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Long Old Poems | Long Old Poetry

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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 SillyBilly theKidster | Details | . You can read it on PoetrySoup.com' st_url='http://www.poetrysoup.com/poem/billy_the_kids_great_escape_467774' st_title='Billy the Kid's Great Escape'>

Billy the Kid's Great Escape

*
Sentenced to hang in the town of Lincoln,
Billy made his bold escape.
Both of his guards died from thinking
that a shackled young boy couldn't break away.
*
I've often wondered what thoughts were going through his head
as he stood staring out that window chained to the floor by his bed,
watching the gallows being built that would soon seal his fate.
Was he planning at that very moment his greatest escape?
Did he already know that his hanging would never come to be?
Was he already aware that before night fall, once again he'd be free?
Whatever his thoughts, they were interrupted rudely
by Deputy Bob Ollinger, one of his guards while in custody.
"Word has it you said that if we ever met again you'd kill me on the spot. 
Well here I am Kid. Now's your chance. Show me what you've got. 
It's a shame that you'll hang in another week or two, 
because I'd love to be the one who gets to kill you. 
I've got 16 silver dimes in the barrells of my shotgun. 
I'd love to try them out on you, but I can't unless you run. 
If I free you from those chains will you run for the door? 
Oh by the way Kid, your Ma was one sweet dirty whore. 
I'll kill you before you hang Kid. That's a sure bet." 
"Be careful Bob," said the Kid, "I'm not hung yet."
Bob thrusted his shotgun hard into Billy's gut. 
The Kid looked up at him in pain and said, "Now what?" 
"Don't do it Bob," Bell screamed angrily,
"or you'll be the one who'll hang for sure 
for killing an unarmed man in cold blood
who was chained helplessly to the floor. 
It's time for the other prisoners to be escorted across the street to be fed. 
The Kid's not going anywhere. He's chained to the floor by his bed. 
Anyway, I took the prisoners last so now it's your turn. 
Go and have yourself a beer and I'll stay here 
and guard the Kid until you return." 
Bob Ollinger placed his shotgun into the gun rack. 
Before he left he said to Billy, "I'll see you when I get back." 
No one can say for sure if the above dialog ever truly took place, 
but one thing's for sure, 
Ollinger tormented Billy at a merciless endless pace. 
They were arch enemies who fought against each other
during the Lincoln County War. 
Ollinger was in the posse that killed John Tunstall,
Billy's employer, friend and mentor. 
"I have to use the privy Bell," Billy said to the deputy. 
Bell kept his rifle trained on Billy as he tossed him the key. 
Billy unlocked the chains that kept him bound to the floor. 
Still in handcuffs and leg irons, Bell escorted Billy out the door. 
Billy entered the outhouse closing the door behind him. 
"Let's not take too long in there Kid," Bell said with a humorous grin. 
While in the outhouse Billy managed to slip one of his hands out of his handcuff. 
"You fall in there Kid?" Bell laughed, "You've been in there long enough." 
"I'm coming out now Bell," Billy said opening the door. 
"Sorry I took so long Bell. I must have ate something bad for sure." 
Deputy Bell then escorted Billy back to the jail cell. 
Once inside, Billy spun around and smacked hard Deputy James Bell. 
Bell lost his balance, dropped his rifle and was momentarily stunned. 
"Hands Up Bell!," the Kid yelled. In his hand was a gun. 
"Please don't do it Bell," Billy pleaded, but Bell tried to run. 
The Kid had no choice but to do what had to be done. 
He shot and killed Bell, then went and got Ollinger's shotgun. 
The Kid never found pleasure in killing, 
but Ollinger would indeed be the exception. 
Knowing that Ollinger heard the gunfire, Billy stood by the window 
and waited for Ollinger to appear in the street down below. 
One senior named Godfrey saw Bell fall dead down the stairs. 
The moment probably gave Godfrey a few more gray hairs. 
Ollinger ran out into the street as Godfrey screamed, 
"The Kid's killed Bell!" 
Ollinger looked up into both barrels of his own shotgun 
and whispered, "..and now he's killed me as well."
"Hello Bob!," Billy called out with a song in his heart 
just prior to blowing Bob Ollinger apart. 
He blasted both barrels into Ollinger's chest and face. 
Pieces of old Bob lay scattered all over the place. 
Billy smashed his shotgun in two, threw it at him but missed. 
"You'll never rifle me again," he screamed, "you son of a b*tch!" 
On the balcony he addressed the crowd whose jaws hung agape. 
"I don't want to hurt anyone, 
but I'll kill anybody who tries to prevent my escape." 
In the office he found a sledge hammer
and smashed the chains of his leg irons free. 
He told Godfrey to fetch him a fast horse immediately. 
As he walked down the stairs, he came upon Bell's lifeless body 
and many eyewitnesses admit
that the Kid looked upon him and said almost tearfully, 
"I'm sorry I killed you Bell, but couldn't help it." 
As Billy mounted the horse the chains of his leg irons startled the beast. 
The horse reared up and threw Billy down onto the street. 
He was at this point his most vulnerable laying down on the ground. 
The crowd could have overtaken him easily, but none made a move or a sound. 
Once again Billy mounted the horse
and fled with the sound of his leg iron chains ringing. 
Many claim that as he rode out of Lincoln County
that they heard the Kid singing. 
Billy had escaped danger so many other times in his past, 
but this was his greatest escape ever. It would also be his last.
*
"I had no intention of killing either one of them. My plan was to tie and gag Bell and then get out of there before Ollinger got back, but then things went terribly wrong.....I certainly didn't want to kill Bell, but I had to in order to save my own life....I never felt happier than when I gave it to old Bob. I said, "Look up here old boy and see what you're getting". I then blasted him in the face and breast. He use to ride me to the point where I just couldn't take it anymore."
- Billy the Kid


