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Long Poems
Long poem by William Masonis | Details

The Ghost Dance Part III

                                     Wovoka in the Feverland

In the Dying-Grass Moon came another winter to claim the old and sick.
This was when the first messengers came
To the desolation known as Pine Ridge.
They came riding in at the end of a century of tragedy,
A hundred years that broke an ancient people.
Their world now cold and hollow,
Where no god's voice was heard upon the winds.
Grey clouds scudded across a blank sky
And hung like a shroud over their conqueror's makeshift home for the defeated.
No god's voice answered to their listening hearts,
None heard any god's lament for their children lost,
Lost here, adrift in heart and mind
Beneath the bitter grey skies
Riding over them on chilling gusts, day by day.

The people beneath this sky were weary,
The future hung dim before their eyes
Their hearts dragged down like stones
A sorrow great and silent
Private and unshown,
A shared Eucharist of desperation.

Into this rode the messengers, outriders of a new prophet,
With words to lighten their heavy hearts,
Threads of hope for weakened hands to grasp at.

The one named Kicking Bear had seen this Messiah;
A voice had commanded him to go out and meet the ghosts of the gone-before
Who were soon to return, to walk the earth with their brethren.
He and some other pilgrims rode the Iron Horse as far towards sunset
As the tracks ran, and from there on riding for four suns
Until they came at last to the Paiute camp near Pyramid Lake.

The people there said that The Christ,
Son of the white people's great god,
Had come down to Earth once again.
They said He had sent for them to hear Him speak;
That this was foreordained.
Even now he awaited them two days' ride away at Walker Lake,
Full of important news for all the Indian brothers.
These people were full of a fine new spirit,
Good to all newcomers, infectious with hope.
Together they went to Walker Lake and waited there two days,
An expectant multitude milling about,
The same sort this Christ was said to have spoken to
Long ago, when last he appeared to men.

     As the sundown burnt the sky on the third day
     The mighty Christ appeared before the crowd.
     He appeared, and he was not white, as was expected.
     This time he manifested as a brown man like them,
     And his words were words of light and hope and love,
     Words of life to this dying people.

     He was old and wrinkled, scars upon his hands and face
     In tattered clothes and a hat too large,
     But his eyes cut like flint
     And he spoke as a strong man should speak.

These words and more were his:
"I will teach you how to dance a dance, and I want you to dance it."
And with that, The Christ rose and taught them the Dance of the Ghosts.
And with that, The Christ sang and danced with them far into the night.
Come the morning, he addressed them again.

He told them that God his Father had made the Earth,
And sent Him as teacher to the people.
He had first come to the white people, but they had treated Him badly,
Jeering, unbelieving, scarring His body.
So He had returned to Heaven and now He had returned.
His intent to restore things to how they first were,
Indeed to improve even upon that.

Come Springtime, Wovoka said, when grass waves to the knee on the plain,
The world would cover itself with a new skin of soil and bury all the whites.
Come Springtime, Wovoka said, the reborn land would cloak itself
With a brilliant blanket of sweet green grass, adorned with trees and rivers.
Come Springtime, Wovoka said, the vast thundering herds of buffalo,
The many-colored herds of wild horses, beautiful things well known once,
Would return forever.
Come Springtime, Wovoka said, the Indians who danced the Ghost Dance
Would be taken up into the air, suspended in glorious freedom
While the wave of new soil consumed the whites.
Come Springtime, Wovoka said, they would descend from the sky
Among the ghosts of their ancestors to stand on the fresh new world
And all would be young and strong again,
And live in harmony in this reborn time and place.
Come Springtime...

     The Springtime! The Springtime!
     So near! So soon!
     Can it be they were not forsaken after all?
     Can such a thing be, even when hope had died?
     Kicking Bear was stunned, yet he hoped and believed.
     After all, had he not dreamt of this?
     Was it not foreordained that he should be here?

     Aflame with desire to bring such news to those languishing back home,
     Kicking Bear and the rest rode the Iron Horse back
     To spread the word and way to every reservation they could reach.
     Wovoka himself never came to Pine Ridge, but his spirit did,
     And held court with those who danced there.
     They said he flew in the air above them as they rode,
     Teaching them new songs to sing as they traveled.
     Who's to say? It could be true.
     Who is to say what purer and more savage sight
     May have shown them in their fervor, hearts unfettered
     By the locks, the twistings and mists of civil, "ordered" life?
     Who would dare say?

