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Long Poems
Long poem by Hillard Sarver | Details

Death Watch

Death Watch

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Copyright © Hillard Sarver | Year Posted 2016

Long poem by Laura Breidenthal | Details

Light On the Devil's Chord - The Challenge

My hair bristled in the crisp breeze
Excitement spreading throughout my body
Even the sudden cold amused my fingertips,
Tingles spreading through my hands and up my arms
Soon I would be there too. . .
In the murky shadows of mysterious malice
To see the claws and talons of humanity’s greatest foe
The Prince of Darkness—the Saint of Woe

The great seal remained closed as I stood before it
Not a peep was heard from inside

“Knock, and it will be opened to you . . . “

Lightly, my fist clunked three times upon the great seal,
And a horrendous echo resounded like muffled shrieks of suffering
Black ooze leaked out of the seal as I lifted my fist
A great closed pot of tender meat and chow boiling over,
The spicy hot substance steaming the long grass surrounding the well-like prison

Then a voice, like Queen Bee birth resounded,
Stinging me fiercely, body and soul, having me sway…
To a familiar song
I had listened to long ago:

“Iiiii… ain’t got no-booooooody…. 
And no-body cares…foooor meeee…”

The song continued as the seal opened fully,
As I began descending into the restless night of his voice
Both lulled and perturbed
The sumptuous layers of shrieks, his background band
Gurgles of thundering bass,
And strums of laughter from throats long wailing… 

“Aaaaaaaand.. I’m sad and loooooooonely… 
Won’t some-body…come takah chance with meeee..

In what seemed like an eternal moment,
I had landed in the very bottom of the boiling ooze
The music ceased, and the great seal slipped over,
Blocking the view of the stars. . .
Yes, above. . .now only darkness
As if heaven, to Satan, was hell. . .

He turned to me slowly, knowingly
A smile creeping on his filthy face, from ear to ear
A charming set of teeth, freshly sung mouth
Arrogant brow rising in mock surprise. . .
A gruff laugh escaped his lips as my heart beat faster
And I thought to myself,

“What have I gotten myself into?”
. . .
The words popped out of my mouth before my mind could object,
And he exploded in a fit of charming guffaws
I heard a sea of laughter follow his own
Even Death, in the far corner of prison, winked. . .amused

“That’s the funniest thing I’ve heard in years, 
Dearest Daughter of Eve. . .  I’m impressed . . . really, I am. . .”

“You are?”

His smile faded and his expression grew grim and cold
“Well . . . are you?”

I remained silent, and took a deep breath
What shall I say to the Devil himself?
Am I clever enough? Brave enough?

“Impressed, I mean. . .well?
Are you? 
I know you will not lie to me,
You wouldn’t dream of it. . .
You wouldn’t dream nasty dreams like times in your past days. . .
Or. . .would you. . .Daughter of Eve.
Would you dare. . .dream of me. . .”

I felt a claw hit me on the back of my neck
I remained still, my breathing cradled by the silence. . .
I moved closer to him, never blinking,
As his coal eyes burned deeply into mine

Suddenly, he was furious
“You dare give me silence, woman!?
After my years of devastating . . . tormenting my own, 
Just to see and hear them screech and tremble. . .
Of no aim but to crush this criminal quiet,
You…a woman of no power…or little to show, 
Come down to me, ME. . .whom you know hates you all. . .
You come down to me, The Almighty Devil of Hatred,
With your dull . . . infuriating . . . pathetic, disgusting. . .

I sighed. . .
“I. . .I don’t know why I am here. . .with you. . .perhaps it is a test. . .a lesson. . .
But I do know what I want. . .”

His claw dug deeper into my skin. . .
“Oh, that’s a new one. . .
But you. . .hm, hard to play with. . .? I doubt it. 
Easy to trick. . .surely. . .
If there was a point. . .”