Long poem by Kim van Breda | Details |

OUR BABY GIRL TURNS 21

OUR BABY GIRL TURNS 21

ON 1ST JULY 1990~ THE ANGELS DID SOMETHING ALMIGHTY
FROM HEAVEN THEY SENT US OUR LIFE-LONG DESIRE-A PRECIOUS DAUGHTER TO LOVE AND ADMIRE.
TRUE TO YOUR NATURE YOU ARRIVED WITHOUT FUSS OR PAIN--THE FIRST TIME OUR EYES MET WE KNEW OUR LIVES WOULD NEVER BE THE SAME

AS A BABY AND TODDLER YOU MADE US SO PROUD
YOUR VERY LONG HAIR, GREEN EYES AND SMILE-
ALL THOSE GOOD LOOKS MADE YOU STAND OUT IN A CROWD
YOU STARTED TALKING EARLY WITH MANY VOICEPRINTS 
YOUR CHARM AND GOOD LOOKS HAVE NOT STOPPED SINCE
YOU LOVED YOUR DOLLS AND PRAMS-- DREAMT OF BEING A “SINGER”
 AND VERY QUICKLY LEARNED HOW TO WRAP YOUR DAD AROUND YOUR LITTLE FINGER
YOUR BIG BROTHER DEVON--BEST FRIEND AND PROTECTER 
MOST OF THE TIME YOU GOT ON PERFECTLY TOGETHER

FROM AN EARLY AGE YOU SHOWED YOUR LOVE OF SWIMMING
AGE TWO AND A HALF YOU WERE ABLE AND WILLING
TO SWIM UNDER WATER AND DO MANY LENGTHS
THIS WAS CLEARLY ONE OF YOUR SPORTING STRENGTHS
AT AGE THREE YOU COULD BARELY WAIT TO START PLAYSCHOOL
“MISS INDEPENDENCE”, WAS YOUR GENERAL RULE
THE SLIDE AND JUNGLE GYM WERE YOUR FAVOURITE SPOTS
 AND TO OUR HORROR YOU WOULD CLIMB RIGHT TO THE TOP!
AT AROUND THIS TIME, YOUR FIRST BOYFRIEND YOU MET-
 HE LIVED NEXT DOOR, AND HIS NAME WAS BRETT

SOON IT WAS TIME FOR  PRE-SCHOOL
YOU LOVED YOUR TEACHER--YOUR NEW FRIENDS WERE COOL
‘SPRING BONNETS’ AND THE END OF YEAR SCHOOL PLAYS
THE TEDDY BEAR CLASS GAVE YOU SOME REAL SPECIAL DAYS
NEXT WAS ‘BIG SCHOOL’ AND YOUR FIRST CLASS
WE WERE SERIOUSLY ANXIOUS BUT FOR YOU JUST ANOTHER ‘MISS INDEPENDENCE’ TASK
LETTERLAND, MATHS AND LEARNING TO READ
YOU EXCELLED AT ALL THAT WITH INCREDIBLE SPEED
YOUR ACHIEVEMENTS CONTINUED THROUGH GRADES 2, 3 AND FOUR
YOUR PLACE IN THE SWIMMING TEAM HELPED YOUR SCHOOL WIN MORE

OUR MOVE TO AUSTRALIA… SAD FAREWELLS TO YOUR FRIENDS AND YOUR PETS 
BUT, GREAT EXCITEMENT YOU FELT AT ADVENTURES TO BE MET
A NEW SCHOOL--“METHODIST LADIES COLLEGE”
NEW FRIENDS--JUMPING A GRADE-- MET WITH SUCH POSITIVE COURAGE
YOU MADE US SO PROUD IN THE WAY YOU ADAPTED
MRS. WILLIAMSON SAID YOU WERE THEIR NEW CLASS ‘ASSETT’
.
THE ‘MR BEE’ SPELLING AWARD AND MANY MERITS LATER 
WE ALL GOT HOMESICK-- BUT YOUR POSITIVE NATURE DID NOT WAVER
THE DECISION WE MADE TO RETURN TO CAPE TOWN 
CAUSED YOU HEARTBROCKEN TEARS AND A PERMANENT FROWN
ONCE AGAIN A SAD FAREWELL TO YOUR NEW FOUND FRIENDS 
RETURNING TO S.A. FOR OLD ONES TO MAKE AMMENDS

IT WASN’T VERY LONG THAT YOU PICKED UP WHERE YOU LEFT OFF AT ALL
 ADDED TO YOUR TALENTS WERE NOW TEAM HOCKEY AND NETBALL

AS YOU APPROACHED THE FIRST OF YOUR TEEN YEARS
WITH YOUR LOOKS AND CHARM, INEVITABLY THE BOYFRIENDS WOULD APPEAR
SHOPPING, MOVIES AND MANY PARTY SLEEP-OVERS
CHOOSING TRUE FRIENDS AND DUMPING THE LOSERS
DANCE SHOWS AND DANCING EXAMS… YOU EXCELLED AT HIP- HOP
 FUN AND OF COURSE THE DESIRE TO SHOP

