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Long Poems
Long poem by Angela Freeman | Details

Longing for the Stars

My mind is always a million miles away
I long for a better time...I long for a better day
There’s nothing in this life that turns me on
If it weren’t for Mondo, I’d pass and be gone
I have no desire to be here at this time
I feel that God putting me here is a crime 
I feel like a chess piece on his old worn out board 
Why would he do this to me?...my father...my Lord 
What does he get out of seeing me suffer? 
Instead of life getting better, it just keeps getting tougher
Life really stinks, I hate being here 
There’s only one thing here that I hold dear 
Amondo Michael Cole you are the one
You are my moon, you are my sun 
You are the light that makes my darkness disappear 
I just wish that you were near
It is so hard to be away from you
I’m always sad...I’m always blue
The days just keep rolling on
I often wonder when I’ll be gone 
I will leave this place and travel back to Saturn
I will be out in the stars as I watch this place burn 
All of the low life people will melt away 
Leaving you and I to make our way 
Back out into the stars where we belong 
Putting us here was totally wrong
We never belonged here...we’re too good for this place 
If God were here...I’d tell him to his face 
I’d tell him I am angry, but I’m glad I was led to you
Only a loving god would do that for me and that’s true 
So when the hard times get to be too much
I clear my head and think of your touch
God knew he could not get through to me so he sent you
You are real, you are honest, you are good, you are true
You swept me off of my feet with your first letter 
Things just keep getting better and better 
I know you love me more each day
I can feel you and I have to say 
Thank you so much for coming into my life 
I cannot wait to be your wife 
You have made my life complete 
No other can could ever compete 
There’s only you and I forever 
We’ll travel the stars...we’ll leave here together
Never to return...for the stars are our home 
Forever with you...never will I roam 
You are the brightest star that shines in my world 
We are twilight in the netherworld 
We are beautiful as long as we’re together 
For us to shine we need forever 
We can never let the other burn out
There can be no questions and no doubts 
You have to know I love you as much as I do
You have to know my love is true
I also need the same from you
I need the love you had when we flew 
Away to Saturn the first time around 
You picked me up off the ground 
You wrapped me in your big black wings 
You took me on to better things 
Then we got separated and came here 
I was gripped with sadness...I was gripped with fear 
I had no light left inside of me
You shined your light and made me free 
Then the demons came rushing in 
Everything I said and did was full of sin
I was like a demon overnight 
You knew something was wrong...things just weren’t right 
You came to me in a dream 
Your light was on me like a strong beam 
It soaked through me and set me ablaze 
I have never been so filled with light...never been so amazed 
Your love has got me in a daze 
My soul you lifted...my soul you raised 
You brought me out of the darkness where I was residing 
I was tired of dying...I was tired of hiding 
Then I woke up to the madness I created 
I would have been fine had I waited 
To talk to you again to make me see 
This darkness I am in is no way to be
You need to force me into the light with you
I want to be done with these demons...I want to be through 
I don’t know what else to do
I need you to pull me through with your love that’s true 
They say true love conquers all 
Don’t let me slip...don’t let me fall 
The abyss is constantly calling my name
I am living with regrets...I am living in shame 
Then you came along and, my soul, you tried to claim 
You perfected your shot and your arrow you aimed 
At my heart and pulled me back to you again 
One day we’ll get over...one day we’ll win 
These demons are not going to take me from you
I don’t care what I have to do
I have searched my whole life for a love that’s true 
And that love, my love, comes from you
Yes, my love, you will take me back to the stars 
You’ll take away all of my pain and heal all my scars 
For to the stars we must return
There’s nothing left here for me to learn 
I found you, my love...my shining star 
And for you, with God, I’d go to war 
There’s no limit to my love...I want more 
You are the one that I adore 
You came to me when I was damaged goods 
I talked to you and you understood 
No one has ever gotten me before 
They always run and shut the door 
You opened your door and your heart wide open to me
It is only with you that I can be free 
We have a short while left on this earth, my dear 
After that everything will be made quite clear 
We’ll understand what all this meant 
We’ll understand how we were heaven sent 
We fell together and lost each other 
No one else can give us what we need...we’d never recover 
We need each other’s love to continue to grow 
It is not for other beings to understand or know 
We are different you and I
My reason for being here...I now know why
I was to find you before I die
When the time comes for me to fly 
You will see me passing by
Telling you how much I love you and I’ll wait for you 
You will fly over and meet me...this is true 
If only other people knew 
What it’s like for me and you
No one has a love like ours
We belong together in the stars 
Here we go, baby, take my hand 
We’re out in space on demand 
We fly away to Saturn so fantastic 
She’s so beautiful and so majestic 
To the stars, baby, light the way 
Never to return to earth another day 
We are on to bigger and better things 
No one could picture this in their dreams 
The site is so magical and amazing 
No more hoping...no more gazing 
Out in the stars we’ll forever be together as one 
With a love much brighter than the sun 
We’ll shine our light on each other as we pass Mars 
Here we go...back to the stars 