They felt triumph rising from the ruins of despair,
That the mighty God of the whites, who gave such power,
Snatched it back in anger to give it to those they despised!
The hope caught on and lept in every heart in the hated Feverland.
Had not these whites treated their God's own son shamefully,
Like a toy a child breaks and forgets?
Who had listened to the words of that Son and paid them greater heed once heard?
The messengers brought the news of the Ghost Dance to Sitting Bull's people,
And soon there were many believers,
And in great groups they danced together.
Dancing through the night into the first light of dawn,
Dancing till they fainted, calling their lost warriors back.
Reeling, stamping the dust under the stars' cold light,
Calling to the dead through the frozen blackness.


     
     
     
     
     

Copyright © William Masonis | Year Posted 2015

Long poem by Robert Candler | Details

Legend of the Red October Run

Dedicated to the 2000 National College Football Champions, the Oklahoma Sooners 

--------------------------------------------------------------

Over fifty years, boy and man, I’ve been a Sooners fan
Watched and reveled in their glories, every one;
But there’s no more glorious “Sooner Magic” 
Than the Red October Run.

The new millennium's first football season,
Excited Sooners fans’ hopes did soar.
They had tasted victory in Bob Stoops’ first year;
Now, they wanted - no, expected - even more.

There was a glint of promise in Bob’s eyes,
Strength and confidence in his every word.
“Our Team has shown improvement”, is what he said;
“We’ll win!” is what fans heard.

By September’s end, the Sooners were 4 and O,
A “cupcake schedule” some anxious fans would say;
Twenty-two days in October would rule their destiny.
Texas, K-State, Nebraska, the teams they’d have to play.

“OU’s October is a gauntlet”, said ESPN;
“Play #10 and #2 and #1…and win”?
So, on a rainy Saturday morning in Dallas,
The Red October Run would begin.

The Texas State Fair at the Cotton Bowl,
Fans were welcomed by Big Tex.
They screamed, “Go OU!” and “Hook’em Horns!”;
But none could imagine what happened next.

Heupel was a dominating General;
The Sooners Offense, his relentless troops.
Calmus and the Defense assured a total rout,
The Coach of the Day was Bob Stoops.

Sooners fans were wild, delirious with glee;
But Bob seemed focused and sedate.
“We’ll enjoy this victory Sunday;
Then Monday, we’ll prepare for Kansas State”.

No time to revel in the Glory, #2 was tough.
Better than the Huskers?  The possibility was real.
The road to #1 went through Manhattan,
And the Sooners would have to win it on the field.

The sportscasters had a field day.
Last year’s “coaching coup” was news again.
Beasley versus Heupel was “The Match-up”.
Could Heupel evade K-State’s awesome defense 
   and find a way to win? 

Again, Heupel and his troops met the challenge;
And as the Sooners “D” assured a hard fought win,
Every Sooners fan’s heart was stirred.
Could our Sooners be “Big Red” again?

Mighty Nebraska, #1, was coming to Owen Field.
“Biggest OU - Nebraska game in years!” Corso said.
It would be 1 versus 2, a heralded gridiron epic
For the coveted title of…”Big Red”.

It was OU’s biggest home game ever.
The campus was alive with vendors and would-be 
   ticket buyers.
Every Sooners Fan’s heart was pounding.
Could the smell of #1 stoke the Sooners' fires?

The Huskers struck so quickly.
At 14 to nothing, Sooners fans were stunned.
It was shaping up to be a long, long day;
And it wasn’t going to be fun.

Quickly tho’, Heupel rallied his Sooners troops.
They scored and scored and scored again.
The Sooners “D” built a Wall at the 50,
And would not let the Huskers in.

Winners, the Sooners ran and jumped with glee.
Fans flooded Owen Field, milling all around,
Praising and hugging their Sooners Heroes.
They even tore the goal post down.

Now #1, the Sooners had won it on the field.
Their preparation had been well taught.
Bob Stoops, all his great coaches and assistants,
Took pride in how the Sooners fought.

Someone once said, “Everyone loves a winner.”
Everywhere you looked confirmed it’s true.
OU flags fluttered.  Decals, hats, and clothes abound.
Come November, the Sooners and their Fans
    had been renewed,

There’s no slighting the importance of Red October.
The Sooners came together as a Team.
No doubt too, without “The Red October Run”
Their National Championship would still be just a dream.

For the next five games, it was simply unacceptable
For the Sooners to even think that they could fail;
And, tho’ Heupel played injured, they won the Big 12 Championship;
Great Sooners Defense had prevailed.

But no one gave these Big 12 Champs the slightest chance to win
Against the mighty Seminoles of Florida State.
The Heisman Trophy Winner was their quarterback
And their defense was touted to be great.

At the coin toss, Team Captain Torrance Marshall
Said to their quarterback in words most serious and sure,
“You took our boy’s trophy”.  Then he smiled,
“Now we’re gonna take yours”.

