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Long Poems
Long poem by Russell Banks | Details

Emo Love

With this needle and thread I stitch the wounds Avril left
but with this blade I angrily carve a new
rough, short, jagged adjacent from the bone in my wrist
for a reflection of our relationship
and an outlet for the anger unable to release
Then another upon my neck where she used to sweetly kiss
fresh and clean, letting the blood fall slowly and peacefully
as I fall to chaos on the inside
Blue is the warmest color
the words sting more than the knife I hesitantly hang
above the vein I'm so desperate to cut
How can something so warm become so bitter, so brutal
I search the mirror for answers just to see her face instead
piercing me, mocking me; a bonfire to laugh at a candle
as she disappears in an array of fragments
falling to sleep by the lullaby of the earthquake 
resounding from my fist
Cradling my hand, tossing away the pain
I collapse under the weight of my destruction
a king of night slain by the queen of day
as music, my magician, attempts to revive me
installing hope while simultaneously shrouding me in defeat
How can cupid so small shoot an arrow so mighty
I curse the sky, it's betraying hue
as I pray for night, praying for mercy
falling asleep in the arms of sorrow protecting me...
Where am I
I open bloodshot eyes into fluorescent white, an illusion
my world is pitch black and I can't open my eyes
As I begin to panic, shaking the bars upon my heart
for it to beat once again 
As I begin to panic
beating upon the neurons while screaming, 'STIMULATE! '
As I begin to panic, kicking the glass in my iris to bring forth color
a vibrant world in contrast to the island of grey 
I persist to escape
a calmness washes over me
a calm voice whispers so eloquently to me
'Hush thou art deceived
come, follow the sound of my voice; come to me'
Is this angel sent to guide me into a peaceful forever slumber
or is she a temptress so beautiful I die at first sight
She said I am deceived
deceived by what, by who; I must know
'Hush thou art deceived
come, follow the sound of my voice; come to me'
That milky, honey echo so familiar
so tantalizing, tangible; the feeling of invincibility to follow
'Hush thou art deceived
come, follow the sound of my voice; come to me'
That sound, that voice bouncing off the walls of my dreams
I burst through to find a coffee shop
teeming with no one but me 
Then, like a miracle of air, there the voice beholds a face
a captivating beauty so perfect
Her hair, a halo of pink lost in a maze of fields painted black
Her eyes, twins pools of green, the most amazing I've ever seen
that no words give release as I make my attempt to speak
My mouth gains dust as my jaws begin to rust shut
Then she smiles
her cheeks produce dimples, her nose slightly scrunching
yet it's still enough to make me melt
me, now a puddle within my shoes
She giggles and lifts me up
I without a fuss as she sweeps me up in a hug
With a voice to make Aphrodite jealous she whispers softly
'Hush thou art deceived, you are not in love with me
but I in love with you so here take my hand
I'll show you my world if I can to see if you understand'
Puzzled I take her hand but I still don't understand
my breath won't resurrect so I save the rest
as she pokes my chest
for her to hear me breathlessly ask her name
She takes a step back with a small little laugh
she grabs my hand as I realize where I stand
Stunned and amazed I turn to run
but the sight of a whale shakes me to the core
the same frequency as I shake her
With a playful smile, she bothered to ask
'You've made castles by the shore, no? 
I know that we are more so let's make castles on the floor'
With a gleeful jump, she began to work
as my panic turns to curiosity, shaking my head in disbelief
I join in, my mind in a tailspin
I have a whirlwind of questions but they blow over with the ocean tide
as she regails her tale of the other side
a world unfamiliar yet she gains my intrigue 
with stories I can't compete
Though silently I beg the question 
How am I deceived, this feels right to me
How can this be wrong with her bright smile bringing me back to life
She looks up at the wrong time, aware I'm elsewhere
runs and jumps into my arms
placing a phantom kiss upon my lips
a stone fortress under siege by vulnerability
With a phantom kiss I return to her realm
amidst her question hanging in the air, 'Is anything amiss? '
I reply with a smile and a shake of my head
asking for a simple change of scenery 
I have a request but it goes unheard
a mouse on Christmas night; though I shake with slight fright
as she gets my request just right
I sprawl out on the grass, the night sky spread out
a cluster of piercings mapping out my former source of glory
now the orchestrator of my misery
I wince with sudden grief, shedding tears of pain thought renounced
pausing only to find the object of my current affection
eyes brilliant pearls, mimicking the stars stoic beauty
perched upon my lap; staring at me intently, intensely
and without words asking who has wronged me so
With words I cannot bear to voice that name
so I pull her into my embrace
her gaze away from the image of me, clutching what ails me in my hand
till my knuckles turn white as snow then I let go
letting the memory fade so I know it's true
And with a sudden moment I look her square in the eyes
for love is all I have inside
as I ask her to sprout wings of butterflies with me
black as a panther mixed with red of passion for me
a costume of gold with a pink lining for her
for she's perfect beyond reason
I ask her to fly away with me to a galaxy outside the milky way
Sadness in her eyes, she denies
placing her finger upon my heart as she cries
reviving my stilled heartbeat...
Was it a dream or just my escape as my eyes flicker wide
welcoming a world I don't recognize
I try to sit up but I fall back
a heavy sigh to escape my thoughts, 'Where is she'
Like an owl, my head spins in a circle just to locate her presence
but like a ghost arises her voice in my conscious
'Hush thou art deceived for I lied
you are in love with me and I in love with you 
but we can only exist in your dreams'
I know I should've savored every moment
but what happens when every moment was an illusion
to everyone, everyone but you

