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Long Poems
Long poem by Brian Johnston | Details

Favorite Recurring Nightmares Part 1

Don't you think that this title is darkly divine?
But, of course, there will have to be weirdness that’s funny,
Though my nightmares are many and have complex arcs
There’s some risk here I might have to work for my money!

Nightmare 1. To Wake Up Black

Can there be a fate worse than the skin of a black?
Can you show me a white man who seeks this advantage?
“Well, my guess is they wash their hands?” sycophants say,
For the “Mark of Cain” (1) stains them as racists teach adage.

Is it possible Donald is jealous of blacks?
Can’t you feel Donald’s pain as white Pillsbury “Dough” Boy?(2)
His clear “victim” persona when “tough guy” is sought?
The abused (3) cannot love when not losing is soul’s joy.

Poet’s Notes on Nightmare 1.
(1) White racists who call themselves Christians have long taught their children that since Cain killed his brother, all blacks are the children of mankind’s first murderer. Blacks have been cursed by God and are therefore to be considered subhuman. 

Christ says that if you even think about murdering someone, you are already guilty of the crime in God’s eyes. Might the Mark of Cain, perhaps, be that you were born on this planet? God knows the “blackness” of your heart and still sent Christ to die for your sins.

(2) A reference to a monster in the movie "Ghost Busters."

(3) It’s said Donald Trump’s father had to rescue him several times from total bankruptcy, poor dad! Given Donald’s apparent contempt for the poor and needy, it is easy to imagine that his father also held him in contempt, poor kid! The lesson he learned: “If I don’t need anyone I have nothing to lose! (No one can hurt me!)” The reality seems to be, however, that there are few people in the world more thin skinned than Donald Trump!
Nightmare 2. To Wake Up Poor

The idea the wealthy wake up destitute
Seems improbable nightmare. Why should the rich worry?
The “real” wealth more in habits and friendship than gold,
Who can steal worth of practice or force trust to hurry?

But the ones never taught keys to wealth haunt my dreams,
For all poverty tends to endanger soul’s passage,
To delay satisfaction and set aside gain
That might bridge future need, is prosperity’s message.

Nightmare 3. To Wake Up a Woman

After three wives, my sister and mom, (I feel faint),
There is so much about me that nobody knows yet,
With no kids of my own, my best insights suspect...
Though I fear inner voice, something less is no sonnet.

I would have to turn off burning need to be right,
And perhaps open heart to adopting a daughter,
There’s no way that I think I would want to give birth,
Why give birth to a child, men and Trump will just slaughter.

Nightmare 4. To Wake Up a Republican

OMG! Can it be I’m home safe in my bed?
This bad boy was “togetherness” way past my limit!
Always game, Donald Trump staked his claim! (“It’s my fame!”)
But he wisely picked hall with a “locker room” climate!

Young and old, tall and short, no dissent to report,
Queers (NOT GAY!), making hay, toes lined up, how they play! While
Trumps homogenized, GMO geese took the stage...
“Heil!” “Big Boy!” razzmatazz, “Yes!” “Big Hands!” razzmatazz, “Heil!”
Nightmare 5. To Wake Up Tone Deaf

You may laugh but to me this one’s scary as Hell!
It’s a dark deprivation, akin to not seeing!
You can hear, but the rainbows of color in sound 
Are all missing, all tones are just grey shades of being.

As a child I could hear “Middle C” in my head
(Some name notes the way you call Rose red, pink, or yellow),
All men gifted with “Relative Pitch” carry tunes,
As can “Absolute Pitch” man, incredible fellow.

How could music be treasured if all tones were grey,
Could the beauty that’s poetry dance with flame absent?
Lord, I weep for the folk who can’t see with their ears,
Let me die if You must, but please spare me that torment.

To my heart each new note has the face of a child,
And these kids make the world quite enormously brighter,
Please you Lord, let me be, always your “Middle C!”
Never lost in a crowd, may I always be fighter.

Nightmare 6. To Wake Up With a “Big Head!”

Not much worse in the world than a man with “big head,”
To be one that’s so dumb he thinks his poop’s important,
No slight ever so small his foot can’t find his mouth,
Get too close and you’ll feel like you need disinfectant.

Late night comedy writers can lay down their pens,
Here’s a man who thinks he makes the sun rise each morning,
Feckless bully who can’t keep his pants or lips zipped,
Even Statue of Liberty bows head in mourning.

