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The great poem by the italian poet Dante is the DIVINA COMMEDIA
I have tried to translate in english a few verses of the first canto of INFERNO (HELL).
It was a very difficult task.
The result below was obtained with hard work and
probably is far away from the original spirit of our greatest poet.
The italian rhymes are of 11 syllables as requested by italian terza rima. In english language several verses sound well with 10 syllables, few with 9 or 11. I assume that in english there is no fixed rule for syllables in terza rima and I simply try to obtain a good sound of verses resembling the original italian poem.
I continue to translate and to add new verses until the characters reach the limit.
I submit to soupers expecting their sincere comments and criticism
CANTO I Inferno Original italian
When half the journey of my life was crossed Nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita
I found myself within a forest dark Mi ritrovai per una selva oscura
Since the correct way was harshly lost. Ché la diritta via era smarrita
Oh, it's so hard to say and to remark Ahi quanto a dir qual era è cosa dura
How strong and savage was the forest core Esta selva selvaggia e aspra e forte
That now again I am of fear stark! Che nel pensier rinova la paura!
So amara it is that death is lightly more; Tant'è amara che poco è più morte;
But to describe the sake that there I found Ma per trattar del ben ch'i' vi trovai,
I shall relate what I saw before. Dirò de l'altre cose ch'i' v'ho scorte.
How there I went surely I confound Io non so ben ridir com'i' v'intrai,
Since of slumber I was full so much Tant'era pien di sonno a quel punto
That I abandoned any pattern sound. Che la verace via abbandonai.
But with a hill foot when I got in touch, Ma poi ch'i' fui al piè d'un colle giunto,
There where the valley was close to end Là dove terminava quella valle
Which to my heart gave a fear clutch, Che m'avea di paura il cor compunto,
I looked up and saw its abrupt trend Guardai in alto e vidi le sue spalle
Already dressed by the planet rays Vestite già de' raggi del pianeta
Which the path to everybody always fend. Che mena dritto altrui per ogne calle.
So my fears were calmed in some ways, Allor fu la paura un poco queta,
Which in the lake of my heart had lasted Che nel lago del cor m'era durata
During the night I spent in so much haze. La notte ch'i' passai con tanta pieta.
And similar to one with lena labored, E come quei che con lena affannata,
Got out of open sea reaching the shore, Uscito fuor del pelago a la riva,
Looks the perilous water behind his head, Si volge a l'acqua perigliosa e guata,
Just so my soul, which was fleeing more, Così l'animo mio, ch'ancor fuggiva,
Looked behind to behold the pass Si volse a retro a rimirar lo passo
Which no living person ever left before. Che non lasciò già mai persona viva.
After a while to rest the body harass, Poi ch'èi posato un poco il corpo lasso,
The way resumed along the desert slope Ripresi via per la piaggia diserta,
So that was always lower my foot fast. Sì che 'l piè fermo sempre era 'l più basso.
Here, when I started with the rise to cope, Ed ecco, quasi al cominciar de l'erta,
Sudden a very rapid panther light, Una lonza leggera e presta molto,
Coated with spotted fur and little hope; Che di pel macolato era coverta;
Which didn’t leave apart from my front sight, E non mi si partia dinanzi al volto,
Or better so forbidding my path line, Anzi 'mpediva tanto il mio cammino,
That more than once I gave up to go right. Ch'i' fui per ritornar più volte vòlto.
It was the time for morning starting shine, Temp'era dal principio del mattino,
And sun was rising moving with those stars E 'l sol montava 'n sù con quelle stelle
Which joined it when the love divine Ch'eran con lui quando l'amor divino
Moved for the first those full of beauty jars; Mosse di prima quelle cose belle;
So that I had more reasons to hope the best Sì ch'a bene sperar m'era cagione
About that beast whose pelt had many scars di quella fiera a la gaetta pelle
The hour of time and the season blessed; L'ora del tempo e la dolce stagione;
But not enough to forbid the fright Ma non sì che paura non mi desse
After my eyes a fierce lion guessed. La vista che m'apparve d'un leone.
This looked like against me pounced right Questi parea che contra me venisse
With ravenous hunger and head up high, Con la test'alta e con rabbiosa fame,
So that surrounding air looked to excite. Sì che parea che l'aere ne tremesse.
And a lupa, which greedy coming by Ed una lupa, che di tutte brame
Burdened looked as only skin and bones, Sembiava carca ne la sua magrezza,
And many people already made to sigh, E molte genti fé già viver grame,
This put on me indeed so heavy stones Questa mi porse tanto di gravezza
With the scare created by the appearance, Con la paura ch'uscia di sua vista,
That I lost the hope to reach the upper zones. Ch'io perdei la speranza de l'altezza.
And such as guy acquiring with decision,
And comes the time which brings him then to lose,
So that his thoughts with sorrow find collision;
Similar the peaceless beast with strong abuse
Coming against me direct bit by bit
Constrained me with shadow to confuse.
(No enough space left.
Continues in the next part.
The last rows of original italian will be repeated there)
sometimes i talk to myself,
my mind is racing,
i dont know what to do...
so hard to explain.
depression isn't a stage
or a faze some kids go through
it shatters you...
i saw it all.
she cried silent in her bed,
blood stains covered her favorite jeans,
her every shirt,
long sleeve ofcourse...
she suffered through it all with few people to call friend
and more to call enemy
even more to say where quite dissappointed....
her first name in school,
not started by a bully
or a mean rival,
but by her sister,
and it echoed through her soul,
repeating in her mind... over and over again,
like the ripples of still water
when a pebble is dropped
flash frozen in time
over and over again...