Copyright © Russell Banks | Year Posted 2016

Long poem by Russell Banks | Details

No Happy Ending

Bright lights, big city...
bright lights, big city dreams...
please just take me away tonight
Let me rest on your elegance tonight
I have no energy left to spend in reality
so please knock me unconscious
just to be in the place that makes me...
I wanted to sing
so loudly, proudly of a heroine
put aside a feeling of haste, of hate
of Juliet turned Medusa
now my Medusa Juliet turning Rapunzel
Strange it may seem, I'll explain a different day
something betters my attention
begs my words to form a letter
Veronica...once my Veronica
in this play, in this scene
we were able to make amends, stay friends
20, we are both 20
Life is confusing
all these convoluted schemes it throws our way
How are we supposed to seize the day
how about she seized me instead
A story, a flashback inside another story
remember 'If Your Reflection Could Kill'
a memoir asking questions and banishing Juliet from my life 
if only for a while
I just wanted answers but she fled away
from what she believed to be cancer
though it gave a chance for Veronica and I to be consistently happy
but there is no happy for me
We hit a cosmic rift, a cosmic shift
a month after a daringly rushed proposal
someone got lost, got scared, turned ghost, just shutdown completely
Months go by and we reconciled
you'd think there'd be a happy ending in silver lining
yet a month maybe three weeks from present day
arrives Juliet atop her steed of do-overs and repeats
a fresh start
I didn't buy a single word
I don't subscribe to politics but I know how hers works
still I couldn't banish her again
I couldn't, I can't
Myself, I've been running away
pointing if only an ounce of blame her way
knowing full well I fell in love with the girl for three years
who was just words across a screen
a voice from a phone
I only dreamed of who she could be
now I know
and in her eyes I still felt that same bitter love 
I wanted to keep 4 years back
so Juliet wanted my audience
my ears and my eyes to acknowledge she was finally here to stay
here to play no games
I had no good reason to deny
so my answer was obvious
but Veronica, she caught wind of this
and there went my attempt to gain back what time has torn apart
Veronica, she tore down my walls so she knew
I could hear her scream with disdain, curse my name
What was she angry for
an entire year, she tried to see my face again
an entire year, I had a list of excuses to keep her at bay
It was never because I didn't trust myself
it was all because I couldn't dare stare in the face
someone of importance
knowing it was me that once dared to keep a promised
and succeeded in the quickest time to break her and it 
making her cry
What made her angry
She believed I chose Juliet over her
and I tried to defend myself with armed words
justified explanations
but I had no explanation to give
I was unarmed in these verbal fights
I didn't know what was right
what to say
that day changed everything
Juliet took Veronica's place
as the conversationalist, the smiling heroine
as the one I could compliment
the one I could make happy
the one I could just be me
Veronica, she just spent two weeks
taking jab after jab at Juliet
taking jab after jab at me...till yesterday
a bad day turned nightmare
when I unbottled truth built up for weeks
I confessed my reasons, my seasons
why she hasn't seen my face, a long list of apologies
so the weight of my shoulders would leave
so she would know, so we could grow
as like me, you would hope for a naive understanding response
as like me, you would hope for a silver lining
hope she'd understand
but I know all too well
there is no happy ending for me
The deities all laugh at my scorn
never happy till they see me destroyed
never satisfied till they, in awe, watch me weep
Veronica, I think I may have lost a friend in Veronica
I called it fate, I called it destiny
since she made it all to be my fault
that I'm a liar
when she knows full well I just want everyone in the world
who steps in my universe to be happy
Forgive me for my selfish desire but it's true
I may now talk about myself too much
but it doesn't compare to how much I cared about her
or want her to be happy
Oh no
She pressed the button, she pressed the button
Did she really say that she doesn't know who I am
did she really say that I'm not her old sweet best friend
does she really have the right to say anything? ! 
She left me behind! 
When we were kids, she left me behind
for the religious remarks of my cousin tore her apart
She could've came back at anytime
She left me behind
For years, I waited for her return with baited breath
though each time she came back
once to tell me at 2 in the morning that she got lucky
once to accompany me through my second tour of Juliet 
as freaking spectator
she left and never said anything else
If it wasn't for a mutual friend
she would've never talked to me again! 
She left me behind! 
She wasn't there when I needed her the most
when I needed a friend the most
but that doesn't matter no cause oh I'm a liar
cause I have a selfish desire to be miserable
while I want the whole world who steps into my universe to be happy
All these words I never said to her, to Veronica
I just sat defenseless, sat stunned, sat fed up, sat done
tried to defend myself again but there's nothing to defend
told her good night, good life
hope to talk again
but if she was done with me, tell me so
cause I'd rather not spend another night
getting cussed out, getting yelled at
trying to muster up a defense case 
for something I do that doesn't directly effect her
but in her eyes this friendship isn't worth it
I'm not worth it
freaking perfect...
Bright lights...big city...
just take me far away from here
give me amnesia or just omit her from my memory
I'm sick of this
of everything inadvertently being the fault of me
Are you happy deities? ? ! 
Are you happy? 
There is no happy ending for me

