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Long poem by Darryl Ashton | Details |

THE RETURN OF PETER PAN 2014

THE RETURN OF PETER PAN…2014  

And Introducing 
The arch enemy:
((Political Correctness and Health and Safety))

Ladies and Gentlemen: boys and girls. Peter Pan is set to strike again.

 
A sequel to J.M. Barrie’s classic tale will be published in the very near future, in which Tinkerbell will be replaced by a male fairy named Firefly, the Darling little children are all grown up, Neverland is blighted by pollution and Nana the dog, is sadly dead. 

Darryl Ashton has obtained this exclusive interview with Peter Pan to find out what went wrong. Peter says: “What has the world come to when someone like me is no longer allowed in children’s bedrooms? OK, so at first inspection things don’t sound too great.
I am someone who climbs secretly through children’s  bedroom windows. I have a friend called Tinkerbell who is, yes, a ‘Fairy’. The two of us tell the little Darlings’ to forget about their parents and come away with us on a big adventure to Neverland. But relax, will you! 
Looking’ back I guess my problems really began when I started planning this return trip to Britain after some 100 years. Do you know how hard it is for a guy like me to get the paper work together? By the time Childcare Agencies, Social Services and The Criminal Records Bureau had vetted me, the magic was wearing pretty thin, I can tell you.

Was I self – employed? Or were Tinkerbell and I in a VAT – registered partnership? Did I have a pilot’s licence, which met all compliance standards? Did I have the relevant Visa for tourists from Non – EU countries? Questions, questions! Don’t all these regulations get you down? Anyway, as Tinks and I soon came to discover, Britain has changed beyond all recognition in the years we have been away.
Our first discovery, much to our horror, was Wendy, and her brothers John and Michael, were some time ago taken into foster care. We learnt that their parents, who were in the habit of leaving them in the care of Nana the dog, had been stripped of access to the children.

TV crews chased Mr and Mrs Darling down the street and a police guard had to be placed outside their door to prevent vigilante gangs from attacking them. Well, that was all too much for Nana the dog who was carted off to an RSPCA hospital, where she was soon being seen by a strange Australian man with a beard and a didgeridoo, who said he could make her a star, on, Animal Hospital.  

Nana said she’d rather be put down, so after a quick call to an assisted suicide group called Dognitas, the old dear’s now pushing up the daises next to Shep in Blue Peter’s garden. Such a waste, she’d been trained by Norland, you know. 
But I don’t suppose that means much these days.

Unsurprisingly, the Darling children went rapidly down hill from there. Shunted from one foster home to another, they fell in with the wrong crowd. Before long, Michael was wearing a hoodie and worse, hanging out with Prince Harry’s lot. As for little John, without any proper father figure to look after him, he found solace in a new faith, changed his name to Sinbad, and was last heard of heading for the Afghan hills for a spiritual vacation. Which is why Wendy got back in touch with yours truly.

So with no one else left to help her, Wendy closed her eyes tight and sent a wish to her old mate Peter Pan. I must confess, when her message first popped up on my Blackberry, I winced. Is there nowhere the office can’t reach me these days? Even Neverland? So I made a few calls, and whaddya know? Hookie agreed to help me out. Yes, I know he’s a rogue and bounder who has polluted the whole of Neverland, after swapping the Jolly Roger for a fleet of turbo charged jet skis. 

Big mistake. We’d scarcely set foot in London before the anti – terrorism squad and Hookie was carted off to Belmarsh. You should have heard him shouting when they took him away! “I am Hook, one time bosom to Blackbeard. The only man to send a shiver up the wooden stump of, Long John Silver. The only consolation for the poor Captain was that the crocodile never made it through the security checks at Neverland Airport”. The other passengers heard that clock ticking in its belly and said they would not travel unless the croc was chucked off the flight.

As for Tinkerbell, no sooner had she returned to her old haunts than a gay rights group called Stonewall said it was totally unacceptable for her old name to be retained. When asked for an explanation, they just threw their eyebrows to the ceiling, sucked in their lips like lemon quarters and gasped: Firely was so much more ‘now’. They even wanted Tinks to change her gender, but we’re still negotiating on that. The Elf’s trade union is pretty sticky on that sort of alteration.

The fairy costumes had to go too, something to do with stereotyping. But when I showed Tinks her new thong, her little pilot light went out altogether, and I’m afraid no amount of Polish plumbers can get it started again. So now I’m stranded and alone, with only my shadow for company. Even Wendy has cut off contact after getting a six – figure deal to appear on a Celebrity show---get me out of here! All of this I can tell you, is incredibly upsetting.

