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Long poem by Brian Johnston | Details |

Growing Up, La - Part 1 - Rev 4

- - - Chapter 1: Early Days - - - 

My father was a rich man, la, *
Though schooled in poverty, (1)  
As such he seldom raised his head, 
Displayed humility.
The center of the ‘Dust Bowl' years, 
Just thirty miles from home.
And children, seniors died from this
(Their lungs were clogged with loam) .

A huge tornado struck Woodward, (2)  
Destroying our downtown, 
It, cut a swath near one mile wide, 
Dad fought back, doubled down.(3)  
When storm had cleared, sky was fire red, 
Dad put me in the car, 
But roads were blocked in just three blocks, 
The world become bizarre! 
Barbed wire that penetrated trees, 
Homes cracked like eggs insides, 
Our home had grass blades drove like nails, 
Into its wooden sides.
The biggest storm in history, 
My dad was gone for days, 
Storm victims sleeping on our floor, 
The whole town in a daze.

Dad's rebuilt store, nicest in town, 
Our home ‘across the track, '(4)  
Attended too the poorest school, 
But did not suffer lack.
Appearance was Dad's calling card, 	
No pretense there to see, 
For ‘living too high on the hog, '(5)  
Caused bankers misery.
The school board melted to Mom's charm, 
(Or to her tongue of fire) , 
For with Dad's stature in the town, 
Few dared to risk her ire! 
Good teachers forced to leave rich schools, 
Complained it wasn't fair, 
Till they encountered Sis and I, 
And found that they could care.
That was my mother's legacy, 
And ‘ART' (6)   the air she breathed, 
Though slight she strongly stood her ground, 
Our future she bequeathed.
We did not know the difference, 
Just sometimes things were tough, 
Our clothing did set us apart, 
We always had enough.
There were some very poor kids there, 
The same clothes thru the week, 
Impoverished not just in clothes, 
But that which all men seek.		

I had a bike to ride around, 
Of course it was a Schwinn, 
And almost always home for lunch, 			
For Mom thought we were thin, 
With two desserts at every meal, 
(And Mom was quite a cook.)  
But if you didn't clean your plate, 
From Dad you got a look, 
The waste of food a mortal sin, 
A thump upon the ‘bean, '(7)  
Made every meal traumatic fare, 
And tears a daily scene.
My guess is Dad got worse than me, 
Depression's (8)   oldest child, 
I mourn the innocence he lost, 
That made his wrath seem mild.

Our parent's roles were well defined, 
My dad brought home the bread, 
My mom the joy of hearth and home, 
Dad's entrance met with dread.
My dad did most the punishments, 
But whippings weren't enough, 
We even weren't allowed to cry, 
To show we had the stuff! 
Small wonder romance frightened me, 
(So sure I'd be like him) , 
To challenge violence I feared, 
Chose music over gym.

Brian Johnston
August 20,2014

Poet's Notes: 
An auto-biographical look at family life impacted by both the American Great 
Depression  and the Dust Bowl years (1930-1950)   in the Mid-West, divided into 
Chapters. 
This is a work of love and homage to the courageous and desperate people who 
survived both. I hope that you enjoy it. New Chapters will be released as I complete 
them.

* 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)   ‘poverty' - born in 1911, my father was just 19 years  old when ‘The Great 
Depression' hit the US economy. The Dust Bowl began shortly after.
(2)   Woodward, Oklahoma - the town that I grew up in.
(3)   ‘doubled down' - after Dad's business was destroyed completely by the tornado, 
he  doubled his efforts to be successful in Woodward, borrowing heavily from the 
local banks to do so.
(4)   'across the track' or 'wrong side of the tracks' referred to the part of town where 
poor people lived, frequently, but not always, meaning 'colored people' as well. In some 
towns no 'colored people' were allowed to live in the more prosperous 'white only' 
area. Some towns (like Woodward) had no Negros at all. I take that back. One black 
male did have a job shining shoes in the local 'Baker Hotel' but I think his home was 
in the country somewhere (He did not live in town).
(5)   'living too high on the hog' -  an idiom referring to people who have to have the 
most expensive things in life and buy them frequently on credit even though they 
can't really afford them.
(6)   ‘ART' - My mother was a gifted painter and wood carver, but even meals she 
prepared were done artistically. Art was always spelled with capital letters in her life! 
(7)   ‘thump on the bean' - to hit the offending child hard on the head with the 
knuckles of your closed fist.
(8)   'Depression' - Hard times, not mental issues. (Actually works both ways though 
I guess!)   Born the oldest of 3 brothers and one sister, my dad's father worked him 
hard and used a leather shaving strap to whip his boys when he was upset with them 
about anything. Grand Dad Johnston made my father seem like Florence Nightingale. 
I believe that he beat his wife as well (just a guess) .


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

Differences you say

Differences – you say !

