Long poem by
Loch David Crane | Details |
The Mojo Trick
Loch David Crane
Sweat-sticky and hot! The P. I. is not
a comfortable place to be;
but sit here and perspire (as though by the fire)
and I'll tell a tale to thee.
I was coming alive in a Philippine dive
after Mojo and San Miguels;
the raging fire in my stomach went higher
but my sea legs rode out the swells.
I began with a pitcher of Mojo that hit
a spot in my appetite;
and glass after glass I drank till the last
and soon was feeling just right.
Then a hostess sat down in a low-cut gown
and asked "I sit with you tonight?"
And I nodded OK in a nonchalant way
so she seated herself on my right.
Now the hostesses here are all drink San Miguel beer
And the same is served all around;
but it don't show much class to charge five times' a glass
when serving's the same size per round.
So you pay a dear price to drink beer over ice
which is how it is served in P.I.;
if you buy a girl beer when she says "I work here,"
then she knows you're a Big Spender guy.
So I looked at this girl and my mind began to whirl
and the Mojo played a trick.
Her face was so funny – a nose like a bunny –
I wouldn't let her flick my Bic!
I won’t call her ugly, but with that funny mug she'd
make customers run and hide;
you could send that girl in to a crowded room; then
watch as horrified man stepped outside.
So as I drank my beer with a grin ear to ear
I said "My name is Billy, I think."
She was hardly demure; she said "My name is La Tour.
I love you no lie. Buy me drink."
Well I should have said "no," and let the chick go
but I wasn't alone in the place;
and the thought of all night with this dog was a fright
though her body was nice – but that face!
I thought "just one more brew,” cause I'd only had two,
and I said that I'd buy her a drink.
Then she gave me a grin with her toothless brown chin
and my self image started to sink.
But because I was shy (I'm just that sort of guy)
I just couldn't tell her to leave;
so I stared at the band and I drummed with my hand
and I brushed off the lint from my sleeve.
Well the music was fine; but the bar girl's next line
was to say "Are you married, young man?"
And I saw my way out and lied with a pout –
told her I had a wife in Japan.
So she finished her beer, and was soon gone from here,
and I ordered two beers to celebrate;
I was lucky, I thought, not to get caught
between her and a magistrate.
For the Philippine girls wear long dresses and curls
and use perfume and makeup for baits;
for to marry a guy, seaman or G.I.,
means a free trip back to the States.
Then a man from the crew asked me "What's wrong with you?
Why did you let that girl go?"
And I told him her face was scare spots off an ace
but he looked back at me and said "No."
I called for "beer 12" and started to delve
into my pocket for money;
my friend said "I'll buy," and his cash didn't lie,
and "Mind if I sit with your honey?"
I said "you can do just what you want to do,"
and I said that I couldn’t look at her;
but he thought she was cute, had a nice bod to boot,
so I nodded to go ahead after.
But beer thirteen made my vision grow keen,
and I saw what a prize I had missed;
"I have drunk too much brew! She was beautiful, too."
as I saw him voluptuously kissed.
I thought "How could this be? She said she loved me! "
My hand shook; my ice cubes went clink.
I heard her say to him "My name is Tuptim.
I love you no lie. By me drink."
So I smiled. I was glad; I was no longer mad
'cause the Mojo had clouded my eyes;
I realized then she was after my friend,
and I hoped he was quick with his lies.
So it's "sailor beware!" In Olongopo there;
where the girls fish for guys in the bars;
and though I often roam, I always come home,
– single! Thanking my lucky stars.
– By the Phantom of the O2 level
(O1 and O2 are Officer’s and Civilians’ quarters on the USS Kitty Hawk; I taught English aboard several ships at sea, in the Program Afloat for College Education.)
Copyright © Loch David Crane | Year Posted 2014
Long poem by
Robert Ronnow | Details |
It was a woodcut in our high school history text, Unit 4 Beginnings of the
Modern World, that so disturbed,
from the Nuremburg Chronicles depicting "the burning of the Jews," flat
faces of the victims among flames, in no particular agony, not especially
during the Black Death 1/3 of Europe died 1347-1351 alone. Although
you die together you die alone.