Copyright © Russell Banks | Year Posted 2016

Long poem by T Wignesan | Details

On the need to avoid being envious: CANTO XVII, K161, K162 of the THIRUK-KURAL

On the need to avoid being envious: Canto XVII, K161, K162 of the THIRUK-KURAL, Translation with Commentary

[ ENVY, of course, knows no racial nor ethnic boundaries, but I wouldn't be wrong, I dare say,  in thinking or assuming that being envious in an inveterate manner could be considered one of the principal Tamil character traits. How else may one explain the total lack of verifiable information on Thiru-VALLUVAR's life and times? What we know and have of him is a dismal kyrielle of hearsay and myth, together with some linguistic evidence culled from his work linking him to the Kanyakumari district of Tamil Nadu, but this isn't evidence which sheds light on his personality or educational background or, for that matter, his professional or personal circumstances without which - since he has not given us any clue or aperture to his self in his work - we cannot with certainty pronounce on the influences he was subject to, nor whether he was amenable to such influences either. It is quite obvious he was the object of much "envy" on the part of his peers. My hunch is that his enormous capabilities, knowledge and energy might have invited "oppression" from all quarters. Envy, as we all know, plays no great part once the period of his/one's generation or two comes to an end. And somehow the Thiru-Kural was preserved and handed down by successive generations who were not plagued by the presence of the author. One possibility of suppression owing to envy may have been his social caste status. Upper caste Tamils of his time - if he belonged to a lower or the lowest caste such as it was presumed in his case - might not want a priest of the Valluvar caste to outshine them. Normal reaction among Tamils!
I have said elsewhere he "deliberately" - knowing the situation he was in - left us some clues in his work which would ensure its perennity. Sooner or later, I'll deal with this topic: Stay tuned in!

Just a word on THIRUKKURAL publications and conferences: To say the least, these are so numerous and breast-beating (now that the poet is absent), and like all money-raking shenanigans, the book is sure-fire attraction the moment some publisher or institution of learning decides to do one or the other, often with the backing of the Tamil Nadu Government or some Tamil diaspora authority. The Thirukkural has long attained the status of a "bible" among the Tamil populations, so much so that nothing rakes in the cash as the celebration of a bard of incontestable honour and reign which translates as something as close to the deification of the author through his work. As everybody knows, ask in the name of the giver's god and none will withhold even their last penny!  In every decade, the number of publications or conferences tend to become ever so redundant that there is grave danger the contents of the treatise on ethics by our "unknowable" poet might become so debased and mammon-ised (to coin a word) that Tamilian ethics may need to be recast by a second-coming of the poet, himself.  
Two recent readily-available paperback publications require singling out:
1. Thirukkural Tamil-English Version. Translations by Rev. G.U.Pope, Rev. W.H. Drew and Rev. John Lazarus. Chennai: Kumaran Pathippagam, 2015, 288p. Price Rs 140.
(This version appears in clear print, and the translators hardly need to be introduced, for they number among the few who have rendered Tamils and foreigners interested in Tamil studies great service.)
2. Thirukkural. English Transliteration & Translation with CD. Chennai: The Wisdom World Publication, 2016, 276p. Price Rs 475. 
(Selections from eleven translators' efforts are proffered, among them Pope, Drew & Lazarus, with a totally muddled-up "appreciation" by the Tamil Nadu government cultural affairs official in five short paragraphs and an obfuscating preface about the origins of the selections by V. Ramamurthy, both of whom quite frankly judging by their texts cannot possibly be knowledgeable in English. One would do well to discard the book pullulating in grammatical and printer's errors. The CD, only in Tamil, is worth keeping, though.)

According to G.U. Pope, the Thirukkural, written in the venba metre lends itself to "ceppalOsai", that is, the recitative or didactic tone, and this is further extended, according to the quantity of the feet in each couplet, into the "balanced recitative", the "grave recitative" (K397 is the only case) and the " mixed recitative". The great majority of the couplets are in the last category, giving rise to a variety of rhythms.

K161: olukku aaraak kolka oruvanthan nencatthu
             alukkaaru ilaatha iyalpu

As 'strict decorum's' laws, that all men bind,
Let each regard unenvying grace of mind. (Transl. G.U. Pope)
Let a man esteem that disposition which is free from envy in the same manner as propriety of conduct. (Transl. Drew & Lazarus)

One should in one's heart cherish the state of being devoid of envy and make that a cardinal principle of virtue. (Transl. T. Wignesan)

K162:  viluppeetrin ahthuoppathu illayaar maadtum
             alukkaatrin anmai perin

If man can learn to envy none on earth,
'Tis richest gift, -- beyond compare its worth. (Transl. G.U. Pope)
Amongst all attainable excellences there is none equal to that of being free from envy towards others. (Transl. Drew & Lazarus)

Of all the most cherishable qualities one may strive to possess, nothing compares to that state of being where envy has no place. (Transl. T. Wignesan)