I – me Lass – brave Helios, rides his golden chariot, 
drawn by fiery Steeds, into the vastness of this universe.

These mighty Titans, dispatched – brilliant, glowing -
ruled, controlled the blueness of this planet, the heavens.

Our bright Sun, sprinkles life giving particles, waves,
out in all directions – into the endless firmament.

Then there is the cold souled, silver shield that traverses 
that moth eaten, dark cloth, that hangs like lead 
in that dead laden space, blackness the place 
you choose to ride – your life to hide.

Oh !, if only we would climb down from the edge of fences.
Oh !, if only we would leave behind, walk away from defences.
Oh !, for us to, but if we only could, reach our dreams
Oh !, for us to, not have all those things, it seems,

that get in the way – life’s experiences, what it means, 
from time to time, - that should be left behind – long ago, 
that hang on so tightly, from fears that you won’t let go.
Oh !, for us two, to find the door, to see, understand, to know.

Oh !, for us to, for us to realize, that after the end, the winds will blow
it all away, into waves of rainbow colours that will show 
it all to have been a necessary, but unnecessary way to go.
No matter what is said and done, it all is the universes flow.

A straight line, towards your destination, is the obvious choice. 
Unfortunately, a jumble of thoughts, experiences, become the voice.

A trip – full of baggage – and around the world we go.
A carrousel ride, on each and every horse, the story doth show

A very dizzying ride it is, the point, to get to know 
is a journey, of many directions, on winds that blow  

Live and let live the life one so chooses.
Seldom is it necessary if one wins or one loses, 
not much concerned for – or where or why.
For in the end, it is all in the beholders eye.
 
Much too much involved !, much to obsessive, 
with others and the lives they made a mess – ive.
I can only wonder ?, make an educated guess, live
with my analysis and know, from the heart you give.

I cannot carry the weight of your life into today, 
for all that was, all that is, need not words to say, 
for nothing will change, not before, nor after, it’s your way, 
no matter what one chooses, or not, to express, it’s the game you play.

All has come into, become a part of, is constantly shared 
with, and no matter how it affects, it’s no longer cared 
for, for it all distracts, disrupts, disturbs the air 
that we are inhabiting - and not – it is unfair

I know that it is part and parcel of the lady fair. 
If only to the point, but you never seem to get there.
Hours and hours go by, I cannot help but cry 
as I listen and listen, understand, I do try.

Actions, activities, motion, play are the order of the day, 
board games to win, games to lose, but they cannot be had, 
for it is not in the cards – alone – one can have a say, 
only but for two, does it come though, to share and that’s not bad.

Vocalizing, expressing, gossiping, complaining are your way. 
Hours to exercise the body, the soul, the mind, it is so sad, 
for it leaves so little to share, so little time for making hay.
Not such a bad way to connect, what a great fad !

Just some of the differences that have come to be 
what is between you and me, yet there is much more to see 
that could come into you and me as we ride this rough sea 
of life, that at times you find joy in this old boy, so free.

Happy am I when you come near, when you are here.
A little hollow, a little empty, in the end, harbour fear 
that the sunshine will fade, be covered, will disappear.
Which way ?, - our ships passing in the night - will we steer.

A Mole

Will the Mole, leave her underground, black hole ?, 
to – with eagles fly – reach out and touch the sky ?
will this night hawk, this owl, venture into day light,
play in sight of shadows, created by a sun so bright 
and warm, where day creatures know the storm 
that rages throughout and within, who shout 
with voices searing, with knowledge clearing, 
with understanding of choices made by rending, 
choices made for, and by them, behind a closed door.
Living a life that has been over flowing with strife.
There is much to know, about what was laid upon her soul. 
Some can, some cannot let go, why ?, I do not know.

Can the bound, the nocturnal, the frightened ?, 
find freedom, find in the diurnal, find in fearlessness, 
a soul mate to travel with, upon day light roads, opened.
A soul mate to take into the darkness, the coldness. 
Can they be blended, one into the other, if the story be told.

Differences – are they few or are there so many ?
Are we able to live with them ?, or without any ?
There we are – two old birds on the wing, 
with different voices, different songs to sing
of any or all, to the table, want to bring.
Shed light, and let show, what is our thing 
which at times has put us into the ring.
Sparing in defence of our particular notions, 
beliefs, as we express – in animated motions, 
a light, who we truly are in the heat of the moment.
Yet the hurt, the pain created by wards, was not meant.
Yet they have lent a truth, some truth was sent 
out from the heart, the soul, life ancient 
that dictates - in the moment – what’s fates sentiment.

PS

And what are the differences you see ?
What are they ?, what is between you and me ?