Earlier that week
I had attended our 6th grade's performance of Fiddler on the Roof,
at first thinking
Coltrane should have recorded Matchmaker as a bookend to My
but as the play darkened
with the town's absorption into the diaspora, democracy
yet unthought of and rule of law a fig leaf for authority
Jasper, who played Zero Mostel, delivered his line well to the effect
you're just doing your jobs while wrecking our lives.
Anyway, nothing like that is happening here, is it?
The gardener planting tomatoes, the gravedigger finding skulls,
there is so much life a little death won't matter.
I'm reading Bloom in the Times, how
anyone who doesn't believe Israel should exist is by definition
Come to find out, I may fall into that category - not that Israel shouldn't
but as a so-called Jewish state
any more than a Muslim or Christian land. To some,
Jewishness is not a religion, it's an ethnicity. You have no problem
with the Swedish state, do you?
Should the Swedes be expected to open their borders to the Finns?
was a beautiful ham,
big as Zero.
A friend posed
this question: must all states be melting pots like the United States?
I said yes
not because they should but since
it's inevitable. Let labor flow like capital!
I hate when people disagree with me.
I get angry.
When a plate breaks, it asserts another possibility.
America was the last word of the play and brought a tear of pride to my
Immigration, exasperating argument re the Other.
How many's more than enough? 9 billion, a rational,
real number that exceeds or
is within the carrying capacity of the planet.
Climate change is the new Black Death.
I like the Amerindian body type and face mixed in with the European,
The irrepressible economy rolls out reams of logs, ores of elements, bags
of ice, fields of rice.
Embargo. The moon stares, bare, full of interstellar space.
Better a cold shoulder than a visit from our military.
The crazy Nazis must have felt themselves extraordinarily compassionate
toward the mother, earth, the goddess, history, or some such
abstraction and, thus, acted on a fraction of all they did not know.
Selfless soldiers just doing their jobs expanding the border or,
on the other hand, collecting fagots for "the burning of the Jews."
Copyright © Robert Ronnow | Year Posted 2015
Long poem by
Timothy Jacks | Details |
h when i was truth i fell
drew boy i grew up
still def still be a cre4ators tool
wipers for the pain tears drop
fear not, fret no baby worrys from the devil. whispers on my ear xrtays , be very afraid, cantrall camaflauge like a sand dollar, honor boy we descretion , a virtue is all im left now, we the still launching balls in the park, remarks, its remarkableaint it?deep all dark as the cell lights from weldsgenuine from the top to the bottom, weathered by the struggle tried and true i confess tyhe devil still got a bounty on my head here, Weapons come bring all even that
determination reaffirmed confirmation
dragged across the face of
the devil, and i will face him,
killer on a cutthroat, lost my chrome and prorellis,
tomahawk mechetes,common cause i blare on, bread and butter, married to love of, giving mary credit, everytime i ever said it, deeper than the message, freedom never said more, boy act like he badder, go for me now im bipolar facing all weapons like its the deepest ****ing episode, connection in the west, no nothing coming easy, friends spell finders,wilder than saying it aint over, i aint acting like im clean, babys body beating on my head whelps and melodies, def to a felony, boy consider carefully im more than just distant memories, more than u still feell, the crown on your head of a king i slam down, been down in this sound like seashells has been around, like it hurts well pain is my profession, still trying trying to perfect it, pros dont know whats pros and cons know, among those pics as fast a lens close, so i been known tell u motha****as i been known, still feeling likke i got a price on me, yea devils got a bounty on my head, ask my nephew, ask me and stars shine like scars be me traveling far to minds, reaching for more life treating this like im beast tearing out this town by its eyeballs, white squalls black powder , blast that ass like Im massive passions in acid baths,listen strictly speaking to the Masters, G-force and white noise creator of the devil salngs pain choice words Streets still speak ina deep voice, do u feel remorse, hear the men i lead hear me boy slient in a count down anticipation anger too got u making mistakes now, now now no i aint even dressed in your wardrobe, take the tie off, nical all nighters, alcohol graig them twist their ****ing minds up, listen if u got better hand, well stealth meet finesse's nails, i said i will, sett a trap and the net never catches me it never will, dealing with a hardhead, as i rain hell down soft my middle finger the taste of victory , that u still long for, flash that mercy and emergencys well dont freak out, i speak out
and put a X on a narc's head, boy im part metal, its what i teethed on, Like Im thuggish for accidents that the dicate the laws broken by a skunk, feel my blanco vendetta,as it shrinks your stature, just suppose I stole your power, well ***** u can have it back,
Copyright © Timothy Jacks | Year Posted 2013
