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I Heard that Wilted Lettus is Bad for You by Smith, Arlene

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One in Four Women

Terror seizes you, and it isn't kind. 
 You try to go somewhere peaceful in your mind.
But the pain rips you right back to here and now.
 Not wanting to give him the satisfaction of even saying "ow."

You try to be strong, but he tears from you, a scream.
 Oh God, please let this be a terrible, terrible dream.
I thought he was supposed to be a friend of mine?
 As the tears grow down my face like vine.
He tells me I wanted it, even though I screamed no.
 He says my attitude and outfit told him so.
In the same breath, he threatens me never to tell.
 If they ask why the tears, you better say you fell.

As I got out of the car he pulled me to him and hugged me tight.
 He kissed my forehead and said Don't worry you'll be all right.
Just remember, if you open your mouth, no one will believe a dirty *****.
 Now go inside before I take you for another ride and give you some more.

Into the house and straight into the shower.
 I was in there for what felt like hours and hours.
My grandmother knew right from the start.
 Please don't tell, it would break Daddy's heart.

Please, Grandma he's not worth Daddy going to jail.
 For my sake and his, you can never, ever tell.
She kept her promise and never uttered a word.
 At night, she told me, my cries she heard.

For six weeks I kept my secret and told not another soul.
 For six weeks I sunk deeper and deeper into a hole.
Not until I heard that he raped a fourteen year old girl.
 Knowing I could have prevented it, shattered my world.

I finally told my horror story to the cops and to my Dad.
 I don't think I'd ever seen him so violently mad.
Mike was arrested, but in jail he would not stay.
 He lived around the corner and we had to move away.

He got probation, but not for me, his word against mine.
 I was sixteen, of legal age to consent, so for me he'd get no time.
His punishment, probation for only a couple of years.
 Me and his other victim were left with our fears.

Would he find us and take revenge for what he said was a lie?
 Would my father hunt him down, and go to prison for a rapist to die?
He got away, pretty much scot-free for his deplorable crime.
 His victims were the ones who were serving the time.

This IS a true story, my story, but not my story alone. After 8 years and raping several
other women Mike was sentenced to 35 years in prison. As he pleaded his innocence, we were
all in some way vindicated. He never did a day for brutally raping me, NOT ONE DAMN DAY.
But he's doing plenty now. I hope he gets ALL that he deserves.

Copyright © Aleera De La Keur | Year Posted 2009

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Welcome Carolyn

Please come in dear Carolyn.  I am thoroughly delighted.
Since I heard that you were coming I’ve been happily excited.

It was so kind of Michael to arrange that we should meet.
You’re exactly as I pictured you, both beautiful and sweet.

Let’s have coffee in my garden underneath the cloudless sky.
It’s April in my Northwest home. We’re so lucky it is dry.

The tulip tours have started, as has salmon fishing season.
The nearby Skagit holds the big ones, catching one’s not out of reason.

We’ll have our lunch and then start touring Skagit Valley tulip farms.
I want to show you quaint LaConner and explore all of it charms.

By: Joyce Johnson  lLWon first place

Welcoming Carolyn Devonshire in Michaels's "First Words Over Coffee" contest.

Copyright © Joyce Johnson | Year Posted 2011

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The Poet Frost

2014 Robert Frost Poetry Contest

I am proud to announce once again
I have had the honor and privilege,              have had/ had
to be allow to line the trashcan of the           allow/allowed
Poetry Judges office at Robert Frost Farms.
An Honor I look forward too next year !

This Year' trashcan liner                                Year'/year's
The Poet Frost

That poet lived not far from here
But I could not see, nor hear him talk 
I read about His chopping wood
And Mending Fences make of rock                   make/made

I heard that he had pasted away
When many eyes gave birth to tears
I was only six, that fateful day
Now, five more score in years

But through the passing of the seasons
His rhymes and verses have remained
A guiding light, that I find pleasing
And as for this, I count it gain

I did not meet the man called Frost
But know him well, for words he penned
I try sometimes try to think his thoughts
And walk his fields from end to end

I feel his presents, while on his farm               Presents/presence  
Where nature speaks his sonnets so
With loving hands he planted words
Then stood and watched the poems grow

If I could only farm, like this
to draw from natures inspiration
Then writing poems great like his
Would be my cherished occupation           It's no wonder I end up in the can
                                                               lesson: Never proof read alone

                                               by JT Curtis

Copyright © Jerry T Curtis | Year Posted 2014

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The Immigration Officer Asked Me

                                 "The Immigration Officer Asked Me."

I was asked where are you coming from?
I answered I ran away from the war in my

I was asked how many years the war lasted?
I answered there was war for sixteen years
we were bombarded daily attacked by militia
on our way to work when we could go to work.

I was asked why did you choose this country?
I answered because they accept political refugees
and i heard that Canadians are helping us.

I was asked why do you look so pale and slim?
I answered because we had no food to eat when
we were bombarded we could not go out to buy
food, and when we were in the shelter nobody
brought us any food.

I was asked why are you wearing dark glasses?
I answered because i am not used to see the light.
We rarely had electricity, always using a candle
and staying in the dark for days my eye sight

I was asked why don't you hear well?
I answered because of the arterially shelling.
And we had a bomb falling on our ceiling when
i was sitting in our home before the bomb fell.

I was asked why do you look shabby?
I answered because we never had water.
We never had water running in our tapes 
we had to buy water to have a shower or 
rain to fill utensils in plastic for many days.

He asked why don't you have any luggage?
I answered because i have nothing to wear.
My kids education needed all the money and 
i worked 2 jobs to bring in some money.

He asked what kind of work did you do?
I answered i was working in the hospital.
And working in a Boutique for mens clothing.

