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Long poem by Robert Nehls | Details

PAUL AND SARAH - PART TWO

Conditions were harsh out in Kansas,
For the children and Sarah and Paul.
Neighbors and friends packed up and were gone;
Headed west they could hear fortune's call.
Never sure year to year of the harvest,
So their talents were traded and sold.
Sarah a seamstress, Paul made his knives,
And they spent them like silver and gold.

Fourteen years worth of lessons in Kansas. 
God had always provided their needs.
They trusted in him for direction,
And would willingly go where He leads.
They wanted the best for their children,
Where nature's a little more tame.
Destiney's hand reached out once again.
Opportunity shouted their name.

The Pacific Northwest urged them onward.
Where there's timber and culture and schools.
A talented blacksmith would thrive there.
Sarah had visions of fashions and spools.
They drifted through dreams for their children;
Better teachers and schools, books stacked high,
And a chance to pursue their own future.
Spreading their wings and learning to fly.

To strive and succeed is a blessing.
Fanning flames of creativity.
Possibility coupled with freedom.
Oh, this beautiful land of the free.
For all that have dreams to enlighten,
Where they'll find their true calling and grow.
Expanding on gifts God has given, 
And nothing to stifle the flow.

They sold what they could, packed up the rest,
And were headed out west on the train.
America opened her heart once again,
With her treasures and spirit to gain.
Not sure of the place they would settle.
God would show them the way, this they knew.
Seattle, Tacoma, Portland or where?
Each mile they traveled, hopes and dreams grew.

Mother nature poured out warmth and beauty,
And Oregon welcomed them home.
Overwhelmed with her glory and splendor.
No need to go further or roam.
Bought a place by the city of Portland.
Opportunity seemed to be there.
Some land, a few buildings, a cabin.
God had led them and answered their prayer.

Sarah enrolled the children in school.
They cleaned up the cabin and land.
Traded dresses and knives for things they would need.
And set about doing all they had planned.
Paul hung a big sign outside his shop.
"BLACKSMITH FOR HIRE, KNIVES CUSTOM MADE."
Didn't take long for his skill to known.
Inventor, an artist, they called him, "The Blade."

The loggers and miners would bring broken parts,
And request special tools to be made.
Paul met every challenge with passion and skill,
And a spirit that never would fade.
Each job had a lesson and Paul wrote them down.
And would think about ways to improve,
Hardening, friction, balance and wear,
Then built them to see what a field test would prove.

Neighbors and friends had repairs to be made,
On implements, wagon parts, hinges and tools.
Matthew, Paul's son, would work after school,
And learned that a blacksmith was no trade for fools.
But the fire and anvil, hammer and steel,
Brought a joy he would not be denied.
He made the repairs like a smith twice his age,
While observing his father who worked by his side.

They had to expand to meet the demand.
And they hired a couple more men.
Paul kept creating for customer's needs,
Hired some more and expanded again.
His blades weren't forgotten but set to the side,
Too busy to give them much thought.
His creative talents had never been lost.
He followed the rainbow in search of the pot.

Sarah rented a shop in the city,
Called it the, "Huckleberry Boutique."
Designing clothing beyond the normal;
Made for the boldest and for the meek.
She hired a clerk and three seamstresses.
Was a favorite with women and girls.
Her daughters would wear her creations,
With drapes, pleats, ruffles, flowers and pearls.

Paul raised up the flag every morning.
And the years just went trickling by.
They were grateful for all God had given.
Read from the Bible and didn't know why,
They'd been blessed with so many fortunes.
Their home and family, business and friends.
The children were now off to college.
The circle of life and love never ends.

Mary had hopes of being a writer,
Of people and places, worlds not what they seem.
Martha had worked with her mother for years,
A fashion designer was her greatest dream.
Matthew had learned his father's trade well,
And he wanted to be an engineer.
Invent and design for the loggers and mines.
A fine family business, a noble career.

In time the children were settled in life.
Mary wrote stories and sold quite a few.
"Huckleberry Fashions," was thriving;
Martha now at the helm, the company grew.
And Matthew returned to his father.
Engineering degree, his dues had been paid.
He took over the business and loved it,
And freed up some time for his father, "The Blade."

Paul and Sarah had time on their hands.
And they knew what they wanted to do.
There were poor, unfortunate souls reaching out,
To the churches for shelter and food.
With compassion and love for their neighbors,
They would share God's sweet bounty with them.
And help them to reach their goals and their dreams,
While freeing themselves from poverty's hem.

There were businesses all around Portland,
That would also be happy to share.
The churches united, a great common cause.
There was guidance, training, housing and prayer.
A scholarship fund was created,
And watched over by Sarah and Paul.
Volunteers vowed allegiance and honor.
"SPREAD YOUR WINGS SUPPORT GROUP," stood very tall.

The Board of Directors and all those involved,
Gave their smiles, compassion and heart.
No one expected a salary or wage.
Brushstrokes creating a fine work of art.
A foundation with nothing to gain,
But the blessings that God has to give.
Helping others to reach for abundance.
Then passing it on so others may live.

Paul made his knives when he had some free time.
Gave them as gifts to family and friends.
Sarah designed just for fun now and then,
And followed the industries fashions and trends.
They were thankful for all of God's blessings,
Independence and dear Liberty.
Where all have a chance to make dreams come true.
Oh, this beautiful land of the free.





Copyright © Robert Nehls | Year Posted 2016

Long poem by Zachary Alvstad | Details

Xenophobia pt 1

TITLE:
       Xenophobia

Heed the warning
This isn't for the faint of heart
Verbalizing my deepest yearnings 
They're bound to be a bit tart...

