Long poem by
Gerald Dillenbeck | Details
An attorney friend of mine once said,
We have two opposing views
of the hows and whys of law and time and natural evolution,
including natural law,
and including U.S. Constitutional Law.
One assumes both natural and spiritual nondual legal obligations
to invite and respond to the friends of our allies
as our potentially cooperative friends,
unless proven to be too contrary,
This is the type of lawyer,
and fellow-resident of Earth,
democratically multicultural-is-positive voter,
I intend to become
with every breath both Yang-out deductive of Yin-inductive-concave,
with every heartbeat both Yang-flow out toward diastatic climax
and Yin reverse toward aptic-static
to begin again,
with every day and nightmare,
with ever week and month and year
our Positive PolyPathic Ground
and Air and Fire and Water of Becoming
CoRevolutionaries of Moral Secular/Sacred
Yang/Yin EcoPolitical Integrity
Then there are my more amusing, and sometimes terrifyingly unwell, BusinessAsUsual WinLose LeftBrain Dominant types
The enemy of my friends
is probably also my competing ecopolitical enemy,
therefore I shall play
Mutually Assured LoseLose Condemning Belittling Bullying Destruction,
perhaps by aiming first at Islamic NationStates
owning oil and civil and climate unrest.
We shall assume WinLose normative legal ethics
and yet also RightBrain remembers this assumption's ecological conclusion
is most nihilistically, merely secularly,
reductively, merely naturally,
to Lose sacred dignity of both life and death,
to become a merely entropic dissonant future
absence of health and safety regeneration.
Despite this understory of irritating belief-faith dissonance,
I choose LoseLose Mutual Destruction
perhaps because no one sufficiently mentored
what it could promise to continue cooperatively within our larger
WinWin Earth HealthAsWealth Herstoric Narrative
about how to act and speak and design and plan and game for
PatriarchalYang EcoLogically Deductive
U.S. Constitutional (0)Riginal Ego/EcoBalancing EcoPolitical
ReGenerative Yang/DeGenerative YinSquared Inductive (0)-OverSoul,
neural-fractal flowtrend correlational-appositional co-arising,
natural and spiritual
and legal and moral and normative
and biological and ecological and ecosystemic
Taoist SpaceTime EarthRights-and-Wrongs Intent.
My Legal Counselor said,
Mother Earth is my healthiest and most nutritiously balanced
most functionally organic-cooperative
LegalAid EcoFeminist Doctor of Natural/Moral Constitutional ReGenerative Law
and Executive Orders,
about friends of friends as friends WinWin assumptions,
he himself both naturally and spiritually
I so wish he had run for CoOperative President
of Mutually ReAssuring ReGenerative Health and ReProducing WinWin Safety,
committed to enforcing a Constitutional Law
most nutritiously and organically rooted in WinWin-only choice-making,
assuming friends of friends are friends,
rather than more of the same old
I'm Not Listening!
because I can't stop talking about my FearMongering ParanoidEgo SelfIdentity,
so I'm issuing this memo from
ME: CEO of These United WinLose Corporations
TO: All bicamerally functional WinWin Civil Servants,
constitutionally self-identifying your LeftEgo/RightEco consciousness
for optimizing health and safety cooperative investment futures:
Always assume the enemies of all our allies,
(and I might be SuperPatriotically sure that our
'Allies' probably are quickly becoming a set of None, Zero,...
I'm feeling really conflicted about WinLose economics v politics
within our NATO strategy--
more logical to go WinLose separatist-fascist)...
As I was LeftBrain saying,
Always assume WinLose strategic competition is best for health and safety outcomes,
rather than continuing with the Constitutional
Evolutionary Historical Evidence
supporting a more organic Network of InterDependent CoOperation
toward One HealthySacred Body of ReGenerativity,
and away from DeGenerate Supremacies of State
WinLose Disempowerment of Liberty for All.
I suspect those more WinLeft BothAnding WinRight optimized
toward Ego/Eco Balancing patriotic civil service,
not uncivil disservice,
will have constitutional issues
with how such WinLose Assumptions of Mutual Destruction
resonates with US Constitutions
of Original WinWin EcoPolitical CoOperative Intent,
that friends of friends are also WinWin assuming and inviting friends
in NonDualist Enlightenment,
both West and East Philosophical
about ThermoDynamics of EcoPolitical YangConserving/YinProgressing
Nurturing-Integrity of Health and Safety Global thru Universal Intent.
May BioSystemic-ReGenerative EarthHearts forgive my friend,
the WinWin EcoTherapeutic Attorney
and Voter as Breather and BiCameral Heart-Beater,
for not having spoken
as resonantly as he positive-health polypathically practiced
reproduced these thoughts with feelings of co-empathic well-being.
Are we here to help each other toward more cooperatively healthy-regenerative lives?