Copyright © Angela Freeman | Year Posted 2017

Long poem by Carol Connell | Details

The Words He Did Not Want To Say

For over 10 years he had considered himself the happiest man on earth. A large part of that was due to his marriage to his beloved college sweetheart, Lydia.  It seemed that from the moment they met at the seminary there was a bond, and they knew that they were meant for each other. Of course, life had its ups and downs, but even hard times were easier for him to bear with the woman of his dreams by his side. All of that had suddenly changed nearly four weeks ago.
Larry was coming home from a 2 week missionary crusade to Africa along with several other ministers. It had been a wonderful trip in which he had seen the hand of God working in mighty ways, but he was looking forward to going home and being reunited with his dear wife and family. Lydia was to pick up the entourage at the airport. The flight to Houston was surprisingly on time, and everyone had successfully gathered their suitcases from the baggage carousel. Lydia was late, which was unusual for her, and there was no voicemail or texts on his cellphone. The group of ministers chatted while they waited, figuring that maybe traffic had delayed her coming.  After about 20 minutes, one of them got a call and excused himself from the group.  Several minutes later he returned and motioned for all the men, except for Larry to come over to where he was.  Larry thought this rather odd and felt a strange sense of foreboding.
After what seemed to him like an eternity, the group of men returned, and they broke the news. On her way to the airport, Lydia had crossed the path of a vehicle that was fleeing from the police at a very high speed. She was killed almost instantly and pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital. Gary had a complete breakdown at the airport, and how he or any of them arrived home was a complete blur to him.
Now, he was standing at her gravesite almost 5 weeks later with a bouquet of her favorite flowers in his hand. It was the first time he had returned here since the funeral. He stood there silently for a few minutes lost in his own thoughts. Then he began to talk out loud.
“Babe, I love you, and I miss you so much. I know I need to move on with life, but I don’t know how.”
Suddenly he switched conversation partners.
“Jesus, I don’t know how to go on, but I know I must for the sake of our kids and for the sake of the church. But how do I move on?”
As he let out a deep sigh, one word came to his mind. Job.  Of course he was familiar with this Bible character; his integrity and great faith in spite of what he had lost. Some words came to his mind that this great man had spoken so long ago. He knew what he needed to do but he argued with God.
“I can’t possibly say those words. I don’t feel them at all in the slightest bit.”
He pondered more about Job, and some questions came to his mind.
 In his anguish, did he really feel those words when he had spoken them so long ago?  Are we to let feelings dictate our faith?
He sighed again deeply, and then made the decision that his will was going to override his feelings. With every ounce of strength and courage he could muster, although his heart wasn’t in it at the moment, haltingly, but with conviction, he spoke those words.
“The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.”
With this profession of faith and a torrent of tears, he began the walk down the road to recovery.

9/18/17
submitted for Poems That Paint A Picture2 Contest sponsored by Silent One

Job 1:6-22  Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them. 
And the LORD said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it. 
And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? 
Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought? 
Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land. 
But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face. 
And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD. 
And there was a day when his sons and his daughters were eating and drinking wine in their eldest brother's house: 
And there came a messenger unto Job, and said, The oxen were plowing, and the asses feeding beside them: 
And the Sabeans fell upon them, and took them away; yea, they have slain the servants with the edge of the sword; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee. 
While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said, The fire of God is fallen from heaven, and hath burned up the sheep, and the servants, and consumed them; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee. 
While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said, The Chaldeans made out three bands, and fell upon the camels, and have carried them away, yea, and slain the servants with the edge of the sword; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee. 
While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said, Thy sons and thy daughters were eating and drinking wine in their eldest brother's house: 
And, behold, there came a great wind from the wilderness, and smote the four corners of the house, and it fell upon the young men, and they are dead; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee. 
Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshipped, 
And said, Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD. 
In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly. 