What has happened to Britain these days? I know Neverlands not perfect, but it’s a place where time stands still – and innocence is preserved and I like it that way. Today’s inspectors and officials all say that they’re only interested in protecting children. But by imagining the worst of people they are only wrecking the very innocence they presume to defend.

As I was telling the tooth fairy the other day: “You know Gums, sometimes I wonder if childhood itself is vanishing”. And do you know what she said in reply: “Sorry Pete, I’ve gone private. If you want a consultation, you’ll have to pay up front”.
How about ‘Pay – as – you – go? Sorry Pete, it’ll Neverland!


BY
DARRYL ASHTON                                                      

                                        


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

Nowhere Man

Nowhere Man

Star dust, the stuff of a fool’s dreams.
Oh !!!, to travel upon star dust streams
- that glorious, never ending journey -
into the realms, the space of many.

This old spirit, seems, not to fit into any
mold nor on any rung of the social latter, 
that, I think, should not, ever matter. 
And so I have to wonder ?, 
as upon this planet, I wander.

Is there any place for me ?, 
where I might fit in – one day to see ?
In my youth, some perceived me to be 
Sall Minnio, even the King, 
- Elvis Presley, - this idea girls would bring
with them, in their pursuit of me.

As an adult, I came to be seen
– an Italian, a Greek, a Mexican – 
a First Nations is what I’ve been 
as folks do the best they can.
As people guessed at my race, 
looking and looking into my face,
the essence, the spirit, the soul of this man.

Yet nowhere do I fit - I belong to no place.
Nowhere do I find a fitting space
for this German, French, British, Native, 
gene pool, my heritage doth give. 
Plus the few – long forgotten – more 
that came through the genetic door 
– open for viewing the heart of this old soul – 
where there is reflection and getting to know.

There have been some who would pass 
this face of many – this face of looking glass 
refraction – to see truth – a Redman’s blood in the veins 
of this First Nation soul – the spirit which remains
for this old soul, the essence of my spirit, 
even in times when many would not tolerate it.
And so, it is not a wonder 
why this soul seems to flounder, 
cannot find anything sounder,

between the jagged, ragged edges 
of created, keen, sharp - wedges 
between who and what I am, and
where it is I could possibly stand.
There is not – it seems to me – a place
where I fit in, can stand, turn and face, 
see a possible niche – a place to belong,
before, my life is almost gone,
as I look back upon all the roads, 
- the stories, the tales, the heavy loads –

I have travelled, yet know not what will be told
of what rung, on the social ladder I hold,
what plateau to find shelter in ?,
what plane to fly above, be comfortable in ?,
what place to rest my spirit, my soul within ?,
what space can I find to forget all the sin ?
I have walked with the sane and insane.
I have talked with the educated and uneducated.
I have been in the company of intelligence and unintelligent.
I have laid with the secure and the insecure.
I have laid with passion’s fire and frigid’s cold.

I have known the moral and the immoral.
I have known those of faith and the faithless
I have known the killed and the killer
I have known those who have taken their own lives
I have known the givers and the takers
I have known the movers and the shakers
I have known the honest and the dishonest
I have known the psychic and the blind. 
I have known the truth sayers and the bullshitters,
The fast lane, the slow lane, the middle lane I’ve moved in.
The sober, the drunkard – I’ve been and been with.
The strong, the weak – I’ve been and been with.

The used, the abused  – I’ve been and been with. 
The users and the abusers -- I’ve known and know me.
The wealthy, the poor – I’ve known and know me.
Financial wealth and Spirituality -- I’ve known and know me.
The saver of a life -- I’ve known and was me.
The living and the dead -- I’ve known and know me.
Having a brush with artists has been my fate. 
Having acted up with entertainers has been my fate. 
Having had words with writers has been my fate.
Having become a rhymer, like my forth cousin, has been my fate.
I have played with players – strummed a note or two.
I have laid with singers-- sung a note or two.
I have laid with dancers – danced a step or two.

