Long poem by
Darryl Ashton | Details |
THE RETURN OF PETER PAN…2014
The arch enemy:
((Political Correctness and Health and Safety))
Ladies and Gentlemen: boys and girls. Peter Pan is set to strike again.
A sequel to J.M. Barrie’s classic tale will be published in the very near future, in which Tinkerbell will be replaced by a male fairy named Firefly, the Darling little children are all grown up, Neverland is blighted by pollution and Nana the dog, is sadly dead.
Darryl Ashton has obtained this exclusive interview with Peter Pan to find out what went wrong. Peter says: “What has the world come to when someone like me is no longer allowed in children’s bedrooms? OK, so at first inspection things don’t sound too great.
I am someone who climbs secretly through children’s bedroom windows. I have a friend called Tinkerbell who is, yes, a ‘Fairy’. The two of us tell the little Darlings’ to forget about their parents and come away with us on a big adventure to Neverland. But relax, will you!
Looking’ back I guess my problems really began when I started planning this return trip to Britain after some 100 years. Do you know how hard it is for a guy like me to get the paper work together? By the time Childcare Agencies, Social Services and The Criminal Records Bureau had vetted me, the magic was wearing pretty thin, I can tell you.
Was I self – employed? Or were Tinkerbell and I in a VAT – registered partnership? Did I have a pilot’s licence, which met all compliance standards? Did I have the relevant Visa for tourists from Non – EU countries? Questions, questions! Don’t all these regulations get you down? Anyway, as Tinks and I soon came to discover, Britain has changed beyond all recognition in the years we have been away.
Our first discovery, much to our horror, was Wendy, and her brothers John and Michael, were some time ago taken into foster care. We learnt that their parents, who were in the habit of leaving them in the care of Nana the dog, had been stripped of access to the children.
TV crews chased Mr and Mrs Darling down the street and a police guard had to be placed outside their door to prevent vigilante gangs from attacking them. Well, that was all too much for Nana the dog who was carted off to an RSPCA hospital, where she was soon being seen by a strange Australian man with a beard and a didgeridoo, who said he could make her a star, on, Animal Hospital.
Nana said she’d rather be put down, so after a quick call to an assisted suicide group called Dognitas, the old dear’s now pushing up the daises next to Shep in Blue Peter’s garden. Such a waste, she’d been trained by Norland, you know.
But I don’t suppose that means much these days.
Unsurprisingly, the Darling children went rapidly down hill from there. Shunted from one foster home to another, they fell in with the wrong crowd. Before long, Michael was wearing a hoodie and worse, hanging out with Prince Harry’s lot. As for little John, without any proper father figure to look after him, he found solace in a new faith, changed his name to Sinbad, and was last heard of heading for the Afghan hills for a spiritual vacation. Which is why Wendy got back in touch with yours truly.
So with no one else left to help her, Wendy closed her eyes tight and sent a wish to her old mate Peter Pan. I must confess, when her message first popped up on my Blackberry, I winced. Is there nowhere the office can’t reach me these days? Even Neverland? So I made a few calls, and whaddya know? Hookie agreed to help me out. Yes, I know he’s a rogue and bounder who has polluted the whole of Neverland, after swapping the Jolly Roger for a fleet of turbo charged jet skis.
Big mistake. We’d scarcely set foot in London before the anti – terrorism squad and Hookie was carted off to Belmarsh. You should have heard him shouting when they took him away! “I am Hook, one time bosom to Blackbeard. The only man to send a shiver up the wooden stump of, Long John Silver. The only consolation for the poor Captain was that the crocodile never made it through the security checks at Neverland Airport”. The other passengers heard that clock ticking in its belly and said they would not travel unless the croc was chucked off the flight.
As for Tinkerbell, no sooner had she returned to her old haunts than a gay rights group called Stonewall said it was totally unacceptable for her old name to be retained. When asked for an explanation, they just threw their eyebrows to the ceiling, sucked in their lips like lemon quarters and gasped: Firely was so much more ‘now’. They even wanted Tinks to change her gender, but we’re still negotiating on that. The Elf’s trade union is pretty sticky on that sort of alteration.
The fairy costumes had to go too, something to do with stereotyping. But when I showed Tinks her new thong, her little pilot light went out altogether, and I’m afraid no amount of Polish plumbers can get it started again. So now I’m stranded and alone, with only my shadow for company. Even Wendy has cut off contact after getting a six – figure deal to appear on a Celebrity show---get me out of here! All of this I can tell you, is incredibly upsetting.
