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
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
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
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
Scott Howard Myers The Gypsy King | Details |
Set upon the new world stage within the burning fires of hell. Silently posed factions of the elite, suppress the true inherit of Mother Earth. The meek children bending over for millennium, taken spankings of bare bottoms, pelted slavery.
Upon entry to rule, the open stage of smoked mirrors began to reflect back upon the podium of lies. Taught by scholars from university books of political science. Fearful of leadership matching mirrored images, of false pretense, babbling rhetoric. The stirring masses of discontented, individualistic, thought of as dead - enders, trouble makers, and rebel rousers, rallied aimlessly.
With super hero, Captain Do Gooder, bleeding helpless on the floor of Wall Street. Weary lost hope combatants mustered courage, and accepted destiny. To this point, someone shouted against the wind of change. Felt by all who sensed the importance.
"To death do us part of the purpose to which we, the united, stand for justice".
The chant began, as Captain Do Gooder was dragged away, and cuffed, once bleeding helpless on the floor of Wall Street.
Damn the torpedoes. Damn the torpedoes.
Captain Do Gooder, fallen, bruised ego matching skinned knees, lays helpless. Who will save them now.
Second glances from high rise penthouses. Serving champagne and caviar. Brought iron clenched hands once hidden, to draw the stage curtain down.
With Captain Do Gooder nowhere to be found. The voice that came from pain of pupil. Born within broken dreams of promised lands. Realized nothing was coming cheap on this occupation.
The dusty streets found Captain Do Gooder aimlessly stepping against the winds of change, down Wall Street. The well-intentioned, arrested and broken spirited, lost hope of recycling any salvage rights taken from them by Metro.
Was this the end of the well thought out, pushed down occupation.
Was this the beginning, of the underground faction. Where was senior generation X hiding. Only Captain Do Gooder and the well-intentioned, world stage occupiers, hold the key to that Pandora's box of hope.
The peoples across the oceans were already springing far ahead in their own, more brutal campaign. For they had no cushion on which they were raised to kneel against. Tyranny ran over them. A lesson yet not felt, or learnt, or taught, in the new world. No chance of city mayors issuing eviction notices. Bullets, tanks and bombs were of the order. Brought down the line, traced back to the ones our United Nations to this day, refuse to acknowledge.
While leaders there home internet shop, and pump out the lies. Everyone dies.
In the heart of the continent of center, where unto which as mankind sprang forth, for its first and ever conquest.
The lights kept dim, to obscure the violent cleansing. A facade to disguise once moreover, the brutal tyranny for which the greed of the elite, control the dimmer switch. Diamonds and oil fuel the fire of war and oppression, on this stage of greed and guilt. Too far away, and too many distractions upon center stage for one to see or care. Thought and looked upon by most as racially motivated. The origins of all mankind, to be left, far too far, behind. The true forsaken people. Why is man unkind.
So..........will Captain Do Gooder raise the bar to which drinks for the house, and all around, will quench the thirst felt by ninety nine percent of the people............mother knows best.
Yet, still, self-inflicted roadblocks of appointed destiny, drop kicked long days past. Faint light shining far ahead, within the tunnel of hell, brought up to land. Firm above the depths to which it sprang. The truth of world order.
Wait......what do we see......do our closed eyes deceive our cries........................................
We see Captain Do Gooder catching second wind.
She breathes deep now and all can hear her war cry, no longer whimpering softly. As in past tense situations, given way to dazed and confused wall street *****es.
She builds momentum, as our brothers and sisters lay dying and bleeding. On the streets of some not so distant for telling, of what's to be, will never not be coming full steam ahead and plowing through the hidden agenda. One step beyond the line drawn in the sand of time, we thought would never be crossed. Give way thoughtless future tellers, and takers. Still holding firm with paper cuts, deep into the hands who printed and prepared such slave papers, kept by the elite bankers.
Captain Do Gooder returns renewed and refreshed. Our true Mother.
Captain Do Gooder feels strong, as bruised knees and scraped hands heal.
Brush of destiny sweepstakes, allots winnings of earth shaking, volcano erupting, tsunami tidal waves, with bonus draws of worldwide chaos. Future draws are to be held with worldwide winners. Grand prize, dead oceans rising.
