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Long poem by Joe Flach | Details |

Straight to Hell - A Short Story

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“So what are you going to do?”

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

“They just care about you.”

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

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

“Have you ever kissed a boy?”

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

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

“No.  Not the way you mean.”

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

“No.  Never,” she lied.

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

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

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

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

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

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


Long poem by Kim van Breda | Details |

OUR BABY GIRL TURNS 21

OUR BABY GIRL TURNS 21

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


Long poem by Dorine R Spruill | Details |

Mommy Why

 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.


Long poem by Robert Candler | Details |

The Sooner Recruit

Fifty years, boy and man, I’ve been a Sooners fan;
And watched thousands of recruits try to make my Sooners Team.
Often, I’ve enviously wondered what it must be like
To be a touted Sooners recruit, living out his dream.

He’d had a great career through high school;
Made good grades, was a football star, played baseball too.
Coach said college recruiters were watching closely;
So, he tried his very best to make his dream come true.

You see, he’d played on the L’il Sooners as a kid;
Started getting serious about the game when he was only eight
Played with older, bigger boys and practiced hard;
Always told his friends, “To be a Sooner, ya gotta play great”.

Oh yes, his parents raised a football player;
And, even more important, a Sooners fan;
But he wanted more, to be a Sooner,
To feel the glory raining down from the stands. 

Now, the Sooners’ Head Coach is in his living room.
“Son, you’ve got talent.  We think you fit our scheme.
We’re offering you a scholarship, an opportunity
To be an important member of our great Sooners Team”.

His mother smiles her biggest smile.
His father nods proudly and pats him on the knee.
“Lord knows, son, it’s a dream come true.
Go be the very best Sooner you can be”.

He walks into the locker room,
Not quite sure what to expect;
But sure that to play for the Sooners
He will first have to earn respect.

He looks each man straight in the eye - 
Other recruits, trainers, assistants, and every coach.
“Be proud, but respectful”, his mother had said;
Your character, more than your performance, must be above reproach”.

His handshake is firm and he smiles.
“Only one chance for a first impression”, his father had said;
"Always put yourself in positive light, on and off the field.
That’s what it will take to play for the mighty Big Red”.

He meets so many other recruits, each one a high school star.
He’s played against a few and knows they share his dream.
And, to a man, each knows before any chance for Glory,
He first must prove worthy to play for this Sooners Team.

He knows a few will fail to meet the coaches’ expectations.
For some, the scout team will be their fate.
Many will suit up, but rarely play.
Only the very best will ever dare to be great.

Coach says, “If every man learns and executes when called on,
Then this team, we Sooners, will win a lot of games;
But, win or lose, if you play hard and give your very best,
You’ll never have to hang your heads in shame”.

“But gentlemen, with or without you, this team will win.
Every season, the Sooners strive to win it All.
So, listen, work hard, and prepare yourselves.  Each game is war...
And you must be ready when Victory calls”.

Through grueling practices, he finds himself.
As he walks to class, his closest friends are aches and pains;
But, just the other day, Coach helped him up, smiled, and patted his helmet.
“You’re doin’ fine, son.  Keep pushin’.  Remember, no pain, no gain”.

He sees his name on the "open scrimmage" roster for the very first time.
It’s a moment he’ll never forget, another milestone in his dream.
He calls his Mom and Dad, knowing they’ll tell his family and his friends.
He hopes they’ll actually see him play, proof he’s made the Team.

As he suits up for the last pre-season open scrimmage,
He wonders if the coaches would really let a freshman play at all;
But Coach puts him in for eight plays against the first team;
He makes two great open-field tackles and intercepts the ball.

He barely hears the roar of the crowd, as the whole defense “gives him five”.
He’s so excited, he forgets to ask if he can keep that ball.
Fans are buzzing, “Did you see that hit”!?  “Who is that kid”!?
“Will he red shirt or will Coach let him play this fall”? 

He sees his name in the Sunday paper, hears it on local sports.
He’s happy, but he doesn’t let it go to his head.
He keeps his focus and uses it as motivation.
After all, he wants to start one day for the mighty Big Red.

Yes, we’ll hear more of this young recruit.
Perhaps, one day he’ll be the hero of the game.
A seasoned veteran, maybe All Conference or even All American,
Who’s tasted Victory many times and helped glorify the Sooners’ name.

