fist clunked three times upon the great seal,
And a horrendous echo resounded like muffled shrieks of suffering
Black ooze leaked out of the seal as I lifted my fist
A great closed pot of tender meat and chow boiling over,
The spicy hot substance steaming the long grass surrounding the well-like prison

Then a voice, like Queen Bee birth resounded,
Stinging me fiercely, body and soul, having me sway…
To a familiar song
I had listened to long ago:

“Iiiii… ain’t got no-booooooody…. 
And no-body cares…foooor meeee…”

The song continued as the seal opened fully,
As I began descending into the restless night of his voice
Both lulled and perturbed
The sumptuous layers of shrieks, his background band
Gurgles of thundering bass,
And strums of laughter from throats long wailing… 

“Aaaaaaaand.. I’m sad and loooooooonely… 
Won’t some-body…come takah chance with meeee..
Owhhh…?” 

In what seemed like an eternal moment,
I had landed in the very bottom of the boiling ooze
The music ceased, and the great seal slipped over,
Blocking the view of the stars. . .
Yes, above. . .now only darkness
As if heaven, to Satan, was hell. . .

He turned to me slowly, knowingly
A smile creeping on his filthy face, from ear to ear
A charming set of teeth, freshly sung mouth
Arrogant brow rising in mock surprise. . .
A gruff laugh escaped his lips as my heart beat faster
And I thought to myself,

“What have I gotten myself into?”
. . .
The words popped out of my mouth before my mind could object,
And he exploded in a fit of charming guffaws
I heard a sea of laughter follow his own
Even Death, in the far corner of prison, winked. . .amused

“That’s the funniest thing I’ve heard in years, 
Dearest Daughter of Eve. . .  I’m impressed . . . really, I am. . .”

“You are?”

His smile faded and his expression grew grim and cold
“Well . . . are you?”

I remained silent, and took a deep breath
What shall I say to the Devil himself?
Am I clever enough? Brave enough?

“Impressed, I mean. . .well?
Are you? 
I know you will not lie to me,
You wouldn’t dream of it. . .
You wouldn’t dream nasty dreams like times in your past days. . .
Or. . .would you. . .Daughter of Eve.
Would you dare. . .dream of me. . .”

I felt a claw hit me on the back of my neck
I remained still, my breathing cradled by the silence. . .
I moved closer to him, never blinking,
As his coal eyes burned deeply into mine

Suddenly, he was furious
“You dare give me silence, woman!?
After my years of devastating . . . tormenting my own, 
Just to see and hear them screech and tremble. . .
Of no aim but to crush this criminal quiet,
You…a woman of no power…or little to show, 
Come down to me, ME. . .whom you know hates you all. . .
You come down to me, The Almighty Devil of Hatred,
With your dull . . . infuriating . . . pathetic, disgusting. . .
Silence……?”

I sighed. . .
“I. . .I don’t know why I am here. . .with you. . .perhaps it is a test. . .a lesson. . .
But I do know what I want. . .”

His claw dug deeper into my skin. . .
“Oh, that’s a new one. . .
But you. . .hm, hard to play with. . .? I doubt it. 
Easy to trick. . .surely. . .
If there was a point. . .”

Deeper the claw dug into my skin, but my flesh refused to break

I smiled at him softly, and this seemed to disturb him completely
He looked at me numbly, an impassive stare
 Devoid of feeling and emotion

And I said to him,
“I want you to sing and play us a song you have never sung before,
Prince of Darkness. . .”

His grimy skin rippled at the opportune challenge. . .
His eyes drew out all confidence and pride swirling in the shadows
His smile, big again, fresh, and repugnant
He smelled of all things dead, and all things putrid

“Plug in the bass, Death.
I am going to dissolve this fluttery woman right where she stands.”

I stopped him, possessed with an idea
I bit my lip and removed his claw from my neck
Taking his hand for a moment, and pushing it to him

“One more thing, Devil.”

He rolled his eyes. “Of course. . .what is it?”

“. . .I’m singing with you.”

The demons roared in hilarity, as Death, 
Silent as always kept his composure

Satan tilted his head at me as the laughter died
He no longer contained his surprise
“You. . .want to. . .make music. . .with me?”

