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Long poem by Mario DE PAZ | Details |

Divine Comedy, second canto

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.


Long poem by Mario DE PAZ | Details |

Dante's Divine Comedy III Canto translation

“Through me you enter the city of woe
Trough me you enter the eternal pain
Through me you go to people lost below.

Justice inspired my highest factor reign;
I was created by act of divine,
Supreme wisdom and the first love as main.

Of all created things the first is mine
Unless eternal, and I eternal last.
Who enters here must any hope resign”.

These words in color of obscure contrast
I written saw on top of a big door;
So I: “Master, their meanings me harass”

And he to me, as guy with a shrewd  core
“Here you must abandon any bad mind;
Of any cowardice must die the bore.

We reached the place I told you, so remind,
Where you shall see the people full of pain
Who good of intellect have lost behind”.

And when his hand on mine put to remain
With happy face, giving consolation,
Told me deep secrets in a fashion plain.

There sighing, tears, cries of desperation
Were filling all the air empty of light,
So I had to cry with desolation.

Strange sounds, screeches with horrible insight,
Painfulness words, furious rage tones,
High and hoarse voices, and sounds to incite

Were doing much noise, which there high intones
Throughout that turbid air for endless time,
As when swirl wind moves sand and little stones.

And since I had so wrong my own head prime,
I told: “Master, what is the noise I hear?
Which is the people here bummed in such grime?”.

And he to me: “This forlorn way of here
Assume the dreary souls of those men past 
Who with no blot or laud a life had mere.

Among that evil choir are badly classed
Of angels who neither became barely rebels
Nor faithful to God, with selfishness vast.

Heaven to shun less beauty them dispels,
Nor can welcome them the deepest hell,
Since for no sinner are of glory wells”.

And I: “Master, what is  so hardly fell 
To make indeed them strongly to complain?”.
He answered: “Few words to you I will spell.

For these of death the prospect is in vain,
And their blind living is so badly low,
So that of any doom have envious brain. 

Of their renown worldwide there is no show;
Compassion and true justice them despise:
Don’t care for them, look simply and go low”.

And I, looking, saw a flag of big size
Which run whirling around at such a speed,
That looked to me to stop unworthy guise;

And back was followed by a crowd indeed
Of people, which I would never believe
That so far a large amount was death’s deed.

After who he was I reached to conceive
I saw and knew the shadow of the one
Who mean refused his great role to receive.

At once my understanding was thus done
That it was the sect of those captives here,
Not pleasing God and his enemies none.

These evil-born who had never life clear,
Had naked bodies and strongly harassed too
By blowflies and wasps which were flying near.

So doing blood was streaming their cheeks through,
Which, mixed with tears, fell to ground at their feet
Where it was picked up by pesky worms not few.

And since I looked back for a view complete,
I saw people nearby a large stream;
So I told: ”Master, you now me repeat

So that I know who are and for what theme
They have to look ready forthwith to pass,
As I descry in this light lack extreme”

And he to me: “Clear will be things at last
When our steps walking we shall bring to rest 
At the sad bank of Acheronte vast”.

With shameful eyes low looking at my chest,
Because I feared by speaking to bore him,
Silent to the river I was at best.

And came us towards of a  boat aboard
An old man, white for his ancient hair,
Shouting: “ Woe unto you, oh souls abhorred!

You have no hope to see the heaven air
I come to bring you to the other bank
In the eternal dark, warm and cold scare.

And you right there, of living souls your rank,
Divide your path from these ones who are dead”.
But when he saw I was not moving flank,

Told me: “Different ways, and ports instead
You have to reach, not here, to freely pass
A lighter vessel conveniently will lead”.

My guide to him: “Charon, don’t you harass:
So is the will up there where is the sway
To reach the will, and put no more contrasts”

After the fleecy chicks calm had to stay
To the old pilot of the livid slew,
Who flames round his eyes had to display.

But those souls, which were weary and naked too,
Forthwith turned pale and started to chatter 
When heard the meaning of words so askew.

Blasphemed God and their relatives latter,
The human beings, where, when and the seed
Of their seed pearl and of newborn scatter.

They then all joined and came compelled to cede, 
Bitterly weeping, at the wicked bank
Deserved by any man of God’s fear freed.

Charon demon, has ember’s eyes with swank,
Moving to them, is now collecting all;
With paddle beats whoever sits or sank.

As leaves which faded drop down during fall
One after the other, until the bough
Sees all his spoils fallen to ground to stall

So the wrong seeds that Adam could endow
Themselves throw from beach one by one,
His nod follow as a bird to call now.

So they above the obscure wave just run,
And before they the other bank descend
Another new swarm on this side is done.