The next generation have no fear digest writes the next chapter.
Hold the press down firmly wall street backbiting backbenchers. Drawn into the crossfire, on her mark, place the x on the next general who dares not fall into civil disobedience.
Captain Do Gooder has grown teeth, and she is biting down hard against the line to pipe riches, spoiled from her lands. Stolen from the first pilgrimage, fifteen thousand years old, lost empire.
How dare you steal from, and pollute the minds of her children. Yet old enough to drink and drug and die in war. How dare all of us.
Meanwhile back at the ranch. Captain Do Gooder hugs tight that tree of life, to which sprang all this elbow rubbing and diversion. Wall street huddles in her corner, painted red to match the lengths to which an end will surely bring to it.
Painted red for all to see.
The end to friendly letter writing, give peace a chance, make love not war, generation taking a bow, and snow birding it, to false sense of security land. Like the ostrich with its head in the sand.
Long poem by
Mario DE PAZ | Details |
That color vileness painted on my face
When coming back my duke to me I saw
His new squeezing inside much more took place.
He heedful stopped as man hearing to draw;
Because his eye could not reach much far more
Through the black air and too for the fog flaw.
“At end we have to win this battle bore”,
Started him, ”Unless…. Someone offered aid.
Oh how late is other reaching this shore!”.
I saw clearly well how he had to fade
His speech at start when he reminded then on,
Telling different words respect he made;
But not less frightening gave his speech gone,
Because I bethought the truncated say
Probably the worst unwilled sentence con.
“In this hard bottom of the mournful tray
Never is who descends from the first grade,
Which only for his pain no hope must pay?”.
I asked this question; and he “I’m afraid
It’s quite rare”, responded, “That among us
Be somebody who my same journey made.
It’s true that here I had one time to pass,
Conspired by that Eritòn cruel indeed
Who retrieved the spirits to their corpus.
It was recent that my flesh was naked freed,
When she allowed me enter through that wall
A Giuda’s circle’s soul to keep had need.
That’s the lowest and darkest place of all,
And the furthest one from the turning sky;
I know well the path; thus do not appall.
This swamp whose stench around is very high
Encircles the mournful town all around
Where to go without wrath now we can’t try”
And told me more, but memory I confound;
Because my eye attracted full my mind
Toward the tower burning top then bound,
Where toward one point were fastly aligned
Three hellish furies fully with blood stained,
Who had members and acts female defined,
And with greenest hydras looked like were chained;
Small snakes and sidewinders they had as hair,
So that their fierce temples were hard constrained.
And he, who well recognized their despair
Of the eternal weeping the wild queen,
“Look”, he told me, ”The wild Erinni scare.
This is Megera whose song is grim obscene;
Aletto is the one crying on the right hand;
Tesifon is in the middle”; and hushed serene.
With nails each one hers breast there wildly panned;
They stroke themselves by hands emitting cries,
So high that alarmed I held the poet grand.
“Medusa will make him of stone in guise”,
All of them were telling while looking down;
“Teseo’s assault we did not yet chastise”.
“Turn back your face and cover it facedown;
Because if Gorgon shows and then you see,
You could never go back to upper town”.
So spoke my master; and exactly he
Turned me back, and did not hold my hands,
Before that with his hands I covered me.
Oh you who have a mind which understands,
Admire the doctrine which is hidden here
Under the veiling of strange verses stands.
And was just coming up with waves’ smear
A din of noisy sound, so full of scare
That both sides were then trembling as for fear,
Not so different from strongly blowing air
Vehemently coming from opposite heats,
Which hits the wood and no defense aware
Breaks the branches, strongly strikes and out beats;
Full of powder goes on and full of pride,
Wild animals and shepherds to flee hits.
He moved to me and told: ”Your sight now guide
Up there toward that very old dirt grime
And look closely where that smoke is more wide.”
As frogs which seeing forward on time
The adverse snake in water away flee
Until each one is hidden in the slime,
I saw more than thousand souls very stray
To escape from one front to them whose pace
Was moving on the Stix in dry foot way.