He asked were you working as a nurse?
I answered no i was cleaning the floors
and bathrooms i was everywhere for years
in that hospital.

He asked do you have any money on you?
I answered no the militia took everything.
When i arrived to the boat to leave the 
country as the airport was closed for 
years sometimes, at the port, one militia 
guy just snatched the few dollars i had.

He asked did you leave your home behind?
I answered no they bombarded my home
its in rebels i have nothing left in Lebanon.
He noticed my tears tumbling down my cheeks.

He asked where were you living then?
I answered i lived underground with many
people, for months sometimes we were 
underground sleeping on the floor somedays 
we had no food given by the enemy, the cry`s 
of children hungry was unbearable.

He asked do you have any family with you?
I answered no i have been alone since the war.
I had to send away my children after they 
were able to graduate not to be snatched by 
the militia. They both went to the US to work.

He asked how many children do you have?
I answered i have two boys one is a lawyer
and my other son is an interior designer.

He asked and where are they now?
I answered they ran away from the militia
to the US as we had very close friends who 
took them until they could find work to pay 
a rented room.

He asked how may languages do you speak?
I answered i speak three languages.
Arabic English and French.

He asked do you want to stay here?
I answered with my tears blinding
my eyes, please, i have nowhere
to go and i heard so much about 
the Canadians how human and 
generous they are.

He looked at me with a painful look
I will accept you as a political refugee
we will give you some money every
month you will have a bed to sleep
you will have food to eat work to do
water to drink shower and clothes
to wear and you can ask your 
children to come, are you happy now.

He stamped my passport and wished
me a good luck with a huge smile.
The beginning of a new life.


Copyright © Therese Bacha | Year Posted 2013

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Touch Cindy

On Friday nights a melting pot,
descends upon the pub,
truck drivers, cockies, factory hands,
and workers from the scrub,
to mingle in the many shouts,
that see their glasses fill,
who leave before they’re entertained,
by workers from the mill.

The timber boys with blackened hands,
and sawdust through their hair,
throw their cheques upon the bar,
then drink without a care,
not one of them was impolite,
the opposite in fact,
but beer became their nemesis,
and quick they would react.

So, many leave the pub at night,
with blood upon their face,
while they who nurse a swollen hand,
rest at the coppers place,
‘mine host’ is left with his regrets,
knows what he’d like to do,
he’d like to ban the lot of them,
but they spend money too.

As one drifts on another comes,
to pull out from the saw,
the circuit is a common one,
for those who work and war,
this Friday night’s a first time here,
for one who’s name is Bob,
he’d like to celebrate with us,
his first week on the job.

“Whose is the dog outside?” was heard,
Bob quickly turned his head,
“It’s mine, the only friend I’ve got,
touch Cindy and you’re dead”,
there came no argument at all,
for the night was early yet,
but I thought it best I get on home,
before the ‘hour of regret’. 

Touch Cindy, touch Cindy,
touch Cindy and you’re dead.
Touch Cindy, touch Cindy,
keeps running through my head.

It was dark and after midnight,
when I heard the siren wail,
‘Hello,’ I thought, ‘It’s on again,
who’s ‘gunna’ need some bail’,
but then a sense of distance came,
they stopped out near the hill,
not the expectation of the pub,
more likely at the mill.

I saw a glow behind the blinds,
of course there was a fire,
then more sirens stirred the air,
there must be something dire,
I’m out of bed; back in my clothes,
and driving to the mill,
there’s lights of blue and lights of red,
plus further sirens still.

A pile of ash in smoke and steam,
is all that’s left to see,
with haggard faces looking on,
one cried hysterically,
she’s a witness to the scene,
when the caravan caught fire,
‘twas then I heard that it was Bob,
who perished in that pyre.

“He was safe,” she’s screaming out,
“Then frantically he cried,
as he rushed back into the van,
‘my mates back there inside!’
with his hand clasped to the collar...
I remember what Bob said,
when he warned us at the pub,
‘Touch Cindy and you’re dead’.

Touch Cindy, touch Cindy,
keeps running through my head.

Copyright © Lindsay Laurie | Year Posted 2015

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I Was Wrong

You looked at me and told me I was wrong
Everything I did was not good enough
Over and over I heard that same song

Hearing that message can be really tough
I started to believe the words you said
Everything I did was not good enough

Things changed when to the bible I was led
It helped me see myself in a new light
I no longer believed the words you said

God loves me I'm not a child of the night
I now see myself through my Savior's eyes
It helped me see myself in a new light 

You have your own problems I realize
Possibly one day you will understand
I now see myself through my Savior's eyes

Thankfully no longer under your command
Possibly one day you will understand
You looked at me and told me I was wrong
Over and over I heard that same song

Copyright © Richard Lamoureux | Year Posted 2013

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I met her in a whisper

I met her in a whisper, her eyes a chocolate mist I swear she was an angel, such beauty heaven kissed She told me that she loved me My heart, it skipped a beat With lavender a' blooming, this one that I should meet Then painted me a sunset of marmalade and gold With watercolor feelings, emotions did unfold As waves were gently rolling, this shore of saphron sands We counted every seashell now held within our hands And as the moon was rising, a blushing evening beam I knew our world was perfect as if inside a dream And now as morning beckons, with blue skies up above I'm glad I heard that whisper for I have found true love
***Recalling the past. It has been almost a year since she left and I still think of her everyday"

Copyright © Chris Green | Year Posted 2018

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Dear Jupiter

You don't know me, and perhaps you never will. But in my heart I am certain that we have at least one thing in common.  We have the same Creator.                                                                                                      

A few weeks shy of six years ago, an American Satellite was launched your way. I remember it well, and decided to observe and track the success of the mission. You are very huge; *1300 earths will fit inside of you? Unbelievable! And you are also a very great distance from me.** It's amazing that it took nearly five years to reach you, even going 30,000 mph. We are receiving info and photos of you, and in a few months the space craft will crash into you.  