B. J. “A ” 2
March 15th   2003 


Long poem by Terry O'Leary | Details |

I've Got To Go

I’m on my way, I’ve got to go,
the reasons why you’ll never know,
a’ whisked away in winter’s winds, your sleeping sighs remind me.
And I’ll ramble where I please,
sometimes slipping to my knees,
phantom memories a’ chasing close behind me

Well, I’ve often made my way
within the dark before the day,
but it’s never that I’ve ever felt so lonely.
So I leave this parting note,
the first farewell I ever wrote,
though these lines embody more than farewell only

I’m on my way, I’ve got to go,
’n what I’ll find you’ll never know,
concealed in clouds of untamed clover, tussled hair reminds me.
And I’ll ramble where I please,
sometimes slipping to my knees,
phantom memories a’ chasing close behind me

Alas, my love has grown too strong
for I’ve lain with you too long
with your every need perceived, though never spoken.
’n as I try to disengage,
I’m like a tiger in a cage,
hesitating ’fore a padlock hanging broken

I’m on my way, I’ve got to go,
across a bridge you’ll never know,
behind abandoned burning hills, your yearning lips remind me.
And I’ll ramble where I please,
sometimes slipping to my knees,
phantom memories a’ chasing close behind me

Should you wake and shed a tear
finding me no longer here,
save your weeping for another, not so ghostly.
’n if you span the spangled sky,
as you ache when asking why,
realize ’twas really you I wanted mostly

I’m on my way, I’ve got to go,
reshuffling cards you’ll never know,
defying fate beneath the stars, your diamond eyes remind me.
And I’ll ramble where I please,
sometimes slipping to my knees,
phantom memories a’ chasing close behind me

Shun the shadows in the late,
disappearing through your gate,
aghast and groping through their early morning sorrows –
like the echoes of my thought,
flitting, fleeting, overwrought,
as reflected in the realms of vague tomorrows

I’m on my way, I’ve got to go,
’n what I’ll see you’ll never know,
pursuing pebbles on a beach, your freckled nose reminds me.
And I’ll ramble where I please,
sometimes slipping to my knees,
phantom memories a’ chasing close behind me

Should you glimpse a troubled form
within a restless ruby storm,
turn your collar to the wind and never try to follow.
For by then it’s much too late,
and the distance far too great
and you’d only find the feathers of a swallow

I’m on my way, I’ve got to go,
along a road you’ll never know,
adrift on half-forbidden paths, your slender back reminds me.
And I’ll ramble where I please,
sometimes slipping to my knees,
phantom memories a’ chasing close behind me

Should you yearn once more to tease,
release your breath upon the breeze
’n let the whispered winds of yesterday caress me – 
and perchance recall the time
(when our love was in its prime),
I relied upon your laughter to possess me

I’m on my way, I’ve got to go,
’n it’s so hard you’ll never know,
entwined in twirls of fortune’s wheel, embracing arms remind me. 
And I’ll ramble where I please,
sometimes slipping to my knees,
phantom memories a’ chasing close behind me

Sipping pearls of purple wine
when I was yours and you were mine,
except these haunting hints, there’ll be no spectres chasing.
’n if the flashbacks run acute
I’ll strum the strings upon my lute
’n lull away the ancient ghosts, still standing, facing.

I’m on my way, I’ve got to go,
’n what I’ll hear you’ll never know,
though echoed in a thousand drums, your throbbing breasts remind me.
And I’ll ramble where I please,
sometimes slipping to my knees,
phantom memories a’ chasing close behind me

Well, the candles at my side
now have melted down and died,
though their fire blazes on within the mirror.
And the clock behind the door
is pulsing, pounding with a roar,
as the moment to depart approaches nearer

I’m on my way, I’ve got to go,
along a shore you’ll never know,
engulfed in deep and distant tides, your restless thighs remind me.
And I’ll ramble where I please,
sometimes slipping to my knees,
phantom memories a’ chasing close behind me

But I’ll take along the ring,
the one you carved for me in spring,
though it journeyed as an orphan on my finger. 
And I’ll hang it from my neck
while I tramp a lonesome trek,
as a keepsake of your passion, while it lingers

I’m on my way, I’ve got to go,
’n what I’ll see you’ll never know,
immersed in fields of flowers wild, your amber eyes remind me.
And I’ll ramble where I please,
sometimes slipping to my knees,
phantom memories a’ chasing close behind me

Now I’ll kiss your sleeping eyes
as I mount the blushing skies
and I bid farewell, adieu, in morning’s splendour.
Then I’ll fade within the haze,
immured in miles of my own maze
as I wander, breaking chains of love’s surrender

I’m on my way, I’ve got to go,
’n when I ache you’ll never know,
erasing passions of the past and shadows that remind me.
And I’ll ramble where I please,
sometimes slipping to my knees,
till the phantoms start a’ fading far behind me


Long poem by David William Breidenthal | Details |

In the Arms of Peace-abiding Angels

I don’t know what I know
I fly like an eagle – just go with the flow!
I don’t know what I know
I don’t know what you’re thinking about 
But I can tell you’re puzzled in your own mind
Maybe I can find x2 
Peace in mind 
For you and I to cherish forever
Stop being so introverted!
Be converted
To bravery and put your doubts to bed

