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Long poem by Brian Johnston | Details |

Driving Alone Through the Sand Hills of Nebraska

My love is light (a fairy kiss?)          
               Like the pressure of sunbeams on your cheek, 
        Ineffable, and yet capable of changing lives…
		Darkening skin to a more attractive hue, 
		Pushing spaceships to distant stars (given time) , 
		Even causing cancer given sufficient lack of love for self.
        For love is not about just getting needs met by another, 
        No, love is more like a laser's coherent beam….
                For in reflecting back a portion of what is given, 
                The power of what is being created grows
                Until it can cut through the hardest steel
        And span the gulf between galaxies.

Poetry too grows through the cross-fertilization of newborn lines, 
        The lines of this poem insist that I record their birth.
 	        Each new line grabs me by the scruff of the neck, 
		       Forces me to hit the brake, grab my pen, 
		       And claim it in my family bible…
	        My only children, clamoring to be set in ink.
         As these Voyagers' pass into the present state of my art
                (Some that I barely recognize in their profligate parentage
	               Of older verse's new verse's newer verse still)          …
		               Somehow still carriers of my own genetic code.
                They press my design against the blank page
	                Flying in search of, homing on… your heart.
 
My love's intent is simply truth (do you want less?)          
	 Would you have me downplay 
	 	The warmth of our connection
                        Because it is complicated by here-to-fore
			        Unacknowledged passion, spiritual connection, 
			        And the remnants of former relationships
			        (Even those still gasping for breath) ? 
		        Or feign a lack of attachment to it's denouement
			         In a solitary attempt to feel safer? 
	 No matter can restrain the effects of gravity
		On the orbits of other bodies in its field of influence, 
		 	Gravity that binds us all in deep wells of space-time.

 Your kiss of greeting…
	After so many years of imagining such a possibility, 
	Imprinted deeper than even my memory of our first meeting, 
		Our moonlit shadows touching as we soaked naked
		In the steaming waters of a volcanic mountain spring.
	This new conjunction of souls occurred in God's clear view, 
		Without artifice or scheming on our part
			And rocked my inner core to it's depths, 
	Organizing molten currents of confused turbidity
	Into a magnetic flare of such intensity
		That iron flew to my spine
	Inspired me to finally declare my love
		To acknowledge your impact on my life…
	And after a period of gestation
		Gave birth to this poem of celebration.

 Back to Nebraskan reality and a new mystery…
	I pass an overturned car, 
		Its wheels tied by yellow police tape, 
	A metaphor for my life perhaps
		'Damaged but still salvageable.'
	The windows are broken out, 
		The occupants removed to a distant hospital somewhere
			(Hopefully arriving alive) , 
		Their odds and ends of life scattered like garbage
			On the inverted ceiling of their car.
	The explanation, perhaps, is the water still standing
		Several inches deep on the road side near the wreck? 
	A sudden orgasmic release of cloud in a desert….
		The car tops the hill to find the highway
			Buried by a lake of dimensions only God can know.
		Who would expect such a thing in Nebraska's sand hills? 

And what does it say about me finally
	That I am so drawn to distant objects, 
        That the two women given access to my heart are
		Both still tied to failed marriages
			By dark chapters I am not part of
			And innocent children who need their love? 
	And at our age where is the partner without a past? 

 Is this all that God has planned for you and me, 
	That we 'just miss' every thirty years or so? 
		I know there are times I am afraid to trust another's love, 
			Cannot even hear words of genuine affection.
		Perhaps this explains my attraction to women
			Whose availability might really be in question? 
		Maybe I'm afraid to let a real lover in? 
			Is the simple dream of love a better choice
				Than the chance of finding real love anew
				(Even love with an expiration date) ? 
		I think I'm more distrustful of my own heart's passion
			Than I am of women being unreceptive to my love.
		Do you struggle with similar feelings? 
	And is it my lot to only remember passion like this in a poem
		While you spiral away to unimagined rendezvous'? 

The coldness of space is not after-all
		The simple absence of heat…
	No, in human dimensionality it is more the absence of others…
		Others who both shine life force toward us
			And reflect our own light back to us, 
		Who collide with us physically and emotionally
			Altering our pathways forever, 
				And who crater the façade whose design
				We imagine belongs to us alone.
	The void of human space-time is a true 'black hole'
		Sporting only star death fragments of the 'Big Bang.'
 
This is all I really know…
	I treasure the memory of our 'fly-bys'
		Even if that's all they ever are.
	And if I'm lucky this joy, 
                This celebration of your existence, 
	Will continue to pour out of me in songs and verse…
		For your ears always (if I am so honored) , 
			For God's heart (as I was born to honor Him) , 
	And to the stars alone if I have only them for company.

Brian Johnston
August 2009
     
This poem, like 'A Walk Near Blunt, ' began during an actual drive from South 
Dakota to Oklahoma and then took on a life of it's own. These 'real life 
narrative' poems are part of an attempt on my part to give precedence to truth 
and content over form and rhyme. For readers with an interest in science, I 
hope you also enjoy my attempt in this and other poems to bring my love of 
Physics into the world of poetic imagery.