It was the first name they gave her,
millions where created over the years,
some repeating again, just as the first had..
gothic they called her,
emo, fat, ugly....worse things.
but in her mind, things where worse.
everything was repeating,
over and over again,
finally she believed it.
she asked for help, from everyone
tried to explain to parents she wasnt well,
got called a psycho for asking to see a theripist,
not from a teacher,
not from a class mate,
but from her own father, who wouldn't, couldn't,
believe there could possibly be a thing wrong....
finally, crying, she confessed her bloody secret to a teacher.
rather then giving her time,
she is sent back to class crying her eyes out, as if she wherent going through enough...
she is sent to the principals office a few minutes later, after breaking down in class...
the princlipal says she needs help,
sends her and her dad for a risk evaluation,
her dads crying as she shows him her cuts...
they walk into a hospital room,
it smells of chemicals and hand sanitizer,
the lady at the desk gives her a smile.
then she goes into a room with a lady,
her cheeks are sunken in and shes wearing way too much makeup,
the girl is gaging on her perfume,
and she looks really intimidating....
her dark brown hair looks dead and flat
even though its a bit wavy,
and she wears somewhat of a mocking frown.
asks her all these questions,
is mommy beating her?
is daddy raping her?
is she doing drugs?
is anyone beating her?
did anyone molest her?
oxcarbezapine, trazadone, citalipran, clinazapam, colonipan,
valium, lithium, more.......
and thats what they gave her,
some numbed the pain
some brought it out
tearing through her organs,
she became an addict by the time she was fourteen....
over dose after over dose
some for pleasure
some for pain,
gashes on her legs getting deeper,
this time she didnt tell a soul,
not even those she had come to call friends....
wakeup she screamed in her head over and over again
as she dropped weight like it was nothing....
you cant controll it she argued as things became worse.
at age fourteen she attempted suicide,
she didnt quite succeed.
the medication took away her aappitite....
she liked it
she hated her body
felt out of controll
found a new way to cope
as she shoved tooth brush after toothbrush down her throat
to keep her body from nuitrients...
as she whent weeks and weeks spitting food into napkins and making excuses
I ate at my friends house....
spoken as a whisper
heard like a sentance
echoing in her mind over and over again,
along with that word, all the words,
ugy, anoying, stupid, fake, worthless, nothing...
one bite she would say
rocking back and forth
craving nothing but food
her body racked with hunger pain
one bite and there she was again
over and over and over again
back to a toothbrush
this time she sees blood
she saw her ribs
she saw her bones,
it wasnt good enough,
she almost died, again....
choking on this deep dissappointment in herself,
gaging on everything they where pushing down her throat,
their words, and their insults, their criticism.... their drugs
all shoved down her throat like candy
and just as she was was trained to do she swallowed despite the bad taste
or the hurt
or the fact that at the rate she was going she would be dead soon...
and you know why?
because daddy yelled
and couldnt accept what was happening
not because he wanted to hurt her
but because it hurt him,
and she let him believe,
because she could take the hurt if it meant he didnt have too.
because mommy didnt want to sit in her room all day
practically having us raise ourselves,
she didnt mean to take anger, or frustration or hurt out on her daughter
she suffered everyday in her solitary confinement,
and from a young age she accepted her bedroom was the cage
her mother had created for herself.
because sister didnt want to effect her the way she did
she was just frustrated
fed up with the way things where
scared, she needed someone to take her cruelty
and to help heal her pain...
because people in school
who where so cruel
had to have learned from somewhere
and she wasnt going to play into their games,
and they knew she was an easy target
because she would never attack someone so weak
and she accepted her suffering was a sacrafice
to help all these people....
to help her dad,
every person who was beaten abused or hurt
and felt so weak at home they wanted to feel strong in the one safe place they had.
because depite the fact she had died inside,
and almost passed away on the out,
it was a saccrafice she was willing to make
so that no one else would have to feel that kind of pain,
and they all inflicted it and broke her down'untill there was nothing left but a shell
of somthing that could have been
and never had the chance
because she would take it and wouldnt strike back,
because sometimes "just taking it"
isnt so much about the weakness not to do anything
but about the strangth not to hurt others the way they hurt you...
as the PROPHETS of profits, WE lead and WE’re fair
while WE’re living the life of the poor BILLIONAIRE
– silver yachts, pearly castles, cash (plenty to spare) –
with the world on OUR backs... ah! the burdens WE bear!
being HAVES (not the have-nots) as nature decrees
means WE’re certainly the better (they’re vermin on sleaze).
if they pray for a lift in their dark fantasies,
WE just kick ’em downstairs, get ’em off of their knees.
yes, WE offer great jobs (much too busy OURSELVES!)
for maintaining the toilets, restacking the shelves,
and WE teach ’em to fear god and play with the elves,
so dispelling ideas where the dark demon delves.
though they build mighty bridges, twin towers and more,
peddle pizzas and popcorn, sell guns door-to-door,
still they gotta have BOSSES to tell ’em the score
else WE’d not be productive nor thrive evermore.
when OUR profits are plunging, they do their part too
for they dine on the dole! yes, no hullabaloo!
soon OUR fortunes redouble, rebound and accrue –
since WE fared well without ’em, WE bid ’em adieu.
they’re like hobos and whores, mimic spiders and lice,
for they crawl all around US in life’s paradise.
but WE’re tender and patient and make sacrifice
spewing charity, kindness (though each has its price).
if they’re beaten or punctured or suffer assault,
are unhealthy or crippled or walk with a halt,
or retarded or helpless, it’s all their own fault –
just like US they should worship the DOLLAR exalt!
protesters and loud mouths, you’ll find ’em aplenty
some older, some younger, the worst not yet twenty.
they’re shameless and brazen (unwashed, soiled and scenty)
impugning the prestige of brave COGNOSCENTI.
if they’ve got clashing colors (you know what WE mean),
or some different beliefs in the hidden unseen,
WE will always exploit it, deflecting their spleen,
for with god on each side, would WE dare intervene?
WE promote many methods to keep ’em in chains –
daily rags and the tube spin OUR circus campaigns
“to pretend you’ve a voice”, an announcement explains,
“you can vote and decide on which ONE of US reigns”.