Long poem by
T Wignesan | Details |
Who would milk the Tigress
wears no armour gasmask
pail within squat thighs
nor bloodless forefinger and thumb
Cows wear forlorn looks
trailing tarred roadmap streaks
dry udder tears
for lost stripes
after mynas taken to the hills
forever abandon torrid flatlands
to the reverberating mockery of magpies
split podiyal torn fiber ribs
jut through mortar-upturned tarmac
signposts to a lost bickering Peninsula and island children
Adam’s Bridge of Hanuman hordes
loping to reclaim Sita
ghost-towns where once-fenced-in
palmleaf thatched huts in mud-caked villages husbanded grain
the unswaying palmyra droops with juice heavy nongku
the tiger cub teen thrust up
in sepoy bayonet salutes
thrusts her unsung virtue down
blind plunge in backgarden well
a warrior race of she-cats buried deep behind kitchen smoke
Those who came to milk the cow and drink peace
eat with hands besplurged with menstrual-blood
Where has the milkmaid gone
her pail half filled with her brother’s blood
The wombs of Purananuru mothers long dry
for their sons
untethered tigers longgone from lairs
their stripes for flags
Is there a Mughal in Delhi
fears a Sivaji in Jaffna
or the ageing monarch in Colombo
his Nizam-ul-mulk in Trincomalee
who would have gladly traded his throne
to an armourless English captain
armed to The Buddha’s Tooth
Would a Muhammad Shah prepare
for the coming of a Nadir Shah
from the far fastnesses of The Middle Kingdom
would skirt the Tiger-lined jungle trails
see stripes wavering at the cluck of each rubber fruit
Who would then growl to remind us
of righteous anger
of wayward peoples
trekking for elbow space
under the hardy palmyra
with only the nongku to slake
sterile trampled soil
miles and miles of heaving padi-fields
wreathed in fatigues
the lone lithe tigress
licking her paw sweet
The historical references hark back to the events preceding the gradual rise under Jehangir’s reign and final collapse of the great Mughal Empire: 1739-54 to 1858 in the Indo-Lanka context. Other references draw on the Sanskrit epic: Ramayana in the Indo-Lanka context.
-From the privately pub. coll. (re-worked: 2016): longhand notes (a binding of poems), 1999, 115p.
© T. Wignesan – Paris, 2016
Copyright © T Wignesan | Year Posted 2016
Long poem by
John Arribas | Details |
NINETEEN FORTY TWO
JOHN M. ARRIBAS
As a young man in Jersey I wanted to be a cop
One sunday morning that dream came to a stop
Our nation had been a victim of a vicious attack
By an aggressive enemy , we had to fight back
The guys on my street, most still in their teens
Lined up the next morning to join the marines
We were all patriotic with a drive to avenge
That sneaky attack called for instant revenge
Bussed off to camps to be trained for killing
The need for payback made us able and willing
We gave not a thought for the ultimate cost
No one remembered the millions previously lost
In France and Belgium on Flanders’ field
Endless casualties that all conflicts yield
We eagerly toiled and polished our skill
Filed insurance papers and made out a will
Off to see mom and dad on a five day leave
I’ll be home soon mom, no need to grieve
We visited relatives , our neighbors as well
Unknown to many its my final farewell
Off to the west coast more training to follow
On and off boats in deep water or shallow
We did that maneuver over and over again
Disembark quickly we wont lose many men
We boarded troop ships and sailed west
Joined a convoy all in search of this quest
We arrived at an island being bombarded
The pinging of shell casing being discarded
The command was given, go over the side
Clinging to rope ladders as we battled the tide
Small boats all loaded with frightened men
Most are sea sick, ashen and pale and then
Circling, circling then circle once more
With a sudden lurch, we raced to the shore
The boat scraped the bottom, stuck on the sand
Gangway dropped open, a hundred yards from land
We exited the boat and into the water
Then began a blood splattering slaughter
Men were killed while still in the boat
Wounded men laden with ammo to heavy to float
Dodging and praying I made it to the beach
Before finding cover I was trying to reach
A mortar exploded which sent me reeling
When I came to, I couldn’t see I had no feeling
Hey mom I need a clean uniform for saturday
It’s the championship game at the ymca
I can hear my mom but I can’t reach her
Hi mrs. Ryan, she’s my sunday school teacher
I lay there motionless for who knows how long
I began to feel warm, then cold, I heard a song
Row, row your boat gently down the stream
This hell cant be happening , it must be a dream
All is quiet and peaceful now cause I’m not alone
My mom and dad are here we’re all going home
A telegram from the commander in chief
Won’t dampen the pain nor the grief
My mom is bitter it shows on her face
My dad mopes around in muted pace
Neither will be the same any more
Two more casualties due to the war
Pass by my house on foot or by car
Hung in the window you’ll see a gold star
Copyright © John Arribas | Year Posted 2015
Long poem by
Cmack Estevez | Details |
I hate my life
My souls are damaged it’s full of pure hell that I can’t take it back it’s like listening to that awful country depression music that you can’t stand and you just want to go beyond insane.
