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GreenTrees May 2018
The more I see, the more I adore.

The more I search, the more keenly I know what I'm looking for.

The more I miss you, the more time I find myself waiting for you to walk through the door.

The more I hear your voice the more I pray for an encore.

An though you've left this earth to be in heaven, you remind us that

The more I love you, I love you more.
CK Baker May 2017
like that pill bitter Sunday morning (after)
with a nauseating hack
the previously uneventful Tuesday
derailed
in surrealistic tale
with Auntie and Jack (and a quarter of fate)
in the 748
on a night flight
from Sherwood to Lore

reverberating waves
of imminent summer haze
river flats
and flower fields
fly weights
and silver bait
shredders and shysters
and open gates
(into those everlasting
and sweated journeys of hope)

bloods and strays
and florentine grays
(reminiscent of Rockwell fame)
running horses
and overgrown country lanes
morning grace
and gentle cheer
eyes clear
on the river pass
blunted paddles for those ancient
and not so willing suckers!


duke making his own way
(to the corner club)
Parsons and Poe
stream from the torn screen door
cricket cadence
and symphony of the Deere
calm and deliberate
in the soft
and silent fields

meadows open for grazing
(guineas scamper across the till)
pocket apples fill
the country ripe air
drunken bees
and chestnuts
and electric fingers
strike the surface pool
(a cedar ***** wedged on the white wash dock)

baited bull heads set to cast
evenings with hearts
and Nolten Nash
may flowers bloom
across the grass
~ time unmatched ~
with blue jays
and river bends
and channel cats
...and that warm
and recurring
Coleman drift
Michael John Jan 12
a

auntie mable said to me
said they would hang me..

coming from wales
and poetically placed

(her lilting prophesy
common amid family..)

b

i was bemused at the time
we sat in the bar..red wine

dribbled off her chin
she ****** back in

hang me why
she knew not why

why is a sin
why is a sin boy..
This is the hardest part
I love you with all my heart
No matter what happens
we will never be apart
You are always in my heart

Letting go does not mean you are weak
It takes a lot of strength to fight all these weeks  
Lying in the bed
Anticipating what’s ahead
Holding on in pain
No more drinking champagne
suffering everyday
Not one single complaint
For all those migraines
Which will soon fly away

We close our eyes to cry
We close our eyes to pray
We close our eyes to laugh
We close our eyes to dream
The most beautiful things in life
Are not seen
But are felt by the heart
We will never be apart
You are always in my heart

Mum and dad are here
They have been waiting all these years
To embrace you, their little child
So don’t be scared
They are prepared
They will guide you the rest of the way
Everything will be ok

I love you with all my heart
We will never be apart
You are always in my heart

By
Coco 07
I wrote this poem The evening before she passed away.
I wanted her to feel at ease and know that everything was going to be ok.
Jack and Carl
Sat on a Car

Went to city Kamptee
To meet their Auntie

She gave some Honey
With a bag of Money

They tasted the Honey
Wasted All Money

And Came back Home
Without a Penny
Nursery Rhyme for Tiny Tots
Lacey Clark Oct 2018
Raised faux-religiously in a catholic school by convenience of neighborhood (though, I loved the plaid and I wanted to do Eucharist but my mom explained I wasn't catholic, so I dabbled with the hymns and cursive) by my two *** moms and some 'extra kids' (fostering, etc) in Spokane. Homeschooled later (and seriously religiously, Vacation Bible School, NO HARRY POTTER and no saying '******', a lot of neighborhood scootering) by uncle auntie and my two home-made and hilarious cousins (siblings) in Nevada. another private school in the Wild West with my grandpa and grandma (maybe religiously? they took me out to Mexican dinner religiously). And scattered across the West, Mid-West and South for all the rest. Public schools interwoven and equally traumatizing in between states.
One school in florida was known for fist fights and head lice. I kissed my first boy there. and girl. I left for what I thought was summer vacation and never came back. Another accidental move.
I had been squeezed in-between the palms of each coast for high school (plopped in the midwest).
In Wisconsin, I popped like a pimple and broke some major skin. Tried to end my life a few times. Psych ward after psych ward. Pills. Pills. Pills! A nurse took me aside and said "i have hope for you" and it was the first time i felt seen. met hard drugs to replace the cutting- they felt like long lost friends. Easy to pick up.
And recovery was like feeling your face after a satisfying shaving... and not a scratch since.
Now gliding along the West Coast in Academia's matrix. Politics and community engagement and the center. Clean. In the Heart of the City. Biking with helmets. Shoebox studio apartments. Nose in book, nose in food. Day job with a class of kids who I love and who love me. Space to grow, assess, reshape. Optimism. Peace. Stability.
Yellow  Sun shone on a white frosty morning.
The path sparkled like diamonds fit for a king.
Mr Ketchup had  felt a bit under the weather lately
He was struggling to get out of his bed.
Everything was an effort for him.
Mr Ketchup felt so tired and weary
Nothing  cheered him up.
He just sunk deep into a old worn out chair and sighed again .
Poor old Mr Ketchup would he ever be the same again.

Christmas  wasn’t  even any better. On boxing day there was a loud knock on the door. There stood in the door way was  his distant cousin Mr Chips.
Mr Ketchup had a funny feeling that it wasn’t  the news he would enjoy.  
Sure enough it was..

“Do come in” said Mr Ketchup.
“ I am afraid your old auntie passed away  this morning.”
“ Mr Ketchup  looked away, bewildered.”
Mr Chips felt sorry  for him and wonderd if there was anything that he could do .  

“ Mr Ketchup,---- if there is anything that I can do.”
    No… nothing .
Mr Ketchup felt even worse than when he first got up .
He just felt shocked  and so sad  that his auntie from Wales had an terrible accident falling  down the stairs breaking both of her hips. and that she had died.   he just sat in his chair slowly staring into space.
Tabby the cat jumped onto his lap . Mr Ketchup  woke up startled with fright .
“Oh Tabby what am  I going to do now  stoking her  fur. Tears rolled down Mr Ketchup face.”