I have struck an arc alongside a welder – a time or two.
I have sprayed painted cars alongside a painter – a time or two.
Hammering out metal with body men – I have done.
Twisting wrenches with mechanics – I have done.
Busining along side business men – I have done.
Being a lover, I always thought, was my forte.
Being a husband, I thought I knew how to play.
Being a father, I thought I knew I would stay.
Being a friend, I thought was always my way.
To be a son – a child’s dream.
To be a brother – not to be it seems
as all the above drifts downstream,
leaving one to wonder, what life really means ?
Life’s journey can be a wondrous mystery !,
 
when one leafs through the pages of his history.
One’s life can also be a disastrous story ?, 
one of little hope, dim light and no glory.
So what is left for this old fool ?, 
but to carry on breaking the old rule, 
rules that make it possible to call oneself a poet, 
something I never call myself, a poet, and I know it !
I do the best I can
That is who I am !
Being a carny – traveling with The World’s Finest show.
For a couple of seasons – that is all I did know.
Being a dishwasher, a server, a busboy, a waiter, a manager 
of a restaurant, many dimensions of life. I was egger  
to come into contact with, to try and understand. 
As fate would have it, understanding never came to this hand.

Today, a bum – forty eight years ago – father said
“ the best dressed bum in town ” would be my stead.
What goes around – at some point in time – comes around.
There is some truth to this, that I have certainly found.
Even though I have touched the edges of many a life. 
Many places, pieces of each and everyone, not one has been 
a place for me, a place I felt I belonged, the places I’ve seen
do not leave pillows for my spirit,  beds to rest my soul, rife
with uncertainty, is my state, almost every day
I can find no place, no space for me to play.
Looking into this distorted collage 
I wonder if it is but a mirage ?
My flaws lie in the heart of my feeling !, it is my sin !,
this belief that there is no place, no space where I fit in.

B. J. “A” 2
May 1st 2004


Long poem by Mimi Machakaire | Details |

Look into my eyes

You think  you know me
You think that this was destiny
You think that you and I were supposed to be for eternity
But I didn't think I deserved all your love.
You were the perfect guy sent straight from up above.
And to tell the truth I didn't know how to be honest with you.
I asked myself what I was supposed to do.
I've told you so many times
How I'd like nothing more than to call you mine
Wanted you to stay by my side
You were always on my mind.

And even right now, I still feel the same way
Even though I still have very little to say.
There were times, I said to myself you were the one
Looking back at all the crazy things that we done
My friends thought I was stupid staying with you for this long
but I told them that this is were I belong
Now I can't see that anymore
Gattah open up another door
See what's out there left for me
Maybe I'll come back if this is really meant to be

Look into my eyes
Look at what's hidden beneath this disguise
The girl you used to know, now needs sometime alone to grow.
I have no idea were im going, or if this was even true
But know that I will always have feelings so strong for you
You were the one I thought would last
Longer than anyone from my past
We were lovers till the end
Now I hope you'll be my friend

I remember the moments, when it was just you and I
Saying goodbye to you, makes me wanna cry
I've tried too see this through
Thinking constantly about you
I love you so much but it's time to finish what we started
Even though i know it's gonna leave both of us broken-hearted

Look into my eyes
Look at what's hidden beneath this disguise
The girl you used to know, now needs sometime alone to grow.
I have no idea were im going, or if this was even true
But know that I will always have feelings so strong for you
You were the one I thought would last
Longer than anyone from my past
We were lovers till the end
Now I hope you'll be my friend

When we first met
Didn't think you'd be so important to me
Everything just felt so comfortable, so open and so free
Now you got issues to figure out
I got issues too
Maybe we'll get back together
Start again and see this through
Cause there's a part of me that's dreadin' going through all this again with somebody new.
I'll admit it was fun until it got towards the end
Don't know why something so good, became harder to comprehend
My life will never be the same, knowing you used to be with me
But I gattah move on, so do you. We gattah learn how to see things differently.

Look into my eyes
Look at what's hidden beneath this disguise
The girl you used to know, now needs sometime alone to grow.
I have no idea were im going, or if this was even true
But know that I will always have feelings so strong for you
You were the one I thought would last
Longer than anyone from my past
We were lovers till the end
Now I hope you'll be my friend

You were the guy, every other girl wanted
But you chose me and this was how it started
We did the lovers thing. had our hearts sown together by a string .
Only us could see into the future, and know how much happiness that would bring. You made me wanna sing, always had a smile. Even though i know this only lasted for a while but we went the entire mile. We weren't  like everyone else, had our own style. talked each and everyday. Checking to make sure we were both okay. I'll always remember the days you used to say
- I love you boo and I'd say I love you too. but like I said before it's time to say goodbye and that's something I really didn't want to do