Do anybody knows how much I suffer in those goddamn burden battles ? Do any of you lucky non grateful sons of bitches know what I did to get here ? I killed every enemy with my bare hated bloody hands I hated the enemy in Iraq and I don’t regret killing. Saddam Hussein deserved to hang lifelessly. He deserves to be killed but luckily I didn’t slit his throat and hanged him myself but all these terrorist especially Al Qaeda and Bin Laden killed millions and injured millions of victims in New York. I hate these sons of bitches I even hate their kids even slaughtered them with anger. Eventually I was discharged I was injured during the war I got shot in the chest nine times and also a final bullet to the temple that send and knocked me in a coma for ten days. I always thought on May 11 , 2004 that I was going to die and not wake up from my coma. I’m so lucky as of right now when I woke up from the coma . I wasn’t me anymore I was a monster I left my beautiful wife Cassandra I left my kids Seth , Pamela Chloe and Tyrone Jr. heartbroken and then I hit the streets and took and robbed plenty of drugs . What can I say the war changed me it made me worse and worse every struggling day that eventually I heavily overdosed on Crystal Meth and had to go to the hospital. Now I’m here in this goddamn rehab center reminiscing about why in the hell that I hate my useless nasty hopeless fate . I’m a killer always will be . I’m no American hero there’s no happy ending there’s tragic death endings near me. I can’t get my beautiful snow white wife back and for her to understand my pain. I can’t get my life back my kids are nothing to me anymore. I just wished that I could’ve never went to Iraq I should’ve dodged it and rejected it like Muhammad Ali did Vietnam. All day and All night I hear guns in the air pointing at me and three deadly trigger fingers pointing back at the shooter. I hear the bombs boom ! boom ! boom ! I hear the tanks boom boom all freaking day . I hear soldiers screaming while being wounded. I see bullets flying I see blood I see every human corpses blown up into pieces goddamn it what the hell is wrong with me ? Why am I’m in this circle ? I don’t need sympathy I don’t need nobody to say sorry I’m crazy I should kill myself in this circle but I can’t. I want to forget about the war I want to step out of rehab and say I’m better and free from the tragic. I know in everybody’s hearts that you will not give up on me and I won’t give up on you thank you !!! And to my wife Lisa and my kids I’m sorry. Thank you !!!
Copyright © Cmack Estevez | Year Posted 2016
Long poem by
James Clark | Details |
It was a dry, dusty day when I saw the wheelbarrow, with long handles made of dark wood.
The wheel is struggling as it carries its burden, but it manages the job that it should. The man pushing appears to be crying, his eyes all puffy and red. It’s time to move on, but I wait, I wait for him to reach me instead. The wheelbarrow has a dark green cover, such a sickly, metallic sweet smell underneath, such a heavy lump in my throat, “don’t lift the cover!” but regardless, I pull back it back to see.