Mr Ketchup's loneliness isolated him from his family and friends.
He lay in his bed day after day,
With little hope that he could recover.
Slowly he sank into a deep lonely place.
Ignoring the loud knocks at the door.

Finally one bright sunny morning  he managed to drag himself out from underneath the moth eaten sheets. And muttered to himself enough is enough.
He phoned Haggis and  Neaps. They were overjoyed to hear his voice.
"Will you, bring some milk and cakes said Mr Ketchup it's been a rather a long time don't you think'?
Michael John Jan 12
once our auntie mable spake unto me
they, unbeknownest, would hang me and then
she so riddled as to the whys and when
as faith, chaff me not,and i will tell thee
child,tis but a sin,to ask,verily..
for i was only a boy.. nine or ten
or so in truth for i have forgotten
but that which remains in my memory
why..and transfixed by ruby drops of wine
that cascaded from off  her lily white chin
as she drank and ****** in lost residues
as the last **** and the barman calls time
as it seems that such loss has turned to win
in vino there is love and veritas..
GRANDFATHER CLOCK

"When granda died
he turned into a clock!"

I was 7 or so, so this seemed
an acceptable fact.

"Oh we still kept him in the corner
wound him up every night."

I glanced at the nothing in the corner.
There was only a slab of sunlight dozing.

"Oh we had to **** him
a long time ago!"

I gasped: "Noooo!"

"Oh he had to go
he had only one hand

and his pendulum
was broken."

Sam the dog barks
asks if I am coming out to play.

I of course am
coming out to play.

Auntie Nellie scolds
Uncle Michael.

"For God's sake Mikey
will ya ****** well stop!"

Mikey sticks his tongue in cheek
a characteristic tic.

"Can't ya see the poor child is
ejeet enough to believe ya!"

Whenever later I chance to meet
a clock that could be my granda

I touch its face tenderly
****** the mottled glass

"Ahhh Granda!" I smile
giving him a great big hug.

"TickTock!" says granda
"**** ****!"
My da's da died before I was born so I never knew him...only shards of stories...fragments of who he might have been. I used to walk around the farm imagining him doing the exact same back in the day of say 1922.  When I was as small as ****** and as impressionable as **** my uncle would answer a normal question about my granda with a tall tale such as this. He'd tell me the most surreal things with a straight poker face and I love him so much I believed anything and everything he'd make up. If my father gave me his love of poetry...it was Uncle Mikey who made me one with all his glorious making up! Nellie used to scold him about this but it didn't stop him as the words coming out of his mouth grew into an enchanted entangled forest. He was the treasure trove of my childhood and I was rich beyond my wildest dreams.
Sean M O'Kane Sep 2018
Auntie Em is calling….

I was just getting to love my Emerald City
The shiny feel of it, its sweetly diverse demi-monde.
Its shimmering green beauty and tranquil sense of safety.
The heels of my ruby red slippers were well & truly dug in.
But no, the state fair balloon stands before me ******* & ready to go.
A grand exclamation mark in my way if ever there was one.
And Toto for once has gone mute, no chance of a last minute hold up.

"Dorothy, Dorothy, where are you?"

I guess it must have been too fantastical a dream to be true.
A time for goodbyes.
I’m embracing the Lion telling him to always be proud of himself & not to walk unafraid.
The Tin Man’s gentle open heartedness I compliment him on as we both shed tears.
The Scarecrow I kiss and thank for his loyalty & grace under fiery pressure.
With a heavy heart, I climb that first tentative step on the block.  

"We’re sick with worry over you"

I could be angry but the wise words of the mystic ring loudly in my year.
I do need to go back – My Auntie Em is really calling me.
Calling me back to the grey flatlands of home.
Back to the numbness of small town heteronormativity.
Where Twisters rarely every came by to sweep you away and save you.
I could only keep singing ‘Over The Rainbow’ in vain hope.

"Find yourself a place where you won't get into any trouble!

Unlike Dorothy Gale, this Dorothy left Kansas voluntarily
The long yellow brick road finally took me under the rainbow and on to my Emerald City
I no longer pined for home but knew all along that it would call me back one day.
And so here I am, drifting higher & higher away from my adopted home.
Perhaps I need to build a revolving door when I get there to pass through both worlds easily
Or perhaps bring something of the rainbow back to illuminate the grey-lands.
Or perhaps – in reality -  some reconciliation between these worlds is in order.
Perhaps.
It’s time to slip on the ruby red slippers and prepare the way for Kansas.
Yes, this Dorothy has surrendered but
I always had the power to be me, my dear.
I just had to learn it for myself.

August –September 2018
This poem was written in response to my feelings about some tragic news I received last month & how I was dealing with it. Initially, it was quite deep & bitter in the way it wallowed over the world I thought I was losing because of my duty to family. My home town is a stifling throwback to bad old neanderthal homophobia and has nary a sniff of transcendental beauty unlike my adopted home.

However, I thought long & hard and realised that because I now stand tall as a proud bi/pan/***** person I should take what I have gained and use it to guide me. Plus my anger was wrongly placed - not at the family member for taking me away from my Emerald City but cancer itself for throwing chaos into our lives.
M-E Feb 23
Ooh.
Don't cry,
sweet baby girl.
See the dent on the ground.
No.
Ok. auntie
Will give you a warm hug
Help you forget with her soothing sound.
My niece slipped from my hand and bumped her head to the ground while  I was playing with her. My soothing technique didn't work.
Sorry sweety :(
Em MacKenzie Dec 2018
Watch the rain race to the ground
I’m perched awake listening,
if rain even has a sound
but it leaves the streets glistening.
Tonight I find a time machine
hidden in my cluttered head,
a picture of you tired and lean
lying in your single bed.

The time was getting late
and it was passed due to rest eyes,
you were confused about the date,
sense was lacking in your replies.
You told me to find the cheque book,
said it was beside the cardinal,
I humoured you and pretended to look
but really it was just a chance to stall.

Three years a perfect poker face
tarnished by one careless drop of water,
suddenly you realized each line and trace
of the weight upon your daughter.
You promised you would get stronger,
you’d keep going until you couldn’t,
you were determined to make it longer,
unspoken we both knew that you wouldn’t.