Or do we still WinLose compete to persuade each other of why we cannot all WinWin together,
which is why we originally came to each other
to figure out how to do.
Will you only tell me why I EitherOr can't;
or also add why we BothAnd could regenerate Earth's Constitutional Beloved Community future?
Copyright © Gerald Dillenbeck | Year Posted 2017
Long poem by
Cyndi MacMillan | Details
Near somber guards, units of children heap
dead leaves, naive to any else fallen.
Friend, you chuckle, but your posture speaks
of duty on this day of contradictions.
Firefighters bow heads in silent paean,
while polished trucks stand at attention.
Families have again answered the call
to attend this festival, so uncommon.
Here, laughter rings around the memorial
for exuberance must never be doused,
Gloriously wrought, a sculpture of angels
commiserates with each mourning house.
You say, I see valor in lives that inspire.
I see heroes and their lines of fire.
Surreal, the way a contortionist knots
himself as the escape artist breaks free.
Uptown, buskers beckon with what-naughts,
drawing thousands. Candyland, sighs New-Dali
at its epicenter, his true element,
and he takes it in: the sword swallower,
blindfolds, jugglers, clowns miming laments,
fire-fed gals, stilted-men and tots taller
on shoulders. This carnival can endear,
turn heads, but only one with a seer-heart
studies the music box dancer, then swears
that she spins perfect webs with street-smarts.
Mirroring that swivel, awed by his entourage,
He becomes centrum to his own collage.
*For Chan, fully alive in Heaven.
Your brows are up. The Princess Cinema
is not your choice. C'mon, I don't fit here,
you snort. You, with all your charisma
and kindness, stand in a short line, fearing
boredom or worse ... pretense. Promise me,
that we aren't about to wallow through
subtitles, you sigh. Give me clarity,
a story, something that I can relate to.
But the charm catches you by surprise,
a star-struck atmosphere, the seats are new
and the popcorn is still warm. Friendly eyes
laugh, then amusement streams from you
for these Global TV spots simply delight
like each snippet that you joyfully write.
There be Scots as farrrrrr as the eye can see.
Brawn calves and bright kilts delight lasses
while pipers swagger out of the pub, tipsy.
Your smile broadens as a caber is tossed
end over end. Then, across the glen, highland
dancers in ghillies beckon with hearty flings.
Auch, it’s hot yet heather dare no’ wilt. Clans
gather, roguishly rib each other, as wool spins
in wheels. Aye, the romance can fair overwhelm
e’en the sensible. Worse for we, the fanciful.
Come, here’s the tea tent. Let soft fiddles calm
as we nibble oatcakes. Tartans and tunes pull
heartstrings. We sit raptly, lost in Brigadoon,
put pen to napkin to let wee thistles bloom.
* For Francine
Rustling maples break vows of silence,
naturally. As pleased, spears of hyacinth
worship breezes with such soft reverence
that we give pause in this living labyrinth.
Nothing here is still; wood thrush reverb
good news and cicadas buzz testimonials.
Nearby, a creek mumbles, Word-Word
while squirrels glorify their bounty. All
is abuzz with joy, save for the shade
under a weathered cross; it’s emptiness
resurrects veneration. A butterfly wades
the sudden hush, lands on your hand, nests.
My friend, you lift it to wood, sympathizing
on bent knee, speechlessly evangelizing.
ON THE FRINGE
Your eyes drink the hues of the Shisha Lounge:
art on walls, art brewing over charcoal.
This coffee ceremony is on the fringe,
far from the pallid and staid. I’ve marveled
at these dear blends, how culture can transcend
barriers and ignorance. We order too much.
Tibsy, zignie, timtimo.. injera bends
to each spiced delicacy as our plates touch.
Gone is this haven where pleasure was shared.
Still, I’ll bring you there. Scribe, man of integrity,
sit with me. Exhale poetry. Imbibe tribal air.
Mine, this moment and mine, this memory
but that mystifying brew, that receptive floor,
the smoke refined by deep respect… each are yours.
*For my cuz, Scribe
A warbling vireo hops from oak to elm.
Your gaze wanders, too. This amphitheater
hosts the lyrical, almost overwhelms,
for beyond the mill ruins, the Grand River
is deep in thought, reflecting. It’s as though myth
lives; Summerland has come to the hillside
where weathered fieldstones beguile the impish
to dance. They do or else tin flutes will chide.
Though cozy the spot, the world's at our feet.
Tanned toes can not help but tap. Strong is the lure
of pipes and those songs that dulcimers keep.
When night softly falls, one group brings rapture.
They sing until stars tire and all are hoarse
like poets rousing words to supplicate verse.