The first thing to strike me, such a tiny hand, tiny fingers all bent into a fist, and an inch below there in my big gloved hand, the smallest most delicate wrist. Her face is held together by bright orange thread, her eyes are searching the stars. Her crown should still be there, on that beautiful head, where she lays, crumpled up inside her Dads cart. I put back the cover, swallow hard and just stand there, my head, Jesus Christ I can’t think, my pounding heart tearing itself apart inside my trained body, at this beautiful little angel in pink.
Her father, his eyes screaming toward me sobs gently, silent rage and yet deafening shock. Why can’t I bring myself to look into this man’s eyes, oh Lord, grant me some breath that I may talk. To say sorry, to ask why, to just speak in his tongue, to show him that I really care. I realise that I could never find words, I’ve no such tragedy to compare.
I walked away from the blue wheelbarrow, thinking that I could leave it behind. But every night as my daughter hugged me, that wheelbarrow crashed into my mind. Whenever she cried my stomach went tight, when she laughed those dark clouds disappeared, whenever she told me she loved me, I knew that I had nothing to fear, but yet so much. The wheelbarrow changed me forever, drank me to illness, and brought my whole life to the edge. I couldn’t switch off from that sweet smell, and I couldn’t explain that to friends.
I will never forget, such a small wrist in my hand, such beautiful soft lips kissing the sky. Such a pretty pink little dress, though stained red with blood, those clear and lifeless brown eyes. I wish that I had asked for her name, what to call that three year old victim of war, so small and so beautiful with those innocent eyes, my body aches that I can’t wish so any more.
If I could explain to people, about my demons, in one image to make them understand. I’d draw that blue wheelbarrow with the green cover on top, and that sweet delicate wrist in my hand. Two days after the wheelbarrow I became a Father and to my comfort, for the rest of my life I will know. No matter how often the wheelbarrow returns, I have my daughter, here for me to hold.
Copyright © James Clark | Year Posted 2013
Long poem by
Sandra Haight | Details |
There you are
face to face with me on Skype
thousands of miles away.
A grown man, but still my son,
Lieutenant Colonel, US Army;
Iraq War, February 2004...
You are there.
You tell me you are safe–
after all, you are an officer and
Brigade Commander...an engineer.
You have guards, and interpreters...
You are trained so well for survival...
But still...things can happen...
and they have...even to officers.*
I wait for your return...your Dad waits too...
sixteen long months...first tour of duty.
Your wife and children –our grandchildren–
your sisters, we all wait...but thankful
that halfway you get a short leave to spend
with your wife and children in Germany.
Every day...we wonder...
Are you flying on a helicopter–
those frequent enemy targets?
Or directing military engineering projects,
for sure near the war zones?
Will there be roadside bombs on your path?
Too many scenarios...too many worries.
Too many stories in the news.
As an officer, you have to send out
those sad letters about your men, your soldiers...
to their families, now with broken hearts...
too many sons...who are not coming home.
My heart aches for them...their waiting is over.
I wait...your father waits...your family waits.
The months go very slow.
Missed Thanksgivings, Christmases,
birthdays...and just ordinary family days...
but still...a miracle to see your face on Skype.
Then...one day you are here! Back in the USA–
back home to your family...back home to us!
Prayers answered...You are home safe!
Not on Skype...you are here for real.
However...not for long...
Second tour coming up...fifteen more months...
Many more sleepless nights...more worries,
many, many more days missing you–
and many, many more days waiting...
Finally, months go by...prayers answered...
safely, you come home from the war...
two and one-half long years of waiting.
You serve our country well...another four years
here in our dear USA, at the Pentagon.
You retire as Colonel, July 2010–
after twenty-nine years of service.
Of all those twenty-nine years,
I, your mother, will always remember
those longest two and one-half years...
those years of worry...those years of waiting.
But still, dear son, I am
so very proud and thankful for your service.