He removed that sticky air from his face,
Roughly moving oft ahead his left hand;
And only looked jaded of that disgrace.
I perceived that from heavens he was planned,
And I turned to the master; and he made sign
To keep me quiet and bow to his command.
Oh how much to disdain looked to incline!
He reached the door and with a little rod
Opened it, which made no flak to resign.
“Oh by heavens expelled, folks dirty sod”
He started on the horrendous threshold then,
“From where does come this hubris of your squad?
Why do you kick against that will, you men,
To which nobody can cut off the end,
And many times hurted you in this fen?
What does it profit against fate contend?
Your Cerberus, if you remember, still
Now has goiter and chin to amend”
He then moved his pace toward the road ill,
And didn’t speak to us, as to appear
A man who aims to perform a strict will
More urgent than the one of people here;
And then we moved on feet above that ground,
Safer after the saint words and no fear.
We entered there freely and with no bound;
And I, having desire of looking more
The condition that fort tightens around,
As I was in, my eye turned to explore:
And I see everywhere a country wide,
Full of pain and of vicious torment sore.
As at Arli, where Rhone stagnant is tied,
As at Pola, to the Carnaro close
Which Italy ends and wets its coast side,
The graves make ragged all the site at most
So there in everywhere and part just made,
Except a bitter way was shown by those;
Because between the graves high flames stayed,
So that they were in full completely lit,
That fused iron would not require more grade.
Were all open the covers of any pit,
And so much mournful laments then came out,
That plain was dreary people to emit.
And I: “Master, of people tell me about
Who, buried in those arks now we there see,
With mournful sighing we can hear to shout?
And he: “Here the heresy-arks must be
With followers, of any sect, and much
More than you think in tombs are with no plea.
Similar is buried with being such,
And their penalties are hot more or less”
And when he turned right to go in touch,
We passed through the borders of that sad mess.
Long poem by
Trisha Sugarek | Details |
The Ash Can ©
I got the call on Sunday night. I was traveling on business. When I looked at the caller ID
I wondered why my husband’s boss would be calling me. I was unprepared for what
he told me and my legs turned to water when he said that my husband was dead.
‘A heart attack? An accident?’ I asked. ‘No’, he said, ‘John committed suicide.
They found him in your garage this morning.’ I heard someone screaming and
wished that they would stop so I could hear the rest. His voice was very far away
and the woman just kept screaming. ‘Shut up! Shut up!’ I need to hear. I clapped my
hand over my mouth when I suddenly realized it was me who was screaming.
I don’t remember hanging up or getting on the plane. (beat) Yes, John and I were having
problems and we had been separated for about three months but nothing was official.
After thirty years of marriage I never believed that we couldn’t weather this and share
the rest of our lives together. This was just a phase he was going through…some sort
of mid-life crisis. This had to be some horrible mistake, a case of mistaken identity.
My John would never do this, leave me like this. (beat)
I stumbled into our home around nine the next morning. The house looked like a woman
hadn’t lived there for months. Dirty dishes in the sink, groceries half put away, empty
beer cans and a full ashtray by John’s chair. Seeking comfort I walked over to his chair.
Out of the corner of my eye, I caught a glimpse of a reflection in the mirror over the
fireplace. Some wild looking woman with mascara smudges under her eyes and smeared
lipstick looked out at me. I walked closer to inspect this stranger in my house.
She looked old and used up. Who was she? What had life dealt her to look so worn out?
Oh, God, it was me. Staring out with those eyes bleeding hot, raw pain. (beat) I curled
up in John’s chair and closed my eyes. Was this all I had left of my husband? This slightly shabby piece of furniture that still smelled of him? How could I tell our children? Could I bear to go into the garage? What would I find?
I knew that they had taken his body away but what had they left there for me to see?
Maybe something there would prove that this was truly a mistake. I rose to my feet and
walked into the kitchen and through the laundry room to the garage door. (beat)
I slowly opened it and was knocked back by the remaining stink of gas fumes.
John’s car sat in its parking spot, the garden hose hanging from the back window like
some obscene snake. I gagged and pressed the button to open the garage door.