© T. Wignesan - Paris, 2017

Copyright © T Wignesan | Year Posted 2017

Long poem by Balveen Cheema | Details

Mother Of The Age

Stately stood Princess Amber in all her finery,
Emerald tunic over a crimson gown,
With gems inlaid in her rustling gown,
Her arms bangled in intricate gold slowly rose,
Her slender fingers rested on her heaving bosom,
Listening to unstopping drum-beats of her heart.
Her  breath clung to the heavy nose ring,
Beads of perspiration made damp
The adorned golden wreath on her tense filled brow.
Her curtained eyes rose to show the fires ablaze,
A voice so tumultuous never heard before
Anguished the gems in Jalal-ud-din's court 
To hear their silent queen speak so.
Born am I of noble Rajput parents,
My father named me Heer Kunwari- a pearl,
Was married into a Mughal family without much disdain.
Served I in nature true,
Does a Mughal king know not  
Of virtues imbibed by a Rajput  princess?
Brought up was I in Amber palace,
My mother bred me with values 
Both spiritual and bold,
Jump we into the pyre before being disgraced,
Honour be the seal of a Rajput maid,
This thou shoulds't have known before thou wedded me, My Sire!
And accuse you my Lord of my infidelity?
Never come close to a Rajput maiden
And hence remain from my shadow afar
Thoughts of a Mughal King are tarred and defiled,
I return to my kingdom for the dishonour bestowed.
Yet the truth be unraveled of your wet mother dear,
The milk you drank was of not of human kindness for sure,
Flowing in your veins is your wet-mothers venom,
Your wisdom poisoned  was not of your mother's,
There be a difference between a mother and a wet mother.
My brother was it that visited me in fear,
My forged letter to him was sent
That his sister in distress had pleaded him near.
In hiding is he from enemies around
Under the shroud of darkness
Came he to rescue his sister hence.
The treachery hatched  by your mother foster
In envy is she of your wife now ignobled.
Banished have you me from my wedded abode
Nor asked me of my crime in courtroom fenced
Why question not your soul of justice denied?
Out of my heart you walk thence,
Enter I into the shelter of my father loyal
My heart pierced with arrows immense,
Sail I to home for being slandered thus.
Free am I of being concubined in your Mughal walls
The knight I was bethroded to was never  mine
Belonged he to the  faith of his venomous milk.
Proved thou once again the woman be at fault and not the I.
Queen Salima the Innocent was suspected so
For being with a man she never had ever seen before
Pined she for you in your Palace  of Love.
I no Salima to take my life
In the eyes of my father will I remain a lustrous pearl.
Suspicion above truth be your manly tribe
Honour above dishonour be a woman's pride.
I a Rajput princess forever be
Live I in pride for I were true
Live thou in guilt for justice denied.
The kingdom of God not await for thee
Time will come for a woman to rise.
Princess Amber followed by her Rajput entourage 
Seated she in her bridal palanquin
Burning cheeks and eyes so cold
Ruddier drops had never been shown.
Coloured veils rising with the deserty billows
Of her ladies in waiting with tear filled eyes.
Silence entombed  her Amber chambers 
No question asked by father dear,
Trusted he the virtues of his daughter beloved
In her mother's warmth she remained embraced
To happier familial joys for the seasons to  see.
Jalal-ud-din's ears roared again and again
His weakened ears were his enemy true,
Won he a battle to all was known,
Losing the home ground to all was shown,
Turned he to ashes by his queen so new. 
Strode he in anger to his foster mother's abode
Followed was he by marching soldiers 
Spears in hand and daggered girdles,
Barging into the chamber of his mother wet
Huddled in fear of Jalal-ud-din's anger
Knelt down she as Yamuna doubly flooded 
Pleading mercy with joined palms cracked
Thundered Jalal-ud-din with anger renewed
Take the woman to her empty world
Fettered in chains her dungeon be,
No man no woman her companion be
Till her last breaths no mercy receive.
Heralded aloud in Jalal-ud-din's kingdom
The banished queen to her throne doth return.
The soldiers ready in their array full
The stallion royal neighed at his dazzling adornments
Saddled in jade and dotted gold,
Coloured festoons and brassy jingles
Galloped he in  hooving a sandy cloud
Scalloped eyes stood still only at Amber court.
Snowy doves on arches watched
The lungs so full as trumpeters blew,
The castle bedecked at glorified romance 
The gypsy dancers in flaring skirts
Dancing in chorus to their emperor new,
Smearing his brow with vermilion holy
Marigolds perfumed under the feet of their trodden king.
Touched he the feet of his Amber parents
Blessed was he of his auspicious return
Escorted regally to the princess' chamber
Silence pervaded after chamberlains departed.
Knelt he before the royal princess
With folded hands and drooping head
The belittled princess with a heart so torn
Bent she down to her humbled king
Moistened eyes and ruby lips
She clutched his feverish hands 
And bespoke, rise Great Mughal King
Hence reign in your kingdom great,
With knowledge fully acknowledged.
Suspicion soon aroused is wilfully pertained
Close proximity to peace be unblinded justice.
Jalal-ud-din Akbar with glistening brow
Rose tall to the stature of his pearly queen
Heer Kunwari were you born, your father's pearl 
Crown I you Mariam-uz-Zamani, Mother Of the Age.
Rule you my world in equal voice
Justice be enthroned in the voices of kings.