The Sooners “D” was everywhere and completely shut them down;
And, when Quentin Griffin’s touchdown closed the door,
Their quarterback knew that Marshall’s words rang true;
The not-so-mighty ‘Noles had not been allowed to score.

Yes, Bob Stoops and his Sooners knew the challenge:
To win Each game ‘til Every game’s been won;
Win for Sooners and their Fans the unchallenged right
To revel in the Glory of being #1.

Yes, my Sooners Team goes on and on,
Different faces, different names;
But these Sooners Champions will be well remembered
For the Season they won Every game.

Undefeated National Champions!
Before October, who would have ever dreamed?
Why, just last year, we didn’t even know the players' names;
And now, they’re College Football’s Greatest Team.

To overcome all adversity and rise to every challenge,
The reward for such a feat is being #1;
Their path to Glory born of a Sooners Legend
Called The Red October Run.

-----------------------------------------


Copyright © Robert Candler | Year Posted 2014

Long poem by T Wignesan | Details

Back Door Side Door Front Door : Which door might a Confucian take

 
                   for René Etiemble  (Jan. 26, 1909 – Jan. 2002)*

 

 Barely a few speechless moments before your first words

           burned the « Coplas por la muerte de su padre » :

            

            ‘Nuestras vidas son los ríos       

       que van a dar en la mar,

       que es el morir ;

      ………………………………

       y llegados, son iguales

       los que viven por sus manos         

       y los ricos.’

 

      Is the open back door which emboldens courage

No untarnished name to be remembered by

No selfless mate to lay by your honour

       No issue laying about themselves for your prize

 

       Decidedly it was a door of stealth

As if choosing it  you let it be known

you were only merely passing by

       and stopped to hang your hat here for a while

 

Yet you let your kin and callers believe

      your whims were worth putting up with

      your mischievous tantrums and gripes

merely the mental athlete’s unwinding antics

 

The poïetic birth pangs of imminent glory

      just the mounting stones in the monumental lighthouse

that ages from hence would pick forth

      your works  your unfathomable literary resource

 

You upheld dozens who did leave behind a name

     a lasting name  not quite torn from solitary pain

Yet who could deny you could have bettered their fame 

     What undisclosed pain you harboured in your brain

 

Oh so strangely were you endowed with the intelligence

     of the Chun Tzu - that uncanny eagle’s scan

To rout out of the mazes of your students’ past lives

      just that one passqge through their Tierra del Fuego

 

But then you who completely espoused the rigours

      of that step by step mounting of respectful steps

Were unsparing in your demands of adherence

      to old Master Kung’s hierarchical obedience

 

An open hand ready to sign any cheque

      to succour the caller’s needs

     was alas ! also the whip hand

To keep the renegades in constant check

 

You were possessed of a rare brand of anger

      which shook the land about you

At those who bent justice to their unsavoury will        

      such thunder boiled from the guts of the earth

 

Now you’re gone and empty lecture halls echo your

     uncontainable ire where forged resounding silence

You said at the start of a seminal master-seminar :

     « Nul n’est prophète dans son pays ! »        

 

With the distaff side hanging on your every word

     wondering if your plans were for something yet undone

 

No stray notes lie about to record your travail

     No visible correspondence to make it all credible

Only books and books  files magazines and books

     and an overcrowdedly conquered mental pad                                    

jumbled words scratched into shaded inchoate sketches

     ganglia synapses   shot-up neurons

 

     no clues to a ragingly flailing mind

           none to record the lives you succoured

                   nor even the beneficiaries’ hurriedly scribbled thanks

          nor besides to the beclouding relations with one and all

                 not even a hint at why you may have refused

                        to forge a name beyond the beaten path of fame

 

Would going by the front door

in a fanfare of tv talkshows conference papers prize-giving ceremonies paper- interviews in ample studied poses and thoughts for future auto-memoirs volume one to seven the rest put-together posthumously in an omnibus

expurgated version with prefaces notes introductions critiques eulogies

 

          would it have been less like you

                                          to exit by the side-door   

the baywindow leading to reflected glory

     in a cool cloister of loosened leaves

stray poems in the tradition of your schooled masters

 

or did you burn them all

                                                in a fit of (cou)rage

     tore them to bits   incinerated by your fiery mind 

                     or squashed within yesterday’s leftovers

 

not caring who thought what

                     the mocking condescension

                       towards

 qu’en-dira-t-on

 

* The late Professor René Etiemble held the Chair of Comparative Literature at the old, pre-1968 Sorbonne University but retired in 1978 while a professor at the Sorbonne-Nouvelle University. In later life, he even refused nomination to the French Academy of Letters, though he did accept the Academy’s Prize. He was a prolific critic, essayist, and memorialist, having published some poetry and three novels. A renowned linguist and grammarian (a graduate of the prestigious and elite Ecole Normale Supérieure de Paris), he remained until his very last days an inveterate Sinophile. He edited the Gallimard-instituted UNESCO oriental literary classics series, a fitting tribute to his encyclopaedic learning.

