Long poem by
Joe Flach | Details |
I was a seventeen year old senior in a coed, catholic high school. Our gym classes however were still all boys and all girls. My senior year we had gym every other day and music every other day in the same time slot. The music classes, therefore, were also all boys or all girls.
She was a twenty-eight year old nun in her first teaching assignment. She was in way over her head. She was about five-foot-four and weighed practically nothing. The nuns in our school no longer wore habits and I remember thinking it was a good thing because she would probably fly away like Sally Fields. If you don’t know what I mean by that then you are too young to be reading my story.
The music class was a mad house. She could not control a room of twenty some boys bound and determined to make her life hell. I mean, music class? Really?
We never did the homework assigned; never answered her questions seriously; never believed her threats at discipline; wouldn’t accept the demerits she tried to hand out; and basically goofed off for the hour that was supposed to be dedicated to learning about music.
For some reason, she seemed too proud or too green or too determined to go to the principal or another teacher for help; and, sensing that, we knew we could get away with our childish behavior and so we did.
One day, a handful of us “got in trouble” and she said she wanted to talk to us after class. I was the only one that actually stayed. She tried to lecture me on my bad behavior but I guess my smirk was evidence it was not sinking in. Then, she started to cry, and for the first time I saw her as a person.
“What am I doing,” she cried. "I can’t do this. I am trying; I am really trying, but I am not cut out for this. Why are you boys so mean and hateful?”
I stood up in front of her not knowing what to do or what to say. I felt like a real jerk. I was a real jerk.
Tears poured down her face, which I finally recognized as being a pretty face. She bowed her head and just sobbed. In my awkward seventeen year old manner, I slowly opened my arms and allowed her to lean into me. And I hugged her while she wept.
At seventeen, I was no ladies’ man, and this crying nun was the first woman I had ever held so close to me. I could feel her breasts pressed against me; the heat emitting from her body; and, the delicate nature of her womanly form in my arms. I knew then that I was destined to go straight to hell for the thoughts that were going through my head and the feelings I felt between my legs.
She pulled away and whispered, “I am so sorry, I should not have done that. You may go.”
I simply said, “You know, you are doing fine, you just have a class of a bunch of butt holes”, and walked out of the room. It was that night that she started coming to see me in my dreams. To hell I go, for sure.
I wish I could tell you I had the moxie and the influence to whip that class into shape, but I did not. The mad house continued with one less student joining in the fun. I tried my best to behave, answer her questions, pay attention and feign interest in the topic of the day – but I was just one in a sea of monsters. I stayed after class and after school a few times to talk with her, ask her how she was doing, and see if I could help in any way. She was actually starting to get the hang of things and was able to focus on the few classes that were willing to learn.
At the end of the school year, I was one of the few students who had not enrolled in a college for the coming year. Because I was one of the better students, it caused a little bit of a fuss and a number of teachers talked to me about the huge mistake I was making taking some time off before going to college. It seems they were all convinced that if I did not start into college in the fall, I was doomed to never go to college. I challenged them by saying what they were really worried about was their statistics of percentage of students who went on to further their education.
During the last day of classes, the music teacher asked me to stay after class. It appears, it was her turn to try to talk some sense into me.
“So, I hear you are not going to college,” she said.
“No, I’m going to college … some day, just not this fall.”
“So what are you going to do?”
“I don’t know yet. Take some time off. Work. Nothing. I don’t know. Why is it so important to everyone? When the time is right, I’ll go to college.”
“They just care about you.”
“Bull loney,” I said, only it was another word.
She smiled at me. I had been dreaming about her now for six months. I changed the topic.
“Have you ever kissed a boy?”
She laughed, “You know, I grew up the same as every girl in this high school. I did have boyfriends.”
“Yeah, but have you ever kissed a boy,” I challenged.
“No. Not the way you mean.”
“Do you ever wonder what it would be like?”
“No. Never,” she lied.
“If I told you I will register for college if you kiss me, will you?”
“No. I believe you when you say you just need some time off. I think that is a good idea.”
