Long poem by
Cindi Rockwell | Details
Once upon a weedy lawn
At Cedar Oaks Retirement Home
There sat my mother, weak and old
On an afghan knit to block the cold.
It was summer, but in mom's grey eyes
Was winter, when all around us dies.
I had tried to park her in the sun
Though I doubt she could notice what I'd done.
The disease had eaten up her brain
So little of her now remained
She didn't even know my name
I knew her not, much to my shame.
I looked around our patch of earth
Saw dandelions,and thought with mirth
Of how when small these grew quite wild
Mom would pick them as she smiled.
"Blow upon this cloud of seed,
"Then wish for what you really need."
I picked one now,and sadly blew
I asked for "mom" I never knew.
Suddenly a gust of wind
Took those seeds and made them spin
I felt my body start to rise
And change to match the seeds in size.
My mother gasped, & sucked us in
The seeds and me like some great wind
I saw her teeth, quite brown from smoking
And feared that I might cause her choking.
I swirled around, then down a slide
"Is this my mother I'm inside?!"
I landed in a battered lung
Where signs of cigarettes had clung.
And unsure of just where to go
I found a bridge, and crossed it slow.
Whence I entered a crucial part.
I found myself in momma's heart.
Where in a corner, dark and dusty
A young girl played, her laugh so lusty.
Her eyes weren't grey but tinged with blue
The plaited hair I also knew.
Her teeth so white, her face unlined
It was my mother, quite a find!
A joy, a freedom never shown
A lightness in her manner, tone.
And then a moment changed it all
I saw my grandma softly call
And whisper in my mother's ear
"Your dad has died. I'm sorry, dear."
Her wailing nearly deafened me
As the joy drained out like tides at sea.
Seeing all her pain and grief
I felt unwelcome, like a thief.
So I moved further in her heart
And came upon a teenage tart.
Awkwardly smoking, trying too hard
And too easily letting down her guard.
She fell for boys like rain from clouds
Her clothes too tight, her make-up loud.
Each night she staggered home alone
Hoping one would actually phone.
Then came the day that in that place
Could only lead to her disgrace.
I saw my mom in grandma's parlor
And my granny pacing as she hollered.
She pointed at mom's bulging middle
Screamed, then cried, then swore a little.
Pulled my mom up to her feet
In one swift move, threw her on the street.
My mother was 16, expecting a child
Homeless as well, she ought to be wild.
But instead I saw a great peace abide her
As she gently caressed me still forming inside her.
I saw in her eyes how love was the way
She changed from a girl to a woman that day.
Not love for a boy, a career, a degree
The love that transformed her was her love for ME!
Already feeling like my heart could break
And not sure of how much more I could take,
I still turned around to roam and explore
Both anxious and wary for what was in store.
This part of her heart was lit bright as the sun
My mother was wedding her intended one.
I remembered the dresses, beautifully white
I remembered the dancing that went on all night.
And then like a knife tearing straight through my chest
I knew what I'd see when I looked at the rest.
My mother so happy to be loved and give back
And me, growing older, and jealous of "Zach."
My stepdad who treated me like I was his own
Whose only crime was to enter our home.
I wanted my mother's attention on me
I was blinded by self-centered jealousy.
I knew that my mother would have to pick me
Especially if he behaved violently.
I found I was born with a flair for theatrics
And ran to my mom, often faking hysterics
Til finally my mother was left with no choice
But to tell him to leave, with a crack in her voice.
And suddenly I saw what I hadn't before
This part of mom's heart looked all broken and sore.
I couldn't continue with ease like before
The walls were too thick, advancing a chore
As if my mother had run out of room
For chances of love to grow or to bloom.
Then finally I hit the last, great, thick wall
Without any access beyond it at all
And almost afraid to look at the view.
I nonetheless watched, as I knew I must do.
It was a scene I knew all too well.
My teenage years, when I put mom through hell.
When I dumped her for boys who cared nothing for me
Choosing from her real love just to flee.
I left her alone in her house in the woods
I left her for losers who sold me their goods.
And then, too proud to admit I was wrong
I never went back, til her health was long gone.
And it was too late to say how much I cared
Too late to know it was something we shared.
Ready to go, I took one last long glance
And I saw something I never expected, by chance.
I saw my mother, like time lapse pics
Every night of her life, never missing a tick
Down on her knees, by the side of her bed
Praying for ME, who left her for dead.
She prayed for my health, she prayed I'd find love,
She prayed I'd be blessed by our Dad up above.
And even when she couldn't walk on her own.
My mom still put my needs o'er her own.
When the tears rolled free down my face,
I heard a huge sigh, and felt pulled from my place.
And in half a minute I was back on the lawn
Front of mom and Cedar Oaks Retirement Home.
My mother looked down on me, suddenly aware
And I saw for the first time her pain and her care.
And I noticed also an angel-like glow,
As she reached out her hand, and said, "Now you know."
I hugged her, held her, thanked her til night.
But the lucid look never came back in her sight.
She passed shortly after, to my great dismay
But I'll never forget the gifts given that day.
I learned never discount the love of your mother,
Never trade in that bond for the sake of a lover.
I learned there is power in a mom's loving prayers
And there is a God who hears and who cares.
I learned about faith, and love unconditional.
I learned about judging by standards traditional.
And I learned that from a little seed
Can come most everything we need.
Copyright © Cindi Rockwell | Year Posted 2015
Long poem by
cassie hellberg | Details
sometimes i talk to myself,
my mind is racing,
i dont know what to do...
so hard to explain.
depression isn't a stage
or a faze some kids go through
it shatters you...
i saw it all.
she cried silent in her bed,
blood stains covered her favorite jeans,
her every shirt,
long sleeve ofcourse...
she suffered through it all with few people to call friend
and more to call enemy
even more to say where quite dissappointed....
her first name in school,
not started by a bully
or a mean rival,
but by her sister,
and it echoed through her soul,
repeating in her mind... over and over again,
like the ripples of still water
when a pebble is dropped
flash frozen in time
over and over again...