© T.Wignesan,  6 novembre 1997, Fresnes-94, France  (from the collection : Poems Omega Minus, Paris, 2002)

 

Copyright © T Wignesan | Year Posted 2012

Long poem by Robert Candler | Details

The Sooner Recruit

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 T Wignesan | Details

For old Star-Gazer Master Khayyam - a name like Shakespeare's for some other giants - Part One

For old Star-Gazer Master Khayyam – a name like Shakespeare’s for « some » other giants - Part One

                         I

Why don’t they ever come back? 
      Even if it’s just to say
We are still there or gone for a while
      Or just too damned busy

That’s the reason why we’re absent
      And not for what people say
We’re gone with the last breath
      Gone for good into the beyond

If that’s so then just let us have a sign
     Why more than just a sign
Make Shakespeare direct our hand
     Let loose Hamlet anew on the Strand

And if that’s too difficult
     Ask of Aristotle
The text of his lost poetics
     Cast in a hard disc

Better still command the Son of God
     To make a grand appearance
Fanfares heralding the event
     In a technicolour firmament

Or make known to us 
     The lost masterpieces
The great forging inventions
     Bombed to ashes in wars

Or for the departed father
     To come set his house in order
Brother against brother
     For want of a better master

O Where have they all gone
     Leaving us in their muddles
Such a kyrielle of contortions
     We leave for those behind us

Those of us who piled effort upon effort
     For a better day for ourselves
Now going we rued the tightfistedness
     And the bitterly whining quarrels
                     
                          II 

We have no need to come back
      To see the mess we’ve left behind
We who ourselves had to sort out
      Our fathers’ mighty ill-windfalls

Nor to see what each does in quiet
      In your sleep in lavs behind walls
What we ourselves did of course
      And thought no one ever the wiser

To see how each of you clings to his shell
      To make it shine best of all
Only to see how ours turned to loams
      Or into a fistful of ashes and bones

 All all for the pleasure of another body
      Bodies oozing with slime and foetid stench
From all we stuffed them with in contempt 
      Worse still what the voracious brain we fed

Is it for this carpe diem reason
      And for all that they say is vanity
For the futility of non-interference
      In whose favour might we intervene

Since all sides pit against all sides
      Just to keep the inter-twining yin and yang
In constantly conflicting tug-of-wars
      That makes for progress of sorts

That we see no reason to pull either way
      For you do it well enough without aid
Though some amongst us wish for revenge
      And perhaps tilt the balance now and then

But you are none the wiser in your pain
      For you think only of your body’s gain
And those in whose breeding chain
      You thought you couldn’t lose in vain

But where’s the justice in this all
      Living we too strained to achieve
Dying we saw the futility of it all
      Just a game dying from boredom

Better we know now we see you in tether
      There’s no justice either way
Somehow the particles come together
      And strive to make sense of one another

With the result there is life
      There is a building in strife
Mounting to an ultimate prize
      The creation of the perfect monster

Once the form is gone the content
       Takes no form of its own
The content is the form’s overall product
        Born of a lifetime’s construct

Dying thus gives fresh birth
        To what is not of this earth
We are free to roam and rollick
        Though we see no point to it

Being without form we may merge
        Into one whole formless mass 
Or simply drop out inane
        As you the voyeurs in a train 

Here they waft those great Persian savants
        A sardonic smile all that’s left of them
They who best knew how the heady wine 
        Made one forget the burden of the grind

Yet none read his verse for fear of contempt
        Those who do  make little of the rhyme
Others cried foul for he preached the impossible
        Are wine women and song bought for a dime

Turn away from us for your time has come
        No need to ask us the reason for your end
You too will know the total of your sum
        And face another dilemma round the bend        


June 16/18, 1996
© T. Wignesan – Paris, 2016 from the collection : longhand notes (1999)

Copyright © T Wignesan | Year Posted 2016

Long poem by Bonita Mercado | Details

Thank You

Thank You!...

It's Black history month, so we come to celebrate, 
all the hues of brown that made our nation great! 

From Fredrick and Harriet to Mandela, and Muhammad Ali, because of the stance they took, we are allowed to be free. 
Langston, Louis, Billie, Malcolm, and  Martin, are only a few,
 of the great black leaders who have rep-ped for me and you!