Last week I heard that you had a storm the size of which was bigger than earth itself. How awesome! We are trying to get to know more about you. I recall learning about you in grade school many years ago. I learned that you were one of the nine planets in our solar system; but I did not realize or remember that you were so large until a few years ago.  

Jupiter, I think  it's great getting to know more about a big brother or created one like yourself. As I understand it, you are presently being encircled, and more pictures are arriving all the time.  Can I share something with you? So many stars and objects out there in the universe are falling  and often crashing into each other.  It appears everything out there is in constant motion, and  over time, they burn up.  Some have crashed into earth; and I personally saw a big crater in Arizona nearly forty years ago.  At some point, everything and everybody comes to an end.

Here's what I'm thinking.  I have a Biblical world view about the creator and as a human, I expect my body to die and decay.  My faith in Christ compels me to believe that my spirit will never die. Long story short, since God has made our universe so vast and measureless, I have often wondered if some of our time in eternity will be spent exploring the universe.                

Jupiter, you may recall that I stated earlier that  perhaps you and I will never meet.  However,  If for some reason this idea of mine proves true, I should expect to request a visit with you.  Until then, I shall continue enjoying the beautiful pictures of you.                                                              
07232017cjPS; *Wikipedia:1.4313×1015 km3[3][b]1,321 Earths;                ** Ranges from 365 to 601 million miles

Copyright © curtis johnson | Year Posted 2017

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On Seeing a Painting by Picasso

On Seeing a Painting by Picasso

By Elton Camp

The museum has a portrait by Picasso on display
When I heard that, I knew had to go by that way
I must admit that, a country hick like me
Has few chances a real work of art to see

The first painting I saw caused me to smile
It obviously was the work of a little child
A real talent for painting the child had not
Yet the museum gave it a prominent spot

In time the child might learn to draw
When better examples of art it saw
Now derisive laughter the kid might hear
If it came to visit and was standing near

I had to hope most folks won’t mind
To a little one’s work to try to be kind
An attempt to paint a woman it seemed to be
But it certainly looked very strange to me

One eye was looking over to her right
While the other had a straight sight
The nose was not located in between
In the place of an ear it could be seen

Mouth wasn’t at the center of her chin
Way over toward the side it did begin
The figure’s hair wasn’t up on the top
Way down to the left side it did drop

Her face was littered with weird designs
Composed of many multiple colored lines
I hoped nobody the child would ask
If it was a horrid Halloween mask

Of that painting I had quite enough
I was ready to see the genuine stuff
“Guard, where may the Picasso be found
So I won’t have to hunt for it all around?”

My question seemed the guard to confuse
Or perhaps I should say it came to amuse
His words to me were such a total surprise
“That is it, right there before your eyes.”

Copyright © Elton Camp | Year Posted 2010

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I used to pass an empty house 
On my way home from school
I was only ten years old then
I heard that older people lived
But I never saw them.

Found old photos 
Showed them to Dad
Where’d you get them he asked?
Found them in the old house I said
Then he and mother spoke 
In the privacy of their bedroom 
I saw the shadows of their arms 
And point toward my room 
This was the 1950’s
Times were different
And some things 
Were just never talked about. 

When the old house was torn down
I went inside
To look
And to explore
Kicking an odd piece of dirt
The soft rotted wood moved
And something flipped up
Some as big as my leg.
But it was the damp smell of decay
That I remembered
Even at that time
When anything new 
Was always exciting
This was different
I had not experienced anything like this before
But I would years later
Ten years later
A decade to wait.

I was In Country
Two tours
Separated from my group
Never found
Missing in action
But really I’m dead 
Been like this for years
All that’s left
Of me 
Are bone fragments
Part of a femur
And a scratch of faded cloth 
Scattered over a vast green landscape
At the edge of a jungle.

Occasionally I hear digging sounds
Not the heavy shovel kind
But a gentle probing
Of earth 
Someone intent on finding something 
But not wishing to disturb
They haven’t found me
So I still wait.

I never got used to the damp smell of decay
But just the same I take solace
In that smell
Because it reminds me of
Long ago
When I was just a schoolboy
Coming home.

Copyright © Edmund Siejka | Year Posted 2008

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The best of Time, The worst of Time

Its funny how people say Time flies
When I try to watch him, he just stood still

I belive he heals all wounds
But people always say they are just trying to kill Time
It doesn't seem quite right

I heard there is no Time like the present
I always think of him in the past

They say he changes everything
But i've always found him to be more constant
Maybe even repetitive

He can be silent, but he also speaks
He can love, and he can hate
He is in war, but also in peace

I think I heard that somewhere...

