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Long Character Poems

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Long Poems
Long poem by Laura Breidenthal | Details |

To Be A Friend Pleaser

I heavily recall two times when I had made you cry,
Both of which bewildered and moved me
My response was that of disbelief, and regret
And never, upon recalling, 
Have I felt more of the need to address these moments

We were young, certainly, tied together by our imaginations, 
Our wit, and artful talents, 
You, an adept, musically inclined, 
And I musically aroused 
It seemed such a normal day that my guards were broken,
And I freely blabbered, 
As I would to a sibling, or my favorite play thing
We had known each other for a while,
And I deemed it right to show my all
You shared your favorite toys with me, 
And I made it my signature, in my goofy ways, 
To disperse each play session stirring your mind
So that you may laugh, and I may laugh too

I remember the living room, 
Sitting on the light brown carpet floor
And Grandma, for I considered her my grandma too,
Contented on the couch, enjoyed our giggles, and smiled,
While she read her weekly romance novel
I always wondered the reason for her reading,
And how she might receive pleasure in such a simple thing as
Attending to our nonsensical trifles

We played with our stuffed animals,
Hers was a white, fluffy bear with sophisticated clothes
And mine, an alligator, naked, and morose looking
I thought it would stir more laughter if,
In contrast to the kind, gentlemanly bear,
The alligator would respond in grumpy exclamations,
Even insult, if he were pushed too far to conform 
For as the gentlemanly bear insisted upon conversing with the alligator,
Having tea with him and discussing matters of interest, 
The alligator’s response, frank and cold was soon drawled to,
“No, no, no, I do not want to!”
Having repeated such a phrase a couple times,
I saw that it resulted in her laughing,
So, repeating the phrase, 
I meant to conjure more fits of joy,
However, after the third repeat, she suddenly stopped, 
The insistent gentleman was speechless
In a strange pause I stared at my friend,
Watching her pink cheeks pale,
And her eyes water with sudden tears
I squeezed the alligator, almost cursing it instead of myself,
Watching her and wondering what had caused this sadness and pain
She turned away from me, and cried, 
Getting up quickly, embarrassed, and darting into her room

Grandma seemed understanding, 
And this bewildered me even more
Surely, I had done something awful, 
Making my closest friend cry,
And surely, a lecture was soon to put in me in my place
Instead though, she apologized to me, 
And told me not to worry, that she would be just fine
Though never, being the friend pleaser that I was,
Did I feel more awful, and more worrisome
I thought of what I might do to make her feel better,
As Grandma walked down the hall and entered her room
I thought perhaps, she would want me to go home,
So I got up, stuffed my bag with my things,
And waited at the door,
Rehearsing in my mind a thousand apologies

She returned out of the room, 
Saying nothing, but motioning me to the floor with the toys
I obeyed her, never more guarded and thoughtful in my life,
And we resumed our play session
The alligator had took a turn to being quite the sweet chap
And realized that the gentlemanly bear was not as annoying
And bossy as he first thought,
That he only needed a friend to talk to
Someone kind and understanding

The second instance was in a later year
Dear Grandma was away in a separate apartment
Her father was frequently at the house, 
A quiet, but nice man, 
Always retreating to the back room
Whenever we entered the house for lunch or to retrieve a doll
Despite his kindness, his reserve slightly intimidated me,
And the few times he addressed me 
Were always awkward, and thankfully, short
We were more inclined to outside activities those days,
Roleplaying, sporting, and running about,
I the servant and she the princess
I did not much mind the role of the servant, 
As I had many quirks, 
And nothing too great was expected of me
We often, befriended despite our opposite positions,
Would sit at the swing set and converse together
As equals, almost,
The princess gaining from the servant wit and adventure,
And the servant, gaining from the princess,
Patience, poise and simplicity
But our session was long over as I heard the call from her father,
And we both sighed, and ran into the house
My mother had come to pick me up,
And her father, gently, led me to the front door,
With the usual, “See you later!”, 
And, “It was good to see you again!”
My friend, happy in countenance, bid me goodbye,
Smiling, though pale, once again
It did not occur to me at the time,
That she was on the brink of tears
And as I got into the car, 
As we pulled out of the driveway,
I saw the look of sadness and despair on her face
Her eyes… they splashed on me grief
She was staring at me, tears running down her face,
Her body quivering, standing at the curb
I could barely make out from the muffle of the car,
The sound of her crying out,
Just as her father stormed outside, dragging her away,
“Ashly, what the f*** is wrong with you!!!??”
And we drove away, my face plastered to the window,
Thinking to myself, 
“What have I done?”