Look into my eyes
Look at what's hidden beneath this disguise
The girl you used to know, now needs sometime alone to grow.
I have no idea were im going, or if this was even true
But know that I will always have feelings so strong for you
You were the one I thought would last
Longer than anyone from my past
We were lovers till the end
Now I hope you'll be my friend

I know you don't understand
Listen to me while you hold my hand
Seeing you like this is something I cannot stand
I know there's so much we had planned
When I was your girl and you were my man
But I got stuff that I gattah do
In this world that seems so cruel
Know that I will always be your lover
Won't ever be able to find another
But it ain't like we ain't ever gonna see each other
I will always be there for you, if you do the same for me
Even though there's that one small little technicality
Cause honestly I don't see the possibility
Of us getting back to the way we used to be

 i Still  gattah find me, gattah find out who I was supposed to be.
Need to travel the world
Turn into something else other than this little girl
I've imagined how you were gonna take it
Saying please don't take my heart and break it
But just feel like nothings ever gonna change
gattah start a chapter on a whole nother  page
Gattah take a bow right here on this stage
Cause we both need too grow up
not just stand here and show up
This relationship needs to hold up
Cause right now theres no trust
So you do you, and I do me
It hurts me deeply to set you free

Look into my eyes
Look at what's hidden beneath this disguise
The girl you used to know, now needs sometime alone to grow.
I have no idea were im going, or if this was even true
But know that I will always have feelings so strong for you
You were the one I thought would last
Longer than anyone from my past
We were lovers till the end
Now I hope you'll be my friend







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 Eileen Manassian | Details |

Where Gladiators Fought

Part I

Where gladiators fought for life,
we meet to fight for love
The constellations in the Roman night sky,
celestial spectators, bathe the Colosseum
in the white blood of light
The night is throbbing with the heat of our battle,
our cries, more passionate than any that have gone before

Part II

A short while earlier
A well paid bribe found us in the remains of the Ludus Magnus,
the remains of the old Gladiator School in Rome
where lies buried
a hidden entrance to an underground tunnel 
You pull me with you into dark underground world of legend
By light of a flickering torch,
we travel into the entrails of the behemoth,
coming in time upon the holding rooms
My breath catches 
I hear the sounds of man and beast
carrying through the thin layers of time:
Slaves, criminals, debtors, all awaiting their fate…
Animals pawing, grunting, starved for food
Dying to kill to stave the gnawing pain
Waiting….
Waiting to be lifted up into the arena
Waiting to fight 
Waiting to live or die

Part III

We break into the hypogeum
The crispness of the night air stings us
The vastness of it all paralyzes all thought
Rome comes ALIVE
The resurrection of history enflames us,
and as we mount those final stairs up to the arena,
I feel your excitement blazing through me
Your grasp is almost painful in jubilee
“We are here…HERE!” Your voice is laced with the sacred.
Between those famed arches…XIX and XX
We stand 
You and I all and 50,000 ghost spectators
Here at the East Entrance
The Gate of Life Looms above us
True gladiators passed through these very gates 
Here the applause coursed through their veins
And thundered to the captives below…
Here I stand
Quivering with the knowledge of all this night means to me
That thunder reverberates through MY body
I can hardly breathe
Your eyes are looking up at tiered levels
while mine look ahead
There is the walkway connecting the east to west
At the far side is the Libitinarian, the Gate of Death,
through which dead gladiators were dragged,
their bodies dumped in the Spoliarium 
to be stripped of clothes and armor
Life and death
Here, they converged
Here, they fought
On this night
I know
I will strip myself of my clothing and armor
I will let down my defenses
and give in to your onslaught of passion
Here… I will die to all but your eyes

Part IV

I walk, quietly, with purpose
Here….in this place...
my virgin blood will be spilt
Halfway between life and death, I stop
I turn towards you
My voice reaches you on the night wind
“Come to me!”
I see you move towards me
My mighty gladiator
You who have fought my demons
You who have slain my nightmares
You who have held in check
A savage desire for possession
As you stand before me
I wonder if you know
Tonight is the night
You will plunder and ravage
to your heart's delight
your just reward

