Long poem by
Doug Vinson | Details
Red light, the neon beer sign on the distant wall reflects off the long expanse of polished bar top, overpowering the quiet brown wood. It’s after lunch, only a few people in to stir the air; the dust motes can settle. Scattered talk of a few regulars, other people’s business, when will she and he be in? Celebrate victories, or manufacture some.
2:07 p.m. Only three of us now. I used to come here a lot, even though it’s ten miles “up the hill,” out of the river valley into the highlands. It’s obvious the other two people are in all the time. Years back, it was “Bud and Larry,” two fixtures of a bar if ever there were any. I was last in a couple months ago, and saw Bud. He was much the same. They’d found Larry dead at home, 3 years previously.
Liquor bottles stand on their layered, underlit steps – the temple in front of the mirror, the cathedral of the unclimbables. All those white glass photons going upwards through the fluid. The bottles stand tall, their inserted “Posi-Pour” spouts all pointing to the left, angled as if flowers toward some imaginary sun.
Rows of polished glassware, sitting and hanging, infinite reflections, each glass a lens of life. They know they can’t make the love come back. Hollow people don’t realize it; most of them end up knowing nothing more than the floor. Take away the lies, the false friendships and loves, and what have you got?
In a few hours the lights will be on in here, the bar packed with people, the raucous, the driven, the hungry; a Friday night. For now, the bar is patient. Outside the windows, the day floats.
The bartender is a pretty woman with a great attitude, and in the back pockets of her jeans, a bottle cap opener leans right, and an order pad leans left, forming their own little tabernacle; you can almost see the Eiffel Tower. Humor and good nature, on the rocks.
Can’t hang forever, have to drive back to the house. Gin is there too, in the freezer with a couple glasses. Pour some cold gin into a cold glass – then add tonic water from the refrigerator compartment. Definitely no ice needed, and lime is up to you. The outside of the glass will fog with icy condensation, but then it will melt, and you feast your eyes on the jewel diamond waterglass platinum mosaic. Cold glass, cold gin, when the tonic water is added, the first quantity freezes, sort of like smoke in water, instant ice, syrup gel silica facets of beauty.
Lots of mighty cathedrals in Europe. And I love The Cathedral of St. John the Divine, in New York City. That’s my home-ground big boy. And since we’re talking New York City, Trinity Church, way down on Broadway in lower Manhattan. Darker stone and stained glass – the first time I walked in there I knew something was up, I mean – HOO AAH – color and contrast. Wow, you can say “Feeling,” or “God,” or “Love,” or this has just got to be some special doo-dah goin’ on here, but it was real. I think that either it is all one thing, or that at the least we are all looking for transcendence - in some or many aspects, depending on how optimistic we are.
So, the bartender has been looking at me in a funny way. I’ve been scribbling on pre-printed papers for work that I had in my wallet, folded into eighths so they would fit. Luckily, the back side of one was blank. I got a lot of writing done there – I print very small.
Now, I am firmly old enough to be the bartender’s father. And hitting on a bartender is an exceedingly low percentage play. And I love my wife, and am totally faithful to her. Totally. Things are getting busier now, but in the slow time that has passed, the bartender was a bit inquisitive – she mentioned how she had all the glasses washed, all the tasks completed, all her ducks in a row. And there I was, all studious, sort of (while drinking gin), and she said that maybe she should be doing something like I was – writing – “for her classes.” A-ha, that’s it – she just got a job as a schoolteacher. Got the good stance – kids will eat you up, but not this woman – she will command whatever it is that teachers need to command. These days, in the U.S., that’s a tall order. The bartender’s name is Colleen, and she’s gotta be about 30. Maybe a bit less, slight probability she’s a bit more. Got a soulful quality underneath the chipper and bouncy quality so favorable in a bartender, and I think – the steel to be a teacher; she’ll do well no matter what.
Monreale – this is a big cathedral up high, above Palermo, Sicily. The roar and density of history, the weight and perfection of art, the sublime execution of human caring – just think of it – the “Norman rulers of Sicily.” Wait, what? The Normans were in Sicily? Lots of us have heard about the Normans and England, i.e. 1066, yes, but for the next 90 years or so they were going south, too.