I was so confused,
So sad, and so strangely angry
To see her father drag her in that way
Though I wondered, perhaps, I had faulted her once more
That in me leaving, she took it as a rejection,
And I felt it my duty to be near her again,
To assure her that I was always her servant
And she was always the princess
I could not, if I wanted to,
Revert to the mindless alligator again,
And, like her father, disregard her enigmatic feelings,
As well as her insistent need for affection and kindness
I vowed I would always provide her with my best
So that only smiles and laughter animated her delicate being

To be a friend pleaser—yes, that is what I am,
Requires more of self, to even enhance oneself, 
To build up the deprived,
To change perspective, 
And change character,
And in turn, serve selflessly,
For to gain the thrill of happiness
From a more than worthy companion,
Is, for me, to gain the world

Copyright © Laura Breidenthal | Year Posted 2015

Long poem by T Wignesan | Details |

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 suck 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

Long poem by Laura Breidenthal | Details |

Light On the Devil's Chord - Day 6

Upon this date he spoke no more of the preceding moments, 
Tearing and hurling insult upon insult
In several directions, his tongue whipped and scorched me,
And he waited relentlessly to see the spark in my eyes fade…..
He was so livid by my silence, he began thrashing around the walls,
Grabbing a  wayside demon and crushing him into the ground…
He destroyed Death’s bass, pulling off each string in monotone menace
Glaring at me, as he yanked each off,
The whine of its timbre flooding the eerie, murky pit……

“Nothing else, but you and I,
No more music, no more beat…
Your heart alone is enough to drive me mad…”

He spat into the crushed instrument, 
And Death cowered, scampering away like a wounded rat
Picking up the pieces as he disappeared into the soot

“Just you and I, 
I will not hear another cry except from your  lips…
No cheer, except from your voice,
No fear, except from your soul…
No support from above….no love to bring us light…”

I circled him my tears glistening,
The light burning him, as he laughed bitterly
And I sang…

“Your attacks drill against your friends,
Your darkness sifts, in pending motion,
You can crush the pulse that you began,
Though you cannot end my faith and devotion.”

He stared, his nostrils flaring,
His claws protruding in and out
Suddenly he smiled, and he was calm again
The wailing of a freshly injured demon faintly sounding…

“Tell me Loving Lady, 
Of what you recall of mortality…
What do you miss the most?
The rush of Death’s call, 
The touch of slowly falling? 
The thrill of free-will…kissing the darts…
The crushing of sadness in your feeble heart…
You have missed mortality I am sure,
You have missed the spirit of mutiny,
The infernal blaze of my brilliant core…
We need not but our voices to replay such times, 
I remember your days as much as I do mine…
Remember you used to lust and lie?
Remember when you were afraid to die? 
Those darkest nights, remember me grinning?
Remember the infatuation of sinning?
No, it was your art, and you left a trail,
So He might follow close behind might you fail…
He allowed you to suffer, to ache…to retch 
You forgot Him, and embraced my ways…
Do you ever miss those wondrous days…
Surely, surely you must appraise…” 

I picked up a lone string of Death’s mighty bass,
Feeling the metallic twine cool in my hand
The crushed demon moaned in agony beside me…

“Mortality was a rustic feat into the fray,
Many times blinded in the dark, to emerge into the day
I miss the way danger led to discovery,
In suffering greatly, I miss the relief of recovery
I miss the way it was so bittersweet, 
When the wrinkles began to appear…
I miss the sound of that single drop of rain…
Falling into the rest, never missed, always blessed…
Recalling the times I have stumbled,
I miss what now I clearly see…
I recollect darker emotions and I miss how they built me,
How they led me to the ones that guarded me to the end
So I might live in a better place where pardon became my friend…

Death’s voice intrigued me, frightened me, redeemed me, 
The falling of those around me led me to my calling,
And swiftly, failing became a past that set me free…
The test of free-will became a weight upon my shoulder,
The challenge became what shaped me as I grew older…
Sadness became easier, and less enjoyable,
When I focused my life to the skies and into open eyes

I remember the lusts, the lies, the sins—they never belonged to me
At the time, I didn’t see this—they were all I wanted to be….
I hunted to wallow in the madness and sadness of darkness…
I believed I did not deserve the wisdom of righteousness 
In my mortal skin, I learned to look deep within…
And fight off the urges…the lusts….the timey wages of sin
It became my duty to no longer allow you in…
Though my love for your redemption grew brighter within…”

The Devil clawed the bass string in my hand
And it strung an empty sound that echoed dryly all around…


“Immortality has its torments too…
See how gently I return to you…”

He never could destroy the beat thumping from my chest…
He merely hummed along with it in begrudging dedication 
Stubbornly, he sought for my pain 
But the hurt had been released  far above, where still he dared not look…

I lifted up a crippled demon and kissed his forehead
“I love you as well, demon, do not be afraid…” 
The weary eyes stared into my own, than quickly glanced in fear toward our fuming Prince…
“You understand pain, fear, and torment more than any, I am sure
Would you like to sing too?”

The Devil in rage grabbed the demon by the throat before he could answer
“You foolish woman… he is MY pet… 
Nothing else, but you and I…
He has no voice, no heart…no mind…
I give him no permission to,
And he accepts his place…
Unlike I …unlike you…”

I touched his clenched hand, and his grip loosened upon the demon
“All voices deserve to be heard,
Through compassion, let his existence ring…”

The Devil scoffed and threw him down with much force, perturbed
The demon dared not move

“WHY HAVE YOU COME HERE TO US…. To mock me…to turn them against me…?”
The hush of his question held more intensity than his shouting
 “Surely…surely not…..
He belongs in the dust, 
At my command… he can never be like us…
You love him as much as pity will allow…
We are special, Silly Being, and his fleck of existence is but a toke
To gamble with for my amusement, nothing more…nothing more….
Stop this attempt to become the idol of the underdog
Don’t be such a predictable bore…”

The demon shriveled, but remained…
Like mortality’s fate, his body did shrink and fade…
But I heard his somnolent thoughts….