“I’ve got 40 days and 40 nights. . .don’t you be a killjoy.”

He smiled at me, fury and lust in his eyes
“Angel charms will not work down here, babe. . .
I rarely play fair. . . .but I never turn down a challenge.”

My strange purpose had surfaced at last
“Quit your stalling then, and turn up the music.”

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

Song reference: “I Have Nobody” specifically sung by Leon Redbone
**Please tell me what you thing guys! If you haven’t read the other parts, it might explain things a bit. This is going to be a major work, and I’d loved all the advice I can get. I am aware that collaborating with The Devil is a tricky feat, and I’d really love some input. Thanks for reading. Lots of love! –Oh, and also, I am thinking of changing the title of the work as well. Not sure what yet!


Long poem by Ravindra K Kapoor | Details |

Yoga in Poem A Novel Approach Step 6 Temporarily Last

Yoga in Poem A Novel Approach Step 6

Brahmari Pranayama or Humming Bee Breath

IMP. NOTE: Temporarily I am stopping new episodes 
of Yoga in Poem due to personal reasons and will try 
to restart Yoga in Poem at a later date…



How to do Brahmari Humming Bee Pranayama


Sit in Sukhasana (Step 1) or in Padmasana in the morning hours, if you have achieved easiness to sit in Padmasana or else sit in Sukhasana. It is important that while performing Brahmari your stomach should be empty and bowls clear. Sit erect while practicing Brahmari in a neat and clean, quiet and calm place preferably an open place.
Raise your both arms and bring your all four fingers as a screen on your eyes. Now close your ears by the tips of your thumbs in such a way that your index fingers are touching your eyebrows and the middle finger the inner corner of your both eyes and other two fingers rests on the slopes of your nose and face joints gradually.
Take a deep breath and fill your lungs with the fresh air and then exhale slowly from both the nostrils while creating a humming sound. At the time of doing this do not open your ears and keep pressing it gently so that your humming sound gets more clear and it create vibrations in your mouth, throat, ears, eyes and even other parts of your body ( this stage would come when you  practice this exercise regularly ) 
Try to creat the humming sound continuously as loud and  clear as possible for you. 

Ravindra

IN PRAISE OF BRAHMARI PRANAYAMA We all know and accepts The miracles of Sound On everything which Surrounds us. We live, we love, and we work We play and we laugh With one or the other kind of sounds Often We become harsh or soft Even we weep and sometimes We hate with some or the other kind of sounds only These are all the effects of Different Sounds Which make us What we are and what We become as a man or woman in life Kind hatred or benevolent A lover or a hater A teacher or a Poet, a writer or an artist or a Musician A leader or a preacher Or even A dictator or a Don. When sound comes From a serene source It binds the hearts Of millions And we began to love and adore That sound and even that source And keep it as a source of energy and joy. But when it comes from A biased mind and selfish source and Tries to destroy our peace And began to dictate us We feel fed-up To bear that sound And then we try To get rid of that source or sound. Brahmari or the humming Sound Is one such elegant self-music Which opens our heart and mind With its vibrations To fill life in those dead or sluggish Nerves and spine To restore The Melody not only In your voice but also in your heart and mind. Brahmari would Restore your love and even your confidence Thus Bringing your beloved more close to you And you to your beloved Which often Becomes a soft target of differences Because of Age effected unnoticed deeds and actions. Brahmari gives you the boon of Music and melody Even when age has taken you On the withering heights of life And You often find yourself standing alone Looking for someone to Restore your energy and mind. The miracles of Humming bee sounds Brings an instant coolness To your otherwise Anguished mind and heart Which began to enjoy The colors and moods Of Love and Life As A peaceful mind Is the dwelling place of heavenly gestures And even of God. The regular practice of Brahmari Balances your hormonal secretions Invigorating the thyroid gland And thus increasing your metabolism. Even Brahmari balances Your blood sugar and helps Oxidizes fats In our body and It completely removes the causes which Leads to the curse of human body The Migraine By giving you the joys and comforts of Relaxation which ultimately Soothes your Heart to pump more actively The fresh flow of blood To your nerves and mind Thus making your pressures To work happily Without crossing the limits Unless you have done some extreme wrongs. It’s a boon for those Who suffers from Diabetes and heart problems And a real gift of God For those who are in pregnancy As its wonderful effects on Human nervous system Effects the pituitary gland To balance the growth and control Of hormones in our body Thus the practice of this wonderful Pranayama Pave way for easy and trouble free Child birth or delivery. I often ponder What a treasure of blessings Yoga has given to the world and Has exposed In these simple and wonderful Breathing exercises To make every human being More befitting and joyous To enjoy the blessings of Nature And Thus elevating the human body to absorb The Beams of the Light and Love of God. Ravindra Kanpur 4th Aug. 2013
Duration: Not more than 3 to 5 times in a day in the beginning. Maximum 10 to 12 times only in a day without any force beathing or straining yourself. Precautions: 01. Never perform this Prayanama while you are lying down 02. If you are having any ear infection do not perform Brahmati till your ears get rid of all infections. 03. Do not hold your breath while doing Brahmari and Heart problem persons should do it under a trained instructor only. 04. Do not perform it when you are not empty stomach and try to perform it preferably in the morning/evening hours only. 05. If for any reasons you do not feel comfortable stop it and take few normal deep breaths IMP. NOTE: Temporarily I am stopping new episodes of Yoga in Poem due to personal reasons and will try to restart Yoga in Poem at a later date… My Gratitude Brahmari Pranayama is a boon for human being brought mainly in the lime light of the world by Swami Ram Deoji about 20 years back. Ravindra
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Long poem by Allyssa Pate | Details |