WORD ON THE STREET, 2009
Pure pageantry, how publishers' banners
wave over tents. Flocks of readers graze
on glossy trades, leaflets, hardcovers,
chapbooks. My friend, a true gent, stays
his ground. Maybe, it is the press of page;
Its forthright weave petitions for slants,
favors unique fonts, yet gilds no edge,
sees no need for illustration, just verdant
language. I did not intend to read
over his shoulder. He grins good-naturedly,
tweed makes an allowance. Each line, poetry,
he praises and I still my chatter. We feed
on gems, unrushed, but their brilliance spurs
a verbose woman and a man of his word.
Copyright © Cyndi MacMillan | Year Posted 2014
Long poem by
Robert Candler | Details
Fifty years, boy and man, I’ve been a Sooners fan;
And watched thousands of recruits try to make my Sooners Team.
Often, I’ve enviously wondered what it must be like
To be a touted Sooners recruit, living out his dream.
He’d had a great career through high school;
Made good grades, was a football star, played baseball too.
Coach said college recruiters were watching closely;
So, he tried his very best to make his dream come true.
You see, he’d played on the L’il Sooners as a kid;
Started getting serious about the game when he was only eight
Played with older, bigger boys and practiced hard;
Always told his friends, “To be a Sooner, ya gotta play great”.
Oh yes, his parents raised a football player;
And, even more important, a Sooners fan;
But he wanted more, to be a Sooner,
To feel the glory raining down from the stands.
Now, the Sooners’ Head Coach is in his living room.
“Son, you’ve got talent. We think you fit our scheme.
We’re offering you a scholarship, an opportunity
To be an important member of our great Sooners Team”.
His mother smiles her biggest smile.
His father nods proudly and pats him on the knee.
“Lord knows, son, it’s a dream come true.
Go be the very best Sooner you can be”.
He walks into the locker room,
Not quite sure what to expect;
But sure that to play for the Sooners
He will first have to earn respect.
He looks each man straight in the eye -
Other recruits, trainers, assistants, and every coach.
“Be proud, but respectful”, his mother had said;
Your character, more than your performance, must be above reproach”.
His handshake is firm and he smiles.
“Only one chance for a first impression”, his father had said;
"Always put yourself in positive light, on and off the field.
That’s what it will take to play for the mighty Big Red”.
He meets so many other recruits, each one a high school star.
He’s played against a few and knows they share his dream.
And, to a man, each knows before any chance for Glory,
He first must prove worthy to play for this Sooners Team.
He knows a few will fail to meet the coaches’ expectations.
For some, the scout team will be their fate.
Many will suit up, but rarely play.
Only the very best will ever dare to be great.
Coach says, “If every man learns and executes when called on,
Then this team, we Sooners, will win a lot of games;
But, win or lose, if you play hard and give your very best,
You’ll never have to hang your heads in shame”.
“But gentlemen, with or without you, this team will win.
Every season, the Sooners strive to win it All.
So, listen, work hard, and prepare yourselves. Each game is war...
And you must be ready when Victory calls”.
Through grueling practices, he finds himself.
As he walks to class, his closest friends are aches and pains;
But, just the other day, Coach helped him up, smiled, and patted his helmet.
“You’re doin’ fine, son. Keep pushin’. Remember, no pain, no gain”.
He sees his name on the "open scrimmage" roster for the very first time.
It’s a moment he’ll never forget, another milestone in his dream.
He calls his Mom and Dad, knowing they’ll tell his family and his friends.
He hopes they’ll actually see him play, proof he’s made the Team.
As he suits up for the last pre-season open scrimmage,
He wonders if the coaches would really let a freshman play at all;
But Coach puts him in for eight plays against the first team;
He makes two great open-field tackles and intercepts the ball.
He barely hears the roar of the crowd, as the whole defense “gives him five”.
He’s so excited, he forgets to ask if he can keep that ball.
Fans are buzzing, “Did you see that hit”!? “Who is that kid”!?
“Will he red shirt or will Coach let him play this fall”?
He sees his name in the Sunday paper, hears it on local sports.
He’s happy, but he doesn’t let it go to his head.
He keeps his focus and uses it as motivation.
After all, he wants to start one day for the mighty Big Red.
Yes, we’ll hear more of this young recruit.
Perhaps, one day he’ll be the hero of the game.
A seasoned veteran, maybe All Conference or even All American,
Who’s tasted Victory many times and helped glorify the Sooners’ name.
Oh yes, there have been so many who’ve aspired;
But many fewer who’ve actually made our Sooners Team.
They are our heroes, each and every one;
For it’s through their accomplishments, we fans can live the dream.
Billy Vessels, Steve Owens, Billy Sims, and Jason White,
The Selmons, Little Joe, the Boz, Josh Heupel, and “Q”
They, and so many others, were once touted Sooners recruits;
Who set a higher mark and built the Tradition that is OU.
So, c’mon! c’mon! all you great young football players!
Dedicate your talents to OU’s Team and OU’s Fans.
Make Oklahoma’s Owen Field your Field of Dreams,
And feel the Glory raining down from the stands.