…I am but the refrain…
 Immortality….. has….. its torments….. too…

Copyright © Laura Breidenthal | Year Posted 2015

Long poem by Cyndi MacMillan | Details |

LOVE TRUMPS HATE: A SHORT STORY


	Autumn pulled open the cafe door. The room hummed with conversations.  She bought a bottle of water and immediately took a sip. Determinedly, she scanned the place and half–wished she wouldn’t find him. But when she saw Jim, she straightened her back, took a deep breath and walked to the table where he sat.  He was usually so together, but he’d neither shaved nor combed his hair. 
	“You look like hell,” she said, sitting down across from him.
	“It’s been a bad two days. Why haven’t you answered my emails?”
	“Which one?”
	He leaned forward.  “Any.  Did we break up and you forgot to tell me?”
	“If I dumped you, you’d know.”  
	“What is wrong with you?  PMS?  I lost my job. Don’t you care?”  His face reddened.  
	Jerk.  “I have a few questions about one of your emails.”  She could barely look at him.  “I’d asked you if the fact that the KKK endorsed Trump bothered you, if it disturbed you even a little bit. We’ve only just started dating, so before things get serious, I need to know.   I had to read your answer six times because I couldn’t believe what you’d answered.  You said, ‘So what if the KKK supported Trump.  They are a small insignificant group in this country anyway, only around 5,000 in the whole country.’ That is what your email said, right?”
	He laughed.  “Yeah, sure. Stop looking at me like that!”
	“The thing is, I’d thought about answering that email. I thought about spending time putting into words my complete revulsion.”
	“It’s a fact.  I didn’t make the number up.  There are only 5,000 members.”
	“You’re wrong.  I checked. There could be as many 8,000.”
	“You’re this upset about a stupid number?”  He raked his hands through his hair.  
	“Here are some numbers for you.  There are 900 white supremacist groups across this country.  Some might have only a few members, others several hundred. So let’s say, on average, there's 200 members in each group.”  It was an effort to stay seated, to keep her voice low.  “Which means there could be 180,000 registered members.  Then, there are the others, the ones that don’t want to pay dues.  But they love those white-power sayings. Makes them feel good. Millions of unofficial members.  Haters who don’t carry cards but share the same brainlessness.”
	“Dammit.  I’m not a racist!  You took me out of context!”
	Several heads turned.  A few conversations stopped.  Jim glared at her.
	“Those members have jobs,” she continued.  “They work at banks where they deny mortgages.  They work in hospitals where they can keep pain pills from certain patients.  They work as managers and only hire blue-eyed blonds.  They work as cops and they ... well, we know where that leads, right?”  This easier than she’d thought it would be.  “How many of just those just 5,000 insignificant members work as teachers, target certain students, treat them less than kind?  Think about that, for a moment, what it all means.”  
	“You’re making no sense,” he said.  
	A man in a flat cap sat to the left of them.  He said, “Actually, she makes perfect sense.”
	“Would you mind your own business.”
	The man looked at Autumn.  “Should I mind my own business?”
	She sent him a smile.  “Give me five more minutes, then I’ll let you know, okay?”
	He winked and went back to reading his book.
	“So, do you want to know exactly how many members of the KKK I’d feel confident saying would have no weight on society, are no threat to equality?  Zero.  For me, it would take having not a single white supremacist. Even one KKK member has significance.  Because even one, I repeat ONE ignorant, Nazi loving coward is just one too many.”  She titled her head, starred him down.  “But somehow you think 5,000 is totally acceptable.”
	“It’s no point talking to you,” he said.  “We’re done.”
	“You lost your job.  I figured you had,” she said. Had she underestimated him? He could get violent.  “I ran into your boss this week.  You’ve mentioned how he hires the best.  Ivy League, I think you mentioned. Well, we had a little chat.”  
	“What the hell did you say?!”
	“I told him that I was upset because my mother didn’t want me involved with someone... biracial.  I told him that it was ridiculous in this day and age to judge a person by their colour or ethnicity.  I told him that my mother refused to take into consideration that you work at place where nobody cares if your mother is an African American.”
	“BUT BOTH MY PARENTS ARE WHITE!”  Jim leapt to his feet. “YOU BI —”
	The man in the flat cap stood up.  “Okay.  Those five minutes are up.  How about you go home, Google the word bigot and realize you just been upped by one gutsy lady.”
	Jim clenched his fist.   But when six more people stood up and approached the table, he headed for the door.  She watched as he narrowly missed getting hit by a car.
	Autumn lifted a shaking hand to her face. 
	Mr. Flat Cap gave her a warm look.  “Can I buy you a coffee?  You are someone I’d like to get to know.”  His grin got wider.  “Could take a while, though.  We may have to exchange phone numbers, date for a brief time, get engaged, have children and grow old together.”
	“Can we just start with coffee?” 
	He sat down.  “Absolutely.  Coffee. And that’s where our love story begins.”


The End
	

Copyright © Cyndi MacMillan | Year Posted 2016

Long poem by Edwin Hofert | Details |

Understanding Suicide Understanding Me

Understanding Suicide Understanding Me

Awhile back I had a dear friend contact me to ask if I heard about the young mans suicide at a nearby towns school. I had not. After asking one time on face book if any one of my friends had heard of any such event. My wall began to fill up with details about his life and his personality. His struggles and even previous attempts to end or erase his existence.