It’s strange really
I don’t know what I know seriously 
Storms are brewing in you as clouds lift you higher than where I am
The waves are crash beneath us
But, you’ll be safe and sound
In His hands, you’ll find relief and happiness
It’s quite hard to adjust to change
I don’t know your mind – 
I wish I can read your mind sometimes
It’s about time we rearrange
And fall into the arms of peace-abiding angels

Let’s go…let it go…
Let’s go…let it go…
Let’s embrace
The arms of peace-abiding angels tonight
Tonight, we’ll seek divine flight
We will make it in no time
Let yourself dance 
To the rhythm of my heart
Let’s go with the flow of the midnight breeze
Promise me you won’t tear this heart apart
You’re not alone, the sunrays will melt away the freezing anxiety 
And put your mind and heart at ease
The peace-abiding angels created the playful sunrays 
With God’s helping hand
You’re the butterflies that admire my presence
I know I might sound corny or dense!
I throw my hands sky-high
Happy-go-lucky parrots pass us by 
I wish I were them right now

I scream gallantly: 
“TAKE AWAY THE PAIN,
DRIPPING LIKE ACID RAIN!”
Lightning flashes and a storm tries to suck us in
But, we’re safe and sound
 In the arms of the peace-abiding angels
We’re above the ground
Overflowing with heavenly miracles
Grant us peace in mind…
Before we become blind
Just like the rest of the inhabitants in the World of Woe
I don’t know my selfish deeds
No more doubting or sinning, plant seeds
Of faith and erase your uncertainty
Fall into the arms of the peace-abiding angels
Spread your wings and trace ecstasy 

I don’t know you anymore! 
How come you’re the only one that I adore? 
Let the angels take us to cloud seven
Don’t you know that being with you is like rejoicing in heaven?

It’s funny that I noticed you in the near future
You’re caught in the whirling fantasies
I can see you, far off in the distance…is there any hope to nurture? 
You’re as puny as an ant 
It’s weird to admit, but I kissed the wicked lips of the abyss
Who said I can’t?

I don’t know my selfish deeds
No more doubting or sinning, plant seeds
Of faith and erase your uncertainty
Fall into the arms of the peace-abiding angels
Spread your wings and trace ecstasy 

I don’t know what I know
But, I know for certain that you’re walking on your own in victory
I don’t know what I know…
I don’t understand what I see…
Do I witness peace? Confusion? Catastrophe? 

I don’t know my selfish deeds
No more doubting or sinning, plant seeds
Of faith and erase your uncertainty
Fall into the arms of the peace-abiding angels
Spread your wings and trace ecstasy 

I don’t know your motives or intentions, but your purpose is shown, you see
In my eyes, they’re wicked and free
Stop being so insecure!
Be careful! Make sure
To say your little prayers tonight – it would act as a cure
To this dirty heart of mine, basking in sinful lust – it’s so impure

Dance freely…let go gaily
Dance freely… be filled with glee 
Let’s embrace
The arms of peace-abiding angels tonight
Tonight, we’ll seek divine flight
We are caught up in a trance
Do me a favor and depart
From the morbid nightfall, 
Hunting down our delightful light and innocence 
To the rhythm of my heart
Let’s go with the flow and ride on the back of a happy Hippogriff 
Promise me you won’t look down or behind you!
You’re not alone, the sunrays will melt away the freezing anxiety 
And put your mind and heart at ease
Accept your gifts and talents and 
Jump with joy!
You and I will jump into the arms of the peace-abiding angels
The peace-abiding angels created the playful sunrays 
With God’s helping hand
I throw my hands sky-high
Happy-go-lucky parrots pass us by 
Wave goodbye to our past and let’s fulfill our future as it gives us a natural high
It’ll boost us high and we’ll cry
Happy tears and we won’t know why!

I don’t know if we’re meant for each other
No more doubting or wasting time, plant seeds
Of faith and gain assurance
Fall into the arms of the peace-abiding angels
Go to them for any problem and they’ll help us in an instance!
Spread your wings in confidence and embrace ecstasy with me!

Kiss the doubt and darkness farewell
You’ll find another companion…oh well x2
Be converted
To bravery and put your doubts to bed
Soon enough, you’ll find your true love this splendid night
I know 100% that you’ll survive this dangerous plight
With the peace-abiding angels and I by your side
For the meantime, don’t cower away and hide – 
Fight the Good Fight!  


