Long poem by
Mario DE PAZ | Details |
The day was going off, and the brown air
To the terrestrial animals gave rest
For their labors; and only me was there
Just ready to withstand the war at best
Both of the journey and of the torment,
Which by my mind will be rightly expressed.
O muse, o high genius, help my intent;
O mind which tried to write the things I saw
Here of noblesse you will show the extent.
I then began: ”Poet , that guide me and draw,
Look at my virtue if it has the power,
Before I try the high step with no flaw.
You affirm that Silvio’s father not this hour,
While he was living, to immortal place
Just went, and was with senses free to scour.
But, if of any evil the adverse base
Favored him, accounting the high effect
Which had to come from him, it was the case
Well worthy looking to any mind perfect;
So he was of alma Rome and its domain
In the empyrean heaven father elect:
Both city and man, for real truth sustain,
Were then chosen: Rome as the saint ground
Where of Peter’s successor must remain.
This going for praising him made it sound,
Things were achieved which allowed after then
His victory and the Pope’s mantle round.
Later on went the elected Bard just when
Had to give strength to the true belief
Which is the principle to salvage men.
But me, why should I come? Who gives motif?
I’m not Aeneas, and nor Paul I am;
On this is mine and others’ disbelief.
Because, if to come there I do not stem,
I fear that coming will prove I’m insane
You’re sage; that I don’t reason you should pram”
And as who wants what then has to restrain
Following new thoughts with proposal change
So that all things have to begin again,
Similarly I did it in that obscure range
Because, by thinking, I rapidly succeeded
In the way which at start was to derange.
“If your words I have correctly heeded”,
Answered the shadow of that noble man,
“Your mind to dastardliness has ceded;
Which many times man hardly overran
So that diverts him from any honored deed,
As when see vicious beasts wrongly you can.
From this alarm in order to be freed,
I’ll tell you why I came and what I heard
In the prime question to follow your need.
I was within the ones suspended herd,
When nice and blessed woman called out me,
Such as to ask hers commands I preferred.
Much more than stars hers eyes were bright to see;
Then to talk she started gentle and low,
With angelic voice, in hers language free:
“O gracious soul from Mantua shiny glow,
Whose worldwide fame power to stand has still
And long time shall last as the world will go,
The friend of mine, and not of venture skill,
In the desert space is hardly entrapped
So that he is giving up for scare thrill;
And I fear for him to be already flapped,
That the rescue from mine might be too late,
As far of him from heavens I have kept.
Now you must go there, and with your speech straight
And giving him what needed to survive,
Help him, I will be free of anguish weight.
I am Beatrice and your step I drive;
I come from where I want be back again;
Love, making me speaking, made me revive.
When I will be in front of my Lord main
Often I shall praise to him your valid soul”
She then got silent, and I had to explain:
“O woman full of virtue , who is sole
To fill for human beings any empty space
Of heaven, which of less rim has its bowl,
I like so much whatever is your trace
That obey, if it were, it would be late;
You have only to open me your case.
But tell me the reason why you took the rate
To descend down here in this dark center
From the wide site which you dearly wait”
“Since your knowledge wants so deep to enter,
Will tell you in brief” , she answered then,
“Why I don’t fear to bring here my mentor.
We can be afraid of things but only when
Show to be aggressive to others much;
If not, don’t fear, they cannot hurt the men.
I am a Lord’s construction, thanks God ,such,
As your wretchedness cannot now me hurt
Nor flame of this hot burning can me touch.
Heavenly woman to tears must convert
This very hard task where you I send,
Compelling her a judgment to divert.
She pleaded Lucia helpful commend
And told her: - Now your faithful man help needs
From you, and him I warmly recommend-
Lucia, opposing any misdeeds,
Moved, and rapid came where I was
With ancient Rachele already sitting.
She told:- Beatrice, true God’s laud and luz,
Why don’t you help the one who loved much you,
The vulgar herd so leaving for this cause?
Aren’t you hearing his painful tears undue,
Neither you see with death how hard his fight
Goes on the flood on which sea never flew?
Nobody in the world was rapid quite
To have a gain or a risk to escape
As I was, after such words I heard right,
I came down here from my blessed agape
Trusting your honest speaking good indeed
Honoring you and those who caught your shape-.
After these words to me wanted to cede
Hers shiny eyes than moved weeping with tears
Which pulled me to come with greater speed.
And I came here then following hers cares:
I took you off from facing up that beast
Which you to climb the hill impeded airs.
So: what happens? Why, why aren’t you released,
Why such cowardice in your heart admit,
Why your courage and baldness are not pieced,
As on three blessed women you can commit
Who care take of you in the heaven court,
And so much good I’m talking to transmit?
Like little flowers in the night chill fort
Are bent and closed, after white sun light,
Suddenly all open their stems are sort,
Similar I did with my tired virtue slight,
And so good boldness in my heart then came,
That I started speaking as I was all right:
“Oh indeed piteous and helpful dame!
And you that soon accepted hers request
With the true words which proffered in my name!
You have my heart with such desire stressed
So much to join you according your talk,
That my previous purpose I reassessed.
Since we have the same will, then start to walk:
You leader, you lord and you master main”.
So I told; when pace started to unlock,
The path I entered savage and arcane.
Long poem by
Mario DE PAZ | Details |
Now is going on through a secret way
Between the martyrdoms and the ground wall,
My master, and I behind him to stay.
“Oh highest virtue, who me gently haul
In wicked rounds”, I started, “If you please,
Speak to me, and to my requests befall.
The persons who are in graves abductees
Might perhaps be seen? Because opened are
All covers, and too nobody guards these”
And he to me: “All will be closed by far
When from Iosafat they will come back
With their bodies which just there up left were.
The graveyard on this side happens to stack
Epicurus and followers them all,
Who make souls of dead corps follow the track.
But to the question you put with your call
An answer will be given in time short,
And also to untold wish you enthrall.
And I: “Good duke, I just do not comport
To hide my heart if not to speak at less,
As you have always tried to me exhort”.
“Oh Tuscan going in the fire stress
Alive speaking in such an honest way,
Please stay more in this site and don’t egress.
Your way of speaking is a clear display
Of your indeed noble homeland birth place,
To which I was nagging perhaps it may”.