Sandra M. Haight
Sponsor: James Rogers
*Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF)
Military Deaths and Wounded
Officers Killed In Action: 427
Officers Wounded: 1,880
Copyright © Sandra Haight | Year Posted 2015
Long poem by
Stephen Washam | Details |
When my son was small he and his friends loved to play marines
A brown eyed soldier dressed up in his helmet and his jeans
I asked him why he always died whenever they would play
He just said “I saved my friends, ‘cause that’s the soldier’s way”
As he grew up his Mom and I always wondered what he’d be
When he reached high school he enrolled in their ROTC
Once he had finished high school he enlisted without delay
I should have known it all along, ‘cause that’s the soldier’s way
When he had finished training and became a full marine
I was the proudest father that anyone had ever seen
A brown eyed soldier in full dress not a thread in disarray
Stood proudly there before me, ‘cause that’s the soldier’s way
He eventually got married to a beautiful young wife
And I asked if she was ready for a military life
She just smiled and hugged me tight as she fondly did convey
That nothing could make her prouder, ‘cause that’s the soldier’s way
One day he told us he must leave for a war had broken out
He wasn’t sure what started it or what it was about
His mother asked if there was any way that he could stay
He told her “Mom, it’s my duty”, ‘cause that’s the soldier’s way
She said “Son, it’s very dangerous, you could be killed you know”
He said “Mom, if we all stayed home there’d be no one left to go”
“Dad,” he said “If this war is right it’s not for me to say”
But I have to follow orders, ‘cause that’s the soldier’s way
Just recently his wife received a visit and a letter
Our son had died in combat and that there was not a better
Leader in all their company, and that on that fateful day
He’d bravely saved all of his friends, ‘cause that’s the soldier’s way
He left behind a sweet young wife and beautiful little son
We all are very proud of him and everything he’s done
My son did his duty and he is coming home today
In a flag draped wooden coffin, ‘cause that’s the soldier’s way
Some have asked if I’m angry that my only son had to die
I simply smile and shake my head and here is my reply
My friend take a look at all you have around you here this day
You have all of these lovely things, ‘cause that’s the soldier’s way
My grandson looks just like his Dad in his helmet and his jeans
As he plays out with his buddies, pretending they’re marines
And when he falls and pretends to die, then I know right away
That he has just saved all his friends, ‘cause that’s the soldier’s way
For William J. Holder
In memory of Jon R. "Sonny" Holder
Died during the Vietnam conflict
Copyright © Stephen Washam | Year Posted 2010
Long poem by
Robert Ball | Details |
Let me tell you a true story.
Hopefully to show God’s power and His glory.
Two army buddies, friends that went A.W.O.L.
Absent without leave a military crime, a foul.
Two young men scared in Saigon, not more than eighteen.
Came over together from Oakland meeting, both young and green.
Naïve they were and pretty scared too.
Made a deal on the plane, “You cover me, I’ll cover you.”
Madness, chaos, helicopters flying around in the air.
Daytime, night time, the rumbling and thumps where constantly there.
The outside perimeter, with Saigon close by they kept vigil, they protected.
Turns out the two soldiers, disillusioned with the killings became dejected.
So tired of the killings, bombings they met a bar owner and stayed with him.
Each night you had to be in at 7:00 the curfew set in.
MP’s Vietnamese and Americans patrolled the streets for movement, watching within.
So the bar locked up good and tight you were their for night, till the dawns light set in.
Two soldiers In a Hotel-Bar- Brothel, and a vicious civil war.
Knowing when returning to base they would have some emotional scars.
One night late two weeks from camp the soldiers awoke to a flash shattered glass a rocket had hit the hutch next door.
Two soldiers hearing the cries and screams of woman and children, the innocents the poor.
Screams, cries desperate and whimpering could be heard inside the hut.
Let’s face it they were in the worse way bleeding and cut.
The five trapped had a soldier that didn’t care if he was AWOL; all he cared about was getting them out of the fire.
The soldier went in an out three times and he didn’t tire.
Looking back at the incident the other soldier aided the burnt and suffering as help arrived.
Without them these people never had a chance, they were caught off base, yes. But they were blessed and these people survived.
They for sure have the love and appreciation of the people they saved that day.
So in that moment that time they didn’t care of the race of these people they were humans and it didn’t matter to the two soldiers no way.
What happened to them? They were given a court martial an undesirable discharge, sent home.
What would you have done if you were the one?
Not even twenty finished with the war, the greatest lesson here is if they weren’t at that hotel, they wouldn’t have ever discovered that all are human.
In the midst of all the chaos, killing, mayhem, gave these two soldiers the love knowing that innocents needed help and they did for their fellow man
Copyright © Robert Ball | Year Posted 2012