Copyright © Balveen Cheema | Year Posted 2015

Long poem by Ir0nic ZiNk | Details

Sometimes I Wish I Was You-

In moments of weakness; I look up to you. thinking of the off chance that your situation is better than mine. Now, you must understand that this is only a moment. None the less, it still remains. Sometimes I wish I was you. At a moment in your shoes to switch places; just for an instant, to clear… Clarity carries me to a state of mind that cannot replace my about fate, let alone would I ever want to trade places with you, but in this moment, I am weak. I see you as a strong person. I envy you in this moment. This moment, so weak, along with short lived; is still present. It is real, something else remains... 
Sometimes I wish I was you...
I cannot fully explain but I can give you a little taste—a teaser of sorts’ moment that distorts my thoughts, mind you, likewise inclined to cease and desist in short time few. This is because I think about you. Which leads me to think about me when I question myself? You are a person. You make mistakes. As such endures what I am going through in this moment. And in this temporary moment I think that, sometimes I wish I was you. At no moment would I trade places with you, but in this temporary moment; it surely sounds nice. This makes me a man. (And) Speaking of the man, he is exactly that...; a man… The man makes mistakes but mistakes do not make the man. True words spoken from my own mind, yet all the time and again I find my own thoughts go well together in the company of yours. I am bet willing that once in a while, someone may even wish to be me. I don’t know… People are similar in many aspects. It is what it is, and you are who you are; but unlike me... You are special... I bet. Individuality means that you and I must be, individuals. Bravo to you for taking your time to get a glimpse of my mind. Try to dissect me while I envy you in this mindless moment, of envy; of someone… Anyone, pick a card, any card, and surely you are to see above me at this low moment; looking down on me at my bottom. Sometimes I wish I was you in these hopeless moments. However…, I am me. And I will rise back to the top in hopes to see there for you, in your moment. We all have these moments; this is why I say temporary. This too shall pass, so pass this message to someone having their moment. You are worth it. Worth everything! Hold your head high, while I am so vulnerable in this moment…; looking up to you from my bottom; thinking of you as perfect if only for this imperfect moment. Temporarily, the fact remains that this is exactly that…; a moment… In just a few, I’ll clear the blues not to confuse that I am also worth everything; just like you. Insane claims this moment with imprints of stains leaving a mark. So mark my words that on your marks, we mark for instance with labels, calling it simply...; a moment. Indeed we implant seeds (:) the mind finds and feeds from such a remarkable moment. Which I only state as such remarkable seeing as it able of use to induce a remark. In this moment, I am weak. Sometimes, in these moments, I wish I was you and think you are better than I. We all have at least one or two...; of these moments… Identification is the remedy, and understanding is the cure. Please understand me; please accept me...; in these moments… I hope, I do not have too many of these moments. For if I do, I will look to you as superior with no need; feeling inferior, indeed. This moment has officially secured you a place into the grand scheme of the revolving door. In my moment I look up to you while in your moment with exceptional acceptance! Open your closed minds to the possibilities of a collective consciousness. In your moment; I will be nearby. My moment is exactly that; a short lived drama-like fantasy with real consequence—affecting the stability of the balance that keeps sanity. This moment may make or break you, or simply pass through the mastic waives; unaffected. Mastic waives harmfully impede grains otherwise affirmatively aimed to pollinate the crop of the many. Like it or not; these words have helped me a lot. In this moment of severe, depressed, stressed…, anxious feelings; I look up to you. And in this moment, I envy you. I see to the sky and my eyes fill with tears; my heart fills with self-pity. Out of the blue, a cascade of strangers happens to pass by and in this moment, I enlarge their nature. Fearfully consumed by my manifestation, I conjure a distorted self-righteous fictional; pedestal. In my dismal moment, I become jealous of their pride. All alone, inferiority delusions plague my present record. Unable to process anything rationally; I think only one thought….
Sometimes I wish I was you.
-Ironic Zinc 6-10-16-

Copyright © Ir0nic ZiNk | Year Posted 2016

Long poem by T Wignesan | Details

K169 and K170 of CANTO XVII of the THIRUK-KURAL with Translations and Commentary

K169 and K170 of CANTO XVII of the THIRUK-KURAL with Translations and Commentary

[If one could put together all that has been said, written and published on the Thiruk-Kural and on its progenitor Thiru-Valluvar, it could easily, I'd wager, exceed the volumes of the heftiest encyclopaedias, and yet one gets the feeling nothing really new, enlightening or elucidating appears to be added to our knowledge of the subject every time a new book of translation or criticism or academic research surfaces. Recently, I was asked to edit the  papers in English contributed to yet another major conference on the book in India, and I must admit some few showed remarkable ability in their scholarship, but the callousness and avidity – and even downright trickery - of the organiser I was in touch with make me wonder if there can be any virtue in getting together savants in the language for yet another effort to propagate the greatness of the author when the wisdom couched in the maxims is quite evidently overlooked. Each contributor - as well as the organizing body - appears to be imbued with the idea of being elevated high above their humdrum or lofty status merely by pronouncing on some aspect of pet notions on either the book or its author or both.
The real worth of the book's aims seems to be ignored. Or else it is nonchalantly taken for granted. I couldn't help detecting the role of vanity and self-arrogation to a rather high degree in a certain number of those concerned. But then, even "great minds" over the ages kept making statements on the book which seem to shed "greater light" on their own egos and on their own level of sagacity than on the specificity of Thiru-Valluvar's expositions on the motivations, say, of human behaviour at large, such as, the observations by the author on the topic of this chapter.
Everybody seems to take for granted the unchanging nature of the polity as delineated by Thiru-Valluvar in Book Two on "Wealth" (Artha/Porudpaal), and the dalliances of flirtatious feelings and emotions in the questionable invariability of mores in Book Three on "Love" (Kama or Inbam) par rapport of succeeding ages. 
Even the inviolable tenets and principles of Book One on "Virtue" have over the ages undergone much wear and tear to make them less than wholly viable these days, so much so that the book cries out for re-evaluation, though the only constant factor in Thiruk-Kural studies is the personality of the author, himself. No one can, even if they wanted to, dispute his literary genius. As an admiring student of the book, myself (I certainly am no expert in the language of the Kural nor of Tamil literature at large), I have put myself to some pains through study of the works of experts in the field to demonstrate the complexity and archi-difficulty in composing the Thiruk-Kural and this in several sites devoted to poetry on the Internet. 
 As such, I do hope the leaders of the Tamil intelligentsia and their political backers would not parade their emotions in conference after conference for the sake of the so-called greater glory of Tamil populations all over the world, but would rather deploy their efforts in the strict exegesis of the text itself. Much work needs to be undertaken in this regard in times to come, and it will serve to fence in and circumvent organisers of conferences who are determined petty peddlars of their own image and glory. And it might also turn out that the book's true value may lie elsewhere than in the predictable consequences of posturing academic practices.] T. Wignesan, June 6, 2017