What has happened to Britain these days? I know Neverlands not perfect, but it’s a place where time stands still – and innocence is preserved and I like it that way. Today’s inspectors and officials all say that they’re only interested in protecting children. But by imagining the worst of people they are only wrecking the very innocence they presume to defend.
As I was telling the tooth fairy the other day: “You know Gums, sometimes I wonder if childhood itself is vanishing”. And do you know what she said in reply: “Sorry Pete, I’ve gone private. If you want a consultation, you’ll have to pay up front”.
How about ‘Pay – as – you – go? Sorry Pete, it’ll Neverland!
Long poem by
Brian Johnston | Details |
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.
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! ! ! ! ! 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
>>>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 |
- - 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,
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.
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.
August 20, 2014
* 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
(2) 'smart mouth' Someone who likes to talk back to authorities, or who just complains all
(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
Long poem by
Mario DE PAZ | Details |
Because the charity of my native place
Obliged me, the broken branches I the picked up
Them giving back him, who was to debase.
Then we finally reached where had to leap
From the second turn to third, and just where
Horrible art of justice you can seep.
To best describe new things I saw then there,
I tell that now we arrived at a site
Which any plant destroys and impair.
The painful wood is like a garland tight
Around it, like is the sad moat to it;
Here we stopped step after step nearby quite.
The space was of sand arid and thick split
Not quite so different shape from the one
Which was by Cato’s foot canceled to grit.
O God’s vengeance, how much you ought to stun
And frighten whoever is reading now
What to my eyes then manifest was done!
Of naked souls I saw many flocks to bow
And all together wretchedly to cry,
As they were subject to a wicked law.
Some people of them supine to ground lie,
Some other sitting down fully curled up,
And other walked around with no why.
People who wandered was a larger group,
And the less ones lying to the torment,
But expressing their grief with louder weep.
Over the sandy soil, with slow descent,
Were pouring of fire very large flaps,
As snow on mountains with no wind extent.
Like Alexander in hot lands perhaps
Of India over his army saw
Flames solid down to ground to collapse,
So he designed pawing the soil to draw
With his arrays, so that the vapor hot
Faster lapsed if let alone to withdraw:
So fell there the eternal fire spot;
Making sand to ignite, like the tinder
Under fire, to double the ache shot.
With no rest were waved around to hinder
The miserable hands, just side by side
To send away from self the hot cinder.
I started: “Master, who are winner wide
In all things, except with the demons tough
Who our entrance at the door before tied,
Who is that big who is careless enough
Toward fire and spiteful and grim lies,
So it look like on him fire to snuff?”
And just that one, as had way to comprise
That I was asking my duke about him,
Shouted: ”Like when alive, as dead my guise.
If Jupiter ha to remove his smith’s vim
From which he took the lightning acute
That my last day me stroke with will grim;
Or if is tiring others to pursuit
At Mongibello where is the smithy black,
Calling “Good Vulcan,help me, and be cute!”,
As he made at Phlegraean battle attack,
And he darted me with his strength at all:
He couldn’t have his happy revenge back”
Then my duke shouted with his voice so tall
So tall, that never so strongly I heard:
“O Capaneus, since is not yet small
Your arrogance, you more with pain are spurred:
No torment, except your angry wrath bad,
Would certainly be to your rage concurred”.
Then turned to me, and better aspect had,
Telling: “He was one of the seven kings
Who Thebes besieged; had and still to add
Contempt has to God, no regard brings;
But, as I told him, his despites are then
At his breast very appropriate things.
Now follow me, and careful not, again,
You put your feet in this hot and scorched sand;
But always keep your feet in wood as den”
In silence passed over to reach the land
Out of the wood where is a tiny flow,
Whose reddish color my mind still disband.
As from the Bulicame the waters go
Which women sinners then among them share,
Likely that runlet through the sand went low.
Its bottom and too both its steep banks pair
Were of stones, and the edges on the sides;
So I realized that the pass was there.
“With anything else I have shown besides,
After we entered the main door just through
Whose trespassing ever nobody chides,
You did not notice using your eyes too
Overt as it is this present river,
Which turns off all little flames not few”
Of these words my guide had been the giver;
So I begged him the dinner had to feed
After the wish he brought in me with shiver.
“In the sea midst is a place of misdeed”,
Then told me him , “which has the name of Crete,
Whose kingdom under was chaste world indeed.
There is a mount which was of pride replete
For woods and water, which Ida had as name;
Now is a desert as thing to deplete.