He was described as having dreamy eyes by female classmates when he was younger. He was described as the most polite and well mannered but troubled child one person said they had ever met.
Memories of my own changing years flooded my soul as I thought about it all. I did a school report in what they called then Junior High. And my chosen topic was suicide. I've often asked myself why I chose that topic. Today will be one of the very few times I admit it was on my mind a lot during that period of my life. It wasn't because my home life was unbearable. It wasn't because I had no friends or because my young heart had been broken.

In fact I'm only just now realizing it had almost nothing at all to do with my surroundings. It was something within me. Fear certainly had a part to play. Fear of tomorrow. Fear of never really feeling like I fit in. Even though by all outward appearances I was adjusting as well as the majority of people my age.

There was then and sometimes even now this voice. This relentless cruel and demeaning voice always there to remind me. I'll never be good enough. I will always only get what I deserve and that's why I'll never have anything that lasts. Anything that is true. And truly mine.

I was only given a passing grade for my report on suicide because it was obvious the amount of time and effort I put into it. I was told the topic I chose was wrong for a jr high school project. I had failed again. All of that after listening with blood pumping that we could choose our own topic. Somehow my choice wasn't good enough.

I realize now that my very choice for a topic should have sent off bells and whistles throughout the school that one of their own was thinking thoughts of suicide. But they missed it. They didn't see me at all.

Today I don't know why I chose that topic. But I know that one result of it was the saving of my own life. The understanding I gained by being able to see inside the mind that is tormented by unanswerable questions all starting or ending with why? And the realization that to the troubled mind the ultimate answer to fix the most un fixable things.
Is to end it.

This is the point when discussing suicide where fools love to chime in un researched and selfish insensitive remarks revealing their opinions and the fact that they are a fool. 
 A wise man knows only what he knows.
And he does not pretend to have already been where he never hopes to go.

People often consider suicide to be a selfish act. Sometimes referring to it as a cowards way out.

I hate that. And I hate anything that tries to simplify something as complex as a human mind that has reached it's breaking point.

The fact is that to the person in the midst of that struggle. It is the most unselfish and heroic thing that they think they could do.

My point is, that it was my understanding of suicide. It's effects and it's consequences that kept me from crossing that line.

After all the details of this young life surfaced and several hours later my dear friend and I talked again. And without saying it I know she was asking about this path I'm on with my poetry. The tributes to loved ones that have died. The heartache and the heartbreak that I see every day sometimes all day long.

And she asked me. Does all the sadness ever get to you? I responded Absolutely.
There are times I struggle beneath its weight. Sometimes I fall. But somehow I manage to get up again and I keep writing and sometimes when I'm lucky I see someones reaction to a poem where all of a sudden they get it. A life changing revelation takes place in that moment in time. And for a minute. 
I win.

I know the reason I'm alive is to help other people live.

And to find the fullness in their life that I may or may not ever find for myself. It's no longer about me. Because you see somewhere back there that part of me that wanted so badly just to die.

I let it die. And I moved on but not me as I was. A different me. Weaker in some ways and stronger in others. Less proud but more to be proud of. More easily overwhelmed but less breakable.

And so when you see me on the mountaintop and I'm strutting around acting like I belong there. Please. Just let me have that one moment. Because tomorrow I'll be back with the mountain on top of me. Trying to find another way to save someone from going where I have been and hoping to enrich other peoples lives even if it means I know I'm simply going to be passed up along the way.

My reward is you rising above my highest point. My fee for my services? That you never forget how valuable you are. And that you keep pushing forward and never give up.

If you forget me tomorrow. That's ok. But don't forget the things I said.  And don't forget to help someone else along the way.

.

God Bless

Heart Whisperer Ed Hofert @ facebook

Edwin C Hofert

Copyright © Edwin Hofert | Year Posted 2015

Long poem by Chris Peers | Details |

Cowboy Jesus

There's a man who lives in my street,
he wears cowboy clothes and he looks like Jesus,
he has a thick silver chain around his neck,
and a big silver cross on the end of it,
I hear him before I see him,
the heels of his alligator skinned boots are studded,
clack, clack, clack, clack,
he walks around the block every morning,
one of his daily rituals is singing in the style of Elvis Presley,
each morning he sings the same verse from "If I can dream",

"There must be lights burning brighter somewhere,
Got to be birds flying higher in a sky more blue,
If I can dream of a better land,
Where all my brothers walk hand in hand,
Tell me why, oh why, oh why, can't my dream come true".

In the evenings, he slowly drives his blood red mustang
thru the neighborhood, always singing the same verse from
"Walk a mile in my shoes",

"If I could be you and you could be me for just one hour,
If we could find a way to get inside each others mind,
If you could see you through my eyes instead of your ego,
I believe you'd be surprised to see that you'd been blind,
Walk a mile in my shoes, walk a mile in my shoes,
Yeah, before you abuse, criticize and accuse, walk a mile in my shoes".

