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Long poem by Brian Johnston | Details |

Growing Up, La - Part 2 - Rev 3

- - Chapter 2: Adult Responsibility (With Some Breaks) - -     

By ten years old, no weekends off, 
Or Saturday cartoons, 
Although I did have cash to spend, 
I felt my life in ruins.
I dusted cars in my dad's store, 
And cleaned its toilets too, 
I fixed truck tires as I got old, 
Not much I couldn't do.

A trip to two month summer camp, 	
I learned to shoot and sail, 
At twelve years old, a pioneer, 
Canoed explorer's trail.
Near tragedy on my return, 
My sister paralyzed, 
A late victim of polio, 
My conscience brutalized.
Felt guilty leaving her alone, 
While I frolicked and played, 
Brotherly love had been displaced, 
Her protection was waylaid.

The washers, dryers, I repaired, 
And freezers with no chill, 
Then televisions came along, 
Tube testing my new skill.
Assembling new farm implements, 
And posting parts on hand, 
My driver's license opened doors, 
‘Collected bills' firsthand.

On Sundays we would go to church, 
To hear the preacher tell, 
Because my dad was not with us, 
His soul would burn in Hell.
	
Dad's Channelled Poem-[]
[‘It's bad news when a preacher comes.
They all want stuff for free.
I have to feed my children too,
I've problems they don't see.']

Three years of summer music camps, 
In Junior High reborn, 
I played piano in dance bands, 
Took lessons on French Horn.
My French Horn teacher laughed out loud
When I walked through the door, 
‘Your lips too thick, please stick out tongue, '
Now rolling on the floor! 
‘To take your money is a crime, '
The German said to me, 
‘You've no high notes, ' ‘I know' I said, 
‘Mom loves French Horn you see.'

Most summers were our busy time, 
We all worked hard till dusk, 
My ‘tail rung through a ringer, ' (1)    la, * 
The time for ‘smart mouth' (2)    brusque.
But then the job that I loved best, 
Flat tractor tires in field, 
A chance to meet a farmer's girl, 
The country's charm revealed.

One summer worked a cattle herd, 
Two thousand cows were planned, 	
By cutting, wind-rowing (3)    the grass, 
Soon haystacks dotted land.
Dakota winters could be fierce, 
The temp forty below, 
The stacks were shelter from the wind, 
A shield from blinding snow.
We'd use a horse for round-up, la! * 
My God that was a thrill, 
Except for blisters on your ass, 
Or when you took a spill.
I had not ridden horses much, 
You're so far from the ground, 
The horse not knowing you from spit, (4)   
Disdain can be profound! '
There was no time for niceties, 
And work to do, ‘C'MON! '
If horse and you somehow part ways, 
No choice, you climb back on.

Our ranch was all on ‘Indian Res., ' (5)   
By river loop enclosed, 
In South Dakota's Lower Brule, (6)   
A twelve year lease proposed.
Land acres more that twenty thou.
Covered by native grass, 
A chance like this was very rare, 
My father could not pass.
The river's edge a solid fence, 
No barbed wire to maintain.
The nearest town two hours by road, 
Security mundane.
Our days were mostly work and sleep, 
With meals our only break, 
Except for weekend groc'ry trips, 
No chance for love's heartache.

Till I discovered farmer's girl, 
Who lived half way to town, 
Contrived a way to go to church, 
When Sunday's call came down.
The church's name not one I knew, 
The people all seemed nice, 
To escape Sunday's usual fare
Was worth most any price.
Harmonica, accordion,
Played music we could sing, 
The pastor beat foot-pedalled drum, 
We made the rafters ring! 
I told myself, ‘there's something strange, 
The music's gone too long, '
Emotion peaking and yet I
Somehow did not belong.
With music's end the sermon broke, 
The world's sure end was near, 
Time now to sanctify all sin, 
‘Repent now! God's word hear.'
For God's quite mad, this cannot stand, 
No doubt that it is prov'n
Those rockets from Canaveral 
Are shooting holes in Heav'n.
I was in shock, glued to my seat, 
The flock their garments rent, 
And I the last one in his seat, 
No sin did I lament! 
At last not knowing what to do, 
I left and went outside, 
And knew whatever happened now, 
I hadn't found my bride.

Brian Johnston
August 20, 2014

Poet’s Notes:
* When I was in the American Peace Corps in Tanzania, East Africa we had a group of 7 
surveying assistants that were always with us in the first year and that we became very 
close to. Their conversation was always sprinkled with 'la' and I thought it was kind of 
cute. Like they might say to me, 'Why don't we stop in this village for some food, la.' 
They used this word kind of like I use the word ‘OK' in casual conversation. 'You've got 
food in your teeth, la.' I really enjoyed this idiosyncratic affectation.

(1) 'tail rung through the ringer' - Early washing machines did not have a 'spin cycle.' So 
to get the excess water out of your clothing you would ring out the water from each item 
of clothing first before hanging it on a clothes line to dry completely in the sun. So the 
phrase 'tail rung through the ringer' means that you are all out of energy, and very tired. 
The energy has been squeezed out of you by your job like water rung out of newly 
washed clothing.

(2) 'smart mouth' Someone who likes to talk back to authorities, or who just complains all 
the time.

(3) 'wind-rowing' - To rake newly cut grass into long rows called 'wind-rows' that could be 
more easily picked up and bailed then by yet another machine.

(4) 'not knowing someone from spit' - To have no respect for the person at all.

(5) ‘Indian Res’ – Land that Indian’s were given official title to by the American 
government in an attempt to placate and domesticate them.

(6) ‘Lower Brule’ – A huge tract of Indian Land contained in a large meander of the 
Missouri River. Although the mouth of this loop is only one mile wide, to get from one side  
of the meander by river is over 28 miles. Lower Brule is owned by the Cherokee Indian 
Tribe.