Nightmare 7. To Not Be A Christian

It’s not even your choice when the rubber meets road,
Many claim to be Christian while secretly seething,
They confuse “faith” with saying that “Christ is my Lord.”
Although words can be empty, changed hearts show re-birthing.

Rather let me be “Queer” one the “pious” reject!
It is Grace and not choice that leads all to the Father
The flock’s weeping is useless unless they repent,
Any vote cast for Trump just mob living in anger.

Help me lift up my brother and hate just his sin,
Won’t You free me to doubt Lord but teach me to question,
“Living faith” simply dead in those certain they know,
And let Grace and not judgement feed my reinvention.

Copyright © Brian Johnston | Year Posted 2017

Long poem by Mark Massey | Details

The Redemption - Part 2

The Procession

With love they make the passage into light,
in gardens lush each mourner stood abreast.
Then hand in hand they walked up to the site
she chose to be her final place of rest.
They all had gathered 'round the open ground
to sprinkle petals on the coffer tomb.
Cold silence seemed to be the only sound
as bearers placed it in its earthly womb.
And far behind the mourners stood a pair
of men in whisper as they viewed in grace.
One spoke about his life now in despair
and other days that brought him to this place.
  “No god of love would leave me in such pain,
   alas my faith in thee could be in vain”.

Faith in Vain

Alas my faith in thee could be in vain.
I’d called on you to give me strength to fare
the tragedies that fell on me like rain
and in that hour I could not find you there.
My son and wife are now three years deceased.
Malignancy has filled my mind with fear.
I’ve given up my search for inner peace.
Now only manic demons harbor there.
I still aspire that one day soon I’ll be
released from mortal shackles that I wear
and seek to find in heaven my relief.
Through faith in thee I hope to find them there.
  I wonder why the god of grace contends
  to test the mortal circumstance of men?

The Cancer

To test the mortal circumstance of men
my body fights a battle from within;
the cure too strong for many to defend
with poisons meant to make you whole again.
My ravaged state had left me but a shell
and made me wonder why I even tried. 
And as I drifted deeper into hell
my life was saved but for it faith had died.
My guiding light had been my family,
in darkest moments there to lead me on.
I realized that he watched over me,
providing strength in them to keep me strong.
  To know my loving family sustains,
  In death a living memory remains.

The Death of a Son

In death a living memory remains,
the patriarchal heir shall carry on.
In vain I walk because there is no name
to call a father who has lost his son.
He stood by me when I was in despair
and as those hopeless visions filled my head;
so futile my request that life be fair
or pray for death to take me in his stead.
My grandchild's birth, his son, shall free this pain;
too young to know his father could not stay
reminding us the best of him remains.
But sorrow won and death soon claimed its prey.
  With family we can conquer life’s demands;
  one man cannot secure such futile ends.

The Widower

One man cannot secure such futile ends
to ever mend a mother’s broken soul.
She was my lover and my cherished friend,
the anguish finally took its mortal toll.
We placed her in the ground atop her pride.
This single grave now binds me to this ground.
And soon our bodies will be placed aside
with fleeting hopes our spirits can be bound.
I called to Him, “Have mercy on me lord,
in my surrender, I’m a broken man.”
I knew it was his judgement I abhorred.
But who was I to doubt his holy plan?
  A granite stone engraved for evermore;
  the only way that memories endure. 

The Emptiness 

The only way that memories endure
when all my hopes have withered into dust
and everything in life I once adored
is gone and now in nothing will I trust.
My shredded faith I’ve cast into the air
in pieces I may never find again.
With you my friend these memories I share
so in my sorrow you may understand.
The friend just stood in silence for a spell
and turned to look into the mourner's eyes
then spoke of this great gift that had befell
upon him just before his son had died.
  Your faith in life and love you can restore;
  they live within the hearts of those so pure.

The Child

They live within the hearts of those so pure.
Each mourner grieves the passing of this friend.
The life and death for all is to insure
that everything that ends begins again.
A child is such a blessing to receive,
so filled with love it heals our earthly pains.
Just take this child to heart and you’ll receive
the blessing of the love he has ordained.
All those gathered stood for one last prayer.
With silence broken each then found their way
along the paths where others shared despair
among the stones where mortal remnants lay.
  The soul will find its way to Heaven’s door
  A stone shall mark all those that came before.