“My dear son”, then told me the master friend,
“The wretches ones who die in God’s disgrace
From any country here come to their end;

The river crossing are ready to face,
Because divine justice now them spurs
So that their fear deep desire must displace.

Here no a good spirit ever occurs;
So, then if Charon is to complain with you,
You ought to catch well what his speech incurs”.

And when he ceased, the land obscure to view
Trembled so loud, that owing to my freight
My mind of lather still perceives the dew.

The tearful ground created a wind rate,
Which suddenly flashed a vermilion light
Winning my senses knocking down my state;

And I fell down as man who sleeps at night.


Long poem by Vic Pister | Details |

When I Die

When my life has finally left me and my last breath has been shed
And the silver cord is broken and my bodies firmly dead
I shall hover near the body, download the scenes of this past life 
Noting all minutest details rolling backwards past my eyes

I’ll store these scenes ‘til later when I can take the time to learn 
What the lessons have to teach me and help me to discern
How I treated other people, made them happy, made them sad
Examine all my actions, both the good and the bad

Three days later I’ll lose interest as my focus moves away
From the world that I just left behind, there is no need to stay
For a lifetime in the life of man to God is just a day
And my soul as God on the wheel of life must move along its way

I’ll take the download with me as I move into first heaven
It’s the first stage in the afterlife, in number there are seven
Here I’ll see and feel the good things that to others I have brought
And revel in the feelings of the kindness that I wrought

I will store these in my seed atom so in future lives I’ll know
They’re the things that I must multiply for my souls’ conscience to grow
For the conscience is the souls’ voice that guides you day by day
That still small voice that warns you in what you do and say

When that’s done my view will shift then to the things that I did bad
To the hurt I did to people that left them feeling sad
I will feel their pain intensely, ten times worse when in this field
For I’ll be purely spirit now with no flesh for a shield

These painful lessons will imprint upon my seed atom as well
In some religions we are told our soul’s in everlasting hell
In the stages of the afterlife, this is your punishment in heaven
This is the third and the most painful of the total seven

The Grim Reaper now has visited with his scythe so I will know
Through natures Law of Consequence I will reap what I did sow
He has shown me all my misdeeds and caused me many tears
And this purgatorial experience may last for twenty years

When my suffering soul recovers and the pain has died away
And I’ve incorporated the lessons to never act this way
In future lives I’ll be a better man from these lessons I have learned
One step closer to perfection that my growing soul has earned

Now I can sleep, Oh peaceful sleep, a state of heavenly rest
I’ll dream the dreams I love in life, of things I love the best
All desires that my soul has yearned, not a thing I can’t create
In the Great Silence of the spirit world to help me concentrate

The colors are much brighter, the scent of flowers more sublime
The senses are much sharper, there is no sense of time
I will see all other people as pure souls just like me
And I’ll know we’re all evolving to the bliss of eternity

I will hear the mystic music of the planets as they pass
Like a thousand singing angels, heavenly peace has come at last
Every planet sings its own song, we’ve grown deaf to this below
But in this super consciousness we’re in the eternal flow

I’ll be with my friends and family and others whom I love
The ones who left before me and currently live above
There they wait with arms wide open and rejoice when I arrive
In the fourth stage where I now live, it’s utter joy to be alive

I’ve incorporated my lessons, I now recall my goal
And my mind begins to focus on further growth of my soul
I must make further preparations and my vision starts to clear
I feel I must keep moving forward for all my works done here

I now have gone through five and six, there is just one more 
In years it’s been from birth to birth one hundred forty four
The time has come to move along and leave this place called heaven
Prepare for life in the physical world, I move to number seven

My soul has gathered the material, I now know what I must do
To make some more improvements in the places I need to
I must take another body, I must live another life
To grow and liquidate more karma though it means more pain and strife

I build an archetype of the body that in future I will form
When embodiment is offered, and I can be reborn
I will see the opportunities and be able to discern
The ideal embodiment for me when the right egg meets the sperm

I will hover near the fetus, influencing where I can
And I’ll have the power to make it be a woman or a man
I will help to build the body to suit the lessons I must learn
To overcome more issues so more advancement I can earn

When baby takes its first breath and my soul is taken in
With the imprint of my seed atoms that it has brought within
Now the babys’ atoms resonate to my seeds vibration rate
Making it the perfect body for my soul to habituate

The new body will be my new home, I will live a life anew
Gain experience, learn more lessons, through the things that I will do
I’ll apply the added knowledge that I learned in this past life
More evolved than in the last one, and cause me less pain and strife

This will happen just as often as required by the soul
As it pushes ever onward, pushing ever t’ward its goal
Of complete re-integration back from whence it came
To the universal soul of life no matter what its name

Nature is not personal, it does not seek revenge
If we mess it up we have the chance to do it all again
We arrived here by this process, nothing’s changed it’s still the same
But our souls have evolved immensely since we stepped into the game