Deeper the claw dug into my skin, but my flesh refused to break

I smiled at him softly, and this seemed to disturb him completely
He looked at me numbly, an impassive stare
 Devoid of feeling and emotion

And I said to him,
“I want you to sing and play us a song you have never sung before,
Prince of Darkness. . .”

His grimy skin rippled at the opportune challenge. . .
His eyes drew out all confidence and pride swirling in the shadows
His smile, big again, fresh, and repugnant
He smelled of all things dead, and all things putrid

“Plug in the bass, Death.
I am going to dissolve this fluttery woman right where she stands.”

I stopped him, possessed with an idea
I bit my lip and removed his claw from my neck
Taking his hand for a moment, and pushing it to him

“One more thing, Devil.”

He rolled his eyes. “Of course. . .what is it?”

“. . .I’m singing with you.”

The demons roared in hilarity, as Death, 
Silent as always kept his composure

Satan tilted his head at me as the laughter died
He no longer contained his surprise
“You. . .want to. . .make music. . .with me?”

“I’ve got 40 days and 40 nights. . .don’t you be a killjoy.”

He smiled at me, fury and lust in his eyes
“Angel charms will not work down here, babe. . .
I rarely play fair. . . .but I never turn down a challenge.”

My strange purpose had surfaced at last
“Quit your stalling then, and turn up the music.”


Song reference: “I Have Nobody” specifically sung by Leon Redbone
**Please tell me what you thing guys! If you haven’t read the other parts, it might explain things a bit. This is going to be a major work, and I’d loved all the advice I can get. I am aware that collaborating with The Devil is a tricky feat, and I’d really love some input. Thanks for reading. Lots of love! –Oh, and also, I am thinking of changing the title of the work as well. Not sure what yet!

Copyright © Laura Breidenthal | Year Posted 2014

Long poem by William Masonis | Details

A Hospital Stay - Part V


                                                        The In-Between

     There, in the In-Between,
     No trumpets sound
     No beings clad in gold celestial fire
     Arrive as guides to the heart's desire,
          Only silence falls
     Throughout the velvet deep profound.
     At the In-Between,
          No Savior calls
     For there is naught but nothingness;
     An emptiness entire.

Strangely, I sensed myself suspended
In a nevertime of not-quite-being.

Such was the In-Between, where now I wandered.

As though it had always been,
I felt myself afloat, adrift
Upon some frigid river full of ice
Which had no source and knew no end,
That traveled 'round and 'round and back again upon itself
Rising and falling over distant hills and bearing me with it
- Or rather, what was left of me -
Along in its meaningless, endless circuit.

Nor dark nor light intruded.
Vision compassed only what might be envisioned,
Images forming and fading
Within the little cavern of my skull.

Voices without discernable words.
Murmmerings within the waters.

Something like a sword
Was lodged down my throat.
I gagged upon it, over and over;
Unseen hands would withdraw it, then shove it down again.

The main thought flickering in my head
As I lay in this place
Was of how I seemed to have become some frail remnant
Of whatever I once was.
No longer did I have that sense of flesh
Containing the shape of me,
Nor the feel of muscle, nor the bone beneath.
I felt I had somehow been rendered
Some modern scientific wonder,
A creature flayed alive yet living
In some embryonic form, possessed of such shape as it could claim
By virtue of a remaining mass of nervous tissue;
A minimalist miracle
Preserved in a nutrient bath by the power and will
Of a conclave of white smocked High Priests of medicine.

Strangest of all, perhaps
Was that this perception of my fate
Occasioned in me not horror, 
But rather a regretful sadness.
"What will they tell my wife?" I sighed in my mind.

     Yet, by slow degrees the feel of the outward world
     Stole in upon my little hell of shapelessness.
     The throbbing thing I seemed to have become
     Refleshed itself somehow,
     Though the sword in its throat remained.

Distant voices resolved into speech again,
And as they did I felt myself begin moving again
'Round and 'round as before, still on circuit
But no longer floating on ice.
Now, instead, I seemed lain on some unseen track
Circling through a low-roofed sandstone cavern.

