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The day was going off, and the brown air
To the terrestrial animals gave rest
For their labors; and only me was there
Just ready to withstand the war at best
Both of the journey and of the torment,
Which by my mind will be rightly expressed.
O muse, o high genius, help my intent;
O mind which tried to write the things I saw
Here of noblesse you will show the extent.
I then began: ”Poet , that guide me and draw,
Look at my virtue if it has the power,
Before I try the high step with no flaw.
You affirm that Silvio’s father not this hour,
While he was living, to immortal place
Just went, and was with senses free to scour.
But, if of any evil the adverse base
Favored him, accounting the high effect
Which had to come from him, it was the case
Well worthy looking to any mind perfect;
So he was of alma Rome and its domain
In the empyrean heaven father elect:
Both city and man, for real truth sustain,
Were then chosen: Rome as the saint ground
Where of Peter’s successor must remain.
This going for praising him made it sound,
Things were achieved which allowed after then
His victory and the Pope’s mantle round.
Later on went the elected Bard just when
Had to give strength to the true belief
Which is the principle to salvage men.
But me, why should I come? Who gives motif?
I’m not Aeneas, and nor Paul I am;
On this is mine and others’ disbelief.
Because, if to come there I do not stem,
I fear that coming will prove I’m insane
You’re sage; that I don’t reason you should pram”
And as who wants what then has to restrain
Following new thoughts with proposal change
So that all things have to begin again,
Similarly I did it in that obscure range
Because, by thinking, I rapidly succeeded
In the way which at start was to derange.
“If your words I have correctly heeded”,
Answered the shadow of that noble man,
“Your mind to dastardliness has ceded;
Which many times man hardly overran
So that diverts him from any honored deed,
As when see vicious beasts wrongly you can.
From this alarm in order to be freed,
I’ll tell you why I came and what I heard
In the prime question to follow your need.
I was within the ones suspended herd,
When nice and blessed woman called out me,
Such as to ask hers commands I preferred.
Much more than stars hers eyes were bright to see;
Then to talk she started gentle and low,
With angelic voice, in hers language free:
“O gracious soul from Mantua shiny glow,
Whose worldwide fame power to stand has still
And long time shall last as the world will go,
The friend of mine, and not of venture skill,
In the desert space is hardly entrapped
So that he is giving up for scare thrill;
And I fear for him to be already flapped,
That the rescue from mine might be too late,
As far of him from heavens I have kept.
Now you must go there, and with your speech straight
And giving him what needed to survive,
Help him, I will be free of anguish weight.
I am Beatrice and your step I drive;
I come from where I want be back again;
Love, making me speaking, made me revive.
When I will be in front of my Lord main
Often I shall praise to him your valid soul”
She then got silent, and I had to explain:
“O woman full of virtue , who is sole
To fill for human beings any empty space
Of heaven, which of less rim has its bowl,
I like so much whatever is your trace
That obey, if it were, it would be late;
You have only to open me your case.
But tell me the reason why you took the rate
To descend down here in this dark center
From the wide site which you dearly wait”
“Since your knowledge wants so deep to enter,
Will tell you in brief” , she answered then,
“Why I don’t fear to bring here my mentor.
We can be afraid of things but only when
Show to be aggressive to others much;
If not, don’t fear, they cannot hurt the men.
I am a Lord’s construction, thanks God ,such,
As your wretchedness cannot now me hurt
Nor flame of this hot burning can me touch.
Heavenly woman to tears must convert
This very hard task where you I send,
Compelling her a judgment to divert.
She pleaded Lucia helpful commend
And told her: - Now your faithful man help needs
From you, and him I warmly recommend-
Lucia, opposing any misdeeds,
Moved, and rapid came where I was
With ancient Rachele already sitting.
She told:- Beatrice, true God’s laud and luz,
Why don’t you help the one who loved much you,
The vulgar herd so leaving for this cause?
Aren’t you hearing his painful tears undue,
Neither you see with death how hard his fight
Goes on the flood on which sea never flew?
Nobody in the world was rapid quite
To have a gain or a risk to escape
As I was, after such words I heard right,
I came down here from my blessed agape
Trusting your honest speaking good indeed
Honoring you and those who caught your shape-.
After these words to me wanted to cede
Hers shiny eyes than moved weeping with tears
Which pulled me to come with greater speed.
And I came here then following hers cares:
I took you off from facing up that beast
Which you to climb the hill impeded airs.
So: what happens? Why, why aren’t you released,
Why such cowardice in your heart admit,
Why your courage and baldness are not pieced,
As on three blessed women you can commit
Who care take of you in the heaven court,
And so much good I’m talking to transmit?
Like little flowers in the night chill fort
Are bent and closed, after white sun light,
Suddenly all open their stems are sort,
Similar I did with my tired virtue slight,
And so good boldness in my heart then came,
That I started speaking as I was all right:
“Oh indeed piteous and helpful dame!