Suddenly this loud sound came out to face
From one of the graves; so I went then close,
Fearing, to duke my guide a little space.
And he: “What are you doing? Don’t oppose!
Now you see Farinata who stood up:
From the waist up you can see he arose”.
Yet I had turned my face his sight to clasp
And he with waist and forehead then stood
Looking as had hell in great spite to grasp.
And the lively hands of duke promptly could
Push me between the graves then towards him,
Telling: “Your words be well weighed should”.
After I reached of his grave the rim
He looked at me, and then, scornful just a bit,
He asked: “Which is your original limb?”.
Since I was akin to his will admit,
I did not hide it, opening at all;
So he then scowled up the eyebrows well split;
Then told: “Were fierce rivals, as I recall,
To me and parents and my partners too,
So that twice I could dispel them and maul.”
“If they were expelled, they came back, is true”,
I answered him, “And both the times indeed;
But yours this art were not able to view”
Then rose uncovered to my sight concede
A shadow, along this, up to chin:
I think to rise on knees it could succeed.
It looked then me around as it had been
Anxious to see if any else was there;
And then after the suspect became thin,
Weeping told: “If you now in this despair
Prison are moving thanks to your brain height,
Where is my son? why with you doesn’t fare?”
And I to him: “Lone I don’t reach this site:
The one who waits me there, and is my guide
Maybe your Guido did not like his sleight”.
His words and the way too with which he cried
Already to know his name could allow ;
Thus my answer was so quickly implied.
Immediately pricked up he screamed: “How?”
You told:”he did not”? Does he not live yet?
Does not then lance his eyes the sweet light now?”.
When he realized that he did not met
Any word responding to his reply,
Supine fell and to show he did not let.
But the other noble, the reason why
I stopped there before, did not change face,
Neither moved his neck, nor bent his side by;
And replied keeping the previous trace,
“If they have that art”, told, ”so poorly got,
It gives me sorrow more than this bed place.
But less than fifty times of light will spot
The woman’s face which always commands here,
That you will know that art how weighs a lot.
And if your return to sweet world is clear,
Tell me: why that people is godless so
Against my guys in all laws to appear?”
So I to him: “The torment and ruin flow
Which the Arbia river colored red,
This speech in our temple makes then so low”.
After he sighing had shaken his head,
“I was not alone”, told, “And nor for sure
With no reason I moved with others then.
But I was alone, when hard to insure
For each one the city of Florence save,
Who just defended it with open cure”.
“I pray, hoping your seed rests in this grave”,
I begged him, “You should now untie the knot
Which until now has knotted my speech wave.
It looks like you see, if rightly I caught,
In advance what in the future will be,
While in the present to see you cannot”
“Like that one who has wicked light, we see
Future events”, he told, “which are still far;
This much our high lord to shine is yet free.
When things are closer or happen, vain are
Our arguments; and if no one gives news,
To know your human status is not our.
So you can realize how we must lose
Any understanding from that point on
Which of the future the door must then close”.
Then, as by a sense of be faulty won,
Told: “Now to that fallen soul you shall tell
That his son away from life has not gone;
And if, before, I was not to retell,
Let him know I did it because I thought
In the wrong way, you after have cleared well”.
And my master already for me sought;
So that I begged the spirit onwards more
To tell me who to stay with him was brought.
Told me: “Here with more than thousand lay sore:
The second Federico is now here
And the Cardinal; others I ignore”.
Then he hid himself; and I walked near
The ancient poet, back thinking in the while
To those words which hostile might me appear.
He started to walk; and then moving so,
He told me: “Why are you so harshly lost?”.
And I satisfied his question aglow.
“Your mind has to remind at any cost
What heard against you, that wise could say;
“And now look here”, and up his finger tossed:
“When you shall be in front of the sweet ray
Of woman whose nice eye can just all trace,
From her you shall know of your life the way”.
He then after moved toward left his pace:
We left the wall and went the middle through
Making a path cutting a valley place,
Which up to there his disgusting stench spew.
Long poem by
Joe Flach | Details |
I was a seventeen year old senior in a coed, catholic high school. Our gym classes however were still all boys and all girls. My senior year we had gym every other day and music every other day in the same time slot. The music classes, therefore, were also all boys or all girls.
She was a twenty-eight year old nun in her first teaching assignment. She was in way over her head. She was about five-foot-four and weighed practically nothing. The nuns in our school no longer wore habits and I remember thinking it was a good thing because she would probably fly away like Sally Fields. If you don’t know what I mean by that then you are too young to be reading my story.
The music class was a mad house. She could not control a room of twenty some boys bound and determined to make her life hell. I mean, music class? Really?
We never did the homework assigned; never answered her questions seriously; never believed her threats at discipline; wouldn’t accept the demerits she tried to hand out; and basically goofed off for the hour that was supposed to be dedicated to learning about music.
For some reason, she seemed too proud or too green or too determined to go to the principal or another teacher for help; and, sensing that, we knew we could get away with our childish behavior and so we did.
One day, a handful of us “got in trouble” and she said she wanted to talk to us after class. I was the only one that actually stayed. She tried to lecture me on my bad behavior but I guess my smirk was evidence it was not sinking in. Then, she started to cry, and for the first time I saw her as a person.
“What am I doing,” she cried. "I can’t do this. I am trying; I am really trying, but I am not cut out for this. Why are you boys so mean and hateful?”
I stood up in front of her not knowing what to do or what to say. I felt like a real jerk. I was a real jerk.
Tears poured down her face, which I finally recognized as being a pretty face. She bowed her head and just sobbed. In my awkward seventeen year old manner, I slowly opened my arms and allowed her to lean into me. And I hugged her while she wept.
At seventeen, I was no ladies’ man, and this crying nun was the first woman I had ever held so close to me. I could feel her breasts pressed against me; the heat emitting from her body; and, the delicate nature of her womanly form in my arms. I knew then that I was destined to go straight to hell for the thoughts that were going through my head and the feelings I felt between my legs.
She pulled away and whispered, “I am so sorry, I should not have done that. You may go.”
I simply said, “You know, you are doing fine, you just have a class of a bunch of butt holes”, and walked out of the room. It was that night that she started coming to see me in my dreams. To hell I go, for sure.