THE END OF JUNIOR SCHOOL-- THE FINAL ASSEMBLY—AWARDS
TROPHIES FOR SPORTSMANSHIP AND YOUR S.R.C. PRIZE GOT MANY APPLAUDS
SAD FEELINGS AT LEAVING YOUR OLD SCHOOL BEHIND 
EXCITEMENT AT STARTING HIGH SCHOOL WOULD SOON COME TO MIND
NO PROBLEM TO YOU, IT WAS ALL JUST A BREEZE 
AS YEAR BY YEAR YOU CONTINUED TO ACHIEVE
SWIMMING AND ‘A’ TEAM HOCKY MATCHES ON THE ASTRO TURF 
YOU EVEN STARTED TO LEARN HOW TO SURF
FRIDAY AFTERNOON CHRISTIAN MEETINGS AND EVENING CHURCH YOUTH
WE WERE SO HAPPY YOU FOUND GOD AND HIS TRUTH

THE REST OF HIGH SCHOOL PASSED IN THE BLINK OF AN EYE WHILE 
YOUR LIST OF ACHIEVEMENTS REMAINED EXCEPTIONALLY HIGH
YOUR ORGANISATIONAL SKILLS WERE ASTOUNDING
COPING WITH TOUGH SUBJECTS LIKE MATHS, SCIENCE AND ACCOUNTING
IN HOCKEY AND SWIMMING YOU MADE THE TOP TEAMS
NO SURPRISE AT ALL THAT SWIMMING COACHES MOVED IN ON THE SCENE.

THEY CULTIVATED YOUR TALENTS FROM STRENGTH TO STRENGTH
EVERY YOUR NIGHT YOUR PASSION SAW YOU DOING MANY LENGTHS
WEEKENDS OF GALA’S AND NATIONAL SWIMMING
S.A.SHORT COURSE, YOUR P.B’S, AND FAIR SHARE OF WINNING
TOGETHER WE CELEBRATED YOUR PLACE IN   W.P. SCHOOL CHAMPS THAT YEAR 
SO PROUD OF OUR BEAUTIFUL SWIMMER ALWAYS AHEAD OF HER PEERS 
.
FIRST YEAR AT UNIVERSITY YOU BECAME SO INDEPENDENT
 STARTING YOUR STUDIES AS A B.Sc. STUDENT
IT WAS ALSO THE YEAR YOU LEARNED TO DRIVE
GOT YOUR LICENSE—DAD SPOILT YOU—NEW CAR—RESPLENDENT


YOUR FAITH AND TRUST IN THE LORD STILL REMAINS FIRM
AS YOU WALK AND GROW SPIRITUALLY DAILY WITH HIM

SO MUCH HAS CHANGED, AND YET SOME THINGS REMAIN
YOU BEAUTY AND TALENTS SO EASILY MAINTAINED
YOUR  LOVE OF SWIMMING AND OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENTS IN WATER
YOU KNOW WE WILL ALWAYS BE YOUR NO. 1 SUPPORTERS
AND NOW YOU ARE 21, SWEETHEART 
YOUR WHOLE LIFE AHEAD OF YOU-- TODAY IS JUST THE START
IT SEEMS LIKE JUST YESTERDAY THAT YOU WERE BORN—
OUR DAUGHTER~LOVES BRIGHT SHINING LIGHT~ WE ADORE
YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL AND TALENTED IN EVERY WAY 
WISHING YOU GOD’S RICHEST BLESSINGS ON YOUR SPECIAL DAY
HAPPY 21ST BIRTHDAY TO OUR BABY GIRL

TO HAVE YOU AS A DAUGHTER HAS BEEN A REAL PLEASURE
-YOU HAVE AND ALWAYS WILL BE OUR MOST BEAUTIFUL TREASURE-

(FOOTNOTE: OUR DAUGHTER WILL BE 23 THIS YEAR, HAS COMPLETED HER BSc. AND HONOURS DEGREE’S IN PHYSIOLOGY AND GENETICS AND NOW DOING HER MASTERS DEGREE IN EXERCISE SCIENCE. SHE IS ALSO A PROFESSIONAL TRIATHLETE—DOING SWIMMING, CYCLING AND RUNNING AS ONE DISCLIPLINE)


Long poem by Terry Trainor | Details |

A Moment of Hope The Invisible Man 30

Sometimes I have the courage to think of the things that made me what I am today,
My memory takes me back to terrible things far away far off into my bitter past,
My mind like a maze of dirty black alleys that smell of waste, loss and disgust,
The losses, the drink ripped away, not happy until it was all gone respect as well.

Invisible thinks of a garden where roses clustered with lilies scent on the breeze,
Bees found stores of honey in the petals of a thousand and one different flowers,
Lovers walked hand in hand along its winding path a beautiful dream of the man,
Bright with the embroidery of nature where children played in new myrtle flowers,

As Invisible thinks of this garden it is neglected but flowers can grow with weeds,
It could put a smile upon his face, a face that had never known any joy recently,
He hopes a gardener can covert this garden get rid of ruined waste, back into Eden,
Tending all the beautiful flowers that spring up with the weeds and smell gladness.