Long poem by Mario DE PAZ | Details |

Divine Comedy translation Hell Canto XIV

Because the charity of my native place
Obliged me, the broken branches I the picked up
Them giving back him, who was to debase.

Then we finally reached where had to leap
From the second turn to third, and just where
Horrible art of justice you can seep.

To best describe new things I saw then there,
I tell that now we arrived at a site
Which any plant destroys and impair.

The painful wood is like a garland tight
Around it, like is the sad moat to it;
Here we stopped step after step nearby quite.

The space was of sand arid and thick split
Not quite so different shape from the one
Which was by Cato’s foot canceled to grit.

O God’s vengeance, how  much you ought to stun
And frighten whoever is reading now
What to my eyes then manifest was done!

Of naked souls I saw many flocks to bow
And all together wretchedly to cry,
As they were subject to a wicked law.

Some people of them supine to ground lie,
Some other sitting down fully curled up,
And other walked around with no why.

People who wandered was a larger group,
And the less ones lying to the torment,
But expressing their grief with louder weep.

Over the sandy soil, with slow descent,
Were pouring  of fire very large flaps,
As snow on mountains with no wind extent.

Like Alexander in hot lands perhaps
Of India over his army saw
Flames solid down to ground  to collapse,

So he designed pawing the soil to draw
With his arrays, so that the vapor hot 
Faster lapsed if let alone to withdraw:

So fell there the eternal fire spot;
Making sand to ignite, like the tinder
Under fire, to double the ache shot.

With no rest were waved around to hinder
The miserable hands, just side by side
To send away from self the hot cinder.

I started: “Master, who are winner wide
In all things, except with the demons tough
Who our entrance at the door before tied,

Who is that big who is careless enough
Toward fire and spiteful and grim lies,
So it look like on him fire to snuff?”

And just that one, as had way to comprise
That I was asking my duke about him,
Shouted: ”Like when alive, as dead my guise.

If Jupiter ha to remove his smith’s vim 
From which he took the lightning acute
That my last day me stroke with will grim;

Or if  is tiring others to pursuit
At Mongibello where is the smithy black,
Calling “Good Vulcan,help me, and be cute!”,

As he made at Phlegraean battle attack,
And he darted me with his strength at all: 
He couldn’t have his happy revenge back”

Then my duke shouted with his voice so tall
So tall, that never so strongly I heard:
“O Capaneus, since is not yet small

Your arrogance, you more with pain are spurred:
No torment, except your angry wrath bad,
Would certainly be to your rage concurred”.

Then turned to me, and better aspect had,
Telling: “He was one of  the seven kings
Who Thebes besieged; had and still to add

Contempt has to God, no regard brings;
But, as I told him, his despites are then
At his breast very appropriate things.

Now follow me, and careful not, again,
You put your feet in this hot and  scorched  sand;
But always keep your feet in wood as den”  

In silence passed over to reach the land
Out of the wood where is a tiny flow,
Whose reddish color  my mind still disband.

As from the Bulicame the waters go
Which women sinners then among them share,
Likely that runlet through the sand went low.

Its bottom and too both its steep banks pair
Were of stones, and the edges on the sides;
So I realized that the pass was there.

“With anything else I have shown besides,
After we entered the main door just through
Whose trespassing ever nobody chides,

You did not notice using your eyes too
Overt as it is this present river,
Which turns off all little flames not few”

Of these words my guide had been the giver;
So I begged him the dinner had to feed
After the wish he brought in me with shiver.

“In the sea midst is a place of misdeed”,
Then told me him , “which has the name of Crete,
Whose kingdom under was chaste world indeed.

There is a mount which was of pride replete
For woods and water, which Ida had as name;
Now is a desert as thing to deplete. 

Rea then chose it as cradle to acclaim
Of hers son, and she at best him to hide,
When he cried, she sound shouting overcame.

A grand old man stands up the mount inside,
Holding shoulders at Damietta town
And looks at Rome as in a mirror side.

His head of pure gold is done and crown,
Of pure silver his breast and limbs are done,
Then of copper is made to the fork down;

The part below is built of iron dun;
Except the right foot which of faience is;
And on that foot more stands, the other shun.

Each part, except the golden one, rift has
As a disruption which drips just tears’ flow
Which, gathered, drilling in that cavern does. 

Their course in this valley deep falls and throw;
Acheron, Stix and Phlegethon they form;
Then through this narrow penstock down they go,

At last, there where more drop cannot perform,
Produce Cocito, and how is that pond
You can’t see here, but you shall see as norm”.

 And I: “If this stream has to correspond
To a source like that in our world up there,
Why too in this fount we it see beyond?”.

And he: “This site is round, you are aware;
Although you already walked that much,
Even moving left, getting down to fare,

You did not yet complete the circle such;
So that, if it looks strange to you this thing,
Your face should not wonder and touch”.

And I again: “Master, where is the spring
Of Phlegeton and Lete? Of one are still,
Of other you tell it’s of this rain fling” 

“With all these questions, I admire your will,
He answered, “but the boiling water red
Should have just solved a question you made still.

Lete you shall see, not in this hole of dread,
Where souls go to wash out their pain indeed
When their sin repented  has then been shed”

Then he told: “It’s time, to move now we need
From the wood, so follow and come me back:
Road is done by borders, which let accede,

And on them hot vapor will of course lack”   


Long poem by Scott Howard Myers The Gypsy King | Details |

Wall Street

      

Set upon the new world stage within the burning fires of hell. Silently posed factions of the elite, suppress the true inherit of Mother Earth. The meek children bending over for millennium, taken spankings of bare bottoms, pelted slavery. 

Upon entry to rule, the open stage of smoked mirrors began to reflect back upon the podium of lies. Taught by scholars from university books of political science. Fearful of leadership matching mirrored images, of false pretense, babbling rhetoric. The stirring masses of discontented, individualistic, thought of as dead - enders, trouble makers, and rebel rousers, rallied aimlessly.   