My Hell

I fall down
deeper and deeper
into oblivion
nothing
only darkness.
the sounds of evil
dripping into my ears
slithering farther
and sliding down into me
filling me with echoes.
terror courses through
my veins
into each cell
turning them against
me
they are no longer mine
they follow another
a stronger being.
icy breezes come
they whisper to me
they say I'm bad
they call me to them
the breezes dance
hug me
covering me
hiding me from the light
shielding me from hope.
falling deeper
only down
my eyes are taunted
I see people
the ones I know
love
they are hurt
hurting
by me
I have betrayed them
left them
I am hurting them
it is me
but I can't stop.
my mind is plagued
sick
new thoughts
 every second
comes a new terror
a cruel joke
all a prank.
only deeper do I fall
light is disappearing
becoming dimmer
fading fast.
all a game
for one person
the puppeteer
the ringmaster
the man in the
mask
the one who is running the show
the show that is me.
he sees me falling
he laughs
I can't see him
but he is there
everywhere
teasing my brain
taunting my senses
he hates me
he wants to hurt me.
he throws it
the knife
I feel the pain
running up my leg
showing my bones
releasing my blood
it is blue
my blood is cold
it splatters my face
sprinkling my features
dotting them with blue
the blue liquid drips
jumping onto my tongue
I taste dirt
my blood is dirt
blue is all I see
blue is all I become
I am blue
blue is me.
a distant shout
who is it?
a cry for help
surely
the sound is mangled
twisted
young
desperate
hopeless
mine
the sound is mine
I shut my mouth
but I still hear it
chilling my blue blood
ringing in my ears
shaking my breathing
jump-starting my heart
then it's over
the scream has ceased
and silence returns
sounding more deadly than ever before.
still falling
only black do I see
the evil
the monsters' playground
the demons' joyride
and someone is hungry
it wants me
my innocence
my purity
it wants to take it
it feeds on people
people like me.
weightlessness
objects hitting me
ghosts' fingers prodding me
as I fall
I fall down
down into this never-ending hole
this abyss
for eternity
restless
empty
yet full
filled with misery
my worst fears
come back
how did he know?
he knows I'm afraid
the darkness
doesn't help me see
I can't see why
how does he do this?
they cut me again
spilling my blood
oh, the blue
I don't even feel it
I am numb
the sound of me
my skin
being sliced
a quick slashing
and they are done
I am cut
my legs
my arms
my stomach
my face
my neck
I can't see my blood
but I can see how evil it must look.
the thoughts that fell
fell down with me
they too
are damned
they talk to me
they tell me what they see
they can see
blue
yes blue
my cold blood
it is everywhere
I am pale
white
I look sick they say
oh, no
they say
oh, no
they see the bottom
be ready
they say
be ready.
I fall faster still
slowing for nothing
for no one
being pulled down
the puppeteer has me
he's got my string
and he's pulling
with no sign of letting go.
now I hear a song
they all sing it
the notes are cruel
unforgiving
they bump into the others
struggling to be heard
with no set order
it is musical chaos
he yells to me
it is beautiful
and he sings along to his song
it's made for me
musical notes are played
they come up to me
they greet me
they jump
right into my cuts
surging into my blood
they search inside me
no mercy
moving faster
the drum
keeping them steady
pounds faster
picking up tempo
searching
searching
until
they found it
they found
my heart
my soul
the music does the talking
it says to hush
hush now
slow down