When I passed the band of light 
That marked the faroff entrance of this cave,
I would hear the voice of that Boy Who Would Be Our King
Exhorting the Disunited Nations
To join his crusade to punish his chosen scapegoat
For an evil he had helped loose upon the world.
The long silences that followed his harangues
Revealed the skepticism of his audience.

     I could sense that a long roll call of the dead
     Would soon be scrolling past the world's collective eyes,
     Be his call accepted or no;
     This was for show, decisions had already been made.

I regained perception of how dangerous things were becoming out there,
Out there where I'd lost my way, to stumble into this place,
How long ago I could no longer recall.

I knew this to be its nature, though
And as well that this was where I belonged, Out There
Where the only source of peace or peace of mind
Was the hope we wove between ourselves
With threads of unstoppable possibilities
The human way spins for itself.

I knew where I belonged, and reached out for it.

     I came back to be within
     The folds of all I love
     To seek the mystic shine of life
     Expressed in friends, relations, wife
     Awaiting my return.
     I began to climb Above
     Back to where all hopes begin
     To where desires brightly burn
     Until their ash shines whiter than
     The purer feathers of the dove.

Copyright © William Masonis | Year Posted 2013

Long poem by Margaret Sayers | Details

The C Word

The words are dark, sharp,vicious, viscous.
The images like bubbling, darkest jam,
With bubble like grim faces riding to the surface
Then bursting.
I am thirsting.Alternately with blood and bile,black.
I am a sad sack,
A pillow filled with rotten meat
For faceless men to hack.
My belly is like a Gourd, hard,
I wear maternity tents night and day.
And no-one knows what to say
Except "Just wait another day"
Or even WORSE, the Very WORST
"Could you be pregnant at all?"
Another day, five more tests.
Patients cheeping for food like birds in nests.
Every day I wait I feel them growing, these three
Teratomas.Monstrous.They are no part of me!
Monster is in the name (The Latin,the Greek).
They are:Feet, Toes, Eyes,Nails.An echo of a person.
You'd think they would be Meek.
Interlopers, how quietly they sneak.
And all inside my last and traitorous Ovarian sac
Which seems to nurture it.To help them grow, inside it's black
To kindle those monstrous stones inside me.
No-one wants me to say the word,as if if they don't it will cease to be. 
There, I said it.
Relax, they say, tests will be done (Again)
A catheter will drain my bladder (Again)
They will drain my bloated belly (Again)
Nurses will drift in and out
Antiseptic fills my snout.
Spectres, life in this half dream, cut with miserable pain
White clad nuns seen through misty rain.
But were those three interlopers inside me, Rubies,
I could become rich on them.
Something to leave in my will
Which I haven't gotten around to,still
Instead, they chatter, lumpen heads together, 
What more pain can we cause her?
How can we join forces to destroy her?
Poking me inside with saws made of glass
While I lie cringing as the sharp sensations rise, then briefly pass.
Mouth full of ulcers, nausea,a dull ache between my legs
It feels as if I have been raped, that is what the pain is like
The blood in the tubes pours
Out and in, red,and bright,
Vomit rises.No time to shout.
I crawl the floors....throw up in a rubbish bin.
The I.V pulling at my aching veins......
Some shattered thought remains......
 And I remember a house I lived in as a child
It was covered in Ivy,that grew strong and wild-
But it did not cause me pain.
I danced in its garden, soaked to the skin with rain.
My insides have changed, 
But I bet the outer house is still the same.
But all the furniture crumbled, turned to dust
Because that house is my insides, and so it must.
 I am like a turkey on a slab, a fattened goose, and you'd really think
'She likes her food'
Little knowing how food nauseates me,they are rude, disparaging glances-
Smells, mingling disgustingly
Feel my belly!Its ROCK HARD you see!
Don't put the blame for the bloat on me!
And know how the witches three
Feed upon what little substance I take.
"Honey!If I know you were hungry, I would have baked!"
I am.I am baking
A Cancer loaf, for the taking.
I would prefer a quick and easy death by fire.
Rather than shrinking, and stinking (sickness has a smell)
My dog knew before I was, that I wasn't well.
 I am stupid for thinking anything else 
Than Life will find a way(as the carers say)
To eat away at you, to gnaw you from the inside out.
All the platitudes seem dense and false.
They may be well meant, but they will never know 
If they are lucky,
How just sitting in a chair is SO tiring
When ones whole body,and will to live, is fast expiring.