People say there is never enough of him
Maybe I will feel the same when my Time comes
Or perhaps, when Time comes for me

Copyright © H Bueckert | Year Posted 2010

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Hate will never pass the test - Part 2 of 2

I stopped beneath a big oak tree
and tried to catch my breath
My body it was shaking still,
he scared me half to death

I pulled my notebook to my lap,
my hand it held the pen
And started writing poetry,
my love for her again

When then I looked above my place,
the branches filled with birds
They watched as I was writing this,
they chirped at every word

“Don’t let that old crow bother you”
I heard their voices say
“He wants to be the only one,
that’s why he acts this way”

“Just keep on writing poetry,
your verses are the best
Be yourself, you’re doing fine,
to that we can attest”

“There’ll always be someone like him
that tries to pull you down
But worry not, just wear a smile
in place of that old frown”

So that I did, I wrote and wrote
and didn’t have a care
So I could always send my love
to you I long to share

I penned for you a poem of
affections written deep
Hoping that close to your heart
my words you’d always keep

When then again I heard that voice,
my day then turned to night
“I see you’re writing poetry,
I knew that I was right”

“I’ll tell you what I’m gonna do,
we’ll put it to a test
You write yours and I’ll write mine,
we’ll see who is the best”

I closed my eyes and thought of us,
my mind held such a view
I wrote some lines of perfect prose
to say that I love you

He scratched and clawed upon his pad
and with an evil grin
He tossed the page down on the ground
and said, “Let’s go, begin”

I read the words that he did write
and if I must confess
I didn’t understand a thing,
his poem was a mess

Several lines of gibberish,
hate in every breath
Calling names of everyone,
he even threatened death

And then he read my offering,
a look came on his face
His feathers black had turned to ash,
his head hung in disgrace

For love shall win out every time  
in ink of gentle flow
“Go spew your hatred someplace else,
it’s time for you to go”

I watched him as he flew away,
a sulking fading bird
On silent wings he disappeared,
he uttered not a word

I often walk along that path
but now I wear a smile
For I’m still writing poetry
in my romantic style

Though I will not forget that day
as these words come to mind
“Hate will never pass the test,
it’s better to be kind”

Thank you for reading my poem.

Copyright © Chris Green | Year Posted 2016

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The Words a Heart Can Bleed

First I get out a piece of paper
and think of words I want to right.
Then I'll get my pencil
and the pencil takes a bite.
It scratches and it claws
the words here that you read.
Have you ever read
the words a heart can bleed?
Like Noah it keeps raining
and I'm caught up in the flood.
Can you read my rain
when it's written in red blood?
It's dripping from this pencil.
It's coming from my soul.
The pain of my addiction
is climbing out of it's hole.
It climbs up on my shoulder
from a pit that's deep and black.
It looks just like a monkey
and it hangs out on my back.
It whispers in my ear.
It screams if I don't listen.
He says,"screw the rent
you don't need a pot to piss in."
He's getting really heavy.
I don't know what to do.
Why can't I tell him, no.
I don't know how, do you?
My monkey needs more drugs
like a rat wants more cheese.
I heard that feeding the monkey
is always a fatal disease.
Someone shoot the monkey
before my soul is lost as well.
I never seem to have enough money.
I do things I'll never tell.
Lord, You know me 
and You made me see
the darkness consuming everything
I wanted to be.
I'm sorry I ever let 
it come this far.
Blaming a monkey shows me
how bad my choices are.
I'm growing old 
but not growing up.
Makes me sick 
Feel like throwing-up.
Selfishness hides from me
but dwells deep inside.
I wish that I could see me
but I guess I'm blind.
With Your help God 
I'll make it through.
Straight is the path
that leads to You.
One more thing before 
my foggy mind forgets.
I think that I should
work the steps.
I'm stepping up to the plate
God throws the pitch.
Bean ball to the head of the monkey
now he can't *****.
I'm excited to get started
without the monkey around. 
Please don't let me trip on these steps
and come crashing to the ground.
I heard you shouldn't go fast.
You should be thorough and slow.
Fast or slow I still go up.
The bottom has only one place to go.


Copyright © Allan Granstrom | Year Posted 2009

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Torn tendons atop the totem

Spiked and skimmed to be slim 
as I watched her down the street 
I heard that laughter that I feel

Tired tendons failed to hold onto 
the passive end of the day going 
sunburned into her cold dark heart 

Playing dress up just to catch up 
I tore the alley running to my mind 
just to find that she ran far away

Not only did she run but smiled
up the totem to strip down 
the old pole I perched her up on

So now I rest and hope to resuscitate 
the beating of my torn lungs losing sleep
over my last breath she stole with a slap

Copyright © James Swartz | Year Posted 2018

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Ferrets, Racoons, and Skunks, Oh My

I wanted a pet, but one more unique
than a bird or a dog or a cat.
So I went onto Craig’s List so I could seek
a ferret! Yes, I sure fancied that.

I found a ferret and bought him a leash,
but he’d slither away from my view.
He never would keep in his own niche.
Oh, boy, what was I going to do?

My ferret just vanished. Ummm, actually,
when he got loose in my neighborhood,
I simply stopped looking for him; I suppose
he’s living nearby now in the wood!

There was a raccoon, slipped into my house
through a small doggy door that I  had,
destroyed my kitchen – and worse than a mouse -
he eats tons, and he bites when he’s mad!

That racoon I never again want to see.
My house he made look like a pig sty.
I closed up the doggy door. Racoon, bye-bye!
Go play with the squirrels in my tree.

I heard that a skunk might make a good pet.
They are friendly, so playful and sweet.
My de-scented skunk just hasn’t learned yet
to stop peeing on top of the sheet.

Ferrets, racoons, and skunks – oh my!
If you’re better at training than me,
perhaps a sweet skunk you’d like to buy?
Better yet, you can have him for free!