Because where I'm from is called the Bible Belt
Where folks in queues to catch the garter belt
Where peoples dreams take constant pelts
And kids psyches be full of welts
From parents saying, "the sky's the limit!"
Then they grow up and only hear about limits...

Get real kid, this is how it's always been
You hear that? That's the worlds smallest violin
I swear sometimes I can feel the world spin
Like, if we don't change now... When?
Used to be paralyzed by the illusion of sin
Poked my comfort zone with a safety pin
Don't let 'em steal your heart like the man of tin
I made it out by the hair of my chin

Growing up, my favorite question was "Why?"
23 years later I can't quit asking "Why?"
Why? Why? Why? Whyyyyy?
Sigh... I just can't turn a blind eye
Imitation is suicide, rather die than comply
Curiosity'll make my brain pop, 1,000 p.s.i.
9,000 miles from home lookin' at the same blue sky,
Thinkin', It's crazy how one decision can change your life

Day to day nothing seems to change
Then looking back nothing seems the same
Where did all the time go?
You really do reap what you sew... 

***********************************************
Maybe I bite off more than I can chew
I'm just trying to broaden my view
I'm just trying to learn something new
In hope of reaching heights visited by few
Yeah, I definitely bite off more than I can chew
But someday I'll reach heights visited by few
So I'll keep musin' 'til I become the Muse 
************************************************

Let me share some thoughts from abroad
I'm currently chillin' in Asia on Cambodian sod
The way the world's been portrayed is 100% facade
The American Dream... Aka the American Fruad
Blindfold your brain, here comes the firing squad

Day by day, I feel my prejudices melt
I can't put a finger on some things I've felt 
But I'll always accept the cards I've been dealt
Cause I'm the dealer...

Hit me.

Only brought one bag, traveling light
Do I own things or do they own me?
Less is more, it's black & white 
That's old wisdom, Linear B
Who's to say what's wrong or right?
I guess in time we'll see...

Don't know if I'm lookin' for somethin'
Or if I'm runnin' from somethin'
Both, Either way the answer's within
I can't lie I miss home now & then
But Ima keep runnin' until who knows when

Been gone nearly 6 months, quite awhile
What's home? I haven't found it yet
Slidin' thru these countries like socks on the tile
Learning so many lessons from people I've met
Like, Did I really choose my lifestyle?
Or, was it chosen from a finite set? 
Single file, line's longer than the Nile
The world's a lot different than on the TV set...

Don't go there, someone might kidnap you
Or kill you, mindset courtesy of the news
Come take a walk in someone else's shoes
And see how the U.S. of A is viewed
I think you might be amused...
The bad guys... Who's who?
Your nationality, did you choose?
Your religion, did you choose?

We all have the same inherent desires 
To be loved, understood and cared for
To have food to eat and some attire 
a roof over our head, that's all that's at the core

Imagine one lives the exact same life as me 
But he was raised without Christianity
He's damned for eternity?
because of our incompetency
to realize & manifest universal equality...?

Other advocates believe their story's infallibly true
Same way you talk about yours 'til your cheeks turn blue
Older generations think we need to get a clue
The irony is, We inherited this world from you
You told us most of what we thought we knew
So don't be mad when we try to start anew
And we challenge everything you said was taboo
Because history seems like never ending déjà vu
Sit back, relax, and forget what you're used to
Because it's our turn to lead the coup
Honing my foresight on when my child will be two
I wanna be someone he'll be able to look up to
I wanna leave a world where he won't just make do
To fit in he won't need a pair of $100 shoes
And instead of war we'll use our words & peruse
You going to wake up or hit snooze?
What's your excuse?
Honestly, what do we have to lose?

***********************************************
Maybe I bite off more than I can chew
I'm just trying to broaden my view
I'm just trying to learn something new
In hope of reaching heights visited by few
Yeah, I definitely bite off more than I can chew
But someday I'll reach heights visited by few
So I'll keep musin' until I become the Muse
************************************************

Times are changing Mom & Dad
Global consciousness shift, this isn't just a fad
Growing up our world was much different than yours
Surf the Internet and check anythings source
We won't sit back and let things take their course
It's simple, you want me to code it in Morse? 

. . . _ _ _ . . . 

Boy, why's your writing gotta be so coarse?
Uhh... Why do half of marriages end in divorce?
It shouldn't be a chore
Neither side thinks their the source
Did you forget about all those scriptures you endorsed?
All those Sunday morning worships you enforced?

What if time was our currency?
and we fostered self-ésteem?
What if it was as easy to be nice
As it is to be mean?
What if the forest was church?
And the universe was our God?
What if our prayers were meditation?
And no one told you who to laud... 

Maybe we aren't content with kneeling to pray
Maybe we want to put our actions into play
Instead of asking "someone" to allay our dismay
Man, These days a lotta things seem like display
Ostentatious piety, I see thru that like an x-ray
Look, I'm just sayin' what y'all are scared to say
Let's stop all the bleeding... Vitamin K
And show love like it's always Valentine's Day...