Then she walked up close to me and stopped a heartbeat away. Suddenly, she reached down between my legs, grabbed the crouch of my pants and said, “Just don’t let this thing get you in trouble.”
She abruptly turned and walked out of the classroom while I tried to catch my breath.
During the graduation ceremony I saw her sitting with the other teachers and shared a private smile with her while walking back to my seat after being handed my diploma. I would never see her again … outside of my dreams.
I often think about my high school music teacher and my ticket straight to hell. Unfortunately, I never heeded her advice. That body part of mine she grabbed ahold of for a fleeting second those many years ago, has gotten me in trouble time and time again.
Copyright © Joe Flach | Year Posted 2012
Long poem by
Kim van Breda | Details |
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)
Copyright © Kim van Breda | Year Posted 2013
Long poem by
Dorine R Spruill | Details |
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.
Copyright © Dorine R Spruill | Year Posted 2013
Long poem by
Robert Candler | Details |
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.
Copyright © Robert Candler | Year Posted 2014
Long poem by
Joe Flach | Details |
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?”
I will take that as a, “Yes”.
Copyright © Joe Flach | Year Posted 2012
Long poem by
Roy Jerden | Details |
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 fly-boys 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 there 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 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 were all for sharing,
(especially when 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,
unchaperoned 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
Copyright © Roy Jerden | Year Posted 2012
Long poem by
Corinne Meicher | Details |
It's 3:00 am and you're still up
You haven't slept in days
But what's the point anymore?
Why shut your eyes and dream of a better life?
Or close them to escape reality?
Why show your underserving self the slightest bit of peace?
Or rest your mind when you know the demons will greet you the moment your eyes flutter open?
Why even try to shut up your mind for a few hours with silly rest? Even when asleep, your mind will traumatize you, keep you stirring around until you wake up drenched with sweat...or is that tears?
People say you look sleep-deprived. What are you going to tell them? Your favorite tv show was on late last night..
Sure, that'll work
But what will you say when your skin is now an unholy hue of yellow and teachers wonder why you aren't home with a fever?
Oh, just let me tell you
Although those dark circles surrounding your clouded, blood-shut eyes, can make it look as if you got into a fist fight, you don't look strong; because you aren't.
They say eyes are the windows to the soul, and perhaps that's why no one can see you're screaming and trapped inside. Suffocating. Drowning in your own thoughts. Because everyone is so distracted by the the smile plastered upon your face to see that the light and every living morsel has leaked from you.
You can't summon the strength to get out of bed and you can't even raise a finger to take a pill that will make you feel new, make you feel like a mannequin on display for the world.
You don't understand the use for them. By time they wear off, the voices always come back whispering the truth that everyone refuses to tell you.
It's 3:00 pm and your friends have invited you out. Together, you all laugh, but the demons still sit on your shoulders and you know that you don't deserve to laugh. Happiness isn't a word in your vocabulary. It's too bad, isn't it? Because you could be happy, you don't have to be the depressing friend. You could be pretty, and have a real smile, but youre addicted to be a certain kind of sadness.
It's funny, isn't it?
It seems months ago you were being criticized for just being too much.
Sleeping too much
Eating too much
Oh, but now your parents can't even look at you and the moment they sense your presence they tense and look pained.
Because now all you are is a lost soul.
You aren't enough
You don't get enough sleep
You don't eat enough
You are numb, monotoned, and lack qualifications 'normal' humans have.
People joke about how much you zone out and how your sense of style consists of sweaters in summer, but you don't laugh with them.
They pass you and your glazed eyes in the school halls and joke around, muttering "420" down the back of your neck, making sure to keep hush because the worst thing that they can imagine in their life is getting caught by a teacher, but again you don't laugh with them because the glaze that films over your tired eyes is caused from the tears that threaten to spill any second.
And when it's midnight again, and you're attending a party; already on your 5th vodka. People surround your body, but your soul is no where near. It's far away. Buts it's okay, it isn't the first thing to abandon you.