If he helped the gardener in his quest a hand might hold his and guide him through,
Maybe a hand would go around his waist to support him as well as guide his hand,
Dare he wish that the guiding hand and the support would be his angel from heaven,
A dear person to help him clear his garden and walk down the winding path as lovers.

An angel that would smile at him maybe hold his hand and squeeze it so very gently,
Would the angel talk to him and tell him that one day they would be together again,
Her beautiful grace shining warmly as she looks up to him, to her he is her hero,
Not a drunken mess that cannot cope, not a dirty vagrant, but her knight her love.

The tenderness of this beautiful scene in his poisoned mind became real he smiled,
He grinned as she sat down next to him as close a she could get then wriggled closer,
Warmth from her body not only warmed him but gave hope this what he has waited for,
She whispered sweetly she loved him and would be waiting for him and they kissed.

Invisible woke with a start and was she not by his side, was she ever with him,
A dream another heart wrenching let down and how could he have dreamed the dream,
It was so real he still felt the warmth, the impression of her hand holding his,
But it must have been a dream his own mind conspired to deliver the hardest blow.


Lost in a grief so deep, his loneliness complete he talks to Sam his imaginary friend.

These days get worse Sam they really do please help me,
I need to change but I need my drink more what can I do,
But I need to change so desperately Sam can you help?
My world has cracked and I've fallen into the crack,
But what I don't understand Sam that I was once good,
If I had any courage Sam I would be laying in my coffin,
Why does life drag you along with it I don't want to go,
Just a bit of icing on my cake Sam it is freezing cold,
Did you know this is where I was brought up my friend,
Did you know that most of the people that walk past I knew,
Sam! I know many of there people but they don't know me,
Why do they all walk past I wish somebody would help,
Maybe when I have drunk more cider I might feel better Sam,
I can remember being happy but not what being happy is like,

As Invisible sits drinking shoppers give him a wide berth and they look at him with hate.

These people Sam they look at me as if I have hurt them,
The people they are not our sort of people they hate me,
Has the world changed like I have but in opposite ways,
My life is full of sorrow drunkenness and dreams Sam,
Old sorrows wont go away new sorrows should take over,
So we have to face both the old and the new that's bad,
At night I try to close my drunken eyes it all returns,
Sam is that the same as you can you close your eyes,
Can you remember the valleys Sam the ones we used to play,
When we ran about all day Sam in the sun rolling in grass,
The old stream that twisted and turned, it had lost its way,
Floating lolly sticks watching them bounce away on ripples,
Buying bangers in November and throwing them into the water,
What I wouldn't do to go back for just a couple of hours Sam,
Just to feel the innocence and try to bring it back to now,
To enjoy what there is to enjoy and maybe get better Sam,
But that will never happen Sam we are lost on an island,
A well populated island but an island all the same Sam,
People are not like ships they don't bother to rescue people,
They just walk around or just walk away all the nice ones gone,
I remember my school Sam it's now been knocked down and left,
It has all gone, all gone no primroses in spring or bluebells,
Do you remember Sam the bluebells used to nod in the wind,
But they have all been built on, whats the use in talking,
Nothing changes from bad to good Sam remember that, eh Sam,

Still drinking his cider tears well into his eyes his nose runs and begins to quietly
to sob. He sits on the shopping parade seat, shaking as he sobs. His throat has a lump
in it so he stops talking to Sam. Invisible sinks his wet face into his overcoat
hides his misery from the people that walk past he just sat there lost and confused. His
greatest sadness an angel paid a visit to the maze of dirty black alleys that smell of waste,
loss and disgust,


Long poem by Bob Quigley | Details |

Walter

He stood and aimlessly watched the parade of patrons and volunteers that wandered daily past his kennel.  All so familiar, so ordinary.  Just like every other day he mused.  Nothing new.  Nothing special.

Moving to the small crumpled blanket near the back of his cage, he turned several times and finally curled up, head on his paws, positioned so that he could watch the activity around him.  But in reality, he was bored.  It had been a long time since he had met each morning with anticipation.  Too many days.   Too much disappointment.  He would leave all that barking and racing to the front of  their cage to the younger pups who hadn’t figured out yet that the cute ones went first.  It didn’t really make any difference what you did to attract attention if you weren’t young or cute, or both.

Too much time had gone by to participate in the charade.  In reality, Walter had seen a lot of people that he would rather not spend a lot of time with.  You know the type.  Kind of hyper, bouncing from stray to stray, looking for a perfect dog.  Kids poking their fingers  through the kennel screen or banging on it.  Some even making barking sounds.  He didn’t need any of that and was glad when they were gone.

Walter was very picky.  Set in his ways after so many years.  He had had it good for  a long time.  An only dog in a household of two people that let him be himself.  No tricks. No stunts.  Just long naps and daily walks.  A yard to himself to reflect on what was for dinner.  He had been fond of his doggy bed in their bedroom.  Each night he would help his owner walk through the house turning off the lights and checking the doors before they climbed the stairs together.  And there was always one last good night pat before settling down.

But those days were gone now.  First one had become ill and went to the hospital and never came back.  The other one changed overnight, spending long days, sitting mostly.  The walks became less frequent.  Walter did what he could.   He could see it in their eyes that they were hurting from their loss. He would make a point of laying his head in their lap, trying to let them know that he missed them too.  At times like this, he instinctively knew that although it remained unsaid, they only had each other.