And you that soon accepted hers request
With the true words which proffered in my name!
You have my heart with such desire stressed
So much to join you according your talk,
That my previous purpose I reassessed.
Since we have the same will, then start to walk:
You leader, you lord and you master main”.
So I told; when pace started to unlock,
The path I entered savage and arcane.
The great poem by the italian poet Dante is the DIVINA COMMEDIA
I have tried to translate in english a few verses of the first canto of INFERNO (HELL).
It was a very difficult task.
The result below was obtained with hard work and
probably is far away from the original spirit of our greatest poet.
The italian rhymes are of 11 syllables as requested by italian terza rima. In english language several verses sound well with 10 syllables, few with 9 or 11. I assume that in english there is no fixed rule for syllables in terza rima and I simply try to obtain a good sound of verses resembling the original italian poem.
I continue to translate and to add new verses until the characters reach the limit.
I submit to soupers expecting their sincere comments and criticism
CANTO I Inferno Original italian
When half the journey of my life was crossed Nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita
I found myself within a forest dark Mi ritrovai per una selva oscura
Since the correct way was harshly lost. Ché la diritta via era smarrita
Oh, it's so hard to say and to remark Ahi quanto a dir qual era è cosa dura
How strong and savage was the forest core Esta selva selvaggia e aspra e forte
That now again I am of fear stark! Che nel pensier rinova la paura!
So amara it is that death is lightly more; Tant'è amara che poco è più morte;
But to describe the sake that there I found Ma per trattar del ben ch'i' vi trovai,
I shall relate what I saw before. Dirò de l'altre cose ch'i' v'ho scorte.
How there I went surely I confound Io non so ben ridir com'i' v'intrai,
Since of slumber I was full so much Tant'era pien di sonno a quel punto
That I abandoned any pattern sound. Che la verace via abbandonai.
But with a hill foot when I got in touch, Ma poi ch'i' fui al piè d'un colle giunto,
There where the valley was close to end Là dove terminava quella valle
Which to my heart gave a fear clutch, Che m'avea di paura il cor compunto,
I looked up and saw its abrupt trend Guardai in alto e vidi le sue spalle
Already dressed by the planet rays Vestite già de' raggi del pianeta
Which the path to everybody always fend. Che mena dritto altrui per ogne calle.
So my fears were calmed in some ways, Allor fu la paura un poco queta,
Which in the lake of my heart had lasted Che nel lago del cor m'era durata
During the night I spent in so much haze. La notte ch'i' passai con tanta pieta.
And similar to one with lena labored, E come quei che con lena affannata,
Got out of open sea reaching the shore, Uscito fuor del pelago a la riva,
Looks the perilous water behind his head, Si volge a l'acqua perigliosa e guata,
Just so my soul, which was fleeing more, Così l'animo mio, ch'ancor fuggiva,
Looked behind to behold the pass Si volse a retro a rimirar lo passo
Which no living person ever left before. Che non lasciò già mai persona viva.
After a while to rest the body harass, Poi ch'èi posato un poco il corpo lasso,
The way resumed along the desert slope Ripresi via per la piaggia diserta,
So that was always lower my foot fast. Sì che 'l piè fermo sempre era 'l più basso.
Here, when I started with the rise to cope, Ed ecco, quasi al cominciar de l'erta,
Sudden a very rapid panther light, Una lonza leggera e presta molto,
Coated with spotted fur and little hope; Che di pel macolato era coverta;
Which didn’t leave apart from my front sight, E non mi si partia dinanzi al volto,
Or better so forbidding my path line, Anzi 'mpediva tanto il mio cammino,
That more than once I gave up to go right. Ch'i' fui per ritornar più volte vòlto.
It was the time for morning starting shine, Temp'era dal principio del mattino,
And sun was rising moving with those stars E 'l sol montava 'n sù con quelle stelle
Which joined it when the love divine Ch'eran con lui quando l'amor divino
Moved for the first those full of beauty jars; Mosse di prima quelle cose belle;
So that I had more reasons to hope the best Sì ch'a bene sperar m'era cagione
About that beast whose pelt had many scars di quella fiera a la gaetta pelle
The hour of time and the season blessed; L'ora del tempo e la dolce stagione;
But not enough to forbid the fright Ma non sì che paura non mi desse
After my eyes a fierce lion guessed. La vista che m'apparve d'un leone.
This looked like against me pounced right Questi parea che contra me venisse
With ravenous hunger and head up high, Con la test'alta e con rabbiosa fame,
So that surrounding air looked to excite. Sì che parea che l'aere ne tremesse.
And a lupa, which greedy coming by Ed una lupa, che di tutte brame
Burdened looked as only skin and bones, Sembiava carca ne la sua magrezza,
And many people already made to sigh, E molte genti fé già viver grame,
This put on me indeed so heavy stones Questa mi porse tanto di gravezza
With the scare created by the appearance, Con la paura ch'uscia di sua vista,
That I lost the hope to reach the upper zones. Ch'io perdei la speranza de l'altezza.