It was the first name they gave her,
millions where created over the years,
some repeating again, just as the first had..
gothic they called her,
emo, fat, ugly....worse things.
but in her mind, things where worse.
everything was repeating,
over and over again,
finally she believed it.
she asked for help, from everyone
tried to explain to parents she wasnt well,
got called a psycho for asking to see a theripist,
not from a teacher,
not from a class mate,
but from her own father, who wouldn't, couldn't,
believe there could possibly be a thing wrong....
finally, crying, she confessed her bloody secret to a teacher.
rather then giving her time,
she is sent back to class crying her eyes out, as if she wherent going through enough...
she is sent to the principals office a few minutes later, after breaking down in class...
the princlipal says she needs help,
sends her and her dad for a risk evaluation,
her dads crying as she shows him her cuts...
they walk into a hospital room,
it smells of chemicals and hand sanitizer,
the lady at the desk gives her a smile.
then she goes into a room with a lady,
her cheeks are sunken in and shes wearing way too much makeup,
the girl is gaging on her perfume,
and she looks really intimidating....
her dark brown hair looks dead and flat
even though its a bit wavy,
and she wears somewhat of a mocking frown.
asks her all these questions,
is mommy beating her?
is daddy raping her?
is she doing drugs?
is anyone beating her?
did anyone molest her?
oxcarbezapine, trazadone, citalipran, clinazapam, colonipan,
valium, lithium, more.......
and thats what they gave her,
some numbed the pain
some brought it out
tearing through her organs,
she became an addict by the time she was fourteen....
over dose after over dose
some for pleasure
some for pain,
gashes on her legs getting deeper,
this time she didnt tell a soul,
not even those she had come to call friends....
wakeup she screamed in her head over and over again
as she dropped weight like it was nothing....
you cant controll it she argued as things became worse.
at age fourteen she attempted suicide,
she didnt quite succeed.
the medication took away her aappitite....
she liked it
she hated her body
felt out of controll
found a new way to cope
as she shoved tooth brush after toothbrush down her throat
to keep her body from nuitrients...
as she whent weeks and weeks spitting food into napkins and making excuses
I ate at my friends house....
spoken as a whisper
heard like a sentance
echoing in her mind over and over again,
along with that word, all the words,
ugy, anoying, stupid, fake, worthless, nothing...
one bite she would say
rocking back and forth
craving nothing but food
her body racked with hunger pain
one bite and there she was again
over and over and over again
back to a toothbrush
this time she sees blood
she saw her ribs
she saw her bones,
it wasnt good enough,
she almost died, again....
choking on this deep dissappointment in herself,
gaging on everything they where pushing down her throat,
their words, and their insults, their criticism.... their drugs
all shoved down her throat like candy
and just as she was was trained to do she swallowed despite the bad taste
or the hurt
or the fact that at the rate she was going she would be dead soon...
and you know why?
because daddy yelled
and couldnt accept what was happening
not because he wanted to hurt her
but because it hurt him,
and she let him believe,
because she could take the hurt if it meant he didnt have too.
because mommy didnt want to sit in her room all day
practically having us raise ourselves,
she didnt mean to take anger, or frustration or hurt out on her daughter
she suffered everyday in her solitary confinement,
and from a young age she accepted her bedroom was the cage
her mother had created for herself.
because sister didnt want to effect her the way she did
she was just frustrated
fed up with the way things where
scared, she needed someone to take her cruelty
and to help heal her pain...
because people in school
who where so cruel
had to have learned from somewhere
and she wasnt going to play into their games,
and they knew she was an easy target
because she would never attack someone so weak
and she accepted her suffering was a sacrafice
to help all these people....
to help her dad,
every person who was beaten abused or hurt
and felt so weak at home they wanted to feel strong in the one safe place they had.
because depite the fact she had died inside,
and almost passed away on the out,
it was a saccrafice she was willing to make
so that no one else would have to feel that kind of pain,
and they all inflicted it and broke her down'untill there was nothing left but a shell
of somthing that could have been
and never had the chance
because she would take it and wouldnt strike back,
because sometimes "just taking it"
isnt so much about the weakness not to do anything
but about the strangth not to hurt others the way they hurt you...
Copyright © cassie hellberg | Year Posted 2013
Long poem by
William J. Jr. Atfield | Details
My beautiful Daughter, walks life’s paths alone,
She does so, by design – not of hers – on her own.
She travels heavily !, from place to empty space,
from space to vacant place – in what kind of race?
A race towards where ?, towards what I do not know,
for, to me – an age and place beyond – she does not show
where it is, - where she wants her future to go
if ?, going anywhere – accomplishing - is a guiding
force in her life, seeking out, chasing after lightening.
There are times, when I hear, in my words
the sounds of need, – empty in their experience –
looking for some of what has been offered.
What has been offered, I see, it is not meant for me.
I keep being dragged back into this nightmare,
a nightmare ?, so I am lead to believe, could it be ?
Within the stories, the tone, I hear, I perceive it to be
but have to wonder ?, is it ?, really but a dream
that can find no reality on this plane , never comes true,
therefore it truly is !, becomes the nightmare.
In the words that tell, I see, I hear, I feel
the sword that plunges deep, with which to defend,
to destroy the foe – the lover – a man not to know
yet not forgotten, not left alone, not let go of.
He - the nightmare – is always there, he doesn’t care,
he is a rotting residue in, a part of life’s moments.
He is your nightmare, in your dreams, in every waking hour!
These sad eyes see, these sensitive ears, in pain, hear the pain,
this old heart feels, but this useless blade, – a knife that hides
within my, closed mouth – seems not able to cut away at the ties
that bind you to life’s strife – to the nightmare.
Could it be unfulfilled desires ?, unrealized dreams ?
What has taken forty nine life times to create,
might be attributed to nature, nurturing or fate,
but may not be digested, accepted, understood or dissipated.
Regardless of the words, the meaning, what else can be stated ?