One of the longest nights in memory,
I stayed awake until the sun rose,
listening for if you needed me,
though you would never impose.
It was then Christmas Day,
we were at the table around ten,
letting you quietly sleep away,
waiting for uncle Dave and Auntie Bren.

Then I heard my father scream,
Kate and I knew what it would mean,
I rushed to call the doctor,
shakey breath with words scattered inbetween.
I’ll never forget the last present that you left with me,
you gave me strength when I was crumbling to my knees.
You gave me will to become what they all needed me to be.
You gave me resistance to keep myself together temporarily.
You gave me knowledge of loving unconditionally.
You gave me inspiration to always keep fighting.
Time for my annual trauma drenched Christmas poem. Sorry for the ****** guys, but as much as I relive this memory constantly and it plagues my nightmares, I’ve never been able to fully articulate this experience in a way I’m satisfied with creativity wise. I am a believer in turning negative or depression feelings/thoughts/baggage/emotions into a creative experience so it doesn’t devour you completely. Sorry again for the downer.
Michael John Jan 5
i


a strange time
but the same
all the same
i still miss
red wine
how i loved
that abandoned
safe spacing
lifting of pain
a button
in my brain
clicking off
or on
here am i
again..!

ii

i would read
the russians
their suffering
brought solace
so understanding
drink and lie in bed
clair de la lune
thank you


iii

a)

auntie mabel
said
they
would
hang me..

being
from
wales
poetically

a lilting
prophesy
(a prediction
common
among family)

b)

i was bemused at
the time
we sat in the bar
red wine

dribbled off her
chin
hang me..
why..

she said she knew
not why-
why is a sin
i was eleven
or ten..
SAD VALENTINES FOR BREAKFAST

Oh my how red **** struts(thinks he's a sultan)    
striding in and out among his harem-scarum hens

talking to themselves
like some lost senile sentimental souls.

Foolish fowl!

They lay eggs for gentlemen
and kids on long hot summer holidays

they hide their eggs like broken hearts
like old love letter secrets

safe in unseen places.

But see Auntie Nellie *****-nilly as a fox
stalk the chickens and expose them

cruel as the NEWS OF THE WORLD.

See her raid the haystacks
(backseat of the old car)    
rain rusting machinery

her apron pregnant and precious with
the warm and brown gift of eggs.

Red **** crows loud against the morning marigolds
while children's voices babble sleepily into wide awakefulness

love letter secrets staining their lips
sad valentines for breakfast.
MA Montgomery Jul 2018
there will never be a time
you are not
the Fat Sister

there will never be a time
you are not
less than

there will never be a time
you are not
disappointing your family

no matter how
your grades look
or
how much money you make

it will never be enough
you will never be enough

even if you are
taller than the redwoods
with
karli kloss's body and jennifer lopez's ***

you will never
be enough

even if you are
the president
of the ******* united states

you will never
be enough

you are always going to be
that Fat Sister

they love you almost as much
as the other two
but still less than,

less than and they make sure you know that

they make sure you know
as if maybe
if they love you less
it will be your motivation to lose weight

it will be your motivation to be what they want you to be,
what they have expected you to be since birth

but what grandma and mom and sister and auntie and everyone at the ******* dinner table don't know
is that with a little bit of perseverance and goodwill
anyone is beautiful

what everyone in front of the ******* tv don't know
is that you were never the Fat Sister

but you sure as **** had a fat heart
**** em. **** em all. you can feel like the greatest queen in the world and they'll still have **** to say. so **** them! :) LIVE YOUR LIVES QUEENS
Chris Slade Dec 2018
(a poem I wrote for Auntie Annie’s funeral).

Well you’ve all taken your time… while I’ve been waiting here.
I’m about to trip the light fantastic in all this sparkly gear.
And, because the aches and pains have gone, I’m about to strut my stuff.
I’m dressed in Rose Organza with feathers and pink fluff.

I’m surprised at how well I feel settling into this ‘other’ side.
I’m sure I’ll calm down after some frivolity, then take things in my stride.
For now though the spirit is upbeat testing my wings; making appearances near & far.
First though, a dance contest, tonight at Bridlington Spa!

Yes, I’ll be tripping the light fantastic… I’ve two partners in the wings.
Both husbands in smart tuxedos, brushing up their moves and things.
And I’m hoping we’ll cut a dash on that shimmering stairway to heaven…
Well, Wally was probably a six point five. And *** (my first love)… A SEVEN!

But seriously…my body had reached the bitter end and my memory was little better.
Who was who  - and what was what - was touch and go, and… let a
ninety two year old tell you with chair, zimmer frame or stick…
that the thought of stepping comfortably - toward that light… FANTASTIC!

… and even more seriously…

I’ll look out for all you kids… with a word or voice on the wind as it whistles through the trees.
Catch a glimpse in a crowd… “Was that?” NEVER?!. But It might be just my scent on the breeze.
But for us to be in touch again, however brief, we must be ready and enthusiastic.
I’ll prompt you to think of me as I trip toward that light… FANTASTIC!
I seem to be developing a reputation amongst family and friends as one who churns out a poem after a relative or friend has passed away... With certain folk from in and around my life it's a natural... It is a compulsion!
Major Rity Jan 1
When the train passed
The airport
Just now
You were
So close
For a moment
Again
Now the rain pours
On the train tracks
And I'm watching
As it falls

Noticing
I got cold feet
And the skin on
My neck hurts
Ever since I put on
This golden necklace
From my auntie
Who passed away
Before the snow
Eight weeks ago

I removed it finally
Figured it out
With difficulty
My brother put it
Around my neck
Sitting behind my back
Four hours ago

It is pretty
But it is stinging
Very much
My skin and throat

And I did not understand
Exactly
How to get out

Almost got upset
But took a break
To breathe
Amidst stinging pain
Then opened the clip
And escaped

The feeling is fading
As I pass the next station
Darkness is falling
Fireworks burn the sky
Windy rains ambush
My train from the side