Long poem by Mario DE PAZ | Details |

Dante's Divine Comedy Hell translation Canto VII

(Continuing the trip through Hell of Dante with poet Virgilio)

Pah-peh Sah-tan, Pah-peh Sah-tan al-ept!”,
Started Pluto with his hoarse voice toss
And that gentle wise, who any knowledge kept,

Told to encourage me: “don’t have a loss 
By your fright: since any power has he,
Shall not forbid us this rock down to cross”.

Then he turned to that face swollen to see,
And told him: “You have to shut up, wolf damn!
To consume  your rage in yourself agree.

A good why there is to go in this dram:
It is willed up there, where Michael just
Could the wild pride with revenge lam”

Like the ship canvas by blowing wind thrust
Fall totally wrapped, when breaks down the mast
So fell to ground the cruel monster bust.

So we got down in the fourth circle vast,
Of the mournful bank then achieving more
Where every sin of universe is massed. 

Ow divine justice! Where find anymore
New travails and pains as the ones I saw?
And why our fault reduces us so sore?

Like a wave does over Cariddi raw
Crashing on that which meets while rebounding,
So here people fights for a tragic flaw.

Here people was more than else abounding,
On one part and the other, with high screams,
With hard back force just heavy weights rounding.

Jostled each other; and after in such reams
Each one turned around, then rounding back,
Screaming: “Why do you hold? And “Why joke themes?”.

So they were turning in the circle black
From every side to the opposing side,
Shouting in turn with their ribaldry thwack;

Then each one turned again, when to end lied,
Through his half circle to the opposing end.
And I, with my heart in pain almost tied, 

Told: “My master, now you some word expend
About these guys, and if clergy where  all
These with tonsure who stay at our left trend”.

And he to me: “All had of blindness fall
In their minds during their previous life,
That money spent or save with restraint small.

Too much their voice barks with clear strife,
When they reach the two parts of circle round
Where are unpaired when odd faults are rife.

These were clerics, who are not crowned
With top hairs, popes and cardinals as well,
Whose greedy stinginess had to abound”

And I: “Master, among these who here fell
I should be able to recognize some guys
Who for certain failed in these sins for hell”.

And he to me: “In vain this hope can rise:
Their shameful life that made them to be dirt
Renders beyond recognition their guise.

Eternally these two will fight and hurt:
These ones will rise again from their tomb
With closed fist, the others with hairs curt.

Bad giving and bad holding gave them doom
To lose the heavens, forcing them to fight:
Without any regard, for other words no room.

Now you can see, my dear, how much is tight
The use of goods which with Fortune come,
To which the human beings commit quite; 

Since of existing gold and too the sum 
With ancient one, of all these weary souls
What tempers their hunger could not become”.

“My master”, then  I told, “tell me the roles 
Of this Fortune which you evoked to me,
What is it, which so the world’s goods controls?”.

And he: “Ow humans fool to high degree,
So much ignorance is offending you!
Now with my sentence you must just agree.

The one whose knowledge transcends any view,
Created heavens and a guide them gave
In order to any place the shine ensue,

An even dealing out of light to save.
Similarly with the human shines he made
Titling general minister, guide brave

Who could exchange goods of any vain grade
From people to people and among breeds,
The adverse will of humans to dissuade;

Thus one people grows faint and other leads,
Fortune judgment to follow  they are  bound,
Which is as occult as a snake in weeds.

Your knowing can make to her no rebound
She provides, judges, and pursues as well
Hers reign as do other gods being crowned.

Hers changes are then frequent and impel:
She must for necessity have great speed;
Is frequent who succeeded to excel. 

She is the crucified often indeed
Even by the ones who should her commend,
Her giving blame with fault and bad read;

But she is blissful and does not intend:
With other prime creations has delight
Turns hers sphere  and is joyful with no end. 

Now almost we descend to major blight;
Any star then already falls which rose
When I first moved, and delay isn’t right”.

We cut the circle  at the else bank close
Over a seething water source to spill
Into a ditch deriving from its flows. 

Water was darker than its dirt to fill;
And we, following the course of waves dark,
Went below through a different way still.

In the so called Stix quagmire as a mark
Goes then this wicked stream, when it went down
To the grey beaches evil to remark.

And I, while closely was looking around,
Saw muddy people down in that morass,
Were naked all of them, with an aspect frown. 

These one to other hit with hands in mass,
But with head and with breast and with feet too,
With teeth cutting each other in contrasts.

The good master told: “My dear son now you
See just the souls of those by anger won;
And I would also like that you sure knew

That underwater sighing still goes on,
Which then makes  this water boiling on top,
As your eye can tell you wherever spun.

Steeped down in slime they tell: “Our faulty drop
Had place in sweet air where is happy sun,
We brought with us a very slothful flop:

We are now with gloom in the black sludge spun”. 
This anthem they are gurgling in the throat,
Since any full word from them can’t outrun”.