The Redeemed

A stone shall mark all those that came before,
the solitary soul shall reign unbound.
With mortal flesh interned forevermore,
we pray the soul is now eternal bound.
Through faith we seek an everlasting life,
we hope our prayers are heard in heaven's heights.
A fragile son cannot escape the strife,
with love they make the passage into light.
Alas my faith in thee could be in vain
to test the mortal circumstance of men.
In death a living memory remains,
one man cannot secure such futile ends.
  The only way that memories endure;
  they live within the hearts of those so pure.

                        Heroic Crown of Sonnets
                                        A. Mark Massey

Copyright © Mark Massey | Year Posted 2016

Long poem by Diane Lefebvre | Details

Wellington Gate

His walk into town would prove fateful that day,
As his mind wandered idly while finding his way.
His footsteps were brisk like fall chill in the air,
Past Wellington Gate, south of Denby town square.

He paused for a time as the hearse passed him by.
Its dark, somber outline contrasting the sky.
Stood still as it turned in through Wellington Gate,
Down this last dusty byway of sorrow and fate.

A pair of dark geldings, black plumes on their heads.
Seemed subdued in their manner while carrying the dead.
Their hooves beat dull thuds on the cold, hardened sod:
Alerting the devil, but more hopefully, God.

The box in the hearse lay there stark and austere.
Poor souls final journey, last trek anywhere. 
The small group of mourners now somber and mute
Trailed after the hearse in reluctant pursuit.

His thoughts then turned back to concerns of the day.
The errands in Denby that had brought him this way.
His footsteps trudged on toward the town just ahead.
On past this bleak place with its fields of the dead.

And the day passed by quickly as he made all his rounds,
Attending to business before leaving the town.
Then an overdue visit to a friend from the past,
Would leave his mind reeling, in tumult, aghast!

For Nell Reed had returned from her home far away.
Nell Reed had come back, never more would she stray.
The scene he had witnessed at Wellington Gate,
The pine box, the mourners, lamented Nell's fate.

Then a blow to his middle - sharp twist like a knife.
Twice now he'd lost Nellie the love of his life.
Nellie, oh Nellie sweet child of his youth.
How could he accept this - admit to its truth?

She now lay in her coffin - pale, cold, not a sigh.
No words would she speak, not one single goodbye.
No explanation of the times in their past:
Of unanswered questions, he could now never ask.

He then found himself back at Wellington Gate.
Fall shadows had lengthened and the day had grown late.
Dead leaves of November swirled under his step,
Invited him follow to where Nellie now slept.

The despair that he felt huddled there by her grave,
Made him seem as a man now most surely depraved.
Harsh pleas for the answers to questions long asked,
From someone once cherished, now part of the past.

Where had she gone while he fought in that war?
Why did she leave, did she love him no more?
Upon his return, mind and body all scarred, 
To face life without her - so sad and so hard?

He cried out in frustration, old sorrow and pain,
As he knelt by her grave there on Evermore Lane.
And the day turned toward evening, but he did not see,
Trapped there in his memories with no place to flee.

Then he sensed someone else, just behind, but nearby.
A young man with Nell's look, most especially her eyes.
In his hand was a letter, tinged yellow with time-
Nell's neat, tiny script penned on each faded line.

"She told me about you and what you once shared,
And asked me to find you, to tell you she cared.
She wished you to have this," his voice held a plea.
"Her last thoughts on this earth were of you and of me."

"The letter was written a long time ago,
When I was a child, before I came to know.
The man I called father, in the days of my youth,
Was only her husband; a well hidden truth."

"He raised me and fed me and treated me well,
But he never did love me and I always could tell.
This letter from mother should bring you at last,
Answers to questions that have troubled your past."

And the son placed the letter in his fathers cold hand,
Waited a moment - made a half-hearted stand.
But he turned then and left - back through Wellington Gate:
To the place he had come from and his own earthly fate.

And his father by the morning, lay frozen and dead,
On Nellie's cold grave with the message unread.
He never did view those last words meant for him,
It grew too dark to see as the cold night set in.

He succumbed to that cold and to Nellie's mute call.
And died where she lay on the last day of fall.
And the years passed on by, like the years always will.
They now lie there together, both silent: both still.

And all who'd remember lie near them as well,
No one now survives for this sad tale to tell.
Yet the legend goes on of this man and of fate.
It's still whispered while passing by - Wellington Gate.