K169: avviya neñcatthaan aakkamum cevviyaan 
            keedum ninaikkap padum

To men of envious heart, when comes increase of joy,
Or loss to blameless men, the 'why' will thoughtful hearts employ. (Transl. G.U. Pope)
The wealth of a man of envious mind and the poverty of an upright man will be pondered. (Transl. Drew & Lazarus)

The envious-minded person's wealth and the sorry plight of those who know no envy - just think on this! (Transl. T. Wignesan) 

K170:  alukkartru akanraalum illai ahthillaar
             perukkatthil thiirtthaarum il

No envious men to large and full felicity attain; 
No men from envy free have failed a sure increase to gain. (Transl. G.U. Pope)
Never have the envious become great, never have those who are free from envy been without greatness. (Transl. Drew & Lazarus)

No envious person has attained to greatness, nor have those who envy not fallen from grace. (Transl. T. Wignesan)

© T. Wignesan - Paris, 2017

Copyright © T Wignesan | Year Posted 2017

Long poem by Brian Johnston | Details

My Ring Trilogy - The Poems

You Know Who You Are! 

I know that you probably know who you are...
Abusers who prey on women (or men) .
Your aberrance mostly extends to the weak, 
Your generosity just serves other's pain
And, of course, their misery's your only gain.
Do not think that you'll find me turning my cheek	
For doing so would just encourage your sin.
I'd rather see you in a specimen jar, 
Or displayed on corkboard impaled with a pin, 
Some place where your psyche has no powr' to mar.

Some say that it's likely that you were abused, 
The sins of the parents passed on as it were, 
God forgive me, if you're not really liable, 
But your friendship's not the company I seek
God grant you don't find fellowship with the meek
And your progeny all be un-viable.
It's not that I curse you, but I would deter
Your excess on innocents already bruised, 	
My prayer's not for you but for those you injure, 
God forgives but your deeds cannot be excused.

To see people like you removed from the earth
Would most certainly fill up my cup of mirth! 

Brian Johnston
January 12,2014


The Wages of Sin

The bush in which you hide
Reveals your cowardice, 
The wall, behind which you speak, 
Testifies against you, 
The seed which you so blithely sow, 
Grows bitter fruit that does not nourish
Or weeds that suck soil dry
So that good seed barely feeds the birds, 
Does not take root, 
Imagination insufficient, 
To wet the soil.
Bad intentions blow
What good soil there is
Across the sea to waiting deserts
More deserving in Africa, 
The rocks left behind, 
Only bruise your feet.

Brian Johnston


The Troll

‘An interesting guy I think, '
People might say on meeting you for the first time, 
Oh yes, I've come to know you too well.
Thank God for the Internet, 
Although there are bodies in your wake, 
And stench follows you like a garbage scow
There is protection for many in distance from, 
In the miles of wire, the waves of wireless
Communication, and so like a deer
Caught in the headlight of your amazing ego, 
[Fashioned by the fires of Hell (like Gollum's ring)     
And as empty as the devil's soul], 
They stand frozen for a moment, 
Throwing it off finally, the vision of their own death
Shaking their heads in wonder, ‘What just happened? '

It's like the first lesson your mother tries to teach, 
‘Be careful who you choose as a friend, '
A cautionary tale for adults too.
‘Fire does burn' even when you reach adulthood, 
All that sparkles is not gold, my friend, 
And a ‘nom de plume' like Talvia Sprinkles, 
Just one more bush the troll hides in.
Sometimes that strange feeling that you have
Is actually another human? being? peeing on your soul
The golden shower they offer, however, 
Does not assuage your guilt (which is real, so what?)     
You've just been sold a bill of goods, 
Dr. Killdeers Magic Elixir, a not so benign fixer.