We started out as fallen angels with no experience on this plane
We’ve grown to this by coming back again and again
Though we cannot remember for each conscious mind has died
The feelings in the soul remained in our subconscious mind

And so this is the story of the cycle of the soul
As it struggles through evolution on its way toward the goal
It’s this way for all unfailing, from natures law there’s no relief
All living things go through it, no matter their belief


Long poem by Demetrios Trifiatis | Details |

KNOW THYSELF

Know Thyself
(one of the two Delphic commands of Apollo)



For years before the narrow windows of my senses
                                                                       I stood,
Trying to pierce the nebulous world of outer reality,
                                                                   Hoping to find GOD,
One year was following the other but I was: 
                                                                 Still wondering,
                                                                          Still inquiring,
                                                                               Still demanding.

I was lost in the tenebrous world of materiality’s
                                                                  Phenomena, 
While the true essence of things, evasive 
                                                           As ever,
Persistently escaped the grasp of my confused
                                                                  Perception, 

Unable to see behind the impenetrable veil
                                                             Of Isis,
And disappointed with reason’s constant 
                                                            Failure,
My impatient voice towards the starry heavens I lifted,
                                                                   Asking aloud:

              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! 

                           WHY?

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
                                                               The way

And the compassionate voice of the Lord answered me
                                                                    And said:

Don’t call yourself weak and ignorant for
I have endowed you with power and knowledge
                                                                     So great,
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!

And BEHOLD:

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 
                                                                               Passages wide
And in a magnificent lofty parade, in front of my soul’s 
                                                                               Dazzled eyes
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
                               
 


Long poem by Glenn Johnson | Details |

MY JOURNEY TO YOU

Little eyes search a new world . . .
  The gaze and suckle for food, body and soul.
     A tiny heart tuned to the glow and tone of love.
         Compelled to bond . . . drawn to the love gaze
             Mother . . . Father
                 Chosen in the soul’s spirit quest
                     what was known, now obscured 
                         Soul’s desire to be flesh.

How was I conceived?
   An act of love, desire, need, lust, passion?
      Unconscious of my own conception
   The invisible participant
Life’s mysterious ménage a trios.

Being born oblivious provides no insulation
  when delivered into the acetylene torch
     crossed and frayed wires of bitter parents.
Explosions of rage . . . too sudden for small and toddling legs to escape.
    Tender senses scorched. Heart seared. Terrified.
  Mind’s burrows dug deep beneath the conflagration.
                   Huddle and tremble 
        await signs of fire storms conclusion.

Calm?  
   A fearful crawl to the surface
      Barely exposed
          Eyes cautious 
     Deciphering the face of mother then father.
        Ashen 
             Exhausted
      Eyes, searing embers.
 They trudge through rubble 
                           cinders
                 charred corpses of words
          shouted . . . and threatened 
                 souls scared and armored.

Words the mistaken enemy 
    Instigators of continued marital strife
       Silence a simmering refuge
          Frost bitten eyes of evasion
       Shielded, scorched hearts
    Tolerated phantoms they
An endless cold war in a place called home.

In the beginning was the word
  Your sounds in my mind and mouth.
                  Coo and babble.
The ancient celestial winds swirled in my lungs.
The divine conductor orchestrated the mystical moment: 
                    ma ma. . . .  da da 
                  Did you truly hear me?

My hands on a chair . . .  the letting go . . . timid steps into the great void  
  wobbling legs, diaper descending, butt naked, I toddled 
                                    pudgy arms reached to you.
                                           Were you there?

                                              . . . Love . . .
                                     a mere obligation to a vow?
                                              . . . Love . . .
                     a mere arrangement of consonants and vowels?
                
Time and again . . . the fearful crawl to the surface
  Decipher the face of mother then father
    Vacant gazes to anywhere but each other
      Mutual strangers carving a frozen asylum
   Indifference their drug for festering wounds.
             You . . . Phantom to phantom 
                  become my phantoms.
            Your vacant stare my vacant stare.

A child’s confusion:  
        Mother . . . Father 
  How did I lose the magic to enthrall?
        How did I fail you?
What did I do to lose your love?

Still the yearn for the joy that welcomed my birth.
   I was your precious one 
      Your bright eyes
          My joy of your joy
             My delight of your delight.

Vague memories of enfolded fondness.
     The tender embrace, the serene snuggle, the oneness of a we.

The need and want of love:  
                  How can I rekindle your love?
                A desperate search for the fuel.
I gather kindling in all that I do: school, sports, honors
       The ritual marches to deliver pleading offerings.
                      A love shrouded in absence
               I look down at my accomplishments:
           Mere twigs and sticks, decayed dead wood
                     food of ungrateful insects
                              Arms weaken 
                    Burden and tears fall to earth 
                  Healing is a foreign and alien place
               The decision final 
            Never again to return.