And such as guy acquiring with decision,
And comes the time which brings him then to lose,
So that his thoughts with sorrow find collision;
Similar the peaceless beast with strong abuse
Coming against me direct bit by bit
Constrained me with shadow to confuse.
(No enough space left.
Continues in the next part.
The last rows of original italian will be repeated there)
sometimes i talk to myself,
my mind is racing,
i dont know what to do...
so hard to explain.
depression isn't a stage
or a faze some kids go through
it shatters you...
i saw it all.
she cried silent in her bed,
blood stains covered her favorite jeans,
her every shirt,
long sleeve ofcourse...
she suffered through it all with few people to call friend
and more to call enemy
even more to say where quite dissappointed....
her first name in school,
not started by a bully
or a mean rival,
but by her sister,
and it echoed through her soul,
repeating in her mind... over and over again,
like the ripples of still water
when a pebble is dropped
flash frozen in time
over and over again...
It was the first name they gave her,
millions where created over the years,
some repeating again, just as the first had..
gothic they called her,
emo, fat, ugly....worse things.
but in her mind, things where worse.
everything was repeating,
over and over again,
finally she believed it.
she asked for help, from everyone
tried to explain to parents she wasnt well,
got called a psycho for asking to see a theripist,
not from a teacher,
not from a class mate,
but from her own father, who wouldn't, couldn't,
believe there could possibly be a thing wrong....
finally, crying, she confessed her bloody secret to a teacher.
rather then giving her time,
she is sent back to class crying her eyes out, as if she wherent going through enough...
she is sent to the principals office a few minutes later, after breaking down in class...
the princlipal says she needs help,
sends her and her dad for a risk evaluation,
her dads crying as she shows him her cuts...
they walk into a hospital room,
it smells of chemicals and hand sanitizer,
the lady at the desk gives her a smile.
then she goes into a room with a lady,
her cheeks are sunken in and shes wearing way too much makeup,
the girl is gaging on her perfume,
and she looks really intimidating....
her dark brown hair looks dead and flat
even though its a bit wavy,
and she wears somewhat of a mocking frown.
asks her all these questions,
is mommy beating her?
is daddy raping her?
is she doing drugs?
is anyone beating her?
did anyone molest her?
oxcarbezapine, trazadone, citalipran, clinazapam, colonipan,
valium, lithium, more.......
and thats what they gave her,
some numbed the pain
some brought it out
tearing through her organs,
she became an addict by the time she was fourteen....
over dose after over dose
some for pleasure
some for pain,
gashes on her legs getting deeper,
this time she didnt tell a soul,
not even those she had come to call friends....
wakeup she screamed in her head over and over again
as she dropped weight like it was nothing....
you cant controll it she argued as things became worse.
at age fourteen she attempted suicide,
she didnt quite succeed.
the medication took away her aappitite....
she liked it
she hated her body
felt out of controll
found a new way to cope
as she shoved tooth brush after toothbrush down her throat
to keep her body from nuitrients...
as she whent weeks and weeks spitting food into napkins and making excuses
I ate at my friends house....
spoken as a whisper
heard like a sentance
echoing in her mind over and over again,
along with that word, all the words,
ugy, anoying, stupid, fake, worthless, nothing...
one bite she would say
rocking back and forth
craving nothing but food
her body racked with hunger pain
one bite and there she was again
over and over and over again
back to a toothbrush
this time she sees blood
she saw her ribs
she saw her bones,
it wasnt good enough,
she almost died, again....
choking on this deep dissappointment in herself,
gaging on everything they where pushing down her throat,
their words, and their insults, their criticism.... their drugs
all shoved down her throat like candy
and just as she was was trained to do she swallowed despite the bad taste
or the hurt
or the fact that at the rate she was going she would be dead soon...
and you know why?
because daddy yelled
and couldnt accept what was happening
not because he wanted to hurt her
but because it hurt him,
and she let him believe,
because she could take the hurt if it meant he didnt have too.
because mommy didnt want to sit in her room all day
practically having us raise ourselves,
she didnt mean to take anger, or frustration or hurt out on her daughter
she suffered everyday in her solitary confinement,
and from a young age she accepted her bedroom was the cage
her mother had created for herself.
because sister didnt want to effect her the way she did
she was just frustrated
fed up with the way things where
scared, she needed someone to take her cruelty
and to help heal her pain...
because people in school
who where so cruel
had to have learned from somewhere
and she wasnt going to play into their games,
and they knew she was an easy target
because she would never attack someone so weak
and she accepted her suffering was a sacrafice
to help all these people....
to help her dad,
every person who was beaten abused or hurt
and felt so weak at home they wanted to feel strong in the one safe place they had.
because depite the fact she had died inside,
and almost passed away on the out,
it was a saccrafice she was willing to make
so that no one else would have to feel that kind of pain,
and they all inflicted it and broke her down'untill there was nothing left but a shell
of somthing that could have been
and never had the chance
because she would take it and wouldnt strike back,
because sometimes "just taking it"
isnt so much about the weakness not to do anything
but about the strangth not to hurt others the way they hurt you...