One Sunday morning in the summer,
I was mowing my front yard, before the heat of the day arrived,
Cowboy Jesus, that's what I call him, stopped at the edge of my yard, 
and leaned his back against my mail box,
I cut the engine to my lawn mower and went over to him,
he said to me "Do you go to church"?
I said "No",
he said "You should, let me tell you about my church, its called,
its called, o' dear lord, I can't remember the name of my church,
goddammit, anyway, you should go to church",
I said "Maybe you should pray to your god and he'll tell you the 
name of your church",
he stared at me for a couple of seconds, then burst out laughing,
he walked away still laughing while the heels of his alligator skinned
cowboy boots went clack, clack, clack, clack, 
I then began to hear him singing that verse
from his morning ritual song, trying to impersonate Elvis,

"There must be lights burning brighter somewhere,
Got to be birds flying higher in a sky more blue,
If I can dream of a better land,
Where all my brothers walk hand in hand,
Tell me why, oh why, oh why, can't my dream come true".

Throughout the rest of the year,
I heard him walking by my house,
clack, clack, clack clack,
singing his morning song,
and in the evenings, 
he drove his blood red mustang,
extra slow as he passed by my yard and house,
always singing the same verse from 'Walk a mile in my shoes"
in the style of the King of Rock 'n' Roll,

 "If I could be you and you could be me for just one hour,
If we could find a way to get inside each others mind,
If you could see you through my eyes instead of your ego,
I believe you'd be surprised to see that you'd been blind,
Walk a mile in my shoes, walk a mile in my shoes,
Yeah, before you abuse, criticize and accuse, walk a mile in my shoes".
  
Last week, I went for a walk around the block with my dog, a black and white
Old English sheepdog, who we call Barkley Barkington, 
we were approaching Cowboy Jesus' house, when I was struck with awe
by his tree and yard Christmas decorations. The trees and bushes were
bedecked with green, yellow, red and orange twinkling lights, in the center of his yard,
he had a nativity scene, back lit with a golden yellow, that made the scene glow.
Behind the nativity scene, he had a Christmas tree, standing taller than his one
story house, strewn with multi colored lights, with a silver star at the apex.
He had two 6 foot inflatable snow men in the back corners of his yard, he had
inflatable reindeer pulling Santa Claus on a sled in the front left corner of his yard,
and a 10 foot silver colored cross erected on the front right of his yard. 
With tubular multi colored lights, he had, in cursive, the words JESUS SAVES,
spread out across the front and width of his yard.

I rested my back against his mail box to marvel at the scene,
a minute later, Cowboy Jesus came out of his house and approached
me at his mail box. He said to me, "I remember you, you're that pagan who lives
up the street'. I merely grunted in acknowledgement.
I then noticed that he was shirtless, still wearing his silver cross and chain,
but, his whole torso and arms were tattooed in red ink with religious scripture. 
I thought to myself, "i don't think you understand the irony of your words, Cowboy Jesus".
I complimented his Christmas decorations and said good night to him, and continued to
walk around the block with Barkley Barkington, with echoes of Cowboy Jesus singing that verse 
from "Walk a mile in shoes".

"If I could be you and you could be me for just one hour,
If we could find a way to get inside each others mind,
If you could see you through my eyes instead of your ego,
I believe you'd be surprised to see that you'd been blind,
Walk a mile in my shoes, walk a mile in my shoes,
Yeah, before you abuse, criticize and accuse, walk a mile in my shoes".

And I screamed inside my head, "Oh Hell, no"!!

Copyright © Chris Peers | Year Posted 2016

Long poem by Funom Makama | Details |

He said, I said

How the housefly gets attracted to organic decay and an infant child traces the voice of its mother are nothing compared to the intense attraction Michelle and I possess on the guy owning not a strand of hair on his head but is in command of all forms of feminine arousal Our weakness was too glaring; our lust, too embarrassing the chance to act rare and expensive we've lost. All we've got is to dance to the tune of his authority as he smiled and consented to our 'not so hidden' desires. Now, he walks straight at us his every step, an additional load on me I seem to carry the entire solar system on my chest. My heartbeat, pulsations and breath are as loud as a live rock band "I've never seen you here is this your first time?"......... He said "Yeah, actually!".................. I said. My friend and I responded simultaneously our answers gushing out like a group of running horses, mine seem to carry more weight as it tames any challenge from hers. "So, how did two love Angels fall in such an unworthy place as this?"......... He said "How unworthy?"........................................... I Said. I've championed the game of words and emotions and just as what inevitably defines the day is sunlight so is my testament. Michelle showed glimpse of disapproval to my replies but my exclamation of her name gave adequate caution. "yes, this place is unworthy, because I need to pass through seven Oceans and seven hills to see someone like you"........... He said. "Then you'll never find me there. I'm not a specie going extinct." ............................ I Said. The gods of luck have smiled on the Lions once again in preference to other cats. The father of favour, shaking hands with the Eagle while by-passing the other birds. This is my exact situation as jealousy builds a castle in my friend's heart. "So, what's your name, sweet damsel?"...... He said. "Anna"........................................................ I said. This is a familiar routine, his plan is as detectable and as obvious as watered grass but letting it turn green is what I must not allow so that the security of my reputation is not compromised. "Anna is a lovely name, do you like poker?"........ He said. "No, I don't!"........... I said. The looks of my friend, spoke 'awe' mine replied in aggression then she flowed in complete understanding on its message on not acting cheap especially to the one we've shown so much likeness. "So what do you like?".......................He said. "Going out to the Cinema or the beach or engaging in salsa".......................... I said. Already scoring goals and dominating the game, I felt my opponent was completely toothless and flattened. But playing along is my aim to make him beg on his knees which adds to my fame. "Can we try any of those sooner?"......................... He said. "How do you mean?"............................................... I said. Another punch brings about another shield and sometimes a strong defence feels more fulfilling than a heavy attack. "Let's go out to the movies this night"............. He said. "I'm busy tonight!"........................................... I said. It feels like punishment to him but he takes it like a challenge and this keeps me far from winning. Being on top is my birth right and a step lower is deemed a sacrilege. "What about going to the beach this weekend?".................. He said "I'll be out of town"................................................................. I said. Persistence could be rewarding but my protective walls are just too thick for any form of penetration; too high for any form of infiltration and too deep for any form of condemnation. "Then, when would you be free to teach me Salsa?"............................ He said. "I'm not stable, neither can I determine my free time"..................... I said. The game of attack and defense is never absolute as the attacker may fall victim of a rare counter attack or the defender, gets wary of his defense with no chance to pull an offensive string. Either, ending up as the vanquish despite the brilliant strategies being set up. "Michelle, are you also unstable like Anna?"...... He said "What!"............................................................... I said. Envy plans on a historic transfer while my friend poised not an aota of difficulty and this makes me extremely furious. She was just at the corner waiting for this opportunity and even before it avails itself, she snatches it into her well guided belongings. Looking at both in confusion and disappointment; they share contacts and crack jokes. "I'll give you a call this evening".................. He said Nothing I said because now, Michelle is running the show.