Copyright © Robert Candler | Year Posted 2014
Long poem by
Poet M.e. | Details
Playing Batman and Robin is a lot different
When the Riddler is your Stepfather
And simultaneously an alcoholic and pedophile
When your secret mission is to keep him
From bringing heroin and pornography
To Gotham city
Your mother wanted to save you both
But Catwoman captured her
And held her six children hostage
You tried to save your brother
From the Riddler that October night
But you were just nine and
The Joker had you in quicksand
The rope was too rough for such small hands
Twenty years later you both get married
And you laugh at those childhood battles
Neither of you knowing
That those villains were still there,
The Penguin was waiting in the shadows
Batman gets arrested for Statutory rape
They put Department of Corrections
On his fabled cape
No Batbelt to help him escape
Batman sends Robin thirty-three letters
Written on that yellow prison paper
With those light blue lines
Tells him he's found Christ
Read the New Testament twice
Robin pretends to be happy for him
Even when he really doesn't believe him
And is too disappointed to care
And returned letters from his two children
Hurt him in the worst way
When all he wanted to do was
Give them four or five dollars
For Christmas or their birthday
Still in every Former Super heroes life
There is a Forrest Gump/ Gomer Pyle
That just takes it all in
Regardless of his sin
Just because he's your brother
And because you love him
Because you were the one that rode
On the handle bars of his bike
Holding the umbrella on the way to the store
While it was thundering and lightning
Not knowing that the real rain was yet to pour
And you were the one
That sailed into the wind like Mary Poppins
when the bicycle stopped
"Make sure Mama's groceries don't drop."
You open those letters
Because he was one that you looked up to
When there was no father to answer your call
And a twelve year old make-believe father
Was better than none at all
Because he built you a ten feet basketball court
Out of throw away scrap wood
It wobbled when you shot the basketball
But he did the best he could
And you were the one that used to ruin his fishing trips
By getting your hook snagged every ten minutes
And he would still ask you to ruin his next trip a week later
And he would walk in the dirty lake to un-snag your line
Because you didn’t like getting your clothes dirty or wet
You don't tear up those those letters
Because he was the one that
Shared those stupid
At your mother's funeral
And you hated it when his kidneys failed
And he was only fifteen
And he couldn’t fight bad guys anymore
And you both swore never again
To wear those stupid capes
Your heart failed when he was charged with rape
You open those letters because
When you can't sleep or rest
Nothing like a game of Russian Roulette
Ignoring the voices in your head
The next letter is the one you’ll regret
But hidden in those letters
Between the lines of
Those religious rants
Somewhere Between the Johns
The Deuteronomies and the Acts
Were those unknown facts
That never made it to
Was never read by the DA or judge
The DNA that got lost by Vice
The bloody tissue misplaced by
The evidence clerk
The real trial was in those letters
And you learn that he wouldn't
Tell the Judge the real truth
Waived his right to a trial
Because he didn't want his kids
To end up in Foster care.
And Robin wasn't there
And he broke his promise
To never ever play hero again?
They gave him fourteen years
For another person's sin
We could have put those capes on one last time
We could have beaten the Joker
And put him and the Riddler on the run
Could have shot Cat Woman with our toy guns
After five years in prison
Batman dies at forty-one
And Robin has to go on
And it sucks that you left
All the clues with me
And I can't even use them to set you free
The rape you confessed to
Was never what we all believed it to be
And somewhere in Gotham city
The Joker, Penguin and Riddler
Are still running around free
Growing old with you
Would have been better
But the best of you remains
In these thirty-three letters
Copyright © Poet M.e. | Year Posted 2016
Long poem by
Palak Shrivastava | Details
The thunder struck and the heavy rains came,
He struggled for survival, fought hard.
The downpour wouldn’t stop, the streets now flooded,
the man now lay unconscious on a boulevard.
The next morning, the Sun couldn’t rise,
the clouds overpowered the garish star.
People ran for their lives and took all they could save,
But many couldn’t make it very far.
He opened his eyes two days after the storm,
Hungry, thirsty, broken from inside,
He now lay in someone’s once happy abode,
Which now was in a chaos shattered by the tides.
The clouds had finally emptied all their water,
And now gave way to the mighty Sun.
Which beamed like a king back on his throne,
But beamed on a town- lifeless and numb.
The man stood up with all his might,
Glanced across the destructed hall.
Not a single voice heard, neither a cry, nor a scream,
Had the winds and the water taken them all?
He felt a chill run down his spine,
He felt he was nearing the end,
As if everything was over and everyone was finished,
There was nothing now left to mend.
Until the words of his master suddenly came to his attention,
Came quick as a lightning and gave him a direction.
He had said when the night is the darkest my Son,
It’s time for the Sun to shine and the day to come.
Could he run for his life and turn a blind eye to this town?