(one of the two Delphic commands of Apollo)
For years before the narrow windows of my senses
Trying to pierce the nebulous world of outer reality,
Hoping to find GOD,
One year was following the other but I was:
I was lost in the tenebrous world of materiality’s
While the true essence of things, evasive
Persistently escaped the grasp of my confused
Unable to see behind the impenetrable veil
And disappointed with reason’s constant
My impatient voice towards the starry heavens I lifted,
Where are Thee, oh LORD?
For I have been seeking for Thee so many years now,
But I have found Thee not!
I have kept my eyes wide-open in order to see,
As many colors of Thy creation as possible,
And not even for a moment have I shut them,
For fear I missed Thy resplendent light,
But I saw Thee not!
I have kept my ears wide-open in order to hear
As many sounds of Thy creation as possible,
And not even for a second have I covered them up
For fear I missed Thy sacred voice,
But I heard Thee not!
I have kept my hands extended in order to touch
As many things of Thy creation as possible
And not even for a minute have I held them back,
For fear I missed Thy spiritual touch
But I touched Thee not!
I have kept my nostrils wide-open in order to scent
As many perfumes of Thy creation as possible
And not even for an instant have I held my breath
For fear I missed Thy holy aroma
But I scent Thee not!
I have become a famed gourmet in order to taste
As many delicacies of Thy creation as possible
And not even for an hour have I withheld my appetite
For fear I missed Thy heavenly feast
But I tasted Thee not!
Then, the thunderous voice of the Lord,
Coming deep down from the twilight of time,
Tearing the eternal heavens apart
Answered me and said:
Dear innocent child of Mine; hasn’t time taught you,
That I am neither to be seen by eyes
Nor to be heard by ears?
That I am not to be touched by hands
Nor to be scent by nostrils?
That I am not to be tasted by palates
But I am only to be felt by enraptured hearts?
Trembling and puzzled, in a shaky timid voice,
I dared ask:
How could this be done, oh Lord?
For I am so weak and ignorant, I do not know
And the compassionate voice of the Lord answered me
Don’t call yourself weak and ignorant for
I have endowed you with power and knowledge
You have only to unearth this incalculable treasure
Hidden deep down in your soul and you will be
In touch with Me, with eternity, with the universal law,
With the light, with the truth and every single existence,
But first you have to listen carefully to what I command:
Close your eyes for they cannot see Me
And cover your ears for they cannot hear Me
Pull back your hands for they cannot touch Me
And hold your breath for it cannot scent Me
Shut your mouth for it cannot taste me
And stand completely still in order for you
To sense Me
At once I rushed to Obey His divine command, so:
I closed my eyes and saw no more
And covered my ears and heard no more
I pull back my hands and touched no more
And held my breath and scent no more
I shut my mouth and tasted no more
And stood dead still for a moment,
Just for a moment alone!
I felt His ethereal presence enveloping my heart
And I saw His celestial light caressing my mind
And I heard His heavenly voice calling to my spirit
And I touched His angelic essence with my elated thought
And I scent His seraphic aroma with my sacred, now, breath
And I tasted His rapturous divinity with my blissful soul.
Then, immendiatly, the gates of revelation opened their
And in a magnificent lofty parade, in front of my soul’s
The mysteries of life, one by one, were unveiled to the last
Thus making everything known.
And now my enraptured self, jubilant before the eternal truth,
In ecstasy exclaims:
Thank you, oh Lord for showing me Thy blessed Essence,
Thank Thee, for I know Thee now!
And the Lord enigmatically smiled at me and with His
Divine thought tenderly declared:
No my loving child, you only know YOURSELF!
© Demetrios Trifiatis
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.
Continues the translation of the great Dante's poem written 700 years ago,
probably the most important poetry ever written in the human story
When my mind returned back, after the stop
Due to pity for two brothers in law,
Which caused in sad confusion me to drop,
New torments and new too tormented flaw
I see around, as I move wherever
And as I look back, and with eyes I draw.
I am at the third circle, where forever
It rains, bloody, cold and heavy indeed
Bound and mood of it are changing never.
Large hailstone, dirty water and snow bead
In the gloomy air in great amount pours;
Smells bad the earth which then receives this feed.
Cerberus, cruel monster and grim corps,
With three throats he barks of a dog in guise
Above the guys which here submerged stores.
Greasy and grim his beard, red ruby eyes,
And belly large has, and harshly hooked hands;
Scratches the souls, flays and slashes those guys.