Copyright © Zachary Alvstad | Year Posted 2015

Long poem by Justin Bordner | Details

Operation Money Jump

Thanksgiving, 1971,
a parachute pilgrim approaches Northwest Flight 305
as Dan Cooper, anonymous businessman,  anarchist airborne, 
black suit, black sunglasses, a black tie
and a black briefcase broaching black motives,
Portland to Seattle, prison or criminal pantheon, 
before he can be inducted into purgatory, or the Valhalla of antiheros
the unknown villain of a quiet cause
got buckled into the last row of the 727
stealth as painless sin
cold bluish clouds smearing the November sky during ascent
as though flying through the palette of a sad Cezanne
while low volume, buttery jazz tinkered on the plane's airwaves,
as the Stewardess handed him his bourbon soda
Mr. Cooper placed a neat note in her hand with polite moxie,
she took it with salted style, uninterested in a comeon,
moments later, struting to the rear with applepie aplomb
the quaint stranger, sunglasses removed, needed her to heel,
to him she came, ready to reject his appeal,
however, there would be no ripe rejection on this special day,
her eyes of professional pity were met with his slow burning stare
as he informed her with untroubled insistence
that he had a bomb, and that she needed to read the note
without visible alarm,
reading the demands made her feel excited
she instantly felt sweat in so many places,
she knew she'd give no resistance, 
she wanted to cooperate,  for everyone's safety, 
briefly speaking with another Stewardess
she entered the dark cockpit,  danger in her hands,
there was going to be no argument
the stipulations were going to be satisfied
in exchange for safe landing and undamaged life,
returning to this man she'd never understand
who had the power to spontaneously change lives, she sat by him,
the plush red seats made her feel so warm
while sitting next to his insanely calm authority, 
it seemed as though he owned them all
the passengers, the crew, and aircraft,
the skyjacker opened his briefcase as if it's contents were sacred
showing her the parts of his lunatic design
then quickly, carefully, closing the shock box,
his eyes went back to the window
the view giving him vignettes of what he knew as Vietnam, 
the mountains and divided greens, the mischievous mists,
she asked him, "Do you have a grudge against Northwest?",
to which Mr. Cooper replied with wry correction, 
"I don't have a grudge against your airline Miss,
I just have a grudge. "
Upon landing in Seattle at 5:PM
the innocent and uninformed travelers exited the plane
onto the slick tarmac, untarnished and untraumatized,
oblivious to the epic history that was being fuelled in part
from their supporting roles on this Thanksgiving flight,
the F.B.I. and airline owners were playing nice
like cats whom wanted the amusement and the ambush,
Cooper was given four, nonmilitary parachutes as requested, 
and $200,000 in twenty dollar bills
unmarked, random serial numbers, also as requested, 
although, to help make sure that the "House" would win
all the money came from the Reserve Bank of San Francisco
with every bill number begining with "L" , and issued in 1969,
a little trick for the devil himself,
less than two hours had elapsed since takeoff from Portland
yet the hijacker was well on his way to meeting his ultimate objective,
each of his goals fitting together with precision
like watch parts keeping time of a fragile freedom,
after receiving the 21 pounds of illicit cash
giddy with blushing banditry,
intoxicated by the scent of fresh money harvest
Cooper did a jumpy Irish jig
out of view of snipers and cameramen, 
nightfall was dimming the stage
as the abyance of audacity amplified everyone's anxiety
including Cooper, who for the first time
exhibited a snakey irritation
during the ponderous refuelling of the jet,
he could taste the escape,
only he and the flight crew remained aboard,
at 7:36 PM the plane was lifting into a lawless legend
and the law was left clueless on the land,
heading to Reno so to refuel for Mexico
taking the final puff of his last cigarette
like a fugitive at peace with fate
he told the Stewardess that she was sweet
and that it was time for her to go,
to go up front to the pilots and close the door,
a thousand fantasies flew through her mind,
she felt attached to him
as though he were a nightmare that she needed,
turning around to see him again
to see that face which witnessed her heart change
while securing the parachute to himself
his eyes spoke to her's with excited fear,
and then waved her goodbye as she closed the door,
shortly afterwards he instructed the pilots
through the intercom to maintain at 10, 000 feet,
release the cabin pressure,
adjust the wing flaps to 15 degrees
and to fly no faster than 200 MPH,
he left the black tie with Mother of Pearl tie pin
on the seat of his former self
and then proceeded to the plane's rear stairway
as a paratrooper prepared to meet perdition, 
the weight of his crime tight against his body,
in the cockpit
where speculation was spinning on their nerves
the pilots saw the red glow of emergency
from the panelboard indicating stairway open,
as D.B. Cooper stood braced to the lowered stairs
freezing wind icing his mouth and eyes
he thought about how his Uncle
15 years earlier inspired his curiosity for skydiving
and how the U.S. Military should be proud of his proficiency, 
he recognized the Lewis River through a cloud break
and then hurled himself like a hawk
into the dropzone of America's elite outlaws -

J.A.B.

This poem is based on the true story of "D.B. Cooper",
whom has never been caught for the 1971 skyjacking.
He escaped with $200,000. Other than $5,800 being discovered
along the Columbia River by a family camping in 1980
the F.B.I. has found no more of the money, nor his body,
parachute, clothing, etcetera. 
In 2016 the F.B.I. finally closed the investigation
on "Dan Cooper"...Justin A. Bordner

Copyright © Justin Bordner | Year Posted 2016

Long poem by Donal Mahoney | Details

America Wasn't So Bad Back Then

We have something in common, a fellow I talk to now and then. We’re about the same age and perhaps the only ones in the diner who think our past lives are interesting. So when the two of us shoot the bunk over coffee, it’s amazing that two men who sometimes can’t remember much about yesterday remember a lot about the past. But the past sometimes shines a light on the present and the lives we lead today. 

It’s no secret there’s a movement on by some to make America “great" again. My friend said when he was young, America, despite its problems, was not so bad. And despite its problems today, it’s still not so bad. Witness all the people who want to come here, he said. Who can blame them?

I told him I never thought about America being great until the recent election. I simply thought America was the only country in which I would want to live, both as a young man looking for work and as someone now retired because of the opportunity I found in America. 

There were problems along the way, at least three of them quite memorable, all of my own making. But no need to go into those. I think what my friend Duane had to say is more interesting. 

He still gets letters and notes from old high school classmates, class of ‘64. Some of them even use a computer and know how to send emails. He’s been their friend for 67 of his 71 years. Any note, letter or email, he said, makes life in a wheelchair easier. 