Rea then chose it as cradle to acclaim
Of hers son, and she at best him to hide,
When he cried, she sound shouting overcame.
A grand old man stands up the mount inside,
Holding shoulders at Damietta town
And looks at Rome as in a mirror side.
His head of pure gold is done and crown,
Of pure silver his breast and limbs are done,
Then of copper is made to the fork down;
The part below is built of iron dun;
Except the right foot which of faience is;
And on that foot more stands, the other shun.
Each part, except the golden one, rift has
As a disruption which drips just tears’ flow
Which, gathered, drilling in that cavern does.
Their course in this valley deep falls and throw;
Acheron, Stix and Phlegethon they form;
Then through this narrow penstock down they go,
At last, there where more drop cannot perform,
Produce Cocito, and how is that pond
You can’t see here, but you shall see as norm”.
And I: “If this stream has to correspond
To a source like that in our world up there,
Why too in this fount we it see beyond?”.
And he: “This site is round, you are aware;
Although you already walked that much,
Even moving left, getting down to fare,
You did not yet complete the circle such;
So that, if it looks strange to you this thing,
Your face should not wonder and touch”.
And I again: “Master, where is the spring
Of Phlegeton and Lete? Of one are still,
Of other you tell it’s of this rain fling”
“With all these questions, I admire your will,
He answered, “but the boiling water red
Should have just solved a question you made still.
Lete you shall see, not in this hole of dread,
Where souls go to wash out their pain indeed
When their sin repented has then been shed”
Then he told: “It’s time, to move now we need
From the wood, so follow and come me back:
Road is done by borders, which let accede,
And on them hot vapor will of course lack”
Long poem by
Gary Bateman | Details |
Rosalia - The Evil Black Witch of the Harz, Part Seven
The Final Days: Rosalia’s Death and Destruction
In the wake of such evil, debauchery and depravity what can be said now in the case of Rosalia?
Now in her mortal form the old black witch no longer had the unspeakable power of hell-spawned evil at her instant command. In spite of the victory of the power of goodness and light and the attenuation, if not the dissolution of witchcraft in the Harz, the memory of who Rosalia was and what she had done could now begin to be eased somewhat from the minds of local people and the clergy. But the memory of Rosalia and her evil could never be forgotten. How could it be otherwise?
After three months of confinement in the dungeon at the Burg Worlerede, a fortress castle, very near to Cloister Marten in the Harz, Rosalia was eventually tried and convicted in a special church court convened at this castle to try cases concerning witchcraft and sorcery, which were beyond the normal jurisdiction of civil courts. Monseigneur Wolfgang Augustus Hardenberg of Cloister Marten was the residing church chief judge with four priests in his assistance serving as subordinate church judges. One civil magistrate judge from the local Harz provincial government participated, in an advisory capacity, with the five church judges in these special judicial proceedings against Rosalia.
Everyone in attendance at the witchcraft trial of Rosalia knew what the outcome would be. With that said, the testimony of her victims on public record dragged on for several weeks, to include the final interrogation and confession of witchcraft and supreme evil doings by Rosalia herself.
In her rebuttal statement to the assembled church tribunal, Rosalia actually gained some of her old fire back as she spoke to the group—in a taunting and derisive manner. Rosalia showed no remorse whatsoever for what she had done and perpetrated upon others. She still renounced the Almighty Lord God and did not ask for his mercy and forgiveness. Her love and passion for being and existence was still with her god, Lucifer, who had forsaken her at last in her hour of need during All Hallows’ Eve and the Black Witches’ Sabbath.
As easy as it might have been at that moment to pity such a pathetic and revolting creature, Rosalia’s hurtful words in complete defiance of God and her taunting mockery and snickering at the victims of her black deeds were beyond the pale of any shred or strand of human decency.
At the conclusion of Rosalia’s rebuttal statement, Monseigneur Hardenberg announced the verdict and sentence of the special church court:
“Rosalia, Black Witch of the Harz and Purveyor of Lucifer’s Evil on this Earth, you are hereby adjudged by this special court of being guilty of the practice of Witchcraft and Sorcery, and the murder of untold numbers victims over the centuries to this present one, and for the malicious corruption of your victims’ souls as they died in torment and faced the reality and agony of eternal damnation. And your acts even against young children and babies are so unspeakable and abominable that they readily defy any iota of rational understanding in our human society here on Earth. All these actions reflect your absolute depravity and lack of regard for human life, and they defy directly the teachings of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. All of your transgressions have been entered into the final record by this assembled court.”