Copyright © Diane Lefebvre | Year Posted 2015

Long poem by Shadow Hamilton | Details

The Druid 3

Now that Crimson Fire was gone
Fire Eagle needed to gain experience.
For over ten years he travelled the lands
helping people, learning from many other druids.
One day he knew he would be called up on to
take the role of high priest as yet he felt unready.
Faithfully he followed the druid ways of peace and
nature. Living his life in mainly solitude he was
very close and in tune with the land and creatures.

He took part in many solstices and Equinox's abet
in a lowly position. Always he was learning and growing
stronger, facing many perils and banishing them all.
Daily his powers became stronger and people visited
him to learn from him. Eventually he took on his first
apprentice a lad named Tom. He taught Tom about the plants
that healed and those used wrongly that could harm.
In time he also set him tasks to prove his worth and heart.

Shortly after Tom left a group of priests came to his cave.
They told Fire Eagle to prepare for circle as one would be
held the following night. This a private circle only for priests
Fire Eagle did his cleansing rite and drank the Enchanter's
potion, now he was ready to don his ritual robes. Taking
hold of his staff he left his cave and followed the other
druids to the Sacred Grove. They sat and cleared their 
minds of daily thoughts letting the Grove's magic fill them.

They sat as still as statues as they medicated on life itself.
Finally the high priest Golden Stag rose and started to chant.
He blessed the other priests and gave them tasks to do
which must be completed by the Summer Solstice, to Fire
Eagle he said it is now time for you to come with me.
Golden Stag taught Fire Dragon all his secrets and set
him tasks which Fire Dragon strove to complete well.
Finally the high priest was happy and said you are now ready.

As you know I am old and it is my time soon to go to rest.
You have been chosen to take my place and I will conduct
the ceremony to make you our high Priest at Summer Solstice.
For the next two days you must wander the lands helping all
you find in need and healing those who come to you. It is 
important to stay in balance with Nature and you must treat all
as equals. Evil will try to corrupt you and lead you astray.
Keep this talisman by you and you will be able to see the truth.

As he wandered many called on him for help or healing
and giving them all his full attention he did his best.
Mid day before the Solstice a lovely girl came to him and 
sat at his feet drinking in his very essence, draining him.   
Fire Eagle struggled to clear his mind of her wiles and
remembering his talisman held it aloft, in blue smoke
she changed to an evil demon and burst into flames.
He had now completed his tasks and returned to Golden Stag.

Together they discussed what he had learnt while away.
You are now ready, said Golden Stag go and prepare yourself.
Well aware of this monumental moment he took great care
to follow the cleansing exactly. Finally ready they set off to
circle. Meeting up with other robed druids they reached
Stonehenge and entered its sacred circle. They did the rites
of purification and showed their respect to Mother Nature
then all bowed to the North, East and South and finally to West.

Golden Stag stepped into the centre and told all it was near 
his time to rest. The Druids moaned in sorrow yet knew it
was the way of things. Fire Dragon will take my place he said.
We will conduct his passage to high priest at this sacred time
in the knowledge he will receive the circles wisdom just like
all before him. He spread out the herbs and choosing several
mixed them together, then he anointed Fire Dragon with them
whilst he chanted. At the end he asked to be taken back to his
cave by Fire Dragon, he gave him his staff and robes and laid down.

Just like Crimson Fire he let out a soft sigh and left this world.
Now it was up to Fire Dragon to lead the Druids. His first task
was to lay Golden Stag to rest and he accomplished it well.
Many came and sat at his feet to learn the Druid ways.
A shy girl approached and in time Fire Dragon and her
fell in love and were wed. Sadly five years later she died in childbirth.

To be continued

Copyright © Shadow Hamilton | Year Posted 2016

Long poem by Stanley Collymore | Details

Gone and hopefully permanently forgotten

By Stanley Collymore

Never speak ill of the dead we’re constantly and solemnly
exhorted regardless of who they are or the life that
they freely chose to live, as they’re no longer
around, is the lame and unconvincing excuse
that’s often and dishonestly given in explanation, to rebut or
defend their name, any accusations or adverse criticisms,
however concrete or valid they might be, being made
against them; and in those circumstances therefore
to then embark on such a plan would in itself be
quite unbecoming while serving as nothing
more than a cheap and cowardly way of
attempting to exact one’s own revenge.