One of his first high school memories happened during the Korean War--collecting metal and bringing it to school. Mrs. Lydia Rayburn (all names changed to protect the innocent and guilty) would take the metal to Herman Ladd's junkyard and sell it. She’d use the money to buy gifts for wounded soldiers and their families. She herself was a war widow from World War II. 

It was a great day, Duane said, when the Korean War ended. And it was a war, he reminded me, not a conflict. I couldn't disagree but my war memories preceded his. I was in grammar school during WWII, too young to be drafted for Korea. I was one of the lucky ones as was my friend also too young for Korea. 

Duane remembered everyone in his school getting under their desks during nuclear drills....as if being under a desk would keep them safe from radiation. 

And he remembered being in Mr. Claybourn's class when Sputnik was launched and being in Mr. Taylor's class when Alan Shepherd took his flight. Everyone in class cheered when the trip went well. 

He recalled vividly a striking young president who stood bareheaded and read a speech that called the nation to greatness. It was a far different time than now and the call to greatness meant something different, Duane said, than what we hear today. The call seemed noble then, he said. We agreed that whatever the call to greatness is today the word noble doesn’t seem to fit. 

The civil rights struggle came to Duane's small hometown when his high school was integrated in the fall of 1962. He told me proudly there was not one fight, not one walkout, not one act of civil disobedience ruining that transition. In fact, he and his classmates learned something about dignity and patience from their Black classmates although no one mentioned it at the time. 

I was able to relate to that because in 1953 I was a sophomore in Chicago high school called to assembly a day before the semester started. It had been an all-white boys school and the principal told us there would be three Black freshmen joining us the next day. There were no gasps, not even when the principal issued a warning I will never forget. 

“Bother them,” he said, “and expulsion is immediate.” 

No one bothered those three young men who broke the color barrier in 1953 and the school today is thoroughly integrated and thriving. Most graduates move on to college and do well in life as the alumni newsletters attest. 

In high school the Cuban Missile Crisis also bothered Duane. His fellow students were upset, and many folks in his town thought the End of the World was near. There was a sigh of relief when the Russians backed down and removed their missiles from Cuba.   

But most of all, Duane was shaken by the death of that young president, John F. Kennedy, who had called the nation to greatness in his inauguration speech. 

Another student, Annabelle Jones, was in a car with her boyfriend the day President Kennedy was shot. It was after the lunch break when she told Duane President Kennedy was dead. 

Duane and his classmates were broken, for want of a better word, as was the nation. He doesn't remember Americans ever being as optimistic again. 

I told him his experience after the assassination was the same as mine in Chicago. I agreed as well that Americans alive at that time and still alive today have never been the same. Their lack of optimism may have trickled down to the generations that followed. Hard to tell. 

Duane said that despite the assassination, his graduation day was wonderful. The sad thing is he has never seen some of his classmates again. He cherishes the ones he does hear from, the ones who come to reunions, and the ones who visit him now and then. All the years roll away in spite of the wrinkles and infirmities. 

At every reunion they’re kids again talking as fast as they did back in high school. They’re still afraid that if they don't say it, it won't get said.  

He and his classmates turned out to be who they are because of who they were in that small school. Their teachers and their parents made certain of that. 

For many in his generation and mine, that seems to be true. We both wish we knew a way to pass the formula forward to the students of today. They are the ones who will have the most to say about how great America is in the future, far more, Duane and I agreed, than those doing all the talking about it today. 


Donal Mahoney

Copyright © Donal Mahoney | Year Posted 2017

Long poem by Anthony Amero | Details

Being American

I live in America, as in the United States of America, and that used to mean something. At least to me it did. And it’s not so much in how I was raised but in how I was couched by my country. While I was never one to really fall into the “mom, apple pie, hot dog and baseball” America ideal, I did believe in the land of the free and the home of the brave, where all men are equal and rights for all men. And I still do believe that ideal. Yet this country of mine keeps despairing me as I continually see a degradation of those ideals over the last fifty years. And I have this following theory.


We are a melting pot of all societies and prided ourselves on accepting everyone. But take a look at that for a minute. Look at Europe and Africa and their history for a minute, I did. Throughout recorded history Europe and Africa kept all religious and racial differences segregated in their different countries, or areas, and fought each other over ideological differences and over the generations a deep-seated, in-bred hatred developed for each other developed. Wars were begun for the simple act of mingling with other races or religions. This is fact, look it up. Now flash-forward to the new country, America, with its open borders accepting the oppressed, where all flocked to start a new life. Now you’ve got a huge influx of natural enemies flooding a nation and now they are supposed to just drop their in-bred prejudices? Play nice after centuries of discord? But for the Civil War, I’m surprised we haven’t erupted into total anarchy. But the whole point of this is that these people want to come here and keep their culture, their identity. I see no fault in that and don’t blame them, but that brings me right back to my original question, where, or more fundamentally, what, is it to be American?

I believe the original creators of the Declaration of Independence were visionaries. It bothers me at times to see various Facebook posts and other mentions of such things saying they were racist, or this, or that. I do believe there was a lot of that in many of the implementers of the document, but not really in the actual architects. Why do I believe that? Mostly for this statement: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”. And the 11th Article of the Bill of Rights confirms the Declaration thusly: “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people”. Yet in this country, just like in the mother countries of Europe and Africa, we suffered from racism and bigotry.  I believe this goes back to my theory of the melting pot of people who came to America. They couldn’t overcome their bigotry or racism or hatred just because they came over here, although some really tried. Yet I believe the architects of the Declaration were far-sighted enough to not try to create some sort of Utopia either, but rather a working, self-sustaining country that was governed by the people, for the people. The biggest problem as I see it was that it got too big … that’s not totally true. The biggest problem as I see it is politics and the “American Way”.