Makes them to scream as dogs the rain which lands;
One flank to other they in turn make screen;
Often the wretched trundle with no plans.
When Cerberus saw us, the worm obscene,
His mouths he opened fangs willing to show
No part of his body he had to lean.
And my guide rapid stretched then his hands low,
Picked up some soil, and with his fists full filled
It in eager throats he was prompt to throw.
Like a dog which barking covets the willed,
And becomes quiet after eating bite,
Since to devour it is focused and thrilled,
So made those dirty faces apt to fight
Of demon Cerberus, who growls with roars
To souls , who deafness would prefer to fright.
We walked on the spirits beaten corps
By heavy rain, and we were putting feet
On their pride which any person restores.
They all lying on ground in their defeat
Except one who to sit up, rapid rose
When he saw us while passing him to meet.
“Oh you that come within this hell so close”,
He told me, “Recognize me, if you know;
You were born, before my death you arose”.
And I to him: “the anguish you now show
Maybe is taking you out of my mind
So that it goes as I never you saw.
But tell me who you are in such unkind
Place you are held and suffer such a pain,
That, if any greater, no worse can find”
And he to me: “Your city, a full drain
Of envy that already slops the bag,
Held me during my peaceful life and plane.
You fellows named me Ciacco as a tag
For the gluttony indeed damned my sin,
As you can see, in this rain I drag.
And I sad soul am not alone here in,
Because all these in such a pain are held
For the same sin”. And then hushed with a grin.
I answered : “Ciacco, to see you felled
Weighs on me so much that it makes me cry;
But tell me, if you know, where are impelled
The people of city used to defy;
If anybody fair is there; and tell
Of such a great discord the reason why”.
And he to me: “After long fight and yell
Blood shall then flow, and after the wild side
Will expel others with offense as well.
After that correctly this will down slide
Within three suns, overcoming other
With the strength of guy who is now beside.
High will hold foreheads for long time rather,
Keeping the other under heavy weight
So that it will cry and strongly bother.
Two fair there are, and have no hearing mate;
Arrogance envy and avarice are
The three sparks which the hearts enkindled sate”.
Here put an end to crying words so far.
And I to him: “I want you teach me still
And that of your speaking give me a jar.
Farinata and Tegghiaio, who honor fill,
Jacopo Rusticucci, Arrigo, Mosca too
And the others who for good used their skill,
Tell me where are and how can see them through
Because a great desire I have to know
If own sweet heavens or hell gives them ado”
And he: “are within the most black souls low;
Many different faults brings them to deep:
You will see them down there if you far go.
But when to the sweet world again you keep,
I pray you that my mind have to recall:
I don’t speak more, no word from me can reap”.
The straight eyes to grim he twisted to stall;
Looked at me a bit and his head then bent:
Fell down with it as the others blind all.
And guide told me: “He will not have ascent
Until angelic trumpet shall bring sound,
When of the hostile power occur descent:
Each one shall then see his grave in the ground,
Shall keep his body then and shape again,
Shall hear the eternal roar to rebound”.
So we trespassed over that dirty drain
Made of shadows and of rain, with slow pace,
Touching a bit of future life the lane;
So I told: “Master, these torments we face
After the final verdict shall more grow,
Or will be less, or equal will retrace?
And he: “Back to your science have to go,
Which implies, as much as it is perfect,
That you feel the good, as well as the woe.
Although this people damn and also wrecked
A truly perfect status cannot get,
In other place not this is to expect”.
We walked that circle road for a bit,
Much more speaking than I can now recall;
We reached the point which to down grade admit:
Here we found Pluto, the enemy tall.
It is so hard to let go of love,
unpeels more gut more quickly
than reel or reeler ever lost
in all those years of lazy inches
in and out:
winding in and playing out,
hardly fishing, rarely catching
from the deepness out of sight,
hardly ever losing . . .
Blisters lust into the greedy thumb.
the startled brake lets go.
It dives full length into the never,
finds the limit of its leash,
pounds against its half-round prison,
at end of end of rope -
Got you, shrieks the reel and reeler
cranking in the give and take.
The line is taut,
the weight upon it heavy,
and waiting . . .
. . .waiting for adrenaline:
against the angry, smoldering thumb.
Caught to catcher,
fish to fisher:
let me go!
It tries too hard to turn to something else: away.
Away and bottom still beyond the knot,
the creature climbs toward the light,
her leap, an alchemy:
silver unto gold.
crinkled all about.
Million mile amnesia.
a flash of tooth,
then placid lips close over any sign of youth . . .
. . . as if the fish had never been.
-the fisher wonders:
The line is limp
as if . . .
for all the years of it,
nothing at its other end.
A flash of recognition:
she leaps another time,
not knowing if what held her holds.
Silver fish scales golden ladder
a sunbeam at a time,
and all the rungs of memory -
breaks air an instant.