But hang on a moment, how truly valid is this
simplistic and supposedly moral exhortation; and why
should the intervention of death, distinct from any
other known phenomenon, be the sole exculpation for
someone’s life-long sins and premeditated wrongdoings
that disparagingly have callously, schemingly,
perniciously, quite methodically and comprehensively
destroyed the lives of so many who were
exclusively picked on and especially targeted for
reasons of dogmatic political ideology, or
those specifically and illogically
associated with their race
or ethnicity.

I was never a miner viewed as the country’s low-life and
thusmalevolently castigated as the enemy within, but
I am and have longstandingly been a proud trade
unionist whose movement just as
viciously by this self-centred,
venal and privileged elite was likewise tarred
with the same condemnatory brush and
scandalously branded the same.

Similarly, I was an anti-apartheid activist firmly
committed, as I always will be, to the noble concept
globally of the universality of human rights, equality
for all human beings and the ultimate eradication
of racism, tirelessly working also in tandem
for freedom of expression by everyone,
genuine democracy and the lawful and
moral right to withhold one’s labour,
and particularly so in manufactured industrial
disputes specifically designed to disrupt the cohesion,
deliberately break-up and ruthlessly destroy the
bargaining rights of all trade unions. 

So why would I, or anyone else for that matter
with a social conscience, want to actually
eulogize and not rightly despise someone who,
while together with their husband was
profiting massively financially from South Africa’s
apartheid system, none the less perversely saw fit
to label Nelson Mandela a terrorist and roundly
vilify the ANC as a terrorist organization, while
astonishingly and without a modicum of regret
laud the architects of apartheid and the
ardent supporters of institutionalized
racism as the veritable champions of
what they deem as democracy?

Unless, of course, such individuals have short or convenient
memories and are themselves a complete abomination of what
society, which we were told by this woman doesn’t exist,
or come to that humanity should actually represent!
So I’ve no apologies to make or will I relent from
the stance I’ve taken because Death, inevitable
to us all, has finally, and some would
justifiably say, long-sufferingly and somewhat
kindly stepped in and brought the life of yet
another tyrant to its end. So feel free those of you
who want to eulogize or even dress yourself up
in sackcloth and ashes if you wish amidst your contrived beating
of chests and sorrowful refrains; but in doing so, I’d like for
you in your unrestrained orgy of engineered anguish
and false grief to jointly entreat you to abstain
from ever doing any of this in my name.

© Stanley V. Collymore
12 April 2013.

In the midst of life there is death the great leveller of us all. We brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. So what doth it profit a man or woman if in their life time they gain all the riches of the world yet lose their soul for eternity? The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the Name of the Lord.

Copyright © Stanley Collymore | Year Posted 2013

Long poem by Bob Moore | Details

Manchester United 1958-Part One

Listen to poem:
by Robert (Bob) Moore © 2015

I remember the 6th February, in 1958, 
the day before my 16 birthday, everything was great
I was working at the CIS, an Insurance mob in town
I’d finished work at Deansgate, and I was heading home

I joined the queue at Market Street, and I noticed some were crying
they were talking in hushed tones, about some people dying
then I saw the headlines, of the paper a man was reading what’s this I thought, that can’t be true, I could not catch the meaning

UNITED DISASTER. GRIM FIGHT FOR LIFE, is what the headline read
this could not happen to Man U, were any of them dead
these were thoughts ran through my mind, as tough men cried around me
I caught the bus, and hurried home, that’s where I felt I should be

The Busby Babes were flying home, from their game in the Euro Cup
they’d drawn with Red Star in Belgrade, which meant they would move up
to  play Milan in the Semi’s, at Old Trafford their home ground
but now that fate had played its hand, that meant nothing to those around

They had flown out on the Monday, Lord Burghley was the plane
and then on the Wednesday, it would fly them home again
because the plane could not carry, all the fuel it needed
it landed at Munich Airport, and re-fuelling then proceeded

At 14:19 GMT, the plane was cleared for take-off
everyone was ready, and the Captain let the brake off
the take-off was abandoned, when a gauge was fluctuating
and the engine did not sound right, when they were accelerating

They tried a second take-off, just 3 minutes later
but had to call it off, problems with the accelerator
the passengers then left the plane, and retreated to the lounge
heavy snow was falling now, the plane may not leave the ground.