OUR policemen protect US, they stay on the ball
(they arrest ’em, no questions per law’s protocol,
and jam ’em in jail with their backs to the wall) –
if you’ve lucre for lawyers there’s justice for all.
down the ROYAL road of justice WE march all alone
– WE condemn their defiance, set ways to atone –
since WE’re sinless, unsullied, WE cast the first stone
(while WE cloak Regal fetor with eau de cologne).
politicians, bald bankers, grand idols galore,
attend meetings, fete banquets in which they explore
ways to rid US of rodents (the weak and the poor) –
WE just round up the riff-raff, dispatch ’em to war!
ah! OUR wars are.... well, just...... just a thing of the past
........... and the present............... and future... WE sure make them last!
if some frown as they gaze (armageddon!) aghast,
then WE smile back with pleasure, OUR treasures amassed.
useless ranting and raving (in rags, when they’re clad),
leads to losing their teeth (for their gums are so bad).
WE’re unselfish, indulgent, WE’d never be mad
if they drowned in the sounds of themselves feeling sad.
as the paupers are princes in midnight’s domain
they have much more to lose, certainly nothing to gain
if they’re hoping OUR fortunes will wither and wane –
“for WE’re here by god’s will” as WE try to explain.
yes, they wish to be US, with OUR wisdom and grace,
keeping up with ol’ CROESUS, maintaining the pace.
but perverseness or rancor? they’ll see not a trace –
for WE hold ’em at bay with a fist in the face.
WE’re the CREAM of the CREAM, yes! the proud UPPER CRUST,
and OUR clothes are the finest, OUR hair never mussed –
WE imbue ’em with piety, duty and trust
and they’re fed bread and water (if feed ’em WE must).
but they’re thieving, aggrieved, want a piece of the PIE
and request WE endure ’em, see EYE to black eye.
since they live in OUR land wherein strict rules apply,
they must feast on the crumbs WE store stashed in the sty.
though OUR largesse and bounty WE don’t mean to flaunt,
yet the pittance WE pay ’em they surely can vaunt –
a few peanuts and pretzels (what more could they want?)
thereby keeping their kiddies so healthily gaunt.
yes, there’s room for the rabble (the back of the bus)
’cause WE treat ’em like equals, so what’s all the fuss?
all can rise to the top (and it’s always been thus),
to the suites in OUR penthouse (to sweep up and dust).
while OUR CHILDREN have tutors, the finest of schools
(being bred for the forefront, THEY’re nobody’s fools),
the ol’ school of hard knocks teaches: “follow the rules”,
building brawn ’stead of brains and broad backs strong as mules’ .
and to keep ’em in line (to ensure WE prevail)
WE just monitor phone calls and read all their mail
(civil rights? what a notion! at best a detail!)
and if worse comes to worst WE just slap ’em in jail.
WE’ve OUR quandaries and questions and headaches full blown
(like deciding design and decor of OUR thrones...
whether diamonds or rubies... to ivory WE’re prone) –
when WE deign to appease ’em, WE chuck ’em some bones.
now you know all OUR problems, OUR pains and travails,
– like preparing foreclosures, evictions and sales –
but WE’ve no need for worries or gnawed fingernails,
’cause WE’re sailing OUR yachts through the blizzards and gales
(with OUR banks being bailed when OUR stock market fails)
sipping daiquiri sours, champagne, ginger ales...
Phantom Journal Entry 1
Wednesday 8:03 A.M.
I found Jesus at a bus stop this morning. He recommended that I comb my hair. I told him if I had any nails I would hand them over. Monty found a shoe full of vomit by a dumpster. Someone had an interesting night. This apartment smells like stale french fries. Frank is still sleeping on the counter next to Mr. Coffee. There is a stray cat clawing at the windowpane. The town is gradually waking up. The park across the street is filled with shirkers. My mind is still living in last night’s conversation. But I don’t remember it very well. Shit, I’m going to be late for
Phantom Journal Entry 2
Wednesday 11:13 P.M.
Work sucked. I think the bartender is an alcoholic. She hides a flask in her bra. It fell out when we were in the stall together. Frank is sprawled across the kitchen floor. Monty steps over him to grab a beer. The stray cat is now sleeping on the windowpane. Nothing ever changes from morning to night. Except Monty is drinking coffee and not beer.
Phantom Journal Entry 3
Good Friday 9:47 P.M.
The ocean left the brine. The girls here are all made of smoke, and their dreams are living in my beer. The worms are drunk on the stove. Frank passed out hugging the toilet. Monty takes a piss right next to his face. Some girl just asked me what I was writing. I told her that I was rewriting the Bible. She seemed confused. Her hair wasn’t combed either. The guy at the bus stop would be ashamed. I can’t remember his name though. The television can’t stop spewing poorly scripted ‘reality’ shows. This Friday isn’t very Good.
Phantom Journal Entry 4
Monday 3:12 A.M.
My eyes are broken garage doors off the tracks. I’ve drank too much Red Bull. She keeps waking up and asking me for water. Apparently her mouth is in a drought. A dead soldier lays between her breasts. Frank keeps drooling on the carpet. My favorite ash tray is tipped over next to Mr. Coffee. This desk keeps hiding words from me. Monty wonders how much a plane ticket to Hell costs. He never sleeps.
Phantom Journal Entry 5
Thursday 12:31 A.M.
It smells of raw fish and bleach in here. My palms are sore. Monty told me to stab myself with pencils to make sure I could still bleed. So I did. That girl ordered me a pizza. But I forgot it under the couch. The medicine chest is nearly empty. When Frank wakes up he is taking a trip to 5th Street to get more. I wonder if they sell bandages there? Will Mr. Coffee brew marijuana for us? My brain is starting to throw up.
Phantom Journal Entry 6
Thursday 12:38 A.M.