The line has held
and as she leaps, it claims her,
a thunder clap.
Arrested in her flight,
she drops deadweight into the bucket sea-
fish to air to gold to water,
Of the gold,
an afterglow centered in the thumb.
Did it happen?
Was she really there?
Air turns to air once more,
the fisherman to memory,
pig-a-back the job at hand,
one slender monofilament insisting: no!
and memory, another plastic,
refusing to let go.
my pretty lovely,
so flying and so softly spun,
you seemed the air to me.
So high and free,
so very near the sun,
my tears dissolve the earth’s connection.
The line my hands are holding:
to limit freedom at its height,
impossible without restraint-
the line between us,
subtle and so gossamer.
There, it glinted,
there! So very real.
Real . . .
The hook is realer.
Tangerine transfusion from the fastened lip,
bleeds unreckoned into the larger blue.
The sea - as wide as weakness -
sucks the strength without a hunger.
Tired, the hooked,
and tiring even more,
the line grows stronger,
shortening toward the bobber boat.
I’ve got her, cries the fisherman,
raping at dead weight,
dragging mystery toward the kitchen
-on his mind is steak.
Slaughter, separate from supper,
passion with a knife,
the knife . . .
. . . the knife is ready
held tight between the skinless thumb,
and vendetta fingers -
five Sicilian brothers
waiting for their sister to come home.
The other hand around the rod
is closing on the lover’s throat.
The rod’s erect,
the reel is angry.
Come, my dear, come, come.
She hears the music of the end,
the bowstring whine of gut
still lean and taut from her weight alone,
hears the rhythm of the reel
and tries to run once more
-provoking lust to snatch still harder-
but can’t . . .
. . . is free at last
surrendered with the last of blood:
quicksilver nearing zero-
and two dollars worth of ice.
(a virgin: never dead before)
betrayed and penetrated,
(it’s time now to give in, enjoy)
rests her weight upon the line,
toward the bottom of the boat.
The whore! I see her in the water!
She gave me quite a fight.
The captain, ready with the gaff,
the lover, in his rented swivel chair,
seize her from the water.
The maiden’s heartbeat
is faint and futile as a final cry of rape.
Her breath is fear, yet sounds like passion
at the very end.
Her swoon is now complete.
Her swain is prickled with his heat.
His blood pounds within his thumb.
is left alone with her.
He ponders . . .
. . . while he does,
she pales and sheds her rainbow.
Her eyes turn glassy from the air,
She’s turned to meat.
He lusts at memory for a moment,
then dries the little sweat
and goes forward for a beer,
and band aids.
The captain’s seen it all before,
surgically removes the hook
and tidies up the gear.
He and the mate carry her to the ice
and lay her out within the cold.
The mate disinfects the deck
with sea water and a stiff brush.
Returning with his second beer,
a badge of gauze and Vaseline upon his thumb,
the lover is confused.
The deck, shipshape,
of scales and blood
it all might not have happened.
Then there would be hope.
The mate calls him to the ice chest
for the viewing,
opens it . .
I’ve lost her. There she is.
The smell . . . it must wash off !
Time to go home.
The sea is empty.
It is over.
Molested the first fifteen years of my life. My mother remained silent the whole time. As the molesting continued all those years. Forced to live a pretend life all my childhood. Beaten and punished every other day. For no reason other than being a child. After all this I figured I was a unwanted child. My mother couldn't love me abusing me. She brought me fancy expensive clothes every year. To cover up all her verbal, mental, and physical abuse. She tried to hide me from people, family and friends. So that they wouldn't see the embarrassing scars and bruises. Sometimes so bad I couldn't even go to school the next day. Or I would get into fights or act rude to get a suspension notice. That would have allowed my body to heal. One time I even tried to get ex-spelled. However, it didn't work. I only came home to more beatings. Her boyfriend watched and help hold me down on the floor as she would beat, and beat, and beat. Maybe this gave him a idea that it was ok to abuse me. Being that my mother was already doing it. Yeah! From the outside looking in my childhood was perfect. Every child wanted my seat. Name-brand clothes, shoes, computers, and almost every toy in the Jc Penny catalog. From the inside looking out I was screaming to get out. Scared, alone, abused, and still a child. So there was nothing I could do. I had no brothers or sisters at the time. All my family wouldn't believe me.No! Not him they would say, and did say at age fifteen I started getting older, and more developed. I had to put a stop to this. So after talking to some school friends. I decided to talk to my mother about what was going on. So later on that night I called my mother in to talk to her. I had told her what had been going on. while she was a work, and out late shopping. She in return asked me to draw a picture of his *****. As if she didn't believe me on the spot. What! I thought to myself. How could she ask me a thing like that? After one hour she finally called the police. I was brung in also for video questioning. I told them what had been going on in the house while my mother was away. The police in return asked me "what took so long for me to tell" I replied" I was scared, alone, and threatened. I had no one in the house to protect me. From my mothers abusive ways. I thought people would tease me." The next question was to my mother. The police asked "How could you live in the same house, and not know that your child was being raped?" My mother sat quietly and had no answer. So she got charged with neglect. My mother's boyfriend got charged with child molestation, and a few other things. I can't remember them all. After all that I was still scared, but finally free. Free to be a kid again.