Going much faster now
A window is rattling
Shrieking wheels cut
The monotonous sounds

I lost my eBook
So I can not read to
Relax and distract
The visions that grow
Beyond comprehension
And still burns my throat

Why we do things
And others
We want
We do not do
Is such a something
I don't think I
Should think about

Why my throat burns
And my heart turns
When it is you
I think about
KAE Jul 2018
I used to have an issue with my body.
Three years ago. 2015. The year of horrors.
My weight was 60 kilograms and I don’t remember if I had a few grams more, but it doesn’t a matter. The issues is that I was a bit fat. I have never been fat. I was sad about it and I had a lot of problems more in that year.
My principal problem was that when all of my girlfriends developed their body, I had a little girl body. My body begins to develop and that was when I turned fat, I didn’t like myself, personal problems, more issues. I increased 15 kilograms. I was really depressed. I started hating me more.
Between 2016 and 2017, my body started changing. I lost weight, I hadn’t got issues with me anymore. That was really amazing.
End of 2017 and this year (2018), my body changed completely. I don’t have the body that I used to own in 2015. I am thin and happy, but sometimes when I look at myself in the mirror, unconsciously I see myself as I was in 2015, fat.
That kills me.
Kills me more knowing that I couldn’t talk with my mother about it, because she didn’t understand it. But I could talk with my best friend and with my auntie because they understand it. I’m thankful about it.
What more kills me is the fact that I know that my body it’s thin but my mind shows me another thing, which I hate and makes me sad.
But today, July 25, 2018. My weight is 48 kilograms. I see the real me. I see myself thin. Now my unconscious accepts that I’m thin again. I’m really happy now because that is the body that I had all my entire life, that is the body that I want and which I’m in love with. I’m glad that I got back what I always wanted.
Steve Mar 31
Twenty years between us
My old mum and me.
And she was only twenty
When first she sat me on her knee.

She filled my mind with sunshine
And left me in no doubt.
That what was hers was mine
And she would do without.

My auntie said she'd rather her four
Than just the one of me
But my mother wouldn't have swapped her
For all of China's tea.

She said she'd take her last crumb
And put it on my tongue.
I never saw the time go by
She always seemed so young.

"What's it like having a forty year old son?"
I asked her that day.
"What's it like having a sixty year old mum?"
I was surprised to hear her say.

She danced on tables at parties
And we were all in her gang.
She taught us where the heart is
And everybody sang.


*Oh Yeah
3rd in the series!
RAJ NANDY Jul 2017
THE LEGEND OF HOLLYWOOD IN VERSE
Dear Readers, I have tried to cover the salient features of this True Story in free flowing verse mainly with end rhymes. If you read it loud, you can hear the chimes! Due to the short attention span of my readers I had to cut short this long story, and conclude with the
Golden Era of Hollywood by stretching it up to the 1950's only. When TV began to challenge the Big Screen Cinema seriously! I have used only a part of my notes here. Kindly read the entire poem and don't hesitate to know many interesting facts - which I also did not know! I wish there was a provision for posting a few interesting photographs for you here. Best wishes, - Raj Nandy, New Delhi.  

                 THE LEGEND OF HOLLYWOOD :
                        THE AMERICAN  DREAM
                             BY RAJ NANDY

           A SHORT  HISTORICAL  BACKGROUND
Since the earliest days, optical toys, shadow shows, and ‘magic
lanterns’, had created the illusion of motion.
This concept was first described by Mark Roget in 1824 as  
the 'persistent of vision'.
Giving impetus to the development of big screen cinema with its
close-ups, capturing all controlled and subtle expressions!
The actors were no longer required to shout out their parts with
exaggerated actions as on the Elizabethan Stage.
Now even a single tear drop could get noticed easily by the entire
movie audience!
With the best scene being included and edited after a few retakes.
To Thomas Edison and his able assistant William Rogers we owe the invention of Kinetoscope, the first movie camera.
On the grounds of his West Orange, New Jersey laboratory, Edison
built his first movie studio called the ‘Black Maria’.   (1893)
He also purchased a string of patents related to motion picture
Camera; forming the Edison Trust, - a cartel that took control of
the Film Industry entire!

Fort Lee, New Jersey:
On a small borough on the opposite bank of the Hudson River lay
the deserted Fort Lee.
Here scores of film production crews descended armed with picture Cameras, on this isolated part of New Jersey!
In 1907 Edison’s company came there to shoot a short silent film –
‘Rescue From an Eagle’s Nest’,
Which featured for the first time the actor and director DW Griffith.
The independent Chaplin Film Company built the first permanent
movie studio in 1910 in Fort Lee.
While some of the biggest Hollywood studios like the Universal,
MGM, and 20th Century Fox, had their roots in Fort Lee.
Some of the famous stars of the silent movie era included ‘Fatty’
Arbuckle, Will Rogers, Mary Pickford, Dorothy and Lillian Gish,
Lionel Barrymore, Rudolph Valentine and Pearl White.
In those days there were no reflectors and electric arch lights.
So movies were made on rooftops to capture the bright sunlight!
During unpredictable bad weather days, filming had to be stopped
despite the revolving stage which was made, -
To rotate and capture the sunlight before the lights atarted to fade!

Shift from New Jersey to West Coast California:
Now Edison who held the patents for the bulb, phonograph, and the Camera, had exhibited a near monopoly;
On the production, distribution, and exhibition of the movies which made this budding industry to shift to California from
New Jersey!
California with its natural scenery, its open range, mountains, desert, and snow country, had the basic ingredients for the movie industry.
But most importantly, California had bright Sunshine for almost
365 days of the year!
While eight miles away from Hollywood lay the port city of Los Angeles with its cheap labour.