So then we turned around the dirty moat
A long way, between the pond and dried bank,
Looking guys in mud cramming and no float.

We reached then a tower back foot from flank 


Long poem by David William Breidenthal | Details |

Used As An Experiment

Used As an Experiment

THE SILENCE IS BREAKING MEEEE….CAN’T YOU SEE?


V.1: Strong AS STEEL, wrapped up with silver, heartfelt ribbons
Give it to me – the rope of hope
You smoked me out like a cigarette…
Used like I’m an experiment…I mope…I mope…
I’ve been ruined a thousand times
Yet, I stayed strong – I never cried a tear

(pre-chorus)
You’re getting by – I’ll let you through and go ahead and commit your 
crimes!
I have no fear in my young heart…I don’t bottle up fear
And I ain’t gonna shed a tear for you 
I’ll keep searching for the light with or without you
(pre-chorus)
You’re getting by – I’ll let you through and go ahead and commit your 
crimes!
I have no fear in my young heart…I don’t bottle up fear
And I ain’t gonna shed a tear for you 
I’ll keep searching for the light with or without you

(chorus)
What am I supposed to do? 
Your hate internalized in me…
Don’t ask me to change – I sift out every single lie
Because I won’t stop believing in the Lord Most High
I burned in the dense flames, 
I churned…in the ocean of blames…
Remorse, calling me names

V.2: I bleed…you were my disease once upon a time
Visiting rehab in my head…
Addicted to you like a drug…
Abused and moved by you….
I don’t care about me anymore…
Disaster unfolds, trapped in your scorching RIBCAGE…
Restoring rage….you called me hideous names behind your breath
I’m like an absurd bird, longing to fly out of her cage
Now, I get you…I get your motives of abandoning me…. 
You neglected me…you stubborn, attention-seeker
You never listened to my acknowledging complements 

(pre-chorus)
You’re getting by – I’ll let you through and go ahead and commit your 
crimes!
I have no fear in my young heart…I don’t bottle up fear
And I ain’t gonna shed a tear for you 
I’ll keep searching for the light with or without you

(chorus)
What am I supposed to do? 
Your hate internalized in me…
Don’t ask me to change – I sift out every single lie
Because I won’t stop believing in the Lord Most High
I burned in the dense flames, 
I churned…in the ocean of blames…
Remorse, calling me names

V.3: You ditched me with heartless selfishness in your heart – you’re a 
devil! 
Your lips soaked up the poison in your heart…it cements
Deep inside of you…deep down inside…
Wait for me, so I can keep up with you…
I don’t care about me anymore…
Disaster unfolds, trapped in your RIBCAGE…
Restoring rage….burning wild like wild sage…
I’m like an absurd bird, longing to fly out of his cage
Don’t discard me – give your heart a break
Don’t hurt me – for Mount Heaven’s sake!

(pre-chorus)
 You’re getting by – I’ll let you through and go ahead and commit your 
crimes!
I have no fear in my young heart…I don’t bottle up fear
And I ain’t gonna shed a tear for you 
I’ll keep searching for the light with or without you

(chorus)
What am I supposed to do? 
Your hate internalized in me…
Don’t ask me to change – I sift out every single lie
Because I won’t stop believing in the Lord Most High
I burned in the dense flames, 
I churned…in the ocean of blames…
Remorse, calling me names

V.4: Loving you ain’t easy, that’s for shore…we never were a fine pair (you 
only lived for your own satisfactions)
Blameworthy – I seem to be these days
Get up from the ground and think better about your actions (For all I’ve 
stood for, you were never appreciative…I swam lonely in the pool of misery 
and despair)
Next time, leave the front door…
I’ve been wandering in the maze of bewilderment
Find your own way out of my labyrinth of lament
Dare to wonder where I’ve been?
In the cave of sin…caved in by sin…
Getting devoured in the lion’s den…

(pre-chorus)
 You’re getting by – I’ll let you through and go ahead and commit your 
crimes!
I have no fear in my young heart…I don’t bottle up fear
And I ain’t gonna shed a tear for you 
I’ll keep searching for the light with or without you

(chorus)
What am I supposed to do? 
Your hate internalized in me…
Don’t ask me to change – I sift out every single lie
Because I won’t stop believing in the Lord Most High
I burned in the dense flames, 
I churned…in the ocean of blames…
Remorse, calling me names

V.5: I don’t care anymore…
Disaster unfolds, trapped in your RIBCAGE…
Restoring rage…burning bright like a star with a tattooed scar
It feels so wrong to be in the dark, so far…so far…
Away from your charms…your warm, cuddly arms…
So far, I’ve been digging deep in your soul…
Anxiety banging at my skull…skull…
In my mind and heart again
Forget and forgive 
Feed the flames of uncertainty
You don’t deserve to die or live
Where shall I flee? Free me…