The passenger side window was open so I could look inside without having to touch the car. And what I saw on the seat told it all. There was John’s cell phone, an empty bottle of Vodka and a bottle of Excedrin. (beat) And something else…a second cell phone…what in the world? I was only allowed five seconds of blissful denial before it all came crashing down on me. The second phone…the secret phone that men who cheat keep to talk to their lovers. All those protestations he offered during the time that we were apart. ‘No, there was no one else’, ‘I just need to find myself’, ‘I don’t want a divorce’, ‘I just need some time’. ‘I love you; I’m just not in love with you.’ Lies, all lies! How could I have been so stupid? Then I notice a crumpled manila envelope on the floor of the car. Anger driven, I opened the door and picked up the envelope and the two cell phones and went back into the house. Sitting in John’s chair once again, I smoothed out the envelope and read what was written there.
‘Ricky, tell Sherry I love her. Tell Sherry I can’t live without her. Tell Sherry not to cry
for me. Sherry, I’ll love you forever. I’m sorry.....John-Boy.’ Who the hell was Sherry?
Did my husband of three decades kill himself over some tramp? Some other woman
whom he barely knew? I picked up the second cell phone and scanned the history of calls.
Where was area code 864? As I set the phone down my eye caught the partial title of
a book lying on the rug under the table. Picking it up, I read: ‘How To Keep A Long
Distance Relationship Exciting and New.’ I opened it to the first few pages and found an
inscription, ‘To my tiny dancer, until we meet again. Love forever, your John-Boy.’
My God, John, how could you? How could you do this to us? I yelled as I threw the
book across the room; will this hellish nightmare never end? (beat) I picked up the
cell phone and scrolled down the history; Sherry Hoffman, Sherry Hoffman, Sherry Hoffman, Sherry Hoffman. No other woman, huh, John? South Carolina…hence the long distance relationship…you’re such a fool, I told myself. There was voice mail saved and I listened to the most current ones. Those messages told a story of a married woman who had a son and a new grandchild.
Another sad, pedestrian story of a restless woman trapped in a loveless marriage but
unwilling to leave. The daughter-in-law apparently would not let Sherry see the child.
It seemed that John, in a misplaced attempt to help, called Sherry’s son to insist that
he let Sherry see her grand-baby.
Only to succeed in blowing up that family. The final message was not so sweet and
sexy from his lover. Sherry had dumped my husband. (beat) I didn’t know whether
to laugh or cry. I seemed to be trapped in a crazed, unbelievable soap opera. But what
is it that they say about truth being stranger than fiction? I sighed. John had always
wanted to rescue anyone in trouble…even when they didn’t ask for help. He had crossed
the line calling that woman’s son. Oh, John, what were you thinking?, I asked the empty
room. Didn’t you know? You were her dirty little secret.... (more)
(from my book, Monologues 4 Women)
Long poem by
SillyBilly theKidster | Details |
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
Richard Lamoureux | Details |
You might wonder what happens during the course of the day with a profiler. I'm known as the watcher. Little insignificant things can make the difference in cracking a case. A subtle glance, a dilated pupil the tightening of a jaw. Let me take you back to yesterday so you will understand.
"Rick I need you to come in here." "Alright captain, what do you have for me?" "We have an Arson on our hands, Rodrigues is interviewing the family now." "What do we know about them captain?" "Husband and wife are separated, the daughter was living with the mom in the family home. Nothing left of the home, burnt to the ground." "Do we know where the fire started?" "Yes it looks like it started in the girls bedroom. Enough talking Rick lets pay attention to what's going on."
Captain Branson is an impatient man, he thinks this watcher stuff is a pile of bullshit. He's all about old fashioned police work. Still here I am detective first class with a pile of successes under my belt. So the upper brass have thrust me upon him. He tolerates me, in private he tells his buddy's I'm a lucky sh*t and one day my luck is going to run out.
I looked through the one way glass into the interrogation room. The dad was sitting furthest away. He is dressed impeccably dark blue suit, white shirt and a red tie with matching handkerchief. He also sports a hundred dollar haircut and speaks with controlled precision. While he speaks he looks at Rodriguez with a certain disdain. His arms are folded and he keep looking down at his watch.