“As a priest and a man of the cloth, I would normally ask the Almighty Lord God to have pity on you and your soul. But you have no mortal soul since you have been in very long service to Satan himself. Once more, you have committed the ultimate sacrilege by renouncing the Almighty Lord God yourself.”
“Therefore, there can be no plea of mercy or divine forgiveness rendered for you by this court on your behalf. Your final fate and disposition beyond the reach of this court lies ultimately with your master—Satan.”
“It is therefore the judgment of this court that you Rosalia—Black Witch of the Harz—be taken on the next morn’ at dawn to the gallows specially constructed here at Worlerede and this is where you shall be hanged by the neck until pronounced dead, and then your mortal body shall continue to hang for three days on public display, for all to see, and then your mortal body shall be burned by fire while it is still in its hanging position. Your mortal body shall burn until it disintegrates into nothing but fine burnt ashes.”
“In God’s name, this is so adjudged and it shall be done!”
As Monseigneur Hardenberg finished his verdict and sentencing, before Rosalia was to be bound and shackled for her departure from the court, he asked her if she had any final words for the court.
At that very moment the wily old hag became extraordinarily animated, and in a wild-eyed uncontrollable manner, jumped high into the air with an energy she had not possessed in a while and made this very provocative pronouncement to the Monseigneur and all concerned:
“Monseigneur you may have me hanged and burned into nothingness, but I shall once again triumph with Lucifer’s will and power behind me for I lay eternally in his bed and seek not Jehovah’s forgiveness and the rapture of Heaven. My Master will restore me once again and resurrect me to return and execute his evil deeds once again here on Earth. It is I who renounce you and all the people assembled in this court. I renounce what all of you stand for. I curse all of you forever, and I shall be there at the very Gates of Hell awaiting the day when I can greet all of and condemn you to eternal hell fire and damnation on my Master’s behalf. A curse of death and eternal damnation be upon you all, and all of the relatives who follow you for future generations to come!”
End of Part Seven
Gary Bateman, Copyright © All Rights Reserved, Schoeningen, Germany (September 20, 2014)
Long poem by
Gary Bateman | Details |
Rosalia - The Evil Witch of the Harz, Part Four
Rosalia’s Date with Destiny and the Power of Light and Goodness
It is said that the Almighty Lord God works in very mysterious ways . . .
meaning that even an all-powerful witch like Rosalia had her Achilles’ heel, and could lose her sheen of invincibility in certain instances which date back to the earliest clashes between Good and Evil at the outset of mankind.
With her perfect cover working in a local village Inn near the Brocken, Rosalia could plan, plot and scheme her witchcraft activities at will
when meeting unsuspecting villagers and outside visitors alike—
giving her near-unlimited control in shaping the very course of events.
Fate would have it, however, that one event would challenge and alter Rosalia’s perfect cover forever . . .
One day a young girl—named Aurelia, who was barely 15 years old,
visited local village relatives while traveling near the Brocken.
Aurelia, who was quite intelligent and mature for her age was also a
close relative of the regional church Monseigneur, Wolfgang Augustus Hardenberg, and she was part of a traditional German catholic family.
Aurelia was a rare child indeed, endowed with “Heavenly Eyes”
from her eternal soul at birth which gave her a unique, unusual gift
of sensing and seeing the true nature of the men, women, and children
as they came into contact with her . . . without them realizing it.
Aurelia, with this fantastic gift, was truly one of God’s children,
and the antithesis of Rosalia and the incarnate evil she represented.
Aurelia’s family was fully aware of God’s favor on their daughter
and all of the goodness and light she shared with them in the family.
Aurelia was also quick study; she was endowed with an unusual ability to absorb, understand and remember vast amounts of information and detail.
And while attending religious schools, she demonstrated an exceptional proclivity early on for learning and mastering classical foreign languages.
Aurelia too was a centuries’ old soul like Rosalia, but whereas Rosalia embraced the Dark Side, and was the very manifestation of evil and debauchery;
Aurelia embraced the Light and Goodness of the Almighty,
and was one of God’s angelic souls destined to do his bidding in the continuous titanic struggle against Lucifer and his Dark World minions;
she was truly a “Princess of the Light” and a “Precious Child of God.”
With this in mind . . .
On visiting the local village Inn with relatives one afternoon for lunch,
Aurelia immediately felt the presence of a specter of evil and foreboding.
And this specter was, of course, none other than . . . Rosalia.