A youth’s anguish: 
    I hate you for bringing me into your hell.
        I know my place . . . 
            Mind’s burrows dug deep beneath the carnage.
                Isolation . . . the numbness of drugs oblivion.
                     
                 Transformation . . . Before my eyes!
             Girls all about me . . . beauty. 
       A bolt of lightning, a direct hit, burrow piercing radiance.

Wild scramble to the surface.
                    Drawn to the love gaze 
                          a boy . . . a girl 
         chosen in soul’s spirit quest to love and be loved

                                   You . . . I
                      Our limbs and souls entwined  
                           ethereal blazing stars               
                           Creator’s gift in deed.                  
                                                     
                                 A solemn vow
                 spoken man-child to woman-child
                          born of wounded hearts
                     witnesses to the rebirth of love
                           In all our imperfection
                     In times of anger, hurt and fear
                 . . . No matter how difficult the task . . . 
   . . . No matter how great the challenges of self-revelation . . .
                         . . . together we will stand . . .
                                  . . . arm in arm . . .
                           . . . embrace to embrace . . 
                                . . . heart to heart . . .
                                  . . . soul to soul . . .
       . . . Teaching each other the words and touches that heal . . .
             . . . Our togetherness a true labor and gift of love . . .


Long poem by Allyssa Pate | Details |

My Hell

I fall down
deeper and deeper
into oblivion
nothing
only darkness.
the sounds of evil
dripping into my ears
slithering farther
and sliding down into me
filling me with echoes.
terror courses through
my veins
into each cell
turning them against
me
they are no longer mine
they follow another
a stronger being.
icy breezes come
they whisper to me
they say I'm bad
they call me to them
the breezes dance
hug me
covering me
hiding me from the light
shielding me from hope.
falling deeper
only down
my eyes are taunted
I see people
the ones I know
love
they are hurt
hurting
by me
I have betrayed them
left them
I am hurting them
it is me
but I can't stop.
my mind is plagued
sick
new thoughts
 every second
comes a new terror
a cruel joke
all a prank.
only deeper do I fall
light is disappearing
becoming dimmer
fading fast.
all a game
for one person
the puppeteer
the ringmaster
the man in the
mask
the one who is running the show
the show that is me.
he sees me falling
he laughs
I can't see him
but he is there
everywhere
teasing my brain
taunting my senses
he hates me
he wants to hurt me.
he throws it
the knife
I feel the pain
running up my leg
showing my bones
releasing my blood
it is blue
my blood is cold
it splatters my face
sprinkling my features
dotting them with blue
the blue liquid drips
jumping onto my tongue
I taste dirt
my blood is dirt
blue is all I see
blue is all I become
I am blue
blue is me.
a distant shout
who is it?
a cry for help
surely
the sound is mangled
twisted
young
desperate
hopeless
mine
the sound is mine
I shut my mouth
but I still hear it
chilling my blue blood
ringing in my ears
shaking my breathing
jump-starting my heart
then it's over
the scream has ceased
and silence returns
sounding more deadly than ever before.
still falling
only black do I see
the evil
the monsters' playground
the demons' joyride
and someone is hungry
it wants me
my innocence
my purity
it wants to take it
it feeds on people
people like me.
weightlessness
objects hitting me
ghosts' fingers prodding me
as I fall
I fall down
down into this never-ending hole
this abyss
for eternity
restless
empty
yet full
filled with misery
my worst fears
come back
how did he know?
he knows I'm afraid
the darkness
doesn't help me see
I can't see why
how does he do this?
they cut me again
spilling my blood
oh, the blue
I don't even feel it
I am numb
the sound of me
my skin
being sliced
a quick slashing
and they are done
I am cut
my legs
my arms
my stomach
my face
my neck
I can't see my blood
but I can see how evil it must look.
the thoughts that fell
fell down with me
they too
are damned
they talk to me
they tell me what they see
they can see
blue
yes blue
my cold blood
it is everywhere
I am pale
white
I look sick they say
oh, no
they say
oh, no
they see the bottom
be ready
they say
be ready.
I fall faster still
slowing for nothing
for no one
being pulled down
the puppeteer has me
he's got my string
and he's pulling
with no sign of letting go.
now I hear a song
they all sing it
the notes are cruel
unforgiving
they bump into the others
struggling to be heard
with no set order
it is musical chaos
he yells to me
it is beautiful
and he sings along to his song
it's made for me
musical notes are played
they come up to me
they greet me
they jump
right into my cuts
surging into my blood
they search inside me
no mercy
moving faster
the drum
keeping them steady
pounds faster
picking up tempo
searching
searching
until
they found it
they found
my heart
my soul
the music does the talking
it says to hush
hush now
slow down
my heart listens
and I get sleepy
just stop
they say
just stop
the music is evil
played by the man
the man in the mask
my brains sends
a message
one final request
it says to my heart
speed up
it says
speed up, can't you see?
she is dying
it says
you must speed up!
I still fall
with no way up
letting go of hope
why dream?
dreaming of being saved
when I already know
I'll only be dropped.
I smell
something burnt
burning
oh, no
I know what
that smell
it is flesh
not mine
surely
but belongs to someone else
someone close
they too
they smell of dirt
sinners burning
dead
they are nothing to me
they are the stench
in my nose
nothing more
the smell overcomes all
all the other senses
until it becomes me
and I burn too.
even in the dark
the black
I see something
darker
blacker than black
they are shadows
they mock me
they play
they sing
they dance
they laugh
I fill with evil
hatred
a longing to hurt
hurt the ones behind it all
then
without warning
I hear him
laughing
my pain
is his pleasure
oh so dark
it's over
I'm at the bottom
laying on the cold ground
in a small ball
too weak to stand
in a pool
of dark blue blood
I hold myself tight
I can't trust
these creatures
these beasts.
he likes my weakness
he tells me I am small
I am ugly
I am worthless
I am nothing
he laughs when I cry
I thought that
maybe
just maybe
it would be better
down here
instead of up there.
it's not.
hell is not a game.
death is not an
easy way out.
do not try to visit me.
do not try to rescue me.
for I am more lost
than I hope you will
ever be.
now that I am
at my fate
at the entrance to hell
at the bottom of this grave
of my eternity
and if I am truly
here forever,
I'll have plenty of time
to ask myself
why did I jump?