The daughter is a contrast in opposites, unkept purple hair and wearing a black loose fitting dress. There are scratches on her arm that she is picking at. Several piercings adorn her lips nose and eyebrows. On her shoulder there is a broken heart tattoo that says Daddy's Girl.
The wife is a thirty something beauty with long blond hair. She is casual yet elegant, a natural look that has taken hours to achieve. She is on the opposite side of the table from her husband and somehow it does not seem far enough. As her husband speaks her left eye has a subtle twitch.
Rodriguez fidgets with the earbud as he asks the dad if he wants something to drink. The dad snaps back " let's just get this over with I have to get back to work." Rodriguez just smiles and asks the wife and daughter if he can get anything for them. The daughter continues to pick at her arm. The wife politely says "no thank you." "Well then we can get started." Rodriguez gets up opens the door and a large matronly officer enters. Rodriguez asks the daughter and mom to accompany her. The daugter rises and walks with a slow detached gait, her mom follows with a practiced elegance.
Rodriguez looks at the man and says, "let's start with what we know, we know the fire wasn't accidental. There was an accelerant used in your daugters room." The dad looked Rodriguez in the eye and said "so why are you talking to me? I don't even live there anymore." Rodriguez asks the dad where he was between nine and eleven that morning. The man quickly responds that he was working at the office with his assistant. Rodriguez asks if anyone else may have seen him that morning. He says not that he's aware of. Talking through the earbud I ask Rodriguez to end his questioning for now.
Captain Branson says, "we checked the Navigation on his BMW, it shows his vehicle didn't leave the parking lot till three this afternoon. Personally my money is on the crazy daughter, I checked and she started a fire a few years ago behind their neighbors shed." "Ok captain we'll start with her next. I'll be back in a minute I need a cup of coffee." I leave the room just as the dad leaves the interrogation room. Rodriguez motions for him to sit down. As he sits he crosses his legs and I notice he is wearing a new pair of shoes and there is a small white stain on his cuff. Once again I notice him looking at his watch. I walk by him to the coffee machine without him even giving me a glance.
Back in the interrogation room Rodriguez is sitting with the girl, she has yet to make eye contact with him. I tell Rodriguez to start the interview. He does the usual attempt at rapport building but it garnishes no warm and fuzzies. Enough of that he asks her where she was this morning. She says she was out behind the bleachers at school. He asks if anyone can verify her being there. She says no, she was by her self. He asks about the fire behind the neighbors shed. She says "it looks like you have already made up your mind. Why don't you just lock me up?" This is the first time she looks him in the eye. Rodriguez says he just wants to get to the truth. "The truth? No one cares about the truth, why would I burn down my own room?" She looks defiant and hurt, the look of someone who has been accused of many things. I tell Rodrigues enough for now. The captain says "what? Is that it?" "Relax Captain she's not your girl. Rodriguez bring the wife in."
The wife looks a lot more relaxed without the husband in the room. She sits back easily in the chair with her legs crossed gracefully at the ankles. She pulls out a lighter and cigarette and asks if it is okay if she smokes. Rodriguez apologizes and says there is no smoking on the premises. She says "that's okay I'm trying to quit." She tells him she started again after the separation. Rodriguez asks her who she thinks started the fire. She says she has no idea but she can't imagine who would want to burn down their home. She loses her composure for a moment and starts to cry. She looks up at him with her big blue eyes filled with tears. Rodriguez passes her a tissue and asks if she is okay to continue. She says sure she just needs a moment to compose herself. He asks her to tell him about her husband.
Long poem by
Brian Johnston | Details |
- - - Chapter 1: Early Days - - -
My father was a rich man, la, *
Though schooled in poverty, (1)
As such he seldom raised his head,
The center of the ‘Dust Bowl' years,
Just thirty miles from home.
And children, seniors died from this
(Their lungs were clogged with loam) .
A huge tornado struck Woodward, (2)
Destroying our downtown,
It, cut a swath near one mile wide,
Dad fought back, doubled down.(3)
When storm had cleared, sky was fire red,
Dad put me in the car,
But roads were blocked in just three blocks,
The world become bizarre!
Barbed wire that penetrated trees,
Homes cracked like eggs insides,
Our home had grass blades drove like nails,
Into its wooden sides.