Oh yes, there have been so many who’ve aspired;
But many fewer who’ve actually made our Sooners Team.
They are our heroes, each and every one;
For it’s through their accomplishments, we fans can live the dream.

Billy Vessels, Steve Owens, Billy Sims, and Jason White,
The Selmons, Little Joe, the Boz, Josh Heupel, and “Q”
They, and so many others, were once touted Sooners recruits;
Who set a higher mark and built the Tradition that is OU.

So, c’mon! c’mon! all you great young football players!
Dedicate your talents to OU’s Team and OU’s Fans.
Make Oklahoma’s Owen Field your Field of Dreams,
And feel the Glory raining down from the stands. 


Long poem by Joe Flach | Details |

My Conversation With God

I have been praying to God ever since I first understood the concept of a deity.  Although I have struggled through life with my acceptance of and belief in the religion I was force fed as a child, the praying has always stayed with me – on an almost every day basis.  In some way or some form or for some reason, it seems, I find myself praying to a God I am not sure I believe in.

Over the years, some of the things I have prayed for or prayed against have worked out in my favor.  Other things didn’t quite work out the way I had hoped.  So, I wondered, was this proof that my prayers are sometimes answered or simply the law of averages?  It really didn’t matter, I was programed to pray and so pray I do.

This has been going on pretty routinely for over 50 years; so, imagine my surprise when, for the first time last night, God talked back to me!

I may not get this exactly right, but, in essence, this is what He had to say:

(I am not sure what font to type God’s words in, so I will just keep on with the default.)

“Joe, Joe, Joe.  I have been listening to you for all your life.  And, whereas I do enjoy your thoughts; your words; and your sentiments; I find it is time for me to respond.

You really do pray a lot for lots of things.  Mostly good and humane things.  Mostly with a pure and caring heart.  But, son, you need to stop doing so much praying and start doing more stuff on your own.  I am not up here to make your life easier and to do things for you.

When you were young, instead of praying for that bicycle, you should have been doing chores to earn money towards buying it.  You could have cut more lawns, washed more cars, got a paper route, sold lemonade, or many other things other young boys were doing to earn money for the things that they wanted.

When you were in high school and prayed to me to help you do well in your wrestling matches, you should have, instead, been working harder at practice; spent more time on your conditioning; spent more time in the weight room; and studied harder on the art of wrestling.

In college, when you prayed for help on your mid-terms and finals, you should have, instead, spent more time studying and less time partying – I think that is something you already know.

Even when you pray on behalf of others – you should be doing more.

Instead of praying I would help old Mrs. Conner at the end of your street, you should have gotten up off your butt and walked down to the end of the street and looked in on her yourself.  You could have offered to go to the store for her, pick up her prescriptions or simply keep her company in her final years.

When you prayed for me to care for the starving children around the world, you should have been volunteering to help out yourself or donating more money towards this cause.  If you funneled all the money you spent on unnecessary junk food and extra meals you consumed throughout the years towards charities that help feed and clothe the poor, you could have saved many of the children you prayed that I would save.

Instead of praying that I cure your family, friends and acquaintances that you knew were ill or dying, you should have been visiting them in the hospital or writing them letters or providing assistance to their loved ones to help ease their pain.

Prayer is not the vehicle for you to be lazy and yet gain the rewards.  Prayer is not a means to have me do for others what you have the power and ability to do yourself.

I am glad that you talk to me, but you have been granted the ability and means to do so much more by yourself and yet you choose to take the easy way out and pray to me – the God that I know you are confused about.  Please, do me a favor, and before you pray, ask yourself, ‘Have I exhausted all avenues available to me to achieve the result I want God to perform?’ 

If, after you have done everything you can possibly do, then I may be more willing to consider what it is you ask for.

And now, my son, you can wake up.”

I sat up quickly in my bed, sweating and confused.  Was I just dreaming?  Was that really God talking to me?  Then, somewhere from deep inside, either from my conscious or a left-over message from the Almighty Himself, I thought (or heard): “What does it matter?  Whether it was God or not – the message is valid and something I probably already knew.”