This desk keeps mocking me. I offered it to the guy at the bus stop, but he said he didn’t want anymore wood. The dishes are now a chemistry project. But Mr. Coffee is always clean. I can’t get this girl to stop showing me her tattoos. I miss the bartender at work. She got fired tomorrow. So I bought her a new bra. The medicine chest is empty now. Frank is never awake when I write.
Phantom Journal Entry 7
Thursday 4:30 P.M.
I finally got the garage doors fixed. I guess they weren’t closed enough. There is a ghost that keeps haunting the hallway in my dreams. She is pretty hot. Except she keeps tilting the pictures on the wall.
The thirsty girl still won’t leave. Neither will the cat. We may have found the cure for cancer in our dishes. But probably not. Frank is talking in his sleep about stepping on rats. Monty is listening to Beethoven while he attempts to write poetry. He is an awful writer.
Phantom Journal Entry 8
Monday 1:49 A.M.
The guy at the bus stop asked me if I wanted to drink his blood. I told him I wasn’t thirsty. The water was running from the shower. Frank was dreaming in the tub. Monty ate chicken wings with the tattooed girl. I can’t remember her name. I think that cat is hungry too. Mr. Coffee wants to go to sleep. There is broken glass sticking out of my feet. The sky is bleeding white. My mind begins to masturbate.
Phantom Journal Entry 9
Sunday 3:33 A.M.
The brine is looking for the ocean. The girls here are all made of smoke, and their realities are dead on the floor. This desk is growing a face. The medicine chest is full. Monty picks up a filthy habit from the black lake. I haven’t seen Frank for a few days. He must be under the couch. I robbed the guy at the bus stop. Turns out he didn’t really save much. The thirsty tattooed girl shattered Mr. Coffee last night. I will miss him dearly. Now my shot glass is spawning worms.
Phantom Journal Entry 10
Tuesday and I don’t know what time it is
It’s been 369 days since I last wrote an entry. I’ve simply had nothing to say. Monty is living in the streets somewhere. I think of him every time I buy a loaf of bread. I wonder if he found out how much tickets cost? That cat finally starved a few weeks ago. I married that thirsty tattooed girl. I still don’t remember her name though. Frank went to sleep in someone elses apartment. Never did talk to him much. The worms are all marching in a line. Someone stole my medicine chest. I think it was Monty. The guy at the bus stop was thrown into an asylum. But somehow vanished one day. The garage doors are now closed on a regular basis. That ghost finally straightened out the tilted pictures. I think I’ve been combing my hair a lot better lately. I am still a phantom to society. But that’s okay. Nobody knows my name.
A Bluto is not that Disney dog
It was when a mewling
that I would scream
Should they wet my body
And then apply cream
Ablutophobia – fear of bathing, washing, or cleaning
Achluo the demon that lurks
In darkened corners
The long toothed life suckers realm
I am scared as the sun dims
It seems to bare my soul
Achluophobia – fear of darkness
Acro what did they do
They called me acrobat
This will not do
I get giddy standing on a matchbox
Please get a net to see me through
Acrophobia – fear of heights
Agora just shut that door
I am staying here forever more
Bring me food put it on the floor
The letter box is just for you
Don’t, Don’t, try to get through
Agoraphobia, Fear of open spaces or of being in public places. Fear of leaving a safe place
Agrap stole my feelings
He caught me unaware
I am now afraid of sex
don’t ask me anymore
It frightens me that’s for sure
Agraphobia – fear of sexual abuse
Agrizoo an angry gorilla I knew
Wild as hell was kept in a cell
As all his kind, even a timid Hind
They scare the crap out of me
Please let them run free
Agrizoophobia – fear of wild animals
A gyro is just what I need
I will fit it to my trusty stead
He will fly straight across that band
A tarmac nasty throughout the land
I cannot face the walk you see
Agyrophobia –fear of crossing the road
Aichmohe got in a hell of a fight
They killed him with a pointed knife
It will come for me just you see
I cannot even mend his cloth
Won’t touch a needle at any cost
Aichmophobia – fear of sharp or pointed objects (such as a needle or knife)
Ailuro he lived next door
The bastard sits on the fence
To me he snarls not a purr
A Persian he is supposed to be
Frightens the *****out of me
Ailurophobia – fear of cats
Algo, Away, I am pain free
This morphine is the best
First day of pain free rest
Been told that it will return
Got some gas, peace I yearn
Algophobia - fear of pain
Andro I’d rather be (android)
I am metal and plastic you see
Electric person not man or woman
That would be so sad
If just a man I would go mad
Androphobia – fear of men
Antho the pologist got the plan
He put concrete throughout the land.
Not one shrub or flower seen
Not one blade of grass green
A flower would make me scream
Anthophobia – fear of flowers
Anthropo was a lonely man
Wouldn’t mix with others so
He lived in a cave, well just a hole
You would see his eyes peeping out
A shaking frame if people were about
Anthropophobia – fear of people or the company of people, a form of social phobia.
Aqua marine or even the wet stuff
Is enough to drive me mad
I stay in when there is rain
Just wait for the sun to shine again
A damp tissue that’s quite enough
Aquaphobia – fear of water. Distinct from Hydrophobia, a scientific property that makes chemicals averse to interaction with water, as well as an archaic name for rabies
Arach no, and know the score
Those creepy creatures on the wall
Send shivers up and down my spine
Six legs and venom to drive you mad
I am running already it is sad.