Could he stay blessed if he did so?
He now had his master in front of his eyes,
Who said “Go Son, this is your time, be a hero”.
His hands trembled, his legs couldn’t move,
As he stood staring at the family picture on the wall.
The smiles and the laughs on all those faces,
Could he bring back that smile at all?
With sheer determination, he wiped his face,
Turned around and looked straight at all the chaos,
This was going to be difficult; he knew that very well,
To be able to win over all this loss.
He took his first step forward, grabbed a rod lying there,
And jumped upon a thatched roof floating away,
He rowed with his eyes searching everywhere
For anyone who was alive amidst all the rubbles of dismay.
After an hour, he had almost ten seated on that roof,
Either crying, cursing their fate or helping him row,
But he did not shed a tear nor showed the slightest worry,
Even as he pondered where did Juliet go?
Juliet was his wife, pretty, simple ad sweet,
The love of his life as he often called her.
His eyes now longed for her slightest sight,
Even as the light grew dimmer and dimmer.
The people, now about twenty, took rest in a shed,
Even as the roof looked weak and shook all night.
The man now helped all those he had gathered,
Giving first aid and speaking some words of might.
The next morning, the party left again,
left in groups of four and five.
Rowed across the town, called out to anyone out there,
And saved quite number of lives.
In the meanwhile, the man arranged for food,
Fruits hanging on trees that survived the storm,
He soothed the people and patiently about their loss,
Even as he now believed Juliet was far gone.
The creaking roof was now hanging dangerously,
The man realized that it was unsafe,
He gathered the people and sent them to a new abode,
The rains had begun again and so did the lashing of the waves.
The people took shelter in a Church a little farther,
And suddenly heard the roof of the shed fall.
The waves plunged high and the shed was destructed,
They turned around to thank the man who saved them all.
When all of a sudden, they all realized
That their saviour was not present there.
Their hearts skipped a beat when they remembered,
That he hadn’t left the shed and was still in there.
Some rowed on the wood pieces, others swam across
To save the soul who made them believe.
They prayed to God to somehow keep him safe,
Even though the possibility was least.
He still had his eyes open only to see the iron rod,
Which passed through his chest in and out,
He knew his end had come as the light grew dimmer,
He just had Juliet’s name on his mouth.
He closed his eyes as the shed went down,
Floating in the water for a while.
And then rested on the sea bed as the sand covered him,
With his face looking glorious with a smile.
When the crowd couldn’t find him, they returned to the Church,
They knew exactly who he was.
He was an angel, an incarnation of God,
Who came to bless them amidst all the loss.
And sure he was an angel and a hero too,
Coz he fought for others life before his own,
He now rest in peace as he had fulfilled his master’s wish,
And brought a smile on faces all alone!
Copyright © Palak Shrivastava | Year Posted 2017
Long poem by
Nola Perez | Details
My father died prematurely while away on
a business trip from a rogue blood clot to the heart
I never doubted he loved me, would have liked me,
(not the same thing), adult to adult, provided I
was not too strong a woman for him. He was difficult--
a Henry VIII of the times, two divorces, a first wife
we never knew, one from my mother when I was six,
then heated voices from their bedroom with a third,
heard in darkness beyond my door, hands over my ears.
But, he was DADDY. the god-like person who emceed
his daughter's birthdays, planned games, gave out prizes,
while a backstage stepmom provided cake. Cake
mistress, fond father. Thus, I learned to turn to men.
Tennessee Williams wrote, "My sister was quicker
at everything than I." I was like that, maybe not quicker
than my brothers, but quick to fall in love with cities,
objects, water anywhere: tide pools, oceans, rivers,
mountain streams, stately geese, lake ducks in queues,
the vermillion of winter sunsets, purity of cumulus
in a summer sky, the scarlet flash of a cardinal from tree
to tree. Good luck, always, but with bad luck, I always
fell in love with impossible men, ones who left me, or I left
them. The husband who stayed? He was the true one.
Then, there was Mr. K, my high school principal, a dead ringer
for Thomas Wolfe, with whom the girl I was must have
thought she could go home again. His costume
"de rigueur" was a rumpled white shirt, black trousers
splayed with chalk dust, coal black hair, and an imposing
presence no one took issue with, maybe not even his
British wife, teaching English in the same school.
I sent him my poems by a classmate to his office, too shy
to deliver them myself. Years later, "Poetry mash notes,"
a colleague said, inciting laughter in a poetry audience with
whom I shared my youthful infatuation, the energy lingering
long after he signed my graduation diploma, because Yes,
he read my poems, and Yes, I sat dazzled in his English Lit
class to "Beowulf," "Chaucer," and the Shakespeare plays we
took turns reading aloud. When he chose another to read
Portia instead of me, "for her gentle voice," I was devastated,
yet when a boy spoke out in class to criticize my poems:
"No one can understand what she writes," Mr. K. replied
"On the contrary, she writes about very complex things with
very simple language." This praise never left me.