So, 840 years ago, William II started the church, later decreed a cathedral. What sets it apart for me is the mosaic art – vast in scale, extremely beautiful in its fineness. The Arabic influence is huge, and though I have read that there are even “finer” examples in existence, I have not seen them, and the sheer expanse and impact of Monreale is personally monumental. What it took to make this thing…. There, I was lifted up. When I say, “mosaic art,” I think you really have to see it.
Back home – I like to mix things up a bit, and after ordering a nice big pizza, I determined to ask the delivery person a question, pursuant to the fact that we are all citizens of the universe. “Tell me something good,” I said, after the knock came on the door. He was a fresh-faced teenage boy – was he even old enough to drive? He stammered in incomprehension. I said, “You gotta tell me something good…”
“Uh… I got a new car today.” Hardly the philosophical explosion I’d hoped for, but still – he was decently enthusiastic - winner winner chicken dinner. $30 on a $17.95 bill, he went away happy.
Copyright © Doug Vinson | Year Posted 2016
Long poem by
Terry Trainor | Details
Sometimes I have the courage to think of the things that made me what I am today,
My memory takes me back to terrible things far away far off into my bitter past,
My mind like a maze of dirty black alleys that smell of waste, loss and disgust,
The losses, the drink ripped away, not happy until it was all gone respect as well.
Invisible thinks of a garden where roses clustered with lilies scent on the breeze,
Bees found stores of honey in the petals of a thousand and one different flowers,
Lovers walked hand in hand along its winding path a beautiful dream of the man,
Bright with the embroidery of nature where children played in new myrtle flowers,
As Invisible thinks of this garden it is neglected but flowers can grow with weeds,
It could put a smile upon his face, a face that had never known any joy recently,
He hopes a gardener can covert this garden get rid of ruined waste, back into Eden,
Tending all the beautiful flowers that spring up with the weeds and smell gladness.
If he helped the gardener in his quest a hand might hold his and guide him through,
Maybe a hand would go around his waist to support him as well as guide his hand,
Dare he wish that the guiding hand and the support would be his angel from heaven,
A dear person to help him clear his garden and walk down the winding path as lovers.
An angel that would smile at him maybe hold his hand and squeeze it so very gently,
Would the angel talk to him and tell him that one day they would be together again,
Her beautiful grace shining warmly as she looks up to him, to her he is her hero,
Not a drunken mess that cannot cope, not a dirty vagrant, but her knight her love.
The tenderness of this beautiful scene in his poisoned mind became real he smiled,
He grinned as she sat down next to him as close a she could get then wriggled closer,
Warmth from her body not only warmed him but gave hope this what he has waited for,
She whispered sweetly she loved him and would be waiting for him and they kissed.
Invisible woke with a start and was she not by his side, was she ever with him,
A dream another heart wrenching let down and how could he have dreamed the dream,
It was so real he still felt the warmth, the impression of her hand holding his,
But it must have been a dream his own mind conspired to deliver the hardest blow.
Lost in a grief so deep, his loneliness complete he talks to Sam his imaginary friend.
These days get worse Sam they really do please help me,
I need to change but I need my drink more what can I do,
But I need to change so desperately Sam can you help?
My world has cracked and I've fallen into the crack,
But what I don't understand Sam that I was once good,
If I had any courage Sam I would be laying in my coffin,
Why does life drag you along with it I don't want to go,
Just a bit of icing on my cake Sam it is freezing cold,
Did you know this is where I was brought up my friend,
Did you know that most of the people that walk past I knew,
Sam! I know many of there people but they don't know me,
Why do they all walk past I wish somebody would help,
Maybe when I have drunk more cider I might feel better Sam,
I can remember being happy but not what being happy is like,
As Invisible sits drinking shoppers give him a wide berth and they look at him with hate.