Beyond her perceptible sensing and feeling of pure evil,
Aurelia was able to make momentary visual contact with Rosalia,
and with her God-given heavenly vision glanced the true image of Rosalia,
which filled her at once with undeniable dread, fright and revulsion
at the terrible visage cast by Rosalia among her unsuspecting relatives.
Aurelia was in luck since Rosalia felt no reason to suspect her, thus paying no attention to the young girl with her relatives.
Aurelia’s God-given power shielded her from Rosalia’s attention,
at least for now . . .
From the encounter at the village Inn, Aurelia knew that some of her relatives were already marked by the witch.
After the visit to the Inn, Aurelia immediately informed her unsuspecting parents of the evil incarnate she sensed and discovered at the Inn.
Time was fleeting and quick action would be required to corroborate this event. It was already Monday, and on the upcoming Saturday, which was All Hallows’ Eve on October 31st, Rosalia’s Coven was set to conduct The Black Witches’ Sabbath in celebration of the Devil himself. This evil Sabbath event was done twice a year with the one preceding All Hallows’ Eve occurring on April 30th on the Great Sabbath of Walpurgis Nacht.
The preparation of the Black Witches’ Sabbath would include black rituals and both human and animal sacrifices with the invocation of the Vespers’ Prayer Preparation for Black Mass, followed by a 24-hour period of preparation by the Coven for its next attack on the local villagers.
Riding horseback to the Cloister Marten in the Harz some 20 kilometers away, Aurelia’s father traveled there with two close trusted friends to inform Monseigneur Hardenberg of Aurelia’s unexpected discovery of the infamous and evil Black Witch of the Harz known as Rosalia.
On hearing of the discovery of Rosalia and her masquerade in human form,
the Monseigneur instinctively knew that immediate action was required,
and that the very lives of the villagers and their eternal souls were in the greatest of peril.
An immediate meeting with his council of priests at Cloister Marten was in order; there was now a chance that Rosalia and her Coven could be finally
destroyed forever. This chance event had been a long time coming and the Monseigneur knew that they must not fail.
The Monseigneur also knew that God’s avengers must act smartly . . .
Rosalia was a virulent evil force not to be taken lightly nor underestimated.
Many priests and their parishioners had already succumbed to the Devil
and his Dark World of eternal damnation, courtesy of Rosalia.
The Monseigneur would need Aurelia’s help in finding Rosalia’s Coven,
and he realized that he and his priests must prepare for the greatest test of their faith, as they contemplated their plan to destroy Rosalia and her spawn of evil.
The Monseigneur understood all too well that to face down Rosalia was almost the same as facing the very Devil himself.
The Monseigneur and his priests must be swift in their vengeance against Rosalia in the name of the Lord, and that a second chance may not be in the offing.
End of Part Four
Gary Bateman, Copyright © All Rights Reserved, Schoeningen, Germany (September 20, 2014)
Long poem by
Mario DE PAZ | Details |
“Through me you enter the city of woe
Trough me you enter the eternal pain
Through me you go to people lost below.
Justice inspired my highest factor reign;
I was created by act of divine,
Supreme wisdom and the first love as main.
Of all created things the first is mine
Unless eternal, and I eternal last.
Who enters here must any hope resign”.
These words in color of obscure contrast
I written saw on top of a big door;
So I: “Master, their meanings me harass”
And he to me, as guy with a shrewd core
“Here you must abandon any bad mind;
Of any cowardice must die the bore.
We reached the place I told you, so remind,
Where you shall see the people full of pain
Who good of intellect have lost behind”.
And when his hand on mine put to remain
With happy face, giving consolation,
Told me deep secrets in a fashion plain.
There sighing, tears, cries of desperation
Were filling all the air empty of light,
So I had to cry with desolation.
Strange sounds, screeches with horrible insight,
Painfulness words, furious rage tones,
High and hoarse voices, and sounds to incite
Were doing much noise, which there high intones
Throughout that turbid air for endless time,
As when swirl wind moves sand and little stones.
And since I had so wrong my own head prime,
I told: “Master, what is the noise I hear?
Which is the people here bummed in such grime?”.
And he to me: “This forlorn way of here
Assume the dreary souls of those men past
Who with no blot or laud a life had mere.
Among that evil choir are badly classed
Of angels who neither became barely rebels
Nor faithful to God, with selfishness vast.
Heaven to shun less beauty them dispels,
Nor can welcome them the deepest hell,
Since for no sinner are of glory wells”.
And I: “Master, what is so hardly fell
To make indeed them strongly to complain?”.
He answered: “Few words to you I will spell.
For these of death the prospect is in vain,
And their blind living is so badly low,
So that of any doom have envious brain.