When is the last time you heard a politician run a campaign and only talked of the issues that concerned the people? I only see and hear them talk of negative things of their opponents. Why would I vote for anyone who tries to smear their opponent? How is that helping me or my neighbor? How is that serving the public good? How is that engendering trust? It’s not, in my opinion. And the “American Way”? Americans are far too smug, too fat and happy. There’s very little strife so we take way too many things for granted. Don’t believe me? This may seems simplistic and a little childish, but take your household chores for example. We live in a country where you can wash your dishes in hot water, can even use an automatic dishwasher, can even wash your clothes in an automatic washing machine and electric dryer. We have so many modern, electronic conveniences that it’s actually making us dumber. Don’t believe me? How many of you have lamented the young cashier at the convenience store who cannot make change unless the cash register tells them how much to give back? Basic skills are being eroded because of the useless conveniences we keep making in the never ending quest to make our American lives easier. It’s disheartening, really. Maybe it’s just me and progress really isn’t that bad, but I see proof everyday of the dumbing of America, and if you’re of a certain age I believe you see it, too.


So I see this huge country I live in, called America, filled with so many diverse people living in … harmony? I don’t know, I still see racial problems and still can’t figure out why. I have a very simple philosophy on life: while we’re not entitled to material things, every person is entitled life and respect to be who they are, so long as they do not intend to hurt others. And, for the most part, I’m happy enough and I am oh, so grateful that I live here, in America. I can say what I want, I can worship who I want – if I want – and I can aspire to become what I want, if I’m willing to work hard enough. And you can disagree with me, if you want. We have that freedom. Because we are living in America, and we are free. For now.


But I do worry about the future America and what it may devolve into.

Copyright © Anthony Amero | Year Posted 2016

Long poem by Mike Liquori | Details

Lincolns Lesson learned

                                  Hard driven by the embarrassment,
                                   His temper Flared bright in youth,
                         Grinded to sharpness by the glittering coin held tight,
                                     Handed to his Dad in fear,
                             Slavery is Poverty and vise versa to this day;
                                 The first lessons of the his earlier days,
                                  So Young Lincoln went upon his way, 
                     He flew the coup instead of hitting another nail into timber,
               Knowing that it was his coffin the spike driven into it would be sealing,
                             No more Kentucky hay to bail or seed to lay… 
                               No more indentured servitude for Lincoln,
                                         He swore to God that day,  
                                A Frontier Politician he set a due course,
                                 With vulgar temper and clerical repose,
                                  Dotted with Whiskey, furry and aloof,
                           Young Lincoln the Politic used his words to shred,
                             His rival list long, and he knew that they dread,
                            As he dispensed his paid for frontier limited view,
                        Castigating, name calling and even assailing mere men,
                                     His words were swords to slice,
                                      Fire breathed to incinerate,
                      Not the eloquence of a man upon hollowed temples walls,
                                      Young Lincoln set a course,
                                         That would so create,
                      A life’s lesson learned, but not from sharp worded debate,
                            He insulted the integrity of an immovable man,
                               James Shield a political rival of that date,
                                 Someone who needs to learn to heel,
                                     To the Lincolns law of the land, 
                           So a duel was proposed and Lincoln so dared,
                                     To accept the rival challenge,
                                      but only if he could prevail,
                                              Rules were set, 
                                           A duel to the death,
                             Long Sword chosen for his long tall reach, 
                                         His rival still undeterred,
                                 removed the sword from the sheath,
                               So Lincoln threw down a long wood log,
                    And said to Shield your honor will not allow you to retreat,
                                       What Lincoln did not know,
               Was Mr. Shield’s resolve to this matter and would never ever retreat, 
                                       No matter the circumstance,
                                        He will stand for his honor,
                                    In front of his own blood splatter,
                                      None of that seemed to matter, 
                                         The Duel set to begin,
                                         The middle man arrives,
                                         The Duel called off…

                          When Lincoln looked into Shield’s burning eyes,
                                         Lincoln sees a truth,
                                   Retreats into a five year slumber, 
                               Nursing his ego and calming all matters, 
                                Learning from errors and books galore,
                                  his embarrassed lack of education, 
                                      set a changed in his course,  
                         Learning the Lessons of Shield’s brave stand,
                                      Lincoln never left that day,
                                        And it never went away, 
                               Ignited an understanding of integrity, 
                                                 Honor,
                                              and glory,
                                    Of the righteous path to lay,  
                               But if you think he was born that way, 
                           It was a young Lincoln that had to walk away,
                                   He returned more than a man,
                                           A driven ideology,
                                       Knowing the path ahead, 
                           The future is not through a house divided,
                                          Falling upon itself, 
                                   But only together we can stand,
                                      One nation that is undivided.


  
ThePoetMike 

Copyright © Mike Liquori | Year Posted 2015

Long poem by Robert Nehls | Details

PAUL AND SARAH

He was born in backwoods Missouri.
1840 the year he arrived.
Conflict, sickness and hard times prevailed.
Through it all he grew strong and survived.
Skills to live were a gift from his father.
Faith in God from his mother each day.
Never taking his freedom for granted.
Understanding the price one must pay.

He quietly moved into manhood. 
With his siblings he stood sure and tall.
Proud to be part of his family.
Then, the young man heard destiny's call.
Not sure of the path to be taken,
But, he knew he must find his own way.
Calling on God's Divine guidance,
And His strength, love and joy for each day.

Well, for five years he worked in the mill, 
Preparing for what life will bring.
A wagon to build, horses to buy.
Then Sarah walked in and made his heart sing.
Sometimes, one can feel like a shadow;
Incomplete in an unfulfilled dream.
That's how it was for Sarah and Paul,
Till they flowed into one life stream.