These people Sam they look at me as if I have hurt them,
The people they are not our sort of people they hate me,
Has the world changed like I have but in opposite ways,
My life is full of sorrow drunkenness and dreams Sam,
Old sorrows wont go away new sorrows should take over,
So we have to face both the old and the new that's bad,
At night I try to close my drunken eyes it all returns,
Sam is that the same as you can you close your eyes,
Can you remember the valleys Sam the ones we used to play,
When we ran about all day Sam in the sun rolling in grass,
The old stream that twisted and turned, it had lost its way,
Floating lolly sticks watching them bounce away on ripples,
Buying bangers in November and throwing them into the water,
What I wouldn't do to go back for just a couple of hours Sam,
Just to feel the innocence and try to bring it back to now,
To enjoy what there is to enjoy and maybe get better Sam,
But that will never happen Sam we are lost on an island,
A well populated island but an island all the same Sam,
People are not like ships they don't bother to rescue people,
They just walk around or just walk away all the nice ones gone,
I remember my school Sam it's now been knocked down and left,
It has all gone, all gone no primroses in spring or bluebells,
Do you remember Sam the bluebells used to nod in the wind,
But they have all been built on, whats the use in talking,
Nothing changes from bad to good Sam remember that, eh Sam,
Still drinking his cider tears well into his eyes his nose runs and begins to quietly
to sob. He sits on the shopping parade seat, shaking as he sobs. His throat has a lump
in it so he stops talking to Sam. Invisible sinks his wet face into his overcoat
hides his misery from the people that walk past he just sat there lost and confused. His
greatest sadness an angel paid a visit to the maze of dirty black alleys that smell of waste,
loss and disgust,
Copyright © Terry Trainor | Year Posted 2013
Long poem by
Steven Medellin | Details
The Whiskey Bottle Wish
One late summer night outside a saloon in the mid-west, an intoxicated Dusty Rogers, stumbles out of the Bar nearly taking one of the revolving doors with him. As he flutters on out, he catches his fall on the walkway hand railing in front of him. Focusing his sight with a loose grip holding the railing, the other hand has tighter grip on a bottle of Whiskey. Hesitantly letting go of the rail he musters up enough hand eye coordination to fix his hat and pull up his pants. As the drunken man walks down the strip of a quiet town... A quiet town after all the rooms in the bathos are vacant, when all the liquor has run dry from every bottle, far after all the lead and gun powder filled the air ... It's then a quiet town. An hour walking and countless chugs of sweet, sweet whiskey; the drunken Rogers, has been taking over with the urge to piss. He sees a hallucination of a building up ahead about ten feet away. He pulls up, face nearly inches from what he thinks to be the wall of the building, but is in fact a towering cliff side standing over fifty feet staring down on him. He starts to piss on the cliff side soaking his pants and boots. He places the bottle down with his left hand as his right hand is stretched out flat on the wall holding himself up. He's leaning forward so much it appears as if he were holding up the mountain. He begins to mumble.
“You drunk. You will always be a drunk... That's all they ever spoked about me. But, why? How did this... How did any of this happen?” His right hand slips and his face crashes into the jagged cliff side in front of him. He groans in agonizing pain while he is lies in his urine. Bludgeon face he shouts up at the stars.
“Damn you! You tooken everything from me. You left me all alone! Why didn't you take me too! Am I not good enough for death...? I do anything to feel the blaze envelop me. Like they so did... “Wiping his tears he whispers. “You should have tooked me with them. I should have burned on that train with my family... That was my destiny instead I bare the mark of Cain." looking up at the sky as if expecting an answer. “Just sit up their laughing as you strip everything from my hands and fill this void with this damned bottle."
As he continues to wipe the tears off his face, he gets to his feet zipping up his pants and is about start to walk along the mountain side. In his peripheral he's sees the shimmer behind him. Turning around he Picks up the bottle of whiskey and stops to eye ball the remaining two or three gulps. Looking at the bottle and he starts to rub the side as if where a lamp. “I wish to see my family" holding back the tears forming in the corner of his eyes. "You took everything from me so in return, I'll take all of you!"