Copyright © Carol Connell | Year Posted 2017

Long poem by Stone Fox | Details

Home Sweet Hell

"That also has a steep drop off the far side of Home Sweet Hell" said my soulless guide as he pointed in the direction of the nearby screams. 
I could see what resembled silhouettes or smeared shadows  of something being thrown or tossed off the side of the tallest tower in sight.  
There were so many falling at once the blur of any kind of outline in this smokey medieval lighting was impossible and began to strain my eyes. 
"They're throwing bodies over the edge, a necessary task for the good of our home." he continued as he watched me watching the horrific scene of what now was confirmed as bodies. 
"They were rotting and now they will rot even faster engulfed in flames!" he exclaimed with a smirk. "It's quiet clever really, it serves two purposes as one form of torture while at the same time feeding the eternal damnation fires of hell. We recently have undergone new management so our productivity points have never been higher." He seemed to wear that smirk like a proud badge as he bragged about the last part. No doubt he was most likely the new management, possibly the one who would decide my fresh new hell. 
He gave a new meaning to the expression "milky white" and had a paleness that was almost purple.  Freakishly tall which wouldn't have been so bad if he wasn't as thin as a runway model-and that was putting it politely. He was dressed in a crimson velvet  suit like some dapper don vampire with the chilling accessory of sharp dead eyes. He exuded terror all around while stroking my anxiety in the most uncomfortable metaphorical rhythm. 
With his you-know "devil may care" attitude he attempted to smooth out a newly noticed wrinkle in his crimson red velvet sports jacket.  
"Even in Hell, one must always look their Sundays best or in the flames you go!" he giggled laughing at his own joke. I neither laughed or even reacted, instead I ignored him and continued to watch the screaming falls.
The worker bees or drones-or whatever you're supposed to mindless underlings from hell, were now headed for a v-shape among the only body that was not tossed from the tallest tower. Instead it was hanging off a wall like a common prized Picasso at the end of the biggest hall in Hell. Or so my tour guide informed me. 
The brutish beasts were poking, stabbing, biting, pulling, cutting, slapping, and slashing the hanging form. "Go then and take her down" My Dracula impersonator  whispered in my ear, making me jump at the stealthness it took him to invade my personal space. "Go on" he urged as he moved even more closer to me. "But-" he then said looking down the hallway "who is to say her sin is not greater than yours?" he asked while stroking his chin.  "In fact" he continued, "Save her and see how quickly you will be the one to replace her. "
I found myself asking "is her sin greater than mine?" for she no longer even resembled a "she" and I couldn't hide my disgust this prisoner she's appearance.
My five star tour guide squealed "Why heavens yes!" unable to contain it's laugher. "She makes your sin look like childsplay! he continued to cackle while saying "I wouldn't go bragging about your list of dirty deeds that got you here they are not that flattering. Or noteworthy really. You're lucky if you amount to anything other than flame feeder on Hell's roster." He then very seriously added, "but  if it was not for the Simple Sinners we would have no souls to keep most of our demons from going hungry. After all we only get fed once every hundred years when we are not topside."
I noticed the dead bodies recently just fallen into flames were starting to return slowly to our intimate greeting party. Most were empty handed or even handless, while all were naked but almost identical in the scorched rotted appearance, no sex could be identified.  
"They will be joining us for the rest of our tour" Vampire Lestat informed me following my gaze. He started walking down the hall and I followed as close behind as I could while maintaining a safe distance from both sets of company. 
Without looking at me, Red Velvet started saying, "most crazies dispose of bodies because that's what they consider normal. But here in Hell, we find keeping them is productive torture. You see staying in ones body after death is unnatural and therefor uncomfortable, almost painful.  So you can see why it is useful to keep souls in their meat suits. We also make them do physical labor like any good slave when the torture has become boring and is no stimulating. 
I was suddenly feeling woozy and felt confident I was just as pasty white as my velvet wearing guide.  I couldn't shake the disgusting smell of flesh, blood, sex, urine, and pizza from nose. In a meek whisper I muttered "I don't like this.." My words were greeted with a smug "Join the club Sweetheart, no one likes it here but that's the point isn't it? Welcome to your doomed end, your Home Sweet Hell. "
Tears welled up in my eyes and before they could fall to my cheek my thin velvet guide slapped me with such a unbelievable force that I felt my skull vibrating. I was shocked at the guides brute strength for such a blow and considered the possibility maybe this was a vampire. I could feel my tears start to reform and was met with another blow. This time they came with a side order of screams that said, "NO POINT FOR TEARS NOW! YOU WEREN'T ACTING LIKE A LITTLE BITCH WHEN YOU SINNED TO GET HERE, SO YOU'RE NOT GOING TO ACT LIKE A LITTLE BITCH NOW THAT YOU ARE HERE."
I had no time to protest, to react, to do anything and even if I had he was right. I knew what I was doing. My guide started pushing me while still yelling "IT'S TIME YOU EMBRACE THAT YOU ARE IN THE PITT AND THERE IS NO MERCY! NOW ON THE CHOPPING BLOCK WITH YOU!"
He threw me in the closest room  that was completely pitch black as he yelled "FRESH MEAT" that served as our farewell. 
As he made his exit with his heard of bodies, his dead eyes were the last thing to see.

Copyright © Stone Fox | Year Posted 2015

Long poem by Stanley Carter | Details

Tozzath

Pellucid pachyderms wade across
the purpling River Manjees
and Tozzath watches from the bank, 
the seat of his maroon pantaloons soaked with mud,
his nostrils flaring with the fragrance of ombadalias,
whose lacey petals flutter
like the wings of long-dead butterflies,
bestirred by ghoulish breezes,
the colors bleeding from moribund antennae,
slim as a cat’s whispers

Tozzath casts his gaze into the river’s ripples,
where crocs lurk, awaiting unwary dreamers,
ready to snatch their phrenolic flotsam
in bejeweled jaws and shred it into despairing wisps
spiraling into slanted moonbeams
glimpsed from quiet rooms
with carelessly parted curtains
made from the silk of a once-noble lady’s sigh

Tozzath’s gaze plumbs into a palatial abode
atop the highest hill in Anakabrazan.
He climbs a slim tower
ringed by crenellated battlements,
pushing his essence through walls
of besooted sandstone,
recoiling briefly from the reeking opulence
of the pasha’s slumber chamber

Scents of licorice and sandalwood
and kershoolo rise from incense sticks,
and Tozzath wends his way through furnishings
of walnut and mahogany encarved
with likenesses of winged beasts,
and approaches a bed covered with
damask cushions filled with nightingale feathers
which sing nocturnal ballads
when tossed and turned upon

Tozzath eyes the furrows
in Pasha Doasdra’s troubled brow,
where seeds of doubt sprout like weeds,
nourished by a rain of ruminations.
Blue rivulets of dreamstuff run
down the pasha’s weary face,
lined with the memories of sixty sunsets,
and creased by a dozen more,
lost in moonless crevices

Doasdra’s neatly trimmed beard
belies the thicket of twisted briars in his brain,
entangled entropies cloaked in conscious canopy
as convoluted as the treacherous undergrowth
within the Night Woods of Shaddeshan

Tozzath strides forward, unafraid,
his mind encased within the
protective curling confines of a conch
snatched from a beach where the paw prints of
forgotten creatures imprint shiftless sands
drizzled through an hourglass of purest amber,
overturned by the hand of Time

Tozzath fights through the flora
and breaches the beach,
wading into waters
where sad thoughts settle like silt
in the somber depths

He follows the flow,
paying homage to a tributary,
and dries his very best,
as a dusty road commences
beneath an umber sky.
He sets his feet upon it,
his soles shod in slipshod sandals

He cuts across fallow, hallowed ground
and nears a farmhouse
where termites have made a
banquet hall of the boards

He steps onto the porch with catlike grace
and finds no door to knock upon.
He enters, stirring dust motes
caught in a sunbeam pouring through
a shingular aperture

Tozzath ascends rail-less steps,
heads down a hallway,
pauses, passes
through a closed door;
its piney panels tickle