“Well,” I said to myself, in prayer, “I will give it my best.  But, is it okay if we still talk?  It kind of helps to give me strength?”

Silence.

I will take that as a, “Yes”.


Long poem by Roy Jerden | Details | . You can read it on PoetrySoup.com' st_url='http://www.poetrysoup.com/poem/cruisin_the_drag_412689' st_title='Cruisin' the Drag'>

Cruisin' the Drag

Sipping cherry limeade, driving in the car parade, 
We're cruising in the Lone Star state
Didn't want a bucket seat; the thing it couldn't beat, 
Was sitting up close to your date
One hand on the wheel of daddy’s Oldsmobile, 
My arm around my brown-eyed girl
Feeling pretty sporty, radio on top forty, 
I was cooler than the Duke of Earl

The lady of the cruise had her penny loafer shoes, 
Her bobby socks were turned down twice
With a little eyeliner, she couldn't be much finer
Too much and it wouldn't be nice
There’d be no wild oats under those petticoats
She’d never go all the way
Just a perfect flip-up 'do and cute look number two
Practiced in the mirror all day

Hear those tires squeal when I make the rubber peel
For the flyboys waiting on the bus
To take them to the base where they don't feel out of place
Not cruising like the rest of us
I was the drag's head honcho as we pulled across the Concho
And we saw the lights along the riverside
We'd had quite a lark at Neff's amusement park
Playing putt-putt and going on a ride

The cheerleader squad rode a killer hot rod
With a spinner on every rim
A perfect tuck and pleat on every single seat 
Courtesy of Wanda's Auto Trim
Candy apple red, it would really knock you dead
It was a drop-top Pontiac
One was there to steer and three were in the rear
Posing up on the back

Those football beauty queens in their skin-tight Levi jeans
Were followed by their biggest fan
Checking out those lasses in his Buddy Holly glasses 
Was the nerdy little Aqua Velva man
In his stainless steel braces he grinned up at their faces
They iced him with a haughty air
He never would forget it; they would later on regret it
When he became a multi-millionaire

A four girl bevy in a big finned Chevy 
Were riding west on Sherwood Way
Four guys right behind in a pick-up state of mind
All ready to make their play
Thought they were the smartest cruising pick-up artists
But those gals were pretty astute
When they stopped and the guys started telling all their lies
The chicks started putting on the cute

We turned the car around and headed back downtown
Cruising down the boulevard 
Stay cool daddio, bear right at El Patio
And take it down Beauregard
There were lots of pleated skirts and those button-down shirts
The flattops were everywhere galore
From a Lincoln Continental, we heard an instrumental
Mister Acker Bilk's “Stranger on the Shore”

We slowly pulled through BJ’s, listening to the deejay’s 
Announcement of the next hit song
Leaning on their doors with their Brylcreem pompadours
Two hoods were playing Mr. Wrong
Completing their disguise, they slouched with narrowed eyes
And did their best at looking mean
With a twist of his pelvis, one was doing Elvis
The other did a fine James Dean

Like a sweet potato vine, the bride of Frankenstein 
Was entwined around the Marlboro man
With the passion of their make out, they should have gotten takeout 
And opted for a bigger floor plan
With her big black beehive hair and his fancy western wear
They were putting on quite an awesome scene
I had to give a chuckle at his huge silver buckle
But those M.L. Leddy boots looked mighty keen

I pulled the Olds on through, and we bid BJ’s adieu
And I put us back onto the street
With those four whitewall tires, we made for McIntire's
To get ourselves a bite to eat
We stopped for some fuel, over near the school
In those days they came right out to you
Best place on Earth, ‘cause with a dollar’s worth
They’d check your oil and clean your window too

The drive-in, painted green, was quite the social scene
With people mingling car to car
Everyone was caring; the drinks they were for sharing
Especially when they were in a mason jar
She ate a big banana split, and then left me for a bit
To comfort an old friend not feeling right
A moment more to linger with that final steak finger
Then I took her home and called that one a night

That was many years ago, but some things you don’t outgrow
And I think back to when I was a teen
When doors were left unlocked, and children safely flocked
Unchaparoned at night on Halloween
And sometimes at night, when the stars are big and bright
And I’m deep in a Texas state of mind
I think of that lass who was in my high school class
And I wonder if she thinks of me in kind