He remembers well the day that his owner snapped a leash on him and said, “well Walter, I’m afraid we have to say goodbye.  I have to go to a place where they won’t let me keep you, so I am going to have to let you go.”  Walter could see the tears in his eyes.  He knew it would do him no good to whine or resist.  It was obvious there were no alternatives.  And besides, it would just make it harder on his owner.  But he was going to miss him.  It was not going to be easy to adjust.

But adjust he did.   He had been here a long time now and had seen countless pups and dogs  trot past his cage with light hearts and  new owners, heading off with new found hopes and expectations.  But it soon became obvious that there weren’t a lot of people that wanted an old yellow hound.  Everyone wanted the young ones.  So here he lay, dozing a bit, but still keeping an eye on those walking by, many giving him but a glance before moving on.

He heard them before the saw them.  ”Honey” the voice said.  ”That looks like Walter, old Mr. Whitney’s dog.”  Walters ears perked up a little.  ”Do I know them” he thought.  ”They seem to know me”.  I’d better go take a closer look” and with that, he stood and slowly ambled toward his kennel gate, giving a cautious wag of his tail.

“It is him” the man said.  ”Walter, how you doing boy?  Do you remember me?”

And upon closer inspection, Walter did remember him.  He used to live right across the street.  He would see him in his yard and if Walter were to ramble over, he usually had a dog treat in his pocket.  With the recognition, Walter gave a little stronger wag and moved toward the fingers extended through the fencing.  It was good to see an old friend.

“What do you say hon” the man said.  ”How would you feel about bringing Walter home with us?”

Walter looked at the woman and saw her nod in agreement.  ”You wait here and I’ll go find a volunteer.”

The man bent down and said “What do you think Walter?  Would you like to go home with us?”

Actually, Walter decided, he could think of nothing he would like more.  A chance to go back to the old neighborhood with people he already knew.  What was there not to like.

Soon the woman returned and the gate opened.  A leash was snapped on Walter and together they proceeded past the rows of dogs and puppies, all vying for their attention.  Walter couldn't help but stand a little straighter, stepping a little more lightly, showing off.  ”This is what going home looks like guys.” he thought.  ”Good luck and goodbye”.

As they neared the car the man said “I can’t believe we found you Walter.  There is someone I am going to take you to see.  I can’t wait to see the expression on his face when you walk in his room>”

Walter, of course, knew exactly who he was talking about.  And he couldn't wait to see the expression on his face either.


Long poem by Nii-Ayi Solomon | Details |

My First Love Experience

It was in the early days of our lives
We met
She was so beautiful 
My eyes could not stop admiring
My heart kept racing 
Every time it sensed
her good-looking approaching
But we were too young 
To give full meaning 
To the love language

Years passed
Time kept flying
We lost contact 
But the memory of our past
We lugged with us

Someway, somehow,
Fate found us
And brought us together

We have now grown 
So big and sweet
We both glitter
At each other’s presence
We were ready to do a recap 
of where we left off

We laughed and joked about our past
We talked about our hey days at the National Theatre
We remembered the beautiful past that reflects our true self
We both haven’t changed after all

At that moment my heart spoke 
The love language again
I knew I was in love with her
It wasn’t today
It started from when we were kids

Man must gather confidence
And speak out his feelings

Thoughts,
Thoughts of what she would say;

Don’t laugh at me,
We all do it sometimes


We were sweet friends
But now, I want to take 
The friendship a step further

My heart in full swing 
Of abnormal beating,
It beat faster
It spoke two different languages
Say it; and keep it
Don’t know which of these to believe 
I was shy
I was afraid
I was confused
I was happy
I was sad
I felt insane

There she was,
Standing in front me
In their house 
Beaming with smiles

Nii, she said tenderly,
‘I thought you said you had something to tell me,
Come on, I can’t wait any longer
My ears are itching’

My heart just jumped out
And now I want to escape from her presence
I wish I could vanish into thin air

Stop laughing at me
I’m not mouth lazy

I was just afraid of the outcome 
What if she said NO?
What if I lose her as a friend?
What if she vanishes into thin air?

And the what if’s continued …

Once in a man’s life time
He must draw together courage
To speak out his feelings

After all, I would not have violated any law
For telling a sweet scented woman 
Gorgeous, attractive and stunning 
About what I feel for her
So my nerves were clamed

This was how I started…

Esther, I mean, Naa Adjeley

The confusion has started

Errrmmm, you see,

Still didn’t know what to say

Hmmm, hope you are doing great?

Still confused…

‘I guess your brother, Thomas,
Is doing fine?’

She stared at me intently 
The smiles on her face kept 
My hopes alive 
And my heart awake 
I knew she was expecting 
Something more than making those comical remarks

It’s was now time to speak

Naa Adjeley, I travelled from Cape Coast 
To Accra to come see you
To tell you I miss you
and errmmm…

Please let it out
The small voice inside me whispered

I left campus to Accra just to let you know that
I AM IN LOVE WITH YOU

She laughed aloud and said
‘’are you serious!’’