A young girl blanketed by shadows
lies on a bed of rusty spirals
while her head squats in the corner,
covered with cobwebs.
A small spider splays in her open mouth.
The eye sockets serve as a hovel for fruit flies.
Her scalp is bare, the hair plucked long ago, 
prized nesting material for birds,
none of them nightingales

The girl’s thin arm moves,
her bony fingers grasping an emerald
nestled in her cleavage,
attached to a scarlet ribbon
draped around her cloven neck.
She removes the priceless pendant
and places it in Tozzath’s palm,
cold as an unswaddled foundling

Tozzath leaves the shadow girl and
departs the farmhouse.
The baked clay beneath his feet
gives way to golden cobbles,
and buildings of alabaster and porcelain
rise on either side,
topped by bulbs and minarets
of finest moonstone

The grand markets of Anakabrazan
stretch before him,
bursting at the seams
with beggars and choosers, 
merchants and mendicants,
overflowing with goods and bads.
The clamor rings in Tozzath’s ears,
mingling with nightingale songs

He spies two ragamuffins in an alley.
A boy picks up a piece of broken bottle
and turns to a disheveled girl,
draped in grimed homespun, not shadows,
her eyes bright as emeralds.
The boy entwines the bauble
and hangs it around her neck.
She kisses his cheek,
leaving a smirk and a smudge

Tozzath watches sadly as a
wagon heaped high with melons
rounds a corner,
the driver cracking a whip
over hunchbacked horses.
A melon falls from the back and
instantly a dozen urchins descend,
their ears attuned to the sound of falling fruit.
Their dinner chime.

The boy and girl dash out of the alley.
The boy steps in mongrel dung.
He slips and falls,
sliding beneath the clattering wheels.
His head splits open like a melon
and the girl screams.
Somewhere, a mongrel mourns

And in a silken bed in a marbled manse
on the higher side of town,
a noblewoman cries out also
as the slippery head of a newborn pasha
erupts from her womb.
The odd indentations in his skull
will fade in time

In another alley the grimy girl stoops,
prying up paving stones,
clutching them to her heart.
She’ll hurl them at the melon merchant
next time he passes by

A crowd gathers in a courtyard
outside the army barracks
and watches a soldier’s scimitar
seek out the girl’s slim neck,
sending her soul to the shadows

Tozzath returns to the farmhouse
where shades of meaning await the womb.
The girl still tarries, tallying,
carping about unkind cuts,
refusing her rebirth

But an old man, swaddled in silks,
shall soon depart his bed,
and recall the emeralds he made
from broken bottles
before he ever was

And the boy shall come to the farmhouse,
cleansed by the rains of remembrance,
no longer confined to the prism
of Fate’s fractals,
and the two fast friends shall ride
a kinder conveyance,
with bespokened wheels encircling eternity

And they shall quaff dregless brews
from green, unbroken bottles

Copyright © Stanley Carter | Year Posted 2016

Long poem by Hillard Sarver | Details

Death Watch

Death Watch

It was early morning.
The sun was barely above the high hills on the other side of the lake.
I was at the end of the dock slowly reeling in my line.
I could see fish jumping from time to time further out in the water.
However, none came close enough to be tempted by my bait.
My line was now the whole way in.
I decided it was time to give up for the morning.
After all fishing was not about catching anything for me.
It was about watching the lake.
Enjoying the small waves slowly lapping against the shore behind me,
Watching as the last wisps of fog burned away in the warming sun.
It was about looking forward to another beautiful day.

I turned around and zipped up my tackle box that lay on the bench.
I did not want to lose any of my fishing gear.
After all it was my inheritance from my father.
My dog slowly got up from the dock he was laying beside me while I fished.
I smiled at him.
Just like my dad he too would pass on.

I thought back to my last night with my dad.
He had been fighting cancer for a long time.
At least, it felt like a long time to me.
It attacked multiple parts of his body,
His colon,
His kidneys,
His lungs,
As time went by his body slowly wasted away.

He was a strong proud quiet man.
He worked hard all his life.
In fact, even with his cancer he kept working.
Just as he had done ever since I could remember.
Even in pain, he would still get up and go to work at the foundry.
He would come home all coated in gray.
I remember seeing the gray ring in the bathtub his end of day baths would leave behind.
I think about the constant attack his body had to endure.
I remember thinking when I was young he is strong he will never get cancer.
Nevertheless, you see cancer does not care how strong you are.
It does not judge how good or bad you are.
How healthy you look on the outside does not matter.
It just is and it has a job.
To consume all that is good.
All that is healthy.

Finally, in the last weeks he was too weak even to get out of bed.
A bed was set up in the living room.
He could watch television as he lay there.
One of the last joys of his life he could still do.
I was living about four hours away at the time.
I would travel back and forth and spent what time I could with him.
It was now the last week of his life not that anyone knew at the time.
I remember the hospice nurse.
She told me and my mom most would have passed on by now.
She said his pain level, and his morphine levels were the highest she had ever seen.
That was my dad, he could handle pain and his body processed drugs very fast.

It was now Thursday night.
Everyone was in bed.
I slept or tried to sleep on the couch in the living room.
I could hear my dad's labored breathing.
I lay there trying to sleep.
I was going to drive home tomorrow morning I needed my sleep.
I heard the clock bell that was on the church chime twelve times.
I grew up with that clock.
Every night as I lay in my bed while still young,
I would hear it chime softly in the night.
Tonight, it was not comforting like it normally was.
His breathing was all over the place.
He would sometimes mumble or try to say something.
I heard the church clock chime once.
I finally fell asleep shortly after that.
I awoke with a jerk.
I lay there what was it.
I did not hear the clock chiming.
I did not hear anything abnormal.
Then I realized what woke me,
A lack of noise,
I got up checked my dad.
He was breathing but very slowly and softly.
He looked almost peaceful,
As long as I could overlook the gray sunken look in his face,
Not see his wasted once strong body.
I held his hand felt his weak warmth.