He takes a swig and starts walking along side of the cliff shouting obscenities. In his anguish he stumbles and trips upon a metal beam railing falling flat on his face. Instead of picking himself up, he reaches for the whiskey and goes to take an even bigger hit from the bottle. Franticly shaking the bottle to get out every drop out he chucks the empty bottle in the air. The bottle never breaking hits the ground skipping and flipping along the gravel. Below his feet wooden planks placed about a foot apart from one another lay in a row. Running up the side, adjacent to the planks, runs a solid steel beam. The drunk has no idea he has stumbled onto train tracks leading into a tunnel right through the mountain. He thinks he is walking down a hand railed stairwell leading to a basement. He walks on the tracks towards a tunnel, he loses his balance and reaches for non-existing handrails but the rails are too low to grab so he trips over a plank of wood and falls on his face once more.
“What...What kind of crap is this?" he cries as he lays out on the floor half conscious. Suddenly he starts to laugh the intensity grew as he was trying to get to his feet. He only manages to sit up facing the blackened tunnel ceiling as if it was a starless night sky. “What are you waiting for? Stop toying with me. If you want then come take me. I'm here..." a loud whistling sound comes charging through the tunnel growing louder each passing second. With a shaky voice and a sense of uncertainty he asks.
“Trumpets? Is that roar trumpets I hear? Is that you?" as the ground starts to tremble the sound grows immensely; numbing all senses. Then, a bright light comes ripping through the darkness like a bullet through midair. The light striking his glossy eyes blinds him. The ground rumbles violently as the whistling sound becomes deafening. He chuckles and spreads his arms wide open and says “You finally answered my prayers." he closes his eyes, and black was the last thing he saw.
Copyright © Steven Medellin | Year Posted 2014
Long poem by
Shadow Hamilton | Details
Two friends were travelling to the east seeking unexplored lands
eventually they reached some grim looking tall mountains
slowly they made their way up to the summit and stood there
Breathlessly they were amazed by the panoramic view before them
Vast areas of open lands stretched out with lakes and forests dotted about
"what a wonderful place" said McLeod "lets climb down and explore it "
they set off it took a long time to get down to the valleys below
they set up camp by a crystal clear spring full of big fat fish
"Supper" said McBram "lets try to catch some" with only their hands
they set about fishing, soon four
fat silver fish had been tickled out
lighting a fire they found a good flat stone on which to bake the fish
the teasing enticing smell of the fish soon filled the air
They saved two which they smoked to carry with them
that night as they slept a bear raided the camp stealing
the smoked fish. Luckily sated it did not attack them
"Drat no breakfast" said McLeod " lets catch and cook some more"
Finally ready they set off following the stream down to a lake
there were plenty of familiar fruits and berries for them to gather
also many strange ones that tempted them "best not eat them" said McBram
"They could be poisonousness". "No look the birds are eating them"
Reassured they tucked in eating a few and collecting some for later
suddenly with a mighty sound a mound rose up with a cave in it
the two friends looked at each other in bewilderment . "What's that
where did it come from?" asked McBram as slowly they entered the vast entrance
An eerie light flooded the cave, it was being emitted by some red crystals
they looked at each other and going over to them they touched them
with a flash they were suddenly spinning through time itself
crashing down they found themselves many moons in the past
Before them they could see strange looking people that bowed before them
a weird man dressed in skins with a stick that was shaped like a snake
pointed it at them it seemed alive as it hissed at the friends wreathing
"These are the promised ones" he said "The ones foretold of in prophecies"
"They have come here from the future to fore-fill the ancient legend"
the friends were feted by these people who treated them like kings
and the following day they were led to an ancient monolith
and strapped to it. "What is going on" asked McLeod "why have you tied us up?"