I wish I could tell you I had the moxie and the influence to whip that class into shape, but I did not. The mad house continued with one less student joining in the fun. I tried my best to behave, answer her questions, pay attention and feign interest in the topic of the day – but I was just one in a sea of monsters. I stayed after class and after school a few times to talk with her, ask her how she was doing, and see if I could help in any way. She was actually starting to get the hang of things and was able to focus on the few classes that were willing to learn.
At the end of the school year, I was one of the few students who had not enrolled in a college for the coming year. Because I was one of the better students, it caused a little bit of a fuss and a number of teachers talked to me about the huge mistake I was making taking some time off before going to college. It seems they were all convinced that if I did not start into college in the fall, I was doomed to never go to college. I challenged them by saying what they were really worried about was their statistics of percentage of students who went on to further their education.
During the last day of classes, the music teacher asked me to stay after class. It appears, it was her turn to try to talk some sense into me.
“So, I hear you are not going to college,” she said.
“No, I’m going to college … some day, just not this fall.”
“So what are you going to do?”
“I don’t know yet. Take some time off. Work. Nothing. I don’t know. Why is it so important to everyone? When the time is right, I’ll go to college.”
“They just care about you.”
“Bull loney,” I said, only it was another word.
She smiled at me. I had been dreaming about her now for six months. I changed the topic.
“Have you ever kissed a boy?”
She laughed, “You know, I grew up the same as every girl in this high school. I did have boyfriends.”
“Yeah, but have you ever kissed a boy,” I challenged.
“No. Not the way you mean.”
“Do you ever wonder what it would be like?”
“No. Never,” she lied.
“If I told you I will register for college if you kiss me, will you?”
“No. I believe you when you say you just need some time off. I think that is a good idea.”
Then she walked up close to me and stopped a heartbeat away. Suddenly, she reached down between my legs, grabbed the crouch of my pants and said, “Just don’t let this thing get you in trouble.”
She abruptly turned and walked out of the classroom while I tried to catch my breath.
During the graduation ceremony I saw her sitting with the other teachers and shared a private smile with her while walking back to my seat after being handed my diploma. I would never see her again … outside of my dreams.
I often think about my high school music teacher and my ticket straight to hell. Unfortunately, I never heeded her advice. That body part of mine she grabbed ahold of for a fleeting second those many years ago, has gotten me in trouble time and time again.
Long poem by
Mario DE PAZ | Details |
In hell is called Malebolge a site
Completely made of ferrous color stones
As almost all the rim around looks quite.
Of the malignant field the middle zones
Are the seat for a well much wide and deep,
Of which I will portray order it owns.
The remaining band is then round and steep
Between the well and the so hard bank tall,
Of which ten valleys just the bottom sweep.
Like, where to guard and defend the walls all
More and more ditches the castles gird then,
The part where are placed gives form to wall,
Such way made there the image of those ten;
And as toward such strongholds from their door
To outer bank there are bridges again,
So from top of the rocks there are stone corps
Put just the banks and ditches down to cut
Until they reach the well which picks them fore.
Here, from back we were brought down on rut
By Geryon, so we found ; and poet thus
Went to the left, me back with no rebut.
Saw new pitiful things at right of us,
New torment and new wilders of lash,
Of which the first bedlam was full with cuss.
At bottom the sinners were naked as trash;
From middle hither towards us they came,
The same direction, but with stronger dash,
As Romans their large army to acclaim,
The year of jubilee, the drawbridge through
Make people pass then with attentive claim,
So all have their front oriented to
Just the castle and to Saint Peter go,
On the other side to mount their walk do.
Here and there, climbing the dark stone though
I saw horned demons with wips very big,
Who back stroke them with strength wild and aglow.
Ouch how the souls had to flee and renege
The first beating! Nobody already
The second expected nor the third dig.
While I was going, my eyes were ready
To recognize one, and I then so told:
“I know this guy, my belief is steady”.
I to see him my feet had to withhold;
And my sweet duke then stopped his walk with me,
And agreed to leave me his way to hold.
And that frustrated thought hidden to be
Moving down his face; but with any hope,
Since I told: “You whose eyes ground try to see,
If the symbols you carry with truth cope,
Venedico Caccianemico then you are,
But how it happened that you here grope?”
And he : “Reluctantly I give answer;
But I am involved by your speaking clear,
Recalling me old things which happened were.
I brought Ghisolabella to adhere
Willing the marquis to seduce and try,
For this obscene yarn now I stay here.
Not only mine is from Bologna cry
In fact of them this place is so much full
That not as many voices tell and lie
At Savena and Reno “suca” pull;
And if a demonstration wish or need,
Remember then how is our greedy bull”.
While speaking a fiend hit him hard indeed
With his lash, and told: “You must go away
Pimp! Here no whores you can pay and feed”.
I rejoined my guide after that astray;
Then with few paces in short time we got
There where a rock on bank hindered the way.
Quite rapid we were to surpass this lot;
And turned to right went up to the rock top,
Leaving eternal circles cozy not.
When we reached the place where it is the drop
Open to admit the lashed souls below
The duke then told: “to see, it’s time to stop,
The face of these more sinners I must show,
Whose visage you did not see even still
Since they came with us together although”.
Of the old bridge we looked the trace until
We saw people coming on other side,
Similarly chased by the knout with will.
And the good master, by no question tied,
Told : “At that great man you have now to look,
Who seems to pain be indifferent denied:
How regal aspect still here he took!
That one is Jason, who by heart and mind
The muttons to Colcos could steal and hook.
He went to the Lemnon island to find
The very fierce and ruthless women which
Every male of their to death consigned.
There with deeds and garnished words could bewitch
Isifile deceived, young woman indeed
Who before deceived others with a switch.
Her abandoned there, pregnant, lone mislead;
Such fault then to such a pain has damned him;
And revenge for Medea too was decreed.
With him are those who deceive, people grim;
And this is enough for the valley first
To know and of those who lie in this rim”.
We yet were at narrow of way cursed
Where the second rim is abruptly crossed,
And forms with it an arch open as burst.
Then we heard many people who are lost
In the next circle and with muzzle puff,
Self - beating and with their hands hardly toss.