Duncan Edwards sent a telegram, to let his landlady know
the flights have all been grounded, because of all the snow
The Captain told the engineer, the problems with their flight
the engineer said I suggest, you should all stay the night

I think that we can make it said the pilot Captain Thain
and 15 minutes later, they were all back on the plane
if we use the throttle slowly, we can build to take off speed
we have a lot of runway, much more than we should need

The less confident of fliers, and Billy Whelan he was one
said “!’m ready if this means my death”, and then it was done
Duncan Edwards and some others, had moved back into the plane
they believed it would be safer, if something happened once again

a decision now was needed, and soon one had been made,
they were going for a take-off, and everybody prayed
The pilot slowly moved the throttle, and then released the brake
As the plane moved down the runway, and began to accelerate

“Zulu Uniform is rolling”, was their message to the tower
it threw up slush, and increased speed, as they slowly built up power
the Captain called velocity, and then he heard the engine falter
he pulled back a bit, then forward slow, til he heard the heartbeat alter

V1 was called at 117, take-off could not be aborted
V2 was next at 119, the least to get us started
then he could lift us off the ground, and climb towards the heaven
however it was not to be, the speed stayed round 117

velocity dropped to 112, and the engine could not take it
the plane began to slip and slide, they knew they would not make it”
it skidded off the runway, and crashed into a fence
then crossed a road, and hit a house, the feeling was intense

Continued:- part two

Copyright © Bob Moore | Year Posted 2016

Long poem by Vicki Acquah | Details


Vicki Acquah

                                 SCOFFING LOVE

 Which witty poem did you inspire in me, what sincere praise did you give my words when I thought enough of you send a poem your way. Which line did you write with my spirit surrounding you? 

What song did you sing when you thought of my name? Why did you say you love me? What have I done to make you smile, how did you get in my head anyhow? What part of me did you arouse. 

Why do I say I love you.?  Were you sincere when you said amen to the wisdom that I shared, were you one of those who thought your mocking, was more valuable than compliance. I have lived with the resentments of scoffers.
 I digest your response with a gulp. 

I thought so much better of you. I do not have a real clue, as to why you would be the one to undermine and scoff at love with snide remarks of false pride; I was called to this throne you seek to banishing me from. 
This cannot be done, no man can put asunder what was set in motion by the higher laws of nature.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       I speak of the ills in society, I speak of false realities.  What you didn't say holds fast inside.  
I saw what you didn't do, and wonder why. In-spite of your mockery I still have a love inside me, that adores the greatness in you!  Even if you choose to undermine; this only bothers me because of the effect it will have on you, only my friends who are genuine, will continue to ride on my cloud of joy. 

Receiving no threats, as human I be, human, with the attributes of goddesses. Take what you like and leave the rest of me. 
That's why I so perfectly ...tolerate you. 

Because of the worth I see in you. And of course, what is left of you need not be disturbed. One day you will figure things out, one day you will know why I shared a part of your life. 

One day you will see what they value in me, it’s not because you scoff love deliberately that I speak, it’s not because you will give in, but because you are better than this. Because the miracle of love and fate combined will one day comply with your finite mind. I know who I am even though you don't ride on my rhythm, or step to my drumbeat.  

I see you tweaking to my heartbeat. Yet more will be understood bye and bye.  
To those who feel, and appreciate each others poetry:  
Eventually the meaning of things will be revealed. 

Who knows why scoffers scoff whenever love speaks out. Just be patient and wait, sincerity and love never needs defending. All you less callous people, who seek understanding as opposed to malice, just wait at the top of the mountain. 

One day with open eyes the slackers shall join you there. No need to compare, we all need prayer, as long as we are not stuck on the slippery slope, of contempt, as long as we who hold the rope are willing to pull our brother up with our words, the poets words :
The message for the masses is hope...so, I live  for the poems you send my way. For, I grow strong in our relationship sailed by the winds of your encouragement, to my poets, my true friends; I truly know who you are, don't ever think I don’t!