With super hero, Captain Do Gooder, bleeding helpless on the floor of Wall Street. Weary lost hope combatants mustered courage, and accepted destiny. To this point, someone shouted against the wind of change. Felt by all who sensed the importance. 
"To death do us part of the purpose to which we, the united, stand for justice". 
The chant began, as Captain Do Gooder was dragged away, and cuffed, once bleeding helpless on the floor of Wall Street. 
Damn the torpedoes. Damn the torpedoes. 
Captain Do Gooder, fallen, bruised ego matching skinned knees, lays helpless. Who will save them now.

Second glances from high rise penthouses. Serving champagne and caviar. Brought iron clenched hands once hidden, to draw the stage curtain down. 

With Captain Do Gooder nowhere to be found. The voice that came from pain of pupil. Born within broken dreams of promised lands. Realized nothing was coming cheap on this occupation. 

The dusty streets found Captain Do Gooder aimlessly stepping against the winds of change, down Wall Street. The well-intentioned, arrested and broken spirited, lost hope of recycling any salvage rights taken from them by Metro. 

Was this the end of the well thought out, pushed down occupation.  
Was this the beginning, of the underground faction. Where was senior generation X hiding. Only Captain Do Gooder and the well-intentioned, world stage occupiers, hold the key to that Pandora's box of hope. 

 
The peoples across the oceans were already springing far ahead in their own, more brutal campaign. For they had no cushion on which they were raised to kneel against. Tyranny ran over them.  A lesson yet not felt, or learnt, or taught, in the new world.  No chance of city mayors issuing eviction notices. Bullets, tanks and bombs were of the order. Brought down the line, traced back to the ones our United Nations to this day, refuse to acknowledge.
While leaders there home internet shop, and pump out the lies. Everyone dies. 


In the heart of the continent of center, where unto which as mankind sprang forth, for its first and ever conquest.  
The lights kept dim, to obscure the violent cleansing. A facade to disguise once moreover, the brutal tyranny for which the greed of the elite, control the dimmer switch. Diamonds and oil fuel the fire of war and oppression, on this stage of greed and guilt. Too far away, and too many distractions upon center stage for one to see or care. Thought and looked upon by most as racially motivated.  The origins of all mankind, to be left, far too far, behind. The true forsaken people. Why is man unkind.


So..........will Captain Do Gooder raise the bar to which drinks for the house, and all around, will quench the thirst felt by ninety nine percent of the people............mother knows best.   
Yet, still, self-inflicted roadblocks of appointed destiny, drop kicked long days past. Faint light shining far ahead, within the tunnel of hell, brought up to land. Firm above the depths to which it sprang. The truth of world order.  

Wait......what do we see......do our closed eyes deceive our cries........................................

We see Captain Do Gooder catching second wind. 

She breathes deep now and all can hear her war cry, no longer whimpering softly. As in past tense situations, given way to dazed and confused wall street *****es.  
She builds momentum, as our brothers and sisters lay dying and bleeding. On the streets of some not so distant for telling, of what's to be, will never not be coming full steam ahead and plowing through the hidden agenda.  One step beyond the line drawn in the sand of time, we thought would never be crossed. Give way thoughtless future tellers, and takers. Still holding firm with paper cuts, deep into the hands who printed and prepared such slave papers, kept by the elite bankers. 

Captain Do Gooder returns renewed and refreshed. Our true Mother.  
Captain Do Gooder feels strong, as bruised knees and scraped hands heal. 


Brush of destiny sweepstakes,  allots winnings of earth shaking, volcano erupting, tsunami tidal waves, with bonus draws of worldwide chaos. Future draws are to be held with worldwide winners. Grand prize, dead oceans rising.  

The next generation have no fear digest writes the next chapter. 

 
Hold the press down firmly wall street backbiting backbenchers. Drawn into the crossfire, on her mark, place the x on the next general who dares not fall into civil disobedience.  
Captain Do Gooder has grown teeth, and she is biting down hard against the line to pipe riches, spoiled from her lands. Stolen from the first pilgrimage, fifteen thousand years old, lost empire. 

How dare you steal from, and pollute the minds of her children. Yet old enough to drink and drug and die in war.  How dare all of us. 

Meanwhile back at the ranch.  Captain Do Gooder hugs tight that tree of life, to which sprang all this elbow rubbing and diversion. Wall street huddles in her corner, painted red to match the lengths to which an end will surely bring to it. 
Painted red for all to see. 
The end to friendly letter writing, give peace a chance, make love not war, generation taking a bow, and snow birding it, to false sense of security land. Like the ostrich with its head in the sand. 



Long poem by Desheya Swaby | Details |

Part 1: Confusion of the muse

The large, bright Winter moon shone it's heavenly light over and out amongst the snow-covered city. The city was large, the city was noisy. It was midnight and the bustling still urged on. People ached for a screaming, gangs clutched for their money, the elderly walked the icy sidewalks alone and or in couples; such a beautiful sight it was. At the very top of the Empire State building, a young-looking woman with ivory, glowing skin slumped her spine up against one of the boxed structures set over, preferably the corners. Her eyes glimmered with a soft red shine in them, her gaze was holding and even dangerous but yet a calmness instilled in her body, instilled in her soul. She was confused, she was.. What was the emotion long forgotten? She pushed her head up against the upper part of the ventilator before closing her eyes lazily, then did she turn her head, watching the moon pester her with it's large size. She rolled her head a moment. "Why do these feelings still exist? Why does unhappiness set the mood? The consecrated belief of this form was for the lovely destiny of being what I am now.." Her long, wavy hair danced with the cold breeze that swept in her direction. She found herself entranced in the lustrous sphere, floating there in the confines of the atramentous skies, dotted with sparkling partners.
As she sighed, her breath came in a swirl of thick fog. She felt no cold, she felt no warmth. She just felt sick.