Arachnophobia – fear of spiders
Astra my name you would think of the stars
My gaze goes up but not that far
To the first cloud there in the sky
If it’s the shape of an anvil I will fly
Fear grips me and I don’t know why
Astraphobia – fear of thunder and lightning
Atychi that was about the size of me
The others would just make fun
I was no good to anyone
A failure of the first degree
Nothing my goal, was all I could see
Atychiphobia – fear of failure
Auto matic I will seek people out
To touch to play as long as they are near
Don’t leave me in this place alone
A singularity is my biggest fear
I will hold anyone you see I care
Autophobia – fear of being alone or isolated
Automat o no it’s not true how could you
An advert that’s telling just lies
Don’t all the others realize
What you say is not true, put it right
It will drive me crazy I’ll keep out of sight
Automatonophobia – fear of anything that falsely represents a sentient being
Aviat o if you think I am going in that
No I am not a scared ***** cat
If we were meant to go fly
Wings we would have from him on high
Fold your machine and put it just so.
Aviophobia, Aviatophobia – fear of flying
Chaeto he was a Greek of old
Bald as a badger so the story is told
But why you say is there no cure
For him to grow some lovely hair
For him it would give such a scare
Chaetophobia – fear of hair
Chemo therapy keep away from me
Chemicals scare me I know they are free
But to have them coursing through my veins
No matter how good they are, and that jar
The fear of everything for what they are
Chemophobia – fear of chemicals
Chirop to or not too so I am told
They stick in your hair best to be bald
Now I find that my nails are made of hair
Chirop is what I fear not chiropodist is that clear!!
Just shave my head and cut my nails dear
Chiroptophobia – fear of bats
Chromo shines bright in my eyes
The fear of all colours I realise
Now I am safe from a troubled day
Into my dark room, I have found my way
Knock when that sun has met its demise
Chromophobia - fear of bright colors
OUR BABY GIRL TURNS 21
ON 1ST JULY 1990~ THE ANGELS DID SOMETHING ALMIGHTY
FROM HEAVEN THEY SENT US OUR LIFE-LONG DESIRE-A PRECIOUS DAUGHTER TO LOVE AND ADMIRE.
TRUE TO YOUR NATURE YOU ARRIVED WITHOUT FUSS OR PAIN--THE FIRST TIME OUR EYES MET WE KNEW OUR LIVES WOULD NEVER BE THE SAME
AS A BABY AND TODDLER YOU MADE US SO PROUD
YOUR VERY LONG HAIR, GREEN EYES AND SMILE-
ALL THOSE GOOD LOOKS MADE YOU STAND OUT IN A CROWD
YOU STARTED TALKING EARLY WITH MANY VOICEPRINTS
YOUR CHARM AND GOOD LOOKS HAVE NOT STOPPED SINCE
YOU LOVED YOUR DOLLS AND PRAMS-- DREAMT OF BEING A “SINGER”
AND VERY QUICKLY LEARNED HOW TO WRAP YOUR DAD AROUND YOUR LITTLE FINGER
YOUR BIG BROTHER DEVON--BEST FRIEND AND PROTECTER
MOST OF THE TIME YOU GOT ON PERFECTLY TOGETHER
FROM AN EARLY AGE YOU SHOWED YOUR LOVE OF SWIMMING
AGE TWO AND A HALF YOU WERE ABLE AND WILLING
TO SWIM UNDER WATER AND DO MANY LENGTHS
THIS WAS CLEARLY ONE OF YOUR SPORTING STRENGTHS
AT AGE THREE YOU COULD BARELY WAIT TO START PLAYSCHOOL
“MISS INDEPENDENCE”, WAS YOUR GENERAL RULE
THE SLIDE AND JUNGLE GYM WERE YOUR FAVOURITE SPOTS
AND TO OUR HORROR YOU WOULD CLIMB RIGHT TO THE TOP!
AT AROUND THIS TIME, YOUR FIRST BOYFRIEND YOU MET-
HE LIVED NEXT DOOR, AND HIS NAME WAS BRETT
SOON IT WAS TIME FOR PRE-SCHOOL
YOU LOVED YOUR TEACHER--YOUR NEW FRIENDS WERE COOL
‘SPRING BONNETS’ AND THE END OF YEAR SCHOOL PLAYS
THE TEDDY BEAR CLASS GAVE YOU SOME REAL SPECIAL DAYS
NEXT WAS ‘BIG SCHOOL’ AND YOUR FIRST CLASS
WE WERE SERIOUSLY ANXIOUS BUT FOR YOU JUST ANOTHER ‘MISS INDEPENDENCE’ TASK
LETTERLAND, MATHS AND LEARNING TO READ
YOU EXCELLED AT ALL THAT WITH INCREDIBLE SPEED
YOUR ACHIEVEMENTS CONTINUED THROUGH GRADES 2, 3 AND FOUR
YOUR PLACE IN THE SWIMMING TEAM HELPED YOUR SCHOOL WIN MORE
OUR MOVE TO AUSTRALIA… SAD FAREWELLS TO YOUR FRIENDS AND YOUR PETS
BUT, GREAT EXCITEMENT YOU FELT AT ADVENTURES TO BE MET
A NEW SCHOOL--“METHODIST LADIES COLLEGE”
NEW FRIENDS--JUMPING A GRADE-- MET WITH SUCH POSITIVE COURAGE
YOU MADE US SO PROUD IN THE WAY YOU ADAPTED
MRS. WILLIAMSON SAID YOU WERE THEIR NEW CLASS ‘ASSETT’
THE ‘MR BEE’ SPELLING AWARD AND MANY MERITS LATER
WE ALL GOT HOMESICK-- BUT YOUR POSITIVE NATURE DID NOT WAVER
THE DECISION WE MADE TO RETURN TO CAPE TOWN
CAUSED YOU HEARTBROCKEN TEARS AND A PERMANENT FROWN
ONCE AGAIN A SAD FAREWELL TO YOUR NEW FOUND FRIENDS
RETURNING TO S.A. FOR OLD ONES TO MAKE AMMENDS
IT WASN’T VERY LONG THAT YOU PICKED UP WHERE YOU LEFT OFF AT ALL