Years after, moving to Atlanta with my husband and small
children, our paths crossed again. Living there
at the same time, Mr. K. and I found each other in an
Episcopal parish, its satisfying high-church "smells and bells"
the only show in town, "Spiky," his wife said. There, our
friendship deepened, until Mr. K. moved to England with his wife,
she returning home to complete the cycle, finish out the years
at point of origin. We do go home again, Thomas Wolfe not-
withstanding, as did I, seeking toward close of life
the comfort and substance of birthplace.
Mr. K. returned occasionally to Atlanta for a visit with his son.
He would call me, and it was then that we met for dinner,
most often at Zazu's an intimate bar and restaurant on Peachtree.
What did we talk about sitting across a table from each other?
I do not now remember, but once I observed him glancing at
his aging hands and comparing them to mine, younger by a few,
completely irrelevant years. I once asked him as he entered
his later years if he ever felt "old." He said No, he felt the same
as he always had. This was a revelation: I imagined people
felt as old inside as they looked. This is not the case, as
I was to discover in my own lifetime.
On one evening I did not know would be the last time, Mr. K.
and I sat in my car in darkness after dinner in front of his son's
house. As he prepared to leave, he said, "I don't know how I shall
get along without you, though I've been without you all these
years. We never touched, save in the bond of friendship, and more's
the pity. Some time passed. I wrote a letter to Mr. K.and his wife.
It was returned unopened with a message on the envelope,
"Both deceased." In my car, then, that last night, it was Adieu --
To God, not Au Revoir. Now, with "All time, all attitudes washing
away," as I wrote in a poem called "Fernandina," he lives
in the room in the heart where no one enters but me.
No need for a phone call. I hold the key.
Copyright © Nola Perez | Year Posted 2013
Long poem by
Isaiah Zerbst | Details
*There are only two damsels in this tale; all variations were simply for ease of writing.
Once Kate and Isabella went
To see the pretty fields of Gwent
And traipse through forest shade
They packed a picnic lunch for two
And skipped away in dresses blue
To find a charming glade
First tea and cakes, then off to play
They laughed and wandered all the day
'Till day was waxing faint
Then homeward faced, linked arm in arm
With never fear to cause alarm
Nor caution bring restraint
Alas! Alas! there lay a hole
With plot to swallow heart and soul
One golden-headed girl
That wretched hole may death berate
And end of being imprecate
That vile, vicious churl!
"Oh, help me, Kate!" cried Isobel
But fingers slipped and in she fell
'Mid shock and disbelief
Then Isabella, far below
Called, "Quickly, Katie! quickly go
For aid and sure relief."
Then Katie knelt beside the brim
Once sparkling eyes with tears aswim
And said, "I'll here remain."
But Isobel at once demurred
"Oh, Kate, some help must be secured
I cannot move for pain."
So off she went and searched around
But not one soul could there be found
Nor ever likely step't
She stopped awhile to sit and rest
Her folded hands to bosom pressed
And there she softly wept
A mounted knight then riding by
Beheld her tears and heard her sigh
And off his palfrey lit
Said he, "Fair damsel, golden-haired
Such doleful frame must be repaired
So speak thou whilst I sit."
"Alas, good Knight!" quoth woeful Kate
It may, I fear, be just too late
To save my friend to day
With haste, good knight, come, follow me
And see if succour yet may be
Oh, help me, knight, I pray."
The knight bestrode his lofty seat
Then set her aftward nice and neat
And off they set at trot
The knight she held with firmest hold
'Till at the pit both dark and cold
They Isabella sought
While night sped on at rapid pace
The knight set out to win the race
And save the damsel whole
A rope he from his saddle fetched
And tree to Isabella stretched
Then clambered in the hole
Right down the rope he quickly swung
And to her side he deftly sprung
He raised her from the dust
He tied a rope from waist to waist
And she her arms about him placed
In sweet, confiding trust
A span or two to hand he climbed
With Isabella right behind
'Till safety was secured
Then Kate and Isobel embraced
Said Kate, "What awful things you faced
And terrors you endured!"
Well, this was Isobel's reply
"Oh, Kate, I should not tell a lie
In word or even deed
Except to brave that curséd fall
It really was not bad at all
I knew you would succeed."
Then to the knight she turned and saith
"I thank thee, Knight, by all my faith
For saving me this night
Thus here I give my ring to wear
And trust that ye might ever fare
As well in ev'ry fight."
Then quoth the knight, "Thy ring I take
With faith that it myself will make
A nobler, better man
To fight for justice, truth, and peace
In hope that vice and evil cease
In ev'ry way I can.
"But let us neither tarry long
For hark! the cricket's evening song
Pervades the damp'ning air
So let me take thee, damsel, home
'Twould never do to leave thee roam
On halting legs to there."