                        THE RISE  OF  HOLLYWOOD
It was a real estate tycoon Harvey Wilcox and his wife Daeida from
Kansas, who during the 1880s founded ‘Hollywood’ as a community for like-minded temperate followers.
It is generally said that Daeida gave the name Hollywood perhaps
due to the areas abundant red-berried shrubs also known as
California Holly.
Spring blossoms around and above the Hollywood Hills with its rich variety,  gave it a touch of paradise for all to see !
Hollywood was incorporated as a municipality in 1903, and during
1910 unified with the city of Los Angeles.
While a year later, the first film studio had moved in from New
Jersey, to escape Thomas Edison’s monopoly!    (1911)

In 1913 Cecil B. De Mille and Jesse Lasky, had leased a barn with
studio facilities.
And directed the first feature length film ‘Squaw Man’ in 1914.
Today this studio is home to Hollywood Heritage Museum as we get to see.
The timeless symbol of Hollywood film industry that famous sign on top of Mount Lee, was put up by a real estate developer in 1923.  
This sign had read as ‘’HOLLY WOOD LAND’’ initially.
Despite decades of run-ins with vandals and pranksters, it managed to hang on to its prime location near the summit of the Hollywood Hills.
The last restoration work was carried out in 1978 initiated by Hugh
Hefner of the ******* Magazine.
Those nine white letters 45 feet tall now read ‘HOLLYWOOD’, and has become a landmark and America’s cultural icon, and an evocative symbol for ambition, glamour, and dream.
Forever enticing aspiring actors to flock to Hollywood, hypnotised
by lure of the big screen!

                     GOLDEN AGE OF HOLLYWOOD
The Silent Movie Era which began in 1895, ended in 1935 with the
production of ‘Dance of Virgins’, filmed entirely in the island of Bali.
The first Sound film ‘The Jazz Singer’ by Warner Bros. was made with a Vitaphone sound-on-disc technology.  (October 1927)
Despite the Great Depression of the 1930s, this decade along with the 1940s have been regarded by some as Hollywood’s Golden Age.
However, I think that this Golden Age includes the decades of the
1940s and the 1950s instead.
When the advent of Television began to challenge the Film Industry
itself !

First Academy Award:
On 16th May 1929 in the Roosevelt Hotel on Hollywood Boulevard,
the First Academy Award presentation was held.
Around 270 people were in attendance, and tickets were priced at
$5 per head.
When the best films of 1927 & 1928 were honored by the Academy
of Motion Production and Sciences, or the AMPS.
Emil Jennings became the best actor, and Janet Gaynor the best actress.
Special Award went to Charlie Chaplin for his contribution to the
silent movie era and for his silent film ‘The Circus’.
While Warren Brothers was commended for making the first talking picture ‘The Jazz Singer’, - also receiving a Special Award!
Now, the origin of the term ‘OSCAR’ has remained disputed.
The Academy adopted this name from 1939 onwards it is stated.
OSCAR award has now become “the stuff dreams are made of”!
It is a gold-plated statuette of a knight 13.5 inches in height, weighing 8.5 pounds, was designed by MGM’s art director Cedric Gibbons.
Annually awarded for honouring and encouraging excellence in all
facets of motion picture production.

Movies During the Great Depression Era (1929-1941):
Musicals and dance movies starring Fred Astaire and ****** Rogers provided escapism and good entertainment during this age.
“****** Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did. She just did it
backwards and in high heels,” - the Critics had said.
This compatible pair entertained the viewers for almost one and
a half decade.
During the ‘30s, gangster movies were popular starring James Cagey, Humphrey Bogart, and Edward G. Robinson.
While family movies had their popular child artist Shirley Temple.
Swashbuckler films of the Golden Age saw the sword fighting scenes of Douglas Fairbanks and Errol Flynn.
Flynn got idolized playing ‘Robin Hood’, this film got released in
1938 on the big screen!
Story of the American Civil War got presented in the epic ‘Gone With The Wind’ (1939) with Clarke Gable and Vivian Leigh.
This movie received 8 Oscars including the award for the Best Film, - creating a landmark in motion picture’s history!
More serious movies like John Steinbeck’s ‘Grapes of Wrath’ and
John Ford’s  ‘How Green Was My Valley’, were released in 1940 and 1941 respectively.
While the viewers escaped that depressive age to the magical world
of  ‘Wizard of Oz’ with its actress Judy Garland most eagerly!
Let us not forget John Wayne the King of the Westerns, who began
his acting career in the 1930s with his movie ‘The Big Trail’;
He went on to complete 84 films before his career came to an end.
Beginning of the 40s also saw Bob Hope and the crooner Bing Crosby, who entertained the public and also the fighting troops.
For the Second World War (1939-45) had interrupted the Golden Age of Hollywood.
When actors like Henry Fonda, Clarke Gable, James Stewart and
Douglas Fairbanks joined the armed forces temporarily leaving
Hollywood.
Few propaganda movies supporting the war efforts were also made.
While landmark movies like ‘Philadelphia Story’, ‘Casablanca’, ‘Citizen Kane’,
‘The Best Years of Our Lives’, were some of the most successful movies of that decade.  (The 1940s)
Now I come towards the end of my Hollywood Story with the decade  of the 1950s, thereby extending the period of Hollywood’s Golden Age.
Since having past the Great Depression and the Second World War,  the Hollywood movie industry truly matured and came of age.

                        HOLLYWOOD  OF  THE  1950s

BACKGROU­ND:
The decade of the ‘50s was known for its post-war affluence and
choice of leisure time activities.
It was a decade of middle-class values, fast-food restaurants, and
drive-in- movies;
Of ‘baby-boom’, all-electric home, the first credit cards, and new fast moving cars like the Ford, Plymouth, Buick, Hudson, and Chevrolet.
But not forgetting the white racist terrorism in the Southern States!
This era saw the beginning of Cold War, with Eisenhower
succeeding Harry S. Truman as the American President.
But for the film industry, most importantly, what really mattered  
was the advent of the Domestic TV.
When the older viewers preferred to stay at home instead of going
out to the movies.
By 1950, 10.5 million US homes had a television set, and on the
30th December 1953, the first Color TV went on sale!
Film industries used techniques such as Cinemascope, Vista Vision,
and gimmicks like 3-D techniques,
To get back their former movie audience back on their seats!
However, the big scene spectacle films did retain its charm and
fantasy.
Since fantasy epics like ‘The Story of Robin Hood’, and Biblical epics like ‘The Robe’, ‘Quo Vadis’, ‘The Ten Commandments’ and ‘Ben-Hur’, did retain its big screen visual appeal.
‘The Robe’ released on 16th September 1953, was the first film shot
and projected in Cinema Scope;
In which special lenses were used to compress a wide image into a
standard frame and then expanded it again during projection;
Resulting in an image almost two and a half times as high and also as wide, - captivating the viewers imagination!