Suddenly, as if everything stopped in the undeniable present of the moment, the sound of civilization cut off completely. Not a honk was heard, not a gunshot was sounded, not even the wind that whispered to her so dreamily could tell her secrets now. There was a presence. A strong presence, and a voice; a deep, rough voice;
"Child, have you not learned? Have you no shame? Have you no comprehension to the reasons of your being?"
It was a male's voice and it was most familiar out of a lot of voices, she heard it so much that sometimes, she thought herself to lose even her own infernal sanity. If she lost that, all hope was lost for her soul to linger somewhere as it did now. The woman turned around, folding her arms over her breasts as she did so, her eyes set upon a large silhouette that hid within the shadow of one of the large ventilators behind her. The male stepped out from the shadow, staring over her with spine-shattering, shimmering crimson irises. He stood six foot nothing and had long white hair just as she possessed. His jaws were squared out and his chest was large. "I have but more shame than you may know, but, in general, do you know too much.." She frowned. The man smirked only slightly to where it wouldn't even be considered a half smile or any in relation. "You're unhappy. You're dissatisfied. When clearly, you are to be neither. You have been a Devil of Dis for some time now and I think, perhaps, it's time for you to control it."

It was only their voices and behind their voices and words were soft echos. As every city commotion went on down below, as the lights flashed and cars crashed, nothing seemed like reality to her anymore, not even in her moments of thoughts. She was always being watched, no matter what. She couldn't feel shame. She never had that chance. She never had that chance to suffer the right way and die the right way as well. A faded memory of her Mother transitioned into her thoughts. She turned around, her back facing him now. She kept her arms crossed. She said nothing.

He walked up behind her before placing a single, large, talon-tipped hand upon her right shoulder, gripping firmly. His palm was warm. She didn't look up. "You fight with yourself.. Often and you know it all too well, girl." She could feel the gaze of his aura-seething eyes pierce into the back of her head. She parted her pale lips to speak; "I've got to find myself, I suppose. But, underestimate me not. It's harder than I've realized." Her back pushed up against his muscle-bound chest absentmindedly as she leaned into the fiery warmth of his massive form. The pit of her stomach felt as though it would close in on itself at any moment just not too long ago and now, it felt the growing ball of fire that set ablaze to her chest and overwhelming her beating heart. Hot breath caressed her slim jawline as she soon snapped from her flow of thoughts. She closed her eyes, nudging her body into his suddenly when she found herself facing him unexpectedly. Did she move here on her own?.. She let her head rest against his chest, his large hands running over her curved sides and behind, brushing his fingertips along her lower back with almost fervent passion before she tilted her head up, meeting up with his sharp structured face and the demand in his eyes, feeling the same breath brush over her face. The female fiend leaned up, placing her hands upon his broad shoulders and just as she tilted her head, brushing her lips over his own once. He disappeared.

In the same moment, her body posed in the same form just as if he was still there before she stepped back, her large, black wings folding up against her form. His voice rang through the air or her own air even before it entered into her subconscious, acting as such; "Act on your own, for I will be watching you..." And as his words faded into the soft echoes of tomorrow, the shuttering noises of New York followed in from soft to normal volume once again. She stared into the velvet skies, spying a single star that remained larger than the rest of it's comrades. She sighed softly, contemplating this.


Long poem by Suzette Richards | Details |

SUMMER, WINTER SOLSTICE - 2010

It was a visit long overdue by most people’s standards. I had last seen my daughter two years prior to that during a whirlwind trip which she and her fiancé had made to Cape Town. I had an unexpected financial windfall and the money was burning a hole in my pocket. On the spur of the moment, I called my daughter and asked her to source accommodation for me in London over the Christmas season. A few days later, she called me back with the news that all the hotels had been booked up, save for the Ritz. I chuckled at the idea of having to spend my entire holiday budget on just one night at the Ritz. Then reason asserted itself and we put our heads together to come up with an alternative solution. I could hear her flatmate in the background, chipping in with her penny’s worth of advice. My daughter hung up and I was feeling down in the mouth about the plans for the trip being derailed in such a fashion. Later that evening, my daughter called back with the offer that if I did not object to sleeping on the settee in the lounge, I would be most welcome to stay with them at their London flat. I gladly accepted. She is a chef at a top restaurant and I was looking forward to gourmet meals prepared by her - including the Christmas turkey.

screeching seagulls dive at sushi scraps on a plate - the urchin watches
The evening of the booked flight to London, arrived. It was an uncomfortable hot day and I showered and dressed with only minutes to spare before my friend took me to the airport to book in the statuary two hours before international flight departures. At the airport everything was in chaos. We were given the unwelcome news that our flight had been cancelled. This was the third direct flight to London which had been cancelled that week due to London experiencing the worst weather and snow since records began in 1890! We were offered alternative flights and had to stand in queues for hours in order to procure a new airline ticket. Some people became very verbose and insisted on being granted passage on other airline carriers (at the cost of our local airline carrier). I do not know whether it was due to the weather or the disappointment I was feeling, but when my turn came at last to book a new flight, I readily agreed to fly on Christmas Eve ( three days hence) to London. If I had been given time to reflect on this date, I would not have accepted it. Arriving in London on Christmas Day would have been disastrous: The tubes and other public transport would have been curtailed on Christmas Day and shops and other amenities would have been closed for the day. This I knew from previous trips to the UK over the festive season. To add insult to injury, taxis would have charged triple for cab fare and no amount of quibbling would have swayed them. I phoned my friend to collect me and when we got home, I poured a large glass of Merlot and retired on the sun lounger in the garden. It was *full moon that evening and it was almost worth missing the trip to witness its beauty. I left my bags in the hallway and retired early – after phoning my daughter and giving her an update on the status quo.
moths dart between moon flowers - lunar eclipse
Six am the following morning, I was woken up by the phone ringing. Sleepily I took the call. It was the airline inquiring whether I could get to the airport by seven am. My friend was dancing up and down in agitation and already had the car out by the time I had brushed my teeth. I offered to pay any speeding fines which she might incur during our mad dash to get to the airport on time. The flight was an additional service which was laid on to get the backlog of passengers to their desired destinations. Heathrow had given our pilots permission to proceed, hence the call to me that morning. We were a total of thirty six passengers on the Boeing 747 – it translated to two passengers per crew member. We were treated to five in flight movies which were current and could eat and drink as much as we wished to. By the time we landed in London at seven pm that evening, there was a festive spirit among us. A radio taxi (which my daughter had organised) was waiting to collect me at Heathrow airport. It was a chilly four degrees Celsius below zero and I was grateful for my leather coat and wool accessories.
steep steps to flat shut out the bitter world - a heart pounds
**************************************************************** *The December 2010 lunar eclipse occurred from 5:27 to 11:06 UTC on December 21, coinciding with the date of the December solstice. It was visible in its entirety as a total lunar eclipse in North and South America, Iceland, Ireland, Britain and northern Scandinavia. "bitter" means piercingly cold..... A term commonly used by Britishers... "flat" means apartment. The Londoners I know, refer to it as just "flat" with no adj or possessive noun or article. Please see the About section for explanations regarding the 1ST AND LAST haiku. Haibun(literally, haikai writings) is a prosi-metric literary form originating in Japan, combining prose and haiku. The range of haibun is broad and includes the autobiography, diary, essay, prose poem, short story and travel journal. ~ Wikipedia