I went into the kitchen and made myself a cup of tea.
No one else was up yet.
The sun was just starting to push back the darkness.
As I finished my tea, my mother came downstairs.
We quietly silently ate breakfast together.
The morning progressed.
The hospice nurse showed up as she did regularly.
She changed his bags.
I asked her how long did she think he had.
She said I really do not know.
She said it is a surprise he is still here now.
I nod quietly.
She leaves,
Others some friends some family come and go that morning.
Finally shortly after lunch it is time for me to drive home.
I touch my dad's hand gently.
He looks so fragile I do not want to squeeze his hand.
He grasps my hand with a strength that surprises me.
He lifts his head a little from the pillow.
He is trying to tell me something.
I can't understand him.
The morphine and the pain has taken away his ability to talk.
He keeps trying.
I keep trying to understand, but I can't.
I tell him it is okay not to worry.
He tries harder to tell me.
Still, I cannot understand.
He lowers his head and relaxes again.
I slowly let go of his hand and leave.
It was a long drive home.

I knew my aunt his older sister was going to be there this afternoon.
So as I drove home, I was glad about that.
My dad had two sisters both older than he.
His mother died while he was very young.
His sisters raised him as their baby as far as they were concerned.
They both loved him very much,
Even the one that when they were still kids got mad at dad, for some reason.
She got a hatchet and hit him over the head with it.
She assured me it was the blunt end.
I got home late afternoon.
My dogs greeted me upon entering.
I had two at the time.
They were brothers.
Sometime after I got home not sure how much time passed.
The phone rang.
It was my aunt.
She told me my dad had passed away at about 5 pm.
She told me that he got very restless again trying to get up.
She held him down and told him it was Friday.
She told him it was after four and his workday was done.
Finally, he relaxed.
His breathing got slower and then stopped.
His work was done.

Copyright © Hillard Sarver | Year Posted 2016

Long poem by Jack Clark | Details

The Beast of the Cave

When I was young, and adventure routine,
With excitement and newness still unforeseen
I was eager to spread my wings to the world
And seek more adventures as those wings unfurled

Within my long travels I happened to meet
Two other men, with friendships replete
One was named Beckett, the other one Flynn
And better friends there never have been.

We’d been together, ‘t was our sixth year,
And still our adventures made us cohere
To every madness – to every rave …
Until we decided to enter: The Cave.

With our ropes and lanterns and other such gear
It was into The Cave we then disappeared.
The light from our lanterns speared into the dark
We spoke very little - made no remark.

We found a small dry spot and then we assessed
This was a place we could stop now to rest.
I set down my lantern, and took off my hat,
When Beckett said: “Hey.  Did you just hear that?”

I moved not a muscle, and my ears went to strain.
All I could hear were cave droplets, like rain.
Then … from The Cave’s bowels came a loud din
I continued to listen – then heard it again.

We looked at each other, but said not a word
Confused and startled by what we’d just heard
It wasn’t a moan, it wasn’t a gasp
But more rather like a guttural rasp

Then from The Cave’s deepened black hole
Came again sounds from a source with no soul
The sound was menacing, and one I despise,
I watched the fear grow within my friends’ eyes.

Instinctively then, we three moved as one
In that instant – our re-ascent had begun
I had been last in the line coming down
But first in line in this turnaround.

The lamp on my hat pierced through the black
And I looked for our markers to lead us back
To save our strength, nothing was said
Again - that loud sound which filled me with dread.

Somewhere behind me, then snarls I heard
Loud and vicious, run together and blurred
Close … so close … the Beast was so near
Adrenalin rushed through me to react to my fear

‘T was then I was hit by an overpowering stench 
My stomach turned and my bowels went to clench
The odor blew past me, and I knew t’was the breath
Of the Beast of The Cave – its’ stench of Death.

I was near running, but down on all fours
Sweat was streaming from all of my pores.
Then I heard those terrible screams
The ones I keep hearing in all of my dreams

It was Beckett I knew in his shocked agony
Midst the snarled snapping of jaws I can’t see
I heard bones cracking and squishing of flesh
And my fear within gave new strength afresh

My fingers were raw from grabbing the rock
But on moving forward my mind had its’ lock
My stomach still queasy from the stench of the beast
I knew it was finishing its’ beastly feast

I screamed: “Flynn!  Catch up to me!”
But took not the time to look back and see
For the beasts’ crashing against The Cave’s face
Told me it neared – and was upping its’ pace

In less than an instant, Flynn was there too,
His face in my hat-light was of a strange hue
And as he helped me get back to my feet …
Flynn turned around – t’was the Beast there to meet.

The stench overwhelming, but the sight was much worse
There standing before us: The beastly curse
Of layered scales in shades of dark gray
The rest of its body concealed in umbrae 

But its’ eyes … its’ eyes … I’ll never forget
Rheumatoid yellow, and deeply inset
Its’ reptilian lids blinked just one time
‘Fore its’ lips peeled back - revealing the slime,

Glistening yellow over dagger-like teeth
Then oozed from its’ mouth to fall there beneath.
The beast reared up, we then saw its’ claws
Sharp and deadly within its forepaws

Towering above us, no sound the beast made
On beams of our lights had his gaze stayed.
Unexpectedly Flynn then turned to face me
… With less blinding light, the beast could again see

Why Flynn had turned I never will know
For the beast bit him in two, at his torso
And I was looking at Flynn – direct in his face
When the beasts’ bite his life did erase.