I know that in forty nine hour days, my thoughts my feeling
will never find a way to reach out and touch a solid ceiling
and so, in my many words, in my actions, I pray
that it all can be set aside, and all can be put away.
A walk from the dark side, into the darkness.
Little, to nothing could this impotent old man / dad offer
his Child, his oldest Daughter, in so much need.
Nothing could he bestow upon his Child, or his lover,
with her insecurities, doubts, his insatiable greed,
and so, escape not, she walks along with his need
as it has been something he has decreed.
Oh !, how remiss to leave them on their own, to agree
to their coarse, a course that could take them on
to complete the journey they started, then gone.
Time, enough !, distance is past
Time to stop !, turn around at last
and face what the outcome will be.
Open eyes, a new beginning to see.
May I leave sun set’s path, face the sun rise
coming through that black velvet screen before me
with it’s spattered, day-glow dots, all aglow
opening inner sanctum doors, allowing me to know.
Thoughts for me, alternative for them flash before my mind.
What will they do ?, am I being so unkind ?
Will one, the other or both be bussed back to Ontario ?
As I walk back to the room, I ponder the scenario ?
Will we ( all three ) carry on with our little adventure
into the canyons and gorges, the city of all nights lights
– the city where angels never sleeps – I cannot be sure ?,
sure if they will end their – for my attention – fights.
Will we see the city ?, where one man built his fantasy,
walk among dreams brought to life, a fun reality
of cartoon characters, animated for the child in us
or in the end, to Ontario on a Greyhound bus ?
Will we see stars ?, stars on a walk, in the city of angels
At this juncture, what will be the story one tells ?
Will the Golden Gate carry us ?, will we ride the hills ?,
on their steel rails, tell tales of all our thrills ?
Will we end these moments in gods country ?,
the city of the British, the salmon run, a hollow tree,
mountains, bays, bears, a Princess, poetess gone to ash,
her rhyme, this forth cousin of mine, they did stash,
hidden from obvious view, in the woods of Stanley park,
where few knew, and for a hundred years, lay in the dark.
Many know not where Native, folk lore doth reside ?
In her books, hand in hand and side by side,
along with as many nationalities as there are nations.
In this place, women brought to life her creations.
Before I leave this bleak walk, in the arms of this black night,
My thoughts are, hope that all will come out all right,
when one of those day glow dots, in that black velvet sky,
all a glow, took off, streaked south, caught my eye
as it crossed the heavens, fast as the speed of light,
in the pattern of a Zed, then disappeared from sight.
( Strange !!!, this speck of star light, it’s unusual flight
as it star-ts out from nothing, speeds south on a
horizontal plane, pauses a split second, reverses direction,
drops down vertically, on an angle northward, towards a point
where it started out, again paused for a split second, then,
on a horizontal plan, zipped south before disappearing into star,
in the starry back drop from whence it took life, for a moment. )
This story, – twenty five years old – in rhyme, comes to life,
for a brief moment, from a memories hoard, rife
with so many stories hidden from sight
coming from rhyme - into light.
B. J.“A ” 2
May 30th 2002
Copyright © William J. Jr. Atfield | Year Posted 2014
Long poem by
Suzette Richards | Details
It was a visit long overdue by most people’s standards. I had last seen my daughter two years prior to that during a whirlwind trip which she and her fiancé had made to Cape Town. I had an unexpected financial windfall and the money was burning a hole in my pocket. On the spur of the moment, I called my daughter and asked her to source accommodation for me in London over the Christmas season. A few days later, she called me back with the news that all the hotels had been booked up, save for the Ritz. I chuckled at the idea of having to spend my entire holiday budget on just one night at the Ritz. Then reason asserted itself and we put our heads together to come up with an alternative solution. I could hear her flatmate in the background, chipping in with her penny’s worth of advice. My daughter hung up and I was feeling down in the mouth about the plans for the trip being derailed in such a fashion. Later that evening, my daughter called back with the offer that if I did not object to sleeping on the settee in the lounge, I would be most welcome to stay with them at their London flat. I gladly accepted. She is a chef at a top restaurant and I was looking forward to gourmet meals prepared by her - including the Christmas turkey.
screeching seagulls dive
at sushi scraps on a plate -
the urchin watches
The evening of the booked flight to London, arrived. It was an uncomfortable hot day and I showered and dressed with only minutes to spare before my friend took me to the airport to book in the statuary two hours before international flight departures. At the airport everything was in chaos. We were given the unwelcome news that our flight had been cancelled. This was the third direct flight to London which had been cancelled that week due to London experiencing the worst weather and snow since records began in 1890! We were offered alternative flights and had to stand in queues for hours in order to procure a new airline ticket. Some people became very verbose and insisted on being granted passage on other airline carriers (at the cost of our local airline carrier).
I do not know whether it was due to the weather or the disappointment I was feeling, but when my turn came at last to book a new flight, I readily agreed to fly on Christmas Eve ( three days hence) to London. If I had been given time to reflect on this date, I would not have accepted it. Arriving in London on Christmas Day would have been disastrous: The tubes and other public transport would have been curtailed on Christmas Day and shops and other amenities would have been closed for the day. This I knew from previous trips to the UK over the festive season. To add insult to injury, taxis would have charged triple for cab fare and no amount of quibbling would have swayed them. I phoned my friend to collect me and when we got home, I poured a large glass of Merlot and retired on the sun lounger in the garden. It was *full moon that evening and it was almost worth missing the trip to witness its beauty. I left my bags in the hallway and retired early – after phoning my daughter and giving her an update on the status quo.
between moon flowers -
Six am the following morning, I was woken up by the phone ringing. Sleepily I took the call. It was the airline inquiring whether I could get to the airport by seven am. My friend was dancing up and down in agitation and already had the car out by the time I had brushed my teeth. I offered to pay any speeding fines which she might incur during our mad dash to get to the airport on time.