Part V

You find a place to keep the torch upright
You see the blanket I’ve spread on the ground
I answer the question in your eyes
With the curve of my lips
I steady my hands as they work to undress me
I feel my body burn in the warmth of your presence
Your eyes undress me faster than my hands can,
and yet... you are....immovable
You stand transfixed
You wait until my only covering
Is my flowing hair
"Make love to me
Here, now...be my gladiator
Come...claim your prize."
I reach out my hand to you
and in a moment
before my next intake of breath
you've come to life and crush me in your arms
Your mouth claims mine
like never before
seeking more
your tongue explores
demanding, commanding
it takes what it will
You pull me in to you 
Your hand in my hair,
my breath is raptured by your sheer strength
Your mouth travels along my neck
Hungry….like a famished animal finally set free to feast
You devour as you reach my cleavage 
I lean back to let you savor my breasts
For the first time
to taste 
You’re down on your knees
your tongue encircling my navel
going round and round and dipping inside
This prophetic dance of what is to come
washes over me
as you lower me to the ground
In a moment, I’m looking at the stars
The two brightest ones being your eyes
You are above me
You are everywhere
Kissing tasting touching feeling pleasing
Finding my voice, I pant...
“Don't...be gentle
not...now!"
I’m gasping with the effort
of all I need to say...
of the weight of feelings...
raging within me
"Don't...hold back anymore
Take me...
Take me...now."

Your hands reach for mine and pin them down
My breasts heave, my body rocks
as I feel you plunging into the moistness 
that your very presence always creates in me
But never...to this luxuriant degree
Pain mixes with pleasure again and again
As I hear your grunt and groan
Your ecstasy comes in manish moan
And I close my eyes to the Roman night sky

I sigh
I die
To the world
I am reborn in you
I hear your victory cry
And feel your jubilant release inside

Part VI

They fought for life
We fought for love
My fingers run through your hair
Your head is pillowed on my breast
My heart beat a reminder
Of what you have won
A gladiator’s reward...

LIFE
found
in the arms
of the woman
you
LOVE


For Justin Bordner’s Contest
Make Love to Me in that Ancient Place
November 16, 2014


Long poem by Suzette Richards | Details |

SUMMER, WINTER SOLSTICE - 2010

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

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


Long poem by Poetryof Providence | Details |

APOLOGY

You spoke of Love in the kingdom to come
Where the works of hatred would be undone
you bid your disciples to follow whats true
to demonstrate its power in the actions they do
 
But I have seen injustice
      In the congregations of God
they have castigated children
with verbal tirades           they did flog

committed vicious slander
and the innocent             threw away
refused to hear their lack of justice
and those who tell the truth                they slay

But these actions are not hidden
from our King                 God has given throne
those of us who’ve seen it
our thoughts to him          have shown

His retribution will not linger
with his army he arrives
expose he will oppressors
those who                       cover deceit with lies
 
They profess to be disciples
of the Christ and Father Jah
but the errors                   of injustice
have trespassed the Love that’s law

Into the sanctuary
          I have sent this word
that like prayers of incense 
their cries and tears           be heard

At the house of God there’s punishment
until true mercy            we can learn
willing to          investigate the truth
and its advocates not spurn

You have practiced Law and Judgment
the child of God             you did not see
you interpreted the scriptures
and pronounced his children          unworthy

I have trouble understanding
those who lift             your eulogy
so easily destroy their kin
blame not themselves              as ungodly

Its always someone                 else’s fault
not the things you did or say
you couldn’t possibly            be the reason
that from the “truth” they walked away

When you stand before the throne of God
will they judge                  your actions clean
all the thoughts that you committed
will prove you kind                  or mean

I can only say to you 
I saw your                 justice taken away
my own afflictions and slander
paralyzed my voice             that day

Even now to late in time
their judgments I do fear
they’ve spent their time             convincing me
my perception is not             clear

But I have spent my time
considering             the instructions in your word
their placement in        my heart and mind
and my pen has proved I’ve heard

to those youths       I’m still connected
you’ve remained in mind and heart
I’ve considered what you experienced
and I know                it’s origins start

Not all of us              who worship truth
will condemn your walk away
those who expose their heartlessness
before the throne will pay

I only hope you              remember
those of us    who cherished you
If I could manipulate nature
none these things               would you go through

I want you to remember
that’s whats broken         and with flaw
have difficulty executing
the perfection of cosmic law

I hope to see you           in the future
when you’ve considered my             digress
what you’ve experienced in life
is very difficult               to digest

The things that connect us
are more            than human skin
together we are the children
of the parents               who gave us sin

This is my apology
for you         whom I could not defend
I was suffering my own afflictions
which prevented           my love to mend

I have failed far to many
and on others can           lay no blame
unlike the power that controls the cosmos
my limitations physics             name