Awh, hell the relationship between my mother and I went down the drain. After trial she hated me even more. Every day she was threatening to kick me out of the house. I was only sixteen so she couldn't just kick me out. Yet! She even got so angry at times. She went as far as not letting me communicate with my newborn brother. She even told people to keep him away from me. That hurt me so bad everyday. I prayed to God everyday to soften my mother's heart, but it never happened. When I turned eighteen she finally kicked me out the house for real. With no place to go, no money , and no food to eat. I ended up living with family and friends until she let me back in. I don't know why, but I thought things had changed. About a week after moving she called the police and told them that I was prostituting. Which was a lie. Thank God I didn't spend time in jail. Due to her lies and deceit. I never thought I would have to leave my own mother alone. However, after that incident that was my final decision. Sporadically I call her to hear her voice, and check on my brother. Unfortunately she never answers the phone. Her guilt for abusing me won't let her answer the phone.
I moved to Albany, NY for a fresh start. A new beginning! There I met more friends, moved into a brand new apartment, and fell in love. I wasn't expecting to fall in love, but I did. With a adorable, hot, and sexy Italian guy. For the first time my life was great, and I was happy. I even tried some plus size modeling, nursing, and I started self-publishing my writings. I was accomplishing things that my mother never encouraged me to do.
After about four years I started feeling homesick . So I came back to Virginia. Wow! What destruction was happening. My whole family fell apart. Nothing or nobody were the same. They all became police property. That was a sign to continue to stay away from them. Continue my happy life. Continue self-publishing my stories. Praying to God everyday. that I remain successful. This is a true story. Unfortunately it happened to me. From a mother who brung me in this world. Only to use and abuse me my whole entire childhood. Then pretend that nothings even going on.
After a hard day at work I come home
Hear my boy rapping the words to his headphones
Every bleep comes another bleep
As he keeps dancing to the beat
Come upstairs and barge through the door
Say to him, "Boy whatcha listenin' to that for?"
As I rip it out of his ears
Turn around and look in the mirror
Get ya head outta the gutter son
You talk to ya mother with that tongue?
Ought'a lean you down and wash your mouth soap
Teach you a lesson and just barely make you choke
Dad, you don't understand
This is me, this is who I am!
Boy, you freeze it right there
Just so I know we're good and square
I'm your father, sit down when I say so
This is home, this is where the green grass grows
Can't be the one to follow you where you go
Can't take you as is and just tie a little bow
Around it and be happy
You ain't what I expected you'd be
After all this hard work to bring home the bacon
Just to come home to see the fuss you making!?
Imma be big and travel the world,
Be famous and get hooked with any girl
I'm tired of this rice 'n' beans, I wanna taste some of that green!
Stop it child, you making a scene, a mockery of ya ma and me
Do yourself a favor and dream a different dream
The strings are for those with charm
And fame are for those holding cards
Your inner core will just burst at the seams
They say play it safe
And dream a different dream
Billionaires are cowards in disguise
Their careers built upon money and lies
Your inner core will just burst at the seams
They say play it safe
And dream a different dream
I remember when you was little
Your mind was like some twisted riddle
Rapping the lyrics
To your idols, Snoop Dog and Jay-Z
Acting like you knew what they meant
But boy, you could barely read
Spittin' rhymes don't put a roof over ya head
Or clean the dirty sheets in your bed
All those fancy clothes don't give ya fame
just brings your family to shame
Look at you playing life like it's a game
Joining all those gangs just to bleed
Gettin' high and smokin' weed
Dad, it ain't like that
I'm not some filthy rat
Planting my seed wherever
Imma stay true forever
Build myself upon lyrical tether
Striving to be as authentic as leather
Come on dad, can't we get it together?
Your grandpa was born and raised in the meadows
No Internet, no microwave, just planting corn rows
But right now the grass is as green as it's gonna get
And if you ain't got that through ya head yet
As your pops I'm really quite upset
Take these words right from my mouth
And give 'em wings to fly south
Or I will run from this house like the ratatouille mouse
Tired of this cheese I want something more
The birds and the bees aren't what I'm looking for
I don't wanna die like everybody else
Just put in a hole and call it a grave
I don't wanna die with nothing to my name
If I'm not looking up I'm going south
You can scream and cuss at me with ya sailor's mouth
I'm still leaving and I'm taking the dangerous route
The strings are for those with charm
And fame are for those holding cards
Your inner core will just burst at the seams
They say play it safe
And dream a different dream
Billionaires are cowards in disguise
Their careers built upon money and lies
Your inner core will just burst at the seams
They say play it safe
And dream a different dream
Here I am, standing in this trailer
In your eyes I'm a failure
For wanting to travel the world like a sailor
From Beverly Hills to New York City
At this point I don't even care if you're with me
I may have augmented my hopes a bit too high
But I was tired of looking through telescopes, that habit can die
But dad look at me now
No longer in a small town
Can't be modest I have to boast
I'm traveling the world from coast to coast
In everybody's head is my riffs
And I wish you were here to see this
Swallow your pride long enough to shed a tear
Remember what you used to say, "Turn around, look in the mirror"...?