"To stop the dragon carrying you off" said the shaman "The prophecy foretells
you must defeat it to rid our lands of its evil purpose. At full moon it takes a maiden
and some of the children and feasts on them. You with your swords of iron can
defeat it." "Well we have never seen on before" said McLeod
"How are we supposed to defeat it" "I have a magic potion" said the shaman
"drink it and its fiery breath will not harm you. With its protection you must
then strike the dragon in both its eye then its heart" Giving them their swords
the villagers scurried off to hide. Soon there was a mighty roar and the dragon
flew down breathing fire, its talons outstretched to grab them. McBram went
for its eye running his sword into it sending it blind, while McLeod struck it deep
in its heart. The dragon fell to the ground and laid there dead. The villagers
came out of hiding and prepared a great feast in their honour
Towards the end of the celebration the shaman gave them both a bowl
"Drink this, he said "It will return you to your own time" So they drank it
and found themselves again spinning through time. They saw many different times
and strange places as they were whirled back to the present
Unconscious they laid on the ground slowly coming to, they were back at their camp
on coming to they looked at each other in puzzled bewilderment. Talking about
what had occurred they decided it must have been an illumination. Until they saw
lying on the ground some dragon scales collecting them up they returned home
Their friends scoffed at their story saying they had dreamt it all, there were no
longer dragons in this land. The two friends showed the others the dragon's scales
which were stared at with awe and amazement. Right there and then the two
friends decided they would stay at home safe with family and friends
Maybe to be continued
Copyright © Shadow Hamilton | Year Posted 2014
Long poem by
Reg Rhodes | Details
A Mutual Enemy
By Reg Rhodes
My friend and I have a dangerous and mutual enemy. It is called alcohol, and
it is killing her.
Masquerading as her best friend, the alcohol is cunning. Repeatedly, it sells
her dreamy promises of escape from reality.
The alcohol is baffling; it keeps her convinced that she is not sick, that
another drink wont hurt.
Powerful in its relentless pursuit of her soul, the alcohol exposes its true
intentions, slowly draining her life.
Escape from reality was only an alcohol induced illusion, the relief only
Only small traces of her once-vibrant personality remain, her proud stature
reduced to an unrecognizable slouch. Her once healthy figure now skinny and
Alcohol; now the great betrayer, is tenanciously pursuing its goal to kill my
friend, just like it tried to kill me.
The alcohol is merciless, and it aspires to steal her soul.
The alcohol is patient; slowly destroying my friends life, drowning her in a sea
of loneliness and despair.
She frantically swims for shore, and it is so far away. Miraculously, a raft
materializes. Gods concern is apparant.
She rejects the concept of God, even In the face of adversity. She is stubborn,
and refuses to see the raft, rejecting Gods help. She swims right by.
The alcohol shows no sympathy; it destroys it's victims slowly and painfully.
The alcohol is poison in her body; it doesn't care that her liver is shutting
It pays no mind to the plethora of mysterious health problems, the endless
barrage of doctor appointments or the many surgeries she must endure.
The alcohol is cunning; providing her with a dark veil of tears, keeping her
blind to her own terrifying reality.
The alcohol is the great deceiver; keeping her wrapped in a cloak of denial,
the pleadings of her friends and family go unnoticed.
The alcohol is the great repressor; It stole her smile, her laugh, her
The alcohol knows nothing of love; it has no regards for her kids, her family or
The alcohol silences her fear of death. It replaces happiness with anger, joy
with sadness, and confidence with bewilderment.
The alcohol is the great supressor. Warnings from her doctors go unnoticed,
she no longer fears death.
The alcohol keeps her in a constant state of self loathing, sadness, loneliness
My friend and I have a dangerous and mutual enemy that preys on our
unaided will, it makes her blind to Gods love for her.
Stripped of her many wonderful attributes, she no longer sees his plan for her,
or what he had in mind when he created her.
If only she would stop pushing God away, and allow him to embrace her with
his love, forgiveness, tolerance and understanding.
If she could only understand that only God can restore her sanity. That only
he can relieve her of the unbearable cravings and compulsions to drink.
If only she could believe in a higher power greater than herself, give up her
stubborness, drop to her knees and cry out for help.
Even an inadvertant prayer can be powerful, provided she has an
overwhelming, genuine desire to stop drinking.