(pre-chorus)
 You’re getting by – I’ll let you through and go ahead and commit your 
crimes!
I have no fear in my young heart…I don’t bottle up fear
And I ain’t gonna shed a tear for you 
I’ll keep searching for the light with or without you
(pre-chorus)
 You’re getting by – I’ll let you through and go ahead and commit your 
crimes!
I have no fear in my young heart…I don’t bottle up fear
And I ain’t gonna shed a tear for you 
I’ll keep searching for the light with or without you

(chorus)
What am I supposed to do? 
Your hate internalized in me…
Don’t ask me to change – I sift out every single lie
Because I won’t stop believing in the Lord Most High
I burned in the dense flames, 
I churned…in the ocean of blames…
Remorse, calling me names

V.6: Yet, I stayed strong – I never cried a tear
I’ve been ruined a thousand times
Used like I’m an experiment…I mope…I mope…
You smoked me out like a cigarette…
Give it to me – the rope of hope
On my own, feeling like I don’t belong – wrapped up with blue, heartless 
ribbons


THE DISTRESS ABYSS IS SUCKING ME UP – RELEASE MEEEEE….


Long poem by Mario DE PAZ | Details |

Dante's Divina Commedia translation Canto VIII

I tell, to follow, that long trait before
We reached the  back foot of the tower tall,
Our eyes went up to the top core

For two little flames we saw install,
And another responding from so far
That barely I perceived being so small.

And I turned my face to the full sense star:
I told: “What does this mean? and what reply
Gives then the other flame? And those who are?” 

And he: “Above the dirty waves and by
You can perceive already what to expect,
If the fume of the swamp does not deny”.

Rope never pushed an arrow to eject
Which faster and thin too rushed out through air
As I saw a shorty boat well direct

Through water toward us with no compare,
Under the drive of just one only oar,
Who shouted: “Now you arrived soul unfair!”

“Flegiàs, Flegiàs, useless is shouting your”
Told then my lord, “It’s only this time now:
Once crossed the marsh you’ll never see us more”

Like the one who listens a great false vow
Which he undergoes, and regrets then,
So was Flegiàs owing rage to allow.

My guide entered now the boat on the fen,
And then he let me enter after him;
So it looked fully loaded once again .  

After my guide and I were on wood grim,
Cutting across just goes the ancient bow
The water even more than used to trim. 

While we were running in the deadly flow,
In front of me then came a muddy man,
Who told me: “Who are you coming here now?”

And I: “If I come, to remain don’t plan;
But who are you, so unsightly to see?”.
Answered: “You see  that I just grieve for ban”.

And I to him; “With mourn and of  tears  sea,
You damned spirit, now you can stay on still;
I know you, even though  dirty you be”.

Then he aimed both hands to the board until,
So that my mindful master then pushed him,
Telling: “Get off from here, stay there, damned will!”

And then with arms he cuddled my neck rim;
Kissed my face, and told me: “Disdainful core,
Blessed woman who gave you birth with vim!

That guy was a person proud in his life yore;
Kindness you don’t find recalling his acts:
So his soul is here angry as before.

Plenty of people up like  king enacts
And here after as swine in mire shall stay
Leaving of themselves just horrible facts!”. 

And I: “Master, I would have happy play
If I see him to plunge into this slush
Before that from this lake we get away”.

And he to me: “Before ending our rush
To reach the bank, you full sated will be:
You must enjoy along your wish to hush”. 

After short while the torture I could see
Performed by people lying in that mire,
To God much praise and thanks go still from me. 

All screamed: “To Filippo Argenti dire!”;
And the Florentine spirit queer indeed
In his own body flesh sunk his teeth spire.

Here we left him, and no more words I need;
But in my ears I felt a beating pain,
Which made me cross eyes forward as my deed.

The good master told: “My dear, get again,
Now the city called Dite is getting close
With grievous citizens,  many restrained”

And I: “ Master, its towers already shows
There in the valley distinctly I see,
Vermillion like from fire just arose

Now”. And he: “the eternal fire sea
Which is burning inside makes them so red,
As in this base hell you can see to be”

We then inside the deep ditches were led
Which corrugate that disconsolate land:
And looked of iron made the walls ahead.

Not without moving around a turn grand,
We reached a place then where the helmsman strong
“Get out”, shouted: “Here is the entry stand”.

I saw more than thousand coming along
As poured from above, who with nasty huff
Told: “Who is this one of the living band

Who goes around the kingdom of deads gruff?” 
And my sage master then motioned to me
He aimed to them speak  secretly enough.

Then they reduced a bit their disagree
And told: “Come you alone, and he must go
Being in this reign entered of scare free. 

He must get back alone the street so fow:
Let him try, if able: you remain here,
Who guided him in this land without glow”.

Think, reader, how much I had then to fear
While hearing the sound of those words so damn,
Because I thought I couldn’t be back clear.

“Oh dear guide, for seven times saved I am
By your help giving assurance to me
In high distress I encountered as a dram,

Don’t abandon me”, I told, “without lee;
And if to pass it is denied beyond,
Let us find our path backward to fast flee”

And that lord who guided me there so fond,
Told me: “Don’t be afraid, because our stride 
Nobody can stop: from so high gets bond.