Sarah's family were all back in Boston.
She left them to find, her own destiny.
Consumed by the pioneer spirit.
How she longed for the land of the free.
She made it as far as Missouri,
With a plan to move on further west.
Then Paul walked into her life and she knew,
That he'd become part of her quest.

She shared in his hope for the future.
More than willing to stand by her man.
To homestead some land out in Kansas,
Start a farm, raise a family, the plan.
An American flag and the bible;
Wedding gifts from Paul's mother, she cried,
"May God keep you safe in your travels."
His father looked on, full of pride.

They hitched up the team to the wagon,
Bid farewell to their family and friends.
Headed out, into unknown adventure,
Where America's dream never ends.
There were challenges met on the journey,
With a spirit that will not concede.
Swarming locust, dust storms, rivers to cross,
But, they knew where their victories lead.

They traveled through Kansas with hope in their hearts,
For a place where a family could thrive.
Where crops could be grown, a church and a school,
And a town that was fairly close by.  
They found peace in a county called Morris.
Felt like home with some trees and a stream.
Quarter section of land with some promise.
Here they'd build their American dream.

Sarah tilled up some ground for the garden.
Paul began to envision their home;
A cabin with walls strong and sturdy;
A pole with the flag his mother had sewn.
Neighbors came by to lend them a hand.
Soon the cabin was built safe and warm.
Sarah with child, Paul worked on the barn.
And they were secure from the storm.

Well, the days went by, as they surely do.
Then the weeks, and the months, and the years.
Three little children now ran through,
All their struggles, and laughter, and tears.
Paul raised up the flag in the morning.
And they read from the bible each day.
Grateful for all God had given them.
Before meals they held hands and they'd pray.

There was Mary and Matthew and Martha,
Their dog Bo with big ears and brown nose.
Sarah tended the garden and children,
Cooked the meals and made most of their clothes.
Each child was given chores to be done,
Learning honesty, friendship and pride.
Their Pa, a pillar of honor and strength.
And love, the wagon they all would ride.

Paul learned to farm, he planted the wheat,
And hoped for a high yield each year.
But nature can rip through the best laid plans,
Searching for options, it soon became clear.
The forge and the anvil sat waiting,
For the skill that Paul learned as a boy.
He had to provide for his children and wife.
And his knife making brought him such joy.

Between mending fences and planting,
Hunting and harvesting wheat that prevailed;
He worked in the shop with tools that he loved,
Making knives that his customers hailed!
"Nothing less than a fine work of art,"
"An extension of one's very hand."
But Paul ever humble, thanked God for his skill,
And kept working the steel and the land.

Neighbors helped neighbors in times of need.
Being friends reached beyond a passing hello.
They shared in the blessings God gave them,
Through fire and hail and hard driven snow.
While the children grew up with a purpose, 
And a love for this land of the free.
Knowing God is the source of their freedom.
We the People are given the key.

Paul and Sarah provided their family,
With shelter and clothing and food.
Safe from harm and the fury of nature.
Giving love that would always include,
Paul raising the flag in the morning.
Holding hands and a prayer for each meal.
Sarah reading them all bible verses.
Sunday worship to nourish and heal.

They had found their American Dream.
In the land and the friends they had made,
And the freedom to raise up a family.
To choose their own way, and the price to be paid.
From a distance it looks like survival,
But with God, it's a blessing indeed.
Life, Liberty, the quest for happiness.
Planting love as the ultimate seed.  




Copyright © Robert Nehls | Year Posted 2015

Long poem by Justin Bordner | Details

Grit And Guts On The Gridiron - 1

Mud and leather
dirt and nerve
bloodied laughter
collision to serve,
distance, drive and demolition
battle axe ambition in the wild air
muscle and mind joined in steeled instinct, 
a stitched pigskin ball, the grail of the Fall
to fumble it means spleen infamy
while intercepting it invokes Victory's voice,
in the huddle a plan is revealed firmly by the Field General
and the men move into attack formation
as the Defense swaggers with malice to menace the neutral zone,
the Quarterback becomes a hollering harlequin
inciting misdirection,  feigning action, teasing the tigers
suddenly the warword is exclaimed,  "Hut!"
the warzone is afire, bodies are banging
torn green turf spicing the nostrils
the sound of ripped jersey threads intones brute surge
metal facemasks scrape within frenzied scrimmage, 
spines in the audience stiffen in anticipation of vengeance
chop blocks and head slaps are underway
the Passer fakes pitch right and bootlegs left
Linemen begin to froth in a riptide to the flank
the Center neutralizes the Nose Tackle with leveraged strikes to the ribs
a rolling block by the Right Gaurd collapses the rabid Defensive End
as the Tight End belates a blitz
but suffers a forearm to the throat by a snarling Linebacker,
beyond the tumult of the titans upfront
the sprint and dash of leopards and lions is on,
well rehearsed and timed patterns are disrupted disrespectfully
in one on one pawing and punching
the Receiver is desperately defiant
as the Cornerback pursues him like a cold psycho,
the ball is launched in last second leadership
and it flies like a spinning rocket
the Quarterback takes a helmet to the jaw
no infraction, just a simple payment for the price of honor, 
through the flurried air the ball crests and cruises
coming down into the action with immaculate velocity
one target, two claimants
two strides, one prize,
a single step separates them from glory
the football finds the Receiver's flexed fingers
like a Lady's love bombshell
death itself could not wedge the catch
the score is his,
brought down to the earth
by a horsecollar tackle
the pain is sharp, the victory sure,