And when the cute boy that has been chatting up your worthless self all night, whispers in your ear unintelligible words and leads you down an unfamiliar hallway, you don't resist.
It's when you pass a mirror and you see a wide grin upon a face you don't feel, a face you can't control, and you don't recognize yourself. That's when you try to pull away, but it's too late and- just like most of the time- you are helpless.
You are wasted- mentally, physically, and literally, but all you do is pick up another bottle.
And as your corpse of a body is being taken advantage of, all you can think about is your parents, and your siblings. And you hope your younger brother won't grow up praying to pass in his sleep or by an accident just as you wish upon yourself. You hope he doesn't fall in love with a girl who doesn't reciprocate that feeling. You hope he follows his dream of being a scientist. You hope he has a future...you hope he doesn't turn into you...
How is it someone's arm may be draped around your bare chest, yet you still feel so alone?
And before you know it, your cheeks are stained with tears and your eyes are rubbed raw.
It's 3:01 am and you're still up
Copyright © Corinne Meicher | Year Posted 2016
Long poem by
Keith Trestrail | Details |
Now in my decline in the time of men
I remember way back then when I was ten,
when we lived in a shadow much greater
at the foot of the Mount and its dormant crater.
Where we'd climb and to the top race
like Hillary and Tenzing up the south face,
then on our backsides slide to the rocks below
from whence the lava used to flow.
Behold the old white house at 89 Owens Road,
the grass I with an old push blade mowed,
and where from my upstairs room
I saw the spring terraced flowers bloom.
Where outside we played cricket all summer long
and inside were the masters of ping pong!
In our living room my family and me
saw a moonlanding and a war on TV -
on our black and white set with blazin' toy guns
watching Bonanza and My Three Sons...
or perchance playing canasta as soon as I was able
and even a séance on the coffee table,
where spirits from the spirit world did roam
and truly spelled out to our guests "go home!".
When my birthday cake burnt ten candles
and I wore short pants and Roman sandals,
with my bag down Valley Road walking
past the shops on the way to school talking -
spending my lunch money licking my lips
eating aniseed wheels and jelly tips!
Where my mate lived above his mum's shoe store
and between us all was fair in love and war!
Listening to my new transistor all the while
tuned in to 1480 on top of the dial:
to the hip happening sounds of Radio Hauraki
in the gulf on a pirate ship called Tiri.
Till through the gates of my teacher and jailer:
Mrs Furner, Miss Gaiqui, and Mr Taylor;
and catch a glimpse of a vision in a cotton dress -
the girl of my restless dreams I confess!
Then before the bell sounded its morning ring
we'd be flying on the moari swing,
or games on the courts or running to shield
playing bullrush on the football field.
And behold, in class on his guitar my teacher
playing folk songs and exhorting like a preacher,
singing "where have all the flowers gone?
Young girls pick them every one..."
and "Oma rapeti...rabbit run, run, run"
or playing Maori stick games just having fun:
drawing native carvings and birds that can't fly,
reading about Hinemoa and Tutanekai.
Weaving flax and with hands of string
making diamonds and parachutes that cling,
or in single file marching from the school
with our towel and togs to the pool -
an Eden boy at the starters end ready to dive in
for a prized 50 metre certificate to win.
Then gather the class in the projection room
and gaze in the ceiling the stars illume:
where our Milky Way mural hung so surreal
as we sat and watched an old movie reel.
But soon the fun would turn to palpable fear
when all the class trembled to hear...
read to the children who were quiet as a mouse
was the Dental List for the Murder House!
Alas a fate worse than death - the whining drill
to bore and clean and to mercury fill;
where the needle sometimes dulled the pain
yet the screams of boys and girls remain.
After school in my uniform arrayed
I marched to the tune in the Boys Brigade!
And on weekends roaming the neighbourhood
in search of adventure as best we could,
climbing the hill to the construction site
of The Pines apartments at a great height.
On Guy Fawkes night from my pocket
lighting my firecrackers and my skyrocket -
armed and dangerous ready to throw
with red packs of Double Happys lit to blow.