George Washington Carver nvwas  scientist,a botanist and, an inventor too. 
There is no endeavor,
the black man won't pursue. 

We've made strides in medicine,
that many are unaware ,
 just google... John Jordan, or Daniel Hale Williams,
the amazing facts are there!

We have even taken our talents, to Hollywood,
We overcame racism , in an industry,
 where no one ...thought we could!
So, Thank you,
Hattie McDaniel,
Cicely Tyson, Sidney Poitier, (Porti-air)
Thank you, gone!

Ella, Mahalia, Marion, Natalie and Whitney,
Nat, Ray, Barry, Isaac, and Teddy.
Luther, Gerald, Michael, and Prince...
 I heard you on the radio,
And I've been in love, since!

You have all gone on to glory, 
but your music we won't forget,
Missing your physical presence,
Is our only regret!

We say,
Thank you, 
to ALL, of our fearless athlete,
Your dedication and diligence 
 made you, 
nearly ... IMPOSSIBLE to defeat!

Jesse Owens, Wilma Rudolph,
Arthur Ashe, Williams Sisters,  and Hussain Bolt,
Your athletic prowess,
give the ENTIRE world ...a jolt!

Thank you, 
Simone Biles ...a phenomenal gymnast you are,
And thank you,
Misty Copeland...for raising the bar. 
 You opened the door,
 to the American ballet , 
and now, other black girls, 
aspire...to be you one day!

Simone Manuel,
an Olympic champion, of the pool,
Her tenaciousness and ability,
made swimming look cool. 

I can't name you all, 
because they are many, many more, 
I could compile a list..that would fall to the floor.

Our journey, hasn't been easy, 
That story, I could never sell,
For we looked towards Heaven,
When we were going thru Hell!

We are an accomplished people,
Because we are willing to fight,
We have been beaten and ostracized, for defending our rights.
When we immersed ourselves into politics, 
we continued to excel.
Thus,  Barack Obama, moved into the White House...
With his classy wife, 
Michelle!
And though his adversaries, tried to cause him drama, 
He persevered and overcame! Our FIRST,  black President,
 We love you, Obama!
May God grant you...longevity,
good health, and a life void of strife,
Now that you have left office,
and have returned,  to civilian life!

Our People, were many times denied-a formal education, 
But that, didn't diminish...our ability,
nor curb our motivation.

Our education was Oftentimes, self-taught,
It unfathomable, that one of US,
sits...on the Supreme Court!

Black people have gone from the slave house, 
to the White House.
From share croppers to show stoppers!

From the back of the bus,
 to driving the bus, 
Now...the owner of the bus,
looks like us!

From cleaning the office ,
to becoming the CEO,
America has Watched us hustle, 
She has watched us flow!

There is no ceiling, 
that we can't crash, 
We are fortuitous people, 
Just check out our past!

There is no challenge we won't meet 
We may fall, 
 But we get back on our feet!

Black people...
there is nothing ,
that can stop you, from being a success!
You are highly favored and divinely blessed!
So fight your fight!
encourage others to do the same,
You shouldn't  do it for money, 
Nor , should you do it for fame!

Each one, must teach one,
So, that we continue to advance,
We must empower the next generation...
if we are to have ,
a fighting chance!

Thank you America, 
For the certification,
That once you brought us here,
We helped BUILD this nation!

We are believers and achievers,
We are originators, 
and innovators
Black people are, Athletic, and Poetic, 
we are, Intelligent, 
and Socially relevant!

We are changers of the game,
And, No two are us,
are EVER the same!
I thank you-America
for allowing us,
to showcase our talents,
 ....and make You grand!

But, 
I truly thank you,
MOTHER AFRICA
for creating,
the BLACK WOMAN and the BLACK MAN!!!!

Copyright © Bonita Mercado | Year Posted 2017

Long poem by Darian Rehder | Details

Love, Death, and Rebirth

The signs started in December
When she started waking up in tears each night
She was a normal girl with dark brown hair and darker brown eyes
She had plenty of friends and a loving family with just one thing missing
Her father. 

Days passed by and turned into weeks but only felt like a few seconds
Her life just whizzed by faster and faster until it was just a whirr in front of her eyes
Darkness filtered into her heart and mind until she didn't know if she could go on
But she had to. She couldn't let her mother and her sister drown in this same pain
She wouldn't let them.

She pushed all the darkness into the depths of her own heart
In hopes to save the hearts of the two people she had left
Because what else was there to live for now?
The rest of her world had crashed and her mother and sister was all that was left 
She wouldn't let them drown in pain too. 