I screamed, and instantly away did I run
Away from the beast, and dead companion
Through the price of Flynn’s life, more time had been bought
To reach The Cave’s entrance – the goal which I sought

I heard its’ clawed talons scraping the wall
And prayed I’d not again stumble and fall
Then, up ahead, a small opening I viewed
And I saw my chance, to hope there exude

Twelve feet … six feet … then it was three
But the beast and its’ stench was there behind me
I dove through the rock-opening, scraping my head
But better that injury than ending up dead

I was elated, and about to rejoice
I then heard a scream – it was my own voice!
In my leg erupted intense blinding pain
Looking down I saw the bloodstain

My leg, through the opening, still was stuck out
There was but split-seconds,’fore I’d lose it no doubt
I pulled my leg back, and in but a flash
My shoe was removed by a clawed talon slash

I crawled back from the opening, then I could see
My wound was deep, from ankle to knee
Then suddenly through the opening came
A clawed talon whose aim was to maim

I quickly withdrew out of its’ reach
As claws shot through the openings’ breech
The opening too small for continued rampage
And the beast began then to voice its’ outrage

Its deafening roars assaulted my ears
Echoed Cave chambers and to my mind did adhere
I began attending unto my grave wound
Knowing I now was no longer marooned.

Another two hours ‘fore I crawled out The Cave
And many more days ‘fore I’d shed the shockwave
Of what had transpired, and what I had seen
But my damaged leg was lost to gangrene.

Now sleep evades me, for my horrible dreams
Show beams of light, and unearthly screams
Of Beckett and Flynn and The Cave we were in
I know tonight, I’ll re-live it again.

So, now you’ve the story, you’ve heard the deed
I swear is the truth I’ve herein decreed
And Beckett and Flynn are enslaved in their grave
And I lost my leg to … The Beast of The Cave.

Copyright © Jack Clark | Year Posted 2014

Long poem by cassie hellberg | Details

over and over agin

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....
FAT
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
repeating,
over and over again...
It was the first name they gave her,
millions where created over the years,
some unique
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?
no
is daddy raping her?
no
is she doing drugs?
not alot
is anyone beating her?
pass...
did anyone molest her? 
pass....
oxcarbezapine, trazadone, citalipran, clinazapam, colonipan,
valium, lithium, more.......
and thats what they gave her,
more... 
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
hated herself
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,
FAT!!!!!!
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
FAT!
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
smoking weed
doing nothing,
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,
her mom,
her sister,
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
and why? 
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 Vic Pister | Details

When I Die

When my life has finally left me and my last breath has been shed
And the silver cord is broken and my bodies firmly dead
I shall hover near the body, download the scenes of this past life 
Noting all minutest details rolling backwards past my eyes

I’ll store these scenes ‘til later when I can take the time to learn 
What the lessons have to teach me and help me to discern
How I treated other people, made them happy, made them sad
Examine all my actions, both the good and the bad

Three days later I’ll lose interest as my focus moves away
From the world that I just left behind, there is no need to stay
For a lifetime in the life of man to God is just a day
And my soul as God on the wheel of life must move along its way

I’ll take the download with me as I move into first heaven
It’s the first stage in the afterlife, in number there are seven
Here I’ll see and feel the good things that to others I have brought
And revel in the feelings of the kindness that I wrought

I will store these in my seed atom so in future lives I’ll know
They’re the things that I must multiply for my souls’ conscience to grow
For the conscience is the souls’ voice that guides you day by day
That still small voice that warns you in what you do and say

When that’s done my view will shift then to the things that I did bad
To the hurt I did to people that left them feeling sad
I will feel their pain intensely, ten times worse when in this field
For I’ll be purely spirit now with no flesh for a shield

These painful lessons will imprint upon my seed atom as well
In some religions we are told our soul’s in everlasting hell
In the stages of the afterlife, this is your punishment in heaven
This is the third and the most painful of the total seven

The Grim Reaper now has visited with his scythe so I will know
Through natures Law of Consequence I will reap what I did sow
He has shown me all my misdeeds and caused me many tears
And this purgatorial experience may last for twenty years

When my suffering soul recovers and the pain has died away
And I’ve incorporated the lessons to never act this way
In future lives I’ll be a better man from these lessons I have learned
One step closer to perfection that my growing soul has earned

Now I can sleep, Oh peaceful sleep, a state of heavenly rest
I’ll dream the dreams I love in life, of things I love the best
All desires that my soul has yearned, not a thing I can’t create
In the Great Silence of the spirit world to help me concentrate

The colors are much brighter, the scent of flowers more sublime
The senses are much sharper, there is no sense of time
I will see all other people as pure souls just like me
And I’ll know we’re all evolving to the bliss of eternity

I will hear the mystic music of the planets as they pass
Like a thousand singing angels, heavenly peace has come at last
Every planet sings its own song, we’ve grown deaf to this below
But in this super consciousness we’re in the eternal flow

I’ll be with my friends and family and others whom I love
The ones who left before me and currently live above
There they wait with arms wide open and rejoice when I arrive
In the fourth stage where I now live, it’s utter joy to be alive

I’ve incorporated my lessons, I now recall my goal
And my mind begins to focus on further growth of my soul
I must make further preparations and my vision starts to clear
I feel I must keep moving forward for all my works done here

I now have gone through five and six, there is just one more 
In years it’s been from birth to birth one hundred forty four
The time has come to move along and leave this place called heaven
Prepare for life in the physical world, I move to number seven

My soul has gathered the material, I now know what I must do
To make some more improvements in the places I need to
I must take another body, I must live another life
To grow and liquidate more karma though it means more pain and strife

I build an archetype of the body that in future I will form
When embodiment is offered, and I can be reborn
I will see the opportunities and be able to discern
The ideal embodiment for me when the right egg meets the sperm