And on night time mission on ninja patrol
detonatin' milk bottles - whoa! fire in the hole!
Or off to the Crystal Palace to catch a flick
lest my mother test my arithmetic.
At Eden Park when the mighty Auks played host
sitting with my mates behind the goalpost,
with my dad and brother at the track
in the birdcage and hearing the whips crack -
at Ellerslie in the Ladies Stand or Alexandra Park
with my Best Bets - my picks to mark.
And on the Sabbath beneath cross and spires
in Sunday School at old Greyfriars.
Now alas, in my decline in the time of men
I remember way back then when I was ten!
For the Way Back Then When I Was Ten contest.
Copyright © Keith Trestrail | Year Posted 2016
Long poem by
Katie Pukash | Details |
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 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.
Copyright © Katie Pukash | Year Posted 2013
Long poem by
Sydney Newell | Details |
I know you’re happy,
Guess I’m stuck bein’ me,
Guess I stay missin’ out on chances that I couldn’t see.
But in the meantime,
Keep your head,
And know I’m doin’ just fine.
You know, maybe I’ll get lucky and catch you around sometime.
I don’t mean to cry.
Guess catchin’ up was a bad idea anyways,
Just know if you catch me in the hall, I’m lookin out for those better days,
Better ways to be a better person.
Maybe it’s high time I stop lurkin’ your profile,
Reminiscin’ on the days when I used to make you smile.
So, don’t be too upset when you hear this.
I’m only trying to salvage what’s left of my spirits.
But I guess if you cared,
It’d be more apparent.
Nowadays you can’t trust your friends, your teachers, or your parents.
You’ve got high expectations kid,
Well people disappoint.
And it’s kinda sad seeing how I have to make that point.
Oh and it shakes my joints to know,
Nothing is for real these days,
No one means what they say,
It’s just all part of the show.
So, why even bother to get to know me?
When you throw stones,
And you perceive,
You make judgements,
There could be nothing more to this reality than exactly what you see in front of you.
I am nobody,
An object of translucency,
But in my dreams,
I could paint you a galaxy of words,
Speaking in tongues, writing in verses you’ve never heard.
I am cured,
From a dehydration of self worth.
A place where no one’s jealous grip could rip me back down to earth,
Where I stare at the dirt on the ground,
And think maybe to be underneath wouldn’t be half as bad as it sounds these days.
So as this sphere makes its rounds and stays spinnin’,
The sun will continue to look down and keep grinnin’,
But perhaps I’ve grown to comfortable drowning in linen,
Chained in place to my bed,
With nothing to play with but the soft grey matter in the space in my head,
In the hopes that I’ll weave and thread it back together,
My mother she asks me,
But this time how do I tell her,
I’m way past the point of feeling under the weather.
And the thing is I know better,
But who can really say they take their own advice?
When it’s so easy to put a price on something invaluable,
Too afraid to work too hard,
To reach what’s potential.
See, it’s that kind of detrimental thinking,
That keeps us up on weeknights drinking,
Way past curfew,
Because if your parents only knew,
The sense of doom that grew inside your room,
Patiently waiting for those creeping, solitary thoughts to consume you,
Without a place to hide,
If they only knew,
That’s what kept you up at night,
I’m sure they’d understand,
What it’s like to be held by that ever pressing hand,
With its thumb against your throat,
Wishing with the highest hopes that you’d sooner choke,
Than to be just another kid stoked,
On being the butt of everyone's joke,
Just another drop out reeking of marijuana smoke,
Another baby doll,
A habit of adderall withdrawal,
And while I listen to the girl posted up in the stall next to me,
Throwing up her last meal,
I ponder all the things people would do just to feel something,
To find meaning,
To know they were more than a lifeless puppet,
God manipulating their strings,
So her up chuck and bad luck,
They burn and they sting,
The sloshes and dry heaves,
They only ring out and sing,
JUST ANOTHER TEENAGE DREAM COMIN’ APART AT THE SEAMS
Copyright © Sydney Newell | Year Posted 2016