But wait me here now, and your spirit tied
Encourage strongly and feed with hope good,
Since I will not leave you in this world bide”.

So went away, and abandoned I stood,
My sweet father then leaving me in doubt,
So yes and no to fight in me then could.

I did not  hear what he to them gave out;
But he did not remain with them long time,
To observe that all in turn left the bout.

Closed the doors those people faulty of crime
Against my lord breast, who remained outside
And came back to me so slow as to climb.

The eyes to ground and lashes had to hide
Any pride, and telling sighs in between:
“Who the sorrow houses now me denied! 

And to me “You, if I am not serene,
Don’t dismay, since I shall the battle win,
No matter which against us be the screen. 

This arrogance of their not new has been;
They used it for a door secret much less,
Which without any lock is still therein.

On  that you saw of dead write the impress:
And on this side descends the terrain steep,
Then passing through the circles with no stress,

So for him the ground be open to sweep”


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 William J. Jr. Atfield | Details |

My Daughter The Need A walk from the dark side, into the darkness

My Daughter

My beautiful Daughter, walks life’s paths alone,
She does so, by design – not of hers – on her own.
She travels heavily !, from place to empty space,
from space to vacant place – in what kind of race?
A race towards where ?, towards what I do not know,
for, to me – an  age and place beyond – she does not show
where it is, - where she wants her future  to go
if ?, going anywhere – accomplishing - is a guiding
force in her life, seeking out, chasing after lightening.

There are times, when I hear, in my words
the sounds of need, – empty in their experience –
looking for some of what has been offered.
What has been offered, I see, it is not meant for me.

The Need

I keep being dragged back into this nightmare,
a nightmare ?, so I am lead to believe, could it be ?
Within the stories, the tone, I hear, I perceive it to be
but have to wonder ?, is it ?, really but a dream
that can find no reality on this plane , never comes true,
therefore it truly is !, becomes the nightmare.
In the words that tell, I see, I hear, I feel
the sword that plunges deep, with which to defend,
to destroy the foe – the lover – a man not to know
yet not forgotten, not left alone, not let go of.
He - the nightmare – is always there, he doesn’t care,
he is a rotting residue in, a part of life’s moments.
He is your nightmare, in your dreams, in every waking hour!
These sad eyes see, these sensitive ears, in pain, hear the pain,
this old heart feels, but this useless blade, – a knife that hides
within my, closed mouth – seems not able to cut away at the ties
that bind you to life’s strife – to the nightmare.
Could it be unfulfilled desires ?, unrealized dreams ?

What has taken forty nine life times to create,
might be attributed to nature, nurturing or fate,
but may not be digested, accepted, understood or dissipated.
Regardless of the words, the meaning, what else can be stated ?
I know that in forty nine hour days, my thoughts my feeling
will never find a way to reach out and touch a solid ceiling
and so, in my many words, in my actions, I pray
that it all can be set aside, and all can be put away.

A walk from the dark side, into the darkness.

Little, to nothing could this impotent old man / dad offer
his Child, his oldest Daughter, in so much need.
Nothing could he bestow upon his Child, or his lover,
with her insecurities, doubts, his insatiable greed,
and so, escape not, she walks along with his need
as it has been something he has decreed.
Oh !, how remiss to leave them on their own, to agree
to their coarse, a course that could take them on
to complete the journey they started, then gone.

Time, enough !, distance is past 
Time to stop !, turn around at last
and face what the outcome will be.
Open eyes, a new beginning to see.
May I leave sun set’s path, face the sun rise
coming through that black velvet screen before me
with it’s spattered, day-glow dots, all aglow
opening inner sanctum doors, allowing me to know.

Thoughts for me, alternative for them flash before my mind.
What will they do ?, am I being so unkind ?
Will one, the other or both be bussed back to Ontario ?
As I walk back to the room, I ponder the scenario ? 
Will we ( all three ) carry on with our little adventure
into the canyons and gorges, the city of all nights lights
– the city where angels never sleeps – I cannot be sure ?,
sure if they will end their – for my attention – fights.
Will we see the city ?, where one man built his fantasy,
walk among dreams brought to life, a fun reality 
of cartoon characters, animated for the child in us
or in the end, to Ontario on a Greyhound bus ?
Will we see stars ?, stars on a walk, in the city of angels
At this juncture, what will be the story one tells ?
Will the Golden Gate carry us ?, will we ride the hills ?,
on their steel rails, tell tales of all our thrills ? 
Will we end these moments in gods country ?, 
the city of the British, the salmon run, a hollow tree,
mountains, bays, bears, a Princess, poetess gone to ash,
her rhyme, this forth cousin of mine, they did stash,
hidden from obvious view, in the woods of Stanley park,
where few knew, and for a hundred years, lay in the dark.
Many know not where Native, folk lore doth reside ?
In her books, hand in hand and side by side,
along with as many nationalities as there are nations.
In this place, women brought to life her creations.