Long poem by Michael Ainsley | Details |

My Mind A Ship In Darkness

My mind a ship in darkness                                                                                                             How shall you carry me                                                                                                                   My heart cut off from loving                                                                                                                         Is longing to be free                                                                                                                                    To sail out in the morning                                                                                                                                             Upon the early tide                                                                                                                              And live with in the elements                                                                                                             Where truth and strength abide                                                                                                       My thoughts are done with islands                                                                                                  Where the golden memories play                                                                                                  For that vision seen was but a dream                                                                                                          Like fog that burns away                                                                                                                         And if the rocks should catch me up                                                                                                  How shall I greet the day                                                                                                                                            So many thoughts are anchored there                                                                                         From ships that passed this way                                                                                                             So many swells have come and gone                                                                                               And beaten on the shore                                                                                                                  You'd think the isle would brake away                                                                                               Be gone and be no more                                                                                                                But still the ancient cliffs are hung                                                                                               Like shadows in the sky                                                                                                             And still the Sirens songs are sung                                                                                              A lovers lullaby                                                                                                                               My soul my only compass now                                                                                                     What lessons shall you teach                                                                                                       As passion sets my course for me                                                                                                                                                Once more into the breach                                                                                                                               Yet calmly to and steady on                                                                                                         Though gale and storm draw near                                                                                                  My soul is this immortal thing                                                                                                           That strides beyond my fear                                                                                                            And gives my life an openness                                                                                                                        That does not measure cost                                                                                                                  For much I learned of beauty                                                                                                                         By what I loved and lost


Long poem by Amrapali Tendolkar | Details |

RAIN SHOWERS

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


Caught in the hot, steaming summer’s snare;
 


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


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


 
 


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


All are enduring the summer’s waterless exile;
 


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


And of that life which has become a sweaty turmoil.
 


 
 


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


And the air around becomes suffocating and musty;
 


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


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


 
 


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


Making the trees and plants glisten and glower;
 


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


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


 
 


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


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


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


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


 
 


The Earth grows green; and water droplets gleam;
 


On the smooth, waxy surfaces of the leaves;
 


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


While buds make their way blushingly between tendrils.
 


 
 
 The wet and soft soil; now grows fertile;
 


And tender green plantlets push through the Earth in style;
 


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


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


 
 


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


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


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


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


 
 


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


And the pitter-patter of rain is gently appeased;
 


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


While the fluffy clouds move along with the cool breeze.
 


 
 


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


Pleasing to the senses of smell and sight;
 


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


In the newly born rainy sunlight.
 


 
 


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


And Earth engulfs in darkness that now grows;
 


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


And day and night this gale roars.
 


 
 


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


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


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


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


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


Rainy calamities take its place;
 


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


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


 
 


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


But destiny will always play a hand;
 


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


And enjoy life and act as the situation will demand.
 


 
 


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


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


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


Of normal life, however boring or glum.
 


 
 


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


And will remove from your mind every shade of doubt;
 


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


So we must make most of it when hope sprouts.
 


 
 


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


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


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


Which will help you succeed by-and-by.
 


 
 


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


And darkness suddenly falls on Earth all around;
 


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


Or due to failure remain depression bound.
 


 
 


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


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


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


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


Long poem by Isaiah Zerbst | Details |

The Lily Maid of Astolat

The knight of knights, Sir Lancelot,
From far away in Camelot,
Went by a way that he knew not
And thus, by chance, spied Astolat
With sunset's gleam upon her tow'rs:
T'was there he met the maid Elaine,
With hair as golden fields of grain-
A lily in the springtime rain-
The fairest of the flow'rs.

With her he left his fearsome shield;
That of her brother, Torre did wield:
At last to her desire did yield
To wear her favour on the field-
A sleeve of red with pearls.
Then to the diamond joust away,
Lavaine and he rode to the fray,
Departing at the break of day
To fight with kings and earls.

She took the shield and lightly step't
Up where she watched as off they leapt,
And there the mighty emblem kept
Beside the bed in which she slept;
The mystic azure lions traced:
She never left it there, it seemed;
She watched by day, at night she dreamed;
She woke each morn as sunlight gleamed
From it to light her lovely face.

Sir Lancelot, wounded, won the prize-
His shield still mirrors her azure eyes;
Not knowing if he lives or dies,
Nor knows she yet the place he lies.
But lo! There comes the knight Gawain;
He bears the prize to he who won,
Not finding him, his quest is done;
The prize he leaves, both mount and run-
But she to find where he is lain.

Sir Torre and she their horses drave,
'Till long at last they found a cave,
The knight within, and near the grave:
Elaine her greatest efforts gave
To save him from death's gaping door.
Through dawn or twilight lightly glides
The lily maid to where he hides
And by his wasted form abides,
His olden glories to restore.

Some months had passed, and whole once more
He offered half his treasure store,
A kingdom's land, or three, or four,
But none of this she cared ought for-
She wanted him, and him alone:
But no, another held his heart.
E'en though it tore hers right apart
Without a glance did he depart;
He left her there to groan.