Copyright © Margaret Sayers | Year Posted 2016

Long poem by Gerald Dillenbeck | Details

Permacultural Koan

I love this koan from 1,000 years ago, or more.

"What is it? Medicine and sickness mutually correspond. The world is medicine. What is the Self?"
by10th c. Zen Master Yunmen

So, yes, 
Self for me is Ego"sickness", 
deductively and reductively self-composed 
of dipolar AngryPast and FutureFear,
trying to figure out a narrow path 
toward healthy and hearty love 
as cooperative life therapy 
within this eternal now of Time and Love, 
BiCamerally CoPresent.

Which brings us to the world as EcoEarth SpaceTime ReGenerative  "Medicine", 
for balancing Ego's narrowly anthrocentric WorldSick Pathological view,
with Eco-Right-MindBody's RNA-centric 
Universal Ecosystemic-Dialogical-Temporal-Linear-BiLateral-TimeFused-CoEmpathic CoRelational Exterior/Interior 
DiPolar Landscape 
Now=Love=CoArising ReGenerate Health and Safety Outcomes, 
or at least natural ecosystemic climate research toward such outcomes, 

All species are PermaCulturally Designed to optimize nutritional sustainability 
and well-being of global RNA residents, 
each and all (0)Zen-Tao thermodynamically, electromagnetically, co-gravitationally, bicamerally neural-bilaterally balanced 
dialectic harmonic primetime,
surrounded by cognitive-affective dissonance.

Moving away from an analogical/ecological dialect 
and turning toward digital as: 
Binary Positive/Negative Correlation CoOperative WinWin Network 
BiCameral and BiNomial 4D equivalency 
for WinWin Outcome Design 
of (0)Earth's most regeneratively dense synergetic nutritionally rich bullseye.

Then to Permaculture Design 
for InteriorEgo and ExteriorEco landscapes 
for therapeutic function: 
Of highest priority 
on the PermaCulture Designer's Map 
of Love/Peace/Health growth trends, 
facilitated by co-disinvestment in Anger and Fear-driven monocultural-trending pathology, 
"sickness" gifting-forward our best issues of what to steer clear of, 
and cut back on, 
for a healthy cooperative/competitive EcoConscious 
Ego-Anthro-Centric nondual co-arising/co-gravitational time of life 
as synonymous with love and synergy and possibly empathy 
and positive/negative dipolar elation. 

Bicameral neural-dipolar "sickness" devolves double-binding negative dissonance, negative YinYin energy, 
dialectic "Medicine" as love-power-positive 
and peace-content-inductive-flow-function 
of, from, for, toward regenerately healthy/robust RNA/DNA encrypted Time.

Where there is both peace and love, 
there is no longer room or time for anger and/or fear 
of lack of time for positive Healthy/Therapeutic CoRelation 
within (0)-soul balancing EcoPresent NowConsciousness 
of timeless co-arising times and seasons 
within ecosystems with times and seasons 
within language with dialectal timing 
and seasoned DNA/RNA diafractal syntax.
for light and dark, 
warm and cold, 
positive and double-negative, 
Medicine and sickness, 
health and death, 
polycultural fullness and monocultural empty-nest, 
echoing bicameral silo Self co-arising
elating confluent-aptic CoPresent
medicinal climates for and of bicameral  eco-consciousness.