This was American football before the 21st century,
before the glitter and gimps
when gladiators roamed the torn grounds
and stood for their Nation's Anthem, 
I often think about, and admire
the men who sacrificed themselves
in order to make pro football a wonder throughout the world
the coaches and players who succeeded
in bringing a sophisticated and savage war into professional sport,
men like Red Grange who once said to kids,
"Football teaches you how to take a lick without crying about it,
and how to give one without bragging about too...",
I'm inspired by the 2 minute drill Johnny Unitas invented,
it's strategic efficiency and how it won championships,
Johnny's first pass in the NFL was a pick six againgst the Bears in '56
yet he believed in his arm and heart,
becoming a legitimate American icon,
while in the pocket, aiming for glory
Unitas was struck in the face by a Rusher's paw,
in the huddle his nose was gushing blood thickly,
his teammates were concerned for their leader,
Johnny scooped some mud off the field
and stuffed it into his nostrils telling his Center,
"Its alright baby, we're gonna score!",
Jim Brown, impossible to intimidate, 
he ran to be bold, he believed bruises were gold,
"Concrete Charlie" Bednarik laid out Frank Gifford
at the Polo Grounds in 1960 with a one arm death strike,
when Minnesota still had the balls to play outdoors
they procured the "Purple People Eaters" of the '70's,
cerebral and horned, harassing backfields demonicly,
getting to three Superbowls in fours years
the Viking were exorcised each time, never wining the trophy,
their Defensive Tackle Allen Page
is the only defensive lineman to earn the MVP Award
and after retiring became a Judge,
Lambeau Field, aka. "The Frozen Tundra"
is the Mecca of of pro football,  theater for a ruggid religion
it is the oldest, it is the fittest, 
green and gold are the colors of the pigskin sanctuary
and in it's open knave battle is celebrated, 
trailing the Dallas Cowboys 14-17 late in the 1967 Championship game,
Bart Starr, a stoic assassin,  and greatest Quarterback of all time,
with wind chills negative 40 degrees in Green Bay
told his coach Vince Lombardi that he could win the contest
with a QB sneak at the 1 yard line,
Starr stood behind his Center,
arms outstretched like a militant martyr, 
staring with serene lethality into Bob Lilly's burning eyes,
he took the snap, spearing himself forward into the savage den,
it was the "Ice Bowl", and its emblematic of self sacrifice, 
in 1972 the Miami Dolphins achieved the unimaginable, 
the perfect season, 17-0, their "No Name Defense"
and Running Back Larry Csonka,
more a killer whale than a dolphin
outsmarted, outpunched, and outscored everyone,
they will be forever undefeated, 

J.A.B.

Copyright © Justin Bordner | Year Posted 2016

Long poem by Gerald Dillenbeck | Details

EcoPolitics of DNA-ReProductivity

Imagine with me that A regenerates Adenine,
B reproduces  ConVex-Yang Uracil or Thymine,
depending on whether you are a plant or a person,
C bilaterally represents EchoConCave-Yin(Yin) Cytosine,
and D is for full-interelational fractal-view Guanine,
which acts strangely Dopamine Prime (0) TaoRelational.

Now let's take a bilateral Edward de Bono,
Vertical EgoSupremacist LeftBrain and Horizontal BothAnd EcoConscious RightBrain,
ride through George Lakoff's bicameral Moral EcoPolitical Mind.

"Morality is about right [and wrong] behavior,
behavior that leads to well-being
[and too Left or Right ego/eco-political pathology]."

"The metaphors for [positive/negative] morality
are grounded in a wide variety of [ecological/anti-ecological] experiences
of well-being [dopamine v pathology].
Each such [ego/ecological bilateral] metaphor
[appositionally] characterizes one idea
of what right [regenerative OVER degenerative, health OVER pathloogy] behavior is about;..."

"A brain is a physical [ego-Convex/eco-Concave] system.
It works by least-energy principles,
like any other [ecological-natural-organic] physical system.
Given two [or more] possibilities in a given [hypothetically-framed] situation,
it will take the least-energy [dissonant LeftWin-RightLose] path in that context.
That is called the 'best-fit' [Yang-ego/Yin-eco optimized resonance]property
of neural [Left/Right mirror bicameral-ecopolitical] systems."

"Suppose neuron A [Adenine WinWin function, +,+] 
is connected to neurons B [Uracil EgoConvex LeftDominant]
and C [Cytosine EcoConcave Yin-Right BothAnd Recessive].
B and C are mutually [appositionally] inhibitory;
the firing of one tends to inhibit the other to some extent,
depending on the strength of the [synaptic mirror-bilateral] firing."

"The large number of receptors at [Ego-Uracil-LeftDominant] B's synapse
will pick up more chemical [climate, landscape, bilateral-frame] input
(from neuro[-scripted-encultured-deep-learning]transmitters)
than the small number of [economic/political fertile-relational] receptors
at [EcoConscious Cytosine-ConCave-BiLateral] C's synapse."

"Now suppose that neuron C also takes input from neuron D 
[Divine Guanine-Dopamine, FullFractal holonic reproduction/regeneration],
and that the synapse on C [EcoConscious RightBrain Cytosine network-function],
where C links to D, has a lot of [ecological DNA/RNA-resonant] receptors....
Then [RightBrain Cytosine] C's probability of firing
and its strength of firing in that context
may be [appositionally] greater than [Ego LeftBrain Dominant] B's.
In that case
C will tend to fire and inhibit the [overshoot too-YangDominant Ego] firing of B.
[EgoCentric LeftBrain] Context [bicameral A through fractal D] matters [reproductively(+)/also decompositionally(-,-)appositional double-bind]."