Of their renown worldwide there is no show;
Compassion and true justice them despise:
Don’t care for them, look simply and go low”.
And I, looking, saw a flag of big size
Which run whirling around at such a speed,
That looked to me to stop unworthy guise;
And back was followed by a crowd indeed
Of people, which I would never believe
That so far a large amount was death’s deed.
After who he was I reached to conceive
I saw and knew the shadow of the one
Who mean refused his great role to receive.
At once my understanding was thus done
That it was the sect of those captives here,
Not pleasing God and his enemies none.
These evil-born who had never life clear,
Had naked bodies and strongly harassed too
By blowflies and wasps which were flying near.
So doing blood was streaming their cheeks through,
Which, mixed with tears, fell to ground at their feet
Where it was picked up by pesky worms not few.
And since I looked back for a view complete,
I saw people nearby a large stream;
So I told: ”Master, you now me repeat
So that I know who are and for what theme
They have to look ready forthwith to pass,
As I descry in this light lack extreme”
And he to me: “Clear will be things at last
When our steps walking we shall bring to rest
At the sad bank of Acheronte vast”.
With shameful eyes low looking at my chest,
Because I feared by speaking to bore him,
Silent to the river I was at best.
And came us towards of a boat aboard
An old man, white for his ancient hair,
Shouting: “ Woe unto you, oh souls abhorred!
You have no hope to see the heaven air
I come to bring you to the other bank
In the eternal dark, warm and cold scare.
And you right there, of living souls your rank,
Divide your path from these ones who are dead”.
But when he saw I was not moving flank,
Told me: “Different ways, and ports instead
You have to reach, not here, to freely pass
A lighter vessel conveniently will lead”.
My guide to him: “Charon, don’t you harass:
So is the will up there where is the sway
To reach the will, and put no more contrasts”
After the fleecy chicks calm had to stay
To the old pilot of the livid slew,
Who flames round his eyes had to display.
But those souls, which were weary and naked too,
Forthwith turned pale and started to chatter
When heard the meaning of words so askew.
Blasphemed God and their relatives latter,
The human beings, where, when and the seed
Of their seed pearl and of newborn scatter.
They then all joined and came compelled to cede,
Bitterly weeping, at the wicked bank
Deserved by any man of God’s fear freed.
Charon demon, has ember’s eyes with swank,
Moving to them, is now collecting all;
With paddle beats whoever sits or sank.
As leaves which faded drop down during fall
One after the other, until the bough
Sees all his spoils fallen to ground to stall
So the wrong seeds that Adam could endow
Themselves throw from beach one by one,
His nod follow as a bird to call now.
So they above the obscure wave just run,
And before they the other bank descend
Another new swarm on this side is done.
“My dear son”, then told me the master friend,
“The wretches ones who die in God’s disgrace
From any country here come to their end;
The river crossing are ready to face,
Because divine justice now them spurs
So that their fear deep desire must displace.
Here no a good spirit ever occurs;
So, then if Charon is to complain with you,
You ought to catch well what his speech incurs”.
And when he ceased, the land obscure to view
Trembled so loud, that owing to my freight
My mind of lather still perceives the dew.
The tearful ground created a wind rate,
Which suddenly flashed a vermilion light
Winning my senses knocking down my state;
And I fell down as man who sleeps at night.
Long poem by
William J. Jr. Atfield | Details |
Star dust, the stuff of a fool’s dreams.
Oh !!!, to travel upon star dust streams
- that glorious, never ending journey -
into the realms, the space of many.
This old spirit, seems, not to fit into any
mold nor on any rung of the social latter,
that, I think, should not, ever matter.
And so I have to wonder ?,
as upon this planet, I wander.
Is there any place for me ?,
where I might fit in – one day to see ?
In my youth, some perceived me to be
Sall Minnio, even the King,
- Elvis Presley, - this idea girls would bring
with them, in their pursuit of me.
As an adult, I came to be seen
– an Italian, a Greek, a Mexican –
a First Nations is what I’ve been
as folks do the best they can.
As people guessed at my race,
looking and looking into my face,
the essence, the spirit, the soul of this man.
Yet nowhere do I fit - I belong to no place.
Nowhere do I find a fitting space
for this German, French, British, Native,
gene pool, my heritage doth give.
Plus the few – long forgotten – more
that came through the genetic door
– open for viewing the heart of this old soul –
where there is reflection and getting to know.