If you have been in this dark place of the soul
And saved by Satan not in fact being God, 
Then rejoice my friend in God's provision
In youth or childhood, you did something good? 
Do more, bear witness of your weakness to others, 
Not to mortify your own flesh (God knows you're sorry)     
But so that those with ears to hear (also God's gift)     
Perchance will themselves not feel so alone.
Remember that half-truths strung together like pearls
Are still sh**, if you'll pardon the expression.
‘If it sounds to good to be true it isn't, '
Remember only God knows your soul, 
Satan is just a very experienced guesser
And revels in our penchant to deny our own sin.
His wisdom does not serve the greater good.
Do not look for truth among the cold stones
Of the temple that once stood at Delphi either, 
Or trust any oracle that does not bend his knee
To the living God, the creator of us all.
It is your life, it is your responsibility, 
Don't parrot Cesar's surprised last words
As a ‘friend' slipped his knife into Cesar's heart, 
‘Et tu, Brute? ' You have been warned! 

Brian Johnston
September 26,2014

Poet's Notes are listed separately because of space limitations on Poetry Soup. Sorry for the inconvenience. I hope that you will take the time to read them.

Copyright © Brian Johnston | Year Posted 2014

Long poem by Maurice Yvonne | Details

Yesterday Love Was Such An Easy Game To Play

Yesterday, I went home for lunch, I never go home for lunch. When I got to our apartment  I don't know why but I didn't reach for my key.  Francine was at work and I always leave last in the morning.  I was sure I had locked the door but I didn't reach for my key. I reached for the door knob and turned. The door was open.  I don't know how I knew. The moment I entered I knew.  I froze. I could feel it, smell it, hell I could taste it. I started walking but my muscles wouldn't move,  my lungs were grasping for air  for some oxygen  some sweet, sweet oxygen but I could barely breathe. “Leave!” I told myself but I kept walking. Not really walking,  it was like moving through mud,  like a slow motion scene in a movie.  But this wasn't a movie.  This was my life and I could feel it slipping away  from my grasp. I heard noises! Francine.  I had heard those noises a hundred times before,  they were the sounds of an Angel  but this was no heaven  this was my own private nightmare. The moans traveled through the muck in the air  amplified like the hiss from a distorted speaker.  It mocked me over and over again. Climbing a mountain might have been easier  but I finally reached the bedroom, and there they were, and there she was. I knew, I knew the moment I entered the apartment.  Why hadn't I just turned back?  I could barely see, my eyes were blurry,  covered in layers of my own tears. I could see her  I knew I had never seen him before. They were naked and in our bed.  Naked in OUR BED! How do you that? How do you cross the line to that extreme? You'd think the green eyed monster  would control my actions from here on in.  I did see green! I was insanely jealous but I didn't want to end up the morning headline in the newspaper. That monster jealousy was by my side but I took charge.  I'd have to keep him at bay, at least for now. You'd think I would be mad, I wasn't. You'd think I'd curse and call her whore. I didn't! Being cut open alive must be lest painful than this.   This hacked away at my spirit,  tore away at my self worth. I felt like a pile of worthless shreds. I spoke I mean my lips moved and words came out... I think.  I think I said,  I'm not sure it all happened so fast, she never spoke. I could see the shame on her face  she didn't need to speak,  but, but I think I said 'Sorry... I said Sorry and I left. I wandered for what seemed hours,  it was minutes.  It wasn't like I was meandering to a different drummer;  there just wasn't any music anymore. I was moving to the rhythm of the beating of my own heart.  Like a broken record it was skipping, like a broken record it played  in a loop of repetitive monotony. I suffered in my circled steps  until I couldn't stand it any more. I found just enough strength  to return to the apartment. I knew she was gone  I already felt the emptiness in my whole. We'd never see each other again. We had been so much. She was a big part of my life. She was the love of my life. I would never love anyone like that again. So much of her was me. I thought she was my soul mate. We let go of all of it. There is a feeling of betrayal. A feeling of disgust. A jealousy that takes over. I'd never look at her the same again. Everything she ever did from that day on would always make me suspicious. Jealousy would rule me. Jealousy should never rule anyone. If you can't trust the people in your life, friend or lover, you need to remove that person from your life. You have to remove that person out of your life. Trust, is the only gift we can offer. Friend, lover or stranger! People can trust me. My word is my bond. I let her go,  I really didn't have a choice I would never be the same again. She was gone. She had left a note. It said Sorry! Sorry! We both were. Maurice Yvonne 11~30~2014 Sponsor: Verlena S. Walker Contest Name: The Green-Eyed Monster 

Copyright © Maurice Yvonne | Year Posted 2014

Long poem by Tom D Le Poet Le Poet | Details


I hope you make it by yourself. 
I’m at a point whereby pointing fingers won’t help anymore
A point whereby this vodka won’t help anymore
Sleeping pills won’t help anymore
I can’t fight anymore
Can’t start any war.

I can’t take back the hands of time, everything I put my hands get broken
Look what happened when I tried holding your heart.
This is not the life I wanted for both of us.
True I’m a man I get tempted but I haven’t laid a hand in any of those
Sometimes I wish I was blind so I wont see the seductive mini skirt boob showing woman who take selfies with me and share them with you just to destroy what we had, Trust me jealousy is the root of evil.And worse you trusted your friends over me.
Lately you posted a picture with same people and you said you over me
That’s okay though I got a bottle of overmeer 
I guess its time I eat the great vines .
Time I look at my broken watch and it shows the wrong time
I tried calling you but a guy picked up guess it was the wrong time
That’s when the pain started really sinking in
The thought of you laughing kissing massaging cuddling with another guy
I couldn’t take it. My heart was in pieces my mind travelled to the same room and watched him as he stripped you naked and kissed you where I used to kiss you. 
I heard you telling him He’s the guy of your dreams. Your movie star but now watch me live.