The flight was an additional service which was laid on to get the backlog of passengers to their desired destinations. Heathrow had given our pilots permission to proceed, hence the call to me that morning. We were a total of thirty six passengers on the Boeing 747 – it translated to two passengers per crew member. We were treated to five in flight movies which were current and could eat and drink as much as we wished to. By the time we landed in London at seven pm that evening, there was a festive spirit among us. A radio taxi (which my daughter had organised) was waiting to collect me at Heathrow airport. It was a chilly four degrees Celsius below zero and I was grateful for my leather coat and wool accessories.
steep steps to flat
shut out the bitter world -
a heart pounds
*The December 2010 lunar eclipse occurred from 5:27 to 11:06 UTC on December 21, coinciding with the date of the December solstice. It was visible in its entirety as a total lunar eclipse in North and South America, Iceland, Ireland, Britain and northern Scandinavia.
"bitter" means piercingly cold..... A term commonly used by Britishers...
"flat" means apartment. The Londoners I know, refer to it as just "flat" with no adj or possessive noun or article. Please see the About section for explanations regarding the 1ST AND LAST haiku.
Haibun(literally, haikai writings) is a prosi-metric literary form originating in Japan, combining prose and haiku. The range of haibun is broad and includes the autobiography, diary, essay, prose poem, short story and travel journal. ~ Wikipedia
Copyright © Suzette Richards | Year Posted 2013
Long poem by
Kim van Breda | Details
OUR BABY GIRL TURNS 21
ON 1ST JULY 1990~ THE ANGELS DID SOMETHING ALMIGHTY
FROM HEAVEN THEY SENT US OUR LIFE-LONG DESIRE-A PRECIOUS DAUGHTER TO LOVE AND ADMIRE.
TRUE TO YOUR NATURE YOU ARRIVED WITHOUT FUSS OR PAIN--THE FIRST TIME OUR EYES MET WE KNEW OUR LIVES WOULD NEVER BE THE SAME
AS A BABY AND TODDLER YOU MADE US SO PROUD
YOUR VERY LONG HAIR, GREEN EYES AND SMILE-
ALL THOSE GOOD LOOKS MADE YOU STAND OUT IN A CROWD
YOU STARTED TALKING EARLY WITH MANY VOICEPRINTS
YOUR CHARM AND GOOD LOOKS HAVE NOT STOPPED SINCE
YOU LOVED YOUR DOLLS AND PRAMS-- DREAMT OF BEING A “SINGER”
AND VERY QUICKLY LEARNED HOW TO WRAP YOUR DAD AROUND YOUR LITTLE FINGER
YOUR BIG BROTHER DEVON--BEST FRIEND AND PROTECTER
MOST OF THE TIME YOU GOT ON PERFECTLY TOGETHER
FROM AN EARLY AGE YOU SHOWED YOUR LOVE OF SWIMMING
AGE TWO AND A HALF YOU WERE ABLE AND WILLING
TO SWIM UNDER WATER AND DO MANY LENGTHS
THIS WAS CLEARLY ONE OF YOUR SPORTING STRENGTHS
AT AGE THREE YOU COULD BARELY WAIT TO START PLAYSCHOOL
“MISS INDEPENDENCE”, WAS YOUR GENERAL RULE
THE SLIDE AND JUNGLE GYM WERE YOUR FAVOURITE SPOTS
AND TO OUR HORROR YOU WOULD CLIMB RIGHT TO THE TOP!
AT AROUND THIS TIME, YOUR FIRST BOYFRIEND YOU MET-
HE LIVED NEXT DOOR, AND HIS NAME WAS BRETT
SOON IT WAS TIME FOR PRE-SCHOOL
YOU LOVED YOUR TEACHER--YOUR NEW FRIENDS WERE COOL
‘SPRING BONNETS’ AND THE END OF YEAR SCHOOL PLAYS
THE TEDDY BEAR CLASS GAVE YOU SOME REAL SPECIAL DAYS
NEXT WAS ‘BIG SCHOOL’ AND YOUR FIRST CLASS
WE WERE SERIOUSLY ANXIOUS BUT FOR YOU JUST ANOTHER ‘MISS INDEPENDENCE’ TASK
LETTERLAND, MATHS AND LEARNING TO READ
YOU EXCELLED AT ALL THAT WITH INCREDIBLE SPEED
YOUR ACHIEVEMENTS CONTINUED THROUGH GRADES 2, 3 AND FOUR
YOUR PLACE IN THE SWIMMING TEAM HELPED YOUR SCHOOL WIN MORE
OUR MOVE TO AUSTRALIA… SAD FAREWELLS TO YOUR FRIENDS AND YOUR PETS
BUT, GREAT EXCITEMENT YOU FELT AT ADVENTURES TO BE MET
A NEW SCHOOL--“METHODIST LADIES COLLEGE”
NEW FRIENDS--JUMPING A GRADE-- MET WITH SUCH POSITIVE COURAGE
YOU MADE US SO PROUD IN THE WAY YOU ADAPTED
MRS. WILLIAMSON SAID YOU WERE THEIR NEW CLASS ‘ASSETT’
THE ‘MR BEE’ SPELLING AWARD AND MANY MERITS LATER
WE ALL GOT HOMESICK-- BUT YOUR POSITIVE NATURE DID NOT WAVER
THE DECISION WE MADE TO RETURN TO CAPE TOWN
CAUSED YOU HEARTBROCKEN TEARS AND A PERMANENT FROWN
ONCE AGAIN A SAD FAREWELL TO YOUR NEW FOUND FRIENDS
RETURNING TO S.A. FOR OLD ONES TO MAKE AMMENDS
IT WASN’T VERY LONG THAT YOU PICKED UP WHERE YOU LEFT OFF AT ALL
ADDED TO YOUR TALENTS WERE NOW TEAM HOCKEY AND NETBALL
AS YOU APPROACHED THE FIRST OF YOUR TEEN YEARS
WITH YOUR LOOKS AND CHARM, INEVITABLY THE BOYFRIENDS WOULD APPEAR
SHOPPING, MOVIES AND MANY PARTY SLEEP-OVERS
CHOOSING TRUE FRIENDS AND DUMPING THE LOSERS
DANCE SHOWS AND DANCING EXAMS… YOU EXCELLED AT HIP- HOP
FUN AND OF COURSE THE DESIRE TO SHOP
THE END OF JUNIOR SCHOOL-- THE FINAL ASSEMBLY—AWARDS
TROPHIES FOR SPORTSMANSHIP AND YOUR S.R.C. PRIZE GOT MANY APPLAUDS
SAD FEELINGS AT LEAVING YOUR OLD SCHOOL BEHIND
EXCITEMENT AT STARTING HIGH SCHOOL WOULD SOON COME TO MIND
NO PROBLEM TO YOU, IT WAS ALL JUST A BREEZE
AS YEAR BY YEAR YOU CONTINUED TO ACHIEVE
SWIMMING AND ‘A’ TEAM HOCKY MATCHES ON THE ASTRO TURF
YOU EVEN STARTED TO LEARN HOW TO SURF