For her, a spiritual awakening would mean freedom from the bondage of
A liberating fact for her is that she doesn't have to drink anymore.
The chaos and turmoil in her life will disappear.
Tumultuous mental torture will be removed, and she will feel serenity and
She will find that God will do for her what she couldn't do for herself.
Hand in hand, my friend and I will skip our way along the road to happy
Our dangerous mutual enemy, no longer a threat.
Copyright © Reg Rhodes | Year Posted 2014
Long poem by
John Beam | Details
Penny for your own thoughts Penny ballad is all it costs First-foot in Auld Lang Syne A stagger then a cheer forgotten Lost train of thought always rotten Pennies are flying Westbound ribands are Caught but never sent Penny ballad is all it costs I would see it in print But of course the last penny spent Never in the jar Pennies are flying Westbound ribands are Caught but never sent
Copyright © John Beam | Year Posted 2015
Long poem by
JAN ALLISON | Details
I had an old auntie called Mable
Who could drink men under the table
She’d tell folks of her gout
Sup up six pints of stout -
then stagger to the loo when able!
WRITTEN BY JAN ALLISON
My paternal aunt whose name was Mable
Drank so much that she slept in the stable
Her best bud was a horse
It's why she got her divorce
Her spouse was gone with the wind like Gable
WRITTEN BY ALEXIS Y
Her pearl necklace made a clunk
When in her glass a bead did dunk
She pulled it out
And drank her stout
Then laughed thinking her necklace might be drunk
WRITTEN BY CHRIS GREEN
He denies his delivery by stork
Still eats his soup with his fork
but in the loo
when dinner is through
screams loudly for his buddy "O'Rourke"
WRITTEN BY JOHN LAWLESS
I remember your auntie quite well
I met her down at the well
she threw me in
made my head spin
or was it the stout I can’t tell?
Mable can sop up the suds
the boys at the bar are her buds
shouting with cheer
beer after beer
sounding the floor with their thuds
Mable did not cry in her beer
She would shout loud in your ear
bursting of fable
her fame would enable
tales to bring lushes to tears
Mable once sloshed to the loo
well intent on loosing a poo
a lowly spittoon
became a lagoon
her urge to purge was now through
Sing a song of six pints, each of stoutest ale
thus the queen of giggles, spins another tale
about her next of kin
who sports a raucous grin
What is Mable’s encore? Drinking from a pail!
ALL WRITTEN BY LIM'RICK FLATS (JOHN WULF)
All knew my good uncle Aristotle
Who always carried a whisky bottle
Each step he took had a sip
That's why was mostly asleep
Till drunk was he found holding a pottle!
WRITTEN BY DEMETRIOS TRIFIATIS
The reason that Mable was laughing
Was because of the man photographing.
He was standing there nude,
so she asked as she viewed,
"What is that infection your staffing?"
WRITTEN BY RICHARD OLSON
Mabel had a pint with her bagel
Every morn at the kitchen table
Her navel would be bare
Covered by sable fur hair
Poor gal stumbled into the stable
WRITTEN BY SONNY ROPER
Come here laddie and have you a taste
Don't let this magic go off to waste
Suck her on down
Smother that frown
Soon Mable's troubles will be erased
WRITTEN BY TIM SMITH
Mable downed four pints of ale
Then found herself in the town jail
Down the road she did run
Streaking naked just for fun
Please close your eyes, and go pay her bail
WRITTEN BY SONNY ROPER
Mabel was pretty easily amused,
replacing the beer with 100% prune juice,
at her party,
friends acting farty,
her bathroom having a very long queue
WRITTEN BY CHERYL HOFFMAN
Mable was oft on the nightly news
For drunk acts in the bars she would cruise.
Some would certainly mind
Views of their own drunk blind
But Mable just hid her toilet bruise
WRITTEN BY CAYCAY JENNINGS
There's a rumor I had to ignore
That Aunt Mabel didn't drink any more
But it was my guess
That she didn't drink less
As another Guinness she'd pour!