Before I leave this bleak walk, in the arms of this black night,
My thoughts are, hope that all will come out all right,
when one of those day glow dots, in that black velvet sky,
all a glow, took off, streaked south, caught my eye
as it crossed the heavens, fast as the speed of light,
in the pattern of a Zed, then disappeared from sight.

( Strange !!!, this speck of star light, it’s unusual flight
as it star-ts out from nothing, speeds south on a 
horizontal plane, pauses a split second, reverses direction,
drops down vertically, on an angle northward, towards a point
where it started out, again paused for a split second, then, 
on a horizontal plan, zipped south before disappearing into star,
in the starry back drop from whence it took life, for a moment. )

This story, – twenty five years old – in rhyme, comes to life,
for a brief moment, from a memories hoard, rife
with so many stories hidden from sight 
coming from rhyme - into light.

B. J.“A ” 2
May 30th 2002


Long poem by Mario DE PAZ | Details |

Translation of Dante's Hell CANTO XV

Now we along one of hard rims are brought;
And a thin spray on the  brook is fixed, 
So shield to rims and water is begot.

As Flemings, Cadsand and Bruges bewixt,
Fearing the high waves pouncing against shore,
Build dikes to sea to have shield affixed; 

And like Paduans near the Brenta core,
To defend their castles and too their fields,
That Chiarentana  heat feels quite before:

Similar to those are just made the shields,
Even though neither so thick nor so tall,
As builder mind, whoever he is, yields.

We were just well outside the wood at all
Enough, so where it was  I could not  say,
Even though I  looked back to recall,

When we just met of spirits an array
Who were coming on the bank and each one
Was looking at us as by night the way

Is looked another when new moon begun;
And they were squeezing eyelashes to us
As an old tailor  in the needle bunt.

Spotted in such a way by a group  thus,
I was recognized by one, who me took
At the flap and shouted: “What a success!”.

And I, when  his limb  me grabbed as an hook,
In his baked burnt outward stuck then my eyes,
So that he could no more hide his burned look

To recognize him my mind to apprise;
And moving down to his face my hand,
Answered: “Are you then sir Brunetto wise?”

And he: “My dear son, you please demand
That Brunetto Latini stays a while
With you and comes back leaving the band”.

I told: “As much as I can, beg you I’ll;
And if you want that I with you may sit,
Will do, if for my mate it is worthwhile”  

“My dear son”, told, “If any of us a bit
Stops walking, then hundred years must lie
With just no defense then from fire hit.

So, must go on: I shall follow you by;
And after that I shall rejoin my troop
Which its eternal sins always must cry”.

Yet I did not dare down the street to stoop
To reach him; but I had my head bent down
As man walking and reverent must droop.

He then started: “Which fate and luck is shown
Bringing you here just your last before?
And who is that who brings you around?”

“There up, where is serene the lifetime core”,
I answered him, “Path in a valley I lost,
Before I passed the maturity door.

Yesterday morning I turned it when crossed;
This one came in, compelling me go back,
And brought me here in this place at last”.

And he to me: “If  now your star you track,
You cannot fail to reach the glorious port,
If in my life good wisdom did not lack;

And if I did not die in time so short,  
Seeing to you a so benignant sky,
I would have given to your deed support. 

But that malignant people too awry
Which from Fiesole anciently descended
And yet has much of stone and mount dry,

Will be, to your good will, enemy trended;
And there is reason, that the rotten fruit 
Must be avoided by sweet fig splendid.

Old fame in world indeed calls them brute;
They are greedy, envious and superb too;
And their habits at best you must refute.

Your future prepares great honors for you,
So that both parts will have much need
Of you; but is their beck on grass undue. 

The of Fiesole beasts then have to  feed
Just of themselves, and don’t touch the plant
If any grows yet in their muck indeed,

In which  then might live again the seed sant
Of those Romans who just there remained when
Malice nest was made that think worse I can’t”

“If my demands were all satisfied then”,
I answered him, “You would not still yet be
Now banned out of the nature of all men;

Because in my minds is etched, and grieves me,
The dear and good paternal image of you
When time by time during life I could see

You teaching me how reach eternal view;
And how much I like it, the time I live
To be recognized in my words gets true.

What you recount to write myself I strive,
And I hold it to gloss with other text
To woman who will know, if I arrive.

So much I want you be acquainted next,
Assuming that my conscience does not fail,
That to Fortune, as she likes, I am flexed.

It is not new this pledge to my hears’ sail:
So thus Fortune has now hers wheel to turn
The way she likes, and the boor his plow nail”.

My master then on his right cheek upturn
Looked at me back well fixing in my eyes;
Then told: “Who her listens has much to learn”. 

Nor much less I am speaking with that wise
Sir Brunetto, and I am asking him who are
His companions well known of larger size.

And he : “Know of someone is good by far;
Of others it is better to be still,
Being short the time to hold the sound for.