My complaints here             I have spoken
but the threads of them            are true
they are laid before the throne of justice
and our God and Christ            will see them through

Choose to invest in excellence 
but these are traits          that you must learn
to humans they come            not natural
your inclinations             they will confirm

From your introduction             I have loved you
and to my thoughts have given voice
but your own road                    you must travel
and free will               is yours of choice

Only one thing          can fill whats hollow
a majestic gift       from Christ and God
that we “learn” to love each other
correct the inherited things          and flawed


Self justification (self rightousness) is a peculiar
trait among mankind ….and is significantly
emboldened when applying law and tradition
and distinctly visible among those who “practice”
religion , instead of “following the truth” like a
detective …….outside appearances can be so
deceiving, whats hidden and out of visions
range the guilty are not just catholic and protestant
those who abuse the truth have always sat
right among Gods own chosen people ….

 
Luke 17:1-4

COPYRIGHT © 2011 C. Michael Miller
via Duboff Law Group LLC


Long poem by James W Johnson | Details |

LETTER ONE

February 27, 1861

My Dear Miss Holly Winegardner,

   After saying goodbye to you, Johnny Birdeye and I traveled from Columbus to Nashville by train, then west to Memphis arriving home two days ago. Johnny’s family was glad to have him back and were grateful to me for going to Ohio to fetch him for them. You and I did not talk about young Johnny while I was there in Newark so perhaps I should tell you how I came to journey so far north and to eventually meet you.

   As I mentioned in our passing conversations, I live on our family farm on Crawley’s Ridge in Arkansas. It is located some fifty miles west of Memphis on a ridge overlooking the Mississippi River basin. Our farm belonged to Mr. Raymond Bennett Dobbins, my mother’s second husband, until his death eight years ago. It amounts to about five hundred acres now, including the acreage of my father's farm, of mostly rolling, hilly land - a great deal of it wooded and untamed, but filled with a variety of lakes and natural springs. That which is arable provides deep rooting for generous orchards and vineyards. We farm some and graze some but mostly fruit out the land as much as possible.

   Every year, we load some ten wagons with fruits, vegetables and nuts, and travel to Memphis several times for money crops during the harvest season. There is never enough to sell and we are constantly clearing land for more orchard space. We raise a variety of apples, plums, peaches, cherries, pears, apricots and persimmon. Our pecans are widely known, and sought after even in an area with an abundance of such nuts. We have several vineyards of grapes for jams, jellies, and wines. Even wild muscadine grapes are in abundance. We also have a wonderful stable of horses and, as you know, this is my passion.

   As I told your father while in Ohio, my mother married Mr. Dobbins, after my father’s death, on the condition that there be no slaves kept by him. At the time, he owned some fifty slaves and willingly freed them so that Mother would accept his proposal. Most of them moved away to Memphis and some further west but a few remained on our place, and worked along side the rest of the family. I will tell you sometime of John, our blacksmith, and Ethel, his wife, of Alice, who works in our home with my mother. Of young Tobacco Dobbins, my friend as a child, who now lives in California, having taken muscadine grapes there to grow. He has become quite a legend there and we are all proud of him.

   Johnny Birdeye’s family lives in the basin at the eastern foot of Crawley’s Ridge bordering our property. Their spread is vast covering thousands of acres of timber and at least a thousand acres of cotton farming. Johnny is younger than me by a few years, and in some ways not very mature for his age. Perhaps it is due to his upbringing in a rich family; perhaps it is just the way he is.

   A year ago, he left home with a gypsy girl, and it has taken the family this long to locate him and to dispatch me to Ohio to bring him home. I think he grew up some in this year, and realized that not everything in life is as it seems - meaning the girl was already married and leading him on. Perhaps I have said too much even now.

   Miss Holly, it is a trying time in which we live. Since Lincoln’s election, so much has transpired. South Carolina’s secession followed by so many other southern states is unbelievable. If Lincoln is inaugurated in March, there will likely be a fight. There is talk that my own beloved state will resign the Union in the spring.

   More chilling is the cold aspect of war. Many of my friends are arranging to travel to Little Rock or Fort Smith in case such a terrible turn brings us to incivility.

   The Birdeye family has a friend in Memphis whose name is Bedford Forrest. He is a plantation owner and slave trader, but says that he will build a fighting unit, if war breaks out. Mr Birdeye has offered to introduce me to Mr. Forrest, and I have considered it. Given my attention to horse flesh and Mr. Forrest’s expectation that he will raise a cavalry brigade, I am leaning toward such a prospect.