WRITTEN BY JOSEPH MAY
Copyright © JAN ALLISON | Year Posted 2016
Long poem by
alainey craig | Details
Where Were You Daddy
where were you when I was all alone
why weren't you here after I begged you to come home
how could you leave me here with her, you were all I had
I had enough people to hurt me
I needed my dad
you promised you'll always be here to pick me up when I'll fall
you told me if I ever needed anything,
all I had to do was call
I must have called you a million times each day
I just needed to hear your voice
I needed to know you were okay
but you didn't even answer,
you didn't even say good-bye
I guess you were too drunk to remember about me
or maybe you were just too high
I needed you, Daddy,
I needed you to love me more
but you weren't thinking about me
when you walked out that door into the bars
dad you can see my permanent scars
always and forever is what you always say
will i have to wait my whole life to ever see that day
it's sad that you did what you told me any other guy would
if my own dad couldn't love me
I don't see how any guy could
I'm disappointed in you because you left me here with no one
even now you have apologized for everything you've done
you say I should forgive you, and dad i want you to know that i have
but just remember this...
who stuck by you right or wrong,
wasn't it me?
just like the typical guy you couldn't love me or appreciate the things I did
I don't even know who you are anymore
you're not the man I looked up to as a kid
I want him back, I want my dad!!
don't you see? nothing else mattered,
you were all I really ever had
you were the only one who put me first before everything else
we were a team, Dad
how could you leave me here by myself?
since the first day you left, there's been this space I've so desperately trying to fill
no one understands anymore and these cuts are the only way I numb the pain I feel
I found a way to fill the space, but it's only temporary
they can't erase the pain I've been through
you said I'll always be your baby
Dad, what did I do?!
These boys can't take the insecurities you caused
no matter what they do or say
you were supposed to be here, Daddy,
to take the hurt away
I just want everything to be like it was before you decided it was easier to leave,
before you forgot all the things you promised,
before your drugs meant more to you than me,
I just wish this would all stop,
I wish I could make it all okay
I can't forget all those years ago
I still blame myself, I should've made you stay
but you should have known better
I would never have wanted you to go
you were my protector, Daddy
you weren't supposed to hurt me; you were suppose to be my hero
but you did hurt me, Dad, and you can't take it back
it'll never be the same
I've become so insecure but you're not the only one to blame
even now you realize you were wrong and come home tonight
it's done so much damage trying to fill that space
nothing you do will ever make it right
dad i love you always and a day ill still listen to what you have to say
i have learnt so much while you've been gone and as you know a lot of it is thanks to mom
but i'm willing to start a new but dad my decision only depends on you!
Copyright © alainey craig | Year Posted 2015
Long poem by
Russell Banks | Details
The screen motionless before me
How can I break free, end this vicious circle of mediocrity
How can I, how can I be myself once more
And not abide by the lines some hack falsely accused of being a masterpiece
I can only blame myself for taking the job
Can only blame myself for thinking I could act
But I’m a liar, I’m a cheater
I’m unable to hold down the impact of the words
Alcohol, the fated drug bearing the God awful truth
A drunken rampage ended the perfect family carved out of a dream
My beautiful, trusted wife; the woman to hold me up from the darkest corners of myself
The woman I cherished with every ounce of bleeding heart
The woman I saw as heaven
Reduced to savagely caving in the side of my face with the heel of her ruby high heels
My ironic favorite of her collection; I bought those for her when we went to prom
She savagely caved in the side of my face as soon as I opened the door to our daughter’s room…
The treachery, the tyranny
What unearthly thing possessed me?
Possibly the stench of the model lingering in my nostrils
Possibly the taste of her skin fresh upon my lips
Possibly the stain of her cherry lipstick crawling upon my chest
Possibly the merry of dual hands exploring the content of each other’s body
Possibly the wine intoxicating my insides…
How could I have been so weak, weak in the needs?
I left out of the house that day with my daughter’s best intentions at heart
Her stuffed wolf lurking playfully where she last sat in the car
The picture she drew of us on top of my briefcase in the passenger seat
Going back inside to kiss my wife goodbye, saying I love her with all my life
Now I wake up in a new day, lifeless
How could I betray…how I could betray…?