FRIDAY AFTERNOON CHRISTIAN MEETINGS AND EVENING CHURCH YOUTH
WE WERE SO HAPPY YOU FOUND GOD AND HIS TRUTH
THE REST OF HIGH SCHOOL PASSED IN THE BLINK OF AN EYE WHILE
YOUR LIST OF ACHIEVEMENTS REMAINED EXCEPTIONALLY HIGH
YOUR ORGANISATIONAL SKILLS WERE ASTOUNDING
COPING WITH TOUGH SUBJECTS LIKE MATHS, SCIENCE AND ACCOUNTING
IN HOCKEY AND SWIMMING YOU MADE THE TOP TEAMS
NO SURPRISE AT ALL THAT SWIMMING COACHES MOVED IN ON THE SCENE.
THEY CULTIVATED YOUR TALENTS FROM STRENGTH TO STRENGTH
EVERY YOUR NIGHT YOUR PASSION SAW YOU DOING MANY LENGTHS
WEEKENDS OF GALA’S AND NATIONAL SWIMMING
S.A.SHORT COURSE, YOUR P.B’S, AND FAIR SHARE OF WINNING
TOGETHER WE CELEBRATED YOUR PLACE IN W.P. SCHOOL CHAMPS THAT YEAR
SO PROUD OF OUR BEAUTIFUL SWIMMER ALWAYS AHEAD OF HER PEERS
FIRST YEAR AT UNIVERSITY YOU BECAME SO INDEPENDENT
STARTING YOUR STUDIES AS A B.Sc. STUDENT
IT WAS ALSO THE YEAR YOU LEARNED TO DRIVE
GOT YOUR LICENSE—DAD SPOILT YOU—NEW CAR—RESPLENDENT
YOUR FAITH AND TRUST IN THE LORD STILL REMAINS FIRM
AS YOU WALK AND GROW SPIRITUALLY DAILY WITH HIM
SO MUCH HAS CHANGED, AND YET SOME THINGS REMAIN
YOU BEAUTY AND TALENTS SO EASILY MAINTAINED
YOUR LOVE OF SWIMMING AND OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENTS IN WATER
YOU KNOW WE WILL ALWAYS BE YOUR NO. 1 SUPPORTERS
AND NOW YOU ARE 21, SWEETHEART
YOUR WHOLE LIFE AHEAD OF YOU-- TODAY IS JUST THE START
IT SEEMS LIKE JUST YESTERDAY THAT YOU WERE BORN—
OUR DAUGHTER~LOVES BRIGHT SHINING LIGHT~ WE ADORE
YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL AND TALENTED IN EVERY WAY
WISHING YOU GOD’S RICHEST BLESSINGS ON YOUR SPECIAL DAY
HAPPY 21ST BIRTHDAY TO OUR BABY GIRL
TO HAVE YOU AS A DAUGHTER HAS BEEN A REAL PLEASURE
-YOU HAVE AND ALWAYS WILL BE OUR MOST BEAUTIFUL TREASURE-
(FOOTNOTE: OUR DAUGHTER WILL BE 23 THIS YEAR, HAS COMPLETED HER BSc. AND HONOURS DEGREE’S IN PHYSIOLOGY AND GENETICS AND NOW DOING HER MASTERS DEGREE IN EXERCISE SCIENCE. SHE IS ALSO A PROFESSIONAL TRIATHLETE—DOING SWIMMING, CYCLING AND RUNNING AS ONE DISCLIPLINE)
Copyright © Kim van Breda | Year Posted 2013
Long poem by
Dorine R Spruill | Details
Molested the first fifteen years of my life. My mother remained silent the whole time. As the molesting continued all those years. Forced to live a pretend life all my childhood. Beaten and punished every other day. For no reason other than being a child. After all this I figured I was a unwanted child. My mother couldn't love me abusing me. She brought me fancy expensive clothes every year. To cover up all her verbal, mental, and physical abuse. She tried to hide me from people, family and friends. So that they wouldn't see the embarrassing scars and bruises. Sometimes so bad I couldn't even go to school the next day. Or I would get into fights or act rude to get a suspension notice. That would have allowed my body to heal. One time I even tried to get ex-spelled. However, it didn't work. I only came home to more beatings. Her boyfriend watched and help hold me down on the floor as she would beat, and beat, and beat. Maybe this gave him a idea that it was ok to abuse me. Being that my mother was already doing it. Yeah! From the outside looking in my childhood was perfect. Every child wanted my seat. Name-brand clothes, shoes, computers, and almost every toy in the Jc Penny catalog. From the inside looking out I was screaming to get out. Scared, alone, abused, and still a child. So there was nothing I could do. I had no brothers or sisters at the time. All my family wouldn't believe me.No! Not him they would say, and did say at age fifteen I started getting older, and more developed. I had to put a stop to this. So after talking to some school friends. I decided to talk to my mother about what was going on. So later on that night I called my mother in to talk to her. I had told her what had been going on. while she was a work, and out late shopping. She in return asked me to draw a picture of his *****. As if she didn't believe me on the spot. What! I thought to myself. How could she ask me a thing like that? After one hour she finally called the police. I was brung in also for video questioning. I told them what had been going on in the house while my mother was away. The police in return asked me "what took so long for me to tell" I replied" I was scared, alone, and threatened. I had no one in the house to protect me. From my mothers abusive ways. I thought people would tease me." The next question was to my mother. The police asked "How could you live in the same house, and not know that your child was being raped?" My mother sat quietly and had no answer. So she got charged with neglect. My mother's boyfriend got charged with child molestation, and a few other things. I can't remember them all. After all that I was still scared, but finally free. Free to be a kid again.