The banks were encrusted with a mold stuff,
Due to ejection merging from there down,
With which the view and nose fight and rebuff.
The depth is so dark, that only facedown
One has to try to look climbing to top
Of arch, where is allowed seeing around.
Here we came; and then at the trench drop
I saw now people submerged in a shit
Which seemed from humans to be done atop.
And while looking there with eyes to some meet,
I saw a guy with head so full of crap,
That if cleric or laic he could cheat.
He screemed: “Why are you so avid to trap
With eyes me than any dirty else more?”
And I: “Since if my mind right back can tap,
I yet just saw you with dry hair before,
Alex Interminey from Lucca are:
For this to you I push my eyes then fore”.
And he then, beating his head to answer:
“ By flatteries I was submerged here
So ample in my words I had by far”.
After this my duke “Let now me push near”
He told , “My face a little forward quite
So that the face well to my eyes appear
Of that filthy and dissolute woman might
Who with shitty nails is self -scratching there,
And now she squats or now she stands upright.
She is Thais, the whore who acted unfair
Responding.to hers wanton asking sex
“Yes it is marvelous this lure affair!”
And after this our sight no more expects”
Long poem by
Trisha Sugarek | Details |
The Ash Can ©
I got the call on Sunday night. I was traveling on business. When I looked at the caller ID
I wondered why my husband’s boss would be calling me. I was unprepared for what
he told me and my legs turned to water when he said that my husband was dead.
‘A heart attack? An accident?’ I asked. ‘No’, he said, ‘John committed suicide.
They found him in your garage this morning.’ I heard someone screaming and
wished that they would stop so I could hear the rest. His voice was very far away
and the woman just kept screaming. ‘Shut up! Shut up!’ I need to hear. I clapped my
hand over my mouth when I suddenly realized it was me who was screaming.
I don’t remember hanging up or getting on the plane. (beat) Yes, John and I were having
problems and we had been separated for about three months but nothing was official.
After thirty years of marriage I never believed that we couldn’t weather this and share
the rest of our lives together. This was just a phase he was going through…some sort
of mid-life crisis. This had to be some horrible mistake, a case of mistaken identity.
My John would never do this, leave me like this. (beat)
I stumbled into our home around nine the next morning. The house looked like a woman
hadn’t lived there for months. Dirty dishes in the sink, groceries half put away, empty
beer cans and a full ashtray by John’s chair. Seeking comfort I walked over to his chair.
Out of the corner of my eye, I caught a glimpse of a reflection in the mirror over the
fireplace. Some wild looking woman with mascara smudges under her eyes and smeared
lipstick looked out at me. I walked closer to inspect this stranger in my house.
She looked old and used up. Who was she? What had life dealt her to look so worn out?
Oh, God, it was me. Staring out with those eyes bleeding hot, raw pain. (beat) I curled
up in John’s chair and closed my eyes. Was this all I had left of my husband? This slightly shabby piece of furniture that still smelled of him? How could I tell our children? Could I bear to go into the garage? What would I find?
I knew that they had taken his body away but what had they left there for me to see?
Maybe something there would prove that this was truly a mistake. I rose to my feet and
walked into the kitchen and through the laundry room to the garage door. (beat)
I slowly opened it and was knocked back by the remaining stink of gas fumes.
John’s car sat in its parking spot, the garden hose hanging from the back window like
some obscene snake. I gagged and pressed the button to open the garage door.
The passenger side window was open so I could look inside without having to touch the car. And what I saw on the seat told it all. There was John’s cell phone, an empty bottle of Vodka and a bottle of Excedrin. (beat) And something else…a second cell phone…what in the world? I was only allowed five seconds of blissful denial before it all came crashing down on me. The second phone…the secret phone that men who cheat keep to talk to their lovers. All those protestations he offered during the time that we were apart. ‘No, there was no one else’, ‘I just need to find myself’, ‘I don’t want a divorce’, ‘I just need some time’. ‘I love you; I’m just not in love with you.’ Lies, all lies! How could I have been so stupid? Then I notice a crumpled manila envelope on the floor of the car. Anger driven, I opened the door and picked up the envelope and the two cell phones and went back into the house. Sitting in John’s chair once again, I smoothed out the envelope and read what was written there.
‘Ricky, tell Sherry I love her. Tell Sherry I can’t live without her. Tell Sherry not to cry
for me. Sherry, I’ll love you forever. I’m sorry.....John-Boy.’ Who the hell was Sherry?
Did my husband of three decades kill himself over some tramp? Some other woman
whom he barely knew? I picked up the second cell phone and scanned the history of calls.
Where was area code 864? As I set the phone down my eye caught the partial title of
a book lying on the rug under the table. Picking it up, I read: ‘How To Keep A Long
Distance Relationship Exciting and New.’ I opened it to the first few pages and found an
inscription, ‘To my tiny dancer, until we meet again. Love forever, your John-Boy.’
My God, John, how could you? How could you do this to us? I yelled as I threw the
book across the room; will this hellish nightmare never end? (beat) I picked up the
cell phone and scrolled down the history; Sherry Hoffman, Sherry Hoffman, Sherry Hoffman, Sherry Hoffman. No other woman, huh, John? South Carolina…hence the long distance relationship…you’re such a fool, I told myself. There was voice mail saved and I listened to the most current ones. Those messages told a story of a married woman who had a son and a new grandchild.
Another sad, pedestrian story of a restless woman trapped in a loveless marriage but
unwilling to leave. The daughter-in-law apparently would not let Sherry see the child.
It seemed that John, in a misplaced attempt to help, called Sherry’s son to insist that
he let Sherry see her grand-baby.
Only to succeed in blowing up that family. The final message was not so sweet and
sexy from his lover. Sherry had dumped my husband. (beat) I didn’t know whether
to laugh or cry. I seemed to be trapped in a crazed, unbelievable soap opera. But what
is it that they say about truth being stranger than fiction? I sighed. John had always
wanted to rescue anyone in trouble…even when they didn’t ask for help. He had crossed
the line calling that woman’s son. Oh, John, what were you thinking?, I asked the empty
room. Didn’t you know? You were her dirty little secret.... (more)
(from my book, Monologues 4 Women)
Long poem by
Isaiah Zerbst | Details |
The tears well up, and scarce could she not moan
When father, brother, husband, all have died.