The biggest storm in history,
My dad was gone for days,
Storm victims sleeping on our floor,
The whole town in a daze.
Dad's rebuilt store, nicest in town,
Our home ‘across the track, '(4)
Attended too the poorest school,
But did not suffer lack.
Appearance was Dad's calling card,
No pretense there to see,
For ‘living too high on the hog, '(5)
Caused bankers misery.
The school board melted to Mom's charm,
(Or to her tongue of fire) ,
For with Dad's stature in the town,
Few dared to risk her ire!
Good teachers forced to leave rich schools,
Complained it wasn't fair,
Till they encountered Sis and I,
And found that they could care.
That was my mother's legacy,
And ‘ART' (6) the air she breathed,
Though slight she strongly stood her ground,
Our future she bequeathed.
We did not know the difference,
Just sometimes things were tough,
Our clothing did set us apart,
We always had enough.
There were some very poor kids there,
The same clothes thru the week,
Impoverished not just in clothes,
But that which all men seek.
I had a bike to ride around,
Of course it was a Schwinn,
And almost always home for lunch,
For Mom thought we were thin,
With two desserts at every meal,
(And Mom was quite a cook.)
But if you didn't clean your plate,
From Dad you got a look,
The waste of food a mortal sin,
A thump upon the ‘bean, '(7)
Made every meal traumatic fare,
And tears a daily scene.
My guess is Dad got worse than me,
Depression's (8) oldest child,
I mourn the innocence he lost,
That made his wrath seem mild.
Our parent's roles were well defined,
My dad brought home the bread,
My mom the joy of hearth and home,
Dad's entrance met with dread.
My dad did most the punishments,
But whippings weren't enough,
We even weren't allowed to cry,
To show we had the stuff!
Small wonder romance frightened me,
(So sure I'd be like him) ,
To challenge violence I feared,
Chose music over gym.
An auto-biographical look at family life impacted by both the American Great
Depression and the Dust Bowl years (1930-1950) in the Mid-West, divided into
This is a work of love and homage to the courageous and desperate people who
survived both. I hope that you enjoy it. New Chapters will be released as I complete
* When I was in the American Peace Corps in Tanzania, East Africa we had a group of
7 surveying assistants that were always with us in the first year and that we became
very close to. Their conversation was always sprinkled with 'la' and I thought it was
kind of cute. Like they might say to me, 'Why don't we stop in this village for some
food, la.' They used this word kind of like I use the word ‘OK' in casual conversation.
'You've got food in your teeth, la.' I really enjoyed this idiosyncratic affectation.
(1) ‘poverty' - born in 1911, my father was just 19 years old when ‘The Great
Depression' hit the US economy. The Dust Bowl began shortly after.
(2) Woodward, Oklahoma - the town that I grew up in.
(3) ‘doubled down' - after Dad's business was destroyed completely by the tornado,
he doubled his efforts to be successful in Woodward, borrowing heavily from the
local banks to do so.
(4) 'across the track' or 'wrong side of the tracks' referred to the part of town where
poor people lived, frequently, but not always, meaning 'colored people' as well. In some
towns no 'colored people' were allowed to live in the more prosperous 'white only'
area. Some towns (like Woodward) had no Negros at all. I take that back. One black
male did have a job shining shoes in the local 'Baker Hotel' but I think his home was
in the country somewhere (He did not live in town).
(5) 'living too high on the hog' - an idiom referring to people who have to have the
most expensive things in life and buy them frequently on credit even though they
can't really afford them.
(6) ‘ART' - My mother was a gifted painter and wood carver, but even meals she
prepared were done artistically. Art was always spelled with capital letters in her life!
(7) ‘thump on the bean' - to hit the offending child hard on the head with the
knuckles of your closed fist.
(8) 'Depression' - Hard times, not mental issues. (Actually works both ways though
I guess!) Born the oldest of 3 brothers and one sister, my dad's father worked him
hard and used a leather shaving strap to whip his boys when he was upset with them
about anything. Grand Dad Johnston made my father seem like Florence Nightingale.
I believe that he beat his wife as well (just a guess) .