Awh, hell the relationship between my mother and I went down the drain. After trial she hated me even more. Every day she was threatening to kick me out of the house. I was only sixteen so she couldn't just kick me out. Yet! She even got so angry at times. She went as far as not letting me communicate with my newborn brother. She even told people to keep him away from me. That hurt me so bad everyday. I prayed to God everyday to soften my mother's heart, but it never happened. When I turned eighteen she finally kicked me out the house for real. With no place to go, no money , and no food to eat. I ended up living with family and friends until she let me back in. I don't know why, but I thought things had changed. About a week after moving she called the police and told them that I was prostituting. Which was a lie. Thank God I didn't spend time in jail. Due to her lies and deceit. I never thought I would have to leave my own mother alone. However, after that incident that was my final decision. Sporadically I call her to hear her voice, and check on my brother. Unfortunately she never answers the phone. Her guilt for abusing me won't let her answer the phone.
I moved to Albany, NY for a fresh start. A new beginning! There I met more friends, moved into a brand new apartment, and fell in love. I wasn't expecting to fall in love, but I did. With a adorable, hot, and sexy Italian guy. For the first time my life was great, and I was happy. I even tried some plus size modeling, nursing, and I started self-publishing my writings. I was accomplishing things that my mother never encouraged me to do.
After about four years I started feeling homesick . So I came back to Virginia. Wow! What destruction was happening. My whole family fell apart. Nothing or nobody were the same. They all became police property. That was a sign to continue to stay away from them. Continue my happy life. Continue self-publishing my stories. Praying to God everyday. that I remain successful. This is a true story. Unfortunately it happened to me. From a mother who brung me in this world. Only to use and abuse me my whole entire childhood. Then pretend that nothings even going on.
Copyright © Dorine R Spruill | Year Posted 2013
Long poem by
William J. Jr. Atfield | Details
My Dear, Sweet, lost Child ?
Daughter of my wasted youth !
I am truly sorry Gail, for all that I was
- that selfish, inconsiderate, thoughtless man -
I am truly sorry Gail, for all that I was not !,
- a responsible, considerate, good father -
as I left behind, in the wake of my life, a beautiful girl child,
a child who, by her own strength, came to a stage,
just one of many, - as I recall – in her life,
that have plagued her, with so many questions,
so much insecurity, such deep doubt about what she is ?,
who she is ?, how she got to be ?, what it will take to be free ?
What I see !, is a beautiful young woman, who has found the answers,
who has the strength, the courage, the wisdom to move beyond
all of her life’s adversities, moved beyond all that has troubled her,
- filled her mind for so many, long and wasted years –
to find and live a life few can only hope to achieve.
She has left her troubled soul behind, stepped out of the limitations
her creators instilled, - limitations her creators are trapped in -,
walked past, and far beyond the worst and best they could be,
to be a much better person then they and in her own right.
Their right Gail, - your mothers and mine – was created by forces,
forces beyond the innocent, naiveté of our youthful experiences.
And so my Dear, sad to say, we are left to deal with all of life
- rainbows, black clouds, mirrored lakes, raging seas, open fields,
dark and mysterious caves, happiness, securities, doubts,
insecurities and a life time of sadness’s – yet most of us,
realize, ( to one degree or another ) that life goes on in spite
and perpetuates itself – for the good of mankind and this planet
we share ( from the infinitesimal atom to the mighty, majestic mountains
or the destruction of conscious humanity and our tiny inverse -
for better or worse as we act out the characters our forefathers created.
I can not help but be deeply saddened – heart broken – by all
that troubles you, about me, about your mother,
but most of all – troubles you about yourself.
You know my Dear, there is positively nothing you can do,
think, feel, understand – no matter how much, I wish
I could take the hands of father time and turn them back –
that will take the hands of time, turn them to the time of youth
and change what I, and the past created for you.
Fear not my Dear, for you can ask ?, question ?, understand,
and with that knowledge, step aside, embrace the past
and with knowledge in hand, walk a different path
then those that came before knowing that the past
permeates the present with its essence, as it does the future,
but it is only you, who has the power to make the choice,
of whether or not the past controls you or you the past.
Ones actions – at a time when another’s needs, need be met –
does not necessarily mean what the other has thought and felt.
My actions, my choices Gail, where just that, my choices.
None of what I did or did not do had anything to do with you,
even though – in the end – it did, it affected you negatively.
My decision Gail, good or bad, selfish and thoughtless
where not meant to take anything away from you – but did –
except for my physical presence, for my love and concerns
where always in mind, where always with you, even if I wasn’t.
You know my Dear, - of course you don’t – I wish you had kept
all the correspondence from me, as I have done, from you,
so that we might go through them all and see, and know
if what I now perceive of myself these days, reflects a truth
of the man I think I was in those days. Was I the man then
I am now ?, is the man I am now, one of worth ?,
more worthy today then yesterday ?, I cannot say, I do not know
but what ever the case ?, I loved you as much then as I do now,
regardless, and in spite of all that may seem, and seemed uncertain.
I realize Gail, that certainty, memories, experiences are but illusions
in the mind, in the passing of time, what counts, is living the moment,
– at least for me – sucking the life out of it, without reservation,
for, within the moment, are carried the all, and all we are
at that precise moment when the twinkling of life’s eye
shows us the light, the colours, the knowledge, the wisdom
as they move on, on the wings of rainbows, that are moved
by the solar winds of our conscious / subconscious life.