ADDED TO YOUR TALENTS WERE NOW TEAM HOCKEY AND NETBALL
AS YOU APPROACHED THE FIRST OF YOUR TEEN YEARS
WITH YOUR LOOKS AND CHARM, INEVITABLY THE BOYFRIENDS WOULD APPEAR
SHOPPING, MOVIES AND MANY PARTY SLEEP-OVERS
CHOOSING TRUE FRIENDS AND DUMPING THE LOSERS
DANCE SHOWS AND DANCING EXAMS… YOU EXCELLED AT HIP- HOP
FUN AND OF COURSE THE DESIRE TO SHOP
THE END OF JUNIOR SCHOOL-- THE FINAL ASSEMBLY—AWARDS
TROPHIES FOR SPORTSMANSHIP AND YOUR S.R.C. PRIZE GOT MANY APPLAUDS
SAD FEELINGS AT LEAVING YOUR OLD SCHOOL BEHIND
EXCITEMENT AT STARTING HIGH SCHOOL WOULD SOON COME TO MIND
NO PROBLEM TO YOU, IT WAS ALL JUST A BREEZE
AS YEAR BY YEAR YOU CONTINUED TO ACHIEVE
SWIMMING AND ‘A’ TEAM HOCKY MATCHES ON THE ASTRO TURF
YOU EVEN STARTED TO LEARN HOW TO SURF
FRIDAY AFTERNOON CHRISTIAN MEETINGS AND EVENING CHURCH YOUTH
WE WERE SO HAPPY YOU FOUND GOD AND HIS TRUTH
THE REST OF HIGH SCHOOL PASSED IN THE BLINK OF AN EYE WHILE
YOUR LIST OF ACHIEVEMENTS REMAINED EXCEPTIONALLY HIGH
YOUR ORGANISATIONAL SKILLS WERE ASTOUNDING
COPING WITH TOUGH SUBJECTS LIKE MATHS, SCIENCE AND ACCOUNTING
IN HOCKEY AND SWIMMING YOU MADE THE TOP TEAMS
NO SURPRISE AT ALL THAT SWIMMING COACHES MOVED IN ON THE SCENE.
THEY CULTIVATED YOUR TALENTS FROM STRENGTH TO STRENGTH
EVERY YOUR NIGHT YOUR PASSION SAW YOU DOING MANY LENGTHS
WEEKENDS OF GALA’S AND NATIONAL SWIMMING
S.A.SHORT COURSE, YOUR P.B’S, AND FAIR SHARE OF WINNING
TOGETHER WE CELEBRATED YOUR PLACE IN W.P. SCHOOL CHAMPS THAT YEAR
SO PROUD OF OUR BEAUTIFUL SWIMMER ALWAYS AHEAD OF HER PEERS
FIRST YEAR AT UNIVERSITY YOU BECAME SO INDEPENDENT
STARTING YOUR STUDIES AS A B.Sc. STUDENT
IT WAS ALSO THE YEAR YOU LEARNED TO DRIVE
GOT YOUR LICENSE—DAD SPOILT YOU—NEW CAR—RESPLENDENT
YOUR FAITH AND TRUST IN THE LORD STILL REMAINS FIRM
AS YOU WALK AND GROW SPIRITUALLY DAILY WITH HIM
SO MUCH HAS CHANGED, AND YET SOME THINGS REMAIN
YOU BEAUTY AND TALENTS SO EASILY MAINTAINED
YOUR LOVE OF SWIMMING AND OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENTS IN WATER
YOU KNOW WE WILL ALWAYS BE YOUR NO. 1 SUPPORTERS
AND NOW YOU ARE 21, SWEETHEART
YOUR WHOLE LIFE AHEAD OF YOU-- TODAY IS JUST THE START
IT SEEMS LIKE JUST YESTERDAY THAT YOU WERE BORN—
OUR DAUGHTER~LOVES BRIGHT SHINING LIGHT~ WE ADORE
YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL AND TALENTED IN EVERY WAY
WISHING YOU GOD’S RICHEST BLESSINGS ON YOUR SPECIAL DAY
HAPPY 21ST BIRTHDAY TO OUR BABY GIRL
TO HAVE YOU AS A DAUGHTER HAS BEEN A REAL PLEASURE
-YOU HAVE AND ALWAYS WILL BE OUR MOST BEAUTIFUL TREASURE-
(FOOTNOTE: OUR DAUGHTER WILL BE 23 THIS YEAR, HAS COMPLETED HER BSc. AND HONOURS DEGREE’S IN PHYSIOLOGY AND GENETICS AND NOW DOING HER MASTERS DEGREE IN EXERCISE SCIENCE. SHE IS ALSO A PROFESSIONAL TRIATHLETE—DOING SWIMMING, CYCLING AND RUNNING AS ONE DISCLIPLINE)
Sometimes I have the courage to think of the things that made me what I am today,
My memory takes me back to terrible things far away far off into my bitter past,
My mind like a maze of dirty black alleys that smell of waste, loss and disgust,
The losses, the drink ripped away, not happy until it was all gone respect as well.
Invisible thinks of a garden where roses clustered with lilies scent on the breeze,
Bees found stores of honey in the petals of a thousand and one different flowers,
Lovers walked hand in hand along its winding path a beautiful dream of the man,
Bright with the embroidery of nature where children played in new myrtle flowers,
As Invisible thinks of this garden it is neglected but flowers can grow with weeds,
It could put a smile upon his face, a face that had never known any joy recently,
He hopes a gardener can covert this garden get rid of ruined waste, back into Eden,
Tending all the beautiful flowers that spring up with the weeds and smell gladness.
If he helped the gardener in his quest a hand might hold his and guide him through,
Maybe a hand would go around his waist to support him as well as guide his hand,
Dare he wish that the guiding hand and the support would be his angel from heaven,
A dear person to help him clear his garden and walk down the winding path as lovers.
An angel that would smile at him maybe hold his hand and squeeze it so very gently,
Would the angel talk to him and tell him that one day they would be together again,
Her beautiful grace shining warmly as she looks up to him, to her he is her hero,
Not a drunken mess that cannot cope, not a dirty vagrant, but her knight her love.