I will hover near the fetus, influencing where I can
And I’ll have the power to make it be a woman or a man
I will help to build the body to suit the lessons I must learn
To overcome more issues so more advancement I can earn

When baby takes its first breath and my soul is taken in
With the imprint of my seed atoms that it has brought within
Now the babys’ atoms resonate to my seeds vibration rate
Making it the perfect body for my soul to habituate

The new body will be my new home, I will live a life anew
Gain experience, learn more lessons, through the things that I will do
I’ll apply the added knowledge that I learned in this past life
More evolved than in the last one, and cause me less pain and strife

This will happen just as often as required by the soul
As it pushes ever onward, pushing ever t’ward its goal
Of complete re-integration back from whence it came
To the universal soul of life no matter what its name

Nature is not personal, it does not seek revenge
If we mess it up we have the chance to do it all again
We arrived here by this process, nothing’s changed it’s still the same
But our souls have evolved immensely since we stepped into the game

We started out as fallen angels with no experience on this plane
We’ve grown to this by coming back again and again
Though we cannot remember for each conscious mind has died
The feelings in the soul remained in our subconscious mind

And so this is the story of the cycle of the soul
As it struggles through evolution on its way toward the goal
It’s this way for all unfailing, from natures law there’s no relief
All living things go through it, no matter their belief

Copyright © Vic Pister | Year Posted 2013

Long poem by Gerald Dillenbeck | Details

Life BeLoving DualDark Night

Some days and nights I am terrorized by death, cold silo ache-echoing fear, claustrophobic breathless dark barking inevitable factness and finality of my decomposing mortality, and posthumous demise, probably post-humorous as well, should we discover any essential difference. What good is death if it cannot at least absorb timeless entertainment? Hopefully, even some recreational opportunities with their concomitant issues soaring through our DNA-syntaxed CO-OPERATE tissues. On better days and nights I am merely fearful that I am already dying by not choosing to live fully. For my terrorist days and nightmares, a message from Yin Speaks her feminist Truth, I have earned my sadness and depression, my badness concomitants gifts of Fear, more primordial than mere anthrocentric Anger about vanities of power. I have earned my rights of anger about this existential predicament, this issue about our own inevitable mindbody mortality, this opportunity to stretch my love of life cooperative muscles for myself, just as I am, incarnating all our sadness and depression with all our competing terrors and climatic-dissonance repressions of love-centric health PreMillennially suboptimizing as LeftBrain deductive-only Yang temporal-syntax dominant regenerative DNA-monocultural-normative trend Settling, when we could choose more sublime poli-eco-colored Times and Gods and Goddesses of choice as ecoconscious light Right PolyNomial Sacred Space as Time Her DualSelf. Outlined in NotNot = LoseLose EcoSystemic Devolution reverse dialectic-temporal WinWin CounterRevolution, EcoLogic, YinYin PermaMythic Tao’s wu wei, ++/(-,-) prime fractal Yang OVER YinYin, CoOperative-ReGenerating TransParent DualDark SelfOptimizing Continuous Quality Improvement Trends predicting tellus polyvegetasty-rhythms, reiterating river-trees of bilateral-neural function. Well, anyway, more about that whole PostMillennial History of Time of eco-evolution as reverse double-bound revolution co-gravitating equivalent dipolarity, later, or earlier, depending on whether we are already looking into my future bicameral time travels with Yang’s pen and right hand dominant language, or not so much feelin’ that in your (0)-centric sad and suffering heart of perpetual loneliness and loss of hopefilled purpose. But, back to politically competitive oppression and our economic dis-ecological cognitive dissonance about our self and other and Earth repression of cooperative, and yet surprisingly Trinitarian, triple-bottom WinWin Line, healthy economic/ecologic opportunities. When I’m sad and depressed, feeling repressed and or repressed, that’s because I am not crazy in a too-Yang dominant-deductive consciousness now co-arising emergent political-economic global networks of cooperative opportunities co-echoing-conscious health and therapy vocations bicamerally DNA with dipolar RNA syntax confluent tipping our two eyes and ears to hunt optimal mainframe WinWin Health and Safety and Equity CQI Outcomes, new notnot impossibilities of hope, empowered by divesting, starving, decomposing LoseLose Devolution MonoCultural Political-Fat dissonantly, yet transparently, dipolar, OverDrafting Earth’s EcoNormic Balance, defined as love of health outcomes equitable to full DNA/RNA spectrum of polycultured life. It’s hard to hunt this bicameral balance when my well-earned sadness about self and other depression oppressive repression, stress of chronic dissonance sparking global autistic-overpopulation DNA-dissonating ecto/endo symbiotic co-empathic political and economic feedback messages It’s time to turn increasing DNA rabidity around to find more cooperative and grace-filled WinWin healthy gifts and eco-normic opportunities. It’s time to find each other and give full-voiced co-empathic hope. Hearing voices may be less crazy and more polypathically functional than not listening to our own voices of permacultural and ecological healthy-reasons for our seasons of sadness and gladness as LoseLose AND WinWin as losing to win ecosystemic “healthy” balance for Earth, and therefore RNA, and therefore DNA’s further, more cooperative and graceful kinda’ endosymbiotic positive-trending WinWin, Both-And dialectic-dipolar continuously reiterative positive Beloved Conversations, choosing both Internal with External EcoCentric Voices. Speaking of ecocentric, Richard Dawkins speaks in my dominant Left mindbody voice investing systemic, bionic, robotic analogies for our shared exegetical consciousness of evolutionary survival as anthro-logically required, and, if not continuing evolution, then how would a robot trend climatic devolution? And, should that become anything to do with LoseLose hierarchical-monocultural, mutual-competitive, so that each EgoPlayer must choose either Win or Lose and is prohibited by Ego’s bicamerally self-blinding restraint, repression, sadness, suffering LeftBrain dominant environmental nurture, temporarily blind to double-binding regenerative resonant resolutions ubiquitously copresent in fractal and double-octave functions and frequencies of light as energy and sound and feeling and taste and touch… to always prefer choosing Win-to-CoWin, regenerating-revolving EcoRNA/DNA confluently double-bound (0)-soul centric political with economic and rational Left-Right bicameral balancing love as synergetic life. When my mindbody will let me choose more self-with-other, both-and, Win-Win wu wei life, that is choosing empathic love, so it helps to always try to choose it, one CoPresent Conscious Moment within timelessly unfolding grace of Time.