As a matter of facts all have great skill
Clerics and writers who have weighty fame,
All of them soiled to world the same sin fill.

Prisciane goes with that crowd of blame,
And Francis d’Accorso too; and see,
If I had strong will of such horrible shame,

I could who the drudge of  servants with lee
From Arno into Bacchiglione changed was
Where he left his nerves ill to high degree.

I would tell more but it cannot because
I don't follow you now, since I see there
New smoke that people from sand to grow does.

With guys  coming  company I don’t share.
My Tesoro to you I recommend,
In which I still live,  ask more I don’t dare”.

Then turned back, and looked as to have the trend
Of runners in Verona the drape green
In countryside,  among them to contend

Like a winner, not  loser to be seen.


Long poem by S.Jagathsimhan Nair | Details |

The story of history

The Story of History  

Beyond those beaten days’ depleted daylight
Beyond the bathos of a pandemic bondage
With  the resurrected  sashay’s charmed night
Down in the dumps   at the pretentious  proscenium
A  shy  orchestration sans bark and bite
Afloat in  the  air  of inarticulate mind games

Intuitive rains,  first ever, like the touch of Midas 
Informed  dense minds  and filled  their dented bowls
Birthing the quartet of Vedas and similar works
There was this epic, longest ever , they say
Bales and bales of tales in miscible moral wraps 
With a natal nugget, on  tall righteous props
The Mahabharata with the Gita, like Mata,  Pita

And its transcendental twin  revered more
For  a daily hosanna..the Ramayana with a deep lore
Banish-evil-battle-cries, confronting  blasted minds
Search lights, self’s  unfoldment  and its kind

Her  children  made but never did dig history
But loved digging up its bedraggled mystery
To find bone dry drains, history’s torn veins
Below multi layered mud and muddled bricks

Twisted  and labored logic on  tensile testaments
Sites that suffered blights thru unknowable nights
To find the four  battens , the debacle, to follow
Someone on the way labeled it  Harappa .

All the while Light ruled, but rigours too brewed
Calling often for a reordering of ways  so crude
Then there were slices of truce..
 The Buddha..Shankara..

Of  collapsed  black holes the horizon  was full
Faded for once their  gravitational  pulls 
Exploding back as eternal stars ..
Kalidasa, Aryabhata…

Alongside kings ruled and kingdoms rolled
‘ Ruler’-coaster-rides  on thrones and thorns followed
Till bandit chieftains erased the all important lines
To the dance of dust from an advancing west
 Battling  to drop anchors on motherly chest.

Bare-faced brigands. Among their odious offspring
Some stood out to shine with a stupendous ring
Either putting up   statecraft’s show pieces
Or  scripting  epitaphs in  eponymous edifices

Till dissipated and deterred they too heard
The trenchant  call of folks  come from far  to trade
That would spell , in time, your damnation
In manacles of measured manipulations.

Against  its prolonged , protracted reticulation
Rose legit  gripes from  gregarious  formations
That would coalesce under the one and only Gandhi
Into  their momentous waking into life and freedom

Split up, as it were, into  two bickering fragments
To play fitfully, for ever, their petulant fiddles
Averse to complement under demagogic detours
Falsely comfy under the convenience of  inheritance

                               -2-

Six decades of self rule on, your children feel conned
Not for failed hopes, but for the disharmony that haunts.

An  one- sport -nation fixated  with a fixing -fame-game
Movie-obsessed , and with  its TV 
Blank beyond trivia and brand names.


Money and food are no problem  for many
But, for too many, they are; vehicles are plenty
But roads aren’t ;  laws are varied and abundant
Some redundant , but every  pervert who counts
Interprets them different and funnily  implements.


Health care wears a five star halo sans humaneness.
It never frees a dying adult or kid from its kinky tubes
Nor permit  the company of kin to them  for one last time
Ignores the terminally and  unmovably sick stuck at home.

Agriculture does well, but farmers don’t ,.. and kill themselves
Petty  retailers  are swell making a killing, selling farm produce.

Stupidity grows muscles to muzzle humanity 
Hunks grow on  vitamins, video games and vanity
 Freed millions  press after pelf and power, plays hell
With the  weak and  the women , their perennial fair game

Profiteering,  covert, overt, and  across the board
The sick, the student, the seeker after any service  
Any  victim or one with a gripe being its victims
That’s by the very cream , no less, all the same
 Media scream with scam and spam all the time
Even the ones,( that’s about all), with their own aims
The combined  do’s of brash bravado and venality 
A  rash on governance   and a blot on name.
Effete ethics  and moribund morals, seniors mumble..

‘Equality before law’  means ’ Advantage to the outlaw’
Freedom for the grabs means  restraints to many
Succour  often hard-to -reach and  reaching-too-late
Louts and lousy offices dot street corners and roads

Governance press after  targets  too disparate 
To cohere or collaborate towards  a  wholesome goal,
Leaving holes for private or pet agendas to infiltrate.