Long poem by Debbie Duncan | Details |

BY THE SEA

PART One,,,, as she saw it.


The mountains and the meadows were always so beautiful this time of year.
 It seemed as if a fresh new world always came to life. The high cliffs turned sharply downward.  As I sat listening to the ocean tides smashing against the walls of the mountain below. There was a mild breeze blowing from the south. The grass in the flower covered meadows moved with the breeze. The sun shined so brightly I thought it would melt me at times.

As I stood up from the log where I was sitting by the emerald forest, the breeze pressed my dress against me. It formed to the soft round curves of my breast, down through the curves of my waist pushing against my yielding hips. As I blinked from the sun, I saw him there in the distance. I had thought I was alone. But there he was,  starring straight at me. What would I do and where could I turn? I knew what kinds of thoughts men had, my mother told me all about them. I saw that he was beginning to move my way !

 I saw him there as he saw me. I was paralyzed, not knowing what direction to move. Though as I watched him from afar, he did not seem dangerous as my mother always warned. Still, I could hear her words like a tape recorder in the back of my mind.
               
 Should I dare take my eyes from his? I could see his eyes were dark, maybe brown, or even midnight blue.  What ever the color, I could tell they were smoldering with restrained passions. His hair was long to his shoulder blades. I knew that because it moved with the wind.  He had broad shoulders with long legs. I knew I must not let him reach me. If his arms entangled me , surely I would never get loose. And, I'm not sure I would want too. Even though I heard the words of my mother, running in my head.
 I could feel the tiny  beads of sweat trickling down between my breasts. I was not sure I should take my eyes from him as I leaned down to pick up the fan that had slipped from my hand to my bare feet.

PART ONE,,,, As he saw it .

  The winter snow had melted and yielded to the bright warming rays of the spring sun.  The bears had come out of hibernation with their  new born looking for food. The mountains and the meadows were born again, new, fresh and alive with life.  Everything was beautiful and as it should be. Birds singing, their mating songs blended with the crash of the surf against the steep cliffs of the mountain. Nature was at peace with itself, and I came here to share in this peace.  To be alone with the earth, or so I thought.  

I found a place to sit on the grass hidden among the flowers in the high meadows.  So I could enjoy the gentle breeze blowing while watching the forest animals. The warm sun caressed my body and warmed me. It was a prefect day, yet something was missing. A day like this needed to be shared with someone, someone special.  Stretching,  I caught a slight movement out of the corner of my eye, just across the enchanted forest. Of a beautiful women. It couldn't be possible as no one knew of this place. I had come here for years and had never seen a another person before. Yet, there she was. Dressed in a dress the wind made love to, pressing it to her body. Clinging to the sensual curves of her breast, down to her firm waist and full inviting hips. I suddenly felt drawn to her and stood up. I knew she had seen me as she was starring back at me, as I stood staring back at her. She was a vision. And I was afraid she would vanish if I approached her. Yet, she seemed to be smiling, calling to me as I started walking towards her. I remember the stories my grandmother had told me of the enchantresses that lived in this forest, but I did not hesitate. I would give to her anything she wanted, anything she desired.

As I approached her I realized she was real. She seemed to be looking at me, daring me to come closer. All the stories of the enchantress my grandmother had told me flooded my mind with a warning. Yet, she was so beautiful, so inviting  and I couldn't take my eyes from her. I was slowly losing control with each and every step that brought me closer to her. I knew I was lost as I felt the heat of my desire to be with her, starting to take control. It was a struggle not to run to this beautiful creature , with the golden hair, and angelic face.  As I came closer I couldn't help but notice her sensual breasts rising and falling with each breath she took. She seemed to be smiling, challenging me with everything that made her a beautiful, desirable woman. A woman this sensual, this beautiful, this desirable was surely the enchantress, and I was hers. As a bee is drawn to the flower, I was being drawn to this women.

Suddenly she reached down to pick something up. It was just then I noticed she was barefoot.  As she bent over to retrieve what she had dropped, the sun reflected off her spun gold hair. and radiated a golden brightness that was almost blinding.  Her dress shifted  allowing me to see that her body enhanced her dress, rather then the dress enhancing her body. She would look beautiful in anything she wore.  The heat of my desire for her was beginning to consume me with it's fire. I felt the beginnings of ,,,,,,,,,,   

   

   Nov. 18 1992,,,, Short story I started to write, A friend ask if he could write from a males point of view.