‘Oh! Yes I am’
I said confidently,

Her face suddenly darkened
The smiles misplaced 
I wanted to fade away from her presence
After all I’ve let my feelings out
That was what mattered to me
But I did not have that special magic



How long have you felt this way towards me?
The next question to answer
‘When we were kids,
But it was revamped quite recently’
I replied

I could see the confusion on her face
She needed some more time 
To think things through
I was excited let it out
But she was confused

Days passed,
I went back to school,
We enjoyed chit chatting on the phone
But the answer to my request was still hanging

She mentioned in one of our conversations
She might be travelling
But didn’t say when
She was a nursing student
I was a tourism student
The beauty of having a friend 
You know and love
kept my mind awake in school

School was on recess
I arrived in Accra
Left my things unpacked
Borrowed money from my old girl
Picked a cab to Banana Inn
To see the woman 
That has taken my heart hostage

I kept bagging at their gate
Agoo! agoo! agooo! 

Waiting in anticipation to see
Her fine looking face
And present her with my first gift
Her brother, Thomas opened up

‘Hey! Where have you been?
It’s been a while’
Was the first question 
He asked

The only interest I had was to see her face
I wanted to see the woman 
That makes my heart beat
She was all I cared about

Where is Naa Adjeley?
I enquired from Thomas

I saw the shock on his face
My breathe was not catching up 
with me properly
I knew something was wrong

‘Where is she’,
I asked again
‘Didn’t she tell you
She was travelling?’
My face dropped dead at once
I felt a sharp heart ache
I almost fainted

She left for the U.K
Without even saying bye bye
Was that why, she didn’t give any reply
to my proposal?
Why did she keep my heart awake?

I left her house, depressed
Her gift was a bonus for the cab driver
My face drenched in pool of tears

I know it hurts
But I felt more relieved

Why?

My feelings had been made lucid to her
I now walk with my chest out
Ready to move on
Ready to open myself up to happiness

I still remember
Her looks
Her smiles
Her beauty
Her mannerism

My first love story
The one I have kept furtive
Over the years

Naa Adjeley
My old time love.


Long poem by George Zamalea | Details |

WHILE REMEMBERING

Brazil

As I drove through the heavy snow of Manquiville,
Deep in silence back to Grandfather's house, all frightened faces
Full of solemnly dreams, I remember the smell of the sea.
	The unseen Grandpa's hands, pulling and pulling
	The full net of fishes.

I remember my Grandpa at this moment haltered
His muscles so tight that I was able to see the thin 
Veins become heavier, healthier, richer,
While his sternly eyes ahead like two brighter poisonous souls,
	Waiting and waiting and waiting, whatever the reason
	He had in mind.

I remember just to follow him where the wide sea even powerful
As he was growing now calmed through the tide waves falling
	Behind his horizon. I love see him like this,
	Where the dreadly underworld as unique as mercy
	Could not control him.

	I'm driving slowly now, and I can see the road,
	The sea behind, the trees old and shadowless,
	The town of Manquiville quieted, deathless, soundless,
	All gone and dumb, behind the weaken sun.

I remember I looked down satisfied in the way it is going,
	Who guarded the visitor’s hope, who greeted
	The intruder who more than 25 years was gone!

	What a delightful remembrance to see the dangerous
Floor through my mind beginning to murmur thousand
	Of happy slaves soon or later be caught!
	How close we are listening by the jealous Visitor,
	Always in circle, still far away from the smell
		Of the fisherman!

But there was no one. All empty and in white,
	Cobwebs everywhere, the insects had come and gone,
	Birds' nests are there, a snake emerged and hissing away,
	All seem that they don't care who I am and why
	I came back. It has been so long since the Fisherman is dead!

I remember the sea...that day, I think,
	Oh, how wonderful is the sea lyre that you are dreaming 
	To hold underneath the stormy afternoon.
	I remember the sea...the sea! Seeing the sky-blue crown
Give to my Grandpa and Me, almost tremble, the unknown pray
	Of God, which carrying golden fishes, your treasure wall,
	Deep, enormous, cold and deathly, we are still afraid of you!

	I stop my fancy car, all around is the designed 
	Of muddy roses, birds and horses, wild squirrels,
	Like a feast of yellow swamp, and I stand there,
	Dressed by tie and fancy suit, a lawyer,
	A sucked soul, coming to see his Grandfather deepened
	In the muddy ground, filled with nasty fishes.

I remember so suddenly, the nets of that day
	Became tensed, like our hearts and our eyes,
	Which it was unable to handle by myself.
	There! There! I cried all along inside the small boat
And here and there is when my Old Man becomes only one
	Where body, soul, mind, wisdom, and energy --
	Become one forcer to kill
	And as he was pulling and pulling. His old arms,
	Still strong like two brawny-whited iron pistons,
	Pulling and pulling, and the fishes as ghastly eye,
Jumping and jumping, coolly frightened, exposing themselves Completely under the half-light of the moonlight!

	Now I cannot move. Why I am here? Why did I come?
	With love, with pain, with doubt,
	All I cannot say, behind the muse I have,
	How I can explain myself the beauties of my Grandpa?


But I remember that day. Oh, what a shining light!
	What moonlight! 
	I was there, with the oak wood, deathless,
	Like tiny hands, but the spirit of some old Song,
	Helping my Grandpa.
	I remember I was wondering if those fishes have any souls.
	To live, listening the other side of my head,
	Where my Grandpa told you're not born being a Fisherman
	But as a blending poet as myself.