Copyright © Vicki Acquah | Year Posted 2012

Copyright © Vicki Acquah | Year Posted 2012

Long poem by Timothy Jacks | Details

My Grandfathers Dying Wish

See problems they no worry Timothy
He was raised by his Great Grandmother
One day she taught him
Miho you can make life beautiful or ugly
Work hard, find a woman who has a strong back
Beauty fades it doesn’t last long
Now let me tell you 
A woman with a strong back may not be your perfect companion
Times are changing, I think Faith is more important these days
I say okay Grandma, can I have the horachata now that you made me
No hush up! You can have it when I’m finished talking
Timothy come your poor Grandfather wanted you to have this
It is his Journal and I have never read out of it
She hands it to me
I am struck by it’s cover, it is brown and plain
Yet it spoke to me by it’s elegant style
These words were printed on the cover “Blanco Vendetta”
I was drawn and pulled in untill I was covered by the spell
The first page I open too it says “My first Mil Besos”
The Temptess that blew my heart away
I turn to page 33
It says “The story of an Apache Warrior”
There are no rules to an Apache Warrior when it comes to fighting
He says if you are my enemy I don’t care how but I’m gonna kill you
Page 41 is like a fist full of words thrown across the page
Barrio boxing, The protection of the Shield of Faith
Brokenhearted for my careless speech has left her heartbroken
Strengthened by Love “Amor”
Nourished by the sunshine in her hand
There is healing in its beams
Blessed by her presence Del Dios I am Greatful
I’m like Grandpa what did you say wrong
Then these words come to me
Give her your full attention when she speaks to you
Because the Heart of the Wise studies how to answer
So I close it and my finger brushes a bookmark
It’s the Last page
It says To: “Timothy my son who is as mighty as an army”
I Thank you for the Greatest Gift
For the Greatest Gifts are as small as your small hand that touched me
I plant these seeds and they will take root and grow because you are good ground
Timothy let me say That without you I would of never found my Faith in GOD
Listen for it is your Grandfather who is dead and speechless
Timothy you see the good in everything
And I know you will understand my words clearly
If a man gives you his word
Promise me not to plan your future on it
And if you give your word my son
Do everything in your Power to fulfill it
AND NEVER Promise more than you can deliver 
For it is better to put out more than you promised
Everyman is considered unwise when he appears foolish
I wish I could give you some insight about women
But your Great Grandmother may help you better than I can
But never timothy, Never be quick to fall in Love 
Or give your heart to a woman
Listen carefully to her words when she speaks to you
Cherish Her give her your full undue attention 
Because the Heart of the Wise studies how to answer
Love your neighbors as yourself
And do not strive against another man
If he has done nothing wrong to offend you
AS much as it is possible live peacefully with all men
And it is okay for you to speak these things with your Great Grandmother
She is a very wise and God-fearing woman
Amor take the greatest care of her, I Love you Son
Timothy when the time comes to avenge my death
Hit harder then you ever have before
But not in a Duel son, not like an open Vendetta
Marry his daughter Maria
The one who is pretty and Two years younger than you
Oh! He will suffer greatly!
And it will kill him to know that I chose this way to repay him
And remember son to be ready to fight any man at the drop of a hat

Copyright © Timothy Jacks | Year Posted 2012

Long poem by Anson Decker | Details

The Eulogizer

He’s called the Eulogizer
He reluctantly accepts this moniker as our elder
A name for which he feels disdain 
Since it conjures memories of unspeakable pain
He's lost a father, mother, sister and son
His nights sleepless realizing his duty is not yet done

I sit among those assembled, feeling anxious
I know his words will bring a measure of solace

His face stone, voice strong, steady
Fighting his emotion
Carefully crafted memories are his calming potion

As anyone, he’s averse to this task
How long will he fool us with his mask

Conveying the spirit of those lost, their idiosyncratic ways
He's reluctant yet seemingly could speak for days

Rigid at the podium stands his six foot four frame
After this day he will never be the same

Face stricken white, eyes without color, eyebrows raised as if asking why
Pushing on, he must try

Unaccompanied by notes or written speech
Each of us welcoming, wanting, needing his outreach

As he speaks, his grieving words encircle us from above
Settling to impart a healing salve of love

He speaks eloquently of his many memories
Figuratively, bringing us to our knees
Hopes and dreams of those gone, now only casualties

Many sit trembling, sorrow decomposes their composure
He executes his chore
Foolishly hoping there will be no more
He doesn’t question or complain
His love precludes feelings of disdain

He is eloquent
His plain spoken manner brilliant
Evoking warm memories of those lost, so elegant