There have been some who would pass
this face of many – this face of looking glass
refraction – to see truth – a Redman’s blood in the veins
of this First Nation soul – the spirit which remains
for this old soul, the essence of my spirit,
even in times when many would not tolerate it.
And so, it is not a wonder
why this soul seems to flounder,
cannot find anything sounder,
between the jagged, ragged edges
of created, keen, sharp - wedges
between who and what I am, and
where it is I could possibly stand.
There is not – it seems to me – a place
where I fit in, can stand, turn and face,
see a possible niche – a place to belong,
before, my life is almost gone,
as I look back upon all the roads,
- the stories, the tales, the heavy loads –
I have travelled, yet know not what will be told
of what rung, on the social ladder I hold,
what plateau to find shelter in ?,
what plane to fly above, be comfortable in ?,
what place to rest my spirit, my soul within ?,
what space can I find to forget all the sin ?
I have walked with the sane and insane.
I have talked with the educated and uneducated.
I have been in the company of intelligence and unintelligent.
I have laid with the secure and the insecure.
I have laid with passion’s fire and frigid’s cold.
I have known the moral and the immoral.
I have known those of faith and the faithless
I have known the killed and the killer
I have known those who have taken their own lives
I have known the givers and the takers
I have known the movers and the shakers
I have known the honest and the dishonest
I have known the psychic and the blind.
I have known the truth sayers and the bullshitters,
The fast lane, the slow lane, the middle lane I’ve moved in.
The sober, the drunkard – I’ve been and been with.
The strong, the weak – I’ve been and been with.
The used, the abused – I’ve been and been with.
The users and the abusers -- I’ve known and know me.
The wealthy, the poor – I’ve known and know me.
Financial wealth and Spirituality -- I’ve known and know me.
The saver of a life -- I’ve known and was me.
The living and the dead -- I’ve known and know me.
Having a brush with artists has been my fate.
Having acted up with entertainers has been my fate.
Having had words with writers has been my fate.
Having become a rhymer, like my forth cousin, has been my fate.
I have played with players – strummed a note or two.
I have laid with singers-- sung a note or two.
I have laid with dancers – danced a step or two.
I have struck an arc alongside a welder – a time or two.
I have sprayed painted cars alongside a painter – a time or two.
Hammering out metal with body men – I have done.
Twisting wrenches with mechanics – I have done.
Busining along side business men – I have done.
Being a lover, I always thought, was my forte.
Being a husband, I thought I knew how to play.
Being a father, I thought I knew I would stay.
Being a friend, I thought was always my way.
To be a son – a child’s dream.
To be a brother – not to be it seems
as all the above drifts downstream,
leaving one to wonder, what life really means ?
Life’s journey can be a wondrous mystery !,
when one leafs through the pages of his history.
One’s life can also be a disastrous story ?,
one of little hope, dim light and no glory.
So what is left for this old fool ?,
but to carry on breaking the old rule,
rules that make it possible to call oneself a poet,
something I never call myself, a poet, and I know it !
I do the best I can
That is who I am !
Being a carny – traveling with The World’s Finest show.
For a couple of seasons – that is all I did know.
Being a dishwasher, a server, a busboy, a waiter, a manager
of a restaurant, many dimensions of life. I was egger
to come into contact with, to try and understand.
As fate would have it, understanding never came to this hand.
Today, a bum – forty eight years ago – father said
“ the best dressed bum in town ” would be my stead.
What goes around – at some point in time – comes around.
There is some truth to this, that I have certainly found.
Even though I have touched the edges of many a life.
Many places, pieces of each and everyone, not one has been
a place for me, a place I felt I belonged, the places I’ve seen
do not leave pillows for my spirit, beds to rest my soul, rife
with uncertainty, is my state, almost every day
I can find no place, no space for me to play.
Looking into this distorted collage
I wonder if it is but a mirage ?
My flaws lie in the heart of my feeling !, it is my sin !,
this belief that there is no place, no space where I fit in.
B. J. “A” 2
May 1st 2004
Long poem by
Joe Flach | Details |
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
Mario DE PAZ | Details |
Already was straight up the flame and steady
To speak no more, and yet away it went
Being the sweet poet to let it ready,
When another, which followed in ascent,
Made us to turn our eyes to top from low
Since emitted sound with confused accent.
As the Sicilian ox first had to low
With tears of the one, and this was right,
Who it annealed before with his rasp though,
With the voice of afflicted bellow might,
So that, although completely of copper done,
It looked as was by pain speared wight;
So, having no way and outcome no one
Starting from fire, in its language thus
Were converted its wretched words to stun.