She now has no possessions, neither home,
But travels to a distant, unknown land:
Once so secure, yet now compelled to roam;
Once rich in love, she treads through foreign sands.
Her weary feet move forward but by faith;
For all left to her name is mere belief:
Mind, heart so far away she seems a wraith-
Love, happiness- all taken by a thief.
When, sometime since, her heart had broke in two,
The path of life, once single, parted way;
Forsake she could, but this she would not do-
All else was gone- with mother she would stay:
"Intreat me not to leave thee," was her plea,
"For whither thou wilt go, there will I; pray
Forbid me not to follow after thee,
For where thou lodgest I would also stay:
"Thy people shall be mine, thy God my God;
And where thou liest, I will gladly lie
Beside thee, overhead the selfsame sod;
That even then thou mightest be closeby.
"And so they twain walk on, hand clasped in hand;
Both hold the only thing they yet possess:
The younger but a stranger in the land,
An enemy, a widow in distress.
She rose before the sun to find a place
Where she might gather barley ears and wheat;
A field where she might find some needed grace
To gather for their winter store of meat:
Then Boaz comes from Bethlehem, and see,
He tarries with the reapers of the wheat:
He comes to Ruth and says, "Hear'st not thou me?
Remain until the harvest is complete:
"Go not from hence, but in my fields abide,
And let thine eyes be on the field they reap;
Behold, these maidens thou may'st work beside,
And near the reapers thou may'st ever keep."
Then to her face she fell, and wond'ringly
Asked why to her, a stranger, was so kind;
And he replied that she unfailingly
Had cleaved unto her mother with one mind,
And left her father, mother, and the soil
Of her nativity, and kissed the dust
Of some strange land wherein she meant to toil;
Forsaking gods of Moab God to trust:
"The Lord," said he, "reward thee for thy deeds,
And recompense thy labour and thy love:
The God of Israel answer all thy needs,
And make his wings a shelter from above."
Then said the maid, "My lord, please let me find
Some grace and favour in thy blessed sight,
For that thou hast been friendly, spoken kind,
And I am but a stranger in the night."
Then Boaz said, "At mealtime here abide;
Rest in the shade, come, sit with us and dine:
So down she sat, a reaper on each side;
She ate her wheat and dipped her bread in wine.
Then Ruth arose, and to her work she leaves:
The master thus commands his servant men,
"Let this young maid glean e'en among the sheaves;
Rebuke her not, for she shall come again;
And let some handfuls fall onto the ground,
There let them lie for my sake and for hers
That she may glean and plenty may be found;
For reasons she has need of it are pure."
And as she worked, Ruth knew not what a sight
Of beauty and of diligence she made,
As in the golden field in sunset's light
She bowed her head and knelt as if she prayed.
It came to pass that in his fields she stayed
Until the end of barley harvest came,
When mother told the lovely little maid
To seek for his provision and his name.
She washed and dripped an oil filled with sweet
Perfumes of wild roses on her face:
She had not much; her beauty was complete
With but her finest clothes to seek his grace.
Her braided hair shone brighter than the gem
That never graced her soft and shapely form;
Her eyes, they sparkled brighter than the hem
Of gold and pearls that she had never worn:
Thus Ruth went down unto the threshing floor
Where Boaz winnowed barley till the night,
And peeked at him so shyly 'round the door;
She never let him leave her searching sight.
His workday done, the master ate and drank;
With happiness his heart was full when fed:
Then by a heap of wheat he went and sank
Into the furry robes that made his bed;
And Ruth, a while watching till he sleep
Kept vigil from a stone used as a seat,
Till when his eyes had closed and sleep was deep
She lifted up the cover from his feet
And softly laid her down and dreamed of brides
Until the watchman struck a dozen beats,
And being startled, Boaz woke and spied
A woman sleeping at his very feet:
"Who art thou?" queried he in sleepy voice;
"Thine handmaid, Ruth," was her unsure reply;
Then blessed he her for wise and kindly choice,
For passing poor and rich young fellows by.
"And now, my daughter, gladly shall I do
According to thy wishes, for all here
Consider thee as virtuous and true;
Howbeit, there is one to thee more near,
A kinsman who must duly have his say:
If he decline, then rest assured I will
Perform the part of kinsman." So she lay
Down at his feet, and both were quiet, still.
In grey of early morning she arose,
Before a face could be discernéd there;
To keep from what some people might suppose
And who might stand along the road to stare:
Then Boaz said, "Bring here the vail thou hast
Upon thy head and hold it in thy hand:
Six times the barley measure filled and passed
From heap to vail as much as she could stand.
Then Boaz went up to the city gate
To find the nearer kinsman, whom he sought,
To see if he would purchase the estate
Of Ruth, and she herself, but he could not;
So Boaz purchased all the widows' land;
The houses, barns, and fields, though overgrown;
And bought what pleased him most, Ruth's comely hand
To cherish and to make his very own:
Then Boaz went to find the handmaid, Ruth
And lift her from a servant to a wife;
To love her in all tenderness and truth
In every day God blessed them both with life.
[By Isaiah Zerbst. Published 9/7/14. Parts of poem have been removed due to soup's limitations.]
Long poem by
Mario DE PAZ | Details |
Simon wizard, you poor under his sway
That all things of God, which then of good will
Must be always brides, and you birds of prey
For gold and silver adulterate still,
Now it's time that the trumpet sounds for you,
Because you in third circle just stay ill.
We were already, at the tomb next new,
Clambered up to the tall rock at that place
Where is the center above the ditch cue.
O supreme wisdom, how great the art base,
Which in heavens, on earth and ill world show,
And how much justice your virtue can trace!
On the banks and on the bottom I saw
The stone very full with of holes a lot,
All of the same size and each well round though.
These seemed neither be of more nor less slot
Than those you found in my Saint John church nice,
Where the baptizers their faith office got;
One of those, few years ago imprecise,
I broke to help a guy just drowning there:
And this to testify truth and lie vice.
Out of the mouth of each hole leaned bare
Of a woeful sinner legs and feet too
To the belly, the rest down to the hair.
Both soles burned to all of them hitherto;
Their joints were strongly flickering so that,
They might be broken wacky as a screw.