Without a parting kiss goodbye
She sulked about, but would not cry;
She sicker grew as days crawled by
Until she knew that she would die,
And of a heart that broke:
She sang "A Song of Love and Death"
With wondrous voice but halting breath;
Her heart in song she openeth-
Of never-dying love she spoke.

"My love undying e'er shall be
Though love has been the death of me:
Though sweet is love in company,
One cannot love, the other flee-
I now depart to sweetest bliss.
I wish I knew, but I cannot
If death is sweet as love is not,
When all my pain I have forgot-
As death bestows his frozen kiss."

Her final words of love she wrote
And sealed them in a little note
To place beside her in the boat
Which she desired her body float
To far away in Camelot:
Then with a pretty little sigh
Her soul to realms unknown did fly-
In such a manner chanced to die
The lily maid of Astolat.

Bathed in the misty morning light,
Arrayed in dress of purest white,
Boat decked about with black samite,
Her letter clasped to bosom tight,
A lily close beside it borne,
She drifted down the silent stream;
As if but lost in pleasant dreams,
For on her fairest face was seen
The faintest smile, bright as morn.

No sound of drip or rush or splash
Was heard within that samite sash,
Naught caused that bark to rock or dash;
The waves becalmed their muffled crash
As by them slipped the lily maid:
For all who saw were sore amazed
And soundlessly they paused and gazed
'Till Camelot's walls the boat had grazed,
At which it stopped and firmly stayed.

King Arthur saw her queenly bed,
The letter by her golden head;
To all the court her words he read,
And this is what the missive said:
"My noble lord, Sir Lancelot,
No parting kiss to me you gave,
Therefore I came from o'er the grave-
Bestow it now my soul to save.
The lily maid of Astolat."

Sir Lancelot, heartbroken too
Knelt by her side her will to do,
His arms about her shoulders threw
And to his own her lips he drew-
'Twas love by love at last returned.
But love, once lost cannot be found,
And life, once lost is claimed by ground
That wraps his heartless arms around
A heart that once with passion burned.

Above her grave a statue stands,
A note and lily in her hands
Which says to all of distant lands,
"Love, e'er your loved has loosed the bands
That tie them to this life and breath;
Love, e'er the storm has swept away
The pure, the good of yesterday,
And left in place but lifeless clay
When love is scorned and lost to death."



{Written by Isaiah Zerbst on the nineteenth of August, in the year of Our Lord, two thousand and fourteen;
Published on the twenty-first of the same.}


Long poem by Carrie Richards | Details |

MOCKINGBIRD - crown of sonnets

#1 "It is a sin to kill a Mockingbird. When playing games with rocks or guns, defray, them, please, ...shoot old tin cans!" "Whispered words of Mockingbirds, only heal wounds of the day" Virtues are cultivated, children are weeds, exploring a small southern town. Seeds, so rare, spread moral ivy, filling knotholes, threading trees, lining streets, during mad-dog summers. Scout, one sprout with solid roots, sifts wrong from right in spite of bull-headed pride. Stirring up dust, where resistance incites, although, brother, Jem, gently, grows more reserved. Scout, Jem, ...best bud, "Dill", are bronzed by summer's sky Moral's compass guides them home, as night returns #2 Moral's compass guides them home, as night returns yet challenged, the precocious child making assumptions. Folks would confound her! Some people were an oddity and quite beguiling Summer would sigh with ceiling fans, softly purring, people napping, long afternoons. Wilted yawns of a lethargic town, might seem undisturbed, with complacency, behind pruned shrubs, tall grass, mowed. Yet stilted air, would suffocate, with racial slurs and secret hate. Some hid by day, and spending their nights in masquerade, while crosses burned. We'd see a face, pretentious smile, falsely blend Integrity, at bitter cost, split wide the seams in 1930. Civil rights were just a dream #3 In 1930, civil rights were just a dream, and motherless children were coming of age. Bare feet were swift. Bandaged knees and hands unclean, would slam old screen doors, to seek lemonade. A ghost, they feared, in the raw sided house, watched close. A tree in his yard, hid treasures he stashed. The three Musketeers, upon discovering, shout! Armed by bravado, they are ready to dash. Putting yourself into another man's shoes, is a lesson, soon learned by Scout and Jem. They've faced their fear, and will make a friend. "Boo", the 'phantom', a new best friend left trinkets and gems. Kindness learned, role model intact, was Atticus Finch. A measure of integrity, inch by inch. #4 A measure of integrity, inch by inch, advocate for those who won't stand a chance. Folks down on their luck, where dollars won't stretch in a depression full blown. Money is scant. Fighting for the underdog, who have no paycheck. What's right is right. What's wrong, is wrong. Someone must stand at the end of the day, where flies fill a courtroom and tempers grow stronger. Regardless of skin, be it black, be it white Unfit, by standards of talcum shaved chins, if injustice is war, he'll give his lot. The falsely accused, he'll defend, to the end Those who wallow in mud, eventually sling lies when honor goes to hell, and folks sit idle #5 When honor goes to hell, and folks sit idle, false accusations can simmer, slowly inciting bigoted people, into mobs, spewing cries of hate. Screaming "rape" into the night. Ignorance and prejudice, are all of one stuff with corn-likker sauce and gravy mentality, amphibian worms, as if from a trough, gorging on mania. They covet brutality. Led by Bob Ewell, with arrogance oozing. Clan- fed, tantrums squirming out of control. Small minded men, choosing squalor, alluding the truth. Some would sell their mother's soul. They have lied on the stand, where justice treaded thin. Where white man's word, over a black, always wins. #6 Where a white man's word, over black, always wins, was a rule of the thumb, during those years... The innocent man, Tom, shackled, condemned, taken away and waits to die, and endure With Indian summer, waxing and waning, Atticus chooses the simplest words. His children need, wisdom, and calm understanding, in trying to explain, that most men are good. He tells them, gently, how someone so crude, even Bob Ewell, no matter how evil perhaps in his life, was misunderstood. The hellish of summers begins to unravel. But another ill wind, would brew up a storm, to bring more than a flurry, into their home. #7 To bring more than a flurry into their home, burnt embers of color, drift down, red and yellow. Carved pumpkins, and a grieving autumn, looms in the night. Roaches encroach, deep in the shadows As Scout rushes homeward, behind her on the trail, a whiskey-breath nightmare, with evil intentions Then, someone appears! Halts this devil,...,Ewell is not immortal! .....as we come to conclusion. A guardian presence, waiting to rally has kept a vigil, guarding children who run, swiftly through thickets. Lonely Boo Radley, appeared like an angel, a bird seeking the sun So pure of heart, and a thing so rare It is a sin to kill a mockingbird
2/17/14