May 23, 2018 for Maureen McGreavy's 
Dandelions Tiger Lilies And Bearberries Oh My Poetry Contest

Copyright © Andrea Dietrich | Year Posted 2018

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A Gentle Rain Falls

A Gentle Rain Falls

A gentle rain falls
On the fields and on the ground
Sending water down ravens and into the rivers  
like our broken dreams.
Bending all the flowers as it covers,
but it does not mean they do not like it.
On the contrary, it makes them super happy.
The sweet smell travel up my nose,
The sensation is like no other,
and it never tires.
I just love it
I heard that in France
They pick the roses early in the morning
to make perfume from it.
They crush the petals to get to essence from them,
They are full of wonder like inside of all of us
Ready to spread out the love
A flower is the most beautiful thing on our earth
an appreciated by all 
So many dazzling colors, so much variety
I give you one golden flower,
What it says is for you to wonder.
Yellow, violets, and purple; 
Sparkling orange
All the colors for our morning glories.

by Marc Acrich

Copyright © Marc Acrich | Year Posted 2018

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A Slave

Please sir don’t sell me to that man
I beg you sir, I’ll behave as I can 
I heard that he whips his slaves with lashes 
And burn them with cigarettes and…..
Make them eat their ashes

Please sir please I beg your kind heart
Please sir, please let us leave this mart
I beseech you sir not to sell me to that ogre
My dear lord! He’s starting to look at me and ogle!

Please sir don’t be deceived by his money and pomp
Because he keeps girls whether in his bed or tomb!
Please sir, keep me and I’ll be your obedient slave
Please sir don’t send straight to hell and grave 

I heard that he makes his slaves work till they fall
And when one does, he tortures him till goes out his soul
But if some of them survived on and got old
He shoots them! Indeed sir! That’s what I’ve been told

(After yoking them and exploiting their toil and plod
He drinks sweet wine, and they taste their own blood) 
Then he throws their bodies into the river
He’s the devil himself, I heard like such doings never

Please sir, keep me as your possession 
And save me from his cruelty and aggression 
Please sir don’t be affected by his amount of gold
And whatever happens please don’t say to him: Sold! 

Copyright © Mohamed Adel | Year Posted 2015

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Oh well I got an angry email to begin my day
Because of my last post on the Jabidah thing yesterday
Galit sa akin but greeted me with Assalamu alaykum.
And kung personal Moro friends ko naman ito 
They know I don't criticize Moro leaders
I always leave that to them to criticize their leaders
According to my friends baka nasa gubyerno or something
Next time I'll write na lang about the sea and the palm trees and the beaches 

Pray and pray nalang para walang provocation
ako nga ang daming nag-message sa akin nagalit sa issue ng Sabah standoff
Ikaw pa kaya na wala namanng masama na sinabi dun
Alam mo ‘buti na lang you verbalized that kasi iniisip ko rin ‘yun
I know you have reasons and you know better kaya; I just read your posts
I don’t have to go against parties kasi both have rights
And the issue must be solved

Wala, kasi sa akin kundi independence lamang ang kailangan
May ganyan din kasing realities? 
Minsan you are being asked or expected to take sides
Yes, my side is peace – with peace is independence
Yes, I heard that sa dating Jabidah Massacre celebration
Somebody said that, “Walang kapayapaan kasi walang kalayaan”
And that is very universal, kapatid.

Moro or non-Moro and writing should always geared towards humanity
That’s why for me it “anti-humanity” if you will not listen 
Or suppress when somebody will talk about freedom.
That’s the problem with Filipinos, they don't listen.
Kasi the leaders may sarili ring interests.

How do you see being Filipino?
Ako, it's a cage, Filipino nationalism 
Agenda ng mga oligarchs and landowners 
Filipino nationalism is violence against Muslims and lumads
Kasi ‘pag ako ang tatanunginmo I will never say I am Filipino
Because Tausug it’s not a name but an identity...
I understand but kaunti na lang kayo

Ako sasabihin ko na I am a Filipino but I have reservations
When I was a teenager hindi ako tumatayo ‘pag Lupang Hinirang
ngayon tumatayo na kasi napapaaway ang mga kasama ko sa sinehan
Yes and identity should be critically assessed and examined.
Kaya if they say Filipino ang mga Tausug masakit sa aking loob
But not all, kapatid. try mo pumunta sa Manila
Yung mga Moro na malalapit sa mga institusyon ng Pilipinas
Bakit iba ang Moro at ibang ang Tausug
kaya sila naging Moro at masaya na tawaging Moro 

May identity na naiiba sa Filipino
Pinag-aaralan ko rin yan and ino-observe ‘yung pag-yield sa 'Filipino'
‘Will give Filipinos a disservice
Because it is tantamount to be an accomplice to a corrupt system
And this system is the one that oppresses Muslims
At alam natin ang Tausug di lamang taga-Sulu
Pati Bisayan, Tausug din

As much as possible I am trying to make my writings 'away' 
Away from Filipino nationalism
That's the right way for me and my writing
I will ask first, “How it is to be human?” 
At super last na ang, “How to be a Filipino” 
And the Bangsamoro struggle is the greatest critique to the violence
And failures of Filipino nationalism

Ang problema kasi kaya di successful ang Bangsamoro struggle
Dahil nagdadala sila ng pangalan na di naman originally sa kanila
How come ang pangalan ko ay Abdul sa rights
Gagamitn ko ang Juan para sa aking bayan?
Kaya war of ideas ito and alam mo naman sa akin, ‘pag ideas 
And perspectives walang kompromiso and peace talks 

I do not compromise my language, my craft and myself, my writing
Filipino is an imagined nation, as well as Bangsamoro
Bakit di natin magamit ang orignal nation natin 
Na based sa Sulu archipelago and Mindanao
Yes, actually diyan ako papunta - papunta

Bakit hindi i-Bangsamoro-ized ang buong Filipinas?
It doesn’t mean na i-convert ang Pilipinas 
But the spirit, the struggle it should mean something to Filipinos
It should kasi ang dami na nagbuwis ng buhay
Kaya ko pa na tanggapin kung Maharlika