Copyright © Funom Makama | Year Posted 2014

Long poem by Casarah Nance | Details |

Crown Of Sonnet Marionette To Misery Part One

MARIONETTE TO MISERY part one

Sonnet One

Is this a story worth the black of ink?
The write of rhyme and time, confessions true.
I held on sane until I broke the blink,
I gave my life; I give it now to you.

I was so ordinary once before,
I wanted nothing more, silence of one.
Comfort I cradled while alone adore,
My show, the one I know, a done rerun.

A plain refrain, I shied in solitude.
Confrontations embraced by closing doors
I gave it nothing, finding nothing rude.
The skies despise me, when it rains it pours.

The storms do warn the clouds to disembark,
I wonder where I would be, damn the dark.

Sonnet Two

I wonder where I would be, damn the dark.
I lost the light along the way, I’m lost.
My mental state relates a question mark.
I buy my beauty knowing what it costs.

I must be changed; I fear the years to come.
Affording life is hard, I need a hand.
No family, I see my future numb,
It’s time to bend my heart and take a stand.

The scales are aged on years of twenty-four.
A wrinkle sighs on eyes of hardened steel.
I know inside I hide the wanting more,
Oh, can I change, I need a hand to heal.

A thought of love reveals in wants, I sink,
I fall against the grain, the thoughts I think.

Sonnet Three

I fall against the grain, the thoughts I think.
It’s all I could do, get on with my life.
I give myself a get’em girly wink,
I would be free, completely good, a wife.

So many mouths, I’m kissing frogs for fun.
My self restrictions done, I’m out to fly.
Explore detours until I find the one,
I’m smoking, drinking, getting high as sky.

My shame, it has a place I often dwell.
I changed so well, I could not tell my mind.
I trapped myself by wealth, a living hell.
Answers I sought, future I have to find.

I owned the sight so long, I’ve paid the dark.
Tonight, I crave the light, I search for spark.

Sonnet Four

Tonight, I crave the light, I search for spark.
A foolish brave, I rave against the raven.
Be black as shadows, drift away my dark,
Comfort me Master, ready, set, begin.

He licks my wounds and writes my new novel.
I fall on knees, I please, he wants more.
I give and live, he teaches show and tell.
He takes me places never gone before.

He sets a fire to ashes, watch me burn.
My Master faster captures strong my flame.
He gives me choice, a voice, a life to learn.
A chance to dance, he asks I give my name.

I’m named as Lady to Master Sir, I wed.
Sober sunshine, it comes to wake the dead.

Sonnet Five

Sober sunshine, it comes to wake the dead.
I hide the past in casts of stone, reborn.
My happiness is thriving, lover’s bed.
Enchanted knight and lightly unicorn.

We played the games of fame, a shine on scene.
The shooting stars on skies of night we flew.
I never knew the true, he could be mean,
Oh, what the Lady Red was going through.

My whole relationship displayed online
For eyes and ears witnessed my highs and lows.
I wanted fame but shame became a mine
Erupting shows exploding blow by blows.
I raise my glass and cheers against his ale,
A toast to trying, with all else, I fail.

Sonnet Six

A toast to trying, with all else, I fail.
We crumble with a pocket full of cash.
A steady drip on rivers setting sail.
To that interest we smothered down to ash.

He talked of fatherhood, he wanted sons.
I fear anxiety of family.
He told me please to give him just a one,
Depressed I rest in dark, it follows me.

A nightly haunt, it taunts me, widow’s tomb,
It wants my doom, my gloom, I hate the dream.
My hope is broke, I soak in sours womb.
No, nothing good, I should refuse to scream.