   Please understand that I want no part of war - it is a horrid thing to take a life. But, if we are invaded, as I told your father I will be compelled to defend our home.

   This is not the letter I sought to write to you, Miss Holly. I wanted to tell you about my time with you and how I felt since I saw you last. I wanted to tell you about my home, for I wondered how you would like it here. Though warmer, it is somewhat like your rolling hills in Ohio. Perhaps you will consider visiting us some time; my mother would love to meet you.

Yours most sincerely,

Jas. W. Johnson,
-late of Ohio,
-now on Crawley’s Ridge near Cherry Valley,
-and west of Memphis.


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

Words The ship Melanie Dear Melanie Troubled Times LossTouch

Words
The ship

Words come to me like spring. 
They set free, they shed the shroud, 
open with all their glory, beauty and sing. 
They stand tall, they ring out loud, 
from a life that blossoms with life’s renewal, 
with its continuation and the energy it will fuel,
taking all living things, from their creation 
to exotic places, the place of their final destination 
and that of their destiny. 
And destiny for you and me.

Words are my stairway towards the breasts 
of heaven, its waiting arms and its protective nests, 
where there is nothing that harms 
- as one snuggles in its enfolding arms -
one on his journey down long winding roads
he has to travel with such heavy loads.

Words are the steps I have climbed, they take me 
on adventures – and many, they have been – to see 
me through the doors, ( doors of perception ) of my mind,
those places, where it is, I spend most of my time. 
These pathways I have chosen to embark upon,
seem to linger on, and on, and on 
through to the subconscious that doth confirm,  
to consciousness, the light and I do learn 
from the words, the life, the thought
flowing like meandering streams, into raging rivers,
rivers into seas, into oceans and ought 
to take flight, light up the livers 
of life on their voyage towards heaven above 
where all might be pure love 
for a soul and for that soul to know
what is unknowable to conscious man, what doesn’t show, 
of what is not known to life, in its everyday living.

Words, for me, are knowledge, are for wisdom, for giving 
to all of whom want to know for all those who want to grow. 

B. J. “A” 2
March 21st 2002

Melanie, Dear Melanie !!!

My heart, Melanie, is aching.
My heart, Melanie, is braking 
from the attitudes that never seems to cease. 
They just seem – to me that is – to ever increase,
taking you ever deeper and deeper into ?, and further away
from who you are – what I feel and what I pray, 
is not where you are at and what you are heading for. 
It seems that there are few days left ?, before you are out the door. 

B. J. “A” 2
March 21st  2002

Troubled Times 

My hours tremble, they shake in their passing.
The minutes I live, are pressing, they are oppressing, 
for the thunder that rages, that is your presence, 
I have no safe haven, no shelter, I have no defence.
To become completely silent ?, never to sing out,
to ring the bell that tolls of your life, turned about
expressed  with anger, in the hostile words you shout 
at me, words that let me see into, know something is amiss 
in our little world, that once tasted the sweetness of bliss, 
but now, has been destroyed, taken away !,
by what ?, by whom ?, who has lead you astray.

B. J. “A” 2
March 21st  2002

Loss

I have felt, for some time, and do feel the light 
within you flicker, yet does not quite burn bright 
for long, but one day, may just take flight 
on your butter fly wings, not dried or out of sight 
and carry you passed all in life – BAD – you tried, in darkest of night..

B. J. “A” 2
March 21st  2002

Touch

I have reached out !, I have tried to touch you Melanie !, 
but have found, not but vapour, mist in my hands, 
passing air, on the run, to an uncharted, unknown sea, 
to far off, barren, dusty,  desert lands.
I offer you, - my Daughter, my Child, - my time, my ear. 
I would like to know, to understand, to listen, I want to hear, 
but silence is all that comes to me, upon the turbulent wind, 
on the run, in the air, stilled by this horrendous sin.

B. J. “A ” 2
March 21st  2002

The Fall

Melanie, !!!, your fall, I find hard to conceive. 
It is a picture, a movie that I do not want to believe, 
yet it is all around me, but if I would perceive.

B. J. “A ” 2
March 21st  2002

A black hole

My life is caught up in this vortex called living. 
This whirl pool, called life, sucks me in,
 spins me round and around, giving 
nothing, just drawing me ever downward, in,
 into this it’s empty black hole, pierced by it’s swards,
laying my heart wide open, bleeding on my thoughts, my words. 