‘Yan ang gusto kong ma-achieve: Filipinos should listen to Moros
Siyempre marami pang madidiscover along the way
Indeed. Ikaw ba ‘pag sasabahin ko na ‘Tausug’ ano ang maiisip mo?
Tausug is Moro and Moro for me is something that predates 'Filipino'
But now, I would like to know the concept of “Lupah Sug”
I want to know it, I think there are more and beyond Moro on it

Before ‘Moro’ was named to Mindanao and Sulu people
It was first name to Aceh people, Melaka, Brunei and then Manila
Sulu and Mindanao were the last places to have been called the name ‘Moro’
Sulu archipelago was united under the name Sulu archipelago 
The name of people is Tausug. 
Tausug is composed of different ethnics:
Arab, Banjar, Dampuan, Buranun etcetera.
The concept of Sulu as part of dar al islam 
Is already a nation and state 
Where the government is the people and itself headed by sultan or raja

Yes, and I would like to feel this from the ordinary Tausugs when I get there
I would like to experience this from ordinary Tausug and on from place itself.
In the hinterland of Jolo, their laws still on the ground not of Philippine law

I believe in narratives
I want to hear and feel this from the place and from the people.
And then capture it; I have these thoughts 
That Lupah Sug has something that the Moro concept does not have
And it’s a bit metaphysical but sige lang.

I know my craft can capture it.
I think there is a language that can capture it 
And specific craft that can carry its soul
Not fictionalize but put it in a form like a novel or a narrative
Which have their own logic and truths as crafts.

This poem is made after the conversation and sharing with Filipino writer Rogelio Braga who also serves as the editor of the poem. He is currently in Mindanao, travelling and writing; he will then proceed to Sulu Archipelago soon. 2:28PM, 19 March 2013, Facebook Chat across Sulu Sea!

Copyright © Neldy Jolo | Year Posted 2013

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Where do we come in

Where do we come in
					in medias res  not knowing nor caring when
doesn’t everybody pine being number one we leave behind our lives in pages  pictures  or else make for images of what we saw dreamt of as part of our lives in marble  stone  rock  twisted metal  scrawled hieroglyphics of the tortured deserting mind do we have to leave then or when or do we strain for more  ours and others
lives in one vista of the whole on the tele they are playing games   plentiful games  rubber boats  caves and scaly cardboard mountains in gluey-glossy plastic colours each team was flown in on the sponsor’s purse each team member  tailored for each part  sporting spotted crocodile scales  bunny tails  blown butterfly ears  bearhair streaming down from head to toe in a brownish hugging fur hue before and after  the sponsor’s exclusive breaktime slot invited guests clapping deaf on peak dinnertime  and for millions and millions of others relaxing at home  or maybe standing leaning against the open door or lolling on sofas  sweetmeats within reach of crawling fingers  highballs in handsafter lush juices streaking down protein-heaped plates turned to a gravy curd on the low table that the au pair would remove before the programme end   while the prize board chalked hundreds of thousands  for those who merely did nothing else other than have themselves a ball
      in whose stomach-holes do the golf balls sink  	

	the postman in the morning brings in the Waste Industry’s thick envelopes stuffed with multi-coloured magazines together with ball-points with your name inscribed as though you were to be called on to affix your signature to international treaties that last only as long as the ball-point would that is to say three and half days if you use it only twice your name and add elegantly embossed on handsome stickers asking for handouts with glorious recall of their efforts for the poor the sans abri the diabetics the heart-stricken the spastics the handicapped the endless medical research for cancer how many million times can research be duplicated and all those lush colours in deluxe printed covers  if only they could print a poem for some poet without a literary agent every time they send out a bulging envelope  you give to one and the whole damned carnival is at your door cymbals clanging voices hymning every week of the year  year in and year out they send you their mag with professional photos of dying but well-fed sick forsaken-looking children posing from Ethiopia India Costa Rica ha the Rich Coast what you give in return cannot cover the cost of stamps after a mere stream of au secour calls for oeuvres caritatives during a period of weeks or months  
	in whose sick souls do the golf balls sink
what are they doing so wonderful that is not like the blaring blazé voice of the compère on the tele on a Saturday evening primetime show who gets paid in the hundreds of thousands just because he’s a celebrity and all the made-moi-selles in the front row with tongues lolling would at the slightest glance be ready to lick their hands  a tincan Saturday night chivalrous mounted charger whom the hebdomadaire hounds write pages and pages about their visits to any old place what they wear which senorita worshipping at their lapels  so often that people don’t look at their faces anymore for they know every feature by heart every trait every dimple and pimple  
in whose brain holes do the golf balls sink
right round the year shine tennis stars  the same faces jumping up and down the ATP  grunting and swearing after balls that bounce out and away from their needless hands their eyes straining beyond all measure of human endurance  each ball they hit virtually a hundred dollar bill  and when they are pushed down in the ATP list by the fresh teens buoyed by muscle tyre-lessness  there’s always the clowning in the rigged up exhibition matches or the doubles or mixed doubles Man and John  Yan and JM to take the laugh out of the bounce in the yo-yo ATP also-ran list
	in whose psyche-holes do the golf balls sink 
what do they send in the post to the directors of the beggars’ opera  what do popstars contribute they who sell the I heard that classical melody song on bandaid to millions and get gold in return infinitely more than they can use   who filled the paupers’ grave with Mozart  who gives a thought to the lonely pilfered Cervantes but the Sancho of his delirium
in whose a-holes do the golf balls sink
was that MJ gyrating grabbing his crotch in a spacecraft  the decor specially ordered and paid for   for the nonce  what did it cost  what’s the cost of an Ethiopian peasant Indian meal a day  uncooked corn or flour douzed in tinned or dried milk  the surplus waste of white markets  all above-board of course   eaten out of rusty discarded worm-twirling tins and cans and shells of infested coconuts
	in whose dream-holes do the golf balls sink  
	where do the directoires of the beggars’ opera dine what do they **** on  and how often do they sup together in the name of the needy all over the romping world  do they wine themselves while gobbling on foie gras caviar shark’s fin and pheasant or is this an impudent question  you the charity-mongers
   so here we come in   
in medias res
	it ain’t mon problème that the needy can’t ask but in the street   i’m not the conscience of the world  the grapes of wrath  the martyrised conscience of the common Indian patting tortias on the mud patch a strong people don’t need a strong man how do you make a people strong if not with tortias and chilli con carne  are they still strong where Zapata left only his riddled body in straw sandals  has the Indian peasant still enough fight left in him where drug cartels rule a kingdom where ideals hardly thrust up on reefers
follow the golf balls and squirm jumping up and down in a squirting frenzy on the mons veneris
© T. Wignesan –Paris, 1997  From the collection (revised) : longhand notes (a binding of poems), 1999.