But after they ended their trip with fuss
Up to the top, giving that wriggle dart
Which gave the tongue when were passing and plus,
We heard to tell: “O you whom I impart
My voice and who now as a Lombard spoke
Telling “you must go, no more I take part”
Even though I came with a quite late stroke,
Don’t mind to stay and speak a while with me;
You see that I do not mind, I invoke!
If you just now this lost blind world to see
Have fallen from that really sweet land
Latin for which of fault I pay the fee,
Tell me if Romagna has peace at hand;
Since I lived between Urbino’s hills there
And the mount where Tiber starts to disband”.
I was still down bent to hear him and stare,
When my duke touched me on my body side,
Telling: “This is Latin; you speak aware”.
And I, just having the answer implied,
Straightaway started then to speak to him:
O soul who are hidden down there beside,
Your Romagna was never keen to trim
Wars in minds and hearts of its oppressors;
But none was there when now I left its rim.
Ravenna is as were predecessors:
The da Polenta eagle there can brood,
So Cervia covers with its lessors.
The land which before suffered the long mood
And of the French the bloody bunch as well,
Under the green domain are just now viewed.
The old and Verrucchio new mastiff fell,
Who of Montagna bad disposal made,
There where they stay then use their teeth to swell.
The Lamone’s and Santerno’s cities laid
Under the small lion reign with white nest
Which season by season changes side grade.
And the one which Savio wets at west,
As it seats between the flat land and hill,
Between tyranny and freedom lives best.
Now who you are, I beg you tell now will;
You ought to be less tough than others were,
If your name in world is well valued still”.
When the fire had bellowed much to blur
In its own way, it moved then its sharp tip
Here, beyond, and then this breath could spur:
“If I could believe that my answer grip
A person who by chance world could reach just,
This flame should then stay at rest with no flip;
But since yet never from this site cussed
Came back alive no one, if I hear true,
With no fear of blemish answer entrust.
Man at arms I was, and then friar skew,
Sure, so encircled, to my faults repair;
And certainly my faith could success view,
If not were the great priest, blasted unfair!,
Who induced to my prior faults then me;
And you understand how, and which, and where.
While of flesh and bones I had chance to be
Which my mother well gave me, my work was
Not of lion, but of fox, I agree.
The tricks and hidden ways a juggler does
I knew in full, exerting them so far,
That at end out of earth came out the buzz.
When I saw myself have reached not afar
From age where everybody should just
Drop the sails and the shrouds collect on spar,
What before I liked, I felt then disgust,
And repented and avowed I became;
Oh wretched weary! And it might adjust.
The leader of modern Phariseans same,
Having a war Laterano’s nearby,
And not with Saracens or Jews, for shame,
Since all his enemies were Christian by,
And no one had been in Acri to win
Nor in Soldano’s land a merchant guy,
Neither highest office nor holy skin
He considered himself, nor cord in me
Which had used to make the girded more thin.
But as Constantine Silvestro asked to be
Within Soracte his leprosy to heal,
So this one asked me to give the key
To heal him the arrogant fever appeal;
He asked me the advice, and I was still
Because his words looked to me mad for real.
And then he told again: “Your heart trust will;
Absolve you by now, and you teach to do
So Palestrina to ground I raze until.
I can close or clear heaven’s door to you,
As you just well know; but there are two keys
Which my predecessor didn’t care for true”.
I was then pushed by arguments as these
Where to be silent might be then the worst,
And told: “Father, since then to wash you please
The sin I must fall in which is cursed,
A long lasting promise with waiting short
Shall make you triumphant to the seat first”.
Francis then came, when I was dead by sort
To save me; but one of the cherubs black
Told him: “Do not abduct; Don’t do me tort.
He must come down with my wretched track
Because he gave the fraudulent advice,
For which I am called to his hair attack;
Since can’t be shrived who can’t regret devise,
Neither together can’t repent and will
For the contradiction which is precise”.
Oh painful me! How much a sorrow thrill
When he grabbed me sudden telling: “Maybe
You did not think I had a logic skill!.
He brought me to Minos; who enfolded me
Eight times with tail to my breast around;
And biting it with rage, so hard to see,
Told: “This in sinners fire must be bound”;
Thus where you are seeing me I am lost,
And so dressed, while going, I am now downed”.
When he ended to talk this way at last,
The flame went away expressing his pain
By twisting the sharp horn also quite tossed.
We passed beyond, and I with my duke main,
Up to the rock until we reached next arch
Which covers the trench of sinners in vain
Whose fault of betting compels them to march.