Copyright © Gerald Dillenbeck | Year Posted 2016

Long poem by Justin Bordner | Details

The Skeletons And Songs Of Samsara - 2

In the heart where your naivety resides
you wonder what haunts the sun
and why pain enjoys your childhood eyes,
when you see warm blood run
then you know that death can color
and like you, death loves a dramatic picture,
however, death doesn't dull the future
for a youngster hyper to play the leader
so you go on healin' and shoutin'
jumpin' and fightin', tellin' the world you're smart
the game gets faster and stress starts stingin'
as parents become impatient with the plan of your art,
the alphabet of adventure mispells compliance
intuition's arithmetic equals defiance, 

Intuition's arithmetic equals defiance
in the schoolhouse of locked windows,
to everything but your heart you pledge allegiance
militarized mental architecture drums the ethos
academic arrows are aimed right at the soul's throat,
the teachers want your free attention
curriculums corner creative comprehension by rote
and bells ring the brain into submission, 
the world is shown as a jigsaw puzzle
with multiple choice obedience that denies your voice
and the more you look over the barbed wall
your talent moves further into the anonymous abyss,
the music is amiss in the damp camp,
you know that there is lightning in your lamp,

You know that there is lightning in your lamp
family introduces religion into the routines
placing an old book on your lap
praying that you'll understand what misery means
as if you don't know how to read rain
and why there are rainbows in puddles
or how the cries of punishment stain
oh you've learned how love befuddles,
yes, there's a scripture in every playground
a hymn for all the beastly breaths,
parables fit into the shambles of adolescence unbound
hormonal graffiti paints prodigal depths
with curse words cracking shedding skin
a studious savage barks to begin,

A studious savage barks to begin
graduation into the grind of occupation
the streets taught you how to bargain
while school made you a fool of gray education
you've received a degree in everything but reality
yet television magicians have fixed a face for you
personality programing increases acceptability
into the honeycomb hustle where individuality be taboo,
the working world isn't waiting for your consent
nor is the rent or the needs of your soul
perhaps a job in law enforcement  or waste management
will be the avenue for your hypnotic stroll,
division of labor may make you the sacrificial champ
the State will sear your surname on the collar and clamp,

The State will sear your surname on the collar and clamp
there's a time clock tickin' for your day
you better learn to give 8 hours to the corporate vamp
paying the war tax with reliable sweat and clay,
financial credit can be had for desperate signatures
spend twice the price for shallow status
survive on the coins of your tears,
there's no sympathy for the homeless
the quiters and the damned fall the same way
and if you want to be a brave loner
you had better fortify your armor with a faith ray,
if you can't endure without a lover you'll be a gonner,
no one has the right to live, being born isn't good enough to stay in,
you only have the right to fight to live, to take the win,

You only have the right to fight to live, to take the win
many want to own your happiness
to kill it or to claim it with a dominant grin
others have been grading your consciousness
since you were a child catchin' simple facts
with indelicate hands and undaunted eyes,
as an adult you see how equality breaks
on the anvil of performance,  by stress' strikes,
you balk on the borderline of depression's brimstone
and success' roses, which redden deeper
from the moisture of exhaustion's groan,
is it the despair or the hope that makes the leader,
do we buckle before or after the battle
is the heart of a hero infallible, 

Is the heart of a hero infallible
in the industry of survival
where the iron ore of your core becomes shaved steel
cold to kindness and hot to the touch of the loyal,
yeah, you can be mean too, like a viper in the sun
menace the wicked with a mere smile
tempt the devil in the dumb
with the truth of self serving denial
yet hitherto hypocrisy has hindered you
put briny mist around your trust
and has led you to a vain view
in which love is worn to rust,
will you become the enemy of ignorance
can you become a juggernaut of justice,

Can you become a juggernaut of justice, 
is fate dormant or active underneath your feet,
does destiny matter in the shadow of confidence
with Providence as an accomplice in the furious feat
of remaining young in the demolition of age
because you haven't surrendered your star
to apathy's ire or hate's bondage
finding no shame in that which makes you stronger,
capitulation isn't in the equation
you don't believe in being hardwired for failure
out there, in the morass of the masses is salvation
a companion for creation, an inspiration to share
unlimited ways to make life beautiful
to no longer rage against the inevitable, 

To no longer rage against the inevitable
by now the incurable confusion of conflicts
has resolved itself into wisdom inflamable
igniting blue flames upon the lips of your heart's risks,
emotional intellect is our Godsend
atomic poetry the keepsake
of what a haunted land will lend,
a trust in the unbroken beast you do not foresake
because you have held the hunger
of an angel's absolute affection
and danced to a demon's terror
for in this theater of raw freedom you are human,
you know the power of fire and weight of ice
the diploma soul tattooed, let love be your witness

J.A.B.

Copyright © Justin Bordner | Year Posted 2016

Long Poems