Copyright © T Wignesan | Year Posted 2016

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I Would Be---WOOD

                                           "I Would Be....WOOD"

   "Knock On Me!" or more correct "Knock On WOOD!" You've probably said that and rapped your knuckles against me while saying it! I know you've knocked on me many times in your life for I am your front door, back door, side door, closet door and every door in your house!
    I originate as a seed in the Earth! I start out in life as a fully grown tree! Tall, stately, solid and something for every eye to see! I am Oak, I am Elm, I am Pine, I am Redwood! I am aromatic Cedar! Yes, like those Cedars of Lebanon that Solomon used to build the first Tabernacle! I have been used to make rafts, canoes, boats , and one of my shining glory's was when I was made into an Ark by a man named Noah and I was with he and his family for 40 days and 40 nights of some very heavy rains!....Yes, I was there! 
    I was made into a Trojan Horse and am forever in history! George Washington, yes the first President of these United States, had a mouthful of me! Yes, he had wooden dentures! Imagine that...made of "WOOD!"

    I do have many descriptive names! I am Mahogany, Teak, Birch, Knotty Pine! I am Bamboo, Plywood and Balsa! I am your furniture, your houses, both the inner and outer frames! You walk all over me for there I am again.....your floor! 
    I am firewood! Bonfires and fireplaces burn so much brighter when I am added! That's the other thing...when Fire and I combine, there is not much any one can do to stop us from growing and spreading! It can be controlled though by a lot of Water!  In alchemy I am considered the parent of Fire and the child of Water! There's even a type of alcohol named after me!

   "How much "WOOD" could a WOOD chuck chuck.....!" I know you've heard that one about me too! Although I have wondered how much he could!....and another thing...What's a chuck?" 

    I'm everywhere! I am in cars, jewelry, personal products! If you use a pencil, your using me! When you're writing on paper there I am in another version! I am sticks, staffs, bows and arrows! 

    Get this....before other materials were used I was used to enclose deceased human beings in boxes made from me and then put back into the earth where I originated from! Imagine that! I was into recycling before any one really knew what recycling was!

   I am everywhere! Everywhere you look you will see me! 

   Pirates used to make people walk a plank of me and fall into the ocean! I had nothing to do with that! Sometimes they'd toss me into the ocean when through!

   I am really into music! I am acoustic guitars, violins, bass fiddles, pianos, drums and flutes! I was the original drum!

   Basketballs dribble on me all the time! I am bleachers, I was the original football goalposts and the original baskets for basketball! Yeah, I'm into sports! Baseball bats, hockey sticks, cricket bats.

   If you've ever had me for a splinter, you've never forgotten me or how I got there!

   The Wright Brothers flew a craft made out of me at Kitty Hawk! It was a successful flight! Howard Hughes flew a version made also out of me! He only flew the "Spruce Goose" once but we did fly! When they went to "METAL" I was shut out of the aircraft business! I don't think anyone wants to fly in a wooden plane anymore!

   I was even used in a Crucifixion once for three people at the same time! The One in the middle must've been somebody really special! I heard I was made especially for Him! I was made into a Cross! A "WOODEN" Cross! I heard that after they took Him off of me, they put Him in a stone tomb and three days later they couldn't find Him! He was up and gone! Good for Him because I didn't care for being used like that in the first place! He and I are like One! He and me...a "WOODEN" Cross!

So I've been here for a very long time! I've seen it all, done everything and been everything else included! I've been in this life since forever and will be here evermore!
Knock on your nearest door and say hello to me!
I Would Be ....."WOOD!"

WTA-IV  3/30/2016


Copyright © Walter T. Ashe | Year Posted 2016

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I used to pass an empty house 
On my way home from school
I was only ten years old then
I heard that older people lived
But I never saw them.

Found old photos 
Showed them to Dad
Where’d you get them he asked?
Found them in the old house I said
Then he and mother spoke 
In the privacy of their bedroom 
I saw the shadows of their arms 
And point toward my room 
This was the 1950’s
Times were different
And some things 
Were just never talked about. 

When the old house was torn down
I went inside
To look
And to explore
Kicking an odd piece of dirt
The soft rotted wood moved
And something flipped up
Some as big as my leg.
But it was the damp smell of decay
That I remembered
Even at that time
When anything new 
Was always exciting
This was different
I had not experienced anything like this before
But I would years later
Ten years later
A decade to wait.

I was In Country
Two tours
Separated from my group
Never found
Missing in action
But really I’m dead 
Been like this for years
All that’s left
Of me 
Are bone fragments
Part of a femur
And a scratch of faded cloth 
Scattered over a vast green landscape
At the edge of a jungle.