my heart listens
and I get sleepy
just stop
they say
just stop
the music is evil
played by the man
the man in the mask
my brains sends
a message
one final request
it says to my heart
speed up
it says
speed up, can't you see?
she is dying
it says
you must speed up!
I still fall
with no way up
letting go of hope
why dream?
dreaming of being saved
when I already know
I'll only be dropped.
I smell
something burnt
burning
oh, no
I know what
that smell
it is flesh
not mine
surely
but belongs to someone else
someone close
they too
they smell of dirt
sinners burning
dead
they are nothing to me
they are the stench
in my nose
nothing more
the smell overcomes all
all the other senses
until it becomes me
and I burn too.
even in the dark
the black
I see something
darker
blacker than black
they are shadows
they mock me
they play
they sing
they dance
they laugh
I fill with evil
hatred
a longing to hurt
hurt the ones behind it all
then
without warning
I hear him
laughing
my pain
is his pleasure
oh so dark
it's over
I'm at the bottom
laying on the cold ground
in a small ball
too weak to stand
in a pool
of dark blue blood
I hold myself tight
I can't trust
these creatures
these beasts.
he likes my weakness
he tells me I am small
I am ugly
I am worthless
I am nothing
he laughs when I cry
I thought that
maybe
just maybe
it would be better
down here
instead of up there.
it's not.
hell is not a game.
death is not an
easy way out.
do not try to visit me.
do not try to rescue me.
for I am more lost
than I hope you will
ever be.
now that I am
at my fate
at the entrance to hell
at the bottom of this grave
of my eternity
and if I am truly
here forever,
I'll have plenty of time
to ask myself
why did I jump?


Long poem by Brian Johnston | Details |

Growing Up, La - Part 1 - Rev 4

- - - Chapter 1: Early Days - - - 

My father was a rich man, la, *
Though schooled in poverty, (1)  
As such he seldom raised his head, 
Displayed humility.
The center of the ‘Dust Bowl' years, 
Just thirty miles from home.
And children, seniors died from this
(Their lungs were clogged with loam) .

A huge tornado struck Woodward, (2)  
Destroying our downtown, 
It, cut a swath near one mile wide, 
Dad fought back, doubled down.(3)  
When storm had cleared, sky was fire red, 
Dad put me in the car, 
But roads were blocked in just three blocks, 
The world become bizarre! 
Barbed wire that penetrated trees, 
Homes cracked like eggs insides, 
Our home had grass blades drove like nails, 
Into its wooden sides.
The biggest storm in history, 
My dad was gone for days, 
Storm victims sleeping on our floor, 
The whole town in a daze.

Dad's rebuilt store, nicest in town, 
Our home ‘across the track, '(4)  
Attended too the poorest school, 
But did not suffer lack.
Appearance was Dad's calling card, 	
No pretense there to see, 
For ‘living too high on the hog, '(5)  
Caused bankers misery.
The school board melted to Mom's charm, 
(Or to her tongue of fire) , 
For with Dad's stature in the town, 
Few dared to risk her ire! 
Good teachers forced to leave rich schools, 
Complained it wasn't fair, 
Till they encountered Sis and I, 
And found that they could care.
That was my mother's legacy, 
And ‘ART' (6)   the air she breathed, 
Though slight she strongly stood her ground, 
Our future she bequeathed.
We did not know the difference, 
Just sometimes things were tough, 
Our clothing did set us apart, 
We always had enough.
There were some very poor kids there, 
The same clothes thru the week, 
Impoverished not just in clothes, 
But that which all men seek.		