DEMAND FOR NEW THEMES DURING THE 1950s :
The idealized portrayal of men and women since the Second World War,
Now failed to satisfy the youth who sought exciting symbols for rebellion.
So Hollywood responded with anti-heroes with stars like James Dean, Marlon Brando, and Paul Newman.
They replaced conventional actors like Tyron Power, Van Johnson, and Robert Taylor to a great extent, to meet the requirement of the age.
Anti-heroines included Ava Gardner, Kim Novak, and Marilyn Monroe with her vibrant *** appeal;
She provided excitement for the new generation with a change of scene.
Themes of rebellion against established authority was present in many Rock and Roll songs,
Including the 1954 Bill Hailey and His Comets’ ‘Rock Around the Clock’.
The era also saw rise to stardom of Elvis Presley the teen heartthrob.
Meeting the youthful aspirations with his songs like ‘Jailhouse Rock’!
I recall the lyrics of this 1957 film ‘Jailhouse Rock’ of my school days, which had featured the youth icon Elvis:
   “The Warden threw a party in the county jail,
     The prison band was there and they began to wail.
     The band was jumping and the joint began to sing,
     You should’ve heard them knocked-out jail bird sing.
     Let’s rock, everybody in the whole cell block……………
     Spider Murphy played the tenor saxophone,
     Little Joe was blowing the slide trombone.
     The drummer boy from Illinois went crash, boom, bang!
     The whole rhythm section was the Purple Gang,
      Let's rock,.................... (Lyrics of the song.)

Rock and Roll music began to tear down color barriers, and Afro-
American musicians like Chuck Berry and Little Richard became
very popular!
Now I must caution my readers that thousands of feature films got  released during this eventful decade in Hollywood.
To cover them all within this limited space becomes an impossible
task, which may kindly be understood !
However, I shall try to do so in a summarized form as best as I could.

BOX OFFICE HITS YEAR-WISE FROM 1950 To 1959 :
Top Ten Year-Wise hit films chronologically are: Cinderella (1950),
Quo Vadis, The Greatest Show on Earth, Peter Pan, Rear Window,
Lady and the *****, Ten Commandments, Bridge on the River
Kwai, South Pacific, and Ben-Hur of 1959.

However Taking The Entire Decade Of 1950s Collectively,
The Top Films Get Rated As Follows Respectively:
The Ten Commandments, followed by Lady and the *****, Peter Pan, Sleeping Beauty, Bridge on the River Kwai, Around the World in Eighty Days, This is Cinerama, The Greatest Show on Earth, Rear Window, South Pacific, The Robe, Giant, Seven Wonders of the World, White Christmas, Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, Sayonara, Demetrius and the Gladiator, Peyton Place, Some Like It Hot, Quo Vadis, and Auntie Mame.

Film Debuts By Rising Stars During The 1950s :
The decade of the ‘50s saw a number of famous film stars making
their first appearance.
There was Peter Sellers in ‘The Black Rose’, Marlon Brando in
‘The Men’, and actress Sophia Loren in ‘Toto Tarzan’.
Following year saw Charles Bronson in ‘You Are in the Navy Now’,
Audrey Hepburn in ‘Our Wild Oats’, and Grace Kelly, the future
Princess of Monaco, in her first film ‘Fourteen Hours’. (1951)
While **** Brigitte Bardot appeared in 1952 movie ‘Crazy for Love’; and 1953 saw Steve Mc Queen in ‘******* The Run’.
Jack Lemon, Paul Newman, and Omar Sharif featured in films
during 1954.
The following year saw Clint Eastwood, Shirley Mc Lean, Walter
Matthau, and Jane Mansfield, all of whom the audience adored.
The British actor Michael Cain appeared in 1956; also Elvis Presley
the youth icon in ‘Love Me Tender’ and as the future Rock and Roll
King!
In 1957 came Sean Connery, followed by Jack Nicholson, Christopher Plummer, and Vanessa Redgrave.
While the closing decade of the ‘50s saw James Coburn, along with
director, script writer, and producer Steven Spielberg, make their
debut appearance.

Deaths During The 1950s: This decade also saw the death of actors
like Humphrey Bogart, Tyron Power and Errol Flynn.
Including the death of producer and director of epic movies the
renowned Cecil B. De Mille!
Though I have conclude the Golden Age of Hollywood with the 50’s Decade,
The glitz and glamour of its Oscar Awards continue even to this day.
With its red carpet and lighted marquee appeal and fashion display!

CONTINUING THE HOLLYWOOD STORY WITH FEW TITBITS :
From Fort Lee of New Jersey we have travelled west to Hollywood,
California.
From the silent movie days to the first ‘talking picture’ with Warren
Bros’ film ‘The Jazz Singer’.  (06 Oct 1927)
On 31st July 1928 for the first time the audience heard the MGM’s
mascot Leo’s mighty roar!
While in July 1929 Warren Bros’ first all-talking and all- Technicolor
Film appeared titled - ‘On With The Show’.
Austrian born Hedy Lamarr shocked the audience appearing **** in a Czechoslovak film ‘Ecstasy’!  (1933)
She fled from her husband to join MGM, becoming a star of the
‘40s and the ‘50s.
The ‘Private Life of Henry VII’ became the first British film to win the  American Academy Award.  (1933)
On 11Dec 1934, FOX released ‘Bright Eyes’ with Shirley Temple,
who became the first Child artist to win this Award!
While in 1937 Walt Disney released the first full animated feature
film titled - ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarf ‘.
The British film director Alfred Hitchcock who came to
Hollywood later;
Between 1940 and 1947, made great thrillers like 'Rebecca', ‘Notorious’, ‘Rear Window’, and ‘Dial M for ******’.
But he never won an Oscar as a Director!