August 10, 2012


Long poem by Katie Pukash | Details |

She Hulk

When I was a child I only ever wanted to be strong.
I wanted to be able to compete with the boys
and when I foot raced them at recess I won every time.
They called me ‘She Hulk’ because of my muscular frame
and from the way I only ever wore soccer t-shirts and sweat pants.
After that nickname was implanted into my brain like a growing weed,
I’ve only ever wanted to be feminine.
I started wearing skirts and dresses 
and in middle school they shrieked at the site of my makeup and done up hair.
But that weed inside of my mind only grew, and grew, and grew
until I became a mixed drink cocktail
with one part anorexic and two parts lonely,
because I thought that the definition of feminine began with the word frail.
No one ever realizes how greatly words affect us,
how a simple nickname can turn a pretty girl into a skeleton.
I stood at five foot two weighing seventy nine pounds,
so cold and frozen,
yet I still considered myself a ‘She Hulk.’
You could see my ribcage through my t-shirt
and my spinal cord protruded loudly through my weathered skin,
as if somehow my bones were dirty knives
just trying to cut through the flesh of judgment.
As I grew older I became the girl that was never enough.
Not good enough to speak poetry.
Not good enough to lay paint on a canvas.
Not good enough.
Not tall enough.
Not big enough boobs for them.
Not primped to perfection.
Not undeniably straight.
Not smart enough.
Not dumb enough.
Not ditsy enough.
Not cool enough or fun enough.
And I began to believe, too, that I wasn’t enough.
I never told my mother that I had been in madly in love with a girl.
I never told anyone about the night we first kissed 
because I was too vulnerable for the judgment.
And parents always justify saying that ‘kids will be kids’
But when we are kids our brains are still growing
and the smallest of seeds that get planted will one day bloom
into one giant regret,
will one day affect the choices that we make,
will one day influence us about the clothes that we wear,
will one day shape us into the person who we thought we would never be.
I only ever wanted to be strong,
and as a child I thought strength was only about being able
to lift a bar stool above your head.
I thought that strength was only about being able
to beat the boys in bare foot running races.
I was told that strength was something only
a man could have.
But as I’ve grown older I’ve realized that strength
isn’t about muscle at all,
but it’s about weakness,
and the ability to overcome the social anxiousness.
It’s about carrying around a lifetime of baggage
on your broken back
because the ones that kicked you when you were down
are going to be the ones that were  ultimately wrong.
I thought that the definition of woman 
began with the word disappointment.
And I became a mixed drink cocktail
with one part freedom
and two parts Sailor Jerry
because every girl needs a stiff drink once and awhile.
We are not disappointments.
We will never be the ones who gave up on hope.
We will never be the ones who gave up on each other,
or god,
or our mothers.
We will always be enough;
enough for the ones who shunned us 
enough for the ones that cursed us
enough for the ones the hurt us
and destroyed us
and beat us when we were covered in bruises.
But you see, bruises fade
and the scars of our flesh are only stories
things we have overcame
and there are things out there that we will overcome.
When I was a child, I only ever wanted to be strong.
I hid my vulnerability.
I hid the parts of me that were true.
I never told my mother about my girlfriend
because I was afraid she wouldn’t understand,
kind of like all those people who never understood 
just how much words effect us. 
I can’t say that I can beat the boys at foot races anymore,
because, well, I smoke cigarettes now.
And I can’t say that the nickname of my childhood didn’t affect me.
But I take that name now and embrace it.
Because I am strong.
I am the ‘she hulk’.
I am a mixed drink cocktail
with three parts greatful.