I remember I caught his mouth full of smile, with a promise
	To die anywhere except here in the sea.
I bend my knees, with his nostrils stealing
Of his arms, pulling and pulling like a long sound
Of violin which I never knew why he had told that.

	And I remember, you could not play with the sea
Or the hungry fishes, now handsome and wilder,
To survive like me, to become a stranger
	In the middle of the sea.

	Now here, I am growing smaller
My smile fading, no reason to be here, who before the infant
Archer who crying freedom, ready to a man,
	I bring shame to the place of Fisherman;
	I smiled sadly, looked ahead, with wishes to kiss
	The Old Man's face drawing by the ocean air
	And let that old hands of fisherman carried my hair
To my blending soul,
	And tell him I made a city boy under the sunlight,
	But never as a dream piercing through the dimly sea.
 


Long poem by Scribbler Of Verses | Details |

A Story My Mother Told Me

someone always told me this with tears in her eyes...


(for Lata Sethi's late-mother, who was my mother’s ‘sister’ and who took us all into her heart, and for Lata and Ravi Sethi of Defence Colony, New Delhi)


a wife left South Africa in the 1960’s to join her husband 
who was in exile at the time...

in 1970 the husband was sent by the African National Congress to India to be its representative there...

the husband and wife spent two years in Bombay...

one afternoon the husband fell and broke his leg...

the wife knocked on their neighbour’s door, in an apartment complex in Bombay

the neighbour was an old Punjabi lady...

the wife asked the neighbour for a doctor to see to the injured husband...

a Parsi ‘Bone-Setter’ was promptly summoned...

the husband still recalls his anxiety of seeing ‘Bone-Setter’ written on the Parsi gentleman’s bag...

by the way, the ‘Bone-Setter’ worked his ancient craft and surprisingly for the husband, his broken leg healed quite soon...

but still on that day, while the ‘Bone-Setter’ was seeing to the husband...

the wife and the old Punjabi lady from next door got to talking about this and that and where these new Indian-looking wife and husband were from as their accents were clearly not local...

the wife told the elderly Punjabi lady that the husband worked for the African National Congress of South Africa and had left to serve the ANC from exile...

and that they had left their two children behind in South Africa and that they were now essentially political refugees...

the Punjabi lady broke down and wept uncontrollably...

she told the foreign woman that she too had had to leave her home in Lahore in 1947 and flee to India with only the clothes on her back when the partition of the subcontinent took place and Pakistan was formed and at a time when Hindus from Pakistan fled to India and vice versa...

the Punjabi lady then asked the foreign woman her name...

‘Zubeida’, but you can call me ‘Zubie’...

the Punjabi woman hugged Zubie some more, and the two women, seperated by age and geography, wept, sharing a shared pain...

the Punjabi woman told Zubie that she was her ‘sister’ from that day on, and that she felt that pain of exile and forced migration and what being a refugee felt like...

Zubie and her husband Mosie became the closest of friends with the Hindu Punjabi neighbours who were kicked out of Pakistan by Muslims...

then came the time for Mosie and Zubie to leave for Delhi where the African National Congress office was based...

the elderly Punjabi lady and Mosie and Zubie said their goodbyes...

a year or two later, the elderly Punjabi lady’s daughter Lata married Ravi Sethi and the couple moved to Delhi...

the elderly Punjabi lady called Zubie and told her that her daughter was coming to Delhi to live and that she had told Lata, her daughter that she had a ‘sister’ in Delhi...

Lata and Ravi Sethi then moved to Delhi...

This was in the mid-1970’s...

Lata and Zubie became the closest of friends and that bond stayed true, and stays true till today, though Zubie is no more, and the elderly Punjabi lady is no more...

the son and the husband still have a bond with Lata and Ravi Sethi...

a bond that was forged between Hindu and Muslim and between two continents across the barriers of creed and time...

a bond strong and resilient, forged by the pain and trauma of a shared experience...

and that is why, and I shall never stop believing this, that hope shines still, for with all the talk of this and of that, and of that and of this, there will always be a simple woman, somewhere, anywhere, who would take the ‘other’ in as a sister, a fellow human...

and that is why there will always be hope...
hope in the midst of this and of that and of that and of this...

hope...


(for Lata Sethi's late-mother, who was my mother’s ‘sister’ and who took us all into her heart, and for Lata and Ravi Sethi of Defence Colony, New Delhi)