Thus Isobel his palfrey rode
While Kate and he beside her strode
Right to their township sweet
"'Tis Belle and Kate!" the watchman called
And quickly down the drawbridge hauled
That they their kin might meet
The threesome turned from roads away
To streets of black and muted grey
'Till safely home at last
"Oh, praise the Lord," quoth Isobel
That though some trouble us befell
Those troubles now are past!"
"'Tis not so true," quoth Knight with grin
There yet remains to get thee in
And halting legs at that."
Then from the palfrey off she slipped
The knight her falling figure gripped
And bore her o'er the mat
His burden carried up the stairs
'Mid father's, mother's wond'ring stares
And gently placed in bed
Her father asked her why he came
She said that she was nearly lame
And dizzied in the head
At that he wished the knight to stay
But through the dark he rode away
His lamp the crescent moon
And though he had some deed to do
Those pretty maidens somehow knew
The knight would see them soon
Copyright © Isaiah Zerbst | Year Posted 2013
Long poem by
John Hamilton | Details
It was a day like every other day, sunny and warm they said
New Yorkers smiling and happy, looking for their daily bread
Taxis were darting here and there, planes flying everywhere
Children were going to school, parents laying down the rule.
Plans were made for later that day,
Meet you at 7, no, make it 8. I'll do my best not to be late.
Don't worry baby, I don't mind at all, Just please, remember to call.
Who could have known that waking up that day,
that things would happen in an unusual way.
To change forever, the way we think and feel
The events we saw, yes, they were real.
No way to deny it, it was on the news,
With our own two eyes, there were hundreds of views.
over and over we watched, hard to believe,
what we just witnessed, what did it all mean?
What an unusual sight, that plane in flight,
just before the ninth hour, when it hit the tower,
How terrible we thought, answers we all sought
Like, why did that happen, how could it be?
That a plane hits a skyscraper, in plain sight,
In broad daylight, not the dark of night.
Was it pilot error? How could that be?
The tower was right there, for him and all to see!
That moment was special, that moment in time,
when the whole world was watching, yes, stopped on a dime.
We saw the flames burning, our hearts they burned too,
would there be any survivors?... Who knew?
Calls were made, to say I love you,
Life's been good until now, it's been good loving you.
Say goodbye to the kids for me, tell them be strong,
Tell them daddy loves them...goodbye, so long.
We saw a man falling, from way up above,
Who was that man? Did he not feel loved?
or was he just desperate, to escape the heat?
We all watched in horror, as he fell to the street.
So many were dying, it was too hard to bear,
Many just couldn't get down the stairs.
Some just stayed put, thinking help will come,
What they didn't know was, the damage was done.
The bravest ones, I saw that day, firefighters, on the way,
into the fire they would run, climbing higher and higher,
To save others lives...from that raging fire.
They did not know then, it was a tragic mistake,
All they knew was...lives were at stake.
Many escaped from the tower, running for their lives,
we saw them running with terror in their eyes.
So many people were running just like the others,
They were their fathers, mothers, sisters and brothers.
...And then suddenly another plane appeared!
Was it coincidence, orjust something weird?
When it hit the second tower, at that very hour,
it became crystal clear, that it was just as we feared,
It was not a mistake, someone asleep at the wheel,
It was an attack! that one and all, we would feel.
From that day forward, everything would change,
The world was unrecognizable, suddenly so strange.
Innocence was lost, and war came at great cost,
We learned that terror, was more than just a word,
It was what we all saw, felt, and heard.
So now here we are, so many years later,
Is your pain, grief and fear, lesser, or greater?
Only God can help us now, with all of our fears,
It is he, who promises, to wipe away our tears.
And pain, death, and all of our sorrow,
Will all be gone, in what will seem like tomorrow.
Yes, God will surely help us, I know he will.
But, still it's hard to forget, Sept 11
The day the world stood still.
John Derek Hamilton
Final revision October 13,2015
Copyright © John Hamilton | Year Posted 2015
Long poem by
Russell Banks | Details
Is to borrow a quote from a hero plagiarism or is it in honor of his memory
Is to but recite the intelligence of a general man forgotten to forever etch it in history
Is it a crime?
Is to possess a piece of enlightenment, a great idea from the complex mind of a wondrous artist
Pick it apart bit by bit and construct a brilliant creation of one’s very own
While still bearing the smile of great gratitude and inspiration
Knowing one’s most idolized hero aided in making them rise in parallel fame
To be the framed adjacent picture sitting opposite theirs in steady agreeable, admirable reflection
Is it a crime? Is it a crime?
Is to retype the words once etched from a man who lost his voice to the integrity of old age
Is a satisfaction earned from seeing one so ill-fated due to punishment
For glorifying the very same words said by the teacher
Said by the professor who hadn’t need to utter a single word
To allow his pupil to chase after a worthy dream, to follow his strong, stable footsteps
Is it a crime; is it a crime?