Long poem by AJ Lekobane | Details |

Memoirs of one unloved

Memoirs of one unloved

I hear them refer to me as “it” or “the fetus”
Some underdeveloped miniature human, with no established status
For I am trapped in some fluid, apparently I know nothing
But, as strange as it may seem, I do suspect something
I cannot tell my senses apart or at all open my eyes
But I can detect outside of me a piling up of blatant lies
Disturbingly chaotic and deafening sounds I clearly hear
But they seem so far from one, yet closer to the other ear
How is it that I am able to point out what I feel?
Why do I get a foretaste of the world, when I’m a captive still?

Yes, you’d better believe your ears, I said, “captive”
I am afraid that in comparison to my carrier I am more responsive
For this seemingly young lady who claims to be with child
Expresses to me emotions that are anything far below mild
So the word mother surely does not apply in this case
It’s implied that it is better for me never to have existed in the first place
The insensitive words daily uttered by her literally send me balling over
She repeatedly does sit and only between two things hover
“Would it be a wise decision if I kept it?
Or should I rid of it and rather figure out how I can get back on my feet?”

Well the object she is referring to, is me
Her so-called destructive child-to-be
Then again, I wouldn’t burden her with the blame
Seeing that a situation such as hers is considered a great shame
An act that is socially and morally seen as highly abominable
Simultaneously makes me feel unwanted, a child so hideous and deplorable
Since when is it a mother’s first instinct to be so contemptuous?
Clearly of the feeling known as love is she not conscious

Oh, wait, apparently aware of love she is
But only when she looks deep into his eyes, love she sees
Not when she feels me move inside of her, no never!
Sometimes I wander, “love me, will you ever?”
At the same time I wander, “why bother keeping me alive?”
It truly is a struggle, for to stay alive I solely strife
When it feels like alcohol gushes from wherever into my system
Cigarette smoke from him blocking my lungs become an unbearable problem
Obviously, none of them care
The beginning of my life is marked by all things highly unfair

And him — don’t even get me started!
By now, I’ve memorised all the words he’s blurted
All his insults are now engraved in my once innocent mind
Truly speaking, in his voice, apathy is all you can find
I am partially disabled by his emotional numbness
And so is she, oh what an experience of sheer distress?
I would rather soon very swiftly disappear
And on the other world of nothingness reappear
For he slabs her and throws her around as he pleases
And for a moment the woman who ought to be my mother ceases

To seek a hiding place, safe and secure
To find for her heartache a temporary cure
But then the cycle begins again
And by the end, once again, not much did she gain
He hurls insults at her and once again, slabs her the face across
He overpowers her always and she is at a loss
For words, and only her tears speak of her anguish
If all this could go away, oh how I wish?
If only there’d be a moment of peace
If only for a moment, however short, everything would freeze

Just when I think my wish is going to be fulfilled
An even colder rush of naked Reality into me is instilled
He screams loudly “get rid of it or I leave!”
And she on the other hand, gasps for a moment brief
The verdict has been decided upon
But this time around, she tries to reason with him, “Please, come on”
To listen to her, he stubbornly refuses
For he cannot by a lady be in any way refuted
So now I am in the middle of all this
The two people who are supposed to protect me with their all are these