THE GOLDEN GLOBE AWARD:
This award began in 1944 by the Foreign Correspondence Association at
the 20th Century Fox Studio.
To award critically acclaimed films and television shows, by awarding a
Scroll initially.
Later a Golden Globe was made on a pedestal, with a film ***** around it.
In 1955 the Cecil B. De Mille Award was created, with De Mille as its first
recipient.

THE GRAMMY AWARD:
In 1959 The National Academy of Recording and Sciences sponsored the
First Grammy Award for music recorded during 1958.
When Frank Sinatra won for his album cover ‘Only The Lonely’, but he
did not sing.
Among the 28 other categories there was Ella Fitzgerald, and Count Basie
for his musical Dance Band Performance.
There was Kingston Trio’s song ‘Tom Dooly’, and the ‘Chipmunk Song’,
which brings back nostalgic memories of my school days!

CONCLUDING HOLLYWOOD STORY  WITH STUDIOS OF THE 1950s

Challenge Faced by the Movie Industry:
Now the challenge before the Movie Industry was how to adjust to the
rapidly changing conditions created by the growing TV Industry.
Resulting in loss of revenue, with viewers getting addicted to
their Domestic TV screen most conveniently!

The late 1950s saw two studios REPUBLIC and the RKO go out of business!
REPUBLIC from 1935- ‘59 based in Los Angeles, developed the careers of
John Wayne and Roy Rogers, and specializing in the Westerns.
RKO was one of the Big Five Studios of Hollywood along with Paramount,
MGM, 20th Century Fox, and Warner Brothers in those days.

RKO Studio which begun with Fred Astaire and ****** Rogers in the ‘30s,
included actress Katherine Hepburn who holds the record for four Oscars
even to this day;
And later had Robert Mitchum and Carry Grant under an agreement.
But in 1948, RKO Studio came under the control Howard Hughes the
temperamental Industrialist.
Soon the scandal drive and litigation prone RKO Studio closed, while
other Big Four Studios had managed to remain afloat!


PARAMOUNT STUDIO:
Paramount Studio split into two separate companies in 1950.
Its Theatre chain later merged with ABC Radio & Television Network;
And they created an independent Production/Distribution Network.
Bing Crosby and Bob Hope had been Paramount’s two biggest stars.
Followed by actors like Alan Ladd, William Holden, Jerry Lewis, Dean
Martin, Charlton Heston, and Dorothy Lamour.
They also had the producer/director Cecil B. De Mille producing high-
grossing Epics like ‘Samson & Delilah’ and ‘The Ten Commandments’.
Also the movie maker Hal Wallis, who discovered Burt Lancaster and
Elvis Presley - two great talents!

20th CENTURY FOX:
Cinema Scope became FOX’s most successful technological innovation
with its hit film ‘The Robe’. (1953)
Its Darryl Zanuck had observed during the early ‘50s, that audience  
were more interested in escapist entertainments mainly.
So he turned to FOX to musicals, comedies, and adventure stories.
Biggest stars of FOX were Gregory Peck & Susan Hayward; also
stars like Victor Mature, Anne Baxter, and Richard Wind Mark.
Not forgetting Marilyn Monroe in her Cinema Scope Box Office hit
movie - ‘How to Marry a Millionaire’, which was also shown on
prime time TV, as a romantic comedy film of 1953.

WARREN BROTHERS:
During 1950 the studio was mainly a family managed company with
three brothers Harry, Albert, and Jack Warren.
To meet the challenges of that period, Warren Bros. released most of
its actors like James Cagney, Humphrey Bogart, Oliver de Havilland, -
Along with few others from their long-term contractual commitments;
Retaining only Errol Flynn, and Ronald Regan who went on to become
the future President.
Like 20th Century Fox, Warren Bros switched to musicals, comedies,
and adventure movies, with Doris Day as its biggest musical star.
The studio also entered into short term agreements with Gary Copper,
John Wayne, Gregory Peck, Patricia Neal, and Random Scott.
Warren Bros also became the first major studio to invest in 3-D
production of films, scoring a big hit with its 3-D  suspense thriller
‘House of Wax’ in 1953.

MINOR STUDIOS were mainly three, - United Artists, Columbia, and
The Universal.
They did not own any theatre chain, and specialized in low-budgeted
‘B’ Movies those days.
Now to cut a long story short it must be said, that Hollywood finally
did participate in the evolution of Television industry, which led to
their integration eventually.
Though strategies involving hardware development and ownership of
broadcast outlets remained unsuccessful unfortunately.
However, Hollywood did succeed through program supply like prime-
time series, and made-for-TV films for the growing TV market making
things more colorful!
Thus it could be said that the TV industry provided the film industry
with new opportunities,  laying the groundwork for its diversification
and concentration;
That characterized the entertainment industry during the latter half  
of our previous century.
I must now confess that I have not visited the movie theatre over the last
two decades!
I watch movies on my big screen TV and my Computer screen these days.
Old classical movies are all available on ‘You Tube’ for me, and I can watch
them any time whenever I am free!
Thanks for reading patiently, - Raj Nandy.
**ALL COPYRIGHTS ARE WITH THE AUTHOR RAJ NANDY OF NEW DELHI
Taylor Nov 2018
I.

Auntie’s fingertips were always stained
with the blood of scarlet petunias
in summer, a pile of
wilted blooms in a Pyrex bowl.
This is how they grow so beautiful, she told me,
so when Uncle’s knuckles grew red with her blood
and since she always stayed at his side
i thought it must be the same for people.

II.

Truckin’—got my chips cashed in…
Uncle’s favorite song crackled over the speakers
as I rode in his cab across the state line,
army men in my lap.
A three-fingered hand chucked a lieutenant out the window
into the golden wheat.
I knew he lost those fingers
in some faraway place called Vietnam.

Later that night,
I sat in the empty back of the truck,
nothing to play with,
imagining my lieutenant marching through wheat,
dodging gunfire,
listening to the bang bang bang
as Uncle and the lady he met in the lot
cleaned out the cab.