Now standing before his mothers grave
A ceremony for the soul he hopes to save

Engulfed by dead winter cemetery silence 
Ghosts of father, mother, son and sister stand in reverence

The sergeant at arms, face cast in steel
A strong soldier, we wonder if he can feel

His stout frame encased in military blue
Highlighted by medals and awards casting an ominous hue

Flanked by motionless men of lesser rank
For their presence our country we thank

A half step forward
He leans in toward
To the Eulogizer the sergeant utters in hushed tone
As if family and friends have left them standing alone

The folded flag resting between white gloved hands
The Eulogizer firmly stands

“On behalf of the President of the United States, the Commandant of the Navy, and a grateful nation please accept this flag as a symbol of our appreciation for your loved one’s service to Country and the US Navy."

Then a moment forever frozen in time and memory
For those standing close enough to see
The steely soldier contains himself no longer
A tear upon his cheek swells, becoming stronger

More invisible souls gather upon the hallowed ground
The millions lost since the first musket cracked with sound

The lone bugler standing under a mighty oak
Red, white and blue his eyes, gloves and uniform
He Taps, long sorrowful notes inciting emotional storm

The sergeant holds a long salute, and when it’s done
We disperse, each pondering a private question

The Eulogizer’s words deliver comfort and peace
Enabling a mourners pain to cease

There’s no need to live in fear
While waiting until you again will hear 
From the Eulogizer

Copyright © Anson Decker | Year Posted 2017

Long poem by Laura Breidenthal | Details

Doom of Ancient Bloom

Oh, this impish ill!
this mystic flock of ever-roaming pain;
You now possess fully
my body and my life.
I am at your full attention and mercy;
Do you not rejoice?
Are you not overwhelmingly triumphant?
This very body that shamed kings into beggars,
that made cowards into martyrs,
songs to motivation,
and indisputable chaos to nation;
All of my great works till now
are devoured by this deplorable disease!
Indeed, now all are indifferent to my successes,
to my brilliance and my legendary valiance;
You see no more but a breakable man-
Another mortal undeniably, indefinably, irrevocably….dying
This misshapen swarm inside distorts my frame;
These bones weaken as I lay
isolated in the mist below the disparaging judges—
Away from the ordinary who spat on me in revulsion;
The known healthy and the blessed—
The cursed clean!
Even relieving the dogs and the fiends from this stinking burden I am
but a rogue omen, and a threat
to their meaningless power.
My skin is paling, flaking—I feel it!
Though dread long has fled to sorrier lands,
seeping in the heavenly regions of trembling angels,
crying out to me to submit, and repent
to a god who has enslaved us—
To—in the end—die,
and for the bravest, and the best,
perish harshly and horribly!
Agony places itself in all that cries out in me—
tired agony mixed with the sting of venomous words;
My family—additions to the cursed clean—
They visited me once in prison;
My father, rigid, alien to me,
Colder than the prison walls surrounding,
and—of course—unwilling to be written upon,
stood silent, as my mother wept,
as my brother, his son whom he loves,
stared through me hollowly, dumbly,
possessing traits too doleful to acknowledge,
yet always, he is
more than anything I die to achieve.
Dead flowers crumble in my palms;
Now their known beauty is long gone.
I had been ailing, though enduring,
spreading and killing off fellow prisoners one by one;
The jailer became furious with the disease,
his dying wish to have me alone with the ground and worm;
His death and his bitter will against me touched the queen,
Who deemed the clean oppressed.
The solemn king whom I had served once with reverence
so soon sentenced me prematurely to this tomb,
to enclose a black hell of chilling cold around me,
and—as was ordinary—granted me
no walls to write on.
Tears fall…
I have learned in the silence even fury sighs and dims
Pacing and pacing,
I was soon reduced to feverish quaking,
and in every sense aching,
till the floor met my lips,
as the weakness took a fragile but substantial grip on my hope;
That moment, I begged this tomb to take me.
As fate has seen fit,
this is my dirge of a conclusion:
We all—cursed man—
All—ordinary and brilliant alike,
meet the same filthy fate
involving unassuming worms and dirt-
senseless deafness, blindness and darkness.
If I ever bloomed,
in your eyes, my father,
like your sons before me, I bloomed for naught,
only to, like infants, cry-
to die
and rot. 

For Justin Bordner's "A Tomb of Ancient Bloom" contest

Copyright © Laura Breidenthal | Year Posted 2016

Long Poems