The all we were, the all we are, the all we will ever be,
in this moment, all or fragments of, will live in the next moment.
How we direct our moments Gail, come on the wings
of who and what we were, who and what we are
and what previous moments added to the equation.
Copyright © William J. Jr. Atfield | Year Posted 2014
Long poem by
William J. Jr. Atfield | Details
Words come to me like spring.
They set free, they shed the shroud,
open with all their glory, beauty and sing.
They stand tall, they ring out loud,
from a life that blossoms with life’s renewal,
with its continuation and the energy it will fuel,
taking all living things, from their creation
to exotic places, the place of their final destination
and that of their destiny.
And destiny for you and me.
Words are my stairway towards the breasts
of heaven, its waiting arms and its protective nests,
where there is nothing that harms
- as one snuggles in its enfolding arms -
one on his journey down long winding roads
he has to travel with such heavy loads.
Words are the steps I have climbed, they take me
on adventures – and many, they have been – to see
me through the doors, ( doors of perception ) of my mind,
those places, where it is, I spend most of my time.
These pathways I have chosen to embark upon,
seem to linger on, and on, and on
through to the subconscious that doth confirm,
to consciousness, the light and I do learn
from the words, the life, the thought
flowing like meandering streams, into raging rivers,
rivers into seas, into oceans and ought
to take flight, light up the livers
of life on their voyage towards heaven above
where all might be pure love
for a soul and for that soul to know
what is unknowable to conscious man, what doesn’t show,
of what is not known to life, in its everyday living.
Words, for me, are knowledge, are for wisdom, for giving
to all of whom want to know for all those who want to grow.
B. J. “A” 2
March 21st 2002
Melanie, Dear Melanie !!!
My heart, Melanie, is aching.
My heart, Melanie, is braking
from the attitudes that never seems to cease.
They just seem – to me that is – to ever increase,
taking you ever deeper and deeper into ?, and further away
from who you are – what I feel and what I pray,
is not where you are at and what you are heading for.
It seems that there are few days left ?, before you are out the door.
B. J. “A” 2
March 21st 2002
My hours tremble, they shake in their passing.
The minutes I live, are pressing, they are oppressing,
for the thunder that rages, that is your presence,
I have no safe haven, no shelter, I have no defence.
To become completely silent ?, never to sing out,
to ring the bell that tolls of your life, turned about
expressed with anger, in the hostile words you shout
at me, words that let me see into, know something is amiss
in our little world, that once tasted the sweetness of bliss,
but now, has been destroyed, taken away !,
by what ?, by whom ?, who has lead you astray.
B. J. “A” 2
March 21st 2002
I have felt, for some time, and do feel the light
within you flicker, yet does not quite burn bright
for long, but one day, may just take flight
on your butter fly wings, not dried or out of sight
and carry you passed all in life – BAD – you tried, in darkest of night..
B. J. “A” 2
March 21st 2002
I have reached out !, I have tried to touch you Melanie !,
but have found, not but vapour, mist in my hands,
passing air, on the run, to an uncharted, unknown sea,
to far off, barren, dusty, desert lands.
I offer you, - my Daughter, my Child, - my time, my ear.
I would like to know, to understand, to listen, I want to hear,
but silence is all that comes to me, upon the turbulent wind,
on the run, in the air, stilled by this horrendous sin.
B. J. “A ” 2
March 21st 2002
Melanie, !!!, your fall, I find hard to conceive.
It is a picture, a movie that I do not want to believe,
yet it is all around me, but if I would perceive.
B. J. “A ” 2
March 21st 2002
A black hole
My life is caught up in this vortex called living.
This whirl pool, called life, sucks me in,
spins me round and around, giving
nothing, just drawing me ever downward, in,
into this it’s empty black hole, pierced by it’s swards,
laying my heart wide open, bleeding on my thoughts, my words.
B. J. “A ” 2
March 21st 2002
My eyes flow, they swell with red
rivers, in vain as painful waves
of tears, tears full of fears fill my head
as the pain, from within, fills the caves,
the hollows, the shelters in my mind, never put to bed
B. J. “A ” 2
March 21st 2002
Much to much time !!!
It seemed that I had too much time on my hands to reflect,
Too much time on my hands to project
to much time on my hands to infect
my days, my nights with what I did suspect,
and now the years have slipped by like lightening,
and all that once was frightening
has, with the passing of time, become clear
as time has shown, elevating all that I did fear.
B. J. “A ” 2
October 12th 2013
Copyright © William J. Jr. Atfield | Year Posted 2013
Long poem by
Lin Lane | Details
As I watched my daughter playing with her son, I couldn't help but see myself in her. I still think of her as a child, but I guess parents always see their grown children as babies. My daughter is a reflection of me in many ways. She calls me her hero, but I'm the one who is proud of her. A tear rolls from my eye as I remember all the struggles we faced. Growing up as the child of a single parent, her life was a harsh reality.
I didn't know how to care for you, or how to handle your cries.
I wasn't sure what to do until I looked into your innocent eyes.
The first time you woke in the night, you scared me half to death.
My heart was filled with such fright, I could hardly catch my breath
I fixed you a bottle of warm milk and rocked you until sleeping.
I touched your hair, soft as silk. I held you close in safe-keeping.
My daughter left for a meeting in the middle of an atrocious storm. Heavy rain had been falling all day with outbreaks of thunder and lightning. "Love you both," she said, as she hugged me and her son, then rushed out. I was left with my adorable grandson. Cuddling him close and watching him play reminded me of times when my daughter was his age. Life had been a struggle: she had been a lively infant but I'd almost lost her from a series of convulsions. When she was nine, she decided to run away, but only got as far as the front yard. Then there were the terrible teens with the silly boyfriends I had to threaten. She had matured into a beautiful young woman, a wife and mother, and an influential and inspirational adult. Watching her grow up had been filled with trials, but also with much love and delight - I would not have changed a thing.