She watched as they started to heal in her loving arms
Their hearts started to lighten up once more
But hers was just as dark as it was before 
And growing darker day by day 
But she wouldn't let that stop her. 

Suddenly a year had passed... and then two 
It only seemed like seconds to her but everyone else started moving on
Her mother and sister no longer needed her nurturing care
But she needed someone to hold on to
Anyone...

With nothing left for her to take control of, the dark pushed past her boundries 
It found a way into her soul
Until all she could see was dark and no light 
But her mother and sister were healed now
They didn't understand

The tears came back and engulfed her soul
Bit by bit until she wasn't sure why she was still alive
The grief took over like knives 
Piercing her skin over and over and over
It hurt so much.

She started to wonder what it'd look like to be dead
She could see him again if she was
Wouldn't it be so much easier than having to endure this pain?
Wouldn't it be so much easier than having to live knowing she'd never see him again?
It would.

So she started to hate herself
All that negative energy was starting to take toll
Everyone around her was breathing while she suffocated more and more by the second
She wished she'd just choke already instead of living in constant pain
If no one would put her out of her misery, she'd have to do it herself

She couldn't see any light anymore
So she grabbed the pill bottle off the shelf and just hoped it wouldn't take long to die
Deep down she still had a spark of light, but she just couldn't find it 
And now it was too late in her mind to change, to turn back and try to look deeper
She was done living.

That's when people started to notice that everything wasn't as peaceful as it seemed
They started to see how deeply depressed she had become
They wanted to help her see the light again before it was too late 
So they sent her away to see doctors and to take pills to make everything better
It was a start.

She didn't see a change at first but suddenly she could think clearly
Maybe what they were doing was actually going to help her see the light again
Yes, she still wanted to die, but maybe that wasn't the only option anymore
They cared,  and behind all their own problems they were trying to understand
They really were trying

Six months longer she would be treated and cared for
Until suddenly she was sent home from her treatment and care with a smile on her face
She had a new perspective
Someone had helped her ignite that spark in her heart until it was a glowing ember
She had been reborn

Sometimes you have to be able to experience the worst of it
To come back shining brighter than before
And if she had died that cold day in October, she wouldn't of ever seen the best of it
Or known that it would get better
and it did!

And she now sits at her laptop, with a smile on her face and warmth in her heart
It's never been an easy road and it won't ever be
But at least she knows she's lived through the worst
And it can only get better from here

So whenever she feels lonely or gets back into that dark spot again
She can look back on what she's learned and can read this poem
And remember that she survived the darkest depths of depression
And she will continue to survive it as long as she lives
Because she is stronger now than she ever was before ?

Copyright © Darian Rehder | Year Posted 2013

Long poem by Maria Williams | Details

SHE - In collaboration with RP - the Reluctant Poet

An Ode to Femininity and Romance -

The background music of this delicate poetic arrangement is intended to be played softly as you sit back and reminisce on romantic memories while creating new ones - Perhaps with a glass of red wine and - Oh! Don’t forget the chocolates.   

The cadence of her heart keeps rhythm to the music She sits alluring in the soft candle light Her senses so heightened but she ponders escape As butterflies flutter her stomach tonight SHE’s the mirror of all dreams Invisible strobes pulse as his aura manifests Eyes meet - energy spikes across in a mist Static shock she recoils as his hand touches hers At first she draws back but she cannot resist SHE’s the sculpture of natural perfection Warm embraces and moist tender kisses Twin peaks straining to break free from restraint Like coronas on planets - her circles a flare A consuming wild passion that cannot be tamed SHE’s the taste of pleasure and its themes Consensual yearning all inhibitions lost Outer trappings asunder - bare naked as created Petal smooth skin brushes skin - tingling sensations Intense tension of concupiscence now elevated SHE’s the rhythm of sensual orchestration Like the cleft in a smooth mound Caressed by the morning dew A flood of bliss and passion Crystal clear droplets accrue She’s the emotion of love’s fire Feathery strokes brush a valley of desire A precious pearl glistens in its soft silken fold Aching for release of an exquisite union With the sensually smooth bud of a single stem Rose SHE’s the personification of sensation Passion and love ignite flames of pleasure A tunnel of love bidding invitation To her rhythmic breath - the beauty of her charms Candle flames dance in perfect syncopation SHE’s the aroma of desire A pulsating Venus like the evening star She arches yearning to greet the risen moon In ardor of passion the lovers melt Climactic ecstasy close she purrs as they swoon SHE’s the song wafting from above Unbridled they move in perfect synchrony While deep from within warm spring’s release A joyous flood of bliss and passion To meet and to quench the explosive heat SHE’s the reason of loving stimulation In the gentleness of loves' creation Naked in the innocence of a newly born Lying languid and satiated like twin spoons nestled Awakes and looks at the glory of early morn SHE’s the epitome of LOVE The meaning of life - IS SHE
Acknowledgement: To RP (the Reluctant Poet), who refuses to be named and is reticent to be acknowledged as a brilliant Poet in his own right. This poem is dedicated to his ‘SHE’ and all the SHE’s in the world. Thank you so much RP for your contribution. (RP is not from Poetry Soup or any other Poetry site or publication). Footnote: ‘SHE’ - is an unashamed expose` on the beauty of female love and sexuality, the foremost gift of our primary instinct - the source of our existence. A Gift - of pleasure bestowed on humans to be enjoyed with no boundaries of age or gender. A Gift - of joy unrestricted to only the humans whenever fancy takes, unlike all other species which is restricted to time of procreation. A Gift - that owing to misguided conditioning of the ‘System’ and Religious agendas, is embarrassing for women to share and only appropriate to air in a sterile or clinical manner. A Gift - that is denigrated to veiled humor and has been disparagingly described in ugly words or actions. A Gift - that because of the stigma of communication, has been the cause of many women’s intimate health conditions from time memorial. And Yet - it not considered shocking to speak openly about our gourmet delicacies, our overindulgent eating and drinking habits. The topic elicits thought and makes one wonder - Why?