I don’t know if its me or you
You owe me 
An explaination for this
Ive never cheated for the record
Ow Crap I cheated work for this record
On my way to record this record I cheated death 
I wasn’t thinking straight the car was meandering the road
My heart beat was faster than the car I drove 
I couldn’t even look straight my mind projected the scene of you and him
Not that I cant get another girl it’s just that she wont be beautiful smart and full of love as you
I guess I’m a fool of love as you. Full of love you could share it.like an app.
I wonder how many guys you have told they are the one
I thought I was the one but I didn’t know I wasn’t the only one.
Going to church doesn’t mean you the holy one.
You just fishing for the money I wonder why you don’t eat sushi
But who am I to tell you what to do who to love who to lie who to let in your pants without protection of your feelings whom am I to bother you with boring stories of love trust marriage and family whom am I to cross your mind just once hoping you will think about me. I’m not expecting you to think about me anyways 
Sometimes I fail to think about me just to think about you.But the moment I think about you that’s how  exactly I know you don’t think about me. So I’m pushing this thinking shit away
But not only the thinking. Put two and two together you will understand that the sum is four people who lost love and odde to heart breaks.

If you could listen one more
Those goodmorning goodnight text were not just to conform 
Those I love you texts and calls were not just to conform
Those little gifts they might have been cheap also not just to conform
I was trying to show you I’m on form
A perfume for 365 Rands hoping you will smell good each day throut the year
True I am not romantic but hugging your from behind only to show you I got your back
While you got his back.Pack your backpack I got this back.
I will survive like I’ve always been with no one to love
Because I have learnt that to love someone is not the same as being loved
To love is to give your heart to someone and trust me they going to give it back full of unhealing wounds.
Love when you are ready to. Don’t let your friends tell you what’s good what’s bad for you. Be strong and stand your ground.


Copyright © Tom D Le Poet Le Poet | Year Posted 2016

Long poem by John Hamilton | Details

Formula one poetry

Formula One Poetry

Adverbs on your Mark!

Nouns get ready!

Verbs and prepositions get set!

There's the green light and they're off!

All words accelerating at an astonishing speed!

the crowd goes wild 

at the roar of the sound

of accelerating words. 

Nouns and adverbs and verbs

advancing with prepositions 

following closely behind.

Hold on to your hats, 

and fasten your seat belts, folks,

this is going to be one long sentence, 

a wild race to the finished line.

Three words pull away from the pack 

and the clear leader

is Jim, followed closely by 

House in 2nd place,

they are moving at an amazing speed

now moving up into 3rd is Buys an

Buys an, Buys an, accelerating making a

bold move on House, on a hair pin turn,


cuts in front of House, 

House has to slam

on the brakes to avoid 

a collision of words...

House is obviously infuriated 

with Buys an,

as he interjected between Jim, and House

in such a reckless manner.

And so we have our top 3 leaders

Jim in 1st place,

Buys an, in 2nd place 

and following closely 

waiting to make his move is House

in 3rd place.

Wow! We can see 

this sentence coming together

as we start the 3rd lap...

what spectacular action folks, 

who knows how this sentence 

will end at the finished line!!

Now look who appears on the scene!

it's Better, Better now moves

into 4th place, behind House

House sees him coming 

looking over his shoulder

anticipating his move

but looks like House 

has some trouble keeping the pace 

as Better, accelerates and 

makes his move

and has no problem

in passing House.

Looks like House, is having 

some kind of mechanical trouble

but is holding on.

So we have our leaders:

Jim is in 1st, Buys an, is in 2nd

Better, has now moved into 3rd

with House trailing in 4th position.

After 4 laps the sentence is taking shape

with Jim securing his lead, 

and setting a blisteringly fast pace 

with no rival to usurp

his position.

Now look who appears in 5th place 

challenging House, it's Even,

Even is moving at an incredible speed

Even passes House with ease 

and now looks to challenge

Better, Better, better watch out!

Even, pulls even with Better, 

but Better...

thinks he's better, 

and won't quit.

Even has even more power 

and surpasses 

even better than Better.

Wow what a race! 

As words jockey for position,

there is a bitter rivalry between

Even, and Better, however this time

Even has gained the upper hand.

So our leader is still Jim in 1st

Buys an, is comfortably in 2nd,

Even, moves into 3rd, 

and Better slides back into 4th

with House following in 5th place,

but who knows if House can hold on
as we now see smoke billowing out

from the back of House.

Who knows how long House will last

or even if it will make it to the finished line.

Now look who appears as we enter the 5th lap!

it's Than, and Than is closely followed by Bob.

Than and Bob accelerating,

pursuing the pack,

and catching up to the leaders 

as we head to the final stretch

heading to the finished line.

No one can catch Jim 

as his noun is just too powerful 

on this day!

And there you have it folks 

the checkered flag 

and the winners in order are

1. Jim
2. Buys an
3. Even
4. Better
5. House
6. Than
7. Bob

What a competition! And the race goes on!
What will Bob do now!

John Derek Hamilton
August 2, 2016

Copyright © John Hamilton | Year Posted 2016

Long Poems