I stand here with a jagged scar cursing the side of my face
Forcing me to remember that grave day
An array of empty seats
An audience to remind me I’ll always be alone
I’ll always be alone…
Rachel…forgive me I know “I’m sorry” will never be good enough
Forgive me, a kiss goodnight on her head
Was the only sweet dream I wished to place on Elizabeth
Please believe me…please (sigh)
Why should you believe me when I’ve kept silent?
Why should you believe me when I’ve done nothing to prove to you I’m innocent?
Kiss Izzy goodbye for me, please
Tell her Daddy’s sorry; let her know Daddy’s sorry…
An array of flooded seats, filled with a standing ovation and deceivable acknowledgement
I’ll always be alone
Because I’m stuck to the script of a movie based beginning
Prone to falling short in repetitive fashion
A hand’s reach away from assorted eternal bliss
Doomed to surfing this sea of unfamiliar faces
Craving attention and their approval
Like I am a beach and they are six year old kids merrily playing in the sand building castles
I have only myself to blame
I’m only a rock, kick me as far as you can
Here I stand and now here I lay
Today, I hate it
What to do now, I don’t know
The screen set motionless before me
Yet beyond what I can see
The screen tells my belated story
Of a dedicated father becoming a dedicated falter
Copyright © Russell Banks | Year Posted 2016
Long poem by
Anson Decker | Details
I swear there’s no heaven
I’m just twenty seven
Two toddlers, never married
Two fathers, my life far too harried
I bartend and wait tables
My life doesn’t resemble storybook fables
I live stressed out with fatigue
I often wonder if I’m out of my league
The speed of life too fast
So many responsibilities have me gassed
Two young lives depend on me for their future
Keeping my job, paying my bills, where’s the adventure
Just a short escape every now and then
A shot, hit or bump
Anything to rescue me from this slump
No one will know
I’ll be smart, I’ll start out slow
A surefire way to bring relief, a moment of peace
The mayhem of life will begin to cease
My son taunts his sister without meaning
She sits, face flush, tears streaming while screaming
Five or six bumps, eight shots of whiskey
My mind, slowly overcome wanders dreamily
Standing only in bra and panties
I run my fingers through dirty hair
Glancing vaguely at my children I become unaware
My eyes sparkle, forehead dampens, jaw slackens
I pray for a priest to hear my confessions
I stumble sideways
Colors blurring becoming only grays
I hear my little girl sobbing
Her brother tormenting
The grays become white as I stare in their direction
For me, this crisis is a holy moment of inflection
An outline takes shape in blinding white light
I’m at peace, without feeling fright
Eventually I see myself when only eight, a humbling sight
I watch as my memories flood the room
Such peace of mind as if back in the womb
I see my childhood past, so innocent
A time before being subjected to judgment
Everyone loved me
Life so simple, joyous and free
So simple I revel in staying up past eight
So simple a bubble bath is my best playmate
Such vibrant fairy tales my mind would create
The days before school when learning brought glee
When thunder scared me and lightening dared me
When grandpa's beard was a scruffy toy
When my teddy bear meant great joy
Look there, I’m playing with my dog, pretending to be one
And there, I carelessly dance under a summer sun
I remember how I felt and now openly question why I need
A bump and shot enabling the next day to proceed
Lying prone upon the floor
I must have passed out
Complete silence, nothing close to a shout
My little girl, my little boy, sitting at my side
Each having my hand in theirs, wishing all of us could hide
Both with a single tear slowly streaming from an eye
Somehow I’ve returned
During my pilgrimage, there’s so much I’ve learned
Nothing will take me from my children
I choose to mend my life that has been broken
I’m no longer a child
But I can believe life’s simple pleasures are no less wild
So many little things can set me free
Sending me upon a different life journey
Elusive happiness just might be found, by things like finding
Comfort in a cookie
Copyright © Anson Decker | Year Posted 2017