Long poem by binibining p.iNk | Details |

Tahan na, Glenda -typhoon Rammasun

I can't sleep right now, and I guess I just needed to 'voice' umm type out my 
thoughts somehow.... as I type this, the wind is howling and I hear the whoosh 
of rain...and through it all, I hear a croaking frog.

At times when there are typhoons, I do tend to step outside and just watch, BE there firsthand, such a mere fraction (nothing compared to, actually), to what others experience, since I can always just run back inside if it gets dangerous. For others, the danger is real... I do like to feel the typhoon (a different aspect, I guess I find a certain thrill to it) but knowing how it can also be so dangerous, also grounds me.

Typhoon Rammasun (Glenda) has been gaining strength the past day (flights have been cancelled, classes and even government work have been suspended and a lot of areas are placed in storm signals ranging from 1 to 3)--we are at signal 3 where I am... it is slow-moving, meaning it can gather more strength as it moves and this also affects a lot of areas in the central and mainly northern part of my country.

A lot of areas here are prone to flooding, are already being flooded and the 
danger of storm surges is also very imminent... hundreds of thousands have already been evacuated, and hopefully those who refused to leave their homes earlier, took warnings to heart and evacuated.... it was still sunny this morning, so it could have been quite deceiving, I guess.

In fairness to the local governments, they do what they can do, taking preemptive measures in evacuation, with typhoon Yolanda still fresh in our hearts and minds.

What is disheartening is that those who can be severely affected would be 
those who have less in life, the informal settlers near coastal and bay areas, the 
farmers, the fishermen....as of typing this, 3 people have already been reported 
missing

There was this man featured on the news earlier, seen gathering plastic bottles 
and other trash from the bay, in order to sell, and didn't know there was an 
upcoming typhoon... 

There was a lady, who refuse to leave her home which is located in a high risk 
area, she said she'd rather ride out the storm at home, resigned, she said if it's 
your time to die, it's your time. 

Maybe it's hormones, emotions getting to me, but watching the news, saying 
our evening prayers with special intentions, I had to fight back tears. Sighs, what good would my tears do though? The heavens shed enough tears right now.

Here I am, in the comfort of my own home, safe. And others, I can just 
imagine, are feeling the wrath, with no roof over there heads. Those in 
evacuation centers, I hope they still have their houses to go home to after 
this...

 Please join me in praying with them, that they can get through this typhoon, 
safe and without injury nor death.

 I hear the rattle of what I am guessing would be our neighbor's roof. The winds are stronger now, rushing through the trees.

The frog still croaks, and I hope it will be okay (and also for all the other 
animals).


   Glenda, tahan na, tahan na.... 
      
            Glenda, hush please, hush...



** "tahan na" --- the nearest definition I can think of for this phrase would be "hush" or maybe "stop crying" 

Glenda is the local name of Typhoon Rammasun


-- to my kababayans, nette, Aiyah, and all the others, please stay safe, I hope you and your loved ones are all safe.....let's continue praying for those who are directly in this typhoon's path. Yes, the typhoon is here, but I still believe in the power of prayer, that these people be given the strength and courage to get through this typhoon, and not give up hope. I guess I just really am hoping for minimal injuries and casualties (would it be too much if I hope for zero casualties?)