Likewise the glowing of oily things fat
To move then up to reach the upper end,
So were there from the heels to tips just at.
“Who is that, master, who worries must send
Flickering than the others well much more”,
I told, “and whose flame has stronger its trend?”
And he: “If you like, we go to explore
Down there then to the lowest lying bank,
From him you can all about his sins score”
And I: “So I like , as you like and thank:
You are my lord, and you already know
That your will is mine, higher is your rank”
Then we arrived at the fourth bank below;
We turned at left hand and well down we got
Just to the narrow bottom riddled so.
Good master yet his side till end did not
Offer to me, and thus we reached this way
Where that one was crying with his foot hot
“Whichever you are, upside down then stay,
Mournful spirit who as a pole stuck are”,
I started, “If you can, your words display”
I stood like friar who confessing were
Perfidious killer, who, since stuck is,
Then asks him for death to stop his anger.
And he screamed: “Are you there erect faces,
Are you there erect , Bonifacius now?
For years about the writing he lied has.
If you then to be full of goods allow
For which you were never restrained from wile
To pretty woman, and then her torn sow?”.
I became as those ,who stay doubtful while,
Not understanding what herd as reply,
Almost confused, and no word is worthwhile.
Then Virgilio told: “To tell him try:
“That one I'm not, not the one you believe””;
And I replied to follow him thereby.
For this the soul his feet just ought to weave;
Then he, sighing and with a crying sound,
Told me: “So what you want from me achieve?
If to know my person you are so bound,
That you for this down the bank now have run,
Learn that I had the great mantle around;
Really I was of the she-bear son,
So greedy well my puppies to wind on,
That up and here my assets were done.
Behind my head are here the others won
Who me preceded in simony the sin,
To the crevices of the stones put con.
There I shall fall also when will come in
The one that I believed before you were,
When I first asked you with agitation.
But for more time fire my feet incur
And upside down longer I have been so,
Than he will be sticked with red feet spur;
Since after him then will come with worse woe,
From west, a minister with any law,
Such as is correct that he on me grow.
Novel Jason will be, of whom read raw
In Maccabees; and as to that was weak
His king, so to him whom France as king saw”
I don't know if I was with mind oblique,
Since I responded him just in this mode:
“Ah, tell me now: which treasure had to seek
Lord of ours to Saint Peter just before
Giving to the lordship of him his keys?
Nothing else rather than ”follow my core”.
Nor Pete nor others from Mathias seize
Gold or silver, when he arose by draw
To the place where his bad soul lost through these.
For this it’s right, you are damned by good law;
And now good care take of the money took
Which made you against Charles so proud with flaw.
And if I were not hindered by the hook
Of obeisance for keys so highest then
Which you held in happy life but mistook,
I would use even more hard words again;
Because your greediness makes the world sad,
Crushing good people and lifting bad men.
Of you Pastors the Vangelist known had
When woman who on waters takes a seat
As whore he saw with kings in a way bad;
That who was born with seven heads complete,
And from five horns had power great indeed
Til hers husband could to virtue compete.
You God of gold and silver could concede;
How differ idolaters then from you,
But that they pray one, and you hundred feed?
Alas, Constantin, how much harm could do,
Not your conversion, but that wealthy gift
The first rich pope of story you gave to!”
And while such notes singing I had to lift,
Either was bitten by conscience or rage,
Strongly both legs was pushing with strong shift.
I truly think much liked this my duke sage,
Since he attended with so happy face
The sound of words with truth I could engage.
So with both his hands me had to embrace,
And after he had at his chest all me,
He climbed back the way then leaving the place.
Tired to hug me he didn’t seem to be,
So he brought me up of the arch to top
Which from fourth to fifth bank is designee.
Here weight to ground he could gently drop,
Gentle respect to rocks dirty and steep
That would oppose to goats a severe stop.
Then I discovered a new valley deep.
Long poem by
Vic Pister | Details |
When my life has finally left me and my last breath has been shed
And the silver cord is broken and my bodies firmly dead
I shall hover near the body, download the scenes of this past life
Noting all minutest details rolling backwards past my eyes
I’ll store these scenes ‘til later when I can take the time to learn
What the lessons have to teach me and help me to discern
How I treated other people, made them happy, made them sad
Examine all my actions, both the good and the bad
Three days later I’ll lose interest as my focus moves away
From the world that I just left behind, there is no need to stay
For a lifetime in the life of man to God is just a day
And my soul as God on the wheel of life must move along its way
I’ll take the download with me as I move into first heaven
It’s the first stage in the afterlife, in number there are seven
Here I’ll see and feel the good things that to others I have brought
And revel in the feelings of the kindness that I wrought
I will store these in my seed atom so in future lives I’ll know
They’re the things that I must multiply for my souls’ conscience to grow
For the conscience is the souls’ voice that guides you day by day
That still small voice that warns you in what you do and say
When that’s done my view will shift then to the things that I did bad
To the hurt I did to people that left them feeling sad
I will feel their pain intensely, ten times worse when in this field
For I’ll be purely spirit now with no flesh for a shield
These painful lessons will imprint upon my seed atom as well
In some religions we are told our soul’s in everlasting hell
In the stages of the afterlife, this is your punishment in heaven
This is the third and the most painful of the total seven
The Grim Reaper now has visited with his scythe so I will know
Through natures Law of Consequence I will reap what I did sow
He has shown me all my misdeeds and caused me many tears
And this purgatorial experience may last for twenty years
When my suffering soul recovers and the pain has died away
And I’ve incorporated the lessons to never act this way
In future lives I’ll be a better man from these lessons I have learned
One step closer to perfection that my growing soul has earned
Now I can sleep, Oh peaceful sleep, a state of heavenly rest
I’ll dream the dreams I love in life, of things I love the best
All desires that my soul has yearned, not a thing I can’t create
In the Great Silence of the spirit world to help me concentrate
The colors are much brighter, the scent of flowers more sublime
The senses are much sharper, there is no sense of time
I will see all other people as pure souls just like me
And I’ll know we’re all evolving to the bliss of eternity
I will hear the mystic music of the planets as they pass
Like a thousand singing angels, heavenly peace has come at last
Every planet sings its own song, we’ve grown deaf to this below