Occasionally I hear digging sounds
Not the heavy shovel kind
But a gentle probing
Of earth 
Someone intent on finding something 
But not wishing to disturb
They haven’t found me
So I still wait.

I never got used to the damp smell of decay
But just the same I take solace
In that smell
Because it reminds me of
Long ago
When I was just a schoolboy
Coming home.

Copyright © Edmund Siejka | Year Posted 2010

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Why Worry

Why worry your life away when you can pray
It was a revelation when I heard that one day
I use to worry and end up with sleepless nights,
I finally woke up, and smell the roses and realize
I was losing the fight.

I worry about my finances, family, and future,
Not understanding it’s not my part to play.
Then my heavenly father made a promise to me
That he will take care of my worries every day.

But the one and only thing I was asked to do
And do it with all my might. Cast all my cares
Burdens, and fears, then trust him to see 
Me through. 

Life is too precious it’s a free gift from God
Why worry but live life to the full.
Don’t worry over matters, that you and I can’t change,
It’s not worth it in the long run, to be all filled with rage.

I finally decided through thick, and thin
Though I may worry for a short moment, 
Christ still lives within. I quickly come to
 My senses and cast down negative thoughts,
I’m still in a human body, but the peace of
Mind Christ Jesus wrought. 

Don’t worry about a thing because every little thing
Will be all right. If our heavenly father looks after the birds 
Of the field. He’s longing, and waiting to take of me and you.

Copyright © Abraham L | Year Posted 2008

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Together Again

In this town of night, it's lit by a light, 
The sound of a loud, creaking gear and a wheel, 
It echoed as I walked.
But do I have an address? 
I cannot walk very well, my leg will not heal. 

Why was I born into this world? 
Why is my heart silver instead of gold?

I remember that person say "You are a special doll,"
Dancing and singing as he praised me over and over. 
Even now, I sing always,
He will not open his eyes, 
And sing about a sky of azure.

Why did I come to this Earth?
I'll only sing for eternity, waiting for rebirth.

Someday I'll sleep, 
Then go to where that person is. 
But my wish does not come true, 
I sing, live, 
And break in a red hue. 

Time passes, and I even forget songs,
I hurry to that place he sleeps.
While I drag my cracked body,
Drying my eye as it weeps. 

To the place where flowers connect the ocean, 
Now, I'll rest my weary head.
With that person.

My wish will come true, 
"It was fine, you lived once."
I heard that person's voice, 
It was nearby.
"Give me a chance!"

In my dreams, I heard the voice many times,
It resounds in my aching heart.
A peaceful light,
Envelopes me,
But I smile. 

I smile. 

Copyright © Frisk Carris | Year Posted 2014

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Excuse me while I Puke
I hear screams of virgins watching 
their innocence being tortured. 
I see flowers hiding in the shadows 
covering their eyes with shame. 
I smell the putrid odors, 
fuming from the stench 
of bush meat eating scavengers.
Forcing intimacy on cherubs and angels. 
I see abused women and children, 
giving up and dying because 
no one is looking for them.
I saw the First Lady of indifference 
at the mall caressing a Gucci collar 
for her little poodle dog.
I heard that birds still sing
and flowers still bud. 
Right now I cannot enjoy 
their contrite delight. 
My eyes are filled with blood. 
Is there anymore-
Bizarreness to be Ignored 
AS I puke.

Copyright © Vicki Acquah | Year Posted 2014

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Rest In Peace Grandpa

To: My Grandpa ~1918-2016~ Grandpa was sharp as a whistle up until the very end. Old age and time passing just took a toll on his poor body. Ninety eight sure is a long life to have lived. He was the second in generation. My father is the third, my brother is the fourth and my nephew is the fifth. What a legacy to leave for our family tree. Married over seventy years is definitely an inspiration and a great example of what true love really is. Grandma took care of him since the day of their wedding. Long life of love and sweet memories with children, grandchildren and great grandchildren to watch over as they grow up. Heart surgery about thirty years ago, and stayed healthy until the very end. Its a sad thing to see your grandpa deteriorating like he did. He had such a passion for the world of golf, and played up until he was ninety years old at the West Shore Golf Club. I heard that one time he shot his age! Always smiling and even though he was old, we could still hold a conversation with him. One of my fondest memories of him was how beautifully he could whistle. He carried a tune like a tiny bird full of life and contentment. Beautiful crystal blue eyes with his favorite cardigan sweaters from Land's End. Black slippers to keep his feet warm during the cold days of winter. A few silly memories we have are when he would ask us about how our lives are going he would always say, “Is that right?” in a silly way and knowing how much he really was interested in all of our well-being. A silly thing we remember about him is his favorite verse, “and how!”. I have never heard anyone say that phrase before so my siblings and I have always joked about it for years, in a silly way. His favorite drink scotch on the rocks. A loving husband creates a family with his wife, a wife takes care of him and their children, Ninety eight years is such a long life, His life created a balanced fulfillment. A loving father works hard to support, while nurturing six children out of love, the game of golf was his favorite sport, I bet he's shooting par from up above! A loving grandfather happy and proud, he created this wonderful family tree, his whistling created a soft tuned sound, and leaving four generations as a legacy. A loving great-grandpapa with smiles, all five of them enjoyed their visits, creating a sensitive life worthwhile, On the golf course, I wonder how many divots? We all want to thank you from below for all your kindness and caring rest in peace with your friends and family, and your granddaughter Karen. ~Date Written: March 6, 2016~ ~Written By: Laura Loo~

Copyright © Laura Loo | Year Posted 2016