I have not yet stepped foot into the world but it seems twisted
The two who are to be united are against one another listed
Now I get the point very sharply
I got in the way of their happiness haply
In all honesty, I didn’t mean to exist
Then I suddenly feel him pulling her by the wrist
There, my thoughts are interrupted, as I sense a moment of rough wrestling
For the manner in which her body is shaken resembles no sort of nestling
I feel forceful Gravity mercilessly pulling us toward her
Our bodies fail to defy her, and I for one, disappointment I wear


How could he be so heartless?
To the point of knocking her out cold, almost lifeless
The unrest was born the moment I got here
So I’m leaving that they will be of good cheer
I have no idea whether I’m volunteering
But I sense that the fluid which I know as home, red is turning
Yes, I think they both stabbed me in the heart
The nameless, unloved object can no longer bear the hurt
I would be lying if I said anything of this world I’ll miss
Fare thee well, please do now without me enjoy your life of bliss


Long poem by William J. Jr. Atfield | Details |

Moving on Part Two Part Three

Moving on ???

I have come to wonder – as time passes – why ?,
the lady brings tears to my heart – makes me cry.
This lady who took in hand, in holy of holies, in mouth,
resurrecting a dyeing old soul, then went south.

This lady who, with a little time, could raise,
the dead, and in that time, did vigorously praise
as she took a weeping willow, turned it into a mighty oak.
That was then, now, never comes back, not a word has she spoke.

I think of times, when beaver lips, kissing, did stroke
a fading son into becoming a mighty oak, at midnights son rise.
I do feel – maybe too much sometimes – that I have lost the prize.
Oh !, why ?, does she choose to ignore, to  leave behind

this old man’s limp, impotent, troubled mind,
a mind that feels, that senses, that is trying to find
out why it is that he seems so unimportant,
why ?, it is that this is all he can rant.

B. J. “A ” 2
July 26th 2003

Part Two

I wonder ?, - with your distance –
if we, at these moments,
are not closer than time will tell.
I wonder ?, - if you, as do I –
feel the losses in never knowing
a mornings glory, of never hearing,
knowing, telling a positive story.
I wonder ?, if our time has reached
out and touched an end.
I wonder ?, if you no longer look for,
need, no longer want me as a friend.

The naked winds of actions, reactions flow past these eyes.
They do not deceive, hide their meanings, nor do they tell lies.
What lies lie behind the eyes of the beholder, is in the telling,
is in their perception of the world, it is what their mind is spelling

out for them, and does not have a thing to do with cold
receptions, distances, avoidances or harsh words told
as moist air drifts across the bridge and it begins to rain
and with one’s nose, know what brings on the pain.
 
B. J. “ A ” 2
July 28th 2003

Part Three

A war of the roses, by any other name, was no sweeter !, 
as pre and post-midnight hours dragged on in battles waged, 
from both sides, where I experienced a clever, cunning, crafty, 
master manipulator, a shrewd, screwed, master of mass destruction 
that used words as weapons, breaking, crushing the head of the enemy.  

I have to wonder if I am the enemy proper ?, or that of a cracked mirror ?,
reflecting the many facets of your life’s experiences ?, and because of this roll 
– a docile, inanimate entity – it is easy to throw sticks and stones, darts, knifes 
and other keen, explosive, destructive projectiles that seem to flow with such ease.
Could this all be ?, because I have no value, no meaning, no relevance, no importance.

Are these the reasons for the twisted perversions of reality, of my phrasings ?, 
of my statements ?, my beliefs ?, my thoughts, thoughts that have come back at me 
in a barrage of hostility, at such a driving force, it could knock ones world of its axis’s.
I wonder ?, just how much of this comes from a lifelong habit, of defending against ghosts.
I wonder ?, just how much of this is your reality and how much of this is imaginary / fantasy.

I wonder ?, just how much of this might be – attempted one up man ship. 
I wonder ?, just how much of this might be – pure, unadulterated, game playing.
I wonder ?, just how much of this scenario might be an offensive / defensive mechanism.
I wonder ?, just how much of this might be the walls, the moats, the chasms that might hide 
whatever the reasons for you choosing / taking an opposing position – for taking the opposite side.

The choices made are the choices I have to live with – acceptable or not.
There is no possibility for me to be in control ?, especially if I am being controlled.
Being in control seems to be the essence, the heart, soul, spirit, the name of your game.
Being right, seems to be an aspect of your game, no matter if the evidence proves otherwise.
You are not the only one. I see many of these troubling traits in other areas of life on this plane.