If it is, then I will have committed nine this day in honor of Shakespeare
If it is, then I will have committed nine in gratitude
And if it is, then come
Come and whisk me away from the place where I rest my head
“The world is but a stage
We, men and women, are merely players putting on a show to draw out the reactions
When we all finally take our bows
See, we all have our entrances and exits
Many of us playing many roles over seven ages
And here is life, our walking shadow and poor player
Who shines with confidence yet lashes out with worry
When it is his hour in the spotlight upon the stage
And then vanishes as a thief in the night
And vanishes, the darkness of the sky in the dark waking up to a sea of bold, beautiful turquoise blue
A tale repeatedly rephrased by an ignorant fool
Told with fascinating imagery and emotion but still signifying what lies in a broken man’s heart
Nothing…nothing is but everything in this world
The wheel has come full circle for not to know the age old warning
Love all, trust only a handful, do no wrong to none
For even if one pricks our sensitive touched skin, do we not bleed?
For even if one presses upon seeing a smile brace our lips from a gentle, yet fierce tickle
Do we not laugh?
If one has the courage and anger enough to poison, do we not shatter and die?
And if one should ungratefully wrong us, do not we not have just cause to revenge?
Better we acknowledge truth three hours too soon
Or bathe in the mistakes of finding it out a minute too late
To twixt we then find ourselves building fire with snow
To say we would quench the flames of love in our words
But if music is the food to provide our love, then let it play
For an absence from those we love is self from self a fatal banishment”
And in love I say, “Come
Come; find me then; for I have committed nine crimes
Nine crimes of borrowed quotes from a favored hero to honor his fated grateful memory
And if I should be condemned for it
Then I shall take the scaffold like a man, not a saint
For I am me, to be me is to be free
I have no regrets
Just a smile upon my face for great gratitude and inspiration
Knowing my most idolized hero aided in making my rise in parallel fame
To be the framed adjacent picture sitting opposite theirs in steady agreeable, admirable reflection
Copyright © Russell Banks | Year Posted 2016
Long poem by
KP Nunez | Details
You knew you were going to die. 1
And yet you came, thinking no matter how insane,
the man on the seat of power would never want you dead
… it would be too much on his head.
And so you came, and there in the brightness of the day
they took your life away, on the tarmac… in broad daylight. 2
I was too young to fully understand, and yet I cried -
The greatest leader we never had, the greatest leader we needed to have … died.
August 21, 1983 was a day of ignominy.
The nation suffered from shamed infamy;
Too many people, not just one witness,
yet not anyone saw, everyone was witless.
The world mocked our country of too little people.
Seemed all we could do was pray on the steeple,
we were hopeless, hopeless…helpless…
Quo vadis, Filipino?
The tide of justice was slow in turning,
even though on the streets, one felt intense mourning.
Peace loving people were silently seething,
faithful and compliant, yet inwardly…defiant.
Seventeen years seemed still not enough,
the man on the throne just couldn’t give up;
With close-knit advisers, and media sanitizers -
If one contradicts, he sees the gunpoint…with silencers.
What must have you felt the days after you left?
Did you think we were too blind, too mute and deaf?
Took almost three years for us, to finally get our act
I guess we were too set in our ways, too afraid…to react.
What the man in power and his cronies up the tower.
must not have considered… are the new movers and shakers.
There was only so much we could take…
There was only so much we could tolerate…
February 25, 1986 was the day we started to fix 3
the road of our shamed history.
It was the day People Power came to be
the man in power was kicked out from tower
as ordinary citizens , nuns and everyone
faced his armed men aboard the tanks.
People unarmed, just some bottled water,
a few sandwiches and bunches of flowers.
It was the day we looked up the sky,
offered a fervent gratitude to heaven’s door -
and told Ninoy…thank you for believing
“The Filipino is worth dying for”. 4
1. Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino, Jr., then senator and leading opposition leader (to Pres. Ferdinand Marcos, Philippine dictator who was in power 1965-1986) was advised by the First Lady not to come back from 3-year exile in the USA, as there was a plot to assassinate him. As to whose plot, it was not clarified.
2. Manila International Airport, right after he went out of the airplane. Media took photos from the window.
3. There was so much social unrest, and Cardinal Sin, through the radio and other respected media men, finally appealed to all people to go out and stage a massive peaceful protest with people making human barricade against the tanks in EDSA Avenue, Metro Manila's main thoroughfare. No one was killed. Ninoy's wife Cory Aquino who won the election, took the oath of office. The People Power Revolution, the first of its kind, in the Philippines and in the world, was eventually copied by France and other countries.
4. Ninoy Aquino, in an interview a few minutes before he left the plane to his death.
31 July 2015
Copyright © KP Nunez | Year Posted 2015