But in this super consciousness we’re in the eternal flow
I’ll be with my friends and family and others whom I love
The ones who left before me and currently live above
There they wait with arms wide open and rejoice when I arrive
In the fourth stage where I now live, it’s utter joy to be alive
I’ve incorporated my lessons, I now recall my goal
And my mind begins to focus on further growth of my soul
I must make further preparations and my vision starts to clear
I feel I must keep moving forward for all my works done here
I now have gone through five and six, there is just one more
In years it’s been from birth to birth one hundred forty four
The time has come to move along and leave this place called heaven
Prepare for life in the physical world, I move to number seven
My soul has gathered the material, I now know what I must do
To make some more improvements in the places I need to
I must take another body, I must live another life
To grow and liquidate more karma though it means more pain and strife
I build an archetype of the body that in future I will form
When embodiment is offered, and I can be reborn
I will see the opportunities and be able to discern
The ideal embodiment for me when the right egg meets the sperm
I will hover near the fetus, influencing where I can
And I’ll have the power to make it be a woman or a man
I will help to build the body to suit the lessons I must learn
To overcome more issues so more advancement I can earn
When baby takes its first breath and my soul is taken in
With the imprint of my seed atoms that it has brought within
Now the babys’ atoms resonate to my seeds vibration rate
Making it the perfect body for my soul to habituate
The new body will be my new home, I will live a life anew
Gain experience, learn more lessons, through the things that I will do
I’ll apply the added knowledge that I learned in this past life
More evolved than in the last one, and cause me less pain and strife
This will happen just as often as required by the soul
As it pushes ever onward, pushing ever t’ward its goal
Of complete re-integration back from whence it came
To the universal soul of life no matter what its name
Nature is not personal, it does not seek revenge
If we mess it up we have the chance to do it all again
We arrived here by this process, nothing’s changed it’s still the same
But our souls have evolved immensely since we stepped into the game
We started out as fallen angels with no experience on this plane
We’ve grown to this by coming back again and again
Though we cannot remember for each conscious mind has died
The feelings in the soul remained in our subconscious mind
And so this is the story of the cycle of the soul
As it struggles through evolution on its way toward the goal
It’s this way for all unfailing, from natures law there’s no relief
All living things go through it, no matter their belief
Long poem by
Mario DE PAZ | Details |
I tell, to follow, that long trait before
We reached the back foot of the tower tall,
Our eyes went up to the top core
For two little flames we saw install,
And another responding from so far
That barely I perceived being so small.
And I turned my face to the full sense star:
I told: “What does this mean? and what reply
Gives then the other flame? And those who are?”
And he: “Above the dirty waves and by
You can perceive already what to expect,
If the fume of the swamp does not deny”.
Rope never pushed an arrow to eject
Which faster and thin too rushed out through air
As I saw a shorty boat well direct
Through water toward us with no compare,
Under the drive of just one only oar,
Who shouted: “Now you arrived soul unfair!”
“Flegiàs, Flegiàs, useless is shouting your”
Told then my lord, “It’s only this time now:
Once crossed the marsh you’ll never see us more”
Like the one who listens a great false vow
Which he undergoes, and regrets then,
So was Flegiàs owing rage to allow.
My guide entered now the boat on the fen,
And then he let me enter after him;
So it looked fully loaded once again .
After my guide and I were on wood grim,
Cutting across just goes the ancient bow
The water even more than used to trim.
While we were running in the deadly flow,
In front of me then came a muddy man,
Who told me: “Who are you coming here now?”
And I: “If I come, to remain don’t plan;
But who are you, so unsightly to see?”.
Answered: “You see that I just grieve for ban”.
And I to him; “With mourn and of tears sea,
You damned spirit, now you can stay on still;
I know you, even though dirty you be”.
Then he aimed both hands to the board until,
So that my mindful master then pushed him,
Telling: “Get off from here, stay there, damned will!”
And then with arms he cuddled my neck rim;
Kissed my face, and told me: “Disdainful core,
Blessed woman who gave you birth with vim!
That guy was a person proud in his life yore;
Kindness you don’t find recalling his acts:
So his soul is here angry as before.
Plenty of people up like king enacts
And here after as swine in mire shall stay
Leaving of themselves just horrible facts!”.
And I: “Master, I would have happy play
If I see him to plunge into this slush
Before that from this lake we get away”.
And he to me: “Before ending our rush
To reach the bank, you full sated will be:
You must enjoy along your wish to hush”.
After short while the torture I could see
Performed by people lying in that mire,
To God much praise and thanks go still from me.
All screamed: “To Filippo Argenti dire!”;
And the Florentine spirit queer indeed
In his own body flesh sunk his teeth spire.
Here we left him, and no more words I need;
But in my ears I felt a beating pain,
Which made me cross eyes forward as my deed.
The good master told: “My dear, get again,
Now the city called Dite is getting close
With grievous citizens, many restrained”
And I: “ Master, its towers already shows
There in the valley distinctly I see,
Vermillion like from fire just arose
Now”. And he: “the eternal fire sea
Which is burning inside makes them so red,
As in this base hell you can see to be”
We then inside the deep ditches were led
Which corrugate that disconsolate land:
And looked of iron made the walls ahead.
Not without moving around a turn grand,
We reached a place then where the helmsman strong
“Get out”, shouted: “Here is the entry stand”.
I saw more than thousand coming along
As poured from above, who with nasty huff
Told: “Who is this one of the living band
Who goes around the kingdom of deads gruff?”
And my sage master then motioned to me
He aimed to them speak secretly enough.
Then they reduced a bit their disagree
And told: “Come you alone, and he must go
Being in this reign entered of scare free.
He must get back alone the street so fow:
Let him try, if able: you remain here,
Who guided him in this land without glow”.
Think, reader, how much I had then to fear
While hearing the sound of those words so damn,
Because I thought I couldn’t be back clear.
“Oh dear guide, for seven times saved I am
By your help giving assurance to me
In high distress I encountered as a dram,
Don’t abandon me”, I told, “without lee;
And if to pass it is denied beyond,
Let us find our path backward to fast flee”
And that lord who guided me there so fond,
Told me: “Don’t be afraid, because our stride
Nobody can stop: from so high gets bond.