God bless.


ika-16 ng Hulyo, lagpas alas dos ng umaga

**update---

Rammasun did wreak a lot of havoc in the Philippines, leaving almost a hundred dead... it also crippled electricity in a lot of provinces and cities, downing and uprooting many trees. Some areas have been declared under states of calamity.

After passing through us, Rammasun gained more strength, and turned into a super typhoon, affecting China and Vietnam. Please continue to pray for those who have been affected by it. Thank you.

Also, my heart, prayers and thoughts all go out to the victims and loved ones of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17. It may look so hopeless right now, but like so many others, even if the situation seems so complicated, with a lot of fingers being pointed, I hope and I pray for justice, that the bodies of the victims be returned to their families. 




Long poem by ephraim crud | Details |

a conflict of words

i miss the affect and effect
my father's experiences
of mindless mass destruction
and madness
that had me pinned to every word
as moonlight on each
shone down on their dugout

'johnny, got a light'

dad lit his zippo

turned

and eric was gone

he didn't hear a thing
no bullet whirr
not even the 'tink' of his helmet

and i think how good it is
to smell life
to sniff an ambush of the heart
under heavy fire as he
forced to headlong a ditch
landed tete-a-tete
on the bloated green remains
of the enemy
and promptly puked over its putrid face
and shat himself
terrified
he'd not hear the next 'tink'

six hour he laid there
six ****ing hours
****less

and i '****' and carp
as my oh-so convenient
worldwide walkie-talkie bill
dollops the coconut footwipe
and curse the dog crapped patio

can you imagine

i can feel the ****

the blink last glance in the mirror

reflecting how lucky i am
to breathe this chink of words
for your pleasure
tear or revulsion
your notions of a small constellation

and how good it is to eye
those chinks in the dark
that effeminate uncle john
may have faced
but for happenstance

his brother donald being short-fused
had stuck his cornea with scissors
which saw him stage
his most memorable performance
tending the testosterone of gold braid
for the duration
down the salt-watered south

others committed harakiri
for such failing the flag
for humility's sake

or the drip drip drip 
of a tortuous rising sun

or the footrot thunder of a flemish field
or sodden wood where
on a sudden an adolescent fritz
no more summers than fifteen
crossed hairs in his eye

and dad sighted
his mutter at home
worried for the safe return of her joy
and her heart broken
by the black edged letter
as he triggered his brain
to a million specks of red

and wept uncontrollably
for an age
the futility and long awaited remembrance
of all those poor bastards whose heroics
led them insane
and blindfolded by their own waste

but it's dog eat dog

someone has to helm the hounds
be the master of bloodshed
suicide dead or alive
when demons rise

and i think of the insomnia
souls nightmared by hazard
horror lost hope
and the monsters that hatched
and slithered rope tricks
to mangoes pineapples
and hog plums

yet how good
to bite the sinful fruit
to feel the thunder of a storm

the cosiness of chintzy-chintzy
chinwags and muffled naughtiness
secreted beneath blankets
underground
amid the cramped inconveniences
of smells and belly rumbles

and the weather speaks gales
blowing from the north

as on the day he reached
a small homestead
somewhere in belgium
a one room
one door where a woman hung
from a knife through the throat
her mammaries and genitalia
ripped from her red
and her daughter
of a few million breaths
swung in the chilled air
from a meathook in a beam
while a sepia'd loved one
stood by and smiled

and i think of the propaganda
the espionage and intrigue
the red herrings meticulously cast
for the irony of a pretend war
enduring the stark misery

but lies can be a bonus
in extreme circumstances
to assuage the inevitable hurricane
of atrocities
infidelities
in the apple of its eye
and how good it is
to feel the skin and wetness
of love
of gooseflesh giggling

to laugh a moment's relief
as father's platoon
in a lull from fear and sunshine
as they smoked and dusted their boots
through the ardenne forest
five abreast
hundreds of them 
when a whistle shellshocked the blood
pumping from the neck of
'jockey whips'
a glaswegian from peckham
who loved his potatoes greasy
and collapsed
after several headless footfalls

they never found his looks

and dad hungered how good
another chance of roast pork
and a handshake would be

and i think of the logistics
that beggars belief
and how much better equipped
to manage death than life
we are
with all the fields that have harvested
bones of memories
blood rusted metal
medals hung from heroes
and arseholes alike

and i think of the what ifs

had little maria schicklgruber
drowned in a viennese lake

had hitler a bullet with his name
in world war one

the lives that would have had
their due iceblink of this gift
this diamond moment
to experience sunups
moonlight serenades
of love as i've been blessed
because an austrian megalomaniac 
choreographed my parents footsteps 
to me
affecting and effecting your life
with my words


Long Poems