You were nearly lost to me, and I would've never known
the angel you would be, through the years you've grown.
Your younger years we spent together flew by much too fast.
A boyfriend dressed in leather? Thank God that's in the past.
Who would you become, when into a woman you were grown?
One day to be a mum? Would you have a child of your own?
My grandson fell asleep in my arms. I didn't want to put him down, so I held him close like I used to hold my baby girl. He looked so peaceful and innocent. I was shaken from my reverie by the wind as it rattled the windows and drove sheets of rain against the panes. With each flash of lightning and crash of thunder, my worry grew. I gazed at the clock and realized my daughter had been gone for more than five hours. She wasn't answering her phone. The intensity of the storm filled me with a sudden fear, just like the fear I had when she was young.
baby in my arms
I will keep you safe from harms
the rage of all storms
now I fret and stew
daughter, what's become of you
what more can I do
I felt so helpless, trapped in the house with the baby. My palms were starting to sweat so I put him down in his crib. Even if he wasn't here I wouldn't know where to look for her. I started pacing, emotions switching between fear and agitation. I started to panic. What if something had happened to her? What would I do without her? All those fears I had when she was a child came back to me. I had to get hold of emotions. I couldn't panic. Then the door opened. "Sorry, Mum. The weather was too bad to drive home so I met a friend for coffee, and my phone lost its charge." A sense of relief flooded through me. I held her close, just like I did when she was a child.
You were my angel as a little girl
Ribbons to tame your unruly curls
Then you grew up much too fast
into a lovely woman, a bonny lass.
Now you have a child of your own.
Before you know it, he'll be grown.
A grandson to hold upon my knee,
Thank you, daughter, for loving me.
Freestyle Haibun: Prose, Couplets, Senryu and Rhyme.
Collaboration between Lin Lane and Silent One
December 10th 2015
Copyright © Lin Lane | Year Posted 2015
Long poem by
Isaiah Zerbst | Details
Their rending cries, when all is still, reecho in the moonlight;
They lie about in fitful slumber on the ground at noonlight,
Their virgin hair spread in the dust; for nothing really matters:
Who then will see their tangled locks, their dresses all in tatters,
The myriad trails of tears on dusty faces robbed of gladness,
The haunted eyes all swollen red, such depthless pools of sadness?
It seems that they could melt the rocks to tears of lamentation,
There being not a hope for fair Celena's preservation.
Both months have passed; the time has come. Celena must be going;
She wanders to her father's house, while dreading, fully knowing
The manner and the time of death; she sees the gory vision
Of being bound, awaiting fate for Jephthah's poor decision;
Her trusting eyes both fixed on his, both filled with untold torture;
The final sight her eyes will see before her soul's departure:
Yet still she presses on, determined, lest the Lord in fury
Rain down his wrath for promise broken in a deadly flurry
On father and his wife and daughter, nation, tribe, and village,
And curse their life and health and plenty, oxen, sheep, and tillage
With sword or pestilence or famine, plague or deportation;
Thus one, though innocent, must die to ransom all her nation.
Beside his doorway Jephthah stands, all torn with deep confliction
Between the hope that she'd been killed, or lost her path's direction,
And longing just to see again his daughter, but for fleeting
Bitter moments, and to chisel in his mind the soft, yet wild beating
Of her heart against his own. Alas! A heart cast down in sorrow,
Dread, and fear: a heart run short of precious moments which to borrow.
Look! There she comes; the tearful maiden, followed by companions;
Bedraggled garments torn, and faces streaked with dust of canyons.
The bravest of them turn away with looks of wretched terror,
Departing to their distant homes, while trembling footsteps bear her
To where he stands, and wordlessly in this, their final parting,
Embraces her, and feels each heartbeat softly, wildly beating;
While that of his is softly, wildly, e'er so slowly bleeding.
Then hand in hand they tread together to the highest hilltop;
In Jephthah's grasp a wicked knife and fresh-picked bunch of hyssop.
With leather cord he binds her tight and lays her on the altar:
He takes in hand the fearsome blade, but there his fingers falter;
For sapphire eyes, Celena's eyes, into his own are bearing,
And seeing hurt and pain and fear, his firm resolve is tearing.
Jephthah's visage wilts and quavers, as if he would save Celena;
Then she speaks, his brave Celena, dutiful and grave Celena,
"Father, do it! Slay me now! E'er resolve is gone forever:
E'er I break and cry for mercy; then you know that you could never
Do this deed of you required." He with one last look of dolor
Into eyes so wide and fearful, thrust the knife and crimson color
Spread and trickled from her chest. So there it was! The deed completed.
There one moment, gone the next. The only thing he really needed
Frittered on a foolish vow. His only joy, his only child
Pale and still, and in her place a torture aye unreconciled.
Shaking fingers set the purest, sweetest offering afire,
Half expecting, hoping, wishing, as the hungry flames grew higher
That his precious sleeping daughter waken from her dreamless slumber;
But, alas! She ne'er could waken. Now he must be of the number
Whose lineage drifts away with them; who know no satisfaction:
Thus Jephthah grasped the wicked blade with sudden thought of action
And cut a yard-long lock of hair before the flame consumed her,
Then faced away; he could not face the awful way he'd doomed her;
Instead he snapped the blade in two and fell down by the altar
Crying, "Take this shame away from me, O Lord! And do not fault her
For dying in this time and fashion; let the blame be solely carried
By myself: oh, let her spirit live in peace!" And then he buried
His weeping head into his helpless arms, and kept on sobbing
Until the flames had burnt to cinders, thus forever robbing
Him of the chance of ever seeing sweet Celena's features.
Then he arose and stumbled home, not seeing all the creatures
Who stood their ground in utter silence, crying for Celena;
Nor all the girls at every doorfront, sighing for Celena;
Thus never knew but one man's heart was dying for Celena.
Copyright © Isaiah Zerbst | Year Posted 2015