Copyright © Maria Williams | Year Posted 2017

Long poem by Mike Shoemaker | Details

YES, MOTHER

Looking back to memories bright,
I remember she’d teach me wrong from right.
“Clean your plate.  There are others who have none.”
“Do your homework, and let me know when you’re done.”
“Look at me when I’m talking to you.”
Yes, Mother . . . I hear you.

“Save your money for a rainy day.”
“It’s beautiful outside, so go out and play.”
“Let me show you how to clean and cook.”
“If you’re really bored, you can read a good book.”
“Don’t you know that I was young once, too?”
Yes, Mother . . . I hear you.

“Take some time to read this book, son.
I think it’s time you know where they come from.”
“Girls are spice and everything nice.”
“If you’re smart, you’ll take my advice.”
“You don’t have to do as others do.”
Yes, Mother . . . I hear you.

“My grandfather gave us all we would need.
When spring rolled around he would plant seed.
He shot game and lived off the land.
He wasn’t afraid to make a stand.
You could learn a few things from him, too.”
Yes, Mother . . . I hear you.

“I used to walk a mile to school.
It won’t hurt you to walk a little, too.”
“Do your chores and be nice to your sister.”
“Address adults as Misses or Mister.”
“Do you know that I love you?”
Yes, Mother . . . I hear you.

“Why do you want to be in a rock and roll band?”
“Be a leader.  Lend a helping hand.”
“How old is she?  What is her name?
Do you care for her deeply?  Does she feel the same?”
“Where have you been?  I was worried about you!”
Yes, Mother . . . I hear you.

“How many hours?  How much does it pay?
Think of your future.  In school you should stay.”
“Do you have food?  You’ve lost a lot of weight.”
“Be on time.  You shouldn’t be late.”
“Did you get the letter that I sent you?”
Yes, Mother . . . I hear you.

“You’re too young to get married.  Won’t you wait till later?
Yes, I think she’s nice.  No, I don’t hate her.”
“You need a good job.  Where will you live?”
“How much do you need?  How much can I give?”
“Isn’t life great when love is new?”
Yes, Mother . . . I hear you.

“I’m going to be a grandma?!!  You must be joking!”
“How’s the job going?  Are you still smoking?”
“We’re all fine.  How is she?
I was foolish to think she’d replace me.
Tell her that I’m thinking of her, too.”
Yes, Mother . . . I hear you.

“You sound funny.  Are they all right?
How long was she in labor?  Was it a long night?
She’ll be okay.  She just needs time to heal.
You’ll be a good father.  When was your last meal?
Give her my love, and to the baby, too.”
Yes, Mother . . . I hear you.

“Tell her not to fuss.  I won’t be a bother.
I remember a few things.  You were once a toddler.
The living room is fine.  You sleep in your own room.
I’ll get her some groceries.  Where does she keep her broom?
It was nice seeing you.  I’ll miss you, too.
Yes, Mother . . . I hear you.

“They’re growing like weeds.
I wish you weren’t so far away.”
“Pay attention to your wife . . .
A good husband doesn’t stray.”
“Call me if you need someone to talk to.”
Yes, Mother . . . I hear you.