I had a bike to ride around, 
Of course it was a Schwinn, 
And almost always home for lunch, 			
For Mom thought we were thin, 
With two desserts at every meal, 
(And Mom was quite a cook.)  
But if you didn't clean your plate, 
From Dad you got a look, 
The waste of food a mortal sin, 
A thump upon the ‘bean, '(7)  
Made every meal traumatic fare, 
And tears a daily scene.
My guess is Dad got worse than me, 
Depression's (8)   oldest child, 
I mourn the innocence he lost, 
That made his wrath seem mild.

Our parent's roles were well defined, 
My dad brought home the bread, 
My mom the joy of hearth and home, 
Dad's entrance met with dread.
My dad did most the punishments, 
But whippings weren't enough, 
We even weren't allowed to cry, 
To show we had the stuff! 
Small wonder romance frightened me, 
(So sure I'd be like him) , 
To challenge violence I feared, 
Chose music over gym.

Brian Johnston
August 20,2014

Poet's Notes: 
An auto-biographical look at family life impacted by both the American Great 
Depression  and the Dust Bowl years (1930-1950)   in the Mid-West, divided into 
Chapters. 
This is a work of love and homage to the courageous and desperate people who 
survived both. I hope that you enjoy it. New Chapters will be released as I complete 
them.

* When I was in the American Peace Corps in Tanzania, East Africa we had a group of 
7 surveying assistants that were always with us in the first year and that we became 
very close to. Their conversation was always sprinkled with 'la' and I thought it was 
kind of cute. Like they might say to me, 'Why don't we stop in this village for some 
food, la.' They used this word kind of like I use the word ‘OK' in casual conversation. 
'You've got food in your teeth, la.' I really enjoyed this idiosyncratic  affectation.

(1)   ‘poverty' - born in 1911, my father was just 19 years  old when ‘The Great 
Depression' hit the US economy. The Dust Bowl began shortly after.
(2)   Woodward, Oklahoma - the town that I grew up in.
(3)   ‘doubled down' - after Dad's business was destroyed completely by the tornado, 
he  doubled his efforts to be successful in Woodward, borrowing heavily from the 
local banks to do so.
(4)   'across the track' or 'wrong side of the tracks' referred to the part of town where 
poor people lived, frequently, but not always, meaning 'colored people' as well. In some 
towns no 'colored people' were allowed to live in the more prosperous 'white only' 
area. Some towns (like Woodward) had no Negros at all. I take that back. One black 
male did have a job shining shoes in the local 'Baker Hotel' but I think his home was 
in the country somewhere (He did not live in town).
(5)   'living too high on the hog' -  an idiom referring to people who have to have the 
most expensive things in life and buy them frequently on credit even though they 
can't really afford them.
(6)   ‘ART' - My mother was a gifted painter and wood carver, but even meals she 
prepared were done artistically. Art was always spelled with capital letters in her life! 
(7)   ‘thump on the bean' - to hit the offending child hard on the head with the 
knuckles of your closed fist.
(8)   'Depression' - Hard times, not mental issues. (Actually works both ways though 
I guess!)   Born the oldest of 3 brothers and one sister, my dad's father worked him 
hard and used a leather shaving strap to whip his boys when he was upset with them 
about anything. Grand Dad Johnston made my father seem like Florence Nightingale. 
I believe that he beat his wife as well (just a guess) .