Long poem by Timothy Hicks | Details |

The Cascade Adventures - Part 1

It's been four years since I've seen so much as an insignificant mountain creek. Been overburdened with comfort, now frantic with nature withdrawals, having to settle for photos found on Google Images: emerald pine trees, blue jays on limbs, moonlight cutting through forests, lakes the color of Windex-ed glass. It's much like drinking water that's been doused with Crystal Light... you may feel yourself becoming hydrated, when it reality it's only satiating your thirst temporarily. So you can imagine my joy when my best friend called me up to break the news.

"Monica, Brandon, Joel and I are gonna go backpacking. Care to join?"

the finality
of a cell hitting the floor -
shoe tying

Like a bunch of sardines packed in a can on wheels, we headed out to beautiful Cascade: the place where the Idahoan mountains aren't just paintings from afar, but close enough to taste. We weave our way through the spider-like dirt trails, as we each take turns changing songs on Joel's iPod. It's my go and I'm searching through the John Denver list, mourning the fact that there's over a hundred songs by him, and not one of them is Colorado Rocky Mountain High (the one song I could say fit my feelings to a tee). The menagerie of everyone's taste in music made for an interesting trip no doubt - even if Jonathan picked the worst possible jams simply for annoyances sake.

My first peculiar observation:

Humans have been making calendars for thousands of years (the first being more akin to cave drawings and stone tablets than paper). But as long as all that has been going on, the mountains don't care that August is expected to be sultry as November is expected to be chilly. Cause June took her first baby steps with a stubborn December mindset - a meandering way to say it was cold enough to freeze your nads off. The mounds of five feet snow made it all the more comical the fact I was wearing plaid shorts. Mother Nature wasn't going to be kind, I could tell.

like turtles
struggling to stand -
our packs full of crockery

It was breezy at first. We would practically glide down the mountain side, using our backpacks as a counter balance. The snowy counterpart to kangaroos, we were. The glistening flakes were thick enough to snowboard down - granted I never touched a snowboard, let alone ridden one. But after seeing this it gives me ideas...

Monica smiled for the camera, as I fumbled for my iPhone, a smile that didn't even require the forcible Say Cheese! nonsense. It wasn't waiting for the camera flash, but the other way around. Now you might be calling that rather pathetic, but I brought my iPhone along simply for the function of capturing memories. Angry Birds just don't compare to the real ones, sweet with lilting songs.

My second peculiar observation:

Google Images is an absolute horrid plagiarist; some beauty just can't be encapsulated despite all our advances in high-def technology.

The downward slope finally leveled out a bit, if only for a few minutes. Truth be told the path never stopped declining - some routes were simply more apparent than others. Our group of five walked single file through the trees, all basing our faith that Joel (a person who has been to the site once when the trail WASN'T covered in snow) would lead us in the right direction. And here's another interesting fact; this was no official trail, but a hike through the purest of adventures, unpredictable and unreliable.

crushing pine needles
with un-gloved fingers -
roaring rivers beneath the snow

The first time my whole leg collapsed into the fragile surface of the snow made me realize just how far above the dirt I was walking. I'd ask Brandon for assistance with a beet red blush on my cheeks - I blamed it on my fair skin falling victim to the sunny day. From then out I tiptoed with exaggerated caution, my heavy pack helping me just as much as it was hindering me. For even a foot drop had to be taken with a grain of salt. Everyone had to adjust to the added weight (except for Monica, with her light load of a sleeping bag, nothing else). I'd very ungracefully glide through twigs and pesky low branches, oblivious of my bare legs. In all honesty the cold didn't get to me, just the scratches of neighboring trees is where my concerns lied. At anytime I could have stopped the whole gang, beaming, "Wait a spell and let me put on some pants for crying out loud". Course that never happened, my clothes were in the bottom of my pack, and I was no where near desperate enough for monkeying around with that sorry mess.

slick slates
slanting down the cliff edge -
helping hands

Joel, with his redneck stubble, beams up at me, "Every hiking trip needs a little bit of adventure, don't rush it by any means!". That's the last thing on my mind - the first is whether or not that rock I'm about to put my weight on is as stable as she looks. It's a very roundabout route, and as questionable as it is, it's safer by a long shot than the first path we took - call it a 103 degree wall.



NOTE: Still working on writing out the rest of my trip to Cascade. It was my first backpacking trip and even though we only stayed one night, the trip is full of wonderful memories.


Long poem by Mario DE PAZ | Details |

Dante's divine comedy translation HELL CANTO VI

Continues the translation of the great Dante's poem written 700 years ago,
 probably the most important poetry ever written in the human story

When my mind returned back, after the stop
Due to pity for two brothers in law,
Which caused in sad confusion me to drop,

New torments and new too tormented flaw
I see around, as I move wherever
And as I look back, and with eyes I draw.

I am at the third circle, where forever
It rains, bloody, cold and heavy indeed
Bound and mood of it are changing never.

Large hailstone, dirty water and snow bead
In the gloomy air in great amount pours;
Smells bad the earth which then receives this feed.

Cerberus, cruel monster and grim corps,
With three throats he barks of a dog in guise 
Above the guys which here submerged stores.

Greasy and grim his beard, red ruby eyes, 
And belly large has, and harshly hooked hands;
Scratches the souls, flays and slashes those guys.

Makes them to scream as dogs the rain which lands;
One flank to other they in turn make screen;
Often the wretched trundle with no plans.

When Cerberus saw us, the worm obscene,
His mouths he opened fangs willing to show  
No part of his body he had to lean.  

And my guide rapid stretched then his hands low,
Picked up some soil, and with his fists full filled
It in eager throats he was prompt to throw.

Like a dog which barking covets the willed,
And becomes quiet after eating bite,
Since to devour it is focused and thrilled,

So made those dirty faces apt to fight
Of demon Cerberus, who growls with roars
To souls , who deafness would prefer to fright.