Copyright © Gerald Dillenbeck | Year Posted 2016

Long poem by Eve Roper | Details

What's up with Santa

                                             What’s up with Santa
                                            He's acting like a child.
                        Santa Claus is upstairs in his big red sleigh bed, 
                           warm and cozy in his red flannel comforter, 
                           wearing his red dropseat pajamas, and hat
                                               sick with the flu, 
                                       constantly ring that darn bell. 

                                          Ting-a-ling, Ting-a-ling … 
                                             There it goes again 
                             Yessss… Dearrrr… I know you don’t feel good,
                           your throat hurts and is sore when you swallow 
                  your body is in pain, like a herd of reindeer has run over it 
                 A warm cup of hot cider and a cinnamon stick to give it flavor
                                               will ease the pain.

                                  I should have never given him that bell  
                                           Ting-a-ling, Ting-a-ling … 
                       Yessss… Dearrrr… I know your frequently, coughing 
                       is making your rib cage feels like it’s going to break
                          I will get some milk and chocolate chip cookies  
                                  so you don’t have to get out of bed

                    I wish Santa would quit constantly ringing that darn bell.
                          If he hadn’t shoveled the snow off the sidewalk 
                  and let the elves do their jobs, he wouldn’t be sick right now

                                            Ting-a-ling, Ting-a-ling … 
                     Yeessss… Deeaarrrr… I’m sorry your head is stuffed up, 
                              nose is red, hurts, and won’t quit running
                                 Reading the Naughty or Nice List 
                      will help you not think about what you're going through

                                 What came over me to let him have a bell

                                           Ting-a-ling, Ting-a-ling … 
                Yeessss… Deeaarrrr… You’re running a fever, freezing, and shivering
                               I will go inform the elves not to dawdle
                            keep making the toys in Santa’s workshop 
                           and make sure they take care of the reindeer

                 Oh! My! I hope Santa gets well before Christmas gets here, 
                                 so he’ll get better and out of my hair
                                or I am going to hide that dumb bell

By Eve Roper 

Sponsor: Carol Eastman

Contest Name :Story poem about Santa Claus 

Copyright © Eve Roper | Year Posted 2014

Long poem by Cat Way | Details


Illusion is Reality and reality is illusion.
What if everything you once knew was all a lie.
Every flower, every smile a simple spot in your vision.
The lies swim around in your brain like dead fish.
You accept it and never question it.
Never question anything.

The illusion of a soldier in the muddy, rat infested trenches seeps into view.
He lays on his deathbed with his bloody hands on his face and he begins to laugh.
His smile as big as the cheshire cat’s.
Laughing becomes uncontrollable.
Laughing because now he knows everything he once stood for was nothing but a mirage.
He laughs because he knows his end is near but is it really?
He knows God damned him the moment he took his first breath of this polluted air.

Asleep, children lay in their beds and look like small angels sent from the gods,
But really in this time and space they are monsters undercover.
They are, We are todays Future and tomorrows death.
Who knows what horrid plots a tiny brain holds.
We will all be sent underground, hiding for the rest of our days.
Hiding from what?

You will ask yourself is this a dream? No my good sir this is a nightmare.
Dreams mean something, this is your subconscious telling you to flee.
Telling you the secrets of the world, this is what I am doing.
Do you understand, do you want to understand? I don't, but I do.
It's blinding isnt it? To look into another state of mind, see things for what it is.
The hungry madness is knocking on our door, your door, their door.
My door..
What’s a door?
What is madness? What is sanity, is there such a thing?
It strikes like a cobra, quicker than your glazed eyes can follow.
It will consume you whole and you will burn in it's stomach along with everything you thought you knew.
Everyone you loved will be waiting there for you with open arms.
Answer the door, madness is waiting for you.
I’m waiting. Don’t make me knock again.
Welcome to the devil’s circus my fellow follower.