"What is important is that such a situation can have political ramifications.
Suppose A, B, C, and D are not single neurons,
but rather complex [DNA/RNA-regenerative as notnot degenerative, WinWin as notnot LoseLose] circuits [bilateral networks] within conceptual [ecopolitical-ego-Left/eco-Elder-Rightlogical-normative] systems.
Suppose [EgoLeftConvex]B and [EcoRightConcave]C
characterize strict [LeftBrain Deductive-Conserving] and nurturant [RightBrain Inductive-Integrity] morality [as healthy v toxic, reproductive v dissonantly destructive] respectively--
the moral worldviews of general [Uracil B] conservatism
and general [Cytosine C] progressivism--
within the [double-bind, binary, binomial, bilateral, bicameral] brain
of a [bilateral, Edward de Bono] biconceptual,
someone who has both general [bicameral, Julian Jaynes] models structured
so that one [appositionally dipolar] inhibits the [overshoot of balancing fractal-feedback looping] other." (pp. 103-104, The Political Mind)

Suppose that your conservative health and safety survivalist mind and body consciousness
feels that Trump is to Hurricane EcoPolitical ClimateDisaster Earth
as Bush was to Hurricane Katrina;
saying he is listening to those abused and neglected
and acting like he is too comfortable with both.
In fact,
torture could be useful
for those who disagree too militantly.
And by useful
he means fertile
and regenerative
and reproducing true facts,
with which he is only tangentially acquainted,
RightBrain polypathic nutritional-potential repressed,
thereby transubstantiating the White House
into an EgoCentric-AnthroCentric Supremacist Asylum
from Earth's ReProductive Rights and DeComposing Wrongs.

Note to monochromatically challenged:
B = Red-Yang
C = Green/Blue-YinYin
A = UltraViolet DoubleBind Transparency Convex/Concave-Bilateral (0)rigin
D = Black/Brown FullOctave yet DualDark FractalFusion SpiralSource




Copyright © Gerald Dillenbeck | Year Posted 2017

Long poem by Chris Peers | Details

The death of innocence

Men with guns have always come from some poor mothers womb,
they were innocent kids who once played happily in their yards,
with no aspirations and yet to be tarnished by the world,
learning an obfuscated version of truth in the classroom.

Leaders of men are born out of society's frustration,
innocent boys can become greedy and power crazed men,
fulfilling the naive and unthinking of their desire to be governed,
carrying on with their heedless lives with a strange infatuation.

Killers in our streets and in countries they've never heard of,
innocence becomes tainted and men become idealists,
radicalized and propagandized by political media and religious authority,
killers killing men, women and children, they know nothing of universal love.

Men putting on costumes and killing people who are different,
blindly following orders and fighting for freedom and democracy,
massive bombs in the desert, people blown apart at a million dollars a head,
soldiers on the ground who can barely pay the rent.

Democracy and freedom mere buzzwords of selfish and ignorant patriots,
with many being intolerant, xenophobic and racist proudly waving a national flag,
and two faced Christians preaching love on Sunday and glorifying in death on Monday,
agent provocateurs infiltrate peaceful demonstrations, turning them into law breaking riots.  

Suits in congress and the White House determining lives and futures,
safe in their ivory towers and positions of imagined power,
we should put these policy makers on the front line and watch them cower,
and there's cowards in uniform who murder and slaughter from behind computers.

The men behind the curtain orchestrate their agenda thru their chosen leader,
puppet masters and policy makers free from liability and accountability,
narcissists and psychotics giving a voice from the unelected and unseen,
the hoi polloi are regarded as expendable and merely unnecessary breeders.

Every ten years or so, a new boogeyman comes out to scare,
leaders of the governed make promises to keep them safe,
slowly eroding rights and tightening up national borders,
spending trillions on warfare and hardly a dime on welfare.

True terror is understanding what this world is all about,
innocent eyes only see the superficial beauty of this world,
while experienced eyes see the ugliness that is within,
all around the world people are screaming to be let out.

Self serving leaders look to expand their temporary empires of artificial riches,
utilizing its armed to the teeth military to murder unarmed innocents abroad,
destroying histories and cultures and replacing them with expanding organisations,
replacing middle eastern infrastructures with emphasis on profit using slave bitches.

The people police themselves and have become willing citizens of self induced manipulation,
there's a kind of mass Stockholm Syndrome of the patriotic citizens of so called free countries,
defending their leaders selfish decisions while wanting a share of the spoils of war,
the founding fathers must be turning in their graves as selfish greed has withered a once great nation.
 
Children made orphans and mothers made widows by far off decisions,
the enlightened ones break it down and see it as people killing people,
a general or a warlord has got to be king of his small patch of grass,
while the apathetic watch the carnage safely in front of their televisions.

We now live in a society that openly assails the critical and free minded intellectual,
people hiding behind their comforting lies and crying like a baby over inconvenient truths,
political correctness and the nanny state providing a tit to suckle saying you're safe with us,
while the millennials despise being labeled or judged and to be recognized as asexual.

The world is divided by nefarious political parties promoting freedom and choice,
setting up media outlets to emphasize their disapproval of the opposing parties stance,
while behind closed doors of power and influence, they are prostituted bedfellows,
slowly suffocating the rights of the people who still believe they have a voice.

Political and religious words echo in the minds of the patriotic and faithful,
empty promises made with a smile that satiate and calm the masses,
the wise and the skeptical see thru disingenuous rhetoric with clarity,
watching them on soap boxes and pulpits, they should be shameful.

Sitting on a fence, afraid to take a position is cowardly and ignorant of truth,
it all comes down to one basic thing and that's are you pro life or against life,
do you support life on earth or are you against particular aspects of life and why,
making the right decision could help promote the proverbial fountain of youth.

Copyright © Chris Peers | Year Posted 2017

Long Poems