I see it in other people, friends, relatives, acquaintances and professionals.
So too, with me, and so I must not place to much stock in how I seem affected 
by these behavioral traits, I have observe in human nature / nurture, for I am a big boy
and walk this earth, this plane, with both eyes wide open, even if they have been blackened
many times, swollen shut, along with my bruised soul, battered spirit and beaten, grounded ego.

But then, what ?, is a good friend if he cannot stand some abuse
still hang in there and remain a good friend that can be counted on.
Thoughts – few of the many – left in the wake of another battle, waged, 
in the war of the roses, that will never be able to release their sweet fragrance, 
with total abandon, freedom or true understanding and acceptance of what they are.

Without prejudice – Without judgement

B. J. “A ” 2
July 29th 2003 


Long poem by Amrapali Tendolkar | Details |

RAIN SHOWERS

The Earth dry and bare; waiting eagerly for the drops of care;
 


Caught in the hot, steaming summer’s snare;
 


The flowers and creepers decorating window sills; all look desolate and ill;
 


As the nature withers away in the sun’s merciless glare.
 


 
 


The men and the wives; the kids and the wild;
 


All are enduring the summer’s waterless exile;
 


They are waiting for the rain; to relieve them of the heat pain;
 


And of that life which has become a sweaty turmoil.
 


 
 


The wind strong and gusty; makes the roads yellow and dusty;
 


And the air around becomes suffocating and musty;
 


The birds forget to sing; their lilting, musical thing;
 


Even as the tree leaves wristle and make noise so husky.
 


 
 


Then come the Monsoon showers; falling first on boughs and flowers;
 


Making the trees and plants glisten and glower;
 


So the monsoon comes in grace; driving away summer’s trace;
 


Lashing at window-panes with its all-reigning power.
 


 
 


As the monsoon drives away the summer heat; with its raining rhythm off-beat;
 


And the flower buds open up to return it’s greet;
 


And as the water seeps in soil; a refreshing fragrance arise;
 


While the rain continuous to cool down hot gardens and streets.
 


 
 


The Earth grows green; and water droplets gleam;
 


On the smooth, waxy surfaces of the leaves;
 


Everywhere the flowers grow; in pink, red, white or yellow;
 


While buds make their way blushingly between tendrils.
 


 
 
 The wet and soft soil; now grows fertile;
 


And tender green plantlets push through the Earth in style;
 


Through soil the tiny saplings peep; as their sown seeds begin to reap;
 


And the plants and crops shake off the Earth’s temporary curse sterile.
 


 
 


As the raindrops go pitter-patter; water in puddles begins to gather;
 


And the little birds begin to chirp, twitter and chatter;
 


The insects begin to hum along; their irritating and happy song;
 


While due to rain and wind the roofs on houses begin to chatter.
 


 
 


As the showers for some moments cease; after giving Earth life’s new lease;
 


And the pitter-patter of rain is gently appeased;
 


The sun coyly shines; a cloud it half hides behind;
 


While the fluffy clouds move along with the cool breeze.
 


 
 


The fields now green and bright; are an artist’s sheer delight;
 


Pleasing to the senses of smell and sight;
 


The fresh air so sweet to breathe; that with pleasure the body writhes;
 


In the newly born rainy sunlight.
 


 
 


But this sunlight so quickly goes; as thunderstorms blow to and fro;
 


And Earth engulfs in darkness that now grows;
 


The wind rises and howls; with a voice that trembles all souls;
 


And day and night this gale roars.
 


 
 


The trees in fear tremble and shake; as leaves, twigs and branches break;
 


And the life of these trees is put up at stake;
 


Birds in nests cower with fright; and due to cold shiver with all their might;
 


And live in fearful anticipation of what else the storm may rake.
 


 
 
The monsoon now shows its ugly face; gone are its days of grace;
 


Rainy calamities take its place;
 


Cyclones and floods destruct worldwide; the raging sea throws up its tide;
 


“Nature reigns supreme”, we are forced to say.
 


 
 


Same is the life of man; may he do what he can;
 


But destiny will always play a hand;
 


What all will man control? So he should let destiny play its role;
 


And enjoy life and act as the situation will demand.
 


 
 


Somedays will shine the sun; those days life will be fun;
 


And work will be successful how much ever it’s done;
 


Somedays by the fun you will tire; and will long to get back into the attire;
 


Of normal life, however boring or glum.
 


 
 


Sometimes hope will come out; like a tiny plant sprouts;
 


And will remove from your mind every shade of doubt;
 


It will be a bright, hopeful ray; but for long it may not stay;
 


So we must make most of it when hope sprouts.
 


 
 


Just as the shower of joy; after summer comes out shy;
 


So shower of success will come when you have almost given up the try;
 


It will wash away your helpless sigh; and will give you a new will to try;
 


Which will help you succeed by-and-by.
 