Front-end-folks or  prickly pears?
Menace, malice, avarice,  lies, police…
Unrestrained delight in deliberate discourtesies.
Why -dad-anyway-Why- not- call-him-uncle-attitudes…

What does not tempt is in for contempt,
Being irreverent to the important, and indifferent
To the different,  is the norm and the trend.

Democracy could well slip into demonocracy  
Like when “Two wolves and a goat vote to decide dinner”**
In the absence of the Will to lift it to meritocracy?


PS:  This poem ( 100 lines, 777 words, as it turned about to be ) is about INDIA, my country.
*”Mata, Pita ‘  mean   Mother, Father
** Based on a quote seen somewhere.

S.Jagathsimhan Nair,  26 May 2013,

For Cyndi  MacMillan’s contest.


Long poem by matthew harris | Details |

Desperate message to Kim jong un

Pardon any absent adulation, bequeathed capitulation, devoted dedication, indiscretion, blabbering peroration, improper salutation or any unintended vexation if this unknown earthling sent a nearly identical message. He over-looked a small number of errors and hoped that this version accepted as the most satisfactory to me.

Oh please for the sake (and sock e) of brethren deemed friendly, i beseech ye with genuine humility to desist launching nuclear missiles!

This American bloke put his lock, stock and barrel of gunmetal faith in mister Dennis Rodman to serve as a figurative lightning rod against any aggressive actions that would set in motion the end of civilization.

Not only would the majority of homo sapiens (yes, some clusters of earth-linked yahoos might still remain a live) suffer a nasty, short and brutish death, but also other flora and fauna could be equally annihilated!

Understandable, those grievances against sanctions against the populace of north Koreans (who most likely experience unfair hardship) fuels resentment against the hegemony of western powers. Many of these societies authoritatively brandish their devout pledge for concurrence with democratic principles.

Any endemic protestations declaiming objection to the American way affect an immediate alarm. Imposition of so called "puppet" regimes get forcibly installed sans those countries leaders who run counter to capitalistic productivity.

This one anonymous citizen of those fifty states also takes umbrage how the might of american to predominate and demand that other nations follow suit solely based on what agrees with those like minded in power sans the brotherhood/sisterhood of vast swaths of the global population.

No great expectations (by dickens) to affect passionate sentiments per those peoples somewhat hermetically sealed off and separated (viz - by the demilitarized zone) from the billions of other human beings.

Thy sole missive from one older mwm dreads the catastrophic chain reaction of events once atomic warfare triggered by the disgruntlement over some differences in outlook could possibly resolved via "active listening" and access to exchange a word of reconciliation.

As one flawed chap prone to his own bouts of anger, he attests that more positive pleasing results can prevails with the treat of world war three diffused in a manner that plays less havoc once unleashing of weapons of mass destruction occurs!

This notion came to me while tending to a basic bodily urge, thus intent to share my poem whence sitting 

Upon the porcelain goddess,
 A most brilliant idea in me mind did lit
This sole seasoned bugs bunny car tune character son of kit
Soon after on the road his imagination
 Fired up with gaseous fleeting thought that softly hit
Attempting with futility to net ideas in me mind that flit
I yam a poet favoring words that rhyme a bit!
 
Iambic pentameter strands crochet themselves
 Magically into verse
Interleaving like boughs of an arbor
 Shielding this solitary soul
 From shafts of sunlight that doth dapple
 The canopy affecting shadows to disperse
Ebbing and flowing in tandem & sync
 With circadian metronome this troll
 Transformed by serenade from Mother Nature
 With hand doth scythe lent curse

Congregating amongst a distinguished flora and faun
 The latter sending tendrils
Poised on the brink of some philosophical revelation
 Delicate as hocked china
Which capricious metaphorical musings
   Resurrected from propriety
Devoid of any vicious evocations nor premonitions
While ensconced in eyesight of my adobe
   Dwelling away from mass of society

Return of this native son harbors thoughts
   Against madding crowd that cease to dwindle
   To less than the effect of a mosquito needling proboscis
   In the nape o me neck
As this contemplative human being feels
   Leaves of grass each like a spindle
   Completing a colorful pastoral palette
   Of utmost verdant splendor upon flotsam speck
Allowing wisps of euphoria
   To warm thine psyche easing books set afire to kindle
 
Under the azure vault
The entire warp and woof of one mortal male as he does lie
   Where arises finding incriminating fault
Beneath the celestial sphere transfixed where mysteries catapult
   As those simians who preceded him
Millenniums before similarly inebriated
   From wondrous panoply of one star
That comprises a near infinite candelabra
   Guiding the mind to posit the universe 
   This mission must come to a HALT!

From - one whom u kin newt re:fuse
   No claim to be Walt Whitman only venturing forth
That all of mankind we lose
   In the event of such apocalyptic once the fuse
Lit to launch missiles meant to zero in and cruise
Upon the masses a severe planet earth detonations 
 Inflicting concussions more fatal 
 Than the most lethal booze.

 





Long poem by Robert Candler | Details |

The Sooner Recruit

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Long Poems