I wasn't no golden child and you weren't the perfect dad
But come on now, that's a thing of the past
You can ditch your bacon, eggs and Jimmy Dean
Live in luxury in your fields of green
Come on dad, won't you dream this different dream
NOTE: Words in italics are from the son's perspective, words in normal font are from the father's perspective, and words in bold is the chorus line.
I'm not sure where the idea came from. I was on a camping trip, heading back home, and all the sudden this whole elaborate story came to me and I started writing it all down on a notepad (back then I didn't have my Kindle Fire).
LIFE IN ETERNITY*
The cheerful trumpet of miraculous life, imperatively sounded in
My mother’s life-giving womb,
Heralding with its melodic tune another animation: MINE!
And as my innocent infantile heart was provoked by
The challenging divine call,
Started beating tenderly in the rhythm of never-dying cosmos
Thus making me ALIVE!
The promising sound was still ringing in my delicate ears, singing the
Marvelously hopeful song of life,
When a sound of a Second trumpet, similar to the first, filled with
Its melancholic tune my tiny world, announcing the
Coming of calamitous death thus condemning me to DIE!
LIFE and DEATH beside me they stood facing each-other,
Tenderly holding my hands and claiming me as their child,
Life was the first to whisper into my ears promises so many:
She talked to me about joy, happiness, love and procreation,
About thousands of other things that she would like to offer,
Only a favor she asked in return- to be hers and only hers
When death heard what life said, didn’t make any sound
Only sardonically smiled at her first and then to me
“The cup of joy you can never drink before you empty that
And no matter what life tells you, in the end you will be
My very own.”
That’s the way my trip in this ephemeral world began
With vigorous life leading and tracing the promising way
While death kept following her, just a few steps behind,
Patiently waiting to catch up with her pace
As years were passing fast one after the other
Death was approaching her rapidly each and every day
So the fight they had begun so many years ago
Relentless war now becomes with life still the winner
Yet the ill-fated day of my death came to my great surprise
As life’s iron grasp of my hand, had lost its strength and vigor
And that of death’s had gained much power and might,
In vain I cried for life’s help for she had lost the battle
So, the eager hands of death I felt around my skeleton waist
Violently squeezing me with all their force and main,
Ready to extinguish they are my very last spark of life
And as the shrilling wind of death, is howling throughout my body
I fall motionless, breathless, DEAD and over the ground remain
Yet, I am still here, just hovering all over my inanimate body,
Surprised! Confused! Bewildered, nevertheless EXISTING!
With no hands, no arms, no legs, no head or any other organ,
Just pure thought, pure consciousness, pure light, in other words
Now, to those of you who many tears of sorrow shed
For my sake
One thing I have to ask: Rejoice for I am truly alive
Dead was I certainly, when among you existed
Therefore, your grief for me should turn to great joy
If you do not want me to pity you and delay my flight
Death, you are my savior, my friend my ally
Thank you for delivering me from agony and pain
From space, time, ignorance, ignominy, injustice
And most of all, I thank Thee for the eternal life
Impatient my soul now becomes, yearns to fly away
Far from human misery and every other worry
The only thought that exists deep down in my soul
Is to trace back its steps to its celestial home
Now, I fly uninterruptedly, I am on my way
As the shining bright stars illumine my road
The road of accomplishment, attainment and glory
Ah, there at last I see the ever dazzling light
The gates of eternity to open for me wide
And God Himself to look at me with His ever blazing eyes
Calling to hurry forward and with Him unite
Instantly I disappear in a universe of sacred light
Joyful, happy, jubilant, ecstatic, ever-blissful
And become one with the ONE, immortal everlasting
Radiating with holiness, enraptured with grace
A ray of divinity encompassing the COSMOS
Oh, how grateful I am to you DEATH my LIBERATOR!
16 DECEMBER 2013
*Wrote this poem for the passing on of a thirteen-year-old girl!
**Because of its length I was unable to post this poem in one piece for I was not a
member for life at that time therefore I published it in two parts as: Choreography of Life
and as Death My Liberator. Here is the entire poem as it was originally written with minor
***Myself, have thrice crossed swords with death and have felt his breath on my neck!
With God's grace though I am still here!