Long poem by Cat Way | Details |

Goodbye to home

  Sand in my lungs and in every nook and cranny possible, nothing out here not even a simple bush or tree. Everything is dead and dry as a bone. My own skin holds no life, rough and leathery like jerky. Desperate need of lotion, even more of a need for a place called home. This heavy helmet keeps the cooling breeze from touching me and this scratchy, too small for me uniform is thick and full of sweat.They never told you that you would come to a point where you wanted to die, they never said how many people you would see die, they didn’t heed you no warnings all they told you was that your army strong and a brave soul. The jeep’s engine dies and we come to a sudden halt, Sam gets out of the drivers seat and calls break. Break from what? There aint no break here, but we smile and take our helmets off and rest our stressed shoulders on the bars of the open rear vehicle. James hops out and pops open the button on his pants, struggles with the zipper and takes a piss, back to the wind but not back on us. Nick hands me his canteen and I nod with a thanks and take it quickly, my mouth is drier than a cotton field. Syrupy saliva the color of old tobacco form little bridges from the mouth of the bottle to my chapped scaly lips. What I would give for a ice cold beer, sitting on my porch with my woman by my side. I gaze out in the desert and imagine what life will be like when I get home. They will have a huge party waiting for me at the front gate and wash me with hugs and tears. Balloons tied to the fence, all blues and reds with dots of white. Food piled high on tables for hungry soldiers, smeared make up on all the womens faces. My 4 year old daughter running up to me in her favorite pink flower dress. I drop my stare from the clear sky and look at the man in front of me, his face caked with grease and dirt, his clothes dusted by sand and clay, sweat stains on the chest and even bigger ones that formed under his arms. He looks like the devil himself dragged him to hell and back, a shame to look how he looks, but we all look the same. He hunches over, helmet covering his eyes, hands together and elbows on knees, a stance for a dead man. I put my hand out to give him his water back and it takes him a moment to look up and retrieve it. He looks me in the eye for the first time, the green is brighter than any I have ever seen on a man. He gets a old beat up photo out of his chest pocket and hands it to me, a tall beautiful woman is smiling back at me with big brown eyes, almost like burned honey. Hair that falls over her shoulders like waves of oil. A small bundle in her arms, you can see the tiny hands poking out of the snow white teddy bear covered blanket. I look back up and find him staring at me with tears coming from his eyes like a busted pipe, he picks up his pistol from his inner jacket pocket, puts it to his temple and screams like a lost child and pulls the trigger. The sound of his skull shattering, if I ever dream again this is what it would be, it was a crunch like noise with a splatter to compliment it. Blood and brains paint the back of the jeep like frosting. I will never forget this man. Killing for peace is like ****ing for virginity, you can never win. I pick up his gun and look back up at the sky, I was never meant to see my family again. You can hear the bullets flying through the air from a short distance, grenades explode and bombard your ears. The enemy is running toward us, rising on top of the sand dunes with their arabian hunting knives above their heads and guns on their sides like a infant to its mother's breast, thats what they are doing they are hunting us like deer. Clutching the photo to my heart I raise the gun to my head, take one last breath and hold it, squeezed the trigger, the last death I will ever see is my own.


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

THE FACE OF DEATH

THE FACE OF DEATH

   On Monday March 14th 2011, at 1:05 PM, I believe I was looking into the face and eyes of Death, as we drove to Her, school .

   I think I heard the voice and sounds of Death, on Monday March 14th 2011 at 1:15 PM as She tried to direct me past the entrance to Her class. 

   I felt the hands of Death, touch me as She turned away, leaving me standing there, heart in hand, bleeding profusely, no response, as she turned Her, back and walked away, not looking back . 

   3:40 PM and as I sat in the Henderson Mall, heart broken, feeling the pangs of regret, the Grim Reaper, cut into my chest, as I watched Lady Death, walk towards me with a look that said " die ", " go to hell " but the words that came out of Lady Death's, mouth were " such a serious look ! " and Her, response to my gift of apology ( flowers and a poem ) and my offer to give Her, a ride home where met with a curt response " I have something else to do " and She, was gone like the lights had been turned out, and then the Grim Reaper, plunged his scythe deep into my heart, twisting his blade with such aggression I could hardly breath as my lungs tightened up, my throat closed, my heart would not beat and my soul cried out in vain . 

   For eleven days I sat in the silences, looking into the casket, at this old fool, who, by his own hands, was killed, killed by his stupidity and thoughtless words. The evening of the eleventh day of my wake, a sweet, voice, from my memory, sang out to my dead ears, but the tones where sugarless and the lyrics where that of a dirge ringing out a death blow, as Lady Death, responded to " will I get to see you sometime ?" with a " maybe " and then " I have to go, I have things to do " and then the coffin lid came crashing down on my state of reverie, the dream shattered like a mirror struck by a meteor, shards, splinters, fragments fused together in twisted, distorted images of what once was ?, is ?, my dream, a dream that was not, is not Hers, and like Alice in Wonder Land, slipping through the looking glass, reality was not as it seemed, for one's reality, on the other side, may not be the reality of another. The visions, the desires, the dreams, one's perception, all, are but splinters of the holographic universe we inhabit, but have no control of. FATE ?, KARMA ?, THE GRAND DESIGN ?, BLIND CHOICES ? 

   Now I spend every hour of every day hanging on to the edges of my funeral, the wake, my spirit attends faithfully and from these, my mind will not let me escape . 

   I wonder if I will be able to step out from behind the looking glass ?, awake from my beautiful dream ?, face reality ?, reality reflected in those exotic, dark brown mirrors, the windows to your soul .

   My Lotus Blossom, my Oriental Dream, my China Doll, my Exquisite Vision of Loveliness, my Exotic Beauty, - she has left me with my own death mask to reflect upon as I look into the mirrors ( images of what I once experienced with Her, ) and see only ghostly figures ( She and me and all that we shared, all we experienced ) haunting all the moments that lie among the ashes of all the beautiful experiences we shared, experience I believe She, has placed upon a funeral pyre, set them on fire, no longer having a desire to even remember we once lived them, them that gave my life some purpose, gave me meaning, put a sparkle in these tired old eyes and a spring to the shuffle of this old mans step. For   Her, ????????????? 

THE FACE OF DEATH ---------- THE DEATH MASK


Long Poems