We walked on the spirits beaten corps
By heavy rain, and we were putting feet
On their pride which any person restores.

They all lying on ground in their defeat
Except one who to sit up, rapid rose
When he saw us while passing him to meet.

“Oh you that come within this hell so close”,
He told me, “Recognize me, if you know;
You were born, before my death you arose”.

And I to him: “the anguish you now show
Maybe is taking you out of my mind
So that it goes as I never you saw.

But tell me who you are in such unkind
Place you are held and suffer such a pain,
That, if any greater, no worse can find”

And he to me: “Your city, a full drain
Of envy that already slops the bag,
Held me during my peaceful life and plane.

You fellows named me Ciacco as a tag
For the gluttony indeed damned my sin,
As you can see, in this rain I drag.

And I sad soul am not alone here in,
Because all  these in such a pain are held
For the same sin”. And then hushed with a grin.

I answered : “Ciacco, to see you felled
Weighs on me so much that it makes me cry;
But tell me, if you know, where are impelled

The people of  city used to defy;
If anybody fair is there; and tell 
Of such a great discord the reason why”.

And he to me: “After long fight and yell
Blood shall then flow, and after the wild side
Will expel others with offense as well.

After that correctly this will down slide
Within three suns,  overcoming other
With the strength of guy who is now beside.

High will hold foreheads for long time rather,
Keeping the other under heavy weight
So that it will cry and strongly bother.

Two fair there are, and have no hearing mate;
Arrogance envy and avarice are
The three sparks which the hearts enkindled sate”.

Here put an end to crying words so far.
And I to him: “I want you teach me still
And that of your speaking give me a jar. 

Farinata and Tegghiaio, who honor fill,
Jacopo Rusticucci, Arrigo, Mosca too
And the others who for good used their skill,

Tell me where are and how can see them through
Because a great desire I have to know
If own sweet heavens or hell gives them ado” 

And he: “are within the most black souls low;
Many different faults brings them to deep:
You will see them down there if you far go.

But when to the sweet world again you keep,
I pray you that my mind have to recall:
I don’t speak more, no word from me can reap”.

The straight eyes to grim he twisted to stall;
Looked at me a bit and his head then bent:
Fell down with it as the others blind all. 

And guide told me: “He will not have ascent
Until angelic trumpet shall bring sound,
When of the hostile power occur descent:

Each one shall then see his grave in the ground,
Shall keep his body then and shape again,
Shall hear the eternal roar to rebound”.

So we trespassed over that dirty drain
Made of shadows and of rain, with slow pace,
Touching a bit of future life the lane; 

So I told: “Master, these torments we face
After the final verdict shall more grow,
Or will be less, or equal will retrace?

And he: “Back to your science have to go,
Which implies, as much as it is perfect,
That you feel the good, as well as the woe.

Although this people damn and also wrecked
A truly perfect status cannot get,
In other place not this is to expect”.

We walked that circle  road for a bit,
Much more speaking than I can now recall;
We reached the point which to down grade admit:

Here we found Pluto, the enemy tall.


Long poem by James Fraser | Details |

Lusting Abyss, his Darkness

Darkness is he, soulless totally It's abyss he commands, desiring what he sees In front of him stands a virgin, pure as the driven snow For white he knows it is, upon she his darkness will show Long haired and silken clad, his lusting eyes allure his own Is it fear that makes her pert, or the fear of being alone *~* Upon his lap she stands, so minute to his ogre mass Her silken attire now torn, talon fingers on she he grasps Innocent flesh he craves, to satisfy his empty soul In his lusting abyss, his darkness will soon unfold *~* Petite, pert so perfect, ageing hands of his darkened past Cup her porcelain charms, so grotesque is his grasp Leering eyes of void, now alive to this virgins flesh Excitement fills his wants, this maiden near total undress A strangeness falls amidst this darkened scene Has she succumbed, is she in the middle or has she seen *~* To his torso of centuries old, attention is drawn to he Reciprocating she kisses in touch, with drooling eyes he sees This virgin standing in front of him, allured now is she So minute to his ogre mass, content she appears to be *~* Lips touching taste, eyes closed, are they in wonderment Has she entered his darkened abyss, or is he now heaven sent Lashing tongues, like a fencing épée now drawn When his dark met her light, I struggle for the forlorn Breaths are seldom apart, it's as if magnetic, they are This join of abyss fueled white, seems so bizarre *~* Lecherousness in his tasting rush, her scent he delves in deep This virgin, this maiden so taken, to him now she seeps Like diamonds, her pertness rises, en-capturing her charms So different when she stood before him, all in alarm *~* Tailored they are not, such a difference in size This virgin maiden so white, soon to be in firm cries Thralled he now becomes, induced in his darkened dark He now revels in his taken, amidst thighs of perfection arch Forlorn has now become, a joining of lustful desires Black locks now sway with delight, the dark now afire *~* Positioning, seasoned they are, in joyful joining crave Now the darkness has seen the light, in typical deprave Sighs now resonate, amidst his darkened dingy hell The allure of purring white, increase his darkening swell *~* The number four shows form, pleasurable are their colours Where normally it takes daylight to glow, to nurture natures flower Resonating to elation, affirming these coloured bonds The indifference of, blinded severely in respond Amidst his darkening dark, sighs abound from two In preach, clouded sermon is relayed, to run this virgin through *~* Such closeness in revel they, tongues asping if desiring more What shall be the outcome, who addresses life's future door Fervent zeal remains, against this backdrop of darkened hell Yet, she demands and delivers he, again his body swells *~* Content, now comfort reached, she resides within his grip Engulfed has the white become on this entering darkening trip Saliva drenched, his head now bowed, engrossed, achievement said Enriched by absorbing the white, amidst both, this stead Her looks of hunger abound, naked like birth, blossomed rife Do we dare to think of our surface, and what becomes of life *~* Like a sweetened girl in love, she looks up and admires the dark One can only fear our tomorrows, our white dove joins his stark Her body perky and peached, en-riched, she's now bowled over Leg raised in content, in his dark there can be called clover *~* An aching hunger cries for more, in torrid lustful bites His talons become their union, this darkened redded night Taking, she invites him so, to suckle on her charms Is this the virgin we knew, who once stood all alarmed Manipulated she now is, her abundance he's now in grace Shall she bow to her superior, in his darkly grimly place *~* Entwined they re-unite, as she absorbs his ogre charms Invitingly she takes, her lips like a welcoming balm He's tasted, taken in, in release he's in comfort gain Her light engrossed with his dark, goes against the grain *~* Warm, fueled and spent, in exhausted appreciation Is this what we're heading for, since the dawn of creation Head now bowed in thought, is this lusting wonderment Does he know his spirits flowed, does he know he's heaven sent He looks down on his captor, having chosen his darkened choice To seduce this virgin white, having done, he's raised his voice *~* Whilst she walks away she gathers, thoughts, her tattered shreds Her silken robes of white, from the surface they are said Will we ever know the outcome, of the virgin standing alarmed Just who has seduced who, who has taken who's charm *~* To the surface this ogre looks, this lustful fueled night Slowly he opens his eyes, from their dark, their brightly white .