But wait me here now, and your spirit tied
Encourage strongly and feed with hope good,
Since I will not leave you in this world bide”.
So went away, and abandoned I stood,
My sweet father then leaving me in doubt,
So yes and no to fight in me then could.
I did not hear what he to them gave out;
But he did not remain with them long time,
To observe that all in turn left the bout.
Closed the doors those people faulty of crime
Against my lord breast, who remained outside
And came back to me so slow as to climb.
The eyes to ground and lashes had to hide
Any pride, and telling sighs in between:
“Who the sorrow houses now me denied!
And to me “You, if I am not serene,
Don’t dismay, since I shall the battle win,
No matter which against us be the screen.
This arrogance of their not new has been;
They used it for a door secret much less,
Which without any lock is still therein.
On that you saw of dead write the impress:
And on this side descends the terrain steep,
Then passing through the circles with no stress,
So for him the ground be open to sweep”
Long poem by
Laura Breidenthal | Details |
My hair bristled in the crisp breeze
Excitement spreading throughout my body
Even the sudden cold amused my fingertips,
Tingles spreading through my hands and up my arms
Soon I would be there too. . .
In the murky shadows of mysterious malice
To see the claws and talons of humanity’s greatest foe
The Prince of Darkness—the Saint of Woe
The great seal remained closed as I stood before it
Not a peep was heard from inside
“Knock, and it will be opened to you . . . “
Lightly, my fist clunked three times upon the great seal,
And a horrendous echo resounded like muffled shrieks of suffering
Black ooze leaked out of the seal as I lifted my fist
A great closed pot of tender meat and chow boiling over,
The spicy hot substance steaming the long grass surrounding the well-like prison
Then a voice, like Queen Bee birth resounded,
Stinging me fiercely, body and soul, having me sway…
To a familiar song
I had listened to long ago:
“Iiiii… ain’t got no-booooooody….
And no-body cares…foooor meeee…”
The song continued as the seal opened fully,
As I began descending into the restless night of his voice
Both lulled and perturbed
The sumptuous layers of shrieks, his background band
Gurgles of thundering bass,
And strums of laughter from throats long wailing…
“Aaaaaaaand.. I’m sad and loooooooonely…
Won’t some-body…come takah chance with meeee..
In what seemed like an eternal moment,
I had landed in the very bottom of the boiling ooze
The music ceased, and the great seal slipped over,
Blocking the view of the stars. . .
Yes, above. . .now only darkness
As if heaven, to Satan, was hell. . .
He turned to me slowly, knowingly
A smile creeping on his filthy face, from ear to ear
A charming set of teeth, freshly sung mouth
Arrogant brow rising in mock surprise. . .
A gruff laugh escaped his lips as my heart beat faster
And I thought to myself,
“What have I gotten myself into?”
. . .
The words popped out of my mouth before my mind could object,
And he exploded in a fit of charming guffaws
I heard a sea of laughter follow his own
Even Death, in the far corner of prison, winked. . .amused
“That’s the funniest thing I’ve heard in years,
Dearest Daughter of Eve. . . I’m impressed . . . really, I am. . .”
His smile faded and his expression grew grim and cold
“Well . . . are you?”
I remained silent, and took a deep breath
What shall I say to the Devil himself?
Am I clever enough? Brave enough?
“Impressed, I mean. . .well?
I know you will not lie to me,
You wouldn’t dream of it. . .
You wouldn’t dream nasty dreams like times in your past days. . .
Or. . .would you. . .Daughter of Eve.
Would you dare. . .dream of me. . .”
I felt a claw hit me on the back of my neck
I remained still, my breathing cradled by the silence. . .
I moved closer to him, never blinking,
As his coal eyes burned deeply into mine
Suddenly, he was furious
“You dare give me silence, woman!?
After my years of devastating . . . tormenting my own,
Just to see and hear them screech and tremble. . .
Of no aim but to crush this criminal quiet,
You…a woman of no power…or little to show,
Come down to me, ME. . .whom you know hates you all. . .
You come down to me, The Almighty Devil of Hatred,
With your dull . . . infuriating . . . pathetic, disgusting. . .
I sighed. . .
“I. . .I don’t know why I am here. . .with you. . .perhaps it is a test. . .a lesson. . .
But I do know what I want. . .”
His claw dug deeper into my skin. . .
“Oh, that’s a new one. . .
But you. . .hm, hard to play with. . .? I doubt it.
Easy to trick. . .surely. . .
If there was a point. . .”
Deeper the claw dug into my skin, but my flesh refused to break
I smiled at him softly, and this seemed to disturb him completely
He looked at me numbly, an impassive stare
Devoid of feeling and emotion
And I said to him,
“I want you to sing and play us a song you have never sung before,
Prince of Darkness. . .”
His grimy skin rippled at the opportune challenge. . .
His eyes drew out all confidence and pride swirling in the shadows
His smile, big again, fresh, and repugnant
He smelled of all things dead, and all things putrid
“Plug in the bass, Death.
I am going to dissolve this fluttery woman right where she stands.”
I stopped him, possessed with an idea
I bit my lip and removed his claw from my neck
Taking his hand for a moment, and pushing it to him
“One more thing, Devil.”
He rolled his eyes. “Of course. . .what is it?”
“. . .I’m singing with you.”
The demons roared in hilarity, as Death,
Silent as always kept his composure
Satan tilted his head at me as the laughter died
He no longer contained his surprise
“You. . .want to. . .make music. . .with me?”
“I’ve got 40 days and 40 nights. . .don’t you be a killjoy.”
He smiled at me, fury and lust in his eyes
“Angel charms will not work down here, babe. . .
I rarely play fair. . . .but I never turn down a challenge.”
My strange purpose had surfaced at last
“Quit your stalling then, and turn up the music.”
Song reference: “I Have Nobody” specifically sung by Leon Redbone
**Please tell me what you thing guys! If you haven’t read the other parts, it might explain things a bit. This is going to be a major work, and I’d loved all the advice I can get. I am aware that collaborating with The Devil is a tricky feat, and I’d really love some input. Thanks for reading. Lots of love! –Oh, and also, I am thinking of changing the title of the work as well. Not sure what yet!