Everything you know is wrong,
Every thought is someone else’s and that thought was planted into their mind by something else.
Then it was yours.
Now it’s someone else’s.
It's not your thought, it's mine.
See the curve in everything you once looked at with such certainty of what it was.
Everything is warped and disfigured.
Your mind bends to society like warm clay,
It's strangling itself to mold to my words
But it's bending over backwards for nothing because you can decipher these lines.
It's sick and twisted.
It's all an illusion, a scene of reality.

The screams you hear are roaring cries for help, for guidance, for hope.
Pleas for sanctuary, for security, for life itself.
It's like music to my ears these screams, they are my lullaby to sleep.
This is not a dream, this is not reality, it is not a illusion.
It is nothing.
This is the world, I'm handing it to you on this paper.
It is nothing.
It's sick and twisted.

Copyright © Cat Way | Year Posted 2012

Long poem by Eileen Manassian | Details

For Mama and Kayla- Falling into His Arms

I have several poems up about my Mama, Angel Manassian. Mama died on March 19, 2000 at the age of 74. She battled with MS for most of her life. She had me at 41...a surprise!

Turns out, Mama had MS even before she and dad got married, and she didn't know it. My childhood in Iran was the best. We lived in a big compound and had lots of fruit trees, a pool, and wonderful weather to enjoy it all. In winter it snowed. My brothers would jump down from the roof of the house into the snow. In summer, we'd swim all day. Mama taught language at the school Dad was principal of. Ignorance IS bliss. I didn't know Mama was sick. She burned herself once. Really badly. Needed skin grafts....I still didn't know. We moved to Lebanon. 

During my early teen years, I had to come to grips with the fact that Mama was sick....Mama would fall, Mama would get stitches...Mama would burn her face. It scared me. It scared me because I saw Mama getting worse....She'd need help walking, then there was the walker, then there was the wheelchair. Oh...I can't go too much into this...the bruises, the choking fits, the catheters, the slurred speech, the crooked smiles....It broke me. Through it all, Mama tried to give us a semblance of normalcy. She'd smile after every fall...She'd smile to hide the pain; I'd cry to relieve the pain.

My Mama was a brave, caring, kind woman. She was well loved by her students, and she instilled in me a love for words, for singing, and a belief in my abilities. I watched a video on youtube today that reminded me of her and made me cry...again...for the woman who is no longer with me.  This video is so powerful.....It's about a young girl's battle with MS. She is an accomplished runner, but after every race...something incredible happens.

This one is for my Mama and in honor of Kayla.  Watch if you have a spare minute..... Mama finished her race. She had a firm belief in the goodness of God and in the saving power of Jesus. She was an ideal pastor's wife and a fervent prayer warrior. She could say with Paul, " I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing."
(2 Timothy 4: 7 & 8) I believe with all my heart that one day my Mama will be whole...body and spirit. You make of that what you want, but I believe she will be awarded eternal life one day. 

Here is the story of Kayla:


It had me in tears....I hope she finds the inner strength to keep running for as long as she can....Bless God for people in whose arms we can fall....