B. J. “A ” 2 
March 21st 2002

Veiled sight

My eyes flow, they swell with red 
rivers, in vain as painful waves 
of tears, tears full of fears fill my head
as the pain, from within, fills the caves, 
the hollows, the shelters in my mind, never put to bed

B. J. “A ” 2 
March 21st 2002

Much to much time !!! 

It seemed that I had too much time on my hands to reflect,
Too much time on my hands to project
to much time on my hands to infect
my days, my nights with what I did suspect,
and now the years have slipped by like lightening,
and all that once was frightening
has, with the passing of time, become clear
as time has shown, elevating all that I did  fear.

B. J. “A ” 2 
October 12th  2013


Long poem by Brian Johnston | Details |

Essay: Darwin's Theory - Science or Fairy Tale

Not to let the air out of anyone's tire but it's really not fair to compare religious 
writings to modern science. Scientific theories for one thing are models of 
reality (for example)       and do not really claim to be reality itself. Though 
there may be some 'scientists' who claim that 'science' is true in the same 
sense as the belief that there is a God, I am not one of them and I believe such 
'scientists' are not very bright! . Holy writings always require us to have faith, 
to believe something because it seems true or because we want it to be true, 
or because someone we trust told us it was true. Science tells us a model is 
true because all the tests made to determine it's accuracy show that it's right. 
And any Tom, Dick or Harry who performs these necessary tests will always get 
the same answer. In short: Science is verifiable, Religion is not. 

I am both scientifically trained (A sort of scientist I guess)       and a practicing 
Christian. I find value in both my faith and in science. I personally like to think 
of a scientific theory as a kind of a poem which can be very beautiful indeed. 
This of course can be difficult for a layman to see who doesn't understand 
mathematics very well.

When a child asks you why is the sky blue how do you answer? Do you say 
'because God made it that way, ' or do you tell the child well it's because light 
obeys the laws of refraction, which once you study mathematics for 20 years I 
will be able to explain to you? The simple answer here is that 2000+ years ago 
we were much more childlike than we are now. Our ancient texts give the 
wisdom of the ages (and it is wise)       but just like science is not literally true, 
maybe it is not scandalous to say that our spiritual ancestors wisdom is not 
literally true either. God may have spoken to us as children then, but one of his 
great gifts to us was Science as well. Those who ignore what Science can tell 
us, do so, I believe, at considerable peril to themselves and to others.

When Christ taught others he used parables a lot. Surely most people will 
admit that while these parables may teach us important truths, they may not in 
fact have ever actually happened. In this sense I personally believe that the 
Bible is not literally true and that does not mean it is not the word of God, it 
just means we need to grow up and understand that our responsibility to God 
extends beyond the Bible. Science in fact has much to teach us about how to 
understand what is written in Holy Books like the Bible and we should listen, 
because the same God that created the universe, created Science too! 

Here is just a small example that a scientific theory is not reality, but a model 
(or poem)       about reality  that can serve us without being literally true. 
Gravity is a very simple example. We all have an intuitive feeling about gravity 
being a force of some kind. This crude idea of gravity being a force has taken 
us a long way, to the moon and even to other planets and back again. This was 
an early model of physics. More modern physics has a different model which is 
really very different sounding and complex but which is much more accurate 
than the simple  idea of gravity in explaining what we see when stars get very 
massive for example, or when we travel very fast. This takes us into some of 
Einstein's theories which are much more accurate and complicated than gravity. 
So from Einsteins viewpoint, gravity does not exist at all, it is what is called a 
'fictitious force' that exists only because the mass of an object, especially very 
big objects, cause both space and time to curve. Doesn't sound like gravity 
anymore does it, and yet the new theory, though it does not replace the 
usefulness of the laws of gravity for you and I in our daily lives, means that for 
science gravity is as old fashioned as a horse and buggy.

Did you know the the earth is 4.5 Billion years old, not 6000 years old as the 
Bible estimates, and was man really created by God by breathing life into a 
figure he molded out of clay or did God create man though evolutionary 
processes that took millions of years to accomplish? I personally admire the 
God more who created the potential for every thing we see around us in an 
instant, than a God who took seven days to accomplish the same thing. But 
that's just me. Science can be tested as I have stated, the Bible must be taken 
on faith. Given the possibility that both were given to us by the same God, 
what do you think we should do? Do we really have to throw one or the other 
out completely? I don't think so. Both are valuable.


Long Poems