I wet in sweat the sheets upon my bed.
The pounding rages deep inside my head.

Sonnet Seven

The pounding rages deep inside my head.
I give the Master what he wants, a child.
The tears I cry, I lie in wasted bed.
I’m fed my pills to keep emotions mild.

My tummy grows, I feel the kick inside.
I want my motherhood to shine, I glow.
I count my blessings, life can please the tried.
It can be good, it will be good, I know.

But when the test arrives, the ultra sound,
Female result, my Master shouts disgust.
He begs abortion when no one’s around.
He thinks he owed a male, he thoughts are just.

I fight against his fists, I wail, I fail.
I live by threads and live to tell the tale.

Sonnet Eight

I live by threads and live to tell the tale.
He changed, a monster, blames me, damns my sight.
A living hell, I try to leave, I fail.
Intoxicated, he’s ready to fight.

My fault, I feel the failure blur my bite,
As teeth I clench so tight I feel the verb.
He strikes my story making ink tonight
On sheets I scream silence I must disturb.

My stitches sown, he says he’s sorry, lies.
Torment my mouth, it twitches, itches, bleeds.
I swallow words; I heard enough, he tries
I’m hiding bruises, space is what he needs.

My hands are cold, anger inside, I shake.
But death can take the grave mistakes I make.

Copyright © Casarah Nance | Year Posted 2016

Long poem by Robert Amure | Details |

The Lay of The Best Man - Part 4

The Lay of The Best Man - Part 4

I ask you this: Have you ever known a man to ‘buckle under stress’?
Or have you never seen a man have a ‘moment of madness’?
Have you not heard about the unfortunate Child Physician.?
Lynch-mob [illiterate] shout “Paedo!!”… at a Paediatrician?!?!
Have you never heard of the man who acted upon ‘voices’ in his head?
May be true, may be false, who knows? But he’s left another… dead!


Where are all your Psychiatrists? Surely the world should be safer!
They claim to understand man’s mind so that we do not ….suffer.
Where are all your …..Psychologists - to prevent the incessant rot?
Have they not simply compounded the demise of your lot?
Tell me: of what good is the skilled Physician that has just saved a life…
Only to drive recklessly …..and then kill another man’s wife?


Look at the ‘nice’ man right beside you, and please confirm my advice.
Is he sexist/racist/homophobic or xenophobic? Call that ‘nice’?
Any form of hatred or bigotry exposes man to vitiated practise
All forms of prejudice renders the mind to miscarriages of justice.
The Road to Perfection may be arduous and impossibly long
But the Road to Perdition is a short-cut to where the Damned belong.


I’ve seen men baulk at good advise with sheer revulsion.
The truth of my words will be made manifest by their very reaction.
They shall think me sanctimonious and await my downfall
Or wish me harm and set their traps to defeat my life-protocol.
Come ‘Dies Irae’, I shall be triumphant, ‘Deus Volente’
‘Initium Sapientiae Timor Domini’ ……that, surely, is my stay!


I’ve seen men cold and calculating they orchestrate violence
Any scapegoat will do, to this end, they manipulate evidence.
Taking innocent lives, they have bayed lustfully with the pack
For fun, sport, or revenge, unjustly thrill in beastly attack.
With merciless disregard for person or property, they blight.
Dishing out ruthlessness, whether victim be in the wrong - or right.


All is not well with the world yet most flatly refuse to see the worst in mankind.
This just proves that both they and the rabble are truly one-of-a-kind.
They live life as though everything is fair - as in a ‘quid pro quo’ bazaar
The ‘Extraterrestrial’ asks "How are things?"; they reply: comme ci comme ca…
May I please suggest a tete-a-tete and insist: ‘come, Sir, …come see’….
All is not as it seems, for man’s first love is for ‘self’,  and not for humanity! 


Why do so many still denigrate a woman and take her for granted?
Despite what you say, deep within many, I know it’s been indoctrinated.
She may seem strange to you, but maybe you’re just as strange to her!
She is your equal …and ‘respect’ is not the preserve of one gender over another.
You may think you are big and mean, but it doesn’t mean she’s weaker …. cowed.
Her spirit is much more stronger, therefore you cannot break her! Coward!


Can a woman do what she wants with her body? Of course! Why kick up a stink??
Can a girl wear heels and dress all in pink? That’s her choice. What do you think??
Should she be able to walk in safety at all hours - in skimpy dress? Ideally: Yes.
Should she be comfortable with her gender without duress? Definitely! What else?
These things that she does, are never the problem and never a crime. That’s fact.
The many problems and crimes that disrupts her life are mainly men!!! …How they act.


There can be no argument that there are a few good men - very few indeed.
Those who will not stand by and gawp as they see a dying man bleed.
Yes, it is true that the first instinct of man is to assist the victim in need.
But for some, temptation grows, along with the dark shoots of greed.
How easily a good heart can get corrupted should be a warning to heed!
Vanitas vanitatum omnia vanitas, ….. this is the mainstay of man’s seed.


Of course I expect many to read [and mock] my work. I say to them: Good luck.
Continue to pretend that this world and it’s stock is not running amok.
One man is repulsed by another because they are of a different race?! Pah!!
Do you realise you’ve just inhaled the same air that once exited his face? Hah!!!
You can call it racism, jingoism, …..or if you prefer, plain old ‘prejudice’….
Sadly it will never end (let’s not pretend), as we head for the final precipice!