Long poem by Louis Borgo | Details |

Girl Next Door

Question Have you ever seen a woman you like blush, now that is attractive I never reallie understand woman in till I got out of school It was this one girl that for some reason like natural selection I would just stare at And she would just fall to sleep during class intend of thinking of class I wonder what is she dreaming About I said to myself officially she does not know notice me in the very last day of class and schedule Class she blurt out Louis are coming back and I’m think to myself I’m a senior officially Not but did again she was just a junior how was she to know if she did not ask? All I know I treated the girls I know with respected and gave them candy I do have older sisters you Now and All I know guys hate me and the girls was just mean girls glad school was out Well to my delight and shock and relieve high school being over and life goes on and A few years later I rent an apartment and year or two years later and odds of all odds she move in my Neighborhood and next door (snake eyes) I don’t mean to role play but Think Like A Man If only if it had sequel it was like She was the “Single Mom” and I was “The Momma’s Boy” but to straighten out the facts About a momma’s boy well in my case I know how to Cook, clean, wash, dry, fold and hang clothes all I would need to know is Would you like cream or sugar with your breakfast because I came here sever And yeah I get it and no it is no such thing as a perfect man if it was how would We show growth to age of age of maturity my good mate But to clarify a detouring I could not imagine she was more shy then me First look and words that come to mind is still gorgeous- And one day I was walking back from the mail post and just when she was coming Out I bump into her and ask her how was her day and the impression of words to found Words of her to say was sensation and a vibe when down my spine when she said good and You that’s that’s good real good I’m still question today did she stutter when she said that must been The heat- Then next week her car broke down on her and I said to myself it’s The battery, engine, or the sensor sense it hot outside Then I seen her son couldn’t be no more than the first grade went to the back of the car And try to push the car it was the most hilarious thing I ever seen But it does build character and he does have his basketball I’m sure he will do just fine By the following week she had another car I notice I never seen a father around and I also Notice she work so hard but how would I ever get odds of asking how was your day ever again And I did not want to be one of those guys here now and gone tomorrow I remember when I was her son age that was the last thing I won’t it so I left it alone knowing I would be leaving to finish my degree in a prestigious university (with god blessing) I stay up to break of Dawn With school work and trying being an entrepreneur and looking outside And she would have back light on For whatever reason thinking doesn’t she have to go to work tomorrow But the question I ask in few months if I would have knew the girl next door but I said to myself I only what the best for you and for some reason When I think of woman I think of Lyrics It’s the weekend of the fourth of July and if it has been like any Other year since I started college than the one place I go on Sunday with my Father I’m sure she know where I will be just my way of trying to say hi but this is a New millennium of woman I don’t think the day I bump into her was an innocent and I don’t Think that she kept the back light on for nothing but I bet she know that “love so many people used name in vain for better or worst I still would put you first”, If only if I had knew The Girl Next Door- 7-5-14


Long poem by John Posey | Details |

Tige

(Circa 1910) Grandpa had a bulldog whose name was Tige. They were close – as close as honey and bees. If Grandpa felt a cold comin’ on – Well Ol’ Tige was the one who would sneeze Grandpa was noted for his wealth and generosity. His love for me was demonstrated when he paid my college fees. The love he held for Tige was almost the same for me. And ol’ Tige was always with Grandpa wherever he might be. College life was different then, separation was the norm. And years at Alma Mater meant years far from the farm. Students have it difficult and allowances soon shrink So, short of money there, I soon began to think. Grandpa, bless his giving heart, quickly came to mind That bulldog owned his generous heart – if somehow I could find Some way to convince my grandpa to increase the money sent -- I came upon a devious plan – and this is how it went. I wrote and told my grandpa, “There’s things you ought to know. The things they’re doin’ here at school will set your heart aglow.” “They’re takin’ all these sorts of dogs – it came as quite a shock Grandpa, you won’t believe me, they’re teachin’ dogs to talk.” Now grandpa loved ol’ Tige so much it didn’t take him long To ask how much would it take to send ol’ Tige along? Well, when I gave a figure, Grandpa was satisfied If this crazy scheme was figured out, there’s no place I could hide. I kept feeding grandpa all sorts of good reports How Tige was a star pupil and mascot of all sports Two years passed and soon there came the time to take Tige home Grandpa was so excited -- Tige was never more to roam. Grandpa came runnin’ when I stepped down off the train. His eager eyes were searching for what he’d never see again. “Where’s ol’ Tige?” he asked, as we began to walk. “He’s not comin’.” I replied, “C’mon we need to talk.” This morning I was shaving in the bathroom by the sink And Tige was justa talkin’ when he looked at me and winked. “Ya know’ he said, “I’ll be so glad to be back home at last.” There are some things I’ve thought about that went on in the past.” “I was standin’ at the mirror with my razor in my hand Ol’ Tige was talkin’ ‘bout some things he couldn’t understand. I could not believe the lies he told – things he’d seen first hand Like the times he saw you wrestlin’ with that female hired hand.” His words just lit a fire with the pictures that he painted I almost couldn’t help myself – Grandpa, I nearly fainted. It seems that I lost it some and when I finally woke, I’d grabbed him by the backa his neck and cut his lyin’ throat. I know grandpa was shaken, I saw it in his eyes. A look of consternation he could not disguise He seemed to be relieved, as he looked at me and said, “Now, Son, I really need to know, are you sure ol’ Tige is dead?” Years have hidden the truth of this deception that I wrought. I’m the one who wove deceptive tales that everybody bought. But when the truth is told at last and no more lies are found You’ll gladly find an ending that surely will astound. Grandpa? -- He now lives with Jesus, and me? -- I’m headed there. Tige? – I know he’s still around though I shouldn’t tell you where. We made a pact some years ago when things went awfully bad. For years he’s been the best darn mascot my school ever had.