 
 


Just as the sun goes behind the cloud; when thunder is heard aloud;
 


And darkness suddenly falls on Earth all around;
 


So also failure will touch you once; its upto you to prevent its repeated occurrence;
 


Or due to failure remain depression bound.
 


 
 


Sometimes through demotivation you will go; sometimes loads of success you'll know;
 


For we need all types of experience to make us grow;
 


Like some days it is wet; some days the sun for long doesn’t set;
 


But then it needs both the rain and the sun to make a RAINBOW…


Long poem by Gerald Kithinji | Details |

Purge Our Consciences

From my lowly bachelor’s house
Proudly christened ‘Embassy Fair’
I woke up to the chirping of birds
On the trees above and across the vale
And the riverine bushes in-between
I woke up to the crowing of cocks
And the mooing of cows
I woke up to the leaping of calves
And the bleating of anxious goats;
To the braying of the donkey
The barking of my brother’s dog
And to the mumbling of the sheep.

There was no time to brood
Or think negative thoughts
Or linger on yesterday’s deeds.
I opened up all my senses
And voluptuously drank of the new day.
As my feet stroked the dew
On my way to the reserve fields
My eyes fathomed Mt. Ithangune
The eastern fortress of Mt. Kenya
Itself a mere one thousand feet higher.
Then we were mountain warriors
And our locale elevated us accordingly 
Leaving no room for flippancy
Even when it was flipping cold.

Times were when our men grazed there
On the slopes of Kirima kia Ng’ombe
Times were when Omo elders made rain there
Little did we know then (as now?)
That the God of Rain had slumbered
And demanded pure white fattened rams
Delivered by pure white-haired men
Whose penance upon the mountain
Would atone the sins of the Meru clans
And make our mountain God weep
And let his tears soften our rich soils
To ward off barrenness once more
And banish famine from our midst;
And as our fast-flowing rivers swelled
So, too, our cattle and our granaries.

For although our God lived at the apex
Yet he allowed us to get this close
And so to commune with him
Without touching his garment
Craftily spread over the three peaks.
Krapf and Rebmann never knew this
They were mere trekkers, mere explorers
Of a continent pregnant with mystery
That their kinsmen sought to make a home,
A distant home away from home.

One time I HEARD THEM TEACH THAT Krapf
Was the first man to see Mt Kenya
To which I responded, ‘Really? Aren’t you kidding?’
So what kind of men were the mountain warriors-
Blind men? The Meru, the Kikuyu, the Embu,
The Wakamba, the Masai, the Samburu, the Borana-
Were they all blind men then? Stone blind-
All those Africans that had known it before Krapf?

Desecration followed desecration
As alien men sought to climb Mt Kenya
And alien men sought to expropriate
Not just a field but all our land.
From a handful of missionaries and clerks
To shiploads of coolies and soldiers
To throngs of settlers and administrators
To segregation, imposition and subjugation
Till the people- wary, weary and desperate
Rose from the caves, valleys and forests
From every blessed nook and cranny
Chanting MAU, MAU, MAU, MAU
(Mwingereza Aende Ulaya
Mwafrica Apate Uhuru- 
White Man Return to Europe
African man Attain Independence!)

Though a youngster and much afraid
I sang that, too, in my youthful heart
Forbidden, I still sang it, in my heart
For I had seen the sword on my mum’s throat
As they sought to extract a confession
I had seen the village burn down
And I had seen the limp body of a fighter
Paraded through the village paths
But that was over half a century ago
And although I had seen the aftermath
Of Kaya Bombo and Kaya Tiwi in Kwale
On my way here (but thought it a dream)
And the agony of the 1998 Al Qaeda attacks
I had not seen much else; nor will I ever see
The likes of Eldoret, Nakuru, or Naivasha
After the 2007 election- I ardently pray not
For this is not the white man in Africa
That we are up against, surely not here
Not this long after regaining our independence
No! Not here in my beloved, bounteous Kenya.

It is commercial and political greed
A vicious, ugly cross-breed beast perhaps
That is all there is, that is all there can be
And these we must banish from our hearts
For who can bear to see Kenyan blood
Flowing down River Tana or Athi or Nzoia
Or swelling the banks of Lake Victoria, Nakuru or Turkana?
Who can plead such a case before God
And come away with his soul intact?
Have the Kenyan people not chosen
Through a brand new constitution
Their route to freedom, justice and progress?
Have they not decreed their own destiny?
Let me hear it from you and you and you
Whose hand or sword or bullet or arrow
Was stained by the blood of woman, man or child
Let me hear it from you who schemed or aided
And you who lent your tongue or thought
Or simply sought refuge in silence and waited
For something, anything to happen to ‘them.’
Let me hear you say, ‘Enough, enough!
Purge our consciences O Mighty One!’


Long Poems