(The Fg 81.5.8)



Comme ci, comme ca  & …tete-a-tete (French) -  Like this like that &  ‘….head to head’ discussion

‘Deus Volente’ (Latin) - God Willing

Dies Irae (Latin) - Day of Wrath

‘Initium Sapientiae Timor Domini (Latin) - The Fear of The Lord is the Beginning of Wisdom.

Quid pro quo (Latin)  - Something for something

Vanitas, vanitatum, omnia vanitas (Latin) - Vanity upon vanities, all is vanity!

Copyright © Robert Amure | Year Posted 2016

Long poem by Robert Candler | Details |

The Sooner Recruit

Fifty years, boy and man, I’ve been a Sooners fan;
And watched thousands of recruits try to make my Sooners Team.
Often, I’ve enviously wondered what it must be like
To be a touted Sooners recruit, living out his dream.

He’d had a great career through high school;
Made good grades, was a football star, played baseball too.
Coach said college recruiters were watching closely;
So, he tried his very best to make his dream come true.

You see, he’d played on the L’il Sooners as a kid;
Started getting serious about the game when he was only eight
Played with older, bigger boys and practiced hard;
Always told his friends, “To be a Sooner, ya gotta play great”.

Oh yes, his parents raised a football player;
And, even more important, a Sooners fan;
But he wanted more, to be a Sooner,
To feel the glory raining down from the stands. 

Now, the Sooners’ Head Coach is in his living room.
“Son, you’ve got talent.  We think you fit our scheme.
We’re offering you a scholarship, an opportunity
To be an important member of our great Sooners Team”.

His mother smiles her biggest smile.
His father nods proudly and pats him on the knee.
“Lord knows, son, it’s a dream come true.
Go be the very best Sooner you can be”.

He walks into the locker room,
Not quite sure what to expect;
But sure that to play for the Sooners
He will first have to earn respect.

He looks each man straight in the eye - 
Other recruits, trainers, assistants, and every coach.
“Be proud, but respectful”, his mother had said;
Your character, more than your performance, must be above reproach”.

His handshake is firm and he smiles.
“Only one chance for a first impression”, his father had said;
"Always put yourself in positive light, on and off the field.
That’s what it will take to play for the mighty Big Red”.

He meets so many other recruits, each one a high school star.
He’s played against a few and knows they share his dream.
And, to a man, each knows before any chance for Glory,
He first must prove worthy to play for this Sooners Team.

He knows a few will fail to meet the coaches’ expectations.
For some, the scout team will be their fate.
Many will suit up, but rarely play.
Only the very best will ever dare to be great.

Coach says, “If every man learns and executes when called on,
Then this team, we Sooners, will win a lot of games;
But, win or lose, if you play hard and give your very best,
You’ll never have to hang your heads in shame”.

“But gentlemen, with or without you, this team will win.
Every season, the Sooners strive to win it All.
So, listen, work hard, and prepare yourselves.  Each game is war...
And you must be ready when Victory calls”.

Through grueling practices, he finds himself.
As he walks to class, his closest friends are aches and pains;
But, just the other day, Coach helped him up, smiled, and patted his helmet.
“You’re doin’ fine, son.  Keep pushin’.  Remember, no pain, no gain”.

He sees his name on the "open scrimmage" roster for the very first time.
It’s a moment he’ll never forget, another milestone in his dream.
He calls his Mom and Dad, knowing they’ll tell his family and his friends.
He hopes they’ll actually see him play, proof he’s made the Team.

As he suits up for the last pre-season open scrimmage,
He wonders if the coaches would really let a freshman play at all;
But Coach puts him in for eight plays against the first team;
He makes two great open-field tackles and intercepts the ball.

He barely hears the roar of the crowd, as the whole defense “gives him five”.
He’s so excited, he forgets to ask if he can keep that ball.
Fans are buzzing, “Did you see that hit”!?  “Who is that kid”!?
“Will he red shirt or will Coach let him play this fall”? 

He sees his name in the Sunday paper, hears it on local sports.
He’s happy, but he doesn’t let it go to his head.
He keeps his focus and uses it as motivation.
After all, he wants to start one day for the mighty Big Red.

Yes, we’ll hear more of this young recruit.
Perhaps, one day he’ll be the hero of the game.
A seasoned veteran, maybe All Conference or even All American,
Who’s tasted Victory many times and helped glorify the Sooners’ name.

Oh yes, there have been so many who’ve aspired;
But many fewer who’ve actually made our Sooners Team.
They are our heroes, each and every one;
For it’s through their accomplishments, we fans can live the dream.

Billy Vessels, Steve Owens, Billy Sims, and Jason White,
The Selmons, Little Joe, the Boz, Josh Heupel, and “Q”
They, and so many others, were once touted Sooners recruits;
Who set a higher mark and built the Tradition that is OU.

So, c’mon! c’mon! all you great young football players!
Dedicate your talents to OU’s Team and OU’s Fans.
Make Oklahoma’s Owen Field your Field of Dreams,
And feel the Glory raining down from the stands. 

Copyright © Robert Candler | Year Posted 2014

Long Poems