Copyright © Eileen Manassian | Year Posted 2014

Long poem by Laura Loo | Details


Her m a d n e s s was the result of an unfortunate series of events. The epilogue came to a halt as she was b r o k e n from her articulate ailment. Feared he was…scared was she…. so she thought. The day flew by, yet the night seemed too long and under the docks she hid. Unknown to her he traced her every move and she ended up being watched down by the shore. Minute by minute and hour by hour. There was a slight breeze that evening and she knew deep down it could be her last. Fever broke in the city as she became accustomed to the sweat dripping off her forehead from the heat. Heartbeats ran faster and blood pressure was raised higher. With nowhere else to run she ended up finding a cave. Darkness encompassed her but she felt safer there than near the outside world. He had never spoken to her as she deserved. Caves share internal apprehension as they are surrounded by cold clay with hieroglyphics scattered across the rounded walls, causing her more confusion. She found an old blanket lying near her. It was raggedy and torn as if the owner used it for far too long. Curled up in a ball she heard a noise that sounded like his voice. Frightened she put her head up to her knees and prayed for her freedom. Strange whispers surrounded her agony and as each ear tried to interpret the words the more confused she became. No longer would she ever be healthy again. Her family didn’t care about her throughout her malady. It wasn’t her fault. The doctors all said the same thing to her growing up and into her adulthood. She would never recover from this disorder. It was sad, really. The voices would never go away. No medicine could cure it, and no psychotherapy would ease her disarray. She would always feel anxiety from the unwanted enunciations and delusions crowding her brain. She had never been stalked. She had never been watched from afar. There was never a feared man following her trying to make her suffer. It was all inauspicious sounds her ill brain created. People called her crazy and insane. It was too much for her and one day she just gave up. The ending of this story remains not a mystery but a tragedy. Even though her death was catastrophic, it was not a surprise. Now she lies in a tomb covered in mossy ferns with tiny green vines w h i s p e r i n g voices in her grave. *This is a story about a woman who suffers from schizophrenia. It is a brain disorder in which people interpret reality abnormally. Hearing voices, delusions, memory loss and compulsive behavior a only a few symptoms. I can't imagine going through life living in such utter confusion* Sponsor: Nayda Ivette Negron Date Written: August 21, 2016

Copyright © Laura Loo | Year Posted 2016

Long poem by Charlotte Jade Puddifoot | Details

Illness Is

a lonely place.
It's nothing to do with that person
who asked "how are you?" this morning.
It's to do with staring through
fear-frosted windows
as snow sugar-sifts the street,
watching through dark windows
as firework flowers burst to bloom in a New Year sky,
or watching day-jaded mums
dragging snot-nosed kids to school -
and wishing it was you.

It's watching cacophonous YouTube family vlogs
because you're so lifeless, so ghastly ghostly-wan,
you feed off the energy like some hideous vampire or leech.

It's listening to people moan
about doing the bloody washing-up
while you find joy in the rank sink-slops
of last night's rancid pots, giving thanks
when you're just able to do it.

It's sitting sweltering in 80-degree heat
under summer-scorched ashes
and looking grey as crematorium ashes.

It's coffee alone at 5am
waiting for the world to wake
or watching fluorescent clock hands creep round
until the hour is godly enough
to text or ring for help.

It has to do with rocketing house bills
because you're awake when the world is asleep
burning midnight lights and fuel.

It's the horror of an unexpected knock at the door or visitor
because it's 3pm and you're still slop-dollying round the house
in your dressing gown.

It's the horror of being buried alive in an MRI coffin-scanner.

It's taking comfort where you can with whoever
and seizing moments when or if they come.

It's the cliche of feeling alone in a crowded room.

It's about when they assume
the anorexia's back and you're on a fucking diet.

It's about cancelling appointments, leaving restaurants early
or making excuses not to go out at all.

It's shutting off the laptop because you're too tired to see,
disconnecting the phone because you're so weary
you can't speak, while a filthy grey fog
creeps into your head and mind-twines.

It's reading their words while you fumble
to find your words or the right words,
or being suddenly blessed with the write words
to squeeze out a line or three of poetry.

It's about family discussing the plot of a film
while you're losing the plot in another room.

It's snotty sobbing, screeching at doctors
and mewling for the fucking morphine.

It's that precipice where you teeter
awaiting the latest test result.

It's fear so intense you frantic-fumble
the phone book, scrabbling for a hypnotist.

It's a late night date with a suicide site
(you flirt but don't know if you would)
researching helium versus hanging
because you don't want to become a burden,
you don't want to lose your dignity.

It's about the outer you staying intact
while the inner you slowly disintegrates.

Illness is all this.

'And Now For Something Completely Different' contest

Copyright © Charlotte Jade Puddifoot | Year Posted 2017

Long Poems