The tenderness of this beautiful scene in his poisoned mind became real he smiled,
He grinned as she sat down next to him as close a she could get then wriggled closer,
Warmth from her body not only warmed him but gave hope this what he has waited for,
She whispered sweetly she loved him and would be waiting for him and they kissed.
Invisible woke with a start and was she not by his side, was she ever with him,
A dream another heart wrenching let down and how could he have dreamed the dream,
It was so real he still felt the warmth, the impression of her hand holding his,
But it must have been a dream his own mind conspired to deliver the hardest blow.
Lost in a grief so deep, his loneliness complete he talks to Sam his imaginary friend.
These days get worse Sam they really do please help me,
I need to change but I need my drink more what can I do,
But I need to change so desperately Sam can you help?
My world has cracked and I've fallen into the crack,
But what I don't understand Sam that I was once good,
If I had any courage Sam I would be laying in my coffin,
Why does life drag you along with it I don't want to go,
Just a bit of icing on my cake Sam it is freezing cold,
Did you know this is where I was brought up my friend,
Did you know that most of the people that walk past I knew,
Sam! I know many of there people but they don't know me,
Why do they all walk past I wish somebody would help,
Maybe when I have drunk more cider I might feel better Sam,
I can remember being happy but not what being happy is like,
As Invisible sits drinking shoppers give him a wide berth and they look at him with hate.
These people Sam they look at me as if I have hurt them,
The people they are not our sort of people they hate me,
Has the world changed like I have but in opposite ways,
My life is full of sorrow drunkenness and dreams Sam,
Old sorrows wont go away new sorrows should take over,
So we have to face both the old and the new that's bad,
At night I try to close my drunken eyes it all returns,
Sam is that the same as you can you close your eyes,
Can you remember the valleys Sam the ones we used to play,
When we ran about all day Sam in the sun rolling in grass,
The old stream that twisted and turned, it had lost its way,
Floating lolly sticks watching them bounce away on ripples,
Buying bangers in November and throwing them into the water,
What I wouldn't do to go back for just a couple of hours Sam,
Just to feel the innocence and try to bring it back to now,
To enjoy what there is to enjoy and maybe get better Sam,
But that will never happen Sam we are lost on an island,
A well populated island but an island all the same Sam,
People are not like ships they don't bother to rescue people,
They just walk around or just walk away all the nice ones gone,
I remember my school Sam it's now been knocked down and left,
It has all gone, all gone no primroses in spring or bluebells,
Do you remember Sam the bluebells used to nod in the wind,
But they have all been built on, whats the use in talking,
Nothing changes from bad to good Sam remember that, eh Sam,
Still drinking his cider tears well into his eyes his nose runs and begins to quietly
to sob. He sits on the shopping parade seat, shaking as he sobs. His throat has a lump
in it so he stops talking to Sam. Invisible sinks his wet face into his overcoat
hides his misery from the people that walk past he just sat there lost and confused. His
greatest sadness an angel paid a visit to the maze of dirty black alleys that smell of waste,
loss and disgust,
It's been four years since I've seen so much as an insignificant mountain creek. Been overburdened with comfort, now frantic with nature withdrawals, having to settle for photos found on Google Images: emerald pine trees, blue jays on limbs, moonlight cutting through forests, lakes the color of Windex-ed glass. It's much like drinking water that's been doused with Crystal Light... you may feel yourself becoming hydrated, when it reality it's only satiating your thirst temporarily. So you can imagine my joy when my best friend called me up to break the news.
"Monica, Brandon, Joel and I are gonna go backpacking. Care to join?"
of a cell hitting the floor -
Like a bunch of sardines packed in a can on wheels, we headed out to beautiful Cascade: the place where the Idahoan mountains aren't just paintings from afar, but close enough to taste. We weave our way through the spider-like dirt trails, as we each take turns changing songs on Joel's iPod. It's my go and I'm searching through the John Denver list, mourning the fact that there's over a hundred songs by him, and not one of them is Colorado Rocky Mountain High (the one song I could say fit my feelings to a tee). The menagerie of everyone's taste in music made for an interesting trip no doubt - even if Jonathan picked the worst possible jams simply for annoyances sake.
My first peculiar observation:
Humans have been making calendars for thousands of years (the first being more akin to cave drawings and stone tablets than paper). But as long as all that has been going on, the mountains don't care that August is expected to be sultry as November is expected to be chilly. Cause June took her first baby steps with a stubborn December mindset - a meandering way to say it was cold enough to freeze your nads off. The mounds of five feet snow made it all the more comical the fact I was wearing plaid shorts. Mother Nature wasn't going to be kind, I could tell.
struggling to stand -
our packs full of crockery
It was breezy at first. We would practically glide down the mountain side, using our backpacks as a counter balance. The snowy counterpart to kangaroos, we were. The glistening flakes were thick enough to snowboard down - granted I never touched a snowboard, let alone ridden one. But after seeing this it gives me ideas...
Monica smiled for the camera, as I fumbled for my iPhone, a smile that didn't even require the forcible Say Cheese! nonsense. It wasn't waiting for the camera flash, but the other way around. Now you might be calling that rather pathetic, but I brought my iPhone along simply for the function of capturing memories. Angry Birds just don't compare to the real ones, sweet with lilting songs.
My second peculiar observation:
Google Images is an absolute horrid plagiarist; some beauty just can't be encapsulated despite all our advances in high-def technology.