Long poem by Isaiah Zerbst | Details |

Highland Lassie

Highland Lassie - There Can Only Be One

Inspired by the painting "Highland Lassie" (1871) by Thomas Faed.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/arts/yourpaintings/paintings/highland-lassie-90027 

(Verse One; In introduction to Cailin)
Walkin' on the highways, searchin' down the byways,
Tromps a lonely figure on the Highland roads;
Peerin' from the Highdown, breezin' through the lake town,
Askin' of a question erry where he goes:
(Chorus; Cailin, followed by some villagefolk)
And it's, "Marry, gather 'round! for she hasna' yet been found;
I come lookin' for the truest lass, as only one can be:
I've a letter do deliver; as you see, it says to give 'er
To the fairest Highland lassie from Loch Leven to the sea."
"Here's a lass," they proudly say, "fair as June and sweet as May,
And it's sure that she's the fairest in the Highland mountains steep:
Through the heather you may go, climb the mountains capped with snow,
But you'll never find a better lass on which your eyes to peep."

(Verse Two; Cailin's thoughts)
Some of them were pouty, others even dowdy;
"These," he thought, "would never do in fifteen years:
Beauty on the outside, nothin' on the inside,
Leaves a girl with nothin' when it fades to tears."
(Chorus; Cailin's continuing journey)
Trav'lin' all around, for she hasna' yet been found;
He's come lookin' for the truest lass, as only one can be:
With a letter do deliver; as you see, it says to give 'er
To the fairest Highland lassie from Loch Leven to the sea." 
"Here's a lass," they proudly say, "fair as June and sweet as May,"
But you canna' tell the fairest one except you see them all:
And the lassies sweetly smile, for this stranger to beguile,
As 'e treads throughout the Highlands from the winter to the fall.

(Verse Three; Cailin's travels and troubles)
From the banks of Lomon', up to Durness roamin',
How's a wight to judge betwixt a thousand score?
Steps were waxing weary, days were growing dreary,
'Till 'e saw a lass 'e hadna' met before.
(Chorus; Cailin, to a lass called Ellsie and her villagefolk)
And it's, "Marry, gather 'round, for the lassie here is found!
I 'ave searched and found the truest lass, as only one can be:
Here the letter I deliver; as you see, it says to give 'er
To the fairest Highland lassie from Loch Leven to the sea. 
"Here's a lass," I proudly say, "fair as June and sweet as May,
And it's sure that she's the fairest in the Highland mountains steep:
Through the heather you may go, climb the mountains capped with snow,
But you'll never find a better lass on which your eyes to peep."

(Verse Four; Ellsie's villagefolk reply in confusion)
Then they said, "Oh, please, Sir, don't you taunt and tease 'er,
Caint you tell she's plainer e'en than Skye down dell?
Caint you tell you've pained 'er? don't do that again, Sir,
Lest you 'ave a reason, and if so, pray tell."
(Chorus; Cailin's reply, followed by Ellsie reading the letter)
"O'er the braes an' through the moor, I 'ave trode my walkers sore,
All to find the truest lassie in the Highlands boggy peat;
And the truest lass is fair, for the true shall never wear,
So I say that here's the truest, fairest lass I've chanced to meet."
Then she opened up the scroll, and she read it to the full,
And for those who chance to wonder, I shall quote you what she read:
"When the fairest lass I find, if our wishes are aligned,
I should wish to know thee better, lass, and then, perhaps, to wed."

(Verse Five; Ellsie's reply to the letter)
Then she said, "Oh, come, Sir; don't be sad or glum, Sir;
Meet my father, mother, and my sisters small:
Soon the bells were ringin', people gladly singin'
"Here's the lad who worked to find the best of all."
(Chorus, which Ellsie's villagefolk sing at the wedding)
"O'er the braes an' through the moor, 'e 'as trode 'is walkers sore,
All to find the truest lassie in the Highlands boggy peat;
And the truest lass is fair, for the true shall never wear,
So I say that here's the truest, fairest lass I've chanced to meet. 
"Here's a lass," we proudly say, "fair as June and sweet as May,
And it's sure that she's the fairest in the Highland mountains steep:
Through the heather you may go, climb the mountains capped with snow,
But you'll never find a better lass on which your eyes to peep."



Note: the verses are written using trochaic feet, meaning that they begin with a stressed syllable, followed by an unstressed, and so on repeatedly. The fifth foot (syllables nine and ten) in the second and fourth lines of the verses is a spondee, meaning two stressed syllables in one foot. I mention this for ease in correct reading. An example of this same device is "Since the Savior Found Me" by Edgar J. Haskins, (in last line of verses and refrain).


Long Poems