Long poem by andrew delapruch | Details |

the last of the funerals

“the last of the funerals”

today “the last of the funerals”
takes place &
the killings in CT get placed on the
shelf,
alongside the deaths at Columbine,
Virginia Tech...

those were the “big ones” right?

well, now, Aurora was a “big one,” right?
but it didn’t happen in a school, hmmm…but
12 died & 59 were injured---
still, everybody can attribute that to the
fact that the kid had orange hair, liked the
Joker & since he did it at the opening of a film,
it made the whole bloodbath almost cinematic
for those in the nation who didn’t die there
or weren’t affected personally by the dead &
injured, right?

sure seemed like a dvd extra to the new
Batman film, the way the media flashed his
picture in that courtroom over & over & over
& over & over & over & over & over,
every hour on the hour.
 
still, isn’t it true that 3 kids were killed
on 2/27/12 at Chardon High School in Ohio
when Thomas Lane blew them away?
(but he was caught & he only used a 
.22 in doing so, in some rural town…so it
must not have been dramatic enough? 
yeah,
he must not have packed enough hardware.)
&
what about One L. Goh’s killing of 7 
in April at Oikos University in Cali,
where he shot nursing students 
“execution style” up against a wall?
(but he was 43 years old & ended up
surrendering later at a Safeway, having
used a .45 semi-auto handgun, so…
still must not have been dramatic 
enough?  he was 43, over the hill, definitely
not sexy enough.)

do you remember hearing about those?
were those killings media-buzz-clip-newsworthy?
&
how about the killings on 2/22/12
in Norcross, Georgia (5 dead), or 
2/26/12 in Jackson, Tenn. (1 dead, 20 inj.),
or 3/8/12 in Pittsburgh, Penn. (2 dead, 7 inj.).
or 3/31/12 in North Miami, FL (2 dead, 12 inj.),
or 4/6/12 in Tulsa, OK (3 dead, 2 inj.), or 
5/29/12 in Seattle, WA (5 dead), or 7/9/12
in Wilmington, DE (3 dead), or 8/5/12 in 
Milwaukee, WI (6 dead), or 8/14/12 in Texas
near A&M (3 dead), or 9/27/12 in Minn., MN 
(5 dead, 3 inj.), or 10/21/12 in Brookfield, WI
(3 dead, 4 inj.), or 12/11/12 in Portland, OR
(2 dead)?

hmmm…maybe the body count wasn’t big enough
to catch the eye of the six o’clock & the 
eleven o’clock as well?  

SO, AMERICA, DO YOU THINK MORE GUNS
IS THE ANSWER?
(think this will be “the last of the funerals?”)
SO, AMERICA, DO YOU THINK “GOOD GUYS 
WITH GUNS IS THE ANSWER?
(just who exactly are the “good guys?”)

blame it on video games.
blame it on music videos.
blame it on horror movies.

right, mr. NRA? mr. cowboy-gotta-hard-on-whenever-there’s-
a-pistol-around?

just like those who see the 
increasing tropical storms &
increasing mass drought &
then say there is no such thing as global warming,
this america watches the wave of violence growing within
the belly of its empire &
then says that there is nothing wrong with the increasing
tension, stress, oppression & struggle,
brought on by the preference of profit over people,
giving rise to it all.


Long Poems