Long poem by Ravindra K Kapoor | Details |

The Mulberry Tree And Its Birds Part Two

A GIFT FOR EVERYONE ESPECIALLY FOR CHILDREN The Mulberry Tree & its Birds IMPORTANT NOTE: Now watch a short Video film made by me (placed on my Music Channel on You Tube) based on this Poetic story and enjoy a Great Secret revealed in this short Video Film about India's grand past and about its prosperity and how it was stolen nearly 2500years ago. Use the following URL : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l5dpe5_GRKE One day When Bulbul* was warbling On its branches A strange big bird with round beak Came over there To eat Mulberry’s sweet fruits The bird was expert In changing its colors Like the colorful sky But like some arrogant child She could not make anyone It’s friend on the Mulberry tree. By the time Anyone could have spotted its beauty It suddenly changed its colors And became invisible, Before others While hiding behind the leafs And the branches of the Mulberry Alone the bird came over there And alone she flew away Without any friend For some other tree. 10 Suddenly, The sparrows began to chirp Watching a Koyal* sitting Somewhere very close to them On a nearby branch of a tree. But, strangely, for all of them A Neelkanth* also Came over there And opened before them Its beautiful blue color wings. From where the Neelkanth came And for what destination, It would leave no one knows. Before the eyes Could have feasted fully All that, beauties of the Birds And the beauty, All around, the Mulberry tree A Yellow Green bird Came to drink, Water filled in a Pot Which was lying on my terrace, Not very far off From the Mulberry tree. 11 In those moments It seemed to me, As if, someone has opened A treasure Of precious, colorful birds For the tree. 12 The Shahtoot*, Used to play often The Music Of flapping sound, Of its leafs Whenever, the wind blows With, its strengths, While, touching the leafs And shaking its branches While saying slowly In the ears of the Mulberry “Dear Shahtoot – Create Music in the air” So that, we may dance together On the tunes of the wind. 13 And then the Mulberry Began to show Its beautiful dance On the tunes Of the fast blowing winds And watching that dancing beauty Of the Mulberry tree And the beauty Of its dancing leafs, The birds Often used to get filled With an unknown Happiness and joy But, sometimes The dance of the Mulberry tree Causes fear in birds And then they began to make Loud noises like crying To show their fear and anger. 14 But, when they were happy The birds began, to chirp loudly As if, They were greeting, the Mulberry For such a wonderful dance and music. 15 I used to get astonished and lost To see, Such an excellent beauty And grandeur of Nature Which, always reminds me My relations with you, O’ Shahtoot, which is as old, As are the days, of my childhood When we used to play Kilkil Kaantaa* On the lower branches, of your tree And my childhood friends Used to come like birds Searching the chalk lines Made by me, on your branches And cutting them To tell that they have found The treasure, hidden by me. 16 But, I always feel sad O’ my dear friend, Shahtoot That I could not save you From those onslaughts Due to which You just vanished, Suddenly one day For ever and forever. 17 Now, that place Where, the Mulberry used to smile Every Morning and every day Hardly get any birds To listen to, the melodies of Koyal* And the chirping sound And music of Bulbul* and of the sparrows. Even our, kids and children Of today Hardly get, any opportunity To see now colorful birds Flying and sitting On a branch of tree. They almost never see The Neelkanth* flying in the air While showing, it’s gorgeous Beautiful blue wings To tell the story of its birth O’ my dear friend Shahtoot*. 18 But, perhaps This Poem on you, O’ my friend ‘Shahtoot’ Would make you immortal For ever Because, now you would live In the hearts of everyone And you would bloom On the mind and hearts Of little kids and children Who would plant more and more Mulberry trees So that colorful birds may Keep coming on their trees And they may enjoy The beauty of Nature which lies In Plants, Trees, Birds And Animals. Such efforts of the Of kids and children Would make you immortal For ever and forever When they would listen to This story of yours And of the singing birds Which always come On your trees In the season of Mulberry. 19 Ravindra Kanpur India 10th November 2013 NOTE: Protected under the copyright provisions of Poetry Soup and US copyrights. *Bulbul=A sweet singing Bird of India *Koyal= A melody Bird of India Shahtoot= The Hindi name of Mulberry tree and its fruits *Kilkil Kaantaa= Kilkil Kaantaa* A child game of India in which,one player makes some lines by chalk on any such object which can be searched by the other player to cut these lines and win. Note: In this Poem I have not placed only a small part of this unique story which would be the real attractions of my Video based on this unique story.Hope you would like that full wonderful story of my Video as and when it would be placed on my You Tube Channel. Love and best wishes..Ravindra K Kapoor


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 Poems