III.

I came home from Iraq
after losing ******* to an IED
and drove straight to Auntie’s.

We pruned petunias in silence.
She grew purple and black alongside the red now,
velvet flowers the color of her left eye,
of the blossom on her shoulder.

I heard my drill sergeant.
Blood! Blood! Blood makes the grass grow!
Turn this ******* desert into an oasis!—
and I knew why Vietnam was a jungle.

Uncle got home. “Hey, Uncle,” I said,
“how about we go for a drive like old times?”

IV.

I killed the engine next to a wheat field.

“Blood on your hands,” Uncle said.

“I’ve been pruning the petunias with Auntie,” I told him.
“You gotta get rid of the wilted ones
so the plant can grow. Flourish.”

“Naw, I mean, from Iraq,” he said. “Blood. You killed
any men?”

“Not yet,” I said.

V.

Auntie and my boy and I sing along to Bryan Adams
in the cab—
Out on the road today,
I saw a Deadhead sticker on a Cadillac;
a voice inside my head says don’t look back,
you can never look back…

He’s got a lap full of Army men.

Across from a field of wheat,
a little patch of grass
blazes emerald in the midday sun.
JN Cole Jul 2018
I.
We sing we sing
We sing Save the Queen!
Cobain never wrote about you
How'd a newspaper boy
bring you to the creeps of stereos?
Castle Rock is your new
Meat Puppets song!
How we sing!
Sike!
If only you'd ever live that long
For your tiny hands
left your rulers in school

II.
Blow the conch, now
my sweet fair-haired darling
Is a beautiful boy the face of democracy?
If so, Liberty must come down
Her concrete crown must tumble down
So shall her scepter and *****
Give it to the boy who stands on his head
"No grown-ups!"
Like 'em alien
and devastatingly deviating!
At the reversed fat boy: sneer.
"***** to your ***-MAR!"
"***** to your auntie!"
***** to your specs that once kept us alive!
On the contrary he shan't practice
activism
Democracy is just a boy, after all
Who once fed ponies with sugar
over the garden wall
Who once watched snowflakes die
in their crystalline glory
Whose daddy is in the navy

III.
Tell them, sweet darling
who the Beast really is
No one can ever be quite like
The Lamb on His Throne of Gold
And His Cross of Healing
But what did you do to the lamb on his throne of beach creepers
When you poked him dead with your wooden sticks
When you gave him to the Beast of the Sea in all its obtuseness and mystery

IV.
Never say "never"!
Where has Pan gone wrong
Neverland really is never again
Raising misfits and raving moonies
and lunatics
Running up and down and in circles 'round the scar
George was right when he said
the cops will never find 'em
Neverland!
Into the lagoon, c'mon now
Don' be afraid of them shadows
dancin 'cross the blue
Don' be afraid of the reef

V.
Where have you gone wrong?
Maybe it is the death of reason and sanity
A boulder to his head
and stuff came out
Reason and Sanity fell flat against a square red rock
And the gentle surf washes over and takes them away

VI.
Who runs the black circus?
The choir boy does!
Can he play his harp?
No, but he sure as heck can sing C#!
Oh, s'that so?
And he sings:
"***** to your fire!
***** to your flame!
***** to your ardor for salvation!"
He came to steal
He came to ****
Run to the hills, littluns!
Can he not play his harp then?
Shan't he not?
F'course not!
He is friends with the ****** Beast!
The beast as flies on the Sow's violet lips
He cannot put Goliath to sleep

VII.
What was the hunt for?
Oh, you sure know how to get yourself some mice!
Master of Deception and Lies that you are!
What was the hunt for?
Thrilling ain' it?
Justify your thrill!
Come on children and follow the
Pied Piper
down to his Lake
down to the path with
shadows and tall trees
(but it seems like paradise!)
down to his Lake
with gnashing of teeth
No lake you say?
There is!
It's the one underneath the scar!
Deeper than the ocean beyond the reef

VIII.
Oh, officer!
Take a seat! Don't be shy!
Don't be reserved for there're plenty!
I'd buy you a snack!
Wait, let the choir boys do it for you!
In your plush velvet chair
recline,
come on
you deserve a ******
jolly good show
In this theatre
mechanical rounds of applause
hardwired machinery of dictation
Dictated sanity
Go tell your baboons
"Jolly Good Show!"
An' feed your green eyes
Emily Oct 2018
i knew His friends
even before He did
they introduced us
when i was a kid

i know His mom
she’s always so sweet
His father is too
they live on my street

His sister, rose
a goddess on earth
His other, maya
has a heart like a hearth

His brother dave
is moved out now
but on weekends
still comes to town

His auntie jane got married
only just this may
and already she’s pregnant
and the baby’s due sunday

and uncle chuck
on His dad’s side
who puts in windows
his wife just died

chuck’s sister
aunt marmalade
has three old cats
and needs a maid

His dad’s mother
goes to church every week
she always bakes cookies
She’s nice, but she’s meek

His mother’s mother
is crumbling at the seams
she has dementia still
she thinks she lives in queens

her husband is reserved
but a nice old man
he loves her so much
he helps her how he can

He has a child
i like her a lot
she’s three years old
her name is charlotte

i love Him so much
so imagine my strife
when He introduced me
to His beautiful wife
Mama, where are you?
While you hide in your addictive curtain
Behind the lines of white
Bottles of downed, forgotten memories
Behind the flick of a lighter, lighting up the stick of a left behind American Dream
Mama, where are you?
You walk in a catatonic manner towards an unknown point
Meandering away from your ****-borne responsibilities
Push me, pull me, smack me like a child's doll
But I am no doll, I am your ****-borne responsibility
Yet, you see me as a burden, an unwanted gift, an accident
Mama, where are you?
Daddy doesn't love you
Grammy doesn't love you
Grampy doesn't love you
Auntie doesn't love you
But do you think that addictive curtain does?
Mama, where are you?
As the light of a cigarette burns
As the dust blows into the air
As the bottle tips
The answers you seek are nebulous
Just like mine
mbm

— The End —