“Get you some stocks, bonds, or an IRA.
If you stuff it under the mattress, that’ll be okay.
You must think of their future . . . and yours and hers, too.
It’ll take planning to see it all through.
Don’t worry about me, son.  I’ve planned some, too.”
Yes, Mother . . . I hear you.

“Are you happy, boy?  It’s important that you are.
There’s more to life than a career or a new car.”
“I’m proud of you and of who you’ve become.
You’re all that I dreamed of and even more, son.
But tell me the truth.  Did I ever get through?
Did you ever listen when I was talking to you?”

Yes, Mother . . . I listened.  I even took your advice.
In many of my choices, I didn’t have to think twice.
I haven’t always been as good as I could be.
There were times that I was glad you weren’t there to see.
Of one thing I’m certain . . . you passed a lot on.
You taught me to be caring, happy, and strong.
Your thoughts are with me in all that I do.
Yes, Mother . . . I heard you.

Copyright © Mike Shoemaker | Year Posted 2016

Long poem by Darryl Ashton | Details

ELVIS - THE CONCERT BUILD UP

I waited in the hallway
but I wanted to runaway,
I was nervous – oh so 
nervous, I felt my soul 
giving way?

I could hear the noise of
the people, they really
were shouting,
I had to go on stage – and
sing like a king?

It really was an occasion,
no other person had
achieved,
But I would go out there – 
and simply sing indeed?

The intro started – boy I
was scared, but I had to
go on – 
The orchestra was playing
good, I even heard the
drum!

My costume was white, with
gold and blue, it was my turn
to shine,
Being out there in Hawaii, boy,
it felt so fine?

The moment a legend would
really make his mark,
And I was so exited – ready to
recreate that spark!

That spark I had in Hollywood,
it really was a buzz,
But some of those stupid movies,
boy, what a load of fuss?

My time in Hollywood, was
now coming to a close,
I made some awful movies,
but, I made some good ones,
of course?

But back to the present, I was
back, had I been away?
I was ready to sing See See
Rider – and feel my body just
sway!

The occasion would be filmed,
and seen by millions,
But I felt good – and raring to
go, I’m set for battle stations!

I stood there tall – as tall as a
king, my future would secure,
I stormed on out there to the
stage, boy, they wanted more?

Parading proudly across the stage,
it felt so exciting, 
The audience in their thousands – 
were really so inviting?

I took on hold of my guitar and
swung it round my neck,
I walked up to the microphone,
the  feel, I had to check!

Singing loudly as I do, there was
no going back,
The concert was a complete
success, I hadn’t lost the knack!

Thank you to Hawaii, and the 
audience so true,
My Aloha From Hawaii was –
especially for you!

My nerves had gone, and I
was there, were I did belong,
Up on that great big stage – 
singing all my songs? 

Just to hear the audience roar,
I really was in awe,
The more I sang – the more the
cries, they really did all roar!

I felt like jelly but so good, the
concert was a success,
I was back where I belonged, I
felt like Elliott Ness!

All my nerves which I had, had
now totally disappeared,
I would now go to all my shows,
never more to be feared.

I have to thank all my friends,
and of course, my band,
They have always been there – 
and closely watch my hand?

My orchestra too, they are 
supreme, I couldn’t ask for
more,
When they played the over-
ture, the audience did roar!

I was now back in Hawaii, and
a concert all so true,
Thank you to all my fans – my
God, I do love all of you.

This would mark my concert
tours, and baby, I am yours,
Thank you to my holy lord,
he really opened my doors?

I was to play Las Vegas, and
tour the United States,
I would never leave any concert,
the lord, he does create?

Ladies and gentlemen, my health
was  poor, but I did carry on, 
But my singing voice, and my zest, 
would always light my throne.

I now sit here in heaven – and look
upon down,
Down on the earth, and to my fans – 
please don’t wear that frown?

I am at peace and I sing in heaven,
as the lord loves to hear,
I am with my mom, and my dad,
my greatest fans so dear. 

Mourn not, for I shall be back,
when the time is right,
For destiny is in the future – 
the lord tells it straight?

I did it My Way, and I loved my
life, and the Aloha From Hawaii,
Please say a prayer just for me,
and I’ll never leave you, I pray.

The king is in heaven, and does
still sing, so salute the name of
Elvis,
For he opened his heart at every
concert, and all was sheer bliss!   

Aloha From Hawaii is now a legacy,
it creates the sound so pure,
Turning the name of Elvis, to a
legend, now for sure?

This concert is now available, and
Elvis listens on,
He looks at his mom – who looks at
the lord, and says: “that’s my very 
proud son?”.


THE END

BY
DARRYL ASHTON   

   

Copyright © Darryl Ashton | Year Posted 2014

Long Poems





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