The downward slope finally leveled out a bit, if only for a few minutes. Truth be told the path never stopped declining - some routes were simply more apparent than others. Our group of five walked single file through the trees, all basing our faith that Joel (a person who has been to the site once when the trail WASN'T covered in snow) would lead us in the right direction. And here's another interesting fact; this was no official trail, but a hike through the purest of adventures, unpredictable and unreliable.
crushing pine needles
with un-gloved fingers -
roaring rivers beneath the snow
The first time my whole leg collapsed into the fragile surface of the snow made me realize just how far above the dirt I was walking. I'd ask Brandon for assistance with a beet red blush on my cheeks - I blamed it on my fair skin falling victim to the sunny day. From then out I tiptoed with exaggerated caution, my heavy pack helping me just as much as it was hindering me. For even a foot drop had to be taken with a grain of salt. Everyone had to adjust to the added weight (except for Monica, with her light load of a sleeping bag, nothing else). I'd very ungracefully glide through twigs and pesky low branches, oblivious of my bare legs. In all honesty the cold didn't get to me, just the scratches of neighboring trees is where my concerns lied. At anytime I could have stopped the whole gang, beaming, "Wait a spell and let me put on some pants for crying out loud". Course that never happened, my clothes were in the bottom of my pack, and I was no where near desperate enough for monkeying around with that sorry mess.
slanting down the cliff edge -
Joel, with his redneck stubble, beams up at me, "Every hiking trip needs a little bit of adventure, don't rush it by any means!". That's the last thing on my mind - the first is whether or not that rock I'm about to put my weight on is as stable as she looks. It's a very roundabout route, and as questionable as it is, it's safer by a long shot than the first path we took - call it a 103 degree wall.
NOTE: Still working on writing out the rest of my trip to Cascade. It was my first backpacking trip and even though we only stayed one night, the trip is full of wonderful memories.
It is so hard to let go of love,
unpeels more gut more quickly
than reel or reeler ever lost
in all those years of lazy inches
in and out:
winding in and playing out,
hardly fishing, rarely catching
from the deepness out of sight,
hardly ever losing . . .
Blisters lust into the greedy thumb.
the startled brake lets go.
It dives full length into the never,
finds the limit of its leash,
pounds against its half-round prison,
at end of end of rope -
Got you, shrieks the reel and reeler
cranking in the give and take.
The line is taut,
the weight upon it heavy,
and waiting . . .
. . .waiting for adrenaline:
against the angry, smoldering thumb.
Caught to catcher,
fish to fisher:
let me go!
It tries too hard to turn to something else: away.
Away and bottom still beyond the knot,
the creature climbs toward the light,
her leap, an alchemy:
silver unto gold.
crinkled all about.
Million mile amnesia.
a flash of tooth,
then placid lips close over any sign of youth . . .
. . . as if the fish had never been.
-the fisher wonders:
The line is limp
as if . . .
for all the years of it,
nothing at its other end.
A flash of recognition:
she leaps another time,
not knowing if what held her holds.
Silver fish scales golden ladder
a sunbeam at a time,
and all the rungs of memory -
breaks air an instant.
The line has held
and as she leaps, it claims her,
a thunder clap.
Arrested in her flight,
she drops deadweight into the bucket sea-
fish to air to gold to water,
Of the gold,
an afterglow centered in the thumb.
Did it happen?
Was she really there?
Air turns to air once more,
the fisherman to memory,
pig-a-back the job at hand,
one slender monofilament insisting: no!
and memory, another plastic,
refusing to let go.
my pretty lovely,
so flying and so softly spun,
you seemed the air to me.
So high and free,
so very near the sun,
my tears dissolve the earth’s connection.
The line my hands are holding:
to limit freedom at its height,
impossible without restraint-
the line between us,
subtle and so gossamer.
There, it glinted,
there! So very real.
Real . . .
The hook is realer.
Tangerine transfusion from the fastened lip,
bleeds unreckoned into the larger blue.
The sea - as wide as weakness -
sucks the strength without a hunger.
Tired, the hooked,
and tiring even more,
the line grows stronger,
shortening toward the bobber boat.
I’ve got her, cries the fisherman,
raping at dead weight,
dragging mystery toward the kitchen
-on his mind is steak.
Slaughter, separate from supper,
passion with a knife,
the knife . . .
. . . the knife is ready
held tight between the skinless thumb,
and vendetta fingers -
five Sicilian brothers
waiting for their sister to come home.
The other hand around the rod
is closing on the lover’s throat.
The rod’s erect,
the reel is angry.
Come, my dear, come, come.
She hears the music of the end,
the bowstring whine of gut
still lean and taut from her weight alone,
hears the rhythm of the reel
and tries to run once more
-provoking lust to snatch still harder-
but can’t . . .
. . . is free at last
surrendered with the last of blood:
quicksilver nearing zero-
and two dollars worth of ice.
(a virgin: never dead before)
betrayed and penetrated,
(it’s time now to give in, enjoy)
rests her weight upon the line,
toward the bottom of the boat.
The whore! I see her in the water!
She gave me quite a fight.
The captain, ready with the gaff,
the lover, in his rented swivel chair,
seize her from the water.
The maiden’s heartbeat
is faint and futile as a final cry of rape.
Her breath is fear, yet sounds like passion
at the very end.
Her swoon is now complete.
Her swain is prickled with his heat.
His blood pounds within his thumb.
is left alone with her.
He ponders . . .
. . . while he does,
she pales and sheds her rainbow.
Her eyes turn glassy from the air,
She’s turned to meat.
He lusts at memory for a moment,
then dries the little sweat
and goes forward for a beer,
and band aids.
The captain’s seen it all before,
surgically removes the hook
and tidies up the gear.
He and the mate carry her to the ice
and lay her out within the cold.
The mate disinfects the deck
with sea water and a stiff brush.
Returning with his second beer,
a badge of gauze and Vaseline upon his thumb,
the lover is confused.
The deck, shipshape,
of scales and blood
it all might not have happened.
Then there would be hope.
The mate calls him to the ice chest
for the viewing,
opens it . .
I’ve lost her. There she is.
The smell . . . it must wash off !
Time to go home.
The sea is empty.
It is over.
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…